Mormon speakers at RNC mark sharp departure from Romney's reticence on faith
Mitt Romney at his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.
August 30th, 2012
10:45 PM ET

Mormon speakers at RNC mark sharp departure from Romney's reticence on faith

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - After years of keeping quiet about his Mormon faith, Mitt Romney’s campaign thrust his church life into the national eye Thursday night, as a handful of Mormons took to the Republican National Convention’s stage to deliver moving testimonials about the Republican presidential nominee’s role as a member and leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

One couple that belonged to the same Massachusetts ward, or church, as Romney did recounted in a prime-time address how Romney tended to their 14-year-old son when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

“You cannot measure a man’s character based on words he utters before adoring crowds during happy times,” Ted Oparowski, the boy’s father, said on the RNC's final night, following speeches by such GOP stars as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“The true measure of a man is revealed in his actions during times of trouble,” Oparowski said, his voice shaking. “The quiet hospital room of a dying boy, with no cameras and no reporters – that is the time to make an assessment.”

CNN Explains: What’s Mormonism?

Oparowski explained how, more than 30 years ago, Romney would go on to eulogize his son.

Moments later, Pam Finlayson walked onto the convention stage to tell how Romney helped her when he served as bishop – the rough equivalent of a church pastor – of their ward in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Finlayson told how she’d given birth to a daughter 3½ months early and that the baby suffered from underdeveloped lungs, an unstable heart and a brain hemorrhage.

How Mormonism shaped Mitt Romney

“As I sat with her in intensive care, consumed with a mother's worry and fear, dear Mitt came to visit and pray with me,” Finlayson said, provoking tears throughout the convention hall.

“I will never forget that when he looked down tenderly at my daughter, his eyes filled with tears, and he reached out gently and stroked her tiny back.”

“When it comes to loving our neighbor, we can talk about it or we can live it,” Finlayson said later. “The Romneys live it every single day.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

With Romney almost never even invoking the words “Mormon” or “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” the intimate windows into the candidate’s church life came as a surprise to many ears.

“I was a little surprised that it really came out so strong,” says Richard Bushman, a Mormon and a scholar of the religion at Columbia University. “The number of Mormon notes struck in this one evening was remarkable.”

“It must have been some kind of balance of power in the campaign that shifted.”

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Romney has opened up more about his Mormonism in recent weeks, but Thursday night’s speeches from Mormon friends marked a dramatic departure from Romney’s vague pronouncements about his faith.

In formally accepting the Republican nomination on Thursday night, Romney took the unusual step of invoking the "M" word, as he recounted his early years.

"We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan," Romney said. "That might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to."

Later in his speech, as he talked about arriving in Massachusetts, Romney referred to his church experience in a way that made it sound universal.

"Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church," Romney said. "When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church."

Earlier in the evening, the Oparowskis and Finlayson were introduced by Grant Bennett, a fellow ward member who talked in specific terms about Mormon life.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an unpaid, lay clergy,” said Bennett, who succeeded Romney as bishop of the ward. “While raising his family and pursuing his career, Mitt Romney served in our church, devoting 10, 15, even 20 hours a week doing so.”

“Like all Mormon leaders, he did so on his own time and at his own expense,” Bennett continued.

While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has seized on the national Mormon moment with national ad campaigns to try to explain and normalize Mormonism, the slate of Mormon RNC speakers may have done more to explain the fundamentals of Mormon life to millions of Americans.

“Tonight’s stories had an authenticity that’s greater than 20 public affairs releases from the church office,” says Bushman. “It’s just a huge enlargement of the understanding of the faith.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (553 Responses)
  1. crs

    Oh hear we go with the religion bashing. Obama can't beat Romney on the issues so his campaign and the media(haha) are going to start going after him on his religion. It is clear who most of the media wants to win and will do anything to make sure that happens. How do you people look in the mirrow. Just a disgrace! Well just remember if you go after Romney on his religion that opens the door to do the same with Obama. It is clear that Obama and the media don't want to talk about the real issues.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Obama can't beat Romney on the issues? Are you wacked? Obama inherited the position from the worst president in history. Two wars GW started and didn't care who finished, an economy that was spiraling out of control, widespread poverty. And while I am no Obama fan, things have gotten better and at least haven't gotten worse and he deserves credit for that

      Elect another government and we'll get more wars, stealing by the rich at the expense of everyone else and we'll have religious zealots at the helm. Those are the issues.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  2. LS

    I don't understand how Mitt Romney(a non-relative) of the premature born girl in this article) could 'reach down and touch her tiny cheek' when she was more than likely in an incubator based on all the difficulties she was experiencing. It seems a bit too pandering and probably an untruth, much like this entire campaign. I am tired of the Republicans spinning all of these stories, true or not. We are all adults and can handle legitimate platforms based on fact regarding what Mitt Romney's plans really are, aside from changing what he believes depending on which way the wind seems to be blowing.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Howard


      August 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • souptwins

      He was serving as the family's "clergy" which gets into all kinds of places other people can't go. NICU is one and visiting an inmate is another. Pretty common stuff for clergy.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Howard – interesting story. I think Mitt is probably a nice guy. He seems decent, except in his business life.

      But i would never vote for him or his party. Warmongers. Religious fanatics. Liars. Thieves.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • jackh

      So all you chose to see out of this is ugly. Looking for lies. I mean, what kind of life do you live anyway? Glad not to be you. Hope you can find a better perspective one day.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • CA Republican

      As a father of 2 premature babies, and a Mormon, I have had my Bishop come to the NICU and perform a blessing on my tiny children in their time of need. This involves the "laying on of hands", which for tiny babies is usually just a single finger. Compare this to a Pastor coming and blessing a sick family member. The story shows that Mitt cared for those in his stewardship, and he will care about all Americans when he is the President!

      August 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • jordan

      How dare you. What you are really saying is that mother, who told the story, NOT Mitt, is lying about what happened in order to make Mitt appear like a compassionate and caring man. You are going to call that woman a liar? Sorry if you have never been called upon in someone's time of need and have no experiences like these. Sorry if your life is so cold and "lifeless" that stories like these sound fake to you. You should contact that woman and apologize for your thoughtless and shallow comment.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  3. St. Clement of Alexandria

    I could care less what religion he is. Clearly, he is a very good person, husband and father and his belief system obviously influences him in a VERY positive and selfless way. If it works for him, I say go for it.

    As for running for POTUS, I am looking for someone highly educated (check), with an impeccible track record of success (check), with a profound understanding and background in finance and economics (check), and, most importantly, someone who gives a dam. n about his fellowmen (check). I am looking for someone I can trust and, if this were a hiring interview, I would hire Mitt in a heartbeat.

    I can (and will) vote for someone who spends much of his freetime in hospitals holding hands with and comforting the family members of the sick and the dying. I could do that (i.e., regardless of his unorthodox faith). God bless you Mitt!!! God bless America!!!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • peter

      clement–this republican will be sitting out the gen election–i don't vote for mormons–If romney gets on his knees and rejects the cursed religion of his fathers on tv i will be more than happy to vote for him

      August 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • souptwins

      Peter– I guess bigotry is still alive and well. I also guess you're not familiar with the phrase "separation of church and state". SAD

      August 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Then I have a candidate for you! How about a lawyer with his degree from Harvard working to relieve poverty instead of going into business and making millions. How about a guy who started with nothing and wound up as president of the US? Now that's a candidate.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • jackh

      @peter Saul once helped killed Christian. Absolutely knowing that he was right until one day a blinding light.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  4. jefflazrn

    @ mae: My religion was started by Jesus Christ. I am a Christian. Yours was started by Joseph Smith. You are a follower of Joseph Smith, definitely not a Christian.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • St. Clement of Alexandria

      Actually, as a Christian, I think that the Mormons squarely fall withing the definition of "Christian." Mitt certainly exemplifies a Christian life. Unorthodox faith or not, the man clearly lives the first and second greatest commandments. I say God bless him and his efforts!!

      August 31, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • peter

      st–thats because you are a liar-you are not a christian you are a member of the lds and you believe that the book of mormon is the word of God

      August 31, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Dave

      It was started by Christ also, not JS. It is actually set up just as Christ set up his church. JS was the mouthpiece.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • St. Clement of Alexandria


      Actually, I propose you take a look at the website, Evangelicals and Mormons for Jesus. Most of us who have actually had dialogue with and attempted to openly communicate with members of the LDS know exactly what (or I should say who) their members stand for and where they look for salvation and worship.


      August 31, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • peter

      st–a website full of mormons-you can call yourself whatever you want–the bottom line is your antichrist religion has been rejected by christendom since 1830–the book of mormon is not the word of God but blasphemy-you need to get on your knees and reject the false religion of your fathers–cursed is your prophet and his christ–it would of been better for joeseph smith if he was never born

      August 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Fladabosco

      The Book of Mormon is blasphemy. The bible is unerrant. It is the unerring word of god, perfect and true word for word no matter how many times it has been translated, edited, changed, added to, redacted from, changed, lied about etc.

      Anyone who holds up a book and says this is the unerrant word of god is a fool. Anyone who does harm to anyone else and uses the book as justification is evil personified.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • bryes

      Youi seem to be like Obama, a divider. You want to divide peopole up into your neat little groups and then declare others as evil. Does this bring happiness to your life?

      August 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • souptwins

      It all depends on how you define "Christian". If you say that term means a person believes Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world who died that all man may be resurrected and atone for sin and rose on the third day, then yes, Mormons are "Christian". If you believe it means a person believes in the Nicene Creed which was a political compromise contradicting many of the teaching of the original 12 apostles, then no, Mormons are not "Christian". Maybe it's the Nicene Creed that's not Christian. It's also a bit like the banana tell the orange they can't call themselves a fruit because they aren't a banana. some say all religions are "fruits", however. BTW– By your comment, would you also think Lutherins worship Martin Luther and are therefore not "Christian" either?

      August 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  5. America needs freedom from religion.

    It's great that we protect the right of individuals in this country to practice whatever religion they choose. However, we also need to protect individuals who would rather rely on reason and science than someone's faith. We need to have protection from religion as well as of religion. Religion shouldn't be part of our government or of our political campaigns. As Albert Einstein said, "If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." We are Americans as well and we may not to be governed by your religion.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • St. Clement of Alexandria

      Exactly why I will be voting for Mitt. Mitt does not wear his religion on his sleeve. Honestly, the man has been running for POTUS for years, and we are only know hearing stories (from other people mind you) about him holding the hands of the sick and the dying and spending most all of his freetime counseling those in need of comfort?

      Sorry, but I feel like Obama (along with most politicians) wears his badge of true Christianity as a nice Sunday suit. Mitt rather seeks to "not flaunt" his beliefs in front of the public eye. That said, I would trust Mitt anyday over Obama.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Fladabosco

      St. Clement, I would never vote for Mitt for other reasons as I think you are right about the fact that he has generally been quiet about religion except when asked. But Obama has been pretty quiet about it too, especially considering the idiots in this country who constantly accuse him of being something he isn't.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  6. Truthseeker

    Mae how about explaining, "Lying for the Lord". Then please justify Baptizing dead people. Your church has baptized millions of dead people no matter how much their survivors protest, as with Anne Frank nor does your faith consider what the dead persons living faith was.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Abinadi

      What nonsense! Never heard of it!

      August 31, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • yacon

      The church does not baptize dead people–They baptize the living vicariously in behalf of the dead, and the doctrine states that the baptism is only effective if the person were to choose to accept it. In other words, it is a gracious invitation to those for whom it is performed, not some nefarious imposition. I myself do not believe in God or life after death, but I can still recognize deliberate distortion of Mormon beliefs by people like you.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  7. ScottCA


    August 31, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • ScottCA


      August 31, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  8. ScottCA

    Faith requires one to believe in something without evidence, and in the presence of evidence to the contrary.
    This suppression of the minds ability to logical reason, leads to belief in untruths that send ripples of distortion into all areas of study and examination. This leads in turn to social and political decisions based in misinformation. The end result of which is the unnecessary suffering of people.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • yacon

      Religion also leads to positive social behaviors in many adherents, including feeding the hungry, contributing to education in poor countries, and so forth. It also builds some of the most effective social support groups in the world. As one of the few objective atheists who loves and respects religion AND sees its bad side as well, I consider your view closed minded to objective reality.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Scott

      The unecessary suffering of people is caused by the pride of man, the thinking that one man is better than another and knows better than another. This leads to strife and control in marriage, in relationships with our children, in relationships in the community, in the creation and raising of dictators that want to exercise control over all in their perview. These are all illogical things because they destroy yet they happen because of the pride and arrogance of man. True religion teaches man to have humility, overcome pride and to find success in helping serving and lifting others. Unfortunately man in and of himself appears unable to conquer this alone, it requires surrendering our will to a higher being and becoming like Him and allowing our mind and character to become one with Him. This requires faith, because we are selfish beings and don't believe that there is someone that knows better than we do, or knows what is best for our lives. Surrendering will is an act of faith that most men are unable to do, because of Pride.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  9. Amy

    Who cares what his religion is. If he were Baptist would it be such a big deal?? Of course not!! I'm tired of Mormon this and Mormon that. What kind of leader is he?? What is his stand on the military?? What is his stand on Afghanistan and Iran?? Gee, I don't know. But by golly I know he's a Mormon.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Will he send a rocket ship to Kolob?

      August 31, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  10. Bruce

    I wonder...if Prez Obama (or any other black candidate for that matter) was a mormon, would he be getting the pass like Mitt? I would guess not.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • yacon

      You call many of the comments on this board "getting a pass"?

      August 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • doug

      Harry Reid gets a pass, Democratic Sen Majority leader and a Mormon

      August 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  11. Erik


    There are a lot of strange postings about Mormons, their tenants and their history. Get your facts right. Spend some time in LDS churches to get a good idea of what Christ's Church is all about.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • peter

      eric–the lds aka mormons believe that the book of mormon published in 1830 by their prophet joeseph smith is the word of God–the book of mormon, another testament of jesus christ is not the word of God–it is blasphemy as is their christ–you sir are not a christian

      August 31, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Erik

      Peter – again, go to an LDS church for a few weeks. The boy Joseph did not write the Book of Mormon. The Book was written by the prophets of old and was translated by Joseph with the inspiration from the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ and God. Go pick up a copy of the Book of Mormon, have the missionaries over and attend an LDS church. Don't read or listen to what is said by those who are ignorant of Christ's Church. Go to the source!

      August 31, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • chongno

      We believe and follow the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation. If that is a different book than you, than what scriptures do you believe in? We worship Jesus, born to the virgin Mary in bethlehem who was sent to this earth by His Father to atone for our sins. What Christ do you believe in?

      August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • peter

      eric–the holy ghost that you say gave inspiration to your prophet joeseph smith was the spirit of the antichrist as is the christ that your cursed prophet proclaimed and preached about in the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ–Mormons are cursed to the 7th generation. You sir are no christian

      August 31, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • peter

      chongo–you believe in the false christ of the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ published in 1830 by your cursed prophet joeseph smith. Reject the false religion of your fathers. It puts people in darkness and chains. I don't hate sinners i hate the sin–repent of that religion and be free

      August 31, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • souptwins

      chongno- Mormons believe in the same Jesus of Nazareth you describe– the only begotten son of God who died and rose on the 3rd day, who made it possible for all man to be resurrected, who atoned for sin, raised the dead and healed the sick. Same, same!! The Book of Mormon just answers the question of what he meant when after His resurrection said He would visit "sheep not of this fold". Those "sheep" were living on the American continents and he taught them & established His church as a resurrected being. The Bk. of Mormon tells of these people the same as the Bible tells of the people in the Mid. East. Joseph Smith did not "write" it, he translated it in the same way Tinsdale translated the Bible into English. BTW– Mormons also study and believe the Bible, using the King James Version.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Craiger

      Peter, what the h are you talking about? I'm not a mormon, but your comments bleed ignorance and border full-on bigotry. If you want to find out more about the mormon church, visit their online resources (www.mormon.org), or visit a local congregation.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm |


    August 31, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • chongno

      You need to learn. John Lee was a commander in the Utah militia, (not the Mormon church) and was executed for this crime against humanity. The Church was not involved. Every Church has members who have committed atrocities, whether a war crime, the crusades, the holocaust, or mass murderers today. They act as heinous individuals, not as representatives of their religion.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Mixtape

      Thanks for the invite, Politically Incorrect, but I'll pass, unless being historically incorrect is also something you pride yourself on. Are we to assume from the format of your post that lower case letters had not yet been invented in 1857?

      August 31, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  13. Fladabosco

    It's very simple. Elect Republicans and get war, division, ruination of the economy, huge increases in debt, massive stealing by the powerful and poverty. Elect Democrats and you get people who get nothing done. When the Rs are in power the Ds whine about what they do but seem powerless to stop it; when Ds are in power the Rs call them names and start investigations.

    I'll take people who get nothing done.

    It's been the same my entire adult life: Nixon, Ford (Whip inflation now!), Reagan, Bush I, Bush II. Which of them did NOT bomb a foreign country? Only Ford, who finished out Nixon's 2nd term when he resigned in disgrace. Which of them did not leave the economy in shambles? NONE OF THEM. Which of them did not have huge scandals where the ultra-rich abused their power and/or ruined the world economy for their personal gain? NONE OF THEM.

    I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I'm reasonable. But I know a trend when I see one and I do remember history.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:16 am |

      Right on Fladabosco

      August 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  14. SirToYe

    We already know what the Republicans think of Mitt Romney , they nominated McCain instead of Romney in the last election. Now we are now down to a second string Mormon bishop. Anything to get rid of the black guy!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Scott

      This must be the third or fourth time I have read this, anything new to say or offer?

      August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  15. Kermit

    Mitt is 10 times the man Barak Obama is. One spends his free time on a golf course, then other in hosptials holding the hands of dying children.

    Anyone who fails to see that one of these candidates is not like the other isn't looking closely.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      How does that make someone a better man?

      August 31, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Mannix

      Here come the sob stories now...it'll get worse before it gets better..

      August 31, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Fladabosco

      What a bunch of blather. 1) Obama is the president of the US and he spends more time in DC than GW did. 2) If you think Romney spends his free time in hospitals visiting dying kids you are pretty foolish. Google Mitt and yacht. Google Mitt and dressage.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • M.E.

      One has a happy and loved family dog, the other strapped his dog to the roof rack of his car and tortured him. The true measure of a man is in how he treats lesser creatures, Romney does not pass that test.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  16. Brad from Toronto

    Hello, i'm from Canada and i'll like my fellow americans to give me an answer on something (it's serious not trying to be sarcastic here). I'm not an expert in US politics but watching some TV events from time to time i've noticed that during republican events including this convention most of the audience tend to be all white and aged people while at Democrat events it's more colored (white,blacks,latino,asian etc...) and a quite younger. The thing is i've been to the US twice (Houston and Philadelphia) and i remember what i saw what an ethnical melting pot how can one explain that monolithic audience at Republican events ? I'll be watching the Dem convention to check if my assertion holds up. Just trying to make sense out of this as an outsider. Love the US, still believe it's the greatest nation on Earth.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Fladabosco

      The Republican party traditionally represents the money holders in the US. They support free markets, reduced government, strong defense, religion, limited immigration. This is the party whose most popular candidate at the time Newt Gingrich, said that if a child goes to a school that is failing him, they should give him a mop and make him the janitor. Rich people who don't want to pay taxes to give the kid a decent school aren't going to vote for someone who is going to fix the school because that costs money.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:28 am |

      Brad ,you seen it the way it is,republican stands for RICH and GREEDY,democrat stands for TAXABLE PEASENT

      August 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Trevor

      You're no Canadian! That last line of "I love the U.S." gave it away. I've met a good handful of Canadians and lived with some. They have more pride about Canada than anyone I know and to say "I love the U.S." would be blasphemy. Maybe I'm wrong but it's just an educated guess.

      August 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Trevor

      Sorry, quote should be "Love the US"

      August 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Brad from Toronto

      Thanks guys for replying to my question. Trevor i'm indeed canadian and VERY proud of my country and believe socially we're one the best country in the world if not the best. When i say the US is still the best country it was more in a leadership way compared with the other continent leading countries ( the Canada is not exactly in that league). But the US are far far from being perfect. Thanks.

      August 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  17. SirToYe

    If elected , would Romney,being a Mormon bishop, be the first clergy member to be president? I am sure the protestant evangelicals have always wanted a clergy member for president, but I can't imagine that they wanted a Mormon bishop. LOL.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • RandomName

      Mormon bishops do not serve indefinitely. The usual service time is 5-6 years, after which they are called to do something completely different (from tending in the nursery to a higher leadership calling, such as stake president). I'm not sure what Mitt Romney is doing now in his local congregation, but he's not serving as a bishop.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Kermit

      Mormons don't believe in professional clergy. Their "pastors" are just everyday joes who serve in that capacity for a few years, and then are removed from service.

      I used to live in the Boston area and have a friend who is a Mormon who used to attend services with Mitt Romney. The stories I have heard are all deeply touching. I am inclined to believe Ann Romney when she states that her husband "doesn't flaunt it" because he sees it as a "service."

      I might not agree with Mitt on every political position, but you cannot argue against the fact that he is a VERY good person. Anyone who can spend pretty much all his freetime helping build communities, organizing community charity drives, counseling individuals and families in troubled marriages, consoling people who are harrowed by personal sins and in need of comfort and forgiveness, and visiting the families of the sick and the dying is certainly the type of person I want for President, regardless of which God he prays to.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Kermit, I'd like to remind you that this great person also ran a company that bought companies with the idea that if you reduce the number of employees you can see the business at a profit, so don't go overboard on what a great guy he is. When Obama got out of college and could have gotten a republican type-law job making lots of money, he chose to address social problems to see if he could fix them. How Christians can turn that into an evil thing I don't know.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • souptwins

      Flab– So tell us how many people can employed by a company that goes bankrupt and must close all together? If losing a few employees seems harsh, how much more harsh is it to do nothing and have many lose their jobs?

      August 31, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Mike T

      You made this Mormon laugh.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  18. cbr

    Religion is and should be personal choice. How and why a person chooses a religion and then observes the tenets of that religion should not be debated. We should respect Mr. Romney for his role in his church and his devotion to the religion.

    The Mormon Temple was built in Belmont on a hill off Route 2. It was not without controversy because the size overshadowed the neighborhood. However, houses of worship may be built on land and without as many restrictions as other building projects.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • SirToYe

      The Mormon church can do anything it wants in Utah, legal or otherwise.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Of course it should be debated. All religions are fairly ridiculous, but Mormonism is up there with Scientology on the ridiculous scale. The thing about the Abrahamic faiths is it's difficult to prove all the ridiculous stuff wrong because they happened thousands of years ago. However, we know Smith was a fairly dubious character, and that he was clearly charlatan. So it is an issue when the President of the most powerful country on the planet (although China may dispute that) adheres to a cultish religion founded by a known con-man.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • a7m

      Unlike Christianity, which technically recognizes the concept of the separation of church and state, Islam and Mormonism reject it. In these two religions, religious leaders take it upon themselves to dictate all aspects of people's lives. I know many Christian leaders do the same, but at least Christianity is supposed to respect teh difference between religious and political spheres.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • chongno

      dictates all aspects of peoples lives? How about goes far out of its way to tell its members the church does not endorse any party or candidate, to vote how they desire? See any of the past general conferences at the lds web site. It encouraged standing up for the family with Prop 8, but so did the catholic religion, methodist religion, california baptists and protestant religion. Please do some research before spouting what you don't know.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Thaddeus J.

      Anyoung haseyo, Changnonim!


      Dan, I think that you might just need to educate yourself a tad on what Mormons actually believe. I would recommend a visit to LDS.ORG or Mormon.org. There is a lot of intentionally false and misleading information out there on the beliefs of Mormon CHristians.


      August 31, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Rational libertarian: saying one religion is ridiculous and another is not is just bias.

      Judiasm: chosen by god to be the bringers of 'the message.' Stories include being swallowed by a whale, being turned into a pillar of salt, bushes that burn but don't burn, plagues brought by god on their enemies, etc.

      Islam: hundreds of pages of beautiful text all giving by god to an illiterate warrior who recited it to his wife who wrote it down unerringly. You get 72 virgins if you die serving god. Etc.

      Buddhism: There are 6 realms you can be reborn into, 3 that are pleasant and 3 that aren't.

      Christianity: walking on water, turning water into wine, the whole idea that we are born dirty but can be cleaned in god's eyes by trusting a savior.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Scott

      Sorry a7m, the LDS church very well understands the separation between church and state, and every election time every fall, reminds congregations that the church supports no political candidates and that each member must vote according to their own conscience. If you are a Christian yourself, and I don't know if you are, I assume you understand that the Christian belief is that one day all mankind will be in one government under God – every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus is the Christ. And at that time, and forever thereafter, there will be no separation of chuch and state. But then we won't need to worry about the weaknesses and pride of man.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  19. Rational Libertarian

    WE BUILT IT!!!

    Can somebody please tell me what is so appealing about this slogan? I'm half tempted to vote Republican.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • mama kindless

      Hey – don't knock it. Building a web of lies is not always the easiest thing to do.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • AJRoscoe

      It's no more than a gross distortion of the president's words. Here is how it really transpired.


      August 31, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Whose web of lies? Both the Republicans and the Democrats lie so much your meaning isn't clear.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Truthseeker

      "We built it” is myth. Anyone saying they are 100% responsible for their success is in denial or they are uninformed. It is impossible to operate a legitimate business without roads, schools, fire and police protection, court systems. We are lucky in America to have these elements in place, ask a person in Somalia how things work without an infrastructure. "We built this" is for naive people to believe. .

      August 31, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      No AJ. I've both heard and read what Obama said, and he quite clearly states that government has a huge role in creating businesses, which isn't always the case.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Fladabosco

      The weak of mind frequently confuse slogans with discourse and intelligent thought.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Mike T

      This is the one thing that truly concerns me about the Romney campaign Why would a good man allow an outright lie to be part of his campaign? He knows that Obama didn't mean what the republicans are saying he meant.

      (From the Old Testament) Exodus Chapter 20 Verse 15
      Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

      Growing up in the Church, he should know this. Has he come to believe that the end justifies the means?

      (From the Book of Mormon) 2 Nephi Chapter 28 Verses 8 – 10
      And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God – he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their councels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark. And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.

      Doctrine and Covenants Section 10 Verses 20 and 25 – 28
      Verily, verily, I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good;
      Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him. And thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare. And thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men. Verily, verily, I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.

      I am a Mormon. And it concerns me that someone of my faith would so obviously falter in following the teachings of our faith to become President of the United States. Maybe I am holding him to a higher standard than I should, but it truly does concern me.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  20. Dan

    The Mormon testimonials said nothing about the tenets of the religion.....yes, Mormons do good works for other Mormons as part of community. What about the actual religious beliefs handed down from Joseph Smith on magic tablets and seen with magic glasses both of which were never actually seen by anyone else. What about the secondary role of women....who are subservient to their husbands and rely on their husbands to get to heaven? What about the massacre of pioneers by Mormons in Utah? What about the inherent belief in plural marriage because men need as many children as possible to get to a higher place in heaven? None of this was explained nor was the fact that the temple rites in the Mormon church are secret.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • SirToYe

      If the Republicans are crazy enough to vote for a Mormon bishop, I would like to know if we will we be getting speeches from the oval office on earth or will they be building another white house on the planet Kolob? Will Mitt try to broker a peace between Jesus and his brother Satan?

      August 31, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • RandomName

      Wow... none of it was explained by you, either. Do some real research Next time.


      August 31, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • chongno

      unfortunately sir, you are grossly uneducated. Those ancient tablets and seer stones were seen by many. The first few pages of the Book of Mormon have the testimony of three witnesses, followed by 8 more. Secondary role of women? talk to a woman in the religion and they will tell you that they are revered. Massacres? you are referring to a kiling in southern Utah that was done by a small group of mormons who were excommunicated when it was learned what they had done. Every mass murderer has some religion. You can't blame that on their religion. Men need as many children as possible? The current prophet has three... in your argument he wouldn't be going to heaven. Simply not true. Temple rites are sacred, not secret and can be found nearly anywhere online. Not that out there. Please learn more before spouting such untruths.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Truthseeker

      The part they never talk about is the Mormon doctrine, "Lying for the Lord". Search those words and you will see why Mitt is called, "Flip Flop" and why he "walks back" so much of what he says in public. Mormons apply "Lying for the Lord to any topic, by any member of the so-called church. They lie about drinking, smoking, gambling, anything.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • mae

      Dan I sure don't know where you are getting your information about the LDS church but you really are off base>I am a Mormon wife have been for 32 years we are not subservient to our husbands.We are joint partners with them..What about the many massacres of Mormons in Missouri?No one seems to want to mention that.The Mormons were ran out of towns because of our faith.Plural marriage was for just a few years and not every man had more than one wife.No we don't believe we have to have many children to get to heaven.The temple rites in the temple are not secret just sacred,not every Mormon can go to the temple those that do have to have a high standard of living to get a temple recommend.If you are of a religious faith I would invite you to investigate where and by whom your religion was started.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • chongno

      Glad your pastor sent you to the anti-mormon wiki page he created, but "Lying for the Lord" does not exist. Nobody uses that phrase and in fact the book of mormon in second nephi tells us that liars are thrust down to hell. Next time just ask a member if they have heard of such a thing and you won't need to post your own lies.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Fladabosco

      You can say the same things about every religion. There are all sorts of things that only those in the know are allowed to know. The only church whose inner workings we know something about is Catholicism, and what we know is not pretty.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • KnowYourFacts

      The gold plates (your "magical tablets") were seen by 11 other people. You must be getting your information from sources that are not factual (i.e., rumor mail). So much of the negativity spread about the church is done this way. Don't do your research and get facts, just repeat what the last guy told you. It's amazing to hear how unChristlike many people are when they speak of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). If you want to know what we are really about, look at Mormon.org.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:53 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.