What would a Mormon White House look like?
If Mitt Romney is elected president, the White House will likely see some new traditions.
November 2nd, 2012
11:00 PM ET

What would a Mormon White House look like?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Should Mitt Romney win the presidency next Tuesday, it will mark an historic first: a Mormon couple moving into the White House.

What would this mean and look like?

Would there be “dry” state dinners, since faithful Mormons don’t do alcohol? Would Secret Service tag along to sacred ceremonies only open to worthy church members? What book would a President Mitt Romney use to take his oath of office?

We can’t be absolutely sure about all the answers. But if the practices and homes of devout Mormons like the Romneys – not to mention his history as governor of Massachusetts – are any indication, we can begin to paint a picture of what a Romney-inhabited White House might look like.

First things first: About that oath

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe the Bible is the word of God. But they also believe this about the Book of Mormon, which is subtitled “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

Given the importance of the Book of Mormon, this question seemed worth asking: Any chance Romney would place his hand on a Book of Mormon at his swearing-in ceremony?

“No, no way Romney would do that,” Jana Riess, a religion scholar, co-author of “Mormonism for Dummies,” and blogger for Religion News Service, wrote in an e-mail message. “I’m not aware of any Mormon who has sworn on the Book of Mormon instead of the Bible for national office. (I’m not aware of any local officials who have done this either.)”

Most likely, Romney would go back to the Bible he used in 2003 when he was sworn in as governor of Massachusetts – the same one his father, George Romney, reportedly used when he was sworn in as Michigan’s governor in the 1960s.

Beyond paint and fabric swatches

Having never been invited over for a meal, we can’t pretend to know anything about the Romney aesthetic when it comes to home decoration. But we wondered and asked about specific items that tend to hang in Mormon households.

Randall Balmer, an award-winning historian, author and chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College, speculated that the Romneys – like plenty of Mormons – might display artwork featuring a depiction of Jesus and a photograph of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, considered a “prophet, seer and revelator” by members of the church.

Another possibility, said Riess, would be a photo of the Salt Lake Temple where Mitt and Ann Romney were married and “sealed” for eternity in a sacred ceremony in 1969.

Then there’s something commonly known as the “Proclamation on the Family,” which is often framed and displayed in homes – though rarely in upper-class households, said Joanna Brooks, author of “The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith.”

The proclamation features words set forth by LDS Church leadership in 1995, highlighting family and gender responsibilities. Among the points made: Marriage is between a man and woman; the primary responsibility of fathers is to oversee and provide for families; and mothers must first and foremost care for the children.

All of these items could show up in the White House, said Grant Bennett, an old Romney friend who spoke at the Republican National Convention and has known the Romney family since they met through church in 1978.

But he said, “the most quintessential Mormon item would be pictures of their family,” including those of ancestors, because “families are forever” and bound for eternity in the Mormon view.

Ann and Mitt Romney are surrounded by family before the October 22 presidential debate at Lynn University.

Bennett also suggested that a verse or two of Scripture that is particularly meaningful to the Romneys might be framed and on display.

If any of these things would hang in the White House, they would likely appear in the private quarters where first families are free to do what they please.

That doesn’t mean Romney wouldn’t be allowed to honor his faith in some way in the Oval Office, but decorative decisions in public rooms – the spaces visited on tours – are subject to committee discussions and advisers on historic preservation, explained Melissa Naulin, assistant curator in the Curator's Office of the White House Museum.

Can I get a cup of coffee? How about something stronger?

In accordance with a revelation received in 1833 by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith, something known as the “Word of Wisdom,” faithful Latter-day Saints abstain from coffee, tea and alcohol.

Does this mean a return to the days of “Lemonade Lucy,” the posthumous nickname given to the wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th U.S. president, who banned alcohol from the White House?

No, said Cabinet members from Romney’s gubernatorial era and a current top aide. They said this health-related observance is not one the Romneys would impose on or expect of others.

“As governor, when Mitt Romney entertained at official functions in the evening, alcohol was served along with soft beverages,” said a senior aide who asked not to be identified in stories about religion.

“There was always a healthy cup of coffee for anyone who wanted it,” said Renee Fry, a former Cabinet member.

“Cabinet dinner gatherings were not dry,” wrote Douglas Foy, who also served in Governor Romney’s Cabinet. “Although the governor and his wife did not partake – which the governor often joked about, since he sponsored the gatherings and paid for the wine!”

Storing – and refraining from – food

The LDS Church advises its members to store enough food to feed a family for a year.

Food storage is viewed as a practical measure, one that can come in handy during, say, a crippling superstorm, massive power outages or unforeseen financial hardships.

The practice is rooted in Mormon history. The church’s early pioneers, on their trek westward to what is now Utah, experienced great suffering and starvation. They also endured their share of persecution and couldn’t rely on the help of others. So having resources squirreled away became a collective comfort.

Any chance that the Romneys would institute White House food storage?

Not because they would need it for themselves or likely anyone else at the White House, but Riess said in these uncertain times, it could be a good lesson in preparedness to showcase to the nation.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see that,” she said.

Mitt Romney gathers donations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Even if a family storing it doesn’t need the food, by having it available that family is poised to help others. Serving those less fortunate or in crisis is big in the LDS Church, and it is a part of another practice that may find its way into the White House if the Romneys move in.

The first Sunday of every month is Fast Sunday, when committed Mormons who are able forgo food and drink for about 24 hours. Coupled with prayer, it has spiritual meaning. It also serves to instill compassion for those who are in need, and to that end Mormons are encouraged to minimally donate what they would have spent on food to the church’s welfare fund.

Fast Sunday, or calls to fast at other times, can also bind Mormons together when they pray and fast for a common cause.

A Utah woman created buzz earlier this fall when an e-mail she sent out to friends and family, suggesting they fast to help Romney before the debates, began making the rounds in Mormon circles across the country. A new website, romneyfast.org, also the brainchild of private citizens – and not a church-sanctioned effort – asks people to fast and pray for Romney and his wife Ann this Sunday before America goes to the polls.

When he was governor of Massachusetts, and in general, Mitt and Ann Romney observed Fast Sunday and “always contributed very generously to the fast offering fund,” said Bennett, who held church leadership roles with Romney in the Boston area.

What’s more, Bennett said that when Romney served as their congregation's bishop – the equivalent of an unpaid pastor – it wasn’t uncommon for the two friends to fast more than once a month. At the time, Bennett was one of Romney's two counselors, or advisers.

“Occasionally he would invite me and the other counselor to join him in fasting on a weekday for a specific purpose,” Bennett wrote in an e-mail. “For example, one purpose would be to seek inspiration regarding an important decision, another purpose would be to express love, support and solidarity to someone who was ill or going through very difficult times.”

Whether Romney would maintain this observance from the nation’s highest office, we can’t know. But it looks like the White House kitchen staff may be in for a little downtime each month, if they’re lucky.

Honoring the Sabbath, going to church and other Mormon observances

Sunday is a holy day for active LDS Church members. It’s a time when Mormons attend their local congregation - it's known as a ward, which in Catholic-speak would be comparable to a parish - and worship with their families and community.

The ward closest to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and likely the one the Romneys would be assigned to, is the Washington D.C. 3rd Ward, which gathers in what Mormons call a “meetinghouse” or chapel on 16th Street NW. The Washington Post described this ward as consisting of mostly Democrats, half who are nonwhite (including plenty of Spanish speakers), and having openly gay members in its leadership.

Riess said while ward assignments are almost always determined geographically, sometimes there are exceptions. And the truth is there just isn’t any precedent for how this would be handled for a U.S. president.

With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold

How much of his Sundays a President Romney could set aside for his faith is obviously uncertain. We already know he’s been hard at work on the campaign trail, Sundays included – though the senior aide we spoke to said he makes efforts to get to church when he can.

One need only look at President Jimmy Carter, who went so far as to teach Sunday school at his local Baptist church, to see how a sitting president can make room for faith, said Balmer of Dartmouth, who counts among his many books “God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.”

Romney faithfully showed up at church on Sundays while he was governor, unless an official function got in the way, Bennett said. And when Romney ran for U.S. Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy, Bennett – then the ward’s bishop – assigned Romney to teach the weekly adult Sunday school class.

“He was in church virtually every Sunday teaching this class throughout the campaign, only occasionally arranging for a substitute teacher,” his friend said.

Beyond church, Riess speculated about other observances Romney would uphold.

Mormons reserve Monday evenings for “family home evening,” a time when families pray, study and sing together.

Someone serving in church leadership, who didn’t want to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, said he doubted the Romneys would observe family home evening since their kids are grown and gone. But Riess suspected that Romney and his wife, especially given the size of their brood – five sons; 18 grandchildren – and the likelihood that family would be passing through, would honor the Monday tradition in some way, even if it was just the two of them.

There’s also a practice in LDS Church wards in which men who hold the priesthood – which means the authority, for example, to perform baptisms and offer sacramental blessings – are partnered up to visit other congregation members, ideally once a month, as home teachers.

The LDS Church does not have paid clergy, and this is one way that volunteer ward pastors, or the bishops, can make sure members get personal attention and lessons as needed.

So could home teachers come knocking on the White House doors?

It’s possible, said Riess, though obviously there’d be background checks and no unannounced knockings.

But a U.S. president couldn’t possibly be expected to regularly home teach others, right?

Probably not. But Romney did step up as governor, Bennett said.

“He both had home teachers, and he was assigned as a home teacher, when he was governor,” Bennett said. “He and Ann would ensure they were available for their home teachers to visit, and he was faithful in doing his home teaching.”

And then there’s the big question: What about the temple?

Many non-Mormons falsely assume the large and often magnificent white LDS temples they see in their cities are where Latter-day Saints go for church. But Mormons gather for Sunday services in meetinghouses or chapels, which are usually plain, unimpressive structures.

The Washington D.C. Temple, not too far from the White House, is considered by Mormons to be a house of the Lord.

The 140 temples currently in operation across the globe are actually closed on Sundays. Mormons view their temples as houses of the Lord, as Riess explained in her book, and they are not places for run-of-the-mill worship. Temples, instead, are reserved for the most sacred rituals – the details of which are not to be discussed outside temple walls.

The temples are so sacred that the doors are not even open for all Mormons; only those deemed sufficiently worthy by local church leadership are granted a “temple recommend” or an entry card.

While sacred ceremonies or “ordinances” for the living – such as weddings, during which couples are “sealed” for eternity – happen inside, there are also rituals performed by living substitutes or proxies for those who have died. These rituals include baptisms, which have been at times a subject of controversy for the LDS Church.

Romney, who long served in church leadership, surely has a temple recommend. But does that mean he’d actually go to the Washington D.C. Temple, which sits about 10 miles north of the White House in Kensington, Maryland?

“If I were him, I’d probably just not go while I was president, if only out of courtesy to other patrons,” said our source in church leadership who didn’t want to be named. “It’s not like it’s some kind of ‘go often or you’ll go to hell’ thing. It’s just a standard part of being a committed Mormon, which you do if you can find the time.”

And a President Romney couldn’t go there, let alone anywhere else, without Secret Service. So if he wanted to go, would he be able to? Even Secret Service agents would be turned away from the temple without the right access card.

Not a problem, speculated Balmer of Dartmouth. He said finding qualified agents, if Romney hasn’t found them already, would be easy.

It’s well-known that the CIA, FBI and, by extension, he said he assumes, the Secret Service recruit at LDS Church-run Brigham Young University. All these agencies, Balmer said, are “looking for people who are good, loyal, patriotic Americans,” and many Latter-day Saints, who believe in the divinity of the U.S. Constitution, fit that bill.

So if it would be important for Romney and the first lady to go to the temple, it should be possible.

And Riess said, given Romney's level of faith and church involvement over the years, she can’t imagine that he wouldn’t want to go. Minimally, she pointed out, there’s bound to be a family member’s wedding or “temple sealing” he’d want to attend.

“It would be a logistical problem,” she said. “But I’m pretty sure they’d find a way.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • DC • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,237 Responses)
  1. kathy

    Does this mean he'll take on another couple of wives? The First Ladies?

    November 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Karl

      Plural marriage (polygamy) was abandoned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th–a manifesto was passed outlawing it in 1890 and again in 1904. Mormons no longer practice polygamy or believe in this practice. Only fundamentalist splinter groups, like the FLDS, still continue polygamy. LDS (Romney's faith) is not the same as the FLDS (Warren Jeffs' cult).

      November 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  2. snowboarder

    i don't what his religious preference is, so long as he has the good sense not to try to use his office to foist it onto the population at large.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  3. Shalako77

    Mormonism changes the definition of Christianity, then calls its members Christians.

    Mormons say they believe in Jesus Christ, but their "Jesus Christ" is not the Jesus of the Bible.

    In the end, Mormons believe what Joseph Smith wrote, and Joseph Smith wrote something very different from the Bible. So what Mormons really believe in is Joseph Smith, and it's well-established that Joseph Smith was a liar and a philandering con artist.

    Is this now political of me to point out? Or has it been the God's honest truth for well over a hundred years?

    November 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • God Bless America

      did you come to that conclusion after reading the Book of Mormon and the Bible?

      November 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • sarah

      Mormonism is quite simply a cult built on top of the cult "Gullible's Travels, Part 2" (NT), which is built on the fable "Gullible's Travels, Part 1" (OT). None of it has been proven.

      November 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Wyoming

      Mormon's believe in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, but not the Christ of the Nicene Creed. Interestingly, it is the Creeds, not the Bible that unite 'orthodox' Christians.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  4. david

    Good article. I hope we find out what a Romney white house would look like.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • guest

      I hope we don't find out. I hope Obama wins!!!

      November 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  5. DaveInPA


    November 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  6. Mormons are Christians?

    Why has no Mormon in here argued with the statements below even when asked directly?
    Because it is what they believe to be true.

    It's funny how Mormons swear they are Christians. But when asked about their beliefs they dodge the questions. It's just like Romney.

    Hear are the facts:

    Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it. They also believe that multiple Gods exist but each has their own universe. We are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven we can become gods ourselves.

    In LDS theology you can be forgiven for any sin, save two. First, denying the Holy Spirit, and second, murder. Also, God is infinitely forgiving, until the second coming. After that, you end up where you end up, no matter what. There are no second chances. Period.

    In LDS doctrine there are three heavens: the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom. The Celestial is the highest, where God and the ones who followed his law reside. The Terrestrial is the middle, where people who followed the Law of Moses reside. The Telestial is the lowest, where the ones who followed carnal law reside.

    While most religions believe in God, the LDS religion believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as separate beings. They also believe that God, Jesus and resurrected beings have bodies of “flesh and bone.”

    The Book of Mormon is a book of LDS scripture that takes place during the same time as the Bible and takes place on the American continent. It follows the stories of two tribes who descended from the family of Lehi. After Jesus’ resurrection LDS people believe he visited the peoples of the Americas.

    This one is very unique to the LDS faith. Basically, everyone on earth now was a spirit in the pre-existence. When we die, our spirits are separated from our bodies and if we were good they go to “spirit paradise.” If we were bad they go to “spirit prison.” The spirit world exists as a place for spirits to go while awaiting the second coming.

    All of these beliefs are in total contradiction to the bible.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Cuyler

      We don't like to argue when there isn't a point. We're not foolish enough to think we're going to convince you of anything, so why get contentious about it. We believe all of those things; none of it was incorrect, and was in fact impressively well contextualized, considering. However, many of those doctrines are supported by the Bible, and none are in contradiction.

      There is no question that they are contrary to the interpretation of the Bible by some men (though not all- several of those doctrines are agreed to by other Christian denominations), but man's interpretation of scripture does not equal scripture unless it is the same as God's. Just as people have misinterpreted scripture throughout time (see pharisees, sadducees, others), people do the same today, or we would not have the infinitum of different churches and doctrines that we have today. For this reason, God has sent prophets constantly over the course of human history: to clear up the confusion and bring new doctrines and revelations necessary for that time (see Noah, Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, Malaki, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and many more). Latter-day Saints believe that God does not change, and has done the same thing in our day. We believe He has revealed new scripture, and that He continues to act as He always has, by speaking to the world through prophets in order to reveal new truths, commandments for our day, and clear up confusion of truths He revealed in the past.

      And, most importantly, we believe that He does all of this so that we can know and follow His son, Jesus Christ, better, because it is only through Christ that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven. Jesus said it was a strait and narrow path to follow Him, and we recognize that. His is the only way, and we seek that way. We are grateful to know that God has sent prophets again in our day to help us identify the true path of Christ, as He has always done throughout history.

      What about this seems un-Christian?

      November 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Karen

      I am not Mormon (or belong to any organized religion), but live among Mormons. I have a Mormon friend who tells me (with tears in her eyes) that Jesus Christ is her Savior. Sounds pretty Christian to me.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • truth be told

      That is what Mormon leadership want you to think, they have hidden their true nature for decades now with the intent to hi-jack America. Mormons are not Christians and never have been. To vote Mormon is to vote anti – Christ.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Wraith

      And to vote strictly based on the religion of the candidate is to vote strictly against intelligence.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • ute

      why waste time responding to ignorant people?

      November 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Mormons are Christians?

      Thank you for your honest reply.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • truth be told

      Mormons are not Christians that is a bold faced lie. Mormons from the beginning with Joe Smith have been anti – Christ.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  7. Mutt Romney

    In a few short days, when I am elected President of these here 52 United States, I will immediately ask for the salvation of all sinners who have not embraced Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the Church of Latter Day Saints. Next, I will deliver to the new American Mormon congregation the coordinates of my home planet, where I am a God as well as here. The present God, who has been portrayed as the Christian God on plant Kobol will be retired and the mythical Jesus stories ended.

    Next, I will instruct our Armed Forces to move in force to Israel and remove all peoples from that area and ship them to Diego Garcia as their new home; Jewish and Palestinian alike. Mormon Missionaries and Mormon Families will then immediately populate and rebuild this land as our ancestral home.

    Finally toward the end of my first day in Office as the President of the United States, I will use Executive Orders and repeal anything that smells of decency and humanity from the previous sinful Administrations. All government assistance will end immediately except to those Mormon driven businesses that stand prior to my election. All government mandated Welfare, Health Care, Legal Services, Student Loan Programs, NASA, Agricultural Funding, Foreign Assistance Programs, Affirmative Action Programs, Gay Anything Programs will all cease to be funded by the stroke of my pen. Finally, if any have not come to the Mormon fold by the end of my first day and have any debt, all property and possessions will immediately become the Government's. Anyone not complying with these Executive Orders will be detained and summarily sent to Northeastern China as Slave Labor to our Chinese Mormon Brothers and Sisters.

    I want to thank all of the Tea Party Members whose complete hatred and stand fast stupidity allowed me to shove aside those pesky Centrist Republicans and bring chaos to the forefront of American Politics when compromise might have been possible . While you all were bickering and complaining over issues that really did not matter, I have laid the complete foundation to rid America of anyone who is not White, Mormon, Straight, Obsessed with Work and Greed and completely malleable.

    Now I know you haters out there and you know who you are, will cry the blues over my changes. Be at ease, you will be at peace before long. If we can't get you into the Church before you pass, we can after 🙂 Again thank you for a prosperous America and may I bless these great United States of America.

    Mutt Romney
    Paid for by the Church of Latter Days Saints

    November 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  8. Mohammad A Dar

    What would a Mormon White House look like?

    White House always had been a "Mormon" White House, secretive.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  9. Penny Nickels

    Do young Mormon men believe in the missionary position?

    November 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  10. Blasphemy

    Gangsters always act self righteous.

    It is no coincidence that Republicans act the same.

    November 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  11. Phillip C. Smith

    Thank you for a fair, accurate treatment of my Church

    Phillip C. Smith

    November 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Mormons are Christians?

      It's funny how Mormons swear they are Christians. But when asked about their beliefs they dodge the questions. It's just like Romney.

      Hear are the facts:

      Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it. They also believe that multiple Gods exist but each has their own universe. We are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven we can become gods ourselves.

      In LDS theology you can be forgiven for any sin, save two. First, denying the Holy Spirit, and second, murder. Also, God is infinitely forgiving, until the second coming. After that, you end up where you end up, no matter what. There are no second chances. Period.

      In LDS doctrine there are three heavens: the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom. The Celestial is the highest, where God and the ones who followed his law reside. The Terrestrial is the middle, where people who followed the Law of Moses reside. The Telestial is the lowest, where the ones who followed carnal law reside.

      While most religions believe in God, the LDS religion believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as separate beings. They also believe that God, Jesus and resurrected beings have bodies of “flesh and bone.”

      The Book of Mormon is a book of LDS scripture that takes place during the same time as the Bible and takes place on the American continent. It follows the stories of two tribes who descended from the family of Lehi. After Jesus’ resurrection LDS people believe he visited the peoples of the Americas.

      This one is very unique to the LDS faith. Basically, everyone on earth now was a spirit in the pre-existence. When we die, our spirits are separated from our bodies and if we were good they go to “spirit paradise.” If we were bad they go to “spirit prison.” The spirit world exists as a place for spirits to go while awaiting the second coming.

      All of these beliefs are in total contradiction to the bible.

      Please let me know if this is incorrect.

      November 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • ME II

      @Mormons are Christians?,
      Why do you feel the need to judge the Christianity-ness of other people?
      If you don't agree with their religion, don't join it. Seems simple.

      November 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      Christians swiped the Jewish religion and expanded it to create their own. Please tell me if this is incorrect.

      November 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Mutt Romney

      Do you have a press release from Kolob?

      November 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • toeknee

      Me ll , you said it right. If you don't believe it, don't join. move on.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  12. dan

    Why doesn't anyone bring up the fact that all our presidents were and are freemasons? Mormonism is freemasonry. At the highest level they call themselves lucerfarians.If you believe in the NWO. One government, one monetary system, one religion, then freemasonry is that religion. Don't be fooled that freemasonry is some brotherhood after hours get together. This is their religion over all!

    November 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  13. Blasphemy

    Eat mushrooms in the forest and you can become a great Prophet too.

    November 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

    Expect nothing better from Romany, pseudo Jew, self centered, atheist, follower of hindu Judaism, filthy secular ism in office, hindu, filthy Motorman is nothing but Moran ism, pig ism, other wise known as Lucifer ism, denial of truth absolute GOD, foundation of america. Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn hinduism, illegality of hindu Pharisees, criminal, goons of Egyptian and Persian origin.

    November 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar


      November 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  15. Hindu Mithra Ism etc.

    According to book of potted plants Fern sim, sun light ism, Green thumb, seed labels, potted plants oxygen loving Fertilizer sprouted in to new blooms else on front of tree parasite, at last rainfall Fertilizer looked at Sun lamp and smiled and growth was answered by Sun lamp, Fertilizer kissed soil, Fertilizer turned in to Sun lamp, and Sun lamp turned in to Fertilizer, ONE ON windlow shelf WAS NOT FERTILIZER BUT SUN LAMP, EVERY potted plants, hippie follower of potted plants Fern ism, sun light ism waters to as his Fern, sun light man potted plant. Visit GreenThumb.com to learn potted plantsism, partial light of grow lamp absolute plant food, by potted plants parasites.

    November 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  16. Blasphemy

    My tongue swelled and the lights became beings that said unto me: "go forth and oppress Women."

    November 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  17. RBSG

    "In accordance with a revelation received in 1833..."
    Bulloney. Should read "In accordance with some nonsense made up by a charlatan Joseph Smith while he was a teenager..."

    November 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  18. Bearnapper

    As a design engineer I had the opportunity to work on an LDS church. They hire third party engineers to handle minor changes to their standard temple designs to meet local codes. I had a few chances to tour the facility during inspections and can tell you it is a very interesting facility.
    The men’s change area has lockers where male members change into a white outfit. They even go so far wear white booties on their feet. There is a small what is best described as flowing drinking fountain in the middle of the change room which had to be designed to flow at a certain gallon per minute rate and temperature. I have no idea what the significance of it is, but it flows continually, they may dip their hands in it, but I never asked. There was a women’s locker but I was not allowed into it, even during inspections.
    The baptismal pool, not sure if I spelt that right, was huge. I mean you could fit probably 8 people in it. Looked to be 12 foot diameter and maybe 3 to 4 feet deep. It had steps to walk down into it and mounted on the outside wall of it, were large, life size oxen's heads each with a different pose, can’t remember how many there were of them but at least 4. I am not sure if they were stuffed heads or replicas. It was kind of creepy.
    There were some offices for church elders, and 4 to 6 conference style rooms which depending on the size could hold anywhere from 20 to 60 people. There was also a large ball room with huge chandeliers like you would see in a castle somewhere. I should point out all the rooms contained gold. The wall paper was gold leafed, the chairs where accented with gold leaf, the chandeliers were gold leafed. Seemed gold leaf and white was the norm just about everywhere in the building.
    One of the temple elders worked for our firm but he was not much for talking about what went on there when I pressed him about the different rooms were for. The guy next to me at work is a Mormon and he said his wife and he had asked for a temple wedding but were denied. Not sure how one gets the honour of a temple wedding but by the looks of the cars in the parking lot, and the guys walking around with me during inspections, you must need to hand over a nice chunk of change to the church to get noticed or have relatives that do. There were no Dodge caravans in the parking lot.
    Understand this too, men run the show. Any questions were to be directed to the men. Women were not to be approached in the temple. No pictures were allowed, though I snuck a few. We were not to be alone at any time without a church member.
    In the end, not sure what to think of LDS, a little creepy, not as crazy as scientology, but as a dad with 2 daughters, I am not a fan when it comes to religion and where men and only men hold all the power and make the rules. Last I recall, god made all people in his image, men and women. Those that think otherwise are usually men, who quote the bible which of course was written by men. Wonder what the world would be like if women had written the bible.

    November 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Sione


      Interesting observations about Mormon Temples. Here is a great resource to understand the purpose of temples and what the rooms you described are used for.


      As new temples are built or remodeled anyone can tour them and ask all the questions they want. I know, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are very open about discussing our faith and I am sure if i you have questions a local member or missionary would be glad to visit.

      November 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Just another Mormon

      A temple wedding is free (I drive a Kia Rio thank you very much), unlike most weddings in any other church. The only requirement is obedience to God's laws. If your co-worker was not allowed to marry in the Temple, either he or his wife was not living the standards of the church. But they could have easily been married in the chapel by a local bishop, which also costs nothing. The oxen (12 of them, which are statues not stuffed heads – ridiculous!) are symbols of the 12 tribes of Israel. The temple is full of symbolism. Anyone who reads the Old Testament can learn a thing or two about symbolism in temples. The fountain in the middle of the dressing room? Um, we have drinking fountains, but nothing to wash your hands in other than the sinks in the bathroom, so I don't know what you're talking about. Oh, and if you think men run everything in the church.... well, just step into any one of our congregations and, while the men who hold the priesthood preside over the meeting, women take an active role in almost everything that goes on in the church. In fact, you're welcome to visit my family in my own home, though you'd have to visit in the evening since my wife is the primary breadwinner as a professor and I'm still finishing up my PhD. You weren't allowed in the women's dressing room for an inspection? Well, maybe there were women in there (and we definitely respect women's privacy), but I can assure you it doesn't look any different than the men's. Dressing rooms are, as you say, to change our clothes so that we all wear white, something that makes us all equal. Nobody knows or even cares who drives what in the parking lot. We are there as children of our Heavenly Parents to worship our Savior Jesus Christ and perform ordinances for those in our ancestry who were never taught the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lifetimes (but who we believe are taught in the afterlife and given the opportunity to accept or reject the work we do for them). Anyway, that's lovely that you took pictures without permission... not that there's anything that you couldn't see in the many pictures the church has published of the inside of our many temples.

      God Bless!

      November 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Cuyler

      Pictures of temple interiors are available in many places, but here is one page on the Church website, LDS.org, explaining many of the rooms, with pictures of a examples of each. You do not need any money at all to be married in the temple. I was married there, and I'm on foodstamps. It is completely free to be married there; the only qualification is worthiness. I'm certain that your co-worker has the opportunity to be sealed with his wife there, and may need to make a change or two in his life before that can happen. It is an extremely sacred ceremony, but it is open to all who are worthy. Just clearing a few things up. Also, before ever temple is dedicated and opened for use, it holds an open house for a few weeks where members of the public may enter and tour the interior. Most people truly enjoy the experience and will learn a great deal. Temples are being built all the time, so if you're interested in learning more, keep an eye out.

      November 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • toeknee

      Bearnapper, who is president of the U.S.? A man. Who started 99.9% of the wars since the beginning of time? man. We have more men in government than we do women. Statistics have shown men usually get paid better than woman. there are more woman physically abused than men, though we do have physically abused men too. You act like mormon men run everything and women have no rights. You are wrong. You might as well go after the catholics, as they are man oriented too. how honest were you when you took pictures of the temple, when asked not to? That, to me, is creepy. You know nothing about the mormons. Seeing parts of a temple does not tell it all. It has taken me a life time to learn about Mormons, as I am one, so don't go telling people about Mormons when you don't know. This goes for all you you who trash our church. Get your facts straight.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  19. Hindu Mithra Ism etc.

    Closing window to awful sounds of crying babies Barking dogs ism, ambulance noise pollution ism, Nobody cares neighbor ism, open windows, crying babies emergency noise ism Damn fire trucks sirens louder ism in to neighbor one else on front of his main street, at last holidays fire trucks looked at HOME OFFICE and wailed and same was answered by HOME OFFICE, Damn fire trucks spewing water on ash, Damn fire trucks turned in to HOME OFFICE, and HOME OFFICE turned in to Damn fire trucks, ONE ON corner WAS NOT DAMN FIRE TRUCKS BUT HOME OFFICE, EVERY crying babies, puppy follower of crying babies Barking dogs ism, ambulance noise pollution ism making noises to as his Barking dogs, ambulance noise pollution man dog. Visit TurnOffTheNoise.com to learn crying babiesism, denial of noixe absolute chaos, by crying babies noise ism.

    November 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • GAW

      Please get back on your meds.

      November 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  20. Blasphemy

    As long as you worship money the other worshippers really don't care which scam you use to get it.

    November 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • k my

      You Don't know what you're talking about

      November 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
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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.