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. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    To sum this article up is it will be a "Divided White House", one for Mormons and one for the "Others" and don't forget Romney would install his fellow Mormons in his Cabinet along with their "Beliefs". Nobody expects Romney to separate from his faith, but will his faith separate him from the American people?

    November 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • SadSadWorld

      He would not fill his cabinet with Mormons. That's just rediculous. He didn't do it when he was Gov. of Mass. why would he do it now? Is it part of the Mormon master plan?

      November 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  2. toeknee

    pastmorm, you sound more and more like honey boo boo. you should get your own show. it would be entertaining.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Larry

    So, how would you like to have a Muslim remain in the White House?

    November 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Sarah

      When do you suppose we will have a Muslim in office?

      November 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  4. BaptistChristian

    Great job MormonChristian. It is nice to see a believer with some sense. Though our beliefs differ, we share a common goal. That is doing what little we can to educate people. Once again, good job

    November 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • George

      Morman/Christian said that Morman women do things like being involved with their communities "while raising the kids." That is just too funny !!!! LOL !!! Woman get thou self busy raising those kids!!!!

      November 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  5. D Renae

    wow – CNN you sure love to stir the pot and let's not forgot that there was an uproar when JF Kennedy became President, a Catholic President, which many people then felt the Vatican would be running the show. Richard Nixon was a suppose Quaker (who are suppose to be a pacifist...Vietnam War, sure). President's Eisenhower's family originally belonged to the local River Brethren sect of the Mennonites. However, when Eisenhower was five years old, his parents became followers of the Watchtower Society, whose members later took the name Jehovah's Witnesses. Later years, Eisenhower was baptized in the Presbyterian Church. By the way has not President Obama changed his tune on religion (again?) First President Obama was skeptical doubting the Christian faith and then changes his tune during this election and says he is a strong Christian (good way to stir up votes, I would be probably do the same thing to get those Christian votes). People change, have the right to change, sad that some have to be so negative and mean. Those who still think it is funny to think that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints still carries on the Polygamy views are so wrong. Those who believe in Polygamy are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; but they use it as an excuse. Read your history, stop being negative, be opened minded, whatever happened to good Journalism from the poplular Media and are like sharks in a frenzy feasting on negative controversy. What is so wrong with strong family values, what is so wrong with someone believing strongly in their faith? It will never end will it, there will forever be the negatives, the ones with shut uneducated minds, ones who are easily stirred up by others because they don’t know how to take charge of their own thoughts, and ones who can’t be opened minded. What will you do people? Be negative or decide to come together and make our Nation great once more. We need a leader, but it is the people of the United States that makes the big difference, stop whining, complaining and YOU make the difference. VOTE! Read, learn, educate, open your mind, think and be tolerant.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • pastmorm

      The entire staff of CNN has been forced to convert to mormonism ahead of the election out of fear of what concentration camp they will go in for their belief in free speech if romney wins.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • SadSadWorld

      Not sure if joking........ hopes you are.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    Don't insult me - I AM NOT A MORMON - I'M SMARTER THAN THAT!

    November 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

      laodegan, I am NOT a Mormon - read my previous post!

      November 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  7. grassroot

    Well we know what it's like having a muslim in the white house, even though he tried to hide his faith.
    As he mentioned to Geo. Stephanopolous in an interview right after getting elected, " My muslim faith and rambled on, until
    Geo. stupidly corrected him, " you mean your Christain faith?" And he said " Oh yeah, my Christain faith,"
    A Freudian slip if there ever was one. But what with his actions towards muslims, he demonstrated this to be true
    more perfectly. When you run across someone who lies about his faith this is the most dishonest thing a person can do.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Sarah

      Perhaps you should check with Snopes – http://www.snopes .com/politics/obama/muslimfaith.asp before you spread more right wing lies. What is the matter, the truth isn't good enough for you?

      November 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

    You need to open a book and research the Mormon church before you compare it to ANY OTHER "church!" You are uninformed, sir!

    November 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • laodegan

      And noooooo...you are rather ignorant to assume that every book writer LOVES the mormon church. Proof that your cult keeps you people in the dark.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

      Can we please have some separation of church and state in this country? The right to religious freedom includes the right to not believe the fairy tale and this Ohio state native lived in Utah for almost 20 years and I'm telling you, my fellow Americans, you DO NOT WANT a Mormon in the White House, even if you are also a religious nut.

      I moved to Utah thinking I would be amidst good people with high morals and boy, was I WRONG! Mormons are the weirdest sect of religious people you will ever meet – they lie, cheat, steal and swear to God they don't do any of that! Romney lies regularly – the news reports his lies as lies and he just keeps on telling them! What more do you need to convince you that he's a LIAR? Mormons are intolerant of anybody who is NOT a "member" and they will go out of their way to let you know you are not in the clique. They even teach their children to discriminate against non-members and my young son suffered permanent emotional damage inflicted upon him by little Mormon boys (who picked on and bullied my son in our neighborhood) who think they're going to be Gods with their own planets some day! You can't get any more warped than that and THAT is the crux of the Mormon dogma. Well, that AND polygamy! These people are ridiculously discriminatory and they are brainwashed beyond belief!!

      Even you religious people would be shocked at the practices of this church and its "members." And a Mormon 'member" you may know who lives in Michigan is not the same as a Mormon living in Utah or any of the surrounding states in which they are a MAJORITY – these people (who believe they are saints, by the way) are out to take over this country the way they have taken over (AND RUINED ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST BEAUTIFUL STATES) – UTAH!

      ***********************************************************OBAMA 2012**************************************************************************

      November 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  9. Grant

    I thought this nation was past religious bigotry. Can you imagine the backlash if this article would have been how a Catholic President would take orders from the Pope and have statues of saints all around the White House (shades of 1960) or a Jewish President who would take the oath on a torah while wearing a yurmulke. Just another example of too much data and not enough wisdom. I would hope CNN would raise their journalistic standards.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • truth be told

      Catholics and Jews worship God , cults such as Mormonism do not. Better to be a nominal Christian or Jew to lead this country than a cultist.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Ick

      Religion INVENTED bigotry. Please. Fuck all religion.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • MCR

      A person's religion, if sincerely held, does influence their beliefs. Just because one religion has managed to insulate itself from any question by the media does not mean we should let that kind of blackmail go any further. Religions and other belief systems are a part of who someone is and always will be. Any belief system to which a politician adheres needs to be open to inquiry and its possible impacts analyzed.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  10. Sarah

    How many first ladies do you suppose we many have?

    November 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

      We're going to have one (1) first lady and her name is Michelle Obama!

      November 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • 1Joyce

      Hopefully the first lady's name will be Ann Romney. You DO realize that Mormom's haven't believed in polygamy since the late 1890s? Why do people like you feel such a need to continue with stupid remarks like this?

      November 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Sarah

      Is it that they haven't believed in it, or that they realize it is illegal? It is a belief the faith was founding with, isn't it?

      November 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  11. palintwit

    We arrive in rusty 1964 motorhomes.
    We bring our bibles and loaded assault weapons.
    We wear ridiculous clothing and have teabags dangling from our earlobes.
    We carry misspelled racist signs as we stomp all over the White House lawn.
    We are Sarah Palin's "real Americans".
    We love the baby jesus but we love to boink our cousins even more.
    We believe that the Flintstones is an accurate depiction of early man.
    We believe that nascar is a real sport and that Dale Earnhardt was a great American athlete.
    We are the birthers. We are the teabaggers.
    We are republicans. We are morons and we are proud.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Sarah

      OMG – that is exactly how I vision republicans too.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  12. toeknee

    The mormons true name is, The Church of JESUS CHRIST of latter day saints. If they were not believers of Christ, why would they use his name? Christians believe in Christ, as do the Mormons.
    To "pastmorm" you described a cult which is good because
    you just described the Government of the U.S.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • truth be told

      The Christ of Mormonism is not the Christ of the Bible. I hear the name of Christ all day long at work, taken in vain the same as a Mormon takes it. It makes no one Christian to misuse the name of Christ.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • laodegan

      Wow toe...you're one of those anti-government, mormon terrorists that we're supposed to report to Homeland security. Craaazy people like you...um, I don't think that the cult descriptions fit you silly git.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

    Can we please have some separation of church and state in this country? The right to religious freedom includes the right to not believe the fairy tale and this Ohio state native lived in Utah for almost 20 years and I'm telling you, my fellow Americans, you DO NOT WANT a Mormon in the White House, even if you are also a religious nut.

    I moved to Utah thinking I would be amidst good people with high morals and boy, was I WRONG! Mormons are the weirdest sect of religious people you will ever meet - they lie, cheat, steal and swear to God they don't do any of that! Romney lies regularly - the news reports his lies as lies and he just keeps on telling them! What more do you need to convince you that he's a LIAR? Mormons are intolerant of anybody who is NOT a "member" and they will go out of their way to let you know you are not in the clique. They even teach their children to discriminate against non-members and my young son suffered permanent emotional damage inflicted upon him by little Mormon boys (who picked on and bullied my son in our neighborhood) who think they're going to be Gods with their own planets some day! You can't get any more warped than that and THAT is the crux of the Mormon dogma. Well, that AND polygamy! These people are ridiculously discriminatory and they are brainwashed beyond belief!!

    Even you religious people would be shocked at the practices of this church and its "members." And a Mormon 'member" you may know who lives in Michigan is not the same as a Mormon living in Utah or any of the surrounding states in which they are a MAJORITY - these people (who believe they are saints, by the way) are out to take over this country the way they have taken over (AND RUINED ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST BEAUTIFUL STATES) - UTAH!

    ***********************************************************OBAMA 2012**************************************************************************

    November 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Totally agree!!!!!

      OBAMA 2012!!!!!

      November 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  14. pbi

    Mormon White House? Don't people do any research? The White House under George Bush was under the control of Mormons. Karl Rove dictated everything. I would guess that hundreds of government contracts went out to Mormon affiliated companies. Govt hiring was not equal or fair. Priority went to Mormons in areas such as Border Patrol, FBI, State Department (supposedly Mormons all speak two languages but the rumor was there was a lot of incompetent interpreters hired). The 8th largest retail operation is Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) which seemed to be dictated by Mormon affiliated suppliers and contractors, including huge retail complexes even though the military is winding down. Prices at the majority of AAFES stores cannot compete with Wal-Mart or Target and AAFES cannot answer "Why?" The only discount is 10% which is about what sales taxes run and when you figure in gasoline, it's a wash. Under Rove/Bush, the NSA is building a $2B cybersecurity bldg in Salt Lake City. That's worrisome when you figure one group of people will have access to personal data on every person on earth, darn near!!!

    November 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • laodegan

      Karl Rove is a Satanist...oh I mean Mormon.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • ruby

      Karl Rove is not has never been a Mormon. Sigh some relief in knowing your post is wrong and ignorant. Leave the conspiracy theories to crazy people.

      November 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  15. toeknee

    I get a great laugh at those people who think they know so much about the mormon church because of tidbits they have heard from other non-mormons.
    Mormons do NOT practice polygamy so there will NOT be a plethora of first ladies!!!!
    If Romney wins, he will not swear his oath on the Book of Mormon. The Mormons believe the Bible to be the word of God too!!!!
    J Del Gado said it right...He would be the first Mormon president just as Obama is the first black president.
    No, Missouri would NOT receive special favors!!!
    Come on folks. Do your homework. Taking by word of mouth from non-mormons is not the way.
    By the way, good luck for your choice on election day.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Of course if anyone looks up, "No man knows my history" by Fawn M. Brodie, or "Under The Banner of Heaven, or Secret Ceremonies: A Mormon Woman's Intimate Diary of Marriage and Beyond," as well as google different questions about mormon secret names, White Horse Prophesy, Mormons becoming Gods, God was once a man on another planet, mormon bigotry against Blacks, Joseph Smith and his 14 year old wife (WHILE he was still married to his living wife Emma) Helen Mar Kimball...I could go on. Keep in mind that Wikipedia is easily changed and probably changed by mormons during the election, so choose other links. Open your minds and discover the truth of what mormons are afraid of you finding out.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Mormon Beliefs

      Please tell me what I don't understand.

      Belief one Mormons believe that there are many gods and many worlds. Their belief is that every universe has its own specific God. We only have to abide by our God that controls this planet. They also believe that if one can get to the highest level of many levels of heaven that they will become gods themselves. There are many scriptures that they base this on according to their own specific Bible. Like any religion though it comes down to a matter of interpretation

      Belief two This deals with forgiveness. According to the Mormons, all sins are forgiven with the exception to the first one in denying the Holy Spirit and the second is murder. They stand on the premise that once God returns then wherever your status is at that point deems where you are going to end up and you will not be given any further chances.

      Belief three We referred to different levels of heaven or what is considered as multiple levels and that there are actually three distinct heavens. There is the Telestial heaven. which is the lowest level and those who basically followed the carnal laws reside here. Then there is the Terrestrial, which is the mid heaven, comprised of the followers of Moses and finally the last and highest level being The Celestial Kingdom. This is reserved for God himself and all the faithful followers that followed his law.

      Belief four This is in reference to priesthood and in this religion only males that are believed to be worthy become part of the priesthood and once they do so they are given very specific duties. Up until 1978, black people were never allowed into the priesthood and to this day females are definitely not allowed.

      Belief five The nature of God in this religion is the belief that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all exists as separate beings. Further to this belief is that these three are resurrected beings that have bodies of flesh and bone.

      Believe six This belief is interesting in that according to the book of Mormons Jesus actually visited the Americas. This is based on the story the tribes of Leah this was to have taken place after the resurrection

      Belief seven Modern revelation as many may not realize it the Mormon religion possesses a belief in a prophet.

      Belief eight The next one that we deal with is spirits. The belief here in is that prior to everyone coming to live they existed as a spirit. Then once they are on earth and then die, their spirits then become separated from their bodies. If they have lived a good life then they go to the spirit paradise if they have been unscrupulous individuals then it is off to the spirit prison they go. According to the beliefs here, the whole spirit world exists until the second coming of Christ

      Belief nine Is in reference to the pleasures in life but there are a lot of doctrine in the Mormon religion that applies to what one should take pleasure in and what should not be taken as pleasure. Three of the major taboos are coffee, drugs and tobacco

      Belief ten T.i.thing which has to do with the money and is actually quite prominent in many religions. However, with the Mormons the concept is that if you want to get into the highest level of heaven then you must pay up the money.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Mormon Beliefs

      Ok, I confess I am a mormon propagandist that's paid by the Romney campaign. All of the stuff I wrote above is a lie, but it's all pretty isn't it?

      November 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • SadSadWorld

      Mormon Belief-
      Belief ten proves you are neither mormon nor know what you are talking about. Ask any Mormon.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Liz

      If you want to learn how to bake a cake, would you go to a baker or an auto mechanic? If you want to have further understanding of why a (large) group of people choose to follow this religion talk to the people who are actively part of it and find some missionaries to speak with. Here is a good place to find some: http://www.lds.org/?lang=eng

      I grew up Lutheran and chose to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after learning the official doctrine. It's important to recognize there is a big difference between doctrine and culture when discussing Mormon people and Mormon beliefs.

      It has brought me peace and guidance in my life and closer to God than I knew how to be before.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  16. pastmorm

    For those of you asking what the difference between a cult and a religion is:

    A CULT keeps SECRET CEREMONIES. A religion has all church buildings open to all.

    A CULT has secret rituals, names and ceremonies in temples that are kept from the public. We know that other religions don't....

    A CULT isolates its members (history of UT).

    A CULT considers its leader or founder to be ABOVE reproach.

    A CULT teaches its followers that they can become GODS with Planets of their own. (Creepy, seriously creepy and megalomania)

    Questioning the tenets or leader of a CULT is not allowed (especially by non-members as you can tell by the mormons on here that are freaking out at those of us that prefer freedom).

    Questioning a CULT is usually met by excommunication (remember some past articles by Mormon-CNN).

    A CULT limits growth of individuals. What museums are in SLC besides Mormon or redneck owned?

    November 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      A bigot is someone who defines everyone else in hateful, angry terms. Even those who once were his friends. So sad.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Mormonism is no more ridiculous a myth than christianity.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • truth be told

      Truth is neither hate nor bigotry, if the shoe fits wear it. Mormonism is an anti – Christ cult and always has been. A vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti- Christ and anti- American.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • laodegan

      Wow mormon, you really prove pastmorm's point didn't you? See, you mormons can't help it! YOU HAVE to call people names.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      As an atheist, I've not met a single Mormon who was not polite, self-conrolled, kind, joyful, interesting, and intelligent. I think it has to do with them knowing that they believe in a minority religion, and wanting to be a genuine "witness" by appearing sensible. Of course, I've not met and known all that many.

      I've met and known a few christians I could describe that way, and I've met and known many. When it comes to pure likability and respectability, the mormons win hands down.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Moby Schtick


      If somebody is being a bigot, it's far more important to point out that fact (for their sake and other's) than worry about somebody calling you a name caller, later.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  17. The Dude

    I love that they show the picture of him "collecting goods from donors" after it was found out that his campaign spent $5000 on items to give to attendees of one of his political rallies. It was done to make the rally look like it was about helping those in Sandy's path. What a crock. There are tons of shots online of people holding up very vitriolic anti-Obama t shirts and signs while "donating" the goods that Romney just gave them... and over and beyond all that, the Red Cross has said over and over and over again that they need money and blood during a disaster, NOT PHYSICAL GOODS. How hard is that to understand? Ridiculous... the one thing Romney is swimming in is money and he goes and buys beans. What a phony.... and some folks want him as a leader? Give me a break.

    November 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  18. Truth

    Well, now we know what it's like with chimpanzees, I don't see a Mormon being much worse. Ook eek.

    November 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      Sad that even in these enlightened days, there are so many people that still hate and insult others...

      Go find a cause and make something of your life. Hate is a big inhibitor.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • ME II

      I think you meant monkey... sheesh can't even get your bigotry right.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Truth

      A chimpanzee is a monkey, you fuggin idiot.....

      November 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  19. MormonChristian

    I liked this article...it's good to get things out in the open to see how Mormons act in the workplace and government. For all of you who work with us, you hopefully see that we don't force our beliefs on others, don't prohibit others from drinking coffee or alcohol at work or work dinners/parties, it's pretty much like working with anyone else. Hopefully we are honest, respect others beliefs/non beliefs and pitch in and do our part.

    For those of you with bigotry and ignorance, I encourage you to talk to a Mormon and observe with an open mind. This country could do with a lot less hate and misunderstanding. If there is anything Sandy has taught us it is how much we depend on one another and how senseless our hatred is.

    November 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • truth be told

      Mormons are not Christians, never have been. A vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti- Christ.

      November 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      Hey, truth be told,

      Let's drop the hate and bigotry. If you claim to be a Christian, at least act like one...

      November 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Jenny Porter

      I've met many mormons as well and being a non-mormon in SLC, UT isn't easy. They will try to convert you and once they find out they can't, they ostracize you and look down on you. Why wouldn't they? These people (mormons believe they will become GODS for heavens sake! That's not healthy) are not as they appear on their commercials and look how angry they get, throwing out, "bigot, ignorance, mean," when someone even questions their religion. Do Catholics or Baptists orJews do that? No, or if they do, their just as insecure about their beliefs as mormons are.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • truth be told

      Actually I have made no claim to be a Christian (although I could) and have merely expressed a truth that Mormons are not Christian. That is not hate it is a true and historical fact. The truth is Mormons are anti – Christ.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  20. Bland

    "What would a Mormon White House look like?"

    Well i know one thing a woman would be in the kitchen wearing an apron. saying this like yes dear, right away dear, sure dear.

    November 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      Many Mormon men I know do the cooking. Most Mormon women of my generation are college educated (actually were my mother and grandmother), working women or if they are at home, are active in their schools, communities, etc. while they raise their kids.

      Let's drop the stereotypes...

      November 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      A few months before the last election, I saw a Baptist minister on a street corner preaching with some of his church members holding signs. One of the signs said "Hillary should be in the kitchen".

      November 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

      MormonChristian? What's that?

      November 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bent

      Thats silly, lesbians dont cook!

      November 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • George

      Reply to Morman/Christian "while they raise the kids" THAT is so funny!!! LOL !!! Woman, get thou self busy raising those kids!!!

      November 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • SadSadWorld

      Wh raises your kids?

      November 3, 2012 at 1:44 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.