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Mitt can’t pull a JFK

The Mormon speech Mitt Romney needs to give
By ADAM REILLY  |  May 12, 2006

Mitt Romney
WHERE IS THE (BIG) LOVE?: Kennedy sidelined his Catholicism. But if Romney were president, would his loyalty to the Constitution really trump his loyalty to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

About two months before the heated 1960 election, John F. Kennedy tried to put to rest the whole debate over his Catholicism to beat Richard Nixon. It was in Houston on September 12 when he famously hit the issue head-on: ‘No public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the pope.’ Now, 46 years later, Massachusetts has coughed up another presidential hopeful who belongs to what some see as a weird religion — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And the candidate, Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, plans to copy, almost exactly, JFK’s winning approach.

Romney says he’ll give a similar address, in which he will pledge allegiance to the Constitution, not the Mormon church. It will be a simple approach: Explain the religion, maybe touch on the banned practice of polygamy, then ask voters to judge him on his years in business, as head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and as the Bay State’s governor.
U.S. News & World Report, May 8, 2006

Sorry, Mitt, but the JFK approach isn’t going to cut it. When Kennedy ran for president, most Americans accepted the notion that religion and politics should remain separate. Those days are gone — witness your own religious boasts during a recent visit to South Carolina, a key primary state chock-a-block with conservative Evangelicals. (“I believe Jesus Christ is my savior,” you said. “I believe in God. I’m a person of faith and I believe that’s the type of person Americans want.”) What’s more, Mormonism is more of an unknown quantity to voters than Catholicism was back in Kennedy’s day. And unlike Kennedy, you’ve been extremely active in your church, previously serving as bishop of your Belmont church and as Boston-area stake president (a lay post comparable to a Catholic archbishop).

For all these reasons — not to mention HBO’s Big Love, which has put polygamy at the forefront of the pop-culture universe — people won’t be satisfied with the facile discussion you’re apparently planning to have. If you really want to explain Mormonism to the electorate once and for all, you’ll need to deal candidly with some thorny issues. Get ready to discuss the following awkward subjects — or to have others discuss them for you.

The obedience question
So, your loyalty to the Constitution trumps your loyalty to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That tells us what you’ll do if these two allegiances ever conflict. Broadly speaking, though, what kind of relationship would you have — as president of the United States — with LDS leadership?

Here’s the problem: many Mormons feel they have to comply with any request made by the church’s president, Gordon Hinckley, who functions as a direct conduit to God. (At, the church’s Web site, Hinckley is described as a “ Living Prophet ” who’s following in the path of Abraham, Moses, and Joseph Smith .)

In May 2005, for example, then–Harvard Business School dean Kim B. Clark was asked by Hinckley to leave that plum job and take the reins of Brigham Young University-Idaho, a relatively obscure Mormon institution. Clark assented, and offered this explanation to the Boston Globe: “Personally, if President Hinckley called me on the telephone and asked me to do something, I would do it. There’s no confusion in my mind that this is a responsibility which comes to me from him, and it comes from the Lord.”

Several Mormons who spoke with the Phoenix predicted that, in the event of your presidency, Hinckley would probably take great pains not to give you advice or ask for favors. They may be right; after all, if you’re the first Mormon to hold the nation’s highest office, the acutely image-conscious LDS Church won’t want to do anything to taint that achievement. But what if Hinckley does decide to speak with you on a matter of great import? Would you be comfortable rebuffing the “Modern Prophet” if he came to you with a direct request?

Who can be saved?
You’ve emphasized the common ground shared by Mormons and other Christians, but the LDS Church is predicated on the idea that only Mormons can attain salvation. That’s why Mormon missionaries work in Western Europe and here in the US, and why Mormons perform ceremonies aimed at giving deceased non-Mormon relatives a chance at salvation.

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Related: Mitt’s thorny threesome, The passion of the candidate, Mitt's equity army, More more >
  Topics: Talking Politics , 2008 Republican nomination, Abortion, African-American Issues,  More more >
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Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Better study up on your religious knowledge: Joseph Smith did ordain blacks to the priesthood. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believes all mankind is saved. That is everyone will have a life after death. It is true there are various degrees: someone who has led a life of perfidy would be uncomfortable in God or Jesus' presence. Isn't that a more fair and egalitarian stance than "Trinitarian" Christians espouse? The Church of Jesus Christ's position on abortion is more rational than is the Roman Catholic position. If other Christian churches were to acknowledge that marriage could exist in the next life, they wouldn't allow a spouse to re-marry after the death of their husband or wife, because that would be "polygamy". Can you see how, at certain times, primarily when there were an excess of women vs. men (e.g., Old Testament times) polygamy was sanctioned?
By Bot on 05/10/2006 at 3:12:40
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Nice try, Bot, but you're being a little disingenuous here. First off, I didn't talk about Joseph Smith's ordination practices--I said there was an LDS prohibition on ordaining blacks that ended in 1978. (If you need some background reading material, you can try this: // Also, saying that everyone's saved because everyone has some sort of life after death is sophistry. The point (in the LDS Church as in other forms of Christianity) is to spend the afterlife with God--hence the whole posthumous blessing practice (which you can read up on here: //,8672,1300-1,00.html). All that said, thanks for taking the time to weigh in.
By Adam on 05/10/2006 at 5:21:47
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Just one more thing--I totally agree with you that the LDS position on abortion is more rational than the Catholic stance.
By Adam on 05/10/2006 at 5:22:54
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
I agree with you that there are a great many questions which you and others may ask Romney, but there are two (and only two) doctrines of the LDS faith which are directly relevant to the public square. These are Articles of Faith #11 and #12: 11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. 12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. If people want to delve into religious questions unrelated to government or politics, why not go to This isn’t Romney’s place to preach to the nation on theology. The obedience question is absolutely moot. Look around at the great many Mormons serving in government. How many of these political leaders are called by the Church away from their civic duties? None. This is because Mormon politicians actually do a great service in public awareness of our religion, because these honest political leaders are so important to have in office, and because these politicians have taken an oath of office with which the Church will not bring any conflict (see Article of Faith #12 above). Will Catholics and Protestants go to heaven if they don’t convert? The answer is yes, to their appropriate degree of glory. The LDS Church claims to be the path to the highest salvation, but this is not the same as saying that all Mormons end up higher on the heavenly totem pole than Catholics or Protestants. If they don’t like this answer, that’s fine. Most people know that 2008 is about electing a president, not a minister. Romney’s position on abortion has been well stated. (See here: // ) People often place too much emphasis on the fact that men lead the LDS Church. This is not a position of honor or power to be sought. And the question of male-only ordination is completely unrelated to gender roles in families and in the public square. Check out the many talks on gender roles at or In general, your line of reasoning shows a world-view proceeding from the initial assumption that every church and all of its institutions are crafted by humans. It is impossible by definition to move from this starting point into any explanation of matters of religion, faith, or of God. You give examples of polygamy and the ban of ordination to blacks as being claims of the will of God through Joseph Smith. You then point to the later withdrawal of these commandments (also LDS claims to be the will of God). Do you mean that because the two commands are contradictory, they cannot have both been the will of God? It’s true that God does not change, but biblical history (and common sense) dictate that His commandments to man may change as necessary. Why these particular commandments, ask Him. The history of our faith (and the history of many other faiths) shows many instances of false claims to know the mind of God. To claim that this means all claims are suspect, and that God does not direct His chosen, is simply not correct. It’s unsupportable logic.
By murphy on 05/11/2006 at 4:12:53
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
God will force none of us to live a law or way of life we are not willing to live, but he will give the highest blessings to anyone willing to recieve. God saves (through Christ) all people into a glory they are willing to live, according to the laws they are want to live. We also believe that those Millions of people who never heard of Jesus Christ will have an opportunity to hear and recieve his gospel, whether in this life or the next, which is both fair and just. We believe that those good men and woman who never had the opportunity to even hear about Jesus Christ will have that opportunity and they are not lost just because they happen to be born in a place or circumstance where they never had that opportunity. Thanks for letting us discuss these issues.
By LH on 05/11/2006 at 9:16:51
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
About the question of salvation, and what "heaven" means in Mormonism: this URL-- // outlines the LDS Church's conception of Heaven. Thanks to everyone who's posted a comment, and please feel free to continue the discussion.
By Adam on 05/11/2006 at 11:00:14
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Why is Adam obsessed about policies of the Mormon Church that expired 100 and 25 years ago? If you LIKE the current Mormon policies on the issues of polygamy and blacks, why not say so? Being obsessed with policies that have been explicitly rejected is like condemning all 21st Century Southern Baptists because their church split off from the other Baptists because they opposed slavery, and the Southern Baptists didn't. It's like condemning all modern Germans for the sins of their grandfathers during the Nazi era. It is an attitude of perpetual hatred that is the exact opposite of the reconciliation and mutual forgiveness taught by Jesus Christ. The so-called Christians who make their living in professional Mormon-bashing don't show any loyalty to the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, to "love your enemies." Your column does woefully misrepresent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teachings on "salvation." Mormons teach that Christ's gift of resurrection applies to all mankind. Those who pursued lives of crime in mortal life will spend at least a thousand years after Christ's second coming seeing and feeling their offenses against other people, and then be resurrected into a state far superior to earth life, without suffering, where they will have the presence of the Holy Ghost. Those good people of the earth who have sought to do what is right, as best they understood it, whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, or Jew, will live a more glorious existence in the presence of their redeemer, Jesus Christ, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, basically everything that they have ever aspired to in their own theologies. Those who accept the "fulness of the gospel", in this life or the next, and all children who died before they became accountable for their sins (age 8, older for the mentally impaired), are deserving of the highest level of heaven, where they will dwell in the presence of God the Father. All mankind will be part of the City of God, doing his work. Essentially, it would be more accurate to say that Mormons do NOT believe that anyone (except a self-selecting few) will suffer in a permanent and unchanging hell for eternity. Instead, all people, including those who never heard of Christ in mortal life, are destined for an infinite existence of happiness, with gradations in that happiness based on our willingness to follow Christ and rely on his Atonment. Rather than the lie that Mormons are exclusionary about salvation, the truth is that theirs is the most inclusive of any Christian heaven.
By coltakashi on 05/11/2006 at 12:31:32
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Adam - You make an assertion is your article that I would expect you to clarify or correct. You assert that "Smith [meaning Joseph Smith] also explained [the priesthood ban] as an extension of God's will". However within the link you provided there are a number of quotes none of which is from Joseph Smith, Jr. (The 1830 founder of the LDS Church). The page does have quotes from Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr. who is a decendent of Joseph Smith. Yes there was a priesthood ban, but it never entered Mormon Theology through direct doctrinal assertion (with a published revelation and statement from the prophet.) What happened later (as shown by all of the 20th century quotes) was numerous attempts to explain how the LDS church had arrived at the point of a universally accepted ban. Theologically, one can discuss why God allowed it to continue for so long, but I agree with the other posters in saying this is a moot point. If the ban were still in force today then it would be a topic for dicussion. Should we label Romney a racist because he wants to be the leader of an institution that used to allow slavery? Ta-
By Rusty on 05/11/2006 at 1:08:28
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Coltakashi, I wouldn't say I'm "obsessed" with old Mormon policies. I'd say that Mitt Romney can expect to have to address certain matters of Mormon doctrine in a fairly thorough way to get conservative non-Mormon believers to vote for him in '08. Religion and politics are more entwined today than they were in JFK's day, and Mitt clearly wants the votes of conservative members of other denominations. Unlike some religious conservatives, I don't think Mormonism is a "cult", or that Mormon doctrines and practices are inherently odd. But they are unfamiliar. And as Romney himself has acknowledged, this is something that has political ramafications. Suggesting that Romney is underestimating how hard he'll need to work to overcome this hurdle doesn't mean I have some weird fixation. As for your assertion that Mormons are more inclusive than any other denomination on the matter of salvation, that's highly debatable. Consider the Catholic Church, which has, over the years, allowed for the possibility of non-Catholics attaining the same heavenly state as Catholics--not a downgraded state that's still pretty good. Take a look here: // Also, Coltakashi, you and anyone else who's posted here should feel free to submit your postings (or an amended version, or something totally new) as a letter to the editor. If you'd like to do this, we'll need to know your city of residence. You can email letters to me at Thanks.
By Adam on 05/11/2006 at 1:11:54
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
<p>Two things:</p> <p>“I said there was an LDS prohibition on ordaining blacks that ended in 1978.”</p> <p>Actually, Adam, you’re completely wrong on this one. The Church of Jesus Christ has NEVER prohibited the ordination of blacks. The prohibition that ended in 1978 was a prohibition of the ordination of CANAANITES. Now, admittedly, most Canaanites are black and most blacks are Canaanites, but many, many black-skinned people were ordained to the Priesthood before the revelation given to the Prophet Spencer W. Kimball in 1978. Furthermore, many white-skinned people were denied the Priesthood because they were of Canaanite descent. Some well-known examples:</p> <p>• Elijah Abel, a black man, was baptized in 1836. Shortly after his baptism, he was ordained to the office of priest; then later, an elder; and finally, a seventy, serving in that position under three Church presidents, until his death in 1883. (Of note: Elijah’s son, Enoch, and Enoch’s son, Elijah II, also held the Priesthood, long before 1978.)</p> <p>• Walker Lewis: though little is known about him, Lewis was another black Latter-day Saint ordained to the Priesthood in the 1830s.</p> <p>• In 1954, the Prophet David O. McKay reiterated the Church’s position on Canaanites and the Priesthood, but was impressed to change the Church’s policy in South Africa. Prior to that time, the rule of thumb in South Africa was “If you can’t prove you’re not a Canaanite, you can’t hold the Priesthood.” After the policy change, it became “If you can’t prove you are a Canaanite, you can hold the Priesthood.” He also reiterated that black-skinned men of non-Hamitic (Canaanite) lineages, like the Dravidians of India, the Aborigines of Australia, the Melansians of Fiji and Melanesia, and the Negritoes of the Philipines and Indonesia, all had a right to the Priesthood.</p> <p>I hope we’ve sufficiently put that to rest.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Secondly, with regards to “salvation”: including a link to the Church’s web site is a good start, but let’s get real here: the answer to your question regarding salvation depends on your definition of the word.</p> <p>One of the most basic tenets of Christianity is that there are two things that separate us from our Heavenly Father: first, He is immortal while we will die; second, He is perfect while we are not. In the Church of Jesus Christ, “salvation” usually refers to salvation from physical death, the fact that resurrection is a free gift (as part of the Savior’s Atonement). Conversely, the term that generally denotes our Heavenly Father’s greatest blessings is “exaltation,” which is not exactly a free gift. In order to be exalted, we have to give up all our sins and then do the very best we can, relying wholly on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to pay the price of sin—a price it is impossible for us to pay, but one that is well within the means of our Savior. Since doing the best we can involves keeping Christ’s commandments to the best of our ability, and since everyone will have the opportunity to accept or reject the ordinances he commands (be it in this life or the next), those ordinances are prerequisites for exaltation.</p> <p>So right there is your bottom line: if one thinks of “salvation” as “living in the presence of God forever,” then no, non–Latter-day Saints cannot attain “salvation” without accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and accepting the ordinances He has commanded. If, however, one thinks of “salvation” in terms of salvation from death (which is how the term is generally used, within the Church of Jesus Christ)—or even if one thinks of “salvation” as being saved from an eternity in Hell—then no, you don’t have to convert. There will be plenty of people in Heaven that rejected Jesus Christ and/or His Church; they just won’t receive all that they could have.</p>
By Jeff on 05/11/2006 at 1:12:08
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Jeff, you've nicely synopsized the salvation question. You're right--it's a matter of how you define the word. About the ordination of blacks: I'll be adding a correction/clarification to the text this afternoon. (Rusty was correct; I linked to comments from Joseph Fielding Smith, not Joseph Smith Jr.) The two counterexamples are significant; however, I think a strong argument can be made that while Mormon scripture doesn't specify that ordination of blacks be prohibited, it does codify attitudes that could be used to justify such a prohibition (I Nephi 12:22-23, II Nephi 4:21-25, II Nephi 30:6, etc...) Also, I'm not convinced by your black/Canaanite distinction. If Kimball's 1978 declaration didn't mean that blacks could finally be ordained, why did Merrill Bateman (then the dean of BYU's business school) react as follows? "Tears began running down my face. It was a great day. I had many, many friends in Africa, and black friends in this country?"
By Adam on 05/11/2006 at 1:50:09
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Adam, there are probably thousands of statements like the one here attributed to Merrill J. Bateman. Given the fact that probably 99.999% of black Africans are of Hamitic descent, this statement seems quite logical, to me. ¶ There is also, however, another possibility: since the prohibition’s original source is lost to history (strange that, I admit), it wouldn’t surprise me to know that the rule of thumb, for many years, was along the lines of “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck….” As I mentioned, most blacks—particularly in the United States—are of Canaanite/Hamitic descent, and most Canaanites are black, and it wouldn’t surprise me to know that most bishops in the Church—themselves, fallible human beings—just assumed that anyone that was black couldn’t hold the Priesthood. Even though a rule of thumb does not in any way signify doctrine, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Merrill J. Bateman—also a fallible human being—actually believed (and, like most everyone else in the world, continues to believe) that blacks were forbidden the Priesthood, even though the Prophet David O. McKay had specifically stated that this was not the case. ¶ Here’s an example, to better illustrate this point: let’s say you managed to get together 100 Latter-day Saint bishops, and you asked each one of them how old a young man has to be to be ordained to the office of priest. I’m guessing that every one of them would tell you, without a moment’s hesitation: “16 years old.” It’s the rule of thumb, and since Latter-day Saints are (as previously mentioned) only human, most of us have probably never even questioned whether things like that are “doctrine” or just “practice”; we just do them because “that’s the way they’ve always been done,” “it certainly doesn’t hurt anything,” and we don’t give it too much more thought. But wait a minute… when I was in high school, my friend Ben was ordained a priest at the age of 15. Does that make all 100 aforementioned bishops wrong? ¶  Well, quite frankly, yes, it does. These 100 theoretical bishops all equated rule of thumb with doctrine, and they’ve been caught in their mistake. ¶  Anyway, I suppose I’ve said enough about this, for yet another comment. Thanks again for both your article and for keeping up with the running commentary from us in the Peanut Gallery!
By Jeff on 05/11/2006 at 2:15:19
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
One more thing… Just re-noticed (is that a word?) your penultimate paragraph, indicating that “the LDS Church deserves credit for subsequently condemning polygamy… and for opening the priesthood to African-American males,” but continues by stating that “the history of [the Church] show[s] that all claims to know the mind of God are suspect.” This might be true, if any of the doctrines had changed. The Church’s position on plural marriage is found in Jacob 2:27-30, and has remained the same for thousands of years: “[T]here shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; … For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” The same goes for the question of who can hold the Priesthood: in Old Testament Israel, anyone that wasn’t a Levite was prohibited from holding the Priesthood. In the beginning of the New Testament, anyone that wasn’t a literal Israelite was prohibited. While it took literally thousands of years for the Hamites’ time to come, the prophets invariably stated that the time would indeed come—and in 1978, after many decades (if not millennia!) of fervent prayer, it finally did. ¶  Okay; I’ll shut up for now. ;-)
By Jeff on 05/11/2006 at 2:43:57
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
I don't think anyone had a problem when Ezra Taft Benson was secretary of agriculture for President Eisenhower. At the time he was an apostle in the LDS Church and worked closely with the President of the Church. The only problem is with those who want to make it a problem and no matter what Mitt would say it would not make one bit of difference with them or with you.
By Jackie on 05/11/2006 at 3:29:43
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Adam: You never really responded to the excellent post by Murphy. Many who try to whip up the hysteria that any presidential candidate of the Mormon faith would have an allegiance to the "prophet" before the constitution, overlook a key tenet of our faith as listed in the Articles of faith, specifically that we do in fact believe in being subject to kings, presidents..etc...and in honoring, obeying, and following the law. Any civil servant from a president to a cabinet member (such as Mike Leavitt), or a senator such as Harry Reid, whose faith matters anything to them at all, would follow this important principle. When Christ returns to the earth, to reign as rightful king, there really won't be any question then as to how the earth is governed. In the meantime, faithful LDS people, in whatever country they live in are bound to honor, sustain, and follow the law.
By val on 05/11/2006 at 4:01:54
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
I remember when Sonia Johnson was excommunicated for supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, and I suspect anyone belonging to a religion that would do that.
By Cal Gal on 05/11/2006 at 5:47:35
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Hi Cal Gal, I also remember Sonia Johnson's excommunication and it wasn't for supporting the ERA. She had other issues. Mormon feminist exist and have their own forums and websites. You'll find many well educated, articulate Mormon woman who didn't support the ERA. Many at the time worried that the ammendments wording was flawed and could be used to destroy programs that serve needs that are unique to women. I would hate to have lost maternity leave, female focused small business/ mirco-credit loans, WIC, all female math classes and college campuses to name a few.
By malia on 05/11/2006 at 7:30:09
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Adam you said "of Mormonism’s divergences from other Christ-centered faiths, such as the notion ( downplayed of late by Hinckley) that God was once a man, or the concept of a multi-tiered Heaven ." Man you need to do more resurch be for you talk about LDS members and what they belive. We belive in tree different and distinct individuals, God the father his son Jesus Crist and the Holy Ghost as tree totaly seperat beings no incarnations of the same one but three individuals.
By yosemitesam on 05/12/2006 at 12:56:40
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
I have enjoyed this discussion, although I think that some are being a bit harsh on Adam for his comments. I am pleased that he seems to be trying to be objective and uses official church sources to make his case. Adam is right that Mr. Romney has a tough road ahead of him is he wants to be taken seriously as a 2008 candidate. The media has been dishing the American public a ton of misleading messages about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in light of the hunt for Warren Jeffs and HBOs "Big Love". I can't help to think that this is a golden opportunity for the LDS faithful to put their shoulders to the wheel to help address some tough questions. This should not bu done only in public forums such as this, but at our places of work, at our schools and in our neighborhoods. I am personally happy that there are guys like Adam who are trying to bring up some important discussions about the church. He seems to really be trying to seek out the truth. With most sincerity, I hope that Adam continues in his search. Eternal truths do not come all at one time, but slowly through line upon line and precept upon precept. I encourage Adam to continue his work, even if it seems critical of the church. I know that because he is a smart man with an open mind, he will eventually arrive to the same conclusion about the church that I had.
By Gilbert on 05/12/2006 at 9:58:51
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet...When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go." (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409) wowza
By hudson on 05/17/2006 at 10:48:20
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet...When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go." (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409)- Joseph Smith: founder, prophet, seer, and revelator of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint -wowza
By hudson on 05/17/2006 at 10:48:41
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Hudson: Your referenced quote really proves nothing. I could show you some pretty bizarre statements from the Bible itself, which when taken on their own, seem pretty far-fetched. The LDS church does not teach nor promote the statement you reference. Joseph Smith is considered a prophet, but someone who was still nevertheless a human. The only perfect person on earth was Christ Himself. Joseph Smith, the human, was subject to the weakenesses, strenghts, and emotions as the rest of us. He himself said that he never claimed that he was perfect, but that there was no error in his revelations of the gospel. Joseph Smith and his family were subjected to years of intense opposition and persecution. You reference a quote that was seemingly made in a moment of relief and perhaps misplaced euphoria. Your referenced quote really means very little to faithful members of the LDS church. Their belief that Joseph Smith was the prophet of restoring the gosopel to the earth is based on things much more substantive than your "quote" above whose only purpose seems to be to smear the LDS church. The existence of this quote,whether Romney knows of its existence or not, will have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he would make a good president of the United States. Wowza!
By val on 05/19/2006 at 8:24:42
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
What worries me more is the financial backing that comes from Utah to support LDS candidates. The local papers brag about how much Utah money goes to PACs in other states. Does it come with no strings attached?
By slcgirl on 05/20/2006 at 9:08:42
Mitt can’t pull a JFK
Good question slcgirl! I'd hope that there are some strings attached! Specifically, some pressure to have a presidency marked by honesty, integrity, chastity, humility, justice, and anything noteworthy or of good report. THIS would be the pressure he'd feel from his church. The same pressure every mormon feels. As for political strings, I'd be interested if you could point to a high-government mormon official who bowed to political pressure from his/her church.
By murphy on 05/23/2006 at 1:27:42

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