NY Times: Romney's Run Makes Mormons Wary of Scrutiny

There was an interesting NY Times article today about Mitt Romney running for president, and the fact that his campaign is making many Mormons more than a little uncomfortable.

LOGAN, Utah — In this wide valley where the twin spires of the Mormon temple dominate the landscape and some neighborhoods have a Mormon chapel every few blocks, Mitt Romney’s bid for president is both a proud sign of progress and a cause of trepidation.

Trepidation? Why, you might ask. Because the scrutiny the Church has faced the past few years has become even more intense with Romney’s candidacy. The reason for this, I believe, is that Romney actually stands a chance, although I personally do not see him getting elected, or even getting his party’s nomination. For years, Mormons were under the radar, so to speak. That is not the truth anymore. And many of the tenets of Mormonism have a hard time bearing UP under scrutiny. Of all these, perhaps the sorest spot has been polygamy.

Mr. Romney has been questioned about the Mormon definition of God, polygamy, the location of Jesus’s arrival when he returns to earth, and even a mysterious saying attributed to Joseph Smith Jr. called the “White Horse Prophecy,” which some interpret as a prediction that when the American Constitution is hanging “by a thread,” a Mormon will rescue the nation.

Mr. Romney’s tendency to gloss over Mormonism’s history and distinctive tenets has upset some fellow Mormons. Some said they cringed when Mr. Romney said on “60 Minutes,” “I can’t imagine anything more awful than polygamy.”

See, this is a HUGE problem for Romney, because the Mormon Church still BELIEVES in polygamy. They believe it WILL be lived and practiced in the Celestial Kingdom, and of course, that it could be reinstated back here on earth.

How can Romney say he will not distance himself from his religion, as he claimed in the latest debate, and yet make that statement ABOUT polygamy? That isn’t what his church believes.

Another big issue?

Another case arose when George Stephanopoulos of ABC News asked Mr. Romney about a Mormon teaching that Jesus will come to the United States when he returns to reign on earth. Mr. Romney responded that the Messiah will return to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, “the same as the other Christian tradition.”

Mr. Grover said some of his radio listeners were astounded.

“They were just in disbelief, saying that’s not true, Jesus is coming back to Missouri,” Mr. Grover said. “It’s the L.D.S. Church’s 10th article of faith that Zion will be built upon the American continent.”

Again, Mitt, how can you say you are not distancing yourself from your religion when you are NOT espousing the true Mormon beliefs?

All interesting factors, to me. It is obvious that Mitt is attempting to put a better spin on the less savory aspects of Mormonism, and in the process is totally changing Mormon history and beliefs.

I guess the truth is, Mitt is nothing more than another politician. He will bend, twist, and spin the truth to get himself elected.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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16 Responses to NY Times: Romney's Run Makes Mormons Wary of Scrutiny

  1. Pingback: University Update

  2. Elaine says:

    If you ask me, what Mitt is doing is very simple. He’s lying to look mainstream. I just hope that someone in the media is smart enough to do their research and call him on it. Of course, we all know what the answer will be when that happens. “I’m not sure that we teach that.”

    Someone needs to remind some (all) of the hierarchy, as well as Mitt, that the commandment says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”, not “Thou shalt not bear false witness…unless you think doing so will make the church and its teachings look better to the world.”


  3. Cele says:

    It will be interesting to see how far Romney gets with, not only constituent support, but support within his own party. He has going for him that he is not from Utah. But I think his religion will heavy heavy. Gordon Smith is very popular in Oregon, but would he stand a chance if he threw his hat in the ring? I’m thinking not – he’s still a Mormon and you can only sell policitians of off center religions so far.


  4. Bishop Rick says:

    One of my observations is that the next president (considering those in the ring today) will either be Black or a Woman, and that possibly goes for the VP as well.

    That said, if the Republicans have any chance at all (again, with those in the ring today), I think it would have to be with Romney.
    McCain is too controversial and Guliani is too closely tied to Bush.

    Personally, I don’t think Obama is ready for the white house unless as VP.
    And don’t forget what you get with Hillary…you get Bill. 2 for the price of 1.

    Just my opinion


  5. Elaine says:

    I’ll take Hillary and Bill over the current crew any time. Although I’m not supporting her in the primary, if she gets the nomination I’ll not only vote for her…I’ll get out and campaign for her.

    I guess I don’t give Romney as much of a chance as you do, Rick. From where I sit, even ignoring the Mormon angle, Mitt seems to me to be all flash and no substance. He reminds me of a cheesy insurance salesman who is willing to say anything to close the sale (read: win the election), which has led to flip-flops on any number of crucial issues. If he’s the best hope for the Republicans, I think (read: hope) there will be a Democrat in the White House come January 2009.


  6. Andrew says:

    My family is Catholic. Have been since before we came from europe in the late 1800’s to Utah. Both sides of my family. My folks, heavily involved in the Catholic church. One of Mr. Romneys late aunts, I believe from his mothers side was a nun that my folks knew quite well. She escaped a plural marrige. Yet every time Mitt is asked about his church’s stand on the suject of more than one wife he refers to his great, great, great, great grand dad.

    Do you really want this guy for president?


  7. Renee says:

    My mother used to say (after Watergate) that she would still vote for Nixon. Although I was fairly small then, I used to look at her and think she was NUTS.

    After Clinton got caught with Monica, I finally knew what my Mom meant. I would have voted for Bill again in a heartbeat.

    The only reason I might not vote for Hillary is that she took Bill back. And…I wouldn’t have if I were her.

    I know, I’m all over the map on this one.

    I can’t STAND Mitt Romney. And it has relatively little to do with him being Mormon.


  8. Bishop Rick says:


    I don’t think Mitt is the best the republicans have to offer, but Colin Powell is not running. I just think he is most electable of the top 3 candidates. Regardless, I agree with you. I think we will have a democrat in the whitehouse after the 2008 election.

    Living in UT, if I don’t have a republican to vote for, my vote is a throw away. I often vote for myself as a write-in candidate because I don’t like any of the candidates.

    I am a registered Republican that votes democratic 50% of the time and Independant 25% of the time. Not sure why I’m still registered as Republican. Too lazy to re-register I guess.


  9. CV Rick says:

    It seems to me that this race is just getting underway . . . there’s a lot of real estate and a lot of possibilities to explore before we even get to the primaries. For example, Fred Thompson has more appeal for the right-wing than Romney every will . . . if he gets into the race, then the Romney problem is over – – Republicans love actors, after all.

    There’s also a wildcard on the other side – Al Gore . . . if he joins the race, my support – all of it – goes right to him, and I don’t think I’m part of a small faction. If there were the possibility of a Gore-Obama ticket, the race is over regardless who they put in opposition.

    If a viable third-party candidate gets in, look for a Democratic win in a landslide. The Dems have been hurt badly by the third party for the past 2 presidential elections, but the disgruntled religious right would be the ones this time to abandon their party and go behind a protest candidate.

    There’s a lot of time left and it’s going to be fun.


  10. JulieAnn says:

    Personally, the whole religious issue makes me want to vomit. What a f*** farce Presidential election has become. It’s the “Who can put on the most mainstream, yet pious, face to placate the hypocrisy of the American people.”

    Get someone in there who can do the f-ing job preferably without killing thousands of our own people, or any else’s for that matter, and not spend us into the goddamned ground. I don’t give a shit where they spend their Sundays, to whom they pray, or IF they pray. Jesus H. GGrr. End rant.


  11. Elaine says:

    The thing that made me gag was a clip I saw from one of the Republican debates where it seemed to have turned into some kind of testimony meeting. Personally, I don’t care if the president believes in God or the tooth fairy or the flying spaghetti monster or is an open atheist. I just want to know that he or she is going to keep that oath and uphold the Constitution rather than trying to tear it down and turn the country into a monarchy or a dictatorship or a theocracy.


  12. I agree with Elaine. A friend of mine did some research on Mitt Romney’s heritage. His family went to Mexico to continue practicing polygamy around the Manifesto. Also, his father came back to the US before Mitt R. was born. So I take everything he says (religion and political) with a grain of salt.


  13. Being mainstream is key to winning the presidency. Its interesting that reporters don’t ask any really telling questions about what Mitt believes in because that could get quite interesting.

    The church has done a pretty good job of spinning the church into being mainstream so the reporters are looking at the church press site and reading all of the malarkey there and and not digging.

    I’m not voting for him, but then that has nothing to do with him being mormon.



  14. JOOM says:

    I am screwed! I am a fiscal Republican and a social Democrat. I was hopping for a middle-of-the-road candidate this year! Romney is a flesh-pressing schmuck like all the others. I’ll tell you what you want to hear, if you can spare a dime! Politicians are whores with a heart of gold!


  15. JOOM says:

    OH, I am hopping now instead of hoping!!


  16. CV Rick says:

    what is a fiscal republican? It seems to me that Democrats like Clinton supervise the lowering of the deficit, the paying down of the debt and the downsizing of the government while the Republicans like Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II supervise the ballooning of the executive, sending troops all over the world, and fiscal suicide.

    But, of course, I’m only looking at the facts.


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