Mitt Romney


The page dedicated to Mitt Romney and Mormonism

mitt romney

Introduction

Many people believe that Mitt Romney would make a good president. He's obviously very smart and knows business. Being rich and being good-looking doesn't hurt either. Several members of this website think he'd be a good choice for president but MormonThink will avoid advocating any political candidate. However, we will simply present some mormon critics' views of Mitt Romney in light of his Mormonism. We will not comment further other than to present some of the more interesting critic's comments.

Many people, particularly evangelicals and ex-Mormons, have legitimate concerns about having a Mormon in charge of the USA. The temple oaths seem to be of great importance to some people as we know the oaths of allegiance to the church that Romney took in the temple. The following is some information by several ex-Mormon Romney critics that bring up some points to consider when evaluating Romney as a presidential candidate.

As always, faithful members are invited to respond to the critics and say why they think Mitt Romney's Mormonism would make him a good president.

Mitt Romney denied the First Vision?

This newscast from 2008 has Romney admitting that as far as he knows God hasn't spoken to anyone since Moses. He seems somewhat embarrassed to mention the First Vision. Former Stake President Romney is obviously aware that the entire LDS Church is based on the First Vision which has God speaking to the founder of Mormonism Joseph Smith. In short, Romney is a typical politician by not wanting to alienate voters by not appearing to believe in things most Christians would be very uncomfortable with.

Youtube video: Mitt Romney denies key tenet of his own faith!

Mitt Romney's Mormon Secrets by Richard Packham

The following article was written by Richard Packham and published by Yahoo

Link to article

Mitt Romney's Mormon Secrets

In all the extensive media coverage of Mitt Romney, much of it discussing his religion, not a word have I seen about the secrets of Mormonism, the secrets of Romney's life-long beliefs and practices. The reason, of course, is obvious: nobody can talk about a secret unless they are in on the secret. And few journalists or Christian ministers or anti-Mitt politicians are in on the secret. Only Mormons know the secrets, and they're not going to tell. And former Mormons, like myself, who were initiated into those same secrets, and afterwards left Mormonism - we know the secrets. Should we tell?

Journalist Frank Rich, in his January 29 article "Who in God's Name Is Mitt Romney?" in New York Magazine, subtitled it: "His greatest passion is something he's determined to keep secret." And that secret is the details of his beliefs and practices

as a faithful, life-long Mormon, the same secrets that all good Mormons have vowed to keep secret, even though their life depended on it.

And why does Romney (and his church) want to keep people from knowing those secrets? Most Mormons will claim that they are not "secret," but merely so "sacred" that they cannot be discussed. That is a quibble, since Mormons hold any number of other aspects of their religion to be "sacred," and yet they don't hesitate to discuss them (for example: baptism, conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost, ordination to the priesthood, etc.). In my day, when Mitt and I were initiated into the secrets, we were specifically instructed that we were under "the greatest obligations of secrecy." Nowadays, the Mormons simply take a solemn oath that they will "never reveal" anything about the rituals. That sounds like a secret to any ordinary person, doesn't it?

All right. I am going reveal those secrets, since nobody else seems willing and able to do so.

The biggest secrets involve the special lengthy rituals (the Mormons call them "ordinances") that take place outside of public view in the Mormon temples. The most important of these rituals is called the "endowment" - lasting several hours and taking the Mormon through symbolic washings and anointings (in my day they were actual washings and anointings on the entire naked body), then clothing the Mormon in special clothing and robes (including the notorious "magic underwear," which Mormons call "the garment"). The Mormon then watches and participates in long dramatizations of key events in the coming of the gospel, beginning with the creation of the world, showing Adam's fall, the coming of the Christian gospel (but not the crucifixion and resurrection), and ultimately the Mormon's being admitted into heaven, represented by "passing through the veil (of the temple)." When Romney and I first went through this ceremony, it was a ritualized dramatization with live temple personnel. Nowadays it's a movie.

Yes, the most sacred worship service in Mormonism involves watching a movie.

Why is that so secret? you may ask. What aren't the Mormons supposed to reveal? What do they hold so sacred that it's secret? Quite a lot.

Part of the endowment ritual instructs the Mormons in the four "signs" and "tokens" of the Mormon priesthood. Each also has a "name" (or password). The Mormon must make an oath that he (or she) will never reveal these, outside the temple. The purpose of the signs and tokens, according to Mormon Prophet Brigham Young, is that they will be needed to pass the angels guarding the gates of heaven. The tokens are various handshakes, copied largely from the Masonic initiation rites of the 1830s, when church founder Joseph Smith was initiated into Freemasonry. The signs are various positions of the arms and hands (right arm to the square, for example, is the "first sign of the Aaronic priesthood").

Before 1990, when Romney and I first went through this ceremony, we were taught that each of the first three signs and tokens also had a "penalty" associated with each one, and we had to mime various ways of taking life to represent the penalty to us if we were to reveal the secret signs and tokens: slitting one's own throat, ripping open one's chest, disemboweling oneself. Yes, folks, this was part of the most sacred ritual in Mormonism: pantomiming your own bloody death.

So Mitt Romney, and all other righteous Mormons, can be confident that they know the secret passwords and secret handshakes to get into heaven. Do you see why Romney and his church are reluctant for "unworthy" people (the rest of us, including Mrs. Romney's parents) to know about this? As Deborah Laake put it in her autobiographical book Secret Ceremonies , (New York 1993):

The actions that were going to guarantee my entrance at the gates [of heaven] would have nothing to do with love or charity or the other teachings of Christ that I'd been raised to believe God valued. In fact, I hadn't heard a single one of those words spoken today, the most primary day of religious instruction in my entire life. No, I was going to burst into heaven on the basis of mumbo-jumbo. ... The mysteries of life were fraternity rituals. ... Did all the white-suited glorifiers in the room unquestioningly accept a ritual of nutty gestures from the pseudo-occult as a sacrament? Those were the first moments when I viewed Mormonism with suspicion.

Or as summarized by a young Mormon missionary:"If we told investigators [prospective converts] about that, they wouldn't join, because it's too weird!"

But wait! you are saying. You haven't revealed anything. You've just told us that there is stuff to reveal. So reveal it!

Right. The four secret passwords that will get you into heaven:

The first one is the "new name" that you get with your garment. Mine is "Enoch" and you can borrow it when the time comes. The angel won't know. If you're female, you can use my ex-wife's new name: "Mary." (She would kill me if she knew I gave her sacred new name away!)

The second password is easy: your own given first name.

The third password: "The Son," meaning "the Son of God."

The fourth one is so sacred that you don't get it until the very last moment in the ceremony, at the veil, from God Himself (or an old guy standing behind the curtain who is pretending to be God). And it's very long, but you have to memorize it or you don't get in:

Health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the loins and in the sinews. Power in the priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout all eternity.
(If you watched "Big Love" faithfully, one episode showed this part of the ceremony.)

And what about the secret (oops! that should be "sacred") handshakes? Rather than describe them, I will suggest you simply do an Internet search for "mormon handshake" images. They'll be right at the top.

Anything else? Yes, there are more secrets.

During the endowment, Mormons are required to take secret oaths that they will obey various "laws." The "law of obedience" requires them to obey "the law of God and keep his commandments." They don't specify what the "law of God" is, but Mormons understand that the Mormon church is the only true source of God's law and commandments. So they are taking an oath to obey their church.

The "law of sacrifice" requires them to "covenant to sacrifice all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, in sustaining and defending the Kingdom of God." Mormons understand "the kingdom of God" to be the Mormon church.

The "law of the gospel" is accompanied by a charge to avoid "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed [church leaders]" as well as avoiding "light-mindedness, loud laughter, taking the Lord's name in vain" and every "unholy and impure practice" (not specified).

The "law of chastity" is to abstain from sexual relations except with one's lawful spouse. That one does make sense. That's one of the Ten Commandments, after all.

The last law is the "law of consecration." It requires the Mormons to

...consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.

A couple of terms need explanation. The "Kingdom of God on the earth" and "Zion" mean, to Mormons, not just their church, but ultimately the theocracy that will replace the non-religious civil government. They believe, of course, that Christ will come to run this government, using faithful Mormons as administrators.

The pressing question for Mitt Romney, and for the Mormons who are supporting his candidacy, is: Would Romney consider the Presidency to be something that God had "blessed" him with, and which, pursuant to his secret oath, he should "consecrate" to his church for establishing a theocracy? If he is elected, will he kneel down and thank his God for blessing him with the presidency? And what is he supposed to do, according to his secret oath, with "everything" God has blessed him with? That's right: he is to use it for the benefit of the Mormon church.

Now wait a minute, you may be thinking. It doesn't really mean that! The Mormon church doesn't expect that from its members, does it? Oh, yes, it does! Remember California's Proposition 8? The Mormon church pulled out all the stops to pass that proposition, which would forbid same-sex marriage, and it called upon all Mormons to cough up and donate, even those who were not California voters. Those who were hesitant to do so (often the amounts demanded were thousands of dollars per family) were simply and subtly reminded of their "temple covenants." And they all understood that the church was calling in the chits on the oaths to obey, to sacrifice, and to consecrate whatever the church demanded of them.

How would a President who was also a good Mormon obey those secret oaths?

It wouldn't even take a phone call from church headquarters to the White House. Mitt, being a well-trained Mormon, knows "in his heart" what God would want (which is the same thing that the church wants, of course) and doesn't need to be told. That's the way it works already in the only American theocracy in existence today (Utah). The Mormon politicians who run that state - the judiciary, the legislature, the executive branch - don't have to ask church leaders for direction. They know what they should do, without asking specifically (usually).

The question for American voters is: knowing that Romney has taken this secret oath, that he is a faithful Mormon, do you want him to answer the question "Would you feel bound by your sacred oath to obey the law of consecration that you made in the endowment ceremony and use the power of the presidency to benefit the Mormon church?"

Should it make a difference to you, the voter?

Richard Packham

Questions for Mitt Romney.

Compiled by Richard Packham

Reposted from Richard Packham's site.

News reports say that Governor Romney. looking ahead to the possibility of presenting himself as a candidate for the U.S. presidency in 2008, is meeting privately with Christian leaders to allay their concerns about the fact that he is a Mormon. (See Boston Globe, Nov 2, 2006 at http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/11/02/romney_consults_evangelical_leaders ) These leaders apparently are concentrating on areas such as Romney's view of gay marriage, abortion, and whether Romney is really a Christian. Undoubtedly Romney's answers in those areas will satisfy most of these Christian leaders.

However, not knowing much about Mormon doctrine and practices, most Christians are unaware of some of the areas in which the idea of a Mormon as president would raise serious doubts in their minds. They simply don't know what to ask the governor.

Below are some suggested questions which should be asked of Governor Romney, both by Christian leaders and by journalists.

  • According to Mormon scripture, the founder of your church (Joseph Smith) was told by God in 1820 that all the churches of the day were "an abomination." Do you agree with God's view of other churches, as quoted by Joseph Smith? (Pearl of Great Price, JS-Hist 1:18-19)
  • According to your church's Articles of Faith, number eight, the Book of Mormon is the "word of God." Do you believe that?
  • According to the Book of Mormon there are only two churches: the "church of the Lamb of God [presumably the Mormon church]" and the "church of the devil," "the whore of all the earth." Do you agree with that Mormon scripture? (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10)
  • According to the Book of Mormon a dark skin is a curse imposed by God on the unrighteous and their descendants as a punishment for sin. Do you agree with that doctrine? (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 12:22-23, Alma 3:6, 2 Nephi 5:21-22, Jacob 3:8, 3 Nephi 2:15-16, Mormon 5:15; references to the "Lamanites" are taken to be referring to Native American "Indians".)
  • According to Mormon doctrine, the president of the Mormon church is a prophet of God, receiving revelations and commandments (God's laws) directly from God. Do you believe that? (Doctrine and Covenants <>, 21:5, 43:3, 58:18)
  • One of the most sacred rituals for adult Mormons, performed only in a Mormon temple, is a ceremony called "the endowment." Have you undergone this ritual? If so, in what year?
  • To be admitted to the temple for the endowment ceremony a Mormon must be "in good standing" in the church and undergo a personal interview with church leaders, who examine the member as to whether the member obeys church commandments, supports church leaders, pays full ten percent tithe, wears the prescribed Mormon underwear, abstains from coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco and extramarital sex, and other matters. If the member answers correctly, a pass to the temples (called a "temple recommend") is issued, good for two years. Do you have such a temple recommend now, indicating that you are in good standing in your church?
  • In the secret Mormon temple ceremony Mormons take an oath of obedience to "the law of the Lord." Did you take that oath?
  • Before 1990, the endowment ceremony required members to take an oath of secrecy not to reveal anything that happened in the temple under penalty of death. Did you take that oath?
  • In the temple ceremony Mormons also take a secret oath to "consecrate your time, talents and everything which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints..." Did you take that oath? Would you consider the office of the presidency of the U.S. to be a "blessing" with which the Lord had blessed you?
  • Mormons teach that by obedience to all the commandments of Mormonism, a Mormon may attain the highest degree of heaven and ultimately become a god, creating and ruling over his own universe. Do you believe that? Is this your ultimate personal goal?
  • Although your church presently condemns the practice of polygamy, the scripture commanding it is still in the Mormon Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132. Many early Mormons were polygamous and married ("sealed") to numerous wives "for eternity." Do you believe then that there will be polygamous families in Mormon heaven?
  • The extensive interest of Mormons in genealogical research is to enable them to perform "baptisms for the dead," thus posthumously inducting previous generations into the Mormon church. Many non-Mormons become angry when they learn that the names of their ancestors - having often been faithful members of some other religion during life - have been used in this way. often without permission of the living descendants. The posthumous baptism of many Holocaust victims caused considerable anger among Jewish groups, and your church agreed to stop the practice as to them (but admitted that it was unable to do so). Do you feel that such anger is justified? (Would you feel anger if some voodoo cult was using your deceased grandparents' names in some voodoo ritual, and then announcing to all the world that they were now voodoo worshippers?)
  • It is well documented that Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, secretly had many wives. Some of those women were at the same time married to other men, some were as young as fifteen, He claimed that he was commanded by God to enter into these marriages. Do you feel that these early marital practices of the church founder were really commanded by God? (See the book In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith by Mormon historian Todd Compton for detailed biographies of these wives.)
  • Mormons believe that when Christ returns to earth, a millennium of peace will begin under Christ's rule (Article of Faith number ten), presumably as a single theocracy. Most Mormons believe that during that time, Mormons will be Christ's appointed officers and that the law will conform to Mormon teachings. Do you believe that?
  • According to Mormon scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3) Joseph Smith did more than any other man except Jesus Christ "for the salvation of men in this world." Do you agree with that, keeping in mind the contributions of men like the Apostles, Saint Paul, Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, and others?

Richard Packham

Apostle tries to influence Governor George Romney

From the article in the next section (emphasis added):

1964: Apostle urges Mormon governor to oppose African-American civil rights

Current Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, spoke in favor of the Civil Rights movement while he was governor of Michigan. In response, Mormon apostle Delbert Stapely wrote him a letter (PDF link) which urged him, in an unofficial capacity, to consider "the curse upon the Negro" and the "very tragic end by drowning" met by another Mormon advocate of civil rights. The church would not allow black men to hold its priesthood until 1978.

Letter written by apostle to Gov. George Romney: http://www.boston.com/news/daily/24/delbert_stapley.pdf

Archived Backup: here

Mormon Political Activism, A History

http://news.yahoo.com/mormon-political-activism-history-233000079.html

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, is officially politically neutral. It does not allow its meetinghouses or membership lists to be used for "partisan political purposes," and does not officially endorse political parties or candidates.

It does reserve "the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral consequences." And according to the late Mormon apostle (later prophet) Ezra Benson -- who was quoted twice by Mormon church leaders addressing the membership in worldwide General Conference in 2010 -- "The [Mormon] prophet can receive revelation on any matter-temporal or spiritual," and "the prophet may well advise on civic matters." (This line was changed by the leaders who quoted him, to this: "The prophet may be involved in civic matters.)

Here's a partial look at the past political activism of the Mormon church and its leaders.

1844: Joseph Smith runs for president

The founder and first prophet of the Mormon church ran on a platform which included abolition (all slaves would be bought and freed by the federal government) and a reduction in pay for Congress. He had plans to establish a system of "theodemocracy" that would've politically marginalized non-Mormons, but these did not come to fruition before Smith was assassinated.

1904: Reed Smoot hearings

Mormon apostle Reed Smoot was elected to the United States' Senate by the Utah state legislature. His election was controversial, as some Mormons were believed (and discovered) to be continuing to practice polygamy after an 1890 manifesto had supposedly ended it. Two apostles resigned after a second antipolygamy manifesto was written by prophet Joseph F. Smith.

1964: Apostle urges Mormon governor to oppose African-American civil rights

Current Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, spoke in favor of the Civil Rights movement while he was governor of Michigan. In response, Mormon apostle Delbert Stapely wrote him a letter (PDF link) which urged him, in an unofficial capacity, to consider "the curse upon the Negro" and the "very tragic end by drowning" met by another Mormon advocate of civil rights. The church would not allow black men to hold its priesthood until 1978.

1977: The Equal Rights Amendment

Mormon church leaders spoke out against the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, which would have mandated "equality of rights under the law" for men and women. An official church statement expressed their "fear [that] it will even stifle many God-given feminine instincts" and not recognize "emotional" differences between men and women. The church officially opposed the ERA, and reportedly excommunicated many of its supporters, including feminist speaker Sonia Johnson.

2008: Proposition 8

The Mormon church was fined more than $5,000 for failing to report how much official support it gave to the "Yes on 8" campaign, in support of a California constitutional amendment outlawing marriage equality for same-gender couples. (The amendment was later found to violate the United States' Constitution.) The church mobilized its members to actively oppose the amendment, urging them to volunteer for and donate to "Yes on 8."

Mormon congressmen and the Swiss Government

13 mormon members of the United States Congress recently sent a strong letter to the Swiss Ambassador. The 13 letter signers were protesting the Swiss Government’s banning of Mormon missionaries from that county.

The one page letter signed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and four other United States Senators and eight House members was sent to the Swiss Ambassador and said, “We earnestly petition the Swiss Government to reconsider its decision and work with us and the LDS Church to find a solution which would permit LDS missionaries to continue to perform their missionary service in Switzerland as they have done since 1850.”

In his reply letter, the Swiss Ambassador refers to one recent meeting to discuss the situation between high ranking Swiss Government officials and the United States Ambassador to Switzerland Don Beyer, and at least one top mormon church leader.

These five Senators and eight House Members are attempting to USE THEIR OFFICES to influence governments on behalf of the Mormon church.

Their letter to the Swiss Government states: “It would be a great tragedy for our two nations if the long-standing missionary program of the LDS Church in Switzerland were terminated,” the congressional members wrote. “Switzerland can have no more enthusiastic, lifetime ambassadors in the United States than these young people when they return home."

This is disingenuous. These 13 mormon legislators do not give earnestly care about creating "ambassadors" for Switzerland out of nineteen year-olds. Their motive is to support the church.

Beyond that, I wonder how banning missionaries, whose sole effort is to convert people to Mormonism, constitutes a "tragedy" for either Switzerland or the United States. I am severely troubled that elected government officials would try to use their official offices and the relationship between nations to press the interests of the Mormon Church.

Mormons can't help themselves. They are groomed from birth to be missionaries and to promote the church in every and any possible way. The oaths and covenants require it and it happens without thinking.

Mitt Romney would very likely promote Mormonism in any and every way he could, and use the power of his office just like the 13 Mormon legislators just did.

Article link

SALT LAKE CITY — While Switzerland and the European Union bickered Tuesday on immigration and foreign-worker agreements, the Swiss' current interpretation and implementation of those policies will result in banning most foreign missionaries from entering the central European nation beginning in 2012.

The ban will prohibit all religious missionaries coming from the United States and other countries not part of the European Union or European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sent its representatives to Switzerland for a century and a half.

At present, Switzerland allows a limited quota on the number of LDS missionaries entering from foreign countries — 80 in 2010, 50 in 2011 and none in 2012.

A group of 14 U.S. senators and representatives — including LDS members such as Sen. Orrin Hatch R-Utah, Sen. Bob Bennett R-Utah, Sen. Harry Reid D-Nevada, Sen. Mike Crapo R-Idaho and Rep. Jim Matheson D-Utah – recently appealed to the Swiss government to rethink its restrictions against Mormon missionaries.

"Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been an integral part of the Swiss landscape for 160 years. I'm disappointed the Swiss government is moving forward with a process that will ban missionaries, including LDS missionaries, by 2012," Hatch said Tuesday.

"I am continuing to work with other members of Congress to persuade the Swiss government to reconsider its decision and work toward finding a mutually acceptable solution to the problem."

The missionary ban stems from bilateral agreements between the EU and the much-smaller EFTA. Switzerland is not a EU member but joins Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein to currently comprise EFTA.

The immigration and employment policies, which went into effect in 2002, allow members of European Union countries to seek employment in Switzerland while restricting work permits for non-EU and non-EFTA foreigners.

Earlier this year, a Swiss court ruled missionaries are subject to the foreigner-employment quotas, deeming them as "gainfully employed" and falling under worker quotas regarding individuals with particular work skills.

Mormon missionaries are unpaid volunteers, serving for two years without compensation and not competing for employment with other workers.

"The church has a long history in Switzerland dating back to 1850," said LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter. "We hope a solution can be found that allows missionaries, regardless of their country of origin, to continue to serve the Swiss people.

"In our experience, the church's missionaries return home after service in Switzerland with great love and respect for the people, history and culture of the country."

The U.S. lawmakers wrote to the Swiss embassy earlier this year on behalf of the LDS Church, citing its volunteer missionary program and its long-standing relationship with Switzerland.

"We expect an ongoing dialogue with the Swiss government representatives and U.S. officials to ensure that responsible religious missionaries have the fullest possible opportunity to continue their work abroad with the minimum of bureaucratic hurdles," Crapo told swissinfo.ch, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation's nine-language internet news and information platform.

The embassy's response was mixed.

In return correspondence, then-Swiss ambassador Urs Ziswiler, whose tenure ended in mid-October, offered some hope. "Laws can be amended and regulations can be changed, but it will be up to the relevant communities involved to initiate those changes," he wrote.

However, Ziswler told swissinfo.ch : "We have several similar cases from other countries, and to make an exception for the Mormons would create a precedent."

Tuesday, the European Commission — the EU's executive body — and Switzerland argued over the same immigration and employment agreements.

The EU claims the Swiss are much more restrictive in interpretation and regulation than its EFTA peers. Meanwhile, Switzerland says it faces one of Europe's largest foreign resident working populations, with foreigners accounting for more than 22 percent of its population.

The Swiss government estimates more than 1 million EU citizens live in Switzerland, with another 200,000 crossing its border every day to work in the country.

The LDS Church created its Swiss Mission in 1850 and in 1955 dedicated its first "overseas" temple outside of North America, originally called the Swiss Temple. Now the Bern Switzerland Temple, it sits in the northern suburb of Zollikofen.

As of the first of 2010, the church totaled nearly 8,000 members in Switzerland, with five stakes, 24 wards and 12 branches in the country.

Park Romney, Mitt's cousin - discusses Mormonism

Park Romney

From the website: http://www.parkromney.com/?view=faq&Query=Q10017

An interview with Park Romney / Frequently Asked Questions

What do you REALLY think of Mitt's Campaign for the presidency?

Q. Some are aware that you have far more serious reservations about your cousin, Mitt’s, campaign for the presidency than you have made clear. Is this the case? If so, why the hesitation? Can you see your way clear to getting past those reservations now and making your concerns clear?


A. Yes, that is true. I hesitate for a variety of reasons. First, I don’t think I’m the most qualified commentator on the real issues that his campaign gives rise to, although I understand them well enough. There are those who think I can articulate them as well as anyone and have really asked me to do so. I don’t necessarily agree, but I feel somewhat obliged on the one hand, while quite reluctant on the other hand. I really don’t want the attention, but I understand and appreciate the request. It’s a controversial topic with considerable risks to even talk about.

Mitt Romney’s religion, Mormonism, which is my former religion, having been a Mormon High Priest, like Mitt still is, is a far bigger issue than most people realize and understand. In our rush to avoid being accused of being bigoted, in America, we have a natural tendency to want to steer clear of this topic. I will be the first to agree that to be arbitrarily dismissive of a man’s candidacy for the office of President, or any office for that matter, on the basis of his religion is definitely bigoted. “Arbitrarily dismissive” is the key phrase here. In the case of Mormonism, we have a very unique situation. Questions about Mormonism for those fully informed of the very real issues are not in the least degree arbitrary. There are very real concerns that millions of former Mormons are very much aware of. This is not simply a question of subjective disagreements on points of faith that really can’t be proved or disproved anyway. In the case of the Mormon Church, I share the view with many others, including people far more scholarly and qualified in other ways than myself, that the Mormon religion is not only an insidious contemporary fraud, but has been demonstrated conclusively to be such by researchers who are alive today and competent to testify on the basis of evidence still available today. Accordingly, the questions that are most important and relevant to Mitt's candidacy here, since he is a current High Priest of the Mormon Church, are not of religion, but very fair questions of ethics and judgment.

I defy anyone, for example, to view the half hour long video on the Book of Abraham, now available at bookofabraham.info and come away with a different conclusion. In my view, this is one of many conclusive and irrefutable evidences that the Mormon religion is a fraud. This is difficult for us to talk about in our society for a variety of reasons. Most of us have Mormon friends or associates or family members. We want to be respectful. We don’t want to be insulting, demeaning, or disrespectful. Generally, lay members of the Mormon Church are kind and sincere, well-meaning people. Unfortunately, kind and sincere and well-meaning is not a sound basis upon which to elect a president, nor is it a sound basis to be dismissive of fundamental questions of judgment and ethics that are unavoidable as they relate to the very appropriate scrutiny of the man in whom the citizens of the United States of America intend to invest the most trust and political power of any other human being on earth.

The exposure of the Mormon book of Abraham as a fraud is not a small, trivial, or insignificant thing. The book of Abraham is a part of the greater volume of canonized Mormon scripture, known as the Pearl of Great Price. The book of Abraham, in particular, is the book of scripture in which we find the very basis of some of the most significant and fundamental doctrines that differentiate the Mormon faith from other faiths. This book was supposedly translated from Egyptian hieroglyphics that came into the possession of the early Mormon Church in a well documented story out of the Church’s own Documentary History, complimented by authenticated journals of Joseph Smith, the original Mormon prophet, himself. There is no denying that Joseph Smith claimed to translate these Egyptian hieroglyphics which came into the possession of the Church after Joseph Smith talked Mormon investors into putting up the money for their acquisition on the basis of his representation that, after a cursory review, he was able to assure the investors that they were ancient writings of the Biblical prophet, Abraham and Joseph from the Bible, and that they were now brought forth by God to the hands of the Church for him to translate with the gift of prophecy and revelation with which he was “endowed”. The hieroglyphics were acquired on this basis, and a detailed account of the process of translation, including mention of specific characters from the hieroglyphics, is documented in Joseph Smith’s authenticated journal. These translations resulted in the canonized Mormon scripture now known as the Book of Abraham which is published with the Standard “Works” (Scriptures) of the Mormon Church, complete with a copy of the very hieroglyphics from which they were “translated”.

At the time Joseph Smith’s translation took place, no known scholars knew how to translate such hieroglyphics. However, over the years, due to the discovery of the Rosetta stone and other research into Egyptology, considerable scholarly work has been done on such hieroglyphics. The video, mentioned above, documents, in painstaking detail, the exposure that the hieroglyphs that Joseph Smith “translated” were burial documents quite commonly found in tombs whose meaning and interpretation has been well known and unquestionably established to have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Joseph Smith’s purported translation. The video documents the exposure of this fraud in such painstaking detail as to leave the Church with no plausible retreat from the inescapable conclusion that the purported scriptures resulting from Joseph Smith’s translation are a fraud. Only the most naive and uninformed remain with their delusions about the authenticity of this purported body of scripture, propped up by subsequent attempts by Church apologists to re-frame the history of their translation in ways that fly in the face of that which is documented in Joseph Smith’s own authenticated journal.

No thoughtful, rational, observer of this fiasco, as masterfully presented in the above referenced video, escapes the corollary questions. If Joseph lied about this, which he obviously did, what of all the other implausible stories at the root of the Mormon faith including the Book of Mormon itself and its dubious beginnings in stories that have been shamelessly re-written, time and time again, in an effort to eliminate the conundrum of faith that the inherent contradictions which a thoughtful and thorough investigation of the actual events, as purported by the Church, reveals.

The overwhelming accumulation of this type of evidence, together with staggering evidence that the contemporary leadership of the Church is well aware of this evidence and expends enormous energy and resources to conceal it from the view of its members and the public, has resulted in volumes of well documented books on such subjects. These include, An American Fraud, One Lawyer’s Case against Mormonism, by Kay Burningham; An Insider’s view of Mormon Origins, and The Mormon Corporate Empire by Grant Palmer; and other notable works. My book, The Apostasy of a High Priest – The Sociology of a Mormon Cult, deals with the corrupt epistemology (or doctrinal theory of truth and knowledge) of the Mormon Church which renders the membership susceptible to the level of intellectual absenteeism enabling such preposterous fraud to go unchecked. I was pleased that it received an honorable mention by Kay Burningham in her review of it, in which she referred to it as the “cherry on the cake” of the books dealing with the fraudulent underpinnings of Mormonism. Kay Burningham, by the way, is not only an attorney, but a former Judge pro tem in the San Diego Court system with years of experience in civil litigation, including fraud actions.

The inescapable questions that we are left with, as they relate to the campaign of Mitt Romney, are not whether we are comfortable with Mormonism as our President’s religion; not whether Mormonism is a cult; not whether Mormonism is compatible with Christianity; not whether Polygamy is good or bad; not whether the average lay member of the Mormon Church is a good citizen who we are reticent to offend; but rather, whether Mitt Romney, a current High Priest of the Mormon Church, and former regional church leader, is aware that his religion is a demonstrable contemporary fraud in which the leadership of the Church are exploiting the faith of the lay members in extracting countless millions of dollars in tithing receipts, a significant portion of which being invested in world-wide commercial enterprises controlled by the Church, and real estate development in down town Salt Lake City, and all over the world? Is the man in whom so many hope to place all of their hope and faith for a brighter future for America, and in whom they will rely for the assessment of intelligence briefings that are the basis of world-wide military action, aware of the unmistakable, and incontestable evidence that his Church is a fraud? If he is aware, how do we escape the conclusion that he is a party to this fraud, as a High Priest of the Mormon Church, and a party to the oath and covenant of the Holy Melchizedek priesthood of the Church, and a party to the oath of obedience to the Church Leadership, that is part of the sacred Temple covenant to which I have personal knowledge that he is a party. If he is not aware that it is a fraud, amidst glaringly unmistakable evidence that makes what Secretary of State, Colin Powell, presented to the United Nations, in justification of the invasion of Iraq, look like an inconclusive pack of lies by comparison, (perhaps a bad analogy, since it did anyway), then shall we not have profoundly serious questions about his judgment?

I could go on, and get into a discussion of his notion of human rights, as evidenced by his infamous “double Guantanamo” position, and on about the actual conflict of interest that his Priesthood covenants do, in fact, present him with. But what would be the point? If we can’t grasp the questions that are clearly before us, already exposed, what difference does any of the rest make? Then we are, in fact, the nation of arrogant fools that the rest of the world sees us as, and we will need to continue to tell people we are Canadians to avoid ridicule when we travel overseas with American passports.

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Mormon Political Prophecies

This is from one of the emails that is being passed around by many members working for the church in September 2012 right before the election..

Prophetic Warnings

Prophecy of Joseph Smith (March 10, 1844): Even this nation will be on the verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the Constitution is on the brink of ruin this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction. (Source: Joseph Smith Papers, LDS Church Historical Archives, Box 1, March 10, 1844; D. Michael Stewart, Ensign, Vol. 6, No. 6, June 1976, pp. 64-65)


Prophecy of Joseph Smith, (According to Orson Hyde): was that the time would come when the Constitution and the country would be in danger of an overthrow; and . . . "if the Constitution be saved at all, it will be by the Elders of this Church." (Source: Journal of Discourses, Vol.6, p. 152, January 3, 1850)


Statement of Erastus Snow, 1885: We were told by the prophet Joseph Smith, that the United States Government and people would undermine one principle of the Constitution after another, until its whole fabric would be torn away, and that it would become the duty of the Latter-day Saints and those in sympathy with them to rescue it from destruction, and to maintain and sustain the principles of human freedom for which our fathers fought and bled. We look for these things to come in quick succession. (Source: Journal of Discourses, vol. 26, p. 226, May 31, 1885)


Harold B. Lee: [Latter-day Saints] "devoutly believe that if [the Constitution] should be in danger of being overthrown, their lives, if need be, are to be offered in defense of its principles." (Harold B. Lee, "True Patriotism-An Expression of Faith," April 13, 1941)


David O. McKay: Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world in which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States. If members of the Melchizedek Priesthood allow the U.S. Constitution to be destroyed, they not only forfeit their rights to the Priesthood, but to a place in this highest degree of glory as well. (David O. McKay, The Instructor, Feb. 1956, p.34)


Ezra Taft Benson in General Conference April 1965: The Prophet Joseph Smith declared it will be the elders of Israel who will step forward to help save the Constitution, and not the church. Brethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. The longer we wait, the heavier the chains, the deeper the blood, the more the persecution, and the less we can carry out our God-given mandate and world-wide mission. The war in heaven is raging on earth today. Are you being neutralized in the battle? (Ezra Taft Benson, CR-4/65, Era, p. 539)


Boyd K. Packer in 2004: "Will the Constitution be destroyed? No. It will be held inviolate by this people; and as Joseph Smith said "the time will come when the destiny of this nation will hang upon a single thread, and at this critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction." It will be so. I do not know when that day will come or how it will come to pass. I feel sure that when it does come to pass, among those who will step forward from among this people will be men who hold the Holy Priesthood and who carry as credentials a bachelor or doctor of law degree. And women also, of honor. And there will be judges as well.

Others from the world outside the Church will come, as Colonel Thomas Kane did, and bring with them their knowledge of the law to protect this people. We may one day stand alone, but we will not change or lower our standards, or change our course." (Source: "On the Shoulders of Giants," Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law Society Devotional, Saturday, 2 Feb 2004, 6 p.m)


MT Comment: This seems to be perhaps a subtle way of endorsing Mitt Romney as president of the USA as many Mormons have been promoting these types of emails amongst themselves as if to say that Mitt Romney can fulfill these LDS prophecies.

An Open Letter to Brother Mitt Romney From a Black Mormon: The Continuing Suspicion and Racial Fears of a Mormon Presidency

By Dr. Darron T. Smith

With the fast approaching 2012 elections on the horizon, there is one question left unanswered. As a widely circulated Associated Press article asked, “Will Obama’s Blackness Prevail Over Romney’s Mormonism in 2012?” (http://newsone.com/2006033/obama-vs-romney-2012/), it went on to point out the unique and historical pairing of President Barack Obama, an African American, and Mitt Romney, a Mormon, who represent two oppressed groups in American society on opposite ends of the political divide as the two run for the highest office in the land. The article, however, went one step further and posed a second, equally challenging supposition—how much progress has been made against race-based discrimination? With two weeks to go before the presidential election, neither President Obama nor Governor Romney have used much personal fodder to attack the other, which is astounding given our inclination in American politics to severely trash the other candidate’s more exploitable areas. In this case, one would have guessed that the Obama camp would have by now unleashed on Mitt’s Mormonism and its racist past just as Reverend O’Neal Dozier told the Palm Beach Post, “If Romney is the nominee, President Obama’s surrogates will bring out [the] racist views in the Mormon Church” (http://www.postonpolitics.com/2012/01/pastor-of-church-where-santorum-gave-sermon-blasts-romney-saying-americans-will-not-vote-for-a-mormon-president/). In fact, to his credit, President Obama has steered clear of the topic all together, leaving it to others to examine. And yet, the American press has been hushed on the matter.

Interestingly, despite the constitution stating that there shall be no religious test to hold public office (United States Constitution, Article VI, paragraph 3), President Obama was subjected to months of religious attacks prior to the 2008 election; accusations that still go on presently. But the national media has neglected to discuss Mitt Romney’s Mormon ties coupled with LDS racial folklore. Although I respect the regard given to our First Amendment and the separation of church and state, it leaves me wondering—is this a form of white privilege manifesting through our national elections or are republicans simply cherry-picking topics, peculiarly when this issue was addressed in republican primaries and has since been quietly shelved? (I would argue that they are one in the same.) But the American people have a right to know the totality of the character of the American president.

*

The Church’s racial past and present is a prime target for political attacks. On the verge of potentially winning the election, negative attention around the contentious subject of American racism would likely bring unwanted scrutiny to Romney’s political ambitions, particularly when, if successful, he will become the first white man to unseat the nation’s first black president. In January 2012, African-American analyst, Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. wrote an online paper titled “Mitt Romney and the Curse of Blackness” in which he gave his own interpretations to the Book of Mormon. Pointing to the candidate’s LDS beliefs, he found it “deeply troubling” that the Book of Mormon “says…explicitly and in numerous passages [that] black people are cursed by God and our dark skin is the evidence of our accursedness” (pointing in particular to 2 Nephi 5:21; 1 Nephi 12:23; Jacob 3:8; and Alma 3:6). Hendricks is pointing out historical racial metaphors of white=good and black=evil, which symbolism is evidenced in the visceral hatred that many white Americans have at the presence of a black man in White House. Is this perhaps the reason why the history of Mormonism’s experience with Blacks has been convincingly ignored by mainstream American media? Hendricks further remarked, “What makes this all the more problematic …is that at no time has Mitt Romney ever publically indicated that he seriously questioned the divine inspiration of the Book of Mormon’s teachings about race, much less that he has repudiated them” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/obery-m-hendricks-jr-phd/mitt-romney-curse-blackness_b_1200470.html).

Despite LDS claims as the “one true” church with a universalizing message, these are serious charges in which Romney has remained remarkably silent—not breaking free from his religious convictions, yet not offering any consolation with regards to the teachings of his faith that could provide a glimpse into his own racial beliefs, expressly his thoughts about black people. Virtually nothing has been said about his record on civil and social justice, including during his tenure as Governor of Massachusetts. Instead, what we often hear from the mouth of Mitt Romney on matters of race is a reference to what his father accomplished as the great social liberal that he appeared to be. Former Governor George Romney was something special—a white Mormon man with an outward public passion for social justice; something you don’t see everyday, particularly in the 1960’s. George Romney was a social liberal that fought for civil rights, often at odds with racist church leaders determined to alter his course (See letter here: http://www.boston.com/news/daily/24/delbert_stapley.pdf). In 1967, as the elder Romney prepared for his own presidential bid, Jet Magazine picked up on a story where Romney stated, “he would leave the church if it ever tried to prevent him from working for the elimination of social injustices and racial discrimination” (http://books.google.com/books?id=ZbgDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA46 - v=onepage&q&f=false). Whether he would ever really have left the Church or not since, by all accounts, he was deeply devoted to the Church and its leadership, Romney took the time to seek the council of high-ranking church leaders on matters of race prior to his run for Governor of Michigan.

Mitt Romney’s efforts at instituting something similar to “Obamacare” in his state is, likewise, commendable; however, he cannot continue to avoid the difficult question that many Americans have a right to know, especially if Romney holds similar views as past Mormon leaders who believe Blacks are a cursed race. Mitt Romney and other Mormons today, just like his father did in the 60’s, continue to hear and receive negative messages about the character and disposition of people of African descent, despite the Church changing its official stance on race in 1978. Yet, I do not believe that Mitt Romney is a closet racist. I do believe, however, that he has deep-seated ideas in his head about black folk like most white Americans, particularly those who attend racially segregated churches like the Mormon Church. How could this not be? For most of our history—246 years of slavery followed by 90 years of Jim Crow, about 85 percent of our existence as a nation—we have struggled to truly come to grips with the meaning of freedom and equality, although we use these terms loosely and romantically. Racist images, ideas, notions and inclinations to discriminate (white racial frames) have spanned 20 generations of American life, and white Christianity has been a central fulcrum to justify unjust white enrichment remaining an anathema for black folks. In order to unlearn racism, one has to do serious work, taking a hard look at oneself and the benefits received from unjust enrichment. It has only been 34 years since church headquarters lifted the Mormon priesthood ban that barred black men from holding the priesthood and denied black women temple marriages, hardly enough time to unlearn an entire generation of white racist thinking and understanding about black people, especially given church headquarters has yet to offer up any rational explanation why such a ban existed in the first place. Instead, what is typically articulated from white Mormons and “bright” Mormons (socially-white people of color) for that matter when questions of race arise in the public domain is, “only the Lord knows why Blacks could not hold the priesthood.” Thus, we have an idea where the Church stands today. And further, we know where George Romney stood. But what we all want to know is, what is your position, Mitt?

Follow me on twitter @DrDarronSmith

Open Letter to Mitt Romney - from a fellow Latter-day Saint

Received by MormonThink via email 11/5/12

Dear Brother and Sister Romney,

As your fellow Brother in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I'm disappointed in your public relations regarding our Mormon faith during your presidential campaign this year:

First, it saddens me when you reject exemplary Christ-like behavior in favor of negative and aggressive verbal attacks against your competition. The campaign promised a chance to show the world how members of The Church can set a good example and at least appear to emulate Christian behavior. Unfortunately kindness, humility and respect for others are opposite of your actions. A Mormon leader should show the world by example that love, empathy and sympathy can help us heal past injuries and restart worldly processes such as politics with a fresh perspective where love for others and acceptance of their failings are central concepts. We should lead by example.

Growing up in The Church, we were aware of the world of the Gentiles outside our Chosen People, and we were taught to be "In The World, But Not Of The World". While it's obvious that the world's greatest popularity contest may warrant casting aside some of the candidates' personal ideals, it's unlikely that many of the public understand this concept: that we Saints consider ourselves a separate fortunate class of souls lucky enough to have found The Truth. I'm sorry to say that my fears of dire damage to The Church, should you win the election, result from your lack of forthcoming honesty and leadership in setting a good example to the world of positive Mormon, Christian and American intent.

The concept of a Jack-Mormon, a member of The Church who engages in prohibited sinful behavior like drinking alcohol or smoking, may also apply more subtly to those of us who forget our central beliefs and get caught up in these worldly pursuits....is it really progress if we must sell our souls? Or is the truth that you're drifting away from The Church? I believe I can speak for many members of The Church AND many Gentile voters when I say that you should declare your beliefs so we can all see behind your mask.

The world is watching you, and your representation of all Mormons may be unintended but you're certainly perceived by many to be The Church's unofficial (or official?) spokespeople. In this day and age, it's not practical to believe these subjects are unknown, the information age has allowed the world to peek under the hood at what makes our world view and belief system run. Rather than continue to allow rumor and innuendo to rule the day regarding our holy divine doctrines, why not express YOUR views on some of the more scandalous of our beliefs? Here are only a few:


Church members are addressed as Brother or Sister, in place of Mr. or Mrs. or especially Ms. and these friendly prefixes are often used in place of first names, as in "hello, Brother Romney!"

We believe that we've been blessed with the one true path to eternal life, and we strive toward our goal of inhabiting the Celestial Kingdom as eternal families, and serving as benevolent loving paternal Gods in our own right, each family administering our own planets of beings with souls who we hope will desire this status also.

We believe that people with darker skin have inherited The Mark Of Cain (son of Adam and Eve) who fell from Paradise in the Garden of Eden through sinful ways, and passed this curse down through many generations of his offspring and their descendants.

The earthly practice of plural wives or polygamy was removed its presence in our lives by divine revelation from God directly to our Prophet, but the practice will be integral to our afterlife in the Celestial Kingdom with our eternal families.

We desire to baptize a proxy Church member here on earth for the benefit of the soul of every human who's ever lived on earth, so that these departed souls who never embraced the one true Gospel will have one final chance to embrace the truth or face eternal damnation.

The practice of blood atonement, in which earthly justice is carried out by Church members against perpetrators of certain heinous crimes including acts against humanity or The Church, seeks to help the criminal by spilling his blood which can assist in his purification in God's eyes. This is why firing squad executions are used in Utah, the most public example of this practice.

Our beloved Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. restored the true Gospel to the earth after it was lost for many generations, providing access once again to the essential tools used to gain eternal spiritual life.


None of these ideas exist in the shadows anymore, Brother and Sister Romney. Maybe it's time for some straight talk about what you stand for, including if any of these beliefs are not yours. We are told that the Prophet Seer and Revelator, the one person on earth who communicates directly with our God, holds absolute control over declarations of what behavior Church members should practice in their personal lives. Now that your personal life is under a microscope and you intend to keep it that way for four years, perhaps you could help the world understand the relationship between God and his agents on earth.

With all due respects,
Brother Jared Kennedy
Tacoma Washington

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