LDS Politicians Have A Hard Time Standing Up For The Gospel

This isn’t about whether any candidate is qualified for office or not, we’ll save that topic for future articles.  However, with the recent news coverage of former governor of Utah, John Huntsman Jr.,  and his statements regarding his faith (or lack thereof), this is a topic of Mormon interest.

In a recent article for TIME, Melinda Henneberger asked the former governor if he “…still belongs to the Church of Latter-day Saints”, to which she received the veiled response: “I’m a very spiritual person” (as opposed to a religious one?), “and proud of my Mormon roots.”

The columnist saw the vagueness of the answer and asked: “Roots? That makes it sound as if you’re not a member anymore. Are you?”

Former Governor Huntsman’s reply was extremely revealing in its non-committal nature, “That’s tough to define,” he said. “There are varying degrees. I come from a long line of saloon keepers and proselytizers, and I draw from both sides.”

It’s tough to define whether he is a member or not?  I thought it was kind of like being pregnant; either you are, or you’re not. Beliefs may vary, activeness may vary, but membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pretty black and white.

Huntsman is not the only former governor to have trouble standing up for the tenets of the Gospel.  In this interview, 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney was asked how he would handle it if God were to speak to him or to “[his] prophet” and tell him to do something “in conflict with [his] duties as president”.  Candidate Romney responded, “I don’t know that He’s spoken to anyone since, ah, Moses and the bush, or perhaps some others.”

He doesn’t know if God has spoken to anyone since Moses or PERHAPS others??

OK, this basically leaves two options available:

1. He is telling the truth and doesn’t know much about the religion he professes to be a part of.

OR

2. He is too afraid to admit that he believes the Gospel.

I am no partisan, but our Mormon Democrats are not free of this kind of problem either.

When speaking at BYU, In October of 2007, Nevada Senator, Harry Reid, had this to say about teachings of the Prophets in regards to agency and government welfare: “[T]hese people have taken members of the church down the path that is the wrong path.”

He is also well known for his opposition to the Church’s stance on California proposition 8.

Often people express concern that Mormon politicians will be nothing but puppets of the Prophet, to which I say, “I wish”!  We long for the day when Mormons in the public spotlight can follow the example of Joseph F. Smith, and when questioned on any aspect of the restored Gospel, will stand up and say: “Yes siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through.”

About Ezra Taylor

Ezra Taylor has appeared in national (Fox news, USA Today), as well as several other regional publications. Ezra also writes for several freedom oriented publications, has been a radio talk show host and is a grassroots organizer. Visit his personal blog at http://ezrataylormc.blogspot.com Friend Ezra on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/ezra.taylor.12
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75 Responses to LDS Politicians Have A Hard Time Standing Up For The Gospel

  1. Brian says:

    Gotta say, this is a well-written article… short, concise, and making good points too! Keep it up.

  2. I agree! Gosh! Either you are or you are not!
    Great article!
    XO

  3. I’m deeply moved by what has been written here. The holy ghost, I believe, has witnessed to me in a powerful way while reading this, “It’s true. It’s true.”

    • Fredco says:

      Yeah, because the ultimate test for truthfulness of [insert idea or doctrine here] is if you feel good about it.

  4. Dale King says:

    I’m not sure if I am more disappointed with the article or the three responses. Mitt Romney made the statement, selected by the author, on a radio show. He was constantly bombarded in this interview and others with questions by bigoted questioners who had no interest in his positions on the issues but who were trying to score cheap anti-Mormon points and Romney was sick of it. Why does the author not refer to Romney’s speech, given at the Bush Library, which was a stirring and unequivocal defense of his religious beliefs? My guess is it wasn’t used because it did not support the author’s narrow, one-sided view. I was more disappointed to see that some of you ate it up.

    • Ezra Taylor says:

      Dale, I am sorry you did not enjoy this article. I am sure there are many other articles here that are more to your liking. It is full of many principle based articles in defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      If you had checked the provided link, you would have known that the quote in question was not from a radio interview with multiple questioners as you falsely accuse, but a one on one television interview in which both candidate Romney and the interviewer were calm and poised. No one was “sick” of anything.

      I disagree with your take on Romney’s speech at the Bush library, but I assure you length was my concern, not any hidden agenda.

      What was my “narrow, one-sided view”? I was not targeting either an individual, nor a party, but was pointing out instances (in a bi-partisan way) where candidates failed to stand up for the Gospel.

      Thanks again for checking out The Mormon Chronicle.

    • cj says:

      i totally agree with you dale! romney’s faith speech was a moving testiment of his religious beliefs, the gospel, and america…..:)

    • cj says:

      amen dale!!! and while we are at it…lets see how many purer than thou lds members can tackle all the political BS to get elected! and see how they’d reactwhen asked by media who would take every chance to take the lds religion and turn our sacred issues into mudd towels to wipe their feet with….i am sure that lds politicians have wondered how much to say in order for the media to not” trifle with sacred things.” this is my gripe with websites like these….it is only opinion, and how opinions twist issues and statements in favor of their opinion and not reality. if you are going to have a website or an article of honesty, be honest not judgemental!!! by their fruits ye shall know them…look at their friuts! thank you!

      • Chuck says:

        No actually a “testimony” of the truthfulness of something isn’t whether we “feel good” about it, but, according to D&C 9:8, it is about whether the principle in question has actually been revealed BOTH to the mind (i.e. intellect) and to the heart (feelings) AFTER one has put forth the necessary effort to “study it out in your mind.” When this preliminary effort to “study” (i.e. research, weigh, compare, ponder, seek understanding) is ignored, then “feeling good” about something bears no significance as a witness from the Holy Ghost. A lazy mind is a carnal mind; to such no witness is offered. Joseph described that witness as “a flow of pure intelligence” to reveal how the principle fits in with the overall nature of God and plan of salvation.

    • Jeannetta says:

      It’s not an issue of whether Romney HAS religious beliefs, I enjoyed his speech very much, but to avoid a pointed question about God speaking to a Prophet was weak; he MUST stand up for his beliefs in order to be taken seriously, and to be counted worthy–as all of us must. I’m bitterly disappointed in he and Huntsman; with Reid, well, the proof is in the pudding as they say.

    • Grant Burmer says:

      Well said. I am so tired of hearing half the story, or a distorted sentence. We must be careful (even diligent) in seeking the entire truth of any statement. I have learned, if it does not sound right, investigate further, or reject it completely. It is our obligation to be tuned in, spritually, to the things of World and the Gospel.

    • Chuck says:

      The thing I object to is the idea that church members ever made any kind of covenant to obey the prophet’s mandates without question. I don’t recall any such wording, in any of the covenants I took in the temple, which obligated me to obey any officer of the church, or any man. I was placed under oath to obey certain PRINCIPLES, LAWS, AND PROMISES. Since we have no scriptural, historical, or divine guarantees that the prophet won’t mess up (see D&C 3:1–15 for instance), I think Romney should have said “My obligation as president would be to the Constitution before all else.” Why? Because that’s the COVENANT he would make, by oath, as president. Then he might add: “If my prophet were to ask me to break that divinely instituted covenant, HE would be in trouble.”

  5. John Birberg says:

    Great work Ezra!

    I think too many members of the church are looking at LDS politicians the same way they view a football team… if it’s the team of my home turf, of course I have to cheer them on… it’s very much needed that someone pointed these facts out. Personally, I believe the one honest man for the job at this time is Ron Paul.

    - John

    • Mitt Romney says:

      I must admit John, you hit the NAIL right on the HEAD!!!

      • Harry Reid says:

        I agree, Mitt. We have forged down the wrong path. It’s time to allow a principle centered leader like Ron Paul show us Mormons how it’s done!

        • Robert Roe says:

          “There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven whereupon all blessings are predicated”

          Mormon or non-Mormon Ron Paul knows, understands, and follows the laws pertaining to the blessings of liberty better than Romney, huntsman, and or Reid. That’s just the plain truth of it.

    • Lesa says:

      This is a great article and I enjoyed it immensely, and I agree with John Birberg’s comments as well as his assessment that Ron Paul seems to be the best candidate for the job.

  6. Heman Smith says:

    Either you can be clear about who you are and what your allegiance is, or not. Thanks for the discussion.

  7. Scott Stover says:

    Unfortunately, if Romney had answered the question something like, “well, I would have to give that great consideration. On the one hand, I am an elected representative of the people, but on the other hand, I believe that the prophet is an ordained representative of the Lord himself and….well, this is GOD talking through the prophet” – he would be laughed off the planet. What a statement that is about the moral and religious state of the world in general. It also points out that we are a peculiar people, and that we probably need to take care of what’s truly important, i.e. our families, the church, temple work, etc. and leave politics to those who can stomach the deceipt required to function in that world. OooooohHHH!!!! What did I just say??!!!!

    • Rex Ward says:

      All he had to do was recite the 12th Article of Faith. He passed up some good opportunities to put the Church in a good light, but he failed.

    • Jules Allred says:

      I agree Scott, that had Romney answered “honestly”, he would have been laughed off the planet. And it IS sad, and a clear demonstration, that in order to gain any influence over – or be a part of the world, most people feel that they must publicly compromise or discount their values and beliefs. But that also blatantly opposes the admonition by the Lord to “be in the world but not of the world”. My feeling is that we need someone like the prophet Helaman to lead our armies and to lead us – someone who would die rather than compromise what he knew to be right and of God. Romney (not to mention Huntsman and Reid) is clearly NOT this man. He will compromise right to gain favor with the masses. That is not indicative of a leader, but a follower – “OF the world”.

      • Bill O'Rights says:

        If Romney had a true understanding of his relgion and how it relates to the constitution, he could have answered honestly: “I believe the constitution was inspired of God and I don’t believe God would ever inspire his prophet to speak out against it.” This answer would have made his faith seem firm and strong and been vague towards the loaded question which was really asking “would you do something against the machine we call government”.

        • Ginger says:

          I agree with Bill O’Rights. That would have been the best answer. However, when you’re on the spot, you don’t always think of what you should have said. As I read Romney’s response, I thought that he was taking the position of God appearing to speak to someone, because we all know that God communicates with each of us as we pray and through the Holy Ghost. I think many people believe that but when you say it outloud, it sounds like “ridiculous Bible thumpers” and would be laughed at. So I think he was trying to answer in a way that was appropriate to the audience he was addressing without betraying his faith, as best as possible. See, I can’t even get my words out quite right and I’m sitting here thinking of what I’m trying to say, whereas he was on the spot. Yes, “I believe the constitution was inspired of God and I don’t believe God would ever inspire his prophet to speak out against it” would have been the best answer… but hindsight is 20/20.

    • Robert Roe says:

      An easy respond would be, “what do you suppose God or the Prophet would ask of me as President that would be contrary to liberty, peace, and prosperity? The answer is simple, nothing!” Then he could have even shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon about how Agency, or liberty and how it is an important principle of the gospel.

      It was a great teaching opportunity missed.

  8. Jeena says:

    I think the word is not tenants but tenets.
    That aside-how can I say succinctly that everyone would trust someone running for office infinitely more if they would just tell the truth. All this skirting about is nauseating. It makes me wonder whom they are trying to trick-the ones who know what they SHOULD stand for or the ones who don’t understand that a REAL PATRIOT-like Moroni for example-would value their freedom better than they ever imagined. Obviously they don’t have the venue to educate and testify to everyone all the time, but they ought to at least tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Even those of us who wish for valiant LDS people to step up would trust them more if they said they no longer had a testimony. All of us make mistakes, but lying is a DECISION!! I also trust and respect Ron Paul!!! Thank you for this site BTW,

    • Mike England says:

      I was thinking exactly the same thing as Jeena. The biggest problem with politicians is that their desire to win is so great that they do anything to win. Ayn Rand was famous for the idea that tyranny over the mind of man (i.e. lying=coercion=tyranny) was the most destructive force in a free society. If our nation is so evil that they would have a king, then they will have that king and suffer the consequences, and there is nothing we can do about it. Politicians who lie to get elected put themselves in the position of desiring to be that king. Ron Paul is the only candidate who tells the whole truth regardless of consequences and he is the only one who can lead us back to the Constitution. He is a modern day Moroni. Find out more about him.

    • James Madison says:

      Jeena you seem to have a clear minded take on this.

      In reading the comments here it is evident that the people supporting Ron Paul’s constitutional point of view appear to be the ones who care about our country and preserving our rights, including our right to have freedom of religion.

      On the contrary, politicians like Harry Reid vote like traitors to our constitution and use their religious involvement to mask their intentions to dupe Mormons by leading them to believe that just because he’s wearing their uniform he is on their team.

      The question must be asked, “Are Mitt Romney and John Huntsman Jr. any different from Harry Reid in their use of religious leverage?”.

      The real question is: “Whose team are they really on?”

      • Fredco says:

        If you think the republican party is the party of the righteous ones, you’re mistaken.

        Until conservative voters realize that they’ve been sold down the river by the Republican establishment, this country will continue to spiral down the drain. Don’t try to convince me that the tea party is the answer either. The tea baggers were co-opted by the Republican power brokers a long time ago. Move along — nothing to see here.

        There really is no liberal movement in this country. Fox News has to be able to scare you with something, so they tell you that Obama is a socialist muslim baby-eating atheist, when in fact he supports the majority of stuff President Bush was doing. The only difference is the [D] after his name, which by the way, means almost nothing these days.

        • Dion Wood says:

          Republicrazies vs Democrazies! Don’t believe the PHONEY left vs right paradigm, leftwing, rightwing still attached to the same old sick bird. WAKE UP PEOPLE, it’s the state vs YOU!!!

        • Ginger says:

          Fredco, no need for the rhetoric and talking points. I think most people now are to where they look at each individual instead of their “party” affiliation. At that, the liberal agenda is nice in theory, but read some of the other articles on here. They’re not realistic, nor are they what is BEST for the people.

  9. Jared Eastley says:

    In D&C 76 the Lord states that only those who are valiant in the testimony of Christ will be heirs of the celestial kingdom. These men who have temporary membership in Christ’s church speak anti-prophetically of their eventual failure in obtaining that kingdom. At least they are honest in their failed loyalty to the church, even if they are oath breakers as appertaining to their temple covenants.

    57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 45:57)

    Latter Day Saints who allow themselves to be duped by these men merit their own destruction and have no reason not to fear, for surely they shall be cast into the fire and shall not abide the day.

    I must confess I am so tired of hearing the praises of these men at church by members who simply follow the herd of lemmings surrounding them. I continually pray that eventually many, if not all of them, will some day, somehow, manage to alter their tragectory.

  10. Ken Mazzanti says:

    It matters not the candidates name, party, ethnicity or religious preference. What really matters is their consistent voice for conservative values-fiscal responsibility, Constitutionally limited government and free markets. The persons moral values will be reflected in these. The scripture found in 1 Kings 18:21, “how long halt ye between two opinions?” unfortunately typifies too many politicians-LDS or not- who lack consistent moral and political values.

  11. Rex Ward says:

    Were I an outsider and had to judge the Church by prominent politicians like Reid, Huntsman, and Romney, I stay far away from the Church. They are first-class hypocrites, white-washed sepulchres – IMHO.

  12. ivan kunic says:

    Both Romney and Huntsman have reportedly been members of the CFR. I was a Precinct Chair in 2004 and was invited to an open house by the Huntsman campaign. There were about 70 people there. I asked Jon Huntsman a three part question,

    “One, what is the CFR?
    What does it stand for?
    Have you ever been a member?”

    He turned the first question around and asked me what CFR was. Then he gave a very weak answer regarding what the CFR really does stand for in America and then he stated that he had been invited to join the CFR and that he had been a member but he really didn’t know too much about it and dropped out. That astounded me and I knew that he was not being honest. I am, sad to say, convinced he is one of the Insiders and would march to their drums.

    • R. Pyne says:

      Interesting that he couldn’t even be honest about his involvement in the CFR. Not only was (is?) he a member, but he was on the membership committee.

      Anyone remember the line from the movie “Dave” where the president’s chief of staff told Dave that he was there from the CFR and was the one that really runs things? Funny how many truths are put forward as jokes.

      Were I their stake president, I would have a very hard time not excommunicating Reid, Romney, Huntsman, and Hatch for publicly opposing the teachings of the Church and the Prophet(s).

      Hatch you ask? Don’t forget that he co-authored the first socialized medicine bill passed by congress (CHIP), not to mention his support of the confirmation of corrupt judges and voting for the NDAA.

  13. Blaine says:

    When asked whether the Church or personal revelation would affect his decisions as president, I would expect Romney (or any politician) to answer, “I would be guided by the principles found in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.” Nobody can question that kind of answer. And, the really neat thing about that answer is that nothing in the nation’s founding documents conflicts with the LDS stand on anything!

  14. M.T. Frey says:

    Excellent article, complete with facts! I hear some members extol these three men – and even believe “they” are the ones to “save the Constitution when it hangs by a thread”.

    President Hinckley told us “that we must stand for the principles of the gospel – EVEN if we have to stand ALONE.” These three men have failed the test, I am sorry to say. Nothing will change the image now. They have sold “their pot of porriage” for personal political glory.

    I am so thankful for members (such as you) that will speak out, and address the issues as they are. There are many that are easily led (because they are so trusting and faithful) – whether it is a “ponzi scheme” or a “political candidate”. My daily prayer is for wisdom and discernment – I too, am vulnerable.

  15. G. Michael Craig says:

    I would not vote for any of these “ravening wolves”, as Presidents J. Reuben Clark and Ezra Taft Benson described them, even if they were the only ones in their respective races. The “Weasel”, Harry Reid, has defined himself as an anti-Christ by consistently supporting and pushing every unconstitutional bill being considered by Congress and every anti-faith, anti-family, anti-freedom piece of legislation that comes down the pike. He is the single most disgusting excuse for an LDS elder that breathes, and the greatest impediment I face to missionary work among informed people. Yet I am told he has a current temple recommend and attends the temple. Beam me up Scotty! Nothing makes sense down here anymore. And both he and the Marxist fraud Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Obama, were entertained by President Monson at Church headquarters a year or so ago. Are LDS now living in the Matrix, just like everyone else? What the hell is happening to us?
    Jon Huntsman, like most other ultra-rich, has apparently sold his soul to the devil. He probably also has a current temple recommend.
    Mitt Romney, almost as disgusting as the “Weasel”, lied to the people of Massachusettes in order to get elected governor. His campaign rhetoric was big on promises of lower taxes and less intrusive government. Once elected, he did just the opposite. He ramrodded through the state legislature the largest tax increase in Massachusettes history, and the most intrusive forced healthcare bill in the nation requiring everyone to purchase expensive so-called health insurance even if they neither wanted it or needed it. He is a socialist masquerading as a conservative, a liar pretending to be a man of principle, who, like most other politicians, has apparently compromised his principles in order to be acceptable to the secret combinations that Moroni warned us about. He probably also has a current temple recommend, while a number of the finest principled LDS that I know of cannot get a recommend because they discovered that there is no law that requires them to file a 1040 for financially supporting the secret combination running our government. Beam me up Scotty!

    • Nathaniel Womble says:

      Why are we surprised by what is happening with members of the church not living up to their covenants? This has been the pattern throughout the history of Christ Church.

      The greatest enemies to the freedom and sanctity of the family are carrying Temple Recommends. This is why when the cleansing begins, it will start in the Lord’s House.

      We, for the most part, has brought upon us this problem because we have a tendency to only trust those who look like us, talk like us and have the conservative look.

      This is evident because members of the church want to put Obama in the same category as Mitt Romney, but he is not. Mitt Romney has covenanted to build the kingdom of God and establish Zion. Obama has made no such covenants.

      In addition, all of the priesthood who are members of God’s commonwealth has been given the responsibility to preserve the liberty of this nation.

      It is a good thing that President Monson met with Obama. We don’t know what effect that his meeting will have on the President. The 12th Article of Faith says:

      “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and matistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

      Evidence shows that, based on our actions, we need to add to this Article, the following line, “As long as the look like us or members of my culture and party.”

      It is not only LDS Politicians that isn’t living up to their covenants. Anyone who stirs up the people with anger against another is not following the teaching of the gospel. The Book of Mormon teaches:

      “Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away” 3 Ne, 11:30.

      In my opinion, many people are using patriotism to cover their hatred and prejudice against others. I hope that this not the case, but if it is, then we are no better than Romney or any other hypocrite.

      We should examine our lives, and see where we stand on the scale of righteousness. We all can stand some improvement. So, let people make choices, after all, is this not pare of God’s plan that we choose whom we will follow?

      As one who was steeped in communism for many years, its not hard to spot one who is either deceived or actually an active participant.

    • James says:

      I once heard someone quote Brigham Young that the Temple was not only there for us to secure our exaltation but for devils to secure their damnation. Supossedly to enter the temple and deceptively make covenants then turn their backs and break them to really be in the power of the devil. I don’t know if that’s an actual quote or not but it seems possible. Anyone know if that quote can be referenced?

  16. Clint D says:

    I agree with John. Tell the truth and don’t play this political game for more votes. I love Ron Paul for that reason. He tells it how it is no matter what. He is a true, honest doesn’t care what the political ramifications of his stance is. These guys should take a few notes from his play book and maybe they would get my vote.

  17. Mitch Howington says:

    It is truly sad, to see these powerful men loose their grip on the iron rod and drift off in to apostasy, if they are up on their gospel then they know exactly what I am talking about, and any one else who may be interested in finding out more should ask a missionary.

  18. William says:

    I doubt I will say anything new or particularly relevant, but I offer my opinion.

    This article is really spot on. How does one go about qualifying their membership in a voluntary organization? Mr. Taylor says it quite succinctly “It’s tough to define whether he is a member or not? I thought it was kind of like being pregnant; either you are, or you’re not. Beliefs may vary, activeness may vary, but membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pretty black and white.”

    If one of these men can’t standup for the principles of his religious choice one must wonder how they will standup for their partisan commitment, and even more importantly the commitment to the Union.
    Can we anticipate they would vacillate in fulfilling their oath of office as president in the same manner which Barack Obama has vacillated in his commitment to freedom? Afterall, one of President Obama’s first denials was his association with his religious leader, Jeremiah Wright. What sets any of these three apart from the same example? Nothing.

    What I find specifically disturbing is Governor Huntsman. The Jewish, Islamic, Catholic, Protestant, Fundamentalist, Evangelical, Mormon and Buddhist systems of belief all hold, as a main tenant of their doctrine, that “honoring one parents” is essential to a happy life. Jon Boy’s comments smack dishonor in the face of his father, who provided him with his silver spoon and opportunities to hone his silver tongue. His father is one of the general leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The governor’s wishy-washy comment is a disrespectful slap in his dad’s face.
    If he has abandoned his religion, so be it. Many have done son over the years. Brigham Young had a slew of nar-do-well descendant, who walked away from the Church. Subsequently they built their noteriety among those who seek out “tidbits of flaws in church leaders” to justify their personal weaknesses. Yet, at least those people had the courage to stand for what they believe. I do not condone them, but recognize character.
    At a minimum, Governor Huntsman, simply out of being driven by honor, could have acknowledged that although his father was an LDS leader, he himself had walked away from his father’s teaching, which had always been in part ‘Jon, you have your agency to choose”.

    I need not say anything about Harry Reid and Mitt Romney. The principles apply even-handedly.

    Now, regarding the last aspect of Mr. Taylor’s comment that some would accuse strong Mormon candidates of being a puppet of the Prophet, I offer two questions. At what time has the Mormon Prophet ever spoken to a political matter that did not have moral implications on the Church’s fundamental doctrine? Never! Second, since you are, without question “the puppet” of some political viewpoint, other than that you disagree with the Mormon perspective, why do you critically question your integrity along with Candidate_____?”

  19. Pingback: The Rapture, New Order Mormons, LDS Politicians, and Church History | Mormon Chronicle

  20. Paul Olsen says:

    Keep it coming!

  21. Kyle Clouse says:

    Should I be surprised by the responses made by Governor Huntsman; or is it just another political dance move? It was all to familiar with the responses provided by Obama on moral and ethical issues. It’s as if they fell from the same tree.

    I would have more respect for him if he would have said “I was, but no longer am”. At least then we would have known his stance.

    One thing is for certain; if Huntsman does run, he’ll have one less vote. Being Mormon or not Mormon is irrelevant when you take the long way around the barn.

  22. Machtyn says:

    I realize this article is old and plenty of comments have been made, but I’d like to add my own concerning Romney’s response and the repercussions of it.

    First, as you should know, these interviews are also edited for time. I do not recall this particular interview, but could it be that it was edited badly which misconstrued Romney’s words. And the linked news article is narrowly clipped so much as to raise high suspicions that it was really taken out of context.

    Second, and I think this is most important, we should look to the Book of Mormon for the correct answer. What should have Romney answered? “Yes, I will take my civic responsibility directives straight from the Prophet?” No, I don’t think so. Mosiah understood this as he referred spiritual decisions back to Alma the elder. In turn, he created the new system of judges and chief judge. Alma the younger also understood this principal when he realized that he could not be a judge and a prophet at the same time. In fact, we see instances throughout the Book of Mormon where religious leaders had to rule based on civic responsibilities as opposed to spiritual responsibilities.

    I will admit that Romney’s answer in that very short clip is alarming, but I will also admit that we are all human and have probably made a lot of mistakes where the Doctrines of God are related.

    I do also agree we should not vote for someone just because they are Republican, Democrat, Mormon, Catholic, or Protestant, but based upon their previous actions and what they will do to improve government (or to not destroy it).

    • cj says:

      machtyn, this is the best comment and answer to this article i have seen yet.
      “I agree with some of what you have written in this article. But if a Mormon is also a good, honest man like Mitt Romney, we should view his faith as a plus.

      After all, Larry H. Miller said in his autobiography that Gordon B. Hinckley encouraged him to buy the Jazz because it could elevate the prominence of Salt Lake and generate interest in the Church. An honest LDS candidate could do the same thing.

      And yes, Romney is honest. http://www.whyromney.com refutes the smears. Joseph Smith was accused of being dishonest. To this day, he is still accused of it. And critics have a caseload of arguments against Joseph Smith – all smears. Just like the smears against Romney.

      As for the link claiming Romney is denying a tenet of his faith: Jesus said, “cast not your pearls before swine.” Romney is obeying Christ’s command by not wanting the doctrines of the gospel to be exploited on a political stage. That’s not denying his faith, it’s practicing it.”

  23. cj says:

    wow! i see a lot of judging of ones soul here! and who are you again to judge a persons’ worthiness…..hummm….sounds like a rant of “i’m going to the celestial kingdom and you aren’t” perople on here…and you will be suprized!!!!

  24. Lilia says:

    We are actually commanded to judge, but we must judge righteously & use the same scorecard we want used for us, the commandments.

    I don’t know why we would think LDS politicians would stand up for the Gospel any more than any other members of the Church do today, for no members of the Church do anymore, except a rare few.

    In fact we should know that generally those seeking authority & power are usually the last people we could trust. It is so rare & difficult to find a truly righteous person trustworthy enough that we would put our lives & freedoms & family in their hands.

    • cj says:

      the prophet has asked us to get involved in public service at what ever level we can….. and the Lord has asked us “not to throw pearls before swine.” so yeh…sometimes we need to keep our sacred things to ourselves as to not let the world “triffle with sacred things.” as far as bearing our testimones…..we are suppose to bear it when the spirit prompts us too……..and on judging…yes we are suppose to judge actions righteously but never judge a persons’ soul….that is left to the Lord and only him.

  25. Agkcrbs says:

    I dig the suit, tie, and credentials, Ezra, but this otherwise well-written article was, unfortunately, an air-ball. Your thesis that politicians must also be proselytizers is, shall we say… anachronistic, harkening to the time of political missionaries — and overly generalized even then.

    Imagine a politician of a significantly different faith from yours, and be honest: would you not feel even a tiny bit left out if they, acting as your representative and leader, took to the public pulpit and started discussing their religious thoughts and beliefs — unless, of course, it were clearly a commonly shared value, or somehow pertinent to policy or issues? If not — if you would really want your leaders preaching to you, for the sake of sectarian advancement — then good for you; you have a broad mind; but U.S. political thought, as well as LDS thought, takes issue with mixing civil and religious offices. Even Joseph Smith was a mayor when he was a mayor, and a prophet when he was a prophet.

    You faulted three individuals:

    Huntsman said he was “not overly religious”, and was also “very spiritual”.

    Are you overly religious, yourself? (http://lds.org/ensign/1983/06/keeping-our-balance-recognizing-and-resisting-excesses-in-our-efforts-to-live-the-gospel?lang=eng) Are you not very spiritual? Are you not proud of your roots? Do you get no satisfaction from the enlightenment that exists outside of the Church? If so, the problem is yours, not Huntsman’s. Play with his presumed semantic values all you like; at the end of the day, everybody in the Church should be able to repeat his statements without contradiction.

    Romney, asked about face-to-face revelation that may conflict with his civic duties, said to his Christian-informed audience that, beside Moses “or perhaps some others”, he didn’t know that God had spoken directly with him, or with anyone.

    Truly, that’s a big “perhaps-some-others”. But LDS doctrine is perfectly satisfied to admit that direct, open revelation “tends to be more rare than common” (http://lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/the-spirit-of-revelation?lang=eng).

    So tell us, Ezra, has God spoken directly to you, without qualication?

    Better yet, tell us as Christians, some of whom are perfectly ready to stone you if we find you blasphemous, and who are assuming quite stringently that any direct revelation you or your prophet receive will constitute either lunacy or satanic intervention: has God spoken directly with you?

    Well, has he? And if you appeal to our own tradition and say that, beside Moses “or perhaps some others”, you don’t know whether he has spoken to you or to anybody, are we right to either call you a coward, or to say you don’t know your own religion? Even if you’ve served as a stake president?

    Yes, if we’re anti-LDS, that’s perfectly right for us; we’re merely fulfilling our measure of damnation by not treating people justly. But if we’re normal people, no, we couldn’t accuse you like that. Neither could we accuse Gordon Hinckley for his dodge (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_KERZlwOXM); neither Abraham and Sarah for their dodge (http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/gen/20/2,5,12#2), neither Jesus for his many dodges (http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/matt/13/10-13#10). It’s not wisdom or courage to throw jewels to the pigs; it’s rather a low perceptual and cognitive ability. God certainly doesn’t cast forth his mysteries for us to trample; why do you blame your fellows for not doing so?

    Finally, Reid said — perhaps not about “the Prophets”, as you chose to imply, but about “past and current right-wing leaders of the Church” — that although LDS were truly obedient, they were being taken down the “wrong path” regarding the political application of doctrines that he understood differently. Also, you mention his support of homosexual marriage.

    I deeply disagree with some of Reid’s ideas; but when the Church declares general neutrality toward candidates, parties, and platforms (which are basically collections of issues) but retains prerogative to take sides on issues individually; and more broadly, when the Church teaches an abhorrence of compulsion, and makes personal moral responsibility one of its defining doctrines, then it’s questionable to insinuate disloyalty in Church members who, without ever turning to fight against or pull down the Church’s institutions or teachings, exercise their freedom of opinion. The most that can be done is to call their intellect and judgement into question, and there’s plenty of room to do so without resorting to criticisms of faith.

    For precedent here — and we could also turn to the old evolution debate — please see the soft-handed allowance extended by one prominent Church-man to an earlier politician who had given doctrine a different political application: (http://www.boston.com/news/daily/24/delbert_stapley.pdf)

    Strange as it was, that politician’s goals also met their tragic end, though it was far less ghastly — but more importantly, the Church did not force his vote any certain way, nor, apparently, did it question his faithfulness.

    Your concluding hope is not disagreeable, and would gratify me also. Even so, if we are ever in a situation where LDS politicians feel like they can boast of the Lord, I would instead hope that they would exercise the very utmost restraint, that they not entice the Church’s membership into that same overweening arrogance that has crippled and corrupted other faiths.

  26. Agkcrbs says:

    Hm, I left off the “tough to define” bit.

    Jack-members, anybody? Lapsed members? Members in tip-top standing who nevertheless come on-line and ask “what the h*** is happening” to the rest of the Church — seemingly on the very brink of apostasy themselves, because they’ve gone too far right to ever be wrong? Whoever thinks LDS membership is a binary thing to easily calculate must have figured out a way to read the hearts of his fellow-men.

  27. nick says:

    Well peoples that want to harp on the way romney answered in this one instance and accusing him of denying the tenet of his faith is just bogus….I guess you think that President Hinckley was denying his faith then when he answered the media about the revelation of the blacks getting the preisthood….did he go into detail about revelation and how he gets revelation….no…he just simply said ” i don’t know.” That is because we should not be putting our sacred testimonies out in the media for them to triffle with them. In otherwards….”don’t cast your perals before the swine.” I don’t get how on this webpage that you can point scripture out to make your point, but I see when someone doesnt agree with your point and they use a scripture to make their point you call it incorrect. So agenda making it is on this site….

  28. Mike says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MZCHjGkTPg

    The presenter in the video above hits the nail square on the head — today’s American political culture rewards psychopaths. If one can lie with a straight face, seduce an audience with nice words, and is willing to do anything for power they will have an advantage over anyone with ethics and empathy.

  29. William says:

    Sadly, what I see here is more blind acquiescence to a man, rather than to principles. Any far off reaching article somewhere once said, by an authority of one, Romney is best qualified.

    The same reactionary talk exists about Huntsman. It is being done here.

    I don’t buy into the excuse that “OH, well Mitt is a great guy, but some boza at the news took his answer out of context.?” Surprise, surprise, kids. It actually does not happen that often, except in the mind of people who wanted a quote to sound better than it did.

    What I look for in a candidate is someone who will take responsibility for his actions. But, invariably they take a “Morning after pill”. and clarify what they said. I have yet to hear a candidate that is truthful enough too actually take responsibility for his/her lack of integrity. Even the “religious candidates put expedience ahead of integrity.

  30. jh says:

    Harry Reid is the biggest sell out there ever was. I am from Nevada, and many lds people see/have seen/do see the real Harry……he is not much of a true mormon. Go figure: just take a look at what he does in Washington d.c…..is he an example to follow????

  31. Michele Scott says:

    I am a Mormon and it truly upsets me when I see Politifact telling me that our Brother, Mitt Romney has been less than honest about something. I pray that it was done by accident and not by deceit. But I must say, he has never got a “Pant’s on Fire” reading where every other politian in the race has had several. This does not excuse him, however. He should either admit to a mistake or deceit, or pay for his untruthfullness in the polls and in the eyes of his brothers and sisters in Christ. A president may have to sacrifice some things in office, his ethics and beliefs should never waiver.

  32. RedGyl says:

    Well-done article, except for the Mitt Romney part. We didn’t Romney’s entire answer. We only got the first few words, conveniently cut off at a point that would cause the most controversy. What if the rest of his response was something like “… to lead his people as both prophet and ruler, so I really don’t see that happening to me”? Don’t trust comments that are taken out of context.

    • Benjamin Harrison says:

      Exactly. Don’t take a quote seriously without reading the full text. That’s the basic tactic of anti-mormonism, anti-semitism, Alex Jones, etc. The problem withthe people on this site, is essentially if you don’t believe as we do,or if we pick an out on context quote, of yours, then you are anti-mormon. This is hypocrisy at its best.

  33. Ricky says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, Joseph F. Smith’s quote, “Yes siree; dyed in wool; true blue, through and through” was said under threat of death from a mobster who was so impressed with the young boy’s courage of convictions, withdrew his gun and rode away.

    The only Mormon in politics, in my opinion, that actually practiced his gospel convictions while serving in public office was former President Ezra Taft Benson as Secretary of Agriculture in two Eisenhower administrations!

  34. Zak says:

    There seem to be a lot of Mitt Romney apologists commenting here, and it’s disheartening. Yes, we all find ourselves in situations where we are tempted to evade a little, for whatever reason, but “pearls before swine”? He was not asked to explain temple endowments and covenants, but whether or not he looked to God as the ultimate authority. His answer, while not a direct rejection of such, was definitely out of the standard politician’s handbook. He said he didn’t know of God talking to anyone since Moses? Was he denying personal revelation? We are supposed to STAND, even if alone. If he won’t stand for what’s most important, what will he stand for?

  35. Helena Atkins says:

    Ezra Taylor, I often wonder why Mitt Romney and also the Brothers that are in high Authority at the Headquarters, Salt Lake. I have done a lot of reading on Wikipedia/Bing on FB about Polygamy Marriages. I read several websites and one of my favorites is http://www.thehistoryofpolygamy.com. One of the sites say that there are documentations of Polygamy Marriages/Plural all the way back to the 1500′s and has been a practice since man-kind. I know all about the Prophets in the Holy Bible had many wives, but I’m taking about in general, throughout the years there have been wars and men were killed in the wars and left a wife and children and they became the victim of a wife in a Plural Marriage so they and the children could be cared for. The Protestant Christian Sect were mor

  36. Helena Atkins says:

    Con’t. I just want to know why the Mormon Headquarters don’t let it be known to the public that all Christian Sects practiced Polygamy Marriage. I am kinda tired of the Mormons getting all the Knocks and Feed Back about Polygamy, when its a fact that all Religions/Christian Sects were in a Plural Marriage. If the headquarters would let it be known than the Mormons won’t have to sit back and take all this feed-back. Most people are coming from the “school of thought” called Heresies and listen to other people and don’t do the research for themselves.

  37. Helena Atkins says:

    Also there is a website http://www.thebaptistversionofmormonism.com, a Black Baptist Pastor wrote this and can be read on his site. He said that the LDS, Mormon Members is the “only” Christian Sect that follow the Teachings of Jesus Christ. Where as other Religions fall short somewhat. His name is Rev Lynn Ridenhour.

  38. Melanie Hessler says:

    I am extremely disappointed in the LDS politicians. I can respect someone who won’t soil their pants and bob and weave the LDS church member issue. I am married to a biker(non Mormon) who respects my morals and beliefs. There are others who respect honesty and frank talk way more than the waffling mug wumps ( mug on 1 side of the fence and wumps on the other side of the fence. An honest man of honor needs to come forward and wave the title of liberty like the men of old -Mormon, Moroni, Helaman, and , the stripling warriors . I raise my son like a modern day Knight because not all Knights were great but all great men were Knights………………

  39. John Cox says:

    In fairness to Mitt Romney he may have been answering the specific question he was asked: “What would you do if God told you to do something regarding your public office.” Even Book of Mormon leaders followed the will of the people over the will of God (much to their dismay) because that was the function of their office.
    The last notable case of Theocratic rule was Moses or Joshua, maybe some others.

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