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3 April 2012

“On Faith” Blog: Mormon Temples Are Places Apart

April 2, 2012


The words “Holiness to the Lord. The House of the Lord” are etched on the temple, usually above the front entrance.

Michael R. Otterson, managing director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Public Affairs Department, explains in his current Washington Post “On Faith” forum why Mormons, desiring to stand in sacred, holy places, go to the temple.


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Mormon temples are places apart

April 2, 2012

Washington Post

Later this week yet another new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint–this one in Kansas City, Missouri–will open its doors for public tours before being dedicated. After dedication, the building will no longer be open to the public, but only to members of the church “in good standing.”

To some, it seems like a curious thing for a place of worship not to open its doors to all comers. It may be a good time to try to explain.


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Romney confronted over Mormon doctrines

April 2, 2012

Washington Post

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was confronted at a town hall meeting here Monday by a young man who read from a book of scripture published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and asked Romney whether he agreed with his church’s one-time belief that interracial marriage was a sin.

Romney, who is on the cusp of becoming the first Mormon ever to win a major party’s presidential nomination, became visibly agitated with the man’s line of questioning. The former Massachusetts governor replied to his question with a terse “No.” Later, Romney said that he would talk only about the practices of his faith, not its doctrines.


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In Wisconsin, Romney offers rare insight into Mormon faith

April 2, 2012


The first exchange occurred when Bret Hatch, a 28-year-old supporter of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, haltingly attempted to quote a passage from Mormon scripture which dealt with race, before being prodded by Romney to ask an actual question.

“I’m sorry, we’re just not going to have a discussion about religion in my view, but if you have a question, I’ll be happy to answer your question,” Romney said.


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Romney fields hostile question on Mormonism

April 2, 2012


A Green Bay voter confronted Mitt Romney over his religion at a town hall Monday, the day before Wisconsin’s primary. Romney is a life long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are commonly called Mormons.

“I guess my question is, do you believe it’s a sin for a white man to marry and procreate with a black?” asked Bret Hatch, a 28-year old Ron Paul supporter from Green Bay.


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Romney pressed on Mormonism, race at Wisconsin campaign event

April 2, 2012

The Hill

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney was asked Monday on the campaign trail whether he agreed with a former teaching of the Mormon Church that said interracial marriage was a sin.

The moment — described by reporters at the event outside Green Bay, Wis., as terse — was prompted by a question from Bret Hatch, a 28-year-old Ron Paul supporter, according to The Washington Post.

Hatch began by asking whether Romney agreed with a verse from Moses in the Book of Mormon, but the former Massachusetts governor interrupted him when he began reading the passage.


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Romney deflects uncomfortable Mormon scripture question about race

April 2, 2012

Daily Caller

Race and religion collided in Green Bay, Wisc. on Monday, as a Ron Paul supporter jabbed GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney with a question — inspired, he implied, by a passage from Mormon teachings — about whether black-skinned people are cursed by God, and whether interracial marriage is a sin.

Bret Hatch, 28, broached the subject by reciting a line from “Pearl of Great Price,” a Mormon scriptural publication. “A blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised,” he read.


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Romney faces question about Mormon faith

April 2, 2012

Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was questioned about his Mormon faith while campaigning for Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary.

A Ron Paul supporter, 28-year-old Bret Hatch, asked Romney whether he agreed with a passage from the Book of Mormon that describes a cursing of people with a “skin of blackness.” Romney’s staff took away the microphone before the Green Bay man could read the passage.

“I’m sorry, we’re just not going to have a discussion about religion in my view, but if you have a question I’ll be happy to answer your question,” Romney said Monday.


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Mormon Question Sparks Tense Moment During Mitt Romney Town Hall

April 2, 2012

ABC News

A tense moment transpired during a town hall hosted by Mitt Romney today in Wisconsin when an audience member began reading verses from the Book of Mormon and questioned Romney on his stance on interracial relationships.

When a man’s hand shot up in the air to ask a question, Romney seemed to take note that he was holding papers, typically a sign that the questioner has a long-winded question they’ve chosen to write out, and as the man began to speak remarked, “I know where this is going. Ha. Ha. Ha.”


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News roundup: Romney aides feared Iowa anti-Mormon backlash

April 3, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Romney’s advisers were more worried about an anti-Mormon backlash in Iowa rather then Rick Santorum surging to compete with their candidate. One Romney adviser told the reporters in December that the reason the former governor wasn’t polling better than 25 percent was Romney’s faith. “Part of the reason for the ceiling, quite frankly, is the Mormon thing. If he was even an Episcopalian, he’d be better off today.”


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Mitt Romney halts talk about Mormon religion

April 3, 2012

Post Crescent (Wisconsin)

The audience member, Bret Hatch, of Green Bay, told reporters later that he wanted to ask Romney about the Mormon church’s teachings on race.

Hatch, a supporter of Republican Ron Paul in the presidential primary, said he believes Mormon doctrine teaches racial disparity. Romney is a Mormon.

When he tried to question Romney by citing religious verses, Romney at first urged the man to ask his question. But after Hatch’s microphone was pulled away moments later, Romney replied: “We’re just not going to have a discussion about religion.”


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Romney Dodges Question on Mormon Faith

April 2, 2012

WBAY (Wisconsin)

Mitt Romney faced a question about his Mormon faith during the town hall meeting in Green Bay on Monday.

A 28-year-old man, who we later saw holding a Ron Paul for President sign, asked Romney whether he agreed with a passage from the Book of Mormon that describes a cursing of people with a “skin of blackness.”

Romney’s staff took the microphone away from the man before he could read the passage, and Romney said he didn’t want to discuss religion.

A little later at the event, Romney did talk about his experience serving as a Mormon pastor for more than a decade in Boston.


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Mitt Romney Asked If Interracial Marriage Is ‘Sin’ at Wis. Town Hall

April 3, 2012

Christian Post

At the town hall speech in Wisconsin, an audience member was picked by Romney to ask a question. He then held up verses on pieces of paper from the Book of Mormon, ABC News reported.

“Your Mormon faith might not be a concern in the election but I think it might be as well as I found these verses in the Mormon book,” 28-year-old Bret Hatch began, and then asked: “Ok, well, in the Mormon book it says there were a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan that they were despised.”


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Paul Supporter Questions Romney On ‘Skin Of Blackness’ Mormon Passage

April 2, 2012

CBS News

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney faced a tough question about his Mormon faith while campaigning for Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary.

A Ron Paul supporter asked Romney whether he agreed with a passage from the Book of Mormon that describes a cursing of people with a “skin of blackness.” Romney’s staff took the microphone away from the 28-year-old Green Bay man before he could read the passage.


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Mitt Romney gets personal on the campaign trail in hopes of connecting with voters

April 3, 2012


“I guess a lot of people say that, you know, your Mormon faith may not be a concern in this election, but I think it might be,” the questioner, who later identified himself to reporters as Bret Hatch, a 28-year-old supporter of Ron Paul, told Romney.

Hatch began to cite what he said were scriptures from the Book of Mormon that describes the “cursing” of people with the skin of “blackness.” The passage referred to once-held beliefs within the Mormon Church that dark skinned people are inferior to whites — and Romney quickly interrupted.

“I’m sorry, we’re just not going to have a discussion about religion in my view,” the candidate tersely said, as a Romney staffer tried to take away Hatch’s microphone. “But if you have a question, I’ll be happy to answer your question.”


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Cruise Control: Romney Takes the Lead in Wis.

April 3, 2012

Christian Broadcasting Network

“Your Mormon faith might not be a concern in the election but I think it might be as well as I found these verses in the Mormon book,” Wisconsin resident Bret Hatch told the former governor.

“Why don’t you give me a question?” Romney asked Hatch.

“Okay, well, in the Mormon book it says there were a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan that they were despised,” Hatch continued.


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NBC caught selectively editing audio to attack Mitt Romney

April 3, 2012


According to an article at MSNBC, Romney engaged Bret Hatch, described as a 28-year-old Ron Paul supporter, who “haltingly attempted to quote a passage from Mormon scripture which dealt with race, before being prodded by Romney to ask an actual question.”

Newsbusters’ Jeffrey Meyer posted a transcript of the exchange:

BRET HATCH: In the Mormon book it says there were a blackness cast upon all the children —

MITT ROMNEY: I’m sorry, we’re just not going to have a discussion about religion in my view, but if you have a question, I’ll be happy to answer your question.”


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Mormon leaders warn against secularism

April 2, 2012

Cache Valley Daily (Utah)

Mormon leaders Sunday urged church members to strengthen their families and their religious commitments in the face of growing secularism.

The senior leaders, addressing a semiannual meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, lamented that many in broader society have tried to dismiss biblical teaching as outdated or false. Leaders also noted that the number of births outside of marriage is growing and blamed the trend for “a host of societal and economic ills.”


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Mormon leader on Democrat’s possible running mate list

April 2, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Advisers to Peter Cooke have forwarded the Democratic gubernatorial candidate a short wish list of potential candidates for lieutenant governor that includes retiring LDS general authority Marlin Jensen.

Cooke has not met with any of the half-dozen on the list or offered anyone the spot on the ticket, but the campaign hopes to begin holding meetings this week with potential running mates.


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‘Book of Mormon,’ ‘War Horse’ highlight Civic Center’s new season

April 2, 2012

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

The strength of the lineup — particularly with the arrival of “The Book of Mormon,” which was announced earlier this year — results in part from the Civic Center’s unusually high number of subscribers. The total set a record this season by topping 10,000, with a renewal rate of about 86 percent.

“That’s a huge deal for us,” Civic Center president and CEO Jeff Chelesvig said, adding that only a few other theaters have more. “You can count them on one hand.”


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Mormon missionaries on the rise, but convert retention still plagues LDS faith

April 2, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

There was good news — and bad — in the Mormon membership stats reported Saturday at the Utah-based faith’s 182nd Annual General Conference.

The most positive development in 2011 was “a surge in the number of members serving full-time missions – to 55,410, an increase of 3,185 from 2010; a 6.1 percent annual increase,” according to Matt Martinich, who carefully reports and analyzes LDS Church growth.

Martinich doubts the jump in missionaries is caused by a rise in U.S. birthrates, so he speculates that it could be due to more non-American converts accepting the call.


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Santorum and Conservatives

April 2, 2012

Wall Street Journal

Mr. Santorum, who is Catholic, is appealing to conservative evangelicals more so than conservatives per se. For the time being these religious voters seem to prefer him over Mr. Romney, a Mormon. But evangelical leaders such as Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention insist that will change if Mr. Romney is the nominee.

In an interview earlier this year, Mr. Land told me: “I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of pastors say to me, ‘Look, if I have a choice between a Catholic that is viable and a Mormon, I’m going to vote for the Catholic. If I have a choice between an evangelical who’s viable and Romney, I’m going to vote for the evangelical. . . . But if it comes down to choosing between Romney and Obama, I’m voting for Romney.'”


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Huntsman Gay Global CEO Is Said to Depart for Mormon Church

April 2, 2012


Robert Gay, co-founder of Huntsman Gay Global Capital LLC, is stepping down as chief executive officer at the private-equity firm for a full-time position with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Gay was called last month to be a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, a group of ecclesiastical leaders based in Salt Lake City, according to a March 31 news release from the church. He co-founded the Palo Alto, California-based firm in 2007 with Jon Huntsman, father of former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. and chairman of chemical maker Huntsman Corp. (HUN)

Gay, 60, a former managing director at Bain Capital LLC, resigned from that firm in 2004 after 15 years to volunteer in Africa for the Mormon church, according to Huntsman Gay’s website. He is a supporter of fellow Mormon and former Bain Capital CEO Mitt Romney for U.S. president.


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Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings ‘Baptized’ in the Mormon Church

April 3, 2012

Christian Post

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings were both baptized and “sealed” in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

It is widely known by historians that the third president of the United States and one of this country’s founding fathers not only owned slaves but fathered children with them.

The Mormon Church has been getting considerable attention as of late due to their ritual of performing posthumous baptisms. The most recent example of this which came to light was that Jefferson was not only baptized, but he was also “sealed” to one of his house servants, Sally Hemings.


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Romney can energize evangelicals

April 4, 2012

Pacific Daily News (Guam)

Fourth, the evangelical and conservative unease about Romney has not been primarily about his Mormon faith but about his earlier pro-choice and liberal social positions. Ironically, if Romney had been more Mormon, more in tune with his faith’s views on these issues from the beginning of his political career, there would be far fewer doubts among evangelicals.

-Fifth, one should never underestimate President Obama’s unique ability to rally people behind his opponent. Whatever lingering doubts some evangelicals may have about Romney, or discomfort about his Mormon faith, they pale compared with their fears of a second Obama administration.


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Evangelicals Reject Mitt . . . Until It’s Him or Obama

April 2, 2012

Calbuzz (California)

Evangelical Christians, especially white evangelical Christians, despise Obama more than they dislike Mormonism.

The rift between Romney and evangelicals was mostly a whisper until last October, when the Rev. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Church Dallas, casually noted that, “Mitt Romney is a good moral person but he’s not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.”

As Calbuzz noted back then, Jeffress was merely reflecting a view that had been etched in stone in the Christian Workers Handbook, given as a guide book to counselors at Billy Graham Crusades for decades.


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Mike And Laura Allred – Making A Monster Out Of Madman

April 3, 2012

Bleeding Cool

You’ve been quite open about your Mormon faith — you’ve even drawn an adaptation of The Book of Mormon. Had you always been part of the faith, or did you arrive at it later as part of that existential search for meaning that you mentioned? Do your beliefs inform Frank?

MA: That also was subconscious. My parents got divorced, which is extremely rare in the Mormon Church. I think there’s like a five-percent divorce rate for couples that have been married in the Mormon Temple —

Laura Allred: I think before, but not now.

MA: — but, you know, just ridiculously successful. So, for my parents to get divorced, there was almost a shame to it.


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Fast Five Fix: April 3

April 3, 2012

Washington Blade

Yes, that would be Elder Archuleta — American Idol David Archuleta has begun his two year missionary commitment to the Mormon church


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Indian Country Reacts to Larry Echo Hawk’s Announcement

April 2, 2012

Indian Country

Bill John Baker, principal chief Cherokee Nation

“I wish Assistant Secretary [of Indian Affairs] Echo Hawk all the best as he embarks on this new endeavor with the Church of Latter-day Saints. In my short time as principal chief, he has been nothing but gracious and helpful towards my administration and I am certain that the LDS Church will benefit greatly from his keen intellect, passion for public service and courteous professionalism.”


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Democrats Vie to Differentiate Themselves in Salt Lake County Mayor’s Race

April 3, 2012

Utah Policy

“It is all well and good to go after the LDS community” and try to convert them to the Democratic Party, said Romero. (A new Mormon caucus has just been started in the state Democratic Party.)

But that, while appropriate, is a long-term effort, Romero says.

Most Mormons are Republicans, even if they are moderates. “You have to move a person from the Republican Party, to being neutral, to vote Democratic. It takes time,” said Romero.


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Interfaith Documentary Hitting the Road

April 3, 2012

PR Web

Dolphin 5 Productions is currently in pre-production on Freedom Riders 2012, an interfaith documentary. The film will document 5-7 strangers of different religions and beliefs on a cross country road trip to visit America’s largest places of worship in the last 2 weeks of June 2012. The strangers will include a Sikh, Mormon, Christian, Roman Catholic, Jew, Muslim, and Atheist. A Buddhist and Scientologist are still in consideration.
The trip will include stops to:
San Jose, CA (Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, Sikh)
Salt Lake City, UT (Salt Lake Temple, Mormon)


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