Welcome to MormonVoices. Our volunteers respond to public discussions and comments from public figures that misrepresent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We encourage and direct Mormons to get involved in online discussions and thereby help shape the public understanding and perceptions of the Church. Please join your voice with ours, and become a member of MormonVoices.

MormonVoices is an independent organization that is supportive of, but not
controlled by or affiliated with, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

23 August 2012

Local Mormons use Romney’s run to dispell myths about their religion

August 23, 2012

KGET (California)

If Mitt Romney is elected President, he would become the country’s first Mormon president.

But, what does the American public know about the Mormon religion? Bakersfield Mormons say there are many myths.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the best known voice for a religion that, for many, remained a mystery until Mitt Romney came onto the scene.

http://www.kget.com/news/local/story/Local-Mormons-use-Romneys-run-to-dispell-myths/Pa22vK4oN0Wxgd3ROL7LSg.cspx

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mormons In Cochran Share Their Faith, Clear Up Misconceptions Through Specialized Website

August 23, 2012

41 WMGT (Georgia)

Mormon.org is the booming new missionary tool, and Mormons right here in Middle Georgia are using it to promote their faith. It’s a way to combat what they call negative and inaccurate information about them that is all over the Internet.

“We have this funny quote..lead them to Mormon.org before we get Googled,” says Elder Justin Sly, an LDS missionary from Orem, UT. He and his temporary companion, Elder Malosi Asher are serving in the Macon area right now, teaching people about their religion for a two year period. It’s a rite of passage for most Mormon men and a voluntary mission for Mormon women.

Information about the church’s more criticized beliefs, like The Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith, isn’t the main focus of the site, however. Mormon.org focuses on the church’s people first, then the message.

http://www.41nbc.com/news/local-news/14275-mormons-in-cochran-share-their-faith-clear-up-misconceptions-through-specialized-website

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Evangelical author sees ‘Mormonizing of America’

August 23, 2012

Houston Chronicle (Texas)

Q: You write of the “Mormon Machine,” traits that help LDS church members have influence. What makes that machine run?

A: The success of Mormonism is it has a very mystical, spiritual vision that has a very earthly practical benefit. That’s why I call it the Mormon machine. I certainly don’t mean anything political. If you are a Mormon, you understand that you are in this world to pass obstacles to “show yourself worthy,” before the Heavenly Father, but it comes down to not smoking, not drinking, not ingesting caffeine, having a large family or a number of children.

http://www.chron.com/life/houston-belief/article/Evangelical-author-sees-Mormonizing-of-America-3810938.php

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The political irrelevance of anti-Mormonism

August 22, 2012

Patheos

Unlike the late nineteenth century, anti-Mormonism–or for that matter, Mormonism–is not a relevant political category in national politics anymore, and especially not in this year’s presidential campaign. This is not to say that Mormonism is irrelevant in politics. Certainly it matters, especially on the state and local level in various places around the country. Furthermore, Mormonism, and its omnipresent anti-Mormon shadow, remains a relevant cultural category; indeed, there is no doubt that we are in the midst of a periodic peak in national and even global interest in what Mormonism is, who Mormons are, and what it all means in the modern world.

But right now no serious person wants to play the anti-Mormon card as part of any substantive political discussion. There have been multiple attempts to do so–people putting their toe in the water to test it–but it hasn’t gained traction. A few evangelicals (most famously Robert Jeffress) played the anti-Mormon card in the primary, but ultimately it was a halfhearted attempt, since it soon became apparent that there would be no viable evangelical candidate for them to support. Once Romney beat out his two final (Catholic) challengers, then evangelicals (including Jeffress) got into line, and since then we’ve hardly heard a whisper of anti-Mormonism from that corner.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peculiarpeople/2012/08/anti-mormonism-as-an-irrelevant-political-category/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mormons, Yankees, and Three Observations About Generosity

August 23, 2012

Patheos

1. Mormons rule. The top six cities are heavily Mormon — if not outright LDS-dominated. And the gap between the top-giving Mormon city and the top-giving Protestant city (Provo, Utah, versus Pine Bluff, Arkansas) is vast. Provo residents give a median 13.9% of discretionary income, while Pine Bluff residents give a median 8.9%. (For perspective, that’s the same percentage gap as exists between city number 7 on the chart and city number 128).

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frenchrevolution/2012/08/23/mormons-yankees-and-three-observations-about-generosity/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

NBC gets no Romney campaign help on Mormon special

August 23, 2012

Huffington Post

The newsmagazine’s producers thought it worthwhile to examine the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the eve of one of its members becoming the Republican nominee for president. During the hour, correspondent Harry Smith does a piece on why Mormons are so successful in business and tours a Salt Lake City warehouse where a huge amount of supplies is kept for the needy.

Kate Snow profiles a gay person, a feminist and an interracial couple on their experiences within the church, and NBC finds a Mormon cast member of the Broadway show “The Book of Mormon.”

“What we set out to do very broadly is not an hour on Mitt Romney but an hour about the religion that has played a very important role in shaping who he is,” Hartman said Wednesday.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120823/us-tv-nbc-mormons/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Is Mitt Romney a Christian or not?

August 23, 2012

Joliet Herald News (Illinois)

There has been debate, including in The Herald-News’ OpenLine, about whether or not Mormons are true Christians. Most people don’t know what Mormons believe, so I thought I would publicize some of their basic precepts, all of which can be easily confirmed.

Mormons believe that “God” created multiple worlds with people living on them. Multiple gods exist but each has its own universe. All people existed as pre-mortal spirit children of God and are then physically born on this earth and are subject only to our specific “God.” If you follow God and his law (the precepts of the LDS Church) you can reach the highest level of heaven and become a “God” also.

http://heraldnews.suntimes.com/opinions/14526813-474/is-mitt-romney-a-christian-or-not.html

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Romney says tax returns would publicize private Mormon tithing

August 23, 2012

Washington Post

Mitt Romney says in a new interview that one of the reasons he’s distressed about disclosing his tax returns is that everyone sees how much money he and his wife, Ann, have donated to his Mormon church, and that’s a number he wants to keep private.

“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given,” Romney tells Parade magazine in an edition due out Sunday (Aug. 26). “This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/romney-says-tax-returns-would-publicize-private-mormon-tithing/2012/08/23/68bffba6-ed5a-11e1-866f-60a00f604425_story.html

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Romney says private religious donations a reason he won’t release more tax returns

August 23, 2012

The Hill

Mitt Romney said one reason he doesn’t want to release more of his tax returns is because it would show how much money he has given to the Mormon Church.

“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given,” Romney said in an upcoming interview with Parade magazine. The Salt Lake Tribune previously reported on the interview. “This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/244967-romney-says-downside-of-releasing-more-tax-return-is-showing-donations-to-mormon-church

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Romney: My Mormon tithing should be private

August 23, 2012

CBS News

Mitt Romney told Parade Magazine that part of the reason he does not want to release more of this tax returns is that he believes his tithing to the Mormon Church is a private matter, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given,” Romney is reportedly quoted as saying in the forthcoming edition of Parade. “This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57499296-503544/romney-my-mormon-tithing-should-be-private/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Romney says his Mormon tithing shouldn’t be public

August 23, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Mitt Romney says in a new interview that one of the reasons he’s distressed about disclosing his tax returns is that everyone sees how much money he and his wife, Ann, have donated to the LDS Church, and that’s a number he wants to keep private.

“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given,” Romney tells Parade magazine in an edition due out Sunday. “This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/54744938-90/romney-says-church-tithing.html.csp

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mitt Romney: Mormon Church Contributions Should Be Private

August 23, 2012

Huffington Post

Mitt Romney never intended that the contributions he and his wife made to their church would become known when he disclosed financial information as the presumptive GOP nominee, he says, citing the disclosure of “personal” information as the reason behind his reluctance to release more.

“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given. This is done entirely privately,” Romney said in an interview with Parade magazine, to be published Sunday. “One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our church.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/mitt-romney-mormon-church_n_1825565.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Romney: Revealing tithing to Mormon Church among reasons to be leery of releasing tax returns

August 23, 2012

Washington Post

“This is done entirely privately,” Romney told Parade. “One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended to our contributions to be known.”

Romney said his contributions to his church are “a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romney-revealing-tithing-to-mormon-church-among-reasons-to-be-leery-of-releasing-tax-returns/2012/08/23/796c301e-ed8c-11e1-866f-60a00f604425_story.html

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Should Romney’s faith keep his taxes out of the public eye?

August 23, 2012

Los Angeles Times (California)

Mitt Romney believes that one of the “downsides” of releasing information about his finances — and presumably more than the two years of taxes he has been willing to reveal — is that it would reveal how much he has given to the Mormon Church, the presidential candidate said in an interview with Parade magazine.

Asked about tithing, the custom by which Mormons are expected to donate 10% of their income to the church, Ann Romney told the magazine: “I love tithing. When Mitt and I give that check, I actually cry.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-should-romneys-faith-keep-his-taxes-out-of-the-public-eye-20120823,0,5918973.story

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mitt Romney Says That The Reason He Won’t Release His Tax Returns Has To Do With His Religion

August 23, 2012

Business Insider

But in a forthcoming interview with Parade magazine, Romney revealed a new reason why he’s hesitant to release more returns: He does not want to make public his donations to the LDS Church.

Here’s what Romney told Parade, according to The Salt-Lake Tribune:

“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given. This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/mitt-romney-tax-returns-rate-policy-release-mormon-tithes-2012-8

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Op-Ed: Why Mitt Romney can never and will never release his tax returns

August 23, 2012

Digital Journal

Releasing the returns would show one or more years in which Mitt and Ann Romney did not pay a full tithing to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Never mind your earthly retribution for stiffing Uncle Sam on your taxes. Chump change! If you haven’t paid your full 10 percent — OFF THE TOP — and that’s 10 percent from Mitt and 10 percent from Ann… not just money, either, but property, possessions, EVERYTHING…

Once the bean counters in Salt Lake City find out you haven’t paid your full tithing? Well, let’s hear it from one of their own scholars.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/331397

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Romney Says Another Reason Not To Release Tax Returns Is To Keep Church Donations Private

August 23, 2012

Mediaite

One reason he’s kept his returns private is because he wants to keep his donations to the LDS Church private, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Romney told Parade:

“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given,” Romney tells Parade magazine in an edition due out Sunday. “This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

http://www.mediaite.com/online/romney-says-another-reason-not-to-release-tax-returns-is-to-keep-church-donations-private/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Obama Supporter Suggests Anti-Mormon Whisper Campaign

August 23, 2012

BuzzFeed

On Monday, a “team member” named Laurence De Palma, who lists his location as East Nashville, presented volunteers with some talking points to convince Southern Christian voters they shouldn’t vote for a Mormon. The message was available under “Resources” and tagged “persuasion.”

“I’m thinking that even though we don’t LIKE campaigns to get nasty, we in the south (TN) come to EXPECT it,” De Palma began. “What we also know is that we have a very ‘rigid’ view of Christianity, and apparently, Mormonism isn’t anywhere in our views. This could easily win TN/SC/AL/GA, etc.”

The post goes on to include brief, oversimplified summaries of Mormon doctrines, framed to clash with evangelical Christianity.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/obama-volunteer-suggests-anti-mormon-whisper-campa

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Op-Ed: Romney’s latest tax secrecy excuse — ‘We don’t discuss tithing’

August 23, 2012

Digital Journal

Mitt Romney told Parade magazine in an interview to be released Sunday that there’s a very good reason to not make his personal income tax statements public. This is the real, honest to goodness reason, too. Not like the others. And here it is.
He wants to keep the amount of his tithing — the 10 percent cut (gross, not net) that goes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — private.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/331424

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mitt Romney Reveals Reason He Will Not Release More Tax Returns

August 23, 2012

Vanity Fair

Lo! A clue as to why Mitt and Ann Romney are refusing to release more tax returns. In a forthcoming interview with Parade Magazine (?!), Romney explains: “Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given. . . This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.” Mmmmhmmm. [Takes out nail file, begins filing nails.]

From the scant tax information Romney has to-date released, we know he donated nearly $9 million to the church in 2010 and 2011. So what’s the problem? Mormon-God forbid that Romney’s fellow parishioners discover he is very, very wealthy and extremely generous. Would they ever forgive him?

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2012/08/Mitt-Romney-Reveals-Reason-He-Will-Not-Release-More-Tax-Returns

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mormon in America: Latter-day Saints on 2012 election and significance of Romney campaign

August 23, 2012

NBC News

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say that their faith has experienced increased attention and scrutiny as one of their most prominent members, Mitt Romney, prepares to accept the Republican presidential nomination.

“His candidacy has shed some light on our faith and I get more questions now about being a Latter-day Saint than I did before. So I think that’s a great thing, that’s a positive thing,” said Al Jackson.

Al Jackson’s wife, Juleen, said that she hopes the country would accept an LDS president. The Jackson couple are raising their five kids in a traditional Mormon home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/23/13435345-mormon-in-america-latter-day-saints-on-2012-election-and-significance-of-romney-campaign

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mormons in America: NBC’s Rock Center segment

August 23, 2012

Examiner

NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams will focus on one specific topic: What it means to be Mormon in America. This segment will air on NBC Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 10pm/9pm central time.

This comes at a time where a Republican candidate for the President of the United States is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most in the media are calling this time the Mormon Moment where the Church is under severe scrutiny, as well as investigation by a variety of social media, social networking, blogs, journalists, and the like.

A couple of the topics that will be discussed are: The Church’s welfare system and resources, life in a typical Mormon family, and an interview with the only member of the Church who stars in the Broadway show – The Book of Mormon.

http://www.examiner.com/article/mormons-america-nbc-s-rock-center-segment

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

True or False?: How accurate is “The Book of Mormon” song “I Believe”

August 23, 2012

NBC News

2. Price then sings that he believes that “God has a plan for all of us” and “that plan involves me getting my own planet.” Is one’s own planet a metaphor for what happens after life on Earth or are there planets out there awaiting Mormons?

That really depends on what Mormons you talk to. Joseph Smith’s universe was a very crowded one. He believed that God and human beings are basically of the same species, and Mormons today speak of their relationship with God as that of a father and his children (and yes, there is a Heavenly Mother, a divine female, as well). God created this earth as a place for his children to, more or less, attend school: to learn math and science and poetry and morality and how to be nice to each other and eventually to graduate and one day attain a degree of divinity themselves. To many Mormons, this means more or less attaining perfect communion with God. To many others, particularly Mormons who tend to be literal-minded, it does mean continuing to create universes in the future.

http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/23/13436403-true-or-false-how-accurate-is-the-book-of-mormon-song-i-believe?lite

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PRAYERS TO BE LEAD BY MORMON AND CATHOLIC AT GOP CONVENTION

August 23, 2012

The Blaze

Kenneth Hutchins, a member of the Mormon church and friend of Mitt Romney’s, will deliver the invocation on the night Romney accepts his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention.

http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2012/08/23/kenneth-hutchins-timothy-dolan-mitt-romney-republican-convention/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Obama Organizer’s ‘Talking Point:’ Spread Slurs About Mormonism

August 23, 2012

Newsmax

Laurence De Palma, a campaign supporter who, according to posting lives in East Nashville, told volunteers they should use talking points to discuss Romney’s religion and convince Southern Christian voters they shouldn’t vote for a Mormon, according to Buzzfeed.com.

“I’m thinking that even though we don’t LIKE campaigns to get nasty, we in the south (TN) come to EXPECT it. What we also know is that we have a very ‘rigid’ view of Christianity, and apparently, Mormonism isn’t anywhere in our views. This could easily win TN/SC/AL/GA, etc.,”De Palma wrote on a campaign platform that links online activism with grassroots campaigning.

The post went on to discuss Mormonism beliefs and cast them as clashing with Christianity.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/obama-campaign-mormonism-talking/2012/08/23/id/449595

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

NOTE: This is posted for those who are interested in keeping abreast what is being said around the world about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members. MormonVoices cannot and does not guarantee the validity or truthfulness of any information reported. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of this information lies with the reader. As all information comes from other news sources and has not been independently verified, MormonVoices cannot guarantee or be responsible for the security of links in the clipping service. MormonVoices will attempt as much as possible to exclude news articles containing strongly offensive language or which lead to offensive images, but cannot guarantee that some will not slip through.

Don't panic! You are in the right place!

MDL.org is now MormonVoices.org

Mormon Defense League is now “Mormon Voices” and our new URL is www.mormonvoices.org. You have automatically been forwarded to our new website. Our mission is the same, but our emphasis will be to help members become involved in critical conversations online.