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.

4 November 2012

The Mormon Moment: A Religion News Service Guide – Review
November 4, 2012

FAIR Blog

Much has been said in popular media about the so-called “Mormon Moment”. The accuracy and fairness of recent media coverage of Mormonism has been a mixed bag, to say the least. It is sad to admit that there are plenty of media personalities who know next to nothing about Mormonism, and yet feel unconstrained to opine on this or that subject relating to Mormon doctrine or history. Unsurprisingly, those who are the most ignorant of Mormonism usually choose to write about the most complex and controversial aspects of Mormonism, such as polygamy, Mormon racial history, and esoteric aspects of Mormon belief and practice best left untouched by non-Mormon novices of Mormon history and doctrine. (Andrew Sullivan, I’m looking at you.)

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/11/04/the-mormon-moment-a-religion-news-service-guide-review/

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

Video revives debate over Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith
November 4, 2012

Washington Post

Mitt Romney has largely avoided discussing the details of his Mormon faith throughout this year’s presidential race, speaking in general terms about his church-related values and charitable deeds. But the revival this week of a testy 2007 interview caught on video offers a reminder of the struggles Romney has confronted as a politician wary of being defined, or confined, by his faith.

The video, which has become an Internet sensation in the closing days of his campaign to unseat President Obama, shows Romney sparring off-air with an Iowa radio talk show host over the tenets and beliefs of Mormonism — including a discussion of abortion and the second coming of Jesus Christ — and scolding the interviewer for bringing it up.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/video-revives-debate-over-mitt-romneys-mormon-faith/2012/11/04/d3fee064-2629-11e2-ac85-e669876c6a24_story.html

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

The Mormon Issue in Ohio
November 4, 2012

National Review

The latest Columbus Dispatch poll gives Romney a 55 percent to 44 percent lead with Catholics in Ohio. (Nationally, Catholics tend to be more Democratic than Republican.) That’s why Mitt Romney’s staffers worry about a last-minute underground attack designed to drive a wedge between potential Republican Catholic voters and their candidate over the Mormon issue. “It will be by phone and perhaps anonymous e-mails, but we won’t be surprised if it comes,” one Romney staffer in Ohio told me.

In late September, U.S. News & World Report reported that Deal Hudson, a prominent Catholic supporter of Mitt Romney’s who heads the Pennsylvania Catholic Network, had discovered that a group calling itself Catholics for Obama had been making push-poll phone calls in his state. Among the questions asked, Hudson said, was “How can you support a ‘Mormon’ who does not believe in Jesus Christ?” The caller then claimed that Obama didn’t support abortion and that Planned Parenthood offered only prenatal services.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/332459/mormon-issue-ohio-john-fund

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

Fountainhead
November 3, 2012

Huffington Post

At the very least, we should be keenly aware that Mormonism is a place where women are subordinate. In a highly patriarchal, rigidly hierarchical world, women’s roles are defined as servants to men, here and throughout eternity. As in the Roman Catholic tradition, they are absolutely denied roles among the leadership elite. I am also concerned that, until 1978, Black people were inferior congregants in the Mormon world. (George Wallace didn’t see the light until 1982.)

One can learn a lot about Mormonism and about its influence on Romney from Financial Times’ “Born to Lead?” and the earlier Bloomberg/Businessweek cover story about Mormonism. The New Yorker’s “Transaction Man” is an excellent introduction to how Romney’s faith tradition plays out in his life. All speak to what the Financial Times calls the “weirdness factor” of Mormonism, especially relevant as the U.S. becomes ever more diverse and of particular importance to any woman tempted to assume our hard won rights. If you’re female (and even if you’re not) listen tosurvivors of Mormon polygamy, now practiced only at the fundamentalist fringes but of central importance in the faith’s formative decades. As part of a deal for Utah statehood, polygamy was outlawed but — as The Guardian points out — the Mormon mindset that women are mere vessels is an excellent fit with anti-woman Republicans of all stripes.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paula-gordon/fountainhead_b_2068703.html

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

Richard Dawkins’s Blind Faith in Obama
November 3, 2012

National Review

Back then, Dawkins blurred all the world’s faiths together, treating them as different strands of a single problem — faith — that was inherently inferior to the empirical nature of modern science. How things have changed in an election year. Now, Dawkins happily draws distinctions between religions, opining on the relative “silliness” of the various claims that he once steadfastly treated as one. “Mormonism,” he tweeted, “is no nuttier than ancient religions, but they have the excuse of being ancient, not 19th C fabrications.” This, to say the least, is not an “excuse” that he has granted Christianity often.

“Christianity is not in the same league as Mormonism,” he told a man who asked him why Barack Obama was seemingly exempt from his criticism. Mormons are “barking mad,” “loony,” and “racist,” he replied. They believe “surreal nonsense about planets and magic stones, hats and underwear.” And Christians? Well, on seconds thoughts, Christianity is really not that bad. Nor Islam, apparently. “Bible & Koran genuinely old, written in the language of their time. Book of Mormon written by 19thC charlatan. Romney too stupid to see it,” he averred. This is a line of argument he explicitly rejected in The God Delusion, in which he compared Christianity directly to the primitive beliefs of African tribes and argued that, for his purposes, the differences between the major religions were immaterial.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/332416/richard-dawkinss-blind-faith-obama-charles-c-w-cooke

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

Romney’s Mormon faith stirs little in US election
November 4, 2012

ABS-CBN News (Philippines)

Mitt Romney could make history as the first Mormon president of the United States if he wins Tuesday’s election after a hard-fought campaign in which his faith has hardly been a factor, analysts say.

Romney is a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, founded in the United States in the 19th century and dismissed by some Evangelical Christians as a cult to be looked upon with suspicion.

“I can’t remember a campaign with less overt religiosity in my lifetime,” John Turner, an assistant professor of religious studies at George Mason University outside Washington, told AFP.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/-depth/11/04/12/romneys-mormon-faith-stirs-little-us-election

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

Romney’s candidacy helping to bring Mormonism into the mainstream
November 5, 2012

Irish Times (Ireland)

It is the final Sunday service before election day and Mormon bishop Michael Thomas is clearing up a few things with the congregation.

“As you all know, we do not support or direct people to support any particular candidate,” says Thomas, a slim man in his 40s dressed in a neat grey suit. “While we believe that it is important to have an input into public life, we wish to reaffirm our political neutrality.”

Formally, at least, the Mormon church does not support any candidate, even here in Boston where Mitt Romney served as a bishop – the equivalent of a lay parish priest – for several years.

But there’s no getting away from what a profound moment the Republican candidate’s election would be for this often marginalised and misunderstood faith.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/1105/1224326142053.html

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

Mormon faith may have helped, not hurt, Romney
November 4, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith was supposed to haunt his campaign, hurt his efforts among evangelical voters and give enough pause to independents that his quest for the White House would be difficult, if not doomed.

But, in the end, concerns about his LDS religion barely surfaced in the general election and, in fact, Romney’s embrace of his leadership roles in the faith in the final months of the campaign may have boosted his effort.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55192557-90/romney-faith-mormon-church.html.csp

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

More Mormon Women Enroll as Missionaries
November 2, 2012

New York Times

Many Mormons say they were stunned when Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced last month that the church was immediately lowering the age requirements for missionary service to 18 for men and 19 for women. While the change has significant implications for men, for Mormon women it could rewrite the narratives of their lives.

Women have been able to become missionaries before but were not eligible until they turned 21. By 21, many Mormon women are already married, engaged or committed to a job or further education; relatively few chose missionary work. Of the 58,000 Mormon missionaries now posted around the world, according to church statistics, only about 14 percent are young women, or sisters, as they are called.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/us/young-mormon-women-jump-at-the-chance-to-become-missionaries-at-19.html

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

Would Mormonism shape Romney policy?

November 4, 2012

Toledo Blade (Ohio)

If Mitt Romney is elected president Tuesday, it will be the first time a Mormon — a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — will inhabit the White House.

And Mr. Romney is not just a member of the Mormon church, he is a leader.

When he started Bain Capital in 1984, he was the bishop of his ward, or congregation, and then was made a president of his Boston stake, or region of wards of the Church of Jesus Christ, the church’s preferred shorter name.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Religion/2012/11/04/Would-Mormonism-shape-Romney-policy.html

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

Mitt Romney Didn’t Serve In Military, But Many Mormons Do
November 2, 2012

Huffington Post

While neither of the candidates in next week’s U.S. presidential election was in the military, Mitt Romney’s age – he was eligible to serve in Vietnam – has raised questions during the campaign about why he didn’t serve and whether his Mormon faith had anything to do with it.

Guy Hicks, a Mormon and former officer in the Army Reserve Special Forces, said there is a public misperception that members of the Mormon Church do not serve in the military.

“There is a sense in our culture and in our religious belief that we have an obligation to serve our country, and that’s found in military service; it’s also found in public service,” said Hicks, a senior vice president at aerospace and defense firm EADS North America.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/03/romney-military-service-mormon_n_2068032.html

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

Mormon Church establishes new stake in Heath
November 3, 2012

Pegasus News (Texas)

So many Mormons – a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – have either moved into Rockwall area during the past few years, or converted to it from other faiths, that a new stake of the fast-growing Christian church has just been organized in Heath.

A “stake” is a geographical unit of Mormonism, similar to a diocese or district, comprised of several congregations called “wards.”

According to Mormon statistics, the missionary-oriented church is also growing rapidly nationwide and is now the fourth largest denomination in the U.S. with over six millions members. Only the Catholic, Baptist and Methodist churches have more members.

http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2012/nov/03/mormon-church-establishes-new-stake-heath/

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

How Early Mormons Shaped Utah
November 3, 2012

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)

MITT ROMNEY’S run for president has drawn new attention to Mormonism, but if you really want to learn about the church and its roots in Utah, the Romney you may want to talk to is the candidate’s distant cousin Clive.

Clive Romney (he and the Republican nominee share a great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney) is a passionate promoter of Mormon and Utah pioneer history. As the executive director of Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts, Clive Romney writes and produces songs and stories about Utah history and the Mormon faith and helps lead tours that show how early Mormons shaped the state — not always for the better.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/travel/how-early-mormons-shaped-utah-660471/

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

5-Year-Old Video Finally Proves That Mitt Romney Is Human
November 4, 2012

New York Magazine

With 36 hours to go until the election, we now know what it takes to get Mitt Romney to show some emotion: Challenging his knowledge of Mormonism. Earlier this week, a Youtube user uploaded a 2007 video of an off-air conversation Romney had with Des Moines radio host Jan Mickelson, whose questions about Mormonism elicited a barrage of hand-waving and indignation from the Republican candidate. The heated exchange begins with Mickelson asking Romney whether his former support for abortion constituted a violation of his faith. “You don’t understand my faith like I do,” Romney responds while pointing to his chest in a way that shows he means business.

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/11/old-video-finally-proves-that-mitt-is-human.html

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

5 Questions Romney Never Answered About Mormonism — And Why He Should
November 3, 2012

Huffington Post

The “Mormon Moment–Postponed” remains postponed, for Romney neither responded to our questions nor gave any of the press detailed access to that part of his life that arguably was most important in shaping his overall character. In a radio interview in Iowa, he exploded when pressed to discuss his faith: “I am not running as a Mormon!” and abruptly ended the interview. Clearly, Governor Romney does not understand that this is an unprecedented moment in American history. Why? Because it is the first time that an ordained minister is a major party’s candidate for president. As we said in our earlierHuffPost article, Romney’s ordination to the offices of Bishop and Stake President obligates him to answer questions more fully than other candidates never ordained to the ministry.

Reviewing Romney’s statements – and “inelegant misstatements” – throughout this campaign, we have now come to feel that full disclosure about the shaping influence of religion on his character is of even greater urgency to the voter. It is no longer about the postponed Mormon Moment, for that has been lost. It is about Romney himself. Who is this man? What settled convictions does he have? Is Romney the face of Mormonism? Or, as some Mormons have come to feel, has he so far distanced himself from core values of his religion that they feel constrained to emphasize that he is not that face?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-c-whitney/romney-mormonism_b_2068070.html

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

Most Utahns see Romney’s bid as a blessing for Mormonism
November 4, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Mormons across the nation held their missionary-minded breath when Mitt Romney became the Republican presidential nominee, unsure about whether all the accompanying media attention would be good or bad for their proselytizing church.

Now, it seems, these anxious Latter-day Saints can exhale. Most people — particularly Utahns — believe that, on balance, Romney’s run for the highest office in the land has benefited the faith.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55200706-78/romney-church-mormon-mormons.html.csp

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

CNN religion blogger attacks Christian Conservatives for supporting Romney
November 3, 2012

Fox News

Remember the good ol’ days when folks in the media were fond of telling us that conservative evangelical Christians would exhibit anti-Mormon bigotry and fail to vote for Mitt Romney simply because of his religion?

Well now that conservative evangelical Christians seem by-and-large on board with the Romney/Ryan ticket liberal CNN Belief Blog contributor Stephen Prothero has turned the tables and criticized conservative evangelical leaders with, essentially, denying their faith by being pro-Romney. From his November 1 post, “My Take: Billy Graham and Ralph Reed are putting politics before God

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/03/cnn-religion-blogger-attacks-christian-conservatives-for-supporting-romney/

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

US Elections: How Mormon Mitt Romney overcame the curse of magic underpants
November 4, 2012

The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

His faith teaches that rural Missouri rather than ancient Mesopotamia was home to the Garden of Eden and that Jesus’s Second Coming will start in the United States.

The founder of his Church was Joseph Smith, a farmer’s son who was said to have been directed nearly 200 years ago to a set of buried golden plates now known as the Book of Mormon.

Mitt Romney has even taken part in “baptisms of the dead” — to induct ancestors into the Mormon faith — in immersion chambers. And he wears undergarments adorned with sacred symbols to remind wearers of their covenants, regularly lampooned as “magic underwear”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/9653000/US-Elections-How-Mormon-Mitt-Romney-overcame-the-curse-of-magic-underpants.html

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

Mitt Romney Testily Defends Mormon Faith [Video]
November 4, 2012

The Inquisitr

A video of Mitt Romney testily defending his Mormon faith has gone viral just days before the presidential election. While the Republican presidential nominee has largely remained silent about his Mormon faith during the presidential race, the video from 2007 talks about the struggles the politician has confronted about his faith over the years.

http://www.inquisitr.com/387366/mitt-romney-testily-defends-mormon-faith-video/

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

Voting for a Mormon – A 21st Century Mega-Shift
November 3, 2012

Christian Post

What is a huge win for Mormonism is a great loss for the true church because it strikes at the heart of the gospel and dulls the Christian conscience. Widespread acceptance and growth of Mormonism means more people thinking they are “saved” when in fact they have not truly put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and God. Don’t be surprised that in a few years, the new accepted view of the church will be that Mormonism is treated as a Christian denomination.

If the conservative choice for president in four years is a homosexual from the Log Cabin Republicans will the church rush to endorse him? If this happens, evangelicals will say, “He’s a conservative, he’s a republican, he gets my vote.” This is nothing different than what evangelicals are saying today.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/voting-for-a-mormon-a-21st-century-mega-shift-84349/

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

Mormons see Romney as their ‘John F Kennedy’
November 3, 2012

Al Jazeera

But in Utah, the bastion of Mormonism, Romney’s faith is not a political hinderance. Yet, neither the church nor the media it owns, such as the Deseret News, have endorsed Romney.

Mormons consider themselves an off-shoot of Christianity and believe that Jesus Christ visited the US after his resurrection. They believe in the Bible and also consider the Book of Mormon, apparently revealed to an American named Joseph Smith, as the word of God. Comprising about 1.7 per cent of US population, Mormonism is one of the fastest growing religions in the US.

Despite ruling the roost in Utah, the Mormon church, often referred to as the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS), refrains from shouting their endorsement for Romney from rooftops.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/11/201211391616643692.html

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

Ex-Mormons Attribute Skyrocketing Missionary Applications to LDS Preparations for Romney Presidency
November 3, 2012

Christian News Network

“[The LDS heirarchy] has never lowered the age of missionaries being in the field,” stated Tricia Erickson, daughter of a former Mormon bishop and author ofCan Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? “There’s only one reason for this change, and that reason is they need more. They’re getting ready. … What they’re doing is recruiting soldiers, so to speak, to hit the ground running as soon as Mitt Romney is elected as president of the United States.”

She explained that according to the White Horse Prophesy, during a time of when the nation is hanging by a thread, a Mormon is to rise to power and usher in a new season until God’s kingdom is restored on earth, where the Latter-Day Saints will be governing. Erickson advised that if Romney is elected, it is projected that many will convert to Mormonism.

http://christiannews.net/2012/11/03/ex-mormons-attribute-skyrocketing-missionary-applications-to-lds-preparations-for-romney-presidency/

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

Mitt Romney: The man who would be president
November 4, 2012

UPI

If elected, Romney would be the first Mormon to occupy the White House.

Romney, born in a Detroit suburb, graduated from Brigham Young University and completed law and business degrees in four years at Harvard before beginning his swift climb up the corporate ladder.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/11/04/Mitt-Romney-The-man-who-would-be-president/UPI-74021352024100/?spt=hs&or=tn

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

Mormon LGBTQ supporters hold Circling the Wagons event
November 4, 2012

Fox 13 (Utah)

A group of LGBTQ and SSA Mormon individuals, their family members and other allies came together Saturday afternoon for the second annual Circling the Wagons event.

Last year, a group of Mormons launched the conference where gay Latter-day Saints, as well as friends and family, could share personal stories about their lives, faith and experiences.

Circling the Wagons says gay Mormons are deeply divided on how to address same-sex attraction and negotiate the choices they face. They say their conference is a haven for people to openly discuss experiences in a respectful way.

http://fox13now.com/2012/11/04/mormon-lgbtq-supporters-hold-circling-the-wagons-event/

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

Not fasting and praying for a Romney win: A Mormon LGBT ally speaks
November 4, 2012

Washington Post

This Sunday is Mormon “Fast Sunday” – the first Sunday of each month when faithful members of the Mormon church abstain from food and drink, pray for special blessings for themselves or others, and donate what they would have spent on food to be used for Mormons in need. I imagine that most will be praying for the victims of superstorm Sandy. And as they did prior to the debates, many Mormons will be fasting for Romney. I’ll be joining a smaller group who are praying that hearts will soften toward our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/not-fasting-and-praying-for-a-romney-win-a-mormon-lgbt-ally-speaks/2012/11/04/9e516536-26bf-11e2-b2a0-ae18d6159439_blog.html

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

…And i’m a Democratic
November 4, 2012

UVU Review

I’m going to take pause and share with you that my father-in-law is probably the most committed, active Mormon I know. He works right smack dab in the Church Headquarters building in the center of Salt Lake City. He devotes his time, effort, energy and dime to the cause of Mormonism, oh and he’s a Democrat.

Note to self: new marketing idea for Democrats using the “And I’m a Democrat” after saying other descriptive things about person. It is definitely a minority in the LDS church, but there are many who are both Mormon and Democrat.

http://www.uvureview.com/2012/11/04/and-im-a-democratic/

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

Respecting rights (Editor’s Inbox)
November 4, 2012

Globe Gazette (Iowa)

As to my religion, I am not Mormon but I respect the Mormon people and their rights. I have been to Salt Lake City many times where I have searched for my heritage in their wonderful libraries. I was there at the time of the 9/11 attack on America. Never have I felt more love for me and our country.

In a visit to the Tabernacle, I had a long conversation with an usher and asked him many questions. One of the most memorable things he said about their philosophy was, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” I will always remember that.

http://globegazette.com/news/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/respecting-rights/article_e9e99e4c-2641-11e2-824b-001a4bcf887a.html

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

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.