With Mitt Romney’s newly released tax returns that put his income in the top 0.006 percent of Americans, I decided it was time to also understand his religious affiliation. What would it mean to have a Mormon in the White House?
The Mormon religion began in 1827 in the town of Palmyra, New York, when 21-year-old Joseph Smith dug up a set of golden tablets. In 1830, Smith translated the tablets into the Book of Mormon and wrote these basic tenet 13 Articles of Faith:
1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is over 12 million. If you want to know more, there is an excellent PBS documentary The Mormons, or this major 2012 survey Mormons in America by The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public or this very informative Mormon Site: What Mormons Believe which covers everything from underwear to blacks in the priesthood.
Also, there is this book: A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney that analyzes the Mormon issue as it relates to Romney’s candidacy. The book is as relevant today as when it was written in 2008.
It turns out the reason to discriminate against Romney is not because he is a Mormon, but because he is a success billionaire venture capitalist, consummate family man, and media-savvy politician who might actually be able to beat Obama.