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Michele Bachmann's pastor on Mormonism

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 6 2011 2:16 p.m. MDT

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

Alex Brandon, File, Associated Press

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Rep. Michele Bachmann's devout Christian convictions have been the topic of much media coverage since she declared her presidential candidacy.

On Aug. 27, for example, the Orlando Sentinel reported, "Speaking before the annual awards dinner of the Florida Family Policy Council in Orlando, Bachmann … repeatedly declared her devotion to Christianity and told stories of how it changed her life. She told and interpreted Biblical stories, and offered Christian lessons she said she followed."

What hasn't been widely reported, however, is what Bachmann thinks about the Mormon faith of Jon Huntsman Jr. and Mitt Romney, two of her competitors in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Bachmann isn't saying. She did recently change her place of worship, and the pastor at Eagle Brooks Church in Lino Lakes, Minn., where Bachmann recently became a member, delivered a July 2007 sermon titled, "Raise Your Religious IQ — Investigating Mormonism." (The presentation is available for download via iTunes.)

Although senior pastor Bob Merritt praised the LDS Church's emphasis on family and missionary service, he suggested the Mormon faith is "untrue" and "diluted."

"I very respectfully push back and I say (to Mormons) you have taken something extra and added it to (God's word) to make all of it untrue," Merritt said. "Think of it this way: what does your car need to run properly? It needs pure, refined petroleum — it needs gasoline. And what happens when you dilute the gasoline with something like water? The car doesn't run. I think that's a good analogy for what our Mormon friends have done with God's word. … The whole thing is diluted, and honestly it just doesn't work."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown from six members at its founding in 1830 to more than 14 million members today, with more than 28,000 congregations in 185 countries. Its members subscribe to an Article of Faith that says the church believes the Bible and the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

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