Boston paper examines Mormonism of Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney

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  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    Once again, Bill, thanks for the judgment and Condemnation. Now I really want to fellowship with people like you!

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 17, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    Vanka: We have had this question over and over. The only definition I need is that I KNOW I am a Christian because I worship the Lord Jesus Christ and his Father. Our Father in Heaven is the Father of each and every person who has lived, is living or will live on the Earth. As some one once said there is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.

    You've stated that you have done everything required to receive confirmation on the Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. However, your actions on this board and in your life dispell all of that. You've never had a change of heart. Until that comes you will never receive confirmation as to the Book of Mormon or the LDS Church. That is no ones fault but yours and yours alone. No General Authority, no missionary, no comment on this board will ever confirm that. Only you can but first you must fully submit to the Lord Jesus Christ. That means you need to quit your badgering of the Church and its members. That means you need to allow Jesus Christ into your heart.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 17, 2011 8:31 a.m.


    Well, that tirade was convincing -- not!

    I simply offered valid observations in response to Utah Girl (and others) claims that they are "Christian" because of their "fruits".

    The point is that LDS "fruits" are no better than anyone else's "fruits", and in many ways worse if you are claiming to be "Christians". Where are the "fruits" that prove you are Christians?

    You admitted the same thing yourself: "those things you are digging so deep can be found in any religion." Exactly. Mormonism is no better than any other religion. That is not a compliment.

    So how can you convince me (and the world) that Mormons are "Christian"? We are ready and willing to believe Mormons are Christian if you can make the case.

    But so far, nobody has been able to do so. The actual words of Jesus as recorded in Matt.7:21-23 (and elsewhere) keep getting in the way.

    You must either define "Christian" so broadly that you can be included - but then it means nothing special and defeats the purpose; or you must define "Christian" so narrowly that only the LDS Church fits - but then you are an extremist, radical group.

    Which is it?

  • mtgrantlass Camden Wyoming, DE
    Aug. 16, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    Dixie Dan:
    Evangelicals control 25% of the Repub party? so what? it's not enuff to have sway. and even if 25% would make a difference, that would be a GOOD thing.look who we got last time - John McCain. egads. give me an Evangelical, please!

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 16, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    Sharrona, Mormon scripture (D&C 21) declares that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God. If Bruce R. McConkie said different in his spectacularly mistitled book "Mormon Doctrine," he was wrong. Scripture trumps commentary.

    As for the Manhattan Declaration -- can any good thing come out of Manhattan?

    You are, in fact, making up the doctrine of the Trinity. Or more precisely, you are making up the idea that Scripture provides enough evidence to justify an honest man in the conclusion that the Chalcedonian formulation of the Trinity is infallibly correct. Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't. But either way, an honest man will not declare something to be true, with greater certainty than the evidence warrants. There is something deeply irreverent in appropriating God's warrant for what is at best some Christians' best efforts at making sense of a mystery about which God has not said enough to justify conclusive statements.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    The Proud Duck: A non-Christian would look at this, and say we're fighting just to fight.
    The Athanasian creed, The Father is God: the Son is God: the Holy Spirit/Ghost is God, and yet there not three gods, but One God. One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.

    Also, The Manhattan Declaration from Christians (Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants) are in agreement on the on the Trinity as an essential of the Christian Faith and excludes Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses, from the pale of Christianity.

    The pale Christianity is monotheistic, they worship one God. Mormons are polytheistic. To us speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship(Mormon doctrine p.576,577)

    If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we would make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions [JS]. How could we? We are dealing with fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about." The three personal God Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis gives some other analogies of the Tri(3)Unity.

  • Tyler Ray Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 6:36 p.m.

    @Ranch, the great thing about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that the learning, speaking, rejoicing, of Christ happens more than outside of Church. While you are correct, Christ should be more central in LDS worship services, the majority of the study on Christ should actually take place in the home with the family. Please read "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage, a deceased apostle of the church. It is the most spiritual and comprehensive study on the life of Christ ever written, 90% of which is taken from the new testament and examined and explained pheonominally. :) Enjoy

    Aug. 16, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    The Boston reporter and some other Non-members have a difficult time understanding Mormons. We do not have a "Mormon mold" except perhaps the standards of appearance and behavior that missionaries are expected to show. But otherwise anything decent goes.

    Mormons are one in our Gospel beliefs. We believe the same Gospel, but are individuals, not forced or expected to march in lockstep, except to live up to Gospel standards. Our Heavenly Father has created each of us unique and special, and gives us brains to think with, and He expects us to do so. That is why we will be held accountable for how we live our lives.

    If those outside the church want to begin to understand us and our basics, begin by learning the twelve articles of faith, and knowing the requirements to obtain a Temple Recommend.

    Huntsman is not a "different" kind of Mormon, he is just one who is perhaps compromising himself a bit to get both the LDS and non-LDS vote.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 5:21 p.m.

    I think all LDS politicians that I have known have not "pushed" their LDS views with their political positions. Romney sees what way the flag is blowing and adjust his views. Huntsman was a moderate in a conservative state and served in a Democratic Administration. Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader and votes his conscience. In fact his voting record may be more in line with the church's points: Dream Act (illegal immigration), extension of unemployment benefits (welfare), he has an abortion view pretty much in line with the church, and I would argue that repeal of don't ask don't tell is not in conflict with the church's stance, but his stance on DOMA (or defense of marriage act) might conflict.

    The point is they don't make grand displays of religion like Rick Perry--the Pharisees were the public worshipers but private sinners. I think the real story on religion and politics is with the born again crowd or evangelicals and their determination to erase the separation of Church and State. To carry out their political agenda in God's name. I don't recall God supporting supply side economics, but get ready to hear about it should they win.

  • TJW cardston, MT
    Aug. 16, 2011 3:58 p.m.


    Are we digging deep to find things wrong or what? Get on with life. You don't like the Mormons that is fine but all those things you are digging so deep can be found in any religion. Are Mormons the only ones who fall asleep during a service? Give me a break. As for your comment about Mormons tooting their horn.... guess what we are criticized if we do and criticized if we don't. Comments were made earlier in the week about people not ever hearing about Mormon's helping others, about their helping with glasses, vaccinations, wheel chairs etc. or their "Helping Hands" . So the church gets in the news and brings some of their service to the publics attention and we get blasted for tooting our horns. Bottom line is it doesn't matter what members of the LDS Church do or what they believe there will always be so called wonderful people like some of you going to perfect congregations with people who never fall asleep and always mention Christ's name to criticize and tear down. How about putting a person in office who is the best for the job and forget about their religion.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 16, 2011 3:28 p.m.


    Logic and rationality. The BOM doesn't fit the bill for me there so anything in there is not my criteria. I won't share my thoughts of JS for fear of being denied a comment which is almost always the case if I bring up reasons. So I'll leave this vague.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Aug. 16, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    To Joe Blow in Miami:
    Just because someone believes in the BOM, does not mean that they support Romney or Huntsman (which I do not).
    There are tens of thousands of non-LDS BOM believers in other Restoration churches such as the church I belong to. I can't post the name or location of this organization because it would get censored out on this board.

    To Chicago:
    What is the criteria that you use?

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 1:38 p.m.


    If you had read my comments, you would know I have been attending LDS meetings with my wife for over 20 years. I have had "the discussions" countless times. I have been "fellowshipped" by Bishops, Stake Presidents, and a few GAs. I dare say I know "the Gospel" of the LDS Church better than 90% of baptized members.

    Your other assumptions are also wrong. This past Sunday (the 14th) was NOT testimony meeting. Are you sure YOU were paying attention?

    That brings up another observation I have made repeatedly. On a typical Sunday, during meetings, I can look around and count probably 40-60% of people sleeping or otherwise engaged in something other than the speaker. I don't blame them. Having sat through as many meetings as I have, I find the repetition and lack of originality mind-numbing. The speakers and teachers are generally unprepared, untrained, unprofessional, and lack any meaningful understanding of theology generally or even their own religion. Consequently, many of them tell their own stories, try (and fail) to make funny jokes to entertain, or misrepresent the errors and flaws of other religions in order to make the case for the "truth" of Mormonism.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 16, 2011 1:22 p.m.


    I don't think this will help Vanka. He's in my shoes. I spent a couple years with my GF who was a Mormon. I met the Missionaries, spent a few months at church with her, and really seeked the truth like I was told. When I found the truth, and not the 'milk' but the 'meat', I realized what was going on and stopped going. I asked the missionaries tough questions that they couldn't answer. I realized the truth ...

    Vanka is a smart guy MEBates. Those missionaries don't have the level of logic and rationality that he probably has. They can't relate to him on a 'blind faith' level of 'do as the brethren say, when the brethren speak the thinking is done' kind of stuff.

  • MEBates Columbia, SC
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    This group of comments is indicative of a lot of misunderstanding and some intolerance on the part of those who do not follow our faith. I am a member of the LDS church, and when I go to church in Columbia, SC, the name of Jesus Christ is invoked many times on a Sunday. Also, if you were there last week, Vanka, you were no doubt at Fast and Testimony Meeting, which is once a month and members are encouraged to stand and bear testimony to their beliefs. Often that testimony is illustrated by "stories and anecdotes" to make their point.

    Thank you for attending with your wife. I pray that you will eventually follow her into the waters of baptism, if you are led by the Holy Spirit to do so. Perhaps you could ask her Bishop to send the missionaries to your home to give you a fuller explanation of the Gospel that would make more sense to you.

  • KurtFK Littleton, CO
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    Apparently the residents of Utah have no problem distinguishing between "active" and "semi-active" Mormons, since Huntsman's polling numbers there have tanked. It's not all that complicated to see why.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    "But there are many scriptures that pretty clearly show that there are three distinct individuals in the Godhead."

    So does the Athanasian Creed: "Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance." The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct persons in one sense, and one God, in another sense.

    Mormons and Chalcedonian Christians are not as far apart as either side wants to think -- the Mormons, to play up the supposed error of the Chalcedonians (so as to make the case that Christianity had gone so far astray in its doctrines that a revelatory Restoration was necessary), and the Chalcedonians, because Mormons are just so weird, dude, that they've got to make them seem as different as possible so that that weirdness doesn't rub off on them. Religious weirdness is like cooties, you know. Sit too close to someone a secularist would think is weird, and pretty soon he thinks you're weird, too.

    The irony, of course, is that the evangelicals don't seem to realize that the secularists have already written them all off together, Mormons and evangelicals alike.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:15 p.m.


    Who are you calling "Christians"? I mentioned counting the meetings in which scripture and Jesus' teachings were actually used. I am not a Christian. I am atheist - with no belief in god.

    So while we are on the subject of "if you can find a church that does more for their fellowman... and cares about others..." -- I have watched LDS people in action for over two decades. I assure you LDS do not have the market cornered on help and care! Not by a long shot.

    Many Christian (and non-Christian) religions help others and care for others. The difference between them and Mormons that I have noticed is that most Christians I know do not "sound a trumpet" before them, in testimony meetings, or through Deseret News articles ("in the synagogues and in the streets"), that they may have glory of men.

    Instead, most Christians I know help others anonymously, secretly, without recognition or reward. They are not trying to bring attention to themselves and their "moral superiority" (which is what both you and Utah Girl asserted). They don't "brag" about how much better they are at helping others and caring for others.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    "The Doctrine of the Trinity is presented in Scripture clearly enough for the discerning."

    So clearly, that it took four centuries of Christians killing Christians to get the issue settled.

    An objective reader of Scripture must conclude that while the New Testament (and Mormon scripture) do declare that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit constitute "one God," the precise details of what exactly that oneness entails is not so clearly spelled out that reasonable people cannot (and have not) drawn different conclusions.

    It's sheer epistemological arrogance to pretend otherwise.

    Are the Father and the Son "one Being"? Or are they "of the same Substance"? Or "of like Substance"? You can't even get people to agree on the proper translation of the Greek and Latin of the Creeds.

    I'm a contract lawyer. My bread and butter is that people interpret the same English words differently. Imagine how much more ambiguous that gets when we're dealing with idioms we see across whole centuries, and whose users are all dead (often at each others' fanatical hands!) and unable to explain exactly what they meant.

    A non-Christian would look at this, and say we're fighting just to fight.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    Utah Girl,

    You wrote: "However, merely talking about Christ doesn't make one a Christian. Our actions speak louder than words. Do we show love for our neighbors and fellow men? Do we render service to those in need?"

    Did you read the scripture I referenced? Matt.7:21-23.

    Jesus himself said that not everyone who calls him "Lord" shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    Jesus himself said it doesn't matter how wonderful you think you are, how much you claim to prophesy in his name, or even casting out devils in his name.

    Jesus specifically addresses your claim: "...and in thy name done many wonderful works?"

    It doesn't matter how many "wonderful works" you have done in Jesus' name.

    "..then will [Jesus] profess unto them, I never aknew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

    Being a "Christian" is not up to you. It is not something you can choose to be. It is not something you can earn through "good works" or putting Jesus' name in the title of your Church, or even posting comments insisting that you are Christian and denigrating those who disagree with you.

    You cannot declare yourself "Christian". Jesus said so.

  • TJW cardston, MT
    Aug. 16, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    Amen UtahGirl:
    Do you think you CHRISTIANS are getting a little ridiculous. Now you count the number of times Mormons say the word Jesus or Christ to determine if they are Christian. Do you have any idea how stupid that sounds? Listen to yourselves. So as long as you say Jesus so many times in a service you are a Christian church? I can go cheat my neighbor, get on these blogs and bash Mormons, be be terrorist and kill innocent people but if I go to one of your churches I am Christian? By thier works you shall know them. If you can find a church that does more for their fellowmen as a whole and cares about others as a whole, I would like to know about them. If being a Christian is always tearing down another religion and actually counting the number of times we say Jesus then I really don't want to be included in your interpretation of Christian. Maybe if you tried to feel the spirit of the meeting instead of counting you would have felt the Spirit testify to the truthfulness of what was being said.

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 16, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    sharrona - I fail to see how any of the above quoted scriptures "prove" the current definition of the Trinity; still kind of ambiguous to me. But there are many scriptures that pretty clearly show that there are three distinct individuals in the Godhead. You know where they are; typing them here is only preaching to the choir and wasting electrons.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 16, 2011 10:17 a.m.


    You're criteria is false, so his vote doesn't matter according to your criteria.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Aug. 16, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    A good argument as to why we need a cavernous separation between church and state.

    So, does the above pertain to me or to everyone?

    If so, is it safe to assume that the campaigns and EVERYONES vote is inconsequential?

    Since you quoted the BOM, wouldn't you expect that God would want either Romney or Huntsman? What if that does not happen?

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Aug. 16, 2011 9:58 a.m.

    to Joe in Miami (your vote does matter according to the following criteria):

    [25] Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.

    [26] Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law -- to do your business by the voice of the people.

    [27] And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

    (BOM Mosiah 29).

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Aug. 16, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    I want a leader with strong ethics.

    Morals are often religion centered.

    Morals can be that one should not drink coffee, or eat meat on Friday during lent.

    Neither of those things is unethical.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Aug. 16, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    "It remains to be seen over the next 15 months who will be the Lord's politically Anointed One"

    So, the man upstairs is pulling the strings? I guess my vote does not matter.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 16, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    "I am just happy to see Presidential candidates with a moral compass as some part of their life"

    It amazes me how many people feel that not having God or Christianity is not having morals. Couldn't be further from the truth. Morals are taught by parents, society, etc. Doesn't matter whether one has Christ, religion, or the other. Morals come from many ways. And I've seen plenty of immoral things done from the religious.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    Brent Bot.(one being) with the Father. That theology is not to be found in the New Testament.

    Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person( hupostasis,5287),(Hebrew 1:3). * a substance, real being.

    God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM(The being) This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you(Exodus 3:14 Septuagint))
    I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was,(The Being) and who is to come, the Almighty. (Rev 1:8 Greek N.T.)

    A person who claims the doctrine of the Trinity is false because the word Trinity is not found in Scripture is as foolish as someone who claims 3½ inches, or say, 5¼ centimeters do not exist because his ruler only shows whole numbers. The Doctrine of the Trinity is presented in Scripture clearly enough for the discerning.

    The word "Trinity" was first used by Tertullian (c.155-230)well before the Nicene creed

  • Maggie Saint George, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 8:10 a.m.

    I agree with the poster who said that Deseret News is making more of an issue of the religion of the Presidential candidates than necessary.
    Look at previous actions and deeds rather than church memberships.In all churches we come in all sizes and shapes,colors and abilities to think and levels of common sense. Who among us has not wished some member of our church or religion would evaporate because they do not project well with those not in our faith. A Mormon friend of mine is a class A apologist for Harry Reid,insisting it is not his Mormonism that makes him cranky and unable to think clearly ,but probably his age.I could go on and on with examples from all religions. Think Anthony Weiner.
    I am just happy to see Presidential candidates with a moral compass as some part of their life,just so they show signs of recognizing many of us are good people following one of the many paths God has presented to us.

    Aug. 16, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    @Utah Girl;

    I have a good friend (non-Mormon) who recently attended the Missionary Homecoming of her co-workers' son (she knows the son as well as his parents).

    She made the comment to me afterward that during the entire service she did not feel like it was a worship service at all. She was quite disappointed actually; she expected it to be more like her own denomination's services: Christ centered - it wasn't even close. And this from a service which included a just-returned Missionary.

    It is no surprise really, that Mormons aren't considered Christian. Not to mention the fact that per most Christian beliefs, LDS beliefs about Christ and God are quite different.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 7:25 a.m.

    UT Brit,

    I wouldn't have believed your comment if I hadn't experienced this for myself.

    There is a clear difference between those who 'hate' the church based on misconceptions as these people generally feel very otherwise when they learn the truth- and those who really do have hate in their hearts. Hatred refuses reason, desire to do any good, and all the rest.

    I usually feel I can relate to a lot of different people and their problems. I often feel that the law gives too harsh of punishments for some things and not enough for others. I feel that I am a generally good judge of character if I need to be... but I don't know how well I would do with someone who desires to hate. It's something I entirely do not understand. And I don't care what religion or group they are, anti is anti, hate is hate, and so on.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 4:34 a.m.

    Mitt's theology is based on New Testament Christianity, Evangelicals theology is based on Fourth Century Creeds. The emperor Constantine introduced a term, homousious, which defined the Son as consubstantial (one being) with the Father. That theology is not to be found in the New Testament.

    11 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (including several presidents) were non-Trinitarian Christians, as is Mitt. (Jon's theology is not yet defined.) Evangelicals who now insist on their narrow Trinitarian and salvation only by grace definition of Christianity for candidates for public office are doing our Republic an injustice.

  • Richard Saunders Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:30 a.m.

    Pagan | 4:17 p.m. Aug. 15, 2011
    Pagan, I know we have disagreed in the past, but at least give me a shout out when you copy/paste one of my comments.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:25 a.m.

    It has always puzzled me why LDS members seem so desperate to be accepted by the evangelicals. Having spent some time living in the bible belt, I can honestly say that most of them hate us. Not just dislike, but hate us. In fact, if I was a betting man I would put on a large sum of money that some of them would be dancing in the streets if they found out that every mormon had dropped dead.

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 10:48 p.m.

    @ Vanka. I understand what you are saying regarding many of the talks and lessons given in church. I think it depends on the ward you live in. Our teachers and speakers talk about Christ often, and use the scriptures every lesson. However, merely talking about Christ doesn't make one a Christian. Our actions speak louder than words. Do we show love for our neighbors and fellow men? Do we render service to those in need? Being a Christian, to me, means doing what Christ asked us to do, not merely mentioning His name. Both are needed. When asked what the most important commandments were, He answered that we should love God with all our hearts, might, mind and strength, and that we should love our neighbors as ourselves.

    @ Mike, Cedar City, I lived in Texas several years ago, and actually had a co-worker ask me where my horns were! I had no idea people still believed such things! I think that fear of Romney and/or Huntsman by voters comes from ignorance, much as it did with JFK. The Pope didn't rule the US then, and neither would Pres. Monson do so now.

    Thanks, Voice of Reason :)

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 15, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    After spending the last 21 years living in the heart of bible belt Texas, I can say with some authority that Evangelicals that dominate the Republican party in the South will not vote for either of them because of their Mormon faith. Orthodox or not, neither Romney or Huntsman will ever be elected simply because they are Mormons. Their relative level of religious commitment is not important. Rick Perry's recent evangelical foray in Houston was a dog whistle for these voters. That "prayer" meeting was really a way to say to those folks, "y'all know that am not a Mormon like the front runner Republican candidate is".

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 15, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    prlim -- Amen.

    I admire the Protestant concern that the Gospel be understood properly, and that it not be twisted to suit human whims. All virtues can be corrupted, though, and with some evangelicals, this admirable concern for orthodoxy crosses over into simple tribalism, with Christian identity coming to be given more importance than Christian life.

    I happen to think that Mormonism -- which declares that Jesus Christ is God, that he constitutes, with the Father and Holy Ghost, "one God" in at least some sense, and that he is the savior of humankind and the indispensable element of Mormon religion -- has all the essentials for a faith to be classified as "Christian." At worst, it's a Christian heresy. But of course, from a Catholic perspective, so is Protestantism.

    The label "Christian," after all, wasn't one the followers of Christ chose for themselves. It was a nickname given to them by the people of Antioch. It's useful enough shorthand (like "Mormon"), but the label alone doesn't determine one's standing before God. You are right: God knows His own.

  • Hulen Clark Robeline, LA
    Aug. 15, 2011 9:19 p.m.

    Everyone is entitle to there belief/non-belief in the church and its doctrine and how close they choose to follow/live it. I don't know if Mr. Huntsman's is an active member or not nor do I know his religious beliefs. That shouldn't a decisive factor whether or not he is qualified to run for president. We should study Mr. Huntsman's ideals about our economy and how he would get us out of debt, our high unemployment and our deteriorating cities I believe they called this our interstructure. Thank you

  • Smithfield, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    Whatever you do, do not judge the person or the faith by the actions of the individual though those actions be something less than what our perceived thinking says they should be. We happen to all be human and are susceptible to the weaknesses of the flesh. The faith is perfect but the people are not and in order to be perfect we need to pass the tests of this life whatever they may be. Isn't it interesting that when a Protestant or someone of another faith has issues no big deal, but let that happen to a Mormon and look out. Why not let these folks alone and let them act according to their own development? Who knows one or maybe both of them may prove to be an asset.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 8:26 p.m.

    Utah Girl, I think your last post has just made my top 10 post list of all time! Can I quote you? lol j/k - but seriously, great comment!

    Vanka, you seem to find this recurring theme of 'not getting posted'. I have run into the problem a couple times and I've emailed them to suggest a better approach... although I do believe that most comments are filtered wisely.

    Michigander, God doesn't choose the POTUS, he lets us choose. Free Agency doesn't exist now?

    prlim, I fully welcome your comment. I wish more comments like this existed, between all religious.

    E. Hindman, you stated "why the implication that southern voters would never support an LDS candidate?" - I don't think anyone truly believes that all southerners are the exact same in religion. But 'getting Utah votes' would certainly mean impressing people who are LDS. There is nothing offensive or noninclusive in this mentality... simply an acknowledgement of what is needed for votes for certain areas, demographics, etc.

  • E. Hindman Ogden, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 8:06 p.m.

    I lived in the south, Tennessee, for a couple years. Far too many articles make it sound as if almost everyone in the south is Christian and/or evangelical, well it just ain't so. Lots of southerners don't give a hoot about any religion; why the implication that southern voters would never support an LDS candidate?

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Aug. 15, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    (cont.) - The future POTUS also needs to have the Congress pass (and later the individual states to ratify) a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

  • prlim ROCHESTER, MI
    Aug. 15, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    I am a Christian who believes that God does not look at the labels we use. He knows those that belong to Him. We know them by their fruits. Glenn Beck has convinced me that some Mormons know and have given their lives to God. All churches have some true believers and some that only "go to Church."

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Aug. 15, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    Neither Romney or Huntsman is God's choice for POTUS. It remains to be seen over the next 15 months who will be the Lord's politically Anointed One. Whomever he or she is, they need to eliminate ALL Business taxes, while at the same time increasing ONLY the personal income tax rate to 70% on incomes of $250K or larger. They also need to reinstate by Executive Order (as Commander-in-Chief) "don't ask don't tell".

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 7:04 p.m.

    DN Editorial Staff:

    I am not allowed to express my opinion? Even though it does not violate your rules, and is mild compared to many others you did post?

    Please be consistent and post this:

    After living among the Mormons most of my life, and reading Lisa Wangsness' article, sometimes I wonder whether or not everything Mormons do is not just a publicity stunt. All Mormons ever seem to want to do is draw attention to themselves and their Church.

    And here I thought vanity was a cardinal sin.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    Utah Girl,

    You wrote: " it seems SO strange to me that a church called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be branded as non-Christian, considering Christ is at the very center of everything we believe and do."

    Although I am not LDS, my lovely wife is. I attend LDS meetings with her every week, and have done so for the past 20+ years. I attended meetings yesterday. Interestingly, of the two youth speakers and the two adult speakers, only one scripture was quoted the entire Sacrament meeting. The speakers gave little stories and anecdotes that did not mention Jesus at all. One of the speakers mentioned a missionary story and said it strengthened his testimony of Jesus Christ, but did not say exactly what it was about Jesus or his teachings that was so inspirational or moving. Other than that, the only time Jesus was mentioned, was in the closings.

    This is not uncommon. A couple years back I counted for three months how many times Jesus' teachings/scriptures were explicitly mentioned in LDS meetings. Results in Provo Utah? About 20%.

    You can SAY you are Christian. See Matt.7:22-23

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 5:16 p.m.

    @ "A Voice of Reason", I also totally support traditional marriage. I'm not quite sure what you didn't understand about my post, but I was trying to say that neither Romney nor Huntsman would ever push their religion on the public. But I find the same is not true of many evangelicals. As a group, they tend to be very intolerant of those they consider "outside" their beliefs, and yes, including Latter-day Saints. I noticed during the GOP debate last week, there were a couple of Catholic candidates, as well as Protestant and Evangelical. (I personally have no idea of the difference between Protestant and Evangelical.) Little or nothing has been said about the faith of the other GOP candidates, which somehow doesn't seem fair. But it is what it is...

    @ Micawber, it seems SO strange to me that a church called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be branded as non-Christian, considering Christ is at the very center of everything we believe and do.

    But religion aside, the candidates need to be considered based on their experience, platform, ability to lead, and so much more that is far more important.

  • Munk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 5:05 p.m.

    Frankly, I don't care if they are Mormon or not... I just care if they are competent.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 4:35 p.m.

    @Pagan, Just because you quote all the "headlines" in a Utah paper does not mean that Obama has not talked about, discussed, or otherwise commented about Mitt's or Jon's religion. I dare say that there is much,much more written ,discussed or commented than any of us would ever dare guess by other than the DN.

    As for some others who have commented, I had a boss in Oklahoma who called himself a "Five mile Baptist". He was a Youth Minister at his Church. I asked him what that meant and he told me, "Five miles out of town and anything goes." I just wish that the media would dive into all the other candidates along with our current President as to their religions and how committed they are to it.

  • Mary E Petty Sandy, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 4:17 p.m.

    Currently there are 15 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who in the US Congress. I think a clearer understanding of the nuances and spectrum of LDS membership would be better understood in today's political environment, if Romney and Huntsman were discussed together with these 15, including Jim Matheson and Harry Reid.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 4:17 p.m.

    Headlines of recent Deseret News articles:

    -Perception of Mitt Romney election to presidency would be similar to that of John F. Kennedy, scholar says
    -Coverage of Mormonism in campaigns sometimes unfair to evangelicals too
    -Fox News host: Romney not Christian
    -Jon Huntsman Jr. stands by his Mormon religion
    -Huffington Post: Pawlenty video aimed at Mormon faith of Romney and Huntsman
    -Mormon official challenges 'cult' designation
    -The Economist and other media consider why Mormonism carries agitation among many
    -LDS reporter who worked on Newsweek's 'Mormon Moment' story defends controversial cover
    -Controversial Mormon Newsweek sold out
    -'Mormons Rock!' says Newsweek cover story about LDS Church, Mitt Romney
    -Huntsman says his Mormon church membership is 'tough to define'
    -How defining were Jon Huntsman's comments on his Mormonism?
    -'I am Mormon,' Huntsman tells 'Good Morning America'
    -Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman Jr. compete in Mormon primary
    -Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman Jr. mull Mormon dilemma
    -Poll: Mormon church membership negative for Huntsman, Romney
    -Romney's religion unknown to most
    (a few more examples, but there is a word limit)

    I'd dare say that the Deseret News has made much more of an issue of Romney's religion than Barack Obama ever will.

  • PR North Ogden, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    When John F. Kennedy ran for President, people were concerned about the influence of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church on American politics. Our nation survived it's first non-evangelical President, and many would argue that we are better for it. I think the same holds true for a "Mormon" President, as it would for a Buddist, Jewish, or leader of any other faith. What is important is the person's character and ideas, not where they go to church.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    @Utah Girl

    Rick Perry also concerns me. And, when the American Family Association says "Christians", it doesn't mean Mormons. Bryan Fischer, Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association, and a big proponent of the candidacy of Rick Perry, says the First Amendment doesn't apply to Mormons because they are "outside the stream of historic Christianity". (Bryan Fischer: No longer alone: Herman Cain agrees on banning mosques, July 18,k 2011.)

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    Watch out the Evangelicals as they control a +25% of the Republican party. This group will control who the final candidate will be for the presidency.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    Pagan and Utah Girl:

    Pagan, your 'when pundits say that Obama's 'Mormon=weird' strategy will backfire' then "Someone outside the Mormon faith does NOT talk about it, it's... 'bad.'"

    That simply didn't make sense to me. Mind rephrasing? Side note: 'purported' isn't quite accurate. If I started using 'weird' in saying 'weird forms of marriage', I think you and everyone else would certainly know what how the word was directed.


    Utah Girl,

    While I'm not sure I entirely understood part of your statement, I would like to add a couple points. First, is that being all-inclusive doesn't work. I'm not saying one should be favored over another- I simply feel that government spends too much time and money accommodating people. No freedom is infringed if such accommodations are not met.

    I completely agree with your concern regarding evangelical candidates. I'm not saying that evangelism equates to bad practices- but I do find concern when any candidate pushes religion on others. However, I feel that state recognition of 'traditional marriage only' does not force one's views on others. They may still privately marry, like polygamists. Not agreeing, endorsing, or recognizing it, etc. does not take freedom away, only recognition.

  • joy Logan, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    So will the next article and discussion be on Perry and Bachmann's religion? Why are we singling out people's religions?
    I'm glad they are not afraid to speak of their beliefs whether it's not yours or mine. Plus, I don't feel ones religion should play a big part into the political issues. As we see it hasn't play any big part into Obama's. If anyone bring sit up he does a photo shoot of he and his family walking into a church. And of course all the Rev. Wright issues before he was elected. People complained and he stop going to he could be elected. But do you really think he changed his thinking? I really doubt it.
    Churches have been doting America since the first immigrants arrived here and it represents the majority.
    Stop beating the LDS religion to death and listen to what the candidates are offering.
    My fear, Mitt will be elected and everything he does will have a backlash to his religion but not Perry.

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 2:29 p.m.

    I am personally more concerned about the evangelical candidates than I am about either Romney or Huntsman. Neither candidate would "push" their religion on the American people in any way. The values learned as members of the LDS church would only serve to enhance their abilities to be honorable, ethical leaders. And I'm NOT saying that other religions are not honorable, as I have many friends of other faiths who are very good people.

    I am concerned when I read things such as: "(Gov. Rick) Perry's audience Saturday was filled with people who sang with arms outstretched in prayer-and weptas Christian groups played music on stage. And Perry, himself, huddled on the stage in a prayer circle with several ministers who helped lead the event. It was Perry's idea and was financed by the American Family Association, a Tupelo, Miss.-based group that opposes abortion and gay rights and believes that the First Amendment freedom of religion applies only to Christians."

    If I were Jewish, or Muslim, or any other non-Christian faith, this would be very concerning to me. NOTHING wrong with a day of prayer, but it should include ALL faiths.

  • IndependentLiberal Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    Really! Who?

  • wamba Layton, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    Too many people in this world are extremists. Bennett wasn't conservative enough for the Tea Party. Pro-life democratic senators aren't allowed to speak at the democratic convention. If Huntsman isn't completely orthodox he's
    "not a good Mormon".

    Seems to me that our soundbite culture has expanded to our brains. We don't want to digest anything unless it's oversimplified and black and white.

  • Ok Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 15, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    Both Romney and Hunstman are a bit strange, I don't think either one of them would play in the White House. Thank goodness there are others to consider for the position.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    Romney, like him or not, provides a very clear picture of a Romney White House. Look at how he has handled things in the past, his current positions on 'the issues' and you have your answer... a clear picture of Romney.

    Huntsman also paints a pretty clear picture. He plays the religion card only when it suits him, which is dishonest. He was democrat with a republican mask. He skates by on his fathers name, while Romney actually made a name for himself before he jumped in the pool. A clear picture of overall blur by trying to throw in every paint to suit every crowd. It's a facade, nothing more.