C. Jane Kendrick: How defining were Jon Huntsman's comments on his Mormonism?

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  • tigger AMERICAN FORK, UT
    May 31, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    Article was good but the comments made are tiring-dare I say whacko?

    May 26, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    Let's face it, no Mormon is going to win the Republican nomination. In order to do that, you need the religious right and that's a group which won't support a Mormon.
    I have a hard time defining my religion too when it is assumed that because of a shared religion, I think the same way as a crazy Glenn Beck.

  • JustSomeone Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    Look, this issue isn't one of religious tolerance, about someone who's faith is in crisis, or about pushing people out of Church... where do you posters get these weird ideas?

    This is simple folks. Huntsman is politically ambitious and wants to win the presidency of the United States. He sees his Mormon religion as a liability in achieving his goal, pure and simple.

    The presidency has been on his mind for a long time now. Since leaving for China he's done everything he can to distance himself from Utah and his religion. Almost certainly his advisors have been telling him do so.

    Mitt Romney chose to do the opposite. He said, come what may, he'll stand by his faith, even if it costs him the presidency. Not endorsing Romney here, just showing the contrast of how someone chose a different road in the same circumstance.

    So the point is, do people have a right to be upset when a candidate denies his faith for political gain? If you are OK with that fine I suppose, just don't freak out when other people of good conscience find this behavior appalling.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    May 21, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    I don't understand those who say to those who don't believe in the church that they should leave. Aren't we to seek after and minister to those who are lost and seek to bring them back in? We are all a work in progress. Each of us are at different levels in our knowledge and testimony of gospel doctrines and principles. Rather than push Mr. Huntsman or others out the door, why not pray for them and leave the rest between them, the Lord, and their ecclesiastical leaders?

    Evaluate Mr. Huntsman on his public policies for the nation and for his performance while serving as governor and ambassador. What did Mr. Huntsman accomplish as governor and ambassador? Compare Mr. Huntman on these things with other candidates on issues affecting the nation.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 20, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    "One's opinion on the unseen world has absolutely no bearing on their moral fortitude."

    Exactly! I don't care what faith you are, just what have you done with that knowledge you have.

    That doesn't mean I don't think particular faiths don't matter, as they do. But at the end of the day, it isn't what name you call yourself that matter. It is what you do that matters.

    My grandfather had a dream as a boy where in it he was confronted by his ancestor who asked what he had done with his name. You can take that one step further and ask what have you dont "to" the name... have you brought honor to it, or damaged it. And at a high level, that name is about being a Christian, not a Mormon.

    I wonder if the answer Hunstman gave would have been any different had the question been if he was a practicing Christian rather Mormon? Equally, I wonder what the difference in reaction would have been.

  • Emkulick Brigham City, UT
    May 19, 2011 5:35 p.m.

    It is interesting that patriot made the comment about JHJ, " strain at a gnat and swallow a camel". He completely misused this quote, and ironically, it applies to him and all of the others who are so concerned about JHJ's faith. Whether someone is or isn't a self identifying member is irrelevant. Maybe the nosy, condecending Mormon culture caused him to hedge. It shouldn't even matter if he were an atheist. One's opinion on the unseen world has absolutely no bearing on their moral fortitude.

  • McFarland Clovis, Ca
    May 19, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    Lindsay. May I refer you to another article posted by the Deseret News that you aught to read. Your opinion may change upon further review of the important issues at hand. Look forward to hearing back from you if you do read Brother Cards excellent article on Mr. Huntsmans response to his religion.

  • JSpence SLC, UT
    May 19, 2011 12:40 a.m.

    Lindsay Lady: True story. Cast your vote for the best candidate. Not the point of the hubub though.

    It appears that Mr. Huntsman is denying his faith for political expediency. What's alarming is that the author of the article trivializes this.

    People may want to appear to be taking the moral or intellectual high road by saying that it's all good. On a lot of issues they would be right. It's stupid and annoying that LDS folks get uptight about other members' eating habits, home-making skills, or politics. I find the author rather ridiculous in this regard.

    But this issue is different, and I'm saying (and I think many others are saying) that what Mr. Huntsman did isn't something petty or inconsequential.

  • Lindsay Lady Santaquin, Utah
    May 18, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    I find it alarming that so many Mormons base their vote for President on whether or not someone is Mormon. Have any of you taken the time to see what the candidates actually stand for? Their "platform"? Or are you just basing your support on the fact that he/she openly admits to being of a specific religion??? There is so much more to my vote than someone's proclaimed religion...like does he/she stand for the same things I do when it comes to education, the economy, the environment, national security, international relations......??? Being Mormon does not mean he necessarily believes and stands for the same things you do when it comes to these issues! I don't take my vote lightly and I fully intend on educating myself on much more than someone's religious affiliation before voting for someone. Then if I still support the "Mormon" it's because of much more than a statement that he is one!

  • gizmo33 St. George, Utah
    May 18, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    sounds like a typical politician running for office. lt doesn't matter as long as Romney ia around Huntsman isnt going anywhere

  • JSpence SLC, UT
    May 18, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    The writer and many commenters have it completely wrong if they think this is about diversity within Mormonism. It's silly for people to get hung up on political afiliation, dietary preferences, home-making skills, or genealogy of fellow Latter-day Saints. Those things are superficial and irrellevent to salvation.

    Denying one's faith is a completely different issue however. Mr. Huntsman grew up in the Church, served a mission, and knows the lay of the land. Selling out your religous convictions for political expediency is a serious thing. For the author of this article to equate his hedging with hair color preference, knowing how to knit, etc. is extremely ignorant and even offensive.

  • dagardner1 Canton, MI
    May 18, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    I don't think they were asking him to define Mormonism - they were just asking him if he was one. That's not really hard to define. I see it as three choices: Yes, and active; Yes, and not active; non-Mormon (or former Mormon)

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    May 18, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    I'd like to see a discussion on the actual substance of what Huntsman said. Personally, I'm interested in his earlier statement to the effect that he finds wisdom in many different religious/spiritual traditions. I am definitely LDS, but that statement rings true for me too. I don't believe that something has to be in the Book of Mormon to be true any more than I believe that something has to be in the Bible to be true. Also, I'd take a guy who is at least proud of his Mormon roots over a guy who is outright hostile towards my faith any day. Huntsman seems like a good man with thoughtful political positions, and I hope he runs. We could do a lot worse than him as president. I feel the same way about Romney. I'm glad he apparently shares my degree of LDS faith, but that is not sufficient, or even necessary in and of itself to guarantee my vote. I also hope he runs, and is able to articulate his ideas effectively, despite those who are so eager to dismiss him.

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    May 18, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    My problem with Huntsman's comments has nothing to do with his personal religious beliefs. It's that when he's in the state, talking to an LDS audience, he proudly plays up his membership in the church, but when he's speaking to a national audience in a magazine, he's suddenly unable to give a simple answer as to whether or not he considers himself a member at all. When you answer the same question in two different ways, depending on your audience, it makes you extremely hard to trust.

    And to Iggle, you said, "I shudder every time I hear a Mormon say they were "born a Mormon, raised a Mormon, die a Mormon." I can't comment on other faiths, but that attitude doesn't belong in ours."

    I have to disagree. If you have a firm testimony of the gospel, why shouldn't that attitude belong in our church? I was born and raised in the LDS church, and the reason I'm still a member today is because I believe with all my heart that it's true. I've felt that my entire life. Why would I expect that to change?

  • JRP Spanish Fork, UT
    May 17, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    Sad to see so many comments (and their originators) so sure of themselves and their righteousness. Having to be "right" through defining anyone else's view of the world as wrong/unrighteous -- no matter how tiny the actual differences may be -- is a sad commentary on how scared we are of being wrong ourselves.

  • Joy Steele mesa, AZ
    May 17, 2011 8:07 p.m.

    Mike Huckabee's backing Jon Huntsman after destroying Mitt Romney's win by persecuting his Mormonism makes me wonder.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    May 17, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    He was parsing, as is this article. And completely lost my respect. He knew what the question was. Reminds me of Slick Willy -- "I did not have sexual relations with that intern" when in fact he did except for a twisted definition designed to hide the truth. That's how Huntsman made me feel. Can't trust the man. And that being the case, he will never get my vote.

  • Ryan20 Provo, UT
    May 17, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    This whole column strikes as me as a bit odd. For people familiar with LDS culture in general and church operation in particular, church membership is not "hard to define." Is your name on church records? Do you attend sacrament meeting with some regularity? If so, you are unambiguously a "member" of the LDS church. I understand why someone whose name is on church records but hasn't been in some time might find it difficult to define his/her status with respect to the church. But Huntsman, according to my knowledge, doesn't fit that category. The only reason why he'd dodge questions about his church membership has nothing to do with personal revelation, the word of wisdom, or any of the other dubious justifications the article mentions. It's naked politics, and frankly a little disconcerting.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    May 17, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    i think that he did the right thing to refuse. Giving an interview where the interview is later to be edited by a possibly hostile reporter or editor is almost no-win. Its rather like playing a game of "come on, John, lets see how long you can hang by this noose before you pass out - we'll cut you down in time - Promise!"

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 17, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    Some of them even knitted during our session. Knitted! I could not help but think, "Wow, these women are way more Mormon than me."


    I didn't know that knitting was an activity ONLY Mormons engaged in, or that it defined their degree of Mormonism.

    Thank you Jon Huntsman for NOT wearing your Mormonism on your sleeve.

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    May 17, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    Patriot sez: "The Nov elections were a clear signal of the rejection of Obama."
    I doubt it. He was not running. Obama did not write the healthcare bill. If he had, it would have the public option and thus control costs. The actual bill is written by members of Congress, in compromise.
    Gingrich was for the mandate until he got yelled at on radio yesterday by Limbaugh for not going along with the party line. The party line. I thought that was a strict liberal socialist concept. Apparently it applies to the GOP nowadays.
    You know, Bush's White House wrote the bills in the first 6 years of his terms. Only the highest ranking party members were allowed to see those Bush bills. The Dems dont write the bills in the White House. You can call it Obamacare but its the job of the Congress to write the bills. And they did.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    May 17, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    Props to Melinda B. Henneberger for chiming in.

  • avid reader Menan, ID
    May 17, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    As with Clinton's remark "is,is", "Huntsman's Mormonism hard to define" was evasive also, but the point is both remarks imply that the listener is as dumb as a post and can be fooled by evasive answers!

  • bobosmom small town, Nebraska
    May 17, 2011 3:10 p.m.

    I dont care if Huntsman is republican, democrat, or indepenedent. I think he is wishy washy. I vote for people based on what they believe more than what party they are affilated with. My parents were died hard democrats for the most part. If someone is LDS and democrat, so what? That doesnt make them any less of a person just because of there poliitcal beliefs. I have voted both democratic and repubulican but I was fed up with both parties so when it came time to renew my drivers license I changed to independent.

  • InsideView Draper, UT
    May 17, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    GO MITT - True Blue all the way through. Mitt will not waiver and will be a much better President than Jon Jr.

  • Melinda B. Henneberger Glen Echo, MD
    May 17, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    I wrote the TIME article referred to here, and speaking of stereotypes, would like to clear up one.

    C. Jane Kendrick writes that, "When a reporter asks about being a member of the church, are they really asking about the serious part of the religion, like the promises we make at baptism, or are they asking about a mix of feelings they've derived from "South Park" episodes and bits from "Big Love"?"

    I've written about religion for years, take it completely seriously, and would have loved to have spent the whole interview on faith, though I'm not sure Gov. Huntsman would have. And though it's perhaps not to my credit, I've never seen a whole "South Park," nor any "Big Love."

  • Phill Provo, UT
    May 17, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    "I can't grasp how an active Church member could be a Democrat."

    WoW ! This is one of the most arrogant comment's I've read in a while, ( although they are often ) this just shines the ignorance of one that bathes himself in pride and self-righteousness.. Beware Wayne! Check yourself!

    There are many Mormon Democrats. Many serve as bishops, stake presidents, general authorities, and even Apostolship!!! I hope you don't go inactive on that.

    Many think " how can you be a republican and be a Mormon"? ... You know, many have different ideologies and they are in their right to do so. Now if you were an ACTIVE MORMON, you'd find much truth in Liberalism and Conservatism, ( Elder Oaks talk on Criticism, I invite you to read it ) .. apparently you are not in the Active Mormon list according to your comment ...

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    May 17, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    Congratulations CJane.

    Good article --AND you hit a nerve!

    102 comments and counting.

    Thats way more than your previous other 11 articles combined! :)

  • attentive Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2011 1:59 p.m.

    I've tried repeatedly to post a comment here. Something quoted and not up for debate, but for some reason, the censors choose not to allow it to be read by others. May I try once more and if it doesn't make it this time, then let the censor consider deeply why they are not allowing my comment. Joseph F. Smith has been quoted as saying that he was a "dyed in the wool, true blue, through and through" Mormon, and this at a time when he was confronted by a man with a gun in his hand, a professed hater of Mormons, who was asking him if he was a Mormon. If a man can stand up and say that he IS something even when death might be imminent, then what is Huntsman's problem? He won't be killed for not standing up for his supposed beliefs. He doesn't have a chance against Obama anyway.

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 17, 2011 1:53 p.m.


    What exactly was the Pres. supposed to do in the gulf? Throw on some SCUBA gear and swim down and turn the spigot? He left it to the professionals - and yes I do use that term loosely. If you really are a patriot, you would want your president to succeed and you would do everything in your power to make that happen. That isn't what you are doing. You hope he fails so your guy can get back into power. You probably weren't even proud that osama bin laden was taken out. Your hyper-partisanship is truly sad. We are all Americans! I did not agree with most of what Pres. Bush did but I never wished him to fail - ever. Can you say the same?

  • Jeffrey Wilbur Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 17, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    The first comment on this story? "I can't grasp how an active Church member could be a Democrat."

    Gee, who wouldn't want to associate with these people?

    More on topic, my first reaction to this is how shallow and distracted so many people are being to this that they care more about the religion a person wears on their sleeve than on the quality of that person themselves. What a sad state of American politics.

    I think the best response to this situation was said thusly:

    "Say nothing of my religion. It is known to myself and my God alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one."
    ~Thomas Jefferson

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 17, 2011 1:19 p.m.


    You wanted examples of Obama's soft , fuzzy governing:
    1. The Gulf Oil Spill: As oil exploded into the gulf for months, and the governors of the gulf states screamed for action Obama sat like a deer in the head lights and did nothing - other than trying to place blame on the oil company. The long term effects of his in-action will be felt for generations. Obama also dilly - dallied and shut down ALL oil rigs in the gulf (big mistake) and caused those same rigs to eventually leave the gulf all together along with the thousands of jobs they provided. Completely irresponsible and incompentent leadership.
    2. As the people of Iran were rioting in the streets and trying to find some support for their efforts to oust their dictator where was Obama? The man wouldn't even offer moral support but instead decided to vote not present.

    The only thing bold and decisive about Obama is how he rammed his socialized health care down our throats via back room money deals with no one even taking the time to read the bill.

    The Nov elections were a clear signal of the rejection of Obama.

  • Iggle Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    To be fair, Mom of 2, I've seen some blogs and threads online about Tim Pawlenty and how some (not all, and not the official church) Catholics are leery of him because he left the Catholic Church for an evangelical church. There was one particular blogger who was adamant that he would not vote for Pawlenty because someone who leaves the Catholic Church "lacks discernment and judgment."

    Most religions will have some members who get outraged because they can't handle when people stop believing in what they believe. It's human nature (read: natural man). I saw it in the one I left. That doesn't make it OK for LDS or anyone else to do it. All religions need to fight against this attitude that certainly doesn't come from God.

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:57 p.m.


    It was the Republican party that ran up the enormous debt that you so conveniently blame on Pres. Obama. The prescription drug bill passed by republicans, a 2 trillion dollar war (wrong country), and massive tax cuts are to blame for our debt. When are people going to realize that Republicans are NOT fiscally conservative?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    "Consider for a moment if Gov Huntsman would have answered the question about his Mormon faith differently - basically stating as Mitt Romney has many times that his Mormon faith and his belief in Jesus Christ is the foundation of his life and central to his value system. I actually think that sort of answer would have perhaps put him in the front of the GOP field for 2012...passing Mitt Romney. "

    Maybe in Utah. Nationwide he wouldn't even gain 1% from it.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:48 p.m.


    Obama saved capitalism?? Say what??? HA!!! Not sure where you have been for the past 2 years. The Obama I am talking about is the one trying to destroy captialism and make government all powerful - and controlling in our lives. Yes the Obama that has borrowed more (from China) and produced less than the past 5 presidents put together and now has America AAA bond rating in jepardy due to our enormous debt. People across America spoke very strongly and unmistakingly last November in the mid-term elections that they reject everything Obama - so much so that not only did congress get flushed of democrats but record governors across America went to the GOP as well. The election was historic and the message was clear. As far Huntsman goes, I strongly disagree with your idea that Huntsman's indifference to his faith is of little consequence. Again, people see Huntsman as a man of no conviction and that weighs much heavier than anything he might have done in China as far as the 2012 elections go. Watch and see. I doubt Huntsman will be able to raise any money going forward now and will drop out.

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    Wayne Rout from El Paso has it backwards! How can an active Mormon be a Republican? The vast majority of Democratic Party beliefs and goals are shared by the Mormon Church. It astounds me that most Mormons are Republicans.

  • Mom of 2 Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    Mormons' reactions to Huntsman's comments are exactly why people think Mormons are a cult. The outrage is ridiculous. Why does it matter to you or your memberhsip how he responds to questions like that? Other religions don't get so riled up about stuff like this.

  • Iggle Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    I'm just curious about something. I come from a long line of family and ancestors who were dedicated to their particular faith. I left that faith 10 years ago ... to join the LDS Church. Did I "sell out"? Should I still believe what my ancestors and family believe?

    It's a double standard to scorn people for leaving (or waffling on) the "faith of your fathers" in a missionary church that stresses faith is a choice and up to the individual to find truth for themselves.

    I shudder every time I hear a Mormon say they were "born a Mormon, raised a Mormon, die a Mormon." I can't comment on other faiths, but that attitude doesn't belong in ours.

  • guitarboy South Jordan, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    (continued from above)

    Religion is a private thing. In New England, for example, it is considered rude to ask someone about their religion. Governor Huntsman is deeply spiritual and very much Mormon. When asked about it, he chose not to say "that's none of your business," and instead responded that it is difficult to define and that he draws from his heritage and is proud of his Mormon roots. How is that different from any other Mormon? To those who criticize Huntsman for his honest and thoughtful remarks which you have judged and very likely misinterpreted:

    Are your proud of your Mormon roots?

    Do you draw from all sides of your heritage? (hint: culturally and sociologically, all sides of your heritage were passed down to you)

    Do you find all of your views on what level of Mormon you are, to be easy to define? (keep in mind, any summary that is truthful but incomplete, is inaccurate).

    Governor Huntsman is just the kind of person we need. He doesn't oversimplify. He is thoughtful. He is honest. He doesn't take part in the soundbite sport of our society.

    Simple minds, criticize. How judgmental and sad.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    "I wouldn't suppose that one would have to claim perfect obedience to define oneself as a Latter Day Saint but if you can answer affirmatively to these questions, I think you'd be okay to profess faithful membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Seems pretty easy to define for me. "

    And what if they don't. Like say if Huntsman isn't trying to raise his kids LDS (I don't mean that to suggest he's a bad parent, just that the adopted children had different religious upbringings so I'm going on the notion that he's probably very willing to see them develop their own religious views themselves). Would he still be a mormon if he only answers "correctly" to six of the seven questions of yours? Or would it become... hard to define?

  • guitarboy South Jordan, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Born and raised in Orem, son of a BYU professor and LDS bishop, I am disappointed in all the judgmental comments.

    "It's only difficult to define if you're NOT."
    I totally disagree. It is simple to define, for the simple-minded members of our soundbite-oriented society. But it may not be simple to define for the intellectually honest among us. Like Governor Huntsman.

    "Huntsman has had a lifetime to define his religion. It is a simple question that has a simple answer."
    Wrong again. See above.

    "I can't grasp how an active Church member could be a Democrat."
    I can't grasp why any intellectually honest person would want to reduce himself or herself politically to a category like "Republican" or "Democrat" or "Libertarian." I respect those who study the issues and vote responsibly, not sheep-like.

    "Huntsman's defining Mormonism reminds me of Bill Clinton's, 'It depends on what the meaning of the word is, is'"
    I agree, but not in the snide way you imply. Clinton was exactly right. We just didn't like his evasive tactics, his dishonesty and his perjury. But his comment about "is," was correct.

  • TXkate Corpus Christi, Texas
    May 17, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    As someone who is outside of Utah and not a Mormon, I find it interesting that Huntsman lack of clarity is being held against him so strongly when it is exactly Mitt Romney's lack of clarity on the issues that has doomed his candidacy.

    Mitt's reversal's on abortion (twice), gay marriage, gun control, campaign finance and immigration, in other words the very things that have made him palatable to the most conservative voters, are killing him with Independents (who you must win to win on a national level.)

    So, if you are interested in a Mormon being president, as an outsider, I can assure you that Huntsman is the better choice.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    May 17, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    I do travel a lot and the first question asked of me is always, "are you a Mormon"? My answer?? "I used to be".

    For the first few years I answered yes, I am. Now however, being from Utah and being a Mormon has become somewhat of an embarrassment because of the hypocritical and self serving actions of some of our Mormon politicians.

    How do I explain the hot tub incident or the drunk driving incident and the many anti social bills that our legislature bring up and even pass.

    Trust me folks, those message bills do send a message and it's not a pro Mormon message. It is negative and impossible to explain to our friends of other religions around the nation.

    I have to answer for my decisions and you have to answer for yours. Some of you make it difficult to be associated what some perceive as weirdness.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    May 17, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    Parkite1: Do you know that your postion (and that of the LDS Church)on abortion is more in tune with the Democratic Party than the postion of the radical Right? You can't have abortion for rape without a woman having a right to choose. How can a woman unquestionably prove in court that she has been raped?

    And Republicans can't choose a black candidate for President. There is still far too much racism on the Right to allow that to happen.

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    May 17, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    It's to the point where it's difficult to be involved in politics, regardless of party affiliation, and be a good member of the LDS Church. Throughout most of the country, I'd categorize the Republican party as the most anti-Mormon party. Both major parties promote immoratility, dishonesty and bigotry, just from different angles. Kudos to those who can maintain their standards, no matter what religion they are in, while still being a politician.

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    May 17, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    In attempting to address Huntsman's unwillingness to takes stands on issues for which he says he has not yet prepared refined positions, Patriot opines: "Today we have a president who is the ultimate in soft, wishy-washy character and the result has been disastrous." I find it difficult to accept that the same man who is accused by the GOP of undermining the 'American way' by subterfuge which will somehow lead the USA down the path to ruin is the same person who is wishy-washy. How can the president be so clever and yet so soft?
    The propaganda of patriot thus makes no sense. When GOP supporters post about the sitting president they should give examples, not just name-calling. From my point of view, the results have been great. The car industry has been saved for now . Banks have paid back loans.
    While the GOP has prevented Congress and the Dems from big changes in the financial area, and resisted calls to bail out mortgage holders, prolonging the economic slide, our president has made good on many of his campaign promises.

  • verily_verily Beautiful, NV
    May 17, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    Comments on Comments

    Great article, being a "Mormon" does have many different definitions. C. Jane Kendrick could have mentioned the smoking, drinking and yes, even the gay "Mormons." But Kendrick might be following certain guidelines, as we all must do, to be published. Over flavoring her article would have sent some here on a rant.

    If I am reading the comments correctly today, Utahns will be supporting either Mitt Romney or President Obama. Obviously Governor Huntsman has been thrown under the bus, and no amount of resuscitation will bring him back.

    Mitt Romney it seems is "Mormon" enough to be acceptable, but not being a native is a sticking point.

    President Obama on the other hand, may loose a fair amount of support in Utah, for simply being a Democrat.

  • Parkite1 Park City, UT
    May 17, 2011 11:25 a.m.

    Utah is the Holier-than-though-state and Mormons here tend to judge much more than probably anywhere else in the World. As for Democrats vs. Republicans cannot fathom a TRUE Mormon ever being a Democrat and supporting the Right-to-Abortion that ends any discussion for me because except in the case of incest rape or life-threatening to the mother it is pure and simple murder...

    I would much rather have Huntsman or ANYONE than the miscreant buffoon wannabe rockstar aka Mr. President who was largely voted in by mindless voters who wanted a first black president...shame it wasn't Rice or Powell then they would have had someone who would have been great for America

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    May 17, 2011 11:16 a.m.

    patriot | 10:46 a.m. May 17, 2011
    Cedar Hills, UT
    "Today we have a president who is the ultimate in soft, wishy-washy character and the result has been disastrous."

    The same President Obama that has saved capitalism and ordered the shooting of Bin Laden or are we talking about Bush's disasters with two unpaid wars costing Trillions, a Prescription plan costing a trillion and a 700 billion bank bailout plan?

    Huntsman doesn't have to live his life any way the rest of you deem fit. His spirituality is between him and God.

    What none of you realize is Huntsman role as ambassador also made him a de facto representative in China. The Chinese watched how he worked and conducted his staff. He allowed staff to have more family time unlike the previous ambassador appointed by Bush who had people ditching their families often to make him look good to Bush. Huntsman's embracing of the family reflected well on the LDS Church so stop judging. He will be one of the many people who have paved the way for the LDS Church to open up China to proselytizing so stop judging.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 17, 2011 10:46 a.m.

    Consider for a moment if Gov Huntsman would have answered the question about his Mormon faith differently - basically stating as Mitt Romney has many times that his Mormon faith and his belief in Jesus Christ is the foundation of his life and central to his value system. I actually think that sort of answer would have perhaps put him in the front of the GOP field for 2012...passing Mitt Romney. I really think Gov Huntsman underestimated the effect of that question and understands now what Ronald Reagan meant when he said conservatives need to have bold colors and not pale pastels. People of all faiths - or no faith - want in a leader bold, clear vision of who they are and what they believe. When people get the sense that a politician is wishy-washy in something as fundamental has his faith they wonder (correctly) if that same sense of wishy-washyness will translate to other characteristics of his governing skill - ability to make economic decisions, foreign policy decisions etc.... Today we have a president who is the ultimate in soft, wishy-washy character and the result has been disastrous.

  • jenrmc Fort Worth, TX
    May 17, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    My great-grandfather owned slaves, doesn't mean I believe in slavery. To say that based on someone's ancestry his beliefs are the same is saying he is too weak to form his own beliefs. To say that his ancestor was stalwart in his beliefs and so Mr. Huntsman should be is a huge leap of logic. I would like to express again how he has the right to form his own opinions and his religious opinions and personal choices have nothing to do with his ability to run and be elected for office. What attributes the US President has need to be decided by you and for only yourself. Once you've decided that go and vote and make your voice heard.

  • uintahutefan Vernal, UT
    May 17, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    What really amazes me is how little attention this story has gotten outside of Utah and how it's only a controversy for Mormons. As a recent convert to the Church myself, I completely understand Mr. Huntsman's response. I was a Southern Baptist before joining the church and wasn't an active member for quite awhile, but I still considered myself a Christian. To me that should be the real question to ask Mr. Huntsman. Are you a Christian? That is not a hard to define answer. His response then would be more of an "issue" then.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    May 17, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    @SLC gal, it's hard to imagine how one could come to the conclusion that Obama "tried to hide his Hawaiian birth;" after all, he was open about it in his first book in 1995, and he released an official birth certificate during his candidacy.

    There are real shenanigans, and then there are imaginary shenanigans. There are shenanigans committed by politicians and candidates, and then there are shenanigans committed by their detractors. Which shenanigans do you want to do away with, and how do you propose it be done?

  • kam Layton, UT
    May 17, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    Here's my issue with this. The reporter for TIME asked if "he still belonged to the LDS church" to which he hemmed and hawed about how tough it was to "Define", when a simple yes or no would have sufficed. Sure, there may be deeper issues revolving around his "membership" and "testimony", but his Bishop wasn't the one conducting the interview, it was a REPORTER. The question wasn't if he had an unwavering testimony of every specific tenet of the LDS faith. I don't feel like the question was in the same ball park as "are you more religious than your brothers and sisters? or Do you drink your coke with or without caffeine?" Again, you don't need to treat the interview like a "confessional". You do need to be a straight shooter with your answers, if you don't want the American public to consider you "just another" double talking politician. I certainly won't vote for a man who can't answer a VERY simple question for fear of political reprisal. That's much too soft and cowardly position to take if you truly consider yourself a serious presidential contender.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    May 17, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    I firmly believe that all of you who cast judgement on others and Huntsman for not being "Mormon enough" should pray for a dose of humility.

    We will all be judged accordingly and unless you are the Lord himself, you need to stop bashing others spiritually.

    I find the ones who protest the strongest are the ones usually sinning in and concealing this.

    DId you all think Kilpack (DUI) and Garn (naked in hot tun with 15 yr old) were "good LDS" people only to find out they were "sinners"?

    Also, those who held up Jimmer as a "missionary", something I don't buy, because he "raised the profile of the Church" then Huntsman also gets credit for making the LDS Church more well known by that same logic. But in your judgmental eyes Huntsman is just "not good enough" right? It is silly and judgmental.

    Don't like his philosophy? Then don't vote for him. He is running for President of the USA, not President of the LDS Church.

  • Delirious Antioch, CA
    May 17, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    You almost had me until I remembered that his grandfather was David B. Haight, a stalwart apostle of the Lord. If you had asked Elder David B. Haight his religiosity, there would have been no "hard to define" in his answer.

  • Dave003 Draper, UT
    May 17, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    Well said! We are a very complicated people with varying degrees of commitment to our faith. I believe that many LDS members our frustrated with Gov. Huntsman not because of his "complex" faith, but rather because he seems to be using this complexity to posture for political gain. If that is the case then I too am disappointed in his approach.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 17, 2011 10:05 a.m.

    I should of thought of this one earlier,
    Hunstman had a great answer....

    I see no difference with Jesus answering "tough to define" when asked if he was Jewish.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2011 10:05 a.m.

    I can't judge, but to me it seems like he's playing to the crowd. He's betting that America is still not ready for an LDS president, so he's going opposite Mitt Romney, and it almost appears that he's trying to hide something. Like I said, I can't judge, maybe he does have questions about the church, but either you are or you aren't. To me there is no middle ground, and if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. I expect the same from anybody I would vote for for president.

    Look what happened when our current president tried to hide his Hawaiian birth. Do we really want four more years of that? Can we afford four more years of those shenanigains?

  • SpyGirl Mapleton, ut
    May 17, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    Of course we all know that the most important and thus far unexplained part of this post was the knitting at BYU Women's Conference! cjane, you somehow missed that the women were asked to knit scarves, etc., as they listened, as part of a humanitarian service project. They picked up the supplies at the beginning and were to return their completed project at the end. They weren't busy being more Mormon than you, just busier with their hands while you were being busy with your mouth. Ha ha!

  • jenrmc Fort Worth, TX
    May 17, 2011 9:43 a.m.

    It is a natural experience to question at one point in time your belief system. The fact that Mr. Huntsman would prefer to do this in private is completely understandable. I think people aren't looking at the fact that if he is truly undecided then he has chosen to speak the truth. We don't know where he is or what he truly believes so instead shift the focus to what matters which is his viewpoints and whether you think he has the ability to be a good president. That is what is really important.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 17, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    I presume Mr. H made certain solemn covenants in certain places which he now feels doubtful about. Therefore, his ability to put his hand on the Bible and swear to anything now seems doubtful to me. I don't trust him.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    May 17, 2011 9:19 a.m.

    I think that if anyone who has been baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not willing to give a clear and concise response to a question about his membership in the church, that he is a member in name only and ought to re-read the covenants that he made when he was baptized.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 17, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    Most of the above is an attempt by persons to define Jon Huntsman for him. If he chooses to define his Mormonism through his ancestry that's his privledge. If you choose to define your Mormonism through your beliefs then that's your privledge. You don't get to define Huntsman for him. That's his right and responsibility.

    Mormonism is many things. It is a blief system, and it is a culture. It's also a social system. As an ex Mormon, atheist, I still feel a kinsip to my Mormon heritage, and belive it does help to define who I am. So if I choose to think of myself as partly Mormon that's my privledge, and no one gets to deny that for me.

  • Done That Monroe, CT
    May 17, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    I've spent some time in Europe including 2 years on a mission in Italy. Even the Catholics who haven't been to church or practiced their religion very diligently will tell you if they are Catholic or not. They usually qualify it by mentioning that they haven't attended in years or have problems with certain beliefs or practices. None of us are perfect at practicing "our religion", but one should be able to define his personal relationship and how one measures up. Brother Huntsman could have done a better job - hopefully he will fill some of the gaps and will have the courage to make a stand.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    May 17, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    I am a Mormon. I believe that the LDS church is the sole holder of the priesthood keys necessary for the saving ordinances of the gospel. I attend my meetings, pay my tithing, serve in my callings, adhere to the tenets of the gospel to the best of my ability, and sustain our leaders in their callings. I love the scriptures and their teachings; I feel comfort and confirmation in the doctrines.

    I see the good the Church accomplishes and am moved by the institutional compassion the church displays and am proud to be a member.

    Sometimes I look at the Church and can see elements of hypocrisy, nepotism, and institutional actions that I do not agree with. I am not talking about individual members; we are all flawed to some degree, but what I observe at a macro level. Sometimes I am disturbed by what I see.

    In this, I have, at times, been considered less than a "Good Mormon".

    Today, I am probably a "Good Mormon".

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 17, 2011 8:34 a.m.

    Personally, I want to be judged for what I do, how I treat others, how I cary myself. I want you to know I am honest, that I work hard, that I love my family and my friends. I want to carry myself in a way that demonstrates that I am a Christian.

    The name on the wall of the church, or the leader of that church are moot points - they don't matter. You should judge me for what I do, not the church I claim association with.

    I have seen little to no relationship between if one is a temple recommend carrying member, and how they treat others. Some of the most giving and christ like people I know have never set foot in a mormon church. Likewise, I have met many good people in the church. But the quality of those people, their devotion to their faith, had nothing to do with some check list.

    If you think faith is as simple as being able to answer to the affirmative to a bunch of questions, you are grossly underestimating what being christ like really is.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    May 17, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    Good article! I am not a Utahn, and I'm only somewhat aware of Huntsman, but I know he's the grandson of an apostle, the son of a seventy, a returned missionary, and the former governor of a predominantly LDS state. Thus his largest support group is committed to LDS theology and culture. It is extremely rare to find a truly converted, active, Latter-day Saint who attends a variety of churches (most are too busy serving in one), and I can't imagine a truly converted LDS person not sharing the fullness of the gospel with his or her children. It is possible to be Jewish by birth and by culture, but not embrace Judaism in a religious way, and not have other Jews care. That's because Jews aren't concerned with being spiritual examples to the world; their religion is a personal matter. Yes, Huntsman's spongy response makes a dissonant sound in our LDS ears, but he has his agency. The important question is, "Do his political principles line up well with mine?" If not, the LDS question is moot. Otherwise, I'm guessing Romney gets most of the LDS support. Neither will win.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    May 17, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    I voted for the man to become govenor and would again. He did a commendable job in China for our country in a very difficult time.

    China was pressuring Obama and other world leaders to let the Yuan become the world currency and now thanks to Huntsman and his diplomacy that is not even currently on the table.

    Huntsman has let his name be known outside this state and what he has done should make people here proud.

    In the new testament there is a parable of talents and whether or not you agree with his views or abilities John Huntsman has 5 talents and he is busy using and developing them.

    Cudos to him.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 17, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    It all depends on Huntsman's motives. While I'm disappointed he doesn't just own up to being Mormon, albeit a different kind, I'm more concerned about his policies, what he would do as president and (even more) his qualifications. What has he done that is so unique and transformational?

    I also find comical the comparisons of Huntsman vs. Romney where Romney is cast as the one having a hard time defining himself (ie. the New Republic). It seems easy - Huntsman has spent most of his life in and around Utah, where Romney (outside the Olympics and a vacation home) has NEVER lived in Utah.

    So in my mind, you have one Utah Mormon trying to not look like a Mormon (why?) and a Non Utah Mormon who is vocal about his membership but sometimes finds it difficult to explain the deeper parts of his beliefs. Who do you trust more?

    And why do some of you in Utah try so hard to distance yourselves from your faith? Just be yourselves...

  • Aggielove Junction city, Oregon
    May 17, 2011 7:47 a.m.

    Maybe its telling us we are better off not running for pres when we are mormon.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    May 17, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    Personally, I will leave JHJ's brand of "mormonism" up to Christ to judge. Although, He has already hinted at His direction:

    "I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue they out of my mouth."

    I'm ok with JHJ being either in or out, but pick one and own it. Don't pander.

  • Cat Centerville, UT
    May 17, 2011 7:18 a.m.

    I'm not so concerned with Huntsman's doubts (everyone has them from time to time) and if he's doing some serious soul serching about his belief then fine. However, if you're not living the basics of the church, then don't claim membership. (BTW I hold this standard to all people not just LDS. If you're Catholic, you go to mass at least once a week) I have a problem with him claiming membership in the church and then seldom attending LDS services and attending other churches. I have a problem with him adopting two children and then raising them in the faith of their culture. In both of the countries he adopted from there are LDS members. I have a problem with his daughter getting married in non-LDS church. You don't hear anything about his children serving missions (you do about Romney's boys). It just feels like he's LDS when it's convienent to be. It feels like pandering.

    BTW - While I don't always agree with Romney and I'm not one of his supporters, I do respect that he isn't ashamed of his church membership.

  • FreeMan Heber City, UT
    May 17, 2011 7:03 a.m.

    I don't believe in different brands of Mormonism. Everything mentioned in the article as evidence of different flavors of Mormonism (meat, caffeine, political party) have nothing to do with Mormonism. Mormonism is about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You either believe that or you don't. I don't think Jon Huntsman believes that. He may appreciate his Mormon heritage, but that is not the same as being a disciple of Jesus Christ. I do appreciate that he doesn't pretend to be something he isn't.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    May 17, 2011 5:45 a.m.

    --"are they really asking about the serious part of the religion, like the promises we make at baptism, or are they asking about a mix of feelings they've derived from "South Park" episodes and bits from "Big Love"?"

    The media seldom (I would say never) are asking serious questions about the serious part of being LDS.

    They want quick, sound-bite, audience-preferred answers.

    Answers about why anyone is an LDS member, or the condition of or reason for their personal feelings is usually not answerable to a reporter anyway.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    May 17, 2011 1:37 a.m.

    Wow, I am surprised that half of these comments and posts made it past the censors. Mine cdertainly did not. Maybe the Tribune would publish what I had to say about the Governors problem explaining himself and his relationship to his faith. I believe one should stand up for what they believe. In politics that would be the thing I would hope for.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    May 17, 2011 1:07 a.m.

    There is a proper Wy to Resign from the Church.

    Give the Toys Back and move on with you life.

    Manny people for whom Mormonism has become a burden to career have done just that.

    Not my cup of Postum but Oh well.

    Because of the nature of the subject, we cannot discuess Mormonism at its Rawist, Fineist, or true common Dnomenator.

    If you do not want to be it Leave It. Good enough for President Bensons Grandson good enough for John Huntsman. Who by the way is unknown outside of Utah.

  • docrob Laie, HI
    May 17, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    Isn't Huntsman just trying to be like Reagan and the Bushs? They were as Unchurched as possible. They only went to church when it was time for a photo op. But all their followers considered them (especially Reagan) as very spiritual people-- up there with Gandhi, etc. Yet who could even say what church they didn't go to! So Huntsman is trying to be spiritual but not necessarily religious. It worked before.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    May 16, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    The only difference Jon Huntsman's remarks will make will be when Utah decides who they will support for the Republican Party nomination, Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman. I believe the Huntsman supporters will be surprised how the overwhelming majority side with. For the rest of us, it will be an obvious choice.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 16, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    My previous post disproves another popular stereotype, this against LDS politicians, "They will be controlled by LDS Headquarters in Salt Lake." Huntsman lived in Salt Lake, and still wasn't controlled by LDS headquarters.

  • delasalle Sandy, UT
    May 16, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    My how judgmental are we? I'm sure like many of us he just has some concerns about certain aspects of the religion and therefore cannot say without a shadow of a doubt that he believes it to be true. Is there something wrong with that? Are we all perfect? Does he have to be a perfect Mormon for Mormons to vote for him? I sometimes worry about those who are so inflexible that they would judge somebody like Huntsman for harboring some doubts. Those are the ones I feel will be most likely to fall by the wayside when they find many in the Church are just this, fallible. I won't go into detail for fear of having my comment rejected but as I've grown older I have learned more and more about the mistakes of those whom I revered as a youngster, those in bishoprics, stake presidencies, etc. I seem to hear things on a regular basis now about people I know. For a while I was surprised but I no longer am. Why? Because I know people make mistakes and that I shouldn't worry about it if it doesn't concern me.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    May 16, 2011 10:54 p.m.

    Huntsman is more authentically LDS than many of the wear-it-on-their-sleaves Mormons, including on this thread.

    Does anyone really think that anything he says about the LDS church, or about Jesus Christ would speak louder or do more good or harm than anything he does in office? Actions speak louder than words. I have no problem with what he "didn't say."

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    May 16, 2011 10:45 p.m.

    As a previous poster pointed out, Huntsman Jr's relationship with his church is of a lot less concern to me than his relationship with the Republican platform...at least so long as he is campaigning for President rather than for Bishop.

    That said, there are direct, courageous ways to answer a question and there are less honorable ways.

    "I'm a member but not particularly observant," or "We try to get to church on Christmas and Easter," or, "I love the doctrines but hate the meetings," or even, "My faith is a deeply personal matter not relevant to politics," are all fine answers.

    To those saying his answer doesn't matter, I wonder how you would have reacted had his answer been, "I'm a staunch and devote mormon and think the country would be wells served by a return to those traditional values still embraced the many of our churches including the one to which I belong."

    It seems to me that Jr has always been a politician, looking to tell voters what he thinks they want to hear, rather than the full truth. This non-answer is just the latest example.

  • Seattleview Federal Way, WA
    May 16, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    I dont understand why so many Mormons act so amazed that another Mormon would be a Democrate rather than a Republican. It is like they are anxious to tell other Mormons that they arent "real" Mormons. Isnt that what Evengelical Christians say about Mormons regarding being Christian?

    By the way, there isnt much difference between being a moderate Republican and a conservative Democrat. Neither side alone represents the gospel and most people dont agree with everything their party stands for anyway. So in that case, defining someone by their being a Republican or by being a Democrat doesnt tell you what they really believe. Still, they define themselves to a large degree by their party affiliation. That is why Huntsmans difficulty in admitting his membership in the church is confusing and disappointing. The whole point of the current Mormon advertising campaign is that there are all kinds of Mormons. He could have been a good example of that. If he decides to do it the future, lets just not say he is not a "real" Mormon. There are all kinds.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    May 16, 2011 10:28 p.m.

    To Jonathan:
    To someone outside of Utah not LDS these questions all raise more questions not answers. You can't explain excommunication, Father and Son, church standards, prophet, priesthood, etc. in one magazine article.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    May 16, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    Let me try this one.
    1. Were you baptized in the LDS church and are free from excommunication?
    2. Do you still believe that Joseph Smith was visited by the Father and the Son?
    3. Do you still go to the LDS church and try your best to live by church standards?
    4. Do you recognize Thomas Monson as a prophet?
    5. Are you trying to raise your family as a Latter Day Saint?
    6. Do you believe the priesthood keys and ordinances are held inviolate by the LDS church having come from Christ himself?
    7. Are you not ashamed to raise your hand to the square in support of LDS church authority?

    I wouldn't suppose that one would have to claim perfect obedience to define oneself as a Latter Day Saint but if you can answer affirmatively to these questions, I think you'd be okay to profess faithful membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Seems pretty easy to define for me.

  • Cherilyn Eagar Holladay, UT
    May 16, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    When you grow up outside of Utah, as I did, you learn very early in life how not to be embarrassed for being different - "way" different, especially when you grow up in Hollywood, California. When a friend calls across the Hollywood High School quad, "Hey, Mormon!" and you know there are only five others of you in the entire school, you turn around and respond with a smile already knowing they think you are among a rare breed that grows horns out of your head.

    I wouldn't have traded it in for anything. It made me stronger. I understand what it means to be "in the world and not of the world." I learned to be proud of being a Mormon, however it's defined, and to have fun with those who seriously asked So how many wives does your father have?

    It's too bad that some Utah born and raised Mormons have such a difficult time with being so concerned about being accepted in the world. Just be who you are. People may not agree with your religious beliefs, but they will come to respect you if you live those beliefs.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    May 16, 2011 9:35 p.m.

    We all commit sin, even Republicans. The question is, do we repent or redifine and rationalize our actions. I believe we all do some of each to different degrees. Even though I detest Democrat policies, I have many Democrat friends. I am glad that I don't have to Judge what is in his heart, that is between God and Jon Huntsman Jr. He was a reasonable Governor, I disagree with a lot of his actions, but agree with a lot more. I will wait and see making a judgment call on him for President after I have a great deal more information. He has to be better than President Obama. Well maybe at least not any worse.

  • PA Rock Man Allentown, PA
    May 16, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    I don't understand why people want "yes/no", "black/white" answers all the time. Sometimes answers are complex because the questions are complex. Does anyone have a yes/no answer to our countries economic problems? To terrorism? To energy issues?

    Religious questions are hardly black/white questions, if they were we wouldn't spend so much time bickering about religion.

    Personally, I find it refreshing that Huntsman considers questions thoughtfully and truthfully instead of just spouting any answer without hesitation in order to seem decisive. We have a boatload of politicians who are answer yes or no without considering that they might be wrong, they just want their soundbite out on cable news. What is the use in being decisive if you decide incorrectly?

  • Hulen Clark Robeline, LA
    May 16, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    I am a yes/no, black/white, up or down person. I have trouble with Mr. Huntsmans statement about his membership in the church. Are you a active
    member of the church? yes/no. I love temple recommends questions as they are yes/no questions. I really get concern when a politician won't give a straight answer. Don't think i can support this guy. Thank you

  • Serious Rexburg, ID
    May 16, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    Well written article...

    I suppose we Mormons tend to judge a little much!!

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    May 16, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    poster wrote about his own father:" He, like Jon Huntsman, also found great truths in other religions.

    I think we'd do well to be a bit more engaging and far less judgmental about such views."

    I'd like to know how the poster infers that Huntsman finds great truth in any religion, no matter the choice. I just re-read the article on the TIME website. All I came away with is that Huntsman has yet to research his position papers and defers in-depth discussion until he is better prepared. And he has changed positions on a couple of topics that are important to the Tea Party, which reeks of opportunism, that is, politics by polling.

  • Kimball Bakersfield, CA
    May 16, 2011 8:09 p.m.

    I don't care what religion he is; I just want him to be able to represent himself well and he didn't. His answer seemed timid and vague which reduced my trust of him. Why would we send him to China as an ambassador much less elect him as a president if he can't give a sound bite about his beliefs.

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    May 16, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    the blogger's comments about differences among his siblings had to do with the willingness to be disciplined or how food choices relate to health. That is so different from not even being able to admit membership or more important, 'alignment' with basic tenets.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    May 16, 2011 7:48 p.m.

    judge not lest ye be judged

  • The Rabbit (in Spanish) Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2011 7:31 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards:

    "A Mormon understands the sacrament prayers and judges his conduct against the covenant he makes every week as he takes the sacrament. Anything less is fluff."

    I would like to include that adding much more to that is fluff as well.

    BTW, I have read the scriptures many times, have often watched General Conference over the past 21 years, and have studied Hebrew and Greek in order to better understand the meaning of the words of ancient prophets. I have been unable to find the reference to the anointing of the Republican party by someone in authority. There must be one by the way Mormons in Utah approach the subject. Can anyone help?

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 16, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    Don't upset the Mormons?

    The last thing we need is another article or opinion piece saying religion is under attack.

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    May 16, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    "Wayne Rout many promiment mormons are or have been gasp Dems including at least one current member of the seventy. The list inludes Pres Faust, Hugh B Brown, Pres Tanner, Bruce R McConckie, I could continue. I am not a Dem however to villify a another LDS for being a democratic is pure hypocrisy and just plain dumb. "

    In the days of these Brethren, the Democrat party was much different from what is stands for today. It would not surprise me if some of them were here today, they would rethink the philosophy of today's politicians that the only way to gain office is bribe the voters with promises of more government programs.

    Anyone who teaches self-reliance shudders a bit at how government programs have become sacred cows for them to milk.

  • ih8bella West Jordan, Utah
    May 16, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    Thanks Katamb. You made me laugh and made me feel better.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    May 16, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    Jesus would not deny health care to the poor based on a pre-existing condition. Just sayin'...

  • CJR1 Tyler, TX
    May 16, 2011 6:10 p.m.

    While perhaps Mr. Huntsman doesn't want to commit to how 'Mormon' he is, the real question should be, how 'Republican' he is, and we already know the truth about that.

    Answer-- Not very.

    We don't need more middle of the road, environmentalist, trying-to-please-the -democrats Republicans. Conservative need a candidate that says, 'the buck stops here,' both figuratively and literally. America is tired of business as usual, and "let's make a deal." All deals are off. Liberal government is destroying the country and we don't want anything remotely close to it any more!

  • katamb Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    Excellent writing and content! Love it and am still laughing! I know several single women 50-somethings who don't attend church because they don't feel like the ward has a place for them and it's so hard listening to a lesson on "a single person is a family too." (Hogwash!) And yet these women have very strong testimonies and would lay down in the road for you if you were about to get hit by a car.

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    May 16, 2011 5:59 p.m.

    Either you are a Mormon or youre not. They didn't ask how devout he was to the religion. This response from Huntsman has made me change my mind about voting for him. Maybe Huntsman should figure out who he is before he tries to tell Americans who they are and what they need. America doesnt need another wishy washy politician.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2011 5:51 p.m.

    " who seem to cling to Democrats even when the Party is openly hostile to their church teachings (and Israel).

    Democrats aren't hostile to Israel, we just take off the rose-colored glasses and realize both Israel and Palestinian leadership aren't trying at all to resolve their dispute.

  • Zed Orem, UT
    May 16, 2011 5:41 p.m.

    Great article.

    My father was probably the most serious, eloquent, educated scriptorian I ever knew. He would privately say to us, his family, that it was the administration of the ordinances of the gospel by priesthood authority that were the defining elements of the church. Everything else was up for debate. He, like Jon Huntsman, also found great truths in other religions.

    I think we'd do well to be a bit more engaging and far less judgmental about such views.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 16, 2011 5:40 p.m.

    re: NeilT | 5:23 p.m. May 16, 2011

    " . . . many prominent Mormons are or have been gasp Dems including at least one current member of the seventy. . . "

    Only one at a time is allowed in. You know the story about one bad apple spoiling the entire barrel . . .

  • Iggle Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2011 5:32 p.m.

    "I can't grasp how an active Church member could be a Democrat."

    "Well, I can't grasp how an active Church member could be"

    It looks like people are having trouble understanding why anyone would do something they themselves wouldn't do. Get over yourselves.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 16, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    Huntsman finds his faith hard to define because he doesn't practice his faith anymore. Pretty simple. Mitt doesn't find his faith hard to define and neither does Mike Lee or Orin Hatch or even Harry Reid. Either you raise your had to the square every 6 months and fully sustain the first presidency and the twelve or you don't. Either you answer with confidence the temple recommend questions or you don't. Either you pay your tithing or you don't Either you accept the first vision or your don't.... and the list goes on. Pretty simple and really NOT hard to define unless... you just don't accept all of the above anymore and if so YOU SHOULD JUST SAY IT!!!! People in this country want a man with conviction in the white house... not a guy that "strains at knats and swallows camels".

  • Sally Smiles-a-Lot Vernal, UT
    May 16, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    I'm not sure now how I feel about Huntsman. I have always been a Mitt Romney supporter, and remain so, but was also considering the possibility of supporting Huntsman. I agree with "seer" above...I also want a president that knows who and what he is, whether it's popular or not.

  • Right or Wrong Happy Valley, Utah
    May 16, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    It seems like the writer has trouble with simple things. You are or you are not, even with all of the little differences we each have.

    It is yes or no, then you can define what difficult definitions you hold. But politics/politicians seem to like the gray areas.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    May 16, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    Wayne Rout many promiment mormons are or have been gasp Dems including at least one current member of the seventy. The list inludes Pres Faust, Hugh B Brown, Pres Tanner, Bruce R McConckie, I could continue. I am not a Dem however to villify a another LDS for being a democratic is pure hypocrisy and just plain dumb.

  • EC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    I think I feel disappointed in Jon Huntsman that he couldn't be a better example. He has put himself in position where he could do so much good in the world for the church. I just wish he stood strong for what his heritage is.

  • avid reader Menan, ID
    May 16, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    Huntsman's defining Mormonism reminds me of Bill Clinton's, "It depends on what the meaning of the word is, is"

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 16, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    A Mormon understands the sacrament prayers and judges his conduct against the covenant he makes every week as he takes the sacrament. Anything less is fluff.

  • cougfan4life west jordan, ut
    May 16, 2011 5:02 p.m.

    Mr. Hunstman was baptized a member of the CHurch from what I understand. Its a simple yes or no question. He could respond, "yes, I am a member...however I am not practicing at this time and would prefer to not discuss it" I dunno. I just keep thinking of that scripture in Romans 1:16 that says "for I am not ashamed of the Gospel..." To me that means no matter what, I personally dont deny my membership, under any circumstances.
    But we are all individual and can choose for ourselves.

    @Seer- I agree, he has had a lifetime to 'define' his membership. I dont want someone in office that conforms to what someone else what them to.

  • Shawnm750 Lehi, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    Personally, I think he was playing it safe politically, trying to paint himself as being able to relate to all kinds of people. I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with that, especially since I don't believe religion should a factor in politics.

    In his defense, we as readers aren't privy to the entirety of the interview. I'm willing to bet that 75%+ of people that are bent out of shape about his comments, haven't even read the actual article. Most of them have probably just read and seen news stories about the article. Journalists often only use part of their questions and material when writing a story, and editors often remove other information too.

  • prunes Tooele, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    Mr Huntsman was born in a guilded cage which includes the inherited silver spoon in his mouth. It would have been almost impossible for him to have been a failure for other than major personal deficiencies. He has ridden in on his daddy's shirt tail. He lacks having been through the refiner's fire such as many of us in this self indulgent and spoiled society have not had the opportunity to do. As a return missionary he should not attempt his light under a bushel basket under any circumstances. His portrayal of what contitutes his fundamental foundtion is found wanting in my opinion. Consequently I've begun saving up for a $20.00 contribution to Mr Romney.

  • AZ Ute Scottsdale, AZ
    May 16, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    What?! You PAY a babysitter to go to the temple? I bet your ward brothers and sisters are not happy with you at all about that confession.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    "I can't grasp how an active Church member could be a Democrat."

    Well, I can't grasp how an active Church member could be

  • Emily Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    If Huntsman doesn't feel comfortable just saying "yes" to the question of Mormon membership, his reasons are probably very personal. And while politicians do agree to give up some of their privacy just by running for office, I don't think he should be required to discuss his religious beliefs any further than he already has. It's not relevant.

    And honestly I would think most Mormons would be happy he left it where he did. I don't know why he didn't just say yes or no, but lets speculate for a second. Do you want him discussing some of the stranger aspects of Mormonism he might be questioning? Do you want him to say, "I'm a member, but I don't have a current temple recommend because I (fill in the blank.)" For people who are unfamiliar with Mormonism, a discussion like that would just sound weird and out of context and wouldn't do Mormons any favors.

  • blog this Murray, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    It seems that those who comment want to define "mormon" as someone whose opinions are the same as their opinions, someone who is just like them. I thought that the article was well written and thought provoking.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    @Wayne, as an active Church member and a Democrat, I think I can explain it: you go to your favorite voter registration place and you mark the "Democrat" square.

    Let me add that marking that square doesn't compel you to agree with everything or anything other people do in the name of the party. That's also true for those who mark the "Republican" square, although I get the impression that some of my Republican acquaintances don't realize that.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    Wayne Rout | 3:54 p.m. May 16, 2011
    El Paso, TX
    I can't grasp how an active Church member could be a Democrat.

    [Turn ON sarcasm.]

    Ya -- and Pres. James E. Faust, or Elder Marlin Jensen, how can they possibly be Democrats!
    And Pres. Uchdoft, not even being an American!

    [Sarcasm, OFF.]

    BTW - Some of us wonder the exact same thing regarding Republicans.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    "I can't grasp how an active Church member could be a Democrat. "

    Easy, you just have to ignore everyone who is judging you for being an LDS Democrat.

  • PA Rock Man Allentown, PA
    May 16, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    What was really revealed by the reactions to Jon Hunstman's comments was how we, as Mormons, deal with those within our faith who harbor doubts or concerns about any aspect of our faith. Its not evil for a well-intentioned, faithful, believing Mormon to work through concerns he or she may have. But, I know from experience that it is a bad idea to share one's concerns with any of one's Church associates, even in private because people often react the same way they did to Huntsman. Many automatically assume the person who has doubt is hiding serious sins or wants to sow disbelief. These knee-jerk reactions often receive cause many of doubters to not address their underlying concerns until they leave the church.

    I think we need to be more accepting of Jon Hunstman and other LDS people like him. Let them define themselves how they want, its not our place to judge their hearts. If someone only believes 50% of the doctrine right now, show compassion and understanding and hope they will come around to being a 100% believer later on.

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    May 16, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    I am sure that says more about the poster than it does about Mormon doctrine.

  • seer kaysville, ut
    May 16, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Huntsman has had a lifetime to define his religion. It is a simple question that has a simple answer.....well...simple if you are not trying to run for president.

    The fact that Huntsman may be waiting to gauge the winds of opinion is really all I need to know. I want a president that has a moral center, not a tootsie roll center all too ready to morph into whatever it is that surrounds him.

  • ricecakes Murray, UT
    May 16, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    It's only difficult to define if you're NOT.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    May 16, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    I can't grasp how an active Church member could be a Democrat.