(CNN) – A holiday card that falsely claims to be from "the Romney family" and highlights Mitt Romney's Mormon faith was anonymously sent to Republican mailboxes across South Carolina earlier this week.
The source of the card is unknown.
View entire card [PDF]
The mailer, which says it is "Paid for by the Boston Massachusetts Temple," displays a quote from Mormon apostle Orson Pratt saying that God had multiple wives:
"We have now clearly shown that God the father had a plurality of wives, one or more being eternity by whom he begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus, his first born, and another being upon the earth by whom he begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world," the quote reads.
A copy of the glossy brochure obtained by CNN offers holiday wishes from "the Romney family": "We wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a joyful New Year," it says.
The card focuses on the Republican presidential candidate's home state of Massachusetts, displaying a photo of the Mormon Temple in Boston as well as a snowy photo of the Public Garden in Boston.
The mailing also quotes from the first Book of Nephi, part of the book of Mormon, in which the Virgin Mary is described as "exceedingly fair and white."
Romney spokesman Will Holley condemned the card.
"It is sad and unfortunate that this kind of deception and trickery has been employed," Holley said. "There is absolutely no place for it in American politics."
– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby
Dale E, you mean to tell me we send out 60,000 missionaries each year to just about every corner of the world and we are trying to be secretive? We've been sending out missionaries since the day our Church was founded. In fact, if you talk to an active member of the Church you'll find you can't get them to shut up! (Actually that's not entirely the case as we do NOT want to shove our beliefs down anyone's throat). There are things we think are sacred though, but there were things so sacred during the time of Christ that they were intentionally left out of the Bible (2 Cor. 12:4).
I agree with you though, we are not the same "type" of Christians as mainstream Christianity, we do have our differences. In fact, based on the responses of many people here who say they are mainstream Christian, I'm GLAD I'm not one of them. Many of these responses are anything but Christ-like. However, you need to realize that in the 177 year history of our church there have been things written about us both from people inside and outside of the church. None of which we consider doctrine or beliefs of the church. Heck, some of the early leaders of the church thought there were people living on the sun. Do we teach that today? Of course not, we've NEVER taught that. You can go to lds.org or mormon.org and find out all about our "crazy doctrine" Just realize, unless it's official, it's not doctrine. We don't claim that our leaders are or ever we infallible like some churches. Can you see the significance of this?
As far as Mitt and the Mormons go, yes we get a little sensitive when our beliefs are completely taken out of context and paraded around, but you must not know the history of our church. If you did, you would know that we are the only church in America that has ever had an Extermination Order issued against us by a sitting Governor. And it wasn't even rescinded until 1975! So basically, up until 1975 you could legally go shoot a Mormon and take their property. So you can imagine why we get a little testy. Believe me though, none of that means that we are uncomfortable talking about our beliefs, you just need to get us in the right situation to do it. Again, ask an active member and they would be glad to explain what our real doctrine is.
You may be interrested in this too:
It's from a non-Mormon historian that I feel really "gets" us – as much as that is possible considering she's not Mormon – but I don't hold that against her one bit! :) Thanks for putting up with my ramblings. Have a Happy New Year everyone!
This is just amazing, its exciting really that we have a chance to talk about this.
But first let me say, that in no way would Romney have conjured up this scheme. If he had it would have been done a lot better than it was. No this was concocted by anti-mormon twits and it is backfiring on them. We may never find out who did this, but we must remember that it is a federal crime to do what they have done. They are simply trying to play on the tired old bigotry against Mormons that the Baptists and Evangelicals tried to foster in the south all through the 70’s and 80’s. Believe it or not, they were using some of the very same tactics back then to deride Mormonism back then that the Mullahs and Imams are using to deride America in the eyes of the Muslim world. I know because I grew up in it. They played on the lack of knowledge and understanding and fostered an “it’s them or us” mentality. It was hideous really.
Now, I never cease to be amazed at how Evangelicals and Southern Baptists like to tell you that Mormons hide their true beliefs and that you really have to dig to get at the truth and that they know what we really believe (trust me most are clueless). Nothing could be further from the truth. The LDS Church is one of the most transparent religious organizations on the planet. We’re so open about things that folks figure we must be hiding something. All you need to know is available for the knowing (this includes temple doctrine), but you will have to put in the effort to learn it. To be honest I am also continually amazed at what most Americans have come to believe about "historical" or “Bible based” Christianity (and this includes you “BlackEvangelical”). Most Americans wouldn’t recognize a 1st Century Christian if one (Paul for instance) was to be standing right in front of them. In fact step outside the U.S. and most Americans wouldn’t recognize an Evangelical or Baptist congregation. What Americans practice today is “Americanized Christianity” or worse yet “Group based Christianity”. Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – As a Mormon I can appreciate that. But the scriptural interpretations, guiding principles and practices experienced in most American Churches today have evolved only since the 1800’s, some do go as far back as the 1600’s. Catholics of course would claim to go much further back. So do not try and throw the words “Bible believing” or “Historical Christianity” around because they probably don’t mean what you think they mean. A half and hour on the internet does not a Mormon Scholar make.
Lastly, the LDS Church has stood up against more criticism, hatred and violence than any other existing U.S. Christian denomination. It has done so for over 170 years now and still it manages to be one of the fastest growing Christian denominations in the world. So let’s lay off the religious bigotry and get down to discussing fair politics.
Happy New Year
I find it a bit ironic that the fraudulent card would be sent to Republicans in S. Carolina trying to make Romney out to be a racist; the fact is that many of the Republicans in S. Carolina are the children of men who had a lot of white sheets, if you know what I mean.
In the Summer, the whispering bigoted campaign swirling around the Huckster's campaign was anti-Catholic to get rid of his prime oponent for top of the second tier, Sen Brownback...
In the Winter, the bigots swirling around Iowa (and now S. Carolina) with false innuendos and half-truths are again near the Huckster. His rise in the polls started the day that the bigoted anti-Romney push polls started.
Which sect of the Christian faith will he attack in the Spring? In the Fall?
This bigot must be stopped.
He can't argue on his record, because, as we have seen recently, when people learn the truth about the Huckster, nobody can believe that he pardoned a dozen murderers (convicted by a jury of their peers) and more than 1000+ other convicts...or that he fought to keep sales tax on FOOD...or that he would use those tax dollars to give adult illegal aliens scholarships.
Mitt is Presidential and will be one the best presidents for ALL Americans.
The Huckster will divide us not only politically, but along sectarian lines, as well.
I thought this open bigotry died a slow death in the 1960s...I guess that it has been kept alive and well in Arkansas.
To the racism charge; aren't any of you Mormon-bashers old enough to remember when Protestant churches were saying the same thing? Half the churches in this country were strongly and proudly racist until the sixties. Slavery and segregation both leaned heavily on the Bible and religion to justify themselves.
In the sixties and seventies, those churches changed, and so did the Mormons. Why the hell are we still obsessing on them for a crime that virtually every denomination was guilty of? Judge not lest ye be judged, because there's plenty of blame to go around.
The point I am making is that even though Christians believe in God of the Old Testament, and the validity of the Old Testament, does not mean Christians are Jewish. Christianity has doctrine that differs from Judaism, there is nothing wrong with either religion... however they are not the same. If you are saying that Mormonism is the same as Christianity.... the why should there even be a Mormon church unless there is "different" doctorine?
I still feel that Mormons should shout their beliefs from the rooftops so they don't feel persecuted when others state some of their beliefs.
One more thing Lori,
One set of belief systems is no better than the other.... I did not intend to make pointing out difference as the same as "bashing" one belief systemas opposed to the other.
Lets be honest there are some fundamental differences between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Christian churches. Here is a good summery from an LDS point of view of how we see the God head. http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695233910,00.html
Lets have a real discussion about the "Mormon Beliefs" rather than trying to imply that mormons are racist or don't believe in Christ.
Bush probably did it. His cronies did something similar to McCain during the 2000 primaries.
Mitt Romney will bring the dangerous, strange and cultish Mormon "religion" into the White House and lead this country to ruin. I personally attended a Mormon funeral and heard a "Bishop" preach a sermon on Mormon theology. Guess what: it is couched in Christian language but it is not Christian. Women are second class baby machines in the Mormon faith. Gays and lesbians are hated and rejected. Is this what you want in the White House? Wake up America!
I like your point of view.
Wouldn't it be ironic if some faction of some evangelical church started saying, you're not 'religion x' because only those who go to preacher joe's sermons are 'religion x', so you are actually only (religion x)/2
As an aside, isn't it contradictory to state that because The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints has differing doctrines around deity than a given Evangelical denomination, that it's followers aren't Christian, but to then somehow equate the Christianity of any Evangelical follower with any Catholic follower when the latter openly worships through prayer their 'Saints' and the Mother Mary???
This is sickening, both for Romeny's sake and for members of the Mormon church. An attack like this is one destructive to the minds and opinions of those who would vote fairly and view other religions with an unbiased approach had they not received that deceptive postcard.
Some misguided follower of some other GOP candidate is the logical culprit - almost certainly without the knowledge of that other candidate. It won't be fair to that candidate when/if the culprit is discovered.
The LDS has undeniably squirrelly roots (no matter what these impressively coordinated LDS posters have to say about it). But so does the Southern Baptist denomination, which was created during the split between the Northern and Southern states in the Civil War era - in other words, a split occurred with other Baptists over slavery and related issues. (The SBC recently apologized for its past condoning of slavery.) The Anglican/Episcopal church was created so that a British king could have the annulment the Catholic Church wouldn't grant to him. I doubt any church has had a perfectly impressive beginning. But I also doubt any follower truly harbors that tainted past in his or her heart. It's safe to say these churches today are full of sincere people doing good in the world.
Ironically, a large number of the Founding Fathers embraced an alternate faith to Christianity. They lived their lives by this faith and anchored our nation's foundational documents to its principles. Today that church goes by the name Unitarian Universalist. The UUs are a heretical variant to Christianity because, as the name suggests, they do not embrace the Trinitarian (Father/Son/Holy Spirit) concept of the Deity. Off and on over the years, of course, UUs have been persecuted for this difference. But then and now UUs celebrate and embrace their differences rather than seeking to establish dogma or build fences. People with amazingly divergent beliefs come together under the UU umbrella to worship in their own ways and support others in their ways.
This practice is what "freedom of religion" was intended to be, is it not? What would our Founding Fathers say about us, as we apply religious litmus tests to our candidates?
It's not likely you'll see a presidential candidate give a speech on his/her UU faith anytime soon. It's not likely you'll see UUs launching a media-savvy PR campaign (or, for that matter, coming under Congressional scrutiny for shady finances). No UU minister is likely to publish a God-wants-you-to-be-rich bestseller. But without this church, the religious and political landscape around you would look very different indeed.
If you want to know more about the religious roots of this nation, go to http://www.uua.org
This is the information age. It is much different than eight years ago when you could get away with cooking up a bunch of lies.
This post card will have no influence on SC republicans.
I just watched a Mitt Romney ad and he comes across as a flip flopper.
He said he was proud that he switched over to being pro life.
People in SC want to know where you stand. They don't like someone riding the fence or saying what they think you want to hear.
They also believe in family values.
To my knowledge, the Mormon church has been wonderful to their black members. It is true they waited for an answer to prayer before bringing black men into the service of the priesthood, while other churches just voted for change or segregated their congregations.
In Brazil there are more than a million Mormons, the majority are black. The church is also expanding greatly in Africa. It seems Gladys Knight and the other nearly million black members have come to comfortable terms with the history of this religion and the fair treatment of all races...Mitt is comfortable with it....I am comfortable with it!
Orson Pratt did not make the statement printed on this card. Anyone who can give a citation will only get it from a false enemy source of another piece of anti-Mormon writing. I am surprised that nobody in these comments has challenged this undocumentable Orson Pratt "quote" yet. Source please ... by anyone. It would not surprise me if the source of this mis-quote actaully narrows down who it came from if the FBI decides to Sherlock the case. It is not from the authentic Mormon teachings which I can search numbering in the thousands.
How is it that people think Mormonism is an obscure or secretive religion. It is the fourth largest in America and the memebers spend tremendous time and resources sharing what they believe.
http://www.adherents.com/rel_USA.html#bodies has this information about half-way down:
Rank Religious Body Year Membership
1 Catholic Church 2002 66,407,105
2 Southern Baptist Convention 2003 16,400,000
3 United Methodist Church 2002 8,251,042
4 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 2004 5,599,177
5 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 2003 4,984,925
6 Church of God in Christ 1991 4,500,000
7 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 2001 3,595,259
8 National Baptist Convention of America 1987 3,500,000
9 Assemblies of God 2002 2,687,366
10 Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod 2003 2,512,714
Here is another source of updated information with the same conclusion:
Most criticism of Romney for "flip flopping" is due to his willingness to admit where he has been wrong in the past. He is proving to be very human in this respect and someone I hope all of us can relate to.
BTW – Jesus Christ of the Bible is proclaimed as the Savior of every Mormon (and their honest non-Mormon friends). There is no other Name, never has been nor ever will be from any true Mormon.
He did die on the cross for us. Anyone who thinks Mormons do not believe this must be confused by the fact that we also know He rose from the dead on the third day and is alive in the sense that He never laid that body down again. He never will die again. Jesus Christ is no longer dead though death was the certain effect of the cross on Him.
One other point about the card that is almost humorous if it was not in such poor taste. Orson Pratt was never claimed by Mormons to be an "original member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles". This is sloppy work as ususal for anti-Mormon pieces. The original Twelve Apostles can be found in Matthew 10:2-4. Orson Pratt did not become an Apostle of Jesus Christ for about another 1800 years.
Now that I look a little closer, I discover that the all-capital block font chosen for this card is a font that is probably copyrighted by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or a fairly close counterfeit). This font is protected for use in the official Church logo. Compare for yourself at http://www.lds.org
The scripted font on the card is not one of my normal Microsoft Word choices. If anyone recognizes it, please post the font name and source. Same curiosity about the Angel Moroni image on the card. I have not seen this one and don't find it with an image Google.
"White" need not refer to skin color, as is clear from the following passages from the biblical book of Daniel: "And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed (Daniel 11:35). "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand (Daniel 12:10). In both of these passages, the meaning of the word "white" is most obviously pure; to "make white" is to purify. For complete text. http://jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQRace.shtml
Obviously Marry was not Anglo, she was Jewish. Of course, comparatively speaking, in any race there are those with darker skin than others of the same race. If, in this context, it was refering to color then it would have been only in comparison with the people of that same race.
However, I don't think that is what it was trying to portray. Many times white is in reference to pure. As in Isaiah, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isa 1:18).
On a side note, to those who say that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were racist because they didn't allow blacks to hold the priesthood until the mid-70s, please note that until 1995 the SBC (Southern-Baptist Convention), the religion that Mike Huckabee practices, did not apologize or formally recognize that the SBC separated from the other Baptist churches in the US over the issue of keeping slaves. I am not nocking Mr. Huckabee about this because he was not the one running the SBC at that time. Nor do I blame Mr. Romney for the time it took the LDS church to change as he was not over the LDS church at that time. I am just saying that generally God works through us rather than mandating things, and some things take time for people to change. Note that a vision was required to change Saul's perspective on Christians and Peter's perspective on gentiles, and that was only 2 people, not millions of people. So, lets note that all religions have had times that in retrospect we wonder what they were thinking and move on to the actual issues that we should worry about and which candidate is the most qualified to handle them.
Some of the above commenters have noted that the Book of Mormon and Orson Pratt quotes on the card may be correct quotes and ask why would anyone be offended?
First, whoever sent this card credited "The Romney Family" and said it was paid for by "The Boston Massachusetts Temple." We don't know who actually sent this card but I am 100% sure it was not paid for by the Boston Temple and 99.99% sure that no one in the Romney family was involved. That deception is offensive.
Second, linking a card sent by "The Romney Family" with funds contributed by the Boston Temple creates a false idea that Governor Romney is receiving financial report for his election from the sacred funds of the LDS church. Again, this is false and offensive.
Third, the scripture from the book of Nephi highlights the description of Mary as "Fair and White." My perception is that the sender intends to insinuate a racist agenda in the Mormon church which would, I guess, by default carry over to Mitt Romney's personal views and then his politics. This is offensive because A) the Mormon church since 1978 has taught and supported racial equality and tolerance; B) Mitt Romney has shown racial tolerance and a commitment to equal rights in his entire personal life and political career. Having someone insuinate that you're racist is offensive, especially if you're not.
Fourth, the quote from early LDS Apostle Orson Pratt says that God the Father had a plurality of wives because he had a spiritual wife with whom he created all his spiritual children then miraculously created a physical child with the virgin Mary. I'm not sure what the intended purpose of this quote is. Maybe it is to suggest that modern Mormon are still secretly polygamist so a president Romney would do something crazy like make polygamy legal? Maybe it is to suggest (correctly) that Mormons believe polygamy has at times been approved by God and by association then suggest (incorrectly) that Mormon men believe in taking underage wives, mistreatment of women, and the other negative ideas that have become associated with modern polygamy in the American psyche. This is offensive because Mitt Romney is a faithful family man. He is comitted to his ONE wife and his large family. His family is comitted to him and to his campaign. I believe he is one of the strongest candidates in the Family Values department. Again, whatever the sender of this card intended to suggest with this quote is false.
I do not support Mitt Romney for President. I welcome a frank discussion of his experience and past failures. Governor Romney has been very critical of his opponents but has stuck to facts regarding his opponent's past record.
I am Mormon. I'm also Christian. When I stumbled on this article I was listening to "Jeremy Camp" on I-Tunes. Now it's on "Third Day." I am personally offended by the anyone who knows that I believe in the same God they do and in the same Savior Jesus Christ but willfully misinterpret my beliefs and the beliefs of Mormons in general through propaganda such as this card. They create a environment of fear and misunderstanding and only tear apart the unity of faith that should characterize American Christians on the important value issues.
I believe those who sent this card are less concerned about Mitt Romney's ability to govern America and more concerned about how the world thinks of Mormonism. They are afraid that Romney's campaign, especially if successful, could give Mormonism positive exposure that could assist missionary efforts.
If Mr Romney did such a good job as governor of Massachusetts, why did his lieutenant governor lose so badly to a Democrat in the election to replace him?
All she needed to do was promise to continue his policies and the satisfied voters would have elected her to continue his work.
They must have been disgusted with his record in office to replace him with Deval Patrick, a man whose dark skin identifies him as 'wicked', according to the Mormons.
Why have none of the newspapers in NH, which borders Massachusetts, endorsed him? Don't his neighbors in NH know if Romney was a good governor? They watched him for four years, and all agree that he's not qualified to be president.
As for the Mormon Christmas Cards, I think that everyone should read some of the Book of Mormon and ask themselves: Does he really believe this stuff? If he does, can he possibly be qualified to lead the USA?
"Think of the Negro, In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant..."
"Those who were less valiant in the pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the Negroes. This inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord’s doing based on His eternal laws of justice.”
Speaks for itself..
Good Luck with that America.
I find it curious that others write of 'religious bigotry' being shown here. I hate to be the one to burst a bubble here, but religion IS bigotry. What religion doesn't preach that theirs is the one true religion? Read the Bible (especially the old testament), the Koran, or the Book of Mormon. They all contain a good deal of hate-mongering. Let's face it, if we actually followed the Bible's, Koran's, or Book of Mormon's ethics, we would still have slavery, gross gender inequality, and mass murder. Luckily most of us AREN'T good Christians, LDS, or Islamists. Thankfully most of us have never actually read the entire Bible or if we have, we have chosen to judiciously ignore large chunks of it (mostly because you would go to prison for a long time if you actually followed much of the teaching in it literally). You should be very afraid of anyone who claims to be a "good Christian". The best argument for atheism is a deep read of ANY of these "good" books. One could have easily picked hundreds of Biblical quotes from the Old Testament that were more bigoted, sadistic, or vile than quotes from the book of Mormon. Perhaps these should be mailed out in Arkansas. One would be well served to vote based on a candidate's LACK of religious belief rather than because of it or irrespective of it. There are more atheists in the United States than most people realize-and we vote too.
What year is your "negro" quote? The Southern Baptist Convention, the second largest religion in America took until 1995 to repeal in writing the statements in their creed that blacks were inferior. It was called the "Repentance Creed".
And who is your quote from? Is it scripture? Nope. You cite neither author or date. So it didn't speak for itself nor you.
We're not trying to say we're the '"same as Christians". We are Christians. It doesn't mean all our doctrine has to be the same as anyone else's. And with approximately 2000 different denominations in our country, no one has the same doctrine anyway, everyone is different. Having the same doctrine as you does not qualify or dis-qualify us a Christian. Who we believe in does. And since the LDS (Mormons) absolutely believe in Jesus Christ as their one and only personal Savior, we are Christians.
We're not shy about anything we believe in either. You can answer any question, check any rumor, verify any "belief" we have at http://www.lds.org
For anyone who is really interested, you won't get real info off of blogs or from anti-Mormon folks, or competative preachers with an agenda. Go to the real source if you really want to know about Americas fourth largest and fastest-growing religion.
We are very Christian, the "not Christians" label was designed to prejudice you and convince you not to look in the first place – by some top brass at some major American religious institutions in the South, (not coincidently the home of the KKK). And it has grown from there. They are also the group that continues to breathe life in the "not Christian" label. It's a lie, always has been.
The quote does not speak fo itself. You do not provide a source of who said it that can be checked. The Mormon Church teachings are contrary to this quote. It is quite possible that it was said by a Mormon who had some racist ideas, but this by no means suggests all Mormomons are racist.
A closer look at the quote:
The terms "pre-existent" and "pre-exitence" are similar but not actually used in Mormon jargon at all. The closest term is the extremely rare "preexsist" and I can only find it from two professors (Hugh Nibley of BYU and R. Collin Mangrum, a professor of law at Creighton University) and not any general Chruch leaders. Searching the same database has 618 hits for the accurate terminology "premortal", "premortality" or "premortally".
The quote is dubious at best and I would like a citatation of where it comes from.