December 30th, 2007
04:30 PM ET
4 years ago

Mysterious holiday card spotlights Romney's religion

A bogus holiday card was sent to some South Carolina Republicans. 

A bogus holiday card was sent to some South Carolina Republicans.

(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


Filed under: Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. cguttor

    There is also no place in national politics for the member of a religious fringe group. By the LDS Church's own reckoning, less than two percent of Americans are LDS Church members. One must assume that the majority of Americans are
    cognizant of the fact that Joseph Smith perpetrated the greatest of hoaxes upon the American public. All religious doctrine has been written and rewritten so many times through the course of history that none is truly genuine, but the Book of Mormon is clearly a fraud.

    December 30, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  2. S in Greenville, SC

    Why does South Carolina get so nasty? Remember the anonymous calls about McCain's "black" daughter in 2000? Good grief!

    December 30, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  3. Sandi

    Anyone with half a brain knows the Temples do not pay for anything, have nothing to do with money and no one 'lives' there to send out cards for anyone. There is no religion and no secrets to anyone who is smart enough to just READ. There is no secrecy to the Mormon faith. Secrecy in the Temples, yes, and if you don't like it, don't think about it. It is just that simple. No funny business, no tomfoolery, no weird happenings. Some people just believe what they hear and are not smart enough or open minded enough to let people practice religion as they see fit. So sue us.

    December 30, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  4. Tracy Hall Jr

    To Sean Allen:

    There is no secrecy in Mormonism, but as in ancient Christianity, there are sacred teachings that can't be understood until one understands and lives by foundational doctrines. You don't enroll in calculus until you've mastered algebra.

    For example, how much does the Bible record of what Jesus taught his disciples during the 40 days between his resurrection and his ascension? (Answer: almost nothing). Why? Because what he taught them was too sacred to be written and published.

    The Book of Mormon also gives several examples where prophets were shown and told things that they were forbidden to write.

    Thus Christ said, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." (Matthew 7:6)

    Likewise Paul wrote to his converts at Corinth:
    "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

    Why do you demand that we "come clean" with all that is sacred to us when you so obviously reject the foundation?

    Almost every Sunday Latter-day Saints meet openly in 24,475 local congregations, and the public is always invited. Even you are invited, as long as you don't disrupt the meeting with envy, strive, or division.

    There you can observe us partake of the emblems of the body and blood of Christ, promising to take his name upon ourselves, to always remember him, and to keep his commandments. There you will learn what Latter-day Saints really are - devout followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    To find the location and meeting time of the LDS congregation nearest your home, go to mormon.org and click on "Worship with us."

    hthalljr'gmail'com

    December 30, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  5. Ann Jones

    The original Virgin Mary was black. The only reason some people think that she was white is because of the Michaelangelo's paintings in which he used his own white family members as substitutes for the black Virgin Mary, Jesus, etc.

    December 30, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. Ryan

    Sure, sending it out with an obviously fake name under the pretenses of being from the Romney Campaign is dirty, but people should be aware of what Mitt Romney believes, or at least claims to believe.

    Mormons believe that the Native Americans descended from Jews (described as "white and delightsome" by the Book of Mormon). The ancestors of the Native Americans, according to the Mormons, were wicked, and God cursed them with dark skin. Later in the book, they commit genocide and wipe out the righteous white Jews, who had been visited by Jesus after his crucifixion. If the Native Americans repent and follow the Mormon religion, the Book of Mormon promises they will become "white and delightsome" - er, this was changed in 1981 to read "pure and delightsome."

    People should be paying attention to what Mitt Romney believes. Until 1978, the Mormon religion was officially racist. Would you want a Scientologist in the White House? How about a member of a UFO cult? It's absolutely essential to examine exactly what a candidate believes, especially if they are members of a religion with beliefs far outside the mainstream religious community.

    December 30, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  7. Kyle

    To Sean Allen:
    Romeny has made it clear that his religion is important to him but that he as a presidential candiate will not answer questions about doctrines of his faith. Instead he refers those questions to be answered by his Church Leaders, Whom will gladly answer any questions asked of them or they woudl gladly send to your home two missionaries to answer your questions. The one thing Mormons are not is secretive, that is one of many slurs made by evangelical preachers which are false about the Mormon religion. But Southern Baptist ministers attack Jews, Catholics and any other religion that is not theirs. it is why Jimmy Carter left the Southern Baptist Religion because of their intolerance.
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is a 12 Million member church that has many well known members you can see them all at http://www.famousmormons.net it is a church lead by their members and there is no paid clergy. it is all volunteer.
    The worst place to get your information on the Mormon Religion is from your church Pastor or from a friend who gets their information from their church Pastor.
    If Romney wins the nomination it will get real ugly for him as the evangelical community whom he is trying to court for some reason will go all out to prevent a Mormon from becoming President.

    December 30, 2007 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  8. Tejano Tater

    Sounds like just more examples of Reverend Huckabee and Leftist McCain's push-polling bigotry moving up to the next level as they get even more desperate :( ....too bad they can't be for EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL regardless of race/RELIGION/ethnicity etcetera....hate mongors.

    December 30, 2007 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  9. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    Gee, who would have thought that the party of gay-haters, Muslim-haters and atheist-haters also hated Mormons?

    Seriously. This kind of attack is disgusting and wrong, but it's hard to feel sorry for Mitt Romney, because this is exactly the kind of thing he foists on God knows how many other religious minorities. There's nothing unfair about making him play in the sandbox he helped build.

    December 30, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  10. Jon Sanderson

    Gotta be a fundamentalist evangelical Christian behind this mean trick against Romney. I'm a Mormon myself and some of these so-called Christians have established an entire anti-Mormon industry? Don't believe me? Just do a Google search with the keywords "Mormon cult" and you will see what I mean. It's disgusting really. Rather than focusing their energies on practicing the tenets of their own faith, they seek to tear down the faith of others. They claim it is done in love, but it is actually the furthest thing from love. They even picket outside Mormon general conferences and yell obscene things as our little children walk by. I'm glad in a way that their antics are coming to light due to Romney's candidacy. Maybe they will quit using their pulpits to preach hate against the Mormons.

    December 30, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  11. Lezident, Portland, ME

    But did Obama make any cracks about running for Lezident?

    http://www.lezident.com

    It keeps coming up.

    December 30, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  12. Jackal

    I'm still perplexed by the people who will change there vote based on whether or not a person believes that god had multiple wives. I'm more concerned with the people who don't believe in evolution.... like most of the Republicans...

    December 30, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  13. Craig Grant Carlsbad

    As a direct decendent from one of Mormon's great apostate families (Jedediah Grant and Heber J Grant – First Mayor of Salt Lake City and 2nd Longest Serving President of LDS) here are a few observations;

    1) It had to have been composed by someone who is either a Mormon or who left the Church as it has too much inside knowledge to have been invented by an outsider.

    2) The statements are true and not taken out of context that would substantially change their meaning – which makes the observation that it is really dirty politics odd. How is it dirty politics to truthfully state what Mormons believe and why isn't the Romney repsonse "sure its true so what?". Because they know how really offensive their mickey mouse beliefs are to the confessional church (i.e. Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians who, while having different emphasis are basically united behind a series of creeds over the last 1700 years.) Other Christians like the gnostics have existed outside of this fairly homogeneous church but the Mormons are the only ones that have tried to camoflauge it. Again if you think it really is from God why hide it? None of the comments above allege that any of the statements untrue

    3) For those unfamiliar with Orson Pratt who was one of Smith's closest and earliest confidents and was in the so called "Quorum of the Twelve Apostles" this citation from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Pratt) gives the details of how he objected to Polygamy and was excommunicated. He later flip flopped decided he now liked polygamy was reinstated and had 10 wives and 45 children (http://jared.pratt-family.org/orson_histories/list_orson.html). He wasn't just an ordinary flip flopper however he had a clever mind and became the chief public advocate for it and published essays about it. This flip flopper was a keen businessman and invented the odometer.

    Willard Mitt Romney"s is Orson Pratt's great great great grand nephew. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt-Romney_family) The essence of these beliefs is that god was once a man like us became a god had polygamous relationships and that we too are destined, if we follow the right path to become gods like Yahweh.

    All of the above is factual and cites well established sources, most of them from the Pratt-Romney family. How is it a dirty trick to put this correct information forward and why are the Romney's so angry that it is talked about publicly? Flip flopping has been a well established historical fact of the Pratt Romney family. Pratt was against polygamy and later changed his position and was rewarded with a senior position in the LDS Church. Why is everyone upset when someone changes their position? We all make mistakes and the fact that changing our positions simply happens to elevate us to power should not be taken that it is not a sincere flip flop. Why is prospering from our flip flops a bad thing?

    December 30, 2007 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  14. Matt

    This is just despicable... Why anyone would use someone's private beliefs against them is beyond me. Whoever did this should be ashamed of themselves, no matter what the general impression of the Mormon religion is... An impression that, more often than not, is completely off-base. I'm not Mormon myself but I do know quite a few and I assure you what the public thinks about the Mormons is mostly dead wrong.

    December 30, 2007 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  15. Mcain

    I'm sure this is one of Huck's dirty tricks. I've been to Baptist's meetings and this is how the MINISTERS preach their people. They teach the gospel of hate.

    December 30, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  16. Richard

    No doubt this is the smut work of the Giuliani campaign just as Rove did in South Carolina implying that McCain had a black child out of wedlock. This is despicable and the media should be all over finding out who is behind it.....no doubt they will be their normal lazy selves and not find out anything until some reporter researches it years later for Vanity Fair....

    December 30, 2007 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  17. THOMAS BILLIS las vegas nv

    How stupid are people.The IQ of South Carolina must be at the boll weevil level.Isn't that where George Bush spread those false rumors about Mccain fathering an illegitimate black child.The only thing nobody knew about was Strom Thurmond fathering a black child with a housekeeper.The only thing that does not get out in South Carolina is the truth.

    December 30, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. Michael

    How is it "Deceptive" and "Trickery" if it's quoted from the book that is the foundation of his faith? Is it a false quote? Is that quote not in that Book of Mormon? If it is in the Book of Mormon, then where's the deception? Is he saying he's not Mormon after all?

    Seems like he should live up to his religion's craziness.

    December 30, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  19. jessie, West Virginia

    Sean Allen–I respect your personal opinion, but truly, if you want to know more about "Mormonism," then, get on the http://www.lds.org and find the anwers for yourself. The fact is, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (namenamed Mormons) like myself are more than willing to share share our beliefs. Foremost, to that belief is-"we" believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of our Heavenly Father. He is the Saviour and Redeemer of Mankind, the Judge, and the Creator of the world, as stated by John (John 1:1-3).

    On the other hand, for you to say, "Mormons treat their "religion" with extreme secrecy" -is nothing, but a misconception due to lacked of understanding. I encourage you "my brother, " to search and find out for yourself, if you really want to know. I've been there, and I am convert myself. What else do you need to know about the Mormons? Basicly, as stated in the Articles of Faith #13, "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

    December 30, 2007 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  20. becky

    Hear ye, Hear ye!

    Please read the Book of Mormon and and read the whole chapter 11 of 1 Nephi
    It's a very beautiful and powerful chapter...Just don't focus only on verse 13...

    The summary of the whole chapter is that -

    Nephi sees the Spirit of the Lord and and is shown in vision the Tree of Life-He sees the mother of the Son of God and learns of the condescension of God-He sees the baptism, ministry, and crucifixion of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ)-He sees also the call and minstry of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

    This tells us God loves Nephi because he is obedient, humble and meek, submissive, forgiving, kind, compassionate and God-fearing. He was given the opportunity to see visions such as the heavens being opened...

    v. 13 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a "virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.

    v. 14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and and angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi what beholdest thou?

    v. 15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins".

    v. 18 And he said unto me,: Behold, the "virgin" whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

    v. 19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the "Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying; Look!

    v. 20 And I looked and beheld this virgin again, bearing a "child (Jesus) in her arms.

    We owe a lot to the people whoever sent those cards to the Republicans in behalf of the Romney family, whether they are trying to destroy Romney or not. Whoever they are, thank you very much...Because of this, the minds of the people will be opened to curiosity and will read the Book of Mormon. This book goes hand in hand with the Holy Bible and supports the evidence that we have a Living God and that He sent his only beloved Son thru Mary who was blessed to bear the Son of God. The Book of Mormon is true as the Holy Bible. And whatever knowledge you gain from that book will rise with you in the resurrection and you have more advantage in the world to come...Donot judge the book by its own cover. Like the Holy Bible, its the word of God so it is not to be ridiculed. Remember our Lord Jesus Christ had suffered with pain because of the ridicules and false accusations just because he claims He is the Son of God. The pain and sufferings inflicted to our Lord were not enough that the unbelievers had to beat him with thousands of lashes and eventually crucified Him. Please take time to read. You will learn more about Him. I promise you this will bring peace, blessing and happiness to yourself, to your home and family.

    December 30, 2007 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  21. Jared Hollloway

    Well... he is a mormon, and it is what mormons believe... so, its actually kinda sad he'd deny it... cna't have faith both ways. FLIP FLOP again!

    December 30, 2007 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  22. flor maraon

    I am from the Phillipines and a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as a convert I know first hand if the church is a cult or not. A cult claim that he is God himself. Joseph Smith never claim to be such. The church is not his but God's. Honestly, we are not supposed to explain to those people who think we are not ' Christians" because the scriputre says "ye shall know them, by their fruits",, but it's like God says, if they are good fruits, they are mine, surely, if they are bad fruits,.......well, it;s that simple. Good tree bringeth forth godd fruits. Amen

    December 30, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  23. JohnC

    Maybe Romney "saw" MLK marching with Jesus and his dad down in South America?

    I like Mormans but they sure believe in some weird fiction.

    People in SC are not going to vote for him anyway.

    December 30, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  24. Mormon Weigh-In

    Just a few thoughts by a Mormon, born and raised on the East Coast....

    These cards and attacks don't offend me, they seem somewhat comical because of their oddly presented context. Fortunately, most Americans know personally a Mormon, either a neighbor, a friend, or a work associate. Most know that they could ask their Mormon friend anything and you'll get a straight answer.

    Those who say things like "the Mormons need to come clean and tell us their secrets" sound kind of funny. What exactly do you want to know? We are Christian. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as all Christians do. We have another text of ancient scripture (for all to read) called the Book of Mormon that supports the Bible by it's further affirmation that Jesus is the Christ.

    Ironically, those who think Mormons are some secret cult and say things like: "come clean", "they just say they're Christian as a cover", "Mitt needs to fess up what he believes", look really silly. When Mitt said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior "on National TV., who are you to tell him he doesn't really mean it? Many of those who cry foul sadly won't even touch the Book of Mormon themselves to even find out what it's all about. If you're going to spend time ridiculing beliefs, for your own benefit, at least do some objective research.

    For anyone interested in finding out what this Book is all about you can actually get a free copy by logging onto http://www.mormon.org. That's how secret it is!

    If Mormon's are secret, then it's an odd secret with nearly $13 million members worldwide, and humanitarian value of donations in recent years exceeding $700 million dollars to causes like Tsunami recovery, hunger in Africa, building villages etc. etc. etc.

    December 30, 2007 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  25. Sheralyn

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Mormon religion teach that when they die they become "gods" and get their own planet? If this is true, I think I'll convert and choose a planet that has hundreds of Super-Walmarts!

    December 30, 2007 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
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