Romney Hides His Light from the World

Yesterday at work, a co-worker informed me that Mitt Romney had denied modern revelation to the press. I was skeptical, but later found that she was right.

I found it very ironic to hear the report of this incident the very day on which I was preparing my Gospel Doctrine lesson on Revelations 1-3. Revelations 1 talks about the Church being a candlestick for the Christ and the Gospel, and Revelations 2 includes a rebuke for a Church which has wandered from their “first love” (ie, Christ). The implication of the lesson is that we, the members, should stand tall in representing the Gospel, and not allow worldly pursuits to dissuade us from representing Christ and his Gospel at all times, in all places, and in all things. Yes, many outside of our faith question—even scorn—some of the fundamental doctrines of our faith. And one of those doctrines is the concept of modern revelation and priesthood authority. Romney could have honestly and plainly answered the root question by stating “As President, I would answer only to the Constitution and the public of the United States.” Instead, his flippant answer dodged the question entirely and turned his back on one of the crucial principles of our faith.

I have no problem with the idea that a presidential candidate does not believe in the restored priesthood and modern revelation. Such theological points have no part in the political debate (whether or not a candidate considers him/herself answerable to a particular ecclesiastical body in their role as public servant is relevant to the political discussion). What I do have a problem with is a person, such as Romney, who claims to have a firm conviction of my faith, but who chooses not to acknowledge the principles of that faith when it is not politically expedient to do so.

Some will rationalize this lack of political and religious courage. They might claim he was only making a joke, and that he technically left himself an “out” with his “perhaps some others” clause. Such weaseling is hardly a prime example of standing for something. By making a joke and refusing to give a straight, truthful answer to the question, Romney did not hold his light high, but chose to hide it under a bushel. He makes a mockery of the already questionable speech he gave only days ago.

Others might protest that Romney was only doing what he has to do to be a viable candidate for a nation in which Mormons are not, as Ken Jennings recently noted, as mainstreamed as we might have thought. Romney is toeing the line to placate the Evangelical right. How can this justify his public religious waffling? I do not deny that embracing the doctrines of the Gospel may well be a hindrance in the world to achieving certain worldly goals, such as the Presidency. If that is the price of being either hot or cold, that is the price the Lord expects us to pay.

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9 Responses to “Romney Hides His Light from the World”

  1. Rob Miller Says:

    Merry Christmas Derek and Sara!


  2. Allie Says:

    I wish Mitt Romney would just stop talking about religion. If he would stop making his religion a big issue, I think the press would stop making it a big issue.

  3. Aaron Orgill Says:

    I agree. This is terribly disappointing. He doesn’t seem to be comfortable with his own faith, at least when the world is watching. I find much to admire about Romney, but perhaps it’s best that he not get the nomination if this is the best he can do. I will continue to support Barack Obama.

  4. Non-Arab Arab Says:

    I am no fan of Romney, probably for all the same reasons you are, but frankly I think this was just a stupid slip of the tongue. No need to make a mountain of a molehill when the man has plenty of much more serious mountains we can point out…uhhh…if that analogy makes any sense.

  5. December 28, 2007 Romney’s Religion « Moderate Mormon Politics Says:

    […] is ridiculous. I am ashamed and frustrated by Mitt Romney. ALiberalMormon has […]

  6. 2things Says:

    Hey, thanks for the post, I liked it so much I commented on it on my blog

    I wish that Mitt would prepare some talking points like Elder Ballard instructed us to at General Conference, that would shed light on Mormonism, not turning out all lights and stonewalling all inquiry.

  7. fstaheli Says:

    If the quote

    “I don’t recall God speaking to me. I don’t know that he has spoken to anyone since Moses and the bush or perhaps some others.”

    is accurate, then I am not really surprised. Mitt has done a terrible job of representing his faith. I think either (a) he doesn’t believe in it, or (b) he is embarrassed by it.

    I’ve answered some of the Mormon questions that Mitt seems to be afraid to answer correctly, here.

  8. lifeisart Says:

    Mit should be hiding his religion, Religion should have no bearing on politics or government. That is what us liberals believe. Many people do not trust your church. You have customs and practices that are opaque to outsiders. People don’t like and cannot understand what they are partitioned from examining and deciding for themselves.

    In closing, I have found many LDS people to be law abiding, decent people. I havde also see them live seperately and not interact with non-lds.

    I am an average person. I do not hate or dislike LDS but I do not trust it either. I belive Mitt will not win for these reasons.

  9. WP Says:

    MoJo (Mother Jones) had a nice piece about Mormons and something Mitt has missed so far. He has not brought up the significant humanitarian efforts of his religion.

    lifeisart — you may be correct. One reason M’s do not interact as much with non LDS is perhaps due to their own fears of being rejected, found to be too different. Maybe it is just laziness and the comfort zone we find ourselves so often rutted to. Personally I enjoy both my non LDS and Jack M friends a great deal, but then we have been ostracized to some degree because we are too liberal for Centerville’s predominant religious culture at times. Only recently did I see a former ward member and was greeted with, ‘Oh the crazy man’, and I used to be her bishop.

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