The Presidency’s Mormon Moment

Kenneth Woodward, a contributing editor at Newsweek, authored an op-ed piece appearing in today’s (04/09/07) New York Times regarding what he feels is Mitt Romney’s nearest and best opportunity to explain his faith to evangelicals – namely, his commencement address at Pat Robertson’s Regent University on Saturday, May 5. Woodward is surprisingly knowledgeable (for a reporter) about the LDS Church and Romney’s unique situation, as well as remarkably un-condescending (for a religion reporter) about the Church’s beliefs. I disagree with Woodward’s central point – graduation exercises are an occasion to address graduates, not one’s political prospects – but enjoyed the lack of puffery overall.

Romney will inevitably have to address a national audience to dispell ignorant misconceptions about both his faith and his political dependence upon the prophet, and I greatly look forward to that. When the time is right, of course.

2 Responses to “The Presidency’s Mormon Moment”

  1. Hmmmm, I wonder if bringing up Section 134 might work???? I mean, all one would have to do is note that the official Church stance is as written, that it has been so since the early days of the Church. Wouldn’t that work????

  2. I think that quoting uniquely LDS scripture in front of Pat Robertson and thousands of fairly devout evangelicals would be tantamount to political suicide for Romney. He has stated earlier that he’s not seeking to be elected “Pastor-in-Chief,” so any reference to the Book of Mormon or modern revelation for the remainder of his political career would be couched in extremely safe language like, “A wise leader once said . . .” It’s a tactic Stephen Covey uses in his books, and it always brings a smile to my face when I know the identities of his sources.

    In addition, the scriptures say a lot of things that most Christians don’t believe in or practice today. Romney needs to re-assert his political neutrality from the Church in a way most appropriate for his audience, whoever they may be.

    I think D&C 134 is most useful for reminding Church members of the Church’s relationship to government, and that there’s a difference between conservative values and conservative politics.

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