Mitt Romney's Mormonism on Display at 2012 Republican National Convention

Mitt Romney, as expected, during the 2012 Republican National Convention, finally allowed his Mormon faith to become part of the broader conversation -- come what may. Not necessarily in so many words, or specifics about Mormonism,  but rather by subtlety highlighting the values that his religion has brought forth in his life. Romney's decision to be more open about being a Mormon has developed slowly, and it is hoped that in doing so now, it will help concerned Americans feel more comfortable about the man.

Apparently Romney's religious affiliation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is important to many voters, due to a lack of understanding about what Mormons believe, as many have only heard, if anything, the more controversial aspects about our faith, that make Mormonism sound either mysterious, strange or weird.

For most Americans, tonight was really the first introduction to how Mitt Romney's Mormonism has influenced his life, and how much of what he values, in life, relates directly to his faith -- from his perspective. Perhaps his reference to such a thing as Neil Armstrong's spirit still being with us would not alert most to Romney's belief in an afterlife, but you can bet to most Mormons hearing that, his faith stood out like a beacon in that moment -- including many other similar comments throughout the evening.

Leading up to Mitt Romney's own speech where he would officially accept the Republican nomination for POTUS, three very personal narratives, from Mormons who had, years ago, Mitt Romney as a bishop, were shared, with the word Mormon avoided. Rather, Romney's service, compassion and integrity were the focal points to each of these stories.

McKay Coppins, over on Buzzfeed, put together this short video highlighting moments shared by each of the three witnesses, or testimonies, to Bishop Romney's service.  I say it like this because that is how some members online are describing what it felt like to listen to each of these three speeches. Although I would probably describe them more as love-imonies.

Video: Three Stories To Make You Love Bishop Mitt Romney

I personally found the RNC Biographical video, put together to introduce Mitt Romney to America, to be the most compelling part of the evening, to tell Mitt Romney's Mormon story. It was really beautiful, and from a member perspective so much of Romney's success in both his personal and professional life can easily be traced back to his Mormon upbringing, and personal testimony of Jesus Christ.

Video: Mitt Romney Introduction Republican National Convention

Romney's actual acceptance speech, for those who support him, was inspirational. As far as his Mormon faith being brought to light, it was minimal but effective. 

"We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to. 
My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO. 
Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family – and God’s love -- this world would be a far more gentle and better place."

I've said this many times in writing here on my blog, that this is not a political blog. And it's not. However, I'm also clearly a conservative Mormon and so it shouldn't be a big surprise to most of you to find that now that Mitt Romney is the official Republican party nominee for POTUS, I support him in this endeavor. Nevertheless, I do not intend to use WBMW to campaign and will continue to respect that not all agree with my political leanings.

But I will continue to, on occasion, share my thoughts when the Mormon faith is brought up in the media in conjunction to the current political climate, where I believe there is something to discuss. For instance, even though Romney has been a bit more open about his Mormon faith, I seriously doubt that for those who have been clamoring for months that he needs to talk more openly about about his religion, satisfaction will result. In fact, I believe this will only stir the hornets nest even more and that all hell is likely to break loose, in regard to Romney's religion, over the next few months leading up to the election.  ( BTW, Mitt said "hell" tonight, too. Shocking! ;)

Do I think it was risky for Romney to cop to the media pressure and bring his faith into the campaign? Yes, I actually do. Do I respect him for doing so? Absolutely. Like I brought up in my previous post, knowing that he was going to do this, I really don't feel it was necessary. If people really want to know about Mormon beliefs there are many credible sources, online, to acquire such information. 

Mormons believe in freedom of religion, which is something most American's of faith will resonate with, in his pledge to protect it for all of us. Likewise, the majority of Christians are passionate about preserving traditional marriage. Romney is strong on both of these social issues, and others, of which the majority of Mormons consider issues of morality. These two issues, alone, are likely to make these next few weeks, and potentially beyond, divisive features in conversations everywhere. 

We are living in divisive times. Standing up for Christian values, without intention to do so, finds opposition, and often times closer to home than we are comfortable. Nevertheless, as faithful members of His Church we have made a covenant to stand as witnesses of Him in all things, and in all places and at all times. Mitt Romney, in my opinion, is clearly one who takes this covenant seriously.

As one commenter stated on my WBMW Facebook page:

"We need a President that's not afraid to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Kathryn Skaggs

Mormon Voices: 


  1. Thanks so much for this summary, Kathryn. Life has been insane as of late with school starting and family events, so I haven't been able to watch most of the RNC proceedings.

    One of the things that strikes me about this is that Mitt has been patient. He hasn't hastily responded to keep the media or any other pressure off his back. He is sharing what he wants to share, in the way he wants to share it, when he wants to share it.

    Would that more of us could have such restraint. It is hard for me not to think that this says something about how he might engage hard issues if he were to become president. I DON'T want a president who is a media puppet, and I think he's shown that he is not playing that game.

    1. Michelle, I agree. Although I'm sure he has felt some pressure from the media, but grateful that he's sharing only what he believes is appropriate. I also feel timing is very important for doing this. The RNC provided him a platform to, in essence, tell his own Mormon story, which is much more effective than small soundbites that can be distorted and misused by his opponents. In this, I think his patience will work to his advantage.

  2. good God , they allow mormons to run for office ?

  3. Mr. Romney mentioned the sanctity of life in his speech, but did not tell the truth; if some lives are expendable, then he does not believe it is sacred (or the word "sacred" has little meaning to him.

    His promise to protect the killers of some unborn children in the first sentence of his "pro-life" pledge shows he is not pro-life at all. His influence over the public face of Paul Ryan is becoming decreasingly pro-life is telling.

    1. Unfortunately Roe v Wade is the law of the land and has been since 1973 (410 U.S. 113). If candidate Romney becomes President Romney, he will be subject to the law of the land. One can only hope that he will serve honorable and legally unlike Barack Obama (and his team of czars) who chose to rule by fiat and his Democratic Party dominated Congress which didn't pass a single budget in four years but rather
      'deemed them' passed and spent what they wanted.

      And this goes to Mormonism, not just to politics because "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." I am not pro choice personally, but I do understand that a Romney Presidency would be subject to the law.

  4. The Romney family’s polygamous roots are deep and include some of the most prominent families in the fledgling Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The faith officially banned polygamy in 1890.

    Mitt Romney’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, was a Mormon polygamist with five wives, who fled to Mexico to escape a crackdown on the practice of polygamy in the late-1800s and established a settlement there.

    1. Yes, Romney has polygamy in his ancestory, but so does Obama:

  5. Out of USA, we are also wondering how is Romney's campaign going. Even here -Ecuador-, mormon topics have been increased because of Romney.
    Thanks for your blog, it is good to know that he is testifying about his believes.
    This Romney topic has given us good opportunities for sharing the gospel, but i am pretty sure that we (mormons) will be also judged for all his mistakes.

  6. We've always lived in divisive times only nowadays people are more blatant, more 'in your face'. It's like we're all being faced with committing to one side or another. I find that as I grow older, I'm less anxious about openly committing myself to one stance. I tire of those who would bully others into caving or compromising on an individual's personal morals whether it be to win an argument or to champion an unpopular cause.
    Last night's RNC event reminded me of the America I grew up in and I miss that with all my heart.

    1. Red I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately the left is working tirelessly to tear our country apart. For example, I'm hearing all over the web today...twitter, facebook, and a TON of other blogs I visit, that someone high up in the Obama campaign CREATED and is selling this piece of filth: It's called "if Mitt Wins", and there is a corresponding twitter account I've seen for myself (@ifmittwins). It does nothing but take aim at Mr. Romney's faith, religion, and beliefs. I expect some of the dreck on some level, but that this coming from INSIDE the Obama campaign is nothing short of despicable to me.

    2. I was going to post a comment, but Red said it much better.
      Tudie Rose

  7. Well stated, Kathryn. Last night's stories about Mitt's time as a Bishop were more uplifting to me, than I had anticipated. Take LDS doctrine & the RNC platform out of the equation for a moment...and these stories allowed others to see someone who is exactly the type of person that I would like to see lead. I refuse to participate in any discussion that tears down Pres. Obama - that's not constructive in my opinion. I saw Mitt in-action when I lived in Mass. I also have several close friends that worked side-by-side with him in the Boston Stake. I'm really glad that those stories came to light, because Mitt would never feel comfortable telling them ; )

    1. I think many share similar feelings, Neal. What amazes me is the ongoing rerun of these cameos by national television stations. I guess this tells me how unique this type of charitable service is to many, that Mormons, in general, experience as part of their membership -- whether giving or receiving. Indeed, we are a peculiar people to those looking from the outside in.

  8. There is a place where faith and politics must join, particularly where we are faced with two such contrasting choices. I heard what Mitt and Ann Romney said and the measure of the man will be tested in office with the mainstream media lashing out at him with a vengeance. They will also lash out at LDS people, holding them up to a standard whenever one of the millions of members steps out of line. Thus, whether or not you like it, Kat, your blog will reflect a political bent. "I am not afraid of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for I know it is the power of God unto salvation" is a political statement - not merely a spiritual one in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.

    1. Yes, I realize that. Perhaps I should try fashion blogging. ; )

      But in all seriousness, I imagine that to many this blog may look more and more political, going forward, particularly as not only Mormon beliefs, but its people, are more and more dissected under the microscope of public opinion -- and clarification is necessary,

    2. There are 66 days (1590 hours) until the election. Once that happens, the politics will be a bit less pointed and you can be "better behaved".

      But if being "well behaved" is getting old:

      --You could still move to fashion blogging and could trot out that passion for fashion/thing for bling - and call it the Frumpy Mormon Woman's guide to a less homely lifestyle. Anyone who has been to a sacrament meeting knows that at least half of the women there are in the 'fashion emergency' category. Something along the lines of 'dress as if you're on a first date' might push some of them in the right direction.

      If you want to be even less well behaved, add a "Word of Wisdom Diet" section to the fashion blog. At least half of the adults in every sacrament meeting are trying to 'eat their way to salvation' or so it would seem... (Maybe you can be cruel to be kind?)

      You could craft your blog as "Katherine, the Joan Rivers of Mormonism" and round up (uber thin, fashionable, non-practicing homosexual) men to assist you in your new blog and have them comment on the 'members on the red carpet' as they disembark from their mini-vans and kid-haulers at Stake Conference.

      But if you're going for popularity in lieu of politics and decide not to be well-behaved, you could always craft a "speaking guide for high councilors" or "why nobody wants you to drone on past the ten minute mark". That would become a very popular blog with everyone but members of the high councils...

      Romney's Mormonism won't be an issue after we start to bomb Iran. He'll be like any president then and they'll either love him or hate him for other reasons.

    3. This is some funny stuff, LL I'm cracking up right now. I'm going to have to give some of these suggestions some serious consideration. Who knew I had so many options! LOL Thanks for making my day! : )

    4. It's true. We live in polarizing times and any stance taken is a 'stance'. There's no getting around the politics of it. We do not live in bashful times. Fence-riders don't win buckles. Like it or not, you're on the frontline. But you also have a lot of good folks who have your back.

    5. Thank you, Red. It's really nice to know you're here. ; )

  9. I think that it was inevitable that it'd be a part of the discussion. I respect him and the way that he approached bringing it up. I think that otherwise it would be a weapon they try to use against him, he disarmed it as best as he can.

    He is a candidate that gives me hope, it's been a really long time since that's happened.

  10. I came to different conclusions about Romney's behavior at the RNC: I hope you and your readers will give this viewpoint some consideration.

    And for those who see "hope" in Romney, there are a few other things you should consider: