Like millions of others I made sure I didn’t miss what many were touting as Mitt Romney’s “JFK Speech.” I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear a whole lot about Romney’s Mormon faith. Thoughts of him standing behind the podium and saying, “Hi, I’m Mitt Romney, a normal guy running for president who hopes to one day become a God,” never entered my mind.
I personally thought this speech was a no-win situation. If Romney was totally forthright about his Mormon faith he would no doubt scare off many of his current supporters. If he was vague, he’d invite criticism from those who felt he was being evasive. He did, however, say some things that I’d like to follow up on. For instance, he said:
“When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God.”
Will that presidential oath really supersede the one that Romney has often made in the LDS endowment ceremony? The one that states:
“You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in this, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.”
Are we to believe that this temple covenant will no longer rank as Romney’s highest promise to God? After all, when discussing those who would like him to distance himself from his faith, Romney said:
“They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it.”
If affirming a temple covenant is part of Romney’s belief, and he plans to live by it, how can his oath of office really be his “highest promise”? He also said:
“There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history.”
Yes, each religion has its own unique doctrines and history but when it comes to core beliefs of the Christian faith, the Mormon Church, for much of its history, has always proudly stood outside the long-accepted doctrinal norms of Christianity. How are voters to understand the above comment when right now on the official web site of the LDS Church it states:
“While the same terms are used by Latter-day Saints and other Christians for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost), Latter-day Saint understanding of the three members of the Godhead is significantly different from that of traditional Christianity” (“The Godhead”).
I can’t speak for everyone, but this is one Christian who is more concerned with how Romney (and other Mormons) define their terms, rather than the term itself. It does little to impress me when Mormons insist they believe in the “Son of God” when they won’t denounce the horribly blasphemous comments LDS leaders have made about Jesus.
Mr. Romney said other things that caused me to wonder, but at this point I’d be interested to hear what you thought of the speech.