Update: The text of the speech is available here.
Tomorrow morning (6 December 2007, 10:30 EST) Mitt Romney will deliver a long-awaited speech to the American people. Many newspapers report Mr. Romney’s intent to “give a speech addressing his Mormon faith,” (Boston Globe) but the Los Angeles Times says otherwise:
“Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Monday that he would not focus on his Mormon beliefs in a major speech on religion this week and instead would discuss his concern that ‘faith has disappeared from the public square.'”
Many people will be disappointed if Mr. Romney chooses to stay away from discussing Mormonism. Clayton M. Christensen, a Romney supporter and fellow Mormon, thinks Mr. Romney should talk about the LDS Church. He told the Boston Globe,
“It really is a great church, and the more people can understand what it is and what it does, the more I think they’ll trust that he acts in the best interests of the country.”
LDS Senator Orrin Hatch agrees, saying that Mr. Romney must give this speech because many Americans misunderstand the LDS religion.
But Mr. Romney does not plan to help people understand Mormonism better. The LA Times reports:
“The former Massachusetts governor encouraged Americans to learn about Mormonism but said he did not see himself as a spokesman for his religion.
“‘There’s plenty of ways that people can learn more about my faith if they’d like to, I’m sure — a lot of websites people can go to,’ Romney told reporters…”
Since Mr. Romney’s speech will not inform the American people about his Mormon faith, and since he himself suggests people learn about Mormonism by researching his religion on the internet, I invite you to take this opportunity to tell the people everywhere what you think they need to know about Mormonism.
- A Mormon in the White House? 10 Things Every American Should Know About Mitt Romney, review by Eric Johnson
- Mitt Romney and Mormonism, movie by Aaron Shafovaloff
The problem for Mitt is, that when the vineer is striped back and the beliefs of the Mormon Church are presented, those beliefs are seen as quite strange and odd. Mormons are stuck with that perception whether they feel it’s fair or not. Mitt appears to be an able administrator, a successful business man and a decent guy. However, I don’t think he can stick with the standard Mormon line that Jesus is his Lord and Savior and that Mormons are Christians because Jesus’ name is included in the offical name of the church. Forget the flip-flops on certain issues, Christians view Mormonism in a negative light because it is felt that (Mormonism) is way off the bubble with the basic truths of the faith.
I just read a news article on this and comments by people so I felt inclined to put in my two cents.
First of all, did Mitt Romney give the majority of people what they wanted? In my opinion, no. People largely misunderstand what Mormonism is all about and people wanted to hear the “odd” doctrines of his faith. Instead, Romney decided to give a generalized speech (which I no doubt believed he would, especially with the title “Faith in America”.
This country was founded upon Christian morals and values. Mitt Romney decided to give a speech on how important faith is in America. It was just a worthless speech that had nothing but PR written all over it.
Now, should all these people be asking Romney what Mormon’s believe? No, people need to crack open a book, or a web browser, and listen to what the General Authorities (throughout the history of the LDS church) have to say about the doctrines of Mormonism. You think Romney would be dumb enough to publicly declare some if any of the deep doctrine? Good luck. Even president Hinckley doesn’t attempt to do that nationally. I have to say, for his old age, he dodges quite quickly. (Time Magazine, etc.) Thats my little poke in the side for the day.
What kills me in the comments I read from LDS is almost every one of them immediately discounted any information given by non or ex members of the LDS church. They instead, point to the white washed website Mormon.org – In essence they are saying, don’t listen to the past prophets and what we deeply believe, listen to the contemporary “Christian” standpoint.
It’s not a matter of not being able to understand Joseph Smith having many wives just yet. It’s a matter of months/years of being slowly indoctrinated to the point where you don’t care how absurd things are.
P.S. – Megan, Rick, Falcon, Aaron. I emailed this website asking for a suggestion on a study Bible ( I want one for Christmas and will start attending a Bible Study Group), do any come to mind?
Jeff, as for me, I do not use study Bibles, I do not agree with a lot of the notes or Ideas put in by people.
I hear the (thomsan chain reference) Bible is the best for finding quick references because of the way they link up. I do not own one, but I hear they are great. I believe the best comantary on the Bible, is the Bible. Sorry I could not give a bible out. Rick b
I appreciate the suggestion Rick.
Do most Bible’s come with references to the greek/hebrew translations?
I haven’t taken time to count the Bibles I have here, but I have a number of versions and several study Bibles. I would agree with Rick in that the notes of study Bibles are generally someones opinion. I still like to check them to see what someone has to say on a matter. I have collected a ton and a half of reference materials also. I favor the New American Standard Version of the Bible and I keep a five volume set of The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible right here in easy reach. Years ago, when I realized my ignorance of the Bible, I took the Liberty Baptist Home Study Course. It’s a two year course and I was so motivated I finished it in eight months. I’ve got all of that material here also. Funny thing, I still feel like I don’t know very much. I say that because you have to start some where, so a study Bible, even with it’s limitations could be a help. By the way I have the Thompson Chain Link also. I had a real break-through when I realized that none of this (knowledge) is beyond our grasp. We just have to be willing to spend the time to research topics.
Awesome! Thanks for the reply Falcon. I am VERY excited to start an in-depth study of scripture. No offense to the teaching done in an LDS ward, but its been the same ol’ thing for the past 4 years. Just like the General Conference talks. I’m sure they have some course that gets more in depth but I would like a traditional Christian viewpoint on my study. For the past 4 years all I have done was look at Mormon teaching and compare it to traditional Christian teaching.
Do you guys think I should take a course at a local Christian church? Or is there some sort of online thing you might think is better?
Falcon, what do you think of the Thompson Chain Link Bible? I went to a bookstore last night and didn’t find it, so I probably have to order it online or go to a Christian Book Store. Sounds like a really neat Bible.
As far as the opinions go I don’t think I care much if they are in there, but thats not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for maybe referenced facts/evidence of things mentioned in the Bible. Megan mentioned something about an archaeological Bible?
Their is a link on my blog to the Church I go to. We post our teachings on line for all to listen to, and our church goes chapter by chapter, verse by verse study of the Bible.
Were not like some churchs that to a topic. We believe when Paul said, I have not shunned to declare the entire Gospel to you, so since we go verse by verse, we teach the entire Gospel. Then if you like you can get other links to out type of Church from that, and the other churchs like our do the verse by verse.
You can also check out Chuck Missler and his website, http://www.khouse.org
That guy is not a pastor but a teacher and his stuff is great. He uses the Bible and knows his bible very well. His link is also on my blog.
My Church is, http://www.ccsaintpaul.org/
We have listed tons of study aids and helps. Rick b
Rick, I saved my last comment for you. Thank you for all the wonderful links. I hopefully will be able to find a church like yours in my area. For many years I have just been listening to topics given by people, but what I really want is to just get into an in-depth study of the Bible.
Jeff, I’m really excited for you in your endeavors to study the Bible more in-depth! That’s so great! My heart has always been for evangelism, while my husband’s is more for discipleship (yes, in reference to one of your comments earlier, I have been married for 7 1/2 yrs.to my best friend). In the past couple years I have started to see the immense importance of discipleship in the context of deep Bible study. It’s once been said that religion in the US is a mile wide and an inch deep–what a tragedy. I have had the privilege of having made close LDS friends the past couple of years, and our differing faiths have challenged me to know what I believe and why. Plus this blog helps too. Before I took my beliefs for granted.
Anyway, I have to respectfully disagree with Rick B. and Falcon. Well, passionately disagree to be more accurate. I think study Bibles (and the notes in them) are extremely important. While the Holy Spirit is the primary teacher in our studies, it is so important to get the background knowledge on the cultural, archeological, and language differences that theologians and experts provide. Of course don’t swallow what people say right away; really test things and turn them over in your mind.
Here are my recommendations:
The NIV Archeological Study Bible (excellent)
Bible Doctrine (a book by Wayne Grudem and the gold standard for my seminary students)
How To Read the Bible For All It’s Worth (by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart)
You can also buy commentaries for each book of the Bible–I like the Spirit-Filled Living Series by Jack Hayford, although I’m sure there are lots of other good commentaries out there.
Well, good luck! I think that’s my third comment.
I just want to clear something up–I don’t teach at a seminary and I don’t have any seminary students. When I mentioned the Bible Doctrine book I said it was the gold standard for my seminary students–I meant to write “many students”. I need to get better with proof-reading I guess.