The other day Jill and I were talking about the upcoming presidential election and the candidates. Jill asked me if Romney's being Mormon affects my opinion of him. I replied, "Yes, it does." So she asked how. After I told her how, I was stunned to learn that she didn't know the basic roots of the Mormon church. Since my own cousin, at age 60, didn't know the basics, I thought I'd write a short post on it.
This is my understanding. A Google search or a quick trip to Wikipedia will give you much more detail. I went to the library 30 years ago and checked out books to learn about it. Here my links are to Wikipedia.
The Mormon church was started in western New York in the 1820s by a treasure-digger named Joseph Smith. In 1823, Joseph Smith claimed to have been directed by the angel Moroni to golden plates buried near his home. These golden plates contained words of God written by prophets, mostly one named Mormon, about indigenous Americans. Smith said he translated these golden plates (using seer-stone spectacles) and then gave them back to the angel. Smith had 11 relatives and friends sign a paper saying they'd seen these plates. During power struggles, Smith later broke with or excommunicated most of the witnesses. Smith published his translation as the Book of Mormon
Mormons believe the Bible is the word of God written by prophets. They also believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God written by prophets (or a prophet), and is a companion book to the Bible.
Joseph Smith and his cadre claimed the way to heaven for women was through their husbands, thus setting the precedence for multiple wives for Mormon men. Mormons believe that present-day men can receive the word of God and change church doctrine.
OPINION TO FOLLOW:
Every human has the right to believe what they want in regard to religion. I have the right to think they're nut jobs or not. I may post a few political opinions on my blog, but you may have noticed that I don't normally post about religion. For the most part, I've come to believe a person's religion is a private thing.
In the case of the person that becomes President of the United States, chooses Supreme Court Judges, and may change the laws of the land, I believe that person's religion may affect my country, thus it takes religion out of the personal realm.
Personally, I cannot make myself have confidence in someone that believes an angel of Christianity buried golden plates around Palmyra, New York. For someone to not be skeptical of an American finding those plates, translating them, and giving them back to the angel without anyone else being able to read them makes me skeptical of that person's critical thinking skills.
For a bunch of men to decide that women's path to heaven is through husbands, thus, men must marry many women seems to me nothing more than a bunch of men wanting to screw a lot of women, especially younger ones, as was the case then, and to this day in breakaway sects.
Polygamy is one of the reasons that Mitt Romney's father was born in Mexico. Romney's great grandfather, Miles Park Romney, had five (5) wives and lived in a Mormon colony in Mexico. In case you didn't know, a lot of Mormons who still believe in polygamy live in Mexico to this day.
In my opinion, the only reason the Mormon church changed its stance on polygamy was because Utah's bid for statehood was being harmed by it. So in 1890, the church president received a new directive from God changing the church's stand on polygamy. Utah became a state in 1896.
So, IN MY OPINION, a mature adult who sees Joseph Smith as anything but a horny nut job and can give the Mormon church much credulity is not an adult I want as President of the country.
That's my personal opinion. It won't buy you a cup of coffee. Everyone has one - opinion, that is, not a cup of coffee.