Reports have been confirmed that tonight’s acceptance speech from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a former Mormon bishop and stake president, will be preceded by prayer from a prominent Mormon leader.
Deseret News, a Mormon-owned newspaper in Salt Lake City Utah, spoke with 71-year-old Kenneth Hutchins, former stake president in Massachusetts, who advised that he had received an invitation from Romney’s son Tagg to offer the invocation at the Republican National Convention. Tagg had stated that his father specifically wanted Hutchins to officiate, noting that a number of faiths would be represented, including Islam.
Hutchins had served as a police chief for a number of years before serving as a leader in the Mormon “Church” as an overseer to a conglomerate of LDS facilities. He and Romney have had a long rapport, as Hutchins counseled Romney in the 1990’s before moving to Tampa, Florida years later to head up Mormon proselytism efforts. He is currently fighting cancer.
“What are you doing right now?” Tagg reportedly inquired in a phone call to Hutchins.
“I’m not feeling very well,” Hutchins replied. “But I’m cheered up hearing your voice.”
“I’m going to cheer you up even more,” Tagg Romney advised, “[M]y dad would like you to give the opening prayer on the closing night of the convention down in Tampa.”
Grant Bennett, a former Mormon bishop, is also scheduled to speak during the convention.
Mitt Romney himself served as a stake president before running for office in the 1990’s. His work included Mormon counseling, organization and planning of services and charitable outreach.
“[T]he hard-line profile he seems to be pushing is light years away from where he was when he was stake president,” stated Tom Kimball, former executive secretary for Romney during his days of being a LDS official in Boston.
According to the writings of Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS religion, Mormons believe that God was originally a man that lived on another planet, and that men must learn how to also become a god.
“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil so you may see,” Smith wrote in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. “[H]e was once a man like us. Yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ did.”
“[Y]ou have to learn how to be gods yourselves,” Smith continued. “[T]he same as all gods have done before you.”
Mormons also believe that Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers, and that both offered to die for the sins of the people, calling out, “Here am I, send me,” according to Abraham 3:27 in the Book of Mormon. The LDS “Church” teaches that like Jesus and Satan, every person is a spirit brother or sister that has always existed. However, in order to do become a god, they must follow both the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Requirements include being baptized into Mormonism, tithing to the LDS “Church” and performing baptisms for the dead.
The Book of Mormon was stated to have been written as Joseph Smith was peering into an occultic seer stone, which he had placed into his hat. As he told a friend what he was seeing in the stone, the words were transcribed.
In light of this, a number of Christians, including former Mormons, are expressing concerns with Romney’s Mormonism, and believe that his selection of a Mormon stake president to deliver the invocation is just the beginning of the promotion of his religion.
“From its very beginning, the Mormon plan for America has been to have a Mormon president lead this nation and ultimately the world,” stated former devout Mormons Dennis and Rauni Higley of H.I.S. Ministries International in Salt Lake City, Utah. “The so-called ‘White Horse Prophecy’ of Joseph Smith has been referred to often as a destiny of the Mormon priesthood in saving the United States. This ‘prophecy’ predicts that U.S. government will one day hang as if by a single thread and Mormon elders will step in and save it.”
“Since this time is by many considered to be ‘that time’ when this government is in danger, many LDS look to Mitt Romney as a man destined to save America under the leadership of the Mormon prophet and priesthood,” continued the Higleys. “[Romney is] a Mormon who has sworn oaths in a Mormon temple promising that he will put the Mormon ‘Church’s’ benefits above all else through all the days of his life. For sure, a Romney presidency would be used to promote Mormonism, not only in the United States, but around the world. That would mean perhaps millions more lost souls for eternity.”
This year’s Republican National Convention marks the first time that a Mormon has prayed at the event. However, in 2004, during the re-election campaign for George W. Bush, prominent Mormon leader and author Sheri Drew addressed supporters at the convention.
Following Romney’s acceptance speech, well-known Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will deliver the benediction. Romney announced Dolan’s appearance on Catholic television network EWTN last week.
As previously reported, Romney was nominated as the Republican candidate on Tuesday of this week, but not without opposition. A number of delegates cast their vote for a third party candidate out of their disapproval of Romney.