Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sought to woo voters in the state of Virginia yesterday by slamming the Democratic party for removing the mention of God from their platform and claiming that he would never make such an omission, while being careful not to use any language that referenced the god of Mormons.
“I will not take God out of the name of our platform,” Romney declared to a gathering in Virginia Beach, evoking applause from the audience. “I will not take God off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart. We’re a nation that’s bestowed by God.”
In making the comment, Romney was referring to the situation that took place last week at the Democratic National Convention when the official party platform was unveiled to the public. Reports circulated to the chagrin and outrage of many that the mention of God was omitted from this year’s statement of beliefs, as well as the acknowledgment that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
As previously reported, on Wednesday of last week, delegates took a voice vote at the Charlotte Convention Center regarding whether or not to restore the mention of God and Jerusalem to the party platform. Much to the confusion of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who presided over the vote, delegates were just as strongly opposed to reinstating the mentions as they were in favor of them. He took the vote three times in order to determine if the measure passed or not, and even after announcing that the motion was adopted and that the platform would be amended, delegates booed and shook their head in disapproval.
“We believe in a nation under God,” Romney stated at the gathering in Virginia Saturday. “And for that to happen, we’re going to have to have a new president that will commit to getting America working again; that will commit to a strong military; that will commit to a nation under God that recognizes that we the American people were given our rights not by government, but by God himself.”
However, in making references to God, Romney was careful not to slip in any language that would refer to his Mormon beliefs.
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. But, 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.
At the Republican National Convention, however, former Mormon stake president Kenneth Hutchins, who had been summoned by Romney to deliver the benediction, inserted a reference to Mormon doctrine.
“We know it is by and through thy sacred offerings that we thy children can be cleansed and made worthy to return to thee,” he stated, referring to the LDS belief that every spirit has always existed and will return again return to God upon death. While Mormons state that their doctrines differ from reincarnation, they opine that “[one] moves from one type of existence to another along the way” upon death.
Mitt Romney served as a Mormon bishop in the 1990’s, and communicated with Hutchins for a time. He also enlisted as a missionary to France before becoming involved in politics and worked to covert others to Mormonism.
Photo: Gage Skidmore