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Fr Dwight Longenecker Asks, Does Mitt's Mormonism Matter? Comments

Most Americans are unaware of just how peculiar the beliefs of Mormons are. Do they know about Mormonism's exclusivity? It's secretive rituals? It's strange doctrines? Probably not. Even if they do know all the shady and weird stuff about Mormonism, do most Americans care? Should they care? With the possibility that their next president is a Mormon, does it matter? Continue Reading

31 - 40 of 135 Comments

  1. Peter Marlow
    2 years ago

    There is another kind of Mormon of whom Fr Longenecker makes no mention. Having converted from atheism in 1977 and having worshiped with Mormons since that time, I have gotten to know Mormons pretty well. By far, the largest Mormon "mode" comprises those who feel a profound love for God. They continually humble themselves before God, repent of their sins and seek the forgiveness offered through the Lord Jesus Christ. They continually prayerfully thank Him for His love. They ponder the goodness of God and show their appreciation for His redeeming love by continually committing themselves to serving Him, keeping His commandments and doing His will.

    Mormons testify to all who will listen that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, the only name given whereby we may be saved. They testify that He atoned for all our sins and offers forgiveness to all who will repent and follow Him. He died and rose again on the third day in a glorious resurrection, never to die again. He lives today and stands at the head of the church that bears his name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He organized this church through prophets and apostles He had called. Through them, He had also restored His priesthood authority to the earth. Mormons know these truths because they have been and continually are being revealed to them individually directly from God by His Holy Spirit.

    The typical Mormon is very happy with his religion. Mormons understand that many distrust them and distort and malign their beliefs. Anti-Mormons are very busy spreading many lies and falsehoods about Mormon doctrine and history. It doesn’t bother them that much. Unfortunately, many good people have chosen to believe those lies rather than seek the testimony of the Spirit so that they can know the truth for themselves. They are only hurting themselves. A simple reading of the Book of Mormon can dispel many common myths about Mormon beliefs. To get to know Mormons better, you might consider attending a few of their Sunday meetings. I am certain you will be graciously welcomed.

  2. We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ
    2 years ago

    Hi Susan, the "network of Mormon watchdogs" you fear appears to simply be individuals who are compelled by their faith to respond to bigotry. Accusations of my faith being "shady and weird" requires comment. Would you do otherwise?

    "After all, do not Mormons believe the Catholic church is the great abomination?" We in fact do not believe that. I certainly do not. In fact, I attended Catholic mass in Victoria BC 2 weeks ago while I was on my honey moon. All I heard was a very good sermon on Christ's mercy. I have attended Easter mass, Catholics weddings (attending another one in June) and will continue to do so throughout my life. Catholics are great people. The bigotry though is uncalled for, no matter who it comes from.

  3. jpaYMCA
    2 years ago

    Disclaimer: I know Fr. Longenecker, I live very near him, and I think that he is a splendid writer of fiction; however, this article is pitiful in every way.

    Claiming to be about Mormonism and Mitt Romney, it only states the opinions of the author regarding current American culture - example: Mormonism is a religion, and not simply a non-Christian cult, though it is that too. To address other commentators' concerns, what does it mean "to believe in God and Jesus"? How about the full divinity of the Son and of the Holy Spirit? These, according to the Catholic Church, are what distinguishes simple monotheism from Christianity.

    The most problematic statement: Mitt's Mormonism "will not affect" his governance. Well ... it did as governor, as the latest catholic.org article by David Jones correctly states.

    For a priest who wants the Faith to influence the life of parishioners and all Catholics, it's ridiculous to claim that this doesn't happen in other "modernist" religions ... or non-religions. It's contrary to any average American's experience with Muslims or Mormons, it's contrary to the authoritative texts for followers of those religions, and these end up being "ipse dixit" statements by Fr. Dwight.

  4. Rob
    2 years ago

    If I've learned anything about mormons over the years is that they really strive to live their faith. I've had nothing but admiration in regards to their work ethic and family life. In their church they live subsidiarity and community in all aspects. I think we could learn a lot from them in regards to the serious practice of faith? Can you imagine if all Catholic youth donated a couple of years of their life to the mission field? Or if all Catholics donated to their parishes such that the parishes could really provide assistance for parishoners when tragedy strikes or unemployment befalls a parishoner?

  5. Jim
    2 years ago

    You did a good write Father. Of course the LDSers are going to balk at what you say and defend themselves against the truth. You've got some responses here that go as far as saying all religions are the same. Imagine that? Some were even Catholic that made that preposterous remark. You've even got some liberal responses trying to turn your words of truth into being judgmental statements. Oh yes, the hedonistic (if it feels good do it) responses are across the board. It's funny that some of these responses don't think it was a problem when Obama spent twenty or so years in Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's south side. Where he heard a steady weekly stream of "g.d. America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11." But that's OK..? You don't think a steady exposure of that kind of weekly propaganda wouldn't affect a man's way of life and the decisions he makes? "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man" (Prov 27:19)


    So, does religion make a difference? Our lives in some respects are structured around our moral beliefs of what should be true and just. It's based also on one's relationship with God. Our moral beliefs and relationship with God will dictate how we're going to act and make decisions in the world. If our moral beliefs and relationship with God are skewed that's how one's going to act. We're no closer to God than we are with our neighbor is one example. "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."(Lk 6:45)

  6. Adam McBride
    2 years ago

    Father Longenecker:
    I was privileged to hear Cardinal Francis George speak at Brigham Young University in 2010 where he encouraged members of both religions to come together to be spiritually united in their effort to practice their beliefs. Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson spoke to us last year and encouraged Latter-day Saints and Catholics to stand side-by-side in their joint responsibility to protect freedom of worship throughout the world. He highlighted our shared history, our shared values, our shared challenges.
    Catholic Relief Services works hand in hand with the Mormon Church to relieve suffering throughout the earth, including efforts as recently as last month during the tropical storm disaster in the Phillipines. This relationship grew substantially when both faiths came together to help people during the catastrophic famine in Ethiopia in 1985, where over a million people starved to death. Members of the Mormon church donated over $6 million, and that money was administered by Catholic Relief Services. I think if you were to ask Mr. Frank Carlon, head of Catholic Relief Services his opinion about the Church, you would get a much more accurate picture of who we are as a people.
    Mormon Church President Thomas S. Monson spoke side by side with Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop George Niederauer, (now head of the Archdiocese of San Francisco), last year during the centennial mass for the Cathedral of the Madeleine. The Mormon church donated money for its renovation. As the Mormon church is constructing a temple in Rome, church Apostle M. Russell Ballard was invited to visit with Cardinal Levada at the Vatican last year, and Catholic leaders attended its groundbreaking.
    Who can forget the partnernship on the issue of protecting traditional marriage during California's Proposition 8? Neither Catholics or Mormons involved will soon forget the experiences of standing together in this cause.
    While the tone of your article does not seem to reflect these feelings,I am grateful for those many who have worked side by side with Mormons to relieve suffering and bless the people of the earth. When we stand together, we get far more accomplished.

  7. Susan
    2 years ago


    Getting the feeling reading these posts that some network of Mormon watch dogs have bombarded this site. Free Country here (for now), but Father wrote his article for Catholics! Father knows what he is dealing with. After all, do not Mormons believe the Catholic church is the great abomination? A teaching from your early history? For you Catholics who have Mormon friends, you owe it to yourselves to read "When Mormon Call" by Isaiah Bennett who a former priest converted to Mormonism, and taught in the Mormon Institute of Religion. He returned to his Catholic faith after discovering grave errors of Mormonism. Also dear Catholics, know your own faith; read to sharpen your own understanding; listen to Catholic radio; watch EWTN; ask your priests anything you may have doubts about and believe in our one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's promise that not even the gates of hell will prevail against His church! The one Holy Catholic and Apostalic faith. Thank Him for his ocean of mercy!

  8. Hales
    2 years ago

    This article is even-toned which I appreciate in an article on religion, but it is extremely lacking in factuality in every stage. First, those practicing polygamy are not part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Second, the author repeatedly uses subjective terms like shady and weird to paint LDS beliefs without any supporting facts; nothing but opinion. Third, most Mormons do believe in what some might call the supernatural aspects of the religion--most Mormons wouldn't use the term, but most believe in angels, the Holy Spirit, healing, the gift of tongues, visions and so forth and the prosperous among us, such as Romney, are often the most devout. I do agree that he doesn't particularly need to worry about Romney doing something ludicrous, but that is because he does believe in his faith rather than because he doesn't. Short answer: there is far too much opinion and far too little fact in this article.

  9. Raymond Takashi Swenson
    2 years ago

    The author of this article has indulged in the worst sort of defamatory gossip about 14 million of his fellow human beings. One would expect that any Catholic priest would avoid violating the commandment of God against bearing false witness against one's neighbor. One would expect more circumspection from a member of a church which once received intense persecution from American Protestants, which included hateful attacks on the character of the popes. Even today, anti-Catholic attacks are being made related to sexual abuse and coverups, from critics who fail to acknowledge that such misconduct is a human failing that occurs in public schools and other institutions that serve children and youth, without regard to religion. Even after Catholic bishops have spoken to convocations of thousands of students at Brigham Ypung University, afyer Catholic leaders jpined hands with Mormon leaders to support Proposition 8, after leading bishops have made it clear that there is no reason a Catholic could not in good conscience vote for Mitt Romney, whom they became acquainted with when he was governor of Massachusetts, why would someone claiming to be a Catholic pastor engage in religious bigotry of such a blatant nature? Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, any pastor who engaged in such hateful gossip mongering would be temoved from his position immediately.

  10. Meg
    2 years ago

    Wow, you guys preach to know a lot about the Mormon religion, I'm sorry to say you have your facts very, very wrong.I came to this site, to the source of your religion to find an answer to a question about what I've heard about your religion. I suggest your leaders, and followers, check with the source not the crazed lies.


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