Did you know:
- That John Huntsman and Mitt Romney are distant cousins?
- That Romney’s family, two generations ago, moved to Mexico so they could practice polygamy?
- That Mormons once raised a militia to combat the US government?
- That Joseph Smith “translated” Egyptian funeral documents into Mormon scripture?
These are among the many rather startling facts that grace the pages of Andrew Jackson’s book, “The Mormon Faith of Mitt Romney.”
Jackson writes from a Christian perspective while tracing the history and development of Mormonism from the early days of Joseph Smith’s visions of Moroni to the relatively more recent changes in LDS doctrine. Rather than taking a position that is polemic and argumentative, Jackson draws on Mormon sources to connect the Romney family to its religious roots and then turns to a more systematic look at Mormon theology and practice.
This book is not an intimate look at Romney’s personal views about Mormonism. Jackson makes the points that Mitt has more or less avoided giving that sort of interview. He calls on Mitt to be more transparent with the public about this faith.
It is clear, however, that Mitt is not a nominal Mormon. He is a Mormon leader who has overseen the construction of temples, participates in the Mormon priesthood, and is a part of an important Mormon family. You will learn about the turning point in Mitt’s life, when he decided to not simply “go through the routine” of being a Mormon, but became a devoted follower and propagator of the Mormon faith.
Particularly for Christians, the chapter on the Mormon worldview is helpful. It encouraged me to avoid applying a Christian hermeneutic to Mormon theology.
Are Mormons Christians? Jackson considers this question in detail. Rather than just saying “no,” Jackson provides an analysis of Mormon doctrine in light of the historic Christian faith. Jackson looks at Mormon beliefs of who God is, soteriology (salvation), and revelation. A damning picture of Mormonism comes forth that may give you pause about the Christian nature of Mormonism.
If you are looking for a book that is combative and negative about Mormonism then this is probably not the book for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a book that affirms your hope that that Mitt is a good Christian man you will be disappointed. This is a very readable overview of Mormonism and Romney’s association with it.
It is timely and I recommended it to you in this highly charged political season. Would I vote for a Mormon for president? That might be a good topic for a future post. I do understand a lot more about Mitt Romney after reading, “The Mormon Faith of Mitt Romney.”
For full disclosure, I got my copy from Jackson’s editor, who is a friend and co-worker.