2012 presidential candidate and Mormon high priest, Mitt Romney, is making much commotion about his commitment to marriage. Advertising himself as a devoted husband will undoubtedly appeal to women as well as conservatives who desire a candidate with traditional values. His piety might win a vote or two from Christians. Broadening his base to include social conservatives would taunt Mitt’s primary opponent, Newt Gingrich, who has been married three times.
Mitt’s strategy appears on the surface to be logical, making it easy to follow: a man who can hold a diverse family together can bind a nation too. The Romney family is living proof.
It was the love of polygamous marriage that drove the Romney patriarchs to Mexico.
As the story is told in LDS propaganda, the Romneys fled south in the late 1800s in search of freedom and to escape religious persecution. “Freedom” and “persecution” in Mormon folklore was to be understood to mean that Latter-day leaders such as Miles Park Romney would abandon his country so that he could continue practicing plural marriage elsewhere. As far as we know Miles Romney had three sons by two wives: 1) Vernon by way of Catharine Cottam; 2) Gaskell Romney, from whom Mitt Romney comes to us; and 3) George S., who begat Marion G. to whom we will now turn our focus.
Marion G. Romney was born on 19 September 1897 in Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The town was founded only a decade earlier by Mormon pioneers. They successfully colonized the surrounding area, and some Romneys remain in the region to this day. The settlement was part of a larger scheme devised by the LDS church to evade anti-polygamy laws. In retaliation of United States Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882, many of the Mormon colonists supported the Mexican Revolution. The Mormon leadership befriended Pancho Villa and the Mormons provided him aid, earning the gratitude of the Mexican Revolutionary government.
When Marion became of priestly age, his family returned to the United States where, after a stay in California, he eventually settled in Idaho. Here his father was appointed Principle of Rick’s Academy, now known as Brigham Young University Idaho, and there Marion completed high school in 1918. Next he was off to Australia as an LDS missionary. Marion then worked in the construction industry in Salt Lake City where he married Rick’s alumnus, Ida Jensen. The marriage ceremony was performed by none other than Joseph F. Smith himself on 12 September 1924.
Marion continued studies at the University of Utah where he would focus on political science and law; the curriculum would prepare him for a career in state politics and church leadership, and in Utah the roles can be impossible to tell apart.
In 1941 Marion Romney was called to assist the Quorum of the Twelve in matters of administration and ecclesiastical authority. Ten years later he would be elevated as a full member of the elite Twelve. Worth noting: During this period Marion’s cousin, George W., a successful automotive executive, would give birth to Willard “Mitt” Romney (b. 1947). By the 1960s Marion was a trusted LDS insider, charged with developing the Home Teaching program. He was also made overseer of Mexican operations. For the next ten years he built chapels and stretched Mormonism’s reach beyond the American colonies.
Surprisingly, Marion showed little interest in the country of his birth. By now he had forgotten the Spanish language and he made little effort to relearn it. He had grown old and the assignments the church offered him were not providing an outlet to exercise his unique skills and talents. Few things seemed to energize him. He desired a larger role in Salt Lake hierarchy but was overlooked when prized promotions were available. Time was running out for Marion Romney.
Marion’s luck changed in 1972, beginning with the death of LDS President David McKay. Marion became Second Counselor in the First Presidency when Harold Lee, with whom he worked on the Church Welfare Program, replaced McKay.
The LDS leadership now consisted mainly of petulant elder statesmen who lacked the groundbreaking accomplishments of the previous churchmen. History books were being written and the current LDS bosses were left out or known as mere “sons of church founders;” they were famous because their ancestors were famous. They had famous names but no great deeds. In such times legacies are contrived.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold Lee, and Marion Romney quickly appointed themselves to the Publication Committee that would reprint and revise the Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, which had been out of circulation for a number of years. It was merely a re-write of others’ hard work, but nonetheless it was a chance for the three men to show that they had accomplished something. Had they not seized the opportunity, they would have been known only as lower-branched names on a genealogy chart. Smith died that same year, 1972; eighteen months later Lee followed him to the grave. Marion Romney was frequently ill and assumed the role of a figurehead until his death; he remained inactive during the last years. When LDS President Kimball died in 1985, Marion had not been seen in many months.
Doctrines and Covenants (henceforth D&C) is sacred scripture in the Mormon church. It contains supposed revelations and elaborate prophecies of the prophet Joseph Smith. The D&C Commentary was initially drafted during the years 1913-1916 by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl while they served in the European Missions. In the preface to the 1972 revised edition Marion G. Romney wrote “…since the time of the first publication many world-wide events of the greatest importance have occurred many of which have bearing on the fulfillment of the prophecies found in the Doctrines and Covenants; these have been noted [by me]…”
Let us now examine a few statements found in D&C. The revised edition of the Commentary was published by Mitt Romney’s cousin (once removed), Marion, at roughly the same period that the 2012 presidential candidate was attending the LDS flagship university, BYU, in nearby Provo, Utah. Mitt was selected to give the commencement address the year before Marion ascends to Counselor to the Mormon Presidency.
Christians wish to know if the presidential candidate agrees with Marion’s statements and the teachings of the Doctrines and Covenants. It will help us decide if he will win our support.
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH DOCTRINE RIDICULED BY MORMONS?
Page XV: “…The doctrine of justification by faith has, in some respects, become a cover for spiritual indolence, and even for licentiousness, so thick as to keep the justice of God out of view…”
NO ONE SAVED BUT MORMONS?
Page 347: “…It was said to Joseph Smith, the Prophet, ‘According to your faith and the teachings of your Elders, nobody will be saved but you Mormons; now, Mr. Smith, will all be damned but the Mormons?’ Joseph Smith replied, ‘Yes, and many of them [the “Mormons”] unless they repent and do better…” (Brackets in original)
MILLIONS OF SPIRIT CHILDREN WAITING IN HEAVEN TO COME TO EARTH SO THEY CAN BECOME MORMONS?
Page 415: “… Children are a precious gift of God, and should be taken care of as such. And yet, in the world there are those who advocate —perhaps for so-called eugenic reasons—the limitation of child-birth, while others are guilty of practices that should be classed as infanticide. The Latter-day Saints have been taught that ‘some of the most noble spirits are waiting with the Father to this day, to come forth through the right channel and the right kind of men and women,’ and that ‘there are thousands, and millions, of spirits waiting to obtain bodies upon this Earth’ (Heber C. Kimball, Jour. of Dis., Vol. V., p. 92) …”
MITT ROMNEY, SINCE YOU ARE A MELCHIZEDEK PRIEST, ARE YOU THEREFORE A GOD? OR BECOMING ONE?
Page 457-458: “… They [who] hold the holy Melchizedek Priesthood …They are gods, even the sons of God because of their Priesthood, their office, their possession of all things, they are gods, even the sons of God…Those who are called forth in the first resurrection are destined to become gods…Says Brigham Young: ‘…The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming gods …’ [Quoting Joseph Smith]: ‘… In the resurrection, some are raised to be angels; others are raised to be gods …’”
MITT ROMNEY, DO YOU CONDONE THE RACIST TEACHINGS QUOTED IN THE MARION ROMNEY EDITION OF THE DOCTRINES AND COVENANTS?
Page 471: “… The … Indians, are just as much the children of our Father and God as we are. So also are the Africans. But we are also the children of adoption through obedience to the gospel of His Son. Why are so many of the inhabitants of the Earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the Priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we [Mormons] now are entitled to” (Brigham Young, Jour, of Dis., Vol. XL, p. 272)…”
WE AND JESUS ARE MERELY ALL SPIRIT CHILDREN OF ELOHIM WHO WILL ONE DAY HAVE SPIRIT CHILDREN OF OUR OWN?
Page 589: Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for He is one of them. He is The Son, as they are sons or daughters of Elohim. So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been made known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring. Only such exalted souls have reached maturity in the appointed course of eternal life; and the spirits born to them in the eternal worlds will pass in due sequence through the several (stages or estates by which the glorified parents have attained exaltation (From an article by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve (Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Improvement Era, August, 1916).
GOD HAD MANY SPIRIT CHILDREN?
Page 595-596: “…Among the spirit-children of Elohim the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ, to whom all others are juniors …Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which Spirit, even the Spirit of truth the pre-existence of man is clearly taught. Man was in the beginning “with the Father,” as was the Son … Man is spirit. And God is spirit (John 4:24). “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:11) … Whence the wisdom possessed by Joseph Smith, which neither ancient nor modern philosophers have found?…”
WE CAN SAVE DEAD RELATIVES BY BAPTIZING THEM? THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND THE NAUVOO TEMPLE THE ONLY PLACES THIS CAN BE DONE?
Page 775-776: “… Baptism for the dead was performed by the Saints for some time following the resurrection of our Savior, but this practice soon became discarded as the apostasy set in and from that time until the time of the building the Nauvoo Temple … for a short time, while a place in the Nauvoo Temple was being prepared, the Lord granted the saints the privilege of being baptized for their dead in the Mississippi River, but explained that this could only be done when there was no House of the Lord where this ordinance could be performed …”
MORMONS ARE GODS?
Page 827: “…But when we say that the privilege of God’s children is to associate with Him in the eternal mansions, and that they may become gods, then the world does not understand us, and many deem us guilty of blasphemy. They seem to think that they honor God by supposing that His children are infinitely inferior to Him. What kind of father is He, then, that He should feel it an honor to be the progenitor of an inferior offspring? Is there a king on earth that would feel honored by having degenerates and beggars for children? Do not fathers and mothers rejoice in the progress of their children? Is it not their ambition to educate and train their loved ones, until these shall reach the highest possible degree of intelligence and efficiency? Surely, we can do no greater honor to God, our Father, than to admit the divine possibilities which He has implanted in His offspring, and which will be developed under His tuition in this life and hereafter, until His children are perfect as He is perfect. Says President Brigham Young: ‘… We are created, we are born, for the express purpose of growing up from the low estate of manhood, to become gods, like unto our Father in heaven …’”
Will the GOP nominate a man who believes such things to be sacred scripture?