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So Mitt's Mormon - what does that mean?

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His robotic, out-of-touch demeanor, ridiculous personal finances and flip-flopping on issues aside, Romney's biggest challenge among some voters is his Mormon religion. According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 20 percent of Republicans say they'd be hesitant to support a Mormon in the 2012 election.

Are you one of the 20 percent hesitant about supporting a Mormon? Concerned about polygamy, weird undergarments or other Mormon stories you may have heard? Jeffrey Wright, a writer for our sister paper, San Antonio Current, researched the Mormon religion and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and came up with the following handy FAQ.

Is the Book of Mormon the Latter-day Saints Bible?

The BoM was written by Joseph Smith, who claims to have translated it from a pile of gold tablets an angel hipped him to. In addition to the Bible and the BoM, Mormons rely on additional written scriptures, but also innumerable “revelations” that the church president, believed to be a living prophet, thinks up over his morning decaf. His edicts supersede previous scripture, making Mormon dogma fluid and often fickle.

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Not the mainline LDS, though some breakaway sects still do. In the main church, however, polygamists are excommunicated. Salt Lake City apostles ended polygamy in 1890 after a “revelation” that serendipitously followed a federal move to seize the church and all of its assets because of the practice.


Are Mormons horny?

According to former President Spencer Kimball, married couples “are commanded” to have “proper sex.” But maybe he didn’t need to command this. The LDS manual entitled Just for Newlyweds reads: "[The clitoris] is one of the little organs . . . that God created in the female and that has no reproductive function whatsoever. It is there for one purpose only: to produce pleasure." Saucy!

I've heard Mormons wear magic underwear.

Not magic. Not even secret. Just sacred. The two-piece garment, adorned with Masonic-inspired symbols, is issued as part of the “temple endowment” and must be worn day and night, removed only for bathing and P90X workouts. Exceptions are granted when outsiders might see these non-secret garments, such as at the beach or when LDS member Marie Osmond performed on Dancing With The Stars.

Are Mormons Christians?

Mormons worship Jesus Christ, believe he is the son of God and consider Mormonism a Christian religion. However, a top-notch religion lawyer would shuffle through his briefcase and produce parchments noting that nearly 2,000 years ago Roman Emperor Constantine assembled extant representatives of an increasingly anarchic Christendom in order to lay down some constitutional rules. A major point of agreement was the notion of the Holy Trinity. And though the LDS recognize Jesus, God and the Ghost, they view them as distinct entities, not a mystical unity, failing the Holy Trinity test.

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