Romney’s Mormonism: Problem for voters?

For vague, unknown reasons, some Christians are reluctant to support a Mormon for president.

At least that’s the impression you get reading a Washington Post story this week with this headline:

Romney’s religion still a sticking point

Here’s the top of the story, published before Romney won the Iowa caucuses by the thinnest of margins Tuesday:

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — On a recent afternoon at the Kanesville Tabernacle, the historic site along the Mormon Trail where pioneers selected Brigham Young to lead their church in 1847, Sister LaRae Wright lamented that 150 years later many Iowans still know nothing about the Mormon faith.

Mitt Romney, she said, could change that.

“I want him to shout it from the rooftops,” Sister Wright burst out with a chuckle. Then she paused. “But does that make political sense?”

It does not. Conversations with voters and evangelical leaders across Iowa reveal that a suspicion of Mormonism may still be a central reason for those opposing the former Massachusetts governor. But by establishing himself as the electability candidate in the field, Romney has created a political tension between that undercurrent of religious antipathy and a more open hostility toward President Obama.The outcome of Tuesday’s caucuses could depend on whether the fear of a second Obama term trumps the trepidation about Romney’s religion.

Why are some voters suspicious of Mormonism?

A longtime Romney supporter suggested to the Post that “bigotry” is the reason. Another source cited a “fear of the unknown.” The story included this interview with a voter at a Romney campaign event:

On Sunday afternoon, potential voters in Atlantic waited for Romney at the Family Table restaurant. A few tables down from a group of Mormons, Karen Poe, 68, fresh out of church services, sat with her husband, Phil, around ketchup-stained plates. “Beating Obama is my bottom line,” she said, but isn’t sure she can get behind Romney.

“He’s a Mormon,” Poe said, grimacing at the mention of Romney’s name. “Everyone needs to base their decision on something, and the basis for his decisions would be different. I’m not convinced it’s a good point of view to be coming from.”

Poe, an evangelical member of the Assemblies of God church outside Des Moines, said that while she’d also have issues with a Jewish or Muslim candidate, Mormons worried her more. “They are a very controlling religion,” she said.

Missing from the article: Any exploration of theological reasons why some Christians — evangelicals, mainliners and Catholics among them — might have problems recognizing the core of Mormonism.

Your GetReligionistas spent some time this morning privately bemoaning that glaring omission.

This afternoon, we were pleased to see a Religion News Service piece that provides clarity where the Post offered confusion.

In his report, Godbeat pro Daniel Burke explores why Romney’s “evangelical problem starts with theology”:

(RNS) The good news for Mitt Romney: he won the Iowa caucuses. The bad news for Romney: evangelicals remain reluctant to support him.

Romney bested former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum by a mere eight votes in Tuesday’s (Jan. 3) first-in-the-nation voting. But just 14 percent of evangelicals supported the former Massachusetts governor, according to entrance polls, a third less than he won during his 2008 campaign.

Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, said Romney failed to convince evangelicals that he cares about their issues, particularly outlawing abortion and same-sex marriage.

“What evangelicals are saying is: We don’t know what this guy believes,” Scheffler said. “Does he have any public policy philosophy other than wanting to be elected president?”

Yet numerous polls and anti-Mormon statements suggest that deeper disagreements rooted in core elements of Christian theology are also in play.

Those core elements of Christian theology?

Among the disputes are the nature of God, the doctrine of the Trinity and the acceptance of revelations and books beyond the Christian Bible.

“For the people on the inside of these kinds of discussions, these are not just matters of life and death but of salvation. There is nothing more important for them than having a proper relation to God and idea of who Jesus is,” said Mason, author of “The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South.”

In a sense, Mormons and mainstream Christians have been at odds for nearly 200 years, Mason said.

Mormonism’s founding prophet, Joseph Smith, said God told him that every existing church and creed was “corrupt” and “wrong.” Drawing on personal revelations—published in the Book of Mormon and other texts—Smith set out to restore the church.

Smith preached fairly orthodox Christian theology at first, but “became increasingly radical, breaking more and more from standard Christianity with every year that he lived,” said Craig Blomberg, a professor at Denver Seminary who has been active in evangelical-Mormon dialogue.

A sermon Smith preached three months before his death in 1844 planted the seeds for Mormonism’s biggest break with traditional Christianity, according to scholars. In it, Smith preached that God was once a flesh-and-blood man who had attained godhood. Likewise, Smith taught, humans could advance to God-like status in heaven.

That’s a pretty big chunk of the story that I just copied and pasted. I’m tempted to share much more. Instead, I’ll encourage you to read the whole thing yourself.

By all means, peruse both pieces and share your thoughts on how each media organization handled the story. This is not the place, however, to argue politics or debate beliefs. Let’s keep the focus on journalism.

Romney photo via Shutterstock

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About Bobby Ross Jr.

Bobby Ross Jr. is an award-winning reporter and editor with a quarter-century of professional experience. A former religion editor for The Oklahoman and religion writer for The Associated Press, Ross serves as chief correspondent for the The Christian Chronicle. He has reported from 47 states and 11 countries and was honored as the Religion Newswriters Association's 2013 Magazine Reporter of the Year.

  • carl jacobs

    It’s interesting to me that the story give first position to quotes from Romney staffers about why Evangelicals don’t support Romney. It should come as no shock that said staffers blame ‘bigotry.’ They have every interest in doing so. If you want to know why Evangelicals don’t support Romney, why not .. you know … ask us. We shouldn’t be hard to find.

    Shouldn’t there be quote upon quote upon quote from members of the group in question? Instead we get “Oh, those evangelicals just can’t get over their bigotry.” It makes me wonder if they did ask. It makes me wonder if they got a bunch of answers that didn’t fit the predetermined story-line. It makes me wonder if the journalist’s attitude is “Those evangelicals give us the textbook proper answer but they won’t tell us the truth.”

    I would answer thus abut Mitt Romney. I don’t trust politicians who exhibit a significant change in political viewpoint right about the time they decide to run for President.


  • Bobby Ross Jr.

    Spiking away comments that don’t focus on journalism …

  • northshore2

    My point being, if you’re going to practice journalism, be sure to write the entire story.

  • Tracy

    The Post reveals how corporate ignorance of religion leads to reporting so shallow that it cannot reach the level of fact.

    I’m a retired journalist. Any editor who would have settled for “bigotry” as the trite and simplistic argument between evangelical and Morman should be ashamed.

    Mr. Daniel Burke is to be commended on his explanation as well as GreekSophistry upon his further explanation.

    The discussion of evangelicals’ antipathy toward Romney based upon a deeper understanding of their theological differences resonates with me. I am of the evangelical persuasion and could argue each question posed by GreekSophistry using my own experience and Biblical knowledge, if that were the point.

    But of course, it is not. The reporting is the point. Bravo, GetReligion.

  • Bobby Ross Jr.

    Tracy, thanks for your comment. I spiked GreekSophistry’s comment and several others because they did not relate to journalism but instead focused on theology.

  • cermak_rd

    But I don’t see why non-religious journalists should poke into the theological differences between mainstream Christianity and the LDS church. Certainly not to explain a political story. I am a non-theist and frankly, I don’t care what religion my politicians endorse unless it affects the way they govern and in a way I don’t approve. I have voted for members of the SBC, Catholics, Jews… The important thing to me is what their values are, and to be honest, I’ve seldom seen a link between religious faith professed and actual values lived.

  • Bobby Ross Jr.


    I think the differences come into play when they explain why a candidate, such as Romney, is or is not receiving votes from a certain constituency. From a journalistic perspective, if Romney’s religious affiliation is an issue for voters, then it’s a legitimate news story – and one that needs to be explored and explained fully. That’s the point.

  • cermak_rd

    Bobby Ross Jr.,

    Well then isn’t it accurate to portray it just as the newspaper did as religious bigotry. If the reason that evangelicals are not voting for Romney is theological differences (and I’m not sure it is); then that would be an example of religious bigotry and I still don’t think that an exposition of the religious differences need appear in a mainstream newspaper (except in a religion column, perhaps).

    Anymore than a news story should discuss the theological differences between Protestantism and Catholicism when discussing religious bigotry directed towards Catholics (back in the 1920′s say).

  • Bobby Ross Jr.

    If I’m understanding the question clearly, yes, I think it’s perfectly appropriate for the newspaper to quote the source who considers the lack of support for Romney religious bigotry. But that’s just one side of the story. Journalism requires giving a hearing to all the relevant sources. Let everyone explain their positions and reasons, and let readers decide if those positions and reasons are bigotry.

  • cermak_rd

    So what if he does carry the same condemnation of mainstream Christianity? I’m pretty sure that some of the people for which I’ve voted have the opinion that I (and all other non-theists) am going straight to a most unpleasant place after my death. As long as the pols in question don’t enact policies that are offensive, I don’t know why I should care what opinions they hold.

  • Bobby Ross Jr.

    Was there a journalistic question in there?

    Romney is appealing to a base for which, generally speaking, a candidate’s religion is important. The fact that you, personally, are not a part of that base does not make it any less of a news story.

  • cermak_rd

    Bobby Ross, Jr.,

    That was actually a response to a deleted comment. But to turn it to journalism, I would say that newspapers exist for everyone in society, not just evangelicals. So I would say that the disputes that evangelical mainstream Christians have with Romney’s LDS faith is not appropriate for that newspaper except perhaps in a religion column.

    If the issue really is that they will not vote for him because of the theological differences (and, again, I’m not convinced that’s the truth); then it is an example of religious bigotry and can be explained as religious bigotry without actually going into the minutiae of just what those differences are.

  • CarlH

    Alright, I’ll bite. The problem with taking Horowitz to task for not talking about theological issues while lauding Burke for his approach to those issues is that, except for one quote which I note below, Burke’s article doesn’t really attempt to explain why the theological issues–assuming that they underlie the reported discussions and the quoted remarks that pretty much confirm the notion that at least some ignorance, if not a little bigotry, may actually be in play here–are relevant to the selection of a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. Horowitz is reporting on the politics, and unless you discount completely the quotations in his article, it’s hard to say the Horowitz unfairly paints the picture–or, for that matter, that the Romney supporters’ comments about “bigotry” can be completely dismissed as unfounded simply because Evangelicals have theological differences with Mormonism.

    Burke does a very even-handed job of discussing theological issues. But, as mentioned above, Burke includes only one quotation to make the link between theology and politics:

    “Evangelicals have come to regard the presidency as a spiritually potent office,” said Mark Silk, an expert on religion and politics at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. “And the idea of electing someone who will use it on behalf of a religion they consider beyond the pale really bothers them.”

    The first sentence at least establishes a logical reason that “Evangelicals” have made the theological-political connection, even if I may view the position as a misunderstanding of the office of the President–and even one that I think has some danger for those who take their own freedom of religion seriously. But Mr. Silk’s second sentence, IMO, completely undercuts the logic of the first–except perhaps as an illustration of the danger I see in a view of the presidency as a “spiritually potent office” if there is a presumption that the holder of the office will “use it in behalf of [their own] religion” (regardless of what that religion might be).

  • Bobby Ross Jr.

    But to turn it to journalism, I would say that newspapers exist for everyone in society, not just evangelicals. So I would say that the disputes that evangelical mainstream Christians have with Romney’s LDS faith is not appropriate for that newspaper except perhaps in a religion column.

    Except, of course, that this little dispute could determine who or who isn’t elected president of the United States. That’s news — the kind that belongs on the front page and everywhere else in the paper. That’s probably all I have to say on this thread.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    If Mitt Romney had actually demonstrated a habit of using his office as governor of Massachusetts to advantage his own church at the expense of others, there might be a factual basis for concern. But there is absolutely no evidence of that. And the same is true of other Mormons in public office, including those who have served in Congress (from states including Florida and Oklahoma, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico) as well as heads of Federal departments, including HUD (Romney’s dad, George), Treasury, Agriculture, HHS, EPA, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Education. Not to mention Mormon general officers in the military and Mormons who serve as judges on several circuits of the US Court of Appeals.

    The language quoted in the article about an Iowa rally–”Mormons are very controlling” and “he would appoint Mormon judges”–are just as bigoted when used against Mormons as they are when used against Jews. Mormons have been good citizens and have fought and died in America’s wars ever since the war with Mexico in 1847. They deserve to be treated as first class citizens, including being allowed to run for office without their religion being held against them, which was why the Founding Fathers put Article VI in the US Constitution, banning any religious test for Federal office.

  • patbaum

    The story that is being missed here is that Romney was a Bishop in the mormon church. The “bigotry angle” is his only hope to keep this fact out of the mainstreem press. I would guess most Americans do not have no problem with politicians of different faiths, but the idea of voting for a former top ranking offical of a church may be harder to swollow. If mormonism is mainstream enough to vote for, then wouldn’t it follow that it would be equaly “OK” to vote for a former Catholic Bishop for presedent?

  • patbaum

    Please excuse my gramatical error in the prior post. Should be “…do not have A problem…

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    patbaum: Mormon “bishops” are a dime a dozen. Every Mormon congregation is headed by a bishop, who is a member of the congregation who is called by higher level local authorities to serve, usually for about 5 years, in a totally unpaid part time position. He is supported by two “counselors”, an executive secretary who helps schedule his time, and clerks who keep track of church finances and membership records. The bishop calls other members of the “ward” (congregation) to serve as leaders of the adult men, adult women, teenagers, and children, and as teachers in those organizations. All are unpaid and part time. No one has a “career” as a clergyman in the Mormon church. The most senior leaders, including the three-man First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles, are people who used to ha ve careers in other lines of work and were called to full time service. They are paid, but generally far less than they couold have made in their old careers as businessmen, heart surgeons, senior corporate executives, nuclear engineers, attorneys, and university presidents.

    During the five years Romney served as bishop of his ward in boston, and the foloowing four years when he was president of the “stake” that encompasses eight or ten wards in the area, he was supporting his family by establishing Bain Capital. Most people would take every spare minute to ensure their business succeeded, but Romney was donating 1,000 hours a year, uncompensated, to look after the spiritual and financial needs of his fellow Mormons, including the unemployed, and immigrants from Haiti, and refugees from Cambodia. He was also PAYING a tithe of his income to the church.

    How many “Christian” pastors not only work for no pay, but actually contribute to the church out of their own earnings? The service to income ratio even exceeds what Catholic priests do when they take a vow of poverty.

    Romney’s service to his church has been a featured element of stories in the New York times, CNN, and Parade Magazine. He has talked about it in interviews. He does not BRAG about it, because that would be immodest. But the stories relate that he gave spiritual counsel to people in despair, helped save marriages, and gave cruicial financial aid to the unemployed. He also showed up with his own tools and ladder to help repair people’s houses.

    The thing about this is, Romney is NOT unusual in his service. Thousands of Mormons are giving that same service to their neighbors right now, and thousands more have done so in the past. That is one reason the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is able to respond easily to growth: when a congregation grows, it will be split, and each half can be fully staffed in all leadership and teaching positions with members of the congregations.

    If you asked them, you would find out that some of your neighbors are Mormons, and some of them have served as bishops and in other leadership capacities. It could be your plumber or your doctor. It could even be a reporter.

    Does giving 10,000 hours of your time as a volunteer to your neighbors disqualify you from serving as president? Or does it give you a unique qualification of personally serving, without any financial compensation, those who have the least in terms of resources?

    Last summer, Romney was at a the home of a campaign aide to shoot a TV commercial. It was hot, and he was asked to wait in the shade of the garage for a half hour while the cameras were set up. When the aide went to get him, Roomney had organized the stuff in the garage and was sweeping the floor. That is the kind of humble servant of others that Mitt Romney really is, his “core values”.

  • Alma

    I think the major problem is the media’s inability to accurately convey ideas to the population at large. A paraphrase can often change the meaning of source material and consequently provide bogus information. For example, the RNS story claims, “Mormonism’s founding prophet, Joseph Smith, said God told him that every existing church and creed was ‘corrupt’ and ‘wrong.’” The Mormon source document doesn’t say that every church was corrupt; but rather, the professors of the creeds were. This might be a minor distinction; but I think it’s important. If you get enough tweaks to an original story, you can guide it to a whole new reality.

  • patbaum

    I think this thread is an example of the point I was trying to make. It is not a biggoted response for a person to not want to vote for a person because they were a ranking official within a church. I wouldn’t hold it against someone to avoid voting for a former military general because they favor a pacifist perspective.

    (I personally don’t have an issue with either of these two cases – however it is far less than being a bigot to hold one of those views)

    It is also clear many people (Romney included) downplay the “formal” role he played in his Church. This is a jurnalistic MISS.

    How facinating is it to have the ranking/formal/key influential member of a church running for president.

    Mormon Bishop seems to at least play a role similar to a Catholic Priest. Wouldn’t you have some deep interesting questions for a Catholic Priest running for President?

  • Brian

    I agree with you points patbaum, but I personally get annoyed at the double standard. Many politicians were former leaders in their respective faiths, and frankly, most people don’t really care. True, a lot of Republicans will flout their faith and leadership positions within that faith when trying to attract religious votes, but when was the last time a protestant who was a part-time pastor for a few years, over a decade ago, get interrogated by the press about the role he played in his faith?

    As a side note, a the role of a Mormon bishop is part-time, unpaid, and usually lasts less than five years. There are about 10,000 Mormon bishops in the U.S., and five years from now, there will probably be 10,000 different bishops. I’d guess that a good fraction of practicing Mormons in public office were Mormon bishops at one time.

    Interesting you don’t mention how Romney was also a Stake President, which is a higher rank in the LDS church that oversees several bishops and congregations.

  • Julia

    When reading about the tensions in the Muslim world it’s helpful to know the differences between Sunni, Shia, Yazidi, Parsis and those who look to the 12th Imam.

    Similarly, even if I don’t care about Romney’s Mormonism, evangelicals have a hefty percent of the vote in Republican primaries, and I’d like to know why they have a problem with it.

  • ShashNahalin

    Here is a good rule of thumb: Krister Stendahl , Emeritus Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm once said, ” I have three rule for interfaith discussion. 1) Ask them about what they believe rather than their enemies, 2) Compare your bests with their bests. 3) Leave room for holy envy.” That is indeed a Christian perspective.

  • Anew Perspective

    Our country is strategically under attack from the inside out. Our country and its constitution is being taken apart and trampled underfoot piece by piece.

    The great nation and its diminishing constitution cannot take another four year onslaught by Obama and regime.

    Vote obama out! Fire obama this next election.

  • Wulfrano Ruiz Sainz

    I think Mitt Romney should be the next President of the USA. He is an american and he looks like an american. And America deserves a real american President. This on the political side. On the religious side I don’t think that even Mitt believes all the stupid fantasies contained in mormonism. The ideal situation then should be this: Once Romney is in the White House, american citizens can raise funds to purchase the Summa Theologica written by Saint Thomas Aquinas and give it as a gift to the new President so that he may straighten out his thinking twisted by moronic religious fantasies.

  • http://!)! Passing By

    Three story makes a trend right? Well, this is the third story where they trot out some evangelical to say he/she doesn’t agree with Mornmonism, or wouldn’t vote for a Mormon, or something like that, then the person announces that yes, they will vote for Gov. Romney in a contest with Pres. Obama. The bottom line is that being a Mormon doesn’t preclude getting the evangelical vote. My paranoid side is that the reporters are trying to shill for their personal ideology that any religious belief is bigotry, but that really is paranoid: the simplest, most likely explanation is that is what they are seeing: a political decision is more complex than a politician’s religious affiliation.

    All in all, there is another simple explanation for the evangelical aversion to Romney: evangelicals tend to be far more conservative than the governor and look at this record, not just his religion.

  • Raymond V Roh

    My main problem about Mormonism is their deception of the public in their claim to be Christian. There is not much resemblance between basic Christian teachinsg about the essentials and Mormonism. It is not Chriostinaity as Christians know it. I have heard even past leader declare they are Christians. I will not vote for a man who supposedly believes he will become God and get a planet when he dies. Is this an intelligent enopugh person to be President? I don’t think so! See the book; “Inside Mormonism” by Isiah Bennet, an ex Mormon.

  • Allen Blevins

    Let’s see. Obama is a Christian, so why run anybody against him. Clearly Jimmy Carter was more religiously conservative than Reagan. We elected the wrong one there. People, we are electing a commander in chief not a pastor in chief.

    Please check out David and Nancy French’s site. They are Evangelicals in Tennessee, theologically opposed to Mormon teachings, but have thoroughly vetted Romney for 5-6 years. They make sound arguments worth considering. David is a constitutional lawyer and Nancy is a mom and a writer who has written a book for Sarah Palin’s family.

  • Vickie

    I have seen polls where they ask people if would having a Catholic, Mormon, Muslim president etc would bother them. Relatively small numbers of evangelicals say Mormonism bothers them (as opposed to Islam). Maybe they dislike Romney because his opinions on contentious issues change with what is expedient for him at the time.

    The other observations is that people chide evangelicals for supposed bias. What about bias against evangelicals. I remember all the wisecracks when Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses four years ago.

  • Allen Blevins

    Vickie, you made some great points. The lame stream media took great pains to point out that about 20-25 percent of Americans would not vote for a Mormon and declared Romney unelectable. This year another poll was done and they not only asked the Mormon issue but also Evangelical and the percentages were basically the same. Most liberals do not want any one with a faith based life as President. There is a must need to rally around that which unites rather than divides. Without the Mormon input, Prop 8 fails in California, but they alone could not have pulled it off.
    We also have to keep from swallowing the poison pills the media keeps pumping out. Romney flipped on abortion. There was no flop. After his conversion, he was so strong on pro life that he received the endorsement of the National Right to Life. Converts to pro life and other causes are among the most adamant. Ever heard someone who quit smoking take on a smoker?! Reagan flipped as well. Many women who have had abortions also remorsefully convert. We should take joy in that!

    This article reveals so much about this man that says, he is serious and deliberate on issues. I strongly recommend reading it.

  • Margaret

    I admit, as a Christian, Mormonism does bother me. If you take the time to really read what a practicing, believing Mormon actually believes, it is just as outlandish as the beliefs of Scientologist. Believing that Jesus, after his death, resurrection and ascension came down from heaven again and appeared to John Smith in America and revealed more truths to him which became part of their Bible, is so far removed from the majority of Christian believers faith. Do they celebrate Christmas? Only if it falls on the usual day they hold services. There is much more…google it.

  • John Pack Lambert

    Technically Raymond is incorrect about the bishop calling a member of the congregation to be over the adult men. There are generally two men in the ward who would be so described, but they are both called by the stake president, not by the bishop. Thus the bishop’s overseeing the ward is not even complete.

    It is also worth pointing out that the leader of the adult women (the Relief Society President) is always a female. The young men organization is headed by an adult female (although it is also divided into classes that have youth as presidents, all female) and the children’s organization (primary, covers children up until they turn 12) is headed by adult women, although the teachers of individuals classes in the organization can be men or women.

    I make these comments because of allegations in some media publications that women are excluded from leadership positions in Mormonsism. In reality each ward holds a monthly “ward correlation council” in which at least three of those present are women. This council makes many of the decision for the ward.

    The basic fact is that Mormon wards tend to have less than 500 people, and if they get much above 600 people they are split. Many Mormon Church buildings have two or more wards meeting in them and each ward has its own bishop.

    As of January 1, 2010 which is the most recent date I can easily find data for there were 11,401 wards in the United States which means there were 11,401 bishops in the United States serving at that time. In the United States there are only 196 dioceses and archdioceses (and eparchies of Eastern Catholics0 and world wide there are under 3,000 dioceses. Even counting auxiliary bishops there are more LDS bishops in the United States at any given time then there are Catholic bishops world wide. This is ignoring the 2,073 branches which has Branch presidents who are in general like bishops but presiding over smaller congregations. This is a setup vaguely similar to the difference between parishes and missions in the Catholic Church (although like most analogies between religious structures it is only relatively accurate).

    The angle of “people distrust Romney because he had a position in his church” might be worth pursuing, but it would be a very good question to ask why many of these same people supported Huckabee when he had been a baptist minister. It is also worth asking why they do not object to Mormons who have served as bishops (Orrin Hatch) serving as head of senate committes.

  • kadee

    I do get confused why some posts are deleted and others not. I would like to assume it is because some are deemed offensive, but then others that are worse, seriously uninformed, way off topic and seemingly bigoted are not. Just wondering.

  • John Pack Lambert

    My above post has a major typo. I meant to say “the young women organization is headed by an adult female”. The young men organization depending on which eact one you are speaking of is either headed by the bishop or by an adult male. Generally in the United States and in some other countries the Church also sponsors boy scout troops whose leaders are called by the bishop.

  • Lesley

    Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing work.