Mormon Girl Asks: Post-election, how are we doing?

Dear readers:

There’s an image that keeps coming to mind–like a memory from the playground–of a kid running hard, then tripping and hitting the dirt, then picking themselves up and dusting off and checking for broken bones.

Now that the election is all over, is everyone doing okay out there?

Because that was a lot of stress on the world of Mormonism.  As much as we’d like to think we’re public people totally comfortable being in public about our faith, truth is, I think we prefer a bit of privacy:  lots of us prefer hanging out with other Mormons, people to whom we don’t have to explain all the tender and complicated bits.  And for the last 18 months, there has been a good deal of searching attention directed our way from the friendly and curious to hard-hitting and even some downright mean.

And then there are the stresses a campaign can unleash inside a community–win or lose–people are people, and people take sides, sides they often feel very strongly about.  Many Mormons invested a lot of heart and soul (not to mention time and cash) in one or the other side.  And while some of us are pleased with the outcomes–it’s no secret I am an Obama supporter–others are quite disappointed.  Including people I care about very much.

So let’s take a moment, beloved ones, and catch some breath and take stock.

How are we doing, in the post-Romney moment?

How did we come through as Mormons?

And how are we handling the aftermath?

I’m not looking for gnashing of teeth–though I know plenty of it is happening out there.  Or judginess.  Or meanness.  Or mean victory dances.  I’m looking for smart and compassionate descriptions and assessments of this moment in Mormon history.

What’s the good that has come of it?  And where (and why) are we hurting?

Send your query to askmormongirl@gmail.com, or follow @askmormongirl on Twitter.

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62 Comments

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62 responses to “Mormon Girl Asks: Post-election, how are we doing?

  1. One of the things that caught my attention from the exit polling data from Pew is that Romney had 79% of the evangelical vote. That’s 5% more than John McCain had in 2008. While most of the talk about if evangelicals would vote for a Mormon was mostly in the early stages of the Republican primaries, it’s nice to see that the “Mormon factor” was not a factor at all for the people we all thought it would be.

  2. mofembot

    I am sad to see so many “it’s the end of the world” kinds of posts emanating from Romney-supporting friends and family. I try to counter by posting the official LDS response (http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/statement-on-election-result)… after all, one would think that if Obama’s reelection were the end of the world (or America), the “prophets, seers, and revelators” wouldn’t be so coy about it.

  3. Meidi

    I have been surprised by the level of anguish that my Republican LDS friends and family members feel over Romney’s loss. I have tried to keep my political opinions to myself since I too voted for Pres. Obama (don’t tell my Dad, he’ll have a heart attack!). I can sympathize with the sorrow, but it is the anger and hateful language that many are using that gets to me, there are some who imply that voting for Obama is as good as voting for Satan himself and that worthy church members would only have voted for Romney. In my personal social circle the Democrats (or Independents who voted Obama like me) have not been making victory laps or acting obnoxious about the election (though I realize that is not the case in every circle) but the Republicans have been shouting and typing vicious words about Obama and how our country is now irrevocably destroyed. This is a gross overreaction and quite simply, rude.
    When little children play sports together we teach them the importance of good sportsmanship. It is not OK to gloat if you win, and it is not OK to throw tantrums and call the other team bad names if you lose. Everyone lines up to give high fives and then they go off and eat their orange slices with clear consciences. If we expect this level of emotional maturity from children, can’t we adults follow suit when it comes to politics?

    • Meidi, when president Bush was elected, and re-elected, I felt the same way you described here: ” I can sympathize with the sorrow, but it is the anger and hateful language that many are using that gets to me, there are some who imply that voting for Obama (Bush) is as good as voting for Satan himself.” I think many people leave their manners–and even sanity–behind when they talk politics. I voted for Mitt Romney and was appalled by the mean-spirited things I saw posted on Facebook about him and his religion — as appalled as I was about the mean-spirited things said about President Obama. Many, many people should spend some time in time out!

      • Meidi

        Thank you for your reply. I agree that there are similarities between the trash talk about Bush and Obama. I don’t think that it is appropriate in either case. I think that simply acknowledging that both men love their country and have tried to serve America according to their somewhat dissimilar ideals is an important step towards civility. I do not believe that either political party is actively trying to destroy America, and hearing such accusations makes me cringe no matter which “side” makes that claim.

  4. Vinniecat

    Mormon history is full of rejection from mainstream America and a Mormon president would have sped the closing of that chapter. We want to be peculiar but we want to be accepted too and rejection hurts. Many of my friends are disappointed and some are devastated at Romney’s loss, thinking a Mormon president filled some prophetic mandate and vested so much of themselves in the campaign. I think we will need a few days/weeks/months to let the raw wounds scab over.

    As for the aftermath, yesterday was a rough day to be an Obama supporter on my facebook feeds. There was much vitriol spewed as friends vented their deep sadness and worry about the future of our nation. Today will be better.

    • Chelsea

      I’m sure that if Romney had won the election there would have been negative comments from Obama supporters too, it’s always that way. It’s interesting and very sad that politics has the power to destroy friendships which through personal experience has happened to me during this election because some people just cannot accept and respect that some people see things differently. It’s not right for Romney supporters to speak negatively of Obama but I’ve heard enough gloating from Obama supporters too (which I’m sure the same would have happened if Romney would have won). My wish would be for the republican and democrat parties to become more united and start working together instead of trying to prove to each other which party is the better of the two. In my oppinion the divide between the two partys is what has gotten our country where it is today. I know that Heavenly Father has the power to and would have intervened if it would have been against his plan that Obama is president again.

      I feel that the overall view of “Mormons” has improved. I live in Europe and there has been a lot of media publicity about, “who the Mormons really are and what they believe” most of which has been very accurate and positive in my eyes. Maybe it was Heavenly Father’s plan to help open the doors for Missionary work. I myself was a Romney supporter but I don’t know that it would have been good for the Church to have a “Mormon” president because probably every decision he maded would have been reflected back on the Church which could have in turn been very negative for the Church. I like the statement from The Church saying it’s time to unite for the good of America that is the true key.

      • kermit

        I feel exactly as you do Chelsea. I think it was great for the LDS church to have this laser-beam focus for the past couple of years. We have truly been brought ‘out of obscurity’ by this election. However, if Romney had won, everything would probably have turned against the church with every decision he made which did not make the media/left happy (which probably would have been most decisions). Then it would’ve turned on the LDS church. In the end, while I definitely believe it is a loss for our country that Romney did not win – one cannot honestly claim that the economy is better or will be better because of Obama policies – I DO believe it is a net-gain for the LDS church.

        Romney lost; and that stinks for our country’s future in my opinion. But the best thing we can do as LDS is to put on a good face, because the world IS watching. . . .

        Kim

  5. Stephanie

    In MHO I do not believe Romney’s faith worked against him. It was the fact that he was white and successful that was his undoing. The Obama campaign was successful because all it had to do was mention the fact that Romney is a multi-millionaire and our country’s deep hatred of anyone wealthy, even if they have worked hard to earn it, was his downfall. Members of my family are black (not African-American—they hate that), and they are not LDS. They voted for Romney because they felt he had the best experience for an executive leader. I am LDS and voted for Romney; not because he is LDS but because I felt he could do a better job in getting America back to work. All that being said, I support our returning president, pray for him and the success of our country.

    • Meidi

      It is an oversimplification to say that people did not like Mitt Romney because of his wealth. Personally I do not dislike Romney, I think that he and his family are fine people. But I didn’t agree with his policy ideas, that is why I did not vote for him.

      • When one looks at Mitt’s executive behavior, it becomes pretty clear that knowing how to make lots of money from leveraged buyouts is not the same as putting America back to work, and he really misrepresented himself in that regard, I feel.

        That said, I take comfort that we no longer have to worry whether or not he is the right man for the job. I hope the Obama Presidency is good to you and your family. :)

    • Cynthia

      Stephanie, it is a gross oversimplification to state that Romney lost because our country hates wealthy people, it is also patently untrue. I did not vote for Romney because, as a woman, an Aunt of a lovely gay young woman, and the daughter of an immigrant mother I could not stomach the Republican Party’s and Governor Romeny’s positions on issues near and dear to me. In addition, he chose a running mate who did not support equal pay for women (which by the way Stephanie, is the first step towards getting a chance at wealth).

  6. Thank you for this post. I hope it’s okay that I use the opportunity to say the things that have been on my heart that I don’t really want to talk about with anyone, and that is what I lost and what I gained in this election. It has been rough. Brutal. I am a progressive liberal Mormon and it’s like I’m in this in-between spot that gets so personal and so sensitive. On one front, I’m taking questions about Mormonism and defending my belief in my God and my church. On another front, I’m taking cynicism from my family because am pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights and I can’t possibly be a faithful Mormon if I believe those things because they are against the church. I had my 18 year old nephew telling me how much better he was than me because he “doesn’t check his religion at the door,” and his mother (my sister-in-law) telling me that I wasn’t a good enough example for her children because I believed in things that were opposite the church.
    The bad of this election resulted in me losing my oldest brother. We can’t be friends because of this stupid election focus on spiritual faith, which should even be an issue in a country of free religion! I have lost my brother, his wife, and his 10 children. I don’t think it will ever be the same again.
    The good that came from this election was that I was able to open up the conversation with my mother about LGBT. I was able to tell her that she is homophobic, and start educating her on what that means and why it’s so terrible. I was able to start talking to her about all of the good homosexuals I know, that her general idea that they’re all promiscuous and atheist is so inaccurate. She responded very well and said that she’s pray about it, that “this whole gay thing” makes her feel unkind and she wants to be a kind person. It was a very positive step in the right direction.
    I am happy this season is over and pray that spiritual issues like this are never brought into the spotlight again. It would be great if we had a Mormon president, but not when these sensitive religious issues are so predominantly part of the election policies we’re voting for. In a country free of religion, religion should not be a part of our politics.

    • Meidi

      I fear losing precious relationships with my family members so I tend to keep my political opinions to myself around them. Your post confirms my decision for me! It is not fair that some of us have to keep our political views “closeted” this way, but I think that it may be preferable to losing our family members. Now, I feel for you, I really do, but I also want to point out to you that the way that you taught your mother why her opinions are “wrong” is VERY similar to the way that your other family members such as your 18 year old nephew have tried to teach you why you opinions are wrong! I think that non-confrontational statements as to why you believe the way you do are far more effective and far less incendiary than accusations about the validity of another person’s beliefs. That is also how I approach missionary work; I would never say to anyone that their sacred religious beliefs are “wrong,” I just explain what my beliefs are and why they are a bit different.

      • I had hid how I really felt from my family for so long that I didn’t feel like I could be myself around them at all, which started to hurt any time I would talk to them or spend time with them. In a way, I am grateful that the election season brought these things to the surface so that I could finally find my ground and stand up for what I believe in. They did the same, and I respect them for that. It breaks my heart that the conversation ended in the way that it did. My position on these beliefs translated to me being a bad example to her kids and she doesn’t want my liberal influence in their lives. As I continued to ask them to accept that it’s okay that we feel differently, they continued to tell me what a bad Mormon I am for believing what I believe.
        To clarify:
        The conversations we had were almost at a professional level where I was speaking as you described – in a way where I presented my position without attacking theirs. My nephew was telling me that I don’t understand the gospel if I support marriage equality. I tried and tried to help him understand that although I respect his position on the matter, it doesn’t make me less of a Mormon to disagree with him.
        The conversation about LGBT opened up with my mother after she asked me over and over again what was making me sad (so much anti-gay stuff in the media). When I talked with her, it was more from an educational standpoint rather than a spiritual standpoint. I clarified with her that I respected her belief, and respected if she wasn’t interested in hearing about it. I presented her with facts about what was happening rather than discussing which belief stand-point is right or wrong.

        I wish that more people in the church would stop hiding for fear of rejection. I believe that one day the Lord will help us understand these issues and all we can do today is love our LGBT neighbors for who they are, for this “sin” that defines them. Nothing will change if we remain silent and although it may be hard, you may find that it’s worth it.
        If you use the same tactics you are recommending – to respect their position as you present yours – you may be surprised of the love that you feel. My one brother and his family rejected me. But my other 4 siblings embraced me with open arms. My mother started to open her heart to new possibilities, and I am finally able to let my true colors shine.

    • Ted Olsen

      The Church would soon wither and die were it not for strong minded people like you who in the past provoked a second consideration on such topics as LGBT, Proposition 8, ‘white and delightsome,’ the new and ‘everlasting’ covenant, blacks and the priesthood, etc.
      Stay strong and remember that we have to keep speaking if love is to be spoken here.
      Ted

  7. Jesse

    How did we come through as mormons?
    It was suggested by a good friend of mine that the best outcome of this election for Mormonism would be for Romney to run a strong campaign and lose. Because of the great deal of speculation involved in such a claim, I hesitate in granting its truth. That said, it is no mystery that much of the south and midwest were placed in a position where they were *forced* (I would like to use a different word here) to accept mormonism. Moreover, the church will not need to be in the service of apologetics over the next 4 years attempting to separate itself from positions taken by the Romney presidency.

    Where and why are we hurting?
    Of course, those who support Romney are hurting. This does not have to do with mormonism, but simply with the feelings of losing an election—putting forth one’s positions, advocating fervently for them, realizing that you really do believe in them, becoming confused as to why others do not, and causing doubt in your own reasoning.

  8. vicki

    I’m exhausted. I actually began to feel physically unwell until the outcome was certain. I’m simply too old to live through what a Romney presidency would have done to us, and the world…and to Mormonism.

    And I’m very discouraged that the majority of my family (who live in the Mormon Belt) continued to embrace Romney while he conducted himself and his campaign—well, just let me say, “in the way he did”.

    I am an inactive Mormon whose ancestors helped build our country and the church from scratch. I am very proud of them and I love my family. I love many aspects of Mormonism. But it hurts my heart and, I must confess, scares me a little that they could not bring themselves to say, at the very least, “Even though I am upset by many of the things he has said, I still support him.” — and are now beginning to quote Helaman 5:2.

    Good grief.

    Over the years, as people talk about how “evil” we are becoming, I’ve always shared an Einstein observation that I first heard from Harold B. Lee at a BYU devotional (I told you. I’m old), and believe to be true as it pertains to a growing good, as well as evil in the world and our country: “As a circle of light increases, so does it’s corresponding circle of darkness” (or something like that). I confess that I’d not considered just how much darkness there is within “our fold”–not just the “sinning” kind (I’m painfully aware of child abuse, sex abuse etc within the membership)–but the a dark moral philosophy that stems from a type of blindness.

    [Romney criticisms redacted--JB]

    While I am often very sad I live thousands of miles away from family, today, I’m glad I do not have to sit down with them in the same room–not until they’ve finished expelling all the negative things they are feeling about the fact that Obama was re-elected.

    I have been inactive for many years, but if it comes up I always say, “I am a Mormon.” About a year ago, I thought about maybe going back to sacrament meetings. But when Romney came on the scene, I just could not bear the thoughts of hearing what I knew I would hear at church. So, no. Not thinking about going back anymore. Well, not anytime soon.

    Even though I LOVE how “my church” responds, immediately, to any crisis, like Sandy.

    God bless the Internet. If I had not found “Mormons for Obama” and “Mormon Girl” and others, (I am old enough that most of my Mormon friends and associates have either died or moved away) I am afraid I may have closed the door for good. However… because of you good folks and your steadfast good works/words, hope has outweighed the despair as I’ve read hateful words toward Obama from teens in our family…so, “never say never”.

    • mary

      Vicki: I enjoyed reading your words. I don’t feel quite so alone. I too am old and inactive. I love my Mormon faith and willingly chose to be an active member at one time. I also have a Mormon heritage and I like to think my G-Grandma who was a convert from Wales, would be saying it’s time to get over this nonsense and start helping those who need it. That’s what she did most of her life and I don’t think she would have bothered to ask the people she helped what their politics were before she helped them. When the Church sends out disaster help, such as hurricane Sandy, they don’t ask someones faith and I don’t think they would ask who they voted for. That being said, I to have thought about going back to church, maybe sacrament meeting because I miss that. It was the most important part of church, for me anyway. And I need to admit the night President Obama was re-elected I did send out a not so nice, in your face, message on Facebook, to any and all conservatives. Looking back on it, probably not the best thing to do. But I have read and heard so many mean and awful words from Romney supporters of any faith, but to hear it from members of my own faith and to still hear unkind words and see scriptures posted to prove their point, I don’t even know how to respond. I start wondering if I have been hearing teachings from all the scriptures differently than other members of the church because I never related any scripture to my political beliefs and I become very confused and honestly a little bit fearful of this side, of not the church, but some of it’s members. Maybe I’m being punished for all my bad Bush remarks??. If so, maybe some of these people need to realize that calling President Obama names may not get you a better place in Heaven. I think if there is anything I have learned, especially for myself, is name calling and anger do not work well with politics or my faith. Now I too want to thank LDS Dems. for being a sane place to go, except for the occasional troll. And also, “One Million Mormons for Obama”. Now I have to decide about returning to church or embracing the gospel without the fellowship??????????

  9. Dan

    I think I am sad because I really believe a Romney presidency would have been good for the economy and that a thriving economy is the best way to help everyone that struggles. I always feel bad for the loser no matter who it is, if Obama had lost I am sure I would have a hard time watching his concession speech. I also feel like we are going to see 4 more years of a weak economy and I am nervous about that as well. Really I guess we will have to wait and see what happens, I hope I am wrong :)!

  10. I think Mormons came through just fine. I would say that 2012 was very positive for the church. I struggle to find many, if any, negatives to the so-called “Mormon Moment.”

    When it comes to post-election reactions, I’m with Jesse. The hurt feelings and angry reactions have very little, if anything, to do with the rejection of Mormon candidate. To those surprised at the vitriol . . . remember what Bill Clinton inspired? People’s feelings are hurt. The more strongly they are invested in a candidate, the more they’ll hurt.

    This is what happens after elections. It’s normal and it’s the result of political disagreements, nothing more. It only becomes a problem for Mormons when either side starts taking it to be more than it is . . . .

  11. As I’m a moderate Mormon, and Obama supporter, sometimes I feel like I’m hurting because I feel like an outcast from a group of outcasts, and this election has really made that division clear. I am grateful for your voice, Joanna; I felt some validation that you haven’t shied away from uncomfortable truths, and admired your determination to discuss them openly.

    A lot of people have distanced themselves from me, because I have not excused or ‘soft-shoed’ around Mitt Romney’s public behavior. Mitt, going on the public record with lies, all terrible and contradictory enough on their own merits– I cannot not hesitate to mention to members and non-members that he covenants to be honest in ALL his business dealings– the very same covenant that I make in my temple worthiness interview.
    Separation of Church and state aside, how can he still hold a temple recommend? It’s embarrassing to me, to be so proud of the good that my church organization does in the world, and yet so ashamed at the mendacity this campaign has elicited from him.

    I have defended the church over and over to secular friends, and defended the separation of Church and State (D&C 134:9) to fellow members, steeped in the culture war. Now, I’m just too exhausted to care what anyone else thinks about the “Mormon Moment”. I did MY part, and honestly feel, I did it as well and with as much integrity as anybody could have.

    I’ve dealt with the exhaustion mostly by making new friends; I’m spending a lot more time engaging with people that recharge my batteries, instead of draining them. I’ve determined that I’m going to be more purposeful in the company I keep.

    Things I don’t want:
    * To only be constrained to a stifling politeness in conversation.
    * Scripts and platitudes in lieu of real listening.
    * Simply to be tolerated for being different.

    Things I do want:
    * To engage minds in real conversations about real problems.
    * To be around people who can be vulnerable, tender, and validating.
    * To be accepted, loved, and appreciated.
    * To celebrate the differences in myself and in others.

    We all have something to offer.

    • AJH

      I hear you. I consider myself independent with leanings toward the democrates as I strongly support environmental, social and charitable issues. I do not feel these believes are contrary to the Gospel principles.

      Indeed, the ability to have charity is a gift from God–and one that we are strongly told we must have in order to obtain the highest place of heaven.

      So while I feel like an outsider, I realize that often Jesus Christ felt like an outsider. He was not admired for his work and belief system. He was often ridiculed and set aside as a false prophet and a blasphermer.

      And at the end of the day, I am trying to do the best I can to follow the beliefs and ideals set forth in the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and the instructions given by the Prophet and Apostles during General Conference.

  12. AJH

    [Redacted comment:] I [am] pained by the realization that the our political system has become so corrupt and polluted with the ideals of money and hatred that America has created for itself a loss of independent freedom to think, to be of a charitable mind, to show compassion, to compromise, to see the value of anothers thoughts and ideas, and to be respectful to everyone–even those we disagree with.

    Just as Romney is a good man so too is Obama. He deeply loves his wife and family. He does care deeply for the world around him. He cares about the plight of others (rather deeply it turns out). He has a great charitable heart and soul. He is extremely appreciative. He actually is fairly honest (he’s warned people things were going to take a while to turn around. It’s just that no one wants to hear that. They want instant gratification).

    These qualities alone make him an interesting and unique individual. He doesn’t see the world the way Mormons do, but he does not have our beliefs and ideals. He does the best he can with what he knows and believes.

    Actually, Obama would be an excellent member of the church.

    So maybe instead of church membership seeing and thinking the world is going to end tomorrow and that we need a saviour of the constitution, maybe they should see another child of god who has merits and values that are very similiar to their own.

    And as another poster stated, if the world were indeed coming to an end and an election actually depended upon a member of the church, the church would forgo its non-profit status and tell us point-blank we need to vote for XYZ and why–if we hadn’t already figured out there was a true problem.

    • why me

      “I [am] pained by the realization that the our political system has become so corrupt and polluted with the ideals of money and hatred that America has created for itself a loss of independent freedom to think, to be of a charitable mind, to show compassion, to compromise, to see the value of anothers thoughts and ideas, and to be respectful to everyone–even those we disagree with”

      This is so true, AJH. I have to agree with you. It is a sad commentary on the state of American society and certainly it creates a feeling of disconnectedness. But, it does play into the strategy of the elite to divide and conquer the average American. The more people fight among themselves over phoney labels such as liberal and conservative the more the elite can exercise their power over the hearts and minds of the middle and lower classes.

      And now that we are learning about the affair of the CIA chief with his biographer and how this all came out just two days after the election when the FBI knew about it much, much earlier shows more corruption within the system. Imagine if this came out a week before the election? Might I say President Romney?

  13. Amy

    I am a fairly conservative Mormon woman. I’m sad that my candidate was not elected, because I think he would have made a terrific president. Not perfect, but good. I haven’t stopped wishing for a different outcome.

    I’m disappointed to have seen so much divisiveness among my church friends. In my ward it was an issue and I’m afraid those wounds may take a while to heal. There has been anger on all sides, and a discernible undercurrent of suspicion. I am anxious to see a change in focus.

    I am hopeful that I can find a more welcoming atmosphere on social media than the one I’ve experienced over the past few weeks. Having my beliefs so openly ridiculed has been surprising and difficult. My friends haven’t confronted me directly, but I have seen them jump on the antiMo bandwagon in criticizing Romney.

    I take heart in the first presidency’s message, and I believe my country and my president deserve my respect and best efforts. I have even started entertaining the hope that running against Romney has broadened Obama’s perspective, and that my concerns as a conservative voter may be more thoughtfully addressed. (One can hope!)

    Mostly, I am relieved this is all over. I haven’t fully appreciated the toll it has taken until today.

    BTW Joanna, I think your return to moderated comments is a good call. Safe places for the exchange of ideas have been in short supply this year. Thanks as always for keeping the dialogue open.

  14. xenawarriorscientist

    You know, I’m really proud of how our extended family has done. DH’s family is mostly LDS Democrats with some strong Republican exceptions, and my family is mainly LDS and Tea Party. In some ways I think things worked out for us *because* DH and I got so heavily involved in the Obama campaign.

    We would do the usual skype with my family every Sunday and we’d have to mention some of our work, at least in passing, because it’s what we’d been doing all week. Actively working in the campaign gave us a chance to talk about it from an angle of “funny and/or horrible things that happened at the office today,” all the different groups of people we work with and why certain issues are so important to them, and all of it in a general, day-to-day, matter-of-fact level. It’s just so different than when we talked to our families about politics from the perspective of impassioned spectators and partisans. That’s just a battle of opinions. The nuts-and-bolts, day-to-day side of things really helped us view it from a more pragmatic angle, and that made it a lot less scary to family. I think.

    My general advice to people is to please not get into arguments just because it’s fun, but don’t be in the closet about you believe either. Be chill about your opinions but don’t be afraid of them– or the people in your life. Have more faith in them than that. Remember how many hearts and minds are changing about Prop 8, and how much of that has come from gay LDS and their allies peacefully and lovingly telling it how it is.

    Your family and friends love you too and given time, they’ll get over it. If the other people are actually going to sever the relationship, then the relationship clearly wasn’t that valuable to start with. You’re both going to be ok without it.

    (On a related note, Facebook is really not a benefit for most extended families IMHO. If seeing Aunt Penny once a year at Thanksgiving was already too much, then why is it suddenly unthinkably rude to NOT have your every thought made known to each other on Facebook? Privacy settings are part of what brings our extended family together these days. They’re your best friends. Mom and Dad are ok with our day jobs but they really don’t need to see my new fav photo of Obama riding a unicorn pew-pewing rainbows out of his hands.)

  15. Dani Lofland

    Ok. Let me just say that “Morman” conservatives do not hate people of color, women, or homosexuals. This is not the core of the gospel or the hearts of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    There have been so many comments in the media like, “Conservatives need to do some serious soul searching.” (I heard this on NPR), and so many comments about how we need to come in to the middle.

    How do we come to the middle on issues like abortion?

    I feel like I am now living in a country where faithful Christians are belittled and mocked, and where their beliefs are twisted into ugly things.

    • Dani–setting aside the difficult issue of abortion, I think the comments I’ve heard about soul-searching and conservatives have to do with political strategy and demographic change–that some positions on immigration and other issues not abortion-related have alienated large blocs of women and people of color, who make up a growing part of the population. I for one think there is a very important place for conservatives and fiscal conservatives especially to have in the political conversation. Where do you see room to work together?

      • Dani Lofland

        Joanna, I’m going to use some of AJH’s comments to answer your question. “…as I strongly support environmental, social and charitable issues. I do not feel these beliefs are contrary to the Gospel principles.”
        Nor do I feel these issues contrary to the Gospel principles. It is well known by now that Christian conservatives, especially Mormons, are in the biggest piece of the pie when it comes to charitable issues. Social issues tend to be moral issues if looking at them through a faith based lens, which we can all agree that those are issues that the right strongly supports. We can all take a fresh look at the seemingly impossible chasm of differing views on the environment and resources issue. We might see that “self reliant” (a Mormon term and gospel principle taught in Sunday school) and “self sustaining” (a term used often by the left) are essentially the same things. What happens in a long term catastrophe after we have made a basic and essential thing like heating our homes impossible, non existent or even illegal, like burning wood and coal for example? Living frugally with all our resources is one of the main principles of provident living taught in the doctrines of the church. And conservative Mormons embrace people of color. The church funds the education for people of other races and ethnicity’s, far out numbering it’s white and/or Caucasian members, (Part of this Church Education Fund comes from the church members voluntary donations specifically marked for this purpose.) but in turn the recipients are expected to “pay it forward” literally as soon as they are finished. Immigration? My husband and I have adopted three beautiful orphan siblings from Mexico that were thankfully taken to this country via their severely mentally ill and incapacitated mother (an undocumented immigrant) which the state of Utah and the U.S. paid thousands and thousands towards for doctors, hospitals, medicine, therapy, housing…..to try and help her and her little children. She is still being helped under the wing of the state and various churches. She is still undocumented. (Just a note, they would not have been so “liberal” and kind had she tried to enter the US back in the day at Ellis Island.)
        These are real issues that conservatives practice and live, not just ideals they vote for, every day. Yes, I see a lot of room to work together. Conservatives are not “standing in the way” of these issues, we are standing in the same room as everyone else, hoping that our beliefs and concerns are respected and valued.

  16. “It only becomes a problem for Mormons when either side starts taking it to be more than it is . . . .” Welcome to my neighborhood, Curt.

    Like many others who have commented here and elsewhere, The Mormon Moment was exhausting for me. I’m an active Mormon living in Utah County surrounded by good people who quoted LDS scripture and folklore throughout the campaign. I’ve heard more than one person use the phrase “the constitution is hanging by a thread. . .” and some version of how elders of the church will save it. And to them that meant Mitt Romney.

    I voted to re-elect President Obama. The challenge for me during the past several months was to separate the distorted perceptions with which I was raised (and with which I am often surrounded in my community) from the more mature understanding I have gained in the past decade or so. It’s amazing how strong the pull of one’s childhood belief is at a time like this. I found myself wondering if perhaps my neighbors and co-workers were right: Perhaps this is the beginning of the end. Perhaps the president is some vile and evil figure, manipulating the population with his easy smile and sultry Al Green crooning. I’ve been prayerful, pondering, studious and have done my best to listen to divergent opinions, with their associated fears and hopes. I’ve watched Mr. Romney, read about him and consistently felt disappointed and sometimes angry that he wasn’t representing what I feel is the heart of Mormonism, and more specifically, the heart of Christianity as I understand it. I accept his imperfections, just as I accept President Obama’s faults. But, frankly, my child-heart was broken during this campaign by what I witnessed in the form of Mitt Romney.

    What came from this Mormon Moment? I think a lot of good – The world is more aware of an amazing group of individuals who share common beliefs. And I grew up a little more.

    • AJH

      Melodynew.

      I too felt heartbroken by what I saw happen during the campaign. I too have constant thoughts that perhaps I am the one who is wrong. I have searched my soul, prayed earnestly, have allowed the scriptures to give me guidance. As a result, I have concluded that so long as my thoughts and beliefs are in alignment with the Gospel principles as spelled out in the Old and New Testament, Book of Mormon, and conference talks–I am not going in the wrong direction.

      Indeed, we each have been given individualized spiritual gifts. Who is to say that your voice, my voice or anyone else’s voice on this post is entirely wrong because it does not fit the current trend of the moment. Perhaps it is our voices that are responsible for trying to bring clarity to valuable important Gospel principles such as charity, love, compromise, etc.

  17. Mark

    I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I tend to vote fiscally conservative, but people around me know my generally liberal stand on the social issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc). I have great friends on both sides of the political spectrum including Mormons, Evangelicals, Athiests, etc. I admit I have done my fair share of cringing at various comments about the church. On the other hand, there have been other times when I was very pleased that some awkward topics were getting airtime.

    I never liked it when people assumed I was voting for Romney because I was Mormon. I have never been a fan of identity politics, because I think politics should be about ideas and issues.

    Because of this “Mormon Moment” I have had many opportunities to address our beliefs with those that ask. I have my own point of view, and I think many people were able to see that Mormons are not entirely homogeneous. I believe that Joanna has really been a leader in helping to point out some diversity among Mormons, and I think that is a good thing.

    Finally, I was pleased with the church’s post election comment. I also thought Romney’s brief concession speech was well done and respectful. I expected nothing less that that, because that’s just how we expect Mormon’s to act in public.

    Note: On Xena…’s facebook comment. I avoided making any political or religious comments on facebook during this long election cycle. I think I avoided a ton of family/friend stress by taking that approach.

  18. Ryan Burningham

    I supported Romney. Disappointed as I was on stances on immigration and the environment, I honestly believed that he was the best man to fix the economy. I read many of the comments here today and I am surprised about the amount of Obama hatred that they encountered. Maybe that was naive, but of my 700 FB friends, i rarely saw throughout the campaign vitriol anti Obama remarks. I think that might be because I am still under 30 and a good share of my friends including my wife voted for Obama. I still did see it though, and I saw plenty of hate on both sides.

    I volunteer at a Refugee center in Utah and honestly I am ashamed many times at the comments that “illegals” and “criminals” are stealing our country. These comments are especially prevalent in Utah There is a reason the LDS church lets these “criminals” be baptized and go to the temple.

    That being said I had a hard time sleeping election night. Having our beliefs tossed and debated on national stages was hard. Eventually I fell asleep comforting me with the fact that I could semi return to the the Provo of my youth- where the rest of the world was far away, every once else was a “non-member” and even California was the “mission field”. Ha oh well. maybe not.

  19. Ted Olsen

    This presidential election has been a liberating experience for me. For years, whenever a student has asked me about my religious background, I have felt proud to say that I am a Mormon–not an exemplary Mormon, just a Mormon–and I have seen my individual pride quite often collide with a look of surprise.
    I am a Mormon democrat. I voted for Obama and most of the other democrats on our ballot. I feel that Romney would have been a capable leader, but I had to vote for the man who I think will serve our country better. (I am hoping for four years of solving problems, not setting up plans for the next election. I am hoping that four years of presidential experience is better than no presidential experience.) But, aside from winning and losing elections, I thank Governor Romney for giving the world, America and my students, a clearer vision of who and what we Mormons are: white, brown, black, legal, illegal, rich, poor, a mottled lot. Like the Catholic or Islamic U.S. citizens, we American Mormons are just another group of people who hope that our country will choose the right, even when we suspect that many don’t understand that the left is sometimes right.
    Ted Olsen

  20. MollyMormon

    I could see positive points about both Obama and Romney. Post-election: I am deeply disturbed by the way people (including LDS friends) are discussing RACE. I am particularly concerned that LDS church members do not understand that the language they use can be hurtful and damaging. To quote a Mormon Apostle, “STOP IT.”

    1) Please do NOT throw around catch phrases like “I am color blind” or “race doesn’t matter to me” as a politically correct way of ignoring the inequalities that exist in the US.

    For example, the statement: “I just wish the news would stop reporting about Latinos and the election because I’m not racist and race doesn’t matter.”

    To me, this statement means: “I can be politically correct by saying, ‘I am colorblind’ and then happily ignore the fact that Latino children are being segregated from and receiving an inferior education to white children. I am not ‘rascist,’ therefore, I don’t want the news to tell me that a hugely disproportionate number of Blacks and Latinos are stopped and frisked by police. I don’t want to think about it or do anything about it.”

    2) I have seen WAY too many FB posts about, “please don’t punish me because of what my white ancestors did.” Obviously, I can’t speak for all minorities, but as a mixed race female, when I talk about issues affecting minorities I am not trying to punish white people for what their white ancestors did. Instead, I am merely aware of the current reality: we live in a world of white male privilege. Generally speaking, white people in the US today still receive advantages over Blacks and Latinos in:

    EDUCATION: Jonathan Kozol, THE SHAME OF THE NATION: THE RESTORATION OF APARTHEID SCHOOLING IN AMERICA (2005); THE ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION, UNEQUAL OPPORTUNITIES IN EDUCATION, http://www.aecf.org/upload/publicationfiles/fact_sheet3.pdf.

    HIRING: Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination (Nat’l Bureau of Econ. Research, Working Paper No. 9873, 2003); Anthony G. Greenwald & Linda Hamilton Krieger, Implicit Bias: Scientific Foundations, 94 Cal. L. Rev. 945, 961 (2006).

    HOUSING: Patrick Bayer, Marcus D. Casey, Fernando Ferreira, Robert McMillan, Price Discrimination in the Housing Market, (Nat’l Bureau of Econ. Research, Working Paper No. 18069, 2012).

    POLICE BEHAVIOR: Christopher Mathias, NYPD Stop and Frisks: 15 Shocking Facts about a Controversial Program, HUFFINGTON POST, May 15, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/13/nypd-stop-and-frisks-15-shocking-facts_n_1513362.html (esp. # 3 and #5).

    AND IN OH SO MANY MORE FACETS OF EVERYDAY LIFE

    3) Tuesday night on Fox News, host Bill O’Reilly said this: “Obama wins because it’s not a traditional America anymore. The white establishment is the minority. People want things.”

    Wow. I hope everyone can understand how disgusting this statement is. To me, what Bill O’Reilly really was saying is, “America is going down the drain because we have too many Blacks, Latinos, and Asians!!! Everyone knows that Ni*g%r = Welfare.”

    I hope that as Christians, we can speak out against these types of statements.

  21. JMC

    I am a pretty liberal Democrat that is glad to see Obama re-elected. I never liked Mitt Romney as a candidate in ’08, and less so for this election cycle. With that said, most my family is Republican (a few exceptions being the Libertarian brother and the Democrat in-law). I am deeply concerned for their spirits in the aftermath of Romey’s loss.

    Many of my family members truely believed in Mitt Romney and were heavily invested in his campaign. I learned shortly before the election that some of them called around to family/ward members before the first debate to make sure everybody was “praying and fasting” for Mitt Romney. I feel for them because Romney’s election loss genuinely took them by great suprise. I mostly blame Fox News, their main source of information about the campaign, for failing to objectively report on the polls (guess what, the polls were right all along), and giving them false hope for a Romney victory.

    For me, the best thing I think I can do for them is to not gloat about the election, talk about election results reasonably and objectively, and wait for them to be ready to talk about the election on their own terms. When I spoke with them recently, they did not bring up the election, so I think they still need more time. I also believe that there is a way to reassure hardcore Romney supporters that, no, America won’t fall apart, and yes, things will eventually be fine.

  22. YComment

    Thank you Joanna for this forum to comment about our feelings post election. I appreciate the sensitive and thoughtful words spoken by all.

    Here in Seattle, the LDS population is quite diverse, so the response has been relatively quiet in my circles. That said, people often know who leans Republican or Democrat, and so there tends to be polite behavior toward those not in your camp.

    Like many have said, I stayed away from Facebook the past four months to avoid hurtful comments. This has helped my attitude quite a bit – where in the past I’ve struggled to have kind feelings, want to serve, etc. those who could be so hateful. Now I don’t harbor any unkind thoughts. This has worked best for me.

    Tuesday night I felt a lot of sadness for my family and friends hoping Romney would win. While I voted for Obama, I knew we would be OK either way, and it would have been really ‘cool’ to have an LDS president. I’m still glad Obama is in place – healthcare for all, immigration reform and sound foreign policy which are important to me – stand a much better chance of success in my opinion.

    It truly has been quite the ‘Mormon Moment’ yet I am hoping for a little Mormon mute for a month or two.

    • why me

      I don’t see a sound foreign policy at all. The poor Palestinians are still being oppressed on occupied land by the state of Israel. Obama has said nothing about this. Also, the Occupied Wall Street protesters were bully clubbed and peppered sprayed by the police, thrown in jail and Obama said nothing about this even though these people were protesting the vast inequality in American society. Where was president obama and why didn’t he come to the defense of these protesters?

      My mormonism is centered in a different system. Feminism? Sure. But a socialist feminism that gives women and men the opportunity to work inside a system that would strive for social justice and social equality for humanity and for the rights of all living species. People before profit. And the planet before profit. Am I sad about the election…no. Am I sad for the world? Yes, I am.

  23. NLEE

    I have to say as a member of the church and a person who voted for Romney. I won’t go into the whys here. I am relieved that the election is over. Win or lose I was really happy it was over. Disappointed but not hopeless. I had friends and family on both sides that I had to block their feeds on FB because they were just to much to handle. Faith must be put in God not people. I have made a commitment to myself that I will do my best to be better in my home, community and church. We can’t change the world around us without first changing ourselves, then family then communities and finally country. Everything I want in this country I have committed myself to some of those goals. For example being self reliant, being generous and helping others. I pray for our country, I pray for our President and leaders may their hearts be touched and minds inspired to do what is right. God Bless, this life is but a grain of sand in the eternal perspective, what matters is what WE do and how we treat our fellow man.

  24. Marilyn Bushman-Carlton

    I live in Draper, Utah and am active LDS. I am a liberal feminist, and I voted for Romney. Having been on this other side of the aisle has been an epiphany that not all conservatives are nuts nor all liberals tender bleeding hearts. I think I’ve seem more vitriol from the liberals than the conservatives in this election and particularly concerning Romney. Particularly from ex-Mormons. There’s a general lack of respect from too many toward those of us who simply don’t agree with them, and it is especially loud and clear that way too many liberal democrats think they have a corner on things intellectual. And, what is really interesting, so far they’re not letting up even though they won. It has been eye-opening. I’ve seen a few references to the second coming, etc., from some conservatives, but few. What some liberals don’t get, bleeding hearts and all, is that many people who wanted Romney are suffering for awhile. Where’s the empathy, people of the party that accepts everyone–everyone but those who don’t agree with you? I, more than ever, refuse to affiliate with either party, but hope for the best people to win. And the First Presidency message said just what it said–it’s not meant to be dissected and twisted into anything else.

  25. Kelly S.

    This is an example of the general mentality being expressed (on FB) by my TBM family members and the people in my hometown of central Utah:

    “Pretty upset about this election! We are all screwed… I think the last days are well ahead of us. All I can say is after 4 years of NOT progressing why in the HECK would you re-elect the idiot! I wanted hope/change for America not destruction. Guess we might as well start living off the government…since Obama makes it so easy!”

    I also have a TBM cousin who said she had to move her family of 7 away from Price Utah, back to Ephraim UT because there were too many Catholics and Greeks.

  26. PAUL W.

    The most tiring thing about the election cycle is that it exponentially increases the number of times in church or with church family and friends when I–the progressive liberal–has to bite my tongue and take the high road, while they–the conservative supermajority–proclaim their political beliefs as if they were Doctrine. But if taking the high road is good practice for qualifying for exaltation, I suppose this may be a tender mercy in disguise.

    I do sometimes have the nearly overwhelming urge to retort. I’m no wallflower, but I firmly believe that church is not the place for that. The God I believe is doesn’t care whether I’m a Republican or a Democrat any more than he cares whether I’m a Leo or a Libra. Church is for growing closer to Christ, not for political rhetoric.

    Dear conservative friends: I’m a Democrat because, among many other things, I think the government does a better job at taking care of some things than other institutions. Case in point: no institution beside the government has ever volunteered to provide full-time care for my severely disabled son. When the Republicans take control of the state house, the first thing they cut is spending for “social programs,” which for us means that we have to start paying a bigger share for the full-time caregivers who look after my son (by, among other things, preventing him from physically assaulting his mother, my wife).

    I know many of you conservative Mormons think that I should pay for all of these expenses and that big government is bad, and that’s ok. I respect your different views (so long as they are informed views, and not regurgitated talk radio balderdash). But I am not evil for having a different view. (I may be evil for other reasons.)

    So it will be nice to have this issue come up less often now that this election is over.

  27. Sarah

    DJEmilySmithy brings up a good point (and I’m sorry, I haven’t read through the other comments). How do we open up the discussion after the results of this election? And I don’t just mean the presidency, though I was incredibly grateful to have the president be one who is vocal about being pro-rights. But the results in Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota. How do you broach those topics with those who are more conservative? It seems difficult to avoid entirely as civil rights spread. My ILs are mostly conservative Mormons and I am curious how this Christmas will fare (my husband and I are very liberal non-Mormons).

  28. ” not all conservatives are nuts nor all liberals tender bleeding hearts. I think I’ve seem more vitriol from the liberals than the conservatives in this election and particularly concerning Romney. Particularly from ex-Mormons”

    For the most part I agree with your statement. Here’s where I disagree, I think Conservatives/Liberals gave as good as they got. Secondly, I’ not reading much empathy in your disdain of members who have left the church and have made comments about the election. Saying that the most Vitriolic statements came from Ex-Mormons doesn’t sound empathic, nor respectful. I think, feel and know with every fiber in my being that the same vitriolic came from all sides You can’t get empathy, when you don’t give it and if you aren’t going to respect peoples opinions because they aren’t members and are then going to quantify their statements as being “anti” than can you really say to them or me,”Where’s the empathy?” I don’t think so. And quiet honestly, I think the atmosphere of glee would have much worse had the Republicans won because they would have said it was sign of God

  29. erin

    This whole ‘Mormon moment’ (like you, I always hated that term.) didn’t really hit me until Tuesday night while watching election returns. I would liken my feelings to maybe 1/10 of what you felt at the completion of Rose Bowl spectacular. It went something like this, ” Wow, being Mormon is going to be so different for my kids than it was for me. We could have elected a Mormon president; a lot people voted for him and believed in him. I never even thought he would get the nomination.”

    [Please understand this comes from a gal raised in the bible belt south, who has spent plenty of time in the west, and recently returned to the south. I know what it's like having people tell you to your face your religion is a cult and that you aren't going to heaven. Things have change around here in a very good way.]

    On another note: it is completely disguising the way some of these faithful, well-meaning members of our church are acting. (These are people I know and usually like) They rant about how partisan politics of the left can be, yet can’t seem to see their own hypocrisy when they spill out all the partisan stuff from right. Politics is a dirty business…didn’t they get that memo; plus Jesus doesn’t see red or blue states he sees the good in all of us.

  30. mch

    Two things in these posts strike me.

    1. People have commented on how each presidential candidate said or did things he shouldn’t have. But no one has accused Mitt Romney of playing the race card or Barack Obama of playing the Mormon card – and rightly so. Unfortunately, other presidential candidates in previous election cycles chose to play these cards. Kudos to the two candidates and progress!

    2. Why is the “Mormon Moment” being written of in the past tense? Is it defined by Mitt Romney’s run for the White House alone? Or is it defined by all Mormons who leave the “safety and comfort” of predominantly Mormon communities to live, work, and excel (i.e., witness) in a predominantly non-Mormon world? Besides has Jon Huntsman been forgotten? My liberal friends and I were cheering for him in the primaries because of the thoughtfulness and integrity he demonstrated in the Republican debates.

    -a Catholic who is experiencing a lot of the same intra-Church political pain and hurt

  31. From my perspective, it seems the Romney-supporting Mormon reaction has been very similar to the non-Mormon Romney supporter reactions. Most of my friends are just glad the election is over.

    Personally, I think it’s been a great opportunity for encouraging dialog, not only with the world at large, but also within the Church. We want to be able to shine a light on and root out incorrect traditions (such as the racial explanations for the ban on Blacks in the priesthood) and come to higher truths. His campaign was a catalyst for this kind of purification.

    Ultimately progress can only happen through change. If we are remaining comfortable, it’s probably because we’re not progressing the way we might be.

  32. GabbyD

    Hi! i’m wondering if u what percentage of the mormon vote gov. romney got? thanks!

  33. why me

    I have no idea why americans put their faith in a two party system that basically supports a predatory styled capitalism. To believe that the situation will become better under an Obama presidency is not supportive by facts since the poor have become poorer and the rich have become richer during the last four years of obama. And I see no reason why this will not continue. Capitalism is about inequality and exploitation. It has been this way since its inception. To be liberal and a feminist is being supportive of such inequality since it supports the capitalist system that also bases itself in gender inequality. Mormon feminists should have given their support to the green party and jill stein. I see no reason to celebrate an obama victory.

  34. Janelle Jensen

    I know there is a lot of disagreement over the election and the different political parties but I think that the first presidency says it best in their message to America on November 6th:
    “We congratulate President Obama on winning a second term as President of the United States.
    “After a long campaign, this is now a time for Americans to come together. It is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints to pray for our national leaders in our personal prayers and in our congregations. We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the President, for his administration and the new Congress as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times. May our national leaders reflect the best in wisdom and judgment as they fulfill the great trust afforded to them by the American people.
    “We also commend Governor Romney for engaging at the highest level of our democratic process, which, by its nature, demands so much of those who offer themselves for public service. We wish him and his family every success in their future endeavors.”

  35. Michelle

    Cynicism is not a great option. We would be better off with a third and fourth party. Occupy Wallstreet started with a great message but it lacked organization in a way that the tea party didn’t, not to mention the backers to fund it. That is a sad and telling thing in itself BUT, There are consequences in elections. Democrat or republican, honestly i’m grateful that the next supreme court justices will be appointed by President Obama, that is a big deal. Just think how things may have been different had someone else been elected in 2000. Elections do have consequences.
    And it’s never pleasant when your candidate looses.

  36. Dani

    I suspect that rarely has there been a US election that has been so divisive and destructive to the LDS church. I, for one, am glad to see the so-called “Mormon Moment” in US politics coming to an end. I want my church to be completely concerned with the spiritual matters of its membership — not the political preferences. The stories that have been tearfully relayed to me of church members spewing hateful rhetoric at one another, not to mention the numbers of members who have been left feeling disfellowed by members of their wards based solely on their political leanings, have shaken my faith in this institution to the core. Let me be clear: I suffer no crisis of faith concerning the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. I am, however, deeply concerned about how American Mormons have allowed politics to highjack our proud history of Community and Charity that has bound us to one another for close to 200 years. Politics, elections — these are temporal matters. Should we not — when we gather as a religious people in our church services and projects — leave the temporal behind to pursue the Celestial, which reminds us of our true identities and strengthens us to pursue our divine and eternal callings? What must our brothers and sisters outside of the United States think of us? We are no longer a small, American religion. In order to support our Savior in his call to bring the Gospel of love to everyone human being, we must move beyond American political discourse and rhetoric, beyond American cultural norms and assumptions, and follow the teachings of the Master. It is rather simple, is it not? “As I have loved you, love one another.”

  37. MollyMormon

    In the week following the election I felt a lot of gratitude for Brother Romney and how he helped many people to have a greater awareness and knowledge of the LDS Church. I think it made me all the more sad to read what Brother Romney said post election:

    “With regards to African American voters, ‘Obamacare’ was a huge plus — and was highly motivational to African American voters. You can imagine for somebody making $25—, or $30—, or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free healthcare — particularly if you don’t have it, getting free healthcare worth, what, $10,000 a family, in perpetuity, I mean this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free healthcare was a big plus.”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-romney-donors-20121115,0,1719033.story

    So…there are zero white people who earn low incomes. Likewise, there are zero white families struggling who need health care. Naw… that’s just “dem colored folks” according to Romney. I personally believe that comments with such racist overtones are not befitting of one who once was a Christian pastor.

    I suppose Brother Romney’s comments will just serve as yet another trial of faith and barrier to baptism for people of all races who believe in equality and want to learn more about Mormons. I’ll continue to pray for the Romney family, and be grateful for what they did, but I’ll be sad that not-so-undercover racism continues to be a part of mainstream Mormon thought and belief.

  38. missmainwaring

    I learned a lot about Mormonism during this election. I tried to stick to the facts, but I also read BANNER OF HEAVEN for the first time. I visited here regularly after hearing Ms. Brooks interviewed twice. My candidate won. I never would have considered Romney because of his Republican values, but I must admit his religion worried me– exactly as I would have been worried by a fundamentalist Christian or any other person who believes that their religious beliefs are better than mine for me. However, I do have one suggestion for Mormons following this historic election. Get out and meet and fraternize with non-Mormons as Ms. Brooks clearly does. I’ve only met one Mormon in my life! Astounding! He is my landlord, and every time I speak with him (I’m a woman) he is strange and distant. But with my husband he’s friendlier. It’s just a thought. Consider venturing outside the church– not to proselytize but to greet your fellow man and woman just as they are. We are no longer chasing you out of town.

    • sunshine0511

      I”m framing my response to you as a former Mormon. I agree with you on a basic level that Many(not all) can appear to only socialize with non members with the specific intention of proselytize. This is because there is a special saying in the church, and that saying is this,”Every Member a missionary,” Many with in the church take this to heart, specifically, if they have members in their families going back to the handcarts. Many want to be the “face” of Mormonism, and they act accordingly “See how clean cut I am?, Don’t you want to be a part of this?” Don’t you want to be a part of a group who think and feel like you do?”

      And while there’s some unseemliness to this kind of attitude, their is also something else going on. Many of the members, specifically, women, are plainly, and quite clearly busy raising young families. Their busy, running kids, to soccer, to piano, cub scouts, and a plethora of other activities, that young families find involve themselves participating. They just don’t have the time to go outside their group(even if they want to) because by the end of the day, they are tired, just, like you, just like me.

      I’m not defending the behavior, its neither bad, nor good, but, it doesn’t help when the church culture dictates and controls so much of what you do with your free time.

    • why me

      There were non-mormons who actually believed that Mormons had horns growing out of their head not to long ago. :=), Mormons are encourage to meet people who are not mormons and to speak about their religion with them. However, we can be rather shy about bringing up our faith for conversation. I am sure that it has something to do about the past and people expecting us to be perfect people. Or it can be being afraid that people will think that we are weird because we are mormon.

      Just my opinion.

    • Meidi

      missmainwaring, I would be willing to bet (if I ever bet on things, LOL) that you have actually met several other members of the LDS church, but other than the missionaries we do not all wear name tags. Mormons look like everyone else, we shop at the same stores, go to the same schools, etc. Some Mormons don’t mention their faith because A. it just doesn’t come up in their interactions with you, or B. they fear being ridiculed or having someone of another faith tell them why they think that their religion is terrible. That’s not fun for anyone. And there are friendly and unfriendly Mormons, shy and outgoing Mormons, just like every other group in the world. As Sunshine said, we are all (LDS and non-LDS) busy with jobs and families and hobbies, etc. so we may not make as much time as we should for making new friends, but it does happen. Some of my dearest friends have been of other faiths, and I haven’t attempted to convert them.

  39. Emily

    I’m frustrated because I want something to change! I’m thankful that Romney’s faith forced more light on the LDS church, but also glad he isn’t in office. I hope Obama can make things better, but also know that the crazies in Congress are going to block him every step of the way.

    I want to be hopeful, and am, but I’m also tired of the tone our political rhetoric has taken, especially in Utah.

  40. The past week and a half has been…interesting for me as a Mormon who voted for Obama. I voted Obama because his policies resonated with my core values, however I, like most of you out there, was SHOCKED and horrified by the hate and anger that was going on in the Mormon circles. En masse it was justified because EVERYONE was saying the same things. I grew up in South Africa but now live in America, however, when I spoke to my best friend who still lives in SA, she expressed to me the embarrassment she as a Mormon was dealing with because of the disgusting reaction the American Mormons were express to the entire world (Facebook gets around if we hadn’t noticed). Watch out American Mormons, your loud and proud expressions of disdain for everything you don’t agree with is being heard, and you’re giving the rest of the Mormons out there a REALLY REALLY bad name. I thought we were trying to slough off the title of ” religious fanatics”, not reclaim it.

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