Gasp, Romney is a Mormon

Gasp, Romney is a Mormon. Well that automatically eliminates him from consideration for my vote! (That last sentence was sarcastic - in case the sarcasm was not obvious.)

I do not think Mitt Romney is going to get my vote for President. Why? Because I disagree with him on too many areas that I consider important. If it ever looks like he would win the nomination I would go into detail about what I find objectionable about him. Chief amongst my objections would be how he flip flopped on so many issues and I disagree with some of the flops he made. In my opinion he did not find the light, he often lost it.

However the fact that he is a Mormon is NOT one of the things that causes me to tend to not want to vote for him. The fact that he is a Mormon actually might endear him to me at least slightly. Why is that?

Let me explain. While I would agree that Mormons have some strange beliefs (and many would say the same about me) I examine what is the end result. Are Mormons in their practice of faith a positive or negative influence for society? I look at them as being a positive influence, generally speaking.

Now much of what I know about the Mormon faith comes from during my time in service in the United States Navy. During a particularly troubling time of my service I had the good fortune of serving under a Leading Petty Officer (LPO) who was a Mormon. This man was a convert to the faith and he served as an Elder in his congregation. The man was not a pushover, however he seemed to possess endless patience as I first started to clean up my act. I credit my good fortune of serving under him as being part of the explanation for how I was successful in turning my life around.

Anyway, Jack (I won't give his last name) had an extremely friendly personality. While he did not initiate efforts to proselytize, he enjoyed sharing his faith and answering the questions of the curious (like me) who would engage him in conversation on the subject. Jack himself had experienced some blemishes during his youth, and from the Mormon faith he found purpose and direction.

One of the things that I learned about Mormons is that they are encouraged to lay in a store of food in their households so that if ever there is a societal breakdown, they will have provisions to rely on. He explained that in his basement he had a area dedicated for storage of things like dried beans that should last him at least a year if a meltdown ever happened. I have since learned that in Salt Lake City the Mormons even have a few large silos dedicated to storage of grain for their congregation if such a food source is ever required (they periodically cycle the grain in storage by giving away the stored grain to the needy to make room for fresh grain). Perhaps such a practice is a little strange, but it could also be described as wise. Such storage might come in handy if a societal breakdown did occur, or during natural disasters or if ever there should be a nuclear war.

Mormons strongly encourage (perhaps insist on?) their children serving as missionaries early in their adult years. While much of this missionary work is devoted to proselytizing, certainly their efforts result in "some good" being the fruits of their labor. I would point to my LPO, Jack, as being evidence of good results.

Yes Mormons have some strange beliefs, I would never myself become a Mormon because I would find it impossible to make the statement "I too believe...." to all the things they evidently believe in. However I do feel that nothing about their beliefs is going to prevent them from getting into heaven. I also believe that through the practice of their religion, society does benefit.

So Mitt Romney gets points for being a Mormon from me during his run for the Presidency. My problem with Romney is that the fact that he is a Mormon is the only thing I find appealing about him.

By the way, I later ran into a mutual aquaintance who knew something of "What ever happened to ole Jack?" after I left the command we had all served at. He informed me that Jack had, later in life, pretty much lost the faith. I was heart broken.


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