Mormons Break Silence About Romney - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mormons Break Silence About Romney

HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, arguably the nation's best-known Mormon, once was a Mormon missionary. He drinks neither coffee nor tea. His wife, according to Mormon tradition, keeps months' worth of food storage for emergencies.

The presidential campaign, along with TV shows and a hit Broadway musical, have propelled the religion into the spotlight, shaping perceptions and subjecting Mormonism to repeated dissection by pastors and pundits.

A survey released Thursday that asks Mormons what they think of themselves sheds new light on how accurate America's picture of one of the country's fastest-growing religions may be. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life's extensive study, conducted in the fall, asked Mormons questions on issues ranging from how they interpret their religion to their views on homosexuality, marriage, politics and Mormons' place in America.

Fewer than half of Mormons, it turns out, say avoiding caffeine is essential to being a good member of the church. Latter-Day Saints church guidelines recommend Mormons keep three months' food in case of emergency, but only 23 percent of Mormons keep that much. When it comes to the missionaries who knock on neighborhood doors, just over one in four church members have done a full time mission.

"Six in 10 Mormons say they think Americans know little or nothing about their religion," said Gregory Smith, a senior researcher at Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life whose team that surveyed 1,019 Mormons. "Yet, there's a dichotomy in the way Mormons think they are perceived in American society, compared to the direction of where things may be headed."

With two Mormons -- Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman -- vying for the Republican presidential nomination, 56 percent of Mormons said they believe the country is ready for a president who shares their faith, the survey said.

Two-thirds of Mormons describe themselves as politically conservative, while three out of four lean toward the Republican Party. Mormons overwhelmingly said they have favorable views of Romney and Huntsman, but did not take well to President Barack Obama. click here to read more

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