387: McKay Coppins – A Mormon Reporter on the Romney Bus

In this episode of Mormon Stories we interview journalist McKay Coppins.  McKay is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a journalist for BuzzFeed.  During the 2011-2012 U.S. presidential campaign, McKay was assigned the task of reporting on fellow-Mormon and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  This is his story.

McKay’s reflections on covering the Romney campaign can be found in this excellent article, “A Mormon Reporter on the Romney Bus.”

147: Mormon May Day with Co-Founder Kate Kelly

(From the Mormon May Day web site):

In light of the recent Gallop Poll which calculates that 60% of active Mormons self-identify as Conservative or Republican and that over 60% of inactive Mormons who still consider themselves Mormons are self-identified “Liberals or Moderates” suggesting that the more liberal you are the more likely you are to go inactive; in light of Glenn Beck’s recent public comments where the prominent Mormon declared that social justice was a code word for Communism and Nazism; and in light of the recent invitation by a Nevada Stake to Democratic Senator Harry Reid to speak at a fireside which was met by threats of violence and canceled.

As moderate, liberal or radical Mormons, it is time to make our voices heard WITHIN Mormonism. I for one am weary of hearing Republican talking points pass for Gospel truths. The Gospel is for everyone, not just Republicans; guided by the spirit, liberal and radical interpretations of the Gospel and scriptures are just as valid as those made by Conservatives. Continue reading

A Quick Analysis of “What Is It About Mormonism?” — The Amazing New York Times Magazine Article

Holy smokes this guy nails it: a must read for thinking/seeking Mormons. The most interesting parts to me — that are most relevant to our current political and cultural situation as Mormons with the Mitt Romney campaign — are:

  • “This period of resisting persecution by living outside the law taught Mormons that secrecy can be a necessary tool for survival. As one apostle … later put it in a speech … “I am not dishonest and not a liar . . . [but] we have always been taught that when the brethren were in a tight place that it would not be amiss to lie to help them out.”” (this is coincidentally validated by my recently released podcast w/ Michael Quinn)
  • “What is more, what began as a strategy of secrecy to avoid persecution has become over the course of the 20th century a strategy of minimizing discussion of the content of theology in order to avoid being treated as religious pariahs.”
  • “The general pattern of Mormon history is one of growth leading to external pressure being brought to bear on the church. Internal resistance eventually gives way to change sanctioned by new revelation, followed in turn by new growth and success. “
  • “This is a perfect example of esoteric public speaking: the attempt to convey multiple messages to different audiences through the careful use of words.”

What’s most interesting of all (to me), is that Mitt Romney and some Mormons both seem to be following the same pattern — to their potentially mutual detriment. May it not be so…..

Full article included below…. Continue reading

Mitt Romney Is Really Close to Winning the Republican Nomination

I think it is looking more and more likely that Mitt Romney is going to win the Republican nomination (which was my original prediction, and has been my inclination all along).

Romney is now tied for the lead with Giuliani in national polls, and I will eat my trousers if Huckleberry, McCain or Thompson win the Republican primaries.  I think Huckabee will go down in flames like Howard Dean….within the next 6 weeks, I predict.

I really do think that it is now Mitt’s to lose.

Now the general election…that’s another thing entirely.  I’m still putting my money on Billary.

The LDS Church (Sort of) Answers 21 Questions about Mormon Doctrine at

It looks as though Fox News worked w/ the LDS Church to publish answers to some of the typical questions regarding Mormon doctrine. Most of the answers seem relatively accurate…here are the few that did not seem right to me (either because they come across as “partial” or “technical” truths, but not the “whole truth”):

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe its followers can become “gods and goddesses” after death?

The Church’s Answer: “We believe that the apostle Peter’s biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Paul’s reference to being ‘joint heirs with Christ’ reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes.”

This feels like parsing to me. The answer here (as I’ve been taught my entire life) — is unequivocally YES. What am I missing here?

Here’s a speech by past prophet Spencer W. Kimball to illustrate (from the church’s web site). In part it reads,

“We remember the numerous scriptures which, concentrated in a single line, were said by a former prophet, Lorenzo Snow: “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.” This is a power available to us as we reach perfection and receive the experience and power to create, to organize, to control native elements.”

And here it is in “Chapter 1: The Origin and Destiny of Mankind,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 1 (again, from the church’s web site):

“It is for the exaltation of man to this state of superior intelligence and Godhead that the mediation and atonement of Jesus Christ is instituted; and that noble being, man, made in the image of God, is rendered capable not only of being a son of man, but also a son of God, … and is rendered capable of becoming a God, possessing the power, the majesty, the exaltation and the position of a God. As it is written, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” [1 John 3:2.]”

Continue reading