I feel sure that many Mormons who have read this blog believe that I am bearing false witness against Mormons. They may feel attacked, and they may feel as though I somehow hate Mormons. Some probably feel that I am spreading lies about their faith. I have gotten a few email that said that. If I thought I were spreading lies or attacking people or just being plain hateful, I would stop, and repent, and apologize. That would be wrong, terribly wrong of me or anyone else. We are commanded to speak the truth in love. If I thought that I were not being truthful I would stop, repent and apologize. If I thought that I were not being loving, I also would also stop, repent, and apologize.
Some may not think I am loving. But I do not consider Mormons my enemy. Mitt Romney is not my enemy either. I do not hate Mormons nor do I hate Mitt. I have had Mormon people in my home, offered them juice, and heard them, and patiently had dialog about our beliefs. Every time that I have met with a Mormon missionary, I have tried to be respectful and courteous, and have felt they treated me in like kind. We have disagreed each time, but I invited them to pray as they would, and I have prayed as well, without any pretense about what I believe about the validity of the others prayers on my part, but yet with respect.
I believe that it is not really possible to love someone if you do not tell them the truth. If I believe that Mormonism is a false cult, and that nice Mormon people are simply deceived by the heretical writings of Joseph Smith, if I believe that, then it would be unloving to my Mormon neighbors to not try to expose Mormonism for what it is, or at least for what I believe it to be. I know that I will be misunderstood by many Mormons for doing this. But I should love my Mormon neighbors more than I desire to have them like me. If I wanted to avoid having people call me bigot or think I am intolerant, and if I loved myself more than I love my Mormon neighbors, I would just not worry about the whole thing about what Mormonism teaches. I would not call it a cult. Who likes someone who calls someone else’s religion a cult? Why expose myself to attack.? Why should anyone bother with it if he doesn’t love others and he believes he is telling them the truth. I know that there are others who could say things out of a motive for hate, but it is not that way for me. It is because I believe that I am speaking the truth. If I did not clearly speak the truth at least as I understand it, I would not love you as I should. If I really love my Mormon neighbors or others who might one day in the future be deceived by Mormonism, I must speak what I believe to be the truth about Mormonism.
When it comes to Mitt Romney, I do not want to become his enemy either. I have offered prayers for Mitt Romney. My concern that I have expressed about why Christians should not vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon is not to put down Mormons as some kind of second rate class of people. I don’t think that way about Mormon people. We have a lot of things in common. Most Mormons that I have met are conservatives and Republican. I like most conservatives and Republicans. I like most Mormons too. I have liked what Senator Orin Hatch has stood for over the years. There is much to like about Mormon people and that is not the issue with me at all. The reason that I am saying to other Evangelicals and Christians that I do not believe that they should support or vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon is not rooted in just some sort of bigoted hate for Mormons. It is not. I simply believe that if Mitt Romney were elected President, that it would be different than having someone elected as a Senator or Representative from some state. The Presidency is extremely visible. The President is a national celebrity. I honestly believe that if Mitt Romney were elected President, - and partly because he is a like-able guy with a good family- he would become a good national and global “poster-child” for Mormonism. Especially if he did a good job as President and were very popular. By “poster-child” I do not mean that he from the White House would seek to promote Mormonism, but that Mormon missionaries worldwide would have a “poster child” that they would be able to point to. Mitt Romney being elected President, would in itself lend a great deal of credibility to Mormonism.
If I believed that Mormonism was just a different Christian denomination and that all true Mormons would go to heaven, then I would have no problem with Romney being a “poster child” that would further promote Mormonism. But if I believe Mormonism is a counterfeit cult that leads people to hell, and that a Romney election would promote a religion that would deceive even more, then how can I in good conscience support Romney. It simply boils down really to just two questions here. One do I believe a vote for Romney would possibly be good for Mormonism? and two, do I believe Mormonism to be good for people? I answer both questions with a no. So I encourage other Christians to not vote for Romney on the basis that he is a Mormon.
I don’t hate Mormons. I am just trying to be as honest as I can here out of love. If anyone wishes to call be a bigot, I love you enough to bear it and I know that I am just misunderstood and that is okay. I am really not offended and I do not hold a grudge. The truth is more important than me, and your hearing the truth is more important than me too. Who am I that I should try to win a popularity contest. I just need to speak the truth in love and leave the rest to God.
Thanks for taking time to read my thoughts on the matter.
Your friend and a bond-servant in Christ,
Sherwood E. Haisty, Jr.