Tags: orrin | hatch | mormon | myths | romney

Orrin Hatch: Romney's Run Helped Eliminate Myths About Mormons

Saturday, 29 Dec 2012 11:03 AM

By Stephen Feller and Kathleen Walter

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The scrutiny on Mitt Romney during his run for president eliminated a lot of myths about Mormons and focused instead on their character and qualities, said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.

Hatch’s new book, “An American, A Mormon and A Christian: What I Believe,” is meant to clarify misconceptions about Mormons as Christians and as members of society.

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“We believe that the glory of God is intelligence and that we should act in accordance with intelligent thinking,” Hatch tells Newsmax. “[Romney’s presidential campaign] got rid of a lot of myths about Mormons and also showed that Mormons are not people walking around in long, black capes or something; they’re normal, everyday people who live in every community and who basically do good and who really go to church every Sunday for at least three hours.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only one in the world with a completely unpaid ministry and missionary system, forcing participants to fund their own way, he said.

Hatch, like Romney, was a bishop in the church while he was running for office, and was responsible for a congregation and all the same things that any other religious leader must worry about.

“I handled every problem that any pastor at any other church would have handled. Everything from sexual problems to psychological problems to financial problems to family problems. You name them and I did it all at my own time and expense because it was called and set apart for that particular calling in the church and I did that right up until the time I won the primary and then I was released,” Hatch said.

“And that happens all over the world. Mitt Romney was a bishop doing the same thing. If people really knew how many lives he’d help save and how many people he’d help out of difficulties and counseled with, they would realize even more what a terrific person he is.”

Even after the intense media scrutiny during the campaign, Hatch said that many people don’t realize that while there are differences between Mormonism and other Christian sects, the basics are the same.

“We actually know that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that he came to the earth to bring his gospel to all of us and that he is truly an immortal figure. A lot of people don’t know that,” he said. “We’re fervent believers in the Bible. In fact, you’ll find, if you read this book, that almost every argument that I make in here comes right from the Bible. But we also believe in the Book of Mormon which purports to be the historical and religious account of the ancient American people.”

His book, he said, is a primer on the myriad similarities and how Mormonism actually just adds to the story of Jesus Christ - not contradicts it, as many think. Much of what is in his book, he said, is balanced between the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

“The way millions of people join the Mormon Church, by reading the Book of Mormon, and realizing that almost every page testifies with Jesus Christ and it covers a time when Christ came to America and met with people after his resurrection here in this hemisphere,” Hatch said.

“Mormons actually believe that through our studying our faith and our religion, you can learn more about Christ than ever before and the Book of Mormon is part of that. But we can show our beliefs and we believe that there was a great apostasy following the death of Christ and the apostles, which is predicted and prophesized in the Bible itself, and that the true gospel had to be restored through prophets in this dispensation. The prior dispensations all had prophets, why shouldn’t we be able to have them?”

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