There has always been a mystique about Mormonism which I believe the Mormon church fosters. It is like a huge Masonic Lodge or Temple with all its secret rituals and bizarre beliefs. What makes Mormonism even more bizarre is that it is relatively new. Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in 1844 at age 38. (He was running for President at the time) So, how can something so new and indigenous to America be so elusive to so many in this country?
Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.
At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to "ask of God," concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.
So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction
But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction-not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being-just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other-This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right-and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." Such knowledge as was communicated in this unprecedented revelation could not be held secret within the breast of the youth.
He hesitated not to impart the glorious truth, first to the members of his family, who received his testimony with reverence, and then to the sectarian ministers who had labored so diligently to convert him to their respective creeds. To his surprise, these professed teachers of Christ treated his statements with the utmost contempt, declaring that the days of revelation from God had long since passed; and that the manifestation, if indeed he had received any such at all, was from Satan.
Nevertheless, the ministers exerted themselves, with a unity of purpose strangely at variance with their former hostility toward one another, to ridicule the young man, and to denounce his simple though solemn affirmations. The neighborhood was aroused; bitter and vindictive persecution was waged against him and his family; and he was fired upon by a would-be assassin. Through it all he was preserved from bodily injury; and in spite of increasing opposition he remained faithfully steadfast to his testimony of the heavenly visitation. In this condition of trial he continued without further direct manifestation by heavenly beings for three years, expecting but not receiving the additional light and added instructions for which he yearned. He was keenly sensitive of his own frailty and conscious of human weaknesses. He pleaded before the Lord, acknowledging his imperfections and supplicating help.
Notice in this encounter/vision he was not inquiring about the True Christ Jesus...but the right 'sect' to join. Hmmm...that right there sounds fishy enough. Let me see... one supposedly has an encounter with the Holy Savior of Mankind and casually inquires whether they should be a Methodist or a Baptist? If you believe even the sanitized version, I have some stocks to sell you.
So, in the end, we have to ask ourselves what we should make of a man that stakes his eternity on a bizarre vision of a 14 year old boy? Is that not a cult? I have not even gone into his other encounter with the angel named 'Moroni' and the buried Egyptian scrolls.
Romney would have done well to leave Jesus Christ out of his speech. It is NOT the real Jesus Christ he believes in at all. It makes me shudder to think what it really is.
My guess is that people are now burning up Google after this speech searching for the beliefs of the LDS. My prayers are that none will be converted to this bizarre heresy that began with a 14 year old boy who supposedly becomes an earthly prophet in the same vein as Paul or Peter.
One more thing: I do not think Romney is as conservative as he wants us to believe. When is the last time a true conservative was governor of Massachusetts? We might do well to check his record there. We already know he is very good at bait and switch.