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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mormons Consider What Romney Nomination Means For Faith

Mike Winder (left), LDS church member, and Carolyn Melby, a delegate from Frederick, Maryland and a convert to Mormonism, joined Robin on Radio Row in Tampa, Florida. (Here & Now)

As she introduces her husband to delegates at the Republican National Convention tonight, Ann Romney may talk about how her family’s Mormon faith shapes their lives.

For the first time the Romney campaign invited a handful of reporters to attend a Church of Latter-day Saints service with the Romneys a couple of weeks ago.

And top aides say Mitt Romney welcomes a chance to talk about his faith, and his role as bishop in the church, in his acceptance speech Thursday night. Mormons are nervous, and excited.

Mormon members of Utah’s delegation crated hygiene bags for charity Monday at the RNC. (Meghan Keane/Here & Now)

Utah delegate Deidre Henderson said she sees the spotlight on the faith positively.

“As people become more familiar with the faith, there’s maybe the kind of shroud of mystery or secrecy… that will be largely stripped away, and I think that’s a positive thing,” she said. “We’re pretty much just like everyone else except we just don’t drink alcohol.”

But how much should that shroud be lifted?

Prominent Mormon Sen. Orrin Hatch tells Politico it will distract from the party message on the economy. But columnist Ross Douthat is one of many political pundits urging Romney to open up. He says Romney’s role as a caring bishop will collapse the image of him as a conviction-free mannequin.

Utah Delegates Do Charity At RNC

Meanwhile, Mormon members of the Utah delegation in Tampa were busy Monday putting together kits of soap, toothbrushes and towels for Tampa’s LDS Church’s Bishop’s Storehouse, for members in need.

“We have an extra day here with the convention being canceled on Monday so we stepped up and we’re doing 1,000 sanitary kits that could be used in hurricanes. It’s about doing what Christ would do and that’s serving the people around you,” Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright said.

Utah Rep. Brad Dee said they call it “charity never faileth.”

Guests:

  • Carolyn Melby, a delegate from Frederick, Maryland and a convert to Mormonism
  • Mike Winder, LDS church member and  mayor of West Valley City, Utah, who is blogging about the convention from Tampa. He is author of a church history titled “President and Prophets, the Story of American Presidents and Latter Day Saints”

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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