Sitting in the living room of a modest apartment in a working-class section of North Phoenix, Adolfo recounts in rough English his most moving experience as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For two years, the now-21-year-old pounded pavement in Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada, as well as in nearby areas of Arizona, bringing the Christianity taught by LDS founder Joseph Smith to anyone who would listen.

Such stints are standard for young Mormon men, whom Americans are used to seeing traveling in twos, dressed in white shirts, black ties, and usually on bicycles or on foot — the Book of Mormon at the ready.

Dave Phillips
A frieze on the LDS temple in Mesa, showing Mexican saints in sombreros as they join other nationalities in the "gathering of Israel."
Stephen Lemons
A frieze on the LDS temple in Mesa, showing Mexican saints in sombreros as they join other nationalities in the "gathering of Israel."
A statue of Jesus Christ welcomes all to the Mesa temple's state-of-the-art visitors center.
Stephen Lemons
A statue of Jesus Christ welcomes all to the Mesa temple's state-of-the-art visitors center.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a recent rally at Mesa Amphitheatre.
Jamie Peachey
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a recent rally at Mesa Amphitheatre.
Mormon pals Pablo Felix (left) and Tyler Montague embrace the LDS church's spirit of diversity.
Stephen Lemons
Mormon pals Pablo Felix (left) and Tyler Montague embrace the LDS church's spirit of diversity.
An LDS-sponsored billboard in Mesa, part of the church's multimillion-dollar "I'm a Mormon" PR campaign.
Stephen Lemons
An LDS-sponsored billboard in Mesa, part of the church's multimillion-dollar "I'm a Mormon" PR campaign.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, committed nativist and Romney immigration adviser.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, committed nativist and Romney immigration adviser.
Phoenix attorney and prominent LDS member Daryl Williams, a critic of Russell Pearce, SB 1070, and Romney' "self-deportation" plan.
Phoenix attorney and prominent LDS member Daryl Williams, a critic of Russell Pearce, SB 1070, and Romney' "self-deportation" plan.

See photos from Mitt Romney's recent political rally in Mesa.

One day, Adolfo, then 19, comforted a family whose baby recently had died.

"I had the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon and pray with them," he recalls, a white statue of Jesus Christ peeking over his shoulder from a mantelpiece behind him.

"They read the Book of Mormon, and they felt good. Because they know the family is not just for this life, it's after this life, too."

Adolfo's visit moved the family to become baptized in the LDS faith, a bright spot in a mission generally filled with rejection. His account is not dissimilar to most of the more than 52,000 Mormon missionaries proselytizing in about 120 countries on any given year, save in one significant way.

Adolfo is undocumented, having walked across the Sonoran Desert when he was 16 years old to come to Phoenix and work as a landscaper so he could send money home to an ailing mother in Mexico.

Though raised Roman Catholic, he was baptized Mormon and attends one of the 50 Spanish-speaking congregations, called wards or branches, that exist in Arizona.

Spanish-speaking missionaries here in Phoenix converted him, giving him a Spanish translation of the LDS holy book to read.

"I read the Book of Mormon and prayed, and I knew the Book of Mormon was true," he states.

So much so that he wanted to serve the Lord on a mission. But to attempt to cross a border legally or even to go through security at an airport would mark him for possible apprehension by federal authorities.

Young men are assigned their areas of missionary work by church headquarters in Salt Lake City. They cannot choose where they will be sent.

So Adolfo spoke with his stake president, who presides over several wards in a given geographic area, about his predicament. The church, as it often does in the case of undocumented missionaries, sent him to a place he could reach via car or bus.

The church neither discriminates against the undocumented nor denies them access to a Mormon temple or to any of the ordinances prescribed for adherents of the LDS faith.

People here illegally can be baptized and, if men, can hold the office of the priesthood, which is open to all Mormon males. Illegal immigrants swell the ranks of Mormon wards on Sundays. They are "sealed" as man and wife in LDS temples, are active in their congregations, and sometimes serve as bishops, who in Mormon parlance, act as lay pastors.

This attitude of openness dovetails with the Mormon church's statements on immigration, which argue against restrictive state enforcement measures, such as Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, and against the separation of families.

The church also supports the Utah Compact, a set of guiding principles advocating a humane solution to the immigration problem. In 2011, it supported the passage of a package of laws in Utah that included a state guest-worker program.

Yet in spite of the church's admonition to the faithful to love each other as children of God, no matter what an individual's immigration status, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has copped a hard-line stance on immigration — reviling a pathway to legalization for undocumented individuals as "amnesty" and proposing a plan to make life so difficult for illegal immigrants that they will "self-deport."

In doing so, he's allied himself with nativist politicians, alienating many Latinos. Though the LDS church will not comment on Romney's harsh immigration rhetoric, his immigration stance makes him a wayward saint, a bad Mormon, just as the church continues explosive growth in Latin America and among Spanish-speakers in general.

Which perhaps makes the story of how Adolfo paid for his mission even more extraordinary. Young Mormon men start saving to fund their missions when they are boys. But Adolfo did not have enough to cover the entire tab.

"For part of my mission, the members of my ward, they paid for me," he says. "They help me all the time. Basically, they help me every day."


Adolfo would like to remain in Arizona, obtain legal status, and study to be a paramedic. He does not want to "self-deport," as fellow Mormon Mitt Romney wants him to do.

His girlfriend Charlotte, a 23-year-old Anglo, wants him to stay, as well. She's studying to be a high school Spanish teacher at Arizona State University. A Mormon convert at age 18, she's an ordinance worker at the Mesa temple. There she met a Hispanic family that introduced her to Adolfo.

(Both Adolfo and Charlotte have asked that their real names not be used because of Adolfo's undocumented status.)

The pair plan to be married and have lots of Mormon children. Though women in the church are not obligated to serve missions, they can, and Charlotte did hers in a Spanish-speaking area of Houston.

Before her mission, she never thought about the issue of immigration. But dealing with new arrivals from Latin America changed all that. They told her stories of violence, drug cartels, and stepping over dead bodies in grocery stores. It opened her eyes.

"I gained a very strong opinion that there are some people who need to be here," she says, holding hands with Adolfo. "I think we should be extending help to those people. They're like refugees, escaping circumstances that are unlivable."

She concedes that some illegal immigrants cross the border with bad intentions and become involved in crime, but she believes most here are hard workers who simply want to better their lot and that of their families.

Asked what most Mormons think of the illegal immigrants in their midst, she contends that it depends on personal experience.

"All my friends who served with me [in Texas], we have such a love for the Hispanic people," she says. "They have such a loving, welcoming culture and are so family-oriented."

The Mormon Church has no stats on how many of its members are undocumented, though the former bishop of one local Spanish-language ward estimated that nearly 80 percent of his congregation was illegal.

It is not uncommon to hear an Anglo Mormon tell of an undocumented 19-year-old doing his mission within the United States to avoid detection.

In June 2011, the church issued a statement reiterating that its leadership "has for many years taught that undocumented status should not by itself prevent an otherwise worthy Church member from entering the temple or being ordained to the priesthood."

The statement also admonished church members from "making judgments about fellow members in their congregation."

The dictate came just days before two undocumented LDS men in Utah — one from Guatemala, the other from El Salvador — were deported from the country. Both were former branch presidents. (A branch is somewhat smaller than a Mormon ward.)

The Guatemalan man had been in the States for decades, and was well known as a kids' soccer coach. The man from El Salvador's family was removed with him by immigration.

A spokesman for the LDS church, commenting on the matter for Salt Lake City's Deseret News, stated that the case "reminds us all of the need to address immigration reform."

He continued, "We believe any solution should include the following three principles: The commandment to 'love thy neighbor;' the importance of keeping families intact; and the federal government's obligation to secure its border."

Though former Massachusetts Governor Romney is by all accounts an observant Mormon — who tithes millions of dollars each year to the church, who abstains from alcohol and tobacco, and who has served both as a stake president and a bishop in the Boston area — only the third part of that formula seems to appeal to him as he runs for president.

As he's campaigned for the GOP primary in various states, he's staked out the hardest of hard-line positions on immigration, using the issue to prove his conservative bona fides to primary voters and to portray his competitors as weak-kneed.

He supports a border fence and is opposed to in-state tuition for undocumented college students, no matter what laws a state's Legislature passes.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who unlike Romney actually has experience dealing with border issues, opposed a border fence, calling it impractical.

Perry also defended legislation that he signed into law, which allowed undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, if they met certain requirements and pledged to seek legal status.

Some refer to the law as Texas' version of the DREAM Act, proposed federal legislation that would create a pathway to legal residency for undocumented students brought here by their parents, as long as they attend college or serve in the military.

"If you say we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart," Perry declared during a GOP debate in Orlando, Florida.

Romney and other party restrictionists pounced, deriding the plan as a "magnet" for illegal immigration.

Following the debate, Romney insisted that if you're against illegal immigration, "you have a heart and a brain." His campaign soon rolled out a video of the Perry quote along with footage of former Mexican President Vicente Fox praising Perry for the in-state-tuition law for undocumented students.

In the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, Romney exploited Perry's perceived softness on the issue, hitting Iowa voters with a robo-call featuring the voice of anti-immigration poster boy Paul Babeu criticizing the Texan on the border fence and on in-state tuition.

"Rick Perry is part of the illegal immigrant problem," the Pinal County sheriff and congressional candidate insisted in the recorded message.

(Note: Until recently, Babeu served as co-chair of Romney's Arizona campaign. Babeu resigned from that post after New Times published allegations that the sheriff threatened to have a Mexican ex-boyfriend deported. See "Firestorm.")

It's worth pointing out that though Romney has vowed to veto it should he become president and it reaches his desk, the federal DREAM Act is the least controversial of all immigration proposals, outside the far right-wing echo chamber.

From Gallup to Rasmussen, polls consistently have shown that a slim majority of Americans favor some version of the DREAM Act. Among Latinos, the numbers are much higher. A 2012 poll by Latino Decisions found that Hispanics supported the legislation by 85 percent. Another, done by the Pew Hispanic Center in 2011, had 91 percent of Latinos supporting it.

But Romney barely has budged on the issue, despite pressure from some in his own party. In a GOP debate in South Carolina, he labeled the DREAM Act "a mistake." He promised he will not do anything that "opens up another wave of illegal immigration."

At a fundraiser in New York in January, Romney seemed to seal his anti-DREAM Act stance in concrete when an undocumented 19-year-old woman approached him.

Trying to shake his hand, she informed him she was in the country illegally, asking Romney about the DREAM Act and telling him that she has a 4.0 grade point average in college.

"That's wonderful," he said, according to the Huffington Post, which posted a video of Romney repeating his pledge to veto the legislation before getting hustled away by his handlers.

It's difficult to tell from the video, but the woman claimed Romney jerked away his hand from her as soon as she identified herself as undocumented.

Later, during a GOP debate in Florida, a state that's close to 23 percent Hispanic, Romney tweaked his DREAM Act position ever so slightly to match that of South Carolina primary winner Newt Gingrich.

"I would not sign the DREAM Act as it currently exists," Romney told the crowd. "But I would sign the DREAM Act if it were focused on military service."

That's not good enough for Dulce Matuz, an undocumented activist with the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, who along with several other demonstrators protested Romney's recent rally at Mesa Amphitheatre, two weeks before Arizona's GOP primary (as this story is published, the Tuesday primary is five days away).

While erecting a giant banner outside the amphitheater that read, "DREAM ACT NOW," she explained that she came to this country from Mexico when she was 9 to be reunited with her mother.

Since then, she's gone on to graduate from ASU with a degree in electrical engineering, part of the time paying out-of-state tuition, because of Arizona's Prop 300, which bars the undocumented from receiving in-state tuition rates or any public financial assistance.

"I don't want to join the military," Matuz says, "but I do want to use my knowledge to be an engineer in the United States."

Asked about the incident with the New York DREAMer, she figured Romney for a coward.

"I think Mitt Romney actually is afraid to talk to DREAMers, because he knows [supporting the DREAM Act] is the morally right decision to make," she said.

Before joining fellow DREAMers — who later could be heard chanting "Veto Romney, not the DREAM Act" whenever Romney paused during his stump speech — she remarked that, at 27, time was running out for her:

"If the DREAM Act doesn't pass in the next couple of years, I probably won't be eligible for it."


Basking in the adulation of a nearly all-white Mesa crowd, Romney barely mentioned immigration, remarking mostly on his experience as a businessman and a governor, and offering feel-good paeans to the greatness of America, punctuated by partisan jabs at President Barack Obama.

But he did offer one example of his steadfastness in opposing illegal immigration, noting that while Massachusetts governor he signed an agreement with the federal government, allowing state troopers to apprehend illegal immigrants.

"We made sure we enforced immigration laws empowering our state police to have the capacity to work with ICE to get those who are here illegally out of our state," he said, prompting cheers.

It probably would have spoiled the applause line for Romney to further explain that his 2006 move was roundly criticized by the Massachusetts press as pandering on the issue in anticipation of his bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

Or to point out that he was in his last month of office when he signed the agreement. Incoming Democratic Governor Deval Patrick rescinded the plan after taking over, following the lead of police chiefs and civil rights advocates who criticized the agreement as counterproductive and possibly leading to claims of racial profiling.

Another uncomfortable point that Romney would never raise on his own is that the Boston Globe twice caught him using a landscaping company at his 2.5-acre Belmont, Massachusetts estate that employed illegal immigrants.

In 2006, about two weeks before Romney signed the above-mentioned pact with the feds and just as he was readying to leave office and run for president, Globe reporters broke the story, interviewing some of the Guatemalan illegals who toiled on Romney's property.

The governor claimed no knowledge of the immigration status of the landscaping firm's employees. Nevertheless, he continued to use the company, and in late 2007, as he was railing about the evils of illegal immigration on the campaign trail, Globe reporters once more caught gardeners without papers working at Romney's home.

Romney finally fired the company, but the scandal has reared its head during both of his presidential runs, with his foils blasting him for hypocrisy and for owning, in the words of one, a "sanctuary mansion."

The tale of Romney's Guatemalan hired hands is not the only evidence of his being two-faced when it comes to immigration.

Romney once described as "reasonable" proposed legislation, supported by President George W. Bush, that would have provided a route to legalization for the undocumented.

During his 2007-08 primary bid, he changed course, viciously attacking U.S. Senator John McCain, a sponsor of the bill and the GOP's eventual nominee, for ramming "amnesty" down Americans' throats.

During that campaign cycle, he also scored the endorsement of Hispanic-hunter Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who became an honorary campaign chair and stumped for Romney in Iowa in 2007.

This time around, the Maricopa County sheriff endorsed Perry, and McCain, who has done a 180 on immigration since the failed McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, endorsed Romney.

But when it comes to immigration, Romney's most telling support comes from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, co-author of SB 1070 and of an even harsher law in Alabama, giving local cops the powers of immigration agents, among other anti-immigrant provisions.

Kobach, who works as an unpaid policy adviser to the Romney camp, is closely associated with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the most powerful nativist organization in the country and one that's been labeled a hate group by civil rights watchdogs.

Despite becoming Kansas' secretary of state in 2010, Kobach still is listed as a counsel for FAIR's legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute.

Both FAIR and Kobach are known for pimping "attrition through enforcement," the idea that if states make life miserable for illegal immigrants, denying them such things as the ability to find work or rent an apartment, they will pack up and head back to their home countries.

SB 1070, which was pushed through the Legislature by notorious Hispanic-basher and recalled State Senate President Russell Pearce, made "attrition through enforcement" public policy for all state and local governments in Arizona.

Romney has embraced the policy, using the catchphrase "self-deportation" to sum it up on the primary trail. His most infamous explanation of the notion came as the answer to a reporter's question during a Florida presidential forum.

"The answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here," he stated to titters in the audience.

The laughter was to be expected. The phrase was the product of a 1994 hoax by Chicano cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and satirist Esteban Zul, in response to California's Prop 187, the ill-fated measure to bar illegal immigrants from social services, backed by then-California Governor Pete Wilson.

Wilson, who is loathed by Latino activists, is a Romney supporter and serves as an honorary chair of his California campaign.

Kobach reportedly also endorsed and advised Romney during his 2008 primary bid, but that was before 1070 became law, spawning copycat legislation in other states. Romney's embrace of Kobach and his ideas has enraged Latinos, even Republican Latinos.

Two Hispanic GOP groups, Somos Republicans and Cafe Con Leche Republicans, have stridently criticized Romney on the issue. Both have endorsed former House Speaker Gingrich, who has derided self-deportation as an "Obama-level fantasy."

Gingrich has suggested that Latino families with deep roots in America be allowed to stay in the country. In that, Gingrich, a Catholic, is closer to LDS policy on immigration than Romney.

In 2011, the LDS church issued its strongest edict to date, expressing its concern that "any state legislation that only contains enforcement provisions is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God."

Though "as a matter of policy" it discouraged members from overstaying visas or entering a country illegally, it emphasized that a federal solution was necessary, and it condemned efforts to target Latinos for removal.

"The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals or families is cause for concern especially where race, culture, or religion are involved," reads the statement. "This should give pause to any policy that contemplates targeting any one group, particularly if that group comes mostly from one heritage. "

It was neither the first time the church weighed in nor the last.

In the wake of SB 1070's becoming Arizona law, the LDS church issued a message of support for the Utah Compact, a declaration of five principles meant to guide the immigration debate in Utah and beyond:

• Finding a federal solution to the problem,

• Acknowledging the contributions of immigrants to the economy,

• Not separating families,

• Treating immigrants humanely

• And, significantly, insisting that "local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code."

The church did not sign the compact, but its statement of support was seen as a de facto endorsement, which directly influenced an effort to head off 1070-like legislation in Utah, where 80 percent of state legislators are Mormons.

Ultimately, the Utah Legislature passed a quartet of bills that include both an enforcement measure and a guest-worker bill, which calls for illegal immigrants to be allowed to pay a fine and remain in the state legally.

When Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the bills, LDS Presiding Bishop H. David Burton attended the ceremony, telling reporters, "Our presence here testifies to the fact that we are appreciative of what has happened in the Legislature this session."

The church also intervened, albeit reluctantly, in the successful recall last fall of prominent Mormon legislator Russell Pearce from Legislative District 18.

Fighting for his political life in a matchup against former LDS stake president and fellow GOPer Jerry Lewis — who opposed 1070 and supported the Utah Compact — Pearce made a glaring error that cost him precious votes in the Mormon stronghold of west Mesa.

During a packed meeting with LD18 Republicans, Pearce claimed the LDS church had given him a green light on 1070.

"I got hold of the church headquarters in Salt Lake," he avowed in an answer to one query. "And they said they absolutely do not oppose what Arizona is doing."

When video of Pearce making the claim was made public, Channel 12 reporter Brahm Resnik asked the church for comment, and the church slapped down Pearce.

While noting that the LDS church had not taken a stand "on any specific immigration legislation in Arizona," church spokesman Michael Purdy said:

"We have made our position on immigration clear. The church believes that an enforcement-only approach is inadequate."

He also restated basic principles the church already had enunciated, including "the commandment to love thy neighbor."

No exit polls were taken to analyze Pearce's eventual 12-point loss to Lewis. However, an ABC 15/Capitol Times survey released days before the election showed Lewis led Pearce among their fellow Mormons, 47.5 percent to 45 percent.

Many local LDS church leaders privately backed Lewis, who himself had been recruited to run by fellow Republican LDS members.

Lewis, along with other prominent local Mormons, has signed the Arizona Accord, the Grand Canyon State's version of the Utah Compact, which reads almost word-for-word like the original.

The effort is spearheaded by Mesa consultant Scott Higginson, who was raised in the church. He said a group of Mesans, including LDS members, met last year to discuss a statewide effort to follow in the footsteps of the Utah Compact.

"We didn't like the image that our city and our people and our faith were being portrayed as," he said.

Though Higginson has various secular reasons for his anti-restrictionist stance on immigration, religious conviction does inform his position. Romney's self-deportation plan does not comport with his views.

"It's not how we should treat other people," he says. "And I don't believe it's the way the Savior would have us treat other people."


Higginson is a Democrat, and Mormon Democrats are a rarity in Arizona.

In general, Mormons are conservative and self-identify as GOPers. A massive study of Mormons in America, released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that 74 percent of LDS members are Republican or lean Republican.

And most of that 74 percent favor Romney, according to a Gallup poll issued in early January. It revealed that 71 percent of GOP Mormons back Romney's candidacy.

But that does not mean that all Republican Mormons follow Romney's nativist stance on immigration.

According to the Pew study, 45 percent of American Mormons said immigrants "strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents" versus 41 percent who described immigrants as a "burden."

Even when the question was narrowed to LDS Republicans, the split favored the restrictionist side only slightly, with 42 percent of LDS GOPers agreeing that immigrants "strengthen" versus 44 percent who find them a "burden."

That's reflected locally in the attitudes of many Republican LDS faithful, including Daryl Williams, a commercial trial attorney who describes himself as "to the right of Genghis Khan."

Williams speaks fluent Spanish and sits on the high council of his Paradise Valley stake. A vocal critic of 1070 and Pearce, he takes a libertarian, free-market approach to the issue, one he's outlined in an influential essay titled simply, "Illegal Immigration."

The essay follows the history of immigration laws and the ebb and flow of the nativist movement in America. It concludes with a discussion of Christian theology and LDS teachings, giving a moral basis for his arguments.

Therein, Williams cites an oft-mentioned LDS Article of Faith emphasizing that Mormons believe in "obeying, honoring and sustaining the law."

He contrasts this with a passage from LDS scripture that suggests crime "should be punished according to the nature of the offense" and that there is a responsibility to bring offenders against "good laws" to justice.

In Williams' view, statutes such as 1070 are "bad laws" because they violate the moral code laid down by Jesus Christ.

"We don't believe you can look at the 12th Article of Faith and say, 'Well, it's the law. We've got to follow it,'" he tells New Times, "any more than Mormons were obligated to support the pogrom in [Nazi] Germany."

He offers numerous examples of bad laws: harboring Jews in Nazi Germany, segregation in the American South, and laws once used to persecute Mormons, such as a notorious "extermination order" issued by Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs in 1838.

A Republican, Williams said he was leaning toward Gingrich in the primary. He was withering in his assessment of fellow Mormon Romney and his self-deportation plan.

"I think a man who holds the office [of president] should have principles," he said. "And I find it inconsistent that he would take a position which is so contrary to this religion that he espouses."

Republican Mormon Kevin Gibbons agrees. Gibbons ran against Pearce in the 2008 primary for state Senator from LD 18.

He believes Romney's stance is an obvious political calculation "to keep him somewhat to the right of Gingrich." And he thinks Romney knows what he's saying on immigration is wrong from a moral and practical stance.

"Self-deportation doesn't make any sense. You ask [12 million] illegals if they'd like to participate in self-deportation, they'll respond much like M.I.A. did during the halftime show at the Super Bowl," he says in reference to pop star's giving the middle finger to a TV camera.

As far as his faith goes, he contends that it does not support Romney's views.

"There is no way in our church you can tell a family to leave [the country]," he said. "And there's no way you can tell just one of them to leave."

The Romney policy of self-deportation would have the effect of depopulating many wards, and it would reverberate throughout Latin America, where the church has experienced exponential growth over the past few decades.

Church sources are quoted as estimating 5 million members in Latin America. And the church confirms that of its more than 14 million members worldwide, most live outside the Unites States: more than 8 million outside the United States versus more than 6 million within.

Though the church once banned African-Americans from the priesthood, it reversed the policy in 1978.

The modern LDS church embraces diversity and has spent millions on a PR effort featuring billboards and television ads promoting the church's revamped website, mormon.org.

In the TV ads, Latinos, Asians and other ethnicities spout the line, "And I'm a Mormon."

A recent Sunday visit to an LDS meetinghouse in Mesa illustrates the reality behind the commercials.

There, members of the English-language Stewart ward and its Spanish-language sister Barrio Liahona II meet around the same time in the same building every Sunday, trading the use of the chapel and other rooms and facilities.

Adult men of both wards exchange information on church activities in a bilingual get-together during the hours-long church session.

Sunday school for kids and teens is taught in English, with brown, black and white kids learning Bible lessons together.

Pablo Felix teaches one of the classes. He hails from Phoenix, was baptized when he was 17, and once served as bishop of Liahona II.

He says his children and other kids of Latino parents participate in church activities with the Anglo kids, including Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.

"We go camping together. We do everything together," he says. "I like that. You get everybody's perspective."

Felix's Anglo pal Tyler Montague is a lifelong Mormon and attends a nearby ward, where he chaperones a young men's group. He's fluent in Spanish, having served his mission in Chile when he was 19.

It's there where he, like many missionaries to Latin countries, learned to love the culture, food, and people. He's one of the Mormons who helped recruit Lewis to run against Pearce in the recall.

"I'm not an open-borders [advocate]," he says. "But we could totally solve the problem without ripping apart families."

Though not all Mesa Mormons share his views on immigration reform, the Mesa temple — the center of LDS life in the area — reflects the religion's international appeal, both past and present.

At the temple's state-of-the-art visitors center, young women, called "sister missionaries," act as guides and answer questions. They come from all over the world. You're just as likely to meet one from Mongolia or Pakistan as from Virginia or Utah.

One of the displays features an array of copies of the Book of Mormon translated into everything from Thai and French to Russian and Japanese.

Just outside the center's doors is the stately, flat-topped temple itself, which dates to 1927. Before a temple was dedicated in Mexico City in 1983, Mexican saints would make pilgrimages to the Mesa temple to attend holy rites.

The first temple ceremonies performed in another language were in Spanish at the Mesa temple. Non-Mormon visitors cannot enter the building but can walk the scenic gardens that surround it.

Friezes ringing the top of the temple depict various nationalities leaving their homes for the so-called "gathering of Israel," as prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah.

There are Dutch and Italians, Polynesians and Native Americans. One panel depicts Mexicans in sombreros, making the trek.

This echo from the past doesn't jibe with Romney's harsh immigration stand and illustrates an observation Williams made about his faith:

"The church's vision is truly universal. And I don't think it makes a difference to our heavenly father that you happen to be born in Mexico rather than the United States."

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180 comments
Deborah Halasz
Deborah Halasz

One thing I see a lot of commenters missing here is that the Mormon church isn't promoting illegal immigration. From what I understand, they are supporting immigrants (legal or not) who are already living in the United States, many of whom were brought to the US by their parents (legally or not). My opinion is that these immigrants ought to have an opportunity to educate themselves and become citizens, but Romney won't even recognize those immigrants.
I respect that Romney hasn't brought religion into his politics, but I think it's important that people shouldn't blindly vote for someone simply because he's Mormon.

BillRichardsonMesa
BillRichardsonMesa

Great article Steve. Romney needs to be called out on his immigration stance. In a 2007 (approx.) interview with Tim Russert, he was much closer to Perry's position. I am assuming that once he gets past the Nastea Party crazies and gets the nomination, he'll drift back toward the center. That would truly be a good time to flip flop on the immigration issue. Without a good showing from the Hispanic vote, the Repubs are dead in 2012.

Stand With Arizona
Stand With Arizona

The LDS is playing with fire. The Utah Compact is an insult to all legal immigrants and citizens. Their effort to torpedo Russell Pearce in the recall and replace him with open borders and amnesty advocate Jerry Lewis was a disgrace. If they stand with La Raza racists then they stand against law-abiding Americans, and will face a boycott in the near future.

Larrymoore
Larrymoore

If adolpho lead them by reading the book of mormon to them then he led them straight to hell.

Richardblackmore58
Richardblackmore58

You see this every time economic times get bad. Pick a group, often hard-working and basically non-harmful to the society. Pick one that looks different, that speaks differently, and which has no economic or political power... then demonize them. Worked great with the chinese, japanese, blacks... and hispanics too it seems. Go after the ones commiting violent crimes, not the average person who is hard working. Unless you want your food, housing, to go way up in cost lets do what we have done before... raise the number allowed in with green cards.

Jesus Cristo de Tijuana
Jesus Cristo de Tijuana


Gustavo Arellano, Steve Gallardo, Nicky Diaz Santillan, La Raza and all of us brown skin Mexicans presently occupying "El Norte", need to return to Mexico and help set up a population control program to help us stop having so many babies that we can't take care of them. It is disgraceful that we have to export our own brown skin people because we can't afford them here in Mexico. We can do this. Will you join us and Gustavo Arellano?

Sunshine Connie
Sunshine Connie

Mitt Romney does not have an anti-immigrant stance. He is against ILLEGAL Immigration. Rewarding law breakers is wrong to almost all LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and many who were born here. Now is the time to care for our citizens 1st.

Pasquale
Pasquale

'Bad Mormon: Mitt Romney's Anti-Immigrant Stance Doesn't Jibe with LDS Teachings"

He's NOT anti-immigrant, he's anti-criminal.
Illegal is illegal, plain and simple. When will you bleeding hearts learn that criminal activity is illegal?
Entering into ANY country without proper documentation is ILLEGAL. That makes anyone who does such a thing a CRIMINAL.

Matt
Matt

I know that immigration is a touchy subject, and when you mix in religious viewpoints it can become volatile. A scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants 58:21, explains how to keep the two separate. "Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land." This is why church leaders, uphold being here legally.

Curtis
Curtis

how would anyone use his religion to bad mouth him about his stance on immigration. i think its a good stance, honestly, we need to put a halt on immigration until we can get our finances in order. why should we allow them to come in, if we cant afford to support the ones that are already here

Victoria Geczi
Victoria Geczi

If you check Mitt Romney's record when he was the governor of Massachusetts (predominately Liberal state) many of his programs would be considered evil by the GOP. In fact his healthcare plan that he put into play now only leaves about 6% of the population in that state without healthcare. He has to flip flop on this subject because he has to win over the entire GOP. I would keep out religion from Romney, he is a Mormon, but has he once used his religion to back his arguments? Compared with those other dopes in the GOP he actually believes in the Separation of Church and State.

Jesus Cristo de Juarez
Jesus Cristo de Juarez

Help end the illegal Mexican occupation of the United States of America. Vote for candidates that support deportation and not pathway to citizenship. It is the only way to prevent the total destructiom of the US.

cute gidget
cute gidget

"bad Mormon" hmm now would the press say "bad Muslim"?? Or bad Luthern? etc I find it interesting that they would use the teerm Mormon at all!!!

Nicole Olmstead Coulter
Nicole Olmstead Coulter

Nobody sees the difference between anti-ILLEGAL immigration and anti-immigration? Wow, stupid reporter. Bad headline. Romney is pro LEGAL immigration and has said so repeatedly.

sarum
sarum

Don't Ask, Don't Tell! Since believers always end up being stuck rationalizing away the walk and the fruit of their candidate who always manages to insult the God & religion they claim to adhere to why do we even allow religion into our electoral process? Separation of church and state?

So Tired of This
So Tired of This

I think it's pretty sad that all these Mormons believe in breaking the laws of our country. Illegal immigration is a crime just as much as murder. Illegal is illegal and going along with it makes these people just as guilty as the ones who are here illegally. Are the Mormons taking care of their medical bills and all their expenses? I hope so, because I'm tired of my tax dollars taking care of them when we could be helping true USA citizens who need the help.

Cat
Cat

Any mormon who disagrees with the prophet is a bad moromon. Even if the arrogant old man says build a huge overlit temple next to a conservation park - and destroy the eco-system. If Romany can disagree, maybe he wouldn't sell out voters to the vile hierargchy in SLC. I'd like to be able ot vote for him, but I don't trust morons not to ignore constituents on favor of 'the word of god'

stephanie
stephanie

either way im tired of being bothered in twos at my door talking fantasies about some smith guy who obviousy ate some mushrooms and began having illusions.

Jonathon Jones
Jonathon Jones

Dear Phoenix New Times,

Before posting this absolutely APPALLING contradiction to so called "mormon" doctrine, maybe your trivial newspaper should get your facts straight regarding LDS or Mormons' adherence to the "laws of the land." Having posted this drivel as "fact" regarding Mitt Romney is libelous, an absolute lie and smacks of an anti-mormon agenda. Furthermore, Mitt's stance on illegal immigration is not in contradiction to Mormon teaching, as stated before that Mormons believe in "obeying the law of the land."The last time I checked, illegal immigration from any ethnic group, be that group Chinese or LATINO, is against the law. Get your facts straight and present the story on Mitt's stance as factual, not subjective or pejorative. No wonder newspapers are a dying media... you don't print anything factual and all you want to do is conjure up contraversy instead of simply "stating the facts". Piss poor journalism on Stephen Lemons part, the author of this article. Fie on him and Fie on your newspaper for printing and presenting such a steaming pile of dog manure!

Twoterpilot
Twoterpilot

the church of jesus christ of latterday saints states in the articals of faith, "We belive in being subject to Kings, presidents, rulers,and magistrates, in OBEYING, honoring, and sustaining the law." the bad mormons are the Illigal immigrants! not someone who is simply saying obey the laws.

David Payne
David Payne

To say that someone is a "Bad Mormon" because they want the laws of our country enforced is foolish. If Romney was encouraging others to commit illegal acts then that would be considered contrary to his church teachings. As some have already mentioned it is beneficial for everyone if immigrants come to the US legally. That way the immigrants can enjoy the full benefits of being a US citizen. I'm not saying that legal immigration is not challenging, but frankly it should be. Immigrants of days past that had to work to be citizens took pride in their American citizenship while bringing their unique culture to meld with ours. It is not fair to every other person in the world who wants to come to America and some just sneak in.

Dane
Dane

~Mormonism Not Christian

Mormonism [Church of Latter Day Saints] is not Christian is because it denies the doctrines
of Christianity. Mormonism denies that there is only one God, Jesus is God in flesh,
forgiveness of sins is by grace, Jesus rose from the dead physically.
God, One of Many Gods, is An Exalted Man, Who is Married with Many Wives
Mormonism teaches that God is a an exalted man, that he used to be a man on another
planet and he is only one of countless gods and that God is married and he brought one
of his wives to this world and produces spirit children who then inhabit human bodies at birth.
God Had Sex with Mary
Mormons say God had sex with Mary and produced Jesus! According to Mormonism there
was no virgin birth. "The Father came down from heaven...and begat the Savior of the World;
for He is the Only Begotten of the Father which could not have been if the Father did not
actually beget him in person...The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of
our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood." (Brigham
Young, Journal Of Discourses, Vol. 1 page 238 and8:115)
Man Can Become God
Mormons believe that man can become God! "The Lord created you and me for the purpose
of becoming Gods like Himself." Brigham Young (Journal Of Discourses 3:93).
Jesus Was A Polygamist
The reason people "persecuted Jesus Christ, was because he had so many wives; there were
Elizabeth and Mary, and a host of others." [Journal of Discourses, Vol 1. ppl 345-346] "The
Scripture says the Lord, came walking in the Temple, with HIS TRAIN; I do not know who they
were, unless his wives and children." Brigham Young [Journal of Discourses,Vol.13.pg309]
Jesus and Satan Are Spirit Brothers
Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers. [Journal of Discourses, 93:21]
Salvation through Joseph Smith
"No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God
without the consent of Joseph Smith...every man and woman must have the
certificate of Joseph Smith." [Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p.289-91]
The Bible Is Not Infallible and Is Not Reliable
Mormons teach that the Bible has many errors and is unreliable and was corrupted in
translation and it is not infallible.They believe their Book of Mormon is God's Word. It is
“the most correct of any book on earth and the keystone of our religion." Joseph Smith
Polygamy Marriages in Heaven
Mormon’s believe that you can be married to many wives in Heaven.
Baptism for the Dead
Mormon's baptize people in water on behalf of dead people for the forgiveness of their sins.
Mormon's Holy Underwear
Mormons have a Temple Ceremony where the person is given "Mormon
Underwear" that is to protect them against the Evil One.

Joseph Smith, Mormon Founder, Met Jesus
In 1820 Mormon founder Joseph Smith was 14 years old and he said God the Father and
Jesus met him outside of New York. Three years later he said an Angel named Moroni
inspired him to write the Book of Mormon, which is "another Bible" and "new revelation" of
Jesus Christ and it is about an ancient people who came from the middle east to the
Americas. The Mormons follow 2 other books, Doctrine & Covenants & Pearl of Great Price.
Joseph Smith Met John the Baptist
In 1829 Joseph Smith said John the Baptist appeared to him and ordained him.
Christians Are All Wrong...Their Creeds Are An Abomination
Joseph Smith said, Christians were "all wrong... all their creeds were an admonition."
Joseph Smith Greater Than Jesus
Smith said, "I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has
ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam...Neither Paul,
John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I"
Joseph Smith:"I Am Impregnable...God is My Right Hand Man"
Smith said, "The whole Earth shall bear me witness that I, like the towering rock in the
midst of the ocean, am impregnable...I combat the errors of ages... I solve mathematical
problems of universities, with truth, diamond truth; and God is my right hand man...
you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves,"
Brigham Young, Mormon's 2nd Prophet, Creates New Scriptures
Young said, "I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out that they may not call
Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good a scripture"
Mormon Polygamy
After 1852, when the Mormon Church was openly practicing polygamy, the leaders of the
church were declaring that it was absolutely essential for exaltation. A revelation given by
Joseph Smith, "Ten virgins given unto him [Solomon] by this law, he cannot commit
adultery...therefore is he justified."
Joseph Smith A Polygamist...An Adulterer...and A Pedophile
Joseph Smith had 33 wives! He married several who were married to other men." Nancy
Marinda Johnson married Joseph Smith while her husband, Orson Hyde, was on a
mission to Jerusalem." Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, the wife of Adam Lightner,
said that Joseph claimed an "angel" came with a "drawn sword" and told him that if
he did not enter into polygamy "he would slay him."
Joseph Smith's youngest wife, Helen Mar Kimball, was 14 years old!!!!
Joseph Smith Wife Damned If She Doesn't Accept Polygamy
Joseph Smith prophesied his first and only legal wife Emma would be damned
or destroyed if she did not accept polygamy (Doctrine & Covenants 132).
Brigham Young 55 Wives and 57 Children
Brigham Young, the 2nd Prophet of Mormonism had 55 wives and 57 children!!
Must Commit Polygamy to Become Gods
Brigham Young said, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are
those who enter into polygamy." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11,269) "If you want to
become a god one day you must violate the already given law of God now.
"[Doctrine and Covenants132 Verses 62-63]
Must Commit Polygamy or You Will Be Damned and Not Enter God's Glory
"He that abideth not this law (polygamy) can in no wise enter into my glory, but
shall be damned, saith the Lord." (D&C,132:27). "Now if any of you deny the
plurality of wives, I promise that you will be damned." Brigham Young
Mormonism is Not Christian

woreti
woreti

I do not know whether or not he is a bad Mormon. What I have come to know about him is very troublesome. It is hard to know his core values as he has been on both sides of important issues. His claim that he grew Massachusetts economy and reduced unemployment to 4.7% is not true. If he is not truthful about his past records, how can we trust him with the presidency?
Please go to this website to know the inaccuracy of his statements about job and economic growth in Massachusetts.
http://www.washingtontimes.com...

woreti
woreti

Romney claims that he grew Massachusetts economy and reduced the unemployment rate to 4.7%. The Establishment, some pundits and the MSM & Romney tell us that "Romney has what it takes to turn our economy around." As no politician has ever grown an economy or/jobs, we should totally reject this false narrative. “The fact the unemployment rate went down had nothing to do with the policies of his administration,” said professor Andrew M. Sum, director of the center for labor market studies at Northeastern University in Boston. “We had one of the three worst job-creation rates in the country under his administration. The unemployment rate largely went down for one reason, because people withdrew from the labor force and left the state.” For further details, please see
http://www.washingtontimes.com...
Romney also distorts Santorum's records by saying he is a Washington Insider and big spender.
What is wrong in being a Washington Insider? Insiders know better how the three coequal branches of our government works. Romney is applying to the top government job in which Santorum is better experienced and equipped to handle. Unlike Romney, Santorum has a national security and foreign affairs experience. Please read online about the Iran Freedom & Support Act & the Syrian Accountability Act which he authored in 2004. In this volatile world, we cannot afford to have a novice in international affairs (Romney) to be the leader of the free world. The MSM, pundits, the Establishment say to the American people that Romney "can turn the economy around." Nothing is further from the truth. A president cannot and will not create jobs or/grow the economy. A president cannot micromanage a private sector from the oval office. A president can create a healthy environment through a legislative process by the US Congress for a private sector to grow our economy and jobs. Romney is not a lawyer. But Santorum is. As a lawyer (Jurist Doctor) and successful legislature, Santorum knows how to deal with US Congress to create a healthy environment for a private sector. Romney is not an economist. He has MBA like Santorum. The base of the Republican Party doesn't want Romney because of Romney-care, his flip-flops on gay marriage, abortion, net tax increases & appointing liberal judges as Governor of Massachusetts, his negative attacks to tear down his fellow republican candidates by distorting their records. He received earmarks for Utah Olympics and projects in Massachusetts but accuse Santorum for earmarks. He was and is for No child Left behind Program but again accuses Santorum who already regretted for his previous vote. Santorum has a principle. He was candid in the last debate in regretting about his vote for NCLP (although the program was supported by 400 House members and 90 Senators and the majority of the american people). I do not know if Romney has any core value. He has not shown any regrets for Romney care. He still believes in it. We do not need a federal or state government to be in control of our health insurance and tell us what medicine, we should or not buy & take, who should be sterilized, be euthanized, etc. Romney distorts Santorum's truthful statement to just get votes. Ronald Reagan ended up having a liberal justice in the Supreme Court. The Republican Party has pro-life & pro-choice members in its ranks. Allen Specter, due to his seniority, could influence the outcome of the vote for the now Chief Justice Roberts & Justice Alito. He had great influence with even the democrats in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the best interest of the conservative cause, Santorum and George . Bush helped Allen Specter's reelection over Pat Toomey with the full knowledge that Specter (due to his seniority as (Chairman of the Judiciary Committee) would help in having others vote for two conservative judges to be in the Supreme Court. This was not for Santorum's personal gain. If conservatives and all other patriot Americans do not stop Romney from distorting other candidates records for temporary political gains, it will set a bad precedent that will drive honest and genuine individuals from seeking the highest office in the land. If the Senators' vote for their salary increases were/are wrong, the best thing to do is to make it illegal.Having a negative ads against Santorum for something done legally in order to create suspicion in the minds of the voters shows dishonesty and narcissistic character on the part of Romney. Santorum left the Senate at the end of 2006.He has been in a private tech company since then. Increasing a debt ceiling prior to the last summer was simply a routine thing to do and did not reach a crisis stage like now. Had Romney been successful in in his quest for the Senate seat in 1994, he would have voted the same. Knowing the current sensitivity of Americans about debt ceiling & the deficit, he attacks Santorum to juts get our votes by misinforming the voters. Romney thinks that we may not have long memory to see things in their contexts. Romney's consistent strategy is to exploit the American people's hatred of Obama care and other policies to his advantage by attacking BHO for BHO"s perceived or/and real policy failures to get nominated by diverting the public's attention from his flawed records. Can we trust this pretender-in-chief with anything?

Jesus Cristo de Nogales
Jesus Cristo de Nogales

VERY URGENT NEWS ALERT: All of us readers of the Newtimes rag need to join Gustavo Arellano and Steve Gallardo in denouncing their stay in the US. Come with us, my brown skinned occupiers of "El Norte" and return to Mexico and take over the country from the pale skin descendants of the colonial masters. Let the brown people take over their contry of Mexico. Are you with us my fellow occupiers?? That is real news that the Newtimes needs to cover!

Kerri
Kerri

I don't see how him separating his religious views from his political views makes him a "bad Mormon". The separation of church and state is what this country was founded on! Aside from that, having a different political stance from his religions official views does not make him a "wayward saint". A lot of my friends and family feel the same way (and we're LDS or Mormon) about illegal immigration, that's not to say we don't want immigrants in the U.S.A. per se, we just want them to do it legally. Admittedly it's a difficult process but it's only so very difficult because of the steps taken to prevent illegal immigration! Legal immigration benefits everybody and like it or not, illegal immigrants are criminals and while many of them are basically good hard working people the fact that they're here illegally poses serious problems to legal residents of this country. Regardless however, to call Romney a "bad Mormon" simply for doing what is best for the country without catering to his own religious views is completely asinine.

bryan
bryan

What part of "illegal" and "legal" don't all you fools understand? I am sick of all these illegal leaches sucking this country dry!

Pat
Pat

are news reporters dumb? yes. romney is not anti immigrant, he is anti illegal immigrant. big difference.

Myoffice
Myoffice

Feelin' sorry for you homie. Ya just don't get it do ya. Guess ya think Jesus is dead & nothing comes after. What a cramped brain.

woreti
woreti

What is wrong in being a Washington Insider? Insiders know better how the three coequal branches of our government works. Romney is applying to the top government job in which Santorum is better experienced and equipped to handle. Unlike Romney, Santorum has a national security and foreign affairs experience. Please read online about the Iran Freedom & Support Act & the Syrian Accountability Act which he authored in 2004. In this volatile world, we cannot afford to have a novice in international affairs (Romney) to be the leader of the free world. The MSM, pundits, the Establishment say to the American people that Romney "can turn the economy around." Nothing is further from the truth. A president cannot and will not create jobs or/grow the economy. A president cannot micromanage a private sector from the oval office. A president can create a healthy environment through a legislative process by the US Congress for a private sector to grow our economy and jobs. Romney is not a lawyer. But Santorum is. As a lawyer (Jurist Doctor) and successful legislature, Santorum knows how to deal with US Congress to create a healthy environment for a private sector. Romney is not an economist. He has MBA like Santorum. The base of the Republican Party doesn't want Romney because of Romney-care, his flip-flops on gay marriage, abortion, net tax increases & appointing liberal judges as Governor of Massachusetts, his negative attacks to tear down his fellow republican candidates by distorting their records. He received earmarks for Utah Olympics and projects in Massachusetts but accuse Santorum for earmarks. He was and is for No child Left behind Program but again accuses Santorum who already regretted for his previous vote. Santorum has a principle. He was candid in the last debate in regretting about his vote for NCLP (although the program was supported by 400 House members and 90 Senators and the majority of the american people). I do not know if Romney has any core value. He has not shown any regrets for Romney care. He still believes in it. We do not need a federal or state government to be in control of our health insurance and tell us what medicine, we should or not buy & take, who should be sterilized, be euthanized, etc. Romney distorts Santorum's truthful statement to just get votes. Ronald Reagan ended up having a liberal justice in the Supreme Court. The Republican Party has pro-life & pro-choice members in its ranks. Allen Specter, due to his seniority, could influence the outcome of the vote for the now Chief Justice Roberts & Justice Alito. He had great influence with even the democrats in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the best interest of the conservative cause, Santorum and George . Bush helped Allen Specter's reelection over Pat Toomey with the full knowledge that Specter (due to his seniority as (Chairman of the Judiciary Committee) would help in having others vote for two conservative judges to be in the Supreme Court. This was not for Santorum's personal gain. If conservatives and all other patriot Americans do not stop Romney from distorting other candidates records for temporary political gains, it will set a bad precedent that will drive honest and genuine individuals from seeking the highest office in the land. If the Senators' vote for their salary increases were/are wrong, the best thing to do is to make it illegal.Having a negative ads against Santorum for something done legally in order to create suspicion in the minds of the voters shows dishonesty and narcissistic character on the part of Romney. Santorum left the Senate at the end of 2006.He has been in a private tech company since then. Increasing a debt ceiling prior to the last summer was simply a routine thing to do and did not reach a crisis stage like now. Had Romney been successful in in his quest for the Senate seat in 1994, he would have voted the same. Knowing the current sensitivity of Americans about debt ceiling & the deficit, he attacks Santorum to juts get our votes by misinforming the voters. Romney thinks that we may not have long memory to see things in their contexts. Romney's consistent strategy is to exploit the American people's hatred of Obama care and other policies to his advantage by attacking BHO for BHO"s perceived or/and real policy failures to get nominated by diverting the public's attention from his flawed records. Can we trust this pretender-in-chief with anything?

Isis
Isis

Great i'll tell you all you need to know about them!! They are sacred to us and are worn to remind us of the covenants we made with God, they also remind us to dress appropriately, as well as protect us from Satan. Mormons wear them with pride just as most priests and sisters wear their "garments" on the outside of their clothing in other churches.

Isis
Isis

Awesome then I agree to the fact it should be legal to shoot you on sight! And trust you me I don't miss my mark!!!

Isis
Isis

The LDS church believes in following all the laws of the land! Which is in our articles of faith.. Aricle of faith # 12 We believe in being a subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. Sanctuary of refugees from Central American civil wars was a movement in the 1980s. Part of a broader anti-war movement positioned against U.S. foreign policy in Central America, by 1987 440 sites in the United States had been declared "sanctuary cities" open to migrants from these civil wars in the Central America region. These sites included university campuses and cities. From the 1980s continuing into the 2000s, there also have been instances of churches providing "sanctuary" for short periods to migrants facing deportation in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, the United States, and Canada, among other nations. In 2007, Iranian refugee Shahla Valadi was granted asylum in Norway after spending seven years in church sanctuary after the initial denial of asylum. Norwegian authorities will not, as a rule, enter churches to deport illegal immigrants. From 1983 to 2003 Canada experienced 36 sanctuary incidents. The "New Sanctuary Movement" organization estimates that at least 600,000 people in the United States have at least one family member in danger of deportation.

woreti
woreti

What is wrong in being an insider? Insiders know better how the three coequal branches of our government works. Romney is applying to the top government job in which Santorum is better experience and equipped to handle. Unlike Romney, Santorum has a national security and foreign affairs experience. Please read online about the Iran Freedom & Support Act & the Syrian Accountability Act which he authored in 2004. In this volatile world, we cannot afford to have a novice in international affairs (Romney) to be the leader of the free world. The MSM, pundits, the Establishment say to the American people that Romney "can turn the economy around." Nothing is further from the truth. A president cannot and will not create jobs or/grow the economy. A president cannot micromanage a private sector from the oval office. A president can create a healthy environment through a legislative process by the US Congress for a private sector to grow our economy and jobs. Romney is not a lawyer unlike Santorum. As a lawyer(Jurist Doctor) and successful legislature, Santorum knows how to deal with US Congress to create a healthy environment for a private sector. Romney is not an economist. He has MBA like Santorum. The base of the republican party doesn't want Romney because of Romney-care, his flip-flops on gay marriage, abortion, net tax increases & appointing liberal judges as Governor of Massachusetts, his negative attacks to tear down his fellow republican candidates by distorting their records. He received earmarks for Utah Olympics and projects in Massachusetts but accuse Santorum for earmarks. He was and is for No child Left behind Program but again accuses Santorum who already regretted for his previous vote. Santorum has a principle. He was candid in the last debate in regretting about his vote for NCLP. I do not know if Romney any core value. Santorum left the Senate at the end of 2006.He ha been in a private tech company since then. Increasing a debt ceiling prior to the last summer was simply a routine thing to do and did not reach a crisis stage like now. Had Romney been successful in in his quest for the Senate seat in 1994, he would have voted the same. Knowing the the current sensitivity of Americans about debt ceiling & the deficit, he attacks Santorum to juts get our votes. Romney thinks that we may not have long memory to see things in its context. Can we trust this pretender-in-chief with anything?

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

Romney has a stand regarding ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTION not immigrantion. There is a difference and most of the voters can differeniate between the two.

GJ
GJ

It's a shame you are so immersed in indulgent stupidity and misunderstanding. A politicians serve their constituents, their faith are a basic foundation, voting their faith doesn't/isn't representing their constituents, the faith delineates their core. The writer of the article confuses this as well as yourself. You may not realize that all Christian faiths aren't cookie cutter & have their differences. By the way, that is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints & the Book of Mormon is another Testimony of Jesus Christ, so you might want to re educate yourself regarding the 24/7 faithful vs the 1hr on Sunday faithful. That so called cult is less a cult than even than some mainstream churches. Obvious Peterd is appropriately named.Obvious since this article has been sitting on Yahoo so long they can't find any real news, are Dems & need to stays centered versus left or right.

Zo
Zo

One should remember there is no religious test to be President of the United States. One's religious beliefs should not matter and I find it sickening that the media looks at ones religion instead of the issues of economy, jobs, foreign policy etc.

Peterd
Peterd

I will hate that cult for the rest of my life.

Jed Dorman
Jed Dorman

Jesus, what a fucking lamebrain! You have no idea what constitutes libel, much less what the Mormon church preaches. Did You even read the freakin' story, dope? It's filled with facts, not your stupid opinion. Of course, his policies are against the doctrine of the LDS. You know what... go fuck yourself along with all your natavist butt buddies!

Jill Henrichsen
Jill Henrichsen

I'm LDS and I will tell you what is against LDS teachings: breaking up families. If someone is illegal and has children here, the children are legal. But if the illegal parent "self-deports" or is deported and the children remain here, the family is separated. That IS against LDS advisement/teachings. We've had many politicians (LDS/nonLDS) who are all about getting rid of illegals - even if it meant breaking up families. Russell Pearce (who is LDS) was one of them. That is why even though Mitt and Russell happen to belong to the same faith as me, I do not have faith in them when it comes to this issue.

Jill Henrichsen
Jill Henrichsen

Blah blah blah! You can ramble all you want about why you feel we're not Christian, but I know in my heart that we are. Jesus Christ also knows it. That's all that matters. And I don't believe I read the part of the article that discussed this matter, so why are you wasting your energy on it now? Oh, to take your chance to take a stab at my religion? Oh, okay, got it.

Jason Cox
Jason Cox

Sweet jesus! I'll save you all a bunch of time by saying the net of the above post is "Mormonism is not christian".

Fricking comment system needs a max-bs field

Poor Johnny
Poor Johnny

Spare us the exhausting anti-Mormon rant. If you don't like Mormons, don't be one. They probably wouldn't like you anyway.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

bryan-this is the attitude that makes me stay away from AZ. Those leaches as you call them mow your yard (as you won't get off your fat ass) and they clean your toilets and cook your fast food that contributes to your obesity.

TheRaoulDuke5000
TheRaoulDuke5000

Its a shame you indulge in such a mean dismissive attitude with people who do not agree with your nonsense. Faith doesn't come into play in how a politician represents his constituents??? What fucking plant have you been living on? Must be one of those other universes you and your wife are going to propagate in the afterlife! Have you ever watch Rick Santorum speak?? A good majority of his social policy is based on his Roman Catholic faith, and he makes not illusions otherwise! And while Romnuts is far more sly with how his faith (since most of mainstream American sees it as the homogenized cult that it is) dictates his policies, someone who believes Jesus walked around in North America and then had all of the Native Americans burned brown because they rejected him is somebody I wouldn't even put in charge of a donut shop! Nice try though.

Soloman
Soloman

It's good to see what the liberal / progressive movement is being reduced to...hate. Oh, and cluelessness.

Kerri
Kerri

I'm sorry...how do you know he won't mow his lawn, clean his toilet, or is obese? Not to say that bryan isn't being a bit ignorant with his statement but well...you two are at opposite ends of the spectrum and you've both made yourselves look petty and uneducated.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

I was speaking in generalities. Here in Texas we have the same types of complaints and in general those who make such statements do not mow their yards, do not take care of their children day to day, do not do their own house work etc. These are the observations I note in my daily walks in my hood. They are the same people who complain and sport TEA party yard signs. Of course if bryan responds he can tell us if he mows his yard and does his own housework as I do.

 
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