How would it affect the Church? As we move through the early stages of the Presidential campaign, barring any real problems, it appears that Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee for the Presidency next year.
The Republican Party, being very hierarchical, generally nominates the “next person in line” to be their nominee. And for the 2012 race, that would be Romney. Ignoring the fact that we’ve seen the “anyone other than Romney flavor of the month” candidate; Bachman, Perry and now Cain, Mitt is still the front runner. He is generally performing well in the countless debates as each of the “flavors” has each faded. We’re currently waiting for Mr. “999” to do the same.
Recently polling seems to indicate that Americans have “gotten over” their objections to a Mormon candidate. A recent CNN /ORC International poll said that “80% said a candidate’s Mormonism wouldn’t make a difference in their selection process.” Also part of the poll stated that 51% of those polled thought that Mormonism was a Christian religion while 36% said it was not. (CNN)
Robert Jeffress, the pastor that started the recent firestorm over Mormonism did attempt to defend himself a bit in a recent Washington Post opinion piece. I’ll leave it to you to decide how far he really backtracked or not. I say not.
Anyway, the main point of my post today was to discuss what might happen in the Church should Mitt get elected President.
First, the easy stuff. President Monson and a number of church Leaders will be invited to the Inauguration. Not much difference there. That has happened a number of times including the last one. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir might be invited to participate in an event or the parade. Again, nothing new there, as they have also participated before, particularly in the parade of President Ronald Reagan. (See the video here).
Where we are apt to see a huge and somewhat controversial difference will be in Fast and Testimony Meetings, especially right after the election.
Members in the United States will stand up and bear testimony of the “miracle” of the election, that God caused the citizens of the US to elect a Mormon as President. That this is somehow some kind of “sign” to be marveled over.
In some ways, it will be. Just like it did not seem possible that a Black American could become President, it might be considered unlikely that a Mormon would be elected. But a miracle, brought about by God?
Given the state of the economy and the world at large, the miracle might be that President Obama gets re-elected.
Certainly, it will also be viewed as a tremendous missionary opportunity as Americans might become more curious about our faith. Clearly, the Chevy Chase Ward, which according to the Church website is the congregation closest to the White House, will not be the same.
How do you think the members in the US would react if Romney were to be elected President?