It happens about this time every four years that the same letter is read in Sunday sacrament meetings all across the country. The letter is usually read by the bishop of the ward coming directly from church headquarters, signed by the prophet and his counselors. It generally encourages all members to do their patriotic duty by simply voting for president, explaining that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not affiliated with either party.
In past years, I’m sure that Mormons have ignored this letter and quietly made their way to the polls. Now the story is different as for the first time, we have a chance to vote for one from our own faith.
What the world may be surprised to know is that now more than ever before, Mormons make up most of the small group called, the undecided.
It’s not that we don’t trust Mitt Romney’s pioneer heritage or the fact that he served faithfully on a mission in France for two years. In fact, we all heard Ann Romney at the Republican National Convention give her speech and thought that we could have been sitting in a Relief Society meeting (Relief Society is where women receive instruction). The Romney’s are the ideal Mormon family raising the magical number of five children to where any Mormon young woman in the church will tell you that is the number of children she would like to have.
It’s simply this, Mitt Romney comes from a strange group of Mormon elitists who didn’t make their way to top the line; someone else did all the work for them. Most of us do not relate to this and we’re taught from the beginning to be independent and work hard for ourselves.
The majority of Mormons tend to make up the middle class, fathers going to work each morning kissing their stay-at-home wives and their several children going to public school. We are generally not a rich people. We’re like everyone else trying to make it by.
It bothers the middle class Mormons like me, when we hear Mitt Romney say something such as, “borrow money from your parents,” making it hard to be independent. Mormons know by heart that education is the key to success, and swear by it. You’d be surprised that even in the faith that constantly preaches, “get out of debt” how high the amount of student loans young Mormons take on. All of a sudden Obama’s answer of having a 3.4% interest rate on undergrad loans looks appealing.
And there’s the new statement of Mormons falling into that 47% who not only get help from the government, but there’s this little thing called the Bishop’s storehouse which houses food and clothing to those in need that several of us sometimes actually use. I wonder what Romney thinks of those members who need an extra hand.
Then again, Barack Obama is from the middle class and made his way to the top. He had to pay off his student loans like the rest of us. We can relate more to his life and what he has been through.
Not so surprisingly, with the number of Mormons who marry young, we don’t have health insurance, making Obamacare sound equally appealing. Young married Mormon women tend to flock to the nearest Planned Parenthood for inexpensive birth control until they are ready to start having their five children.
No, I promise, I’m not that different and I ask myself the same questions that other Americans ask about Mitt Romney even though, I’m a Mormon.
Mitt Romney is giving us our Mormon moment. Reporters and TV crews have flocked around Mormons to see what we’re all about. I like that many people who never wanted to know anything about Mormons before now know a little bit about us (whether it be right or wrong). It is opening up a discussion about the way we live an every day life.
Right now, for Mormons our Sundays haven’t been the same since we knew Mitt Romney was running for president. You can hear the gossip about the Romney campaign between church meetings and how cute Sister Romney looked in her outfit on the news.
In the meantime, several Mormons are simply waiting for the debates. We need a final stance on where Governor Romney and President Obama will stand on important issues, no more flip-flopping back and forth. Until then, you can count on me being the first person to Sunday school and skipping out on the election gossip until I make my decision.
Update: I’m ready to hear the debates tonight, both of them have will have to make a final stance. May the best candidate win.