Mormon temple oaths
Faithful Mormons believe their first and foremost duty is uncompromising loyalty to the LDS Church and unquestioning obedience to Church leaders. Obedience is perceived as an active demonstration of implicit trust in the Mormon faith. Mormons who participate in LDS temple ceremonies are locked into a loyalty-to-Church mindset through the rites performed in LDS temples, which include oaths of loyalty and sacrifice to the Church. The endowment ceremony serves as a rite of adult initiation in LDS temples. During the temple endowment, Mormons take oaths to obey Mormon gospel laws, which include: The Law of Obedience requires participating temple patrons to promise to obey the law of God. Mormons understand the LDS Church to be the one true source of God’s law. The Law of Sacrifice requires participating temple patrons to covenant to sacrifice all that they possess, even their own lives, if necessary, in sustaining and defending “the kingdom of God.”
To a Mormon, the term “the kingdom of God” means the LDS Church. The Law of the Gospel includes an admonition to avoid speaking evil of the “Lord’s anointed [Church priesthood leaders].” The Law of Consecration requires participating temple patrons to consecrate themselves, their time, their talents, and everything the Lord has blessed them with, or whatever he may bless them with, to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the building up of “the [Mormon] kingdom of God on the earth…”
Mitt Romney’s Mormon indoctrination Mitt Romney has been exposed to Mormon authoritarian rule since infancy. Mormonism has been the dominant influence in the forging of his core values and identity. Romney has internalized a theology that unreservedly claims that the LDS Church is “the only true Church” and rejects divine authority in other faiths. Mormons believe the United States was created and chosen by God, as the latter-day “Promised Land,” where Mormonism could come into existence and flourish as the “restoration” of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many Mormons believe the USA will eventually become a Mormon-ruled theocracy.
As an oath-taking temple Mormon, Romney has consecrated his life, talents, and worldly goods to the LDS Church. To be faithful to his temple vows he must also support Mormon ecclesiastical rule. That means following directives from Temple Square as well as his local Church leaders. The issue is whether Romney would be able to separate his actions as president from Mormon doctrines, edicts, and rules governing human behavior.
Differing views on faith have no place in the secular political sphere and the shaping of political policies. The multicultural USA includes Mormons, millions of believers in non-Mormon religions, and non-religious citizens. We should not be governed by a president who has taken private oaths to prioritize the advancement of Mormon agenda above other interests. Flexibility in the rule of law is the hallmark of a successful government.
Mitt Romney is a religious authoritarian whose zeal for Mormon rules mirrors that of his Church. If Romney was the commander-in-chief of this country, he would probably expect to be supported, without question, as he has undoubtedly done in the past when he served in Mormon leadership positions. Like many — if not most LDS leaders — Romney is likely to be insistent on the “rightness” of his position. As a Mormon bishop and stake president in the Boston area, he was used to dictating actions and having members obey his instructions. He did not have to make a case, or answer questions, for his decisions.
In Church, Romney frequently spoke about obeying authority and God’s fixed standards. During Mitt Romney’s years as a bishop and stake president, he would have disciplined Church members and played an active role in excommunicating Mormons. Romney has reportedly said he would support any Mormon bishop who initiates an excommunication from the LDS Church. He has also said he would not question the reasoning behind the excommunication, even if it was for differing views, and not misconduct. This attitude demonstrates Romney’s blind trust in the Mormon system, his one-eyed support of rank and file LDS officials, and his sustaining of Church court judgments “right or wrong.”
Mitt Romney is part of an aggressive Church that demanded blind obedience to its leaders in the past, expects it from members today, and will likely expect it in the future. If Romney is elected as president of our nation, we Americans may soon be required to sustain the White House “right or wrong,” in conformity with the Mormon imperative.