Tonight on TheBlaze TV, Glenn devoted a full hour to the question: Does Mitt Romney’s Mormonism make him too scary or weird to be elected to President of the United States? He took viewer questions that tackled everything from Mormon history, faith, and traditions to more controversial topics like the church’s history with polygamy and their so-called “magic underwear”.
He started off with one of the big ones: “We often hear the word polygamy and Mormonism coupled together. Why?”
Glenn said that the media would love nothing more than for people to equate Mormons with polygamists like Warren Jeffs, but nothing could be further than the truth. He said polygamy was a perversion of everything they believe in, and practitioners are excommunicated. He compared it to the portrayal of Corleones in the Godfather Trilogy – simply because they call themselves Catholics doesn’t mean for one second they are following practices of the LDS church.
Glenn explained that Mormons in America did once practice polygamy, but it ended 122 years ago. He explained that in the 1800s, there was massive persecution of Mormons wer driven out of New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. In Missouri, the governor even issued Executive Order-44 which ordered that all Mormons be exterminated or driven out of the state, resulting in 10,000 Mormons who lived there either being killed or forced to flee. Executive Order-44 wasn’t overturned until 1976. As a result of this persecution, there weren’t many men left. The desire to repopulate played a role in the decision to practice polygamy, but only about 5% did it before the practice came to an end in 1890.
Polygamists today are not Mormons.
“What about this “magic underwear’ I hear about all the time?”
Glenn said the purpose was to remind you of something very sacred, and its a difficult thing to do.
“It’s a reminder of the promises we make at the Temple,” Glenn said. “The garments represent a promise to be faithful, modest, and temperate.”
Glenn said its hard because it gets hot, especially in Texas, and some women have to get custom clothes because what’s sold in stores doesn’t work well with the garments.
“Quite honestly it sucks sometimes. It makes buying a dress for my wife really hard. But, It makes it more meaningful because it is hard, and more hurtful when friends mock,” Glenn explained.
What secretive stuff happens in the temple?
“There’s nothing that you’ll find in the Temple that you won’t find in the Old or New Testament,” Glenn said
Glenn said that one of the things that happens in the Temple is marriage. He and his wife had a civil marriage, but later had a marriage in the Temple that sealed them together for eternity – no ‘Till death do we part’. They also practice “baptism for the dead”, which has its roots in 1st Corinthians and allows them to give the deceased the ability to make the choice (key word: choice) that those who get baptized get to make in life. It does not mean they are force converting people to Mormonism post-mortem.
Glenn explains the Temple rituals below:
Why do so many Mormons get married young?
The church does put an emphasis on marriage, but Glenn asked the audience if there was anything more fulfilling than having a strong marriage and kids? He told his daughter, a non-Mormon, when she was thinking of getting married at a young age (she’s in her early twenties) that there is no reason to wait if you know you are with “the one”. Is it better to party into your thirties?
“What about your Mormon missionaries? I see them riding around town on their bikes sometimes. What do they do?”
Watch Glenn explain the life of a person during their missionary and the self-reliance it can teach below: