Can Mormons Be Trusted? A Shallow Guide to Managing Your Most Ill-Informed Fears.

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Mitt Romney Campaign
Concerns have been raised over Mormonism's decision to move to Cleveland. Because, you know, it's Cleveland.
​Last month evangelical leaders gathered in D.C. for the Values Voter Summit, where disciples of the Pissed-Off Jesus harrumphed and yammered about how much America sucked. That's when the bomb ignited.

As you no doubt recall, Robert Jeffress was on hand to introduce Rick Perry. He warned that Mormon "cult" members were not only despoiling Broadway, but were actually running for president. "Non-Christians" like Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman had invaded the Republican primary like a bunch of damn Mexicans - and they didn't even have comparable skill at operating a riding lawn mower.

If patriots didn't take heed, Jeffress cautioned, America would soon be possessed by heretics.

The nation was shocked. Until that moment, Mormons were considered a mere nuisance, polite yet pesky young men who came to the door when you were trying to watch Supernanny. Or perhaps they were paid spokesmodels for the short-sleeved dress shirt industry. No one was certain.

But Jeffress uncloaked them as enemies of Jesus. They might even be worse than Muslims, who at least offered competitively priced 40-ouncers of Midnight Dragon at their convenience stores.

So we decided to get to the bottom of this menace, providing answers to your most alarmed and misguided questions:

Why do Mormons worship Satan?
They don't, actually. They believe in God and Jesus. It's just that those guys get busy, so they named Joseph Smith their VP of Operations here on Earth.

Smith was a magician from Palmyra, New York in the 1820s. He was also the first American to possess superpowers, claiming he could find precious minerals and buried treasure by staring at rocks. Farmers paid him $3 a day to locate riches beneath their fields.

Alas, the buried gem market in Upstate New York wasn't what it was thought to be, otherwise Smith would have found it. So he decided to start an exciting new career as a prophet.

As fortune would have it, he began receiving visits from the Angel Moroni. Though often mistaken for the fake Italian chef in Olive Garden commercials, Moroni was actually a warrior-priest from this country's earliest civilization.

So you're saying Mormonism was founded by a schizophrenic?
No. Schizophrenia hadn't been invented yet. And at the time, half the population of Upstate New York was claiming to be prophets, since it paid better than having X-ray ground vision.

Moroni told Smith about some Golden Plates buried on a hill. They warned of religious corruption, pointing the way to a New & Improved Christianity. That's when Smith discovered a second superpower - the ability to decipher ancient languages, which weren't regarded for their penmanship.

He translated the plates into the Book of Mormon. It was like the Bible, only better. Critics were soon hailing it as a "tour de force of ecclesiastical drama."

He had the audacity to rewrite God's words?
Yes. Smith had inadvertently launched the My God is Way Better Than Yours Period, a belief still practiced today by great leaders like Rev. Jeffress.

Missionaries were sent out to convert followers. Word reached Ohio that he'd pioneered a fabulous new religion. So Smith teamed up with a preacher there and moved Mormon headquarters to a town outside of Cleveland.

What kind of prophet willingly moves to Cleveland?
Exactly. Though to be fair, this was the 1830s, when Cleveland was still celebrated by Chamber of Commerce types as the "Krakow of the Rust Belt," its restaurants known for serving the finest gruel on the western frontier.

With his flock growing, Smith started a bank. But he was an inexperienced prophet still grasping the subtleties of his all-seeing powers. He failed to arrange a golden parachute. When the bank went bust, he wasn't justly rewarded for blowing everyone's money, as bankers so rightfully are today.

In fact, the flock was pissed. So they kicked his ass all the way to Jackson County, Missouri.


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