Stake President of the United States

A few years back, a hive of hornets decided to make its nest on top of a second-story air conditioner outside my cousin’s Boston-area home. My cousin made an ill-fated attempt to remove the hornets, which resulted in a two-story fall and a broken foot.

“This looks like a job for your home teacher,” said my cousin’s home teacher.

The home teacher brought over his own ladder and clothed himself in homemade beekeeping gear. He then made his way to the hornet’s nest and gathered the whole thing up in a garbage bag, avoiding any stings or the more severe injuries that had beset my cousin. He did this with no public fanfare, no accolades, and no thought of collecting payment for his efforts.

And who was this noble home teacher? A man by the name of Mitt Romney.

Now, unless you’re familiar with Mormon lingo, you probably got lost when I introduced the phrase “home teacher,” or you may have conjured up images of some kind of private educational tutor who was taking care of my cousin’s kids. That would have left you wondering why a tutor thought it was their responsibility to wrangle hornets.

But if you’re a Mormon, the phrase made perfect sense, as did the rest of the story. You would know that every month, every member of a Mormon congregation receives a visit from two “home teachers,” who share an inspirational message but, more importantly, are charged with the responsibility of looking out for the family’s welfare. So if a family is struggling, the home teachers are the spiritual “first responders,” and a good home teacher jumps at any opportunity to be of service.

Among other things, Mitt Romney is a good home teacher.

People who look to Mitt’s faith for clues about how he’d govern as president usually miss the target by a wide margin. They rip the more obscure elements of Mormon doctrine out of their theological and historical contexts – polygamy or underwear or planetary real estate – and think they’ve discovered or explained something. They haven’t. The world at large, as it focuses on unusual theoretical elements of Mormon doctrine, all but ignores the eminently practical aspects of Mormonism as it is manifest in each Mormon’s daily life.

Consider the fact that “home teachers” receive no compensation for what they do. In fact, neither does anyone else in a Mormon congregation. The whole enterprise is supervised by a lay clergy that will often work over forty hours a week in their unpaid positions in addition to their “real” jobs – you know, the ones that actually earn them money. Mitt Romney has spent his entire adult life in these kinds of high-responsibility, time-intensive positions. He has been both a bishop – a leader of a “ward” that consists of a congregation of about 500 people – and a stake president, who oversees a “stake” which consist of about six or so wards, giving him ecclesiastical responsibility for thousands of people.

So what does this mean? What, precisely, does a bishop or a stake president do that eats up so much of their time?

Go to a Mormon meeting on any given Sunday, and you’ll see three dudes sitting up by the pulpit. The guy in the middle is the bishop, and he’s already spent most of the day in meetings where he reviewed the ward’s staffing needs and organizing relief efforts for families who may be struggling with health, financial, or spiritual issues. He’s also been meeting one-on-one with members of the church who look to him for counsel and support for personal problems that would turn your hair white. Usually, he’s been doing all this since before the sun came up, so don’t be surprised if he nods off while the meeting progresses.

Please keep in mind, too, that there are no elections for bishops and stake presidents, nor are there reelections. Each leader is “called” to serve, and they accept the responsibility dutifully, no questions asked. They then serve for a period of time, usually between five and ten years, after which they are “released,” meaning they rejoin their congregations as lay members and have no more responsibility than anyone else.

The call to serve can come to any priesthood holder in good standing, but it usually comes to a certain personality type. Remember, bishops and stake presidents are confronted with massive organizational challenges accompanied by the most intimate, personal, spiritual struggles imaginable. So they must lead without being authoritarian; they must judge without being judgmental, and they must minister without offending. That means the people who get this assignment are often more even-tempered than exciting, more reassuring than revolutionary, and more competent than colorful.

Sound like any particular presidential candidate you might know?

Those who remain baffled by Romney’s cool public persona have not spent a whole lot of time with an LDS stake president, a role for which Romney provides the quintessential example. If one truly understands his background, one shouldn’t expect a President Romney to dazzle the masses with rhetorical virtuosity.

One should instead expect him to practically and quietly remove the hornet’s nest from the nation’s second-story air conditioner.

Sorting Out Santorum
On Baptismal Parodies

Leave a Reply

    • If Romney was truly the “home teacher”, as you say, then he should teach America what he will do as President with positive ads rather than run negative ads about his fellow candidates. Sorry, but I can’t trust a man who only spits venom.

      • Don’t mix Religion and Politics. That’s another story. Romney is a perfect example of both.

      • Romney was not spitting venom. You seem to forget that vetting political opponents is part of the process. Romney never attacked anyone’s moral or personal character. He simply exposed flaws in their political history. Barack Obama was never vetted by the media and look at the mess we ended up with? I praise Mitt Romney for making America aware of his opponents’ flaws.

  1. Similarly, comparing Mitt’s “charitable donations” to other candidates misses the essential value of tithing: that it isn’t really optional, but expected, regardless of how much money that 10% represents. And that 10% donation doesn’t buy you any influence in the church either; if you donated $2 million a year to some churches and you would get to pick all of the pastors on the Eastern seaboard.

    • So everything in life that is expected is not optional? I think you sir are confused about the definition of the word, “optional.” There happens to be people in many religious organizations (including the LDS church) who fail to make “expected” donations. How is that possible if it really isn’t optional?

  2. Yup, the “Gospel is perfect, the people are not … ” Sooooo … that is “technically how it works” … but reality is, its a club where if you don’t fit in perfectly they tell you that you don’t have a “testimony” … and dump you when you need them most … they stick to the “checkoff list alright” … but I believe for certain … “Many are called, yet few are chosen … “. … Proof in Mitt would be ask non-mormons or people not in “the club” in his ward how they feel, there you will find the “True Mitt Romney” … Until then, he’s another guy using religion to “sell” … (: my opinion only … good article …

    • I’m not sure what to make of this comment, as it raises issues with the church as a whole that have little or nothing to do with the premise of my article. Are you suggesting, for instance, that LDS dissidents are the best people to tell you about the “true Mitt Romney?” Because, frankly, that doesn’t make any sense.

      • It means talk to the LDS people in his ward that aren’t the most talkative or outgoing or serve in positions with Mitt. Does someone in his ward who only briefly knows him think the same thing about him? It also means talk to those who have interacted with him on all levels in every day situations to get a well-rounded picture of his whole character and how he reacts to different people and situations.

    • I know few people that “fit in perfectly”. I think you are painting an entire organization of people with a very broad stroke based an unfortunate personal experience. So many people want to believe that there is some dubious character behind a clean facade, but I have yet to see any evidence. I have, however, read and heard numerous examples to the contrary, where Mitt is the first to jump to the aid of someone in need.

    • There were several excellent profiles about Romney published last December in Parade Magazine, and the New York Times. In one of them the authors teported the statement of a man who was not a Mormon but was married to one. Years of kindness and friendship by Romney toward that “outsider” persuaded him to convert to Mormonism. Another story told how the son of Kim Clark, at the time the Dean of Harvard Business School, was feeling alienated from the Church, and Romney’s sincere concern and counsel, even late at night, brought him back. I think you are barking up the wrong tree trying to paint Romney as unconcerned about those at the margins of the Church. Other articles pointed out the special concern he had for Haitian immigrantsband Cambodian refugees who had joined the Church in Boston.

      • Bitter, bitter, bitter. Alice get a life. Start by looking in the mirror. Nobody is perfect. But there is a world of difference between those who at least attempt to serve and those who always want to be served and then are not satisfied when they are not served in the exact way they want to be. Loved the original comment in this string.

        • Most political contest never really reveal the true personality/history of the candidates. Not really. Both sides portray them either in their best light, or worst. Too few voters take the time to read more than one lengthy piece on their own candidate, much less the opposition. This, to get to know the candidate PAST the 30 second commercials. Perhaps the few authentic things that bubble up through all the noise of the cacophony of each election MAY reveal something core about the candidates. Yet, it takes a perceptive voter to perceive it. To paraphrase Churchill, this is ‘the very WORST way to elect presidents, EXCEPT all others.’ (Hi Ross. Good to see you last Christmas vacation.)

    • I was baptized 16 years ago when I was 30–after years of attending several other churches. Although I am grateful for the experiences and the opportunity to have worshipped with others while attending most of these churches, none could answer the simple questions I had–until I took the discussions from two 19-year-old missionaries.

      I have had the good fortune of making life-long friendships as our area has grown and we’ve been involved with three different wards. Unfortunately, there are those that aren’t good examples of living the gospel, but I’ve found most to be giving their very best. Usually, I find those to be the ones that not only read their scriptures every day, but they really study them. There is a difference in their countenance and how they treat others.

      It’s unfortunate that some struggle to fit in and aren’t fellowshipped in a way that would help them, but some of the burden rest on them as well. If we are looking for the best in each other and not expecting anything in return–I don’t believe anything could run us off. Start by looking at what you can do for others–no matter where you are and have some faith in Heavenly Father. He’ll never abandon you–nor will our Savior. This is His church. Hang in there!

      • P.S. Super impressed with your writing and your blog, Stallion. We’ll be sharing this with others. Thank you!

    • Interesting that you would espouse the idea of going to one’s enemies (as it were) to find out what the real person is like. As a young lieutenant, I was told by one of my mentors “during your career progression, you’ll hear a lot of bad things said about your predecessors, and all the mistakes they made, but if you want to find out what someone is really like, ask their friends”. I think it safe to say that you too would rather that I ask your friends, not those disgruntled, about the real you; wouldn’t you agree?

    • I am not going to go into a whole religious conversation here but it sounds like you have had a bad experience. I too have had some, been greatly offended and as I have healed I have learned that I took offense where none was made, I misread a lot of thngs. This issue was with me. am I saying there are not people like that? No but as you said thepeople arent perfect but it isnt all of them. I think the article was pretty spot on and I have heard from a couple of people who know the Romney as this is who they say they are. he doesnt pray in the streets or broadcast when he fasts or have written in the paper all his good deeds, he just serves. Quietly, caringly and this puzzles thepeople becasue all the other people who run for these offices will stand on top of the white house and tell you how great they are and all the stuff they have done(and a lot they havnt) It is an odity and people don’t trust people who don’t brag.

    • Mitt is not using his religion to gain votes. Unlike some of the other canidated use their religion. Mitt is a very humble man with good morles. Mitt has helped many people with the many roles he has held. Lets get behind Mitt and help him rather that tear him down. There is not a club it is up to you how you feel. No one questions you it is up to you.

    • Interesting point Kristen, but your experience is a generalization. Certain people of the Mormon faith didn’t help, when help was needed. I can understand your feelings of hurt with being excluded and not helped. Thus giving you a feeling of not being part of the “club”. Do you honestly think Mitt Romney has never helped anyone that was not a member of the LDS Faith? I am here to tell, you that he has, many, many times. And without the knowledge of the media or yourself. So has Santorum and Obama and many others. But I am not here to count and keep tally of others acts of kindness. I have a hard enough time concentrating on keeping my life in order. Good luck in finding someone you believe in.

    • I don’t see a club attitude at all. I don’t have one. I go to church and am active, but I am friends with many non-members. I have to agree with Stallioncornell. I found this article about Mitt in an email from a friend and I had to look up the origin which is why I am here. I have to say, I am sorry if you didn’t get the help you needed from ward members somewhere. I am sure that the Bishop would have remedied that for you if you had visited with him about it at that time. Anyway, I really like this article. Thanks.

  3. You make it simple to understand, and have your father’s talent for getting to the centerpoint of the matter and explaining from there.

  4. Great article and a story I’ve never heard! Thanks for the detailed explanation of the LDS organization & expectations; it provided another angle into that which is Mitt Romney.

  5. I wish, oh, how I wish that people would educate themselves on LDS doctrine, before they condemn the same. Those who have grown up in the LDS faith often find other religions strange, but from my experience, they don’t go around belittling those others for their faith or lack there of. Stallion Cornell, you are right on with this one. Romney would be good for the country.

  6. Thank you. I’ve been trying to explain to my friends that Mormons don’t go around broadcasting ourselves like southern preachers. We’re sober people. they just don’t get it and are certainly not used to it in their politicians. Such a good post.

  7. Is anyone else of the mindset that it could only help candidate Romney if this article went viral? Maybe sen it to some major media affiliates, properly cited? Let’s re-post this everywhere folks!

    • Amen–why isn’t it happening?. Mitt may be rich, but he still mingles with, and serves, common folk. I wonder how much time he spends at the country club, hobnobing with other filthy rich folks–not much during his bishop and stake pres years.

      • I don’t recall seeing Romney playing golf, in contrast to President Obama, who spends more times on the links than mist prior presidents. Basically he appears to spend most if his free time hanging out with his grandkids.

  8. Hearing about what Mitt is like when no one is watching tells me a
    lot about what he will do when everyone is watching. He quietly
    cares about the one and provides service without fanfare. It seems like he
    tries to follow Jesus Christ’s example. Mitt Romney has integrity and
    that is why he has my vote. Thank you for the best article I have read
    this election.

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  10. If the country needs any hornets removed, MItt might be the guy. But if it’s something as large as a dog or involves anything more complicated than trashing established companies or whole industries and pocketing the proceeds I think we need someone else.

    • Sometimes to combat wildfires, firefighters will burn a prescribed area slightly outside of the wildfire and combat that. It seems counter intuitive and a waste of resources until you consider that burning small areas, thereby eliminating fuel for the wildfire, will prevent the larger fire’s spread. Business can work in much the same way. If you think that Mitt Romney did not do cost analysis and benefit analysis on every company he ever even looked at, then you’re *not thinking. He did not pull apart companies which were running efficiently. He did not reverse the workings of profitable companies. When companies found themselves in holes which they had dug for themselves, MR came in. Sometimes he pulled them up, and sometimes the smartest business decision was to let them stay there. But if he did let them stay there, it’s important to remember that he is NOT the one who put them there! The whole point of this article is to put a light of the fact that MR is a loving human being – he has had experience being charged with the well being of large groups of people, and he has performed admirably. When it has been his ‘job’ to take care of people, he has taken care of people. When it has been his ‘job’ to make a profit, he has made a profit. If you want to fault him for something, fault him for something he failed at – not something at which he succeeded.

    • It is unfortunate that this country as a whole is so economically illiterate, to a point where someone like Alice is likely sincere.

    • Trashing already trashed companies is like throwing garbage into a garbage dump. Mitt’s company searched through the garbage heap of failing companies and tried to turn trash into treasure. Sometimes you have to throw garbage back when you realize it is truely not what you thought it was. But he also found antiquities in that garbage pile of failing companies and turned them around and sold them for a profit. Staples, duane reade, and others would not be around because they were trashed already. Mitt polished those turds. Alice, What did you do? Complain?

    • Alice might be a little too sweeping in her assertions,  but it’s equally false to paint Romney as some kind of company savior/job creator. His primary job was to create wealth for investors and he improved or drove companies to bankruptcy based on whether it would create a profit.  But then again, that might be a bit much for “economic illiterates” to understand.  Perhaps I should think of a condescending metaphor to help me explain my point?

      • The movie that Gingrich super-PAC used to attack Romney’s company, Bain Capital, lied about the stories it presented. The Wall Street Journal interviewed a coupke featured in the movie. They said that when Bain owned tbeie company, the husband was promoted and his salary raised. After several years, Bain sold the company to a Canadian Teachers pension fund, which consolidatedoperations into the company’s other plant in Wisconsin and closed the Florida plant. When rhe coupke was laid off by the second company, they started their own, successful business. They said they were voting for Romney.

    • Alice have you personally experienced Romney trashing businesses or have you read about this by his opponents? Too much of this is innacurate. We have heard from people who have worked for these companies that he took over and they praise him for saving many many jobs by building that company and making it profitable again. This is a complicated process and yes some companies get tanked but usually while building others and many jobs have been transferred. The numbers are what tell the story and if you happened to be oneof the people who did lose their job in the process I get your attitude but if Romney isnt our president there will be thousands of others lose theirs. I would ask you to do some research , get the real numbers and reconsider your stand. Thanks for letting me voice my feelings.

      • Only four of the four hundred companies that Bain invested in went bankrupt, and those companies are still in business today because of the process they were able to reorganize and fix the mess they were in.

  11. Although I can agree that personal integrity is important in our elected officials, it is not everything. What if he’s perfectly well-intentioned, but has ideas that are drastic to our society if enacted as president? I would propose that the issue of religious/personal integrity and moral behavior is a character trait of not JUST Romney. Therefore, other factors considered this is not a point that will determine my vote.

    • What we need right now are some drastic measures to keep the USA from becoming another Greece! Integrity is one of the most important character traits the President of the USA must posses and should weigh heavily in the decision for any candidate running for any public office!

  12. thanks this is what we need. i’m glad to hear some of these stories. My hope is that he has some of the same kind of people working for him!!!!

  13. Frankly, the attacks on Romney have all been about his character and alleged inability to empathize with people who are not millionaires. As the above true story shows, those concerns are bogus, worse than gossip because they are totally the oppisite if the facts, and the news media could easily determine that, if it really cared about truth.

  14. It’s been 10 years since Mitt Romney headed up the Winter Olympics in Utah. Instead of leaving us $200 million in debt and bankrupt vendors like in all the other locations in the US and around the world after Olympic events, everything was paid in full. Additionally $150 million+ was left here to cover the new facilities and keep them operating for years to come. We are still enjoying his good management practices here in Utah as those of you visitors can attest. Business is business. “Business goes where it is invited and stays where it is cared for”. And you know, it doesn’t require a printing press to cover its expenses and slothfulness and corruption, etc.

  15. First time I have visited this blog. Great stuff!! Also appreciated the comments about Mitt the home teacher. This is a great program that the LDS church has to take of its own. I know that my home teacher has certainly come to my rescue on a couple of ocassions.

    That, my friends, is what modern day revelation is all about.

  16. I wish I had a home teacher like Mitt. There’s so possums here that need relocation…

    My only fear is that a Possum Protective Helmet would mess up his absolutely perfect hair.

    Wow I wish I had his hair.

  17. Our former home teacher loaned us $5000 to replace the leach field for our septic tank, I don’t know what we would have done without him. He is now on a mission in Ireland. So we got a new home teacher. My husband was covering the stairs that come up from out driveway, so he wouldn’t have to shovel snow off of them in the winter. Our new home teacher made about 15 trips with his flatbed trailer to another member’s home who had lots of river rock he wanted off his land. Our home teacher brought 15 trips worth of river rock to put alongside our steps to shore up the cliff that dropped off there next to those stairs. All for free, labor free, rocks free, love and caring FREE!

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  19. Loved the article. I agree with all of it. Our home teacher was here last night and loves his calling as a home teacher. I learned new things about Mitt. Did not know he has been a Stake President. Thanks. Wish all the folks that say “we are a cult” and hate the Mormons would read this article. Why not attend one of our meetings and see for yourself.

  20. I love how you described Mitt Romney and I agree 100% with who he is as a person…Hopefully America wakes up and can see Mitt as the best candidate on both sides for 2012! I too am Mormon and love how the church is organized – as a unit in society to serve those around us…regardless of faith or beliefs!!! Mitt is def a great example of this! Thanks for posting!

    • I sometime swish mormon s could elect their bishops but in the long run we don’t actually know whats best. Cheers man

  21. Barf. I’ve had good home teachers before, and known lots of Stake Presidents, but that doesn’t mean I want any of them to be the President of the US. Please,don’t support any candidate based on religion, whether you like their religion or not. Please just look at policy, honesty, consistency, and that candidates voting history.
    A Mormon who used to support Mitt just because he was a Mormon, but then stopped being a hypocrite and actually looked at important things and then removed his support.

    P.S. If he did all this stuff without fanfare or recognition, how do we know about it? Just sayin’…

    • I’m tired of people ignoring a politicians moral and spiritual beliefs. Political records are important, however, faith in God and a desire to listen and serve His will is EXTREEMLY important. The Founders were no strangers to prayer and divine inspiration and I hope to heavens our new president won’t be either. I want a man who is a conduit for God leading this country. Should your choice in a President be based on religious affiliation alone? No. But a devout follower of Jesus Christ is key to the preservation of our freedom as a nation.

    • How do we know about all these things that Mitt Romney has done? Uhhhh……dude…..because OTHER people are telling us about them.

      There, that was easy.

      BTW, you fail to mention what it is, SPECIFICALLY, what you “discovered” about Romney that caused you to stop supporting him?

    • BTW, you’re right we (Latter-day Saints) shouldn’t support someone for political office just because they happen to be a fellow member.

      I don’t.

      Didn’t support Huntsman because he was embarrased to say he was a Latter-day Saint (no integrity) and DON’T support Reid because 1) 90% of his policies/legislation are extremely liberal and therefore destructive and 2) he openly criticized Pres. Monson for trying to support Prop. 8 in CA. Go look it up. Reid may be LDS on paper but he’s not LDS in his heart.

    • I don’t think this article meant for us not to look at issues and and policies of the candidates. I do think it was to counter much of the misunderstanding that is being produced by “media and friends” about the personal traits of Mitt Romney

    • I think you missed the whole point of this article. This is why we are sturggleing right now getting to where we need to go.this is about one big issue people have with Romney. it is perfect to address that but it is one dimensional and i dont think was intended to cover the whole man but themost important part of any man.
      Especially if he is going to be our president.

  22. I was in the audience at BYU when Mitt Romney gave the valedictory address in 1971. I was a recently hired as a debate instructor at a local high school and was listening with an ever critical ear. I walked out of the arena knowing I had just heard one of the most compelling speeches of my life.

  23. Later today, I’ll be at Mitt’s rally in Idaho Falls, Idaho. We’re going to give him an enthusiastic Idaho welcome. I like his steady approach. Others are up and down. Mitt is steady. Others (even his political allies) panick and “shake things up”. Mitt stays the course. I think it’s time to rally behind Mitt Romney.

  24. Lol, Mike. It’s a story about his cousin! Anyway, one should always look at all the facts, but this is a great snapshot of the kind of character we should be supporting. How a person conducts their personal life should matter. We can’t expect people who don’t abide by the laws of the land to be virtuous in office. We see it happen a lot in government. :l

  25. I have been belonged to the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints since I was born. Our nick name is Mormon. Most Mormons who are faithful pay an honest tithing every year, which is 10% of your gross or net which ever you want.
    Now we believe in building Temples. Now these beautiful buildings cost a lot of money, and when they are dedicated they are free and clear of any kind of debt. At this time there are roughly 130 plus Temples in operation around the world. Now they do this on a 10% tithe from faithful members.
    Mitt Romney will be the best of any who are running for this office. He is honest and committed to doing good for EVERYONE! And not because he is a Mormon but because of who he is. Look into his background and learn who he is and what he has done.

  26. Thanks, totally loved this article! Can’t help but like Mitt. Actually this reminded me of a post on By Common Consent earlier this week. The pictures, to me, are very telling. They look like family album pics, not posed…especially the one where Mitt’s hair looks … Errrr… Less than perfect… but yes, I would definitely agree. Or character is defined by what we do when no one is looking. Sounds like Mitt has great character.

  27. This is a great blog! The ones Mitt posts are desecrated by nasty mouthed haters… people who spend their time downing others Instead of building. Mitt is a great builder. He is involved in good works. ALL the time. I have been saying to him to tell THESE stories! I read articles in Boston papers sent by my daughter there.. he called a huge women’s meeting to listen to their opinions about pro-choice. He is super intelligent and thinks (and prays) hard about every decision. Read TURNAROUND. It is a fascinating story of how he turned the Olympics into a major success. I hope UTAH doesn’t do Olympics again while he is PRESIDENT!! We will need him back again! He took no pay as governor if Massachusetts. He needs to tell that instead of bashing OBAMA…don’t like hearing that negativity from Mitt…even if I totally agree. He is SO MUCH BETTER than the media ever digs to paint him!! He doesn’t tell about his amazing compassion and love of people, but his life emanates it. By the way…the dog was happier on the roof…can you imagine the agony of being inside a car with a big family on a 12 hour trip??? 5 boys?? I would want to ride in a special container with a wind screen on the roof MYSELF!!

  28. I wish there were a link to share this on facebook. I would have gladly shared for all to read. 🙂

  29. Stallion Cornell’s article is so well written. WOW!!! A wonderful refreshing review of the Man and Character of Mitt Romney (I am one month his senior). My feeling is that the more we look at him as an individual the more we are going to like him as a person. I have been very impressed personally with the peeling of the onion which takes time, but reveals Mitt’s quality and integrity the more I drill down into this incredible leader. He may not be able to save the world, nor even save America which I love, but I think he will be an example of what I want for the remaining years I am on this earth. America needs to find solutions from within coupled with individuals exercising faith and charity to the oppressed. Our country was founded on creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. Not a Nanny State as a safe haven to fix all social issues. This is the message I believe Mitt will inspire if he is fortunate enough to win in the Primary & General election. Leadership, it all starts at the TOP.

  30. Nicely written but one quibble. The word lay means unordained. Mitt Romney, my Bishop, indeed all Mormon men are ordained.

    • I realize that one shouldn’t count entirely on MS Word for the meaning of words. However, I have always understood when “Lay” is used in the form of “Lay Ministry” it denotes that the people are not paid for their time when they serve. It does not mean that they are unordained. To corroborate, when looking for synonyms of “Lay” in MS Word and then using the thesaurus search on the word “Lay” the adjective that comes up is untrained and two synonyms for untrained is amateur, or in this instance, unprofessional meaning they earn no money for what they do in the church.

      • Look it up in a better dictionary 🙂 Actually we are both right In the Catholic Church the laity describes the non-clergy. Some dictionaries give ordained as an antonym for lay. They also give professional. I prefer to describe LDS as having an unpaid clergy rather than convey any impression that we are unordained.

  31. Thank you so much! I’m sharing. It is refreshing and also informative your narrative of my favorite candidate. The next President of the United State Mitt Romney.

  32. Great story. I was wondering if this is a true story — are you the original author, or is the story metaphorical? Just would like the reference who’s the real hornet owner. I just posted a story about MItt’s moonwalk, written by a man who served in his bishopric. Thanks for your post, loved it.

    • Not a metaphor – a true story. I have a bunch of cousins who either live or have lived in the Belmont Stake. This cousin served as a bishop under Mitt.

      • I’m another cousin and I also have heard this story told by the one who fell out of the tree (before Mitt was running for this election). It’s very true. But I can’t write as well as “stallion cornell”; well said as usual, cuz!

        • Ooops, my cousin didn’t fall out of a tree. But he fell two stories and broke his arm (it’s my grandson that falls out of trees.)

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  34. Excellent article. If everyone would learn who the real Mitt is we would get a good man in the White House.
    Having said that, I’m actually a Ron Paul supporter for his adherence to the Constitution. I would hope that Mitt will study the Constitution with greater fervor.
    Again, great article. I am passing it on.

    • Maury,

      Just an FYI…when I met Gov Romney 2 years ago, I gave him an LDS book regarding the importance of the Constitution from a religious standing. He was excited to read it and since that time, I believe, has shown an intent to follow the Constitution to the letter. I believe that is why he and Rep Paul are still amicable in the debates.

      I’m not sure if this blog sends email to notify when there is a response to a posting (ie: if you will know about this, and if I will know when you reply) but, if so, I would be happy to send you a copy of the book (if we can work out a private way to exchange contact info)….if not, I find a link where you can order one online.

  35. Mitt was the Stake Prez when I was in the Cambridge Student/Singles Ward (with Jim’s sister, BTW – I was her home teacher for a while, but am sure the quality of my home teaching fell far short). I was favorably impressed with Mitt from a moderate distance then, and more so subsequently when I married a girl whose family was close with the Romneys. He has no reason to remember me, but I’ve had a number of contacts with Mitt and Ann over the years through family events, and they have always been favorable.

    It’s interesting to me to observe how, of those who have actually worked with, been served by, or otherwise had any significant contact/involvement with Mitt and Ann pretty much universally sing their praises. There is relatively little criticism from people in MA – of course there are some who say he wasn’t conservative enough and others who say he wasn’t liberal enough, but that’s ideology. When it comes down to the character of the man and the respect he generates in those who work with him even if they disagree with him in many ways, it’s really impressive. There is no comparison to Gingrich or Santorum, who – rightly or wrongly – seem to have left in their wakes a great deal of what approaches animosity, even among those who were (or should have been) their closest allies.

  36. thanks for posting this,reading everybody saying and opinion and learning how good MR in serving in his church calling, I am sure he wiil be a good president.

  37. Gee…I do work for my neighbors all the time for free. From repairing furnaces to replacing broken electrical sockets. Guess I should run for President, too.

  38. Adding credence—
    This story would be even more believable if the reference to a “swamp cooler” were to be removed from the first line. Evaporative coolers, a.k.a. “swamp coolers” don’t work in humid Massachusetts. While living in the Belmont Ward of the Boston Massachusetts Stake, I don’t recall a single home having a “swamp cooler”. I hope this little slip up isn’t an indication of other aspects of this tale.

      • So glad you are correcting the swamp cooler phrase. I know they are not in the humid areas of the country so I was skeptical of your article since it was so good. I read through every comment and looked through index, etc., on your blog/website, to make sure you weren’t making up this good story (like so many are defrauded on Snopes). Now I can pass it on to my friends and family without worrying so much! I do want to hear good things about the character of our presidential hopefuls. Thanks.

  39. A personal friend of mine served his mission in New Hampshire. In one of his areas he was surprised one day when Governor (at the time) Romney was at church with his family. They were visiting their vacation home. Upon seeing the Elders, Governor Romney promptly invited them to eat with them, and then He and one of his sons, went on splits with the Missionaries, so they could visit some of the less actives in the ward. I’ve heard this story a dozen times from my friend, but I think it really illustrates the type of person Romney is. I wish more people could see him that way.

  40. Sadly, I think there are more than hornet in the nation’s second-story swamp cooler ; ). That being said, I’m sure he will do whatever is necessary to help, because that’s who he is.
    Thank you so much for posting this…the silent heroes rarely get the credit they deserve and all-too-often take a huge, undeserved beating from those who could never understand the value of service to others.
    I’ve met Governor Romney only once, and it was one of the most compelling experiences of my life. I have never before felt such warmth and peace as I did in his presence.
    I do not envy the challenges he faces, but I am thankful he is willing to make such a great sacrifice to help those of us who probably don’t really deserve it ; ). I am equally thankful for his family who support and encourage him, giving of valuable time and energies and pray they will all remain strong, healthy and happy.
    Thank you Stallion Cornell and thank you Romney family!!!

  41. The Romney’s are down to earth people with children who are also downn to earth. I appreciate all that he will do for this country. I know he helped in service projects when we had the wild fires here in Southern California. I am pleased to be able to say that I admire and respect this man and pray for his family as he campaigns for President of the United States. He will have my vote.

  42. Something in the range of 25 years ago, my in-laws from rural Washington state had to take their young son to Children’s Hospital Boston for a very complicated heart surgery. Omitting a lot of details in the interest of brevity, they contacted the local LDS bishop (Mitt Romney) for help with their own accommodations, and then with a most unusual situation: When they realized that their son would require blood transfusions, they worried about the local blood supply (justly or not), and made the request that the hospital allow members of the local LDS population to donate blood specifically for him. They were told absolutely no way, that would be completely impossible, don’t even bother to ask. They spoke of their concern with then-Bishop Romney, and don’t ask me how, but he got it done for them.

    My in-laws were and are good people, but not people of great influence or education. Definitely not wealthy. Mr. Romney had nothing to gain by going out of the way to take care of them at all, let along going the extra mile to (I assume) exercise his influence to fulfill their special request with the blood.

    Character stories such as this don’t guarantee that a given individual will make for a good President, but for my money, I’d like to be able to know that the president of my country (and for that matter all of my leaders) are not just “really smart” or just “really shrewd,” but are also people of character, who will view the situations that present themselves to him or her not just with smarts or shrewdness, but with a *practiced* eye to doing what is right.

  43. I am glad I don’t have to vote in the U.S.A. I had always thought that the LDS were suppose to look for the good in all things. Just listening to all the derogatory stuff on CNN once in awhile by the presidential contenders makes me know I would surely NOT vote for Mr. Romney. If a person can fall that far from what they are suppose to stand for……how far would he fall as President. I think your present President , who stepped into an unbelievable mess has done well and would do better if he had more time (which I hope he gets) Why do you never hear of all the good things your president has achieved so far? A country cannot sink into such a mess and expect to be out of it in 4 years…imagine just for one person how long it would take to recover never mind a whole country, should they (hopefully not) get into a personal debt. Short memories down in the U.S.A

    • Barb,
      You said “Just listening to all the derogatory stuff on CNN once in awhile by the presidential contenders makes me know I would surely NOT vote for Mr. Romney.”
      If you believe a person’s enemies over a person’s friends then you will never believe anyone is good. There are always people wiling to tells lies and half truths about other people. If CNN and Romney’s opponents are your source of truth concerning Mr. Romney then you should also believe all the negative stuff slamming all of the candidates. If you cannot check facts for yourself, about any candidate, but believe the media on everything, how can you make a truly enlightened and informed decision of election day?

      If you’re trying to fill in a hole you don’t do it by digging it deeper. Obama has made the American financial hole deeper than any other president in the history of this country. His trillion dollar deficits are not sustainable. He accused Bush 43 of being un-American for adding 4 trillion to the debt over an 8 year period. Obama added that much in less than three years. He’s making the next president’s job very difficult at best and impossible at worst.

  44. “Is Mitt Romney a good home teacher?” This question occurred to me last night as I watched the LDS church’s priesthood session of General Conference. I was listening to Elder Bednar, one our leaders speak of our duty as priesthood leaders to be good home teachers. I know Mitt pays tithing and has served as a bishop and stake president, but I wondered how he does with home teaching. Because it is one of the less flashy priesthood duties, and one that many LDS men strive (with varying degrees of success) to fulfill faithfully, I felt that it would be a good gauge of Mitt’s character. I was glad to find this article; it provides just the kind of anecdote I was looking for. As I read this, it occurred to me that Mitt Romney, if he is elected, is probably going to be the first POTUS to be a minister. In fact, if you compare the responsibilities of an LDS bishop to a parish priest, a stake president is much like a Catholic bishop in terms of geographical area and administrative duties. I don’t know if America is prepared for someone with that kind of faith background leading the country. It’s interesting that Mitt seems to bend over backward to not come across as an overly religious man, let alone a minister. The last line of this blog says it perfectly – in Mitt we can expect not a minister-in-chief as many would assume (and as the title of the post suggests), but instead someone who will put his faith to work in very practical ways, and on the side also live his faith as quietly as possible at the same time.

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