In case any of my readers speaks French, here is a link to a piece Radio France Internationale did about Mitt Romney and Mormonism. A couple of weeks ago, I spoke for about an hour with the reporter, Raphael Reynes. It was fun and interesting.
I don’t speak French, but someone over on the exmormon site has written a summary:
It starts by looking at Romney’s roots back in Belmont, interviews someone called Grant Bennett (?) who knew the couple from early on and ‘served the Church’ alongside him till Romney became a Bishop.
The commentary describes Romney as “highly appreciated in his church, but very discreet about it”.
After an unfortunate reference to “14 million Mormons worldwide” (which it might be worth commenting about on their site…), the commentary immediately returns to more credible ground by describing the SLC temple as “rococo” (well it made me laugh).
They then go on to give an idea of TSCC’s omnipresence in SLC and Utah, before interviewing Justin and Leanne (?) Bell who are clearly in Utah (maybe SLC?).
They are given the opportunity to say the stupidest things in this program: the apostasy of all other churches which necessitated the “restoration”, with “keys” being given to Joe by a chorus line of biblical saints. This is told by Justin.
Then Leanne (?) chimes in with ‘TSM is a living prophet” and the importance of ‘following the leaders’ in order to be happy. Now, that may sound weird in English, but I can assure you it sounds absolutely crazy in French, the language of a strongly secular culture.
The commentary then mentions tithing the POGP and the ban on coffee and tea, just to complete the impression of weirdness.
The Bell’s place a lot of stress on the importance of “commandments” that need to be followed for happiness and fulfilment.
This is followed by the question “Is this happiness authentic?3, illustrated by an item on Jane Locke (?) who appears to be a Mormon garment purveyor in Utah (!) and who puts across the problem of the pressure put on LDS women to be perfect and the feeling of being looked down upon by other ‘better’ Mormon wives who aren’t ‘egoists’ who work, supposedly to the detriment of their poor wee kiddies…
This part segues nicely into a mention of the high level of antidepressant use in Utah, with twice as many women as men taking them…
Now we come to the Star of the show , John W., our very own and much respected Runtu.
Runtu, you were GREAT. You managed to convey very clearly, but in a wonderfully measured and even tone, the idea that Mormonism is based on the achievement of happiness through obedience and observance of rules, constantly striving for an elusive perfection. Your testimony (in the TRUE sense of the word) concerning depression and how it was only when you left TSCC that you discovered what you considered your normal state was actually severe depression was very hard-hitting.
I loved your description of the wierderies in the Book of Abraham, including Kolob as… “Odd”
One thing: the commentary renders Kolob as Kolab – did they mishear or is it like that in the French version of the BOA? Does anyone know ?
After this the program moved onto the more specifically political aspects which aren’t the remit of this board.
Runtu was admirably moderate and discreet on this aspect too.
This is an excellent in-depth program on Mormonism and the elections.
It is also a BIG WIN for Runtu. Most French people know nothing about Mormonism. This will help to educate them in the right direction.
Tom in Paris
I am just glad to hear I didn’t embarrass myself.