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There are quite a few Republicans running in the 2012 race now, and I’ve heard rumors of Sarah Palin throwing her hat in as well.  However, as of this week (8-25) I think the major three candidates are: Romney, Perry, and Bachman.  Therefore, I’ll include the charitable donations of each of these candidates, all of whom claim to be Christians.

Rick Perry

This article describes Rick Perry as being big on talking about Christian principles, including giving, but not putting his money where his mouth is.  According to the article, he only gives 3-4% to Charity.  Also, mentioned in this article is Newt Gingrich, whose only donations are to a Christian organization that funds his campaign.

Michelle Bachman

Bachman’s an interesting candidate because she doesn’t share what she has given publicly and refuses to comment on interviews.  Her net worth is up to around $2 million, and there is only one documented instance of her giving to charity.  Although she does’t give much to charity in dollars, she does give time to certain causes of her Christian faith.  The article criticizes her for this, but I feel that as long as the cause is a good one that is helping society and people come closer to God then it’s all good.

Mitt Romney

After reading the article on Mitt Romney, I was very impressed.  Not only does he give time to charitable causes, but he donates around 14% to charity including: the LDS church, health causes such as cancer research, etc., and numerous other charities for humanitarian efforts.  Additionally, when he was elected to office, he didn’t take pay so the funds could be used elsewhere to help the state out.  He has also said he wouldn’t take the $400,000 annual salary if he was elected president.

Although there are other candidates such as Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, and others, I couldn’t find any information on them probably because they lag nationally in the polls.  If anyone has some information on other candidates, feel free to share.

Update February, 2012

Rick Santorum

Last week, Santorum released his taxes.  He pulls a lot of the Christian voters, however, has been recently criticized by other Evangelical leaders because of his significant income (over $1 million annually), yet his minimal charitable contribution (under 2%).


Thank you so much everyone for your prayers for my wife and baby!  I received plenty of emails and a few comments on the blog from those of you who were praying over the past few days.

August 18th at 10:10 p.m. baby Barett was born at 8 lbs. 3 oz. 21 inches.  The delivery went very well and both baby and mom are very healthy and well.

Here’s a picture of him a few hours after he was born:

Thank you again and God bless all of you for your prayers and support.

P.S. Cal, I’ll have to smoke a virtual cigar with you since I don’t smoke! : )

In a recent article about the current political race with 2 Mormon business leaders (Romney and Huntsman), a Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christenson stated “I don’t think there’s any more demanding profession than being a Mormon missionary…”  The article goes on to state that the Missionary Training Center (MTC), which is the place where Mormon missionaries are trained, has graduated nearly 1 million missionaries, most of which are highly sought after and successful in the business world.

From personal experience with going through the MTC and serving a 2 year mission in Germany, I whole heartedly agree with these statements.  One of the most difficult things I’ve done so far has been serving as a Mormon missionary.  The whole time I was out there (2 years), I knocked on thousands of doors, talked with thousands of people, and had one baptism.  Not very good odds.

However, while I was out there something happened within me.  First, I realized that I loved working with people and helping them improve their lives.  Even though only one person “bought” what I was “selling” completely, I was able to bring many, many people to have a relationship with God through prayer and other ways.  Next, I learned how to network and market, which is what I do in my current profession.  In fact, upon being hired to my first job in the industry I’m in, when my first hiring manager found out I had been a Mormon missionary he put down the papers and hired me immediately on the spot.

For those of you who have gone on missions, have you seen benefits in your life such as the ones I’ve outlined?  If so, please share!

While I was talking with one of my business contacts the other day at the YMCA, I told her we were due to have a baby this week.  She told me she would put my wife on the prayer chain in her local congregation and I was very grateful for the offer.

My wife is scheduled to be induced this Wednesday.  For all of you who read this blog, please keep her in your prayers.  Pray the delivery will go well, the doctors will be inspired, and that I will be inspired as well to support her.   I feel the more “prayer chains” we have out there, the better.  Her name is Becca.

Thanks again for all your faith and prayers and also for your thoughts of faith you share regularly on this blog.  I’ll let you know how everything goes with the delivery.

In a recent article in The National Catholic Weekly magazine, a writer brought up the great marketing the LDS church is doing in New York City.  His article highlights the billboards that are all over as well as on the taxis, etc.  and how great of a missionary tool it is.  Something he wrote about in his article stood out to me about his perspective on the traditional Mormon missionary strategy.  He writes:

The “I’m a Mormon” campaign, showcases video and print portraits of young, diverse and energetic Mormons — and steers clear of images of missionaries in white shirts and black pants or talk of theology —

“Steering clear of images of missionaries in white shirts and black pants…” is the line that stood out to me.

What is the image that most people who aren’t LDS think of when they see the Mormon missionaries knocking on doors like they have done the same way for probably close to 100 years now?  Is that still an effective marketing tool, or should the church shake it up and allow missionaries to wear clothes that match the culture where they are?

 I know from personal experience that I felt much more at ease being a missionary without my white shirt and nametag than when I was wearing it.  I was a Mormon missionary in Germany for two years and I also lived in Switzerland and worked for awhile after my mission as well.  When I was a mormon missionary, people would bar the windows and lock the doors and bring the kids out of the streets the moment we walked into the neighborhood.  The white shirt and black nametag turned them off.

However, when I was dressed in my normal clothes as a “regular” person after my mission, I had many more missionary discussions with people who opened up to me because they perceived that I was a “normal” person. 

On the other hand, the Mormon missionaries have been branded by the white shirt and nametag and for people who are searching for them, they are easy to identify.

What are your thoughts on changing the Mormon missionary strategy and having Mormon missionaries wear “normal” clothes while proselyting?

Jason Workman, an LDS man from southern Utah, was one of the Navy SEALS downed in Afghanistan. The full report is found at this website.

God bless his family as well as everyone else who has lost their life in this war.

A recent article titled “Pawlenty video aimed at Mormon faith of Romney and Huntsman” caught my eye a couple weeks ago.  The article made it sound like Pawlenty is slamming Romney and Huntsman because of their Mormon beliefs.  When I watched the video, it didn’t seem like Pawlenty was doing anything other than describe his Christian faith.  I was actually surprised by how straight forward and honest he sounded, something that quite frankly, I’ve yet to see with Romney on certain issues and definitely with Huntsman.

I do not feel that this ad was in any way trying to target the LDS church or other political candidates.  Rather, it was showing his faith and trying to appeal to those who share the same faith and doing so in a straightforward manner.  In fact, I feel that his comments on family and beliefs in God should be appealing to LDS members, but I doubt many Mormons would vote for him.

I believe that Mormons are very hesitant and skeptical about the intentions behind Evangelicals.  Historically, we’ve seen and heard things that are preached against us in Evangelical churches and we tend to want to steer clear of supporting anything remotely anti-Mormon.  Additionally, I think that the LDS are taught that Joseph Smith was told directly by God that all other Christian Churches aren’t right and the LDS, or Mormon Church is the way to go if you truly want to be on God’s side.

On the other hand, I can see how Evangelicals feel the same way about Mormons because we have a tendancy to flaunt our religion as the “one true church” and “all other churches are false”.  Also, I think that many Evangelicals haven’t spent time getting to truly understand Mormons other than things that are taught or rumored in their circles such as “Mormons aren’t Christians” and they believe in a “different Jesus”. 

I’m sure there are many people who share these same feelings.  What do you think it will take and what is the actual likelihood of a Mormon voting for an Evangelical and visa versa in the 2012 race?

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