Find out “What Mormons Believe” at local event

Published 2:49 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

INDIAN SPRINGS — As Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attempts to become the first Mormon to be elected president, a local Mormon church is hosting an event aimed at teaching locals more about the church’s beliefs and customs.

The Hoover chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will host “What Mormons Believe,” a presentation led by Lanny Smartt, president of the Bessemer stake, Oct. 28 from 6:30-8 p.m. A stake in the Mormon church is similar to a diocese in other Christian denominations.

Clem Muck, the public affairs representative for the Bessemer stake, said the idea for the presentation grew out of common questions Mormon leaders consistently heard.

“We have been approached over and over again by people asking questions,” Muck said. “This is for us to answer the questions that keep coming up about our beliefs and our practices.”

Muck said Smartt will lead a presentation, and then leaders will conduct an open forum so attendees will have a chance to ask any questions. The event is free and open to the public.

Muck said people may ask any questions, even including potentially controversial questions such as “Are Mormon men allowed to have more than one wife?”

“Even though there may be controversial questions asked, this is an opportunity to offer honest answers,” Muck said, adding that the Mormon church as a whole does not support polygamy.

Muck said while leaders will welcome questions about Romney and his role in the Mormon church, there will be no politicking on his behalf.

“We have a church-wide policy that we will never require people to vote in a particular manner, nor will we tell them who to vote for,” Muck said.

The Hoover chapel is located at 2720 Cahaba Valley Road in Indian Springs.