Rose French writes about religious and spiritual matters for the Star Tribune. Before arriving in the Twin Cities this fall, she covered religion for the Associated Press in Tennessee, where she wrote about the Southern Baptists, United Methodists, Gideons and other religious groups and issues.
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith and its deep influence in his life is the subject of a fascinating story by The New York Times, published over the weekend.
Jodi Kantor reports “dozens of the candidate’s friends, fellow church members and relatives describe a man whose faith is his design for living. The church is by no means his only influence, and its impact cannot be fully untangled from that of his family, which is also steeped in Mormonism."
"But being a Latter-day Saint is 'at the center of who he really is, if you scrape everything else off,' said Randy Sorensen, who worshiped with Mr. Romney in church."
What makes the piece all the more interesting and salient is news earlier this month that Mormons now are among the fastest growing faith groups in the U.S.
“The 2012 Religious Congregations and Membership Study ... shows that the mainline Protestants and Catholics who dominated the 20th century are literally losing ground to the rapid rise of Mormons and, increasingly, Muslims,” the Religion News Service reports.
In Minnesota, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the third-fastest growing denomination between 2000 and 2010, with 30,603 followers.