Mormon

alexbeam.net

We're sitting down with Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam to talk about his new book, "American Crucifixion," examining the life of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church.

GUEST: 

  • Alex Beam – columnist for the Boston Globe and author of several books, most recently “American Crucifixion.”

LINKS:

Amanda Loder / NHPR

Governor Mitt Romney’s connection to New Hampshire is well-documented.  He owns a house on Lake Winnipesaukee, which he visits regularly.  And the Mormon meetinghouse in Wolfeboro serves as his second spiritual home.  But what’s less understood by many outside Mormonism is what it’s like being a member of this religious minority in northern New England.  

Many religious traditions stress the importance of charity. But Mormons are remarkable for the amount and the precision with which they give to their church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that each Mormon in good standing should tithe 10 percent of his or her income. The money goes right to church headquarters in Salt Lake City and then is distributed back to congregations around the world.

"That's written in stone, and preached from the pulpit," says Gordon Dahl, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, who is Mormon.

The Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will no doubt face intense scrutiny if Mitt Romney becomes the GOP's candidate for President. A few months back, we reported on the LDS campaign to rebrand- the church, with a series of ads depicting stereotype-busting people introducing themselves as Mormons…

During these tough economic times people often turn to churches, synagogues and other faith-based organizations for help. Maybe the church runs a shelter, maybe congregants cook food for a family, maybe the temple has a clothing drive.

But while communities of faith will do what they can to help their members and others in the community, few are as well-organized as the Mormon church.

NHPR Correspondent Sheryl Rich-Kern has the story.

Sound of door opening, Kirsta saying hello, hi, how are you, come on in, fade under

Krista’s apartment is a little cramped.