Faith in our neighbors

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Because the faith of presidential candidate Mitt Romney is an issue, The Press has devoted many column inches to debate and discussion of his faith, particularly compared to other beliefs. And we're prepared to devote a little more, although readers are increasingly telling us this topic has run its course and it's about time to turn back to issues rather than theological arguments.

While some of you have very strong feelings about whether or not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are actually Christians, our view is, why does that matter? When it comes to a presidential election, we're far less concerned with where a candidate spends his Sundays than what he does with the other six days of the week.

Most religions hold critically important beliefs in common, like living honestly, helping others, and making the choices, big and small, that we know are right. Rather than debate the particular branch of Christianity that Mormons might or might not occupy, think about the Mormons you know and the lives they live.

Those we know are respectful of others and reach out to assist those in need.

The Mormons we know work hard. They're fair. They're honest.

The Mormons we know place tremendous value on raising healthy families, and part of that package is ensuring family members receive the best education possible. They strive for excellence - academically, athletically, emotionally and spiritually.

The Mormons we know are patriotic. They're active citizens. They vote; they also get elected. Where public service is needed, they are there.

The Mormons we know are also imperfect. One endearing characteristic is they know this, and they don't pretend otherwise.

If one were to judge an entire faith strictly by observing the practicing members of that faith, the Mormons we know would have little trouble holding up under such scrutiny. Whether or not we agree with their beliefs is irrelevant. We believe in their actions.

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