You are Mitt Romney. Or, if you prefer, you are an LDS politician running for the U.S. Presidency other than Mitt Romney. You are at a town meeting, fielding questions from the audience, and you’ve gone on record saying that audience members can ask you any question on any topic they want. Truth be told, you would rather avoid confronting questions that deal with the specific theological tenets of Mormonism, but you are nonetheless asked this question:
Q: “Mr. Romney, much has been made in the media about the content of your faith. Personally, I am a Christian, and while I have some reservations about the doctrines of Mormonism, I am nevertheless considering supporting you. However, I have one concern about Mormonism, and thus about you, that I just can’t shake, so I hope you will address it for me. It is my understanding that until 1978, the Mormon Church prevented Blacks from holding the Mormon priesthood. I also understand that many past Mormon leaders justified this prohibition either by saying that Black people had inherited the Curse of Cain, or that they had refused to valiantly support God’s plan in the Pre-existence, or both. You have said that you support the faith of your fathers, and that you refuse to apologize for your faith, but these racist teachings seem to be part of the content of your faith. Would you please explain your own views as to the theological status of Black people, as well as your view of the past practices of your church, and the rationales employed to justify those practices? What would you say to me, and other potential supporters like me, to assuage our concerns about your possibly holding racist theological ideas?
I ask this question in all seriousness. I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine someone asking it, or something close to it. I really am interested in what LDS readers would do in this situaton.
(I’ve been thinking about this question for a long time, but I finally thought I’d pose it here after seeing this).