If Romney wins . . .

If Mitt Romney wins the primary election, what does that mean for Mormons … and me?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately while watching debates and Romney’s win in the Iowa caucus last week. Will a presidential campaign featuring Romney vs. Obama mean mud-slinging rhetoric aimed at Mormons, or could it mean an opportunity for LDS citizens to be better understood?

Most likely, it will be a little bit of both.

On a personal level, though, the public scrutiny of Mormonism could be a great opportunity for Mormons (such as myself) to answer questions, correct myths and increase understanding of our faith.

Of course, the thought of political pundits debating my personal and sacred beliefs scares me.

Undoubtedly, the media will sometimes get the facts wrong and others will purposefully distort them. So I’ve been brushing up on my own knowledge of church history and basic doctrine so I can be ready to answer questions and refute misinformation.

And as a mother, I’ve been thinking about how to best prepare our children to answer questions that may come up at school or among peers. While kids won’t be hitting the voting booths, they are the ones who often have the most open minds about religion, so LDS kids need to be able to talk about their faith without being embarrassed or uninformed.

In a general conference talk in 2007, Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “The growing prominence of the church and the increasing inquiries from others present us with great opportunities to build bridges, make friends and pass on accurate information. But it can also present a greater possibility of misunderstanding and sometimes even prejudice if we allow others to define who we are and what we believe rather than presenting it ourselves.”

If you are a Mormon, what are you doing to prepare yourself to answer questions about your faith? Do you fear the heightened scrutiny of a Mormon running for president, or do you welcome the attention on the church?

Whatever faith you belong to, how do you think Mormonism will fare under the public scrutiny of a presidential campaign?

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.

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