May 12th, 2007 @ 10:20pm
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and the Rev. Al Sharpton are planning an in-person
meeting, a church spokesman said.
Sharpton asked for the meeting during a telephone apology he gave to
two church elders last week after he said during a debate that Mormons
don't believe in God.
"Mr. Sharpton and church leaders are looking at possible dates for a
meeting, but nothing is imminent. It won't happen next week, but they
are looking at dates," church spokesman Scott Trotter said.
The Pentecostal minister and former Democratic presidential
candidate's remarks were about Mitt Romney, a Mormon who is seeking
the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Sharpton said that "as
for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God
will defeat him anyway, so don't worry about that, that's a temporary
Sharpton says the remark was distorted for political purposes and has
apologized to "regular Mormons" for the slight. He later told a web
site editors that he "wasn't saying that Mormons didn't believe in
God, I was saying that we weren't going to have to rely on atheists"
to defeat Romney.
Sharpton has not apologized to Romney, but called for a "dialogue or
reconciliation." A Romney spokesman has said nothing constructive
would be accomplished by meeting with Sharpton. Romney has called
Sharpton's remarks bigoted.
Sharpton has also raised questions about Romney's views on the way
African-American Mormons were treated by their church before 1978,
when only white men were allowed to hold certain religious offices.
It's unclear if Sharpton plans to raise that issue with church
officials in a meeting. It's also unclear which officials would attend
the meeting. Over the telephone, Sharpton spoke with Russell M. Nelson
and Henry B. Eyring, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the
second-tier of church leadership.
Information from: Deseret Morning News