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Following Faith
Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

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Bill Clinton a Mormon? Brother Bill thought about it

Imagine Bill Clinton and Mitt Romney sharing, if not the same politics, the same faith.

Well, it could’ve happened.

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During Clinton’s young years in Hot Springs, Ark., two Mormon missionaries once approached the future president with their pitch.

The then-president-to-be was impressed, he told BuzzFeed reporters recently, with the young preachers’ effort as they explained Mormon teachings about heaven.

As Clinton recalled, they described the afterlife as "a pyramid with many levels that put Hitler and Stalin at the very bottom, faithful Mormons on top, and everyone else in between."

That had a certain appeal, he said, but for Clinton, a Baptist, "the sticking point" was any system that left his loved ones "out of the top level."

He couldn’t get with any program, he said, that would "leave all these other people behind."

Of course, Clinton’s memory doesn’t quite match Mormon doctrine, which actually paves the way for others to reach that "top level" — provided they accept LDS teachings in the hereafter.

But back to that fantasy scenario. If Clinton had joined the Utah-based faith, can’t you just see him slugging it out with Romney in elders’ quorum over the location of the Lost Ten Tribes or whose turn it is to set up the chairs or why home teaching stats are soooo low?

Peggy Fletcher Stack

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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