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tv   Rock Center With Brian Williams  NBC  August 24, 2012 2:05am-3:00am EDT

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tonight on "rock center" -- america. on the eve of the convention >> mormons do believe this is their moment in time and they're very excited about it. >> most americans say they know next to nothing about the mormon church. tonight a rare look inside the lives of modern mormon families. the rules of living a good mormon life. >> i never had a cup of coffee. >> and some of the lesser known aspects. >> all the garments. >> everybody wants to know that. >> also why are so many mormons so successful in business. >> just because you knocked on 200 doors on one day and they weren't interested doesn't mean
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the next day you don't do it anymore. >> and how more monsmons -- mor take care of their own. a church still dealing with the issue of polygamy. >> we believe actually that was god's will at the time. >> and issues of equality. >> my daughter says why don't girls pass the sacrament. >> we'll hear from one cast member fruf the "book of mormon who is a mormon. >> i was raised mormon. that and more in to night's special broadcast, mormon in america. good evening, while a hurricane may interfere with at least the start of the gathering, by the time the gop convention in tampa is over, a mormon will be the nominee of a major political party for the first time. and mitt romney could well become the first mormon president of the united states. he has become more forth right of late in discussing his religion, as he did with us during our interview three weeks ago in london.
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>> i am without question, a member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. i am proud of that. some call that the mormon church. that's fine with me. i will talk about my experiences in the church no questions they helped shape my perspective. a big part of the perspective, the experience he is running on in business where many mormons have excelled in this country. so it is wha ere we begin our hr with harry smith's look at what could be called mormon incorporated. >> no other airline on the planet has this. >> reporter: when he started jet blue in 1999 industry insiders thought he was out of his mind. >> hello, america! >> a law coast airline with individual tv screens, leather seats and more leg room. today, jet blue flies more than 25 million passengers a year. jet blue seemed to have a different culture? >> number one, i wanted everyone who worked there to say it was the best job they ever had. i thought the people who would
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fly with us would feel that. >> reporter: what kind of jobs did you do at the airline? >> i did everything. i loved working alongside our crew members. i would throw bags lug bags on the airplane. >> reporter: he is a mormon and proud of it. >> work hard. play hard. have a great family. stay together. those are all thing that are central to our faith. and it's how we are programmed. >> reporter: he is not alone, top executive positions at a number of major corporations either are or have been occupied by mormons. why do you think mormons are so good at business? >> i think we are just serious about life. i think we are taught that -- it's not bad to make money in life. it's not bad, but it's -- it's not your money, it's heaven leap father's money and you should be good stewards over the money. >> reporter: that thinking gets locked into many a mormon when they spend two years in the mission field. a personal test of faith and courage. he was sent to brazil.
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going on a mission is maybe the most important thing that happens in a young mormon man's life, was that the case with you? >> yeah, by far. not only learned how to deal with people, i, i saw extreme poverty. i learned to love people like i had never loved before and to have compassion. >> you were 19. >> 19. got a letter in the mail. you are here called to serve in the brazil, rio motion for two years. >> reporter: two years away from home trying to convince a skeptical world of the value of your faith turns out to be humbling and rewarding. there are plenty of people saying, no way, get out of my face. what does that teach you? >> just because you knocked on 200 doors on one day and were told, they weren't interested, doesn't mean the next day you don't do it anymore. you just go back and do it again. >> it is a life-changing experience for them. like a fast track to seriousness. >> reporter: there is a mormon way of doing business, and jeff benedict wrote a book about it detailing how a number of the
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mormon executives he profiled returned from their missions ready to reach for the top. >> when they come home at 21 they're not thinking of hanging out with guys, going to bars, football games. they're thinking how can i support my family as fast as possible. >> reporter: benedict, himself a mormon, says mormon ceos are groomed for the board room from an early age. >> the most powerful influence in these guys' lives growing up is their mom. at an young age, mothers were teaching elocution, insisting they play an instrument. looking at their collar, before they go out the door, touching it up. even when they are 7. >> reporter: it is no accident that we interviewed benedict at a marriott, the international hotel was founded by mormons, a business that began as a root beer stand in 1927. as mormons climb the corporate ladder, quite often they reach done to help another mormon. is there a mormon network? >> i think there is a terrific mormon network.
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it starts in church. you meet a game, after going to church with him for two years or school, you say he is a good guy. i trust him. i know his wife. my kids played with his kids. so three years from now when, you are looking to put a deal together, who do you call? you call that guy. >> reporter: hard work, perseverance, thrift, all seem to beep part of the mormon dna. is there a song, a, like a mormon hymn, about shoulder to the wheel. >> shoulder to the wheel. push along. do your duty with a heart full of song. so we all have work, and, and one shirt, put your shoulder to the wheel. that's what we sing. >> put your shoulder to the wheel, push along, a pioneer hymn that is motivated by the fact that mormons had to put their shoulders to the wheel and push hand carts across the united states. we are constantly reminded that our ancestors had to work harder than we do, don't take that for granted. >> reporter: the next jen ration of mormon executives is putting
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its shoulder to the wheel at business schools from provo to cambridge, and powerful banking giant, goldman sachs located its second largest office in north america, where, salt lake city, of course. do mormons in business have something to prove? >> i think when people go into business for sure, they have a little bit of an edge on their shoulder that says, i need to do this a little better. i need to work a little harder. i should be the first one in the office and last one to leave. >> reporter: that's the way it is with david neilman, who left jet blue, and not coincidentally started the fastest growing airline in brazil where he served his mission. the father of nine children, believes the most important thing he can do on earth, is please god. >> god's spiritual blessings to me are more important than material blessings. if you strip it down to the tenets of the church it really is good people trying to live good lives and trying to help people. >> reporter: that's all found in another book, there is one in
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every room of the marriott hotel chain. >> harry smith with us here. how is this different from the brotherhood and sisterhoods you fiend across the country among firefighters, law enforcement, those who have been deployed together, close quarters, military, for two years, what are the differences? >> a think there is some code there to know that a fellow mormon has served this mission. one of the things that happens to every little mormon kid from the time they are very, very small. start saving money for your mission. you pay for your mission yourself. the church doesn't send you. you and your family send you to this place. and when people come back from that, and they have that brotherhood, they are all in. >> that would be a key difference. harry, i know we will talk to you later on. your second story in the hour about how mormons take care of their own. but after the break, how it all started. little mormon history and tradition, and why so many americans still today are
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suspicious of the religion. >> i've don't think they have done a good enough job opening up. they have been very secretive. and it causes people to -- to think of it as a mystery. [ snoring ] ♪ [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] introducing zzzquil sleep-aid. [ snoring ] [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] it's not for colds, it's not for pain, it's just for sleep. [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] because sleep is a beautiful thing. [ birds chirping ] introducing zzzquil, the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil. ♪
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welcome back, the mormon church as you see here, claims a membership of about 6 million people in the u.s. that's about 2% of the u.s. population. the other 98% of us don't tend to know much about who mormons are and what they believe. in fact a recent survey found that a large majority of mormons believe americans as a whole are uninformed about their faith. so here now, how it all started and what mormonism has come to mean. it used to be there was the mormon tabernacle choir.
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♪ and there were the osmond and that was about all any of us knew about mormons. that isn't the case anymore. >> i'm going to be a mormon. >> a mormon, are you sure? >> come on, nailing a different wife every night. that is a no-brainer. >> comedy takes liberties with mormon say nothing of the polygamy-based drama and then there is broadway. ♪ the book of mormon >> a hugely successful broadway show and veteran yale professor john butler who has studied and taught religion for over 30 years remind us mormonism is a hugely successful religion. >> it is a distinctly american religion. it is the most successful of the religions created in america. >> to be more exact it was created in upstate new york in 1823. a man named joseph smith reported visions and visitations
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from an angel named maroni, and this is how the church depicts what happened in their own video. smith is then told where to find a set of golden plates on a hillside in the new york countryside. they're said to have contained an ancient language from around 600 b.c. which when translated became the book of mormon. even though the angel maroni took the plates back, a religion was born. and before anyone should judge that story, professor butler gently reminds us, every religion has their own amazing stories. >> what americans and critics have a hard time accepting is a belief in the book of mormon, maroni, golden tablets. what can one say, is it fair to criticize that when you also accept the idea that jesus walked on water. or that the red sea parted? >> behold his mighty hands. >> in various fits and starts and in a number of individual
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groups, early mormons moved to missouri, ohio, and illinois. they were persecuted arrested and several were killed including the founder joseph smith at the age of 38. under the leadership of others including brigham young whose great, great, great grandson, by the way is hall of fame quarterback steve young, they got as far west as salt lake city utah and set up camp as the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. lds for short. but part of the history of the church that they can't shake is polygamy. >> it is impossible to reinvent our history. that is our history. it is what it is. we make no apologies for that. >> steven snow the official church historian. he concedes that even though polygamy was officially banned a century go it is something the church still has to deal with. >> we believe that was actually god's will at the time. but we believe in 1890 that stopped. and our prophet told us that that was no longer acceptable.
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>> critics in other religions have openly called them a cult, while mormons consider themselves christians and believe in the bible there are some key differences. among them, mormons believe jeep sjeep -- jesus visited north or south america after his death and resurrection. mormons don't drink, no caffeine, cigarettes or swearing either. they are expected to tithe 10% of their income to the church. ideally theirs is a wholesome family and church-based life and until now it has also been very private. despite some very public figures from napoleon dynamite to the top senate democrat harry reid, and of course, the man who wants to be the next president. why do you think those of us non-mormons don't know more about the mormon church? >> i don't think they have done a good enough job opening up. they have been very secretive and it causes people to think of
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it as a mystery. >> abby huntsman grew up in a family kidded mormon royalty. a descendant of one of the 12 original mormon apostles. her father john huntsman, former utah governor, former u.s. ambassador to china ran unsuccessfully for the gop nomination. abby is one of 60 huntsman family grandchildren and is the only one to marry outside her religion. she is no longer active in the faith. >> there are a lot of wonderful parts to the church, the family aspect is what i love the most about it. it is very black and white still. there is no gray area. you either are in or you are out. and you live by the mormon doctrine or you do not. >>en this modern world, some old school rules still govern the mormon church and that means no nonmormons allowed inside their temples. a. ann romney's parents, nonmormons were not allowed to see their daughter married in a sealing
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ceremony. the same when abby huntsman's parents were married, her grandparents as nonmormons had to wait outside on the couch. what about the fact that you and i could walk across fifth avenue into st. patrick's cathedral, no one would care or wonder what our religious affiliation is. i can't get into the mormon temple. will that ever change? >> i hope it does. >> what goes on in there? >> i don't think it will. >> nothing crazy. it is very much a sacred thing for mormons. and causes a lot of people to feel maybe not good enough. why am i not allowed in there. so this idea of -- maybe being more accepting and moving with the times a little bit is much needed in the church today. >> then there are the mormon undergarments, the subject of much fascination among nonbelievers. the temple garments they're called? >> i have heard every other name
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in the book. i won't repeat them. >> there are web sites where governor romney wears a thin outer shirt. people post pictures and say there it is. what are they? what does it mean? >> it is very much a symbolic thing that people wear to remind them of christ and when i was in the church i remember hearing stories about people being caught in a fire and the garments were the shield that protected them from harm. most mormons sleep in them. wear them wherever they go. work out in them. >> if i asked a senior member of the church can you show them to me, can i see them? do you think anybody would be willing to strip away the mystery and say, yeah, looks like what you would buy at wal-mart? >> i think to them it would be something that is disrespectful to them. they honor it. when they wear it they feel a sense of pride. >> mormons are famously obsessed with genealogy. and they believe in baptizing
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the souls of the dead, even nonmormons. it's meant to give them a chance to go to the true heaven. >> we believe everyone either in this life or the next will have an opportunity to accept or reject the fundamental beliefs that we believe. >> when it was found they were baptizing even holocaust victims who died because they were jews, the church admitted the mistake and acted to stop it. there is another part of mormonism in the recent past that was late to change, that's racism. african-americans were not allowed to become full members until 1978. >> we're not certain even today, why, why that practice or why that doctrine was in place. it pained me as a young man. ♪ >> the mormon church is under pressure to move fast, faster than they would lack to open up because they're being pushed by questions and public fascination with their religion.
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in no small part because a mormon could be the next president of the united states. >> thank you so much! >> the major party nominee is a mormon for the first time in american history. >> i will tell you that mormons do believe this is their moment in time. and they're very excited about it. >> abby huntsman, part of a prominent mormon family who had her own journey within the mormon church. up next, tonight, we go inside a thoroughly modern mormon family and lack at life among those rules about food, clothes and worship. mom's smartphone... dad's tablet... or lauren's smartphone... at&t has a plan built to help make families' lives easier. introducing at&t mobile share. one plan lets you share data on up to 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. add a tablet for only $10 per month. the more data you share, the more you save.
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you are watching "rock center" live from studio 3 b in new york in the midst of a special hour on the mormon church in america. when we continue the super structure, the infrastructure, the army in place to take care of the church's own members. [ female announcer ] the gold standard in anti-aging. roc® retinol. found in roc® retinol correxion deep wrinkle night cream. it's clinically proven
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we're back. an impressive figure here, 77% of american mormons say they go to church everweek that ivastly more than other fahs. moons are a devoted ith, many of them are devote to having kids. they have a lot of them. and those kids grow up in a church where the ten, male, female, are not equal. that is one tradition among many that has svived despite all the changes going on in the world outside the church. kate snow has visited mormons around the country, representative of a lot of facets of mormonism while keeping it all in the family. ♪ >> reporter: in a predominantly mormon neighborhood outside salt lake city, juline jackson is raising her family the way she was raised in a devout mormon household. she is a stay-at-home mother to kayla, frank, mary alice. al junior and marie. and their lives are filled with
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tradition and ritual. >> when the king heard -- >> reporter: early every morning they spend at least half an hour together reading scripture. and every sunday they spend three hours in church. >> i just want to stand and bear my testi. >> reporter: from the benning juline and husband al were an unlikely couple. >> we were married almost 20 years. they say when you have been married that long you begin to look each other. and i told the kids, i'm not so sure that will ever happen with me and al. >> reporter: in that church you were pretty much the only black face in a sea of white faces. >> right. >> reporter: what's that like for you? >> you know, it hasn't been an issue for me. >> i ask in part because of the history of the church. you know it better than i do. as late as 1978, black mormons were second-class citizens banned from the priesthood and barred from the temple.
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have you ever faced any discrimination in the church? >> never, never. >> reporter: al was raised southern baptist. that all changed once he met juline. your mom, what did she think when you called and said i'm dating this mormon girl. ell after the dial tone. she just didn't understand. she had no idea. she didn't know what a mormon was. >> reporter: for al, marrying juline meant embracing her faith and living by a code of conduct. do you ever find any of it overbearing? >> no, not at all. >> this is a fun time to be mormon. people are like actually want to know. do you really do that? >> people like us. >> yes. is this for real? are you just putting on? >> reporter: here come the question that everybody has. do you drink caffeine? >> no. >> reporter: have you ever, ever had a cup of coffee? >> never had a cup of coffee. i had a coke one time. >> reporter: here it comes.
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literally one coke in your 43 years. caffeine. >> i may have a dr. pepper once in a while. i can't lie. >> reporter: no smoking? >> no smoking. >> reporter: not a sip of wine. not a glass of beer? >> no. >> reporter: do you feel you are missing out? >> when i see people at parties that have had too much off to drink i don't want to go tre the kind of look being in control of my thoughts and what comes out of my mouth. you know. >> reporter: i saw a little peek before, i don't know if that is inappropriate for me to say? >> the garments. magic underwear. >> reporter: you wear those every day? >> i do. it is a reminder of who i am and what i stand for what i am about. >> reporter: can you understand why some people might be wary of what they see as the uniformity of mormonism? >> yes, but you know -- you have to understand i, we're cookie cutter family. you say uniformity? >> reporter: code of conduct. rules of the church.
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people on the outside see it as a negative, too much conformity and uniformity, what do you say to that? >> i don't see so much a uniformity code that we all have to march to. i want to live the gospel of jesus christ the i want to live the commandments of the lord. and they bring me happiness. i am not doing anything i didn't want to do. >> reporter: nei brooks, a rare mormon woman, a feminist who has taken a public stand. joanna teaches literature at san diego state university and is the author of a candid memoir called "the book of mormon girl." >> ever since i was a kid, i have had this core conviction that, men and women are equal, equal inside of god, but i also was raised ein a church with vey clearly denoted mentions of what men should do and what women should do. young men passing the sacrament. my daughter says, mom, why don't girls pass the sacrament?
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i say well this is the way things are. >> reporter: and she is vocal on the subject of whether women can have equality in the mormon faith if they cannot hold leadership positions? >> we wrestle, that women are not in the priesthood, not anner to for all mormon feminists, it is for some of us. many have questions about decision making authority in the church. >> reporter: but it says something that she can appear on national tv and be critical and still be a practicing mormon. 20 years ago, the church never would have stood for it. as recently as 1993, feminist scholars at brigham young university were excommunicated for the same ideas. >> i hope the church doesn't consider me a critic. i want there to be more room. >> reporter: mitch maine is trying to work out his play in the church as an openly gay man. from the time he was a young boy
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he knew his sexuality would be at odd with his family's faith. >> within the faith itself at that period of time it was viewed as an illness, as a sickness. you were told you were afflicted, sick, broken, you are less than. >> reporter: what did your mom say? >> i want to preface this by saying that my mom ended up being, you know, my best friend, and my ally. the first word out of my mom's mouth when i told her i was gay. it would have been better for me if you had been born dead than gay. >> reporter: shunned by his family and shunned by his church, mitch was sent to therapy designed to change his sexuality. it didn't. >> i am mormon. i am a child of my father. and i am a gay man. and to try to break those two apart is an essential -- in essence breaking apart my spirit. >> reporter: mitch turned his back on mormonism for many years. when he returned he found it less openly hostile to an openly gay man.
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whe he is free to march in the church opposes it. in san francisco he wasn't just welcomed in his congregation he was elevated to a leadership position the first for a gay man. as long as he remains celibate he can serve. >> reporter: if you met somebody tomorrow and you wanted to have a relationship would you have to give up your leadership role? >> i would probably have to give it up. >> reporter: if mitch maine's challenge is staying in a church that doesn't fully accept his lifestyle. 'o say ♪ >> reporter: al and juline have a different struggle, raising kids ein a culture. do you feel bombarded? >> it's hard to sit down and watch a ball game with my son, the commercials they sexualize everything. >> every day we read the scriptures then we also study out of the little pamphlet called "for the strength of
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youth." >> what do you think that means? >> if you are virtuous and you have a light with you then you should be dating someone who is also virtuous. >> yeah, that's a good thought. >> reporter: at 17 their eldest daughter kayla loves piano wants to see the word and have a business career and by now has had a boyfriend. >> a lot of people will say, well your parents must make you do this. i understand. i feel bad for you that you have to have all these standard. but for me, it just comes to a pin the where, i accept it myself. >> reporter: can i ask you a really personal question? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: when you had the boyfriend for a little while, did he want to get physical? >> yeah. somewhat. it was -- fun to have a boyfriend, and someone to hang out with all the time. but i just didn't want to -- to have it go that far and so that's when -- >> reporter: you weren't going to break the promise. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: hopefully they can
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see for themselves, you lay the foundation, but ultimate low they have to go out in the world and figure it out for themselves. >> reporter: if one of your kids came to you and said i slipped up? >> and that's the beautiful part of the gospel is the atonement is real. you can be forgiven. >> kate snow reporting there. and about that last bit about forgiveness. not all mormons feel forgiven. brings us back to a portion of our conversation with abby huntsman. she told us about being called in front of her bishop in the mormon church. it had to do with the young man she later married and had led to her separation from the mormon church. >> the reason i really left was because of an experience i had with the bishop. >> something you have talked about before? >> yeah, no. it was when i first met my husband. at the time we had dated three weeks. he found out i was dating someone that wasn't a member of the church. called me in. said i am concerned about you and your life. and do you love him?
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and i said well i have only known him three weeks. what i do know he is a great guy. at that point i was just, i said -- who ever i fall in love with i fall in love with. i am not going to live in this bubble anymore. i need to live my life for me. and he basically said, you know you are not going to have the blessings, your kids will not be blessed if you end up marrying this man. he is such a great guy. in my heart, i just -- i get kind of emotional about it because for a bishop to tell me how i needed to live my life and that i would or would not be blessed because of it was, was very difficult. i know that i am one of many, many women that go through experiences like that. and i walked out that door and i couldn't go back. >> abby huntsman. a descendant of one of the 12 original mormon apostles and now a former member of the mormon church. coming up next here tonight, harry smith is back with a rare look at how the church takes care of its own. all of it directed from one
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massive nerve center. >> this would make the people from costco jealous. it's almost seems endless. [ female announcer ] so you think your kids are getting enough vegetables? yeah, maybe not. v8 v-fusion juice gives them a full serving of vegetables
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welcome back. 13,62 th is the number of mormon bishops in the united states they're all laymen, mitt romney used to be one of them. their job include discipline and spiritual guidance and tending to church members who are in need. harry smith has been given a rare look inside a huge but little known effort by the mormon church, spearheaded by those bishops. to show what they believe it means to be your brother's keeper. >> reporter: mormons believe and jesus taught that faith without works is dead. spend a little time with the mormon and you will get a since of just what that means. kirk green heads a suburban
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mormon congregation near salt lake city. >> it is one thing to go to church, listen to some one speak, go home and say that was nice. it is different to have that get into your soul and try to see people that need help and fog ye -- figure out can we help them. >> reporter: help from the pocket books and good work by mormons, mormons fast once a month and the money spent on those meals gets collected and goes to help the needy. as the it turns out. mormon incomes mirror those of the rest of us which means there are a lot more than a few mormons who could use a lift. as a matter of fact one quarter of all u.s. mormons earn $30,000 a year or less. when they have trouble making end meet their needs are met in a big, big way. this is a rare look into the utah bishops central warehouse in salt lake city. there is sugar. there is salt. there is wheelchairs. there is toilet paper. a half million square foot
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monument to mormon commitment to helping others. this is crazy. rick foster is a manager of the church's welfare operations. it looks to me look there is almost everything in here to sustain human life. is that an exaggeration? >> it is not at all. nothing extravagant, but basic commodities that you would find in any grocery store. this would make the people from costco jealous, i think. it is almost seems endless. almost everything in here was produced by the church. for charity. not for profit. the mormon industrial complex was created to perpetuate self reliance. >> we grow a lot of our products on farms. we raise cattle on ranches, fruit in our orchards. >> there is enough food and supplies here to support the church's welfare efforts for an entire year. and to attend to natural disasters around the world.
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this is mind-boggling. the peaches and turkey chunks from this warehouse are trucked to 110 regional storehouses around the country. >> we pray for safety and for protection. >> reporter: the trucks don't move until the drivers pray and sing. not far from the bishop's storehouse is a place called welfare square. where mormon volunteers turn mormon milk into mormon cheese. >> you look it? >> reporter: really good. >> we could probably get you a block. >> reporter: a show place of mormon generosity even dripping in mormon honey. >> is it hot? >> yes. >> reporter: and that mormon honey will taste great on this fresh baked mormon bread. mormon volunteer said this to me. wouldn't it be wonderful if we could solve the world's problems with a loaf of bread? indeed. and to receive a loaf of bread
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and more, all a needy mormon has to do is ask. local bishops like curt green sign off on a form which is even better than cash. there is tuna, beef stew, meats. >> yeah, yeah. there is actually, a bishop's order form. which is look a shopping list. and, you know it is not fancy. but there is all the basics that you can do really well with. and a few nice things. i notice there is ice cream on this one. no money changes hand here or in any of the 142 stores like it around the world. curt green runs a successful digital printing business, and he serves as one of the unpaid bishops in centerville, utah. all mormon bishops are regular church members and are called to serve, typically for around five years. monitoring the spiritual and temporal need of his congregation of 420 people is a huge responsibility. >> reporter: is it daunting? >> some days, yeah.
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and you think to yourself that could be me tomorrow. >> could you start in the patch and i'll start over here. >> reporter: that was jamie reynolds' situation. after her divorce she needed to ask bishop green for help. the bishop and his neighbors provided this garden plot for jamie and every now and then she still comes to a storehouse with her bishop's list. >> reporter: without sounding crass, you are going to be a mormon, this is not a bad fringe benefit? >> it is true. i am not going to splat on the cement at the end of it. if i fall, there is somebody to help. >> reporter: there is a significant safety net? >> yes. for me that is a really comforting thing. >> hello there! good to see you! >> reporter: comforting volunteers like sue and bob moore try to remove any stigma of having to make a trip here. >> go right in here, two hamburger patties. we try to make them feel welcome. some people come in, could be the worst day of their life. they are really down. they have lost their job.
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their children are hungry. >> reporter: i have done nothing but meet volunteers all day today. and they all say the same thing. >> oh, yeah. that's what we're taught. this is what the savior would want us to do. >> reporter: as we said you can't pay for the items in the store. you can do volunteer work in exchange. >> we don't just give them food. we put them to work. life isn't about getting something for nothing. >> reporter: it's not just for mormons, but you do have to meet with a bishop first. >> we'll help anyone at any time as long as well are able to do so and have resources available to do so. >> reporter: you don't sit there saying, i'll help you just so long as you convert? >> absolutely not. there is no tie to that whatsoever. >> reporter: welfare director rick foster says the goal is to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible. to that end, there are now 327 mormon employment offices around the world. and if you need clothing, there are thrift stores, too. and a lot more we haven't shown
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you. mormons really do believe they are their brother's keeper. >> it is a commitment and belief to follow christ in the way that he lived his life. and one of the biggest ways he lived his life was taking care of the poor, those who are less fortunate to have all of the breaks in life. >> so let's go back through, the job description of a bishop. and, a subplot here -- can you picture mitt romney as a bishop? >> absolutely. so many people in the mormon church wish he would sort of reveal a little more of that. you are sort of the pastor of a flock as it were, 400-some members. people who are having trouble making their end meet, trouble with the rent check. they would come to him on a consistent basis and say, how do i make this work? and he would counsel them. and tell them, well here is the list. and check off the items and go ahead and go to the store. >> something you mentioned. of all the mormons you met and dealt with in conjunction with this story, would you say most would be more comfortable if
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mitt romney talked more or less about his mormonism? >> i think more. because -- it was interesting, during the break, i was saying, we met these different people from so many different walks of life. one of the women there with the hair net on. she is a ph.d. candidate. the other guy is a financial planner. you would not be able to distinguish these people from any other walk of life except for their total commitment to their faith. >> and i can't believe you actually brought this -- >> i brought it along. because the folks there in welfare square said brian is welcome here any time. >> told you i wasn't going to mention your hat. since you put it on the table so to speak. harry, thank you. harry smith. see more of harry's very rare look inside this massive mormon effort to feed the needy. on our website tonight. up next, after a break, if you have seen the book of mormon on broadway, if-up have heard anything about it, you might find it surprising to learn there is a mormon in the cast. we'll hear from him after this. this is the plan that revolves around you.
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