The last time we heard Governor Romney speak so explicitly about his Mormon faith was in 2007, when he famously gave a speech offering a strong defense of religious freedom. Whether for political purposes or personal ones, Romney pretty much stopped talking about his religion soon after that.
But now the Governor appears to be opening up a little bit and shedding some light on his deep religious convictions, which help shape his life from a young age. The Washington Post has a fascinating look at Romney's time as leader in his Boston church.
Next week, at the Republican National Convention, a member of the Mormon Church will deliver the invocation and Governor Romney's role as a Mormon bishop will be woven into the biographical narrative.
Over this past weekend, BuzzFeed reporter McKay Coppins accompanied Romney and his family to church. What Coppins found was hardly remarkable; it was humanizing. Coppins describes Romney as just any other churchgoer--singing hymns, taking part in religious sacraments, and keeping his grandchildren from getting bored. Coppins writes:
At one point, Romney took a restless, blonde-haired grandson onto his lap and flipped through a picture book to quiet him. At another, a congregant with a thick New England accent stood and asked for volunteers to join the women's choir that was about to sing. Egged on by an encouraging nod from her husband, Mrs. Romney rose (along with the majority of the women in the chapel) and made her way to the stand. The hymn they sang, "Because I Have Been Given Much," is a Mormon standard, whose pay-it-forward moral teaches that every individual should use the blessings they've received to bless the lives of others.
Romney also sat down for an interview with the magazine of Washington's National Cathedral. In it, Romney said, "Every religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These should not be bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree."
This isn't much, and Romney still hasn't publicly used the word "Mormon" in any recent speeches. But as he creates the narrative for the convention and the rest of the campaign, it will be hard for him to completely ignore his faith.