As the presidential candidacy of Republican Mitt Romney has ramped up, so has public interest in his religion.
Congregants take any questions as an opportunity to spread the faith. Polygamy? Long outlawed. No tobacco, alcohol or caffeine? Don't do anything that harms the body. Romney? Good man, but the church doesn't endorse candidates.
What is drawing more and more people? Family values, for one. Many cultures are attracted to the Mormon teaching that they can stay together not just now, but for eternity.
Haiti-born Milsaint Valcin and his wife, Rose Nora Saint-Hilaire, recently drove to the Mormon temple near Orlando for a Sealing Ceremony.
"You can marry at a chapel, but that's just temporal," says Valcin, who attends the Boynton Beach Ward. "When you marry in a temple, it's eternal."
Mormons take care of each other on this side of eternity as well. Valcin was converted in Haiti, then came to the United States in 2002. Church members helped him fill out a resume and looked up job postings in their companies.
"I couldn't ask for more," says Valcin, a substitute math and French teacher for Palm Beach County public schools. "The church members hugged me and helped me."
A strong work ethic is another aspect immigrants like about the Mormon faith, says Nathan Katz, professor of religious studies at Florida International University. "They also stand for abstinence, patriotism, respect for authority and church-centered life. And that has an appeal across ethnic boundaries."
Another secret to Mormon growth: constant missionizing. Nearly 55,000 youths volunteer their time - two years for men, 11/2 for women - to spread the message in nations as far flung as Ghana, Russia, India and Mongolia. The Fort Lauderdale Mission has 140 of them.
The majority of converts likely are former Catholics, given the religious makeup of Haiti and Hispanic nations. But local Mormons also come from nearly every other group: Jews, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, mainline Protestants.
Jamaica-born Valda Giambri was attending a Pentecostal church 10 years ago when her sister first showed an interest in a local Mormon church. "I said, 'I'll take you there and go to my church,' " she recalls. "But I stayed and listened, and I never left."
Nowadays, whenever someone asks her about LDS beliefs, she always invites them to church at the Palm Springs Ward, which includes Pembroke Pines and part of north Miami-Dade County. "I tell people, don't take my word for it. Find out. Come. Investigate. Get the truth about it."
Yet all this growth has come with few of the adjustments other churches try, like ethnic foods or music. And members seem to like it that way.
"If I go to Hawaii and drop into a Mormon church, I'll see the same service," says Natalia Camargo, 23, leader of the young single adults group at the Cypress Creek Branch. "That's the beauty of it. All the wards are the same around the world."
In the Fort Lauderdale Ward, the 600 members include Haitians, Brazilians, Jamaicans and others. But their racial stance is spelled out on varicolored bracelets some of them wear: "One Heart, One Mind, Be One."
"It's hard to define what the cultural majority is," remarks Bethel, of the Fort Lauderdale Ward whose wife is from Japan. "We're all the same, just different shades of brown."
Says Terron, of the Cypress Creek Branch: "If Mitt Romney wins the presidency, then sits next to me in a temple, we'll still be equal."
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