Sen. Bennett releases book about his faith

Sen. Bennett releases book about his faith

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Senator Bob Bennett is speaking out these days on two of the most controversial subjects in American culture -- politics and religion. The senator has written a book about faith at the same time he faces a difficult reelection campaign.

We are used to seeing Sen. Bennett representing Utahns in the U.S. Capitol or as the subject of political interviews, but this is something different. The senator is the author of a new book about his faith, specifically focusing on "The Book of Mormon." It's called "Leap of Faith."

He began writing, he says, just before the 2002 Winter Olympics, upset with how a publication he considers sacred was described by critics of his Church.

"I start answering these people. I never really had any idea what I was going to do, what was going to happen with that, but it was on my mind. I wanted to get it off my chest and get it down on paper," he said.

The timing of the book's release has raised opponents' eyebrows. They wonder about his motive during an election year. He says that was publisher, Deseret Book's, decision.

"We did make the decision we want to do it in 2009, rather than 2010 because we want to avoid making it look like it was brought out in the election year," he said.

The senator says he tried publishers outside his church, but once Mitt Romney stepped out of the presidential race, they were no longer interested in Mormon subjects.

Sen. Bennett, who once worked for Howard Hughes' company and disproved two forgery attempts about the billionaire used the same techniques in his manuscript to prove the Book of Mormon it not a forgery. But even with all of the reasoning, Sen. Bennett says believing still takes a leap of faith, hence the title.

And even though the book has just been released, he knows one high-profile colleague from 'across the aisle' who will accept a copy graciously.

"That's the vice-president. He is a faithful Catholic, but he has been to Utah and he has met the president of the church. He has been to BYU, he has talked to the missionaries, and I'll be very interested to see what his reaction is," Sen. Bennett said.

As for sales, it is like an election, he says, you never know until all the votes--or in this case, receipts--are counted.

One of the senator's opponents in his own party, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, also has a book to be released soon. His is about the U.S. Supreme Court's Dred Scott ruling.


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Carole Mikita


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