I am a bit of a unique case. I'm a convert to the LDS Church who grew up in a small town in Southern Utah. Good luck finding many more people who fit that demographic. Being a convert, I can see things from the perspective of members of the church and those who are not. I'm seeing some disturbing but differing opinions from LDS and non LDS people.
A Mormon conspiracy?
A few people are questioning why there are two Mormon candidates going after the Republican nomination. It's really an accurate reflection of demographics. The LDS church is the largest American born church. It's also one the largest of any in our nation. The Church has been outspoken on a number of social issues. A majority of the members of the church are conservatives. Being that the Republican party tends to be the most conservative of the two parties many members choose to be Republican. Look at the election demographics and you will notice that states with a high percentage of LDS people vote overwhelmingly Republican. It only makes sense that the Republican Party would have one of two LDS candidates.
As far as the Church somehow using these guys to implement its desired policies on society as a whole, these guys are not exactly ideal for such a conspiracy. As far as their track record and views on the issues are concerned, there are three other candidates who are not members of the Church, who's views on the issues are more compatible with the teachings of Church leaders. Besides, if there was a conspiracy I would have received a message about it in my secret Mormon decoder ring.
The Church's official position:
"We urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government.
The Church affirms its neutrality regarding political parties, platforms, and candidates. The Church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues."
-First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 11, 2008, read to Church congregations throughout the United States
The Church does not in any way promote candidates or parties. Church members have been counciled that they are not to use Church membership or leadership positions to get worldly gain. It would be a violation of Church teachings for a candidate to make their standing in the Church as part of a campaign. You know, vote for me I was a bishop. To see such a thing is rare, and they are usually localized crack pots.
Voting for Romney or Huntsman because they are members
I am seeing a lot of LDS conservatives excited and outspoken in their support of Romney and Huntsman. If you are voting for for them because you like their track record and stance on the issues, that is fine. However, if you are voting for them because they are members of the Church, you are in violation of the council of the leaders of the Church. Also, you are in practice, no different than those who voted for Obama because he was a black Democrat.
Would you vote for Harry Reid simply because he is LDS regardless of his political beliefs or past actions? Why would you vote for Huntsman or Romney if you disagree with things they have done or their stance on the issues? Do you agree that mankind is causing global warming? Do you think outsourcing more jobs to China is a good idea? Of course no candidate is going to be perfect, but the primary season is a good time to be picky.
I would much rather never have an LDS President than have an LDS President who is bad for the country. I think Huntsman was a terrible Governor and I don't think he would be a good President. I think Mitt would do a good job on most things, but he is far from being my first choice. These next few years, are going to be tough times. Knowing the prejudice that already exists against the Church, I'm going to be much more critical of LDS candidates that I feel have problems. If we have a a terrible LDS President the backlash against the Church and its members will make the Prop 8 backlash look like a walk in the park.