SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Gov. Mitt Romney's race to the White House was a historic journey for the man, but also for Latter-day Saints in Utah and around the world.
Romney is the first Mormon to be nominated for President by a major political party. His journey created great exposure for the Church around the world. Despite his loss, his strong supporters in Utah say they will support President Obama with their prayers.
"My reaction was surprise. I was a little bit surprised. I thought Romney would do a little bit better," said Latter-day Saint, Gregory Gardner.
"It was surprising how many voted for him. So I think that's neat," Gardner said.
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement about Mr. Obama's big win. Part of it reads, "We congratulate President Obama on winning a second term." It also reads, "...now (is) a time for Americans to come together. It is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints to pray for our national leaders in our personal prayers and in our congregations."
According to CNN, 57,600,523 people voted for Romney and 60,399,599 people voted for President Obama. The difference is 2,799,076 votes. More than 57 million people were willing to support a man who happened to be a Latter-day Saint.
This fact has raised awareness about the Latter-day Saint Church almost like never before.
"For us as LDS people this has been a wonderful privilege to have a member of this Church to represent out nation as one of the people running for President," said Latter-day Saint, Karl VanDyke.
As this Church becomes more visible, its leaders lowered the age for missionary service among men from 19-years-old to 18 and for women from 21-years-old to 19 for men. This change has more than doubled the number of missionaries signing up to serve during the weeks following the announcement.