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Mormons & Media: High-profile folk help understanding of LDS?

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 8 2011 3:15 p.m. MST

Tuesday's Mormons & Media offerings include a Washington Post faith column suggesting the understanding of the LDS Church is aided by some of the high-profile members and a Chicago Sun-Times feature how married-student couples fare on campus.

In the Washington Post's regular "On Faith" offering, staff writer Sandya Somashekhar suggests the increase of high-profile Mormons in politics and media — think Romney, Huntsman, Reid and Beck — has resulted in an increased understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

To underscore the point, she quotes Michael Otterson, managing director of the LDS Church's Public Affairs Department: "I think back in 2007, a lot of the approach to our church was simple curiosity. They knew nothing at all about us. Now, we're getting to a point where people are looking at us more seriously."

Speaking of Mormons and politics, the liberal-leaning American Prospect offers in its "Tapped" group blog some tongue-in-cheek rules about presidential candidates and religion in "How Republicans Are Supposed to Talk about Religion."

However, the blog seems to spend more time trying to be cheeky than getting all the LDS facts straight.

Levi and Shanna Mele are one of the leading husband-and-wife duos prominently featured in the Chicago Sun-Times's lengthy look at married couples doubling as college students in "Married on campus: 'Life is so much more stable."

Both hail from Utah, with the Meles trying to juggle their classes, his varsity wrestling at Northwestern and the nurturing of their five-month-old son, Wyatt. Adjustments have included a honeymoon while on a college recruiting trip and eschewing standard dorm applications for incoming students in favor of graduate-student housing.

e-mail: taylor@desnews.com

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