Is this really a 'Mormon Moment,' LDS Church official asks

Published: Thursday, Aug. 18 2011 6:52 p.m. MDT

Michael Otterson, the head of Public Affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is wondering if society is truly undergoing a “Mormon Moment.”

Previous media-grabbing events like the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the 2008 presidential election involving Mitt Romney and the sheer fact that the church increases in size by hundreds of thousands each year were among Otterson’s points in his “On Faith” blog for the Washington Post.

“Perhaps most significantly as the church grows, more people have a Mormon co-worker, neighbor or friend,” Otterson writes. “And, as people get to know Mormons they get a clearer, fuller and more accurate picture of our faith. This is vital, since real understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lags far behind its visibility.”

Otterson made three points about truly understanding the beliefs that constitute the core of the church and its members. He said that Mormons follow Jesus Christ, that they are “friends of the family” and that they place emphasis on “incorporating their religious beliefs into their day-to-day actions.”

Otterson mentioned how notable Latter-day Saints like David Archuleta will continue to have a presence in the public setting as the fourth-largest church in the United States grows.

“Sheer numbers mean more Mormons in business, government, education, the arts, entertainment and other places in public life,” Otterson said.

Many media reports, spearheaded by a June article in Newsweek and perpetuated by other outlets, including reports from the New York Times and Business Week — not to mention a bit from Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central just days ago — have referenced 2011 as the year in which the LDS Church has received unprecedented attention.

Email: rwilkinson@desnews.com Twitter: wilklogan

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