Writers, online posts seek to make Mormonism's unknown known

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 29 2012 8:00 a.m. MDT

Bruce D. Jones, a local LDS Church leader in Morristown, N.J., similarly tried to help people know a little more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by writing as a guest columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger about "five myths about Mormons." The five "myths" that he addressed were:

All Mormons live in Utah ("More than half of its 14 million members live outside the United States," Jones wrote. "You could attend services in Mexico, Mongolia or Mozambique.")

Mormons do not believe in Christ ("Detractors may debate what it means to be Christian, but we simply follow Jesus Christ," Jones said. "If you were to attend church services in any of our seven congregations in northwestern New Jersey, you would be hard-pressed to find evidence to the contrary.")

Mormons vote as they are told ("Certainly, our members share values, but those values do not dictate political affiliation," said Jones, who is president of the LDS Church's Morristown New Jersey Stake. "Our church easily accommodates both the Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.")

Mormons shun the outside world ("Many misinterpret our strong sense of community with a desire to exclude," he said, adding, "Our Sunday services are open to all. We seek to build community. And we aid those around us, particularly during disasters.")

Mormons have many wives (Although the church officially discontinued polygamy more than 120 years ago, Jones said, "this myth persists, even among my most educated acquaintances.")

"In the coming weeks, campaign rhetoric will increase," Jones said. "As Americans scrutinize the Republican candidate, you may hear the less informed repeat these myths. No matter whom you support, please keep these myths from perpetuating."

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