Comments about ‘Mormons need to work to increase favor’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 7 2010 12:44 a.m. MDT

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Joggle

Part of the problem as I see it is the misconception by people who wish to spread the word. Most people have heard or learned about "the word" in one form or another. Many religions share similiar aspects of "the word". It may not be exactly the LDS "word", but the general message is very similiar. Many don't want to be approached and don't want to hear your version of the message boldly shared. They want to choose to hear it rather than having to be forced to politely listen or to shut you out. Most religions don't go out door-to-door trying to sell "the word". For the most part it is a turn-off....with exceptions of course!

BYU Blue

There are 21 other states that either prohibit liquor or auto sales or both on Sundays, 43 states at the least have state mandated time periods when no alcohol can be sold or served. Yes Utah auto dealers have to be closed one day of the week, but did you know they have a choice of either Sunday or Saturday? Mormons are not the only faith that has a “Sabbath” day. That’s why the state legislator gave dealers the choice to pick and choose to accommodate to other religions. Car dealerships are closed on Sundays because of the owners not the legislator.
You have 6 other days to buy your liquor or your car. If those 6 days during the week don’t suffice, it sounds like more of a personal rather than a legislative problem to me.
The church is not at the ear of the governor and the legislator whispering to them what they can and can’t do. Those bodies are made up of elected officials, elected by the people of this state. The church isn’t drawing up bills and debating them on the floor.

Carson

The Internet has hurt Mormonism people can now read your history and see how it was all put together. Mormons claim it's Anti but 99% of the teaching and doctrines came out of the mouths of your early leaders.

Kim

Outside of Utah I have encountered the most discrimination/bigotry against Mormons in the states west of Colorado. These states have have relatively large LDS populations. East of Colorado the church exists in relative obscurity. I am not sure even the most robust PR campaign by the church is going to change the image of the church that much. I think the larger issue is how do we individually respond to this view of the church? I agree that getting defensive does not help. We just need to ignore the hateful comments and love everyone. Have friendships outside the church that are every bit as close as friendships in the church. Be a part of the larger community where ever you live. That will do more than anything to dispel all of the misconceptions.

my slc

To paraphrase Sally Field:

"I haven't had an orthodox career, and I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can't deny the fact that you don't like me, right now, you really don't like me!" (1985)

Why does the church even care if folks like them?

You are what you are.

ECE

Good article. If members learn to relate a little more to non members its going to make thing a lot more comfortable for both sides.

Hellooo

I am not LDS, but if you were to ask 1000 people randomly chosen about anything in America, they would have about the same ability to respond knowledgeably. Ask them who is the Vice-President, where is Greece, who is head of the Catholic Church, do Jewish people believe in Christ, anything. You would get similar polling results. The negativity would be true with regard to any "Christian" religion. The last institution in America to which prejudice and bias is justified, constantly proclaimed and accepted. It may be to some small extent "Mormons" fault, but to a large extent, it just shows the general lack of knowledge or interest by Americans in anything but themselves.

Tlingit

"I say that any church that can have Glenn Beck and Harry Reid as active members is a big-tent religion."

[Chuckle] Good point.


@dave | 3:57 p.m. Aug. 6, 2010

I'm sorry, but that is one of the most ludicrous things I have ever read.

The WHOLE POINT of a federated democracy is to create a country where states can set their own laws, laws which reflect the beliefs of their citizens (within the bounds of the Constitution).

I don't see Californians going out of their way to create laws to appeal to Utahans, do you?

And I wouldn't expect them too.

In fact, if I did, I would literally be anti-America.

There is nothing more American than allowing states like Utah and Alaska to be blue, and states like California and Washington to be red.

Consequently, it's more than a little ironic that you criticize the Church for its "stranglehold," while insisting that Utah "normalizes" its laws to conform to "visitors" beliefs.

That's rhetoric, Dave.

To be clear: you want to force Utahans to believe only as you do, and not allow them their own beliefs.

Tch tch.

idablu

I agree with the basic tenet that we should do more to inform the public to correct the many misconceptions about Mormons.
But call it a persecution complex if you want but the fact remains that there is a huge public and media bias against Mormons. Just look at the scrutiny Romney took about religion. No one else was asked about their religion.
Show me any other religion that has more misinformation and hatred spewed against it in the internet and other media sources with the possible exception of Islam. At least it is politically incorrect to bash Islam but OK to bash the LDS.

There are a lot of good LDS people and some not so good. But many of the posters here prefer to stereotype, generalize, or just plain hate, and those people are unlikely to be persuaded otherwise. One definition of bigotry is judging an entire group of people based on misbehavior or bad experience of a few.

I like the advice of just striving to live your religion, be an example without judging and being the best neighbor you can be. Swaying attitudes is a tough battle, especially in Utah.

Joggle

Keep in mind...don't blame the messenger because the message is unpleasant or something you disagree with....or something unbelievable. The message may be more to blame than anything rather than the person delivering it. The messengers may have good intentions, but unfortunately for the messenger the message may not be welcome or needed.

dave

Tlingit | 12:52 p.m. Aug. 7, 2010

I did not judge the validity of these laws (although I believe they are designed to punish the non-mormons as they serve no practical purpose). I am very aware that the constitution allows states to be foolish if they choose.

The subject of the article seems to be lost on you and others'. Read the article. Understand the article. reread what I wrote. I wrote as to why people do not like mormons... That's all. It is the truth.

John-Dude

Hi. The article was interesting. My first thought was: if members could just forget about "the Church" entirely and focus exclusively on living with charity, faith, and hope, choosing not to judge others because we're so blessed, as others seem to have so much less in comparison (with our fulness of the Gospel, authority, blessings, etc, etc), if members could forget they ever heard the words "one true" ANYTHING and just focus on living by example the way Jesus did, then I think a lot of the misconceptions would die a natural death on their own. Sometimes, I think here in Utah, we're very focused on how our blessings separate us from those around us, but that separation in our minds ends up affecting the way we think about the people around us. Utah culture seems full of these distinctions (Spanish Wards, Tongan Wards, Singles Wards, Priests, High Priests, non-members, etc), and it leads people here to separate THEMSELVES proudly by our perceived blessings, even before WE are separated by those who don't understand our culture. Maybe we could start by removing the separations in our own minds/culture first, so we look "true" from outside.

Ridgely

This is an interesting article but I keep wondering where in the Salt Lake Valley do we have neutral spaces and events that promote mingling of Mormons and Non-Mormons so we get past these loaded perceptions?

So many events and milestones in our "community" are exclusive to one group or the other. Even the FAIR Conference is just counter-programming to the Sunstone Symposium, just like the LDS Film Festival is counter-programming to Sundance, or the Pride Parade is counter-programming to the Mormon Pioneer Day Parade. Non-Mormons go to Red Butte Gardens and Mormons go to Thanksgiving Point. We either read the S.L. Tribune or the Deseret News. Sometimes it seems like we live in parallel universes that never touch.

Where's the middle ground where everyone can let their defenses down?

Excuse the strange example but I really miss the elaborate Christmas Windows at ZCMI, where everyone could enjoy them without judgment, exclusion or fear of proselytizing.

mamiejane

It's hard to have positive feelings about a Church that is forcing non-member businesses to close on Sunday at the new city creek center. Business owners who follow the dictates of Islam or Judaism will be forced to organize their businesses around the LDS sabbath, rather than their own day of rest. This kind of forcing the rest of us to set aside our deeply held beliefs if we want to do business in Utah doesn't breed respect.

Idaho Coug

So many members of the Church believe that almost anything about LDS history and doctrine that is negative or embarrassing must be "missinformation", "misconceptions", "outright lies", etc.

Folks, we are trying so hard to package the LDS religion into a nice neat little package that can be accepted by everyone. Numbers, PR and apologetics seem to have been the driving force of the LDS Church for many year now.

We ARE very different. Our history and doctrine DOES have some things that are hard to accept or view in a positive light for many people.

Certainly there is some missinformation. But even information from the most critical websites do contain a great deal of truth.

And I think that is okay. I personally do not accept all that has been done or taught since Joseph Smith. But I know we have been and are lead by BOTH revelation and imperfect human beings. So I am not just okay with LDS history and doctrine but I love it.

The problem is so many members want to pretend anything that does not fit into a pretty little perfect message or pass-along card is a lie or anti.

Continued

Linus

Friends,
Have you not heard, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." For some reason, no matter where I am, I am not surprised to find that local customs and practices reflect the predominant preferences of the people who live there. Utah will have free-flowing liquor laws as soon as the majority wants them. Utah will have open car showrooms and sales lots as soon as the majority wants them. Utah will have gambling and lotteries as soon as a majority want them.
Most who move to Utah, including me, moved here willingly. Some, including me, even like the culture they find here. I like it here. If I didn't, I would look around for some other place to live. I would say to our offended, critical and bitter friends, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

KM

@joe blow
It sounds like you are the one who is hung up on the word of wisdom (abstaining from alcohol and tobacco) most LDS don't give a hoot about whether somebody is drinking or smoking. True religion is between you and your God. Its individual. So go ahead and smoke all you want, It doesn't bother me in the least. Just don't blow it in my face. LDS are alot less judgmental than you might think. I think they are mostly trying to live their religion the best they can. You know ... live and let live. Have a great day! And I mean that!

The Atheist

I read so many "faithful" LDS acknowledging they need to "get their message out" - WRONG! That is part of the problem! You treat non-Mormons like they are targets for your "message"! That is not treating them like they are real human beings or sincere friends. I no more want you to be my friend if you are targeting me as a "potential convert" than I want to make friends with a pushy car salesman!

I repeat, NO, you do NOT need to get your message out! We do NOT need to better understand Mormons and your message! Keep religion out of your relationships. That is the only way to be true friends.

Joggle

@idablu

Show me any other religion that has more misinformation and hatred spewed against it

It's not a religion....but atheists/non-believers are more like to be treated worse and have more misinformation. They just don't go around like Mormons trying to spread the word as much as Mormons do. It grows on its own mostly.

onewhotries

I am thankful for my testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel!
When I joined the LDS church, as a person of color, some white members left the ward in protest saying it was a "white church". Now I hear Blacks asking, why do you go to that "white church". I believe after the Lord saw the church established [by those that had the means] he opened priveledges to All His children of which there are more of color than not.
Now we have missionaries going to all parts of the world to teach, add to what others already have. Utah Mormons need to see that it is to be shared by one and all, that God is no respecter of persons. That because you might be of pioneer heritage you do not have a monopoly on God or His teachings!

Unlike many of you, I don't feel that I am better or worse than anyone else;I just believe that I am His child ,too ,so I strive to show love to all; mormons,jews, muslims,protestants,black,white, asian,african,american.european,man,woman,child everyone!
We must live truth; by example is how we teach it!

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