Washington Post examines Mormon church's 'powerful use of the Internet'


Return To Article
  • Kimball Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 25, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    Why do people who are so worked up and hate the church so much continually reading and commenting about it? I usually avoid and ignore things I dislike. The riveting obsession speaks volumes. Criticism and namecalling never really hurt but can strengthen.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 25, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    When shared by members of a group, faith strongly supports that groups internal cohesion. It strengthens the groups capacity to to cope with the challenges life brings. From the outside, as a cynical observer might see it, faith is an undertaking to suspend ones critical faculties as far as certain specified basic propositions are concerned; it is a kind of voluntary suspension of thinking by refusing to consider the validity of other information. The true believer will never let himself admit, even to himself, that he has been beaten in an argument about the propositions he believes in. Many people still need that sense of rootedness and direction and purpose faith brings. The LDS Church uses the internet to spread its version of Mormonism and other various sources spread what the members call false or misleading information. I am skeptical about the faiths that require uncritical acceptance of their doctrines, history, and dogmas. I believe before you accept any idea you should turn it inside out, look it over very carefully, and verify it through all available information including people who have critically and extensively examined information about it and have left. They all can't be liars!

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 5:41 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said ,AS for (the Apostle) John. (D&C 7).
    Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"(John 21:23 NIV). JS misunderstood the tricky KJV word order, Saint John would die.

    Bill said, After all it is by the grace of Jesus Christ that each is saved, after all that we can do or God helps those who help themselves, Wrong.
    The Bible teaches, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithand this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are Gods handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in ADVANCE for us to do. (Ephesians (2: 8-10).
    It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.(Romans 9:16)

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 24, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    To LValfre: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency are all prophets, seers and revelators (15 men). As for John and the three Nephites were said to NEVER TASTE DEATH and that they would see the second coming of the Lord. Now does this mean they are actually alive is really up to interpretation. I believe they have been transformed and thus roam the earth preparing others to be converted to the ONLY TRUE AND LIVING CHURCH ON EARTH. Have I been administered to? No, but I know others who have stated they have. Each is very adamant about this. Does it matter to me? No! Is it important to my salvation? No! What is important is that I and many like me are striving to be the best they can be. After all it is by the grace of Jesus Christ that each is saved, after all that we can do. After all we can do reflects to obeying the commandments as best we can. To listening and following as best we can to the counsel and instruction of those chosen by the Lord. In the end it will matter what type of life we lead.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 23, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    @Red Headed Stranger,

    "First, a prophet has to declare that he or she is a prophet." - So If I pray and hear back I can declare myself a prophet. Thus we declare ourselves prophets. So anybody can be a prophet, we just have to gather followers, right?


    I didn't understand the 15 prophets, seers, and revelators either. But there are three disciples still preaching including the Apostle John still alive? I thought there was just one LDS prophet alive at any time and that every other prophet on earth was false. Am I mistaken?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 10:04 a.m.

    Bill in Nebraska, There are 15 Prophet, Seers and Revelators upon the Earth at one time???
    The 28th chapter of 3rd Nephi says there are 3 disciples still around preaching the true gospel of Christ, they are to remain alive until the coming of the Lord. (D&C 7) says the Apostle John is alive somewhere on the earth.

    Bill again, Those who wish to challenge do so as pawns to Satan. The devil is a spirit son of God(Mormon Doctrine p. 192).
    Genesis 3:15, Between thy seed and Her* seed and he shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel. Fulfilled in Galatians 4:4,But when the fullness of time was come. God sent forth His son made of a woman ,made under the law(A Jewish man).*Her seed(Marys seed).

  • ? SLC, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Speedy66: How are outsider accounts of a group supposed to portray an accurate portrayal of that group? Why shouldn't a group be able to tell their own story accurately?

  • Pink Fox Salzburg, Austria
    Aug. 23, 2011 12:23 a.m.

    What a silly article. Why do we need someone to rehash for us what it says in another newspaper?

  • Tim Rollins Oklahoma City, OK
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:57 p.m.

    In April, I was at an Oklahoma City political lunch, when a former pastor out of Houston made a cheap shot, referencing the LDS Church as a cult, not knowing this strong, conservative and overwhelmingly Baptist crowd (between 150-200), had only ONE Latter-day Saint sitting at one of its tables, and not knowing everyone there had this LDS guys back.

    On hearing his remarks, I loudly objected to his reference by saying, Watch your words carefully, sir!. I did this in defense of my faith, for while very much imperfect, I am indeed, a practicing Mormon, as Ive lived by these truths my entire adult life:

    When a man makes fun of and/or ridicules the faith of another, he makes fun of and ridicules all religions, particularly his own, as in doing so, he shows his own lack of faith as well as his infidelity to beliefs he has covenanted to hold dear and sacred both to himself and to his Maker; that, and one need never apologize for the truth; for it will always stand on its own.

    That man has been told he will not be invited back.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:23 p.m.

    LValfre, I have an honest question for you.

    How would you like if a bombardment of anti-LDS commenters fought your religious views all day in a venue published by your religion, etc. I think you'd feel differently about wasting time fighting people who clearly will not change our minds.

    Please understand, I mean nothing rude to you... I simply expect such a civil attitude from you, by stopping the constant fighting of the beliefs of others, at least in such a venue.

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:20 p.m.

    I think it is sad that those who vehemently oppose the LDS church, and do so on these DeseretNews posts, are so scattered in their thoughts. You all need to get together and figure out a united strategy so you aren't disproving each other. One person says Sydney Rigdon secretly wrote the Book of Mormon four years before he met Joseph Smith and then Sharrona here says Joseph Smith wrote it himself to testify of himself. Pick a story and stick with it. Then maybe someone will take you seriously. And try to find a new Internet site to pick your jabs from. Your same old ones are getting tiring. Try searching LDS.org or Mormon.org. There you will find yet another possibility for the Book of Mormon. It says it came from ancient prophets of God and that Joseph Smith merely translated it by the gift and power of God. That is so much more believable than that a 23 yr old with little education wrote it. I hope that helps. I ldo ike the suggestion that you try reading the book. That might help.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:05 p.m.


    First, a prophet has to declare that he or she is a prophet. Then that prophet-claimant will probably have a message from God. As a child of God you have the right to ask God if the prophet-claimant has the authority to act in God's behalf. The authority to act in God's behalf by speaking for God and entering into binding contracts must be verified by God Himself. You see, the power to talk to Father is given to all of us. Without this verification the messages a prophet brings are just stories. With the verification it breathes faith and purpose and redemption. God will talk to you if you ask Him, and if you are willing to do what He asks.

    So, while there is only one Prophet one earth at any one time who has all the authority from both our Father and our Brother, we can (and God desires us to) be little prophets, able to speak to Him about ourselves and our families. With faith, persistence, and a willingness to change, you can have an answer. I have, and I'm a jerk, the lowest of all the Mormons. But I'm trying :)

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    To LValfre: Either you haven't been paying attention or you don't want to. WE DON'T PICK THE PROPHET. WE SUSTAIN HIM AS SUCH. The Prophet/President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is picked by no one else but Jesus Christ of which the Church bears his name. He has called him just as he called Moses, Isaac, Abraham, Isaiah, Peter, James and John. Man didn't call any of them to be a prophet of God. Secondly, our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ will REVEAL nothing to man pertaining to the entire world except he do it through his PROPHET. As others have tried to teach you that each of us receive revelation for ourselves but NOT for the entire Church/World. That goes only through the Lord's chosen mouth piece, in this case Thomas Spencer Monson. There are 15 Prophet, Seers and Revelators upon the Earth at one time. However, only one of those 15 is allowed to speak for the Lord as his mouthpiece. The others receive revelation pertaining to their calling as special witnesses of Jesus Christ. If all spoke with a different direction for us then there would be no order.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 22, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    American man,

    How can you decipher between who's the prophet? What if you're the prophet? Who gets to pick?

  • American man WOODS CROSS, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    LValfre, 5:01 pm,Aug.22,2011

    When God speaks (reveals) to an individual person, that message is for that person only. When God speaks to the Mormon Prophet it is a message for the whole world. He (God) will not reveal to a non-Prophet, a message for the whole world.

    That is why we (the whole world) need a Prophet.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 5:43 p.m.

    @Dektol | 4:20 p.m. Aug. 21, 2011
    "Religious cyber bullying by those who don't like the truth coming out? This is foolish and will only backfire on the LDS Church. You can't hide history forever and the truth forever."

    Maybe you would like to enlighten us on "the truth coming out", and how that is "religious cyber bullying"?

    "You can't hide history forever and the truth forever."

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 22, 2011 5:01 p.m.


    That brings up a question I ponder. If LDS members pray and ask if the church is true and God speaks to them and tells them it is ... why are you following a prophet? You can already talk to God, just let him guide you. Makes no sense."

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    Re: LDS Revelations | 11:36 a.m. Aug. 22, 2011
    "trying to make sure that no other view of Mormonism is allow to stand"

    How does the LDS web sites prevent other views from being presented? Your comment makes it appear as though those who oppose the Church have somehow been hamstrung.

    They have found that those who rail against the Church lead those who seek the truth to investigate it. In a word ... they bring the Church free advertising.

  • BH Tremonton, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    If one believes that the marvelous technology available to us today can be used for good or evil, then why not choose good? Why not flood the internet with good? To do otherwise would be to yield the internet to Satan.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 3:19 p.m.

    @LDS Revelations 11:36

    You said - "If the Church wants to spend tithing dollars trying to make sure that no other view of Mormonism is allow to stand that's their right."

    With all due respect, this comment is more of the typical baloney LDS Church have thrown in their face on a constant basis. Nowhere in this article or in any of the articles cited is any claim made the LDS Church is trying to censor the Internet. This is a flat out distortion.

    You said - "I do find it funny that when people propose alternate views of the Church or are in any way critical of the faith they're are anti-Mormon."

    You first comment should answer this question pretty easily. LDS people have no problem discussing doctrine or history, but when you flat out make stuff up, why should we discuss that?

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    The reason the church can spend this much money on PR campaigns like "I'm a Mormon" and the others is because we have a volunteer clergy. Tithing money is used only to advance the growth in the church. Most, if not all, missionaries pay for their own missions by themselves, or with the help of their family or home ward.

    I personally have no issues with the church spending this amount or even more on PR. If it brings people to the churches websites to find out what we believe from actual, active members and see the church's official doctrine on whatever issue they want to learn more about...all I can say is GREAT! Keep up the good work, LDS PR Department.

  • bricha lehi, ut
    Aug. 22, 2011 2:47 p.m.


    I would like to point out a few things about your argument. First lets look at God. We believe he is all powerfull and all knowing. Who but Him would know the way back to Him. I think what tyndale1 was suggesting is that you ask Him, and not rely on your own understanding. Who better than Him to tell you. Hence tyndale1's suggesting read the BOM front to back, then take up the challenge, and ask God the all knowing if it is true or not. Very simple.

    Second I would like to point out how ficcle our logic really is. I took a personal ethics class in college, and it amazed me the things I could justify using my logic and reason. If I don't have a way to guide my way, it becomes easy to use logic and go whichever way I please.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said, Nothing of the mistakes of man makes Joseph, Brigham or others less of a prophet?

    That seer his name shall be called Joseph(Smith), and it shall be after the name of his father. (JST 50:33)? JS prophecy about himself.

    A Marvelous work and wonder.((Isaiah 29:14 JST)But the book(BoM) shall be delivered unto a man(JS).verse 16by the power of Christverse 17,three witnesses, verse 19,many witnesses as seemeth good. Both not found in Greek Septuagint(Apostles Bible) ,Dead Sea(Isaiah) Scrolls.

    Brigham Young, Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you Nay, If a Jew comes into this church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will apostatize.(JoD V. 2 p. 142)

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    @Kevin - I'm not sure what you mean by "Once again" or "accurate or false". You may find it unsporting of me to rely on historical records or for holding someone accountable for their past positions...especially someone claims their position was handed to them by god. One might ask how reasonable it is to believe that god changed his mind about items as important as slavery, blacks and women? I think it is weak intellectual truth to rely on the "feelings" of people in place of historical fact. Ignoring history, science and mathematics may make believing in the bible and religions a lot easier but that speaks far more to shortcoming of religion than anything else.

    I agree that the bible is a "tough read" but necessary particularly if someone is going to rely on a text as the basis of their belief. They read it and question it thoroughly. Doing so might prompt people to ask the tough questions. Through those questions they may find, to their surprise, huge intellectual and rational gaps that may lead them to seek answers elsewhere. They may even become desperate enough to seek refuge in logic and reason...but maybe not.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 12:49 p.m.

    Mint Julip | 7:31 a.m. Aug. 22, 2011Re:
    "I would see the "starving children" ads on TV"

    Perhaps your mother was wiser than you give her credit for. Some Children Charity CEOs earn nearly $500 thousand a year. When I give donations to the LDS Church I know my money goes where it is intended.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 22, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    LDS Revelations,

    Who said anything about no other view of the church being allowed to stand? Simply that the church is presenting its own views and doing so effectively. I am certainly not against those of any faith doing the same for themselves.

    I have some familiarity with "real LDS history and doctrine". My simple conclusion is that, if we go to church, we are destined to be accompanied there by imperfect folks. Further, while we are there, we are destined to be lead by imperfect folks.

    It was true in the time of the Old Testament. And, save during Christ's personal ministry on the earth, it was true in the time of the New Testament. Prophets, Apostles, Patriarchs, Judges and others - great men and women though they certainly were - all save Christ were imperfect.

    It did not prevent God from calling them and using them then or now. I believe Thomas S. Monson to be prophet - a great and good man. But not a perfect one.

    Leaders do not have to be perfect to be worthy of their calling. Thankfully, this means that I do not have to be perfect to be counted among the followers of Christ.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    Aug. 22, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    Thank you, LDS REVELATIONS, for your insight. I know there are a lot of individuals, like yourself, who want to be good decent individuals and who think the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is off course. You have good company. Even Saul of Tarsus as well as the leaders of the Jews thought they did God a service by persecuting the gospel of Jesus Church in their day, lest many might believe. But then one day Saul realized, through divine intervention with man, a thing most people deny possibility to today, that he, Saul, was the one deceived.

    As you learn more about the LDS faith you will come to realize what the Church teaches. I would take you back to the beginning. Read the Book of Mormon in its entirety and ask your Father in Heaven if it is true. If you have left the faith because of those pointing from the great and spacious building, come back. There is so much good here, we are blessing the world in so many ways, you don't want to miss out.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    Whatever. If the Church wants to spend tithing dollars trying to make sure that no other view of Mormonism is allow to stand that's their right. I do find it funny that when people propose alternate views of the Church or are in any way critical of the faith they're are anti-Mormon. When the Church presents and alternate view to that they are 'powerful' and 'savvy' with PR and media. Isn't it just being anti-Mormon critic.

    In the end I think the LDS attempt to control the information only backfires. When those who are suckled for years at the teat of the Church finally learn real early LDS history and doctrine, the selective teaching feels even more like betrayal. If the Church wants to not be labeled as a cult then it would be good to avoid 'culty' activities.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    to: speed66 | 8:52 a.m. Aug. 22, 2011

    Once again you are trying to use the events of history and all the thoughts and actions of the individuals involved, whether they be accurate accounts or false, to state that the church is a fraud. I am shocked at some of the stuff I have read in the Bible and Book of Mormon. How could anyone have done that.? ie aspects of the Law of Moses, wars, etc. This is from my 2011 perspective. I have no right to judge the actions of those from the past that I deem "unchristian"

    The Book of Mormon has been translated from the English version into many other languages, some of which are very difficult to learn. During my 2 years in Japan I saw humble, yet educated people join the church based on the witness of the Holy Ghost and the strong feelings they had inside. You see, the HG testifies of truth and all that is good and right. I am certainly not going to waste my time reading personal views from history, accurate or not. I will stick with the gospel truths.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    Type anti-Mormon into google and see how many hits you get. We are smart to get our own story out.

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Mormons always progressive? That's funny. Slavery, women's rights, gay marriage...they have always been way out front on those.

    I think it's smart to try to control the message. I don't think it's a question of morality nor do I believe that Satan has controlled the internet. I don't believe in the boogeyman.

    As for hiding truth, I think it is clear that the LDS church would perfer that everyone rely only on what they say about their church and ignore many historical accounts - Joseph Smith's conviction as a conman and his fascination with the occult. They'd prefer not to discuss slavery, blacks in the priesthood, polygamy in heaven, dna vs faith, or any variety of other topics.

    This is not unique to the LDS church. Most religions don't want to be looked at in a scholarly way. But it's not just history that they need to guard themselves against. There are unfounded claims based on simple hatred and ignorance.

    In the end, you can't rely on what a group says about itself for an accurate portrayal of anything. You have to analyze the official story with outsider accounts to draw an informed opinion.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    Why is the church on the internet?

    "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

    In this day and age, to not be on the internet would be to leave a large part of that mission unfulfilled.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Aug. 22, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Julep asks a good question: Why do we care so much about what other people think of us? Our theology tells us this life on earth is a continuation of the war in heaven when Satan and his followers were kicked out. That didn't put an end to the battles though. It just moved the battle field from there to here.

    Part of our assignment is continuing the fight. That means helping our brothers and sisters to a point where they can find out for themselves about what we say is true. Satan is putting in over time to prevent that and he is doing a fine job with his use of media. We have to fight back with all the tools God has given us and that means using PR, the internet and media.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Aug. 22, 2011 7:43 a.m.

    The Church's efforts to tell its own story really rankles some folks. The Church's detractors have the idea that THEY get to define us while we must sit back and just accept their misrepresentations and distortions.

  • Mint Julip KAYSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 7:31 a.m.

    When I was little, I would see the "starving children" ads on TV and ask my mom if we could sponsor a child.

    She would reply saying that we should give to the church because they weren't spending the donations on ads. She told me how much a TV spot could cost and to imagine how that much money could help those kids. It seems very ironic now.

    Why do we care so much what people think of us? Why don't we simply let our actions speak instead of our PR group?

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 6:58 a.m.

    One of the reasons the LDS church has such good "PR" websites, is due to the highly skilled membership of the church. Mormons are educated, and even pioneered many of the technologies that are used in the development of the Cloud, the internet, modern communications, and web-programming.

    LDS believe that technology is a blessing from God, if we make it so. We don't just decry pornography and the proliferation of evils throughout media. We believe in using it to accomplish much good.

    The web is about communication, and most critics of the LDS church don't understand that many of the problems they may have with Mormons is due to a failure to communicate and sheer ignorance as to the depth of the LDS perspective.

    IOW, We believe in intelligent communication.

    Heated political exchanges where we come out firmly against a political movement, seldom have a unidimensional mindset. Our stance on abortion, gay rights, taxes, social justice, immigration, or whatever, is deep and diverse--though our shortsighted opposition may paint us with a single color.

    Thus our desire to communicate our position only increases.

    Our ability to change perception is as simple as telling the truth. So we do.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 6:25 a.m.

    Re: LValfre | 6:24 p.m. Aug. 21, 2011
    "I've been very displeased to see how much effort the church puts into marketing and PR work"

    The LDS Church continues its worldwide growth at an ever expanding rate, and stands like a beacon on a hill. Why should anyone care if people go to the source to seek information about the LDS Church. They certainly won't hear the truth from those who have apostized and have a biased opinion against the LDS Church.

    I've never understood why some people expend so much effort anyone would hate a particular religion. If I disagree

  • episcopali30 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 1:29 a.m.

    I do take issue with the part of the story that says that non-LDS polygamous people aren't Mormons. They absolutly are Mormons. They aren't LDS. However, LDS members aren't the only ones who can call themselves Mormon. Mormonism is an entire branch of Christianity, however contentious that statment may be. It includes LDS people, FLDS people, RLDS people, and many others. I'm sorry, but a specific church cannot control a word. The Roman Catholic church cannot control the fact that plenty of people from other faiths, mine included, consider and are themselves "Catholic". I can guarantee you that every FLDS person considers him or herself "Mormon". The word "Mormon" refers to all those who follow the teachings of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Case closed.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    tyndale1, thank you for your testimony.
    I was raised in this faith, but no one of our faith can just say they are a "Mormon" sooner or later someone will challenge your faith. There is no floating along.
    Wether just meeting the missionaries or born in the covenant, every member must gain their own testimony.
    There are those hate mongers who think that we don't know what we beleive. I KNOW IT. I, like many of our faith have read the personal histories, read and studied the past teachings.
    Here is the thing, I have gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know it is the word of God. The book is not perfect, the Prophet who translated it was not perfect, neither is the Bible, or any of our Church Leaders since the beginning.
    I have had the spirit open my understanding and I will die before I will deny the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:46 p.m.

    Christ said
    "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

    With good public relations, we can work with like minded people to accomplish greater works. Others won't be afraid to speak to members or missionaries to find out what we truly believe. Or get building permits for chapels or temples. Some people cast Mormons as recluses, or hostile to people who are not Mormons when in fact we are commanded to be the opposite. With modern technology WE can directly communicate OUR message, unfiltered or modified by those who don't have our best interests in mind. May we have your permision LValfre? Pretty please?

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:45 p.m.


    Is Public Relations inherently evil? While I lived in Vienna, I met the LDS PR person over Eastern Europe. He said his "favorite" article was a Russian newspaper photograph that showed a disheveled looking young man in a white shirt and a loose tie standing at a bar looking downcast into his beer. The female bartender was wearing just a bra. The caption below said, "Mormon missionary after long day preaching, being served a beer by a Mormon Sister". He kept an ever-changing file of the "top ten" worst articles.

    Now, in theory people take the information given to them in the newspaper at face value. After reading the newspaper, what would the good people of Russia think of the Americans preaching about alcohol and chastity? What would government officials think when LDS apostles come asking for more Missionary Visas? Do we not have a right to state our case?

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:44 p.m.

    "Cyber bullying by those who don't like the truth coming out?"

    I have found the truth, and the truth is making me free.

    Please don't lecture Mormons about what we believe or don't believe. Believe it or not, I have actually started to read some anti-Mormon books. I can't get through more than a few pages because of inaccuracies or out-right misrepresentations of my faith. Let's say that you read a book on US history that says that "Theodore Roosevelt ended WW2 by dropping the atomic bomb on Tokyo in 1946." What would your opinion be of that book? Would you trust anything else that that book had to say about any topic? If you read something that misses obvious factual errors, would you trust any analysis? Sometimes when I read an anti-LDS book I'll find something that makes me roll my eyes and I'll put it down.

    By the way, Mormons are discouraged from purchasing anti-Mormon books not necessarily reading them. There are people who make their livelihood writing anti-LDS books, and not buying the books doesn't encourage them to make more.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    As By Common Consent points out, "Theres plenty of hyperbole in the article (have we really 'infused SEO into [our] culture?' Cmon), some sloppy sourcing (of course a Protestant digital strategist says Mormons are taking over the web), and a misuse of the word 'bloggernacle.'"

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska, well said!

    Seattleview, I agree

    DN Subscriber, I care.


    LDS Liberal, you are right. The church is very liberal and progressive. Where you and I differ is that the original forms of liberal thought have been perverted into meaning something else.

    Liberalism holds that all should be free so long as they do not infringe such freedom among others.

    The Church supports this.

    However, with things like prop 8 and other debates, it is not us who take away freedom from others but others who calculate to take freedom of religion.

    See, liberal means something, and that isn't the U.S. understanding of the words 'far left' but a political philosophy. The church adheres to it perfectly. Modern day 'far left liberals' in America do not adhere to the original design of the word. See the difference? I'm not trying to simply fight you. Please keep in mind I genuinely believe this. I didn't understand it until a great deal of education on philosophical thought, political theory, etc. But I assure you, it's true.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:22 p.m.

    Its always fun to see our friends from Powell and Chicago and Provo (he will post soon) on the comment thread here. Of course they are going raving mad seeing all the positive press come out about this Church. This is by far the best year ever for the internet search engines leading people to better understand a religion that has been maligned and spoken against for years. The problem is, they can't keep us down. No matter how much they want the Gospel of Jesus Christ to fail, it rises and grows. Infuriating, I would think, if you were against this work.

    Why does it remind me so much of that Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, who told the persecutors of the early Christians and of Christ that if their religion "be of men it will come to nought:

    But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it;"

    Well, don't be the last to know. Read the Book of Mormon for yourself, all of it. Ask God if it is true. I did. You can too. God bless.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    The church has the best PR maching of any corporation out there. They're up on their Marshall Macluhan.

  • Seattleview Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 21, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    In response to the usual critics, the reason the Church makes such an effort to control their own message is because it is nearly the only church that is fighting a whole cottage industry out on the web devoted to spreading misinformation about the LDS church. That requires a matching response.

    I have been very impressed with how the churchs efforts have often resulted in LDS church sponsored website sources of information come up before the miriads of anti Mormon sites out there. Years ago, you would only find the anti stuff and never get to the churchs real position.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 21, 2011 9:40 p.m.

    Don't you just love how the critics continue to think that the truth is hidden from the general membership. Even those so called proclaimed members continue to say this when the truth has been given over and over again.

    The problem is that the truth is only the way they see. Until the Lord returns the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will continue to have is opposition. However, once the Lord returns all of this will be dispelled as this is the Lord's Church. He has declared it as such as a whole, not individual people. Our missionaries continue to convert and bring thousands to Christ each year. Those that leave, are leaving more to the fact they are not willing to change their hearts or their minds to the truthfullness of the restored Gospel. Nothing of the mistakes of man makes Joseph, Brigham or others less of a prophet. It just proves they are men like us who are tempted, decieved by Satan. Those who fight against this Church are pawns of Satan.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 8:45 p.m.

    Truth be told,
    (and contrary to Conservative thought) --
    Mormons have always been "Progressive".

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    Ho cares what the Washington ComPost says about anything?

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 7:51 p.m.


    The truth of God doesn't need PR, we do. If you understood LDS theology and doctrine I believe you'd understand why that claim is incongruous with other LDS beliefs.

    We don't believe that God will do things for us that we can do for ourselves.


    "God, please do my gardening, write my thesis, and shine my shoes for me."

    And if you expect the LDS church to watch people slander its name and let it happen because that shouldn't stop the church, then you forget something essential to that process. Why would God allow one side to attack the other, and not allow the other to defend itself? There is no logic in that. The point? The Church has PR 1- to spread the Gospel and 2- to accurately represent the church.

    But according to your logic, the church shouldn't need missionaries either. In fact, we don't need the Book of Mormon, or the Bible. No one needs the Bible... cause why would God need those things?

    Again, it's not God that needs it, it's us that have needs.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    @LValfre 6:24

    You said - "I've been very displeased to see how much effort the church puts into marketing and PR work."

    Most critics of the LDS Church agree with you. They seriously dislike any effort the LDS Church makes in portraying its members as normal, every day, hard working people who have good days and bad days like everyone else.

    From the critics point of view, anything outside of portraying LDS people as mindless, heartless, Stepford wife robots is totally unacceptable.

    You said - "The truth of God shouldn't need public relations."

    In other words, if someone creates a video or website that distorts the lifestyle and teachings of LDS Church members, the church should just ignore it and make no attempt to correct misinformation. To be more specific, critics of the LDS Church should have final say on everything having to do with the LDS Church.

    Sorry, but Satan has controlled the Internet long enough.

    Now, it's our turn.

  • carpediem Holladay, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 7:42 p.m.

    I would say 1 in 100+ websites out there is pro LDS. I can't remember how many times on my mission we would have someone interested in learning about the church, but then after we left they would search the internet and never wanted us to come back. People go online to learn and I don't think we've scratched the surface of what needs to be done to get our message out there.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Aug. 21, 2011 6:43 p.m.

    to: Dektol | 4:20 p.m. Aug. 21, 2011

    "This is foolish and will only backfire on the LDS Church. You can't hide history forever and the truth forever."

    Sorry to burst your bubble but the LDS church doesn't hide what you call "the truth". I have read enough post on here by anti-LDS submitters to know that what they call "the truth" is often out of context, is someone's personal views, or is outright false. I know my church history pretty well and nothing I have ever read from reliable sources has shaken my faith. In the past people have made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes because no one is perfect. However, after 180+ years the Church moves forward changing lives and bringing people to Christ. Following the restored gospel will always be a blessing in the lives of those who do live it, in this life and the life to come.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    So Dektol, why don't you enlighten us as to the truth, or has your points been put to rest so many times that no one else pays any attention to them but you.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 6:35 p.m.


    You said - "Religious cyber bullying by those who don't like the truth coming out?"

    Did I miss something? Where in this article or in the Washington Posts' article is cyber bullying by the LDS Church mentioned?

    Are you suggesting that anything on the Internet written or spoken by the LDS Church or its members is cyberbullying?

    Perhaps you feel LDS Church members have no right to express their feelings about life or their faith online. Sorry, but last time I checked the U.S. Constitution, it didn't say, "Freedom of speech for everyone except Mormons."

    You said - "This is foolish and will only backfire on the LDS Church. You can't hide history forever and the truth forever."

    What exactly is going to backfire? The fact that LDS critics have the same access to the Internet as does LDS Church members?

    You seem to imply, as many others have, that before the Internet came along, the LDS Church never faced criticism or attack, that no one before has ever taken a critical look at its history or doctrine.

    The LDS Chcuh has always had critics and always will. Sorry, but we're ready for the attack.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 21, 2011 6:24 p.m.

    I've been very displeased to see how much effort the church puts into marketing and PR work. The truth of God shouldn't need public relations ...

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    There are probably several reasons why the LDS Church website is the most visited of any faith, I would imagine that the vast amount of talks, scripture, and family resources alone make up a good chunk of that.

    As to the point about the heavy focus on image. I think there are really two primary reasons for such efforts. In my opinion, these serve simply as a missionary tool and as a place where people can get an accurate representation of the Church.

    From the paradigm that the LDS Church is THE true Church of God, both of these things only serve to do good in the world. I personally have been very happy with the efforts the Church has put into online resources and image.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    Aug. 21, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    Religious cyber bullying by those who don't like the truth coming out? This is foolish and will only backfire on the LDS Church. You can't hide history forever and the truth forever.