I am a non-Mormon Utah native who holds very positive feelings toward the LDS Church, thanks to the many wonderful, devout Mormons I've known. Because so many of my dear friends are faithful Mormons, it was disheartening this week to see how the Mitt Romney religion speech brought to light such clear prejudice and discrimination against Mormons among certain powerful groups of voters within the Republican Party. As is usually the case with prejudice, the opinions weren't based on real knowledge of the LDS Church or its members but on stereotypes and out-of-date information. I know my Mormon friends were upset, and I shared their feelings of outrage.

If any good is to come out of this, I hope that LDS members in Utah, especially those who believe that in order to be a faithful Mormon they must also vote Republican, will give the Democratic Party a second look. Like the LDS Church, the old stereotypes about who the Democrats are and what they stand for are out-of-date and unfair. In fact, one of the most respected and beloved leaders of the Democratic Party is Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic majority leader, a devout Mormon and proud Democrat.

Helen Langan

Democratic national committeewoman

Salt Lake City