Elder Quentin L. Cook, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has appealed to news media to make a clear distinction between the LDS Church and the FLDS Church, a polygamist sect that in Texas is making headlines.

In a statement issued on the church's Web site, newsroom.lds.org, Elder Cook said it is very confusing to the public when some media use "Mormon" to describe the Texas-based polygamous group that is currently under investigation for possible incidents of child abuse. He reiterated that the LDS Church, with over 13 million members worldwide, is not connected in any way to sects that practice polygamy.

Drawing contrasts between the LDS Church and polygamists, Elder Cook said LDS Church members do not live in isolated compounds, arrange marriages, dress in old-fashioned clothing or wear unusual hairstyles.

Rather, he said, they are participating members of the communities in which they live throughout the world, get married at the average age of 23 and are well-educated. Sixty percent of church members in the United States have some college education, which is 10 percent above the national average.