Top Mormon leaders had hired two big-name advertising agencies in 2009, Ogilvy & Mather and Hall & Partners, to find out what Americans think of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Using focus groups and surveys, they found that Americans who had any opinion at all used adjectives that were downright negative: "secretive," "cultish," "sexist," "controlling," . . . "anti-gay". . . . the biggest stigma . . . is the belief that Mormons are not Christian (Laurie Goodstein, "Mormons Use Big Ad Campaign to Counter 'Cultish' Perceptions", The New York Times, A1, A 20).
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ, we seek to represent ourselves rather than be represented by others. Therefore, The Mormon Eagle takes the liberty here to put to silence the ignorant and misinformed.
"Secretive" and "Cultish"
The word "secretive" has to do with the misconception that LDS temple rites and ceremonies are secret, and that Mormons are exclusionary. The word "cultish" also might coincide with "secretive" in speaking of the House of the Lord and sectarianism's misconceptions arising thereform. Nothing can be further from the truth. The prophet Nephi wrote,
"Sexist" and "Controlling"
Many uninformed feminists complain that the Church is controlling of women because of their misinterpretation of how the Priesthood of God functions. The Priesthood is not the men of the Church, but rather the Authority God gives to mankind to act in His name - specifically the Authority to govern. Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained succinctly how the Priesthood is supposed to work. Said he, "The blessings of the priesthood, such as baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, the temple endowment, and eternal marriage, are available to men and women alike. The authority of the priesthood functions in the family and in the Church, according to the principles the Lord has established" ("Priesthood Authority in the Family and the Church", October 2005 General Conference). In our Sacred Houses, we learn that both the woman and the man govern the family together in righteousness - through the Authority of the Priesthood - which the man and the woman covenant to honor in both the Endowment ceremony as well as in the Sealing ceremony. Husband and wife are equal partners is raising a family up unto the Lord; none is above the other.
As of late, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been vehemently attacked in the national press by certain unscrupulous characters who do not understand our theology. The LDS Church is not anti-gay, but pro-family. The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." This should be enough for any literate person to understand our theology upon the subject. In order to explain this further, we read the words of the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning the marriage covenant. The following revelation was given 12 July 1843 in Nauvoo, Illinois. A paragraph from it reads,