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Friday, December 9, 2011

Getting it right

The Mormon Eagle's motto states, "It is better to represent ourselves than to be represented by others".  Media outlets of all kinds have had their fill of Mormon stories this year, what with the high-profile candidacies of Governor Mitt Romney and Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jun. for President of the United States.  But, alas, some still intend to feel it is right for others to represent the Latter-day Saints than for the Saints to represent themselves.

At a conference held in Washington, D.C, on Thursday, Michael Otterson, managing director for LDS Church public affairs, said, "Define us by who we are and by our central beliefs rather than who we are not or by obscure or irrelevant beliefs" ("Journalists urged to let Mormons define selves", Deseret News, Friday 9 December 2011, A1)."  He said that getting it right will be difficult, especially when covering the religions of the world.  However, he said "it is possible to get it right if we acknowledge two things: the importance of going to the source, and the pitfalls of stereotyping" (Ibid., A10).

If one wants information about who Joseph Smith really is, he should go to the Book of Mormon; if one wants to know about the inner-workings of the House of the Lord, let him go to many of the Temple Visitor Centers scattered throughout America; if one wants to know our policy on education, look no further than www.byu.edu.  And so it is with a myriad of other topics.

If one wants to know in Whom Mormons believe, the importance of making the Source of Righteousness the defining standard in our lives cannot be overemphasized.  If He is our example in all things, then our non-Mormon friends will come to the active Latter-day Saints for information concerning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Better than mankind drink from the Fountain of Life than to drink from the sordid, misinformed, and often bigoted stereotypes of the world.

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