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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mormon Misconceptions

Well, its that time of the week again.  Thanks for reading another Ask a Mormon weekend post! As always, I invite you to visit the Ask a Mormon page and submit a question you have about Mormon doctrine, practices, and/or culture in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer it in an upcoming post!

Chris submitted this question that we'll answer this week:

How do you feel about shows like "Big Love" and how they make Mormons look? Also, what is your feelings about the recent I'm a Mormon commercials?

 Great Question Chris.  There are several shows that are less than flattering towards the LDS Church. How do I feel about them?  Quite frankly, I don't think about them much.  As a Mormon, it kind of comes with the territory that you will come across alot of misconceptions and that there are people who will look to capitalize on those misconceptions for financial gain and ratings.  Shows like Big Love allow the misconception to be perpetuated that Mormons practice polygamy, which is not true. It was practiced in the early days of the Church, but has not been practiced since 1890 and since that time any person that practiced polygamy has not been associated with the Church. 

What is sad to me is that shows like Big Love, Sister Wives, as well as movies, television reports, news stories etc often will not clarify that polygamy is against the teachings of the LDS Church and those individuals practicing polygamy (ie Warren Jeffs, etc) are NOT members of the Church but are offshoots of the Church and not associated in anyway. 

The bottom line is that, you and I, as people of faith, will always come across those that paint us in a less that favorable light. 

The question is, when we are faced with such attacks, lies, deceptions, etc, what will we do? 

Will we do as the Savior would do, and turn the other cheek

Remember, it was Christ that said,

"...Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven..." (Matt. 5:44-45)

I'm a Mormon

Now, how do I feel about the recent I'm a Mormon commercials?

Short answer: I love them. 

The I'm a Mormon commercials are part of a marketing campaign by the Church.  The idea was to cut through a lot of the misconceptions that people have about Mormons because of how we are portrayed on TV, movies, etc. 

So as part of that, the Church has asked each member to visit the Church's site, www.mormon.org and create a profile.  This profile gives some background of a member of the Church, their interests, hobbies, etc.  It also gives you a list of frequently asked questions that they have answered. So when you click on a question, instead of just getting the Church's official response, you also get the real life answers of Mormons who are just like you.  You can check out my mormon.org profile here.

In conjunction with these profiles, the Church did video profiles of hundreds of members.  These videos make up the commercials that you see on television.  You can watch several of these in the "Our People" Section of mormon.org. Some of these people are regular people, some are professional athletes, entertainers etc.  Check out this video of Brandon Flowers, lead singer of the band The Killers.

I think its a totally innovative way to showcase what the Church and its beliefs mean to the members and how it affects their lives.  There are some AMAZING stories of faith in these videos.  I watch them just to strengthen my own faith!  I'd recommend them to you as well. 

Another great one is Stephanie Nielson's story.  If this one doesn't tug at your heart, I dont know what will!

The Point

The point is, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we may have some different beliefs than you do.  We may seem kinda weird, or peculiar.  But we are just like you

We are parents, spouses, siblings, neighbors, Christians.

And we seek the same joys you seek and we experience the same struggles and challenges that you do. 

We are all children of a Heavenly Father!

We all want to return and live with Him once more.  

Question: How do you deal with misconceptions people have about YOUR beliefs?

I am grateful to you for reading this post.  I hope you have found it beneficial.  Please share it with those you know! 

I'd love to hear what you think of these posts.  Please comment below, get ahold of me on twitter, @Skropp2 and as always, please leave a question on the Ask a Mormon page of the blog for me to answer!

The material in this blog post are my own opinions and not the official stance of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


  1. Mark,

    Thanks so much for answering my questions! It really is often easy to forget that those who might worship differently than I do are actually just like me in many ways. Regardless of our different beliefs, I am so glad that I have the opportunity to learn more about you through your writing. I also really appreciate who you are and what you have to offer to the world. Thanks!

    1. No problem Chris! Thanks for asking it! I think a lot of times we get do caught up in differences that we overlook the things we have in common! The differences make us who we are, but the similarities allow us friendship, empathy, and unity as communities and a nation! Both are necessary and an indispensable part of living side by side!