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Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right | May 21

Mormonism News Getting Right

Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right presents several recent news articles, blog posts or videos that, in our view, provide accurate and fair reporting on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as those that misrepresent the faith to readers. Don't forget to discuss these stories on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Today’s edition of “Getting It Right” includes stories about Mormons’ view of the Trinity, lay leadership, youth Church service and political neutrality. Other stories contain inaccuracies about polygamy and who can enter Latter-day Saint meetinghouses.

Orlando Sentinel: “Mormons on the rise: get to know them

Noting the Church’s growing numbers, the Sentinel’s Jeff Kunerth encourages the public to become better acquainted with Mormons and explains how Latter-day Saint theology is different than that of other Christians.

Mormons believe God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost are three independent beings and that God is the literal father of Jesus; the Bible and the Book of Mormon are both the inspired Word of God; Jesus’ death and resurrection provide the possibility for salvation … [and] the biblical account of Jesus’ life is true, but after his resurrection, he came to America where he started the church.

Read more about Mormons’ views of the Trinity (referred to by Latter-day Saints as the Godhead).

Read the entire article at OrlandoSentinel.com.

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CNN: Washington D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold

While examining the Church’s presence in Washington, D.C., religion editor Dan Gilgoff notes the Church’s lay leadership, the benefits of Church service for youth and the Church’s political neutrality stance.

Unlike most churches, it has no professional clergy; from the bishop to the organist, each role is filled by everyday Mormons, most of whom have other day jobs.

Mormons take church leadership roles at an early age, speaking publicly at Sunday services almost as soon they learn to talk. … Young Mormons also hone leadership skills by serving missions away from home. The missions last from one and half to two years and happen when Mormons are in their late teens and early 20s and often include intensive foreign language training.

[The Church] insists it is politically neutral and that it avoids pressuring Mormon elected officials to tow a church line. “The church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians,” the church’s website says.

The article also includes a thoughtful video by CNN photojournalist Jeremy Moorhead about a Latter-day Saint woman who lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Read the entire article at CNN.com.

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Sports Illustrated: Jabari Parker Is...

This week’s Sports Illustrated cover story features Jabari Parker, a 17-year-old basketball player from Chicago who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon).

The article notes Parker’s attendance at seminary, a program that Latter-day Saint high school students attend to learn religious history and scripture. Several other aspects of Mormonism are also fairly addressed, including the fact that Mormons come from many different backgrounds and that the Church does not have a professional clergy.

Read the entire article at SportsIllustrated.cnn.com.

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Indianapolis Star: “Mormon temple in Carmel will be a draw

Journalist Dan McFeely, writing about the Church’s forthcoming Indianapolis Indiana Temple, explains the difference between Latter-day Saint temples and chapels.

“The temple, unlike smaller churches,” McFeely says, “is where the faith's most sacred rituals take place — including baptisms and the sealing of marriages, signifying being wed not just for a lifetime but for eternity.”

Concerning the Church’s chapels, to which the public is invited, McFeely says, “Sunday worship for Mormons includes services in meetinghouses scattered in communities across the state … where services feature public talks given by lay people, singing of traditional Christian hymns and then Sunday school lessons on the New Testament.”

Read the entire article at IndyStar.com.

See more in the MormonNewsroom.org commentary, “Of Chapels and Temples: Explaining Mormon Worship Services.”

Getting It Wrong

In addition to these stories that get it right, the following articles include inaccurate reporting about Church meetinghouses and polygamy.

U.S. News: “Why We Care About Mitt Romney's Dog and Bullying

Although this article focuses on politics, U.S. News reporter Susan Milligan inserts the claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “does not welcome outsiders—non-Mormons are not even supposed to enter the church.” This is incorrect. The public is welcome at any of the Church’s 18,000-plus meetinghouses across the globe. The Church also has an extensive missionary program with 55,000 full-time missionaries who welcome all people throughout the world to learn about the Church.

In addition to regular Sunday worship in a chapel or meetinghouse, Latter-day Saints also follow the biblical practice of worshipping in temples. Temple worship is reserved for the Church’s highest sacraments, and members living the tenets of the faith can enter.

See more in the MormonNewsroom.org commentary, “Of Chapels and Temples: Explaining Mormon Worship Services.”

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Al-Shorouk: “An Egyptian view of the 2012 race

According to Politico, this Egyptian newspaper says, “Mormons, unlike other Christian churches, prohibit, for example, alcoholic beverages and smoking while allowing polygamy.”

While it is correct that Latter-day Saints do not drink alcohol or smoke, the Church does not practice polygamy.

Read more on MormonNewsroom.org’s “Polygamy” topic page.

 
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This blog is managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The information here is reliable and accurate but should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the Church. The purpose of this blog is to provide journalists, bloggers, and the public with additional context and information regarding public issues involving the Church. For official news releases and statements from the Church, visit MormonNewsroom.org

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