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Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right | August 2

Mormonism News Getting Right

Today’s edition of “Getting It Right” features helpful summaries of Mormon beliefs, a story about the Church’s efforts to help fill the South Plains Food Bank in Texas, and an editor who tackles the topic of the founding of Mormonism with only one source.

Richmond Times-Dispatch and San Jose Mercury News: Explaining Mormons' basic beliefs and practices

The Times-Dispatch staff includes a helpful summary of the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Among other things, they correctly note that Mormons “are a Christian faith,” “believe in the principle of revelation from God,” follow the biblical practice of tithing and do not practice polygamy.

The Mercury News includes a similar summary at the end of a politically focused article (see the Church’s political neutrality statement). The summary includes correct clarifications that Latter-day Saints accept the Bible as scripture and that adult Latter-day Saints wear temple garments “as a private, symbolic reminder of their covenant with God.”

Learn more at MormonNewsroom.org’s Mormonism 101:FAQ page, which includes an infographic and a list of frequently asked questions.

 

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: The Church donates time and provisions to help fill South Plains Food Bank

The Avalanche-Journal reports that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “one of the big reasons” the South Plains Food Bank has food in its warehouse. The Church’s stake (similar to a Catholic diocese) leaders in the region helped create “Summer of Sharing Food Drive” three years ago because the food bank’s need for donations was considered an emergency.

In addition to local Latter-day Saints collecting food from Mormons and others, the article says Church headquarters has donated more than $20,000 of food over the past three years.

“In our church we really try to reach out to the poor and needy,” one member notes, “and this is one way that we can do that.”

Learn more about the Church’s charitable efforts on our Mormon volunteerism infographic.

Getting It Wrong

Business Insider: Fair and balanced reporting on the Church requires many sources, including the Church itself

Henry Blodget, CEO and editor in chief of Business Insider, writes how he learned about the Church’s founding. Blodget begins his quest for understanding with only one source: Jon Krakauer’s book Under the Banner of Heaven — a book that attempts to tell the story of the so-called fundamentalist or polygamous groups in Utah and ties their beliefs to the doctrines and the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (The Church does not practice polygamy and has no association with these polygamous sects.)

Although blogs and social networks allow anyone to publish almost anything with little or no editorial oversight, it is nevertheless surprising that the editor in chief of a large online news site would tackle this important subject with only one source and — what should be a standard journalistic practice — fail to contact the organization about which he is writing.

We welcome inquiries from journalists like Blodget who are interested in acquiring a better understanding of the Church and its teachings (see our contact information). Many Mormon and non-Mormon scholars can also speak to topics such as Joseph Smith with great credibility.

Blodget’s article does ask, “Is there an important other side to these stories? … Please share your thoughts in the comments below.” This is all well and good, but the time to do that is before, not after, the article is written.

Learn more at MormonNewsroom.org’s Mormonism 101:FAQ page, which includes an infographic and a list of frequently asked questions.

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About: This blog is managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 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, please also visit the MormonNewsroom.org home page.

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.