Yesterday a longtime member of our Dialogue Board and prominent sociologist, Armand Mauss, was featured in a front page article in The Wall Street Journal entitled Mormons Dismayed by Harsh Spotlight.. He was quoted as saying ” I don’t think that any of us had any idea how much anti-Mormon stuff was out there.” The article concluded with another statement by Armand: “There will be a long-term consequence in the Mormon Church. I think there is going to be a wholesale reconsideration with how Mormons should deal with the latent and overt anti-Mormon propaganda. I don’t think the Mormons are ever again going to sorrowfully turn away and close the door and just keep out of the fray.”
I would be very interested in how you are reconsidering the Church’s dealings, as well as your own, with the anti-Mormon propaganda.
To start the conversation, I would pose 2 possibilities. When 3 of my children were in Baptist schools, I became very familiar with the anti-Mormon literature for sale on the bottom shelf of the main Baptist Bookstore in town. My children’s teachers all knew we were Mormon. Though occasionally someone would say she was sorry we were going to hell because we seemed so nice, we were treated warmly and fairly because they were good people and we went out of our way to be on our best Christian behavior and to contribute in many ways to the school community. It was a “ya gotta try to be better to be considered equal” sort of thing. We must be enthusiastic and respectful contributors to the wider community.
My second suggestion relates to Dialogue. It’s time for far more dialogue with other Christians and among ourselves, both in the pages of Dialogue and throughout our Mormon communities. I love hearing about the friendships our local Church PR people are making with the Catholic Archbishop or journalists. I applaud the increasing work in Mormon studies and comparative studies. I am heartened when another scholar gets access to previously closed archives. I’d protect the sacred and abandon the unnecessarily secretive. It makes us appear to be hiding skeletons, if not even dishonest.
But those are just 2 to which you may take issue or add. Please do.