In Sunday School the other week we had a great lesson on the new “I’m a Mormon” campaign coming to the Seattle area, where we live. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) is showing commercials and using other media opportunities to show videos of Mormon members. Part of the reason for this is due to a poll that was taken a little while back that revealed how the general public views Mormons. The results of the poll, which were given to us from the Church missionary department, reveal the following:
The US population views Mormons as being:
- Family Oriented (44%)
- Cultish (39%)
- Controlling (38%)
- Conservative (38%)
- Secrative (28%)
- Dedicated (27%)
- Anti-Gay (24%)
- Sexist (20%)
- Weird (20%)
- Pushy (9%)
As the results of the survey were shown, gasps were heard around the crowd when things like “secrative”, “weird”, “cultish”, “controlling” and “pushy” came up. Some people asked: “How could anyone think we are any of these things?”
To be honest, I can see how many people view us this way. Examples include: no one is allowed in temples and not much is said to the public of what goes on in the temple. I’ve heard Mormons, like Donny Osmond, publicly state that it is “sacred” not “secret”, but what the heck does that mean? The sacrament is sacred and everyone is welcome there.
I’ve also heard people talk about how Mormons tend to stick together and not reach out to their neighbors. I can see how people would feel we’re cultish that way, along with the temple thing again.
If a newcomer looks at the stands at General Conference and any Mormon congregation, they see only men up on the stand and men run the church. “But the women have Relief Society!” we’re quick to say. However, men do run the church.
On my mission, I do recall seeing missionaries on occasion stick their foot in the door of a person when they were trying to shut it on them. I also witnessed an Elder run someone down on the sidewalk practically knocking them out trying to give them a Book of Mormon. If this isn’t pushy, I don’t know what is!
With the statistics in mind and I’m sure many more examples that support the evidence found in the survey, the Mormon leaders are launching the “I’m a Mormon” campaign to show that Mormons can be normal people and still live a virtuous life. If you haven’t taken the time to watch any of the clips, I recommend doing so by clicking here. I was actually very impressed with some of the Mormons who were featured.
So the question is do you think the “I’m a Mormon” campaign will help change how people view members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)?
A more important question behind that one is do you think that if people see Mormons as similar to them, that it will lead them to accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ?