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With 'I'm a Mormon' campaign, church counters lily-white image
Ruth Williams passes out bulletins at the Third Ward in Washington, D.C., a diverse Mormon church.
November 2nd, 2011
11:32 AM ET

With 'I'm a Mormon' campaign, church counters lily-white image

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - The scene at a Mormon congregation here on a recent Sunday would surprise Americans who think of Mormons as young white missionaries in stiff white shirts, black ties and name tags.

Yes, there are white missionaries handing out bulletins at Washington’s Third Ward - what Mormons call their congregations - but there's also Ruth Williams, an elderly African-American woman, decked out in her Sunday best, doing the same.

White, black, Asian and Hispanic Mormons mingle before the service begins. As it gets under way, an African-American tween plays a video game on his smartphone in one pew as a 30-something white woman across the aisle taps away on her iPad.

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On this Sunday, the Sacrament - what Mormons call the remembrance of the Last Supper and what other Christians call Communion - is said in French, a nod to the area's burgeoning West African population.

It is not a special multicultural celebration Sunday. For this growing Mormon congregation in northeast Washington, it's just another weekend.

“It’s 30% Caucasian, 30% African-American, and the rest is a combination of first-generation immigrants from around the world,” says Bishop Robert Nelson, the lay leader of this congregation.

A diverse group of congregants from the Third Ward listens to a sermon.

Washington's Third Ward is a near mirror image of the diverse neighborhood it serves, jarring with the Mormon Church's image as a faith-based club for upper-class whites.

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And the Mormon Church, officially called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says the ward represents the diverse face of modern Mormonism, a message it has been trying to spread as part of a yearlong nationwide push to counter its lily-white image.

Since January, the LDS Church has spent millions on an "I'm a Mormon" advertising campaign that features television commercials, billboards and bus signs with Mormons from African-American, Asian, Latino and other ethnic backgrounds. Just last month, the campaign entered 11 new major media markets in Texas, Indiana, Nebraska, Washington, Georgia and Arizona, hitting cities like Atlanta, Denver and Phoenix.

(You won't be seeing the ads in Iowa, South Carolina or Florida. With Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both Mormon, competing in the Republican presidential primaries, the church says it wants to steer clear of politics.)

The Mormon Church even used the ad campaign to launch a shot across the bow of the hit Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," buying a digital "I'm a Mormon" billboard just down the street from the theater where the show is playing.

The musical satire, co-produced by the creators of the television show "South Park," shows earnest white American Mormon missionaries and their misadventures in proselytization in Africa.

But the billboard shows a very different face of Mormons. There is an African-American couple playing Frisbee on the beach, a Latino grandfather and granddaughter, a goateed motorcycle sculptor.

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An official church website, Mormon.org, lets those interested in the church search for Mormons from diverse ethnic backgrounds and features videos from the likes of black soul singer Gladys Knight and Brandon Flowers, frontman for the rock band The Killers.

"It's to say, 'We're like you,' " said Kathleen Flake, a religious scholar from Vanderbilt Divinity School. "It's an attempt to combat stereotypes so that absolutely people are more open to see the normalcy of Mormonism."

The LDS Church says its attempt at an image makeover is as much a reflection of demographic reality as it is a PR effort. While young white missionaries may still be Mormonism's public face in the United States, they are no longer fully representative of the Salt Lake City-based church.

“Our doctrine is we’re all sons and daughters of God," says Stephen Allen, managing director of the LDS Church's missionary department. "Skin color or anything else is not a significant issue to us.”

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As head of global missions, Allen supervises the 52,000 19- to 25-year-old missionaries knocking on doors around the world.

He's also executive director of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which began in nine markets this year.

“In terms of targeting, we’re not specifically targeting or avoiding any particular group," Allen says. "We send our missionaries all over the world to anywhere people will listen.”

As the church’s efforts to win converts has expanded internationally, “following the American flag around the world,” as Flake puts it, the LDS Church has grown more diverse.

“We’re in most of the free world right now,” Allen says. "We have a presence in Russia and Ukraine and the Baltic countries. We have a growing presence in Africa ... Nigeria, Kenya … then we have, Japan, Korea, Taiwan. There are small congregations in India, and the church is growing in those places.”

The church's membership has doubled since 1988, to 14.1 million Mormons worldwide.  Six million Mormons live in the United States. Many of the church's members live in the American West and Northwest, in some of the whitest states in the country.

But like many other churches, there has been explosive growth in the LDS Church in Latin America. There are more than a million Mormons in both Mexico and Brazil. There are nearly a million Mormons in Asia and 300,000 in Africa, according to church statistics.

“This attempt to emphasize diversity and to emphasize a wide range of people who are Mormon does reflect, in a lot of ways, what’s been going on in reality for a while,” says Matthew Bowman, an editor at a Mormon studies journal called Dialogue.

Even in the United States, the perception of who Mormons are has changed.

“We’ve done a lot of research to see what people think of us and what their perception is,” Allen says. “Twenty-five or 30 years ago, if you said, ‘When you think of the word Mormon, what comes to mind?’ the answer would have been Mormon Tabernacle choir, polygamists, racists, the Osmonds [singers Donny and Marie].”

While that's less the case today, Allen says many people still don't know what a Mormon looks like - or don't know that there are Mormons from minority backgrounds.

A spokesman for the church said it doesn't keep statistics on members' race or ethnicity.

But “it’s no longer just a predominantly white church,” Allen says. “In our early history, you know, it was founded in upstate New York in the United States and was very much a white congregation, but today it’s very diverse.”

The complexion of the average Mormon ward reflects the neighborhood where the building resides. “Mormon wards are not self-selecting,” says Richard Bushman, a visiting professor at the School of Religion of Claremont Graduate University. “In Mormon congregations, they are just geographical boundaries, and wherever you live, you go to church.”

There is no church shopping. Congregants can’t go to another ward if they don’t like the music or the doughnuts at the social hour, as in many other faith traditions.

In Washington's Third Ward, two new converts who had recently been baptized were welcomed into the church on a recent Sunday. Both women were young African-Americans. The men who formed a circle around them and prayed over them were all white.

Unlike the ward, the church's global leadership in Salt Lake City is mostly white.

It was not until 1978 that African-Americans could serve in priesthood positions in the church, a prohibition that extended back to Mormon leader Brigham Young in the 1850s.

"When you see in that ad campaign Mormons, including African-Americans, they are trying to  communicate against that stereotype that Mormons are racist, there's no question about this," says Vanderbilt's Flake. "They are trying to say, 'That's not fair. That is not who we are. Even if we were, we are not now.' "

Allen says the "I'm a Mormon" campaign was designed to assist the small army of young Mormon missionaries out knocking on doors.

"Our feeling was anything we could do to help them was really important," he says. "And helping them means softening people’s hearts.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics • United States

soundoff (2,530 Responses)
  1. Saywhat

    Would someone familiar with the Mormon church be kind enough to view this video and explain to be whether there are any inaccuracies with it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q6brMrFw0E

    November 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Phil

      How about I dub some GI Joe audio over it... Will it make more sense then?

      November 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Tom

      For the most part that cartoon is accurate.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • lori

      Go to lds.org for more accurate information on "Mormons". That cartoon video you questioned isn't accurate in it's doctrinal contents.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Saywhat

      anyone ?

      November 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Tom

      @Lori there are only few parts that aren't accurate in that video. Skip lds.org if you don't want all the mormon propaganda and check out the wikipedia articles on mormonism, Joseph Smith, etc.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Saywhat

      Lori,
      Sorry, honestly I'm not trolling here and I'm sorry the video is in animation format. What in particular is incorrect ? I would rather hear it from an average Mormon than read what the official LDS stance is their site.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Saywhat

      Phil,
      Sorry for the cartoon format. Not trolling, just wanted honest answers about what was stated in the video

      November 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • sara

      Go to lds.org to find out what is accurate.
      Did someone recommend wikipedia over the actual website of the church? Oh great, that means all info for their kids reports in school will be done by good solid arguments from Wikipedia, haha!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • lori

      @ saywhat, so as an "average Mormon" you would rather me site some non-official LDS/Mormon website or alternative source? Best to go straight to the Church's websites rather than anit-Mormon propaganda to find out what Mormons truly believe. lds.org and mormon.org are excellent resources! Or, visit a local meetinghouse on Sunday – times/place located on website. Visitors are welcome!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Stephen

      As a student of film, we had a very interesting exercise. One class would take the same footage, then split up in three groups. One group created a love story, another a comedy, and the third created a thriller. I was taught a valuable lesson in the power of story telling. I urge anybody who wants to learn ANYTHING. Consider your sources. Weigh your options. People are smarter than we give them credit.

      November 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • DKL

      There is very little in that video that is accurate. You will find Mormons who speculate about some of the things in the video, but it is simply speculation and NOT church doctrine...not even close. Wikipedia is a better but not completely accurate. Try going to http://mormon.org/faq/. This website is designed for people who want to learn what the church believes.

      December 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      wait Jesus was my brother??/ pull the other one

      December 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Wait but I gave man science and reason I allowed humanity to choose obey there king or freedom

      December 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      are Mormons actually buy this this is more ridicules then Enoch saying it was because of lust dude you don’t cry when someone you lust for is killed and the proud does not offer there head to spare their followers

      December 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  2. Just another mom

    I was Morman, and they put on a good show. Besides talking baout racism and diversity (which these memebers are constantly reminded that they are different), they also look the other way when it comes to the priest hood holder beating his wife, and then support them in court in trying to take a child from their mother. My ex-husband was very abusive, and when it came to our divorce, he had members, including the bishop on the stand lying for him that I was a terriable parent and that I didn't deserve my child. The judge saw right through him and discredited his "witness'. They are great when you are wanting to join, but when you decided to walk away, they do everything they can to hold on to you. So unfortunelty I don not believe what this campaign is trying to accomplish.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Laen

      A former Mormon would know how to spell "Mormon".

      November 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • muucavwon

      Abuse happens in LDS families–sometimes even when the abused don't spell perfectly. This sounds like a fairly typical exit story.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Wooget

      I don't know what a Morman is, but congrats on once being one. Logic would dictate anyone who was ever a Mormon, would know how to spell it....

      November 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • spamlds

      Anyone who has ever been a member of the Church would never spell the word Mormon as "Morman." That is a sure-fire giveaway that the person is a fake.

      November 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  3. darntootin

    yeh. they started "fighting their lily white image" about 20 years ago when they decided people of color could actually go to heaven.... what broad mindedness, eh?

    November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Michael

      This is silly. Mormon's *never* believed anyone would be excluded from heaven on the basis of their color. Read 2 Nephi 26:33, from the Book of Mormon: "...[the Lord] inviteth them all to ccome unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."

      November 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • manaen

      Yes, there was a practice that excluded black men from the priesthood then we ordained ALL of those in our Church - what are to say of the other churches who still have not ordained most of those among their members?

      November 3, 2011 at 2:50 am |
  4. wonderwall

    I don't have anything against Mormons per say, I just wish they'd get off my doorstep.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Raz

      It is "per se"

      November 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Wooget

      You can tell them you're not interested, or here's an idea, don't answer the door.

      November 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  5. Laen

    So, is the AME Church going to do the same? If not, shouldn't that be big news?

    November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  6. TruthSeeker

    Another extremely biased religious story, compliments of CNN. You could have included at least one mainstream protestant teacher who has concerns of why he or she believes that Mormonism departs from mainstream Christianity. I have been in evangelical missions for 15 years, and it is well known within our mainstream circles the clear contrasts that would have bible believing Christians sound an alarm of concern of why Mormonism is so dangerous. I know that I will now be greatly attacked here, but in the future, can you at least report in a fair and balanced way, share common opposing sides?

    November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • TruthGiver

      No attack here TruthSeeker, just explanation. This article isn't about how Christian Mormon's are – is about diversity. So not sure why you want an explanation about their Christianity here. But who exactly is it that gets to decide what a Christian is? Evangelicals certainly don't own the market. Pretty much anyone who believes in Christ is a Christian. Just because they don't agree with you does not make them dangerous. Have you actually tried to understand Mormon's point of view? I think if you did, you might be pleasantly surprised.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • manaen

      You're startlingly comfortable arrogating to yourself the mainstreamship of Christianity. I believe that Christ restored his Church upon the biblical foundation of apostles and prophets as what's known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church that Christ restored is, by definition, the main stream. The degree to which others vary from it is the measure of how far they are out of Christianity's main stream.

      November 3, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • Chazzwick

      I actually found this to be one of the most unbiased articles about the LDS church that I've seen. The intent of this article wasn't to comment on theology, but rather was intended to discuss current trends regarding race in the church and the promotional efforts of the "I'm a Mormom" campaign.

      November 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  7. Erik

    Mormon religion is based on lecherous forefathers, racism, planetary families, and crazy dreams. It's largely mythical and cultish.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  8. JSA

    Why don't you Mormons talk about your history? Tell us about it and how you come to where you are now.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  9. Bigdawg

    All religions are cults! Some are just larger than others! No god? Know Peace!

    November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  10. Dave

    Lilly white is better than lilly black

    November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  11. SciFiChickie

    I escaped the Mormon church...
    I grew up in the Mormon church, I was forced to fast the 1st Sunday of each month, forced to go to Siminary every day before school when in high school, forced to give the church 10% of my allowance...
    I ran away screaming as soon as I hit 18...

    November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • XenuRulerOfTheUniverse

      Run to Xenu darling! We won't hold you captive or anything while our own private police force tortures you – scratch that – convinces you we're right! That's just rumor, haters, people who don't agree with us! That whole thing about paying for tests is just a bunch of hateful acrimony!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • TommyD

      And I'm sure you have a lot of sadness in your life. Trying to fill your life with earthly things, and never finding peace when you're alone. You will always be welcome.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • jennifer

      Obviously you weren't forced to go to school!!!!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Erik

      Nice try, TommyD, being passive aggressive and attempting omnisciency. Maybe he simply didn't want to waste his money on bs.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • TommyD

      Erik.
      And where are you in this life. Have you truly looked for answers? Science and/or Religion? Or do facts just get in your way? People tend to want to find a religion based on their own earthly experiences. Religion is not of this earth, it’s having faith to overcome the hardness of this earth.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • SciFiChickie

      "your always welcome" Not gonna happen! I trust Science, & facts, and guess what it was Mormon doctrine that made me turn to Science, you know the one where we are all going to one day have our OWN universe to play with. It's great & what helped developed my love of SciFi, but I do not believe that I will one day be the same as "God", because I know "God" is really an alien posing as "God". Check out Ancient Aliens on the History channel...

      November 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Erik

      I'm very happy, Tommy. I have advanced degrees in law and physics, work hard, make good money, and do charity work. So, no, facts don't get in the way at all. And, yes, I have looked for answers. I find Humanism and science are sufficient . Unlike you, I don't find being pedantic about the genesis of others' statements to work well. Sometimes we just disagree.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • TommyD

      The word in your reply that I believe tells it all is "play". Some day I hope you realize the importace of what you're dismissing now. At some point you need to stop "playing".

      November 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • TommyD

      Erik
      Sorry, you lost me when you said "I'm very happy...I have advanced degrees in law" :-)
      Erik, until you find the truth of our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ, you're just sampling joy!

      November 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • XenuRulerOfTheUniverse

      Tommy, you've had a little too much of the Kool-Aid today, you're cut off!

      November 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Allen

      You poor, poor soul. Being raised Mormon must be worse than Gitmo. (not)

      November 3, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Wooget

      Sounds like you escaped your parents. The Mormon Church didn't make you do this. Try being honest in your drivel.

      November 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • spamlds

      I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1978 at the age of 18. I missed out on the blessings of being taught the gospel in my childhood. I didn't get the privilege of going to Seminary to learn our history, traditions, and doctrines. As I learned about the welfare and humanitarian services of the Church, I was pleased to fast two meals a month and donate the money that would have been spent on them to help those who are less fortunate.

      I served a mission for the Church and I saw the gospel bless the lives of others. I have served in many positions in the Church all over the world as an unpaid volunteer, teaching, ministering, assisting with organizational duties. It has been a personally rewarding experience to develop talents and skills in the service of others.

      I have been faithful and active in the Church for over 30 years now. My children grew up in the faith and they are teaching it to their children. My wife and I have been married for 28 years and we love the principle that our lifelong love and marriage will endure beyond the grave because we were sealed in a temple by a holy ordinance and authority bestowed from heaven itself.

      I know the Lord hears and answers my prayers. Being a member of the Church has been and continues to be the source of my greatest joys.

      November 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  12. StillTranscendingtheBS

    If you've ever been to southern idaho, you would know to be very afraid of the mormons. They control everything and if you are not one of them, you have no career mobility. Kids who live in southern idaho are discriminated against and alone if they are not mormon. They even have "dress up as a missionary" day at public school. With the LDS seminary right on school grounds, with periods of the day that students have "off" so they can go to seminary.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • jennifer

      It doesn't sound like you have ever lived here!!! I do and there is no such thing as "dress like a missionary day" Get your facts straight! Nobody controls anything around here!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • TruthGiver

      LDS Seminary is not on school grounds – it's on church owned grounds. And attending seminary is allowed by the state of Idaho.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Allen

      Southern Idaho was also where Napoleon Dinomite was located. Very scary! (not)

      November 3, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Michael M

      Sounds like any other regional area where church or race dominates. Try living in Compton and not be Black or Hispanic, try living in any Southern State and not be evangelical and your on the outside. Try living in the mid west where Protestant, Lutheran and or Methodist congregations control everything. How about Boston, there are Irish neighborhoods that you'd take your life in your hands if you are Asian and come into town. Visit an Asian area in many large cities and venture past the tourism and restaurants and you's likely to get mugged and beaten.

      I've lived all over the country in large and small towns, its everywhere. Wherever a race, income class, or religion dominates they control the local traditions and politics and everyone else is an outsider to the traditions of the majority. Idaho is not got some evil Mormon thing going... They just have an LDS majority in some cities there and work to their own best interests just like everyone else, everywhere else.

      I live din one town in the mid west where only Methodists could work in the school system, only Catholics in city government, and only Lutherans in anything involving local business or community activities. People of those churches routinely jumped religions depending on what they were interested in. Unlike Mormons who actually live their religion and strive to improve not conform to others.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  13. Paul

    This is like the Catholic Church running an ad on how kid-friendly their priests are.

    Fact of the matter is the Mormon Church is based around racist doctrines. That's not an opinion, it's a fact that stems from its holy book where their god turns non-whites skin darker as punishment.

    So they can flaunt their twelve black people who were stupid enough to join all day every day; I'm not buying it.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Sam

      lol, the ads have NOTHING to do with race, the article does. If youve ever attended a church meeting in your own area, you'll definetly see white is becoming the minority. Find out the truth – mormon.org

      November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Erik

      Nice try, Sam, but what Paul says is factually true.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • dont ask

      hahahahaha. "This is like the Catholic Church running an ad on how kid-friendly their priests are". I just love this comment.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • muucavwon

      The ads are about race because they aim to show the LDS Church has racially diverse members. In addition to the official Mormon perspective, check out mormonthink.org.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Allen

      When were Mormons feared for presumed child molestation? Apples and Mangoes my friend, apples and mangoes.

      November 3, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Wooget

      While your comment is true, the reason was two-fold. It was not only punishment, it was to differentiate the two different groups of people so they would knowwho was a Lamanite and who was a Nephite.

      November 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Michael M

      You mean like the Bible and Cain? By your argument all religions are racist as many have a history of God changing those he has punished. In the Bible it happens several times.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  14. brion11111

    hey Collin, ur an idiot. (tootsie roll)

    November 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  15. ACooke

    WOW! Judging by the number of soundoff replies (1,128) so far, this story really touched a nerve. It just shows the racial sensitivity of many who have never experienced the daily stereotyping names applied to non-whites. As for the Mormons, it seems they are stooping a bit to gather votes. I remember a stop in Salt Lake City ten years ago and taking a tour with my white friends. We were separated into two groups. They were shown the full temple, while the black and latinos among the group were only shown the temple model in an interior exhibit area. Just sayin!

    November 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Not possible.

      Say WHAT? Not possible. Nobody gets a "tour" of the temple, sorry!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Sam

      Umm...I've been there, the model is like 10 steps from the full sized temple...how could they not be show the temple!? Find out the truth – mormon.org

      November 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Please Explain

      Considering the only time people who are not members of the LDS Church can enter a temple is during its dedication and the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated well over 100 years ago, I would really like to know how any were "shown the full temple," whatever that means. Please explain more.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • rhino

      Unless your white friends were devout mormons, there is no way they were shown the entire temple. Your story is BS!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • eric

      There's no way this is true. Anyone can attend an open house of the temple before it's dedicated – anyone of any faith at all, no matter who you are or what you look like. But the temple in SLC was dedicated long before you were born. There are other temples you may have been inside of before they were dedicated, but even then, they certainly would not have split up the crowds (and there are crowds), based on skin color. That's crazy talk. Nice attempt to spread falsities.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Michael M

      Make your argument but don't make up lies. Anyone can go to an undedicated LDS temple, no non-member can after it is dedicated.

      I live in an area with many blacks and hispanics and we all serve and work together in the Church, including in the Temple. In fact most of my leaders above me have been Hispanic or Black no whites. Stop lying.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  16. Jeannot

    Don't care about your Religion.
    But force it on me, and I guarantee a reaction.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  17. waycist

    White schools, white neighborhoods, white cities,,they're all better,,The Mormons should promote their refreshing lack of diversity.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Leroy McMath

      Free the black mormans!!!!!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Michael M

      Perhaps you did not know the majority of world wide Mormon members are not white or even American. It is far more diverse than most US Christian or Evangelical churches are.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  18. Mary

    Mormons are engaged in wholesale defrauding of the welfare system. Who do you think supports all of these {"sister wives" and their offspring, people? The US Taxpayer.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Polygamists are not Mormon.

      Anyone who practices polygamy is disfellowshipped from the church, AKA not a member anymore. We haven't done the polygamy thing for 100+ years...

      November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • jnemesh

      Dude, there are MANY reasons to dislike the Mormon religion, but polygamy is not really one of them. Polygamy in the Mormon faith is currently restricted to a few SMALL groups that live out in the sticks. It is NOT a general practice to take more than one wife, and hasnt been for many, many years.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Sam

      The people on that show arent LDS and have nothing to do with the mormon church. Find out the truth – mormon.org

      November 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Leroy McMath

      only because it is illegal.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • amanda98

      Mary, members of the church who are struggling financially are encouraged to come to their local church for monetary support before they try to receive help from the government. The money the church helps these members with is provided from donations from local church members. Members are encouraged to be self sustaining and not a drain on the government. Everyone helps each other. There will be a time when each of us needs help. Get your facts straight before you attack. I

      November 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • TruthGiver

      Mormons don't need the U.S. government's welfare system – they have their own. Mormons are the least dependent people on U.S. gov. And there are no polygamous Mormons – not even small groups as one poster said. Sad to see there is so much misunderstanding out there. It's no wonder the Mormons need a PR campaign.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • muucavwon

      While practicing polygamists cannot be members of the LDS Church currently, there do seem to be many young LDS families who use government health insurance, subsidized housing, and food stamps.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Brian

      @muucavwon.

      Where do you get your facts? The church has one of the largest and most effective welfare programs in the world. One of the many programs is called the Bishop's Storehouse, a local store of food and goods for struggling families. In other words, Mormons (and non-Mormons too) have a safety net available before needing government assistance.

      November 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • spamlds

      It's a shame to think that everything Mary knows about Mormons, she learned from watching "Oprah."

      November 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  19. dont ask

    Oh no, they are spreading!

    November 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Leroy McMath

      It's the magic panties. they're irresistible.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • unabashed Mormon

      Lol. I have to say I thought this was funny. I do wear the garments that represent promises I have made. Most here will not understand that. I don't expect you to, but I do take my promises seriously and think they help me be a better man and husband. I am a happy Mormon.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Zedd

    Anyone can be dumb, anyone can be a mormon.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.