All About Mormons, (With A Reporter, Not Cartman)

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic


Salt Lake LDS (Mormon) Temple Source: Danny La/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Source: Danny La/Getty Images

Has anyone ever seen the South Park episode "All About Mormons?" It's actually a lovely lesson about tolerance, though I think a lot of Mormons have some problems with the portrayal of the Church in the episode (but not all — my very best friend was raised Mormon and thinks it's kind of great). I think it's interesting how few portrayals of Mormons there seem to be in the culture, and many people confuse the polygamists of Big Love with Mormons (they're not). However, it's astonishing how little Americans actually seem to know about the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — and how maligned by pop culture and the media many members of the Mormon church feel. If you are part of either group — today we're talking about the coverage with NPR's Howard Berkes. We'd really like to take your comments and questions today — and listen, we're all going to have to get really familiar with this topic as Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney is clearly both a contender, and, as he said today in his speech, Mormon. So, let us know your gripes and questions — we want to get this right.



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I am an ex-Mormon who grew up in Salt Lake City and followed every directive of the LDS Church implicitly. My children are still active in the Mormon church. My daughters were married in the LDS Temple (of which I was barred from attending) and my son is currently serving an LDS mission. As such I understand the Mormon story but I'm not living it and I don't believe it. I'm finding Mormonism on national display both interesting and amusing. The problem that Mitt and the LDS Church in general are going to have with this national exposure is to decide just how much to disclose of its dogma and history--both of which are pretty strange when one does any sort of research. If they disclose too much Mormonism comes off as an unconventional fringe religion. If they divulge too little, the public may remain distrustful. Yet, are most Mormons good people? Amazingly so-- better than most. Do they believe in God? Yes. It is these strengths that they wish to portray - not the story upon which their entire religious dynasty is based.

Sent by Marianne Jenkins | 4:41 PM | 12-6-2007

Thanks for trying to get it right. Did not get to listen to the show but as a Latter-day Saint, I appreciate it. I think many people are angry or suspect simply because they don't know the whole story or get it out of context. I don't expect anyone to believe what I do, but I sure appreciate when they try and understand sincerely instead of just trying to prove why they think I am wrong.

Sent by Nettie Atkisson | 12:20 AM | 12-7-2007

I'm Mormon and therefore I am Christian. I get so frustrated and angry at stupid religous groups that call my faith a cult or non-Christian. The name of Jesus is in the title of my church!!! They are religious bigots! To some extent it comes down to money. Churches make money from members. The Mormon church grows because it's true and because it has 50,000 plus missionaries. I served in Australia. Pastors and ministers in other churches don't want to lose their power and money. Mormon leadership callings are not-paid. My branch president is a professor at CSUB. We don't do it for the money. Losing members doesn't effect our bank accounts like the other churches that attack my faith. For example, like that church guy in Florida that calls Mitt Romney a vote for satan. (That guy has gone to jail -fyi) So how much of it really comes down to money. Both of my parents are converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from SBC. My Southern Baptist grandfather beat my mother (she was a teenager) up when she told him that she was changing faiths. Which faith has more religious tolerence? My faith never attacks other religions. We don't have church lessons on Catholics or other faiths. Other faiths seem keen on having special sermons on how to attack Mormons and prove them as a cult. It's all about the money.

Sent by The Mormon Hammer | 3:28 AM | 12-7-2007

the only thing that being lds is , the godhead, as a mormon that I am , I cannot go no further than that, when I talk religion to other faiths. Jesus, is the only begotten son of our heavenly father, yes your and mine father. jesus is seperate of our heavenly father. when I read the scriptures ,it makes all the sense in the world that as I understand what these profits of the bible and book of mormon are teaching us, knowing that jesus is not god!! jesus is our eldest brother, savior, lord, messiah, ect. (like god jesus has many names also). now I get to the third part of the godhead (the triangle) the holy spirit is also seperate of god and jesus. the holy ghost as we lds folks call him is as important and is as alive today as he was alive when jesus and john the babtist was alive on the earth in body. the holy ghost is that thing in ones concious that tells you to choose between right and wrong, also it tells you rather what you are reading or listening to is true.Also the holy ghost is with every soul that has lived on this great earth. Another thing that I found diffrent about my religion is babtism, it is required to get into the presenceof our heavenly father and jesus which is sitting on his right hand.did not jesus also had to babtized by the only one that had the authorty at the time of jesus*s live showing us that even he to had to be babtized to enter into gods presence

Sent by phillip may | 1:42 AM | 1-20-2008

Great Post

Sent by LDS Art Collector | 12:58 PM | 6-30-2008