This week the LDS Church posted three important press releases:
1. Just in time for shoddy local journalism, the Church invited journalists to include the Church itself among the sources they use when writing. The Church Newsroom site has a variety of resources for learning about Church beliefs and practices. If journalists can’t find what they need on the site, they can contact Church public affairs directly.
There is much valuable material and good scholarship available about the Church on the Internet, but there is an enormous amount that ranges from the merely dubious to simple anti-Mormon polemics. In addition, all reporters face the challenge of deciding whether to define Latter-day Saints only in terms of their contrasts with other Christian faiths, or whether they should also include beliefs and practices by which Mormons define themselves.
These issues can best be resolved through substantive conversations. The Church fully appreciates that journalists and online writers like to use a variety of sources for their stories and that this is usually necessary to produce balance and context. But we do believe that the Church itself should be one of those sources.
For writers or producers who want to avoid “loose” reporting and best serve their audiences, the core beliefs that define Latter-day Saints are summarized clearly on this Web site. When there are additional questions or a need for clarification, we welcome a phone call or e-mail. (Source: An Invitation to Journalists)
2. In response to an anti-Mormon DVD released in Utah and surrounding states, the Church released the following statement:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has weathered such attacks throughout its history. At a time when the Church is growing strongly throughout the world, it’s not surprising that some groups try to curb that growth in such ways.
Groups opposed to the Church have a perfect right to distribute their materials in ways that are legal.
The issue is not one of rights. Rather, it is that one religious group chooses to target another with a DVD full of distortions of its doctrine and history, and misrepresentations so stark that they call into question the integrity of the producers. (Source: Response to DVD)
3. In response to controversy about Vice President Dick Cheney’s upcoming speaking appointment at BYU, the Church explains that it continues to be politically neutral. In fact, Senate Majority Leader and Democrat Harry Reid is scheduled to speak at BYU this fall.
Is it appropriate for a university — even one that espouses a policy of political neutrality — to have as featured speakers the holders of some of the highest offices in the land? Of course it is. And whoever the visitor — the vice president, the majority leader of the Senate or the chief justice of the Supreme Court (another scheduled fall speaker) — the university and the student body will listen, evaluate and react to them as intelligent citizens capable of making up their own minds about their messages. (Source: BYU Invitation to Vice President Stirs Debate)