The effort to more clearly distinguish Mormons from the Texas polygamist group follows a survey commissioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that found a high level of public awareness of stories about the polygamous compound near San Angelo, Texas. Allegations of child abuse led to a raid by the state's Child Protective Services earlier this year. Some 91 percent of respondents had heard or read stories surrounding the religious compound.
However, the survey also found that:
- More than a third of those surveyed (36 percent) erroneously thought that the Texas compound was part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or "Mormon Church" based in Salt Lake City
- 6 percent said the two groups were partly related.
- 29 percent correctly said the two groups were not connected at all
- 29 percent were not sure.
In addition, when asked specifically which religious organization members of the polygamous group belonged to:
- 30 percent said "Mormon," "LDS" or "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"
- 14 percent said "FLDS"
- 6 percent said "Mormon fundamentalists"
- Nearly half (44 percent) were unsure
Now aren't those scary! It looks like we need to do some work, telling people the truth!
Now on a personal level, my Mom came up to visit and asked about this group of people. She also thought we were the same. So when I say 'we', I really mean me. This lead me to think about my role as a Mormon. What kind of missionary am I? I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I wouldn't be here today if my friends in junior high weren't brave enough to share with me what they know. I'm sooo grateful for them. I just think of what kind of image I give of the church. I hope that it's good. I now have a new light on the subject and hope to be better!