Guest Commentary: Mormons next door

With The Book of Mormon play on Broadway and now a Mormon presidential candidate, the media has described this point in time in terms of attention and interest as the “Mormon Moment.” For those of us who are Mormons, customarily encountering misperceptions and misunderstanding, this is an unprecedented opportunity to clarify who we are.

First, a little background. I am reaching a stage in my life where I have been a Mormon longer than not. I grew up with a Catholic father, Protestant mother, and attended a college with a predominantly Jewish student body. I respect all who strive to know God, consistent with our 11th Article of Faith: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege.” Sadly, religious tolerance did not greet Mormons during the early years as they fled from the East to the Midwest and finally settled in what was then Indian Territory but is now Utah, to escape mob violence and persecution.

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