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More Americans hold unfavorable views toward Mormons

More Americans have a strongly unfavorable impression of Mormons than a strongly favorable one — by a ratio of 5-to-1 — and it's up to Mormons themselves to correct the situation, a public opinion pollster said Friday.

Gary Lawrence said only 12 percent of non-Mormon Americans know, unaided, the LDS claim to be a restoration of the church that Christ founded. Sixty-seven percent are uncertain whether Mormons believe the Bible, 77 percent on whether Mormons are Christians and 75 percent on whether Mormons practice polygamy, he noted.

"We've been doing missionary work for 180 years," he said. "I'd say the delivery vehicles are arriving, but the freight isn't being off-loaded, and that's our fault."

Lawrence addressed the annual conference of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) convening Thursday and Friday at the South Towne Exposition Center, in Sandy. Working primarily by means of a website and the annual conference, FAIR seeks to counter adverse criticism against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though it is not formally affiliated with the church.

Lawrence spoke on the theme "How Americans View Mormonism and What We Can Do about It."

Two years ago, his Orange County, Calif., polling firm conducted a survey among 1,000 randomly chosen American adults, asking about their view of the LDS Church.

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