Early newspaper accounts portrayed Mormons poorly

Stories printed in early 19th century newspapers did little to allay fears about the new Mormon church and the efforts of its members to lead peaceful, productive lives.

In fact, judging by the headlines and story direction, Mormons were thought to be lawbreaking fanatics who could only bring trouble.

So said one of the presenters at the Twelfth Annual Religious Education Student Symposium at BYU Feb. 19. Sara D. Smith outlined her findings in a paper entitled "More Sinned Against Than Sinning."

Smith researched newspaper stories about the Mormons in the special collections library in the Harold B. Lee Library on campus.

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