News Story

Senior Church Leader Appeals to Media to Make Distinction


Elder Quentin L. Cook, an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, appealed to the news media today to make a clear distinction in their reports between the Church and the polygamist sect in Texas that has made headlines throughout the world.

He praised news media that are making this distinction but expressed concerns about others who are perpetuating mistruths about the Church, whose members are commonly referred to as Mormons.

Elder Cook said it is very confusing to the public when some media use “Mormon” to describe the Texas-based polygamous group that is currently under investigation for possible incidents of child abuse. He reiterated that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with over 13 million members worldwide, is not connected in any way to sects that practice polygamy.

Drawing contrasts between the Church and polygamists, Elder Cook said that Church members do not live in isolated compounds, arrange marriages, dress in old-fashioned clothing or wear unusual hairstyles.

Rather, they are participating members of the communities in which they live throughout the world, get married at the average age of 23 and are well educated. In fact, 60 percent of Church members in the United States have some college education, which is 10 percent above the national average.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.