How Americans View Mormonism: Seven Steps to Improve Our Image (Hardcover)(edit)
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“Gary Lawrence's fascinating and often startling analysis of how others perceive us and what we can do about it is a must read for every member of the LDS Church.” — Kieth Merrill
“If you have ever wished you knew better ways of talking about your faith with your friends, you will find what you need here.” — Dr. Richard L. Bushman
“No one uses the methods of research to dig into these problems better than Gary.” — U.S. Senator Robert F. Bennett
“Lawrence's work is path-breaking and crucial to the next generation of American political and religious discourse."” — Hugh Hewitt
From the results of an extensive national survey about Mormonism, pollster Gary Lawrence maintains that the misconceptions, distortions, and untruths being told about Mormons have slowed the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that the average member is best positioned to turn things around. Simple ignorance is often blamed from Mormonism's negative image, but Lawrence concludes it is also driven by fear — fear of a supposed political agenda, wealth, organizational ability, unwavering doctrine, and a unique vocabulary that is often misunderstood. He explains that individual members in their daily interactions with others are the key, and that. . .
- friendly and natural conversations
- the facts
- simple claims
- individual latitude
- non-threatening invitations
- gentle mentoring
. . . are the ways Mormons can combat distortions, improve their image, and spread the gospel.
About the Author
As a political pollster and market researcher, Gary C. Lawrence has spent 35 years studying the opinions and behaviors of the American public. He grew up in Springville, Utah, graduated from Brigham Young University in 1967 with a B.A. in political science, and then earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1972 in a communication program that emphasized the study of attitudes – how they are formed, how they are measured, and how they are changed.
Dr. Lawrence has served in many callings in the Church: missionary to South Germany, early morning seminary teacher, bishop, and ordinance worker in the Newport Beach Temple.
He resides in Orange County, California, with his wife, Jan, who earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Utah State University. They are the parents of four children and have four grandchildren.