LDS temple in San Diego, Calif. Image via http://bit.ly/zivRxd

LDS temple in San Diego, Calif. Image via http://bit.ly/zivRxd

A Mormon student surfs the Internet for a school assignment and discovers that Mormon founder Joseph Smith had multiple wives, even marrying a 14 year old.

A returned Mormon missionary, preparing a Sunday school lesson, comes across a website alleging that the Book of Mormon was plagiarized from a novel.

Surprised by what they find so easily online, more and more Mormons are encountering crises of faith. Some even leave the fold and, feeling betrayed, join the ranks of Mormon opponents.

It's a growing problem, acknowledges Marlin Jensen, the outgoing historian for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it's one Mormon leaders are working to confront.

"Never before have we had this information age, with social networking and bloggers publishing unvetted points of view," Jensen said. "The church is concerned about misinformation and distorted information, but we are doing better and trying harder to get our story told in an accurate way."

The church "has made no effort to hide or obscure its history," Jensen said, but some aspects — such as polygamy — "haven't been emphasized often because they were not necessarily germane to what is taught at present."

Can the LDS church do better to explain its history, even to its own members? Sure, Jensen said.

Carrie Adams 09-09-2011


For every American student, September starts a new year. September was a time to put away the suntan lotion and refocus on studies -- on more serious pursuits. Gone were the carefree days of summer, and in came the weather that lives perfectly in my memory -- those almost orange leaves, crisp blue skies, and the faint smell of autumn in upstate New York.

I remember it like this 10 years ago. Fourteen and gearing up for a Varsity volleyball season, I had it all. I had only one worry -- that my dad would forget to pick me up from practice, which he never did.

My class had just finished homeroom -- it was my friend's 15th birthday. I don't remember singing, but I'm sure we did. I moved into my world history class, I think we were on the Greeks. And then, it changed. My choir teacher rushed in and frantically told us to turn on the television. We saw the hallways fill with teachers.

Gary M. Burge 03-01-2011
I've been fascinated watching an earlier blog hunker down into a strong debate about Israel and the Palestinians (February 22, "http://blog.sojo.net/2011/02/22/when-will-3-5-million-palest
I am not happy with the results of the 2010 elections. I think the elections turned on misinformation, anger, and fear.
Allison Johnson 10-20-2010
[Editor's Note: Myths and misinformation abound when it comes to the topic of immigration reform.
Yvette Schock 10-19-2010
[Editor's Note: Myths and misinformation abound when it comes to the topic of immigration reform.
Andrew Simpson 10-18-2010
[Editor's Note: Myths and misinformation abound when it comes to the topic of immigration reform.
Brian McLaren 03-04-2010
Isn't there something in the Bible about not bearing false witness?
Tracey Bianchi 03-04-2010
It is still very much winter in Chicago. Sure, the calendar says March, but the piles of snow on the ground look more like mid-January. Everything is brown and crusty.
Seth Hoy 10-16-2009

For many years now, religious leaders and diverse faith groups have contributed much to the ongoing immigration debate.

Jim Wallis 10-08-2009
Over the course of the health-care debate, voices of faith have been raised about the moral values at stake beneath the policy discussions.
Rusty Pritchard 09-24-2009
Climate Week is upon us, and as world leaders gather at the UN and the G-20 to nibble away at the problem of international cooperation to address the issue, popular American responses seem to veer
John Gehring 08-27-2009
If you watch enough cable news you would think the fight over health-care reform has been reduced to protestors screaming about socialism, "death panels," and the evils of government.
Leah Garrett 08-27-2009
This week many of you heard the story of Sam.* Sam was a 21-year-old young man from a hard-working family. Over the course of several weeks in July he experienced extreme stomach pains.
Jim Wallis 08-12-2009
As a nation, we are engaged in making decisions about our health care that will impact our families and communities for generations to come.
Kevin Lum 08-11-2009
Jim Wallis and other faith leaders from across America kicked off "40 Days for Health Reform"
Jim Wallis 08-11-2009
Last Thursday, I wrote about truth-