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Public Relations

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“Perhaps more than the members of any other religious sect, Mormons are preoccupied with their public image. It may be argued that such preoccupation is a form of narcissism unworthy of the Restored Gospel, but given the unfavorable stereotypes of Mormonism that have persisted throughout its history, it is understandable that faithful Latter-day Saints should eagerly welcome sympathetic treatment of the Church and its programs.”

- Stephen W. Stathis and Dennis L. Lythgoe, “Mormonism in the Nineteen-Seventies: The Popular Perception,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, v. 10, p. 95, Spring 1977

“A news article about the Church which is fair and generally positive, which may criticize us in one or two places, is more helpful to us than something that's all sweetness and light. Such a news article is actually more believable and those of us with experience in marketing know the importance of believability.”

- Dennis L. Lythgoe, “Marketing the Mormon Image: An Interview with Wendall J. Ashton,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, v. 10, p. 15, Spring 1977

“I think you can put me down on record as saying that the Mormon Church can get extremely ugly and nasty if they want to, when something is done to make them look bad or give them a negative image. And it doesn't matter how well researched or how much truth the piece may contain.”

- - Interview with Richard Clark, January 13, 1982, in John Heinerman and Anson Shule, The Mormon Corporate Empire, p. 69

Because of LDS policy toward nonwhites,
“the late sixties found the Brigham Young University the focal point of militant protests. Sports events provided the context for protests, boycotts, disrupted games, mass demonstrations, and ‘riots.' At one point the conflict among schools within the Western Athletic Conference became so intense that the conference almost disbanded. Administrators, already embroiled in student demonstrations over Vietnam, began to separate themselves from the Mormon school. Stanford University, for instance, severed all relations with Brigham Young University.”

- O. Kendall White, Jr., and Daryl White, “Abandoning an Unpopular Policy: An Analysis of the Decision Granting the Mormon Priesthood to Blacks,” Sociological Analysis, v. 41, p. 233, Fall 1980

“It might seem strange, almost slightly blasphemous, to refer to a church as a corporation, but the analogy here is simply inescapable. The Church is undeniably corporate.”

- Jeffery Kaye, “An Invisible Empire: Mormon Money in California,” New West, May 8, 1978, p. 39

“Our [Church Public Communications Department fund-raising] representatives are trained in personal grooming habits, correct deportment, proper word usage, the right kinds of voice tone for different situations, good telephone procedures, and the like. It's almost an entire remake of the whole person once they've been through the whole [training] program. They are instructed to contact attorneys, certified public accountants, bank officials, and any other officials who handle the financial affairs of the elderly, well-to-do clients and tell them about the needs of our school in Provo [BYU]. You'd be surprised just how well this system works for us.”

- Interview with Scott Barnett, an assistant director for the LDS Church Development Office, January 7, 1982, and interview with James Olson, assistant legal counsel for the LDS Church Development Office, January 7, 1982, in John Heinerman and Anson Shupe, The Mormon Corporate Empire, p. 107