Each of us is a public affairs chairman. Hugh W. Pinnock
In response to a recent editorial cartoon in Massachusetts Metro-West Daily News, there appeared the following letter to the editor.
“Shame on Dave Granlund; his Wednesday editorial page cartoon was vicious and not at all funny. I worked for a Salt Lake City based high-tech start-up for three years. It was owned by two brothers. They both tithed - large amounts of money. They were active in the Mormon Church - both elders. One resigned from his company to return to missionary service in Africa. And, they both were and are monogamous.
To portray Mormons in general, but Mormons for Romney in particular, as bigamous hayseeds is untrue, egregiously so. Worse, it is an uncalled for insult. Mormons are almost universally courteous. They do not drink, smoke or curse. They are unfailingly polite, and the worst language that I ever heard from the entire company in the three years I worked with them was "drat." Finally, they are monogamous.
Granlund - shame on you. You have betrayed, certainly, your ignorance but, perhaps also, your bias. This cartoon is not funny, it is egregiously vicious.” John Ellsworth, Ashland, Massachusetts
What would I want us to learn (and do) after reading this editorial?
1. Recall what Ammon teaches. Having been befriended by, and worked alongside Mormons, Mr. Ellsworth freely endorsed and defended Mormons to the press and the community.
Do you remember what the servants said when the King inquired about Ammon’s feats: “Whether he be the Great Spirit or a man, we know not: But this much we do know…that he is a friend to the king.” (Alma 18:3)
2. Recommit to a high-touch approach within our communities. John Ellsworth was willing to defend the church, not because of positive press about the church, but because he had worked alongside members of the church and had good experiences with them.
A church-sponsored survey taken in 2002 further underscores the effectiveness of the high-touch approach. Respondents were asked two questions: (1) When you think of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what do you think? and (2) Does your top-of-mind response generate positive or negative feelings? Of the 8% who had a Mormon acquaintance, nearly 100% had positive feelings.
3. Say thank-you.
How wonderful it would be if the members of the church that live in Ashland sent Mr. Ellsworth a note, or better yet, invited him to one of their homes simply to say thank-you. After all, to a small degree he sacrificed his time and imperiled his reputation on their and our behalf.