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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 08, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 09Dec00

By Kent Larsen

LDS Church Pledges 'Appropriate' Publicity During Olympics

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- With Salt Lake City expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the LDS Church is trying to find a balance between proselyting and correcting visitors misconceptions about Mormonism. The Church is both preparing for the influx of visitors and setting policies to avoid overbearing proselyting.

The Church's efforts to give visitors accurate information about the Church are many. The Church's Museum of Church History and Art is preparing several exhibits for the games. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform concerts throughout the period and LDS Church Presideng Gordon B. Hinckley has promised an "extravaganza." The Church has also introduced a special website, specifically for journalists, to assist them with basic information about the Church as they write articles during the Olympics.

But President Hinckley has also placed restrictions on proselyting during the games. Public contacting by missionaries will be restricted to Temple Square, and LDS volunteers working for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee will promise not to proselyte.

"I think the opportunity of helping people understand and overcome their misconceptions is surely a good one," said Janette Beckham, who with her husband Ray serves on the LDS Church's Olympic Coordinating Committee. "But we need to do it in an appropriate way, and that won't be through members proselytizing or imposing themselves."


Religion in the News
(Long Island) NY Newsday 8Dec00 N1
By Vania Grandi: Associated Press


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