Connecting the Church and Community Through Public Affairs

 Connecting the Church to the world seems like an arduous task. By following a few simple steps there can be great strides made to bridge the gap of misunderstanding, and assist those of other faiths to understand that we, as Mormons, are Christians, that we believe in Jesus Christ, and we serve those around us because of our love for Him.             

 As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Public Affairs Directors, we are called to represent the church on a secular or community basis. In other words, non-converting! We are not here to convert, but to accept, work with, and team up with good people of any and all denominations, or no denomination at all. In the July 2012 Liahona there is an excellent article on how to think in a Public Affairs mode. Yes, our testimonies of the Gospel are strong and we know what our beliefs are, but in Public Affairs we are not to try to push our beliefs onto anyone, but rather to have a strong working relationship with them, be it socially, working together on projects for the good of the community, working together in leadership, or any act of service.

Elder M Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gives some very timely council on Public Affairs.

The 11th Article of Faith of the Church says, “We claim the privilege of worshipping the almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, AND allow ALL men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”  Be that said, We are Christians, we declare the divinity of Jesus Christ, we belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we do what we do because of our belief in Jesus Christ, and we choose to follow His example through love and service. Serving through Mormon Helping Hands is a great way to show this love. This is what we say to people who ask why we do what we do, but not until they ask. If we tell them why we are doing it before they ask, then we are preaching. There is a vast and eternal part of the church that has the preaching of the gospel all arranged.

We are called as Public Affairs, to bring the church out of obscurity in numerous ways of service and media support. We do good, we help others to do good, and we advise the media of the efforts made. For years we have been taught to do good and be quiet. Now the Prophet is telling us to do good and let our light shine. Through our examples, people then may ask about the church. When they ask, we refer them to the missionaries.

Sometimes we will briefly answer their questions. If they continue wanting to know more we can tell them if they would like to know more about the Church, that we have missionaries that work in the area. If you would like I could have them stop by and answer your questions in more detail. There again, our responsibility in Public Affairs is to have a working relationship with all good people, not to convert.


Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.