In the public mind, the word Mormon has come to mean something very specific It has become a synonym for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Consequently, when Mormonis used to describe polygamist groups, it causes great confusion about our beliefs among the general public and frustration to our members.
Polygamists and polygamist organizations that occasionally make the news are not dissident wings of the Church or fundamentalists. They have no affiliation whatsoever with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most of their members have never had any association with the Church either. It follows that because Warren Jeffs is not affiliated with the Mormon Church, and since he is not Mormon, reporters should look for more accurate and less misleading descriptions of him in the media.
Also…"The word Mormon is loaded in arguable definitions and contexts but the original label as proclaimed by the brethren was to proudly differentiate themselves from Christians and choose a hero from the ‘Book of Mormon’ to give this new label a more distinctive separation.”
I am going to tick someone off, I'm really not trying to, it's just my humble viewpoint.
If you are following Joseph Smith and his teachings, you are a MORMON are you not? If you marry underage girls or not, if you practice polygamy or not, your still using the same basic teachings. Like with Christians, there’s good and bad in all Churches. LDS forgets they started out the same way. Kody calls himself an Independent Fundamentalist Mormon. The LDS would say he is not a Mormon. Confusing? Yep.
It reminds me of one of my favorite stories of Dr. Seuss, The Sneetches. Because the star-bellied Sneetches are being prejudicial to the plain-bellied Sneetches, a "fix-it-up chappie" named Sylvester McMonkey McBean appears and offers the Sneetches without stars a chance to have them by going through his Star-On Machine. Shows the reader that racism is not the way to go.
When my boys were little, I came home to find my husband and them all shirtless, with “stars upons thars”. It was the cutest thing I ever saw, I just wish I had taken a picture.
LDS, you shouldn’t be so stingy with the name. It applies to all that adhere to the teachings of Joseph Smith. Actually, the polygamists are following it more, so I say they can call themselves Mormons. There’s good and bad in every group. Don’t be a Sneetch!