Letter: Religion and spirituality are something that should be celebrated and respected

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Angel Moroni atop The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Bountiful Temple, Dec. 10, 2022.

I recently read Jana Riess’ article, “LDS Church’s slow shift away from demonizing working mothers,” and it struck a chord with me. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have observed the shift in the church’s approach when it comes to being a working woman and mother. It has been a wonderful shift and something that has made the community within the congregations closer and more supportive. While I appreciate the insights in the article, I couldn’t help but feel a bit put off by some of the language and tone that has been used in other articles about the church published by The Salt Lake Tribune.

As someone who holds my faith close to my heart, I firmly believe it is important to approach discussions about the church and all other religions with respect and understanding. Not only does this create a safe space for people to continue to speak about what they believe and exercise their freedom of religion and worship, but it also creates a space of learning and understanding.

There are large amounts of negative media about the church published by this journal and others and very rarely have I seen truthful and open language used to describe the church. Instead, I would prefer that authors for The Salt Lake Tribune used language that is inclusive and not demeaning to those of my faith or any other. When this kind of negative and belittling language is used, the truth is often lost under layers of opinion and emotion.

Ultimately, I believe religion and spirituality are something that should be celebrated and respected. The LDS Church has much to offer in terms of spiritual guidance and community support. Religion in general has been found to be beneficial to one’s mental health, which is something so many need right now. I would encourage authors and others to approach discussions about our church with an open mind and a willingness to engage in respectful dialogue.

Sage Gage, Salt Lake City

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