Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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"If It Is Written by a Living General Authority, It Will Sell": A Report on Mormon Publishing
122 I Dialogue in developing our relationship with the non-Mormon public, though. As the Church becomes more diverse and wide-ranging, we must be more careful about the images we create of ourselves in the public mind. We must be careful not to mislead the public. For example, Brig-ham Young University is now the largest church-related university in the world, a source of considerable pride to us. It is also a place where students are well-groomed and modestly dressed, which stamps it as something of a rarity. If we over-publicize this latter fact, however, at the expense of stressing the academic achievements of the school and its faculty, we run the risk of placing BYU in the league of certain evangelical institutions of lesser academic quality. This could hurt BYU graduates as they hit the job market, and as a Church PR matter, alienate an important segment of the public that might otherwise be kindly disposed toward us. As another example: Many non-Mormons have adopted the Family Home Evening Program, and others have recommended it on a community-wide basis. Our leadership in building family ties will bear fruit both in potential con- verts and in general good will. On the other hand, if we place too much emphasis on Home Evening, the public may come to perceive it as some kind of unique ritual, similar to the Jewish Sabbath performed by Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. People will say they like it but still feel turned away. And we must understand that mere publicity in itself is not as effective as some might think. Many church-originated stories end up on the religion page of the newspapers, which is the least read page in the paper. All in all, Church leaders have great PR material with which to work and our relationships with our various publics should steadily improve. But we will need more skill than ever before in our history. I think the Church's decision to produce an hour-long TV special in prime time markets demonstrates a keen awareness of this. It augurs well for the future of the Church public relations. Ultimately, however, we will all need to bear in mind that the Church's image depends upon and always will depend upon the individual behavior of its members. If It's Written by A Living General Authority, It Will Sell: A Report on Mormon Publishing According to Duane Crowther, founder and manager of Horizon Publishing, "Church publishers are 'lengthening their stride' to keep pace with the rapid growth of the Church. All five of the publishers of traditional church books are expanding their facilities. Deseret Book has completed its attractive new building in downtown Salt Lake City. Hawkes Publishing built their own facility last year. Within the past decade Bookcraft moved into a new location and is again pondering expansion. BYU Press is in a modern new plant, and Horizon is negotiating the purchase of a permanent home almost three times larger than its current building." Standing as influential and omnipresent as ever is Deseret Book Company, making no secret of its official role as publishing arm for the general authorities and purveyor par excellance of LDS gift books. Their books cover a wide range of subject matter—from scripture to homemaking to some recent history titles by luminaries from the