In popular media and culture, Mormonism has often caught a bad rap.
From TV shows like “Sister Wives” and “Big Love” to the Tony Award-winning musical “The Book of Mormon” and news coverage of Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, Mormons and their views have received a lot of recent — if not always flattering — national attention. That’s why Penn’s Latter-Day Saints Student Association hopes to set the record straight by hosting a brief informative event called “Meet The Mormons” tonight at Huntsman Hall.
The LDSSA is a tight-knit group of about 35 students who meet regularly for scripture studies and fellowship.
College senior Yaroslava Camacho, co-president of LDSSA, elaborated on what she deemed to be the event’s significance, lamenting how it is becoming more acceptable and commonplace to satirize Mormonism while the public usually frowns upon targeting other religions “for entertainment.”
“It comes from a lack of understanding about actual Mormon beliefs,” Camacho said, “because a lot of times what is being satirized is not actually true.”
Unfortunately, she added, real people are left to face the consequences of the negative portrayals.
“Once people find out you’re a Mormon, they distance themselves,” she said. “Untrue perceptions hinder actual conversation and spiritual discussions with others.”
Camacho expressed that all students, whether religious or non-religious, are invited to the event, as everyone may find something to gain from it.
“It will be interesting for someone of a different religion to see the similarities Mormonism has with other religious groups,” she said.
For the non-religious, Camacho believes this event will still hold value because it is a learning opportunity to gain real information that will allow one to enter the living dialogue of religion.
The event will be held at 7 p.m. in room F70 of Huntsman Hall. After a slide-show presentation of the organization’s core beliefs, attending students will have the opportunity to engage LDSSA members in a Q&A session.