Politics and Society

Anglo-American Mormons in a Revolutionary Land

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As the Church moves to encompass lands and peoples foreign to its center—moving as it has, and increasingly must, across languages, cultures, and political and social boundaries—problems arise. Usually these have less to do with transferring the saving ordinances and principles of the Gospel from one people to another than with developing interpersonal communication and warmth, creating adequate cross-cultural understanding and fostering genuine feelings of equality of brotherhood.

The situation is especially critical when dealing with political and social maxims. Take, as an example, the political rhetoric associated with Marxism, communism, socialism, communalism, or revolution. For most Anglo-American Mormons, the connotations are all negative. Although it is much less certain, the same may be the case among many Latin-American Mormons. Aside from this, however, whatever specific meanings the words may evoke for the North American middle-class Mormon, odds are that they certainly will not produce similar images for his Latin American brother in the Church.

 

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