This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As a fan of Peggy Fletcher Stack, I was disappointed with "12 myths about Mormons From caffeine to the Bible to birth control" (Tribune, Nov. 3). It read like a one-sided public relations press release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Instead of saying, "Many members have presumed it's because" the prohibited tea and coffee "contain caffeine and thus eschewed any beverages especially soda pops containing the stimulant," Stack, who knows Mormon history, should have also reported that members believed that because their leaders and official LDS publications told them that.
Ditto for Brigham Young University it hasn't sold Coke because its trustees (the prophet and apostles) forbade it, not because "There's no customer demand." Even if a BYU spokesperson said that, to report that laughable quotation as fact and without challenge is irresponsible.
Same with birth control and family size. Today's positions are not what was formerly taught and written in the General Handbook. As with polygamy, LDS leaders once taught otherwise. Don't blame the members for not keeping up with every policy change.
Stack should show more nuance for history and culture, which make up what is really Mormonism as much as current official statements.