Mormon or Not Mormon?

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 14, 2006

Dear Editor,
    Your article on Warren Jeffs (by Jordan Smith) incorrectly refers to him as a fundamentalist Mormon prophet ["Meet the New Neighbors," News, July 29]. Mr. Jeffs has no association whatsoever with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Mormon Church. The Associated Press Stylebook notes: "The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other ... churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith's death."
    Would you please correct this misstatement in this and future articles? Thank you very much.
Ken Dickensheets
Regional Public Affairs Director
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
   [News Editor Michael King replies: As Associate News Editor Lee Nichols wrote in response to an earlier, similar letter ("Postmarks," Aug. 5, 2005): "While The Austin Chronicle often uses the AP Stylebook, we do not allow it – or any particular group (or church, as the case may be) – to firmly dictate our language choices. While the LDS church may want to disassociate itself from splinter groups, the fact remains that they, the FLDS, and other groups all sprang from a common root in the teachings of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. To this end, the word 'Mormon' serves our readers as a convenient reference, regardless of whether the 'Mormons' in question belong to the dominant branch of that faith. As for 'misleading' our readership, the article makes it quite clear that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is separate from and does not recognize the legitimacy of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."]
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