A 2008 poll by Gary C. Lawrence, author of "How Americans View Mormonism: Seven Steps to Improve Our Image,"
Okay, stop right there. Hey Mormons. You want to improve your image? That's a pretty Earthly concern, don't you think? Did Jesus take a poll? Did He conduct focus groups? Consult Frank Luntz? Did He dial test the Sermon on the Mount?
But since it seems to be important to them, I have a suggestion. Mormons, if you want to have a better image, I think it's easy.
Be more Christ like!
As Garry Wills states, in his excellent book, "What Jesus Meant:"
Many would like to make the reign of Jesus belong to this political order. If they want the state to be politically Christian, they are not following Jesus, who says that his reign is not of that order...If people want to do battle for God, they cannot claim that Jesus has called them to this task, since he told Pilate that his ministers would not do that." (page 54).
What is the kind of religion Jesus opposed? Any religion that is proud of its virtue, like the boastful Pharisee. Any that is self-righteous, quick to judge and condemn, ready to impose burdens rather than share or lift them. Any that exalts its own officers, proud of its trappings, building expensive monuments to itself. Any that neglects the poor and cultivates the rich, any that scorns outcasts and flatters the rulers of this world." (page 77)