Our take: Elder Larry Y. Wilson of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently published a compilation of independent studies and research that suggest Mormons active in their faith make good neighbors and citizens.
Church-going members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have higher life expectancies than comparable men and women, are happier on average, have a higher marriage rate and participate heavily in family life, "are unusual in their level of educational attainment," are less likely to participate in "at-risk behavior," volunteer more and donate more to charity and humanitarian efforts, Elder Larry Y. Wilson of the Seventy wrote in an article published on patheos.com. Members who have served missions also "(have) a better sense for who they (are) and what they (want) in life," Wilson quoted F. Skiddy von Stade, a past dean of freshmen students at Harvard University.
"Though Latter-day Saints strive for a high standard, we're obviously not perfect," Wilson wrote. "But, as (Franklin D.) Roosevelt suggested, we do indeed make good citizens and good neighbors. Newsweek in 2005 described us as a '21st century covenant of caring.' We hope so. We want to contribute as followers of Christ to our communities and nations, wherever we may live. As fellow neighbors come to understand us, and vice versa, misperceptions and prejudices invariably diminish. In turn, meaningful bonds of community will solidify, helping make each of us better friends, citizens, neighbors and, most assuredly, better children of God."