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Religion: Story on Mormon Church

August 25, 1994

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was refreshing to read Thursday's South Bay cover story, "Mission of Diversity." I found the article to be not only accurate, but representative of a general feeling of church members that Christlike living and standards are not bound by racial and cultural barriers.

Seventeen years ago, my husband and I traveled to Brazil to adopt twin boys who were dying in a makeshift orphanage. Upon their arrival in the States, after extensive medical and psychological testing, our boys were diagnosed with Maternal Deprivation Syndrome and were not expected to live past age 5.

Today, our two sons are full-time Mormon missionaries, sharing the message that God is alive and has a plan of happiness for all of His children on Earth. Our boys were raised in a loving home that often took in those who were in need. Over the years we have had members of the church from Nicaragua, Mexico, El Salvador, Japan, Tahiti and Haiti live in our home.

The Mormon Church has always encouraged diversity in its mem bership, seeking out those with desires to live as Christ taught, regardless of race. Thank you for your thoughtful and well-educated story of our faith.

SHARON T. STUCKI

Rancho Palos Verdes

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It was refreshing to read last Thursday's (Aug. 18) article about the Mormons in the South Bay section. The reporters certainly did their homework well. The article was thoroughly researched, informative and upbeat.

It was excellent except for one quote from Father Coiro. His remark tended to distort a basic teaching of Mormonism concerning our ultimate potential. My faith teaches me to strive to be the best I can be. We accept literally the injunction of the Savior, Jesus Christ, to strive to become "perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). I am sorry that Father Coiro feels that his doctrine should be offensive to Catholics.

We need greater understanding of the diverse religious traditions in our communities and less distortion and sensationalizing. This article took a great step in that direction. Thank you very much.

STEVE GILLILAND

Lakewood

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