Fake Mormon news story goes viral, claiming the LDS Church has apologized for racism

Religion News Service | 5/17/2018 | Jana Riess
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The LDS First Presidency had a historic meeting with NAACP leaders this morning, but the organizations’ resulting joint announcement was less of a lightning rod than a very convincing fake news release that apologized for the Church’s past racism.

In the fake story, published on a website with the domain name mormon-newsroom.org (instead of the LDS Church’s real one, which is mormonnewsroom.org), LDS Pres. Russell M. Nelson was quoted as issuing a full apology:

Today - Prophet - Seer - Revelator - President

Today, as Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day [sic] Saints, I offer a full unqualified apology for the error of racism which was taught from this office and in the tabernacle and over the pulpits of our churches the world over. I am joined by my counselors in the First Presidency and the full Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in making this apology and we collectively bear witness and testimony of the devastating effects of racism which were perpetuated by leaders of the church in the past.

The faux statement went on to specify some of the racist acts the Church had perpetuated, such as teaching “false and hurtful ideas about curses, skin color, and spiritual worthiness,” and excluding anyone with black skin from the Church’s temple rituals. That was the Church’s policy until 1978.

Website - Layout - Design - Church - Website

The website was clearly calculated to exactly emulate the layout and design of the Church’s official website. For comparison, here is a screen shot of this morning’s fake news story on mormon-newsroom.org.

A fabricated press release claiming to be from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. May 17, 2018.

Shot - Morning - News - Release - Mormonnewsroom

And here is a screen shot of this morning’s actual news release from mormonnewsroom.org, released shortly thereafter.

The real press release from the Mormon Newsroom of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. May 17, 2018.

Church

In the Church’s...
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