I was gratified to read a piece posted at Patheos last week by Timothy Dalrymple titled "Why Evangelicals Should Defend Mormons From Mockery." The argument, of course, runs both ways: neither group should employ mockery as a tactic or quietly cheer its use by third parties when directed against the other. The author is quite frank about the problem, while also noting it is getting better:
High-level evangelical-Mormon conversations are taking place even now and are clearly edifying both sides. Mormon leaders have been receptive to evangelical experts in historical theology, and have learned why the church historically has avoided some of the formulations Mormons use. The trajectory of Mormonism’s development is a positive one. Yet evangelicals have also, before and alongside these more charitable recent efforts, caricatured Mormons and perpetuated falsehoods about the official doctrines and teachings of the LDS Church.
Later in the post, the author gives this general advice (which also applies to both groups):
Evangelicals are not wrong to be concerned about the growth of Mormonism. The truth matters, and I like many of my evangelical brethren am convinced that Mormonism does not fully teach the truth of Jesus Christ and his gospel. But we are wrong to let that concern, that suspicion, that fear, drive us to treat Mormons worse than any other religious group in America. It’s not a matter of compromising our commitments to truth, but of fulfilling our commitments to love. Just as it would not be loving to let the saving truth of Jesus Christ be distorted, for in that truth is the liberating message of God’s forgiveness and provision for all people, so it’s not loving to misrepresent what Mormons believe and condemn them in vicious and exaggerated tones.