I just read this article from the National Post titled "Finding what it means to be Mormon in America". I thought it was a well-written and well-researched article.
One of the people that was interviewed, Kathleen Flake, was in our ward in Nashville, TN. She is an amazing woman, incredibly brilliant. She bore her testimony one Fast Sunday and it left a strong impression on me.
It surprises me that with as many good things that the LDS members represent, that we are still looked upon as unintelligent, brain-washed, zealots who "normal" people have a reason to fear. Overall, I think Mormons are good people who have good hearts and strong convictions in what they believe. Why should that ever be a negative thing? It shouldn't be. I know many people that are of different faiths and are for the most part good people who have good hearts and strong convictions in what they believe and I respect them. I admire people who have integrity and aren't ashamed to hold firmly to what they believe.
I think the American public would actually be somewhat surprised at how "normal" Mormons really are. With all the attention our religion has been getting, you would think a reality show on Mormons would be interesting and there would be all these "secrets" that are brought to light. In truth, we are actually quite boring. We wake up, get our families breakfast, work, drive our kids to activities, eat dinner, and go to bed. Having grown up in places like Florida and Tennessee, I had the opportunity to spend the night at friends' houses that were not LDS. There was never any obvious differences between their houses and mine, other than iced tea was served at their house and not at mine.
Now we live in Texas and I think that our home-life is quite similar to the other families that reside in my neighborhood. I guess my point is, for how much people seem to think we are "different", we really are quite the same.