The Mormon preoccupation
with “setting a good example”
AS A MEANS of attracting converts, Mormons are big on “setting a good example.” The idea is that Mormons live such noticeably better, cleaner, happier lives that non-Mormons cannot help but be impressed.
Besides promoting self-absorption and stressing appearances over substance, the teaching conveniently lets Mormons believe that keeping comfortably to themselves is a form of reaching out.
Mormons back up the example-setting thing with 1 Thessalonians 5:22, where Paul advises abstaining from “all appearance of evil,” and with the Book of Mormon, Alma 39:11, where Alma says that his son’s behavior kept people from believing. Context and non-KJV translations suggest that what Paul really meant was to stay away from evil, period, which makes for better, less hypocrisy-inviting advice. As for Alma, one might have more regard for him had he not needed to blame his failure on his kid.
Useful advice for hypocrites: “Behave.
After all, someone may be watching.”