But even the story about the church's founding is unusual to nonbelievers: God appeared to Joseph Smith and told him that all existing forms of Christianity were "an abomination" and then directed Smith to a hillside in upstate New York where, with the help of the angel Moroni, Smith recovered a set of golden tablets that revealed the real word of God. Smith had further revelations, which Mormons treat as scripture alongside the Bible, including that Jesus would eventually return to reign from Missouri. Smith was eventually killed by vigilantes.
The story is "unusual"? How is it any more "unusual" than the stories of the origin of other religions?
The author also mentions that the Mormon church used to be formally racist and a long, long time ago officially practiced polygamy. OK, sure, these are skeletons, but are they worse than what other religions have? Not to me.
If this is what people are writing in the Washington Post, I hate to hear what they are whispering in private.