Updated on May 17, 2013 06:04PM 87 Comments
Respect for religious freedom is waning as more Americans abandon organized churches, and the only way to bring it back is through systematic education.
Those were the conclusions of LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks in his address Thursday in New York City to more than 600 people, including religious leaders of numerous faiths.
The event was an annual award ceremony sponsored by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest organization “dedicated to protecting free expression of religious traditions,” according to a release on the LDS Church website.
Updated on May 14, 2013 03:32PM
A doe-eyed 13-year-old Mormon boy named Jordan looks into the camera and says he was planning to disappear after college so his parents wouldn’t have to suffer any shame because of him.
Why? Because he is gay.
In a riveting new video produced by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, Jordan and his LDS parents describe their experience of coping with the boy’s sexuality in the context of Mormonism.
The 20-minute video traces the California couple’s transition from viewing same-sex attraction as evil and supporting the state’s Pr...
Updated on May 9, 2013 09:27AM 444 Comments
Now at least one branch of Mormonism is poised to embrace same-sex marriage.
At their national meeting last month, delegates in the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the second largest group that traces its origins to Mormon founder Joseph Smith) voted overwhelmingly to approve the ordination of gay people and marriages or covenant commitment services of gay couples.
The move had three elements:
• That the “sacrament of marriage be extended, where legal in the USA, to persons of the same sex/gende...
Updated on May 7, 2013 12:57PM
Kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart made national headlines this week by saying that she didn’t try to escape from her captors because she felt like a “chewed-up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.”
Having been repeatedly raped, Smart told a Johns Hopkins human-trafficking forum, it was “easy ... to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value. Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.”
Smart said she heard the chewed-gum analogy from a teacher. Now, many commenters ...
Updated on May 6, 2013 12:09PM
Just in time for Mother’s Day, the LDS Church’s magazine for children intends to show how much the faith’s leaders revered the women who gave them life.
The May issue of the Friend carries this article by Lori M. Johansen, “Remembering Mothers: Stories From Our Prophets.” It recounts how these moms sacrificed for their sons, nurtured them in faith, gave money to the poor and more.
Each brief anecdote is attached to a particular Mormon prophet — Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson.
Updated on Apr 22, 2013 03:50PM
Islamic burial rites dictate that the deceased should be buried as quickly as possible — most often within 24 hours — so there is no need for embalming or preserving the body.
Yet it’s been three days since the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, and it’s unclear what happened to his body or whether he will have a Muslim funeral.
It’s a problem for American Muslims, writes Jaweed Kaleem at the Huffington Post.
Tsarnaev died Friday after a shootout with police and his body was “turned over to the law enforcement for ...
Updated on Apr 17, 2013 01:14PM
Longtime Mormon general authority H. Burke Peterson — who helped oversee the LDS Church’s physical facilities, its massive translation efforts, and its programs for young men and women — died Sunday. He was 89.
In 1972, Peterson, a World War II veteran and successful engineer in Arizona, accepted a full-time assignment as first counselor in the LDS Presiding Bishopric, which oversaw the Utah-based faith’s “temporal affairs,” including its many building projects, health and welfare services and “tithes and offerings.”
As part of a three-member “bishopric” — including Bishop Victor L. Brown ...
Updated on Apr 15, 2013 04:55PM
Catholic and Mormon feminists are not the only ones to face opposition from all-male leadership in their respective faiths. Russian Orthodox woman do, too.
Last week, Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called feminism “a very dangerous phenomenon,” which could lead to the downfall of the “family and, if you wish, the homeland,” according a Reuters report.
“Man turns his sight outward, he should work, make money, while a woman is always focused inwards towards her children, her home,” Kirill told a group of Orthodox women. “If this exceptionally important role of a woma...
Updated on Apr 9, 2013 04:44PM
Two days after women offered prayers at LDS General Conference for the first time in the faith’s 183-year history, some Mormons still are celebrating the moment as well as the church’s other recent strides in gender equality.
These feminists point to institutional moves, such as modernizing the LDS Young Women’s program, lowering the missionary age for young women, and including women in mission leadership teams. And, though some disagree with the point of view on priesthood in the church’s recent video interview with its top female authorities — that men and women have different but equally vital roles — they applaud the fa...
Updated on Apr 1, 2013 04:14PM
AIDS is declining in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks largely to religious leaders and their sermons about abstinence and fidelity.
That seems counterintuitive to some Westerners, who presume that churches oppose the distribution of condoms and that ministers cite the HIV epidemic as evidence of God’s wrath.
Such Western observers often believe that any progress in preventing or managing the devastating illness must have come exclusively from the use of medicine with the help of American and European nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
Not so, researchers ...
Updated on Mar 29, 2013 01:01PM
What do Utah and the Deep South have in common other than, say, a love for fried chicken?
Gallup announced Friday that the Provo-Orem area — home to LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University — is the most religious of 189 metropolitan areas surveyed last year, with 77 percent of residents identifying as “very religious.”
The Ogden-Clearfield area didn’t do too shabby either, tying for eighth on the list with 55 percent of residents classified as highly religious.
Salt Lake City, world headquarters of The Chu...
Updated on Mar 28, 2013 05:03PM
The LDS Church has continued to call about 1,400 new missionaries a week, which is double the number the Utah-based faith was seeing before October 2012, when it lowered the minimum missionary age from 19 to 18 for males and 21 to 19 for females.
Currently, there are 64,373 missionaries, according to a release from the LDS Church late Wednesday. That’s about 9,000 higher than it was before the announcement. If the applications continue at this clip, the church could have more than 70,000 missionaries in 2013.
The Utah-based faith could also see an almost equal gender distribution among mis...
Updated on Mar 27, 2013 11:24AM
A 20-year-old Mormon man says he was turned down as a missionary candidate for opposing the LDS Church’s stance on gays during his pre-mission interviews.
He says he also was denied a temple recommend for his beliefs, according to the online magazine Religion Dispatches.
The man, identified only as Emmett C. in the Pacific Northwest, is straight but has an older brother and sister who are gay. Last year, the young man applied to serve a two-year mission for the Utah-based faith but told his LDS stake president (an ecclesiastical leader) that if asked about the issue as a missionary, he wo...
Updated on Mar 18, 2013 04:25PM
A U.S. tax court recently ruled that Mormon tithing is not a “necessary” expense, but rather a voluntary contribution.
That’s not, of course, how the petitioner, George Thompson, an LDS businessman and temple worker in Manhattan, sees it. Thompson argued that the tax court was taking away his religious freedom.
The legal exchange even included dueling Bible scriptures, with Thompson throwing out several verses in Malachi, which talk about “rob[bing]” God by not offering tithes, while the Internal Revenue Service responded with Jesus’ statement in Matthew to “render therefore to Caesar” tha...
Updated on Mar 18, 2013 11:27AM
If a pope is infallible, why can’t he do anything he wants — like do away with priestly celibacy?
Pope John Paul II, for example, altered the long-standing rule for electing a new pontiff from a two-thirds majority vote to a simple majority. Then Pope Benedict XVI changed it back.
But the presumption of a free-wheeling Holy Father misunderstands both infallibility and the office of the papacy.
“There are theological and logistical limits on the changes [the pope] can make,” writes Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He can’t create new doctrine...
Updated on Mar 4, 2013 11:44AM
They’re back — Carl Bloch’s angel wings, that is.
The cover of this month’s New Era, the Mormon magazine for teens, shows the Danish artist’s “Gethsemane” in which a red-robed Jesus is cradled by an angel with wings rising above her shoulders.
It’s the latest exhibit in the on-again/off-again pattern with angels’ wings in LDS publications.
In some earlier uses of Bloch’s art by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wings were removed.
But, in a 2010-11 exhibit of the Danish artist’s giant altar pa...
Updated on Feb 26, 2013 01:31PM
Pope Benedict XVI, the conservative pontiff who upended long-standing tradition by resigning, is bucking expectations again.
Instead of returning to a cardinal’s red or black robes and the title “bishop of Rome emeritus,” as many had speculated, Benedict has decided to keep his white cassock and title “pope” — though with emeritus appended.
He is, however, giving up his signature red shoes in favor of brown loafers.
“Benedict has said he will remain ‘hidden from the world’ in retirement,” Religion News Service reported. “The Vatican has said that he will...
Updated on Feb 21, 2013 01:57PM
There’s one pope candidate everyone might agree on: Yoda.
OK, the “Star Wars” guru is not really a candidate (fictional character, you know, and no evidence of being Catholic), but a figure like Yoda would transform the papacy, Religion News Service blogger Omid Safi argues.
Installing Yoda as the Holy Father would move the office from “an embodiment of authority to one that emphasizes spiritual transmission,” Safi writes, whose mission would be “to instruct, to awaken, to help his followers become who and what they are destined to be.”
Pope Yoda could shift the focus from one reli...
Updated on Feb 20, 2013 04:40PM
With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, some Mormons began to speculate whether an LDS Church president could do the same.
Doug Gibson, writing in Ogden’s Standard-Examiner, argues that one already did so — in 1981.
That’s when LDS President Spencer W. Kimball, then age 86, “resigned” from his position, Gibson writes, calling a spry 71-year-old Gordon B. Hinckley as a “third counselor” in the governing First Presidency and relinquishing most of his responsibilities to the younger man.
What Kimball did was similar to the pope’s action, Gibson writes, j...
Updated on Feb 14, 2013 05:02PM
The just-announced results of a 2012 Gallup Poll of state-by-state religiosity has a familiar ring:
Mississippi is No. 1 and Utah is No. 2 — the same order as the previous year.
The Beehive State ended up with 56 percent of residents describing themselves as “very religious,” just short of Mississippi’s 58 percent.
As in 2011, eight of the top 10 religious states are in the South’s so-called Bible Belt. In fact, Utah — headquarters of the LDS Church — once again was the only Western state in the group.
Vermont came in...
Updated on Feb 7, 2013 12:46PM
Many Utah clergy and congregations are in the midst of celebrating Interfaith Month with an array of joint activities — just as a Lutheran minister in Newtown, Conn., is apologizing for his involvement in a similar event in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.
The Rev. Rob Morris, pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church, was reprimanded by his denomination for praying at a December vigil alongside other Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Baha’i clergy.
Such an interfaith appearance, apparently, is a no-no in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Religion News Service reported.
Updated on Feb 1, 2013 05:54PM
Peter M. Johnson has been named president of the Bessemer, Ala., LDS Stake, becoming the first black Mormon stake president in the state, according to The Birmingham News.
Johnson served a Mormon mission to Birmingham from 1987 to 1989, the newspaper reported, and had recently moved back to Alabama from Utah.
He is an Ernst and Young Fellow and assistant professor of accounting at the Culverhouse School of Accountancy at the University of Alabama.
Although Johnson is the first African-American to serve as a Mormon stake president in Alabama, he told the ...
Updated on Feb 1, 2013 02:14PM
U.S. Catholic bishops and four Reformed Christian denominations — Presbyterian Church-USA, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Reformed Church in America and the United Church of Christ — signed an agreement this week to recognize the validity of one another’s baptisms.
The Christian groups agreed, according to a news release, that the “formula for a valid baptism is that it include flowing water and be performed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
While Catholic bishops in other countries have already made similar deals with Protestant communities, thi...
Updated on Jan 30, 2013 01:04PM
Mormon leaders are closing Benemerito de las Americas, an LDS Church-owned high school near Mexico City, and turning it into a Missionary Training Center (MTC).
The move was triggered by the massive influx of new missionaries after the Utah-based faith lowered the mission age for young men from 19 to 18 and for young women from 21 to 19. It is not yet clear what will happen with the small MTC that is adjacent to the Mexico City LDS Temple.
“Church leaders made the decision after considering every immediate alternative that could alleviate the demand at the church’s other missionary trainin...
Updated on Jan 29, 2013 01:56PM
To the Los Angeles Times, it is surprising that Marriott International would join the Human Rights Campaign’s coalition of companies calling for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
After all, writer David Colker reasoned, the giant hotel chain was founded by a devout Mormon, John Willard Marriott, and is still run by his son, Bill Marriott, also a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
That Utah-based church pushed its members to support California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as only between a husband and wife.
What the story...
Updated on Jan 25, 2013 01:20PM
For many Christians, abortion is a conscious choice to kill a child whom God created. Their pro-life position is deeply religious, built on respect for the Almighty and his designs for humanity.
With the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion, are there abortion opponents who don’t believe in God?
Apparently so — and not just a few.
Kelsey Hazzard, a 24-year-old University of Miami alumna and recent graduate of the University of Virginia law school, has her doubts about deity, but she’s sure about the value of e...
Updated on Jan 23, 2013 01:37PM
Manti Te’o’s story of being duped by a fake girlfriend may seem unbelievable to many, but his Mormon bishop backs the Notre Dame football superstar.
Not only has Jim Carrier, bishop of the Notre Dame LDS Ward (congregation), met regularly with Te’o since last spring, but the Mormon leader also talked on the phone with the woman pretending to be Te’o’s girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.
“I talked to Lennay many times,” Carrier told the South Bend Tribune. “Many times. On the phone. I would go over to [Te’o’s] house, and he’d say, ‘Hey Lennay, Bishop’s here. Do you want to talk to him?’ ”
Updated on Jan 23, 2013 11:21AM
Elaine Dalton, general president of the LDS Church’s Young Women’s organization, is drawing flak from Mormon feminists for suggesting that young women who understood their “roles” and “responsibilities” would not need to “lobby for rights.”
During a Jan. 15 Brigham Young University “devotional” address, Dalton, who oversees all young Mormon women between ages 12 and 18 in the 14 million-member LDS Church, said the following:
“Young women, you will be the ones who will provide the example of virtuous womanhood and motherhood. You will continue to be virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy and of goo...
Updated on Jan 18, 2013 01:00PM
Though the vast majority of Mormons identify as Republicans and a Mormon Republican ran against President Barack Obama, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sending two LDS apostles to the Democratic president’s Jan. 21 inauguration.
“The First Presidency has asked Elder L. Tom Perry and Elder Quentin L. Cook to represent the church at the presidential inauguration and accompanying events,” church spokesman Scott Trotter said in a statement.
Last time around, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS Church’s governing First Presidency, and fellow apostle M. ...
Updated on Jan 17, 2013 03:12PM
U.S. Catholic bishops are asking their members to join “Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage” as a way to mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the church-opposed Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
The purpose of these nine days, the bishops said in a news release, is “healing and conversion for elected officials who support abortion and for all people whose lives have been forever changed by an abortion.”
“The bishops recognize that prayer is the foundation of all our efforts on behalf of human life,” Tom Grenchik, executive director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Acti...
Updated on Jan 14, 2013 06:21PM
After stirring up a national buzz with its “Wear Pants to Church Day,” the same group of Mormon feminists has launched a letter-writing campaign to LDS leaders called “Let Women Pray in General Conference.”
“While women hold important positions within the church, a woman has never given the opening or closing prayer at General Conference,” it says on the website created by the members of the group All Enlisted. “We ask that women be given the opportunity to pray in General Conference, as a symbol of equality within our church.”
The site notes that women were not invited to speak in the Uta...
Updated on Jan 11, 2013 01:30PM
A recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research, an evangelical Christian organization, found that fewer Americans now view homosexual behavior as a sin.
The November 2012 poll of nearly 1,200 adults found that 37 percent view it is a sin, while 45 percent said it isn’t.
A year earlier, 44 percent of respondents had said homosexual behavior is a sin. The number of those saying it isn’t a sin remained about the same (at 43 percent), but the number who are unsure rose from 13 percent to 17 percent.
The poll had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.
Updated on Jan 8, 2013 05:03PM
The LDS Church has received an “unprecedented” number of new missionary applications since October, when it lowered the age for male candidates from 19 to 18 and for females from 21 to 19.
If the current trend of applications persists, it may not be long before the percentage of sisters (young women) serving missions moves from 15 percent to nearly equal with that of young men.
“I’ve never seen anything affect a generation of young people like what [LDS Church] President [Thomas S.] Monson announced the Saturday morning of general conference,” Elder David F. Evans, executive director of th...
Updated on Jan 7, 2013 03:14PM
Before the Fighting Irish take the field for Monday night’s championship game against Alabama, players will attend a Catholic Mass, receive “a priest-blessed medal devoted to a Catholic saint,” and “kiss a shrine containing two slivers Notre Dame believes came from Jesus’ cross,” according to a Huffinton Post article.
Such Catholic rituals will be on display — even though not all the players are believers.
Indeed, the team’s star player, linebacker Manti Te’o, is Mormon.
The senior’s LDS faith “hasn’t been an issue,” Notre Dame Athletics spokesman John H...
Updated on Dec 20, 2012 04:10PM
The country’s fascination with all things Mormon seems to have died down. Journalists are no longer showing up at weekly LDS services, eager to ask members about Kolob or funny underwear or how they feel about evangelicals.
In other words, the “Mormon moment” has slipped into the dark recesses of memory.
For those who want one last chance to revel in all that national and global attention, Buzzfeed has put together a list of “20 Reasons Why 2012 Was the Coolest Year to be a Mormon.”
Many memorable moments — plus a couple of bonuses — are there: from root...
Updated on Dec 18, 2012 01:02PM
Among U.S. religious groups, Catholics are the most likely to support gun control.
More than 6 in 10 of them — 62 percent — favor stricter firearms laws, compared to fewer than half of white evangelical Protestants (35 percent) and white mainline Protestants (42 percent), according to a 2012 Public Religion Research Institute poll.
And fewer than 15 percent of Catholics said that people should be allowed to carry guns into churches, compared with 32 percent of white evangelical Protestants.
It is not surprising, then, that in the aftermath of the Newtown...
Updated on Dec 14, 2012 01:12PM
Sunday’s Las Posadas procession through downtown Salt Lake City will not only re-enact the search of Mary and Joseph for an inn but will also mark yet another step in Utah’s multi-faith march for humane immigration reform.
The holiday parade will begin at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, 331 E. South Temple, and end at First United Methodist Church, 203 S. 200 East. There, a joint statement on immigration reform will be read, according to a news release from Crossroads Urban Center.
Signed by 13 community religious leaders, the document calls for “providing rational, reasonable o...
Updated on Dec 11, 2012 01:33PM
A group of Mormon feminists has declared Sunday, Dec. 16, as “Wear Pants to Church Day” and is calling on sister Saints across the globe to join the effort.
Female Mormon missionaries are not allowed to wear pants, except on their days off. Some LDS women do wear dressy pants to church, but social convention dictates that most Mormon women don dresses or skirts to their weekly services.
“Attending church is about worship and learning to be followers of Jesus Christ,” LDS spokesman Scott Trotter said Tuesday in a statement. “Generally church members are encouraged to wear their best cl...
Updated on Dec 4, 2012 02:17PM
The LDS Church organized its 3,000th stake — a group of congregations like a diocese — over the weekend. This one was in the West African country of Sierra Leone.
Though an impressive Mormon milestone, it is far below previous projections, writes LDS growth expert Matt Martinich for Cumorah International LDS Resources.
“In 1980, the official LDS Church magazine the Ensign projected that there would be 3,600 stakes by the year 2000 and 11.14 million members,” Martinich writes, “whereas the church reported only 2,581 stakes at year-end 2000 — a thousand less than anticipated.”
Updated on Nov 30, 2012 09:27AM
On Thanksgiving eve, a common table was set for members of two often-at-odds religious groups (Muslims and Jews) in a place riddled with conflict (Jerusalem) staged at a site sponsored by a third faith (Mormons).
The diners — all workers at Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center — came together to commemorate the center’s 25th anniversary.
“This is not a coexistence project or an experiment devoted to peacemaking, but simply daily work — the mutual interest of all involved,” Ophir Yarden writes in an opinion piece for The Times of Israel. “In academics and instruction, in administrati...
Updated on Nov 28, 2012 03:40PM
In September, Mormons circulated an email urging church members to “fast and pray” for Republican Mitt Romney to do well in the presidential debates.
The LDS candidate did better than most pundits had predicted — even winning the first one, according to most accounts.
Now the LDS Dems Caucus is making a similar heavenly appeal but with a decidedly less partisan goal. The group announced plans for a nationwide fast Sunday — not for their winning candidate but for their country.
“In this season when we have chosen new leaders for our nation and our commun...
Updated on Nov 27, 2012 12:28PM
Instead of seeing their sexuality as a defect, what if gay Mormons imagined themselves as heroes born with an essential and valued gift?
That’s how LDS writer Carol Lynn Pearson depicts them in her fourth — and possibly final — book on the topic, “The Hero’s Journey of the Gay and Lesbian Mormon.”
Pearson published her first book about gays more than 25 years ago. Titled “Goodbye, I Love You,” it described the life and death of her husband, Gerald, who was gay and died of AIDS. She followed that with two collections of gay Mormon personal essays, called “No More Goodbyes.”
Updated on Nov 21, 2012 03:02PM
Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona who was narrowly elected this year, brings several underrepresented identities to the U.S. Congress: “secularist,” bisexual and former Mormon.
Though Sinema, 36, does not call herself an atheist, she supported many causes as both an Arizona state senator and representative — including women’s rights, marriage equality, gay rights and science education — that are important to secular humanists.
Given her voting record, the Secular Coalition for America sees her as a fitting successor to Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., the only openly atheist member of Cong...
Updated on Nov 20, 2012 04:20PM
In the U.S., Episcopal women may become bishops – Utah’s Carolyn Tanner Irish was one — but the Church of England voted Tuesday against giving British women the same right.
The move to allow women to serve as Anglican bishops was defeated by six votes, just under the necessary two-thirds majority among lay members of the General Synod, according to The Associated Press.
The group that had pushed for the legislation, Women and the Church, was “absolutely devastated,” the group’s leader, the Rev. Rachel Weir, told AP. “Not just devastated on behalf of clergy women — obviously this will be an...
Updated on Nov 16, 2012 03:32PM
Could a bohemian journalist, who had a failed marriage and an abortion, be a candidate for Catholic canonization?
U.S. Catholic bishops voted this week to push sainthood for Dorothy Day, the early 20th-century convert who became a nationally recognized symbol of Catholic pacifism and care for the poor.
In 1932, Day, along with Peter Marin, launched the radical Catholic Worker movement and pushed for social justice until the day she died in 1980, according to a Religion News Service story.
Updated on Nov 13, 2012 01:50PM
In an unusual move, LDS Church officials in New York City canceled regular Sunday worship services on Nov. 11 so members and missionaries could join the relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Wearing yellow jackets emblazoned with the words, Mormon Helping Hands, hundreds of eager Latter-day Saints entered devastated Rockaway, Queens, neighborhoods and got to work dragging muck and debris from flood-damaged homes.
They were joined by volunteers from Muslim relief services and local United Methodist churches, whose denominational Relief Committee (with an office in Utah) had already sent several pallets...
Updated on Nov 12, 2012 02:24PM
As speculation escalates about what Mitt Romney will do after his failed presidential bid, outsiders continue to turn to his Mormonism for possible answers.
Last November, Bloomberg columnist Albert R. Hunt opined that if Romney didn’t win, he could become LDS Church president instead.
Now others are wondering about different Mormon options for the faith’s the most-visible member. Apostle? Mission president? Overseer of the Utah-based church’s vast financial holdings?
None of the above is more likely.
For starters, bec...
Updated on Nov 7, 2012 01:28PM
While Mormons mourn the failure of Mitt Romney to become the first Latter-day Saint in the White House, others are celebrating their own religious firsts.
Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono will become the first Buddhist and the first Asian-American woman in the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, Tulsi Gabbard, who won her congressional race in Hawaii, will be the first Hindu to join the U.S. House.
Gabbard is a Democrat and “a practicing Hindu of the Vaishnava tradition,” according to a release from the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), and “campaigned on her experience as a former Honolulu city councilwoman and Iraq war veteran.”
Updated on Nov 1, 2012 01:58PM
A pro-Kremlin youth group is calling for a ban on all Mormon missionaries in Russia, alleging the LDS proselytizers are “potential American spies” and that many join the FBI or CIA after their two-year church service.
The group, the youth wing of the country’s ruling party, staged a protest Thursday in front of the Utah-based church’s Moscow headquarters, USA Today reported, holding signs that read, among other slogans, “No, to foreign agents!”
Similar protests were also scheduled outside Mormon missions in St. Petersburg, Samara, Novosibirsk, and Vladivostok, according to Radio Free Europ...
Updated on Oct 31, 2012 05:16PM
Mormons love the tanned, compassionate, affable, quotable German in their church’s governing First Presidency — and now it’s clear that his home country appreciates him, too.
On Oct. 30, the Federal Republic of Germany awarded Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor to LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, the “Medal of Distinguished Service.”
German General Consul Dr. Bernd Fischer gave Uchtdorf the award during a brief ceremony at LDS Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, according to a news release, “for his exceptional service to the community and as a pilot.”
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