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Amen! A farewell to the Tribune's print Faith section

Published April 17, 2014 11:09 am

Religion • As Faith section bows out, we look to the past before embracing the future.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Every Saturday morning for more than two decades, The Salt Lake Tribune has played host to a conversation about faith.

We asked big questions: Who is God? What is resurrection? Why does Mary keep showing up in unexpected places? How and why do people pray? Are popes and prophets infallible? How do you teach children compassion? What is wisdom? Karma? Heaven? Hell? What does the Bible say about sexuality? Is suicide a sin?

We explored tough topics — the tension between science and religion, divorce among the faithful, the fall and rise of Mormon feminists, why Muslim women wear headscarves, creationism versus Darwinism, nudity in religious art, Latter-day Saints who don't serve missions or who come home early, the relationship between religion and mental illness.

We took readers along for a glimpse of religious rituals — Catholic First Communion, Jewish High Holy Days, Hindu doll celebrations, Jehovah's Witnesses witnessing, Pentecostal speaking in tongues — and explained Mormon-specific language such as Pioneer Day, roadshows, Dear John letters, missionary farewells and CTR rings.

We followed a Mormon missionary through the entire process of putting in his "papers" (application), getting his call, writing home from the Missionary Training Center, and then working the streets of Rio. Later, we observed a Catholic priest-in-the-making from his seminary training to his ordination.

We also had fun with faith, noting spiritual themes from films such as "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings," television shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "The Simpsons," art that described "sugar as Mormon heroin," and whether Elvis really read the Book of Mormon.

You name it, we could find a religion angle to it.

Today marks our final print Faith section, but it is hardly the end of our religion reporting. You'll see stories of spirituality and ethics, belief and nonbelief, on the front page, the Utah cover, in the arts section, even in food. And, of course, faith coverage will continue its digital prominence at sltrib.com.