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Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

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Mormonism 101? Hatch plans book to explain his LDS religion

Orrin Hatch apparently is poised to pen a "tell-all" book — all, that is, about the Mormonism he knows and loves.

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Hatch — Utah's senior U.S. senator who faces a Republican primary rival next month and, if he prevails then, a Democratic foe in the fall in his bid for a seventh term — plans to take up the challenge of explaining his faith to outsiders in the new volume, An Insider's Guide to Mormon Beliefs.

An initial news release from the publisher, Cedar Fort, said the book was due out in August (just before November's general election).

But that notice came out "prematurely," Cedar Fort marketing publicist Rodney Fife said Tuesday afternoon, adding that the book won't be coming out "anytime soon."

Fife and Hatch spokesman Matt Harakal said the details of the book deal are still being finalized.

Such a volume could come in handy. Others, such as the LDS Church's media arm, Mormon scholars, blogs and websites have all attempted to do just that – offer concise explanations of LDS teachings. Still, journalists and pundits continue to get some things wrong.

For instance, perhaps someone should have told The New York Times' Jodi Kantor that "deseret" is a noun in LDS-speak meaning "honeybee," not an adjective suggesting "industriousness." Mormons such as Mitt Romney generally don't "belt out" or even sing the Protestant hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." White temple clothes don't necessarily indicate an "elevated state." And Nephites and Lamanites are not in the Bible.

Maybe, with Hatch's book on hand and other such volumes, such slips will stop.

In the initial release, J.W. Marriott Jr., chairman of the board of Marriott International, said Hatch wold use "scripture, personal experience and his testimony to present a clear and broad explanation of the gospel."

Peggy Fletcher Stack



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