The Mormon Land newsletter is The Salt Lake Tribune’s weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Support us on Patreon and get the full newsletter, exclusive access to Tribune subscriber-only religion content and podcast transcripts.
For God so loved …
During the fall General Conference, church President Russell Nelson worried about — and warned against — our “sin-saturated world.”
Wheat & Tares blogger “Elisa” wonders whether this view is too pessimistic, too narrow, too judgmental. The writer prefers the outlook of Father Richard Rohr, the Franciscan priest who talks of a “Christ-soaked world.”
“Labeling ‘the world’ as ‘sin-saturated’ places a barrier between us and people or things that are not ‘like us’ because we worry they are ‘sinful,’” the blogger states. “This attitude of suspicion and skepticism about the goodness of other people and cultures gets in the way of our ability to connect with them — and to see God in them.”
Besides, Elisa adds, such a view is simply a “downer” and can stand in the way of positive social progress.
“If your default orientation is that the world is bad and getting worse,” the blogger says, “your instinctive response to change will be to characterize it as bad.”
So, how do you view the world — the one God famously said he loved?
Another apostle joins the ‘70s’
The church’s 15 apostles are turning into a quorum of 70s, in a sense, given that 12 of them are at least 70 years old.
Dale Renlund became the latest to join those ranks. He became a septuagenarian this past Sunday.
At this point, two of the three governing First Presidency members are in their 90s (Nelson, 98, and Dallin Oaks, 90) and the third (Henry Eyring) will join them next year. Among the Quorum of the Twelve, M. Russell Ballard turned 94 last month, three others are in their 80s (Dieter Uchtdorf turned 82 last week), and five are in their 70s.
The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: Will members dump Trump?
Latter-day Saints have a love-hate relationship of sorts with Donald Trump. They may love his politics, but they loathe his persona. Will this reliably Republican voting bloc stick with him in his third pursuit of the presidency? Brigham Young University political scientist Quin Monson discusses Trump’s return. Listen to the podcast. Read the story.
From The Tribune
• In a “dramatic reversal” from past policies, the church voices support for the federal Respect for Marriage Act — which would codify same-sex marriage — saying it believes “this approach is the way forward” in balancing religious freedom while “preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”
• Latter-day Saint writers pay tribute to Mary Lythgoe Bradford, the first female editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and a “believing, family-oriented LDS feminist,” who died Nov. 8. She was 92.
• As more young Latinos follow a national trend in retreating from religion, these Utahns reflect on their Latter-day Saint and Catholic loyalties.
• So if the Mormon pioneers saw today’s challenges today, they would never want to trade places with us? New Tribune guest columnist Eli McCann isn’t so convinced.