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23 March 2012

City Creek Center Opens

March 22, 2012


An idea, a plan and more than seven million hours of work is now reality — City Creek Center, built on three downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, blocks, is complete and open to the public.

“We’re so pleased to join with the Taubman Company in inviting the world to come to downtown Salt Lake City,” announced President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). President Eyring spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening City Creek Center. He talked about the “beautifully landscaped walkways and gathering places, innovative and yet timeless architecture, cascading waterfalls, choreographed fountains and meandering creek.”

Church President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and the Presiding Bishopric were also in attendance.

It has been over five years since Bishop H. David Burton, presiding bishop of the Church, first presented the conceptual design to the Salt Lake City Council in October 2006.

At the beginning, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008), leader of the Church at the time City Creek Center was announced, said of the proposed development, “Renewed vitality at the head of Main Street will result in increased vitality throughout the entire city. We of the Church have wanted to keep our city youthful and attractive. People come here to Temple Square from all over the world in ever-increasing numbers, and it is important that we keep the Square and its environs beautiful and inviting.”


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City Creek, Mormon Shopping Mall, Boasts Flame-Shooting Fountains, Biblical Splendor (Photos)

March 22, 2012

Huffington Post

Need some Jesus with your jeggings? Head to Salt Lake City.

On Thursday morning, City Creek Center, the first indoor mall built in nearly three years, opened its doors to the public. Its owner is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which hopes that the $1.5 billion temple of consumption will redeem Salt Lake City’s blighted downtown, where the Church is also headquartered.

The 700,000-square-foot mall certainly gives off a Biblical air. According to its website, City Creek has two 18-foot waterfalls, fountains that shoot water and bursts of flame while playing synchronized music, a fully retractable glass roof (the first outside of Dubai) and a man-made recreation of the south fork of City Creek, the mountain stream where, in 1847, Mormon pioneer Brigham Young founded the settlement that would later become Salt Lake City.


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Mormon church hopes mall helps Salt Lake downtown

March 22, 2012

Athens Banner-Herald (Georgia)

The Mormon church is attempting to remake downtown Salt Lake City by opening the shopping mall portion of a $2 billion mixed-use space that spans two city blocks and features a meandering creek and retractable glass roofs.

Church partner and retail operator Taubman Centers Inc. expected 50,000 visitors on Thursday, when City Creek Center’s nearly 90 stores opened.

City Creek Center has outdoor walkways, plazas, fireplaces and metal sculpture. Waterfalls, fountains and a trout pond are part of the village-like development, which includes condominiums and is joined by a pedestrian bridge over Main Street.

The residential towers were built by City Creek Reserve Inc., a for-profit firm owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church is a multibillion-dollar organization with business and real estate holdings.


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Social Media Watch: Can the Facebook of Mormon Be Far Behind?

March 22, 2012

Brand Channel

Mormons, particularly Mormon moms, are proving to be social media ninjas. They’re responsible for the meteoric rise of Pinterest, as the Deseret News has noted (and those wags at Gawker). They may not seem like your typical early adopters, but credit the group’s social media savvy to the women of the church who glommed onto blogging early on. It’s also opening up the LDS community and church brand to the wider world.

As the Guardian reported this week, “Blogging suits Mormon practices because it draws on the tradition of keeping a journal, and church leaders have explicitly encouraged it – three years ago, Elder M Russell Ballard made a speech urging Mormons to use new media to share the Gospel. The church’s official website, Mormon.org, is a pretty exceptional example of persuasive use of social media; and on the wider web a ‘Bloggernacle’ flourishes, with conversations running the gamut from orthodoxy to dissidence.”


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Taubman opens mall in Utah

March 23, 2012

Detroit Free Press (Michigan)

The Bloomfield Hills-based real estate investment trust partnered with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ development arm on the mall, which Taubman owns and operates through a ground lease. The church owns the land under the mall.

“It’s such a different, exciting venue. It’s not your classic suburban shopping center,” said William Taubman, chief operating officer.

The mall was created from two old malls on the site directly across from the historic Mormon’s Temple Square. It will be closed on Sundays in keeping with Mormon tradition. It’s part of the City Creek development that includes offices, condominiums and apartments.


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Thousands fill Utah’s City Creek Center for opening (video)

March 22, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

“City Creek is what Salt Lake City needs to give new life to downtown,” said Nicole Cox of Holladay. Julian Gonzales, 16, of West Valley City remembers as a younger kid coming to parades “and seeing an old and gloomy downtown. This is great,” he said.

On hand at the opening were Gov. Gary Herbert; Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.


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Mormon writer talks faith, politics

March 22, 2012

Houston Chronicle (Texas)

Joanna Brooks is not what most people imagine when they think “Mormon.”

She is too liberal to support fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, she’s married to a Jew and is pursuing a career as a writer, commentator and English professor at San Diego State University.

In her writing at Religion Dispatches, Brooks specializes in explaining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to non-Mormons and in presenting a different way to be Mormon to those steeped in its orthodoxy. She reveals the roots of her spirituality and politics in her recent book, “The Book of Mormon Girl.” Brooks talked about Mormonism, the presidential primary and beautiful people.


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Mormonism and the Etch-A-Sketch

March 22, 2012

The Economist

IN THE early days of Mormonism, the pioneer evangelists of the young faith saw considerable successes arguing the absurdity of the idea that for millenia God used prophet after prophet to make plain his will to man and then, suddenly, became mute, abandoning his favoured creatures to tease out with our meagre minds the meanings of the old prophecies and their application to present circumstances. That there is another scripture, that prophets roam among us still, should surprise only those ready to accept the outrageous notion that a once demanding and garrulous God has retreated from his children in silence, having nothing more to say.

The idea of an ongoing prophetic relationship to God has not only proven an effective selling point for proselytising Mormons, it has built into Mormonism a potent adaptive flexibility. In the face of potentially ruinous religious persecution from Congress, church president (and putative prophet) Wilford Woodruff in 1890 disavowed plural marriage in “The Manifesto”, which has been canonised and is believed by mainstream Mormons to reflect divine revelation. In 1978, after decades of pressure from the civil-rights movement, and facing the problem of expanding the church’s membership in countries with large mixed-race populations, church president (and putative prophet) Spencer W. Kimball announced a revelation making blacks eligible for the Mormon priesthood.


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One word impressions of GOP candidates

March 22, 2012

Washington Post

Mitt Romney’s campaign might take solace in the fact that “Mormon” is no longer the single most frequently mentioned one-word descriptor for the former Massachusetts governor, but they may bemoan its replacements atop the list: “no” and “rich”

For Romney, the overall number of people citing money or wealth has soared since late last year, with mentions of his religion way down. His top five in the new poll are “no,” “rich,” “good,” “Mormon” and “moderate.”


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Attacks on Israel; Mormon/Christian differences

March 22, 2012

Huntsville Times (Alabama)

I’m writing in reference to the March 15 letter by Melvin M. Farr entitled “Mormons are Christians.” Although not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I am a graduate of BYU and as such, I took several religion classes and learned a great deal about Mormonism.

I quickly learned that while Christianity and Mormonism share a common vocabulary, the definitions are usually quite different. That difference is especially apparent concerning the person of Jesus Christ.


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Who are Justin Watts and Stilman White?

March 22, 2012

Fox Sports

White wasn’t highly recruited by a lot of schools because it was understood he would take a Mormon mission for two years before playing in college, so his best offers were from Utah State and BYU, which are solid programs but not ACC caliber.

But when UNC coach Roy Williams entered the picture the White family reconsidered their original plan. Carolina needed an emergency point guard for this coming season, and the Whites recognized this was a rare opportunity and agreed the 6-foot point guard would play at UNC for a year and then go on his LDS mission.


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Gregson ‘unstable’: 2007 RCMP report

March 23, 2012

Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

The intelligence report came a year after Gregson had threatened a Mormon bishop with a knife. Gregson, now 45 and serving life in prison after being found guilty of first-degree murder on Mar 13, was convicted of uttering threats but remained on the national police force.


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March 22, 2012

World Net Daily

Polygamy has had very little support in the U.S. since the Republican Party in 1854 declared it, along with slavery, one of the “twin relics of barbarism,” and Congress banned it in 1862. The Mormon church officially abandoned plural marriage in 1890.


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Eric Fehrnstrom’s Etch a Sketch

March 22, 2012


In 1994, Romney ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. He had been a pro-life abortion counselor in the Mormon Church, but a private campaign poll warned him that he’d lose the election unless he ran as a pro-choicer. And that’s exactly what he did.


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Mormons and Christianity: Asking the Right Questions

March 22, 2012

First Things

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, in an editorial in the March 2000 issue of First Things, discussed the issue of Mormon claims to be Christian in considerable detail. He explained that as an ecumenically oriented magazine, First Things was primarily interested in topics related to the relations between Christians and Jews, but his intention in this column was to extend the outreach a little further. Certainly, since Mormons (Latter-day Saints) often claim to be Christian, this attention was reasonable. But if Mormonism is a variant of Christianity, he writes, the differences with other Christians are enormous.


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Beyond Etch A Sketch: Voters Wonder, Which Mitt Would Govern?

March 22, 2012

The Atlantic

Now examine a very different kind of conservative. Mitt Romney’s conservatism, the “small c” kind, was more lived than thought out. It was not the consciously adopted theoretical construct that Reagan found. For Romney, growing up in a socially conservative Mormon home in Michigan, conservatism was part of the background, something in the air.


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Mormon FAIR-Cast 80: The controversy surrounding Mormon baptisms for the dead

March 21, 2012


In this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on March 18, 2012, Martin Tanner and Steve Densley, Jr. of FAIR discuss the recent controversy regarding the practice of baptisms for the dead as practiced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How did this controversy arise? Why do Mormons perform this ordinance? Were baptisms for the dead really practiced in the ancient Church? These and other topics are discussed.

This recording was used by permission of KSL Radio and does not necessarily represent the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of FAIR.


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