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18 April 2012

Mormon Helping Hands Busy Lending a Hand

April 17, 2012

mormonnewsroom.org

With the recent tornadoes in the Midwest, in what has been a destructive tornado season so far, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) are giving needed assistance.

More than 300 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers from the Church’s Bloomington Indiana Stake (similar to a diocese) cleaned up fallen trees and debris from the 2 March tornado. Volunteers also traveled to New Albany, Pekin, Borden and Henryville, Indiana to render service to those areas that suffered severe destruction and loss.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormon-helping-hands-lending-hand

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The Anti-Mormon Moment

April 18, 2012

Salt Lake City Weekly (Utah)

But while the faithful rejoice, so do the church critics, whose cries of hosanna may be just as loud as LDS members’. For them, Romney’s nomination is an opportunity for the nation to finally pick up on their rebuke of the church’s beliefs and practices, as a wider liberal audience narrows its scrutiny of Romney as the ultimate challenger to Barack Obama in the presidential fall election.

And the LDS Church is bracing itself for scrutiny. Voters across the country are looking to the Internet for answers, which is cause for concern for the church, especially since late 2011, when Reuters news services published an unscripted, audio-recorded talk Elder Marlin Jensen gave to a religious-studies class at Utah State University. In the candid conversation, Jensen–who is a General Authority, in the church’s First Quorum of the Seventy–acknowledged that people were leaving the church en masse, and that since the church’s early history, “We’ve never had a period of–I’ll call it apostasy–like we’re having now.”

http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-77-15770-the-anti-mormon-moment.html

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Same-sex relationship sent LDS Church patriarch into exile

April 17, 2012

Standard Examiner (Utah)

In October 1946, Joseph F. Smith II, LDS Church patriarch, was released from his calling in LDS General Conference. He had not served for several months, the official reason being that he was ill, confined to his home in Centerville, Utah. What wasn’t known publicly was that Smith had been forbidden to give patriarchal blessings since May 1. In fact, after that day, his secretary never saw him again. As historian Gary James Bergera recounts in the winter 2012 issue of The Journal of Mormon History, Smith’s tenure stopped after this course of events: President George Albert Smith received communication from member Lorenzo Dow Browning, a Utah State Tax Commission appraiser and father of a Byram Dow Browning, 20. The father alleged an intimate relationship between Patriarch Smith and his son. He also mentioned that he had spoken with the patriarch recently, Later, Byram Dow Browning’s uncle, LeGrand Chandler, discussed the issue with the LDS prophet. That prompted a two and a half hour meeting between George Albert Smith and Joseph F. Smith II. Bergera writes, “… Joseph F., evidently devastated by the encounter, immediately ‘left for home’,” (George Albert Smith’s diary.)

We may never know if Joseph F. Smith II had a physical sexual relationship with Byram Browning, who attended the University of Utah, where Smith, a legitimate scholar and accomplished actor, taught speech and drama. There are accounts that claim Joseph F. Smith II had a history of homosexuality that extended as far back as the 1920s. The problem, as Bergera notes, is that many of the sources derive from the family of Eldred G. Smith, who had been passed over as Church patriarch by Heber G. Grant (yet later replaced him). According to research from historian D. Michael Quinn, members of the Smith family, including the Salt Lake City Police Department’s captain of the anti-vice squad, warned Church President Heber J. Grant of Joseph F. Smith II’s homosexual acts.

http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2012/04/17/same-sex-relationship-sent-lds-church-patriarch-into-exile/

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Pastor who sparked Mormon flap backs Romney

April 18, 2012

USA Today

The Baptist preacher who ignited a firestorm last year about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith has officially endorsed the Republican for president.

Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, told the Associated Press that he still believes Mormons are not Christians. But he is backing Romney, the likely GOP nominee, because President Obama does not believe in “biblical principles.”

Jeffress sparked an outcry last October when he called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a “cult” and said “Mormonism is not Christianity.” At the time, Jeffress was backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2012/04/robert-jeffress-mitt-romney-endorse-mormon-cult-/1#.UC_f-FE3ujU

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Romney’s faith holds benefits

April 17, 2012

The Hill

So how does all this accrue to any benefit to Romney? First, a lot of Americans have probably figured out this prejudice against Mormons and feel badly about it. Despite notions that we’re a mean-spirited, bigoted society, we’re not. In fact, there are undoubtedly far more open hearts than haters and the former will work hard to prove that the American public isn’t prejudiced, just as many worked diligently four years ago to sweep the first African-American into office. It must be a sweet irony for Republicans to soak in that we’ll finally have the affirmative action candidate for the presidency. Barack Obama may have been the first African-American president, but Mitt Romney will be the first Latter-day Saint president, by the numbers a bigger achievement.

On another level, having been a Mormon all his life, including a stint as a bicycle-riding missionary in France, Mitt Romney will have some retail campaigning skills that few Republicans can match. Anyone who’s tried to sell the French on Joseph Smith’s prophecies should have no problem selling Ronald Reagan to independents and conservative Democrats. Romney’s background also provides skills in finding common ground. A Mormon who has lived in the “real world” of Bloomfield Hills, France, Harvard, Bain and Massachusetts politics knows how to find some common ground, and in a hurry. As soon as his life’s newest acquaintances discovered he was Mormon, he knew he was suspect. So he had to find ways to connect and build relationships with non-Mormons to get around their apprehensions. Mormons must learn early in life to pivot away from difficult topics when speaking of their faith and beliefs. All these communications skills should have prepared Romney well for the challenges before him.

http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/david-hill/222133-romneys-faith-holds-benefits

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Pastor Who Called Mormonism a “Cult” Backs Romney

April 18, 2012

Slate

The growing list of conservative evangelical Christians supporting Mitt Romney’s GOP bid now includes megachurch leader Rev. Robert Jeffress, who called the all-but-certain GOP nominee’s Mormon faith a “cult” at the 2011 Values Voter Summit last fall.

Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas told the Associated Press Wednesday that he’d support Romney in November, and so should conservative evangelical Christians, “in spite of his Mormon faith.” Jeffress said he still doesn’t think Mormons are Christian, but noted that Romney abides by what he characterized as Bblical principals, meaning he’s against abortion and gay marriage, among other things. Given the choice between Obama and Romney, Jeffress wants Romney.

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/04/18/rev_robert_jeffress_supports_romney_for_president.html

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Jeffress: A Mormon is better than Obama

April 18, 2012

Politico

The Jeffress endorsement comes on the heels of a poll released Tuesday that reported Virginia evangelical Christians would vote for Romney over Barack Obama by a nearly 2-1 margin. They weren’t enthusiastic about the former Massachusetts governor, but the Roanoke College Poll found 83 percent said his religion made no difference in their vote and just 13 percent said it would make them less likely to vote for him.

Taken together, the two raise a question that doesn’t get asked much: what if Romney’s faith hardly matters at all? While it’s naive to think it won’t have any effect, it’s not like there is a wide body of evidence that proves significant bias against Mormon candidates. And it’s becoming clear through polling — and from the statements of evangelicals like Jeffress — that resistance to Obama on the right is so strong that it’s probably enough to overcome any marginal reservations about Romney’s LDS faith.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/charlie-mahtesian/2012/04/jeffress-a-mormon-is-better-than-obama-120885.html

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The Real Romney by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman – review

April 18, 2012

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Readers curious about Romney’s real views on so-called social issues will not get much help from Kranish and Helman, who tend to avoid drawing conclusions. A serious Mormon who eschews alcohol, coffee and tea, Romney quit left-leaning Stanford after one year to do the two years of missionary service required by his religion (he was sent to France and later said, “it’s quite an experience to go to Bordeaux and say, ‘Give up your wine! I’ve got a great religion for you!'”). He finished up at strait-laced Brigham Young University (fun fact: he majored in English – you’ve got to like him for that). He’s tithed many millions to the church – exactly how many is unknown, because he refuses to make his old tax returns public – has served as a bishop, and has many ties to powerful church leaders in Utah, where he lived for three years while heading the organising committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

So to what extent does he share the reactionary views of the church hierarchy on women’s rights, abortion and gay rights? Before he entered politics, he tried to bully a young woman into putting her baby up for adoption because she was unmarried; around the same time he berated a mother of five who was scheduled for a medically necessary very early abortion, even though the procedure had been approved by a church higher-up. But in his failed 1994 race for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, he presented himself as passionately pro-choice, citing the 1963 death from illegal abortion of a relative. Hmm. By 2005, as his governorship was winding down and his thoughts turned to the presidency, he had turned anti-choice, attributing his views to a discussion with a Harvard scientist about stem-cell research. Hmm. (Bear in mind that his much-loved wife has multiple sclerosis and had signed a call for more stem-cell research. What kind of husband values a fertilised egg over a cure for his wife?) Now, he’s totally anti-abortion, even to the extent of supporting a sweeping ban such as the one voted down in South Dakota. He’s made a similar about-face on gay rights.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/apr/18/the-real-romney-review

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Pastor Who Called Mormonism a Cult Now Backs Romney

April 18, 2012

Christian Post

Robert Jeffress, the Dallas megachurch pastor who caused a media firestorm last fall when he said Christians should not support Mitt Romney because Mormonism is a cult, has endorsed Romney.

“I haven’t changed my tune. In fact, I never said Christians should not vote for Mitt Romney. When I talked about his theology, I was answering a question about theology. And I still maintain there are vast differences in theology between Mormons and Christians, but we do share many of the same values, like the sanctity of life and religious freedom,” Jeffress said Sunday on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-who-called-mormonism-a-cult-now-backs-romney-73465/

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CNN, MSNBC ATTACK MORMONS, ROMNEY

April 18, 2012

Breitbart

The answer is no. People voted for Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada. They voted for Rep. Jeff Flake in Arizona, and Rep. Raul Labrador in Idaho. They vote for Democrat Mormons and Republican Mormons. Yes, Americans from all across America will vote for Mormons. Even in American Samoa, Rep. Eni Faleomavaega serves in the House as a non-voting member. He is a Mormon.

It’s not that America is afraid of a Mormon. It’s that the MSM and Leftists WANT America to be afraid of electing a Mormon.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/04/18/CNN-MSNBC-Attack-Mormons-Romney

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Dallas pastor who called Mormonism a ‘cult': Romney is ‘lesser of two evils’

April 17, 2012

Daily Caller

The influential Dallas pastor who called Mormonism a “theological cult” last fall told News Radio 1080 KRLD Tuesday that “there’s a good biblical case for voting for Mitt Romney.”

“Sometimes voting for a candidate is voting for the lesser of two evils,” Dr. Robert Jeffress said in an interview with KRLD. “It’s like my friend Janet Marshall says, ‘Jesus isn’t on the ballot this year, so we have to make choices.'”

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/17/dallas-pastor-who-called-mormonism-a-cult-romney-is-lesser-of-two-evils/

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Mitt, Mormonism, and Feminism

April 17, 2012

Religion Dispatches

But Rubin complains that Coppins’ piece was merely a “hook” for “a discourse asserting the Mormon faith is discriminatory and oppressive toward women.” That there are organizations like LDS Wave, which Edmunds co-founded, and the “vocal feminist community” that Coppins discusses and about which Joanna Brooks has written extensively here at RD, shows that there is indeed a gender issue within Mormonism (as there is within other religions and denominations). Coppins piece was merely laying out some context for the Romneys’ discourse on stay-at-home motherhood. In fact, as Edmunds and I discuss at some length, Romney’s political positions appear designed to earn favor with the Christian right and the modern Republican Party, rather than an effort to politicize Mormon doctrine. Still, given LDS teaching on motherhood, it is not inconsequential to political coverage of the “mommy wars” pseudo-controversy. Although Rubin gripes that Coppins failed to prove the influence of Mormon motherhood ideals on Ann Romney’s life, it’s prepeosterous to argue either that an explication of the faith is irrelevant for a political reporter or that Coppins was engaged in an anti-Mormon hit job.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/5894/mitt,_mormonism,_and_feminism/

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Mormon Church Shifting Its Views On Homosexuality, Say Gay Rights Activists

April 18, 2012

Huffington Post

Is the Mormon church softening its stance on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community?

That’s the question CNN’s Dan Merica poses in a new article which implies that the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “is subtly but unmistakably growing friendlier toward” the LGBT community, “including voicing support for some gay rights.”

Among those interviewed is former Mormon bishop Kevin Kloosterman, who calls his much-publicized apology to a crowd of gay and straight Mormons at a November 2011 conference on gay and lesbian issues in Salt Lake City a “coming out” process of sorts. “I came out and basically made a personal apology to [LGBT] folks for really not understanding their issues, not really taking the time to understand their lives and really not doing my homework,” he said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/mormon-church-gay-rights-views_n_1434694.html

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Mormon Church Shifting on Gay Rights?

April 18, 2012

Commentary

CNN cites a “This Gets Better” video created by Brigham Young University students, and the selection of an openly gay Mormon for a church leadership position as indications of this new softening position on the gay community. Perhaps these are signs of change, but then again, stories like this seem to rebut the entire notion altogether. While the Mormon church may be toning down its official involvement in the gay marriage debate, its members don’t seem likely to anytime soon.

As much as the Obama campaign claims it won’t make Romney’s faith an issue, the Mormon religion will still be under a media microscope for at least the next seven months. Anything the church can do to untangle itself from hot-button cultural issues is a good thing for it and Mitt Romney.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/04/18/mormon-church-shifting-on-gay-rights/

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Research shows that mormons are generous and active in helping others

April 18, 2012

Phys.org

“Called to Serve: The Prosocial Behavior of Active Latter-day Saints” is the largest and most detailed study of its kind. Researchers surveyed 2,644 active Mormons in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Michigan, Utah and California.

Overall, researchers found that members of the LDS Church are the most “prosocial” members of American society.

“Regardless of where they live, they are very generous with their time and money,” Cnaan, an expert in faith-based social services and the lead researcher, said. “Through a theology of obedience and sacrifice and a strong commitment to tithing and service, Latter-day Saints are model citizens.”

http://phys.org/news/2012-04-mormons.html

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Penn Research Shows That Mormons Are Generous and Active in Helping Others

April 17, 2012

University of Pennsylvania

When it comes to being generous with time and money, Americans who are not Mormons can learn from Americans who are.

A new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis explores Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints culture and explains LDS members’ volunteering and charitable giving-habits.

It is the first study focusing on giving and volunteering practices of Latter-day Saints that has been carried out within LDS wards by a non-church-affiliated university.

http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-research-shows-mormons-are-generous-and-active-helping-others

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Mormon Teen Sentenced for Killing Romantic Rival

April 18, 2012

Christian Post

A Mormon teenage girl has been sentenced to life in prison for killing her romantic rival in Utah. The judge in the case stated that it was “as violent a murder as I’ve seen in 20 years on the bench.”

Reports state that 19-year-old Toni Fratto, with the help of her boyfriend 19-year-old Kody Cree Patten, had planned the murder of 16-year-old Micaela “Mickey” Costanzo. Costanzo had dated Patten at one time, and Fratto was jealous of her romantic rival.

http://global.christianpost.com/news/mormon-teen-sentenced-for-killing-romantic-rival-73430/

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Provo vacates street for Mormon Temple

April 17, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

The Municipal Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to vacate a one-block stretch of 100 South between University Avenue and 100 West. The vacation is the first step toward selling the street to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The church has asked to buy the block as part of its plans to convert the tabernacle’s ruins into the Provo City Center Temple.

The church has already purchased the Travelodge Motel and Los 3 Amigos restaurant to the south of the tabernacle, along with the site of the former Hotel Roberts.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/53935446-78/church-street-temple-provo.html.csp

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Rolly: With gay Republicans and Mormon Democrats, what’s next?

April 17, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

That tilting might be going on in Utah this year with the Salt Lake County Democrats knocking out Utah’s only openly gay legislator at their convention Saturday and with the Republicans backing an openly gay Salt Lake County Council candidate to the point that he beat out a former councilman and is now in a primary with Gov. Gary Herbert’s former campaign manager.

Meanwhile, the LDS Dems Caucus, the newly formed Democratic caucus for Mormons, had the biggest turnout at the convention Saturday of any of the caucuses with more than 100 attendees, according to State Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis. He said that caucus had more Democrats attending than the labor caucus and the Stonewall (LGBT) Caucuses combined.

Traditionally, the Democrats have been the party aligned with gay and lesbian issues, while Republicans often have resisted legislation benefiting that community. And Republicans, as everyone knows, are often called the Mormon party in Utah.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/53932393-90/caucus-democrats-salt-gay.html.csp

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Evangelical Christians favor Romney over Obama but have reservations; Virginians assess the role of religion and offer views on Mormonism

April 17, 2012

Market Watch

Religion plays a prominent role in the thinking of Evangelicals, but they are more focused on economic issues than on social issues. Regarding views of the Mormon religion, Evangelicals are generally similar to non-Evangelicals, though there are some differences.

“Evangelical Christians differ from non-Evangelicals regarding the importance of religion in the political arena, but the issues of greatest importance to both groups are economic,” said Dr. Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College.

“While pluralities of both groups do not know the religious affiliation of the presidential candidates, more can identify Romney as a Mormon. About one-sixth of Virginians still identify President Obama as a Muslim,” said Wilson. “Pluralities of both Evangelicals and non-Evangelicals admit they know little about Mormonism. Their impressions are clearly mixed. At this point, it is not clear how or if religion benefits or hurts either candidate in Virginia.”

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/evangelical-christians-favor-romney-over-obama-but-have-reservations-virginians-assess-the-role-of-religion-and-offer-views-on-mormonism-2012-04-17

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Half of All Americans Believe Bible, Quran, Book of Mormon Hold Same Truths

April 17, 2012

Christian Post

An in-depth study released by the Barna Group on behalf of the American Bible Society found that 50 percent of Americans believe the Bible, Quran and the Book of Mormon hold different expressions of the same truths. The survey also found that Americans’ reliance on the Bible has decreased slightly in 2012 from 2011, although the Christian holy book retains an important place in people’s lives.

Mormonism, which has been in the news lately because of Mitt Romney, the likely GOP presidential candidate and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, registered a slight gain in terms of recognition – six percent of people interviewed said the Book of Mormon is sacred or holy, which is up two percent from 2011. The Bible, on the other hand, dropped by four percent to 82 percent in the same question.

http://global.christianpost.com/news/half-of-all-americans-believe-bible-quran-book-of-mormon-hold-same-truths-73390/

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State of the Bible 2012

April 18, 2012

Fox News

One of the challenges the ABS is launching is encouraging people to read the Bible. The survey found that when asked about certain spiritual truths, nearly half (46%) of Americans couldn’t differentiate between the teachings of the Bible, the Koran, or the Book of Mormon.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/18/state-bible-2012/

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The State of the Bible 2012

April 18, 2012

Patheos

46% believe the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are different expressions of the same spiritual truths, 46% disagree

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/2012/04/18/the-state-of-the-bible-2012/

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Luke 24:36b-48: A Welcoming Table

April 18, 2012

Huffington Post

The Christianity of many voters is a distinctly unwelcoming table, with strict theological and moral boundaries. Evangelicals in Iowa and Michigan preferred Rick Santorum by double digits over Mitt Romney, and in South Carolina they voted for Newt Gingrich over Romney, 45 percent to 21 percent.

Why was this? Because Romney is a Mormon. According to a Pew Research Center national poll on the 2012 election, a majority of white evangelical Protestants view Mormonism as a non-Christian faith.

Evangelicals are suspicious because Mormons do not embrace traditional Trinitarian theology, which sees God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But Mormons are enthusiastic followers of Jesus, with strong family values and an alcohol-free lifestyle. Curious, isn’t it, that these qualities are considered to be less important in a presidential candidate than theology?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-g-brinton/luke-24-36b-48-a-welcoming-table_b_1434373.html

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Jeff Flake’s Lobbying Past

April 18, 2012

National Journal

Rep. Jeff Flake has said that his work as a Mormon missionary in Southern Africa in the early 1980s sparked his interest in foreign affairs. But what the Arizona Republican Senate candidate doesn’t often speak about is what he did after returning to the United States: work as a Washington lobbyist for an African uranium mine with financial ties to Iran.

Between 1990 and 1991, Flake was a registered foreign agent for Rossing Uranium, a company which operates a mine in Namibia that is among the world’s largest suppliers of the nuclear fuel. He earned between $5,000 and $7,000 per month opening doors in the nation’s capital and promoting the firm, according to records obtained by National Journal.

http://influencealley.nationaljournal.com/2012/04/flakes-lobbying-past.php

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Video playlist: Carrie Underwood, David Archuleta, more

April 18, 2012

USA Today

David Archuleta talks about his new CD, Forevermore, his recent miniseries in the Philippines and his mission in a new interview with Yahoo! OMG! “I’m not sure what to expect, because it’s not something I’ve done before,” he says of his mission. “But I’m very excited about it.” A recent blog post at The Salt Lake Tribune website shows how David is being received — and perceived at his Mormon missionary training. Also, before setting off on his training, David put together a special care package for one of his fans.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/idolchatter/post/2012/04/video-playlist-carrie-underwood-david-archuleta-more/1#.UC_nZVE3ujV

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Southern Baptist leadership needs to retain identity

April 17, 2012

Troy Messenger (Alabama)

Election 2012: Muslim or Mormon As distasteful and troubling as it is, realistically we must choose between Mitt Romney or Barack Obama in 2012. I do not sit out General Elections, yet, I see no other solution this year.Obviously, Romney’s religious beliefs that totally contradict our Southern Baptist teachings and doctrine do not bother or influence Richard Land and those for whom he speaks in leadership of the SBC. Unfortunately, this is just another step further to the left by our SBC leadership coming on the heels of a move to remove the words “Southern” from the associational name because it sounds “too regional”. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to read publications distributed by the SBS publishing subsidary, Lifeway, and see the effort to move us further and futher left.

While we must submit to our leadership, I prayerful hope that we never lose our will and desire to make our own choices based on our values and beliefs. We do not need an elected bureaucrat in a far away city telling us we are no longer “Southern”, that we must adopt a lifestyle we abhor and that we will vote for Mormon Mitt Romney for President!

http://www.troymessenger.com/2012/04/17/southern-baptist-leadership-needs-to-retain-identity/

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SPLC, Truth Wins Out hold meetings on conversion therapy

April 18, 2012

Windy City Media Group (Illinois)

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Truth Wins Out held community meetings to discuss “conversion” therapy at the Provo Community United Church of Christ in Provo, Utah, April 11 and at the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 12.
“We wanted to raise awareness of the harm that ‘conversion’ therapy causes people … that this isn’t a thing of the past and is still taking place around the country and abroad,” said Sam Wolfe, a civil-rights lawyer for SPLC who helped launch the LGBT Rights Project.

The meetings were held in Utah, Wolfe told Windy City Times, because of his personal connection to the area, growing up as a Mormon and attending Brigham Young University where he first encountered “conversion” therapy as a student. Also, Wolfe said, Mormons tend to be a strong constituency within the conversion-therapy movement.

“About 15 people attended the Provo meeting and about 20 people attended the Salt Lake City meeting,” said Wolfe. “They included community members, health professionals and other survivors who were not on the panel. So far the Provo meeting was the most powerful one we’ve had.”

http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/SPLC-Truth-Wins-Out-hold-meetings-on-conversion-therapy/37325.html

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Top Republicans in Congress finally embrace Romney

April 18, 2012

Tampa Bay Times (Florida)

The Southern Baptist pastor who in October called Mormonism a cult and said Mitt Romney is not a Christian is now endorsing him. The Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he still doesn’t believe Mormons are Christians. But Jeffress said voters will have to choose between a Christian like President Barack Obama and a Mormon like Romney. He said the difference is that Obama embraces nonbiblical principles while Romney embraces biblical principles like the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.

http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/top-republicans-in-congress-finally-embrace-romney/1225584

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Pastor Critical of Romney’s Faith Endorses Him

April 18, 2012

Christian Broadcasting Network

Romney also picked up an unexpected endorsement from the Southern Baptist pastor who sparked a media storm by calling Mormonism a cult.

Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, backed Texas Gov. Rick Perry before he dropped out earlier this year.

At the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., last October, he introduced Perry as a “genuine follower of Jesus Christ.”

Later he criticized Romney’s faith, telling reporters, “It’s not politically correct to say but it’s true, Mormonism is a cult.”

Now, Jeffress is endorsing Romney, saying voters must choose between, “a Christian like Barack Obama, who embraces non-biblical principles, and a Mormon like Mitt Romney who embraces biblical principles like the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.”

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2012/April/Pastor-Critical-of-Romneys-Faith-Endorses-Him/

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The Meme War We Must Win

April 18, 2012

Red State

In addition to the attacks on Romney’s wealth the left and the media, to the extent they aren’t the same, is gently rolling out the Mormons are strange attack. In this case, from Buzzfeed’s staff “Mormon expert” McKay Coppins an article called “Why Ann Stayed Home” you can see how cleverly the “Mormons are Strange” and the “War on Women” are linked.

http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2012/04/18/the-meme-war-we-must-win/

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Arizona? Don’t Bet On It

April 18, 2012

Talking Points Memo

Still, the biggest factor here is Romney’s faith. Arizona is behind only Utah in terms of the percentage of population that is Mormon. Don’t get me wrong, not every Mormon will vote for Romney in lock step, but as a voting block, they are very conservative, and they will get behind their own for the most part. And because much of that population is concentrated in Maricopa County (which represents roughly 3/4 of the state’s population), he will likely win Arizona even if he loses every other county (and he won’t) in Arizona.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/04/arizona_dont_bet_on_it.php

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Thomas D. Elias: Late California primary is a vote for electoral insignificance

April 17, 2012

Long Beach Press Telegram (California)

Every GOP consultant knows that Romney, a former Mormon bishop, enjoys a huge advantage over other Republicans in California because of the state’s large Latter-day Saints population. More Mormons live here than even in Utah. They are spread through almost all congressional districts, mostly registered as Republicans. If they vote as their co-religionists did elsewhere, they will go very strongly for Romney, the first Mormon to bid seriously for president.

http://www.presstelegram.com/opinions/ci_20418108/thomas-d-elias-late-california-primary-is-vote

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Why does Mitt Romney seem so stiff? He’s trying too hard, friends say.

April 17, 2012

Washington Post

“I worry about him,” said Clayton Christensen, a fellow Mormon, an influential business theorist and a friend of Romney’s.

In his office at Harvard Business School, surrounded by certificates and the books he has written — including “The Innovator’s Solution,” “The Innovator’s Prescription” and “The Innovator’s Dilemma” — Christensen argued that Romney should open up more. He said the candidate should talk about the way he navigated acrimonious negotiations between the selling partners and the junior partners at Bain and Co. during a near-mutiny that nearly sank the firm.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/why-does-mitt-romney-seem-so-stiff-hes-trying-too-hard-friends-say/2012/04/17/gIQA6UU3OT_story.html

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Happy Birthday, Snow White

April 18, 2012

USA Today

(The voice of the Magic Mirror in the film was supplied by actor Moroni Olsen. Olsen also supplied the voice for the angel Joseph, one of the angels reviewing George Bailey’s life, in the film It’s A Wonderful Life. Primarily a stage rather than film actor, Olsen was born to Mormon parents who named him after the prophet Moroni.)

http://travel.usatoday.com/alliance/destinations/mouseplanet/post/2012/04/Happy-Birthday-Snow-White/675316/1

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BYU research: College kids supported by parents party more

April 17, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

The BYU team recruited college students between the ages of 18 and 26 from four universities to take the online survey in the 2007-08 academic year. One was a small private college in Maryland, and the others were large public universities: two in the Midwest and one in California. They deliberately avoided using a Utah school because they were concerned a preponderance of students from Mormon families would skew the results.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/53931900-78/parents-students-support-college.html.csp

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Making the Transition

April 18, 2012

Utah Statesman

“Missionaries’ lives have been very focused on their missions,” said Phil Barlow, professor of religious studies at USU and Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture. “They have been able to suspend concern with many tasks, such as earning a living, choosing classes and a major, and active thought about career and their long-term life path. One adjustment they must make upon returning from their service is the wider complexity of life.”

http://www.usustatesman.com/making-the-transition-1.2731531#.UC_qLFE3ujU

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