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10 July 2012

CNN: Salt Lake Mormon Temple One of Eight “Religious Wonders” in U.S.

July 10, 2012


CNN.com has labeled The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Salt Lake Temple one of “8 religious wonders to see in the U.S.”

Temple Square, the 35-acre area on which the Salt Lake Temple sits, attracts millions of visitors each year from all over the world. The temple, which took 40 years to build, was completed in 1893.

Although visitors are always welcome on the temple grounds and in the temple’s comfortable foyers and waiting rooms, only Latter-day Saints who adhere to the faith can enter into one of the Church’s 138 dedicated temples. With this in mind, CNN.com writer Marina Scomor includes helpful information for first-time visitors to Temple Square: “For those not allowed inside the temple, a scaled model is on display in the Temple Square South Visitors’ Center, which shows off the building’s interior.”


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8 religious wonders to see in the U.S.

July 10, 2012


Not everyone who travels to the Salt Lake City Temple is allowed inside the walls, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy its splendor.

Only temple recommended Mormons may step foot inside the structure, which is used for special instruction and ordinances, such as celestial marriages. But the view from outside the temple is inspirational enough.
The Neo-Gothic building, which was dedicated in 1893, took 40 years to construct. Except for some of its hardware and glass, the temple was built completely of native materials. With five floors, six spires — the tallest standing at 210 feet — and a granite facade, the structure is definitely imposing.


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Why Mormons Make Good Neighbors

July 9, 2012


Today there is a growing body of independent research suggesting that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes nicknamed “Mormons,” do indeed make good neighbors and citizens.

Recent studies reveal that practicing Latter-day Saints tend to be healthier, happier, better educated, and more committed to family values. They are also more likely to be socially connected and engaged in volunteerism and charitable giving. This link between what faithful Latter-day Saints believe and what they feel impelled to do with that belief is an incredibly powerful force within the faith.[3] This is not to say that Church members do not experience difficult struggles and serious problems–I know firsthand that they do. Rather, it simply implies that the faith and lifestyle of church-attending Latter-day Saints provides a unique resource that helps to meet life’s challenges. In turn, these Church members are well equipped to lend a hand in the communities where they live.


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Six Reasons Why Mormons Are Beating Baptists (In Church Growth)

July 10, 2012


But one of the top four churches not only shows consistent growth, but growth continues year by year and decade by decade. Mormons, living in the same country and culture that Baptists do, just keep growing their church. Why? I propose six reasons:

1. Mormons have bigger families. This is the easiest and simplest explanation. But it’s far from the entire story. In fact, if family size were determinative, then every church in America would be growing at a rate that exceeded general population growth. After all, the birth rate of religious families generally exceeds that of nonreligious families, and — all other things being equal — while Mormons would grow slightly faster, we would all grow. Instead, church after church shrinks or remains basically steady in spite of the higher birth rate. Mormons start with a bigger baseline family, but then they tend to hold on to their kids while evangelicals often do not.


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Business magazine probes Mormon Church’s finances

July 10, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Mormons often point with pride to the Polynesian Cultural Center, a 42-acre Hawaiian park that features luaus, canoe rides and tours through seven re-created villages.

The park, which opened in 1963, is owned by the Utah-based LDS Church and run as a nonprofit organization, exempt from federal taxes. It employs LDS students from the nearby Brigham Young University-Hawaii and is a destination point for many Mormon tourists.

But few know that the center’s president received a salary of $296,000 in 2010, while the park had “net assets worth $70 million and collected $23 million in ticket sales alone, as well as $36 million in tax-free donations,” according to a just-published article about Mormon finances in Businessweek.


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How the Mormons Make Money

July 10, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek

Watching a religious leader celebrate a mall may seem surreal, but City Creek reflects the spirit of enterprise that animates modern-day Mormonism. The mall is part of a vast church-owned corporate empire that the Mormon leadership says will help spread its message, increase economic self-reliance, and build the Kingdom of God on earth. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attends to the total needs of its members,” says Keith B. McMullin, who for 37 years served within the Mormon leadership and now heads a church-owned holding company, Deseret Management Corporation (DMC), an umbrella organization for many of the church’s for-profit businesses. “We look to not only the spiritual but also the temporal, and we believe that a person who is impoverished temporally cannot blossom spiritually.”

McMullin explains that City Creek exists to combat urban blight, not to fill church coffers. “Will there be a return?” he asks rhetorically. “Yes, but so modest that you would never have made such an investment–the real return comes in folks moving back downtown and the revitalization of businesses.” Pausing briefly, he adds with deliberation: “It’s for furthering the aim of the church to make, if you will, bad men good, and good men better.”


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How The Mormons Make Their Billions

July 10, 2012

Huffington Post

Late last March the Mormon Church completed an ambitious project: a megamall. Built for roughly $2 billion, the City Creek Center stands directly across the street from the church’s iconic, neo-Gothic temple in Salt Lake City. The mall includes a retractable glass roof, 5,000 underground parking spots, and nearly 100 stores and restaurants, ranging from Tiffany’s (TIF) to Forever 21. Walkways link the open-air emporium with the church’s perfectly manicured headquarters on Temple Square. Macy’s (M) is a stone’s throw from the offices of the church’s president, Thomas S. Monson, whom Mormons believe to be a living prophet.


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Will the Mormons invoke God to force “President Romney” to do their bidding?

July 10, 2012

America Blog

The Mormons happily throw their weight around in politics when it comes to bashing gays, or in the past keep women subservient – or in this case, even a small zoning matter. And the Catholics have been all too happy to extort pro-choice Democrats into changing their votes on abortion and contraception by publicly denying them communion during election years.

So why is it so unbelievable that a church might not try to get its way when it finally gets one of its own in office? Would we really doubt that a President Santorum, for example, wouldn’t be tempted to do exactly what his church tells him to do, if they said that God had personally told them that he needed to follow their orders?


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Mormons in public eye ahead of US polls

July 11, 2012

Sky News (Australia)

But doubts persist among evangelical voters who believe the Mormon faith clashes with their own beliefs. Many Christians have labelled Mormonism a ‘cult’.

MIchael Otterson, managing director of the church’s public affairs, told British Sky News: ‘Obviously I would say that that is completely wrong.’

Speaking at the Salt Lake City headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the official name of the Mormon church, he added: ‘In reality we have very good relations with evangelical churches, there is no religious war going on here.


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For black Mormons, presidential race brings new attention

July 10, 2012

The Grio

Stevens grew up Baptist, but was recently baptized as a Latter-day Saint. She joined a church with some six million followers in the U.S., and where black members comprise about 3 percent of its body, according to a 2007 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

With the presidential election close at hand, Mormons, and particularly African-American Latter-day Saints, have been increasingly thrust into the spotlight.


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“How the Mormons Make Money” Speaks Volumes About Romney

July 10, 2012

Religion Dispatches

Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Caroline Winter is out today with her highly-anticipated article “How the Mormons Make Money,”a profile of LDS Church financial operations which features interviews with everyone from high-ranking executives of LDS Church-owned enterprises to leading scholars of Mormonism and rank-and-file members.

The article is a must-read both for its factual disclosures about the extent of LDS Church wealth, its analysis of LDS Church-owned business operations, and its insights into a Mormon institutional-entrepreneurial mindset that has unquestionably impacted Mitt Romney.


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My failed Mormon resignation

July 11, 2012


This past June, as many as 150 people gathered in Utah to formally resign from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly referred to as the Mormon Church. While I’m glad this ceremony has received such widespread attention, my own experiences with the church have left me feeling cynical about the efficacy of their resignation attempt. You see, I have tried three times to have my name removed from church membership rolls. Three separate attempts and I still don’t know if I’m counted among the 14 million members to whom the Mormon Church stakes claim.


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Can gay Mormons serve in Boy Scouts? Well, yes and no

July 9, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

It’s a different sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays — this one involving the Boy Scouts of America and its units sponsored by the Utah-based LDS Church.

Both groups are murky about whether they allow people who feel same-sex attraction — but who do not engage in homosexual behavior — to be Scouts or their adult leaders.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints normally allows such members to hold “callings,” or positions in its organizations, when chosen by local Mormon leaders. The faith’s written guidelines do not exclude Scouting.

However, the Boy Scouts have a national policy that bans “individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals” from serving in their units, although that policy adds that the BSA “does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members.”


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Celebrating the Mormon faith at the Nauvoo Pageant

July 10, 2012

KHQA (Illinois)

Thousands of people are on their way to Nauvoo this week as the town kicks off its 7th annual Nauvoo Pageant.

The pageant celebrates the legacy of the early Latter-Day Saints, or Morman [sic] faith.

The pageant emphasizes the mission of Joseph Smith and honors the sacrifice, faith and courage of the Saints who gave their all to build a city and a temple to their God.


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How Tom Cruise is to Scientology what Mitt Romney is to Mormonism

July 10, 2012

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Murdoch’s subsequent tweet might have been even more alarming for the Church: he followed up his attack on Scientology with a skeptical jab at Mormonism, if not equating the two, neatly linking them. Indeed, with a little critical interpretation, Scientology’s current bad press might have as much to do with Mitt Romney as with Tom and Kate.

Murdoch’s point certainly seemed clear (and hard to argue with): what we have here are two wakadoo religions – if that’s what we call them. Mormonism may be somewhat more established than Scientology, but is still, in Murdoch’s raised-eye analysis, “a mystery”.

It is obviously not good for Scientology to suddenly bear the brunt of people’s concerns about Mormonism (concerns that the politically correct are unable to articulate directly). And it is certainly not good for Mormonism to be associated with Scientology.


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200,000 pledge to vote for Jesus in 2012

July 10, 2012


Romney gets anathematized for another reason though; his Mormonism:

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is a 5th generation member and a priest in the satanically inspired Mormon cult. He and others in his cult LIE when they claim to be Christians, since Mormon doctrine is 100% inconsistent with Biblical Christianity and a Mormon is no more a Christian than a Muslim is. He deceives people by saying he believes in “God” and “Jesus” is his savior, when the “god” of Romney’s cult is NOT the God of the Bible, and their “jesus” is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. Romney and those in his cult believe the Bible to be a flawed and incomplete book and look at Biblical Christians as inferior and non-believers for rejecting the beliefs of their cult.

In fact, Keller believes that Romney might be even worse than Obama in some respects and has stated elsewhere that “a vote for Mormon cult member Mitt Romney will insure at least 1 million souls will end up in hell!!!”


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Internet Evangelist Says 200,000 Promise to Write in Jesus for President

July 10, 2012

Christian Post

“On the other hand, how can a Christian in good conscience vote for Mitt Romney, a 5th generation member and priest of the Satanic Mormon cult,” he added. “His Presidency would give his cult the mainstream acceptance they have always wanted since being founded 200 years ago by a documented con-artist, racist, pedophile, polygamist, and murderer named Joseph Smith.”


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Tim Tebow, Bryce Harper Drastically Different in How They Represent Faith in Sports World

July 10, 2012


Harper’s ascent to the major leagues, where he now plays for the Washington Nationals, was full of awe, but it also had some hiccups. Harper has never been shy about showing his talent, and as he conquered each stage of the game, he started showing people up, too. He’s blown kisses at a pitcher, drawn lines in the dirt to show umpires where he thought strikes were balls and, overall, been pretty cocky. That’s why a lot of people do a double-take when they find out Harper is Mormon — and not just check-a-box Mormon, but follow-the-book Mormon. Harper famously doesn’t drink (the source of “that’s a clown question, bro”), but he also doesn’t party or get into much mischief off the field. It’s difficult to imagine the impetuous Harper as a devout anything, but by all reports, he’s serious about his faith. And as he becomes a larger figure in American consciousness, he hasn’t been shy about acknowledging what he believes and explaining how it fits in with his everyday life.


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Love at first sight

July 10, 2012

The Hill

Soon after Love graduated from the University of Hartford with a fine-arts degree, a friend invited her to visit Utah. While in the Beehive State, she attempted to fix up her friend with a man she had met in Connecticut while he was there on a Mormon mission trip.

“Somehow he and I ended up getting together, and months turned into over 14 years,” she said of her husband, Jason.


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‘Apostate’ aids civil rights lawsuit against radical sect

July 10, 2012

Los Angeles Times (California)

The church is not affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church, which disavowed polygamy more than a century ago.


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