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2 August 2012

Mormon apologists gather, but not to apologize

August 2, 2012

Deseret News

When the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR) opens its 14th annual Apologetics Conference this morning at the South Towne Exposition Center, it will do so in front of its largest audience ever.

“Advance registration for the conference is at an all-time high — as of now, we are projecting attendance at the conference to be 44 percent higher than previous years,” said Steve Densley Jr., FAIR public relations director. “There is more interest than ever in Mormon apologetics.”

FAIR is a private, independent organization with the mission to “address the charges leveled at the doctrines, practices and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with documented responses that are written in an easily understandable style.” FAIR is not owned, operated or controlled by the LDS Church itself.


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A Mormon in the Holy Land

August 2, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

In 1913, 29-year-old Elbert Thomas and his wife, Edna, wrapped up their five-year stint in charge of an LDS Church mission in Japan and prepared to return to their native Utah. They decided to pay a short visit to Turkish-occupied Palestine on the way home.

The Holy Land figures prominently in Mormon theological tracts. Thomas was keenly aware of Mormon prophecies about an ingathering of the Jewish exiles and the rebirth of the Jewish homeland.

“We sat one evening on the Mount of Olives and overlooked Jerusalem,” he later recalled. “We read the poetry and the prophecy, the forebodings and the prayers, with hearts that reached up to God.” Under “stars the likes of which you see nowhere else in the world but on our own American desert, out where I grew up,” Thomas read the lengthy “Prayer of Dedication on the Mount of Olives” by Orson Hyde, an early Mormon leader and fervent Christian Zionist.


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Rafael Medoff | Mormon helped rescue Jews from Nazis

August 2, 2012

Courier Journal (Kentucky)

Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel generated much speculation on the role Jewish voters will play in the U.S. presidential election. His visit also sparked discussion about Mormon-Jewish relations in the wake of the recent controversy involving a Mormon temple that conducted posthumous baptism ceremonies for some Holocaust victims.

But another Mormon’s visit to Jerusalem 99 years ago deserves some of the spotlight too. Because that little-known visit ultimately had a decisive impact on Jewish history and America’s response to the Holocaust.

In 1913, 29-year-old Elbert Thomas and wife Edna wrapped up their five-year stint in charge of a Mormon mission in Japan and prepared to return to their native Utah. They decided to pay a short visit to Turkish-occupied Palestine on the way home.


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Mormon mission

August 2, 2012

This Is Gloucestershire (United Kingdom)

MISSIONARIES from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have begun work in Stroud.

The visitors, who are sharing their gospel with people, are Maria Javed from Pakistan and Marcia Carson from the USA.

Both sisters are based at the church in Nelson Street, Stroud.

Sister Maria, who was converted to her faith by her uncle over 10 years ago, said she found Gloucestershire people friendly and welcoming.

“They’re obviously curious as to why someone from Pakinstan should be here preaching Christianity.

“But I tell them that there are many members of our church back home in Sialkot, Pakistan,” she said.


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An Icon of Mormon Christianity

August 2, 2012


The north visitor’s center at Salt Lake City’s Temple Squarehouses an eleven-foot statue of the resurrected Jesus. Known as Christus, the statue is a replica of an 1821 sculptor by Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen. Now beloved by many Mormons, replicas of Christus adorn a large number of Latter-day Saint visitor centers around the world.

In a recent Newsweek / Daily Beast interview, my friend Ed Blum termed the Mormon Christus an “icon of white supremacy.”


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Mormon vs. Mormon: Reid attacks Romney

August 1, 2012

ABC 4 (Utah)

The most powerful Mormon in Washington is now attacking the Mormon who wants to be president.

According to the Huffington Post website…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is suggesting that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for a decade.


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Cher: Why can’t I ask questions about these darn secretive Mormons?

August 2, 2012


Cher’s anti-Mormon bigotry is as obvious as her love of unintelligible all-caps rants and disdain for apostrophes. But Wednesday night, the Romney-hating diva decided to reinvent herself as a Mormon truther.

Hey, it’s not that she loathes Mormons — she’s just asking questions.

And who can blame her? Mormonism is clearly a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. It’s like the special sauce on a Big Mac — will we ever know The Truth(TM)?

C’mon, it’s not like Cher can just walk into any Barnes & Noble and just flip through the Book of Mormon or a reference book on Mormonism. And finding someone who knows anything about Mormonism is damn near impossible.


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Romney and the Lost Tribe of Israel

August 2, 2012

Jersey Journal (New Jersey)

Much is made about the special relationship between Great Britain and the United States, but it is nothing compared to the relationship that Mormons imagine exists between themselves and the Jews.

Weird as this may sound, Mormons consider themselves to be Jewish. Mitt Romney, like almost all Mormon adolescents, was given a blessing that named the lost tribe of Israel to which they belonged. My grandmother, and everyone else of her generation, referred to those who were not Mormon as “gentiles.” Ironically, that even included Jews.

And Mormons secretly congratulate themselves for the creation of the State of Israel.

In 1841, Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde scaled the Mount of Olives in Ottoman Palestine and dedicated everything in sight, and then some, to the return of the Jews. There is no record of what the Turks thought about this giveaway of this bit of their empire by a tiny American frontier sect. They probably didn’t notice. Perhaps they should have.


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Bill Corn: Separation of church and state made this country great

August 2, 2012

Boulder Daily Camera (Colorado)

Many Americans would have liked that the men who wrote our Constitution had included in it that “America is a Christian nation.” They never did include it. The Mormons strongly urge their younger members go on two-year missionary programs in order to spread the Mormon religion.


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10 Theories About What Mitt Romney’s Really Hiding in Those Tax Returns

August 1, 2012

Alter Net

Mormons are expected to fork over 10 percent of their income to the Church of Latter Day Saints. And that fact leads us to two theories.

First, Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press speculated that Romney doesn’t want to remind evangelical Christians that he belongs to what many consider a non-Christian “cult.” “The Republican candidate’s commitment to the church is a double-edged sword in the contest for the presidential nomination,” she wrote. “Many GOP voters are Christians who do not consider Mormons to be part of historic Christianity. Romney supporters worry that details of his church donations contained in the tax returns could fuel opposition to him based on his religion.”


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Clinton’s Vatican Ambassador, Five More Back Romney for President

August 1, 2012


Former U.S. ambassadors to the Vatican — including Boston’s former Democratic Mayor Ray Flynn — have banded together in support of Republican challenger Mitt Romney as they try to push religious freedom to the center of the presidential debate.

Romney will be “a faithful defender of life in all its seasons,” the six former ambassadors say in a letter outlining why they believe Roman Catholics should vote for the Mormon candidate.


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