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31 October 2012

Mormon Missionaries Help with Storm Cleanup Effort

October 31, 2012


Local missionaries and leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spent Wednesday giving aid to Eastern communities affected by post-tropical storm Sandy. Local Church leaders dispatched hundreds of missionaries, including more than 500 in the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to storm-damaged neighborhoods to help residents.

Mormon missionaries in the New York area helped to bail out flooded homes, remove trees from roofs and clear yards in the mission area, which includes Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. The missionaries first aided those with special needs, including elderly residents and those who needed access to power for medical devices.


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Keeping the Faith 1: Letter to a Doubter

October 31, 2012


Often, doubt and uncertainty arise not from facts and evidence that actually undermine what we thought was true, but rather from assumptions we might be making about those facts. Our confidence in the gospel can be strengthened as we adopt more sound assumptions. However, we do not necessarily need to be alarmed in the face of uncertainty and doubt.

In this fireside presentation written by Terryl Givens, we find that in order for us to experience growth in this life, and to engage in an authentic test of our true desires, there must be grounds for doubt as well as belief.


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Mormon missionary applications surge after age rules lowered

October 31, 2012


The Mormon Church’s decision to lower its age requirements for missionaries, who travel the world in pairs trying to convert people to their religion, has prompted a sharp spike in the number of young people clamoring to serve the faith.

Mormonism has been gaining broad public attention recently from its association with Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, who served as a missionary in France and has talked about his work as a pastor in the Mormon Church.


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Out of Africa: Visions of a 30% jump in Mormon missionaries

October 31, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Attention Mormon missionary candidates: Get ready to go to Africa.

West African LDS leaders are reporting that the number of missionaries assigned to their area “will increase by 30 percent within the coming months,” says LDS blogger Matt Martinich, who charts Mormon growth figures.

This expected rise in West African missionaries is being triggered by the Oct. 6 announcement that the Utah-based faith was lowering the age of its proselytizing force to 18 for young men (down from 19) and 19 for young women (down from 21).


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Shift In Mormon Age Policy Widens Women’s Options

October 31, 2012

WBUR (Massachusetts)

Hannon Young was listening with only half an ear during the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints earlier this month when Church President Thomas S. Monson started talking about missionaries. But then Young perked up — and froze, as Monson declared that women no longer have to wait until they are 21 to go on their missions. They can begin at 19, he said.

“You could hear an audible gasp throughout the whole conference center,” says Young, a freshman at Brigham Young University. “It was just this wave of shock.”


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Oklahoma City-area Mormon leaders discuss campaign’s impact

October 31, 2012

The Oklahoman

Several metro-area Mormon leaders said fellow Mormon Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has brought opportunities for dialogue about their often misunderstood faith beliefs.

“I don’t know if Mitt Romney is going to win or not, but it has elevated the conversation,” Dr. Gordon Bean, of Oklahoma City, said Wednesday.
Bean, president of the Oklahoma City South Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and two other Mormon leaders all agreed that Romney’s bid for the White House has put their faith in the spotlight like never before.


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Every Evangelical/Mormon Argument Goes Something Like This . . .

October 31, 2012


Evangelical: How can you support a Mormon for President? Mormons don’t believe in Jesus and even believe [insert craziest imaginable straw man argument here].
Mormon: I most certainly do believe in Jesus, and I’ve never even heard of [insane straw man].
Evangelical: Your church also teaches [insert something about planets and Battlestar Galactica].
Mormon: I’ve been LDS my whole life and have never heard that.
Evangelical: *Frantically googling*
Mormon: *Blood pressure rising*
Evangelical: *Brings up Google results* Didn’t Hiram Jebediah Jones, the Ninth Elder of the Quorum in the Council of Provo declare in 1899: “And lo! We shall ride unicorns of deception amongst the people until they believeth we are not cultists.”
Mormon: ???


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Travel guide: Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

October 31, 2012

San Jose Mercury News (California)

If you go to Temple Square in Salt Lake, you learn all about the doctrines of the Mormon church. If you go to the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, you see the doctrines put into practice on the ground. The mind-set affected how the people interacted with the territory. For instance, you see all of these almost carbon-copy town plats, where they laid down a grid pattern. People drew lots to find out what lot of land was going to be theirs. These pioneers built for the future, so there are a lot of old stone homes.


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Who really wrote the Book of Mormon?

October 31, 2012


Parallels between Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678) and the Book of Mormon have not gone entirely unnoticed. As early as 1831, Eber Howe, in his anti-Mormon book Mormonism Unvailed, noted the use of names — “Desolation” and “Bountiful” from Pilgrim’s Progress reappear in the Book of Mormon — but most observations have been similarly limited in scope or suffered from lack of a systematic methodology. Bunyan wrote upwards of 60 books, tracts, and pamphlets, including Grace Abounding, A Few Sighs from Hell, Holy War and The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, and these texts provide extensive narrative parallels to the Book of Mormon, often containing unique characteristics shared only by Bunyan and Smith.


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Germany awards top honor to one of its own: a high Mormon leader

October 31, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Mormons love the tanned, compassionate, affable, quotable German in their church’s governing First Presidency — and now it’s clear that his home country appreciates him, too.

On Oct. 30, the Federal Republic of Germany awarded Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor to LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, the “Medal of Distinguished Service.”

German General Consul Dr. Bernd Fischer gave Uchtdorf the award during a brief ceremony at LDS Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, according to a news release, “for his exceptional service to the community and as a pilot.”

The medal, also called the “Federal Merit Cross,” is Germany’s highest honor for such service, which is meant to recognize “distinguished voluntary service or exceptional achievements in social, political or scientific fields.”


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First Baptist’s Robert Jeffress: Mormonism is Still a Cult, But Obama? He’s Basically Hitler.

October 31, 2012

Dallas Observer (Texas)

Jeffress repeated his oft-quoted assertion that Mormonism is a cult, but it’s clear from the Tribune article, and the fact that he’s Robert Jeffress, that he’s more concerned about a certain non-Mormon candidate.

“Tell your people that they have a choice: to cast a vote for righteousness or vote for unrighteousness.”

Jeffress urged the capacity crowd at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa to use their pulpit time Sunday to stress the importance of voting for the candidate who supports the “biblical values” of the sanctity of marriage, sanctity of life and religious freedom.


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Hatch: Mormons May Never Get Another Shot

October 31, 2012

Utah Policy

It’s also important for Mormons because this is the only real chance for anybody of our faith to become president of United States. Mitt has come a long way, and I believe he’s going to win. People don’t realize what a long drudgery it is to run for President. He’s earned a lot of respect all over this country. Those of us who are LDS, other than my friend, Harry Reid, are all behind Mitt.


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The Mormon Way of Doing Business

October 31, 2012

Financial Mail (South Africa)

Jeff Benedict’s (updated) book The Mormon Way of Doing Business is an obvious outcome of the broad discussion about this branch of the Latter Day Saints church, and the fact that one of its former ministers could end up holding the most powerful office in the world, the interest in this American-born religion is unsurprising.

Of course much of this debate comes from a more deep-rooted prejudice and distrust that Americans generally have about a faith that many know little about and the fact that religion has become so entangled in US public life.

Romney, one of the richest people to run for the US presidency, is a devout Mormon who made much of his estimated US$250m fortune while at private equity firm Bain Capital. But he has been intensely private about his religion, so it is difficult to gauge whether his religion or its teachings have played any part in how he does business.


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Meet the Romneys of Mexico

October 31, 2012

Tucson Sentinel (Arizona)

Of those relatives, many of the men have Anglo names and speak fluent English. They are taller and have fairer hair and complexion than most of their Mexican neighbors. Some bear a striking resemblance to the former Massachusetts governor.

They are members of Mexico’s Mormon community, whose roots can be traced to pioneers who ventured from Arizona and Utah in the late 1800s.

And they are by no means humble “campesinos.”

They worship at a temple made of marble, whose lavish gold-trim interior nobody but Mormons is allowed to enter.


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