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12 December 2012

Keeping the Faith 7a: The Reel Story
December 12, 2012

FAIR Blog

Bill Reel talks about how he became converted to the Church, became a bishop and then nearly resigned his membership in the Church. He discusses the role the internet, on-line chat groups and podcasts played in both weakening his testimony as well as strengthening it. He also talks about how bad apologetics contributed to undermining his faith, how good apologetics reinforced his faith, and the central role the spirit plays in establishing a foundation for our testimonies.

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/12/12/keeping-the-faith-7a-the-reel-story/

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Keeping the Faith 7b: The Reel Story
December 12, 2012

FAIR Blog

This is the second part of a two-part episode.

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/12/12/keeping-the-faith-7b-the-reel-story/

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McEntee: Website another sign of Mormon evolution on gay issues
December 12, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Their voices are tender and loving as they make the case that the LDS Church welcomes members of the LGBT community to a new era of kindness and acceptance.

The voices belong to men and women, gay and straight, who speak on the church’s new website — mormonsandgays.org — beckoning back gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender Mormons who have lost touch with their faith.

On the site, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t back away from its teaching that sex should only be between a husband and a wife. Instead, it reaffirms the current LDS stance — that same-sex attraction isn’t a sin, acting on it is.

Even so, it’s an enormous step. After all, this is a church that once backed reparative therapy for gay boys and men, urged gays to marry women, insisted gays and lesbians weren’t “born that way” and declared that it was sinful to have such “feelings.”

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55454055-78/gay-church-lds-faith.html.csp

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Wednesday on TV: Mormon Marriotts revealed in CNBC documentary
December 12, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

CNBC’s Hotel: Behind Closed Doors at the Marriott (7 and 10 p.m.), sounds, perhaps, more sensational than it actually is.

It’s a relatively interesting, hourlong documentary about the Marriott hotel empire, complete with a look at the Marriott family’s Mormon roots.

There are some attempts to spice it up – asking a maid about being propositioned by a guest; asking a concierge about skeezy requests from guests – but it’s mostly a straight-forward documentary.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogstv/55454371-63/abc-cbs-documentary-family.html.csp

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Mormon women declare ‘Wear Pants to Church Day’
December 12, 2012

Silicon Valley Mercury News (California)

A group of Mormon feminists has declared Dec. 16 “Wear Pants to Church Day.”

Female Mormon missionaries are not allowed to wear pants, except on their days off. Some women do wear dressy pants to church, but social convention dictates that most Mormon women don dresses or skirts to their weekly services.

Wear Pants Day is the first act of All Enlist, a group dedicated to gender equality in the Latter-Day Saints church, according to its Facebook page describing it.

http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_22175950/mormon-women-declare-wear-pants-church-day

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Former Chesco man man sues Boy Scouts, Mormon Church over sex abuse
December 12, 2012

Delaware County Daily Times (Pennsylvania)

A former Chester County Boy Scout who was molested as a teenager by a scoutmaster with a West Bradford Mormon church filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the scouts, the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and the man who molested him, seeking damages for a life he said was derailed by the abuse.

“I never finished anything I started,” Melvin Novak of Wilmington, Del., said during a press conference at his attorneys’ office in Philadelphia. “I became a substance abuser. I moved around the East Coast a lot. I guess I can say that it took away a lot of my accomplishments and experiences that I can’t get back.”

http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2012/12/12/news/doc50c8c2994f7b8285924576.txt

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Revelation and the Open Canon: A Process-Relational Perspective on Mormon Theology
December 12, 2012

Patheos

In their introductory text to Mormonism, or the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The God Who Weeps, Teryl and Fiona Givens assert that God’s “word and will are made manifest in a scriptural canon that is never definitively closed.” An open canon enables Mormons to affirm three sacred writings in addition to the Bible: The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. While I cannot assess the wisdom or insights of these texts, I believe that it is plausible and necessary to assume that important divine revelations are found in a variety of texts as well as in lived human experience.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/livingaholyadventure/2012/12/revelation-and-the-open-canon-a-process-relational-perspective-on-mormon-theology/

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Del. man sues Boy Scouts, Mormons over sex abuse
December 12, 2012

US News and World Report

A Delaware man sued the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday over childhood sexual abuse committed by the scoutmaster at his church-sponsored troop.

Melvin Novak filed the lawsuit in state court in Philadelphia, charging that newly released Boy Scout “perversion files” support his claim that the organization hid abuse complaints for years.

http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2012/12/12/del-man-sues-boy-scouts-mormons-over-sex-abuse

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Gay and Mormon, is that possible?
December 12, 2012

Les Inrocks (France)

Mormons have they decided to open their arms wide to homosexuals? Given site mormonsandgays.org launched on December 6, it looks good. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will offer “a conversation about the attraction to persons of the same sex “and affirms that” with love and understanding, the church reaches out to all the children of God including our gay brothers and sisters lesbians “. In a series of videos, heterosexual and homosexual Mormons share their views on the issue and tell their personal stories. A woman named Dora says that homosexuality ” should not be a factor of identification ” . ” I do not walk in saying “hi my name is Dora and I’m heterosexual.” it should not be different for them , “says she. In another video, Suzanne says homosexual. ” It’s part of me, it will be part of me and I’m fine “she assured.

http://www.lesinrocks.com/2012/12/12/actualite/mormonsandgays-org-les-mormons-ont-ils-change-davis-sur-les-homosexuels-11330743/

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Younger Hopoate’s axing won’t affect Will’s deal
December 13, 2012

Macquarie Port News (Australia)

William Hopoate, who last year represented the NSW State of Origin team and then won the grand final with Manly, took a two-year sabbatical from the sport to undertake his religious duties as a member of the Mormon church where he is serving as a missionary in south-east Queensland.

He has shown a great deal of discipline by living a spartan life that includes not watching television or listening to the radio, abstaining from alcohol and having limited social contact with people from outside the church.

http://www.portnews.com.au/story/1183273/younger-hopoates-axing-wont-affect-wills-deal/?cs=2382

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L’Wren Scott: Fashion, Mick Jagger and Now a Fragrance
December 12, 2012

New York Times

You think Ms. Scott, adopted and raised by a Mormon family in Roy, Utah, got here by being lucky? As she recalled, it was her mother who told her: Luann (as she was once known), if you really want something, no one is going to knock on your door and just give it to you.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/fashion/lwren-scott-fashion-mick-jagger-and-now-a-fragrance.html?pagewanted=all

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Western state groups urge immigration reform
December 12, 2012

Washington Times (DC)

“The message to Washington in one voice is that it’s time to do your job,” said Mr. Bennet in a Wednesday conference call. “Each and every single person, organization and business that signed the compact has done so because the status quo is not working and is in obvious need of repair. While we all may not agree on every nuance of reform, we know it’s time to get to work.”

He was joined by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who helped draw up the Utah Compact. That 2010 document, a collaboration between business and Mormon church leaders, was aimed at providing a more illegal immigrant-friendly alternative to Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, which requires police to check the status of suspected undocumented aliens detained for other violations.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/12/western-state-groups-urge-immigration-reform/

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Duke basketball target Jabari Parker to pick school Dec. 20
December 12, 2012

Charlotte Observer (North Carolina)

Parker took his official visit to Duke the weekend of Oct. 27-28 and saw the Blue Devils’ 105-87 exhibition win against Western Washington. The Cameron Crazies were especially vocal chanting his name. Parker, though, has been greeted warmly on all his official visits. At BYU (Parker is Mormon), fans made more than 6,000 T-shirts that read “Chicago to Provo” and also produced a “Gangnam Style” parody video.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/12/12/3722523/duke-basketball-target-jabari.html

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Man sentenced to community service for groping woman on flight
December 12, 2012

Honolulu Star Advertiser (Hawaii)

A 21-year-old American Samoan man who admitted that he groped a woman aboard his return flight from a Mormon mission in the Philippines must perform 200 hours of community service for assaulting the woman.

A federal judge sentenced Luavalu Seuvaai to two years of probation Wednesday and imposed the community service as a condition of the probation.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/183271691.html

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Notes on ‘Not a Christian Club’
December 12, 2012

National Review Online

Similarly, I don’t think the GOP is in need of fundamental transformation. But it, too, certainly has room for improvement. One small, but significant, place for improvement is to find a way to talk about traditionalism without necessarily doing so in explicitly religious language.

And, let’s remember, the GOP is better at this than many claim. It did, after all, nominate a Mormon to be its standard-bearer. The prophesied Christian uprising against a Mormon candidate never materialized (but the secular one sort of did), because the right largely already follows a principle of moral consensus but theological pluralism. It just doesn’t explain that very well.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/335447/notes-not-christian-club-jonah-goldberg

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Hateful incidents mar holiday
December 12, 2012

Jewish Journal (Florida)

“The rest of the community has been supportive,” Marcus noted. “We have a Mormon church next to us and they have always been supportive. We feel very comfortable here.”

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/florida-jewish-journal/news/palm-beach-county-news/fl-jjpn-adl-1212-20121212,0,4146281.story

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Number of Volunteers Reaches Highest Level Since 2005
December 12, 2012

Chronicle of Philanthropy

Utah outpaced all states last year with the highest percentage of residents who volunteer, However, the volunteer rate for the heavily Mormon state fell from 44.5 percent in 2010 to 40.9 percent last year, and the hours per resident dropped by 19 to an average of 70.3 hours.

http://philanthropy.com/article/Number-of-Volunteers-Reaches/136247/

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White smoke on Twitter
December 12, 2012

DFW Catholic

The other day I was looking through the top “Religion & Spirituality” podcasts on iTunes and Catholics are hardly represented at all. In a list of top podcasts in this category you don’t come to a Catholic one until #47 Catholics Answers Live. There are more Mormon podcasts in the top 100 than Catholic ones. There are more atheist podcasts in the top 100 than Catholic ones. Protestants though pretty much dominate. I listen to a good amount of Catholic podcasts and there are some high quality ones and you can find a couple of them in the iTunes “What’s hot section”. Fr. Roderick’s SQPN (Star Quest Podcast Network) was an early innovator and has expanded and continues to deliver entertaining and informative content. Still with over a billion Catholics there should be multiple such podcast networks.

http://www.dfwcatholic.org/white-smoke-on-twitter-78457/.html

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Volunteers help Long Beach dig out from Sandy destruction
December 12, 2012

Long Island Report (New York)

Volunteers are helping residents in Long Beach pick up the pieces after the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Robert Macneish, a volunteer from Mormon Helping Hands, said actually being there is different from what he heard from the news. And he thinks help people getting their life back in order is a very special experience.

http://longislandreport.org/multimedia/volunteers-help-long-beach-dig-out-from-sandy-destruction/16967

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