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14 January 2013

President Uchtdorf: Seeking Truth Leads to Increased Understanding of Others

January 14, 2013

Mormonnewsroom.org

The connection between seeking truth and increased understanding of others was one of the messages shared Sunday night by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a worldwide Church Educational System (CES) broadcast.

“As you accept the responsibility to seek after truth with an open mind and a humble heart, you will become more tolerant of others, more open to listen, more prepared to understand, more inclined to build up instead of tearing down, and you will be more willing to go where God wants you to go,” President Uchtdorf said.

President Uchtdorf also relayed the fundamental Latter-day Saint beliefs (found in the Articles of Faith) in seeking after anything that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” whatever the source may be, and that God “will yet reveal many great and important things” to His children.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/president-uchtdorf-ces-truth-understanding-others

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Shinji Takagi

January 13, 2013

Mormon Scholars Testify

Jesus taught: “whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath” (Matthew 13:12). Steeped in the redistributionist philosophy of Japanese upbringing, I was a little taken aback when I first read this passage. But I have increasingly found this principle operative in my own life. I now enjoy a portion, though I once had none.

This has been a remarkable journey. I was born a Buddhist by heritage, raised in an atheist family, and educated in the most secular of all secular societies. There was nothing in the world around me that would encourage spirituality, let alone belief in God.

The Lord found an ordinary teenager on a small island of the Japanese Archipelago. He placed a copy of the Holy Bible in his way, inspired in him a desire to read the book. When the time was ripe, the boy found a copy of the Book of Mormon in a doctor’s office, soon received his own copy from missionaries who happened to come by his house; having kept the promise to read the book, he called the mission home while attending school in Tokyo some 700 miles away.

http://mormonscholarstestify.org/3144/shinji-takagi

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‘Book Of Mormon’ Brings In $19 Million Per Month

January 14, 2013

Forbes

There is still plenty of untapped potential in Book of Mormon. Broadway shows can inspire very lucrative movies. Just look at Mamma Mia. The 2008 film cost an estimated $52 million to make and brought in $610 million at the box office. Rock of Ages didn’t do as well but Les Miserables has been doing huge business in theaters. The film has grossed $234 million so far and recently won three Golden Globe awards. Producer Scott Rudin has the rights to a Book of Mormon movie.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2013/01/14/book-of-mormon-brings-in-19-million-per-month/

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‘Book Of Mormon’ Movie: Musical Creators May Take Project To The Big Screen

January 14, 2013

Huffington Post

The major success of “Book of Mormon” on Broadway has sparked talk of a film adaptation. With the recent news of the creation of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Important Studios, the movie seems even more likely.

Parker and Stone, the creators of the television show “South Park” and the “Book of Mormon” musical, have spoken about the possibility of a “Book of Mormon” movie for months. Back in September, Parker mentioned one pop prince for a major role in the hypothetical film. “Who’s my dream cast? Justin Bieber for [the lead role of hotshot young missionary] Elder Price,” he said at a press conference. “We’d definitely go younger than the stage cast because the camera gets so close.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/book-of-mormon-movie-musical-big-screen_n_2473760.html

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Colorado’s “South Park,” “Book of Mormon” creators launch studio

January 14, 2013

Denver Post (Colorado)

Colorado’s own “South Park” and “The Book of Mormon” comedic geniuses, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, announced their latest venture Monday: their own studio. It’s to be called Important Studio and no doubt will be. (Who would dare bet against them?) The first product is likely to be a big screen version of “The Book of Mormon.”

http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/2013/01/14/colorados-south-park-creators-launch-studio/12359/

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‘South Park’ Creators to Start Company, Important Studios

January 13, 2013

New York Times

The new company is to be called Important Studios and hopes to be just that. With an estimated value of $300 million built on revenue from “South Park,” now in its 16th season on Comedy Central, and the Broadway megahit “The Book of Mormon,” the studio will have the power and money to approve television, movie and theater projects, including a big-screen version of “The Book of Mormon.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/business/media/south-park-creators-to-start-company-important-studios.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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New Dating Website, Origins, Seeks to Connect LGBTQ Mormons

January 14, 2013

Huffington Post

Are you a gay Mormon who is single and looking for love?

Then a forthcoming website is here to answer your prayers. Created by Andrew Markle, “Origins” seeks to give gay Mormons an online social network to meet others like them for “marriage or long-term commitment.” According to Markle, the website will act both as a tool for dating and as a resource for LGBTQ Mormons looking for acceptance within a church that’s still evolving on its stance on homosexuality.

Markle stated that Origins will also “connect gay Mormons with allies and help them reconcile their [religious] beliefs with their lifestyle.” Markle believes that Origins is about building a gay Mormon community and estimates that there are around 22,000 practicing gay Mormons.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nico-lang/lgbtq-mormon-dating-website_b_2432467.html

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Near-death experiences get treatment from a Mormon perspective

January 14, 2013

Standard Examiner (Utah)

I’m fascinated by the pop science/theology behind near-death experiences. I’ve read the “Life After Life” books by Raymond Moody and several similar books. It was interesting to discover a new book, “Glimpses Beyond Death’s Door,” (here) by Brent L. and Wendy C. Top, from the publisher Covenant Communications, which strictly follows LDS theology and authority. One can assume that “Glimpses …” has been thoroughly vetted by LDS leaders.

The authors provide a fascinating, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink, overview of near-death accounts, using many sources liberally with an emphasis on the “Journal of Near-Death Studies,” the book “Heaven and Hell,” by Emanuel Swedenborg, the 18th century Swedish Lutheran and scientist who claimed to have received access to the afterlife. Also, there are numerous discourses and writings from LDS Church leaders, including “Journal of Discourses” accounts from Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt.

http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2013/01/14/near-death-experiences-get-treatment-from-a-mormon-perspective/

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Rehearsals Begin for London’s THE BOOK OF MORMON

January 14, 2013

Broadway.com

The Book of Mormon comes from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez. The Book of Mormon, winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre album, follows a pair of Mormon boys sent on a mission to a place that’s a long way from Salt Lake City.

http://westend.broadwayworld.com/article/Rehearsals-Begin-for-Londons-THE-BOOK-OF-MORMON-20130114

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Who is the real Travis Alexander?

January 14, 2013

HLN

Eventually, Alexander and his siblings went to live with their grandmother. She introduced them to the Mormon religion, and it became an important part of Alexander’s life.

On his blog, Alexander wrote about his religious values and what he was looking for in a wife.

“… I have learned a lot about what matters most to me in finding a wife… Spirituality, mutual physical attraction, the ability to communicate effectively, wants children, etc.”

While Travis wrote about striving to live a life of Mormon values, there’s evidence that he struggled with that goal.

http://www.hlntv.com/video/2013/01/11/travis-alexander-backgrounder

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Vale of Tears or Vale of Soul-Making? A Book Review

January 14, 2013

Patheos

I didn’t, before reading The God Who Weeps, have much of an idea about how Mormons answer the question of evil. So I was surprised to find, as I read, so much that struck me as familiar. The deja-vu came not from my Catholicism–though the book is studded with supporting quotations from Catholic and other Christian writers through the centuries–but from the years I spent as a Gnostic. True, there are key differences between Mormonism and the Valentinian Gnostic or Cathar traditions (significantly, Mormons hold that all existence is material, and that matter is perfectible), but like these best-known Gnostic philosophies Mormonism holds that God, as we understand God, is neither omnipotent nor uncreated.

According to the Givenses, who make a popular case for the way Mormonism–with its ever-open canon and unlimited doctrinal flexibility to evolve–speaks of God today, God is vulnerable, his power limited by the freedom of human will. (I’m indebted to James Faulconer’s article “The Mormon Understanding of Persons . . . and God” for background into the ways Mormon teaching has developed.) God is not capable of bestowing salvation on those who reject it; that’s a boulder too heavy for Him to pick up.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/egregioustwaddle/2013/01/vale-of-tears-or-vale-of-soul-making-a-book-review.html

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Everyone Watched the Golden Globes

January 14, 2013

The Atlantic

South Park millionaires turned Book of Mormon millionaires Trey Parker and Matt Stone have officially opened their own studio/production company, called Important Studios. Valued at $300 million, the production hut will in theory allow for Parker and Stone to act with as much creative freedom as possible while they develop, among other things, a Book of Mormon movie. Which… OK, fine, if they have to make a movie out of it, can we make one suggestion? Instead of saying that they’re going to go after Mormons but then chickening out and instead making fun of African poverty for two hours, could the movie maybe actually say something about the Mormon religion and culture? Because the musical is funny and all, what will all those jokes about how poor Africans are, and a few gentle Mormon jabs, but it doesn’t really live up to its title. That’s all. A simple suggestion. Fix that little thing and we’ll wish you boys well in all your endeavors. Shouldn’t be too hard, right?

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/01/everyone-watched-golden-globes/60987/

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Osmond is mature versatile entertainer, even if aura of childhood start remains

January 14, 2013

Richmond Register (Kentucky)

The performance was primarily secular, but Osmond didn’t shy away from mentioning his Mormon faith. One of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs from “Dreamcoat” with its chords, sounds very Jewish, Osmond said, telling the audience they were about to hear a Mormon sing a Jewish song in a Catholic church.

http://richmondregister.com/localnews/x1633451737/Osmond-is-mature-versatile-entertainer-even-if-aura-of-childhood-start-remains

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5 free things to do in the Salt Lake City area, from the Mormon temple to contemporary art

January 14, 2013

Washington Post

Utah’s most-visited landmark, the granite-towered Temple Square invokes the mystery of Mormonism. The 35-acre square is the worldwide headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and features the church’s sacred temple, one of the world’s largest genealogy libraries and spectacular gardens. The square is open every day of the year from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m., and free tours are available in 30 different languages. Female church missionaries are happy to answer any questions.

The sacred temple — built over 40 years from 1853 to 1893 — is closed except to all but the most devoted churchgoers with a wallet pass. The temple is considered sacred to church members. At the Family History Library, genealogists will help you track down your family roots free of charge. The gardens within the square feature 250 flower beds with more than 700 different types of plants. They are redesigned every six months.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/5-free-things-to-do-in-the-salt-lake-city-area-from-the-mormon-temple-to-contemporary-art/2013/01/14/390b93c0-5e5c-11e2-8acb-ab5cb77e95c8_story.html

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Taubman Salt Lake City mall deemed best in the Americas

January 14, 2013

Crain’s Detroit Business (Michigan)

With backing from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormon church, Taubman put a decade’s worth of development into the center. Taubman leases the land and owns and manages the regional shopping center, while the church owns the land and receives a share of profits above a certain, undisclosed level.

City Creek Center, the centerpiece of one of the nation’s largest mixed-use downtown redevelopment projects, is constructed as a mini-city, taking the ideas of a lifestyle center and supersizing it. Hallmarks of the design include interactive spaces, a man-made creek, waterfalls, a fountain that shoots fire and water 50 feet into the air, a retractable roof and gathering places.

Apartments are incorporated into the center, which is woven into Salt Lake City’s convention center and downtown office, arts and Mormon church districts.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20130114/NEWS/130119930/taubman-salt-lake-city-mall-deemed-best-in-the-americas

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