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23 January 2013

Wikipedia’s Deconstruction of Martin Harris

January 23, 2013


Today we have many easily accessible sources of information, many of which are as close as our desktop computer or smart phone. Type the words “Martin Harris” into Google. What appears at the top of the results list? A Wikipedia article called “Martin Harris (Latter Day Saints).” [4]

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. One does not have to have any specific qualifications in order to be allowed to create or edit a Wikipedia article. All that is required is the desire to spend the time to edit articles and the ability to collaborate with others who wish to edit the same article. In fact, Wikipedia is one of the only places where it is common for believers and critics to work together to craft articles about Mormon history. The Wikipedia article on Martin Harris is no exception.

Upon reading the Wikipedia article about Martin Harris, we encounter quite a contrast from those things that we learn in church. The first thing that we learn about Martin is that he “was a prosperous farmer,” and that his neighbors “considered him both an honest and superstitious man.” The article then goes on in detail to note that Harris’s “imagination was excitable,” that he “once imagined that a sputtering candle was the work of the devil,” and that he was considered “a visionary fanatic.” The article continues by stating that “his belief in earthly visitations of angels and ghosts gave him the local reputation of being crazy,” and that “he was a great man for seeing spooks.” [5] It is easy to see which aspects of Harris’s life the Wikipedia article attempts to emphasize. There are a few token mentions of honesty and prosperity, followed by extensive recitations of Harris’s superstitious qualities.


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Mormon FAIR-Cast 126: Anti-Mormon Criticisms of the Book of Mormon

January 23, 2013


Why does the Book of Mormon say Christ was born in Jerusalem? Why does a French word appear in the text of the Book of Mormon? Didn’t Joseph Smith simply borrow Book of Mormon names from the Bible? Why was the Book of Mormon written in Reformed Egyptian? Are there any other instances of such writing? How can one believe the Book of Mormon when so many of the Book of Mormon witnesses left the Church? Why did Nephites build temples outside of Jerusalem? Isn’t the mention of coins in the Book of Mormon an anachronism? Why do the words “church,” “synogogue,” “book,” and “Jesus Christ” appear in the Book of Mormon? Did crucifixions and crosses exist before Lehi left Jerusalem? Wasn’t Joseph Smith fooled by the Kinderhook Plates? Did Elder B.H. Roberts lose his faith? Why haven’t Book of Mormon cities been found? In this episode of Religion Today, which originally aired on KSL Radio on May 29, 2011, Martin Tanner responds to these questions.


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Mormon church announces layoffs in two departments

January 23, 2013

Salt Lake Tribune

The LDS Church is downsizing two departments in its massive Salt Lake City headquarters, spokesman Michael Purdy said Wednesday.

“Today the church announced a planned reduction in workforce affecting primarily… the Publishing Services Department and the Information Communication Systems Department,” Purdy said in a statement. “This action is based solely on the need to be sure that resources are being used wisely to meet the evolving needs of a global church.”

The number of affected employees is “relatively small,” said Purdy, comprising “between 5 and 8 percent of the workforce of the two departments.”


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More Mormon women expected to serve as missionaries

January 23, 2013

New York Daily News

Merrill is among thousands who have taken advantage of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ decision to lower the minimum age for missionaries: from 21 to 19 for women; and from 19 to 18 for men. She is part of the first wave of younger missionaries at the Missionary Training Center in Provo.

Church leaders and outside scholars believe it could be a landmark moment that leads to many more women serving missions. Rather than having to leave at age 21 – when many women are about to start careers or perhaps are contemplating marriage and starting families – Mormon women can now serve missions shortly after high school.

Applications for new missions are up two-fold since the surprise Oct. 6 announcement, and the reaction from women has been overwhelming. About half of all new applications to go on missions have been from women, the church says; previously, only 15 percent of missionaries were women.


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Mormon facility on tap for River North

January 23, 2013

Chicago Tribune

A prized piece of River North real estate on the same corner that was supposed to accommodate a state-of-the-art synagogue and community center has been purchased by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to build its first meetinghouse in Chicago’s downtown.

The property at Clark and Chestnut streets is adjacent to the former site of the proposed Chicago Center for Jewish Life, a multimillion-dollar building that would have offered a sanctuary, school, kosher cafe and crisis intervention services for Jewish travelers and members of Lubavitch Chabad of the Loop, Gold Coast and Lincoln Park, the Hasidic Orthodox community that built it.

According to the Cook County recorder of deeds, the LDS church, commonly called the Mormons, purchased the property for $5.24 million. Church officials told three congregations this week about plans to build a meetinghouse so they no longer would have to rent space in Lincoln Park and on Chicago’s Northwest Side.


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Conference explores link between Mormon religion and co-operation

January 22, 2013

Co-operative News

A conference on the Mormon co-operative model highlighted the link between the Mormon faith and co-operation. About 100 co-operators, academics and students attended the event held at Utah Valley University on January 17.

The two organisers, Jason Brown and Warner Woodworth were very pleased with the event’s outcome. Mr Brown, Adjunct Professor at Utah Valley University said they aimed to mark the International Year of Co-operatives whilst raising awareness of the past.

“Our aim was to explore the future possibilities of co-operatives in Utah connected to our heritage and co-ops as a sort of third way business strategy.

“We talked about Mormon co-ops and gave examples of successful co-ops. We also spent time talking about Mondragon. Some people in Utah do not understand what co-ops are and what they do, although many of them are members of electric co-ops and credit unions.”


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Remark stirs controversy on LDS women’s rights and roles

January 23, 2013

ABC4 (Salt Lake City)

A comment by LDS’ general young women’s president has stirred the pot.

During the January 15th Devotional Address, Elaine Dalton said, “you will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights.”

It’s unclear what Dalton meant by the comment, but speculation is brewing on the website “Feminist Mormon Housewives”.


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Bolton sisters preparing for separate 18-month missions

January 23, 2013

Craig Daily Press

Sarah and her younger sister, Karen Bolton, both Craig residents, are set to report Jan. 30 to begin separate 18-month missions as part of their Mormon faith.

Sarah, 21, sent her paperwork in nearly two weeks before Karen, 19. Yet they received their assignments in the mail only a day apart: Sarah will go to Florida and Karen to Canada.

Karen said with headquarters in Utah receiving about 4,000 applications a week, the timing from the sisters’ perspective was nothing short of the Lord’s work.


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When Your Loved One Apostatizes

January 23,2013

City Weekly

Melanie Morales is a presenter at the upcoming panel “My Loved One is Apostatizing … What Do I Do?” at the Salt Lake City Main Library (210 E. 400 South, Thursday, Jan. 31, 6:30-8 p.m.) as part of the new SLC Post-Mormon (PostMormon.org) lecture series. Morales, who works in education, left the church two years ago and will be discussing topics with two other former church members and a current member of the church, with time for audience questions and discussion. The SLC Post-Mormon group plans to have lectures every other month, with future topics including “The Truth About Trek” and reparative therapy.


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Sundance review: High Camp at Pemberly with the premiere of ‘Austenland’

January 23, 2013

The Gate

In the end, Mr. Hess is right. This film is way more commercial than Napoleon Dynamite or Nacho Libre, and the women behind the film promise to emerge as a powerful team. Austenland was produced, written, and directed by a trio of Mormon women, Hale and Hess, from Salt Lake City, and Stephanie Meyers, of Twilight fame, from further south in the Mormon belt, Mesa, Arizona. This team illustrates that the year of the Mormon, which many thought would end with Mitt Romney’s bid for president of the United States, may not quite be over yet. (We’ll see if this might also be the year of the female director, as Sundance wraps up next week.)


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NOTE: This is posted for those who are interested in keeping abreast what is being said around the world about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members. MormonVoices cannot and does not guarantee the validity or truthfulness of any information reported. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of this information lies with the reader. As all information comes from other news sources and has not been independently verified, MormonVoices cannot guarantee or be responsible for the security of links in the clipping service. MormonVoices will attempt as much as possible to exclude news articles containing strongly offensive language or which lead to offensive images, but cannot guarantee that some will not slip through.

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