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4 February 2013

Mormons Share Their Stories in Mormon.org Profiles
February 4, 2013


It’s been two years since Mormon.org 4.0 launched with 2,000 profiles. Today, over 120,000 Mormons have created profiles, with another 100,000 in process, sharing why they are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Vanessa explains, “I find the teachings of Jesus Christ (found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon) to be irresistible. When I study them I feel inspired to be my best self — a bit kinder, more patient, more generous and fair.”

Vanessa lives in London, England and works as an aerial dancer. She is one of the 100 “I’m a Mormon” video profiles featured on Mormon.org. These videos take a candid look inside the lives of a handful of the millions of members of the Church.


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New Doctrine and Covenants resources available from lds.org and Interpreter
February 3, 2013


At FAIR, we like to keep abreast of various resources which become available for studying, understanding, and teaching the gospel. With the current Sunday School year focusing on the Doctrine and Covenants, there are two new resources to which we would particularly like to call your attention, as well as some old favorites. The first is found here:


and contains articles written by historians discussing with balance and grace some of the key characters and events associated with the restoration. A particular focus is the context in which the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were received. These historical papers provide a golden opportunity for teachers and students to better understand the context and process through which Joseph received many of the early canonized revelations so that they can better apply the process in obtaining divine guidance in their own lives. They also provide an excellent opportunity to better understand the historical unfolding of the restoration.


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Young Mormon elders come to teach and serve
February 4, 2013

Mercer Island Reporter (Washington)

Mormon missionaries Gavin Yeip and Eli Dymock have come to Mercer Island to serve.

They can easily be recognized, wearing crisp white shirts, suits, ties and name badges, as they walk the streets of the Island together.

Yeip, 20, and Dymock, 19, hail from North Ogden and Paradise, Utah, respectively. They are among an estimated 200 Mormon missionaries serving in the Seattle area.


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Mormon Church Files Briefs in Support of DOMA, Prop. 8
February 4, 2013

Christian Post

Lawyers for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have filed briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of upholding the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.

The LDS Church joined many other religious and civic organizations that have filed amicus briefs for or against the two measures, with LDS lawyers filing the friend-of-the-court documents last week.
Von Keetch, lawyer at the Utah-based firm Kirton McConkie, wrote the two briefs on behalf of the LDS Church.


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Mormon Church interested in buying land in Marina
February 4, 2013

Monterey County Herald (California)

The city of Marina may sell five acres of the city’s Preston Park land to the Mormon Church.

The church and city officials have been talking for several months about a site for a 19,000 to 22,000 square-foot church meeting house in Marina.

A council report says the church was interested in three different sites: the Marina Heights project area, the Preston Park “sports complex” area and the Cypress Knolls project area.


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Mormon missionary killed by truck hitting her bike
February 4, 2013

KXII (Texas)

An Arkansas woman serving a Mormon mission in Oklahoma has died after a pickup truck hit her bicycle, according to church officials.

The Oklahoman reported Sunday that 22-year-old Alesa Smith, of Benton, Ark., was riding her bicycle Friday night when she was hit by a pickup truck.

Nolan Taylor, an Oklahoma City-based official with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says Smith had been working in several cities throughout Oklahoma for the past 10 months.


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Mormon missionary dies in Woodward car-bicycle collision
February 4, 2013

Tulsa World (Oklahoma)

A 22-year-old Arkansas woman serving a Mormon mission in Oklahoma died Friday night after she was hit by a pickup while riding her bicycle, church officials said Sunday.

Alesa Smith, 22, of Benton, Ark., had been in the state for about 10 months on a mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nolan Taylor, president of missions for the church in Oklahoma City, said Smith had worked in several other cities and had just begun in Woodward, where the wreck happened.


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On the ‘Mormon Moment’
February 4, 2013

UVU Review (Utah)

Since Proposition 8, the ‘Book of Mormon’ musical and Mitt Romney’s campaigns of 2008 and 2012, the public’s curiosity of Mormon culture has grown. Utah Valley University has taken notice of this and will host a panel in the Ragan Theater on Feb. 13 to discuss what some are referring to as “The Mormon Moment.”

Laurie Goodstein, a national religion correspondent for The New York Times, will express her thoughts and views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in popular culture at 12:00 p.m. Following her lecture will be panel moderated by Brian Birch, associate vice president for academic affairs and director of the Religious Studies Program.

“We are very pleased to host Laurie Goodstein,” Birch said. “She is a world-class reporter who has done outstanding work on the Latter-day Saints and other religious communities.”


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February 4, 2013


2 Wives 2 Laws: A Story of Mormon Polygamy is an interesting, historically accurate personal look at Mormon polygamy, written by James C. “Jim” Robinson. This book gives readers a rare opportunity to look through the eyes of those who were practicing what the federal courts labeled a crime and what their faith once taught them divine.

Set in Utah, 1880, the story follows Richard Connell, who is happily married to his wife Kara. In a time when Mormons practiced polygamy, neither Richard nor his wife seriously considered the idea of adding another woman to their seemingly perfect marriage. Then, however, their ecclesiastical leader calls Richard to take a second wife. Kara, for special reasons, gives her consent despite foreseeable uncertainty.


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UPDATE: Missionary killed by truck hitting her bike
February 4, 2013

Enid News and Eagle (Oklahoma)

A missionary killed riding her bicycle in Woodward was the victim of an tragic accident, said Woodward police.

“It was very unfortunate. We don’t anticipate any charges,” said Woodward Detective Lt. Chuck Wheeler.

Alesa Smith, 22 of Benton, Ark was riding her bicycle in Woodward Friday when she was struck by a pickup, driven by Dexton Grunewald, according to Wheeler. He said Smith and a female companion were riding bicycles on Hank’s Trail between 22nd and 34th Streets in Woodward. They had walked their bikes uphill eastbound and had just gotten on them again. Grunewald was also traveling east and met another vehicle westbound. Grunewald was blinded by the headlights of the other vehicle and did not see Smith. Smith and her companion were riding single file with Smith in the rear.


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Adam & Steve play underscores changing LDS views on gays, gay marriage
February 4, 2013

Standard Examiner (Utah)

I had the opportunity to read the script of “Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea,” a two-character play that is playing at the Wagner Center in Salt Lake City. I hope to see the play. It involves longtime best friends, Adam, a Mormon youth, and Steve, who is gay. The play covers Adam’s reaction to Steve’s coming out as a teen, their eventual estrangement after Adam, while preparing for a mission, shuns Steve for his lifestyle, and finally concludes with a semi-reconciliation of friendship between Steve, now in college, and Adam, who has returned early from his mission to Brazil due to serious health problems.

California’s Proposition 8, which bans marriage between same-sex couples, serves as one backdrop to the conflict between Adam and Steve. It’s perhaps not surprising that the final scene, where Adam apologizes to Steve for once ending their strong, valuable friendship over his refusal to accept Steve’s lifestyle, can symbolize the slow cooling of tensions between the LDS Church and supporters of gay rights that peaked with the Prop 8 battle.


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Travis Wilkins Is On A New Mission
February 4, 2013

Ohio Bobcats

Although he dreamed of playing college basketball, it was not his only dream. Growing up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilkins considered pursuing his Mormon mission after graduating high school. However, fulfilling this dream would take him away from the game he loved for two years.

Wilkins ultimately decided to strengthen his faith and pursue his mission. The local newspaper published in Wilkins’ hometown of Willard, Mo., ran an article announcing that the well-known high school shooting guard had no plans to play college basketball.


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More missionaries create economic boom for Utah clothing stores
February 4, 2013

KTVB (Idaho)

Sales are booming at Utah clothing stores catering to Mormon missionaries.

That’s because more young Mormons are heading out on missions due to the recent lowering of the minimum age for missionaries in October from 21 to 19 for women; and from 19 to 18 for men.
Applications for new missions are up two-fold since the announcement, with older missionaries and new, younger missionaries planning to go out at the same time.


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Why Boy Scouts Should Be As Inclusive As My Church
February 4, 2013

Huffington Post

The national policy needs to change, but it need not come at the expense of other faith communities with other beliefs. Last Sunday was Scout Sunday at the Mormon church too. It is important that scouting work for many faiths, and in fact it does. Indeed, with the notable exception of the policy toward gays, scouting has been incredibly successful at encouraging a spiritual dimension of youth without endorsing any particular faith or denomination.


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Anti-illegal immigrant tide has been waning for a year
February 4, 2013

Pasadena Star News (California)

About the same time, Utah adopted a state guest-worker bill much like what many Democrats in Congress long have pushed, favoring amnesty for illegals who have worked long periods in America. Utah now allows illegals who commit no crimes and have held jobs for years to work within the state and get “driving privilege cards.”

These moves came after the Salt Lake chamber and other organizations – in a move endorsed by the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints – called for immigration laws to focus on families.

It was a far cry from the “illegal means illegal” approach taken earlier by Arizona.


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Broadway Melodies delivers on witty humor
February 4, 2013

Daily Tar Heel (North Carolina)

Rather, Thompson shocked the audience into laughter by adding a Mormon S.W.A.T. Team leader, along with his three wives, girlfriend and Blue from “Blue’s Clues.”


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The ignorance of the average American
February 4, 2013

Pine Log (Texas)

It also didn’t help when I began reading a book entitled “Things Fall Apart” in my other class. This book, while great, makes the western world look even worse. The book is about African culture and Western expansion. It also discusses the cultural neglecting of Africans. So, after reading this book, I decided to conduct a little experiment. I randomly asked students to tell me the first things they thought of when I said “Africa.” The most common answers I got were poverty, death, disease and hunger. One answer in particular was “the Book of Mormon.” This answer struck me as the not-so-perfect perfect answer.

For those who haven’t read (or seen) “the Book of Mormon,” it’s about two missionaries who travel to Uganda in attempts to help the people understand religion and parts of Western beliefs. These are some of the reasons why we are blamed for our ignorance. It is the belief of many Westerners that our countries are superior to everyone else’s; the way we live is much better and more socially acceptable than those in the Eastern hemisphere. This is morally, politically and economically unacceptable.


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Prepare For An Unprecedented Foreign Invasion In The 2013 NFL Draft
February 4, 2013

Sports Chat Place

Ezekiel Ansah Defensive End BYU: Even if Ansah does not fulfill his potential as a pro football player, his life story is going to make a hell of a movie. While growing up in Ghana, Ansah became involved in the Mormon Church at age 19 and was convinced by missionaries to pursue his basketball playing dreams at BYU. While at BYU, Ansah failed on two occasions to make the basketball squad and dabbled in track, posting a sub 22 second time in the 200 meters. When a track coach who was also from Ghana took a look at Ansah, he convinced him to give American Football a try.


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Review: James Judd’s highly personal show works
February 4, 2013

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (New York)

The entirety of Judd’s show is based on his life — his dysfunctional family, in particular, a la David Sedaris. Once he describes his childhood, it seems a fitting choice. Judd’s father was a Mormon missionary from Utah, his mother a cocktail waitress from Las Vegas, making Judd “the only hard-drinking Mormon in the fifth grade who could also shoot craps.”


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Rep. Raúl R. Labrador’s Super Bowl Politwoop
February 4, 2013

Sunlight Foundation

Millions of viewers tuned in last night to watch the Baltimore Ravens best the 49ers in an exciting Super Bowl involving a lengthy power outage, an impressive almost-comeback by the Niners and, of course, Beyoncé. But for Rep. Raúl R. Labrador, the most memorable moment seemed to come during an ad for CBS’s 2 Broke Girls involving a stripper pole, clothes being ripped off and a cherry being seductively consumed when he eagerly tweeted “Me likey Broke Girls.” After just 14 seconds Rep. Labrador, a second-term Republican from Idaho’s first congressional district, Mormon and father of five, regretted sharing that from his official congressional account and removed it, making it appear in the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops site, a project to catch messaging changes from U.S. politicians.


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Football: Peterson forgoes D-I interest for mission work
February 4, 2013

Record Courier (Nevada)

Conner Peterson, the 2012 Sierra League Co-Player of the Year, first-team All-Region and second-team All-State running back, recently announced his decision to pursue a unique, albeit familiar, path for his post-high school plans.

Shortly after graduation this spring, the 5-11, 219-pound running back will embark on a two-year mission with the Mormon church. In doing so, Peterson passed on Division I football interest, most notably just up the road from Minden at the University of Nevada.

“It was a hard decision but it was an easy choice,” Peterson said. “I knew what I was going to choose it right from the get-go. It’s difficult to think about what I am giving up, but it’s a case where I’m just going to put my dreams on hold for right now.”


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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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