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6 February 2013

Church Cautions Against Speculation On Scouting Decision
February 6, 2013


For 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed a strong, rewarding relationship with Boy Scouts of America as both organizations have worked to build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of young men.

The recent announcement that BSA planned to make a policy change in its standards for membership and leadership has triggered intense debate from many segments of society. We believe BSA has acted wisely in delaying a vote on this policy issue until the implications can be more carefully evaluated.


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Mormon FAIR-Cast 128: Blacks in the Bible
February 6, 2013


In a study performed by the Higher Education Institute, in association with UCLA, which concluded in 2005, African Americans ranked number one in seven of the twelve spirituality categories measured. These deeply spiritual roots have been passed on from generation to generation of church goers and Bible faithful. This commitment is especially impressive in light of the absence of positive religious teachings, mentions or artistic renderings of Black African ancestors in today’s Christian religions.

There are many who regularly mention Cain and Ham and the curses associated with them, leaving and reinforcing the impression that Black equates to cursed or less than. Was there a positive Black presence in the biblical days? If there was, wouldn’t the entire world benefit from this knowledge? Those of African descent could gain a greater sense of self. This could also help to repudiate much of the confusion about race and encourage unity.


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Kenyan Man Enjoying Life as a Member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
February 6, 2013


Amran Musungu is one of the first Africans to become a member of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He began singing in the choir in the mid-2000s after the choir’s music director invited Musungu to audition. And, as they say, the rest is history.

He was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints more than 20 years ago in Nairobi and later served a Church mission in Africa.

Musungu says since joining the Church his life has been “miraculous.”


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McEntee: Mormon church scraps reference to ‘moral issue’ in Scout statement
February 6, 2013

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

When the Boy Scouts of America decided to put off its vote on whether to open its membership to gay Scouts and leaders, the LDS Church fired off a brief news release Wednesday morning praising the decision as a wise way to hear all voices on this “important moral issue.”

Then, at about 4 p.m., it issued a longer statement that, among other things, scrapped the reference to a “moral issue” and instead saluted the Scouts for helping to “build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of young men.”


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Utah Boy Scouts Council Achieves Delay In Consideration Of Anti-Gay Policy
February 6, 2013

Think Progress

The Mormon Church’s role in this decision cannot be overstated. Though the Church itself has not issued a comment, it is the largest faith-based sponsor of the Scouts, supporting more than 39,000 troops. Church President Thomas Monson has longstanding ties with the Great Salt Lake Council and sits on the BSA national executive board, as do other high-ranking Mormon officials. The Church recently updated its policies on homosexuality, but still condemns it as sinful and calls on gays to be chaste, and it continues to advocate against LGBT equality.

Deciding whether or not to discriminate is not a question that can be answered by polling. If the Scouts choose to make such a decision by catering to financial stakeholders, then any claim the organization has to promoting character is without merit.


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How Bellevue’s driving the Boy Scouts’ gay policy
February 6, 2013


If the policy changes, it would be particularly interesting under Perry’s presidency. By his own admission, Perry, a Mormon, favors keeping the ban.

“I believe that homosexuality is morally wrong,” he said last Friday, during a conference call to local BSA council leaders. Perry spent the call explaining how the proposed policy change came about, but didn’t take questions from council leaders or media.

The call represents the most public communication by the national BSA leading up to today’s meeting. Requests for interviews or more information haven’t been fulfilled.


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After Floating Idea of Lifting Ban on Gays, Scouts Delay Decision
February 6, 2013

New York Times

Maintaining local control became a crossroads of the debate. Although many of the church sponsors — almost 70 percent of local scout units are backed by a religion-based group — are culturally conservative, they also hugely cherish the right to make scouting an adjunct of their respective belief systems. In Mormon-led scout troops, a Mormon-style prayer usually opens and closes a troop’s meeting, while in a Catholic group, it might be the Lord’s Prayer.

“In a free society, organizations fail or flourish according to the private choices of innumerable families,” the Boy Scouts said in a brief to the United States Supreme Court in the 2000 case. “A society in which each and every organization must be equally diverse is a society which has destroyed diversity,” the Boy Scouts argued.


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Defendant gives details about slain Mormon lover who baptized her
February 6, 2013

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

A woman charged with killing her lover in the shower of his Arizona home described in graphic detail Wednesday how he made repeated sexual advances all while converting her into the Mormon faith during their heated initial courtship.


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Puerto Rican, Mormon congressman bridging gap in immigration debate
February 6, 2013

Standard Examiner (Utah)

He was raised by a single mother, who moved the family to Las Vegas when he was 13. Looking for a way to straighten out her son after he fell in with a group of troubled kids, his mother took the advice of a co-worker at Caesars Palace and enrolled Labrador in a Mormon youth program.

He eventually converted to the religion and attended Brigham Young University, where he met his Boise-bred wife.


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Where homosexuality and Mormonism collide
February 6, 2013

KALW (California)

The discussion of marriage hit a nerve with listeners. We received dozens of comments on the story, many of which called attention to the Mormon church’s role in opposing same-sex marriage during the fight over Proposition 8. One commenter called the church “the epicenter of anti gay political activity dedicated to demeaning and marginalizing homosexuals.” A self-described Mormon responded, ” I do nothing of the sort and have a great love for ALL people, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

The Mormon church – officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – has played a big role in opposing same-sex marriage in California. Its members contributed heavily to anti-Proposition 8 causes, and continue to do so.


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BYU-Idaho’s enrollment slows after Mormon church lowers missionary eligibility age
February 6, 2013

The Republic (Indiana)

Brigham Young University-Idaho says its enrollment has slowed following an October decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to lower missionary ages for men and women.

The Idaho Falls Post-Register reports (http://bit.ly/XVyUoV ) 700 fewer students enrolled this semester at the Rexburg university than BYU-Idaho officials had expected.

The university says changing the eligibility age from 19 to 18 for men and from 21 to 19 for women largely explains the enrollment drop.

Between fall 2011 and fall 2012, BYU-Idaho’s student population jumped 12 percent. Enrollment edged up 4 percent this semester.


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Utah Scouts pleased with delay on admitting gays
February 6, 2013

Seattle Post Intelligencer (Washington)

Mormon church officials and Boy Scout leaders in Utah applauded the Boy Scouts of America for putting off a decision Wednesday on lifting its ban on gay members and leaders.

The policy under consideration would let troop sponsors make their own decisions about leaders and youth members.

Boy Scouts of America “acted wisely in delaying its decision until all voices can be heard on this important moral issue,” said Michael Purdy, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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When Pants Are Political
February 6, 2013


The New York Times wrote about the event, including some of the backlash and harrassment experienced by the women participating, like this comment: “What is wrong with all you women??? If you’re not happy with the LDS church, move on, find another place of worship. You will not change Mormon Doctrine.”

It is the kind of comment and harsh challenge that religious feminists very often face.


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Woman charged with killing boyfriend in Arizona tells court she felt used by him
February 6, 2013

Fox News

The testimony was an unusual mix of Mormon theology and X-rated descriptions of their relationship. At one point, naked pictures of Alexander were shown in the courtroom.

Alexander, a Mormon, persuaded Arias to become a member of the church and performed her baptism in late 2006, she said.

But at the same time, she said she felt uncomfortable by Alexander’s behavior in the bedroom that seemed to contradict the church’s teachings that forbid sex before marriage.


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Boy Scouts gay exclusion vote delayed until May
February 6, 2013

WJLA (Virginia)

A spokesman for the Mormon church says the Boy Scouts “acted wisely” today in putting off any decision about whether to admit gays as scouts or adult leaders. The Mormons are among the religious groups that have urged the Scouts not to end their current ban on gays.

Scout officials today decided that any decision on changing the policy on gays will be up to the 1,400 voting members of the group’s national council at a meeting in Texas in May. The organization’s executive board will prepare a resolution to be voted on by the council.


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