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7 June 2013

A Queer Atheist in the Heart of Mormon Country

June 7, 2013

Huffington Post

Last weekend a group of around 400 Mormons marched in the Utah Pride Parade. Calling themselves “Mormons Building Bridges,” they were met with enthusiastic applause. Carrying signs with messages like “Love 1 Another” and “LDS heart LGBT,” they were there to show their support for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community and celebrate recent advancements in issues relating to LGBTQ people and Mormons, such as Bishops no longer excommunicating members who come out and the Boy Scouts of America voting to allow openly gay scouts to participate. (LGBTQ adults and atheists still cannot do so openly.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-stedman/a-queer-atheist-in-the-heart-of-mormon-country_b_3404657.html

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35 years later, some black Mormons see lingering prejudice

June 7, 2013

Religion News Service

June 8, 1978, was a sacred, momentous event — a revelation — that catapulted Mormonism into a new era of global growth.

On that day, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ended its ban on blacks in its priesthood, opening ordination to “all worthy male members,” including those of African descent.

“For me,” former church President Gordon B. Hinckley said on the day’s 10th anniversary, “it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his brethren.”

In the 35 years since the announcement, Mormonism has spread exponentially in areas formerly off-limits, especially Africa.

http://www.religionnews.com/2013/06/07/35-years-later-some-black-mormons-see-lingering-prejudice/

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Pain lingers for black Mormons 35 years after priesthood ban lifted

June 7, 2013

Lowell Sun (Massachusetts)

June 8, 1978, was a sacred, momentous event — a revelation — in the history of Mormonism, catapulting the Utah-based faith into a new era of global growth.

On that day, the LDS Church ended its ban on blacks in its priesthood, opening ordination to “all worthy male members,” including those of African descent.

“For me,” former church President Gordon B. Hinckley said on the day’s 10th anniversary, “it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his brethren.”

In the 35 years since the announcement, Mormonism has spread exponentially in areas formerly off-limits, especially Africa.

http://www.lowellsun.com/webextras/ci_23411509/pain-lingers-black-mormons-35-years-after-priesthood

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Black Mormons See Lingering Prejudice, 35 Years After Ban On Blacks In Priesthood Was Lifted

June 7, 2013

Huffington Post

June 8, 1978, was a sacred, momentous event — a revelation — that catapulted Mormonism into a new era of global growth.

On that day, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ended its ban on blacks in its priesthood, opening ordination to “all worthy male members,” including those of African descent.

“For me,” former church President Gordon B. Hinckley said on the day’s 10th anniversary, “it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his brethren.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/07/black-mormons-see-lingering-prejudice-35-years-after-ban-on-blacks-in-priesthood-ended_n_3405191.html

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Has Lifting the LDS Priesthood Ban in 1978 Engendered Blacks Athletes to Attend BYU?

June 7, 2013

Huffington Post

Thirty-five years ago marked a significant shift in policy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) when it lifted its priesthood ban against black males. For much of its history as an organized religion (1830-2013), the LDS Church denied people of African ancestry full rights and privileges that white male church leadership was bound to uphold. Church authorities claimed that black skin was a sign of God’s displeasure with them according to various Mormon beliefs and interpretations of the Bible. In addition to the time-honored, Christian-centered Curse of Ham belief, Mormons also believed that Cain, the biblical counter figure found in the Christian Bible, committed fratricide. Hence, a vengeful God punished him with a skin of blackness, thus accenting his transgression to the world and singling his progeny out for differential treatment. Another popular belief found within the Mormon canon is that blacks were fence-sitters between God and the devil in the Great War in heaven. And because they were not valiant in the pre-existence, their contemporary spirits were rendered ineligible for the all-male Mormon priesthood and other church callings and responsibilities.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/darron-t-smith-phd/has-lifting-the-lds-pries_b_3391527.html

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Concerns persist about history, explanations of ban

June 7, 2013

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Some LDS leaders, including then-apostle Bruce R. McConkie, taught that black skin was “the curse of Cain,” an allusion to the biblical figure who killed his brother Abel. Others added the notion that blacks were “less valiant” in the sphere known in Mormon theology as the “premortal existence.”

The official position is that only God knows the reason for the ban.

“Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice,” says a new preamble to LDS President Spencer W. Kimball’s 1978 announcement, which is part of LDS scripture. “Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance.”

The preamble was added in a new edition of scriptures that came out this year. The introduction makes clear that Mormon founder Joseph Smith had ordained several black men but does not dispel any of the theological myths that arose to defend the practice.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/56422550-80/church-lds-black-god.html.csp

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Pain lingers for black Mormons 35 years after priesthood ban lifted

June 7, 2013

Monterey County Herald (California)

June 8, 1978, was a sacred, momentous event — a revelation — in the history of Mormonism, catapulting the Utah-based faith into a new era of global growth.

On that day, the LDS Church ended its ban on blacks in its priesthood, opening ordination to “all worthy male members,” including those of African descent.

“For me,” former church President Gordon B. Hinckley said on the day’s 10th anniversary, “it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his brethren.”

http://www.montereyherald.com/digitalextras/ci_23411509/pain-lingers-black-mormons-35-years-after-priesthood

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Ways to improve Mormon race relations

June 7, 2013

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Here are some ideas, taken from interviews, about improving race relations within the LDS Church:

- Extend the church’s Perpetual Education Fund, a much-praised program that has helped 3,913 men and women from 24 African countries advance their schooling, to America’s urban centers.

- Invest more money and time in recruiting, preparing and supporting African-American students at church-owned schools.

- Expand the faith’s Oral History Project — which has been so successful in Nigeria and Ghana by documenting 5 million family names — to include more places in the U.S., sending field workers into urban centers to record interviews with black members, hearing their conversion tales and making those widely available online.

- Cast a black Adam and Eve in films shown in Mormon temples.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/56422575-80/black-church-mormon-race.html.csp

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Mormon Choir of DC to Perform in Harris Pavilion on Saturday

June 7, 2013

Manassas Patch (Virginia)

Patriotic music will flow through the streets of Old Town Manassas Saturday as the Mormon Choir of Washington, DC performs for the masses in Harris Pavilion.

The Mormon Choir of Washington, DC, will perform “God Bless America! A Celebration of America,” a summer pops concert, at 1 p.m. at the Loy E. Harris Pavilion, 9201 Center St.

http://manassas.patch.com/articles/mormon-choir-of-dc-to-perform-in-harris-pavilion-on-saturday

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M.E. Thomas Is a Sociopath

June 7, 2013

Slate

Thomas escapes her abusive Mormon family and coasts through college and into a big law firm through manipulation and coercion. After she is fired for her lazy work, she undertakes a ruthless period of rational introspection. Once she embraces her true nature, she sees the dark light of harnessing her power, moving to a cushy gig as a law professor who screws with her students’ heads and prepares them to master the real world, just as she had in her day: “The law school environment made everyone a little more sociopathic, since we were encouraged to view our successes in a zero-sum game measured by precise numbers.”

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/06/american_psycho_s_patrick_bateman_reviews_m_e_thomas_s_confessions_of_a.html

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A growing presence in the LGBT rights movement: The religious

June 7, 2013

Washington Post (DC)

Organizers of this weekend’s Capital Pride named 14 faith-based groups participating in Sunday’s festival for the first time. They include Baptist, Lutheran and Quaker churches as well as the country’s largest Buddhist denomination, a Conservative synagogue and a Mormon advocacy group.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/06/07/a-growing-presence-in-the-lgbt-rights-movement-the-religious/

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Day 2 of Draft delivers bevy of talent

June 7, 2013

Colorado Rockies

Emanuel’s selection kicked off the proceedings Friday, but there were a few other noteworthy picks. The Cubs selected Jacob Hannemann, a freshman outfielder out of Brigham Young University, with the second pick of the day. Hannemann, born in April of 1991, served two years of a Mormon mission before enrolling in college and being named West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.

http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130607&content_id=49927722&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

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SOUTHERN UTAH MEMORIES: The Muddy River Mission turns out to be a mixture of success and failure

June 7, 2013

KCSG (Utah)

In the fall of 1864, LDS President Brigham Young began asking volunteers to help colonize the Muddy River as part of the Cotton Mission.

Some LDS members were called to design plans for navigating the southern Colorado River while others to called to establish colonies where cotton and other hot weather crops could be grown, according to James W. Hulse, author of The Nevada Adventure; A History.

http://www.kcsg.com/view/full_story/22822535/article-SOUTHERN-UTAH-MEMORIES–The-Muddy-River-Mission-turns-out-to-be-a-mixture-of-success-and-failure?instance=home_news_lead

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Sveum likes what he sees in top-pick Bryant

June 7, 2013

Daily Herald (Illinois)

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130607/sports/706079618/

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The gospel according to this choir is full of life, hope and faith

June 7, 2013

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Nevada)

The choir’s drummer, for example, DeMiyon Hall, is the musical director for Knight; his father, David Blakely, is the choir’s pianist but is the musical director for Knight’s other choir, the Mormon Choir, which a few years ago won a Grammy for best album. The talent runs in the family.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/music/gospel-according-choir-full-life-hope-and-faith

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