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18 April 2014

Mormons Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites | 18 April

April 18, 2014

Mormon Newsroom

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Samoa recently packed a fishing boat full of food, including 150 bags of taro, and unloaded it in Tonga on 15 April. The taro, an island staple, was harvested from Latter-day Saints’ gardens. Church leader Elder O. Vincent Haleck of the Seventy arranged to have the boat also stop by America Samoa, where fish and chicken were added to help the victims. Taro grows in tropical climates and is similar to a potato.


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Fair Issues 51: The double meaning of the word “Lamanite”

April 18, 2014

FairMormon Blog

In this podcast Michael R. Ash relates how cultural identification and genealogy can create a common ancestry in the Book of Mormon peoples even though there may be no genetic link between Native Americans and Lamanites, LDS scriptures and prophets are justified in referring to them as “Lamanites” due to the likelihood of these cultural and genealogical affiliations.


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Are Atheists the New Mormons?

April 18, 2014

Daily Beast

Muscato explains that the goal of the convention is to reach suppressed atheists in Salt Lake City, not to convert Mormons.

Still, the whole spectacle can’t help but seem like a provocation. (The church declined to comment for this article). Last fall, the AA clashed with some Salt Lake residents–the city is about 50 percent Mormon–over a billboard campaign that mimicked language used in LDS communities and advertisements. And, this month, in partnership with the Atheists of Utah, the AA sponsored a gathering in which 75 inactive Mormons publicly resigned from the church during the Mormons’ annual General Conference.

Really, though, the American Atheist convention in Salt Lake City is not a clash of opposites. It’s the convergence of unlikely cousins. The convention this week will bring together in Salt Lake City two distinctly American movements, with remarkably similar demographics, that are in the process of emerging into a public sphere that has long considered them suspicious outsiders.


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Atheist national conference aims at Mormon church

April 18, 2014

USA Today

eaders of a prominent atheist group say the best spot to find a nonbeliever is in a place of faith.

To that end, the American Atheists, in an effort to raise awareness and attract new members, are holding their national conference over Easter weekend in the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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Alex Beam’s ‘American Crucifixion’ takes on early Mormon history

April 18, 2014

Los Angeles Times (California)

It’s a brutal yet absorbing slice of history that Alex Beam captures well in his new book, “American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church.” While Beam wraps in some essential early church history, this is at heart a journalistic account of a murder that tells us as much about religious intolerance and the low flash point of mob violence as it does about Mormonism.

There are few “good guys” in Beam’s book, and his portrayal of Smith is less than charitable. From the outside, it’s hard not to see warts where the faithful saw — and see — a much different man. Smith claimed that an angel named Moroni directed him to unearth golden tablets, which Smith then wrapped in cloth and stared at while channeling God’s revelation of the Book of Mormon.


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Jabari Parker Jumps to NBA Instead of Leaving on Mormon Mission

April 17, 2014

Liberty Voice

Jabari Parker announced on Thursday that instead of leaving for his Mormon mission or returning for his sophomore year at Duke, he will make the jump to the NBA. The five-star recruit out of Simeon Career Academy in Chicago has been the center of attention since high school, being named the National High School Player of the Year, as well as being chosen as a consensus first-team All American during his freshmen year at Duke University.


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Jabari Parker is headed to the NBA

April 17, 2014

NBC Sports

Believe it or not, there was actually some doubt as to whether or not Parker would actually turn pro. He’s a different dude, and I mean that as a compliment. He’s quite religious, he’s an excellent student and he’s the kind of curious mind that values his education and experience at Duke as much as he would value the chance to make millions at the NBA level. It’s clear in the lengthy statement that he released on Thursday, in which he discusses his intentions to return to school and earn his degree — “I was an honor student when I arrived at Duke, and I’d like to graduate as one,” he wrote — and is decision not to go on a Mormon mission as much as he does he thought on becoming a professional basketball player.


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Mormon bishop to speak at SCSU

April 18, 2014

St. Cloud Times (Minnesota)

Bishop Gérald Caussé will preside over and speak at a two-day conference of the St. Cloud Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at St. Cloud State University on Easter Sunday.

The general session at 10 a.m. will be at Ritchie Auditorium and features the first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church of Jesus Christ. All are invited to attend the conference.


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Atheists Converge on Mormon Country

April 18, 2014


Mormons and atheists may seem like polar opposites, but they’re actually “unlikely cousins,” writes Michael Schulson at the Daily Beast. The convention “will bring together in Salt Lake City two distinctly American movements, with remarkably similar demographics, that are in the process of emerging into a public sphere that has long considered them suspicious outsiders.” (Click for his full column.) Atheist organizers expect hundreds of participants to arrive between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.


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Look Who’s Back: Where Mitt Romney Is Lending Campaign Help in 2014

April 18, 2014

National Journal

Romney has made two endorsements in Nevada, a state Obama took in 2012 but also one where Mormon political influence is strong. Romney visited the state in March to raise money for Rep. Joe Heck at a private home, The Washington Post reported in a look at the deliberations behind Romney’s recent political reemergence. That appearance led to his recent help for lieutenant-governor candidate (and fellow Mormon) Mark Hutchison, who sought Romney’s help at the Heck fundraiser, The Post reports.


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The Psychologist Behind the CIA’s Torture Program Desperately Wants to Speak Out

April 18, 2014

The Wire

James Mitchell, the retired Air Force general and psychologist who figures prominently in the Senate’s report on the ineffectiveness of the post-9/11 torture program, gave his first extensive interview to the Guardian, in which he spoke broadly about “the program,” and lamented about how he could not delve into the specifics. “I would be happy to tell my entire story,” Mitchell told the Guardian’s Jason Leopold. “But I have been told numerous times that if I violate the non-disclosure agreement there would be criminal and civil penalties.” Those are very real consequences, so instead we’re treated to Mitchell complaining about “fat guys in the basement” who have been ordered to slander him on behalf of the government. “People make up stuff about me,” he says. “They say I’m a Mormon. I’m actually an atheist.”


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Man charged with first-degree murder in death of wife

April 18, 2014

9News (Colorado)

Lance says his brother was heavily involved in the Mormon Church.

A search warrant obtained by 9NEWS reveals Richard purchased two marijuana items at a store the night he allegedly killed his wife, Kris.


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State urged to sell farmland in Hillsborough

April 18, 2014

Tampa Tribune (Florida)

A Mormon Church-affiliated firm is in line to purchase 142 acres of vacant land in Hillsborough County from the state, with the money potentially helping Florida’s future efforts to preserve environmentally sensitive land.

State staff has recommended Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet approve the $803,000 sale Tuesday of two noncontiguous parcels to Farmland Reserve Inc., a corporate entity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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