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9 February 2012

10th Anniversary of 2002 Winter Olympics Remembered

February 8, 2012

mormonnewsroom.org

Like many other Utahns, we recall fondly the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Clearly the games were a community effort made possible in large part by the thousands of volunteers that lent their time and talents to welcome the many visitors and athletes to our state. It was a thrill to help support these efforts and those of the organizing committee to make the games a success.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormons-welcomed-the-olympic-ride

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5 Things You Should Know About Mormonism

February 8, 2012

Huffington Post

The official name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is a mouthful. “Mormon,” of course, is a nickname from the church’s original work of scripture. However, a lot can be gleaned from looking at the church’s official title. Mormons call themselves “The Church of Jesus Christ” because they believe that Jesus did in fact organize a church while he was on the earth, an institution with a priesthood and sacraments. Mormons call themselves “Latter-day Saints” to distinguish themselves from previous iterations of that church. As he believed there was too long to wait before Jesus’s second coming, “Latter-day” seemed to Joseph Smith an appropriate distinction.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-bowman/5-things-you-should-know-about-mormons_b_1253235.html

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Mormon Church Reacts to Prop. 8 Ruling

February 8, 2012

Q Salt Lake (Utah)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement regarding the decision on Proposition 8 by a federal appeals court in California:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regrets today’s decision. California voters have twice determined in a general election that marriage should be recognized as only between a man and a woman. We have always had that view. Courts should not alter that definition, especially when the people of California have spoken so clearly on the subject.

“Millions of voters in California sent a message that traditional marriage is crucial to society. They expressed their desire, through the democratic process, to keep traditional marriage as the bedrock of society, as it has been for generations.
“We recognize that this decision represents a continuation of what has been a vigorous public debate over the rights of the people to define and protect the fundamental institution of marriage. There is no doubt that today’s ruling will intensify the debate in this country. We urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion.”

http://qsaltlake.com/2012/02/08/mormon-church-reacts-to-prop-8-ruling/

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More Pew Center Figures On Utah Mormons

February 8, 2012

Salt Lake City Weekly (Utah)

This week’s news looks at recalculated numbers from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life to see how members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah agreed or disagreed with the faithful outside of Utah. Here is a breakdown on how the groups responded to questions of morality, politics and other questions not included in this week’s story.

As City Weekly reported in this week’s article “The Myth of the Utah Mormon” there might not be a whole lot of truth to the folklore that LDS members are pretty different culturally and spiritually from their counterparts in the rest of the country. The story reported on LDS members in Utah only disagreeing with saints outside of Utah on three issues: immigration, partisanship and opinions of the Tea Party. But on other questions CW asked Pew Researchers to recalculate their numbers for Utahns don’t substantively differ with other members of the faith.

http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/blog-25-7085-more-pew-center-figures-on-utah-mormons.html

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Commentary: ‘Mormon moment’ will live on after election

February 8, 2012

The Ithacan (New York)

Joseph Smith drew love and self-sacrificing commitment from his coreligionists. Such power is often feared. In the decade and a half preceding his death, Smith had founded a church, published the Book of Mormon and — dogged by persecution and in search of religious freedom — moved his followers from upstate New York to Ohio to Missouri to Illinois. Though some Americans sympathized with the Mormons’ plight, that support flagged when Mormons destroyed the printing press of a paper that had been critical of Mormonism. Smith was jailed. While awaiting trial, the mob murdered him.
Today, Mormonism has become a mainstream expression of American religiosity. Reflected in the fascination with Mormonism in popular culture, including the successful Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon” and Newsweek’s labeling of our time as the “Mormon moment,” this mainstreaming of Mormonism had its turning point more than a century ago, crystallized in controversies surrounding Reed Smoot’s election to the U.S. Senate.

http://theithacan.org/21361

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Romney focuses on personal subjects

February 8, 2012

CBS News

Romney has opened up with details about his personal life in recent days on the campaign trail, telling stories about his family and his faith. At an event here on Wednesday, he talked about how his work as a lay leader in the Mormon church helped him see the perils of unemployment.

“In my church, we don’t have a professional ministry, and so people are asked to serve as the minister or the pastor of the congregation from time to time, and I had that privilege for, I think, over ten years,” he said. “And in that capacity I had a chance to work with people who lost their jobs, in some cases, or were facing other financial distress, losing their homes and I found that those kinds of circumstances were not just about money or numbers, they were about lives and about emotions.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57373671-503544/romney-focuses-on-personal-subjects/

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Local Author Weighs in on Debate About Mormons, Christianity

February 8, 2012

Houston Chronicle (Texas)

A new book from local author Chauntelle Baughman (The Staircase to Heaven) adds to this ongoing discussion about Mormonism, Christianity and understanding in America. Detailing her transition from Mormonism to Evangelical Christianity, Baughman asserts that, “Mormon doctrine alters the intention of the Bible, and in doing so changes the whole point of Christianity.”

“In the end, I want to help people understand Mormonism, Christianity and the differences between the two,” said Baughman.

http://blog.chron.com/sacredduty/2012/02/local-author-weighs-in-on-debate-about-mormons-christianity/

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Brother Romney, Can You Spare a Dime?

February 8, 2012

The New Republic

Matthew Bowman has a thoughtful analysis on the homepage that sketches the surprising ways that Mormonism may shape the social welfare policies of a potential Romney administration. But if Mitt Romney is, indeed, obliged by his faith to show general concern for poor people, I thought I’d ask a more specific follow-up: Mr. Romney, what about panhandlers?

For some conservatives, that would be an easy question to answer. See this recommendation, from a newsletter published by (Mormon convert) Glenn Beck on November 24, 2008:

“‘Can you spare some change?’ Have you ever been asked this by some random panhandler? A good response is ‘Sorry, I only carry hundreds.’ It gets ‘em every time.”

But as Bowman discussed yesterday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints preaches solicitude and compassion towards the poor. As for panhandlers, Mormonism is even more explicit: Mormon scripture mandates generosity towards those who beg for help.

The relevant passage is found in the Book of Mosiah, in which the Mormon leader King Benjamin orders his followers to lend aid to all those who ask: “…ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.”

http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-stump/100512/brother-romney-can-you-spare-dime

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France’s First Mormon Temple Sparks Controversy

February 8, 2012

Voice of America

The United States may get its first Mormon president this year, if Republican candidate Mitt Romney prevails in his bid. But in France, the Mormon faith is viewed with deep suspicion and a project to build the country’s first Mormon temple is proving to be controversial. The temple is expected to be located in the Paris suburb of Chesnay.

Until recently, Chesnay was mostly known because of its proximity to Versailles, the dazzling 18th-century palace that was home to French “Sun King” Louis XIV. But today, this small town west of Paris is making news because of another monument, a 7,000-square-meter Mormon temple, expected to be built here in the next few years.

From his office window, Chesnay Mayor Philippe Brillault points to an abandoned, asbestos-filled energy plant. This is the property the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has acquired for its temple. Further away, the spire of the Versailles palace church sparkles in the sun.

Brillault admits he was not thrilled to receive the church’s request to acquire the property. He says the Mormons have a negative image in predominately Catholic France, even if they may not deserve it. Brillault says he granted the building permit after an investigation he commissioned found no reason to refuse it.

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Frances-First-Mormon-Temple-Sparks-Controversy-138959424.html

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CB7 rejects Mormon Church bid

February 8, 2012

Queens Courier (New York)

It’ll take a prayer.

The Mormon Church will have to re-examine its options after Community Board 7 (CB 7) unanimously rejected a request for zoning variances for a proposed church on 33rd Avenue in Flushing.

With 11 congregations in Queens, and one currently in Flushing, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proposed building a new structure that would include a worship area and community room on the ground floor, plus classrooms and office space on an upper level.

The Church needs three variances to build a 23,000-square-foot building on the land it owns at 145-15 33rd Avenue. A 12,000-square-foot structure is allowed there under current zoning. The plan also calls for a 94-foot steeple, which would end up being one of the tallest structures in Queens.

Officials at CB 7 said that this structure would not fit the character of the neighborhood and that the variances requested by the church go against zoning laws in Flushing…

http://queenscourier.com/2012/cb7-rejects-mormon-church-bid/

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Trial ordered for Mormon bishop charged with witness tampering, failing to report abuse

February 8, 2012

The Republic (Indiana)

A judge has ordered a Mormon bishop to stand trial on charges of witness tampering and failing to report a teen girl’s complaint of sexual abuse.

In a ruling issued Feb. 2, 3th District Judge Lyle Anderson said Gordon Lamont Moon was not the only person that knew of the abuse allegations, but had no reason to assume authorities had already been notified.

An arraignment is set for Feb. 23 in Duchesne.

Prosecutors say the 16-year-old girl spoke to Moon because he is the leader of her Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They contend Moon counseled the girl not to contact authorities about a sexual assault last July.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/182b6bb9508b4212bf2450488b3c699a/UT–Mormon-Bishop-Charged/

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Liberal PAC is going ‘Mormon’ for fundraiser

February 9, 2012

Chicago Business

Personal PAC, a statewide political action committee dedicated to electing candidates who support abortion rights and contraception, is holding five fundraisers next January — after the presidential election.

For $250 to $300 per person, attendees will enjoy a Broadway-in-Chicago show along with complimentary appetizers and drinks.

The show is “The Book of Mormon.”

Terry Cosgrove, the PAC’s president, insists it’s only coincidence that the fundraiser features a show about Mormons right at the time that likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney (a member of that faith) will be basking in presidential glory or licking his wounds.

“We signed on a long time ago,” Mr. Cosgrove said. “We do theater benefits from time to time and pick shows that we think will sell and that our folks would be interested in.”

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120209/BLOGS03/120209788/liberal-pac-is-going-mormon-for-fundraiser

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Column: Is religion a necessity for a president?

February 8, 2012

Jackson Sun (Tennessee)

Just as Kennedy’s election in 1960 essentially ended the fear of a Roman Catholic as president, the election of a Mormon to that office probably would have the same effect with regard to that religion. Eventually, we will come to the same conclusion with regard to Islam and other unfamiliar religions. But getting there probably will be a long, slow process – provided the nation survives that long.

http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20120209/OPINION03/302090002

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Here’s Why Utah Democrats Should be Terrified if Romney is the GOP Nominee in November

February 9, 2012

Utah Pulse

The general thought is that if Mitt Romney is at the top of the ticket in November, Mormon voters will head to the polls in higher numbers, which could turn into a very bad day for Utah Democrats.

The “Mormon factor” will certainly play a part for some LDS voters who want to be a part of history and vote for the first member of their faith to head a major party ticket. But, that might not translate into big Republican gains.

“People will be mobilized to vote for Mitt Romney,” says Leah Murray, a professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Weber State University. “Republicans down-ballot always do well in Utah. Romney might boost the Republican vote 2-3% in some places, but that would be the case of any candidate that Republicans would be excited about.”

http://utahpulse.com/bookmark/17445531-Here-s-Why-Utah-Democrats-Should-be-Terrified-if-Romney-is-the-GOP-Nominee-in-November

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Mitt Romney bashers fail John F Kennedy test

February 9, 2012

Irish Central

Now, we have a Mormon running for president, Mitt Romney. And while much has been made of the rift between evangelical Protestants and Mormons, less has been noted about the way normally tolerant liberals have also raised questions about Mitt’s faith.

Romney’s “conspicuous cone of silence about this major pillar of his biography also leaves you wondering what he is trying to hide,” writes former New York Times columnist Frank Rich in the current issue of New York Magazine.

Rich goes on, “That his faith can be as secretive as he is…only whets the curiosity among the 82% of Americans who tells pollsters they know little or nothing about Mormonism.”

Secretive? Trying to hide something?

Given what folks have said about the all-powerful Vatican in the past, these very things could well have been said about JFK in 1960. And that’s a shame.

http://www.irishcentral.com/story/news/sidewalks/mitt-romney-bashers-fail-john-f-kennedy-test-139005554.html

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Mormon FAIR-Cast 73: Purpose, history and offerings of FAIR

February 8, 2012

FAIR Blog

Mike Ash and Martin Tanner discuss the purpose of FAIR, the history of FAIR, various FAIR publications and the topics covered in the 2011 FAIR Conference in this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on July 31, 2011.

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/02/08/mormon-fair-cast-73-purpose-history-and-offerings-of-fair/

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