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19 February 2012

Elizabeth Smart Marries at Hawaii Temple

February 19, 2012

ABC News

Elizabeth Smart married her fiance Saturday at a Mormon temple in Hawaii, several months ahead of scheduled plans for the nuptials after news of her engagement last month drew widespread media attention.

A family spokesman said the Utah woman who was kidnapped at knifepoint at age 14 and held captive for nine months married Matthew Gilmour on Oahu’s North Shore.

“Elizabeth’s desire was for what most women want — to celebrate her nuptials in a private wedding with family and close friends,” family spokesman Chris Thomas said in a statement. “She decided, about a week ago, the best way to avoid significant distraction was to change her wedding plans and to get married in an unscheduled ceremony outside of Utah.”

The 24-year-old Smart is a senior at Brigham Young University. She met Gilmour, of Aberdeen, Scotland, while doing Mormon missionary work in Paris.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/elizabeth-smart-marries-hawaii-temple-15745836

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Rescued kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart marries at Hawaii Mormon temple

February 18, 2012

Washington Post

The 24-year-old Smart is a senior at Brigham Young University. She met Gilmour, of Aberdeen, Scotland, while doing Mormon missionary work in Paris.

The couple wed at the Laie Hawaii Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in front of a small group of family members, Thomas said. The group then celebrated at a private reception and luau.

Smart and Gilmour got engaged last month and initially made plans to wed this summer.

“The bride and groom were beaming as they left the LDS Temple,” he added, noting the couple planned to go on an extended honeymoon in an undisclosed location.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/rescued-kidnapping-victim-elizabeth-smart-of-utah-marries-at-hawaii-temple/2012/02/19/gIQAnaslMR_story.html?tid=pm_national_pop

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Elizabeth Smart marries at Hawaii Mormon temple

February 19, 2012

CTV (Canada)

Only a small group of family members were present when the couple tied the knot at the Laie Hawaii Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he said.

Smart, who is a music student at Utah’s Brigham Young University, met Gilmour while doing Mormon missionary work in Paris. Gilmour is originally from Aberdeen, Scotland.

http://m.ctv.ca/topstories/20120219/elizabeth-smart-marries-at-hawaii-temple-120219.html

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Elizabeth Smart Married On Oahu At Laie Temple

February 19, 2012

KITV (Hawaii)

Elizabeth Smart was married Saturday on the east side of Oahu at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints Laie Hawaii Temple.
Elizabeth Smart, the young woman who was kidnapped at knifepoint at age 14 in Utah and held captive for nine months, was married at the Mormon temple in Hawaii.

http://www.kitv.com/news/30495114/detail.html

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Searching for faith, some Blacks find Mormonism

February 19, 2012

Daily Herald (Utah)

“I have been searching for a faith all of my life,” Melvin Davis, 60, of Washington, D.C., declared from the pulpit. The grocery clerk’s story, genial and direct, bared a quest for a spiritual home that long had come up short.

Davis, who is African American, finally found what he was looking for in the Mormon Church, whose history includes a period of more than 120 years during which black men were essentially barred from the priesthood and few Americans of color were active in the faith.

But since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began ordaining African American men into the priesthood in 1978, after the church’s then-president said he had a revelation from God, Mormons have reached out to minorities and worked to address the religion’s racially fraught history. A new documentary, “Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons,” is shedding further light on the issue.

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/national/searching-for-faith-some-blacks-find-mormonism/article_840eecf0-5b10-11e1-9578-0019bb2963f4.html

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More African-Americans finding Mormonism

February 19, 2012

Charlotte Observer (North Carolina)

“I have been searching for a faith all of my life,” Melvin Davis, 60, of Washington, D.C., declared from the pulpit. The grocery clerk’s story, genial and direct, bared a quest for a spiritual home that long had come up short.

Davis, who is African-American, finally found what he was looking for in the Mormon Church, whose history includes a period of more than 120 years during which black men were essentially barred from the priesthood and few Americans of color were active in the faith.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/02/19/3026312/more-african-americans-finding.html

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Column: Why Romney can win evangelical vote

February 19, 2012

Tucson Citizen (Arizona)

The first time I heard the word “Mormon” was at the Church of Christ in Paris, Tenn. Our youth minister was warning us about cults, which was definitely more interesting than learning about, say, the evils of dancing. Cults were dangerous. They brainwashed people and controlled their lives. Examples included Charles Manson’s murderous “family,” Jim Jones and his suicidal acolytes– and Mormons.

Of course, I never ran into any “cult members” until one of my high school friends revealed she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was thrilled. Finally, I had someone to take a moral stance against! Or, to be honest, I had someone else to fight. After all, my church also believed that Baptists, Presbyterians and — of course! — Catholics were hell-bound.

Years later, I moved from pupil to Sunday School teacher, and one of my students told me she had met a Mormon.

“Stay away from her,” I warned.

“Why?” my friend innocently asked. “She seems really nice.”

“It’s all part of the act,” I told her.

http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-news/2012/02/19/column-why-romney-can-win-evangelical-vote/

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Romney’s Religion: The Most Scrutinized Doctrines of Mormonism

February 19, 2012

Canada Free Press

The Jesus of Mormonism is the brother of Satan. Ensign, the official magazine of the LDS church says:

On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some–especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers… But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother.

Further, the Mormon God is neither a Trinity, nor monotheistic, as the next section explains. But Mormons respond that one cannot expect a previous revelation to agree exactly with subsequent ones, or there would be no point to further revelations.

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/44725

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Mitt Romney, as a student at a chaotic time for BYU, focused on family, church

February 18, 2012

Washington Post

And yet even as Romney wrapped himself in the warm blue blanket of the BYU campus, its fabric frayed. He attended Brigham Young during its most volatile period, when protests over the war in Vietnam and outrage over the church ban on blacks in the Mormon priesthood had penetrated Provo and rattled a conservative enclave traditionally immune to discord. Liberals took over the student body leadership, and administration figures retaliated by organizing spy rings on activist students and sympathetic teachers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romney-as-a-student-at-a-chaotic-time-for-byu-focused-on-family-church/2012/02/17/gIQABaWaMR_story.html

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Is Posthumous Baptism a Living Problem for Romney?

February 17, 2012

Jerusalem Post (Israel)

Just in case Mitt Romney thought he could rest on his laurels for convincing the CPAC that he was a) a conservative and b) that Mormons can get along with Evangelicals, the religion issue popped up again this week. It wasn’t Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or even Barack Obama, but the parents of the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal who triggered the latest round. According to an apology issued by the Mormon church, a renegade baptizer included the names of Wiesenthal’s parents who were murdered in the Holocaust in a batch of posthumous baptisms.

This isn’t the first time that posthumous Mormon baptisms of Holocaust victims has hit the headlines. In 1995, the Church of the Latter Day Saints said that it would remove Holocaust victims from the baptismal wait-lists, which are formed through the church’s massive International Genealogical Index. Nevertheless, prominent Jewish figures spanning the centuries have already been posthumously baptized, notably Anne Frank and Maimonides.

But the previous incarnations of the baptism scandal did not occur when a Mormon candidate was actively seeking to tread where no member of his church has before – the highest seat in the land. Which is how Romney found himself this week in an awkward face-off with octogenarian Nobel Laureate (and Holocaust survivor who, according to Huffington Post has been shortlisted for posthumous baptism himself) Elie Wiesel.

http://blogs.jpost.com/content/posthumous-baptism-living-problem-romney

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For Mitt Romney, charity centers on Mormon Church

February 19, 2012

Boston Globe (Massachusetts)

A review of Mitt Romney’s charitable giving shows that while he has directed the vast majority of his money to the Mormon Church and its affiliate Brigham Young University, his giving to other causes is modest in comparison and ebbs and flows with his political ambitions, according to a Globe inspection of his tax filings.

The Republican presidential candidate has donated $9.4 million, or more than 80 percent of his charitable giving, to the church over the past dozen years, a figure far higher than previously known. Other causes have received $1.8 million from Romney during that period, according to tax filings of his foundation and two personal tax returns that have been made public.

http://bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/02/19/romney-directed-more-than-percent-charitable-gifts-mormon-church/bE0pW5NvTEjbut3RtIhwFO/story.html

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Wiesenthal family upset over posthumous baptism

February 18, 2012

Salisbury Post (North Carolina)

Mormon church leaders apologized to the family of Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal after his parents were posthumously baptized, a controversial ritual that Mormons believe allows deceased people a way to the afterlife but offends members of many other religions.

Wiesenthal died in 2005 after surviving the Nazi death camps and spending his life documenting Holocaust crimes and hunting down perpetrators who remained at large. Jews are particularly offended by an attempt to alter the religion of Holocaust victims, who were murdered because of their religion, and the baptism of Holocaust survivors was supposed to have been barred by a 1995 agreement.

Yet records indicate Wiesenthal’s parents, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, were baptized in proxy ceremonies performed by Mormon church members at temples in Arizona and Utah in late January.

http://www.salisburypost.com/Lifestyle/021812-Mormon-baptism-qcd

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Some Mormons Less Cultic Than Others?

February 19, 2012

Canada Free Press

Evangelicals do need to be cautious regarding Mormon theology. For example, in his book “The Real America: Early Writings From The Heart & Heartland”, Beck said a number of things that would make a true believer’s hair stand on with goosebumps had it come from the lips of anyone else.

In one passage, Beck said that he thought the Trinity, the idea that the Godhead is composed of the three distinct personages of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, was laughable and that there was no such thing as Hell.

Which brings us to another point. It is interesting how Beck can ridicule the most profound belied and mystery of the greatest number of Christians in the world (that being those that grant assent to the ecumenical creeds such as the Nicene) but the entire Republican Party stands ready to burn at the stake a single pastor that dared enunciate as to why he would not be endorsing Mitt Romney for the nomination.

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/44730

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Faith choices worthy of respect

February 18, 2012

Washington Post

Imagine my shock, being in the Mormon genealogical library in Salt Lake City and seeing my grandfather’s name in its files as a candidate for proxy baptism. He died with the blue tattooed numbers of Auschwitz on his left arm for the “crime” of being Jewish. That Elie Wiesel asked Mitt Romney to address this issue is not enough ["Wiesel asks Romney to address proxy baptisms of Jews," news story, Feb. 15]. I also don’t want to be baptized by Mormons when I die, and I am not a Holocaust survivor. I’m just someone who cares about my own faith choices and respects those of others, in this life and beyond.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/faith-choices-worthy-of-respect/2012/02/15/gIQAbJFGMR_story.html

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Black pioneers helped build San Bernardino County

February 18, 2012

San Bernardino Sun (California)

When a wagon train of 437 Mormon colonists from Utah arrived in the San Bernardino Valley in 1851, among them were 26 soon-to-be-freed slaves. These included Lizzy Flake Rowan and Grief Embers.

Lizzy Flake Rowan (1834-1908) arrived with Mormon settlers James and Agnes Flake. After they died, Lizzy took care of the Flakes’ children in addition to her own. She eventually married another ex-slave, Charles Rowan. Together they became San Bernardino’s earliest property owners. They built a home for their three children and also acquired some land on D Street in downtown San Bernardino where Lizzy worked as a laundress. Charles ran a barbershop inside the city’s Southern Hotel.

Grief Embers (c. 1812-1873) had a unique role in early San Bernardino. Shortly after the Mormons arrived, word hit San Bernardino of an imminent Indian attack, so a fort was built near the present-day San Bernardino County Court House and a militia was organized.

http://www.sbsun.com/living/ci_19996931

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Black pioneers helped build San Bernardino County

February 18, 2012

San Gabriel Valley Tribune (California)

When a wagon train of 437 Mormon colonists from Utah arrived in the San Bernardino Valley in 1851, among them were 26 soon-to-be-freed slaves. These included Lizzy Flake Rowan and Grief Embers.

Lizzy Flake Rowan (1834-1908) arrived with Mormon settlers James and Agnes Flake. After they died, Lizzy took care of the Flakes’ children in addition to her own. She eventually married another ex-slave, Charles Rowan. Together they became San Bernardino’s earliest property owners. They built a home for their three children and also acquired some land on D Street in downtown San Bernardino where Lizzy worked as a laundress. Charles ran a barbershop inside the city’s Southern Hotel.

Grief Embers (c. 1812-1873) had a unique role in early San Bernardino. Shortly after the Mormons arrived, word hit San Bernardino of an imminent Indian attack, so a fort was built near the present-day San Bernardino County Court House and a militia was organized.

http://www.sgvtribune.com/living/ci_19996931

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Republicans in Wednesday’s Mesa debate will have their eyes on more than Arizona

February 19, 2012

Arizona Daily Star

Mesa, founded by pioneer farmers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is Romney country, and Arizona was considered a lock for the Mormon candidate until recently. Mormons make up about 6.1 percent of Arizona’s population, but their influence is magnified in closed Republican primaries such as this one.
In 2008, CNN exit polls measured the Mormon impact at 18 percent. Romney won only three counties in that primary against favorite son Sen. John McCain – the heavily Mormon counties of Apache, Navajo and Graham.
Phoenix political consultant Wes Gullett, who worked for McCain in that primary, said Romney can count on a 20 percent base from the Mormon vote this time. Gullett said he is a Romney supporter but has no official role in the campaign. He expects Romney to do a wee bit better than the most recent polls, which show him leading Santorum in Arizona 38 percent to 31 percent, followed by Gingrich with 15 percent and Paul with 11 percent.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/republicans-in-wednesday-s-mesa-debate-will-have-their-eyes/article_2fd6d332-c16d-5c5c-ab41-21ff918012b3.html

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Santorum Says Obama’s Not a Real Christian, Then Grudgingly Admits He Is

February 19, 2012

New York Magazine

Santorum was, in effect, calling President Obama a politically convenient Christian. The resurrection of similar lines of attack point to a broader strategy by Santorum to thrust the race more squarely into the social issues arena, where he can more persuasively claim to be the true conservative and perhaps even the only true Christian in the race. He’s already on the record regarding the Mormonism-as-a-cult question, writing in a 2007 op-ed that he disagrees with Romney’s assertions that “the specific theological tenets of Mormonism are not in any important respect different from those of traditional Christianity” and describing the Mormon church as one “that some Christians believe misleadingly calls itself Christian, is an active missionary church, and a dangerous cult.” While Santorum was careful to attribute such feelings to others, we may see a resurgence of such characterizations if he decides to double down on a theologically
tinged campaign.

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/02/santorum-implies-hes-the-only-real-christian.html

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Roger Kampsnider: It’s un-Christian to question faith

February 19, 2012

Redding Record Searchlight (California)

OK now. Enough about whether or not Mormons are Christians. In this day and age, most of us worship in the faith we believe in. Is it not fair to let Mormons worship in their faith and beliefs? I am not a Mormon, but one of my children is, and Jesus Christ is alive and well in her heart.

Do we other Christians not know how Mormons give freely to “just causes” and, when natural disasters strike, they offer assistance without question? Isn’t that the way God wanted us to act?

How Christians find it OK to criticize or question another faith is beyond my way of thinking. The last time I heard, we all have the freedom to practice a faith we believe in without prejudice.

http://www.redding.com/news/2012/feb/19/roger-kampsnider-its-un-christian-to-question/

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DSHS was wary of Powell

February 19, 2012

The Olympian (Washington)

Charlie seemed particularly affected, spouting anti-Mormon comments at school and often withdrawing into himself.

“Charlie did not smile at all during the interview,” social worker Brenda Severino wrote of an Oct. 10 interaction with the boy. “He’s very serious and mostly appears sad or flat.”

“Across his supervised visits, Mr. Powell has demonstrated a strong foundation of parenting skills and an unwavering desire to parent his sons,” Manley wrote in the report.

But he noted Powell had a high degree of stress in his life and had trouble containing his negative talk about his in-laws and the Mormon church in front of Charlie and Braden.

http://www.theolympian.com/2012/02/19/1996613/dshs-was-wary-of-powell.html

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Documents reveal disturbing influence Josh Powell had on his children

February 18, 2012

Deseret News (Utah)

During his custody battle with his in-laws, Josh Powell forbade any Mormon influence on his sons, details strongly supported in the newly released documents. After the Coxes were awarded temporary custody of Charlie and Braden, Josh Powell’s supervised visits with the children were scheduled for Wednesday evenings and on Sundays during the time when the Coxes attended LDS services.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865550403/Documents-reveal-disturbing-influence-Josh-Powell-had-on-his-children.html

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Josh Powell had some 400 images depicting sex of cartoon characters and graphic incest

February 17, 2012

Washington Post

In interviews with mental health professionals, Powell said he feared a “militant faction” of the Mormon church might kidnap his two sons. Braden and Charlie were overheard saying that “Mormons” were “trying to steal” them and “harm” them. When Charlie told his father that they were “good Mormon boys,” Powell abruptly responded that they were not Mormon and not to let anyone tell them they are.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/josh-powell-had-some-400-images-depicting-sex-of-cartoon-characters-and-graphic-incest/2012/02/17/gIQAlBaLKR_story.html?tid=pm_national_pop

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Murder-suicide dad Josh Powell had cartoon sex, incest images on computer

February 18, 2012

Fox News

In interviews with mental health professionals, Powell said he feared a “militant faction” of the Mormon church might kidnap his two sons. Braden and Charlie were overheard saying that “Mormons” were “trying to steal” them and “harm” them. When Charlie told his father that they were “good Mormon boys,” Powell abruptly responded that they were not Mormon and not to let anyone tell them they are.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/18/murder-suicide-dad-josh-powell-had-cartoon-sex-incest-images-on-computer/

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Files show Josh Powell’s twisted legacy of hate

February 17, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Many of the records detail concerns of day care providers, a school principal and law enforcement about inappropriate statements made by Charlie and Braden which, given their ages, a social worker wrote could not have been “generated of their own mind/opinion.” The anti-religious comments, many documented before the boys were placed with the Coxes, included statements about the “Mormons trying to steal them” and about hating Jesus. Most were made by the older boy.

The principal at Carson Elementary in Puyallup, where Charlie was a first-grader, contacted a case worker after the boy began acting out in class. On one occasion, as students discussed siblings, Charlie claimed to not have a brother any more because “the Mormons killed my brother and my mom. Yeah, it’s just me and my dad.”

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/faith/53537666-78/powell-documents-manley-charlie.html.csp

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FAIR Study Aid Lesson #8 (2 Nephi 9-10)

February 18, 2012

FAIR Blog

The FAIR Study Aid for Book of Mormon Lesson #8 (2 Nephi 9-10) is now available on the FAIR Wiki: Lesson #8: O How Great the Goodness of our God

Each week, FAIR volunteers will look at the Sunday School lesson and identify relevant apologetic issues and other related insights, and then compile them into a single, easy to use quick-reference guide with links to additional information. Organization will follow the same structure found in Gospel Doctrine manual, with main headings that correspond with the main sections on the lesson. This should make it easy to identify how any particular item relates to the lesson material.

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/02/18/fair-study-aid-lesson-8-2-nephi-9-10/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fairldsblog+%28FAIR+Blog%29

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FAIR Examination 9: Polygamy as an Abrahamic Sacrifice-Dr. Valerie Hudson

February 15, 2012

The Book of Mormon condemns polygamy, and is calls it abominable. Modern leaders of the Church have condemned the practice. In light of this, what are we to make of the ancient practice of polygamy and of the practice of polygamy by early Mormons? Does the Book of Mormon contradict the Doctrine & Covenants? What of polygamy in the next life? Is polygamy necessary to exaltation? If polygamy is legalized in the United States, will the Church reinstitute polygamy? In this episode of FAIR Examination, Dr. Valerie M. Hudson shares her thoughts on these and other questions.

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/02/15/fair-examination-9-polygamy-as-an-abrahamic-sacrifice-dr-valerie-hudson/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fairldsblog+%28FAIR+Blog%29

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