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2 March 2012

What The IRS Could Learn From Mormons

March 2, 2012

National Public Radio

As anyone who has ever done their taxes knows, figuring out what counts as income is harder than it sounds.

The IRS has hundreds of pages of rules about these things, but Dahl wanted to know how people think about money when only God is watching. He thought the IRS could actually learn from how Mormons make these decisions.

Studies have shown that people are more willing to pay taxes if they think taxes are fair. People who think someone else is getting special treatment are more likely to cheat.

Dahl theorized that if you know how people naturally think of income, you can craft the tax laws to better match people’s motivations.

But first he had to get Mormons to tell their stories.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/03/02/147749784/what-the-irs-could-learn-from-mormons

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Why do Mormons baptize people after they’re dead and how do they do it?

March 1, 2012

New York Daily News

Mormons believe that everyone has to be baptized a Mormon in order to get into heaven. Posthumous baptisms are conducted primarily to allow Church members to give non-Mormon relatives a chance to get into heaven after death.

Mormons don’t believe that they’re forcing their religion onto the dead, since the soul of the deceased needs to consent to the baptism from beyond the grave in order to become Mormon. The way they see it, the service gives that person one last chance to convert, a chance that they’re free to reject.

But over the past few decades, members of the Church have been caught baptizing non-relatives, including victims of the Holocaust, to give them a chance to get into heaven. That’s where the Church agrees members of the fold have crossed the line.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/mormons-baptize-people-dead-article-1.1031550?pgno=1

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Mormon proxy baptism of Daniel Pearl draws family’s ire

March 1, 2012

CNN

A muckraking ex-Mormon researcher struck again this week, revealing that some Mormons conducted a proxy baptism for slain Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl last year.

The disclosure comes after recent revelations that Jewish victims of the Holocaust, including Anne Frank and a parent of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, had been baptized by proxy by Mormons.

Helen Radkey, who has been combing through Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints records for years, told CNN the Pearl incident was one of “the most egregious,” because of the circumstances of Pearl’s death.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/01/mormon-proxy-baptism-of-daniel-pearl-draws-familys-ire/

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Mormon baptisms of the dead are common, but why?

March 1, 2012

KPCC (California)

The posthumous baptism ritual performed by a group of Mormons for slain “Wall Street Journal” reporter Daniel Pearl last year has brought renewed attention to the religious practice. Pearl, who was Jewish, was infamously kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in 2002 while investigating Al-Qaeda. So-called “proxy” or “posthumous” baptisms are performed by Mormons in an effort to provide non-Mormons with an opportunity for eternal salvation in accordance with the church’s beliefs about the afterlife. Pearl’s parents and widow have said they are disturbed by news of the ritual. Mormon Church officials have reportedly denounced the baptism performed by independent members of their church.

In 1995, the church agreed to stop baptizing Holocaust victims after it was highly criticized for “saving” 300,000 victims of the tragedy, including relatives of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. More recently, a Morman church in the Dominican Republic reportedly baptized the most famous Holocaust victim of all, Anne Frank. In response to the controversy, the church’s spokesman, Michael Purdy said, “It is distressing when an individual willfully violates the church’s policy and something that should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention.”

http://www.scpr.org/programs/patt-morrison/2012/03/01/22740/mormon-baptisms

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Journalist Daniel Pearl posthumously baptized by Mormon Church, records show

March 1, 2012

Boston Herald (Massachusetts)

In yet another public relations embarrassment for the Mormon Church, a Utah researcher has discovered that slain Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl was posthumously baptized last year in a serious breach of church protocol.

According to records, Pearl, who was Jewish, was baptized “by proxy” last summer in a Twin Falls, Idaho, temple – much to the surprise of his parents, who learned of the event this week.

In an interview Wednesday, his father said he is not worried about his son’s afterlife.

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/general/view/20120301journalist_daniel_pearl_posthumously_baptized_by_mormon_church_records_show/srvc=home&position=recent

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Daniel Pearl Posthumously Baptized by Mormon Church

March 1, 2012

Slate

Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was captured and killed by terrorists in Pakistan following the Sept. 11 attacks, was posthumously baptized last year by the Mormon Church.

The Boston Globe reports that Helen Radkey, an excommunicated Mormon who regularly combs through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints archives, found that the slain Jewish journalist had been baptized by proxy on June 1, 2011, at a Mormon temple in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Radkey has voiced similar discoveries about the controversial church practice in the past. She broke the news that Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal and Anne Frank have also been on the baptism list.

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/03/01/daniel_pearl_posthumously_baptized_by_mormon_church.html

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Mormons posthumously baptize Daniel Pearl, Jewish reporter killed by terrorists in 2002

March 1, 2012

New York Daily News

The latest unwitting recipient of a posthumous Mormon baptism was revealed as murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl — much to his parents’ chagrin.

Pearl, who was captured and killed by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, received the Mormon rite on June 1, 2011, in Twin Falls, Idaho, the Boston Globe reported.

The Jewish reporter is among a number of people who were baptized by proxy without any authorization — a group that includes Anne Frank and other Holocaust victims.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/mormons-posthumously-baptize-daniel-pearl-jewish-reporter-killed-terrorists-2002-article-1.1031288?localLinksEnabled=false

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Mormon church’s racial history continues to haunt Romney

March 1, 2012

The Grio

Yet there is one subject Romney has consistently avoided — for good reason — and that is the sordid history of racial insensitivity in the Mormon Church

The issue garnered attention this week after the Washington Post published an article, “The Genesis of a Church’s Stand on Race”. In the article, Randy Bott, a well-regarded religious professor at Brigham Young University, which is owned by the Church of Latter-day Saints, sought to justify the church’s previous exclusion of blacks to the priesthood, as well as the disturbing teachings — and explicitly racist texts of the Book of Mormon.

“God has always been discriminatory,” Bott said.

The professor compared prejudiced policies to a young child asking for keys to a father’s car and conflated this with the Mormon ban on blacks.

http://www.thegrio.com/politics/mormon-churchs-racial-history-continues-to-haunt-mitt-romney.php

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Racist principles were taught to older Mormons such as Professor Randy Bott

March 1, 2012

Standard Examiner (Utah)

There’s one big reason the usually popular BYU Professor Randy Bott stepped in it big time trying to explain the LDS Church’s longtime denial of priesthood and temple blessings to members of African descent by calling it a “blessing.” (Read, read, and read) Bott and others of that era in the LDS Church were taught these types of condescending “compassionate” racist principles when learning about the LDS Churches ban on blacks decades ago.

Bott was born in 1945 and grew up in Northern Utah. In 1958, the Mutual Improvement Association listed “Choose Ye This Day,” a young adult novel, published by Bookcraft in Salt Lake City, written by Emma Marr Petersen, the wife of LDS Apostle Mark E. Petersen. Ms. Petersen was a popular LDS youth writer. I recall reading some of her books as late as the 1970s.

I have no idea if Bott read “Choose Ye This Day,” but this novel, valued enough by church hierarchy to be recommended to LDS teens, is by any fair definition, riddled with the racism prevalent in that era. Ironically, a few days ago, I read an article in The Journal of Mormon History, “The War in Heaven and Mormon Thought,” by Boyd J. Petersen, that references racist elements in “Choose Ye This Day.” In the novel, two LDS students are debating whether their school football team should accept a black athlete. One student, “Kent,” says that “Even the Church holds out against the Negros(sic).” As Boyd J. Petersen summarizes, another student, “Steve,” wants to play with “Milo,” the black student. The teens consult”Hank Weston,” a hamburger stand owner with a reputation for honesty. From Petersens’ JMH article: “Hank opines that his ‘attitude on this subject is pretty well guided by my religious views … so I hope you won’t mind if I mix a little religion with what I say.’ Hank then teaches the students that blacks are cursed in mortality because they were not as valiant in war in heaven. He confesses, though, that he has ‘heard some of our {Church} leaders teach that even the Negro can go to the celestial kingdom if he is faithful. However, he can only be a servant there.’ He justifies this idea by adding: “That is more than many white people will receive, for many of them will be placed in the lower degrees of glory in the next world, because they did not live righteously. So in some respects, Negroes, if they are faithful, may receive a higher glory in the world to come than those of other races who defile their birthright.”

http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2012/03/01/racist-principles-were-taught-to-older-mormons-such-as-professor-randy-bott/

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LDS Church rejects racist comments at BYU

March 1, 2012

UPI

The Mormon Church has distanced itself from a Brigham Young University professor’s beliefs on why blacks were banned from priesthood until 1978.

The church, reacting to comments religion professor Randy Bott made in The Washington Post Tuesday, said Wednesday it does “not tolerate racism in any form.” Bott said Mormon scriptures indicated descendants of the biblical figure Cain, who was “cursed” by God, were black and that’s why they were banned from the Mormon priesthood, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday.

“The church’s position is clear — we believe all people are God’s children and are equal in his eyes and in the church. We do not tolerate racism in any form,” the Utah-based church said in a statement posted on its Web site.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/03/01/LDS-Church-rejects-racist-comments-at-BYU/UPI-49181330650442/

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LDS Church Condemns Racist Past, BYU Professor’s Remarks In ‘Washington Post’

March 2, 2012

Huffington Post

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints denounced its racist past and comments made by a Brigham Young University professor who said the faith didn’t allow black priests to enter the priesthood until 1978 because God didn’t think they were ready.

The remarks, published in the Washington Post, stirred up controversy among church officials and students who deemed the comments racist.

In the Feb. 28 article, theologian and professor Randy Bott attempts to explain why the Mormon church originally barred African-Americans from entering the priesthood. In addition, he says the ban “was the greatest blessing God could give them” at the time:

Bott says that the denial of the priesthood to blacks on Earth — although not in the afterlife — protected them from the lowest rungs of hell reserved for people who abuse their priesthood powers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/lds-church-condemns-racist-st-byu-professor-remarks_n_1313294.html

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Is Mormonism Still Racist?

March 2, 2012

Slate

For many Mormons, reading Bott’s words was like unearthing a theological dinosaur long thought extinct but suddenly rediscovered in the corner of an obscure BYU office. His positions seem radically out of place in a modern church with an international membership that includes probably some 500,000 Mormons of African descent. The church’s expensive and ubiquitous “I’m a Mormon” public relations campaign has been carefully and deliberately multiethnic; Mormon leaders want the world to view the religion as the diverse global community it has become.

Unfortunately, Bott’s beliefs, though arcane, represent a strain of Mormonism that has persisted well past the 1978 revelation. For most of the 182-year lifespan of the LDS Church, members of the church hierarchy–the senior-most of which are called prophets and speak to and for God–used similar racist rationalizations for excluding blacks from full membership. Joseph Fielding Smith, who served as church president in the early 1970s (and was the great-nephew of the religion’s founding prophet), wrote a popular treatise, still available on Kindle, asserting that during a pre-mortal battle between God and the devil, blacks were “fence-sitters,” siding neither with God or Lucifer. According to Fielding Smith, when blacks came to Earth, God cursed them with dark skin to set them apart from the more courageous whites who had sided with God.

Rather than explicitly denouncing such racialist theology, the LDS Church has insisted that Kimball’s 1978 revelation, known as Official Declaration 2, stands on its own, hoping that time–and the church’s humanitarian and missionary efforts in Africa and around the world–would help to bury its racist past. Bott’s comments only highlight how this strategy has failed. The 1978 revelation itself does not address why the ban was instituted in the first place, and the lack of answers from today’s Mormon leaders creates a theological vacuum. To fill this vacuum, Mormons turn to the reams of answers provided by past prophets, who led a church in which blacks were not welcome.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2012/03/mormon_church_and_racism_a_new_controversy_about_old_teachings_.html

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LDS Church rejects racist comments at BYU

March 1, 2012

Outcome Magazine

The Mormon Church has distanced itself from a Brigham Young University professor’s beliefs on why blacks were banned from priesthood until 1978.

The church, reacting to comments religion professor Randy Bott made in The Washington Post Tuesday, said Wednesday it does “not tolerate racism in any form.” Bott said Mormon scriptures indicated descendants of the biblical figure Cain, who was “cursed” by God, were black and that’s why they were banned from the Mormon priesthood, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday.

“The church’s position is clear — we believe all people are God’s children and are equal in his eyes and in the church. We do not tolerate racism in any form,” the Utah-based church said in a statement posted on its Web site.

“It is not known precisely why, how, or when this restriction began but what is clear is that it ended decades ago,” the statement said of the ban on blacks.

http://outcomemag.com/top_news/2012/03/01/lds-church-rejects-racist-comments-at-byu/

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LDS Church Acknowledges Past Racism, Repudiates Racist Remarks

March 1, 2012

Religion Dispatches

The statement officially abandons as “speculation” or “opinion” a number of rationale for the ban propounded as doctrine by nineteenth- and twentieth-century Mormon leaders.

The statement is also significant, say observers of Mormon history, because it may be the first time the Church has acknowledged that the priesthood ban did not originate with LDS Church founder Joseph Smith. Finally, the statement acknowledges past and present racism within the Church.

Professor Bott, in emails sent early Wednesday morning to Mormons who privately challenged him on his statements, initially claimed that he had been misrepresented by the Washington Post. By the end of the day, however, Bott responded to inquiries by endorsing and sharing the Church’s official response to the controversy. His personal blog, “Know Your Religion,” which had included some content mirroring his statements to the Post, was also dismantled Wednesday.

Statements made by BYU officials suggest that Bott violated institutional policy by independently speaking to the press and advancing his own archaic views justifying the Church’s historic ban as doctrine.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/5752/lds_church_acknowledges_past_racism,_repudiates_racist_remarks/

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Senior missionaries bring Mormon message to Monroe

March 1, 2012

Wasau Daily Herald (Wisconsin)

Dan and Marie Wilkes are not your typical Mormon missionaries.

Many Mormons, especially young men, travel to a new community for a year or two of service and proselytizing when they’re in their late teens or early 20s.

The couple, married 46 years, with four daughters and 10 grandkids, never got the chance when they were young — despite a lifelong membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS for short, though members commonly refer to themselves as “Mormons,” after the testament they follow alongside the Bible.)

When they were in the typical age-range for going on mission trips, Dan was caring for his sick mother.

http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/usatoday/article/38701977?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs

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Senior missionaries bring Mormon message to Monroe

March 1, 2012

Wisconsin Rapids Tribune

Dan and Marie Wilkes are not your typical Mormon missionaries.

Many Mormons, especially young men, travel to a new community for a year or two of service and proselytizing when they’re in their late teens or early 20s.

The couple, married 46 years, with four daughters and 10 grandkids, never got the chance when they were young — despite a lifelong membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS for short, though members commonly refer to themselves as “Mormons,” after the testament they follow alongside the Bible.)

When they were in the typical age-range for going on mission trips, Dan was caring for his sick mother.

http://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/usatoday/article/38701977?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CWRT-News%7Cs

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Why parents barred from Mormon wedding

March 2, 2012

Island Packet (South Carolina)

This is in response to the letter “Mormons’ love of family applies to Mormons only.”
I was raised in a Christian home, but converted to the Latter-day Saints faith at 21, along with several siblings. My sister married in an LDS temple, and our parents were not able to attend. I also have that as a goal. I love and respect my parents very much, but this goal comes from a greater desire to follow the commandments of Jesus Christ and have an eternal marriage, not just “until death do you part.”

My parents were welcomed to participate in photos, reception, celebrations, etc., but the sacred temples, as Houses of the Lord, can only be entered by worthy members of the church.

My parents raised me to follow Christ and my plans for temple marriage are part of that commitment. Sometimes the command to “honor thy father and mother” does not mean doing what will please them.

This does not mean that Mormons don’t love non-members; it just means that the sacred aspects of our religion are kept for those who will cherish them (Matthew 7:6). It is precisely because we love our families that we make choices that will allow them to last into eternity.

http://www.islandpacket.com/2012/03/02/1983838/why-parents-barred-from-mormon.html

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Mormon leaders warn members on proxy baptism practices

March 1, 2012

ABC 4 (Utah)

The presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a letter to members outlining the prohibition of submitting names of celebrities and Holocaust victims for proxy temple ordinances.

In the letter, the First Presidency reiterates the policy that has been in place since 1995, when church leaders agreed to prohibit the practice.

The letter states:

“Without exception, Church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims. If members do so, they may forfeit their New FamilySearch privileges. Other corrective action may also be taken.”

http://www.abc4.com/mostpopular/story/Mormon-leaders-warn-members-on-proxy-baptism/l5GBlQqkVkqS1RAFfPTnXw.cspx

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Crossing the Mormonism Rubicon

March 1, 2012

Daily Caller

In the wake of Mitt Romney’s victories in Arizona and Michigan, it now seems more than likely that he will eventually capture the GOP nomination. When he does, he and the GOP will have to deal with the rising tide of anti-Mormonism, mostly from outside the party but from within it as well.

The media has suggested America is in the middle of a “Mormon moment,” highlighting the fact that there is a Mormon presidential candidate (there were two until Jon Huntsman dropped out), a critically acclaimed Broadway musical poking fun at Mormonism and a general discussion about Mormon theology and culture. But it is not all pleasant press.

Prominent commentators have ratcheted up the anti-Mormonism in recent weeks. Last month, Charles Blow of The New York Times tweeted, “Stick that in your magic underwear.” Salon’s editor, Joan Walsh, recently tweeted that “Romney’s saving the soul of America — so he doesn’t have to baptize us after we’re dead.” CNN’s Tricia Erickson said, “It is my opinion that an indoctrinated Mormon should never be elected as president of the United States of America.” Bill Maher stated, “By any standard, Mormonism is more ridiculous than any other religion.”

http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/01/crossing-the-mormonism-rubicon/

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Mitt Romney Isn’t Flip-Flopping; He’s Just Scared You’ll Remember He’s Mormon

March 1, 2012

Mediaite

Interestingly, religion is the one area where Romney has steadfast credibility. At age 34 he was a bishop in the Mormon church and later even rose to stake president, a position similar to leading a Catholic diocese, according to the New York Times. He also counseled parishioners on a variety of personal and sensitive topics, including abortion, divorce, adoption and addiction. Moreover, Romney’s religious roots go back — way back, all the way to 1837 when his grandfather became affiliated with the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/mitt-romney-isn%E2%80%99t-flip-flopping-he%E2%80%99s-just-scared-you%E2%80%99ll-remember-he%E2%80%99s-mormon/

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Does Providing Contraception to Women = Hating Religion?

March 1, 2012

Huffington Post

It’s like a bad joke opening, “Two Roman Catholics and a Mormon walk into a bar and demand that all the women stop using contraception…”

To make the joke complete let’s examine the “moral authority” credentials of these three clowns and that of the “religious authorities” who want to make religion — say the “issue” that President Obama is not a “real Christian,” or he is “anti-religious freedom” — an election year talking point.

Who is it that claims this moral authority and that also demands to be taken seriously? Why the Roman Catholic bishops and a former Mormon missionary of course!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/does-providing-contracept_b_1313168.html

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Southern Baptist leader weighs in on Romney’s beliefs

March 1, 2012

Examiner

Dr. Richard Land, an influential leader in the Southern Baptist Convention has told Newsmax TV his views on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism.

Comparing the Book of Mormon to the Koran, Land went on to say that he does not view Mitt Romney and other Mormons to be Christians.

With Virginia’s primary coming up soon, it is going to be interesting to see how voters in Henrico and the metro-Richmond area vote, or will they even take Romney’s beliefs in to consideration.

http://www.examiner.com/community-issues-in-richmond/southern-baptist-leader-weighs-on-romney-s-beliefs

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Mormons try to baptize Anne Frank, again

March 1, 2012

The Oswegonian (New York)

This is why I find the baptism of Anne Frank by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints offensive. On Feb. 18, 2012, the Mormon-based group violated a pact between Mormon and Jewish leaders made in 2010. The reason this is offensive to so many Jewish leaders is because Anne Frank, like many of the millions of Jews murdered in the holocaust, died for her religious beliefs. Apparently, the baptism of Holocaust survivors was legally barred by an agreement made in 1995.

Mormons believe that posthumous baptism by proxy allows the dead person to “receive the gospel” in the afterlife. They believe that once this departed soul receives the gospel, they can then choose whether they receive it or not. Although this may have been done with good intentions, it cannot be forgotten that they broke an agreement, and that the reason Anne Frank is famous was because of her losing her life for her religious beliefs. Apparently, she was baptized not once, but nine times.

http://www.oswegonian.com/opinion/6423/mormons-try-to-baptize-anne-frank-again/

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CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY Plays Dangerous Theatre 3/29-4/1

March 2, 2012

Broadway World

Confessions of a Mormon Boy, written and performed by Steven Fales and based on original direction by Tony Award Winner Jack Hofsiss, will play March 29th – April 1st on Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7:30 and Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 at Denver’s Dangerous Theatre.

This 90-minute solo play recounts how Steven went from being the perfect Mormon boy in Utah to a high-priced call boy in New York City and how he found a middle ground. This provocative and inspiring true story takes the audience from his Mormon mission to Portugal and temple marriage, through reparative therapy, excommunication, divorce, prostitution and crystal meth addiction as he struggles to reclaim his self, his two children and his ‘Donny Osmond smile.’ Says Fales, “This is his contribution to help end spiritual abuse and religious violence in churches, mosques, and synagogues.”

Steven Fales is former son-in-law of celebrated Mormon poet Carol Lynn Pearson.

http://denver.broadwayworld.com/article/CONFESSIONS-OF-A-MORMON-BOY-Plays-Dangerous-Theatre-329-41-20120302

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New Metro bus ad related to campaign that sparked fear, went to court

March 1, 2012

KPLU (Washington)

Battles over billboards and bus ads have gotten heated in many cities, most notably the battle between atheists and believers in New York City that’s heating up again, but not many end up in court. One that did in Seattle last year, is back on the streets … on the sides of King County Metro buses.

“I’m Palestinian … Equal rights for all.”

The message, resonate of the pleasant smiling faces declaring they are Mormon on many Metro buses, seems innocuous enough. But the new ads come from the same group that took the county to court after officials felt the group’s original ad campaign could result in violence.

http://kplu.org/post/new-metro-bus-ad-related-campaign-sparked-fear-went-court

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Media faces backlash after taking swipes at candidates’ religions

March 1, 2012

Fox News

Some journalists have been willing to acknowledge when they’ve crossed the line in recent weeks. After MSNBC political contributor Joan Walsh tweeted a swipe at Mitt Romney and Mormon baptismal practices, she encountered a flood of angry replies. She later apologized.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow also took on Romney in a tweet during the last GOP debate. He ended it with, “Stick that in your magic underwear” – an apparent reference to the sacred temple garments many Mormons wear.

Two days later, Blow said he regretted the “inappropriate” remark adding, “I’m willing to admit that with no caveats.”

Political analyst Michael Barone says going after a candidate on such a personal topic is never well-received. “It basically backfires when you attack a candidate’s religion or when you ridicule or make fun of it,” he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/01/media-faces-backlash-after-taking-swipes-at-candidates-religions/?test=latestnews

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Daniel Pearl’s Father Wants Mormons to Un-Baptize His Son

March 1, 2012

The Atlantic

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints posthumously baptized Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was killed by Pakistani militants in in 2002, and now Pearl’s father says they should take it back. The Boston Globe reported on Wednesday that the church had quietly baptized the late reporter, whose last words were “I am Jewish,” in June 2011. On hearing the news, Pearl’s father Judea Pearl said it was time for Mormons to stop postumously baptizing Jewish people, and to nullify those baptisms they had performed, the Los Angeles Times reported. “I think my son feels very comfortable wherever he is,” Judea Pearl told the paper. The church apologized last month for posthumously baptizing the parents of late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, in spite of a 1995 agreement to stop posthumously baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims, CNN reported. Jewish and Mormon leaders reached another pact in 2010 to stop the posthumous baptisms, which Pearl’s baptism appears to violate.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/03/daniel-pearls-father-wants-mormons-un-baptize-him/49373/

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State GOP caucuses: Evangelical voters appear to be up for grabs

March 1, 2012

Seattle Times (Washington)

Romney also could get a boost from followers of his own Mormon faith, who were cited as key in his Nevada caucus win last month. Washington has a smaller percentage of Mormons — just 2 percent of the adult population, according to the Pew Center. But even a small boost to caucus turnout could seal a victory in caucuses that GOP officials expect to draw at most 60,000 people statewide.

It’s difficult to gauge the extent to which Romney will benefit from Mormon turnout, as the church leaders do not tend to publicly showcase their political efforts in the same way as evangelicals.

Toby Nixon, a former state representative and Mormon who has been helping organize for Romney, said the former governor’s business background and economic policies were more vital to him than Romney’s religion.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017642065_evangelicals02m.html

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Arlington’s Dallin Museum to host LDS historian

March 1, 2012

Arlington Advocate (Massachusetts)

Richard E. Turley Jr., assistant church historian and recorder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will deliver an illustrated talk about sculptor Cyrus Dallin’s commissions in Utah for the church and describe how Dallin came to be the artist of some of the LDS’ most important historical and religious figures.
The talk, “Iconic Mormon Sculpture: Cyrus Dallin and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” will take place at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of Arlington Town Hall, 730 Mass. Ave., Saturday, March 24. Dan Johnson, a member of the board of trustees of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum, will provide introductory remarks about his experience as a former resident of Salt Lake City and the many connections he has discovered amoung Cyrus Dallin, Utah and Massachusetts. The program, sponsored by the Dallin Art Museum, is part of a series of special events celebrating the 150th anniversary of Dallin’s birth. The talk is open to the public. A suggested donation of $5 will support the museum’s educational programming during the “Dallin150″ commemorative year.

http://www.wickedlocal.com/arlington/news/x186776095/Arlingtons-Dallin-Museum-to-host-LDS-historian#axzz1nyDNWDkP

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Mormons at it again: Wall Street Journal reporter and Jew Daniel Pearl posthumously baptized by proxy along with Anne Frank

March 1, 2012

God Discussion

Despite a 1995 agreement by the Mormon church to stop baptizing dead Jews by proxy, it’s still happening-Helen Radkey, a former member of the Mormon church who tracks proxy baptisms, discovered that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was abducted and killed by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, was baptized by proxy by the Mormon church on June 1, 2011. More recently, Radkey discovered that Anne Frank, teenage writer killed during the Holocaust, was baptized by proxy by the Mormon church in February of this year.

Pearl’s parents responded with a rebuke to the Mormon church according to the New York Daily News:

“We appreciate your good intentions but rest assured that Danny’s soul was redeemed through the life that he lived and the values that he upheld,” said an e-mail from his parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl.

http://www.goddiscussion.com/93157/mormons-at-it-again-wall-street-journal-reporter-and-jew-daniel-pearl-posthumously-baptized-by-proxy-along-with-anne-frank/

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FAIR Issues 32: A Lutheran bishop’s perspective on Mormon baptism for the dead

March 1, 2012

FAIR Blog

The Mormon practice of baptism for the dead has been the subject of heated discussion of late by many who seem to not understand the practice. Suprisingly, one of the most sympathetic views of this ancient practice come from an eminent New Testament scholar named Krister Stendahl. Professor Stendahl served as chaplain and dean of Harvard Divinity School and as the Lutheran bishop of Stockholm (i.e., effectively, as the head of the state church of Sweden). Professor Daniel Peterson shares how Professor Stendahl became the author of the article on baptism for the dead in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

The articles referenced by Dr. Peterson include: 1) “Salvation for the Dead in Early Christianity,” by Roger D. Cook, David L. Paulsen and Kendel J. Christensen; 2) “Baptism for the Dead in Early Christianity,” by David L. Paulsen and Brock M. Mason; 3) “Redeeming the Dead: Tender Mercies, Turning of Hearts, and Restoration of Authority,” by David L. Paulsen, Kendel J. Christensen and Martin Pulido; and 4) “Redemption of the Dead: Continuing Revelation after Joseph Smith,” by David L. Paulsen, Judson Burton, Kendel J. Christensen and Martin Pulido. The first three are accessible online at maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/; the most recent article is available in print, but hasn’t yet been put online.

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/03/01/fair-issues-32-a-lutheran-bishops-perspective-on-mormon-baptism-for-the-dead/

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