Friday, June 28, 2013

Church Statement on DOMA and Prop 8 rulings questions judicial & democratic processes of the U.S.

After fighting against same-sex marriage for over 20 years, the LDS church released a statement about the Supreme Court's rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA, saying they raised "troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial systems operates" suggesting many will wonder if "there is something fundamentally wrong" when a popular vote is found unconstitutional.

DOMA, Prop8 struck down by supreme court

Excerpts of Joy, jeers as Supreme Court gives gay marriage a boostby Tomas Burr, Matt Canham and Isobel Markham, Salt lake Tribune
Washington • Married gay couples can file taxes together and share health benefits, while, in the nation's most populous state, same-sex partners will once again be legally able to say "I do."
In a pair of landmark 5-4 rulings Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed gay-rights supporters major victories and also signaled that it could, in the immediate future, take up the question of whether state bans — like Utah's — on same-sex unions violate the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mormon History Association Best Book & Article Awards

Excerpts from 2013 MHA Award Winners, Christopher @ Juvenile Instructor
Best Book Award
• Brandon Plewe, S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson, eds., Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-Day Saint History. Provo, Utah: BYU Press, 2012.
Best Biography Award
• John G. Turner, Brigham Young, Pioneer Prophet. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.
Best Documentary History /Bibliography Award
• Joseph Smith Jr., The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories Vol. 1, 1832-1844, eds. Karen Lynn Davidson, David J. Whittaker, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Richard L. Jensen. The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories, Volume 1. Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2012.
• Joseph Smith Jr., The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories Vol. 2, Assigned Histories, 1831-1847, edited by Karen Lynn Davidson, Richard L. Jenson, and David J. Whittaker. Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2012.
Best International Book Award
• Marjorie Newton, Tiki and Temple: The Mormon Mission in New Zealand, 1854-1958 (Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2012).
Best First Book Award
• J. Spencer Fluhman, A Peculiar People: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012).
Best Article Award
• Christopher C. Jones, “Mormonism in the Methodist Marketplace, James Covel and the Historical Background of Doctrine and Covenants 39-40,” BYU Studies Quarterly 51:1 (2012), 67-98.
Best Article on Mormon Women’s History
• Lisa Olsen Tait, “The Young Woman’s Journal: Gender and Generations in a Mormon Women’s Magazine,” American Periodicals 22.1 (2012): 51-71.
Best International Article Award
• Ronald E. Bartholomew, “The Role of Local Missionaries in Nineteenth-Century England,” in Reid L. Nielson and Fred E. Woods, eds. Go Ye Into All the World: The Growth and Development of Mormon Missionary Work (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2012).
Article Awards of Excellence (2)
• Adam Jortner, “Solomon Spaulding’s Indians, or, What the ‘Manuscript Found’ Really Tells Us,” Journal of Mormon History 38:4 (Fall 2012): 226-247.
• Benjamin E. Park, “(Re)Interpreting Early Mormon Thought: Synthesizing Joseph Smith’s Theology and the Process of Religion Formation,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 45:2 (Summer 2012): 59-88.
Best Family and Community History Award
• Stephen G. Schwendiman, The Mendon Saints: Their Lives and Legacy, Vol. 2 (Salt Lake City: Eborn Books, 2012).

Missionary efforts shift towards Internet

Excerpts of Mormon missions: Door-to-door approach is out; Internet is in by Peggy Fletcher Stack, Salt Lake Tribune


In what was billed as a "historic" meeting Sunday, Mormon apostle L. Tom Perry announced that the Utah-based faith's largest missionary force ever — more than 70,000 strong — will tap online tools to help them connect with and teach their "investigators."

Elizabeth Smart calls for change in LDS teachings about sexuality

Excerpts of Mormon Feminism: Elizabeth Smart calls for change, by Holly Welker, City Weekly

At a human-trafficking forum at Johns Hopkins University in May, Elizabeth Smart said she didn't try to escape after being kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home, both because she feared reprisals from her captors and felt worthless after being raped, thanks in part to abstinence-focused "object lessons" about premarital sex. Whether she realized it or not, Smart is part of a growing movement of LDS female activists, members anxious for cultural and practical changes within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in areas ranging from how girls learn about modesty and sex to ordaining women to the priesthood.

Church supports BSA proposed acceptance of gay scouts & denial of gay scout leaders

Mormon Church to accept gay Boy Scouts, by Mark Trumbull,  Christian Science Monitor
In a major step regarding openness in the Boy Scouts of America, Mormon Church officials have approved the scout organization's acceptance of gay scouts. Still, the new ruling remains controversial because it bans gay scout leaders.