Monday, November 26, 2012

Mormon Church History: 1847

1847 marks an important period in the history of the LDS Church. The year opens with Mormons wintering in the temporary settlement Winter Quarters on the Nebraska / Iowa boarder. By mid-summer, Brigham Young would found an isolated community near the Great Salt Lake in present day Utah.

Over the next several months, Mormon-Church-History will chronicle each day of 1847, gradually traversing through the entire year.  Information posted will include journal entries, meeting minutes, biographical information and more.

See here for more info.

Excerpts from  January 1st, 1847

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mormons sit on sidelines in anti-gay marriage efforts

Excerpts of Where Have All the Mormons Gone In the Fight for Marriage Equality? by gay activist & former Mormon Fred Karger, Huffington Post
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 will go down in history in our political fight for LGBT rights. In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington voters stood up to the usual campaigns and a majority in each state voted for the freedom to marry for the very first time. Before last Tuesday we had lost 33 marriage votes in a row and most by very lopsided margins.
Since the first gay marriage vote in Hawaii in 1998 we have always been vastly outspent by our opponents in every election until we finally evened the score in fundraising after 10 years and 29 losses on California's Proposition 8. We even outraised our opponents $44 million to $40 million. Our narrow defeat on Prop 8 was the turning point in our civil rights movement.
Mormon Church Busted

Friday, November 09, 2012

Somethings don't change -- a look back at politics, this week in Mormon History

"A bad dose of politics is like the measles": A sampling of politics in LDS history by Clair Barrus, Worlds Without End
"Great Excitement [today] over the Election for a Presidet of the United States." – President Wilford Woodruff

"… a bad dose of politics was like the measles if it set in on a man it turned his hide yellow and made him cross-eyed." — President Heber J. Grant

We've just completed a tense election season. Political parties have been heavily divided and emotions high at the end of a lengthy campaign. But for Latter-day Saints, stakes have been even higher at the prospect of a Mormon president.

I've looked through some items that occurred this week in Mormon history, and found much in common with today's politics.

[continue reading]

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Gay marriage rights see significant gains in election

Excerpts of My Gay Agenda by Jana Riess, Flunking Sainthood
Tuesday's election was historic ... because it showed that our nation has crossed a threshold in accepting LGBTQ people as equals.... Consider the results:
  • Voters approved of same-sex marriage in Maryland, Washington, and Maine. Maine had rejected it just a few years ago.
  • Minnesota voters said no to a measure that would have amended its state constitution to define "marriage" as heterosexual unions between a man and a woman. Voters in 30 states had approved such measures in previous elections, making it possible for conservative activists to claim that every time such a measure had been sent directly to the American people, the American people had voted down gay marriage. That's not the case any more.
  • In neighboring Wisconsin, a lesbian, Tammy Baldwin, became the nation's first openly gay Senator. Moreover, as one commentator put it, "her sexual orientation was largely a non-issue in the race." 
  • In Iowa, voters did not unseat a judge who had been part of the seven-member state Supreme Court that had unanimously upheld same-sex marriage in 2007. According to the New York Timestwo other judges who had found in favor of gay marriage had been kicked off the bench by angry Iowa conservatives in 2010. This year's election was a different story.
  • Voters re-elected for president a man who announced earlier this year that he had changed his mind about same-sex marriage, and that he now supports full marriage equality.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

End of Mormon moment & LDS statement on the election

Excerpts of 'Mormon moment' ends with a loss — but his religion still won, Salt Lake Tribute, Peggy Fletcher Stack
Mormons in Utah and across the nation were thrilled by the prospect that one of their own might occupy the highest office in the land.

Mitt Romney came closer to doing that than any other Latter-day Saint since that once-beleaguered brand of Christianity burst onto the American scene in 1830.

"For many Latter-day Saints, it was a surprise that a Mormon candidate was able to make it as far as Mitt," said Stuart Reid, a Mormon and a Republican state senator from Ogden. "He's done more than any single person in recent church history to share with the general public what a Mormon is, putting up a very positive image about Mormons and creating interest in our faith that was unprecedented."

Despite the outcome, Mormonism came out a winner, said Philip Barlow, chair of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University.