1.) KUER’s RadioWest has been producing some amazing radio this week covering LDS disciplinary councils and the current Kate Kelly/John Dehlin proceedings. On Monday, host Doug Fabrizio sat down with both Kelly and Dehlin to talk about what excommunication would mean to them personally and the reaction they’ve been getting from their communities. While Dehlin and Kelly have done many interviews since news broke last Wednesday about their disciplinary councils, Fabrizio was also able to have someone from the LDS Church on his program. Yesterday, Doug interviewed Ally Isom, Senior Manager of Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would try to pull some quotes from the interview, but it would not do it justice. Fabrizio pressed Isom pretty hard on many issues surrounding both the disciplinary councils and the individual movements of both Kelly and Dehlin, and really caused a stir in the Online Mormon world. A “must-listen” if you’ve been following the Dehlin/Kelly proceedings. The Deseret News picks up on the interviews here.
2.) LDS Family Services announced on Tuesday that they would be ending their adoptive services, via the Salt Lake Tribune. The social services arm of the LDS Church will be shifting from front-line adoption brokers to counselors to expectant mothers and families considering adoption. “At the heart of the decision is a trend that forced LDS Family Services to reassess how it can best serve Mormons: the fact that few unwed mothers give up their babies for adoption anymore. Thirty years ago, 15 percent of single pregnant teenagers and young women chose adoption. Today, it’s 1 percent nationally and perhaps slightly higher in Utah said David M. McConkie, manager of services for children at LDS Family Services.. The Republic also picks up on the story here.
3.) We only do sports in a Mormon perspective here on the report, but I think this piece from NewsOK in Oklahoma might qualify – apparently, there has been (and continues to be) chatter about BYU joining the Big 12 Conference. While things sounded close a few years back, there might be some rumblings again after BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall told the Austin American Statesman they would be very interested in joining the conference. Berry Tramel, columnist for the paper, received the following in a correspondence with David Moore, a possible BYU-insider: “Quite obviously [Bronco stating he wants to join the Big 12] has had the blessing of AD Tom Holmoe and recently appointed President Kevin Worthen (succeeding Dr. Cecil Samuelson a month and a half ago). Three years ago it could very easily had been BYU along with TCU, but sadly, some in BYU governance objected, which made league directors very uncomfortable with the idea of extending BYU a full-blown invite. What’s happened since is the second senior most apostle in the LDS Church, Boyd K. Packer, is now too ill with post-polio (he will turn 90 on Sept. 10), to be involved in day-to-day affairs with BYU. Speculation was he more than anyone opposed the idea of BYU moving into the Big 12, since he has long disliked athletic programs at LDS Church-operated schools and further felt that with Utah already in the Pac-12, it would be especially unfair to his alma mater Utah State and would ‘detract from the mission of this state-run institution.'”
- “Excommunication” has become a buzz-word as of late. The Cultural Hall’s own Richie Steadman talks with Russell Stevenson about the history of LDS excommunication here, George Pyle of the Salt Lake Tribune looks at all the pieces of news mentioning it here, and “The ‘Splainer,” Kimberly Winston from Religion News Service, attempts to ‘splain the current events revolving the LDS Church and our disciplinary councils here.
- More outlets picking up on the John/Kate disciplinary hearing and the decision by John Dehlin’s stake president to delay his disciplinary council and “de-escalate” things, from the Daily Herald to KBOI2 on the original story.
- Fellow Mormon Judy Dushku, founder of Exponent II, spoke with HuffPost Live about her disagreement with the LDS Church’s stance on gay marriage – “I have a gay son. I’ve been very open about the fact that I don’t believe my church has the right to dictate to people throughout the United States what their policies and their attitudes should be about same-sex marriage.”
- According to Jason F. Wright of the Deseret News, missionaries in Baltimore will be rolling out a social media campaign to highlight some of the work of its local LDS missionaries and members. The campaign, called #SocialMediaSplit, will ask church members working alongside elders or sisters, whether in a traditional two-by-two split or in a threesome, to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to document and share their experiences. Using #SocialMediaSplit, it will allow friends and followers to track members and missionaries as they teach, perform service or engage in traditional finding activities like street contacting. I like to follow hashtags during political or sports events, but I’m not so sure this will have the same riveting success as some of the other events out there.
- Tyler Glenn, openly gay Mormon rocker for The Neon Trees, was recently interviewed by PrideSource. When asked about reconciling his religious views with his sexuality, Glenn said “I think reconciling – I don’t know. I guess when it comes to it, I will. You know, I identify as Mormon because I believe in it, and regardless if, at some point, they decide to say, you can’t be (Mormon), I still won’t let someone here on Earth define my faith or my relationship with God and my beliefs. I will still identify with those beliefs.”
- Sean Thomas writes an opinion piece for the Telegraph (UK) where he looks at the “western encounter” with Islam, and why it’s misguided. Why does this make it in the news report? The first half of the piece is about John R. Moyle, a chief superintendent of masonry during the construction of the Salt Lake Temple, and an ancestor of Thomas’. I believe Thomas might fall into “fellow Mormon” status (his piece describes himself “as a believer,” although he acknowledges that his “religious belief is not as ardent as Moyle’s. Mine is more tempered”). Either way, it’s great to see a Mormon story in the Telegraph.
- Just when I think it’s great to see a Mormon story there, the Telegraph also includes news that FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, currently serving time in prison for two counts of child sexual assault, will be featured in a biopic on Lifetime called “Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs,” premiering on 28-June-2014
- Neal Larson (described in his bio as a “conservative talk show host on KID Newsradio 590am and 92.1fm) pens an op-ed for MagicValley.com about the Kelly/Dehlin proceedings, stating “Kelly and Dehlin are not being excommunicated for their genuine doubts and sincere questions, and no member ever should. They are being ousted because they have turned their doubts into causes, developing communities that simply can’t be compatible with a church that’s led by Christ through a prophet of God. We could call it sin, if we wanted. But perhaps it’s more instructive to just call it plain incompatibility. Oil and water. A cancer. Insert your favorite analogy.”
- More fundamentalist polygamist news, from Phoenix (AZ) KFYI 550am: “Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is asking a federal judge to order the town marshal’s office disbanded in the twin polygamous enclaves of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, and make the local sheriff’s office the only legal law enforcement authority in those towns.”
- Isabelle Collin Dufresne, also known as “Ultra Violet” and one of the beauties among Andy Warhol’s unorthodox studio “Factory,” has passed away. Dufresne played multiple roles in over a dozen films between 1965 and 1974. After suffering a near-death experience in 1973, Dufresne went on a spiritual quest, ultimately finding and baptizing into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1981. A retrospective of her life can be found at the New York Times.
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