Mormon News Report: 7 July 2017
Benjamin Wood of the Tribune also highlights Flake’s speech at the Religious Freedom Annual Review, but focuses on a different area: “U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday that progress has been made protecting religious freedom, but recent tests, including White House policies, are challenging the liberties of minority faiths. Speaking at Brigham Young University, the Arizona Republican said he was encouraged by the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, while also expressing concern about President Donald Trump’s travel bans on citizens from Muslim-majority countries. “This process will take time and the courts will remain a gamble,” Flake said at a conference on the topic at BYU’s Provo campus. “Given the political environment, measurable achievements in Congress will also remain an iffy proposition.” Wood also covers more of the Religious Freedom Annual Review, and finds a surprisingly fresh take on things – a focus on other religions other than Christianity in regards to religious freedom. For example, Brett Scharffs, director of the law and religion studies center, said Mormons should remember their history of violence and attacks against their people to better extent reciprocity and respect to other minority religions. “For the LDS Church, the era of persecution has largely passed…But for others in many parts of the world, it continues to this day.”
Fellow Mormon (and US Senator) Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) spoke at the BYU Religious Freedom Annual Review on Thursday, and announced that Botswanan government has allowed American missionaries from the LDS Church into the country after a four-year prohibition. The number of LDS missionaries in Botswana dropped from 60 to fewer than 10. The LDS Church has more than 3,200 members in Botswana in 13 congregations. Tad Walch of the Deseret News also writes that the LDS Church declined to comment. Flake’s son, Tanner, is now serving in the Botswana Namibia Mission.
I can hear the tears from Utah all the way over here in Detroit (including those of my wife). “Hamilton” star Christopher Jackson (who played George Washington in the musical) will not be attending the Utah Pioneer Day Concert in conjunction with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. According to a release from the MoTab, “Due to unavoidable and unanticipated scheduling conflicts with the filming of his current TV series, Christopher Jackson will be unable to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for their annual Pioneer Day concerts on July 14 and 15. Mr. Jackson is sincerely disappointed at this turn of events and is looking forward to another opportunity to appear with the Choir and Orchestra in the future.” Singer Alex Boye will be replacing Christopher Jackson.
Continuing with the Deseret News coverage this week of the New Mission President’s Seminar, R. Scott Lloyd reviews Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s speech on the power of the Book of Mormon. Nothing truly groundbreaking, though I do find it interesting that what was previously a very closed-door meeting is now being opened up more to certain (favorable) outlets for coverage.
Deputy who gave alleged rape victim’s file to BYU Honor Code Office retires — which ends state inquiry into his actions (Salt Lake Tribune)
Utah County corrections officer Edwin Randolph, the corrections officer who allegedly provided police rape reports to the BYU Honor Code office, retired on April 15, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s office. Randolph also relinquished his peace officer certification, meaning he can no longer work as a jail guard. Jeremy Jones, Randolph’s attorney, on June 29 said Randolph was simply ready to retire. “He worked hard and made it and now it’s time to make the most of it,” Jones said. Randolph, through Jones, declined an interview request. The entire story is very messy, and even if you followed the events from last year, I recommend reading Nate Carlisle’s review in the Tribune.
“Missionaries create epic rap about their message of Jesus Christ.” OK. We must have different definitions for “epic.”
Wherein LDS Living takes the worst parts of Buzzfeed lists and gifs and … well … makes it even more uncomfortable.