Mormon News, February 3–7

February 3–7, 2014

In the News

LDS church president Thomas S. Monson was issued a summons by a British court to appear and answer allegations of fraud. The complaint stems from the church’s collection of tithes while simultaneously teachingNews Update its members false (according to the plaintiff) beliefs. However, British legal experts interviewed agree that the complainant, Tom Phillips, would have to demonstrate that Monson knowingly lied about the truthfulness of LDS beliefs in order to benefit financially. Eugene Volokh, writing in the Washington Post, has an interesting take on some of the practical legal dilemmas such a lawsuit might raise.

The LDS church announced today that the Young Women’s organization will have five board members, four who live internationally and one who lives in New York. The leaders of the organization say advancing technology makes it easier to work with those who live overseas, and this will give them the opportunity to better represent interests of divergent cultures. This comes at a time when the church has been criticized in some quarters for focusing on Utah-based politics, including same-sex marriage and Utah state liquor laws.

Speaking of which…today the LDS church’s attorneys announced they would file an amicus brief in support of Utah’s ban on same-gender marriage. This comes after the church had previously announced it would not get involved in the lawsuit and follows the flurry of marriages following a federal judge’s ruling that Utah’s Amendment 3 was unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court later stepped in and issued a stay halting the marriages. The appeal now goes to the Tenth Circuit Court, which is where the LDS church filed its brief.

On the Blogs

Joey Stuart, writing at the Juvenile Instructor blog, examines the impact of Official Declaration II, granting priesthood to all worthy males and temple blessings to all worthy males and females, on African American members of the church. Stuart notes that the impact on the lives of black members has typically been underrepresented and includes a handful of statements he was able to find from members. He further calls for historians to improve the focus on those directly impacted by the declaration.

News updates by John Hatch, acquisitions editor