Mormon News December 5-9
ELDER CHRISTOFFERSON SPEAKS AT LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The Library of Congress included rare copies of the Book of Mormon as part of its 2016 “America Reads” collection, which featured 65 books Americans identified as having “profound effect on American life.” On December 7, Elder D. Todd Christofferson addressed guests at an event celebrating the exhibit, which closes at the end of this year. During his remarks, Christofferson quoted LDS religious scholar David Bokovoy, who believed readers “don’t have to believe in its historic claims to appreciate the Book of Mormon as literature.” Christofferson also noted that “the Book of Mormon has spawned pageants and plays, appeared in films, inspired musical lyrics, and received 4 out of 5 stars on the Apple Store.”
NEW CHURCH HISTORY MATERIALS ADDED TO SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
In preparation for a year of Sunday School discussions on the Doctrine & Covenants, church leaders recently added new materials to online lesson plans. Lesson instructions and resources now encourage teachers to utilize the recently released Gospel Topics essays in their classes. Information in the essays include various descriptions of Joseph Smith’s “First Vision” as well as controversial topics like polygamy and the former Priesthood ban against black members. Matthew McBride, editor in-chief of the history.lds.org site believes the additional materials will provide “more nuance in the way we talk about our history.” However, some historians and researchers think the manuals still prevent members from fully understanding church history. As LDS researcher Ardis Parshall notes, “there is one relatively small group of Latter-day Saints who have read and are digesting the new Gospel Topics Essays, and a much larger majority who have never heard of them or who question their validity. What is that division doing to our ability to discuss our faith?”
IS TRUMP CONSIDERING ROMNEY FOR SECRETARY OF STATE?
After sharply criticizing Donald Trump’s candidacy throughout the election, Mitt Romney met publicly with the new president-elect last week—sparking rumors that Trump was considering Romney as a candidate for secretary of state. However, fellow Republicans like Newt Gingrich distrust Romney, and hope the president-elect nominates an ardent Trump supporter disinclined to disagree with the future president on key issues. Gingrich, as well as Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, believe Trump supporters would feel “betrayed” and “enormously disappointed” if Romney became secretary of state. However, according to transition team sources, chief strategist Stephen Bannon encouraged the Trump-Romney meeting, perhaps hoping to convince other former Trump critics to support the incoming administration. When speaking to reporters after the meeting, Romney stated that he has “increasing hope” that the President-elect will lead America toward “a better future.”
–news update by Steph Lauritzen