Mormon News, February 2–6

In the News

FORMER STATE SENATOR ADMITS CHURCH INFLUENCE
Stuart Reid, a former Utah State Senator, wrote an op-ed in the LDS Church-owned Deseret News to defend the faith’s latest outreach to LGBT Americans. But it was less Reid’s argument in defense of the church than a brief anecdote he shared that grabbed readers’ attention. Reid recounts his own efforts to promote a religious freedom bill while serving in the Utah State Senate, then explains why the bill was never brought up for a vote: “The public was never made aware of my religious freedom legislation for one reason alone: Elder Oaks personally asked me not to advance it.” Utahns have long debated the influence of the LDS Church over their state legislature, and the topic has generated everything from heated arguments to political cartoons, but Reid’s statement was a rare acknowledgement that General Authorities can exert considerable influence over local legislation.E. D. How

 On the Blogs

In the wake of Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks’s statement last week that the church does not give apologies, historian Paul Reeve wrote a moving guest post at the Keepapitchinin blog about a searing childhood experience and how simple words like “I’m sorry” can mean so much and heal deep, old wounds.

 At Signature Books

Signature Books is drawing ever closer to the release of Mormonism Unvailed, a reprint of Eber D. Howe’s important 1834 look at early Mormonism. Our production manager Jason Francis had to take extra care to scan and accurately reproduce the famous frontispiece for the book (at right), a depiction of the devil kicking Joseph Smith after he obtains the plates (top), then of Joseph encountering the Angel Moroni dressed in ordinary grey garb (bottom). Mormonism Unvailed is an entirely new typeset edition so readers will no longer have to rely on faded photo reproductions, and will have editor Dan Vogel’s insightful and enlightening annotations.

News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor