Mormon News, June 14–17

In the News

Spencer Cox, the Republican and LDS Lieutenant Governor of Utah, apologized at a vigil on Monday for his past treatment of LGBTQ people and said his heart had changed. Cox’s comments came in response to the horrific shooting deaths of forty-nine people at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. His words quickly went viral, were reported by news media across the country, and were applauded by Hillary Clinton and other politicians.

Popular novelist Judith Freeman was interviewed by Joanna Brooks this week about her new memoir, Latter Days. Freeman spoke about the genesis of the memoir after years of Glorious in Persecutionwriting novels and her life growing up LDS. Mormons, Brooks said, “have been caricatured—I think of the Book of Mormon Musical, for example—as being extraordinarily flat. [Mitt] Romney was seen that way too. As if there was nothing going on beneath the surface.” She complimented Freeman on her honesty and noted that the memoir is important for showing a broad range of emotions and motivations beneath the thin veneer of Mormon piety.

On the Blogs

Lindsay Hansen Park followed up a popular Facebook post she wrote this week with a post at Feminist Mormon Housewives on labels as both nouns and verbs. Park explained that we often see others as separate from the labels they apply to themselves, unintentionally creating offense. She wrote that “many in the LGBT community identify with homosexuality as a NOUN. It is who they are, not something they do…. So when we say, ‘Homosexuality is wrong’ we are very literally saying to them, ‘YOU are wrong.'” Park goes on to explain that Mormons might feel the same way when the church is criticized: Mormonism isn’t just something they do, it is who they are and therefore criticism becomes very personal.

Book Signing

Please join us at Benchmark Books on Wednesday, June 29, at 5:30 p.m., as Martha Bradley-Evans signs and speaks about her new book, Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839–1844. Bradley-Evans will speak at 6:00 p.m. as well as sign books before and after. Her book is a fresh, interpretive portrait of Smith and how he forged his own identity as a prophet in his final years.

News update by John Hatch