Mormon News, June 29–July 2

In the News

In the wake of last Friday’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, a number of stories about the LDS Church have emerged. Here are some key ones that may be of interest:News Update

1) Mormon leaders sent a letter this week to be read to members in Sunday worship services reaffirming the church’s opposition to gay marriage. The letter emphasizes that marriage is ordained of God and between a man and a woman, but also stresses that LDS-owned buildings and LDS clergy are not to be used for or participate in same-gender weddings.

2) In its announcement responding to the Supreme Court’s decision, the LDS Church featured a photo of a Mormon family walking hand in hand in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. But the mother of the family, Sylvia Cabus, supports marriage equality and spoke out on social media and said she disagrees with the church’s position.

3) Now that the high court has ruled on marriage equality, polygamist families are filing for marriage licenses and insisting they will sue if denied. Nathan, Christine, and Victoria Collier applied for a marriage license in Montana on Tuesday.

4) The LDS Church donated to the Utah Pride Center this week to assist in feeding homeless LGBT youth. The Pride Center’s pantry feeds about forty homeless children a week, according to its director, Kent Frogley. The donation by the church to an LGBT organization is the first of its kind.

As Utah gears up for Pioneer Day, its annual July 24th commemoration of Mormon immigrants entering the Salt Lake Valley, Adam Bateman is remembering the trek in his own way. Bateman, who is skeptical of the myths that have sprung up around the pioneer trek, is walking from Council Bluffs, Iowa, along the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City. As Bateman walks, he posts photos to his Instagram account. The photos, writes Alexandra Karl, “Speak to a country fallen into disrepair. Abandoned tractors, disconnected phone booths, golden arches and roadside trash betray a land sorely neglected. Mile markers are buried in overgrown grass. Weathered signposts and faded wagons bear witness to a Mormon past.” You can follow Bateman’s progress under the hashtag #amtwalk

The Book of Mormon Musical is still going strong after four years and now it may be headed for a Hollywood production. Writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone, also of South Park fame, recently indicated they would very much like to create a movie version of the hit play. While many Latter-day Saints have denounced the play as anti-Mormon, others have sung its praises as a light-hearted look at the faith.

In Books

Salt Lake Tribune reporters Matt Canham and Thomas Burr have authored Mormon Rivals: the Romneys, the Huntsmans and the Pursuit of Power, a look at the once-close relationship between Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman that fell apart during the 2012 election. In an excerpt published on the popular political news site Politico, the authors attribute part of the soured relationship to both family’s past successes: “It’s almost like they are trying to be king of the Mormons,” says one person with professional and personal ties to Romney and Huntsman. “They are two royal clans who have had so much success financially and politically and in other ways. It is not easy for them to be second place.”