Mormon News, March 9–13

In the News

Peggy Fletcher Stack examined the efforts of the LDS Church to teach members the challenging portions of the faith’s history. Stack interviewed numerous historians for her Salt Lake Tribuneglass article, all of whom stressed the importance of openness and honesty in dealing with the past. The church has published essays on difficult topics on its website but has not publicized or disseminated the information to its followers. In some cases, according to University of Utah historian Paul Reeve, this has led to members claiming the essays are merely public affairs propaganda, not officially sanctioned history. Reeve believes the de facto policy of “make the information available, but not too available” is unsustainable. “It now needs to be integrated into the curriculum at the local level.”

The Utah State Legislature, a heavily Republican and politically conservative body, passed statewide anti-discrimination legislation this week that protects LGBT citizens but also enacts religious freedom exemptions. Specifically, the bill makes it a crime to discriminate in housing and employment but exempts religious institutions. The LDS Church spoke out in favor of the legislation, which likely would not have passed otherwise. In a symbol of the oversize role the church played, Utah Governor Gary Herbert bequeathed the ceremonial pen to L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, who witnessed the signing. The legislation gained nationwide attention and was often dubbed “the Utah solution.” The bill was widely supported and celebrated, and gained the endorsement of the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, the LDS Church, and Equality Utah. A handful of LGBT rights opponents, however, did not support the legislation, including the Utah Eagle Forum and the Family Research Council.

At Signature Books

Even as Dan Vogel’s stunning edition of Mormonism Unvailed goes to press, we are already hard at work on our next catalog, which will formally announce our newest titles. Expect beautiful poetry, powerful fiction, insightful essays on womanhood in the church, a long-awaited third volume in a popular series, the diaries of a beloved LDS historian, and so much more.

 —News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor