Mormon News October 10-14

In Someday-the-Election-Will-End News
post officeThis week hell froze over, pigs flew above the Salt Lake Temple, and the moon turned a disturbing shade of red. Just kidding. But Mormon conservative radio and television host Glenn Beck did call for Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race while simultaneously endorsing Hillary Clinton as the “moral, ethical choice.” Admittedly, he also referred to Clinton’s political tactics as “blatant and juvenile,” and promised that if elected, “Hillary can be fought.” Regardless, watching what many Mormons and Republicans consider a bastion of conservative thought endorse the democratic nominee remained a shocking development in an increasingly bizarre election cycle. Beck joined several other Mormon politicians in denouncing Trump, including Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Senator Mike Lee, and Representative Jason Chaffetz. Hope your food storage is ready; this might be a sign of the times.

Hoping to attract voters disgusted by Trump’s misogyny and general buffoonery, the Clinton campaign released a “Mormons for Hillary” video this week, featuring a bipartisan group of active Mormons explaining their support for the democratic nominee. The video focused on the pro-family statements in Clinton’s book, It Takes a Village, a clear attempt to appeal to the family-oriented church. The video followed a recent poll showing Clinton and Trump in a tie for electoral votes in Utah, both candidates polling at 26 percent. Third-party candidate Evan McMullin rose to 22 percent, leaving Libertarian Gary Johnson with 14 percent of the predicted vote. A March Deseret News poll found a majority of Utahns prepared to vote for a Democrat for the first time since 1964.

The First Presidency sent letters to members in Colorado, Arizona, California, and Nevada asking them to vote against measures that would legalize marijuana and assisted suicide. In Colorado people will vote on Proposition 106 to permit physician-assisted suicide. A letter signed by President Monson encouraged Mormons to “let their voices be heard in opposition” to the proposition, while nearly identical letters sent to the other states warned against legalization of “recreational marijuana use.”  The church maintained its familiar position that the Constitution protects its right of “religious liberty” to speak against anything that contradicts Mormon beliefs. In regard to assisted suicide, the church referenced Handbook 2, a policy guide stating that “the church maintains a firm belief in the sanctity of human life … even when the person may be suffering from an incurable condition.” The letters against marijuana expressed concern for “the risks that marijuana use poses to brain development in youth.”

You should just go the U.
Considering attending the Lord’s University? You may need to start selling alarm systems or essential oils. BYU announced a 3% percent tuition hike for the 2017-18 school year. The school has raised tuition prices approximately 3% every year since 2013. Though BYU is still one of the least expensive private colleges in the nation (about $3,000 per semester for undergraduates), the author of this news update would be remiss not to mention the University of Utah (which she attended and turned out just fine) as an equally good option. The marginally higher tuition (about $4,000) for a PAC 12 school was a good investment considering the quality of its history program. Go Utes!