Mormon News October 31- November 4

In the News


Attempting to curtail the success of LDS third-party presidential candidate Evan McMullin, self-identified “white nationalist” William Daniel Johnson paid for a series of robocalls directed at Utah voters during the final days of the election. The message accused McMullin of being an “open-borders amnesty supporter” as well a “closeted homosexual.” Additionally, the recording mocked the candidate’s family members by noting that “Evan has two mommies—his mother is a lesbian married to another woman. Evan is OK with that.” While the Trump campaign epi spirecondemned Johnson’s actions, supporters sharing Johnson’s views continued to attack McMullin throughout the week. Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs denounced McMullin as a “Romney and Mormon Mafia Tool.” Meanwhile, former Business Insider’s chief technology officer Pax Dickinson warned, with characteristic hyperbole, that Republicans might be forced to murder Mormons if McMullin took away votes needed for a Trump victory— “Mormons will be blamed for it. Chance of a future Mormocaust spikes sharply.”


One year after an anonymous leak revealed a new exclusion policy for LGBT Mormons and their families, many members continue to struggle with reconciling their membership in the church with their support of LGBT rights. However, a survey conducted by Mormon writer and researcher Jana Riess reveals that despite media controversy most members either “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” with the policy.  The Next Mormons Survey indicates that 72 percent of Mormons approve of labeling same-sex Mormon couples as apostates and 50 percent agree with the decision to bar the children of same-sex Mormons from baptism and Priesthood ordination until age 18. But Millennials and members of Generation X are significantly less likely to agree with the policy, with each new generation of adult Mormons less likely to support the policy than their predecessors. Additionally, 42 percent of active Mormon women—the demographic most likely to remain orthodox in their religious beliefs—say they disagree with the policy. Unsurprisingly, 80 percent of former Mormons “strongly disagree” with the policy.


The Deseret News published an editorial by BYU teacher in the Department of Marketing and environmental activist George Handley, who urged Mormon voters to vote for and support elected officials interested in “mitigating and even repairing the damage we do to the earth.” Hadley argued that good stewardship of the environment is an essential component of Mormon doctrine, since Mormons are commanded to use natural resources with “judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.” Hadley also argued that “concern for the poor and for the well-being of families must include concern for all creation,” a polluted world making it hard to raise a healthy family or provide for the needs of future generations. His editorial echoed the information found on the relatively new LDS webpage, “Environmental Stewardship and Conservation,” which states that “approaches to environment must be prudent, realistic, balanced and consistent with the needs of the earth and of current and future generations, rather than pursuing the immediate vindication of personal desires or avowed rights.”

news update by Steph Lauritzen