Mormon News, March 3–7
March 3-7, 2014
In the News
TIMES FEATURES IN-DEPTH ARTICLES ON MORMON WOMEN
The New York Times featured a lengthy profile of Mormon women in the 21st century. It received widespread attention and widespread acclaim from most online Mormon watchers. The church itself issued a statement on its Newsroom site, mostly praising the article but mentioning a handful of reservations. The article highlights the growth of women as missionaries, the shifting boundaries of roles as Mormon women increasingly work outside the home, and the tensions the church faces in expanding women’s roles. Much like Pope Francis has been criticized by more conservative Catholics, the LDS church risks upsetting its own foundations if it moves too fast in a culture that so readily equates authority and priesthood with being male.
The Times followed up on its feature with another article based on the response of Mormon women. This time they focused on what they called a “flood of requests” by Mormon women, ranging from greater roles in leadership to simply being able to hold their own baby during a priesthood blessing.
WARREN JEFFS MOVIE IN PRODUCTION
A new Lifetime movie is being produced about infamous fundamentalist Mormon Warren Jeffs. It will star Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn and will be based on Stephen Singular’s book, When Men Become Gods.
CHURCH TO PAY PROPERTY TAX ON TEMPLES
The LDS church has lost an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights after insisting it should be exempt from paying property tax on its Preston, England temple. The appeal stems from a 2005 British ruling that the church was required to pay property taxes on the temple. The ruling states that the building is not a place of public worship because a recommend is required to enter, however, the church will still enjoy an 80% reduction on taxes due to its status as a charitable organization.
BOOK OF MORMON MUSICAL COMING TO SALT LAKE
The satirical Book of Mormon Musical is finally coming home to Salt Lake City, over two years after cleaning up at the Tony Awards.
On the Blogs
Rick Grunder has made the digital edition of his Mormon Parallels book available for $9.99. Grunder is perhaps the foremost expert on late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century documents that share ideas with early Mormon documents and beliefs.
A new book by BYU Studies, Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith’s Legal Encounters, reproduces previous essays on Joseph Smith and the law, and adds a couple of new ones. One essay by Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks, originally titled, “Suppressing the Nauvoo Expositor,” has been retitled, “Legally Suppressing the Nauvoo Expositor.” Another essay, “Defining Adultery Under Illinois and Nauvoo Law,” by M. Scott Bradshaw, makes the curious argument that Joseph would have been acquitted of charges of adultery. Bradshaw takes a close look at the adultery statute and concludes that it was primarily motivated to avoid scandal or public turmoil. He zeroes in on the word “open” in the statute and claims that since Nauvoo polygamy was secretive, Joseph could not have been found guilty under the law of adultery.
—News updates by John Hatch, acquisitions editor