Mormon News, March 31–April 4

In the News

LDS General Conference weekend is upon us, but this year reporters won’t be on hand at the historic and picturesque Temple Square, where members like to spend time before the sessions across the street in the Conference Center. Reporters have been banned from the square because Ordain Women has announced that they will have as many as 500 women there requesting tickets to the all-male Week in reviewpriesthood session. Spare tickets are given out at the door of the Tabernacle prior to the meeting. In response to the expected throng, the LDS Church first banned news cameras from Temple Square, then reporters of any kind, apparently as a kind of compromise. The church doesn’t necessarily want to prevent the women, active church members, from congregating at Temple Square, but doesn’t want them interviewed and memorialized on camera either. It seems inevitable, however, in this age of instant social media, that photos and statements will abound.

Mormons have been talking about Louis C. K.’s Saturday Night Live monologue since the comedian wondered out loud what it would be like if we had a mother in heaven. “Where’s our mother? What happened to our mom? What’d God do to our mom?” he asked in his comedy routine, going on to speculate that maybe there had been a divorce. The routine, although irreverent at times, amused LDS members who ask what happened to our Mother in Heaven in contemporary discourse. Belief in a female deity is a unique part of Mormon theology but not discussed anymore in official church circles. The bit on Saturday Night Live starts at around 5:45.

On the Blogs

Kevin Barney, blogging at By Common Consent, has recommended an inoculation to disbelief by adopting what he calls the “Dialogue diet.” He suggests that members gorge on the information available there, reading the entire print run of Dialogue as a way of engaging Mormon issues and familiarizing oneself with challenging topics. He suggests that we should become much more familiar with the Mormon past, along the lines of Alice in Wonderland scurrying all the way down the rabbit hole rather than tiptoeing around it.

News updates by John Hatch, acquisitions editor