Mormon News, July 28–August 1

In the News

The annual Sunstone Symposium is in high gear at the University of Utah through Saturday. The program features experts on women’s issues, scripture, personal devotion, and the forty-year brickpantshistory of Sunstone. Peggy Stack, writing for the Salt Lake Tribune, wrote that “not surprisingly, participants at the gathering, which typically draws hundreds of Mormons from across the country, will discuss recent controversies in the Utah-based religion.” What she meant by that was a stimulating session on the Ordain Women movement. In addition, Signature Books was pleased to host a lunch gathering Friday afternoon to celebrate the release of Linda Sillitoe’s novel, The Thieves of Summer. MP3 recordings of sessions are available at the Sunstone website.

A Provo-based company specializing in English as a second language fired an employee for blogging about “homophones.” Tim Torkildson at Nomen Global Language Center was told the company was not going to allow itself to be “associated with homosexuality.” This after he wrote a blog post about homophones to help students understand words that sound the same but have a different meaning. The objection was over the Greek root “homo,” meaning “the same.” Homophones, if we reach back to our elementary school days, are words like wood and would.

On the Blogs

Jana Riess wrote about Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch,that it was “profoundly moral” even if its content was at times challenging. The Goldfinch, Riess explained, would be rated R if books were rated, and that alone will keep most LDS readers from appreciating its didactic side. At heart, she offered, it is a “morally rigorous book.” Even in the area of film ratings, Riess continued, the LDS condemnation of R-rated films eliminates an individual’s right to exercise moral discernment; it equates fifteen-year-olds with fifty-year-olds, leveling everyone to the same stage of moral development.

News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor