Mormon News, August 11–15

In the News

The LDS Church sent a survey to 1,000 active members throughout the United States this week to gauge member attitudes about the church’s public image. Questions included, “How concerned are assemblyyou personally about the roles, responsibilities or treatment of women in the church?” and “Has the public discussion of these high-profile disciplinary councils affected your thinking about any issues? If so, which issues, and how?” The survey came after the high-profile attention to the church’s proceedings this summer against feminist Kate Kelly and gay-ally John Dehlin. Kelly was excommunicated and Dehlin is still involved in talks with his stake president.

As the LDS Church finds itself increasingly in the minority on marriage equality opinions and on the losing side of court decisions, one LDS Apostle is warning members to get used to persecution. Russell M. Nelson, speaking at BYU’s commencement, told graduates that “true disciples of Jesus Christ” are those who oppose same-gender marriage, that “life will not be comfortable” for LDS members because of this. Nelson invoked oft-repeated rhetoric from LDS officials that marriage is God’s law and cannot be changed by man, that this is a battle over right and wrong. Nelson also said that while members should be sensitive to one another, those members who support same-sex marriage cannot be condoned for their efforts to change “divine doctrine.” One prominent LDS blogger disagreed.

On the Blogs

Ardis Parshall, at her Keepapitchinin blog, shared some minutes from the Chicago branch of the LDS Church in 1909, giving a glimpse into the worship services of Latter-day Saints just a few years after the conclusion of the Smoot hearings. Although over 100 years old, the minutes seem more like an LDS meeting today than one from fifty years prior to that in the 1860s.

News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor