Mormon News, August 18–22

In the News

Greeting cards stocked by a Hallmark representative at the BYU Store this week turned out to be a bit more than the school had bargained for. Included in the inventory were notes of congratulations for nuptials for “Mr. & Mr.” and “Mrs. and Mrs.,” with a earthhelpful explanation that the cards were intended for “two grooms” or “two brides.” This proved to be too much for the BYU Store (formerly the BYU Bookstore), which launched Utah into the national media by pulling the cards. Hermia Lyly, blogging at Young Mormon Feminists, has created additional suggestions for cards for the BYU Store—and they are hilarious.

The Atlantic this week ran a feature on the challenges Mormon missionaries face, the pressures, and even doubts about the faith they are trying to promote. Authors Andrea Bennett and Kim Fu interviewed returned missionaries, some who remain active in the church and some who have left. They discuss trying to gain a testimony through intense fasting and prayer, the guilt missionaries can feel when they believe they have not lived up to the church’s expectations, and the thunderbolt of interacting with people in different countries who often have little in common. One former missionary discussed his prior belief that everyone who was not LDS must be secretly miserable, that his mission helped him understand the fallacy of that view. “There’s lots of happy people with great lives, just trying to do the best they can,” he had learned. “Maybe my faith in the institution was shocked, but my faith in humanity was boosted.”

The LDS Church announced it will release a feature-length documentary film this fall entitled Meet the Mormons. The movie follows six Latter-day Saints who live throughout the world, including Costa Rica and, in the United States, Atlanta and Salt Lake City. The film was initially slated for release only in LDS visitor centers, but positive reception encouraged the church to release it to mainstream theaters. The movie appears to be another large PR push by the church, similar to the “I’m a Mormon” campaign that highlights diversity within the church.

Signature Books News

Lisa Bickmore, a member of Signature’s editorial advisory committee, is the winner of the 2014 Elixir Press Antivenom Poetry Award! The contest name suggests a poetric antidote for cynicism. Lisa’s manuscript, flicker, was chosen from hundreds of entries as the one standout collection of poems from across the country. Her book will be published by Elixir Press. Many, many congratulations to Lisa for a well-deserved award!

—News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor