Mormon News, September 8–12

In the News

At future general conferences of the LDS Church, leaders from around the globe will be allowed the choice of speaking in their native language instead of in English, the church said. If they choose this option, it will be a historic shift for a globalchurch that brands itself as global but struggles to escape its Utah- and U.S.-centric worldview. Listening to leaders speak in something other than English, and experiencing English subtitles or dubbing, will signal to U.S. members that the church has truly embraced a worldwide community.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, speaking at a Europe Area “sisters conference,” discussed the important role Latter-day Saint women fill on local leadership councils, then he added, “Don’t talk too much” in these meetings. The clip of his comments was uploaded to YouTube and quickly re-posted to Facebook and other online venues and blogs. Most commenters agreed that Elder Ballard was attempting to make a joke and that it fell flat. However, given that the meeting was a source of frustration for women who felt excluded from speaking, an attempt at a joke suggested a possible level of tone deafness to real concerns.

Kristine Haglund, who has admirably shepherded Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought through the last several years, is nearing the end of her tenure as editor. The journal recently issued a search announcement; candidates have until November 1, 2014, to apply. The new editor will begin working with Kristine on July 1, 2015, as part of a six-month transition.

On the Blogs

By Common Consent reprinted a post by Sunny Smart from three years ago to commemorate the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Sunny asks why we are drawn to tragedy; why, as the awful images flickered across our screens, we did not turn away? Joseph Conrad, in Heart of Darkenss, called this the “fascination of the abomination.” Sunny has a more poetic take, suggesting that we should, in fact, watch to stand vigil and “become intimately acquainted with another’s grief, to take it into ourselves and know for ourselves what that experience was for each person in each moment, that we might know how to succor, to heal, to mend.”

News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor