Peggy Fletcher Stack writes for the Salt Lake Tribune. Her stories appear on God's Politics via Religion News Service.
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Mormon Women Seeking Priesthood to Be Shut Out of Temple Square
Mormon women seeking tickets to the faith’s general priesthood session next month will not only be denied access to that all-male meeting, but also may be shut out of Salt Lake City’s historic Temple Square altogether.
LDS officials also are barring news media cameras from the square during their two-day General Conference, which the church says is “consistent with long-standing policy.”
Does Mormon Modesty Mantra Reduce Women to Sex Objects?
When Mormon leaders sense a decline of moral standards in the world, they roll out sermons on modesty.
In the 1960s and early ’70s, they preached against miniskirts and hot pants; in today’s sex-drenched society, it’s spaghetti straps, bare midriffs, and skinny jeans.
It’s often couched in the rhetoric of “virtue” and usually aimed at young women, even girls.
Marriage: What's Love Got to Do with It? Historically, Very Little
On Valentine’s Day, American husbands and wives of every age, faith, and region will shower their beloveds with symbols of undying affection — flowers, chocolates, moonlit dinners, kisses.
The annual Feb. 14 lovefest is also a popular time for elaborate engagements, with picturesque proposals and pricey jewelry.
But any link between love and matrimony is relatively recent, said Stephanie Coontz, who teaches history and family studies at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.
And a radical one at that.
Mormon Missionaries Find Work, Meaning in Community Service
In Northern California, the image of Mormon missionaries in dark suits and white shirts, knocking on doors at inconvenient times, is being replaced by the sight of these name-tag-wearing twosomes in blue jeans and T-shirts, hoeing gardens, scrubbing off graffiti, dishing out food in homeless shelters, and reading with refugees.
It’s part of the LDS Church’s recognition that its long-held practice of “tracting,” going door to door handing out church materials and delivering religious messages, is no longer effective. Now few people are home during the late morning and early afternoon, and those who are may not want to be disturbed.
“The world has changed,” LDS apostle L. Tom Perry said in June 2013. “The nature of missionary work must change if the Lord will accomplish his work.”
Ex-Mormons Aren’t ‘Lazy or Sinful,’ Church Leader Dieter Uchtdorf Says
SALT LAKE CITY — It is wrong to assume that Mormons who leave the faith “have been offended or lazy or sinful,” a top leader told members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday during the church’s 183rd Semiannual General Conference.
“It is not that simple,” said Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS Church’s governing three-man First Presidency.
Some struggle with “unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past,” Uchtdorf explained. “We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of church history — along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable and divine events — there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question.”
After Prop 8, Mormons Take Different Tack in Hawaii Gay Marriage Fight
After keeping quiet while Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and others approved gay marriage, Mormon leaders are once again speaking up — but with a new, post-Proposition 8 tone and emphasis.
This time, it’s in Hawaii, which is poised to debate proposed legislation making same-sex marriage legal.
In a letter dated Sept. 15 and read to congregations across the state, Hawaii Mormon leaders urged members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to “study this legislation prayerfully and then as private citizens contact your elected representatives in the Hawaii Legislature to express your views about the legislation.”
Writer Sees Growing Gay Acceptance Among Mormons
Jerry Argetsinger never felt a twinge of tension between being gay and being Mormon.
Nobody talked about homosexuality in his Oregon congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was growing up in the 1960s. Nobody asked him about his attractions. Nobody made cruel or even not-so-subtle comments about him. Nobody made him feel guilty.
It came as a bit of a shock, then, when Argetsinger was beginning his sophomore year at LDS church-owned Brigham Young University in 1965 and heard university President Ernest L. Wilkinson say that the school didn’t want any gays on campus.
Inside the Mormons’ Elite Missionary Training Center
The place is awash in fresh-faced students, and even the workers — from the cafeteria to the copy center, the mailroom to the bookstore — and most of the teachers are under 30.
It’s no “Animal House,” though, with raucous frats, food fights, and binge drinking. This is Mormonism’s elite Missionary Training Center, where the men wear white shirts and ties, the women don modest skirts and dresses and everyone is expected to heed the rules.
Heat Poses Challenge to Muslims Fasting During Ramadan
SALT LAKE CITY — Every day. For a month. From sunup to sundown. No food. No water.
No, plenty of sweat, especially this year.
With Utahns baking under energy-sapping, forehead-dripping, water-chugging temperatures, the state’s Muslims are swearing off that liquid life force during the heat of the day — and the morning, and the evening.
The annual 30-day fast known as Ramadan, one of Islam’s five pillars, began Tuesday and requires that believers forgo food and drink. At this time of year, that means 15 hours of parched throats and unquenched thirst.
35 Years Later, Some Black Mormons See Lingering Prejudice
June 8, 1978, was a sacred, momentous event — a revelation — that catapulted Mormonism into a new era of global growth.
On that day, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ended its ban on blacks in its priesthood, opening ordination to “all worthy male members,” including those of African descent.
“For me,” former church President Gordon B. Hinckley said on the day’s 10th anniversary, “it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his brethren.”