BYU

Weekly Wrap 10.3.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

 1. The Strange Nostalgia of ‘Left Behind’
The rapture movie (out in theaters today) is—to borrow a phrase—neither hot nor cold. So why the re-make? We take a crack at answering.

2. Lipstick and Seminary
“During seminary, I paid close attention to ways men acted in and outside the classroom. Playing by their rules helped me fit in…I guarded what I considered feminine-seeming parts of my personality — creativity, emotion, and relational ways of perceiving and acting. I got A’s, but my soul was wilting.”

3. WATCH: A Million Ways to Die in the U.S.
Jon Stewart puts concerns over ISIS and Ebola in perspective. “The American government has a sacred obligation to do whatever it takes to save American lives…unless it’s stopping the things that are actually killing Americans.”

4. The Meditations of Europe’s Last Brewmaster Nun
Says Sister Doris: “As Saint Benedict wrote, ‘in all things God may be glorified,’ and that is also true of beer.” Say we: "Amen."

Brigham Young Would Break the Mormons’ No-Beard Rule

LDS Church President Brigham Young had a beard but wouldn’t be allowed to wear it today. Photo courtesy RNS.

If they were alive today, nearly half the presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — from Brigham Young in the 19th century through George Albert Smith in the 1940s — would be forbidden from serving in the faith’s 141 temples worldwide.

That’s because being clean-shaven is generally a requirement for men to be Mormon temple workers. Whiskers are fine for temple-going members, but even nicely trimmed beards and mustaches are no-nos for temple workers.

“It is ironic that temple workers are expected to be more clean-shaven than the deity figures — God and Jesus Christ — portrayed in LDS films and portraits,” says Armand Mauss, a leading Mormon sociologist in Irvine, Calif.

BYU Students Pushing for Caffeinated Sodas

RNS photo courtesy iStock Photo

The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not forbid drinking cola. RNS photo courtesy iStock Photo

Caffeine-craving students at Brigham Young University are pushing the Mormon-owned school to change its stance on cola drinks.

The move was triggered by Aug. 30 statements from BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins in which she said that the school doesn’t serve or sell caffeinated drinks because there has not “been a demand for it.”

The ban on caffeinated sodas is “not a university or church decision,” Jenkins told The Salt Lake Tribune then, one day after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted a statement on its website saying that “the church does not prohibit the use of caffeine," only "hot drinks" like tea and coffee.

BYU's dining services does conduct “online surveys, focus groups and data analysis” to determine what items to offer on campus, BYU’s The Universe student newspaper reported, but “has not asked about caffeinated soft drinks.”

“I have received emails on both sides of the issue — those in favor of caffeine and those against it,” Dean Wright, director of dining services, told the student paper. “Dining Services is so busy just getting everything open and serving over 30,000 meals a day that we do not have any plans at this point to do any polling on caffeine.”

 

Mormon Women Seeking Middle Ground to Greater Equality

For some Mormon feminists, there can be only one goal on the road to gender equality: ordination to the all-male priesthood.

After all, every worthy male in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — starting at age 12 — is ordained in this priesthood. It is seen as a holy power, described as the authority to act in God’s name, yet given exclusively to men.

At the same time, lots of Mormon women are perfectly comfortable with the roles they believe God assigned to them, including motherhood and nurturing. They would not want, they say, to “hold the priesthood.”

Now comes a third and, some suggest, growing group of Mormon women somewhere between these two poles.

They are not pushing for ordination, but they crave a more engaged and visible role for women in the Mormon church. It is a role, they believe, that their Mormon foremothers played — and one that could fit easily into the institutional structure without distorting or dismantling doctrine.

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