News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
| General News|
Temple Arguments Boil Down to Religious Necessity of Steeple
Lawyers for the LDS Church and for neighbors of the
Boston Temple argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Court Friday over the
Temple's steeple, with the Church claiming that a steeple is a religious
necessity while the neighbors argue that the Church is trying to use the
state's Dover Amendment to get around zoning laws. It is not known when the
court will issue a ruling in the case.
| Local News|
DNA Will Show Kleasen Murdered LDS Missionaries, Prosecutors Hope
Prosecutors in Travis county, Texas have contacted the
families of murdered LDS missionaries Mark Fischer and Gary Darley and
collected DNA samples from them in the hope that the DNA will help convict
Robert Elmer Kleasen of their 1974 murder. The lawyers are trying to have
their case ready by June, when Kleasen, who is serving a prison sentence in
England, is expected to be released and deported to the US.
Former LDS Missionary Charged with Molesting 11 Girls While on Mission
A North Carolina grand jury has indicted a
27-year-old former LDS missionary for 20 counts of felony sex
offenses allegedly committed while he was serving there on an LDS
mission. Matthew Nash was indicted on Tuesday for the crimes,
allegedly committed during a four-month period in 1999.
LDS RM Claims Supervisor Raped Him
An LDS returned missionary in Salt Lake City
has filed a lawsuit claiming that his former supervisor at Discover
Financial Services, Inc. got him drunk and raped him, saying she
wanted to corrupt a "young returned missionary." Jason A. Gammell,
who went to work for Discover in September 1997 after returning from
his mission, sued Angela Martellaro, his team supervisor, and
Discover for sexual harassment, religious discrimination and
constructive discharge, saying that Martellaro threatened him with
losing his job if he didn't "give her what she wanted."
Murphy Misses Hall of Fame for Third Time
As expected, baseball writers once again declined to
add LDS baseball star Dale Murphy to the Hall of Fame, but left him with
enough votes to continue consideration again next year. Instead, the writers
chose baseball greats Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett, both in their first
year of eligibility, for the Hall. The voting makes it increasingly clear
that it is highly unlikely that Murphy will be inducted.
US Army Gives Up Effort to Kick-Out Gay ex-LDS Arizona Legislator
Steve May, a gay former LDS Church member serving in the
Arizona state legislature, learned Monday that the US Army has dropped its
attempt to kick May out of the Army Reserves under its "don't ask, don't
tell" policy. The decision ends a 21-month-long effort by the Army to remove
May after his sexual orientation came to light.
Redistricting Puts Istook's House Seat At Risk
While Utah fights to gain an additional seat in the US
House of Representatives, one that would likely be filled by a Mormon, the
same redistricting process may put the seat of an LDS congressman at risk.
As a result of low population growth compared to other states, Oklahoma has
lost a seat in the US House of Representatives. At least one of its current
six congressmen, which includes LDS Church member Ernest Istook, will not be
in the US Congress in 2002.
Former LDS Bishop Used LDS Chat Room to Lure Teenager
Former LDS Bishop Gordon Brent Bodily plead guilty
Friday to a charge of enticement for illegal sexual activity, arising from
his posing as a teenager in an LDS-oriented chat room and luring a
17-year-old North Carolina girl to a Utah motel room. Bodily, 51, faces up
to 10 years in prison for the charge, which happened while he was an LDS
Bishop. He has since been released from his calling and excommunicated,
according to an LDS Church spokesperson.
LDS Missionary Tells Modesto Bee About El Salvador Quake
The Modesto Bee today carried an account of the El
Salvador earthquake from Elder Peter Stone, 21, who is currently serving an
LDS mission there. The earthquake, which hit the Central American country
Saturday morning, killed at least 600 people, including two LDS Church
members, according to an LDS Church press release. The quake measured 7.6 on
the Ricter scale.
| Arts & Entertainment|
Lawsuit Over 'Children of the Promise' Dismissed
The memoir of an LDS soldier who survived a
Japanese POW camp during World War II is historical fact, and can't
be copyrighted, ruled US District Judge Dale A. Kimball last week.
Kimball's ruling threw out the lawsuit filed by the former soldier,
Gene Jacobsen, against LDS author Dean Hughes and his publisher, LDS
Church-owned Deseret Book.
MoTab's Float is Largest
Hargrove, Inc., the company that is building the floats
for George W. Bush's inaugural parade, has had to scramble to put together
the floats for this year's parade. The delayed election results left the
company with little time to design and build the floats, as well as prepare
for the inauguration's nine balls, two dinners and two luncheons. But in
spite of the delay, owner Earl C. Hargrove says he has the biggest float
ever built for people to carry the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Franklin Covey Founder Hyrum Smith Struggles Back From Excommunication
In Saturday's Salt Lake Tribune, Franklin
Covey co-founder Hyrum Smith talked about his new book, "What Matters
Most" and about his struggle back from his 1998 excommunication from
the LDS Church. While he refused to talk about the excommunication
itself or much about the events that led to it, he did say that the
process has been a very painful experience.
Doing Business in an LDS World
The public radio business program Marketplace
was in Salt Lake City today, and took a 10-minute-long look at the
cultural factors of doing business in a Mormon-dominated society:
Salt Lake City. Marketplace's Bob Moon reported that some members of
the dominant religion often behaves in a way that wouldn't be
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