News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
| General News|
Dallas Missionary Leaves Hospital Beaten but not Broken
Elder Burke Jensen was released from the Baylor Institute
for Rehabilitation Friday, 2 1/2 weeks after he and his companion were
attacked in a Dallas neighborhood in an apparent robbery attempt. Elder
Jensen still suffers from the attack -- he has blurred vision, slurred
speech and an arm in a sling -- but the attack has not dampened his
enthusiasm nor made him bitter towards his attackers.
LDS Church Speaks Out on Idaho Religious Freedom Act
The LDS Church is using its influence in Idaho to
support the Idaho Religious Freedom Act, a state law meant to restore
the legal standard that existed before a 1990 US Supreme Court
decision. Speaking in the Eagle Idaho Stake Conference Sunday, Elder
F. Melvin Hammond, a former three-term minority leader in the Idaho
legislature and now president of the LDS Church's North America
Northwest Area, made the Church's position clear to local members.
Monday, the Church released his remarks and an explanatory press
release on the national service, PRNewswire.
| Local News|
Maine Branch Faces Zoning Controversy
The Yarmouth branch has grown from 40 members to
150 in the past eight years, and now it is trying to build a chapel. But the
building's neighbors are objecting, saying the building is too large for the
community and that its construction seems to be controlled by far-off
officials in Salt Lake City.
Tacoma Area LDS Chapel Ransacked
Vandals ransacked an LDS chapel on Washington's
Key Peninsula Saturday night, leaving $40,000 in damage and leading
Bishop Robert Barrett to cancel Sunday meetings in favor of a cleanup
project. While nothing was stolen, the vandals destroyed computers,
video equipment, plumbing fixtures and furnishings.
Wyoming Star Fights BYU, but also Eliminates Religious Slurs
Marcus Bailey has become a star basketball player at the
University of Wyoming, and fights hard against BYU every time they play,
gaining the admiration of BYU coach Steve Cleveland. But Bailey has also
managed to eliminate the religious slurs the Cowboy's fans used to yell at
BYU's players. The fans, it seems, don't want to offend their star player.
Bailey is an LDS Church member.
December Drunk Driving Incident Proves Costly to BYU, Player
Both BYU's football team and a team member, potential recruit
and former player are paying the price of a drunk driving incident December
9th associated with a recruiting trip. BYU has now placed the player, star
running back Brian McDonald, on probation, and dropped the recruit from its
list of potential candidates.
Brisbane Temple Restrictions at Stake in Zoning Fight
The LDS Church's plan to build a $9
million temple in Brisbane's Kangaroo Point cliffs neighborhood could be
decided in a legal battle set to start next month. While the Brisbane City
Council approved the plans, it did so with building and operating conditions
that the Church considers unacceptable, and which it is challenging.
However, LDS Church officials have declined to say what they will do if they
loose the Church's appeal of the restrictions.
Mormons Supported Bush More Than Other Religious Groups
Mormon voters chose George W. Bush over challenger Al Gore
by 88% to 12%, according to a new poll by researchers at the University of
Akron, Calvin College, Furman University and Wheaton College of Illinois.
However, Mormon voters were a small part, less than 5%, of the support for
either candidate, in line with the proportion of Mormons in the general
LDS Internet Apologist Websites Agree to Merge
The Foundation for Apologetic Information and
Research, known as FAIR, has joined Internet forces with the
Scholarly &Historical Information Exchange for Latter-Day Saints
(SHIELDS) by merging their operations into one central clearinghouse
in order to answer anti-Mormon claims. The merger was approved by
the boards of both organizations and will consolidate the two groups
Joe Firmage Seeks Credibility On-line
The Mormon millionaire whose claim to
have seen an alien got him ejected from the boardroom of his dotcom
company in 1998, has fought his way back online, and is seeking a
much more credible reputation. Joe Firmage, a former LDS Church
member who founded the Internet consultancy USWeb (now called
MarchFirst, Inc.), will launch his new venture, OneCosmos.net this
month after partnering with one of the most credible sources in the
science community, the widow of famed scientist Carl Sagan.
Walnut Creek Expells 'Flasher the Clown' from Parade
A self-described devout Mormon has been expelled
from Walnut Creek's annual Walnut Festival Parade after townspeople
complained that his 28-year-old act is offensive. Bob Manion has appeared in
the parade, and several others, as "Flasher the Clown" since 1973. In his
act he opens his coat to reveal a small terrier sticking out of the top of
| Arts & Entertainment|
Angel Moroni Installed in Museum, Instead of Atop Boston Temple
The LDS Church hasn't yet been able to put a
statue of the Angel Moroni sculpted by artist Cyrus E. Dallin on top of the
Boston Temple, but it has been able to put a 29-inch replica in a local
museum. After some controversy, the Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum in Arlington,
Massachussets has accepted the smaller replica as a permanent part of its
Marriott in Auction Battle to Acquire Hotel Group
Marriott Corp. is one of the bidders
seeking to buy the Forte Hotels group in an auction expected to be
the world's biggest. The third round of the auction will continue
this week, and is expected to be completed in March. Marriott,
founded and run by the Marriott family, members of the LDS Church, is
looking at the chain of hotels to make a major expansion outside of
MediaNews Opposes Adding Deseret News to Tribune Lawsuit
The Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Company's lawsuit
against Tribune owner MediaNews Group, filed December 1 in federal court will
soon go before U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell. But MediaNews Group
Inc. is now opposing the attempt by the Salt Lake Tribune to add Deseret
News Publishing Co. as a defendant in the suit, fearing an attempt to shift
the lawsuit to another court. If the News becomes a defendant it would mean
that the two parties are Utah companies and MediaNews fears that could give
the state courts jurisdiction.
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