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Posted 08 Dec 2001   For week ended December 07, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 06Dec01

By Kent Larsen

Readers Respond with Nominations for Mormon Of The Year

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Mormon News' readers have responded with three additional nominations for Mormon of the Year as we prepare for a vote starting December 15th. In addition to the 10 nominations provided in the announcement, Mormon News' readers have nominated: Cary Stayner, Jon M. Huntsman Sr. and Darius Gray.

Mormon News is launching the Mormon of the Year vote to determine who our readers believe, other than LDS Church president Gordon B. Hinckley, has been the most influential Mormon in the past year. As previously announced, nominations may be for any Mormon who has been in the news during the past year, and who was alive at some point during the year.

President Hinckley is excluded because it is likely that he, or whoever he LDS Church's president is, would be selected by readers each year, making the process of selecting a "Mormon of the Year" pointless. Instead, we are determining who, other than the prophet, has had the most influence.

Until December 15th, Mormon News will be accepting nominations for the award. To nominate someone, please send the nomination to:

In your message, please include the person's name, a link to a news article about his or her accomplishments during the year, and a sentence or two describing why you think this person should be considered. Mormon News' website should help you find an appropriate article, but links to other websites are also acceptable.

We will keep an updated list of those nominated on the MormonsToday website at the URL: .

On December 15th we will close nominations and open voting at that same web page. Voting will consist of ranking nominated people in a 'top ten' list. Each place on the list will be given a number of points, and the person with the most overall points will win.

One subscriber suggested that other women should be nominated. If you know of someone appropriate, please let us know.

The following list includes all nominees to date:

Gary Crowton (Nominated by Kent Larsen) As the replacement for famed BYU Coach LaVell Edwards, who retired last year, Crowton only had to do as well or a little better than Edwards had last year to be accepted as adequate. Instead Crowton has led the Cougars to their first undefeated (so far) season since their National Championship in 1984. See:
Crowton Will Be Named BYU Coach Today
Mormon News 7Dec00 S2

Eugene England (Nominated by Kent Larsen) Known for his untiring attempts to bridge the gap between liberal and conservative LDS Church members, W. Eugene England died August 17th of brain cancer. His example made a lasting impression for Church members of how to live in a community with conflicting views. See:
Remembering England
Mormon News 25Aug01 A2

Darius Gray (Nominated by Allen Johnson) Along with Marie Taylor, Darius Gray was instrumental in getting the Freedman's Bank Records on CD. Darius also published the first of three books "One More River To Cross" during the year and is President of the LDS Church's Genesis Group. As a result there is much activity among the African American community and the Church as been perceived in a very positive light. "I believe that thousands of names have been added to the Church's ancestral files as a result and these souls will now have an opportunity to have their work done for them," says subscriber Allen Johnson.
LDS Church's Genesis Organization is 30 Years Old
Mormon News 7Nov01 P2

Tom Green (Nominated by Kent Larsen) While not now an LDS Church member, Tom Green has been in the news this past year as much as any other Mormon. The Utah polygamist, once an LDS Church member, appeared in newspapers worldwide during his trial on bigamy charges. Although Green wouldn't see it this way, he gave the LDS Church more opportunity to disavow itself of polygamy than it would otherwise have had. See:
Polygamist Green Given Five Years, $78,000 Judgement
Mormon News 27Aug01 N5

Orrin Hatch (Nominated by Kent Larsen) Hatch continues to have a major impact on U.S. policies, including his groundbreaking decision to support the use of federal funds for stem-cell research. With Hatch leading the way, all five Mormon senators eventually supported stem-cell research, and the views of many conservatives were moderated on this issue because of his decision. See:
Hatch Favors Stem Cell Funding, Draws Pro-Life Ire
Mormon News 6Jul01 T2

Paula Houston (Nominated by Kent Larsen) Lawyer Houston was named Utah's Porn Czar to handle citizen complaints about pornography and help Utah's local governments draft laws that meet constitutional muster. The unique nature of her new job led to national attention.
LDS Church Member, Utah's 'Porn Czarina,' Gets National Attention
Mormon News 9Mar01 T2

Jon M. Huntsman Sr. (Nominated by Lyle Leavitt) While most wealthy men tend to loss their faith, Huntsman continues to demonstrate an unyielding ability to exercise his religion in his business, community and personal affairs. This is a very powerful example to member and non-member alike. "There are a million bad things he could be doing with that influence but I haven't heard of one." says Mormon News subscriber, and nominator Lyle Leavitt.
Notable Mormons, Apostle Support New 'Alliance for Unity'
Mormon News 21Sep01 P2

Elbert Peck (Nominated by Kent Larsen) For fifteen years Elbert Peck led Sunstone magazine, despite criticism from conservatives and continuing struggles to keep the magazine growing. In spite of the criticism, Peck has maintained his belief that Sunstone provides a needed and enduring role in the Mormon community. See:
Long-time Sunstone Publisher Elbert Peck Resigns
Mormon News 14Jun01 N4

Naomi Randall (Nominated by Kent Larsen) A longtime leader of the LDS Church's Primary organization, Randall was best known for authoring the favorite LDS hymn, "I am a Child of God," in 1957. Randall died May 17th at age 92. See:
'I am a Child of God' Author Naomi Randall Dies
Mormon News 21May01 P2

Mitt Romney (Nominated by Kent Larsen) When Romney took over the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in January, 1999, he became one of the most visible Mormons in the world, known for rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics from a bribery scandal that could have put it in the red. And since the 2002 Games he is preparing for is in the Mormon heartland, he has also become visible to many Mormons. See:
Deseret News Profiles Mitt Romney
Mormon News 7Jul00 S2

William Sadleir (Nominated by Kent Larsen) Sadleir pulled off one of the biggest Mormon commemorative events in history, focusing the attention of news media on two continents as well as hundreds of thousands of Mormons on a small group of ships commemorating the immigration of more than 80,000 Mormon pioneers from Europe to America. SeaTrek2001 was simply the biggest Mormon event since the 1997 Mormon Trek re-enactment. See:
SeaTrek Sails; Commemoration Gets International Attention
Mormon News 8Aug01 N6

Cary Stayner (Nominated by D. Jack Haycock) Stayner murdered three people in Yosemite park and then plead guilty to a federal homicide charge, getting life imprisonment. He is now awaiting trial for the Sunn-Peloso murders and expected to get the death penalty. His widely-publicised trial brought disgrace to the church and his family.
Overshadowed All His Life
Mormon News 8Aug99 P2

Mark Wattles (Nominated by Kent Larsen) CEO of Hollywood Entertainment has managed to turn around his company and raise its stock price during the year from under $1 a share to a high of $12 a share. See:
Hollywood Entertainment Fighting Investor Fears
Mormon News 19Sep01 B4


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