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Posted 09 Jan 2002   For week ended January 04, 2002
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 02Jan02
By Kent Larsen
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Vote Starts for 2001 Mormon of the Year

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Mormon News has opened voting for the 2001 Mormon of the Year, to be chosen by visitors to its website from the 14 Mormons nominated by Mormon News' subscribers. Those who wish to vote put 10 of the Mormons nominated in priority order by by visiting or . The results will be compiled on January 15th and announced the following day.

Mormon News announced the poll to its subscribers in early December, and subscribers nominated 14 of the most prominent Mormons in the news during the past year. The poll specifically excludes the current LDS Church prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, because he would likely be chosen as the Mormon of the Year each year. Instead, the poll tries to identify the most influential Mormon, other than President Hinckley, during the past year.

The poll is meant to be an annual event, held at the end of each year, to recognize the influence of Mormons in society and among the Mormon people.

The following people were nominated for 2001 Mormon of the Year:

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

Rulon Gardner (Nominated by ) The 12 months since his upset win in the Sydney Australia Summer Olympic Games, Gardner has been everywhere, recieving awards, making endorsements, television commercials, and public appearances. But the changes have been more than a financial windfall for Gardner, who has maintained his standards throughout the publicity. One Year after the Gold
Mormon News 27Sep01 S2

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 7Aug99 P2
Stayner family's woeful history
Mormon News 7Aug99 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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