Court says LDS Church must release long-veiled financial information
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Supreme Court rejected an effort by the Mormon church to withhold financial information from the lawyers for a man who claims a "home teacher" frequently molested him about 20 years ago. Despite the legal defeat, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not immediately release the detailed financial information about its net worth, The Oregonian newspaper reported. Kelly Clark, an attorney for the Oregon man suing the church, said it would be good for a jury to have the information before considering his request for $45 million in punitive damages. A trial is scheduled for Aug. 6. "A jury needs to know the entire financial context to know whether a punitive award is too much or sufficient or not enough," Clark said.
Mormon milestone: Missionary army has enlisted 1 million since church’s 1830 founding
PROVO – Standing on the grounds of the LDS Missionary Training Center before a statue of Mormonism’s first missionary, LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard announced Monday that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has called its millionth missionary since the faith’s founding in 1830. "The first million was hard," said Elder Dieter Uchtdorf, a member of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles who sits on the church’s missionary executive committee. "The second million will be easy. [The number of missionaries] will grow and it will grow fast."
Mountain Meadows site focus of dispute
Descendants of the 120-member Arkansas immigrant party slaughtered in southern Utah by pioneer LDS settlers say their plea for federal stewardship of the Mountain Meadows mass grave site has been rejected by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Phil Bolinger and Scott Fancher of the Arkansas-based Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation say they got the news June 6 in a telephone call from Elder Marlin Jensen, who oversees the church history department. "He told us that President (Gordon B.) Hinckley had turned us down. He doesn’t think it’s in the best interests of the church to allow federal stewardship in the meadows," said Bolinger, the foundation president who is related to 30 of those killed. "That really bit me bad."
Utahns provide $1 million-plus weekend for Romney
WASHINGTON – Utahns raised more than $1 million for presidential candidate Mitt Romney last weekend, according to those who helped collect the funds. Between three events in the Beehive State on Saturday and some 150 Utahns flying to Boston for a phone-a-thon fund-raiser, Utah supporters pulled in about $1.4 million for Romney’s 2008 White House bid, the sources say. Romney already netted some $2.7 million from Utahns in the first three months of this year, making it his second-highest yielding state behind California.
BYU’s new gateway: Gordon B. Hinckley Center dedicated on his 97th birthday
Provo — He may need a cane, a hearing aid and a pacemaker, but at 97, the sense of humor of the oldest man to serve as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shows no signs of aging. President Gordon B. Hinckley cracked prepared jokes and scored laughs with witty ad-libs during a short, tender, televised birthday party Saturday at Brigham Young University as he and a son opened an enormous birthday present purchased by 70,000 of his closest friends.
LDS Church says membership now 13 million worldwide
PROVO – Worldwide membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has reached 13 million, the church announced today. The LDS church, based in Salt Lake City, continues to have more members outside of the United States than within it, the church said.
LDS Church rebuts terror-fund comments
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints defended itself Friday against year-old allegations – recently renewed by the controversial comments of a John McCain campaign worker – that the church had helped fund Hamas terrorists. LDS officials in Salt Lake City said their church had indeed sent money to an Islamic charity – but strictly for humanitarian and disaster relief work and through a reputable organization.
Bush toes ‘moral line,’ vetos embryo stem cell study expansion, Hatch joins Dems in opposing White House
WASHINGTON – Supporters of expanding embryonic stem cell research, including Utahns suffering from maladies, were frustrated Wednesday with President Bush’s second veto of a stem cell bill.
New Temple to be built in Manaus, Brazil
A new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be built in Manaus, Brazil, according to a recent announcement of the First Presidency of the Church.
A national spotlight on LDS beliefs
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — and his membership in the LDS Church — are the topics of a Time magazine cover story and a new "60 Minutes" interview. The publicity comes as the 10 GOP candidates for the White House, including Romney and his fellow front-runners, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona’s Sen. John McCain, prepare for their second debate next week. While Romney typically trails in the polls behind Giuliani and McCain, he appears to be attracting the most attention in advance of the debate that will be broadcast live Tuesday evening on the Fox News Channel from the University of South Carolina.
Sharpton apologizes, plans Utah trip
The Rev. Al Sharpton apologized publicly to all Mormons and privately to two LDS Church apostles Thursday for a comment he made during a debate this week that suggested members of the church didn’t believe in God. Sharpton also said he plans to travel to Utah to meet with the apostles he spoke with, Elder Russell M. Nelson and Elder Henry B. Eyring of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve. No date has been set for the trip, described by Sharpton during an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Glenn Beck as an attempt to "create a dialogue" after Sharpton raised questions about the LDS Church’s treatment of African-Americans.
Will the Next Harry Potter Be a Mormon?
His first book has sold almost 72,000 copies in hardcover since its August release. His small publisher retained famed Creative Arts Agency in reaction to what his editor calls an "intense amount of interest" in movie rights. Crowds swarm the rookie author’s appearances. As Harry Potter ends, publishers compete to give fantasy enthusiasts the next big family-friendly series. Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven books, set on a preserve for magical creatures in Connecticut, are so hot that he represented Borders at this past weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the nation’s largest.
The Mormons’ documentary breaks PBS ratings records
Janine Weathers hopes her birth mother in Minnesota this week caught the two-part PBS documentary called "The Mormons." "I’m hoping she watched it and got a better understanding," the North Ogden Mormon said of her birth mother, who is not LDS. "Because it’s something we can’t talk about face to face." If national and local ratings of the highly-touted "American Experience"/"Frontline" documentary are any indication, her mother might have tuned in.
Romney not alone on shifts in stances
Mitt Romney’s political opponents miss few chances to tag him as a "flip-flopper," aggressively highlighting his shifts on abortion, immigration, and gun control, among others. One mystery critic even dresses up as Flipper the dolphin and shadows Romney at Republican events. It has largely worked: Romney has struggled to shake that label, and bloggers, pundits, and the media have seized on discrepancies between his past and current positions as he pursues the Republican presidential nomination.
No parole for Addam Swapp
Mastermind of ’88 bombing and standoff that resulted in officer’s death to remain in prison at least another 5 years. Addam Swapp – who blew up an LDS church in 1988 then engaged in a standoff that claimed the life of a Utah corrections officer – has been denied a prison release date, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announced Monday. Swapp, 46, will appear again before the board in September 2012, after having served seven years of his 1- to-15-year manslaughter conviction.
Angel Moroni gone, but new coffeehouse T-shirt still resolutely ‘irreverent’
Coffee makers here have turned potential trademark infringement into grounds for inspiration. In March, the LDS Church asked Just Add Coffee to stop selling a popular T-shirt that featured coffee being funneled into Angel Moroni’s iconic trumpet. (The angel tops most LDS temples and figures prominently in the religion’s scriptures.) The Taylorsville store owners complied, but the spat spurred a new design, with the angel removed, that might prove even more marketable.
A winding path leads a Mormon back to Salt Lake – as a Presbyterian minister
The newly ordained pastor is the first "homegrown" minister in Utah’s Presbyterian Church in America. Jonathan Hays, being ordained to the Christian ministry last month was like getting married. You make a lot of promises to love, honor and respect the church members you will serve, and they reciprocate. But you never really know what you’re getting into. And, like any new bridegroom, Hays, who now serves as associate pastor at New Song Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, was both awestruck and humbled.
Father can’t sue LDS Church
The Utah Court of Appeals has ruled that a father locked in an international custody battle with his former wife in Japan cannot sue The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for ordaining his two sons into the LDS priesthood against his wishes.In a ruling published Thursday, the appeals court said a lower district court rightfully dismissed a suit filed against the church by Michael Gulbraa, who describes himself as a non-practicing Mormon, claiming fraud and breach of contract. The appellate judges stated such a cause of action would "excessively entangle the court in either the church’s religious operations, the interpretation of its teachings, the performance of its ceremonies, or the governance of its affairs." Gulbraa said LDS Church leaders ignored his wishes not to ordain his sons, at the time 11 and 12, in Japan while he and his ex-wife were battling for custody.
Cannon creates PAC to aid ‘like-minded’
Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, has created a political action committee aimed at getting "like-minded" contributors — and candidates — involved in the election process. The Eagle PAC has been in the planning stages for a while, but Cannon officially filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to create the entity in January, said Cannon’s chief of staff, Joe Hunter. It is not uncommon for members of Congress to have PACs, which collect money and then donate it to other candidates’ election campaigns or to other PACs. Hunter said the results of the November 2006 election really pushed Cannon to organize the PAC, even though it had been an idea long before that. "We need to reclaim some of those seats we lost," Hunter said. The PAC will focus on electing conservative candidates with a record similar to Cannon’s — pro-economic growth, pro-national security and conservative values, Hunter said. Most of the PAC’s chief organizers are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But Hunter said the goal of the PAC is not just to recruit Mormon candidates.
LDS-tied events to bisect in Arkansas: Conference on Pratt, camp for massacre kin set for April 21
Latter-day Saints familiar with early church leader Parley P. Pratt may find it ironic that a conference exploring his life will take place in Arkansas the same day that descendants of those killed in the Mountain Meadows Massacre gather in a different part of that state. Both events come in the days preceding release of a feature film about the massacre, "September Dawn," which is set to open in theaters May 4. A scholarly conference on "Religion and Reaction: The Life, Times and Legacy of Parley Parker Pratt," is scheduled Saturday, April 21, at the Convention Center in Fort Smith, Ark., featuring a variety of historians and scholars exploring the details of Pratt’s life and ministry.
Hatch and Bennett vote ‘yea’ as Senate OKs stem cell bills
The Senate approved two stem cell research bills Wednesday: one President Bush has promised to veto and one he would sign. Utah’s Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett voted in favor of both bills, with Hatch taking to the floor twice urging members to support the bill the White House does not favor. Hatch co-sponsored a bill offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that lifts federal funding restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. The bill passed 63-34, but would need 67 votes to override Bush’s promised veto.
Patrol confronts students over Christian literature: Officer tells college team missions work ‘shameful’
An officer with a state police force has confronted a team of college students on a spring break missions trip, telling them that handing out Christian literature is "shameful." In Pakistan? India? Perhaps Syria? Nope. In Utah. Not only that, but a second officer, this one with a local police force, confronted the same students just a day later, telling them that handing out such information was "looked down on here."
A prophet no more? Jeffs called himself a ‘sinner’ in jailhouse conversation
ST. GEORGE — Warren Jeffs has reportedly renounced his title as "prophet" of the Fundamentalist LDS Church in a jailhouse conversation with one of his brothers. "He said he is the greatest of all sinners and, in so many words, worked his way to be the leader and prophet when he knew he wasn’t called of God to be a prophet," a law enforcement source familiar with the conversation told the Deseret Morning News. Jeffs, 51, made the comments during a January conversation with his brother, Nephi Jeffs, who has visited him in the Purgatory Jail in Hurricane. The conversation was recorded by jail officials, who monitor most of the FLDS leader’s phone calls and visits.
What’s changed at Tabernacle?
As Latter-day Saints get their first peek into the newly restored Salt Lake Tabernacle later this week, questions about what has changed and what remains the same are inevitable. Yet curiosity about the 140-year-old building has been a discussion point throughout much of its history and rekindled by its closure for seismic retrofitting and upgrading in late 2004. The historic building is to be rededicated this weekend during the 177th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its unique "turtle" shape — under which the acoustics resonate richly the drop of a pin as well as the famed Tabernacle organ — has been lauded for decades by tour guides on Temple Square.
Internet Tuning in to Jeffs – a rock start: His voice, image making inroads to pop culture
He’s gone from polygamy to pop culture. Warren Jeffs merchandise is popping up on the Internet, from T-shirts featuring the Fundamentalist LDS Church leader dressed in stereotypical "pimp" garb, to Jeffs’ voice fronting a song for an experimental rock group’s latest album. "His view of the world seems very twisted, and we wonder if he really believes what he’s saying, or is it just rhetoric to control the flock?" Steve De Chiara of the Chicago-based group KinkZoid wrote in an e-mail to the Deseret Morning News.
Jeffs indicted on count of unlawful flight: U.S. says he fled Utah in 2006 to avoid prosecution
On the day he was charged in St. George with rape as an accomplice, federal prosecutors believe that Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs was a fugitive on the run. "He’s an individual with influence and the ability to be on the run — as he proved," said U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman. "If he were not prosecuted federally, then his acts in fleeing from the state to avoid prosecution would go unpunished." A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City handed down an indictment Wednesday, charging the polygamist leader with a single count of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. It carries with it a punishment of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Opinions are diverse on ‘those Mormons’
Americans identify polygamy with the LDS Church more than anything else, including Donny and Marie. And, a new Gallup poll released Friday shows, 46 percent of the nation has an unfavorable opinion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, compared to 42 percent who have a favorable opinion. "Something about the Mormon religion apparently disturbs a significant portion of the American population," according to the Gallup News Service. But scholars and political scientists say the results shouldn’t concern Mormons, who belong to one of the fastest-growing religions in America. "I don’t think it’s anything to get too excited about because it’s not that bad," said Rodney Stark, Baylor University professor of social sciences. "A whole lot of Americans have never met a Mormon." The nationwide Gallup telephone survey of 1,018 adults, conducted Feb. 22-25, shows the negative attitudes appear to be based on more than just concerns about the Utah-based religion in a presidential context. The poll, which can be found at galluppoll.com, has a 4 percent margin of error.
Evangelical College faces criticism over Romney invite
NORFOLK, Va. — Some students and alumni at an evangelical Christian university founded by Pat Robertson are upset with the commencement choice of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon. "My initial reaction was, how could they do this?" said Lynne Gilham, a Columbus, Ohio, minister and former reporter who had posted a comment denouncing the choice on a ministry blog. She said she earned a master’s degree in journalism from the school, Regent University, in 1992. Gilham said Friday that she understands "evangelicals in an academic context need to be exposed to other viewpoints." But she fears inviting a speaker of the LDS faith "would confuse young Christians who are not so firmly grounded in Christian doctrine."
Utahns quick to donate in crisis; cash usually goes where it should
A box at the Bosna restaurant is set up to collect donations to help the family of Trolley Square shooter, Sulejman Talovic. The restaurant also has a donation box for the shooting victims. A daughter swept away in a tsunami. Another murdered by her husband. A husband killed in a plane crash. And sons injured or killed when a van rolls during a university outing. When tragedy strikes, Utahns step forward with open hearts to offer support – and open wallets – to help ease the financial burden through accounts set up at Utah banks and credit unions.
Romney Family Tree Has Polygamy Branch
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — While Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate’s great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great grandfathers had 12. Polygamy was not just a historical footnote, but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor now seeking to become the first Mormon president. Romney’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, married his fifth wife in 1897. That was more than six years after Mormon leaders banned polygamy and more than three decades after a federal law barred the practice. Romney’s great-grandmother, Hannah Hood Hill, was the daughter of polygamists. She wrote vividly in her autobiography about how she "used to walk the floor and shed tears of sorrow" over her own husband’s multiple marriages. Romney’s great-great grandfather, Parley Pratt, an apostle in the church, had 12 wives. In an 1852 sermon, Parley Pratt’s brother and fellow apostle, Orson Pratt, became the first church official to publicly proclaim and defend polygamy as a direct revelation from God.
Missionaries free: LDS in Nigeria praised for resolving abduction
Top LDS Church leaders in Salt Lake City are crediting Nigerian church leaders for negotiating the release of four Nigerian LDS missionaries late Wednesday night in the west African nation, after the abductors were paid for expenses incurred during the time the men were held.
BYU blocks campus access to YouTube
PROVO – It was the catch heard ’round the county. With time expired, Brigham Young University quarterback John Beck chucked the pigskin across his body to connect with a wide-open Jonny Harline in the end zone, sealing a 33-31 victory against rival University of Utah. Minutes later, as jubilant Cougar fans drove home, videos of the final play were being uploaded on YouTube. A moment burned in the brains of BYU faithful is immortalized, at least 15 times, on the ever-popular video sharing site. The only catch? Even John Beck himself can’t access the videos on campus. YouTube is one of the newest sites to be blocked from BYU’s on-campus computers. It’s self-explanatory that the school blocks sites like Frederick’s of Hollywood and the Wonderful World of Lesbianism — but why restrict access to every 20-something’s favorite pastime?
Will Mormon Faith hurt bid for White House?
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s easy to find Mormons who have run into misconceptions about their faith. Take Jeff Hartley, executive director of the Republican Party in Utah, a state that’s 70% Mormon. "I only have one mom. I only have one wife," he says. "That’s not the understanding that a lot of people have." The emergence of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon waging a strong campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, spotlights a religion often viewed as odd despite its rapid growth and attempts to go mainstream.
A troubling autism rate
Utah has one of the highest rates of autism among 14 states, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among Utah boys, the rate is one in 79, second highest in the nation. Overall, the rate is one in every 133 children in Utah, a phenomenon researchers call "an urgent public health concern." Moreover, Utah’s rate of autism is 20 times higher than two decades ago, researchers said.
LDS Church retools ‘Newsroom’ Web site
The Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints revamped its "Newsroom" Web site and officially opened it to the public Thursday. The site, www.newsroom.lds.org, will serve as the official resource for news media, opinion leaders and the general public.
Will Pope Benedict become a Mormon after he dies?
PARIS (Reuters) – Pope Benedict was baptized at birth and will most likely be baptized again one year after his death, not by his Roman Catholic Church but by a Mormon he never met. The Mormons, a U.S.-based denomination officially named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), encourage members to baptize the dead by proxy in the belief they are helping the deceased attain full access to heaven.
Missionary, church sued over abuse
BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionary who was accused of sexually abusing three people in 2005 while on his mission has been sued along with the church by the mother of one of the accusers. The eastern Kentucky woman contends that Jason Stark’s conduct damaged her son psychologically, socially and mentally. The lawsuit says the boy, who is younger than 18, has suffered public scorn, ridicule and embarrassment because of Stark, who is from Idaho. The case was filed in Lee County Circuit Court in December. The LDS Church asked last week that the case be moved to federal court.
Polygamist Wife In Prison After Parole Reversed
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A former plural wife of deceased Utah polygamist Ervil LeBaron has been denied parole by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Vonda White, who has served 28 years on a murder conviction, was granted release by the state’s parole board in September but the California governor reversed the decision Thursday.
Bill would help women leaving polygamists
PHOENIX – Women who leave polygamist husbands should be given sole custody of their children, a state lawmaker says. Rep. David Lujan, D-Phoenix, is sponsoring two bills he says would help protect women and children in places such as Colorado City in northern Arizona. "What’s happening up there is clearly child and spousal abuse," said Lujan, who is also an attorney for a children’s justice organization. HB 2325, which had yet to be assigned to a committee as of Tuesday, deals with polygamy and child bigamy, an offense that includes married adults taking minors as spouses and adults causing minors to marry adults who already have spouses.
Mormon church, Boy Scouts accused in sex-abuse lawsuit
PORTLAND, Ore.(AP) — Two brothers who claim they were sexually abused as children by a "home teacher" filed a $6.5 million lawsuit Monday against the Mormon church and Boy Scouts of America. The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, alleges the Boy Scouts and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were responsible because Timur Dykes was their authorized representative in the mid-1980s. Dykes was convicted of child sexual abuse, according to the lawsuit filed by Portland attorney Kelly Clark, who has represented victims of alleged abuse by Roman Catholic priests. Dykes, also known as Timur Van Dykes, is listed on the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice Web site as a "predatory sex offender" who gains access to vulnerable boys and families through positions of trust.
Romney Forms Presidential Committee, Focuses on Fundraising
Washington Post, January 5, 2007, Page A03. Outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a successful businessman from a prominent Michigan Republican family, joined the 2008 sweepstakes yesterday, formally establishing a presidential committee and turning his attention to the substantial fundraising and organizational demands of a national campaign. On a day he participated in a ritualistic walk from the statehouse that symbolically marked the end of his single term as governor of one of the most liberal states in the union, Romney set his sights on winning his party’s presidential nomination against such nationally known opponents as Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
Family group: Mitt Romney chose ‘gay’ marriage
WorldNetDaily. A leader of the Parents’ Rights Coalition in Massachusetts says he believed all along that Gov. Mitt Romney chose to implement "gay" marriages in that state, and now a court has confirmed that it did not have the power to order that change. John Haskins, associate director of the family-support organization, told WND that three years after the Goodridge decision by the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts, "Americans merely have to note that the judges admit now … that they have no power over the other branches of government, and that the state constitution says that only the legislature can suspend laws."
Sect’s Texas outpost looking permanent
Dallas-Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, January 1, 2007. Their prophet, Warren Jeffs, is awaiting a criminal trial next April. A court-appointed fiduciary is combing through the polygamist sect’s assets. It might lead one to assume that the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints is on the verge of breaking apart. But with this secretive group, the truth is often a mystery. What is clear is that the sect’s 1,691-acre West Texas outpost near Eldorado appears to be thriving. Buildings continue to be constructed.
Colorado City polygamist gets prison term
KINGMAN – A Colorado City polygamist was sentenced to prison while his codefendant agreed to a plea agreement Monday in Mohave County Superior Court David Romaine Bateman, 49, was convicted in October with sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor. Bateman, a member of a polygamist sect in Colorado City, was convicted of having sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl in late 2001 or early 2002. The girl then gave birth to his child.
Nauvoo — Tiny town is a tourist magnet
NAUVOO, Ill. — Chandler Whipple recently logged his third 1,000-mile drive from Salt Lake City to this tiny, out-of-the-way town overlooking the Mississippi River, where history and faith have forged one of Illinois’ hottest tourism draws. Fellow Mormons Mark and Holly Gold also made the long drive from Utah to western Illinois recently to revisit ground they consider sacred, built by church founders who were chased west more than a century-and-a-half ago amid waves of violence. "People see so many Utah plates here they probably think everyone from out there has to make a pilgrimage," joked Whipple. "They don’t, but a lot do."
Polygamists Pawns in the Agenda to Dismantle the Family
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The rising tide of polygamist groups in America have adopted the tactics of homosexual activists to lobby for legal recognition of their relationships, however, these groups are playing an important role in the long-standing agenda to dismantle the traditional family. In a recent Washington Post story, "Valerie", a mother of eight "with a smile as bright as Utah’s sky", who "has insisted that she’s just like you and me" illustrates that polygamists have discovered the tactics used by homosexual activists to further acceptance of their relationships in society.
A Prophet in Purgatory: Will throwing the book at polygamist Warren Jeffs bust up his sect or be a boon to it?
Nevada Highway Patrolman Eddie Dutchover wasn’t expecting much when he stopped the maroon 2007 Cadillac Escalade heading north out of Las Vegas. All the officer wanted to know was why the car had paper tags rather than license plates. But there was something strange about the tall, thin man in the back seat. The guy seemed nervous, so jittery you could see the main artery in his neck furiously pumping blood up into his face. Plus, he was obsessively eating a salad, refusing to make eye contact with the patrolman.
Kirtland cult members’ letters talk of renewal, doubt
By the time Jeffrey Lundgren fired bullets into the heads of a Kirtland couple and their three daughters 17 years ago, he had so twisted the religious fervor of followers Ron Luff and Sharon Bluntschly that they were convinced they participated in the murders as a sacrifice to God. The gunshots set Lundgren, Luff and Bluntschly on personal journeys. Lundgren’s ended Oct. 24 with a 17-step walk to a room in Lucasville prison where he was executed by lethal injection. Bluntschly’s ended a few years earlier, also in a prison, when she walked up the stairs of a chapel to be baptized as a Christian, renewing her devotion to God.
White Horse in the White House: Will a Mormon candidate fulfill Joseph Smith’s prophecy?
Though his family hails from Michigan and he is governor of Massachusetts, the lion’s share of contributions to likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney come from Utah. This is hardly surprising. More than 70% of Utah’s residents are, like Mr. Romney, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). As fellow Mormons, they feel a special kinship with him. Some even see in him the potential to fulfill a 160-year-old premonition by Mormon founder Joseph Smith, known as the "White Horse Prophecy."
Romney camp consulted with Mormon leaders
SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Mitt Romney’s political team has quietly consulted with leaders of the Mormon Church to map out plans for a nationwide network of Mormon supporters to help Romney capture the presidency in 2008, according to interviews and written materials reflecting plans for the initiative. Over the past two months, Romney’s political operatives and church leaders have discussed building a grass-roots political organization using alumni chapters of Brigham Young University’s business school around the country.
Mormons Financing Terrorism?
Mormons are among the most patriotic Americans. So, why are they the new financiers of Islamic terrorism and instruction for young children in beheadings? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormon Church, is the single largest donor to the U.S. branch of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), also known as Islamic Relief. In the past year, it donated $1.6 million to the charity. But Islamic Relief is not just any charity. The Israeli government says it is a Hamas front group. It is also under investigation by the American government.