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Malcolm Jeppsen’s Role in Sept Six

Malcolm Jeppsen served in the Quorum of 70 from 1989-1994

Malcolm Jeppsen served as a Seventy from 1989-94, passing away in 2012.  His daughter, Christine Jeppsen Clark talked to John Dehlin concerning her father’s role in the September Six excommunications in 1993.  The Church has long maintained that excommunications are local decisions, but Church leaders at headquarters have been known to release stake presidents who don’t follow the desire of Church leaders.  It was an interesting interview, and I wanted to transcribe some of the pertinent areas of Part 3 where Christine discussed her father’s central role in the controversy. Continue Reading »

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The LDS Drug Problem

I watched Lisa Ling’s program on CNN Saturday night dealing with the LDS Drug problem.  (A short preview is available here.)  On the one hand, it was unremarkable.  Drug users (in any community) say that they want to stop doing drugs, but are very flaky and keep doing them. LDS users are no different.  On the other hand, Lisa highlighted the unique aspects of the LDS drug problem.

The Word of Wisdom was a key aspect of the program.  Yes, Mormons don’t drink and don’t smoke.  We believe in clean living.  But we do go to the doctor and are prescribed all kinds of legal drugs, so Ling referred to that as a gray area.  Utah has more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than from car accidents, and Utah has the highest death rate from prescription drugs in America.  Lisa said it was very hard to get Mormons to talk on camera about the problem, and the secrecy is part of the problem with addiction.  She highlighted that Mormons try to be perfect, so much so that we don’t like to air our dirty laundry to the neighbors for fear of being judged.  That just seems to feed the addiction problem. Continue Reading »

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Ordain Women Round 3: Success or Setback?

Last October, Ordain Women announced its intention to attend the males-only General Priesthood session, and repeated the intention this past April.  In response, Church leaders excommunicated Kate Kelly in June of this year, announcing that Temple Square was off limits for this “protest.”  Furthermore, the Church decided to ban media from both the Women’s meeting (held one week ago) along with the General Priesthood Meeting Saturday night.  This has led many to believe that Ordain Women is no longer an issue. But is that true?KateKelly-phsession

Prior to last April’s General Conference, Ordain Women announced that they would not go to Temple Square to attend the Priesthood Session.  Instead they encouraged women to go to their local stake centers to attend the session, and the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that many were successful this time.  3rd times the charm?

The LDS Church seems to have made many changes in response to Ordain Women.  Women are praying more in General Conference, and seem to have a higher profile than in years past.  Is Ordain Women’s lower profile helping or hurting the cause?


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Mitt Running in 2016?

Never mind that midterm elections are just over a month away, let’s start speculating about 2016!  There is increasing speculation that Mitt will run for president in 2016.  Does this mean the Mormon Moment will be revived?

The Washington Post gives a timeline that Mitt is backing down from his denials.  After the Mitt Documentary was released, Mitt was asked if he would run in 2016.  “Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no,” he told a NY Times reporter on Jan. 18.  On Aug. 26, Mitt told Hugh Hewitt, ““circumstances can change.”  Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said back in July, “I happen to be in the camp that thinks he’s actually going to run, and I think he will be the next president of the United States,” on MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews.”  A CNN/ORC poll finds Romney would beat Obama 53 percent to 44 percent if the election were held back on July 27.  Yahoo News reported that Mitt is Definitely Looking at 2016. Conservative Pundit Pat Buchanan has repeated that Mitt is running several times this month including outlets Real Clear Politics, Newsmax, Breitbart, and CNN.

Is the Mormon Moment set for a return?  Would you vote for Mitt?

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Fed Up with Conspiring Men?

D&C 89:4  “Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—”

Last year, I asked “Are conspiring men making us fat?”  I think the answer is an unmistakable yes.  This weekend a new documentary came out, Fed Up (available for rent or purchase on Amazon and iTunes) and discusses why Americans are exercising more than ever, eating more “fat-free” food, yet getting fatter.  I transcribed the trailer, which is actually a pretty good summary of the movie. Continue Reading »

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Tools to get rid of Genealogy Guilt

I’m sure that lots of you have had a guilt-inducing lesson about doing you genealogy.  (We had one today.)  The thing that I hate about these lessons is that while they provide “inspiring” (more like “guilt inspiring”) quotes from prophets and apostles, they offer no tools on how to help people actually DO genealogy.  At the end of the lesson, the teacher asked, “What can we do to get more motivated about family history?”

I decided to answer that question.  I said “Come out our family history class and we’ll help you.”  I am one of those weird Mormons that actually LIKES doing family history, and I am a family history consultant in my ward.  When I was called, a member of the bishopric told me that they are trying to call enough members of the ward as consultants so that everyone who wants to come can have a one-on-one session on how to do genealogy.  I can tell you that there are some amazing tools out there, and genealogy isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be.  Let me tell you about these tools.

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God Bless Foster Parents

I went to a missionary farewell at my old ward today.  It was fun to see old friends and catch up on their lives.  One family sticks out in my mind.  The father was just released as a singles’ ward bishop.  He and his wife have raised several children of multi-races and ethnic backgrounds.  While the parents (I’ll call Bob and Mary) have always been stalwart members of the church, their children are anything but stalwart.

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