Polygamy Researcher Responds to Sister Wives Ruling

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In response to an inquiry from Approaching Justice, author and polygamy researcher Brian C. Hales responded to Friday's ruling by the United States District Court for Utah which ruled that Utah's polygamy laws are unconstitutional."Theologically, the LDS Church's support of proposition 8 in California was a firm declaration against both polygamy and same-sex marriage," Hales told Approaching Justice. "So I expect such rulings will have no impact on Church teachings or … [Read more...]

Nate Oman on Reynolds, Polygamy, and Mormonism

William and Mary Law Professor Nate Oman (Source: Southern Virginia University)

Yesterday, the Federal District Court for Utah ruled that Utah polygamy laws violated the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.District Judge Clark Waddoup, in his ruling, addressed the 1878 Reynolds v. United States Supreme Court case which determined that religious duty is not a defense against criminal charges. Specifically, it is not a defense against anti-polygamy laws.In the ruling, Judge Waddoup cited Nate Oman. Oman is the Cabell Research Professor of Law at William … [Read more...]

President Kennedy from Temple Square: September 26, 1963

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Less than two months before he was assassinated, President John F. Kennedy spoke in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Salt Lake Tabernacle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.It was September 26, 1963. LDS Church President David O. McKay was a host of the event."Of all the stories of American pioneers and settlers, none is more inspiring than the Mormon trail," said Kennedy. He goes on to point out that Mormons are an American success story, the story of a persecuted group the … [Read more...]

“All people should be treated with kindness and understanding”

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I had a recent interesting experience while attending priesthood in my local Mormon congregation.  The lesson was from “The Teachings of The Prophets: Lorenzo Snow”, the lesson was titled “The Kingdom of God Moves Forward.”  At one point the Instructor asked the class what were some of the things happening in the world that were causing opposition that had the potential to keep the Church from moving forward.  One individual raised his hand and then said that "homosexuals" and "gay rights" were d … [Read more...]

Harry Reid is Right about Mormons and Gay Rights and “That’s Good.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Nov. 7, 2013. (Saul Loeb / AFP )

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid addressed Mormonism and gay rights recently in an interview with the Washington Blade, a prominent gay newspaper in Washington, DC. (UPDATE: In the original posting, I inadvertently left out this link.)The comments appear at the end of a rather lengthy discussion with Reid about the legislative obstacles and hurdles that have been cleared by the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and those that lay ahead, particularly in the Republican controlled House … [Read more...]

Passing the Sacrament: The Radical Nature of Mormon Priesthood

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In light of recent discussions here at Approaching Justice and other places about female ordination, I wanted to take a step back and look at how the Mormon practice of priesthood is unique and interesting, apart from recent debates.In many ways, the LDS priesthood can be viewed as a symbol of hierarchy. However, I think this is a mistaken view. While the church organization is hierarchical, the priesthood itself is inherently egalitarian and universal.On a recent Sunday, during our … [Read more...]

Sheri Dew Responds to Ordain Women With a New Book

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Sheri Dew, the CEO of Deseret Book, the book company owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has published a book about women and the priesthood. The book is titled Women and the Priesthood: What One Mormon Woman Believes.Here is the official description: The fact that women are not ordained to the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is for some a sticking point, a hot topic, even a potential media controversy. Others aren't troubled by the issue at … [Read more...]


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