Religious leaders struggle to reach ‘emerging adults’

When leaders of traditional faith groups think about reaching out to Millennials, religious seekers, unaffiliated "Nones" and other postmodern young Americans, this is the voice that many keep hearing in their heads."Morality is how I feel too, because in my heart, I could feel it," said one person interviewed in the National Study of Youth and Religion. "You could feel what's right and wrong in your heart as well as your mind. Most of the time, I always felt, I feel it in my heart and it … [Read more...]

The evolving state of Mormon heaven

It takes lots of praying, preaching and singing to mourn a president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a man called Prophet, Seer and Revelator by his global flock.That was certainly true at President Spencer W. Kimball's funeral in 1985. So when one of the church's most powerful women rose to speak, the leader of its vast Relief Society projects, she simply shared a cherished private memory that pointed far beyond the grave.While visiting Colorado, recalled the late … [Read more...]

Serious words at funny Al Smith dinner

Political insiders know that the Alfred E. Smith Dinner strives to honor decades of civic and religious traditions.In election years, it's a tradition that the presidential candidates appear -- wearing formal, white-tie attire -- and satirize their own public images, while also aiming a few gentle shots at their opponent and the ranks of elite journalists in attendance.Thus, Republican standard-bearer Mitt Romney, with a nod to his Mormon fuddy-duddy reputation, reminded the audience of … [Read more...]

Stalking the anti-Mormon voters of 2012

With the White House race nearing an end, it's time for America's political pundits to face that fact that millions of voters will in fact be worried about Mitt Romney's Mormon faith on Election Day.Many will be offended by what they believe are the intolerant, narrow teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on marriage. Others will be worried about Mormonism's history of opposing abortion rights."There really is a large group of people in America who won't vote for Mitt … [Read more...]

Mitt Romney faces the Moral Majority

When the Rev. Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority in 1979, many fundamentalist pastors were appalled by his decision to wade into the muck of politics.Even more shocking, Falwell said this would be an interfaith project from the get-go, one open to conservatives in many flocks -- including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The goal was to focus on the moral convictions that united believers in different faiths, not the scriptures, creeds and theology that separated … [Read more...]

Southern Baptists vs. Mormons, again

If Southern Baptists gather for a seminar on what Mormons believe, the odds are good that one of the teachers will be a former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Then again, if Mormons gather for a seminar on what Southern Baptists believe, the odds are good that one of the teachers will be a former Southern Baptist."There's an important word that people forget when they start talking about Southern Baptists and Mormons and that word is 'competition,' " said the Rev. … [Read more...]

The exaltation of Mitt Romney

Few religious leaders on earth have as much power and authority as the "prophet, seer and revelator" who leads the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.But this life, on this world, is just the beginning. Consider this glimpse into eternity, drawn from a funeral eulogy for President Spencer W. Kimball in 1985."In the Colorado Rockies, I asked President Kimball a searching question," recalled Barbara B. Smith, the 10th general president of the church's Relief Society. "'When you create a … [Read more...]

Romney, JFK and the God question

The atmosphere was tense as the handsome presidential candidate from Massachusetts rose to address an audience packed with Protestant conservatives that he knew had serious doubts about the state of his soul.We're not talking about Mitt Romney's recent trip to Virginia Beach to deliver the commencement address at Regent University. For political insiders, the only controversy in that speech was when he said, "I want to offer my sincere thanks to Dr. Pat Robertson for extending me the honor of … [Read more...]


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