A friend recently drew my attention to a new website that catalogs Utah voter registration data in a searchable format that was purportedly purchased from the Herbert administration. After checking the voter registration data of a few friends and acquaintances, I thought it would be interesting to identify the party registrations of some prominent members of the Church. Any other fun finds to add to the list? First Presidency Thomas S. Monson, registered Republican Henry B. Eyring, registered Republican Dieter F. Uchtdorf, unaffiliated voter Quorum of the Twelve Boyd K. Packer, registered Republican L. Tom Perry, registered Republican Russell M. Nelson, registered Republican Dallin H. Oaks, registered Republican M. Russell Ballard, registered Republican Richard G. Scott, registered Republican Robert D. Hales, registered Republican Jeffrey R. Holland, registered Republican David A. Bednar, unaffiliated voter Quentin L. Cook, unaffiliated voter D. Todd Christopherson, unaffiliated voter Neil L. Anderson, registered Republican Relief Society General Board Linda K. Burton, unaffiliated voter Carole M. Stephens, registered Republican Linda S. Reeves, registered Republican Others Gary E. Stevenson (Presiding Bishop), registered Republican H. David Burton (former Presiding Bishop), registered Republican Steven E. Snow (current Church historian), registered Democrat Larry Echohawk (general authority, former Obama cabinet member), unaffiliated voter Sheri Dew (CEO of Deseret Book), registered Republican Marlin K. Jensen (emeritus general authority), unaffiliated voter Cecil O. Samuelson (President of BYU), unaffiliated voter Bronco Mendenhall (BYU Football Coach), registered Republican Thurl Bailey (former NBA star), registered Republican Donny Osmond (singer/actor), registered Republican Robert Kirby (Salt Lake Tribune…
Author: Marc Bohn
Marc is an attorney and a graduate of the George Washington University Law School, where he co-founded and chaired the GW National Religious Freedom Moot Court competition and co-chaired the national LDS Law Student Conference. He received his undergraduate degree in political science from Brigham Young University. He’s a blogger himself, and the originator and primary source of the natural phenomenon known as Bohnspam. Marc has a smart and beautiful wife — careful, she’s a blogger too — as well as adorable offspring. In his rare breaks between e-mails about politics, Marc works doing document review and other junior associate drudgery.
New Missionary Policy
“I am pleased to announce that, effective immediately, all worthy and able young men who graduated from high school or its equivalent regardless of where they live will have the opportunity of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18 instead of age 19…. today, I am [also] pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19 instead of age 21.” ~President Thomas S. Monson, General Conference Morning Session October 6, 2012 Discuss.
The Waylaying of Brandon Flowers
Despite being unfairly ambushed on the subject of religion prior to a recent performance on the Norwegian-Swedish television show Skavlan, Brandon Flowers admirably stood up for his faith, shying away from neither the battery of questions on his Mormonism by Norwegian journalist Fredrik Skavlan and others nor the full-on frontal assault on Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and God by surprise guest Richard Dawkins. While it was clear Flowers would have rather been talking about his music and his band, he nevertheless responded directly to questions about whether he actually believes the origin story of the Mormon faith and proactively cut into a Dawkins’ screed about the Book of Mormon being a work of “charlatanry.” In the face of being waylaid by the sophists, Flowers’ true character shone through. He’s a credit to Mormons everywhere.
Kiewit Power Constructors Co. Gets ‘Jimmered’
Case Background: Kiewit Power Constructors Co. contested a National Labor Relations Board decision to reinstate two fired electricians for threatening workplace violence. Kiewit Power had warned the electricians that their breaks were too long, and that they may need to take them in a different location. The electricians responded by saying things would “get ugly” if they were disciplined and the supervisor “better bring [his] boxing gloves.” In reinstating the electricians, the NLRB found the statements “were merely figures of speech made in the course of a protected labor dispute.” Kiewit appealed the decision and case landed in front of the D.C. Circuit this past Spring. Outcome: Kiewit got “jimmered” by the D.C. Circuit in an opinion authored by the Hon. Thomas B. Griffith this past fall. In relevant part: To state the obvious, no one thought that Judd and Bond were literally challenging their supervisor to a boxing match. Once we acknowledge that the employees were speaking in metaphor, the NLRB’s interpretation is not unreasonable. It is not at all uncommon to speak of verbal sparring, knock-down arguments, shots below the belt, taking the gloves off, or to use other pugilistic argot without meaning actual fisticuffs. What these words stand for, of course, is a matter of context. Compare, e.g., [Link] (last visited July 6, 2011) (the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin literally dropping gloves to fight the Rangers’ Brandon Dubinsky), with [Link] (last visited July 6, 2011) (describing Vice Presidential candidate…
Elder Oaks Testifying Before Congress Today
For those interested, Elder Dallin H. Oaks is testifying right now before the Senate Finance Committee on tax reform, specifically incentives for charitable giving. He is testifying at the request of Senator Hatch.
Sam Brunson Joins Times & Seasons
Times & Seasons is happy to announce that Sam Brunson has agreed to join our happy blogging family as a permanent contributor. For those unfamiliar with Sam, the introductory post on him can be found here and his posts to-date are available here.
Times & Seasons Welcomes Sam Brunson
Times & Seasons is excited to introduce Sam Brunson as our latest guest blogger. Sam grew up in the suburbs of San Diego and served a Brazilian mission what seems like a millennium ago. He went to BYU as an undergrad and found that a freshman saxophone performance major made his eventual English major look like a practical choice. After toying with teaching critical theory or becoming an author, he did what all good English majors do and chose law school. At Columbia, he met his wife, got a degree, and got a job as a tax associate at a New York firm. Several years later, he managed to escape the clutches of big law and landed a job teaching tax and business law at Loyola University Chicago. While Sam, sadly, does not play much saxophone these days, he and his wife do have two beautiful girls with whom he loves to spend time when he’s not pondering important questions like whether the transactional net margin method of transfer pricing constitutes an arm’s length price within the interquartile range.
Times & Seasons Welcomes Brad Strum
Times & Seasons is excited to introduce Brad Strum as a guest blogger. Brad lives and works in the DC area as an economist, where he has been since earning a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton University. Before grad school, he served in the Russia, Rostov-na-Donu mission and attended Brigham Young University, earning undergraduate degrees in economics and mathematics. Going back even further, Brad grew up in a military family, living in a number of places around the U.S. When he isn’t working, Brad enjoys many activities, including tennis, biking, dancing, reading, discussion groups, and spending time with family and friends.
Notable Race-Related Changes to Footnotes and Chapter Headings in the Standard Works
Marvin Perkins is a Latter-day Saint music producer who is currently the Public Affairs Co-chair for the Genesis Group and who has worked to nurture understanding between African Americans and Latter-day Saints and attack misconceptions (see our 12 Questions series with Brother Perkins from 2009). This morning, Brother Perkins circulated the following email to his “Blacks in the Scriptures” listserve (which is re-posted here with his permission): ______________________________ Friends, Many of you have recognized the new LDS.org website. Some of you have recognized that with the new site also came changes to chapter headings and footnotes in the scriptures. Not nearly as significant in number as the changes that were made in the 1981 edition of the LDS scriptures, but equally confirming on the messages being conveyed. Here are a list of the changes that I’m aware of, along with some thoughts and two very compelling short videos below. I’d love to hear your thoughts as you prayerfully review the changes asking “what would the Lord have me understand about these recent changes?” 1. 1 Nephi 12:23– The footnotes for “dark” have been removed (Jacob 3:3 and Alma 3:7 (6-19)) and replaced with 2 Nephi 26:33 2. 2 Nephi 5– the words in the chapter heading “the Lamanites are cursed, receive a skin of blackness” were changed to “the Lamanites are cut off from the presence of the Lord, are cursed…” 3. 2 Nephi 5:21– The footnotes for “curse” (2…
Unique Outreach by the Rochester Stake
This week, the Rochester Stake in New York is sponsoring a special performance of Carol Lynn Pearson’s Facing East, to be followed by a fireside featuring a discussion led by the Rochester Stake President. Notably, the performance is being directed by Jerry Argetsinger, who was the long-time director of the Hill Cumorah Pageant throughout the 90s, and costume design is being handled by Gail Argetsinger, a Tony award-winning costume designer who designed and supervised the construction of thousands of pageant costumes during the 90s. For those unfamiliar with Facing East, it is the story of a Mormon couple who is grappling with the suicide of their gay son. It was written by Carol Lynn Pearson, a Mormon playwright and whose husband (and the father of her four children) left her to confront and explore his own homosexuality. He returned to live with her 6 years later after being diagnosed with AIDS, with Sister Pearson caring for him in the months preceding his death. She authored a book about the experience, Goodbye, I Love You, and has sought through her works to encourage understanding among gay members and their families (including the recent No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones). Of her effort, she’s said “I love the Mormon community … and I have a unique opportunity to build bridges.” This sponsored performance follows other notable developments within the Church this past year, including the Church endorsing…
An Unexpected Gift
At 3:28 this morning we welcomed a new son into the world. As one would expect, congratulations and well-wishes have come flooding in from friends and family all day. And for all of these we have been moved and grateful. First thing this morning, however, we received a congratulatory gift we hadn’t anticipated. Women housed in the Alexandria Detention Center had sent us a hand-crocheted blanket, cap and set of booties. (In Packer yellow-and-green for my Cheese-head wife no less). Both modern and ancient scripture admonish us to serve the “least” of those among us, noting that doing so is akin to serving Christ himself. My wife and I found ourselves touched that, at such a sacred and spiritual time for our family as the birth of our new son, we had been remembered by some gracious women who, by some standard, might consider to be the “least” of those in our society today. Humbled by the act, we resolved to reach back out in some way to those women at the Alexandria Detention Center. Small acts of love are truly contagious.
Carlos Boozer on Utah
As one who has turned into something of Boozer-apologist this past year in the face of attacks on him by some disgruntled Jazz fans, I was buoyed to see an account of a recent Boozer interview yesterday in the Deseret News. When the Miami-area sports station host interviewing Boozer called Utah “gorgeous” but “a horrible place to live, horrible,” Boozer said: “Nah, it’s not that bad. You know, I’m raising my kids out there. It’s pretty nice. We have a good time out there with our basketball team, successful of course. That’s the frontcourt of it, the most important thing of it. And it’s a great place to raise your kids. And it is beautiful.” The host kept at it though, asking: “But those Mormon people are crazy, aren’t they? I mean, the Mor…” At which point Boozer, cut in saying: “Nah, they’re not bad at all. They’re not bad at all. Yeah. Not bad at all.” Here’s hoping Utah is able to keep him (and draft a decent center)… or next season could be a painful one for Jazz fans.
Times & Seasons Welcomes Ralph Hancock
While Rana Lehr-Lehnardt’s guest run continues, Times & Seasons is happy to introduce our next guest blogger, Ralph Hancock. Ralph is a long-time professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. He is the author of Calvin and the Foundations of Modern Politics, as well as of numerous edited volumes, articles and chapters. His forthcoming book, The Responsibility of Reason (Rowman & Littlefield), addresses the meaning and limits of reason through a triangulation involving de Tocqueville, Heidegger and Strauss. Ralph has also translated three books (including one with his son Nathaniel) and numerous chapters and articles from French, and has organized and directed more than a dozen scholarly conferences and colloquia concerning philosophical and religious dimensions of public issues. He holds degrees from BYU and from Harvard University. Ralph is also the founder and president of the John Adams Center for The Study of Faith, Philosophy and Public Affairs, which aims to resist the narrowing of the notion of “reason” to the blind expansion of certain purported “rights” and instead encourage the exploration of the philosophical and religious dimensions of public issues so as to enrich individual understanding and public debate. Just this past weekend, the John Adams Center sponsored an academic symposium in Duck Beach, North Carolina on “Mormons and the Public Square.” As if this was not enough, Ralph recently helped to found the online journal SquareTwo, which focuses on LDS thought concerning the important issues of the world…
Renewed Call for Photo Submissions
Since instituting the “A Mormon Image” series last fall, our submissions have slowed from a glut to a trickle. As a result, we thought we would issue a new call for photographs to be considered for inclusion in the series. The instructions for submissions can be found here and the images we have featured since kicking off the series can be viewed here.
Times & Seasons Welcomes Rana Lehr-Lehnardt
Times & Seasons is happy to introduce our newest guest blogger, Rana Lehr-Lehnardt. Rana is a mother of three who just finished up her first semester teaching at the University of Missouri at Kansas City Law School. After spending several years in the D. C. area, Rana and her family are adjusting to life in Liberty, Missouri where her husband, Mark, has established a corporate and international trade practice. Before finding her way to the University of Missouri, Rana attended law school at BYU, clerked on the Tenth Circuit for Judge Terrence O’Brien, earned an L.L.M. from Columbia Law School, worked at Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, and served as the legal adviser for the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. In her Missouri ward, Rana is in the YW presidency where she encourages the young women to question openly, think critically, and search diligently. Please give Rana a warm and hearty T&S welcome.
Requesting Priesthood Lines of Authority
In the course of an interesting email exchange today, I learned that a good friend and I had had similar experiences in trying to track down our priesthood lines of authority. After being ordained Elders, we both asked our fathers if they had copies of their lines of authority, both said they thought they did somewhere, but both ultimately could never come up with them. My friend then approached his uncle, figuring that he might have the same line as my friend’s father, but without success. Fast forward ten years. His uncle randomly found his line of authority and remembered my friend asking for it. They were both surprised to learn though that the uncle had been ordained an Elder by his Bishop, not by his father as is the current custom. Unfortunately this Bishop was not Bishop when my friend’s father would have been ordained, so my friend was still no closer to tracking down his own line of authority. Or at least it initially appeared. At the bottom of his uncle’s line of authority, however, was a phone number and extension at the Church office building. After braving a series of automated messages, my friend was given an email address and a set of instructions for requesting his line of authority. He received a copy of his line of authority the next day. If you (like me) have never managed to get a hold of a copy of…
This Mormon Life
Several weeks ago the NPR program This American Life aired a stunning segment on Gordon Gee, the Latter-day Saint President of Ohio State University, and his daughter Rebecca. The segment revolved around a series of letters Gordon’s late wife Elizabeth wrote to their daughter as she was dying of cancer. Rebecca was 16 at the time of her mother’s death, and the letters were to be given to her each year on her birthday for thirteen years. Rebecca, however, gradually drifted from the Church, while the letters from her devout mother focused heavily on the deep yearnings she had for her daughter to remain close to the Mormon faith and marry in the temple. Gordon, meanwhile, began to find himself caught in between these letters from his late wife and his daughter, with whom he remained close. The segment, as is typical of This American Life, is handled deftly with balance, in a way that leads you to understand and identify with each side in the story. It also got me thinking of the many other Mormon-related segments This American Life has aired. Among the most poignant for me are Where’s King Solomon When You Need Him? from Episode 380, which tells the heart-wrenching adoption saga of a Mormon couple, and God’s Close Up from Season 1 of the This American Life television series, which profiles Latter-day Saint Artist Ben McPherson, and his effort to paint a series of works…
Claremont Conference: What Is Mormon Studies?
The Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association is holding its Spring 2010 Conference on April 23 and 24 on the theme What Is Mormon Studies? Transdisciplinary Inquiries into an Emerging Field. The Conference line-up is as follows: Keynote Address Jan Shipps – Indiana University-Purdue University Critical Approaches to Mormon Studies Loyd Ericson – “Where is the Mormon in Mormon Studies? Subject, Method, Object” Cheryl L. Bruno – “Mormon History from the Kitchen Window: White is the Field in Essentialist Feminism” Blair Van Dyke – “How Wide the Divide? The Absence of Conversation between Mormon Studies and Mormon Mainstream” Christopher C. Smith – “What Hath Oxford to do with Salt Lake?” Challenges Facing Mormon Studies Adam S. Miller – “A Manifesto for Mormon theology” Jacob Rennaker – “Through a Glass, Darkly? Biblical Studies, Mormon Studies, Parallels, and Problems” Greg Kofford – “Publishing Mormon Studies: Inside Looking Out” Scholar Panel Brian Birch – Utah Valley University J. Spencer Fluhman – Brigham Young University Armand L. Mauss – Claremont Graduate University Concluding Remarks Richard Bushman – Claremont Graduate University For more information see the Claremont Mormon Studies website.
Do daughters make you more conservative?
Tyler Cowan revisits the topic in a post today (HT: Sheldon). I vaguely remember someone in the bloggernacle posting on this in years passed, but my cursory search didn’t turn up much. So, as I’m curious what others make of the research, I thought I’d throw it out to the wolves again. Cowan quotes a new article that states in relevant part: Washington (2008) finds that, controlling for total number of children, each additional daughter makes a member of Congress more likely to vote liberally and attributes this finding to socialization. However, daughters’ influence could manifest differently for elite politicians and the general citizenry, thanks to the selection gradient particular to the political process. This study asks whether the proportion of female biological offspring affects political party identification. Using nationally-representative data from the General Social Survey, we find that female offspring induce more conservative political identification. We hypothesize that this results from the change in reproductive fitness strategy that daughters may evince. (Perhaps this plea is laughably in vain, but let’s avoid the banal partisan tit-for-tat).
General Conference for Kids
Our very own Kylie Turley has had her hands full of late, but wanted us to post a link to these fantastic General Conference activities for the kiddos. Enjoy.