Top LDS news stories of 2010

Continuing its largely successful attempt to hijack the search results for “Mormon” on Google, the Mormon times has put out an article entitled “Top LDS news stories of 2010: Humanitarian aid, temples, missionary work lead the list”.

Har, har, har.

According to the Ministry of Truth Mormon Times, the most notable LDS incidents of 2010 were a few pennies tossed to the poor from a large fat purse, more pay-per-salvation venues, opening two new nations populated by victims of the Curse of Cain so their homes can be trespassed by smug blondes from Idaho, initiation of what will be endless discussion without action with Chinese bureaucrats, and a new FamilySearch Library in Riverton, Utah.

In the words of Mr. Molly, whoopty-shite. Here’s what I think really makes headlines in terms of the long-term prominence and health of LDS, inc.

1. US Crackdowns on polygamists have become regularised; Canada is considering legalising the practise

For too long the abuses within the FLDS community have received a blind eye from American authorities from Utah and Arizona too embarrassed to deal with the embarrassing reality that the “plygs” are their theological and literal cousins, and that polygamy is a part of LDS history, like it or not. Texas, however, doesn’t seem concerned with this. Arrests have become more routine, less high profile, and will hopefully continue the erosion of this highly toxic form of fundamentalism. If Canada legalises polygamy, watch for an exodus of the FLDS north of the border.

2. Boyd K. Packer’s homophobic talk at Conference

We can also add in Keith McMullin’s un-scientific and horrifying keynote given at Evergreen International’s annual conference. Nothing has changed; the church is still homophobic, although it seems to have learnt that it must be less strident if it doesn’t want any more PR headaches of the sort caused by its involvement in Proposition 8.

3. The editing of Boyd K. Packer’s talk, and the Internet calling the church out on it

Nine Moons reported it first, and the bloggernacle went mad after that. MiniTru can no longer send things down the Memory Hole. The digital world moves too quickly.

4. The resounding silence after the defeat of Proposition 8

I’ve long had a theory that most LDS people didn’t actually care on a personal level about whether or not gay marriage was legal; their prophet told them to spring into action against California’s Proposition 8 and so they jumped. The relative silence and lack of involvement by Mormon people in the aftermath of Judge Walker’s strong ruling striking it down shows, to me at least, that most Mormons who campaigned for the initiative did so unthinkingly. This is both reassuring and frightening, the more I think about it.

5. The whitewashing of the Book of Mormon by sending racist chapter headings down the memory hole.

This is notable not only because it continues the church’s established trend of silent edits with no explanation, but it makes it clear that there will never, ever be any kind of apology for past racist teachings. Like Mormonism’s anti-woman and anti-gay teachings, historically inconvenient facts are “vaporised” and the faithful doublethink their way past them. However, I believe 2010 has become a landmark year in terms of the documentation of these sorts of changes.

11 thoughts on “Top LDS news stories of 2010

  1. I would add Bill Bradshaw’s lecture on the biological factors of sexual orientation at BYU, and the publishing of the new Church Handbook of Instructions in which there were some significant changes made.

  2. Re: #4, it’s frightening. One day, something’s the end of the world, the next, it’s no big deal. This sudden…loss of interest, for lack of a better term, indicates something pretty disturbing, and terrifying, about how little personal investment members actually have in concepts of “right” and “wrong”. If the Prophet says do it, then give it all you’ve got–even if you’re actually pretty apathetic about it, and maybe even think it’s the wrong idea. So much for free agency. Actually, so much for this idea that being a Prophet means something concrete.

    Does anyone else remember that so-called “faith promoting” story about people pulling out their gold fillings to pay for some Temple or other?

  3. “And I’m a Mormon” ads. Yuck. Do you know how many times I had to tell facebook that those ads were “offensive” to me for them to stop showing up on that sidebar? Wonder how much tithing money it took to pull those off.

  4. The “I’m an EX-Mormon” videos are awesome…and disturbing. I found the most recent one sad. The Danzigs’ videos are, to me, the most disturbing. These are people whose actions were motivated by their faith, and their love of the church as an institution. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if the church is driving out enthusiastic members (Danzig regarded his decision to speak out as a matter of fulfilling his covenants), what’s next?

    I certainly don’t pretend that my participation (was) anything wonderful, but at the same time, I was, until the end, enthusiastic–and I genuinely believed that the church could, and would, change. The church acts like it’s these eggshell skull types who are running away…but if people who actually take the church seriously enough to have independent thoughts about it are being given the boot, who does that leave?

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