The Church Newsroom has announced that the First Presidency is urging U.S. Members to participate in the United States Census.  A letter will be read from the pulpit in all U.S. congregations:

In a letter to be read in all U.S. congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the First Presidency urged Mormons to participate in the 2010 United States Census:
“The United States Constitution mandates that a census be counted every ten years. This census is used to determine the makeup of state legislatures, local school boards, and other government bodies and to determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Church also uses census data for planning purposes.
“The Census Bureau will soon deliver census questionnaires to every household in America. We urge all members to respond to them in an accurate and timely manner. It is an important obligation for all citizens to be counted in the census.”
That such a letter needs to be read at all says some disturbing things about some of the far right politics of some Church members.

Reed Cowan, a Miami film maker has produced a documentary on the Church and it’s involvement in the Proposition 8 campaign, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.  It apparently premiers today at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. (more…)

[Admin Note: The following Guest Post was written by Warner Woodworth, who is a  Professor of Organizational Behavior and Strategy in the Marriott School, Brigham Young University.  Of course his post expresses only his personal opinions and thoughts.  It does not in anyway reflect any official position Brigham Young University, or its Board of Trustees, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He is also an author or co-author of a variety of articles and books, including “Working Toward Zion” and “United for Zion,” among others.] (more…)

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This morning’s session of the 179th Semiannual LDS General Conference will begin shortly. Warming up for the Prophet’s Seers and Revelators will be the World Famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the longest running radio program in the United States, Music and the Spoken Word. (more…)

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I traditionally live blog all sessions of the LDS General Conference.  This year, I will be out town on Saturday, October 3, 2009 the first day of the conference.  I hope to be back in time for Sunday’s Sessions.  There are other great resources on various  LDS Blogs for conference.  Check out The Mormon Archipelago for threads covering conference.  The Church’s website has links to Internet coverage. See LDS Media Talk for additional links. Those who will address the world during this General Conference are modern day living Prophets and Apostles.  They are called to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ and His message.  I urge all to listen to their words and give them great weight.

Let me be one of the first to Welcome the Church, to the Bloggernacle–well, maybe not the ‘nacle, but certainly to the wide world of Blogging.  The LDS Newsroom launched a new official Blog today.  It doesn’t look like it will be quite as interactive (probably a good thing too) as we are used to in the ‘nacle.  But, I applaud the Church’s use of this technology to get the official word out regarding Church news releases and the like.  Welcome Newsroom Blog.  See also the official announcement from the Newsroom.  Steve Evans has also commented over at By Common Consent.

Glenn Beck, the right wing fringe commentator has not only embarrassed himself by calling President Obama a racist–he has embarrassed the Church and Mormons everywhere.  In late July the firebrand exclaimed:

This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy — over and over and over again — who has a deep seated hatred for white people or white culture, I don’t know what it is . . .  I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem, this guy is, I believe, a racist.

Of course the claim is nonsense, of the same genre as much of  Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech, and that of Shawn Hanity.  But, what makes Glenn Beck’s comments more harmful is that he claims he is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The Church does not need this type of publicity or association.  Mormons everywhere ought to denouce the comments and Beck for making them.  Why–because these comments perpetuate erroneous and harmful stereotypes of the Church and its membership.  The post Proposition 8 media spin has already harmed the Church’s image painting Mormons who stood for religious principle as propagating hate and intolerance and being on the fringe.  Glenn Beck’s comments only fuel that fire.

The more reasoned secular world is distancing itself from Beck’s ridiculous claims.  Already advertisers are pulling their ads from his show–and rightly so.  Mormons should do likewise.  I, for one, as an active participant in the community of Saints denounce Glenn Beck, his comments, and the harm it does to the Church.  With friends like Glenn Beck–the Church needs no further enemies.

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.  David G’s comment just saved from the spam filter has some important links I wanted to highlight–Thanks David:

Glenn Beck and the Revivalism of Mormon Millenarianism?

The government is the devil:  Glen Beck and Mormonism Redux

Glenn Beck on Smoking (Make certain to watch the video)

Glenn Beck and Drinking Wine

Other Links

Are Glenn Beck’s Values Mormon Values?

Glenn Beck: Mormon Sadly

The Glenn Beck conundrum

Latter day taint

Glenn Beck Doesn’t Speak For All Mormons (Mormon Times)

Glenn Beck Doesn’t Speak For All Mormons (Deseret News)

(This post has been recently updated toward the end with additional links) The Church has released this news update on the “kissing” incident on the Plaza, now an extension of Temple Square and Church Headquarters: (Hat Tip Geoff B.): (more…)

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting the Salt Lake City Police Report on the expulsion of two men for unwanted kissing and hugging on Church property has been released (I’m assuming by the SLCPD–but the article is unclear).  The Tribune did post the entire report.  You can read the actual report here, which is linked at the bottom of the article.    (more…)

Gay Day Temple Square

Matt Aune and Derek Jones, photo by Scott Sommerdorf Salt Lake Tribune

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that two men, Matt Aune, and Derek Jones (above) were cited by the Salt Lake City Police Department for tresspassing on private religious property: (more…)