Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapping occurred on June 5, 2002, when 14-year-old American was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Smart was found nine months later on March 12, 2003, in Sandy, Utah, about 18 miles from her home, in the company of Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee, who were indicted for her kidnapping, but initially ruled unfit to stand trial. However, on March of this year U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball declared Brian David Mitchell competent to stand trial.
Because of this new development, Elizabeth Smart who is serving a mission for the Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormon church) in Paris, France, had to return temporarily from her mission to testify in the trial.
The article overall is pretty good and respectful, in spite of little biases that show up here and there, such as when it describes an LDS Church mission as ”a rite of passage” (as expression that does not convey the proper meaning of a Mormon mission), or when it says that Elizabeth Smart has “been cut off from television, barred from seeing movies and prohibited from following the news” as if she was again “captive” for religious reasons.
It was also interesting to read a few of the many comments to the article, starting with the one that set the tone for the rest of the comments, a heated debate between believers and non-believers,
Faith is the one thing I will never understand; This young lady has seen the dark side and yet she still believes in the Great Not There
or this reply,
Trying to convince people about faith is like trying to convince blind people that there is such thing as sight. “If I have not seen/experienced it, then it must not exist”
Elizabeth Smart testifying in the courtroom in the middle of her Mormon mission is a powerful way of testifying at the same time about her faith, not only because of what she says, but also because of what she does or does not, and what she has become. I am sure that her testimony of God and the Gospel is a lot stronger because of her unfortunate experience. But she had the ability to overcome adversity and transform a sad experience in an great opportunity to testify to the world about her faith. She could have abandoned her faith, many would have felt justified in doing it by a wrong understanding of God and spiritual things. As the first comment above demonstrates, some assume that because bad things happen to people then God does not exist, or does not care. But He exists and He cares, we are under trial to prove our faithfulness, not Him.
So now, as the article appropriately mentions, Elizabeth Smart has a great opportunity of testifying about her faith, even when she will not mention it directly, because
What we do know is that as Smart testifies about her painful past, the media, the jury and others following this sensational case are hanging on her every word
Filed under: Famous Mormons, News & Politics
After Torah Bright won the Gold medal in Vancouver The Australian titled its article
Clean-living Mormon star Torah Bright is a sponsor’s dream.
But Why? According to the article,
As well as her good looks and obvious talent, Bright’s Mormon upbringing and clean-living ways — she does not drink alcohol and has no drug, tobacco or even caffeine habit — will make her highly sought-after, particularly in the wake of the scandal over Tiger Woods’s secret infidelities. Now more than ever, advertisers are looking for sponsorship cleanskins following the biggest sponsorship fall from grace in recent memory.
In speaking about the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) on her personal life, Bright has said, “I have strong beliefs and they never waver. (The gospel) keeps me grounded and gives me purpose to what I am doing. I think the way we believe as Latter-day Saints is amazing, especially in the world today.”
Bright is one of several Latter-day Saint athletes competing in the Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Follow a couple of videos of Torah Bright.
Filed under: Famous Mormons, Jesus Christ, Mormon Church, Mormon Prophets and Apostles, Mormon Videos, Videos
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has passed away at the age of 91. Elder Wirthlin was the oldest living apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church).
He was born on June 11, 1917, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as a youth he enjoyed singing and athletics. He was the quarterback of his high school football team and a halfback at the University of Utah. Elder Wirthlin graduated from the University of Utah in business administration. He served a mission to Germany and Switzerland. When he returned in 1939, he took over the family business, because his father had been called to be the Presiding Bishop of the Church. Before his call as a General Authority, Elder Wirthlin was a prominent business leader in Salt Lake City. He was also president of a trade association in Utah. He was married with Elisa Rogers, and they had eight children and forty-six grandchildren.
Elder Wirthlin served as a bishop and a member of a stake high council before being called as the first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency. In 1975 he was called as an Assistant to the Twelve Apostles. From 1975 to 1984 his Church assignments included oversight of the southeast United States, the Caribbean Islands, and Brazil.
On October 9, 1986, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin was ordained an Apostle of the Church.
Filed under: Famous Mormons, Mormon Church, News & Politics
I like Glenn Beck and his style on TV. He is a Mormon, and he does not conceal it. Not all Mormons act and talk like him and he is a relatively new convert to the Mormon Church. Once in a while he even use words that probably would not fit well a Mormon missionary, but overall I think he is doing a good job on TV.
This is an excerpt from his commentary on CNN, about America’s chilling future (he is writing as if he was in the future, but his comments are to be applied to the present).
Looking back now, it’s pretty obvious that our trust in government declined at about the same rate as our partisanship increased. People became so concerned about getting their party into power at any cost that the truth didn’t even seem to matter anymore.
That’s probably one of the reasons why George Washington hated the idea of political parties so much. Here’s what he said about them in his 1796 farewell speech:
“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”
I know that George had a habit for using big words, so allow me to translate into 2008 English: Political parties that put their own success over that of the country’s will be the death of America…..
The best advice I can give you is to stop thinking in terms of left and right and start thinking in terms of right and wrong. Demand the best leaders possible, and then demand the best out of them.
This is what the American people should really do. I hope it is not too late. The way the Americans will respond to this crisis will have consequences globally. In Brazil they use to say that if in the US people sneeze, they get a flu.
Filed under: Famous Mormons, Mormon Videos, Videos
Glenn Beck is not perfect. We know it. We are not either. He is learning, we are too. He made mistakes, we did to.
But he is funny and becoming a Mormon has helped him to improve his life.
This video tells us a little more about Glenn Beck’s life as a Mormon.
Filed under: Famous Mormons, News & Politics
I know that this is old stuff, but people still ask for this. The answer is that neither Snoop Dogg or the actor Steve Martin are Mormons. This does not mean that it will never happen, but I would say that it is highly unlikely, especially in the case of Snoop Dogg (but who am I to judge?).
In any case, there was a fake CNN report that portrayed rapper Snoop Dogg reading a Book of Mormon and an article about how he converted to Mormonism. It was very well done, but the date of the story was April 1 — April Fools’ Day. Also, the URL of the alleged CNN article, wasn’t a valid CNN site at all. Finally, the fine print at the bottom of the phony Web page, was saying: “You just got fooled! Snoop’s not Mormon… yet!”
And what about Steve Martin. This is not true also, in spite of this being a little more credible (at least after watching the movie Cheaper by the Dozen).
According to http://www.compleatsteve.com/person/mormon.htm
There is a great deal of fan interest in Steve’s religion. Although raised in a Southern Baptist family, his statements in the press tend to suggest that he is probably more agnostic than anything else.
However, rumors persist that Steve is secretly a Mormon. After years of such rumors, he has publicly said he is not.
Azul Airlines, a low-cost Brazilian airline initiative led by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, will begin flying early 2009. An interesting interview with David Neeleman about his new company can be found following this link: Azul Airlines Unveiled (CNBC video)
David G. Neeleman
On March 27, 2008 David Neeleman officially announced plans to launch a new airline, a domestic carrier in Brazil. The venture is currently named AirBrazil, but a contest has started to officially name the airline with the winner receiving a free pair of lifetime tickets. Neeleman has asked to step down as the Chairman of the Board from JetBlue Airways to spend time starting this new venture. He is currently looking for a CEO to run the airline and plans on opening a flight school. Currently, Neeleman plans on flying exclusively Embraer 195 jets but has yet to decide on the level of amenities and service which will be offered onboard.
Filed under: Famous Mormons, Mormon Church
I know personally Truman Madsen, and I am highly impressed with his personality and knowledge, and also with his ability to make alive the history of the Church and especially the story of Joseph Smith.
I had recently the opportunity to watch his new released DVDs about Joseph Smith, “On Sacred Ground”. If you loved his tapes, you need to watch those DVDs. I always expect great things from Truman, but this time he surprised me. I found more than I was expecting.
A few years ago, I lived in the same ward where Truman attended Church. At that time I really did not know Truman Madsen, but one Sunday he substituted for another teacher in a Sunday School class.
I loved his lesson, even if I could not understand all the words he was using (I had arrived from Brazil only a few months before and my English was not “perfect”). Since I was the Sunday School President I went to the Bishop and suggested that he call Truman Madsen to be our regular teacher in the Sunday School. The bishop told me that Truman was a busy man and that it would be too hard for him to accept that assignment. I insisted a little bit and then left things in the hands of the bishop.
The bishop probably prayed and decided to call him. This was sometimes in 2001. I have left that ward several years ago, but last time I met Truman Madsen he told me that he was still teaching in the Sunday School and that the new bishop did not want to release him.
I can say with complete assurance that the best thing I did as a Sunday School President was to suggest to the bishop to call Truman as the Sunday School teacher.
Today I was looking for some information about Truman Madsen. I knew he had his birthday a few days ago but I was not sure in what year he was born. While browsing the internet I found this interesting blog post, titled “Why Truman Madsen is not an apostle“.
I really do not know why he is not, perhaps just because there are only 15 slots available, but for sure, after I saw his last DVDs on Joseph Smith, I think that the blog’s author must not be too far from the truth when he says,
Truman has been granted the gift of time–time to think and to write and to speak. And not only to speak, but to speak to the faithful and devout. To speak to people beyond the level of the novice. To touch hearts without being constrained to address every comment to the recent convert.
Filed under: Famous Mormons, General Conference, Mormon Church, Mormonism, News & Politics
There is an amazing series of pictures and comments by a great photographer describing the love among the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints during the last general Conference at Meridian Magazine online:
this is the link to the full photo essay called: Tender Moments
This is the first picture and I have posted it here just to give a little taste of what you can find in the full version on Meridian Magazine. There is a lot more. I suppose that this can be considered fair use since I am only promoting their great photo essay.