I finished the most amazing Mormon family reunion — one of those vacations you have to take a vacation from, as my cousin put it — and now I’m spending a relaxing day at my SiL’s house getting caught up on what’s been happening in blogland in my absence. And, boy did I ever find some interesting news!!
There are so many interesting issues about Mormonism that people can discuss, but ever since the “Mormon moment” began, there were two particular points that I’ve been hoping would get more attention — and this week the Mormon moment came through on both of them!
The first was the population stats. It’s not that big a deal, but it’s just so ridiculous that the CoJCoL-dS keeps bandying about this “14.1 million members” figure — implying three significant digits of accuracy! — without qualifying that this number is really only accurate to within about plus or minus 10 million. But the census in Brazil found that of the claimed 1,138,740 members, less than a quarter of them self-identify as Mormon. Andrew S followed up with an interesting round-up/analysis of the discussion, concluding that “If you have been baptized, and you have not resigned or been excommunicated, you are a Mormon as far as the church is concerned.” (So it’s totally reasonable for me call my reunion above a “Mormon” family reunion, even though only about half of the adults are believing/practicing members of the CoJCoL-dS, and maybe these guys are Mormon too!)
The other was the biggest, touchiest subject of all: the money. A hot new article hit the press, and despite not containing much new information for those of us who have been following Mormonism, it generated a lot of discussion (and video). Some of the key take-away points:
And lost in all of this nitpicking and fact checking is the glaring point and genesis of the article itself, and that point is: HOLY CRAP! THIS CHURCH BUILT AND OWNS A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR MALL AND HAS ZILLIONS OF DOLLARS INVESTED IN ITS STOCK PORTFOLIOS!
And, responding to the church’s official response:
We live during a time when *most* are suspicious of government and big business. A global financial crisis precipitated by an era of massive economic growth, corporate fraud, greed, (not to oversimplify a terribly complex economic problem), has put everyone on edge. [...] You don’t win any points by opening your rebuttal by reaffirming your persecution complex
And now for this week’s grab-bag of random topics!!
A short explanation of why you should never enroll at BYU in the first place, my new favorite miracle, modern political and economic realities, modesty, gay and less gay theater, studying the Bible and Book of Mormon, and things that bug Mormons (and Mormon stuff that bugs others).
Folks, I am really glad to be back among the blogging and see what y’all are up to! Though I will still need a little time (after Sunstone) to get completely back into the swing of things.
In the meantime, here are some new blogs and new books that I’d like to look at more when my life gets back to normal. *** Edit: also don’t miss the great new blog Korihor’s Grove — this week with a tale of being raised with Mormon ideas about race. Plus, check out Brett Cottrell’s book signing!
See you next week!!