RNS photo by J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In Missouri, Mormons see Adam’s fall after Garden of Eden and Jesus’ return

DAVIESS COUNTY, Mo. (RNS) To non-Mormons, it sounds odd that a bluff on a bend 124 feet above the Grand River represents to 15 million faithful both the beginning and end of human time. Mormon doctrine makes reference to the place as the site where Adam and Eve went after God banished them from the Garden of Eden. It's also regarded as a gathering place for the faithful at the second coming of Jesus Christ. By Tim Townsend.

COMMENTARY: Of Protestants, politicians and power

(RNS) It would be an error to underestimate or write off the Protestant influence in the American political arena. But with the rapid demographic and sociological changes now underway, get ready for Hindus, Jews, Hispanics, Buddhists, Muslims, gays, women, atheists and many other groups to head up future presidential tickets. By A. James Rudin.

Mormons’ love-hate relationship with America

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) As Americans celebrate the nation's founding, some Mormons may outdo their neighbors this week in fireworks, fanfare and frenzy to express their outsized patriotism. Other Mormons caution against linking political perspectives on American exceptionalism to specific theology or teachings. Peggy Fletcher Stack.

RNS photo courtesy Josh Weed

Should gay Mormons marry women? Some say it’s an option

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Gay Mormon men who are married to women don't claim that their path is the right one for all Mormon gays, and the LDS Church has stopped officially recommending it as a “cure” for homosexuality. Still, as support group numbers indicate, many devoutly religious members still see it as the way to go. By Peggy Fletcher Stack.

RNS photo courtesy Ogden's Own Distillery

Idaho bans ‘Five Wives’ vodka over risque label

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Idaho regulators have decided not to carry Five Wives Vodka because of its label, while Utah booze cops have deemed the bottle’s depiction of 19th-century women in petticoats holding kittens near their lady parts as acceptable. By Dawn House.