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Joseph Smith

Marianne Williamson’s metaphysical campaign for president

By Mark Silk — May 13, 2019

(RNS) — If Candidate Williamson has a predecessor it’s Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, who undertook to run for president in early 1844.

4 myths about ex-Mormons

By Jana Riess — February 12, 2019

Most didn’t leave because they got offended, became atheists, or wanted to join another religion. Also, the vast majority of former Mormons say they’re happy after leaving.

First-edition Book of Mormon sells at auction for $80,000

By Kimberly Winston — March 1, 2018

(RNS) — The starting bid was $1, but the final 15 minutes of the weeklong auction were punctuated by rapidly rising bids in mostly $500 increments.

LDS church sets record price for a manuscript of the Book of Mormon

By Kimberly Winston — September 22, 2017

(RNS) — For $35 million, the LDS church gets a handwritten copy of its founding text, while the Community of Christ gets a much-needed boost to its bottom line.

Contested sacred space USA: Conflict and cooperation in the heartland

By Kimberly Winston — August 11, 2017

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (RNS) — From Jerusalem to Ayodhya, the world has no shortage of contested religious sites. But here in the U.S., the three largest Mormon denominations have found a way to peacefully share places that all of them hold sacred.

The Erie Canal and the birth of American religion

By S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate — June 30, 2017

(RNS) Independence Day marks the 200th anniversary of the Eric Canal, the “psychic highway” that nourished the Mormons, the Adventists, spiritualism, a revived apocalypticism, the Oneida Community, the Amana Colony and the Shakers, among others.

A new Mormon temple rises in Ben Franklin’s Philadelphia

By Lauren Markoe — August 4, 2016

(RNS) The public gets a brief window to tour a temple soon to be closed to all but members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormon founder turned over priesthood keys to women, says Deseret Book author

By Jana Riess — June 21, 2016

Fiona Givens, a Deseret Book author and popular Mormon speaker, says early LDS women were given priesthood keys — and that there is historical tradition linking Heavenly Mother to the Holy Ghost.

Gay Mormon rocker no longer singing praises for his faith

By Jana Riess — April 30, 2016

Tyler Glenn’s new solo video “Trash” says the Mormon religion is claustrophobic for LGBT people—and since the video ends with the singer’s mock death, apparently fatal.

The first Mormon women: Polygamy, healings, and more

By Jana Riess — April 6, 2016

Membership in Relief Society used to be something you had to apply for, and several other surprises from the first 50 years of Mormon women’s history.

More Jesus, Less Joseph: Changes in Mormon General Conference

By Jana Riess — March 4, 2016

Where Mormon leaders once spoke at length about the end of the world and being victims of persecution, sociologists say now it’s all about Jesus and the nuclear family.

Joseph Smith’s seer stone: the stuff of revelation or a rock to mock?

By Peggy Fletcher Stack — August 6, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY – The seer stone, said one critic, “drags across the line into the realm of the superstitious.”

Mormon Church reveals images of founder’s ‘seer stone’

By Reuters — August 5, 2015

The faithful believe God helped him use the “seer stone” to translate symbols found on gold plates into English text that became the Book of Mormon.

Spectacular annual pageant at fount of Mormon faith

By Sarah Taddeo — July 13, 2015

More than 700 people have been cast in scenes from the Book of Mormon this week on the hill in Manchester, where Joseph Smith is said to have received the faith’s sacred texts from an angel.

“Despicable Me” creator on Mormonism, Minions, and “the best calling in the church”

By Jana Riess — July 9, 2015

Meet the guy behind the Minions: Cinco Paul, one of the creators of the “Despicable Me” franchise, talks about how his Mormon faith has influenced his two decades of screenwriting.

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