Nominate the 2009 Mormon of the Year

December 26, 2009 | 119 comments
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Its that time of year again. The media are already reviewing the important news stories of the year, Time has selected its Person of the Year; so we should get busy selecting the Mormon of the Year.

For those who don’t remember, last year at this time T&S selected Mitt Romney as the Mormon of the Year for 2008.

I think the ground rules are basically the same as last year (suggestions about changes to the rules are welcome – I’ve tried here to clarify some assumptions we made in the rules last year):

  • Nominees must be Mormon somehow — those who have not yet been baptized aren’t eligible.
  • Nominees must have been living at some point during the year.
  • The LDS Church First Presidency (including the Prophet) and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are not eligible (because they would win every year, making the selection pointless).
  • Nominees must have had enough of an impact to have made the news during the year.
  • Collective nominees (i.e., all those who did x) are welcome.

Please don’t vote YET!! We’re just calling for nominations at this point. Voting will begin January 1st.

This year, when you nominate someone, please provide a link to somewhere (such as wikipedia, news stories, etc.) where we can get further information on them). AND, please give us some rationale for why you think this person should be Mormon of the Year.

Like last year, we will take nominations for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and then allow vistiors to Times & Seasons to indicate their preference in a vote on the nominees starting January 1st. However, the final selection of Mormon of the Year will be made by the permanent bloggers here on Times and Seasons. There is no prize or award associated with this selection, nor will we make any formal presentation or even notification to the person or persons selected.

I look forward to seeing the nominees and selection this year. This year is quite different, because, if nothing else, Mormon involvement in politics (the election and Prop 8 campaigns) didn’t make as much news. Personally, I can’t see that Mitt Romney has been active enough this year to warrant his selection. Instead we have a new field of possibilities, Mormons who have had a great impact or influence on Mormons and Mormonism during 2009.

Here are my own nominations:

  • Harry Reid — As the Senate Majority Leader, it is kind of hard to ignore Reid, since he is the highest ranking Mormon in government ever. He also provides a nice antidote to the assumption that Mormons must be Republicans (to say nothing of the fact that his politics are probably more in line with the vast majority of Mormons — when you take into account those that do not live in the United States).
  • Glenn Beck – High-profile TV talk show host on Fox News has been perhaps the most controversial TV personality during the past year.
  • Stephenie Meyer – Like or hate her books, she is certainly the face of Mormonism among many people around the world, especially this year, with the first Twilight movie in theaters and news articles frequently mentioning her religion.
  • Stephanie Nielson — Popular LDS blogger known as Nienie returned home and began blogging again after a private plane accident in 2008.
  • John Yettaw — Missouri LDS Church member who made news by allegedly sneaking in to the home of Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi who was under house arrest.

I’m certain that I’ve left out many people who have had a significant impact. That is why we open the nominations to you, our readers. Please help us nominate those who have had a significant impact.

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119 Responses to Nominate the 2009 Mormon of the Year

  1. Sam B. on December 26, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Alan Spearhawk and Mimi Parker. It’s been several years since I’ve been up-to-date on music, and I know Low has been around for a while now, but I’ve become aware of them this year. Among other things, on the October 16 Sound Opinions, Greg Kot picked Low’s “Long Way Around the Sea” as his Desert Island Jukebox pick, basically a rebuke of Bob Dylan’s recent Christmas album.

  2. Kent Larsen on December 26, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks Sam B. I’ve been slightly interested in finding out a little more about Low for many years, ever since I learned that Spearhawk and Parker were LDS back in 2001. Those interested can find out more from the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_(band)

  3. Geoff B on December 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    This is a great tradition, it will be interesting to see who is nominated and who wins. I predict a face-off between Harry Reid and Glenn Beck, with equal measures of vitriol aimed at both of them.

  4. Kent Larsen on December 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    FWIW, as best I can tell, Low’s biggest claim to fame for 2009 is the inclusion of their song “Monkey” in the soundrack for the Quentin Tarantino film “Killshot.”

  5. Bill of Wasilla on December 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I nominate Kaimi. I like what he does. You can learn more about him here:

    http://timesandseasons.org

  6. Kent Larsen on December 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Hmmm. Bill, I think you have pointed out a flaw in our regulations.

    I’m sure everyone will understand when I say that T&S Bloggers and Editors, and even T&S as a whole, are ineligible. (Just imagine Time magazine selecting itself or one of its staff as Person of the Year).

  7. Bob on December 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I know, I know. But I would like to see male Mormon and female Mormon of the year categories.

  8. Russ Frandsen on December 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    It pains me, but Harry Reid is the one and should be a consensus choice, whether you admire or despise what he has done and is doing. By far, he is the Mormon who has or will have such a lasting impact on all Americans, not just Mormon Americans.

  9. Kent Larsen on December 26, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I agree with much of what you say, Russ, but I do want to point out that this is NOT to pick a Mormon American, but a Mormon from anywhere in the world.

    Because almost 1/2 of Mormons live in the US (last I checked), Americans tend to dominate the nominations. BUT, I’d love to see Mormons outside of the U.S. nominated also.

  10. Alex T. Valencic on December 26, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Just a question about the nominations: should the fact that the person is a Mormon have weight in his/her notably in the news? That is, it seems like everyone knows Mitt Romney and Stephenie Meyer are Mormons, and it pops up in the news seemingly every time they are mentioned. However, I have as of yet to see a single mainstream media article make mention of the fact that Harry Reid is a Mormon.

    To simplify the question: is the nomination for a Mormon who has made news as a Mormon, or just a person who has made the news who also happens to be Mormon?

    Also, what of collective nominees who are known as a group, but not as individuals? If such a group is acceptable, I would like to collectively nominate every Mormon in California who was involved in the Proposition 8 campaign (either for or against). They made a huge impact in the news.

  11. Alex T. Valencic on December 26, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    (And I want to include them in 2009 because we STILL here about it! But if the year-end mark excludes them, very well.)

  12. Kent Larsen on December 26, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Alex:
    On the first question, in my own view, everyone who made news and happens to be Mormon is eligible, but I do think that how well that they are known as Mormon has to have an impact. Perhaps that sounds like splitting hairs, but I do think that someone who isn’t known as being Mormon should be mentioned.

    Personally, for me, half the fun of this is finding out people who are Mormon and have made the news, but who aren’t well known as such. But, its hard to ignore the fact that someone who is known as Mormon will have more impact on Mormons and Mormonism.

    As for the second part, the rules specifically allow for collective nominees (see the post). BUT, I hesitate with your nomination because the impact from the Prop 8 campaign was largely last year, not 2009. If you want to argue that the impact in 2009 justifies a nomination, do so, and I’ll add them to the list of nominees.

  13. Bob G. on December 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I nominate Orrin Hatch for his song, “Eight Days of Hannukah,” which garnered the attention of the Jewish media and prompted Conan O’brien’s show to write a song for us in return.

  14. Alex T. Valencic on December 26, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Kent,

    I’ll withdraw my nomination for the Prop 8 folks.

    Wonder if we’ll have any non-American nominations…

  15. Bob G. on December 26, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Also, Brandon Sanderson, who took over one of the most popular fantasy series of all time–The Wheel of Time–following the death of the original author. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Sanderson

  16. Mark D. on December 26, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    to say nothing of the fact that his politics are probably more in line with the vast majority of Mormons — when you take into account those that do not live in the United States

    Are you sure about that? Is there evidence, for example, that Mormons in Latin American countries are strongly inclined to vote for left leaning political parties?

  17. Mark D. on December 26, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    U.S. Ambassador to China Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. should definitely be nominated, by virtue of his prominence in the news this year and the significance of the position he now holds.

  18. Bob G. on December 26, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Also, Ziggy (who is Mormon according to Conan O’Brien). He had a hugely negative impact on the church’s image this year. http://themormonsarecoming.blogspot.com/2009/12/unfortunate-tale-of-ziggy-pantsless.html

  19. The New Jersey nutjob on December 26, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Some guy named Onman, or something like that (Osmond?), won Dancing with the Stars (link: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20325064,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines ).

  20. Chris Henrichsen on December 26, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I second Mark’s nomination of Ambassador Huntsman. Larry Echohawks, now the head of the BIA might also be considered. For somebody who is new to the scene, possibly Jason Chaffetz.

  21. Matthew Workman on December 26, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I hang my head with shame when I realize that Glenn Beck is probably the best pick.

    But I’ll also nominate Heather Armstrong, a blogger whose influence has continued to grow over the past year. She took on Maytag on twitter and won. So there’s that.

  22. Drew on December 26, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I think you have to go with Stephanie Meyer. I’m not a fan of her books, but you absolutely can’t ignore the publicity she’s brought to the church this year with regards to the moral undertones of her recent works. She negotiated her movie contracts on the basis that they could not be rated-R, and have made people aware of that. That says something. I live in Alabama and her books are huge here, and everyone is aware that she’s Mormon. As far as Harry Reid is concerned, yes he’s a prominent Mormon, but everything you read of him in the media mentions his faith as a side note in passing, with no other discussion into our beliefs or faith.

  23. Drew on December 26, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    And, the biggest 09′ story about Harry Reid and his religion, that I can recall, were in regards to his comments about the Church’s Proposition 8 stance and his disapproval of their involvement in that area. That alone would give me reason to pause about nominating him ‘Mormon of the Year’.

  24. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 26, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Echohawk, an incredible man and an incredible story, though the law school will miss him as he tries to solve the mess the feds have created through generations of mishandling …

  25. queuno on December 26, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Mark D (16) – Not that I have anything other than my own anecdotal evidence, but Chileans tend to vote for leftist candidates.

    Drew (23) – It’s not the “Most Popular Mormon of the Year”. It’s “Mormon of the Year”, which assumes most impactful. This calls to mind the travesty of 2001, when Rudy Guiliani won Time’s nod over Osama bin Laden. Everyone pales, that I can think of, to Harry Reid.

  26. JWL on December 26, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Kent makes an important point in asking that this little exercise take into account Mormonism’s international footprint. I would suggest that that perspective pushes Stepehenie Meyer over Harry Reid. Brother Reid’s political impact is limited to the US whereas Sister Meyer’s cultural impact has been worldwide. Also, we really do not know the long-term fate of Brother Reid’s signature health care legislation, which still has to get through the Senate-House conference and then prove itself to not be the fiasco so many are predicting. On the other hand, whether you like her books or not, Stephenie Meyer’s place in world popular culture now seems to be fairly locked in.

  27. Tracy M on December 26, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Not to rain on the parade, but I think Heather Armstrong (love her) has left the church, and Stephanie Meyer is completely inactive. Do they get to be Mormon on the Year that way?

  28. Chris Henrichsen on December 26, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Tracy,

    I do not think that matters.

  29. Ken Kyle on December 26, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Mormonism’s international footprint is an important consideration as American Mormons are a minority in the Church. However, as U.S. Senate Democratic leaders aim to bring climate change legislation to the floor of the U.S. Senate next spring, Sen. Harry Reid will play a critically important future international role.

  30. Mark D. on December 27, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Chileans tend to vote for leftist candidates.

    Is that Chileans or Chilean Mormons?

    It wouldn’t surprise me to find a rough balance among (American style) right and left leaning Mormons in any number of countries. “vast majority” of Mormons left leaning I find rather more doubtful.

    I say American style “right” and “left”, because the mapping is skewed in a number of countries for various reasons, most notably Russia. American style conservatism is not exactly conservative in a large number of places. I wouldn’t call anything American style left either unless it was dominated by some sort of (state oriented) collectivist impulse.

  31. The New Jersey nutjob on December 27, 2009 at 12:32 am

    @Tracy M.:

    This is from the November 15th Daily Mail:

    One place where Meyer is seen regularly is Cave Creek’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. ‘I know the family well,’ said churchgoer Bob Hoover. ‘Stephenie’s husband is one of my best friends and her father is an elder here. We are a very close-knit community. The family have asked us to respect their privacy and that’s what we do.’
    According to another acquaintance, Meyer, as is customary for Mormons, gives the church a proportion of her earnings (believed to be ten per cent). She does not smoke and is teetotal.
    The woman said: ‘Stephenie is not the sort of person you could imagine living high on the hog. She doesn’t even drink coffee.
    ‘The Mormon Church is a power in this area and she is heavily involved in the church and obviously gives them a lot of her money. I don’t think you will find anyone willing to go on the record about her.
    ‘That is her secret – she wants to live an anonymous life and in Cave Creek she can. She takes her kids to school and goes to church. It sounds boring but that’s the life she wants and loves.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1227754/Twilight-life-Stephenie-Meyer-worlds-biggest-author.html#ixzz0ardXHSNu

  32. The New Jersey nutjob on December 27, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Indian Country Today:

    SAN CARLOS, Ariz. – “What character do you play in the movie?’” a young female fan asked as Kiowa Gordon posed for pictures. “Embry Call,” replied Gordon, who was recently cast as one of five werewolves in the upcoming sequel to the blockbuster “Twilight” called “New Moon.” [… ¶ ¶ ¶ …H]e was a virtual unknown when he landed the coveted role. Prior experience includes bit parts in Rick Schroder’s “Black Cloud” and PBS Pictures’ “Skinwalker.” “New Moon” is his big break. Would you believe he got a “C” in his acting class at Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek, Ariz., his hometown? […¶ …] ¶ “An acting coach worked with me for about an hour before the audition,” Gordon said. ¶ Ironically, “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer is a member of Gordon’s church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They attend the same ward.

    http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/living/49203882.html

  33. Paul Swenson on December 27, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Elna Baker is the most refreshingly honest, talented, outspoken, funny, and movingly real Mormon figure to show up on the national
    radar for a long, long time. Her wonderful book, “The New York
    Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance,” published this year, has had a remarkably brilliant critical reception. The 27-year-old virgin, a stand-upcomedienne in New York City, writes with poignance, wit and gusto about her dating life, a decimated landscape littered with co-workers,fix-ups and long-shots (by neccesity most of them non-Mormons) and her heart-breakingly persistent and hilarious annual pursuit of discovering a Mormon soulmate at the Manhattan Ward’s halloween dance. She has appeared on “This American Life” and has written (with spirituality and sensuality intact) for such publications as Glamour and Elle. Most notably, there has likely never been a Mormon writer who has discussed sex with as much directness, authenticity and clarity (lacking guile) as Elna Baker.
    I respectfully nominate her as Mormon of the Year. (Learn more and watch her comedy routines at elnabaker.com

  34. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Paul, I agree. Elna’s book has attracted a lot of attention. She deserves a nomination.

    I’ll add her and the others mentioned above to a list in a comment tomorrow.

    BTW, I plan to keep these comments open until it is time to vote on January 1st.

  35. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Bob G., I’m sad to say we have to exclude those who have ink flowing in their veins.

  36. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Chris Henrichsen, what has Chaffetz done this year to deserve the nomination? I know he stunned everyone by getting elected in 2008 (and therefore probably deserved a nomination last year). What should I put in the description to justify including him this year?

  37. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Tracy M:

    Chris is right. The Mormon of the Year is more about impact and notoriety than who follows LDS teachings and how well they do so. Heather Armstrong (aka Dooce) is, at least, inactive, but her influence is substantial, even if her scattered and few reactions to the Church seem to be somewhat negative.

  38. Chris Henrichsen on December 27, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Kent,

    Chaffetz has seemed to garnered a decent amount of attention for sleeping on a cot in his office to leg wrestling Stephen Colbert. While I have no intention of voting for him (having recently moved to Provo) for Congress, I think he is showing signs of being an interesting figure. Probably not Mormon of the Year, but worth being on the list. Maybe he would considered for “up and coming” Mormon of the Year. We might need an entire award show.

  39. The New Jersey nutjob on December 27, 2009 at 2:59 am

    How about some equivalent of a “Lifetime achievement award” for 2009, too?

  40. The New Jersey nutjob on December 27, 2009 at 3:04 am

    “Up-and-coming Mormon-of-influence,” also!

  41. Tracy M on December 27, 2009 at 3:39 am

    I stand corrected about SM then- that’s what I get for believing what I was told without fact-checking. Thanks for the info.

    I could totally get behind an Elna Baker nomination- her book was fantastically enjoyable. Is it going to have ripples worldwide? Nah, but it was a great read, and she’s delightfully funny and talented.

  42. Alison Moore Smith on December 27, 2009 at 3:53 am

    Heather Armstrong (aka Dooce) is, at least, inactive, but her influence is substantial, even if her scattered and few reactions to the Church seem to be somewhat negative.

    I’d say “scattered and few” and “somewhat negative” are masterfully understated. If Armstrong is technically still LDS, I think we can at least say she’s a hostile witness.

  43. Jettboy on December 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I don’t have anyone to add, but I will go with Stephanie Meyer over Harry Reid simply because 1. He isn’t very well known as a Mormon. 2. Internationally her books have had more of an impact than Harry Reids’ politics. As for Glen Beck, he helped in the formation of the Tea Party movement that has made as much impact as Harry Reid with the Health Care debate, even if Reid actually has more power for its passage.

  44. DavidH on December 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, first female winner of the John F. Kennedy medal of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and originator of the ubiquitous slogan “Well behaved women seldom make Kistory”.

    Katherine Heigl, well known actress and friendly toward religion of her youth (and often hoping to practice it again more fully one day).

    Brandon Flowers of the Killers, who has also had some ups and downs in trying to live the gospel.

    Jose Luis Exeni, president of the national electoral court in Bolivia. http://bycommonconsent.com/2009/01/25/note-on-historys-margins/

    Brian Adam, chief government whip in the Scottish parliament (also mentioned in the bcc piece).

  45. Dan on December 27, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I second (or third) Glenn Beck’s nomination as Mormon of the Year. He is the Osama Bin Laden of American politics. He is the villain. He has successfully bambozzled millions of Americans into taking him seriously, when he has stated himself, “don’t take me seriously.” He is, in his own words, a rodeo clown. He is a Morning Zoo Crew alum. No other Mormon has come close to matching his accomplishments this year, for good or bad. He is the Mormon of the Year.

  46. DavidH on December 27, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Re: Harry Reid and prominence of his religion. I do understand the award to be for “Member Missionary of the Year.” In any event, I think, in some ways, outsiders may be just as attracted, or more, to the Church by a member who is quietly committed than by a member who wears his or her Mormonism on his or her sleeves. Every biographical article I have read (and recall) about Reid mentions his conversion to the Church.

  47. John Yettaw on December 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Kent Larsen and Times & Seasons:
    You-all need to re-evaluate your media-propagated assumptions: “John Yettaw — Missouri LDS Church member who made news by “allegedly” sneaking in to the home of Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi who was under house arrest. The incident extended [Get it Straight, “The Junta” extended] Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest for 18 months, largely eliminating her influence in coming elections there.”
    I suggest you research more throughly to discover: (1) that in early 2009 the junta gave “formal” notice to the attorneys representing Aung San Suu Kyi that her house detention was being extended and that she would not be released in July, 2009… and (2) ASSK’s political opportunities are more promising today… and (3) I didn’t “break” into her house… I did not “sneak” into her house… in fact.. you don’t know what “actually” occurred… all you have is what was announced to the junta/court… and what was spread in the media.
    I suggest you re-read the post on Wikipedia, offered by “Just me here, now”… I say his comments are insightful.
    Will ASSK reverse any of her statement about me and what actually happened some day? Aung San Suu Kyi knows… I know… and the Lord knows the truth of what “Actually” was said and done… and what was not said. Did she ask me to leave? or did I refuse to enter?
    Our Heavenly Father knows the truth…and you don’t know squat – except what you have read what was generated through the media. Were things said to protect ASSK so I could take the heat? Did she know my name before I entered her house? You don’t have a clue. All you have to base your suppositions on are the things that are nothing less than Smoke-screen… Propaganda… and Speculation.
    There are only two stories out there concerning what actually transpired: My story… and every one else’s story. And I say your story is flawed… and of greatest importance – The Truth that the Lord knows.
    Mr. Larsen I’ll be sending you a message at your “motleyvision” email address.
    Speaking of “sneaking” into Aung San Suu Kyi’s house… suppose for a moment that a contingency of 2 men teams had been trained to enter the compound through Inya Lake and into her house? Could it be possible? Or is it simply impossible to imagine that a well funded… highly trained Spec-Op team could breach the compound and enter her house and kill the woman/women in an attempt to create a coup d’etat. What would be the chances that someone could ever enter the compound?
    By the way… the statement “God Told Yettaw to Save ASSK” was the brain-child of my Burmese Attorney as a means of defense. I never told anyone that “God” told me to save the women. There is more to this story than what was “False Light” depicted in Newsweek’s “Tramp” article.
    What I did was to “at least” close a viable means of entry by way of the Lake. What I did was to close the rear door… and to divert and expose a potential and viable threat to ASSK. Slam me all you want… but I say: You don’t have a clue what was in the works.
    Rhetorical Question: Could it be possible that any one in the US IC (Intelligence Community) knew that I had entered the compound in Nov. 2008… and that I was returning in May 2009? But of course, you-all at the Times & Seasons know every thing… don’t you?
    I say that the Times & Seasons is correct on one point: “The Truth Will Prevail” in spite of biased and negative comments perpetuated on this site.

    John Yettaw

  48. Ardis Parshall on December 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Congratulations, T&S, for, well … whatever.

  49. Alex T. Valencic on December 27, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I am guessing that Mr. Yettaw would like to have his name withdrawn in the running for Mormon of the Year. I think. Maybe. Unless, of course, the John Yettaw in 47 is not really John Yettaw. How will we ever know???

  50. Kaimi Wenger on December 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I can’t believe that Kent Larsen would accept the word of newspapers, television, and court documents, rather than flying to Burma himself, swimming any necessary lakes, and personally interviewing all persons involved.

    I suggest that Kent suspend the series until he has a chance to personally interview Yettaw, Meyer, Beck, Nielson, and Reid, as well as all of their associates. Anything else would be terribly irresponsible.

    That is, if “Kent” even exists. I’ve never met him myself, and now I’m starting to wonder.

  51. Kaimi Wenger on December 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Good point, Alex. (If that’s really your name. . .)

  52. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    David H wrote “I do understand the award to be for “Member Missionary of the Year.””

    Hmm. Then your understanding is different than my intent. “Mormon of the Year” is not even an award. There is no money involved, no certificate given. We don’t even notify the person selected.

    The “Mormon of the Year” is merely a selection or recognition of who has had the biggest impact. If we were looking for the “Member Missionary of the Year,” I think we would have to exclude the inactive and those with impact that might be considered negative.

  53. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    John (if this is really John, I’d love to correspond with you directly — I have to be a little cautious about this kind of thing):

    I’m very sorry if my description of the incident in Burma has offended you.

    Of course our description is informed by the media — how else should we find out what happened?

    If I can verify somehow that the person who left #47 is indeed the same John Yettaw who visited Burma this past summer, I would be more than happy to modify the description of the events. [In fact, with verification, I would ask my fellow bloggers to allow me to post John’s version of the events as a guest post.]

    But, I do have to observe that for our purposes here exactly what happened probably doesn’t matter so much as the fact that it attracted so much media attention. Again, the “Mormon of the Year” is a recognition of the impact a person had. Regardless of what happened, John Yettaw’s impact makes him a candidate, which is why I nominated him.

    I do see value in being accurate here, so, if I can verify that John Yettaw is actually communicating with us at T&S, I’d be happy to modify our description to make it more accurate.

  54. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Kaimi wrote: “That is, if “Kent” even exists. I’ve never met him myself, and now I’m starting to wonder.”

    Well, Kaimi, if you are willing to pay my expenses, I’d be glad to fly to Burma and make the necessary inquiries. (sounds like a lot of fun!!)

    Or, since I’m in Utah this week (Logan – till New Year’s Eve), I’d love to meet anyone who wonders if I exist or not.

  55. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Oh, BTW, Ardis can vouch for my existence. I saw her in the Church History Library on Tuesday.

  56. TheNewJerseynutjob a/k/a "Just me here, now" on December 27, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    (Fwiw, below is a link to my Wikipedia post that Bro. Yettaw referenced.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Suu_Kyi_trespasser_incidents#Some_items_of_inconsistency

  57. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Re #44:

    I’ve left off Brian Adam from the nominations because I couldn’t find information on what newsworthy things he has done this past year (other than simply be a member of the Scottish Parliament).

    I do like the idea of having non-US members nominated, but I think we do need to remember that this is about the impact they had in a particular year.

    Please remember to make that impact clear!!

  58. Charlie on December 27, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Elizabeth Smart should at least be on the list, recently voted Utahn of the year by SLTrib which means she also touched non-members hearts! Few are better examples of what the gospel can do in healing the soul.

    I’d also add Ed Smart because he is everywhere and has done some good work in child protection. Many people, like John Walsh, will actually use the Smarts to point out that they are ‘real’ mormons and not Warren Jeffs for example.

    Harry Reid is also a good pick. Someone who is pivotal in changing 1/6 of the US economy surely can’t be overlooked.

  59. Charlie on December 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Re E Smart

    One of the good reasons why I think E Smart should be there:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/33504725#33504725

  60. Kent Larsen on December 27, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Charlie, how is Elizabeth Smart a nominee for 2009? Her only activities that appeared in the news this past year were a pamphlet for the Justice department and serving an LDS mission in France (started in November).

    Where is the impact this past year?

  61. Chris Henrichsen on December 27, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Kent,

    I think Sister Smart’s high profile moment this year was her testimony against Mitchell in federal court.

  62. Ardis Parshall on December 27, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Kaimi, I can vouch that Kent is just as fictional as you are.

    Kent, Elizabeth Smart testified publicly for the first time this year, just prior to going into the MTC. Her testimony this time was the first detail that her own family had heard of many of her experiences. Her candor and grace while testifying to such horrifying and personal matters in public, and while being questioned by the defense, were inspiring. Since nearly every story mentioned that she was testifying early to allow her to begin her missionary service, her Mormon membership was very prominent in the press.

  63. Ardis Parshall on December 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    This story with other links on the page support Elizabeth Smart’s impact for 2009.

  64. Dan on December 27, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I can vouch that Kent Larsen is the secret identity of Kal-el.

  65. T on December 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Mormon of the year: Elizabeth Smart

  66. nita on December 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I think Elizabeth Smart would be great for this honor.

    Also what about nominating Sen. Hatch..not for work in the Senate but for his recent song and for the Tonight show response to the song.

    Rules Suggestion: I do think that the Mormon of the Year should be someone who follows church teachings to some extent. Someone who is totally opposed or who has left is not ideal.

    maybe you could have subcategories of Mormon of the Year: ie Political Mormon, Scientist Mormon, Writer Mormon, Pop Culture/TV Mormon, as well as one ultimate Moromon of the Year.

  67. TheNewJerseynutjob on December 27, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    @ Kaimi’s # 50:

    Well, noting Kent’s co-blogger William’s interview with Sis. Meyer (fantasy/romance) here: http://www.motleyvision.org/2005/interview-twilight-author-stephanie-meyer/ — his coblogger Theric’s interview with Sis. Baker (comedy/memoirs) here: http://www.motleyvision.org/2009/elna-baker-interview/ — and his current correspondence with Bro. Yettaw (who’s the writer of a book in progress), I think it would only fair that MotleyVision.org contacts Mssrs. and Mesdames Dooce (mommyblogging), NeiNei (ditto), Hatch (songwriting), Reid (memoirs), Beck (comedy/fiction/commentary), and the rest, forthwith.

  68. MainTour on December 27, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    My vote for Dancing with Stars Season winner – Donny Osmond.

  69. Charlie on December 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    60 Kent Larsen,

    That pamphlet was 2008.

    Anyway, I’d vote for her and many others would too, basically over what that Sltrib article talks about(link is in #63 here).

    I’d say she is a very good example of what a mormon should be like.

    I agree also with “Mormon of the Year should be someone who follows church teachings to some extent”. The exmormon association can vote for the exmormon of the year, prisoners can vote for the “mormon in jail of 2009″ and so on.

  70. Kent Larsen on December 28, 2009 at 12:51 am

    I’m sad to report that the email Bro. Yettaw said he would send me did not appear.

  71. Alison Moore Smith on December 28, 2009 at 2:05 am

    OK. I can no longer keep up the charade. I am Kent. Or, better said, I created Kent. I simply use the Kent character online when I want to be a man. Or at least mannish.

    As for the voting, I’m loving Elizabeth Smart. And, add another vote that MotY should be someone who is actually a practicing Mormon.

  72. L Soderquist on December 28, 2009 at 3:04 am

    David Archuleta deserves a mention. He shows grace under pressure, deep religious feeling, humility and respect for the beliefs of others. He is an intelligent young man, but sort of a goof-ball. His fans adore him the more for it and for all of the above. He may talk like a dork (his own admission), but he sings…well, like an angel. His a capella rendition of Oh Holy Night at the offices of MTV, brought a male MTV staffer/blogger almost to tears. Of course, others respond the same way. “Contigo en la Distancia” – a live performance at the ALMA awards is my personal favorite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6FsfvxyyT8

  73. Kent Larsen on December 28, 2009 at 9:38 am

    L Soderquist:
    Once again, we need specifics about what happened this year for Archuleta. Are the performances you mention from 2009?

    Oh, and I should say that I am opposed to limiting the MotY to someone who is actually a practicing Mormon.

  74. Bob G. on December 28, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Two more names that may or may not be appropriate for the list:

    1. Kim Peek, inspiration for the movie “Rain Man,” who died in 2009. While passing away may not by itself make someone eligible for “Mormon of the Year,” the articles written about him as a result of his passing had at least enough influence to bring attention to the church.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Peek

    2. Sen. Bob Bennett, for publishing “Leap of Faith.”
    http://www.mormonapologetics.org/topic/45134-bob-bennetts-new-bom-story-reviewed/?s=1eedd85af5b6101152f2829a6ce2d2e9

  75. Jettboy on December 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Ok, I am going to nominate Elizabeth and Ed Smart together as contender. Yes her time was brief, but it had a lot of impact. Her testimony (both legal and religious) went international. Ed Smart should be assigned with her. As was mentioned, he has done a lot for those missing and exploited. Whenever a big case of missing children comes up, Ed is interviewed by major news outlets. Together they are worthy of at least having the possibility of a vote.

  76. jimbob on December 28, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I’d like to nominate myself. This year, I started flossing more regularly and I knocked my wife up. Surely that should be enough to get me on this list.

  77. Alison Moore Smith on December 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Oh, and I should say that I am opposed to limiting the MotY to someone who is actually a practicing Mormon.

    I guess my question is that if s/he is not a practicing Mormon, what relevance does some technical status of membership have to do with T&S? In that case, why not just have a Person of the Year?

  78. L Soderquist on December 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Re David Archuleta
    Yes the performances are this year. He had a summer tour, a Christmas album and tour. He is widely appreciated by his diverse fanbase because of his goodness, spirituality and his ability to touch the heart through song, and not because he is a practicing Mormon. If fact, alot of them don’t get that at all. They don’t even know what funeral potatoes are!

  79. Charlie on December 28, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Kent Larson, “Oh, and I should say that I am opposed to limiting the MotY to someone who is actually a practicing Mormon.”

    Why? several people have written in to say they disagree with this, why add it in then? For everyone that writes here there are probably 10 more who wont comment although they think that to.

    Seems also that several will vote for Elizabeth and Ed Smart so why not add them in that list now? Maybe replacing John Yettaw -who did commit a ‘crime’ after all with negative results and had a lot less press than the 2 Smarts had.

    David Archuleta is also a more influential Mormon that both Yettaw and Nielson I’d say. My list then would be:

    # Harry Reid
    # Glenn Beck
    # Stephenie Meyer
    # Elizabeth and Ed Smart
    # David Archuleta

    But then again I aint no intelectual!!!

  80. Tim on December 28, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I agree that the list shouldn’t be limited to active Mormons. We’re celebrating Mormon culture here–and those who live the culture often retain that, even if they no longer go to church. Many return. And their past lives as church members are often brought up in the media.
    For example, in 2008, Aaron Eckhart–a returned missionary and BYU grad–played a major role in one of the most successful movies of all time, The Dark Knight. I’d even say he’s more of a product of Mormonism than, say, Glenn Beck (who has only been a member for ten years), even if Eckhart is not active in the church.
    Regardless, I think it would be silly to leave out any member who’s served an LDS mission and graduated from BYU.

  81. Kent Larsen on December 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    I’d really like someone to explain to me why we should continue to tell those who are inactive or former members that they are less than those who are “temple worthy.”

    Since the recognition we are making doesn’t have anything to do with worthiness, why should we make an issue of it?

    And we wonder why some people complain about the way Church members treat non-members or the less active!

  82. Jettboy on December 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I wouldn’t fret too much Charlie. If there are as many “non-intellectuals” who agree, then they won’t be voting for anyone name who is not known to be an active Mormon. As a “non-intellectual” who is often dismissed at this blog, I know when voting time comes who I will be voting for – and it won’t be a virtual non-Mormon.

  83. Charlie on December 28, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Kent,

    I believe that its not so much about worthiness or Temple recommend status as it is with what they themselves identify themselves with (huh? intelectual talk there)

    Anyway, Aaron Eckhart is a very good example to go by here. Although raised Mormon and a BYU grad he states that: “I’m sure people think I’m a Mormon, but I don’t know that I’m a Mormon anymore, you know? To be honest, to be perfectly clear, I’d be a hypocrite if I did say that I was, just because I haven’t lived that lifestyle for so many years.” Wikipedia bio.

    So if you vote for him as ‘Mormon of the year’ it will be a wasted effort because HE doesn’t see himself as one. It’s like voting for Brian David Mitchell as “MofTY” for his press time or, as an extreme example, choosing Ronald Reagan as Democrat of the 80’s because he was once a card carrying democrat! It just doesn’t fit?

    But if you choose someone who is just inactive for now, like Richard Dutcher seems to be, well that’s a different situation and I for one wouldn’t complain about it.

    Jettboy,

    I feel you bro :) and agree.

  84. JWL on December 29, 2009 at 1:40 am

    May I suggest that the criterion might be whether the nominee herself or himself indicates a Mormon religious affiliation? That would include many who are not currently active but who retain some Mormon religious identification, but exclude those who have openly rejected it. Thus Katherine Heigl yes, but Aaron Eckhart no. Senator Udall of NM yes but Senator Udall of CO no, and so forth. I think one could find adequate information to make that kind of call for most public persons without having metaphorically to ask to see their temple recommend.

    I think this would strike a middle ground between those commentators who are uneasy with the idea of the “Mormon of the Year” being the “Person who currently has nothing to do with Mormonism whatsoever and openly rejects being classified as a Mormon but happens to come from a Mormon background of the Year,” which kind of vitiates the point of singling out someone for note because they are Mormon. However, this proposal also avoids imposing an activity test which makes others, like Kent, justifiably uneasy since it entails making judegments about peoples’ righteousness.

  85. Alison Moore Smith on December 29, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Kent, I think it was quite a stretch to take the suggestion that Mormon of the Year should be a practicing Mormon to the extreme you did.

    Charlie said it better than I. If someone has disassociated themselves with the church — whether or not they have officially removed their names from the rolls — and no longer consider themselves Mormons, I think it would be silly to consider them as Mormon of the Year.

    JWL, I like your suggestion. Well said.

  86. Left Field on December 29, 2009 at 7:51 am

    I don’t really know anything about this Eckhart guy, but I read the quote in #83 more as saying that he’s not a practicing Mormon than saying he doesn’t identify as a Mormon at all.

  87. Chris Henrichsen on December 29, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I think Jettboy has it right when he says “I know when voting time comes who I will be voting for – and it won’t be a virtual non-Mormon.”

    If somebody is not adequately Mormon for your liking, do not vote for them come voting time.

  88. Jettboy on December 29, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I nominate Katherine Heigl if it hasn’t been done yet. I think she has made a lot of press both for her Mormonism (that she hasn’t rejected) and her movies and TV shows this year. She has been a huge name in Hollywood recently and very outspoken. This has nothing to do with me voting for her, but I think she does need to be listed.

  89. Mark D. on December 29, 2009 at 11:31 am

    saying that he’s not a practicing Mormon than saying he doesn’t identify as a Mormon at all

    I think “don’t know if I am a Mormon” and “haven’t lived that lifestyle for many years” suggests that the he admits the influence of his LDS upbringing on his way of life is marginal at best.

    If he said, “I am not an active member of my church, but my LDS upbringing has had a great influence on me” or something to that effect that would be different. I would certainly not be one to deny virtually any claim to Mormon identity or influence, of course.

  90. TheNewJerseynutjob on December 29, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    With zero chance eg Dooce is winning this year (not “winning” but being so designated), could this question be branched off to a nuther thread?

  91. Left Field on December 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Mark, I agree that he’s saying that there’s not really any LDS influence on his current way of life, but that’s not the same as saying that he doesn’t identify as Mormon at all. In context, “I don’t know if I am a Mormon” doesn’t sound to me like a denial of all Mormon identity, it sounds like he’s reluctant to identify himself as a (practicing) Mormon. It all sounds to me like a commentary on his practice, not necessarily his identity.

  92. Velska on December 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    There’s been very meaningful discussion here, among the “white noise” of the Internet, about what the MotY is and means.

    I suggest that we define the Mormon of the Year as someone, who has had the most impact on most people — from our point of view, whoever, wherever we are — mainly bloggers.

    With that definition, an American will inevitably be a winner, but in the end, someone like brother Uchtdorf, who had a major impact on the Church’s official standing in Germany, will have had more of an impact. The thing is, though, that that kind of impact can not be had in the limelight, because it tends to put the spotlight on things that some very influential people don’t want to be publicized (like the Church’s official recognition in the Czech Republic, or perhaps it was Czechoslovakia then, my memory isn’t reliable anymore?).

    And anyway, you can’t find those on CNN, let alone Fox (you know, Rupert Murdoch’s ethics: whatever sells [scandal, peeping-tom-journalism], we sell — may not be that far from CNN’s but at least not better).

    Okay, and now this pinko liberal shuts up for a while again… Just remember, that out of some 6,000,000,000+ people, about 300,000,000+ are Americans, and about 1,500,000,000 understand English adequately. You can probably figure out how many people in the world haven’t the faintest clue what we’re talking about.

  93. Velska on December 29, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I nominate Indian saints, because in the long run, they’ll impact the life of more people than we can imagine. They’ve had quite a growth spurt there, although the numbers are low now. Our daughter Au Paired in New Delhi in 2006 (different region than the article), and she got to know some of the Indian saints, and it’s hard to imagine what they go through to be true to their faith.

    If people as a group can be nominated, they would be a fairly good choice…

  94. AYdUbYA on December 29, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I second the nomination of Stephanie Nielson.

  95. Kent Larsen on December 29, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Here are the nominations so far (in the order nominated). Nominations close on New Years Eve. I’m still working on these descriptions — which will be used as the descriptions in the online voting. Any suggestions for better wording are much appreciated:

    Harry Reid — As the Senate Majority Leader, it is kind of hard to ignore Reid, since he is the highest ranking Mormon in government ever. He also provides a nice antidote to the assumption that Mormons must be Republicans (to say nothing of the fact that his politics are probably more in line with the vast majority of Mormons — when you take into account those that do not live in the United States).

    Glenn Beck – High-profile TV talk show host on Fox News has been perhaps the most controversial TV personality during the past year.

    Stephenie Meyer – Like or hate her books, she is certainly the face of Mormonism among many people around the world, especially this year, with the first Twilight movie in theaters and news articles frequently mentioning her religion.

    Stephanie Nielson — Popular LDS blogger known as Nienie returned home and began blogging again after a private plane accident in 2008.

    John Yettaw — Missouri LDS Church member who made news by allegedly sneaking in to the home of Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi who was under house arrest.

    Alan Spearhawk and Mimi Parker of Low. Among other things, on the October 16 Sound Opinions, Greg Kot picked Low’s “Long Way Around the Sea” as his Desert Island Jukebox pick, basically a rebuke of Bob Dylan’s recent Christmas album. Their song “Monkey” was also included on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s film “Killshot” this year.

    Orrin Hatch for his song, “Eight Days of Hannukah,” which garnered the attention of the Jewish media and prompted Conan O’brien’s show to write a song for us in return.

    Brandon Sanderson, who took over one of the most popular fantasy series of all time–The Wheel of Time–following the death of the original author.

    Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to China, for his prominence in the news this year and the significance of the position he now holds.

    Donny Osmond for winning “Dancing with the Stars”

    Larry EchoHawk, head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

    Blogger Heather Armstrong (aka Dooce), who was named one of the 30 most influential women in media this year. She also published her second book this year.

    Elna Baker, the New York-based comedienne gained a lot of notoriety and critical acclaim for her memoir, released in October, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance.

    Jason Chaffetz, for publicly following what he says Congress should do (he sleeps in his office) and for his appearance on the Colbert Report

    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, who was awarded the John F. Kennedy Medal by the Massachusetts Historical Society in October

    Katherine Heigl, actress best known for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, who starred this year in the film “The Ugly Truth.”

    Brandon Flowers, front man for the rock band The Killers

    José Luis Exeni, chairman of the National Electoral Court of Bolivia, for his role in Bolivian elections that chose a new constitution.

    Elizabeth Smart, who testified against her abductor publicly for the first time this year, just before going into the MTC to serve a mission in France.

  96. Chris Henrichsen on December 29, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Looks like a good list.

  97. Kent Larsen on December 29, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Perhaps one more to make it an even twenty? Anyone?

  98. John Yettaw on December 30, 2009 at 2:22 am

    The Highest Celestial Blessings Forever to Sister Elizabeth Smart… that’s my vote.

  99. TheNewJerseyNutjob on December 30, 2009 at 2:46 am

    If a nominee is lacking, how about actor Kiowa Gordon.

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiowa_Gordon – He was featured in my post number 32.)

    A native of Arizona, Utah, and California, Gordon received his first role in a mainstream [verrry] cinematic release in 2009. (Something that, I think, has something to do with with lycanthropes? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_lycanthropy )

  100. TheNewJerseyNutjob on December 30, 2009 at 6:41 am

    (In my post above): Not “lacking.” —- “Needed.”

  101. John Mansfield on December 30, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Sorry, you’re too late. Most of those nominees were already featured at Matsby’s Schroedernacle web site as Mormons of the Week, and he, Brother Matsby, has already been selected as Mormon of the Year. You’ll just have to forget about it for 2009. Start earlier next year.

  102. Robert C. on December 30, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I noticed this post at Mormon Times today (coincidence??), and there are a couple ideas you might get there (though none I’d single out—Reid or Beck, or maybe Meyers will win, is my prediction).

  103. RT on December 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    What about Mike Leach, the just-fired and always notable football coach at Texas Tech?

  104. TheNewJerseynutjob on December 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Joel Campbell’s rationale for his pick of Michael Otterson seems convincing (and such a pick would round out a list so it includes someone making national news who works for the Church (at BYU or wherever).
    ____

    Does the “slot” for Dooce’s newsworthiness this year have any competition from documentary film m(uckr)aker Reed Cowan?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed_Cowan

  105. Tim on December 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I’m sure Michael Otterson’s a great person, but I’m not sure if merely passing the First Presidency’s official word on to the media should qualify someone for the list.

  106. Kent Larsen on December 30, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    John Mansfield:

    Hmmm. Not taking that seriously.

    Robert C:
    Campbell once again proves how lame he is. I doubt it is a coincidence. He saw that we named a Mormon of the Year here on Times and Seasons last year, and can’t manage to come up with anything better himself, so he copied it. Its typical of almost everything on the Mormon Times, even most opinions — they see what others do and say and then do and say the same, acting as if the other ideas never existed. The whole thing is derivative pablum.

    [If you can’t tell, the MT annoys me to no end.]

  107. TheNewJerseynutjob on December 31, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Mormon Times is MSM niche media (hybrid print/on-line, with a huge readership.

    …Yet the solely new media Times and Seasons blog, with its unpaid retinue of elite-Mo contributors, has a huge readership too, right?

  108. TheNewJerseynutjob on December 31, 2009 at 1:52 am

    Cambell is a little curmudgeonly

    (Wish I had the chops to crunch the numbers quickly: the readership of The Deseret News, of which Mormon Times is an insert, along with the Mormon Times website’s on-line footprint vs. the on-line footprint of Bloggernacle granddaddy Times and Seasons)…..

  109. Kent Larsen on December 31, 2009 at 2:50 am

    TheNewJerseynutjob, I don’t think I claimed that T&S was bigger. My claim was simply that MT wasn’t original — that it got its ideas from others.

    Its pretty easy to get a big audience when you piggy back on the name and resources of a long-established institution. I think T&S has done fairly well despite not having that advantage.

  110. TheNewJerseyNutjob on December 31, 2009 at 3:28 am

    DesNews has some “readers responses” threads, the Trib more. (Trib’s get pretty hairy.)

  111. Kent Larsen on December 31, 2009 at 3:38 am

    TheNewJerseyNutjob, I’m not sure what you are getting at.

    BUT, I will say that one of the annoyances at the MT is that the DesNews “readers responsees” threads to the articles that appear on MT don’t appear on MT. You have to find the same article on the DesNews site to get to them.

  112. TheNewJerseyNutjob on December 31, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Hopefully (I know, I know, the Fowler bro.s prefer “It is hoped that”) the Campbell – Larsen “new media” spat at the end of the naughts is as passing a blogospheric turbulence as was last year’s Aguilera – Gaga spat in pop.

  113. Kent Larsen on December 31, 2009 at 4:14 am

    I’m happy to say that I did indeed receive the email messages from John Yettaw (#47, etc.), and was satisfied that they were indeed from the same John Yettaw who has been nominated. I should also note that I have changed his description above and in comment 95 to add the word “allegedly” and remove the words “The incident extended Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest for 18 months, largely eliminating her influence in coming elections there” to make sure that the description was completely accurate.

    It was very enjoyable to read John’s messages.

  114. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on December 31, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Looking forward to this endeavor. However, rather than just picking any Mormon, the winning candidate should be generally known as a Mormon. Second, he or she should have had an impact on the general public. Positively or negatively. Otherwise it is an exercise among friends in a mutual admiration society.

    Mitt Romney or Glen Beck fits that bill. John Yettaw would also be a good candidate. Although this was the first time I heard that Aung San Suu kyi’s visitor was a Mormon. His entrance into the public conciousness was a good beginning for fame or notoriety.

    Kent, #95, your nominee list looks fine. If I may suggest another nominee it would be Joseph Bennett, a prominent Newport Beach attorney. He has been very active in the interfaith movement in Orange County, CA for many years. He was very much involved in the Newport Beach temple project. He has written interesting articles on Joseph Smith legal problems. He is a fascinating man as a public speaker.

    Many Mormon men or women are very often quiet and unassuming people, following a pattern set by Jesus of Nazareth. I believe it is the purpose of T&S to thrust them forward in this age communication technology.

  115. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on December 31, 2009 at 11:47 am

    #114, the person whose activities I described in that post, is correctly named JOSEPH BENTI and not Joseph Bennett. I regret the misidentification.

  116. Gentle Critic "aka" Observer on December 31, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Eduard, third time’s the charm: I think you mean Joseph I. Bentley.

  117. Kent Larsen on December 31, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Eduard wrote: “Many Mormon men or women are very often quiet and unassuming people, following a pattern set by Jesus of Nazareth. I believe it is the purpose of T&S to thrust them forward…”

    I like that idea. While it doesn’t cover the complete idea of the “Mormon of the Year,” I do like the idea of recognizing this kind of effort.

    However, I’m not at all sure what to say about Bentley. What has he been involved with this past year (2009)?

  118. John Yettaw on December 31, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Kent, #113, thank you for the changes.
    As well, thank you, Eduard A. Erdsieck, #114, for your objectivity and kind comment.

  119. Tim on December 31, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I’m not sure if she’s Mormon enough (probably not, since her family left the church when she was 11) but Amy Adams had roles in both Night at the Museum 2 and Julie and Julia this year. (Might I add that it’s depressing that quite a few relatively well-known actors are LDS and so few are active…)