Vote for Mormon of the Year 2010

January 1, 2011 | 107 comments
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This post opens the voting for Mormon of the Year. Votes will be taken until midnight Eastern Time on Saturday, January 8th, at which time the voting will close.

The voting mechanism will attempt to restrict votes to one per person.

The order of the choices is set at random, and is different each time the form is presented.

THE WINNER OF THE ONLINE VOTE IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MORMON OF THE YEAR!!!

The results of the vote will be considered by the bloggers and editors here at Times & Seasons (and anyone we invite to participate) as part of the process of choosing a Mormon of the Year. I imagine that the results will likely be the deciding factor in anything close to a tie, for example, as well as in any number of possible scenarios.

BECAUSE OF THIS, PLEASE VOTE! We will announce, in any case, the results of the online vote, as well as any indication we have that voting was stacked, fraudulent or otherwise problematic. So please, vote only once.

Feel free to annouce the vote where ever you wish. Since many have asked, non-Mormons are free to vote (I can’t see how we could prevent non-Mormons if we wished to anyway).

But above all, please use judgement. Remember this is NOT about popularity. It IS about judging the impact that these nominees had on the world and on Mormonism.

If you need further information about any of the nominees, please take a look at the post in which the nominations were discussed.

[The vote is being collected by third-party software. Please let us know of any problems you encounter.]


107 Responses to Vote for Mormon of the Year 2010

  1. Joseph Smidt on January 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    The people over the new church media campaigns I think will do great things for the church. I must say I am impressed.

    But, for most people who are already members nothing is going to compete with people like local bishops for their day to day lives. We see and interact with these people every week in person, go with them to parties, plan ward excursions, preside over the quorums of our own children taking a personal role in their lives, hear their views and testimonies weekly, review with them our standing in the church, etc…

    Hard for me to think how anyone else on that list will be able to compete with that.

  2. Russell Arben Fox on January 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I have cast my vote for Glenn Beck, confident that the T&S bloggers, being perceptive and critical thinkers, and appreciative as they are of the significance which this designation aspires to represent, will come to the same conclusion. No Mormon had a bigger or more important “impact…on the world and on Mormonism” this year then Glenn Beck.

  3. Morgan D. on January 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Do you mind my asking what you mean by Charile CO being the “most heavy” unit in the Marine Corps? I don’t want to sound like Doc Brown from Back to the Future, but taking your comment literally, the unit is “light armored recon” (thats why its called the 4th “LAR”) so I know many units that are literally heavier. Did you mean the most “heavily deployed” unit? I was in Charlie CO’s sister unit, D CO, but I did hear that they got deployed pretty often. If you could clear that up I would appreciate it. Thanks.

  4. Ardis E. Parshall on January 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Morgan, he needs a hyphen in there to make it “Mormon-heavy” — probably a higher percentage of this unit is LDS than any other unit, without reference to their specific assignment.

  5. Morgan D. on January 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks Ardis, that makes much more sense. I still voted for somebody else, but its always nice to read a shout out to my old unit. :)

  6. Left Field on January 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    The Phillies went to the World Series? That will come as a huge shock to the Giants.

  7. Matt Rasmussen on January 1, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Not to quibble about your selection criteria of “the impact that these nominees had on the world and on Mormonism” but I think the “Mormon of the Year” should be someone known for 1) pointing out that they are a practicing Mormon and 2) have a positive public perception of their character and personality.

    For example, Roy Halladay is known for being an outstanding pitcher but never once have I heard that he was Mormon in any interview I saw or heard on tv or radio. I haven’t heard of 13 of the named people on your list; people undoubtedly know them regionally but not nationally. Reid and Beck are clearly the most well known on your list but they’re so polarizing that they fail my second criteria.

    In the media-centric culture we live in, sadly, the cast of Big Love and Sister Wives on TLC have produced more media coverage for the church than most of the list.

    I voted for Elizabeth Smart for her courage to face her tormentor, reporters, and the legal system to tell her story and not appear resentful, looking for vengeance or to make a buck off her notoriety.

  8. cm on January 2, 2011 at 12:21 am

    You are asking two different questions, with two different possible criteria. Several people could fit well under the headings of influencing Mormonism and the world.

    But……

    Please, please, please: Not Harry Reid. I shudder to think that the world would consider him a representative member of the LDS Church. We are so much more than out of touch politicians.

  9. Kent Larsen on January 2, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Left field (6), you are entirely right. I’ve corrected the error.

  10. Kent Larsen on January 2, 2011 at 12:30 am

    cm (8), you do know that Harry Reid was selected as Mormon of the Year last year, right?

  11. lyle on January 2, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Whomever submitted the Yo Gabba Gabba creator had the right idea. It’s either between him, or the local Bishops, for LARGEST impact. I’ll stick with YGG though, because its fun to watch, and it impacts, directly, all the kids that watch it (which are alot). That’s real influence.

  12. Charlie on January 2, 2011 at 6:12 am

    How in the world were mormons from Charlie CO 4th LAR influential? You mean influential to the Iraqi families who lost a love one to one of charlie company’s bullets or grenade?

    You may as well have added NuSkin to list since that’s full or “Mormon-heavy” and headquartered in Provo!

    Ridiculous!

  13. Course Correction on January 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I think Elizabeth Smart will have a huge impact on young Mormon women. Her story proves that a young woman’s virtue is not defined by virginity and that it is possible to overcome horrible experiences without carrying debilitating scars.

  14. Alison Moore Smith on January 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Russell (#2), thank you for noting that I am a perceptive critical thinker. It does my heart good.

    For the record, I don’t know why Reid is on the list given that he won last year. I’m looking for a little more variety, among other things.

    Course Correction, I think Smart is a fabulous woman and an amazing story. But I certainly hope her story isn’t what proved that rape didn’t destroy virtue! Didn’t we figure that out at least 20-something years ago?

  15. Mondo on January 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I cast my vote for Glenn Beck – the personification of Moroni’s “Title of Liberty”. ‘Oo-rah’

  16. Paul Bohman on January 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I have always passionately disliked Glenn Beck, but I have to grudgingly admit that his impact this year ranks the highest of all the people on the list, at least in terms of media coverage and public recognition.

    If the criteria are narrowed to descriptors like “most admirable” or something along those lines, Glenn Beck would fall off of my list entirely, and I would have a hard time choosing between people like Marlin Jensen, my local bishop, Elizabeth Smart, and perhaps Carol Lynn Pearson, among others.

  17. b on January 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I would like to vote Glenn Beck – because it takes someone remarkable to make us look like unintelligent paranoid conspiracy theorists, and still be as popular as he is.

    Or, unfortunately, maybe that isn’t so difficult.

    My vote is for Elizabeth Smart – someone those people can accept, but also someone the intellectuals and open-minded can.

  18. Reagan Republican on January 3, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Glenn Beck’s show probably has higher ratings than Yo Gabba Gabba.

  19. Paul on January 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    #15 — you made me choke on a carrot.

    I’m not a fan of Beck, but I do recognize his right to spew his dribble as long as he get someone to pay him to do it, something he’s obviously good at.

  20. Grant on January 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    It’s GLENN BECK by far. I don’t live in Utah, but as a Mormon I can certainly see that his impact is huge. And he IS following in the tracks of a Captain Moroni, doing the best he can in this pathetically politically correct world, where you are beat up for even a HINT of political correctness. The Book of Mormon and the subject of liberty is not politically correct. Obviously, some of the comments on this list seem to have a Utah mindset, focusing on Elizabeth. She’s largely a UTAH story, and she was strong, but Beck, he’s actually built up a lot of things with great talents.

  21. Grant on January 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    You know what is unfortunate? Mormons that don’t understand one of the MAIN reasons that the Book of Mormon exists for us today is to open our eyes to Jesus Christ as our Savior, and to realize that without LIBERTY we have nothing to do in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is because of our freedom, something that BECK is concerned about, that we have a church. Mormons who mock the idea of a conspiracy are not aware of all the conspiracy in the Book of Mormon. Amalickiah, King Men, Secret Combinations, People getting put to death because of their faith (Alma and Amulek watching that starting with Abinadi), Kings causing problems, people seeking to destroy the church and the liberty of the people. Jesus Christ declaring how he purposely BURNED the City of Jacobuth because it was those people that sought to destroy the Liberty of the people.
    3 Nephi 9:9

    And behold, that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire because of their sins and their wickedness, which was above all the wickedness of the whole earth, because of their secret murders and combinations; for it was they that did destroy the peace of my people and the government of the land; therefore I did cause them to be burned, to destroy them from before my face

    Conspiracy?

  22. Paul on January 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    No, Grant (21) what is unfortunate is that some do not see that the Book of Mormon is to bring people to Christ, not to drive a political message. The Book of Mormon has been successfully bringing people to Christ in many different countries that have different political structures from the US.

    Yes, the underlying freedoms of the US allowed for the restoration of the gospel. The liberty that Captain Moroni fought for was to preserve religious freedom. A pretty limited application.

  23. Nelson on January 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    This has got to be among the lamest competitions of all time.

  24. Grant on January 3, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    No, Paul, the church isn’t doing very well in communist countries like China, and neither is the cause of freedom. Until that is solved, there will be no church over there… Imagine Joseph Smith under the rule of England and how successful that would have been. Beheaded. Its so simple.

    China is not even reading the Book of Mormon as a general rule, and so you want to make the cause of freedom politics. If you don’t take my lowly word for it, then read Ezra Taft Benson. He got it right. The cause of freedom is NOT political. It was the war in heaven. So you are saying God our Father is “political?”

    At the very foundation of faith in Christ, is liberty. Without it, we have no missionaries, let alone baptisms, and even more let alone temple ordinances. Without freedom the whole plan of salvation is frustrated. That’s why we preserve it. That is one of the main messages of the Book of Mormon. Even Ether said:
    23Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get apower and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of bdestruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

    24Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this asecret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

    25For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the afreedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who bbeguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath chardened the hearts of men that they have dmurdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

    26Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have ano power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be bpersuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all crighteousness and be saved.

  25. Paul on January 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Well, Grant, you’re right. There is no real religious freedom in China, certainly not among the Chinese population. But the many saints who joined the church in the British Isles were not beheaded (and the ones there now seem to have heads, too!).

    The saints who remained faithful in East Germany after the war still lived their religion and honored their convenants despite the fact that they lived under communist rule. It was certainly not ideal, but they did it.

    And even in China, citizens who join the church outside China are free to worship in China as long as they do not interact with foreigners. And foreigners may also worship, though they must do so separately.

    I certainly am not advocating against freedom! And I agree that the religious freedom in the United States provided a unique and fertile field for the restoration of the gospel. And I agree that governments that punish religious believers and constrain religious freedom deny basic rights that should be guaranteed.

    But Moroni’s title of liberty was specific in its charge.

    “And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole” (Alma 46:12).

    Even the chapter heading to Chapter 46 makes clear: “He ralies people to defend their religion.”

    I think it’s fair to suggest that Mr. Beck’s focus extends beyond religious freedom.

  26. Grant on January 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Paul, not to be argumentive, but a chapter heading is hardly the scripture itself. Just a caption. C’mon. You can’t cover all the salient points of a chapter of scripture in a caption. Read the caption on the Sermon on the Mount and tell me what it says for Matthew Chapter 5 and tell me all the important points got covered in it. They did not get covered.

    Chapter 46 which MORMON wrote says: that Captain Moroni’s Title of LIBERTY said: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom…

    Moroni called it a Title of LIBERTY. What is your point? That Glenn Beck’s topics are in no way supported by the message of the Book of Mormon? I’m not buying into that.

  27. Grant on January 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Besides, no one wants to worship under the strong arm of religious oppression, even if they did do some of that in east Germany. It certainly was not a condition that Alma appreciated when he and his people were severely religiously oppressed by Amulon and his ex-King Noah buddies. In fact, the Book of Mormon really makes me oppose such tyranny, even if the Lord does help people through it. Its so unfair, and it should be rallied against. Captain Moroni was rallying against tyranny, and he knew Amalickiah was fraudulent, and that’s what got him going. He knew Amalickiah’s intent was to destroy the church and liberty of the people. Title of LIBERTY. That’s what Moroni titled it. Before religion, is liberty. People don’t have “religion” when a government tells them not to pray, and not to have more than one kid, etc. They may strain at something religious, but they had better keep it under wraps. That is not freedom. That’s suffering. Who thinks that is a good idea? Maybe I am too used to 1st Amendment and all those supposed God given rights we have. Maybe the Constitution is just some ideal to hope for, and not a right. Is that what you mean? and if so, I don’t agree with that at all. I think God intends everyone to have total liberty, and in the Millennium, they WILL.

  28. Kent Larsen on January 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Nelson (23), unfortunately, you haven’t said why it is lame, so it will be difficult for us to change or improve it. Is it lame because all “Man of the year” contests are lame? (including Time’s, etc.) or are you saying that any contest involving Mormons is lame? Or, have we organized the contest in some way that makes it lame?

  29. Kent Larsen on January 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Grant, you do realize, I hope, that in the latter half of the 19th century non-Mormons made the same points you are making about communist countries and totalitarian regimes, only they were referring to how Mormons dominated Utah territory!

    One of the major difficulties I have with much of the “liberty” language used by the far right is that it doesn’t always recognize other viewpoints and other conceptions about what people should be at liberty to do.

    Ideas like liberty and freedom depend significantly on the context they are in. They also often require balancing one freedom against another. Too often I think that words like liberty and freedom are used to justify one position or another instead of actually increase liberty.

  30. Kent Larsen on January 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Its fascinating that Russell Pearce has gotten so few votes so far, given the popularity of his immigration measure among many people. Have those who would choose Pearce voted for Glenn Beck instead?

  31. Grant on January 3, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Kent, I don’t know much about all that talk of what non mormons said about the mormons in Utah the non-state, and their supposed communist activities, but I do remember the Edmunds Tucker Act and what an oppressive US government did to an otherwise law abiding people, changing the current constitutional laws to restrict freedoms to suit their persecutions. You mean that?

    Brigham Young can’t be compared to a totalitarian regime. What kind of lack of respect is that for one of our most significant prophets anyway? Really? Think about what you said there. You’re comparing him to a communist, when the fact is that all those saints VOLUNTARILY came west to let him lead. That’s the big difference. They CHOSE it. The point that seems lost on you…

    correct me if I’m wrong. But to label me as “far right” was telling. You probably like Harry Reid, and I think he’s somewhat of a traitor to the principles of the Constitution that would lean LIBERTARIAN at best. Its a “hands off” document designed to protect people, not control them. That much is obvious to me.

  32. Grant on January 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Far right means flag waver to you? No, far right means fascist, Nazi, etc. The state has all power. Check definitions. It is not people that think like Nazis that want their government off their backs, or want more freedom. Just the opposite. Why would you associate liberty loving people with fascists?

    Personally, I think liberals are the fascists of today. They want bigger govt, more power, and even talk of power. Did you hear that speech by Harry Reid recently where he talked of all the POWER that he did not want the White House to usurp from him? Why is he talking of POWER? That was really strange to me. I would not speak like that.

  33. Ardis E. Parshall on January 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Grant’s participation is representative of why I hope T&S doesn’t choose Glenn Beck as MOTY: Beck is a figure with a megaphone who can stir up endless sturm und drang without contributing a single bit of substance to the world. His bombast would be the same regardless of his religious affiliation — name him Chest Thumping Bellower of the Year, but not MOTY.

  34. Kent Larsen on January 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Grant (31): wrote: “You mean that?”

    No.

    “Brigham Young can’t be compared to a totalitarian regime. What kind of lack of respect is that for one of our most significant prophets anyway?”

    My mother’s maiden name was Young. Her grandfather was Brigham Young III. I’m a direct descendant. I think I’m quite respectful of the man.

    BUT, I think it is disrespectful of anyone to dissemble about what they did and what their environment was.

    Say what you want, the Utah of the 1850s and 1860s (and perhaps later) wasn’t particularly hospitable to non-Mormons, and non-Mormons called it essentially a dictatorship. Were they right? I’m not qualified to say (and unless you’ve spent decades – or at least a very long time – reading the source documents and examining the evidence, I don’t think you’re qualified to say). I don’t blame Brigham Young for all of that (but I know those who do), at least not without doing the years of study I suggest are necessary and which I haven’t done. I suspect that what happened is similar to what happens today in any place where one group is in the majority — the minorities get the short end of the stick.

    I’m sorry if you are offended by my use of the words “far right.” I certainly don’t know enough about you to think that you belong to that label. I do think that Beck is there. I disagree that “far right” means fascist or Nazi — I don’t think those terms quite fit the “far right” of today, and I dislike the pejorative element they carry (which is one reason I’m generally disappointed with Beck — he uses pejorative labels, like Nazi or socialist, too often, IMO).

  35. Kent Larsen on January 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I should add, however, that my disappointment and disagreement with Beck doesn’t mean that I don’t think he should not be named “Mormon of the Year.” Unlike Ardis, I don’t think that the MOTY need be someone who made a “substantive” or even a “positive” contribution.

    I’ve said it before and will say it again. In my view:

    the Mormon of the Year is not an honor, it is a recognition.


    It does not mean that the person selected is a good Mormon, or even a good person. It simply recognizes who had the most impact during the year.

    Just like Time magazine once chose Adolph Hitler as “Man of the Year,” it will always be possible, in my view, to choose someone who doesn’t reflect what a Mormon should be.

    I am NOT suggesting that Glenn Beck fits that bill. For all that I know about his actions in his ward (nothing), he acts as a Mormon should. And while I’m troubled about some of the things he has said on his show, I don’t think they make him a bad Mormon by themselves. I know I don’t want my value to be judged by one aspect of my life. I’m certainly not perfect and don’t want to be judged the way that many people have judged Beck.

    So, yes I dislike much of the bits that I’ve heard from his show. But I do think that it is very possible that I will vote to name him Mormon of the Year.

  36. Ardis E. Parshall on January 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Kent, I don’t know that I’ve used the word “positive”; if I have, it’s with a different sense than you’re using it here. I don’t think MOTY necessarily needs to be positive in the sense of good, pure, holy, warm and fuzzy, or admirable — I understand the validity of naming Hitler as Man of the Year.

    But I do think anybody’s person of the year ought to have made a solid, substantive, real contribution, however small. In the case of Beck, I think he’s nothing but a political eggbeater, whipping the public forum into a bubbly froth that will die back to nothing once the agitation ceases. That’s a neutral impact, neither a positive nor a negative one. It captures everybody’s attention because it’s so noisy and drives other conversation underground, the way Grant’s off-topic, noisy mass of CAPITAL LETTERS did, but hardly merits recognition.

    But as you say, it’s your recognition, your blog, your rules, and no matter who you select, it doesn’t represent me or my views or my church or my people — only yours. So enjoy yourself. :)

  37. E on January 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    As much as I would love to forget that Harry Reid is a Mormon, I don’t see that anyone else really competes with him. He is the Mormon of the year for 2010. Let’s all just pray that we never have to seriously consider Jon Huntsman for this, er, recognition.

  38. Lupita on January 4, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Elizabeth Smart, hands down.

  39. santorio on January 4, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Dean Criddle’s full impact will not be realized for some time, but he is the future.

  40. pellegrino on January 4, 2011 at 1:55 am

    One note. W.H. Pugmire was raised LDS, left the church and has now come back and been rebaptized. He’s an awesome person, glad to see he’s being recognized as a nominee.

  41. Grant on January 4, 2011 at 2:18 am

    Ardis, you are just a wee bit snobbish there, no? with your dismissal of Beck and, me? as if we add nothing but drizzle and bombast to the discussion. Look beyond the CAPS, they are italics and the old school internetizens need to get over it, sheesh.

    The Beck discussion IS about Liberty. That’s what he has been talking about. That and the Constitution, and naming names and quoting people. Anyone dismissing him because he has accomplished so much is just coming across as wannabe important, but not achieving it, to have it come from fellow Mormons is sad though. He is a convert. You are probably not. He never decided to be a Mormon leader. But the principles of freedom, liberty, charity, etc., that he HAS been teaching do count, and he has been having a very huge influence and impact on society and the world as well. You know, this comes across as “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” but just change it to “can anything good come from outside Utah?” and the answer is YES.

  42. Grant on January 4, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Another piece of advice for Ardis. Stop judging people. Stop judging Beck. Stop trying to figure out and question his motives, you really could not positively have any idea of it… I’ve got a brain. I have listened to Beck. I have considered his words. I am not a follower. I am a leader, and I can discern that what he says has great value to us, to our country. There is a reason he is mocked. All of the good people get mocked, because it IS Satan’s MO to mock people. Think about that. If you are not aware that Glenn Beck is in good company with that, then you are not aware. Visit Youtube and see what they have done with the prophets as well. It is very sad to see how many anti-mormons mock Beck, but to also see it coming from those that like to ascend to the highest seats of “listen-to-me” dom is much harder to accept. It is not acceptable.

  43. WJ on January 4, 2011 at 3:42 am

    I think Beck is a passing fancy only to people, such as Ardis, who don’t like him, or don’t like his politics. But her analysis sounds more like wishful thinking than a valid assessment of reality. Beck has quite clearly had a profound impact on millions of Americans, and I think for those people his influence will prove quite enduring.

    I like Elizabeth Smart, and am impressed with her character and life story, but I agree with a previous comment that her story is largely confined to Utah. I think, in general, it will be difficult for the MOTY title to go to anyone other than a political figure, as that is where most of us and society at large tend to be fixated.

  44. Dave on January 4, 2011 at 8:41 am

    WJ, your reasoning (and that of many others) shrinks MOTY to a simple question of what LDS politician or talking head garnered the most headlines over the last year. I’d like to think there is more to it than that.

  45. brian larsen on January 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

    WJ, #43 – I don’t think Smart’s story is confined to Utah at all. And I don’t think “most of of us at large tend to be fixated” on political figures. Beyond the President and a few associates, I wouldn’t say most of society knows a whole lot about political figures. You might, and I might – but I would wager that most people responding here are quite well educated and are very politically aware.

    I would say that more “common men” out there know something of Elizabeth Smart and have been influenced by her story than by Glenn Beck. But it’s really hard to find that sort of thing out.

    I grant that Beck had a rally and that lots of less-educated and non-Mormon people attended. But chances are, most of those people also know who Elizabeth Smart is.

    I’m also not saying Beck shouldn’t get it – but I am saying that, like Arids, noise level does factor in with these sort of “contests.” Unfortunately, this clearly plays in favor of Beck, regardless of message.

    As for me and my house, I favor the still, quiet type. Oh, and I coming far from Utah – the plains of Iowa and the hills of West Virginia. Smart is NOT a Utah phenomena, as far as I can tell.

  46. B.Russ on January 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Interesting that this comment:

    Another piece of advice for Ardis. Stop judging people.

    Came from the same commenter as these comments:

    Personally, I think liberals are the fascists of today.

    You probably like Harry Reid, and I think he’s somewhat of a traitor to the principles of the Constitution

    doing the best he can in this pathetically politically correct world

    Actually, no, it’s not interesting at all is it? It’s pretty standard fare for ideology.

    Grant, you would do well to try and understand people’s comments and arguements before putting words in their mouths.

  47. WJ on January 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Yes Dave, that is exactly what my reasoning does, this is not an insightful analysis. Because political figures garner the most attention, they receive the most headlines, and they therefore have the greatest impact, for better or for worse. And impact is essentially what this competition is about.

    “I don’t think Smart’s story is confined to Utah at all.”

    I said Smart’s story is largely confined to Utah, I’m not saying its only confined to Utah. I think, in particular, LDS members throughout the country and maybe the world are astutely aware of her situation, but thats because they’re interested in LDS news. But on a daily basis you are much more likely to find an article about Smart on Deseret News or the Salt Lake Tribune than you are a national media outlet (I’m saying “more likely,” not that Smart wasn’t covered nationally, so don’t retort by citing an appearance on Oprah, etc. That is missing my point) Beck, however, is regularly featured in the national media.

    “And I don’t think ‘most of of us at large tend to be fixated’ on political figures.”

    Then explain to me why blog posts regarding political topics generate by far the most comments on this and other LDS blog sites.

    “Beyond the President and a few associates, I wouldn’t say most of society knows a whole lot about political figures. You might, and I might – but I would wager that most people responding here are quite well educated and are very politically aware.”

    Perhaps, but Beck is not some political lackey locked away inside a cabinet position or other political association as the deputy assistant secretary for something or other. He’s a political figure, but just as significantly he’s a media star and therefore has the attention (or at least awareness) of a broad range of people.

    “I would say that more ‘common men’ out there know something of Elizabeth Smart and have been influenced by her story than by Glenn Beck. But it’s really hard to find that sort of thing out.”

    Because this is a hard thing to sort out you should probably avoid making the assertion in the first place, especially when it seems like another case of wishful thinking. Beck has a national audience of followers/listeners/adherents, call them what you will. He daily reaches into the cars and homes of millions of people. This is something that Smart, despite the greatness of her story and of her as a person, just does not have. (which is essentially all irrelevant because Smart, in every aspect where it counts (i.e. in life and without regard to this award) has won the victory).

  48. brian larsen on January 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    WJ @ 47

    “I said Smart’s story is largely confined to Utah, I’m not saying its only confined to Utah. I think, in particular, LDS members throughout the country and maybe the world are astutely aware of her situation, but thats because they’re interested in LDS news. But on a daily basis you are much more likely to find an article about Smart on Deseret News or the Salt Lake Tribune than you are a national media outlet (I’m saying “more likely,” not that Smart wasn’t covered nationally, so don’t retort by citing an appearance on Oprah, etc. That is missing my point) Beck, however, is regularly featured in the national media.”

    My assertion is based on interactions with non-mormons with education levels not beyond the undergraduate level – who, generally, know more about Elizabeth Smart than Glenn Beck. That’s all I’m saying.

    “Then explain to me why blog posts regarding political topics generate by far the most comments on this and other LDS blog sites.”

    Because I’m not talking about people who comment on this blog or other lds blogs – I’m talking about other people.

    “Because this is a hard thing to sort out you should probably avoid making the assertion in the first place, especially when it seems like another case of wishful thinking. Beck has a national audience of followers/listeners/adherents, call them what you will. He daily reaches into the cars and homes of millions of people.”

    But it doesn’t follow that he has a bigger influence – i.e. Christ.

    Your critique of my post supports my (already stated) conclusion, unfortunate as it is, about noise level and political figures – we don’t disagree there.

    I stand by my critique – clearly, however, it wasn’t as clear as it ought to have. But just because more news is generated by Beck does not mean has had a greater impact.

  49. Grant on January 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    B Russ, you are putting my comments about Reid’s politics on par with telling Ardis, a virtual unknown, to stop judging Beck and those who write like I do with CAPS? I never heard of her before I came here and she made me feel like an unwelcome outsider, dissed Beck out of hand as a non-entity, a passing fad, a man who has established one of the biggest audiences in the WORLD, EVER, and you just can’t diss that and imply that all who listen to him are uneducated or stoopid. I really do disdain intellectual snobbery. It’s what Atheists to, consistently. Who wants to be in that company, with the likes of Richard Dawkins, yet we have them too parading as LDS faithful. For the record, I have a BS in Engineering lest anyone think I am a lowly stoopid Beck fan, like some others here have implied about the educational background of those that went to the rally.

    Beck drew nearly a million people to that. I was not there. I live in California and would have gone had it been feasible. I wanted to be a part of that HISTORY. It was bigger than big, and a whole lot more people would have been there had it been economically feasible. I wanted to jump on a plane and BE THERE. It was that important.

    Name another Mormon who EVER did anything so significant with a crowd of people. You can’t do it.

  50. Ardis E. Parshall on January 4, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    we add nothing but drizzle and bombast to the discussion

    Oh, you said it so much better than I, “a virtual unknown,” could possibly have said it, Grant. Thank you. Or maybe THANK YOU. Or even thank you.

  51. Grant on January 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    LOL

  52. brian larsen on January 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Grant @ 49 “Name another Mormon who EVER did anything so significant with a crowd of people. You can’t do it.”

    I think that’s the point. Each of the people on the list have done something significant that nearly no other Mormon has done which has had an impact.

    I’m still not sure if that impact is supposed to be some sort of measure of impact on Mormons, or Mormonism, or people in general (each, I think, has its own potential winners). And it’s not clear to me whether it means “generated a lot of buzz” or “influenced the way people (or Mormons?) live” or something else altogether. Good thing the final voters know.

  53. B.Russ on January 5, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Name another Mormon who EVER did anything so significant with a crowd of people. You can’t do it.

    Well, Steve Young won Superbowl 29. I’m sure that was a much bigger crowd, by a factor of about a thousand (estimated viewership being around 100,000,000). And I believe (you could/will argue otherwise, and after all you are a very educated and bright engineer) that fifty years from now the name Steve Young will be more recognized than the name Glenn Beck . . . but thats neither here nor there.

    B Russ, you are putting my comments about Reid’s politics on par with telling Ardis, a virtual unknown, to stop judging Beck and those who write like I do with CAPS?

    No, I’m putting your comments insulting a human on par with comments insulting a human. And by that measure, Ardis’ comments were much milder than yours. Unless you think poking fun at someone using ALL CAPS is the moral equivalent of calling someone a traitor.

    And FWIW Ardis may be a virtual unknown in the world of Beck, Reid, and Olbermann, but around here she is well known. You’re not going to make any friends by getting in the ring with her.

  54. Grant on January 5, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Russ, of course I’ll argue otherwise. Steve Young played in a superbowl that I NEVER WATCHED. Must have been that Sunday thing. Besides, Steve Young never got millions of listeners every day, every day of the year. Don’t compare the two, because Steve Young was just one player on a 100 man roster. He was NOT the team, just a key player, just one of many famous people there, and Joe Montana etal had a lot to do with who watched. I’m not watching Glenn Beck because of Bill O’Reilly, or Sean. No Glenn is watched because of what HE does. You are comparing apples with grapes.

  55. Grant on January 5, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Russ, you have this false expectation that people are going to check out the “who’s who” of blogs before they post. Get over it, and who cares? Those days are gone, it’s what we say and that’s it. No one cares who you are if you can’t write. Ardis felt the need to insult Beck with name calling and a really derrogatory diatribe on that, then on my CAPS and “noise” and now you say I insult her, ah, there’s nothing much more tiring than pedigreed mormons in a blahgosphere

  56. mondo on January 5, 2011 at 7:29 am

    #22 the point is not to drive a political message directly. The point is to remember our God, our religion, our freedom, our peace, our wives, and our children.

    That ought to be the anchor point of any country’s declaration of citizen rights (or independence) – America’s spiritual cornerstone – no matter what religion or political party.

  57. Reagan Republican on January 5, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Glenn beck is the only one on this list to have been parodied on Saturday Night Live. And he is probably the wealthiest person as well.

    I think it’s a slam dunk.

  58. B.Russ on January 5, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Russ, of course I’ll argue otherwise.

    Obviously.

    Steve Young played in a superbowl that I NEVER WATCHED.

    And as anyone who reads your comments realizes, you are the center of the universe (well, Glenn Beck is, but you orbit in a very tight circle around him, so differentiating the two is splitting hairs).

    Joe Montana etal had a lot to do with who watched.

    Not that I want to belabor this point, because it really doesn’t matter, I was just refuting an obvious overstatement of a person’s importance, but Joe Montana had obviously left the 49ers long before Steve Young won Superbowl 29. They played the same position genius.

    You are comparing apples with grapes.

    No, I’m comparing Mormons with Mormons. Isn’t that what you asked for? Didn’t you say “Name another Mormon who EVER did anything so significant with a crowd of people. You can’t do it.” Well, I did it. If you wanted to put other qualifiers on your statement like “another Mormon who individually did anything” or “another Mormon who EVER did anything politically related” or whatever qualifier you want (who knows in your mind what world changing impact this rally had).

    Those days are gone, it’s what we say and that’s it.

    Well then, I suppose you lose.

    Ardis felt the need to insult Beck with name calling and a really derrogatory diatribe on that

    She called him an eggbeater. You called Reid a traitor. Don’t do any moral grandstanding if you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    and now you say I insult her

    Please refer back to what I said about putting words in people’s mouths. I never said you insulted her. If you think I think you insulted her, you have failed to grasp what I was implying.

    To the permas at T&S, sorry for the threadjack. I’m done, I promise.

  59. Ardis E. Parshall on January 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Thanks, B.Russ, but we both know it’s a lost cause. Best to let Grant’s froth and frenzy wear itself out without notice, or wait for the permas to decide they want something more praiseworthy than a high comment count.

    In the meantime, we have a fine example of the effect Glenn Beck has on his idolators, and continuing evidence of why Beck is unworthy of further recognition as a public figure, never mind as a Mormon.

  60. Grant on January 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Russ and Ardis, you have both made this just a personal thing, and you seem fixated on me, the center of the universe. It started with your name calling, now it continues with your quote by quote assessments. Consider your ways, you have motivated me to take another DECADE off from bloggernacle pomp. There’s nothing here…

  61. Grant on January 5, 2011 at 11:01 am

    and for the record, the Salt Lake Tribune SUCKS (from a Californian who can’t stand mormon liberalism)

  62. Paul on January 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Oh, Grant. I don’t understand your worship of Glenn Beck.

    You have compared Beck to Captain Moroni, a comparison I rejected.

    Here’s why:

    Moroni was appointed chief captain of the Nephite armies, subject to his government, at age 25.

    Beck is self appointed.

    Moroni led the defensive armament of his people to protect them from outside forces.

    Beck is lining his own pockets by preaching against evils within his own political system.

    Moroni spent his life in military service.

    Beck has not served in the military (and certainly does not now).

    Moroni fought an external enemy who sought to create totalitarian rule.

    Beck fights idealistic battles with others within his free society.

    Moroni was singularly focused (and consistently so) on the military defense of his people and government.

    Beck is now a self-improvement guru, yet another way to increase his financial empire and his brand.

    Please don’t misunderstand. If people want to listen to Beck and want to pay for his “wisdom”, that’s their choice. If people want to attend his rallies or listen to his programs, that’s fine. But Beck is no Captain Moroni.

  63. The Bloggernacle on January 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

    *quietly weeping and mourning its recent loss*

  64. Grant on January 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    OK I’m back. Just one more relevant comment about this thread (please refrain from personal attacks bloggernacle faithful), about GLENN BECK.

    People say mormons worship Joseph Smith because of that hymn. Now I have heard Glenn Beck is worshiped because of some admiration for what he has done, for what he has accomplished. Well, the worship is not there, but no one can dispute the many accomplishments. Especially some of the comments I have read here derroggatory of what he does. So when Captain Moroni SLICES a guy and sends him to the ground, that’s a wonderful thing? No, sometimes the ugliness of battle is just something that can’t be avoided. Captain Moroni was no Ghandi, and thank God for that, because he was what he needed to be. Even still, Captain Moroni did not win the war.

    Now we have a Beck and before you barf, liberals, just think about what he did. Did you even watch the rally? Did you consider the flyover of birds right when it started? Yes, that was pretty awesome. Also, did you consider the calm and peaceful nature of the huge huge crowd that assembled, and left no mess? Did you consider the message of restoring honor? Did you consider that Martin Luther King’s niece endorsed and spoke at that event? Did you consider the discrepencies between the aerial photographs clearly documenting a crowd of 600,000+ in attendance, versus what the liberal CBS reported (80,000)? Did you consider that someone is LYING? CBS showed no photos, but, whatever. We have liars in the media. That much is very clear to me. We do have a conspiracy in the world, that much is very clear to me.

    Liberal mormons, I want you to consider what other Mormon has ever attempted to cover such a controversial topic such as conspiracy in government and in the economy? I can think of no other excepting Ezra Taft Benson, and although he was an Apostle when he was actively speaking against Socialism and Communism, his reach was very SMALL. Beck is getting this message out to the Gentiles, a message that if it isn’t considered by the mainstream, will result in the noose tightening. A vote for Obama was a vote against freedom. I do know that there were many Mormons voting for him, thinking that the government dole is the answer to our problems. Well, no. That much is painfully obvious as our country is trillions MORE in debt and still no improvement on the unemployment side of things.

    I recently moved from a ward where a young man there, a young POOR man ion college, vehemently argued with me that Glenn Beck was a MONSTER, certainly not a Mormon, certainly not a Christian. Totally judged Beck, to hell. He could not stand the man. He was ashamed that he was a mormon, etc. etc. etc. Then I discovered his ideaology. He was a firm SOCIALIST, voted for Obama, his heros were all of the people that Glenn Beck assailed (exposed), and of course, he was an avid reader of the Huffington Post and passed articles around on facebook several times a DAY. I responded intelligently to one of those facebook missives, got more missives in return, and in the end, he UNFRIENDED me. Repented months later accepting my friendship, then UNFRIENDED me again as soon as I participated. He hated challenge. In short, he hated. He was a communist at heart.

    Glenn Beck has done what no other Mormon before has done. He has risen to prominence in the media. The MAIN media, not some Utah channel or phenomenon, but “600” channels, TV stations, and books and websites and THE BLAZE . COM. It keeps coming. Jon Huntsman likes him. John Huntsman helped out the prophet Gordon B. Hinkley too, and did a lot of great things. Glenn is in good company, and it is really offensive to me when fellow Mormons dismiss him as awful, and I wonder why they do that? Is it because they are jealous? or just too liberal to be tolerant and inclusive?

    As a Utah outsider, not in the beltway of Mormonism, I think it easier to see patterns of “oh my heck” and other Utahisms, and you should really be careful to help dispell that by being more inclusive, stay on topic, stick to the issue, stop judging people, stop the name calling, did I say stick to the issues? Yes, and so we come back to Glenn Beck. My hero. I’ll admit that. Yes, he is. He is an amazing man. So much talent and brains, and he was raised up by the Lord to do these important things. Now yes, I know I lost you, my liberal mormon friends, I know you are barfing, but listen up. You have NO IDEA of what Captain Moroni was like. You don’t know that he wasn’t like Glenn Beck. Indeed he was OUTSPOKEN. He did write a long and dismissive epistle to Pahoran and even Neal Maxwell thought Captain Moroni went over the top on it. But me, I think Captain Moroni was SPOT ON and Pahoran was a weenie that did not know what to do with those traitorous King Men. It was pathetic. He deserved the lecture. Many people died as a result of Pahorans indecisiveness.

    You don’t know what Captain Moroni was like, so don’t say that Glenn Beck was no Captain Moroni, because you don’t know. Moroni stuck people with swords. You have no idea of how tough he had to be.

  65. The Bloggernacle on January 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    *wipes its tears and smiles proudly*

  66. Anon on January 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I’m beginning to doubt that Grant is real. (Call it a BOH hangover…)

  67. The Bloggernacle on January 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    *reaches for its sword, having an irresistible urge to stick someone*

  68. Brad Kramer on January 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    This post/contest leads me to believe that we need yet another annual award—something like the worst high-profile Mormon of the year (or even the decade). We can call it the Russell Pearce Award.

  69. Brad Kramer on January 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Poe’s Law, Grant…

  70. B.Russ on January 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Which Poe’s Law? The one dealing with brevity in writing, or the one dealing with pretending to be a religious fundamentalist? (or coincidentally, both?)

  71. Grant on January 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    poe schmo, I’m for real, but it is amazing that you guys seem to think that a fan of Glenn Beck could not POSSIBLY be for “real” and so you wonder in amazement, think of poe’s law, and it just points to an arrogance, and atheist like arrogance. It’s the EXACT same reaction I get when talking gospel to an atheist. They reach for the Flying Spaghetti Monster gun and shoot me and they think they’ve won the argument.

  72. Steve Hardy on January 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I would not vote for Elizabeth Smart for one reason: She apparently wants to be left alone. I believe that the one thing that she would crave about now is anonymity. Let’s let her achieve that now.

  73. mmiles on January 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    The niblets should add a new category, best popcorn thread. Oh my, this one takes the cake.

  74. Reagan Republican on January 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Grant,

    You betrayed yourself by mentioning Flying Spaghetti Monster. No right-winger knows what that is.

    I give your parody an 8 out of 10, though. It was funny.

  75. Reagan Republican on January 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    For the record, I’m a moderate, Wall Street Journal Republican and I don’t like Glenn Beck. I think he would be an interesting guy to meet at Church, but I don’t like his style and I probably only agree with about 50% of what he says.

    However, I think he far and away deserves to be Mormon of the Year. No one else even comes close to him. This was a big year for him.

  76. John C. on January 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    sigh

    voted for Pearce, FWIW

  77. Charlie on January 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Actually, thinking this through, I have to change views.

    Elizabeth Smart is probably the sentimental Mormon choice or the ‘Peoples Choice’ by Mormons but really Glen Beck has to be the most influential Mormon this past year with all he has done and his reach.

    I’m on the other side of the world and I can still see him every evening at 6pm going on about his constitution and printing money and other crazy talk -crazy stuff- but still pretty influential.

    If I could change my vote, then it would now be for Glen Beck.

  78. Steve Hardy on January 6, 2011 at 4:19 am

    A note to Ken Larson:

    Yesterday evening I posted a brief comment to the effect that I would not vote for Elizabeth Smart. I am writing to you in this public venue (I don’t have your personal information, and I am only a very occasional poster here.) to respectfully suggest that Elizabeth Smart not be considered for this recognition. The more I think about it, the stronger I feel.

    Most of the people on your list are public figures. They, for the most part, are people who have sought out and enjoy public recognition. Harry Reid and Glen Beck are extreme examples of this. They have lived their lives in a way as to promote themselves, even (some might occasionally think) to the point of compromising their principles. (Its hard for a politician to always appear to have complete intregity because the art of statesmanship is in fact the art of compromise. As for Glen Beck, he isn’t able to maintain intellectual or moral integrity across a 20 minute segment of his show.)

    Even the church leaders in your list (except maybe your bishop) are people who at least don’t shun the public life.

    I don’t pretend to know Elizabeth Smart, but there are a number of reasons that we might admire her:

    1. She survived a horrible ordeal.
    2. She appears to be putting her life on track. Indeed, she not only survived but appears to be thriving. We can’t know what she is really feeling because of her discrete public response to her ordeal.
    3. She has sought justice for the criminal who harmed her, but has not seemed to seek revenge. There has been no angry screaming on the court steps. This is souce of the “dignity” which we admire.
    4. She has not used her victimhood as a means of personal enrichment.

    Many have suggested that she is a great role model for any number of issues: victims of crimes, victims of stalking, victims of the press, etc, etc. However, she has not (as far as I know) sought to speak publicly on any of these topics.

    Now, I don’t live in Utah or in the U.S. for that matter so I may have missed any attempts that she may have made in the public arena. But this is what I observe:

    She hasn’t granted interviews. Right? Has she been interviewed on the radio, on television, or anywhere in print?

    Has she sold her story to anyone?

    Is she writing a book?

    I understand that she may be back on her mission. I don’t know about this, and of course I shouldn’t know.

    However, reviewing her public response to her ordeal, including the recent trial, I believe that what she wants at this point is to be able to enter a room and not have people gasp, or hide their gasp, at sharing a room with Elizabeth Smart.

    As far as I know it, she hasn’t started a foundation, hasn’t advocated publicly for other issues, hasn’t spoken publicly about victims or criminals, hasn’t spoken on behalf of anything or anyone… except of course as a missionary.

    As you succinctly put it:

    “the Mormon of the Year is not an honor, it is a recognition.”

    But that is exactly what she appears to shun. She doesn’t want recognition. You also have mentioned that:

    “THE WINNER OF THE ONLINE VOTE IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MORMON OF THE YEAR!!!” (After GRANT’S posts, I must add that the caps are your’s… not mine!)

    So, please, leave her alone. If you believe that she wants recognition, or public honors, or that she is becomming an advocate for victims or whatever… if in sum you find that there is evidence that she wants recognition in order to promote herself or any cause, then go ahead and give her this recognition. Otherwise, you will find this site, and yourself, further injuring her.

  79. Kent Larsen on January 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Steve, you make a strong argument. I’ll ask my co-bloggers here on T&S to consider it.

    It is unfortunate that events sometimes force people into the public eye, as Elizabeth Smart has experienced. The question here is how outsiders (journalists and the journalist-like role that T&S plays in this case) should discuss and mention this fact.

    Of course its not just journalists who exacerbate whatever pain someone in Elizabeth Smart’s position. We all exacerbate the problem to some small extent whenever we discuss Smart and others.

    Still, somehow it seems the public has right (or at least an ability that is uncontrollable) to discuss public figures (even those who don’t want to be public figures) and even draw up lists and choose the most significant of a time period.

    Overall, I don’t think that the harm done is significant, and Elizabeth Smart may even view it as something positive. But I can see that weighing the issues here isn’t necessarily trivial.

    I’ve passed on your comments, and we will discuss it.

  80. Steve Hardy on January 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks for your thoughtful and respectful response. I have worried all day that I am over-reacting; that I am taking this too seriously. Perhaps its all just a bit of harmless fun. Certainly, its not too big of a deal (although I think that the SL newspapers reported the “recognition” of Harry Reid last year.) So, if you decide to keep her on the list, and to ultimately recognise her, I will understand. It has just been on my mind.

  81. John Taber on January 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Steve #78:

    Maybe you don’t remember what kind of publicity hounds Sister Smart’s family, especially her father Ed, were during and after her kidnapping – and how willing they were to thrust her into the spotlight once she was found. Many of your questions that would be answered with a “No” for her would be answered with a “Yes” for them. That might help explain why she’s on the radar now as much as she is.

  82. Ardis E. Parshall on January 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    *jaw drops*

  83. John Mansfield on January 6, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    John Taber may be putting it a little too bluntly, but contrary to what Steve Hardy wrote, the Smarts did put out a book about their experience and authorized a movie about it. Elizabeth Smart wasn’t subpoenaed to appear before a congressional committee against her will.

  84. John Mansfield on January 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    She has also sat for numerous interviews and television appearances.

  85. Charlie on January 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    #78

    “4. She has not used her victimhood as a means of personal enrichment.” “She hasn’t granted interviews.Right?”

    Except getting paid for interviews with People Magazine, E! and Oprah! payments which may have helped her pay for her mission too.

    “hasn’t advocated publicly for other issues, hasn’t spoken publicly about victims or criminals, hasn’t spoken on behalf of anything or anyone”

    Hmmm…except going to Congress to lobby passage of sexual predator Legislation and funding for a national amber alert system. Plus she co-authored a department of justice book on surviving abduction that is publicly available, plus was honored by CNN and People Magazine as a ‘Hero Amongst Us’ , plus was interviewed by Anderson Cooper and for the E! program ‘Young, Beautiful & Vanished’, and most of all, has her own Wikipedia page!! for been not only a victim but a ‘political activists’. If you have internet you can easily find all this.

    Problem is that when one reads the inhumanity this girl suffered at the hands of Mitchell and Barzee, we tend to say ‘poor girl, leave her alone, let her go back to life’ etc but she and her family seem to want to tell a different story as well as help those who aren’t as fortunate as they were with the massive community support and media support that contributed to bringing her home after only 9 months and not 18 years -like Jacyee Duggard suffered. And they recognized the lack of coverage for minority kidnappings, something the Amber Alert system could help correct.

    Actually Elizabeth Smart is anything but a person who doesn’t want public recognition for moving on and for helping other survivors of crime.

  86. Charlie on January 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    “she is a great role model for any number of issues: victims of crimes, victims of stalking, victims of the press, etc, etc. However, she has not (as far as I know) sought to speak publicly on any of these topics”

    Check these out:

    the annual Crime Victims Conference 2009 [http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705300621/Elizabeth-Smart-gives-new-details-about-ordeal.html]

    and

    seminar called ‘Overcoming the Unimaginable'[http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-national/kidnap-victim-elizabeth-smart-speaks-out-at-seminar-called-overcoming-the-unimaginable-video]

    but they are both from 2009 so not eligible for 2010 MOTY.

  87. Thomas Parkin on January 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    “Name another Mormon who EVER did anything so significant with a crowd of people.”

    I like Beck, but remember Jesus. Jesus fed 5,000 people with just a few fish. 5,000 citizens was quite a crowd in those olden day times. For Beck to have fed that crowd he’d probably have needed at least fifty or sixty fish. But, Beck didn’t feed anyone with anything but good old liberty and freedom and other important things like being against communism and fascism and existentialism and the government trying to control trade by building roads and railroads. And for that, the elites are trying to silence him and will probably crucify him someday. Not that I’m saying Beck is anything like Jesus, or that Beck thinks he is quite like Jesus. In fact, what I’m trying to say is that Beck _isn’t_ like Jesus because he doesn’t do miracles, if you’ll read again what I’ve said, but tries to use miracles, like radio and fund raising strategies, to help us all to God’s way of government, which is always honoring and sustaining the law, and voting for people who talk about and inform us about the constitution, as well as the bible, except laws about taxes, because if the government taxes our metaphorical tea we will throw it right into the metaphorical harbor. And I might even put on a Indian suit (that’s Native American suit to you PC Fascist wussies) to do it, because some laws are just not just, even for Mormons.

  88. Kent Larsen on January 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    FWIW, I do think it is reasonable to use things that have happened to you to promote related causes. Giving interviews and appearing before congress to testify on an issue related to what happened to her is a good thing, IMO.

    It is very helpful to have the information that Smart has been this much in the public eye. That does make it clear that she isn’t really seeking to avoid publicity.

    I guess in my mind it is one thing to use your publicity/fame for relevant good causes. Its another thing to use it for self-glorification. And we, the public, can’t always tell which is which.

    [Of course, in many cases it is blatantly obvious.]

  89. brian larsen on January 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for the information Charlie! Now I see some of the reasons why my (non-mormon, non-Utah) students know so much about her!

  90. Charlie on January 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    “Giving interviews and appearing before congress to testify on an issue related to what happened to her is a good thing, IMO.”

    I agree.

    One thing that is clear is that the Smarts, mainly Elizabeth and her dad, always tie an interview to something else they are working on, like Radkidz (gets paid for it but is a good cause) or pushing for new legislation, or appearing in a women’s conference on ‘overcoming the unthinkable’. From that I’d say that they are the first type: use your publicity/fame for relevant good causes, and I admire than for that.

    However, I still think that Beck was probably more ‘influential’ over 2010 but Elizabeth Smart should be the sentimental favorite or the peoples choice at very minimum imho.

  91. Oatmeal on January 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Vote for that Pugmire fella. This MOTY thing is all nonsensical anyway.

  92. Grant on January 7, 2011 at 2:46 am

    @Reagan Republican, NOT a parody. FSM is a common term and anyone of faith that has spoken to atheists and speaks of God gets that ridiculous comparison to the imaginary believer of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. This TBM, Iron Rodder, Constitutionalist, and Libertarian at heart, but with the moral fortitude to fiercely support and defend PROP 8, I still know what an FSM is all about. So strange, I know, not living in the MECCA of MORMONISM with Shawn McCraney on the airwaves! What a culture. Are you also from Utah??

  93. Grant on January 7, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Glenn Beck, HANDS DOWN.

  94. Steve Hardy on January 7, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Living outside of western US, and lately outside of the US, I had missed the interviews and appearances made by Elizabeth Smart and by her family. I spoke without enough information, and I believe that she ought to be considered for this recognition.

  95. Grant on January 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Just wanted to say, that if I have offended anyone here, which I am sure I have, that I’m feeling sorry for that this morning. Repenting of my disdain, however misplaced you may think it was. I am a real person, and I don’t think arguing with my fellow mormons is a good thing to do.

  96. Charlie on January 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    #95 Steve and #90 Brian,

    If you’re interested, it’s on youtube if you want to catch up, with Smart herself saying why she lobbies and helps others:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT-5zYAHCQs&feature=related

    Part 14 of the program. But the program’s from mid 2009 so again it isn’t eligible for this years award-recognition or whatever this is!

  97. Ray on January 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    It’s not midnight Saturday yet, but the poll is closed. Therefore, I will cast my vote here, hoping it can be included somehow:

    Elizabeth Smart – since neither the original post nor this one specify explicitly the biggest impact.

  98. Ray on January 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Finished reading the comments.

    Speechless.

    That’s an accomplishment!

  99. Kent Larsen on January 8, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Sorry, Ray. I recorded the close date on the poll wrong. I’ll open it until noon tomorrow to try to make up for the mistake.

  100. Paul Bohman on January 10, 2011 at 4:07 am

    I live outside Utah, and the Elizabeth Smart story resonates here among a wide range of people. She was featured on the front page of CNN.com and msnbc.com during the recent trial/hearing. So it’s a fallacy to say it is a story confined to Utah.

    It’s also a fallacy to say she seeks anonymity. Those same news outlets featured stories of her ambition to pursue law and advocate for victims of abuse. I think she’s at the stage where she’s made the decision to take courage and use her ordeal to it’s best positive advantage. As appropriate as the advice to protect her from further injury may be, her own life trajectory belays this fear and makes it a moot point.

    Also, the choice to name her Mormon of the Year would be mostly uncontroversial among members, in comparison to a coronation of a political lightning rod like Glenn Beck.

    Even so… and even though I am loathe to call any more attention to Glenn Beck than he has already called to himself, my reluctant vote for him still stands as the most appropriate for the criteria presented. … And yet I still hope someone else “wins.” Elizabeth Smart is my vote for the person whom I’d like to see win, despite feeling that Glenn Beck best fits the criteria.

  101. Alison Moore Smith on January 10, 2011 at 11:56 am

    It is very helpful to have the information that Smart has been this much in the public eye.

    And interesting that she’s “this much in the public eye,” but people don’t know about it! ;)

  102. Steve Hardy on January 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Again, I stand corrected in terms of my impressions of her desire for anonymity. If I could re-cast my vote I would vote for her at this time!

  103. Brad Dennis on January 11, 2011 at 2:43 am

    I just actually tuned in to this blog. I thought that I had already voted for Elizabeth Smart, but it must have been in a previous post.

    Anyhow I also started reading the comments by this Grant guy. Grant, all I have to say is how are people like you with such opinions ever formed? I don’t mean that as an insult, but I say it because I sometimes forget that there are actually people with worldviews so radically different from what I am used to. I don’t doubt your expertise as an engineer, but in terms of politics and history, you come off as someone who has very strong opinions, but needs further evidence to back up your bold claims, especially with regard to the concept of liberty. Many of your claims seem overstated and do not understand the arguments of different sides. Might I suggest you do some further reading on US history and politics, especially from authors who express viewpoints that are different from those of Glenn Beck. Also be sure to visit mediamatters.org to get a different picture of what Glenn Beck and Fox News are about. You probably won’t agree with the thrust of the claims at mediamatters but at least it will give you a sense to how the other side views politics and Glenn Beck and the likes.

  104. charlie on January 11, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Well? who is the “MORMON OF THE YEAR” ??? Poll closed days ago.

    And….(drum roll…):

  105. Kent Larsen on January 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

    charlie, we are debating. The announcement will come soon.

  106. Charlie on January 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Zzzzzz…….brrrr….Zzzzzz…..brrrrr….cough cough…..Zzzzzzz…

    (Waiting for T&S to actually name the MOTY!)

    Zzzzzz…….brrrrr……

    Just give it to Smart.
    She’s a missionary so wont find out anyways!

  107. Brad Dennis on January 14, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Yeah, hurry up and please don’t name Glenn Beck. Given that T&S named Harry Reid last year, it just wouldn’t seem fitting with T&S’s moderately liberal Mormon current.