Its that time of year again. The media will soon start reviewing the important news stories of the year, Time will soon select its Person of the Year; so we should get busy selecting the Mormon of the Year.
For those who don’t remember, T&S selected Mitt Romney as the Mormon of the Year for 2008, Harry Reid for 2009, and Elizabeth Smart for 2010. As in the past, the choice does not mean that the person is a good Mormon or even a good person. This designation is solely about the impact the person has had.
Note: We have made one major change to the nomination procedure: Nominations must be seconded! We hope this will make sure that nominations are serious, and not in jest as some have been in the past.
I think the other ground rules are basically the same as in the past (suggestions about changes to the rules are welcome – we try to improve the rules each year):
- Nominees must be Mormon somehow — nominees must have been baptized and must claim to be Mormon.
- 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 do not try to vote YET!! We’re just calling for nominations at this point. Voting will begin January 1st.
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. We will also look at the number of hits on Google News (http://news.google.com) that each nominee has.
You can make nominations in the comments to this post until New Year’s Eve. During that time, we will try to post profiles of the major nominees. If you would like to submit your own profile of any nominee not yet profiled, we will consider posting it here. We hope that these profiles will provide additional information on the nominees.
Starting January 1st, visitors to Times & Seasons will be able to indicate their preference in an online poll. 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. An election year in the U.S. always leads to new faces in the news, Mormons who have had a great impact or influence on Mormons and Mormonism during 2009.
Here are my own nominations:
- Jon Huntsman, Jr. — Former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China, Huntsman formally entered the race for the Republican nomination for President this year, creating, for the first time, a presidential race with two Mormon candidates and significantly increasing the notoriety of what has been called the “Mormon Moment.” [9,450 results on Google News]
- Jimmer Fredette — A hugely popular star basketball player at BYU, Jimmer led BYU deep into the NCAA championship during his final season with the team, and then was drafted into the NBA, ending up on the Sacramento Kings. [2,120 results on Google News]
- Will Hopoate — Despite a promising start to a hugely lucrative professional rugby career in Australia, Hopoate stunned fans down under when he announced he would pass on a contract worth millions and serve an LDS mission during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The move gave Hopoate notoriety worldwide and among Mormons in the U.S. [85 results on Google News]
- 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 success of the Twilight movies in theaters and news articles frequently mentioning her religion. [2,090 results on Google News]
And one nomination from my fellow blogger, James Olsen, sent to me by email earlier this year:
- Stephen B. Allen — managing director of the Church’s missionary department and executive director of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign. I think this campaign has had a bigger impact both in and outside the church than anything else we’ve done in recent history.
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.