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 (Mitt Romney has been nominated); 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, Elizabeth Smart for 2010 and Jimmer Fredette for 2011. 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: Last year we changed the nomination procedure: Nominations must be seconded! In addition, we ask that when you nominate someone you use your real name, rather than an online nickname or pseudonym. 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 what they did this year). AND, please give us some rationale for why you think this person should be Mormon of the Year.
You can make nominations in the comments to this post until New Year’s Eve.
Please consider submitting a short profile of the person you nominate. I will try to post profiles of the major nominees if I can find the time. But I am not likely to be able to write a profile on everyone, and I could use help. 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, and thus Mormons who have had a great impact or influence on Mormons and Mormonism during 2011.
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.”
- Joanna Brooks — The columnist and academic self-published a memoir, Book of Mormon Girl, which was subsequently picked up by a major book publisher, and attracted significant attention for her Religion Dispatches column from fans and detractors on both ends of the political spectrum.
- Bryce Harper — The outstanding baseball player selected #1 in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft made his major league baseball debut with the Washington Nationals and promptly played at or above expectations including hitting 22 home runs, a national league record for a teenager. He was not only selected as National League Rookie of the Year, but drew attention far outside of baseball with his comment to a journalist ignoring his religious beliefs “That’s a clown question, bro”.
- Brandon Flowers — The Killers frontman stood up to athiest Richard Dawkins on a Norwegian TV program.
- Mitt Romney — Named the Republican Party’s candidate for President of the United States. Despite a long and turbulent campaign he lost to Barak Obama in the November election. Need we say more?
And the following nominations are from two posts earlier in the year: Who to Watch for MOTY?(May 11) and Mormon of the Year candidates from this past summer? (October 18)
- Jabari Parker — Become the fourth non-high school senior to win the Gatorade National Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year award.
- Yeah Samake — founder of Mali Rising Foundation and a candidate for president in Mali in 2012 before a military coup and ethnic uprising postponed the elections.
- Jon McNaughton — illustrator whose politically-themed paintings drew fire from national pundits and political shows.
The following were mentioned in the posts earlier this year, but have not received a second:
- Gordon Moon, of Duchesne, Utah — LDS Bishop who was accused of failing to report a sexual assault. IMO, the case probably did more to publicize how local leaders should handle potential abuse cases than
- Gay BYU students & Mormon parents of gays — For their viral videos attempting to reduce gay suicides.
- Mia Love — black, conservative GOP politician who narrowly lost the election for a seat in the U. S. House of Reps.
- Larry EchoHawk — former head of the U S Bureau of Indian Affairs who accepted a call as a General Authority at April Conference. [General Authorities are acceptable candidates -- only members of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency are ineligible.]
- Neon Trees — Provo-based musical group made headlines because of its objections to alcohol and tobacco ads and sponsorships at their concerts around the world.
- Orson Scott Card — supported defense of marriage act in North Carolina and released a novella version of Hamlet which portrayed Hamlet’s father as a pedophile.
- Glenn Beck — Named to the Hollywood Reporter’s Digital Power 50 and Forbes’ Celebrity 100.
- Matt Bowman — Author of the highly regarded history The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith
- Randy Bott — BYU professor whose explanation of the reason for the obsolete priesthood ban caused national controversy because they were perceived as racist.
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir — perhaps the most widely known Mormon group.
- Imagine Dragons — Their debut album Night Visions charted at #2.
- Manti Te’o — Notre Dame football player who under consideration for the Heisman award.
- David Twede — managing director of the “questioning” website mormonthink.com made the news with a claim that he was subject to church discipline because he criticized Mitt Romney. In fact, any discipline seems to be because of material posted to the website. [I have reservations about listing Twede, but I think he does meet the criteria established.]
- Jeff Kent — The former baseball All-star and potential Hall-of-Fame candidate is currently a contestant on the reality show Survivor.
- Carlos “Wizard” Martins — Brazilian multi-millionaire and owner of the Wizard chain of language schools whose book made the Brazilian bestseller lists.
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.