Nominate the 2013 Mormon of the Year

December 13, 2013 | 84 comments
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Since Time named  its Person of the Year this past week, and named a religious figure at that, it must be time to select the Mormon of the Year.

For those who don’t remember, T&S selected the following as Mormons of the Year in the past:

2008: Mitt Romney
2009: Harry Reid
2010: Elizabeth Smart
2011: Jimmer Fredette
2012: Mitt Romney

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.

Rules

The 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

  • 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.

Nominations

  • Nominations must be seconded!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nominations can be made 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:

  • Jabari Parker — Highly regarded basketball player currently playing for Duke.
  • Yeah Samake — founder of Mali Rising Foundation and a candidate in Mali’s 2013 presidential elections.
  • Orson Scott Card — LDS Author whose award-winning novel Ender’s Game was made into a movie released this year. Card’s views on homosexuality have led to calls for a boycott of the movie.
  • Carlos “Wizard” Martins — Brazilian multi-millionaire who sold his Wizard chain of language schools, confirming his place among the richest people on the planet.

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.

84 Responses to Nominate the 2013 Mormon of the Year

  1. Sharee Hughes on December 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I second the nomination for Yeah Samake. I heard him speak at a fireside and was most impressed. Had he won the election, he might have been able to turn his country around for the better. My heart goes out to those who work hard for freedom for their war-torn countries.

  2. Tim on December 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Ezekiel Ansah–5th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, despite the fact that prior to 2010 (or so) he had never played a football game in his life.

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

  3. Tim on December 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    And I second the OSC nomination. The Ender’s Game movie is a big deal.

  4. Sam Brunson on December 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I’ll gladly second Jabari Parker, in the interest of Chicago-based Mormonism (and because, from everything I’ve heard, the kid’s a really good kid).

  5. Dave K on December 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Asking the question, “ten years from now, what am I most likely to remember about 2013,” here are a few others to consider:

    LDS Feminists – OrdainWomen, Let Women Pray, Wear Pants Day

    LDS Historians – basically, whoever is writing the new topical guide entries for the church

    Hans Mattsson

    Harry Reid

    Warren Jeffs (not sure we’re including all mormons or just LDS)

    And an early 2014 nomination: Teryl Givens. That guy will be releasing enough books next year for each Duggar kid to have their own.

  6. Dave K on December 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I third Jabari Parker. He was a primary kid when I lived in Chicago, but I knew his family. Really good people. One of my (weak) claims to fame is that the first place Jabari dunked a basketball – the Hyde Park Ward cultural hall – is also the place where I finally gave up trying to.

  7. Roger Hansen on December 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Lars Peter Hansen, 2013 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics

  8. Russell Arben Fox on December 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    The Mormon news stories with the greatest impact over the past year clearly revolved around the place of women (Ordain Women), gays and lesbians (the official Mormons and Gays website) and people of African descent (the official rejection of past theories accounting for the priesthood ban) in the church. I don’t know if you could make a case for any particular Mormon person as a newsmaker this year which would outweigh the impact that those movements and changes achieved in the mass media entirely on their own. Harry Reid remains a newsmaker, and Mike Lee got a lot of attention too, and so forth, but really: like Time Magazine choosing “American women” in 1975 or “The Protester” in 2011, T&S should name 2013′s Mormon of the Year “Ordain Women” or “The Genesis Group” or “Affirmation” or something to reflect the immense amount of conversation–exceeding by far anything accomplished by any other single Mormon–which these phenomena generated in church buildings and in the Bloggernacle this year. If you absolutely have to go with a single person, think Darius Gray, Margaret Young, Joanna Brooks, Kate Kelly, or any number of dozens of people who worked behind the scenes to bring these concerns into public forums, and helped them receive mass attention.

  9. Paul Burnham on December 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Second on Harry Reid, solely because he triggered the nuclear option, which will have repercussions for decades longer than Yeah Samake’s 0.5%, Jabari Parker’s one-and-done season at Duke, or the Ender’s Game movie.

    Other nominations:

    Jodi Arias–like it or not, she dominated the headlines for the first five months of the year like no other Mormon has all year.

    D. Wayne Sermon and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons–for releasing two top 10 singles (Radioactive and Demons) and winning Favorite Alternative Rock Artist at the American Music Awards.

    The Joseph Smith Papers project team–for publishing the first two volumes of the Documents series, of which J. Stapely says “I think that these along with the journals are going to have the broadest appeal.” Even if you disagree with Stapely, MoY is going to have to squeeze these folks in at some point. If you need a reason not to name Jodi Arias, here’s your alternative.

  10. April Young Bennett on December 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I nominate Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women. http://OrdainWomen.org

  11. Sam Brunson on December 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I’ll second the Genesis Group (and Darius Gray and Margaret Young). I was debating how to do a collective there, but the Genesis Group entirely slipped my mind.

  12. Kent Larsen on December 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Here is a couple of additional possibilities:

    * Elizabeth Smart — because her book was released this year.
    * Clayton Christensen — named “world’s top management thinker”

  13. Steve Smith on December 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Yeah Samake

  14. DavidH on December 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I second Roger’s nomination of his brother, Lars Peter Hansen, professor of economics at Chicago and winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics for 2013.

  15. Stephen on December 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Denver Snuffer

  16. Melissa Montoya on December 13, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I second Denver C. Snuffer, Jr

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denver_C._Snuffer,_Jr.

  17. Jake Mahan on December 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I nominate Denver Snuffer as Mormon of the year. His books have been instrumental in bringing many people to know their Savior in the most literal sense. His testimony is believable and powerful.

    His book, The Second Comforter, should be read by everyone. It is a manual on how to come to the actual, literal presence of Christ. I know of many people who have done so because of Denver’s testimony, and I am trying to obtain this blessing for myself. Denver’s words have had a profound influence on my life.

    I’m grateful for Denver’s willingness to tell the truth, even in the face of great opposition. His words have helped me come to an understanding of heaven that I never thought possible.

    He would probably hate it if he received recognition. He is more interested in having people hear the message of Christ. I only post this in hopes that someone will read The Second Comforter and seek (and obtain) the face of Christ for themselves.

    http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/

  18. CS Clark on December 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I would nominate Denver C Snuffer Jr.

    His book “Passing the Heavenly Gift” brought me back into full activity in the church. He is the best author for our times. When we look back on this moment in history Mormons will agree that his words were prophetic. He hates the praise, so I will praise the Lord! I was blind, and now I see.

    Oh, and, Go Sox!

  19. Ben S. on December 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Sheesh, someone post a link to Times&Seasons from the Denver Snuffer true disciple site, or what? Sock puppets?

  20. Kaimi on December 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I second (third?) the nominations of Kate Kelly and Ordain Women.

  21. Kaimi on December 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I also nominate Ben McAdams, SLC county mayor.

  22. Amanda FK on December 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I third the nomination for Kate Kelly

  23. hkobeal on December 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    The almost 200 women and men of Ordain Women who faithfully waited in line to gain entry into the priesthood session on October 5.

  24. Christy Clegg on December 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I will fourth the nomination for Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women.

  25. Kaimi Wenger on December 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Other possibilities:

    -Claudia Bushman, who has been in the news for her work at Claremont and in _Mormon Women Have Their Say_.
    -Jodi Arias. In the news for all the wrong reasons, but definitely in the news.
    -Maxine Hanks, who made headlines with her rebaptism.
    -Dan C. Peterson, who made headlines for his controversial exit from the Maxwell Institute.

  26. Kevin Barney on December 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I second Ziggy Ansah. (And fourth Jabari Parker.)

  27. TGrover on December 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    No one has been more influential in setting the agenda for discussion of issues within Mormonism this year than Kate Kelly & Ordain Women (particularly those sisters who stood in line at General Conference).

  28. Kate Kelly on December 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I would like to 2nd the nomination of the group Ordain Women .. because it is much bigger than me! ! !

    Here is a good list of OW media coverage:
    http://ordainwomen.org/ow_news/

  29. JasonU on December 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Clinton Romesha – LDS Soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Kamdesh
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Romesha

  30. Amy on December 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Another vote for Kate Kelly and/or Ordain Women

  31. Sock Puppet on December 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Where is this Denver Snuffer true disciple site? I don’t know if he can be Mormon of the year since he was excommunicated, but I’ll add to his nomination just the same. Just read his recent post on the Church’s statement on “Race and the Priesthood” (ttp://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2013/12/new-improved-mormonism.html) and I think it’s evident he understands Mormon doctrine better than most of us.

  32. Mtnmarty on December 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Sock puppet,

    He understands mormon doctrine but he doesn’t agree with it, so, game over.

  33. Orwell on December 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I second or third Kate Kelly, Ordain Women, the Pants People, and the Prayer People.

    That being the case, can I nominate “Mormon Feminists”? That should cover it.

  34. Melissa Martinez on December 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I also move to nominate Ordain Women and Wear Pants to Church.

  35. sue cannon on December 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I also vote for Ordain Women. Questioning and giving our church a chance to live up to its gender equality model of Mother and Father Gods is definitely worth recognition of Mormon of the Year.

  36. Emma Tueller on December 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I’ll second Kate Kelly. She has been incredibly influential in the discussion of women in the LDS church.

  37. camay on December 13, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Kate Kelly

  38. Julie M. Smith on December 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    “That guy will be releasing enough books next year for each Duggar kid to have their own.”

    LOL!

  39. Aaron Brown on December 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I vote for that lady who created “Mormons Against Women Wearing Pants to Church”, “Mormons Against Women Praying in General Conference” and “Mormons Against Mormons With Unrighteous Opinions about Women’s Ordination”. She was AWESOME.

    I also second my own nomination.

  40. European Saint on December 13, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I hereby second Kaimi’s vote for Daniel Peterson.

  41. Jettboy on December 13, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I second Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. His band’s music is on fire right now.

    I also nominate Brandon Sanderson the Science Fiction and Fantasy author. He is more prolific than Tyrel Givens and the Joseph Smith papers editors put together in a year.

  42. tpd on December 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Kate Kelly

  43. Lindsey Hicks on December 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I second Kate Kelly and or Ordain Women

  44. Daryl Brown on December 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I second support for Denver Snuffer.

  45. Anon on December 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Oh puh-leeze, people. Read the rules. Kate Kelly, Ordain Women, and Denver Snuffer have all been nominated and seconded long ago. This isn’t the voting. No one is going to give the selections any more consideration based on the repetition of their names in the nomination process.

  46. WillF on December 13, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    I second Clayton Christensen. His book How to Measure Your Life is good stuff.

  47. Clay Cook on December 13, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    I would like to nominate Dr. Richard Hansen of the FARES foundation he has contributed significantly to the rewriting of our understanding of the Maya preclassic with is work at El Mirador but as also contributed significantly to solving the lotter problem in the Peten by educating and hiring and educating the people of Carmelita, El Pete, Guatemala ti be guides and for the site making them participants rather than looters and giving them a sustainable enterprise to support thier community.

  48. C. C. Rider on December 14, 2013 at 2:05 am

    1. Al Fox influential tattooed covert and blog and YouTube personality
    2. Daniel Peterson – Mormon Interpreter rescued apologetics

  49. Julia Murphy on December 14, 2013 at 3:51 am

    I stood with Kate Kelly and the many supporters of Ordain Women at GC on 05 October. Kelly gets my vote.

  50. ILAP on December 14, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I second the nomination of Hans Mattsson, the Swede who talked publicly about his faith crisis with the New York Times.

  51. Anonymous on December 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Manti Teo!

  52. Sis, H on December 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    The dozen or so Mormon Missionaries who have died while on their missions.

  53. Tim on December 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I second Manti Teo. It’s been a while since his fake girlfriend scandal in January, but he was the second-up runner for the Heisman and the fake girlfriend story was huge news early in the year.

  54. Moss on December 14, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Teryl and Fiona Givens. Clayton Christensen.

  55. CeeJay on December 14, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Pete Ashdown, the founder and CEO of Utah’s oldest Internet service provider, XMission, who denied the NSA unwarranted access to XMission user data.

    From an rt.com article called “Pete Ashdown: ISP owner who stood up to NSA says govt should follow law if it wants to keep secrets”:
    His profile has been on the rise as of late because of his company’s refusal to turn over customer data that is requested by an administrative subpoena instead of a warrant. Ashdown refuses to honor subpoena requests because they prove that the government agency seeking the data did not, or was unable, to provide “probable cause” mandated by the Constitution.

  56. Gail Knickerbocker on December 15, 2013 at 2:15 am

    I second Elizabeth Smart.

  57. Wilfried on December 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I nominate Brandon Flowers of The Killers. No Mormon has had more international visibility for many years and this is very much ongoing in 2013 as he performed in numerous countries. As I was writing this comment, Brandon is again performing at the Wembley stadion in London in front of 80,000 fans… Millions of his fans know he is Mormon. I’m Brandon Flowers and I’m a Mormon has been viewed close to a million times.

    The lyrics of his songs are subtly replete with gospel-related terms and concepts. His fans sing those texts by heart, like the famous Human in this amazing concert.

    His dauntless answer to atheist Richard Dawkins on Norwegian television has been put online by numerous fans and is still being viewed today.

    Hundreds of (non-Mormon) fan home pages around the world, like this or this or this, tell about Brandon’s Mormonism.

    Since the criterion for MOTY is “solely about the impact the person has had”… Think worldwide, not just USA. Think on impact on non-Mormons, not just ourselves.

  58. Sam Brunson on December 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I think we have to nominate Judge Clark Waddoups, in light of Friday’s ruling. I don’t know for sure that he’s Mormon, but he graduated from BYU undergrad and the U of U for law school, which suggests that at least there’s a good chance he is.

  59. john shaw on December 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I second Brandon Sanderson, he won a Hugo this year.

  60. Jessica Buckley on December 15, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I second the nomination of Dr. Richard Hansen of the Mirador Basin project.

  61. Kent Larsen on December 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Apparently many of the commentors above didn’t read the rules. For a nomination to be valid, you must use your real name. “Anonymous” or initials doesn’t cut it.

  62. Robert Gibbons on December 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I nominate Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.

  63. Paul Burnham on December 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I’m not sure which handles you are recognizing as within the rules, so I want to make sure that Lars Peter Hansen and Clayton Christensen have legitimate seconds. I also think Clinton Romesha deserves a second.

  64. Jeremy Johnsen on December 15, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I second D. Wayne Sermon and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons.

  65. Courtney Peck on December 16, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Another yes to Ordain Women and Kate Kelly. This was a big year for Mormon feminism!

  66. Sam Brunson on December 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I’ll second Brandon Flowers and Brandon Sanderson, both of whom are great choices.

  67. Troy Pritchett on December 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    It’s too bad rule number 2 exists.

    I was going to nominate Elder Cunningham and Elder Price. Surely, no other mormons have been subject to the level of criticism they have.

  68. Robert Poort on December 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I second Brandon Flowers!

  69. Thad Gillespie on December 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Dr. John L. Sorenson for his magnum opus on Mesoamerican convergences with Book of Mormon lands: Mormon’s Codex.

    http://johnlsorenson.com/
    http://www.amazon.com/Mormons-Codex-Ancient-American-Book/dp/1609073991/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0

  70. Ryan on December 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I fourth or fifth Kate Kelly of Ordain Women. Love it or loathe it, the weight of it is real.

    Al Fox – the “tattooed Mormon”

    Geoff & Al of This Week in Mormons for using their podcast to make difficult issues more palatable for a general audience.

    Joni Hilton – for her disavowed “are you a liberal Mormon” column

  71. the other ryan on December 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    It simply has to be Kate Kelly, or, if her sense of modesty prevails, the OW members as a group. The other nominees are Mormons who made a difference in the world. But Kate Kelly & OW are making a difference to Mormonism itself.

  72. Clay Cook on December 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    If anyone is interested Dr Sorensen’s book is less expensive at Desert book by almost $20.

  73. Cameron on December 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Second Al Fox.

  74. Cameron Nielsen on December 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Make it official with full name.

  75. CarineD on December 18, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Brandon Flowers, because of his worldwide notoriety.

  76. Rigel Hawthorne on December 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I nominate Paul Walker. He demonstrates the best of a successful actor giving back to the world with gentle kindness, non-pretentious work ethic, dedication to charitable causes–all accomplished having navigated the course as a non-practicing Mormon. And, he was just REALLY cool!

  77. Aaron M on December 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Jana Riess

  78. Xenophon on December 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    1. Daniel Peterson
    2. OSC
    3. Any home teacher that actually visits people

  79. Al Doan on December 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Paul Walker – cause he’s dead

    Brandon Flowers – He’s a nice guy

    This Week in Mormons – Geoff & Al because I am one of them, and I’m really good at being mormon

  80. Levi Fergus on December 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I would like to nominate David White as Mormon of the Year.

    David White served as the president of the Oregon Peace Officers Association during 2012-2013. The Oregon Peace Officers Association is a police organization that provides training to officers all through the State of Oregon. They also have an annual awards banquet that recognizes heroic deeds officers perform each year in the line of duty. During his time as president, David personally contacted the heads of many agencies, built lasting organization ties and contacts, as well as growing the organization to a record number of members.

    On May 22, the Oregon Peace Officers Association wrote a letter to Gov. John Kitzhaber, expressing “extreme displeasure” with the Parole Board’s decision, calling it disheartening news. The letter grew out of a May 17 meeting of the group’s executive board. “Men and women join law enforcement to help others and to literally make the world a better place,” wrote David White, association president. “To release someone from prison early for killing a police officer is a slap in the face of every police officer in Oregon, and we hope you’ll help us in our efforts to have the Oregon State Board of Parole reconsider its poor decision.” Blue Mountain Eagle Newspaper. The decision was eventually overturned and this cop killer is still behind bars today.

    Sure, you could go with the easy choice, pick some celebrity if that makes you feel better. But David is the “fight in the trenches” kind of church member that inspires a community. He has worked close to 2 decades in the Marion County Sheriff’s Office solving cases and fighting crime in our community. He is putting kids through college. He is generous with his time and is always giving with what he has.

  81. Geoff Openshaw on December 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I second Geoff & Al of This Week in Mormons because they are good and because I am excellent at complimenting myself.

    Also – Kate Kelly.

  82. Joshua Pieren on December 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I second the nomination for David White as Mormon of the year. He is a great example of not only a great person but of a public servant. Law Enforcement is a tough career but to have to balance life career and home life is a great accomplishment for anyone in this career. David exemplifies this role.

  83. Kent Larsen on December 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I am myself seconding the nominations of Judge Clark Waddoups, Hans Mattson and Manti Teo.

  84. Kent Larsen on January 1, 2014 at 1:13 am

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