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Mormons in the media: Interfaith nights, Passover, proposals, service and musicals

Published: Friday, April 15 2011 11:00 a.m. MDT

So you've heard about Mitt Romney's announcement for an exploratory committee, Glenn Beck not renewing his contract with Fox and Steve Young visiting the Atlanta Georgia Temple open house.

But that's not the only Mormon news making headlines this week as it ranges from sporting events, Passover and other interfaith activities, serving in the community, the Book of Mormon and essays in the Huffington Post.

Mormon nights and interfaith outreach

Religion outreach at sporting events has been ongoing for the past several years, as there have been "Mormon nights" organized at professional-level baseball and basketball games.

Take this one in San Antonio, where LDS Church members gave Sean Elliot a framed copy of his family tree at halftime. And Mormon missionaries helped sing the national anthem, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

USA Today's Michael McCarthy shows that it's not just Mormons but other Christian faiths and Jews who also have designated days. (The Oakland A's are hosting their first Jewish Heritage night.)

"We welcome everyone to the ballpark," said San Francisco Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter.

Others wonder, all things being equal, how would a Muslim or an atheist day be received?

Also in interfaith news, Mark Paredes, who is LDS and writes about Jews and Mormons for the Jewish Journal, spoke at Harvard, and student Avishai D. Don, a Crimson editorial writer, said the "no-holds-barred discussion" about a variety of topics left him "far more enlightened than after any other interfaith event I’ve been to on Harvard’s campus."

The New York City-based Jewish Daily Forward, based in New York City, highlighted the capacity crowds at the Seder services hosted by Brigham Young University professor Victor Ludlow on campus, commenting on the details and how it "was a scene reminiscent of the Seders that so many Jewish campus centers host at Passover time."

Day of service

President Henry B. Eyring issued an invitation for a day of service just a few weeks ago; some areas already have that spring tradition, and coverage has been popping up in community papers, like these in Lompoc, Yreka and Redlands, Calif.; Kinston, N.C.; and Navasota, Texas.

Who can't relate to this project to help with 20 Habitat for Humanity homes that was scheduled in Murrieta, Calif., but then was canceled because of the rain?

A proposal and a wedding story

This week there were two sweet stories on wedding proposals that highlighted members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in star roles. (And considering what President Thomas S. Monson said at conference about marriage, it's pretty timely.)

The New York Times highlighted the wedding of Jill Fernald and Geddes Munson in its weekly "Wedding/Celebrations" section. (The Times usually does one longer story weekly and then several short wedding notices.) The feature included Fernald and Munson's story of meeting during a young single adult activity in New York City and dating, mentions how LDS leaders encourage singles to marry and included photos of the happy couple outside the temple.

Then this proposal on the baseball diamond after the opening pitch got a "yes."

The Book of Mormon, the musical and otherwise

"The Mormon Church has worked hard for decades to raise awareness about the Book of Mormon, and finally everyone is talking about it. Unfortunately, most of the conversations are about the new Broadway musical," writes Grant Hardy on Patheos.com.

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