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Mormons in the Media: Holy places, fasting and an auction

Published: Sunday, Aug. 21 2011 7:00 a.m. MDT

An 1830 first edition of The Book of Mormon will be auction off in September in California.

artdaily.org

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What designates a location as a holy place?

In an article for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman in Wasilla, Alaska, Pastor Howard Bess discusses the definition of sacred spots and how they become holy. As an example, he wrote, “It is difficult to imagine Roman Catholics without the Vatican with its St. Peter’s Cathedral or Latter-day Saints without the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

“In my work as a pastor … I concluded that the needs of most people cannot be addressed until they have a place,” Bess wrote. “Place is a key ingredient in becoming a whole person.”

One thing that Mormons have in common with Muslims is an appreciation for fasting. Kevin Barney of the Chicago Tribune recently wrote a blog expressing admiration for the fast undertaken by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.

On the first Sunday of each month, Barney said, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fast for about 24 hours (skipping two meals) as a community and offer special prayers for certain purposes. Money saved from not eating those two meals is given as a “fast offering” for the poor.

“Having that experience on a small scale with religious fasting and experience the self-control and spiritual discipline that derives from the practice,” Barney wrote, “it is easy for me to admire the more rigorous fasting practices that accompany Ramadan for Muslims.”

A first edition 1830 copy of the Book of Mormon is expected to sell for more than $80,000 in a Sept. 12 California auction.

An article by artdaily.org reports the edition comes with an array of 17 photographs, including photos of Joseph Smith III and Alexander Hale Smith.

In addition to the Book or Mormon, artdaily.org is reporting a rare 1782 copy of the Aitken Bible, the first Bible printed in English in America, will also be on the auction block at Heritage’s Beverly Hills showroom. Other noteworthy items include works by Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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