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Odds and Ends: Slate maps out population of Mormons in America

Published: Monday, Feb. 20 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

The population density of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was highlighted this week in Slate magazine through an interactive map of the United States.

The website featured a graphic that divides the U.S. into counties, with darker blues representing more dense populations of LDS church members. The article said that finding a Mormon gets a little harder over the Great Plains, but picks back up in the New England area where many early church members were born.

Ozarks First, a news organization in Springfield, Mo., also highlighted Mormons in specifical geographical areas, especially those in Missouri.

The writer highlighted one local Mormon family, the Crawfords, who addressed misconceptions about the church, temples and and their central belief in Jesus Christ.

"We are definitely a Christian organization," Colby Crawford said. "We believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that he was who he said he was, that he was the savior of the world."

Blogger Mark Paredas, for the Jewish Journal, also wrote about his beliefs this week, describing his recent marriage of which he he said the ceremony was "very Israelite."

"A high priest married us by the power of the Israelite priesthood for 'time and all eternity,' the meaning of which will probably take a lifetime to comprehend," Paredas said. "For Florina and me, there is no 'til death do us part' – we’ve made a commitment to each other for forever."

Paredas said at the reception later, several Jewish guests asked if he would be breaking a glass as part of Jewish tradition. His first thought was to do this to acknowledge his philo-Semitism in such a public way at a gathering of close friends.

Two LDS missionaries in South Dakota were also spotlighted this week in the Aberdeen News, with the article telling about their everyday life and weekly activities. The two wake up at 6:30 a.m. every morning, work all day, and go to bed at 10:30 p.m. The point of this hard work, the article said, is to avoid distraction.

“Everything we do is centered around Jesus Christ,” said Elder Graham, a native of Cordes Lakes, Ariz.

Email: tackerman@desnews.com

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