Time and Newsweek magazines both gave the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prominent play in their online editions this week.
"The Man Who Made Romney Possible" was the Time headline. "Into the future: Mormons prepare to name a new prophet and confront the challenges ahead" was the Newsweek heading.
"Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are mourning the death of their president, Gordon B. Hinckley, while their top leadership begins to assemble to name his successor which will almost certainly be Thomas S. Monson, 80," said the Newsweek article by Elise Soukup.
The article addressed the definition of the church's prophet/president: "Mormons believe that a prophet is God's representative on Earth, and he is entitled to receive revelation on behalf of the church, much like the ancient prophets, such as Moses or Elijah."
It said that compared to picking a pope, the LDS process is "fairly routine." It then explained how the church's 14 apostles eventually will meet and vote on a new prophet after President Hinckley's funeral.
The article stated the transition is expected to be smooth.
President Hinckley "oversaw a major global expansion of his church and was the best traveled of its leaders," Newsweek stated.
David Van Biema in Time stated that President Hinckley would be remembered for many achievements by members of the church, like "his world travels, for instance, and the corresponding expansion of the church abroad; his modest redesign of Mormon temples."
However, for the rest of America, he stated that President Hinckley likely would be credited as the man "who helped make Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy possible."
The Time article then quoted Romney as saying he would have a much harder time overcoming strange impressions many people have about Mormons were it not for "Hinckley's relentless 20-year publicity campaign to assure fellow Christians that Mormons, as he insisted, were not 'weird."'
The story also mentioned Romney's father, George, a Michigan governor who made a short run for the 1968 presidential nomination.
The Time article was its 11th most popular for the day, as of Thursday. It was the eighth-most e-mailed Time story.
To read the Time article, go online to www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1707753,00.html.For the Newsweek story, go to www.newsweek.com/id/105857/.