I called 2011 “The Year of the Mormon,” and I’m standing by that designation, but what a year we’ve had since then! As the Mormon Moment gets on its bike and rides into the sunset, it’s worth looking back at some of the high points and low points of 2012. Here are my own selections, in no particular order:
“One miracle at a time.” That was Elder Holland’s response to the question of why sisters aren’t able to leave on missions as early as the elders do. When you think about the long-term impact of letting the boys leave at 18 and the girls at 19, the age change was a miracle indeed.
The BYU memes around the announcement were hilarious, as well.
The Mormons and Gays website
Mormonsandgays.org might be seen as a small step in the right direction by some Mormons, and a small step in the wrong direction by others. Both are wrong. It’s not a small step at all.
Did you breath a sigh of relief or of disappointment on election night? Whatever your political persuasion, we’ll be enjoying the positive effects of Romney’s candidacy long after the “Mormon Moment” is over with.
Neon Trees have a Top 10 Single
2012 in Books
2012 might not have been the amazing year 2011 was for Mormon books, but we had some good ones and some great ones:
- “The God Who Weeps,” Teryl and Fiona Givens
- “Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet,” John Turner
- “The Beginning of Better Days,” Sheri Dew and Virginia H. Pearce
- “The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories From an American Faith,” Joanna Brooks
- “The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories, Volume 1”
- “The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith,” Matthew Bowman
- “A Peculiar People: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America,” J. Spencer Fluhman
(Ben P put together an exhaustive list of 2012’s best published Mormon scholarship. It’s at Juvenile Instructor, if you want more.)
Sandy coverage around Mormons
Thousands of Mormons in yellow vests descended on the hurricane disaster zone in New York and New Jersey. The media, and more importantly, the communities, noticed, and expressed immense appreciation. A videographer in my ward made a beautiful short film documenting the community responses to our yellow vests, which quickly went viral.
The best collegiate Mormon athlete this year played linebacker at Notre Dame, and won just about every award except the Heisman. He had a remarkable year both on and off the field, and impressed everyone who learned of his story. Best wishes for a bright NFL career!
Jabari Parker in 2012 is LeBron James in 2003
The best high school athlete in the country is a Mormon, and no, he’s not going to BYU either. And that’s just fine. The freakishly talent high school basketball player has been the darling of ESPN and Sports Illustrated, and will be taking his talents to Duke next year.
One of the biggest sports memes of the year also came from a Mormon. Responding to a post-game press question about imbibing, baseball all-star Bryce Harper replied with the timeless rejoinder, “That’s a clown question bro.” The saying was an instant meme; Harry Reid even quoted it on the senate floor.
Brandon Flowers vs. Richard Dawkins
Poor kid. You fly all the way to Norway to do a late night show, and instead of friendly chit chat, you’re ambushed onstage on live TV by the insufferable Richard Dawkins for a debate about your faith. It’s probably payback for us ambushing Mick Jagger on a long plane flight.
Mormonism Explored on TV
The Republican National Convention
An extended Mormon Moment at the Republican National Convention. Surreal.
These stories come along every few years, but never have they been paired with such a blatantly insensitive cover, nor with a collection of quotes that almost justify it.
We have a beautiful new mall!
I’ve always wanted a mall.
Wear Pants to Church Day
What started as an irreverent stunt quickly morphed into an actual Cause. The national media attention and visceral backlash came as a surprise to everyone, including the organizers.
What’d I miss?