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Tommy Johnson

Racism still runs rampant in Utah.

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Last Saturday, during the Utah Republican Party’s Organizing Convention, freshman U.S. Representative Burgess Owens announced to the attending delegates that “Utah is the least racist state in the least racist country in the world.

If only this was true.

Unfortunately, Mr. Owens, racism still runs rampant in the words and actions of certain Utahns.

For example, there are people in our state who openly oppose immigration, having a particular phobia of those fleeing life-threatening situations across our country’s southern border.

These Utahns spit and spread fear, saying, “They’re coming to your neighborhoods, not knowing the language, not knowing the culture…

Love first, love second, and then love again.

For many who leave The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-say Saints, the decision to exit is not an easy one. It’s typically an intimate, difficult, and personal choice.

One reason it can be so hard to cut ties with the Church is because when people lose their Latter-day Saint faith, they too often lose their Latter-day Saint family and friends, too.

While it’s true former members may choose to distance themselves from active members once they decide to leave, we must be sure the distance is never our doing — the decision to leave the Church isn’t worth ruining…

We should be more concerned about gathering and preserving the lives of all God’s children, on earth and in heaven, and making the necessary changes that help us do so.

The Manti Temple. Image courtesy of

On Friday, March 12, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement updating the public on the ongoing and future-scheduled renovations of the Manti and Salt Lake temples. Included in the statement were details outlining the Church’s decision to remove historic murals and end live-acting endowment sessions within the temples, a move many members are understandably upset about.

The paintings and performances are a bridge to the past; evidence of ancestral sacrifice and inspiration, and living, visual echoes of our early pioneer parents.

Losing them stings our collective soul. Their removal may feel like a removal of…

On the night of November 2, 1924, Dr. James Naismith sat at the head of his family’s fourth-generation oak wood dining table, eating a humble soup-and-bread dinner prepared by his wife and five little children. The season’s first snow had hit their tiny Ontario town the day before, and the family began discussing ways they could pass the time that winter while staying warm inside. The youngest, Jack, spoke up and told of an activity he and his friends had made up the previous school year that involved a tennis ball, two trash bins, and a handheld stopwatch.

Dr. Naismith…

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considers abortion to be a lot of things, but murder isn’t one of them.

The purpose of this piece isn’t change your opinion on abortions at all, nor is it political.

The purpose of this piece is to simply detail what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has and has not said regarding abortion.

I hope the following facts help.

Over the years, Church leaders have called abortion many things: ugly, debasing, a serious sin, insidious, grievous, moral pollution, seditious, a plague, an aggressive act, repugnant, and a worldly philosophy.

In a direct response to the Roe v. Wade United States Supreme Court decision, the then-First Presidency stated,

“Abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and sinful practices in this day.”

A few years later, Spencer W. Kimball remarked,

“Abortion is a growing evil that we speak against. Certainly the terrible sin of premeditated abortion would be hard to justify. It is almost inconceivable that an abortion…

If the bar for a heaven-chosen hero is this low, our country may very well be the helpless, hopeless place Vaughn describes.

For a couples years (and especially right now) a particular post defending the behavior of Donald Trump has made it rounds on Facebook, shared by Republicans and conservatives who support the President, despite his unruly behavior. It’s author is a woman named Karen Vaughn.

Her argument is that President Trump is indeed, yes, less like a saint and more like a salty sailor: a grumpy old man who is loud, incautious, out of order, and bit obnoxious, but, in the end, a person who gets the job done.

Please read her post first before continuing my piece. It’s not too…

Original Design

Although powerful, convincing, and capable, shame is no victor over the mending power of Christ.

The debilitating burden of shame can creep into the veins of even the most successful and happy people, eroding passion, progression, and peace, leaving once bright individuals feeling alone and darker than the bottom of the pit they believe themselves to be in.

Shame is a powerful parasite.

Thoughts like, “I’m bad because I…” or, “Because I…, I am now a terrible person,” rule the mind. Fairness, objectivity, and context are dismissed, as irrational and biased judgments tell its victim that their worth has properly dropped, and can never be recovered.

The shamed person views themselves a bit like an…

Shocking, I know.

But it’s true.

A quick look at each party’s view on life-or-death issues like the death penalty, climate change, healthcare, and even abortion, shows that, in totality, Democrats support legislation and promote positions that save more American lives than Republicans do.

The 2016 Democratic Party platform says, “[The death penalty] has no place in the United States of America. The application of the death penalty is arbitrary and unjust. … And, exonerations show a dangerous lack of reliability for what is an irreversible punishment.”

A study conducted in 2014 found that one out of every 25 death row inmates are…

It’s time to not only vote this November, but to continue shaping our nation, every day, into the truly free country we know it can — and should — be, as written in the Constitution, guaranteeing impartial liberty and justice for all.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The Constitution of the United States was signed this month 233 years ago. It remains one of history’s greatest and most important documents. The preamble, in particular, reads like patriotic poetry:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Form. Establish. Ensure. Promote. Secure.

These active verbs served as the pulsing beat of a new nation…

Image courtesy of

Despite positioning himself as the I’ve-never-wanted-to-be-a-politician type before announcing his run to represent Utah’s 4th congressional district last fall, Burgess Owens, the Trump-adoring Republican and former professional football player, isn’t a political rookie.

Over the last four years, Owens has been a constant contributor to a number of conservative television programs, including Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and Fox & Friends. He’s also travelled with Young America’s Foundation, a conservative group that hires speakers to address high school and university students, since 2017. …

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