Today's highlighted links of the LDS Church and its members in news coverage include Huffington Post-published predictions of a Mormon in the White House and the Book of Mormon on the New York Times' best-seller list within the next two years as well as a look at Utah Catholics anxious to share Temple Square with their out-of-state peers.
HuffPo's "What Will Be The Top Religion Stories of 2012" offering leads off with two bold predictions regarding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"1. The only American-born world religion will have its first resident in the West Wing, as the American people will send a Republican administration to the White House that includes the country's first Mormon President or Vice-President.
"2. The Book of Mormon will be on the New York Times Bestsellers list throughout the Fall '12 campaign."
The post came from the journalist Jon M. Sweeney; it should be noted that it was erroneously attributed to another regular Post blogger with the same last name — long-time labor leader John Sweeney — through Thursday morning.
Sweeney explains: "As one who makes his living in the field of religion, participates in two different religious traditions on a regular basis, and passionately studies what's happening among the spiritually mindful, I have an abiding interest in what follows. Wading hip-deep into these waters, the following are my opinions of where we may find ourselves nearly two years from now, as we look back on the year 2012."
Other topics earning Sweeney's forecasts — Christianity in China, Pope Benedict XVI's age, "virtual" church observance and the Mayan calendar.
Intermountain Catholic, the Salt Lake Diocese's weekly newspaper, had this report from Laura V. Sausedo about the tour of Temple Square by participants of the recent diocese-hosted Southwest Liturgical Conference.
Local Catholics were excited to share the state's culture with visitors, Sausedo wrote, quoting Rosalie Mirabelli, a parishioner of Salt Lake City's Saint Ambrose Parish: "I like to see people from out of town see the temple. I think it is important because it is our culture here. Even though I am Catholic, I think it is important that we show our visitors Temple Square."
The Temple Square tour stops included the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the visitors' centers and the Conference Center.
The group was hosted by Elder Ben B. Banks, emeritus LDS general authority and director of the church's hosting, with visits from several Mormon Tabernacle Choir leaders — president Mac Christensen, principal organist Richard Elliott and associate director Ryan Murphy.
Sausedo's report added: "The tour was scheduled because people are curious about the LDS Church 'and they are interested in understanding each other better,' said Dr. Juliana Boerio-Goates, a member of the SWLC organizing committee and parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Orem."