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  • Thoughts on the Supreme Court’s DOMA and Prop 8 rulings

    By Mark Paredes

    July 2, 2013 | 12:34 am

    "By ruling that supporters of Proposition 8 lacked standing to bring this case to court, the Supreme Court has highlighted troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial system operates. Many Californians will wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong when their...

  • Father’s Day and Forgiveness

    By Mark Paredes

    June 15, 2013 | 12:57 am

    Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou...

  • How to explain LDS religious terms to Jews

    By Mark Paredes

    June 8, 2013 | 8:04 am

    When Jews share their religious beliefs with others, they don’t automatically assume that they are familiar with Judaism, and usually do a beautiful job of expressing their thoughts using secular terms that can be understood by all. However, well-meaning Mormons who discuss their...

  • Mormon and Jewish interfaith marriage rates: Of temples and missionaries

    By Mark Paredes

    May 4, 2013 | 12:17 am

    I read with great interest Naomi Schaefer Riley’s recent Forward article, in which she contrasts the low LDS interfaith marriage rate and the relatively high Jewish rate while proffering areas for emulation to her Jewish readers. I believe there are two main reasons why Mormons...

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  • A new philo-Semitic Mormon bishop in LA

    By Mark Paredes

    April 14, 2013 | 11:26 pm

    Today I was ordained a Mormon bishop, the equivalent of a volunteer pulpit rabbi. I was as surprised as anyone when the call was extended to me, but I accepted knowing that I would have the support of my lovely wife and our diverse, dynamic Koreatown congregation.

    Although a...

  • Help needed for Passover seder in Warsaw

    By Mark Paredes

    March 15, 2013 | 9:34 pm

    People who know me well know that if I had millions of dollars to give to charity, one of my projects would be to help build up the LDS and Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. I have spoken on the Mormon-Jewish connection in Hungary, Poland, and Romania, and remain optimistic...

  • Boy Scouts and gays: end the ban—and the boycott

    By Mark Paredes

    February 18, 2013 | 12:09 am

    “While we must practice tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs, including their right to explain and advocate their positions, we are not required to respect and tolerate wrong behavior.” – Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Mormon Apostle

    -----

    It’s impossible to be a Mormon...

  • Exit Benedict, pray for another European pope

    By Mark Paredes

    February 11, 2013 | 10:46 pm

    Like most people around the world, I was rather surprised to hear that Pope Benedict XVI has decided to become former Pope Benedict XVI. He’s the first pope in 600 years to resign, and it will be interesting to see whom the cardinal electors elect to succeed him (let us pray it’s...

  • If Romney wins: Five things every Jew should know about Mormonism

    By Mark Paredes

    October 19, 2012 | 1:33 pm

    1. Devout Mormons can be found all across the political spectrum.

    The Mormon Church doesn’t endorse candidates or political parties, and although most American Mormons are Republicans, a Mormon Democrat has served as the Senate Majority Leader for the last five years. Owing...

  • Interfaith marriage, Rabbi Rosove, and Mormonism

    By Mark Paredes

    October 1, 2012 | 11:14 pm

    While I was single, I often found myself wondering whether it would be better to remain a faithful Mormon bachelor all of my life or to marry a wonderful non-Mormon girl. I had a few opportunities to do so, and in moments of frustration I almost regretted not having pursued them...

  • The face of Mormonism: Mitt Romney vs Harry Reid and Gregory Prince

    By Mark Paredes

    September 28, 2012 | 9:34 pm

    In a conference call with reporters two days ago, LDS Sen. Harry Reid delivered himself of the opinion that Mitt Romney had “sullied” the Mormon faith, saying that Romney “is not the face of Mormonism.” He may not be, but there’s no doubt that Sen. Reid was the face of chutzpah...

  • The Torah and the JST: Pharaoh’s heart, Lot’s daughters, Noah’s altruism, and wicked witches

    By Mark Paredes

    September 24, 2012 | 7:36 pm

    Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. – Deuteronomy 4:2


    I thought of blogging on the LDS concept of atonement during Yom Kippur week, but given the...

  • Why I won’t see The Book of Mormon

    By Mark Paredes

    September 9, 2012 | 9:30 pm

    Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20, 2 Nephi 15:20 (Book of Mormon)

    AY! My name is Joseph Smith, and I’m going to f*** this baby! – verse from the...

  • Who’s the better Mormon, Mitt or Harry?

    By Mark Paredes

    August 14, 2012 | 1:06 am

    Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate will allow voters to compare and contrast Catholics on both sides of the political spectrum as the election approaches. Both Ryan and Vice-President Joe Biden are Catholics, though they hold very different views on many...

  • Why would a Jew become a Mormon? Ask Marlena

    By Mark Paredes

    June 5, 2012 | 11:26 pm

    The proverbial “third rail” issue for a Christian blogger on a Jewish website is Jewish conversion to Christianity. It is one of the few issues that unites practically all Jews, and well-funded organizations (e.g., Jews for Judaism) have been set up to keep Jews from converting....

  • 350 Mormons march in Utah gay pride parade

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    June 3, 2012 | 8:52 pm

    Remember all the negative attention that Mormons got for donating to California’s Prop. 8? For the first time Sunday, some members of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints joined in the Utah Pride Parade, with about 350 Mormons marching alongside Utah’s LGBT community.

    The ...

  • Is arguing with God a virtue? Dennis Prager vs Mormon thought

    By Mark Paredes

    June 3, 2012 | 12:27 am

    Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. – Jacob 4:10 (Book of Mormon)

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your...

  • Shavuot and Mormons

    By Mark Paredes

    May 28, 2012 | 12:04 am

    But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the...

  • Daniel Pearl posthumously baptized by Mormons

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    February 29, 2012 | 11:03 am

    Daniel Pearl’s famous last words left know doubt about who he was: “I am Jewish.”

    Mormons, though, appear to want to leave the door open for Pearl to change his mind from the grave. Via JTA:

    Daniel Pearl was baptized in a Mormon proxy ritual in another case of a prominent...

  • LDS singles programs: A model for Jews?

    By Mark Paredes

    January 25, 2012 | 11:38 pm

    Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. – 1 Corinthians 11:11

    ——-

    As I prepare to marry a wonderful girl in the Los Angeles LDS Temple on Saturday, I can’t help but reflect on how my church has striven mightily to bring...

  • Mormon musical from ‘South Park’ creators ‘surprisingly sweet’

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    March 21, 2011 | 4:40 pm

    The Book of Mormon” opens in three days. It’s from the creators of “South Park,” two writers who have definitely had fun at the expense of the Mormon religion.

    The Broadway play has been getting good reviews. It doesn’t pull punches, but it’s also “surprisingly sweets,” writes...

  • Shoah group halts talks with Mormons on posthumous baptism of Jews

    By Ben Harris

    November 20, 2008 | 3:26 am

    A Holocaust survivor organization has broken off negotiations with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) over its practice of posthumously baptizing Jewish victims of the Nazis.

    At a news conference Monday, leaders of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust...

  • It can’t happen here

    By Rob Eshman

    November 12, 2008 | 12:29 am

    A coalition of black and Mormon leaders have begun laying the groundwork for a 2012 California ballot initiative that would ban Jews from marrying Jews.

    Flush from the passage of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, the leaders say they want to extend the ban to...

  • Chabad finds possible solution to land-use problem in Pacific Palisades

    By Jane Ulman

    June 25, 2008 | 10:28 pm

    Two weeks ago, Rabbi Zushe Cunin, head of Chabad of Pacific Palisades, believed he would be facing a protracted and difficult battle before he might hear the joyous voices of youngsters playing at Chabad's new location for Palisades Jewish Early Childhood Center in Pacific Palisades....
  • Chabad, Getty and neighbors square off over Palisades school plan

    By Jane Ulman

    June 5, 2008 | 2:36 pm

    Rabbi Zushe Cunin, head of Chabad of Pacific Palisades for 16 years, is accustomed to "overcoming and embracing all challenges," he said. But the uproar surrounding his plans to relocate Chabad's Palisades Jewish Early Childhood Center to a vacant building off Los Liones Drive -- in...
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