Mormons and the World of Animation

Mormons and the World of Animation

Paul Schoeni, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormon Church), has been very successful in his work in Hollywood working on one colossus movie after another. He is credited with working on such movies as I, Robot, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs Aliens, Shrek Forever After, and Megamind and upcoming movies Turbo, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. He is also alum of the Brigham Young University computer animation program.

The animation program at BYU is interdisciplinary and consists of exacting coursework offered through the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, the Department of Visual Arts, and the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology’s School of Technology.

As a limited enrollment major, animation requires prospective candidates to complete fundamental pre-application courses before submitting an application portfolio for review at the end of the freshman year. Upon acceptance into the program, students must complete several foundation courses in essential areas such as figure drawing, narrative construction, and basic animation skills. Students are then encouraged to enhance this fundamental knowledge through upper-level courses designed to develop their drawing, narrative, and computer skills. (more…)

Mormon Violinist Lindsey Stirling: Remaining True to Self

Mormon Violinist Lindsey Stirling: Remaining True to Self

Lindsey Stirling, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (comminly referred to as the Mormon church), was born in Orange County, California on 21 September 1986, but grew up in Gilbert, Arizona. She is an American violinist, musician, dancer, performance artist, and composer. She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos, including on her YouTube channel.

Lindsey had very humble beginnings in learning to play the violin. She recalls that money was tight for her family when she was little, and when her older sister wanted to learn to play an instrument, their father dug out an old dusty trumpet from their attic and told her that if she wanted to play an instrument, that was all they had. At the young age of 5, after being influenced by the classical music records played by her father, Lindsey begged for violin lessons. As she recalls, her parents could only afford a half-lesson. She also recalls, “The teachers were like, ‘I’m sorry, but a child isn’t going to learn how to play . . . in 15 minutes a week.” The family was eventually able to find a young teacher who was willing to teach Lindsey and she took private lessons for 12 years. (more…)

Mormons and the Media: how objective are the reports?

Mormons and the Media: how objective are the reports?

The media seem to be more curious about Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) than ever before. Perhaps it’s because the 2012 US presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, has piqued their interest in his faith, or because of blatantly misleading TV and Broadway entertainment. Whatever the reason, public perception about Mormonism may have increased. But is it correct?

I appreciate inquiring, respectful reporting, but as a Mormon, I must admit that as I read or watch reports, my stomach tightens and I sit at the edge of my seat, fearful that the gospel of Jesus Christ– which I love with my whole being–will be maligned.

The problem stems from an attempt to be “objective.” Reporters try to present different perspectives to get the whole picture. They will usually interview a church authority and a few active members of the church. But invariably, they give at least equal weight (and often more) to those who are either on the periphery or separated from the Church. It’s like asking the value of the police department to a driver who has received a lot of speeding tickets. The perspective is likely to be skewed. (more…)

Mormonism Fastest-Growing Religion in U.S.

Mormonism Fastest-Growing Religion in U.S.

The 2012 Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS), released in May 2012, stated that their findings showed Mormonism to be the fastest-growing faith in 26 of the U.S. states. Islam is also growing very quickly.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the often misnamed “Mormon Church” is officially known, reported 2 million new adherents, as well as new congregations in 295 counties over the last ten years, since the previous study was conducted.

mormons meet on sundayExperts in both Mormonism and Islam pointed out reasons why the two religions grew so much according to the study’s set up. The RCMS counts the actual number of people affiliated with U.S. congregations who are “involved enough to the point where they know to count you” rather than going by church membership records. They feel this more accurately reflects the number of people in a congregation. (more…)

Joy in Being a Mormon Woman

Joy in Being a Mormon Woman

In a world that has been struggling with the debate over equality for women for thousands of years, but much more focused on fighting for equal rights over the past several decades, I feel a great sense of security and joy in my understanding of what it means to be a Mormon woman. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often misnamed the Mormon Church) has clear doctrine about the worth of women. Though many women do not fully understand what this doctrine means to them, and thus feel deemed of lesser value than men, I have a strong relationship with God and Jesus Christ, and I know of their love for me. I read the scriptures and I serve in the capacities I am asked to in my local congregation, and I feel that I am worth just as much as anyone else in that congregation, regardless of gender.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receives a great deal of criticism, as many other denominations have, about not giving equal rights to the women of their congregations. Women do not hold the priesthood in the “Mormon Church,” thus the assumption by many is that they are viewed as not being worth as much or not being as capable as men. I have never felt this way. (more…)

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