Vote for Mormon of the Year 2013

This post opens the voting for Mormon of the Year. Votes will be taken until midnight Eastern Time on Tuesday, January 7th, at which time the voting will close.

The voting mechanism will attempt to restrict votes to one per person.

The order of the choices is set at random, and is different each time the form is presented.


The results of the vote will be considered by the bloggers and editors here at Times & Seasons (and anyone we invite to participate) as part of the process of choosing a Mormon of the Year. I imagine that the results will likely be the deciding factor in anything close to a tie, for example, as well as in any number of possible scenarios.

BECAUSE OF THIS, PLEASE VOTE! We will announce, in any case, the results of the online vote, as well as any indication we have that voting was stacked, fraudulent or otherwise problematic. So please, vote only once.

Feel free to announce the vote where ever you wish. Since many have asked, non-Mormons are free to vote (I can’t see how we could prevent non-Mormons if we wished to anyway).

But above all, please use judgement. Remember this is NOT about popularity. It IS about judging the impact that these nominees had on the world and on Mormonism.

If you need further information about any of the nominees, please take a look at the post in which the nominations were discussed and the update post from this past Monday.

[The vote is being collected by third-party software. Please let us know of any problems you encounter.]


66 comments for “Vote for Mormon of the Year 2013

  1. I think we need to figure out a way to limit the number of candidates. All these were nominated and seconded, but we still have 31! Quite a few to choose from.

  2. I know it’s too late, but “sister missionaries” really should have been included.

    My vote was for “LDS feminists” but I actually think “LDS women” is a better category, inclusive of the influx of sister missionaries.

  3. I voted for Lars Peter Hansen. A Nobel Prize is a big deal. (The only other nominal Mormon to win one–Paul Doyle–was an avowed atheist at the time of his award.) Although Hansen’s theories won’t make a dent in Mormonism, they will influence economic analysis for decades.

    I understand the impulse to vote for LDS feminists, but I suspect that those votes might be more aspirational than indicative of actual impact (kind of like Obama’s peace prize). Time will tell.

  4. Uh, it said in the previous post that This Week in Mormons would appear on the ballot, but it appeareth not.

  5. Jill, I tend to agree, but both were nominated and seconded. If the nominators and seconders didn’t look, or if they thought the two were significantly different (a possibility), why should we consolidated them.

    No one brought up this issue in the comments of the nomination posts — we could have had the consolidation of the two called for and seconded, but that didn’t happen.

  6. Hmmm…the vote is split three ways (OW, LDS Feminists which includes OW, and Kate Kelly).

  7. I think that people nominating either Ordain Women or Kate Kelly were saying the same thing. They SHOULD be lumped together. It is not fair to have them separate. In fact, having LDS Feminists separate separates the vote even more. At the very least, Ordain Women and Kate Kelly should be consolidated.

  8. Amy, that needed to happen before midnight last night.

    BUT, never fear. As stated above, the popular vote reflected above doesn’t officially choose the Mormon of the Year. The bloggers here on Times and Seasons have that responsibility.

    And I’m quite sure we can add together the number of votes for these two candidates and let that influence our thinking accordingly.

  9. I notice that you have Ordain women split over three different categories. (OW, Kate Kelly, and LDS feminists. Please take this into account, when you total up the votes. As I am looking at it now, about 42% of the vote is split between these three categories, which include Ordain Women, at least in part.

  10. Kent:

    You have stated this:


    The results of the vote will be considered by the bloggers and editors here at Times & Seasons (and anyone we invite to participate) as part of the process of choosing a Mormon of the Year. I imagine that the results will likely be the deciding factor in anything close to a tie, for example, as well as in any number of possible scenarios.”

    Because you (the bloggers/editors at T&S) have reserved the right to participate in some sort of non-voting way in this yearly contest, it seems to me that you can use those same executive powers (next year) to truncate the nomination list to 4 to 6 people. The vote might be more meaninigful that way.

  11. Can this be like the Hall of Fame voting where in some years none of the eligible candidates is elected?

  12. S Mark Barnes, you might want to read #15 above — in which I basically said what you suggested.


    stephenchardy, yes we could do that. I would be reticent to do so without telling readers from the beginning that we would be doing that. We’ll think about it for next year.

  13. I’d vote, but I’m dumbfounded you didn’t include John Dehlin among the nominees. No one else on the list comes close to having the impact on Mormonism that he has had, by a long shot. Judge Waddoups’ recent action will have far-reaching impact from now on, as will that of the judge who made the gay marriage ruling (don’t remember his name or whether he’s LDS). But John, through the Mormon Stories podcast empire including Gay Mormon Stories, the MS podcast community page on Facebook, the influence on other Mormon podcasts and support groups springing up,, conferences, videos and presentations such as “Why Mormons leave the church,” and his outstanding TEDx talk, has had tremendous influence on countless Mormon lives for some years now and will continue into the future even if he were to disappear from the scene. Really, this is a shocking oversight.

  14. John Dehlin and Kate Kelly are my top two. Why the strategy of putting Kelly in 3 categories, diluting that vote? So we have to choose between a movement and a person for Mormon on the Year? Very strange. Not cool.

  15. I think that Judge Waddoups, Lars Hansen and Harry Reid took the action that will have the longest lasting societal impact. I may be wrong, but this is my primary criteria. After weighing the alternative visions I get from my dark crystal ball, I vote for Senator Reid. I am stunned that he would push through the bare majority rules when he is likely to be the minority leader or a back bencher in the minority in one year. Look for major political swings and acrimony in the future.

  16. Why are we voting? It doesn’t matter. It’s a panel of “experts” who decide anyway.

  17. JODI ARIAS? Didn’t she convert just to cavort with what’s-his-name? I propose and second my own motion to remove her.

  18. I agree with #3 on huge influx of sister missionaries this year (80K missionaries total now, versus 58K in late 2012), despite less pressure to serve. These are future church leaders.

    Seems premature to consider Ordain Women now (like Obama Nobel Peace Prize) but certainly a possibility if they are successful in th4.

  19. Stephanie Meyer has had much more international visibility than Brandon Flowers! Although she doesn’t have a profile that I am aware of. So he is probably more visibly “Mormon” than she is.

  20. Ron Harriss, Jr. :

    LOL, thanks for the link to the cougarboard. We’ve faced that kind of manipulation, as well as simple campaigns by supporters of one candidate or another most years — especially the first year we made the designation. We usually can tell. It’s why the vote doesn’t control who gets the designation.

  21. Is there a reason Mitt Romney isn’t an option? Whether you like him or not, he gave the church a massive amount of press and represented us positively worldwide!

  22. Bunny, the vote DOES influence those who do make the designation — although we also discount obvious campaigns and fraudulent voting.

    Neill, Romney has been Mormon of the year twice already, including last year. Do you really think his notoriety was significant this year? IMO, it was nothing like that of the years in which he was designated!!

  23. Some of the choices could be merged. Excellent choices for the most part. There must be a Brandon Flowers fan among the permas. Compared to the rest of the choices, I don’t think he remotely belongs in this list. I love The Killers, but c’mon.

  24. The poll really reflects who is best at mobilizing their people to vote. I don’t think Ansah is out there driving traffic to the site to win the vote. As opposed to the feminists who are clearly dominating.

  25. Yes, its very sad that people think that acting unethically is the right way to help the candidate they support.

    This is one reason why the popular vote is discounted when we actually chose the MOTY.

  26. I don’t think there are any clear winners here. Plenty of people making an impact within the church, plenty making an impact outside the church, but very few doing both. No offense to any of the candidates–most who are doing fantastic things–but this is the weakest field T&S has ever had for Mormon of the Year.

    Weak field–kind of like last year’s NFL draft. Which brings me to my second point–had I known that posters on cougarboards would be sending voters this way to vote for Ansah, I wouldn’t have nominated him. He’s not my first choice, although he absolutely deserves a place as one of the nominees. However, I think we all know that the voting is distorted by other kinds of outside special interests too, and not just Cougar football fans.

  27. I too think that John Dehlin should be on the list. He has touched those on both sides and has made a HUGE impact.

  28. Heck of a lot to choose from, even without John Dehlin there.

    But how can people ignore a nobel prize winner? preferring a -former- area authority who couldn’t get his testimony right? (by the way is the economics prize winner active or was he just baptized as a boy?)

    anyways i guess we all have different opinions of what is best or better.

    But why is jodi arias on this list? she only got baptized to get her hypocritical mormon boy lover and never was much of a mormon at all? I third #30 Jan’s suggestion (since she second it)

  29. @Tim the nominations process called for nominees who “have had enough of an impact to have made the news during the year.”

    There is no requirement for people making an impact within the church v. making an impact outside the church or both.

  30. Also… bonus life tip: saying “no offense” before something offensive does not negate the offensiveness.

  31. #35 “The correct answer is Jesus.” Unfortunately, this year the Divine impact on the internet fringe of the Church was relatively minor. Many on the list made a huge impact on the Church, it’s true. Whether that impact was good or bad is subject to debate.

  32. I think it makes Jesus sad that Mormons are quibbling about which one of His followers deserves recognition. That and the fact that He was wasn’t even nominated.

  33. Correction–

    “Remember this is NOT about popularity. It IS about judging the impact that these nominees had on the world and on Mormonism.” This is from the December 30th post where nominations were called for. Both are important factors, and entirely failing one factor does not a strong nominee make.

    And I’m sorry you find my comment about this being a weak field offensive. But I stand by my comment–there’s no Mitt Romney or even Jimmer here. Some notable people, but not as notable as we’ve been blessed (or cursed) with the past few years.

  34. #46: “Unfortunately, this year the Divine impact on the internet fringe of the Church was relatively minor.”

    Sadly, you are correct, Xenophon. Even after I’ve brought this to their attention and called them to repentance, they are still ignoring me. What’s worse, they’re still ignoring Jesus.

    Jesus did die for the sins of every single member of the internet fringe of the Church. That’s a lot of sins. I think that warrants a nomination, and I’ll proclaim it from these proverbial walls just as Samuel the Lamanite in days of old.

  35. If Jesus can’t be Mormon of the Year, then there is that guy on the BYU basketball team who got suspended for fornicating. Can we make him Mormon of the Year? I’ll be the hasn’t had sex in, like, forever.

  36. Why not have a run off election between the top three?

    Or will you give it to them feminist with only 18% of the vote?

  37. John Dehlin may be hugely influential to church members, but not in a positive way. He speaks from both sides of his mouth. His ex-Mormon followers (of which he has a large contingent) praise him for his great success in leading TBMs (“True Believing Mormons”, meant as an epithet) out of the Church. I suspect his motives and I outright distrust his methods. Read this review of Mormon Stories and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  38. I’d really like to understand the motivation for Smith’s article, especially given its length and the amount of time and effort that implies.

    Elsewhere, Smith told me that reviews of media like Mormon Stories are fair game. I can understand that. But if that is true, why Mormon Stories and not also BCC? or Millennial Star? or Juvenile Instructor? or BYU Studies? or Dialogue? or the Ensign?

    The choice of subjects and lack of any examination of others makes me suspect a bias.

  39. Kaimi, I would love to hear your observations of Smith’s alleged false claims. I’ve never heard any. Most simply reclassify the whole thing as a “hit piece” without engaging the material and hope I’ll back down.

  40. Kent, Greg Smith does a lot of volunteer work for FAIR Mormon and Interpreter. His personal goals and motives are reflected by the mission statements of these organizations. In particular, providing faithful answers to critical claims.

    He and his colleagues are especially drawn to review works that are critical of the Church. They prioritize the works that are positioned to spread their criticism most effectively.

    As a parallel case, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the website mormonthink and the FAIR Mormon’s review of it. Do you have the same sympathies for David Twede as you do for John Dehlin? Why or why not?

  41. If you would like further insight into Smith’s mind, read his accompanying piece Return of the Unread Review:

    “I intended my review to present what Mormon Stories says and does, to examine the rhetoric it employs, and to analyze its claims about LDS scripture, belief, and scholarship.”

  42. Thad, the Smith piece attributes motivation in a lot of very sketchy ways. John Dehlin interviews a lot of people, many of whom have very different views. Smith assumes that Dehlin agrees with the most hostile claims of any of his interviewees. This is silly.

    Smith also takes statements from different time frames and assumes motivation. But knowing John Dehlin, I can say that these are issues where he has wrestled a lot over time, and I think his statements simply reflect that process.

  43. Did we read the same review? Smith derives Dehlin’s motives from Dehlin’s words, not his interviewees. Can you point me to an example?

    Smith openly acknowledges that Dehlin’s views have changed over time: “While Dehlin began as a believer with questions, he later then became a more overt doubter that still planned to remain active in the Church, and finally announced his status as an unbeliever . His shifts have been self-chronicled over the last few years on-line” (pg. 5).

    See also the section called “Temple recommends” beginning on page 37. It shows Smith’s awareness of Dehlin’s evolving opinions of the Church over time.

  44. “He and his colleagues are especially drawn to review works that are critical of the Church.”

    Hmmm. I’m fairly certain that some of the other publications I mentioned are or have been seen as critical of the Church — at least BCC and Dialogue have been accused of that. I don’t know about the review of mormonthink.

    Again, I’m fine with the idea of reviews of publications. But this comes across as quite biased. I don’t understand the tendency to identify others as enemies and go after them. Why do FAIR and MI feel it necessary to do this?

    When a publication is not against us, why should we attack them? Aren’t we just creating enemies when we do so?

  45. Kent,

    Your complaint that they haven’t reviewed By Common Consent and Dialogue isn’t compelling to me. FAIR Mormon has a long list of websites that they have already reviewed (including MormonThink, you’ll find it under “Critical websites claiming to be run by active or believing Church members”), but it is not and will never be comprehensive. If you believe BCC and Dialogue are particularly critical of the Church, perhaps you should suggest it to them as a future project.

    The purpose of reviews, as I’ve described to you before, isn’t to attack and alienate writers. It’s primarily to inform readers. Re-characterizing Smith’s review as “an attack” is exactly the kind of smoke-screen I mentioned above. Instead of engaging with the material, you are crying “unfair.”

    If the content is unfair, I’d like to hear about it. The fact that this review exists and other reviews don’t does not make it an unfair review.

  46. And your suggestion that Smith’s ‘review’ of Mormon Stories isn’t biased isn’t compelling to me.

    But, regardless of whether the motivation is to attack or not, and regardless of bias, the article has a very real appearance and reputation of bias.

    That seems to me to be a problem, and one that Smith and you seem to be rather defensive about, instead of making any constructive changes.

    This wouldn’t bother me, except that I’ve seen this morph into really unfair comments about Dehlin elsewhere online.

  47. Kent, you still have not addressed content.

    You seem to believe that Greg Smith and/or all apologists has a personal vendetta against Dehlin. If that is true, one thing you could do is gather the evidence and write your own detailed, peer-reviewed review of Smith’s work. Right now all I see is an assertion without much backing.

  48. “the article has a very real appearance and reputation of bias.”

    Perpetuated by whom, exactly?

    Spread the word that the whole publication is biased and unreliable so no one will take it seriously. Emphasize how mean-spirited and divisive Smith is by criticizing a fellow Church member. Avoid any discussion of the actual contents.

    Were these Dehlin’s marching orders to you and the rest of his network of supporters? It’s a plausible reason for someone as manifestly thoughtful as you are to resist an actual discussion of the contents of the review. This is my working hypothesis.

  49. “your suggestion that Smith’s ‘review’ of Mormon Stories isn’t biased isn’t compelling to me.”

    I made no such suggestion.

    I suggested that we ought to base our judgment of its biases on its contents, not on its existence relative to other reviews. I have read the review and found it quite even handed. I would like to hear the words within the review that make you believe otherwise.

    When we have that discussion, I will be made apprised of its shortcomings and perhaps will change my mind about its balance. But I can’t change my mind without that discussion, Kent.

  50. Eziekel Ansah should not be on this list. He recently had a baby with his gf Rachel out of wedlock. It seems like he has been fooling us for a while :(

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