Vote for Mormon of the Year 2014

This post opens the voting for Mormon of the Year. Votes will be taken until midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, 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.

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



58 comments for “Vote for Mormon of the Year 2014

  1. In a few years, there will be more LDS American sister missionaries than American Catholic nuns, despite the fact that sister missionaries serve for only 18 months, the option to serve at age 19 only just became available, and the service is still considered optional:

    They may not turn out to vote online (being on missions and all) but this is a seriously big deal. Story of the year at least.

  2. Perhaps this post/vote and its pop-culture title is being used only as a technique to attract attention from the ADHD masses. Otherwise it is silliness, IMO. However, listing, at least some of, those above seems to me to be a valid attempt at recognizing those that have had an impact. Asking for additional nominees to a list of influencers of this sort would be more mature/admirable/meaningful.

    IMHO, the kind of impact had by a simply “famous” Mormon (Jabari Parker, Dufresne, Guthrie, et al) is largely irrelevant to a meaningful “impact on the world or on Mormonism.”

  3. My vote goes to the anonymous authors of Gospel Topics. They have achieved what LDS historians and scholars have been trying to do for decades: get a more complete history published with the approval of Church leaders. The posts have completely changed what we are permitted to teach in Church classes. Perhaps the credit should go to whoever was behind the existence of these posts. Perhaps it was Marlin Jensen?

  4. Michael, are you saying that people who aren’t in line with what you think a member should be don’t qualify as members?

  5. So the three frontrunners (by staggering margins) for Mormon of the Year are an excommunicant, someone who wrote a tract designed to destroy faith, and someone who’s made a cottage industry out of showing people (including dear friends of mine) where the exit doors are. I think someone’s certainly been getting out the vote.

  6. “technique to attract attention from the ADHD masses”

    And yet you bother to write a post on here. I guess it takes one to know one.

    “Why are there so many non-members on this list?”

    There is only one, technically, which is Kate Kelly, since she was exed. Yet technically she is still a Mormon culturally speaking.

  7. We don’t define “Mormon” by their activity level or membership status in the LDS Church. We define Mormon by how they have identified themselves and by their heritage.

    I hope those commenting here will respect the desire of others to identify themselves as they will.

  8. Michael (Post 6): “Mormon” is a broad term, encompassing more than just members of the SLC-based LDS church.

  9. THE WINNER OF THE ONLINE VOTE IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MORMON OF THE YEAR!!! so why have this “vote?” Seems rather silly to do this… I vote Fanny Alger or Helen Kimball, because the truth is important.

  10. I think that this has been said before, but I think that have 22 choices isn’t good. It may celebrate our rich diversity, but I think that it dilutes the vote.

    Why not pick the top 3 or 5 frontrunners and then have a run-off?

    Finally, I am not part of the process but I assume that part of the reason that “the winner of the online vote is not necessarily the Mormon of the year” is that the permabloggers, or whomever runs this, can make their decision in the setting of a highly close vote. Or because they might be worried that some one person would votee 342 times.

  11. Haven’t Kent et al. explained a thousand times why the popular vote doesn’t necessarily win and why former members are eligible? Why do we have to rehash this cold, cold debate several times every year during nominations, voting, and when the result is announced? It’s so tedious.

    As far as I’m concerned, although ex- and post- and disaffected- and anti-Mormon groups (or whatever they’re calling themselves this year) can rally their passionate followers to click their mouse three times (once to follow the link, once to choose a candidate, once to cast the vote) the actual Mormon of the Year might be someone who has a wider influence than a few hundred or thousand of their internet-savvy followers.

    Seriously, who remembers E.L.T. Harrison? Eli Kelsey? William Godbe? Who remembers John T. Clark? Lorin C. Woolley? (Besides their offshoot groups and a handful of historians and very well-read members, I mean.)

    Yet they’re the precise equivalent of Runnels and Dehlin, just 100 or so years ago, and without the benefit of the internet.

    And speaking of Runnells and Dehlin and Kelly and Snuffer, most of the people I know in the church may have heard something about the women and the priesthood media campaign last year, but wouldn’t be able to name Kate Kelly or any of the others. Their lives are much more likely to be affected by the sister missionaries or by popular musicians than by dissidents and complainers.

    And, yes, I am submitting this comment anonymously so I don’t go on a disaffected-Mormon black list somewhere. (It would be — oh horror — like the McCall Smith Dissident Free Presbyterian Fatwa. They’d come sing dour hymns at me, and who has time for that.)

  12. Methinks we once more have a certain constituency out campaigning for a favorite son. Everybody gets a turn at the nomination. That movie guy was so four years ago.

  13. And here I thought a “Snuffer” was an underground movie which showed an actual killing–of a human being, that is.

  14. “Heritage”???????? Seriously, someone doesn’t have to do anything to be a Mormon except be born into the right family?

    The arrogance and elitism and sense of entitlement blows me away. And makes a mockery of people who have to, you know, actually DO something to be a Mormon. Sometimes at great sacrifice.

    I really don’t have a problem with anyone self-identifying however they want. In first person, for themselves. But for T & S to recognize that fuzzy identification is something else again. Considering that there is actually a definite black-and-white line between being a member of an LDS sect and not.

    And I did vote for Kate Kelly. She was a Mormon by any definition during 2014.

  15. The fact that the top three spots are going to excommunicated members and a champion of the disaffected tells me that this poll is being manipulated. No cookie tracking means that you can vote as often as you want. I was able to vote twice in a row. I wonder what anti or ex-LDS site is “Jimmering” this poll.

  16. Asking us to vote for the Mormon of the Year…Kate Kelly and a few others on the list are NOT Mormon. Please don’t include them. Thank you.

  17. Anon, we don’t always know when someone has been excommunicated. In the case of Denver Snuffer and Kate Kelly, we know because they made their excommunication public.

  18. Besides, the name of the award is “Mormon of the Year,” right? Not “LDS Member of the Year.” I personally feel that the Community of Christ and especially the Bickertonites and Strangites have been slighted once again. After all, I bet that Alice Cooper had a better year than Brandon Flowers.

  19. Sad to see that the Underground Railroad doing so poorly. They rescue children from sexual exploitation/slavery. This is an actual physical improvement in the world rather than some ambiguous intellectual good or unexplainable good feeling. And that they are losing to people whose actions were considered by the church to be negative/destructive, instead of positive/uplifting, seems a really sad commentary on the values of the voters. The Operation Underground Railroad saves children from rape, abuse, molestation… that loses to “got excommunicated for disregarding prophetic counsel” ??? At least the musicians and such offer a moment of entertainment and/or uplifting music. Kelly/Snuffer/Dehlin got more press, but their deeds weren’t as admirable and had no real world effect that improved the world around them like OUR did.

    Just my thoughts

  20. Why was Tom Phillips – the instigator of the UK fraud case not listed? His efforts certainly had an impact: overall reduction in the number of counted UK registered LDS members this year. Although the case was not able to be brought to fruition it did put the church on notice that it has an obligation to be accountable and transparent regarding its claims and history.

  21. “Roman on January 2, 2015 at 8:44 am

    So the three frontrunners (by staggering margins) for Mormon of the Year are an excommunicant, someone who wrote a tract designed to destroy faith, and someone who’s made a cottage industry out of showing people (including dear friends of mine) where the exit doors are. I think someone’s certainly been getting out the vote.”

    I can’t plus one this comment enough.

  22. Two points-

    First, this is not a vote for “active Mormon who best embodies Christ-like ideals” but “most influential for-good-or-ill person who has some affiliation with Mormonism.” Influence can be understood a variety of ways.

    Second, blog stats are very useful for tracking various lobbying groups sending traffic to T&S, and this will be taken into consideration.

  23. That’s not how most normal English speaking human beings read “[person] of the year.”

  24. Remember, Time Magazine named Adolf Hitler Man of the Year for 1938.

    But he actually affected the course of history that year. Not for the better, of course. In contrast, Kelly, Dehlin, Snuffer and Runnels have had almost no effect on anybody outside their very small spheres of sycophants.

  25. Ojiisan, T&S is a group of people who have a wide variety of opinions on this and every other issue. Anyone who thinks that there is an obvious choice that T&S will make simply doesn’t know T&S very well.

    All I can say is that my own choice is quite hazy at the moment, and I do not think that I will push for Kate Kelly, at least not initially. Of course, my fellow bloggers on T&S might persuade me to support who they think it will be, or I might persuade them. We have not yet really started discussing who should be named.

    As far as I can tell, it is far from obvious.

  26. Isn’t Runnells a year or two late? I’m surprised to see him doing so well. Also, I doubt very many people have heard of him outside of blogging circles. He must be getting votes as a proxy for “tough historical issues” or something. Curious.

    Also, I am so bummed Jabari got injured. Maybe in a few years..

  27. Walker F,

    The CES Letter took off to another level in 2014 thanks to FairMormon’s response and Jeremy debunked FairMormon’s response in February 2014.

    “Beloved” Daniel C. Peterson came out with his FairMormon presentation last summer, which Jeremy also debunked.

    Another apologist Brian Hauglid did his Book of Abraham piece on the CES Letter, which Jeremy also debunked.

    Jeremy was also attacked by Hales and a few other Mormon apologists and it’s my understanding that Jeremy is currently finishing up his rebuttals.

    Also, Jeremy was interviewed on Mormon Stories in the spring of ’14 so he became much more visible and publicly known.

    So, 2014 was a huge year for the CES Letter and Jeremy.

  28. So has Runnells’ letter really gone un-debunked as James Gibbons asserts? Does that mean the Mormon charade over and I don’t need to bother voting?

  29. To really be taken seriously as having had the greatest impact on Mormons and Mormonism, I would think that the person and his/her work would need to be known and discussed beyond just the candidate’s own groupies. Clearly, Kelly and Dehlin fit the bill. Runnells? I had to look up who he is. And I read the Bloggernacle every day.

    The Bloggernacle’s not the universe of course, but that’s who is sponsoring this poll. A search at Mormon Archipelago returns 59,800 hits for Kate Kelly, 11,600 for John Dehlin, and (not counting the two T&S “Mormon of the Year” posts) a grand total of eight for Runnells. And six of the eight were at M* and Mormanity, which I seldom read. I guess that’s why I’d never heard of him.

    Obviously he’s got some well-organized groupies out there in some other specialized corner of social media. And no doubt there’s other people somewhere who know more about him than I do. But aside from his own devoted fans, his mother, his dentist, Daniel Peterson, Jeff Lindsay, and about ten other people, I’m wondering who all the Mormons are who even know who this guy is. He’s got a lot of missionary zeal it would seem, but not much name recognition among the people he’s allegedly influencing.

  30. Actually, Runnells rebuttal already has received a rebuttal, and did so about a week after Runnells published it.

    And honestly, a rebuttal wasn’t all that difficult, since the entire CES letter consisted of little more than rehashed anti-Mormon arguments that have already had responses sitting on the FairMormon wiki for years now.

    He has a lot of fans over at Mormon”Think”

  31. Exactly what “rebuttal” are you referring to, Seth?

    Guess the Church’s new essays are “anti-Mormon” too since they confirm the main points and facts contained in the CES Letter. Essays can be read at

    You’re coming across as desperate in your attempt to paint the CES Letter and Jeremy as “anti-Mormon”. It’s not 1975 anymore. Time to come to 2015. The term is meaningless and obsolete now in attempting to discredit someone who is sharing the facts that the Church now admits in its new essays. In fact, the CES Letter mostly refers to the essays and official LDS sources.

    Yesterday’s “anti-Mormon” materials is today’s Church essay facts. Funny, huh?

  32. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the CES letter, thinking it contained every error and almost every truth ever discussed in the Church, to borrow Alexander Campbell’s phrase.

    But now that I’m told it’s a game-changing, unstoppable force that our apologists have no answers for, I shall submit my resignation along with my fast offering this morning. :-)

    If anything, James’s suggestion that the new essays confirm everything in the CES letter reinforces my own vote in favor of the essays, which I believe will have a much more lasting and wide-ranging effect on Church membership than whatever’s lighting up keyboards over at Mormon Stories and its various spin-offs and imitators.

  33. I should think that discussing the merits of the accomplishments of the names up for the vote (though the validity of the vote is deeply questionable at this stage, IMHO) is absolutely in line with the subject of the post.

  34. I agree that there’s been nothing terribly original from Runnells, in any year, but some people seem to believe that a list of standard complaints about the LDS church, some of which go back 170 years, is somehow a revelation. Kelly and Dehlin, on the other hand, have done original things, which is why they have gotten coverage in places such as the New York Times.

  35. James, just because sources share the same facts does not mean they share the same conclusions. And it’s the CONCLUSIONS that matter – not so much the shared facts.

    Basic logic.

    I’ll drop it now to let things get back on topic.

  36. No rebuttal link, Seth? Guess we’ll just have to take your word for it instead.

    CES Letter uses same facts but because it comes to the conclusion that the LDS Church’s truth claims are verifiably not true, a conclusion you don’t like, it’s “anti-Mormon”. Got it.

    Laughed at Brian’s “nothing TERRIBLY original” claim.

  37. I suppose it’s my own failure for not seconding the nomination of Cliven Bundy, but his absence from the list is a significant oversight. It’s quite likely that ten years from now, the leading vote-getters on this list will be a footnote, and Bundy’s influence will be writ large in the form of altered multi-state land use policy. Yes, Kate Kelly and others warranted mention in the New York Times. Bundy, however, has been in every major publication in the U. S. and in Europe dozens of times. And the story is only half over. In a decade, I believe it will be clear whose impact reached furthest. If “Mormon of the Year” is about impact on the world, as well as on Mormonism, it’s hard for me to consider the others as anything but distant seconds.

  38. James Watson. You seem to be significantly underestimating the coverage Kate Kelly received. Wasn’t only the NYT. There was a lot of coverage on the BBC, and in national newspapers here in Britain.

  39. Since we can’t manage to stay on topic, even after I indicated that we had gone off topic, I’m closing the comments here. You will still be able to vote, but this post will no longer accept comments.

Comments are closed.