Popular LDS Blog Looks for Mormon of the Year

Just when you think you’ve seen all of the contests for people of the year, here’s another one. Time and Seasons, a popular LDS blog, plans to name a Mormon of the Year for 2009, based on that person’s impact on the world and on Mormonism.  The 2008 Mormon of the Year was Mitt Romney.

The contest’s rules are that the nominees must be Mormon somehow, they must have been living during the year, the First Presidency and General Authorities are not eligible (because they would win every year), and they must have had enough impact to have made the news during the year.

The website has been taking nominations since the day after Christmas and voting ends tonight in the contest.  However, Kent Larsen, who organized the contest, says that the popular vote will not be the final factor in determining the winner.

Nominees for this year include:

Elna Baker, the New York-based comedienne gained a lot of notoriety and critical acclaim for her memoir, released in October, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance.

John Yettaw — Missouri LDS Church member who made news by allegedly sneaking in to the home of Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest.

Mike Leach – highly successful football coach at Texas Tech, who was fired December 30th despite his record.

Reed Cowan – filmmaker who recently released a film criticizing LDS Church involvement in California’s Proposition 8

Brandon Sanderson – who took over one of the most popular fantasy series of all time-The Wheel of Time-following the death of the original author.

Amy Adams – who starred in two major films this year, Julie & Julia, and Night at the Museum 2.

Jason Chaffetz – U.S. Congressman from Utah who publicly followed what he says Congress should do (he sleeps in his office)

Elizabeth Smart- who testified against her abductor publicly for the first time this year, just before going into the MTC to serve a mission in France

Harry Reid — The Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, Reid is the highest ranking Mormon in the U.S. government ever. This year he was a central figure in the attempt to pass health care reform.

Larry EchoHawk – who was appointed as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Jos Luis Exeni – chairman of the National Electoral Court of Bolivia, who helped set the rules for Bolivian elections that chose a new constitution

Brandon Flowers – front man for the rock band The Killers.

Katherine Heigl – actress best known for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, who starred this year in the film “The Ugly Truth.

Stephanie Nielson — Popular LDS blogger known as Nienie who returned home and began blogging again this year after a private plane accident in 2008.

Glenn Beck — High-profile TV talk show host on Fox News who has been perhaps the most controversial TV personality during the past year.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich –  who was awarded the John F. Kennedy Medal by the Massachusetts Historical Society in October

Indian saints – who swelled the size of the Church in India to 7,500 members and created 3 new districts this year.

Alan Spearhawk and Mimi Parker of Low – Their song “Monkey” was also included on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s film “Killshot” this year.

Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., who resigned as Governor of Utah to become U.S. Ambassador to China this year.

Michael Otterson – chief public relations officer for the LDS Church, who presented LDS Church’s recent statement on the Salt Lake City non-discrimination ordinances.

Stephenie Meyer – who is well known as a Mormon around the world because of her books and the Twilight movies, the second of which was released this year

Kiowa Gordon – LDS actor who received his first major role in the film New Moon.

Donny Osmond – who won TV’s “Dancing with the Stars”

Orrin Hatch –  His song, “Eight Days of Hannukah,” which garnered the attention of the Jewish media and prompted Conan O’brien’s show to write a song for us in return

No One – for those unhappy with all the choices here.

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