This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The election. A feel-good obituary. A tragic murder-suicide. Mormons and caffeine. A BYU student's 'inappropriate' attire. Elizabeth Smart's next chapter. This year's most popular stories on sltrib.com are as diverse as our readers; serious, sentimental, heartbreaking, uplifting, and sometimes just silly.

From our editorial board's endorsement of Barack Obama to Elizabeth Smart's engagement, here are the most popular 11 stories from sltrib.com in 2012:

Top stories

The Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board endorses President Barack Obama over Mormon and 2002 Olympic honcho Mitt Romney. Few Utahns were surprised, but the rest of the world was shocked. Snopes even had to reassure skeptics that yes, it was indeed true.

Val "Rocky" Patterson's candid and funny self-written obituary struck a chord with readers worldwide, most of whom had never met him. The 59-year-old was diagnosed with throat cancer in the fall of 2011 and began working on the obit then, finishing it about a month before his July, 2012, death.

When Terry Achane took a new post with the U.S. Army away from his Texas home, his wife said she felt abandoned and put his baby up for adoption in Utah days later. Archane discovered what happened, and a lengthy and complicated legal battle ensued.

The long, strange story of Josh Powell got even stranger as horrific details continued to emerge in the days after he set off an explosion that killed him and his young sons. This story, about messages he left and the 911 call placed by a social worker, prompted speculation about whether something could have been done to prevent the tragedy.

After years of confusion, the LDS Church posts a statement clarifying that caffeinated sodas are not off-limits to Mormons, and that the faith's health code reference to "hot drinks" does not go beyond tea and coffee. No word yet whether Mountain Dew sales are up in Utah.

Top blog posts

We post a lot of news on our blogs, as evidenced by the preponderance of political and religious items on our list this year. But we also have fun with reality television and baffling BYU wardrobe chastisements. Here, our top 11 blog entries from Salt Lake Tribune bloggers in 2012:

When Brittany Molina was handed a note on BYU's Provo campus last Valentine's Day, she was bemused to discover it was an admonishment of her choice of clothing. So much so, she shared the note, and a photo of her modest attire, on Twitter, sparking an outpouring of support and near-manhunt for the note-giver.

A group of Mormon feminists declared December 16 as "Wear Pants to Church Day" and called for others to join in, attracting a level of local media attention and public reaction they likely never anticipated.

After a surge in doomsday preparation this fall, an LDS apostle reminded church members that their prepartion program is about storing food and water, not arms and ammunition.

After the presidential election, Mitt Romney blamed his loss on gifts Obama gave minorities and young voters, prompting Republican party leaders to somewhat dramatically and publicly break ties.

A small change in a form LDS church members use to pay tithing and other donations got a lot of attention because of this blog item. The new forms allow Mormons to check a box to designate more specifically where their money should go, though the church makes no guarantees it will actually be used that way.

Watch our tweets for #sltrib2012 for all our year-end roundup stories and stats.

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