This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Three years ago, Rep. Chris Stewart won the Republican nod for Utah's 2nd Congressional District in a bizarre series of events at the GOP convention.
The delegates rallied behind Stewart in what seemed to be a Mormon revival meeting, and he won the nomination.
Now, it appears, the "Lord" favors somebody else.
A fledgling movement in Millard County is attempting to revive the practice of early Latter-day Saints in which Mormons were "called" by church leaders to run for public office in Utah.
"When Utah was a territory … [LDS] priesthood leaders called people to be candidates for offices in the territorial and local governments, and the Saints sustained these called candidates in church meetings," wrote Karen Lovell in a letter published last week in the Millard County Chronicle Progress.
Backers of these chosen candidates were called the People's Party.
"Because of the church's current political neutrality policy, we cannot copy the historical People's Party completely, but we can copy it partially to make a 21st-century party that will stand with the Lord better than any modern political party," wrote Lovell, president of the Modern Utah People's Party.
The group huddled Wednesday at Delta's library; another meeting is set for Friday at Fillmore's library.
Lovell did not return a call or email seeking more detail.
This movement seems similar to one several months ago to establish a party based on the so-called "white-horse prophecy," which warns that the U.S. Constitution would hang by a thread and be saved by Mormon elders.
A gathering was scheduled at an LDS meetinghouse in Millcreek. It was canceled after LDS officials learned about it and informed the bishop of the church's policy against political meetings in its buildings.
The Modern Utah People's Party, by the way, already has "called" a candidate for the 2nd District. It's not Stewart. It's Warren Rogers. (No indication about whether he owns a horse and, if he does, its color.)
See no evil • Developer Troy Dana owns a 5-acre lot near 1300 East and 13400 South in Draper. He wants to change the zoning from A-1 to A-4 to allow for denser housing to accommodate a planned community called Palmer Estates with dozens of units.
The neighbors, who are accustomed to 1-acre lots, don't seem happy about it.
Draper scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday and, as required by ordinance, put a sign on a fence at the property announcing the time and purpose of the meeting.
Then something happened.
Someone parked a large trailer within a foot of the sign so people couldn't read it unless they wedged their way between the trailer and the fence.
The city later ordered that the trailer be moved, which it was on Monday.
"If the purpose of the trailer was to impede participation at the hearing, it didn't work," Draper Mayor Troy Walker said. "The meeting was packed and the council received 25 comments 24 ... against the proposal."
Officials delayed a decision to a future meeting.
Speaking of blockage • Farther north, in Salt Lake City, 1200 East between 900 South and Harvard Avenue is in an exclusive, tucked-away hamlet called Gilmer Park. The street is so narrow that parking is allowed on one side only.
On Thursday at 8 a.m., the area's tranquility was interrupted by a Salt Lake City Public Utilities truck parked on the wrong side of the street, in front of a no-parking sign. The vehicle sat for two hours with no driver in sight and blocked traffic.
A charity drive couldn't get through to pick up donated items on curbs. A moving van couldn't reach its assigned house.
A private vehicle, no doubt, would have been towed.
I called Art Raymond, Mayor Ralph Becker's spokesman, who investigated and concluded: "We blew it."
A new employee made a "bad judgment" about parking his truck while he read meters in the neighborhood.
"We will address the problem with the employee," Raymond said, "apologize to the residents and promise it won't happen again."