Crystal Young-Otterstrom published God Bless America....and Everyone Else in Blog 2017-07-17 14:42:41 -0700
God Bless America…and Everyone Else
by Crystal Young-Otterstrom
The following is a talk I gave last Sunday in my ward in Salt Lake City, Utah. I thought our readers on Mormon Press might enjoy giving it a read. What follows has a few edits that are different from what I read in church.
When [my bishopric member] asked my husband and I to speak a couple of weeks ago on the topic of patriotism/America is a choice land/4th of July, etc., I laughed and replied, “Are you sure you want us to talk about that subject? You might not like what we have to say on the topic.” But [my bishopric member] is a good person and he said that he would love to hear what we have to say on this topic. So here we go.
Typically among American Mormons, this talk goes something like this: “America is a choice land, the greatest land, a land that only certain special, righteous people are led to in order to create a land of freedom for its inhabitants. When they didn’t live righteously, they got destroyed. God led the Jaredites here, they got destroyed. God led the Nephites and their cousins the Lamanites here; the Lamanites were left standing and the Nephites got destroyed. God led Christopher Columbus who brought Europeans here, some of whom became the inspired founding fathers.* These inspired founding fathers led a rebellion against England, wrote the Constitution, made America the greatest and most blessed country in the world, a country based on religious freedom that allowed Joseph Smith to restore the Mormon faith, and if this country doesn’t get back to being righteous and moral, we’re going to get destroyed just like the Jaredites and Nephites.”
* Even though the majority of our founding fathers were deists which is basically enlightenment for agnostic or atheist, but hey, agnostic and atheist people have as much of a right to inspiration as do believers!
Well, this won’t be a surprise to anyone in this ward who knows me well, but my talk isn’t going to be that talk.
Crystal Young-Otterstrom commented on The Problem and Opportunity with Bishop Paredes' Blog Post 2014-11-13 18:58:30 -0800In reading this, I feel that Prof. Davis is taking a stab at the statement made by LDS Dems, describing what we said as “humiliated into offering an abject apology and going through meetings with LDS Democrats.” Our statement is not humiliating the Bishop or even harshly critical. We simply pointed out the thousands of Mormon Democrats who disagree with his blog post and listed several of the general authorities who are democrats. Our invitation to dialogue is genuine and meant in a Christ-like spirit of striving to understand one another.
Crystal Young-Otterstrom was named one of Utah Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2013 and is a two-time recipient of the Community Foundation of Utah's Enlightened 50 (E-50) award. She specializes in copy writing, branding, print advertising, outdoor campaigns, guerrilla/non-traditional advertising, student marketing, graphic design, young professional marketing, social media, community outreach, public relations, and cross promotions and partnerships. Also a former Scene in SLC recipient from IN Utah This Week, Crystal has appeared as a spokesperson on every local and most national news sources. Clients include Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks, Intermezzo Chamber Music Series, Utah Chamber Artists, Utah Population and Environment Coalition (smallfamilies.us campaign), 5th Press, Utah Cultural Alliance, Pygmalion Theatre Company, Sarasota Orchestra, Greenville Orchestra, the Performing Arts Coalition, the Utah Democratic Party, Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (a national organization), and many many more organizations and companies. Professional political campaign work includes: Mayor Ben McAdams, Mayor Ralph Becker, Sam Granato for Senate, Holly Mullen for County Council, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, and several more.
Crystal is the founder of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Vivace, the largest group of its kind west of the Mississippi, an audience development effort for 20-40 year-old Utah residents. She is also the co-founder and Marketing Director of The Salty Cricket Composers Collective, a new music performing ensemble that only performs the works of composers currently living in Utah. Young-Otterstrom is a composer and coloratura soprano. She received her BA in Music Theory from BYU in 2002 (with minors in marketing, economics, and humanities), and her MA in Musicology/Composition from Queens College (City University of New York) in 2004. Young-Otterstrom is the Utah schair of LDS Democrats, which has become the largest caucus in the Utah Democratic Party. It is an elected position. She is also the vice-chair of LDS Democrats of America. Young-Otterstrom serves on the boards or steering committees of Alliance for a Better Utah (serving as the vice-chair of the c3 board), UTOPIA Early Music, Planned Parenthood’s Political Action Committee, LDS Composers Network, Studio D, and the Board of the North American Association of Young Professionals.
Past Board service includes: the Human Rights Campaign, Young Benefactors at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the OPERA America Young Friends of Opera steering committee, the Messaging, Women’s, and Platform committees for the Utah Democratic Party, Cottonwood Forum, the Utah Democratic Progressive Caucus, Mormons for Equality and Social Justice (MESJ), Utah Cultural Alliance, and is the former Communications Director of Young Democrats of Utah. Crystal is the mother of Betty and Edwin, wife of Joel, and special human to basset hounds Herman, Daisy, Ivy Rose, and Harvey.