- Choir Christmas concert artist meets the press (Deseret News - Utah)
While Rolando Villazón was recording his solo parts for the recent release of Handel’s Messiah by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, music director Mack Wilberg realized, “We have to bring Rolando to Salt Lake City, and the very best way of doing that would be to invite him to be part of our Christmas concert.”
- Guest soloist and narrator evokes Christmas energy and compassion in performance with choir, orchestra (Deseret News - Utah)
When internationally acclaimed operatic tenor Rolando Villazón was a boy growing up in Mexico, Christmas was his favorite time of year, not just for the presents, food, family togetherness and singing.
“The most important above all was this beautiful energy that I suddenly felt,” he told the audience Dec. 8 at the opening performance of this year’s Christmas concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. “Everybody I knew felt more gentle, more genuine, more full of compassion. … It was a very wonderful and warm sensation that gave me hope as a little child when I was looking at that and saying, ‘That’s the world I would like to live in, with this kind of people.”
- Fire destroys beloved meetinghouse in Idaho (Deseret News - Utah)
Latter-day Saints in this eastern Idaho community are grieving the loss of a beloved meetinghouse destroyed by fire on Dec. 6.
Flames gutted the Palisades Ward building, leaving behind little more than a few exterior brick walls and decades worth of memories.
- Orrin Hatch May Prove a Crucial Ally for Donald Trump (Wall Street Journal - Utah)
In the weeks since Donald Trump was elected, a senior member of Congress has emerged as an important source of counsel: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), the longest-serving Senate Republican and the chairman of a committee that will handle much of Mr. Trump’s agenda.
Mr. Hatch was one of the first senators to endorse Mr. Trump for president and campaigned for him in Utah and other states where many residents share Mr. Hatch’s Mormon faith.
- Elder Dale G. Renlund recalls a beloved Christmas memory (Deseret News - Utah)
My parents immigrated to the United States from Sweden. Because we lived in humble circumstances, the gifts we received at Christmas were simple, frequently handmade and personal. In keeping with Swedish tradition, Santa Claus (Jultomten) came on Christmas Eve bringing gifts for the children.
- Find Resources for Teaching 2017 Mutual Theme Now Online (Church News)
Resources for teaching the 2017 Mutual theme for the youth of the Church—which focuses on the importance of praying and asking God in faith—are now live on LDS.org. Youth leaders can find the poster, music album, and other materials at youth.lds.org.
- Reach Out in “Small and Simple” Ways This Christmas Season (Church News)
During Christmastime, many families, wards, and individuals search for acts of service to participate in as part of their holiday celebration. This desire to serve gets to the heart of the Christmas season and draws us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
- "Helping Hands" offers relief across Peru (Deseret News - Utah)
The Putumayo province in northern Peru is renowned for its massive rivers, indigenous culture and remarkable Amazonian biodiversity. Unfortunately, Putumayo, in 2016, has also been defined by flooding and suffering.
Heavy rains and mudslides have inundated much of region over the past year, impacting scores of families living in the rural regions. Many have lost their homes. Others have witnessed the destruction of agricultural property essential to feeding their families and earning a living.
- Footprints Show How Children “Stood Tall” in 2016 (Church News)
This year the Friend invited children all over the world to “Stand Tall” by following in the Savior’s footsteps. The invitation was inspired by President Thomas S. Monson’s message “Following in the Savior’s Footsteps.”
“Let us learn of the Savior Jesus Christ,” he said. “Let us follow in His footsteps. Let us live by His teachings. Then we will be prepared for any service He calls us to do.”
- Mesa temple lights up for the holidays (Ahwatukee Foothill News - Arizona)
Again this holiday season, the bright lights are shining at the Mesa temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
For the 37th straight year, the lights were turned on the Friday after Thanksgiving and will be on from 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31.
- LGBT activist plans ad blitz targeting Mormon church’s tax-exempt status (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah)
A prominent gay-rights activist and former U.S. presidential candidate hopes to build "the biggest, loudest and most comprehensive" legal case ever mounted for revoking the tax-exempt status of the Mormon church.
Republican political operative Fred Karger, a longtime critic of LDS Church involvement in California's 2008 Proposition 8 campaign, said Thursday he has amassed a network of lawyers, researchers, investigators and like-minded organizations to help take his fight to the IRS.