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LDS Today

November 24, 2015

November 24, 2015

Faith Leaders Participate in Dedication of New Church Meetinghouse in Washington, D.C. (LDS Newsroom) (November 24, 2015)
A new meetinghouse in Washington, D.C., was dedicated Sunday, November 22, 2015, by President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

LDS church says Boston congregations will keep Sunday 3-hour meeting schedules (KUTV - Utah) (November 24, 2015)
The LDS church says the organization's Sunday services will not get shorter than its currently held three-hour meeting blocks. Some media reports indicated that congregations in the Boston area were going to try a two-month experiment with shorter services.

Mormon ranks on the rise in Northern Colorado (Coloradoan) (November 24, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints expects Northern Colorado to be a Mormon magnet after its temple is built in southeast Fort Collins. Local LDS congregations are already fruitful and multiplying. Leaders say there are more than 13,000 Mormons in the Greeley and Fort Collins areas....

Missionaries work to grow Mormon flock in Mexico (Nogales International - Mexico) (November 24, 2015)
Just before stepping out into a pleasant November midmorning last Friday, Mormon missionaries Daniel Gavin Smith and Allan Garcia, both 19, kneeled down in their modest Nogales, Sonora apartment to pray. In the Spanish he has nearly perfected over the last year while working throughout Sonora, Smith, a native of Centerville, Ohio, asked for help with the day’s work ahead of them.

Bigotry? Hatred? Christians say they’re tired of being cast as the bad guys (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 24, 2015)
It's bigotry! It's hatred! It's discrimination! That's the tenor of the talk these days as powerful advocates try to write protections into law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Those advocates, battling against conservative Christians who are staunch in their beliefs of right and wrong, wonder why anyone would deny others their rights.

Lomu's death: What to expect from a Mormon funeral (New Zealand Herald) (November 24, 2015)
Jonah Lomu became a Mormon, joining the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in 2012. He was baptised in Wellington and wife Nadene is also a member. It is understood Lomu's funeral will be held at a branch of the church. According to the LDS Church handbook, church leaders and members must seek to make services associated with a person's death "a dignified, solemn and spiritual experience for all who participate".

Jonah in his own words: 'The only thing I ever got teased about was going to athletics with no shoes' (Stuff - New Zealand) (November 24, 2015)
Jonah Lomu sat down with Sunday magazine when he was launching his last book in 2013. Here's the full Q and A showing the big man talking about his life, his loves and the last time he cried. Handshake, hug, or cheek-kiss? Lomu: Well that depends who it is, if it's the Prime Minister then definitely not a cheek-kiss.

New York Times Overplays 'Mass Resignations' from 'Harmful' Mormon Church (NewsBusters) (November 24, 2015)
Last week, The New York Times wrote a staff editorial about the Mormon Church and their refusal to baptize the children of same-sex couples. The headline was “Stung by Edict on Gays, Mormons Leave Church.” They were offended these children were defined as “apostates” and not allowed to become church members until they were adults and renounce the idea that "marriage" is an incredibly elastic institution.

November 23, 2015

Montreal Quebec Temple Opens Following Rededication (LDS Newsroom) (November 23, 2015)
President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rededicated the Montreal Quebec Temple in three sessions Sunday, November 22, 2015, after the temple underwent extensive repairs and renovations.

'I Remember': Montreal temple youth cultural celebration (LDS Church News) (November 23, 2015)
“Je Me Souviens.” That’s the official motto of the province of Quebec in Canada. Translated it means, “I remember.” But the phrase has deeper meaning for the people of Quebec. It means they will not forget their lineage, traditions and memories. For Latter-day Saint youth, the phase will now have added meaning.

Worldwide Mormon Leaders Cheryl Esplin and Neill Marriott Visit Women and Children in Asia (LDS Newsroom) (November 23, 2015)
Two general officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are optimistic about the future for Mormon women and children in Asia. Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, and Cheryl A. Esplin, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong, Cambodia and Mongolia, where they met with children, young women, women leaders and missionaries.

Mormon temple to open its doors in Tijuana (San Diego Union-Tribune - California) (November 23, 2015)
The majestic structure with white walls and soaring pillars reminiscent of Spanish Colonial times towers over Tijuana, a stark contrast to its gritty surroundings, where merchants sell fruit from worn carts and school kids play. Emblazoned in gold at its entrance are the words “Holiness to the lord; the house of God.” Spurred by growth in Baja California, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opening its first temple in Tijuana next month. At the foot of the city’s Cerro Colorado, it becomes the 13th Mormon temple in Mexico, a country whose ties to the faith date back centuries.

International Day of the Bible Is November 23 (Church News) (November 23, 2015)
Members of the Church have an opportunity to join with other Christians to share their love for the Bible on Monday, November 23, the International Day of the Bible. At noon, participants are encouraged to share a favorite verse, a video, or thoughts related to the Bible on social media channels using the hashtag #BibleCelebration.

LDS Youth in Scotland Accept Apostle’s Invitation to Do Family History (Church News) (November 23, 2015)
In an address given at the 2015 RootsTech Conference, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a challenge to the youth of the Church to “prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple and help someone else to do the same.”

4 women witnesses to the Book of Mormon translation process (LDS Church News) (November 23, 2015)
Within the first few pages of the Book of Mormon, readers come across the names of 11 witnesses, each who has signed his name as someone who has either seen or felt the ancient plates that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon. Although their names aren’t included in the official list, four women can be added as additional witnesses of the physical reality and divine process Joseph Smith went through in the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Pioneering members of Washington, D.C., stake honored (LDS Church News) (November 23, 2015)
At a devotional celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Washington DC Stake, President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy joined with stake members and friends on Nov. 20 to honor pioneering Latter-day Saints who helped establish the Church in the nation’s capital. Other featured speakers were past stake presidents L. Ralph Mecham, J.W. Marriott Jr., Ralph W. Hardy Jr. and Nolan D. Archibald, plus the current stake president, Ronald T. Harrison.

Three books find fictional inspiration in Mormon noir (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 23, 2015)
A year after Utah writer Mette Ivie Harrison launched "The Bishop's Wife," the Mormon mystery series set in Draper, she is back with the publication of "His Right Hand." The series revolves around stubborn amateur detective Linda Wallheim, a mother of five boys and the wife of an LDS bishop. In "His Right Hand," the latest chapter of Wallheim's story, she and the rest of the ward are shocked when the bishopric's second counselor is found murdered at the church.

Former LDS missionary creates graphic novel based on experience (KSL - Utah) (November 23, 2015)
Each day for 18 months, Brittany Olsen Long kept a journal in the form of comics as she served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tokyo, Japan. On Nov. 11, she published those comics in her new graphic novel, "Dendo: One Year and One Half in Tokyo."

Devout Mormons wonder anew: Can we really support gay marriage and still get into the temple? (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 23, 2015)
Faithful Mormons who support gay marriage have been assured repeatedly by top leaders that they aren't in danger of losing their temple privileges — even though the LDS Church takes the opposite view on such unions. Now these card-carrying members are worried, given that the Utah-based faith recently classified Mormons in same-sex marriages as "apostates."

Allred: I was a pawn in LDS bullying and intimidation (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 23, 2015)
One of the most alarming things for me about the new stance of the LDS Church toward children of gay families is how church leaders are using polygamy as a precedent to defend and explain the new policy. Essentially, they are saying that polygamists are second-class citizens and have to completely disavow their families in order to be baptized. The same now applies to children of people in same-sex relationships and marriages. It is already going to be socially difficult for children to live in Utah if their parents are gay and those children still want to go to church. Now we are outright making the kids pariahs, not worthy of baptism. Not only do they need to be embarrassed because of their families, but they need to be outcasts as well. The whole notion that church leaders are protecting the children, protecting them from a disjointed experience at home, is disgusting.

November 20, 2015

Provo City investing in improvements for expected influx during LDS temple open house (Fox 13 - Utah) (November 20, 2015)
Provo is gearing up for the opening of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' City Center Temple next year, and the municipal council approved nearly $500,000 to finance projects aimed at getting the city ready.

Did Trump spokeswoman misspeak? She says feds shut down ‘Mormon churches’ (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 20, 2015)
The new national spokeswoman for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed this week that the Department of Justice investigated and closed down "Mormon churches" as she argued there is a precedent for the government to shutter mosques with terrorist ties.

Chinese-speaking members, missionaries serve following Boston fire (LDS Church News) (November 20, 2015)
Chinese-speaking missionaries and members here recently helped ease the suffering of dozens of people left homeless after their residences were severely damaged in a large fire.

Family of slain California LDS bishop finds purpose, ways to 'carry on' (Deseret News - Utah) (November 20, 2015)
On Aug. 29, 2010, Bishop Clay Sannar was shot and killed in an LDS meetinghouse in Visalia, California. Five years later, his wife and six sons are working to make the tragic experience a force for good.

Gala concert celebrates 120th anniversary in Russia (LDS Church News) (November 20, 2015)
Musicians and vocalists comprised of Church members and guest artists performed the 120th Anniversary Gala Concert organized by the Moscow Russia Stake in the historic Central House of Architects in downtown Moscow on Nov. 6. The concert celebrated the 120th anniversary of the Church’s presence in Russia, which dates back to June 11, 1895, when Elder August Joel Hoglund baptized Johan and Alma Lindlof in the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia. The anniversary also coincides with the 25th year since Church activities resumed in the country.

Jimmer Fredette waived by New Orleans Pelicans (Deseret News - Utah) (November 20, 2015)
The New Orleans Pelicans waived former BYU basketball star Jimmer Fredette, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

Elijah Ables, a black Mormon priesthood holder in the 19th century (Standard Examiner - Utah) (November 20, 2015)
Elijah Ables is no stranger to Mormon history, although he’s virtually unknown to anyone who relies exclusively on LDS correlation. Ables was a black man who was ordained to the LDS priesthood in the 1830s, and remained a faithful Mormon for the next half-century. In the Spring 2013 Journal of Mormon History, there’s a very interesting account of his life and times by Russell W. Stevenson, who teaches at Salt Lake Community College. Stevenson later published an ebook, “Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables.”

Meet the Utah lawyer helping thousands of Mormons leave their church (Guardian - UK) (November 20, 2015)
For Utah attorney Mark Naugle, helping Mormons leave their church is a cause that hits close to home. Naugle was just 15 when his parents decided to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the world’s largest Mormon denomination.

November 19, 2015

President Nelson Says Potential and Promise Define Asia (Church News) (November 19, 2015)
During his recent assignment to Asia, President Russell M. Nelson visited some of the most densely populated regions of the world. His travels included various stops in China (population 1.3 billion), India (population 1.2 billion), and Sri Lanka (population 20 million).

Overcoming the Natural Man Increases the Savior’s Image in Your Countenance (Church News) (November 19, 2015)
“What [are you] doing to increase the Savior’s image in [your] countenance?” Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy asked BYU–Idaho students at a campus devotional November 10. Elder Arnold began his address by telling the story of John the Baptist in John 3:30. John the Baptist said the phrase “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Elder Arnold told students that this statement needed to be applied to them.

Ancestral songs: Soprano Erin Guinup creates a recital around works by famous forebears (News Tribune - Washington) (November 19, 2015)
Mormons are known for being keenly familiar with their family history, including the 2 billion names stored on microfilm in a mountain vault near Salt Lake City and several extensive online databases. A Tacoma opera singer has found a creative way to make use of that genealogy that’s more about music than religion. Soprano Erin Guinup is presenting a vocal recital Friday night (Nov. 20) in the UP for Arts series in University Place Civic Center in which almost all of the songs have music or lyrics written by someone related to her, from Vaughan Williams to Emily Dickinson. “I’ve really been into family history for a long time,” says Guinup, who inherited some family trees from her grandmother and did the rest of the research online. “I have close to 4,000 ancestors that I traced back, and I found presidents, Bing Crosby, Elvis — names that are fun to say. But I also found composers like Vaughan Williams and Samuel Barber. I thought doing a recital of their work was a clever way of connecting.”

Son of 'Meet the Mormons' coach puts football on hold to serve LDS mission (Deseret News - Utah) (November 19, 2015)
Broadneck All-Metro linebacker Ali'i Niumatalolo committed to Boise State just three weeks ago, but he will defer enrollment until returning from his service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2018, according to an article from The Baltimore Sun published Nov. 11.

Counting blessings: SUU receiver Justin Brown's spiritual journey (Deseret News - Utah) (November 19, 2015)
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, it was easy for Justin Brown to consider his blessings. Seated in an empty Southern Utah University classroom, the senior wide receiver smiled as he talked about big plays made, touchdowns scored, thrilling victories and the joy of contributing to the Thunderbirds’ historic 7-3 season. He took great satisfaction in knowing SUU was one win away from clinching the Big Sky Conference title.

Stung by Edict on Gays, Mormons Leave Church (New York Times) (November 19, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not seem eager to draw attention to its recently updated guidance on gay marriage. In a memo shared confidentially, the church instructed leaders that Mormons in same-sex relationships were to be treated as “apostates.” Children being raised by two moms or two dads, the edict held, should be banished from the church until they become adults and can renounce their parent’s union.

November 18, 2015

Share 'A Savior Is Born' video on Nov. 29 (LDS Church News) (November 18, 2015)
The Church is encouraging all members to view and share the video “A Savior Is Born” beginning Nov. 29 (through the end of the year), and then to invite others to learn more about Jesus Christ by visiting

Americans fret about Islam, immigrants, the future — and one another, values survey shows (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 18, 2015)
Americans of all faiths and viewpoints are gloomy about the economy, anxious about Islam, bothered by immigrants and mistrustful across racial lines, a new survey finds.

Gov. evaluating refugee process in Utah (Deseret News - Utah) (November 18, 2015)
Gov. Gary Herbert has ordered the Utah Department of Public Safety to "immediately reevaluate" federal processes for vetting refugees and has not ruled out the possibility of blocking Syrian refugees from being resettled in Utah, spokesman Jon Cox said Monday.

Ex-Congressman Jim Matheson encourages students to participate in political arena (Deseret News - Utah) (November 18, 2015)
“We need active and informed engagement,” Jim Matheson, a former U.S. congressman, told students at Brigham Young University during a forum address on Tuesday.

Al Fox Carraway tells conversion story at BYU (BYU Universe) (November 18, 2015)
Al Fox Carraway is not the typical Mormon, which is perhaps why she is a social media sensation. Al Fox Carraway, widely known as the “Tattooed Mormon”, spoke at the JSB auditorium at BYU on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015.

Picturing history: Kanesville Tabernacle (Deseret News - Utah) (November 18, 2015)
In late 1847, a 60-by-40-foot log tabernacle was constructed by the Latter-day Saints in Kanesville, Iowa. The 200 pioneers who built it did so in just two and a half weeks.

Making 'Miracles': Actor Jasen Wade has 'always gravitated' to movies about miracles (Deseret News - Utah) (November 18, 2015)
Put the word “miracle” in a movie title, and actor Jasen Wade may not be able to resist taking part.

LDS temple in Mesa ready to turn on Christmas lights (3TV - Arizona) (November 18, 2015)
One of the largest displays of Christmas lights in the state is getting ready to light up the sky. The lights at the Mesa Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints attract over a million visitors each year.

November 17, 2015

Missionaries speaking their native language now to spend three weeks in training (LDS Church News) (November 17, 2015)
Beginning March 1, 2016, missionaries assigned to teach in their native languages will again spend three weeks in the Missionary Training Center.

Workshops Help Returned Sister Missionaries Transition to Life after Full-Time Service (Church News) (November 17, 2015)
Several months ago, the Women’s Services and Resources Office at Brigham Young University surveyed thousands of female students to learn the types of training and resources the young women most desired.

Celebrate International Day of the Bible on Nov. 23 (LDS Church News) (November 17, 2015)
Members of the Church have an opportunity to join with other Christians to share their love for the Bible on Monday, Nov. 23, the International Day of the Bible. At noon, participants are encouraged to share a favorite verse, a video, or thoughts related to the Bible on social media channels using the hashtag #BibleCelebration.

More Than 1,000 Mormons Resign From The LDS Church In Protest (NPR) (November 17, 2015)
The Mormon church — or The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) — has been under fire for declaring earlier this month that members who enter into same-sex marriages will be deemed apostates and their children barred from baptism. The church tweaked that position late last week, explaining that only children living full time in a same-sex household would be barred from church rites and that those who had already been baptized could still be practicing Mormons. That wasn't, however, enough to stave off hundreds of defections.

Donations drop for Scouts in Utah after gay leader decision (Universe / Associated Press) (November 17, 2015)
One of the largest Boy Scout councils in the country is laying off employees because donations are down — possibly a side effect of tension between the Scouts and the Mormon church over this summer’s decision to allow gay Scout leaders.

November 16, 2015

First Presidency Expresses Love, Support for French People (LDS Newsroom) (November 16, 2015)
With people around the world, we mourn today as we consider the horrific tragedies that have occurred in Paris. We pray for those affected, for their families and loved ones, for the leaders of nations and most especially for the people of France as they struggle to recover from the violence and loss they are feeling so deeply.

Europe Area President makes Statement regarding Paris Attacks (LDS Newsroom) (November 16, 2015)
This morning, Elder Patrick Kearon, President of the Europe Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued the following statement: "During these hours of sadness and pain, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe stand united with all people of decency and good will in expressing our deepest sympathy for the families and friends of the victims of last night's terrible attacks in Paris.

LDS Church flies French flag at Temple Square (Daily Herald - Utah) (November 16, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday issued a statement about terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, offering prayers and indicating the flags at Temple Square will be flown at half staff.

LDS missionaries are safe after Paris attacks (Local News 8 - Idaho) (November 16, 2015)
All LDS missionaries serving in Paris are safe and accounted for. There are strict guidelines for missionaries to ensure their safety. The church takes extra precaution to make sure missionaries are trained for any situation. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, mission president Elder Babin over the France, Paris mission says all missionaries in Paris are safe. His Facebook post said, "We are and we will stay vigilant to assure safety to all our children."

Treat Children with “Utmost Respect and Love,” Writes the First Presidency in Letter regarding Same-Sex Marriage Policy (Church News) (November 16, 2015)
The Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles provides the following guidance in applying provisions on same-gender marriage recently added to Handbook 1: Revealed doctrine is clear that families are eternal in nature and purpose. We are obligated to act with that perspective for the welfare of both adults and children. The newly added handbook provisions affirm that adults who choose to enter into a same-gender marriage or similar relationship commit sin that warrants a Church disciplinary council.

Understanding the Handbook (LDS Newsroom) (November 16, 2015)
If there’s one thing that virtually all Christians agree on, it’s Jesus Christ’s tender love of children. Both the Bible and Book of Mormon deliver touching accounts of His love for “little ones,” blessing them and forbidding His disciples from keeping children from Him.

LDS Church provides additional information on handbook policies about same-sex couples and their children (Deseret News - Utah) (November 16, 2015)
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a letter Friday to church leaders clarifying how recent, high-profile changes in church handbook policies affect same-sex couples and their children.

Top Mormon leaders tweak gay rules, but fears remain for the children (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 16, 2015)
In a nod to the complexities of modern families, LDS Church leaders Friday tweaked a new policy focused on same-sex couples and their children. Mormons in same-sex relationships still should expect discipline from their local LDS leaders — and possibly excommunication — and their children still must wait until they turn 18 to get baptized.

Mormon Resignations Put Support for Gays Over Fealty to Faith (New York Times) (November 16, 2015)
Ever since she was an infant being blessed during a church naming ceremony, Lindsay Matson had been on the books of the Mormon Church. As it has done with millions of other members, the church kept note of her spiritual life as she moved from congregation to congregation, took youth leadership posts and married at age 19 in a Mormon temple.

Hundreds rally against new Mormon policy; many file forms to quit the faith (with video) (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 16, 2015)
More than 1,000 inactive and active Mormons — along with their backers — rallied in City Creek Park on Saturday to protest the LDS Church's recent policy decisions involving same-sex couples and their children. Many who attended the Salt Lake City event brought rainbow flags in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. They also hoisted signs with slogans such as "LDS: Love Doesn't Separate."

Activists, mostly inactive Mormons, resign from LDS Church at SLC event (Deseret News - Utah) (November 16, 2015)
A group of a thousand-plus — mostly younger, inactive Mormons — gathered Saturday afternoon in City Creek Park to sign letters of resignation from the LDS Church.

Church leader calls for peace at 'Volkstrauertag' gathering (LDS Church News) (November 16, 2015)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf knows first-hand what it means to be a refugee. Twice during his childhood — during World War II and, later, the Cold War — he experienced the fear and uncertainty of being displaced from his homeland.

Mexico City MTC: A sacred center of learning (LDS Church News) (November 16, 2015)
On Jan. 29, 2013, President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was in Mexico City to make a historic announcement. The beloved Church-owned Benemerito de las Americas School, he said, would be converted into a missionary training center.

True Believer (BuzzFeed) (November 16, 2015)
The W Hotel in downtown Atlanta narrows twice near its summit, 28 gloriously reflective stories in the air, so that the roof of the building feels almost impossibly small. All that glass and concrete — the luminescent terrace infinity pool, the 300-plus rooms with Macassar wood and Dornbracht faucets — culminates in a demure square helipad that a giant gorilla might regard as a trampoline. Ryan Raddon, an average-sized man, stands at the edge of the helipad one misty evening in late September and instinctively positions himself for a selfie, his arm outstretched at a flattering 45 degrees as a sleek black helicopter whirs in view of his iPhone’s camera. It has been raining intermittently all day, and gray, leaden clouds give the towering skyline a forbidding mystique.

Back to the future: New Mormon missionaries to spend more time at MTCs (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (November 16, 2015)
Mormon missionaries who don't need to learn a new language for the country in which they will be serving can count on spending a bit more time anyway in a Missionary Training Center. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday that, starting in March, missionaries assigned to teach in their native tongues will undergo three weeks of instruction at an MTC, instead of the current two.

High-speed chase ends in shooting at church in Georgia (Associated Press) (November 16, 2015)
Authorities say officers captured two men and a juvenile girl after a high-speed chase that ended with a shooting at a Georgia church. Multiple news outlets report that one man was shot and a stun gun was used on a girl at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Saturday evening. More than 100 people gathered at the church for a program when the duo burst in and asked a church leader for dry clothes and food.

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