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January 18, 2017

January 18, 2017

Mormon lawyers society to honor retired Sen. Harry Reid (Deseret News - Utah) (January 18, 2017)
A Mormon lawyers organization will honor retired Democratic Nevada Sen. Harry Reid this week for his decades of public service. Reid will receive the J. Reuben Clark Law Society's Distinguished Public Service Award on Friday.

How Mormon Polygamy In The 19th Century Fueled Women's Activism (NPR) (January 18, 2017)
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich says that for Mormon women living in 19th century Utah, "plural marriages" were empowering in complicated ways.

Here's what the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will sing at Trump inauguration (Deseret News - Utah) (January 18, 2017)
The song the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform during Donald Trump's presidential inauguration on Friday is "America, the Beautiful," the Deseret News has learned. Details have been controlled tightly since the Dec. 22 announcement that the choir would sing at the swearing-in ceremony for America's 45th president. But the 215 voices from what Ronald Reagan dubbed "America's Choir" will sing with accompaniment from the Marine Band known as "The President's Own," according to an inauguration program posted on the band's website.

BYU women’s basketball: New York’s ‘female Jimmer’ becoming a star in Provo (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 18, 2017)
A guard from a small town in East-Central New York with a penchant for scoring points in a variety of ways is starring for the BYU basketball team after having languished on the bench the past two seasons. No, this is not a paragraph from the 2008-09 season, when a lightly recruited New Yorker by the catchy name of Jimmer Fredette burst onto the local, and then national, college basketball scene after a mediocre first year.

125 years since Brigham Young Academy opened in Provo (Deseret News - Utah) (January 18, 2017)
Lorraine Day said her life changed the minute she entered the "hallowed halls" of Brigham Young High School in 1958. “I was just this little shy Southern Utah girl,” said Day, 75, who lives in Sandy. “I walked in and it was like going back in time. The building was magical.” Day was a senior and a transfer student to the school — located at the Academy Building in Provo. She desired better educational opportunities and a year later, she was a proud graduate of BY High.

6 Things to Look for in FamilySearch in 2017 (Church News) (January 18, 2017)
As worldwide interest in online genealogy services and activities continues to grow in 2017, FamilySearch plans to play a major role by offering six exciting developments to look forward to this year:

January 17, 2017

BYU–Idaho Reaches Record High Enrollment (Church News) (January 17, 2017)
Fifteen years after transitioning from Ricks College to Brigham Young University–Idaho, the university has reached record high enrollment numbers as it serves students in Rexburg, as well as around the world via online learning.

The next generation of 'impact teachers' (Deseret News - Utah) (January 17, 2017)
Think about someone who has had a lasting impact on your life. Perhaps it was a family member, a teacher or a Church leader. What was it that made this person so influential? Ponder this while I tell you about someone whose impact on me was profound and life-changing.

The Piano Guys explain why they will perform at Trump inauguration (Deseret News - Utah) (January 17, 2017)
It was announced late last week that The Piano Guys will perform as part of the inauguration festivities for President-elect Donald Trump. On Sunday, the group explained why in a blog post on its website.

Sen. Mike Lee jokes high court gig could put him one up on his big brother (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 17, 2017)
Though he says it's not a tooth-and-nail sibling rivalry, Sen. Mike Lee does see one advantage in getting the U.S. Supreme Court nomination over his older brother. If picked for a high-court post by President-elect Donald Trump, he'd be in a position to overrule decisions made by his brother, Thomas Lee, associate chief justice on the Utah Supreme Court.

January 16, 2017

Relief Society celebrates 175 years (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
March 17, 2017, marks 175 years since the organization of Relief Society by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842. We are excited about this date because of the feelings and actions we anticipate it will evoke in the hearts and lives of all our sisters.

Elder Stevenson testifies of prophets and the Book of Mormon in a new ‘Special Witness’ video (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
From the Conference Center’s Hall of the Prophets, Elder Gary E. Stevenson testifies of the power of modern and ancient prophets, and explains how the Book of Mormon has solidified his testimony of them in a new "Special Witness" video.

Elder Bednar invites people everywhere to continue to 'Light the World' (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
In a video released on Mormon Newsroom on Friday, Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explains what made this year’s Christmas campaign, "Light the World," a success and why the service the initiative encouraged should be carried into 2017.

Elder Neil L. Andersen: 'You can never speak enough of the Savior' (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
Thousands of missionaries from across the globe gathered together Jan. 10 to listen to apostolic counsel from a fellow witness of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at a missionary devotional at the Provo Missionary Training Center. The event was broadcast to more than a dozen other MTCs, either live or via tape delay.

Call from LaVell Edwards missing as Andy Reid preps Chiefs for playoff game with Steelers (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
Somebody is missing from Andy Reid's game prep this week. The Kansas City Chiefs head coach is getting ready for Sunday's playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers without the customary weekly phone call from his former BYU coach and mentor, LaVell Edwards, who died Dec. 29 at age 86.

‘Act of state, not politics’ — two top Mormon leaders to attend Trump inauguration (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
First, it was a famed Mormon choir that inspires the world through song. Now, it's two top LDS leaders who guide the faithful through sermons — they're all going to Republican Donald Trump's inauguration. On Friday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that apostles D. Todd Christofferson and Gary E. Stevenson would represent the Utah-based faith at the swearing-in of the nation's 45th president.

Remembering two bipartisan buds — my Uncle Bob (Bennett) and his friend, a good old Joe (Biden) (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
Viewing the video of Vice President Joe Biden's tears at being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and hearing his self-effacing comments took me back to the eve of President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. I was staying with my uncle, the late Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, who was the ranking Republican on the committee that oversaw all the inaugural activities.

Meet Jason Chaffetz, the Mormon Congressman Who Converted From Judaism (Forward) (January 16, 2017)
After the head of the government’s ethics office, Walter M. Shaub Jr., expressed doubts about President-elect Donald Trump’s commitment to avoiding conflicts of interest, Trump received an assist from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, head of the House’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Chaffetz is threatening to investigate Shaub’s agency, the Government Ethics Monitor.

January 13, 2017

Two Mormon Apostles to Attend 2017 US Presidential Inauguration (LDS Newsroom) (January 13, 2017)
The First Presidency has assigned Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the U.S. presidential inauguration January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Mormons Around the World Country Newsroom Websites January 12, 2017 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (January 13, 2017)
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles served in the Philippines as a member of the Seventy 20 years ago. He and his wife, Mary, recently returned to the Philippines for meetings with Latter-day Saints.

LDS Church First Presidency announces new mission presidents for 2017 (LDS Church News) (January 13, 2017)
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has called 123 new mission presidents, effective July 2017. The new mission leaders, and their wives, will serve three years. A comprehensive list of the new mission presidents and their assignments can be viewed here. Returning mission presidents are also listed.

Tabernacle Choir, President and Sister Nelson to highlght RootsTech events (Deseret News - Utah) (January 13, 2017)
RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, convenes Feb. 8-11 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, with some attractions that have special appeal for Latter-day Saint viewers and attendees, including a concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the day-long Family Discovery Center featuring the family of President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Comcast refuses to air ad going after Mormon church's tax-exempt status (KUTV - Utah) (January 13, 2017)
Comcast, the world’s largest cable-TV company, has refused to broadcast negative ads toward The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fred Karger, the owner of, put together ads asking the public for information related to potentially hurting the LDS Church’s tax-exempt status. Comcast, according to our news sharing partners at The Salt Lake Tribune, has refused to air the ads because Karger cannot provide documented proof of the church’s financial situation.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir no stranger to political flak — even from own church leaders (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 13, 2017)
The squabble over whether to sing at Donald Trump's inauguration next week may be unlike any other controversy for the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But it is hardly the only time "America's choir" — as Ronald Reagan dubbed the singers — has been touched by politics, says Michael Hicks, a Brigham Young University music professor who wrote a "biography" of the choral group.

January 12, 2017

Elder Stevenson testifies of prophets and the Book of Mormon in a new ‘Special Witness’ video (Deseret News - Utah) (January 12, 2017)
From the Conference Center’s Hall of the Prophets, Elder Gary E. Stevenson testifies of the power of modern and ancient prophets, and explains how the Book of Mormon has solidified his testimony of them in a new "Special Witness" video.

Counseling with Councils Is Lord's System, Elder Ballard Declares (Church News) (January 12, 2017)
Elder M. Russell Ballard has been an energetic advocate of the council system in the Church stretching at least as far back as October 1993, when he talked on that subject in general conference for the first time.

Marie Osmond says she would sing at presidential inauguration if asked (Deseret News - Utah) (January 12, 2017)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is set to perform at the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, and fellow member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Marie Osmond said Tuesday that she would join in the festivities if asked.

76-year-old LDS pickleball champion shares the most important things in life: faith, family (Deseret News - Utah) (January 12, 2017)
As a student at Brigham Young University, Dick Johnson was invited to play tennis. Shortly after this invitation, he was called to serve in the bishopric of his ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Dave Rose drawing criticism as BYU basketball coach (KSL - Utah) (January 12, 2017)
Five years of playing at a perceived lower level of competition, the BYU basketball team has not won anything of significant consequence, meaning either a regular-season or conference tournament championship.

More BYU women choosing engineering and technology (BYU Daily Universe) (January 12, 2017)
While the national average in 2016 for women studying engineering has increased slightly, in 2012 the national average was significantly higher than the average at BYU.

January 11, 2017

Elder Lynn A. Sorensen, Emeritus General Authority Seventy, dies at 97 (Deseret News - Utah) (January 11, 2017)
Elder Lynn Andrew Sorensen,who served as General Authority from 1987-1992, died peacefully on Jan. 4, 2017, in Holladay, Utah, at the age of 97.

Prayer, 'guardian angel' protects LDS woman during airport shooting (Deseret News - Utah) (January 11, 2017)
When a gunman began his deadly rampage through the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Annika Dean, a lifelong Latter-day Saint and a returned missionary, drew upon her training to stay alive.

Participate in RootsTech Family Discovery Day from Anywhere in World (Church News) (January 11, 2017)
Are you passionate about family stories? Do you have an interest in learning how to discover your roots? If so, Family Discovery Day 2017 is for you and you can attend or watch live from anywhere in the world.

Interview from China shows former BYU star Jimmer Fredette playing well and living his Mormon faith (Deseret News - Utah) (January 11, 2017)
A video interview shows that Jimmer Fredette seems at home in China. A reporter from China Global Television Network recently sat down with former BYU basketball star Jimmer Fredette to discuss his record-breaking play on the court, as well as his LDS faith and future with the Shanghai Sharks.

Federal Appeals Court Judge J. Clifford Wallace Seeks Inspiration, Chances to Serve (Church News) (January 11, 2017)
A common theme woven throughout the life of J. Clifford Wallace is service—to the community, to the Church, and to his family. In addition to serving as an active judge on the nation’s largest federal appellate court and as an esteemed jurist, judicial administrator, and advocate to the rule of law, he has also served as a bishop, stake president, regional representative, temple president, and temple sealer. He is also a husband, father, grandfather, and, now, a great-grandfather.

General Moly CFO leaving for Mormon church role (BizJournals) (January 11, 2017)
The chief financial officer of a Lakewood molybdenum mining company said he's leaving his post to become a president of the Mormon Church. General Moly Inc. (NYSE: GMO) said Lee Shumway "has accepted the call" and will leave the company in May to become an international mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

New TV commercial calls for leaks about potential Mormon tax fraud (Deseret News - Utah) (January 11, 2017)
A new TV commercial will air in Utah over the next week produced by a long-time critic of the LDS Church who wants to build a case against the church's tax-exempt status. Fred Karger, who fought against Proposition 8 in California and filed a complaint against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there in 2008, has spent $30,000 producing the commercial, setting up a website and hiring lawyers and investigators for what he called "the biggest, loudest, most comprehensive challenge to a church's tax-exempt status in history."

January 10, 2017

Joseph Smith's Council of Fifty Fit Divine Pattern for Councils (Church News) (January 10, 2017)
A few months before his death, Joseph Smith established the Council of Fifty, so called because it was composed of roughly 50 men.

LDS Church History Museum's new online art exhibit features the First Vision (Deseret News - Utah) (January 10, 2017)
A new online exhibit titled "Artistic Interpretations of the First Vision" was recently launched by the Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a news release.

Of fantasy and faith: LDS artist James C. Christensen dies at 74 (Deseret News - Utah) (January 10, 2017)
Wise fools and fish on leashes. Dragons and dwarves. Boats and beetles. Flying pigs and goblin princesses. The imaginative images of myths, fables and fantasies depicted by James C. Christensen will live on in myriad mediums, despite the death of the artist recognized for his works of fantasy and faith.

MormonLeaks dumps four new documents about LDS Church (Deseret News - Utah) (January 10, 2017)
MormonLeaks released four sets of documents purportedly related to the operations of the LDS Church on Monday, two related to the living allowances provided to the faith's General Authorities. The first set of documents posted on MormonLeaks, a website run by a former member of the LDS Church, includes what purports to be a "record of payroll or allowance" — similar to a pay stub — that reports how much money was provided to President Henry B. Eyring, then of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in a two-week period in 1999. The release includes seven two-week records for him in 2000.

How much do top Mormon leaders make? Leaked pay stubs may surprise you. (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 10, 2017)
Mormons and others who wonder about the salaries of top LDS leaders got a possible peek at those numbers Monday, when purported pay stubs for a high-ranking church official emerged online.

January 9, 2017

President and Sister Nelson Discuss Leadership, Marriage at Worldwide Devotional (LDS Newsroom) (January 9, 2017)
A Mormon apostle is counting on the young adults of the Church to prepare to lead the worldwide church. President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Wendy, spoke on leadership, love and marriage Sunday...

President Russell M. Nelson: 'Prophets, leadership and divine law (Deseret News - Utah) (January 9, 2017)
“While the world is filled with uncertainty, there need not be uncertainty in your heart and mind about what is true and what is not,” President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told young adults during a worldwide devotional on Sunday night. The devotional was held in the Marriott Center on the Brigham Young University campus and was broadcast in more than 20 languages to countries worldwide. President Nelson’s wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, also spoke during the meeting and the Utah Valley University Institute Choir performed.

Study Mormon prophets and live by their words, senior LDS leader urges millennials (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 9, 2017)
A year after telling a worldwide audience that a controversial policy on gay couples came directly from God to today's Mormon prophet, senior apostle Russell M. Nelson on Sunday urged millennials to study the life and teachings of that LDS leader and the 15 men who preceded him. "While the world may look to the considerable leadership abilities of men and women such as Napoleon, Joan of Arc, George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and others," Nelson said in a sermon streamed across the globe to single Mormons ages 18 to 30, "I believe that the finest leaders to have walked the Earth are the prophets of God."

Coach LaVell Edwards Lauded for Faith, Friendship to Legions (Church News) (January 9, 2017)
LaVell Edwards—a former bishop, returned missionary, beloved husband and father and, yes, legendary Brigham Young University football coach—was memorialized Saturday by hundreds of his relatives, former players, and fellow coaches.

Utah artist James C. Christensen dies at age 74 (KUTV - Utah) (January 9, 2017)
Utah artist James C. Christensen has died at the age of 74, according to his family. He died Sunday after an ongoing battle with cancer. Christensen is known for his artwork influenced by myths, fables and fantasies.

Local Mormon missionary runs headlong into new Russian law (Times Free Press - Tennessee) (January 9, 2017)
The job was going well for Chris Hemrick after he arrived in Russia in February 2015. As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known as Mormons, he was out on the streets, in parks, in grocery stores, basically just out and about in several cities, talking to everyday Russians about his church and its beliefs.

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