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March 4, 2015

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March 3, 2015

LDS Family Services providing free online profiles for parents wanting to adopt (Deseret News - Utah) (March 3, 2015)
For the next 12 months, LDS Family Services will pay the monthly fee for qualifying hopeful adoptive parents to post profiles on Adoption.com, which birth parents use to select families to adopt a child.

LDS Church to provide financial aid to Mormon couples looking to adopt (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 3, 2015)
Less than a year after LDS Family Services discontinued its adoption services, it is joining up with Adoption.com to give some LDS families profiles on the popular online adoption network. Adoption.com/lds was launched Monday to link prospective LDS parents to birth parents. All families identifying as LDS will appear on the site. However, LDS Family Services will pay the $99 start-up fee and $199 monthly fee for couples who meet certain requirements. Eligible couples must have had their marriages sealed in an LDS temple and possess current temple recommends, a bishop's endorsement and a current adoption home study.

Review: Mormon Tabernacle Choir wraps up American Choral Directors Association national conference (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 3, 2015)
Salt Lake City was choral central this week as thousands of singers, conductors and composers converged downtown for the American Choral Directors Association national conference. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir wrapped up the week with a crowd-pleasing concert in the Conference Center. Santino Fontana made his third visit to the Conference Center in seven months, once again charming the multitude with his assured delivery of show tunes, spirituals and a medley of songs about happiness. Soprano Sylvia McNair proved equally charming and delivered the evening's best line: "Friends do not let friends clap on beats 1 and 3."

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Inducted Into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame (LDS Newsroom) (March 3, 2015)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. The announcement was made on Thursday, February 26, 2015, prior to the choir’s concert for the American Choral Directors Association national conference in Salt Lake City.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform at Yankee Stadium (YES Network) (March 3, 2015)
The New York Yankees announced today that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has added a pregame set at Yankee Stadium to their previously announced Atlantic Coast Tour schedule this summer. On Friday, July 3, the 360-person Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform a brief medley of patriotic songs from the field at Yankee Stadium before singing the national anthem prior to the start of the Yankees' 7:05 p.m. game vs. Tampa Bay.

Church Dedicates Pasta and Mill Plant in Northern Utah (LDS Newsroom) (March 3, 2015)
The new Deseret Mill and Pasta plant, 20 miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah, was dedicated Thursday, February 26, 2015. It is a food production facility to provide some of the basic staples of life to those in need. Another important benefit, said Bishop Gérald Caussé, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the opportunity for members of the Church and others to provide service.

LDS Charities Hosts Conference to Discuss Help for Refugees (Church News) (March 3, 2015)
A sizable majority of the workforce at the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City is refugees. Most are women and very few are Church members. But almost all are making giant strides in their daily trek to self-reliance and assimilation into their new culture. That’s great news for many refugee families who have known only fear and hopelessness.

7 things to see at the LDS Film Festival (Daily Herald - Utah) (March 3, 2015)
The LDS Film Festival kicks off Wednesday at the SCERA Center for the Arts. Now in its 14th year, the festival has steadily grown to include more than 20 feature films and documentaries this year. Here are seven films and events worth checking out.

Mormon woman who uttered historic prayer gets new assignment (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 3, 2015)
There's a change coming to the LDS Primary's general presidency, which directs programs for Mormon children up to age 12. On Saturday, the faith's Church News announced that first counselor Jean A. Stevens — who, in April 2013, became the first woman to offer a public prayer at an LDS General Conference — will be accompanying her husband, Mark Stevens, as he presides over the London LDS mission, starting in July.

‘I think we’re going to make history together’: LGBT groups, LDS Church close to final religious liberty/nondiscrimination bill (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 3, 2015)
The long-awaited marriage of religious liberties and prohibitions against housing and employment discrimination may come as early as Tuesday — with gay-rights advocates heralding the arrangement and conservative organizations uneasy with the outcome.

Ordain Women’s Kate Kelly loses last appeal; husband to resign from Mormon church (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 3, 2015)
Ordain Women co-founder Kate Kelly has lost her final appeal to regain membership in the Utah-based LDS Church. The activist, who is pushing for female ordination to the all-male Mormon priesthood, received word Saturday from her former lay leader in Virginia that the faith's governing First Presidency had rejected the appeal of her June 2014 excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Raised Mormon, actor Claybourne Elder is uniquely qualified for ‘Angels in America’ (Kansas City Star - Missouri) (March 3, 2015)
Claybourne Elder considers himself an ex-Mormon. But when you talk to the Utah-raised actor, you get the idea that there’s more involved than simply embracing or rejecting a belief system. He might be “ex,” but he descends from generations of Americans who created their own brand of Christianity based on revelations delivered on golden plates by an angel to a living prophet in upstate New York.

February 27, 2015

Faith, Family and Religious Freedom Subject of Apostle's Speech at California University (LDS Newsroom) (February 27, 2015)
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discussed the issues of faith, family and religious freedom on the campus of Chapman University on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

Elder and Sister Bednar share marriage advice in Australia (Deseret News - Utah) (February 27, 2015)
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Susan, spoke at a meeting focused on the topic of marriage in Sydney on Saturday.

Helping parents teach their children about pornography (LDS Church News) (February 27, 2015)
For many parents in the Church, talking to their children about pornography seems like a daunting and difficult task. New resources produced by the Church are meant to help parents — and leaders — talk to young people about sacred and sometimes sensitive topics.

A new report says that BYU has a better value MBA than Harvard (Business Insider) (February 27, 2015)
A master's in business administration can be an expensive degree, but if you're smart about where you go, it can also be a valuable career investment. Harvard is often touted for having the best value MBA program in the country as it has a high employment rate after graduation and high starting salaries, but according to a new graduate school credit ratings report by financial firm M7 Financial, it's Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management that comes out on top.

Philanthropist forges ties with school through YSA bishop, missionary experiences (Deseret News - Utah) (February 27, 2015)
If anyone knows what it's like to be a struggling college student, it’s Leo Beus, who has come a long way from his days of looking for rides from Salt Lake City to Provo.

Latter-day Saints most likely to believe in afterlife, survey shows (KSL - Utah) (February 27, 2015)
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are most likely among religious Americans to believe in life after death, a new survey shows. The Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture asked Americans if they thought there was life or “some sort of conscious existence” after death and 72 percent of Americans and 98 percent of Latter-day Saints answered “yes.” The survey results were published in Relationships in America.

LDS university president receives national attention for shoveling student's driveway (Deseret News - Utah) (February 27, 2015)
Dr. Michael T. Benson — a BYU graduate, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the president of Eastern Kentucky University — recently made headlines for shoveling the driveway of one of his students after the two made a deal over social media.

BYU basketball: Haws breaks scoring record, Cougars rally for win over Portland (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 27, 2015)
On a night when Tyler Haws became the career scoring leader at BYU, it was mostly another Cougar who kept the team's dim NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Haws scored 21 points, passing Jimmer Fredette's 2,599 points with a layup in the first half, and Skyler Halford scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half as the Cougars overcame an 8-point halftime deficit and rolled past Portland 82-69 at the Chiles Center.

Boston Celtics general manager explains role of Mormon bishop Read more: Iron County Today - Boston Celtics general manager explains role of Mormon bishop (Iron County Today) (February 27, 2015)
Few responsibilities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are more demanding than that of bishop, the person who leads one of the faith’s 29,000 congregations. So imagine holding that position while also being general manager of the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics. Read more: Iron County Today - Boston Celtics general manager explains role of Mormon bishop

Utah basketball: Brandon Miller returns from mission a changed man on a changed team (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 27, 2015)
While the Runnin' Utes were going from 15-18 to No. 13 in the nation, 2013 signee Brandon Miller went from Utah to Idaho to Buenos Aires, back to Utah, to the Bronx and Manhattan, and back home. Miller sat in the Huntsman Center on Thursday night, watching what he'd expected to see when he began racking up frequent flier miles two years ago.

Mormon church rising in Flushing (Queens Chronicle - New York) (February 27, 2015)
A controversial church building is expected to be completed next year in a mostly residential Flushing neighborhood. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, went through a long and bitter zoning battle with elected officials and area residents in 2012 to get variances for the project at 145-15 33 Ave.

How much influence can a church have over its members’ political beliefs? A Mormon case study. (Washington Post) (February 27, 2015)
Religious beliefs can be a powerful influence on political beliefs, but there's a limit to how much bishops and pastors can sway their congregations, according to new poll data from Utah shows. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its support last month for LGBT housing and employment nondiscrimination laws as long as religious freedoms are protected. The sponsor of Utah's law, Sen. Stephen Urquhart (R), himself a Mormon, told me at the time the announcement was a "tectonic shift" that would help the bill's passage.

Mormons Building Bridges brings to Capitol flowers, message: Pass LGBT protections (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 27, 2015)
Dozens of women with Mormons Building Bridges showed up at the Utah Capitol in a snowstorm Thursday, bringing bouquets of flowers to thank legislators and urging them to adopt a nondiscrimination bill that would protect the state's LGBT community. They wanted to recognize the lawmakers' "hard work and show our support for the bill, SB100," Bridges co-founder Erika Munson said in an interview.

Southern Baptists plant gospel in Mormon heartland (BRnow) Editor's Note: an interesting view of how a Southern Baptist perceives the LDS faith (February 27, 2015)
You’ve looked out the front window of your home and seen them coming. Two young males wearing white shirts and black ties are riding bikes in the neighborhood. When they knock on your door, what do you do? North American Mission Board (NAMB) missionary Travis Kerns would encourage you to love them. That’s what he has learned to do. His love for Mormons grew to the point that he now lives 35 miles from downtown Salt Lake City, Utah and serves as city missionary for NAMB’s Send North America: Salt Lake City.

February 26, 2015

Groundbreaking Planned for First Wyoming Temple (LDS Newsroom) (February 26, 2015)
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the groundbreaking for the Star Valley Wyoming Temple will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Sister Carole M. Stephens asks 'Are You Sure?' at BYU-Idaho devotional (LDS Church News) (February 26, 2015)
Despite living in what the apostle Paul called “perilous times,” people can come to a knowledge of the truth, said Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency during the weekly BYU-Idaho devotional on Feb. 24 in the BYU-Idaho Center.

Family History Blesses the Living as Well as the Dead (Church News) (February 26, 2015)
“Family history should be a source of joy and peace in our lives,” Elder Allan F. Packer of the Seventy said during a session of RootsTech’s Family Discovery Day held in the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on February 14.

Pres. Uchtdorf extends birthday greeting to centenarian (LDS Church News) (February 26, 2015)
A birthday celebration for Erma Rosenhan, a sister who has done the family history work for over 400,000 of her German ancestors, was held at the Family History Library on Feb. 25. Sister Rosenhan, who turns 100 on Feb. 28, still works at the library three days a week researching family names.

From Catholics to Muslims to Mormons — a look at the meaning of martyrdom (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 26, 2015)
"Martyr" is an old word getting new attention. Earlier this month, Pope Francis named Oscar Romero, a Catholic archbishop murdered in 1980, an official Catholic martyr, and the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil rights march reminds us of the martyrdom of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists.

There’s Now a Sanitized Version of Uptown Funk by Mormon Singer Alex Boyé (TIME) (February 26, 2015)
Mormon-owned newspaper Deseret News reports that vocalist Alex Boyé, 44, has released a sanitized version of the massive Mark Ronson hit, Uptown Funk.

February 24, 2015

Members Now Have Free Access to AmericanAncestors.org (Church News) (February 24, 2015)
FamilySearch, the family history brand of the Church, announced that Church members can now receive free personal affiliate level subscriptions to AmericanAncestors.org...

Mormons hand out 2,400 copies of the real Book of Mormon outside the musical comedy 'The Book of Mormon' (AL - Alabama) (February 24, 2015)
Although the Broadway musical comedy "The Book of Mormon" spoofs their faith, Alabama members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the best of it during its six-day run in Birmingham that ended Sunday.

Two LDS missionaries safe after kidnapping, assault (Herald - Utah) (February 24, 2015)
Two missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are safe after being kidnapped and assaulted Feb. 10 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. According to Officer Tanner Tixier, public information officer with the Albuquerque Police Department, Elders Zuniga Delgado and Michael Whitaker were kidnapped by Erwin Smith, who had invited the two to his apartment. According to court reports, Smith held Delgado and Whitaker hostage, punching and kicking them.

Prophets and presidents: 11 noteworthy connections between the LDS Church and the White House (Deseret News - Utah) (February 24, 2015)
In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley in a ceremony at the White House.

New BYU Study Examines Stress in Parenting (Church News) (February 24, 2015)
Being a parent brings added responsibilities, especially in a time when family dynamics and roles are often changing due to work, divorce, and busy schedules.

February 23, 2015

Senior Missionaries Answer Call to Serve (LDS Newsroom) (February 23, 2015)
In the past two years, more seniors have answered the call to serve full-time missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormons put Utah on top among U.S. churchgoers, poll shows (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 23, 2015)
More Utahns go to church every week — 51 percent — than any other state, according to a just-released poll. That statistic is "a direct result of [Utah]'s 59 percent Mormon population," Gallup's Frank Newport writes in a news release, "as Mormons have the highest religious service attendance of any major religious group in the U.S."

Le chantier du temple mormon ravive l’inquiétude des riverains (Le Parisien - Editor's note: this article is in French and requires a subscription) (February 23, 2015)
La construction du premier temple,en France, de l’Eglise de Jésus-Christ des Saints des derniers jours inquiète les riverains. Ses responsables tentent de les rassurer.

Mormon missionaries held captive recall incident (KOAT - New Mexico) (February 23, 2015)
Two Albuquerque Mormon missionaries were held captive by someone they were trying to witness to last week.

2 powerful, true stories bookend 2015 LDS Film Festival (Deseret News - Utah) (February 23, 2015)
One is a story of the unwavering faith of children in the face of mortal danger. The other is a story of Mormon missionaries showing courage and conviction and making extraordinary sacrifices for strangers.

100-Year-Old Sister Has Researched 400,000 Names (Church News) (February 23, 2015)
Erma Rosenhan of the Forest Dale 1st Ward, Salt Lake Granite Stake, has spent most of her life working on researching the names on her family line. Getting the records in the first place on the eve of World War II required faith, courage, and more than a few miracles.

Cartoonist Creates Mormon Missionary Cartoon Strip (Magic Valley - Idaho) (February 23, 2015)
Cartoonist Bill Fortune recently launched a website featuring his original cartoon strip about LDS missionaries. Fortune began drawing the cartoons in 1988 when his late son Doug Fortune was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tampa, Florida.

20th Mormon Stake Created in Houston Area (Chron - Texas) (February 23, 2015)
Along with thousands of other members of the Katy Texas and Cypress Texas Stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my family attended a special meeting Sunday, February 15, 2015 announcing a new stake within our borders: the Houston Bear Creek Stake. This new addition marks the 20th LDS stake in the Houston area.

Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo shares his game plan for life with LDS Business College students (Deseret News - Utah) (February 23, 2015)
Navy's 17-10 victory over Army last December placed coach Ken Niumatalolo in the record books as the all-time winningest coach in the history of the U.S. Naval Academy. While humbled by that milestone, the Hawaiian coach admitted to a room filled with hundreds of college students that he really wasn't shocked by the accomplishment.

Young man’s suffering on mission trip was worth it, he said (Go Dan River - Virginia) (February 23, 2015)
Philip Roach had quite the adventure the last two years as he served in Ghana as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Roach, 21, who grew up in Danville, is the son of Jon and Kathy Roach and returned in January from Ghana where he lived in four different towns and cities.

The Latter Day Saints Mormon Church speaks out on LGBT rights (Daily Reveille - Louisiana) (February 23, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Jan. 27 its support of anti-discrimination laws regarding both LGBT and religious rights. Though some University professors and students view the statement as a social or political issue, two Mormon missionaries said it was really about love.

Mormon missionaries spread faith (Republic - Indiana - Subscription required) (February 23, 2015)
Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon offer this identical hope and life wisdom: Knock, and it shall be opened. It sounds deep and wonderful for hungry seekers.

In Our Lovely Deseret: What happened to the brothers of the Prophet Joseph Smith? (Deseret News - Utah) (February 23, 2015)
There were six Smith sons who lived to adulthood, with Joseph Smith Jr., who was named for his father, born in the middle. What happened to the brothers of the Prophet Joseph, who died in Carthage when he was just 38?

Polynesian Cultural Center opens new marketplace (Deseret News - Utah) (February 23, 2015)
The Polynesian Cultural Center always has been predominantly an all-day attraction with its re-created island villages, buffet and luau offerings, and elaborate evening show. But in the most ambitious expansion project since the center opened in Laie in 1963, the PCC has a new 119,000-square foot Hukilau Marketplace, which will feature more than 40 stores, eateries and attractions.

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