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August 27, 2014

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August 26, 2014

Elder Ballard Gives Institute Students Time-Tested Advice (Church News) (August 26, 2014)
Classes start soon for Latter-day Saint students at Weber State University. On August 25, several thousand decided to usher in their fall semester by listening to Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in an evening devotional at the Ogden LDS Institute.

Elder Bednar Attends Meridian Idaho Temple Groundbreaking (Church News) (August 26, 2014)
More than seven decades after breaking ground for the first Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in Meridian, Idaho, Church and community members gathered on August 23—a breezy summer day—to celebrate the growth of the Church in the area and break ground for a new temple.

Success stories flow in from International Indexing Challenge (LDS Church News) (August 26, 2014)
A challenge by the Church’s FamilySearch International to establish a new record for the most volunteer indexing participants online in a single day met with success on July 22, as 66,511 volunteers went on the Internet to view images of historical records and transcribe the information for inclusion in the searchable database on FamilySearch.org.

Mormons Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites | 23 August (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 26, 2014)
Many Okanogan Valley, Washington, residents were forced out of their homes in July because of wildfires. The fires burned more than 400 square miles and destroyed 500 structures, including 325 homes.

New family history apps take ancestor hunting on the go (LDS Church News) (August 26, 2014)
With the advances in technology in recent years, family history work is becoming easier and more convenient to do. Many time-consuming tasks people used to do can be done in moments. With mobile technology, family history work can be done almost anywhere. Two new mobile apps have been produced to assist people in this important work: FamilySearch Family Tree and FamilySearch Memories. Both are available in the Apple and Android app stores.

Beulah Mormon church grows thanks to oil country (Crookston Times - Minnesota) (August 26, 2014)
The congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Beulah is crediting its dramatic growth in membership to the state's oil boom. The church had an average attendance of 34 people in 2011, but the congregation these days has 247 members, with an average attendance of 130 people every Sunday, the Bismarck Tribune reported Sunday. Most of the new members have moved to North Dakota from Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and California.

Mormon women are flocking to the mission, but inequalities remain (Public Radio International) (August 26, 2014)
On this day at the Church of Latter-Day Saints' Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, 500 fresh-faced young men and women arrive for the first time. Soon they'll venture out across the world to spread their Mormon faith.

Trib Talk: Moderate Mormon women speak out (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 26, 2014)
The excommunication of Ordain Women’s Kate Kelly has not silenced LDS women as some feared. Rather, moderate Mormon women are finding more acceptance and more willingness to speak out on the role of women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Monday at 12:15 p.m., author Neylan McBaine, blogger Cynthia Lee and Segullah editor Shelah Miner join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk about the emerging voice of moderate Mormon feminists.

Push to ordain Mormon women leads to excommunication (BBC - UK) (August 26, 2014)
Kate Kelly stands frozen at an empty intersection in Salt Lake City. There is no traffic coming in either direction. "I need to wait for the signal," she says, "I'm obedient, I'm a Mormon." She laughs, her eyes twinkling behind her thick, retro-style glasses. But if Ms Kelly thinks she's an obedient Mormon, her Church leadership does not. She was excommunicated in June for founding a campaign to ordain women to the priesthood.

August 25, 2014

3 Mormon missionaries die in 2 separate incidents (Deseret News - Utah) (August 25, 2014)
Thredgold and a missionary from Taiwan both died in their Taiwan apartment from unknown causes. LDS Church officials also confirmed Saturday that a sister missionary who was critically injured in a Friday car crash in Oklahoma died from her injuries.

Carbon monoxide leak suspected in death of 2 Mormon missionaries in Taiwan (Deseret News - Utah) (August 25, 2014)
Two LDS missionaries who died while serving in Taiwan are believed to have been killed by a carbon monoxide leak in their apartment, according to news reports in Taipei.

Three Mormon missionaries die in two separate incidents (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 25, 2014)
Connor Thredgold worked 20-hour shifts to pay for his Mormon mission to Taiwan, and by the time he got there, he was smiling bigger than his family ever saw.

Two missionaries die from CO poisoning (China Post - Taiwan) (August 25, 2014)
New Taipei police said Sunday that carbon monoxide poisoning was the cause of the death of two Mormon missionaries who were found a day earlier in an apartment they shared in New Taipei's Sanchong District.

No reports of injuries to missionaries, members following Napa quake (Deseret News - Utah) (August 25, 2014)
Both missionaries and members serving and residing in California’s Napa Valley region are reportedly safe following an early Sunday morning earthquake.

Ground Broken for Meridian Idaho Temple (LDS Newsroom) (August 25, 2014)
Officials from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined with community leaders in Meridian, Idaho, on Saturday, 23 August 2014, to break ground for a new temple.

Temple rises in Philadelphia (LDS Church News) (August 25, 2014)
The Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple is rising and changing the city’s skyline nearly three years after ground was broken in the historic downtown area.

Thousands volunteer at LDS Ogden Temple during open house (Deseret News - UT) (August 25, 2014)
Usher Christina Myers was at her post near the stairs of the Ogden Tabernacle on Friday, smiling and greeting crowds of people walking by, when an older couple approached and asked if she wouldn't mind snapping a photo.

A Report From the Jewish Genealogists’ Summer Camp (Jewish Daily Forward) (August 25, 2014)
As a latecomer and a relative newbie in Jewish genealogy, I have to admit I was a little apprehensive this July as I walked into the lobby of the Hilton Salt Lake City Center where the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies was holding its 34th annual conference. This was the tribe’s gathering of the tribes, the big powwow for the umbrella organization that oversees 74 Jewish genealogical groups around the world.

Members Participate in Kane, Pennsylvania, Sesquicentennial (Church News and Events) (August 25, 2014)
Members of the Church were front and center for the “Kane’s 150th” celebration, marking the sesquicentennial anniversary of the northwestern Pennsylvania town founded by Thomas L. Kane, personal friend of Brigham Young and defender of the Latter-day Saints.

LDSTech game creation contest (Deseret News - Utah) (August 25, 2014)
In conjunction with the 2014 LDSTech Conference in October, the Church is inviting app developers to participate in a Gospel App and Game Development Contest. The contest is open to everyone and participants are tasked with developing a gospel-centered game or app that will help flood the marketplace with quality entertainment alternatives for families.

Oregon LDS stake includes special needs youths on pioneer trek (Deseret News - Utah) (August 25, 2014)
Just north of the Columbia River and surrounded by farmland and orchards, Bing Canyon, near Plymouth, Washington, is a place similar in terrain to parts of Wyoming's Mormon Trail. Sagebrush, canyons, prairie and a dusty trail greet handcart companies who travel up to 20 miles on a trail circling a grassy base camp known as Zion.

Forget priesthood — moderate Mormon feminists seek a middle way (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 25, 2014)
When McBaine, a lifelong Latter-day Saint reared in New York City, accepted an invitation to speak about women’s issues at a Mormon apologists’ meeting two summers ago, she simply wanted to communicate to an orthodox audience that the pain of some women within the Utah-based religion was real — and potent.

August 22, 2014

President Monson observes 87th birthday (LDS Church News) (August 22, 2014)
President Thomas S. Monson observed his 87th birthday on Thursday, Aug. 21. On the day before his birthday, President Monson’s counselors in the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Presiding Bishopric, Seventies, family and staff members in the First Presidency offices attended a noon social event in the Church Administration Building.

Help Young Women Embrace Move to Relief Society (Church News) (August 22, 2014)
Graduating from high school is a significant rite of passage for our youth and can be a time of uncertainty and worry as they look ahead to the next phase of their lives. For Latter-day Saint girls, progressing from the Young Women program into Relief Society often seems intimidating and, at times, even scary. Young women who will continue to attend a regular family ward, rather than a young single adult ward, might find themselves asking, “What do I have in common with these older women? Is there a place for me in Relief Society?”

LDS handbook changes social media information (Daily Herald - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
President Thomas S. Monson, head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, turned 87 on Thursday. In keeping with Elder David Bednar's invitation, well wishers flooded social media with birthday greetings. The LDS Women Facebook page put up an online Happy Birthday card, and within two hours it received 3,753 likes, 457 comments and was shared on other Facebook pages 294 times. Add that to many others who used social networking platforms to spread the good news and it is clear -- members of the LDS church have an online presence.

New Movie Highlights Members' Individuality, Diversity (Church News) (August 22, 2014)
As movie audiences across the country meet the humanitarian, the coach, the fighter, the bishop, the mom, and the Candy Bomber, they will also get the chance to meet the Mormons. For the first time in its history, the Church will release a feature-length documentary commercially on October 10.

Mormon coaches and callings: How they balance serving in the church with pressure-filled profession (Deseret News - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
Ken Niumatalolo is not a fan of camping. The Navy head football coach prefers nice hotels when away from home. Yet when duty called a few years ago, he endured the outdoors for a week at a lake near Cumberland, Maryland.

Watch: LDS bishop featured in 'Meet the Mormons' teaches David Archuleta how to step dance (Deseret News - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
Jermaine Sullivan, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Atlanta, recently taught singer-songwriter David Archuleta a new skill: step-dancing.

BYUtv meets TV critics, and gay question arises (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
BYUtv recently met members of the Television Critics Association, and the critics came away impressed. The Provo-based, LDS Church-owned channel presented itself and some of its programming at the TCA press tour — a semiannual gathering of critics from across the United States and Canada. It was the first time BYUtv appeared before the TCA, where critics are accustomed to seeing presentations from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, CNN, Discovery, HBO, Showtime and more. And it was the first time some of the critics were more than vaguely aware of BYUtv’s existence.

Blind Woman Finds Grand Vision in Doing Family History Work (Church News) (August 22, 2014)
The late-spring sun was just peeking over the Wasatch Mountains that early morning in late May, lighting up the few pink-edged clouds that drifted lazily across the horizon. There, on a tiny street in a decades-old trailer court in Centerville, Utah, Terrilynne Pomeroy stepped out of her weather-worn trailer with her closest companion, Chantelle, her Seeing Eye dog.

Stake President Recognized as Father of the Year (Church News) (August 22, 2014)
Stake President Ladd Hall received the 14th Annual American Diabetes Association Father of the Year Award. According to the American Diabetes Association website, “The purpose of this award is to recognize men that have made family a priority, while balancing a demanding career and community involvement.”

Devotional: Vai Sikahema to be final Summer 2014 speaker (BYU-Hawaii news release) (August 22, 2014)
On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, Vai Sikahema, President of the Cherry Hill New Jersey Stake and NBC10 News Today news anchor and sports director, will speak at the weekly Devotional at 11 AM in the Cannon Activities Center.

Mormon church used to make it easy to follow its money (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
In 1947, the LDS Church had about a million members in 170 stakes, 1,293 wards, 132 branches (smaller congregations) — and no debt. Education was the Utah-based faith’s largest budget item, and a fair amount of its income also went to help the needy in the U.S. and abroad.

August 21, 2014

Meet the Mormons Movie (LDS Newsroom) (August 21, 2014)
“Meet the Mormons” is a feature-length documentary film produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that will be released in select theaters on 10 October 2014.

BYU assistant football coach is also Bishop Kaufusi to young single adult ward (Deseret News - Utah) (August 21, 2014)
When Steve Kaufusi hears members of his ward voice uncertainty about their ability to serve in a church calling, he understands the feeling. “I’ve been in their shoes,” said Kaufusi, who is in his 13th season as a defensive line coach for the Brigham Young University football team.

How President Uchtdorf upended my apple cart (Deseret News - Utah) (August 21, 2014)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, along with his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, have upended my apple cart. They didn’t mean to. But now there are apples all over the street. And I had them in such a tidy display.

Putting Eternal Salvation in the Hands of 19-Year-Old Missionaries (The Atlantic) (August 21, 2014)
Seventeen-year-old Matthew Timion was smoking a cigarette out his bedroom window when he heard a knock at the door. He’d just moved across the country with his mother and stepfather, a militant atheist. The recent death of his alcoholic father had left him with many questions about life, death and faith. Without looking, he somehow knew the visitors at the door were Mormon missionaries. He later interpreted this as a sign from God.

Mormons turn to Internet to preach, but sometimes it turns on them (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 21, 2014)
The LDS Church has embraced the virtual universe with unalloyed enthusiasm, hoping to harness its global reach to bring converts to Christ, while some local Mormon leaders have used the same tools to monitor — and occasionally discipline — longtime members. Whether to proselytize or to punish, social-media outlets are part of the LDS landscape, and leaders and members alike are struggling to adopt and adapt guidelines for getting along in what they see as God’s kingdom.

Mormon-owned BYU removes gay-marriage cards at bookstore (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 21, 2014)
Greeting cards celebrating same-sex marriages turned up at the Brigham Young University bookstore Tuesday. Placed by Hallmark, the cards reading "Mr. and Mr." and "Mrs. and Mrs." were quickly removed when bookstore staff discovered them after photos surfaced online. The outside vendor stocked the shelves without realizing the school wouldn’t want to sell the cards marketed to buyers celebrating unions between two brides and two grooms, BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said.

August 20, 2014

Apostle Calls for Uplifting Social Media Messages to Sweep the Earth (LDS Newsroom) (August 20, 2014)
Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called for Mormons to use social media to “sweep the earth” with authentic and uplifting messages.

Share More Gospel Messages on Social Media, Elder Bednar Says (Church News) (August 20, 2014)
During his address at the BYU Education Week devotional on August 19, Elder David A. Bednar urged Church members to flood the earth with gospel messages of truth.

Watch: Elder David A. Bednar speaks about the LDS Church and social media at Education Week (Deseret News - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the devotional speaker for Brigham Young University's Campus Education Week on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 11:10 a.m. MDT.

‘Meet the Mormons’ film coming to theaters, Web this fall (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
At first, LDS officials thought their newest feature film would best be shown in the Legacy Theater in the church-owned Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City. After all, that theater has been the venue for previous Mormon-produced movies such as "Legacy" and "Testaments." But LDS apostle David A. Bednar announced Tuesday that church leaders have decided to unveil their next project, "Meet the Mormons," in selected theaters nationwide as well as on YouTube and other Internet sites.

LDS Church announces feature-length documentary, 'Meet the Mormons' (Deseret News - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
For the first time in its history, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will release a feature-length documentary commercially on Oct. 10. The new feature-length film, “Meet the Mormons,” highlights the lives of six Latter-day Saints who live across the globe — in areas spanning from the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, to the rain forests of Costa Rica, to the Salt Lake Valley.

New Seminary Graduation Requirements Expect More from Youth (Church News) (August 20, 2014)
New requirements for seminary graduation are meant to “elevate learning” and better prepare students for lives of service and discipleship. The changes are being implemented throughout the world beginning this school year with this year’s course of study—Doctrine and Covenants and Church history.

Experts say openness helps those who doubt beliefs (Digital Universe - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
Emily Nevers was serving a mission in Ukraine and experiencing widespread atheism for the first time in her life. A native of Salt Lake City, Nevers found herself preaching and serving and unexpectedly, doubting. While on her mission, Nevers developed what she called a “justice complex.” She didn’t understand why the people were “so good and pure and yet were slaughtered by hardship.” At one time, she even questioned the existence of God.

Bernard Fisher, 1927-2014: Vietnam hero from Valley dies (Idaho Statesman) (August 20, 2014)
Kuna resident Bernard (pronounced ber-nerd) Fisher, who risked his life landing his attack plane to rescue a fellow pilot while North Vietnamese troops shot at him, died Saturday at age 87. President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Fisher with the Medal of Honor for his heroics in rescuing Maj. Dafford "Jump" Myers on March 10, 1966, in the A Shau Valley along South Vietnam's western border with Laos.

Great Salt Lake approaches 167 year record low (Washington Post) (August 20, 2014)
Dry winters are taking their toll on the Great Salt Lake, which is just a couple feet away from reaching its record low level, set over 50 years ago. Utah’s Great Salt Lake, which is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, has been on a gradual decline over the past few years, and is now about two and a half feet away from its record low level of 4,191.35 feet. In 2014 alone, the lake has been losing around half a foot per month since May.

August 19, 2014

Matthew J. Grow: Using Joseph Smith Papers to better understand Doctrine and Covenants (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The Joseph Smith Papers Project is “the great symbol of the Church’s transparency with its history,” said Matthew J. Grow, director of publications at the Church History Department.

Church's Blue Creek welfare farms helps feed thousands (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
There’s no evidence that lyricist Katharine Lee Bates ever saw the Church’s Blue Creek Grain Farm before she penned the lines “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain” (“America the Beautiful,” Hymns, No. 338).

NY Onondaga public library making over 40,000 Historic records accessible online (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The Onondaga County Public Library and FamilySearch announced Aug. 12 a joint initiative to digitally preserve 40,000 historic titles from the library’s collections and make them freely accessible online to patrons worldwide. Some of the titles are extremely rare, dating back to Colonial America.

Writing a great family history (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The small details make a big difference when writing a quality family history, said David W. Smith during the Conference on Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University on July 29. Even the smallest details will have an impact on the history’s readability and usefulness.

'Trek to the Temple' (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
June 28 was one of the busiest days in the history of the Boston Massachusetts Temple. The record-setting number of temple attendees was a direct result of a local stake’s endeavor to honor the pioneers’ trek across the United States.

Angel Moroni statues placed atop 2 LDS temples (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added Angel Moroni statues to the Cordoba Argentina Temple and the Trujillo Peru Temple last week.

SUU coach Ed Lamb not a Mormon, but serves anyway (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
Southern Utah University head football coach Ed Lamb regularly attends meetings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with his family. He finds truth in the teachings of the gospel and has accepted various opportunities to serve. He said the church has been hugely influential in his life.

Elder David A. Bednar to give Devotional address on Tuesday, August 19 (BYU news release) (August 19, 2014)
BYU’s Campus Education Week, one of the largest continuing education programs in the country, will be held August 18-22, 2014, at the university’s campus in Provo, Utah. Based on the theme, “Seek Learning, Even by Study and Also by Faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118), Education Week will feature more than 1,000 classes taught by more than 200 presenters, teaching on a wide variety of topics. The Tuesday Devotional address will be given by Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Utah poll: Most oppose gay marriage, think Supreme Court will legalize it (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
A new poll shows a majority of Utahns oppose gay marriage and believe the fight over the state’s ban deserves to be heard by the Supreme Court. At the same time, a majority believe the high court will reject the state’s arguments and legalize gay unions. Those are the contradictory findings of a statewide survey sponsored by Zions Bank and UtahPolicy.com, which comes after a string of court rulings have challenged gay marriage bans throughout the nation.

Op-Ed: LDS leader delivered a confusing message to graduates (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
Last Thursday, Mormon Apostle Russell M. Nelson challenged Brigham Young University summer graduates to carry the heavy "burden of discipleship" by refusing to yield in their defense of traditional marriage. His statements communicated to graduates that their status as defenders of traditional marriage sets them apart from those who believe same-sex marriage should be legal.

Mormon Church won’t sell land for new school (Daily Times Chronicle - Massachusetts) (August 19, 2014)
With the Mormon Church unwilling to relinquish the land, city officials may have no choice but to jettison a proposal to build a new Hurld-Wyman School at the site of an old industrial warehouse nearby Spence Farm. Last night, Mayor Scott Galvin met with the City Council to discuss the city's legal options in regards to the acquisition of the old Loft Seed parcel at 71 Wyman St., which still could be forcibly taken, should local officials agree to initiate eminent domain proceedings.

August 18, 2014

Be a Disciple 24/7, Says Elder Nelson at BYU’s Commencement Exercises (Church News) (August 18, 2014)
Disciples of Jesus Christ are defenders of marriage, said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during commencement exercises held in the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University on August 14.

Memorial held for slain Washington state 6-year-old: ‘Jenise was a bright star in our life’ (Daily News) (August 18, 2014)
Like a lot of little kids, Jenise Wright got in trouble. She stole cereal and popsicles from the kitchen for secret picnics with her friends at their Bremerton, Wash. neighborhood, recalled her mother, Denise Wright, at a memorial service on Saturday for the 6-year-old child. “I could never be mad at her half the time,” Wright said.

About Utah: She showed him the light (Deseret News - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
It’s been almost two months now, and Valoy Eaton is painting his way through the grief as best he can. For 58 years they were together, inseparable, a dynamic duo, an impenetrable team. She did everything except hold the brush. So he keeps painting, not least because he knows that’s exactly what she’d want him to do.

Mormonism in Pictures: What Do Mormon Teens Do? (LDS Newsroom) (August 18, 2014)
Youth in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are like many other young people around the world. They go to movies, participate in sports, watch videos, text their friends, study for school, attend church and play musical instruments.

Latter-Day Saints undertakes clean-up campaign in W/R (Ghana Web) (August 18, 2014)
Members of the Takoradi branch of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Saturday embarked on a four-hour clean-up campaign to rid the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and Shama District of filth and squalor.

Mormon missionaries use song, ukuleles to share the gospel (Deseret News - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
Whether during Sunday's church services or Monday's family home evening, performances of hymns and Primary songs are important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Local Kimberly Man Celebrates 100 Years of Life (KMVT - Idaho) (August 18, 2014)
A lot has changed over the past 100 years and a Kimberly, Idaho man, who celebrated his 100th birthday this past week has seen all of the changes of the past century. "Well first thing is I never thought I'd live this long,” was Howard Kelsey’s reaction to turning 100 this past weekend

Parowan City Council wants to hear from the LDS church (Spectrum - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
Parowan City council members are quickly losing patience with representatives from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after waiting for them for nearly 8 months to make a decision whether they’re going to cover the costs of rebuilding the city park bathrooms they tore down two years ago.

Neon Trees' Tyler Glenn: Since coming out as a gay Mormon I'm truly happy (The Guardian - UK) (August 18, 2014)
A lot of people ask how I can be both Mormon and gay. I don’t have all the answers, but since coming out I finally feel like I can be myself.

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