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July 29, 2016

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July 28, 2016

Church Statement on Volunteers in Turkey (LDS Newsroom) (July 28, 2016)
The Church has transferred 15 young volunteers serving in Turkey to Germany, where they will continue their service among the Turkish-speaking population of Berlin. We anticipate these volunteers will return when conditions in Turkey normalize.

Pressing forward in the Pacific: John and Susan Tanner reflect on their first year at BYU-Hawaii (Deseret News - Utah) (July 28, 2016)
Several years ago, John S. Tanner and his wife, Susan W. Tanner, stood in front of a statue on the campus of Brigham Young University-Hawaii and pondered a question.

Investigators probe arson fires at Las Vegas Mormon church, firefighter's union hall (News 4 - Nevada) (July 28, 2016)
Investigators are probing two apparent arson fires across the street from each other early Monday. A Mormon Church at 501 South Ninth St. and Firefighter's Union Hall across the street (502 S. Ninth St.) were damaged in the fires shortly before 6 a.m. The structures are not far from East Clark Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Mormons have prayed at four of the last five GOP conventions (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 28, 2016)
Last week, Nathan Johnson, a black Mormon convert and a regional LDS Church leader in Ohio, offered an invocation at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Utah Planned Parenthood scraps condoms with Mormon symbol (CBS News) (July 28, 2016)
Utah's Planned Parenthood branch won't hand out condom packages printed with a symbol associated with Mormon youth teachings after an image of the wrappers on its Facebook page generated backlash. The wrappers stamped with a popular design symbolizing the phrase "Choose the Right" were a limited run intended to spark open conversation about sexual health, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Katrina Barker said.

July 27, 2016

Elder Per G. Malm Passes Away (LDS Newsroom) (July 27, 2016)
Elder Per G. Malm, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Tuesday morning at his home in Göteborg, Sweden, following a courageous battle with cancer.

President Uchtdorf Visits Refugees in Athens, Greece (Church News) (July 27, 2016)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf—himself a former refugee—visited refugee camps in Athens on July 22, reaching out to those forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, and hunger. “These refugees are our brothers and sisters; all of us are God’s children,” said President Uchtdorf. “The gratitude we saw in the eyes of these refugees for the generosity and kindness of our Church members will never be forgotten. I could deeply feel the bond of love and compassion with these stranded families.

President Uchtdorf Presents Donation to UN Food Program (LDS Newsroom) (July 27, 2016)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presented a $3 million donation to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) on behalf of the Church during a recent visit to Rome, Italy. On July 17, President Uchtdorf met with Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the WFP. The donation will be used to provide food to refugees and displaced people in Cameroon, Chad and Syria.

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr. addresses 'A Legacy of Faith' during Days of '47 Sunrise Service (LDS Church News) (July 27, 2016)
The Mormon Pioneers — and many of their faithful descendants — have crafted a legacy of faith that continues to inspire and bless lives. That was the message shared July 25 by Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr., a General Authority Seventy, at the annual Days of '47 Sunrise Service.

Mormon missionaries save dozens from carbon monoxide (Fox 2 - Michigan) (July 27, 2016)
An apartment building filled with toxic gas from a faulty water heater this weekend and, if not for two women, they may not have. The two women were the only ones in the building with a carbon monoxide detector. Sister Adams and Sister Rambert of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, moved to the Cambridge Square apartments in Southfield earlier this year to do missionary work. But they say God used them a different way, when their carbon monoxide detector went off early Sunday morning.

Tour times of Fort Collins Mormon temple filling fast (Coloradoan) (July 27, 2016)
Time slots to tour the new Mormon temple in Fort Collins before it is dedicated and closed to the public are filling fast. Tour times on Saturdays and some evenings during the public open house scheduled Aug. 19 to Sept. 10 have been taken, said Mary Peery, chairperson of the temple public affairs committee.

BYU football: Inside 425-Pound Motekiai Langi's Path to BYU (Sports Illustrated) (July 27, 2016)
If Motekiai Langi's chair were able to emote, it would beg for mercy. It deserves a Congressional Medal of Honor, a Nobel Prize in Physics—anything for holding out over this hour-long lunch as Langi's posterior overflows from three sides of its metal frame. Though this Phoenix-area Red Robin has seen its fair share of overweight American carnivores, he's another classification altogether: the human equivalent of a genetically modified fruit, the sort of man one imagines living at the top of a beanstalk or north of Winterfell.

Mormonism needs to divorce itself from polygamy — historically and theologically — author advocates (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 27, 2016)
It's time for mainstream Mormonism to strip away all vestiges of polygamy — past, present and future — argues a prominent LDS writer and activist. Remove a defense of polygamy from Mormon scripture, disavow it as ever having been an inspired historical practice, Carol Lynn Pearson proposes in her new book, and discontinue marriage practices dictating it in heaven.

July 25, 2016

Pioneer Day Concert Features the King’s Singers and Mormon Tabernacle Choir (LDS Newsroom) (July 25, 2016)
Fresh off of their successful seven-city European tour, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square were back in the Conference Center on Temple Square this weekend for their annual Pioneer Day concert.

Thousands of youth participate in the Days of '47 youth parade (LDS Church News) (July 25, 2016)
Over 5,000 children gathered on July 23 for the annual Union Pacific Youth Parade as part of the Days of ’47 celebration. Eighteen stakes from around the state were invited to participate in one of the largest youth parades in the nation. This year’s theme, “Pioneers — Inspiring Today’s Generation!” helped participants reflect on the pioneers’ sacrifice and how it has inspired them.

Treks give Mormon teens a taste of pioneer past, but some practices steer away from history (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 25, 2016)
It happens every summer. Mormon teens forsake cellphones, iPads, makeup and video games, don long dresses, aprons and bonnets or pants with suspenders, and set out on a grueling, exhausting, heat-smacking three-day wilderness experience. Organized into "families," with mock siblings and an assigned "Ma and Pa," they pull wooden handcarts for miles over uneven terrain, sing old-time hymns, munch beef jerky and saltwater taffy, jot in their journals, read scriptures by campfire and sleep under the stars — sometimes in hailstorms.

Pennsylvania County Hopes to Build Mormon Site into Tourism Anchor (Wall Street Journal) (July 25, 2016)
When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and received a series of religious revelations here, he stayed in this northeast Pennsylvania township for three years. Thus far this summer, though, the busloads of Mormons descending on this rural area are sticking around for only a few hours. That is a source of frustration in the faded community of less than 600 residents along the Susquehanna River, which largely missed out on the fracking boom that lifted other parts of the state.

Mormon church moves to quash subpoena of President Monson in Navajo abuse case (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 25, 2016)
The LDS Church is asking a federal court to quash a subpoena requiring President Thomas S. Monson to testify at a deposition concerning the alleged sexual abuse of four Navajos. The motion, filed Thursday, states that Monson has no special knowledge of the church-sponsored Indian Student Placement Program (ISPP), which operated from 1947 to the mid-1990s, nor the experiences of the two female and two male Navajos who say they were abused in its care during the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

Meet the Mormon brothers who make adorable ads about disgusting things (Washington Post) (July 25, 2016)
A few years back, the founders of Squatty Potty had a problem. Their product is a plastic footstool that wraps around the base of a toilet to elevate the feet and make going to the bathroom easier. Its founders say that changing the sitting angle unkinks the colon, making for a more natural and satisfying experience. But advertising such a product is difficult. The company’s previous attempts to explain the benefits of squatting veered from the scientific to the euphemistic; one TV ad featured a woman Hula-Hooping in a “healthy colon” T-shirt.

Year after easing ban on gay adults, Boy Scouts faring well with Mormons, Catholics and other faiths (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 25, 2016)
There were dire warnings for the Boy Scouts of America a year ago when the group's leaders, under intense pressure, voted to end a long-standing blanket ban on participation by openly gay adults. Several of the biggest sponsors of Scout units, including the Mormon, Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist churches, were openly dismayed, raising the prospect of mass defections. Remarkably, nearly 12 months after the BSA National Executive Board's decision, the Boy Scouts seem more robust than they have in many years. Youth membership is on the verge of stabilizing after a prolonged decline, corporations that halted donations because of the ban have resumed their support, and the vast majority of units affiliated with conservative religious denominations — including the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — have remained in the fold — still free to exclude gay adults if that's in accordance with their religious doctrine.

Mormon Mentions: Bryce Harper posts about his new scriptures; The Gardiner Sisters go on tour with Us the Duo (Deseret News - Utah) (July 25, 2016)
Social media posts with a connection to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members last week include posts from LDS performers on tour, an LDS Major League Baseball player, and a recap of a BYU-Idaho graduation speech. Social media accounts for LDS Church leaders featured inspiring pictures, quotes and counsel.

July 22, 2016

Elder Francis Marion Gibbons, a lifetime of service (LDS Church News) (July 22, 2016)
Elder Francis Marion Gibbons, emeritus General Authority Seventy, died on July 16, 2016, at the age of 95. Elder Gibbons died in his sleep in his home in Salt Lake City.

Francis Gibbons, aide to top Mormon leaders — and who wrote books about first 14 LDS presidents — dies at 95 (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 22, 2016)
It was 1970, and the LDS Church was looking for a "mature" male secretary for its governing First Presidency — someone who had administrative experience and could take notes in shorthand. Ever faithful, Francis Marion Gibbons, a successful lawyer and Mormon bishop on Salt Lake City's east side, answered the call (he had trained as a court recorder in his teens, his official church biography says, and continued to use that skill for decades in his education and work). He had to take a pay cut to do so.

New auxiliary leader learned 'you can do anything' with the help of the Lord (LDS Church News) (July 22, 2016)
As a young missionary venturing away from home for the first time, Bonnie Hillam arrived at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, and knew she needed confirmation that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was Christ’s restored church on the earth.

Updated printed version of Spanish scriptures now available (LDS Church News) (July 22, 2016)
The Church announced this July the availability of the updated printed edition of the Latter-day Saint edition of the scriptures in Spanish. The First Presidency announced the digital publication of the Spanish standard works on December 16, 2015, found at escrituras.lds.org and on the Gospel Library mobile application.

President and Sister Uchtdorf visit site of Rome Italy Temple: 'It is impressive to see' (LDS Church News) (July 22, 2016)
During a recent trip to Italy, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf, visited the Rome Italy Temple site on July 17. “The members in Italy are anxiously awaiting the completion of the House of the Lord,” he said. “Rome and all of Europe will be better because of this temple.”

'The right voice' (LDS Church News) (July 22, 2016)
voice to oppose wrong,” Brother Devin G. Durrant, first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency told graduates during commencement exercises at Brigham Young University-Idaho on July 20.

Mormonism in Pictures: Pioneers’ Trek West (LDS Newsroom) (July 22, 2016)
Before the historic 1847 trek of the Mormon pioneers, the early Latter-day Saints gathered from across the Atlantic Ocean to join the westward migration. Prior to heading west, the early Saints settled in several areas in the East, including Kirtland, Ohio.

July 21, 2016

BYU climbs from No. 15 to No. 5 in this year's 'Best Colleges in America' by Money Magazine (Deseret News - Utah) (July 21, 2016)
BYU made a significant jump in this year’s list of Best Colleges in America by Money Magazine, making a leap from No. 15 to No. 5.

Angel Moroni Statue Tops Meridian Idaho Temple (LDS Newsroom) (July 21, 2016)
Crane operators and construction workers hoisted the 13-foot-6-inch angel Moroni statue to the top of the Meridian Idaho Temple July 20, 2016.

A Mormon Tycoon Wants to Build Joseph Smith’s Mega-Utopia in Vermont (Bloomberg) (July 21, 2016)
David Hall is snapping up farmland to bring his vision of a sustainable high-density community to life. The neighbors are horrified.

Utah Republicans long for the good ol’ Romney days (videos) (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 21, 2016)
Republicans were giddy. The excitement was palpable; their joy unconstrained. One of their own ­— a Mormon and "Utah's favorite adopted son" — was about to take the crown as the Republican nominee for president. The Utah GOP delegates proudly offered their 40 votes for Mitt Romney but would have given more if they could.

Utah Mormons find Trump’s style and substance tough to swallow (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 21, 2016)
Members of the Utah delegation to the Republican National Convention woke up early Wednesday morning and traveled to Kirtland, Ohio, once the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before members of the faith were driven West.

Ohio Mormon prays for political leaders, enemies at GOP convention (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 21, 2016)
A Mormon lay leader offered the invocation at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, praying not only for America's leaders but also its enemies. "Please bless all of our leaders father that they may have wisdom and humility as they serve," said Nathan Johnson, the second counselor of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Kirtland Ohio Stake Presidency.

Kyle Collinsworth signs with Dallas Mavericks (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 21, 2016)
Collinsworth is one step closer to realizing his NBA dream. Collinsworth, a 6-foot-8 guard/forward and one of the best players in BYU history, signed a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Dallas Mavericks, he told The Tribune on Wednesday night.

July 20, 2016

Choir, orchestra said to have brought healing during European tour (Deseret News - Utah) (July 20, 2016)
Members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir wrapped up their three-week, central European tour Friday by re-creating a photo shoot from a 1955 tour, when their predecessors posed in front of the famous Eiffel Tower.

Elder Stevenson Throws First Pitch at Angels Game (Church News) (July 20, 2016)
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Stadium on Friday, July 15.

Pokemon Go player spots fire that destroyed Deseret Industries donations (Deseret News - Utah) (July 20, 2016)
Two storage units of donations for Deseret Industries went up in flames around 4 a.m. on July 10 in Kuna, Idaho. News station KTVB.com reported that damages are estimated to be more than $23,000. However, the situation could have been worse had an 18-year-old Pokemon Go player not found the fire and called 911.

Mormon sues Arkansas car dealership, says he was harassed, fired because of faith (Arkansas Online) (July 20, 2016)
A former salesman at Randall Ford in Fort Smith has filed a lawsuit saying he was repeatedly harassed about his religious undergarments and fired because of his faith. Richard Black, 44, of Van Buren, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to the lawsuit, which was filed June 17 in Sebastian County Circuit Court and moved to federal court on Friday. Attorneys for Randall Ford hadn't filed a response as of Tuesday afternoon.

Ann Cannon: Dear Donald Trump, a history lesson on the Mormon ‘Extermination Order’ (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 20, 2016)
The pioneers finally showed up here to get away from folks like Gov. Lilburn Boggs of Missouri, who once issued an extermination order where the Mormons were concerned. (I'm not making this up. I've attached a copy of the order in Boggs' own handwriting for you to peruse. You're welcome!)

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