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August 28, 2016

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August 26, 2016

Massive LDS relief effort responds to 'Great flood of 2016' (LDS Church News) (August 26, 2016)
Church-sponsored relief efforts are continuing in communities here still reeling from what is being called the “Great Flood of 2016.”

Bumper crop at LDS farms, orchards will feed those in need (LDS Church News) (August 26, 2016)
A warning if you’re offered a peach grown at the Church’s North Ogden Peach Orchard: Don’t take a bite without first grabbing an extra-strength, double-ply, high absorbent paper towel. The juicy peaches here can make a sticky mess of your face and fingers.

South America Northwest Area leadership change (LDS Church News) (August 26, 2016)
The First Presidency has announced the following changes to the South America Northwest Area Presidency, effective Aug. 15.

Wright Words: Young Women president who died in Idaho had eye for big moments (Deseret News - Utah) (August 26, 2016)
Pamela Rae Solomon had a keen eye. She saw people others didn’t. She saw teachable moments the rest of us might roll right by. She saw opportunities to serve God with all her heart, might, mind and strength.

Utah team forfeits Sunday game in Little League Softball World Series (Deseret News - Utah) (August 26, 2016)
It’s not every day a team gets the opportunity to play in the softball Little League World Series, but a group of 12- and 13-year-olds from Santa Clara, Utah, did. The effort and hard work of each member on the team made the experience worth it.

Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 26, 2016)
NBC News Looks at Why So Many Latinos are Latter-day Saints “The face of [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] is changing,” says NBC News reporter Raul A. Reyes in a story about Latino Latter-day Saints. Though the Church’s substantial Latino membership is not a new phenomenon, it’s important for those who still think of Latter-day Saints as a mostly American church to know that large chunks of the faith’s 15.6 million members come from countries such as Mexico (nearly 1.4 million), Brazil (1.3 million), Chile (581,000), Peru (568,000), Argentina (438,000), Guatemala (261,000) and Ecuador (234,000).

BYU Education Week: Former mission leaders offer tips for returned missionaries and their parents (Deseret News - Utah) (August 26, 2016)
Stephen D. Richardson and his wife know something about the difficulties some missionaries face as they transition home from full-time service. Brother Richardson served a mission to Brazil and returned some 35 years later to serve with his wife, Marianna E. Richardson, as he presided over the Brazil Sao Paulo North Mission from 2008-2011. In addition to their mission service, the couple has taught an institute class geared toward returned missionaries for the Alpine Utah YSA Stake since 2013.

Buses Bring Tourists to “Music and the Spoken Word” (Church News) (August 26, 2016)
A single microphone in the Tabernacle on Temple Square was the main piece of recording equipment that carried the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Music and the Spoken Word program on its first radio broadcast on July 15, 1929. For 87 years the program has been broadcast on the radio, making it one of the longest running programs in the United States. Then in 1962 the broadcast also started appearing on television.

2 more LDS missionaries to be deported from Russia (KUTV - Utah) (August 26, 2016)
Two more LDS missionaries are set to be deported from Russia Friday, 2News has learned. This makes a total of six young men and women -- now referred to as volunteers -- who have been forced to leave the country after getting detained by police.

New article of faith for these Mormons: We believe Trump should never be president (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 26, 2016)
A grass-roots coalition of Mormons has joined the "never-Trump" movement. More than 100 Latter-day Saints — "single, married, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, teachers, scholars, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, artists, authors ... Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Social Democrats" — have signed an online statement, agreeing that the "threat posed by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump supersedes party boundaries."

Commentary: Religious traditionalists and LGBT activists should rein in their passions and compromise (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 26, 2016)
Lawyers, philosophers and all those who have seen the 2001 movie "Legally Blonde" know Aristotle's famous saying: "Law is reason free from passion." In the legal clashes over LGBT rights and religious liberty, passions run high, what's "reasonable" is hotly contested, and the law is unsettled. A proposed bill in California shows how contentious and contradictory our most-cherished rights and liberties can be. It also reveals that compromise between LGBT rights advocates and religious traditionalists is possible.

Has the 2016 election produced a political 'Mormon Moment'? (Deseret News - Utah) (August 26, 2016)
There’s been so much attention recently on how Utah and members of the LDS Church feel about politics that we may in fact be experiencing a smaller-scale "Mormon Moment.” Back during the 2012 presidential campaign, Time magazine asked whether or not Mitt Romney’s nomination to run for president signaled the beginning of a Mormon moment in pop culture. Romney’s time in the national spotlight came as “The Book of Mormon” musical rose to popularity on Broadway.

Editorial: Big 12 expansion should leave BYU behind (Iowa State Daily) (August 26, 2016)
The Big 12 Conference may soon hold true to its name and consist of 12 universities. The conference, currently made up of 10 teams, has been exploring the possibility of expanding to 12 or 14 teams by the end of the year. BYU, a private, religious institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has formally requested to join the Big 12 Conference, which presents an ethical dilemma for the conference.

August 25, 2016

University of Utah Names Historic Building After President Monson (LDS Newsroom) (August 25, 2016)
A historic mansion in downtown Salt Lake City has been renamed the Thomas S. Monson Center after the current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormons Around the World Country Newsroom Websites August 24, 2016 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 25, 2016)
Mormon missionaries, who are most often seen in their white shirts and ties for the men and dresses and skirts for the women, changed into work clothes to battle a yard threatened by the flora of the local jungle.

Mormon missionaries, members safe and well after major Italian earthquake (Deseret News - Utah) (August 25, 2016)
All Mormon missionaries in Italy and all LDS Church members there are alive and well after a powerful earthquake killed at least 120 people in central Italy early Wednesday morning.

In our opinion: Response to attack on LDS Church's immigration stance (Deseret News - Utah) (August 25, 2016)
On Saturday, former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo wrote a column for the conservative website Breitbart accusing LDS “church leadership” of suffering “an episode of moral incoherence” with regard to immigration, stating that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports a policy of “open borders.”

LDS Church History Museum announces new online art exhibit focusing on Christ's visit to the Americas (Deseret News - Utah) (August 25, 2016)
The Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will launch a new online art exhibit titled "'Behold My Beloved Son:' The Savior in the Americas," on Wednesday, Aug. 24, according to a news release.

Venezuela says this Mormon honeymooner is a gun-toting terrorist (Washington Post) (August 25, 2016)
In many ways, politics in Venezuela increasingly resembles politics in North Korea. An authoritarian and corrupt government consolidates power as food supplies dwindle and political opponents are thrown in jail. Problems at home are blamed on a favorite external scapegoat: the United States. To be an American and travel in either country is to risk becoming an unwitting pawn in that propaganda ploy.

Donald Trump’s ‘Mormon Problem’ overstated, Utah backer says (Fox 13 - Utah) (August 25, 2016)
The discussion of Donald Trump's "Mormon Problem," took a turn this week with an opinion piece published on Breitbart.com. The essay, by former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, suggests that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' stance on immigration is the reason for Trump's poor performance in communities with large Mormon populations.

August 24, 2016

Sapporo Japan Temple youth cultural celebration: 'Becoming the Light of the World' (LDS Church News) (August 24, 2016)
In the mid 1920s, Tamano Kumagai — who had accepted the gospel in her teens — learned the mission in Japan was closing and that Latter-day Saint missionaries were going home.

The Future of the Mormon Church? It's Latino (NBC News) (August 24, 2016)
The face of the Mormon church is changing. On a soggy afternoon in Harlem, in New York City, a group of Latinos gather for their weekly church service. As the rain streams down outside, the mood inside the meeting house is cozy and welcoming. An elderly woman waves to a little girl seated nearby, saying "Hola chiquitita!" There is an abundance of small children, as well as a few Caucasians listening to the Spanish-language service with audio translation headphones.

Mormons in the Rio Olympics: 5 medals for LDS athletes in the Summer Games (Deseret News - Utah) (August 24, 2016)
Mormon athletes in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro took home a gold medal in water polo, one silver in shot put and three bronze medals in weightlifting, volleyball and rugby.

Judge puts subpoena of LDS Church president on hold (Fox 13) (August 24, 2016)
A federal judge has put a subpoena for testimony from LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson on hold while other issues in a series of sex abuse lawsuits against the church are decided.

LDS Alabama moms run Book of Mormon camp for 70 kids (Deseret News - Utah) (August 24, 2016)
Bible camp is nothing new for those living in the South. It's common for children to attend summer programs, often hosted by churches, where they learn more about the scriptures. So when LDS friends Jill Norris and Jennifer Wright had the idea of creating a Book of Mormon camp, they found immediate success.

Utah Regional Music Workshop to Provide Music Training (Church News) (August 24, 2016)
A free Utah regional music workshop, “Come Let Us Rejoice,” will be Saturday, September 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Layton, Utah. This workshop for adults and youth ages 12 years and older will be held in several LDS meetinghouses in East Layton. Members from stakes from Centerville to Clearfield are invited to attend. The workshop includes classes for adults with music-related callings, inspiring music instruction, and a youth fireside.

‘Freedom of religion’ isn’t same as ‘freedom to worship’ — just ask Catholic priests or Mormon apostles (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 24, 2016)
Few would be upset — or even notice — the subtle difference between "freedom of religion" and "freedom to worship and believe." But the Rev. Thomas Reese sure noticed when the Democratic Party's initial platform proposed the latter phrase instead of the former.

August 23, 2016

Star Valley LDS Temple open house tickets now available (East Idaho News) (August 23, 2016)
Open house tickets have been announced for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stay Valley Temple. According to Kirk Dana, Star Valley Temple Public Affairs Director, tickets for the public open house, which runs from Sept. 23 – Oct. 8, became available Wednesday, August 17.

'Mormons Helping Hands' brings thousands to the Northshore for crisis clean up (WWL - Louisiana) (August 23, 2016)
Thousands of Latter-day Saints flocked to the Northshore last weekend to volunteer in the clean-up efforts following major flooding over several parishes in southern Louisiana. Operation "Mormon Helping Hands" based its operations out of churches in Hammond, Baker and Baton Rouge.

Running Nerd: The U.S. marathoner who is also a statistics professor (NBC Olympics) (August 23, 2016)
When Corbin Kaufusi signed up for Professor Jared Ward’s STAT 240: Discrete Probability class at BYU, he had no idea that he would be taught by such an accomplished runner. Kaufusi, a 6-foot-10 junior who plays both basketball and football for the Cougars, knew that Ward was a former student-athlete at BYU. He also noticed that Ward often wore new running shoes to class. But Ward rarely used sports metaphors in his lectures, and never talked about his own races.

'Studio C' Cast to Appear in Live Broadcast for Mormon Youth (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 23, 2016)
Youth will be able to ask the cast of BYUtv’s comedy show “Studio C” questions before and during a live event hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 19, 2016. All 10 cast members, who are members of the Church, will participate with two youth hosts in the worldwide broadcast, which will be available on the LDS Youth YouTube channel beginning at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

In letter, Utah man jailed in Venezuela elaborates on "nightmare" experience (KUTV - Utah) (August 23, 2016)
In a letter from a Venezuela jail, a Utah man compares his incarceration to a “lake of fire and brimstone” and maintains his innocence. “It feels like the pressure of the world is weighing down upon my chest,” wrote Josh Holt, 24, of Riverton. “My heart feels like it is swollen and about to burst.”

Steve Young's football career to be chronicled in both documentary and book (Deseret News - Utah) (August 23, 2016)
BYU and San Francisco 49ers fans looking to reminisce about Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young will have a couple options coming their way in October. LDS author Jeff Benedict worked together with Young on a sports memoir that chronicles the former quarterback's life, titled "QB: My life behind the spiral." The book's expected release date is Oct. 11.

August 22, 2016

Sapporo Japan Temple Dedicated in Three Sessions (LDS Newsroom) (August 22, 2016)
President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formally dedicated the Sapporo Japan Temple in three dedicatory sessions Sunday, August 21, 2016.

Sapporo Japan Temple Is a Fulfillment of Repeated Prophecy (Church News) (August 22, 2016)
The Sapporo Japan Temple—dedicated in three sessions on August 21 by President Russell M. Nelson—is the result of decades of faith and sacrifice by Latter-day Saint pioneers in Hokkaido, who never doubted a temple would one day be built on Japan’s second largest island.

Elder Stevenson Is “Especially Blessed” to Participate in Japan Sapporo Temple Dedication (Church News) (August 22, 2016)
Elder Gary E. Stevenson remembers the Sunday in August 1975 when he and his missionary companion were the only people attending sacrament meeting in the small branch in Amami Oshima, Japan. All the other members in the area had traveled to a regional conference in Tokyo.

The Atlantic: Keeping Faith Without Hurting LGBT Students (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 22, 2016)
Writing at The Atlantic about the ongoing debate involving gay rights and religious freedom, Alan Noble says governments should allow Christian colleges to maintain their standards and schools should be more empathetic toward those who disagree.

Mormonism Online: In Your Own Words (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 22, 2016)
The public open house for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple has drawn tens of thousands of visitors to the first Mormon temple in the Keystone State.

VIDEO: How Mentors Help Refugees (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 22, 2016)
The uphill climb Chantal faced upon relocating to America was steep, as it is for any refugee. From learning a new language to acclimating to a new culture, she wouldn't be able to do it alone. Fortunately, she had mentors in her community who helped her adjust to new surroundings and taught her some of contemporary American life's basic skills that many of us hardly give a thought to, such as how to bake a cake.

LDS youth leader drowns on rafting trip (Deseret News - Utah) (August 22, 2016)
A West Jordan woman drowned in a rafting accident during an LDS youth trip to the Snake River in Idaho. Pamela Solomon, 54, was on a trip Thursday with a youth group from a congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when she fell from the raft, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said Saturday.

Paraglider killed after crashing into LDS church building (Deseret News - Utah) (August 22, 2016)
A paraglider died when he crashed into an LDS church building Sunday morning, Draper police reported. The pilot was Jim H. Petersen, 57, of Bluffdale, according to police. Crews responded to a report of the crash at 8:55 a.m., just five minutes before services at the church building near 272 E. Traverse Point Road were about to begin, said Draper Police Sgt. Chad Carpenter.

Hal Boyd: Gary Johnson says Mitt Romney would be 'guaranteed' a spot in his administration (Deseret News - Utah) (August 22, 2016)
On Friday, former Gov. Gary Johnson offered a guarantee. “If Mitt Romney wants to be a part of the administration, that would be a guarantee.” The comments came at Friday’s joint Deseret News-KSL editorial board meeting with Johnson and Bill Weld.

6 Mormon missionaries detained in Russia amid visa questions (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 22, 2016)
Six Mormon missionaries, now known in Russia simply as "volunteers," were detained briefly about two weeks ago by authorities in that nation's Samara region due to questions about their visas, the Utah-based LDS Church reported Friday. They were held for a "few hours," said Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Three of the volunteers have been reassigned to another Russian-speaking mission outside of the country because of technicalities related to their visas."

Out of Africa and into the heart of Mormondom — Swahili LDS branch offers wounded souls new hope while battling old demons (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 22, 2016)
Suppose you are sitting on a standard Mormon pew in a nondescript, windowless LDS chapel in Sugar House and the person who passes you the sacramental water is a Rwandan Hutu, whose clan killed your parents. Or maybe you are listening to a Mormon Sunday school lesson on forgiveness taught by a guy on the other side of Congo's civil war you barely escaped. You might even be asked to take a casserole to someone who stole food from you during a drought in Tanzania.

New Utah-born volunteer network has big goal: Stop gay Mormons, other LGBT youths from killing themselves (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 22, 2016)
The most important — and difficult — thing to do is deliver this hard question: Are you having thoughts of suicide? But it must be asked, insists Rachel Peterson, co-founder of LGBTQ Youth Continuum of Care. "The first time you ask someone this, it will be scary," she says. "The fear is that you are putting an idea in their head, but, almost always, they are already having those thoughts."

August 19, 2016

LDS Church developing web page to educate Mormons so they can defend religious freedom (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
The LDS Church is developing a website to help Mormons understand society's retreat from religion and provide practical help for talking with friends about the importance of religious freedom.

Church Announces Dates of 2017 Churchwide Events (Church News) (August 19, 2016)
Whether we want to believe it or not, 2017 is right around the corner. Regardless of your calling, you may want to get your calendar out and make note of these important dates the Church released August 18 in a letter to bishops, stake presidents, and other leaders from the First Presidency.

Be a pioneer of technology in an LDS ward or branch, encourages BYU Education Week presenter (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
PROVO — Going back as far as Brigham Young, LDS Church leaders have prophesied for decades about inspired advancements in technology and how these miracles will hasten the Lord's work in preparation for the second coming. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints armed with smartphones, tablets, laptops, projectors and other devices have become pioneers in using technology to teach the gospel, said Ron J. Schwendiman, director of publishing product management for Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, who taught a series of classes on "Teaching the Gospel in a Digital World" at BYU's Campus Education Week.

LDS women mine precious 'medal' in Rio (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
Several Latter-day Saint Olympians are returning home with travel bags that are a bit heavier than when they arrived in Rio. New Zealand’s Valerie Adams and Sarah Robles of the United States are hauling some heavy “medal.” Neither woman will have much trouble hefting the extra weight. Both demonstrated remarkable physical and “mettle” strength to earn spots on their respective Olympic podiums.

Self-discipline and sleep: LDS author Randal Wright teaches importance of rising early at BYU Education Week (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
Upon receiving his call as a new general authority, Elder Marion G. Romney asked advice from Harold B. Lee, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, on how to be successful as a general authority. “If you are to be successful as a General Authority, you will need to be inspired,” Elder Lee said. “You will need to receive revelation. I will give you one piece of advice: Go to bed early and get up early.”

Examining the Book of Mormon text: Scholars present findings (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project, a multi-volume work that aims to establish the original English language text of the Book of Mormon to the extent it can be discovered and to determine the history of the text, was the subject of a FairMormon Conference presentation.

BYU relaxes policy for students who petition to stay without Mormon bishop’s OK (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
Brigham Young University has relaxed the rules for students petitioning to remain on campus after shedding their Mormon faith. And those students may now choose whether to allow the school, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to talk about them with church leaders.

Retired LDS Church lobbyist joins board of LGBT Mormon support group (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
After retiring from a long career of representing the LDS Church's interests on Utah's Capitol Hill, lobbyist Bill Evans is joining the board of Affirmation, a support group for LGBT Mormons. Evans' work as a "straight ally" began during his collaboration with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists in fall 2009, when Salt Lake City was working with various groups "to develop and promote a new civil rights ordinance" for the capital city, Affirmation President John Gustav-Wrathall said in a news release Thursday. "He was astonished by the graciousness of those activists toward him even after acknowledging his role in the LDS Church's Prop 8 campaign [in California]," which defined marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

LDS youth wears Young Women pendant on national TV (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
On Saturday, July 30, LDS youth in Brazil participated in a special devotional in preparation for the world convening in their country for the XXXI Olympiad (see Church News Aug. 14 edition, pp. 6-7). General Authority Seventies offered remarks and several youth performed musical selections. Among them was 14-year-old Nicole Luz, who is already a familiar face to many Brazilians.

Emeritus General Authority Seventy pays tribute to father (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2016)
The greatest teacher in my life was my father. The great share of what I know about the gospel I learned from him. As he poured everything he had into his children he was constantly teaching, even when he did not know he was teaching. The dinner table was a teaching institution. Father brought to the table current events, vocabulary words, and especially the history and doctrines of the Church for discussion. For the Sunday meal we were all to remain in our Sunday clothes. Often a visitor had been invited to join us and Father wanted us to learn from him. The visitors came from all walks of life and even included university presidents and Church leaders. In more recent years one of the current members of the Twelve Apostles kindly said, “I would like to have sat around your father’s table.”

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