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April 24, 2014

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April 23, 2014

Church “Because of Him” Easter Message Reaches Millions (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 23, 2014)
A weeklong social media effort by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to share the Easter story and to give hope through Jesus Christ received worldwide attention.

Pres. Uchtdorf visits Provo MTC, delivers an Easter message (LDS Church News) (April 23, 2014)
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – the most remarkable event in the history of the world — created a way for all people to receive eternal life. Also, it transformed a band of frightened, worried disciples into a dynamic group of fearless missionaries who changed the world.

Florida Governor Visits Fort Lauderdale Temple (LDS Newsroom) (April 23, 2014)
Florida Governor Rick Scott toured the new Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with members of Florida’s congressional delegation, American Jewish Committee leaders in south Florida and local religious leaders.

Volunteers Make Mesa Easter Pageant Possible (Church News) (April 23, 2014)
Presenting the annual outdoor Mesa Easter Pageant, titled Jesus the Christ, could not happen without the hundreds of volunteers—on and off the stage—that make it all possible. Each one has personal, testimony-building experiences in helping to present the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ through music, dance, and drama on a massive stage on the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple. For many, that motivates them to return year after year.

No. 1 on two charts, 'He is Risen' latest hit from Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Deseret News - Utah) (April 23, 2014)
"He is Risen," the latest album by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square, moved to the top of two Billboard Top 100 charts this week. Released on April 1, "He is Risen" jumped from fourth to first on the Classical Albums chart. It passed Il Divo's "A Musical Affair: The Greatest Songs From The World's Favourite Musicals," "Rumi Symphony Project: Untold," by Hafez Nazeri and "Lent at Ephesus," by Benedictines Of Mary, Queen Of Apostles.

Added Links Help You Get More out of Sunday School (Church News) (April 23, 2014)
Preparing for Sunday School just got easier thanks to an enhanced version of the Old Testament Class Member Study Guide. The Church released the new study guide to help members better prepare for and understand class material, as well as enhance their personal and family study of the gospel.

Mormon group buys 143 acres in Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay Business Journal - Florida) (April 23, 2014)
Farmland Reserve Inc., a non-profit group affiliated with the Mormon Church, bought 143 acres of state-owned land in Hillsborough County. The land includes two non-contiguous parcels between U.S. 41 and Interstate 75, south of the Little Manatee River, the Tampa Tribune said. The sale for $803,000 was approved by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet.

Mormon Helping Hands Day Of Service To Support Santa Clarita Schools (KHTS Radio - California) (April 23, 2014)
More than 80,000 volunteers are expected to extend a helping hand to support West Coast communities on Saturday. Officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are participating in service projects to clean up, paint and landscape 10 schools sites under the direction of the Saugus Union School District, as part of the Mormon Helping Hands Day of Service.

A pioneer life, today (San Antonio Express-News - Texas) (April 23, 2014)
Sean Smith, 17, packed a few changes of clothing, a flashlight, multi-tool and water bottle in a backpack and prepared to experience life as a pioneer. He left his cell phone and laptop at home. They wouldn't be needed where he was going. Sean is a youth member of the San Antonio West Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his mother joined more than 220 members for the church's three-day Pioneer Trek at McGimsey Scout Park.

Book Review: 'American Crucifixion' by Alex Beam (Wall Street Journal - New York) (April 23, 2014)
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism and that religion's chief prophet until his death in 1844, was many things: tireless, intelligent, personally magnetic. But humble he was not. "I am above the kingdoms of the world," he said. "I have no laws." When a visitor to Nauvoo, the Illinois city that Smith founded and ruled, asked if it wasn't dangerous to place municipal power almost exclusively in the hands of one man, he replied: "In your hands, or that of any other person, so much power would, no doubt, be dangerous. I am the only man in the world it would be safe to trust with it."

S.L. father-son team gets U-Turned, comes in 4th during 8th leg of 'The Amazing Race' (Deseret News - Utah) (April 23, 2014)
Salt Lake father-son team Dave and Connor O’Leary were targeted by one team but helped two other teams, including one they U-Turned, in the eighth leg of “The Amazing Race: All Stars,” which took teams to the Italian countryside during Sunday’s episode.

Start spreading the news: A 2nd Mormon musical hits New York (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 23, 2014)
Will another show about wacky Latter-day Saints attract the same size New York audiences as the Tony-award winning "Book of Mormon" musical? Not likely, but creators of "Missionary in Manhattan: A Mormon Musical" seem to be having fun.

April 21, 2014

Tabernacle Choir performs Handel's 'Messiah' for Easter Concert (Deseret News - Utah) (April 21, 2014)
In the eyes of an adoring public, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has owned Handel’s “Messiah” at least since the choir’s landmark 1959 best-selling recording of the oratorio in collaboration with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, an album placed by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry in 2005.

Hallelujah! Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrates Easter with a powerful ‘Messiah’ (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 21, 2014)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir served a musical feast on Easter weekend: Handel’s "Messiah" in all its unabridged glory. Music director Mack Wilberg prepared a new edition of the venerable oratorio for the occasion. This was necessary to allow his 360-voice choir and large orchestra of mostly strings to sound more light and nimble, in keeping with current performance trends.

Church Easter Video Hits 3 Million YouTube Views (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 21, 2014)
A weeklong social media effort by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to share the Easter story and to give hope through Jesus Christ is getting worldwide attention. The initiative, titled “Because of Him,” includes a YouTube video released in 20 languages that has been viewed more than 3.4 million times since it was posted on Palm Sunday, 13 April 2014. The video hit 1 million views on Wednesday and jumped to 2 million views on Thursday. English, Spanish and Portuguese have been the most popular versions of the video.

Mesa Easter Pageant (LDS Church News) (April 21, 2014)
Presenting the annual outdoor Mesa Easter Pageant, titled “Jesus the Christ,” could not happen without the hundreds of volunteers – on and off the stage – that make it all possible. Each one has personal, testimony-building experiences in helping to present the life, ministry and mission of Jesus Christ through music, dance and drama on a massive stage on the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple. For many, that motivates them to return year after year.

Chart of General Authorities and General Officers of the Church (LDS Church News) (April 21, 2014)
In the April 20 edition of Church News, a chart was published showing current General Authorities and General Officers of the Church.

Annual project by LDS churches in Raleigh helps fuel Food Bank (Eastern Wake News - North Carolina) (April 21, 2014)
The nine Raleigh branches of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are now in their seventh year uniting on what they call a month of service. It’s not a month-long church service. It is the LDS Church Raleigh stake’s version of a Day of Service project that raises food and funds to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. The project also helps supply the food bank with other goods to help keep families afloat.

Bountiful LDS mothers, daughters help collect, assemble food packs for children (Deseret News - Utah) (April 21, 2014)
Activity Day girls and their mothers from the Bountiful Utah Heights Stake helped to assemble 700-plus Pantry Packs on Thursday, April 17, that will be distributed to at-risk children in Davis County through the Bountiful Community Food Pantry during coming weeks.

April 19, 2014

First Presidency Easter Message (LDS Church News) (April 19, 2014)
Jesus Christ was the promised Redeemer of the world, the Savior of mankind, the Son of the living God. He was with His Father before He came to earth in mortality, the Creator of the earth upon which we stand.

'Because of Him': LDS video on Christ surpasses 2.6 million YouTube views (Deseret News - Utah) (April 19, 2014)
Posted online at the beginning of the week — Palm Sunday — the YouTube Easter video at the center of a large LDS Church media campaign surpassed 2.6 million views in five days. The number of people who watch the "Because of Him" video may spike on Easter Sunday due to a major media buy.

10 Ways to Help You Focus on Christ This Easter (Church News) (April 19, 2014)
The Church’s websites offer several resources that can help you and your family focus on Jesus Christ this Easter. The following are just a few suggestions: 1. Feel inspired through beautiful images and music as you watch and listen to the Tabernacle Choir video “He Is Risen.”

BYU Easter Conference (LDS Church News) (April 19, 2014)
Brigham Young University’s annual Easter Conference, with messages focused on the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection, drew more than 1,300 people to the campus April 11. The event, sponsored by BYU Religious Education and the Religious Studies Center, included three speakers: Elaine S. Dalton, Lloyd D. Newell and D. Kelly Ogden. Each shared an Easter message with insight into the Savior’s life, Atonement and Resurrection.

Mormons to celebrate the Resurrection (Lancaster Online - Pennsylvania) (April 19, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will celebrate the resurrection of Christ in sacrament meetings on Easter. Delbert W. and Mary Lou Ellsworth, of Marietta, will worship with the Elizabethtown Ward, or congregation, at the meetinghouse at 1136 Sunwood Lane at 9 a.m. Sunday. The Lititz ward will meet there at 11 a.m., and the Lancaster and Ephrata wards will meet at 9 and 11 a.m., respectively, at 1210 E. King St. The public is invited.

Miracles found at new temple in Florida (LDS Church News) (April 19, 2014)
Tens of thousands of people have visited the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple during the temple open house March 29-April 19. Curiosity drew most visitors to the edifice. Some simply wanted to tour its placid ordinance rooms and halls and enjoy the surrounding gardens. Others had interest in learning what will soon happen inside the new structure.

Mormon bishop to speak at SCSU (SC Times - Minnesota) (April 19, 2014)
Bishop Gérald Caussé will preside over and speak at a two-day conference of the St. Cloud Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at St. Cloud State University on Easter Sunday.

Bountiful LDS mothers, daughters help collect, assemble food packs for children (Deseret News - Utah) (April 19, 2014)
Activity Day girls and their mothers from the Bountiful Utah Heights Stake helped to assemble 700-plus Pantry Packs on Thursday, April 17, that will be distributed to at-risk children in Davis County through the Bountiful Community Food Pantry during coming weeks.

Orozco: Mormons again lend helping hands (Fresno Bee - California) (April 19, 2014)
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the central San Joaquin Valley again will perform community services projects in conjunction with the annual Mormon Helping Hands Day of Service statewide efforts. Today, April 19, Valley LDS members will clean up the Fancher Creek Trail, make improvements to the recreation area at Avocado Lake and paint a long, wooden fence along the Armstrong Avenue greenway in Clovis from Shaw to Bullard avenues.

Mormons Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites | 18 April (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 19, 2014)
People in Tonga continue to recover from the devastation of Cyclone Ian, which hit in January this year. The storm affected thousands of people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

New mission presidents (LDS Church News) (April 19, 2014)
Jeffrey Randall Smith, 59, and Karen Teresa Bone Smith, six children, Rock Canyon Ward, Provo Utah Edgemont South Stake: Japan Sendai Mission, succeeding President Gary D. Rasmussen and Sister Pamela L. Rasmussen. Brother Smith is a former counselor in a stake presidency, bishop, MTC branch president, high councilor and missionary in the Japan Fukuoka/Japan West Mission. Orthopedic surgeon, Intermountain Healthcare. Born in Provo, Utah, to Wilford Emery Smith and Ruth Christensen Smith.

New temple presidents (LDS Church News) (April 19, 2014)
Six temple presidents and their wives have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service later this year.

LDS Church 50th anniversary celebration today (Baxter Bulletin - Missouri) (April 19, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will celebrate 50 years in Mountain Home at 2:30 p.m. today at the church, 100 Western Hills Loop. The anniversary event includes an open house, family history information and free community pig roast with sides and dessert.

Returned Mormon missionary, BYU transfer Baker Pritchard playing at Oregon State with new outlook (Deseret News - Utah) (April 19, 2014)
Baker Pritchard, a returned Mormon missionary, has been participating in spring football practices with Oregon State this month. The BYU transfer was featured in an article by Connor Letourneau in the Oregonian this week. The article touches on Pritchard's decision to transfer, his LDS mission in Hawaii, and his opportunity to play for the Beavers.

With Fawn McKay Brodie, there was little neutrality among Mormons (Standard-Examiner - Utah) (April 19, 2014)
Next year, it'll be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Fawn McKay in Weber County. It's pretty safe to say that there is no one left who witnessed the extremely intelligent Huntsville youngster who moved through college in her mid-teens and was teaching English at Weber College by age 19. Even today, there's precious little neutrality among Mormons over Fawn McKay, who later, as Fawn Brodie, published "No Man Knows My History," a biography of the Mormon church founder Joseph Smith.

April 18, 2014

Church Easter Video Hits 2 Million YouTube Views (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 18, 2014)
A weeklong social media effort by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to share the Easter story and to give hope through Jesus Christ is getting worldwide attention.

Mormons launch Holy Week media campaign about Christ (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 18, 2014)
No doubt Mormons tire of insisting that, yes, they are Christians (despite what some Christians say). They almost instinctively point to their religion’s official name — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — as proof.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrates Easter weekend with highly anticipated 'Messiah' concert (Deseret News - Utah) (April 18, 2014)
The highly anticipated "Messiah" concert from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will occur this Easter weekend on Friday and Saturday night. The Choir announced additional options for viewing the Easter event after tickets for the live concert in the Tabernacle sold out on less than 10 minutes.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir to carry on tradition of Handel's 'Messiah' (Deseret News - Utah) (April 18, 2014)
George Frideric Handel composed the music for his oratorio “Messiah" in the summer of 1741. Since then, the 260-page manuscript has had a lasting impact on the world of Christianity. Although “Messiah” performances are most common during the Christmas season, Handel’s work was originally created for an Easter benefit concert. Now, nearly 275 years after that first performance, music groups around the globe continue to celebrate the life of Jesus Christ through the songs of “Messiah.”

My Decision: Why I made the difficult choice to leave Duke for the NBA (Sports Illustrated) (April 18, 2014)
After losing in the NCAA tournament, I needed to clear my mind. I was incredibly disappointed and blamed myself. I didn't watch basketball or go to the gym for several days. But I soon realized the real test is how we handle defeat and I laced my shoes and headed to the student rec center to play some pick-up. It reminded me of how much I loved the game, but it was only a temporary reprieve. As soon as I got back, I turned my attention to one of the hardest decisions I've had to make up to this point in my life: whether to remain in school or enter the NBA draft.

Jeff Benedict: Jabari Parker announces decision to turn pro in first-person essay for SI.com (Deseret News - Utah) (April 18, 2014)
Today, Duke University freshman Jabari Parker announced his decision to enter the 2014 NBA draft. His 1,300-word essay on SI.com marks the first time a student-athlete has declared his intention to leave college for the pro ranks by writing a first-person account with Sports Illustrated. Typically, announcements of this nature are done through press conference or press releases. But Jabari is not typical.

Jabari Parker Jumps to NBA Instead of Leaving on Mormon Mission (Liberty Voice - Nevada) (April 18, 2014)
Jabari Parker announced on Thursday that instead of leaving for his Mormon mission or returning for his sophomore year at Duke, he will make the jump to the NBA. The five-star recruit out of Simeon Career Academy in Chicago has been the center of attention since high school, being named the National High School Player of the Year, as well as being chosen as a consensus first-team All American during his freshmen year at Duke University.

Elder Russell Nelson of Quorum of Twelve Apostles to Visit Santa Maria LDS Stake (Noozhawk - California) (April 18, 2014)
Elder Russell Nelson of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will visit members of the Santa Maria LDS Stake at 908 Sierra Madre Ave. in Santa Maria from 9 to 10:30 a.m. this Sunday, April 20.

State urged to sell farmland in Hillsborough (Tampa Tribune - Florida) (April 18, 2014)
A Mormon Church-affiliated firm is in line to purchase 142 acres of vacant land in Hillsborough County from the state, with the money potentially helping Florida’s future efforts to preserve environmentally sensitive land. State staff has recommended Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet approve the $803,000 sale Tuesday of two noncontiguous parcels to Farmland Reserve Inc., a corporate entity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Hamson may need 'hook' in WNBA (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 18, 2014)
BYU senior center Jennifer Hamson has never really needed to develop a hook shot, since at 6-foot-7 she’s generally been significantly taller than most of her competition. But with the Los Angeles Sparks drafting Hamson with the 23rd overall pick in Monday’s WNBA draft, that might change. Sparks executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler said during a phone interview Tuesday that there is someone in the organization who might be able to help.

Atheists, Mormons hash it out in religious give-and-take (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 18, 2014)
Is a religion like Mormonism fundamentally a force for good, or a "poison" that "deserves to die"? Those were the two opposing views presented Wednesday night during a panel discussion at the downtown Salt Lake City Main Library. On one side, American Atheists President David Silverman and author, ex-Mormon and ex-polygamist Joanne Hanks argued that religion basically brainwashes its members. Silverman, in particular, came out swinging, repeatedly describing the faithful as "victims" of their respective religions.

Are Atheists the New Mormons? (Daily Beast) (April 18, 2014)
It’s a bit like holding the Republican National Convention in Berkeley: this weekend, the American Atheists are gathering in Salt Lake City for their annual conclave. Attendees can hear a keynote speech by outspoken former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, attend workshops with titles like “So you want to debate Christians?” and mingle during a karaoke night and a costume dinner.

LDS youth enjoy dancing and socializing at ‘Simply Prom’ (Observer - Texas) (April 18, 2014)
Twinkling lights hung from the ceiling and loud music echoed through the building as local teens joined with many others in the Houston area to dance at “Simply Prom,” a special no-cost formal dance focused on creating a positive environment for youth ages 16 and up. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsored the event at their Bering Street building. Teens came from many congregations in the Houston area to dance and make friends with other young people who hold the same standards of modest dress and behavior.

April 17, 2014

Mormon Leader: Resolve Differences With Mutual Understanding (LDS Newsroom) (April 17, 2014)
When religious freedom and nondiscrimination interests collide, we should seek “effective ways to resolve differences without anger or contention and with mutual understanding and accommodation.” That was Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s encouragement tonight at Utah Valley University’s Center for Constitutional Studies, where he was named one of the center’s honorary fellows.

Strength of religious freedom must be built in US courts, LDS leader says (KSL - Utah) (April 17, 2014)
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will give the keynote address at Utah Valley University's Spring Constitutional Symposium on Religious Freedom. In an interview with KSL Newsradio’s Amanda Dickson and Grant Nielsen, he said he won't be speaking as a leader of the LDS Church, but as an interested, knowledgeable citizen concerned about the condition of democracy and free speech in the United States of America.

The Book of Mormon claims No. 1 spot on list of life-changing books (Deseret News - Utah) (April 17, 2014)
The Book of Mormon climbed to the top of a list of life-changing books from BestBookRead.com this week, thanks to user votes and social media interaction. Vishen Lakhiani, founder and CEO of Mindvalley, was inspired to create the interactive list after talking with his friends.

BYU-Idaho: 'Living a benevolent life' (LDS Church News) (April 17, 2014)
“As you complete your formal education here at BYU-Idaho, you by no means have to put a period on your learning. You will continue to learn your entire life.” This was part of the counsel and instruction Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy gave as he spoke during the winter semester commencement at Brigham Young University-Idaho on April 11.

BYU-Hawaii: 'In His strength I can do all things' (LDS Church News) (April 17, 2014)
As individuals trust in the Lord and in Heavenly Father, they are able to do anything required of them, Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy told 460 Brigham Young University-Hawaii graduates during commencement exercises on April 12.

LDS Business College: 'Life is what we make it' (LDS Church News) (April 17, 2014)
Life is what you make it, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Seventy told LDS Business College graduates during commencement exercises held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on April 11. “You can write your own story and choose the kind of person you want to be," he said. "Your attitude about every circumstance that confronts you in life will determine just who and what you become. Your life will be exactly what you make it."

Church Provides Furniture to Utah Ronald McDonald House (LDS Newsroom) (April 17, 2014)
Humanitarian outreach by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is benefitting many people throughout the country through dozens of non-profit organizations in Utah and surrounding states. Donations range from assistance for the homeless to those in drug treatment programs to families in need of temporary shelter.

The story behind the missionary reality TV show, 'The District' (Deseret News - Utah) (April 17, 2014)
Elder J. Tyler Christensen saw his opportunity and didn’t hesitate. “From what you have been telling us, over and over again, is your willingness to follow Jesus Christ,” said Christensen, whose eyes were fixed on a stout young man with curly black hair. “Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?”

LDS convert and influential friend reunite after 55 years (Deseret News - Utah) (April 17, 2014)
Having been born into a family void of religious instruction, I didn't know the love of my Father in heaven and his keen awareness of me as a young man. This knowledge came as a result of joining the Army as an 18-year-old fresh out of high school. While in the U.S. Army stationed at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., in 1954, I met Dee Halladay.

Picturing history: Washington Park, Quincy, Ill. (Deseret News - Utah) (April 17, 2014)
One of the most uplifting stories in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that of the kindness shown by the citizens of Quincy, Ill., to the Mormon refugees who had been driven from the state of Missouri in the winter of 1838-39. Although some of the suffering Saints were taken into the homes of the locals, there were many more Mormons than local residents of Quincy. Consequently, a good number of the Latter-day Saints had to stay outside. Many of them set up a camp in what is now Washington Park in downtown Quincy.

Defending the Faith: 'Preach the gospel always; if necessary, use words' (Deseret News - Utah) (April 17, 2014)
President Spencer W. Kimball’s remarks on “The Gospel Vision of the Arts” thrilled many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of my generation.

Neon Trees’ Tyler Glenn proud to be gay and Mormon (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 17, 2014)
KISS may have been on the cover of the April 10 issue of Rolling Stone, but the most eye-opening headline — at least for those in Utah — was the one on Gene Simmons’ right thigh that proclaimed: "Gay, Mormon & Finally Out." It led readers to page 46 and a story about Tyler Glenn, the frontman for Neon Trees, Utah’s most prominent band.

April 16, 2014

President Uchtdorf, Other Faith Leaders Meet With President Obama on Immigration (LDS Newsroom) (April 16, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today reaffirmed its position on immigration as the White House met with religious leaders to discuss immigration reform.

LDS leader, Obama meet to push for immigration reform (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
A top LDS Church official joined fellow faith leaders to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, urging action on immigration reform that has so far stalled in Congress. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas S. Monson, said outside the White House that he’s hopeful for a break in the partisan logjam preventing meaningful reform.

LDS Church reaffirms stance on immigration (Deseret News - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
Congress has a window of opportunity to approve common-sense immigration reform and should act, faith leaders, including President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Tuesday after meeting with President Barack Obama. "The president mentioned in our conversation in the Oval Office he would not use executive orders through the summer because he hopes Congress can find a solution," President Uchtdorf told the Deseret News. "Executive orders aren't permanent. A law can provide a comprehensive, common-sense solution. "I think there is a window of opportunity now."

Elder Lynn G. Robbins: Call to Presidency of the Seventy (LDS Church News) (April 16, 2014)
Since being called as a General Authority in April of 1997, Elder Lynn G. Robbins has enjoyed the “sweet blessing of becoming acquainted with saints all over the world.” “You feel an immediate bond with people wherever you go,” he said. “It is immediate.”

Tad R. Callister: New Sunday School general president (LDS Church News) (April 16, 2014)
Decades before his recent call as Sunday School general president, Sunday School had already played a pivotal role in the life of Brother Tad R. Callister. It was while he was serving as Sunday School president in a student ward at Brigham Young University in 1967 that he became acquainted with his future wife, Kathryn L. Saporiti.

Salt Lake City's Secret to Escaping the Recession (National Journal) (April 16, 2014)
...One of the striking data points about Salt Lake City is its low unemployment compared with the national rate. It seems that Salt Lake escaped the aftermath of the recession better than most places. What's the secret? There were a few things that helped us. One is that we have a very diverse economy; it's not like we were completely dependent on one sector. Certainly another key factor was that just before the recession started, the LDS church started to think about building a $1.5 billion downtown development called City Creek Center. There was a mall in its place once, but now it is an example of one of the first LEED-certified, true mixed developments. The LDS church paid cash for that development. As Lane Beattie, head of the Salt Lake Chamber says, the difference between Salt Lake and other cities is that in Salt Lake the cranes kept moving. So really, there was virtually no slowdown in development.

Spending a day with Provo missionaries (Universe - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
It was 6:34 a.m. when I nervously knocked on the door. You know those moments when you feel like running away from something you know is going to be hard, maybe a bit uncomfortable and potentially life changing? This was one of those moments. I nervously pulled at my skirt and wondered what the heck I was doing as I waited for the BYU North sisters to open the door to their apartment. I was there to document a “day in the life” of missionaries serving in Provo, and to be completely honest, I was terrified.

Fresh off LDS mission, BYU transfer Baker Pritchard keeps perspective during Oregon State Beavers spring practices (Oregonian) (April 16, 2014)
Baker Pritchard spent the past two football seasons in Honolulu, sharing his Mormon faith with anyone willing to listen. The 6-foot-3, 244-pound defensive lineman knocked on doors, assisted families with household chores and mowed lawns. Once or twice a month, he cleaned ships at Pearl Harbor.

Food Drive a success for Food Bank (Melfort Journal - Canada) (April 16, 2014)
The Melfort Food Bank and the Melfort LDS Church teamed up on Saturday, April 12 for a Food and Bottle Drive. In total they collected nearly 3,000 pounds of food, which is just short of their 5,000-pound goal. The entire event was deemed a success. “We were ecstatic about the whole thing,” Perry Froc, who was one of the organizers for the LDS Church, said.

Wright Words: Despite horrific fire, Mormon couple has inspiring message for the world (Deseret News - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
With fresh tears filling her eyes and dangling from her long lashes, Naomi Avery looked at me and summarized the theme of our nearly three-hour-long interview. “God loves us.” Naomi said the words quietly, but with confidence. Dirk, her husband, smiled warmly, squeezed her arm and nodded in agreement.

Atheist leader: ‘Mormonism demonstrates the power of indoctrination’ (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
The Beehive State will be swarming with atheists this week as their national convention gets under way in Salt Lake City. As many as 700 nonbelievers will be on hand for the gathering, which runs Thursday through Sunday. As a "warm-up event," the group is featuring a panel discussion at Salt Lake City’s Main Library with two Mormon professors from LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University and two atheist experts.

April 15, 2014

LDS Church Adds Two New Missions in Africa (Church News) (April 15, 2014)
Two new missions of the Church are being created in Africa. The Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan West Mission is being created by dividing the Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan Mission.

New Temple Presidents Called (Church News) (April 15, 2014)
Two new temple presidents and their wives have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service later this year.

New General Authorities, Sunday School presidency (LDS Church News) (April 15, 2014)
During the 184th Annual General Conference of the Church, held April 5-6, several new General Authorities and a new member of the Presidency of the Seventy were sustained as well as a new Sunday School general presidency.

BYU basketball: Future Cougar hoop stars serving LDS missions throughout the world (Deseret News - Utah) (April 15, 2014)
BYU basketball coach Dave Rose is thumbing through a blue binder that sits on his desk in the basketball office. Listed on those pages inside the binder are the players who are serving, or are about to serve, LDS Church missions around the world. It includes information about when they leave, when they return, where they are serving.

Mathletes repeat history (BYU news release) (April 15, 2014)
BYU > Yale, Princeton in math's "Big Dance" As a national math champion in high school with offers from Stanford and MIT, Sam Dittmer came to BYU with lofty expectations. He didn’t disappoint, making school history two years in a row.

Buildings at Mormon campus to be bowled (Waikato Times - New Zealand) (April 15, 2014)
A series of smaller buildings and structures will be demolished at Temple View's Church College campus site from next week. The Mormon Church confirmed work would begin on April 22 and include the bulldozing of covered walkways, footpaths and some carports and garages. Project director Paul Coward said the removal of buildings was a permitted activity under the Hamilton City District Plan and was not part of the stake centre project currently under appeal by the Temple View Heritage Society.

Bountiful stake presents Easter program (Deseret News - Utah) (April 15, 2014)
The Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will present “Savior of the World, Act II: His Resurrection” on Friday, April 18, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 19, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where Atheists Meet to Evangelize (Wall Street Journal - New York) (April 15, 2014)
Look out unbelief—atheism is on a roll, or so proclaims American Atheists, whose annual convention kicks off Thursday in Salt Lake City. "This has been an excellent year for atheism," says Dave Muscato, public-relations director for the deity-dissing group. "Between 2005 and 2012 there was a fivefold increase in the number of people who use the word atheist when asked to identify their religion."

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