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July 4, 2015

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July 3, 2015

President Boyd K. Packer dies at age 90 (LDS Newsroom) (July 3, 2015)
Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at home Friday, July 3, 2015, at 2 p.m. MDT from causes incident to age. He was 90 years old.

President Packer Spent His Life Sharing His Gifts with Others (Church News) (July 3, 2015)
President Boyd K. Packer, who passed away July 3, 2015, spent his life sharing his gifts with others. He was a teacher, a soldier, an artist, a father, a grandfather, and a true disciple and Apostle of Jesus Christ.

President Boyd K. Packer, champion of families, master teacher, resolute defender of LDS doctrine, dies at 90 (Deseret News - Utah) (July 3, 2015)
President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and next in line to be president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday surrounded by family at home at about 2 p.m. He was 90.

Mormon leader Boyd K. Packer dies — a man of wit, known for tough talk (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 3, 2015)
Longtime Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer seemed a man of contradictions. He was an educator who was wary of intellectuals, a theological purist who spoke more candidly about sexual issues than most LDS authorities, a sometimes-stern speaker from the pulpit who tended to be lighthearted, witty and playful at home, and a tough-talking administrator who spent his off-hours carving birds and ducks out of wood.

July 2, 2015

President Monson: Love for missionary work (LDS Church News) (July 2, 2015)
President Thomas S. Monson has a love for missionaries, mission presidents and their wives, and the work they accomplish.

President Henry B. Eyring: Everyone can find time to be a missionary (LDS Church News) (July 2, 2015)
Latter-day Saints have covenanted to do all they can to help others gain and exercise the faith in the Lord that will lead them to qualify for the glorious blessing of eternal life, said President Henry B. Eyring at the 2015 Seminar for New Mission Presidents on June 26.

Elder Russell M. Nelson: 'Epistles of the Lord' (LDS Church News) (July 2, 2015)
With the hastening of the work of salvation and changes in some of the tools used by missionaries to assist in it, “God’s goals have not changed” when it comes to missionary work.

President David L. Smith: The Spirit will teach (LDS Church News) (July 2, 2015)
On the final day of the 2015 Seminar for New Mission Presidents, President David L. Smith, called to preside over the New York New York North Mission, summarized a pattern of teaching that had been highlighted during the four-day event.

Ticket Reservations for Indianapolis Indiana Temple Open House Begin July 6 (Church News) (July 2, 2015)
Ticket reservations for the Indianapolis Indiana Temple open house will be available to the public beginning July 6, 2015. Reserve tickets now. Open house tours begin Friday, July 17, 2015, and will run until Saturday, August 8, 2015. The open house will be closed Sundays. A cultural celebration will be held Saturday, August 22.

BYU to Host Religious Freedom Conference in July (LDS Newsroom Blog) (July 2, 2015)
Brigham Young University will host a conference on religious freedom next week for lawyers, students and the public to get an update on challenges in the United States and around the world. The 2015 Religious Freedom Annual Review is scheduled on the Provo, Utah, campus for July 6 – 8, 2015. This year’s theme is “Fairness for All.”

Bats at Provo’s MTC prompt LDS Church to relocate 600 female Mormon missionaries (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 2, 2015)
Young Mormons encounter many challenges at Provo's Missionary Training Center: being away from home, having a stranger suddenly become a 24-7 companion, perhaps learning a new language. But a bat?

Mormon church makes first-time donation to Utah Pride Center youth program (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 2, 2015)
The LDS Church has made a first-ever financial contribution to a Utah Pride Center program that serves food to Salt Lake City's homeless and low-income youths. The contribution — of an undisclosed amount — grew out of a first-time request for assistance with donations of perishable items for the food pantry program from the Utah-based faith's Welfare Square operations, Kent Frogley, the Pride Center's board chairman said.

LDS Church donates to Utah Pride Center's efforts to feed homeless youths (Deseret News - Utah) (July 2, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated to the Utah Pride Center's efforts to provide breakfasts for homeless youths, the center announced Wednesday. Church officials notified the Utah Pride Center of the donation in a recent grant letter, said Kent Frogley, chairman of the center's board of directors. The Salt Lake-based nonprofit agency serves breakfast every Saturday when the weather gets cold, Frogley said.

Stephen Rockwood named new FamilySearch president and CEO (Deseret News - Utah) (July 2, 2015)
FamilySearch International announced Wednesday that President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Brimhall is retiring, and Stephen T. Rockwood has been selected to take his place starting Oct. 1. In addition to being president and CEO of FamilySearch, Rockwood will serve as managing director in the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the main sponsor of FamilySearch. Rockwood most recently served as director of the international division at FamilySearch.

Episcopalian Convention Includes Hands-On Interfaith Service Project at Welfare Square (LDS Newsroom) (July 2, 2015)
More than 10,000 members of the Episcopal Church gathered (for the first time in Utah) for the faith’s 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City. During each general convention, Episcopalians enjoy the opportunity to complete a service project in the communities they visit. This year they joined Mormons in Salt Lake at Welfare Square for an interfaith service project, according to Amy O’Donnell, wife of the Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi of the Salt Lake Episcopal Church.

Massive Mormon Meetinghouse Complex Continues Climb (Philly Curbed - Pennsylvania) (July 2, 2015)
Things are hopping around Logan Circle these days. We've got the former Four Seasons Hotel (soon to be housed at Comcast's new gigundo tower) almost completely gutted, bridges coming down along the Vine Street Expressway, and the gargantuan 32-story Mormon-backed apartment tower, temple, and meetinghouse complex on Vine Street steadily working its way up to the heavens.

New Mormon temple soars above Davie pastures (Sun Sentinel - Florida) (July 2, 2015)
A spire bearing an angel with a trumpet rather than a cross soars above the car dealerships and pasturelands of Davie, just off Griffin Road and Interstate 75. lRelated Temple Emeth in Delray Beach closes after 40 years DELRAY BEACH NEWS Temple Emeth in Delray Beach closes after 40 years SEE ALL RELATED 8 The buff-colored building is one of only two temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florida; the other is in Orlando. Opened in the spring of 2014, the temple was meant to serve South Florida's estimated 25,000 Mormons.

Krešimir Ćosić Honored by Adriatic North Mission Basketball Tournament (Church News) (July 2, 2015)
Krešimir Ćosić, Brigham Young University basketball great and Olympic champion, was a courageous, uncommon man. Those who knew him say his immeasurable sacrifices laid the groundwork for the introduction of the gospel in Yugoslavia. The Church continues to grow in that land.

BYU Center for Animation draws bright futures for students (Deseret News - Utah) (July 2, 2015)
While creating their Student Emmy-winning short film “Ram’s Horn,” students at Brigham Young University’s Center for Animation took occasional breaks to have Nerf gun wars. It was an effort of the film’s student producer, Garrett Hoyos, to keep his classmates having fun.

Learn Lightning Safety from Sam the Cloud on Safety.lds.org (Church News) (July 2, 2015)
Lightning and other health and safety risks are especially high during the summer months when members are participating in Church activities such as pioneer treks, youth conferences, Scouting and Young Women camps, and outdoor ward parties.

July 1, 2015

Church Leaders Counsel Members After Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision (LDS Newsroom) (July 1, 2015)
The following letter from the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is being read in Church meetings across the United States and Canada beginning Sunday, July 5.

LDS Church leaders release letter about Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision (Deseret News - Utah) (July 1, 2015)
The Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a letter to LDS leaders in the United States and Canada on Tuesday about the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision.

Top Mormon leaders sending letter to members, reaffirming God’s law against same-sex marriage (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (July 1, 2015)
In a letter to be shared with rank-and-file Mormons in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of gay marriage across the nation, top LDS leaders are reaffirming the faith's steadfast belief in — and exclusive commitment to — heterosexual unions.

LDS Church launches website designed to build bridges in communities (Connect Amarillo - Texas) (July 1, 2015)
A website launched by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is helping to connect people and organizations for service opportunities. Non-profits like the Salvation Army, who depend on volunteers year round will now have another resource at their disposal. With the help of www.Justserve.org they can gain the services of people who want to volunteer in the community.

SOUNDS AROUND TOWN: The Mighty Mormon Tabernacle Choir visits Boston (Herald News - Massachusetts) (July 1, 2015)
When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir returns to Boston on July 6, it will be their first visit to the city in more than a decade, and their first time performing at the Wang Theatre, where about 320 singers will be joined by the group’s own touring orchestra. Based in Salt Lake City, the all-volunteer choir prides itself on the incredible range of music in their programs.

Mendenhall's coaching tenure at BYU: A decade of personal, program growth (Deseret News - Utah) (July 1, 2015)
Nobody is more surprised that Bronco Mendenhall is still the head coach of the BYU football team than Bronco Mendenhall. From the time he was hired in December 2004, he was adamant that he wouldn’t be in this position on a long-term basis.

LDS gymnast to compete at Toronto Pan Am Games (KSL - Utah) (July 1, 2015)
Canada native Hugh Smith will be competing in his home country at the upcoming 2015 Toronto Pan American Games. Smith has been on Canada’s national gymnastics team for nearly a decade and has competed in two other Pan Am Games, and he credits his success to something he calls the center of his life — his faith.

BYU's Vocal Point hopes to 'uplift and inspire' during performances at Disneyland (Deseret News - Utah) (July 1, 2015)
This summer, Vocal Point, an a cappella group from Brigham Young University, will perform at Disneyland during the park's 60th anniversary Diamond Celebration.

Mormon Mama Dragons make life easier for young LGBT people (Al Jazeera America) (July 1, 2015)
When Alyson Paul Deussen, a devout Mormon, learned three years ago that her son Stockton was gay, she thought he might be going through just a phase. “So I probably, in hindsight, didn’t do the right thing,” she said. “I kind of just tried to let it play out. And ultimately it led to him trying to overdose on pills and ended up in the hospital.”

The Book of Mormon may be made into a movie (The Guardian - UK) (July 1, 2015)
A Book of Mormon movie remains a goal for creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the duo have revealed. Parker and Stone, who are also behind South Park, told IGN they had been inspired to consider revamping the megahit play for the big screen by the various versions around the world. Since launching on Broadway in 2011, the production has spread to London’s West End and Melbourne, Australia, where it will launch in January 2017.

June 30, 2015

Trujillo Peru Temple: 'We dedicate it unto Thee as Thy hallowed dwelling place' (LDS Church News) (June 30, 2015)
Following is the text of the prayer offered to dedicate the Trujillo Peru Temple on June 21, 2015. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, presided over the three sessions of the dedication.

MOTION GRAPHIC: LDS Charities Helps Provide Immunizations Around the World (LDS Newsroom) (June 30, 2015)
Can one dollar make a difference? In developing nations, a dollar can be the difference in saving a child's life. Since 2003, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has partnered with organizations to help reduce childhood mortality through continued efforts to eradicate infectious diseases. Find out how the Church's vaccination program is helping to make a difference.

Choir and orchestra dazzle Maryland audiences in 2 concerts (LDS Church News) (June 30, 2015)
In the shadow of the nation’s capital, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple performed the first two concerts of their two-week Atlantic Coast tour June 25 in the sold-out, 1,600 seat Music Center at Strathmore.

5 questions LDS returned missionaries find themselves asking (LDS Business College) (June 30, 2015)
In the 2012 October General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, President Thomas S. Monson lowered the age requirements for full-time missionaries. Men could now leave after graduating from high school at the age of 18, and women could now serve at age 19. You likely remember exactly where you were when you heard the news, especially if you were directly affected by the announcement.

LDSTech Broadcast to Discuss Recent Technological Developments for Church Members (Church News) (June 30, 2015)
LDSTech worldwide broadcasts help members keep up-to-date on the Church’s technology advances, products, and ongoing projects. The next LDSTech broadcast will be on July 10 at 12:00 p.m. MDT. The broadcast will be one hour and will discuss the following products:

LDStorymakers conference draws editors and agents, helps writers find success (Deseret News - Utah) (June 30, 2015)
Author Rachel Ann Nunes gathered 30 of her friends who liked to write and held a conference more than 10 years ago. They called themselves LDStorymakers.

Debate about science standards pits faithful Mormon against faithful Mormon (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 30, 2015)
Evolution is spoken at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, but not in lots of Mormon homes. The disconnect has gone public as state education managers debate how to implement a new set of science standards. As far as leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are concerned, scientific theory does not conflict with faith.

Viewpoint: Walk the Covenant Path (Church News) (June 30, 2015)
During a 2010 trip to New Delhi, India, Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, walked a long path leading through Munirka, a three-block area that is a maze of dwellings inhabited by 400,000 to 500,000 people.

‘Mormon Rivals’ — Romneys and Huntsmans: Political dynasties in the making? (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 30, 2015)
Mitt Romney never reached the political pinnacle, and who knows if Jon Huntsman will give it another shot. But neither man believes he will be the last in his family to seek elective office. Romney's sons Tagg and Josh have caught the political bug and Huntsman's daughter Abby could envision her name on a campaign sign some day as well. In many ways, they see politics the way a young Mitt did — an extension of father George Romney's successful run for governor and failed presidential bid.

Donors suing Brigham Young University for return of their gifts (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 30, 2015)
For years, Ralph and Muriel Siebach said, they made financial contributions to Brigham Young University believing the money would be used the way they wanted. So when they came to believe the LDS Church-owned school was not following their wishes regarding an account set up to fund research in rhetorical studies, the couple sued, asking for their money back. But a 4th District judge granted a BYU motion to dismiss the suit, ruling that only the Utah attorney general has the authority to sue to enforce the terms of a charitable gift.

June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Decision Will Not Alter Doctrine on Marriage (LDS Newsroom) (June 29, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today's ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court's decision does not alter the Lord's doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God....

Mormon, Catholic churches stand firm against same-sex marriage; some Utah faith leaders celebrate ruling (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 29, 2015)
Like religious adherents across the nation, Utah faith groups were divided in their reactions to Friday's Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriage throughout the U.S. — some were disappointed, others exhilarated. Utah's two largest religions, the predominant LDS Church and Salt Lake City's Catholic Diocese, maintain that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and neither church is about to bend its teachings or its opposition to gay marriage.

Mormon church says ruling won't alter stance on marriage (USA Today) (June 29, 2015)
Members of Utah's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities cheered the U.S. Supreme Court decision Friday that states cannot bar gay marriages, in spite of ongoing religious concerns about the impact of the ruling.... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, meanwhile, issued a statement Friday acknowledging the Supreme Court's legal authority while maintaining the church's belief that gay marriage is contrary to God's will and will have a harmful effect on society.

Amid gay pride marches, where is the ‘religious extremism’ many feared after Friday’s Supreme Court ruling? (Washington Post) (June 29, 2015)
On Friday we saw religious extremism for what it truly is — and is not. Despite dire warnings that “anti-gay extremists” would lash out in anger over the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, conservative American religious groups responded with remarkable charity, humility and civility....Is this an affront to equality? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) stated, “While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.” Is this bigotry?

Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions (TIME) (June 29, 2015)
The Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn't be subsidizing religion and non-profits Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage. Liberals tend to think Sen. Lee’s fears are unwarranted, and they can even point to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s case, which promises “that religious organizations and persons [will be] given proper protection.”

Delaware Backstory: Help share freed slaves' stories (Delaware Online) (June 29, 2015)
The racist killing of nine worshipers at a church in South Carolina was close to the thoughts of those launching a new project – at Delaware and national levels – to help fill gaps in American history created by bigotry of an earlier era. The just-launched "Freedmen's Bureau Project" aims to digitize the personal histories of an estimated 4 million emancipated slaves to help descendants and future generations in Delaware and across the country learn about and share their forebears' stories.

Mormon Helping Hands Day: City of Houston Recognizes Mormon Volunteers (Houston Chronicle - Texas) (June 29, 2015)
With torrential rain and flooding, Houston’s hurricane season is not for the faint of heart. This year’s Memorial Day was yet another chapter in the city’s history of flooding. Many freeways, homes, and buildings were submerged, causing gridlock in some areas and trapping vehicles, leaving those inside them stranded....Following the flood, thousands of volunteers worked to help those in need—many of whom were members of our faith. On June 24th, our Church was recognized at a Houston City Council meeting for providing the leading number of volunteers after the Memorial Day flooding.

Tabernacle Choir performs in the rain near site of 1969 Woodstock festival (Deseret News - Utah) (June 29, 2015)
Thundershowers threatened to wash out the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, and a comparison was compelling as a daylong drizzle developed into a downpour by the time the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square presented a Saturday evening concert about a mile from the 37-acre farm field where the iconic rock music event was staged.

Farmington LDS youth perform 'Savior of the World' (Standard-Examiner - Utah) (June 29, 2015)
The fruits of a six month long labor of love were seen as youth from the Farmington West Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints performed during the opening night of a “Savior of the World” pageant Thursday night. The musical production, performed at the Bountiful Regional Center, was the highlight of a unique youth conference experience that began in January. The goal was to bring the youth of the stake on a journey to become closer to Christ.

Mormon Pioneer Trek through Camden brings the past alive (Pilot - Maine) (June 29, 2015)
More than 100 Mormon youth group members from mid and southern Maine gained new appreciation for the arduous journey endured by early pioneers of the 1800s through a uniquely-crafted camping experience in the Camden area.

June 26, 2015

Tabernacle Choir tour: getting the word out through social media (LDS Church News) (June 26, 2015)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square landed in Baltimore, Maryland, June 24, beginning what publicist Kim Farah anticipates will be “the most social-media researched, posted-about Tabernacle Choir tour in history.”

Media Library Translated into Nine Languages (Church News) (June 26, 2015)
With more than 15,000,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints living all over the world and speaking countless languages, the Church continually works to improve and update the content needed for all nations to teach the Gospel in “their own nation and tongue."

Regional youth dance festival shines bright in Pacific Northwest (LDS Church News) (June 26, 2015)
Nearly 900 youth from the South Puget Sound region of Washington state participated in a five-stake dance festival May 30 that drew afternoon and evening audiences totaling more than 5,000 people at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington.

LDS musician Alex Boyé thrills judges on ‘America’s Got Talent’ (Deseret News - Utah) (June 26, 2015)
Mormon musician Alex Boyé appeared on the 10th season of NBC’s hit variety show “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night, impressing all four judges and advancing to the second round of auditions.

Memo to Mormons: Those essays have been approved by the faith’s highest leaders (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 26, 2015)
Sure, the LDS Church gets praise for tackling tough historical and theological issues in its recent essays, but many Mormons don't take the effort seriously because the articles are unsigned.

Temple dedication highlights unforgettable Father's Day in Peru (LDS Church News) (June 26, 2015)
Sunday, June 21, was Father’s Day in much of the world. It is an important holiday to Peruvians — a day spent with living fathers and, according to local tradition, visiting the graves of fathers who have passed on.

Church website gives safety tips for pioneer trek and other activities (LDS Church News) (June 26, 2015)
During the summer months, the number of Church activities increases for Scouting, youth conferences, ward parties, summer campouts, carnivals and other events.

Overcoming obstacles and putting family first (LDS Church News) (June 26, 2015)
Earlier this year, American Mothers Inc. named Laurie Horita the 2015 State Young Mother of the Year for Hawaii. Sister Horita, daughter of Kimo and Toni Fuller, grew up in a loving home with four sisters.

“I Will Be Obedient,” Says New General Young Men Leader (Church News) (June 26, 2015)
During the three years M. Joseph Brough served as president of the Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission, from 2011 to 2014, he lost his father and his father-in-law.

BYU Ballroom Dancers Entertain FM Crowd (Fort Madison Democrat - Iowa) (June 26, 2015)
The Brigham Young University Ballroom Dancers performed at noon on Tuesday at Central Park.

June 25, 2015

Mormons praised — and criticized — this week for race relations (Religion News Service) (June 25, 2015)
Last Friday, on the 150th anniversary of “Juneteenth,” the LDS Church unveiled its ambitious plan to index more than four million genealogical records of former slaves.

People and Place (LDS Newsroom) (June 25, 2015)
In the early years of the Church, during the 1800s, the Latter-day Saints gathered in one spot to build a spiritual community. They often called it Zion.

Defending the Faith: 'From Darkness unto Light' takes a fresh look at recovery, publication of the Book of Mormon (Deseret News - Utah) (June 25, 2015)
In their new book “From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon” (BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book, $24.99), historians Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit Dirkmaat take a fresh look, enabled by their work with the ongoing Joseph Smith Papers Project.

In Our Lovely Deseret: Where were the Twelve Apostles when Joseph and Hyrum Smith rode to Carthage? (Deseret News - Utah) (June 25, 2015)
Joseph and Hyrum were in the jail at Carthage, Illinois, in June 1844. It was different this time. This time, they had come to their deaths, and the brothers knew it.

Provo-Orem is least American area in Utah, study says (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 25, 2015)
The nation's focus turned toward Utah County last week when the Orem Owlz announced, then canceled, Caucasian Heritage Night. The rookie-league baseball team apologized, saying its "intentions have been misconstrued."

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