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October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014

Prophet statue marks final stages of Mormon temple in Carmel (Indy Star - Indiana) (October 21, 2014)
The placement of an 8.5-foot, 900-pound, gold-plated statue atop a spire is just a moment in the construction project that will eventually become the Indianapolis Mormon Temple.

No, Mormon temples aren’t getting out of the marriage business (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (October 21, 2014)
It is a tad premature for Mormons to brace for a possible change in the LDS Church’s temple wedding policies, including Monday’s rampant Internet rumor that all members’ weddings would have take place first outside a Mormon temple. "Church leaders are well aware of the issues surrounding marriage and continue to examine them carefully," LDS Church spokesman Dale Jones said Monday in a statement, "but we are unaware of any meetings where changes to temple marriage policies have been discussed."

Mormon bloggers spreading reports of marriage changes in church (Daily Herald - Utah) (October 21, 2014)
Whether it's wishful thinking, or agitating for change, well-meaning LDS bloggers have suggested The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is changing its policy on church weddings. One blog and podcast,, has suggested LDS Church leaders will be announcing a policy change that would make it necessary for couples to be married civilly, by a Justice of the Peace or other official, before they can be sealed in an LDS temple ceremony. That information is new to LDS Church leadership, which released this statement Monday through LDS Church Public Affairs: "Church leaders are well aware of the issues surrounding marriage and continue to examine them carefully, but we are unaware of any meetings where changes to temple marriage policies have been discussed,” said Dale Jones, spokesperson for the church.

Mormon Media scholars discuss church and media intersection (Deseret News - Utah) (October 21, 2014)
Students and scholars came together Friday to learn about Mormonism's current and historic relationships with the media, from Twitter and Internet memes to action figures and portrayals on the big screen. Presenters gathered for the third annual Mormon Media Studies Symposium — sponsored by Brigham Young University and Brigham Young University-Idaho — at the BYU Salt Lake Center.

Could Mormon LDS Church Perceptions Be Changing? Seattle Leaders Invite Gay People to Worship (International Business Times) (October 21, 2014)
Leaders of a Seattle branch of the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) have decided to sidestep the Law of Chastity to invite Mormon gay and lesbian members to worship. The Washington Park LDS Ward in Seattle sent out letters to its "less-active members within the ward boundaries", that invited them to attend a church sacrament meeting on 19 October, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The Book of Mormon Translated into Gregg Shorthand (YouTube) (October 21, 2014)
Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith originally translated the Book of Mormon from "The Golden Plates." Mormons believe that ancient prophets wrote the book. In this case Lisa Dayley has translated the Book of Mormon into American Gregg Shorthand - because she can.

October 20, 2014

LDS Church releases video, topic page discussing temple garments (Deseret News - Utah) (October 20, 2014)
In a video, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seeks to take some of the mystery out of temple garments and temple robes, explaining the clothing's role as sacred religious vestments similar to a nun's habit, the Jewish prayer shawl, the Muslim's skullcap, and the saffron robes of the Buddhist monk.

Indianapolis Indiana Temple Topped With Angel Moroni Statue (LDS Newsroom) (October 20, 2014)
A new addition to the under-construction Indianapolis Indiana Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in place.

Elder David Rodger Stone passes away (LDS Church News) (October 20, 2014)
Elder David Roger Stone, who served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 1999-2006, died on Oct. 4, at his home in Mill Creek, Washington. He was 78. Elder Stone grew up in Argentina speaking English at home and Spanish at school. When his mother joined the Church in 1951 she decided to move to Provo, Utah, so that her children could attend Brigham Young University.

David Archuleta’s “Glorious” Missionary Work Finds Success (Church News) (October 20, 2014)
Since claiming fame in 2008 as the second place winner of American Idol, David Archuleta has captivated fans and audiences for years. “Glorious” is Archuleta’s first single upon his return from a full-time mission in Chile, and it has been acclaimed by members and nonmembers alike.

'My dear sister': Joseph F. Smith's letters to Martha Ann Smith subject of lecture (LDS Church News) (October 20, 2014)
Carole Call King may not have realized the treasure she inherited when her father, Anson B. Call Jr. died in 1993, but some time later, when she opened a box bearing the words “letters to mother,” she found a historian’s bonanza.

Jenna Kim Jones: The new, cool face of Mormonism (Deseret News - Utah) (October 20, 2014)
Flashback nine years ago: Jenna Kim Jones, 18 years old, fresh out of Timpview High School in Provo, Utah, is standing in a New York University dorm room in the heart of Greenwich Village with a crowd of newly arriving freshman girls when one of them, the extrovert, the one who’d play Rizzo in “Grease,” announces, “You guys, I just learned there’s a Mormon girl in this building!” All eyes turned to the blond-haired, brown-eyed girl in the corner — the likeliest suspect. Outed. On her first day of school.

Buyers line up for Mormon farmland (The Land - Australia) (October 20, 2014)
A HOST of big-name buyers have lined up to purchase the $100 million, 47,000-hectare NSW Riverina farming aggregation owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. US-based Westchester Group (owned by American financial services giant TIAA-CREF), Auscott (owned by J. G. Boswell Co of California) and the Harvard Endowment Fund are all said to be contenders for the four farms.

An LDS missionary and a Marine: Twin brothers have surprise meeting in Atlanta airport (Deseret News - Utah) (October 20, 2014)
Del and Don Gull have been there for each other through it all. From competing in eighth-grade football to playing in their high school band, the twin brothers from Parowan have stuck together.

LDS husband and father is also a firefighter and wakeboard world champion (LDS Church News) (October 20, 2014)
Sam Cole isn’t your average working dad. He doesn’t sit behind a desk, working a 9-to-5 job. He stands behind a giant fire hose, washing down anything that’s aflame. And what does he do in his spare time? He’s a world champion wakeboarder. The 26-year-old champion attends the Page 3rd Ward of the Page Arizona Stake and works hard to balance his role of husband, father, active Church member, firefighter and wakeboarder. While it hasn’t been easy, he has been rewarded in bounteous ways.

October 17, 2014

President Uchtdorf Speaks to Delegates on Religious Freedom, Rule of Law (Church News) (October 17, 2014)
Religious freedom and the rule of law have been central messages from the very beginning of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf told delegates from 40 countries who participated in BYU’s 21st Annual International Law and Religion Symposium.

Broadway Star Santino Fontana and ‘Sesame Street’ Muppets™ Headline Christmas Concerts (LDS Newsroom) (October 17, 2014)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square have announced their guest artists for their annual Christmas concerts. Broadway star Santino Fontana and the “Sesame Street” Muppets™ will join the choir for several concerts in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on 11, 12 and 13 December 2014. The artists will also appear on the weekly “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast and mini-concert on Sunday, 14 December.

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square (Church News) (October 17, 2014)
Broadway star Santino Fontana will join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for their annual Christmas concerts on December 11, 12, and 13 in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Taking the stage with Santino, and in a first for the choir, the beloved Sesame Street Muppets™ will join in bringing the holiday spirit to audiences young and old.

Christmas 2014 on Temple Square (Church News) (October 17, 2014)
Visiting Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, during the Christmas season is a yearly tradition for many families and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for others. Tickets and reservations for the various 2014 Christmas programs and events are available beginning October 14, and due to the popularity of the events, tickets tend to get snatched up quickly.

Access to a Billion Obituaries Will Help Families Find Ancestors (Church News) (October 17, 2014)
Obituaries, a rich source of family history information, will be more accessible to Church members who are researching their ancestors, thanks to a new agreement announced October 1 between the Church’s FamilySearch International ( and “Obituaries can solve family puzzles, tell stories, dispel myths, and provide tremendous help with family history research,” said Paul Nauta of FamilySearch public affairs. “Clues from a single obituary can lead to connections that ultimately bring temple blessings to many people.”

Missionaries will be moving out of Raintree apartments (Daily Herald - Utah) (October 17, 2014)
The LDS Church Missionary Department has announced it will be closing the Missionary Training Center West facility at the Raintree apartments within the next few weeks. The apartments at 1849 N. Freedom Blvd. were leased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as were portions of the BYU-owned Wyview Park apartments at 146 W. 1940 North, as a short-term housing answer to the influx of missionaries at the Missionary Training Center.

'Meet the Mormons': Good Documentary or Slick, Corporate PR? (Huffington Post) (October 17, 2014)
What do you think you know about Mormons? Big families, Utah, (polygamy?), Osmonds, clean living, Mitt Romney? First released in theaters October 10, Meet the Mormons is an 80-minute infomercial produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the full name of the Mormon church) highlighting a diverse cross-section of church members. This includes profiles of a black lay clergyman in Atlanta, the coach of the football team at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, a female professional kickboxer in Costa Rica, the famous "Candy Bomber" of the Berlin Airlift, a humanitarian in Nepal, and a Utah mother sending her son on a mission.

REVIEW: ‘Meet the Mormons’ offers lots of nice, little spice (Spectrum - Utah) (October 17, 2014)
“Meet the Mormons” is a documentary sanctioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that offers audiences a gentle, well-crafted look inside the lives of six church members of temporal and cultural distinction and the religious beliefs that are a driving force in their lives. That’s it. There is nothing, really, beyond those basic objectives. Many are likely to criticize the film because it avoids controversial issues. But isn’t it silly to demand the film be more than what the filmmakers intended it to be? Did anyone expect the church to hire Michael Moore to direct its film?

October 16, 2014

Apostle Speaks on 50th Commemoration of 1964 New York World’s Fair (LDS Newsroom) (October 16, 2014)
Fifty years ago, Elder L. Tom Perry, now of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was living in Scarsdale, New York. Elder Perry, now 92, was serving as a leader in the stake over missionary work and part of that assignment included working on the committee for the 1964 New York World’s Fair in New York City, which is marking its 50th anniversary.

Defending the Faith: When the criticisms of the Book of Mormon can't be taken seriously (Deseret News - Utah) (October 16, 2014)
A set of arguments commonly advanced by Latter-day Saints seeking to commend and defend their beliefs cites things that Joseph Smith got right about the ancient world where, humanly speaking, he should probably have been wrong, or forgotten ancient doctrines that somehow reappeared in his revelations or teachings. Such arguments then ask, "How could he have known this?"

Excited about Payson temple, local artist documents progress on Facebook (Daily Herald - Utah) (October 16, 2014)
When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' President Thomas S. Monson announced plans for a temple in Payson, Tausha Coates couldn’t get a smile off her face.

Some Mormons pushing church on gay marriage (Associated Press) (October 16, 2014)
Court decisions this week paving the way for same-sex marriage to become legal in dozens of states, including Mormon strongholds like Utah, Idaho and Nevada, have emboldened a growing group of Latter-day Saints who are pushing the conservative church to become more accepting of gay members. The church's stance toward gays has softened considerably since it was one of the leading forces behind California's ban on gay marriage in 2008, but high-ranking leaders have reiterated time and again the faith's opposition to same-sex unions.

LDS church vandalized in Duchesne (Deseret News - Utah) (October 16, 2014)
Detectives are looking for at least two people who vandalized a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Duchesne. The vandalism happened at the church, 181 N. 200 West, sometime after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Duchesne County Sheriff's Lt. Travis Tucker. It was discovered about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday by a facilities management worker, Tucker said.

Name new building after a Mormon woman, petition urges BYU (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (October 16, 2014)
LDS Church-own Brigham Young University has named its buildings after male prophets, businessmen, scholars, scientists, and pioneers of every kind — they are "legacies in stone," says student Kristi Thomas Boyce. Boyce argues in a petition that it’s high time at least one honored a prominent Mormon woman.

From the Web: Rare Book of Mormon valued at $40,000 on 'Pawn Stars' (Daily Herald - Utah) (October 16, 2014)
The Book of Mormon is valuable to many Mormons, but to one person it was incredibly valuable. On the most recent episode of the History Channel's "Pawn Stars" that aired last week, a customer brought in an 1842 version of the Book of Mormon.

October 15, 2014

General Conference Reach Continues to Steadily Advance (Church News) (October 15, 2014)
Every six months Church leaders and staff work tirelessly toward making general conference the most spiritually uplifting, strengthening experience possible. As technology has steadily advanced, so has the reach and ease of accessing conference worldwide.

The Mormon Church Is Building a Family Tree of the Entire Human Race (New Republic) (October 15, 2014)
Mormons think as hard as, probably harder than, anyone else in the world about what it means to keep facts alive, or at least to keep them accessible to the living, and the phenomenon they have built out of granite, microfilm, machines, and software is as mind-bogglingly ambitious for our century as the flying buttresses and gargoyles of Notre Dame were in the twelfth century.

EFY medley goes global in new YouTube video (Deseret News - Utah) (October 15, 2014)
When Michael Hicks arranged “The EFY medley” in 1999, he had no idea the impact the song would have all around the world, but a new video he compiled shows the worldwide influence of the arrangement. The video features 60 performances of the medley in 23 different countries on six continents.

Pathway marks 5th anniversary (BYU-Idaho newsroom) (October 15, 2014)
When the final figures for Pathway's fall 2012 enrollment came across the desk of BYU-Idaho president Kim B. Clark, he was astonished. The numbers were much higher than he had expected. But as impressive as the numbers may have been, it wasn't the sheer quantity of Pathway students that was important. It was the story those statistics told. Pathway had identified - and was meeting - a critical need within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

LDS missionaries, motivated by love for God and people (Woodburn Independent - Oregon) (October 15, 2014)
With their uniforms and name tags, their rigorous work and study schedules, their two-year, full-time commitments to their church, the missionaries currently based at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Woodburn are not your average 19- and 20-year-olds.

You can't always trust the critics: 'Mormons' movie is very inspiring (Bakersfield Californian) (October 15, 2014)
I went to Edwards Cinemas on Saturday and viewed "Meet the Mormons." And, yes, I am a Mormon, so I can't honestly write without bias. But I believe Barbara Vandenburgh's review of this movie didn't give the it the credit it deserved ("'Mormons' presents an in-house view of church," Oct. 10).

Utah father and son emerge from 'Shark Tank' with deal (Deseret News - Utah) (October 15, 2014)
On Friday night, a Highland, Utah, father-son duo appeared on the ABC hit show “Shark Tank” and flew away with a big deal for their business, “Paper Box Pilots.” More importantly to his dad Brian, 14-year-old Noah Cahoon gained a one-of-a-kind life experience.

More editing, more confusion about Mormon women’s meeting (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (October 15, 2014)
And the debate about what to call the LDS General Mormon Women’s Meeting continues — with some Mormon authorities on one side, the church’s public affairs arm on the other and church-owned publications going back and forth between them. To recap: On the night of the Sept. 27 gathering, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the governing First Presidency, called it the opening of the faith’s semiannual General Conference.

October 14, 2014

'Meet the Mormons' Proves the Box Office Power of Faith-Based Audiences (The Hollywood Reporter) (October 14, 2014)
Meet the Mormons opened on 317 screens on Friday and has already made its way onto the list of the Top 100 documentary films of all time, and its distributor, Purdie Distribution, expects it to climb much higher very soon.

A Glimpse of Mormon Diversity (New York Times) (October 14, 2014)
“Meet the Mormons” begins from an oddly defensive posture, with its M.C. and narrator, Jenna Kim Jones, interviewing passers-by in Times Square about their perceptions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Television and movie clips bolster the notion that the media fosters stereotypes of the religion. (The blockbuster musical around the corner goes curiously undiscussed.) “What are Mormons really like?” Ms. Jones asks. “You decide.”

Photo Essay: Prominent Figures Gather for the ‘Meet the Mormons’ Movie Premiere (LDS Newsroom) (October 14, 2014)
More than 500 invited guests gathered in Utah this week for the premiere of “Meet the Mormons,” a feature-length documentary produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ann Romney launches center for MS, Alzheimer's research; says Mitt won't run in 2016 (NBC Today) (October 14, 2014)
With a potential 2016 bid from her husband seemingly off the table, Ann Romney is hoping to jump-start research on multiple sclerosis and other illnesses by launching the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, which is set to open in 2016 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

LDS Church approves centralized endorsement of all chaplains, including women (Daily Herald - Utah) (October 14, 2014)
"I preach every Sunday in an Interfaith Service. I am a Pastoral Counselor, wife, mom and grandma. I'm a chaplain. I'm a Mormon." That is what Chaplain Tami Harris wrote Oct. 7 when she started her first "I'm a Mormon" profile at Harris, of Provo, was the first non-military female chaplain in the LDS Church and has been serving and pastoring trouble teens since 1989.

‘There is Room for You’: Tri-state YSA Conference in New York City (LDS Church News) (October 14, 2014)
“Keep moving. Don’t get discouraged, disqualified, or delayed,” Elaine Dalton told a large and diverse gathering of young single adults Sept. 20. A runner herself, the former Young Women general president referenced a marathon as she spoke at a two-day regional conference that drew hundreds of young single adults to Manhattan from 13 stakes in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Beruit Branch Members Pack Food Boxes to Help Syrian Refugees (Church News) (October 14, 2014)
Carlos Nassif, a member of the Beirut Branch in Lebanon, knows many in his city are living in “difficult days.” “A lot of people are hungry and needy,” he said as he worked with other branch members on October 11 to assemble food kits for Syrian refugees in Beirut. “This way we can help them.”

Church Partners With Other Faith Communities in “Faith Counts” Initiative (LDS Newsroom Blog) (October 14, 2014)
Religion is an important part of our social fabric and civil society. It calls on us to serve our fellow man, to focus more on family and to contribute to the common good of the community. What’s more, it provides the structure for the inner longing for meaning that many seek in life.

October 13, 2014

'Meet the Mormons' No. 10 in box office receipts, hits No. 1 in some markets (Deseret News - Utah) (October 13, 2014)
"Meet the Mormons," a new documentary-style movie from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ranked No. 10 in box office sales nationwide in its first day of release.

'Meet the Mormons' Pulls in Audiences Nationwide (LDS Newsroom) (October 13, 2014)
Response to the theatrical release of "Meet the Mormons" has significantly exceeded expectations, a Church spokesman said today.

Was women’s meeting a conference ‘session’? No, so Mormon church edits prayer (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (October 13, 2014)
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS Church’s governing First Presidency, created a bit of a stir several weeks ago when he described a General Women’s Meeting as the opening of the faith’s General Conference.

Spreading the word: 'Meet the Mormons' promoted through social media (Deseret News - Utah) (October 13, 2014)
The makers of a full-length documentary have taken to social media and word of mouth to promote their new film.

Phoenix Arizona Temple Opens for Public Tours (LDS Church News) (October 13, 2014)
The Phoenix Arizona Temple is open for free public tours now through Saturday, November 1, 2014, excluding Sundays. Reservations for the open house can be made on the website.

Prophecy fulfilled (LDS Church News) (October 13, 2014)
“For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Doctrine and Covenants 90:11).

Messages for our times (LDS Church News) (October 13, 2014)
Today, more than ever, the world needs to know that God has called a prophet to tell people what He would have them do. And thanks to inspired inventions and modern technologies, along with members of the Church who willingly use them, those messages are going farther and helping more people than ever.

Aiding families in Sierra Leone (LDS Church News) (October 13, 2014)
The Church through its humanitarian arm, LDS Charities, sent food and other emergency supplies to more than 1,500 Latter-day Saint families and others in Sierra Leone during the recent state of emergency — the Ebola-virus outbreak, which has claimed the lives of 500 citizens, including two members of the Church.

Increasing number of Mormons support same-sex marriage (CBS News) (October 13, 2014)
Court decisions this week paving the way for same-sex marriage to become legal in dozens of states, including Mormon strongholds like Utah, Idaho and Nevada, have emboldened a growing group of Latter-day Saints who are pushing the conservative church to become more accepting of gay members.

Holden family of 7 finds happiness in one another, emphasis on faith (Bangor Daily News - Maine) (October 13, 2014)
Hans and Annie Peterson’s modest ranch-style home is decorated with objects emblematic of both their faith and family. A large, framed fan-shaped genealogy chart filled with names is surrounded by photos and a wooden sign that says their last name and the phrase “Families are Forever.”

From the web: Mormon missionary challenges Michael's break dancing (Daily Herald - Utah) (October 13, 2014)
One of the church's 83,000 missionaries was caught on video recently challenging a street performer imitating Michael Jackson and his famous dance moves. The elder quickly joins in on the good-natured challenge, causing passersby to pause for a different reason than usual.

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