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LDS Today

May 1, 2016

April 29, 2016

Church Marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month (LDS Newsroom) (April 29, 2016)
Child abuse prevention advocates met with the leader of the Young Women organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City Thursday, April 28, 2016, to mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

LDS Church outlines how it prevents child sexual abuse, makes donation (Deseret News - Utah) (April 29, 2016)
An official Mormon website has published the most comprehensive review yet of how the LDS Church works to prevent child sexual abuse in its congregations. It characterized child sexual abuse as a societal plague and said the church's first priority when it learns of abuse is to help the victim and stop the abuse.

'One in Charity': 40th annual BYU Women's Conference (LDS Church News) (April 29, 2016)
Thousands of women from — from more than 13 countries and 48 states — spent the day on the BYU campus for classes and service projects as part of the 40th annual BYU Women’s Conference. “Every topic, every speaker, every decision has been a matter of earnest prayer,” said Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, as she welcomed women to campus during the opening session of the conference. “Individual needs of our sisters have been considered carefully by this inspired committee.”

Church-Service Missionaries: 'If Ye Have Desires to Serve God Ye Are Called to the Work' (LDS Church News) (April 29, 2016)
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal and share a message with the choir that performed so beautifully at the General Women’s Session of general conference. I arrived early to visit and to see if I could be of assistance. I observed, with gratitude, priesthood and Relief Society leaders — along with choir members and Church-service missionaries — working together in, as Elder M. Russell Ballard once said, a “highly organized beehive” of activity.

LDS First Presidency announces changes to area leadership assignments (LDS Church News) (April 29, 2016)
The First Presidency has announced changes in the Church's area leadership assignments effective Aug. 1. All members of area presidencies are General Authority Seventies.

Elder Mark A. Bragg: Seeing the Lord's hand in all things (LDS Church News) (April 29, 2016)
When Mark Bragg was 14 years old, friends from his Little League baseball team — Rob and Lane Peterson — introduced his family to the Church. Mark was baptized and his mother, who had been a member of the Church in her youth, was reactivated. “It changed our lives,” said Elder Bragg, sustained April 2 as a General Authority Seventy.

Niumatalolo and Navy make another trip to the White House (Deseret News - Utah) (April 29, 2016)
You could say that Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo and the Midshipmen have become well acquainted with U.S. President Barack Obama during his two terms in office. Navy has received the Commander-in-Chief trophy by defeating fellow military schools Army and Air Force in 10 of the last 13 seasons, which includes a ceremony and trophy presentation in the White House. Navy was there when President Obama started his first term, and the team was there again Wednesday in the final year of the president's second term.

LDS missionary Mason Wells returns home 37 days after Brussels bombing (Deseret News - Utah) (April 29, 2016)
Welcome home, Elder Wells. Children did the advance work, excitedly running across, up and down the street to tie yellow ribbons to every tree, pole and mailbox.

Relief Society in Frankfurt organizes effort to donate 'welcome kits' to refugee camps (LDS Church News) (April 29, 2016)
Three large box trucks left Frankfurt loaded with 1,061 “miracles by the bagful” for six different refugee camps in Germany on April 22. It was the culmination of a month-long “welcome kit” project organized by three Relief Society sisters in the Frankfurt 1st Ward.

‘Grandparent scam’ may target families of Mormon missionaries (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 29, 2016)
The Utah Division of Consumer Protection has received a report of a scam artist calling grandparents of a Mormon missionary claiming that their grandchild was in trouble and needed them to send money, The Idaho grandparents receiving the call sent $3,885 via wire transfer to an alleged bail bondsman for bail and court fees to aid their grandson who supposedly faced DUI charges, according to Jennifer Bolton with the Utah Department of Commerce.

King of Mormon folklore, Bert Wilson, a legend in his own right, dies, but all those tales live on (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 29, 2016)
If you've heard of Mormonism's Three Nephites appearing out of nowhere to change a flat tire and then vanishing, you know the work of William A. (Bert) Wilson. Do you know about missionary "Dear John" letters, young proselytizers faking their daily work records or test-driving a Ferrari against mission rules, or old bishops passing gas in church meetings? Those would be in Wilson's corpus, too. Collecting these gems was the former professor's passion as the father of Mormon folklore.

Mormon man's rap album hits No. 1 spot on iTunes chart (Deseret News - Utah) (April 29, 2016)
James Curran, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released an extended play, “I’m Not a Rapper,” on April 17 using his artist name, “James the Mormon.” On Thursday, his six-track EP reached the No. 1 spot on the iTunes hip-hop/rap top albums chart and the No. 7 spot on the chart for top albums overall.

April 28, 2016

Richard E. Turley Jr. Appointed as New Managing Director of Church Public Affairs (LDS Newsroom) (April 28, 2016)
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has appointed Richard E. Turley Jr. as the new managing director of the Church’s Public Affairs Department.

Assistant church historian to oversee Mormon public affairs (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 28, 2016)
By summer's end, there will be a new face — and a new accent — atop the LDS Church's vast and massive media operation. Richard Eyring Turley Jr., assistant LDS Church historian and recorder, was named Tuesday as the new managing director of public affairs for the Utah-based faith. Turley, a U.S.-born attorney and co-author of the acclaimed "Massacre at Mountain Meadows," succeeds Michael Otterson, a British convert and journalist who is retiring after holding the position for eight years.

Update: Information in Aftermath of Earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan (LDS Newsroom) (April 28, 2016)
Humanitarian relief efforts by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are under way in earthquake zones in Ecuador and Japan. Food, water and other necessities are being provided to communities in the impacted regions in South America and Asia. Some Church meetinghouses are also being used for temporary shelter.

BYU will buy Provo High School for $25M, expand west across University Avenue (Deseret News - Utah) (April 28, 2016)
Go West, BYU. The university's campus will stretch west across University Avenue and swallow up 25 acres where Provo High School has stood for 60 years, BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins confirmed Tuesday morning. The university will pay $25 million. What BYU will do with its expanded western boundary is unknown.

Funeral set for Elder David Hampton, Mormon missionary who died in Taiwan bike accident (Deseret News - Utah) (April 28, 2016)
The funeral for a Mormon missionary who died April 12 when his bicycle toppled over into traffic in Taiwan is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Coldwater Stake Center in North Ogden, Utah.

Sexual assault victims say abusers wield BYU’s Honor Code as a weapon (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 28, 2016)
Julie remembers her 19-year-old self as a "strict rule-follower." But her neighbor, whom she had been casually dating for about a month, started urging her to bend the Honor Code at Brigham Young University. Hanging out in his apartment when his roommates turned out not to be home, or staying too late — these were hardly criminal transgressions, he assured her.

The evolution of LDS 'lady missionaries' and a gender-integrated missionary force (LDS Church News) (April 28, 2016)
Although women had been serving in many of the capacities of a missionary for nearly half a century, the official “call” to serve as a full-time proselytizing missionary didn’t come until 1898, Matthew S. McBride said during the Church History Symposium on March 4.

LDS women in art and culture (LDS Church News) (April 28, 2016)
Faith and culture were common themes in the art and literature of LDS women. In the late 1800s women used poetry, painting and essays as ways of expressing their beliefs and opinions. Basing their style on classical works, women shaped Utah’s artistic history.

New poll finds Americans less likely to keep Sabbath than in 1978, but majority still say it's important to society (Deseret News - Utah) (April 28, 2016)
The Sabbath may be losing its religious significance in the eyes of many Americans, but a majority still believe taking a day of rest benefits society, according to a new survey on Sabbath observance by the Deseret News.

How These Mormon Women Became Some of the Best Cybersecurity Hackers in the U.S. (Fortune) (April 28, 2016)
Sarah Cunha and Laura Wilkinson, two seniors at Brigham Young University, didn’t make it to graduation this year. Instead, the two women spent their grad weekend, April 22-24, fighting hackers and defending a network from malware attacks at the 2016 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Championship (NCCDC).

April 25, 2016

Construction Milestone Reached for Star Valley Wyoming Temple (LDS Newsroom) (April 25, 2016)
A small crowd gathered near Afton, Wyoming, on a chilly spring morning for the placement of the angel Moroni statue atop the Star Valley Wyoming Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is currently under construction.

Select BYU Women's Conference Talks to Be Streamed Live (Church News) (April 25, 2016)
Select talks by Church leaders during the Brigham Young University 2016 BYU Women’s Conference will be streamed live in Spanish on and the Mormon Channel April 29. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Ruth L. Renlund will speak at the closing general session on Friday at 3:45 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband Counsels, Encourages Saints in Tampico, Mexico (Church News) (April 25, 2016)
Elder Ronald A. Rasband is no stranger to Mexico, having traveled in Mexico extensively as a General Authority Seventy and as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.

Former Mormon missionary looks for positive since Belgian blast (Deseret News - Utah) (April 25, 2016)
One of the four LDS missionaries wounded in the Brussels terrorist attacks described Monday the fear, confusion and lessons learned as he continues on the road to full recovery. Joseph Dresden Empey, or Dres as his family and friends call him, is looking for the positive in the situation as he heals from serious burns and injuries. He's recovering at home in Santa Clara.

LDS community mourning deaths in Ecuador as aftershocks continue there, in Japan (Deseret News - Utah) (April 25, 2016)
Aftershocks are nothing but smaller earthquakes, but whatever they are called, the earth hasn't stopped shaking in either Ecuador or Japan in the week since three large quakes struck in three short days. The two countries are on opposite sides of the Pacific but within the "Ring of Fire," an earthquake-prone zone that continues to shift. Already, the quakes have killed nearly 600 people in Ecuador and 48 in Japan.

BYU Ballroom Dance Company Performs “Swing ‘n’ Sway” Showcase (Church News) (April 25, 2016)
On April 8 and 9 the Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Company performed “Swing ‘n’ Sway” in the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. In the annual recital, five auditioned teams showcased what they have been working on all year, said the newly appointed artistic director, Curt Holman.

Editor's Note: On Vacation This Week -- Next Post on Thursday (April 25, 2016)
I am on vacation the first half of this week. The next post will be on Thursday. -- David Winters

April 22, 2016

Elder Clayton tells BYU graduates to get and stay connected (Deseret News - Utah) (April 22, 2016)
Although Alma Borshein felt excitement to be donning a cap and gown for the second time for graduation, she couldn’t help but also feel relief.

BYU grads encouraged to keep an ‘eternal perspective’ and avoid exes, pornography (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 22, 2016)
Bountiful native Benjamin Merrill said Thursday that it felt like both forever and no time at all since his first day of classes at Brigham Young University. The genetics and biotechnology major was dressed in a cap and gown, sitting among thousands of his fellow students and their families in BYU's Marriott Center as they waited for the start of commencement ceremonies.

Elder Maynes to address young adults in Worldwide Devotional (LDS Church News) (April 22, 2016)
How can young single adults develop or strengthen their testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, particularly the First Vision and the unique role of the Prophet Joseph Smith? Why is this testimony important for young adults today?

What it's like serving stint of Mormon missionary work in central Ohio (Columbus Dispatch - Ohio) (April 22, 2016)
The copy of the Book of Mormon left at their home by a missionary gathered dust for a year before Sherazade Ali's father cracked it open. Once he discovered what was inside, he wanted to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The rest of the family followed. Ali, who was 11 at the time, had been Catholic, her mother Hindu and her father Muslim. But the Mormon Church resonated with them, especially after they saw how Ali's father turned his life around.

Biskupski, Hatch, Mormon church, others react to Huntsman family buying The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 22, 2016)
"Salt Lake City and Utah have been incredibly well served by having a strong independent newspaper like The Tribune. I am incredibly grateful to the Huntsman family for stepping up to continue this legacy." Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, a Democrat "For years, The Salt Lake Tribune has done the great work of reporting the news and ensuring our community is well-informed. Congratulations to the Huntsman family for stepping up and continuing The Tribune's proud tradition." Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

Spiritual Preparation Foundational for Young Women Youth Leaders (Church News) (April 22, 2016)
The young women in the restored Church are amazing people who have an important role to play in building the Lord’s kingdom in these latter days and in helping to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Savior.

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