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May 31, 2016

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May 31, 2016

VIDEO: Reaching Out to Refugees—Invite Them to Dinner (LDS Newsroom Blog) (May 31, 2016)
Since the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a letter in March 2016 encouraging Mormon women to help refugees, LDS Charities (the Church's humanitarian arm) has published video vignettes for its "Give Back" series that show how some members are already reaching out to refugees.

Reaching Outsiders Within, One by One (LDS Newsroom Blog) (May 31, 2016)
Look around the room on any given Sunday in a Latter-day Saint chapel and you'll soon realize you're among a heterogeneous group. Granted, some congregations might look more homogeneous based only on skin color or the number of dark suits and white shirts present. But look closer, with the right lenses, and you'll notice something else.

Elder Ballard speaks to Mormon Miracle Pageant cast members in Manti (Deseret News - Utah) (May 31, 2016)
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke to close to 1,000 cast members and volunteers of the Mormon Miracle Pageant in a devotional held in the Manti Utah Stake Center on Sunday, May 29. "I count it a blessing that Sister Ballard and I can be with you tonight," Elder Ballard said. The Mormon Miracle Pageant has great meaning to his family, he said. "We have a lot of ties to this pageant, more than perhaps many of you might know."

Remembering Elder L. Tom Perry 1 year after his death (Deseret News - Utah) (May 31, 2016)
One year ago this month, on May 30, 2015, Elder L. Tom Perry died at the age of 92 from the effects of cancer. At the time of his passing, he had served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for over 41 years.

Brazil’s Rich History a Prelude to Future Growth (Church News) (May 31, 2016)
For Brazilian Latter-day Saints, 2016 is a historic year of gratitude and celebration. A half-century ago, Elder Spencer W. Kimball—then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—traveled to Sao Paulo and organized the country’s first stake. Since then, Brazil has become one of the Church’s most inspiring success stories.

Mission boundary realignments in Idaho (LDS Church News) (May 31, 2016)
The boundaries of the four missions in Idaho will be realigned to allow missionaries in the area to serve and work with Church members more effectively.

Not just BYU: Students at other Utah colleges say sexual assault investigations can be harrowing (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 31, 2016)
Beth lay stunned on her bed, her mind racing back over the dating rules she'd written in her journal just weeks before.

Death penalty appeal: Witnesses had to choose between testifying in favor of killer or obeying LDS Church (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 31, 2016)
Several witnesses called to testify in Douglas Anderson Lovell's death penalty trial last year say they faced a hard choice: Either testify on behalf of a murderer they had come to know as a friend or appease their leaders within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and stay silent.

May 27, 2016

President Uchtdorf recalls being a refugee, asks members to reach out (LDS Church News) (May 27, 2016)
During a recent trip to Ostrava, Czech Republic — the city of his birth — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reflected on the current refugee situation in Europe, his own family history and the history of Latter-day Saints.

Richard Norby released from hospital, returns home to Lehi, Utah (Deseret News - Utah) (May 27, 2016)
On Tuesday, after 64 days spent in hospitals on two continents recovering from shrapnel wounds and burns he sustained in the Brussels airport terrorist attack in March, Norby left the University of Utah Medical Center and returned to his home in Lehi.

Elder Holland Tells National Scout Leaders Duty to God Is a Way of Life (LDS Newsroom) (May 27, 2016)
“In a day when some people are using religious faith to divide the human family, this little gathering is a bold declaration that commitment to deity can and should be a powerful, uniting force in this world,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a national meeting of Scout leaders.

First-edition Book of Mormon to be part of Library of Congress' 'America Reads' exhibit (Deseret News - Utah) (May 27, 2016)
An 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon is scheduled to be part of the Library of Congress’ “America Reads” exhibit to open June 16, according to a news release.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson: 'Everyone has a stake in religious freedom' (LDS Church News) (May 27, 2016)
“Whether you’re religious or not — whether you initially recognize it or not — everyone has a stake in protecting religious freedom,” Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declared.

BYU students take their artistic, athletic talents on the road (LDS Church News) (May 27, 2016)
A sign at the entrance of Brigham Young University carries a familiar slogan: “The World Is Our Campus.” It’s not a metaphor. The influence and reach of the Church-owned college stretches across the globe. BYU’s performing arts groups and athletic teams are responsible for much of that broad footprint.

Sister Neill F. Marriott and her daughters speak during BYU Women's Conference (LDS Church News) (May 27, 2016)
Before giving her first general conference address after being called to the Young Women general presidency, Sister Neill F. Marriott remembered sitting in the tall red chairs on the stand in the “cavernous” Conference Center and not having her feet touch the floor. “I was terrified,” she recalled.

Leader Shares Seven Lessons on Seeking Revelation (Church News) (May 27, 2016)
In her remarks to women gathered in the Marriott Center on April 29 as part of BYU Women’s Conference, Sister Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, gave seven lessons she has learned throughout her life while seeking revelation.

Elder Massimo De Feo: 'We know we are not alone' (LDS Church News) (May 27, 2016)
April 3, 2016, will forever be a historic day for Latter-day Saints in Italy. For the first time, one of their own — a “paesano” — was called to be a General Authority.

Programs Help Increase High School Students’ Spirituality (Church News) (May 27, 2016)
It’s been a memorable spring for the Bingham High School boys’ soccer team. The Miners have enjoyed wins over their cross-town rivals, claimed a region championship, and secured a top seed in the 2016 Utah state soccer tournament.

UTubers: BYU's Vocal Point surprises retirement home residents (Deseret News - Utah) (May 27, 2016)
BYU’s Vocal Point recently teamed up with BYUtv’s new show, “Random Acts,” to “positive prank” residents at a retirement home. Disguised as maintenance workers, the members of the a cappella group surprised residents by entering their rooms and singing “Nearer My God to Thee.”

May 26, 2016

Civil Society: The Art of Human Connection (LDS Newsroom) (May 26, 2016)
Running a society always seems to be the job of someone else — someone with more influence, more money, more time. Perhaps we expect some program or sponsor to take the lead. But when it comes to taking care of people, there is no someone else; there is only us.

Church Recognized at California Mormon History Day (LDS Newsroom) (May 26, 2016)
An inaugural event celebrating California Mormon History Day was held May 21 at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, California.

'An answer to many prayers': Hong Kong China Temple reaches 20-year milestone (Deseret News - Utah) (May 26, 2016)
One of the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will reach a significant milestone this month. The Hong Kong China Temple, which serves LDS Church members from Mongolia in the north to Indonesia in the south and as far west as Pakistan, was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley 20 years ago on May 26 and 27, 1996.

'It's beyond pain': how Mormons are left vulnerable in Utah's opiate crisis (Guardian - UK) (May 26, 2016)
Mormons, who shun drugs and alcohol, have fallen prey to addiction in Utah, where one-third of adults were prescribed an opioid pain medication in 2014

Watch: Elizabeth Smart discusses BYU Honor Code, sexual assault on ‘Crime Watch Daily’ (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 26, 2016)
Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart has joined the syndicated TV show "Crime Watch Daily" as a correspondent, and in her first episode discussed Brigham Young University's Honor Code and the stories of two women who reported being sexually assaulted to the Provo school.

Defining what ‘rape culture’ means, and doesn’t mean, at Mormon-owned BYU and beyond (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 26, 2016)
In the ongoing debate about sexual assault at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, this much is clear: Many readers and observers do not understand the term "rape culture." It does not mean that rape is widespread and commonplace at a given university or in certain settings. It does not mean overtly promoting or encouraging rape. And it certainly does not mean that a society endorses or applauds rape.

Man arrested after vandalism of Layton LDS church building (KUTV - Utah) (May 26, 2016)
A man is in custody after police say he vandalized a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint meeting house in Layton Tuesday. An officer investigated after seeing a car left with its door open in the parking lot of the church at 590 W. Antelope Dr. The officer found broken windows and damaged property inside the church, according to Sgt. Paul Gardiner with Layton Police Department.

An Idaho town grapples with an ugly mix — high school football, racism and rape (Los Angeles Times - California) (May 26, 2016)
It began with racist taunts and pranks, escalated to physical harassment and ended, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Idaho, in a horrific act of rape by three white high school football players against their mentally disabled, African American teammate.

May 25, 2016

HISTORY® Partners With FamilySearch on Freedmen's Bureau Project (LDS Newsroom) (May 25, 2016)
FamilySearch International, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is partnering with HISTORY® to give its Freedmen’s Bureau Project a final push.

New Harmony: The haunting saga of a Latter-day refugee (Deseret News - Utah) (May 25, 2016)
The Relief Society sisters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been asked to assist the world’s refugees. And, as my friend puts it, maybe we men should follow the women. Refugees are today's poor, wayfaring men and women of grief.

Inside the Story: 'James the Mormon' debut album tops the charts (KUTV - Utah) (May 25, 2016)
He says he's not a rapper or a music artist. Yet a Utah Valley man's hip-hop album topped the charts. "James the Mormon" came up with his name, not for his music, but after returning from his LDS mission to Washington State.

Idaho man sues university over hostility toward his Mormon faith (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 25, 2016)
An Idaho Falls man is suing Idaho State University, alleging that he was discriminated against because of his Mormon faith. The Post Register reports (http://bit.ly/27ReftS ) that Orin Duffin filed the lawsuit Friday. He says he was severely harassed while playing for the men's tennis team because of his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

LDS Church silence on liquor licenses does not equal approval, DABC commissioner says (Fox 13 - Utah) (May 25, 2016)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is apparently weighing in on liquor license applications without explicitly weighing in. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission modified its prior stance that silence from a community location like a church or a school was essentially consent on a liquor license application for a business located nearby. It was brought up as the DABC commission considered wine/beer license requests for an Even Stevens restaurant in Logan and a La Frontera restaurant in St. George.

Rainbow Mormon Initiative (Huffington Post) (May 25, 2016)
On June 5, 2016, a group of Mormons who are allies of their LGBT+ brothers and sisters will be launching an initiative to show their support and love by wearing rainbow ribbons to church (or wearing them on Sundays if they do not attend) and posting photos of themselves online. The Rainbow Mormon Initiative also encourages those who wish to participate to knit or crochet scarves, hats, or blankets to donate to Ogden Youth Futures, a shelter for homeless LGBT+ teens in northern Utah.

May 24, 2016

Mormon Tabernacle Choir 2016 European Tour (Church News) (May 24, 2016)
For the first time in 18 years, the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will perform in Europe. The 20-day tour to eight European cities is scheduled from Monday, June 27, through Saturday, July 16, 2016.

2016 Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra on Temple Square Pioneer Day Concert (Church News) (May 24, 2016)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present their annual concert held in conjunction with community-wide Pioneer Day celebrations. The concert will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center and will be conducted by Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir and Ryan Murphy, associate music director.

Video captures Angel Moroni atop LDS temple being struck by lightning (Fox 13 - Utah) (May 24, 2016)
A Bountiful woman filming Sunday’s storm on her phone caught the moment lightning struck the local temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brittany Haslam said at first she didn’t realize what the lightning hit. It wasn’t until she went back and viewed the video in slow motion that she saw it hit the LDS temple.

LDS missionary who returned home early shares experience in Mormon Channel video (Deseret News - Utah) (May 24, 2016)
When young women and young men leave home to serve as full-time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they plan to serve for 18 months to two years. But a new video released by Mormon Channel on Monday as part of its "His Grace" series features one man’s experience of returning home earlier than expected.

May 23, 2016

Missionary Dress Guidelines Revised to Help Prevent Mosquito-Borne Diseases (LDS Newsroom) (May 23, 2016)
Dress guidelines for missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been revised for men and women serving in areas around the world impacted by mosquito-borne viral diseases such as Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and Zika.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Visits Childhood Home in Czech Republic (LDS Newsroom Blog) (May 23, 2016)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ First Presidency and his wife, Harriet, recently visited President Uchtdorf’s childhood home in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Elder Joaquin Esteban Costa: 'The Lord knows the details of your life' (LDS Church News) (May 23, 2016)
Elder Joaquin Esteban Costa has a message he wants to share with all people: Studying the Book of Mormon is the best way to know Jesus Christ. Two days after he was sustained as a General Authority Seventy during the Saturday afternoon session of the 186th Annual General Conference, Elder Costa and his wife, Renée Valera Costa, told the Church News of how the Book of Mormon became one of the most important elements in their lives.

'Will You Engage in the Wrestle?' Sheri Dew speaks at BYU-Idaho devotional (LDS Church News) (May 23, 2016)
“Questions are good. Questions are good if they are inspired questions, asked in faith, and asked of credible sources where the Spirit will direct and confirm the answer,” said Sheri Dew, CEO of the Deseret Book Company...

Lightning damages Angel Moroni statue atop Bountiful Temple (Deseret News - Utah) (May 23, 2016)
A lightning strike damaged the Angel Moroni statue atop the Bountiful Temple on Sunday afternoon. LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins confirmed that lightning struck the statue but did not the know the extent of the damage.

Religious freedom is good for business, Elder Christofferson says, so all have a stake in it (Deseret News - Utah) (May 23, 2016)
Everyone has a stake in protecting religious freedom because it contributes to better economic and business outcomes, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church said Friday. "Where religious freedom is respected and protected, society overall is more stable, safer and more prosperous," said Elder Christofferson, citing research data during a speech at the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's annual convention in Salt Lake City.

LDS church accuses Tribune for 'gotcha journalism' in reporting BYU rapes (KUTV - Utah) (May 23, 2016)
The LDS church held nothing back when it accused The Salt Lake Tribune of "gotcha journalism" in its recent reporting of sexual assaults on Brigham Young University's campus. In a blog posted Thursday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said recent Tribune stories made "extraordinary claims" and implied that there was a "rape culture" on BYU campus.

Editorial: How BYU should deal with its sexual assault scandal (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 23, 2016)
You are far from home. In a hotel room. Alone. You wake up in the middle of the night and realize the room is on fire. The flames and smoke block your way to the door. The window is locked. For, of course, your own protection. You could break the window to escape. You could use a chair in the room to smash the glass. But wait. Breaking other people's windows is against the law. So is smashing up their furniture. Best to just sit there and burn. Wouldn't want to break the rules.

Local Teachers honored by Latter-day Saints for excellence (Local News Only - Texas) (May 23, 2016)
Nearly three hundred North Texas teachers were honored by their students from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for excellence in teaching on the evenings of May 3-5, 2016. The teens from the Carroll, Grapevine-Colleyville, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, and Keller ISDs invited teachers who made a difference in their lives to join them for a dinner and a special program of song, video, and verse created by the youth just for them.

Mormon Mentions: Lindsey Stirling records with Celine Deon; Alex Boye song hits No. 2 on Billboard chart (Deseret News - Utah) (May 23, 2016)
Social media posts with a connection to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members last week highlighted LDS entertainers participating in a variety activities. These activities included a reality show and a concert in Croatia. In addition, social media accounts for LDS Church leaders featured inspiring stories and counsel.

Latter Day Saints says no (Newsday - Trinidad) (May 23, 2016)
THE unanimity of the IRO’s decision in support of child marriage has again come into question. This follows the revelation by Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris that neither he, nor his Church’s regular representative, was at a recent IRO board meeting at which the issue of child marriage was discussed and an alleged unanimous decision took place. He described child marriages as “legalised statutory rape”. Adding their voice to the controversial issue yesterday was the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In a statement to the media yesterday, the Church also said it was not represented at the meeting. The Church affirmed that it did not convey its perspective on the issue to the Executive Committee of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) of Trinidad and Tobago, before or after the meeting, and it is not in favour of child marriage.

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