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September 30, 2014

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September 29, 2014

Church Hosts Second General Women’s Meeting for Women and Girls (LDS Newsroom) (September 29, 2014)
Hundreds of thousands of women, young women and girls 8 years old and older gathered around the world on Saturday, 27 September 2014, for the second general women’s meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Leaders Hope General Women's Meeting Strengthens Sisterhood (Church News) (September 29, 2014)
Something remarkable happens when Latter-day Saint women gather together, said Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president. “Women love to gather,” she said. “There is an energy when women gather together.”

LDS Church leaders share excitement for General Women's Meeting (Deseret News - Utah) (September 29, 2014)
This weekend, women and girls as young as 8 years old will gather for the second semiannual General Women's Meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first General Women's Meeting took place in April and included speakers from the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary general presidencies, as well as the First Presidency.

LDS meeting: Feminists seeking change find it in subtle wording (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 29, 2014)
Mormon feminists may have been surprised by some subtle changes in vocabulary and approach Saturday night at the general women’s meeting for all LDS females age 8 and older. Dieter F. Uchtdorf addressed the female audience — sitting in the giant Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City or watching via satellite in LDS chapels across the globe — not just as "sisters" but also as "blessed disciples of Jesus Christ."

LDS general conference marks 90th, 65th broadcast anniversaries (Deseret News - Utah) (September 29, 2014)
October marks two milestones in the history of general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: the 90th anniversary of conference on the radio and the 65th anniversary of conference on television.

A Mormon St. Peter’s in Rome (Daily Beast) (September 29, 2014)
On the outskirts of Rome along the ancient Catholic pilgrim route known as the Via Francigena and not far from a giant shopping center featuring a massive IKEA and the French do-it-yourself Mecca called Leroy Merlin, cranes are hoisting giant spires onto the top of a Baroque-revival-style church. But unlike most of the religious edifices erected in Catholic Rome, this Roman temple is being built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) of Italy to accommodate a congregation that has grown from 9,000 to nearly 30,000 followers in less than 30 years.

LDS Church Raises Requirements for Mormon Seminary (Associated Press) (September 29, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is raising the bar for high school students enrolled in seminary, adding tests and reading requirements to a program that previously just required attendance. Church-run seminary classes are geared toward students ages 14 to 18 and overview the Mormon scriptures in 50-minute, daily sessions typically held at a home or LDS meetinghouse in the mornings before regular high school classes begin.

FamilySearch provides LDS members with free subscriptions to commercial family history websites (Deseret News - Utah) (September 29, 2014)
The day many LDS Church members have been looking forward to has finally arrived. Last February, FamilySearch International announced that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would soon receive free personal subscriptions to the top three commercial genealogy websites in the world — Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com and MyHeritage.com — accessible from any location.

Pew: Religion Losing Influence in America (LDS Newsroom) (September 29, 2014)
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that 72 percent of the United States public thinks religion is losing influence in American life, the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past 10 years. Significantly, most of the respondents who say religion's influence is waning describe this as a bad thing.

September 25, 2014

Church Members Look Forward to Second General Women’s Meeting (LDS Newsroom) (September 25, 2014)
Millions of women and girls ages 8 years old and older from around the world will come together as part of the second general women’s meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this Saturday, 27 September, at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time.

Women in the Church (LDS Newsroom) (September 25, 2014)
Latter-day Saint women draw strength and inspiration from their identity: they understand themselves to be daughters of God with a purpose in life, and they strive to cultivate the attributes of divinity—such as holiness, wisdom and charity—within themselves.

Exhibit Highlights Women in the Scriptures (LDS Newsroom) (September 25, 2014)
Visitors to the Conference Center in Salt Lake City will see 11 new paintings of courageous women from the scriptures on the west side of the plaza level. The oil paintings are the works of artist Kathleen Peterson, who lives on an 80-acre farm with her husband in central Utah’s rural Spring City. Peterson, the mother of four grown children and a grandmother, paints in her home studio.

Church History Museum Closes for Interior Renovation (LDS Newsroom) (September 25, 2014)
Thirty years after its opening, the Church History Museum on Temple Square in Salt Lake City will close on 6 October 2014, for one year to complete major interior renovations. The museum will be open through Sunday, 5 October, and will reopen in the fall of 2015 with a newly designed floor plan and exhibits.

Mormon church’s History Museum closing for a year (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 25, 2014)
Just as Christ is at the center of the LDS faith, so, too, do Mormon leaders want him at the center of a renovated museum. The 30-year-old Church History Museum west of Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City will close its doors Oct. 6 — after LDS General Conference — to undergo a yearlong makeover of its main floor.

Elder Holland shares keys to happiness during BYU-Idaho devotional (+video) (LDS Church News) (September 25, 2014)
“Above all else, ultimate happiness, true peace and anything even remotely close to scriptural joy are found first, foremost and forever in living the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught during a campus devotional held in the BYU-Idaho Center at Brigham Young University-Idaho on Sept. 23.

Elder Perry: Mormon Pavilion at 1964 World's Fair Had Impact (Church News) (September 25, 2014)
Its impact can be hard to imagine in the Internet age, but 50 years ago, when the New York World’s Fair of 1964–65 was staged, it was a chance for many people to experience an array of world culture and glimpse the technological dazzle of the future. For The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it represented groundbreaking methods of taking the gospel message to multitudes.

Ex-LDS presiding bishop elected UTA chairman (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 25, 2014)
The Utah Transit Authority Board on Wednesday elected former LDS Church Presiding Bishop H. David Burton as its new chairman — who then said the embattled agency has taken all steps necessary to restore public trust. "Does UTA need to be fixed? Of course not, UTA is fixed," Burton told reporters.

LDS website allows users to visit Palmyra without leaving home (Deseret News - Utah) (September 25, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently launched an update to its church history website that helps Palmyra, New York, come alive for site browsers. While the small town in upstate New York may be relatively unknown outside of the LDS community, Palmyra carries a great deal of significance for members of the church.

LDS Church rebuild 114 houses in Ha'apai (Matangi - Tonga) (September 25, 2014)
The rebuilding of 114 core houses destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Ian in Ha’apai is expected to start next month to be completed early next year, by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Howard Niu the church’s Tonga Service Centre Manager said they have signed with local contractor Oregon Pacific International to carry out the construction.

Natural Disasters Impact Members around the World (Church News) (September 25, 2014)
Natural disasters have impacted the lives of Latter-day Saints in communities across the globe. Members in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula are drying out following Hurricane Odile—even as volcanoes threaten congregations in Hawaii and the Philippines.

African American Quilters display work at LDS Temple Center (Los Angeles Sentinel - California) (September 25, 2014)
The African American Quilters of Los Angeles are displaying their work through October 2, at a special exhibition hosted by the Los Angeles Latter Day Saints Temple Visitors’ Center in Westwood. The collection of 43 quilts includes artistic interpretations of the African American experience from slavery to modern life, including a technique called ‘blinging,’ that uses rhinestones and sequins.

LDS Church's Overcoming Pornography website updated (LDS Church News) (September 25, 2014)
The size of the worldwide pornography industry is $57 billion with revenue greater than all football, baseball and basketball franchises combined, according to BYU Women’s Services and Resources. A year ago, the Church launched the website OvercomingPornography.org to help family members and spouses who carry the heavy burden of loved ones involved with pornography. Some recent updates and additions have expanded the site to help even more people deal with this complex issue.

BYU's Nick Emery to return to Germany to finish LDS mission after successful surgery (Deseret News - Utah) (September 25, 2014)
Future BYU basketball player Nick Emery is headed back to Germany to finish his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Emery took to Twitter to make the announcement:

Ex-BYU QB Hall may enter treatment program, escape prosecution (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 25, 2014)
Arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen items and cocaine earlier this month in Gilbert, Arizona, former BYU quarterback Max Hall can avoid criminal prosecution by participating in a one-year drug diversion program, according to a spokesman for the Maricopa County, Arizona, Attorney’s Office. Public Information Officer Jerry Cobb said this week that Hall was recently offered the diversion option, which includes mandatory drug testing and substance abuse treatment, all at his expense. If he completes the program, charges will not be filed.

Google's definition of Mormonism attracts attention from social media users (Deseret News - Utah) (September 25, 2014)
On Monday afternoon, some social media users noticed a definition of Mormonism on Google that misrepresented the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

September 24, 2014

Reno couple devotes 3 years to missionary calling (Reno Gazette-Journal - Nevada) (September 24, 2014)
Dan Dyer was an eager young missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the late 1960s when he first set foot in Bolivia. He never dreamed that more than 40 years later, he’d return there with his wife to help other young volunteers continue the church’s missionary work.

BYU supports Virginia kicker whose dad suffered heart attack during game at LaVell Edwards Stadium (Deseret News - Utah) (September 24, 2014)
Early in the fourth quarter of Virginia’s 41-33 loss to BYU Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium, Cavalier placekicker Ian Frye booted a 46-yard field goal. What makes that feat even more impressive is the circumstance under which Frye accomplished it.

Ruthless Optimism - what Mormons can teach us about facing tragedy (First Things) (September 24, 2014)
Mormon culture, especially in America, exhibits what I call “ruthless optimism,” which is the habit of unreasonable striving to be (or perhaps to appear to be) happy regardless of circumstance. This perpetual optimism is both ridiculous and endearing to outsiders, but for those within the faith, the association of righteousness with happiness can create incredible strain.

Mormon leaders spread word about controversial essays (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 24, 2014)
For about a year, the LDS Church has been posting on its website carefully worded, scholarly essays about touchy topics from the faith’s history and theology. Did Mormons really abandon polygamy in 1890? Did Brigham Young order the Mountain Meadows Massacre? Do Latter-day Saints believe a man can become like God? How did the church’s ban on black men holding the priesthood come to be?

LDS Democrats launching billboard campaign (Daily Herald - Utah) (September 24, 2014)
The largest caucus in the Utah Democratic Party is kicking off a new campaign to get the word out that it is OK to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints and a Democrat. Recently, the LDS Dems, as they call themselves, announced the group will be paying for a number of billboard advertisements up and down the Wasatch Front that will be displayed until election day in November. The advertisements will seek to educate "swing" LDS voters that they do have an option other than the traditionally dominant party in the state.

Picturing history: Snow-Ashby duplex, Nauvoo, Illinois (Deseret News - Utah) (September 24, 2014)
This Nauvoo, Illinois, dwelling was built as a duplex shared by Erastus Snow and Nathaniel Ashby and their families. It is located on the west side of Hyde Street just north of Parley Street in Nauvoo. Erastus Snow married his first wife, Artemesia Beman, Dec. 3, 1838. Following the Nauvoo years, the Snow family migrated west. Snow was one of the first to enter the Salt Lake Valley. He was ordained an apostle of the LDS Church in 1849 and spent his life doing missionary work and colonizing until his death in 1888.

Paul Rolly: BYU fans rise and shout about ‘indecent’ ticket promotion (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 24, 2014)
Perceptions of indecency in schools pertaining to homecoming-dance dresses or the attire worn by girls for yearbook pictures have pitted students, teachers, parents and administrators against one another and made front-page headlines. Now, there is a new target from mostly Mormon women upset about the explosion of indecent images of the female body and the exploitation of women for sexual gratification.

Missionary costumes part of drug deal gone awry, defense lawyer says (Las Vegas Review-Journal - Nevada) (September 24, 2014)
The phony Mormon missionary costumes worn by Robert Estall and Abraham Austin wouldn’t arouse suspicion in neighbors about a drug deal that was about to go down, a defense attorney told Clark County jurors Tuesday. Their marijuana dealer told them to wear white, collared shirts, black ties, black pants and black dress shoes to look like representatives of the church, lawyer Carl Arnold, who represents Estall, said during opening statements as the trial for the two men began. They also wore backpacks to carry the drug out of the house without being spotted.

September 23, 2014

Virginia governor, first lady kick off LDS Day to Serve (Deseret News - Utah) (September 23, 2014)
A massive service spree started on Sept. 11 when first lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe endorsed the Day to Serve, an annual service initiative that involves all the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Temple experience has been 'life-changing' (Standard-Examiner - Utah) (September 23, 2014)
The Ogden temple recently closed its open-house doors and many people worked long hours to get the freshly renovated temple ready for its dedication on Sept. 21. In the last month almost 600,000 people got a look at the downtown temple and many were impressed with what they saw.

Mormonism Online: In Your Own Words (LDS Newsroom Blog) (September 23, 2014)
The Ogden Utah Temple was rededicated in three sessions on Sunday, 21 September. Originally dedicated in 1972, the Ogden Utah Temple was closed for extensive renovation for the past three years. Many Latter-day Saints expressed excitement this weekend about having the temple back in service.

Elizabeth Smart will speak in Rochester next week (Democrat & Chronicle - New York) (September 23, 2014)
When Elizabeth Smart looks back, she says it's not her 2002 abduction and nine months in captivity that first jump to mind. "I can think of a whole bunch of wonderful memories," Smart, now 26, said in a recent phone interview from Utah. "I think it was really important that I went back to high school and to college and studied abroad and studied at music camp during the summers."

Terryl and Fiona Givens explore 'The Crucible of Doubt' (Deseret News - Utah) (September 23, 2014)
Terryl and Fiona Givens' new book, "The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith" (Deseret Book, $19.99), started with a letter to a family member who was struggling spiritually. Terryl Givens titled the 15-page document "Letter to a Doubter." About the same time, Givens was invited to speak to a group of young adults in Palo Alto, California. He felt impressed to share the same letter.

Leo Tolstoy's view of Mormons as teaching 'The American Religion' (Deseret News - Utah) (September 23, 2014)
In his diary, Leo Tolstoy wrote: “God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part.” Enigmatic, moved by great passions and inconsistencies, this man is considered a creative genius; perhaps as significant in the literature of the world as Shakespeare is.

Tourists say possible new security will not stop them from visiting the White House (Washington Post) (September 23, 2014)
Security checks? No problem, some tourists visiting the White House said Monday. “Security measures are never a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t take a long time,” said Celeste Black, a Mormon missionary in Rockville, after taking a picture for a fellow new missionary friend at the White House.

Larry Ellison Bought an Island in Hawaii. Now What? (New York Times Magazine) (September 23, 2014)
....Hawaiians lived happily on Lanai for about 800 years. Then the Mormons started arriving, eventually led in 1861 by Walter Murray Gibson, who, in retrospect, may have been only a megalomaniac con man masquerading as a Mormon. An article published by the Hawaiian Historical Society in 1960 describes Gibson as “ambitious and romantic and interested in ruling a tropical government.” Gibson spent his early years tramping through Southeast Asia, stoking a native revolt against the Dutch in the hope of commandeering one. He converted to Mormonism only one year before showing up on Lanai. After building a Mormon colony in the island’s interior, Gibson began buying land on Lanai until he controlled nearly the entire island. He paid for the land with the church’s money but put the titles in his own name. When the Mormons figured this out, they excommunicated him.

September 22, 2014

Ogden Utah Temple Rededicated by President Thomas S. Monson (LDS Newsroom) (September 22, 2014)
The Ogden Utah Temple was rededicated Sunday, 21 September 2014, by President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after undergoing extensive renovation. The temple’s entire exterior was reshaped and new stone and art glass were added.

President Thomas S. Monson rededicates Ogden Utah Temple (LDS Church News) (September 22, 2014)
Hundreds of thousands of Church members gathered in the renovated Ogden Utah Temple and in meetinghouses across Utah and Wyoming on Sunday to watch President Thomas S. Monson rededicate the Church’s 14th temple.

Ogden Utah Temple Cultural Celebration: 'Shine the light' (LDS Church News) (September 22, 2014)
After standing to sing a "We Thank Thee O God for A Prophet" as President Thomas S. Monson walked into the Dee Events Center on Saturday afternoon, youth from northern Utah and parts of Wyoming spent the day singing and dancing in a cultural celebration honoring the remodeled Ogden Utah Temple.

My experience with the Ogden temple dedication (The Signpost - WSU - Utah) (September 22, 2014)
I grew up a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but I grew up outside of Utah, which was a much different experience than most members have. Living outside of Seattle Washington, you don’t see LDS churches on every street corner during your daily drive, and there are not nearly as many LDS temples.

Mormon youths celebrate reopening of the Ogden Temple (Deseret News - Utah) (September 22, 2014)
LDS youths from the Ogden area spent their Saturday singing and dancing in celebration of the remodeled Ogden Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a “cultural celebration.” The event, held in conjunction with the temple’s rededication on Sunday, brought more than 16,000 youths to fill the Dee Events Center at Weber State University. Their families, and others living in the temple district, gathered in stake centers to watch a broadcast of the event.

Electric Car Sets New World Land Speed Record (Silicon India) (September 22, 2014)
An ultralight electric car built by students at a U.S. university has set a new land speed record in its class, besting the previous mark by nearly 80kph. Electric Blue, an E1 streamliner designed and modified by more than 130 Brigham Young University (BYU) students over the past 10 years, averaged 330kph on two qualifying runs this month.

The secret to a long marriage? Coming from a big family helps (Sacramento Bee - California) (September 22, 2014)
Betty Grotheer was a 16-year-old high school student from Carmichael when a young civil engineer named Lewis Pritten asked her parents for her hand in marriage. He was already 22, a friend of one of her older brothers. Truth be told, she wasn’t all that interested in him. “I met him when I was 12,” she said. “At 16, when Lewis asked me out, I didn’t want to go. I had a boyfriend. But Mom saw something in him.”

Danny Ainge: Rajon Rondo not trade bait (Telegram - Massachusetts) (September 22, 2014)
Wherever Danny Ainge goes, people ask him if he's going to trade Celtics captain Rajon Rondo. Sunday night was no exception. Ainge spoke about his life on and off the court at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Chester Street and a member of the congregation asked the Celtics president of basketball operations if he plans to deal his star point guard. Ainge used to be a Mormon bishop and now he's a high councilor of the Boston stake (region) which includes Worcester so he had to tell the truth, right?

BYU football: Undefeated Cougars climb to No. 20 in AP Poll (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 22, 2014)
Undefeated BYU continues to climb in the national rankings. A day after defeating Virginia 41-33 in an uneven performance at LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU jumped to No. 20 in the Associated Press Top 25 media poll and to No. 21 in the Amway Coaches Poll.

BYU football: Virginia linebacker says Taysom Hill will win the Heisman (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 22, 2014)
BYU quarterback Taysom Hill made quite an impression on Virginia. After Hill passed for two touchdowns and ran for another during the Cougars’ 41-33 win on Saturday, Cavalier linebacker Max Valles predicted Hill will win the Heisman Trophy.

LDS Missionary Expo Offers Help for New and Returned Missionaries, Senior Couples, and Families (LDS Living) (September 22, 2014)
The first LDS Missionary Expo will be held October 1–3, 2014 at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University in Orem. The free Expo is about all things missionary under five main themes: prepare, serve, support, return and senior couples.

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