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October 1, 2016

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September 30, 2016

186th Semiannual General Conference Under Way in Salt Lake City (LDS Newsroom) (September 30, 2016)
Final preparations are under way on Temple Square in Salt Lake City for the remaining sessions of the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Coverage and News Media Resources from the 186th Semiannual General Conference (LDS Newsroom) (September 30, 2016)
General conferences of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints take place every six months, originating in the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City and reaching a global audience estimated to be in the millions. The October 2016 proceedings are being interpreted live into more than 80 languages and are available in 94 languages total via television, radio, satellite and Internet. Six sessions of the conference are being held September 24, October 1 and October 2, 2016.

See Inside New Hartford Connecticut Temple (Church News) (September 30, 2016)
The Hartford Connecticut Temple opens to the public on Friday, September 30. Photos of the interior and exterior of the first temple in Connecticut are below. The open house will go through Saturday, October 22, except for Sundays. A Open house tickets may be reserved on tickets.lds.org or by calling 1-855-537-2000.

Star Valley temple: ‘It’s all about happiness' (LDS Church News) (September 30, 2016)
Late one night a few months ago, Peggy Frome stepped out into her yard on the east bench of Afton, Wyoming. Although she couldn’t see the darkness, she could feel it. “It was almost thick darkness. I could hear something, probably an owl. It was kind of cold. I didn’t feel safe,” she recalled.

Scholar Discusses Joseph Smith’s 1844 Presidential Election Campaign (Church News) (September 30, 2016)
In a season when election news is dominating the headlines, Susan Easton Black regaled a Church History Museum audience on September 15 with an account of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s U.S. presidential campaign of 172 years ago.

New temple highlights Mormon church growth, bucking national trend (Christian Science Monitor) (September 30, 2016)
At a time when many Christian denominations are experiencing declines in membership in the US, one sect's numbers have continued to grow: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church. Granted, the rate of growth has slowed in recent decades, recently hitting its lowest level in more than 70 years. But the steady increase still marks a significant contrast to many other denominations, as fewer and fewer Americans choose to identify with an organized religion. The first Mormon Temple in Connecticut, set to open this week, is the latest reflection of expansion for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is only the second in New England, joining one in the suburbs of Boston.

Members across the globe respond to 'I Was a Stranger' relief effort (LDS Church News) (September 30, 2016)
Almost exactly six months ago, Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, stood before the women of the Church to discuss the plight of refugees. In her address on Saturday, March 26, during the general women’s session of the 186th Annual General Conference, she described the tremendous difficulties facing some 60 million refugees across the globe.

LDS apostle to Utah Mormons: Remember, we were once in the minority (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 30, 2016)
Mormons may dominate Utah's religious landscape, but they must not be domineering, especially in their interactions with outsiders, a top church leader counseled Salt Lake City area Latter-day Saints. Apostle M. Russell Ballard, addressing 220 stakes (regional groups of LDS congregations) in a sermon live-streamed earlier this month from downtown's Conference Center, cautioned members to recall the times when their Mormon ancestors were in the minority and suffered "persecution and discrimination."

Elder Scott D. Whiting speaks on 'Fixing Your Eyes' on prophets at BYU-Hawaii devotional (LDS Church News) (September 30, 2016)
Elder Scott D. Whiting, General Authority Seventy, spoke on the importance of the Lord’s prophets at a BYU-Hawaii devotional on Sept. 27. Elder Whiting began by recalling a childhood playground with a man-powered merry-go-round. “I would watch kids playing and laughing and having a good time. Every now and again, I would give it a go only to end up feeling sick, dizzy and miserable,” he said.

'Comics and Mormons': Colorful, interactive exhibit at BYU (Deseret News - Utah) (September 30, 2016)
Batman. Superman. Captain America. Wonder Woman. Each of those iconic characters first appeared, of course, in comic books in the years surrounding World War II. For aficionados of the popular medium, it marked the “Golden Age” of comics.

Online instructors help BYU-Idaho lead the way in educating students worldwide (Deseret News - Utah) (September 30, 2016)
It is a weekday afternoon and three of Kami Howard’s four children are home from school. Her husband is still at work, and her children are doing their homework in the living room of their home. This school year marks a big year for her family — her oldest, 18, recently moved away from home to attend college.

Tyler Haws: One of my most influential teachers was my bishop (Deseret News - Utah) (September 30, 2016)
I believe that some of the greatest teachers in our lives are the ones who show love and invite us to act on true doctrine. One of my life-long heroes and teachers is my close friend President Buzz Butler. He was my bishop for many years and now serves as the stake president in the Alpine Utah West Stake. I felt President Butler’s friendship, love, and encouragement from a very early age. He saw things in me that I did not see myself. He had an inspiring vision for my spiritual life that made me want to follow the gospel.

September 29, 2016

Shaking up Sunday School: 'Revolution' in LDS teaching seeks to activate learners (Deseret News - Utah) (September 29, 2016)
Pay attention now, class. A major transformation is underway within the LDS Church, reshaping all teaching and learning from Sunday School courses to the priesthood.

Photos: LDS Church gears up for general conference (Deseret News - Utah) (September 29, 2016)
Pedestrians soak up the fall sun as they walk past the LDS Church Office Building on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. This weekend, the area will be teeming with thousands of people attending the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to the National Weather Service, Saturday and Sunday's forecast calls for a slight chance of showers, with thunderstorms possible after noon. Skies should be mostly sunny with a high near 80 on Saturday and in the mid-70s on Sunday.

Elder Groberg expects new iTunes version of 'The Other Side of Heaven' will continue to do good in the world (Deseret News - Utah) (September 29, 2016)
Elder John H. Groberg remembers well the first time he saw "The Other Side of Heaven." Then a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Groberg, along with director/executive producer Mitch Davis and their wives, were seated near the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and surrounded by other general authorities in a private screening of the 2001 film in Joseph Smith Memorial Building's Legacy Theater.

Defending the Faith: Hyrum Smith is an impressive witness (Deseret News - Utah) (September 29, 2016)
Joseph Smith’s elder brother Hyrum was clearly well regarded by his Palmyra neighbors — at least until the Smith family’s involvement in the Book of Mormon and related matters put it beyond the pale of respectability. For instance, they elected him a school trustee in 1828. In this capacity, he and two others administered local educational affairs, managed school funds and hired teachers. At least as early as 1828, he was also a member in good standing of Mount Moriah Masonic Lodge No. 112, signifying that he had been nominated and unanimously approved by prior lodge members as someone whose good character would reflect well upon the organization, according to Richard Lloyd Anderson’s 1981 book “Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses.”

In Our Lovely Deseret: What pioneers wrote of their impressions of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Deseret News - Utah) (September 29, 2016)
Those who were privileged to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith in the flesh were universal in their responses to the experience. President Lorenzo Snow, who joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young man in Kirtland, Ohio, was just one witness. “I heard the Prophet (Joseph Smith) discourse upon the grandest of subjects,” he said, which was recorded in “Remembering Joseph,” by Mark L. McConkie. “At times he was filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking as with the voice of an archangel, and filled with the power of God; his whole person shone and his face was lightened until it appeared as the whiteness of the driven snow.”

BYUtv to Air Family History Reality Show in Spanish, Portuguese (Church News) (September 29, 2016)
BYUtv International and FamilySearch have recently announced their newest project: an exciting, colorful reality show called Como Cheguei Aqui? or How Did I Get Here? Filmed in Rio de Janeiro, this genealogy hunt (styled similarly to The Amazing Race television show) focuses on “six Brazilian 20-somethings.” Their goal: to discover who they are by discovering where they came from. In order to obtain clues, they will encounter physical challenges (such as crossing suspension bridges) as well as various challenging puzzles.

FBI sent two agents into Mormon church in Burns as part of refuge takeover investigation (Oregon Live) (September 29, 2016)
The FBI sent two agents to attend religious services at a Mormon church in Burns on Jan. 10 as part of its investigation into the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, according to court testimony Wednesday. FBI Agent Ben Jones, who belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said he told his supervisors that if he goes to the church, "I was going to go as who I was.''

September 28, 2016

Coverage and News Media Resources from the 186th Semiannual General Conference (LDS Newsroom) (September 28, 2016)
General conferences of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints take place every six months, originating in the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City and reaching a global audience estimated to be in the millions.

Public Invited to Tour First Mormon Temple in Connecticut (LDS Newsroom) (September 28, 2016)
The public is invited to tour the newly completed Hartford Connecticut Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first Mormon temple in the Constitution State. The First Presidency of the Church has announced that the open house will be held from Friday, September 30, to Saturday, October 22, 2016, and run every day except Saturday, October 1, and Sundays (October 2, 9 and 16). To make a free reservation for the open house, visit templeopenhouse.lds.org or call 1-855-537-2000.

Perpetual Education Fund's success led to massive expansion of LDS effort to lift the poor (Deseret News - Utah) (September 28, 2016)
The announcement electrified an increasingly global LDS Church. In 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley said the church would remake the concept of the old Perpetual Emigration Fund. What once helped early Mormon pioneers cross the Plains was repurposed as a Perpetual Education Fund to lift modern Mormon pioneers out of poverty around the world.

Sister acts — How Mormon missions have changed for LDS women (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 28, 2016)
If you think more women are going on Mormon missions than ever before, you're right. But if you think those 20,000 or so "sister" missionaries — serving in Alabama or Argentina, Kentucky or Korea, Pennsylvania or Portugal — make up the largest-ever percentage of full-time female LDS proselytizers, guess again.

Monson: Mormon mission advantage for BYU? It’s a lie (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 28, 2016)
The Mormon mission deal, as it pertains to BYU sports, especially football, rears its head on a fairly regular basis. It's usually used as a hammer to pound the point about the players' advanced age. Sometimes it comes from commentators, but typically it's used by opposing coaches who bring it up in passing, dropping it in the middle of their assessments in the week leading up to a game with the Cougars.

Mormon Temple In Farmington Offers Rare Look At Sacred Building Before Dedication For Faithful (Hartford Courant - Connecticut) (September 28, 2016)
The highest standards are expected inside the sprawling new building at the corner of Route 4 and Melrose Drive,– in both the structure itself and in the people who enter. From the shining white marble floor tiles, to the ornate gold trim on the crown molding, to a glistening 9,500-piece Swarovski crystal chandelier, not a single detail is out of place in one of the newest temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Changes Ticketing Process for Popular Christmas Concert (Church News) (September 28, 2016)
If your holiday plans include attending one of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas performances December 8–10, don't wait to get your tickets, as this year’s ticketing process has changed. On Saturday, October 15, at 10:00 a.m. mountain daylight time, the free tickets will become available only at lds.org/events. Tickets will not be available by phone or in person, and you can only request up to four tickets online.

LDS Paralympians Ascend Medal Podium (Church News) (September 28, 2016)
Mormon athletes at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, won two gold medals—and set records in their respective events—and a silver and bronze medal.

September 27, 2016

8 Ways to Access General Conference Sessions (Church News) (September 27, 2016)
Twice a year, the Church invites people around the world to participate in general conference when the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and General Officers of the Church deliver messages of inspiration and guidance.

Women Who Share Scriptures with Children Have Enduring Influence (Church News) (September 27, 2016)
Ever since they were old enough to listen, Moekore and Valencia Estall of Arue, Tahiti (French Polynesia), remember their mother, Rava, teaching them stories from the scriptures. In particular, they remember their mother talking about Nephi, who persevered until he obtained the brass plates of Laban.

Thanksgiving Point opens new Light of the World Garden featuring sculptures of Christ (Deseret News - Utah) (September 27, 2016)
After 13 years of toiling, planning and generous support, a dream to create a scenic garden of religious-themed sculptures was realized Saturday. More than 350 people packed into a room at the Ashton Gardens to celebrate the grand opening of the Light of the World Garden, a 2.5-acre space featuring 35 bronze, monument-size statues organized into 15 scenes — 14 depicting Jesus Christ in the New Testament and one of Joseph Smith's First Vision — created by Utah artist Angela Johnson.

Mormon Mentions: Osmond son gets mission call, Lindsey Stirling Instagrams the temple (Deseret News - Utah) (September 27, 2016)
This week, social media posts with a connection to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members included a couple posts from the Osmond family, inspirational Instagram posts from a couple YouTubers and some powerful quotes from church leaders.

When U.S. Mormons clash with their overseas brothers and sisters about a key issue: war (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 27, 2016)
On the eve of the first U.S.-led assault against Iraq in 1990, Nathan McCluskey, a lifelong Mormon from New Zealand, found himself sharing a room with an American Latter-day Saint who was cheering — even championing — that military action. The Kiwi was appalled. At the time, McCluskey was serving a two-year Mormon mission in Australia. His missionary companion, from Ephraim, had a brother in the U.S. Air Force and had hung an American flag in the pair's bedroom.

LDS feminists applaud as church removes troublesome Book of Mormon verse on rape from youth book (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 27, 2016)
For several years, Mormon feminists have been trying to get their church to eliminate from official publications any connection between rape and chastity. It was especially noticeable in an LDS scripture, Moroni 9:9, which says, "For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue — "

Mission accomplished: Stanford becomes a haven for LDS players (San Francisco Chronicle - California) (September 27, 2016)
A key chain changed Lane Veach’s life. The Stanford linebacker was walking down a hallway in his dorm two years ago when the then-freshman was stopped by teammate Brandon Fanaika. “Are you Mormon?” Fanaika asked, pointing to Veach’s Brigham Young University key chain. BYU is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion also known as LDS or Mormonism.

September 26, 2016

Mormon Women Encouraged to Build on Doctrine of Christ (LDS Newsroom) (September 26, 2016)
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged Mormon women to focus on the doctrine of Jesus Christ as hundreds of thousands of women, young women and girls 8 years old and older gathered around the world for the first session of general conference.

Coverage of the October 2016 General Women’s Session (Church News) (September 26, 2016)
Church leaders encouraged women to “rise up in strength” and have hope as they face challenges and opposition in “perilous times” during the general women’s session of the 186th Semiannual General Conference September 24.

General Women's Session: photo gallery (LDS Church News) (September 26, 2016)
Women, young women and girls age 8 and older gathered in the Conference Center — and around the world — to listen to counsel and instruction from Church leaders during the General Women’s Session of the 186th Semiannual General Conference on Sept. 24.

Defend Mormon teachings on marriage, family and sexuality, LDS women urged (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 26, 2016)
Mormons need to be sensitive to others but not shy away from standing up boldly for their faith's bedrock teachings about home, marriage, family and sexuality, a top women's leader said Saturday. "I worry that we live in such an atmosphere of avoiding offense that we sometimes altogether avoid teaching correct principles," Bonnie L. Oscarson, president of the church's Young Women organization, told the general women's session of the fall General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Star Valley Wyoming Temple Open House Begins with Media Tour (Church News) (September 26, 2016)
Nearly five years ago, when President Thomas S. Monson announced that a temple would be built in Star Valley, Wyoming, there seemed to be a collective exclamation of joy here. There were celebrations and lots of tears.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney Visits Star Valley Temple (Church News) (September 26, 2016)
Former Vice President Dick Cheney visited The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ new Star Valley Wyoming Temple here Thursday, part of a special entourage of visitors given a tour of the new edifice prior to the start of the public open house.

Mormons Around the World Country Newsroom Websites (LDS Newsroom) (September 26, 2016)
Pacific, Tonga: Mormon Fishes the Ocean to Feed the Poor A 64-year-old Mormon man in Tonga spearfishes at night to catch fish to feed the poor. As a child, Loueni Huni was taught how to fish beyond the reef at night by his father.

September 23, 2016

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Dedicatory Prayer (Church News) (September 23, 2016)
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple on September 18, 2016. Following is the complete text of the dedicatory prayer...

Brazil 'LDS frontier' a land of great promise (Deseret News - Utah) (September 23, 2016)
Elder Neil L. Andersen was almost 50 years old when he stepped on Brazilian soil for the first time in 2001. He didn’t speak Portuguese and had little first-hand experience with the culture and people. But over the past 15 years, Brazil has become something of a second home for Elder Andersen and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen. The Andersens learned the language and have made countless friends and memories in this South American nation. For several years, he presided over the Brazil South Area. And, after being called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 2009, he has returned to Brazil many times on assignments.

Sen. Orrin Hatch proposes bill to speed up missionary visa applications (Deseret News - Utah) (September 23, 2016)
Sen. Orrin Hatch introduced a bill Wednesday to speed up the visa application process for international missionary programs. The Utah Republican proposed to reduce visa processing times by allowing eligible religious organizations to participate in a streamlined blanket petition procedure. Missionaries covered by the blanket petition could get their visas in just a few weeks rather than a few months.

See Photos of New Star Valley Wyoming Temple (Church News) (September 23, 2016)
Five years have passed since President Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of the Star Valley Wyoming Temple (October 1, 2011). A year and a half has passed since the ground was broken (April 25, 2015). This week, the completed temple opens to the public from Friday, September 23, through Saturday, October 8, 2016—with the exception of September 24, September 25, October 1, and October 2.

BYU Museum of Art Covers Six Centuries in “To Magnify the Lord” Exhibition (Church News) (September 23, 2016)
“My soul doth magnify the Lord” (Luke 1:46). That simple yet life-defining statement has been reverently uttered by believers of Christ since the dawn of time. And for centuries, those skilled with a paintbrush, a sculpting tool, or perhaps a carving knife have “magnified” their love for the Master and His works through art.

Latter-day Saints in Nakolo, Tonga, Join the Nakolo Women’s Poultry Project (Church News) (September 23, 2016)
Latter-day Saints in Nakolo, Tonga, recently joined with their neighbors to build a number of chicken coops. The aim was to increase egg production, provide more nutritious meals for families, and reduce the threat of diabetes.

Gala concert celebrates 25th Anniversary in Ukraine (LDS Church News) (September 23, 2016)
Guest musicians and vocalists, members and missionaries performed and delighted attendees of the 25th Anniversary Gala Concert commemorating the dedication of Ukraine for the preaching of the gospel. The concert, organized by the Kyiv Ukraine Stake, was held in the famous National Opera Theatre of Kyiv on Sept.17, exactly 25 years to the day when the Church was officially registered in Kyiv.

Council of Fifty minutes: volume editors comment on Joseph Smith Papers release (Deseret News - Utah) (September 23, 2016)
The Council of Fifty as it was formed and operated in Nauvoo, Ill., in 1844 “wrestled with the meaning of the kingdom of God and anticipated the fulfillment of millennial prophecies,” according to the latest book to be released in the Joseph Smith Papers, publishing in full the council minutes from March 1844 to January 1846.

September 22, 2016

Mormon Tabernacle organist in concert this weekend (News Press - Missouri) (September 22, 2016)
Christ Episcopal Church will host Dr. Richard Elliott, principal organist with the Mormon Tabernacle, for a free master class and recital this weekend on St. Joseph’s oldest working pipe organ.

The Three Brothers in Set of Quadruplets Now Serving Missions (Church News) (September 22, 2016)
An article in the Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) on January 14, 1998, reported: “It's a boy, a boy, a boy, a girl. … “Brownsville resident Estela Cepeda went into labor early Monday and gave birth to the quadruplets between 4:25 a.m. and 4:29 a.m.” Fast forward 18 years, and the three boys in that announcement are now serving full-time missions at the same time.

The business behind Christ-centered energy healing (KUTV - Utah) (September 22, 2016)
“Dear Father in Heaven,” Robin Johnson says as she kneels with her patient. “We pray that this session will go well.” This isn't a doctor's office. Johnson is getting ready to perform Reiki -– a form of alternative medicine focused on energy. On this evening in Centerville, she’s working on a woman named Jessica.

In a first for a top LDS leader, Mormon apostle denounces female genital mutilation (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (September 22, 2016)
Mormon apostle Jeffrey R. Holland may be the first LDS leader ever to mention "female genital mutilation." In a Sept. 11 speech at a four-day conference in the United Kingdom titled "Religious Persecution: The Driver for Forced Migration," Holland told attendees that sexual attacks do not happen only during war. "Instances of female genital mutilation, removable [sic] of bodily appendages, and honor killings persist during times of peace," the obviously emotional apostle said, "God knows of [the women's] suffering and weeps with them."

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