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August 23, 2014

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August 22, 2014

President Monson observes 87th birthday (LDS Church News) (August 22, 2014)
President Thomas S. Monson observed his 87th birthday on Thursday, Aug. 21. On the day before his birthday, President Monson’s counselors in the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Presiding Bishopric, Seventies, family and staff members in the First Presidency offices attended a noon social event in the Church Administration Building.

Help Young Women Embrace Move to Relief Society (Church News) (August 22, 2014)
Graduating from high school is a significant rite of passage for our youth and can be a time of uncertainty and worry as they look ahead to the next phase of their lives. For Latter-day Saint girls, progressing from the Young Women program into Relief Society often seems intimidating and, at times, even scary. Young women who will continue to attend a regular family ward, rather than a young single adult ward, might find themselves asking, “What do I have in common with these older women? Is there a place for me in Relief Society?”

LDS handbook changes social media information (Daily Herald - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
President Thomas S. Monson, head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, turned 87 on Thursday. In keeping with Elder David Bednar's invitation, well wishers flooded social media with birthday greetings. The LDS Women Facebook page put up an online Happy Birthday card, and within two hours it received 3,753 likes, 457 comments and was shared on other Facebook pages 294 times. Add that to many others who used social networking platforms to spread the good news and it is clear -- members of the LDS church have an online presence.

New Movie Highlights Members' Individuality, Diversity (Church News) (August 22, 2014)
As movie audiences across the country meet the humanitarian, the coach, the fighter, the bishop, the mom, and the Candy Bomber, they will also get the chance to meet the Mormons. For the first time in its history, the Church will release a feature-length documentary commercially on October 10.

Mormon coaches and callings: How they balance serving in the church with pressure-filled profession (Deseret News - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
Ken Niumatalolo is not a fan of camping. The Navy head football coach prefers nice hotels when away from home. Yet when duty called a few years ago, he endured the outdoors for a week at a lake near Cumberland, Maryland.

Watch: LDS bishop featured in 'Meet the Mormons' teaches David Archuleta how to step dance (Deseret News - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
Jermaine Sullivan, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Atlanta, recently taught singer-songwriter David Archuleta a new skill: step-dancing.

BYUtv meets TV critics, and gay question arises (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
BYUtv recently met members of the Television Critics Association, and the critics came away impressed. The Provo-based, LDS Church-owned channel presented itself and some of its programming at the TCA press tour — a semiannual gathering of critics from across the United States and Canada. It was the first time BYUtv appeared before the TCA, where critics are accustomed to seeing presentations from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, CNN, Discovery, HBO, Showtime and more. And it was the first time some of the critics were more than vaguely aware of BYUtv’s existence.

Blind Woman Finds Grand Vision in Doing Family History Work (Church News) (August 22, 2014)
The late-spring sun was just peeking over the Wasatch Mountains that early morning in late May, lighting up the few pink-edged clouds that drifted lazily across the horizon. There, on a tiny street in a decades-old trailer court in Centerville, Utah, Terrilynne Pomeroy stepped out of her weather-worn trailer with her closest companion, Chantelle, her Seeing Eye dog.

Stake President Recognized as Father of the Year (Church News) (August 22, 2014)
Stake President Ladd Hall received the 14th Annual American Diabetes Association Father of the Year Award. According to the American Diabetes Association website, “The purpose of this award is to recognize men that have made family a priority, while balancing a demanding career and community involvement.”

Devotional: Vai Sikahema to be final Summer 2014 speaker (BYU-Hawaii news release) (August 22, 2014)
On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, Vai Sikahema, President of the Cherry Hill New Jersey Stake and NBC10 News Today news anchor and sports director, will speak at the weekly Devotional at 11 AM in the Cannon Activities Center.

Mormon church used to make it easy to follow its money (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 22, 2014)
In 1947, the LDS Church had about a million members in 170 stakes, 1,293 wards, 132 branches (smaller congregations) — and no debt. Education was the Utah-based faith’s largest budget item, and a fair amount of its income also went to help the needy in the U.S. and abroad.

August 21, 2014

Meet the Mormons Movie (LDS Newsroom) (August 21, 2014)
“Meet the Mormons” is a feature-length documentary film produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that will be released in select theaters on 10 October 2014.

BYU assistant football coach is also Bishop Kaufusi to young single adult ward (Deseret News - Utah) (August 21, 2014)
When Steve Kaufusi hears members of his ward voice uncertainty about their ability to serve in a church calling, he understands the feeling. “I’ve been in their shoes,” said Kaufusi, who is in his 13th season as a defensive line coach for the Brigham Young University football team.

How President Uchtdorf upended my apple cart (Deseret News - Utah) (August 21, 2014)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, along with his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, have upended my apple cart. They didn’t mean to. But now there are apples all over the street. And I had them in such a tidy display.

Putting Eternal Salvation in the Hands of 19-Year-Old Missionaries (The Atlantic) (August 21, 2014)
Seventeen-year-old Matthew Timion was smoking a cigarette out his bedroom window when he heard a knock at the door. He’d just moved across the country with his mother and stepfather, a militant atheist. The recent death of his alcoholic father had left him with many questions about life, death and faith. Without looking, he somehow knew the visitors at the door were Mormon missionaries. He later interpreted this as a sign from God.

Mormons turn to Internet to preach, but sometimes it turns on them (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 21, 2014)
The LDS Church has embraced the virtual universe with unalloyed enthusiasm, hoping to harness its global reach to bring converts to Christ, while some local Mormon leaders have used the same tools to monitor — and occasionally discipline — longtime members. Whether to proselytize or to punish, social-media outlets are part of the LDS landscape, and leaders and members alike are struggling to adopt and adapt guidelines for getting along in what they see as God’s kingdom.

Mormon-owned BYU removes gay-marriage cards at bookstore (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 21, 2014)
Greeting cards celebrating same-sex marriages turned up at the Brigham Young University bookstore Tuesday. Placed by Hallmark, the cards reading "Mr. and Mr." and "Mrs. and Mrs." were quickly removed when bookstore staff discovered them after photos surfaced online. The outside vendor stocked the shelves without realizing the school wouldn’t want to sell the cards marketed to buyers celebrating unions between two brides and two grooms, BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said.

August 20, 2014

Apostle Calls for Uplifting Social Media Messages to Sweep the Earth (LDS Newsroom) (August 20, 2014)
Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called for Mormons to use social media to “sweep the earth” with authentic and uplifting messages.

Share More Gospel Messages on Social Media, Elder Bednar Says (Church News) (August 20, 2014)
During his address at the BYU Education Week devotional on August 19, Elder David A. Bednar urged Church members to flood the earth with gospel messages of truth.

Watch: Elder David A. Bednar speaks about the LDS Church and social media at Education Week (Deseret News - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the devotional speaker for Brigham Young University's Campus Education Week on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 11:10 a.m. MDT.

‘Meet the Mormons’ film coming to theaters, Web this fall (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
At first, LDS officials thought their newest feature film would best be shown in the Legacy Theater in the church-owned Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City. After all, that theater has been the venue for previous Mormon-produced movies such as "Legacy" and "Testaments." But LDS apostle David A. Bednar announced Tuesday that church leaders have decided to unveil their next project, "Meet the Mormons," in selected theaters nationwide as well as on YouTube and other Internet sites.

LDS Church announces feature-length documentary, 'Meet the Mormons' (Deseret News - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
For the first time in its history, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will release a feature-length documentary commercially on Oct. 10. The new feature-length film, “Meet the Mormons,” highlights the lives of six Latter-day Saints who live across the globe — in areas spanning from the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, to the rain forests of Costa Rica, to the Salt Lake Valley.

New Seminary Graduation Requirements Expect More from Youth (Church News) (August 20, 2014)
New requirements for seminary graduation are meant to “elevate learning” and better prepare students for lives of service and discipleship. The changes are being implemented throughout the world beginning this school year with this year’s course of study—Doctrine and Covenants and Church history.

Experts say openness helps those who doubt beliefs (Digital Universe - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
Emily Nevers was serving a mission in Ukraine and experiencing widespread atheism for the first time in her life. A native of Salt Lake City, Nevers found herself preaching and serving and unexpectedly, doubting. While on her mission, Nevers developed what she called a “justice complex.” She didn’t understand why the people were “so good and pure and yet were slaughtered by hardship.” At one time, she even questioned the existence of God.

Bernard Fisher, 1927-2014: Vietnam hero from Valley dies (Idaho Statesman) (August 20, 2014)
Kuna resident Bernard (pronounced ber-nerd) Fisher, who risked his life landing his attack plane to rescue a fellow pilot while North Vietnamese troops shot at him, died Saturday at age 87. President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Fisher with the Medal of Honor for his heroics in rescuing Maj. Dafford "Jump" Myers on March 10, 1966, in the A Shau Valley along South Vietnam's western border with Laos.

Great Salt Lake approaches 167 year record low (Washington Post) (August 20, 2014)
Dry winters are taking their toll on the Great Salt Lake, which is just a couple feet away from reaching its record low level, set over 50 years ago. Utah’s Great Salt Lake, which is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, has been on a gradual decline over the past few years, and is now about two and a half feet away from its record low level of 4,191.35 feet. In 2014 alone, the lake has been losing around half a foot per month since May.

August 19, 2014

Matthew J. Grow: Using Joseph Smith Papers to better understand Doctrine and Covenants (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The Joseph Smith Papers Project is “the great symbol of the Church’s transparency with its history,” said Matthew J. Grow, director of publications at the Church History Department.

Church's Blue Creek welfare farms helps feed thousands (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
There’s no evidence that lyricist Katharine Lee Bates ever saw the Church’s Blue Creek Grain Farm before she penned the lines “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain” (“America the Beautiful,” Hymns, No. 338).

NY Onondaga public library making over 40,000 Historic records accessible online (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The Onondaga County Public Library and FamilySearch announced Aug. 12 a joint initiative to digitally preserve 40,000 historic titles from the library’s collections and make them freely accessible online to patrons worldwide. Some of the titles are extremely rare, dating back to Colonial America.

Writing a great family history (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The small details make a big difference when writing a quality family history, said David W. Smith during the Conference on Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University on July 29. Even the smallest details will have an impact on the history’s readability and usefulness.

'Trek to the Temple' (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
June 28 was one of the busiest days in the history of the Boston Massachusetts Temple. The record-setting number of temple attendees was a direct result of a local stake’s endeavor to honor the pioneers’ trek across the United States.

Angel Moroni statues placed atop 2 LDS temples (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added Angel Moroni statues to the Cordoba Argentina Temple and the Trujillo Peru Temple last week.

SUU coach Ed Lamb not a Mormon, but serves anyway (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
Southern Utah University head football coach Ed Lamb regularly attends meetings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with his family. He finds truth in the teachings of the gospel and has accepted various opportunities to serve. He said the church has been hugely influential in his life.

Elder David A. Bednar to give Devotional address on Tuesday, August 19 (BYU news release) (August 19, 2014)
BYU’s Campus Education Week, one of the largest continuing education programs in the country, will be held August 18-22, 2014, at the university’s campus in Provo, Utah. Based on the theme, “Seek Learning, Even by Study and Also by Faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118), Education Week will feature more than 1,000 classes taught by more than 200 presenters, teaching on a wide variety of topics. The Tuesday Devotional address will be given by Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Utah poll: Most oppose gay marriage, think Supreme Court will legalize it (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
A new poll shows a majority of Utahns oppose gay marriage and believe the fight over the state’s ban deserves to be heard by the Supreme Court. At the same time, a majority believe the high court will reject the state’s arguments and legalize gay unions. Those are the contradictory findings of a statewide survey sponsored by Zions Bank and, which comes after a string of court rulings have challenged gay marriage bans throughout the nation.

Op-Ed: LDS leader delivered a confusing message to graduates (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
Last Thursday, Mormon Apostle Russell M. Nelson challenged Brigham Young University summer graduates to carry the heavy "burden of discipleship" by refusing to yield in their defense of traditional marriage. His statements communicated to graduates that their status as defenders of traditional marriage sets them apart from those who believe same-sex marriage should be legal.

Mormon Church won’t sell land for new school (Daily Times Chronicle - Massachusetts) (August 19, 2014)
With the Mormon Church unwilling to relinquish the land, city officials may have no choice but to jettison a proposal to build a new Hurld-Wyman School at the site of an old industrial warehouse nearby Spence Farm. Last night, Mayor Scott Galvin met with the City Council to discuss the city's legal options in regards to the acquisition of the old Loft Seed parcel at 71 Wyman St., which still could be forcibly taken, should local officials agree to initiate eminent domain proceedings.

August 18, 2014

Be a Disciple 24/7, Says Elder Nelson at BYU’s Commencement Exercises (Church News) (August 18, 2014)
Disciples of Jesus Christ are defenders of marriage, said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during commencement exercises held in the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University on August 14.

Memorial held for slain Washington state 6-year-old: ‘Jenise was a bright star in our life’ (Daily News) (August 18, 2014)
Like a lot of little kids, Jenise Wright got in trouble. She stole cereal and popsicles from the kitchen for secret picnics with her friends at their Bremerton, Wash. neighborhood, recalled her mother, Denise Wright, at a memorial service on Saturday for the 6-year-old child. “I could never be mad at her half the time,” Wright said.

About Utah: She showed him the light (Deseret News - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
It’s been almost two months now, and Valoy Eaton is painting his way through the grief as best he can. For 58 years they were together, inseparable, a dynamic duo, an impenetrable team. She did everything except hold the brush. So he keeps painting, not least because he knows that’s exactly what she’d want him to do.

Mormonism in Pictures: What Do Mormon Teens Do? (LDS Newsroom) (August 18, 2014)
Youth in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are like many other young people around the world. They go to movies, participate in sports, watch videos, text their friends, study for school, attend church and play musical instruments.

Latter-Day Saints undertakes clean-up campaign in W/R (Ghana Web) (August 18, 2014)
Members of the Takoradi branch of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Saturday embarked on a four-hour clean-up campaign to rid the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and Shama District of filth and squalor.

Mormon missionaries use song, ukuleles to share the gospel (Deseret News - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
Whether during Sunday's church services or Monday's family home evening, performances of hymns and Primary songs are important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Local Kimberly Man Celebrates 100 Years of Life (KMVT - Idaho) (August 18, 2014)
A lot has changed over the past 100 years and a Kimberly, Idaho man, who celebrated his 100th birthday this past week has seen all of the changes of the past century. "Well first thing is I never thought I'd live this long,” was Howard Kelsey’s reaction to turning 100 this past weekend

Parowan City Council wants to hear from the LDS church (Spectrum - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
Parowan City council members are quickly losing patience with representatives from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after waiting for them for nearly 8 months to make a decision whether they’re going to cover the costs of rebuilding the city park bathrooms they tore down two years ago.

Neon Trees' Tyler Glenn: Since coming out as a gay Mormon I'm truly happy (The Guardian - UK) (August 18, 2014)
A lot of people ask how I can be both Mormon and gay. I don’t have all the answers, but since coming out I finally feel like I can be myself.

August 15, 2014

Church using 'The Book of Mormon' to spread word about the Book of Mormon (Philadelphia Daily News - Pennsylvania) (August 15, 2014)
From this vantage point, the most interesting aspect of the current production of "The Book of Mormon," which runs through Sept. 14 at the Forrest Theatre, is not to be found onstage. Instead, it can be seen in the show's playbill.

“Converting to the Gospel Changed My Family,” Says Nevada’s Young Mother of the Year (Church News) (August 15, 2014)
Raising a family takes a team, said the 2014 Young Mother of the Year in Nevada. Nikki Morgan Butler and her husband, Richard Butler, have four children, and with her four children spread out in high school, middle school, elementary school, and the youngest at home, she said, “It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever done.”

Volunteers Turn Out to Help Storm Victims in Nevada (Church News) (August 15, 2014)
When our children sing the song about how the rains came down and the floods came up, they fail to tell us about the mud that comes with the flood. But the residences of Minden, Nevada, on Mac Drive know firsthand how much mud comes with the floods.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland posts picture of granddaughter's missionary return on Facebook (Deseret News - Utah) (August 15, 2014)
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, posted two pictures on Facebook Thursday after his granddaughter returned from serving an LDS mission.

LDS convert Danor Gerald is star of new 'Saints and Soldiers' film (Deseret News - Utah) (August 15, 2014)
Danor Gerald decided to become an actor after being hit with a tennis ball. While an elementary school student, Gerald was playing a tennis-ball version of dodgeball when he was nailed in the midsection. As he curled up on the ground, classmates quickly gathered around him. He noted their grave concern, saw a humorous opportunity and began squirming and squealing in pain.

Utah family facing son's rare illness finds strength in Mormon faith (Deseret News - Utah) (August 15, 2014)
Marc and Chardell Buchanan were concerned when their 2-year-old son Ben wasn’t achieving regular milestones, but they never expected him to be diagnosed with an illness that only affects 1,000 people worldwide.

BYU student to Cosmo magazine: Mormon school’s sex ban needs to go (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 15, 2014)
A Brigham Young University sophomore has taken to the pages of Cosmo to protest the school’s approach on premarital sex. In an article that appeared Wednesday on Cosmopolitan’s website, Keli Byers argues that BYU’s Honor Code codifies harmful beliefs that sexual women are ruined, and, with its rules about sexual behavior and modesty, effectively shames women.

August 14, 2014

Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right | 13 August 2014 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 14, 2014)
This "Getting It Right" includes a three-part series from a journalist in Washington state about the everyday lives of Mormon missionaries and an article about Church growth in Alaska.

Help for the helpers: New Hong Kong employment agency aims to stamp out 'modern-day slavery' (Post Magazine - China) (August 14, 2014)
''When you think of Hong Kong, you don't imagine this sort of problem," says Scott Stiles, co-founder and general manager of the Fair Employment Agency, a new not-for-profit recruitment organisation for foreign domestic workers. The problem is debt bondage, a state in which employees - in this case foreign domestic workers or, as they are known colloquially in Hong Kong, helpers - are bound to their job or employer by debt. The United Nations refers to it as a form of "modern-day slavery".

LDS Church surveying Mormons about women, ordination, apostasy, PR, more (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 14, 2014)
Feminist Kate Kelly’s excommunication from the LDS Church in June may have been a local decision, but Mormon officials knew its impact, given all the media attention, would reach members across the nation, if not the globe.

Mormon feminists find grounds for hope, fear in changing church (WBEZ 91.5 - Illinois) (August 14, 2014)
Jillian Paul sits at the kitchen table, putting together a Thomas the Tank Engine puzzle and pouring Cheerios for her two sons. Before they start to eat, she and her boys bow their heads for a moment in prayer. As a woman, Paul is living the Mormon ideal: She’s staying at home in Plainfield, raising her kids. But about a year ago, she began questioning her role in the church.

Local LDS church members work with others to aid slide victims Read more: The Davis Clipper - Local LDS church members work with others to aid slide victims (Davis Clipper - Utah) (August 14, 2014)
The family whose home was destroyed in the recent landslide still needs help. Though EaglePointe Development has promised the Utrilla family a new lot in the subdivision, fundraising efforts are still going on to get the family a new house and possessions. Local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also seeking furniture and other items for the family. Read more: The Davis Clipper - Local LDS church members work with others to aid slide victims

New Inspirational Video Playlists Will Entertain and Uplift (Church News) (August 14, 2014)
Due to many requests to have Church videos available on playlists, Media Library on has delivered. A new feature called Inspirational Playlists—similar to a YouTube playlist—allows you to start the first video in a playlist and then sit back and relax as the rest of the the videos play automatically. These playlists were designed to allow you to watch content continuously without having to navigate all over to find the videos you want to watch.

Husband and Wife Discover Their Grandfathers Fought Side by Side in Civil War (Church News) (August 14, 2014)
It was June 27, 1864, when three brigades of Union soldiers, totaling nearly 5,500 men, moved against entrenched Confederate positions on Burnt Hickory Road toward Pigeon Hill and Cheatham Hill on what would be a significant day in the battle for Kennesaw Mountain. One hundred fifty years to the day later, some 200 visitors boarded buses at Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia, that would transport them to Kennesaw Mountain State Park, where they would participate in a real-time hike that would take them on the same path those Union troops took to approach Cheatham Hill the moment the battle began.

Florida teen invites dozens of friends to LDS Church, 6 serve full-time missions (Deseret News - Utah) (August 14, 2014)
In 2010, Junior Reyes was the only young man in his congregation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to Mormon Newsroom. Eager to invite other local young men to join the congregation, Reyes decided to open his mouth and do some missionary work. Reyes' invitations to church and Scouting activities reached dozens of young men, six of whom have now served full-time missions.

Utah family shares quirky, inspiring Mormon conversion story through book (Deseret News - Utah) (August 14, 2014)
Wisconsin natives Phyllis and Rollie Bestor knew almost nothing about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they moved their family of six to Orem, Utah, in 1966. But shortly after arriving in picturesque Utah Valley, the Bestors recognized there was indeed something different about the area's culture and people. For the next decade, Phyllis Bestor and her family would immerse themselves in the Utah lifestyle and become involved members of their community — all while trying to live among Mormons and not become one.

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