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April 18, 2015

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April 17, 2015

Morgan, Utah, primary children hold Easter celebration (LDS Church News) (April 17, 2015)
“Jesus is real to me.” This line from a Primary song was given life at a recent activity for the Morgan Utah Stake's Primary children.

Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right | April 14, 2015 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 17, 2015)
With more than 15 million members around the globe, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is nothing if not diverse. An article in The Salt Lake Tribune illustrates this fact in a unique way.

Catholic bishops should learn from the Mormons (National Catholic Reporter) (April 17, 2015)
The U.S. Catholic bishops could take a lesson from Mormon leaders on how to deal with religious liberty and gay rights. The Mormons have been strong allies of the Catholic bishops in the fight against gay marriage and the protection of religious freedom. But when the Mormons saw they were on the losing side in this fight, they were willing to compromise to protect what they considered essential.

Mission Man: Royals' Guthrie holds unique place in MLB history (Fox Sports) (April 17, 2015)
Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who starts Friday against the A's, has made baseball history in two ways. ● Guthrie, who was 23 when the Cleveland Indians selected him 22nd overall in the 2002 draft, is the oldest first-round pick to reach the majors this century, according to STATS LLC. (Ariel Prieto, who debuted with Oakland in 1995, was 25 when the A's drafted him.)

Gov. Herbert to participate in graveside service for former Gov. Bangerter (Deseret News - Utah) (April 17, 2015)
Gov. Gary Herbert will participate in a graveside ceremony for former Gov. Norm Bangerter on Saturday, along with members of the Utah Highway Patrol. Francine Giani, the Bangerter family spokeswoman for the funeral services, said UHP troopers will conduct the flag ceremony at the South Jordan City Cemetery, and Herbert will present the flag to the late governor's family.

Seeking and sorrowing: Sisters of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Deseret News - Utah) (April 17, 2015)
Faith was a real and vibrant part of life for the three sisters of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Sophronia, born in 1803, had the companionship of two kind, gentle older brothers, Alvin and Hyrum. Her little brother, Joseph, was born two and a half years later on Dec. 23, 1805.

Brigham City stabbing victim remembered as loving mother (KSL - Utah) (April 17, 2015)
Brigham City Police Chief Mike Nelsen said when his officers arrived on a call of a stabbing, Spencer Gerlach was very quiet and went right up to them. "He just didn't have much to say at all. He just came out and kind of went to the officer, and he handcuffed him. There was little said at all," Nelsen said.

April 16, 2015

Embrace your days, Elder Andersen urges LDS Business College grads (Deseret News - Utah) (April 16, 2015)
On a snowy spring day in Salt Lake City, LDS Business College’s 128th graduating class gathered in the Tabernacle on Temple Square for commencement exercises and to hear the words of an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Rare LDS Church document discovered that marked beginning of explosive growth in England (LDS Church News) (April 16, 2015)
Recently, a well-preserved copy of the Church’s 1840 conference report was found in the possession of the descendants of the Wilford Woodruff family and acquired by Anthony Christensen of Anthony’s Antiques and Fine Art. The report indicates the original owner was Wilford Woodruff. The report is important because of the meeting and conference associated with it in which a number of significant historical items were discussed, adopted and announced,” said photo historian Ron Fox.

Flags to be flown at half-mast for former Gov. Norm Bangerter; funeral scheduled (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 16, 2015)
A viewing will be held Friday and funeral services Saturday for former Gov. Norm Bangerter, who died Tuesday after suffering a stroke. The viewing will be held Friday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints South Jordan Parkway stake center at 9894 S. 2700 West from 5-8 p.m.

Mormon couple object to inclusion in U.S. Supreme Court gay marriage case (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 16, 2015)
A Mormon couple in a mixed-orientation marriage are objecting to their inclusion in a U.S. Supreme Court case filing because it argues that legalized gay marriage would demean the marriages of couples like themselves. Josh and Lolly Weed's names and statements are referenced in a "friend of the court" brief ahead of the April 28 arguments in a consolidated 6th Circuit Court of Appeals case, which many expect will legalize gay marriage nationwide.

16-year-old LDS ballerina shares her talents, testimony through dancing (Deseret News - Utah) (April 16, 2015)
Sixteen-year-old ballerina Gisele Bethea of Mesa, Arizona, has received numerous awards, traveled the world to perform and been asked to join the American Ballet Theatre. But her talent is not the only thing that sets Bethea apart in the world of ballet. She belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and she is fearless about sharing her beliefs.

Full video: What do Mormon women want? Views vary. (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 16, 2015)
Priesthood ordination, patriarchy and benevolent sexism were discussed by a panel of Mormon women Wednesday at a town hall hosted by The Salt Lake Tribune. Officially called What Mormon Women Want, the event was "probably more aptly titled 'What Some Mormon Women Want,' " said panel moderator Jennifer Napier-Pearce at the beginning of the panel, held in the Nancy Tessman Auditorium in the Salt Lake City Main Library. "From the outset, we realized there was no possible human way to represent the views and diverse experiences and beliefs of 5 1/2 million Mormon women on a single panel."

April 15, 2015

BYU-Idaho graduation (LDS Church News) (April 15, 2015)
In his last assignment as president of Brigham Young University-Idaho, Elder Kim B. Clark congratulated more than 1,900 graduates during the commencement exercises on April 10.

Public Invited to Tour Córdoba Argentina Temple (LDS Newsroom) (April 15, 2015)
A free public open house for the Córdoba Argentina Temple will begin on Friday, April 17, and go through Saturday, May 2, 2015, and run every day except Sundays, April 19 and 26. Once the open house has concluded, the temple will be formally dedicated on Sunday, May 17, in three sessions.

Lessons of faith from Church history in Africa (LDS Church News) (April 15, 2015)
The story of the establishment and growth of the Church in Africa in modern times is a dramatic illustration of the fulfillment of the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees given in Jacob 5 of the Book of Mormon, a speaker in the Pioneers in Every Land Lecture Series affirmed April 9.

Marco Rubio could be our first Mormon president, kind of (Washington Post) (April 15, 2015)
Three years after Mitt Romney tried and failed, Marco Rubio could become our first Mormon president — at least, if you want to get really technical about it.

A candidate of mixed, yet strong, faiths: Marco Rubio enters the race for the White House (Jerusalem Post) (April 15, 2015)
Marco Rubio, a junior Republican Senator from Florida, became the fourth person to enter the 2016 race, and the second candidate to make a faith-based run at the Oval Office. But the question still remains, what kind of Christian is he?

Former Gov. Norm Bangerter dies after suffering a stroke (KSL - Utah) (April 15, 2015)
Utah's 13th governor, Norman Howard Bangerter, a man who saw himself as "just an old farmer and carpenter" from Granger who wound up leading the state, died Tuesday at age 82 after suffering a stroke, a family member said.

BYU-Idaho student, father killed in Sunday crash (Deseret News - Utah) (April 15, 2015)
A BYU-Idaho student and his father were killed Sunday in a crash in eastern New Mexico as the two were driving from the college in Idaho to their family home in Texas.

Returned Mormon missionary wins Ms. Virginia title, champions modesty and shares faith (Deseret News - Utah) (April 15, 2015)
Bekah Pence, 29, didn't enter the Ms. Virginia United States pageant for the glitz and glam or the 15 minutes of fame. The recently returned LDS missionary saw it as a way to continue sharing her beliefs. "I didn't get into this pageant because I wanted to. It actually was an opportunity that I felt like, by the Spirit, Heavenly Father wanted me to take," Pence told the Deseret News.

Everything I need to know, I learned in Mormon nursery (Religion News Service) (April 15, 2015)
A guest post by Mette Harrison I am a child of God. This means that God is my father, and I have divine worth. There’s nothing I can do that can change my value in God’s eyes. There is no sin so great, no thought so terrible, no mistake so horrendous, that I cease to have value. (This also applies equally to everyone else in the world.)

April 14, 2015

Religious Freedom and Fairness for All (LDS Newsroom) (April 14, 2015)
The United States Supreme Court will soon hear arguments about whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right nationwide and whether individual states must recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

LDS Church, other religions urge Supreme Court to favor traditional marriage (Deseret News - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
The LDS Church joined 18 other religious organizations in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against same-sex marriage. And on Monday, the church explained in a Web commentary titled "Religious Freedom and Fairness to All" why it signed on to the friend-of-the-court brief with a diverse collection of faith communities.

Open House Tickets for Payson Utah Temple Now Available (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 14, 2015)
The Payson Utah Temple opens its doors to the public Friday, April 24 – Saturday, May 23. Reservations for free open house tickets are now available. Learn more here

Demand high for Payson Temple open house tickets (Deseret News - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
After her toddler woke one young LDS mother at 2 a.m. Monday, the woman logged on and got the ticket reservations her family wanted to the Payson Utah Temple open house.

Elder Steven E. Snow to Speak at BYU's April 23 Commencement Exercises (BYU news release) (April 14, 2015)
Elder Steven E. Snow, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is scheduled to be the presiding authority and speaker during Brigham Young University’s Commencement Exercises on Thursday, April 23, at 4 p.m., in the Marriott Center. BYU President Kevin J Worthen will conduct the exercises.

Presiding bishop to speak at Brigham Young University–Hawaii graduation ceremony (BYU-Hawaii news release) (April 14, 2015)
Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will address Brigham Young University–Hawaii’s 359 graduates and their families at this Winter’s commencement ceremony held on Saturday, April 18, 2015, at 9:30 AM in the Cannon Activities Center.

Radar Analysis Sheds New Light on Old Church History Sites (Church News) (April 14, 2015)
To onlookers, it might appear like a scene from an episode of the television show Crime Scene Investigation. Specially trained dogs and remote sensing technologies are being used at multiple Church historic sites to discover elements of the past.

Church Members Quick to Rebuild in Vanuatu (Church News) (April 14, 2015)
It wasn’t long after Cyclone Pam ripped through Vanuatu—a Pacific island nation roughly 1,000 miles northeast of Australia—on March 13 that local Church leaders and members began to rebuild homes.

Archbishop to United Nations speaks on religious freedoms; Catholic, Mormon ties (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
As Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza spoke Monday of hope amidst growing religious persecution and the common values that have strengthened the bonds between the Roman Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormons, Catholics suffered for their faith and now fight bias together, archbishop says (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
America's Founding Fathers may have enshrined religious liberty in the First Amendment, but that didn't protect either Catholics or Mormons from being mistreated, imprisoned and harassed. "We have both suffered, in fact, a lot over the course of history for our faith from the biases of our fellow citizens," Archbishop Bernardito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said Monday evening at Utah Valley University in Orem.

Five faith facts about Marco Rubio: From Catholic to Mormon and back to Catholic (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who launched his presidential campaign Monday, often talks about faith and went into depth about his religious convictions in his 2012 book, "An American Son: A Memoir." Here are five faith facts about this Catholic son of Cuban immigrants who has also found comfort in Mormonism and a Southern Baptist church: 1. He was once a serious, young Mormon

Ute quarterback Chase Hansen finding his place, purpose at Utah (Deseret News - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
As much as Chase Hansen loves everything about the game of football, his favorite aspect of the sport may be the influence it has off the field.

Rose sees bright future for BYU basketball (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
BYU coach Dave Rose held a series of interviews with local media on Monday, wrapping up the season that was and looking ahead to 2015-16. At one point, Rose’s thoughts turned to a good friend in the business, former Nebraska and current Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler. “What a funny guy,” Rose said.

BYU Cougarettes dance team wins national hip-hop competition (+video) (Deseret News - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
The Brigham Young University Cougarettes were named the National Hip-Hop Champions in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday.

In Our View: LDS dissent (Spectrum - Utah) (April 14, 2015)
During the semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints earlier this month, a half-dozen or so, very rare votes of dissent were cast when it came time to sustain the leadership of the church.

April 13, 2015

Mormons’ Thailand temple project marks milestone for church (Washington Times) (April 13, 2015)
Nearly 50 years after Mormons first put down roots here, opening small outpost churches converting Buddhists, animists and other Thais, the fast-growing Utah-based faith has just announced plans to construct its first temple in Thailand...

LDS Church asks U.S. Supreme Court to rule against same-sex marriage (Fox 13 - Utah) (April 13, 2015)
In a “friend of the court” brief, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined a number of other religions to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against same-sex marriage becoming legal nationwide. The LDS Church filed an amicus brief alongside faiths such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Free Methodist Church – USA, and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in urging the court to uphold a traditional definition of marriage.

In Mormon Channel interview, Donny Osmond explains why his LDS faith remains strong (Deseret News - Utah) (April 13, 2015)
As a teenager, Donny Osmond, a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was told that his religion was either true or false. After hearing this, Osmond decided to put his beliefs to the test. "I said, 'You know what, I've got to find out for myself if this is the true church,' " Osmond said in an interview with the Mormon Channel, published Friday. "So I read my scriptures cover to cover, and that's when I got my testimony."

Close-knit Mormon ward members worship in their language: ASL (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 13, 2015)
The sheer beauty of Sunday worship at the Salt Lake Valley LDS First Ward reflects an elemental fact: Church members hear the gospel with their eyes. The Mormon ward, a few blocks from Salt Lake City's Trolley Square, caters to the hearing-impaired and their families, one of eight wards or branches in Utah and scores more worldwide devoted to American Sign Language, or ASL.

Dick Harmon: BYU's new recruiting coordinator returns to familiar haunts with lessons from the South (Deseret News - Utah) (April 13, 2015)
He’s back. His office is clean. Just how it should be when on the new job a few days. There are no stacks of paper, cases of athlete highlight DVDs laying around or photographs plastered on walls. He confesses he’s still filling out his calendar and examining BYU’s football recruiting spreadsheets after arriving from Cajun country in Louisiana. Justin Anderson is the man hired to direct BYU football recruiting and is the team’s director of personnel. He is no stranger to how the game is played in Provo.

Mormon dad's FHE app helps LDS families plan engaging, interactive lessons (Deseret News - Utah) (April 13, 2015)
Blake Johnson, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, enjoys spending time with his family, particularly on Monday nights, when he and his wife, Natasha, hold family home evening with their 3-year-old twins, Wyatt and Savannah. After the twins were born, Johnson began looking for a way to make the weekly tradition, instituted by LDS Church President Joseph F. Smith in 1915 as a time for families to gather and share gospel messages, more effective for his family. Johnson recognized that modern technology could make this 100-year-old practice easier to plan and more interactive for his children.

Op-ed: Mormon fringes should speak up to take us beyond monoculturalism (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 13, 2015)
Ecologists understand that the edges between biomes are the most productive places on the planet. In these ecotones, where forest becomes grassland, for example, species thrive and potential explodes. The wider the edge, the more powerful it becomes: wetlands, where the ocean blends with the shore for miles, create opportunities for life across the planet.

April 10, 2015

BYU dedicates new Life Sciences Building (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 10, 2015)
Brigham Young University’s newest double-purpose building was dedicated Thursday by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What huge numbers for LDS video say about international outreach (Deseret News - Utah) (April 10, 2015)
Viewers accessed "Because He Lives" 88.5 times per second throughout Easter Sunday, but the success of the eight-day LDS effort to share a two-minute video of Christ was about more than staggering numbers. Though there were plenty of those.

Mormon Conference in SLC inspires hope, attendee says (Great Falls Tribune - Montana) (April 10, 2015)
If you have any Facebook friends who are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, twice a year you might see their wall blow up with quotes, memes and status statements such as "I love General Conference!" You might wonder: General Wha? Is this some sort of Mormon merchandiser, army commander or clothing outlet?

Faith Forum: Is climate change a moral issue? (Reno Gazette-Journal - Nevada) (April 10, 2015)
The Most Reverend Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church with about 2.1 million members and part of the Anglican Communion, has been recently quoted in the media indicating that it's "sinful" to ignore climate change; climate denial is "immoral;" "it's decidedly wrong to use resources that have been given into our collective care in ways that diminish the ability of others to share in abundant life;" "we are meant to love God and what God has created;" "we were planted in this garden to care for it;" and climate change is a moral challenge threatening the rights of the world's poorest people and those who deny it are not using God's gift of knowledge.

Mormon gymnast returns from LDS mission, pursues Olympic dream (Deseret News - Utah) (April 10, 2015)
Jackson Payne returned from serving a two-year mission in South Korea for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last June and rejoined the national Canadian gymnastics team.

Three LDS youths serve others non-stop for 3 days in new Mormon Message (Deseret News - Utah) (April 10, 2015)
A young man from California and two young women from Japan each spent three days striving to provide as much service as they could.

Religious leaders gather, promote tolerance (SC Times - Minnesota) (April 10, 2015)
The acts of vandalism that occurred at the Central Minnesota Islamic Center this past December were disappointing. But if there was a bright spot, Imam Muhumed Ahmed said, it has been the support the center has received from others in the local religious community, and the increased dialogue among area religious leaders that has resulted.

10 Things to See: A week of top AP photos (News & Record - North Carolina) (April 10, 2015)
This week's collection includes a partially-eclipsed full moon setting behind a statue in Kansas; people attending the opening session of the Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City; and a rescued Cambodian fisherman blowing cigarette smoke from his nose while waiting to be registered upon arrival in Indonesia.

April 9, 2015

"Because He Lives" Initiative Spreads Easter Message to Millions (LDS Newsroom) (April 9, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' latest initiative to spread hope through the teachings of Jesus Christ saw significant success this Easter.

Get to know the 5 new general authorities, 4 new auxiliary leaders of the LDS Church (LDS Church News) (April 9, 2015)
Church members sustained five new General Authorities and four new general auxiliary leaders during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church's 185th Annual General Conference on April 4. Called as new General Authorities to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy are Elder Kim B. Clark, Rexburg, Idaho; Elder Allen D. Haynie, San Diego, California; Elder Von G. Keetch, Salt Lake City, Utah; Elder Hugo Montoya, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; and Elder Vern P. Stanfill, Kalispell, Montana.

'Let us reflect on our responsibilities' (LDS Church News) (April 9, 2015)
During the Church's 185th Annual General Conference — held on Easter weekend — President Thomas S. Monson asked more than 15 million Church members across the globe "to follow Jesus Christ." "Let us consider our callings; let us reflect on our responsibilities; let us determine our duty," he said.

President Monson, I sustain you (Deseret News - Utah) (April 9, 2015)
I like to keep a pen and paper close by when I’m watching general conference, to jot down notes that come to mind. Sometimes when a message means a lot to me, I draw a smiley face or heart next to it.

'Freetown' cast, crew share experiences and faith at premiere (Deseret News - Utah) (April 9, 2015)
Cast and crew members behind the film “Freetown” participated in a Q-and-A following the film’s premiere Monday at the Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons.

Movie review: ‘Freetown’ a solid drama of LDS missionaries in peril (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 9, 2015)
The Mormon-themed adventure drama "Freetown" cements Utah director Garrett Batty's trademark — after his 2013 thriller "The Saratov Approach" — to meld an intense narrative with a thoughtful look at faith. This based-on-a-true-story drama is set in 1990 in Liberia, which is being torn apart by civil war and clan-on-clan violence. The violence makes it impossible for six native-born LDS missionaries to teach and proselytize. For one of them, Gaye (Phillip Adukunle Michael) — a member of the clan of the country's just-ousted rulers — staying in the country could mean his death at the hands of rebels.

Returned Mormon missionary Matt Brown wins NCAA wrestling title (Deseret News - Utah) (April 9, 2015)
Writing a letter of recommendation for senior Matt Brown was an honor, Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson said, and hardly complicated. “It’s a very easy letter to write, bullet points,” Sanderson said. “With his accolades, GPA, wrestling and all he’s accomplished, I add a few lines. What he’s done speaks for itself.”

Group scolds Mormon apostle for ‘disparaging’ LGBT families (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 9, 2015)
A few weeks after officials from the LDS Church and Utah's gay-rights community jointly celebrated the passage of an anti-discrimination law with religious freedom protections, the two sides once again are critiquing each other. On Saturday, Mormon apostle L. Tom Perry, 92, defended "traditional families" — a legally married mother and father, who rear their children together — and warned against the dangers of "counterfeit and alternative lifestyles."

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