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February 10, 2016

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February 9, 2016

Church Missionary Department Explains Approach to Zika Virus (LDS Newsroom) (February 9, 2016)
In recent weeks, general public concern over the spread of the Zika virus has prompted some questions about the Church’s approach to protect its missionaries.

Mormon church opposition to marijuana bill changes at least one vote (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 9, 2016)
At least one and possibly two senators have abandoned their support of a medical-marijuana bill pending in the Utah Legislature after the LDS Church issued a statement opposing the measure. The measure's sponsor, Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, said his colleagues' change of heart is a blow to his effort to make Utah the 24th state to legalize medical cannabis, but he hopes there is still time to make the case to senators that the bill is worth passing.

As Zika spreads, Mormon church emphasizing prevention for missionaries (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 9, 2016)
While Mormon missionaries serve in countries where the Zika virus has cropped up, their church is emphasizing that they protect themselves. The mosquito-borne virus so far is in the Americas, Somoa, American Samoa, Tonga and Cape Verde, and "it will be difficult to determine how the virus will spread over time," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is closely monitoring the situation and has been re-emphasizing instructions on avoiding mosquito-borne viruses to its missionaries around the world.

Learning from generations (LDS Church News) (February 9, 2016)
Relationships are important in God’s plan, Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president taught during the Family Session of Family Discovery Day at RootsTech on Feb. 6.

Larry King interviews Lindsey Stirling about her career, new book and LDS faith (Deseret News - Utah) (February 9, 2016)
In an interview with broadcaster Larry King, dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling talked about her career as a musician; her new book, “The Only Pirate at the Party”; and her faith.

The Mormon Model Who Writes Poetry on the Side (New York Magazine) (February 9, 2016)
M. Keon Smith, Model How long have you been modeling? Since October. I’d been scouted in New York a bunch of times, but I never wanted to be seen as just an attractive person. I felt frustrated when people asked if I was a model. I’d think, Am I just my face? Do I not have a personality? I always wanted to be a Renaissance man: My dream in high school was to join the Peace Corps, discover random plants in Africa, and create a clothing line based off them.

February 8, 2016

LDS missionaries safe in Taiwan after earthquake (Deseret News - Utah) (February 8, 2016)
All Mormon missionaries serving in Taiwan are safe after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the country, a mission president reported to parents in an email Friday.

Leaders Speak of Strengthening Relationships, Learning Stories during RootsTech Family Day (Church News) (February 8, 2016)
Relationships are important in God’s plan, Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president, taught during the family session of Family Discovery Day at RootsTech on February 6.

Elder Renlund: Real Power in Combining Family History with Temple (Church News) (February 8, 2016)
Sharing a story about his grandmother’s spiritual course through life, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the power of combining family history with the blessings of the temple. “It is not just randomly mixing two things together, but the one helps direct the other,” he said.

Church Announces New Tools to Help with Work of Salvation (Church News) (February 8, 2016)
One word—salvation—is the key, “the bottom line” to missionary, family history, and temple work, Elder Allan F. Packer, General Authority Seventy, said February 6, at the family history leadership session at RootsTech 2016.

Elder Andersen: Feast from Book of Mormon’s “Heavenly Banquet” (Church News) (February 8, 2016)
Declaring the Book of Mormon to be “like an exquisite banquet table, one thousand feet long, covered with the most desirable food, fruit, and flowers from across the world,” Elder Neil L. Andersen addressed thousands of young adults January 31.

Elder Oaks to speak at Johns Hopkins on international religious liberty (Deseret News - Utah) (February 8, 2016)
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will speak about international religious liberty on Tuesday at Johns Hopkins University.

Seven Cities Announced for 2016 Mormon Tabernacle Choir European Tour (LDS Newsroom) (February 8, 2016)
Locations have been announced for the 2016 Mormon Tabernacle Choir European tour. The choir and its companion ensemble, the Orchestra at Temple Square, will visit seven cities in Europe this summer — their first visit to Europe in 18 years. The tour will include stops in Berlin, Nuremberg, Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Brussels, and Rotterdam from June 27 through July 16, 2016, and will include over 320 voices from the world-renowned choir and members of the Orchestra at Temple Square.

Tickets Go on Sale for 2016 Mormon Tabernacle Choir European Tour (Church News) (February 8, 2016)
Tickets are on now on sale for the highly-anticipated 2016 Mormon Tabernacle Choir European tour. The Choir and its companion ensemble, Orchestra at Temple Square, will visit seven cities in Europe this summer—their first visit to Europe in 18 years. The tour will include stops in Berlin, Nuremberg, Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Brussels, and Rotterdam from June 27 through July 16, 2016, and will include over 320 voices from the world-renowned choir and members of the Orchestra at Temple Square.

New Church History Database Lists Early Missionaries from 1830–1930 (Church News) (February 8, 2016)
Church Historian Elder Steven E. Snow announced the release of a new database titled “Early Mormon Missionaries” at the RootsTech family history event today. The database features information about all known full-time proselytizing missionaries serving between 1830 and 1930. In addition to basic information such as names, dates of service, and mission locations, it includes links to thousands of documents—journals, letters, newspaper articles, photographs, and more—that will help researchers better understand the experience of early missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Primary Leaders Continue to Carry Legacy of Service (Church News) (February 8, 2016)
In 1878, Aurelia Spencer Rogers, a 44-year-old mother, was worried about the behavior of the boys in her neighborhood “who ran freely through the town day and night.” With the approval of President John Taylor and after receiving a calling from her bishop, Sister Rogers began planning the first Primary—which would be for girls as well as boys.

Women hired by LDS Church History Department making huge strides in Mormon women's history (Deseret News - Utah) (February 8, 2016)
Kate Holbrook and Jenny Reeder applied for the same job in 2011. This was not just any old job, either. This one was distinctive, a unicorn in their field. In fact, it was unprecedented in Mormon history. The LDS Church History Department had posted a job opening for an official position specializing in women's history.

Riverton sees 550-acre LDS Church property plan as a 'once-in-a-lifetime' development (Deseret News - Utah) (February 8, 2016)
Riverton leaders say opportunity and desire are leading to what will become the largest residential and commercial development in the city's history. It’s an agreement that will draw homes, jobs and businesses on such a large scale, it's expected to have not only a major impact on Riverton, but also on south Salt Lake County.

LDS Church donates additional $5 million to refugee crisis; President Uchtdorf shares refugee experience (Deseret News - Utah) (February 8, 2016)
In an article released Thursday by Mormon Newsroom, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared experiences from his childhood. As a child, President Uchtdorf was a refugee.

BYU Men's Volleyball: Hatch quietly among best blockers in Cougar history (Daily Herald - Utah) (February 8, 2016)
BYU senior middle blocker Michael Hatch was once cut from the team. After he returned from an LDS mission and made the team as a walk-on, the first time the 6-foot-8 middle blocker was called upon to play, his thought was, “Me? Are you sure?”

February 5, 2016

Dieter F. Uchtdorf of Church’s First Presidency Recounts Childhood Refugee Ordeal (LDS Newsroom) (February 5, 2016)
World leaders met Thursday in London with the United Nations Refugee Agency to find solutions to the growing refugee crisis in Europe. Their goal is to create long-term work and education opportunities for the millions now in refugee camps.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Gail Halvorsen: Fellow aviators' lives intersect (LDS Church News) (February 5, 2016)
When he was 8 years old, Dieter F. Uchtdorf looked up at planes flying in and out of Berlin. He and his sister had traveled there from their home in Zwickau for an LDS youth conference in 1949. The planes were part of the Berlin Airlift. Years later, he learned that one of the airlift’s pilots was a fellow Latter-day Saint, Gail Halvorsen, the renowned “Candy Bomber”.

The Book of Mormon: 'The Keystone of Your Faith' (LDS Church News) (February 5, 2016)
Declaring the Book of Mormon to be “like an exquisite banquet table, one thousand feet long, covered with the most desirable food, fruit and flowers from across the world,” Elder Neil L. Andersen addressed thousands of young adults here Sunday evening, Jan. 31.

Elder Marcus B. Nash at BYU campus devotional: 'Guided safely home' (LDS Church News) (February 5, 2016)
Understanding the plan of salvation is crucial to navigating many of the social issues facing Church members today, Elder Marcus B. Nash, General Authority Seventy, taught during a campus devotional at Brigham Young University on Feb. 2.

Illinois woman can keep rare Book of Mormon despite bankruptcy, court rules (St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Missouri) (February 5, 2016)
A woman from Southern Illinois can keep a rare 1830 Book of Mormon worth tens of thousands of dollars despite filing for bankruptcy, a federal appeals court in Chicago said Thursday.

TV Host Runs into Missionaries During 'Only Say Yes' Experiment (LDS Living) (February 5, 2016)
In a new Flemish TV show entitled Ja Jan, a TV host commits to say "yes" to every question asked of him for 60 days. Including when he ran into two Mormon missionaries. Episode 4 of the show, which aired on January 26th, follows Jan as he flips a coin leaving his house to determine the direction he'll walk that day. As luck would have it, he drops the coin, which then rolls to a stop on tails--directing him to walk forward instead of to the right.

February 4, 2016

President Obama denounces anti-Muslim bias, mentions anti-Mormon history (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 4, 2016)
President Barack Obama on Wednesday noted that Mormons, too, have faced persecution like Muslims and other faiths as he made his first visit to a U.S. mosque and pleaded for tolerance toward all religions.

World's Largest Family History Event Held in Utah (LDS Newsroom Blog) (February 4, 2016)
Thousands of family history enthusiasts from the United States and overseas are gathering in Salt Lake City this week for RootsTech, the world’s largest family history event. The three-day conference is open to the public and runs February 4-6, 2016, at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

RootsTech keynote speaker Doris Kearns Goodwin knows presidents, baseball and the power of stories (Deseret News - Utah) (February 4, 2016)
Doris Kearns Goodwin knows her U.S. presidents. The prominent presidential historian has authored six best-selling books featuring famous names such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her book delving into the lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. At age 24, Goodwin also served as an assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson in his final year in the White House and helped him with his memoirs.

RootsTech 2016 a 25,000-member 'studio audience' (Deseret News - Utah) (February 4, 2016)
RootsTech 2016, the largest family history event in the world, got underway Wednesday, drawing the vanguard of an expected 25,000 registered attendees from all 50 states and 40 countries who will gather at the Salt Palace Convention Center each day through Saturday.

The Virtuous Cycle of Dialogue (LDS Newsroom) (February 4, 2016)
In a January 13, 2016, segment of HuffPost Live, entertainer Lindsey Stirling describes her faith as a "staple of my life that's helped me maintain who I am as everything else changes." She then notes how fans react to learning she's a Latter-day Saint.

'A unique insight': Jermaine Sullivan shares conversion, experiences since 'Meet the Mormons' release (Deseret News - Utah) (February 4, 2016)
Jermaine Sullivan maintains that when it came to participating as one of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints featured in the documentary "Meet the Mormons," any number of individuals, families or even bishops could have been chosen. Even so, he's grateful to have been among those who were selected.

Mormon feminists score small gains — in word, in song, in lessons, and, they hope, in life (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 4, 2016)
Mormon feminists are celebrating a few more small steps toward gender equality in their Utah-based faith. February's edition of the Friend, the LDS Church's official magazine for children, features an article titled "Savannah the Engineer" about a young girl who enters — and whose team wins — a battery-powered-car-designing contest. The issue also highlights lots of ethnically diverse faces and stories.

February 2, 2016

LDS apostle visits Samoa, New Zealand, Solomon Islands (Deseret News - Utah) (February 2, 2016)
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited LDS Church members, government officials and missionaries in the Pacific over the course of the last two weeks. launches 14-day 'Love One Another' challenge (Deseret News - Utah) (February 2, 2016)
The arrival of February signals the approach of Valentine’s Day. In honor of the upcoming holiday, launched a 14-day challenge Friday to spread love, but the challenge does not limit itself to romantic love. Instead, it focuses on emulating the love of Christ.

5 faith facts for Sen. Marco Rubio: Once a Catholic, always a Catholic (Religion News Service) (February 2, 2016)
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has tried three religions for the right spiritual fit. But now, as he now pushes to prove he’s the right electoral fit for the GOP presidential nomination, he’s assuring Christians, “There’s only one savior and it’s not me. “It’s Jesus Christ who came down to Earth and died for our sins.”

The Book of Mormon and the modern-day Tyndale moment (Deseret News - Utah) (February 2, 2016)
Some months ago I published a vision statement about the need for increasing scriptural literacy, what I call the modern-day Tyndale moment for the digital age.

UVU assistant basketball coach reflects on LDS missionary service in the Philippines (Deseret News - Utah) (February 2, 2016)
Caitlyn Sears was the fifth all-time leading scorer at Southern Utah University, recording 1,216 total points in her four-year college career. After completing her time as a student-athlete, Sears immediately joined the coaching staff at SUU in 2011.

February 1, 2016

LDS Church provides instructions to missionaries for avoiding Zika virus outbreak in Western Hemisphere (Deseret News - Utah) (February 1, 2016)
The LDS Church will have its mission presidents provide guidance to missionaries about how to avoid the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that is "spreading explosively" across the Americas.

Progress In Construction Of Mormon Temple Becoming More Visible In Philadelphia (CBS Philly - Pennsylvania) (February 1, 2016)
Progress in the construction of a new temple for the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints is becoming more visible along Ben Franklin Parkway. It will be the first Mormon temple in Pennsylvania.

Lawsuit against newspapers is back on as poll shows Utahns want Salt Lake Tribune to survive (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 1, 2016)
Attorneys have quietly resumed a legal fight over The Salt Lake Tribune's business dealings with its main rival, the Mormon church-owned Deseret News — even as a new poll reveals most Utahns support The Tribune's continued operation.

Music and the Spoken Word: 'Life as we would like it to be' (Deseret News - Utah) (February 1, 2016)
American artist Norman Rockwell was known as the artist of the common man and of common places. His models were his neighbors and family members, his subjects the plain and simple moments of life, and he depicted them with fondness.

New Video Documents Ghana’s 1989 Ban on Church Activities (Church News) (February 1, 2016)
The Church History Department has released a new short video on the 1989–90 ban on Church activities in Ghana.

Linda and Richard Eyre: On understanding each other and the LDS Handbook (Deseret News - Utah) (February 1, 2016)
Last fall when the LDS Church Handbook statements on gay couples and their children were leaked to the media without context or explanation, it created some division and misunderstanding across our community and within the church.

Op-ed: As LDS grapple with handbook change, know that God loves his gay children (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (February 1, 2016)
Please do not judge, sentence, cast out or denigrate your gay child, relative, friend or their contributions to the LDS Church because of a label in the handbook or subsequent pronouncements regarding the LDS policy on gay marriage.

8 new mission presidents called (LDS Church News) (February 1, 2016)
Eight new mission presidents and their wives have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in July.

Viewpoint: Miracles Confirm Faith (Church News) (February 1, 2016)
Recently, a missionary companionship working in a large European city received a text message from the assistants to the mission president with a challenge for that week: each companionship in the mission was being asked to set a baptismal date for an investigator.

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