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March 27, 2015

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March 26, 2015

'A marvellous work and a wonder': A look back at the translation of the Book of Mormon 185 years after it was first published (Deseret News - Utah) (March 26, 2015)
It takes an average of five years to translate and produce the Book of Mormon in another language, according to LDS Church Public Affairs.

Unity in Diversity (LDS Newsroom) (March 26, 2015)
Can a church be unified and diverse at the same time? In a global world like ours, where people exchange ideas and culture easier than ever, the better question may be “How can a church survive without unity and diversity?” Far from a contradiction, the two complement each other, like sides of a coin.

Mormonism Online: In Your Own Words | 25 March 2015 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (March 26, 2015)
Latter-day Saints joined others from around the world to celebrate women in March. The online tributes began on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015.

Mormons Around the World Country Newsroom Websites March 24, 2015 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (March 26, 2015)
Latter-day Saints in the Pacific have rallied together with aid from the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help people devastated by Cyclone Pam which struck Vanuatu’s Tanna Island on March 13, 2015.

Defending the Faith: Joseph, the stone, the hat and why it all matters (Deseret News - Utah) (March 26, 2015)
Some critics of Joseph Smith mock the fact that part of the Book of Mormon translation process apparently involved dictating while looking at a stone that he’d placed within a hat.

Lawsuit: Ex-BYU student says eviction followed disclosure of ‘same-sex attraction’ (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 26, 2015)
A former Brigham Young University student has sued a Provo apartment complex over his eviction — a move he claims followed a violent dispute with roommates who wanted him ejected from the residence, the university and the LDS Church because they believed he is gay.

'Amazed by Grace' by Sheri Dew explores questions about grace, Atonement (Deseret News - Utah) (March 26, 2015)
When she was asked to speak at Brigham Young University’s Women’s Conference about the doctrine of grace, Sheri Dew was overwhelmed, the CEO of Deseret Book writes in the introduction of “Amazed by Grace.” As she prepared and discussed it with women she knew, Dew realized that grace was something many didn’t understand.

News roundup: On Tonight Show, Mitt Romney has a laugh with his reflection (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 26, 2015)
Which government do you trust? The Mitt in the mirror. UTA’s agree to reduce executive pay. Happy Thursday. Jimmy Fallon played Mitt Romney’s reflection in a funny bit on the Tonight Show that included this exchange about Romney’s upcoming charity "fight" against former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. Mitt Romney: "It’s for charity what is the worst that could happen?" Romney’s reflection: "That’s true. I guess it won’t be the first time we lose to a black guy." Romney: "Touche." [People]

Baylor University’s A Cappella Choir Gives Performance at Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City (Baylor news release - Texas) (March 26, 2015)
The Baylor University School of Music’s A Cappella Choir recently returned from a 10-day tour across the western United States, culminating in a performance at the 2015 National Conference of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) in Salt Lake City. The 64-voice choir was one of four college choirs out of more than 120 submissions to receive invitations to perform at the event.

March 25, 2015

A How-To: Designing New Religion Cornerstone Courses for Improved Student Learning (BYU news release) (March 25, 2015)
It’s rare that changes in course requirements affect more than just a fraction of BYU students.

Funerals announced for Utahns killed in New Zealand car accident (KSL - Utah) (March 25, 2015)
Funeral plans were announced for two Richfield women and a man who were killed in a New Zealand car accident. The accident occurred March 11 just a few miles outside Hamilton, a city of about 145,000. Richfield residents Tammy and Richard Barnett and Mitchell and Ruth Peterson were in New Zealand on vacation and planning to visit the nearby LDS Temple at the time of the accident, officials said.

Picturing history: The Mormon Battalion at Tucson (Deseret News - Utah) (March 25, 2015)
Heading northwest from the San Pedro River, the Mormon Battalion approached the Presidio at the Mexican outpost of Tucson, now in Arizona, on Dec. 16, 1846.

BYU Singers celebrate 30th anniversary (BYU news release) (March 25, 2015)
The Brigham Young University School of Music presents the BYU Singers 30th Anniversary Concert on Friday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m., in the de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center.

March 24, 2015

Significant LDS Church history discovery made (LDS Church News) (March 24, 2015)
It’s one of the most significant discoveries in Church photographic history. A small, wonderfully preserved daguerreotype (dag) of Wilford Woodruff taken during the Nauvoo-era at about the age of 37 was found and purchased recently on eBay by Utah photo historian Ron Fox and Anthony Christensen of Anthony’s Antiques and Fine Art.

Elder David A. Bednar, Sister Susan Bednar to answer youths' questions in live chat (Deseret News - Utah) (March 24, 2015)
Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, will answer questions from youths around the world in an online "Face to Face" event on May 12, 2015, at 6 p.m. MST.

LDS Church: No tolerance for sex abuse in scouting (CNN) (March 24, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States, says the church has strong measures in place to prevent the sexual abuse of scouts, as claims have been made it hasn't done enough.

Returned LDS missionary is U.S. marathon champ (LDS Church News) (March 24, 2015)
Jared Ward was about halfway through his two-year mission when he began wondering about his physical fitness level. Prior to serving in Pennsylvania, the young elder had been an elite high school distance runner and had committed to compete for Brigham Young University’s renowned cross-country and track and field teams. But mission life afforded him little time for serious training. He had put on a few pounds and was several months removed from his last hard workout.

Davis High's slick-shooting Jesse Wade is Deseret News' 2015 'Mr. Basketball' (Deseret News - Utah) (March 24, 2015)
When he was just a boy, only 5 or 6 years old, Jesse Wade walked into the Davis High School gymnasium one day and noticed a banner hanging high up on the gym's south wall. That banner honored the Darts' Brody Van Brocklin for being named "Mr. Basketball," the award given annually by the Deseret News to the premier prep player in the state.

Interfaith Musical Tribute represents various faith traditions at the Salt Lake Tabernacle (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 24, 2015)
Members of the Kargi Kala Kendra Indian Classical Dance School perform during the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable's Interfaith Musical Tribute on Sunday at the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Performances included songs, dance, scripture and prayers from the faith traditions of Buddhist, Catholic, Celtic, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Latter-day Saint, Muslim, American Indian , Protestant and Unitarian. For more information on the roundtable or Interfaith Month events, go to

Utahn used Mormon ties to rip off investors, court papers allege (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 24, 2015)
Investors face up to $65 million in losses from funds run by a Washington, Utah, man who is accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from dubious companies in which he placed money, including at least one which operated as a Ponzi scheme, court documents say.

Mormon Studies Program Funds New Classes About LDS Religion (Daily Utah Chronicle) (March 24, 2015)
The U’s Tanner Humanities Center changed the Mormon Studies Programming Initiative fundraising goal after a $20,000 pledge from Peter and Brynn Huntsman tipped the organization past their initial $100,000 goal.

LDS honors outstanding teachers (Manteca Bulletin - California) (March 24, 2015)
The 4th Annual Crystal Apple Awards were held recently at the Northland building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Saturday evening event recognized and honored outstanding educators from various high schools in Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, and Tracy.

March 23, 2015

General Women’s Session Will Focus on Family, Leaders Say (Church News) (March 23, 2015)
During a year when the Church is celebrating the 100th anniversary of family home evening and the 20th anniversary of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” general leaders of the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society organizations are looking forward with great anticipation to the general women’s session of general conference.

President Uchtdorf Lauded as a Community Builder (Church News) (March 23, 2015)
The Inclusion Center for Community and Justice honored President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on March 19 for his ongoing commitment to bring people of all backgrounds together and to better their communities. President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, was presented with the organization’s Humanitarian Award during its annual awards social in Salt Lake City.

Scriptures committee announces 'exciting developments' in standard works translations (LDS Church News) (March 23, 2015)
Almost 185 years after the first pages of the Book of Mormon were printed on E. B. Grandin’s press in Palmyra, New York, the 110th translation of the Book of Mormon was published online. The First Presidency announced March 18 the publication of the Kosraean Book of Mormon — the first book of scripture available in that language — on and the Gospel Library. Printed copies will be available in July. Kosrae is an island in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Church Leaders Visit Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan (LDS Newsroom Blog) (March 23, 2015)
While leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were in Japan recently, they met with Caroline Kennedy, United States Ambassador to Japan, at the American Embassy in Tokyo.

New Temple Presidents Called for Palmyra New York and Bountiful Utah Temples (Church News) (March 23, 2015)
Two temple presidents and matrons have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service later this year.

New Features You’ll Find at (Church News) (March 23, 2015), as it grows and develops, can help family history enthusiasts meet their goals in this and coming years, a speaker at the recent RootsTech 2015 family history conference in Salt Lake City said.

On the Go? Family History Apps Will Go with You (Church News) (March 23, 2015)
With the accessibility of phones, tablets, and helpful apps being developed constantly, family history work is easier than ever before and is available to people of all ages.

BYU looking forward to an influx of talent next season (Deseret News - Utah) (March 23, 2015)
BYU’s basketball program has said goodbye to its all-time leading scorer, Tyler Haws, but a lot of talent is returning, or joining the team, next season. The Cougars’ next prolific scorer could be sharp-shooting guard Nick Emery, who led Lone Peak High to state titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and has returned from his LDS mission.

Utah native Brown wins NCAA wrestling championship (KSL - Utah) (March 23, 2015)
Penn State wrestler Matt Brown set a goal to become the first returned LDS missionary to win an individual NCAA wrestling championship. Mission accomplished. The Cyprus High School grad and West Valley City native defeated Pittsburgh’s Tyler Wilps, 5-4, Saturday in St. Louis to win the national championship in the 174-pound division.

“Bodies Filled with Light” Exhibit Illustrates References to Body in Scriptures (Church News) (March 23, 2015)
“And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things” (D&C 88:67).

What Mormons should know about NBC's new television series 'A.D.' (Deseret News - Utah) (March 23, 2015)
Latter-day Saints who tune in to “A.D.: The Bible Continues” can expect a fairly accurate visual depiction of the New Testament, according to a trio of scholars at Brigham Young University. And hopefully, they say, the forthcoming NBC miniseries will bring viewers closer to the Holy Bible.

March 20, 2015

Cyclone Pam Update: 20 March 2015 (LDS Newsroom) (March 20, 2015)
Leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Vanuatu are continuing to reach out to Mormon congregational ministers across the nation. There have been no reports of fatalities among the membership of the Church. Needs are being assessed in communities — and food, water and other supplies are being distributed where possible.

Members, missioniaries safe in Vanuatu (LDS Church News) (March 20, 2015)
No members or missionaries in Vanuatu were injured when Cyclone Pam — a category-five storm bearing 185 mph winds — ripped through the South Pacific on March 14.

LDS missionary serves during island cyclone (Local News 8 - Idaho) (March 20, 2015)
It was one week ago tonight that Cyclone Pam began to hit the island nation of Vanuatu. The United Nations has revised the official number of people killed, decreasing it from 24 to 11. As of Thursday, Mar. 19, 2015, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said all missionaries in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission are accounted for, safe and well.

Mormon leader Uchtdorf calls for welcoming attitude among all groups (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 20, 2015)
Everyone across the globe is at some time and some place a stranger or a foreigner, so it is important to expand social circles and build bridges between communities to make all feel welcome, a Mormon apostle said Thursday evening.

Mormonism Online: In Your Own Words (LDS Newsroom) (March 20, 2015)
Last week Utah Senate Bill 296, recognized as a balanced approach in preserving religious freedom and LGBT rights, was signed into state law. Described by some as a “landmark bill,” it demonstrated that rights can be afforded to those with differing viewpoints.

D. Todd Christofferson, LDS Elder, Says Mormons Are Free To Back Gay Marriage On Social Media (Huffington Post) (March 20, 2015)
An LDS apostle reaffirmed recently that Mormons who support gay marriage are not in danger of losing their temple privileges or church memberships — even though the Utah-based faith opposes the practice.

Members encouraged to share testimony of Jesus Christ at Easter (LDS Church News) (March 20, 2015)
In honor of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Church is encouraging members to participate in a campaign this Easter season to share their witness of the Savior. The campaign is called “Because He Lives” and the Church is providing exciting and inspiring content members can share on social media.

Seventy Shares Three Principles for Obtaining the “Faith to Leap” (Church News) (March 20, 2015)
Elder Wilford W. Andersen of the Second Quorum of the Seventy spoke to BYU–Idaho students about applying faith and hope.

Ask a Mormon about The Book of Mormon ( - Canada) (March 20, 2015)
Kim Shipley, a retired lawyer from Barrhead, Alberta, and member in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), hasn’t seen The Book of Mormon and doesn’t intend to. “It’s not always a good idea to form opinions about something you haven’t examined,” he says, “but it seems to be making fun of a lot of the things we hold sacred.”

March 19, 2015

6 LDS missionaries still unaccounted for in Vanuatu; 2 dispatched by boat to find them (Deseret News - Utah) (March 19, 2015)
The LDS mission president in Vanuatua dispatched two missionaries by boat on Wednesday to find six missionaries on the northern island of Ambae.

Contact made with 11 LDS missionaries in storm-ravaged Vanuatu (Deseret News - Utah) (March 19, 2015)
Four days after the South Pacific's worst tropical storm since 2002 ripped through Vanuatu, the local LDS mission president made contact with 11 missionaries on a remote island.

Eight Mission Presidents and Wives Called to Serve (Church News) (March 19, 2015)
Eight new mission presidents and their wives have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in July of 2015.

The future of the LDS Church in Asia (LDS Church News) (March 19, 2015)
During his recent trip to Asia, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles found timeless inspiration in the words of two modern-day prophets.

The book on change in the Mormon church (Chicago Tribune - Illinois) (March 19, 2015)
Recently my wife and I attended the wedding of a valued friend and colleague, a seriously lapsed Mormon getting married outside the faith to her live-in boyfriend, with her devout Mormon family in attendance. Did I mention it was held at a brewery?

Scriptures Committee Announces “Exciting Developments” in Standard Works Translations (Church News) (March 19, 2015)
Almost 185 years after the first pages of the Book of Mormon were printed on E. B. Grandin’s press in Palmyra, the 110th translation of the Book of Mormon was published online.

Three Lessons We Can Learn from Wild Ducks (Church News) (March 19, 2015)
In a bayou flowing past my parents’ home in Louisiana, my father built a house for local wild ducks and positioned it on an eight-foot pole. From the back porch we could watch the freshly hatched ducklings launch themselves from the door of their little home.

Once My Enemy, Now My Bishop: The Unifying Power of the Gospel (Church News) (March 19, 2015)
During the height of the Cold War, from 1977 to 1982, I was a U.S. Air Force pilot stationed in Germany. Our squadron had the responsibility to verify on a regular basis that the Berlin air corridors were kept exactly on track for Western Allied flights in and out of West Berlin.

Provo engineer develops life-saving walkie talkie technology (BYU Universe) (March 19, 2015)
A scene in 1993’s “Rudy” shows the main character and a friend working in a steel mill. To communicate, one walks the length of the factory, taps his friend on the shoulder of the other and yells. To one Provo businessman, this exchange is just not efficient.

BYU animation peaks at perfection for final film ‘Ram’s Horn’ (BYU Universe) (March 19, 2015)
BYU animation seniors collaborated to make the animated short film “Ram’s Horn,” which has been nominated in the final three to receive a 2015 College Television Award, formally known as the Student Emmy.

March 18, 2015

Women of the Church Honored in March (LDS Newsroom) (March 18, 2015)
Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are being highlighted on Church websites and social media channels in March as part of National Women’s History Month.

Open House and Rededication Announced for Mexico City Mexico Temple (Church News) (March 18, 2015)
A free public open house for the Mexico City Mexico Temple will begin on Friday, August 14, and go through Saturday, September 5, 2015, and run every day except the Sundays of August 16, 23, and 30. A celebration will be held Saturday, September 12, and the temple will be rededicated Sunday, September 13, in three sessions.

Teachings of Christ, a New Installment in Series of Online Exhibits (Church News) (March 18, 2015)
The Church History Museum has released a new online exhibit titled Teachings of Christ. The site is a virtual art exhibit featuring rare pieces found in the museum’s collection, as well as submissions from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the globe for international art competitions.

Elder Ballard to Close BYU Women’s Conference April 30–May 1 (Church News) (March 18, 2015)
Brigham Young University will host the 2015 BYU Women’s Conference, the largest two-day gathering of women of the Church, on April 30 and May 1.

Youth Serve by Documenting Graves with (Church News) (March 18, 2015)
Following the theme “Embark in the Service of God,” young men and young women from the Lake Havasu City Arizona Stake gathered in the Palo Verde Cemetery in Blythe, California, for a youth conference service project documenting graves on February 28. Around 100 youth and leaders took to the pathways of the cemetery with smartphones in hand, taking pictures of each grave.

Voice heard by Baby Lily's rescuers came from her mother's love, family says (Deseret News - Utah) (March 18, 2015)
One week after the miraculous rescue and recovery of 18-month-old Lily Groesbeck, who was found hours after her mother's car crashed into the Spanish Fork River, family members say they are sure of one thing: Jenny Groesbeck loved her daughter so much, that even after being killed in the accident, her concern for her baby called out to the first responders who found her.

BYU ousted from NCAA tourney after blowing lead, falling to Ole Miss 94-90 (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 18, 2015)
That improved defense and inside game that helped the BYU Cougars go on a remarkable late-season run left at the worst possible time for coach Dave Rose's club Tuesday night. In an NCAA Tournament First Four game, the Cougars went soft on defense, got conservative offensively, and blew a 17-point halftime lead at University of Dayton Arena. Scoring an amazing 62 points in the second half, the Ole Miss Rebels claimed a 94-90 victory in front of 12,124 and will move on to face No. 6 seed Xavier on Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.

BYU graduates complain to accrediting board over school’s treatment of lapsed-Mormon students (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (March 18, 2015)
A group of Brigham Young University graduates is strengthening its push for students who lose their Mormon faith to retain their spots at the private school. Students do not have to be Mormon to attend the Provo university, but those who enter as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later leave the faith face expulsion.

Utah Shows the Way on Gay Rights (Wall Street Journal) (March 18, 2015)
Utah is the second most Republican and fourth most conservative state in the country, according to annual Gallup rankings of states by party and ideology for 2014. It’s also home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which not so many years ago took a leading position in opposition to same-sex marriage in California. This is what makes last week’s events in Utah so remarkable.

To be more like Utah (Arkansas Online) (March 18, 2015)
For decades Utah has provided the gold standard in American political, cultural and religious conservatism. There is the dominance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There is the nearly all-white population. There is the rugged cowboy independence. Put it all together and you produce a state in which Barack Obama got but 24 percent in the last presidential election.

Mitt Romney is going to box Evander Holyfield (Las Vegas Review-Journal - Nevada) (March 18, 2015)
Call him a glutton for punishment, but Mitt Romney is looking for another drubbing. But instead of another campaign, Romney is jumping into the ring — an actual boxing ring — with ex-heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, a Romney aide confirmed on Monday. “It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious,” Romney told the Salt Lake Tribune.

Funeral planned for woman, 2 kids dead after shooting, fire (9&10 News - Michigan) (March 18, 2015)
A funeral is planned for a woman and her two children who were fatally shot before their western Michigan home was set ablaze. The service for 33-year-old Debra Sheppard; her 12-year-old daughter, Emma McComber; and 10-year-old son, Corey LaValley Jr., takes place Wednesday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Grand Rapids.

A Mormon church, Binay dummies, and a land scam (Rappler - Philippines) (March 18, 2015)
To go by former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado’s exposés and allegations, the Binay family, as the longest reigning political dynasty in Metro Manila, not only raided the city government’s coffers but also acquired parcels of land in Makati through their dummies....Three years after securing the title for the lot, Chong sold a portion of the property to the Mormon Church to the tune of P130.55 million, or a windfall of P113.55 million from her P17-million original purchase price.

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