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January 23, 2020

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January 22, 2020

Elder Rasband Says Choice ‘Depends Upon Robust Religious Freedom’ (Church Newsroom) (January 22, 2020)
“My message today is of the fundamental doctrine of agency — the opportunity to choose between good and evil,” said Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

See the inside of the Durban South Africa Temple (Church News) (January 22, 2020)
Interior photos of the Durban South Africa Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were released to the public on Jan. 20. An open house begins Wednesday, Jan. 22, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 1, excluding Sunday, Jan. 26. The temple is located atop a grassy knoll about 12 miles north of the Durban city center at 2 Izinga Drive, Izinga Ridge 4021 Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal. The temple site is 14.49 acres.

‘Gay conversion therapy’ banned in conservative Utah (Los Angeles Times - California) (January 22, 2020)
The discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children is now banned in Utah, making it the 19th state and one of the most conservative to prohibit it.

BYU will allow same-sex couples to ballroom dance (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 22, 2020)
Tyler Keith Wilson has danced in many ballroom competitions at Brigham Young University through the years, gliding with his partner over the glossy floors while she turned in a dress that looked like cotton candy.

Poll: LDS women want to close the wage gap, see more female leaders (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 22, 2020)
They don’t believe women have a lower status than men in Utah. But they want to see more women become leaders in government and business. And they want the state to close its gender wage gap.

January 21, 2020

At Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Event, Apostle Encourages Christlike Love for All (Church Newsroom) (January 21, 2020)
Elder Gary E. Stevenson joined the Salt Lake City branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Monday to celebrate the work of civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.

How leaders from the NAACP and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are extending the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. (Deseret News - Utah) (January 21, 2020)
The NAACP Salt Lake Chapter held its 36th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial luncheon today. The group invited world religious leader Elder Gary E. Stevenson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to deliver the keynote address. Elder Stevenson used vision as the lens through which to view how all are alike unto God and how it is up to each individual to be our brothers’ keeper, foster civility and promote empathy, compassion and love.

First Presidency Announces Adjustments in Temple Ceremonial Clothing (Church Newsroom) (January 21, 2020)
Latter-day Saints wear ceremonial clothing inside temples as part of the most sacred ordinances, or ceremonies, of their faith. The First Presidency has recently made adjustments to the clothing to be more simple, comfortable, and cost-effective, as well as to enhance the temple experience for patrons. This change does not alter the sacred nature of covenants made in the temple. Ceremonial clothing previously used may still be worn for temple worship.

Elder Cook Concludes Philippine Ministry (Church Newsroom) (January 21, 2020)
For nearly a week, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Mary, ministered in the Philippines, a country where they lived from 1996 to 1998 and where more than 800,000 Latter-day Saints reside. While there, they visited with members, government officials, religious leaders and the media. Elder Cook also made an unannounced trip to Batangas, where he ministered to evacuees temporarily sheltered in Church meetinghouses due to the recent Taal volcano eruption.

Read about these 16 new mission presidents and companions (Church News) (January 21, 2020)
The following 16 new mission presidents and companions have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in July. Editor's Note: My wife and I will be presiding over a mission beginning in July. If any readers out there want to take over LDS Today while we are gone for three years, I'd love to hear from you!! -- David Winters

Durban South Africa Temple Opens Doors to the Public (Church Newsroom) (January 21, 2020)
The public is invited to visit the new Durban South Africa Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The open house begins Wednesday, January 22, and goes through Saturday, February 1, 2020, with a break on Sunday, January 26. The temple is located at 2 Izinga Drive, Izinga Ridge 4021 Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal.

The $100 billion Mormon fortune is not about the money, stupid (Religion News Service) (January 21, 2020)
I spend a lot of time with ex-Mormons these days, and they tend as a group to be rather cynical about the corporate machinations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’ve heard them spout the line “Follow the money” whenever we discuss anything about church policies or even doctrine, and there are times when I agree with them. Strangely, when it comes to the Ensign Peak Advisors investment fund of more than $100 billion, I don’t think it’s about the money. I think it’s about loyalty. Stick with me here for a bit.

January 17, 2020

President and Sister Oaks to Host February Face to Face for Youth (Church News) (January 17, 2020)
Youth worldwide are invited to share on social media how they are growing like Christ using #Strivetobe. The invitation from President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a prelude to a Face to Face event for youth...

Elder Renlund shares 3 ways missionaries should ‘treasure up continually the words of life’ (Church News) (January 17, 2020)
Reminding missionaries they “share the same apostolic calling” as his fellow members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Dale G. Renlund encouraged listeners at the Church’s missionary training centers worldwide to “treasure up continually the words of life.”

Shirley Ann Wilkes Thomas, former counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, dies at 94 (Church News) (January 17, 2020)
Sister Shirley Ann Wilkes Thomas, who served as second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency from 1978 to 1983, died on Tuesday, Jan. 7, in Salt Lake City, Utah, at 94 years old.

Jana Riess: Three ‘glass-half-full’ news items about LDS Church growth (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 17, 2020)
The past decade has witnessed slowing growth for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in many parts of the world. The 2018 growth rate internationally was 1.2%, and half that — a rate of 0.6% — in the United States.

How Mormons Built the Next Silicon Valley While No One Was Looking (Marker) (January 17, 2020)
Eric Rea is wearing a dark-blue shirt buttoned to the neck, stretchy olive pants, black sneakers, and an Apple watch. With a mountain bike propped against his desk and crystal-blue eyes, the 34-year-old CEO of Lehi, Utah–based startup Podium is both physically fit and disarmingly gracious. He is also a Mormon who, between his freshman and sophomore years of college, went on a two-year mission to Madrid, Spain.

An inside look at how Taysom Hill recycles his talents (Deseret News - Utah) (January 17, 2020)
New Orleans restricted free agent Taysom Hill had a remarkable third season in the NFL as a do-everything football artist. Personal trainer Dave Stroshine explains his experience up close observing Hill’s remarkable versatility.

These Mormon twins worked together on an IRS whistleblower complaint over the church’s billions — and it tore them apart (Washington Post) (January 17, 2020)
Growing up in a Mormon family of 10 children, David and Lars Nielsen had a special bond. They were Science Olympiad partners in high school in Modesto, Calif., and chemistry lab partners at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. They helped each other through prestigious MBA programs and, as fathers, took their kids to ride motorcycles in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

January 16, 2020

Elder Cook Makes Unannounced Visit to Taal Volcano Evacuees (Church Newsroom) (January 16, 2020)
Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, made an unannounced ministering visit on Wednesday evening to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others in the affected communities near Manila, Philippines, who are taking refuge at local Church meetings houses following the recent Taal Volcano eruption.

Elder Cook Meets With Philippine President Duterte (Church Newsroom) (January 16, 2020)
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte Wednesday, January 15, for a 35-minute courtesy visit.

An hour with Latter-day Saints Elder (PhilStar - Philippines) (January 16, 2020)
The Philippines has the biggest number of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints followers in the world. There are more Filipino members than there are in the United States, where the Church’s main headquarters are located.

Church Announces Location of Bengaluru India Temple (Church Newsroom) (January 16, 2020)
An exterior rendering has been released showing the planned Bengaluru India Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The value of religious clubs on Utah’s college campuses (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2020)
Michael Shukis converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after a positive experience with a Latter-day Saint Boy Scout troop in his hometown of Redding, California.

January 15, 2020

Elder Vai Sikahema announces new BYU-Hawaii scholarships, details the importance of education (Church News) (January 15, 2020)
Latter-day Saints have a “religious obligation” to pursue an education and obtain knowledge, said Elder Vai Sikahema during the first BYU-Hawaii campus devotional of the new year and semester. But pursuing an education is not always easy or affordable for everyone.

President Henry J. Eyring shares 3 truths that yield ‘big faith’ in the face of doubt (Church News) (January 15, 2020)
Addressing the student body at the first weekly devotional of the 2020 winter semester, BYU-Idaho President Henry J. Eyring offered an antidote to doubts that may beset Church members.

LDS Church will spare a beloved Salt Lake City community garden (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 15, 2020)
One of Salt Lake City’s oldest community gardens has won at least a partial reprieve from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ plans to pave the 1.5-acre field for a parking lot.

Utah man accused of Logan Temple burglary to take competency test (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 15, 2020)
A Utah man who authorities say vandalized a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple will receive a competency evaluation before his case moves forward, a defense attorney said.

Sexual abuse lawsuit against Mormon church may be dropped (Associated Press) (January 15, 2020)
A woman who accused The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of covering for a former missionary leader who she says raped her in the 1980s said Tuesday she may be ready to drop her lawsuit against the faith.

January 14, 2020

President Nelson became the prophet 2 years ago. What has happened since then? (Church News) (January 14, 2020)
On Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, President Russell M. Nelson was set apart by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as the 17th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

How the annual mission tours and interactions impact missionaries and mission leadership couples (Church News) (January 14, 2020)
While conducting a mission tour on the Tongan island of Ha’apai several years ago, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen asked missionaries there what recent general conference talk had touched them. One young elder cited how a talk mentioning challenges in life had resonated with him.

Mission tours: What most Latter-day Saints don’t know about the hundreds of such events conducted worldwide each year (Church News) (January 14, 2020)
In a public discourse, a General Authority Seventy speaks of an experience while conducting a mission tour. And in a call or email home, a young missionary mentions an upcoming mission tour with a visiting General Authority and his wife.

LDS Church issues new statement on feminism (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 14, 2020)
In 1993, the late apostle Boyd K. Packer identified the “feminist movement” as one of three “dangers” to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reflecting the rough ride self-described Mormon feminists have endured through the decades.

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