Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Andrea Smardon

  When Governor Gary Herbert announced the details of his Healthy Utah plan last week, the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and several other religious leaders stood with him.

But some members of the Utah legislature say there’s more than one way to do what those religious leaders are asking – provide health care to needy people in Utah. 

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The proportion of Mormons in Utah’s population has actually gone up a bit in recent years.  And one non-Mormon religious leader thinks that could be making all the churches in the state stronger. 

An analysis of public records by the Salt Lake Tribune shows about 62-percent of Utah’s overall population belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Just over half the population of Salt Lake County is listed on church records.  There are three counties – Grand, Summit and San Juan – where Mormons are a minority.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was among the speakers at a colloquium on marriage at the Vatican on Tuesday.

Dan Bammes

  A group of academics from around the country is conducting an online survey to learn more about attitudes toward gender roles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports it’s drawing interest from both liberal and conservative Mormons.

The Mormon Gender Survey was launched over the weekend on social media. It’s not a standard random sample – anyone can choose to participate.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A company that works with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on genealogy software is making its service available through the church’s family history libraries.

Back in 2013, MyHeritage.com, a commercial firm based in Israel, worked out a deal with FamilySearch, the genealogy site operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In exchange for help with its search and matching software, it got access to the billions of family and historical records compiled by the church.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided an update Wednesday on how its members and missionaries are dealing with the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. It’s just one of many local religious groups making significant contributions to the effort.

Dan Bammes

  Mormon activists who’ve been pushing for more inclusion of gays and lesbians within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints see a new opportunity now that the U-S Supreme Court has decided not to hear Utah’s appeal of its same-sex marriage case. 

Erika Munson is one of the founders of Mormons Building Bridges, which has marched in Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade and helped to moderate many private discussions among Mormons.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The new documentary Meet the Mormons premieres Tuesday evening at the Jordan Commons theaters in Sandy.  On Friday, it will open in more than 300 theaters around the United States.

Dan Bammes

  The General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be heard in more than 70 languages.  But Saturday marked the first time conference sermons have been translated into English.  And, this time, the group Ordain Women succeeded in attending the conference’s priesthood session.

Ken Lund / Creative Commons

  Members of the group Ordain Women say they’ll try to attend the priesthood session of the LDS General Conference at local meetinghouses this weekend. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will hold its second General Women’s Meeting tomorrow evening.  For those who support ordaining women to the L-D-S priesthood, the atmosphere has changed since last spring.

Since the first General Women’s meeting last March, the founder of Ordain Women, Kate Kelly, was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Other leaders of the group have faced sanctions related to their activism, including release from church callings and loss of their temple recommends.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The family of a Mormon missionary who died in Taiwan is waiting to hear from the Taiwanese government before making funeral arrangements.

Elder Connor Thredgold, who was 19, comes from Springville, Utah. He and his companion, 24-year-old Elder Yu Peng Xiong, were found dead in their apartment in New Taipei City on Saturday. Police think carbon monoxide from a faulty water heater is to blame.

Tom McHoes, a family friend, says many people have stepped forward to comfort Elder Thredgold’s parents in Springville, Utah.

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A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urging Mormons to “sweep the earth” with positive messages in social media.  One LDS blogger says she's already trying to do that.

Elder David Bednar of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles gave a talk at Brigham Young University on Monday, saying members of the church have only begun to tap the potential of social media.  He encouraged Mormons to do much more – without going overboard.

Dan Bammes

  The annual Sunstone Symposium starts Wednesday, bringing together scholars and others interested in current issues in Mormonism.  There’s one issue in particular drawing much of the attention this year.

The symposium plans several sessions on the excommunication of Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly.  They’ll include a look at how the practice of excommunication has evolved through Mormon history and the personal experiences of some who lost their official membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints years ago.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  After three years of reconstruction, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will open its temple in downtown Ogden for public tours starting Friday, August 1st.

Dan Bammes

  Kate Kelly, the founder of the group Ordain Women, has appealed her excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And her husband is wondering why he hasn’t also been subjected to church discipline.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  Descendants of Utah’s Mormon pioneers have a new way to connect with the stories of their ancestors’ adventures on the trek to Utah.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates the FamilySearch genealogy database.  And it’s also compiled records of the pioneers’ overland travel to Utah in a database that links to journals, photos and other records. 

BYUtv

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has published another in a series of articles on controversial historical topics on its official website.  This one looks at the origin of the Book of Abraham, the source of some uniquely Mormon teachings.

Image courtesy University of Utah

  Thousands of young Latter-day Saints took advantage of the change in age for missionary service after it was announced almost two years ago.  It won’t be long before some of those missionaries will be coming home.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the University of Utah is making plans to accommodate them.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has about 86-thousand missionaries serving around the world.  Church leaders are expecting that number to peak later this year.  KUER’s Dan Bammes has more.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement on the issue of women’s ordination to the priesthood over the weekend.  But it hasn’t deterred those who are hoping the church will still make that change.

Dan Bammes

Even though she’s no longer a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the founder of Ordain Women says she’ll continue in the leadership of the movement to gain the priesthood throughout the church.

Dan Bammes

The founder of the group Ordain Women is waiting to find out whether she’ll be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But hundreds of people gathered to support her yesterday near church headquarters, promising to stand by her no matter what a disciplinary council decides.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday that it will no longer operate a full-service adoption agency. LDS Family Services will instead shift resources toward counseling for unmarried, expectant parents.

LDS Family Services Adoption Manager David McConkie says the Church will still be working to promote adoption.

Dan Bammes

Only men are allowed to hold the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Advocating for a change in that policy is the reason Kate Kelly is facing possible excommunication.  But because she’s a woman, the rules for church discipline are different than they would be for a man.

Margaret Toscano knows what the experience is like – she was excommunicated 14 years ago for her public statements on ordaining women to the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dan Bammes

  The founder of the group Ordain Women and the creator of a podcast on Mormon issues are facing formal discipline from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Both face the prospect of excommunication from the church.

Kate Kelly led members of Ordain Women through the gates of Temple Square during the last two general conferences of the church, asking to be admitted to the session reserved for only those men and boys who hold the priesthood.  Each time they were turned away, but the demonstrations drew a lot of media coverage.

sistasinzion.com

  Two African-American Mormon women who’ve gained a following with a popular podcast, Sistas in Zion, are out with a new book about their experiences in the LDS church.

Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes say their book Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons addresses spiritual topics as it bounces back and forth between uniquely Mormon culture and the urban dialect they grew up with.  They say it’s helping them find a new audience.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The head of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has responded to criticism that the church is not engaging with women seeking to change its practices.

Dan Bammes

  The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University has re-opened after a two-year renovation project.  

The museum first opened in 1978 to showcase Monte Bean’s collection of big game trophies from a lifetime of hunting.  With an additional 30-thousand square feet, there’s lots of new exhibit space as well as room to house a number of research collection of animal specimens.

Dan Bammes

  The University of Utah will become the new owner of the historic Wall Mansion at 4th East and South Temple in Salt Lake City.

The Wall Mansion was built in the 1880’s and renovated by mining millionaire Enos Wall early in the 20th Century.  In the 1960’s, it became the home of  LDS Business College, but it’s been empty since the college moved to the Triad Center  in 2006.

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