Religion

Courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Faithful Mormons gathered at the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square today to say goodbye to Boyd K. Packer.  The President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church died last week at the age of 90. 

Brian Grimmett

At BYU’s annual religious freedom conference, state Senator Stuart Adams outlined how Utah’s compromise religious liberty, LGBT protection legislation should be a model for the nation.

Courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

UPDATED 7/5/2015

Boyd K. Packer, leader of the Mormon faith’s highest governing body, has died. Packer was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was next in line to become President of the Church.   Packer served in World War Two as a bomber pilot and was appointed a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1970.

Ray Luce

General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have asked local church leaders to open up discussion about same-sex marriage with congregants. This comes in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Hindus in South Jordan are holding a temple rededication ceremony this weekend, including the construction of a tower on the site. This religious event is celebrated every 12 years, and organizers say they are expanding the temple as the Indian community in Utah has grown.

Brian Grimmett

Thousands gathered at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City to remember the life of Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Courtesy of the Diocese of Salt Lake

This weekend, Utah Catholics will say goodbye to the Most Reverend John Wester who has led the Diocese of Salt Lake for more than eight years.  Wester was recently appointed Archbishop of Santa Fe and will begin his service there next week.   

Brian Grimmett

Roman Catholic Bishop John C. Wester of the Diocese of Salt Lake City will soon be moving on to become the Archbishop of Santa Fe. Before he leaves, Wester explained how his time in Salt Lake City has had an impact on his ministry.

Roman Catholic Bishop John Wester is leaving Salt Lake City to lead the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. 

Purple Sherbet Photography via Creative Commons

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court, arguing that if the high court recognizes same sex marriage as a right it would undermine religious liberty.

Courtesy of John Dehlin

Officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have excommunicated Mormon critic and podcaster John Dehlin. Dehlin’s local Church leaders notified him of their decision in a letter.  

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Tuesday for new laws to protect gays and lesbians… as long as those measures also protect religious freedom. The move may help the prospects for a statewide nondiscrimination statute in Utah.

Katrina Barker Anderson via Flickr, Creative Commons

April Young Bennett has resigned her position on the board of Ordain Women, the group that advocates granting Mormon women priesthood authority within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Courtesy of John Dehlin

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is moving to excommunicate a Mormon for using his podcast to challenge Church doctrines.  

Tim Slover

The course is meant for new converts to Islam, who might not have learned basic things—like praying in Arabic, or proper conduct in a mosque. Imam Shuaib Din is teaching the class. And he’s also inviting non-Muslims to attend and learn more. 

Dan Bammes

Jews in Utah and around the world are celebrating Chanukah this week, and one synagogue in Salt Lake City is also welcoming a new rabbi with a familiar name.

Navajo Nation Bringing Ceremonial Masks Back Home

Dec 15, 2014

Officials from the Navajo Nation have been able to reclaim seven sacred masks that were up for auction in Paris. 

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. 

Dan Bammes

  Monday, December 8th, is Bodhi Day, when some traditions of Buddhism celebrate Buddha’s enlightenment.  This Bodhi Day, the 102-year-old Salt Lake City Buddhist Temple is also welcoming a newly ordained minister.

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.

Metropolitan Visits New Greek Orthodox Parish

Nov 23, 2014
Dan Bammes

  The new

Central Tibetan Administration

The Dalai Lama will be coming to Salt Lake City next fall. He’ll be the keynote speaker at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

The 14th Dalai Lama is a symbol of Tibetan culture around the world, though he gave up his authority as head of the Tibetan government in exile in 2011.  As a Buddhist monk and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, he’s also seen as an international spiritual leader.

FIle: Christopher Halloran/ Shutterstock.com

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to some 15,000 students, faculty and staff at Brigham Young University’s Marriott Center Tuesday as part of the school’s forum series. Romney recalled many stories of the campaign trail while he focused mainly on his Mormon faith.  He remembered being told by campaign managers that all of his emails and those on his email list were being monitored by a hostile foreign country as he called on the students to be mindful of their activity on the internet.

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.

Courtesy photo

Homeless families have a new church they can turn to for help in Salt Lake County.  Leaders at Trinity Methodist in Kearns have decided to become a host church for the Family Promise Interfaith Network.

As a host church, Trinity Methodist will shelter families for a week at a time. Senior pastor Reverend Rob Bruendl says they are expecting their first homeless family on Sunday.

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.

Utah Churches Send Help for Ebola Epidemic

Oct 29, 2014
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.

New Mormon Essay Discusses Polygamy

Oct 23, 2014
Courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a new essay Wednesday on the practice of plural marriage during the church’s early history.

The essay, called “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo,” discusses LDS Church founder Joseph Smith’s marriage to 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball.  It claims that, at the time, such marriage practices were not unusual. Newell Bringhurst is the author of Scattering of the Saints: Schism Within Mormonism.

Dan Bammes

  Draft documents being considered by a meeting of Catholic bishops in Rome are showing a new openness in the church toward homosexuals and divorced people. Catholic priests and church members in Utah are watching the meeting closely.

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