Religion

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dan Bammes

  The Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, began Wednesday evening at Sunset.  It marks the beginning of the High Holy days, which culminate October 4th with Yom Kippur.

Laurence Loeb is the long-time cantor at Congregation Kol Ami, Utah’s largest synagogue.  It’s a combined Conservative and Reform congregation, with different services planned for those who have a more liberal or a more traditional focus.  Loeb says there’s always a pretty big crowd.

Courtesy of Ordain Women

The group Ordain Women still hopes to convince leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that women should be allowed access to the Mormon priesthood.

Mountain Meadows Association

September 11th, is the anniversary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The families of the victims of the massacre and the descendants of those who killed them have found a new way to reconcile more than 150 years later.

In 1857, a wagon train of emigrants from northern Arkansas was passing through Utah on its way to California when they were attacked by a local militia made up of Mormon settlers. About 120 people were killed, and the history of the incident has only recently been researched in detail.

Mormons were excluded from the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893.  But the Parliament has now chosen the home of the LDS church for its next worldwide meeting.

“Salt Lake City, you’re in for a treat," said Mary Nelson, the executive director of the Parliament of the World's Religions at the announcement that its next meeting will be held in Salt Lake in October, 2015.

Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah

  The annual Greek Festival begins Friday at Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake.  It’s a fundraiser for the Greek Orthodox parish that also includes Prophet Elias Church in Holladay.  But that parish is no longer the only one serving the Greek Orthodox community on the Wasatch Front.

About 200 people attended the first worship service held by the new Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah last Sunday.  The hall at The Woods reception center could barely hold the crowd – not everyone got a seat.

Utah’s governor believes the state of Utah should appeal a federal court decision that struck down a key part of the state law banning polygamy. 

The decision in Brown v. Herbert was first issued last December, but only became final this week. It struck down the part of Utah’s law dealing with cohabitation. Kody Brown, who appears on the TV show Sister Wives, had challenged the law on the basis of religious freedom.

After the taping of his monthly TV news conference, Governor Gary Herbert told reporters the state ought to appeal that decision.

Elaine Emmi

  The Greek Orthodox church has sanctioned a new mission parish in Salt Lake City. 

Back in April, about two dozen members of Salt Lake City’s Greek Orthodox parish decided to study options to resolve ongoing issues within the congregations.  The parish includes both Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake and Prophet Elias church in Holladay.

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.

www.allisonkimball.com

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.

Pages