Religion

New Quilt Commemorates Mountain Meadows Massacre

Sep 10, 2014
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.

Herbert: Utah Should Appeal Polygamy Decision

Aug 29, 2014

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.

Families Remember 3 LDS Missionaries

Aug 25, 2014
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.

LDS Blogger Responds to Call to Use Social Media

Aug 21, 2014
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.

Excommunication Hot Topic at Sunstone Symposium

Jul 30, 2014
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

  It's the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and Utah’s Islamic congregations are celebrating the happiest holiday of the year. 

After a month of fasting from dawn until dusk, the appearance of the crescent moon marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of a festival called Eid al-Fitr.  More and more Utahns are marking the occasion – the number of mosques in Utah has grown from three a few years ago to nine, and there are other groups that meet outside of a formal mosque.

Kate Kelly Appeals LDS Excommunication

Jul 24, 2014
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.

New Tools for Looking Up Pioneer Ancestors

Jul 22, 2014
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. 

LDS Article Addresses Origin of Book of Abraham

Jul 9, 2014
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.

U of U Prepares for Returning LDS Missionaries

Jul 4, 2014
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.

LDS Missionary Numbers Approach Peak

Jul 3, 2014
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.

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that two private companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. It’s the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

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.

Kelly Says Ordain Women Movement Will Continue

Jun 23, 2014
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/KUER

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have decided to excommunicate Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly.  Earlier this month, Kelly received a letter from the bishop of her former ward in Vienna, Virginia stating that she had been accused of apostasy and that a disciplinary council would decide the fate of her Church membership.  That group met last night, though Kelly did not attend the hearing. She was informed of the decision today via email by Bishop Mark Harrison.

Hundreds Support Ordain Women Founder at Vigil

Jun 22, 2014
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.

Mormon Podcasters Reaching Out With New Book

Jun 10, 2014
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.

Patrick Lee

  It’s been 20 years since hundreds of thousands were murdered in attacks against the Tutsi people of Rwanda.  They were remembered at a service on Sunday at Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City.

A representative of the Rwandan embassy and survivors of the genocide were asked to tell their stories as part of the service.  As many as a million people were killed in months of attacks by the country’s Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority.

  The Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center has chosen a new contractor to provide sweat lodges and other Native American healing ceremonies.  That’s disappointed supporters of Arnold Thomas, who’s been doing it for the past ten years. 

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

  Priesthood ordination is available only to men in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But a group of women seeking ordination is trying a new tactic to persuade Mormons to change their minds.

Ordain Women is publishing a series of six discussions on its website, covering the history and doctrine of the LDS church and hoping to persuade more women to join the effort to change church policy.

Mormons Building Bridges

Mormons Building Bridges was last year’s largest entry in Salt Lake City’s annual Pride Parade. But the group’s request to have a modest presence in the Days of ’47 Parade this year has been turned down. 

St. George Russian Orthodox Church

  It’s been a big week for Utah’s only Russian Orthodox parish.  It dedicated a new church in West Jordan last weekend – and its leader has been honored with a new title as well. 

Michael van Opstall was ordained as a Russian Orthodox priest about ten years ago, and since then he’s guided the growing community of believers in Utah.  Last weekend, the parish dedicated the new St. George Russian Orthodox Church in West Jordan, made possible by an anonymous donation of a million dollars.

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