Bishop John Wester Bids Farewell to Utah

Apr 28, 2015
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.

Mormon Church Leaders Call for LGBT Protections

Jan 27, 2015
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. After Presiding Bishop Gary Stevenson appeared at the governor’s announcement last week, the LDS Church issued a statement...

Dan Bammes

Monday, December 8 th , 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. Doctor Carmela Javellana is a psychiatrist who grew up in the Phillipines . She connected with Reverend Jerry Hirano, the minister of the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, through a personal ad. They married, and she became his assistant. Doctor Javellana then studied to become a 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 –...

Metropolitan Visits New Greek Orthodox Parish

Nov 23, 2014
Dan Bammes

The new Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah marked a milestone on Sunday. It hosted a visit from Metropolitan Isaiah , the regional bishop who oversees Greek Orthodox congregations in fourteen states. About 200 people squeezed into the parish’s temporary meeting space at a reception center in Midvale on Sunday. The new parish has no regular priest of its own, so the Metropolitan took a turn officiating. In his homily, Metropolitan Isaiah noted the growth of the church in the fourteen...

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 14 th 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. The Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable made the announcement yesterday. It’s led by Greek Orthodox Father...

FIle: Christopher Halloran/

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...

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 a t the Vatican on Tuesday. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church told the gathering of religious leaders from around the world that “children have the right to grow up with a father and a mother.” His message was echoed by a long list of speakers, including President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of the LDS church. Eyring called for a “renaissance” of marriage and...

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. Kate Kelly, the founder of the group Ordain Women , has linked to the survey on her...

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. “The families stay overnight here for each night for a week,” Bruendl says. “During the day they are out either...

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, , 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...

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. I t’s just one of many local religious groups making significant contributions to the effort. The statement on the church’s news website says it’s working with International Medical Corps to provide medical clothing and supplies for a hospital in Sierra Leone. It’s also working with other relief organizations in both Sierra Leone...

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 . “People who are more on the...

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. The documents being considered by the synod conducted by Pope Francis at the Vatican talk about homosexuals having “gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community.” They also emphasize the rights of the children of same-sex couples. And they talk about care...

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. Munson believes more gay couples will be coming to LDS worship...

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. Work on Meet the Mormon s began almost four years ago, when church leaders wanted something new to show to visitors coming to the Legacy Theater in the Joseph Smith Building across from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. But producer Jeff Roberts says they got an enthusiastic reaction from both Mormon and non-Mormon...

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, t he group Ordain Women succeeded in attending the conference’s priesthood session. For the first time, speakers in this weekend’s General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints heard church authorities speak in languages other than English. The first was...

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 Ordain Women Facebook page shows meetinghouses across the United States and Canada where women plan to show up to attend a meeting that’s normally reserved only for men and boys. There are only a few sites in Utah, but one of them is the Marriott Center. Supporters of ordaining women to the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter...

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...

Rosh Hashanah Begins Jewish High Holy Days

Sep 24, 2014
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 4 th 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. Loeb tells KUER, “There are some who find they...

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. During the LDS General Conference in April, members of Ordain Women tried to attend the Priesthood session in Temple Square. They were turned away and the group vowed not to stage a similar demonstration in Temple Square again. But now members of the group and their female supporters will ask their local bishops for access to...