Dan Bammes

  A group of Mormon women asking for ordination to their church’s priesthood is planning to stage another demonstration at the LDS General Conference in three weeks.  But they may not get as far as they did last October.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tickets for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's performance of Messiah on Easter weekend were gone less than ten minutes after they became available last week.  But the choir has decided to make the performance available to a worldwide audience on the internet.

While the Tabernacle Choir has recorded George Friederich Handel's oratorio a couple of times, it's never done a public performance of Messiah in its entirety.

Petition Asks for Split in Greek Orthodox Parish

Feb 27, 2014
Elaine Emmi

  A petition asking the Greek Orthodox Archbishop to split Salt Lake City’s two Greek Orthodox churches into separate parishes is being circulated among some church members.

LDS Leaders Urge Participation in Party Caucuses

Feb 24, 2014

  As it did in 2012, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urging its members in Utah to participate in neighborhood caucuses for this election year.

SLC Greek Orthodox Dispute Goes to US Archbishop

Feb 20, 2014
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

  The worldwide head of the Greek Orthodox church has reportedly become involved in a long-standing dispute between the parishioners of Salt Lake City’s two churches and the church hierarchy.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is planning to file a friend-of-the-court brief after all in the appeal of the federal court case on same sex marriage in Utah.  The case is currently before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

The church has been involved in other cases and in political battles involving same-sex marriage in the past.  But a spokesperson said shortly after the U-S Supreme Court issued a stay of Judge Robert Shelby’s decision that it probably would not add a formal argument to the case.

U Brain Study Looks At Religious Experience

Feb 6, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

  A new study at the University of Utah is trying to determine what’s happening in the brain when someone has strong religious feelings.

Studies of Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns have shown significant changes in the brain during periods of quiet meditation.  Now, neurology researcher Jeffrey Anderson has designed a study to watch what happens to former Mormon missionaries as they experience religious emotions.

  The Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center has promised to continue Native American healing ceremonies every week – but the spiritual leader who’s conducted them may not be leading them any longer.

Dispute Brings Police to Greek Orthodox Church

Jan 24, 2014
Dan Bammes

  An ongoing dispute over church finances brought police to Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church last Sunday.

Members of the parish council that governs both the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City and Prophet Elias church in Holladay have been trying to cut expenses by letting one of the three parish priests go.  The Greek Orthodox hierarchy has told the parish that the priests’ employment is its responsibility, and that conflict has divided parish members.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says Utah’s liquor laws are just fine the way they are.  But that may not stop further attempts to change them during the upcoming legislative session. 

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been an active participant in some past court cases involving same-sex marriage, but it doesn’t look like it will make arguments in the state of Utah’s current legal battle.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published an article on its website last week taking an in-depth look at its past practice of refusing to ordain black men to its priesthood.  But a historian who’s studied the issue says there’s more to the story.

Newell Bringhurst has published several books on the history of the church’s denial of the priesthood to men of African ancestry – a ban that ended in 1978 with a revelation announced by then-church President Spencer Kimball. 

Hannukah Menorah Vandalized at SLC Synagogue

Dec 2, 2013
Chabad Lubavitch of Utah

  Over the weekend, somebody vandalized the Hannukah menorah in front of a synagogue in Salt Lake City.  But the rabbi doesn’t think it was meant as a hate crime.

Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit Opens at Leonardo

Nov 21, 2013
The Leonardo

  Friday morning at 10:00, The Leonardo museum in Salt Lake City opens its exhibit The Dead Sea Scrolls – Life and Faith in Ancient Times.

BYU Opens "Sacred Gifts" Exhibit of Religious Art

Nov 14, 2013
The Riverside Church /BYU Museum of Art

  Brigham Young University is building on the success of its exhibition of Carl Bloch’s religious paintings three years ago to bring more works by Bloch and two other acclaimed religious artists to its Museum of Art on the Provo campus.

LDS Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage in Hawaii

Nov 12, 2013

  The Hawaii State Senate will vote on a bill Tuesday that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state, and it’s expected to pass.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has worked with opposition leaders to fight the bill, but it’s unclear exactly what role the Church is playing.

Wikimedia Commons

  The Hawaii legislature has opened a special session to look at a bill legalizing same-sex marriages.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other conservative religious groups oppose the legislation, but it appears likely to pass.

LDS Church Opposes Hawaii Marriage Equality Bill

Oct 28, 2013
Brian Grimmett

Hawaii’s state legislature is holding a special session this week to vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state.  Hawaii was one of the first states to pass a constitutional amendment on the question, but it didn’t define marriage as amendments in other states have.  Instead, it gave that power to the legislature.

  Descendants of a big pioneer family that came to Utah in the 1850’s are gathering Thursday to meet with a British genealogist.  Peter Cousins  comes from Leicestershire in the English Midlands.  His research on a British industrialist named Orson Wright led him to the Greenwell family, whose forebears joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1850’s and emigrated to Utah.

In just a few days in Utah, Cousins says he’s met dozens of people descended from Ambrose Greenwell, who had five wives and forty children.

Jewish Identity in Utah

Oct 9, 2013
Congregation Kol Ami

  Last week, the Pew Religion and Public Life Project published an extensive report, A Portrait of Jewish Americans.  It includes population estimates, demographic information, a study of religious beliefs and practices and much more data about just who Jewish Americans are - and how that's been changing. Congregation Kol Ami is Utah's largest synagogue, and we invited Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman to offer some thoughts on the Pew study.

Dan Bammes

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints limits its priesthood ordinations to men and boys 12 and older.  And while the church’s positions on some long-standing policies have evolved in recent years, the group Ordain Women found little flexibility on that issue. 

One Year Later: 27% More LDS Missionaries

Oct 4, 2013
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  It’s been a year since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints changed the age requirements for young men and women to serve as missionaries.  That’s led to a huge increase in the number of young Mormons who’ve signed up to serve.

In the opening session of the church’s General Conference in October, 2012, President Thomas S. Monson announced that young men would be allowed to begin missionary service at age 18 and young women at 19.

Alicia Geesman

  In the past, women have not been welcome at the priesthood session that is part of the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But the group Ordain Women is trying to change that.  Its leaders sent a letter to the church asking for 150 tickets for women to attend the session scheduled for October 5th.

Utah Episcopalians Remember Pacifist Bishop

Sep 4, 2013

  As Congress debates a possible military strike against Syria, Episcopalians around the country are remembering a bishop from Utah who paid a high price for his opposition to war. 

Today (September 4th)  is the feast day for the Right Reverend Paul Jones across the Episcopal Church in America.  Jones became the missionary bishop of Utah in 1916.  Over the next several years, he strongly criticized the United States’ entry into World War One.

A missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died in Cali, Colombia.Elder Jose Daniel Encarnacion Montero died on Saturday from what appears to be a stray bullet. He was with three other missionaries at the time of the incident.

Greek Orthodox Churches Resume Services

Aug 28, 2013
Dan Bammes

The priests at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake and Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church will begin conducting services again, starting tomorrow.  They're responding to a resolution passed by parish members last Sunday reinstating their regular salaries.  The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan in Denver has approved the church's return to liturgical services.  The parish will hold services on the Feast of St. John the Baptist tomorrow, and regular services will be held on Sunday.

Meeting Planned to Resolve Greek Orthodox Dispute

Aug 15, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

  Members of Salt Lake City’s Greek Orthodox parish plan a general meeting later this month, hoping to straighten out some of the issues that have led to a suspension of church services.

The Greek Orthodox hierarchy suspended services two weeks ago at the Holy Trinity cathedral in Salt Lake and Prophet Elias church in Holladay after the parish council imposed a pay cut for its three priests.

Wikimedia Commons

  There will be no religious services at Salt Lake City’s two Greek Orthodox churches until a dispute between parish members and the church hierarchy can be worked out.  Prophet Elias church in Holladay and the Holy Trinity cathedral in downtown Salt Lake are both part of the same parish.  Lay leaders looking at a budget shortfall informed the parish’s three priests last week that their salaries would be cut by 40-percent.  Metropolitan Isaiah, the regional leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Denver, responded by saying t

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The group Mormons Building Bridges plans to attend the opening of the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the LDS Church Museum this afternoon. The paintings on display showcase Rockwell’s relationship with the Boy Scouts of America. 

Rockwell Exhibit Opens at LDS Museum

Jul 18, 2013
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  An exhibition of Norman Rockwell’s Boy Scout paintings and magazine covers opens this weekend at the LDS Church History Museum in Salt Lake City.

Norman Rockwell was on the staff of Boys Life, the Scouting magazine, long before he became famous as the cover artist for The Saturday Evening Post.  The exhibit at the church museum on West Temple includes 26 Rockwell paintings and many more Boys Life magazine covers on loan from the Boy Scouts museum in Irving, Texas.