The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy is wrapping up a four-month tour through Southeast Asia called Pacific Partnership. Among the 1200 military and civilians aboard the ship there are eight volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They include Nate Leishman, the church's manager of humanitarian disaster response, who says the opportunity to participate began several years ago when the Navy called to say the church could add volunteers to the humanitarian supplies it had donated on previous missions.
This year's Sunstone Symposium is underway at the University of Utah, drawing scholars of Mormonism from inside and outside the LDS church. It includes lots of presentations on political topics because of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. While he's the first Mormon to win a major party nomination, he's certainly not the first to run.
Cory Hanks, the president of the Bountiful South Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, came up with a plan to recreate the story of Helaman and his two thousand stripling warriors in Friday's parade. For years, Hanks has been playing the character of Helaman, a military leader in the Book of Mormon's account of the long wars between the Nephites and Lamanites. In the story, Helaman led two thousand young warriors who had never fought before, but who had been taught by their mothers that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are asking their members in the Pleasant View neighborhood of Provo to "sustain" a decision to build a nine-story addition to the Missionary Training Center there.
Lorie Johnson, who's been part of the group opposing the project, says the local stake president told members in a sacrament meeting on July 1st that top church leaders considered this an "ecclesiastical decision."