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Religion

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

  Utah's Catholic bishop, John Wester, was out of town when the church elected a new pope earlier this month. He's had a lot of people ask about it since, and that also offered the opportunity to talk about a number of other issues involving the Catholic church in Utah.  On Friday March 22nd, I asked Bishop Wester what he's learned about Pope Francis since the conclave.

Clearfield Community Church Recovering from Fire

Mar 20, 2013
Clearfield Community Church

  Members of Clearfield Community Church are working to keep their church going after a fire almost destroyed their building yesterday.

The church will hold its Sunday worship service in rented space just a few blocks away at Wasatch Elementary School for a few weeks.  But former pastor Richard Axmann says the home-school group that met in the church will have to find another place to meet, along with several other programs.

Utah Catholics Welcome New Pope

Mar 13, 2013
Dan Bammes

  Utah Catholics are welcoming Pope Francis I with high expectations. 

The bells at the Cathedral of the Madeleine were ringing this afternoon as Utah Catholics welcomed the news of the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as pope.

Stephanie Olmstead was watching the news with a group of students at the Newman Center just off the University of Utah campus.  She’s hoping the new pontiff will continue Benedict’s use of Twitter to communicate with the faithful around the world.

Utah Reaction to Benedict XVI Resignation

Feb 11, 2013
Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City

Utah's Roman Catholic bishop, as well as some non-Catholic religious leaders, were stunned by today's announcement that Pope Benedict the 16th will resign at the end of February.

Bishop John Wester met Benedict the 16th on a couple of occasions during his eight-year papacy and said he was always impressed by Benedict's kindness.  Wester says he was also impressed by the pope's commitment to speaking the truth and by the way he confronted the most difficult issues facing the church.

Legal Question Could Affect Scouts' Decision

Feb 6, 2013
Boy Scouts of America

  The national leadership of the Boy Scouts of America has put off a decision on allowing gays as Scout members or leaders, and a legal question could be part of what's holding that up. 

Shoshone Mark 150 Years Since Bear River Massacre

Jan 31, 2013
Alicia Geesman

  The story of the Bear River Massacre isn’t well known outside Utah and Idaho.  For many years, the complete story was only told by the descendants of the few who survived the attack on a Shoshone camp in 1863.  Members of the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Nation gathered at the site January 29th to mark the 150th anniversary.

A drum circle and a color guard opened the ceremony near the spot where the U-S Army attacked a Shoshone encampment next to the Bear River in 1863.

Peter Cooke Called as LDS Mission President

Jan 10, 2013

Retired U.S. Army Major General Peter Cooke was the Democratic Party nominee for governor of Utah in the 2012 election, but lost to the Republican incumbent, Gary Herbert.  He says it was a surprise when church leaders asked him to be a mission president a few days ago.  He doesn't yet know where he'll be assigned among the church's 350 missions worldwide, but he says his wife Heather and their four children are delighted with the opportunity to serve.

House Could Help Families Escaping Polygamy

Jan 8, 2013
Utah Attorney General's Office

A group that helps families leaving polygamist communities is hoping to buy a big house to help their effort, and they're asking for donations to make it happen. 

Utah Buddhist Congregation Celebrates Bodhi Day

Dec 13, 2012
Dan Bammes

When  we say, “Happy Holidays,” Utahns typically mean Christmas and Chanuka or the winter solstice for some folks.  For Utah’s oldest Buddhist congregation, the winter holiday they’re celebrating this weekend is called Bodhi Day. 

The sound of the daikin begins the Sunday service at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple.  Reverend Jerry Hirano leads the congregation through the chants and hymns that make up the Jodo Shinshu or Pure Land Buddhist service.

LDS Democrats Call for Day of Prayer

Nov 29, 2012

In his concession speech, Governor Mitt Romney prayed that the president will be successful in guiding the nation.  Shortly after that, LDS Church leaders invited Americans  - whatever their political persuasion - to pray for the President and the new Congress.  Now LDS Democrats are calling for a day of prayer.  Caucus chair Steve Olsen told KUER the prayers are directed at leaders on both sides of the aisle. 

LGBT Mormons Try to Bridge Divide through Music

Nov 11, 2012
Andrea Smardon

Hundreds of Mormons in Utah participated in gay pride parades across the country this summer.  Now some LGBT Mormons and their supporters have formed a choir in Salt Lake City.  Organizers say they are not pushing a political agenda.  They say they simply want to create a space where all are welcome to sing in praise of God.  But the choir has not been completely welcomed by some Mormon communities. 

On a Wednesday evening at a historic LDS Church in downtown Salt Lake City, about 20 people gather to sing.

Circling the Wagons held its 2nd annual conference over the weekend for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Mormons in Salt Lake City.  The event is intended to be a supportive place for LGBT Mormons and their families, but some were offended by some of the invited speakers, and chose not to attend.

The controversy centered around speaker Josh Weed, a family therapist from Seattle.  He’s an out gay man, and devout Mormon, who says he is happily married to his wife.   Circling the Wagons organizer Anne Peffer said she knew inviting Weed to speak would upset some. 

Tabernacle Choir Launches YouTube Channel

Oct 30, 2012
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir launched its new YouTube channel on Tuesday, October 30th.  The new channel includes performances of traditional hymns that you'd expect from the Tabernacle Choir, but also a new music video featuring soloist Alex Boyé, shot in what was once a slave trade fortress on the coast of Ghana.

The new channel will include concerts and past broadcasts of the weekly Music and the Spoken Word program.

Minimum Age Reduced for LDS Missionaries

Oct 6, 2012
Thomas S. Monson
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a change in the minimum age for missionary service Saturday morning in the opening session of the church’s General Conference.  President Thomas S. Monson says young men will now be eligible to serve at age 18, provided they’ve graduated from high school.  The previous minimum age for missionaries from the United States was 19, but Monson says the church has had good experience with younger men from 48 other countries.

New LDS Temple Reflects Brigham City History

Aug 15, 2012
LDS Temple in Brigham City, Utah
Dan Bammes

Brigham City's Main Street is shaded by dozens of huge sycamore trees that are close to a century old.  But as you approach 300 South and Main, the trees suddenly open up to reveal a spectacular three-story white building with towers on either end -- and a statue of Moroni on the tallest one.

LDS Volunteers Join Navy Humanitarian Mission

Aug 13, 2012

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.

Members of the Sikh faith held an interfaith candlelight vigil Wednesday evening at the Sikh Temple of Utah to honor the victims of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting that took place Sunday.

Italian Government Grants LDS Church Official Status

Aug 7, 2012
© 2010 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved

After decades of negotiations the Italian Government has finally granted the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints official status as a church and partner of the state.

Adam Christing
Dan Bammes

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.

Pioneer Day: Stripling Warriors

Jul 23, 2012
Dan Bammes

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.

Church Asks Members to "Sustain" MTC Project

Jul 9, 2012

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."

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