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August 20, 2014

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August 20, 2014

Apostle Calls for Uplifting Social Media Messages to Sweep the Earth (LDS Newsroom) (August 20, 2014)
Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called for Mormons to use social media to “sweep the earth” with authentic and uplifting messages.

Share More Gospel Messages on Social Media, Elder Bednar Says (Church News) (August 20, 2014)
During his address at the BYU Education Week devotional on August 19, Elder David A. Bednar urged Church members to flood the earth with gospel messages of truth.

Watch: Elder David A. Bednar speaks about the LDS Church and social media at Education Week (Deseret News - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the devotional speaker for Brigham Young University's Campus Education Week on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 11:10 a.m. MDT.

‘Meet the Mormons’ film coming to theaters, Web this fall (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
At first, LDS officials thought their newest feature film would best be shown in the Legacy Theater in the church-owned Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City. After all, that theater has been the venue for previous Mormon-produced movies such as "Legacy" and "Testaments." But LDS apostle David A. Bednar announced Tuesday that church leaders have decided to unveil their next project, "Meet the Mormons," in selected theaters nationwide as well as on YouTube and other Internet sites.

LDS Church announces feature-length documentary, 'Meet the Mormons' (Deseret News - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
For the first time in its history, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will release a feature-length documentary commercially on Oct. 10. The new feature-length film, “Meet the Mormons,” highlights the lives of six Latter-day Saints who live across the globe — in areas spanning from the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, to the rain forests of Costa Rica, to the Salt Lake Valley.

New Seminary Graduation Requirements Expect More from Youth (Church News) (August 20, 2014)
New requirements for seminary graduation are meant to “elevate learning” and better prepare students for lives of service and discipleship. The changes are being implemented throughout the world beginning this school year with this year’s course of study—Doctrine and Covenants and Church history.

Experts say openness helps those who doubt beliefs (Digital Universe - Utah) (August 20, 2014)
Emily Nevers was serving a mission in Ukraine and experiencing widespread atheism for the first time in her life. A native of Salt Lake City, Nevers found herself preaching and serving and unexpectedly, doubting. While on her mission, Nevers developed what she called a “justice complex.” She didn’t understand why the people were “so good and pure and yet were slaughtered by hardship.” At one time, she even questioned the existence of God.

Bernard Fisher, 1927-2014: Vietnam hero from Valley dies (Idaho Statesman) (August 20, 2014)
Kuna resident Bernard (pronounced ber-nerd) Fisher, who risked his life landing his attack plane to rescue a fellow pilot while North Vietnamese troops shot at him, died Saturday at age 87. President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Fisher with the Medal of Honor for his heroics in rescuing Maj. Dafford "Jump" Myers on March 10, 1966, in the A Shau Valley along South Vietnam's western border with Laos.

Great Salt Lake approaches 167 year record low (Washington Post) (August 20, 2014)
Dry winters are taking their toll on the Great Salt Lake, which is just a couple feet away from reaching its record low level, set over 50 years ago. Utah’s Great Salt Lake, which is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, has been on a gradual decline over the past few years, and is now about two and a half feet away from its record low level of 4,191.35 feet. In 2014 alone, the lake has been losing around half a foot per month since May.

August 19, 2014

Matthew J. Grow: Using Joseph Smith Papers to better understand Doctrine and Covenants (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The Joseph Smith Papers Project is “the great symbol of the Church’s transparency with its history,” said Matthew J. Grow, director of publications at the Church History Department.

Church's Blue Creek welfare farms helps feed thousands (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
There’s no evidence that lyricist Katharine Lee Bates ever saw the Church’s Blue Creek Grain Farm before she penned the lines “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain” (“America the Beautiful,” Hymns, No. 338).

NY Onondaga public library making over 40,000 Historic records accessible online (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The Onondaga County Public Library and FamilySearch announced Aug. 12 a joint initiative to digitally preserve 40,000 historic titles from the library’s collections and make them freely accessible online to patrons worldwide. Some of the titles are extremely rare, dating back to Colonial America.

Writing a great family history (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
The small details make a big difference when writing a quality family history, said David W. Smith during the Conference on Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University on July 29. Even the smallest details will have an impact on the history’s readability and usefulness.

'Trek to the Temple' (LDS Church News) (August 19, 2014)
June 28 was one of the busiest days in the history of the Boston Massachusetts Temple. The record-setting number of temple attendees was a direct result of a local stake’s endeavor to honor the pioneers’ trek across the United States.

Angel Moroni statues placed atop 2 LDS temples (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added Angel Moroni statues to the Cordoba Argentina Temple and the Trujillo Peru Temple last week.

SUU coach Ed Lamb not a Mormon, but serves anyway (Deseret News - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
Southern Utah University head football coach Ed Lamb regularly attends meetings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with his family. He finds truth in the teachings of the gospel and has accepted various opportunities to serve. He said the church has been hugely influential in his life.

Elder David A. Bednar to give Devotional address on Tuesday, August 19 (BYU news release) (August 19, 2014)
BYU’s Campus Education Week, one of the largest continuing education programs in the country, will be held August 18-22, 2014, at the university’s campus in Provo, Utah. Based on the theme, “Seek Learning, Even by Study and Also by Faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118), Education Week will feature more than 1,000 classes taught by more than 200 presenters, teaching on a wide variety of topics. The Tuesday Devotional address will be given by Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Utah poll: Most oppose gay marriage, think Supreme Court will legalize it (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
A new poll shows a majority of Utahns oppose gay marriage and believe the fight over the state’s ban deserves to be heard by the Supreme Court. At the same time, a majority believe the high court will reject the state’s arguments and legalize gay unions. Those are the contradictory findings of a statewide survey sponsored by Zions Bank and UtahPolicy.com, which comes after a string of court rulings have challenged gay marriage bans throughout the nation.

Op-Ed: LDS leader delivered a confusing message to graduates (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 19, 2014)
Last Thursday, Mormon Apostle Russell M. Nelson challenged Brigham Young University summer graduates to carry the heavy "burden of discipleship" by refusing to yield in their defense of traditional marriage. His statements communicated to graduates that their status as defenders of traditional marriage sets them apart from those who believe same-sex marriage should be legal.

Mormon Church won’t sell land for new school (Daily Times Chronicle - Massachusetts) (August 19, 2014)
With the Mormon Church unwilling to relinquish the land, city officials may have no choice but to jettison a proposal to build a new Hurld-Wyman School at the site of an old industrial warehouse nearby Spence Farm. Last night, Mayor Scott Galvin met with the City Council to discuss the city's legal options in regards to the acquisition of the old Loft Seed parcel at 71 Wyman St., which still could be forcibly taken, should local officials agree to initiate eminent domain proceedings.

August 18, 2014

Be a Disciple 24/7, Says Elder Nelson at BYU’s Commencement Exercises (Church News) (August 18, 2014)
Disciples of Jesus Christ are defenders of marriage, said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during commencement exercises held in the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University on August 14.

Memorial held for slain Washington state 6-year-old: ‘Jenise was a bright star in our life’ (Daily News) (August 18, 2014)
Like a lot of little kids, Jenise Wright got in trouble. She stole cereal and popsicles from the kitchen for secret picnics with her friends at their Bremerton, Wash. neighborhood, recalled her mother, Denise Wright, at a memorial service on Saturday for the 6-year-old child. “I could never be mad at her half the time,” Wright said.

About Utah: She showed him the light (Deseret News - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
It’s been almost two months now, and Valoy Eaton is painting his way through the grief as best he can. For 58 years they were together, inseparable, a dynamic duo, an impenetrable team. She did everything except hold the brush. So he keeps painting, not least because he knows that’s exactly what she’d want him to do.

Mormonism in Pictures: What Do Mormon Teens Do? (LDS Newsroom) (August 18, 2014)
Youth in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are like many other young people around the world. They go to movies, participate in sports, watch videos, text their friends, study for school, attend church and play musical instruments.

Latter-Day Saints undertakes clean-up campaign in W/R (Ghana Web) (August 18, 2014)
Members of the Takoradi branch of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Saturday embarked on a four-hour clean-up campaign to rid the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and Shama District of filth and squalor.

Mormon missionaries use song, ukuleles to share the gospel (Deseret News - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
Whether during Sunday's church services or Monday's family home evening, performances of hymns and Primary songs are important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Local Kimberly Man Celebrates 100 Years of Life (KMVT - Idaho) (August 18, 2014)
A lot has changed over the past 100 years and a Kimberly, Idaho man, who celebrated his 100th birthday this past week has seen all of the changes of the past century. "Well first thing is I never thought I'd live this long,” was Howard Kelsey’s reaction to turning 100 this past weekend

Parowan City Council wants to hear from the LDS church (Spectrum - Utah) (August 18, 2014)
Parowan City council members are quickly losing patience with representatives from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after waiting for them for nearly 8 months to make a decision whether they’re going to cover the costs of rebuilding the city park bathrooms they tore down two years ago.

Neon Trees' Tyler Glenn: Since coming out as a gay Mormon I'm truly happy (The Guardian - UK) (August 18, 2014)
A lot of people ask how I can be both Mormon and gay. I don’t have all the answers, but since coming out I finally feel like I can be myself.

August 15, 2014

Church using 'The Book of Mormon' to spread word about the Book of Mormon (Philadelphia Daily News - Pennsylvania) (August 15, 2014)
From this vantage point, the most interesting aspect of the current production of "The Book of Mormon," which runs through Sept. 14 at the Forrest Theatre, is not to be found onstage. Instead, it can be seen in the show's playbill.

“Converting to the Gospel Changed My Family,” Says Nevada’s Young Mother of the Year (Church News) (August 15, 2014)
Raising a family takes a team, said the 2014 Young Mother of the Year in Nevada. Nikki Morgan Butler and her husband, Richard Butler, have four children, and with her four children spread out in high school, middle school, elementary school, and the youngest at home, she said, “It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever done.”

Volunteers Turn Out to Help Storm Victims in Nevada (Church News) (August 15, 2014)
When our children sing the song about how the rains came down and the floods came up, they fail to tell us about the mud that comes with the flood. But the residences of Minden, Nevada, on Mac Drive know firsthand how much mud comes with the floods.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland posts picture of granddaughter's missionary return on Facebook (Deseret News - Utah) (August 15, 2014)
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, posted two pictures on Facebook Thursday after his granddaughter returned from serving an LDS mission.

LDS convert Danor Gerald is star of new 'Saints and Soldiers' film (Deseret News - Utah) (August 15, 2014)
Danor Gerald decided to become an actor after being hit with a tennis ball. While an elementary school student, Gerald was playing a tennis-ball version of dodgeball when he was nailed in the midsection. As he curled up on the ground, classmates quickly gathered around him. He noted their grave concern, saw a humorous opportunity and began squirming and squealing in pain.

Utah family facing son's rare illness finds strength in Mormon faith (Deseret News - Utah) (August 15, 2014)
Marc and Chardell Buchanan were concerned when their 2-year-old son Ben wasn’t achieving regular milestones, but they never expected him to be diagnosed with an illness that only affects 1,000 people worldwide.

BYU student to Cosmo magazine: Mormon school’s sex ban needs to go (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 15, 2014)
A Brigham Young University sophomore has taken to the pages of Cosmo to protest the school’s approach on premarital sex. In an article that appeared Wednesday on Cosmopolitan’s website, Keli Byers argues that BYU’s Honor Code codifies harmful beliefs that sexual women are ruined, and, with its rules about sexual behavior and modesty, effectively shames women.

August 14, 2014

Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right | 13 August 2014 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 14, 2014)
This "Getting It Right" includes a three-part series from a journalist in Washington state about the everyday lives of Mormon missionaries and an article about Church growth in Alaska.

Help for the helpers: New Hong Kong employment agency aims to stamp out 'modern-day slavery' (Post Magazine - China) (August 14, 2014)
''When you think of Hong Kong, you don't imagine this sort of problem," says Scott Stiles, co-founder and general manager of the Fair Employment Agency, a new not-for-profit recruitment organisation for foreign domestic workers. The problem is debt bondage, a state in which employees - in this case foreign domestic workers or, as they are known colloquially in Hong Kong, helpers - are bound to their job or employer by debt. The United Nations refers to it as a form of "modern-day slavery".

LDS Church surveying Mormons about women, ordination, apostasy, PR, more (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 14, 2014)
Feminist Kate Kelly’s excommunication from the LDS Church in June may have been a local decision, but Mormon officials knew its impact, given all the media attention, would reach members across the nation, if not the globe.

Mormon feminists find grounds for hope, fear in changing church (WBEZ 91.5 - Illinois) (August 14, 2014)
Jillian Paul sits at the kitchen table, putting together a Thomas the Tank Engine puzzle and pouring Cheerios for her two sons. Before they start to eat, she and her boys bow their heads for a moment in prayer. As a woman, Paul is living the Mormon ideal: She’s staying at home in Plainfield, raising her kids. But about a year ago, she began questioning her role in the church.

Local LDS church members work with others to aid slide victims Read more: The Davis Clipper - Local LDS church members work with others to aid slide victims (Davis Clipper - Utah) (August 14, 2014)
The family whose home was destroyed in the recent landslide still needs help. Though EaglePointe Development has promised the Utrilla family a new lot in the subdivision, fundraising efforts are still going on to get the family a new house and possessions. Local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also seeking furniture and other items for the family. Read more: The Davis Clipper - Local LDS church members work with others to aid slide victims

New Inspirational Video Playlists Will Entertain and Uplift (Church News) (August 14, 2014)
Due to many requests to have Church videos available on playlists, Media Library on LDS.org has delivered. A new feature called Inspirational Playlists—similar to a YouTube playlist—allows you to start the first video in a playlist and then sit back and relax as the rest of the the videos play automatically. These playlists were designed to allow you to watch content continuously without having to navigate all over LDS.org to find the videos you want to watch.

Husband and Wife Discover Their Grandfathers Fought Side by Side in Civil War (Church News) (August 14, 2014)
It was June 27, 1864, when three brigades of Union soldiers, totaling nearly 5,500 men, moved against entrenched Confederate positions on Burnt Hickory Road toward Pigeon Hill and Cheatham Hill on what would be a significant day in the battle for Kennesaw Mountain. One hundred fifty years to the day later, some 200 visitors boarded buses at Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia, that would transport them to Kennesaw Mountain State Park, where they would participate in a real-time hike that would take them on the same path those Union troops took to approach Cheatham Hill the moment the battle began.

Florida teen invites dozens of friends to LDS Church, 6 serve full-time missions (Deseret News - Utah) (August 14, 2014)
In 2010, Junior Reyes was the only young man in his congregation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to Mormon Newsroom. Eager to invite other local young men to join the congregation, Reyes decided to open his mouth and do some missionary work. Reyes' invitations to church and Scouting activities reached dozens of young men, six of whom have now served full-time missions.

Utah family shares quirky, inspiring Mormon conversion story through book (Deseret News - Utah) (August 14, 2014)
Wisconsin natives Phyllis and Rollie Bestor knew almost nothing about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they moved their family of six to Orem, Utah, in 1966. But shortly after arriving in picturesque Utah Valley, the Bestors recognized there was indeed something different about the area's culture and people. For the next decade, Phyllis Bestor and her family would immerse themselves in the Utah lifestyle and become involved members of their community — all while trying to live among Mormons and not become one.

August 13, 2014

“This Is a Woman’s Church,” Says Director of Humanitarian Services and LDS Charities (LDS Newsroom Blog) (August 13, 2014)
Sharon Eubank, the director of Humanitarian Services and LDS Charities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received a standing ovation on 8 August during a speech titled “This Is a Woman’s Church” during the 2014 FairMormon Conference in Provo, Utah.

Parents and Teachers Can Expect More from Youth, Leaders Say (Church News) (August 13, 2014)
Establishing greater expectations for the youth of the Church and teaching with unity and power were among the topics discussed by Church leaders during the annual Seminaries and Institutes of Religion training broadcast held on August 5.

BYU professor speaks on unnoticed assumptions about the Book of Abraham (Deseret News - Utah) (August 13, 2014)
Brigham Young University religion professor and historian Kerry Muhlestein explored both the power and danger that comes with making assumptions, with special regard to the Book of Abraham, as part of the FairMormon Conference on Thursday at the Utah Valley Convention Center.

D.C. Mormons kick off Day to Serve 2014 with the Nats (Deseret News - Utah) (August 13, 2014)
More than 1,300 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Washington, D.C., area, including over 400 full-time missionaries and many of their investigators, attended a Washington Nationals baseball game to kick off this year’s regional Day to Serve, a large-scale service event started by the church in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Was Robin Williams’ suicide a sin? Faiths softening stance (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 13, 2014)
As Americans mourn the death of comedian Robin Williams, a few have reiterated the view that suicide is a "sin." Indeed, that was a long-held idea handed down among various faith groups throughout history. In the fifth century, "St. Augustine was unequivocal: Suicide is self-murder and an unforgivable sin," The Salt Lake Tribune wrote in a Special Report on suicide May 13, 2006. "Much the same revulsion at suicide is clear in Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and every other religious tradition. It was even a felony in some U.S. states until 1963."

My sister, Robin Williams and suicide (Daily Herald - Utah) (August 13, 2014)
"That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" recites John Keating in the beloved movie "Dead Poets Society." Tributes and tears pour in after the suicide death of Robin Williams. That word -- suicide -- bringing a sick feeling to our hearts and stomachs. Suicide connects my sister and Robin Williams. The day of his passing was the day her headstone was placed. She and he share more than this bond of death. Both will be remembered for much more than the final choice they both made to end their lives.

Taking it on faith: Redskins’ Cody Hoffman starred as rare non-Mormon at BYU (Washington Times) (August 13, 2014)
Every team meeting begins with a prayer. Every player foregoes alcohol, profanity and sideburns below the ear. And for Redskins rookie wide receiver Cody Hoffman, it was all very different at first. Hoffman spent five seasons at Brigham Young University, graduating last year as the most prolific receiver in the program’s 91-year history. But at a school where 98.5 percent of the student body belongs to the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more than 90 percent of the football team is also Mormon, Hoffman was a religious foreigner.

Mormon church seeks San Juan Capistrano site (Orange County Register - California) (August 13, 2014)
The Mormon Church wants to build in San Juan Capistrano. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is looking to buy a 4.2-acre site on the city’s east side, on La Pata Avenue near San Juan Hills High School, for a new church to accommodate the growing number of Mormons in south Orange County, said Scott Smith, an Irvine lawyer helping with the proposal.

Longtime Provo resident Doc Parkinson remembered for his full life (Daily Herald - Utah) (August 13, 2014)
David "Doc" Parkinson was a people person. He had a smile for every individual who entered a Magleby's Restaurant, no matter where it was located. For 35 years that smile has been an icon of Provo, of good service and good food. Doc died Thursday in his sleep at home. He was 83.

August 12, 2014

Missionary Work: Experiences Shape the Future (LDS Newsroom) (August 12, 2014)
Returning missionaries carry home a wealth of knowledge and experiences that set the course of their life: firm faith in God; an increased knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the restored gospel; an exposure to cultural diversity...

'This Grand Opportunity': the origin of sister missionaries in the Church (LDS Church News) (August 12, 2014)
At more than 20,000 strong, “there are more women serving missions right now than the number of women in the Church in 1847 when the pioneers crossed the plains,” historian Brittany Chapman points out in a new video being displayed on the website of the Church History Department.

Nauvoo pageant features British experiences (LDS Church News) (August 12, 2014)
Located just off the shore of the Mississippi River, the City of Joseph hosts the Nauvoo Pageant every year. The pageant is a reenactment of some of the defining experiences of the early Saints in the state of Illinois.

Missionaries volunteer at IAAF World Jr. Championships (LDS Church News) (August 12, 2014)
Missionaries in the Oregon Eugene Mission had an opportunity many of their fellow elders and sisters can only dream of — to share part of their mission with more than two billion people.

Beloved Chapel’s 100-Year Anniversary Celebrated in Alabama (Church News) (August 12, 2014)
There was only one other Church-owned building in Alabama in 1914 when long-time Southern States Mission President Charles A. Callis (who served from 1908 to 1933) dedicated a one-room clapboard chapel near the tiny town of Magnolia. The building was constructed and funded by some of the earliest Church members in the state, with the help of some of their non-LDS neighbors and two full-time missionaries from Utah.

A Dream Fulfilled Because of Church’s Perpetual Education Fund (Church News) (August 12, 2014)
As a returned missionary, I wanted to establish a strong, gospel-centered family. From what I observed while on my mission, I knew that to be able to achieve this objective, one must have a good spouse, an education, and a job. Though these are not easy to come by, I had great faith that it was possible.

New Temple President and Matron Called for Jordan River Utah Temple (Church News) (August 12, 2014)
William Arthur and Sharon Lynn Schaefermeyer have been called by the First Presidency to preside over the Jordan River Utah Temple, effective November 1, replacing James Reed and Vicki Aileen Matsumori, who were called by the First Presidency but are unable to serve due to health reasons.

‘Book Of Mormon’ Doesn’t Deter LDS (Spokesman-Review - Washington) (August 12, 2014)
At one point in “Book of Mormon” – the satirical musical from the creators of “South Park” – a dimwitted missionary surrounded by Ugandans struggles to relate Mormonism to their daily struggles, including female circumcision, child rape and genocide.

August 11, 2014

Mormon church bucks the trend (Juneau Empire - Alaska) (August 11, 2014)
A new spire reaches toward the heavens in Auke Bay — Juneau’s newest church held its first services last Sunday.

'A tremendous opportunity to teach things of righteousness' (LDS Church News) (August 11, 2014)
Establishing greater expectations for the youth of the Church and teaching with unity and power were all topics discussed by Church leaders during the annual Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Training Broadcast held Aug. 5.

Abraham to blacks to Brigham — Mormon essays confront tough questions (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 11, 2014)
They have tackled touchy topics: Did Mormons really abandon polygamy in 1890? Did Brigham Young order the Mountain Meadows Massacre? Do Latter-day Saints believe a man can become like God?

Volunteers turn out to help storm victims (LDS Church News) (August 11, 2014)
When our children sing the song about how the rains came down and the floods came up, they fail to tell us about the mud that comes with the flood. But the residences of Minden, Nevada, on Mac Drive, know firsthand how much mud comes with the floods.

LDS Church chipping in to help Iraq’s fleeing Christians (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 11, 2014)
The LDS Church this week authorized $100,000 in goods to be sent to northern Iraq to aid Christians escaping the military assault of the radical Islamic State group, a church official said Friday. The funds will be used to "buy oil, beans, rice and bedding, " Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities, told hundreds of Mormon apologists meeting at the 16th annual FairMormon Conference in Provo.

LDS donates medical supplies to Ngu Hospital (Matangi Tonga) (August 11, 2014)
Much needed new medical equipment and supplies were presented to Ngu Hospital, Neiafu, on Wednesday 6 August from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. The supplies bought with a total budget of $108,200 pa’anga included surgical instruments such as tubes, blades, and oxygen masks for both children and adults.

FamilySearch today facilitates as much as gathers family history (Deseret News - Utah) (August 11, 2014)
Over the years, the role of the Family History Department of the Church has shifted dramatically, going from “an organization that spent all of [its] time gathering, to an organization that spent a lot more time facilitating,” the chief genealogical officer of FamilySearch said during a keynote address July 31 on the third day of the Conference on Family History and Genealogy at BYU.

Manti preservation project (LDS Church News) (August 11, 2014)
A preservation project on the tabernacle in Manti, Utah, is offering a rare look at pioneer craftsmanship in one of the oldest LDS chapels still in use. “You know you can’t drive on Main Street and see this beautiful building without thinking of the pioneers,” said Scott Hintze, president of the Manti Utah Stake.

Girl run over in 'tragic accident' while sunbathing dies (KSL - Utah) (August 11, 2014)
A 15-year-old girl hit by a truck in her driveway while sunbathing has died, according to the family's LDS bishop. Marli Hamblin was sunbathing on her driveway while listening to her iPod on Friday, according to Syracuse Police Department. A family member got into a Chevy pickup truck before opening the garage door and did not see the girl when backing out.

Five LDS homes destroyed in Carlton Fire in Washington (LDS Church News) (August 11, 2014)
Five homes of Latter-day Saints were destroyed by the Carlton Fire in central Washington — which burned 243,000 acres primarily within the boundaries of the Wenatchee Washington Stake this July.

LDS attorney lists what Mormons need to know about religious freedom today (Deseret News - Utah) (August 11, 2014)
Religious freedom has always been a priority for Latter-day Saints, who should seek to defend it in their communities, an LDS attorney said Friday at the FairMormon Conference. Hannah Smith, who as senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has helped secure some major court victories for religious freedom recently, provided a thorough list of areas for concern in U.S. courts today.

Why Scouting matters in the LDS Church (Daily Herald - Utah) (August 11, 2014)
A few months ago, Rushford Lee, owner of Research Emotion Design (RED), started asking himself some questions centered on the subject of Scouting and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How did Scouting relate to Church objectives for youth? Was there a spiritual side to Scouting? Is there really any link between the trail to Eagle and a mission?

Utah vendors put Mormon faith behind their products (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (August 11, 2014)
To the uninitiated, the T-shirts Mark Thayer is selling bear an interesting pattern of circles and lines. To those who get the riddle — that the symbols represent the "plan for salvation" that is part of the doctrine among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the shirts are, Thayer boasted, "the best thing since the CTR ring."

Canadian professor assembles diverse team for unique new LDS history book (Daily Herald - Utah) (August 11, 2014)
Latter-day Saint Apostle L. Tom Perry wasn’t speaking directly to Roy Prete. But, as Prete listened to him address a crowd in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, it sure felt like it. Perry spoke on the burgeoning “Mormon Moment” — the 2012 presidential election was approaching, with notable Mormon Mitt Romney in the running. Latter-day Saints were in the public eye, perhaps more than ever before. “You need to write books,” Perry told the audience. He said it multiple times. The call to action wasn’t lost on Prete, himself an accomplished author.

'I am ready now' (LDS Church News) (August 11, 2014)
Writer, director and producer T.C. Christensen, known for his work on LDS films such as “Ephraim’s Rescue,” “17 Miracles,” “The Work and the Glory” and “Joseph,” was the keynote speaker July 31 at the Family History and Genealogy conference held at Brigham Young University. His remarks focused on lessons learned from the life of Ephraim K. Hanks and other Mormon pioneers.

LDS church helps people find ancestors (Tennessean) (August 11, 2014)
Volunteers set a record for indexing names within 24 hours to help more people search for ancestors online.

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