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April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

Ground Broken for Star Valley Wyoming Temple (LDS Newsroom) (April 27, 2015)
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined with community leaders in Star Valley, Wyoming, on Saturday, April 25, 2015, to break ground for the first temple in Wyoming.

LDS Church breaks ground on new temple in Afton (KPVI - Idaho) (April 27, 2015)
Thousands of people watched as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints broke ground on the newest temple in Afton, Wyoming Saturday. KPVI News 6 was there and spoke with attendees.

Elder L. Tom Perry to Receive Treatment for Cancer, Elder Richard G. Scott Hospitalized (LDS Newsroom) (April 27, 2015)
Elder L. Tom Perry will begin radiation treatment this morning after being diagnosed with cancer in the thyroid gland. Elder Perry is the second most senior apostle in terms of length of service in the Quorum of the Twelve, and the oldest living apostle. Elder Richard G. Scott, age 86, was hospitalized last evening due to gastrointestinal bleeding. The bleeding was brought under control and he is resting comfortably. Elder Scott has served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since October 1, 1988. They are grateful for the prayers and kindnesses expressed on their behalf.

President Uchtdorf Speaks at Religious Symposium at USC (LDS Newsroom) (April 27, 2015)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Harriet, joined religious scholars and leaders of other faiths at the inaugural John A. Widtsoe Symposium at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on Friday, April 24, 2015. Descendants of Elder Widtsoe, a Mormon apostle and scholar, were also in attendance.

In Argentina, Apostle Says Religious Freedom Is Everyone's Concern (LDS Newsroom) (April 27, 2015)
A leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told the Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI) today that religious freedom is not just the concern of religious persons. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, one of the Twelve Apostles for the church based in the United States, said nonbelievers also have a strong interest in religious freedom because the protection of conscience "helps people from a wide spectrum of beliefs feel assured that their deepest concerns and values are respected and protected."

Major Earthquake Strikes Nepal (LDS Newsroom) (April 27, 2015)
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those in Nepal impacted by Saturday’s earthquake and particularly those who have lost loved ones," Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said today. Initial reports indicate that over 1,400 people lost their lives in the magnitude-7.8 quake and thousands more are homeless.

BYU: Graduates to record the journey and adventures of their lives (LDS Church News) (April 27, 2015)
On what would be considered a “journal entry day” for many, Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy encouraged more than 5,000 graduates of Brigham Young University to keep a record of their lives — something that would be a blessing for their posterity.

Speakers at BYU commencement laud special role of ‘heaven-supported’ school (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 27, 2015)
Gemie Martin's education at Brigham Young University began 40 years ago, when the Moab native transferred from Snow College to start work on a bachelor's degree. Two years later, in 1976, Martin, pregnant with her oldest daughter, dropped out of BYU two courses shy of her degree.

How Mormons Use The Internet To Spread The Good Word (Forbes) (April 27, 2015)
We tend to think of religions as being conservative, stodgy, or lagging when it comes to anything that has to do with technology, and especially online technology. Therefore it may come as a bit of a surprise to find out that at least one religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are commonly known by the abbreviation “LDS” or the nickname “Mormons,” is one of the most advanced large organizations in the world when it comes to SEO, content marketing, and the use of social media...

Joseph Smith Papers releases First Vision accounts in 10 languages (Deseret News - Utah) (April 27, 2015)
Millions of international members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can now study an essential part of Mormon history for themselves. The Joseph Smith Papers and the Church History Department have translated all four of Joseph Smith’s firsthand accounts of the First Vision into 10 languages and made them available for study online.

Want to get a read on Mormon founder Joseph Smith? Bushman’s blunt book still delivers (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 27, 2015)
Ten years and many critical Internet posts ago, Richard Lyman Bushman's award-winning biography of Mormon founder Joseph Smith seemed, maybe, a tad too honest, too warts-and-all for some churchgoing Latter-day Saints. Oh, what a difference a decade makes. Now Bushman is widely referenced in the faith's recently published essays aimed at helping devout members and skeptical outsiders better understand the sometimes-thorny theological and historical issues surrounding Smith and early Mormonism.

FamilySearch Announces Worldwide Indexing Event (Church News) (April 27, 2015)
More than six million indexed images containing valuable genealogical information are waiting to be arbitrated (reviewed and corrected) before they can be published and made available to family history researchers on Eliminating this backlog of needed records is the object of the first online worldwide arbitration event sponsored by FamilySearch indexing and scheduled for May 1–8, 2015.

Church Distributing Meet the Mormons DVD, Blu-Ray through Retail Channels (Church News) (April 27, 2015)
The Church is partnering with Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Costco to distribute the DVD and Blu-Ray release of its popular Meet the Mormons documentary. According to Devin Shelley, awareness director for the Church’s Publishing Services Department, that’s unprecedented. “This is the first time a Church or Deseret Book product has been in almost every Wal-Mart store nationwide, and we hope it won’t be the last,” he said.

Church Announces 2015 LDSTech Gospel App and Game Contest (Church News) (April 27, 2015)
After a successful LDSTech Gospel App and Game Contest last year, organizers expect even greater participation in 2015.

North Star holds conference to help LDS LGBT people (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 27, 2015)
North Star International conducted its second annual conference, which is targeted to assist members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are trying to navigate the LGBT world.

‘Olympics of religions’ receives a preview in Salt Lake City (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 27, 2015)
The world's religions are set to gather in Salt Lake City in October, and organizers and city officials met Saturday to preview and prepare for the global event.

Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly ‘happier’ and ‘invigorated’ after Mormon excommunication (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 27, 2015)
Nearly a year removed from the LDS Church, Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly says she has found happiness living a more authentic life while continuing to push for equality in the Mormon faith. Kelly, who was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 2014, now lives in Nairobi, Kenya, where she works on human-rights efforts. She sat down Thursday as part of an offshoot project of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City to explain how she was punished for speaking out for women's rights in the LDS faith.

April 23, 2015

Oldest Mormon apostle L. Tom Perry released from hospital after having trouble breathing (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 23, 2015)
LDS apostle L. Tom Perry — who, at 92, is the oldest Mormon apostle and second in line for the faith's presidency — was hospitalized briefly Wednesday after having trouble breathing.

Elder Andersen dedicates new institute building at ASU Polytechnic Campus (LDS Church News) (April 23, 2015)
Urging students to make it welcome to all, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated a new institute building April 19 at the Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus in Mesa.

Elder Steven E. Snow to Speak at BYU's April 23 Commencement Exercises (BYU news release) (April 23, 2015)
Elder Steven E. Snow, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is scheduled to be the presiding authority and speaker during Brigham Young University’s Commencement Exercises on Thursday, April 23, at 4 p.m., in the Marriott Center. BYU President Kevin J Worthen will conduct the exercises.

Five Generations of FHE: Members Share Memorable FHE Stories (Church News) (April 23, 2015)
Since President Joseph F. Smith introduced family home evening in the Church 100 years ago this month, it has influenced at least five generations of Latter-day Saints, a fact that is demonstrated in the extended family of Carmen Houmand of Sandy, Utah, and her daughter, Catherine Gardner of Oak City, Utah.

BYU's basketball roster undergoing major overhaul (Deseret News - Utah) (April 23, 2015)
When BYU opened the 2014-15 season last November, it had 17 eligible players on the roster. But when the Cougars tip off the 2015-16 campaign, the roster will look much different as nine of those players have since left the program.

Trib Talk: Mormonism of the future (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 23, 2015)
How does a global faith negotiate cultural and sociological pressures while retaining its distinctive religious appeal? That's a question Mormon sociologist and author Armand Mauss recently explored in an address at Utah State University.

Changing Times, Changing Attitudes Among Mormon Women (Nevada Public Radio) (April 23, 2015)
In an open discussion held in the heartland of the religion last week, female members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints talked about issues important to them. As one might guess – equality was a common theme.

April 22, 2015

Payson Utah Temple Opens Doors to the Public (LDS Newsroom) (April 22, 2015)
The First Presidency of the Church has announced that the open house will begin on Friday, April 24, 2015, and will continue through Saturday May 23, 2015, excluding Sundays. Tours are available on Monday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Photo gallery — see inside Payson’s new Mormon temple (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 22, 2015)
The public will get its first glimpse this week inside the new Mormon temple rising east of Interstate 15 in Payson. News media toured the edifice Tuesday, and the LDS Church provided photographs of the exterior and interior.

Sweeping size of Payson Temple reflects growth in LDS temple work, attendance (Deseret News - Utah) (April 22, 2015)
The size of the Payson Utah LDS Temple is deceiving. It appears massive first from on the outside, where it rises majestically above ground and dominates the skyline, a commanding presence along I-15.

The best (and worst) countries for religious freedom (Deseret News - Utah) (April 22, 2015)
A new study from the Pew Research Center unveiled the countries across the world with the most religious freedom, and found that Brazil leads the way with “virtually no measurable restrictions on religious freedom.”

Church Signs Amicus Brief Filed on Marriage (Church News) (April 22, 2015)
Joining a diverse coalition of faith communities, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has filed with the United States Supreme Court an amicus brief, the focus of which is religious freedom and the many ways it is connected with the definition of marriage.

Mormons Practice 100 Years of Family Home Evening (LDS Newsroom) (April 22, 2015)
Back in 1957, when he was stationed in the outskirts of Alaska with the United States Air Force, Frank Santiago, now of Provo, Utah, learned the doctrinal details of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and decided to be baptized. One of those pivotal details was a family-centered focus, and Frank determined he would implement that doctrine in his forthcoming family.

New Seventy, Elder Kim B. Clark, Is a Lifelong Learner (Church News) (April 22, 2015)
A lifetime of education—as a student and a teacher—will be of great benefit to Elder Kim Bryce Clark in his new assignment to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy.

April 21, 2015

Spiritual journey leads 3-term U.S. senator to LDS Church (Deseret News - Utah) (April 21, 2015)
The announcement was ordinary and without fanfare. Larry Pressler would be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the weekly services of the Chevy Chase congregation.

LDS Church to hold Star Valley temple groundbreaking (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 21, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced groundbreaking ceremonies for the Star Valley Wyoming Temple. The ceremony will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the site of the new temple, 885 S. Washington St., Afton, Wyoming.

New Mormon Institute of Religion Building Dedicated on Arizona Campus (LDS Newsroom) (April 21, 2015)
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and visitors have a new institute of religion and meetinghouse to gather in on the campus at Arizona State University. Dedication ceremonies for the ASU Polytechnic Campus in Mesa, Arizona, were held on Sunday, April 19, 2015.

Mormons Around the World Country Newsroom Websites April 20, 2015 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 21, 2015)
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tonga are helping to meet the needs of victims of Cyclone Pam. The storm struck the island of Vanuatu early in March.

Osceola weighs protecting nature in future metropolis (Orlando Sentinel - Florida) (April 21, 2015)
The most important decision in a long time for Central Florida water, wildlife and wilderness is drawing near and centers on how much nature should be protected within a metropolis that would be built decades from now. Deseret Ranch managers and Osceola County bureaucrats are partners in mapping where a half-million people would live and work on what today is 133,000 acres of remote, scenic and wetland-laced ranch in the north part of the county east of Orlando International Airport.

Physicist tells New York Times he keeps a copy of Book of Mormon on his shelf (Deseret News - Utah) (April 21, 2015)
Freeman Dyson, a physicist and mathematician, recently participated in a Q-and-A with The New York Times, sharing that the most unexpected book he keeps on his bookshelf is a copy of the Book of Mormon.

Mormon political clout in Utah: Republicans say it’s about right, but Dems say LDS faith has too much (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 21, 2015)
Utah Mormons and Republicans, two groups that overlap to a large extent, tend to think the LDS Church wields the right amount of influence on state politics, according to a new poll. But those in the minority — say, Democrats or Catholics — are likely to believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has too much clout.

Latter-day Saints supports La District Police (Ghana Web) (April 21, 2015)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated a solar lighting system worth GH¢61,500 to the La District Police Command in Accra, to enhance the work of the police during power outages. The donation, which follows a request from the La District Police Command, included solar panels and batteries.

Letter: LDS Church won’t justify posthumous baptism of my ancestor (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 21, 2015)
I am an Ulmer from Steckborn, Thurgau, Switzerland. Carrying out online research into my family, I was surprised to learn from LDS posts that my direct ancestor, Johannes Ulmer, also of Steckborn, was posthumously "baptized" Mormon. I have repeatedly written to many Mormon authorities, including Brigham Young University and LDS headquarters, asking by what theological or legal right they presume to change my ancestor's faith to theirs, but have gotten no substantive reply whatsoever.

April 20, 2015

What challenges will the Mormon church face in its 3rd century? (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 20, 2015)
As Mormonism enters its third century, it faces a Goldilocks dilemma: Too much tension with the surrounding culture invites scorn; too little threatens its uniqueness.

Payson, LDS Church welcomes visitors to area (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 20, 2015)
Payson City and surrounding area is preparing for the influx of over 400,000 visitors to the Payson Utah Temple with the Open House starting April 24 through May 23 and the Dedication on Sunday, June 7. City officials want everyone to feel welcome in their beautiful community.

On Mission (Daily Dispatch - North Carolina) (April 20, 2015)
As the missionaries made their way down the street to knock on the door of another house, they recorded contact information from those in the previous house they visited in small black books. Elders Patrick Widdison and Joseph Stock are missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons.

FamilySearch Reaches Milestone with 200,000 Historic Books Online (Church News) (April 20, 2015)
Imagine a free virtual online library of rare historic books from all over the world to help you discover rich, unknown details about the lives of your ancestors. What if the historic book collections held by significant public libraries and venerable societies were the sources of these contributed books?

Gospel v gown (The Economist) (April 20, 2015)
KAITLYN BOURNE, a 21-year-old student from Salt Lake City, Utah, recently returned from 18 months as a Mormon missionary in Atlanta, Georgia. Before going on her mission, she was studying a pre-medicine undergraduate degree at the University of Utah with a full scholarship. But when the Mormon church lowered the age at which young women can go on missions from 21 to 19 at the end of 2012, the idea of going consumed her. “It was a huge commitment, a really hard decision,” she says. “But after months of prayer and thinking about it, I realised I had to do it.”

Mormon conversion rate lags behind missionary increase (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 20, 2015)
A record number of young Mormons signed up for missions after church leaders lowered the minimum age in 2012, but new figures show the onslaught of proselytizing Latter-day Saints didn't lead to an equally dramatic spike in converts. Statistics released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints indicate there were 296,800 converts last year. The figure marked a 9 percent increase from two years ago, even though the number of missionaries increased by 44 percent.

New temple presidents (LDS Church News) (April 20, 2015)
Seven new temple presidents and matrons have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service later this year. John Jensen Chipman, 68, Foothill 6th Ward, Salt Lake Foothill Stake, called as president of the new Indianapolis Indiana Temple. President Chipman’s wife, Karen Russon Chipman, will serve as temple matron. He serves as a gospel doctrine teacher and temple ordinance worker. He has served as an Area Seventy, president of the Peru Piura Mission, stake president, bishop, high councilor and Church-service missionary. Retired medical advisor of Eli Lilly and Company, he was born in Salt Lake City to Dean Whitaker and Phyllis Gene Jensen Chipman.

1 millionth record added to Jewish family database on FamilySearch (Deseret News - Utah) (April 20, 2015)
The Knowles Collection, a free online Jewish genealogy database, has recently reached its 1 millionth record milestone and is now easily searchable online through FamilySearch. The collection started from scratch just over seven years ago with historical records gathered from FamilySearch’s collections. Now the majority of new contributions are coming from families and private archives worldwide, according to information from FamilySearch. The free collection can be accessed at

Two Mormon missionaries detained near St. Petersburg (Interfax) (April 20, 2015)
St. Petersburg, April 20, Interfax - Two Mormon missionaries have been detained in Russia's Leningrad region for illegal entry into a frontier area, the regional border guard administration said. The missionaries were detained on Thursday evening in the village of Lebyazhye, Lomonosov District, where they had "conducted proselytization activities," the administration said in a statement.

Being the Network: How Members Can Help in Employment Efforts (Church News) (April 20, 2015)
Looking for employment can be a very isolating experience. Unemployment or underemployment can challenge job seekers emotionally, spiritually, and financially and can add stress to their personal relationships. But instead of reaching out for help, many job seekers feel embarrassed or uncomfortable sharing their job search with members of the ward or stake or in Church settings. They may feel like they have failed at being self-reliant and that they need to get out of this struggle alone.

Questions swirl around issue of faith and facial hair (USA Today) (April 20, 2015)
The question of whether there is an actual policy against facial hair for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to be a, ahem, hairy one. And the LDS Church is not the only religion with a somewhat divided view on the topic.

How Much Influence Does the LDS Church Have on the Legislature? Depends on Who You Ask (Utah Policy) (April 20, 2015)
Perhaps you will find no issue reflecting a greater divide among Utahns that whether LDS Church leaders have too much influence in the Utah Legislature. A new UtahPolicy poll by Dan Jones & Associates finds that three-fourths of the faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say their church has “about the right amount of influence” on state lawmakers’ political decisions.

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