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January 22, 2017

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January 20, 2017

At inauguration, Mormon Tabernacle Choir song will be sandwiched between Trump, Pence oaths (Deseret News - Utah) (January 20, 2017)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir couldn't possibly be more prominent on the program for the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. The choir will be the fulcrum between the oaths of office for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice president-elect Mike Pence.

From on high: 'America's Choir' graces presidential inauguration, once again (Deseret News - Utah) (January 20, 2017)
For the sixth time, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has received an invitation to participate in a U.S. presidential inauguration, the latest being for the president-elect taking the oath of office in becoming the nation’s 45th president on Jan 20.

Complicated but not hostile, LDS-Obama relationship draws to a close (Deseret News - Utah) (January 20, 2017)
For five months of the Obama administration, the highest-ranking Mormon in the White House was an unpaid intern. It was a staggering comedown for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dwight Eisenhower had church Elder Ezra Taft Benson in his Cabinet. Lyndon Johnson considered church President David O. McKay a close friend and spiritual adviser. Prominent Mormon George Romney was a member of Richard Nixon's cabinet. Ronald Reagan had two Mormons in his Cabinet and three who served on his personal White House staff. Brent Scowcroft was the national security adviser for Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. Mike Leavitt served in George W. Bush's Cabinet.

Groundbreaking Announced for the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple (LDS Newsroom) (January 20, 2017)
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the date for the groundbreaking of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple will be Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 10 a.m. The event will include Church leaders along with invited guests from the community. The groundbreaking marks the beginning of construction.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks champions religious freedom in Mexico (Deseret News - Utah) (January 20, 2017)
On Jan. 13-14, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society (JRCLS) held its first regional conference in Mexico. The keynote speakers for the opening session, which was held in Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies (comparable to the U.S. House of Representatives), were Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Mariano Azuela Güitrón, retired chief justice of the Mexico Supreme Court. Both spoke on religious freedom.

Faith to find and baptize converts (Deseret News - Utah) (January 20, 2017)
Finding people to teach is different in various parts of the world, and missionaries need to adapt to circumstances, but the universal principle that must be in the hearts of every missionary is that the Lord is preparing people to receive them and the restored gospel, Elder W. Craig Zwick said Jan. 11.

Visiting General Authorities strengthen Church in Washington (Deseret News - Utah) (January 20, 2017)
It is a role of the apostles of Jesus Christ in latter days to strengthen the Church wherever it is found, and nowhere is that task more important than in the Northeast Area and Washington, D.C., the seat of government for the United States. What happens in Washington has worldwide influence, and public-spirited Church members readily play their parts in many capacities in and around this global capital.

BYU president defends new hires in school’s sexual-assault overhaul (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 20, 2017)
Brigham Young University President Kevin Worthen is defending recent hires made by the school to improve its handling of sexual-assault complaints, saying the women are prepared for the work, will receive continued training and will be joined by a new colleague from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

January 19, 2017

How Mormon Principles and Liberal Ideals Saved Utah (Politico Magazine) (January 19, 2017)
Imagine getting 90 municipalities in 10 counties in one of the nation’s fastest growing regions to get on board for a 20-year land use planning effort intended to conserve water use, promote clean air and avoid the destruction of open spaces by slashing housing lot sizes...

Brother Douglas D. Holmes: 'The Doctrine of Christ' (Deseret News - Utah) (January 19, 2017)
The doctrine of Christ is the only sure way to come unto Him, Brother Douglas D. Holmes, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, told students at Brigham Young University during a campus devotional held in the Marriott Center on the Provo campus on Jan. 17.

Defending the Faith: Rich new resources for studies of LDS scripture and history (Deseret News - Utah) (January 19, 2017)
With the commencement of this 2017 curriculum year in the Sunday Schools of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we’ve been given a rich and unparalleled array of official resources for studying and learning.

LDS Church launches new media campaign as 'The Book of Mormon' musical opens in Australia (Deseret News - Utah) (January 19, 2017)
"The Book of Mormon" musical opened in Australia this week and as has become customary, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded with a media campaign of its own. In the campaign, rugby superstar Will Hopoate and several other Australians testify of the power of the Book of Mormon. The video series poses the question, "What's inside the Book of Mormon?" and was published Wednesday on Mormon.org.au.

Utah mom and her 'Quad Squad' appear on 'The Ellen DeGenres Show' (Deseret News - Utah) (January 19, 2017)
A Utah mother of four just went viral — again — because of Ellen DeGeneres. On Wednesday, Ashley Gardner, a mother of quadruplets who previously went viral for hiding in a closet to eat red licorice as a part of her "mommy break," appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Gardner spoke with Ellen about why she went into the closet and what she was going through at the time. She also said she couldn't believe she and her husband, Tyson Gardner, had four children.

January 18, 2017

Mormon lawyers society to honor retired Sen. Harry Reid (Deseret News - Utah) (January 18, 2017)
A Mormon lawyers organization will honor retired Democratic Nevada Sen. Harry Reid this week for his decades of public service. Reid will receive the J. Reuben Clark Law Society's Distinguished Public Service Award on Friday.

How Mormon Polygamy In The 19th Century Fueled Women's Activism (NPR) (January 18, 2017)
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich says that for Mormon women living in 19th century Utah, "plural marriages" were empowering in complicated ways.

Here's what the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will sing at Trump inauguration (Deseret News - Utah) (January 18, 2017)
The song the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform during Donald Trump's presidential inauguration on Friday is "America, the Beautiful," the Deseret News has learned. Details have been controlled tightly since the Dec. 22 announcement that the choir would sing at the swearing-in ceremony for America's 45th president. But the 215 voices from what Ronald Reagan dubbed "America's Choir" will sing with accompaniment from the Marine Band known as "The President's Own," according to an inauguration program posted on the band's website.

BYU women’s basketball: New York’s ‘female Jimmer’ becoming a star in Provo (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 18, 2017)
A guard from a small town in East-Central New York with a penchant for scoring points in a variety of ways is starring for the BYU basketball team after having languished on the bench the past two seasons. No, this is not a paragraph from the 2008-09 season, when a lightly recruited New Yorker by the catchy name of Jimmer Fredette burst onto the local, and then national, college basketball scene after a mediocre first year.

125 years since Brigham Young Academy opened in Provo (Deseret News - Utah) (January 18, 2017)
Lorraine Day said her life changed the minute she entered the "hallowed halls" of Brigham Young High School in 1958. “I was just this little shy Southern Utah girl,” said Day, 75, who lives in Sandy. “I walked in and it was like going back in time. The building was magical.” Day was a senior and a transfer student to the school — located at the Academy Building in Provo. She desired better educational opportunities and a year later, she was a proud graduate of BY High.

6 Things to Look for in FamilySearch in 2017 (Church News) (January 18, 2017)
As worldwide interest in online genealogy services and activities continues to grow in 2017, FamilySearch plans to play a major role by offering six exciting developments to look forward to this year:

January 17, 2017

BYU–Idaho Reaches Record High Enrollment (Church News) (January 17, 2017)
Fifteen years after transitioning from Ricks College to Brigham Young University–Idaho, the university has reached record high enrollment numbers as it serves students in Rexburg, as well as around the world via online learning.

The next generation of 'impact teachers' (Deseret News - Utah) (January 17, 2017)
Think about someone who has had a lasting impact on your life. Perhaps it was a family member, a teacher or a Church leader. What was it that made this person so influential? Ponder this while I tell you about someone whose impact on me was profound and life-changing.

The Piano Guys explain why they will perform at Trump inauguration (Deseret News - Utah) (January 17, 2017)
It was announced late last week that The Piano Guys will perform as part of the inauguration festivities for President-elect Donald Trump. On Sunday, the group explained why in a blog post on its website.

Sen. Mike Lee jokes high court gig could put him one up on his big brother (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 17, 2017)
Though he says it's not a tooth-and-nail sibling rivalry, Sen. Mike Lee does see one advantage in getting the U.S. Supreme Court nomination over his older brother. If picked for a high-court post by President-elect Donald Trump, he'd be in a position to overrule decisions made by his brother, Thomas Lee, associate chief justice on the Utah Supreme Court.

January 16, 2017

Relief Society celebrates 175 years (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
March 17, 2017, marks 175 years since the organization of Relief Society by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842. We are excited about this date because of the feelings and actions we anticipate it will evoke in the hearts and lives of all our sisters.

Elder Stevenson testifies of prophets and the Book of Mormon in a new ‘Special Witness’ video (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
From the Conference Center’s Hall of the Prophets, Elder Gary E. Stevenson testifies of the power of modern and ancient prophets, and explains how the Book of Mormon has solidified his testimony of them in a new "Special Witness" video.

Elder Bednar invites people everywhere to continue to 'Light the World' (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
In a video released on Mormon Newsroom on Friday, Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explains what made this year’s Christmas campaign, "Light the World," a success and why the service the initiative encouraged should be carried into 2017.

Elder Neil L. Andersen: 'You can never speak enough of the Savior' (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
Thousands of missionaries from across the globe gathered together Jan. 10 to listen to apostolic counsel from a fellow witness of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at a missionary devotional at the Provo Missionary Training Center. The event was broadcast to more than a dozen other MTCs, either live or via tape delay.

Call from LaVell Edwards missing as Andy Reid preps Chiefs for playoff game with Steelers (Deseret News - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
Somebody is missing from Andy Reid's game prep this week. The Kansas City Chiefs head coach is getting ready for Sunday's playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers without the customary weekly phone call from his former BYU coach and mentor, LaVell Edwards, who died Dec. 29 at age 86.

‘Act of state, not politics’ — two top Mormon leaders to attend Trump inauguration (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
First, it was a famed Mormon choir that inspires the world through song. Now, it's two top LDS leaders who guide the faithful through sermons — they're all going to Republican Donald Trump's inauguration. On Friday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that apostles D. Todd Christofferson and Gary E. Stevenson would represent the Utah-based faith at the swearing-in of the nation's 45th president.

Remembering two bipartisan buds — my Uncle Bob (Bennett) and his friend, a good old Joe (Biden) (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 16, 2017)
Viewing the video of Vice President Joe Biden's tears at being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and hearing his self-effacing comments took me back to the eve of President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. I was staying with my uncle, the late Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, who was the ranking Republican on the committee that oversaw all the inaugural activities.

Meet Jason Chaffetz, the Mormon Congressman Who Converted From Judaism (Forward) (January 16, 2017)
After the head of the government’s ethics office, Walter M. Shaub Jr., expressed doubts about President-elect Donald Trump’s commitment to avoiding conflicts of interest, Trump received an assist from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, head of the House’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Chaffetz is threatening to investigate Shaub’s agency, the Government Ethics Monitor.

January 13, 2017

Two Mormon Apostles to Attend 2017 US Presidential Inauguration (LDS Newsroom) (January 13, 2017)
The First Presidency has assigned Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the U.S. presidential inauguration January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Mormons Around the World Country Newsroom Websites January 12, 2017 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (January 13, 2017)
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles served in the Philippines as a member of the Seventy 20 years ago. He and his wife, Mary, recently returned to the Philippines for meetings with Latter-day Saints.

LDS Church First Presidency announces new mission presidents for 2017 (LDS Church News) (January 13, 2017)
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has called 123 new mission presidents, effective July 2017. The new mission leaders, and their wives, will serve three years. A comprehensive list of the new mission presidents and their assignments can be viewed here. Returning mission presidents are also listed.

Tabernacle Choir, President and Sister Nelson to highlght RootsTech events (Deseret News - Utah) (January 13, 2017)
RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, convenes Feb. 8-11 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, with some attractions that have special appeal for Latter-day Saint viewers and attendees, including a concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the day-long Family Discovery Center featuring the family of President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Comcast refuses to air ad going after Mormon church's tax-exempt status (KUTV - Utah) (January 13, 2017)
Comcast, the world’s largest cable-TV company, has refused to broadcast negative ads toward The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fred Karger, the owner of MormonTips.com, put together ads asking the public for information related to potentially hurting the LDS Church’s tax-exempt status. Comcast, according to our news sharing partners at The Salt Lake Tribune, has refused to air the ads because Karger cannot provide documented proof of the church’s financial situation.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir no stranger to political flak — even from own church leaders (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (January 13, 2017)
The squabble over whether to sing at Donald Trump's inauguration next week may be unlike any other controversy for the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But it is hardly the only time "America's choir" — as Ronald Reagan dubbed the singers — has been touched by politics, says Michael Hicks, a Brigham Young University music professor who wrote a "biography" of the choral group.

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