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October 28, 2016

October 28, 2016

Mormon and Jewish Delegation Gathers at Historic Jerusalem Site (LDS Newsroom) (October 28, 2016)
A delegation of Latter-day Saint leaders and Jewish dignitaries from the United States gathered at a historic site in Jerusalem to mark the 175th anniversary of an early Mormon apostle’s journey to Jerusalem.

Elder Yoke Sang Freddie Chan, Area Seventy, dies at age 61 (Deseret News - Utah) (October 28, 2016)
Elder Yoke Sang Freddie Chan, an Area Seventy serving in the Eighth Quorum of the Seventy in the Asia Area, died Oct. 19, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Elder Chan, who was 61 years old, had been battling cancer for much of the past year. He is survived by his wife, Wai Ling Jessica Chan, their three sons, and four grandchildren.

Austin Texas stakes join together to serve in community (Deseret News - Utah) (October 28, 2016)
More than 800 volunteers from two Texas stakes spent a few hours on the morning of Oct. 8 cleaning up and serving at a local elementary school in their community. Church members living in the Austin Texas Stake and Cedar Park Texas Stake participated in one of 19 projects on the school campus.

Cattle roundup a tradition of service on Church-owned ranch (Deseret News - Utah) (October 28, 2016)
Located just a few miles south of the majestic Snowflake Arizona Temple is the Taylor Arizona Stake Cattle Ranch. At first glance, these two Church-owned properties seem stark opposites. The temple rests atop a prominent hill and can be seen far across northeastern Arizona’s vast Navajo County. The cattle ranch’s remote headquarters are found at the end of a lowland red dirt road that even locals say is easy to miss after dark.

'Led by the hand of God' —former refugee serves as local Refugee Scout leader (Deseret News - Utah) (October 28, 2016)
Saborn Va will be the first to tell you that he’s just serving like any of the other leaders in Boy Scouts of America Troop 1262, a troop made up of refugees from Burma. This may be true, but Brother Va, a member of the Columbus Branch in the South Salt Lake Utah Stake, shares a commonality with the young men in his troop: He also was once a refugee.

17 of the funniest tweets about #MormonMafia (Deseret News - Utah) (October 28, 2016)
“Leave the cannoli, take the Jello.” That is just one of the few jokes that social media users told alongside a #MormonMafia hashtag on Wednesday night, As the Huffington Post reported, the social media trend was born after Fox Business host Lou Dobbs sent out an angry tweet this past weekend against Evan McMullin, a third party candidate who’s seen recent success in Utah.

October 27, 2016

BYU adopts amnesty clause, other 'sweeping changes' to help sexual assault victims (Deseret News - Utah) (October 27, 2016)
Brigham Young University now has an amnesty clause. Effective immediately, the clause shields students who report sexual assault from being investigated or disciplined for Honor Code violations at or near the time of the assault. The opening phrase of the clause is unambiguous: "At BYU, being a victim of sexual misconduct is never a violation of the Honor Code."

Honor Code amnesty is just one part of BYU’s 23 steps for addressing sexual assault (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (October 27, 2016)
Brigham Young University announced sweeping changes Wednesday in how it will respond to students who report sexual assault, saying it will restructure the school's Title IX Office and grant amnesty to victims who disclose Honor Code violations. The scope of the changes came as a relief to students and others who had argued that victims were silenced and harmed by the school's approach — which they felt emphasized investigating whether a victim was telling the truth or had broken school rules before an assault, rather than offering support.

Mormon Church Reaches Out to Gay Community Through Website (Wall Street Journal - New York) (October 27, 2016)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is trying to soften its tone toward gays and lesbians with the launch of a new website, Mormon and Gay. The website—a revamp of a previous site called “Mormons and Gays”—doesn't alter church doctrine, which forbids same-sex relationships. But it offers a more welcoming message from Mormon leaders, highlighting the stories of gay and lesbian Mormons who have struggled to reconcile their sexual attractions with their faith, and directing Mormons to love their gay and lesbian neighbors and family members.

Tim Kaine: Why religious mission service matters to America (Deseret News - Utah) (October 27, 2016)
This week, hundreds of young men and women arrived in Provo to begin an exciting, daunting adventure. I have a keen sense of what that’s like. Once, just like them, I was preparing to go on a mission.

As search efforts for Annie Schmidt conclude, family expresses gratitude, faith (Deseret News - Utah) (October 27, 2016)
Jon Schmidt, pianist and member of The Piano Guys, has called for an end to the search for his missing 21-year-old daughter, Annie. “We are moved beyond words by the thousands who have searched, prayed for and helped our effort for Annie in any way,” Schmidt was quoted as saying in a post on Facebook. “At this time, out of consideration to so many out-of-state people involved in the search, the Schmidts have set a conclusion time of Wednesday afternoon so travel arrangements can be planned accordingly.”

Lou Dobbs’ Rant About ‘Mormon Mafia’ Becomes Twitter’s Best New Hashtag (Huffington Post) (October 27, 2016)
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs recently fired off an angry tweet about Evan McMullin, the third-party conservative running neck-and-neck with GOP nominee Donald Trump in Utah. McMullin’s strong showing is threatening to hand the state to Democrat Hillary Clinton, or he could win the state’s six electoral votes himself ― a notion that has Trump supporters such as Dobbs steamed enough to blame a “Mormon Mafia.”

Stained glass window from New York now on display at the BYU Museum of Art (Deseret News - Utah) (October 27, 2016)
A lit 9-foot-8-inch by 5-foot-10-inch stained glass window showing the New Testament story of Jesus Christ teaching the woman at the well is now at the end of the main hall of the Brigham Young University Museum of Art’s exhibit "To Magnify the Lord: Six Centuries of Art and Devotional." The window is nearly 100 years old and came from a church in New York, according to information from museum officials.

What's new: 'A Historian in Zion' shares insights, observations of former LDS assistant historian Andrew Jensen (Deseret News - Utah) (October 27, 2016)
Andrew Jensen spent 65 years of his life chronicling the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including as assistant church historian. His autobiography, titled "Autobiography of Andrew Jensen," was published in 1938, three years before his death in 1941.

October 26, 2016

Church Updates Official ‘Mormon and Gay’ Website (LDS Newsroom) (October 26, 2016)
"Even though I still don't understand everything, I know that I don't have to. All I am asked to do is love as God would love."

Church Updates Resources Addressing Same-Sex Attraction (Church News) (October 26, 2016)
“The hardest part of the journey is the two words gay and Mormon coexisting,” said Roger Sanchez, a member of the Church who began experiencing same-sex attraction at the age of nine. “There were many sleepless nights spent crying to my Heavenly Father for help. … I couldn’t tell anyone because if that ever came out, I would not know how to survive on my own. I assumed I would be alone if they knew the real me.”

New Mormon and Gay website features series of videos from LDS Church members (LDS Church News) (October 26, 2016)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a series of videos in conjunction with the re-launch of its site for gay Mormons. The new website has a new name and can be found at The site will now be recognized as part of the official website of the LDS Church and will house new content.

LDS Church’s new ‘Mormon and Gay’ website wins cheers and some jeers for ignoring controversial policy (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (October 26, 2016)
Much has changed for gays and lesbians since 2012 in the U.S. and many parts of the world — same-sex marriage is legal, for starters — so the LDS Church decided it was time to redo, revise and reboot its website addressing that population. Among the biggest changes? The letter "s." The previous site was known as "Mormons and Gays" — as if those two groups were separate or even opponents. The one that launched Tuesday is "Mormon and Gay," signaling the notion that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be — and are — both.

Church History Museum Announces New Online Exhibit, “From Plates to Pages” (Church News) (October 26, 2016)
The Church History Museum launched a new online exhibit titled From Plates to Pages: Writing and Reading the Book of Mormon today. The exhibit, available on the museum’s website, is the final installment of a 2016 series intended to enrich viewers’ personal study of the Book of Mormon with selections of artwork from the Church History Museum art collection.

The Mormon Pacific Historial Society studies the Tongan Mission centennial (Deseret News - Utah) (October 26, 2016)
Emeritus General Authority Elder John H. Groberg shared lessons and insights from his more than 60 years of service to Tonga, the Pacific islands and other international areas as the keynote speaker on October 21, 2016, at the Mormon Pacific Historical Society’s (MPHS) annual conference. Elder Groberg — who served as a young missionary in Tonga from 1954–1957, Tongan Mission president from 1966–1968 and later as a General Authority in the islands — spoke during the opening session of the historical society conference, which focused on the formal centennial of the Tongan Mission (1916-2016).

Southern Virginia University Offers amnesty to sexual abuse victims (World Religion News) (October 26, 2016)
What happens when a student or employee comes forward to report sexual harassment? Are they taken seriously? Does the victim get justice? The sad reality is, not often. Cases where students and employees have been forced to keep silent about being sexually abused are not uncommon. Often these students are even dismissed from their schools or employee victims are fired.

Meet the Mormon candidate set to give Trump a run for his money (World Religion News) (October 26, 2016)
One person’s loss is another’s gain. Nothing showcases this fact more clearly than the leaps that conservative independent presidential candidate, Evan McMullin, is making in the presidential race. Contesting from Utah, McMullin was once an unknown, seemingly insignificant contender in the elections who would be eclipsed completely by Donald Trump. Figures are telling a different story today with the tables having turned completely against Trump.

4 Reasons Mormons Are More Skeptical Of Trump Than Other Religious Conservatives (NPR) (October 26, 2016)
"There isn't a simple answer when it comes to Mormons and Trump," Stephanie Fowers said. "We are so torn right now that hardly anyone I know will even mention his name anymore because it's too depressing." That makes her just another disenchanted voter in the endless slog that is Campaign 2016. Fowers, a writer from Cottonwood Heights, Utah — and a Mormon — said that among the Mormons she knows, she sees a lot of indecision.

October 25, 2016

Photos: Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast caps new theater's opening weekend (Deseret News - Utah) (October 25, 2016)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings a song after its broadcast at the Eccles Theater during "Music and the Spoken Word" as part of a three-day grand opening celebration of the new theater in downtown Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016.

Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton Will Keynote RootsTech 2017 (Church News) (October 25, 2016)
FamilySearch International has announced that LeVar Burton will be the Friday keynote speaker at RootsTech 2017 on February 10, 2017.

Steve Young opens up about anxiety, faith and what he wants his kids to know (Deseret News - Utah) (October 25, 2016)
Steve Young's recently published autobiography, "QB: My Life Behind the Spiral," Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30), started out as a personal family history project.

Official search suspended, but family, volunteers continue search for Annie Schmidt (Deseret News - Utah) (October 25, 2016)
The search for Annie Schmidt was suspended on Sunday evening, according to a press release from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. But according to a Facebook post by The Piano Guys, the search for Schmidt continues.

7 Popular Mormon Bloggers on Why They Would Never Vote for Donald Trump (NY Magazine) (October 25, 2016)
For many people outside the Mountain West, their first exposure to the Mormon community was through blogs. Over the past few years, a popular wave of Mormon lifestyle bloggers have subtly introduced the feminist blogosphere to the LDS community, offering wholesome family values alongside Pinterest-friendly shots of DIY home décor.

Mormon Support Could Push McMullin Over the Top in Utah (Bloomberg - New York) (October 25, 2016)
In an election year when voters in record numbers say they’re fed up with major-party nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Utah alone appears poised to walk the walk and deliver a win for independent Evan McMullin.

Why Several Native Americans Are Suing the Mormon Church (The Atlantic) (October 25, 2016)
Native Americans who were part of a little-known Mormon program from 1947 to the mid-1990s share much of the same story. Year after year, missionaries or other members of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints approached these families and invited their children into Mormon foster homes. As part of the Mormon Indian Student Placement Program, Native American children would live with Mormon families during the school year, an experience designed to “provide educational, spiritual, social, and cultural opportunities in non-Indian community life,” according to the Church.

October 24, 2016

Leaders in Video Series Affirm All Have a Place in Christ’s Church (Church News) (October 24, 2016)
In a new video series published on the Mormon Channel on YouTube, five Apostles and two General Officers of the Church reassure those who may feel unwelcome in the Church that they are loved and needed.

Church announces scriptures translations (Deseret News - Utah) (October 24, 2016)
The First Presidency announced a new translation of the triple combination of the scriptures in Croatian at and in the Gospel Library mobile app. Printed copies of the new scriptures will begin to be available by March 31, 2017. The Priesthood and Family Executive Council also announced today the availability of the printed editions editions of the triple combination of the scriptures in Russian and Icelandic.

NEW: Watch Mormon Leaders Speak of Diversity, Love, Inclusion and Morelusion and More (LDS Newsroom) (October 24, 2016)
There should be no question that diversity, love, inclusion, hope and personal responsibility would describe a Christ-centered faith. In a new video series from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, five apostles and two general women leaders speak to the importance of these very topics.

Updated printed scriptures in Russian (Deseret News - Utah) (October 24, 2016)
The Church announced that printed copies updated edition of the triple combination of the scriptures is available in Russian. First Presidency has stated that “members are not expected to obtain a new set of scriptures as a result of this updated edition.” Copies are available through local distribution services or

Latter-day Saints answer 'call to arms' following hurricane (Deseret News - Utah) (October 24, 2016)
Goldsboro North Carolina Stake President Franklin Jones will likely remember Hurricane Matthew from two distinct angles. First, of course, will be memories of historic flooding in his stake and across the Atlantic Coast, stretching from the nations of the Caribbean to the American Southeast. In all, the hurricane claimed more than 1,000 lives, displaced tens of thousands and caused incalculable damage.

Mormons Around the World Country Newsroom Websites (LDS Newsroom Blog) (October 24, 2016)
Thailand: Neonatal Resuscitation Is Dr. Supa’s Passion A phone call to the LDS Charities office in Thailand in 2006 was, at first, thought to be a wrong number, but the Mormon missionary who answered stopped the person on the other end of the line from hanging up and turned the phone over to Dr. Edward Kimball, a visiting physician. The doctor explained to the caller about the neonatal resuscitation training being developed by LDS Charities in Thailand.

Austin Texas Stakes Renovate Local Elementary (Church News) (October 24, 2016)
“I worry I am going to wake up and realize this was just a dream,” said an elementary principal after 800 volunteers from two Texas stakes devoted an October morning to carrying out 19 projects on his campus.

October 21, 2016

Fort Collins Colorado Temple Dedicatory Prayer (Deseret News - Utah) (October 21, 2016)
Following is the text of the prayer President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, offered in dedicating the Fort Collins Colorado Temple on Oct. 16, 2016.

Fort Collins Colorado Temple: A beacon of light and blessing to all (Deseret News - Utah) (October 21, 2016)
Anytime a temple is built around the world members of the Church rejoice in celebration and gratitude for a temple in their area. The visual reminder of eternal truths brings joy to individuals and strength to families and communities.

Hartford Connecticut Temple open house: 'A gift' for New England (Deseret News - Utah) (October 21, 2016)
One of the many things Jillian Juarez has loved about volunteering at the Hartford Connecticut Temple open house has been the drive from her home. The three-week open house — which began Sept. 30 and ends Oct. 22 — coincided with the peak of autumn in New England, when the area’s dense greenery transforms to vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange.

Studio C Talks to LDS Teens about Testimony, Faith, and Self-Confidence (Church News) (October 21, 2016)
In a live broadcast, the stars of BYUtv’s sketch comedy group Studio C gathered at the BYU Broadcast House on Wednesday, October 19, to “have a conversation” with LDS teens.

Mormonism Online: In Your Own Words (LDS Newsroom Blog) (October 21, 2016)
Youth from around the world watched the full cast of BYUtv’s comedy show “Studio C” participate in a Face to Face broadcast on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. The live event was hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

South Korea celebrates six decades of missionary work (Deseret News - Utah) (October 21, 2016)
Thousands of returned missionaries recently gathered at Utah Valley University to celebrate a historic Church anniversary in South Korea. It was no ordinary reunion. The many attendees had served under the leadership of 53 mission presidents over the course of six decades. It was 60 years ago — in 1956 — that the first group of Mormon missionaries arrived in South Korea and began sharing the message of the restored gospel. Since that time, legions of Latter-day Saints have answered a call to labor in the Land of the Morning Calm.

Twile integrates with FamilySearch, adding timeline capability for family history online (Deseret News - Utah) (October 21, 2016)
A new feature that will allow users of to generate a family history timeline and share their research with other family members online has resulted from FamilySearch joining forces with Twile, a company based in the United Kingdom.

Want to Prepare Your Child to Serve a Mission? Teach Repentance (Church News) (October 21, 2016)
Recently, one of our board members—Brother Mark Pendleton—was at a breakfast with several stake presidents and stake leaders, during which a sincere father asked a question: “What do you feel is the most important thing I can do to help my son prepare to serve a mission?” the father asked.

It's not just women and minorities. Donald Trump has a Mormon problem — and here's how it could cost him (Los Angeles Times - California) (October 21, 2016)
No religious group has been more reliably Republican than members of the Mormon faith, who routinely vote in landslide numbers for the party’s presidential nominee. But Donald Trump — with his garish personality, libertine attitude and caustic rhetoric toward immigrants, women and others — has caused many church members to search their souls and rethink their longstanding political allegiance, reshaping the presidential map in dramatic and unexpected ways.

No On Trump: In Utah, Mormons Show Principles Matter (Hartford Courant - Connecticut) (October 21, 2016)
An extraordinary poll released Wednesday showed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump both losing in Utah to Evan McMullin, a conservative Mormon ex-CIA officer on the ballot in only 11 states.

October 20, 2016

Studio C talks to LDS teens about testimony, faith and self-confidence (Deseret News - Utah) (October 20, 2016)
In a live broadcast, the stars of BYUtv’s sketch comedy group Studio C gathered at the BYU Broadcast House on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to “have a conversation” with LDS teens.

Final debate between Trump and Clinton may help McMullin in Utah (Deseret News - Utah) (October 20, 2016)
The big winner in Wednesday's third and final presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton for Utah voters may have been independent candidate Evan McMullin. "Neither candidate overcame their weak points tonight," said Sutherland Institute President Boyd Matheson. "For Utah voters, I think this will reinforce why so many are looking at and even leaning toward Mr. McMullin."

As final debate looms, Utah emerges as conscience of Republican Party (Globe and Mail - Canada) (October 20, 2016)
In an election already beyond belief, one of the biggest surprises is unfolding in Utah, a deep-red state where Donald Trump is struggling to secure a Republican victory and a political nobody is surging in the polls. As Mr. Trump and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, prepare for their final debate confrontation on Wednesday evening, a large chunk of voters in Utah are sending a different message: neither of the above.

Excitement over budding Mormon-Lutheran partnership for refugee relief grows with donation, visit (Deseret News - Utah) (October 20, 2016)
A flash flood of Mormon volunteers was a spring surprise for Lutherans who run refugee resettlement organizations in 25 U.S. states. Motivated by statements of church leaders encouraging them to help refugees, the influx of Mormons prompted resettlement centers of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to add volunteer training sessions in places like South Carolina, Colorado and Arizona.

'Hand of God moments' lead Philadelphia 76ers CEO to join LDS Church (Deseret News - Utah) (October 20, 2016)
At the end of July, friends of Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil received a text from him that simply said, “I believe.” The text was his way of informing them of his decision to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. O’Neil, who is not only CEO of the Sixers but also of the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center, had been married to his wife, Lisa, a lifelong member of the LDS Church, for nearly 21 years. The two are parents of three daughters, Alexa, Kira and Eliza. He attended church with family on Sundays, held family home evenings each week, led his family in scripture study and paid tithing for years.

Trio seeks to inspire faith through LDS Church history in 'History of the Saints' seventh season (Deseret News - Utah) (October 20, 2016)
It was early 2010, and for more than two years, both men had devoted themselves to helping produce more than 100 episodes of the KJZZ-TV "Joseph Smith Papers: Television Documentary Series," and in the process, their passion for the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began to burn bright. But the project's main financial supporter, auto dealer and Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller, had died the previous year. The LDS Church History Department would continue to publish volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers, but it appeared the television series was over.

Mormon church's company buys property (Pacific Business News) (October 20, 2016)
A company with ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has purchased property on Maui from Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. for $3 million, Pacific Business News has learned. Utah-based Ensign Peak Investments LLC recently acquired the property, which has a 1,600-square-foot building on 5.3 acres of land on Bay Drive in Lahaina.

October 19, 2016

BYU Forum addresses audacious faith in the LDS Church (Universe - Utah) (October 19, 2016)
Brett G. Scharffs addressed the BYU community on Tuesday, Oct. 18, in a forum address. He spoke on embracing audacious faith and appreciating the unique power and singular appeal of LDS doctrine.

Mesa event honors ‘big family’ of Mormon Latinos (Arizona Republic) (October 19, 2016)
Two years ago, when she became a Mormon, Andrea Hunt faced opposition from her staunchly Catholic Guatemalan family. “They’re very Catholic,” said Hunt, now 24.

Rolly: Stranger things for Utah: A Democrat could win, a Republican could lose — all because of a Mormon (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (October 19, 2016)
Who said pigs can't fly? A Democratic presidential candidate could carry Utah this year. That hasn't happened since 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson crushed Barry Goldwater in a landslide. Since then, the Beehive State has been solidly Republican, thanks in part to the dominant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which, according to a 2014 Pew Research survey, is the nation's most Republican religious group.

Political oppression? Not at my LDS Church (The Spectrum - Utah) (October 19, 2016)
I am a Democrat and was fascinated by Brent Holloway’s opinion piece entitled, “Democracy is oppressed in tightly controlled Utah.” After reading the piece closely, I felt that a response was warranted. I was inclined to make several observations about the writer’s opinion. However, I think four comments will suffice:

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