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April 16, 2014

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April 16, 2014

President Uchtdorf, Other Faith Leaders Meet With President Obama on Immigration (LDS Newsroom) (April 16, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today reaffirmed its position on immigration as the White House met with religious leaders to discuss immigration reform.

LDS leader, Obama meet to push for immigration reform (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
A top LDS Church official joined fellow faith leaders to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, urging action on immigration reform that has so far stalled in Congress. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas S. Monson, said outside the White House that he’s hopeful for a break in the partisan logjam preventing meaningful reform.

LDS Church reaffirms stance on immigration (Deseret News - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
Congress has a window of opportunity to approve common-sense immigration reform and should act, faith leaders, including President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Tuesday after meeting with President Barack Obama. "The president mentioned in our conversation in the Oval Office he would not use executive orders through the summer because he hopes Congress can find a solution," President Uchtdorf told the Deseret News. "Executive orders aren't permanent. A law can provide a comprehensive, common-sense solution. "I think there is a window of opportunity now."

Elder Lynn G. Robbins: Call to Presidency of the Seventy (LDS Church News) (April 16, 2014)
Since being called as a General Authority in April of 1997, Elder Lynn G. Robbins has enjoyed the “sweet blessing of becoming acquainted with saints all over the world.” “You feel an immediate bond with people wherever you go,” he said. “It is immediate.”

Tad R. Callister: New Sunday School general president (LDS Church News) (April 16, 2014)
Decades before his recent call as Sunday School general president, Sunday School had already played a pivotal role in the life of Brother Tad R. Callister. It was while he was serving as Sunday School president in a student ward at Brigham Young University in 1967 that he became acquainted with his future wife, Kathryn L. Saporiti.

Salt Lake City's Secret to Escaping the Recession (National Journal) (April 16, 2014)
...One of the striking data points about Salt Lake City is its low unemployment compared with the national rate. It seems that Salt Lake escaped the aftermath of the recession better than most places. What's the secret? There were a few things that helped us. One is that we have a very diverse economy; it's not like we were completely dependent on one sector. Certainly another key factor was that just before the recession started, the LDS church started to think about building a $1.5 billion downtown development called City Creek Center. There was a mall in its place once, but now it is an example of one of the first LEED-certified, true mixed developments. The LDS church paid cash for that development. As Lane Beattie, head of the Salt Lake Chamber says, the difference between Salt Lake and other cities is that in Salt Lake the cranes kept moving. So really, there was virtually no slowdown in development.

Spending a day with Provo missionaries (Universe - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
It was 6:34 a.m. when I nervously knocked on the door. You know those moments when you feel like running away from something you know is going to be hard, maybe a bit uncomfortable and potentially life changing? This was one of those moments. I nervously pulled at my skirt and wondered what the heck I was doing as I waited for the BYU North sisters to open the door to their apartment. I was there to document a “day in the life” of missionaries serving in Provo, and to be completely honest, I was terrified.

Fresh off LDS mission, BYU transfer Baker Pritchard keeps perspective during Oregon State Beavers spring practices (Oregonian) (April 16, 2014)
Baker Pritchard spent the past two football seasons in Honolulu, sharing his Mormon faith with anyone willing to listen. The 6-foot-3, 244-pound defensive lineman knocked on doors, assisted families with household chores and mowed lawns. Once or twice a month, he cleaned ships at Pearl Harbor.

Food Drive a success for Food Bank (Melfort Journal - Canada) (April 16, 2014)
The Melfort Food Bank and the Melfort LDS Church teamed up on Saturday, April 12 for a Food and Bottle Drive. In total they collected nearly 3,000 pounds of food, which is just short of their 5,000-pound goal. The entire event was deemed a success. “We were ecstatic about the whole thing,” Perry Froc, who was one of the organizers for the LDS Church, said.

Wright Words: Despite horrific fire, Mormon couple has inspiring message for the world (Deseret News - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
With fresh tears filling her eyes and dangling from her long lashes, Naomi Avery looked at me and summarized the theme of our nearly three-hour-long interview. “God loves us.” Naomi said the words quietly, but with confidence. Dirk, her husband, smiled warmly, squeezed her arm and nodded in agreement.

Atheist leader: ‘Mormonism demonstrates the power of indoctrination’ (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 16, 2014)
The Beehive State will be swarming with atheists this week as their national convention gets under way in Salt Lake City. As many as 700 nonbelievers will be on hand for the gathering, which runs Thursday through Sunday. As a "warm-up event," the group is featuring a panel discussion at Salt Lake City’s Main Library with two Mormon professors from LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University and two atheist experts.

April 15, 2014

LDS Church Adds Two New Missions in Africa (Church News) (April 15, 2014)
Two new missions of the Church are being created in Africa. The Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan West Mission is being created by dividing the Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan Mission.

New Temple Presidents Called (Church News) (April 15, 2014)
Two new temple presidents and their wives have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service later this year.

New General Authorities, Sunday School presidency (LDS Church News) (April 15, 2014)
During the 184th Annual General Conference of the Church, held April 5-6, several new General Authorities and a new member of the Presidency of the Seventy were sustained as well as a new Sunday School general presidency.

BYU basketball: Future Cougar hoop stars serving LDS missions throughout the world (Deseret News - Utah) (April 15, 2014)
BYU basketball coach Dave Rose is thumbing through a blue binder that sits on his desk in the basketball office. Listed on those pages inside the binder are the players who are serving, or are about to serve, LDS Church missions around the world. It includes information about when they leave, when they return, where they are serving.

Mathletes repeat history (BYU news release) (April 15, 2014)
BYU > Yale, Princeton in math's "Big Dance" As a national math champion in high school with offers from Stanford and MIT, Sam Dittmer came to BYU with lofty expectations. He didn’t disappoint, making school history two years in a row.

Buildings at Mormon campus to be bowled (Waikato Times - New Zealand) (April 15, 2014)
A series of smaller buildings and structures will be demolished at Temple View's Church College campus site from next week. The Mormon Church confirmed work would begin on April 22 and include the bulldozing of covered walkways, footpaths and some carports and garages. Project director Paul Coward said the removal of buildings was a permitted activity under the Hamilton City District Plan and was not part of the stake centre project currently under appeal by the Temple View Heritage Society.

Bountiful stake presents Easter program (Deseret News - Utah) (April 15, 2014)
The Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will present “Savior of the World, Act II: His Resurrection” on Friday, April 18, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 19, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where Atheists Meet to Evangelize (Wall Street Journal - New York) (April 15, 2014)
Look out unbelief—atheism is on a roll, or so proclaims American Atheists, whose annual convention kicks off Thursday in Salt Lake City. "This has been an excellent year for atheism," says Dave Muscato, public-relations director for the deity-dissing group. "Between 2005 and 2012 there was a fivefold increase in the number of people who use the word atheist when asked to identify their religion."

April 14, 2014

Church Launches Easter Initiative Focused on Jesus Christ (LDS Newsroom) (April 14, 2014)
A weeklong, Christ-focused social media initiative that includes memes and a prominently placed YouTube video begins today (Palm Sunday) and extends through Easter.

Church Continues to Monitor Mormon Missionary Safety in Ukraine (LDS Newsroom) (April 14, 2014)
Due to continued unrest in the region, the Church has chosen to transfer the 85 missionaries from the Ukraine Donetsk Mission to serve in other areas within Ukraine. The wellbeing of missionaries is always our first priority, and every effort is being made to keep them safe.

85 Mormon missionaries moved in troubled Ukraine (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 14, 2014)
Concerned about civil unrest in Ukraine, the LDS Church said Friday it is moving another 85 of its missionaries from the Donetsk Mission to another part of the country. Last month, the Utah-based faith transferred 23 missionaries in the Dnepropetrovsk Mission from the Crimean peninsula to other areas within the mission "as a precautionary measure," the church said in a release.

Elder Christofferson Fulfills Historic Assignments in Europe (Church News) (April 14, 2014)
Being a Latter-day Saint in Greece is not easy. Members there endure persecution and discrimination. Some have lost jobs because of their faith. Others have been expelled from school. Still, the small collection of members that call Greece home has remained faithful. They persevere amid their hardships. That was the observation of Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Atlantic Coast Mormon Tabernacle Choir Tour Announced (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 14, 2014)
A summer 2015 concert tour has been announced by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The 360-voice world-renowned choir will be accompanied by the 68 member Orchestra at Temple Square.

The Movement to Ordain Mormon Women (The Atlantic) (April 14, 2014)
A women’s movement, and a sturdy one at that, is beginning to ruffle the steadfastly patriarchal Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Over the last weekend, some 400 Ordain Women supporters, marched together to Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City to request tickets to Saturday night’s twice-a-year, all-male priesthood meeting held at the 21,000-seat LDS Conference Center.

Appeal of suit based on professor's treatment at BYU (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 14, 2014)
Ralph and Muriel Siebach, longtime philanthropic contributors to Brigham Young University and BYU-Idaho, have filed an appeal with the Utah State Supreme Court after a civil lawsuit involving the Siebachs and the university was dismissed by Fourth District Court Judge Fred Howard. The former president and matron of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Palmyra, N.Y. temple claim BYU was negligent in how the university handled their donations.

Amen! A farewell to the Tribune’s print Faith section (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 14, 2014)
Every Saturday morning for more than two decades, The Salt Lake Tribune has played host to a conversation about faith. We asked big questions: Who is God? What is resurrection? Why does Mary keep showing up in unexpected places? How and why do people pray? Are popes and prophets infallible? How do you teach children compassion? What is wisdom? Karma? Heaven? Hell? What does the Bible say about sexuality? Is suicide a sin?

Youths doing family history: 'I couldn't help but smile' (Deseret News - Utah) (April 14, 2014)
When Tiffany turned 12, she received a Book of Remembrance. It contained a history — with photos, testimonies and stories — of my granddaughter Tiffany and her family.

A peek into the journal of sister missionary (Deseret News - Utah) (April 14, 2014)
Sister Nuckols has embarked! My time at the CTM (Centro de Treinamento Missionário, the MTC in São Paulo, Brazil) has ended, and I am about to missionary as soon as this plane lands in João Pessoa. Holy excitement! I’m not nervous or worried or sad, just peaceful and ready.

NBA notes: Jabari Parker says he won’t go on LDS mission (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 14, 2014)
Jabari Parker made one decision known Friday, though the freshman phenom from Duke left basketball fans waiting for his answer regarding another question. In Los Angeles for the Wooden Awards, Parker, a Mormon, told ESPN L.A. that he had ruled out serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

April 11, 2014

Defending the Faith: Four testimonials of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Deseret News - Utah) (April 11, 2014)
My late friend Davis Bitton, a Princeton-trained professor of history at the University of Utah, was a specialist on France.

BYU professor who wrote 'Press Forward, Saints' featured in Mormon Tabernacle Choir video (Deseret News - Utah) (April 11, 2014)
BYU professor Marvin K. Gardner and music educator Vanja Y. Watkins were recently featured in a video posted to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's YouTube channel on April 4. Gardner, the lyricist of the LDS hymn "Press Forward, Saints," and Watkins, the composer, came together to discuss the inspiration behind their work.

Denver judges appear divided on Utah case (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 11, 2014)
After an hourlong hearing at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Utah’s same-sex marriage case was left in the hands of what appeared Thursday to be a divided court. All three judges — Paul J. Kelly Jr., Carlos F. Lucero and Jerome A. Holmes — pushed in different directions as they asked questions about family, equality, legal review standards and states’ rights.

First-edition copy of Book of Mormon sells for $45,000 (Deseret News - Utah) (April 11, 2014)
A first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon sold for $45,000 to a private collector at the Printed & Manuscript Americana auction in New York on Tuesday. One of 5,000 originally printed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, the book was discovered in an estate auction as part of a box of books that sold for $220. It once belonged to a man named Guy H. Bevington (1889-1958) of West Bridgewater, Pa., who wrote his name in the book.

A glimpse into the thriving business of family history (Deseret News - Utah) (April 11, 2014)
Gilad Japhet launched MyHeritage.com out of his garage in 2005. He mortgaged his home, poured all his money into the business, and was not afraid to take a few risks. Almost a decade later, the startup MyHeritage has revenues in the tens of millions of dollars, continues to see significant growth and has more than 160 employees. Its 75 million users have built 1.5 billion profiles and millions of family trees in 40 different languages.

Provo boy uses lemonade stand as fundraiser (Daily Herald - Utah) (April 11, 2014)
This is the fifth year Zack Francom has sold cookies and lemonade on his front lawn to raise funds for wheelchairs. The 10-year-old Provo boy and his family have made it an annual tradition to open "Zack's Shack" lemonade stand in April to donate the profits. He started with enough money to buy one wheelchair, and after last year's successful campaign, his total now stands at 293 wheelchairs shipped by LDS Philanthropies to developing countries.

BYU Professor Draws Sharp Criticism For His Latest Book On The Role Of Women (KUTV - Utah) (April 11, 2014)
BYU Professor Alonzo L. Gaskill is being criticized heavily by his peers for the contents of his latest book called "The lost Teachings of Jesus on the sacred Place of Women." The controversy is over the use of late 19th century writer/correspondent Nicholas Notovich as the main source for Gaskill's book. "It's absolutely fraudulent," said University of Utah Professor Dr. David Bokovoy of the book's source.

Church Grumbles at 'Date a Mormon' Site (Courthouse News Service) (April 11, 2014)
The Mormon church is trying to shut down the "Mormon Match" dating website under the mistaken belief that the "church has total ownership of the word" Mormon, the site's owner claims in Federal Court. Jonathan Eller sued Intellectual Reserve Inc., a holding company for the intellectual property of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

April 10, 2014

Online Mormon missionaries outperform traditional proselytizers (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 10, 2014)
Online Mormon missionaries, often discussing their faith with anonymous seekers and trolls, have five times the success of traditional LDS proselytizers.

What the same-sex marriage movement is really doing to marriage (Deseret News - Utah) (April 10, 2014)
Same-sex marriage isn’t really what marriage equality activists are fighting for. It’s really about ending civil marriages altogether, according to Stella Morabito, a writer for The Federalist.

Rome Italy Temple Is Landmark of Church Growth (Church News and Events) (April 10, 2014)
Work is progressing on the construction of the Rome Italy Temple, one of the most watched and talked about building projects underway by the Church.

Chick-fil-A wings in new direction after gay flap (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 10, 2014)
The iconic chicken chain, as well known for its conservative heritage as its savory eats, is recalibrating its moral and culinary compass. It wants to go from old school to almost cool. It wants to evolve from a place where gays once picketed to a place where they’ll feel comfortable going to eat. It wants to broaden the brand as it expands nationally and plows into the millennial-driven urban arena.

Former Soviet gold medal-winning gymnast finds opportunity, LDS Church in the U.S. (Deseret News - Utah) (April 10, 2014)
In August 1996, Rustam Sharipov reached the pinnacle of gymnastics, standing on an Olympic stage in Atlanta to receive his second gold medal in as many Olympics. The ceremony capped nearly 20 years of training and competition for Sharipov and represented an achievement few athletes ever experience.

Lesson from Singapore on supporting families (Deseret News - Utah) (April 10, 2014)
We are writing this week’s column from Singapore where we’ve just had the interesting opportunity of presenting a parenting and family relationships seminar to a large audience composed of roughly equal proportions of Buddhists, Muslims and Christians.

April 9, 2014

Hook Of Mormon: Inside The Church's Online-Only Missionary Army (Huffington Post) (April 9, 2014)
During a worldwide broadcast in June, the church leaders heralded a new era of redemption through screens. All 84,000 of the church’s missionaries would eventually be able to proselytize over the web using a previously forbidden arsenal of media, including blogs, email, text messages, Skype and even Facebook. Along with their in-person preaching, missionaries can now use social networks to check in on potential converts, or woo new ones with status updates about the Heavenly Father.

All Missionaries Safe after Powerful Earthquake in Chile (Church News and Events) (April 9, 2014)
All LDS missionaries serving in impacted areas were accounted for and unharmed after a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake rattled northern Chile on April 1, claiming six lives and forcing the temporary evacuation of almost a million people following subsequent tsunami warnings.

New Sunday School Presidency to Promote Christlike Teaching (Church News and Events) (April 9, 2014)
The Sunday School general presidency has new leadership. The reorganization was announced by the First Presidency during general conference Saturday, April 5, 2014.

Bishop Caussé shares church welfare principles at LDS International Society conference (Deseret News - Utah) (April 9, 2014)
Providing welfare and humanitarian aid throughout the world can feel like a daunting task, but it can be accomplished through principles of love, tithing and fasting, hard work, self-reliance and the righteous leadership of local priesthood leaders.

Gay activists aim to shut down Oregon health food store over owner’s support for true marriage (Lifesitenews) (April 9, 2014)
A soon-to-be opened natural foods store in Oregon is in danger of never opening its doors after homosexual activists publicized remarks its Mormon owner made online supporting true marriage and organized a boycott targeting not just the store, but its suppliers.

Hansen family shares friendly relationship with driver who hit daughter Lexi (Deseret News - Utah) (April 9, 2014)
When 18-year-old BYU student Lexi Hansen was hit by a car while longboarding on Feb. 26, her chances of survival were reportedly less than 5 percent. Since that day, she has come out of a coma, moved home from the hospital and continued to make small steps toward recovery, despite incredible pain.

6 Mormon youths share their experiences with family history work (Deseret News - Utah) (April 9, 2014)
In the October 2011 general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder David A. Bednar challenged youths throughout the church to get involved with family history work now.

FamilySearch campaign focuses on America's favorite pastime (Deseret News - Utah) (April 9, 2014)
With baseball season in full swing, FamilySearch.org has launched a campaign to encourage family historians to preserve and share photos and stories of ancestors who had an interest in America's favorite pastime.

Easter reflections on a loving, kind and gracious God (Gateline - Washington) (April 9, 2014)
The Easter season invites us to reflect on the lovingkindness of our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Interestingly, as I write, my spell check tool does not recognize the word “lovingkindness,” but it appears in my cherished King James Bible, with the psalmist praising the living and merciful God.

Picturing history: Cornerstone of the Nauvoo House (Deseret News - Utah) (April 9, 2014)
In section 124 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord commanded the Prophet Joseph Smith to build a “boarding house,” which was to be built unto the Lord's name and for the boarding of strangers.

If only: Parker brings first NCAA Championship to BYU basketball (BYU Universe) (April 9, 2014)
Alexander the Great commanded troops for five years before his influence was truly felt. Napoleon’s rise to military prominence was 15 years in the making. Jabari Parker seized control of Provo and college basketball in one year. It didn’t really turn out that way, but sports writers and their readers love a good “what if?” story, so let’s proceed as if Parker had worn a BYU jersey instead of playing for Duke. The story might have gone something like this:

April 8, 2014

$40,000 first edition copy of the Book of Mormon on auction block (Deseret News - Utah) (April 8, 2014)
A first edition copy of the Book of Mormon with an estimated value of more than $40,000 is set to be auctioned this week at the Printed & Manuscript Americana auction in New York Tuesday.

Mormon women: Reverent, respectful, and seeking a bigger role (Christian Science Monitor) (April 8, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told the Ordain Women group weeks ago that their members wouldn't be allowed in the meeting and threatened to bar them from entering Temple Square, saying activist events detract from the sacred environment of the church's biannual general conference.

The Core Mormon Teaching the LDS Church Didn’t Jettison (The Daily Beast) (April 8, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently backpedaled on a key tenet of Mormon theology: that after death, righteous Mormons will become gods, with the capacity to create planets of their own. But while press coverage of the walk-back has focused on the “Mormons get their own planets” doctrine, already ridiculed on Broadway and TV, what’s remarkable is what the LDS church left in.

Facebook event challenges Latter-day Saints to read Book of Mormon in 85 days (Deseret News - Utah) (April 8, 2014)
The work of translating of the Book of Mormon began on April 7, 1829, and was finished later that summer on June 30. An annual Facebook event is encouraging members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to read the book in that same amount of time.

Mormon teens of Melbourne trek back in time (The Age - Australia) (April 8, 2014)
Peak hour at Southern Cross Station looked a little less harried on Tuesday morning, as platform 8A slowly filled with teenagers dressed in mid-19th century garb, and all toting cloth sacks on their backs.

Utah’s lawyers have the resolve to defend traditional marriage (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 8, 2014)
The lawyers Utah tapped to defend a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage are more than hired hands selected for their experience and expertise. They’re believers.

Ad campaign advocating same-sex marriage in Utah launches Tuesday (Deseret News - Utah) (April 8, 2014)
Two days before arguments over Utah's definition of marriage begin in a federal appeals court, a same-sex marriage advocacy group will launch a television ad campaign featuring a longtime married heterosexual couple and a familiar face.

April 7, 2014

Coverage and News Media Resources from the 184th Annual General Conference (LDS Newsroom) (April 7, 2014)
General conferences of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints take place every six months, originating in the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City and reaching a global audience estimated to be in the millions.

184th Annual General Conference talk summaries (+photos) (Deseret News - Utah) (April 7, 2014)
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will gather in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, as well in chapels and homes around the world, April 5 and 6 to participate in the 184th Annual General Conference.

Leadership Change, New General Authorities and New Sunday School General Presidency Announced (LDS Newsroom) (April 7, 2014)
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new member of the Presidency of the Seventy, four new General Authorities, a new Sunday School general presidency and 42 Area Seventies at the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 184th Annual General Conference being held here this weekend.

Photos of the Speakers from the 184th Annual General Conference (LDS Newsroom) (April 7, 2014)
News media and bloggers will find high-resolution, downloadable photos of the speakers at the 184th Annual General Conference of the Church on this page. This page will be updated throughout the conference.

Mormon prophet Monson: Be like Christ, love others (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 7, 2014)
Showing love toward others is the essence of the gospel and follows Jesus Christ’s example, LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson said Sunday during the Utah-based faith’s 184th Annual General Conference.

Message to Mormons: Prophets not always popular (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 7, 2014)
Jesus, ancient prophets and, by extension, Mormon apostles, considered "prophets, seers and revelators" in the 15 million-member faith, are often unpopular because they have to tell uncomfortable truths and insist on upholding moral standards. These modern LDS leaders "know full well that the road leading to the Promised Land, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ of necessity runs by way of Mount Sinai, flowing with ‘thou shalts’ and ‘thou shalt nots,’ " Jeffrey R. Holland, of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, said in the opening session of the church’s 184th Annual General Conference.

2013 Statistical Report for 2014 April General Conference (LDS Newsroom) (April 7, 2014)
The First Presidency has issued the following statistical report of the Church as of 31 December 2013.

Church Provides Additional Missionary Statistics (LDS Newsroom Blog) (April 7, 2014)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released its 2013 statistical report in the Saturday, 5 April afternoon session of general conference, which includes missionary numbers. Because several media outlets have requested missionary statistics beyond 2013, the Church has released the following update:

Newly Called Sunday School President Emphasizes Christ’s Pattern for Teaching (LDS Newsroom) (April 7, 2014)
The Sunday School General Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has new leadership. The reorganization was announced by the First Presidency during general conference Saturday, 5 April 2014. Tad R. Callister, formerly of the Presidency of the Seventy, was sustained as the General Sunday School general president, John S. Tanner as first counselor, and Devin G. Durrant as second counselor. Tanner and Durrant are currently serving as mission presidents through July in São Paulo, Brazil, and Dallas, Texas, respectively.

LDS adults to get new course outlines for Sunday classes, new Sunday School president says (Deseret News - Utah) (April 7, 2014)
A new program is being developed for the adult classes held each Sunday in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and may be implemented soon, the faith's new Sunday School general president said this weekend. Multiple congregations are pilot testing the program, which is patterned after the youth curriculum introduced last year.

Mormon Church: Same-sex marriage and gay sex are still not OK (Los Angeles Times - California) (April 7, 2014)
In the early 2000s, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' stance on same-sex marriage aligned with the opinions of most Americans: Gays and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to marry. Since then, popular opposition to same-sex marriage has collapsed across much of the country, with 17 states and the District of Columbia allowing the practice.

Mormon women again turned away from priesthood meeting (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 7, 2014)
For the second time in six months, hundreds of women seeking ordination to the Mormon priesthood were turned away Saturday when they sought tickets to an all-male priesthood session. Their goal, several said, was to get the attention of the First Presidency and other leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Atheists conduct friendly march around Mormon Temple Square (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (April 7, 2014)
The sky grew angry over some 75 atheists as they assembled to march around downtown Salt Lake City’s Temple Square during the LDS Church’s General Conference. But the gathering storm had nothing to do with the wrath of the Almighty, according to the nonbelievers, because there is no God.

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