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May 24, 2015

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May 22, 2015

Will Boy Scouts drop ban on gay adults? Mormon leaders watching and waiting (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 22, 2015)
As the nation's largest Scouting sponsor, the Utah-based LDS Church is taking a wait-and-see approach after the country's top Scout called Thursday for policy changes that would allow openly gay adults to serve as troop leaders.

Boy Scouts president warns that ban on gay leaders threatens organization (Washington Post - Washington, D.C.) (May 22, 2015)
The president of the Boy Scouts of America urged the organization Thursday to reconsider its blanket ban on openly gay leaders, saying Scouting must keep up with the times on the issue or face “the end of us as a national movement.”

Elder Christofferson Visits Former Mission in Argentina (Church News) (May 22, 2015)
Decades before Elder D. Todd Christofferson became a General Authority, members here and in other communities in northern Argentina already knew him as “Elder Christofferson.”

Defending the Faith: Did Book of Mormon witnesses simply see the golden plates with their 'spiritual eyes'? (Deseret News - Utah) (May 22, 2015)
I continually encounter the confident declaration that the witnesses to the Book of Mormon didn’t really see or touch anything at all and didn’t actually claim to have seen or touched anything. They only “saw” the plates with their “spiritual eyes,” I’m assured, and “spiritual eyes,” to them, meant “in their imaginations.”

9 Lone Peak baseball players prepare to serve LDS missions (LDS Church News) (May 22, 2015)
These are busy days for members of the Lone Peak High School baseball team. The Utah state baseball tournament is ongoing and, for several Knight players, occurs at the same time as end-of-year Advanced Placement tests and other important exams.

Lindsey Stirling responds to modesty criticism on Instagram (Deseret News - Utah) (May 22, 2015)
Violinist Lindsey Stirling responded Wednesday to disapproving comments she received about the dress she wore to the Billboard Music Awards over the weekend.

May 21, 2015

LDS Church leaders, missionary couple offer support in Nepal (Deseret News - Utah) (May 21, 2015)
Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited Nepal to offer support and love to the people after the April 25 earthquake and aftershocks. A new photo gallery from the India Mormon Newsroom website captures the devastation they found.

Returning Mormon missionaries cause BYU-Idaho enrollment to rise (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 21, 2015)
The return of Mormon missionaries who are now heading off to college has boosted enrollment at Brigham Young University-Idaho. The Post Register reports (http://bit.ly/1PWnNrP ) that on-campus enrollment at the LDS Church-owned university is up 6 percent from last year. BYU-Idaho spokesman Marc Stevens says the Rexburg campus has seen an increase of more than 800 students since 2014.

Defending the Faith: The plates of the Book of Mormon: 'As material as anything can be' (Deseret News - Utah) (May 21, 2015)
I continually encounter the confident declaration that the witnesses to the Book of Mormon didn’t really see or touch anything at all and didn’t actually claim to have seen or touched anything. They only “saw” the plates with their “spiritual eyes,” I’m assured, and “spiritual eyes,” to them, meant “in their imaginations.”

One overlooked factor in the American religious landscape — fertility rates (Deseret News - Utah) (May 21, 2015)
Arguably the most pervasive takeaway of The Pew Research Center's recent report on the religious landscape of America is that Christianity in America is on the decline, and religion itself may be falling out of fashion.

Brandon Flowers' new solo album, 'The Desired Effect,' takes personal turn (Los Angeles Times - California) (May 21, 2015)
Here's one way to win Brandon Flowers' confidence: Tell him you like a song of his that nobody else likes. That's what Ariel Rechtshaid did when the Killers frontman, on the hunt for a producer for his second solo album, played Rechtshaid a demo of "Still Want You," which Flowers had originally written for his main band's 2012 record "Battle Born."

Hollywood Actress Shunned & Embraced By Amish Community? ’Love Finds You In Charm’ Star Learns First Hand Her Character's Struggles (Breathe Cast) (May 21, 2015)
Hollywood actress Danielle Chuchran takes us on an insightful journey of her experience in the Amish culture while filming the UP's new movie 'Love Finds You In Charm.' She shared what learned about the secluded community, the contrast from Hollywood, and how she was both shunned and embraced.

JustServe program benefits individuals, communities (Observer - Texas) (May 21, 2015)
From caring for Hurricane Katrina refugees, to joining local cleanups after floods and hurricanes, to quietly assisting the family next door, Houstonians have always stepped up to help their neighbors.

19 young women recognized for hard work (Spectrum - Utah) (May 21, 2015)
Nineteen young women from the Mesquite Nevada Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received their Young Womanhood Recognition awards at a special program on May 6. To earn this award girls ages 12 to 18 years old must set goals in eight value areas — faith, divine nature, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity and virtue. They must achieve them through 70 hours of community service, church service and self-improvement projects. The women also are to read 531 pages of the Book of Mormon.

Piano man fixes broken ivories across the West (Southeast Idaho Business) (May 21, 2015)
The pages of the Idaho State Journal helped repair a digital piano recently. Shelley resident Jeff Hansen used the paper as a dowel to hold the piano’s hammers in place as he repaired it.

May 20, 2015

Joana Araujo's leap of faith (Woodburn Independent - Oregon) (May 20, 2015)
Poised to be the first in her family to graduate with a high school diploma, Joana Araujo has fought to rise above her abusive living situations, reliance on drugs and family turmoil. Araujo was born in Hanford, Calif., to a teen mom. Her parents tried to make things work, but her dad walked out on the family — which also included Araujo’s younger sister — when she was 2.

Mormon group assists with community projects (Contra Costa Times - California) (May 20, 2015)
At one time it might have been difficult for local government agencies and nonprofit organizations to rally a large group of volunteers for a bigger project, but that has all changed with the emergence of the Helping Hands program.

Helping Hands project volunteers pack up more than 85,000 meals (Orange County Register - California) (May 20, 2015)
More than 600 volunteers lent their helping hands April 25 to sort, prep and pack more than 85,000 nutritious meals to be sent to school programs in 65 countries around the world.

"Being Around Consecrated, Talented People is Rejuvenating" (BYU news release) (May 20, 2015)
An interview with BYU President Kevin J Worthen one year into the job.

Adopted, biological children share what makes their family of 9 happy in new Mormon Channel video (Deseret News - Utah) (May 20, 2015)
The Davies family members share what makes their clan of four adopted and three biological children happy in a new Mormon Channel video.

One flight, three faiths (Deseret News - Utah) (May 20, 2015)
A Muslim, a Hindu and a Mormon sit down together on a plane. It sounds like the beginning of a bad religious joke, but this is what happened to me recently on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta.

The Mormons on Mount Scopus (Tablet) (May 20, 2015)
BYU’s Jerusalem campus hasn’t unleashed a wave of missionaries. But it hasn’t opened much interfaith dialogue, either. In 1986, ultra-Orthodox pop star Mordechai Ben David released a single titled “Jerusalem Is Not for Sale.” From its name and overwrought opening stanzas—“Jerusalem, her holiness crying, defiling her dearest location”—one could be forgiven for thinking it is a religious protest song against dividing the city in a peace deal. But then comes the chorus: Jerusalem is not for sale! Voices crying, thundering throughout our cities. You better run for your life, back to Utah overnight, Before the mountaintop opens wide to swallow you inside.

4 Cancer Charities Are Accused of Fraud (New York Times) (May 20, 2015)
There were subscriptions to dating websites, meals at Hooters and purchases at Victoria’s Secret — not to mention jet ski joy rides and couples’ cruises to the Caribbean. All of it was paid for with the nearly $200 million donated to cancer charities, and was enjoyed by the healthy friends and family members of those running the groups, in what government officials said Tuesday was one of the largest charity fraud cases ever.

May 19, 2015

Córdoba Temple Dedication “Wonderful,” Said President Uchtdorf (Church News) (May 19, 2015)
A few minutes after the third and final session of the May 17 dedication of the Córdoba Argentina Temple, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf stepped out its front entrance.

Utah Utes coaches tailor weekly religion class for LDS football players (Deseret News - Utah) (May 19, 2015)
On a Thursday afternoon in April, a group of Utah football players gather on the west side of the practice field, the effort of running spring drills in the sunshine still evident on their faces. They huddle together more so they can hear graduate assistant Sione Pouha than to take advantage of the small bit of shade provided by the fence and trees leaning over from outside the facility.

Jenna Kim Jones talks to Ravishly about being a Mormon in the entertainment industry (Deseret News - Utah) (May 19, 2015)
Jenna Kim Jones has found a way to be successful in the entertainment industry without compromising her values as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, even if it limits the work she can do.

How a Mormon-made Cold War drama got the attention of Netflix (Business Insider) (May 19, 2015)
On Friday, Netflix premiered “Granite Flats,” a TV series set in 1960s Colorado during the Cold War where not everyone in town is who they seem. The news here isn’t that the streaming service acquired an existing show to make available for its subscribers, it’s where it came from. “Granite Flats” is the first scripted drama series from the thriving cable network BYUtv, operated and funded by Brigham Young University. The channel has been in existence since 2000 and is available on Dish Network, DirecTV, and 900 cable providers. But now being tapped by the most prominent streaming service, the network suddenly has many more eyes looking at it.

13-year-old Oklahoma girl's Personal Progress project is preserving World War II history (Deseret News - Utah) (May 19, 2015)
Miranda Wilson has spent more than 100 hours studying World War II. The 13-year-old from Tulsa, Oklahoma, started a serious research project when students in her homeschool group were encouraged to interview three veterans.

6 lies early returned missionaries tell themselves (Deseret News - Utah) (May 19, 2015)
We all know "those" returned missionaries. The ones who came home early. The ones who were honorably released, but didn't serve a full term. Whether it's one week or 17 months or 22 months, they can end up, sadly, being the talk of the ward. Was it depression that made it so the elder couldn't even make it out of the MTC? Could the sister not handle the mission rules so she asked for her own release? And since sister missionaries aren't "required" to go, don't they get an honorable release no matter what?

More sculptures to be added to ‘Light of the World’ garden (Deseret News - Utah) (May 19, 2015)
A sculpture garden with images of Jesus Christ will expand to include 35 statues over the next year at Thanksgiving Point. The “Light of the World” sculpture garden by Angela Johnson openedopened in 2011 with 15 bronze sculptures. When completed it will have 15 scenes — 14 from the Bible, and one LDS Church-inspired scene depicting Joseph Smith’s First Vision.

Nothing else they would rather do: LDS couple has twins, triplets under 14 months old (Deseret News - Utah) (May 19, 2015)
When Julie and David Grygla leave their St. George home, they prepare to be met with stares and questions. As the parents of 14-month-old triplet boys and 1-month-old twin girls, David and Julie understand that their family is unusual. But with all the attention they attract, it is hard not to feel like a "freak show," Julie says.

Offensive, Imprudent Speech Is Still Protected Speech (Wall Street Journal) (May 19, 2015)
It is true, free speech can be hurtful. I remember in 2011, as a teenager, encountering for the first time a piece of satire that ridiculed my religion. It blasphemed our prophets, our holy texts, our God. And then it won nine Tony Awards. “The Book of Mormon” was certainly a hurtful production. But it didn’t generate the controversy of the Charlie Hebdo magazine or Pamela Geller.

Nation’s largest Boy Scouts group issues new policy on sex abuse prevention (Fox 13 - Utah) (May 19, 2015)
The nation’s largest Boy Scouts organization is implementing a new policy to help guard against child abuse within its ranks. The Utah National Parks Council is ordering all scout leaders to be up-to-date on its Youth Protection Training, or they will not be allowed in the organization. Scout troop charters will not be renewed unless the training is completed.

May 18, 2015

Church Dedicates Córdoba Argentina Temple (LDS Newsroom) (May 18, 2015)
The Church’s second temple in Argentina was dedicated on Sunday, May 17, 2015. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presided over the services and gave the dedicatory prayer.

Cordoba Argentina Temple: Apostle returns "home" (LDS Church News) (May 18, 2015)
Decades before D. Todd Christofferson became a General Authority, members here and in other communities in northern Argentina already knew him as “Elder Christofferson.” Church duties in recent years have taken Elder Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to all corners of the globe. He has learned to say a few words in several different languages and experienced a variety of cultures and climes.

Argentine Latter-day Saints celebrate their new temple, rich culture (LDS Church News) (May 18, 2015)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf challenged Saturday almost 1,000 Argentine youth — along with their families and friends — to make "the light of the temple the light of your life."

New LDS.org Navigation Menus Make Resources Easier to Find (Church News) (May 18, 2015)
The phone rings on Saturday night. It’s your child’s Sunday School teacher asking you to be a last-minute substitute for his class. “You can find the lesson on LDS.org,” he says before thanking you and hanging up. LDS.org is easy to find, but now where do you look?

Mitt Romney lasts 2 rounds against Holyfield in boxing match (Associated Press) (May 18, 2015)
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield squared off in the ring Friday at a charity fight night event in Salt Lake City. Romney, 68, and Holyfield, 52, sparred, if you could call it that, for just two short rounds before Romney ran away from the boxer and threw in the towel, giving up a round early in the lighthearted fight that came amid several other fights by professional boxers and an auction.

Video recounts 3,000 mile journey from Manaus to Sao Paulo Temple (LDS Church News) (May 18, 2015)
A large, bustling city, Manaus, Brazil, is also isolated, surrounded by the largest tropical rainforest in the world. “For members of the Church in Manaus, it is a blessing to live in such a beautiful place, but it was also a challenge to build up the Church in an area so far away from other members,” says a narrator in a new video now accessible on the Church’s website.

Michael Deeds: Lindsey Stirling is a dancing, violin-shredding Mormon sensation (Idaho Statesman) (May 18, 2015)
Violinist Lindsey Stirling has the world on a string. Her dubstep-laced instrumental video, “Crystallize,” went viral in 2012, jettisoning her to fame. Her YouTube channel has topped more than a billion views.

Jerry Earl Johnston: Bryce Harper is breaking down Mormon stereotypes (Deseret News - Utah) (May 18, 2015)
This week I head off again on one of my “walkabouts.” About once a month, to crib a thought from Mark Twain, I like to light out for the territories. This time, the destination is San Diego. I’m going down to watch Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals play baseball. I want to catch him before he cools off. As I write this, Harper has hit six home runs in the past four games. If he keeps up the pace, he’ll have 210 by October.

Five of the coolest, most successful BYU inventions of this year (BYU news release) (May 18, 2015)
Be it in the field of chemistry, engineering, or food science, dozens of real-life applications of academic research make it into the marketplace every year from BYU. In fact, per every $1 million of research, BYU is No. 1 in the country in new patent applications, No. 1 in licenses executed and No. 2 in start-up companies started, according to data from the Association of University Technology Managers.

Mormon Helping Hands turns to Towanda (Daily Review - Pennsylvania) (May 18, 2015)
About 200 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers converged in Towanda on May 10 to participate in service projects throughout the town. Projects included sweeping Main Street, picking up litter, clearing brush and fallen trees, raking leaves, mulching flower beds, planting flowers and painting light poles and fire hydrants.

Mormon Church apply for demolition consent (Waikato Times - New Zealand) (May 18, 2015)
The Mormon Church has filed resource consent applications with Hamilton City Council to demolish 11 historic teacher houses as part of its residential development plans. The applications were filed in early May but council staff have yet to decide whether to publicly notify the applications. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Trust Board has applied to replace the demolished teacher houses with 16 new houses and to subdivide to create 16 residential lots.

Mormon vice? Utahns buy the most candy in the U.S. (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 18, 2015)
While many Utahns have the willpower to avoid alcohol, coffee and tobacco, they just can't stay away from the candy. The state buys confections — candy, mints, gum — at the highest rate in the nation, according to sales data from The Hershey Co. Residents of the Beehive State are especially fond of Hershey's licorice Twizzlers, said Lisha Bassett, sales manager for Hershey's Salt Lake City District, which includes all of Utah and parts of Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming.

May 15, 2015

Real effort of LDS Charities is to build character, leader says (Deseret News - Utah) (May 15, 2015)
The real, long-term effort of LDS Charities is to build character, said the worldwide leader of the humanitarian organization on Thursday evening.

Even on the doorstep of war, 'you are not forgotten' (LDS Church News) (May 15, 2015)
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Senior President of the Quorums of the Seventy, has seen much of the world in his 15 years as a General Authority. He has spoken to congregations numbering in the hundreds at stake centers and thousands at special events in arenas. However, the meeting that will live forever in his memory, he feels, is one attended by about two dozen people in a low-ceilinged room not much bigger than a two-car garage.

Quincy Exhibit Honors Town’s Kindness to Mormon Refugees (Church News) (May 15, 2015)
A heartwarming chapter in a largely unpleasant saga in the Missouri and Illinois periods of Church history is now memorialized in a museum exhibit paying tribute to citizens of this city, who in 1838–39 opened their homes and hearts to beleaguered Latter-day Saint refugees driven from Missouri.

Mormon church pegs Moravia resident for regional leadership role (The Citizen - New York) (May 15, 2015)
Starting next Sunday, Elder Marc Clay will have close to 24,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under his administration.

Rolly: Fight of the Century II? Hardly, but Romney, Holyfield ready to trade jabs for charity (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (May 15, 2015)
Mitt Romney tried to look as mean and tough as he could, standing toe to toe with five-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and staring grimly into the eyes of his foe. But he couldn't hold that pose for long as a smile begrudgingly forced its way onto his face. After all, it's all for fun —­ and for charity.

'Stormin' Mormon' Romney to take on ex-champ for charity (Daily Mail - UK) (May 15, 2015)
As a former US presidential candidate, Mitt Romney is no stranger to bruising fights, but he's in for a new kind of slugfest in a charity bout with ex-heavyweight world champ Evander Holyfield. "Stormin' Mormon" Romney and the "Real Deal" Holyfield warmed up for their Friday showdown in Salt Lake City, Utah, with some tongue-in-cheek trash talking in a video posted by Charity Vision -- a Utah organization that provides eye surgery and vision care in the developing world.

Springville women want to put a stop to child slavery (Daily Herald - Utah) (May 15, 2015)
A group of women from a Springville LDS ward is concerned about child slavery and sex trafficking — so they’re doing something about it. Along with about 40 local businesses, clubs and government agencies, the group will host Time to Rescue, a fundraising event held to benefit Operation Underground Railroad. A Utah-based nonprofit, O.U.R. teams rescue kidnapped children from slavery throughout the world.

Mormonism Online: In Your Own Words | 13 May 2015 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (May 15, 2015)
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife Susan Bednar answered submitted questions from youth on Tuesday evening, May 12, 2015. Youth were invited to ask the couple questions in a live social event, which was headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and featured youth participation from at least 98 countries, including the Philippines and Guatemala.

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