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June 27, 2017

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June 26, 2017

Mormon Artifacts on Display at the Smithsonian (LDS Newsroom) (June 26, 2017)
Artifacts from the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are on display in a new one-year exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

New Missionary Database Finds Early Church Missionaries in Your Family Tree (Church News) (June 26, 2017)
Ever wonder if you are related to one of the early missionaries of the Restoration? Someone like Samuel Smith, Parley P. Pratt, or Dan Jones? Well, you just might be! The Missionary Database is an exciting new service from the Church History Department and FamilySearch that helps members of the Church discover early Church missionaries in their family tree.

What Mormon Family Trees Tell Us About Cancer (The Atlantic) (June 26, 2017)
By searching the church's famed family trees, scientists have tracked down a cancer-causing mutation that came west with a pioneer couple—just in time to save the lives of their great-great-great-great grandchildren.

Salt Lake County is becoming less Mormon — Utah County is headed in the other direction (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 26, 2017)
New LDS Church data show a growing divide in the religious makeup of Utah's two most populous counties, a demographic shift that has sweeping political and cultural ramifications. The 3 million-strong Beehive State, as a whole, remains roughly 62.8 percent Mormon.

BYU announces all campuses will now give Honor Code amnesty and ‘leniency’ to students who report sexual assaults (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 26, 2017)
Brigham Young University announced Friday it has formally adopted an amnesty policy for victims or witnesses of sexual assault, a move it had pledged to make last year after the school came under fire for practices that some said discouraged students from reporting abuse.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir director teaches new group — and they're not who you’d expect (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 26, 2017)
Mormon Tabernacle Choir director Mack Wilberg has taken a new group of musicians under his wing — but you'll have to visit Utah State Prison to hear them perform. Members of the advanced vocals class in the prison's Wasatch Music School performed two numbers under Wilberg's direction on Saturday during the school's spring recital. It wasn't just a guest performance — Wilberg said he intends to continue to working with the prison's choirs.

BYU football: As LaVell Edwards Stadium turns 35, goal is to make it better, not bigger (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 26, 2017)
BYU's football stadium as it is presently constituted turns 35 this fall, having last undergone a major expansion in 1982 when Cougar Stadium's capacity was increased from 35,000 to 65,000. Nothing official is in the works to mark the 35th birthday of the venue, which was renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2000 to honor the late, legendary coach before his final home game. Edwards died last December at the age of 86.

Former Mapleton Mormon bishop accused of drugging, abusing 2 teens (Deseret News - Utah) (June 26, 2017)
A former LDS bishop has been arrested and accused of drugging and sexually abusing two teenage boys.

June 23, 2017

FamilySearch Center dedicated in St. George, Utah (Deseret News - Utah) (June 23, 2017)
Located just two blocks south of the 140-year-old St. George Utah Temple, the Church’s newest family history facility was dedicated June 21, the day before being unveiled to the public in a three-day open house.

The Deseret Alphabet, a 38-Letter Writing System Developed by Mormons (Atlas Obscura) (June 23, 2017)
THIRTY-TWO YEARS AGO, WHILE ON a Mormon mission in Florida, amateur cryptologist Scott Reynolds was browsing a public library when he discovered a book with pages printed in a code of symbols he did not recognize. There was no key or explanation, but he copied down the peculiar characters. It would be over a decade until he discovered that the foreign-looking script was a nearly forgotten writing reform experiment called the Deseret Alphabet.

Latter-day Saints in Maryland Bring Relief to Refugees (Deseret News - Utah) (June 23, 2017)
A recent refugee explained the real-life drama of immigrating to the United States at an event in Maryland focused on helping refugees. “The gang members took me to an empty soccer field and beat me with a baseball bat,” the refugee said. “Then they threatened to kill me.” He described how this incident forced him to embark on a perilous journey from his home in Central America for a new beginning in the United States.

Missionary Injured in Brussels Bombing Entering U.S. Naval Academy (Church News) (June 23, 2017)
For most newly inducted students at the United States Naval Academy, the grueling military training/indoctrination program known as Plebe Summer presents the most difficult challenge they’ve ever faced.

Most Mormons and evangelicals no longer support businesses that refuse to serve gays, new survey shows (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 23, 2017)
In no U.S. religious group does a majority believe it's acceptable for businesspeople to invoke their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays. This finding from a 2016 Public Religion Research Institute survey is a first, said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the nonprofit research group. In a 2015 PRRI survey that asked the same question, more than half of white evangelical Protestants and Mormons approved of those who cited religious belief to deny service to LGBT customers.

June 22, 2017

Mormon Apostle Speaks at International Religious Freedom Symposium (LDS Newsroom) (June 22, 2017)
“Religious freedom is a marker for other freedoms in society that temper the natural impulses that are counter to a prosperous, thriving and progressing society,” said an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Renlund Creates First Q'eqchi' Language Stake in Guatemalan Highlands (Church News) (June 22, 2017)
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has served as a General Authority for more than eight years—a tenure that’s allowed him to visit scores of nations and worship alongside Latter-day Saints speaking an array of languages.

Elder Bednar dedicates Senegal for the preaching of the gospel (Deseret News - Utah) (June 22, 2017)
Just before dawn at the base of the “Phare des Mamelles” lighthouse on a hill overlooking Senegal, Elder David A. Bednar offered a dedicatory prayer on May 22 on the people and land of the West African nation.

Mormons Around the World Country Newsroom Websites June 20, 2017 (LDS Newsroom Blog) (June 22, 2017)
A Central American refugee described the drama of living in an area where he was taken by a gang and beaten with a baseball bat. This incident forced him to take a perilous journey to the United States to begin a new life. Other stories were told of hardships by refugees at a recent fair in Maryland organized by Latter-day Saints and community members.

Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints opens doors to Muslims (Augusta Chronicle - Georgia) (June 22, 2017)
Muslims observing Ramadan have found a unique place to gather with other members of their faith and celebrate – the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints on North Belair Road.

Coca-Cola arrives at LDS Business College, but BYU stays on no-caffeine wagon (Salt Lake Tribune - Utah) (June 22, 2017)
It looks like Brigham Young University may be Mormonism's last institutional holdout against what some see as "evil" cola drinks — you know, the ones with that unauthorized pick-me-up. Sometime this spring, LDS Business College in Salt Lake City began selling Coke products — with caffeine — in its cafe. The church-owned Joseph Smith Memorial Building, across from downtown's iconic Mormon temple, had long since shrugged off the supposed taboo.

LDS girl gets standing ovation from all 4 judges, advances on 'America's Got Talent' (Deseret News - Utah) (June 22, 2017)
A 13-year-old LDS girl from Florence, Arizona, caught the attention of Simon Cowell and captured hearts throughout the United States on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night.

After valiant fight against cancer, Kristin Katich Sumbot passes away at 26 (Deseret News - Utah) (June 22, 2017)
Last night, I experienced a first in my short career as a journalist when I learned that Kristin Katich Sumbot, who I had the opportunity to interview and feature in a story early last year, passed away on Tuesday. Sumbot was 26 years old.

Utah teen speaks after video of her testimony on being Mormon and gay goes viral (Fox 13 - Utah) (June 22, 2017)
A young girl from Utah County is making national headlines after video surfaced on social media of her bearing her testimony on being Mormon and gay to her LDS Church congregation. Savannah, who turned 13 years old Wednesday, spoke about her sexuality during a testimony meeting last month.

June 21, 2017

A Mormon at the Watergate Trials: Apostle Reflects on Lessons Learned (LDS Newsroom) (June 21, 2017)
“Putting one’s integrity on hold, even for seemingly small acts in seemingly small matters, places one in danger of losing the benefit and protection of conscience altogether,” said Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

‘Hamilton’ Broadway Star to Perform With Mormon Tabernacle Choir (LDS Newsroom) (June 21, 2017)
An artist known for his recent performance as George Washington in the Broadway show "Hamilton" will join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for their Pioneer Day concerts.

New and Refurbished Buildings Are Dedicated in Temple View, New Zealand (LDS Newsroom) (June 21, 2017)
President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dedicated the new David O. McKay Stake and Cultural Events Centre and other buildings and facilities in the Hamilton suburb of Temple View on Saturday 17 June.

Elder Holland Praises, Encourages Those “Lifting Up the Hands That Hang Down” (Church News) (June 21, 2017)
LDS Family Services workers are engaged in “the very heart of gospel service—bearing one another’s burdens that they may be light. You are ‘holding up the hands that hang down and strengthening the feeble knees,’” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland declared June 13 at an LDS Family Services system-wide seminar in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City.

“Connections Conference” in Brazil Brings Together Students and BYU–Pathway President (Church News) (June 21, 2017)
With nearly 500 Pathway sites in 50 countries around the world, BYU–Pathway Worldwide is responding to the growing need of Church members to further their education within the context of their local needs.

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