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6 April 2012

Mormon Kansas City Missouri Temple Open House Begins

April 5, 2012


The Kansas City Missouri Temple, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (Mormons) 137th temple, will open to the public on Saturday, 7 April. The open house will continue through 28 April before the temple is formally dedicated on Sunday, 6 May 2012, in three sessions by President Thomas S. Monson. The dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to congregations of the Church within the temple district.

Tickets for the free tour are available by visiting kansascitymormontemple.org or by calling 1-866-537-8457. The Kansas City Missouri Temple is the Church’s second temple in Missouri and 67th in the United States. The temple will serve some 45,000 Latter-day Saints in 126 congregations throughout Kansas, Missouri and small portions of Oklahoma and Arkansas.


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New Easter Video Released: “He Is Risen”

April 5, 2012


To commemorate Easter, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has released “He Is Risen,” a new Bible video portraying the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The video incorporates the days leading up to the Savior’s Resurrection and includes segments of the recently released Bible videos “Triumphal Entry,” “The Last Supper,” “The Intercessory Prayer,” “Christ in Gethsemane,” “Peter’s Denial,” “The Savior’s Trial before Pilate,” “The Scourging and Crucifixion,” “The Laying of the Lord’s Body in the Tomb” and “The Savior’s Resurrection.”


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137th Mormon temple awaits 75,000 visitors for public viewing

April 6, 2012

Kansas City Star (Missouri)

The three-story, 32,000-square-foot facility, which opens for public tours on Saturday, contains no single cathedral-like space of worship. Rather, it consists of many smaller rooms devoted to specific ceremonies or ordinances such as baptism or marriage through which, members believe, families are united for eternity.

The temple’s looming presence along Interstate 435 in Clay County signals a new, higher local profile for the church, which traces much of its history to western Missouri but whose members, targeted by an 1838 extinction order signed by the Missouri governor, largely were driven from the state by people who feared their beliefs and growing numbers.


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New Mormon K.C. temple opening this weekend

April 5, 2012

News-Leader (Missouri)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opening its new, multimillion-dollar Kansas City temple.

The Mormon temple is on eight acres north of downtown and opens to the public for about two weeks beginning this weekend. After the temple is dedicated May 6, it will be open only to church members.

The temple will largely serve about 25,000 members in the area and about 100,000 members in Kansas and Missouri. The only other Mormon temple in Missouri is in St. Louis. Kansas does not have a Mormon temple.


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Mormons mark return to KC area with large temple

April 5, 2012

BND (Illinois)

Nearly two centuries after they were chased out of western Missouri, Mormons now have a multi-million dollar, 32,000-square foot, hard-to-miss concrete and marble temple in the Kansas City area not far from the site where founder Joseph Smith was once jailed.

The temple, located on eight acres north of downtown Kansas City, is scheduled to be opened to the public for about two weeks beginning this weekend. After the temple is dedicated May 6, it will then be open only to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in good standing. Temples are the site of special ceremonies, like weddings and baptisms. Church members hold Sunday services in a separate nearby building.


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Mormon temple set to open doors

April 5, 2012

Kansas City Star (Missouri)

The new Mormon temple in Kansas City, North opens to the public Saturday.

During a sneak peek provided for media today, church officials showed off interior rooms and explained ceremonies and other activities that will happen in them.

The open house, which begins Saturday, provides the only opportunity for non-church members to tour the temple, the 137th built worldwide by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After the open house ends, only church members considered in good standing can enter.


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New Mormon temple opens in Kansas City

April 5, 2012

University Daily Kansan

The newest temple in the Kansas City area has been a project 180 years in the making.

The recently completed the Kansas City Missouri Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now open to the public.

Members of the Mormon church came to Missouri in the 1830s and had plans to build a temple in Independence, but it was never completed because church members were forced to flee after years of violent conflicts with Missourians.


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Mormons to break ground on 2nd Provo temple

April 5, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

The LDS Church will formally break ground next month on its project restoring the fire-gutted Provo Tabernacle and converting it into a Mormon temple.

Scott Trotter, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the groundbreaking ceremony will be May 12 at 9 a.m.

LDS apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, a former Brigham Young University president, will preside.


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Mormons working to overturn Md. marriage law

April 6, 2012

Chicago Phoenix

Members of the Mormon Church in Maryland are working to overturn the state’s recently passed marriage equality law, according to an email obtained by the Washington Blade.

In the message dated March 29 sent to D.C. and Southern Maryland-area church members, the writer states that a coalition of inter-denominational Maryland churches has joined to place a referendum before voters in November on the marriage law before it goes into effect.

“We need to collect approximately 200,000 signatures by the end of May,” the email states. “We are looking for people to gather signatures within the LDS community.”

LDS refers to the church’s formal name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those involved with the effort have told the Blade the message isn’t an official message from church leadership either at the local level or from its headquarters in Salt Lake City, but is rather part of a local ad hoc effort to challenge Maryland’s marriage law.


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BYU Students Release ‘It Gets Better’ Video

April 6, 2012

Q Salt Lake

Students at Brigham Young University filmed an ‘It Gets Better’ YouTube video and spoke out about the increasing understanding of homosexuals within the Mormon Church. Members of the Understanding Same-Gender Attraction Group talked about when they first realized they were gay and how others reacted to it.

“I looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘Andy, I think you might be gay,'” one of the featured speakers in the video said.

There are gay men, lesbians and a bisexual person featured in the video whose message is that even at BYU, it does get better. While current policies on campus ban all homosexual activity, it is no longer against honor code policy to be gay. Recent movements on the campus have brought an extended light to the existence of gays and lesbians on campus. There have been more support group meetings and panel discussions open to students.
There more than 1,500 LGBT students on campus, the video said.


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Brigham Young University’s Gay-Mormon Panel Draws Crowds, Questions

April 6, 2012


Tuesday night, an over-capacity crowd spilled out of a second-floor auditorium in Brigham Young University’s Martin Building, where four students were discussing their attraction to members of the same sex and the conflict that created with their Mormon faith.

It’s rare for the subject matter to even be broached at BYU. And as Trevor Rantley reports, the audience’s response was largely positive.


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Brigham Young University’s Gay Mormons Say “It Gets Better”

April 6, 2012


An LGBT group at Brigham Young University tell the world that “It Gets Better”–even for gay Mormons.

The video’s YouTube description explains the group:

Understanding Same-Gender Attraction) is an unofficial group of Brigham Young University students, faculty, and friends who wish to strengthen families and the BYU community by providing a place for open, respectful discussions on the topic of same-gender attraction. USGA is not an appropriate forum for angry, vulgar, or profane remarks of any kind, nor for expressions of antagonism against any person or organization. In order to foster an environment of respect and understanding, we ask all participants to be respectful of BYU, the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints (Mormon), and the beliefs and experiences of others.


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Gay Mormon Students From Brigham Young University Produce ‘It Gets Better’ Video

April 6, 2012

Huffington Post

In what has been described as a “groundbreaking” move by some in the LGBT blogosphere, a group of gay Mormon students from Brigham Young University (BYU) have produced a stunningly poignant “It Gets Better” video on the heels of a campus forum on homosexuality.

Based in Provo, Utah, the university is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. An estimated 98 percent of the student body are practicing Mormons, and all are required to follow an honor code, which includes adherence to dress and grooming standards and abstinence from extramarital sex, among other restrictions.


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“It Gets Better” at Brigham Young University

April 6, 2012

After Elton

Coming on the heels of a very popular public forum at Brigham Young University (“Everything You Ever Wanted Know About Homosexuality – But Were Afraid to Ask”), gay students at the country’s largest Mormon campus have just released a beautifully produced “It Gets Better” video which features clean cut students struggling with how to square their same sex attraction with their religious beliefs and family expectations.

The very fact that there are any students at BYU who will publicly identify as gay is pretty groundbreaking. It was only a few years ago that the school changed its Honor Code to allow LGBT students to enroll. And those that do enroll still have to strictly adhere to the Mormon faith, remain celibate and refrain from advocating homosexual behavior.


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Mormon Worship: Promises Made in Secret

April 6, 2012

Huffington Post

John Sweeney has just released a BBC-based exposé of Mormonism framed around Mitt Romney’s campaign for the US Republican presidential nomination. As part of his rather facile construction of Mormonism as a “cult” (a silly and mostly semantically null word the journalist has borrowed from Evangelical extremists), Sweeney emphasized certain rather striking oaths of secrecy that were once elements of Mormon temple worship.

Mormon temple worship has proved difficult for the LDS Church in its interactions with outsiders since the origins of temple liturgy in the early nineteenth century. The temple and its special pledges figured prominently in the controversy over the seating of Senator Reed Smoot in 1903-1907. The Mormon temple and its associated secrecy are controversial and often misunderstood. Mormon temple liturgy is fundamentally based on the idea that certain special acts should be shared only within a particular community and only in a specially consecrated space (notions that Mormon founder Joseph Smith modeled in part on ancient Jewish temple liturgy). Protecting that space and community — in large part by specifically honoring commitment to God and church community — was important to the development of the Mormon people over time.


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Romney faces question about Mormon faith

April 6, 2012

Newton Daily News (Iowa)

A Ron Paul supporter, 28-year-old Bret Hatch, asked Romney whether he agreed with a passage from the Book of Mormon that describes a cursing of people with a “skin of blackness.” Romney’s staff took away the microphone before the Green Bay man could read the passage.

“I’m sorry, we’re just not going to have a discussion about religion in my view, but if you have a question I’ll be happy to answer your question,” Romney said Monday.

Hatch then asked whether Romney thought it was a sin for interracial couples to have children.

“No. Next question,” Romney responded curtly.


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Inside Politics: Democrats defend Obama after Hatch comment

April 5, 2012

Washington Times (Washington DC)

Democratic leaders on Wednesday dismissed Republican Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s warning to supporters that Democrats might attack the Mormon faith of Mitt Romney during the presidential campaign.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, described that suggestion as “preposterous” and “utter nonsense.” During an interview with MSNBC, she said the party wouldn’t stoop to the same levels as Republicans.


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DNC: Obama Won’t Make Romney’s Mormon Faith an Election Issue

April 5, 2012

Boulder Weekly (Colorado)

The suggestion that President Obama’s reelection team will try to use Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith against him is “utter nonsense,” the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee said this week.

“That is just preposterous,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday when asked about recent comments from Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Mormon himself, who suggested Tuesday that the president’s reelection team is “going to throw the Mormon church at [Romney] like you can’t believe.”


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Wasserman Schultz: Mormon attack accusation ‘nonsense’

April 5, 2012

Washington Post

“That suggestion is utter nonsense. Let’s remember that President Obama has had so many things hurled at him – birth certificate questions, whether he is or is not a Christian. For them to suggest that religion will be injected [into the election] by President Obama and the Democratic Party, I mean, I think they need to take a look inward at the accusations that [the Republican] party and their supporters have hurled before they take that step.”

-Debbie Wasserman Schultz responds to Orrin Hatch’s speculation of potential general-election attacks by liberals on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism.


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April 6, 2012

Think Progress

Members of the Mormon church are leading efforts to place a marriage equality referendum on the ballot in Maryland, according to an e-mail obtained by the Washington Blade. The e-mail states that several Maryland churches are working to gather signatures, and that 200,000 need to be collected by May, even though just over 55,000 signatures are needed for the referendum to reach the ballot. Two members of the Mormon community in Maryland are listed as organizers in the e-mail, which calls for more people to gather signatures “within the LDS community,” referring to the church’s formal name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. An LDS spokesman said that the church is not involved in the effort. The Mormon Church was one of the primary backers of California’s Proposition 8 amendment, which prohibited same-sex marriage in the state.


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Is It A Religion

April 6, 2012

Right Side News

Here is my understanding of Mormons and the Mormon religion: I know there are items about their faith that appear odd to me as an outsider, and I know they have distanced themselves from practices common early in their religion. I must admit that my understanding of the religion is scant; let me explain why. I have been impressed with every Mormon I have ever met and found no reason to explore their idea of Christian worship any further.

The Mormons in my life were focused on family and community. Their actions and examples of service were enough to convince me that they were profoundly Christian in their behavior. What else did I need to know? It was not necessary for me to explore details of their religion to know that they exemplified the ideals of Christ and community.


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Harry Reid’s dilemma

April 6, 2012

American Thinker

Left unmentioned by O’Donnell was that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is also a Mormon. Which creates a serious dilemma for Reid. MSNBC might as well be called MSDNC, so slavishly is it devoted to promoting the Democratic Party and its positions. Prominent Democrats frequently appear on the network.

Does Harry accept this kind of hate directed at his church with no comment? Does he think it is OK for Democrats to appear on the network absent the firing of O’Donnell for his shameless attack on a religion practiced by millions of Americans?

O’Donnell would never have the guts to make a similar criticism of the founder of Islam, of course, the religion of President Obama’s father’s lineage. Latter Day Saints do not go about beheading people who insult their founder.


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Obama, Mormons and the battle for America’s soul

April 6, 2012

Belfast Telegraph (Ireland)

If we assume for the sake of argument and fun that the souls of the dead linger on in conscious afterlife, we can assume, too, that Barack’s mum, evidently a feisty woman of independent spirit, will not have rejected the offer of Mormon salvation out of hand. She will have wanted to think about it.

In which case, it may be that the November election is set to become the ultimate terror of Tea Party types – a straight fight for the soul of America between a Mormon and the Muslim son of a Mormon. Confirmation that the man from Massachusetts will be in the field came on Tuesday when he hit the hapless ProtestantRick Santorum with a triple whammy in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington DC.


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New Mormon temple prepares for opening

April 5, 2012

KCTV (Missouri)

The public can now tour the new Mormon temple in the Northland.

The surrounding temple soars over the area at Interstate 425 near Shoal Creek. The temple is expected to serve about 45,000 church members from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. It covers 32,000 square feet over eight acres.

Before now, the closest temples were Omaha and St. Louis. Some Mormons traveled to Denver or Chicago for services.


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Family Ties To Marriott Heirs Pay Off For Romney

April 5, 2012

WBUR (Massachusetts)

The candidate’s father, George, and J. Williard Marriott were good friends — so much so that Mitt Romney’s given name is Willard. Romney served twice on the Marriott board. And there is their shared Mormon faith.

“The growth of Republican support among Mormons really took off in the late ’70s thru the ’80s when the Republican Party adopted its social conservative positions on abortion and gay marriage and women’s rights and that’s where you really saw the cementing of this relationship among Mormons and Republicans,” says David Campbell, who teaches religion and politics at the University of Notre Dame.


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Decoding the Romney vote: how wealth, religion and education factor in

April 6, 2012

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

The Arizona and Nevada elections both had a high percentage of Mormon voters taking part. Mormons made up 14% of the electorate in Arizona and 25% in Nevada, and they went 9.5 or 9 to 1 for Romney in each state respectively. Other states with high percentage of Mormon and very conservative voters, but no exit poll to confirm exactly how many (such as Alaska, Idaho, and Wyoming) also went for Romney.

Mormons are typically among the most reliably social conservative voters in the nation. They are believed to help tip the vote for Proposition 8 in favor of banning gay marriage in California. The only state where they make up a majority of voters (Utah) is tied with the third most Mormon state (Wyoming) for being the most Republican state in the nation. Yet Romney, who was pro-choice and was going to be a greater advocate for gay rights, prospered in these states this primary season.

I tend to doubt that Romney would be performing well in these states if he too were not a Mormon. Like Barack Obama’s strong African American support and Hillary Clinton’s strong women backing in the 2008 Democratic primary, Mormons take pride in voting for a member of their community. There’s nothing wrong with doing so, and it helps to explain why Romney’s doing so well in a socially conservative region.


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Keith McMullin named CEO of Deseret Management Corporation, a for-profit arm of the LDS Church

April 5, 2012

The Republic (Indiana)

The corporation that oversees many businesses for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a new chief operating officer.

The Deseret News reports Thursday (http://bit.ly/HhyAig ) that Keith McMullin is being appointed as CEO of the Deseret Management Corporation, a for-profit arm of the Mormon Church.

McMullin previously served as a member of the corporation’s board of directors. He also was the second counselor in the church’s presiding bishopric. It oversees worldwide humanitarian efforts as well as business operations such as the development of the City Creek shopping mall.


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LDS Church Releases Easter Video: “He Is Risen”

April 6, 2012

KCSG (Utah)

To commemorate Easter, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has released a new Bible video portraying the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – “He Is Risen”.

The video incorporates the days leading up to the Savior’s Resurrection and includes segments of the recently released Bible videos “Triumphal Entry”, “The Last Supper”, “The Intercessory Prayer”, “Christ in Gethsemane”, “Peter’s Denial”, “The Savior’s Trial before Pilate”, “The Scourging and Crucifixion”, “The Laying of the Lord’s Body in the Tomb” and “The Savior’s Resurrection”.

President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, said the short videos follow faithfully the scriptural account of Jesus Christ’s life from the King James Version of the Bible.


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Michael W. Draper

April 5, 2012

Mormon Scholars Testify

Throughout this time I also developed a great love for and a deep interest in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have served in my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in numerous positions, including missionary, teacher, elder and bishop, and some of the most glorious times of my life have been with my family as we have been involved in all aspects of this religious service.

I remember hearing quite frequently about the “great debate” or the “conflict” between science and religion, but I never understood it. For me, the more I learned in my scientific studies, the more I appreciated my religious beliefs. The deeper I became immersed in my religion, the more I appreciated the wonders of science and their true perspective in life. I became convinced that the “conflict” arose either because the person involved in the conflict did not properly understand science or because he/she did not truly understand the glorious truths of religion as I understood them–or, most frequently, had both problems. Throughout my subsequent career, I have never found conflict between my scientific knowledge and my religious beliefs. My experience has fortified my conviction that the principles of my religious beliefs, and the proper understanding of our current scientific knowledge, are all a part of the great body of truth with
which we live here on earth, and which continually governs our lives.


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Mormon FAIR-Cast 82: Evidences for the Book of Mormon

April 4, 2012


In 2005, a film was released titled: “The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon”. Produced by an evangelical Christian ministry, the primary purpose of the film was to present arguments against the authenticity of The Book of Mormon, a text sacred to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the LDS Church believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon are authentic ancient scriptures revealed by God to prophets, and join with other Christians in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


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