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26 September 2014

Faith and Reason 22: The Axial Period

September 25, 2014

FairMormon Blog

The Book of Mormon opens with Lehi prophesying to the unrighteous people at Jerusalem in about 600 BC. Modern research has since demonstrated that the sixth century BC was a time of unusual change and excitement. Some scholars have referred to the general era as an “Axial Period” in world history because it was a pivotal point around which history turns. Some of history’s greatest changes were taking place among the people and Lehi and his followers were right in the center of it. This was unknown, of course, in Joseph Smith’s own day.

http://blog.fairmormon.org/2014/09/25/the-axial-period/

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LDS Church Raises Requirements for Mormon Seminary

September 26, 2014

ABC News

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is raising the bar for high school students enrolled in seminary, adding tests and reading requirements to a program that previously just required attendance.

Church-run seminary classes are geared toward students ages 14 to 18 and overview the Mormon scriptures in 50-minute, daily sessions typically held at a home or LDS meetinghouse in the mornings before regular high school classes begin.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/lds-church-raises-requirements-mormon-seminary-25784690

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New Mormon Conference Center exhibit features brave women

September 26, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

This much is certain: Women are becoming even more visible at the LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City — at least in the building’s artwork.

Eleven new paintings of brave women from the Bible are on display on the west side of the plaza level, according to a news release on the LDS Church’s website.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsfaithblog/58456683-180/women-lds-center-conference.html.csp

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Mormon musicians work to find their post-mission musical groove

September 26, 2014

Provo Daily Herald (Utah)

In Utah Valley, where a sizable portion of the music scene’s players are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Blosil’s struggle is a common one. While rules regarding musical involvement vary from mission to mission, all have policies restricting or forbidding the pursuit of secular music. Gaining an identity as a musician, setting it aside for a few years of missionary service, then returning to one’s old musical identity in Utah can be an existential dilemma. But these growing pains continue to influence Provo’s ever-shifting music scene. Given Utah Valley’s demographics, LDS missions won’t ever stop playing a major part.

http://www.heraldextra.com/entertainment/music/mormon-musicians-work-to-find-their-post-mission-musical-groove/article_f4f2d98f-717d-519d-abfa-5a7af3d8dd26.html

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Rochester woman going to Europe as Mormon missionary for a year

September 26, 2014

Albert Lea Tribune (Minnesota)

When the white envelope arrived at 19-year-old Amy Fleming’s house earlier this year, she was filled with excitement and fear.

The letter in that envelope detailed where the Rochester woman would be spending the next 18 months of her life and what language she would be speaking. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Fleming had decided to spend the next year and a half serving as a church missionary, following in the footsteps of her five older brothers.

http://www.albertleatribune.com/2014/09/rochester-woman-going-to-europe-as-mormon-missionary-for-a-year/

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RATIONAL TREASURE

September 26, 2014

Provo Daily Herald (Utah)

Treasure and artifact seeking. It’s an integral part of early Latter-day Saint history. LDS filmmakers have largely avoided the subject, though, in their movies about the early saints. Until now, that is.

“16 Stones,” a new movie by filmmaker Brian Brough, comes to theaters across Utah on Oct. 1. The movie follows a few young Latter-day Saints in the 1830s. One of them, Thomas, returns home after serving a mission in the Midwestern states. On his mission he met a Native American who claimed his ancestors came across the sea in eight “turtle boats.” The Native American’s story matched one from the Book of Mormon where a people journeyed on boats that were completely sealed up, and glowing stones gave the vessels light.

http://www.heraldextra.com/entertainment/movies/new-lds-adventure-stones-tackles-faith-versus-proof-issue/article_58b98291-fb77-5ce5-9d51-cca3c83a23f8.html

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BYU students plan to protest ban on beards

September 26, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

A Brigham Young University student is asking the Mormon church-owned school to shave off a piece of its honor code that he says is outdated.

Shane Pittson is petitioning school officials for the right to bear a beard.

“There’s this weird culture at BYU, where these guys that are slightly more progressive will grow big funky mustaches, because mustaches are allowed. But I’m like, what am I doing? I look a lot better with the beard,” the international relations and entrepreneurship student said in a telephone interview from campus Thursday night.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58458452-78/university-beards-beard-campus.html.csp

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Lisa Ling goes ‘in your face’ with CNN series

September 26, 2014

Orlando Sentinel (Florida)

The second hour of “This is Life” focuses on drug addiction in Utah. For the harrowing and poignant report, Ling talks to addicts and to a father who lost his son.

“I’m grateful people in the Mormon church were so candid,” Ling said. “I think there’s a perception that people in the Mormon church don’t like to be forthcoming about negative things in the church, but they shared so much because they know it’s an epidemic.”

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/tv/tv-guy/os-lisa-ling-cnn-series-sugaring-20140926-post.html

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LDS Church Raises Requirements for Seminary

September 26, 2014

Magic Valley Times-News (Idaho)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is raising the bar for high school students enrolled in seminary, adding tests and reading requirements to a program that previously just required attendance.

Church-run seminary classes are geared toward students ages 14 to 18 and overview the Mormon scriptures in 50-minute, daily sessions typically held at a home or LDS meetinghouse in the mornings before regular high school classes begin.

http://magicvalley.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/lds-church-raises-requirements-for-seminary/article_ce0013ba-45a1-11e4-b0ed-c70683977d9e.html

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If Jesus Never Existed, Religion May Be Fiction

September 25, 2014

Huffington Post

Mormonism fabricated in plain sight
We may not know for sure what happened two millennia ago but Mormonism was fabricated in plain sight by a convicted conman. According to Christopher Hitchens:

In March, 1826, a court in Bainbridge, New York, convicted a twenty-one-year-old man of being a “disorderly person and an impostor.” That ought to have been all we ever heard of Joseph Smith, who at trial admitted to defrauding citizens by organizing mad gold-digging expeditions and also to claiming to possess dark or “necromantic” powers.
Hitchens writes: “Quite recent scholarship has exposed every single other Mormon “document” as at best a scrawny compromise and at worst a pitiful fake” …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nigel-barber/if-jesus-never-existed-re_b_5883198.html

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