Found at Sistas in Zion, where hilarity never faileth.
I haven’t had time to listen to the entire thing, but from the first couple of songs, this promises to be the most hilarious thing since The Walter Hayes band wrote the “Mormon Rap.”
**Reader Advisory: Language on this recording may not be appropriate for all listeners.
For the more delicate listener, who still has a sense of humor about Mormonism, I highly recommend the individual songs, “Hello,” “Two by Two” & “I Believe.”
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a Mormon missionary?
This episode of This American Life is so, SO dead-on. The second-to-last segment is about two missionaries in the Upper-West Side of Manhattan. “If Jerry Sienfeld converts to Mormonism, it will be because of these two missionaries.”
In other Mormon news… check out Agitating Faithfully… a statement of support for female priesthood in the Mormon church.
Below is the text of a talk given by one of my mom’s young women in her ward. I am not sure how this girl escaped years in the YW program (she is 17) with these ideas in tact, but she has got some pretty fantastic parents (and a great YW leader).
She gives me hope.
Also, if you are at all involved in the Bloggernacle, you surely have heard this already, but I did not know that one of the most significant edits to Elder Packer’s last General Conference talk was not only the part about “why would God do that” to gay people, but also (strikeout is what was actually said in his address & the bold is what is printed in the official version):
Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church.
It qualifies according to the definition as a revelation and would do well that members of the church to read and follow it.It is a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and to follow.
To LDS people the difference between “revelation” (aka cannon-like doctrine) and “a guide” is huge.
Personally, I think it’s a bad guide. But, that’s better than bad revelation, I suppose.
LDS doctrine is so sticky. There is really no way to tell what is/is not conclusively “doctrine” these days. But, I thought that was interesting quite shocking.
Can one righteous young woman change the world?
A talk by a Laurel in the Sherwood Hills Ward, Provo, UT
According to the United Nations Development Programme, women work
two‐thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half of the world’s food, but earn
only 10% of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property. On
average, women earn less than half of what men earn for the same job.
Women make up half of the world’s population and yet represent a
staggering 70% of the world’s poor, according to Emily F. Oster of the University of
Chicago in her 2005 report at the National Bureau of Economic Research. According
to the World Bank’s 2008 revision on poverty estimates, half of the world’s
population live on less than $2.50 per day, which is less than $900 per year. This
would suggest 70% of women, and 30% of men, live in this kind of extreme
Moreover, if a baby girl is born into poverty, she is often abandoned and left
to die, through the practice of female “gendercide”. Because of this, there are at least
100 million “missing baby girls” worldwide – young women that should be alive
today, according to a cover story from The Economist last March. Professor Valerie
Hudson at BYU suggests the resulting gender imbalance poses one of the largest
threats to international security today. Apparently, the way a country treats its
women and girls is the strongest predictor of the country’s tendencies to violent
action against its neighbors. In such regions, many more women then continue to
suffer in the resulting wars.
The Center for Reproductive Rights says that more than half a million women
die in childbirth every year. This means that a young woman dies roughly every
minute in giving birth. And for every one of those women, there are 30 more who
suffer from preventable pregnancy‐related infections, injuries or disabilities. So, by
the time I finish talking, 10 women will have died in childbirth, and 300 women will
be suffering from fully preventable problems related to their pregnancies. 99% of
these women live in developing countries.
I was asked to speak on the topic, “Can one righteous young woman change
the world.” The data would suggest that, for the overwhelming majority of women,
the answer to this question is: No. Many are lucky to survive; a number are slaves—
even in this day and age; and most live in very meager circumstances, focused on
just getting by, day to day. Is this just coincidence? Do women just have really bad
Throughout history, women have been systematically targeted. Not only in
terms of poverty, inequality, abuse, and inequity, but also in terms of trying to
control how women think, such as telling women that to be worthwhile they need to
conform to certain looks or fashions or ideas in this or that magazine. I believe that
we are under attack, and this war against women has been raging since the
beginning of time.
The restored gospel sheds light on why this may be. Until Joseph Smith
revealed the true nature of things, the female aspect of divinity was missing from
Christianity; we are the only Christian faith that speaks of a Mother in Heaven. This
doctrine continues to be a sticking point for other Christian faiths fully embracing us
as Christian, and yet there it is: popular or not, we believe that Heavenly Father —
and Jesus, for that matter — are married. We understand that women are full
partners with men. It is actually a shock to the rest of Christianity that the restored
gospel teaches that a man cannot go to Heaven without a woman; that, in fact,
women and men are absolutely necessary for each other’s divine progression and
are spiritual equals. Indeed, the Proclamation to the Family reads, “… fathers and
mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
Nevertheless, before the restoration this plain and precious truth about the
divine nature of women was hidden from the world. Women instead were
something of a curiosity—necessary for baring children, but otherwise distracting at
best and down right dangerous at worst—a necessary evil, it would seem. This
environment was the ideal setting for Satan to launch a full scale, strategic assault
against women and their divine potential. And education is one of the key
battlegrounds in this eternal struggle.
Gordon B. Hinckley, in an interview with the London News Service in 1995,
said, “We put great emphasis on education. We have an interesting phenomenon in
the Church. A recent study showed that the more highly educated our people are,
the more active they are in the Church.” An educated woman has an impact that is
important not only on the individual level, but on the societal level as well. It seems
Satan knew this all along, whereas humankind is only now discovering the
differences a woman can make, if given the chance. Education enables women to
have a greater influence on reducing poverty within their communities, as in most
situations where women are responsible for providing food, health care, and
education for their families. Educating young women creates a mutually reinforcing
effect of multiple benefits, such as:
• Lowering maternal mortality rates; educated young women have
better access to health care and information.
• Lowering infant and child mortality rates; educated young women
are better able to care for their children.
• Lower likelihood of experiencing unwanted and high‐risk
pregnancies; educated young women have fewer children.
• Protecting against sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS
infection; educated young women practice safer sex and are more
likely to have opportunities to leave abusive situations.
• Increasing women’s labor force participation rates and earnings;
educated young women have better access to jobs.
• And finally, Creating intergenerational education benefits; educated
young women are more likely to send their children to school, which
reduces the likelihood of her children joining extremist
In spite of the incredible effect a girl’s education has, 50 million of the 72
million children currently not enrolled in primary school are girls, and two thirds of
the nearly 800 million adults who lack basic literacy skills are women, according to
Population Action International and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and
From my point of view, the fact that Satan has taken such great lengths to
smother women this way is a strong testament of the incredible potential and power
of women. Righteous women must be a truly serious threat or else we wouldn’t be
under such a sustained, never ending attack. I strongly believe in the divine
potential of each one of us as we continue to be close to God and stay righteous. In
1996, Gordon B. Hinckley stated that, “Under the gospel plan you are daughters [or
sons] of God. You are wonderful and you have within you the potential to do great
and marvelous and good things.”
I believe that, despite the statistics, a righteous young woman can make a
difference in the world; when given a chance, tremendous things happen. For
example, Abraham Lincoln once remarked that Harriet Beecher Stowe and her novel
Uncle Tom’s Cabin were a major factor behind the Civil War and eradication of
slavery in the United States. Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime minister
of Great Britain. Eva Peron campaigned tirelessly for both the poor and for the
extension of women’s rights in Argentina. Other majorly influential women include
Florence Nightingale, Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul, Marie Curie, Eleanor
Roosevelt, Hilary Clinton, Rosa Parks, and Emily Dickinson, among many others.
These incredible women were able to make extraordinary changes by standing up
for what they believed in. As we read in Timothy, let us “be examples of the
believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.”
I am so grateful be in a situation and to stand in a country where I have a
voice. I am grateful to live in a community where I feel that women are valued for all
facets of their divine natures. In our community, I feel that my ambitions are not
only taken seriously, but they are actual possibilities that I can realize through hard
work and sustained effort. I am incredibly grateful for the men and women who are
collaborating for youth worldwide to increase the quality of their lives so they can
grow, participate in their communities, contribute to the greater good and have
chances to change the world. I am thankful for people who trust women to make
inspired choices about developing each of their expertise in the ways she feels
prompted, both at home and in her profession. I am particularly thankful for
righteous young men who honor their priesthood, serve faithful missions, and
prepare to partner equally as homemakers and to be good husbands and fathers, all
while preparing for their own careers. I am grateful for my religion and the Church,
and the inspiration our prophets receive to guide young women on righteous paths.
I feel remarkably blessed that in spite of the incredible resistance in the world
around us, Heavenly Father is watching and protecting us as young women. With
His help, I believe each of us can make a difference.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Feel like listening to me rant for and hour?
You’re in luck!!!
Here’s my Mormon Stories Podcast.
This is a great source of interesting interviews of all kinds of people within Mormonism. It’s really worth a listen to the other interviews too!!
I posted this on the Mormon May Day blog too.. but just in case you don’t read that one (although you should b/c there are a bunch of great posts there):
Today I read a book by Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara, who was a Roman Catholic Archbishop in Brazil. He is famous for the above line, and for trying to fight the root causes of poverty.
The entire book, The Spiral of Violence, (more like a long pamphlet) is available in pdf form here.
Read it today.
He addresses the three types of violence that contribute to this spiral of violence:
He says: “the only true answer to violence is to have the courage to face the injustices which constitute violence No. 1 [poverty].”
“It is only through justice that a true and lasting peace will be achieved… Within his own religion, each person will discover the necessary impulse to give himself entirely to justice as a condition of peace.”
“Whatever your religion, try to demand that, instead of separating men, it helps to unite them…In the teachings of your faith, what are the principles, the directives which call for justice and peace?…Beyond the barriers let us unite! If existing minorities – and there are minorities within all…religions- can come together in Action for Justice and Peace, we shall have the right to hope.”
“Do you think you are alone? Look around you. Talk to your friends. Talk to people in your house, in your neighborhood, at your school, at your work, with your leisure companions…Leave no one indifferent around you. Provoke discussion. Your youth must force people to think and take up a position: let it be uncomfortable, like truth, demanding, like justice.”
“The time has come when each religion must rediscover, in its sacred texts, the truths capable of encouraging the human development of the outcasts of the modern world and of arousing the consciences of the rich…each religion must leave its own mark on the movement”
“We are hundreds of years behind, and all of us bear direct responsibility for the sin of omission.“
Check out a little somethin’ somethin’ Neil and I are helping our friend Jason organize.
Ever feel too afraid to speak your mind in church?
Ever feel like your testimony/thoughts/feelings would not be well recieved?
May 2, 2010 is our day to make our voices heard WITHIN Mormonism.
This article was forwarded on to me. It is one of the sweetest stories I have read in a long time. See the full article here at Meridian Magazine’s website (ldsmag.com)
Haiti: Returning to Church
Photography by Scot Facer Proctor
Maurine and Scot Proctor, Meridian’s editor and publisher, are currently in Haiti with 125 LDS medical, construction and translation volunteers from Utah.
Much of Haiti lies in rubble. Collapsed roofs lie at angles, smashed against the floor below them. Cinder blocks slant in heaps along the roads. Some streets in Port-au-Prince look like old pictures of bombed-out Berlin after World War II. It’s a horror, an apocalypse.
Yet, amidst a shoddy neighborhood stands a jewel, the Croix-des-Missions LDS church and sounding through the air is a hymn: How Firm a Foundation.
It is a particularly well-chosen song in a land whose physical foundations could not stand the earth’s tremors, but whose Latter-day Saints have proven to be remarkably resilient. They know that though all but a handful have lost their homes, their foundation is in the gospel of Jesus Christ and that is firm.
Attending the 3-hour church block on Sunday felt remarkably normal to us. There were the Saints dressed well, many in crisp, white shirts that looked newly ironed. The deacons wore their white shirts and ties as they reverently passed the sacrament.
How can this be? Without homes, they are living on the street in hastily-assembled, makeshift shelters on any flat land that is available. Their walls may be sheets hung over ropes or pieces of cardboard. Their beds are concrete or hard earth. Everything they owned-and that already wasn’t much-has been stripped from them by an initial quake that lasted about 45 seconds and after shocks that continued for days.
Haiti, right now and for the foreseeable future, is a land sleeping out. People fill the church’s courtyards at night-and instead of woe, they laugh and talk. They have shanties on the median strip between two lanes of riotous traffic.
We asked member after member, how can you be so beautifully groomed on Sunday, given your conditions? They answered that because most everyone is now living in the street, they are indeed dirty during the week, plagued by all the ills that befalls a newly-made street person, but, they added that though they had no water to drink, they had water good enough to wash their clothes.
So there they were singing about what really is their firm foundation and looking like any other LDS congregation across the world-except they are homeless.
Their Lessons and Talks
That is not all. Their lessons and talks were sophisticated and scripturally based, as if they had a library and computer at their fingertips to prepare instead of the side of the road.
The sacrament meeting began with strains of “Come, come ye Saints, no toil, nor labor fear, but with joy wend your way.” For most of us who come from other nations, we would be hard-pressed to find joy in impoverished and broken Haiti before the earthquake, let alone now, but they sang like they meant it, “Happy day, all is well.”
They prayed, “We are all thankful to be counted among the living. We are grateful to know of thy truth. There are many outside the walls of this church who do not have this truth to sustain them through the trials. We know we were kept alive because we have a mission to complete. Bless us all that we can be strong and take care of each other.”
We listened tearfully. The sacrament was passed and each of the seven children sitting on the row next to us took not a single piece of bread but a scoop each. They are hungry.
Then we heard a talk, a surprising, enriching talk from France Nathalie Desir-so beautifully done.
She told the audience:
“For some of the adversity we face, we can place the weight on our own shoulders because we are not obeying God’s laws. That adversity we can control, but there are some kinds of adversity we can’t control like the earthquake. We didn’t do anything to attract it. We all had friends and families who were killed. A lot of people are discouraged and have lost faith, but we as members of the Church now have a mission.
“We know why we have adversities. They are to make us stronger. We have the freedom to either let them overcome us or to make us strong. Just as we send little children to school, the Lord has sent us here for a school.
“Our big enemy is our pride that keeps us from loving our neighbour and obeying the commandments.Since January 12, we all have experienced sleeping outside. As I was lying in the courtyard looking up at the stars, I knew this was the time to manifest charity and mourn with those who mourn, give food to those who need food.
“We have a certain joy, and the joy is knowing these things are temporary. The trials we are given on earth are for us, and the Lord knows everything we are going through and they are to augment our faith and bring us to God.”
Primary and Youth
The primary children at the ward were as happy, giggly and bright as any children in the world-maybe more so.
Their lesson was on the plan of salvation and the teacher talked to them-just as you’d think-about the premortal, mortal world, paradise and resurrection, complete with the traditional hand in the glove to describe what happens when we are born and when we die. You can see them here.
The lessons for the youth were very much like those for the adults.
We must be strong in this time of adversity. We must reach out with love to those who are discouraged.
Francy Saint-Preux, the High Priest group leader for the ward, said doing home teaching is ten times harder than it used to be because people are no longer in their homes and sleeping somewhere on the street, but after the quake they made every effort to assure that everyone was safe. Temporal needs are difficult to meet because they are so overwhelming and every priesthood leader is inundated. They’ll do anything to help, but there are some things they just can’t do.
Francy said, “The island is in disarray from top to bottom.”
He noted, “One of the first things I had to do as a leader in the high priests is to restore confidence in the members. I remind them that the important things are still intact. Your kids are safe. You have the gospel. I encourage people to focus on staying close to God.
“What we teach the members is the gospel,” he said. Our gospel is simple–pray, read your scriptures, pay your tithing and work. Do everything you can to work. Even the solution to a temporal problem is a spiritual one. Get back to the basics.”
Meet the Members
We are here in Haiti with 70 Haitian-speaking missionaries who are assisting in translating for medical teams and food delivery. At the airport before we left, we asked several of them why their loyalty and love for the Haitian people was so intense. Richard Clawson, a former missionary summed it up: “I met so many people in Haiti who are friendly and wonderful, but I also met a number of people in Haiti who I would aspire to be if I can. I met people who were role models to me.”
Watching them deal with this devastating crisis, you can see what he means. Meet some of the members:
Guerby Pierre is one of those exceptional people in Haiti who actually has a job. He is well-educated and has a job as an accountant with a billboard company. He tells what happened to him when the earthquake hit:
“The things I saw during the earthquake are forever engraved on my memory. You see things in disaster movies, but it is nothing like when it happens in real life, and I cannot ever forget it.
“I was inside at my work, working at my computer, at what seemed like a normal day. Then, all of a sudden with a roaring noise, it seemed like a giant beast had taken the building in his arms and was twisting and shaking it back and forth. My screen fell off my desk; bookshelves started falling, and I ran for the door, but could hardly keep my footing with the shaking. As I stood at the door, the wall I had been leaning against before completely collapsed.
“It is so different when you experience this in real life. People think of the great earthquakes in 3rd Nephi. People outside thought it was the Second Coming.
“My work is destroyed. That was my livelihood. I went to my house and it is completely gone, but I was able to go in and get the things that really mattered to me-my temple recommend, my passport, some clothes and my scriptures.”
He held up his battered scriptures at that moment, the gilt-edged pages long ago worn away, and we asked him, “Did that happen to your scriptures during the earthquake?”
He just smiled back and said, “No, I really love my scriptures and I use them all the time.”
The day before the earthquake a tune started wafting through Guerby’s mind. Again and again it came and stayed with him through the day. He realized that the words were “The Lord my pasture will prepare, and guard me with a shepherd’s care.”
He was so impressed with the message that returned again and again to him, that he wrote down the words to the hymn and sent them in a note to his sweetheart. The next day the meaning was still in his soul as his world was hurled apart, and he knew that no matter what happened, the Lord had already sent him a message of comfort.
Now, Guerby is sleeping outside in a tent every night. The way he looks at it is his first job is to take care of his friends and other members of the Church. Even if he doesn’t have a lot of money he can strengthen them. His second job as an accountant is gone, so he has more time for his first job.
Some things are really hard. It is hard to think that after working hard to become college-educated that he might be back to shining shoes to get enough money to live on. And it’s hard not to have a home. He misses the feeling of something comfortable and recognizable to come back to at night.
He’s holding on. He had saved a little money. He got some food and shoes from the bishop.
Each night as he lays under the stars, it reminds him of what is really important in life. He said, “In one sense I have nothing, but in another, I have everything because I have the gospel, and this earthquake has only augmented my testimony. My life is changed. The earthquake simplified it. Since the earthquake, I could all of a suddenly think clearly.”
Gone are certain things he thought were really important. Instead, he is hoping to find a way to take his best friend and sweetheart to the temple to be married.
“Life can be hard sometimes,” he says, “but it will be OK.”
Charles Marie Murielle
“When the earthquake happened, I was inside my house. I had just come from school because I am studying to be a nurse. There was a professor who was absent, so I came home early.
“I was just taking off my uniform when the earthquake started. I heard the noise and felt the earthquake and thought to myself, this is an earthquake.
“After it stopped, I found myself, I was yelling, but I had a strong feeling I shouldn’t leave my house. I should just stay there. I went to open my door to go out, and my door was blocked, I couldn’t open it.
“I said a sincere prayer. I told the Lord that I was not ready to die. I don’t have a family, yet, and I haven’t been to the temple. With a lot of strategy I was able to open the door by myself.
“Outside, everyone was crying and screaming out to God, ‘What is going on?’ The farther I got out, I saw that churches had fallen and people had been killed.
“My school which is four stories tall had collapsed and all the students and teachers had been killed. I would have been there if my teacher had not shown up.
“All communications were cut off. No radio. No telephone. No one knew what was going on. We were all trying to find an open space. We kept hearing instructions, “Don’t go inside. Don’t go inside.”
“From time to time the earth would shake again. I was continually scared. I was the only member of the Church nearby, and I felt like I was alone. People from other religions were making a lot of noise and were screaming. I found myself in silence because the Spirit told me exactly what to do. I knew it was not the end of the world.
“I prayed, ‘Give me strength so that I can hold on.’ I found the strength to help a few people who were injured. I found a lot of people who were in shock. The next day I met a brother from the church who came to my house to see if I was OK. He told me I needed to come to the church that all of the members were meeting there. That gave me strength.
We asked her what the future holds for her without money or a house or a school. She said she is determined to find a way to finish her nursing, but for now, she lives at the church and she’s scared to go back to her house. Maybe she will make cookies to sell.
Erick had just picked his son up from school and gone home when the house started hurling back and forth with roaring, pounding, confusing noises. A dresser hit the wall and whipped around and hit him in the eye. Then pieces of the roof began crashing down, and he ran into the other room to get his son.
They didn’t try to get out, as it was hard to stand, impossible to walk. They just started praying. He did not know it was an earthquake as he had never experienced anything so overwhelming before.
When they finally made their lurching way out of the house, he saw that all the houses around him were completely destroyed and his neighbors had been killed.
Now, he and his family are sleeping wherever they can find a spot at night, mostly in the road by their house. He’d like to come and sleep at the church, but his home is too far away.
He has no tent, but sleeps under some corrugated tin cover. Every morning he doesn’t know where to get food. He just waits day to day for help. Like most Haitians, he doesn’t have a job, and his wife just sells things in the street.
Among his slim possessions are a few Tylenol pills for when his back, hit by the dresser in the quake, hurts too much.
He says with some good cheer, “Everybody is praying. There is definitely a feeling of unity and my testimony has been strengthened. You drive through my neighbourhood and mine was the only house that is not completely destroyed.
What for the future? He sees no possibilities to rebuild a house. He has no money and can’t see where he could possibly get any.
The day of the earthquake, two of his children had just come home from school and were watching television. He was out in the front yard feeding the chickens, their main source of livelihood.
About 4:45, he started to feel the shaking movement. Immediately his children ran outside as the roaring, pitching earth got worse. As soon as they ran outside, the house collapsed.
They knelt down and, crying, said a prayer for his wife and other daughter, asking that they would be safe. They found her quickly for which he was grateful.
Now, he doesn’t know what he’s going to do. “God must have a plan for me,” he said, “and I’m just going to have to see what it is.”
The scriptures are his life and he loves to read.
A vibrant young man, he still hasn’t had a job for seven years, and the few chickens they had were crushed or scattered in the earthquake. For now, they are sleeping in their yard. They have no money to rebuild.
We couldn’t help ourselves in wanting to show the amazing light and joy in the faces of the Haitian Saints here in the Croix-des-Missions Ward in Port-au-Prince.
The bishop announced in the meeting that we would all gather after their sacrament meeting (sacrament was last) and have a group picture of the ward. He said he wanted all the children and youth and everyone to come. Some of the investigators who were there on this day asked if they should be a part of this picture. We said, “Of course you are a part of this!”
We then told our translators to instruct them to do something we learned from then President David Bednar at BYU-Idaho. We told them to hold up their scriptures high and let us see them.
We saw every variety of scriptures, manuals and hymnbooks go up into the air.
Many of the children wanted to gather for their own group picture.
Their faces captured it all.
This is a glimpse of the members of the Croix-des-Missions ward after the earthquake. It’s good they can sing “Happy day, all is well,” because like the handcart pioneers of old they have nothing but God’s help and the help of his children to see them through.
The news that the Church is going to elevate care for the poor up to one of its main missions.
I am excited & hope that the question of WHY people are poor does not escape the discussion. I vow to do my part to assure that it will not in my congregation.
Compassion for the elderly and infirm that has come to characterize Thomas S. Monson’s ministry soon will be embraced more fully by the worldwide church he leads.
The LDS Church is adding “to care for the poor and needy” to its longstanding “threefold mission,” which is to preach the LDS gospel, purify members’ lives and provide saving ordinances such as baptism to those who have died.
This mission first was coined by late LDS President Spencer W. Kimball in the 1980s and since then has been repeated as a mantra by the church’s more than 13 million members.
The new group of phrases will be described as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “purposes,” rather than missions, and will be spelled out in the next edition of the LDS Church Handbook of Instructions , due out next year, church spokesman Scott Trotter confirmed this week.
“Caring for the poor and needy,” Trotter said, “has always been a basic tenet of the [LDS] Church.”
Elevating it to one of the faith’s major purposes brings added emphasis.
“This is a dramatic move and very important message,” said Jan Shipps, an Indiana-based American religion historian who has spent decades studying the LDS Church. “It’s not that Mormons haven’t already been caring for the poor and needy with its humanitarian program. It’s just that this moves it to the top of their priorities, along with proselytizing and temple work.”
It tells Mormons to be
philanthropic in ways that go well beyond helping the faithful, Shipps said. “And it’s a move that tells the world that Mormonism is Christian more effectively than changing the logo to make the words ‘Jesus Christ’ stand out.”The church unveiled a new logo in December 1995 to stress the faith’s allegiance to Christ and to help answer critics who claimed Mormons were not Christians.
This latest move recognizes what people of faith already know — that helping the poor should be a priority, said Glenn Bailey, executive director of Crossroads Urban Center in Salt Lake City, who was delighted by the change.
“This can only be positive,” said Bailey, whose center focuses on the city’s destitute population. “It does make a difference when the LDS hierarchy indicates the importance of reaching out and serving people in the larger community. When they’ve done that before, people responded and reached out to their neighbors even more.”
It won’t likely change minds of any LDS state legislators or influence public policy, Bailey said, but with average Mormons it is “very, very helpful.”
The move was made public Saturday by Bishop Richard C. Edgley, a counselor in the LDS Presiding Bishopric, during an LDS stake conference in Holladay, according to David H. Sundwall, who was there and then blogged about it at asoftanswer.com.
“He said it was something they had been working on for a long time,” Sundwall said in an interview. “They finally got it approved.”
That could have something to do with the elevation of Monson in February 2008 as the LDS Church’s 16th president.
Throughout his decades of service to the church, Monson has led his church’s efforts to collaborate with the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City in providing food for the homeless.
“President Monson is a great humanitarian,” said Pamela Atkinson, a Salt Lake City advocate for the homeless. “In some of his talks I’ve heard or read, he emphasizes again and again reaching out to others — not just to members but to every single person in need.”
She sees the LDS Church’s new emphasis as a reflection of the way Monson has lived.
“Giving to and helping others is just a natural part of his life,” Atkinson said. “He is saying to every single member: ‘You, too, can do something to make a difference.’ I am thrilled.”
13. We believe in being above average, good at crafts, optimistic, and being fifteen minutes late everywhere we go. Indeed, we may say that we follow BYU football. We believe rumors about famous people joining the church, we hope to meet the three Nephites, we have endured many pyramid schemes, and hope to be able to endure all pyramid schemes. If there is anything cheap, free, sold in bulk, or given away when somebody is moving, we seek after these things.
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