Mormon Church Announces Talks to 'Regularize' Operations in China

"The church deeply appreciates the courtesy of the Chinese leadership in opening up a way to better define how the church and its members can proceed with daily activities, all in harmony with Chinese law."

Although the Mormon Church does not proselytize in China, it is holding worship services there. Separate congregations exist for expatriates who are working and living in China, and Chinese nationals who returned to their homeland after converting to the LDS faith while living abroad.

Once the process of regularization is complete, the native Chinese congregations will gain greater leeway in holding public meetings.

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Dr. Jan Shipps Quote Regarding Joseph Smith

Dr. Jan Shipps, Indiana University:
This is the key to understanding Joseph Smith and to understanding Mormonism, I am convinced: It is the literalness, the experiencing the same things that are described in the scriptures. Mormonism takes the scriptures and brings them into life. Literally recapitulates the scriptures. Now, if you get that understanding of Joseph Smith's understanding of what was going on, then you begin to see that this could not have been just somebody making it up as he went along.

Quote About Joseph Smith

The New York Herald - April 3, 1842 observed:
"...Joseph Smith is undoubtedly one of the greatest characters of the age. He indicates as much talent, originality, and moral courage as Mahomet, Odin, or any of the great spirits that have hitherto produced the revolutions of past ages. In the present infidel, irreligious, material, ideal, geological, animal-magnetic age of the world, some such singular prophet as Joseph Smith is required to preserve the principle of faith, and to plant some new germs of civilization that may come to maturity in a thousand years. While modern philosophy, which believes in nothing but what you can touch, is overspreading the Atlantic States, Joseph Smith is creating a spiritual system, combined also with morals and industry, that may change the destiny of the race.

Quote About Joseph Smith

The New York Sun - September 1843 wrote about the Prophet Joseph Smith:
"It is no small thing, in the blaze of this nineteenth century, to give to men a new revelation, found a new religion, establish new forms of worship, to build a city, with new laws, institutions, and orders of architecture, to establish ecclesiastic, civil and military jurisdiction, found colleges, send out missionaries, and make proselytes in two hemispheres: yet all this has been done by Joseph Smith, and that against every sort of opposition, ridicule and persecution."

Quarterback Was Catalyst for Fan's Conversion

Jason Sheridan's conversion began something like this:

With the 40th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select John Beck, quarterback, Brigham Young University.

Sheridan didn't join the LDS Church just because his favorite football team drafted a Mormon. There were other factors — like BYU-TV, President Gordon B. Hinckley and the Book of Mormon.

But draft day 2007 was the catalyst.

"It all came down to Mr. Beck there," Sheridan said. "If the Dolphins hadn't drafted him ..."

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BYU Women's Rugby Team Forfeits Rather Than Playing on Sunday

They would have done it anyway. But it was easier for the BYU women's rugby team to walk away from a shot at a national championship knowing so many people were on their side.

In Sanford, Fla., this past weekend, the club team forfeited its second-round game against Penn State in the USA Rugby collegiate tournament because the organization mistakenly scheduled it to play on Sunday if it won Saturday. The 35 women — all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and BYU students — were crushed when they found out about the scheduling mishap the Monday before the competition. To play would mean breaking their Sabbath, though, and that simply wasn't an option.

Census Form for Mormons

I thought this was pretty funny.

1. _____________________ (Given name)

2. _____________________ (SURNAME)

3. Descendant of:
A. Brigham Young _____
B. Heber C. Kimball _____
C. Laman and Lemuel _____
D. Cain _____

4. Tribe of Israel : _____________________

5. Number of occupants residing in home in each category:
(Listed in chronological order)
A. Nursery _____
B. Junior Primary _____
C. Senior Primary _____
D. Young Women's _____
E. Young Men's _____
F. Relief Society _____
G. Elder _____
H. Dearly Departed _____
I. High Priest _____

6. Occupation [Please select all that apply.]:
A. Amway dealer _____
B. Shaklee dealer _____
C. Nonie juice dealer _____
D. NuSkin dealer _____
E. Melaleuca dealer _____

7. Automobile:
A. Station Wagon _____
B. Van _____
C. Suburban _____
D. School Bus _____
E. Double Decker _____
F. BMW (Big Mormon Wagon) ________

8. Favorite place to eat the night before Fast Sunday:
A. Chuck-A-Rama _____
B. Hometown Buffet _____
C. Golden Corral
D. Sumo Sam's All You Can Eat Feeding Trough _____

9. Favorite Hero:
A. Nephi _____
B. Abinadi _____
C. Samuel the Lamanite_____
D. Steve Young _____
E. Johnny Lingo _____

10. Which of the following do you bring to church [check all that apply.]:
A. Scriptures _____
B. Franklin Planner/ Daytimer _____
C. Pen/Pencil _____
D. Lifesavers/ Cheerios _____
E. Tic Tacs _____
F. Game Boy _____
G. Big Gulp _____
H. Cooler _____
I. I-pod _____
J. All of the above _____

11. Do you prepare your church lessons:
A. A month in advance _____
B. A week in advance _____
C. While in the bathtub _____
D. While on the toilet _____
E. During Sacrament Meeting _____
F. During the closing prayer of Sacrament Meeting _____
G. During the opening prayer of the class you're teaching _____
H. Just wing it [according to the promptings of the Spirit]

12. Do you think pews should be permanently equipped with drink holders?: yes___ no ___

13. How many years has your family sat in the same place for Sacrament Meeting:
A. 10-20 years _____
B. 20-30 years _____
C. 30-40 years _____
D. Over 3 generations _____

14. How much time does it take for you to fall asleep during a high council talk:
A. 1/100,000,000th of a second _____
B. 1/999,999,999th of a second _____
C. 1/999,999,998th of a second _____

15. Which day of the month do you go home/visiting teaching:
A. 31st ______
B. 31st ______
C. 31st ______
D. 31st ______

16. How many church basketball fights were you in last year:
A. 1-10 _____
B. 10-20 _____
C. 20-30 _____
D. You'll have to ask my lawyer _____

17. Which of the following has been your most effective Family Home Evening:
A. Arguing about getting along
B. Having an opening and closing prayer with dinner
C. Gathering around the television to watch, "Dancing with the Stars?"

18. How many times a year do you make:
A. Green Jell-O salad _____
B. Funeral potatoes _____
C. Cabbage and Top Ramen salad _____
D. Turkey, cashews and grape-stuffed croissants_____

19. How many water-filled two-liter bottles do you own:
A. 1-2 thousand _____
B. 2-3 thousand _____
C. 3-4 thousand _____
D. Enough to fill the Great Salt Lake _____

20. Which of the following do you feel is the most secure facility in the nation:
A. Alcatraz
B. Fort Knox
C. Ward Libraries

21. How many structural engineers do you hire annually to ensure you'll win the pinewood derby: _________

22. Keeping the Word of Wisdom in mind, how much of the following do you consume:
A. Chocolate:___ pounds daily X 365 days annually = ____
B. Cola: ____ gallons daily X 365 days annually = ____

23. If you had to choose between witnessing the Second Coming or attending a BYU/UofU football game, which would you choose?
A. Second Coming _____
B. Football game _____

AMEN ________________________________

40 Mormons Start 158 NFL Games

I thought this was a neat article, because I'm a bit of a sports nut.

Mormons accounted for 158 regular-season starts, 16 postseason games played and one Pro Bowl appearance during the 2009 National Football League season.

By year's end, 40 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were listed on NFL team rosters. One of them, Baltimore nose tackle Haloti Ngata, finally made the elite roster for the league's all-star exhibition.

"Last year, so many people had said that I would be going to the Pro Bowl and this and that, and I was kind of paying attention to what was going on around the league with guys in my position," Ngata told the Baltimore Sun. "I think I kind of worried about it too much and didn't end up going. This year, I was kind of like, 'If it happens, it happens.' And I ended up going. Now I'm way excited and happy to get picked."

Ngata finished the regular season with 35 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He also recorded a sack during the Ravens' playoff run.

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New Temple Announced in Payson, Utah

LDS Church Sends Humanitarian Aid to Haiti

Nate Leishman, manager of the Church’s humanitarian emergency response efforts describes aid being sent.


Journalistic Integrity and the Compartmentalization of Ethics


SALT LAKE CITY 17 November 2009

An informed citizenry, it is often said, is the bulwark of democracy. The basic principles of journalistic integrity – objectivity in reporting, detachment from personal bias, and disinterested duty to the truth – are essential in facilitating public trust and civil discourse. All individuals and institutions, including churches, share an interest in contributing to these worthy goals.

The advent of social media has changed the way people gather, consume and analyze information. Blogs, Twitter and Facebook, for example, are expanding the channels for public participation in receiving and sharing information. Likewise, these platforms are becoming important tools for media organizations to interact with their audiences. Old, comfortable lines are being blurred. The new values of openness and authenticity are often seen as colliding with the traditional values of editorial oversight and authority. Private expression runs seamlessly into public expression. News organizations across the country are doing their best to adapt to changes as they develop. Nonetheless, these dynamics have not altered the fundamental ethical imperatives of journalism.

This duality between traditional media and new media has created a situation where journalists often report by day and blog by night. For example, a reporter can write an objective news story for an organization’s public website and then later add a personal slant about it on a blog, Facebook or Twitter. Though the perceived distance between personal and public writing might make sense to the reporter, the reader is often left confused. People still expect journalists to be impartial reporters of the facts. If objectivity is absent in one platform, it cannot be present in the other. Trust cannot thrive on contradiction. Nevertheless, these conflicts can be managed with proper rules and guidelines. Openness can co-exist with objectivity, but not with open bias.

Among news organizations grappling with these issues, National Public Radio has done a commendable job of establishing guidelines that promote journalistic ethics by delineating clear boundaries between the private and the public. In doing so, they inject a welcome dose of order into an often unwieldy world of conflicting information Excerpted below are NPR’s “commonsense rules” that can also apply to everyone in the field of journalism:

Information from your Facebook page, your blog entries, and your tweets - even if you intend them to be personal messages to your friends or family - can be easily circulated beyond your intended audience. This content, therefore, represents you and NPR to the outside world as much as a radio story or story for does.

Recognize that everything you write or receive on a social media site is public. Anyone with access to the web can get access to your activity on social media sites. And regardless of how careful you are in trying to keep them separate, in your online activity, your professional life and your personal life overlap.

You should conduct yourself in social media forums with an eye to how your behavior or comments might appear if we were called upon to defend them as a news organization. In other words, don't behave any differently online than you would in any other public setting.
You must not advocate for political or other polarizing issues online. This extends to joining online groups or using social media in any form (including your Facebook page or a personal blog) to express personal views on a political or other controversial issue that you could not write for the air or post on

Furthermore, in an effort to ensure a respectful, reciprocal relationship between staff and readers and to promote more civil online participation, many news organizations are establishing guidelines to rein in contentious comments. For example, the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently issued a new commenting policy seeking to end bigoted comments, while at the same time urging its staff members to meaningfully engage with readers. Likewise, the Boston Globe has created a “member agreement” stipulating general rules for reader participation on its site: “You agree not to use language that abuses or discriminates on the basis of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual preference, age, region, disability, etc. Hate speech of any kind is grounds for immediate and permanent suspension of access to all or part of the Service.” Hopefully, such moves among respected news organizations such as these will be duplicated by media organizations concerned about the low levels of public trust and civil discourse.