Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Mormons Pick Former Surgeon, 93, as New Leader

Russell Nelson is appointed to top post in church

(Newser) - The Mormon church appointed a 93-year-old former heart surgeon Tuesday as its new president, following a longstanding succession plan that aims to keep the faith on course with a minimum of upheaval. The selection of Russell M. Nelson was announced by high-ranking Mormon D. Todd Christofferson during an address broadcast... More »

15th Man to Succeed Joseph Smith Has Died

Thomas Monson was LDS leader for almost a decade

(Newser) - The 15th man to succeed Joseph Smith as chief of the Mormon church has died. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says 90-year-old church president Thomas Monson died at his Salt Lake City home Tuesday evening, the AP reports. Monson—who was ordained as a bishop at the... More »

Ex-Mormon Borrows Password, Finds Improper Celeb Baptisms

Including Marilyn Monroe

(Newser) - Mormons are posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims, as well as grandparents of public figures like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Steven Spielberg, despite church rules intended to restrict the ceremonies to a member's ancestors, according to a researcher who has spent two decades monitoring the church's massive genealogical database.... More »

Mormons Excommunicate First Leader in Decades

This time, it wasn't for apostasy, church says

(Newser) - A Mormon church leader was removed from his post and kicked out of the religion Tuesday for the first time in nearly three decades. James J. Hamula was released from a mid-level leadership council based on disciplinary action by the religion's highest leaders, says Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for... More »

She Expressed Support for LGBT People—and Was Fired

Former BYU instructor Ruthie Robertson doesn't regret a thing

(Newser) - When Ruthie Robertson declared on Facebook that "homosexuality and transgenderism are not sins," the 22-year-old political science instructor at Brigham Young University-Idaho expected the feedback would be harsh. "But it never crossed my mind that I would lose my job," she tells the Idaho State Journal ... More »

Singer Quits Mormon Tabernacle Choir Over Trump Performance

She makes her resignation letter public

(Newser) - It's not only the Rockettes who were upset to learn they'd be performing for the 45th US president. Thousands of people have signed a petition asking the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to rescind its acceptance of an invitation to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration next month, and now... More »

Warren Jeffs' Brother Literally Slips From FBI's Grasp

Thanks to ... olive oil?

(Newser) - The brother of jailed polygamous Mormon sect leader Warren Jeffs is on the run from the FBI after using "some sort of lubrication, possibly olive oil," to wriggle out of his ankle monitor, say police. Lyle Jeffs, one of 11 leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ... More »

Utah Missionaries, US Air Force Family Injured in Brussels

Details are developing

(Newser) - Among those hurt in the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday: three Mormon missionaries from Utah and an Air Force officer and his family. Richard Norby, 66, Joseph Empey, 20, and Mason Wells, 19, were injured in the explosion at Brussels airport, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints... More »

Hundreds of Mormons Quit Over New Anti-Gay Policy

Church blocks kids of same-sex couples

(Newser) - At least 1,500 Mormons have resigned from the Church of Latter-day Saints over a new policy targeting same-sex couples and their kids. New guidelines state Mormons in same-sex relationships must face disciplinary councils and possible excommunication, while their "natural or adopted" children can't be baptized until they... More »

Mormon Rule Changes Target Gay Couples, Kids

Children of same-sex couples will have to disavow their parents to get baptized

(Newser) - Gay and lesbian Mormons and their supporters are reeling over a rule change by church officials that says members in same-sex marriages can be kicked out and their children are to be barred from being baptized unless they disavow homosexual relationships. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disseminated... More »

Mormon Church Reveals Its 'Seer Stone'

Church says it was used to translate sacred text

(Newser) - To most people, it just looks like a smooth, egg-sized rock, but it was part of the founding of the Mormon church and photos of it have now been published for the first time. The images of the "seer stone" that Mormons believe founder Joseph Smith used to translate... More »

Mormons Back LGBT Rights, but There's a Catch

Church thinks religious groups' beliefs should be protected

(Newser) - In what the Salt Lake Tribune calls a "major move," leaders of the Mormon church today declared that gays and lesbians across the country deserve better protection from discrimination when it comes to jobs and housing. But the church added a caveat that amounts to what CNN calls... More »

Why One Church Works Entirely by Phone

LDS members in rural Alaska prefer to call

(Newser) - Rural Alaskans who'd like to attend church without navigating miles of frozen road have found a workaround: the telephone. An Alaskan branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is devoted entirely to members who call in, the Alaska Dispatch News reports. "It's what you... More »

Mormon Church Admits Founder Had Up to 40 Wives

Joseph Smith took his additional wives reluctantly, per a church essay

(Newser) - The Mormon church's big revelations didn't stop with its sacred undergarments : In an online essay titled "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo," the church for the first time declares that founder Joseph Smith was a polygamist, with a footnote stating that "careful estimates" put his... More »

Mormons Explain Their Sacred Undergarments

An LDS Church video makes plain: They are not 'magic underwear'

(Newser) - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to clear something up: The "temple garment" that devout adult Mormons wear is not "magic underwear." As a rep for the LDS Church puts it, "Because there is little or no accurate information on this subject on... More »

Mormons Expel 'Ordain Women' Founder

Kate Kelly excommunicated until she shows 'true repentance'

(Newser) - Mormon leaders have made good on their threat to inflict the church's harshest punishment on an activist who wanted women to become priests. Kate Kelly, a founder of the Ordain Women group, was found guilty of apostasy and excommunicated by church elders who found her guilty of launching an... More »

UK Judge to Mormon Leader: Defend Your Religion in Court

But it's unlikely Thomas Monson will have to do that

(Newser) - A former Mormon in Britain thinks his old religion is a fraud, and he thinks its leader should be held accountable. In a surprising twist, he's managed to convince a judge that he's got a legitimate beef, reports the Arizona Republic . The magistrate has ordered Mormon President Thomas... More »

Mormons Finally Explain Old Ban on Black Priests

Church officially disavows racist policy

(Newser) - Brigham Young is to blame for this one. The second president of the Mormon church decreed in 1852 that black men could not be priests, subscribing to a belief of the time that people of African descent were somehow spiritually inferior to white people, reports the Salt Lake Tribune . The... More »

Mormon Women Protest All-Male Priesthood

But study shows majority of LDS women oppose female ordination

(Newser) - Some 130 women gathered outside the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City yesterday, after being rejected from a meeting for the faith's all-male priesthood, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The women, members of the Ordain Women movement in the LDS Church, tried to buy tickets to the event, but... More »

Utah Train Wreck Survivor Has Cheated Death Twice

Stephen Ward nearly died while undergoing a bone marrow transplant 4 years ago

(Newser) - Seconds before the Spanish train he was aboard lifted off the tracks "like a roller coaster," Mormon missionary Stephen Ward said he glanced up from the journal he was writing in and noticed a backpack tumble from a rack. Moments later, the 18-year-old from Bountiful, Utah, blacked out... More »

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