Mormon

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Mormon Church Not Happy Utah Plans to Ban Conversion Therapy

LDS church wants pending state regulation on minors amended

(Newser) - A state regulation is pending in Utah that would prohibit psychologists from using gay conversion therapy on minors—and on Tuesday night, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement announcing its opposition to the ban. "We teach the right of individuals to self-determination and the... More »

Dad of Elizabeth Smart: I'm Gay, Getting Divorced

Ed Smart also says he's not finding 'solace' anymore in LDS church

(Newser) - Ed Smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart , posted a letter on Facebook Thursday that held some stunning revelations: He's gay, divorcing Elizabeth's mother, and "doesn't see a place for himself in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," per the Deseret News . Smart... More »

BYU Valedictorian Comes Out During Speech

'I'm proud to be a gay son of God,' he says

(Newser) - There were cheers and whoops from the crowd at Brigham Young University's commencement ceremony Friday as political science valedictorian Matt Easton came out as gay during his speech. After congratulating his classmates at the Mormon university, Easton said: "I stand before my family, friends, and graduating class today... More »

Brigham Young Students Protest Harsh Punishments

They want a more compassionate honor code

(Newser) - "God forgives me, why can't you?" chanted hundreds of students at a rare protest at the Mormon-owned Brigham Young University on Friday. The protesters were calling for changes to the school's famously strict honor code system, which bans beards, piercings, drinking coffee, and premarital sex, among other... More »

LDS Church Makes 'Surprise' Change on LGBT Issues

Mormon children of LGBT parents can be blessed, baptized

(Newser) - Children of LGBT parents may now be blessed as infants and then, later, baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church announced that and other changes Thursday to controversial church policies that were enacted in 2015, the Deseret News reports. Church leaders said at... More »

Mormon Missionaries Now Get More Than 2 Calls a Year

They had previously been allowed to phone home on Christmas and Mother's Day

(Newser) - Parents of Mormon missionaries will be able to hear their children's voices a lot more often under new rules announced Friday that allow the proselytizing youngsters to call home every week instead of only twice a year. The move is aimed at encouraging families to be more involved in... More »

Church President: Calling Us Mormon a 'Victory for Satan'

Russell M. Nelson is fighting a battle against the M word

(Newser) - The president of the Mormon church wants members, the media and others to use the faith's full name , saying nicknames are "a major victory for Satan." Addressing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' twice-yearly conference Sunday in Salt Lake City, Russell M. Nelson says the... More »

David Cross Will Perform at Utah School Despite Row

The comedian tweeted what appeared to be a joke about holy undergarments

(Newser) - The University of Utah says a tweet from comedian David Cross showing him wearing undergarments sacred to the Mormon faith was "deeply offensive" but the college won't consider calls for the cancellation of his performance on campus Wednesday. College president Ruth Watkins criticized the tweet in a statement... More »

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Don't Call Us Mormons

'LDS Church' is also now frowned upon

(Newser) - "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Tabernacle Choir" isn't a name that exactly rolls off the tongue, but the Mormon Tabernacle Choir might have to adopt it. Russell T. Nelson, the church's president, announced Thursday that it is launching a major campaign to have the... More »

Selfie-Taking US Missionary Dies in Cliff Fall

Photos show Gavin Zimmerman close to rock edge

(Newser) - Gavin Zimmerman promised to take lots of photos from a whale-watching lookout in Australia so he could share them with friends back home in Utah. He won’t get the chance. Before finding a cellphone with photos of Zimmerman close to a cliff edge, authorities pulled the lifeless body of... More »

After More Than a Century, Mormons Dump Boy Scouts

The complete severing will come at the end of 2019

(Newser) - The Mormon church said Tuesday it will sever all ties with the Boy Scouts of America at the end of 2019 and place its remaining 425,000 boys into a gospel-focused youth program it's developing. The move ends what USA Today calls a "long, symbiotic relationship," one... More »

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 »

Mormon-Owned BYU Ends 6-Decade Ban

Caffeinated soft drinks are now being sold on Brigham Young University campus

(Newser) - Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University ended a six-decade ban Thursday on the sale of caffeinated soft drinks on campus, surprising students by posting a picture of a can of Coca-Cola on Twitter and just two words: "It's happening." The move sparked social media celebrations from current and... 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 »

Leaders Push Mormons to Baptize Their Dead Ancestors

Practice is reportedly becoming more common

(Newser) - Mormon leaders reminded church members Saturday about the importance of performing ceremonial baptisms on dead ancestors who didn't receive the ordinance while alive. It's a practice unique to the faith that came under fire in the past from Jews when they discovered Holocaust victims, including Anne Frank , were... More »

Pregnant Mom Loses Husband, Two Kids in an Instant

Husband was flying their 2 kids home from a Phoenix wedding

(Newser) - A pregnant mother who learned last week that she is expecting a daughter is now going through the unimaginable: planning the funerals of her husband and older two children. Randall Wells, a Mormon bishop and experienced pilot, was flying his single-engine Cessna 172 home to Utah from a wedding in... More »

Mormons Planning Metropolis in Florida

Plan would convert church-owned ranch to a sprawling city by 2080

(Newser) - It is one of the largest ranches in the country, 20 times bigger than Manhattan and 10 times bigger than DisneyWorld, one hour away in central Florida. Now plans are underway to convert Deseret Ranch into a massive new city by 2080. The project proposed by the Mormon church, owners... More »

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