According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Freedom of religion or Freedom of belief is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion.”
On the outset, Wikipedia’s definition appears to be an all-encompassing one that should be viewed as equitable by all concerned, as at its core, it basically states that all people are free to believe what they will, and worship, or not worship, as they so desire. If one were to review the First Amendment of the United States Constitution in hopes of finding a duplicate definition, however, he will find that somewhat different wording is used.
Religious Liberty and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Ross Douthat in his New York Times article titled Defining Religious Liberty Down notes: (more…)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church by the media and others) has witnessed a growth rate of 45% in its membership in the United States over the past decade. This increase is due largely in part to the growing number of its Spanish-speaking converts.
According to an article by Jack Rodolico on the Fronteras website titled Mormon Missionaries without Papers, the number of Spanish –speaking members of The Church of Jesus Christ has doubled since the year 2000. Rodolico goes on to point out that many of those Latino members do not have the proper legal documentation for being in the United States, which in turn causes problems for the LDS Church, and especially for those Latino members desiring to serve full-time missions. (more…)
Each year, 22 April is set aside as the day for the observance of Earth Day, a day on which people around the world through different events and venues demonstarte their support for environmental protection. Earth Day is celebrated in more than 192 countries, and is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. Individuals view the significance of this day, and celebrate the day in various ways. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to by the media and others as the Mormon Church), Earth day becomes another day to celebrate God’s magnificent creation.
History of Earth Day
The following information was obtained from Wikipedia.
The date of 22 April was officially designated as International Mother Earth Day by a consensus resolution in 2009 which was adopted by the United Nations.
The name and concept of Earth Day, however, is credited to John McConnell who pioneered the idea in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, California. He proposed that the 21 March 1970, the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere that year, to be designated as Earth Day. A month later another Earth Day, first held on 22 April 1970, was founded as an environmental teach-in by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson. Although the United States was the focus of this 22 April Earth Day, Denis Hayes, the original national coordinator in 1970, took it to an entirely different level. In 1990 the observance of Earth became an international event in 141 nations. (more…)
There are some people, including some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mistakenly referred to as the Mormon Church by the media and others), who perhaps feel that women should be more at the forefront in the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Latter-day Saints are taught and understand that everything that is associated with the LDS Church is under the authority of the Priesthood. That includes organizations and auxiliaries that are prominently placed under the care of the women such as Primary, Nursery, and the Relief Society. With that understanding, it is to also be understood that women are by no means subservient, or of lesser importance than the Priesthood. Both male and female members of the Church of Jesus Christ serve in vital capacities, and each is strengthened by the help of the other. There are, in fact, female leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, just as there are male leaders.
On 6 and 7 April 2013, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will conduct its 183rd Annual General Conference with speakers selected from the General Authorities and auxiliary leaders. Those speakers will include both men and women. As a general rule, it has been customary that one of the male leaders would give the invocation and the benediction for each session of the Conference. As of this writing, that may change with this General Conference as women may be invited to give both invocations and benedictions. For Mormons yearning to see women take on a more visible role in the LDS Church, this may well be an answer to their prayers. (more…)
Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February, and the United Kingdom in October. (Source: Wikipedia, Black History Month.)
The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week”. This week was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson created the holiday with the hope that it would eventually be eliminated when Black history became fundamental to American history. (Source: Wikipedia, Black History Month.)
In 1976, the federal government acknowledged the expansion of Black History Week to Black History Month by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University in February of 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month occurred at Kent State in February of 1970. Six years later during the bicentennial, the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was recognized by the U.S. government. (Source: Wikipedia, Black History Month.)
On 24 and 25 February 2013, more than 800 people participated in a two-day Black History Month celebration of the Miami Lakes Florida Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with such guests as Mormon recording artist Alex Boyé and author Marvin Perkins. Boyé, who is a member of the world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, emphasized Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and his performances included “Our Savior’s Love.” Perkins, guest speaker and co-author of “Blacks in the Scriptures,” gave a presentation of “Blacks in the Bible.” (more…)