Utah Cities Top the List of “Very Religious” in the U.S.

Utah Cities Top the List of “Very Religious” in the U.S.

A recent Gallup poll named the Provo and Orem area of Utah the most religious metropolitan area in the United States.

In the poll, 77 percent of the residents in the area considered themselves “very religious,” which means they said they attend religious services every week or nearly every week and consider religion an important part of their daily living.

lds-church-dedicates-brigham-city-utah-templeThe large population of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—often mistakenly called the Mormon Church—that live in the area certainly influenced the ranking.

“‘We currently have about 90 percent Latter-day Saints in this area,’” said Richard Bennett, Associate Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University. “‘You have BYU here, with 32,000 students—most who go to church—and UVU, a public university with many who also attend church.’” (more…)

Mormon Church Leader Contributes to Immigration Debate

Mormon Church Leader Contributes to Immigration Debate

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the Mormon Church, was recently afforded a rare opportunity to weigh in on the issue of immigration with United States President Barack Obama, as he moves forward on his commitment to pass an immigration reform bill this year.

President Obama held an immigration meeting with 15 faith leaders from across the United States in the White House on March 8, 2013. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was one of the invited leaders.

Most of the leaders in attendance at the meeting endorsed President Obama’s proposals. President Uchtdorf said the proposals were “in harmony ‘with the values of our church.’”

Mormon ImmigrationMembers of the Church of Jesus Christ, often mistakenly called Mormons, who are in favor of President Obama’s plans to reform immigration were pleased with President Uchtdorf’s statements. Those Mormons who oppose Obama’s plan were not, and many voiced their opinions through Internet blogs. “Some were respectful of President Uchtdorf’s views, even as they maintained a different position, but others expressed anger with his statement,” noted Robert Bennett, a former U.S. Senator from Utah who browed the blogosphere “to see how this statement was received.” One Mormon wrote, “We were taught to respect the law—to uphold and sustain it—but this shows that the church no longer believes in that.” (more…)

LDS Church Awarded for Positive Portrayal of Disabilities

LDS Church Awarded for Positive Portrayal of Disabilities

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the Mormon Church, was honored recently with the 2013 American Association of People Disabilities (AAPD) Image Award.

The Church of Jesus Christ was recognized for the representations of members with disabilities in its “I’m a Mormon” campaign profiles on their website Mormon.org.

“AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello called the profiles ‘powerful,’ and said, ‘They tell the disability experience in a way that is real, no apologies, and it’s absolutely astounding.’”

Ron Wilson, senior manager of Mormon.org, accepted the award at the AAPD annual Leadership Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. and received a standing ovation from the audience.

“Mormons come from all paths of life, geographies, ethnicities, personal challenges, and abilities, but we are bound together by a common belief in Jesus Christ and a desire to follow His teachings,” Wilson said. “The goal of the campaign,” he said, “was to provide a glimpse into the lives of Mormons from all over the world, which naturally included members with disabilities.”

LOrin Nicholson MormonLorin Nicholson, for instance, is an Australian member of The Church of Jesus Christ. “He is married, has four children, works as a musician and motivational speaker and recently biked across Australia with his brother. He is also blind. When the Church asked if he’d be willing to share a bit of his life in a video profile for the Mormon.org website, he agreed, hoping his perspective would help others.” (more…)

Lone Peak Basketball Team Capture National Attention

Lone Peak Basketball Team Capture National Attention

A small-town Utah high school boys’ basketball team is making national news headlines in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Good Morning America, and NPR, to name a few. What makes them the center of national attention is more than their 26-1 season, their fifth class 5A state championship, and their top ranking in the nation.

The Lone Peak High School Knights basketball team, comprised of “long-armed teenagers who look only slightly more imposing than a chess club,” are from the small communities of Highland and Alpine, Utah—a “region not recognized for basketball prowess.” “Unlike many top high school teams that lure talented players from outside their immediate area,” Lone Peak’s team is pulled from a student body of about 2,300.

“We flunk the eyeball test,” says Coach Quincy Lewis. “We know we’re different whenever we walk into a gym. . . . We know we have something to prove because, honestly, the other teams don’t have a great deal of respect for us.”

“‘There was one team we played that was literally laughing when we were warming up,’ senior center Eric Mika said with a chuckle. ‘And we beat them by 50.’”

Lone Peak Basketball MormonLone Peak’s style is a “fearless, careening brand of basketball, built on 3-pointers, lobs and dunks, seemingly more suited for a playground than the movie ‘Hoosiers.’” (more…)

Importance of Marriage and Family Stressed in Recent Study

Importance of Marriage and Family Stressed in Recent Study

According to a recently released study, Utah has the highest rate of “family belonging” in the United States. The high ranking could be attributed in part to the dense population of Mormon families in the state. The study also found that it would be an “error of historical proportions” if a state neglected the importance of marriage and family intactness.

Mormon FamilyThe health of the family is a priority for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called Mormons. In 1995, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” a declaration detailing the eternal nature of the family and the responsibilities of family members. Mormon families strive to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in this proclamation, including one that applies to this study: “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” (more…)

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