For the first time in the ten years the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been online, the official website has been updated. It now has a clean, modern look that offers far more information than the previous version.
Fans of the Choir can quickly find upcoming appearances at the top of the front page. This is followed by news highlighted in bright, colorful boxes—a history of the choir, a study on the impact of organ music, and information on choir auditions highlighted this section the day I visited the site.
Need a quick dose of Mormon Tabernacle Choir music? There are videos right on the website you can watch, including an entire televised special. Putting together a holiday wish list? The site offers a complete listing of products with links for sites that sell the music. You can listen to brief clips of each song on the albums. There is also a listing of places on which to find televised appearances.
A blog keeps fans up-to-date on new developments and offers fun insights into the unique choir and visitors can find out about other related programs, including the orchestra and the bell choir.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is popular with people around the world, regardless of faith. While some of their music is uniquely Mormon, others are of general religious origin and some are just fun or culturally popular tunes. Their concert tours consistently sell out and include a variety of musical styles that surprise many people. They also include impressive soloists, including the very popular Alex Boyé. (more…)
A new study by the Pew Research Center shows that Utah is still the place to go if you’re looking for Mormons. Just under 40 percent of the Mormons in the United States live there. If you can’t make it to Utah, almost anywhere in the west will do. Three-fourths of America’s Mormons live in the western United States.
Worldwide, there are more Mormons outside the United States than there are inside it. There are about 14.7 million Mormons in the world and approximately 6.3 million of them live in the United States. Membership in other countries is rising steadily—but then again, so is membership in the United States. The population is moving into other portions of the country as members move or are converted. (more…)
The three most powerful women in Mormon leadership came together recently to speak openly about their roles as leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes called Mormons. They spoke about what it means to be a Mormon woman, particularly one with great leadership responsibility, and about how they felt the Church treats female leaders.
Mormon Women Serve at all Levels in The Church of Jesus Christ
The women head up the Relief Society, which is the official organization for Mormon women, the Young Women’s program for teen girls, and the Primary, which is for children. Their positions, like all positions in the Church, are served without pay, but unlike most, are full-time for a number of years. These are not meant to be lifelong callings. Each woman has two counselors and a secretary to assist her. The president of the Young Women’s organization, Sister Dalton, has been released since the interview occurred. (more…)
Rev Wesley H. Hartley of Perth, Australia is both the mayor of Busselton, Australia and a Reverend in a Christian church. Church leaders in Australia contacted him to ask for assistance in figuring out how Mormons (a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) could become a more accepted part of the Christian community in the area. They focused particularly on humanitarian and service needs common to most Christian faiths.
He admitted that it was unlikely the local churches would shed their prejudices and misinformation, but he did feel they could become a greater part of the local community, given their history of community service. The Mormons invited him to visit Salt Lake City, Utah, the international headquarters of the Mormons, to see first-hand how the church worked, particularly in the areas of humanitarian relief. Meridian Magazine has an article by this Reverend detailing his visit and his impressions.
Read: Missionary Moment: Australian Reverend Visits LDS Church, by Mark Albright
He said of this visit, “What took place in the following five days can be described as nothing short of remarkable, in terms of the experiences encountered, love shared, and people of deep commitment and faith opened their hearts, their homes and their lifestyle.”
Rev. Hartley was particularly impressed by his visit to Welfare Square. Welfare Square is the hub of the humanitarian work done by the church. Foods and commodities needed to care for those who are suffering are produced and packaged there. Kits and supplies made by Mormon volunteers are also collected there. These kits include hygiene kits for people facing natural disasters or living in refugee or war situations. (more…)
One role of a Mormon bishop is to protect and help those in need. One bishop honored that role in an unexpected way when he defended a woman under attack with a samurai sword.
Kent Hendrix’s teenage son awakened him with the information that a woman was being assaulted outside their home. He sent his son to call police while he grabbed his samurai sword and headed outside. Others had also arrived to help, this being a largely Mormon community, but the sight of that sword startled and unnerved the attacker. The man raced for his car down the street. Those who had come to help chased him, but he escaped. However, Hendrix was able to get his driver’s license and also found a chap stick the man had dropped. He called out to the man that he had DNA and a license plate. This most likely encouraged the man to give up and he turned himself in later. He was arrested on burglary, robbery, and violation of stalking injunctions charges.
Hendrix is a fourth-degree black belt and collects the swords, which he uses for training. He reminds people he did not need to use the sword—he only showed it to the man. The element of surprise was the power behind the experience. (more…)