Languages like ancient Greek and Latin are dead, right? No one actually speaks them anymore. That may be true, but in the world of academia, the study of those languages is alive and well. Humanities students of Brigham Young University, an institution owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a faith often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church), have taken the study of classic languages seriously and have made an impression in national competitions.
BYU Students Rank Highly in Competition
In the National College Greek Exam, six BYU students ranked in the top 20 of contestants. BYU has always brought impressive competitors, and this year those students raised the bar even further. The National College Greek Exam is a test of 40 questions that students have 50 minutes to answer. Questions cover Greek grammar and translation. Two BYU students tied for second place, and four others placed in the top 20. (more…)
A CNN article in July of 2013 explored the reasons why Millennials—the young adult generation who came of age in the decade of the 2000s—are leaving their churches. Rachel Held Evans’ article sparked an instant reaction in other news organizations and the blogosphere in general, with experts, scholars, and “Average Joes” chiming in with their two cents on whether or not Evans was right. In response, the Salt Lake City-based Deseret News ran a blog post from Sarah Shumway titled “Why I’m Staying: Replying to CNN’s ‘Why Millennials are Leaving the Church’.” In her article, Shumway listed five reasons why she believes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (often inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon Church”), isn’t losing its young adults. Her reasons are as follows:
We are taught to view our fellow members as our brothers and sisters.
We are asked to participate in a given capacity to help the congregation. [This refers to The Church of Jesus Christ’s practice to give members “callings” or assignments to help keep the local congregation running.]
Having an unpaid clergy, our church leaders are refreshingly sincere. [Shumway also included a caveat affirming that she was in no way slighting the paid members of other faiths’ clergy, who are also sincere in their efforts to help others.]
We are taught to ask questions.
Our doctrine is not a laundry list of what we can and cannot do.
Shumway elaborated on each point, explaining why she believes The Church of Jesus Christ is retaining more of its young adult membership than other religions are. Shumway believes that The Church of Jesus Christ is doing what Evans’ article asks churches to do: extend more substance to Millennials rather than just more modern services and buildings; encourage them to ask questions; ask for their feedback; strive for political neutrality; and show them a place where they can find the Savior Jesus Christ.
As a member of both The Church of Jesus Christ and the Millennial generation, I agree with both Evans and Shumway. Studies conducted by the Pew Research center,universities, and other agencies have increasingly shown that Millennials are leaving the church. These studies also provide insight into the all-important question Evans attempts to answer: “why are they leaving?” I also agree with Shumway that The Church of Jesus Christ offers what many Millennials are seeking in religion: a firm foundation on the gospel of Jesus Christ, a culture that encourages questions, and a place where they can, ideally, find acceptance. (more…)
I love being a Mormon woman! I have found unlimited opportunities to learn, grow, and express myself as a woman in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently called the Mormon Church)
Following are some of my favorite places where God has enabled me to see my value as a woman, specifically as His daughter.
1. The World
This planet is an amazing gift from a loving Heavenly Father. I’ve stood awestruck as Jerusalem’s limestone streets and buildings turned to gold in the morning sun. I’ve explored pyramids and bamboo forests, stone circles and turtle beaches.
I love this magnificently beautiful earth. While the flora and fauna fill me with wonder, the people, especially the women that I’ve seen and met, have changed my life. I love being a member of our global community. (more…)
Looking for Clean Family Entertainment?
Are you one of the many people who struggle to find wholesome entertainment to enjoy with family members? I know my parents cancelled their cable subscription, because they got so tired of offensive commercials and programs. It can be especially difficult to find clean comedy. I am a sometimes fan of Saturday Night Live and the Big Bang Theory, but you never know when you’re going to be bombarded with something vulgar and offensive, though it’s a virtual guarantee at least one offensive tidbit will come across in any given episode.
Studio C Is Beginning Its Third Season
Trying to meet this problem and to come up with a solution, students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, began a season on BYUtv called “Studio C,” originally named after the studio in which it was filmed. The idea for the show came from Divine Comedy, a comedy troupe at BYU. It was originally intended for only one season. It was kind of an experiment to see if there was even enough interest to keep something like it going.
Now Studio C is in its third season, which began filming July 19, 2013. Its diverse fan base continues to grow. It seems the clean comedy appeals to a much broader audience than just “Mormons” (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently referred to as Mormons rather than Latter-day Saints). (more…)
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…)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently called the Mormon Church, strongly advocates the Cub and Boy Scout programs for boys and young men. Principles of discipline, interpersonal relationships, moral fortitude, and self-reliance learned in Scouting can positively affect the Scout’s future life.
As a woman, and a Latter-day Saint, or Mormon, I appreciate the character strengthening principles of Scouting! My three brothers are Eagle Scouts. I watched them learn skills—from survival skills to interpersonal skills which increased their confidence. I noticed their maturity as their attitudes turned more from “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I make a difference?” They still did crazy teenage boy things, but Scouting provided an opportunity for them to learn to value service to others. For example, one brother’s Eagle project included organizing police and other county health officials to enable parents to get identification tags from the county and information about their children into the county’s database. Kidnappings were prevalent at the time, so children were fingerprinted and photographed to document their identity. (more…)