Technology and volunteer interpreters bring General Conference to the world

Technology and volunteer interpreters bring General Conference to the world

When a group of new stake presidents from outside the United States attended the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1961, they were able to hear words directly from the prophet and other general authorities in their own language–Dutch, German, Samoan or Spanish—for the first time.

Now, fifty years later, a worldwide audience will hear inspired messages in their own language during the October General Conference. Thanks to technology and efforts of LDS Church employees in the Translation Division and a huge volunteer force, at least one session of the two-day event will be available in 93 languages to more than 98 percent of church members. In contrast, the United Nations interprets to dignitaries in six official languages.

Even with a highly trained volunteer force and impeccable technology, interpreting sacred words becomes a matter of relying on the spirit of the Holy Ghost, according to Brad Lindsay, manager of Interpretation Services for the Church who was interviewed for a Newsroom article at lds.org. (more…)

Statistics and Facts on Mormons

Statistics and Facts on Mormons

There is a lot of “buzz” going on about the Mormons as of late. Some people learn about Mormons from sources that aren’t reliable—aka not the source itself. I am here to give you some statistics and facts; and I am a Mormon, so you can consider what you learn here “from the source.” To begin, we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—we are commonly called Mormons because of our belief in the Book of Mormon. Now for some interesting facts:

Facts on How Mormons Worship

Mormons are Christians. Mormons believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon to be the word of God—both testifiers of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon actually mentions Jesus Christ 3,925 times, which is an average of every 1.7 verses. Other interesting facts about Mormons:

  • 100% of sacramental services focus on Jesus Christ.
  • 9 of 10 members pray weekly and over 80% pray daily.
  • According to an independent study, Mormons are among the most knowledgeable of the Bible.
  • The LDS Church is the 4th largest religious body in the U.S.
  • A recent PEW study showed that 77% of Mormons attend church weekly, as opposed to the 39% U.S. average. (Mormon Newsroom)

What does the LDS Church offer its Mormon members?

With a membership of 14,441,346 (end 2011) and total of 28,660 congregations, you can formally worship as a Mormon most anywhere in the world—in fact the Church is found in 185 different countries, nations and territories. You can also find more members outside of the United States than within. Some congregations are small, sometimes only a family or two; these congregations are called branches. Most congregations, however, range from three hundred to eight hundred members; these are called wards. (more…)

Studies confirm generosity of Mormons

Studies confirm generosity of Mormons

Because of the country’s political climate, people in the United States are discovering that voluntary service and charitable donations go hand in hand with being a Mormon (a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called LDS or Latter-day Saint). As the story of the private life of presidential candidate Mitt Romney has unfolded, so has his personal commitment to both causes.

Now, two independent studies confirm that members of the Church of Jesus Christ not only “talk the talk;” they actually spend the greatest amount of time and money bolstering the LDS Church and their community, despite being only about 2% of the national population. One study reveals that Utah, which is 60% Mormon, is the most generous state, while the other study indicates that Mormons donate “significantly” more time and money than the average American. (more…)

Mormons and the World of Animation

Mormons and the World of Animation

Paul Schoeni, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormon Church), has been very successful in his work in Hollywood working on one colossus movie after another. He is credited with working on such movies as I, Robot, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs Aliens, Shrek Forever After, and Megamind and upcoming movies Turbo, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. He is also alum of the Brigham Young University computer animation program.

The animation program at BYU is interdisciplinary and consists of exacting coursework offered through the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, the Department of Visual Arts, and the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology’s School of Technology.

As a limited enrollment major, animation requires prospective candidates to complete fundamental pre-application courses before submitting an application portfolio for review at the end of the freshman year. Upon acceptance into the program, students must complete several foundation courses in essential areas such as figure drawing, narrative construction, and basic animation skills. Students are then encouraged to enhance this fundamental knowledge through upper-level courses designed to develop their drawing, narrative, and computer skills. (more…)

Mormons and the Media: how objective are the reports?

Mormons and the Media: how objective are the reports?

The media seem to be more curious about Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) than ever before. Perhaps it’s because the 2012 US presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, has piqued their interest in his faith, or because of blatantly misleading TV and Broadway entertainment. Whatever the reason, public perception about Mormonism may have increased. But is it correct?

I appreciate inquiring, respectful reporting, but as a Mormon, I must admit that as I read or watch reports, my stomach tightens and I sit at the edge of my seat, fearful that the gospel of Jesus Christ– which I love with my whole being–will be maligned.

The problem stems from an attempt to be “objective.” Reporters try to present different perspectives to get the whole picture. They will usually interview a church authority and a few active members of the church. But invariably, they give at least equal weight (and often more) to those who are either on the periphery or separated from the Church. It’s like asking the value of the police department to a driver who has received a lot of speeding tickets. The perspective is likely to be skewed. (more…)

Mormonism Fastest-Growing Religion in U.S.

Mormonism Fastest-Growing Religion in U.S.

The 2012 Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS), released in May 2012, stated that their findings showed Mormonism to be the fastest-growing faith in 26 of the U.S. states. Islam is also growing very quickly.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the often misnamed “Mormon Church” is officially known, reported 2 million new adherents, as well as new congregations in 295 counties over the last ten years, since the previous study was conducted.

mormons meet on sundayExperts in both Mormonism and Islam pointed out reasons why the two religions grew so much according to the study’s set up. The RCMS counts the actual number of people affiliated with U.S. congregations who are “involved enough to the point where they know to count you” rather than going by church membership records. They feel this more accurately reflects the number of people in a congregation. (more…)

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