Mormon News September 19-23

In the News


In a UK conference titled “Religious Persecution: The Driver for Forced Migration” Elder Jeffery R. Holland joined humanitarians, religious leaders, scholars and government representatives at Windsor Castle in discussing the world-wide refugee crisis. The event was sponsored by the AMAR Foundation which assists refugees from the Middle East. Holland’s remarks focused on the need for religious freedom and preventing sexual violence against women.  BYU Professor Chad Emmett notes that Holland is the first LDS leader to condemn female genital mutilation (FGM) though the apostle’s remarks on the subject were not mentioned in the church-produced articles covering Holland’s comments. The Mormon Newsroom did cover Holland’s statements on religious freedom as a form of empowerment for women and the need for more women in peace negotiations.


Can a recently excommunicated Mormon and devout Mormon scholar co-write a blog? John Dehlin and Patrick Mason believe it’s possible.  The two are the co-authors of a blog titled “Mormonism Inside and Out” which discusses common points of discussion and contention within the Mormon community. Recent posts wrestle with how members “know” what is true and whether or not members simply “manufacture” spiritual experiences. Upcoming topics include Mormon secularism, prophetic infallibility, racial inequality, feminism and LGBT issues. The pair hopes to build bridges of empathy and understanding between believers and nonbelievers. The blog is hosted by Patheos a nondenominational media company with an emphasis on interfaith communication.



After realizing how much time she spent indoors, local artist Jacqui Larsen set a goal to spend time enjoying the outdoors each day- all within a three-mile radius of her Springville home. Her experiment inspired her art and led to an exhibit titled “Three-Mile Radius” currently on display at the Springville Museum of Art. Her husband Utah poet laureate Lance Larsen collaborated on the pieces by including lines from his poetry in the collage pieces. The couple are both former professors at Brigham Young University and hope the exhibit inspires viewers to explore their own environments and cultivate a greater appreciation for the natural world. The “Three-Mile Radius” exhibit will be available for viewing at the Springville Art Museum through October 22. The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History

In Books


The Church Historian’s Press releases the highly anticipated “Administrative Records: Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846” on September 26th. Joseph Smith established the Council of Fifty as both a religious and political governing body replicating the “councils of the gods” in heaven. On earth the council’s doings range from mundane discussions on water rights to grandiose plans for a theocratic state where the prophet would reign as king. While the minutes themselves are an essential resource for Mormon historians, Signature’s own The Council of Fifty, A Documentary History provides additional documents regarding the Council. The documents include diaries entries and letters from many of the individual members including Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Written as an accessible and easily read historical narrative, The Council of Fifty is the perfect companion to the official minutes provided by the church. You can purchase The Council of Fifty here via Amazon.


-news updated by Steph Lauritzen