Mormon News, April 28-May 2

In the News

This week the LDS Church announced that it would build several six-story buildings at the southern end of the Missionary Training Center campus in Provo. This is the compromise arrived at after the neighbors eaglecomplained about a proposed nine-story building. The church argues that, one way or another, it needs more space to accommodate the dramatic increase in missionary numbers since the age of eligibility for young men and women was lowered to eighteen and nineteen respectively. The new tall buildings (not skyscrapers) will increase the current capacity by 50 percent.

LDS leaders met with Seventh Day Adventists on April 24 at the Adventist “General Conference Headquarters” in Silver Springs, Maryland. The purpose of the meeting was to launch a social-media collaboration. Present at the event were two Adventist vice presidents, Ella Simmons and Lowell Cooper, and two Mormon general authorities, Elders L. Tom Perry and Ronald A. Rasband. The web initiative, “Faith Counts,” will connect young people to faith-based ideas and projects, as Elder Perry expressed it: to “find a way of keeping faith alive in the 14- to 35-year-olds … so they’ll have a foundation for their life.” The Adventists Church was founded in 1863 and has 18 million members, comparable to the Mormon founding in 1830 and its membership of 15 million.

A new LDS survey targeting “millennials” (born between 1980 and 2000) has been criticized for looking for homosexuals in all the wrong places, so to speak. It was sent to students at Brigham Young University and to members of a singles ward. So far, so good. But the only possible answers to the question, “What is your sexual orientation?” were: “I am heterosexual, but I struggle with same-sex attraction,” “I am heterosexual and do not struggle with same-sex attraction,” or “Other, please specify.” Due to the volume of complaints, the survey was revised to ask more simply but still strangely, “Do you experience same-sex attraction?” with choices for answers being yes, no, and other. Notice that there still seems to be a grudging acknowledgement that there might be real gay people in the world.

In about 1849 the LDS First Presidency minted a gold piece that had an all-seeing eye and temple hat surrounded by the words “Holiness to the Lord,” and on the back side a handshake with the words “Pure Gold: Ten Dollars.” A surviving example of this rare coin sold at a Dallas auction on Thursday, April 29, for $705,000. So if anyone has a coin in their dresser drawer that they inherited from their great-great-great-great-great grandpa, they might want to get it appraised.

 —News updates provided by Devery Anderson, E-book Editor