Will Arizona follow ‘Utah’s way’ on LGBTQ rights?


These are excerpts from The Salt Lake Tribune’s free Mormon Land newsletter, a weekly summary of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Want this newsletter with additional items in your inbox? Subscribe here. You can also support Mormon Land by donating to Patreon.com/mormonlandwhere you can access transcripts of our “Mormon Land” podcasts.

Church supports non-discrimination bill

While the chasm between LGBTQ rights and religious freedom can sometimes feel like a grand canyon, an alliance in the Grand Canyon State has crafted a solution it says bridges that gap.

And Latter-day Saint leaders have given their blessing to the bipartisan push.

“The church is pleased to be part of a coalition of religious, business, LGBTQ people and community leaders who have worked together in a spirit of trust and mutual respect to address issues that matter to all members. of our community,” she said in a statement. Press release. “Our position is that this bipartisan bill preserves the religious rights of individuals and faith communities while protecting the rights of members of the LGBTQ community, consistent with principles of fairness for all.

The Salt Lake City-based faith has approved a similar non-discrimination effort in neighboring Utah in 2015 that protected LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing and employment while safeguarding certain religious freedoms.

This represented a compromise approach that Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the governing First Presidency, advocated in a historic November address at the University of Virginia.

“While the [Utah] The law did not give either party everything it was looking for,” Oaks said, “its reconciliations have provided both parties with significant benefits – a win-win outcome – that could not have been achieved without the law. balance of interests made possible by the dynamics of the legislative process. ”

On another case in Arizona, Mormon Women for Ethical Government voiced support for a recently rejected energy package that would have forced power utilities to cut carbon emissions to tackle climate change.

“Caring for the earth is caring for each other,” the grassroots group said in a Press release“and we are expected to work together in cooperation and respect as stewards of God’s great creations.

Another reform wish list

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Church leaders at General Conference Saturday, October 2, 2021. A blogger suggests that apostles of the faith retire at a certain age instead of fulfilling lifetime calls.

Last month, Salt Lake Tribune sports columnist Gordon Monson, a believing and practicing Latter-day Saint, revealed 20 changes he would like to see in the church.

This month, Hawkgrrrl, wheat and chaff blogger came out with an even longer list. Here is a sample:

• Eliminate Brigham Young University’s honor code office, except for academic cheating.

• Require that apostles retire at age 72 (or 80?) or after 10 years of service. “Let’s keep things fresh with new blood”, Hawkgrrrl writing. “Obviously there should be women as well as men, but that’s a no-brainer since in this scenario I’m one of them.” The average age of current apostles: 77.5 years.

• Allow mixed presidencies for elementary school and Sunday school.

• Not emphasizing temple attendance and construction.

• Provide scholarships to Latter-day Saints no matter where they attend if they are not entering BYU.

• Shorten the General Conference to a two-hour session. “It’s too long”, the the blogger laments. “Waaaa too long.”

• Equalize the number of female and male speakers.

• Facilitate the transfer of members to other parishes (congregations).

“I realize that every solution is a ticket to a new problem, so despite what I would try to accomplish, there would definitely be a downside,” Hawkgrrrl concedes. “My more inclusive church would probably mean that members have a lower level of engagement (but let’s be honest, the more engaged are the scarier ones!), and there might be some who leave because they hate women, gay people and think I’m a communist.

From the Grandstand

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Bradley R. Wilcox, second counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, speaks at General Conference Saturday, October 2, 2021.

• Brad Wilcox, BYU religion teacher, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency, apologized for remarks he made on black members and the past banning of the racist priesthood/temple from the church.

Read the story.

• Couples who marry in their early 20s have as satisfying and stable marriages as those who marry at 25 or older, according to a new study from BYU and the University of Virginia.

Read the story.

• Retired federal Judge Thomas Griffith, a converted Latter-day Saint, explains why politics is a “religious activity” in this week’s “Mormon Land” podcast.

Listen to the show.

• James Huntsman has filed his long-awaited appeal in his fraud case against the church for the millions he paid in tithes. He says a jury, not a judge, must decide who is telling the truth about how the donations were spent.

Read the story and its filing with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

To note • James Huntsman is a brother of Paul Huntsman, president of the non-profit association The Council of the Tribune of directors.

Temple Updates

• After a prolonged interruption — while the mesa temple and its surroundings have undergone a major metamorphosis – the “Jesus Christ Easter Contest will be back April 6-9 and 12-16.

With a cast of 400 to 500, the show will come with a new stage, new props, a new script and a new score, competition director Matt Riggs explained in a Arizona Republic Video.

• A first sod is scheduled for April 9 to start the work Bahia Blanca Temple.

The single-spired, single-story, 19,000-square-foot temple will be the fifth in Argentinawhich has more than 470,000 members.

• See the latest photo and video renovations to the Salt Lake Temple and surrounding areas as the project enters its third year.

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