Religion | KUER 90.1


Photo of missionaries on bikes. / MattGush

In a significant shift, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now allowing its 65,000 missionaries worldwide to communicate with their families once a week through text messages, online messaging, phone calls and video chats in addition to letters and emails, officials announced Friday on Twitter.

Courtesy Liv Paggiarino | for The Salt Lake Tribune and The Guardian

In a story for The Salt Lake Tribune and The Guardian, reporter Nate Carlisle takes a deep dive into a polygamist community of about 400 people in Missouri. He traveled to what locals refer to as “the compound” — polygamist members call it “the ranch” — near Humansville, Missouri in November. KUER reporter Daysha Eaton talked with Carlisle about his reporting and what he learned about this little-known sect of Mormonism.

Photo of temple.
Lee Hale / KUER

As a single woman and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sara Vranes says she was led to believe she needed a man as an intermediary in her relationship with God. And that pained her. But at the beginning of 2019, the Salt Lake City resident said that changed because of new language and rituals in the Church that put women on equal footing with men.

Photo of Shane Lingo.
Lee Hale / KUER

On a typical Wednesday night at South Mountain Community Church in Draper, about 60 teenagers are gathered for youth group. There’s loud music playing over the speakers, lots of chatter and a very competitive foosball game in the corner of the room.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like many Christian churches, does not ordain women. Women can hold leadership positions, but the top roles are reserved for men.

Photo of Sam Young.
Lee Hale / KUER

Sam Young, the former Mormon bishop who challenged his recent excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has had his appeal denied, he confirmed Tuesday.

Illustration of office.
Renee Bright / KUER

Braxton Dutson distinctly remembers the first time he heard the word “masturbation.”

Photo of Salt Lake temple.
Lee Hale / KUER

An obscure section of Utah law recently piqued Ryan McKnight’s interest after he heard stories about the mishandling of sexual abuse in Mormon communities.

Photo of pageant participants.
Curtis Whitear for KUER

Mormon pageants — big theatrical dramatizations of church history and scripture stories — have been part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for nearly 100 years. But a recent announcement from Church leaders said their days are numbered.

Photo of candles being lit
Lee Hale / KUER

Gov. Gary Herbert joined religious leaders in Salt Lake City last night at a vigil to honor the 11 victims killed Saturday during a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

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Much of this weekend’s bi-annual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was business as usual. There were earnest sermons from top church leaders, interludes from the (newly renamed) Tabernacle Choir, polite jokes without outsized laughter, etc. But, the twists and turns included the confirmation of a rumor that has persisted in Mormon circles for years.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

For the past few years, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have speculated, “Is this the General Conference when they’ll finally announce 2-hour church?” If you’re not Mormon, that most likely doesn’t mean anything. If you are Mormon, it’s a very big deal. And now, it’s becoming a reality.

Claims Of Sexual Abuse Continue To Haunt LDS Church

Oct 1, 2018
Photo of Monement Valley.
Erik Neumann / KUER

This week The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meets in Salt Lake City for its bi-annual conference. Meanwhile a report in the Salt Lake Tribune says a new lawsuit claims the Church turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse of children in one of its programs.

Photo of missionaries on bikes. / MattGush

Cole Ellsworth had been serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Uganda Kampala Mission for 11 months when he felt it was time to go home.

Photo of Eric Huntsman speaking.
Madeline Mortensen / BYU

For many practicing Mormons, the topic of LGBT inclusion can be a tricky one that's often tiptoed around. But in a speech to students last month, Brigham Young University religion professor Eric Huntsman dove headfirst into the issue.

Lee Hale / KUER

The head of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has released a public report that details sexual abuse allegations involving Utah priests and nearly three dozen victims since 1990.

Like many Catholic Church leaders, Bishop Oscar Solis has publicly voiced his disgust following last month’s grand jury report in Pennsylvania that documented abuse at the hands of 300 priests. But in the release of his report this week, Solis took it a step further by detailing sexual abuse within Utah’s Catholic Church over the past 28 years.

Lee Hale / KUER

Sam Young, a former bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Sunday told a crowd of supporters in downtown Salt Lake City that he has been excommunicated after his sustained campaign of protesting church policy on how Mormon leaders conduct private interviews with youth.

Image of Saints book cover.
Lee Hale / KUER

For much of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 200-year history, Mormon leaders have avoided certain topics. Founder of Mormonism Joseph Smith's reputation as a treasure seeker is one example. Another is that Smith had more than 30 wives, much to the dismay of his first wife, Emma Hale.

Image of cathedral.
Lee Hale / KUER

Cristina Rosetti considers herself a practicing Catholic, but she can’t square her faith with the recently exposed abuses of church leaders.

Salt Lake City Temple
Lee Hale / KUER

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is asking media organizations to stop using the terms "LDS Church," "Mormon Church" or even "Mormons" when referring to the faith or its members.

Denson speaks at a podium alongside her lawyer.
Lee Hale / KUER

A federal judge in Utah has dismissed a sexual assault lawsuit against a former Missionary Training Center president due to the statute of limitations.

A tall white building against blue sky.
Lee Hale / KUER

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has quietly doubled down on a controversial policy toward gay members by including it in a recently updated manual for missionaries.

A man in a blue shirt and hat startes into the distance.
Lee Hale / KUER

Sam Young, a former Mormon bishop from Houston, is currently on his fifth day of a hunger strike to provoke change in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Young believes that Mormon leaders shouldn’t be asking sexually explicit questions in interviews with children and youth.

Ryan McKnight Headshot.

MormonLeaks, a website known for releasing inside information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints, is often at the center of attention-grabbing stories. Recent revelations about the LDS Church’s finances and sexual assault have popped up in headlines. But the site’s founder, Ryan McKnight, has a bigger mission than stoking controversy.  

An illustration of a rainbow flag with a sketch of the Salt Lake temple on top. The entire thing is cracking like mud.
Renee Bright / KUER

It was a controversial yet common refrain about suicide, Mormons and LGBT people in Utah, this time from daytime TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.


A 61-year-old man is dead and a gunman has been charged with murder following a fatal shooting Sunday afternoon at a worship service of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fallon, Nev., authorities said.

Renee Bright / KUER

Kristy Johnson says her father molested and raped her — along with her two sisters — throughout their teen and childhood years.

Elder Soares and Elder Gong pose together in suits and ties.
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Gerrit W. Gong and Ulisses Soares made history in April when they were called as the first non-white apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A photo of Kristy Johnson.
Lee Hale / KUER

The documentary Glass Temples is having its Utah premier Thursday night. The film examines how leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mishandled yet another case of child abuse.

Mormon leaders sit with directors of the abuse center.
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In a time of heightened attention to sexual abuse in the Mormon community, leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered a $50,000 donation to the Children’s Justice Center, a state run organization that helps victims of child abuse.