The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | KUER 90.1

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Illustration of 2020 shaped glasses with a podium and ballot reflected in the lenses.
Renee Bright / KUER

Impeachment. A pivotal presidential election. The 2020 Census. Tax reform. And … The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Along with the perennial topics of growth, environment and healthcare, those are a few of the stories — big and small — we’ll be following this year. Here are 10 other stories to watch for 2020.

Photo of construction equipment destructing part of the Salt Lake Temple building that's being renovated.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

With January coming to a close, KUER religion reporter Lee Hale spoke with Host Caroline Ballard to recap some of the biggest stories of the month involving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Mormon Faith.

Headshot of Abby Huntsman
Wikimedia Commons

Monday evening, Jan. 13, 2020

Blank tithing forms and envelopes sit in a wooden display.
Wikimedia Commons

$100 billion dollars. That’s the amount of money the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has allegedly earned over two decades of investment on tithings from its members. That money isn’t being spent on charitable endeavors, as required by law. A former employee of the Church’s non-profit investment firm, Ensign Peak Advisors, has complained to the IRS. 

Brian Albers / KUER

A whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service alleges the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is hoarding billions of dollars in a tax-exempt investment fund that hasn’t been going to charitable works as required by federal law, and has misled members in how their tithes are used. 

Photo of the Utah flag with a rainbow sky in the background.
Cory Dinter for KUER

Last week, Utah Governor Gary Herbert and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to an agreement on banning conversion therapy for LGBT minors — an effort that stalled with Utah lawmakers earlier this year. 

Renee Bright / KUER

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been taking steps to be more inclusive of women. For example, last month church officials announced women could be witnesses during baptisms, a role previously reserved for men. But in that same announcement, children over the age of 8 were also allowed this new privilege. This grouping of women and children together is not new. 

Map of U.S. states with laws banning conversion therapy for minors.
Movement Advancement Project

On the heels of Colorado becoming the 18th state to ban “conversion therapy” earlier this year, Utah’s debating the widely discredited practice meant to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender expression.

Renee Bright / KUER

Mormon culture influences nearly every aspect of life in Utah. But these days, many long-held values are being challenged, even by the faithful. KUER’s series “Latter-day” examines how Mormon culture is — and isn’t — changing in response.

An illustration from a new training module the LDS Church.
INTELLECTUAL RESERVE, INC.

The way the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responds to abuse has been put under a magnifying glass in the past year, in part due to a number of high profile abuse cases that showed how local church leaders can get things wrong and sometimes cause more harm than good. In an attempt to improve that process, the Church released new online training for youth leaders last Friday.

Illustration of mormon imagery.
Renee Bright / KUER

Mormon culture influences nearly every aspect of life in Utah. But these days many long-held values are being challenged, even by the faithful. KUER’s series “Latter-day” examines how Mormon culture is — and isn’t — changing in response.

Hundreds of men are hoping to sue the Boy Scouts of America over alleged sexual abuse. Many of those claims are coming out of Mormon communities because, until recently, the LDS church was a huge sponsor of the organization. 

Illustration of Church President.
Renee Bright / KUER

At a time when many long-held Mormon values are being challenged, KUER’s new series “Latter-day” examines how Mormon culture is — and isn’t — changing in response.

Doodle illustraton of wedding rings.
Renee Bright / KUER

Mormon culture influences nearly every aspect of life in Utah. But these days, many long-held values are being challenged, even by the faithful. KUER’s new series “Latter-day” examines how Mormon culture is — and isn’t — changing in response. 

Photo of LDS Church press conference.
Daysha Eaton / KUER

Against the backdrop of Temple Square in full bloom, officials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Friday unveiled an ambitious four-year plan to renovate the 126-year-old Salt Lake Temple, which hasn’t had a major update since the 1960s.

BYU honor code rally photo.
Kelsie Moore/KUER

Hundreds of people turned out to protest Friday on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo. The school is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Daysha Eaton / KUER

 

Sidney Draughon’s first brush with Brigham Young University’s Honor Code Office came out of nowhere in 2015.

Renee Bright / KUER

The recent news that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would now allow children of LGBTQ people to be blessed and baptised came right on time for the growing family of Kevin Kolditz.

Photo of Russel M. Nelson.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

The biggest news of the 189th General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may have been a policy change that happened before the event even began.

Renee Bright / KUER

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday the rollback of a 2015 policy which restricted baptism of children of gay couples and called them apostates.

Image of Temple.
Brian Albers / KUER

There’s an understanding among Latter-day Saints: Change in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints happens from the top when God speaks through his prophet.

Photo of missionaries on bikes.
iStock.com / 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.

Illustration of depression.
Renee Bright / KUER

Ahead of the upcoming legislative session, a Utah LGBTQ group is preparing a bill that would ban conversion therapy, a form of psychotherapy that purports to help people with same-sex attraction to become heterosexual.

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.

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 Stenquist.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Two patient advocacy groups are threatening a lawsuit over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ involvement in the Utah Legislature’s planned special session to change the state’s medical cannabis laws.

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 Harkness.
Lee Hale / KUER

Sister Lisa Harkness, First Counselor in the General Primary Presidency that oversees Mormon children, is worried that Utah voters might be confused about what is on their ballot next week.

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