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Year-end picture
Renee Bright / KUER

It was a year of big — big fires, big ballot initiatives and big political upsets — that collectively defined Utah in 2018 as the state continued its growth spurt. The Beehive State added another 50,000 people this year, owing both to the state’s healthy economy and low unemployment. But Utah also weathered more troublesome headlines, whether through the rushed creation of a controversial Inland Port in northwest Salt Lake City or the publication of sexual abuse allegations implicating leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic Church.

KUER reporters picked out some of the top stories of this year and explain why they mattered.

Illustration of young woman sitting on the edge of a bed.
Renee Bright / KUER


Over the last few months, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has had a magnifying glass pointed on its leaders handling of sexual abuse complaints, including some that are decades old.

LDS Church To Cut Ties With Boy Scouts of America

May 8, 2018
istock / Amy Kerk

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday that it will part ways with Boy Scouts of America. This announcement comes just days after the Boy Scouts welcomed girls into their ranks and changed their name to “Scouts BSA."

Lee Hale

New research shows that Mormons are unique in their views toward the LGBT community when compared to other faiths. While the majority oppose same-sex marriage, they also oppose discrimination against LGBT people.

Lee Hale / KUER

A woman accusing a former Mormon leader of rape is now suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and her attorneys are asking for justice as well as policy changes to prevent further abuse.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held its bi-annual General Conference over the weekend and with it came a number of changes.

The Mormon Church Diversifies

Mar 31, 2018

This Easter and Passover weekend, it's the Mormon Church that is making headlines. On Saturday, the church's first Latin-American and first Asian-American apostles were named.

The two men diversify the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, whose top leaders until today consisted solely of white men. One apostle, Dieter Uchtdorf, hails from Germany. They rank below the church president and his two counselors, acting as the core group of Mormon policymakers.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Ulisses Soares and Gerrit W. Gong were named as the two newest members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The announcement came during the first session of the bi-annual General Conference in which Russell M. Nelson was formally sustained by church members as the newest president and prophet.

Bonus: Temple & State

Feb 14, 2018
KUER

Every legislative session a few bills pop up that generate a lot of buzz, but never quite make it to the finish line. For the last few years, that has been the case with proposed legislation to toughen the state's penalties for hate crimes. So what invisible forces propel some bills while squashing others? Some critics say it's the Mormon Church, whose membership includes almost 90 percent of the Utah Legislature. Others say their influence is overstated. And then there's Steve Urquhart, a former Republican state senator from St. George, who observed this phenomenon firsthand.

Intellectual Reserve, INC

Members of the Mormon faith are sharing their memories of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, who died Tuesday night at age 90 in Salt Lake. 

Salt Lake Tribune

If you’ve picked up a copy of the Salt Lake Tribune in the last 26 years, you know Peggy Fletcher Stack’s name. She’s been covering religion for the paper since 1991 taking on a variety of topics, but mostly the LDS Church. Sometimes Stack refers to Salt Lake City as the "Vatican of Mormonism."