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Utah Mormons urged to back missionary high-rise near BYU

Religion » Residents who opposed structure said leaders had assured them it was a secular issue.

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Both Johnson and Evans expressed admiration and respect for their stake president, saying he has been cordial despite being put in a difficult position.

As for the neighborhood group’s future action, "we’re struggling with what we’re going to do next," Johnson said. "What we’d really like is for some decision makers from Salt Lake to sit down with us like they’ve promised in the past."

At a glance

LDS Church’s statement on MTC high-rise

The Church has submitted plans to construct a new building on the grounds of the Provo MTC. As part of this process, Church leaders reviewed a number of different options before deciding on the current proposal.

We informed city officials as well as residents living near the MTC of the plans. During this process leaders at the MTC have been asked about everything from whether or not other options have been considered to whether Church leaders were involved in the decision to move forward with the current proposal.

At a recent worship service a local stake president responded to these questions by telling congregants that senior church leaders had approved the plans, as they would for any significant construction project. He asked for support but also urged members to be respectful and civil to those who may have differing views on the project and made himself available to answer additional questions following the meeting.

Local leaders have simply answered questions that have been asked. To suggest that this was an attempt by Church leaders to exercise undue influence is without merit.

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She added that she will be "continuing the matter pending before Provo City. Beyond that, I would assume that further actions on my part could trigger church discipline based on the invitation."

Evans says Provo City should adopt a zoning amendment for structures in a Public Facility Zone, such as the MTC. His group had proposed an amendment suggesting a height threshold that would require a public comment period. The planning commission said the amendment was too broad, according to Evans. But he said he will continue to work on the issue.



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