The Mormon Land newsletter is a weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whether heralded in headlines, preached from the pulpit or buzzed about on the back benches. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Subscribe here.
This week’s podcast: The single life
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the ultimate ordinance is eternal marriage between a man and a woman. It preaches the importance of rearing righteous children. It even published a proclamation to the world extolling the virtues of the so-called traditional, nuclear family. Although many, if not most, members do not have that living arrangement at home, it still is pointed to as the “ideal.”
So it’s not the easiest faith in which to be single.
Rosemary Card, who worked as a teenage model in New York, later graduated from Brigham Young University and served a church mission, addresses that topic and more in this week’s podcast and in her book, “Model Mormon: Fighting for Self-Worth on the Runway and as an Independent Woman.” She also is the founder of Q.NOOR, a temple dress company for Latter-day Saints.
‘Manacled Mormon’ investigator dies
The head of Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist squad, who investigated Irish Republican Army attacks and Britain’s salacious “Manacled Mormon” case, has died.
Commander William Hucklesby was 82, The Telegraph reports.
The “Manacled Mormon” case exploded into the headlines in 1977, when Joyce McKinney, a former Wyoming beauty queen, was accused of abducting a Latter-day Saint missionary in England, tying him down and forcing him to have sex.
McKinney has denied the allegations in the lurid episode, which also became the subject of 2010 documentary called “Tabloid.”
A Mormon by any other name
Rebbie Brassfield is having a heck of a time erasing the term “Mormon” from her speech.
In a By Common Consent blog post, the Southern California copywriter says she’s eager to embrace President Russell M. Nelson’s Christ-centered counsel to use the church’s full name, but she finds herself lamenting the cultural identity lost in translation, or at least lost in transition, in the shift away from its popular nickname.
“As I’ve gone about trying to scrub the word ‘Mormon’ from my vocabulary, I’ve realized how deeply it is intertwined with my identity as a Latter-day Saint,” she writes. “I’ve attempted to simply swap out the old lingo for the new, but the correct name of the church is not a synonym for all that ‘Mormon’ means.”
We at Mormon Land can only say, “We hear ya, sis.”
Choir presses on
A new name isn’t holding down “America’s Choir.”
The first album from The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square under its new label has rocketed to the top of Billboard’s Classical Traditional chart, the 13th time the renowned group has earned that distinction.
“Let Us All Press On: Hymns of Praise and Inspiration” marks the first full-length album of hymns from the choir in almost seven years.
“We are grateful for the response to this latest recording by the choir and orchestra,” Mack Wilberg, the choir’s music director, said in a news release. “We gave the album the subtitle of ‘Hymns of Praise and Inspiration,’ and our hope is that the recording’s music can provide the inspiration and uplift that so many are looking for in the world today.”
Study of the Standard Works has now been standardized.
The church has announced that the curriculum for its seminary program of religious instruction will shift to the calendar year, not the school year, and will align with other classes across the global faith.
That means all members — from the youngest teenage seminary student to the oldest adult Sunday school participant — will be on the same scriptural page.
Beginning in January 2020, seminary students will study the same book of scripture used in the church’s “Come, Follow Me” study outline. Seminary classes will focus on the first half of the New Testament in June 2019, then join the rest of the church in studying the Book of Mormon, the faith’s foundational scripture, in January 2020.
“We hope that [seminary students] will have a great experience on Sunday at the meetinghouse," apostle Jeffrey R. Holland said in a news release. “We hope that they will go home and have an experience with their family on Sunday, and we hope that through the week they will have a great experience in seminary studying the Book of Mormon.”
Yes, Virginia, there is a temple coming.
Recently submitted preliminary plans call for a two-story, 36,000-square-foot edifice in Glen Allen, just north of Richmond.
The designs are still being developed, according to a church news release, with exterior renderings to be released later.
President Russell M. Nelson announced the temple, Virginia’s first, a year ago.
Quote of the week
“Now [my wife] can speak only a few words a day. ... Every night and morning I sing hymns with her and we pray. I have to be voice in the prayers and in the songs. Sometimes I can see her mouthing the words of the hymns. She prefers children’s songs. The sentiment she seems to like best is summarized in the song ‘I’m Trying to Be like Jesus.’ The other day, after singing the words of the chorus: ‘Love one another as Jesus loves you. Try to show kindness in all that you do,’ she said softly, but clearly, ‘Try, try, try.’ I think that she will find, when she sees him, that our Savior has put his name into her heart and that she has become like him. He is carrying her through her troubles now, as he will carry you through yours.”
President Henry B. Eyring in October 2018
Mormon Land is a weekly newsletter written by David Noyce and Peggy Fletcher Stack. Subscribe here.