‘Mormon Land’: Scholar looks back at a historic year, from COVID to anti-racism sermons, and what it portends for the LDS Church

Eventful year included major disruptions to Sunday services, temples worship and missionary work — along with major sermons on Black Lives Matter and presidential politics.

(Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) President Russell M. Nelson waits for the broadcast to start at the Conference Center Theater on Temple Square, Oct. 3, 2020.

This year’s global pandemic brought extraordinary actions inside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Worship services were halted. Temples were closed. Missionaries were released, recalled and reassigned. Humanitarian outreach reached record levels.

And there was much more: Major denunciations of racism were given. Changes to church practices and parlance were announced. A new symbol and proclamation were unveiled.

Patrick Mason, head of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University, discusses the year in Mormonism on this week’s show and what it all may mean moving forward for the global faith.

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