The latest from Mormon Land: Who are the Latter-day Saints? Let’s ask a Catholic priest.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2019, before it closed to undergo a seismic upgrade and other renovations.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Mormon Land newsletter is a weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can support Mormon Land with a donation at Patreon.com/mormonland, where you can access additional content and transcripts from our “Mormon Land” podcast.

Tell us, Father

A reader recently posed the following question to Father John Flader of The Catholic Weekly:

“Over the years I have seen Mormons knocking on doors and occasionally they have come to my house. They are exceptionally polite and very impressive. What is the background of the Mormons and what are their main beliefs?”

Flader then proceeds to give a straightforward, opinion-free, 670-word synopsis of the history and key teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Among the practices to be lived by Mormons are studying the scriptures, daily prayer, regular fasting, attendance at Sunday worship services, participation in church activities on weekdays, refraining from work on Sundays when possible, and high standards of honesty, integrity, obedience to the law, chastity outside marriage and fidelity within marriage,” the priest writes. “...According to Mormons, every person on earth will be resurrected, and nearly all of them will be received into various kingdoms of glory. In order to be accepted into the highest kingdom, a person must fully accept Christ through faith, repentance, and ordinances such as baptism and the laying on of hands.”

You can read his full reply here.

Country music’s Cody Alan finds harmony

With this month’s release of his new memoir, CMT host Cody Alan is making headlines about his teenage conversion to Mormonism, his missionary service, his marriage and later divorce, his coming out as gay in 2017 and his eventual exit from the Utah-based faith.

“When you go through most of your adult life living a ‘straight’ life, you learn to be that way and to sort of fake it. There’s reasons why I stuck with the church for so long, but ultimately the prayers weren’t answered in regards to making me straight — it doesn’t work that way,” he tells People magazine. “It took me a while to understand that because I wanted so badly to do what I thought God wanted. I used to think that if I came out, if I was myself, that God was going to hate me. I realized after I came out, that I was still just as loved, and my life was enhanced.”

Today, the popular country music host says his life is hitting all the right notes. He is engaged to Michael “Trea” Smith and close to his ex-wife and their two children.

His book is titled “Hear’s the Thing: Lessons on Listening, Life, and Love.”

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