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Latest from Mormon Land: What would Jesus tweet?

Also: Huddling with missionaries is part of Stanford football team’s game plan.

(Illustration by Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

These are excerpts from The Salt Lake Tribune’s free Mormon Land newsletter, a weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Want this newsletter with additional items in your inbox? Subscribe here. You also can support Mormon Land with a donation at Patreon.com/mormonland, where you can access, among other exclusive gifts and content, transcripts from our “Mormon Land” podcasts.

Conflict vs. contention

What would Jesus tweet?

Latter-day Saints should consider that before they post comments on social media, say Patrick Mason and David Pulsipher, co-authors of the recently published “Proclaim Peace: The Restoration’s Answer to an Age of Conflict.”

That doesn’t mean members can’t or shouldn’t take part in disagreements.

“Conflict is inevitable in a universe full of free agents,” the scholars said in a recent interview with Kurt Manwaring. “...Our task is … not to avoid conflict, but to engage conflict constructively, to channel it toward positive ends.”

The key, Mason and Pulsipher say, is not to let conflict cross over into angry contention — which the church’s foundational scripture, the Book of Mormon, warns against.

“It’s amazing how social media can have a Jekyll and Hyde effect on people,” Pulsipher and Mason say in the interview. “I’ve had friends and ward members who are some of the loveliest, most Christlike people when you’re with them in person, but whose social media postings are shockingly full of bile and venom.”

Such online outbursts may be why the church’s newly updated General Handbook cautions members against using “threatening, bullying, degrading, violent, or otherwise abusive language or images” on the internet.

Latter-day Saints should share uplifting content, the guidelines state, and “strive to be Christlike to others at all times, including online, and reflect a sincere respect for all of God’s children.”

Huddling with returned missionaries

Latter-day Saint missionary stories are common in sacrament meetings, church classes, family home evening lessons and, it turns out, the Stanford football team’s locker room.

And they’re welcomed by Cardinal coach David Shaw.

“I’ve talked with everyone who comes back from these missions. I say, ‘You went out into the world, you experienced things, you grew, different from these young people who just got out of high school and come here,’” Shaw told The Associated Press recently. “‘Don’t keep it a secret. Express what you’ve gathered, whatever you’ve learned, however you’ve grown, so that those people can benefit from your experience.’”

The former missionaries weren’t so much preaching their religion to their teammates as they were sharing their life experiences, especially those gained during their two-year proselytizing stints.

“Obviously, we’ve seen a lot of different problems in the world, and coming back I feel like it can help the team deal with adversity,” sophomore quarterback Tanner McKee told the AP. “There are a lot of people on the football team that come from different cultures or different backgrounds, and living in Brazil [where he served his mission] I had to learn a completely new culture and people with completely different backgrounds. So I feel that maturity level has helped me a lot being a better leader, being a better quarterback, being a better person for this team.”

Plenty of adversity followed this Stanford team. After knocking off highly touted Oregon early on, the Cardinal stumbled through the rest of the season to a 3-9 record, losing the last seven games.

Predicting new missions

Call it “Mission: Possible.”

In the wake of the church creating new missions in Hawaii and Rwanda, independent demographer Matt Martinich took a crack at where else new proselytizing boundaries might be established.

His tally, found at lds church growth.blogspot.com, touches on four regions — Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania — and forecasts 21 “likely” new missions in the near future.

They include:

• Havana, Cuba.

• São Luís, Brazil.

• Lilongwe, Malawi.

• Warri, Nigeria .

• Palawan/Mindoro, Philippines.

• Ubon, Thailand.

• Honiara, Solomon Islands.

• Brisbane, Australia (a second mission).

See the full list.

From The Tribune

• Advertising technology billionaire Jeff T. Green, believed to be the wealthiest Utah native, has resigned his church membership.

“Although I have deep love for many Mormons and gratitude for many things that have come into my life through Mormonism,” he wrote to President Russell M. Nelson. “I have not considered myself a member for many years, and I’d like to make clear to you and others that I am not a member.”

Read the story.

• Catholic actor Neal McDonough, along with Tony-nominated singer Megan Hilty, recently taped the The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s Christmas concert — the one that will appear on PBS during the 2022 holiday season.

“We spend so much time as humans worrying about what the right church is,” McDonough said. “By bridging [Latter-day Saints and Catholics] together, it shows that whatever it takes to glorify God and to be better human beings in his eyes is the goal of any religion and any belief.”

Read the story.

• Newly released records show that Brigham Young University police routinely shared nonpublic information with the school’s Honor Code Office.

“My assignment as the investigations lieutenant,” a retired officer testified, “was to provide information to the Honor Code Office from the Utah County jail booking system on students that were booked.”

Read the story.

• After decades dancing in Celtic green, Danny Ainge is now singing a new NBA tune — with a Jazz beat.

The former BYU basketball star, who previously spent 18 years leading Boston’s front office, is the new CEO of the Utah Jazz.

Read the story.

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