Latest from Mormon Land: Helping members with depression, anxiety; what might an LDS Church flag look like?

Also: The Babylon Bee pokes fun at Latter-day Saints marrying young.

(Illustration by Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

The Mormon Land newsletter is The Salt Lake Tribune’s weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Support us on Patreon and get exclusive access to Tribune subscriber-only religion content, extended newsletters, podcast transcripts and more.

Help with mental health

The church is seeking to help Latter-day Saints grappling with mental health issues.

It already has a website dedicated to the topic, offering information for individuals, parents, families and lay leaders.

“Mental health challenges can impact anyone, regardless of education, geography, faith, calling, or family,” the site explains. “They are nothing to be ashamed of and should be met with love.”

Specific entries and videos cover a range of questions from “How should I view my mission if I came home because of mental health issues?” to “How can I be happy when I can’t feel anything?” and “What’s the difference between perfectionism and wanting to be worthy?”

Now the church’s Publishing Services Department plans to produce a video to “help members recognize the signs of depression and anxiety,” according to a recent email sent to some Latter-day Saints, and to “offer suggestions” on how to assist those experiencing them.

The email asks Latter-day Saints to provide “real stories”of family members, loved ones or someone else with depression and/or anxiety to be used in the video.

Information is found here. The deadline is June 24.

Erecting a new banner under heaven

(Image courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) New church symbol.

If the church created its own flag — an “ensign,” in Isaiah’s words, “for the nations” — what would or could it look like?

Times and Seasons blogger Chad Nielsen wondered as much and offered some symbols that could be part of the banner’s design.

Topping his tally, of course, was the faith’s symbol, unveiled in 2020, depicting the Christus statue on a blue background.

Other possibilities included:

• Angel Moroni statue has, until recent years, been a staple atop most Latter-day Saint temples.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Crews and the general public gather to get a closer look of the Angel Moroni statue after it was pulled from atop the Salt Lake Temple in 2020 to undergo repairs amid the temple's renovation.

• Salt Lake Temple, without the present scaffolding, remains the faith’s most iconic and recognizable building.

• Beehive, Utah’s state emblem, has deep Mormon and Masonic roots.

• Gold plates, though nowhere to be found, are central to the church’s origins and the coming forth of its signature scripture, the Book of Mormon.

What symbols might you choose?

Will you ‘Bee’ mine?

(Rick Bowmer | AP) A couple look at the Salt Lake Temple in 2019. The Babylon Bee recently poked fun at the young marrying age of Latter-day Saints.

The Babylon Bee — The Onion-like news site of Christian satire — poked fun recently at the marrying age of Latter-day Saints, jesting that some couples were “waiting until later in life, sometimes even until age 22,” to get hitched.

“This development has unsettled many church leaders,” the parodic piece added, “particularly since it comes on the heels of a recent study suggesting younger Mormons do not plan to have nine children.”

Of course, The Bee could hardly resist tying a tying-the-knot story to polygamy.

“At publishing time, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [we’ve corrected the spelling of church’s name] were reeling from yet another study confirming young Mormons are interested in having just one wife.”

From The Tribune

• On this week’s “Mormon Land” podcast, historian and researcher Caroline Kline discusses how the women of color find liberation, satisfaction and blessings at home in the church, even given its patriarchal structure.

Listen to the podcast.

• As the West grapples with a devastating drought, the church highlighted its efforts to conserve precious water and vowed to do even more.

Read the story.

• Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers pointed to his Latter-day Saint faith as a reason he refused to go along with a scheme to certify a slate of fake electors for Donald Trump after the 2020 election.

Read the story and a Robert Gehrke commentary.

• A 22-year-old missionary died last week from injuries after losing control of his bicycle while going down a steep and slippery hill in Mexico City.

Read the story.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Francisco Rene Lamadrid, a Latter-day Saint missionary, died from injuries in a bike accident.

• Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson explores how Utah can start to close its religious divide, urging Latter-day Saints to stop wearing “righteousness as a badge of honor,” and reminding everyone to display more tolerance, respect and decency.

Read his column.

• Tribune data columnist Andy Larsen examined membership statistics in a range of surveys and discovered stagnant church growth in the U.S.

Read his column.

• Filming has begun on the final season of the Book of Mormon Video series. We take you behind the scenes as actors prepare to portray big battles that would bring the downfall of a civilization.

Read the story.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Actors dressed as stripling warriors film a scene for the Book of Mormon Video series at the LDS Motion Picture Studio on Friday, June 17, 2022.

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