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 the full newsletter, exclusive access to Tribune subscriber-only religion content and podcast transcripts.
Stories you may have missed
It’s “free week” from The Tribune (you’re welcome). This is your chance to read those subscriber-only Latter-day Saint stories from recent months that you may have missed — and to consider becoming a subscriber yourself, so you can access that content right when it publishes.
To get you started, here are some past stories that are available for free this week:
• BYU-Idaho instructors are being fired for failing “ecclesiastical clearance” and even their bishops aren’t sure why.
• “Marrying a 14-year-old was not a wise thing to do,” says a researcher who studied the 33 “secret” wives of Joseph Smith, the church founder determined to restore biblical practices, including polygamy.
• In the desert of Dubai, a temple will rise. See how it came to be and why the faith’s first temple in the Middle East matters.
• While you’re in that region, read about how the Holy Land, a place divided by religion, is — and isn’t — like Latter-day Saint-dominated Utah.
• After nearly 60 years, Salt Lake City’s epicenter of anti-Mormonism is about to vanish. Find out why.
• Latinas do “much of the day-to-day service” and represent the church’s future.
• After the Supreme Court vanquished Roe v. Wade, the church updated a page outlining its official stance on abortion. See how it changed and what it means.
• The deepest-ever dive into the church’s U.S. real estate holdings reveals it as the nation’s fifth largest private landowner. Explore how much the faith owns and where. A separate piece shows what the church owns in the heart of Salt Lake City, where it is headquartered.
• Queer Latter-day Saints wonder: Can I date and still be in good standing? And, if so, how?
• Dallin Oaks, first counselor in the governing First Presidency, has famously stated the church doesn’t apologize, but that hasn’t stopped the question of whether it should.
And this week from The Tribune
• Is the church obsessed with worthiness? Tribune columnist Gordon Monson asks. And are temple recommend questions the best way to decide it?
• From LGBTQ and racial issues to art and aid, see how Latter-day Saint activism has influenced if not inspired changes within the church.
• Throughout December, Latter-day Saint artists are showcasing their works about living with “scrupulosity” — a religiously based obsessive compulsive disorder — at a Provo exhibit. “One of my compulsions in the early days,” says one of the artists, “was calling my bishop all the time and repenting of the same thing tens and tens of times — to four different bishops.”
• A British sociologist explains why the church is the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to the decline in religious participation. If Latter-day Saints are starting to leave the fold, he says, “that shows what a big issue this is for everyone else.”
The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: Get out of politics
Two leading Orthodox members discuss why the church is wrong to endorse the Respect for Marriage Act; how that stance betrays Latter-day Saint teachings; how it confuses members; why Dallin Oaks’ approach of advocating compromise on LGBTQ rights and religious liberties is ill-advised; and what the global faith should be doing instead of weighing in on the nation’s political culture wars. Listen to the podcast.