‘Mormon Land’: Biggest stories of 2022 — from a Joseph Smith photo to BYU troubles and a marriage surprise

Also: Heavenly Mother, abuse cases, flattening membership and more. What all these developments mean for the church’s present and its future.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Students and patrons walk between classes on Provo's BYU campus in September 2022. The school found itself mired in controversy among insiders and outsiders during the year after it implemented new employment policies.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made national and international headlines during the year — and The Salt Lake Tribune and “Mormon Land” were there for all of them — from the purported discovery of the only known photograph of founder Joseph Smith to a heinous abuse case in Arizona and the church’s stunning support of the federal Respect for Marriage Act.

There were many other developments as well: employee layoffs and unease at Brigham Young University campuses; flattening and, in some cases, shrinking church membership; the release of “Under the Banner of Heaven”; more revelations about church wealth; an apostle’s advice on Heavenly Mother; a high-ranking leader’s apology for controversial remarks on the former Black priesthood/temple ban; a new book about Joseph Smith’s wives; and a Latter-day Saint influencer’s push for birth control. And, finally, 98-year-old Russell Nelson becomes the faith’s oldest ever church president.

On this week’s show, we discuss the biggest Latter-day Saint stories of 2022, the positive and negative reactions they generated, which ones surprised us, which ones went unnoticed — along with what they meant at the time, why they were significant, and how they may shape the future.

Listen here: