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.
The church’s General Handbook states that leaders should not extend callings in a “casual manner.”
Quite the opposite, in fact. It instructs them to explain that the calling “has come from the Lord.”
It might be hard to say no to deity. But what if that bishop or stake president got it wrong? What if the inspiration or revelation didn’t come from heaven?
That’s why Wheat & Tares blogger Bishop Bill refused to utter those words during his five years overseeing a Latter-day Saint congregation.
“One thing I would never say is ‘The Lord has called you to …’ That felt very presumptuous,” he writes. “I would sometimes say ‘We feel inspired’ to call you to such and such, but inspiration can come from common sense as much as it can from a higher power. More often than not I would just say, ‘We’d like to call you as the new Primary president.’”
So, which approach do you think is best?
General Conference highlights
• President Russell Nelson didn’t take to the pulpit Saturday — the first time since he became the faith’s top leader that he went a full day at General Conference without giving a talk — but he more than made up for it Sunday morning with his passionate plea to eliminate contention and become peacemakers. (His speech, Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson writes, was spot on.)
• Nelson capped the conference Sunday afternoon by announcing 15 new temples, including the church’s first in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation. He now has announced 133 new temples, 42% of the 315 existing or planned temples.
• Apostle Jeffrey Holland was absent from the weekend sessions after testing positive for COVID-19.
• A new Young Women general presidency, led by Emily Belle Freeman, will begin serving Aug. 1.
• The church’s global membership has topped 17 million, boosted by a 26% post-pandemic surge last year in convert baptisms.
The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: How to become peacemakers
Scholars Patrick Mason and David Pulsipher, co-authors of “Proclaim Peace: The Restoration’s Answer to an Age of Conflict,” discuss President Russell Nelson’s call to cast off contention and cultivate peacemaking. Listen to the podcast.
‘I will give you rest’
Baseball season is a week old, so let’s go to our next life lesson from the diamond.
Seventh inning • Every game pauses for a seventh-inning stretch.
Whether it’s a spring-training matchup in Bradenton or a World Series showdown in Boston, the game stops before the bottom of the seventh. Organs play, fans rise, and people sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” By the time they reach for the “peanuts and Cracker Jack,” they may notice what this ritual is teaching us:
Work hard and play hard, but never get too busy to take a break.
Vacations and time off have been employment staples for decades. But today’s enlightened workplaces increasingly include nap rooms to help make up for widespread sleep deprivation, which costs U.S. employers billions a year in productivity, according to the Sleep Foundation.
Studies also show that a little shuteye — about 15 to 20 minutes a day — can do a lot for employee efficiency, productivity and creativity. Turns out, if you don’t snooze, you lose.
“You can be anxious, sensitive, kind and wear your heart on your sleeve,” Ardern said, according to The Guardian. “You can be a mother, or not, an ex-Mormon, or not, a nerd, a crier, a hugger — you can be all of these things, and not only can you be here — you can lead.”
From The Tribune
• Brigham Young ordered this mill built and it eventually became one of Utah’s most famous restaurants. Now, a new deal will preserve it forever.
• Here’s how the church is helping homeless individuals in Utah.
• Tribune guest columnist Eli McCann notes that while most fast and testimony meetings are ho-hum, some turn into real humdingers.
• What “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” series gets right and, mostly, wrong about the church and its members.
• Some students at BYU-Idaho are pushing back against the school’s planned commencement speaker, Brad Wilcox, a counselor in the Young Men general presidency, after his controversial remarks on race last year.
• Southern Utah University, meanwhile, is plowing forward with its planned graduation speaker, apostle Jeffrey Holland, later this month despite objections from the LGBTQ community.
• A registered nurse states that most U.S. Latter-day Saints are failing to follow the church’s Word of Wisdom health code.
Subscribe To Mormon Land Newsletter
Get the latest news by subscribing to our Mormon Land newsletter. Enter your email below to receive more stories like these right to your inbox.