Latest from Mormon Land: Here’s a little-known fact about LDS Church security

Also: Remembering author Pat Holland, wife of apostle Jeffrey Holland; magazines will be free to members; an update on #DezNat; and pioneers who came to — and later left — Utah.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Security officers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints walk during the Days of '47 Parade on July 24, 2023. Multiple officers walked the parade route and followed in an SUV as apostle D. Todd Christofferson rode in the parade as grand marshal.

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They work for church security. They carry a badge.

You no doubt know the church has its own security officers. You’ve seen them patrolling the faith’s headquarters, protecting its top leaders and safeguarding its temples and historic sites.

But did you know that, like the fictional Joe Friday of “Dragnet” fame and real-life peace officers, they also “carry a badge”?

Yep, those specially designed badges — featuring a golden Angel Moroni — were evident, for instance, as a church security squad escorted D. Todd Christofferson last month, when the Latter-day Saint apostle rode as grand marshal in the Days of ‘47 Parade. (See the accompanying photo.)

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A badge is worn by a security officer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Days of '47 Parade on July 24, 2023. Multiple officers walked the parade route and rode in an SUV as apostle D. Todd Christofferson rode in the parade as grand marshal.

Church security forces — often drawn from law enforcement ranks, though not necessarily POST-certified through the state — even have their own training center, complete with shooting ranges, on the western edge of Salt Lake City. We wrote about the facility back in 2019.

Remembering Pat Holland

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland reviews the program for the funeral services for his wife, Patricia T. Holland, at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 28, 2023. Two of his children, general authority Seventy Matthew S. Holland and Mary Alice McCann, are at his side.

Vast and varied tributes flowed from family and faith leaders at Friday’s funeral for Patricia Holland, author, church leader, wife of an apostle and a former first lady of Brigham Young University, who died July 20 at age 81.

Here is a sampling:

Husband Jeffrey Holland • “This is the 60th year of my marriage to the greatest woman I have ever known. I am heartbroken…. She was everything a companion could be in this world, and I thank God that we will have each other in the next… Because of [Christ’s] atoning victory with its attending sealing power, there is no end to the love that Pat and I have shared, a love that has made our home feel like heaven and will someday make heaven feel like home.”

Church President Russell Nelson • “Sister Patricia Holland is exactly what a celestial woman looks like. We weep today for the passing of one so beloved by her family — and that family is the whole population of the world, really. However, we rejoice because of the celestial life she lived.”

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the funeral service for Patricia T. Holland at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 28, 2023.

Daughter Mary Alice Holland McCann • “Part of [her] gift [for teaching the gospel] was that when we were hurting and reached for her, she comforted us and then led us to the Savior while she gently stepped out of the way so that we could find our comfort in him.”

Son David Holland • “My mother knew the restored gospel. She resolutely sustained living prophets, including a commitment to my father’s ministry, in support of which she gave her every full measure.”

Son Matthew Holland, a general authority Seventy • “It is impossible to think about my mother without thinking about her love of the Lord and his holy word.”

Pat Holland was buried Saturday in St. George, where she graduated from high school and married her husband in the southern Utah city’s historic temple.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) A screenshot of apostle Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife, Patricia, from their RootsTech Connect broadcast during Family Discovery Day in 2021. Patricia Holland died last month.

The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: Interfaith households

After an earlier divorce, Carolyn Homer, a Latter-day Saint attorney in Washington, D.C., is now married to a Catholic and rearing their child in two faiths. On this week’s show, she talks about her experience with divorce, marriage and interfaith parenting. Listen to the podcast.

The ‘free’ press

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day The Utah-based church will be offering its three global magazines: the Liahona, Friend and For the Strength of Youth free to its members.

If the best things in life are free, then this news must rank way up there: The church is starting to offer its three monthly magazines — the Liahona (for adults), For the Strength of Youth (for teens) and the Friend (for children) — at no cost.

“We come closer to Jesus Christ as we consistently participate in gospel study in the home,” apostle Dieter Uchtdorf said in a news release. “The church wants to give greater access to the words of the prophets, and we are excited to make the printed copies of the church magazines available at no cost.”

Latter-day Saints with church accounts in Asia North and North America West areas can sign up now for the free editions. In coming months, the offer will be extended to members across the globe.

Missionary dies

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Papa Fe’iloaki, 22, died Saturday, July 29, 2023, in a hospital while serving a mission in the Philippines.

A 22-year-old missionary from Tonga died Saturday after being admitted to a hospital with a fever and pneumonia in the Philippines.

Papa Fe’iloaki had been serving in the Philippines Olongapo Mission for the past 13 months. “At this time,” church spokesperson Sam Penrod said in a news release, “a cause of his symptoms and death is being determined.”

Fe’iloaki is the sixth Latter-day Saint this year known to have died while serving a full-time mission for the Utah-based faith.

From The Tribune

(Illustration by Todd Adams | The Salt Lake Tribune)

• While some #DezNat users, those self-appointed warriors who defend Latter-day Saint doctrines and practices, clearly go too far in their online attacks, researchers say others truly believe they are fighting God’s battles — and at times the church’s own stances may provide the ammo.

• The church has not backed away from plans for a steeple that would soar more than 100 feet high on the planned Cody Temple despite having scrapped a request for permission to build a structure that tall. Decision-makers in the Wyoming city remain divided on the issue.

• Historian Ardis E. Parshall, a Tribune guest columnist, shows that early Utah was NOT the right place for a number of pioneers. They moved on to other locales, founding schools, working as mayors, even serving in Congress. A couple of scoundrels, though, disappeared from the history books.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The sun rises over the Salt Lake Valley at This Is the Place Heritage Park on Thursday, July 27, 2023. Some notable pioneers came to early Utah but later left and made significant achievements.