Latest from Mormon Land: Rename that Latter-day Saint tune; what missions get right

Also: The fight against world hunger; a new general authority; a “Supreme” honor; the messages of “Barbie”; and a new Utah temple.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) A young woman plays a hymn on the piano from the church's Spanish hymnbook. Just changing one letter in song titles can greatly alter their message.

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Altered hymn titles

“We invite the congregation now to turn to hymn No. 21, ‘Some, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice,’ for our closing song.”

Whoa. Wait. What?

Yes, just substituting one letter in that Latter-day Saint hymn’s title — “Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice,” can greatly change a lyrics’ message. (In this case, though, the tweaked title is certainly a truism.)

Ziff, the pen name for a blogger at the Zelophehad’s Daughters website, played with hymn names by swapping out a single letter and added a note about the revised hymns’ new subject.

Here are a couple of Ziff’s examples and explanations:

• “Amazing Grade” — Students rejoice at passing a class they had expected to fail.

• “Bark, All Ye Nations!” – A celebration of Peter’s long-lost revelation about taking the gospel to the canines.

We, at Mormon Land, came up with a few more possibilities:

• “Did You Think to Prey?” — A ditty about starving hunters.

• “Coy to the World” — A Yuletide favorite for shy Saints.

• “Praise to the Ban” — Let’s hope this isn’t a celebration of the faith’s former Black priesthood/temple prohibition but rather a wry reference to its welcomed end.

• “The Spirit of GOP” — Democrats in the congregation would be shouting for equal time.

• “God Be With You Till We Meat Again” — An ode to the next potluck for congregant carnivores.

Give it a whirl. You’re entitled. Give an old tune a new tone — one letter at time. Don’t expect to see any of these twisted titles in the eagerly awaited new hymnbook.

The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: War on hunger

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) A mother and child receive nourishment at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya, in 2022.

How a doctor is “feeding Christ’s lambs” by leading a grass-roots fight to end hunger and malnutrition among Latter-day Saint children in the developing world. Listen to the podcast.

What’s right about LDS missions — from an outsider

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teach a young man in Lyon, France. Theologian Russell Moore sees advantages in sending young people of proselytizing missions.

Latter-day Saints may be wrong in their Christian teachings, theologian Russell Moore says, but they get this right: They set high expectations for their young people.

Serving missions, he points out, may not bring waves of baptisms, but they may at least help convert the missionaries themselves.

In Christianity Today, Moore quotes religion professor Stephen Bullivant, who writes that “if a church doesn’t inculcate in its members the feeling that what they have is something that’s worth sharing with others ... then it sends the message that perhaps it’s not so essential for me either.”

So rather than viewing young evangelical Christians strictly as consumers of the ministry, Moore wants to raise the bar and have them help sell it.

“We may equip our young people to defend themselves intellectually — from naturalistic materialism, sexual hedonism, and so on — with a ‘Christian worldview,’” writes the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today. “But we are not doing as well at training them to authentically and persuasively share their faith as genuine good news and to expect that the Spirit actually can and does change hearts.”

Including their own.

A new G.A. and a new justice

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Attorney Alexander Dushku has been named a general authority Seventy.

• The church usually announces new general authorities at General Conference time. But this week the governing First Presidency named attorney Alexander Dushku to the Seventy.

An expert on the First Amendment and religious freedom, Dushku earned his law degree at church-owned Brigham Young University and has worked at the Salt Lake City firm Kirton McConkie, which frequently represents the faith, for nearly three decades.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Youngjoon Kwon, an area Seventy who was recently named to South Korea's Supreme Court, speaks at a women’s conference in South Korea in 2019.

• A Latter-day Saint area Seventy has gained a spot on South Korea’s Supreme Court.

Youngjoon Kwon, who was confirmed as a justice last month, will serve for six years on the 14-member court.

“The missionary service I did after entering law school — postponing my studies for a year — changed my life,” the 52-year-old Kwon, who married Yeonshin Lee, in the Seoul Temple in 1995, said in a news release. “I met so many people in need and had so many deep conversations. I cried a lot of tears because I was very sensitive. Even though my studies were delayed by a year, my reverence for life deepened tenfold. I realized more quickly that law is also a study of life.”

From The Tribune

• A recently revived multimillion-dollar fraud lawsuit, alleging that the church misrepresented how it funded a Salt Lake City shopping center, could end up revealing more about the faith’s finances and land top leaders on the witness stand.

• See what the blockbuster “Barbie” film has to say about church teachings on paradise, priesthood, patriarchy and perfectionism in these excerpts from last week’s “Mormon Land” podcast. You can also listen or relisten to the show.

(Courtesy of Nde Ndifonka, Catholic Relief Services, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The Utah-based faith has donated $44 million to help fight world hunger and malnutrition in 30 countries.

• The church is putting its money where starving children’s mouths are, donating an additional $44 million, one of its largest-ever contributions, to help fight malnutrition around the world. Tribune columnist Gordon Monson lauds the gift.

• A piece of advice from Tribune guest columnist Natalie Brown: Don’t let reunions become the be all and end all of family togetherness. Proper perspective can prevent these summertime staples from leaving loved ones more divided than united.

• President Henry Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency dedicates the Saratoga Springs Temple. There are now 15 operating Latter-day Saint temples in Utah, three undergoing renovation and 10 more planned.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Attendees for the second session begin lining up as those from the first session leave the dedication of the Saratoga Springs Temple on Sunday.