Latest from Mormon Land: Church is unloading hundreds of acres in Missouri

Also: YSA bash draws thousands; Joseph and Emma’s Kirtland home is restored; women’s group backs charges against Donald Trump; Thai temple opens; N.Y. temple to close.

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.

For sale in Zion

If faithful Latter-day Saints return to Missouri as part of a pre-Second Coming gathering — as many members believe — they won’t be settling on 1,860 church-owned acres just south of Independence.

Why not? Because the Utah-based faith’s real estate subsidiary Suburban Land Reserve is selling that property, Kansas City’s WDAF-TV reports. Located in Lee’s Summit, a city of 103,000 people straddling Jackson and Cass counties, the vast wildland is expected to bring thousands of new jobs, the news station says, and tens of thousands of new residents once it’s developed.

Of course, the church still owns more than 2,300 acres in Lee’s Summit and lots of other lots — large and small — in the Show Me State, the faith’s former and future Zion. The church has temples in nearby Kansas City and, farther away, in St. Louis, with plans for a third, in Springfield.

The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: A big YSA bash

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Young adults listen and dance as Kaskade performs at the Mountain American Expo Center in Sandy, Utah, on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023.

Nearly 20,000 young single adults sang, danced, played, prayed, served, ran and worshipped over three weekends for a Utah YSA Conference. The gathering came at a time when many younger generations are leaving the church. Do large events like this help reduce that exodus? On this week’s show, a student organizer and an attendee discuss the conference, its purpose, appeal and success as well as possibilities for the future. Listen to the podcast.

Joseph and Emma’s Ohio home

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The newly restored home of church founder Joseph Smith and wife Emma Smith in Kirtland, Ohio, in August 2023.

Apostle David Bednar dedicated the painstakingly restored Kirtland, Ohio, home of the faith’s founder.

“This house [next to the Kirtland Temple] is far more than a building of historic interest,” Bednar said Saturday in a news release. “This house was truly a home to Joseph and Emma Smith — the place where they lived together for the longest period of time [four-plus years] before Joseph’s death.”

Backing charges against Trump

(Mary Altaffer | AP) Former President Donald Trump arrives at court in New York in April. A Latter-day Saint women's group is voicing support for indictments facing the ex-president.

The grassroots group Mormon Women for Ethical Government has voiced support for the indictments of former President Donald Trump, saying that they come in response to “unprecedented acts by a U.S. president who used his position to generate anger, willfully deceive the public, divide our nation, and weaken our systems of government — all with the openly stated aim to concentrate power in his own hands.”

From The Tribune

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Students walk between classes at BYU in Provo in 2022. The Church Educational System has unveiled unified rules for all BYU campuses.

• The church has added another $3 billion to its principal reserve fund, now valued at more than $49 billion, after selling some $500 million in stocks.

• The Church Educational System has instituted uniform rules across all of its university and college campuses. In short, that means, well, shorts will be OK at BYU-Idaho, for instance, and beards will remain banned.

Temple updates

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Thailand's new Bangkok Temple.

• Apostle Ronald Rasband will dedicate the Bangkok Temple Oct. 22 after a Sept. 1-16 open house. This is the first Latter-day Saint temple in the overwhelmingly Buddhist nation.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) An artist's rendering of the renovated Manhattan New York Temple.

• New York’s Manhattan Temple will shut down in 2024 for an “extensive” three-year renovation, according to a news release. The church also announced the specific sites for four other temples — in La Paz, Bolivia; Natal, Brazil; Teresina, Brazil; and San Jose, Calif.

• Like the church, a grassroots group has gone to court over the planned Cody Temple, in this case to prevent the structure from being built as outlined.