Latest from Mormon Land: Repent, racists, or you could lose your temple recommend, leader warns

Also: How to make Easter season even holier; BYU hoops legend Jimmer Fredette joins a new team; church faces new tithing lawsuits; “Mormon Stories” apologizes to LGBTQ community.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) General authority Seventy Christophe G. Giraud-Carrier addresses Utah Latter-day Saint leaders in November 2023.

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, podcast transcripts and exclusive access to all Tribune religion content.

Bigots beware

General authority Seventy Christophe G. Giraud-Carrier recently delivered a warning to Latter-day Saint racists: You could lose your temple recommend.

In a November broadcast to lay leaders in the Utah Area, the native Frenchman called attention to “lingering instances of racist attitudes and behaviors” and called out those who foster such bigotry.

“Racism is a violation of the first two great commandments — to love God and to love his children. It is sufficiently serious that it may actually impact our opportunity of worshipping in the House of the Lord,” Giraud-Carrier said. “One of the temple recommend questions indeed asks: ‘Do you support or promote any teachings, practices or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?’”

And the global faith’s position against racism, he said, is “unequivocal.” It is a sin.

In a 2020 General Conference address, church President Russell Nelson urged members to “lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice.” His top counselor, apostle Dallin Oaks, echoed that theme, prodding Latter-day Saints to “do better to help root out racism.”

Giraud-Carrier added his voice to those pleas.

“Any of us who has prejudice toward another race needs to repent,” he told Beehive State church leaders. “Racism has no place in the Lord’s kingdom. It must stop, and it must stop now. … It is high time we stop excluding anyone and start including everyone.”

The church ended its 126-year-long priesthood/temple ban against Black members in 1978.

Biden vs. Trump

(The New York Times) Former President Donald Trump, left, and President Joe Biden.

Brigham Young University professor James C. Phillips makes an impassioned argument for “we the people” to not only vote in the general election but also to participate in primaries and party caucuses.

But the constitutional scholar’s op-ed in the church-owned Deseret News has drawn criticism from an online Utah media outlet for drawing a “troubling — and false — equivalence” between the questions dogging the nation’s two presidential front-runners.

“Donald Trump is facing 91 felony counts in four separate indictments. Across four different jurisdictions, he was duly indicted by a grand jury of his peers on a range of serious charges, including conspiracies to defraud the United States and violate civil rights in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. This is indeed a cause for grave concern,” The Utah Monthly writes. “President [Joe] Biden, on the other hand, confronts not a legitimate impeachment inquiry into his conduct as vice president — one grounded in actual evidence — but rather a thoroughly politicized investigation, conducted by a faction of far-right House Republicans. … That the [BYU] Wheatley Institute’s chief constitutional scholar would attempt to equate Trump’s alleged criminality — breathtaking in its scope — with the flimsy and disingenuous allegations that have been leveled at President Biden by House Republicans is deeply concerning.”

The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: Are you ready for Lent?

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) "In Remembrance of Me," by Walter Rane.

Eric Huntsman, BYU professor of ancient scripture, discusses how Latter-day Saints can get more out of Easter by putting more into the days and weeks preceding Christianity’s holiest day.

Listen to the podcast.

Jimmer joins RootsTech team

(Lynne Sladky | AP) Jimmer Fredette, practicing for the USA Basketball 3x3 national team in 2022, will be featured at RootsTech 2024.

Jimmer Fredette will be a featured speaker — and shooter — at RootsTech 2024 on March 2 in Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center.

Some lucky youngsters (ages 8 to 14) will get to match their hoops skills in a shootout with the BYU basketball legend. Best hurry, though, those roster spots are limited. Sign up here.

From The Tribune

• The church has been slapped with a string of “copycat” lawsuits over tithing.

• She drank beer as a preteen and defended her dissertation while seven months pregnant. Meet the dynamic Latter-day Saint convert who is leading Utah’s largest university to greater heights.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez poses for a portrait on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023, during a visit to the UVU Museum of Art.

• Remember church roadshows, with their missionary penguins, Dear Johns and “Oklahoma!” knockoffs? Tribune guest columnist Eli McCann sure does.

• Amid reports of a potential new Hulu series about so-called swinging Mormons, Religion News Service columnist Jana Riess points to the conservative sex lives of most Latter-day Saints.

• See how two early leaders of the church’s worldwide Primary program helped build what would become a world-class children’s hospital one penny at a time.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Primary Children’s Hospital was founded on May 11, 1922. The church opened a 35-bed pediatric care facility at 40 West N. Temple, across from Salt Lake City’s Temple Square.

• The “Mormon Stories” podcast has issued an apology after a team member attended worship services to observe a Latter-day Saint man and his husband and aired an episode detailing the couple’s church participation without their consent.

• Another Utah bill allowing clergy to report abuse emerges, and the church is not blocking it