Latest from Mormon Land: Hymnbook hints and ‘super’ coach Andy Reid

Also: “Black 14″ are honored; LDS dating is discussed; U.N. is saluted; Joe Biden’s faith is trumpeted; S.L. Temple is topped; and the idea of “emeritus” apostles is examined.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Latter-day Saint hymnbooks are used during a meeting in Ghana.

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.

Songs, size and styles for the new hymnal

It seems likely that “Amazing Grace” will grace the church’s new hymnbook and “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” will, well, bless it.

The latter was “one of the top requests [from thousands of members] for inclusion in the hymnbook,” Ray Robinson, a key adviser to the hymnal committee, said on a recent “For All the Saints” podcast. And the former “was another top one.”

He suspects both songs will become “universal” favorites in the new volume, due out in full in 2026.

Times and Seasons blogger Chad Nielsen also picked up these gems from Robinson’s interview:

• The hymnbook will be “a little larger in page size to make it a little easier for playing as well as reading.”

• Church leaders seem open to a wider variety of song styles. “We created a presentation intended for the senior leaders of the church, where we took a small group of singers … to help us understand where we cross the line on stylistic freedom,” Robinson said on the podcast. “…We sang this really eclectic sampling of hymns. Some of them were quite contemporary hymns, some were African American spirituals. … At the end of the meeting, the response was ‘well, you haven’t crossed the line yet.’”

The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: The state of dating

It’s the week of Valentine’s Day, so we invited two young single adults to discuss what dating is like for Latter-day Saints nowadays.

Listen to the podcast.

‘Black 14′ honored

(University of Wyoming) Ten members of the "Black 14" at the University of Wyoming.

The College Football Hall of Fame honored Wyoming’s “Black 14″ — players who were kicked off their team in 1969 for planning to sport black armbands in a game versus BYU to protest the church’s then-priesthood/temple ban against Black members.

The Wyoming Cowboy alums have since reconciled with their alma mater, BYU and the church. They also have teamed up with the Utah-based faith on a campaign to stock up food banks across the country. The latest gift: 20 tons of nonperishable food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

“I want people to realize that revenge is not going to get you anywhere,” Mel Hamilton, a member of the Black 14, said in a news release. “Hate is not going to get you anywhere. Try to think of a way to turn that bad incident around to the benefit of others.”

The former players’ story is being showcased in a temporary display at the Hall of Fame throughout February’s Black History Month.

You can relisten to our 2020 “Mormon Land” podcast with Hamilton, whose son ended up converting to Mormonism.

Dandy Andy

(Ashley Landis | AP) Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy as Kansas City Chiefs chair and CEO Clark Hunt looks on after the NFL Super Bowl football game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. The Chiefs won 25-22.

In keeping with the football theme, Andy Reid, the winningest Latter-day Saint football coach in NFL history, notched his third Super Bowl crown Sunday as his Kansas City Chiefs topped the San Francisco 49ers in a 25-22 overtime thriller.

You can safely pencil in Reid now as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

“He was already a Hall of Fame coach before tonight,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt told The Athletic. “But adding that third Super Bowl trophy in five years … really solidifies his status as one of the best of all time.”

Learn more here about how, for Reid, football and faith go hand in hand.

From The Tribune

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

• Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in GOP-heavy Utah — at least by this measure: Beehive State voters are more inclined to see the Democratic president as a “person of faith.”

• Letting girls pass the sacrament would be good for them, for boys and for the church, argues a Latter-day Saint commentator, and all it would take is a simple — yet profound — policy change. Tune in to our podcast on the topic, too.

• Emeritus status for apostles? Tribune columnist Gordon Monson says it may be time for the church to embrace the idea. But a number of readers scold him for raising the notion.

• The church celebrates its long-lasting ties to the United Nations with yet another donation — along with a day of service as hundreds of young people assembled thousands of food boxes — even as some conservative members decry the global organization.

• The yearslong renovation of the Salt Lake Temple reached a high point — in fact, its highest point — this week when crews hoisted the final reinforcing steel pyramid to support the spires atop the iconic building.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Hundreds of construction team members gather Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, for the placement of the final reinforcing steel pyramid atop the Salt Lake Temple.