Elder Holland Denounces Female Genital Mutilation
During his September 11 address at the Religious Persecution Conference at Windsor Castle in England, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland became the first Church official to formally condemn the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).
“Instances of female genital mutilation, removable [sic] of bodily appendages, and honor killings persist during times of peace. God knows of [the women’s] suffering and weeps with them.”
Elder Holland’s reference to FGM came as a surprise to Brigham Young University Geology Professor, Chad Emmett.
Emmett, who has written extensively on the subject, had previously noted, “I have not yet found any official mention of FGM by Mormon leaders (in conference talks, Ensign articles, the Handbook of Instructions, or letters from the First Presidency).”
And while Holland’s statement was a big step in the LDS fight against the issue, the comment went largely unnoticed amid the religious persecution and refugee dialog. Regardless, Emmett hopes this statement means the Church will take up arms and join the fight against FGM.
Read the full article at The Salt Lake Tribune.
Clinton Campaign Continues to Vie for LDS Support
In its latest attempt to attract LDS voters, the Clinton campaign launched a “Mormons for Hillary” group last week. With 120 founding members, the group aims to persuade family and friends that Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, is deserving of LDS support this election season.
With Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, many Mormon voters are balking at the idea of voting red. This unusual upset in the historically Republican state has led to a frenzied dash between parties to gain the LDS vote. Both major party candidates as well as Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, published op-eds in the LDS owned Deseret News in an effort to sway voters their direction.
Currently, the “Mormons for Hillary” Facebook page was at 700 likes.
Read more at The Salt Lake Tribune.
Wyoming Temple Opens Doors to Visitors
From Friday, September 23 to Saturday, October 8, 2016, the public is invited to tour the Star Valley Wyoming Temple before its dedication.
The 17,000 square foot building in Afton, Wyoming will be the first temple in the state, serving saints in the Wyoming-Idaho area. Temple open houses provide the rare opportunity for non-members to enter into the most sacred building of the LDS faith.
Reservations to tour the temple can be made at templeopenhouse.churchofjesuschrist.org.
Read more at Mormon Newsroom.
Utah Senator Proposes Bill to Speed Up Missionary Visa Application Process
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has proposed a bill to expedite the visa process for missionaries serving internationally. Under the bill, the process could take weeks rather than months.
“Missionary service is the lifeblood for many churches across the nation, yet long and unpredictable visa delays are taking a toll on those who have answered the call to serve,” Hatch told Deseret News.
The bill would especially benefit the LDS Church, as it has one of the largest missionary programs in the world.
Read more at Desert News.