This Week in Mormons Episode #375

Harvey and Houston

Amid untold catastrophe in Houston, the Houston Texas Temple also floods approximately 4-5 inches. Why have some been snarky about a temple flooding? More importantly, while the temple can and will be restored, what about the lives of Houston residents. The Church has also lent its meetinghouses to the recovery effort.

Denver Snuffer, Offshoots, and History

Denver Snuffer is still at it, and his Remnant movement—which he stresses is not a church—is having a conference in Boise to canonize scripture, something Snuffer said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never actually did.

In a semi-related note, Religion News Servicecarried a great article covering the shared history of various Latter-Day Saint movements, and how that comes together at sacred ground for all sects. Independence, Missouri is a potent example, where various LDS offshoots (and our mainstream church) believe Zion will be built in the Second Coming. It’s easy to forget that we still believe, doctrinally, that Zion has yet to be redeemed.

Temple News

On August 13, 2017, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf dedicated the Tucson Arizona Temple, bringing the total number of temples in Arizona up to 6, 5 of which have been built in the past 20 years.

The Church also recently announced a major change in temple worker policy, allowing single men over 30 and recent divorcees to serve as ordinance workers. Previously, those within five years of a divorce were barred from service. However, some other restrictions remain in place.

Pushing for Inclusivity, Decrying Racism

After the tragedy in Charlottesville, the Church initially issued a somewhat tepid, boilerplate response, frustrating many. It revised its statement, however, once it became clear that certain LDS advocates of so-called “white culture” used the original statement as carte blanche to continue their activities, the Church outright condemned white nationalism, categorizing it as sin. Prominent hate blogger Wife With a Purpose, who is LDS, responded by saying,“I don’t listen to the church’s PR department,” Stewart wrote in a tweet Tuesday afternoon. “Have someone from the first presidency tell me I can’t love my culture, then we’ll talk.”

A viral post entitled “A Letter to Mormons” highlighted the chasm that exists in some area where Mormons play a dominant role in culture. The non-Mormon author mentioned how her kids just want to sit at the same lunch table as Mormon kids. How do we overcome our naturally insular nature as a religious body?

Goodbye, Presidents of the Church

With the Church running out of Teachings of Presidents of the Church material from deceased prophets at the end of this year, many had wondered if the living prophet, President Monson, would get a manual. Nope. The Church is revamping its Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society programming, formatted around the youth’s “Come, Follow Me” program. You will now drown in General Conference talks.

Prophetic News

Elder Holland closed out a chiasmus conference, which was neat. Elder Christofferson accepted the World Peace Prize in India. Eclipse watchers spontaneously sang “Happy Birthday” to President Monson from the Church Office Building plaza, and you—yes you—can tour David O. McKay’s birthplace!

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