Today we feature stories about Temple Square, Mormonism’s history in Palmyra, New York, diversity in Utah congregations and missionaries finding deeper meaning to life through serving others.
(VIDEO) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC): Touring Temple Square
As a supplement to its documentary about the Church, the CBC includes this 10-minute video of highlights from a tour of Temple Square. The tour, led by emeritus general authority and current Church director of hosting Richard G. Hinckley, contains brief primers on Mormon beliefs, humanitarian aid and welfare efforts, and Mormon temples and takes viewers inside the Tabernacle during a Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal.
(VIDEO) Associated Press: Palmyra, New York, and the story of Joseph Smith
Associated Press correspondent Warren Levinson correctly reports a basic Mormon belief that “a 14-year-old farm boy named Joseph Smith Jr. had a holy vision [in Palmyra, New York], which ultimately led to the publishing of the Book of Mormon in Palmyra 10 years later.”
Latter-day Saints believe God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the young Joseph in 1820 — the humble beginning of a worldwide religion that dots the globe with more than 14 million members.
Palmyra mayor Vicky Daly says the Church’s history in Palmyra is “something that everybody, no matter what church they attend, … should take a look at if they are interested in local history and New York state history.”
The Church is a global faith with more members outside the United States than inside. In a report about the Church’s diversity in Utah, Salt Lake Tribune’s Lee Davidson adds the little-known fact that the Church offers congregations in Utah that speak 14 languages besides English.
These include Spanish (134 congregations); Tongan (29); Samoan (14); American Sign Language (seven); Portuguese (three); Mandarin, Korean and Japanese (two congregations each); and Cambodian, German, Laotian, Karen, Swahili and Russian (one congregation each).
One member Davidson speaks with says worshipping in their native language “is a blessing because we can learn more about God in a way that is easier to understand and is more rich for us. It’s a blessing to go to church and not worry about understanding what is said.”
York Daily Record: Mormon missionaries find deeper meaning to life through serving others
The Daily Record’s John Hilton speaks with two returned Mormon missionaries in Pennsylvania to get a feel for what missionary service is like. In addition to describing a missionary’s average day, Hilton notes that many Mormon missionaries learn “one of the central paradoxes of faith: by surrendering yourself [to serve others], you often find a deeper meaning to your life.”
Additionally, Hilton correctly reports that missionaries gain important life skills and learn to love others. Returned missionary Brian Carter says he learned “to focus on what needs to be done and how to do it very efficiently,” as well as “how to interact and behave in certain situations.” Another returned missionary, Patrick Walters, says he “learned to have a deep and abiding love for other people, even whom I had never met before.”
Watch The District, an unscripted, actor-less documentary that follows Mormon missionaries in San Diego, California.