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Mormonism in the News: Getting It Right | February 8

Mormonism News Getting Right

Misinterpretation of Church’s statements on Scouting decision

The Church posted two statements Wednesday in response to different media inquiries about the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to delay a vote to change its membership policy. Writing about the separate statements, Salt Lake Tribune columnist Peg McEntee claims that in the second statement the Church “scrapped the reference to a ‘moral issue,'” which is contained in the first statement.

McEntee’s claim is incorrect. The language was in no way “scrapped.” The two statements address different questions being asked throughout the day by multiple media outlets. In fact, the first statement and second statement have remained posted on the front page of since they were released last Wednesday.

CNN: Mormons and other faith-based organizations seek to relieve suffering throughout the world

In a guest post on the CNN Belief Blog, Dagfinn Høybråten, a vice president of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) Alliance Board, writes about the important role faith-based organizations play in GAVI’s quest to end childhood deaths from preventable diseases. As Høybråten notes, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the faiths that assists GAVI.

Høybråten correctly says LDS Charities has funded a “$16.4 million measles and rubella initiative and supported it with *64,000 volunteers who have provided more than 800,000 hours of service in 37 countries.” He also mentions Mormon volunteers’ efforts in Ghana to arrange for 1.5 million text messages to be sent to fellow citizens in support of the country’s launch of vaccines against pneumonia and rotavirus —  “two diseases,” he says, “that together claim the lives of more than 2 million children around the world every year.”

Høybråten concludes with “a prayer of thanks that so many people of faith have chosen to join us in the spirit that animates so many religions: the golden rule to do unto others what you would like them to do unto you, and a belief in equity, charity, and the elimination of unnecessary suffering in the world.”

Read Høybråten’s entire column at the CNN Belief Blog.

*The current number is 79,000 volunteers who have provided 839,000 hours of service.

Newton Daily News (Iowa): On a Mormon mission, “you learn that everyone around you is a child of God”

This account from Newton Daily News writer Matthew Shepard describes the duties of Mormon missionaries. Prior to missionary service, Shepard writes, young men and women save money to help finance their mission. Then they begin their mission in one of the Church’s 15 missionary training centers (MTC) across the world, where they receive religious instruction, learn teaching skills and, if necessary, receive language training.

After the MTC, missionaries then travel to their assigned area of labor to help people come closer to Jesus Christ. Missionaries not only do this through formal teaching situations, but also through volunteer service to anyone they are able to help.

One of the missionaries with whom Shepard speaks gets at the “why” of Mormon missionary service: “You do it because you love the people,” the missionary says, and because “everyone around you is a child of God.”

Read the entire story at

See this infographic to learn more about what Mormon missionaries do.

Mercer Island Reporter (Washington state): Mormon missionaries serve to invite others to come unto Jesus Christ and “help people overcome trials”

This article from Mercer Island Reporter staff focuses on Mormon missionaries serving in Washington state. One missionary correctly explains that Mormons serve missions “to help people overcome trials” and understand that through “the atonement of Jesus Christ … [people can] find the joy in life that everybody wants to find.” In fact, as stated in the Church’s official missionary handbook, Preach My Gospel, the core purpose behind Mormon missionary work is to “invite others to come unto Christ.”

When asked about the reception local residents give to the message the missionaries share, one missionary says, “We don’t argue with people, we really just try to share our message and let people decide for themselves.”

Read the entire story at

See this infographic to learn more about what Mormon missionaries do.

Oskaloosa News (Iowa): Mormons serve to comfort others

A brief report in the Oskaloosa News says local Latter-day Saints, both young and old, recently donated teddy bears and blankets to the Mahaska Health Partnership (MHP) Emergency Department in Mahaska County, Iowa.

Diane Ottosson, who took part in the event, describes the motivation behind the service.

“We’re hoping the bears and blankets will find their way into the hands of little ones who might be going through something scary or traumatic and that they bring comfort,” Ottosson says.

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