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Mormon Land explores the contours and complexities of LDS news. It's hosted by award-winning religion writer Peggy Fletcher Stack and Salt Lake Tribune managing editor David Noyce.

Mormon Land explores the contours and complexities of LDS news. It's hosted by award-winning religion writer Peggy Fletcher Stack and Salt Lake Tribune managing editor David Noyce.
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Mormon Land explores the contours and complexities of LDS news. It's hosted by award-winning religion writer Peggy Fletcher Stack and Salt Lake Tribune managing editor David Noyce.








Here's what did — and didn’t — happen at General Conference | Episode 52

President Russell M. Nelson and his colleagues did it again. They pulled off a momentous General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They shortened Sunday worship services. They announced a dozen new temples. They gave sermons that made news. They even have members and outsiders talking about how they are supposed to be referring to members and their faith. For this week’s podcast, Patrick Mason, head of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University, and Emily...


Is ‘correlation' helping or hurting the modern faith? | Episode 51

In some respects, the Church Office Building in downtown Salt Lake City is a 28-story monument to a program called “correlation.” In the 1960s, authorities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints introduced in earnest a more consistent approach to the faith that came to be known as correlation. The sweeping effort attempted to make every congregation, class and calling the same across all regions, climates and cultures. These days, critics see correlation as a hinderance. It made...


The gossip you might not have heard about General Conference | Episode 50

Mormon Land is alive with the sound of rumors. Probably the only thing on the Latter-day Saint calendar as reliable as General Conference is the buzz, the chatter, the leaks in the weeks before about what will happen at the upcoming sessions. On this week’s podcast, we’re going to unashamedly indulge the love for such gossip and talk about what members are talking about. Latter-day Saints may not know what’s going to occur at the Oct. 6-7 conference, but that never stopped an entertaining...


What writer Jana Riess' landmark study says about Latter-day Saint women | Episode 49

In March, Religion News Service senior columnist Jana Riess joined us to talk about Latter-day Saint millennials, part of her groundbreaking multigenerational survey of Mormons and former Mormons. Now, with her new book — “The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church” — due out in less than six months, she’s back with us to discuss more specifically what her research revealed about women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Sam Young discusses his stance on youth interviews and his possible excommunication | Episode 48

Sam Young is a Mormon on a mission. He wants bishops’ one-on-one interviews with Latter-day Saint youths to end. He wants the sometimes sexually explicit “worthiness” questions they are asked in these private sessions to cease. To propel his cause, he formed a group, Protect LDS Children, launched an online petition and led a march to church headquarters to deliver tens of thousands of supportive signatures. He even staged a three-week hunger strike to draw attention to the issue. This past...


Independent historian examines church’s new official history book, ‘Saints' | Episode 47

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made history this week — with its own history. For the first time since 1930, it released an authorized, in-depth book that explores the faith’s past. “Saints: The Standard of Truth" is part of a four-volume set that will explore Mormonism from its humble birth to its current global presence. On this week’s “Mormon Land” podcast, Benjamin Park, who is a Latter-day Saint and a history professor at Sam Houston State University, discusses this...


Why the Mormon church's push against medical marijuana might or might not work | Episode 46

Soon after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its opposition to a Utah ballot initiative on medical marijuana, emails began appearing in the inboxes of Mormons across the state. In them, the church stated that while it “does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana,” it is dead set against this particular ballot measure. Will the church succeed in defeating what, to this point, has been a popular proposal? Will the email blast prove effective or could it...


Former Utah lawmaker says prophet is preparing for Christ’s Second Coming | Episode 45

Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a one-paragraph statement last week directing members, the media and others to use the full, formal name of the Utah-based faith and urging them to do away with the shorter but more widely known terms “Mormon” and “LDS.” His statement totaled only 71 words, but it prompted tens of thousands more to be published on the topic because the implications could be wide-ranging and long-lasting. In this week’s...


‘Jane & Emma’ filmmakers discuss Mormonism's first lady and a determined black convert | Episode 44

Emma Smith stands alone as the most famous woman in Mormon history. The wife of church founder Joseph Smith is mentioned in histories, journals, even LDS scripture. Less known is her enduring and endearing friendship with the early church’s most noted black woman, Jane Manning James. A forthcoming film, titled “Jane and Emma,” documents and dramatizes that friendship. The movie’s director, Chantelle Squires, and its screenwriter, Melissa Leilani Larson, discuss the film, its title...


Breastfeeding mom speaks out, says she’s reached a ‘compromise’ with her LDS bishop | Episode 42

The northern Utah mother at the heart of a spat about public breastfeeding has reached a “compromise” with her LDS bishop: She’ll now wear two tops to help hide her breast from above and below while nursing her 19-month-old daughter at her Mormon meetinghouse. But the dispute isn’t dead. The woman is “not quite ready,” she said in her first audio interview on the matter, to meet with the LDS leader who denied her a “temple recommend” unless she covered up. “I would like to see [LDS...


Brigham Young, sea gulls and hardships — separating LDS pioneer myths from reality | Episode 41

This week, Utahns are celebrating the 1847 arrival of Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. By all accounts, the Mormon migration from Illinois to the Great Basin was a monumental journey, one that helped shape the LDS Church and the American West. But, as with many historic events, the truth about the trek can get twisted and turned through the years. Did Brigham Young, for instance, really say “this is the right place”? Did sea gulls save crops from marauding bands of crickets? Did no...


Is LGBTQ support group Affirmation getting too tight with the Mormon church? | Episode 40

The LDS Foundation recently made a historic contribution of $25,000 to Affirmation. That sum may not be a big amount, but symbolically it is huge. It marks the first significant collaboration between the Mormon church and the independent LGBTQ support group. President Carson Tueller and Executive Director John Gustav-Wrathall discuss that donation, the resulting fallout, their group’s diverse membership and whether Affirmation is getting too cozy with the LDS Church in the latest edition...


A weekend of artistic expression — with a Mormon twist | Episode 39

Art expresses and evokes deep human emotions, which makes it intimately connected to spirituality. It makes sense, then, for LDS artists to explore their faith through their creativity. In 2017, such links prompted a group of Latter-day Saints in New York City to launch the Mormon Arts Center Festival, which LDS author Terryl Givens called "a seminal event in Mormonism's coming of age artistically." A year later, the festival has grown larger and even more international, says one of the...


A new hymnal is coming. Which songs should stay, and which should go? | Episode 38

For years, a standard Mormon refrain has been “give us a new hymnbook.” Well, the pleadings from that chorus have been answered. The LDS Church has announced that it is developing a new hymnal for use by Mormons across the globe along with a new songbook for children. So which hymns should stay? Which should go? And which new ones should be added? Writer Kristine Haglund, a former editor of Dialogue and a self-professed “serious amateur” singer and musician, discusses those questions and the...


Can’t we all just get along? Muslims and Latter-day Saints seem to have found a way. | Episode 37

Islam and Mormonism share some religious traditions. Both have histories rooted in a prophet. Both tout modesty and family values. And both embrace fasting and shun alcohol. As we approach the end of Ramadan, we explore those Muslim and Mormon ties with Shuaib Din, imam at the Utah Islamic Center, and Kristen Ullrich Hodges, a Latter-day Saint who last year organized an iftar, or break-the-fast meal, for her LDS and Muslim neighbors on the latest edition of “Mormon Land.”


Who actually banned black Mormons from the priesthood? | Episode 36

On the latest episode of “Mormon Land,” University of Utah professor Paul Reeve offers insight on where the LDS Church's ban on giving black men and boys the priesthood and black women and girls entrance into temples originated.


Cathy Stokes talks about her conversion and her life as a black Mormon | Episode 35

In the latest episode of “Mormon Land,” Cathy Stokes describes her conversion to Mormonism, what it means to be a black Latter-day Saint and what's next for the church after it celebrates its 1978 decision to end a centurylong ban on black men and boys being ordained, and on black women being allowed in Mormon temples.


Author Rachel Hunt Steenblik discusses the Heavenly Mother's role in the LDS Church | Episode 34

In 2015, the LDS Church issued a short essay matter-of-factly affirming its belief in a Heavenly Mother. Some argue whole books should be written about her. And that’s precisely what Rachel Hunt Steenblik did with her volume “Mother’s Milk: Poems in Search of Heavenly Mother.” She discussed her writings and research on the latest “Mormon Land” podcast.


Scouting will survive without the LDS Church, but it will change, says Scout executive | Episode 33

This breakup is sure to have a profound impact not only on the faith — which was Scouting’s largest chartering sponsor, especially in Utah and the Intermountain West — but also on the longtime youth organization itself. How much smaller will Scouting get? Will LDS boys and girls stick with or join the program? How much will it cost? What happens to all those camps? Will Scouting even survive? Mark Griffin, a Scout executive with the Great Salt Lake Council, answers those question and more on...


LDS mission presidents are in the news, but what do these church leaders do? | Episode 32

They decide which Mormon missionaries should be teamed up together. They make sure the young proselytizers stay healthy and safe. They shepherd these eager elders and sisters through any faith, physical or emotional crisis. In the end, LDS mission presidents can rank among the most influential church leaders in individual lives. This week on “Mormon Land” — and in the wake of recent revelations about misconduct by a couple of former mission presidents — Jim and Jeanne Jardine, who oversaw...