Category: religion

Latter-day Saint church launches abuse prevention training for all leaders who interact with youth

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday they will require all leaders who oversee youth and children to complete training to prevent and respond to abuse.

Friday’s announcement begins with references to Jesus Christ’s love for children and the statement “His Church does not tolerate abuse of any kind.”

The online training will initially launch in North America, with other areas to follow. The training will be completed as new leaders receive assignments to work with children and youth.

“We take Jesus Christ’s teachings about children and youth very seriously,” said Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president. “He welcomed them into His presence and gave stern warnings against abusing, bullying or hurting them in any way. Jesus said of children, ‘Of such is the kingdom of God’ [Mark 10:14]. His deep concern for children and youth must continue to be our deep concern.”

Church leaders sent a notice indicating all leaders in the following positions are asked to complete the training:

  • Stake and district presidencies, bishoprics and branch presidencies
  • High councilors
  • Stake, district, ward, and branch Primary, Young Women, Young Men and Sunday School and Relief Society presidencies; elders quorum presidencies
  • Secretaries, teachers, advisers, camp leaders, activity day leaders, music leaders, pianists and others serving in positions in the Primary,
  • Young Women and Young Men organizations
  • Teachers of youth Sunday School and seminary classes

The release also states that Latter-day Saint leaders registered in Scouting should also complete the youth protection training required by that group for 2019 before the faith ends its participation with the BSA in 2020.

Parents are also encouraged to complete the training, which is available here. 

The release states:

“The training is designed to increase awareness, highlight policies and identify best practices for supervising and interacting with children and youth. It also helps leaders know how to prevent and respond to abuse. Leaders and specialists from child protection organizations, family therapists and other professionals participated in the creation and evaluation of the new training.”

The new system includes notifications for local leaders regarding the members who need to complete the training, who should “ensure that members access and complete the training.”

The Latter-day Saint faith has faced criticism regarding leaders interactions with children, including an organized effort called “Protect LDS Children” that focused on doing away with one-on-one worthiness interviews between bishops and youth.  

Authorities investigating after fire breaks out at church in Ogden

OGDEN, Utah — Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that broke out in a church in Ogden Friday morning.

According to a press release from the Ogden City Fire Department, the fire broke out around 10:35 a.m. at a meetinghouse for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The church is located at 550 East and 900 North.

The release states that crews extinguished the fire, which was isolated to one wing of the church. There was no one inside when the fire broke out and no injuries were reported.

“Due to the fire being in a church, the ATF and State Fire Marshal’s Office are assisting in the investigation with the office of the Ogden City Fire Department Marshal,” the release states.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the damage is estimated at $40,000.

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.

Latter-day Saint leaders announce specific location for temple in Saratoga Springs

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a specific location for their temple in Saratoga Springs.

According to a news release issued Tuesday, the temple will be built in the new Beacon Pointe subdivision, west of Redwood Road and north of Meadow Side Drive.

The plans are for a three-story structure over an approximate 87,000 square feet. A meetinghouse on 21,000 square feet will be built adjacent to the new temple.

Plans for the full site, including landscaping, parking and utilities, have been filed. The site is 22.7 acres in total.

The specific designs for the temple itself are still being developed and will be released at a later time. The date for a ground breaking has not been set.

There are 17 Latter-day Saint temples currently operating in Utah. In addition to Saratoga Springs, temples have been announced in Layton, Washington County and the Tooele Valley.

Latter-day Saints who marry civilly no longer have to wait for temple ceremonies

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a shift in their policy regarding civil and temple marriages.

According to a news release issued Monday, Latter-day Saint couples who marry in a civil ceremony are now eligible to be married or sealed in a temple as soon as they are able.

Under the previous policy, Latter-day Saints in some areas of the world who married in civil ceremonies were required to wait one year before participating in temple ceremonies.

The change announced Monday unifies the faith with a single standard for such proceedings. The new policy has been the standard practice in “more than half the countries where the worldwide faith resides” the release states. The prior mix was a result of countries that required couples to marry civilly before engaging in a religious marriage ceremony.

“Where possible, leaders should encourage couples to be both married and sealed in the temple,” says a First Presidency letter to Church leaders around the world. “Where a licensed marriage is not permitted in the temple, or when a temple marriage would cause parents or immediate family members to feel excluded, a civil ceremony followed by a temple sealing is authorized.”

More details are available here.