Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently referred to by the media or friends of other faiths as "The Mormon Church") has over 15 million members in over 160 nations worldwide. Currently, 155 of its beautiful temples adorn sites in North, South, and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and numerous islands of the sea. There are 22 other LDS temples that have either been announced or are under construction. The relief and humanitarian efforts of the Church have helped bless the lives of millions around the world, regardless of faith, as it follows the example of its Living Head, Jesus Christ. Sadly, The Church of Jesus Christ is still greatly misunderstood, and many myths and falsehoods still exist. We hope that this site will provide information to those who visit hoping to gain knowledge about Latter-day Saints (nicknamed "Mormons"), either on a given topic in Mormonism or simply about Mormons in general. Articles cover topics about such things as basic Mormon beliefs, Mormon doctrine, Mormon history and leadership, temple work, family life, Mormon literature, controversial topics, and Church organizations and humanitarian efforts.
The Tucson Arizona Temple will be the sixth Mormon temple in Arizona, the home of approximately 416,000 Latter-day Saints, meeting in over 800 congregations. The other temples in Arizona are the Mesa Arizona Temple (1927), Snowflake Arizona Temple (2002), Gila Valley Arizona Temple (2010), Phoenix Arizona Temple (2014), and the Gilbert Arizona Temple (2014). The Mesa Arizona Temple presents an Easter pageant every year that attracts tens of thousands of visitors. Cactus plants at the Tucson Arizona Temple site were transplanted to an on-site nursery and reintegrated into the final landscaping.
The Tucson Arizona Temple is larger than the Gila Valley Temple and smaller than the Phoenix Temple. The two-story, 34,000-square-foot mission-style building includes a dome-shaped cupola reminiscent of the famous dome that crowns Italy's Florence Cathedral.
The temple will serve approximately 33,000 members who make up the eight stakes in the Tucson area - from Sierra Vista, Wilcox, Avra Valley, Marana, Oro Valley to Nogales.
The site for the Tucson Arizona Temple is in the Catalina Foothills, where East Ina Road curves into Skyline Drive.
History of the Church in Tucson, Arizona
Latter-day Saints first entered the area that is now Tucson in the winter of 1846 as part of the Mormon Battalion which was organized to help in the Mexican-American War. The trails they blazed across Arizona had started in Iowa and ended in California and ultimately became the “highways” for people headed west throughout the 1800s. Thirty-three members of the Battalion returned and settled in what is now Arizona. More members of the Church arrived in 1873, having been sent from Utah to establish settlements in Arizona. In 1899, Nephi and Jacob Bingham settled in the Tucson area near the Rillito River, and they named the colony Binghampton. Gradually, more members of the Church settled in the area, and the first branch in Tucson was formed in 1910. The first stake in the area was formed in 1956.
In 1912, Latter-day Saints who had settled in Mexico also relocated to Arizona, and 15 years later, Arizona’s first temple was dedicated in Mesa. In 1973, Arizona native Spencer W. Kimball became the 12th President of the Church and served until his death in 1985.
The Tucson Arizona Temple is anticipated to serve members from the following ten stakes: Marana Arizona Stake, Sahuarita Arizona Stake, Sierra Vista Arizona Stake, St David Arizona Stake, Tucson Arizona Stake, Tucson Arizona East Stake, Tucson Arizona North Stake, Tucson Arizona Rincon Stake, Tucson Arizona South Stake, and Tucson Arizona West Stake. A final determination will be made before the temple is dedicated.
The cultural celebration will be held Saturday, 12 August 2017. The temple will be dedicated the following day on Sunday, 13 August 2017, in three sessions at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The dedication will be broadcast to members of the Church in Arizona. The three-hour block of meetings will be canceled for that Sunday for those congregations to enable members of the Church to participate and focus on this sacred event.
Humanitarian Aid Updates
Mormons Provide Humanitarian Aid Around the World
Following the admonition of the Master who taught, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40), members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actively engage in the service of their fellowmen in many areas of the world.
The service that they render is not limited solely to Latter-day Saints in need, but rather they stand ready, willing, and able to “lift up the hands which hang down, and [to stable] the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12) of anyone in their hour of need. Thus, as they perform their unselfish acts of service, the words found in the text of King Benjamin’s sermon as recorded in The Book of Mormon resonate with them. Said King Benjamin, “And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another” (Mosiah 4:21).
The Church of Jesus Christ Humanitarian Programs
LDS Humanitarian Services is a branch of the Welfare Services department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The organization’s stated mission is to relieve suffering, to foster self-reliance for people of all nationalities and religions, and to provide opportunities for service.
Throughout its history, The Church of Jesus Christ has always provided for those in need and is perhaps best known for taking care of its own members. In 1842, Joseph Smith organized the Women’s Relief Society, with a primary focus to provide “relief” to suffering members and an ultimate vision of aiding all people. During the Great Depression, the Church organized a welfare program, now administered by the church's Welfare Services Department, to help provide for the needs of its members.
To help as many people as possible, the Church has established various humanitarian projects which operate throughout the world. These programs include LDS Charities, Helping Hands, and LDS Philanthropies. The Church also maintains the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was established in 1991 to “prepare humanitarian supplies for use worldwide and train those desiring to develop employable skills to become self-reliant.”
The Members' Role in Humanitarian Work
The Savior taught, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). We show our love for one another when we are willing to follow the admonition of the Lord to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and those in prison. We are also taught that we are to visit the fatherless and the widow in their afflictions. In his timeless sermon, King Benjamin exhorted the people, “For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?” (Mosiah 4:19).
Members can get actively engaged in humanitarian efforts in several ways. One way that members can become involved is through service in their local community. Service in the community can include things such as cutting a neighbor’s lawn, washing a neighbor’s car, offering to run errands for an elderly person or someone who is otherwise unable to do so themselves, or babysitting for a neighbor. Service in the community might also include taking part in projects that benefit the community. Members should also seek to build community relations by being actively involved in community service projects that may be spearheaded by people of other faiths, or if they identify something that would benefit the community that has not been addressed, they should take the initiative to bring about a solution. No matter how a person chooses to serve his community, and no matter how small the service may seem, the service alone will say myriads about that person and his or her faith.
Too often we notice the needs around us, hoping that someone from far away will magically appear to meet those needs. … When we do this, we deprive our neighbor of the service we could render, and we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to serve.
Another way that a member can be involved in humanitarian efforts is by donating to the Humanitarian Aid Fund. Donations can be made through a local ward or branch of the Church by filling out a Tithing and Other Offerings slip and indicating the amount on the “Humanitarian Aid” line, mailing a check, or donating online through the Humanitarian Services Giving section of the LDS Philanthropies website. Donations to the Humanitarian Aid Fund allow the Church to help people throughout the world by providing relief and ultimately helping them to become self-reliant.
There are also many members who become actively engaged in community service or helping with relief efforts during natural disasters and catastrophes by volunteering to be a part of the Mormon Helping Hands. The Mormon Helping Hands is a program of The Church of Jesus Christ, under the direction of the Priesthood, which provides community service and/or disaster relief for those in need. The service that is rendered by the Helping Hands helps to establish the name and reputation of the Church by dispelling some of the misconceptions about the Church, and proving that Mormons are Christians who are willing to give of their time and service for the good of the communities in which they live.
Church of Jesus Christ Humanitarian Initiatives
Emergency Response is the part of the LDS Church’s humanitarian efforts of which most people are aware. Funds and supplies in this area are used to help victims of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, and hurricanes, as well as other disasters such as wars or political unrest. Supplies in this area are gathered and stored before a crisis so supplies can be sent within hours of an emergency. Volunteers are also on call so they can be reached and organized within a few hours if needed. The LDS Church is renowned for its ability to organize its members in various regions of the world to respond to emergency and facilitate distributing goods immediately after a crisis, often before aid programs such as the Red Cross or the Salvation Army come to assist. In 2008, the LDS Church responded to 124 disasters in 48 countries.
Wheelchair Distribution is another church program crucial to helping those in need. Studies estimate that only one percent of the disabled in the world have wheelchairs. For the rest, being without a wheelchair means adults cannot provide for themselves or their families, and for children it often means not being able to attend school. By providing wheelchairs to those in need, the church hopes to help people become more self-reliant which is an important tenant of LDS beliefs.
The Clean Water Service provides clean water and wells to people who otherwise would most likely contract deadly diseases because of the dirty water. It is estimated that one billion people lack clean water. The clean water program is designed to partner with local community agencies to provide sustainable clean water.
The Neonatal Resuscitation program sends doctors and volunteers to areas where infant mortality rate is high. They are able to teach people in the area how to resuscitate newborns as well as provide simple medical equipment. This service is greatly needed as it is estimated that nearly 1 million newborns die each year due to birth difficulties. Up to 10% of newborns have breathing difficulties.
The Vision Treatment Training program teaches facilities and medical personnel in developing countries how to treat preventable or reversible blindness. There are 37 million people in the world who are blind, and up to 75 % of blindness is treatable. The vision care program works with local vision health care centers to help treat and prevent blindness for the poor.
North Star - A place of community for Latter-day Saints dealing with issues surrounding homosexual attraction who desire to live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the values and doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The following articles discuss the topic of Religious Freedom:
Mormon Music - Features bios about seasoned and upcoming LDS artists, music videos, and interesting news articles about the Mormon music scene
Joaquín Esteban Costa : General Authority Seventy
Joaquín Estaban Costa was born on 8 March 1965, in Concordia, Entre Rios, Argentina, to Graciela M. Fassi and Eduardo J. Costa. He was baptized in 1988 after beginning to date Renée Beatriz Varela who had served as a missionary in Chile. They dated for another year after he was baptized, and were married in the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple on 29 September 1989. They are the parents of two sons and two daughters.
He received his Bachelor Degree in Economics from Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1987, and his Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University in1994. He has worked in the banking industry in his native Argentina, the Czech Republic, the Sultanate of Oman in the Middle East, and for a multinational investment banking and financial services corporation (Citibank) in Chicago, Illinois. At the time of his call as a General AuthoritySeventy, he was working in Lima, Peru, with MAJ Invest, a Danish investment firm. His duties focused on microfinance.
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Featured Mormon Artist
Camille Nelson - New Album "Lead Me Home" 18 August 2017 - Stone Angel Music
Camille Nelson, the sister of the renowned cello player, Steven Sharp Nelson of The Piano Guys, is a classically trained violinist and acoustic guitarist. Her genre includes Fingerstyle and Percussive Guitar and Violin.
According to her Facebook bio, "Her music is fun and fresh, offering feel-good beats and moving melodies that any audience can easily relate to."
Her unique pop/rock/folk songwriting style, influenced by artists like U2 and Alanis Morissette, has "evolved to her current style of percussive guitar elements integrated with violin and ethereal vocals." Her playing style reflects influences from fingerstyle artists Kaki King and Andy Mckee. A few of the artists who have influenced her music are Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan, Sting, Nik Kershaw, and U2.
Camille Nelson is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and comes from an immensely talented and musically inclined family. She is the youngest of six children. Her father was a violinist, and her mother was a professional opera singer. Both parents had a tremendous influence on Camille’s interest in performing music.
Her debut album, First Words, engineered and produced by Nashville producer, Giles Reaves, was released in 2009 under the independent label known as Dimmi Records. She later earned a publishing contract for more expansive television and film placement. She is currently signed with Stone Angel Music. Her freshman album called Lead Me Home is scheduled to be released on 18 August 2017 and will be available in Desert Book and other related stores. The album is produced by world renowned pianist, Paul Cardall.
Camille recently collaborated with Alex Sharpe (Celtic Woman) to record an awe-inspiring rendition of the beautiful Irish poem "Be Thou My Vision." The music track, which appears on her new album, was recorded at Stone Angel Music Studios in Salt Lake City, Utah, by Trevor Price. Shane Mickelsen composed the string and vocal arrangements, and the video was recorded in Howth, Ireland.
Much of the music that Camille writes and performs relates to her extensive world travels. She has visited more than 70 countries and speaks German and Italian fluently. She has lived in South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy during and after earning her Bachelor and Master Degree from the University of Utah and her Ph.D. from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. She is a college professor teaching MBA courses in management, communication, and leadership. She continues to make music while teaching to help further her goal of motivating and touching people through the power of music.
As well as performing internationally, Camille is also a well-rounded athlete, enjoying biking and skiing, and even earning praise as a competitive runner and triathlete having run over 15 marathons, including the Boston Marathon, Great Wall Marathon, and the Antarctica Marathon.