From the Deseret News story:
Even as the U.S. Supreme Court opened debate around marriage laws Tuesday, two different opinions converged in Utah’s Capitol rotunda. Supporters of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act gathered for a night of music and speeches celebrating traditional marriage and families.
But as the program got under way, they found themselves surrounded on all sides by banners and flags crying out in support of gay marriage. When seats for the concert filled up, Salt Lake residents Dominic and Jeana Jones stood on the sidelines, holding their two children in their arms. They came, they said, as an example of what they believe marriage and family should look like.
“We’re trying to not redefine marriage,” Jeana Jones said. “It’s not just a valentine between two people. We respect people’s right to love whoever they love, but marriage is something more.”
Couldn’t make it to the celebration? Click here to watch for yourself what the amazing 13-year-old Amelia Summerhays, Sen. Margaret Dayton, Dr. Jenet Erickson, the Rev. Greg Johnson and others said in their speeches.
Courtesy of Sutherland Institute
JOIN THE UTAH “CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE” EVENT!
On Wednesday, 6 March 2013, during a United Nations side event featuring the humanitarian outreach of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mistakenly referred to as the Mormon Church by people of other faiths) to women worldwide, the executive director of LDS Charities, Sharon Eubank, stated, “Violence against women isn’t just physical, it can be structural.” She further commented:
If women don’t have access to health care because the roads are too dangerous, if they are turned away from care because they are too poor or too disabled, if there is no equipment to save their newborn, if no one believes girls need wheelchairs — they are bullied by a societal structure that is so much bigger and meaner than they have power to fight. 
During the past quarter-century, the Church of Jesus Christ has provided assistance to nearly 30 million people in 179 countries. The LDS Church hosted this event as part of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. Featured speakers at the event included: Sharon Eubank, Ambassador Charles T. Ntwaagae, Botswana’s permanent representative to the United Nations, and Dr. Dennis C. and Nancy C. Hughes, LDS humanitarian medical trainers.
Eubank began her remarks talking about a humanitarian effort that predates LDS Charities. She spoke of the Salt Lake Valley in 1870, when inexperienced midwifery and home births contributed to a high infant mortality rate. She said,
A visionary woman named Eliza Snow went to the territory governor with a plan, requesting that six women be sent to the Eastern United States and trained in medicine. They would return and train others.
One 28-year-old woman, Ellis Shipp, left Salt Lake City for medical school. She was expecting a baby herself, found a job guarding the cadaver lab at night and studied by candlelight.
In 1879 she came back to Salt Lake City with a medical degree. Over her lifetime she delivered 5,000 babies. And she trained 500 midwives to be certified and licensed. She was the beginning of the drop of the infant mortality rate in (Utah). 
Ellis Shipp was an ordinary woman of 1879 who dared to do extraordinary things, and the work that she begun continues today. Eubank stated that the work of Shipp has evolved into the modern-day work by LDS Charities on neonatal resuscitation training. She further stated, “LDS Charities’ great strength — which may be unique in the world — is the organization’s ability to combine big vision and strategic multilateral relationships with grass roots voluntarism to tackle intractable problems.” 
Eubank noted that there are more than 1 million infants every year that die of asphyxia, and there are many doctors who know how to save these babies, but they do not have the necessary equipment to do so. In an effort to address this problem, LDS Charities donates medical equipment to hospitals, and couples such as the Dr. Dennis C. and Nancy C. Hughes train medical professionals. In 2012, LDS Charities trained 28,000 medical professionals in 48 countries. During the event, Dennis Hughes, using a training doll, demonstrated some of the equipment and training given to these professionals.
“We know our work is very valuable,” Nancy Hughes said. “The distribution of medical equipment through LDS Charities and the skills that are learned help babies live.” To those attending the United Nations conference, she added, “Our goals are your goals.” 
Ambassador Ntwaagae said Botswana is one of the countries that has, over the years, benefited tremendously from the support of LDS Charities — especially when it comes to wheelchair distribution. Later this year, Botswana will be among the first African countries to implement the newly released World Health Organization wheelchair-training curricula. The multiyear effort between the Botswana Ministry of Health and LDS Charities trains physical therapists and technicians to properly fit wheelchair recipients and then provides a variety of mobility aids for distribution. 
Eubank pointed out that there are 45 million people in the world who need wheelchairs but don’t have access to one. She added that men and boys get 70 percent of this equipment. “When we distribute wheelchairs we look for partnering organizations that have a commitment to address this gender bias,” she said. 
In expressing his appreciation for the years of support from LDS Charities, Ambassador Ntwaagae said:
This particular commitment has been very helpful in uplifting the lives of our vulnerable population, especially the women and children.
As a country, Botswana is committed to the concept of social inclusion and integration, including people with disabilities. However, we continue to face challenges in terms of a shortage of equipment. 
Eubank closed by asking those in attendance to work with her to “inoculate people at an early age against violence and the acceptance of violence because it is like a disease.” “We can commit that we will speak and learn ourselves and then train eight other people by our personal example,” she said. “We can find ways for inclusion and rehabilitation to bring people back into the mainstream of society. It is only in those skills that we have a clear road to be able to go forward in this way. It is important for every person in this room.” Read More
Recently a living apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ (Yes, there really are living oracles of God in our very day! Ask us more, if you like.), Henry B. Eyring, shared some tender, powerful remarks about the mountains of adversity we climb in this life. Each of us has a story to tell, a time when the weight and burden seemed heavier than heavy, and almost crushing, when either the peace of the Savior and the reality of the atonement – the burden He carried for us — became even more intensely real and meaningful to us or we despaired of life, not knowing how to access Him. If you are standing alone, He beckons you, right now, every moment, to come unto Him. If you don’t know how, contact us or someone who can guide you through. You are a breath away from hope and from Him. Ask Him if He is real and to manifest Himself to you. That is real prayer—the outpouring of your soul . God is there. He delights in lifting and helping you and is not absentee, vague, obscure, distant or reluctant. It is often us who turn away, not Him.
Below this entry from a friend on her adversity and her struggles through a series of hurtful miscarriages, is a must-see video that encapsulates Elder Eyring’s remarks on the mountains of adversity some of us face, and overcoming through faith in Jesus Christ. God bless you in your journey. These are more than pat answers and platitudes. There is purpose in pain and there is relief and peace and hope and healing through faith in Jesus Christ. Let us know if we can guide you along your path to happiness and to a knowledge of God’s restored gospel and Church.
Heartache and Hope
I have had as many miscarriages as babies born: four of each. After I survived a foreclosure and bankruptcy, I thought I could handle any trial that the Lord sent me. So He tested me, and boy, was I wrong. The financial trials were humbling, but the next wave of adversity hit me to the very core of my being.Read More
Alfie Boe, Tony-winning British tenor who never saw a live musical show until he starred in one, completely enraptured audiences once again in the 2012 Temple Square Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. Beloved and renown for his showstopping rendition of “Bring Him Home”–the Les Mis prayer-song of Jean Valjean which Alfie added to the musical numbers performed at the Choir Concert–brought him and the Choir and orchestra, an unsurprising standing ovation. The Christmas extravaganza featured distinguished journalist, Tom Brokaw, NBC News Nitely Anchor and Today Show host. Brokaw narrated the story of the Salt-Lake City born, World War II Air Force Pilot “Candy-Bomber”–Gail Halvorsen, who dropped candy from C-47s to children he came to meet behind a barbed wire fence one day on his mission in Germany.
As the music crescendo-ed, Tom continued to recount Gail’s story of giving against the backdrop of airplanes and min-parachutes dropping candy on video sweeping across a white-screen floating vertically from top to bottom of the Tabernacle Choir Stage. Just as Tom completed the story of the candy-bomber, the screen lifted. The Candy-Bomber himself stood in uniform on stage, wrapping the audience in love and cheers. Meanwhile, mini white real parachutes dropped from the ceiling of the Conference Center mirroring those dropping from those WWII planes. The audience was riveted and overcome with the Spirit of Christ–the spirit of giving, the spirit of Christmas–as children approached the Candy-Bomber, and he has came to share a few words with Tom and the audience about giving, about gratitude, about finding real joy in service.
Merry Christmas to each of you.
May you also enjoy various other Christmas songs performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra on Temple Square are available for download on Mormon.org (list courtesy of mormonwoman.org).
- O Holy Night - Download
- Gloria in Excelsis - Download
- Silent Night - Download
- Away in a Manger - Download
- Deck the Halls - Download
- Angels, From The Realms Of Glory - Download
- For Unto Us a Child Is Born - Download
- Hallelujah - Download
- Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabella - Download
- And The Glory Of The Lord - Download
Mormon Tabernacle Choir on YouTube
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir–the Spirit-filled renown volunteer cadre of singers gracing the globe with Sunday sounds and special concerts–launched their YouTube Channelearlier this week, making the Choir’s music available to fans throughout the world anytime, anywhere, for free. The announcement event was streamed live from the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on the Choir’s Facebook page.
The Choir’s new YouTube page will feature a variety of content:
- Music videos, such as the one unveiled at the news conference featuring soloist Alex Boyé singing the African American spiritual “I Want Jesus to Walk Me” with the Choir.
- Popular past performances such as the Pioneer Concert with Katherine Jenkins.
- Music and the Spoken Word is also on the YouTube channel. Music and the Spoken Word is the longest continuing broadcast in the world, first airing on July 15, 1929 in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. Since then, over 4,300 episodes have aired.
- Musical highlights, inspirational messages, general conference music, and concerts.
Source: LDS Media Talk
Visit the Choir’s YouTube Page.Read More