Mormon Helping Hands: California Day of Service

Saturday, April 27, 2013, is California’s statewide service day, in which thousands of members of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints (nicknamed “Mormons”) coalesce with friends of other faiths in efforts to improve California’s communities. To become involved and find a project, visit


View these comments and suggestions for participating:

Here are some of the California participants’ comments regarding “Mormon Helping Hands”–a global outreach of caring and community service, alleviating stress, assisting one another in times of need and emergency.

Pablo Paniagua ·

Coordinator/Director at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We in the Santa Ana South Stake have a major project at the Heritage Museum of Orange County. We will begin at 7am and conclude at 1:30pm we expect to have 180 people. We will paint, pour concrete, repair a wooden 150 covered walk way and many more. April 20, it’s our day. We are looking forward to an amazing experience.

Carmela Gonzalez ·

Owner-Operator at Social Media Services Santa Barbara, CA Stake-Carpenteria Ward, Santa Barbara Ward and El Camino (Spanish) Branch will be working together at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. They will be planting, landscaping, and outdoor maintenace of the Gardens. The address there is 115 East Micheltorena St. in Santa Barbara and will go from 9-12am. Mesa Vista Ward will be working at San Marcos High School doing landscaping, and maintanence from 9-12am their contact is Lawrence Stehmeier at 570-4046 or El Camino (University) Ward will be at the Santa Barbara Zoo participating in the Zoo-to-Do work day from 8:30am to 1pm doing maintenance and upkeep at the zoo. Their Contact is Michael Gunson at Goleta Valley Ward is working at the Stow House Property (the old train depot and museum) at 304 North Los Caneros Rd. Gole…See More

Blythe Boozer Passanando ·

This is something for the ENTIRE community— If you have found yourself looking at this and thinking, “I’m not Mormon!” It’s okay, you can still participate! :-) This is an event to beautify our community and create unity. Come and help to clean grave markers, garden the grounds, and paint the necessary items at the East Lawn Memorial Park – Sacramento! Please come at 8:30a (or sooner) to sign up for your duty of choice…first come, first serve. **There will be a BBQ lunch served following the event**. Please invite family, friends, neighbors, and strangers to participate as we gather together to serve!

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Mormon Family Search Indexing Reaches New Milestone

Mormon Family Search Indexing Reaches New Milestone

Most people know that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently called the Mormon Church, sponsors family history research worldwide.  Mormons avidly search out their roots, and freely give of their time to help others do the same.  The church-sponsored website,, hosts billions of records that Mormon family indexinganyone may search.  Volunteers, both Mormon and friends of other faiths (or no faith) spend time on their computers copying hand-written documents into designated fields, so records can be digitized and shared.  Some who participate in “indexing” call the experience a satisfactory substitute for online gaming, and it’s a far better use of their time.

Over 585,000 people have volunteered their time so far.  In April 2013 The Church of Jesus Christ announced through Mormon Newsroom that one billion searchable records have been added in the last seven years.  Volunteers reside in 164 countries and territories. 

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FCC Relaxing Standards?

FCC Relaxing Standards?

Alert: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) needs your push-back, your voice to stop the flood of profanity and nudity on prime time “family?” television. The FCC recently announced it is considering dropping current broadcast decency standards that ban explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity.Please see the Action Item below this post to take action.

Children Watching TVViolence, Nudity, Extra-Marital Sex

Children are watching an average of 28 hours of television nationally. Since many TVs and computers streaming TV programming are in their bedrooms (2/3), much viewing is unsupervised.

What’s the net, net?: By age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence, according to the American Psychiatric Association–an increase of vulgarity (72 obscenities in 117 hours of ‘prime time’ TV, 8-9 PM), as if the muck isn’t deep enough already, and now, more nudity than ever.

Extra-marital, pre-marital and homosexual sexual relations are depicted in 8:1 ratio over marital relations (none of which should appear). The content as well as the deceptive ratings are unacceptable. (Parents TV; No Place For Your Kids, 2).

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Elder H. Burke Peterson – LDS Emeritus General Authority Passes

Elder H. Burke Peterson – LDS Emeritus General Authority Passes

Elder Harold Burke Peterson was a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 6 April 1972 until the time of his death on Sunday, 14 April 2013.

Eagle Scout, Seabee, Educator, Family Man

Peterson was born on 19 September 1923 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was raised in Phoenix, Arizona where he eventually became an Eagle Scout. In 1940 he began attending Phoenix College, and in 1942 he joined the United States Navy. Having finished a course in civil engineering at the University of Oklahoma, he became a Seabee and worked on projects in the Pacific Ocean theater during World War II.

Following the war, he earned a Bachelor Degree from the University of Arizona and taught at the Utah State Agricultural College where he eventually earned his Masters Degree. Upon graduation, he worked with the United States Department of Agriculture in Phoenix, Arizona. And in 1955, he and two other Latter-day Saints founded a civil engineering firm, the Engineering Corporation of America.

He was married for time and eternity to Brookie Cardon in the Mesa Arizona Temple in 1947. Together they had five daughters.

Church Callings and Responsibilities

Elder H. Burke Peterson MormonBefore he was ever called to be a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Peterson served as both a Bishop and a Stake President in Phoenix, Arizona and later served as a regional representative for the Arizona Temple regions of Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe.

From 6 April 1972 until 6 April 1985 he served as the First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ to Victor L. Brown, the Presiding Bishop. He served in this capacity until 1985 when Brown was succeeded by Robert D. Hales. In April 1985, he was called by President Spencer W. Kimball to serve as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and served from 6 April 1985 until 2 October 1993 when he was granted General Authority Emeritus status by President Ezra Taft Benson. From 1985 until 1987, he served as the Temple President of the Jordan River Utah Temple. His wife, Brookie, served with him in the Jordan River Utah Temple as matron.

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Celebration of Marriage: Inspiring Videos

Celebration of Marriage: Inspiring Videos


The Utah Celebration of Marriage on March 26 attracted media coverage (here and here) and same-sex activists as well as hundreds of supporters of traditional marriage.

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


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Marriage is something worth celebrating, and every child deserves a mother and a father. 
Mormon marriageOn March 26 and 27 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on two important cases regarding marriage between a man and a woman.  The first is California’s Proposition 8 (a state constitutional amendment stating “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”)  The second is the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA (a federal law since 1996 that defines marriage between a man and a woman, and allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states).   On March 26, there will be a national “March for Marriage” in Washington DC in support of marriage between a man and a woman.  Individual states are also holding similar events.
In the state of Utah we have chosen to hold a “Celebration of Marriage” at the Utah State Capitol. This will be an exciting community event, with Alan and Suzanne Osmond as the MC’s, musical performances by Nathan Osmondand various Utah community groups, and speakers from several different religious faiths, members of the Utah State Legislature, and from the community.
DATE:  Tuesday March 26, 2013
TIME:  7:00 p.m.  (meet-n-mingle 6:00)
PLACE: Utah State Capitol Rotunda
COST:  This community event is free and open to the public–bring your family!
“Celebration of Marriage” Chairperson:  Mary Summerhays (801) 787-2697
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LDS Church Sponsors United Nations Event to Discuss Violence Against Women

LDS Church Sponsors United Nations Event to Discuss Violence Against Women

do no harm mormon quoteViolence against women is not a new topic of discussion by any means. It is an everyday reality of life, and therefore is a topic of discussion that demands some sort of resolution.

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. [1]

LDS Charities United Nations Event mormonDuring 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). [1]

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.” [1]

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.” [1]

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. [1]

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. [1]

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. [1]

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.” [1]

Latter-day Saint Charities

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This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit or