EP 485 – Wear Your Mask, Kids

How did face masks become about religious freedom when they are supposed to be about public health? How is your sabbath in the time of COVID?

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] fun grab bag of Latter-day Saint News for you this week, led by the indomitable, unsurpassed TWiM Sisters, Tiffany and Arianne. Plus, Tiffany gets to welcome her daughter home from her mission in the near future!

Starting with temple news, the Church quietly renamed the erstwhile Washington County Utah Temple last week, merely updating the listing in its database. The new temple, dubbed Red Cliffs Utah, is the same building as before! Just a name change! And sadly, the exterior will not be clad in said red cliffs.

In addition, Deseret News ran an article with a fascinating insight into the work going on at the Salt Lake Temple. The temple is currently closed for a four-year renovation, and crews are still very much in the demolition phase. Great pains are being taken to ensure the structural and artistic integrity of the building, particularly during a hot Utah summer.

The United States Supreme Court issued a win for defenders of religious freedom last week, ruling that a faith-based exemption in the Affordable Care Act allows employers not to be required to offer birth control, for example, as part of a health care plan. Writing for the consensus, justice Samuel Alito cited Doctrine and Covenants. Guys! The Supreme Court! They know us!

Masks! The Church’s Utah Area Presidency encouraged Latter-day Saints to wear masks in public, sparking outrage! How dare they infringe upon our liberty! Who are these fools! Lord’s anointed? WHAT? What is that? Why am I listening to them? What does Elder Craig C. Christensen know? Nothing! NOTHING.

Elder Uchtdorf used the mask fun to pen a thoughtful article about not “masking” your heart. It’s great! Remember our blessings, everyone! Remember that we can still be Latter-day Saints even under temporary restrictions for the sake of public health!

Meanwhile, Elder Soares, one of the newest apostles, blessed us with his insights on how home church and COVID have helped him appreciate the sabbath more. Yay!

Youth in the Caribbean region attended the first-ever virtual FSY conference, which is cool! Good on them for making it work, regardless. The saints have barely switched from EFY to FSY, and now they have been forced to adopt new techniques to continue to hold the meeting. Great job!

Jana Riess has some thoughts on how to treat those who have left the Church or those who might be leaving. Her article is anecdotal, but it provides some valuable insights for leaders as we assess how to engage in outreach and ministering efforts. Hint: don’t write things like, “Come back and let’s be friends again.”

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