EP 499 – The COVIDs of Madison County

Students at BYU-Idaho deliberately contract COVID-19 in order to sell their valuable, antibody-infused blood. Oy. Vey.

Arianne and Tiffany are in the studio this week to bring their singular West Idaho take on today’s news!

But let’s eschew their occidental confines and move to eastern Idaho, home of more Latter-day Saints per capita than the western part of the state, and notably home to Brigham Young University-Idaho.

So what’s happening over there at the other BYU? More COVID stupidity. Students at the university have deliberately set out to contract COVID in order to develop antibodies and then sell their antibody-rich blood for research. We’re talking parties that advertise at least one person attending having COVID. The university administration has, thankfully, come down pretty hard on all of this. And we are left to wonder, once more, what on earth goes on in the minds of people in Rexburg.

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In other COVID news, most of us saw that Elder Gerrit W. Gong and his wife contracted the disease after General Conference. Both have now recovered well and have left quarantine. Elder Gong is eager to get back to work. Other Church leaders have tested negative.

On to, of course, politics. Arizona is a fascinating swing state this election. We’ve covered it before in recent weeks, but the Trump and Biden campaigns are both aggressively courting Latter-day Saints, many of whom are fed up with Trump.

Also, apparently former Senator Harry Reid, member of the Church, has said the U.S. government has been hiding evidence of U.F.O.s for years. So there’s that.

The Church also encouraged members to vote against a bill that would legalize marijuana in Arizona. The Church has not said as much about other states legalizing marijuana. Is it speaking up because Arizona has more Latter-day Saints? Are Church leaders trying to tilt the overall election in Arizona?

We have some unfortunate news involving missionaries. First, Sister Annabelle Nielsen of Highland, Utah was serving in Switzerland when she fell during a preparation day hike. She died from her injuries. In Texas, an intruder stabbed Sister Lauren Willardson in her bed. She is recovering and eager to get back in the field.

During the most recent General Conference (listen to our recap), Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke, per usual, but his son, Elder Matthew Holland, now a Seventy, also spoke. How many other times have a father and son spoken in the same conference? LDS Living has the answers.

Also, if you are interested in some extra help for your post-General Conference study, the Deseret News has published 29 brief insights from the footnotes Latter-day Saint leaders added to their published conference talks.

Did you see that amazing viral video of a bishopric from Highland, Utah singing a parody of Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time” about COVID and returning to Church?

Bishopric Goes Viral with Hilarious Billy Joel Cover on Returning to Church

Ed Firmage, a pacifist who convinced the Church to alter its stance on the U.S. government hosting MX missiles in Utah, died last week at 85. In the 1980s, the Utah state legislature was ready to host missiles on the state’s soil. The episode shows how quickly Utah’s legislature, dominated by Latter-day Saints, can fall into line if Church leadership changes its mind about a civic issue. This was also one of the few times the Church weighed in on a military or national security issue.

Church farms in northern Utah are making everyone happy! Environmentalists are happy! The land is happy! Cattle are happy!

Business Travel News, a publication we all need, has released its 2020 Corporate Travel 100 list. At number 44 is the Church, which spent over $200 million alone on air travel for Church leaders and missionaries in 2019.

Other news: Donny Osmond is now officiating weddings. Does he wear his technicolor dreamcoat??? Who’s to say?

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Circle helps parents control every device on their network and filter content for kids.

Last week we published a terrific interview with famous composer Merril Jenson. Did you know our supporters on Patreon received an uncut version of the interview with 20 minutes of extra content? Support us on Patreon with $2/month and be part of TWiM’s inner sanctum.

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