Mormon news around the world

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 25 2011 12:06 p.m. MST

Tuesday's handful of online links to news and coverage of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its members and its programs:

Why would an evangelical Ph.d candidate attend LDS Institute — to say nothing of graduating from the institute program four years later? Patheos.com has an interesting question-and-answer feature between him and his institute instructor about his inter-religious experience here.

Australia's recent floodings that have interrupted daily life also washed out a planned youth conference for a group of LDS young men and young men set for the University of Queensland. The Cleveland, Australia, Bayside Bulletin reports on the conference's revamped activities, including cleaning and cooking for flood victims, in a short recap here.

Say "Mormon" and "hotels" in the same sentence, and most folks will come up with Marriott International — not only because of the LDS membership of its namesake family but because of its link with Mitt Romney. Until only a couple of weeks ago, Romney — also LDS and considered a likely GOP presidential candidate — was a member of Marriott's board of directors, and he took heat in the 2008 presidential campaign for his Marriott ties as family values groups criticized the hotel chain's adult-content video service.

Marriott has announced it is dropping its in-room adult video service, and columnists, bloggers and other pundits are having a heydey with writings saturated with innuendo and double entendre, like Boston Herald's "XXX-it Strategy. However, the Washington Post offers a clean, concise look at the announcement and its ramifications here.

A New Zealand online news source, Scoop.co.nz, attended a recent Q&A session conducted by Elder David A. Bednar of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve with some 400 Auckland area young adults. A closer look at the meeting, reaction from attendees and explanation of an apostle's role can be found here.

And in its weekly "Thursday Pulpit" feature allowing various religious explanations and expressions, California's Napa Valley Register and St. Helena Star provided local member David E. Brown opportunity to explain the purpose and structure of the LDS Church's full-time missionary program here.

e-mail: taylor@desnews.com

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