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Odds and Ends: Mormon Moment in New Jersey, service in Missouri and a new Institute building in Arizona

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

The LDS Church is gaining members in South Jersey.

Courier-Post Online

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' numbers are growing in New Jersey, according to an article by Joe Cooney of the Courior-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J. To accomodate this growth, there are plans for a new building on an East Camden street.

The increasing numbers refute misconceptions that all Mormons are white and in Utah, according to a local stake leader, President Ahmad Corbitt.

“The inclusiveness of the church we see in Camden and throughout South Jersey is really a reflection of the leadership who govern the church,” said Corbitt, who is black. “Members of the Church in Camden are like the United Nations. Our family consists of whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians.”

Corbitt says the Cherry Hill New Jersey Stake is still growing.

“Over the last three years we’ve added three branches and we converted the Camden branch to a ward. Dozens of new members join every year," he said.

Cooney also interviewed members about their beliefs, missionary work and the goal of members in South Jersey: to help people be properly informed and the church to be correctly understood.

In Mississippi, more than 100 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered together to clean up a year-round Boy Scout campground near Eudora, Miss., as reported by Rebecca Ennis of the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.

"I wanted to come out because I really love the Boy Scouts," Mitch Lawrence, a former Scout, said in the article. "Hopefully the Scout camp can continue to do good things like it did for me."

Members offered a combined 348 hours of service to ready the campgrounds for Boy Scouts. This was part of the local LDS Church's annual Day of Service.

Arizona's Polytechnic campus, part of Arizona State University, will soon get an LDS Institute, reported by the State Press of ASU.

The Polytechnic campus will soon become ASU’s second campus with a religious studies institute available to students, the first being the Tempe Insitute of Religion in Tempe, Ariz.

Though plans aren't finalized yet, it is anticipated that the religious studies institute will open in the fall of 2013, according to Morgan Olsen, executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer for the university, as quoted in the article.

Garrett Seymore, a sophmore at ASU, has attended the Tempe institute and said he enjoys the classes that are offered, and that the new insitute will benefit Polytechnic students.

“They’ll have a place like we do here to be able to relax and to learn,” Seymore said in the article.

Email: tackerman@desnews.com

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