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At the Deseret News we strive to provide you with special insight into issues that you care about. Like you, we wrestle with ways to filter the relentless deluge of information for what is of real value. With that in mind, we offer the following digest of stories we think are worth your time.

Content highlights reflect six core values: Care for the Poor; Excellence in Education; Faith in the Community; Family Life; Financial Responsibility; and Values in the Media.

Selected from recent editions of the Deseret News, these stories and columns cover topics relevant to our areas of editorial emphasis. We hope you find that they offer insight and enlightenment in a world flooded with news and information that we believe you will only find in the Deseret News.

July 15, 2011

» Care for the Poor

LDS Church helps Guatemalans improve village

The village of Seamay, Guatemala has a population of only 2,100, but nearly one third are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Sundays, two congregations pack into the village's white chapel. And yet, many of the members until recently lived in abject poverty, subsisting off less than $1 a day. The LDS Church wanted to change this, and the village.

In a two-part series, reporter Jesse Hyde tells a unique story of love, self-reliance, and hope. The first story chronicles the struggle to bring running water and educational facilities to the community. The second article describes new stoves that allow families to use less wood, improving their quality of life and preserving the rain forest's vital resources.

Elder John Curtiss, a humanitarian missionary, explains, "If we could leave here with the people recognizing that the church has been involved, but accepting this as their own effort and understanding that they can do this kind of thing as a community, that they can change their own lives if they just get a little boost from some place, then I would consider this a successful effort."

Part 2: Forest for the future

» Faith in the Community

Same-sex marriage and the peril of religious exemptions

Lawmakers tacked religious exemptions onto New York's Marriage Equality Act at the last moment in order to secure a thin margin for the act's passage. Unfortunately, these exemptions fall woefully short of protecting genuine free exercise of religion for those who believe that marriage between a man and woman is the rational, civilized and divinely prescribed standard of sexual conduct.

Religious organizations minister in innumerable ways outside the sanctuary. It is in their daily ministry, not their sacraments, that a redefinition of marriage is most likely to conflict with tenets on sexual rectitude.

» Care for the Poor

Food stamps are new currency at farmers' markets

Program for the homeless garners national attention

More Mexicans choosing to stay home

» Excellence in Education

Atlanta teachers not the only ones cheating

Schools cut back on school days in face of budget woes

Gay education getting closer in California

» Faith in the Community

Landmark evangelical survey finds both unity and division

Catholic Charities runs afoul of civil unions law

Poll: Americans believe

» Family Life

Content of teen lit called into question

Men may experience more work-family conflict than women

10-year-old boy returns $2,500 in cash found

» Financial Responsibility

Poor often don't understand banking, rack up huge fees

» Values in the Media

Editorial: A media scandal

The gospel according to Jack Sparrow

Mature video games rise to 25 percent of sales

» Sports

Hockey coach honored for volunteer service

Wheelchair tennis spreads worldwide

» Health and science

Substance abuse on the rise among older adults

Surgical robot tackles colorectal surgery

Experimenting with electric roads to charge electric cars

» Other stories

Editorial: Modern gendercide

DNA solves Joseph Smith mystery

South Sudan independence celebrated

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