Carmen Rasmusen Herbert
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert.

Here’s a look at the news for Dec. 15.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert excites fans

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra held a performance on Thursday night at Temple Square, according to the Deseret News.

The choir performed a litany of Christmas tunes, including “Joy to the World” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the year.”

The choir also sang non-Christmas favorites, like “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” according to the Deseret News.

John Denver’s “Sunshine on my Shoulders” was one that had a special meaning for special guest Sutton Foster.

“I grew up listening to my mom’s eight-track tapes,” Foster said. “My favorite was John Denver’s greatest hits, and my absolute favorite song was ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders.’ You would not believe how many times this little girl turned our wood-paneled living room … into a beautiful concert where John or I would put on a fabulous show for my Donny and Marie dolls.”

Read more at the Deseret News.

Fans gather for new Star Wars film

The Force was strong on Thursday night.

Several dozens of Star Wars fans gathered at various movie theaters across Utah to celebrate “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” according to the Deseret News.

Fans from different generations gathered together for the film. Some came out to see their favorites from the original trilogy, which debuted in the ‘70s and ‘80s, while others were excited to see new heroes, like Rey, the lead character in the sequel trilogy.

“She’s really tough,” said 9-year-old Lilli Tucker, who dressed as Rey for the film.

The Tuckers said they consistently watch the Star Wars saga at home.

Read more fans reaction at the Deseret News.

Updates to temple service for Mormon teens

The First Presidency announced on Thursday that girls and boys of the LDS Church will receive new opportunities to serve within the temple, according to the Deseret News.

The announcement came from a letter sent to church leaders, which will be read at congregations this Sunday.

Starting in the new year, young women from 12 to 18 years old can assist in temple baptistry tasks that are often carried about by adult women.

Young men will now have the chance to perform baptisms for the dead, as well as become witnesses for proxy baptisms, according to the Deseret News.

Read more at the Deseret News.

GOP considers tax plan

Congress continues to work aggressively to push their tax plan through, with a vote coming as early as Monday, according to CNN.

A handful of GOP senators are under the microscope for their views on the plan. For example, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said on Thursday that he’s a “no” vote without changes to the bill’s current call to end a child tax credit.

"I've been pretty consistent in my communications on this issue and that is I want us to see the refundable portion of the child tax credit increased from its current number," Rubio told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday. "If it stays at $1,100, I'm a 'no.' Let's hope it doesn't."

Utah's Sen. Mike Lee has said he's undecided on the bill.

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Sen. Jeff Flake, who isn’t seeking re-election in 2018, said he’s still looking into the bill and remains unsure about whether he agrees with it.

Read more at CNN.

MORE READING:

  • Trump administration showcases weapons to allege Iran is increasing its role in Yemen [The Washington Post]
  • Record Breaker! 8th Alien Planet Found Around Distant Star [Space.com]
  • Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Soaring to Huge $45M-Plus in Thursday Previews [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • More snow on the way for the East Coast, Great Lakes [ABC News]