New Easter Video - Mormon Tabernacle Choir: He Is Risen!

The world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, music ambassadors of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have released a beautiful new video in celebration of the life and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and just in time for Easter: He is Risen!

From the Mormon Newsroom

The video features the choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performing in the Tabernacle and includes portions of Church-produced Bible videos that portray Christ’s life. Release of the video coincides with the debut of the choir’s new He Is Risen CD, which includes a selection of songs commemorating the Easter story. The video can also be viewed on the Choir’s YouTube channel and website. 

To further celebrate the Easter season, the choir and orchestra will perform Handel’s Messiah on 18-19 April 2014 at Temple Square to coincide with Good Friday. The tickets went quickly for the beloved oratorio, but there will be additional opportunities to hear the music from anywhere in the world. 


The Choir will stream the performance live Friday, 18 April, beginning at 7:30 p.m. MDT at mormontabernaclechoir.org/messiah. On-demand video will also be available after the concert on the choir’s website and YouTube channel through the Easter weekend. 

This is the first time in 10 years that the full choir and orchestra have presented the Easter concert and perhaps the first time ever that the choir has publicly performed Messiah, most often associated with Christmas, in its entirety. Messiah was originally an Easter offering when it debuted in Dublin in 1742. It tells the story of Christ’s life from His birth to His death and Resurrection. The choir is working on a full recording of Messiah this year, with plans to release the album in 2015.


Kathryn Skaggs

More LDS Easter Videos:

April 2014 General Conference: How to Watch, Invite and Share! #LDSConf

Information for April 2014 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsThis much anticipated meeting will be held in the LDS Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. This is an exciting time for Mormons worldwide!  We have the opportunity to hear from our Prophet and President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, as well as many other prominent Church leaders to receive relevant counsel and direction to help strengthen us as individuals, and as a people, committed to living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

About General Conference:
"General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During general conference weekend, Church members and others who are interested gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders.

All sessions of General Conference are available, live, on the Internet at LDS.org.

Official LDS Social Media Resources for Sharing General Conference

With the April 2014 LDS General Conference only days away LDS.org have created some cool and fun social media tools to help you invite others to come listen to living prophets speak! You can choose to use the General Conference video invitation, or one of the banners created specifically for Facebook or Google Plus in deciding the best way for you to share the gospel online. So, don't be shy!

Let's start with this video invitation (my personal favorite), which you can use to invite others to view the April 2014 General Conference to experience first-hand what it's like to hear modern-day prophets. As with all of these tools you can decide how and where you will share your favorite ones, online. (I've already posted it to my Facebook wall)

Video: Join Us For General Conference

You can either use the embedding code to post this video directly on your own blog, or you can share the video link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnDbXlw_4Po) on your favorite social network such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, etc... You could also share this video via email with friends and family.

How to Watch and Share March 2014 General Women's Meeting

LDS General Women’s Meeting information: The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that beginning March 29, 2014 all female members will meet together, semi-annually, to hear from each of the three general auxiliary presidents and a member of the First Presidency.

The new General Women’s Meeting replaces the former annual broadcasts for the Relief Society and Young Women, and includes all female members, 8 year's and up -- symbolizing a spiritual unity among the women of the Church and a celebratory "togetherness" in the great work of salvation.

Update: Text from LDS General Women's Meeting is now available here.

Ways to engage online, through social media, during the General Women's Meeting: 

I believe that social media is an important tool that members of the Church can use to shine the light of truth globally, and what better opportunity for us to do just that, than when we have our worldwide conferences where light and truth literally rain down upon us!

You should know then, that the official hashtag for the General Women's Meeting, which you can either follow and/or use when posting on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google Plus: #womensmeeting 

The new General Women's Meeting is expected to be an historic event, for a number of reasons --not the least of which is the likelihood that it will be the largest gathering of women, EVER! 

I'd like to invite all of us to use the power of social media to share this event, online, both before and during the meeting. 

Let's post pictures of ourselves, together with those we are attending the meeting with, in whatever way that might be for you, everywhere online -- including a brief thought -- using the meeting hashtag: #womensmeeting For myself, I will be attending 'somehow' with on of my daughters and two granddaughters. (We will be at Yosemite National Park this weekend, so wish me luck either finding wifi or a local chapel to watch the broadcast.)

Follow the General Women's meeting on these official LDS Church social media accounts:

Twitter: @LDSChurch.  
Facebook: Facebook.com/LDS

Way to share the General Women's Meeting via social media:

The Church provides wonderful ways for us to share the General Women's Meeting with friends and family - my favorite, this video:

Video Invitation:
General Women's Meeting

Join the General Women's Meeting Facebook event, here, and invite other.
Check out the great covers images for Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, here
And we can't forget memes! 
List of ways to watch the General Women's meeting, live:
BYU-tv Video and audio in English only. BYU-tv International Video and audio in Spanish and Portuguese Conference.lds.org Video in 16 languages 
MormonChannel.org Video and audio in English and Spanish Mormon Channel mobile apps Mormon Channel YouTube platform Video in English, Spanish, and Portuguese
Facebook.com/LDS Video in English only  Mormon Channel available on Roku. 
I'll continue to update this post... 
Kathryn Skaggs Read more about the new General Women's Meeting and other important updates happening within the women's auxiliaries of the LDS Church: Church News: Increasing sisterhood: Leaders announce global training, international boards General Presidents Discuss Auxiliary Changes in New Video Mormon Newsroom: 

Mormon Women Stand: Sunday Evening Classics

A few weeks ago, in a post I wrote, here, I wondered what my 'next frontier' would be, and where it would lead me--and it didn't take long for it to appear on the horizon: Mormon Women Stand. MWS is a collective voice of female members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, independently gathering on Facebook to boldly "Stand” for Jesus Christ; I am among that voice.


Mormon Women Stand Mission Statement:

“Mormon Women Stand is a collaborative online effort to join like-minded female members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who share a desire to make a public stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ and in support of 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World'. We believe standing together will reflect the divine nature and power that LDS women are endowed with to influence others for good. We unequivocally sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—commissioned by God and sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. We support how the Lord has delegated priesthood authority to organize and administer the gospel among all of His children.” (MWS Facebook page)

I’d like to invite you to ‘Like’ MWS on Facebook, and join us on Sunday evenings, from 6-8pm MST to participate in our “Sunday Evening Classics” discussions, where we will engage in faithful conversation about the doctrines and principle taught in some of our most beloved addresses of the past.

This Sunday, March 23, 2014, we are excited to announce that we will be hosting an address, which highlights righteous womanhood, by Mark E. Peterson: Even As I Am.

This powerful address was ‘nominated’, by Stephanie Dibbs Sorensen. Stephanie is a mother to three and teaches Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. She blogs about finding faith in motherhood at her blog, Diapers and Divinity, and her new book, Covenant Motherhood, is one I recommend. Stephanie will be presenting at BYU Women’s Conference, in May.

I’ve included both the video and text of the address so that we can read/watch it prior to the event and prepare our thoughts in advance. I hope this will help to promote a great discussion on the Mormon Women Stand Facebook page, Sunday evening. I’ve read the talk a few times, and wish I could shout its content from the rooftops; I think its content that important. Stephanie said,  "Even as I Am" is a beautiful summary of each disciple's importance to Jesus Christ. Elder Petersen testifies of the depth of the Savior's love for women throughout His ministry and His ongoing desire for their valuable contribution to His kingdom.


(I'm having trouble with the embed code for this video. Please watch on LDS.org)
Here is the complete text:

UK Judge Exposes Those Who Rally Against the LDS Church For Who They Really Are

Mormon Newsroom: Judge Describes UK Court Case as "Abuse of Legal System"

A District judge in Westminster Magistrates Court in the United Kingdom today dismissed a private prosecution brought against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for alleged fraud and described it as "an abuse of the process of the court."
In throwing out the case brought by a former Church member, Judge Howard Riddle said: "I am satisfied that the process of the court is being manipulated to provide a high-profile forum to attack the religious beliefs of others."
Judge Riddle said no secular court in England would allow religious teachings to be put to a jury.

Today, the Lord has shown His Hand, and caused this judge to "see things as they really are" and in so doing, in my opinion, sends a message to all those who would rally against the work of the Lord, wherever they may be found.


Kathryn Skaggs

Thank You, Jesus! LDS Church Responds to Ordain Women

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been put in the unfortunate situation of having to, twice now, use strong measures to decline requests for tickets to attend the male only Priesthood session of LDS General Conference, by a misguided group of Mormon feminists who persist in their relentless bullying of Church leaders to pray for a revelation to ordain LDS women to the priesthood.

This morning Deseret News posted a letter sent to the Ordain Women organization. Jessica Moody, a female spokesperson for the LDS Church, in which the groups’ dialogue is identified in no uncertain terms as oppositional to the position of the Church - and clearly states the reasons, signed it:

"Women in the church, by a very large majority, do not share your advocacy for priesthood ordination for women and consider that position to be extreme. Declaring such an objective to be non-negotiable, as you have done, actually detracts from the helpful discussions that church leaders have held as they seek to listen to the thoughts, concerns, and hopes of women inside and outside of church leadership. Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organization for His church.” 

This is one of the boldest moves, at least from what I’ve seen, where the Church has felt to publicly respond to individual members who are demonstrating against the Lord’s doctrine of the priesthood. I recently heard that this small part of the total LDS Church membership represent only 0.5 percent of Mormon women – but oh how loud the media can make them appear, right? And sadly, the rest of us feel that our voices are being stifled in the process--about who we really are, what we truly stand for, and how that looks to so many of us. I hear of your frustrations on a daily basis.

As a Mormon woman who opposes how this organization advocates their cause, which I wrote my personal thoughts in regard to a year ago, and since have been interviewed about, including by Deseret News, I am pleased to see this bold response by the Church. I ‘Stand’ in support of the contents of the letter, and the need to deliver the message - now posted on the Mormon Newsroom and notably signed by an LDS Public Affairs Spokeswoman, to decline OW’s ticket request. (I’m going to keep on emphasizing the authority that a LDS woman has been given to address this huge issue.)

Here is the official report and letter in its entirety and available as a PDF download on the Mormon Newsroom. And here are some of my favorite excerpts extracted from the letter:

"Some wonderful conversations have been held over recent years, and are continuing to be held, relative to women in the church and the invaluable contributions we make. The recent changes you have seen, most notably the lowering of the missionary age for sisters, serve as examples and were facilitated by the input of many extraordinary LDS women around the world."
"Women in the church, by a very large majority, do not share your advocacy for priesthood ordination for women and consider that position to be extreme. Declaring such an objective to be non-negotiable, as you have done, actually detracts from the helpful discussions that church leaders have held as they seek to listen to the thoughts, concerns, and hopes of women inside and outside of church leadership. Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organization for His church.”

“We invite you, as our sisters, to participate with women everywhere in the parallel meeting for women and girls on March 29, and hope you will join us in a spirit of love and harmony. The women’s meeting is a remarkable gathering of worldwide sisterhood, and was proposed and planned by the presidencies and boards of the Primary, Young Women and Relief Society as a time to focus on ennobling and eternal doctrines relating to women.”

"If you feel you must come and demonstrate, we ask that you do so in free speech zones adjacent to Temple Square, which have long been established for those wishing to voice differing viewpoints.”

Please refrain from leaving comments that purport if the First Presidency didn’t sign the letter, then it is not official, therefore it can be ignored. Note that directly under Jessica Moody’s name that it indicates this letter is on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is on official Church letterhead. “Whether by mine own voice, or the voice of my servants …” and I would add, delegated to an official spokesperson for the Church to convey. To disregard Church direction because it comes through a Church spokesperson is disingenuous.

A personal friend notes, “The most interesting and subtle part of the Church’s response: they communicated that the OW protestors would be considered like any other protestors at General Conference — a group that should remain in the free-speech zones highlighted on the map. Wow. That’s a smack in the face — they were just lumped in with the ex-Mormons and the anti-Mormons holding signs at Conference. Not explicitly, but implicitly.”

Terrie Lynn Bitner, who writes on her Latter-day Saint Women blog, shared some interesting thoughts about women attending the priesthood session, during a Facebook discussion, which resonated with me: 

"If the audience is both male and female, it becomes exactly like General Conference, and therefore unnecessary. I look forward every year to a meeting designed to fit my special needs as a woman and I resent their effort to rob me of it. Plus, every seat filled by a woman in priesthood is a seat not filled by a member of the target audience. They might want to be men, but I'm proud to be a woman (that was the message of the women's movement originally--not that to be valuable we have to become men) and I resent their efforts to remove womanhood from my church membership. They are a small minority trying to spoil something special for us all. I am 55 years old. I've seen how misguided the women's movement, which started as a good thing, has become. When you remove uniqueness, you remove something extraordinarily special."

Amen, Sister!

LDS Church Spokeswomen, Ruth Todd, who was on Temple Square during last October’s attempt by OW to attend the Priesthood session provided this statement to the media, “Millions of women in this church do not share the views of this small group who organized today's protest, and most church members would see such efforts as divisive. Even so, these are our sisters and we want them among us, and hope they will find the peace and joy we all seek in the gospel of Jesus Christ." 

Ordain Women’s ongoing agenda to disrupt the LDS General Conference, a sacred time for all members, is not considered acceptable behavior for faithful Latter-day Saints - and it's time we say so. In my opinion, it is the opposite of Zion – and I sincerely hope they will reconsider their relentless opposition, as so kindly requested by the Church.

If I felt sorry for anyone, in watching some of the video footage, it was for those poor priesthood leaders who were humbly following the directions given them. It is wrong that the OW organization is planning on recreating this protest again, with a larger presence.

I truly feel that the advocacy of the Ordain Women organization is divisive and strongly reject the ongoing dialogue that because someone is not in agreement with the actions of those of OW, it somehow translates into a lack of compassion for individuals experiencing a challenge of their faith. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mormon women can often be found discussing the dilemma,  this situation has placed them in and if they try to speak up about their discomfort in how OW operates, Mormon feminists call them divisive. However, the actions addressed in the letter are responsible for the division among Mormon women. The Apostle Paul reminds us in his poignant treaties on spiritual separation how this principle works: (Romans 8:35-39):

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Thus, it is we, who separate ourselves from God’s love and His people, and not the other way around.

Today, Mormon women around the globe are commemorating the organization of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – one of the largest women’s organizations in the world – established on March 17, 1842.

"In the first meeting of the Relief Society, Sister Emma Smith said, “We are going to do something extraordinary.” She was right. The history of Relief Society is filled with examples of ordinary women who have accomplished extraordinary things as they have exercised faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  

Relief Society was established to help prepare daughters of God for the blessings of eternal life. The purposes of Relief Society are to increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and provide relief by seeking out and helping those in need. Women fulfill these purposes as they seek, receive, and act on personal revelation in their callings and in their personal lives." Daughters in My Kingdom 

My heart aches when I think of these, my sisters’ in Christ, looking to measure ‘equality’ by the standards of a secular society. We are living in a world that now considers it a virtue to reject moral absolutes and mock religious thought and beliefs as dangerous to society. We must resist such ideology, from wherever it is found, even if within our own faith. Rather, let us submit our will to God and His plan of salvation, which through the Atonement of Jesus Christ has made us equal with Him.

Let us be still, and know that this is so.


Kathryn Skaggs

Graphic/Photo Source: Kathryn Skaggs

The Foundation of My Faith and Testimony

In response to an invitation to share my testimony of Jesus Christ today, online, and since I write, I've decided to use the ability I have here on WBMW to share it with as many as possible. 

In so doing, I want to distinguish my personal brand of Mormonism, if you will, so as not to misrepresent other members of my Mormon faith, who feel that what I believe, and how I express my beliefs, is not representative of their membership and affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

However, with that said, I firmly believe that my testimony, and what that does not include, as an active member of the LDS Church, strongly parallels the vast majority of believing Mormons and in fact, is what I believe constitutes a valiant testimony of Jesus Christ and His work of salvation.

I know there is a God, whom I address in prayer as my Father in Heaven. I know that I am His daughter, that He knows me and that I have a divine destiny. I love His Son Jesus Christ and I know that He lives. I love His gospel, and am deeply grateful for His Atonement. He is my Savior and Redeemer. I am so grateful for my membership in His Church, restored in these latter-days, and often referred to as the Mormon Church, by many not of my faith.

But I'm not just any kind of Mormon, as recent happenings have made that very clear. Rather, I'm finding over time that I am of a more particular kind. A kind, which is often overlooked, disregarded, and more and more perceived as a negative voice in a secular world as we move closer to the second coming of Jesus Christ, which I believe we are.

Just to be clear then, before I continue, I want to first extract from my testimony, what I am not, lest anyone feel that I represent their brand of Mormonism as I share my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as a Mormon - this Mormon.

It's time for this social media pioneer to move along...

Over the last few days it's become apparent that many people have the mistaken idea that I represent the LDS Church, online, because I have been extended, by invitation, media credentials to cover LDS General Conference, from inside the press room at the LDS General Conference Center, during the live broadcasts. So, let me clarify by saying as directly as I know how to say it: 

I do not, in anyway, represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in any official capacity, nor have I ever stated that I do. The opinions and information, which I write about, or share, here on this blog emanate completely from my personal views and desire to share various aspect and events of the Mormon faith, and only from the perspective of a member of the LDS Church and nothing more. And in no way do I claim to speak on behalf of the LDS Church or for other members of the Church. I am solely responsible for what I post here on this blog and what I say elsewhere and would never want anyone to think otherwise.

With that said, and perhaps where some of the misunderstanding comes from, is that I consistently write in support of direction and counsel given by LDS Church leaders, and uphold the doctrine of the Church, relentlessly, without opposition.

With that purpose at the core of what I do, online, I am a loyal follower and distributor of a good amount of content, which is posted on LDS.org, Mormon.org, the Mormon Newsroom, etc. But in no way, in doing these things, does the LDS Church have anything to do with it, other than my responding to a general call to every member of the Church to engage in the same activity; albeit, I am more obsessive than many. However, I act 100% independent in doing so. 

Coupled with that foundation, I admittedly have a bold voice in opposing some of the opposition to what I personally find contrary to the Church, and its leaders, advocated online, associated with controversial social issues.

Some considers me, a social media "pioneer" among members of the LDS faith, in the area of sharing the gospel, online. And although I would never have thought to describe myself in those terms, initially, along with many other members who blazed the trail right alongside of me, I now accept the designation, with enthusiasm, and hope to continue encouraging others to get involved.

Today, I see this chapter of my life, as an interesting and exciting facet of my own personal history, which is also part of the history of the LDS Church, in launching its social media presence online. Anyone who understands the concept of how social media works, know it's all about sharing from one person to the next, digitally. This is something I was actively not only doing, independently, but also working hard to encourage others to do, too, at that time.

In looking back, it shouldn't seem odd that when social media, in general, began to be recognized as a powerful way to broadcast a message, that the "Online News Media" department of LDS Church Public Affairs would utilize the new media. Who better to engage, than a member who was already successfully using it? So, they reached out and extended the invitation to me, to sit in the media room during General Conference, along side of other media outlets, without giving any direction as to what I should do or say, nor have they ever.

 I was so surprised (and honored), by the invitation and after discussing it with my husband, I graciously accepted. For us, it has been an offering to the Lord each time, as we've paid for all transportation and lodging requirements necessary for me to travel from California to Utah, every six months, for the past two and a half years. And throughout this entire journey has been the ever faithful #TwitterStake!

I want to publicly thank LDS Church Public Affairs for extending the initial invitation, and for allowing me to continue to sit in the media room over the last few years. It has been a wonderful time of my life and a tremendous personal blessing, which I shall always treasure. Each and every conference has been a thrilling experience in witnessing, firsthand, the work of salvation as it rolls forward.

However, after much prayer and consideration, not wanting to have any confusion with what I write here on WBMW being misconstrued as representative of the official LDS Church, and my great respect for the work of the Church, online, I have decided it is best to discontinue broadcasting General Conference from the LDS Conference Center. 

As with all pioneers, it's time to move along and forge my way toward the next frontier. And besides, I really miss General Conference weekends with my family, our traditional cinnamon rolls, and tweeting in my PJs!

Kathryn Skaggs