The Latter-day Saint minister breaks the gender barrier

Also, top Latter-day Saint leaders celebrate International Women’s Day and Under the Banner of Heaven is coming to Hulu.

Jenna Carson, shown at the Old South Church in Boston, is the first Latter-day Saint minister in the federal prison system.

| Mar 10, 2022 at 3:13 p.m

| Updated: 3:33 p.m

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Jane Manning James, Eliza R. Snow, Martha Hughes cannon, Chieko Okazaki. These are just a few pioneering Latter-day Saint women.

Now you can add to the list Jenna Carsonthe faith’s first chaplain in the federal prison system who has the ultimate goal of becoming a military chaplain.

Armed with a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School, Carson embarked on a multi-year quest to change church policies that required ordination to become a military chaplain. She turned to the leaders of the faith and ended up writing to Church President Russell Nelson.

“I threw this letter in the mailbox with so much joy. I remember skipping after sending it,” she said in a Q&A with Erika Koth Barrett The Utah Monthly. “I had a good feeling that President Nelson would respond well.”

He has. She was told, “Nelson and the other apostles prayed for my request – and granted it. I was so excited.”

The problem is that Carson was divorced at the time, which is another hurdle. She was told it was “really difficult” to be a military chaplain “as an individual”.

In the meantime, she became a hospital chaplain and then one for a federal male prison.

“The door is now open for women in our church to become military chaplains,” says Jenna Carson.

She was eventually approved as a chaplain for the Air Force Reserve, a step she has yet to take.

“I agonized over it. Why did I work so hard for this and now I’m not doing it?” she said The Utah Monthly. “But Spirit gives me peace and I keep getting confirmation that I’m where I’m supposed to be now. Most importantly, the door is now open for women in our church to become military chaplains. We have a few in the pipeline right now. All they have to do is graduate.”

Oh, and individual Latter-day Saints are now eligible to become active-duty military chaplains.

We celebrate International Women’s Day

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham delivers the keynote address at the fifth annual symposium marking International Day of Diplomacy. The virtual event took place on March 8, 2021. This week Bingham celebrates International Women’s Day.

In honor of International Women’s Day Tuesday, Relief Society President Jean B. Bingham, along with other leading women leaders of the Church, welcomed diverse women throughout history and around the world to Instagram.

Bingham wrote About Julia Mavimbelaa South African school teacher who defied personal tragedy and the systemic racism of apartheid to plant a community garden in Soweto.

She later co-founded Women for Peace, a multiracial organization dedicated to promoting democracy in her home country, and joined the church.

“Juliet’s example shows that seeking forgiveness leads to greater personal peace and happiness for ourselves and those around us.” Bingham wroteUse of #International Women’s Day Hashtag. “…To me, Julia is an incredible example of a Christlike woman.”

Upcoming: “Under the Banner of Heaven”

Last year we saw Netflix cover bomber faker Mark Hofmann’s sordid history in “Murder among the Mormons.”

Next: Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer’s best-selling look at Mormon fundamentalism and the horrific murders committed by brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty.

Academy Award-nominated Andrew Garfield plays a fictional detective and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City who investigates the murders and endures a test of his own faith.

Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”) created the series. Producers include fellow Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

The Hulu true-crime series begins streaming April 28, and FX Networks has released one teaser trailer.

From the stands

• Latter-day Saints in the United States are overwhelmingly Republican-leaning, voting Republican, and identifying as Republican. Robert Taber is not one of them. Hear what the National Director of Latter-day Saints for Biden-Harris has to say about politics, faith, and more in this week’s “Mormon Country.”

• Donna Edith Smith Packer, a longtime volunteer, dedicated genealogist, and widow of late Apostle Boyd K. Packer, died. She was 94.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Boyd and Donna Packer were married on July 27, 1947 in the Logan Temple. Donna died on Saturday at the age of 94.

• Latter-day Saint Charities is ready — and committed to — to help victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine for as long as needed, vowed Sharon Eubank, head of the church’s humanitarian arm.

• The fighting, flight and fears engulfing Ukraine are occupying virtually everyone right now, especially those attending a Russian-speaking congregation in Salt Lake City, where Ukrainians and Russians are not enemies but fellow Latter-day Saint

(Saige Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Members of a Russian-speaking branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather for a photo at a chapel in Salt Lake City last month. The Latter-day Saint minister breaks the gender barrier

Joel McCord

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