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Posted 09 Jan 2002   For week ended December 21, 2001
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BYU Students' Sham Ministry Fails, Leads to Disciplinary Action
Ten minutes on the Internet, allowing Charles Clawson, Corbin Clawson and John Hash to become ministers of the Universal Life Church, may have earned them probationary status at Brigham Young University along with misdemeanors from the city of Provo. In an effort to host a public Halloween dance, and take advantage of a loophole in the Provo City ordinance that requires security guards, a metal detector and surveillance camera, Clawson and Hash decided to use "Internet credentials" to bypass the dance law.

The Church and the Chapel: Meetinghouse Construction in the Former Soviet Union
It is said to be one of the largest LDS meetinghouses in the world. Although its construction was completed over six months ago, the the LDS chapel in Ufa, Russia, lies empty on Sundays, while local church members meet in rented facilities. The building, located not far from the city hall of the capital of Bashkortostan, Russia, was built with all necessary legal permissions. The church was closed by a state inspection board because of uncompleted construction on an adjacent property. The President of the Council of Religious Affairs of the Bashkortostan Republic's cabinet of ministers, Anvar Muratshin, observed at the time that various inspection organizations may raise technical questions to the owners of new buildings, and that "this should not be construed as oppression of believers by the local authorities."

The Mongolian Miracle
It was once considered the most closed country in the world. In 1989, it is thought that there were only four Mongolian Christians -- none of whom were Latter-day Saints. Yet on a recent visit to the United States, the ambassador of Mongolia joked that Mongolia is "99% Buddhist and 1% Mormon." And it's almost true -- or it seems like it, anyway. Today, there are over 3,500 Latter-day Saints spread across 17 congregations in 9 cities. While LDS members make up only 0.13% of the population, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest Christian church in Mongolian. With approximately 10% of its members either having served or currently serving missions, it is probable that the tiny country of Mongolia has the highest missionary service rate in the world relative to total membership. The rates of native missionary service are so impressive that it was recently announced by a visiting General Authority at a fireside in Shanghai, China, that 40% of missionaries from the Asia Area come from Mongolia. Mongolia also has consistently had the highest baptism rate per missionary in the Asia Area. All of this has grown out of one of the smallest missions in the church - growing from 16 young missionaries serving in Mongolia in 1995 to 34 in 1997 and slightly more at present.

Sister Nadauld Addresses BYU-Hawaii Graduates
Young Women's general president Margaret D. Nadauld gave BYU-Hawaii's largest ever December graduating class three principles for a successful life at the university's winter commencement ceremonies last Saturday.

BYU students awarded Fulbright Scholarships
As a result of their academic achievements and work experience, two Brigham Young University students received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship allowing them to do research and study abroad for a year. Steven Bitner, a native of Sandy, Utah, and Samuel Mudrick from Reston, Va., were among 700 students nationwide to receive this scholarship, which provides the recipients with round-trip airfare as well as tuition and living expenses in order to facilitate research abroad.

BYU-Idaho converts residence hall to family housing
With the recent increase in the number of married students attending BYU-Idaho due to the school's transition to a four-year university, the BYU-Idaho Housing Office has converted a former women's residence hall to family housing.


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