Text reads, "A Marvelous Work: Reading Mormonism in West Africa" over a map of Africa.
USU Libraries

Two decades before official missionary work began, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pamphlets, books and other church materials began circulating in West Africa, leading to a unique “native” Mormonism. Believers crafted churches from these bare materials and doctrinal interpretations during the 1960s and 1970s.

La fe católica fue la segunda religión en establecerse en Utah en el año 1863 después del arribo de los pioneros mormones al estado, pero no fue hasta diez años más tarde, en 1873, que el catolicismo se afianzó en Utah con la llegada del sacerdote Lawrence Scanlan, a quien le fue encomendado los 800 católicos que moraban en Utah. Desde entonces, la iglesia católica se ha convertido en la tercera religión cristiana más grande en el estado después de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días y el protestantismo.

Ten years after the arrival of Mormon pioneers in 1863, Catholicism became the second established religion in Utah. Priest Lawrence Scanlan was entrusted with the 800 Utah Catholics upon his arrival. Since then, the Catholic church has become the third largest Christian religion in the state after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Protestantism. In the city of Logan, the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church welcomes up to 600 parishioners each mass - the majority of whom are Hispanics.

Virtual Meetings Replace In-Person Celebration During Ramadan

May 18, 2020
Muslims use Zoom app, virtual meetings to gather, celebrate during Ramadan
Gonca Soyer

When Gonca Soyer and her family moved to Cache Valley a few years ago, they decided to invite their friends and neighbors to join them in celebrating for each night of Ramadan — a holy month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and then gather with family, friends and community members to eat and pray and spend time together in the evening. 

Spiritualism on the Rise

Dec 30, 2019
Frank Boosman /

The Pew Research Center reported 65% of Americans described themselves as Christian in 2018 and 2019 — a number that has been in decline for a decade. However, in the 44 years the General Social Survey has conducted studies on Americans’ religious beliefs, 2019 was the first year “No Religion” topped the list above a specific organization.

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about math education and ... zombies? 

If those two things seem like they don't have anything to do with each other, well, that's the idea. On our show, we bring together researchers from vastly different areas of study, and we ask them to build connections. And that takes ... brains. Get it?


Lawmakers hear from the public on the Utah Cannabis Act, which will be put to a vote during a special session of the state legislature. Also, an Inland Port watchdog criticizes the naming of oil and gas advocates to a new technical committee. And Sen. Mike Lee blocks a bipartisan attempt to protect the special counsel investigation.

Religious courts in the Middle East had historically banned women from adjudicating domestic and family matters - in both the Shari'a courts of Islam and the Rabbinic courts of Judaism -until Kholoud Al-Faqih, dares to challenge that history. With the support of a progressive Sheik, Kholoud becomes the first woman judge with her appointment to a Palestinian Shari'a court in the West Bank, bringing a subtle new perspective garnered from her early professional life working with battered women as an attorney in both the criminal and Shari'a  courts.

Today we're speaking with Margaret Barker, Dr. David Haberman, and Anuttama Dasa, panelists at the conference God & Smog:  The Challenge of Preserving Our Planet. The conference is taking place today in the USU John M. Huntsman School of Business Perry Pavilion until 5 p.m.  The one-day symposium will consider the environment in relation to the perspectives and actions of five religious traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Mormonism, and Native American traditions.

Club Runner

In the first half today, a conversation with Utah State University President, Noelle Cockett. We’ll talk about issues in higher education, including sexual assault on campus, immigration, and a recent controversial donation to USU from the Charles Koch Foundation.

The Handmaid's Tale: Wednesday's Access Utah

May 24, 2017


Islam 101: Logan Islamic Center Holds Open Discussion

Mar 2, 2017
Katherine Taylor

The first thing you notice when you walk into the Logan Islamic Center is the quiet. Even footsteps are muffled, since shoes are left at the door. The upstairs prayer area is carpeted and empty, leaving room where worshippers can kneel and pray facing east. Downstairs is more relaxed. Bookshelves hold boxes of crayons and snacks for kids. A spirit of peace and reflection fills every corner of the mosque.

Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City

For Utah’s Catholic community, the long wait is over. On Tuesday, Pope Francis named 63-year-old Bishop Oscar Azarcon Solis as the bishop at the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. The announcement ended the city’s longest period without a bishop.

The Dalai Lama Comes To Utah For The First Time in 15 Years

Jun 22, 2016
Aimee Cobabe


The Dalai Lama shared a message of peace and compassion at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be in Utah on Tuesday to speak at the University of Utah and to meet with local leaders. UPR’s Aimee Cobabe speaks with one of the Dalai Lama’s U.S. doctors and host of Public Radio International’s medical program “Zorba on your Health,” Dr. Zorba Paster, about his personal experiences serving with the spiritual leader. 

A quaint, little church in the middle of an expansive field.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a study in 2012 which explored the rise of the so called “nones.” These are those who, when they come across a question about their religious preferences on a survey, check the box labeled “none.” The results of the study are pretty staggering, indicating that one in five American adults fall into this category.

Marriott sister anti-discrimination
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Officials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have announced the church’s support for legal measures protecting certain rights of LGBT individuals.

In a rare press conference on Tuesday morning, LDS church leaders—including three of the church’s twelve apostles—presented their position as a balance between religious liberty and LGBT rights.

Neill Marriott of the LDS church’s Public Affairs Committee was first to speak. Marriott is one of the leaders of the young women's organization in the church.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has become the 12th U.S. diocese forced into bankruptcy by claims from alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Muslim students at Duke University gathered today for their call to prayer in the quadrangle outside Duke Chapel, a day after the private university in Durham, N.C., reversed course on allowing the traditional adhan from the chapel's bell tower.

Pope Francis Announces 20 New Cardinals

Jan 5, 2015

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Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

Earlier this month, more than a dozen writers, poets and activists in Gaza got threatening fliers signed with the name ISIS, the Sunni extremists fighting with brutal violence in Iraq and Syria.

But a few days later, a new flier, also signed ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, denied responsibility and apologized.

The incident is raising the question of whether ISIS is taking root in Gaza — or if someone is just playing around.

In the northern Iraqi city of Halabja, near the border with Iran, we knock on the door of a 16-year-old boy who disappeared. His family says he lied to them, saying he was going on a picnic with a teenage friend. But they never came home.

"He disappeared in May," says the boy's older sister. "A few days later a letter arrived in his handwriting. It said, 'I'm in Syria. Don't look for me.' "

The boy, like most everyone in this city, is a Kurd, most of whom are Sunni Muslim. He joined the so-called Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim extremist group also known as ISIS.

Sandwich Monday: The Hanukkah Miracle

Dec 15, 2014

[Today's post comes to you from Dan Pashman, a friend of Sandwich Monday. You may know him from his spots on Weekend Edition; his WNYC podcast, The Sporkful; his book, Eat More Better; or the time he stole a piece of your sausage when you weren't looking.]

Mormon Gender Issues Survey Snowballs On Social Media

Nov 20, 2014
Gender signs

Along with the quizzes about which states you’ve visited and which Disney character is your spirit animal, another online survey has been spreading like wildfire across Facebook pages in Utah—the Mormon Gender Issues Survey.

Unlike other online quizzes, the gender issues survey has the backing of researchers from universities across the nation, who plan to publish the survey findings.

The parents of Peter Kassig, the American aid worker who was killed by the Islamic State militant group, said his life was evidence that "one person can make a difference."

In a brief statement Monday, Paula and Ed Kassig remembered their 26-year-old son, who was seized in October 2013, as both a realist and an idealist.

The Church of England moved toward ordaining its first female bishops Monday, as its governing body voted to enable women to become bishops. The move comes two decades after the church first ordained women as priests, in 1994.

"Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together," Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said after the vote. "We will also continue to seek the flourishing in the church of those who disagree."

In an essay posted without fanfare to its website in late October, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said for the first time that Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, had as many as 40 wives. Some of those women were also married to friends of his. And one was only 14 when she became Smith's wife.

A troubling video surfaced recently that appears to show a scruffy group of Islamic State fighters cackling about trading women from the Yazidi minority as sex slaves. Though widely watched on the Internet, the video has not been authenticated. There are still questions about who the men are and who made the video.

Still, a larger point is clear. Well before the video emerged, the Islamic State had already endorsed the notion that enslaving women as a prize of war is perfectly acceptable.