A global LDS Church seeks to broaden its red, white and blue image

On the day Ronan James Head received his traditional baby blessing in the mid-1970s, someone suggested the LDS congregation sing "America the Beautiful."

An odd choice for a hymn, perhaps. But even stranger, the blessing was taking place in Great Britain.

The proposal exacerbated the perception among Head's staunch Anglican relatives that the family had joined an American sect.

Several decades later, odes to the United States never are sung in far-flung LDS branches, says the 33-year-old Head, who teaches religion and philosophy at a private boys school in England. Neither is "God Save the Queen."

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