This article is a recap of some of the most popular stories we’ve covered during 2017:
Priests & Young Women To Participate More in Temple Baptisms
In a letter in December, the First Presidency announced that young women and young men would be given more opportunities in temple work. Beginning January 1, 2018, priests will be authorized to perform baptisms for the dead and young women will assist in other tasks in temple baptistries, such as recording baptisms and confirmations.
“Come, Follow Me” for Melchizedek Priesthood & Relief Society
Beginning in 2018, Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society meetings will have a new focus. The first Sunday of each month will be a council session about local responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges and making plans to act. The next two weeks will focus on messages from general conference. The fourth Sunday will study a special topic chosen by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. See 3 articles that provide more information: 1, 2, 3.
#LightTheWorld Christmas Celebration for 2017
For the 2017 Christmas season, the Church encouraged us to “Light the World” with the message of Jesus Christ. Millions were involved in 25 Ways in 25 Days. Nearly half a million dollars were donated to humanitarian projects in December through charity vending machines temporarily installed on Temple Square. Millions watched videos and messages from the Church. Millions more watched videos and messages from members and others.
President Nelson Asks Young Adults to Study About Jesus
In the worldwide devotional for young adults on January 8, President Russell M. Nelson issued a challenge to increase discipleship by devoting time each week to study everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the scriptures. Many young adults accepted the challenge and shared their experiences on social media. President Nelson later wrote a blog post about his experiences completing the assignment himself.
LDS General Conference Sessions Consolidated
The Church announced that beginning April 2018, all sessions of conference, including the general women’s session will be held on the same weekend. The general priesthood sessions will be held in April each year and the general women’s sessions will be held in October each year.
Changes in Missionary Work
The Church announced several changes to be made in missionary work, including a new set of interview questions to be asked of prospective missionaries, a trimming of the number of missions to better fit the needs of each region of the world, replacing tablets with smartphones, and an increased use of technologies that help find those interested in religion.
New First Vision Video
The Church published online a new film Ask of God—Joseph Smith’s First Vision, a stunning portrayal of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. It was also released in the Gospel Library mobile app and the LDS Media Library app. While most movies about the First Vision use the 1838 account from the Pearl of Great Price, this film draws from all nine existing accounts recorded during Joseph Smith’s lifetime.
Easter Initiative Prince of Peace
At Easter, the Church’s “Prince of Peace” initiative invited the world to find the inner peace that comes from the life and teachings of the Savior Jesus Christ. The initiative focused on Holy Week, from Palm Sunday (April 9) to Easter Sunday (April 16).
Mutual Theme for 2018
The Mutual theme for 2018 is Doctrine and Covenants 19:23: “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.” The emphasis is on Peace in Christ. Resources are available online.
Church Releases LDS Media Library Mobile App
The Church released the LDS Media Library mobile app, a new app for videos, images, and music. With this new app, you can organize, download, and use videos, images, and music offline when teaching and sharing media at Church, at home, and on the go. Although the existing Gospel Library mobile app provides access to some images and videos, this new app lets you make short clips from video and make playlists for a specific lesson.