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14 Major Church Announcements and News from 2016

With 2016 coming to a close, it's time to look back on some of the big changes, announcements, and news from the Church throughout the year and reflect on the progress, miracles, and changes that continue to bless the lives of members worldwide.

It's been a busy year for the Church and its members, with no shortage of temple dedications, humanitarian aid, new Church websites and apps, political changes, and missionary work opportunities. See if you missed any big Church news from this year, with these 14 historic and newsworthy moments from 2016:

1. Church Makes Major Changes to Temple and Family History Work

In February, the Church announced some major changes in how to prepare and do temple work for family names. Not only did they announce that we can print family ordinance cards from home, but they also Image titledesignated family priority times, so that temples can set aside times for families to come perform ordinances together without a long delay.

Every change seems to make it easier and more accessible for members to research and find their own family names for temple ordinances. If you haven't taken advantage of these changes, maybe make a New Year's resolution to find and perform work for family names.

Image retrieved from FamilySearch.

2. LDS Church & Other Faith Leaders Send Letter to Obama After Controversial Report Released

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When the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report, it stigmatized tens of millions of religious Americans, according to a group of religious leaders of different faiths. The report stated that religious organizations "use the pretext of religious doctrines to discriminate."

In a response letter issued in October addressed to President Barack Obama, Senator Orrin Hatch, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, an interfaith group of religious leaders—including Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—defended the phrases "religious liberty" and "religious freedom" as our first freedom, not a means to discriminate.

The letter stated, "[We] call upon each of you to renounce publicly the claim that 'religious freedom' and 'religious liberty' are 'code words' or a 'pretext' for various forms of discrimination. There should be no place in our government for such a low view of our First Freedom—the first of our civil rights—least of all from a body dedicated to protecting them all."

     ► You'll also like: Church Developing Web Page on How Mormons Can Defend Religious Freedom