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14 Major Church Announcements and News from 2016


6. Church Releases Statement on Medical Marijuana

In February, the Church issued the following statement about medical marijuana:

"While we are not in a position to evaluate specific medical claims, the Church understands that there are some individuals who may benefit from the medical use of compounds found in marijuana. For that reason, although the Church opposes SB 73, it has raised no objection to SB 89. These two competing pieces of legislation take very different approaches when it comes to issues like access, distribution, control and the potential harm of the hallucinogenic compound, THC.
"In addition to the therapeutic, treatment, and control questions, there are several other important issues to be resolved. At the forefront is that the use of medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law. We agree with groups such as the American Medical Association, who have said (see the AMA policy below) that further study is warranted before significant public policy decisions on marijuana are advanced. For these reasons, the Church urges a cautious approach."

7. 4 Missionaries Injured in Belgium Explosion

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Image retrieved from St. George News.

Four missionaries in the France Paris Mission were seriously injured in the terrorist bombing at the Brussels airport on March 22, 2016. One senior missionary, Elder Richard Norby, and three full-time missionaries—Elder Joseph Empey, Elder Mason Wells, and Sister Fanny Clain—sustained burns from the explosion and injuries from flying shrapnel.

     ►You'll also like: Missionary in Terrorist Attack Had 2 Other Brushes with Terrorism

When Elder Empey and Elder Wells returned home to Utah to recover fully, they were able to visit Sister Clain in the Provo MTC before she departed to her full-time mission to Ohio. The photo below captured their reunion at the MTC.

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Dresden Empey, Sister Clain's MTC companion, Sister Clain, and Mason Wells. Image from Mormon Newsroom.

Since Elder Norby's injuries required a longer recovery time, he was placed in a medically induced coma and was the last of the four missionaries to travel back to Utah. 

     ►You'll also like: Sister Missionary in Terrorist Attack Begins Mission in U.S., Shares Miracles After Explosion

8. Church Offers New Garment Options

After getting feedback from LDS women worldwide, the Church released new garment options for endowed women, including natural waist garment bottoms, lower waist garment bottoms, and better fitting square neck garment tops.

The new garment options became available between October 2015 and June 2016 globally.