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{LDSL Blog} Top LDS Living Stories of 2012

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1. Living with Same-sex Attraction: Our Story

The Church has made huge strides this year in reaching out to the LGBT community and opening up the discussion on homosexuality within the context of the gospel. This article was by far our biggest pot-stirrer of the year, but it is also one that helps spread understanding and compassion. Without proclaiming what is best for others, one man dealing with same-sex attraction, Ty Mansfield, shares his faith-affirming testimony of his experiences that led to his getting married in the temple and starting a family of his own.
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2. Julie B. Beck: Continuing the Legacy

Sister Julie B. Beck has served in both the Young Women and Relief Society general presidencies, and as such, she has a lot of wisdom and insights to share. The LDS Living staff loved getting to meet her--she radiates love and happiness--and the message she shared about what it's like to work with Church leadership, what she wishes women in the Church better understood, and her inspiring testimony of faith was a huge hit with our readers as well.
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3. The Midsingles Phenomenon

One of the trends becoming evermore apparent in the Church is that of a new, emerging demographic: midsingles, or those who are unmarried and between the ages of 31 and 45. Some have never married, some are divorced, and some are widowed. Some have kids, whether few or many, while others have none. As they strive to find their eternal mate, they're also searching for something else: their place in the Church. LDS Living took an in-depth look at this group and their unique needs--as well as their unique strengths they bring to their wards, stakes, and more.
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4. Where Are They Now? The Cast of Johnny Lingo and The "Mormon Rap" Band

In the September/October issue of LDS Living, we did some detective work to find Mormon celebrities (or Mo-lebrities, as we like to call them) of a past era like pop phenom The Jets and learn what they are up to now. We shared our favorites--the cast of Johnny Lingo and the band that produced the best song ever, "Mormon Rap"--with our online audience. It was a huge hit. You can even watch the full version of the old Johnny Lingo movie and a music video of "Mormon Rap." And if you liked this article, you'll also love our article on Mormon Firsts--did you know the first ever successful artificial heart transplant was performed by an LDS doctor on an LDS patient?
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5. Fighting the Battle Against Pornography: The Crusade for Cleanliness

Pornography is an issue that's been swept under the rugs for years, but as it becomes more and more prevalent, it's becoming harder and harder to ignore it. And in a world where pornography is not only accepted but applauded, our brooms need to be used to clean up the mess rather than hide it. So we took this issue on, investigating just how prevalent it is, who is affected and how--men, women, children, and families as a whole--what you can do to prevent it in your family, and steps to take if its already taken hold in your home.
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6. Slow-cooker Recipes

We all get busy. Whether it's the holidays, summer vacation, or any other time of year, it's easy to come home at the end of a long day and realize you have no idea what to make for dinner. Try one of these delicious and ridiculously simple slow-cooker recipes you can toss together quickly when you have a few spare minutes and enjoy when you're ready.
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7. Let It Go: A Story of Tragedy and the Power of Forgiveness

When half his family was killed in a drunk-driving accident, Chris Williams made the most important decision of his life: to forgive. The results impacted him, his family, the driver, and their whole community. This story had a phenomenal impact--we've heard and heard of people quoting it in Sacrament talks and Relief Society lessons, and more than one of our staff members cried when reading it for the first time. You won't regret taking the time to read this.
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8. Photo Gallery: The Artwork of President Packer

It’s easy to think of the general authorities only as the people we see over the pulpit in general conference, but they have talents, hobbies, and interests too. This year President Packer released a book of his paintings, sketches, and carvings focusing primarily on birds called The Earth Shall Teach Thee, published by Deseret Book and the BYU Religious Studies Center. You can check out several stunning images and learn more about President Packer by browsing our photo gallery.
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9. The Church in Papua New Guinea

This year we started an exciting new section of our magazine exploring the Church and its members in various parts of the world. To kick it off, we explored one of the most remote areas of the world, often called the "last fronteir": Papua New Guinea. Amid the country's rich and diverse history and culture (from the 830+ languages spoken to the Huli wigmen who are known for their vain men who spend their days preening and growing their hair out at wig school before they can associate with women) and insurmountable challenges (60 percent of the people lack access to safe water and sanitation), the gospel is wending its way down dirt paths through the jungle and from island to island to become a great place of growth in the Church.
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10. How to Help Kids Be Reverent in Church

Children just aren’t equipped with the ability to sit still and listen to religious vernacular (or anything) for extended periods of time. But just because kids have a hard time sitting still doesn’t mean they lack faith, though it does mean your task of keeping peace in the chapel is harder. Read up on some of our surprisingly simple ideas that might prevent icy stares from fellow ward members.
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