Latter-day Saints were blown away last general conference by the whirlwind of changes and announcements that took place. But that was just a small taste of what we've been experiencing these past six months. Here are the changes that have happened since last general conference that prove our Church is a living Church directed by the Lord's chosen messenger today.
"The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will," President Nelson said. These changes include focusing more on our Savior, whose Church this is, by avoiding using "Mormon Church," "LDS Church," "Church of the Latter-day Saints," or the terms "Mormon" and "Mormonism."
In line with the "newer, holier approach" our prophet and Church leaders outlined for us last conference, we now focus more on caring, loving, and serving our fellow brothers and sisters and less on reports and checklists.
President Nelson announced during the Saturday priesthood session that the high priests would meet with the elders in the elders quorum "to accomplish the work of the Lord more effectively." This change has helped create unity and learning opportunities for all involved.
4. The way missionary calls are sent and Preach My Gospel were updated.
The Church made quite a few adjustments concerning missionaries over the past year, including updating the missionary handbook to improve safety measures for those serving, sending calls online instead of through the mail, and updating the missionary tool Preach My Gospel to reflect changes in the Church.
Our new prophet's travels have not ended with his global ministry tour that included eight countries visited in eleven days. Since then, he has continued to travel, hold firesides, and meet with Church members everywhere from major league baseball fields to hockey stadiums.
The Church recently released the first Church history book in nearly a century, Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days. Unlike previous histories, this book brings the stories of past members to life with vivid storytelling that doesn't shy away from controversial Church topics. Both accessible and informative, the narrative-form book gives readers a look into the lives of the Saints who dedicated their hearts to establishing the Church and spreading the gospel throughout the world.
Over the next few years, the Church will be revising their current Hymns and Children's Songbook, and they've asked for us to contribute. Find out how you can submit a song of your own here.
In a news release, it was stated that "Bishops have a sacred responsibility to lead, teach, and inspire youth. Effective personal interviews are one important way they do this. These interviews provide opportunities to help youth become disciples of the Savior, repent of transgressions, and live the gospel of Jesus Christ," the First Presidency shared in a letter. "To help ensure that youth and parents are aware of the topics and questions covered in these interviews, the bishop should share the enclosed guidelines with them before the first interview."
The curriculum of the Church is changing.
“Programs of the Church are home-centered and Church-sponsored,” said Mike Magelby, director of the curriculum for the Church. “Your study starts at home. You will get the doctrine and learn things from the home manual.”
Brian J. Hansbrow, a curriculum developer for the Church, added, “[Research has] found that scripture study in the home—personal religious devotion—had a greater impact on conversion than anything else." And the Church is utilizing that information to strengthen how we learn and teach the gospel.
We are excited to learn more about these remarkable women as they join other Church leaders for the upcoming general women's session of general conference.
In addition to asking the Church membership to join in prayers and making a historic donation to an LGBTQ support group for suicide prevention, the Church released a powerful new video series and provided new resources to help others feel loved, receive needed help, and to combat the rising suicide rates.
For the first time, members of the First Presidency and leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) met together in a historic meeting to learn how they could unite in their shared causes. Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors, called the meeting between the NAACP and the Church "God-assisted." "No matter what your belief is, sometimes you have to believe there is some direction coming. I believe that spiritually this was directed. It was meant to be, purposeful, and intended," he said. "It was mutual, let's say God-assisted, work. It so happened we were looking for ways to reach out, they were looking for ways to reach out, and we got connected, and so here we are."
Set to roll out in January 2020, Newsroom said about this new initiative: "For years, Church leaders have been preparing a new initiative to teach and provide leadership and development opportunities to all children and youth, to support families and to strengthen youth everywhere as they develop faith in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This new approach is intended to help all girls and boys, young women and young men discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills and fulfill their divine roles as daughters and sons of God."
Shortly before last general conference, the Church announced the dedication dates for the Rome Italy Temple. Just a few days later, President Nelson stood at the pulpit and announced seven more temples: Salta, Argentina; Bengaluru, India; Managua Nicaragua; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; Layton, Utah; Richmond, Virginia; and a major city yet to be determined in Russia. Since then, the Church has continued to move forward releasing renderings of what some of our new temples will look like, announcing rededication dates for current temples under renovation, and even showing Church members the first glimpse inside the Church's 160th temple, set to be dedicated on October 28.
The "Be One" celebration featured a message from the First Presidency, stories of faith from Church member across the globe, and music from Gladys Knight, Alex Boyé, the Bonnor family, the Unity Gospel Choir International, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was a beautiful commemoration of people all over the world who were blessed by the declaration that worthy black men in the Church could begin to hold the priesthood.
In order to help enhance Latter-day Saints' worship experience, many social media sites were no longer available in church meetinghouses beginning in May.
Clash of Clans
Big Fish Games
All images from Newsroom