LDS Living Blog
How did President Uchtdorf surprise BYU? Why has the increase in the missionary force not lead to more baptisms (yet)? Get the answers and more in this week's must-read LDS stories!
Abraham Lincoln, Joseph Smith, the Civil War, and Mormon doctrine make for an unlikely mix—but each is a critical component of an intricate theory that connects American history with the restoration of the gospel.
The evidence is interesting: while Lincoln was passing through what he called his “process of crystallization,” hehad a copy of the Book of Mormon which he himself had requested from the Library of Congress. Having kept it for nearly eight months, Lincoln finally returned it to the Library a mere seven days after issuing his first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. Was this merely a coincidence? Did Lincoln begin to insert Book of Mormon principles—even Book of Mormon language—into his speeches and policies? After having the book, did he actually change his opinion on Mormons and begin to treat them more kindly than any American president up until that time? The evidence seems to add up to the affirmative, suggesting that the Book of Mormon had influenced the president.
Check out this week's can't-miss LDS stories, including an exploration of women and the priesthood and brand new temple construction pictures from the Phoenix temple.
Recent LDS events in the news have focused on a small group of women who are challenging longstanding traditions and even LDS doctrine. In light of this situation, many members are unsure how to respond when others ask about this hot-button topic.
To help you in your explanations to others, here are some important points to remember as you discuss women and the priesthood:
Doctrine is different from Church policy and LDS culture. Doctrine cannot be changed.
The Church has been making strides to change policy and culture where it can to promote gender equality--not gender sameness.
All members have access to priesthood power and blessings, even if we don't all hold priesthood keys or have priesthood authority.
The root of the issue is about gender equality more than female ordination.
Jabari Parker made his mission decision this week, and President Uchtdorf talked policy with President Obama. Read more about these and other can't-miss stories in LDS news from this past week.
Photo from Getty Images
This week, famed LDS college hoops player Jabari Parker told ESPN that he would not be serving a two-year mission. And also this week, he announced that he would be entering the NBA draft and potentially passing up the chance to finish out his three years of eligibility at Duke.
We're sure that these decisions were not made lightly, and with the benefit of fasting and prayer. We wish Parker the best in his future endeavors and in the draft, and hope he will continue to be a missionary through his example.
Have you heard about the new Sunday School program? It's just one of our five must-read stories that broke in the past seven days in Mormondom! Don't miss this week's review!
Updates to the Church's Sunday School program may be right around the corner. The changes, modeled after the new youth "Come, Follow Me" curriculum, don't yet have a solid timeline, but are progressing forward with rapidity. Several congregations have already been piloting the program with success, as one of our online fans shared:
"Our ward was one of the 10 pilot sites these past few months and it was fantastic. This method was utilized in Sunday School and in Relief Society. Much better learning environment and engagement with discussions. Removes the lecture style way of teaching and allows for thoughtful, honest sharing. We loved it, the teachers loved it and there is opportunity to apply the learnings each week in each of our lives." Katie Bezak Dill
The week before conference is always full of great conference content--check out our picks for the top 5 must-read conference stories from this past week!
Impress your friends with all the fun conference trivia packed into this beautiful, shareable infographic. For instance, did you know conference was cancelled once due to a flu outbreak? Or that early in its history, conference was held in St. George and Provo? And it was only in 2009 that Conference was streamed online for the first time (not so long ago)!
Check out the full graphic--and then join the buzz by sharing it with your friends!
Speaking of sharing, the weekend of general conference is a great time to get into the online church scene. (Have you spied the #LDSconf in the corner of the broadcasts recently? It trends nationally on Twitter!)