With the release of her newest album, Where My Heart Belongs, Gladys Knight is back in the limelight. But we bet you haven't heard these seven fun facts about her yet!
Gladys Knight. We know and love her. We've listened to her sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We've fallen in love with her latest CD. We've heard her conversion story. But we bet you didn't know all seven of these fun tidbits about the "Empress of Soul."
1. Her CTR ring was custom-designed specifically for her
Gladys was first introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by her children--and she loved the simplicity of Gospel concepts, in particular, the slogan CTR.
Sometimes we find ourselves going to church every week only to leave feeling no different from when we arrived. What do you do when you just don’t feel like you’re getting anything out of church?
How many times have you gone to church, said hi to a few people, sat through class, maybe made a comment or two, picked up the kids from Primary and headed home, only to feel the same as you did before you left?
Many faithful Mormons can find themselves in a slump, consistently going to church without feeling inspired. Here are a few reasons you might be feeling uninspired and a few suggestions to help you reestablish that connection with heaven.
Reason One - Habit
Because church happens every Sunday, sometimes we can take it for granted and it becomes a habit. We know we will be getting the family ready and out the door almost on time every week. We know the order of our classes, the topics that will probably be discussed, and all of the “Primary answers” to give. We don’t really stop to think more deeply about why we are there.
What to do:
Remind yourself of the purpose of the Sacrament and think of the Savior during the ordinance. Though this might be more difficult for parents with noisy little ones, even taking a few seconds to close your eyes and think of him, and teaching your children reverence as they grow will help. Remember that it is a privilege to take the Sacrament, and try physically include “Go to church” on your list of weekend activities--it may help you remember that church is a choice.
The recent changes to LDS Family Services don't leave adoptive couples in a lurch--find out the truth behind the changes and why LDSFS can now better serve the LDS community.
Photo courtesy of Terra Cooper
Terra Cooper thought she’d be different.
Since she and her husband, Josh, already had two biological children, she assumed adoption’s “roller coaster of emotions” wouldn’t give her the same legendary rushes of sorrow and joy.
“Boy, was I wrong,” she says. “Adoption comes with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There are so many emotions—emotions you never thought you’d have. It’s bittersweet. And as with every happy event, there is always that tinge of guilt or pain on both sides.”
In fact, after the successful adoption of her daughter Alayna, she says the guilt “overwhelmed my entire being.”
“I had a really hard time feeling like I took Lauren’s baby from her,” she says, speaking of Alayna’s birth family. “But in reality, Alayna was into our family by Lauren and Matt. She wasn’t taken away.”
The gift of Alayna—and that distinction—has been life altering and life affirming. “It has completely changed me as a person,” says Cooper, who has an open, beautiful relationship with birthmother Lauren. “It has shown me I can love more than I ever thought I could and that family is the most important thing in this life. Family is not just who you are related to by blood, but who you choose to bring into your life—or who chooses you.”
Not every LDS teen boy has a missionary haircut. And some young women wear clothing that is too revealing. But here's why you should think twice before commenting on their appearance.
My 15-year-old son has long, shaggy hair that comes to his shoulders. And most of the time, he refuses to wear a tie to church.
As a parent of a child who doesn't fit the ideal Mormon mold, it is sometimes painful to watch how fellow Church members react to my son's appearance.
Don't get me wrong. Most people are trying to be encouraging and good natured about it, but without fail, every Sunday there is someone who can't resist commenting on my son's haircut (or lack thereof) or his outfit. When this happens, I cringe.
Don't they know how hard it was to get him to church in the first place? If you received unsolicited critiques about your hair and clothing every time you came to church, would it make you want to come back? The fact that he is here is a victory in and of itself.
But these well-meaning Church members don't know--and that's my point.
They don't know that my son's long hair is successfully covering his large ears that he is extremely self-conscious about. Nor do they know that he is struggling with his testimony, and it's all I can do to get him to church at all. So on behalf of LDS parents whose children might look a little edgy or rough around the edges, I ask a few things of our fellow Saints:
When presented with an immodest dress to wear in a photo shoot promoting heart health, Noelle Pikus-Pace had a decision to make: wear the dress for a good cause, or stick to her standards.
Before my first Olympic appearance, I was invited to attend an incredibly comprehensive social event known as the Media Summit. This national event attracts every newspaper, magazine, television broadcast, charity foundation, and webcast with any interest in sports, health, or fitness. Athletes expected to do well in the Olympics received invitations to attend, and we were asked to bring a variety of clothes to wear throughout the event. They wanted workout clothes, “Sunday best,” formal wear, competition gear and equipment, “going out” outfits, winter gear, and then basically anything else left in your closet after packing all of these items.
Near the end of the summit, my escort explained to me that one of the biggest photo shoots was just ahead. There would be photographers from Getty Images, NBC, Women’s Health, Shape Magazine, the Associated Press, and many others. Many photographers were asking the athletes to show off their bodies. They wanted to see the muscles and definition. They clapped and cheered as the athletes posed.
I was rushed into my final interview before this photo shoot, and as soon as I came out of the interview and into the massive studio room filled with lights, backdrops, and props, three women grabbed my suitcases out of my hands, opened them up, and sprawled my clothes out across a table. They were discussing what I should wear for each part of the shoot.