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Fun facts and trivia to welcome in the new year

In each issue of LDS Living magazine, we love to share short and simple fun facts related to the season, our faith, or other interesting tidbits that we think are just too darn fun not to talk about. So to satisfy that craving you might be having for some trivia, we thought we’d share a few of the facts and other tips from our January/February issue on our website.

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The Rise of Sliced Bread

To most of us, presliced bread is just a fact of life. Can we even imagine the in convenience of having to pull out a cutting board and a serrated knife each time we get a hankering for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Well, interestingly enough, Americans were not so keen on presliced bread when it first began appearing on store shelves. This was partly because early slicing machines made the loaves look sloppy, and the presliced bread went stale faster than its intact counterpart. But once those issues were resolved, Americans were hooked. So much so, in fact, that when presliced bread was banned during World War II—a wartime conservation measure meant to save the hundreds of tons of steel used to create slicing machines each year—it provoked as much outrage as gas rationing. The unpopular ban only lasted for two months, and the New York Times announced its repeal with the headline “Sliced Bread Put Back on Sale; Housewives’ Thumbs Safe Again.” Fortunately, for the safety of all thumbs, Americans and their sandwiches have never had to go without a piece of presliced bread since.

Facts and Figures about Jerusalem

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  • 8.2 feet: Average thickness of the walls surrounding the old city of Jerusalem
  • 2,000+: Active archaeological sites in Jerusalem
  • 800+ Years: Age of some of the oldest olive trees in Jerusalem
  • 23,000: Number of people Jerusalem’s light-rail system can accommodate per hour
  • 1917: Year it became required for all buildings in Jerusalem to be faced with limestone
  • 8.2 feet: Average thickness of the walls surrounding the old city of Jerusalem
  • 2,000+: Active archaeological sites in Jerusalem
  • 800+ Years: Age of some of the oldest olive trees in Jerusalem
  • 23,000: Number of people Jerusalem’s light-rail system can accommodate per hour

Emotions in the Scriptures

Emotions are something we don’t go a day without, so it makes sense we would find them mentioned in the scriptures. Perhaps the most well-known example is in the simple sermon “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). But there are many other examples, too—according to art curators at Brigham Young University, 127 “emotion” words and their conjugations appear 9,685 times across 7,238 verses in the standard works. One in six verses across Latter-day Saint scripture contains at least one emotion word, with the Book of Mormon having the highest percentage, followed by the New Testament. The word love appears most frequently in scripture, at 895 times—a gentle reminder, as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught, that “The first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength.”

Facts and Figures about Roses


  • 5: Number of US states with a rose as its official flower
  • 500: Number of roses in the world’s largest wedding bouquet
  • 35 million: Approximate years roses have been on the earth (according to fossil evidence)
  • 69: Percentage of flowers gifted on Valentine’s Day in the US that are red roses
  • 28.5 feet: Height of the tallest rose bush (according to Guinness World Records)

Korean Love Ducks

Flowers, chocolates, jewelry—all are lovely gifts for someone special, but what about a duck? That may seem almost humorous to some, but for Koreans the gift of a pair of carved wooden ducks is sure to make one swoon. Originally, a man would give a pair of live ducks to the family of a prospective bride as a symbol of the peace and fidelity that he hoped would accompany him and his sweetheart in married life. Eventually, the live ducks gave way to wooden ones, and the tradition still persists among couples today.

Growing With the Hill Cumorah

New meadow grasses and tree seeds have been planted on and around the Hill Cumorah in Manchester, New York, as part of the Church’s rehabilitation plans for the historic location.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The rehabilitation of the Hill Cumorah is well underway, and the process has something to teach us about life. New trees have been planted on the hill where the pageant stage once stood, but instead of using saplings, workers planted seeds. Starting from seed will help the trees grow taller and produce a higher canopy. This way, the hill will more closely resemble the forests that Joseph Smith would’ve seen when he lived in Palmyra, rather than looking like a modern-day park or golf course. The catch? It will take two or three decades for the trees to fully mature. These slowly growing trees serve as a reminder that sometimes the most beautiful things in life—relationships, talents, and personal change—usually require time to mature. But just as the hill will be restored to its original beauty one day at a time, our own lives can become increasingly full of meaning and joy when we allow ourselves time to grow.

What Will I Not Change?

We are all familiar with the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. But what if instead of only resolving to change, we also decided on ways we will not change and considered the good traits we want to hold on to? Try this as a New Year’s Eve exercise: Pull out a piece of paper and write down at least 10 adjectives or short phrases that describe your goodness. Simple words like “generous” or “enthusiastic” and little phrases like “I notice others” can help you get started. With that list handy, you’ll be ready to set out into the adventure of a new year with all the goodness of the last one to help you along the way.

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