The year 2015 has seen a lot of exciting changes in the Church. From five new temples built in Argentina, Utah, Peru, Indiana, and Mexico,to three new apostles being called to the Quorum of the Twelve, we've experienced a lot of joy and even a little heartache as we've moved forward in the work of the Lord.
But, 2015 isn't over yet, and there's still time to reminisce about some of the stories and memories that have touched our lives and helped us become better people this past year. Enjoy these top ten Mormon moments from LDS Living. We hope they'll make you laugh, touch your heart once again, and inspire you to remember the things that matter most and are worth remembering as you make your New Year's resolutions for 2016.
10. Nightline Anchor Ted Koppel Calls LDS Church Extraordinary
Cyberattacks—they are a frightening and all-too-real possibility for Americans today, at least according to Ted Koppel and his book Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.
In his book, Koppel, anchor for Nightline, talks about how ill-prepared most Americans would be if a cyberattack did occur. But, after meeting with the director of the LDS Church's welfare program, touring some of the Church's storehouses, and meeting with other Church leaders, Koppel determined that Mormons are the most prepared group of any to face such terrifying possibilities. In fact, he devotes three chapters in his book to the Church's impeccable organization and preparedness, calling it "extraordinary."
9. J.K. Rowling Weighs in on Viral, Mormon-Made Harry Potter "Uptown Funk" Parody
BYU grad student Keith Allen and a group of fellow BYU students posted a Harry Potter parody of "Uptown Funk" that went so viral, it started drawing the attention of big name celebrities.
Among them was Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who, after being asked about "Dark Lord Funk" said on Twitter, "Yes, I've seen it, and in my opinion, it is a work of genius."
Actor Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucias Malfoy in the films, said of the video on Twitter that it's, "sheer unadulterated genius. Even without a Malfoy in sight."
8. Watch Sister Uchtdorf's Priceless Reaction to Her Husband's Wardrobe Malfunction at BYU-I Inauguration
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke at an inauguration for the new president of BYU-Idaho, President Clark Gilbert. During his speech, President Uchtdorf experienced a minor wardrobe malfunction when his stole became skewampus.
Watch Sister Uchtdorf's quick and priceless reaction, as well as President Uchtdorf's loving response.
7. Mormon Mom Surprised on the Ellen Degeneres Show Pays It Forward
Latter-day Saint Mary Banford received an incredible surprise from show host Ellen Degeneres this spring: a brand new Ford Escape and a date night with her husband, who is a member of the National Guard.
But, beyond just thanking Ellen for the gift, Banford decided to do something to pay this surprise forward. That's when she remembered her Aunt Elaine, who had just undergone her second back surgery that month. In order to build her spirits, Banford arranged for a huge flash mob dance to surprise her aunt at her house in May, with a color guard, dance teams, and drum line to boot!
6. Steve Young Quotes Joseph Smith on ESPN
Viewers of "Pardon the Interruption," a popular sports debate show on ESPN, are used to hearing quotes from legendary leaders. Coaches like Knute Rockne, John Wooden, and Vince Lombardi all led their teams to greatness, and their platitudes of wisdom are often echoed to the athletes of today.
But when the hosts brought in Steve Young, an NFL Hall-of-Famer and Latter-day Saint, to address the recent struggles of the Detroit Lions? Well, this happened:
Young, speaking of a team's need for an independent locker room, said it can be harmful when a coach is too involved. "You don't want to be the one who's trying to over-control what's going on in there," he said. "The greatest locker rooms in football, the ones that go to championships, live the famous quote, 'You teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.'"
The "famous quote" that Young used came from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was once asked how he was able to effectively govern so many people.
5. Jimmy Fallon Compliments Mitt Romney's Mormon Family on Tonight Show
Mitt Romney's connection with popular late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon stretches beyond quick comedy sketches and TV interviews.
While the Fallon family was on a vacation, they got together with the Romneys for some good clean fun. "We met up, we had a Burger Summit, last summer," Fallon explained when he had Romney on the show March 25th. "And you invited me over to the house. And my wife and my baby."
"You and your wife and your family were so nice to me," Fallon shared, "and I arrived with a hamburger hot dog hat."
Photo from Twitter
4. TV Host Runs into Missionaries During "Only Say Yes" Experiment
In a new Flemish TV show entitled Ja Jan, a TV host commits to say "yes" to every question asked of him for 60 days.
Including when he ran into two Mormon missionaries.
Episode 4 of the show, which aired on January 26th, follows Jan as he flips a coin leaving his house to determine the direction he'll walk that day. As luck would have it, he drops the coin, which then rolls to a stop on tails—directing him to walk forward instead of to the right.
As he walks, who should he find but a pair of American missionaries in a nearby square? Noticing that they speak English, he decides to cross over to them and asks, "You come from America? Why are you here?"
Elder Argueta, the missionary he picks out of the crowd, answers, "Yeah. I'm here to share the gospel with people, share a little bit about Jesus Christ, and also serve people."
Jan explains that he's making a new TV program where he says "Yes" to everything—and Elder Argueta doesn't let that opportunity slip by. He asks Jan if he can come and share a message with him at a later time. Of course, Jan says "yes."
3. Missionaries Held Captive for Three Hours Go Tracting the Next Day
In a story released by KOAT 7 Albuquerque, two missionaries serving in the area shared their thoughts—and testimonies—following a harrowing encounter.
Elders Zuniga Delgado and Michael Whitaker met with a potential investigator in his home last week, where the man refused to let the two missionaries leave, using physical force to keep them in the residence.
After remaining in the home for three hours, the man left the companions to go into the kitchen—which is when the missionaries made a break for the door. The man holding the pair hostage was arrested shortly thereafter.
The next day, despite the incident, the elders continued tracting.
"In all honesty, it's those people that we're trying to help out the most," Elder Whitaker told KOAT 7.
2. Ellen DeGeneres Gives Returned Missionary an Incredible Surprise
Returned missionary and Ellen DeGeneres fan Carly Christiansen received an incredible gift from her idol: a brand new car. Recently, Christiansen was given a "pre-show tour" of the studio, a tour that was really just a ruse to hide the fact that she was going to be featured on the show. Check out her priceless reaction!
I found the thing I need for every big surprise. Andy on a hoverboard. Thanks, Ford Motor Company. #LaughDancePartner Posted by Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday, November 4, 2015
1. Touching Moment from Conference Goes Viral, Inspires Thousands
As the camera spanned the choir during the October Saturday afternoon session of conference, many of you might have spotted two young boys in the choir holding hands. It was a beautiful image of love and support, but the story behind this moment is even more touching.
According to a post shared by Kristi Medina, the smaller boy requires the support of a walker to get to his classes in school. But he was able to stand straight and tall and sing proudly in general conference this weekend because of the support and helping hand of his brother. These young boys stand as living testimonies and a tender reminder of what it means to nurture, support, and sustain our fellows Saints in the gospel. They also show us how giving even the smallest pieces of ourselves—our voices or our hands—can change another's world.
These boys touch my heart as I watched them sing today. I thought of the many times I've seen them in the school hall.... Posted by Kristy Medina on Saturday, October 3, 2015