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LDS News & Events

Russell M. Nelson Named 17th Church President

LDS News

President Russell M. Nelson was announced as the 17th president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. The announcement was made by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during a live broadcast from the annex of the iconic Salt Lake Temple. He was sustained and set apart in the Salt Lake Temple on Sunday, January 14, 2018.

President Nelson, 93, succeeds President Thomas S. Monson, who passed away January 2, 2018.

The new leader of a global faith of more than 16 million members has named President Dallin H. Oaks, 85, and President Henry B. Eyring, 84, to serve with him as his first and second counselors in the First Presidency, the Church’s highest governing body.

President Nelson also announced that M. Russell Ballard, 89, is the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

President Russell M. Nelson

Prior to his service as head of the Church, President Nelson served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since April 7, 1984. He was president of that quorum from July 15, 2015, until his call as the Church’s leader.

An internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher, President Nelson’s professional work included the positions of research professor of surgery and director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency at the University of Utah and chairman of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. 

President Dallin H. Oaks

President Dallin H. Oaks has served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since May 1984. He was president of Brigham Young University from 1971 to 1980, and a justice of the Utah Supreme Court from 1980 until his resignation in 1984 to accept his calling to the apostleship. Read more about Dallin H. Oaks.

President Henry B. Eyring

President Henry B. Eyring served as a counselor to President Thomas S. Monson from 2008 to 2018 and to President Gordon B. Hinckley from 2007 to 2008. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 1, 1995. Prior to full-time Church service, President Eyring was president of Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, from 1971 to 1977. He was on the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University from 1962 to 1971. 

Acting President M. Russell Ballard

Acting President M. Russell Ballard has served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve since October 6, 1985. In 1976 he was called as a General Authority Seventy. Prior to his call as a full-time Church leader, President Ballard had interests in automotive, real estate and investment businesses. 

President Russell M. Nelson To Announce New Leadership in Live Broadcast

LDS News

(LDS News) Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the world are invited to participate in a live message from President Russell M. Nelson on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. This message will be shared on all Church broadcast, internet and social media channels in 29 languages. President Nelson’s message will be followed by a press conference at 10:00 a.m. MST.

Broadcast information

This message will be broadcast live on LDS.org and on the Church satellite system (Cebuano, Chinese - Cantonese and Mandarin, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Swedish, Tagalog, Tahitian, Thai, Tongan, Spanish, Ukrainian, and ASL, with closed captioning in English, Mormon Channel, Canal Mormón (Spanish), MormonNewsroom.org, KSL TV, the KSL TV app, BYUtv, BYUtv Global, KBYUtv Eleven, and BYUtv International. In addition, audio broadcasts will air on KSL Radio and BYU Radio.

 

 

President Monson Viewing Attended by Thousands - LDS News

LDS News

(LDS News) Before the break of dawn Thursday, hundreds of mourners gathered outside the Conference Center to pay their last respects to President Thomas S. Monson, the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who died January 2, 2018.

The viewing was scheduled to begin for Church employees and their families at 7 a.m., but with the crowds gathering in the cold and intermittent snowflakes falling, doors opened at 6:30 a.m. When the public viewing started at 9:00 a.m., stormy skies had given way to scattered sunshine, and more than 5,500 men, women and children had already entered the Hall of the Prophets and somberly walked past the open casket of the late Church president.

“For my entire life, [President Monson] was serving as an apostle for the Church,” said Bill Mounga, who stood with his son and hundreds of others in a line that snaked from the Conference Center auditorium on the first level to the Hall of the Prophets on the building’s third floor. “He’s been a pillar in my life, an example of consistently serving. I took my son out of school and brought him here today so we could show our respects.”

By noon more than 10,000 people had come through to see the Church’s beloved 16th prophet and president lying in repose. Ten to 20,000 more are expected by day’s end when the public viewing concludes at 8 p.m.

The viewings for most past Church presidents were held in the Church Administration Building, located southeast of the Conference Center. Beginning with the passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley in January 2008, the public was invited to show their love and respect in the Conference Center (built during President Hinckley’s tenure), where there are bronze busts of each of the Church's presidents.

President Monson’s funeral will take place in the 21,000-seat Conference Center tomorrow, Friday, January 12, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. MST. The funeral services will be broadcast live via MormonNewsroom.org, mormontabernaclechoir.org, LDS.org (Cebuano, Chinese [Cantonese and Mandarin], Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Swedish, Tagalog, Tahitian, Thai, Tongan, Spanish, Ukrainian, and ASL, with closed captioning in English and Spanish), KSL TV, the KSL TV app, BYUtv, BYUtv Global, KBYUtv Eleven, BYUtv International, Mormon Channel, Canal Mormón (Spanish) and on the Church satellite system. In addition, audio broadcasts will air on KSL Radio and BYU Radio.

President Nelson Signs Mission Calls as Presiding Apostle

LDS News

Missionaries receiving their calls this week won’t have the signature of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on their mission call letters.

President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, signed 1,150 letters that are on their way to newly called full-time missionaries. The letters, printed on the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles letterhead, contain the mission assignments for young men and women and senior couples, including the date they will report to one of the Church’s 15 missionary training centers around the world.

Since President Monson’s passing, President Nelson has been serving as the senior leader of the Church.

“Even when there’s an impending change in Church leadership, the work of the Church moves forward. We don’t want to have our prospective missionaries wait for their calling any longer than is necessary for this much-anticipated milestone in their lives,” said President Nelson.

This is the first time in nearly 10 years that the letters have not been signed by Church President Thomas S. Monson, who passed away January 2, 2018. During President Monson’s administration, 410,442 full-time missionaries were called, roughly three of every 10 missionaries who have served since the Church was organized in 1830.

The Church has nearly 67,000 missionaries serving in 421 missions around the globe.

The funeral for President Thomas S. Monson will be this Friday, January 12, 2018, at noon MST in the Conference Center.

President Monson’s Service by the Numbers

LDS News

The life and ministry of President Thomas S. Monson has led to some very unique facts and figures. Here are some milestones by the numbers:

  • 3-8-12: President Thomas S. Monson married Frances Beverly Johnson on October 7, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of three children, with eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
  • 18-19: President Monson announced an age change for full-time missionaries in October 2012, lowering the age from 19 to 18 for men and 21 to 19 for women, resulting in a surge of young missionaries.
  • 22: He was ordained as a bishop in Salt Lake City when he was 22 years old. He presided over the Sixth-Seventh Ward from May 7, 1950, until June 1955, when he was called as a counselor in the stake presidency. As bishop, his lay ministry included responsibilities for more than 1,000 members in his congregation, including about 85 widows.
  • 32: At age 32 he served as a mission president for three years in the Canadian Mission, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.
  • 32: President Monson served in the First Presidency for nearly a third of a century or 32 years, including almost 10 years as president, and counselor to three Church presidents for more than 22 years. He was second counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson and President Howard W. Hunter and first counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley.
  • 34: Since he became president on February 3, 2008, 34 of the Church’s 159 operating temples around the world have been dedicated, 21 of them by him. Under his leadership, 12 existing temples are currently under renovation, 11 new temples are under construction and 12 additional temples have been announced.
  • 36: President Monson was ordained an apostle on October 4, 1963, when he was 36 years old.
  • 48: He served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America for more than 48 years. He was the recipient of the Silver Beaver and the Silver Buffalo Awards and the Bronze Wolf, international Scouting’s highest recognition.
  • 54: President Monson is the first apostle since President Joseph Fielding Smith to serve for more than a half-century. He served for more than 54 years.
  • 64: At the time of Sister Monson’s passing, May 17, 2013, President and Sister Monson had been married 64 years.
  • 230: From 1963 to 2017, he gave 230 addresses in general conference.
  • 410,442: During his administration, President Monson called 410,442 full-time missionaries, roughly three of every 10 missionaries who have served since the Church was organized.
  • 13-16 million: During his presidency, Church membership grew from 13 million to more than 16 million members worldwide.
  • 1.89 billion: The Church has provided $1.89 billion (year ending 2016) in humanitarian aid in 189 countries since 1985, the same year President Monson was called into the First Presidency.
President Monson at the Nauvoo Temple

President Monson at the Nauvoo Temple

A Primer on Coming Changes to the Missionary Program

LDS News

Changes are coming to the way The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints engages in missionary work around the world.

Such changes will include a new set of interview questions to be asked of prospective missionaries; a trimming of the number of missions to better fit the needs of each region of the world; replacing tablets with smartphones and an increased use of technologies that help find those interested in religion.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke regarding such changes, at the annual seminar for new mission presidents. Two missionary department representatives—General Authority Seventy Elder Brent H. Nielson and managing director Gary Crittenden—spoke about the reasons for these coming changes and the areas of missionary work that will be impacted.

“We have really been focused on looking at absolutely every element of missionary operations, starting from when a missionary is thinking about preparing, through the experience that he has on his mission, and even the time after that,” Crittenden said. “And through that we’ve found opportunities where we think we can improve. Many of the changes we will talk about come from that analysis.”

Improving the Overall Mission Experience

The Church has no higher priority in its missionary work than the success and safety of each missionary—no easy task with a missionary force of nearly 70,000 serving around the world in a wide variety of circumstances.

For those preparing for missions, Church leaders have approved a standard set of interview questions to be asked of prospective missionaries uniformly across the world. The hope is that each young man and woman will be familiar with them years before they formally prepare to serve so they have a more complete understanding of the rigorous requirements of missionary work.

For those currently serving, safety is a special concern. In June, the Church sent out a physical safety survey to missionaries everywhere. The results of that survey are helping the Church continue to provide missionaries with safer apartments and training videos to foster more self-awareness.

For those who return home early (the most common reason being health challenges), the Church is always seeking ways to make the transition smooth and beneficial for the missionary.

“Their mission isn’t over [when they come home],” Elder Nielson said. “They now have an opportunity after they get better to perhaps complete their mission at home serving in Church Service missions and other opportunities. We’re working diligently to try to be sure they can complete their mission and have a positive experience.”

Adjusting Missions After the Surge

When President Thomas S. Monson announced in 2012 the change in the age of missionaries who can serve,  the Church expanded the number of missions to accommodate a surge of growth in only a few years from 58,000 to 88,000 missionaries. Five years later, with its missionaries spread throughout more than 400 missions, the Church will be implementing reductions to achieve an overall number of missions that better fits the total number of missionaries and the needs in each region.

“We’ve leveled off to around 70,000 missionaries—still way up from the 58,000 we had,” Elder Nielson said. “In the orderly process of accommodating changes in our numbers, we’ll be slowly closing missions because we don’t need as many as we required for the great increase we experienced in 2012-13.”

Changes to facilities are also a part of the adjustments. For example, this year the Church has expanded its missionary training centers in Provo, Utah and the Philippines, and finished the Ghana, MTC this summer.

Using Technology to Organize, Find and be Found

Through nearly 200 years of missionary work, the Church has repeatedly recognized that methods and approaches need to be updated as cultures and technologies shift and change. Because the ways people communicate and interact are always in flux, especially for the rising generation, the Church has consulted with industry leaders in the technology world to learn how to improve. For example, the number of missions using mobile devices is being increased from 87 to 162. Tablets are being replaced with smartphones, and in the future, most missionaries will arrive on their mission with a smartphone to assist them in their study, finding and teaching.

The online world is helping those asking life’s most important questions find the Church. Technologies can identify those who might be interested in the gospel, and the Church is using such tools to help those interested in spiritual things connect with the Church’s resources.

“‘How can I find peace in my life?’ or ‘Is there a God?’ There tends to be a pattern for people who are asking,” Crittenden said. “In a world of 7.4 billion people, many online are involved in that search. They look at the same kinds of websites and seek the same kind of information. And it’s possible for us then, because they’ve asked that question, to put content in front of them that might be of interest to them. We are able to reach those who are actually searching for the truth.”

A New Testament story illustrates the challenge and the opportunity of finding people interested in faith. After his Resurrection, Jesus came to his apostles, some of whom had returned to their fishing nets after His death. At the end of a fruitless day of fishing, Jesus instructs them to “cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find” (John 21:6). The yield of fish is so large that the apostles can’t lift it into the boat.

“The lesson is that the fish were always there in the water, but Jesus directed the apostles where to find them,” Elder Nielson said. “Our circumstance is similar. God knows where to find those who are seeking truth, and that’s why we’re seeking better ways to find them. There are billions of people on earth. And here’s the amazing thing—we can now reach them in a focused way. That’s very exciting.”

 

LDS Church: Latest Numbers & Stats

LDS News

Worldwide Statistics

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following report concerning the growth and status of the Church:

Growth of the Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally organized in a small log cabin in upstate New York in 1830. It took 117 years — until 1947 — for the Church to grow from the initial six members to one million. 

Total Church Membership:  15,882,417

Published Languages: 188

Congregations: 30,304

 

Missionary Program

The Church's missionary program is one of its most recognized characteristics. Mormon missionaries can be seen on the streets of hundreds of major cities in the world. 

Missionaries: 70,946

Missions: 422

Missionary Training Centers: 15

 

Humanitarian Services

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides relief and development projects for humanitarian purposes in countries all over the world. 

Countries Receiving Humanitarian Aid: 189

Welfare Services Missionaries (Incl. Humanitarian Service Missionaries): 10,238

 

Temples

Temples are not regular places of Sunday worship for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Temples: 159

 

Education

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints emphasizes the importance of continued secular and spiritual education 

Universities & Colleges: 4

Seminary Students Enrollment: 404,270

Institute Student Enrollment: 357,760

 

Genealogy

Genealogy is more than learning about one’s family history for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day Saints believe families can be together after this life. 

Family History Centers: 5,003

Countries with Family History Centers: 138

 

President Eyring and President Uchtdorf Share Feelings About Passing of President Monson

LDS News

The following statement was released by President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. They served as first and second counselors to President Thomas S. Monson.

President Thomas S. Monson was a mighty prophet of God, and we are honored to have served by his side these past 10 years. His far-reaching and multi-faceted ministry touched the lives of people from all walks of life in remarkable ways. As a result, President Monson’s legacy will continue to be an influence for good in the lives of countless individuals and families for generations to come. To his family, we extend our most sincere condolences and love.

Henry B. Eyring

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

By Aaron Kennedy

Tribute to President Monson from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

LDS News

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement Wednesday, January 3, 2018, about President Thomas S. Monson: 

We, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, unitedly express our sincere sense of loss at the passing of President Thomas Spencer Monson. He was our prophet, our leader, our brother, and our dear friend. 

President Monson lived an exceptional life of service. He served as an Apostle for more than 54 years, the last 10 years of which were as the President of the Church. From his earliest days of Church service to the very end of his faithful ministry, he never failed to bear witness, in word and deed, of the truth of the restored gospel and of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

We will miss his wisdom, his leadership, his meaningful example, and his loving kindness. However, we rejoice in his reunion with his beloved Frances, with other family members who have gone before, and with the prophets of God who preceded him in death, with whom he now stands. As his fellow servants, we echo the words of the Master: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

President Monson Funeral Arrangements Announced

LDS News

Funeral services for President Thomas S. Monson, leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be held in the Conference Center on Temple Square Friday, January 12, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. MST. The funeral will be open to the public ages 8 and older. A public viewing open to all ages will take place Thursday, January 11, from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center.

President Monson died from causes incident to age on January 2, 2018, in Salt Lake City at the age of 90. (Read more about his life.) He was the 16th president in the 187-year history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as its president since February 3, 2008.

Those who attend the funeral services at the Conference Center (which seats 21,000 people) must be in their seats no later than 11:30 a.m. Seating is open and on a first-come, first-served basis. Overflow seating with large-screen viewing of the proceedings will be offered in the adjacent Tabernacle, Assembly Hall and Conference Center Theater.

The funeral services will be broadcast live via MormonNewsroom.org, LDS.org (English, Spanish, and Portuguese), KSL TV, the KSL TV app, BYUtv, BYUtv Global, KBYUtv Eleven, BYUtv International, Mormon Channel, Canal Mormón (Spanish) and on the Church satellite system. In addition, audio broadcasts will air on KSL Radio and BYU Radio.

A private burial service will take place at the Salt Lake City Cemetery following the funeral.

Expressions of sympathy can be posted on the President Monson Facebook page or emailed to condolences@ldschurch.org.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Humanitarian Aid Fund or the Church’s General Missionary Fund at give.lds.org/monson.

LDS Church President Dies at Age 90

LDS News

President Thomas Spencer Monson, 16th President of the Church, died Tuesday, January 2, 2018, in his home in Salt Lake City. He was 90 years old.

Funeral services will be held in the Conference Center on Temple Square Friday, January 12, 2018, at noon (mountain standard time). The funeral will be open to the public ages 8 and older. A public viewing open to all ages will take place Thursday, January 11, from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center. (See related story.)

President Monson was well acquainted with the governance of the Church, not only through knowledge gleaned through written histories but also through personal experience.

Called to the Quorum of the Twelve at age 36, he spent 45 years as an Apostle and served as counselor to three Church presidents: Second Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson and President Howard W. Hunter, and, for nearly 13 years, First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Upon President Hinckley’s death, President Monson was set apart on February 3, 2008, as President of the Church.

Even before the era of his ministry as a General Authority, he spent his life on the Lord’s errand, from serving as president of his ward’s deacons quorum as a young man, to serving as a bishop in his early 20s, to presiding over a mission in his early 30s, to becoming a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in his mid-30s—at age 36.

President Monson had all the hallmarks of an unassuming servant of the Lord.

In 1997, he was asked to describe what it had been like to be called as an Apostle of the Lord. He didn’t answer the inquiry directly, but spoke of “being called of God” in more general terms, in a manner every member with a calling could understand. He spoke of being called as a bishop of a ward of 1,080 members at age 22. He said, “I had a heavy responsibility for welfare, … About a third of the ward was represented by old-time families and two-thirds by a transient population. Why I was selected, I can’t tell you that” (Gerry Avant, Church News interview notes, August 1997).

During a conversation with the Church News he reflected on the occasion when, in just a few days, during the April 2008 general conference, members worldwide would raise their hands in a solemn assembly to sustain him as President of the Church.

Asked about his thoughts and feelings pertaining to the moment he realized he was going to be the next President of the Church—the one who holds all the priesthood keys—President Monson said, “I’ve always followed the philosophy, ‘Serve where you’re called, not where you’ve been or where you might be. Serve where you’re called.’

“I did that as a bishop, as a stake presidency member, as a mission president and as an Apostle. I didn’t know but what President Hinckley would outlive me. Some die young, some die older” (Gerry Avant, Church News, April 5, 2008).

During his years as a General Authority, President Monson willingly, and enthusiastically, served where he was called. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he supervised the missions of the Church in the western United States, the South Pacific, Mexico, Central America, and Europe. After a number of years and following the policy of rotation, the European missions were transferred to another member of the Twelve. However, Elder Monson retained responsibility for all countries behind the Iron Curtain. He was instrumental in the construction of the Freiberg Germany Temple, served as chairman of the Scriptures Publication Committee, and supervised the process that resulted in the new editions of the Standard Works of the Church. He had a major role in the supervision and expansion of the Church’s welfare program, and its humanitarian work and developmental projects around the world to help those in need, regardless of faith.

From his days as a bishop through his years as President of the Church, his name forever will be linked to compassionate endeavors, service to others, and a strong desire to help those who are helpless, nourish those who are weak, and lift those who suffer various afflictions. He demonstrated that service most effectively on a one-to-one basis.

No one can count the number of times President Monson paid personal visits to homes or hospital bedsides to offer comfort, cheer, and blessings, or took time to write a letter or make a telephone call to someone who needed a friendly communication. In a 1998 conversation, Sister Frances Johnson Monson (1927–2013) said that she had seen her husband “work himself nearly to exhaustion as he has gone about blessing the lives of those in need” (Gerry Avant, Church News, May 2, 1998).

In an interview on the occasion of his 81st birthday, he was asked to describe what he would consider the ideal gift that members worldwide could give him. Without a moment’s hesitation, he said, “Do something for someone else on that day to make his or her life better. Find someone who is having a hard time, or is ill, or lonely, and do something for them. That’s all I would ask” (Gerry Avant, Church News, Aug. 23, 2008). His reply was in keeping with the character of a man who devoted his life to serving others.

President Monson was always anxious to heed promptings to serve others. In an interview a year after he was sustained as President of the Church, the Church News pointed out there are only so many hours in a day and even the prophet is a mortal who has limited time and energy and, certainly, there must be occasions when he feels he can’t act on a prompting. He replied, “I don’t want to ever get to that point” (Gerry Avant, Church News, Jan. 31, 2009).

On an earlier occasion, he said, “There is nothing quite like being in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all of us have that privilege.” Asked if he had a wish regarding his future, he said, “I want to live the best I can and do the most for others as long as I can” (Gerry Avant, Church News, Aug. 25, 2007).

In 1997, when he was about to turn 70, the Church News asked President Monson how he would like to be remembered. He replied with a brief phrase that aptly captured the essence of his life: “I tried my best.”

2018 Nauvoo Pageant & British Pageant Dates

LDS News

The 2018 Nauvoo Pageant preparations are underway.  The beautiful theatrical outdoor stage performance is put on each summer in beautiful Nauvoo, Illinois by a cast and crew of over 1,100 people. The legacy of early Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo is told through song, dance, music and acting. The Pageant season brings historical vignettes in Old Nauvoo and the 1840s Frontier Country Fair as a fun and exciting part of the pageant's pre-show activities.

Nauvoo Pageant Dates 2018:  July 11-August 5 (excluding Sundays and Mondays)

The 2018 Nauvoo Pageant season will feature two amazing musical productions:

The 2018 Nauvoo Pageant: Will be held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays - telling the story of early Latter-day Saint Church members who first settled the City of Nauvoo in 1839. It's full of music, singing, funny moments and a few tear jerkers.  You'll love the entire performance.

The 2018 British Pageant, “Truth Will Prevail,” held on Wednesdays and Fridays, and tells the history of early Saints in the British Isles. With delightful music and acting that will touch your heart and put a smile on your face, you'll learn the true stories of some very amazing families that made the hard sacrifice to come to America and follow their faith.

Both the 2018 Nauvoo Pageant & the British pageants are based on actual journals and historic records from the 1800s.  You experience both traditional period music and dancing as well as amazing original music. Thousands visit Nauvoo each year to enjoy both performances.  While in Nauvoo your family can also take free wagin rides around the old Nauvoo historic town - experience period blacksmith and tin shops - visit the old Times & Seasons newspaper press or take you whole family to the Family living center for pioneer games and crafts: ALL FREE.

2018 is a great year to come see beautiful Nauvoo.  

FULL SCHEDULE:

2018: July 10-August 4 (excluding Sundays and Mondays)

The Nauvoo Pageant will be presented on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The British Pageant will be presented on Wednesday and Friday.

1840s Frontier Country Fair starts at 7:00 p.m each evening & The Pageant performances begin
at 8:30 p.m.

ADMISSION: Admission is free. No ticket is required, and no reservation is necessary.

 

LDS NEWS & EVENTS - 2017 REVIEW

LDS News

For many Latter-day Saints, 2017 brought much in the way of change and national events.  From major disasters to the Scouting program - here is a list of the major LDS News events over the past year.

Elder Hales Passed Away:

Elder Robert D. Hales, who served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since 1994 and as Presiding Bishop of the Church from 1985 until his call to the Twelve, passed away on October 1, 2017 Elder Hales died in between Sunday sessions of October general conference.

 

Worldwide Education Effort Announced:

The First Presidency announced the creation of a global higher-education organization, BYU–Pathway Worldwide (BYU–PW). The institution will have responsibility for all online certificate and degree programs offered by the Church Educational System (CES).

Elder Cook Opens Black Church Leadership Summit:

Quoting an iconic Baptist preacher and a well-known Jewish rabbi, apostle Elder Quentin L. Cook  opened the Black Church Leadership Summit in July at the Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey that a “fairness for all” approach to religious freedom is critical because it preserves an important path to a meaningful life.

Relief Society Visits Earthquake Survivors in Mexico:

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency traveled to the Mexican state of Oaxaca to visit with survivors of a recent earthquake. Sister Aburto began her tour in Juchitán de Zaragoza, where she was received by the municipal president, Gloria Sánchez López.

General Authority Excommunicated:

Elder James J. Hamula was excommunicated this year, the first senior church official to be excommunicated in almost 30 years. Elder Hamula was released as a General Authority Seventy following church disciplinary action by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in August.

Church Announced Dropping Some Scouting Programs:

The Church announced in May that the role between the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church, the BSA’s largest charter organization and partner for more than 100 years would change. The Church will no longer participate in the Varsity and Venture programs but will continue to sponsor Cub Scouts (ages 8-10) and Boy Scouts (ages 11-13)

Church “Helping Hands” Yellow Shirt Effort Helps in Disasters:

This year brought several global natural disasters. The Church mobilized efforts in each case to bring relief to victims.  President Eyring, President Uchtdorf and Elder Rasband, visited affected areas offering support and supervising the humanitarian efforts by the church.

LDS Relief Society Updates its Mission:

Sister Linda K. Burton, former Relief Society general president, announced that the Relief Society organization will update its mission.  She stated “The Relief Society helps prepare women for the blessings of eternal life as they: Increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement; Strengthen individuals, families, and homes through ordinances and covenants; Work in unity to help those in need.”

Four New Temples Dedicated and Three Groundbreakings Held:

Four new Temples were dedicated and groundbreakings for three more were held in 2017.  New temples dedicated were: Paris France, Tucson, Arizona, Cedar City, Utah and Meridian, Idaho.  Ground was broken for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Arequipa, Peru and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Worldwide Number of Missions Reduced:

Right after the announcement five years ago that the age of Missionaries would change the number of full-time missionaries surged. In 2017 the Church announced it was reducing the number of worldwide missions to "better fit the needs of each region in the world.”

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Performs at Inauguration:

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed "America the Beautiful" at the inauguration of President Donald Trump.  It is estimated that crowd of people in attendance reached 800,000 and the global viewers were in the billions. Of special note - one choir member chose to resign rather than perform - a first in the history of the choir.

Church Acquires Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon:

The Community of Christ Church announced it had reached a deal to sell the original handwritten printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon to the LDS Church. "We hold the Book of Mormon to be a sacred text like the Bible," said LDS Church historian and recorder, Elder Steven E. Snow.

Number of Conference Session Reduced:

The First Presidency announced the reduction of the number of conference sessions in a letter to local church leaders.  The changed would reduce the number of conference sessions from six to five. The letter went on to say "We are confident this change will be a blessing in the lives of members throughout the church.”

Role of Youth in Temple Baptisms to be Expanded:

In a letter to be read at all Sacrament meetings the First Presidency announced that LDS boys and girls with a limited use recommend will have more opportunities to serve in the baptistry of the temple.  The young men will now be able to perform certain ordinances and the young women will assist in ways usually reserved for older women.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Celebrates Christmas Broadway-style

Kelli Thomas

Thousands gathered in the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City for a full-scale production of music, dance and storytelling involving more than 600 volunteers.

Broadway artist Sutton Foster and British actor Hugh Bonneville joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City Thursday night, December 14, 2017, for the first of three performances to celebrate the Christmas season. The 18th annual Christmas concert from the Conference Center also features the Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells on Temple Square.

“Just as soon as I walked on stage I was so overwhelmed by the spirit of the season,” said Foster at a Friday morning news conference. She is best known for her Tony Award-winning roles on Broadway.

The concert begins with “Joy to the World,” complete with trumpets. Following the opening processional, Foster joins the choir and orchestra to sing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” followed by “Christmas Time Is Here” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” She also performs “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” a John Denver classic that is one of her signature songs from Broadway.

“I know it's not a Christmas song, but I really want to sing that, and I would love to dedicate it to my mom. And then I wanted to sing ‘Christmas Time Is Here’ because it's my favorite Christmas song,” explained Foster.

“I’m thrilled,” said Bonneville, who is the narrator at this year’s concert. “The choir’s work is world famous. This particular concert has been on my radar for a long time.”

He is recognized for his portrayal of Lord Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in ITV/PBS Masterpiece’s British drama series “Downton Abbey.”

Bonneville shares a message about joy and peace at Christmas as he relates a story titled “It Is Well with My Soul” during the performance.

“It is a tale of great sorrow but great fortitude and finding strength in adversity and courage in the darkness,” he explained. “I think that spirit of drawing on the past as a sort of platform for the future is one of the themes that runs tradition.”

Bonneville continued, “It's about creating an atmosphere that is both huge in scale but also intimate in content and emotional content, and that's a very special experience."

“I respect and celebrate all faiths. And this time of year for so many religions is a time of coming together. This is a time, of course, for the Christian tradition of celebrating the nativity of Christ and the great story that unfolded from that,” he said.

The annual Christmas concerts have attracted thousands of people to Temple Square for the Christmas season for more than a decade. The free performances are seen by tens of thousands each year as well as millions more in 60-minute PBS television specials. Also, this year the full 90-minute 2016 concert featuring Rolando Villazón is being shown on BYUtv. 

LDS Youth to Perform Temple Ordinances - New Announcement

Kelli Thomas

Salt Lake City, UT (LDS News)  In a letter released yesterday The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that beginning January 1, 2018 members of the Aaronic Priesthood shall be invited to officiate in the performance ordinances in the baptistry of the Temple  and young women may assist with baptistry assignments currently performed by sister temple ordinance workers and volunteers.

Below is the copy of the letter that will be read in Sacrament Meetings this Sunday

(To be read in sacrament meeting) 

December 14, 2017 To: General Authorities; General Auxiliary Presidencies; Area Seventies; Stake, Mission, and Temple Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents; Stake and Ward Young Men, Young Women, and Primary Presidencies 

Dear Brothers and Sisters: Youth Participation in the Baptistry and Preparing Children for Priesthood and Temple Service We are grateful for the increase in temple and family history work being completed by the faithful youth of the Church. In unprecedented numbers, young women and young men throughout the world are researching, finding, and bringing family names to the temple to perform baptisms and confirmations. We are pleased to announce the following changes, effective on January 1, 2018: 

Under the direction of the temple presidency, young women (ages 12-18) with a limited-use temple recommend may assist with baptistry assignments currently performed by sister temple ordinance workers and volunteers.

Under the direction of the temple presidency, all priests in the Aaronic Priesthood with a limited-usetemple recommend may officiate in baptisms for the dead, including serving as the baptizer and as a witness. Bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost continues to be solely a Melchizedek Priesthood function.

The Primary’s Priesthood Preview meeting will be modified to include both 11-year-old boys and girls and will be called the Temple and Priesthood Preparation meeting. This will be an opportunity for priesthood, Primary, and youth leaders to help girls and boys, and their parents, understand the significant blessings of temple service, priesthood service, and making and keeping sacred covenants. For moreinformation, see Primary.lds.org.We are confident that these changes will bless the lives of youth and children throughout the Church. 

Sincerely yours, The First Presidency 

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Colorado Mormons and Catholics Work Together to Help Homeless

LDS News

Windsor, CO (LDS NEWS) Catholic Charities and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Greely and Windor areas of Colorado have joined arms to help the homeless find places to live.

For the past several years Latter-day Saints have been volunteering at the Catholic Charities' Guadalupe Shelter, a facility for the homeless.  When the nearby Guadalupe Apartments, also operated by Catholic Charities was in need of some improvements and TLC both groups took action together. The need for beds, bedding and furniture was essential but when the needs of the shelter’s actual residents became know, the Humanitarian Services arm of the Church jumped in to help.

Area LDS Church members set out volunteering time and asking for donations through the project “A Place to Lay His Head.”  Enough bedding, dressers, night stands were gathered for 47 apartments.  Approximately 200 Latter-day Saint youth worked nearly 2,000 hours assembling the furniture and setting them up in the apartments.

Artwork of Rediscovered Mormon Artist Joseph Paul Vorst on Display

Matthew Kennedy

An exhibition featuring the work of LDS artist Joseph Paul Vorst opens at the Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The display, titled “Joseph Paul Vorst: A Retrospective,” runs from November 9, 2017, through April 15, 2018. It features 111 works, including paintings, watercolors, drawings, lithographs and other works. Many have never been on exhibit.

“It really is an extraordinary event,” said Glen Nelson, cocurator of the exhibition. “This is the first time in 70 years since he died that all of these works that were exhibited in the most important museums in America have been brought together again.”

Vorst was born in Essen, Germany, in 1897 and died in 1947 after suffering a brain aneurism. He lived through two world wars and fought for the German army during World War 1. In 1924, he converted to Mormonism and immigrated to the United States in 1930 at the height of the Great Depression, settling in St. Louis, Missouri.

“Vorst's work is really interesting in the way that he takes art of his time and puts a religious spin on it,” explained Nelson.

“Some of the pervasive themes that you'll see in the artwork is messages of hope and of compassion for the downtrodden and real social observance. He was living through really trying times,” said Laura Allred Hurtado, global acquisitions art curator for the Church History Museum.

Nelson said Vorst was considered one of the most important painters in America in his day. “He died young and then his work sort of disappeared. And he also fell off the Church's radar.”

During his lifetime, Vorst exhibited widely in museums throughout America, showing his award-winning paintings and lithographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Institute and many others.

Hurtado said the Mormon artist also displayed his works in Utah with Alice Merrill Horne at the old Deseret Gymnasium and the Springville Art Museum. LDS Art and LDS Temple art on display.

“Having these works in Salt Lake is amazing because they were first shown here,” said Nelson. “Eighty-three years ago he showed a group of religious artworks. … They're German expressionist style woodcuts based on the New Testament.”

But Nelson said Vorst’s family lost track of the works until they were located four years ago by one of his friends in Germany, who found them together in a small portfolio under consignment in a bookstore.

“They've only recently been rediscovered, and so this whole exhibition is kind of a reintroduction of his work to the Church and to Salt Lake City,” he said.

“The goal was to reintroduce him to our audiences today and reintroduce his legacy of hope and compassion and share the messages that he has to share,” said Hurtado.

Artworks on loan for the exhibition come from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art; Saint Louis Art Museum; National Gallery of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; St. Louis Post-Dispatch; St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri–St. Louis; commercial galleries in Chicago and New York; private collections in the United States and Germany; and the permanent collection of the Church History Museum.

Nelson’s 250-page monograph, Joseph Paul Vorst, will be published to coincide with the retrospective exhibition.

 The museum is located at 45 West Temple Street on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Nauvoo Pageant Casting Call for 2018

NauvooNews.com

NAUVOO NEWS: Come be a part of Nauvoo in a very special way - join the cast & crew of the Nauvoo Pageant.  Both the Nauvoo & British Pageants are currently accepting applications for those who would like to participate.  It's easy to apply online and applications are being accepted thru October 31, 2017. If you would like to be a part of the performance please visit and click on "Participate" on the top.  The Nauvoo Pageant needs families, couples, and individuals both on stage and in various areas of the pageant. 2018 Nauvoo Pageant Dates:  July 10 - August 4, 2018

2018 Nauvoo Pageant

NauvooNews.com

The Nauvoo Pageant is a beautiful Broadway quality outdoor stage performance put on each summer in beautiful Nauvoo, Illinois by a cast and crew of over 1,100 people. The legacy of early Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo is told through song, dance, music and acting. The Pageant season brings historical vignettes in Old Nauvoo and the 1840s Frontier Country Fair as a fun and exciting part of the pageant's pre-show activities.

The Nauvoo Pageant season features two amazing musical productions:

The Nauvoo Pageant: Held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays tells the story of early Latter-day Saint Church members who first settled the City of Nauvoo in 1839. It's full of music, singing, funny moments and a few tear jerkers.  You'll love the entire performance.

The British Pageant, “Truth Will Prevail,” held on Wednesdays and Fridays, tells the history of early Saints in the British Isles. With delightful music and acting that will touch your heart and put a smile on your face, you'll learn the true stories of some very amazing families that made the hard sacrifice to come to America and follow their faith.

Both the Nauvoo Pageant & the British pageants are based on actual journals and historic records from the 1800s.  You experience both traditional period music and dancing as well as amazing original music. Thousands visit Nauvoo each year to enjoy both performances.  While in Nauvoo your family can also take free wagin rides around the old Nauvoo historic town - experience period blacksmith and tin shops - visit the old Times & Seasons newspaper press or take you whole family to the Family living center for pioneer games and crafts: ALL FREE.   

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The LDS Church Purchases the Book of Mormon Printer's Manuscript

NauvooNews.com

 

INDEPENDENCE, MO:  Today the Community of Christ Church announced it has reached an agreement with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the sale of the Book of Mormon Printer's Manuscript.  The agreement was announced via a worldwide webcast by the Community of Christ on their website.  

In 1841, Joseph Smith placed the original manuscript in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House, a boarding house in Nauvoo, Illinois. "Several decades later, when the manuscript was pulled out, water had seeped into the cornerstone, and the manuscript had started to fall apart from the bottom up.” said Robin Scott Jensen, associate managing historian and project archivist for the Joseph Smith Papers project.

The sale of the manuscript was agreed to in part to relive the Community of Christ Church of financial obligations it has to its retired members who were under church employment.

QUOTE "A very special gratitude to the Community of Christ Church who has taken such wonderful care of the sacred history loved by so many.  From historic buildings to sacred texts, generations of faithful members of the Community of Christ have been careful and valiant stewards of such beautiful parts of our combined beloved history." - Matthew & Dena Kennedy