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The Church has updated the resources addressing same-sex attraction on a new website called MormonAndGay.lds.org.  The Mormon Newsroom reports:

“The first version of this website launched in December 2012 under the title ‘Mormons and Gays.’ The new appellation, ‘Mormon and Gay,’ reflects the reality that a person doesn’t need to choose between these two identities — one can, in fact, be gay and live faithful to the teachings of Christ.”

This is great news for those who have been struggling to feel like they don’t belong in the Church, even though they desire to be a part of the Church, and be gay.

Elder L. Whitney Clayton introduces the website with the following video:

We invite you to get to know the new resources and to share them with others who you feel that it could bless and help.

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image from lds.org

President Packer’s book, The Holy Temple, is a classic of LDS literature that has become one of the most comprehensive and definitive works written about temples. In fact, much of the material found in the Church’s temple preparation pamphlet comes from this inspired book.

In this book, he shares a story from one of his ancestors that shows that not all ghost stories are scary. Some are deeply sacred and profound.

At the rededication of the Logan Temple in 1979 I recounted an incident in the life of my wife’s grandfather, which I include here.

The Logan Temple is sacred to our family, for there my wife and I were married, and my wife’s grandfather responded to the call and helped to construct that temple.

C. O. Law, the superintendent of construction for that temple, wrote on February 25, 1884: “This letter certifies that Brother Julius Smith of Brigham City has worked faithfully and honorably on the Logan Temple for nearly two years, and as the temple nears completion, his branch of the labor being terminated, he is now honorably released and we sincerely trust that Brother Smith may become a participant in the blessings of the House of the Lord which he has assisted to erect.”

Brother Smith with his wife, Josephina, lived on a few acres of ground in Brigham City. There they raised fourteen children, my wife’s father being the youngest. When the call came for workers to assist in the building of the temple, he responded.


image from Deseret News

At the end of July, friends of Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil received a text from him that simply said, “I believe.”

The text was his way of informing them of his decision to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

O’Neil, who is not only CEO of the Sixers but also of the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center, had been married to his wife, Lisa, a lifelong member of the LDS Church, for nearly 21 years. The two are parents of three daughters, Alexa, Kira, and Eliza. He attended church with family on Sundays, held family home evenings each week, led his family in scripture study, and paid tithing for years.

So what changed? Why now?

Read the rest of the story on Deseret News.

Uchtdorf Dodgers pitch
Image via Patheos.com

Does the above image make you happy? It makes us happy too. 🙂 Elder Holland says that God wants us to be happy. He shares 4 tips how we can do that. Here is what he says.

I wish to comment on Nephi’s phrase about living “after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27). It suggests a quest for happiness, not necessarily happiness itself.

I do not think God in his glory or the angels of heaven or the prophets on earth intend to make us happy all the time, every day in every way, given the testing and trial this earthly realm is intended to provide. As President James E. Faust (1920–2007) once phrased it: “Happiness is not given to us in a package that we can just open up and consume. Nobody is ever happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” But my reassurance to you today is that in God’s plan we can do very much to find the happiness we do desire. We can take certain steps, we can form certain habits, we can do certain things that God and history tell us lead to happiness.

Read the full article at LDS.org.

image from the Gogo Goff Blog

Within Mormon culture, there are quite a few myths about missionaries and missionary work, some of them are awesome stories about the early days of the church, but there are a few myths that are not acceptable and that we need to stop believing. Specifically, there are 6 myths about missionaries that members need to stop believing.

1. You Are A Bad Missionary If You Go Home Early.

A lot of missionaries return home early from their mission, some for medical reasons and others for worthiness reasons. Coming home early does not make you a bad missionary. A cultural problem in the Church whether we want to admit it or not is that fact that a lot of judging and shaming happens to early returned missionaries. It is so bad that some of these RM’s I have talked with have told me that they avoid going to church because of how awful the members treat them.
Some people assume that when they are told someone came home for medical reasons it is really a cover for a worthiness problem. To that I will address the root problem, so what if they came home for worthiness? Are you upset that someone has started the repentance process by confessing their sins? The whole point of the gospel and the atonement is to allow people to repent and be forgiven of their sins. Missionaries who come home as part of repentance are the definition of living the gospel, I would rather they repent and come home than serve unworthily.
Instead of judging and shaming early returned missionaries, let us help them fulfill their potential! They need friends, family, and leaders who will love and support for them. President Monson once quoted Mother Theresa who said. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
Read the full post on My Life By Gogogoff

LDS Women leaders and missions
Young Women General Presidency: Carol F. McConkie (first counselor), Bonnie L. Oscarson (president), and Neill F. Marriott (second counselor)

The following is a segment of an address originally given by Latter-day Saint Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D., at the FAIR Mormon conference and reposted with permission:

“Who can hold the priesthood and how do they get it?”

Men are given priesthood authority by being ordained to specific offices in the priesthood by the laying on of hands by other priesthood leaders and holders and through the ordinances and covenants of the temple. They may be given specific priesthood duties and keys that authorize them to oversee aspects of the work of the Church and they delegate priesthood authority to others.

Women are given priesthood authority to fulfill specific assignments in the Church by the laying on of hands of men who hold Priesthood keys. Women are also endowed with priesthood power in the temple. Women can thus use priesthood authority to oversee and do the work of the Church in the Relief Society and other Church auxiliaries, perform specific priesthood ordinances, bring themselves and others into the presence of God, and act in the earth for the salvation of the human family.

Read full article at LDS Living or buy Wendy Ulrich’s excellent book Let God Love You: Why We Don’t; How We Can

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image via ldsliving.com

With over 74,000 missionaries serving around the globe for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members and nonmembers all over the world recognize Mormon missionaries as they go two-by-two, preaching the gospel.

A few of these missionaries are especially recognizable, however. From YouTube sensations to successful athletes, even famous Mormons have served missions. Test your knowledge of them below!

Click here to take the quiz.

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I was sitting with a friend not too long ago, discussing her current situation with a boy that she liked. She told me about all of these interactions they had had and what was going through her mind as she chose how to react and judge the situation. The most common thing I heard from her was, “…because I didn’t want him to think that I like him—even though I do.”

It doesn’t make any sense, and yet I know I’ve had the exact same thought tons of times. It’s really scary for someone to know that you like them. Suddenly, you’re opened up to all the repercussions of that knowledge which you assume will be utter humiliation and disappointment even though another possible upshot is falling in love (which we all want and fear, often in equal parts).

My point is, I have listened to men express their frustration with the dating scene and women express their frustration with the dating scene, but I don’t see a lot of very useful communication between the two to improve it. As such, I asked dozens of single LDS men from various parts of the country what they wish single LDS women understood and these are five of the most compelling and frequently repeated answers:

1. Girls can ask boys on dates

This was far and away the most common answer I heard. Nearly every boy that I asked mentioned this in some form. In the back of my mind I was thinking, “but that’s so scary what if they said no…” and then I realized that’s exactly how they feel. I think a lot of women have this sense that they will mystically attract the romantic intentions of a boy, without actually striking up any kind of relationship or comfort level with anyone.

During my later years at BYU, if I ever felt like it had been a long time since I’d been on a date, I’d stop and think, “is there anyone in my life that I would feel comfortable enough to ask on a date right now?” If the answer was no, then there probably wasn’t anyone around that felt comfortable enough to ask me out.

But it doesn’t have to be a hypothetical question, boys are open to being asked out. If you’re worried about the awkwardness of who pays in that scenario, find something free to do together. If you’re worried they will turn you down, they might but so what? Asking someone out is essentially just saying, ‘you are someone who seems worth spending an evening with.’ Most people walk around desperate for someone to tell them that they worthy of notice so at the very least you’ve given them that. 

2. A date is a date, not a proposal. 

This is an important thing for both genders to remember in the whole drama of asking someone on a date. You are not asking for their hand in marriage. You are merely asking for the opportunity to have some fun and get to know them a little bit better. This is an important reminder for the girls who jump into project-a-vision and become clingy or territorial over boys with whom they’ve only had one great date and already envisioned what the kids would look like. It’s also for the girls who turn someone down cold feeling super awkward about the assumption that this guy was asking way more than they were really asking. “Dinner on Friday” does not mean “dinner every Friday” and “do you want to go on a hike?” does not mean “do you want to climb the mountains of life with me?”

Read the rest on Meridian Magazine.

image from kalestakesparis.blogspot.com

It’s no surprise if you’ve already heard of “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman; his book has sold millions of copies and changed the way many people relate with their spouse and children. I’d known the general concept for years when I left on my mission because my parents were big fans of the book, but it was as a sister missionary that I applied the principles more than any time in my life up to that point. I had to live and work with complete strangers 24/7, and speaking my companions’ love languages helped us become friends faster and have more meaningful and beneficial relationships in the short time we were together.

Whether you’re familiar with the five love languages already or this is a brand-new concept, here’s a brief explanation of each love language and how you can better relate to each mission companion by following the basic principles.

Words of Affirmation

When someone’s love language is words of affirmation, they feel most loved when they are complimented. Praise and verbal confirmation of hard work is the most rewarding thing you can do for a companion with this love language. Make a conscious effort to point out their positive characteristics and strengths, such as working hard on the difficult mission language or always getting up on time. It may not come naturally to you, but your companion will appreciate how you notice and comment on their efforts. Saying “I love you!” out loud is important in strengthening your relationship, and writing kind notes also conveys in words your love for a companion.

A general principle is that a person’s love language has the potential to do the most harm as well as good. For example, if your companion’s love language is words of affirmation, your praise will mean the world to her, but your criticism will be the most devastating thing for her to hear. Be cautious of your words and tone when you give feedback. If another person’s words have a negative effect on your companion, understand how much she is hurting and pay special attention to your reassuring words.


A person whose love language is gifts will feel the most loved by you when she receives a physical token of your affection. However, a “gift” doesn’t need to be expensive or cost money at all; it truly is the thought that counts. You could print out a picture for your companion of a fun memory, treat her to a small dessert on P-day, or ask someone at home to send her some extra mail. You might even plan ahead and bring a few small items from your hometown or home country in your suitcase to give companions. A sister whose love language is gifts will be thrilled any time you go out of your way to give her a special memento of your hard work together.