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The Year in Church News

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WORLD• President Henry B. Eyring in the Vatican: In November, the Catholic Church hosted various religious leaders and scholars representing 14 faiths and 23 countries to discuss men, women and marriage. • Response to same-sex marriage: Throughout the year 2014, several states legalized same-sex marriage. In response to those Supreme Court decisions, the church issued its own announcement: “The succession of federal court decisions in recent months, culminating in today’s announcement by the Supreme Court, will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God. In prizing freedom of conscience and Constitutional guarantees of the free exercise of religion, we will continue to teach that standard and uphold it in our religious practices. Nevertheless, respectful coexistence is possible with those with differing values. As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken. Church leaders will continue to encourage our people to be persons of good will toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, and differences in sexual orientation.”• 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil: Brazil’s Ministry of Sports requested members of the LDS Church to volunteer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Sarah Menezes, the national coordinator for Brazil Volunteer in 2013, worked with Mormon Helping Hands in the past and said, “[Mormon] Helping Hands volunteers are the most organized and dedicated. We need you at the Cup.” MEDIAHashtags: Throughout different times in 2014, the LDS Church had created several different hashtags that flooded social media with uplifting messages.• #itwasmom: Around Mother’s Day people were talking about their mothers using the tag #itwasmom to “celebrate the divine calling of mothers and women around the world.” • #becauseofhim: For a week in spring, to focus on Christ during the Easter holiday, the LDS Church launched a social media initiative using the tag #becauseofHim • #sharegoodness: At the ground breaking for the Meridian Idaho Temple, Elder David A. Bednar called on members of the LDS Church to “use social media to sweep the earth with authentic and uplifting messages” by using the hashtag #sharegoodness. BYUH student Anna Robbins, a senior in EXS from New Mexico, shared her testimony online using the #becauseofHim tag in April: “Because of Him, I know that my future is as bright as my faith. I understand that I have the capability to achieve great things if I’m following His example. I know who I am and what I’m capable of becoming. Because of Him there are no limits to happiness. My family is forever. My dreams are attainable. And my worries washed away in with His grace. #becauseofhim#iknowit#iloveit#iliveit#imamormon”• Meet the Mormons: In October, the LDS Church released a feature-length documentary to challenge stereotypes about Mormons. The documentary featured several Mormons from around the world. It is now available for free viewing at Temple Visitors’ Centers. MISSIONARYYoung men of the LDS Church serve 24-month-long missions and young women of the church serve 18-month-long missions.•Missionaries in Venezuela: Due to the unrest in the country in March, missionaries who are not citizens of Venezuela were transferred to other missions in South America. •Missionaries in Ukraine: In the Spring because of the unrest and uncertainty in Ukraine, missionaries in the Ukraine Donetsk Mission were transferred to other areas of Ukraine or reassigned to missions within their home countries. Alison Reese, a sophomore from Utah studying hospitality and tourism management, was a missionary in the Donetsk mission and was reassigned when the civil unrest began. “It was obvious we couldn’t stay there forever. We thought we would be able to stay because they thought it was just going to die down, but it got to the point where that obviously wasn’t going to happen. It was really sad and heartbreaking because the people over there are so amazing. It was really sad to leave them behind, but it was all in God’s plan.” •Missionaries in Sierra Leone and Liberia: In August, missionaries serving in Sierra Leone and Liberia were transferred and reassigned due to the outbreak of Ebola. •Planned expansion of the MTC in Provo: In November, the LDS Church finalized plans to expand the Missionary Training Center in Provo and are expected to start building in the Summer of 2015. TEMPLESAccording to Mormon Newsroom, the LDS Church has 14 temples under construction. In 2014, the following temples were either finished or had work done to further beautify them.• The Gilbert Arizona Temple was dedicated in March. It the church’s 142nd temple.• As part of the transformation into a temple, the Provo City Center in Utah received an angel Moroni statue in March. • The Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple was dedicated in May, making it the Church’s 143rd temple. • In August, Elder David A. Bednar spoke at the ground breaking ceremony for the Meridian Idaho Temple. • In September, after three years of renovations, the Ogden Utah Temple was rededicated.• October 17 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the angel Moroni was added, continuing the construction progress of the temple. • In November, the Phoenix Arizona Temple cornerstone ceremony was attended by President Thomas S. Monson, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks as they celebrated the dedication of the church’s 144th temple. uploaded January 22, 2015
Writer: Kaitlin Broyles~Multimedia Journalist