In 2017, Latter-day Saints will be studying the teachings of President Gordon B. Hinckley in Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood classes. Below is a list of resources you can use to study from his teachings:
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley
This is the key resource manual that is available in the following formats print (including large print and Braille), online text, PDF, ePUB, audio, mobi, iBooks, Kindle, and, of course, in the Gospel Library mobile app.
Gordon B. Hinckley Online Exhibit
The Prophets of the Restoration: Gordon B. Hinckley is an online exhibit created by the Church History department. It includes exclusive videos, photographs, and information about President Hinckley’s preparation, ministry, teachings, and testimony.
If your ward or branch meeting times change at the beginning of the year, the ward or branch clerk should update the times so they display accurately in various systems, such as the meetinghouse locator at maps.lds.org.
Ward, branch, stake, or district leaders and clerks can log in to the Leader and Clerk Resources website at lds.org/lcr and click the Unit Settings link in the Other menu to update the meeting times.
You’ll notice seven big changes in the Friend magazine, beginning in January.
The friend is now printed on crayon-friendly paper. Beginning with the January issue, you’ll notice a thicker, textured paper that’s great for coloring and paper-and-pencil activities. The old glossy paper was not easy to color on.
Expanded Preteen Section
The “For Older Kids” section has been redesigned and expanded from four pages to eight. This section will have stories and features relevant to preteens. It will cover gospel topics like profanity, pornography, drug use, technology, and mental health.
“Share a Heart!” Invitation
The Friend invites children to fill the world with love—and then send in cutout hearts telling about their experiences. This invitation echoes President Thomas S. Monson’s plea: “May we begin now, this very day, to show love to all of God’s children” (Ensign, May 2014, 94). Each month the magazine will publish a photo story featuring “Friends with Heart”—children around world who serve and show kindness.
Monthly CTR Stories
To support the 2017 Primary sharing time theme, “Choose the Right,” the Friend will publish a monthly CTR story that teaches a principle from My Gospel Standards, along with a CTR challenge card. Kids can cut out the cards and complete challenges to apply protective and empowering gospel truths in their daily lives.
Scripture Reading Chart
The January Friend has a reading chart to help families read from the Doctrine and Covenants, which they will be studying in Primary and Sunday School. Families can mark their progress by filling in sections of the illustrations on pages 24-25.
Church History Figures
Each month, the Friend will include a Church history figure that families and Primary teachers can use to tell Church history stories.
“Friend Connection” Page in the Ensign
To help parents and families even more, the Ensign will contain a monthly “Friend Connection” page. Parents will find help for using that month’s Friend to talk to children about challenging issues such as pornography, family conflict, gender issues, bullies, and good language.
Below are Christmas videos I think you will enjoy.
After you watch these videos, click the YouTube logo in the bottom right of the videos so you can go to YouTube and click Like. That will make them more popular on YouTube so they will be more likely to be seen by others. If you see a video I should share, please leave a link to it in the comments below and I’ll feature it in a future post.
The video “Good Tidings of Great Joy,” shows beautiful scenes from the Bible Videos series about the birth of Jesus Christ, along with teachings from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In “Christmas Spirit,” a young girl quietly teaches her preoccupied family the true meaning of Christmas. President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ, shares his testimony of how to put Christ back into Christmas.
In “Look to the Light,” several people remind us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World for all who seek Him.
The Life of Jesus Christ: Children’s Narratives is a set of 10 new Bible videos that parents and teachers can use as a fun yet spiritual way to include children in gospel conversations. Each video contains clips from the Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos series coupled with interviews of kids retelling the story from the scriptures in their own words. It’s an uplifting and entertaining experience. Learn more about this series of 10 children’s videos in the article “LDS Children’s Bible Videos.”
Update (13 Jan 2016): A report released by the Church’s Missionary Department shows the videos, produced in 33 languages, received nearly 83 million views in 194 countries and territories before the campaign ended on January 1, 2017. Read more.
Tens of millions watch videos, share online content
An effort to encourage people to perform acts of Christlike service during the Christmas season is receiving global attention. Videos produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its “Light the World” Christmas initiative have received nearly 69 million views.
The Church’s “Light the World” initiative was launched November 25 on mormon.org to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and invite people around the world to follow Christ’s example by serving others. The initiative includes a main video produced in 33 languages and a 25-day advent calendar, “In 25 Ways. Over 25 Days.”
The main video has picked up nearly 35 million views, and nearly 31 million video views have been received to date on 25 short videos that offer daily ideas for service. A preview video posted in November garnered 3.5 million views.
Participants have been posting their experiences and sharing the videos on social media channels. Others have been quietly participating in the initiative. Such was the case of a Utah man (name withheld to protect privacy) behind bars who performed a simple act of service by sharing a cherished candy bar with a new prisoner.
The inmate’s family has been mailing him daily service ideas during the initiative, but they weren’t sure how he could respond to the challenge on December 7: “Jesus Fed the Hungry and So Can You.” His mother said, “I wondered if I should send it at all — it made me pretty sad to ask him to share his food when I know he really doesn’t have any to share, and if he did, it would be such a small amount.”
Earlier in the week, the inmate had ordered the candy bar from the commissary with money sent to him by his family for snacks. After looking forward to eating it all week, he decided to give it to the other prisoner who had nothing. In a letter, his family said the “sacrifice” made by their son made him “feel better than he had for a long time.”
The inmate’s mother wrote that the candy bar stands as a symbol for several reasons. “This ‘Light the World’ project is giving me some happiness and the feeling that I can do something for him and myself that is positive,” she said. The mother said it “uncovers [her] gratitude” for her son’s “repentant attitude in his situation and his willingness to be kind in the awful environment he is in.” She added, “Being reminded that no matter how little we might think we have, no matter where we are, or what our situation is, we can always serve and give to others, no matter what.”
“It’s amazing how we can still find ways to be happy and focus on the most important thing, which is our Savior,” she said.
The “Light the World” website is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The Christmas initiative also features billboards in cities around the world, including New York City’s Times Square, and displays in the Church’s English-speaking visitors’ centers and the Mexico City Visitors’ Center.
The Christmas initiative runs through January 1, 2017. Those on social media are encouraged to share their experiences by using the hashtag #LIGHTtheWORLD.
Last December, the “A Savior Is Born” Christmas video had more than 50 million views. Millions also participated in last spring’s “Follow Him” Easter initiative.
Share your experiences using the hashtag #LIGHTtheWORLD.
Follow the advent activity calendar for ideas on Christlike acts of service you can do each day from December 1st to the 25th to emulate the many ways Jesus cared for others during His earthly ministry.
On the LDS Media Talk blog,
Larry Richman shares ideas about how to use
media and other resources published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the
"Mormons") and its members. The blog also shares ideas on using technology and social media to
strengthen families and share the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This blog is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. The views expressed here are the opinions of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the views of the Church.
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