LDS Mutual Theme for 2017

mormonad-humbly-kneeling-1118457-printThe Church has announced that the Mutual theme for 2017 is James 1:5–6:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (emphasis added)

The purpose of the yearly theme is to provide opportunities for youth worldwide to learn about, study, internalize, and apply the principles taught in the scripture. Youth are encouraged to memorize the scripture, study its doctrine, and act on the principles learned throughout the year.

The theme may also be used to enrich Mutual opening exercises, as a topic for sacrament meeting talks by youth, or to provide focus for youth activities, including camps, youth conferences, and devotionals. Leaders are encouraged to emphasize any of the principles taught in this verse to help meet the needs of the youth they serve.

Resources for introducing the theme, including videos and music, will be available online by the end of 2016. Additional materials supporting the theme will be made available in Church magazines and on LDS.org throughout 2017.

See a list scriptures used as Mutual themes over the past few years.

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Videos of the Sapporo Japan LDS Temple

sapporo-japan-lds-temple-architecturalThe  two videos below provide external and interior views of the new Sapporo Japan LDS Temple.

The temple was open to the public from July 8-23 and will be dedicated in three sessions on August 21, 2016. The dedication will be broadcast to Church meetinghouses in Japan. A cultural celebration will be held the night before on August 20.

The video “Sapporo Japan Temple 札幌に新しいパワースポットが誕生!” provides external and interior views of the temple.

The video “Architectural details of the Sapporo Japan temple” shows some of the intricate, unique architectural details of this remarkable LDS temple.

Here is a list of other member-created videos I have shared. If you find other videos you think I should share, please post a comment below.

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Explore Old Jerusalem Using Google Maps Street View

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Mormon Life Hacker has written an article about how to explore Old Jerusalem using Google Maps street view.

“Many LDS people who’ve visited the Holy Land will tell you that it deepened their understanding of the the scriptures in a big way. Being able to walk the same places where Old and New Testament figures, including Christ himself, once walked, changes their perspective and appreciation for the culture, languages, traditions, and the events and people of those sacred books of scripture.”

Now, a new update to Google Maps offers a small taste of actually going there. Using Street View, you can now view several important Biblical places in old Jerusalem via Google Street view shot with 360 degree cameras, such as the following:

Here are some hints on exploring using Street View:

  1. To move around, hover your cursor in the direction you want to go.
  2. To see where you might go next, look for the X. Click once to travel to the X.
  3. To look around, click and drag your mouse (left, right, up, and down).
  4. To zoom in or out, scroll with your mouse or two-finger zoom with a touchpad.
  5. Click here for more help.

Read the article “Explore Old Jerusalem on Google Maps Street View” for a list of other places in Israel you might find interesting.

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Music Video: Morning Prayer on a Lake, Jason Lyle Black

morning-prayer-jason-black-lakeLDS musician Jason Lyle Black has released a beautiful music video playing meditative piano music on a serene mountain lake—he’s actually on the lake.

Birds chirp as Jason plays this calming melody in the music video, “Morning Prayer:”

Read other articles about Jason Lyle Black on LDS Media Talk:

Here is a list of other member-created videos I have shared. If you find other videos you think I should share, please post a comment below.

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LDS Pictures, Images & Photographs

This article summarizes the main collections of LDS pictures, images, and photographs available from the Church for use in the classroom and in the home. 

Gospel Art Book

gospel-art-book1This is a collection of 137 pictures in a spiral-bound Gospel Art Book for use in Church classes and in the home. The book includes beautiful color pictures about the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, Church History, latter-day prophets, and pictures of the gospel in action. The Gospel Art Book is available as a printed book for $3.50 or as individual pictures online that can be downloaded free.

Gospel Art Picture Kit

gospel-art-picture-kit-lds-03Prior to the publication of the Gospel Art Book in 2009, the Church published a Gospel Art Picture Kit which consisted of 160 individual pictures in a blue plastic box, which cost $30.

gospel-art-picture-kit-lds-06You can still find the images from the Gospel Art Picture Kit online. The pictures are organized by category. Click on the picture or search a picture subject, or type the picture number. Below is an example of how the picture will display. You can then choose to download it in multiple resolutions (for mobile, tablet, print, or wallpaper). In the description of each picture, you will find where the picture is referenced. In the example, below, this picture was in the Gospel Art Kit (GAK, picture 206) and it is referenced in the Primary manuals 2-11. The story is told in Luke 2:40.

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LDS Media Library

The media library on LDS.org has extensive collections of images (images.lds.org), along with video (videos.lds.org) and audio (audio.lds.org). Images are categorized into collections such as pictures of Jesus, inspirational picture quotes (memes), Church history, and temples. See the list of images collections in the right sash on that page. Note that there is a collection of High Quality Images for Print if you want to make high-quality photographic prints up to 16″ x 20″ for your home. Learn about downloading and printing high-resolution images.

Temples

Beautiful pictures of LDS temples can be downloaded free from temples.lds.org. Click Gallery to see a slide show with a single picture of each of the temples. Or click Find a Temple and then select a temple. In the bottom right corner of the featured photo, click More Photos to see a series of photos of that temple.

Scriptures

Scriptures.lds.org offers scripture maps and photographs under Study Helps.

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Mormon Newsroom

MormonNewsroom.org offers many photographs within the Multimedia tab. You can search for pictures and refine your search to just include images.

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In the comments below, please share your favorite places to find LDS pictures.

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Video: Why Do We Have Prophets?

video-why-prophets-ldsThis short animated video “Why Do We Have Prophets?” explains that just as He did anciently, God continues to communicate and share truth with His children in our day through prophets.

This video is one of a series of videos providing basic, yet engaging answers to common doctrinal questions. Each of the videos is beautifully animated and perfect for sharing across social media platforms. Watch more videos from this series of videos from Mormon.org’s YouTube channel and share them with your friends.

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Use LyricScanner To See If Song Lyrics Are Clean

Is that song clean? Sometimes, it’s hard to understand the lyrics of a song. Use LyricScanner to find out.

DJ’ing a stake dance? Or just trying to help your kids choose good music? Use LyricScanner to find out if songs are appropriate. It rates songs in 4 different areas of potentially offensive content.

Read more in the article “Use LyricScanner to Find Out if a Song is Appropriate” at MormonLifeHacker. The article includes an instructional video to help you learn how to use LyricScanner.

Use LyricScanner to Find Out if a Song is Appropriate

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Video: What Is the Purpose of Family?

video-purpose-family-ldsThis short animated video “What Is the Purpose of Family?” explains that the family is the divine building block of society.

This video is one of a series of videos providing basic, yet engaging answers to common doctrinal questions. Each of the videos is beautifully animated and perfect for sharing across social media platforms. Watch more videos from this series of videos from Mormon.org’s YouTube channel and share them with your friends.

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“We Believe” Music Video

we-believe-lds-videoEnjoy this music video “We Believe,” created by the YSA Pasay 2nd Ward in the Philippines.

Here is a list of other member-created videos I have shared. If you find other videos you think I should share, please post a comment below.

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Happily Ever After Project

happily-ever-after-imageThe Happily Ever After Project is a social media movement that inspires, supports, and celebrates families. LDS parents Kori and Katie Andrews produce and share videos with family thoughts, tips, stories, and ideas.

They say that “Happily Ever After is not a destination but a journey we take together as families.” See all their videos on the Happily Ever After Project YouTube channel. You can also follow their Facebook page.

Here is their video from Father’s Day, “I Love Being a Dad Because…,” featuring Hank Smith, Ty Detmer, Brad Wilcox, and other awesome LDS dads.

Here is a list of other member-created videos I have shared. If you find other videos you think I should share, please post a comment below.

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LDS Video: Staying Spiritually Fit

staying-spiritually-fitThe video “Staying Spiritually Fit” explains that now is the time to prepare to meet God. Just as an athlete prepares daily for game day; when we work on our spirituality daily and give our all to the Lord, we strengthen our testimonies of Him and of His gospel. This video was released by the LDS Church earlier this week.

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Quiet Games for LDS Kids Mobile App

quiet-games-lds-iconThe mobile app Quiet Games for LDS Kids has 6 games that are both quiet and fun—perfect for general conference, church, or a quiet Sunday activity.

  1. – LDS Bingo: The classic conference bingo now with different sizes and always randomized.
  2. Word Search: A fun word search game with LDS words that will keep children engaged.
  3. Memory: Try to match each picture with its matching counterpart. No score so the kids won’t fight.
  4. Prophet Matching: Learn each prophet’s name and face. Includes latter-day prophets and modern day apostles.
  5. Temple Matching: Match the temple to its correct name. Learn what each of the temples look like.
  6. Hangman: Try to guess the LDS word before the picture is completely drawn.

This app won first place in the “Primary” category of the LDSTech contest in 2014. It was designed by Clint, Rachel, and Kristen Jones.

Available in English from Google Play.

 

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Learn more about LDS mobile apps from the Church.

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retornados-video-sudThe YouTube series “Retornados,” or “returnees” in English, is a Spanish web series that features four friends experiencing life after their LDS missions.

Below is the pilot video:

The sketches cover the different challenges and triumphs that returned missionaries face upon returning home. Producer and director Hugo Dantés explains that he created the series in direct response to the many situations that return missionaries experience that aren’t addressed by the Church.

The cast is composed of Carlos Hernandez, Limnhi E. Lopez, Israel Cruz and Hugo Dantés, all returned missionaries from Tijuana, Mexico.

The pilot episode is about Ernesto, a recently returned missionary who reunites with his best friends Alex, Mahonri, and Carlos. Ernesto and his returned missionary friends try to readjust to normal life, experiencing trials and challenges along the way.

Watch more episodes of “Retornados” on YouTube.

For more Spanish and Portuguese LDS content written specifically for Latin America, see

Note that the resources described in this article are not produced by the Church, but by members. Here is a list of other member-created videos I have shared. If you find other videos you think I should share, please post a comment below.

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This Mormon Life

this-mormon-lifeThis Mormon Life is a site with articles, lists, reviews, and commentary about Mormon life. The site is run by Grady Kerr, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Take a look. I think you’ll enjoy the articles. You can also subscribe to their podcast “Third Hour of Power!” They have teamed up with This Week in Mormons to produce this series of overviews of upcoming lessons from the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church manuals.

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New Stories for Meet the Mormons

Meet-Mormons-Collage-new-storiesThe Church has just released three new stories as a continuation of the movie Meet the MormonsBeginning today, you can see these three new 30-minute segments at the Legacy Theater on Temple Square and at English-speaking visitors’ centers worldwide.

You can watch one, two, or all three of these continuously-playing vignettes:

1. The Horseman

Meet-mormons-HorsemanA horse trainer from Morgan, Utah, who compares our lives in the hands of God to training a wild horse. If we put away our own “wild,” we become more effective instruments in the hand of our Heavenly Father.

2. The Entertainers

Meet-mormons-entertainersThe story of four LDS siblings who make up the Japanese pop singing group Bless4. They talk about keeping Church standards in the entertainment industry and one of the girl’s struggle with an eating disorder.

3. The Artist

Meet-mormons-ArtistAn updated and expanded story previously available only as a bonus feature on the Meet the Mormons DVD. It features an Italian artist who shares her conversion story and some of the challenges that come from being in a part-member family. While inactive for many years, even her non-member husband acknowledged something was missing in their marriage and in their home. Returning to church re-ignited her faith, strengthened their marriage, and inspired an ongoing charitable act of service – a five-star dining experience for the homeless.

More

At the Legacy Theater and at visitors’ centers, you can also see expanded versions of the six original stories from the movie.

If you didn’t get to see the original film when in appeared in theaters, then this is your chance to experience it in high-definition at the Legacy Theater. If you already saw the film, then you’ll appreciate the additional footage and a surprise ending to one of the stories. And if you love the Japanese culture, country living, or Italian cuisine, then you’ll enjoy the new stories.

Meet the Mormons premiered October 10, 2014. It opened in more than 400 theaters across the United States and ranked #10 in the nation in box office receipts the premiere weekend. The film quickly became the 34th biggest documentary of all time. All the net proceeds were donated to charity.

If you can’t watch Meet the Mormons at the Legacy Theater or at a visitors’ center, you can watch it on Netflix or in many languages on YouTube. You can also buy a DVD or watch it on video-on-demand (Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Comcast, DISH, DirectTV, Google Play, and Vudu).

But the new stories can only be seen at the Legacy Theater or in visitors’ centers and historic sites.

Enjoy this rendition of the song “I Am a Child of God,” sung by Bless4 from Meet the Mormons: New Faces / New Stories:

Download a free MP3 of this song from the film.

Learn more about the movie Meet the Mormons.

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