What Happens to Feedback at LDS.org?

feedback-missionaryHave you ever clicked the Feedback link at the bottom of a page at LDS.org? If you have trouble finding something, or want to ask a question or comment about something you see or read on LDS.org, just click the Feedback link.

Since 2009, over 276,000 feedback items have been submitted to LDS.org.  In addition to answering your questions, the Church uses feedback to identify what is most important to site visitors.

Feedback submissions are collected every 15 minutes and stored in a database that classifies the submissions and keeps track of them until they are responded to.

The feedback is handled by faithful Church members who are called to serve as Church Service Missionaries and volunteers. As a group, they are known as the LDS.org Response Team.

Team members are spread around the world on almost every continent. They use their own computers and Internet access, and donate from a few to many hours each week.

To learn how these Church Service Missionaries and volunteers respond to questions in a personal way, read the article “Do You Know What Happens to Feedback at LDS.org?

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Meet the Mormons Movie on YouTube in 28 Languages

meet-mormons-movie-4The movie Meet the Mormons is now available to watch for free on YouTube for a limited time!

The official, full-length version of the movie is available on YouTube for a limited time in the following languages: Armenian, Bulgarian, CantoneseDanish*, Dutch*, English, Estonian, Finnish*, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic*, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Norwegian*, Polish*, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (European), Romanian, Russian, Spanish (European), Spanish (Mexican), Spanish (worldwide) , and Swedish*.

* These languages are subtitled. To see the subtitles in these languages, click the CC (closed caption) icon to turn on subtitles, and then click the Settings (gear) icon to select the language you want to see.

Meet the Mormons is a 78-minute documentary film produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The movie tells the story of six individuals from around the world who lead diverse lives but are all devout members of the Church. In addition to various places in the United States, Meet the Mormons takes you to Nepal, Costa Rica, Germany, and South Africa, providing an around-the-world look at Latter-day Saint families who meet their daily challenges with faith in Jesus Christ.

Meet the Mormons was ranked #10 for box office receipts the premiere weekend. The film has since made over $6 million, making it the 34th biggest documentary of all time. (All net proceeds were donated to charity.)

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Leader and Clerk Resources: November Updates

lrcThe Leader and Clerk Resources section of LDS.org (lds.org/lcr) is a wonderful resource with tools, reports, and information for members of the ward council. The following is a list of new or updated functions just released:

  • Home Teaching. Users in elders quorums and high priests groups can now view each other’s home teaching data by using the Quorum/Auxiliary drop-down list just below the Print button.
  • Send a message. The application for sending email messages to stake and ward members has been updated. To send a message, click the Send a Message link under the Applications menu. Note: This feature is only available to bishoprics and branch presidencies, stake and district presidencies, and mission presidencies, including their clerks and executive secretaries.
  • Seminary and Institute. A quarterly attendance report is now available. To view the report, click the Quarterly Attendance link under the Reports menu.
  • Membership audit. Ward clerks can now conduct membership audits using LCR. To start an audit, click the Membership Audit link under the Membership menu. Stake leaders can see a consolidated report of the most recent membership audits in their stake.
  • Application to the First Presidency. LCR now generates letters that a bishop will use to request information from a former spouse. The generated letter can be either printed or emailed.
  • Unit meeting times. To update unit meeting times, click the Unit Settings link under the Other menu.
  • Other Improvements. When stake users search for members, ward names will now display with the results. Also, the LCR menu bar now remains visible at the top of the page when scrolling down the page.

Learn more about the Leader and Clerk Resources on LDS.org.


Country Communication Pages

In addition to the central resources on LDS.org, Latter-day Saints in 50+ countries around the world have access to pages with country-specific information.

denmark-country-ldsThese pages are supervised by Area Presidencies and include messages from area leaders, personal stories, media, and news specific to the country selected. This content is created in each area to facilitate communication, training, ministering, and teaching in a way that meets the needs of the people in a particular country or area.

To access any of the 50+ country communication pages, go to LDS.org and use the globe icon in the upper right corner to select a country, and then drill down by region to a specific country using the world map as your guide.

If you have traveled or lived outside your native country, thought about brushing up on your language skills, or just want to enlarge your perspective of the Church in all its variety, communication pages offer priceless enrichment opportunities. If a language is a problem, Internet browsers, such as Chrome, have settings that will translate web pages into a language familiar to you. You just need to set the languages you want to be available in your browser settings, find the web page, select the language, and wait a few seconds for your browser to render the web page. This automated translation will be rough, but the Spirit behind the messages will shine through.


lds-apostles-timelineA new interactive infographic published by threestory.com shows how long each of the LDS apostles have been serving in the Quorum of the Twelve, when they were called, and their age now.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are led by a group of 15 men, each ordained as an apostle of Jesus Christ. The longest-serving apostle serves as the President of the Church. The President selects two apostles to serve with him in the First Presidency. The other apostles form the Quorum of Twelve Apostles with the most senior of them serving as President of the Quorum.

When one of the apostles dies, a new apostle is selected by the President and sustained by the membership of the Church at a General Conference. At the October 2015 Conference, three new apostles were called: Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson, and Dale G. Renlund.

Click on the infographic below to go to the interactive version where you can mouse over the photos to see details for each apostle.

The website threestory.com also has an interactive graphic of all 100 members of the Twelve called since 1835, which you can sort by age, age at time of call, or by length of tenure.



glorious-david-archuleta-meet-mormonsDavid Archuleta​’s song “Glorious” from the movie Meet the Mormons now can be downloaded FREE in both English and Spanish. More BIG NEWS coming later this week about ‪Meet the Mormons‬. Follow the Meet the Mormons​ Facebook page for details.

The music video of “Glorious” has been watched nearly 4 million times on YouTube.

And watch for more big news coming later this week about ‪Meet the Mormons‬.


Mormonad: Your Book of Life


See a PDF of “Mormonad: Your Book of Life” from the October New Era magazine.


Humanitarian Assistance for Refugees

refugeeHow can you help the millions of people around the world who have fled their homes seeking relief from civil conflict and other hardships?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is providing assistance to migrants and refugees in several countries. You can help by contributing to the Church Humanitarian Fund. The Church provides three easy ways to contribute:

Wards, stakes, families, and individuals can also participate in local refugee relief projects.

Read a letter from the First Presidency dated October 27, 2015.

To learn more about the Church’s efforts, read the article “Mormons Stepping Up Aid to Refugees” and watch the video “Help for Refugees:”

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Do You Have An LDS Account?

Below is the text from a flyer we distributed in our ward this week. You can download a PDF of the flyer if you want to use it.

The Church offers a lot of information and services online, much of which can be personalized to your identity and Church calling if you sign in with your LDS Account.

What can you do with an LDS Account?

How do you sign up for an LDS Account?

  • See image below.

What should you do right away?

If you have questions or need help, ask your ward clerk.



LDS General Conference Ensign & Liahona Now Online

2015-Nov-ensignThe text and PDF of the general conference issues of the Ensign, Liahona, New Era, and Friend magazines are now online and will soon be in the Gospel Library mobile app. Printed copies will soon be in the mail to deliver to subscribers’ doors.

The Ensign and Liahona magazines include a 2-page chart showing the General Authorities and General Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Download a printable PDF copy.)

Did you know you can subscribe to get an extra copy of the conference Ensign? In addition to the regular 12 monthly issues, this subscription option includes one extra copy each of the May and November (general conference) issues.

2015-Oct-ldsConf-DVDYou can also order DVDs and audio CDs at store.lds.org and they will be shipped as soon as they are available. You can also subscribe to have the DVDs or CDs sent to you automatically every conference.

I recommend you take a look at the Ideas for Studying page. It gives ideas on how to improve your study of general conference, with ideas for personal, family, and classroom.




Video: Why Does God Give Us Commandments?

lds-commandmentsWhy obey God’s commandments? This question is answered for youth and children in a new video from the Church called “Why does God give us commandments?

This video was posted on October 9th in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Since then, the video has reached nearly 24 million people, been viewed over 5 million times, and it has been liked, commented on, or shared over half a million times.

Watch more LDS videos for youth at lds.org/youth/video.


LDS-womenThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published an essay regarding Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women. The essay makes it clear that women exercise priesthood authority even though they are not ordained to priesthood office.

The essay was published in the series of Gospel Topics Essays on LDS.org. In 2013, the Church began to publish a series of straightforward, in-depth essays to provide accurate information about some of the Church’s teachings, practices and history. These essays—13 published to date—were prepared through extensive research by men and women Church scholars and carefully reviewed by members of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and women leaders to provide official, authoritative, and transparent information.

lds-organize-Relief-SocietyThe essay explains the following:

  • In 1842, Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society “in the Order of the Priesthood after the pattern of the Church.” It was established by a prophet who acted with priesthood authority to give women authority, sacred responsibilities, and official positions within the structure of the Church
  • In early Church history, women frequently blessed the sick by the prayer of faith. In reference to these healing blessings, Relief Society general president Eliza R. Snow explained in 1883, “Women can administer in the name of JESUS, but not by virtue of the Priesthood.” Women’s participation in healing blessings gradually declined in the early 20th century as Church leaders taught that it was preferable to follow the New Testament directive to “call for the elders.” By 1926, Church President Heber J. Grant affirmed that the First Presidency “do not encourage calling in the sisters to administer to the sick, as the scriptures tell us to call in the Elders…” The current Church handbook directs that “only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick or afflicted.”
  • Joseph Smith introduced temple ordinances and covenants to men and women. Temple ordinances endowed women and men “with power from on high.” Temple ordinances make possible the exaltation of God’s children.
  • As in the earliest days of the Church, men are ordained to priesthood offices, while both women and men experience the power and blessings of the priesthood in their lives.
  • Men and women continue to officiate in sacred ordinances in temples much as they did in Joseph Smith’s day. The priesthood authority exercised by Latter-day Saint women in the temple and elsewhere remains largely unrecognized by people outside the Church and is sometimes misunderstood or overlooked by those within.
  • Today, women lead three significant organizations within the Church: the Relief Society, the Young Women, and the Primary.
  • Women preach and pray in congregations, fill numerous positions of leadership, participate in priesthood councils at the local and general levels, and serve formal proselytizing missions across the globe.
  • In these and other ways, women exercise priesthood authority even though they are not ordained to priesthood office.

Learn more in the conference talk “The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood,” where Elder Dallin H. Oaks explains that priesthood keys direct women as well as men, and priesthood ordinances and priesthood authority pertain to women as well as men.

Read the entire essay “Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women.”


LDS Church Publishes Statement About Mother in Heaven

babys-eyesThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a statement of belief today regarding a Mother in Heaven. The statement makes it clear that Heavenly Mother is Mormon doctrine. The following is the beginning paragraph:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that all human beings, male and female, are beloved spirit children of heavenly parents, a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. This understanding is rooted in scriptural and prophetic teachings about the nature of God, our relationship to Deity, and the godly potential of men and women. The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints.

The statement was published in the series of Gospel Topics Essays on LDS.org. In 2013, the Church began to publish a series of straightforward, in-depth essays to provide accurate information about some of the Church’s teachings, practices and history. These essays—13 published to date—were prepared through extensive research by men and women Church scholars and carefully reviewed by members of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and women leaders to provide official, authoritative, and transparent information.

The essay explains the following:

  • While there is no record of a formal revelation to Joseph Smith on this doctrine, some early Latter-day Saint women recalled that he personally taught them about a Mother in Heaven.
  • Eliza R. Snow wrote a poem that is now known as the hymn “O My Father,” which declares: “In the heav’ns are parents single? / No, the thought makes reason stare; / Truth is reason—truth eternal / Tells me I’ve a mother there.”
  • Subsequent Church leaders have affirmed the existence of a Mother in Heaven.
  • The Family: A Proclamation to the World declares that “Each [person] is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”
  • Latter-day Saints direct their worship to Heavenly Father, in the name of Christ, and do not pray to Heavenly Mother.

Read the Church’s official statement “Mother in Heaven.”


At the October LDS general conference, Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, and Elder Dale G. Renlund were sustained as apostles.

Below is a new photo of the Quorum of the Twelve and below that a chart of all the General Authorities and General Officers of the Church. Click each image to see a larger image. You can also download a high-resolution image in the link below each picture.


Download a high-resolution photo of the new Quorum of the Twelve.

LDS-Oct2015-General-Authority-officer-ChartDownload a high-resolution PDF of the chart of LDS General Authorities and General Officers of the Church.

Related: Follow the New Apostles on Social Media

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family-history-libraryToday, FamilySearch’s Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, celebrates its 30th anniversary.

When the new facility was completed in 1985, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was already considered the foremost authority on family history research. During the past three decades, the library has been hailed by genealogists as the top research and collections library in the world—a designation it still maintains—in part, because it has evolved to keep pace with the changing demographics and demands of family researchers and the communities it serves. 

Today, the library continues to advance digital innovations, using the latest technology to preserve and provide access to the world’s genealogical records and increase the success of personal discovery. Over 300 camera teams are digitally preserving historic records worldwide—over 100 million images per year—that are published directly online. 

“The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is unique in all the world,” said Diane Loosle, director of the world-renowned library. She explained the focus of the library has always been to increase access to the world’s genealogical records and help patrons make personal family discoveries.

“To the family historian, this library is like Disneyland,” says Loosle, “There’s no place like it. People dream for years of coming. It is the largest facility of its kind and the largest of FamilySearch’s 4883 family history centers globally. Many people begin their journey of discovery at one of our facilities.”

The Family History Library has been attracting guests and visitors from all corners of the world for three decades due to its expansive collection of resources and knowledgeable staff. “Most mornings before the library opens, people begin to queue up in front of the doors waiting to get in,” Loosle said.

It appears the masterminds behind its construction had a vision of future demands. Plans that seemed almost grandiose when construction of the building was announced in 1983 have not only materialized, but have also led the way through the years to accommodate ever-improving research and information gathering options.

Pre_1917_LibraryIt has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1894 as a one- room repository of the Genealogical Society of Utah, just around the corner and up the street in a small building called the Church Historian’s Office at 58 E. South Temple.

The five-story building in downtown Salt Lake City today continues to serve as a repository and physical point of access for FamilySearch’s now billions of records. Instead of growing numbers of microfilm and microfiche, the influx of new records today continues digitally through online indexing, patron submissions, partner exchanges, donations from various government, religious and private entities and local records preservation and access initiatives world-wide—most of which is made available at FamilySearch.org.

In this age of 24/7 access to information and growing thirst for digital services, libraries across the nation are evolving to meet the changing demands of the communities and patrons they serve, and the Family History Library is no exception.

About 25 percent of the 2.4 million rolls of microfilm stored at the Granite Mountain Vault have been digitally published online. The Family History Library itself has about 1.5 million rolls on site. As physical films are digitized, they are removed from the library. Insofar as possible, the records teams plan on digitally publishing all of the microfilm online for 24/7 access.

In 1985 family history research was a very individual experience requiring each person interested in a specific record to scroll through microfilm or search microfiche. In 1985 over 600 microfilm and fiche readers were housed in the Library. Though microfilms and fiche still play an important, though less frequently used role, a large portion of today’s research is now computer-based.

Class_in_the_Computer_RoomToday the Family History Library boasts 550 Internet-enabled patron computers while still providing access to over 200 film and fiche readers. The Library also offers free access to film, book, and photo scanning equipment to help patrons digitally preserve and share family records.

The library is the hub of a worldwide genealogical library system—including 4,883 satellite branches in more than 100 countries—called FamilySearch Family History Centers or affiliate libraries.  The library began serving about 2,000 patrons a day or 700,000 a year in 1985, and today, with FamilySearch.org and its satellite branches, it serves over 45 million guests per year.

“We know that many people will never have the opportunity to visit the Family History Library in person,” said Loosle. “So FamilySearch has been expanding its reach. We want everyone who desires to discover their ancestors to be able to do so, no matter where they live.”

Managing the Library Requires a Village

Helping_patronsVisitors to the Family History Library find an amazing collection of resources collected over 120 years and hosts of friendly people with expertise available to help them. The Library delivers with an impressive cadre of 45 full and part-time staff, and perhaps unprecedented for libraries, 550 full- and part-time volunteers or “missionaries.”  The volunteers hail from all over the world, many of them dedicating up to 18 months—at their own expense—to help patrons make successful discoveries.

The main floor of the library is specifically designed to assist inexperienced patrons in getting started. The floor has been outfitted with computers supported by volunteers trained to assist beginners. Volunteers and expert reference staff are also available for more in-depth research on the other floors dedicated to records from certain areas of the world.

Books_at_FHLOn its lower level, for example, is found the largest number of Chinese clan genealogies outside Mainland China.  This level is also used for storing family histories, and overflow films, and books available by request.  Requests for digitalization of these and other personal books can be requested here, and is  done at another facility in Salt Lake or at many of the Family History Centers and affiliate libraries.

“The library is not a repository for original documents as is the case with specialized archives; it is not an archive in that sense,” noted David Rencher, chief genealogy officer for FamilySearch.  “But it accepts donations of published works of genealogical significance.”  Books and serials are continually added to the library’s shelves—over 600,000 in fact—and the library is heading up an initiative with other public libraries to digitally publish historic books of genealogical relevance online—over 225,000 have been digitally published online to-date.

Future of the Family History Library

The library is focused on continuing to expand access to the world’s genealogical record collections to satisfy growing consumer demands.  In 1985, the average patron was mostly retirees or professional researchers.  “Today, the patron faces are changing.  It is common to see working professionals, families, and even a growing number of youth amidst the stereotypical retirees and serious researchers,” said Loosle.

2_Young_People_at_LibraryLoosle sees a bright future for the library. “The library is still the best place to do family history research and will continue to serve that purpose.” In addition, the library has created a lab for testing discovery concepts called the Discovery Center, a family-friendly area where families, and particularly young people, can begin the journey of self and family discovery through fun and engaging activities.  Over time, similar experiences are planned to be incorporated in the Family History Library. We anticipate the exciting additions will attract thousands of new patrons who want to discover their family history.

The library will continue to develop and offer timely, free guest classes broadcasted as webinars.   The schedules, necessary connection links, downloadable handouts, and recordings to past webinars are accessible online through the FamilySearch Wiki. The library also hosts a community block party in June.  This year over 3,200 participants came and enjoyed a free family day including bounce houses, face painting, cultural entertainment, family history centric activities and classes.  The 2016 party is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 11.

Begin your family discovery at the Family History Library, online at FamilySearch.org or through a local FamilySearch Family History Center.

See the infographic below to learn how the Family History Library keeps up with technology.