Many LDS stakes are planning to hold a Stake Family Discovery Day during the year using the content from the Family Discovery Day that was held in Salt Lake City in February 2015.
A stake Family Discovery Day is an opportunity to help people find names to add to their family tree, prepare those names for temple ordinances, and learn how to teach others to do the same. A family discovery day can include opportunities to record family stories, find family names, or clear family names for temple ordinances. Such activities can also be part of a youth conference, activity, or devotional.
A family history event can help accomplish stake goals, such as:
Help members find the names of their own ancestors and prepare those names for temple work.
Strengthen families and fortify the youth.
Increase retention and reactivation efforts.
Video and text from the RootsTech Family Discovery Day held February 14 will be available online before the end of February so you can use it in a Stake Family Discovery Day. See lds.org/discoverfamily.
Visit lds.org/hostfair for more information and to sign up your own stake to host an event. The site has tools to help organize an event, such as planning guides, templates for live workshops, communication materials, and activities for youth and children.
3 Steps: Find, Take, Teach
In the Family Discovery Day held in February, our leaders encouraged us to follow these 3 simple steps:
The Canyon View Stake youth conference was scheduled to be in Salt Lake City, but a month before the event, they were forced to change the location. In a mad scramble, they chose a closer location just outside of St. George. But then a week or so prior to the conference, that location became unavailable.
With little time left, a counselor in the Stake Presidency took a trip to St. George to scout out potential sites. While there, he noticed the St. George Family History center and received a distinct impression that the youth needed to go there.
The following video, “Canyon View – Indexing, Search and Rescue,” was prepared to help begin the family history center event with a little humor. After showing the video, the youth energetically went in and learned how to use new technology to help find their ancestors.
The youth from that stake needed to be at the family history center that day. The Lord saw fit to move them from one location to another until they could see where He wanted them to be. Since this activity, the stake has seen a rise in youth-related temple work.
When the daughter of LDS couple Jared and Kirsten Maughan came home from grade school with books containing swear words, they were inspired to create an mobile app to solve the problem.
They developed Clean Reader, a free mobile app that removes profanity and offensive phrases from e-books.
You can select from three settings to determine how clean you want your books to appear: (1) Clean, which takes out the major swear words, (2) Cleaner, and (3) Squeaky Clean, which essentially takes out all things offensive.
Clean Reader then scans your books and hides the swear words and displays less offensive alternatives with the same general meaning.
It is a full featured e-reader application that lets you do the following:
Remove profanity from books with the touch of a button.
Browse, purchase, and read in a single environment.
Read over 1 million books in the built-in library or add any e-book you want.
Read without ads.
Filter the catalog by preferred price.
Shop popular authors, NY Times best sellers, and other popular categories.
Customize your display settings, notes, highlights, and bookmarks.
Access all of your titles in your cloud-based library for synched reading on multiple devices.
After extensive meetings with attorneys, the Maughans have ensured that their app doesn’t infringe on copyright laws.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discussed the issues of faith, family and religious freedom on the campus of Chapman University on Thursday, February 26, 2015.
Elder Holland was on the southern California campus when the Fish Interfaith Center was launched a decade ago, and he returned this week to help the center celebrate its 10th anniversary.
“That was a tremendous evening for me and it remains in my heart as a very, very sweet experience, particularly a sweet interfaith experience,” said Elder Holland about his first visit to the Fish Interfaith Center, located in Orange, California. Chapman University has 7,000 students and is one of California’s oldest universities.
Elder Holland focused his remarks on the “contemporary issues” of faith, family and religious freedom — “big issues that are intertwined, interlinked and interlocked so tightly that when one of them is struck, the other two are damaged, that when one of them is cut, the other two will bleed,” he told a campus audience. “These issues deserve our interfaith attention and our interfaith protection, because there is always strength in numbers.”
“Whatever our religious affiliation we all share concerns,” said Elder Holland, “about the spread of pornography and the spread of poverty, of abuse and abortion, of illicit sexual transgression, of violence, crudity, cruelty, and temptation. Surely there is a way for people of good will who love God to stand against the forces of sin and error and abuse, whatever kind.”
Elder Holland expressed concern over a “cultural shift of our day” that “continues to be characterized by less and less affiliation with organized or institutional religion.” He cited data released by the Pew Forum on Religious Life in the last few years that indicates the religiously unaffiliated have increased from just over 15 percent to just under 20 percent of all U.S. adults in the past five years. One-third of all American adults under 30 are now counted among the religiously unaffiliated. However, the Pew Forum reported last year that three-fourths of the public see religion as using its influence in everyday American life.
Speaking on the family, Elder Holland had a strong reaction to the current statistics that indicate there are 40 million abortions performed worldwide per year and 41 percent of all births in the United States are to unwed mothers. “We should be declaring boldly that inherent in the very act of creation is, for both parents, a lifelong commitment to and responsibility for the child they created. No one can with impunity terminate that life, neglect that care, nor shirk that responsibility … Generally speaking, no community of whatever size or definition has enough resources in time, money or will to make up for what does not happen at home.”
Elder Holland also spoke in support of traditional marriage. “So rather than redefining marriage and family as we see increasing numbers around us trying to do, our age ought to be reinforcing and exalting that which has been the backbone of civilization since the dawn of it,” he stressed.
Elder Holland said people of faith should resist efforts by some that would drive them from the public square. “To counter these trends every citizen should insist on his or her constitutional right to exercise one’s belief and to voice one’s conscience on issues not only in the privacy of the home or the sanctity of the pulpit but also in the public square, in the ballot box and in the halls of justice. These are the rights of all citizens, including people, leaders and organizations who have religious beliefs.”
“Such a group of people, leaders and organizations seem to me a perfect cluster for interfaith influence and interfaith activity. They must not be disenfranchised,” he concluded.
I am constantly amazed by Elder Holland’s intelligence, background, and humor. He is absolutely amazing! His current assignment is to oversee Asia, where half of the population of the world resides. He understands their cultures, issues, challenges, philosophies, and religions from his PhD studies at Yale and from his experience around the world. When he was president of BYU, he opened the BYU Center in Jerusalem.
As I listened to this interview, I couldn’t think of a man more prepared to handle these things than Elder Holland. As the interview began, Hugh Hewitt asked him a tongue-in-cheek question about a picture of a dress that had begun circulating on the Internet that very morning. The excitement was about whether people perceived the dress to be gold and white or blue and black. And Elder Holland knew about the dress and responded to questions about it! How can he stay current on everything!
The following is the article “Because He Lives,” by Elder Russell M. Nelson, in the March 2015 New Era.
One of the most significant of all scriptural phrases is found in Matthew 28:6, “He is not here: for he is risen.” Given by angelic messengers near an empty tomb, this proclamation declared that the Lord Jesus Christ had overcome death through His Atonement and Resurrection. Later He appeared to His Apostles and charged His followers to declare their witness to the world that He lives.
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in these, the latter days, we have also been charged with testifying of the realities of the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection. This Easter season gives each of us a personal opportunity to discover His sacrifice, embrace His teachings, and share His joy.
Discover His Sacrifice
During that first Easter season two millennia ago, the Lord suffered unspeakable agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross as He took upon Himself the sins and pains of all humankind. Betrayed by one He had called friend, He was arrested, scourged, mocked, and crucified. The Savior Himself has taught that this great sacrifice was for a purpose:
“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
“Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men” (D&C 19:16–19).
As we discover, through prayerful and purposeful study, the impact His mission in mortality has on us, the Holy Ghost can teach and testify to us of the Atonement’s eternal significance.
Embrace His Teachings
With the understanding that comes from discovering the power of His Atonement, we ask ourselves, as did the Jews of ancient Jerusalem, “What shall we do?” The Apostle Peter instructed them to be baptized. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized” (see Acts 2:37–41). Likewise, we also need to embrace the Savior’s teachings.
Indeed, embracing His teachings—and helping others do so—is the great work of these latter days. That is why we have missionaries; that is why we have temples—to bring the fullest blessings of the Atonement to faithful children of God. That is why we respond to our own calls from the Lord. When we comprehend His voluntary Atonement, any sense of sacrifice on our part becomes completely overshadowed by a profound sense of gratitude for the privilege of serving Him.
Share His Joy
During His brief ministry in the American hemisphere, the Savior observed that the Nephites had discovered His sacrifice and embraced His teachings, and He said unto them, “Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full” (3 Nephi 17:20). As we follow this pattern of discovering the power of the Savior’s Atonement and embracing His teachings, we experience the joy that comes from striving to be more like Him. As we do so, we naturally want to share our joy with those we love, inviting them to discover His sacrifice, embrace His teachings, and share in His joy.
To share the joy of this Easter season, please visit HeLives.mormon.org to view a powerful video and share your testimony of the Savior using the social media hashtag #BecauseHeLives.
Like those angelic messengers in the meridian of time, we also declare, “He is not here: for he is risen.” He lives. And because He lives we, too, can know “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23).
Do your children love YouTube, but you worry about the suggested and sponsored videos that they will see? Now Google has an app for that.
The YouTube Kids mobile app is basically a “clean” version of YouTube.com with access to only family-friendly videos from sources like National Geographic Kids, Reading Rainbow, and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Here are some of the features of the mobile app:
Kid-friendly design with large images, bold colors, and intuitive navigation.
Voice search for kids who have trouble spelling or typing.
Timer to limit screen time.
Search settings that let you limit the results to only videos you have approved.
Adjustable sound settings to keep the noise down during quiet times.
Ability to watch videos, but not upload content or share or comment on videos.
Clean search function. (If a kid enters in a search term such as “sex,” the app will reply, “Try searching for something else.”
The YouTube Kids mobile app is available for free on Android and iOS.
As YouTube’s popularity with children has increased, so have concerns from parents. Although the site bans explicit sexual content, there are dark corners of YouTube where kids can accidentally end up. Although there is a safety mode on the regular website and apps, it is still easy for kids to stumble onto inappropriate videos or read bad comments.
YouTube Kids only plays a heavily-edited selection of videos. But since there is a huge amount of new kid’s content being posted daily, the app will also rely on the community to tag anything not suited for children.
This is the first Google product built from the ground up with children in mind. The YouTube announcement says, “For years, families have come to YouTube, watching countless hours of videos on all kinds of topics. Now, parents can rest a little easier knowing that videos in the YouTube Kids app are narrowed down to content appropriate for kids.”
Videos are divided into four categories. The Shows section includes popular channels like Sesame Street and The FuZees, which are some of the big name brands releasing new episodes for the launch. Music is stocked with videos including the sing-along version of “Let it Go,” which has been viewed more than 345 million times.
Learning and Explore sections let children watch user-generated content, dance how-tos, and old gymnastics routines. There are Minecraft walk-throughs, where a player narrates a video of their gameplay. On the popular DisneyCollector channel, a woman slowly unpacks toys such as princess figurines, describing each detail in a sing-song voice.
In addition to testing with kids and parents inside Google, YouTube shared the app with children’s advocacy groups like the Family Online Safety Institute and The Internet Keep Safe Coalition.
The free app does have ads specifically targeted at kids, but the ads undergo a rigorous review.
The video “Make It a Good Day: Happy Families” is the first video from the Mormon Channel in their new video series titled “Happy Families.” This series has videos and blog posts that focus on the daily lives of families doing the best they can to learn, love, and grow.
In this video about the Kenny family, mom Claire Kenny shares some of her thoughts about raising 6 children under the age of 12. “It’s great,” Kenny says in the video. “They crack me up, and they also infuriate me sometimes.”
“I think being a mom is the most important job in the world—and I’m not joking.”
In the video, we get a glimpse of a day in the life of the Kenny family. With six kids under the age of 12, mornings are a busy time in their home, but Claire has a few tricks for keeping the chaos in check. First, while everyone eats breakfast, she reads aloud from a children’s magazine.
“It’s a great way to start our morning with a nice quiet moment,” she says. “Their mouths are full of food, so they can’t talk back.”
Then everybody tackles their daily chores, which include getting dressed, making beds and cleaning up. Reminders they call “tags” hang on the wall to let the kids know what is left to accomplish. Though her kids don’t always work as quickly as she would prefer, Claire finds humor and happiness in their efforts.
When everyone has made it out the door and into the car, it is time for a Kenny family tradition. Claire leads her kids in singing the song “Make it a Good Day” on the way to school. The lyrics are simple and sweet, and they hold valuable lessons.
Make it a good day
Make this one glow
Fill it with learning
There’s much to know
Make it a good day
Look in your heart
Build on your heritage
And do your part
It’s easy to see that this is a happy family, but Claire says it is a challenge to keep up sometimes.
“That is a hard thing—feeling a little stretched thin in my abilities to take care of everyone at the same time … and hoping that … I’m doing a good enough job in all of those areas,” she says.
“I look around me and I see so many of my friends. Their kids are dressed so nicely, and I’m coming with my kids, like, ‘Whatever, they picked out their own clothes.’”
Regardless, she knows that no matter what the day brings, they can make it a good one if they work together.
All temples around the world will soon have a designated “Family Temple Time” to encourage and accommodate families attending the temple together.
Although a crowded baptistry is a wonderful sight—especially when thinking about the many proxy ordinances being performed—the long lines can make it difficult for families to participate together in ordinances for their ancestors.
“Temples are so busy with youth—which is wonderful—but it makes it difficult for families to get in without a long wait,” said Elder Kent F. Richards, executive director of the Temple Department.
Proxy baptisms are normally done on a first-come, first-served basis, with no appointment necessary. Although families are welcome anytime, the new family temple time allows families to make an appointment ahead of time—during the designated block of time determined by each temple individually.
“We are encouraging families to call the temples to make an appointment so they will be able to go right in to the baptistry,” said Elder Richards. “They will have an opportunity to go at their scheduled time without a long wait.”
This will make it easier for families to perform baptisms together in the temple, said Elder Richards. “We still want the youth to come on their own—especially with their own names—but also to come with their family. It is another enhancement to their experience.”
Elder Richards made the announcement during the RootsTech Family Discovery Day on February 14. The instruction has already gone out to all temple presidents, who are working on designating times for their temples.
Some temples have already started scheduling family appointments and others will be implementing the change over the next few months. Patrons can look to their temple’s website to learn how their area will apply the change. Temples will still accept ward and stake appointments to accommodate youth groups coming together.
Although family names are not required for a family to attend together, Church leaders have encouraged families to find their own ancestors who are in need of necessary ordinances. Not only is it linking families together eternally, it strengthens families who perform the ordinances.
“When their dad is in the font with them and their mother is getting baptized for their ancestors and it is a family experience—that is really going to put the icing on the cake,” Elder Richards said.
“We have taken our grandchildren to do baptisms, and we have regular family sealing sessions where we go with our married children and do sealings of our family names. It’s wonderful. We just love the experience of being there together in a sacred place with a beautiful spirit. We feel connected to our family much more than ever before.”
The first emails were sent in December to all members who had provided an email address through their LDS Account. Members can unsubscribe from getting the emails by clicking a link in the emails. You can also manage your subscription, including updating your email address, in your LDS Account.
If you’re not getting these emails, just go to the Email Subscriptions section of your LDS Account and check the box for Inspiration and News.
The Church provides lots of websites, many of which have videos that can be downloaded.
Unfortunately, LDS websites are not consistent in where the word “download” or the download icon appear. Sometimes it is within the video player, sometimes below, sometimes above, sometimes off to the side, and even sometimes in the page footer. See the images below for examples.
A new standard has been set, and as websites are updated, they will become more consistent in the method for downloading videos. (See the icon to the right.) But for now, you may need to look on the video screen and around on the video page to determine how to download them.
Experts say it’s an issue that may frighten parents, but it’s not going away. Children are viewing and getting addicted to pornography on smartphones and other devices, sometimes as young as 7 years old.
By the time those kids graduate high school, experts say nearly 100 percent have seen pornography. At elementary school, counselors say the problem is ease-of-access.
“It’s just too simple to access it,” said Dr. Douglas Goldsmith, executive director of the Children’s Center.
According to a 2013 Common Sense Media study, 83 percent of 5- to 8-year-olds know how to use a smartphone or tablet. Add to that the $3 billion mobile porn industry, and experts say exposure is inevitable.
“If they have a phone, it’s likely that they’ll get exposed to pornography,” said Todd Olsen, co-founder of Lifestar Network.
Or they will be shown it.
“Their friends have been exposed, and then they are going to tell their buddies, and so there’s some curiosity to that,” said Olsen.
Olsen said a few years ago, the average age of first exposure was 11. Now it’s 9.
“The curiosity starts pumping in, and there’s a little bit of rush with the brand new, the taboo, the exciting,” said Olsen.
Goldsmith has treated children in first, second and third grades who have been exposed to pornography. He said the problem is that studies show as many as 20 percent of children have suffered sexual abuse, or sexual assault. That then awakens feelings that cannot be turned off easily.
“That child will start to work through those feelings by going to peers and getting them excited about sexual contact,” said Goldsmith.
Peers share pornography on smartphones with other kids, or kids see it at home. Goldsmith said many adults in Utah are looking at pornography, and there’s a high chance a child will walk past an adult who is viewing pornography on a computer.
Some kids may be able to ignore it and move on. But others can’t.
“Once they’ve seen that, kids want more. There is an addictive quality that we know about seeing pornography,” said Goldsmith.
Olsen explains further. “They’ll misuse it, and then they’ll abuse it. Then they become dependent on that. Then they become addicted,” he said.
But these therapists stress there is help, through recovery programs and counseling.
“We have a child that needs help, that needs to get their life back in balance,” said Goldsmith.
On the LDS Media Talk blog,
Larry Richman shares ideas with LDS parents and youth about how to use
materials published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the
"Mormons") and others. The blog also shares ideas on using technology 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.
Learn more about this blog.