Submit Your Entry for “Glorious” Supercut Contest

archuleta-invitationLast week, I invited you to enter the contest to record yourself singing your own version of the song “Glorious” from the soundtrack of the movie Meet the Mormons.

Below are examples from a few people who have entered. You have until Nov. 7 to submit yours.

Learn more about the “Glorious” Supercut Invitation from David Archuleta.

Here is an entry from 4-year-old Hope in Seattle:

By Athenna M. C.

By Nick Sales

By Quinn S.

By Madelyn M. of Firefly:

By David W, Gilbert

By Audrey H.

In American Sign Language by Susan L.

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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Fight the New Drug: Fighting Pornography

pornography-harmfulPornography is addicting. It affects behavior. It harms relationships. And it even rewires the brain.

pornography-quote

That’s the message from the group Fight the New Drug (FightTheNewDrug.org).

“Pornography used to be a matter of opinion. Some felt it was natural, normal, and expected for teens and young adults to consume it. Others rejected it because of personal or religious morals. Few seemed to have definitive evidence on why it was harmful or beneficial…When we first came across the science of how pornography affects the brain we were stunned! After further study we found that relationships were being destroyed and that pornography was having a profound effect on sexual violence in our society. We couldn’t believe that this was happening and nobody was talking about it.”

Fight the New Drug is an organization dedicated to fighting pornography. Through facts, science and personal accounts, they bring awareness to the dangers of this drug through educating people, particularly teens and young adults.

  • Protection: Teaches parents how to best shield their children from pornography and makes them aware of resources, such as media filters and parental controls.
  • Recovery: Helps young people struggling with pornography fight the addiction. Resources include an online video-based program called Fortify.
  • Mobilization: Efforts to transform those who consume pornography, as well as those who passively accept it, into messengers against the drug. It encourages everyone to use social media as a way to spread the message that “Porn Kills Love.”
  • Media: Creative videos  and articles to inform and involve youth in the fight. Videos include personal stories of how porn has hurt marriages, relationships, and individual lives. The videos also provide scientific facts on how porn negatively affects the human brain.

Here’s their video The New Anti-Porn Movement:

See what Fight the New Drug offers at FightTheNewDrug.org.

fight-new-drug-infographic

Additional resources:

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LDS Granite Mountain Records Vault

granite-mountain-records-vaultThe Granite Mountain Records Vault contains the world’s largest collection of genealogical records. Located in Little Cottonwood Canyon, near Salt Lake City, the vault houses billions of images on microfiche, microfilm, and digital media. The vault also protects valuable items important to Church operations and Church history.

granite-mountain-records-vault-2The vault is nearly 700 feet inside solid granite, and the entrance doors are said to weigh between 9 and 14 tons–enough to endure a nuclear blast.

Excavation and blasting to build the Granite Mountain Records Vault began in 1960. The facility was completed in 1965 and dedicated on June 22, 1966.

For security reasons, the vault is not open to the public, but you can click below to watch the Church’s two-part video tour of the facility.

This article is from LDS Living

These billions of records are available online through FamilySearch.org.

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“I Pray When…” Video from Tauranga New Zealand Stake

i-pray-whenMembers of the Tauranga New Zealand Stake put together this video as part of their stake conference in August 2014.

They completed the thought “I Pray When…” and shared their experiences with prayer.

Their video was inspired by the Mormon Channel’s campaign #DidYouThinkToPray

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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How Did Joseph Smith Translate the Book of Mormon?

joseph-smith-book-mormonHow did Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon from the golden plates? The essay “Book of Mormon Translation” in the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org (topics.lds.org) gives insight into the process.

Translation Instruments

Joseph Smith and his scribes used two instruments in the translation process. When Joseph looked into the instruments, the words of scripture appeared in English.

  1. One instrument, called in the Book of Mormon the “interpreters,” is better known to Latter-day Saints today as the “Urim and Thummim.” Joseph found the interpreters buried in the hill with the plates. Those who saw the interpreters described them as a clear pair of stones bound together with a metal rim, similar to a pair of “spectacles” or reading glasses.
  2. The other instrument, which Joseph Smith discovered years before he retrieved the gold plates, was a small oval stone, or “seer stone.” As a young man during the 1820s, Joseph Smith, like others in his day, used a seer stone to look for lost objects and buried treasure. As Joseph grew to understand his prophetic calling, he learned that he could use this stone for the higher purpose of translating scripture.

These two instruments were apparently interchangeable and worked in much the same way, although Joseph often translated with the single seer stone rather than the two stones bound together.

Translation Mechanics

Some accounts by the scribes and others who observed the translation, say that Joseph studied the characters on the plates. However, most of the accounts speak of Joseph using either the interpreters or the seer stone by placing them in a hat and pressing his face into the hat to block out extraneous light. He would then read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument.

Read the entire essay “Book of Mormon Translation” in the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org (topics.lds.org).

For more details on the translation process, see “By the Gift and Power of God” by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Jan. 1997, 36–41.

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LDSface2face with Lindsey Stirling Nov. 25

Lindsey-Stirling_Youth-Activities-bannerLindsey Stirling will be the next featured guest in the LDS Face-to-Face series on November 25, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. MST. You can watch the event on Facebook, the Youth Activities page, and on the Mormon Channel.

The first #LDSface2face event was with David Archuleta in June.

Lindsey Stirling is a returned missionary and a world-famous violinist and dancer. She will share her own story—including how she learned to recognize her worth, how she shares the gospel, and how she has risen above criticism to make a unique contribution to the world.

Lindsey will talk about overcoming trials, embracing who you are, and not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Lindsey said, “I was told by so many people that I wouldn’t succeed because I was too different. Ironically, the very reason that people watch my channel and travel thousands of miles to see a show … is because it’s different. God didn’t send us to earth to just blend in. We are here to share what makes us unique.” Many of Lindsey’s YouTube videos get tens of millions of views, and a few over 100 million.

Lindsey will also perform live songs at the event–some familiar pieces and an original composition. One number will be a duet featuring a special guest.

Lindsey_Stirling

Youth around the world will have a chance to ask Lindsey questions, moderated by Young Men general president David L. Beck and Young Women general president Bonnie L. Oscarson.

Please  invite your friends to listen to Lindsey Stirling’s testimony and her music.

  1. Think about what you want to ask Lindsey. Your question could be featured on the live event. You can submit questions on this article, on the Youth Activities page, or on the Facebook page.
  2. Plan a Mutual activity. See the activity overview on the Youth Activities site.
  3. Invite friends of all faiths to attend with you.
  4. Enjoy spending an hour with Lindsey Stirling and youth from around the world at this live Face-to-Face event. You will feel the Spirit and be uplifted by her remarkable story of faith.

Parents and youth leaders should plan to watch this event with youth as a family or Mutual night activity. The event will be interpreted into Spanish and Portuguese.

Here’s Lindsey’s “I am a Mormon” video:

106 million people have watched this video of Lindsey’s:

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“Glorious” Supercut Invitation from David Archuleta

archuleta-invitationYou are invited to record yourself singing your own version of the song “Glorious” from the soundtrack of the movie Meet the Mormons.

Submit your recording to win fun prizes and you might even be included in a supercut video featuring David and people from all over the world.

Watch this video invitation from David Archuleta.

Submit your video entry in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download the instrumental MP3 and lyrics or visit the YouTube page to sing along with the video with lyrics.
  2. Record a video of yourself singing “Glorious” with the instrumental track.
  3. Upload your video to YouTube.

When you upload your video, make sure your title follows this format: “Glorious” by David Archuleta from Meet the Mormons Cover By (first name, last initial). For example, “Glorious” by David Archuleta from Meet the Mormons Cover By Susan S. In your video description, include your location (city, state and country), and your message for David.

Your entry must be uploaded by Monday, November 3, 2014. Winners will be announced Friday, November 7, 2014.

Lyrics:
There are times when you might feel aimless
You can’t see the places where you belong
But you will find that there is a purpose
It’s been there within you all along

And when you’re near it
You can almost hear it.

It’s like a symphony – just keep listening
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it’s glorious

You will know how to let it ring out
As you discover who you are
Others around you will start to wake up
To the sounds that are in their hearts

It’s so amazing
What we’re all creating

It’s like a symphony – just keep listening
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it’s glorious

And as you feel the notes build you will see

It’s like a symphony – just keep listening
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it’s glorious

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Studying October 2014 LDS General Conference

2014-11-ensignThe text and PDF of the general conference issues of the Ensign, Liahona, New Era, and Friend magazines are now online and printed copies are 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.) These charts are no longer available through Distribution.

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.

You 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 reading the article “Studying Conference Talks Together” from the April 2013 Ensign, which explains how reading the conference issue as a family can strengthen your family.

The article “Studying General Conference (New Era, June 2013, pp. 40-42) gives seven ideas to help you learn more from the words of the prophets:

  1. Look for Invitations and Encouragements
  2. Watch for Cause-and-Effect Statements
  3. Prepare Questions
  4. Look for Lists
  5. Watch for Repeated Phrases and Overall Themes
  6. Study Particular Words, Scripture References, and Notes
  7. Set Goals to Practice What You’ve Learned
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Christmas 2014 on Temple Square

Christmas-temple-SquareVisiting Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, during the Christmas season is a yearly tradition for many families and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for others.

Tickets and reservations for the various 2014 Christmas programs and events are now available and due to the popularity of the events, tickets tend to get snatched up quickly.

Read the article “Christmas 2014 on Temple Square” to learn about the following events:

  • Savior of the World musical
  • Lights on Temple Square
  • Christmas on Temple Square Opening Concert
  • Christmas Devotional
  • Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert
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Suicide

suicideWatch the new Mormon Messages video “Sitting on the Bench: Thoughts on Suicide Prevention.” Every human soul is precious. Don’t give up. Show love to those who are struggling. Help guide people to resources that are available (see below).

Elder Ballard: “I say we keep our antennas up, we watch out for each other, we love one another, and we leave the eternal judgments to our Heavenly Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ who know all things.”


Resources about suicide:

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LDS-Face-to-face-ArchuletaA live face-to-face event with David Archuleta was broadcast on June 24, 2014. It went to more than 34,000 video streams around the world and has since been viewed 100,000 times. The video is a great resource for youth events, family home evenings, or devotionals.

It was the first time the Church had ever done a live face-to-face event for youth. And it was very successful.

Returned missionary and former American Idol finalist David Archuleta spoke with youth in 91 countries doing two separate one-hour events, one in Spanish and one in English. The broadcast went to more than 34,000 video streams around the world, some in front of up to 80 youth on one stream at LDS meetinghouses and in homes.

Read more in the story “Watch David Archuleta Facebook Event That Touched Thousands.”

If you and your family haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. The whole thing was authentic and spiritual. Bet you can’t keep dry eyes through the whole thing.

You may especially enjoy these excerpts:

Read more about the success of the #LDSface2face event.

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joseph-smith-prophet-restorationThe movie Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration is now available on Netflix.

The movie was first shown in the Legacy Theater in Salt Lake City, then released on DVD, and how on Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix.

This movie was the first full-length motion picture the Church released on the Internet. The movie is about Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Here are all the ways you can watch the movie:

I encourage you to watch family-friendly movies like this on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and Roku because the more you watch them, the more likely it is that these companies will continue to carry such movies.

Here’s a trailer to the movie:

Learn more about streaming Internet television.

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Index of Resources to Learn About Missions

mission-prep-resourcesSugardoodle.com now provides an index of resources to learn about different LDS Missions. It is a portal of resources about each mission, including mission blogs, groups, addresses, maps, interviews with returned missionaries, and LDS-friendly travel videos.

The list points to the resources prepared by Alex Balinski at PrepareToServe.com.

The resources are constantly updated with new mission blogs and interviews with returned missionaries from each LDS mission. It’s a great resource to learn about the countries, languages, cultures, and people from around the world!

 

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LDS Church Statements on Moral Issues

In November, citizens in the United States will have the privilege and duty of electing people to political offices and voting on issues of public policy. The Church encourages its members to participate in the political process.

You can learn about the issues by researching information on the Internet, listening to debates, and talking with candidates.

lds-newsroomIn addition, the Church occasionally posts information at MormonNewsroom.org about particular moral issues on which it has taken a position.

The Church as an institution remains neutral regarding political parties and candidates. However, the Church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues. You can find information about many of those issues at MormonNewsroom.org, particularly in the Topics and Background section.

See the First Presidency letter encouraging political participation and voting.

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Explaining Temple Garments (Mormon Underwear)

St. Louis Mormon TempleThis article is one in a series of articles about explaining our Mormon beliefs to our friends. See other articles in this series.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released an official video and explanation about the sacred clothing members wear in the temple and the sacred underwear worn by members under their everyday clothing.

Some members of the Church are caught off-guard when they are asked questions about why we wear garments, often referred to as “Mormon underwear.” Because the garment is sacred and important to us, we often don’t talk about it much in public. However, there are ways to respectfully explain why we wear the garment and why it is  important to us.

I encourage you to read the article about temple garments and watch the video below:

Watch video in Spanish.

Here are some additional resources with information to help you explain the wearing of garments to your friends–or even to your children:

  • Read “Garments Signify Sacred Promises” on Mormon Topics. Be sure to click on the portraits at the top of the page to watch Mormons explain what the temple garment means to them.
  • Read the topic “Wearing the Temple Garment” on LDS.org. You can find it in the menu on LDS.org by clicking  Teachings > Gospel Topics > Temples. Then scroll down to the section “Wearing the Temple Garment.” (Click  View More to expand the page to see it.)
  • Read the article on the Church’s Newsroom, “Do some Latter-day Saints wear temple garments?
  • Watch the video “My Mormon Underwear.” It’s a video on the YouTube channel Understanding Mormonism, where a member of the Church posts videos explaining his Mormon beliefs in a simple, authentic way.
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