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Apr 18

Study shows how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk …

Epidemiologists have long warned that, in addition to causing obesity, eating too much fat and sugar puts a person at greater risk for colon cancer. Now, researchers at Temple University have established a link that may explain why.

The findings, Epigenetic Differences in Normal Colon Mucosa of Cancer Patients Suggest Altered Dietary Metabolic Pathways, were published in the March issue of the American Association for Cancer Researchs journal, Cancer Prevention Research.

There have always been questions about why things like diet and obesity are independent risk factors for colon cancer, said Carmen Sapienza, professor of pathology in Temples Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, the studys lead author. This study suggests how and why high fat diets are linked to colon cancer.

The researchers compared colon tissue in non-colon cancer patients with normal colon tissue in patients with the disease. In the normal tissue from patients with colon cancer, they found that epigenetic marks on genes involved in breaking down carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids abundant in the fatty Western diet appeared to have been retrained. Epigenetic marks are chemical modifications that serve as on/off switches for many genes.

These foods are changing the methylation patterns on a persons insulin genes so that they express differently, pumping out more insulin than the body requires, said Sapienza. In people that have colon cancer, their glucose metabolic pathways and insulin signaling pathways are running at completely different levels than people who dont have colon cancer.

Sapienza said that cancer cells love insulin and studies have shown that tumors feed off of insulin. Insulin is only supposed to be expressed in your pancreas, so having this extra insulin is bad, he said.

Sapienza pointed out that people dont usually get colon cancer until the age of 50 or older, so it is unclear when the epigenetic modification of the genes begins.

The hypothesis is that the changes in the metabolic pathways happen first, and once they occur, if any kind of mutation happens that causes a cancerous polyp, you are going to feed it through this excess insulin, he said.

There have always been questions about why things like diet and obesity are independent risk factors for colon cancer. This study suggests how and why high fat diets are linked to colon cancer.

-- Carmen Sapienza, professor of pathology, Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology

Sapienza said this study provides the first evidence of widespread epigenetic modification of metabolic pathway genes occurring in healthy colon tissue.

The researchers theorize that if the modification found in healthy colon tissue could also be found in other healthy tissues in the body, they might be used to diagnose or determine the likelihood of colon cancer by through a saliva or blood test in addition to a colonoscopy.

In addition to Sapienza, researchers om the study included Matthew L. Silviera, Brian P. Smith and Jasmine Powell of the Fels Institute for Cancer Researcher and Molecular Biology in Temples School of Medicine.

The study was funded through the National Institutes of Health and Temples Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology.

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Study shows how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk ...

Apr 18

Study will compare zero-calorie drinks versus water in …

Youve made a New Years resolution to lose weight in 2013, but should you favor zero-calorie drinks or water as part of your diet? Or does it matter at all which of these beverages you choose for weight loss?

Thats what researchers at Temple Universitys Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) and the University of Colorados Anschutz Health and Wellness Center are hoping to discover as part of a year-long study comparing the effects of zero-calorie drinks and water in the context of weight loss. The Food and Drug Administration defines zero-calorie drinks as those having five or fewer calories per eight-ounce serving.

Water has long been the recommended beverage in any weight loss/maintenance program, yet dieters frequently turn to the more flavorful diet or zero-calorie beverages as a replacement.

Since both of these drinks are calorie neutral, you should be able to lose the same amount of weight regardless of whether you consume zero-calorie drinks or water while dieting, said Stephanie Vander Veur, program director for clinical research at CORE. On the other hand, some think that non-nutritive sweetened beverages may increase a persons preference for a sweet taste that may lead them to consume additional calories. No one has really tested this to date.

Temple is seeking to recruit up to 150 people to take part in the study, which is being led by CORE Director Gary Foster. The first Temple group of 18 already began participating in the study in November. The University of Colorado will also study 150 participants.

Those who are selected to participate must be regular consumers of zero-calorie or diet beverages (currently consume a minimum of three per week) and above ideal body weight. They will participate in a weekly 60-minute group weight loss program during the first 12 weeks of the study and then 10 monthly 60-minute group weight loss/maintenance meetings thereafter.

Participants will be required to drink a minimum of 24 ounces per day of either a zero-calorie beverage that includes a non-nutritive sweetener such as Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, diet ginger ale, diet Snapple, and Vitaminwater zero or water, depending on which study group they are randomly assigned. Those who are in the water group will not be able to drink any zero-calorie beverages, and must also refrain from using non-nutritive sweeteners in other drinks such as coffee or tea. Foods that contain non-nutritive sweeteners are permitted.

The study will be conducted at CORE, located on Temples Health Sciences Campus in North Philadelphia, Jeanes Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia and Temples Center City campus.

The study is being funded by the American Beverage Association.

Anyone from the Philadelphia region interested in participating in the study should contact Temples Center for Obesity Research and Education at 215-707-3292.

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Apr 6

Mormons in Africa: A Bright Land of Hope

Africa has been held in reserve by the Lord, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in an October 2010 visit to Burundi. Africa will someday be seen as a bright land full of gospel hope and happiness.

Africa is one of the fastest growing areas of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with some 320,000 members, the majority of whom have joined the Church over the past 30 years. They have found that hope and happiness spoken of by Elder Holland by embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ.

To accommodate such rapid growth, many are needed in lay leadership roles to maintain more than 900 congregations across the continent. As a native of Nairobi, Kenya, Elder Joseph W. Sitati served in many lay leadership positions and now is serving in the Quorum of the Seventy, a senior leadership body of the Church where members are given the title of Elder.

His first knowledge of the Church came through a 1985 business conversation. The meeting agenda turned from engineering to religion, and Elder Sitati discovered an entirely new approach to life in the message his colleague shared.

I understood who I am as a child of God, a new concept for me. I knew why I was here on earth, where I was going and why. I saw a new perspective on the family that it was the central doctrine of the Church. That information helped me reorder my priorities. I had thought that success in the world would apply in my family, but its really the other way around.

Elder Adesina J. Olukanni, serving in a leadership position over West Africa added,

The Church makes our members better fathers, mothers, sons and daughters with the knowledge of who they are and their potential the great potential to do good.

Early converts such as Elders Sitati and Olukanni possess a unique perspective on the growth of the Church in Africa. Theyve observed small congregations in a handful of countries increase until today the Church has a presence in 32 countries.

Now is a time of great transition across Africa, Elder Sitati said. Cultural traditions are breaking down; people are migrating to the cities. In a new and unfamiliar environment with very little to hold on to, they become more responsive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are, overall, a religious people, very receptive to the Spirit, and they find a sure hope in the teachings of the Church. They join the gospel culture.

Elder Sitati described positive changes in the lives of a pair of fellow Africans who also became members of the Church:

Isaac worked as a gardener but was unable to support his wife, who, of economic necessity, lived 2 hours from Nairobi. After his baptism and following Church teachings, Isaac broadened his understanding of his personal potential. He worked hard, volunteered for additional training and found a new job. The new Church member eventually upgraded from an embassy drivers job to his own business.

Shem lost his job shortly after he joined the Church in 1989. His wifes experiences in Relief Society, the womens organization of the Church, helped them start a food business. They now have a thriving catering business based on the skills they learned in Relief Society, Elder Sitati explained.

The Churchs presence in Africa began with missionaries in South Africa in the early 1850s. It was not until the late 1970s that membership noticeably increased across the continent of Africa.

Nigeria, for example, had an entire congregation join the Church in 1978, many of whom had learned about the Church years before and were patiently waiting for an approved organization. In less than 10 years, there were nearly 10,000 members and the first stake (a geographic division) was organized. By 1999, membership increased to nearly 43,000 and stands at approximately 100,000 today.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Thousands of new members have joined the Church with more than 4,000 becoming members in 2010 alone. Mozambique had 40 members in 1999 and has increased to more than 5,000 today. Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Ivory Coast also have sizeable congregations. There are a total of 102 stakes and districts, 18 missions and nearly 320,000 members across the continent. The Church presently owns or leases 725 meetinghouses in 34 African countries.

While these numbers are significant, they dont tell the complete story of the Churchs impact in Africa through such efforts as humanitarian aid, education, spiritual edification and teaching self-reliance to improve the quality of life.

A pipeline installed under the supervision of the Churchs humanitarian aid outreach transports clean snowmelt from Mount Kenya to villages miles away. Water is a precious commodity here and many people dont have access to clean water, Elder Sitati said. One woman covered five miles each day for 40 years to collect water. The new pipeline to her village now dramatically reduces her journey. The first time she got water from the pipeline was the first time she had ever tasted clean water ( see video on clean water projects ).

This clean water initiative is only one of several African humanitarian efforts implemented individually or in partnership with other relief organizations. The Church is also helping to eradicate measles. According to the Red Cross, millions of African children have been immunized against measles, leading to a 92 percent decrease in measles-related deaths across the continent between 2000 and 2008. More than 50 thousand medical personnel have been taught and equipped to perform neonatal resuscitation, which translates into thousands of infant lives saved. Wheelchairs have also been provided for tens of thousands of African residents ( see video on wheelchair initiative ).

Another outreach, the Perpetual Education Fund, is a Church loan system that facilitates university and technical education. The program is funded through contributions of Church members and others throughout the world that support its mission to help families become more self-sufficient. It is a revolving resource in which money is loaned to an individual to help pay for training or advanced education. With better skills, the student then pays back the loan to the fund at a low interest rate. Since 2001, around 3,000 people have benefited from the program in Africa.

Educational opportunities come to African communities in a variety of ways.

A cooperative food initiative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, trained local farmers to produce a successful crop of cassava, an important nutritional element in the diet of the residents. Local Church leaders supervised the project that began in 2006.

The people had to learn new agricultural practices: better preparation of their fields, appropriate irrigation and even plant spacing, explained Wade Sperry, field operations manager for the LDS Charities Food Initiative. In the first year, the newly developed plants and the new farming techniques produced 900 tons of the much-needed food supply, a 50 percent increase over other methods.

This project offers local self-reliance at its best, said Ferron Squires, director of the program. These subsistence farmers have increased their production, improved processing and marketing. They have given back to those in need with their surplus. Its a great success story.

Success and change comes in small steps for Church members in Africa, but the steps continue despite enormous challenges in physical, political and cultural environments.

The African people are a kind and patient people, said Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve after a recent visit with members of the Church in Mozambique and Nigeria. They dont have a lot of income or resources that allow them financially to do things, so they just do them out of sheer effort. They will walk miles and miles and miles to accomplish something that they are prompted to do by the Holy Ghost to further the work.

It is that will coupled with hope, Elder Sitati maintains, that makes transformation possible. The teachings of the Church give them hope. People can climb from adverse circumstances; they embrace those teachings and their lives are blessed. The Church arrived in Africa at the right time. Its not a quick fix to all the problems faced by people in these lands, but it is a sure fix.

For more on the Church in Africa, see these additional stories and resources :

Mormons in Africa: Church Humanitarian Initiatives Give LifeAfrica Clean Water Initiative InfographicMormons in Africa: Ugandan Latter-day Saints Moving the Church ForwardMormons in Africa: The Perpetual Education FundMormons in Africa: Church Helps Preserve Family HistoriesMormons in Africa: Stories of Hope and FaithMormons in Africa: Africa Fact SheetAdditional Stories on the Church in Africa(Video) Clean Water is Happiness(Video) From the Darkness to the Light: Church Wheelchair Initiative in Africa(Video) We Did Not Stand Alone: Church Aid During Sierra Leone War

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Mormons in Africa: A Bright Land of Hope

Apr 6

Book of Mormon Videos Wrap Second Season of Filming

Filming wrapped near Springville, Utah, for the second season of the Book of Mormon live-action video series. The multi-year project is being produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to bring the stories of ancient-American civilization to life and share the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Downloadable video: B-roll | SOTs

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy, who heads up the projects steering committee, says, What we are producing through the videos and the still images that are being captured are tools that can be used in helping to introduce people to the Book of Mormon.

This allows us to put a face to the names and the stories and allow you to see these people who really lived, adds Bill Elliott, media director of the project. They breathed, they walked the land and these stories are real.

The second season production focused on select chapters in the early pages of the Book of Mormon and highlighted ancient prophets Nephi, Jacob and Enos.

What is happening with the videos is very meaningful to me because of my Lamanite heritage, said Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk of the Seventy, who is on the projects steering committee. When I see what is happening with the Book of Mormon being made into videos, I think about those powerful Book of Mormon prophets that thought and prayed about the days that we live in today.

The new location for the second season shoot took place in Hobble Creek Canyon near Springville, with new sets depicting settlements out of the Book of Mormon, including an ancient temple.

I have been in small towns in Latin America, and I just feel like I'm in one of them, said Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. So many details reminded me of family members like my grandma, my aunts, my mom. And I think they did a great job in setting the tone here for the filming of the videos.

Much of the cast from season one, made up of a diverse group of men, women and children, returned this season.

[It was]great to have everyone back together, said senior producer Aaron Merrell. Kind of like a family reunion of sorts.

Portions of the project are being filmed in various locations in North America. The Church began filming the project in June 2017 near the Churchs Jerusalem movie set in the central Utah community of Goshen.

The biggest difference between this season and last season is last season's story is one long story. It was the story of Nephi's journey. This season we have several different eras and characters, Merrell explained.

Hes my hero, said Jackson VanDerwerken, an 18-year-old young man who plays Nephi, a prominent figure in the Book of Mormon.

To play Nephi in his 30s, VanDerwerken spent two and a half hours with the makeup crew every day to glue his beard on.

Its important to know that the Lord uses young people for his purposes, said the actor, who is preparing to serve a two-year full-time mission in Brazil when the filming for his role is over. This is just a part of my life that is preparing me for the future, for my mission.

VanDerwerken bulked up for the role. When I auditioned I weighed about 165 [pounds]. And I weigh about 180-ish now, and that's kind of been steady. I gained that weight in less than two months on a really strict regimen, one that I kept up, but also the weight gain was not purely the diet nor the working out, but [I] certainly had heaven's help in it because there's no way that I would've been able to gain that weight. So I give all that credit to God.

Actor Mace Sorensen considers it an honor to play Laman, who is often regarded as a villain in the Book of Mormon. Im hoping that people see him differently and sympathize a lot more. He was complicated and had his virtues as well.

Sorenson said the stories are being shared in a way that theyve never been shared before. The work that were doing here, you know, will be seen for a long time after and so its no small thing what were doing.

Kymberly Mellon, who portrays Lehis wife, Sariah, said Lehi and Nephis family had a strong family unit, but they faced some of the same issues contemporary families are experiencing today.

I think showing women as powerful coleaders in the home has been a huge focus of this unit of production," said Mellen who highlights her character's strength as a women through non-verbal storytelling because of Sariah's limited diologue in the Book of Mormon.

Women always have a very strong influence in their spouse, their family, their communities, said Sister Aburto. It is beautiful to see the work that the actors and the scriptwriters and directors and everybody have done in really showing how important women are and the important role that they have played in this history.

Church leaders hope that those who watch the Book of Mormon videos will also want to read the scriptures contained in the book.

What we're trying to do are take key doctrinal scenes that will help to bring these characters to life and to illustrate the stories and the doctrines of Christ that the Book of Mormon teaches us, said Elliott. It's another testament of Jesus Christ.

Elliott continued, Everybody has, in their own imagination, an idea of what these characters look like. But really, it doesn't matter what our Nephi looks like or what our Laman looks like or what any of these characters look like; it really matters what they're saying and the spirit that you'll feel when you hear the words.

If we can help people just really get engaged with these people, with the stories, then they're going to be able to understand the teachings that much better and be able to personalize it and apply it into their lives that much better, said Merrell.

This will be something that adds to the written words of the Book of Mormon to help people feel the power of the teachings of the Book of Mormon, said Elder Echo Hawk. This is a priority effort for [the Church] to bring this message to the entire world.

The new videos will be similar to The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos that were completed in 2016. The series is being filmed in English but will eventually be distributed in additional languages.

The videos will be available on a new Book of Mormon Videos YouTube channel,, Mormon Channel platforms and existing Book of Mormon and Gospel Library apps. In addition, casting needs are being posted online.

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Book of Mormon Videos Wrap Second Season of Filming

Apr 6

Environmental Conservation and Stewardship Efforts

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strives to be a good steward of the environment, to conserve and manage energy appropriately, to utilize water resources for the benefit of food production and beautification, to minimize or reduce pollution and waste, to be a good neighbor and to maintain its properties in a cost-effective and sustainable way.

Green Building Initiatives

The Church owns and operates a significant number of buildings worldwide. The Church also constructs many new buildings each year, including temples, meetinghouses, welfare facilities, Church Educational System (CES) facilities, family history centers and other structures. As a property owner, the Church recognizes that constructing, operating and maintaining facilities can impose a significant impact on the earths resources and on the environment. For this reason, the Church has implemented a green building initiative in which sustainable design and construction principles and practices have been researched and, where possible, incorporated to increase energy efficiency, lower operating costs and make the facilities easier to maintain.

The application of this initiative can be seen in many of the Churchs recent projects, including the Conference Center, the Family History Library, City Creek Development, a number of newly constructed meetinghouses and several urban meetinghouses that have incorporated green roof technologies. Many of the facilities have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in various categories from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Also, the Church utilizes the expertise of its staff including architects, engineers and other professionals who are LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED AP) in an effort to be more sustainable. These professionals have been trained and accredited under the direction of the USGBC and Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) as qualified green building experts. The Church also has organized the Church Environmental Coordinating Committee, Green Building Committee and other related groups made up of employees from various departments.

The Church recognizes the importance of conserving energy and natural resources; not polluting the environment; preserving the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of its facilities; and complying with the local laws and ordinances as outlined in current green building codes and rating systems. Green building strategies vary from location to location and require site-specific application.

Energy and Water Conservation

Recent efforts have been made by the Church to reduce its energy footprint and conserve water and other natural resources.

Projects have been undertaken to manage heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and install more energy efficient lighting. At Church headquarters, 11 lighting projects, many involving LED lighting, were completed between October 2012 and June 2014. The total annual energy savings is more than $282,000. Additional projects are planned for 2014.

The Church seeks to follow environmentally friendly practices in landscaping and water conservation. Best management practices are utilized for all new landscape designs and remodel projects of meetinghouses, welfare facilities and seminary and institute buildings. They include the conservation of water and natural resources, reduction of maintenance, long-term cost savings, neighborhood beautification and natural enhancement of Church buildings.

At Church headquarters, the irrigation system has been upgraded, using more efficient smart controller technology to reduce water usage. Thirty-two controllers have been installed at the properties maintained by grounds crews. A water savings of at least 30% is anticipated as the new controllers are brought up to their full capacity. The Church is also investigating applying for a rebate from the Central Utah Water Conservancy District for installing these controllers.

The Churchs guideline for soil is to utilize existing material as much as possible and amend it as needed. The importing of soil occurs but is discouraged. Using soils in place helps landscape projects more easily integrate with native soil and plant conditions and thus conserves natural resources.

The Church has embraced the adaptation of eco-regions from the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation and then created suitable prototypical landscape plans for its facilities. These landscape and irrigation plans were created to consider regional and natural limitations. Hotter, drier areas, for instance, have significantly reduced water-consuming lawn areas. Irrigation conservation efforts include use of smart controllers, hydrometers, rain sensors, drip irrigation, head-to-head coverage, high distribution uniformity and secondary or reclaimed water.

The Church has assembled an extensive database of plant materials that are found to thrive in certain soil types, which allows suitable plant selection based on appropriateness of the region, aesthetics, resistance to cold temperatures and the amount of sun exposure and water needed.

Church orchards are utilizing mating disruption pheromones to reduce pesticide sprays and reduce the amount of diesel fuel that would have been required to apply the pesticides. Crops are rotated on Church farms generally on a four-year rotation to prevent disease, which reduces the need for pesticides.

Recycling and Land Management

Recycling is another example of the Churchs overall conservation effort. In 2013, the Church headquarters campus recycled about 180 tons of cardboard, 65 tons of paper, 26 tons of plastic and 2 tons of aluminum. That same year, the LDS Printing Division recycled about 4,400 tons of paper, 180 tons of plastic, 130 tons of cardboard, 56 tons of metal, 30 tons of leather and 250 gallons of used oil from machinery. Similarly, in 2013, Beehive Clothing recycled about 24 tons of rags, 24 tons of cardboard, 25,000 plastic pallets and 2,000 wooden pallets. In 2013, Salt Lake Distribution Services recycled about 1,000 tons of paper, 150 tons of cardboard and 1,000 pounds of metal.

In 2013, Deseret Industries recycled about 13,000 tons of clothing, 870 tons of shoes, 3,100 tons of household goods, 3,400 tons of books, 5,500 tons of metal and 4,000 tons of electronics. Humanitarian aid donations included about 3,800 tons of clothing and 350 tons of shoes.

Additional examples of conservation efforts by the Church include no-till dry farming and the use of new tillage equipment that is more efficient in reducing erosion and retaining moisture, as well as good range management practices to avoid overgrazing. Public lands are also used for grazing.

Community gardens in the western United States are sponsored to give people an opportunity to grow nutritious foods and reduce costs. In Utah, there are volunteer farms that produce crops for the bishops storehouses and local community food kitchens.

In addition to offering aid, the Church works to promote self-reliance for those it helps. The LDS Charities organization targets families living in urban and rural areas and teaches them sustainable techniques for food production, nutrition, diet and home food storage. Through demonstration gardens and hands-on workshops, families learn to grow vegetables and fruits or raise small animals appropriate to their circumstances. In 2013, 43 projects were initiated to improve food production in local community settings in 20 countries around the world.

In conclusion, the Church actively seeks to remain informed and engaged about matters of environmental conservation, and steps have been taken to make its facilities more sustainable.

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Environmental Conservation and Stewardship Efforts

Apr 6

Elder Russell M. Nelson Marries Wendy L. Watson

ElderRussell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of TheChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Wendy L. Watsonwere married today in the Salt Lake Temple. This is the secondmarriage for Elder Nelson and the first for Wendy Watson.

Elder Nelsons previousmarriage was to Dantzel White Nelson, who died 12 February 2005.Their family includes 10 children, 56 grandchildren and 18great-grandchildren.

Ordained an Apostle on 12April 1984, Elder Nelson received his B.A. and M.D. degrees fromthe University of Utah and his Ph.D. from the University ofMinnesota. A renowned surgeon and medical researcher, Elder Nelsonserved as the former president of the Society for Vascular Surgeryand also as former chairman of the Council on CardiovascularSurgery for the American Heart Association.

Wendy L. Watson, originallyof Raymond, Alberta, Canada, is the daughter of the late LeonardDavid and Laura McLean Watson. She is a professor of marriage andfamily therapy in the School of Family Life at Brigham YoungUniversity (BYU) and will retire 1 May 2006. She received her Calgary, Alberta, Canada, her B.A. from the University of Hawaiiin Honolulu, her M.Sc. from BYU, and her Ph.D. from the Universityof Calgary. She served as chair of BYU Womens Conference for 1999and 2000, and is the author of several books and addresses recordedon CD, including Rock Solid Relationships and Things AreNot Always as They Appear.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.

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Elder Russell M. Nelson Marries Wendy L. Watson

Apr 6

Advice From President Nelson to Millennials Living in a …

Downloadable video: SOTs | B-roll

How can the rising generation live more happy and meaningful lives? President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told a group of young adults in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, February 17, 2018, the answer can be found, in part, from a parable describing the importance of avoiding distraction and temptation.

He began his address using a parable to emphasize that your ultimate safety in this life lies in never taking the first enticing step toward going where you should not go and doing what you should not do.

The prophet explained that as human beings we all have appetites necessary for our survival. These appetites are absolutely essential for the perpetuation of life. So, what does the adversary do? He asked. He attacks us through our appetites. He tempts us to eat things we should not eat, to drink things we should not drink, and to love as we should not love!

President Nelson told hundreds of young adults, participating in the fireside in four Las Vegas Mormon meetinghouses, that they should learn to have purpose in this life, know who they are, why they are here and how to master the divine laws.

Personal Identity

One of the most important things you need to learn in life is to know who you really are, President Nelson said. He encouraged his audience to learn about their parents, grandparents and other forebears down their genealogical lines. Most importantly, he said they should know their ultimate identity.

Know that you are an elect son or daughter of God, created in His very image, President Nelson said.

Sister Nelson, who also spoke Saturday night, said, It's time that we stop comparing ourselves to others. "When you let the Lord know that you are serious about doing exactly what you came to earth to do, watch what happens. He may change many things dramatically. So hang on for the ride of your life, the ride that you were born to take.


President Nelson reminded those present that everyone was made for a reason and answering the "why"of their lives is essential.

When you begin to catch even a glimpse of how your Heavenly Father sees you and what He is counting on you to do for Him, your life will never be the same, said President Nelson.

Divine Law

President Nelson said his experience as a heart surgeon taught him that divine laws are discoverable, predictable, dependable and repeatable. This, he explained, is true in science and religion. For example, there are laws of science that govern a beating heart and those of religion that govern revelation.

One size really can fit all who are here tonight, said Sister Nelson. Whatever is said over the pulpit can fit each one of you perfectly because the Holy Ghost will tailor-make whatever is said to fit you. I don't know what you need to hear, but the Lord does.

Sister Nelson recalled calling off an engagement when she was 24 years old after receiving inspiration while listening to general conference.

President Nelson said, The more of Gods laws you know and more importantly, live the more effective your righteous leadership will be.In that vein, President Nelson encouraged those present to follow Jesus Christ by living a life of prayer, service and careful study of Gods laws.

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Advice From President Nelson to Millennials Living in a ...

Apr 6

Latter-day Saint Missionary Program – Missionaries Serve …

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' missionary program is one of its most recognized characteristics. Latter-day Saint missionaries can be seen on the streets of hundreds of major cities in the world as well as in thousands of smaller communities.

The missionary effort is based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs, teaching the gospel and baptizing believers in the name of Jesus Christ (see, for example, the work of Peter and John in the book of Acts).

More than 70,000 full-timemissionaries are serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most missionariesare young people under the age of 25, serving in more than 400 missions throughout the world.

Missionaries work with a companion of the same gender during their mission, with the exception of couples, who work with their spouse. Single men serve missions for two years and single women serve missions for 18 months.

Missionaries receive their assignment from Church headquarters and are sent only to countries where governments allow the Church to operate. Missionaries do not request their area of assignment and do not know beforehand whether they will be required to learn a language.

Prior to going to their assigned area, missionaries spend a short period of time at one of 15 missionary training centers throughout the world. There they learn how to teach the gospel in an orderly and clear way and, if necessary, they begin to learn the language of the people they will be teaching. The largest training center is in Provo, Utah, with additional centers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, England, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa and Spain.

Male missionaries are addressed with the title Elder and women are addressed with the title Sister.

A typical missionary day begins by waking at 6:30 a.m.* for personal study.The day is spent proselytizing by following up on appointments, visiting homes or meeting people in the street or other public places. Missionaries end their day by 10:30 p.m.

In some parts of the world, missionaries are sent only to serve humanitarian or other specialized missions. Those missionaries do not proselytize.

Missionary work is voluntary. Missionaries fund their own missions except for their transportation to and from their field of labor and are not paid for their services.

Contacts with family and friends during this time of service are limited to letters and occasional phone calls to family at special times. Missionaries avoid entertainment, parties or other activities common to this age-group as long as they are on their missions, so they can focus entirely on the work of serving and of teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ.

*As of January 2017, missionary schedules and rules are more flexible depending on the culture of the country where missionaries are serving.

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Latter-day Saint Missionary Program - Missionaries Serve ...

Apr 6

Learn About Core Latter-day Saint Beliefs

Representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are often asked whether the Church is becoming more mainstream over time.

If the term mainstream means that Latter-day Saints are increasingly viewed as a contributing, relevant and significant part of society particularly in the United States, where there are now some six million members then, of course, the answer is yes. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, founded in New York State in 1830 with just six members, is today the fourth largest church in the United States by independent estimates.

It follows that its members are found at every level of society in business and agriculture, in education and the sciences, in political parties and in government, in the entertainment industry and in the news media. In fact, people are much more likely to be familiar with individual Latter-day Saints as friends, neighbors and working colleagues than they are with the Church institution itself or with its teachings. This also applies in many other nations outside the United States.

If being described as mainstream means the Church loses the very distinctiveness of the beliefs that are at the heart of its message, the answer is different. While respecting the divergent views of other people of faith, Church leaders want to be clear about the beliefs that help define Latter-day Saints.

The following are some of the more important differences in belief and practice between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Christian churches.


Because Latter-day Saints believe that divine apostolic authority was lost from the earth after the death of the ancient apostles, a restoration of that authority was necessary. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that restoration began in the early 1800s with revelations to the young Joseph Smith.


Among the most important differences with other Christian churches are those concerning the nature of God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Together, these form what is commonly referred to as the Holy Trinity in many churches and as the Godhead by Latter-day Saints.

Modern prophets, continuing revelation and new scriptures

Latter-day Saints believe that God still speaks to humankind, that He has called new apostles and prophets and that revelation flows today as it did anciently. Further, many of those revelations have been formally incorporated into new volumes of scripture. These include the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ; the Doctrine and Covenants, a collection of revelations to Joseph Smith and subsequent presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and the Pearl of Great Price, which includes the writings of Moses and Abraham as well as modern writings of Joseph Smith.

Plan of salvation

Latter-day Saint theology embraces what Church members refer to as the plan of salvation. The topic covers the pre-mortal state of all mankind, the reasons why God created the world, the nature and purpose of our life here and what future awaits us in the next life.

Temples and their purpose

The primary purpose of temple work is to seal or unite families together, with the expectation that those relationships continue beyond death. The same temple rites can be performed for those who have died. There is no counterpart to temple practices in other Christian churches.

Missionary program

This is a difference in practice rather than in doctrinal belief, since many Christian churches send out missionaries to preach the gospel. However, the missionary program of the Church is distinctive and recognizable for the sheer number and distribution of missionaries, for the length and variety of their service, and for their appearance and their preaching of a restored gospel.

Lay ministry

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no full-time professional clergy at the congregational level. Even at the highest levels of the Church, leaders who are called as full-time apostles forsake their more remunerative professions in order to serve a lifetime calling as special witnesses of Jesus Christ and to oversee the Church worldwide.

Health practices

Abstinence from alcohol among religious faiths is not unique to Latter-day Saints. However, among Latter-day Saints abstinence from alcohol is expected to be total, as is the abstinence from tobacco, tea and coffee.

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Learn About Core Latter-day Saint Beliefs

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