Changes made since Russell Nelson became president of the Latter-day Saints church

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Since Russell M. Nelson became president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January of 2018, members have done their best to keep up with the many “big” announcements made.

In light of the reversal of the controversial LGBTQ ‘apostasy’ policy, we put together a list of the announcements and changes made since President Nelson became president of the Church.  

Let’s start two-hour church! That’s one many members of the Church were excited about.

In October 2018, President Nelson announced that beginning in 2019, the Church will begin supporting what church officials call “a new home-centered curriculum.

In this change, Sunday church meetings are now 60 minutes followed by a 50-minute class which alternates between Sunday school on first and third Sundays. Primary is held weekly while Priesthood Quorums, Relief Society, and Young women are now held on the second and fourth Sundays.

The discontinuing of major church pageants. Many were sad about this one.

The Church announced that only three of the seven pageants will continue. Namely, The Nauvoo Pageant, The Mesa pageant, and the British Pageant. The Church said the goal of this change was to “ensure that all activities in the Church increase faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”

Sister missionaries can now wear dress pants. Those sisters that ride bikes don’t have to worry about the awkwardness of riding in a skirt.

In December of 2018, the First Presidency of the Church updated the dress and grooming standards for missionaries. All sister missionaries now have the option of wearing slacks. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Adjustment to the missionary dress and grooming standards have changed over time since the beginning of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in 1830 and will continue to do so in the future”

Wording and certain details in the temple worship were adjusted.

On January 2, 2019, the First Presidency issued a statement on temples. Part of that statement says, “Over these many centuries, details associated with temple work have been adjusted periodically, including language, methods of construction, communication, and record-keeping. Prophets have taught that there will be no end to such adjustments as directed by the Lord to His servants.”

New missions were announced, and boundaries were realigned

Four new missions were also announced on January 2, 2019, and 12 others in neighboring missions were dissolved. The Church says those changes are set to take place July 1 which will make the total number of missions worldwide come to 399.

Changes were also made to Young men priesthood ordination, youth temple recommends and primary progression.

The Church announced in December 2018 that beginning in January 2019, “children will complete Primary and begin attending Sunday School and Young Men and Young Women as age groups, not as individuals following their 12th birthdays.”

They also added that young men will be eligible to be ordained to a priesthood office in January of the year they turn 12,14, and 16. Youth will also be eligible to get a limited-use temple recommend beginning in January of the year they turn 12.

MOTAB no mo! The church announced a revision to the name for their official choir.

After president Nelson’s call to refrain from using the nickname of the church “Mormon,” The Mormon Tabernacle choir changed their name to “The tabernacle choir at Temple Square

Mission calls just got techy! Mission calls are now posted online

The Church announced that missionaries will now receive their calls online. This announcement came in September 2018.

This one is taking some getting used to. President Nelson made an emphasis to call The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by its full name.

The Church issued a statement from President Nelson in August 2018 on the name of the Church.

In the statement, he said, “The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will. In recent weeks, various Church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so. Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months.”

The Church’s website is also changing to reflect this new emphasis. Instead of LDS.org, it will now become ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

New guidelines were established for youth bishop interviews.

The First Presidency sent out a signed letter to general and local church leaders establishing new guidelines for bishop interviews with youth.

In the letter, they said, “Leaders who conduct interviews with youth should “prepare themselves spiritually to be guided by the Holy Ghost and are encouraged to carefully review the guidelines for interviews and counseling,”

The updated guidelines also say, “If a youth desires, he or she may invite a parent or another adult to be present when meeting with the bishop or one of his counselors.”

New updates are coming to the Church Hymnbook and children’s songbook.

The Church announced on June 18 plans to publish new editions of the Hymn and the Children’s songbook.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “We desire to offer a consistent core collection of hymns and songs in every language that reflects the diverse needs of the global Church in our day.”

The Church cut ties with Boy Scouts at the end of 2019 and create a new children and youth development program.

In a statement released by the church on May 8, 2018, they said the church will conclude its relationship as a charted organization with all Scouting programs around the world starting December 31, 2019.

In the statement, they also said, “This new approach is intended to help all girls and boys, young women and young men discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills, and fulfill their divine roles as daughters and sons of God.”

The reconstruction of Priesthood Quorums.

President Nelson announced changes to the structure of priesthood quorums during the priesthood session of the 188th General conference of the Church.

President Nelson said, “In each ward, the high priests and the elders will now be combined into one elders’ quorum. This adjustment will greatly enhance the capacity and ability of men who bear the priesthood to serve others.”

More temples to dot the world. President Nelson announced 19 new temples. 

In the April and October 2018 General Conference sessions, President Nelson announced 19 new temples in some big places. The temple announced will be built in:

  1. Mendoza, Argentina
  2. Salvador, Brazil
  3. Yuba City, California
  4. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  5. Praia, Cape Verde
  6. Yigo, Guam
  7. Puebla, Mexico
  8. Auckland, New Zealand
  9. Lagos, Nigeria
  10. Davao, Philippines
  11. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  12. Washington County, Utah
  13. Salta, Argentina
  14. Bengaluru, India
  15. Managua, Nicaragua
  16. Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
  17. Layton, Utah
  18. Richmond, Virginia
  19. A major city yet to be determined in Russia

Changes to seminary program.

Starting January 2020, the Church says students enrolled in the seminary program will study the same book of scripture used in the Church’s Come Follow Me study outline for the year. 

Are you “eating your vitamin pills”? President Nelson says there is more to come. 

He said in an interview, “We’re witnesses to a process of restoration,” said the prophet. “If you think the Church has been fully restored, you’re just seeing the beginning. There is much more to come. … Wait till next year. And then the next year. Eat your vitamin pills. Get your rest. It’s going to be exciting.”

Let us know if there is anyone we missed. 

Learn more about the changes made since President Nelson became prophet here.

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