2019 Year in Review

2019 was a big year for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Let’s take a look back at the momentous events that occurred this year.

Missions Announced

  • Brazil Recife South
  • Cameroon Yaounde
  • Ecuador Guayaquil East
  • Ethiopia Addis Ababa
  • Mozambique Beira
  • Tanzania Dar es Salaam
  • Texas Austin
  • Texas Dallas East
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa East
  • Guatemala Antigua
  • Perú Limatambo
  • Philippines Antipolo

New Missionary Handbook

In November, the Missionary Handbook was updated. The handbook is important for giving guidance on dealing with a variety of situations and to help them act appropriately.

New Missionary Communication Rules

Missionaries may now communicate with their families on their weekly preparation day (P-day) via text messages, online messaging, phone calls, and video chat in addition to letters and emails.

Argentina Missionary Training Center Closes

The Buenos Aires Argentina MTC closed its doors in July of 2019. Missionaries who would have attended this center will be trained in the Mexico and Brazil MTCs.

Temples Announced

  • Pago Pago American Samoa
  • Okinawa City Okinawa
  • Neiafu Tonga
  • Tooele Valley Utah
  • Moses Lake Washington
  • San Pedro Sula Honduras
  • Antofagasta Chile
  • Budapest Hungary
  • Freetown Sierra Leone
  • Orem Utah
  • Port Moresby Papua New Guinea
  • Bentonville Arkansas
  • Bacolod Philippines
  • McAllen Texas
  • Cobán Guatemala
  • Taylorsville Utah

Temple Rededications

Oakland, California Temple image via. ldschurchtemples.com

New Temples Dedicated

Temple Renovations Announced

Temple Recommend Questions Updated

In the October 2019 General Conference, President Nelson announced changes to the Temple Recommend interview questions.

New Witness Policy for Baptisms and Sealings

In October, the First Presidency announced that:

  1. Any member holding a current temple recommend, including a limited-use recommend, may serve as a witness to a proxy baptism.

2. Any endowed member with a current temple recommend may serve as a witness to a living or proxy sealing.

3. Any baptized member of the Church, including children and youth, may serve as a witness to the baptism of a living person

First-year of Come, Follow Me

A new program was put in place in 2019 called Come, Follow Me, which encouraged personal scripture study, family scripture study, and home evening discussions.

New Book of Mormon Videos

Book of Mormon videos
Nephi (Jackson VanDerwerken) leads his family through the wilderness during shooting of the second season of the Book of Mormon Video Library project on set near Springville, Utah, June 2018. / Newsroom

The Church released a new series of Book of Mormon videos in 2019. The first two seasons are out now and the third is being filmed.

First-year of Two-hour church

Everyone’s prayers were answered when Elder Cook announced the new two-hour church block. 2019 was the first year it was implemented and was received well.

No More Especially For Youth (EFY) conference

The BYU youth program, Especially For Youth (EFY), will no longer be available. In its place, a new For the Strength of Youth (FSY) program will be implemented. The new program will allow for more global participation.

Changes to Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women classes

Young Men presidencies are no more! Bishops now lead and mentor the youth. Young Women classes will no longer be referred to as Beehives, Mia Maids, and Laurels. Young Women presidents will remain and will report directly to the bishop.

New Young Women Theme

The new Young Women theme was announced by Sister Cordon. It is listed below in its entirety:

I am a beloved daughter of heavenly parents, with a divine nature and eternal destiny.

As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I strive to become like Him. I seek and act upon personal revelation and minister to others in His holy name.

I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places.

As I strive to qualify for exaltation, I cherish the gift of repentance and seek to improve each day. With faith, I will strengthen my home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, and receive the ordinances and blessings of the holy temple.

Seminary Program Change

Beginning in January 2020, the seminary curriculum and schedule will match that of Come, Follow Me.

Retiring “Mutual”

The word “Mutual” will be retired and will become “Young Women activities,” “Aaronic Priesthood quorum activities,” or “youth activities.” These activities will be held weekly where possible. However, Mutual, the dating app, is still going strong.

President Nelson’s Birthday

Members around the world were invited to celebrate President Nelson’s 95th birthday. The event took place in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, September 6th, and was broadcasted around the world.

Apostles Take a Historic Trip to Rome

This trip was monumental because it was the first time in Church history that all 15 leaders have gathered in one location outside the United States — and the first group photo taken in two decades.

New Members of the Seventy

New Sunday School Presidency Announced

Announcement of the Monumental April 2020 General Conference

President Nelson’s cliff-hanger at the October 2019 general conference left members with a desire for April general conference to HURRY UP AND GET HERE ALREADY! April 2020 general conference “will be different from any previous conference” because it “will commemorate the very foundations of the restored gospel.”

Related: 5 Things All of Us Should Relearn Before the Special April 2020 General Conference

Stance on Conversion Therapy

The Church reiterated its stance on conversion therapy during controversial Utah Psychologist Licensing Act Rule.

Statement on Refugees

The First Presidency released a statement regarding the church’s stance on refugees following media inquiries.

Statement on Word of Wisdom

Church leaders have clarified that the use of vaping or e-cigarettes, green tea, and coffee-based products, as well as opioid and marijuana use, are all against the Word of Wisdom.

No Wait for Temple Marriage for Civilly Married Couples

Couples who participate in a civil marriage between a man and a woman no longer have to wait a year to be married (or sealed) in a temple.

What a year it has been! What was your favorite moment of 2019?