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LDS Daily’s Top 10 Articles of 2023

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As we approach the conclusion of 2023, we took a look back at some of our most impactful articles throughout the year. Notably, our coverage prominently featured health-related concerns pertaining to Church leaders, alongside reports on natural disasters, notable passings, and narratives concerning prominent figures within the Latter-day Saint community.

10. Elder Holland’s Touching Tribute to His Wife + a Full Recap of Sister Holland’s Funeral

The passing of Sister Patricia Terry Holland in the summer was the first of many notable deaths in 2023, including Sister Kathleen Johnson and President M. Russell Ballard

Warm words and a focus on eternal blessings permeated the touching tributes shared at Sister Holland’s funeral. A full statement from Elder Holland, who was too ill to speak, was read by his son. 

President Russell M. Nelson spoke at the funeral. He said, “We understand that the most important date in Patricia’s life was not her birth date or her death date. Her most important date was June 7, 1963, when she and Jeff were sealed in the St. George Temple. This ordinance sealed them together forever.”

“They have been completely faithful to their promises made to each other and to their Heavenly Father. Their children were born in that covenant and have remained totally faithful to that covenant. Why is all of this so important? Because the very reason the earth was created was so that families could be formed and sealed to each other. Salvation is an individual matter, but exhalation is a family matter. No one can be exalted alone.” 

9. Everything You Need to Know About the Church of Jesus Christ’s Condemnation of Tim Ballard

In September, fans of Tim Ballard and his anti-trafficking organization Operation Underground Railroad were shocked by a direct statement from the Church that condemned Ballard for multiple allegations. 

He currently faces a sexual misconduct lawsuit from five women and the Governor of Utah, Spencer Cox, released a statement supporting a criminal investigation into other allegations regarding Ballard’s business practices. 

8. Church of Jesus Christ Bans ChatGPT for Sacrament Talks

Latter-day Saint Members Asked to Not Use ChatGPT for Sacrament Talks

Our annual April Fools Day piece was inspired by the arrival of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence technologies that have been released in 2023. 

Though satire, many agreed with the theme of the article, encapsulated in this section from the article. 

“We believe this new technology can be beneficial in certain areas, but it can inhibit spiritual growth if relied upon for certain church activities,” the letter released from the Church read. “It is our hope that members will develop their own spiritual growth by diving into scriptures, studying general conference talks, and receiving revelation from the Holy Ghost to prepare for sacred church meetings.”

7. Prospective Latter-day Saint Missionary Dies After Reading Mission Call

Prospective Latter-day Saint Missionary Dies After Reading Mission Call

Liam Mildenstein, a 19-year-old prospective missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away after receiving his mission call. The tragedy touched many members around the world and over $40,000 was raised to help cover funeral expenses. 

No official cause of death was publicly released, but the GoFundMe account started by the family stated Liam fell backwards in shock and that his big heart simply gave out. 

6. “Hymns—for Home and Church” Release Dates Announced, Including Early Release of New Songs

Here's The Most Requested Song for the New Church Hymnbook

The Church announced plans to release “Hymns—for Home and Church” in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French by the end of 2026, with other languages to follow.

“We are pleased to share an update on the anticipated consolidated music collection,” said Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “One way God helps us to feel the Spirit and motivate us to live the gospel of Jesus Christ is through sacred music.”

The new hymnbook has been in production for multiple years; an early release of songs was also announced. 

5. President Russell M. Nelson Injured, Will Not Attend General Conference

President Russell M. Nelson Injured, Will Not Attend General Conference

President Russell M. Nelson announced he would not be able to attend the October 2023 General Conference after suffering a fall, injuring his lower back. 

“This episode has reminded me of the reality that things sometimes change quickly in our lives,” President Nelson said. “This photo of my counselors and me was taken at the celebration of my 99th birthday. Two days later, I fell.”

President Nelson provided a pre-recorded General Conference talk instead

4. Nauvoo Ravaged by Tornado, Latter-day Saints React with Faith & Hope

Nauvoo Ravaged by Tornado, Latter-day Saints React with Faith & Hope

Severe weather pummeled the historic town of Nauvoo, Illinois, Thursday, leading to significant damage in the area, including to the Nauvoo Pageant for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

While initial reports labeled the storm as a tornado, it is now known that the storm was a derecho, a rare type of long-lived wind storm.

Flooding and downed trees have caused a massive power outage as well as damage to homes and cars. According to one email sent a missionary serving in the area, the entire lighting and sound booth equipment, as well as the tents and structures set up for a county fair that precedes the Nauvoo Pageant, were destroyed. 

In the midst of the fearful circumstances, visitors to Nauvoo, youth on a pioneer trek, missionaries, and others, responded with great faith and sought to serve one another. 

3. Popular Rapper Says He Wants to Be Baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Popular Rapper Says He Wants to Be Baptized into Church of Jesus Christ in New Interview

In February, Kentrell Gaulden, known to his fans by his stage moniker YoungBoy Never Broke Again, told Billboard.com he hoped to be baptized.

The missionaries began meeting daily with him and they’d read the Book of Mormon together. Gaulden says he wants to be baptized when he’s able to get his ankle bracelet removed, the timing of which has not yet been determined.

2. Husband Kills Wife, 5 Children, & Mother-in-Law in Apparent Murder-Suicide of Latter-day Saint Family

Husband Kills Wife, 5 Children, & Mother-in-Law in Apparent Murder-Suicide of Latter-day Saint Family

A 42-year-old father and husband from a close-knit town in Utah fatally shot his family in what the police determined to be a murder-suicide. The man, Michael Haight, shot his wife Tausha Haight, their five children—a 17-year-old female, a 12-year-old female, a 7-year-old female, a 7-year-old male, and a 4-year-old male, and his mother-in-law Gail Earl, before turning the gun on himself. The bodies were discovered in their Enoch City home when concerned loved ones asked to do a welfare check on the family when they couldn’t be reached.

1. Church Provides Update on Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s Health

Church Provides Update on Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s Health

After not attending General Conference in April, the Church announced then-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland would be excused from his duties for at least two months due to health issues. This included a COVID-19 diagnosis and kidney dialysis. 

Latter-day Saints rallied in prayer and hope for President Holland, who continued to struggle throughout 2023 as he faced the death of his wife and a new calling as Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with the vacancy created by the death of President M. Russell Ballard. 

Elder Dale G. Renlund shared this personal story about President Holland’s health journey this year. He said: 

“I told President Ballard that the only way President Holland would come back to meaningfully fulfill his Apostolic calling was through divine intervention. Physicians, surgeons, and medicines were not going to do it. Only through God’s blessings would it happen. President Ballard nodded and said, “‘We will just have to keep praying and exercise our faith.'”

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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