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March 29, 2023
  • Please Read This: You Are the Only One Who Supports Meridian

    Editor’s note: Due to a technical difficulty in our merchant processing system yesterday, we were not able to receive any subscriptions until after 6:15 PM Eastern Time. We received many letters from frustrated, would-be-supporters, so, we are running this story and this plea again today. Thank you for your patience–and your support!

    As the Publisher of Meridian Magazine, I have to constantly figure out ways to keep up this wonderful habit (of publishing).  Meridian has been a presence on the Internet for the past 24 years and this past year we reached more than 2,000,000 readers again.  Reaching that many people is not easy and it’s certainly not free, but we do feel like we are making a difference in the world.  Now, in order to continue, we truly need your help.  We need you to become a paid subscriber (please don’t click off). I don’t know if you’ve …

  • Mental Health Minute: The Power in First Times

    As we well know, there are a lot of “first times” in life like starting a new job, going to a new school, going on a mission, getting married, starting a family, becoming empty nesters, having a new church calling, moving to a new neighborhood, and more. These can bring on anxiety and stress. The booklet Adjusting to Missionary Life teaches:

    Stress Is a Normal Part of Life

    As you begin any new experience (like joining the Church or attending a new school), you feel excited about the opportunity—and nervous because you don’t know quite what to expect. Over time you learn to meet these challenges, and you grow in the process.

    Missions are no different. Sometimes a mission feels like a wonderful spiritual adventure—or at least a challenge you can handle. You calmly move forward with faith, realizing that much of the nervousness or worry you experience is temporary.

  • Tabernacle Choir Embraces New Mission, Welcomes International Singers

    The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

    In the eastern Mexican city of Monterrey, Georgina Montemayor Wong has spent weeks preparing her voice with digital recordings and virtual practice sessions in what she describes as a dream come true.

    “It’s just … it’s a dream come true. It’s just like — wow!” expressed Montemayor Wong.

    Like Montemayor Wong, nine other Latter-day Saints in several countries have been practicing since December 2022, when they received news of their selection for a new pilot program launched by the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

    For the first time in its 175-year history, participants living outside the United States will join the Choir during the upcoming 193rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    “I still can’t believe that I’m going to sing with the Choir,” said Montemayor Wong. “We …

  • Updates From Temples in Five Countries

    The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

    The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the open house and dedication dates for the Bangkok Thailand Temple. In addition, groundbreaking dates for the Belo Horizonte Brazil TemplePort Moresby Papua New Guinea Temple and Port Vila Vanuatu Temple have been announced. A rendering of the Cody Wyoming Temple has also been released.

    Bangkok Thailand Temple Open House and Dedication

    The public open house will begin on Friday, September 1, and continue through Saturday, September 16, excluding Sundays. Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will dedicate the Bangkok Thailand Temple on Sunday, October 22, in two sessions, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

    Before the public open house, a media day will be held on Monday, August 28. Invited guests will …

  • Discovering Jesus’ Grace

    Cover image via Gospel Media Library.

    I remember reading a story about an older woman who went to the grocery story almost every day and bought just a few items—about enough food for one person for one day. The clerks thought it odd wondering why she didn’t save trips by buying food for a week. One of the clerks got brave one day when she came in and asked her, “Why do you come in every day and buy just a few things?” The woman sighed. “You might not know that I am a widow. I live with my nephew. And I hate his guts. When I die, I don’t intend to leave him any extra groceries.”

    There it is! The human instinct to withhold any grace or goodness from those we don’t like. This shriveled reluctance is seemingly a part of our natural human wiring. We withhold blessings from …

  • Can AI predict how you’ll vote in the next election?

    Artificial intelligence technologies like ChatGPT are seemingly doing everything these days: writing code, composing music, and even creating images so realistic you’ll think they were taken by professional photographers. Add thinking and responding like a human to the conga line of capabilities. A recent study from BYU proves that artificial intelligence can respond to complex survey questions just like a real human.

    To determine the possibility of using artificial intelligence as a substitute for human responders in survey-style research, a team of political science and computer science professors and graduate students at BYU tested the accuracy of programmed algorithms of a GPT-3 language model – a model that mimics the complicated relationship between human ideas, attitudes, and sociocultural contexts of subpopulations.

    In one experiment, the researchers created artificial personas by assigning the AI certain characteristics like race, age, ideology, and religiosity; and then tested to see if the artificial personas …

  • Is a Long-Distance Relationship for Me?

    When I was an 18-year-old college freshman competing on the speech and debate team for Southern Utah State College, I met an enchanting young girl from another college (Jennifer). We liked each other very much, and she became my first girlfriend. We attended college 500 miles apart, so my very first time being in love was a long-distance relationship.  We sent each other a lot of letters and gifts and met up at debate tournaments on the weekends to spend time together between rounds or after competition.

    I wrote to Jennifer for two years while I served a mission on the opposite side of the world. She was supportive of me and a positive influence on my missionary service. However, when I returned from my mission, a “Dear John” letter awaited me in my parents’ mailbox. Jennifer told me in that letter that she was going to marry someone else. …

  • How Apps Are Helping Latter-day Saints Live and Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ

    The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 18 mobile apps designed to help members live and share Christ’s gospel.

    “The world has really gone mobile in terms of apps, and I think if the Lord is hastening His work, we’ve got to be where technology meets up with people — and that’s clearly in mobile,” said Elder Michael A. Dunn, who serves on the Church’s Communication Executive Council. “The Church will continue to be committed to developing the very best apps that are going to get people the information they need, and central to that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

    Three apps that have seen important updates in recent months are the Book of Mormon app, the Member Tools app and the “Friend” magazine skill for Amazon smart speakers.


  • What the Sermon on the Mount Says about General Conference

    Cover image via Gospel Media Library. 

    It is easy to overlook what the Sermon on the Mount says about General Conference. But it’s there. And—good news!—once you’ve seen it, you won’t be able to unsee it.

    The First Beatitude

    Let’s do a little experiment.

    Try to recall the first beatitude the Lord gave to the Nephites when He delivered the Sermon on the Mount to them. Don’t look it up. Just think for a second.

    Was it “blessed are the peacemakers”? “Blessed are the meek”? How about “blessed are the pure in heart” or, perhaps, “blessed are the merciful”? Could it be “blessed are the poor in spirit”?

    The  answer is actually none of the above. The first beatitude the Lord gave to the Nephites was: “Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen” (3 Nephi 12:1). This appears before …

  • New ‘The Redeemer’ Easter concert celebrates Christ’s life, ministry through sacred music, artwork, video

    The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

    “The Redeemer: An Easter Celebration” is a new Easter concert portraying the life and ministry of the Savior Jesus Christ through sacred music, inspired artwork, video scenes and scripture.

    Produced in Europe by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the hour-long program features violinist Jenny Oaks Baker and narration from Swedish entertainer Louis Herrey. With images of the Savior unfolding in film and art, this Easter celebration of the Lord’s ministry, Atonement and Resurrection is now available, airing on various platforms from Sunday, March 26, through mid-April (some platforms carry a “He Is Risen” title).

    “This is the first time the Church in Europe has produced a concert especially for the Easter season,” said Elder Hans T. Boom, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Europe North Area. “The blending …


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