Meridian has published over 1,500 original articles in 2013 alone. We’ve totaled up the page views and present to you now the top 25 most viewed articles of the year. The articles that have received the most attention are an interesting reflection on the issues that are most pressing to Latter-Day Saints as a people. Issues like traditional marriage, religious freedom, and women and the priesthood figured prominently this year.

Here are the top 25 most viewed articles on Meridian for 2013:

25) Betrayal and Our Relationship with Church History

by Michael R. Ash

C ChurchHistory

In any relationship, one of the things that seems to cause the most pain and anger is the feeling of betrayal. This same problem can surface in our relationship with the Church. For example, if a member finds information that conflicts with his or her assumptions about Church history, they may feel that the Church has lied. The pain and anger of feeling betrayed may take the leading role in the desire to leave the faith while the original troubling issue or issues may become secondary. A testimony lost at this stage can be hard to restore. What might have been sufficient answers earlier become insufficient once resentment-as a result of presumably being deceived-replaces faith. At this point logic and rationale take a back seat to emotion and answers to the original challenging issues are often met by a litany of other issues

24) Missionary Moment: The Ziggy Ansah Conversion Story

by Mark Albright

C ziggy

The odds of becoming a professional football player in the NFL are literally less than one in a million. I remember as a kid, dreaming of playing professional football. Nothing was going to stop me, even though it was a long shot. I was determined to make it and worked hard to improve my athletic ability as a youth. As I got older and played high school football, I performed very well and was a standout on my team. However, as time went on, the stark reality of being 5’9″ and 165 lbs began to set in, and I realized that I would not play in the National Football League. What I did not realize at the time though, was that I would be part of a story that was even more of a long shot. It would be a story that would not only change my life but also the life of a special individual and millions more who he would have an effect on

23) The Second Coming-What Subject will Monopolize Our Conversation?

By Larry Barkdull

C Second

Maybe you’ve heard that the Second Coming is at hand. Of course we don’t know the hour and we are advised to look forward to many signs before it is upon us, but prudent people believe that preparation is a good idea. The last time the Savior appeared to the world, cataclysmic events ensued. The entire geography of the Nephite and Lamanite nations was altered. Few catastrophes have rivaled that which occurred in the Americas. The Fall of Adam, the division of the continents in Peleg’s day and Noah’s great flood come to mind

22) Satan’s Attack on Women

by Larry Barkdull

C adam eve

Something happened in the Garden of Eden that defined the battlefront of the continuing war between good and evil. What is the battlefront? The woman and her children. They became Satan’s primary targets, which prompted God to set up a safety net

21) Watch Out World! Here Come the Sisters of Zion!

By Janice Kapp Perry

C Perry

“I am pleased to announce that effective immediately, all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school…will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19….I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 19, instead of age 21. . . .” (Thomas S. Monson, General Conference, Oct. 2012)

With those few prophetic words, President Monson seemed to open up a whole new era of enthusiastic missionary service for both young men and young women in the church. ..

20) Al Fox the Tattooed Mormon Pioneer (video)

by Seth Adam Smith

C AlFoxsas

She calls herself “the Tattooed Mormon,” but I call her a modern Mormon pioneer.

Why? Because the story of her conversion so similar to that of the early pioneers…

Although my ancestry is rich with pioneer heritage, I’ve really never known what it’s like to convert to Mormonism. Oh sure, I’ve had my own “conversion” to Mormonism (wherein I had to decide if I really believed in it) but I’ve never really had to pay the price for that conversion; a price previously paid by my pioneer predecessors.

But Al? Al’s a modern Mormon pioneer

19) Honest Jon: Mother’s Day Talks (Cartoon)

by Jon ClarkC cartoonJon

18) The Bulgarian Orphan who Grew up to be a Missionary

by Mark Albright

C Bulgarian

Elder Tavian Alexander Haddock was originally named Slavcho Temenuzhkov Spassov when he was born in the village of Ivaylo, Bulgaria, near the city of Pazardjik. He was later placed in an orphanage some distance away, in Narechensky Bani, and was just five years old when my husband Richard and I adopted him. We had one “homemade” son who was six years old at the time.  Our son Elder Baylor Haddock is now serving in the New York Utica mission

17) Al Fox: How She’s Thrived as the Tattooed Mormon

by Mark Albright

Let me share with you a story that I tell during my firesides that everyone gasps out of shock to.

  An experience that happened to me- due to my appearance- that when I say it everyone reacts the way I did when it happened. Although, truth be told, if it wasn’t me telling the story to them, it could of very well been any of them that did the same thing as this man did

C AlFox1

16) The Superb Mitt Romney

C Mittby Maurine Proctor

It’s been nearly open season to say whatever vile, critical or false thing you want about Mitt Romney and get away with it said Jay Nordlinger in his “The Superb Mitt Romney” published in The National Review

He writes, “What I have heard since Election Day is astonishing. Romney has been turned into something he has never been.”

15) Church Issues Statement Regarding Boy Scouts of America

C BSAby LDS Church

For 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed a strong, rewarding relationship with Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Recently, BSA has been reviewing a possible policy change in its standards for membership and leadership. Now that BSA has finished its review process and has proposed a resolution for consideration, the Church has issued the following statement

14) I am a Mormon Because I am a Feminist

by Valerie Hudson Cassler

C woman well

am a convert to the Mormon Church from Roman Catholicism, and gained my testimony as the result of spiritual experiences that I cannot deny. In this essay, however, I will discuss instead why, as a feminist, I remain a steadfast member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

13) A Response to Miley Cyrus: Where are the Men?

By Geoff Steurer

C MileyCyrusMiley Cyrus, who has appealed to youngsters as Hannah Montana, gave a raunchy exhibitionist display, stripping down to a nude-colored bikini at the MTV Music Video Awards last Sunday. 

“MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials — while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14,” Dan Islett, policy director of the Parents’ Television Council complained. Ironically, Miley’s father, Billy Ray Cyrus is on the Board of Directors for the group

12) 13 Year Old Speaks Up for Need for Mom and Dad at Marriage Celebration

C speakerby Maurine Proctor

On the day that the Supreme Court announced its marriage decisions, considered dismal by advocates of the natural family, many Utahns gathered for a marriage celebration, affirming that they will continue to stand strong


11) The Gladys Knight Conversion Story

by Mark Albright

C GladysK

For several years people have wondered how Grammy Award winning solo artist, Gladys Knight, came to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her fame as lead singer of Gladys Knight and the Pips has brought her millions of fans, many who are curious how the gospel singing diva was introduced to the religion, and how she was converted.

The story begins with Knight’s oldest son- Jimmy Newman, and includes her daughter, husband, and almost inexplicably, R&B sensation R. Kelly

10) The 10 Most Inspirational Movies of the Year

C lifePIby Jonathan Decker

The Academy Awards are happening this weekend, with Hollywood’s celebrities and filmmakers honoring one another’s work. The Oscars focus primarily on artistry, which is important to be sure, but from an eternal perspective is not the most important criteriafor what makes a movie “good.” Films like Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained may be well-made, for example, but an ultraviolent, ultra-profane revenge movie is arguably not an example of the force for good that cinema can be.

In conjunction with the Oscars, I wanted to focus on films from the past year that move audiences to live Christ-like virtues

9) Celebrating Marriage: A Child Speaks Out (Photo Essay)

C CelebrateMarriageby Scot and Maurine Proctor

A crowd came to the Utah State Capitol Rotunda Tuesday night to celebrate marriage, marking the first of two days when the U.S. Supreme Court heard its oral arguments on the marriage cases before it concerning Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. The theme was “Every child deserves a mom and a dad.” Similar celebrations were held in other states across the country

8) 3 Things to Know Before Family Tree Replaces New Family Search

C familyHistoryby Gaylon Findlay

For the last several years, FamilySearch has provided members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with an online family tree that has been referred to as New FamilySearch (NFS). Recently, FamilySearch has announced that it is working on a new program called, “Family Tree,” and they have announced that Family Tree (FT) will someday replace New FamilySearch.

While a date for this replacement has not been announced, the FamilySearch blog reported: “Family Tree is a replacement for what was Access to will be discontinued for all users in the near future.”

7) Survey about LDS Singles Reveals Surprising Results

by Erin Ann McBride

C smilingSingle and married members of the Church see the challenges facing singles in a very different way. In a survey of Church members, singles overwhelmingly provided a few very specific answers, while the married respondents only mentioned those issues a few times, while giving very different responses.

With this disconnect is it any surprise that we, as a general church membership, struggle so much to include and help our single adults? I hope that the following survey results and commentary will help you better understand the needs of the singles, and with that knowledge, create more effective singles programs in your area

6) Why They Malign Orson Scott Card

C EndersGameby Maurine Proctor

Orson Scott Card is at the top of his game. ‘Ender’s Game’, the $100 million motion picture adaptation of his classic, award-winning book, opens this week–a project he has been working on since 1996. You’d think it would be the moment to sit back and enjoy a well-deserved sense of achievement, but not so.

Instead it has been an opportunity for much of the press to malign him and for many, instigated by a group called Geeks Out, to push a boycott of the film. The critics, like a herd, have descended upon Card calling him a host of names

5) The Inequalities of “Equal” Marriage

by Mary Fielding Summerhays

C HappyCoupleThe oft-repeated and oft-unanswered question “How does gay marriage affect you personally?” seems to be a rhetorical trump card. Talking heads in the media rarely have the time in our sound-byte driven news cycle to give a thorough answer to that question. Here I will explore why gay marriage, or the more legal terms of “genderless” or “equal” marriage, affects everybody. It has potential to redefine what it means to be a mother, a father, and a child. It places the rights of natural parents at risk. Genderless marriage may actually affect heterosexuals more than homosexuals, for it dismantles traditional family law and replaces it with a new paradigm of genderless union

4) A Letter to Same Sex Marriage Advocates

by Jim Smith

C Prop8Over the last week I have watched as many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the courts DOMA ruling. Ranging from fond comments on “how far we’ve come” to out right praise of the court; I found the exuberance rather curious.

Following the numerous posts and debates over the subject I found nearly all of the debate missed some very important issues. In  nearly every case the parties were debating the immediate impact of ruling on adults and local laws and no one asked LDS supporters of same sex marriage how they could explain the issue’s theological implications. It is true that many individuals alluded to this issue, but no one really asked the terrible questions which arise when one examines the doctrine of the eternal family in contrast to the impact of temporal same sex marriage.

Here I aim to broach some of these questions as if I were to write a letter to my imaginary cousin

3) An Open Letter to Kate Kelly and Those Pressing for Ordination

C Letterby Maurine Proctor

Dear Kate,

As the co-founder of Ordain Women, you are planning to march with a group of women to the general priesthood meeting of the LDS Church Saturday night to press for entrance. I don’t believe that you think entrance will actually be granted, because your requests for tickets have already been denied, so your motives must be for something else

2) LDS Father Finds Natural Remedy for Mood Disorders

C tonyqby Meridian Magazine

Have you ever suffered with depression, stress or any kind of mood disorder? Have you ever wished for more clarity and brain fitness? Do you, or someone you love, suffer from bipolar disease or other debilitating mental challenge?

If you can answer yes’ to any of these questions, or if life is just getting you down, then the discovery made by an LDS father, Tony Stephan may surprise and astonish you. His situation was desperate because depression, anxiety and bipolar disease racked his family-and he decided he had to do something about it

1) Women and the Priesthood

by D. Kelly Ogden 

C mormonsisI read recently in the Deseret News about a Latter-day Saint woman named Kate Kelly (lifelong member of the Church, BYU graduate, and returned missionary), who, along with her followers, are pressing for entrance into the priesthood session of the LDS Church’s General Conference. She said, “This is an important step toward a future where Mormon women will participate side by side with our brothers in all areas of church leadership and life.”

Sister Kelly, who is an international human rights attorney and co-founder of an effort called “Ordain Women,” explains: “This is about the ordination of women to the priesthood.” She says that she represents “Mormon women seeking equality and ordination to the priesthood.”

Thank you for being our loyal readers and we’re excited for another great year in 2014.

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