This has been a great year for Meridian with many powerful, influential and moving articles published. Our writers are not afraid to handle sensitive topics and talk about critical issues. You readers are the voters by your reading the articles. The following are the most read articles of this past year, 2022. You will want to scroll through every one and see the most read article of the year! Thanks for your loyal readership!
When I Thought the Church Had Failed Me
by Kimberly White
The first time The Church let me down, I was just a youth. I had a longstanding difficult relationship that had advanced from “difficult” to abusive. It was severely damaging my happiness and self-esteem; I had recurrent nightmares and fantasies of self-harm, but I was too young to know what to do. So, at different times I tried to explain my situation to my bishop and youth leaders. One night, alone in my room, I offered a sincere prayer of pleading to my Father in Heaven. I remembered a lesson I had had in Young Women about using the scriptures to get answers to prayer, and told the Lord I was going to open my scriptures (this was back in the paper scriptures days) and asked him to help me open them to a passage that would tell me what to do. When, hoping against hope, I opened those pages, I saw that I had turned to a scripture I did not recognize and had never heard of.
What the “Mother in Heaven” Gospel Topics Essay Teaches Us About Our Eternal Mother
by Jessica Woodbury
“We know nothing more about our Mother in Heaven than that she exists.” I have heard or read some iteration of this comment over and over again from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This lack of knowledge that many members have about our Heavenly Mother and lack of belief that there is anything more we can learn is one reason why she is so infrequently mentioned in our wards and congregations. If we do not know anything about Her, then what would there be to say?
Angels that Intervene with Children
By Anne Hinton Pratt
Some of the most beautiful and touching stories told are those about angels protecting children. Several months ago, I shared several of these in an article. I’ve since received additional amazing and inspiring experiences from readers like you that you’ll want to feast on.
Are Church Members More Divided than Ever Before?
By Richard Eyre
We seem to live in a day of widening divisions and polarization within the world, within our country, and even within the Church. I know of family members who don’t speak to each other because of their deeply-held differing opinions on certain issues of the day. Some have even stopped attending church meetings because of the conflicts they feel there.
What Can We Learn From Ancient Sacred Temple Clothing?
By Donald W. Parry
A few years ago, in Southern California, a couple informed their Stake President “that their first temple experience overwhelmed them because they didn’t understand the experience.” They were especially perplexed about the sacred temple clothing—why sacred clothing? And what does it all mean? However, when they toured a life-sized replica of the Tabernacle of Moses in Huntington Beach, California, and a docent described the sacred clothing of the ancient high priest, as presented on a mannequin, they changed their view of our present-day temples and their own first temple experience.
Draping Yourself in a Rainbow Flag Doesn’t Help Me Feel Loved
by Jeff Bennion
Some time ago, I had lunch with a member of a stake presidency from the northwest. Once he learned that I experienced same-sex attraction, in an attempt to demonstrate his bona fides as an “ally,” he got out his phone and showed me pictures of himself draped in a rainbow flag and attending a Pride march. In his attempt to build a bridge and show that he understood me and advocated for me, he inadvertently demonstrated the opposite, since I don’t identify with the Pride flag and see some deep conflicts in Pride festivities in relation to my own faith and convictions.
Three Prominent Themes that Emerged this General Conference
by Mariah Proctor
Because the Spirit communicates with us personally, in a way that addresses our specific concerns and needs directly, we sometimes come away from the same General Conference with differing perceptions of what was emphasized and discussed. Within the first three or four talks, it already felt to me that the speakers had coordinated and picked a very distinct theme, though, of course, that is not how these things are done. As conference went on, other themes emerged. In the end, three stood out most strongly to me as organizing categories that the thoughts from so many inspired men and women fell into.
A Crucial Lesson from the Brother of the Prodigal Son
By Larry Barkdull
How many people, trapped by sin or the urgency of their circumstances, helplessly flounder about while inside they are silently screaming? How should we react when we perceive that a person is in misery? Jesus gave us the answer in the account of the Prodigal son’s brother.
Refuting a False Charge about Joseph Smith
By Robert Starling
Let’s address one of the elephants in the room. Like many of you readers, someone close to me has stopped attending or participating in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If asked “why?”, one of the reasons some give, of late, is, “Joseph Smith could not have been a prophet of God, because he was a pedophile. Didn’t he ‘marry’ and have sex with lots of young girls? And maybe that just proves that all religion is baloney, that Jesus wasn’t God’s son, and in fact there really isn’t any God at all”.
What NOT to say to a Woman in the Church: A Man’s Guide.
By Kimberly White
I believe that most of you men who read this article have great respect for women and their unique strengths and roles. I do not believe there is systemic sexism in the Church and I have a powerful witness that our General Authorities are leading the Lord’s Church in His way, and that the priesthood differences between men and women in this mortal church are ordained by the Lord himself. I beg you not to misinterpret my remarks as criticism of the Church and its administrative priesthood. However, my brothers in the gospel, I do want to say that when it comes to issues of gender, this is not your baby.
Betrayal at BYU?
by Ralph Hancock
“[S]ome people in the extended community are feeling abandoned and betrayed by BYU. It seems that some professors … are supporting ideas that many of us feel are contradictory to gospel principles… Several parents … no longer want to send their children here or donate to the school.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland read these words from a letter he had received to an annual conference of all BYU faculty, administration, and staff on August 23, 2021. Elder Holland went on discuss the Church’s doctrine of marriage and family as a critical area of concern and cited then Elder Oaks and Elder Maxwell on the need for BYU faculty, like Nauvoo temple workers who had to defend as well as build, to take up intellectual “muskets” in defense of the Restored Gospel.
The Shortages are Just the Start: Here’s What You Can Do Right Now to Prepare
by Carolyn Nicolaysen
In October of 2019, I published article about preparing for a pandemic. I heard it was fear mongering and that medicine had come too far for a pandemic to happen on the scale of the 1918 disaster. In March of last year, I began writing about runaway inflation. This warning came long before the media was discussing this topic. We understood the seriousness of the situation because as exporters we deal with the ports on a daily basis. Because we export food, we also recognized crop shortages long before they became common knowledge and the inability to economically import foods. The time has come to issue another warning.
The Irish Legend That Led Me to the Gospel
by Stephen Kenny
I am a convert to our faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and was baptized as an adult, only after many years of searching and after having learned of the beautiful and ancient truths revealed through the restoration. I am so grateful for the personal mercies received and for the heavenly direction throughout that long journey, and I am very grateful for my Heavenly Father who guided me and spoke to me according to my own language and understanding (2 Nephi 31:3), and who prepared the way long before I even knew I was on it.
Joseph Smith’s photo discovered by descendant after nearly 180 years
By Meridian Magazine
Marooned in their homes, many Americans made the best of the early days of the pandemic by sorting through old boxes of family artifacts. One Saturday morning in March 2020, Dan Larsen and his wife were doing just that when they discovered the world’s only verified photographic image of Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr.
A Moving Cry from Ukrainian Latter-day Saints
by Meridian Magazine
The following note was sent to us from a senior missionary currently serving in Germany, where refugees from Ukraine are already starting to pour in. Though the letter was referring to prayers and fasting on fast Sunday yesterday, we post it here with the suggestion that prayer and fasting in regards to this dire situation is needed on an ongoing basis and should not be reserved for that one day of the month.
What You Didn’t Hear About the LGBT Pamphlet at BYU
by Cassandra Showell Hedelius
BYU unquestionably made the right choice to remove an LGBT “resource pamphlet” from freshman welcome bags, but the public doesn’t understand why. Reporting has sympathetically portrayed student activists and their purported good motives, but failed to detail their disturbing and harmful recommendations.
Why the new “trendy” way to pay tithing undermines the spiritual power tithing promises
By Joel Campbell
There’s a new troubling trend emerging promoted by a national Latter-day Saint columnist and others with large followers on social media. It’s becoming trendy in some circles to take on this approach as acceptable alternative tithes to that required of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Let’s call it “trendy tithing.”
Jacob’s Answer to Parental Despair: The Olive Tree and the Antichrist
By Joseph Grenny
In the past seven years I have loved and lost hundreds of precious sons and daughters. And I have seen inexplicable miracles in the lives of hundreds more. I know what it means to have “joy and great hopes… that they would walk in the paths of righteousness” on one day, and to feel the searing agony of seeing them throw it all away on the next. Through it all I’ve learned that almost all losses are temporary, and that much of my parental misery comes from my misunderstanding of redemptive labor.
Come Follow Me Podcast
By Scot and Maurine Proctor
We have done more than 200 podcasts on the Come Follow Me lessons and you have been our beloved listeners. Thank you for making this such a major part of Meridian Magazine!
Are We Losing?: A Gospel Perspective on Imperfect Families
By Joseph Grenny
A 91-year-old friend recently called with an urgent plea for help making sense of the circumstances of her posterity. She listed how many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren suffered from sexual or drug addictions, rejected the Church after declaring themselves L, G, B, T, or Q, or lost their testimonies for various reasons. She concluded her spiritual census with despair, “Is there any hope?”
Robert David StarlingDecember 30, 2022
WOW! Thanks VERY much for this list. It's great to see what interests other readers the most, and I'd missed a number of these great articles that I can now go back and read.