Top LDS news stories of 2010: Humanitarian aid, temples, missionary work lead the list

Published: Thursday, Dec. 30 2010 5:00 a.m. MST

Worldwide humanitarian relief efforts, temples and missionary work lead the list of noteworthy Mormon-related events of 2010.

In voting among Deseret News editors and writers, the LDS Church's efforts to send aid to countries such as Haiti, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras and others after natural disasters made it this year's top story. At No. 2 were the announcements, groundbreakings and dedications of building temples.

The No. 3 story involved the expansion of missionary work into countries like Angola and Burundi, the formation of a new stake in Uganda and the increase in missions worldwide.

1. Humanitarian aid

During 2010, the LDS Church provided humanitarian assistance and emergency response to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

When a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti and left Port-au-Prince in crumbled ruins last January, the church responded with planes loaded with food, emergency provisions, as well as medical professionals and supplies. The church supplied 600 temporary housing kits and 1,500 tents. Hundreds of homeless also found shelter in the LDS chapels.

In February, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile claimed more than 700 lives and left many more without power, water and food. The church responded with more than 100 tons of food and supplies to impacted areas.

Many were left decimated by flooding, mudslides, a volcano eruption and Tropical Storm Agatha in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras in the spring. The church responded in a timely manner to provide food, clothing and other supplies.

The church shipped an estimated 400,000 pounds of food, blankets and other relief aid in September to flood-ravaged Pakistan. In November, the church also joined with other nongovernmental organizations in response to major cholera outbreaks in Haiti and Papua New Guinea.

2. More temples

The church continued to build temples in 2010.

Temples were dedicated in Vancouver, British Columbia; Gila Valley, Ariz.; Cebu, Philippines; and Kiev, Ukraine. The Laie, Hawaii, temple was rededicated after it was renovated. The church also announced plans to refurbish the Ogden Temple in the near future. The temple in Phoenix was redesigned for a lower height.

Ground was broken on temples in Gilbert, Ariz.; Kansas City, Mo.; Calgary, Alberta; and Brigham City, Utah.

At the October general conference, President Thomas S. Monson announced temples will be built in Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis; Tijuana, Mexico; Urdaneta, Philippines; and Lisbon, Portugal. Plans to build a temple in Payson, Utah, were announced earlier in the year.

The Nigeria Temple was also reopened after a period of civil unrest.

3. Missionary efforts

The church continued to expand its missionary efforts in 2010.

Two African countries — Angola and Burundi — were dedicated for the preaching of the gospel by apostles Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in November.

The first stake was organized in Uganda.

Members of the newly formed Addis Ababa Ethiopia District — two families and two single adults — traveled more than 2,600 miles to Accra, Ghana, to attend the temple for their first time.

Ten new missions were organized in Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico, Philippines and the United States, while 14 other missions in Europe, Asia, Australia, Caribbean and the U.S. were combined with neighboring missions. The total number of missions in the world is now 340.

4. Activities in China

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