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Reddit user janessajames
Janessa James, a senior at Brigham Young University, has gone viral after posting a hilarious photo on the social media site Reddit.

Sometimes, trending news hits home with Deseret News readers.

From a BYU senior's antics going viral through Reddit to an elephant and a goose duking it out at Hogle Zoo, trending news was alive and vibrant this year in Utah. A television star's photo of Mormon missionaries, as well as one lawmaker’s plan to split California into three states, also piqued a lot of interest in the Beehive State.

We shared these stories with our readers through links to social media or other publications, and each were among the most read on DeseretNews.com. Here are the top trending stories for 2017.

Your favorite actor from 'The Office' just posted an Instagram photo of two LDS sister missionaries

Mitchell Haaseth, NBC/Deseret News Archives
Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute in NBC's "The Office."

Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight Shrute on “The Office,” shared a photo of Mormon missionaries on social media.

Wilson received almost 35,000 Likes on Instagram from the post.

"I was visited by some very nice Mormon missionary sisters this morning," Wilson wrote.

Read more at the Deseret News.

BYU senior named 'bridesmaid of the year' after she shares hilarious bridal photo on Reddit

Reddit user janessajames
Janessa James, a senior at Brigham Young University, has gone viral after posting a hilarious photo on the social media site Reddit.

BYU senior Janessa James made national headlines after jumping out of her friend’s wedding photo. James published the mistaken photo to Reddit, which instantly went viral with nationwide media coverage.

The moment occurred when the photographer asked James to lift her friend's train.

“It was so cold that day. I knelt in the snow and hid under the veil,” she said. “Eventually I dove into a bunch of leaves trying to get the floating dress look.”

Read more at the Deseret News.

Don't fall for the 'Secret Sister' gift exchange. It's totally illegal.

Adobe Stock
The faux holiday gift-giving exchange “Secret Sister” has returned to social media this year. The hoax trend first made headlines back in 2015.

A social media post called “Secret Sister” started circulating online again this holiday season.

The scam asks people to spend money on gifts they’ll never receive.

But multiple articles from the past few years have pointed out that the gift-giving exchange is actually a hoax. The Better Business Bureau even called it a "typical pyramid scheme."

Read more at the Deseret News.

This plan to split California into three states just 'cleared its first hurdle'

A screenshot of the proposed split of California.

A proposal to split California into three separate states made national headlines in October.

Billionaire Timothy C. Draper submitted paperwork for the ballot proposition, which would divide the Golden State into three states — Southern California, Northern California and California.

“No one can argue that California’s government is doing a good job governing or educating or building infrastructure for its people,” Draper told The New York Times. “And it doesn’t matter which party is in place.”

Read more at the Deseret News.

An elephant and a goose at Utah's Hogle Zoo battle it out in viral video

YouTube Melanie Stevens
YouTube user Melanie Stevens shared a video of an elephant and a goose standing off near a stream of water.

What would a trending stories list be without some fun? A video from Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City showed an elephant and a goose facing off.

YouTube user Melanie Stevens shared the video, which showed an elephant and a goose standing off beside a stream of water. The elephant eventually tosses water onto the goose.

Read more at the Deseret News.

Watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing 'Happy Birthday' to Star Wars director

Screenshot, Steve Kuykendall Facebook
After Music and the Spoken Word this morning, the choir sang happy birthday to Rian Johnson, the director of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which hit theaters this weekend.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir decided to honor "The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson by singing happy birthday to him.

Oh, and Johnson later retweeted the video.

Screenwriter Ted Griffin (“Ocean’s Eleven") shared the moment with Johnson via Facetime.

“This is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I have no idea how he pulled this off, but I highly recommend everyone have a friend in their life like Ted Griffin,” Johnson wrote in his tweet.

Read more at the Deseret News.

Elizabeth Smart shares family photo in Mother's Day post

Elizabeth Smart Instagram
Elizabeth Smart praised her children and her mother in a Mother’s Day Instagram post over the weekend.

Back on Mother's Day, Elizabeth Smart shared a photo of her family that gained instant attention from Deseret News readers.

Smart wished all of her followers a happy Mother's Day, saying she was grateful for having the chance to be a mother.

“Grateful for Matthew giving me two beautiful children, grateful to my Mom for being the best mom I could ever ask for, grateful to all the strong women who have impacted my life so much!” she wrote.

Read more at the Deseret News.

New York Times highlights LDS bride who planned wedding in 5 days

In an article from The New York Times, one LDS bride writes about planning her wedding in five days.

One LDS bride planned her wedding in five days, which led to her being featured by The New York Times.

Emily Hardman said she and her husband had "constraints with their jobs," according to the Deseret News, so they worked over a five-day period to make their wedding happen.

“With each social expectation for weddings,” she wrote in the article, “I asked myself: 'Does this achieve the goal of making the people at my wedding feel loved and appreciated for the role they play in my life? Will it help strengthen my marriage and the promises we made to each other?' If the answer was no, I didn’t waste any more time.”

Read more at the Deseret News.

Forbes holds up Mormon couple's multimillion-dollar business as prime example of bootstrapping

A multimillion-dollar company started by Kory and Mallory Stevens of Provo was recently highlighted in a Forbes article offering business tips.

Forbes featured Mormon couple Kory and Mallory Stevens earlier this year, highlighting how the couple rose from their bootstraps to create Taft Clothing.

"How exactly did a married couple with no e-commerce expertise get to 30K+ customers and $5M+ in annual revenue from their living room?" Forbes wrote. "These essential bootstrapping rules were extracted from the Taft playbook — and you should consider adding them to yours."

Kory Stevens, a BYU graduate, started the business in hopes of spending more time with his family.

The Forbes article also shared tips on how to build your business from the ground up.

Read more at the Deseret News.

'Conan' gives BYUtv's 'Studio C' high praise

Stacey Harkey and Matt Meese of BYUtv's "Studio C" sat down with Conan O'Brien last night.

It's not every day Conan O'Brien gives you a shoutout.

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But BYUtv's "Studio C" appeared on "Conan" back on Feb. 8, and the comedian praised "Studio C" for how they present comedy.

“You do clean comedy. It’s for families in an era where maybe that wouldn’t be so popular, but I’ve noticed as a former sketch writer myself, the sketches are very well-constructed. You guys do a really nice job. They’re well put together and it’s good comedy and I like that my kids like it because the sketches have a beginning, middle and end, and they’re often very clever,” O’Brien said.

Read more at the Deseret News.