Susan McFarland

Worship services at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January will shorten from three hours to two. The announcement was made Saturday to members at the faith’s 188th Semiannual General Conference. Photo by Sopotnicki/Shutterstock
Oct. 6 (UPI) — Shorter church services and home-centered worship are a few changes announced Saturday to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the faith’s 188th Semiannual General Conference.

Beginning in January, worship services will shift from three to two hours. The change comes after a recent emphasis by church leaders to put a greater focus on the responsibility of parents to teach the gospel to their children.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has faced other changes recently. In August, officials changed the church’s style guide to use the its full name instead of shorter substitutes like “Mormon” or “LDS.”

The two-day conference also included remarks Saturday morning by President Dallin H. Oaks, who reiterated the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia and transgender rights.

Oaks also told members to be cautious about information they get on the internet and cautioned against relying on the celebrity opinions.

“When we seek the truth about religion, we should use spiritual methods appropriate for that search,” Oaks said, who also said secular and scientific thinking are “not the whole of life.”

Oaks said the family is traditional, marriage is heterosexual and “gender is eternal,” urging members to oppose current social and legal pressures to retreat from traditional marriage.

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