On the 24 January 2017 the First Presidency distributed a letter to all General and local leadership down to the Bishop/Branch President level. It stated:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
During the next few years, the Church will enter a period of significant anniversaries of major Church history events. The Church will not be commemorating these anniversaries at the general level. However, stake and ward leaders may choose to commemorate some of them at the local level.
We ask that any local commemorations not place undue burdens on leaders and members.
The First Presidency
This came to me as a bit of a surprise. I recall a number of historical commemorations in my early years in the Church.
Over 25 years ago prior to the sesquicentennial celebrations of the arrival of the pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley, the First Presidency said to priesthood leaders: “We are giving advance notice of activities and events scheduled for 1997 to help you plan early to allocate local resources and funds for sesquicentennial activities”.
It would appear that we are now in a very different place.
The letter from the First Presidency did not specify any particular events, however it did give a timeline of “the next few [2 or 3?] years”. In thinking about the events that we are likely to see over that period of time, I can think of the following:
175th Relief Society
40th Priesthood and Temple Ban
200th First Vision
So why has the Church issued this decree?
Answer – If I was being kind
Being a relatively young church, it might be argued that the LDS tradition is maturing by not commemorating every historical event, particularly at the general level. Being an international church, there are many things to celebrate in many countries.
Answer – If I was being harsh
Historical issues have copped a beating in the media recently and the Church doesn’t want any undue attention on these issues.
So, how would you answer this question??