Throughout 2021, Church News videos documented the news of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as leaders, members and missionaries as they have served and ministered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below is a list of Church News videos published this year. For a look at the Inside Church Headquarters councils series and documentary, see this page.
1. A Nation of Prayer | President M. Russell Ballard
Speaking to a crowd of 12,000 in Worcester, Massachusetts, in October 2019, President M. Russell Ballard encouraged his listeners to pray for the United States, its leaders and families.
The invitation from the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gained new relevance one day after the House and Senate certified the electoral vote in the United States on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. Capitol was locked down as protesters clashed with police. Protesters breached the Capitol in the riot that left one dead, disturbed lawmakers and damaged government property.
“My dear brothers and sisters, our nation was founded on prayer, it was preserved by prayer, and we need prayer again,” President Ballard said in 2019. “I plead with you this evening to pray for this country, for our leaders, for our people, and for the families that live in this great nation founded by God.”
2. The First Three Years | Sister Wendy Nelson
President Russell M. Nelson, 96, was set apart as the 17th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Jan. 14, 2018. The leader of almost 17 million Latter-day Saints worldwide has traveled extensively, changed Church organization, utilized technology, issued historic invitations and built bridges of understanding.
“This is a man on a mission for the Lord,” said his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson. “He is undaunted. He is optimistic. He really does believe the best is yet to come.”
3. Is The Temple In Us? | David A. Bednar
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks about temple construction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, as temples worldwide were closed or ordinances were limited, the Church broke ground for 21 temples.
“Obviously, there were construction disruptions because of the pandemic, but relatively few of those temples are behind schedule,” said Elder Bednar, who chairs the Church’s Temple and Family History Executive Council. “I find that to be just absolutely miraculous.”
4. Eternal Perspective | President M. Russell Ballard
One year after the COVID-19 pandemic intensified, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks about living through hard times.
“This is going to pass,” he says of the worldwide pandemic. “If we’re anchored to Jesus Christ, we will be happy, we will be secure, and we will be helpful.”
5. Sacred Things | Quentin L. Cook
As the Lord has hastened His work in recent years, revelation has guided the creation and implementation of new initiatives and directives, said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Those inspired efforts now form “an interlocking pattern of strength” that has sustained and supported members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the COVID-19 pandemic.
6. First Three Years | President Russell M. Nelson
A Church News 20-minute documentary, “President Russell M. Nelson: The First Three Years,” highlights President Nelson’s worldwide ministry, his outreach to world government and religious leaders, his focus on the rising generation, and his efforts to build temples — even during a pandemic.
7. Back To The Future | Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated across the world in early 2020, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints turned their attention to the safety of 62,000 full-time missionaries. Facing increasing health risks and nations about to close their borders, wherever necessary Church leaders began returning missionaries to their home nations.
“We might have been surprised, but God was not,” said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Church’s Missionary Executive Council.
8. Prayerful Foresight | President Russell M. Nelson
Thinking about the “hardy pioneers who labored and sacrificed” to build the Manti Utah Temple, President Russell M. Nelson announced on May 1 plans to preserve the “pioneer craftsmanship, artwork and character” of the temple and to construct a second temple in the area in Ephraim, Utah.
“These decisions will expand future opportunities for members in this temple district to participate in sacred temple ordinances and at the same time, allow us to preserve the unique classical character and useful life of the historic Manti Utah Temple,” he said.
9. Sacred Ground | Elder Quentin L. Cook
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Nauvoo Temple District — an area with historic homes, landscapes and pavilions located just west of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple — on Saturday, May 29.
“There is something about Nauvoo that just really touches my heart, so I am happy to be back,” said Elder Cook. “I love the history. I love the ancestors. I love the houses. I love everything about it. But the temple is really what gives it the meaning doctrinally and is special.”
10. Be Of Good Cheer | Quentin L. Cook
From December 1838 to April 1839 the Prophet Joseph Smith was unjustly confined to Liberty Jail in Missouri. While incarcerated, Joseph pled with the Lord on behalf of the suffering Latter-day Saints; the Lord’s answer is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 121.
On May 28, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Liberty Jail — where he reflected on the life and teachings of Joseph Smith and read from the Doctrine and Covenants.
“I think in the end, this is a place where we recognize the depths of the hardships and yet the sacredness of the Doctrine and Covenants sections,” said Elder Cook. “The revelations that came to him are powerful and bless us and give us hope. What a remarkable history, what a remarkable blessing it is to us.”
11. Poor Wayfaring Man | Elder Quentin L. Cook
The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum Smith, were killed by a mob on June 27, 1844 — sealing their testimonies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with their lives.
As Latter-day Saint missionaries serving at the historic site in Carthage, Illinois, sing the hymn “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief,” Elder Cook and his wife, Sister Mary Cook, turn their thoughts to Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
12. Religious Liberty | Elder Quentin L. Cook
Prominent faith and thought leaders gathered on the University of Notre Dame campus on June 28-29, for the inaugural Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit. In this Church News video, titled “Religious Liberty,” Catholic, Pentecostal and Latter-day Saint leaders speak about the power of religion and the necessity to defend religious liberty in a manner that protects people of diverse faith, as well as those of no faith.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says there are threats to religious freedom today.
13. A companion’s blessing
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of missionary training centers worldwide in March 2020, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints transitioned its training of new missionaries to online instruction often referred to as “home MTC.”
The online training originated from the Church’s 10 MTCs worldwide, with missionaries meeting their companions, instructors and other new missionaries in classroom groups or “districts.”
With MTCs resuming on-site training, most new missionaries will begin their training online at home for a third of their training, then travel to an MTC for the remaining two-thirds of their training. The phased approach allows missionaries to continue to experience many of the positive elements of online training that have been realized during the pandemic period of training new missionaries.
14. Worthy Of The Temple | President Russell M. Nelson
As he inspected the renovation and preservation efforts currently underway on the Salt Lake Temple, President Russell M. Nelson used three words: “massive, amazing and inspiring.”
It is thrilling to see the work of craftsmen who can make the temple strong and firm while preserving its history, he explained.
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