During the week of June 12-18, a Church News article explained how Church leaders' travel looks different after the pandemic. Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles broke ground for second temple in Cache Valley, Utah. And a NYC interfaith commission participated in BYU’s religious freedom review with Elder Cook.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited the current set of the Book of Mormon Videos at the Motion Picture Studio in Provo, Utah, to meet with some of the cast and crew of season five. Sister leaders representing the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary general organizations of the Church ministered in Mexico. And Young Men General President Steven J. Lund and Sister Rebecca L. Craven of the Young Women general presidency joined the Church News podcast to discuss how FSY conferences can strengthen the faith of the rising generation.
FamilySearch announced RootsTech 2023 will be virtual and in person. Brigham Young University’s Courtney Wayment — the newly crowned collegiate steeplechase national champion — spoke with the Church News about how her current success has been a “team” effort incorporating her faith, her family and her Cougar coach and teammates. And severe flooding at Yellowstone National Park affected Latter-day Saints and their neighbors.
Find summaries and links to these nine stories below.
1. ‘Go ye into all the world’
“This is not the Church of close to a million members that I was born into,” said President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of the Church. "This is a Church 17 times larger, and within the lifetime of those we are teaching, it will be many times larger than that.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, President Oaks said, enabled the Church to find new ways to foster that growth.
2. Smithfield Utah Temple groundbreaking
Before breaking ground for the Smithfield Utah Temple on Saturday, June 18, Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Gary E. Stevenson reflected on Northern Utah’s pioneer heritage, their roots in the area and the strength of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cache Valley.
3. NYC interfaith commission tours Church headquarters
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik — a senior rabbi from New York City who participated in a panel at Brigham Young University on Thursday, June 16, evening — explained “we are all accountable for our behavior and, therefore, we have to stand strong in what we believe is right.”
Rabbi Potasnik is part of a unique group of New York religious leaders who visited Church headquarters this week, meeting with the First Presidency and other senior Church leaders; touring the Family History Library, the Conference Center and Welfare Square; and participating in the 2022 Religious Freedom Annual Review at BYU.
Read more about how the interfaith collaboration is a model for how religion can make a positive difference
4. Season 5 of the Book of Mormon Videos has the ‘ultimate benefit’ of bringing people to Christ
In coming weeks, film crews will conclude shooting the fifth and final season of the Book of Mormon Videos. This conclusion also aligns with the upcoming release of the videos’ fourth season.
Friday morning, Elder Rasband visited the current set at the Motion Picture Studio in Provo, Utah, to meet with some of the cast and crew of season five.
5. Church’s women leaders minister in Mexico
Sister leaders representing the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary organizations of the Church ministered in Mexico at the beginning of June. Over the course of three days, they met with missionaries, members of the Church and civic leaders.
6. How FSY conferences can strengthen the faith of the rising generation
Young Men General President Steven J. Lund and Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, join this episode of the Church News podcast — with guest host Ryan Jensen, Church News director of audience and reach — to share what they have learned preparing for and launching For the Strength of Youth conferences in the United States and Canada. They also discuss how both parents and leaders can help youth to prepare for and sustain spiritual momentum after attending FSY.
7. FamilySearch announces RootsTech 2023 will be virtual and in person
After two consecutive years of being held completely online, RootsTech 2023 will be a virtual and in-person event, FamilySearch announced on Thursday, June 16. The three-day global family history gathering will be held March 2-4, 2023.
“We are excited to continue to serve the millions of people who attend virtually each year and look forward to welcoming those who will attend in-person in Salt Lake City,” said Jen Allen, RootsTech event director.
8. Courtney Wayment’s recent national win
Track and field’s steeplechase race is officially classified as an individual event. But Brigham Young University’s Courtney Wayment — the newly crowned collegiate steeplechase national champion — possesses both the intellectual and spiritual maturity to know better.
The Latter-day Saint athlete is emphatic that her historic success at BYU in the steeplechase and several other distance events has been a “team” effort incorporating her faith, her family and her Cougar coach and teammates.
9. Flooding at Yellowstone National Park
Unbelievable images and videos are coming from Yellowstone National Park and southern Montana this week, as huge flooding tore away hillsides, roads and even the foundations of homes.
Rivers were swiftly moving far above their banks, and all entrances to the national park were closed. News reports outline some of the extensive flooding that washed out roads and bridges, knocked out power, left communities isolated and made drinking water unsafe in some areas.
The Church News reached out to bishops, branch presidents and stake presidents who serve in the areas around the large national park, encompassing parts of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.