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In case you missed it: 2 Apostles at Smithfield temple groundbreaking, severe flooding in Yellowstone, plus 7 more stories

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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’

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President Dallin H. Oaks walks on the University of Virginia campus on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“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.

Read more about how Church leaders’ travels look different after the pandemic

2. Smithfield Utah Temple groundbreaking

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Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Gary E. Stevenson, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and their wives, Sister Lesa Stevenson and Sister Mary Cook, attend the groundbreaking for the Smithfield Utah Temple in Smithfield on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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.

Learn more about the event

3. NYC interfaith commission tours Church headquarters

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Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, moderates a panel of religious leaders at Brigham Young University in Provo on Thursday, June 16, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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

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Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks with Tuliloa Pauga, left, Zeka Nichols and Joseph Andelin during the final filming season of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ production of the Book of Mormon videos at the LDS Motion Picture Studios South in Provo on Friday, June 17, 2022.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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.

See photos of and learn more about the filming

5. Church’s women leaders minister in Mexico

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Sister Reyna I. Aburto, President Camille N. Johnson and President Bonnie H. Cordon meet with representatives of APAC (a nonprofit that helps individuals with Cerebral Palsy) in Mexico on June 3, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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. 

President Bonnie H. CordonPresident Camille N. Johnson and Sister Reyna I. Aburto represented the presidencies of the Church’s Young Women, Primary and Relief Society, respectively.

Learn more about their visit

6. How FSY conferences can strengthen the faith of the rising generation

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In Episode 88 of the Church News podcast, Young Men General President Steven J. Lund and Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, share what they have learned preparing for and launching For the Strength of Youth conferences in the United States and Canada.

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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.

Listen to the podcast

7. FamilySearch announces RootsTech 2023 will be virtual and in person

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FamilySearch announced on Thursday, June 16, that RootsTech 2023 will be virtual and in-person.

Screenshot, FamilySearch.org

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. 

Find out more about RootsTech 2023

8. Courtney Wayment’s recent national win

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Latter-day Saint athlete Courtney Wayment embraces her Brigham Young University Coach, Diljeet Taylor, after winning the steeplechase race at the 2022 NCAA track & field championship. Coach Taylor was instrumental in Wayment's development as an elite athlete.

Nate Edwards, BYU

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.

Read Courtney’s thoughts on faith, family and teammates

9. Flooding at Yellowstone National Park

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This aerial photo provided by the National Park Service shows a flooded out North Entrance Road, of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., on June 13, 2022. Flooding caused by heavy rains over the weekend caused road and bridge damage in Yellowstone National Park, leading park officials to close all the entrances through at least Wednesday. Gardiner, a town just north of the park, was isolated, with water covering the road north of the town and a mudslide blocking the road to the south. (Doug Kraus/National Park Service via AP)

Doug Kraus, National Park Service via Associated Press

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.

See photos and learn more about the flooding

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