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In case you missed it: President Nelson’s post on identity, President Oaks in Rome, plus 7 more stories

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Clockwise from top left: Instagram post on July 20, 2022, from President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, talks with Notre Dame law school dean G. Marcus Cole during the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Wednesday, July 20, 2022; President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, acknowledges graduates gathered in the BYU–Idaho Center during commencement on Wednesday, July 20, 2022; President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks to members of the media following the dedication ceremony of a new Black pioneer monument at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 22, 2022.

Screenshot from Instagram; Francisco Fierro, BYU–Idaho; Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News; Scott G Winterton, Deseret News


During the week of July 17 to July 23, President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared on social media a message of true identity. President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency spoke at the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit in Rome, Italy. At the BYU–Idaho commencement, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency offered hope for the future in his speech.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated a new memorial to Black pioneers. Commemorating the 175th anniversary of the first pioneers’ arrival in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared personal pioneer stories and how pioneers have impacted them. The Church News series “Pioneers in every land” continued this week with pioneering examples across multiple European countries.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles surprised youth at FSY in Seattle, Washington, while Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greeted and spoke to FSY youth in Utah. Incoming Primary General President Susan H. Porter was interviewed on this week’s Church News podcast.

Find summaries and links to these nine articles below.

1. President Nelson posts about identity

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Instagram post on July 20, 2022, from President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Screenshot from Instagram

Labels can be fun and indicate your support for any number of positive things. But if any label replaces your most important identifiers, the results can be spiritually suffocating, wrote President Nelson.

View the post

2. President Oaks in Rome

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President Dallin H. Oaks of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints talks with Notre Dame Law School Dean G. Marcus Cole during the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In Rome, Italy, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, called for “a global effort to defend and advance the religious freedom of all the children of God in every nation of the world.”

Offering the keynote address at the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit on July 20, President Oaks asked religious leaders to “unite and find common ground for defending and promoting religious liberty.”

Find out what he said

3. President Eyring speaks at BYU–Idaho commencement

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President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, acknowledges graduates gathered in the BYU–Idaho Center during commencement held on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Francisco Fierro, BYU–Idaho

In his remarks to graduates, President Henry B. Eyring recalled how when he was an undergraduate physics student, the Spirit revealed the solution of a complicated mathematical problem. As a leader and a teacher at Ricks College, he felt revelation on what to say in classrooms or in faculty meetings.

“The experiences I had as a student and in leading this school confirm my testimony that we can learn and be led by the Spirit if we so choose,” the elder President Eyring said.

Read what he counseled

4. President Ballard dedicates new monument honoring Black pioneers

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The Sweeney family from West Valley City poses for photos at the new Black pioneer monument at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 22, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

On the 175th anniversary of the day when Green Flake drove the first wagon into Emigration Canyon and brothers Hark Wales and Oscar Smith were in the same group, a monument to those three — and Jane Manning James, who arrived later in 1847 — was unveiled. President M. Russell Ballard, the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and a direct descendant of and proponent for early pioneers, dedicated the monument before a crowd of several hundred.

Find out how the new Pioneers of 1847 monument came to be

5. Apostles share personal pioneer stories

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with the busts

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with the busts in his office in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Despite differences in language, culture and nationality, the pioneers who crossed the Plains to the Salt Lake Valley shared a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They exhibited “faith in every footstep” as they journeyed more than a thousand miles through prairie, desert and canyons.

In honor of the 175th anniversary since the first company of pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared this week some of the pioneer stories from their families.

Discover more about their pioneer ancestors

6. Elder Uchtdorf surprises youth at Seattle FSY

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Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf greet an attendee during the For the Strength of Youth Conference at Seattle University on Thursday, July 21, 2022 in Seattle.

John Lok, for the Deseret News

The 230 young FSY participants who gathered on the campus of Seattle University felt a collective “recharge” when they were joined by surprise guests: Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles along with his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, and several Uchtdorf family members.

Read about his interactions with the youth in Seattle, Washington

7. Elder Renlund visits Utah FSY

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Elder Dale G. Renlund, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, greets youth attending the For the Strength of Youth conference at the Institute of Religion located adjacent to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

As youth at a For the Strength of Youth conference in Salt Lake City filed into their morning devotional on Wednesday, July 20, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stood by the door to greet them — one by one.

He shook their hands, looking them in the eyes. He asked some where they are from and what they are learning. During lunch, Elder Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, personally visited with as many youth as wanted to speak with them. 

Learn more about how he helped youth feel the Savior’s love

8. President Porter is interviewed on the Church News podcast

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Incoming Primary General President Susan H. Porter is featured on episode 93 of the Church News podcast.

The work and purpose of Primary is to “help children feel their Heavenly Father’s love and learn about His plan of happiness.”

For President Susan H. Porter, that purpose has meant more to her in the past year as she has served as the first counselor in the Primary general presidency. She was sustained in April 2022 general conference as the Church’s new Primary general president, effective Aug. 1.

Listen to her thoughts

9. Pioneers in every land: Europe

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Europe has 130 Latter-day Saint stakes. Ten years ago there were 115.

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From the earliest overseas missionary assignments in the late 1830s to establishing roots in new lands at the turn of the 21st century, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can claim many pioneers over many generations and across Europe’s many countries.

Read ‘pioneering’ highlights for many of Europe’s nations

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