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In case you missed it: President Oaks shares about helping refugees, Elder Christofferson speaks about Mormon Battalion, plus 7 more stories

Week in review: 9 stories the Church News published during the week of July 24-30


During the week of July 24 to July 30, President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared about refugees while in Rome, Italy, in a new Church News video. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the Mormon Battalion at the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles threw the first pitch at an Orioles game in Baltimore, Maryland.

Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham was the grand marshal for the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City. General Primary President President Camille N. Johnson talked about allowing the Savior to be the “author and finisher” of her story on this week’s episode of the Church News podcast. The Primary general presidency and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles participated in a Friend to Friend broadcast titled “Temples are the House of the Lord.”

New Zealand pioneer Wetekia Ruruku Elkington’s story was the latest in the Church News’ Pioneers in every land series. A groundbreaking was held for the first chapel in Angola in the Church’s Africa South Area. And the Church endorsed its first female military chaplain.

Find more about these nine stories below.

1. Video: ‘We are all descended from refugees’ President Oaks says as center in Rome works to help refugees there

Group of people of various nationalities sit in a classroom with a yellow wall all hold guitars as they practice

Ghana refugee Martwi Muhammed, right, practices guitar during class taught by Steve Waddington, left, at Joel Nafuma Refugee Center at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints respect and believe in helping support and improve the lot of refugees, said President Dallin H. Oaks while in Rome, Italy, in July 2022.

“Whether you look at Africa or Europe or the British Isles or America or South America, it’s hard to find a country that was not affected by or inhabited by refugees at some point,” said President Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency.

Watch the video

2. Elder Christofferson speaks on the ‘outsized influence’ of the Mormon Battalion

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Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks on the history of the Mormon Battalion in the Tabernacle before “The Mormon Battalion: A Symphonic Saga” is performed in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 24, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

Closing the Pioneer Day festivities on Sunday, July 24, in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Elder Christofferson spoke of the sacrifices made by and blessings brought because of the Mormon Battalion.

Elder Christofferson revisited the persecution of the Church’s earliest members that caused them to abandon their homes, businesses and communities in New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois.

Read what he said

3. Elder Renlund throws out first pitch at Camden Yards, reflects on time in Baltimore

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Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles throws the first pitch during The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints family night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, July 25, 2022.

La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días

Elder Renlund threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday night, July 25, for “Latter-day Saint Night at Camden Yards” in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Baltimore visit served as a homecoming for the Renlunds, who lived in the city from 1980 to 1986 while he completed an internal medical residency and cardiology fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and she earned a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland.

See more from the night

4. President Bingham as grand marshal of Days of ’47 Parade

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President Jean Bingham, Relief Society general president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, waves while serving as the first female grand marshal for the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 23, 2022. Her husband, Bruce Bingham, rides next to her.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The 2022 Days of ’47 Parade in downtown Salt Lake City celebrated 175 years of pioneer courage as colorful, musical, vibrant floats made their way past thousands of spectators who lined the streets on a hot Saturday summer morning.

As the parade’s grand marshal, President Bingham reflected on the historic significance of the event.

View more from the parade

5. Episode 94: New Relief Society President Camille N. Johnson on how understanding divine nature and purpose leads to lasting happiness

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President Camille N. Johnson will begin service as Relief Society general president on Aug. 1, 2022.

Church News graphic

In this episode of the Church News podcast, President Johnson talks about allowing the Savior to be the “author and finisher” of her story — and the individual stories of all. She will begin serving as the Relief Society general president on Aug. 1.

Listen to the podcast

6. Jesus always leads us to the temple’: Friend to Friend teaches children about preparing to enter the house of the Lord

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Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles tours the Tokyo Japan Temple and visitors’ center with Primary children prior to the temple’s rededication on July 3, 2022. The segment was shown during the Friend to Friend on July 30. 

Captura de pantalla de ChurchofJesusChrist.org

To help Primary children worldwide understand the importance of the temple, Elder Stevenson joined the Friend to Friend broadcast on July 30 from the Tokyo Japan Temple.  

Elder Stevenson took five Japanese children on a personal tour of the temple during the open house prior to its July 3 rededication and interviewed them about their experience. 

Watch the broadcast

7. Pioneers in every land: New Zealand pioneer Wetekia Ruruku Elkington

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Islands on the South Island of New Zealand on Monday, May 20, 2019.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Wetekia’s life and testimony have provided deep roots in the gospel that have nourished generations in New Zealand.

The daughter of a chief, Wetekia was considered a matakite — a visionary. As a young woman, she dreamt one night of two Pakeha (English) men in top hats and black coats who prayed with their right hand raised to the square.

Read more about her story

8. Church breaks ground for first chapel in Southern African country of Angola

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Elder Amândio A. Feijó, Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other local Church leaders prepare to turn over soil for their new chapel in Luanda, Angola, on July 9, 2022.

La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Angola have met in borrowed or rented buildings for the past 37 years. But soon they will have their first meetinghouse.

On July 9, ground was broken in the capital city of Luanda for what will become the stake center for the Luanda Angola Stake. The building will be used for Sunday meetings, weekday activities, classes, community service and more for the stake and three wards.

Learn more about it

9. Making history: Church endorses its first female military chaplain

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Jenna Carson, a returned missionary and a BYU and Harvard Divinity School graduate, was recently set apart as the Church’s first female military chaplain. Carson will serve in the U.S. Air Force.

Karly Leavitt

When Jenna Carson dons the blue uniform of a United State Air Force officer next week, she will not only be following a family military legacy but also making Latter-day Saint history.

Being set apart as a military chaplain “was so beautiful,” she told the Church News. “It was definitely one of the highlights of my life.”

Read about her and her story

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