During the week of Oct. 26-Nov. 1, President Dallin H. Oaks spoke in a BYU devotional about racism, Elder Gerrit W. Gong presided at the Taylorsville Utah Temple groundbreaking and Elder Ulisses Soares spoke about universal human dignity at the annual DFW Summit on Religious Freedom.
The Church News also published articles about its second podcast episode, the Church’s peanut butter cannery in Texas and the Woman’s Exponent, an early Relief Society magazine. October 2020 marks five years since Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson and Elder Renlund were called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Here are summaries and links to those nine articles below:
1. President Oaks repeats call to ‘root out’ racism, unite in Christ
At a moment in America defined by racial division and other historical challenges, the Church’s second-most senior leader challenged students at Brigham Young University and beyond to discover unity through Christ’s timeless love and in His gospel.
“Since I cannot meet with you individually as I would love to do, I must try to help you through teaching correct principles and trying to help you follow them,” President Dallin H. Oaks said at the beginning of his Tuesday, Oct. 27, morning devotional at Brigham Young University.
2. Elder Gong presides at Taylorsville Utah Temple groundbreaking
Elder Gerrit W. Gong is California-born — but he has deep connections to the diverse, history-rich city of Taylorsville located near the center of the Salt Lake Valley. His wife, Sister Susan Lindsay Gong, is a Taylorsville native, and his in-laws — the late Elder Richard P. and Sister Marian Bangerter Lindsay — are beloved members of this community and represent a legacy of local ecclesiastical leadership.
“It’s a very special blessing to participate in any temple groundbreaking and site dedication,” Elder Gong said after presiding at Saturday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Taylorsville Utah Temple. “But for us here, particularly with multiple generations in our own family, this is a special privilege. … This is a great community, and it represents such a wonderful part of the Church.”
Read how the future Taylorsville temple is already connecting people across generations and cultures
3. Elder Soares outlines foundations and fruits of religious freedom
Religious freedom and religion itself are critical to fostering the foundational principles of human dignity and human rights, with the fruits of religious freedom including increased civil discourse and compassion and connection during times of crisis, said Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder Soares’ prerecorded remarks served as the opening keynote address for the 2020 Annual DFW Summit on Religious Freedom, with the Oct. 28-30 event streamed online for an hour each of the three mornings.
4. Elder Rasband, Eder Stevenson and Elder Renlund called 5 years ago
Since then, they have met with and ministered to Church members, missionaries, government leaders and others as they have traveled around the world.
5. Sarah Jane Weaver interviews Katherine Kitterman and Rebekah Ryan Clark
In 1842 the Prophet Joseph Smith formed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ first women’s organization known today as the Relief Society, stating, “this is the beginning of better days.” That promise was fulfilled as Latter-day Saint women continued to serve their community and advocated for the equal voting rights of women in Utah and the United States.
In Episode 2 of the Church News podcast, Better Days’ historical director Katherine Kitterman and historical research associate Rebekah Ryan Clark looked at the privilege and duty of voting and share the story of the pioneering suffragettes who bravely blazed the path for the right to participate in elections.
6. BYU-Pathway Worldwide enrollment surpassed 50,000 students
When BYU-Pathway Worldwide first began in 2009, it offered a small university-preparation pilot program run by BYU-Idaho with just 50 students. This year, just three years after being launched as a separate institution for higher education within the Church Educational System, BYU-Pathway Worldwide has reached a new milestone as student enrollment for the year exceeded 50,000.
“Crossing the 50,000 students milestone in 10 years is a significant growth milestone,” said BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Clark Gilbert. “But more importantly, it signals to those students that BYU-Pathway Worldwide is here to stay and that it is an important part of the Church Educational System.”
7. Church spreads peanut butter across storehouses and food banks nationwide
The Church has owned and operated a peanut butter cannery in Texas since the early 1950s. Peanuts have been grown on a Church welfare farm near San Antonio since 1973.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the community volunteer workforce in recent months, local Church members and missionaries have continued to fill in on the production line — helping the cannery to produce an estimated 1.97 million pounds of peanut butter in 2020 to help those in need.
8. The Woman’s Exponent: What it was to women then, what it means to women today
Historians will tell you how difficult it can be to find women’s voices in historical records. If you’re lucky, you might find letters or journals or passing references found in secondary sources, which were most often recorded by men.
And yet in the pages of the Woman’s Exponent, displayed in vivid detail like the account above, are firsthand accounts of the thoughts, feelings, opinions and experiences of women in early Church history.
9. Updated referral experience helps connect friends with the missionaries
When your friend or acquaintance agrees to meet with missionaries, you simply need to fill out a referral form through the Member Tools app (available for Apple or Android) or referrals.churchofjesuschrist.org. You can also leave your contact information and a note for the missionaries.
The local missionaries will also receive your contact information and you will receive theirs. This enables you to discuss the situation and needs of your friend with the local missionaries. You can talk to them about how to help your friend have a great experience. Additionally, you are invited to participate in missionary lessons through technology as much as desired.