During the week of Nov. 30-Dec. 6, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shared his testimony in a new Church News video and podcast, Elder Quentin L. Cook spoke to young single adults in Mexico, and a Christmas on Temple Square concert included Apostles and other Church leaders reading Luke 2 in multiple languages.
Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke to Ensign College students and ground was broken for the Bengaluru India Temple and Okinawa Japan Temple. Elder Dale G. Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, tested positive for COVID-19.
Here are summaries and links to those nine articles below:
1. Elder Holland talks about the pandemic, his testimony
On Dec. 3, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland celebrated his 80th birthday. Days shy of this event, Elder Holland joined the Church News podcast to share his testimony, offer his hard-earned life advice, and encourage individuals to turn to God amid the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During 2020, people across the globe have worried about their health and livelihood, he said. Many are turning to God. “If we haven’t been able to turn here, and we can’t turn there, we can turn up,” he said. “And I hope that one thing we’ve all done is come closer to God.”
Listen to Elder Holland’s conversation with Sarah Jane Weaver in Episode 7 of the Church News podcast
2. Elder Cook speaks to young adults in Mexico
The challenge for young adults today is to find the time for spiritual growth, while acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a very competitive world, Elder Quentin L. Cook said during the Mexico YSA National Conference on Sunday, Nov. 29.
In his remarks, titled “Strengthen Your Faith as You Face Life’s Challenges,” Elder Cook shared five principles for young adults to follow as they strengthen faith in Jesus Christ and while seeking diligently to acquire knowledge and skills.
3. Elder and Sister Renlund test positive for COVID-19
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, have tested positive for COVID-19. They contracted the virus “despite carefully following recommended public health practices,” said Church spokesman Eric Hawkins in a statement released Saturday afternoon.
“Their condition is being carefully monitored, but gratefully, Elder Renlund currently has just mild symptoms and Sister Renlund is asymptomatic,” said Hawkins in the statement. “Other Church leaders are being tested and taking precautions because of this potential exposure.”
4. Christmas on Temple Square kickoff concert
Temple Square’s kickoff Christmas concert “Celebrating the Light of the World” on Tuesday, Dec. 1, concluded with the account of the Savior’s birth in Luke 2 — read by Church leaders in various languages.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles read in Mandarin and Portuguese, respectively, and Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé read in French. Young Men General President Steven J. Lund read in Dutch, Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the Seventy in Korean, and Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, in Spanish. Other General Authorities and general officers participated.
5. Elder Kearon speaks to Ensign College students
In world full of upheaval due to the pandemic and the turmoil surrounding the recent election in the United States, Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy invited students at Ensign College to “avoid the poles” — the extremes — in public discourse and to become peacemakers.
During a devotional address broadcast to the college’s international student body on Dec. 1, the Church leader said the latest election cycle has been an example to many countries around the world of the damage that can be caused from polarization, tribalism or clannishness.
6. Bengaluru India Temple groundbreaking
For years, Latter-day Saints in India have faced challenges in participating in temple worship and ordinances — great obstacles in distance, time, cost and documentation — as they have traveled several thousands of miles each way to the nearest temples in Hong Kong, the Philippines or Taiwan.
Those challenges will last only a couple of years longer, now that ground has been broken for the Bengaluru India Temple, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ first temple in the Asian nation of 1.3 billion people and various faiths, including Hinduism and Islam.
7. Okinawa Japan Temple groundbreaking
Construction has officially begun on the fourth temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Japanese soil. Home to more than 130,000 Latter-day Saints in over 260 congregations, Japan will now have a temple on its island chain of Okinawa.
Elder Takashi Wada, a General Authority Seventy serving as Asia North Area president, presided at the Okinawa Japan Temple’s Dec. 5 groundbreaking and offered the dedicatory prayer. A small group of Latter-day Saint leaders and invited guests attended due to local government COVID-19 restrictions.
8. A look at Utah’s 25 temples
Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue to spread across the globe, increasingly to the four corners of the earth and the isles of the sea. The Church’s 231 total temples — dedicated, under construction or announced — are found in 38 of the 50 United States and in another 60 nations and territories across the six inhabited continents.
Despite the global spread, 25 of those 231 temples are located in the state of Utah, which measures about 350 miles from north to south and 270 miles from east to west (563 kilometers by 435 kilometers).
9. Anniversaries for Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price
The year 2020 marks a few significant anniversaries for three of the four standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here is a look at some interesting facts about the first editions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.