In case you missed it: President Ballard’s counsel to students, Elder Bednar reflects on temple closures and 7 other articles

During the week of Feb. 8-14, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, encouraged BYU-Pathway Worldwide students to get an education despite challenges; Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed the “remarkable lessons” to be learned while temples are closed; and the Utah Area presidency released safety measures updates about Primary children, leaders and teachers.

The Primary general presidency gave a sneak peak of the upcoming Friend to Friend event for children. Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy taught students at Brigham Young University about one of the “extraordinary blessings” of being a faithful member of the Church, and a member of the Young Men general advisory council encouraged parents and youth leaders to speak about the temple with youth. 

In conjunction with this week’s “Come, Follow Me” study, the Church News featured photos and information about the Priesthood Restoration Site, while several Church historians offered suggestions for studying the Doctrine and Covenants. And Latter-day Saint youth from around the world are utilizing JustServe to bless their communities.

Below are summaries and links to these nine articles. 

1. President Ballard urges BYU-Pathway Worldwide students to get an education despite challenges

President M. Russell Ballard speaks to BYU-Pathway Worldwide students during a devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.
President M. Russell Ballard speaks to BYU-Pathway Worldwide students during a devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Credit: screenshot byupathway.org

Acknowledging the many difficulties faced by students today, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, testified that the opportunity to get an education is provided by a loving Heavenly Father and His Son.

“[They] have given you this opportunity of participating in BYU-Pathway Worldwide to help you improve your skills and talents to bless you, your family, and others around you,” President Ballard declared during a BYU-Pathway Worldwide devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Learn more about his counsel regarding education here

2. Elder Bednar on temples and the COVID-19 pandemic: ‘An opportunity to learn remarkable lessons’

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sits down for an interview at the Relief Society building on Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sits down for an interview at the Relief Society building on Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

As restrictions for worshipping in temples due to the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Bednar sees blessings and growth despite all the temple closures, gradual reopenings and dedication postponements.

The Apostle asks: “We can’t be in the temple, but is the temple in us? Are the ordinances in us?”

Read more about Elder Bednar’s interview with the Church News

3. Primary children, meetings and activities the focus as Utah Area updates its COVID-19 safety measures

Bishop Barry Port of the Covenant Hills Ward in the Mission Viejo California Stake visits with his daughter and some of the ward Primary kids from his home office. Many bishops have been continuing their duties using technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bishop Barry Port of the Covenant Hills Ward in the Mission Viejo California Stake visits with his daughter and some of the ward Primary kids from his home office. Many bishops have been continuing their duties using technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: Alan Gibby, for the Church News

Mindful that Latter-day Saint children have been without Primary meetings and activities for nearly a year, the Utah Area Presidency updated its COVID-19 safety measures with specific instructions about the Primary program detailed in a Feb. 12 letter sent to local Church leaders in the area.

Find out more about the new guidelines

4. Episode 17: Primary general presidency counselors give a sneak peek of the Friend to Friend event for children

In Episode 17 of the Church News podcast, Sister Lisa L. Harkness and Sister Cristina B. Franco of the Primary general presidency give a preview of the upcoming Friend to Friend event for children on Feb. 20, 2021.
In Episode 17 of the Church News podcast, Sister Lisa L. Harkness and Sister Cristina B. Franco of the Primary general presidency give a preview of the upcoming Friend to Friend event for children on Feb. 20, 2021. Credit: Screenshot

On this week’s Church News podcast, Sister Lisa L. Harkness and Sister Cristina B. Franco of the Primary general presidency discuss the first-ever Friend to Friend event and the challenges and opportunities children face as they are “Trying To Be Like Jesus.”

Listen to what they said and read more about their hopes for this first-of-its-kind event

5. Elder Teixeira shares with BYU students one of the ‘extraordinary blessings’ of being a faithful member

Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy speaks during a BYU devotional broadcast on Feb. 9, 2021.
Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy speaks during a BYU devotional broadcast on Feb. 9, 2021. Credit: Alyssa Dahneke, BYU photo

Noting that “in one way or another, all of us were affected by this unexpected outbreak and medical emergency,” Elder Teixeira said knowing what to do in troubled times, however, is an “extraordinary blessing” in the lives of faithful members of the Church.

“I personally cannot think of a more sublime blessing than having the constant companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost and being able to receive comfort, peace and direction from Him in our lives,” Elder Teixeira said during a BYU campus devotional on Feb. 9

Read about Elder Teixeira’s promise to students during troubled times

6. Young Men general leader: How ‘speaking’ of the temple can bless and prepare youth

Youth gather outside the Santiago Chile Temple. Note: this picture was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Youth gather outside the Santiago Chile Temple. Note: this picture was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Young people can enhance their love for the temple when their parents and leaders speak of the sacrifices, power and experiences of such sacred places, writes David T. Lisonbee of the Young Men general advisory council.

Read Brother Lisonbee’s counsel to parents and youth leaders here

7. ‘Come, Follow Me’: Learn more and see photos of the Priesthood Restoration Site

Flowers bloom around the rebuilt home of Joseph and Emma Smith in 2018 at the Priesthood Restoration Site in Oakland Township, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.
Flowers bloom around the rebuilt home of Joseph and Emma Smith in 2018 at the Priesthood Restoration Site in Oakland Township, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. Credit: Kenneth Mays

The events that occurred at the Priesthood Restoration Site in Harmony, Pennsylvania — discussed in this week’s “Come, Follow Me” study — were “crucial to the restoration of the Lord’s gospel.”

Discover more about this important place in the Restoration

8. 7 tips from historians for studying the Doctrine and Covenants this year

The original Book of Commandments and Revelations and the corresponding section of the Doctrine and Covenants Friday, Sept. 11, 2009.
The original Book of Commandments and Revelations and the corresponding section of the Doctrine and Covenants Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. Credit: Jason Olson, Deseret News

Lisa Olsen Tait, who is a Church historian with an expertise on Latter-day Saint women’s history, joined fellow historians Matt McBride, director of the Church History Department’s Publications Division, and Matthew Godfrey, managing editor of the Joseph Smith Papers, in sharing several ways and resources that can help those studying the Doctrine and Covenants — this year’s course of study in “Come, Follow Me.”

Read their seven suggestions for study here

9. How Latter-day Saint youth are utilizing JustServe to bless others — and themselves

JustServe is the global Church-sponsored online initiative that connects service-driven people with service opportunities in their own neighborhoods, schools and communities. 

Such service opportunities improve the lives of people in need —- while uplifting all who offer their time and energy to care for others. They also connect people and organizations of diverse religious and social backgrounds. 

Find out how youth from Alaska to Australia are using the tool to serve and bless their communities