In case you missed it: President Ballard on councils, new Primary general advisory council, plus 7 more stories

During the week of July 11-17, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke to the Church News about the essential role of councils in the Church. Also, meet the nine new members of the Primary general advisory council. Sister Sheri Dew spoke to BYU–Pathway Worldwide students about the blessings of following the prophet.

There were updates for temples planned in Yorba Linda, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Nairobi, Kenya; plus the new styles of temple ceremonial clothing are now available globally.

Five “pillars” faith are helping fortify Latter-day Saints in Haiti. In this week’s Church News podcast, Church News senior reporter Jason Swensen shares observations about characteristics of Latter-day Saint athletes. The Gospel for Kids app is now available. And an Idaho teen is reconnecting with her Guatemalan homeland through service.

Find links and summaries of these nine article below. 

1. Inside Church headquarters: Why the Church is governed by councils

Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather for their weekly meeting, in the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather for their weekly meeting, in the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Today, the Savior governs His Church through councils. This divine pattern is “critical” to the Church’s organization at every level, President Ballard said, including general, stake and ward councils. This divine pattern also applies to families. 

President Ballard, Elder Uchtdorf, Elder Bednar and Elder Cook, who along with other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles serve on Church executive councils, recently spoke to the Church News about the essential role of councils in the Church. They also provided insights about their experiences serving in the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 

Read part 2 of the series about their experiences; read part 1 here

2. Meet the 9 new members of the Primary general advisory council

The Primary general presidency as of April 2021 are President Camille N. Johnson, center; Sister Susan H. Porter, first counselor, left; and Sister Amy A. Wright, second counselor.
The Primary general presidency as of April 2021 are President Camille N. Johnson, center; Sister Susan H. Porter, first counselor, left; and Sister Amy A. Wright, second counselor. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Nine members have been called to the Primary general advisory council. They will work with the Primary general presidency to help meet the needs of children around the world.

Learn more about these 9 women

3. Sheri Dew’s response to those who wonder whether prophets, seers and revelators are infallible

Sheri Dew, a former member of the Relief Society general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, records a BYU–Pathway Worldwide devotional video in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.
Sheri Dew, a former member of the Relief Society general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, records a BYU–Pathway Worldwide devotional video in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Speaking from the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City and flanked by portraits of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the BYU–Pathway Worldwide devotional, Sister Dew bore witness of the unique privilege of having prophets on the earth today.

Watch the devotional and find out more about her experiences sustaining prophets today

4. Site announced for Yorba Linda California Temple; groundbreakings announced for Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Nairobi Kenya temples

Exterior rendering of the Nairobi Kenya Temple.
Exterior rendering of the Nairobi Kenya Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Less than four months after being announced, the Yorba Linda California Temple has a site location. Plus, the First Presidency has announced groundbreakings for the Nairobi Kenya Temple in September and the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Temple in August.

See the groundbreaking dates and where the Yorba Linda California is planned; plus see the latest photos of the Temple Square renovation

5. New styles of temple ceremonial clothing now available globally

The Copenhagen Denmark Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Copenhagen Denmark Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

New styles of temple ceremonial clothing that were announced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic are now available globally. The adjustments to the ceremonial clothing announced in January 2020 are designed to be more simple, comfortable and cost-effective.

Find out more about the changes

6. 5 ‘pillars’ of faith fortifying Latter-day Saints in Haiti amid ongoing strife

Leopold Clavaroche Cherenfant, Mike Hala J. Cherenfant, Nounesse C. Cole, Steeve Cole, Guardini Cole, Marie Josée Lainé Cherenfant and Fahife Cole, of the Carrefour-feuilles Ward, Port-au-Prince Haïti Stake, watch the Sunday morning session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 191st Annual General Conference on April 4, 2021. Haitian Latter-day Saints continue to rely upon one another during ongoing political and economic struggles.
Leopold Clavaroche Cherenfant, Mike Hala J. Cherenfant, Nounesse C. Cole, Steeve Cole, Guardini Cole, Marie Josée Lainé Cherenfant and Fahife Cole, of the Carrefour-feuilles Ward, Port-au-Prince Haïti Stake, watch the Sunday morning session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 191st Annual General Conference on April 4, 2021. Haitian Latter-day Saints continue to rely upon one another during ongoing political and economic struggles. Credit: Leopold Clavaroche Cherenfant

Amid uncertainty and fear, Haitian members are finding day-to-day strength by looking out for one another and holding tight to the gospel.

Explore these 5 ‘pillars’ from their area leaders

7. Latter-day Saint athletes who showcase discipline and persistence, with Church News reporter Jason Swensen

Episode 39 of the Church News podcast features reporter Jason Swensen.
Episode 39 of the Church News podcast features reporter Jason Swensen. Credit: Church News

Church News editor Sarah Jane Weaver interviews Swensen, who reflectes on the gospel principles he has observed athletes practice on their journeys toward conquering their goals

Listen to this week’s podcast

8. How the Gospel for Kids app can help children connect with the Savior at their level

The Gospel for Kids app lets children take their gospel learning into their own hands. The app’s colorful and simple design allows children to navigate it by themselves.
The Gospel for Kids app lets children take their gospel learning into their own hands. The app’s colorful and simple design allows children to navigate it by themselves. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Gospel for Kids app consolidates three previous gospel-focus apps for kids and has four main sections: Scripture Stories, Coloring Books, Sing Along and More Activities. It is designed to help children connect with the Savior at their level.

Discover more about the Gospel for Kids app

9. A tale of two Xelas (or Shaylas): Idaho teen reconnects with Guatemalan homeland through service

Shayla Dunn, a 17-year-old from East Idaho, participated in humanitarian building project in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, in June 2021. The indigenous name of the city is “Xela” — pronounced like Shayla. The Latter-day Saint teen was born in Guatemala before being adopted by an Idaho family.
Shayla Dunn, a 17-year-old from East Idaho, participated in humanitarian building project in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, in June 2021. The indigenous name of the city is “Xela” — pronounced like Shayla. The Latter-day Saint teen was born in Guatemala before being adopted by an Idaho family. Credit: Provided by Jordan Murray

The link between the Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango and Shayla Dunn, a 17-year-old Latter-day Saint from Idaho Falls, Idaho, is not readily apparent. And now — after participating in a recent two-week humanitarian construction project in the city she is named for — Shayla Dunn’s link to Xela has been strengthened in ways she never imagined.

Meet Shayla and learn about her connection to Central America