In case you missed it: President Nelson on Olympic ideals, President Oaks at This Is the Place Heritage Park plus 7 more stories

During the week of July 18-24, President Russell M. Nelson encouraged exercising Olympic ideals on social media. President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke at an annual celebration at This Is the Place Heritage Park and President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was honored for his work to preserve Utah history.  

This week’s Church News podcast featured President Ballard and three other Apostles on why and how the Church is governed by councils. The third part of the Inside Church headquarters series took a deep dive into three of the Church’s executive councils.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the grand marshal for the Pioneer Day parade. While the Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square’s Pioneer Day concert is on hiatus, the Church News highlighted selections from past concerts. The open house and rededication dates were announced for the Washington D.C. Temple, and this summer honors the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion.

Find links and summaries of these nine article below.  

1. Exercise Olympic ideals in personal lives, President Nelson encourages

President Nelson compared the differences between healthy competition and contention in a social media post.
President Nelson compared the differences between healthy competition and contention in a social media post. Credit: President Russell M. Nelson Facebook

Following the conclusion of the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, President Nelson described the difference between “healthy competition and any kind of destructive contention.” In a Facebook post, the President of the Church shared his hope that individuals around the world would learn from the examples of the more than 11,000 athletes competing in Tokyo in “demonstrating friendship and respect even as they compete against each other.” 

Read his Facebook post on healthy competition vs. contention, plus meet the Latter-day Saint Olympians competing in Tokyo

2. ‘The pioneer legacy is a legacy of inclusion,’ President Oaks declares

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, greets people as he leaves after speaking at SUPer DUPer Day inside the newly dedicated Pioneer Center on the grounds of This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 19, 2021.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, greets people as he leaves after speaking at SUPer DUPer Day inside the newly dedicated Pioneer Center on the grounds of This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 19, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

President Oaks was the keynote speaker for SUPer DUPer Day on Monday, July 19, an annual celebration at This Is the Place Heritage Park for the families of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. “We need to identify the eternal principles they applied for our benefit and then apply those principles to the challenges of our own day,” said President Oaks.

Find out more about what he shared about pioneer legacy

3. As Utah honors President Ballard, his teachings about looking back, and forward, have new relevance

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, meets in his office at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, meets in his office at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox declared “July 23, 2021, as President M. Russell Ballard Day.” In an official declaration, Gov. Cox called President Ballard a community builder who has “worked hard to preserve the history of the great state of Utah” and is a “a bridge-builder among people of all faiths and walks of life in Utah.”

Explore how President Ballard has helped preserve pioneer heritage

4. Episode 40: President Ballard and three other Apostles on why and how the Church is governed by councils

President M. Russell Ballard is one of four Apostles who is featured on Episode 40 of the Church News podcast.
President M. Russell Ballard is one of four Apostles who is featured on Episode 40 of the Church News podcast. Credit: Church News

Church News editor Sarah Jane Weaver and reporter Sydney Walker discuss the Inside Church headquarters series and share quotes from Church News interviews featuring President Ballard and Elder Dieter F. UchtdorfElder David A. Bednar and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. These leaders explain why the Church is governed by councils and what it is like to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and on some of the Church’s executive councils. 

Listen to their experiences in the podcast

5. Inside Church headquarters: A look at 3 of the Church’s executive councils and what they do

Five members of the Missionary Executive Council — clockwise from top, Sister Amy A. Wright, second counselor in the Primary general presidency; Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon; Elder Marcus B. Nash, a General Authority Seventy; and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — raise their hands in a support of an item during a Missionary Executive Council meeting at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Jordan Kesler, top left, secretary of the council, and David N. Weidman, fourth from top left, managing director of the Missionary Department, are also present.
Five members of the Missionary Executive Council — clockwise from top, Sister Amy A. Wright, second counselor in the Primary general presidency; Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon; Elder Marcus B. Nash, a General Authority Seventy; and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — raise their hands in a support of an item during a Missionary Executive Council meeting at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Jordan Kesler, top left, secretary of the council, and David N. Weidman, fourth from top left, managing director of the Missionary Department, are also present. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Part three in this four-part series on the essential role of councils in the Church features insight from members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and general women leaders about the purpose and functions of three of the Church’s executive councils: the Missionary Executive Council, the Temple and Family History Executive Council and the Priesthood and Family Executive Council.

Read about these 3 executive councils

6. See the floats created by Church members to honor pioneers in the Days of ‘47 Parade

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, waves during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Elder Rasband was this year's grand marshal.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, waves during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Elder Rasband was this year’s grand marshal. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Elder Rasband, who was the Days of ’47 parade’s grand marshal, led the parade in a classic red Mustang with his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, and other family members. More than a dozen local stakes prepared floats for the annual parade, held on the streets of downtown Salt Lake City.

Earlier in the morning at the Days of ’47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall, Elder David F. Evans, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Asia Area, said that it’s not enough to merely remember the remarkable deeds performed by the Utah pioneers — but also the reasons why they were performed, “and commit ourselves to be as faithful in our circumstances as they were in theirs.”

See more about the parade and photos of the floats; plus the Sunrise Service message

7. Pioneer Day concert on hiatus — but Tabernacle Choir fans can enjoy online selection from past concerts

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple square perform during the Pioneer Day concert at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 19, 2019.
The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple square perform during the Pioneer Day concert at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 19, 2019. Credit: Colter Peterson, Deseret News

The choir is scheduled to reform at the end of August — a few weeks after the July 24 Pioneer Day holiday.  Thanks to the choir’s vast collection of videos on its YouTube channel, fans can satisfy their Pioneer Day choir cravings.

Here are a few highlights of the Pioneer Day concert in recent years

8. Open house and rededication dates announced for Washington D.C. Temple after months of COVID-related delays

The Washington D.C. Temple at dusk, July 2021.
The Washington D.C. Temple at dusk, July 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Months after the originally planned reopening of the Washington D.C. Temple was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that the open house will be from April 28 through June 4, 2022, except for Sundays, and the rededication on June 19, 2022.

Find out more about the open house and the impact on the temple in the area, plus 9 charts showing the operational status of each temple

9. How lessons from the Mormon Battalion mustering are relevant 175 years later

"The Mormon Battalion," by George Ottinger
“The Mormon Battalion,” by George Ottinger Credit: Church History Museum

On the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion’s march, which started on July 16, 1846, there are several lessons from their journey that can apply today. Also, researchers from the Mormon Battalion Association have been working with documents, including from the National Archives, to verify who served in the battalion.  

Explore the lessons from the Mormon Battalion’s march