In case you missed it: First Presidency directs members to wear masks in temples, Elder Bednar travels to Europe, plus 7 more stories

During the week of Sept. 19-26, the First Presidency issued a statement directing Latter-day Saints to wear masks inside the temple. Elder David A. Bednar became the first Apostle to travel internationally since the onset of the pandemic. And Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to missionaries during a broadcast from the Provo Missionary Training Center. 

A Church News article takes a look back at 15 invitations extended by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the April 2021 general conference. The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square resumed rehearsals this week after a pandemic-related 555-day hiatus. And FamilySearch announced the completion of 2.4 million rolls of microfilm being digitized

In a Church News video titled ”A companion’s blessing,” two missionaries share what it’s like to transfer to in-person training. In an episode of the Church News podcast, translation coordinator Vanessa Fitzgibbon shares how the miracle of translation connects a global Church. And two new rooms were refurbished in the Beehive House to resemble the bedroom and office of President Joseph F. Smith at the time he received the vision of the redemption of the dead.

Find links and summaries to these nine articles below.

1. Latter-day Saints to wear masks in temples

Wearing masks, Sabrina and Bryce Taylor arrive at the Draper Utah Temple on Sept. 21, 2021.
Wearing masks, Sabrina and Bryce Taylor arrive at the Draper Utah Temple on Sept. 21, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is directing all temple patrons and workers to wear face masks at all times in the temple.

The directive came in a letter sent Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, to Church leaders around the world, which also acknowledged prior First Presidencies sharing similar messages in 1900 about smallpox and in 1957 about polio.

Find out more about the directive

2. Power of gathering evident in Europe

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles listens to questions asked during a meeting with missionaries of the Alpine German-Speaking Mission on Sept. 4, 2021, in Stuttgart, Germany.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles listens to questions asked during a meeting with missionaries of the Alpine German-Speaking Mission on Sept. 4, 2021, in Stuttgart, Germany. Credit: Pieter W. Vernes

With his recent Sept. 3-12 travel to the Europe Area, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles became the first senior leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to travel in person on an international assignment since last year’s COVID-19 onslaught.

Read more about Elder Bednar’s travels

3. Elder Gong teaches missionaries

Elder Gerrit W. Gong, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks to missionaries for a devotional broadcast at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks to missionaries for a devotional broadcast at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Citing the Lord’s invitation — used twice, in Doctrine and Covenants sections 88 and 109 — to “prepare every needful thing,” Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles invited full-time missionaries to focus on preparing three needful things to become faithful and valiant in their sacred missionary service.

Learn the 3 needful things

4. 15 invitations from April 2021 general conference

President Russell M. Nelson greets members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City before the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 4, 2021.
President Russell M. Nelson greets members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City before the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 4, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As October 2021 general conference approaches, here is a look back at 15 invitations the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles extended during April 2021 general conference

Review the 15 invitations

5. Tabernacle Choir makes ‘the air with music ring’ once again

Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square Director Mack Wilberg gets to work as the choir rehearses at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. It was the choir's first rehearsal in more than 18 months.
Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square Director Mack Wilberg gets to work as the choir rehearses at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. It was the choir’s first rehearsal in more than 18 months. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the music that defines the Tabernacle Choir once again filled the Conference Center. For the first time in 555 days, the choir gathered for rehearsal.

Read more about the protocols in place to keep the choir safe

6. FamilySearch’s 2.4 million rolls of microfilm are now digitized

Billions of historical family history records are available to the public with the completion of a microfilm digitization initiative. The final rolls of film have just been scanned.
Billions of historical family history records are available to the public with the completion of a microfilm digitization initiative. The final rolls of film have just been scanned. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A global effort to digitize FamilySearch’s collection of millions of rolls of microfilm is now complete — a milestone 83 years in the making, the Church announced Tuesday, Sept. 21. 

Learn more about what this milestone means

7. Video: A missionary’s first ‘transfer’

Sisters Elizabeth Wheatley, left, and Audrey Morgenegg walk to class arm-in-arm at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on Wednesday Aug 25, 2021.
Sisters Elizabeth Wheatley, left, and Audrey Morgenegg walk to class arm-in-arm at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on Wednesday Aug 25, 2021. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Missionary companions Sister Audrey Morgenegg (from Knoxville, Tennessee, going to the Arizona Tucson Mission) and Sister Elizabeth Wheatley (from Jefferson, South Dakota, and going to the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission) talk about transitioning from online training at home to on-site training at the Provo MTC.

Watch the video

8. Episode 49: The unifying language of the gospel

Vanessa Fitzgibbon, translation coordinator for the Church News, shares about the process of translating articles into Spanish and Portuguese in Episode 49 of the Church News podcast.
Vanessa Fitzgibbon, translation coordinator for the Church News, shares about the process of translating articles into Spanish and Portuguese in Episode 49 of the Church News podcast. Credit: Church News graphic

This episode of the Church News podcast features Church News translation coordinator Vanessa Fitzgibbon. She talks about the miracle of translation that connects a global Church and about translating Church News content from English into Spanish and Portuguese. Spanish and Portuguese are the second- and third-most-spoken languages in the Church. Fitzgibbon, originally from Brazil, shares her conversion story, the process of translating Church News content and the necessity of seeking the Spirit during the process.

Listen to Vanessa’s insights

9. Joseph F. Smith’s rooms in the Beehive House 

A bedroom that has been refurbished to reflect Joseph F. Smith's bedroom in 1918 is photographed in the Beehive House in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021.
A bedroom that has been refurbished to reflect Joseph F. Smith’s bedroom in 1918 is photographed in the Beehive House in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Beginning on Friday, Sept. 24, visitors can walk to the upstairs of the Beehive House and see the bedroom and office of President Joseph F. Smith as they might have looked when he received the vision of the redemption of the dead on Oct. 3, 1918, which is now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants section 138 and was spoken about by President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 100 years later in his October 2018 general conference address.

See what the rooms might have looked like in 1918