In case you missed it: Church News documentary looks ‘Inside Church Headquarters,’ some terms no longer in the handbook, plus 6 more articles

During the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 2, the Church News released a 22-minute documentary, titled “Inside Church Headquarters,” which examines the essential role of councils in the Church. Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham and Primary General President Camille N. Johnson provided instruction to local leaders and missionaries during a trip to historic Nauvoo, Illinois. A Church News article highlighted the small but significant terminology changes in the revised General Handbook.

An episode of the Church News podcast featured Elder Brook P. Hales, secretary to the First Presidency, who gave an inside look into the preparation for general conference. A Church News article spotlighted the Church-affiliated 300,000-acre ranching operation in Florida — Deseret Ranches — which is one of the largest cattle ranches in the U.S. And missionaries from the United States, Africa and New Zealand who were participating in online and on-site training, talked about their experiences.

The Church released a manual and course about emotional resilience offered by Self-Reliance Services to help members and their friends adapt to challenges with courage and faith centered in the Savior. And despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, the Church’s global service initiative JustServe continues to grow and bless lives around the world. 

Find links and summaries to these eight articles below.

1. ‘Inside Church Headquarters’ documentary

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Presidency of the Seventy gather for a meeting at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Presidency of the Seventy gather for a meeting at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

This 22-minute Church News documentary, titled “Inside Church Headquarters,” examines the essential role of councils in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, beginning with the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and extending to stake, ward and family councils.

It highlights the need for women’s voices in councils. Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and general women leaders also speak 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.

Watch the documentary

2. Women leaders in Nauvoo

Primary General President Camille N. Johnson, left, and Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham pause for a photo outside of the Sarah Granger Kimball home during a tour in historic Nauvoo, Illinois, on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.
Primary General President Camille N. Johnson, left, and Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham pause for a photo outside of the Sarah Granger Kimball home during a tour in historic Nauvoo, Illinois, on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

During their Sept. 24-25 visit, President Bingham and President Johnson toured parts of Historic Nauvoo and Carthage Jail, presented at a leadership instruction for area Relief Society and Primary leaders, spoke to missionaries serving at the site, and explored their ancestral connections to the city that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped settle in the late 1830s after moving from Missouri and Ohio, before moving west in the 1840s.

Learn more about their experience

3. Words and phrases no longer in the Handbook

The new digital-only General Handbook replaces Handbook 1 (for stake presidents and bishops) and Handbook 2 (for all other leaders) and is being revised under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The new digital-only General Handbook replaces Handbook 1 (for stake presidents and bishops) and Handbook 2 (for all other leaders) and is being revised under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Though small, changes in terminology in the revised handbook are significant, said Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Church’s Correlation Department, which oversees the handbook. 

Whereas previous handbooks were written in an administrative, procedural voice for Church leaders, the General Handbook — available to the public and written for a global Church — aims to be more principle based. Content has been simplified, reduced and made more adaptable for congregations of all sizes worldwide.

Find out more about which words are no longer used

4. Inside look at conference preparation

In Episode 50 of the Church News podcast, Elder Brook P. Hales, secretary to the First Presidency, gives an inside look into the preparations for general conference.
In Episode 50 of the Church News podcast, Elder Brook P. Hales, secretary to the First Presidency, gives an inside look into the preparations for general conference.

Church employees and volunteers work an estimated 91,000 hours to prepare for, host, broadcast and record the two-day, five-session general conference — an event translated into 98 languages.

This episode of the Church News podcast gives listeners a look at conference preparations as Elder Brook P. Hales, a General Authority Seventy and secretary to the First Presidency, shares insights into the production of the monumental event.

Listen to his insights

5. The Church’s Deseret Ranches of Florida

Cattle in a pasture at Deseret Ranches in St. Cloud, Florida, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021.
Cattle in a pasture at Deseret Ranches in St. Cloud, Florida, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Deseret Ranches is the flagship cattle operation of AgReserves, a for-profit investment affiliate of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

And operations extend beyond beef cattle — from citrus to shells, from sod to solar, and from managing water to wildlife. That diversity extends to the mosaic of wetlands, woodlands, pastures and citrus groves that provide diversity of operations.

Joining diversity as an emphasis is sustainability, as the seven-decades-old Deseret Ranches continually seeks to improve its cattle herd, operations, natural resources and relationships with individuals both inside and outside the property fence line.

Learn more about this unique operation

6. Insights into the new online, on-site missionary training program

Elder Clint Allen, Jr., does missionary training over video chat at home in Chandler, Ariz., on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. He will go to the Provo Missionary Training Center to finish his training in person for a month.
Elder Clint Allen, Jr., does missionary training over video chat at home in Chandler, Ariz., on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. He will go to the Provo Missionary Training Center to finish his training in person for a month. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Church News recently asked more than a dozen training missionaries — in their homes, at the missionary training centers, via email and in-person conversations — to share for future new missionaries what they are learning from their experiences.

Read their responses

7. What is emotional resilience?

A couple from Ecuador laugh and stand in a workshop. The emotional resilience materials are currently available in English and many additional languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French and Russian.
A couple from Ecuador laugh and stand in a workshop. The emotional resilience materials are currently available in English and many additional languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French and Russian. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Developing healthy thinking patterns is one of many topics covered in “Finding Strength in the Lord: Emotional Resilience,” a manual and course offered by Self-Reliance Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help members and their friends adapt to challenges with courage and faith centered in the Savior.

Designed for anyone and everyone, the manual and course are not meant to be a replacement for therapy, he emphasized, but rather an introductory resource for developing skills, building hope and experiencing healthy relationships.

Find out more about these resources

8. JustServe’s growing global reach

In August of 2021, JustServe volunteers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, participated in a project sponsored by a local food to harvest oranges growing on public streets to make jam for people in need in their community.
In August of 2021, JustServe volunteers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, participated in a project sponsored by a local food to harvest oranges growing on public streets to make jam for people in need in their community. Credit: Instagram photo

At this moment, volunteers are organizing to collect headstone data in Buenos Aires, Argentina, cemeteries. Others are teaching English skills, via Zoom, to immigrants living in London, England. And still others are partnering with a nonprofit organization to deliver rice and beans to hungry people in Puebla, Mexico.

Each of the volunteers, despite differences in their respective projects and locales, are part of a unified effort: JustServe — the Church’s service-driven initiative that links volunteers of all backgrounds with vetted organizations and projects designed to lift the burdens of others in their own communities.

Read more about how the initiative’s influence continues to grow