In case you missed it: 3 Apostles in the British Isles, Elder Gong at the Winnipeg temple cornerstone, plus 7 more stories

During the week of Oct. 24-30, President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook traveled to the British Isles and reflected on their time there as missionaries. Elder David A. Bednar, Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham and other Church leaders ministered to Latter-day Saints in Jordan, Egypt and United Arab Emirates. And Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Sister Reyna I. Aburto spoke at a forum on religious freedom.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged Ensign College students to stand as a witness of God, nothing wavering. Another Apostle, Elder Gerrit W. Gong, presided at the cornerstone ceremony on Saturday for the soon-to-be dedicated Winnipeg Manitoba Temple. And Elder Ulisses Soares addressed Mesa-area young adults’ concerns about commitment, marriage and loving those who disagree.

In this week’s Church News podcast, Elder Weatherford T. Clayton discussed the need for and blessings of senior missionary service. For the first time since March 2020, the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed a live Sunday broadcast of “Music & the Spoken Word.” And a national survey by the American Enterprise Institute revealed Latter-day Saints’ feelings toward their neighbors.

Find links and summaries of these nine articles below.

1. Returning to their ‘spiritual home’

President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Quentin L. Cook Elder and Jeffrey R. Holland of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with wives Sister Mary Cook and Pat Holland tour at the River Ribble, England on Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. Many converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were baptized in the river through early missionary efforts.
President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Quentin L. Cook Elder and Jeffrey R. Holland of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with wives Sister Mary Cook and Pat Holland tour at the River Ribble, England on Wednesday Oct. 27, 2021. Many converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were baptized in the river through early missionary efforts. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

President Ballard, 93, traveled to England and Scotland this week to address members and missionaries. Joined by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and themselves former missionaries in Great Britain, the trip marked a coming home for the trio of senior Church leaders.

For each of them, the British Isles and the missionary service they gave there became a hinge point in their lives.

Read more about their experiences, including a visit to Scottish Parliament and a chance meeting with missionaries from the Preston MTC

2. Ministry to the Middle East

Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, visit the Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.
Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, visit the Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

During a weeklong ministry in the Middle East, Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged members to find hope in the Savior and prepare for the temple announced in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

Elder Bednar ministered in Jordan. President Bingham, and first counselor Sister Sharon Eubank, who is also the president of Latter-day Saint Charities, and Elder Randy D. Funk, a General Authority Seventy and first counselor in the Middle East/Africa North Area, were in Egypt. The leaders also ministered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where the Bednars and Funks visited Expo 2020, which includes the temple site.

Read summaries of their messages

3. Reasons societies should protect religious freedom

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks from the Church Office Building on Friday, October 29, 2021.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks from the Church Office Building on Friday, October 29, 2021. Credit: Jon Ryan Jensen

Speaking to an audience that included religious, community and political leaders from multiple South American countries, Elder D. Todd Christofferson noted the diminishing protections worldwide of religious freedoms and provided six reasons that they should be strongly protected in constitutions, laws, regulations and practices of every society.

Find out his six reasons

4. Stand as a witness

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks to Ensign College students and members of the public during a devotional at Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks to Ensign College students and members of the public during a devotional at Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

All baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like Elder Rasband, are blessed to bear the sacred name of Jesus Christ and stand as a witness of God “at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in” (Mosiah 18:9). Everything they say and do reflects their desire to be counted as His disciples. 

Speaking to Ensign College students in a devotional held in the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 26, Elder Rasband invited all in attendance to “stand as a witness of God, nothing wavering.”

Read more about his counsel

5. Winnipeg temple cornerstone ceremony

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to attendees during the cornerstone ceremony for the new Winnipeg Manitoba Temple in Winnipeg, Canada, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to attendees during the cornerstone ceremony for the new Winnipeg Manitoba Temple in Winnipeg, Canada, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Credit: Daniel Crump, for the Deseret News

When Elder Gong emerged Saturday afternoon from the soon-to-be dedicated Winnipeg Manitoba Temple, he was greeted by an enthusiastic cornerstone choir and a stiff Canadian wind.

But no one complained about the chill.

Saturday’s cornerstone ceremony signaled the beginning of new temples opening following interruptions prompted by the pandemic.

Read more about the gratitude-filled ceremony prior to the dedication

6. How to find answers to deep and important concerns

The Mesa Arizona Red Mountain institute Building
The Mesa Arizona Red Mountain institute Building Credit: Provided by Mesa Arizona Red Mountain Institute

Roughly 1,500 young adults from throughout the Phoenix Valley in Arizona filled the chapel and cultural hall and overflowed into the foyers, hallways and offices of the Mesa Arizona Red Mountain Institute Building to listen to an Apostle’s loving counsel regarding topics specific to their situations.

In answering the young adults’ inquiries about making life decisions, navigating life post-mission, holding true to doctrine while showing love to those who believe differently, and other areas of worry, Elder Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified that each individual could find answers to his or her deep and important concerns by focusing their life on the Savior.

Read more about his counsel to young adults

7. Blessings of senior missionary service

In Episode 54 of the Church News podcast, Elder Weatherford Clayton discusses the need for senior missionaries in the Church and how they can serve younger generations and the world.
In Episode 54 of the Church News podcast, Elder Weatherford Clayton discusses the need for senior missionaries in the Church and how they can serve younger generations and the world. Credit: Screenshot YouTube.com

Senior members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been contributing to the missionary efforts of the Church since the earliest days of the Restoration. Today the opportunities for senior missionaries are vast, and more missionaries are needed. Still, there are a lot of misconceptions about this important volunteer work.

This episode of the Church News podcast feature Church Missionary Department’s Elder Weatherford T. Clayton and Arthur Johnson to discuss the need for senior missionaries in the Church and the variety of ways they can serve younger generations and the world. 

Listen to the podcast

8. The ‘miracle’ of Sunday’s historic broadcast

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs its first Sunday morning music since the pandemic started at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021.
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs its first Sunday morning music since the pandemic started at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Credit: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

For the first time since March of 2020, the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed a live Sunday broadcast of “Music & the Spoken Word.”

Under the baton of music director Mack Wilberg, the choir was joined on the Conference Center stage by the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Bells at Temple Square. The choir was at full strength, unlike during the October 2021 general conference, where half the choir sang the first day and the other half the second.

Learn about their experience

9. What a national survey reveals about Latter-day Saints and their communities

Community members clean the grounds of the Wat Lao Salt Lake Buddharam. Multi-stake members and civic volunteers brought in heavy equipment to level the parking lot, and clean away the weeds in preparation for future paving.
Community members clean the grounds of the Wat Lao Salt Lake Buddharam. Multi-stake members and civic volunteers brought in heavy equipment to level the parking lot, and clean away the weeds in preparation for future paving. Credit: Royce Bair

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have far deeper feelings of community trust and connection than other religious groups, according to a recent American Enterprise Institute national survey on community satisfaction, safety and trust.

Published Oct. 20 by AEI’s Survey Center on American Life, the report — titled “Public Places and Commercial Spaces: How Neighborhood Amenities Foster Trust and Connection in American Communities” — finds that 72% of Latter-day Saints say they feel at least somewhat connected to their community.

Learn more about the survey’s findings