In case you missed it: President Oaks speaks in Virginia, Tabernacle Choir announces Christmas concert plans, plus 7 more stories

During the week of Nov. 7-13, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, delivered a landmark address in a landmark location about religious freedom. The First Presidency sent a letter directing Sunday services on Dec. 26 be limited to ward and branch sacrament meetings. President M. Russell Ballard dedicated the Pocatello Idaho Temple — the Church’s 170th and Idaho’s sixth.

The Church News podcast featured President Ballard, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook narrating highlights from their recent trip to the British Isles. The Rev. Andrew Teal of the University of Oxford joined Elder Holland for a conversation about friendship. A Church News video featured Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf explaining how “information brings inspiration.”  

The Tabernacle Choir released a trio of new Christmas products and announced plans for 2021 and 2022 Christmas concerts. A duo of articles about JustServe projects — one in Northern California and the other in Utah — showcased how service is bringing individuals and communities together. And Ashley Hatch, a ward Young Women adviser and former BYU soccer star, claimed U.S. league scoring crown.

Read summaries and find links to these nine articles below.

1. President Oaks calls for a ‘peaceful resolution’

President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency delivers the 2021 Joseph Smith Lecture in the Dome Room of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.
President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency delivers the 2021 Joseph Smith Lecture in the Dome Room of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Oaks called on religious leaders and organizations to come together and seek peaceful resolution to the “painful conflicts between religious freedom and nondiscrimination” in a historic address offered from the Dome Room of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday.

Find out more about his counsel

2. Sunday, Dec. 26, Church services 

A Latter-day Saint meetinghouse.
A Latter-day Saint meetinghouse. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The First Presidency has directed that Sunday services for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Dec. 26, 2021, be limited to ward and branch sacrament meetings.

Read more from the First Presidency’s letter

3. Pocatello Idaho Temple dedicated

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks during the cornerstone ceremony of the Pocatello Idaho Temple dedication on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in Pocatello, Idaho.
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks during the cornerstone ceremony of the Pocatello Idaho Temple dedication on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in Pocatello, Idaho. Credit: Drew Nash, for the Deseret News

After a windy and rainy start to the day, calm took over just as the first dedicatory session of the Pocatello Idaho Temple was set to begin on Sunday morning. President Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was joined by Elder Neil L. Andersen, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to declare the new temple complete.

In three sessions, the Pocatello Idaho Temple was dedicated on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Learn more about the dedication and read the dedicatory prayer

4. Episode 56: President Ballard, Elder Holland and Elder Cook on returning to the British Isles

In Episode 56 of the Church News podcast, President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook narrate their return trip to the British Isles, where each served a mission.
In Episode 56 of the Church News podcast, President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook narrate their return trip to the British Isles, where each served a mission. Credit: Screenshot, Youtube

President Ballard first arrived in Great Britain as a young missionary in 1948, just three years after the end of World War II. Elder Cook arrived in England in September 1960, followed by Elder Holland in October of the same year; they would serve together as companions in summer 1962. The trio traveled to England and Scotland in October 2021 to address both Church members and missionaries.

This episode of the Church News podcast features highlights of this historic moment in time, shared by the leaders’ own words, reflecting on how the area, people and foundational spiritual experiences shaped their lives of gospel service.

Listen to the episode

5. How Elder Holland became friends with an Oxford theologian

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal, a chaplain, fellow, and lecturer in theology at Pembroke College, Oxford University, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, talk during a BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies’ 2021 International Advisory Council reception and dinner at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.
The Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal, a chaplain, fellow, and lecturer in theology at Pembroke College, Oxford University, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, talk during a BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies’ 2021 International Advisory Council reception and dinner at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

On the evening before he returned to England, the Rev. Andrew Teal of the University of Oxford joined Elder Holland for a conversation about friendship during Brigham Young University Law’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies 2021 International Advisory Council reception and dinner held at the Grand America in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11.

The Rev. Teal, a chaplain and theologian specializing in Christian church history at Oxford’s Pembroke College, has been spending the fall at BYU at the invitation of Elder Holland. 

Read more about how Elder Holland and Rev. Teal became friends

6. Video: Elder Uchtdorf describes how ‘information brings inspiration’

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf chat prior to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles' weekly meeting at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf chat prior to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles’ weekly meeting at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Elder Uchtdorf — who was interviewed as part of the Church News Inside Church Headquarters series — is featured in a new Church News video titled “Information Brings Inspiration.”

He explains that revelation in a council setting does not come “as a strike of lightning.” Rather, revelation comes by counseling together and by learning from one another and the Spirit.

Watch the video

7. Christmas concert plans for 2021 — and 2022

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and Orchestra at Temple Square perform during a Christmas concert at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. In 2021, the choir is releasing a CD, DVD and an anthology to commemorate 20 years of Christmas concerts.
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and Orchestra at Temple Square perform during a Christmas concert at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. In 2021, the choir is releasing a CD, DVD and an anthology to commemorate 20 years of Christmas concerts. Credit: Ronell S Crapo

Leaders of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square announced Friday a pair of special holiday gifts for fans who count down the days each year until the iconic choir’s annual Christmas concert broadcast.

The choir also released a trio of new Christmas products including a Christmas album available for streaming and purchase, an anthology of Christmas stories from the choir’s annual holiday concerts and a new DVD commemorating two decades of Christmas with the choir.

Find out about the 2021 and 2022 Christmas concerts and the new products available this holiday season

8. Serving Afghan refugees and a growing friendship with an Ethiopian church

Sorting, assembling and delivering kitchen kits for Afghan refugees in Livermore, California, October 2021
Sorting, assembling and delivering kitchen kits for Afghan refugees in Livermore, California, October 2021 Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A JustServe project in Northern California went above and beyond the goal to collect kitchen kits for Afghan refugees, while members of the Layton Utah Creekside Stake and St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Utah now visit back and forth often after participating in a JustServe project together.

Learn about the kitchen kits for refugees and the 10,000 pantry packs for families in need

9. Ashley Hatch claims U.S. league scoring crown

Chicago Red Stars’ Bianca St. Georges, right, battles with Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch, left, during the first half of an NWSL Challenge Cup soccer match at Zions Bank Stadium, Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Herriman, Utah. Hatch is a Latter-day Saint Young Women leader and a former BYU player.
Chicago Red Stars’ Bianca St. Georges, right, battles with Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch, left, during the first half of an NWSL Challenge Cup soccer match at Zions Bank Stadium, Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Herriman, Utah. Hatch is a Latter-day Saint Young Women leader and a former BYU player. Credit: Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

When Ashley Hatch is not serving alongside the Ashburn Ward young women she can often be found on a soccer pitch somewhere in the United States scoring goals. A lot of goals. The Latter-day Saint athlete recently claimed the 2021 Golden Boot in the National Women’s Soccer League — one of the world’s premier women’s professional leagues.

Find out more about this Latter-day Saint athlete