In case you missed it: #GiveThanks invitation anniversary, President and Sister Oaks on faith and trust, plus 7 more stories

The week of Nov. 14-20 marks the anniversary of President Russell M. Nelson’s invitation to #GiveThanks. President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, and Sister Kristen M. Oaks spoke at BYU–Idaho on faith and trust in the Lord. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called on young adults to be “a fortress of strength.” 

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles commemorated Volkstrauertag, German National Day of Mourning. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared in a Church News video about the “counsel in council” revelatory process.

FamilySearch announced personal temple ordinance reservations will be limited to 300. In this week’s Church News podcast, BYU–Idaho professors Eric and Sarah d’Evegnée shared about faith, testimony and reconversion. 

Service calendars, including one for children, were released for the 2021 #LightTheWorld initiative. And hundreds of Latinos sang or danced in this year’s “Luz de las Naciones” — Spanish for “Light of the Nations” — program, shared virtually. 

Read summaries and find links to these nine articles below.

1. One year after #GiveThanks, Church members express gratitude again for a prophetic invitation

President Russell M. Nelson records a video message on the healing power of gratitude, which was shared on social media on Nov. 20, 2020.
President Russell M. Nelson records a video message on the healing power of gratitude, which was shared on social media on Nov. 20, 2020. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Goldie Burt is a great-grandmother who had never really used social media — until she heard the Prophet’s invitation one year ago to post with #GiveThanks. The 88-year-old Burt had her granddaughter help her post on Instagram. Burt’s posts about her family and faith joined countless others around the world as people followed President Nelson’s call to “flood social media with a wave of gratitude that reaches the four corners of the earth.” On Nov. 20, 2020, President Nelson released a video on the healing power of gratitude. 

Read about Church members’ experiences with President Nelson’s invitation

2. President and Sister Oaks teach BYU–Idaho students how faith in the Lord is synonymous with trust in the Lord

President Dallin H. Oaks and Sister Kristen M. Oaks wave to the students gathered in the BYU-Idaho Center for a devotional on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.
President Dallin H. Oaks and Sister Kristen M. Oaks wave to the students gathered in the BYU-Idaho Center for a devotional on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. Credit: James Turcotte, BYU–Idaho

Exercising faith — the first principle of the gospel — means exercising trust in God’s will and His way of doing things. Faith includes trusting His timetable. President Oaks and his wife, Sister Oaks, shared faith-centered messages during their Nov. 16 student devotional at the BYU–Idaho Center. 

Find out about their teachings on faith and trust in the Lord

3. Elder Holland calls on young adults to be ‘a fortress of strength’ inside the Church and out

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during a Jordan Institute of Religion devotional in West Jordan, Utah, on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during a Jordan Institute of Religion devotional in West Jordan, Utah, on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. Credit: Jacob Walker

As greater revelation comes and the Lord’s work intensifies in the last days, the adversary’s efforts are increasing proportionately, Elder Holland cautioned young adults on Sunday night, Nov. 14, at the Jordan Institute of Religion in West Jordan, Utah. 

Learn more about his counsel to young adults

4. How Volkstrauertag reminds Elder Uchtdorf of the need for peace, reconciliation and forgiveness

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks during the Volkstrauertag event at the Fort Douglas Military Cemetery on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Salt Lake City .
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks during the Volkstrauertag event at the Fort Douglas Military Cemetery on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Salt Lake City . Credit: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

Each year in the Fort Douglas Military Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Volkstrauertag is observed to pay tribute to the 41 German prisoners of war who are buried there, as well as to soldiers from all other nations who have died for their countries. Elder Uchtdorf; his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf; and others with German or military ties gathered to commemorate the German National Day of Mourning, on Sunday, Nov. 14.

Discover more about this tradition

5. Video: What it means to Elder Bednar to ‘counsel in council’

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles leads a Temple and Family History Executive Council meeting at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles leads a Temple and Family History Executive Council meeting at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The power of counseling in council is revelation, said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “In worldly or secular organizations, much is made about participative decision-making. This is not a secular pattern,” he said. “Counseling in councils is about inviting, receiving and recognizing revelation.” 

Watch the video and read about what he shared during a BYU–Hawaii devotional

6. FamilySearch announces 300 limit for personal temple ordinance reservations. Here’s why

A family talks outside of the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple. FamilySearch announced on Nov. 15, 2021, a new 300 limit for personal temple reservation lists.
A family talks outside of the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple. FamilySearch announced on Nov. 15, 2021, a new 300 limit for personal temple reservation lists. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Starting this month, personal temple ordinance reservation lists will have a maximum of 300 rows of reservations per user, FamilySearch announced Monday, Nov. 15. “This update is intended to encourage members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use all the resources available to complete their ancestors’ temple work in a timely manner,” the FamilySearch blog post states

Find out more, including answers to 6 questions, about this update

7. Episode 57: BYU–Idaho professors Eric and Sarah d’Evegnée on faith, testimony and reconversion

In Episode 57 of the Church News podcast, BYU–Idaho professors Eric d’Evegnée and Sarah Hafen d’Evegnée talk about creating a database and analyzing a database of reconversion stories to learn lessons that might help those with questions of faith.
In Episode 57 of the Church News podcast, BYU–Idaho professors Eric d’Evegnée and Sarah Hafen d’Evegnée talk about creating a database and analyzing a database of reconversion stories to learn lessons that might help those with questions of faith. Credit: Screenshot from YouTube

This episode of the Church News podcast features information about those who come back, who reengage in the gospel and build stronger foundations than before. These “reconversions” happen more often than one might think. Eric d’Evegnée and Sarah Hafen d’Evegnée, who are a married couple of BYU–Idaho English professors, are creating and analyzing a database of reconversion stories to learn lessons that might help those with questions of faith.

Listen to the podcast

8. 2021 Light the World Christmas initiative features new video, children’s service calendar

A scene from the modern Nativity story in the “Light the World With Love” video for 2021 Light the World initiative.
A scene from the modern Nativity story in the “Light the World With Love” video for 2021 Light the World initiative. Credit: Screenshot from YouTube

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched its annual Light the World initiative for Christmas 2021 on Thursday, Nov. 18. The initiative is themed “Light the World With Love” this year and features a calendar of daily service ideas that starts on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and continues to Christmas Day on LightTheWorld.org. New to the initiative this year is a separate children’s calendar and a video of a modern Nativity.

Download PDFs of both service calendars and watch the new video

9. ‘Luz de las Naciones’ celebrates light and joy found in faith, family

Women in traditional dresses perform a dance number for the “Luz de las Naciones” broadcast on Nov. 20, 2021.
Women in traditional dresses perform a dance number for the “Luz de las Naciones” broadcast on Nov. 20, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

This year’s version of Church’s annual “Luz de las Naciones,” prerecorded and presented virtually Saturday, Nov. 20, was once again a colorful, full-bore celebration. “Luz de las Naciones” — or “Light of the Nations” in English — was a reminder of the joy found in faith, family, friendship and the joy of simply having fun dancing and singing with one another. Most importantly, it was a celebration of Christ’s light — offering hope and direction.

See more about this annual tradition celebrating Latin American culture