In case you missed it: President Ballard on patriarchal blessings, 109 temples are in Phase 4, plus 7 more stories

During the week of April 24-30, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared counsel on patriarchal blessings. In a Church News video, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about an experience with light at the Washington D.C. Temple. More than 100 temples are now in Phase 4. 

Brother Jan E. Newman, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, taught the ABCs of digging deep into the word of God at BYU–Idaho. BYU–Pathway President Brian K. Ashton listed 13 ways the Holy Ghost answers the invitation to “hear Him.” The Church News podcast featured two of the editors of “Saints, Vol. 3: Boldy, Nobly, and Independent.” 

The Church News featured families in Berlin, Germany, who are hosting families from Ukraine. In Ogden, Utah, Weber Institute of Religion students were packing food for a service project and found out one student had eaten similar meals as a child in Africa. From Australia to Uruguay, women served for the Relief Society’s 180th anniversary

Find links and summaries of these nine articles below.

1. President M. Russell Ballard shares counsel on preparing for — and then utilizing — patriarchal blessings

Natalie Hymas studies her patriarchal blessing at home in South Jordan, Utah, on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
Natalie Hymas studies her patriarchal blessing at home in South Jordan, Utah, on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Church News recently sat down with President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to discuss the gift of patriarchal blessings — along with what members can do to prepare for, and then utilize, this unique gift of guidance.

Learn more about patriarchal blessings, plus 3 frequently asked questions

2. Video: The light — and lack of shadows — in the Washington D.C. Temple

The sun shines on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington, Maryland, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.
The sun shines on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington, Maryland, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

A new Church News video, titled “Impressed by the Light,” features interviews with Elder Bednar and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, and Dan Holt, the Church’s project manager for the Washington D.C. Temple renovation. Elder Bednar shares an observation when he toured the temple with a news crew. “And one of the technicians just held up his hand, and he said, ‘Look, there’s no shadow anywhere.’”

Watch the video, and see U.S. national team soccer star Ashley Hatch’s experience sharing a tour with teammates

3. More than 100 temples now in Phase 4, moving to normal operations

Logan Utah Temple
Logan Utah Temple Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On Tuesday, April 26, an additional 23 temples joined the 83 that have started their moves to normal operations since mid-March, with three more added Wednesday, April 27. That gives the Church 109 of its 162 operational temples in Phase 4 (another eight dedicated temples are closed for major renovations).

See which temples are now in Phase 4, plus the temple reopening status tracker

5. Brother Newman’s ABCs of digging deep into the word of God

Brother Jan E. Newman, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency speaks in a BYU–Idaho devotional held in the BYU–Idaho Center in Rexburg, Idaho, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Brother Jan E. Newman, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency speaks in a BYU–Idaho devotional held in the BYU–Idaho Center in Rexburg, Idaho, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Credit: Brett Garamendi, BYU–Idaho

“When we hear the phrase ‘word of God,’ we naturally think of scriptures,” said Brother Jan E. Newman, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, during a BYU–Idaho devotional on April 26. “But I think it’s broader than that. … Giving heed to the word of God … means giving heed to the Savior Himself.” 

What does digging deep into the word of God look like? Brother Newman shared three phrases he called the ABCs of scripture study.

Discover Brother Newman’s ABCs of scripture study

5. 13 ways the Holy Ghost helps answer the invitation to ‘hear Him’

BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Brian K. Ashton speaks during a devotional broadcast to students around the world on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Brian K. Ashton speaks during a devotional broadcast to students around the world on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Credit: Screenshot from live broadcast

Learning to hear Jesus Christ is about learning to recognize and understand the promptings of the Holy Ghost, BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Ashton taught Tuesday, April 26, in the first devotional of a new semester. President Ashton explained that having the influence of the Holy Ghost “gives us access to the messages, strength, and help that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ desire to give us.”

Explore his list of 13 ways or roles the Holy Ghost can play

6. Episode 80: ‘Saints, Vol. 3’ editors detail documenting a history that highlights globalization of the Church and overcoming trials

Episode 80 of the Church News podcast features Jed Woodworth, "Saints, Vol. 3" lead historian and general editor.
Episode 80 of the Church News podcast features Jed Woodworth, “Saints, Vol. 3” lead historian and general editor. Credit: Church News graphic

This episode of the Church News podcast features “Saints, Vol. 3: “Boldly, Nobly, and Independent, 1893-1955” general editor and lead historian Jed Woodworth, and general editor and lead writer Scott Hales. They dive into the compelling accounts of Church members and communities during a period of social change, global pandemic and two world wars. They explain how faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can help Latter-day Saints overcome trials — including the trials Church members face today. 

Listen to the podcast and also read about 7 women in ‘Saints, Vol. 3’

7. Latter-day Saint Ukrainian refugees find rest in Christ, kindness of others

Ukrainian refugee Liia, 3, picks meat off her sister’s plate, prompting laughs from her aunt Diana, mother Natasha and host Oliver Berndt at Berndt’s home in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. The Berndt family is hosting the Diana and Natashay who fled Ukraine.
Ukrainian refugee Liia, 3, picks meat off her sister’s plate, prompting laughs from her aunt Diana, mother Natasha and host Oliver Berndt at Berndt’s home in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. The Berndt family is hosting the Diana and Natashay who fled Ukraine. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Latter-day Saints in Berlin, Germany, and other European communities have opened their homes and hearts to Ukrainian refugees. Oliver and Stephanie Berndt and their children are hosting two women who are sisters-in-law and three children.

“When we first met the Berndts, we immediately felt like family — it was like we had known them from some place long ago,” Diana told the Church News. “They are so kind and supportive. They bring hope to our lives.”

Read more about their experiences, plus the latest refugee efforts in Europe

8. Thousands of meals packaged by Weber Institute students, including one who relied on those same meals as a child

Kofi Herrick, center, smiles with Feed My Starving Children staff at the Weber Institute in Ogden, Utah, after a day of packaging meals together in March 2022. Herrick ate the same meals when he was a child in Ghana, West Africa.
Kofi Herrick, center, smiles with Feed My Starving Children staff at the Weber Institute in Ogden, Utah, after a day of packaging meals together in March 2022. Herrick ate the same meals when he was a child in Ghana, West Africa. Credit: Weber Institute

As hundreds of Weber Institute of Religion students worked to package meals for Feed My Starving Children last month, they found out that one student among them had actually eaten those meals every day as a child in Africa. Kofi Herrick, 22, decided to volunteer for the March 17-18 event after he saw the service project advertised on social media and around the institute and Weber State University campus in Ogden, Utah.

“Looking at the video, it just looked familiar, because that was something I survived on when I was in Ghana, in an orphanage,” said Herrick.

Find out more about Kofi Herrick and the service experience

9. Relief Society women around the world meet together, perform service throughout March and April

Relief Society volunteers gather and sort donations to help a local charity in Ipswich, Australia, March 2022.
Relief Society volunteers gather and sort donations to help a local charity in Ipswich, Australia, March 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

This year marked 180 years since the Relief Society was officially established, and to celebrate, the General Relief Society presidency invited the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to look for ways to do Christlike service. Women from Australia to Uruguay have followed the invitation, some before the anniversary date of March 17, and others since then.

See these examples from Relief Society members around the world meeting and serving together