In case you missed it: President Nelson and President Oaks’ counsel to young adults, BYU’s ROTC military skills competition, plus 6 more stories

During the week of May 15-21, President Russell M. Nelson spoke to young adults during a historic devotional, asking, “Decide what kind of life you want to live forever.” During an Ensign College devotional, his first counselor in the First Presidency, President Dallin H. Oaks, called upon young adults and others to “stand fast with love” in proclaiming truth. And Saints in Guam celebrated the completion of the temple.

The Church released Interior and exterior photographs of the Praia Cape Verde Temple in conjunction with the new temple’s open house. In an article, the Primary general presidency discussed how Primary songs can “strengthen your spiritual foundation.” And episode 83 of the Church News podcast featured Deseret News religion reporter Kelsey Dallas talking about the importance of religious liberty.

A Church News article showcased charts which show the Church’s growth through 191 years while another Church News feature explained how youth and young adults are leading tours of a full-sized replica display of the Old Testament tabernacle. And BYU’s ROTC squad of returned missionaries claimed a top-5 finish at an elite military skills competition.

Read more about these nine stories below.

1. President Nelson’s address to young adults

Thousands of attendees are pictured during the Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
Thousands of attendees are pictured during the Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday, May 15, 2022. Credit: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

First and foremost, each person is a child of God, taught President Nelson during a devotional broadcast worldwide to young adults ages 18 to 30 on Sunday, May 15.

Addressing a capacity crowd in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City, with thousands more watching from overflow areas on Temple Square and hundreds of thousands more watching online, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said righteous choices in mortality will pay unimaginable dividends eternally.

Learn more about his counsel, young adults reaction to his address and the historic nature of the event

2. President Oaks calls on young adults to ‘stand fast with love’ in proclaiming truth

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, left, and Elder Clark G. Gilbert, a General Authority Seventy and Church Commissioner of Education, speak at an Ensign College devotional in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, left, and Elder Clark G. Gilbert, a General Authority Seventy and Church Commissioner of Education, speak at an Ensign College devotional in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Just two days after President Nelson spoke to young adults worldwide, the Church President’s message of knowing “the truth about who you are and of the destiny God has designed for us” was echoed and endorsed by his friend and first counselor in the First Presidency, President Oaks.

On Tuesday, May 17, President Oaks built upon President Nelson’s recent counsel during an Ensign College devotional — calling upon young adults and others to “stand fast with love” in proclaiming truth.

President Oaks was joined by Elder Clark G. Gilbert, a General Authority Seventy and the Church commissioner of education.

Read more what President Oaks said about how to stand fast with love

3. Saints celebrate a temple in Guam through music and dance

Andrew Air Fore Base Cultural Dancers perform as Church members celebrate the dedication of the Yigo Guam Temple at the Barrigada Stake Center in Guam on Friday, May 20, 2022.
Andrew Air Fore Base Cultural Dancers perform as Church members celebrate the dedication of the Yigo Guam Temple at the Barrigada Stake Center in Guam on Friday, May 20, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Like the Church’s humble beginnings on the island of Guam nearly 80 years ago, a celebration of gratitude on Friday, May 20, started with a few enthusiastic attendees that swelled to a capacity crowd of a few hundred people in the stake center in Barrigada.

Children were climbing and sitting in the trees around the chapel, laughing and eating with each other. Inside, their parents and others from the community shared in their joy and added in a few tears as they spoke of their appreciation for a new temple.

See photos of and read stories about grateful Saints in Guam

4. See 8 exterior, interior images of new Praia Cape Verde Temple

The front of the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
The front of the Praia Cape Verde Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Interior and exterior photographs of the Praia Cape Verde Temple have been published in conjunction with the new temple’s open house, which began this week.

The Praia temple will be the 173rd dedicated temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, following the May 22 dedication of the Yigo Guam Temple, a similar sacred edifice for island-based Latter-day Saints halfway around the world.

See the photos in addition to a video of Cabo Verde and the new temple

5. How Primary songs can help ‘strengthen your spiritual foundation’

A group of children sing a song in Primary.
A group of children sing a song in Primary. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Plain and simple Primary songs can invite the Spirit to help “strengthen your spiritual foundation,” as President Nelson has invited us to do, by declaring pure truth, teaching pure doctrine and inviting pure revelation. The truths in this music not only strengthen us but also provide an essential foundation for children to build on throughout their lives.

Consider some of the ways Primary songs can help you and the children in your lives strengthen your spiritual foundations. 

Read some of the ways Primary songs can help strengthen a spiritual foundation

6. Deseret News religion reporter Kelsey Dallas on the importance of religious freedom

In episode 83 of the Church News podcast, Deseret News reporter and editor Kelsey Dallas speaks about religious liberty.
In episode 83 of the Church News podcast, Deseret News reporter and editor Kelsey Dallas speaks about religious liberty. Credit: Church News graphic

Freedom of religion is a basic principle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as a fundamental human right. Readers frequently ask why the Church News writes so much on this important topic.

This episode of the Church News podcast features Deseret News reporter and editor Kelsey Dallas sharing her expertise on religious freedom. Dallas received a master’s degree in religion from Yale Divinity School and covers religion, politics and the Supreme Court for the Deseret News. She also serves as associate editor of Deseret News National.

Listen to her insights

7. Charts show Church’s ongoing growth through 191 years

Conferencegoers stand as general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enter the Conference Center for the church's 192nd Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Conferencegoers stand as general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enter the Conference Center for the church’s 192nd Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 2, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Church growth — as counted by numbers of members, dedicated temples, congregations and stakes — continues 192 years after the faith’s founding.

See the charts of how the Church has grown

8. Youth and young adults lead tours at ancient tabernacle replica

Parker J. Yardley gives information inside ancient tabernacle replica on display in Syracuse, Utah, on Saturday, May 7, 2022.
Parker J. Yardley gives information inside ancient tabernacle replica on display in Syracuse, Utah, on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

In a large field adjacent to the Syracuse Utah South Stake center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a full-size replica of the Old Testament tabernacle has been set up to let visitors walk through and experience what an ancient tabernacle looked like, in every detail.

Seventy-one stakes in the Utah Layton Mission boundaries are involved, with the Bountiful, Layton and Syracuse YSA stakes taking the lead.

More than 42,000 visitors attended from April 4 to May 5 in the location by the Bountiful Utah Tabernacle. And 2,100 visitors went just on May 7, its first full day in Syracuse. In June, it will move to Kaysville, Utah.

Learn how the unique display is pointing others to Christ

9. BYU squad of returned missionaries a ‘top-5 team’

Cadets from BYU Army ROTC's Ranger Challenge Team compete together during the 2022 Sandhurst military skills competition in West Point, New York.
Cadets from BYU Army ROTC’s Ranger Challenge Team compete together during the 2022 Sandhurst military skills competition in West Point, New York. Credit: Sarah Windmueller

Superstar soccer players dream of competing in the World Cup Final. Musical prodigies launch careers at Warsaw’s International Chopin Piano Competition. And becoming a Wimbledon champion tops the wish list of rising tennis pros.

For many military cadets and officer candidates, their personal “pinnacle” is being part of a team that tests their abilities at the annual Sandhurst Military Skills Competition. 

Brigham Young University’s Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team claimed a top-5 finish at this year’s two-day Sandhurst competition, held April 29-30. Fellow top-5 teams included entries from the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the University of North Georgia, a senior military college.

Find out more about BYU’s top-5 performance