In case you missed it: Temple attendance without an appointment, never-before-known lawsuit involving Joseph Smith, plus 5 more stories

During the week of May 29-June 4, the Church announced that temples across the globe will gradually return to allowing members to attend without an appointment. Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles completed a 10-day ministry in the Pacific Area. And Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided over the start of the Tokyo Japan Temple’s media and special-guest tours.

Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Presidency of the Seventy presided over the groundbreaking of Idaho’s seventh temple — the Burley Idaho Temple. Sister Carol F. McConkie, a former member of the Young Women general presidency, joined the Church News podcast to discuss her role as vice president of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, in Geneva, Switzerland. A Church News feature offered advice, tips and resources for visiting Church history sites and pageants this summer. And another Church News article explained how a never-before-known lawsuit involving Joseph Smith offers new insight into Church history.

Find summaries and links to these stories below.

1. Adjustment to temple scheduling

Attendees walk the grounds at the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple dedication in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, May 8, 2022.
Attendees walk the grounds at the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple dedication in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, May 8, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

As temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across the globe gradually return to normal and full operations, Church leaders announced another step in helping members participate in regular temple worship — allowing members performing proxy ordinances to have the option to either reserve an appointment or to attend without an appointment.

The allowance was announced Friday, June 3, on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Similar to other temple attendance adjustments, this one will also happen on a temple-by-temple basis.

Read more about the announcement

2. Elder Soares’ Pacific Area ministry

Young women meet Elder Ulisses Soares before a devotional in the Auckland New Zealand Penrose Stake on May 21, 2022.
Young women meet Elder Ulisses Soares before a devotional in the Auckland New Zealand Penrose Stake on May 21, 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Soares and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, recently completed a 10-day ministry in the Pacific Area, which included devotionals held with Latter-day Saints of all ages and broadcasts spanning New Zealand and Australia.

“I feel like I am at home, among friends,” said Elder Soares of his stops in Auckland and Hamilton, New Zealand, and Brisbane and Sydney, Australia. “My wife and I have loved this experience.”

Read more about Elder Soares’ counsel and travels in New Zealand and Australia

3. Tokyo Japan Temple open house begins with public tours, photos, video

The celestial room inside the renovated Tokyo Japan Temple.
The celestial room inside the renovated Tokyo Japan Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The recently renovated Tokyo Japan Temple has begun the public-facing phase prior to its July 3 rededication, with the release of interior and exterior photos and Elder Stevenson presiding over the initial media and special-guest tours prior to the temple’s public open house.

See photos of the interior and exterior of the renovated temple

4. Turning the ground for a new kind of harvest

Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who is from the Burley area, speaks to the crowd as Burley, Idaho, and surrounding-area residents gather to take part in the groundbreaking of the Burley Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who is from the Burley area, speaks to the crowd as Burley, Idaho, and surrounding-area residents gather to take part in the groundbreaking of the Burley Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

In a place where farmers have sacrificed and worked together for generations, ground was broken for a new purpose — the building of the Burley Idaho Temple.

Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Presidency of the Seventy — who was born and raised in Burley — thanked the Funk family who worked the land for generations, as he presided over the groundbreaking.

He said, “Today, as we turn this soil, we will symbolically be planting the seeds, just as the Funk family has been planting the seeds throughout the years, with faith and hope that something beautiful would grow.”

Read more about the groundbreaking

5. Building bridges through service, advocacy and education

Being raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, women are taught that they are beloved daughters of heavenly parents. This truth has helped Sister Carol F. McConkie, a former member of the Young Women general presidency, share the gospel around the world. 

Now as vice president of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, in Geneva, Switzerland, Sister McConkie is serving and empowering women and girls worldwide as she advocates for human rights, education and self-reliance.

Listen to Sister McConkie’s thoughts on how to empower women and girls

6. What you need to know before visiting Church historic sites

The Nauvoo Pageant is scheduled for July 5-30, 2022, in historic Nauvoo, Illinois. It is comprised of a core cast of professional performers and of family casts that change each week.
The Nauvoo Pageant is scheduled for July 5-30, 2022, in historic Nauvoo, Illinois. It is comprised of a core cast of professional performers and of family casts that change each week.

With pandemic-related restrictions at the Church’s historical sites lifted this summer and the planned performances of the two pageants set in motion, the leaders at the sites are preparing for what they expect will be a busy summer. 

“We are anticipating very large crowds” at all of the Church’s historic sites, said Gary Boatright, manager of historic site operations. The COVID-19 pandemic paused vacations, including both bus tours and family vacations, and Church activities to the sites the past two years. “Everybody is anxious to get out.”

Learn tips, advice and resources for visiting the sites

7. Newly discovered lawsuit involving Joseph Smith

A notice from Joseph Smith’s attorneys, Miron Leslie and Roswell Field, in the case of Joseph Smith v. Marshall Brotherton, March 1842.
A notice from Joseph Smith’s attorneys, Miron Leslie and Roswell Field, in the case of Joseph Smith v. Marshall Brotherton, March 1842. Credit: Missouri State Archives-St. Louis

The documents, which include depositions about Church business and testimonies about the character of Joseph Smith and other Church leaders, were only recently discovered as court archivists went through old files and papers in the St. Louis court system.

“When I first saw it, I thought, ‘That can’t be the real Joseph Smith,’” said Bill Glankler, supervising archivist at the Missouri State Archives, St. Louis.

Find out more about the never-before-known case