2022 year in review: A look back at news and events of the Church around the world
A Church News compilation of significant Church events, news and milestones that happened in 2022
2022 year in review: A look back at news and events of the Church around the world
A Church News compilation of significant Church events, news and milestones that happened in 2022
The year 2022 saw temples returning to normal operations following COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the largest one-time monetary donation the Church has made to date, significant anniversaries of pioneer journeys, and historic firsts for President Russell M. Nelson, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Wards and branches across the Church began their third year of the Children and Youth program.
Jan. 1 — In his first official message of 2022, President Russell M. Nelson gave three suggestions for New Year’s resolutions, on social media.
Jan. 7 — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the calling of 164 new mission presidents and companions; most began their service in July.
Jan. 9 — Six members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Elder Neil L. Andersen, Elder Ronald A. Rasband and Elder Dale G. Renlund — streamed independent messages to young adults in different areas of the world representing all six major continents.
Jan. 15 — A volcanic eruption and tsunami impacted islands of Tonga; Church members mobilized to provide relief, and on Jan. 21, the First Presidency published a letter encouraging faith and calm to members of the Church in Tonga.
Jan. 17 — In commemoration of the birth of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., President Nelson posted a message on social media asking all to “labor together to abandon attitudes and actions of prejudice.”
Jan. 20 — The Church released ”Muslims and Latter-day Saints: Beliefs, Values and Lifestyles” — a 35-page pamphlet designed to enhance understanding between those of Muslim and Latter-day Saint faiths.
Jan. 21 — President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke at an online training broadcast for seminary and institute instructors.
Jan. 23 — President Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, and Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, spoke in a devotional broadcast to Church members in 48 European nations.
Jan. 25 — President Nelson spoke on the importance of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon at an event celebrating the latest edition of the Joseph Smith Papers project.
Jan. 29 — The Mormon Battalion Historic Site celebrated the 175th anniversary of the battalion’s arrival into Old Town San Diego, with Elder Christofferson speaking on why the event still matters today.
Feb. 5 — Members commemorated the 176th anniversary of the 1846 exodus of the Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo, Illinois.
Feb. 15 — The summaries of 150 times Eliza R. Snow, the second Relief Society general president, spoke from September 1880 to December 1881 were published on the Church Historian’s Press website.
Feb. 16 — Col. Gail S. Halvorsen — a beloved Latter-day Saint aviator known by legions as “The Berlin Candy Bomber” — died in a hospital in Provo, Utah, at the age of 101. Elder Uchtdorf spoke at his funeral on Feb. 22.
Feb. 17 — The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square President Mike Leavitt identified four new “high-level objectives” for the famed organization — while also announcing the cancellation of the oft-postponed international 2022 Heritage Tour.
Feb. 18 — The First Presidency issued a letter encouraging area presidencies, in consultation with stake presidencies, to determine on a local basis whether masks should be worn or other precautions should be observed in various Church meetings and activities.
Feb. 19 — The Primary general presidency — President Camille N. Johnson, Sister Susan H. Porter and Sister Amy A. Wright — participated in the second Friend to Friend broadcast.
Feb. 25 — The First Presidency released a statement pleading for peace following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, beginning an armed conflict that resulted in refugees fleeing Ukraine.
Feb. 27 — President Nelson addressed Latter-day Saints in California in a special devotional broadcast.
March 3 — The 2022 Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction was released, featuring Elder Bednar and Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, then-Primary General President Camille N. Johnson and Sister Reyna I. Aburto, then second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.
March 3-5 — More than 1 million people from over 225 countries joined the all-virtual RootsTech 2022.
March 5 — Elder Ulisses Soares and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, gave a Family Discovery Day presentation as part of RootsTech 2022.
March 9 — During a worldwide Face to Face broadcast, the Young Women and Young Men general presidencies asked young people from across the globe what it means to place their trust in God.
March 10 — BYU–Pathway Worldwide President Brian K. Ashton was inaugurated.
March 15 — The First Presidency announced that temples would gradually return to normal operations.
March 17 — The Relief Society celebrated its 180th anniversary. Earlier, the Relief Society general presidency issued an invitation for women to prepare for that milestone by serving in their communities.
March 18 — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke in the Cadet Chapel at West Point in an event commemorating 150 years since the first Latter-day Saint joined the United States Military Academy.
March 25 — A list of 72 new temple presidents and matrons was announced; most began their service in September.
March 31 — During the leadership session of general conference, 45 new Area Seventies from 23 countries were announced and sustained.
April 2 — During the 192nd Annual General Conference, six new General Authority Seventies were sustained. Also new Relief Society and Primary general presidencies were announced; those changes took effect on Aug. 1.
April 3 — During general conference, President Nelson announced 17 new temples, bringing the total number he has announced to 100.
April 7 — The First Presidency announced the 2022-2023 area leadership assignments.
April 7 — Two new missions in Spain and England were announced.
April 10 — Elder Uchtdorf ministered to Ukrainian refugees in Poland.
April 10 — The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells at Temple Square and the Gabriel Trumpet Ensemble presented a global online concert titled “He Is Risen: A Special Easter Celebration.”
April 11 — Main Street Plaza closed as part of the ongoing Temple Square renovations.
April 14 — President Nelson became the oldest President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
April 19 — Then-Primary General President Camille N. Johnson spoke at the Freedom To Serve Symposium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in conjunction with Iowa Religious Freedom Day.
April 20 — The majority of temples operating around the world returned to normal operations.
April 20 — Restrictions on baptisms in Mozambique — implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic — were eased, and some 900 people who were waiting for two years to join the Church were baptized in the following two months.
April 22 — The third volume of “Saints,” a multivolume history of the Church, was released.
April 23 — United States Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, the longest serving Republican senator, died at age 88. President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke at his funeral on May 6.
May 5 — On the National Day of Prayer, President Nelson pondered on the phrase “thoughts and prayers” on social media.
May 8 — Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple, marking a historic first: Each member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has dedicated or rededicated at least one temple.
May 11 — The Church released a video of Elder Stevenson and Elder Renlund leading a virtual tour of the iconic Washington D.C. Temple.
May 11 — Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City celebrated its 100th birthday.
May 14 — President Ballard dedicated a monument in Topsfield, Massachusetts, honoring Joseph Smith Jr. and the five generations that came before him.
May 15 — President Nelson spoke to young adults ages 18-30 in a devotional held in the Conference Center and broadcast online worldwide.
May 22 — Elder Bednar dedicated the Yigo Guam Temple.
May 24 — The Church published a 360-degree video touring the inside and outside of the Washington D.C. Temple.
May 26 — Elder Bednar spoke to 135 media representatives, marking the second time a senior Church leader has addressed the National Press Club.
June 1 — Information about a previously unknown lawsuit involving Joseph Smith Jr. in St. Louis, Missouri, gave new insight into Church history.
June 3 — The first of 212 For the Strength of Youth conferences concluded with a surprise visit from Elder Rasband.
June 5 — President Ballard addressed Latino youth in the Utah Area in a devotional held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
June 9 — The 12th International Art Competition awards were announced and the exhibit officially opened in the Church History Museum.
June 10 — The Church’s first branch in the Republic of the Gambia was organized.
June 11 — Elder Uchtdorf spoke to all adults serving as teachers in any way, in a worldwide broadcast titled “Teaching in the Savior’s Way.”
June 12 — Flooding in Yellowstone National Park and southern Montana tore away hillsides, roads and home foundations, and affected Church members in the area.
June 17 — The Church donated 15 million South African Rands — about $1 million in U.S. dollars — to bring relief to more than 8,700 households following widespread flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
June 18 — Elder Cook and Elder Stevenson participated in the Smithfield Utah Temple groundbreaking ceremony.
June 19 — Elder Andersen dedicated the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
June 19 — Elder Gong rededicated the Hong Kong Temple.
June 22 — As much of the American West experienced a serious drought, the Church released a statement on the importance of conserving water.
June 23-26 — The 2022 Seminar for New Mission Leaders was held at the Provo MTC.
June 30 — Hyrum Smith’s handwritten copy of Doctrine and Covenants 11 was donated to the Church.
July 3 — President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, rededicated the Tokyo Japan Temple.
July 7 — Jenna Carson was set apart to serve as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force — the first Church-endorsed female military chaplain.
July 9 — Ground was broken for the country’s first Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in Luanda, Angola.
July 15 — For the first time since March 2020, the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed in front of the general public for a choir and orchestra event.
July 20 — President Oaks offered the keynote address at the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit in Rome, Italy.
July 21 — The John Whitmer Historical Association announced the discovery of what may be a photograph of Joseph Smith by one of his descendants. The Church released a statement the next day welcoming the publication of the image and looking forward to further work to determine its authenticity.
July 22 — President Ballard dedicated a new monument at This Is The Place park, that honors early Black pioneers.
July 23 — Then-Relief Society President Jean B. Bingham was the first female grand marshal of the annual Days of ’47 parade in Salt Lake City.
July 24 — This year marked 175 years since the first pioneer company entered the Salt Lake Valley — and 25 years since the sesquicentennial celebration President Ballard participated in.
July 30 — Elder Stevenson and the Primary general presidency participated in a Friend to Friend broadcast, the second of the year.
Aug. 1 — The new Relief Society and Primary general presidencies began their service.
Aug. 1 — Elder Kyle S. McKay, General Authority Seventy, became the new Church historian and recorder.
Aug. 1 — Forty-three university students from the United States began a 10-day trip to Ghana as participants in the inaugural Amos C. Brown Fellowship, a year after President Nelson announced the creation of the fellowship.
Aug. 6 — The 2022 Church Music Festival was held in the Conference Center and streamed online.
Aug. 7 — A virtual choir of 183 Primary children across Canada’s 53 stakes singing “I Love To See the Temple” was released to commemorate the country’s milestone of reaching 200,000 Church members.
Aug. 8 — President Nelson became the oldest living Apostle in the latter days.
Aug. 11 — The First Presidency announced that tithing declaration would replace tithing settlement.
Aug. 12 — President Oaks celebrated his 90th birthday, making him the 19th latter-day Apostle to reach the age of 90.
Aug. 14 — President Nelson rededicated the Washington D.C. Temple.
Aug. 15 — The Teton River Idaho Temple in Rexburg, Idaho, and the Birmingham England Temple in Birmingham, United Kingdom, received official names.
Aug 19-21 — A three-day Brighton Girls Camp Centennial Celebration was held, with Sister Michelle D. Craig of the Young Women general presidency speaking at the closing fireside.
Aug. 29 — The Church announced that the Kona Hawaii Temple will close in October 2023 for renovation and expansions, and is expected to reopen by late 2025.
Sept. 6 — The youth theme for 2023 was announced: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Sept. 6 — The Church News podcast published its 100th episode, featuring Elder Rasband.
Sept. 8 — Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest=serving monarch, died at age 96. The First Presidency issued a statement of admiration, respect and gratitude shortly after her death.
Sept. 11 — Exactly 200 days after armed conflict erupted in Eastern Europe, Elder Cook spoke to Ukrainian Latter-day Saints in a member devotional originating from Riga, Latvia.
Sept. 12 — The Church announced that the Stockholm Sweden Temple would close in 2023 for renovation and expansion.
Sept. 14 — Elder Soares spoke at the seventh Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, sharing the stage with Pope Francis and others.
Sept. 14 — The Church gave $32 million to the World Food Programme in its largest one-time donation to date.
Sept. 21 — The Church announced a $5 million donation to UNICEF’s new No Time To Waste global malnutrition campaign.
Sept. 23-24 — Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon and Young Men General President Steven J. Lund met with leaders, youth and missionaries in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Sept. 29 — Hurricane Ian struck the U.S. southeastern coast. Following the storm, members gathered to serve in cleanup efforts beginning Oct. 1.
September — Army Lt. Col. Sonie Munson and Sister Andrea Wagenbach became the first two women called to serve with the Church’s Military Advisory Committee.
October — “The Everlasting Covenant,” an article by President Nelson, was published in the October 2022 Liahona magazine.
Oct. 1 — During the 192nd Semiannual General Conference, President Nelson reaffirmed the Church’s position on abuse, a new “For the Strength of Youth” guide was released, eight General Authority Seventies were released and given emeritus status, and six Area Seventies were sustained.
Oct. 2 — President Nelson announced 18 new temples, bringing the total number of temple locations he has announced to 118.
Oct. 2 — Book of Mormon Videos season 4 debuted.
Oct. 6 — The 10th anniversary of the missionary age-change announcement was marked.
Oct. 8 — President Nelson presided at the Heber Valley Utah Temple groundbreaking.
Oct. 11 — Nine new members of the Relief Society general advisory council were announced.
Oct. 16 — President Nelson spoke to Latter-day Saints in Canada in a devotional broadcast.
Oct. 16 — Elder Uchtdorf rededicated the Hamilton New Zealand Temple.
Oct. 16 — The Church reopened the Kyiv Ukraine Temple.
Oct. 18 — The Young Men general presidency joined the Church News podcast to speak on the updated “For the Strength of Youth” guide.
Oct. 27 — Church celebrated the completion of landmark projects featuring Eliza R. Snow and Emmeline B. Wells.
Oct. 28 — The Primary general presidency introduced two new resources for helping children and youth understand covenants in the 2023 “Come, Follow Me” manuals.
Nov. 3 — Elder Stevenson spoke during the G20 Religion Forum in Bali, Indonesia.
Nov. 4-13 — Elder Holland met with Church members, missionaries and with Ukrainian refugees in Germany during a three-country ministry to Germany, Sweden and Finland.
Nov. 4 — The first meeting of the newly formed American Sign Language Board of Education was held. The board is intended to better support the needs of youth and young adults in the United States who are deaf.
Nov. 5 — The third and final Friend to Friend broadcast of 2022 was released.
Nov. 13 — President Nelson spoke in a devotional broadcast to Latter-day Saints in Nevada and parts of California and Arizona.
Nov. 16 — Giving Machine locations in the United States began opening as part of the Church’s annual Light the World Christmas initiative.
Nov. 19 — The Church News published the beginning of a new Inside Church Headquarters series on the role of the Presiding Bishopric.
Nov. 20 — Elder Cook dedicated the Quito Ecuador Temple, and Elder Renlund dedicated the Belém Brazil Temple.
Nov. 23 — The Church announced the creation of six new missions — five in Africa, including two in Nigeria, and one reinstated in Europe. These missions will go into effect in July 2023.
Nov. 24 — Elder and Sister Cook offered messages, music and ministering on Thanksgiving at the Provo MTC.
Nov. 29 — The Church announced that the Beehive House, Lion House and Joseph Smith Memorial Building will close in 2023 for renovations.
Nov. 30 — The notice “Strengthening Young Single Adults” was released, emphasizing young single adults serving in all YSA callings except stake president and bishop.
Dec. 4 — The First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional, featuring President Oaks, Elder Andersen, President Cordon and Elder José A. Teixeira, was held in the Conference Center and broadcast worldwide.
Dec. 8-11 — President Ballard and Elder Stevenson ministered to Church members and missionaries in Mexico City.
Dec. 9 — The Church donated $10 million to Rotary International and UNICEF to fight polio and tetanus in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa.
Dec. 11 — “Witnesses of Christmas: Symbols of Christ” — a concert presented by the Europe Central and Europe East areas featuring 12 popular European musical artists and a set of 10 traditional European Christmas carols — became available for online viewing through mid-January.
Dec. 13, 18 — The Tabernacle Choir’s 2021 Christmas concert, “O Holy Night,” premiered on PBS and BYUTV.
Dec. 15-17 — The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s annual Christmas concert was held in the Conference Center, featuring special guests: singer and “Disney Legend” Lea Salonga and British actor Sir David Suchet.
Dec. 18 — President Nelson shared his Christmas wishes for the world in a video posted to social media.