Earlier this month, President Russell M. Nelson turned 99 years old, on Sept. 9. Already he has surpassed every prophet and apostle in this dispensation in age. But President Nelson, who has been serving as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for over five and a half years, continues to lead the work of the Church in a ministry as fast-paced as ever before.
Since issuing his call in the April 2023 general conference for Church members to be peacemakers, he has continued to invite members and people all over the world to practice forgiveness, disagree respectfully, and share accounts of peacemakers and peacemaking with him on social media. Under his prophetic leadership in the last six months, six temples have been dedicated and one rededicated, a new edition of “Preach My Gospel” was announced, the Joseph Smith Papers project concluded and more events have transpired.
Here is a summary of the last six months of news and events in the Church, since the April 2023 general conference.
- President Russell M. Nelson released a video encouraging forgiveness to mark the beginning of Holy Week, on April 2.
- The Church announced that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would take two months off to focus on his health, on April 6.
- Groundbreaking services for the Port Vila Vanuatu Temple were held on April 8.
- President Nelson was named the inaugural laureate of the Gandhi-King-Mandela Peace Prize from Morehouse College on April 13.
- The Joseph Smith Papers volume “Documents, Vol. 14” was released on April 17, and is the 26th of 27 books in the Joseph Smith Papers series.
- Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at two meetings in the BYU Jerusalem Center on April 21-22, and reflected on what it meant to be an Apostle in the Holy Land.
- The Port Moresby New Guinea Temple groundbreaking was held on April 23.
- The First Presidency notified local leaders in an April 28 letter to expect changes to the 2024 version of “Come, Follow Me,” including a single resource instead of separate manuals for individuals and for Primary, Sunday School, and Young Women classes and Aaronic Priesthood quorum meetings.
- President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, sent a letter on May 1 titled “Blessing Young Single Adults.” The letter to local Church leaders outlines some of the ways they can best support and minister to young single adults in their wards, stakes and missions.
- President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Richmond Virginia Temple on May 6.
- Csaba Korosi, then president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, met with the First Presidency at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City on May 16.
- President Nelson issued a statement about his health on his social media pages May 16, writing that he is using a walker to help with balance issues.
- Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced May 16 that Elder Alvin F. Meredith III, General Authority Seventy, will be the 18th president of Brigham Young University–Idaho.
- President Oaks and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, spoke to 18- to 30-year-olds around the globe in a devotional broadcast on May 21.
- The Yigo Guam Temple suffered damage during the downpour and 140 mph winds of Typhoon Mawar on May 24, and was closed until July 27.
- President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, turned 90 years old on May 31. In honor of this landmark birthday, he joined the Church News podcast to share life lessons he’s learned.
- The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints addressed political participation, voting and the political neutrality of the Church in a June 1 letter.
- The Church updated and expanded its “Political Neutrality” topic page on ChurchofJesusChrist.org on June 1.
- President Ballard rededicated the Columbus Ohio Temple on June 4 after extensive renovations.
- The first Church facility to host For the Strength of Youth conferences in Asia opened outside of Manila, Philippines, with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, dedication and tours on June 7.
- Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé dedicated a new Global Distribution Services Center in Salt Lake City that will provide and distribute Church materials to members around the world, on June 8.
- President Nelson shared two social media posts, on June 11 and June 14, inviting individuals to become peacemakers, and then asked them to share with him examples of peacemakers in their lives.
- The Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square arrived in Mexico City on June 13 to begin the first part of its multiyear tour centered on hope. They also filmed a music video that was part of the choir and orchestra’s concerts in the National Auditorium on June 17 and 18, and held their first concert at Toluca Cathedral.
- At the 10th Religious Freedom Annual Review, in the BYU Conference Center in Provo, Utah, the launch of a new religious freedom website was announced on June 15. Elder Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy and Church commissioner of education, gave remarks at the conference about “the stewardship of our first freedom.”
- Ground was broken for the Montpelier Idaho Temple on June 17.
- Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Helena Montana Temple on June 18.
- At the Memphis, Tennessee, branch of the NAACP on Juneteenth, June 19, the NAACP and the Church announced efforts to ensure the longevity and success of MyBaby4Me, a Memphis-based program that has been offering hope to dozens of new and expectant mothers and their families since November 2022.
- The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a second edition of “Preach My Gospel,” announced by President Nelson on June 22.
- Members of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other leaders spoke on each chapter of the new edition of “Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ” at the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders held June 22-25.
- With help from a $2 million donation from the Church to the International African American Museum, the museum opened a Center for Family History, which is supported by the Church’s FamilySearch International, on June 23.
- More than 300 young members and friends of the Church participated in Tanzania’s first For the Strength of Youth conference in the Africa Central Area, June 26-30.
- After two decades, the Joseph Smith Papers project concluded with the release of its final volume, “Documents, Vol. 15,” on June 27, the 179th anniversary of Joseph and Hyrum Smith’s martyrdom.
- The new Church History Museum exhibit, “With This Covenant in My Heart: The Art and Faith of Minerva Teichert” — designed to show Teichert’s devotion to her faith and artwork — opened on July 6 and will run until Aug. 3, 2024.
- Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson participated on a panel with global faith leaders at the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit in London, England, on July 13.
- Singers Adassa and Alex Melecio were the guest artists at The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and Orchestra at Temple Square’s summer concert July 14-15, which included a tribute to Latin American pioneers with members of choir and orchestra from Mexico and also songs of hope.
- Sister Patricia T. Holland, former general officer and the wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, died at age 81 on July 20. Her funeral was held on July 28.
- Elder Christofferson served as the grand marshal of the Days of ‘47 Pioneer Day parade in downtown Salt Lake City on July 24.
- The San Diego California Temple closed for renovations after July 29.
- Historians introduced the Brigham Young Papers project and first volume of journals on July 31.
- The August 2023 The Friend magazine was a special issue focused on helping children understand the covenant of baptism.
- In a social media post Aug. 1, President Nelson shared six ways to disagree peacefully and respectfully.
- The new Young Women general presidency of the Church — General President Emily Belle Freeman and her counselors, Sister Tamara W. Runia, first counselor, and Sister Andrea Muñoz Spannaus, second counselor — began service on Aug. 1.
- The Church announced that beginning Aug. 1, anyone with a Church account in certain parts of the world will be able to sign up for one annual subscription (per household) to one or more of the Church’s magazines.
- Elder Holland was hospitalized for observation and treatment of ongoing health complications, according to an Aug. 3 statement from the Church. The Church announced on Sept. 10 that he returned home to recuperate.
- The 2023 Utah Area Young Single Adult Conference was held throughout the month of August with different activities each weekend for young adults ages 18 to 31.
- Wildfires swept through Maui, Hawaii, Aug. 8-11 and killed at least 97 people. Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, announced a $1 million donation to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts in Maui on Aug. 20, while Church leaders and members gathered to support one another.
- Deseret Industries marked its 85th anniversary on Aug. 12.
- President Eyring dedicated the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple on Aug. 13.
- The First Presidency called Alexander Dushku to be a General Authority Seventy on Aug. 15. Elder Dushku will be sustained at the October 2023 general conference.
- Roughly 600 prospective college students and their parents from 26 stakes throughout the Las Vegas area gathered in the Church’s Charleston Boulevard meetinghouse to hear Elder Gilbert, BYU President C. Shane Reese and BYU–Idaho President Alvin F. Meredith III highlight both the importance of education and the strengths and advantages of their respective institutions, in an Aug. 17 devotional.
- Hundreds of community members celebrated the 100th anniversary of Utah’s first Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saint branch, at the University of Utah Institute of Religion on Aug. 18 with Latin American food, music and dancing.
- The McAllen Texas Temple open house ran from Aug. 21 to Sept. 9,; the temple will be dedicated on Oct. 8.
- Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the general presidencies of the Sunday School, Young Men and Young Women spoke at BYU Education Week, held Aug. 21-25.
- Missionary handbook updates, which include clarifications and answers to common questions from missionaries and their leaders, were announced on Aug. 21.
- The Church updated expectations for students at Brigham Young University, BYU–Idaho, BYU–Hawaii and Ensign College on Thursday, Aug. 24 — revising Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement questions, the Honor Code and dress and grooming standards.
- Elder Bednar dedicated the newly restored home of Joseph and Emma Smith in Kirtland, Ohio, on Aug. 26.
- President Nelson, a pioneering heart surgeon, donated his medical journals — what he called the “tangible tracks” of his surgical career — to the University of Utah on Aug. 30.
- BYU–Idaho and Ensign College announced new three-year online bachelor’s degrees available through BYU–Pathway on Sept. 1.
- The September Friend to Friend broadcast called “Covenants and Blessings,” made available Sept. 2, taught children in the Church about making and keeping covenants with Heavenly Father, the blessings received from those covenants and what it means to be a child of the covenant.
- A Church member was one of several representatives of various faiths who spoke at an interfaith event hosted by Pope Francis in the Hun Theater in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Sept. 3.
- President Nelson turned 99 years old on Sept. 9. He celebrated his birthday on Sept. 8 with his family and other Church leaders in the Church Administration Building.
- Beginning Sept. 11, online group scheduling at temples became available for all proxy ordinances.
- The Church will publish a new biography about Joseph Smith, titled “Joseph the Prophet,” announced President Oaks during the seventh annual Joseph Smith Papers Conference on Sept. 15.
- The St. George Utah Temple open house began on Sept. 15 and will run until Nov. 11; it will be rededicated on Dec. 11.
- For the first time in the history of the Church, three temples were dedicated on the same day on Sept. 17. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Bentonville Arkansas Temple; Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Moses Lake Washington Temple; and Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Brasília Brazil Temple.
- In a Spanish-language devotional originating from Mexico City, Mexico, Elder Christofferson, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and President Johnson addressed the importance of education and making it available to Latter-day Saints around the globe through BYU–Pathway Worldwide, on Sept. 17.
- President Oaks and Elder Christofferson officially installed President Christopher Shane Reese as the 14th president of Brigham Young University on Sept. 19.
- President Nelson commemorated the 200th anniversary of the angel Moroni’s first visit to Joseph Smith, in a Sept. 21 post on social media.