Menu

In case you missed it: President Ballard, Elder Stevenson look to the future of the Church of Jesus Christ in Mexico, plus 9 stories

Here are 9 stories from the Church News from the week of Dec. 11 to Dec. 17

Throughout the week of Dec. 11 to Dec. 17, President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Mexico. President Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was featured in the latest Church News video, on “Preach My Gospel.” While in Ventura, California, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke in a Spanish-speaking devotional to members from eight stakes.

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Colombia with Sister Ruth L. Renlund. Ground was broken for the Torreón Mexico Temple and the site location for the Lone Mountain Nevada Temple was released. The latest episode of the Church News podcast features the Church’s Sunday School general presidency on studying the New Testament in “Come, Follow Me” next year.

Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric addressed BYU-Idaho graduates. The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square held its Christmas concert in the Conference Center. And the ‘Witnesses of Christmas: Symbols of Christ’ concert will be available for online viewing through mid-January.

Read summaries of these nine articles below.

1. President Ballard, Elder Stevenson look to the future of the Church of Jesus Christ in Mexico

President M. Russell Ballard waves to an overflow attendee after a meeting in Mexico City, Mexico
President M. Russell Ballard Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints waves to an overflow attendee after a meeting in Mexico City on Sunday Dec. 11, 2022. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

President Ballard’s remarks came at the end of a busy weekend ministry assignment, Dec. 8 through Dec. 11, in this metropolitan area of 22 million people. Accompanied by Elder Stevenson, President Ballard addressed members and missionaries, spoke to Church employees and participated in leadership training meetings in Mexico City — the largest city in North America.

Read about President Ballard and Elder Stevenson’s recent time in Mexico

2. Church News video: President Ballard on the impact of “Preach My Gospel”

Five missionaries interact in Tonga. President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is deeply connected to the missionary manual “Preach My Gospel” and its impact. | Screenshot from YouTube | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Ballard for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is deeply connected to the Latter-day Saint missionary guide, “Preach My Gospel.”

When he was assigned to serve as chairman of the Missionary Executive Council in 2002, he directed efforts to change how the missionaries taught lessons, encouraging missionaries to testify of Jesus Christ and His Church in their own words.

Watch the new Church News video with President Ballard on the impact of “Preach My Gospel”

3. Elder Holland speaks to Spanish-speaking members in California; ministers to early morning seminary class

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to Spanish-speaking members from eight stakes at a devotional at the Ventura California Stake center, Dec. 9, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

With the chapel filled and people standing in the foyers to hear, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told Spanish-speaking members in eight stakes around Ventura, California, “Les amamos, les amamos, les amamos” (“We love you, we love you, we love you”).

Read what two early morning seminary students said after Elder Holland met them

4. While in Colombia, Elder Renlund ministers to Venezuelan Latter-day Saints

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to stake and ward leaders gathered in Valencia, Venezuela, during a leadership training video conference broadcast Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, from Cúcuta, Colombia. | Scott Taylor

Elder Renlund drew as close as possible to the Venezuelan Latter-day Saints he was instructing while conducting leadership conferences in a meetinghouse just four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Venezuela-Colombia border on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Discover what Elder Renlund taught and how the Colombian Red Cross honored the Church

5. Ground broken for Torreón Mexico Temple and site location released for Lone Mountain Nevada Temple

Accompanying Elder Hugo Montoya, second from right, in the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Torreón Mexico Temple are — from right to left — Sergio Pedroza, speaker at the event; Julio César Jasso and Lourdes Gutiérrez, event coordinators; Juan Gómez Junco, media commentator; Alicia Gamboa, municipal trustee; Juan Salazar, Gomez Palacio director of works; Marco Avila, Gomez Palacio deputy director of works; Abdaleis Lee, of Mallol Arquitectosand architecture firm; Ximena García and Josué García, speakers at the event, on Dec. 10, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Lone Mountain Nevada Temple — planned for three stories and approximately 87,000 square feet — will be built on a 19.8-acre site southwest of Hickam Avenue between North Grand Canyon Drive and Tee Pee Lane in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Torreón Mexico Temple — one of 23 temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in that North America nation — is now in its construction phase, following groundbreaking services on site Saturday, Dec. 10.

See the Torreón Mexico Temple groundbreaking and the site location released for Lone Mountain Nevada Temple

6. The latest Church News podcast episode features the Sunday School general presidency

The Sunday School general presidency discusses how the 2023 “Come, Follow Me” curriculum on the New Testament can draw people closer to Jesus Christ in this episode of the Church News podcast. | Screenshot from YouTube | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Looking to 2023, study of the New Testament is an opportunity to learn again that the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Son of God, the Savior of the World and that He was, and is, the Promised Messiah.

This episode of the Church News podcast features the Church’s Sunday School general presidencyPresident Mark L. Pace, Sunday School general president, and his counselors, Brother Milton Camargo and Brother Jan E. Newman.

Listen to the Sunday School general presidency in the latest Church News podcast

7. Bishop Budge speaks at BYU–Idaho graduation

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, speaks during the BYU–Idaho commencement on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Rexburg, Idaho. | Madeline Carn, BYU–Idaho

In addressing BYU–Idaho graduates on Dec. 15, Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric shared four things graduates should let go of — sin, guilt, grudges and one’s own will — and four things they should hold on to — the Holy Ghost, faith, the word of God and covenants.

Read more about what Bishop Budge said at BYU—Idaho graduation

8. Stories of hope, rescue and surprise guest at the Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concert

Lea Salonga sings during The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square Christmas concert at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s Christmas concert was more than a night of music. It was also a night for stories — from finding hope in the Philippines to doing what was needed to help children as World War II was building in Europe and to that of a family with a baby. 

In addition to singer and “Disney Legend” Lea Salonga and British actor Sir David Suchet joining the Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra and Bells at Temple Square and Gabriel’s Trumpets for this year’s Christmas concert on Thursday, Dec. 15, a surprise guest was invited to the stage in connection to the story Suchet shared.  

Read more about the Tabernacle Choir’s 2022 Christmas concert, see what the guests said about the experience and also watch and listen to the Tabernacle Choir’s 2021 Christmas concert

9. ‘Witnesses of Christmas: Symbols of Christ’ — connects holiday symbols to the Savior

Alex Sharpe, from Ireland, in the prelude to the finale — “In the Bleak Midwinter” during the Witnesses of Christmas program on Dec. 11, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Witnesses of Christmas: Symbols of Christ” — a concert featuring 12 popular European musical artists and a set of 10 traditional European Christmas carols — is now available for online viewing through mid-January.

Presented by the Church’s Europe Central and Europe East areas, the program is more than just music, with narration explaining how traditional Christmas symbols — stars, bells, candles, trees and more — are connected to Christ.

View ‘Witnesses of Christmas: Symbols of Christ’

Newsletters
Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed

"They can help in some sort of way, and when they make a discovery, that excitement is contagious," said RootsTech 2024 presenter.

Check out articles and photos of everything that's happening online and in person at FamilySearch's RootsTech 2024, the largest family history conference in the world.

New converts, 11-year-olds and returning members can "have another spiritual experience, another connection," said Elder Andersen.

Millions of additional records from all continents will be available for the public this year.

"Our passion is to help you find your missing bricks," said Steve Rockwood to kick off RootsTech 2024.

Elder Bednar and Elder Kearon praise West African Saints, Elder Andersen tells Filipino orphans God loves them, and the Relief Society general presidency posts its first reel.