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 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.
2. Church News video: President Ballard on the impact of “Preach My Gospel”
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.
3. Elder Holland speaks to Spanish-speaking members in California; ministers to early morning seminary class
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”).
4. While in Colombia, Elder Renlund ministers to Venezuelan Latter-day Saints
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
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
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 presidency: President Mark L. Pace, Sunday School general president, and his counselors, Brother Milton Camargo and Brother Jan E. Newman.
7. Bishop Budge speaks at BYU–Idaho graduation
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.
8. Stories of hope, rescue and surprise guest at the Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concert
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
“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.