President Nelson on Identity, the Pioneer Stories of the Apostles, and FSY

During the week of July 17-23, President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared a message of true identity on social media. President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency addressed the Notre Dame Religious Freedom Summit in Rome, Italy. Opening BYU-Idaho, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency spoke in his address of hope for the future.

President M. Russell Ballard, acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated a new memorial to black pioneers. To mark the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared personal pioneer stories and how pioneers influenced them. The Church News Pioneers in Every Country series continued this week with pioneering examples from several European countries.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles surprised youth at FSY in Seattle, Washington, while Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles welcomed and addressed FSY youth in Utah. Susan H. Porter, the new Primary general president, was interviewed on the Church News podcast this week.

Below are summaries and links to these nine articles.

1. President Nelson writes about identity

Instagram post of July 20, 2022 by President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo Credit: Screenshot from Instagram

Labels can be fun and show your support for a number of positive things. But when some tag replaces your most important identifiers, the results can be mentally stifling, President Nelson wrote.

Check out the post

2. President Oaks in Rome

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks with Notre Dame Law School Dean G. Marcus Cole during the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy on Wednesday July 20, 2022.
President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks with Notre Dame Law School Dean G. Marcus Cole during the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy on Wednesday July 20, 2022. Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, called for “a global effort to defend and promote the religious liberty of all the children of God in every nation of the world” in Rome, Italy.

In his keynote address at the Notre Dame Religious Freedom Summit on July 20, President Oaks called on religious leaders to “unite and find common ground in defending and promoting religious freedom.”

Find out what he said

3. President Eyring speaks at the opening of BYU-Idaho

President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, thanks the graduates gathered at the BYU-Idaho Center on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, thanks the graduates gathered at the BYU-Idaho Center on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Photo credit: Francisco Fierro, BYU-Idaho

In his graduating address, President Henry B. Eyring recalled how the Spirit revealed to him as an undergraduate physics student the solution to a complicated mathematical problem. As an executive and teacher at Ricks College, he felt a revelation about what to say in classrooms or at faculty meetings.

“My experiences as a student and in the leadership of this school reinforce my testimony that when we choose, we can learn and be guided by the Spirit,” said the senior President Eyring.

Read what he advised

4. President Ballard dedicates a new memorial honoring black pioneers

The Sweeney family of West Valley City, Utah poses for photos at the new Black Pioneer Monument at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 22, 2022.
The Sweeney family of West Valley City, Utah poses for photos at the new Black Pioneer Monument at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 22, 2022. Photo credit: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

On the 175th anniversary of the day Green Flake drove the first chariot into Emigration Canyon and brothers Hark Wales and Oscar Smith were in the same group, a memorial was erected to those three – and to Jane Manning James, who arrived later in 1847 – revealed. President M. Russell Ballard, acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and a direct descendant and supporter of the early pioneers, dedicated the monument in front of several hundred people.

Find out how the new 1847 Pioneer Monument was created

5. Apostles share personal pioneer stories

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with busts of ancestors Joseph F. Smith and Hyrum Smith and of Joseph Smith in his Salt Lake City office on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with busts of ancestors Joseph F. Smith and Hyrum Smith and of Joseph Smith in his Salt Lake City office on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Photo credit: Ravell Call, Deseret News

Despite differences in language, culture, and nationality, the pioneers who crossed the plains into the Salt Lake Valley bore a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They showed “confidence in every step” as they traveled more than a thousand miles through prairie, desert and canyons.

This week, to mark the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first pioneer group in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared some of their families’ pioneering stories.

Learn about their pioneering ancestors

6. Elder Uchtdorf surprises youth at Seattle FSY

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf greet a participant at the For the Strength of Youth conference at Seattle University on Thursday, July 21, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf greet a participant at the For the Strength of Youth conference at Seattle University on Thursday, July 21, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. Credit: John Lok, for Deseret News

The 230 young FSY participants gathered on the Seattle University campus felt a collective “charge” as they were joined by surprise guests: Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf and several family members Uchtdorf.

Read about his interactions with youth in Seattle, Washington

7. Elder Renlund visits Utah FSY

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints greets youth attending the For the Strength of Youth conference at the Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 20 July 2022.
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints greets youth attending the For the Strength of Youth conference at the Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 20 July 2022. Photo credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

As a teenager at a Conference “For the Strength of Youth”. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in Salt Lake City, arriving for morning devotional Wednesday, July 20, stood at the door to greet them—one by one.

He shook their hands and looked into their eyes. He asked some where they are from and what they are learning. During lunch, Elder Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, personally visited as many of the youth as they wished to speak to.

Learn more about how He helped youth feel the Savior’s love

8. President Porter is interviewed on the Church News podcast

The new Primary President, Susan H. Porter, is introduced on episode 93 of the Church News podcast.
The incoming Primary President, Susan H. Porter, is introduced on episode 93 of the Church News podcast.

It is the task and purpose of the PV to “Help the children feel Heavenly Father’s love and learn about His plan of happiness.”

President Susan H. Porter has meant more to that purpose over the past year as she has served as First Counselor in the Primary general presidency. She was sustained as the new Primary President of the Church at the April 2022 general conference, effective August 1.

listen to their thoughts

9. Pioneers in all countries: Europe

Europe has 130 Latter-day Saint stakes.  Ten years ago it was 115.
Europe has 130 Latter-day Saint stakes. Ten years ago it was 115. Photo credit: NicoElNino – stock.adobe.com

From the earliest foreign missions in the late 1830s to planting roots in new lands at the turn of the 21st century, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can claim many pioneers over many generations and in the many countries of Europe.

Read ‘groundbreaking’ highlights for many European nations

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