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

During the week of July 17 through July 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 of the First Presidency Dallin H. Oaks spoke at the Our Lady Summit on Religious Freedom in Rome, Italy. At the start of BYU-Idaho, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency offered hope for the future in his address.

President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated a new memorial to black pioneers. Commemorating 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 stories of pioneers and how the pioneers influenced them. The Church News series “Pioneers in Every Country” continued this week with pioneering examples from several European countries.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles surprised FSY youth in Seattle, Washington, while Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greeted and spoke to FSY youth in Utah. Susan H. Porter, incoming Primary general president, was interviewed on this week’s Church News podcast.

Below are summaries and links to these nine articles.

1. President Nelson publishes articles on identity

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

Labels can be fun and show your support for a number of positive things. But if a label replaces your most important identifiers, the results can be spiritually suffocating, President Nelson wrote.

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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 Summit. -Dame on Religious Liberty 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 Summit. -Dame on Religious Liberty at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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

In delivering the keynote address for 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 start of BYU-Idaho

President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, salutes graduates gathered at the BYU-Idaho center during the back-to-school session held Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, salutes graduates gathered at the BYU-Idaho center during the back-to-school session held Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Credit: Francisco Fierro, BYU–Idaho

In his remarks to graduates, President Henry B. Eyring recalled how, while an undergraduate physics student, the Spirit revealed the solution to a complicated mathematical problem. As a leader 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 leading this school confirm my testimony that we can learn and be led by the Spirit if we choose to,” President Eyring said.

Read what he advised

4. President Ballard Dedicates New Monument to Honor Black Pioneers

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

The 175th anniversary of the day Green Flake drove the first wagon into Emigration Canyon and brothers Hark Wales and Oscar Smith were in the same group, a monument to these three – and Jane Manning James, who arrived later in 1847 – has been unveiled. President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and a direct descendant and promoter of the early pioneers, dedicated the monument before a crowd of several hundred.

Learn how the new 1847 Pioneer Monument came to be

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 Joseph Smith in his office in Salt Lake City 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 Joseph Smith in his office in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Credit: Ravell Call, Deseret News

Despite differences in language, culture, and nationality, the pioneers who crossed the plains to the Salt Lake Valley shared a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They showed “faith in every step” as they walked more than a thousand miles through grasslands, desert and canyons.

In honor of the 175th anniversary since the first group of pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared some of their families’ pioneer stories this week.

Learn about their pioneer ancestors

6. Elder Uchtdorf surprises youngsters at Seattle FSY

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

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

Check out his interactions with young people in Seattle, Washington

7. Brother Renlund visits Utah FSY

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 located adjacent to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
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 located adjacent to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

As a youngster at a For the Strength of Youth Conference in Salt Lake City participated in their morning prayer on Wednesday, July 20, Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stood near the door to greet them one by one.

He shook their hands, looking them in the eye. He asked some where they came from and what they were learning. During lunch, Elder Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, personally visited any youth who wanted to talk to them.

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

8. President Porter is interviewed on the Church News podcast

Susan H. Porter, incoming Primary general president, is featured on Episode 93 of the Church News podcast.
Susan H. Porter, incoming Primary general president, is featured on Episode 93 of the Church News podcast.

The work and purpose of Primary is to “help children feel Heavenly Father’s love and learn about His plan of happiness.”

For Susan H. Porter, this purpose has become more important to her over the past year as she has served as the first counselor in the Primary general presidency. She was sustained at the April 2022 general conference as the new Primary general president of the Church, effective August 1.

Listen to his thoughts

9. Pioneers in all countries: Europe

Europe has 130 stakes of Latter-day Saints.  Ten years ago, there were 115.
Europe has 130 stakes of Latter-day Saints. Ten years ago, there were 115. Credit: NicoElNino – stock.adobe.com

From the first overseas mission assignments in the late 1830s to establishing 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 many European countries.

Read “pioneer” highlights for many European countries

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