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President Oaks in the Philippines and 8 more stories – Church News

During the week of April 28 through May 3, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Urdaneta Philippines Temple. Watch this video about President Oaks’ time in the Philippines. President Camille N. Johnson, Sister J. Anette Dennis and Sister Kristin M. Yee of the Relief Society general presidency shared truths about various aspects of covenant power on the first day of the 2024 BYU Women’s Conference.

This week’s episode of the Church News Podcast featured the words and testimonies of the eleven newly called General Seventies. Students, faculty and staff at Ensign College and BYU-Pathway Worldwide heard messages from their respective school presidents at the start of their spring semester. Latter-day Saints and Jewish friends shared a special interfaith moment during the Taylorsville Utah Temple Open House.

Also, President Lorenzo Snow spoke at St. George Tabernacle 125 years ago when he received a powerful spiritual manifestation that later solved the Church’s financial problems. The Church worked with UNICEF to provide health, water and hygiene services to the vulnerable in Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. Meanwhile, two returned Latter-day missionaries from the University of Utah were selected in the NFL draft.

Read recaps and find links to these 9 stories below.

1. President Oaks dedicates the Urdaneta Philippines Temple for faithful Filipino members who “believe these things” and “do them”

President Dallin H. Oaks and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, wave to attendees during the dedication of the Urdaneta Philippines Temple.
President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, wave to attendees during the dedication of the Urdaneta Temple in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Philippines. Sunday April 28, 2024. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

President Oaks returned to the Southeast Asian country on April 28 and dedicated the Urdaneta Philippines Temple—the Church’s 190th temple worldwide and the third in the Philippines.

“As we see your wonderful brothers, sisters and youth here in the Philippines, we are glad to realize that you have become much more faithful in keeping the commandments of God than when Sister Oaks and I left the Philippines 20 years ago,” said Chairman Oak.

Read the full article here.

2. Video: President and Sister Oaks talk about the blessings of “Filling the Temples”

A close-up of the statue of the angel Moroni atop the Urdaneta Philippines Temple, with the text
In a Church News video entitled “Filling the Temples,” President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency and his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks, speak about the need to fill the temples, not just build temples. | Screenshot from YouTube

President Oaks and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, were serving in the Philippines 20 years ago when he was called to serve as President of the Philippines Area for two years while still serving as an Apostle. He said that during those two years, they focused a lot on teaching the importance of being worthy to enter the house of the Lord so that more temples could be built in the country.

In this Church News video entitled “Filling the Temples,” President and Sister Oaks testify of the need to fill temples, not just build temples.

Watch this church news video here.

3. Relief Society General Presidency Opens BYU Women’s Conference Teaching Covenant Transformation, Belonging, and Rest

Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson speaks about the power and importance of covenants during the opening address for the 2024 BYU Women's Conference on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at the BYU Marriott Center.
Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson speaks about the power and importance of covenants during the opening address for the 2024 BYU Women’s Conference on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at the BYU Marriott Center. | Rebecca Fuentes/BYU

“We choose to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to follow the Savior’s example. … Sisters, come take your place as covenant women.”

President Johnson spoke about the power and importance of covenants during the opening remarks for the 2024 BYU Women’s Conference on Wednesday, May 1, at the BYU Marriott Center.

She was joined by Sister Dennis, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, and Sister Yee, second counselor.

Their keynote address marked the start of this year’s BYU Women’s Conference, the largest annual three-day gathering of Latter-day Saint women in the world, where women of faith can hear uplifting messages, gain insight, and participate in service.

Read more about the message here.

4. Episode 186: Getting to know the new General Seventies through their own words and testimonies

Eleven new General Seventies will be on the stand during the April 2024 general conference.
Eleven new General Seventies sustained during the April 2024 general conference join the Church News podcast to help Latter-day Saints get to know them a little better. | Screenshot from YouTube

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sustained eleven new General Seventies during the Saturday morning session of the Church’s 194th annual general conference on Saturday, April 6, 2024.

President Oaks presented the new General Seventies for sustainment, along with the sustainment of the General Authorities and general officers of the Church.

This episode of the Church News podcast is dedicated to sharing their words and testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Listen to the church news podcast here.

5. Students from Ensign College and BYU-Pathway will hear devotional messages from the respective school presidents

Ensign College President Bruce C. Kusch and Sister Alynda Kusch greet a student after a devotional in Salt Lake City.
Ensign College President Bruce C. Kusch (right) and his wife, Sister Alynda Kusch, center, greet a student after their opening spring semester devotional in Salt Lake City on April 23, 2024. | OFFICIAL COLLEGE

Ensign College President Bruce C. Kusch taught the principles of obedience and grace during the opening devotional of the spring semester on Tuesday, April 23. His wife, Sister Alynda Kusch, also spoke at the devotional.

President Kusch testified that the Savior is fully aware of the difficulties associated with temptation. The scriptures do not say that He had extraordinary power to resist temptation; rather, they say that “He suffered temptations” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:22).

BYU–Pathway Worldwide President Brian K. Ashton taught students that “God Cares About Your Career” when he spoke at the first devotional of the spring semester on April 30. His wife, Sister Melinda Ashton, joined him.

“Your job allows you to support your families, raise your children and serve God’s children in the Church, your communities and your countries,” he said. “As a result, God will help you in your vocation as you humble yourself, strive to do His will, and seek His help.”

The couple testified that through humility, prayer, action, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, Latter-day Saints can receive revelation to guide their callings.

Read more about the Ensign College devotional here.
Read more about the BYU-Pathway Worldwide devotional here.

6. How singing a Hebrew psalm in the Taylorsville Utah Temple led to a powerful interfaith moment for Jewish friends of the Latter-day Saints

The Taylorsville Utah Temple in Taylorsville on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Something described as “transcendent, spiritual, powerful, and meaningful” occurred as a group of Jewish leaders and members of the Utah Church sat together in a sealing room at the end of a tour during the public open house of the Taylorsville Utah Temple ) on April 15. .

They sang together the words of Psalm 133—in Hebrew—a rare occurrence in Latter-day Saint temples. Elder Ahmad S. Corbitt, a General Seventy who led the tour, said what happened “was very natural, it was not planned.”

“It felt spiritual,” he said. “It was a powerful experience as Heavenly Father’s covenant people bridged a gap and came together in harmony, facilitated by the house of the Lord.”

Read the full article here.

7. 125 Years Ago: How President Lorenzo Snow’s Renewed Emphasis on Tithing Blessed the Church

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was photographed around 1900.  They are President Lorenzo Snow;  President George Q. Cannon, First Counselor;  and President Joseph F. Smith, Second Counselor.
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was photographed around 1900. From left to right: President George Q. Cannon, First Counselor; President Lorenzo Snow; and President Joseph F. Smith, Second Counselor. | Church history catalogue, Fox and Symons photo studio

In early May 1899, 85-year-old Church President Lorenzo Snow felt directed by the Lord to travel 300 miles (480 kilometers) from Salt Lake City to St. George in the southwestern corner of Utah—without knowing why.

“We can hardly explain why we came,” he told a congregation of Latter-day Saints gathered in the red sandstone St. George Tabernacle on May 17, 1899, “but I suppose the Lord will have something to say to us . ”

The answer came as a powerful spiritual manifestation for President Snow during his address. The prophet paused unexpectedly, with a face full of light, and spoke of the importance of paying a full tithe. He declared that the time had come for every Latter-day Saint to obey this law and promised blessings to those who did so, according to Saints, Vol. 3.”

Read the full article here.

8. The Church of Jesus Christ and UNICEF work to help babies, children and mothers in South America

A girl washes her hands in Ecuador.
A girl washes her hands in Ecuador. A March 2024 donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to UNICEF improves access to safe water in 30 indigenous communities in Chimborazo Province. | UNICEF Ecuador

The decade-plus partnership between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and UNICEF now blesses tens of thousands of lives in the Church’s South America Northwest Area.

Thanks to significant financial donations from the Church to UNICEF in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, the most vulnerable babies, children and mothers will have access to better health care, safer water and improved hygiene.

Read the full article here.

9. Two returned Latter-day Saint missionaries selected in the NFL draft

Utah Utes safety Sione Vaki (28) hauls in a pass before being tackled by USC Trojans defenseman Braylan Shelby (34) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. | Laura Seitz, Desert News

Two college football players who served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were selected in the NFL draft this weekend, while others signed as free agents or were invited to team minicamps.

Safety/running back Sione Vaki and wide receiver Devaughn Vele, both from the University of Utah, heard their names called during the final-round NFL draft on April 27.

Read the full article here.