As another year draws to an end, we’re taking a moment to look back on the biggest news stories of 2021. These headlines about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped light the world all year long.
Church Leaders Condemn Violence and Lawless Behavior During Times of Unrest – Read
The year began in a state of unrest as rioters attacked the United States Capitol. The First Presidency released a statement condemning the “violence and lawless behavior” and “any suggestion of further violence.”
The First Presidency and Apostles Over Age 70 Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine – Read
Senior leaders of the Church, including President Russell M. Nelson, received their first rounds of COVID vaccinations. President Nelson shared, “My professional and ecclesiastical experiences convince me that vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life.” The Church also released a statement on vaccinations, stating, “As appropriate opportunities become available, the Church urges its members, employees, and missionaries to be good global citizens and help quell the pandemic by safeguarding themselves and others through immunization.”
39 Temples to Open for Proxy Baptisms in April 2021 – Read
After a lengthy closure, temples began to open for limited proxy work in April 2021. The reopenings began with proxy baptisms and 60 temples opened in late May for Phase 3, which allowed for expanded proxy work.
Single Men Able to Serve in Bishoprics, Other Leadership Positions – Read
As part of the ongoing updates to the General Handbook, policies have been broadened to allow single adult males to serve in more leadership positions. Single adult males in young single adult or single adult wards could serve as counselors in both ward and stake presidencies. They could also serve as high councilors in the stake.
First Presidency Provides Update about Historic Temple Renovations – Read
Major work continued on the Salt Lake City Temple. It was announced that the temple would be renovated to facilitate a single-room presentation of the endowment, causing many of the historic murals to be removed or painted over. The North Temple Visitors’ Center was also demolished. Read more about the updates throughout the year here.
Church Announces 20 New Temples – Read
At the conclusion of the April 2021 General Conference, announced 20 new temples to be built around the world. It was the second-highest number of temples announced at one time in the history of the Church
First Presidency Announces Changes to General Conference – Read
In June, the First Presidency announced it would discontinue the Saturday Evening Session of General Conference. Near the end of July, the decision would be reversed after “additional study and prayer.” Instead of separate sessions for men and women in the spring and fall, the Saturday Evening Session would become a general session for all members.
The First Presidency Urges More Action to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 – Read
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued, the First Presidency urged members to wear face masks when social distancing wasn’t possible. As cases increased, the First Presidency also required all patrons and workers to wear face masks in the temple.
13 New Temples Announced in General Conference – Read
President Nelson announced 13 new temples at the conclusion of the October 2021 General Conference.
Latter-day Saint Missionary Wounded in Alabama Shooting – Read
A young missionary, Elder Michael Fauber, was shot multiple times in a Church gymnasium. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Church Encourages “Culturally Diverse Music” in Handbook Update – Read
After nearly two years, revisions of the General Handbook for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were completed. Church leaders shared some of the final notable updates and Church leaders spoke in a video about how the process impacted them.
Giving Machines Bring in Nearly $4 Million for Charity – Read
As the year drew to a close, the Church hosted its annual Light the World Christmas campaign. The popular Giving Machines made a reappearance in ten cities across the United States. As of late December, the machines have made nearly $4 million for charity.