Mormon Newsroom
News Release

2021 Year in Review

A look back at the past year of the Church of Jesus Christ

In 2021, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continued to carry out Jesus’s commands to love God and neighbor. Latter-day Saint Charities and individual Saints brought relief to millions in need. Church leaders and missionaries shared the hope of Christ around the globe. Worship opportunities in houses of the Lord expanded, helping people connect at a deeper level with ancestors.

Below are highlights from another busy year of helping people everywhere feel the love of Christ.

Watch all top videos from 2021

Lifting Weary Hands, Strengthening Feeble Knees: The Church’s Humanitarian Aid

The Church engaged in some 575 COVID-19 related projects in 74 countries. The faith met needs of all kinds in many locations. These places include AustraliaBeirutBotswanaBrazilFloridaGermanyHaitiHondurasHong KongIndiathe Navajo NationPanamaParaguaythe PhilippinesQatarSudanSyria, and the United States.

This work provided COVID-19 vaccines to millions, fed scores of hungry children, aided refugee resettlement, helped immigrants live better lives, procured blood donations, and much more.

Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: The Messages of President Nelson

From the beginning of the year to the end, Church President Russell M. Nelson’s messages focused on the Savior of the world. In the week leading up to Easter, he invited people to do something to follow Christ’s teachings. “You might make your prayers more earnest. You could forgive someone or help a friend in need,” he said. “You can start today on a new spiritual quest.” At general conferences in April and October, he encouraged listeners to increase faith, seek pure truth, strengthen spiritual foundations and make more time for God. In June he announced joint educational and humanitarian initiatives with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). At Christmastime, he asked us to “make room in [our] heart for those around [us] who may be struggling to see the light of the Savior and to feel His love. No gifts will mean as much as acts of pure love you offer to the lonely, the worn down, and the weary.”

The Acts of the Apostles

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were active throughout the year. The First Presidency hosted a variety of government and religious leaders on Temple Square. As COVID-19 restrictions eased, members of the Quorum of the Twelve traversed the globe to meet with civic and religious leaders as well as Latter-day Saints. President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Twelve, joined Elders Jeffrey R. Holland and Quentin L. Cook to minister in England. Elder David A. Bednar spent a week in the Middle East. And Elder Ronald A. Rasband represented the Church at the G20 Interfaith Forum in Bologna, Italy.

See more in this leader-by-leader list of meetings, messages, and travels.

How the Sisters Served

The nine women who lead the Church’s Relief Society (for women 18 and older), Young Women, and Primary (for children) were also busy sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sister Jean B. Bingham and Sister Sharon Eubank of the Relief Society General Presidency visited a refugee camp in Iraq and Latter-day Saints in Egypt. Sister Bingham met U.S. first lady Jill Biden and shared a message with women on the 189th anniversary of Relief Society. Sister Eubank, who heads Latter-day Saint Charities, spoke to California lawmakers about the importance of volunteerism in disaster response. She also attended conferences in England (virtually) and Rome. Sister Camille N. Johnson of the Primary General Presidency joined Sister Bingham for a virtual ministry in Asia. And Carol F. McConkie, a former member of the Young Women General Presidency, was elected vice president of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, Geneva. The group promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls across the globe and the defense of their rights.

The House of the Lord: How Worship in Temples Expanded

President Nelson announced the construction of 34 new temples that will be built in the coming years all over the world. And throughout 2021, operating temples gradually expanded worship opportunities as pandemic restrictions eased. These are significant developments because each temple is a house of the Lord — the most sacred space on earth. The ceremonies within each temple teach the purpose of life and unite families, past and present, through the eternities.

In 2021, Church leaders dedicated three temples (in Winnipeg, Canada; Pocatello, Idaho; and Mesa, Arizona) and broke ground for 15 more. And this was the second year in a major renovation of Temple Square. The project is expected to be completed in 2025. See the December renovation update for more information. The Church has 265 temples — 161 operating, 43 under construction or renovation, and 61 announced.

Other Notable News

The Church’s General Handbook was completed in English after its first partial release in 2020. The book helps Latter-day Saints serve more like the Savior.

In February, more than 1 million family history enthusiasts participated in RootsTech Connect 2021. This was the largest gathering in the event’s 10-year history. Participants from over 235 countries and territories registered for the world’s largest family history celebration.

The Church announced plans to open two missions in 2022 — the Hawaii Laie Mission and the Rwanda Kigali Mission.

The First Presidency named former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt as the new president of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

In October, preservationists recognized the Church’s efforts to restore its historical space in Nauvoo, Illinois. Elder Quentin L. Cook dedicated the restored Temple District in May.

A new Deseret Industries thrift store opened in Houston, Texas. This is the first such store outside the western United States. The Church’s 45 Deseret Industries locations offer associates job training, skill enhancement, career counseling, and assistance with job placement.

The Church’s Light the World Giving Machines are operating in 10 locations this holiday season. Each is like a vending machine. People can select a charitable item — such as clean water, produce, or eyeglasses — from dozens of local and global charity organizations.

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