From the Church

Here are the new features and keynote speakers coming to RootsTech 2022

As part of RootsTech Connect 2022, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Rosana, will be the featured speakers at this year’s Family Discovery Day on Saturday, March 5.

In a video inviting members to join Family Discovery Day, Elder Soares said, “Family history isn’t all about the distant past. You can look to your own recent experiences and stories or history as it unfolds right here in the present. You can establish your own traditions. It is a combination of the past and the present that makes you uniquely you.”

Part of Elder and Sister Soares’ message will come from their homeland of Brazil. They were both born in São Paulo and will share some of their family experiences as part of their joint address.

You can watch the Soares’s video invitation to join Famiy Discovery Day in the player below:

Family Discovery Day—along with thousands of additional classes and inspiring speakers participating in RootsTech 2022—is 100 percent virtual and 100 percent free. To register for any of the classes or events, visit The theme of this year’s conference will be “Choose Connection.”

According to Church News, the main sessions of RootsTech will be streamed in 11 languages, with other sessions available in 40 languages. Almost 900 additional sessions from presenters around the world will be available for free and to the public, many in a shorter format and including cultural videos highlighting dance, food and storytelling from around the world.

“The biggest thing about the content this year is that it’s even more localized,” said FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood told Church News. “We’ll start curating … so that every single homeland has every type of learning that they need.”

Along with Elder and Sister Soares, Food Network star Molly Yeh, Brazilian actress Thaís Pacholek, French baker Apollonia Poilâne, American actor Matthew Modine, Argentinian singer-songwriter Diego Torres, and Ghanaian boxer Azumah Nelson will also be featured keynote speakers at RootsTech Connect 2022.

And even though the entire conference will be virtual, some of the keynote addresses were prerecorded with a studio audience amid careful COVID precautions. For example, Azumah Nelson’s address was filmed in Ghana in November, Diego Torres’ keynote was filmed in Argentina, and Apollonia Poilâne’s message was filmed in Versailles, France. You can learn more about each of the RootsTech 2022 keynote speakers below.

About Molly Yeh


Molly Yeh is a James Beard Foundation Media Award nominee and Daytime Emmy Award nominee for her Food Network TV show Girl Meets Farm. She and her husband, Nick, live on his family's fifth-generation sugar beet farm on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, and her cooking features a wonderful fusion of her Asian and Jewish heritage. Molly told FamilySearch, “Knowing my ancestry definitely gives me more confidence in knowing myself and who I am. It's sort of like feeling like I'm not alone. I hope that my story will inspire people to be proud about where they come from and their heritage. I also hope people will look at their differences as positive things and see that they can celebrate other people's differences and embrace them in such a way that brings love and joy into this world.”

About Thaís Pacholek

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In a country that pioneered telenovelas, Brazilian actress Thaís Pacholek’s prominent role in eight different series just proves her incredible talent. Looking back, she recognizes that her family is much of the reason for her success. “My family made me feel secure that this was the path I should take,” she told FamilySearch. “Without them, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to venture to Rio de Janeiro. My family—my family is my foundation; they were there for me. They guided me emotionally, as they still do to this day.” Thaís and her husband, country music star Bruno Belucci Pereira, have a son, Luis Miguel, and she will be sharing her story of family connection at RootsTech 2022.

About Apollonia Poilâne

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In 2020, Condé Nast Traveller named Apollonia Poilâne’s bakery in Paris one of the best bread bakeries in the world. In addition to her baking, Poilâne shares her masterful skills with people around the world through cookbooks and online baking classes. When she was 18 years old, Poilâne’s parents died in a helicopter accident, and she took control of the legendary bakery that has been in her family since 1932 while finishing her education at Harvard University. Since that time she has continued her family’s incredible legacy of baking and turned her devastating personal loss into an overwhelming success.

About Matthew Modine

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Matthew Modine is a film, theater, and television actor. He has won a Golden Globe award and was nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globe Awards for his roles in What the Deaf Man Heard and And the Band Played On. Modine has also starred in Stranger Things, Full Metal Jacket, Jobs, and Birdy. According to FamilySearch, Modine has been married to his wife, Cari Rivera, for over 40 years, and she is the one who gave him the confidence he needed to become an actor. “She’s the greatest partner and friend a person could ask for,” Matthew has said.

About Diego Torres

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In his bio on FamilySearch, Diego Torres is described as an Argentinian singer, songwriter, producer, musician, and actor. He has won three Latin Grammys and numerous Latin MTV music awards. He has been nominated twice for Latin Pop Album of the Year at the American Grammys, and according to La Higuera, he is “one of the fundamental pillars of the Latin pop movement of this decade.” He became more internationally known when he performed at a worldwide youth event with Pope John Paul II for more than a million viewers.

About Azumah Nelson

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Former World Boxing Council featherweight and super-featherweight champion Azumah Nelson is widely considered the greatest African boxer of all time. Nelson is a direct descendant of the Tabon people—a group of seven families who bought their freedom in 1892, left Bahia, Brazil, and returned to Africa to establish a community that is still alive and well today. He told FamilySearch, “It is very important for us to know that even with our different genealogy, we are part of the same global family. If only we can remind ourselves that regardless of political affiliation, race, tribe, gender, country, and faith, we all belong to one big family of God, I believe the world will be a beautiful place to live in."

To participate in the Family Discovery Day program on Saturday, March 5, or to participate in any other portions of the RootsTech 2022 virtual conference on March 3–5, register today for free at

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