Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Another Update Provided for the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple

Hello again, everyone! I am posting today to note a few updates for temples. First, I wanted to note a status change for the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple. When the status of that temple was last updated, it had been noted that hard landscaping was underway, that the exterior walls were being plastered, and that a moisture barrier was being added to the eaves of the temple roof. The update given today shows that hard landscaping continues and that the paint that is being applied to the exterior is nearing completion.

I should also note briefly here that I found out that the renovation currently underway for the Raleigh North Carolina Temple will alter its' exterior appearance to look like the other temples originally built during the temple building boom of the late 1990's and early 2000's. Based on that, I would assume that the Asuncion Paraguay Temple, for which building permits are being acquired, will be altered in a similar manner. I will be keeping an eye on that and passing along any updates as I receive them.

In the meantime, we also know that full-scale efforts are still pending for the temple in Winnipeg, which is 13 months removed from its' groundbreaking. This time last year, the primary holdup for the commencement of construction efforts was due to a severe Canadian winter. While I cannot say with any certainty that winter this year is factoring into the decision to wait, I am hoping that by the time winter 2018 clears from the northern hemisphere, full scale efforts will have begun on that temple.

And finally, I wanted to note that while there has not yet been any additional news of groundbreakings or dedications for temples, I am keeping my eyes open for information in this regard and will pass any such updates along as I become aware of them.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Elder Uchtdorf's New Assignments Identified

Hello again, everyone! Many of you may recall President Nelson's statement during the press conference last week that Elder Uchtdorf had already been given major assignments, for which he is uniquely qualified based on his service in the First Presidency. Today we got a look at what those assignments will be.

According to this article, the First Presidency has announced that he will chair the Missionary and Correlation Executive Councils (for the first, he will oversee most issues relating to the missions and missionaries of the Church, and for the second, he will have a role in reviewing and approving all Church materials.

Additionally, he will take over oversight of the Europe and Europe East areas of the Church. Those two areas were previously overseen by Presidents Nelson and Ballard respectively, and in view of their new roles, it makes sense they would hand those off to someone who is very familiar with that continent.

There may or may not be other assignments which we have yet to learn about. But it is wonderful to see that President Nelson is trusting Elder Uchtdorf with all of these things. It will be awesome to see how these assignments allow Elder Uchtdorf to make recommendations to the First Presidency and to see those come to fruition.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Updates Made Yet Again to Completion Estimates for Temples Under Construction

Hello again, everyone! As I did yet another check on my favorite Church websites, I learned about additional changes that have been noted for the completion estimates for several temples. So I wanted to post right now to discuss what has changed and what that means for the sequence of events in the near future. Let's dive in to all of that.

First, a quick preliminary note: While I have continued to voice my opinion that the Rome Italy Temple will likely be dedicated prior to the end of this year, and while that still could happen, in view of its recent lack of progress, I now concur fully with the opinion of those who have indicated that, while the construction team may have the temple completed by the end of this year, it appears more than likely that its' dedication may only take place in the early months of 2019.

Additionally, it is also worth noting that the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple, as I may or may not have noted here previously, is now anticipated to be the third temple dedicated this year, which moved the Durban South Africa Temple down. At some point earlier today, there was apparently reason to shift Durban down again, which resulted in the Lisbon Portugal Temple's dedication anticipated sometime between those for Port-au-Prince and Durban.

In another post yesterday, I noted the fact that the renovation for the Raleigh North Carolina Temple has formally begun, and that the Asuncion Paraguay Temple, which is further behind in the process, although it closed first, is anticipated to have its renovation wrapped up after that of the Raleigh Temple.

With all of that said, I want to conclude by noting that I am working on revising the more specific estimates based on these changes. Once I have that ready, I will put it up here. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Miscellaneous Church News

Hello again, everyone! In the last little while, the Church News website has published a few new articles which I wanted to pass along. First of all, even though they had published a new General Authorities chart following last October's general conference, with the deaths of Elder Hales and President Monson and the subsequent reorganization of the First Presidency, it makes sense that the Church News has published an updated version of that chart, including empty spaces for the existing vacancies. You can find a PDF version of that chart here.

The Church News also ran a couple of articles focusing on addresses given at the Church's annual seminar for MTC presidents and visitor's center directors. This one summarized an address from Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer, who is one of a few Assistant Executive Directors of the Church's Missionary Department, and also the chair of the Missionary Medical Health Services Division. Additionally, the Church News published this article of the remarks then-Elder now-President Oaks gave during that same seminar, which was done just a few days before he was called to the First Presidency.

Additionally, aside from addresses in that seminar, the Church News ran  article about the return of missionaries to Madagascar, where a plague outbreak in that nation led to those missionaries being evacuated and temporarily reassigned in October last year.  It was great to hear about that.

It is awesome to see how the Church is progressing in small and simple ways that, when seen in retrospect, are more significant than we realized at the time. It has always interested me to see the work of the Lord unfold, and I am grateful these things mean so much to so many of you as well.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Further Updates Provided on Temple Renovations

Hello again, everyone! I am happy to be able to focus a blog post on new updates for temples undergoing renovations that came to my attention earlier today. The nature of these updates is such that I will need to once again revisit my estimated time-frames for the affected temples and, by extension, the new temples of the Church in various parts of the world. My work on that estimate revision process has kept me from reporting these updates before now. So let's dive right in and discuss the new information.

First of all, I wanted to note that, as of earlier today, the Raleigh North Carolina Temple was moved ahead of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple, and that the Paraguayan temple has an updated completion estimate of mid-2019.

More specifically, the status of the Raleigh renovation process has been updated to note that the steeple has been removed and that the removal of marble cladding is underway. And in terms of new progress which has been reported for the Asuncion renovation process, it has been noted that building permits have been secured, which means the full-scale renovation efforts will likely begin early next week.

It is good to see what has occurred in terms of these developments. As noted earlier in this post, I am in the process of revising my estimates for future temple-related events, and I will do my best to ensure that I complete that process and pass the updates along to you as I get them figured out. Stay tuned for that, which will likely be posted within the next 6-18 hours.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Friday, January 19, 2018

First Presidency Announces Renovation Closure for the Hamilton New Zealand Temple

Hello again, everyone! The new First Presidency has hit the ground running. Three days after their introductory press conference, the presiding quorum of the Church has announced another temple renovation closure. This time, it is the Hamilton New Zealand Temple, which was originally dedicated in April 1958 by President David O. McKay as only the 11th operating temple of the Church. The renovation process will include seismic and systemic upgrades, including updating the electrical and mechanical systems of the temple and bringing them up to code. In view of it being another older temple of the Church, the completion of that process is only anticipated in 2021, when an open house and cultural celebration will be held prior to this temple's rededication. It was good to hear about that, and I hope this is of interest to most of you. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Miscellaneous Temple and Church News

Hello again, everyone! Today, I was able to learn that the construction status for the Lisbon Portugal Temple has been slightly updated. While the process of cladding the adjoining meetinghouse continues, the work of pouring the steeple base walls has progressed to the pouring of its mid-section. It is wonderful indeed to have learned of this update.

In the meantime, I wanted to return to a subject I have previously referenced, and that is assignments given under one Church president that are honored by his successor following the reorganization of the First Presidency. President and Sister Nelson recently indicated that they would honor the assignment given to them with President Monson's approval, which was to address the youth of the Church in a Face-to-Face event, but in view of President Monson's passing, that event (which would have coincided with the 10th anniversary of President Monson's presidency, as it was planned for February 3 of this year) has been postponed and will be rescheduled later on. I appreciate the Nelsons' willingness to honor that assignment but also to be sensitive about the subsequent need to reschedule that event.

Additionally, in case I haven't mentioned this before now, the featured speaker has been announced for the annual CES broadcast for seminary and institute personnel. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will fill that assignment. The broadcast is scheduled for January 26, will be held just two days following his 73rd birthday. And you can be sure, as has been the case in the last couple of years, that I will be doing a post on this blog on January 24 in honor of his birthday.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Additional Church News Resources Regarding the New First Presidency

Hello again, everyone! After a very long day yesterday, I am back to share some additional Church news resources about the new First Presidency. First, it is worth noting that the Church's leadership lists were updated with the changes yesterday evening.

With that said, the new First Presidency recorded these thoughts on social media in response to their newly announced assignments. The Church News also republished biographies of the new First Presidency that were featured in Church resources as a result of their original calls to general Church service.

For Presidents Nelson and Oaks, those appeared in the May 1984 Ensign, in the report of the conference where both were sustained to the apostleship. For President Eyring, the reproduction is pulled from resources the Church put out at the time of his April 1985 call to general Church service (which at the time was to the presiding bishopric; since he subsequently went on to serve in the Seventy, the Twelve, and the First Presidency, he is the only man in Church history to have filled all of those assignments.

Click here for President Nelson's biography, here for the one on President Oaks, and here for that of President Eyring. It was wonderful to read these words that were written about each of these men around the time their full-time service commenced. We now have the obligation and duty to sustain and support each of them individually but also collectively, as the First Presidency is the presiding Quorum of the Church.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Church News Articles Feature Responses to New First Presidency/Some Thoughts about Elder Uchtdorf

Hello again, everyone! It has been a busy day indeed in terms of my posting content on this blog, I just became aware of two additional articles the Church News has published about the reconstitution of the First Presidency. This article shares reactions to their new assignments from Presidents Oaks and Eyring. It is plain that President Eyring does not see serving as Second Counselor to the successor of President Monson, under whose inspired leadership he served as First Counselor, as any sort of demotion.

The same can be said for Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who returned to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles because he was not retained in the First Presidency after having served alongside Presidents Monson and Eyring. The Church News also featured his reaction to the change in this article, in addition to some thoughts expressed by his seatmate in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder David A. Bednar, who warmly reminisced in a tribute to President Monson in which he went on to share his support for the new First Presidency.

Many people have picked up on President Nelson's statement made earlier today in which he said that Elder Uchtdorf has already been given assignments which his service as an apostle since October 2004 and in the First Presidency for the last decade have been uniquely tailored to him.

While time may be needed to learn more about the nature and specifics of those assignments, it is obvious that President Nelson recognizes his administrative capabilities, and trusts him a great deal. It is also obvious that Elder Uchtdorf is unequivocally supportive of President Nelson's decision to have him return to the membership of that Quorum, and that it will not be a problem for him to do so.

In that regard, I also wanted to note a few things I found interesting, which I hope you will as well: The last time Elder Uchtdorf was listed and sustained among the membership of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (in the October 2007 General Conference), only two other members of that Quorum (Elders Bednar and Cook, who was called during that same conference).

With his return to the membership of that Quorum now, he ranks as the third most senior member of that body . He has come a long way in the apostleship in the last 10 years, and that is reflected by the assignments, whatever they may be, with which President Nelson has entrusted him.

Additionally, while his time as a member of the First Presidency allowed him to give addresses in the Saturday Morning, Priesthood, and Sunday Morning Sessions, and while he led the Sustaining of Church Officers every April between 2008 and 2017 during the Saturday Afternoon Session, the last time he spoke as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (which again was in the October 2007 General Conference), he spoke during the Sunday Afternoon Session. And since that time, his assignments in the First Presidency did not present him another opportunity to speak in that session.

If, as I have theorized, the call of the two new members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles results in two veteran apostles speaking in the final session of the April 2018 General Conference, it would not surprise me if Elder Uchtdorf was one of those two. If you have any thoughts in that regard, please take your turn to "sound off" in the comments below to let me know. Your comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated.

That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.


The Unique Connection Between President Nelson and President Oaks/Verifying the Truth of Something I Previously Stated

Hello again, everyone! KSL aired a special tonight dedicated to President Nelson. In the course of that special, I learned about the unique personal connection that Presidents Nelson and Oaks have. Back when President Nelson was a practicing heart surgeon, President Oaks, a professor at the University of Chicago in the Law School Department was tasked with trying to convince President Nelson, a well respected surgeon, to relocate to Chicago and join that College's medical faculty. President Nelson was impressed by President Oaks's persuasion on the matter, but ultimately decided not to take that path. Several years later, when both were interviewed for the position of BYU President, President Oaks was appointed.

So by the time the two were both called to the apostleship at the April 1984 General Conference, they had known each other for years. They have been seatmates during the entire time they have served in the Quorum of the Twelve, and that personal affinity and camaraderie is no doubt what led to President Nelson picking President Oaks as his First Counselor.

Additionally, I wanted to confirm something I noted previously in a blog post: President Nelson looked haggard at President Monson's funeral because he had all the weight of being the senior apostle and not the mantle of Church leadership. But in watching the coverage of today, that mantle has clearly settled on him, and if he has anything to say about it, he'll be well enough to lead the Church for the next several years.

He will mark his 94th birthday on September 9 of this year, but I'm sure if the Lord wills it to be so, he could stick around not only to pass President Hinckley as the oldest living prophet and Elder Haight as the oldest living apostle in Church history, but we could even see him become the first centenarian prophet in the Church's history. And as previously mentioned, President Oaks has likely been praying for a while that his apostolic and now First Presidency colleague will outlive him.

Whatever might happen in that regard, you can depend on my ongoing reports here. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.