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Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 Mormon Tabernacle Choir Tour kicks off in Berlin

As the title of this post states, the 2016 Tabernacle Choir tour has kicked off in Berlin, a city known for its cold war history. Please see this link for all the details. Thanks.

Preliminary Report on the Seminar for New Mission Presidents

I am posting today with a preliminary report on the seminar for new mission presidents, at which all the apostles (in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) and other general authorities spoke.

Church President Thomas S. Monson appeared at the Seminar via a prerecorded message. He instructed new mission presidents on their duties, citing his own experience as a mission president and outlining some of the sacrifices made and blessings received as mission presidents and their wives serve. For the full text of his address opening the seminar, please see this article.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to the mission presidents on the subject of having faith to baptize converts. For a summary of his address, please see this article.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke to the new presidents about the importance of leading their missionaries and those taught by them to the Savior. To read a summary of his address, please see this article.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles urged new mission presidents not to be fearful of new technology. To read what he said on the subject, please see this article.

President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke on the miraculous miracle that the Book of Mormon is. In his addressed, he urged new mission presidents to encourage prayerful study of the book by their missionaries and those they teach. For a summary of his remarks, please see this article.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, reminded mission presidents that they are engaged in the Lord's work, and, in so doing, as President Monson has repeatedly reminded us, they are entitled to the Lord's help. For a report of President Uchtdorf's remarks, please see this article.

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminded new mission presidents that the Lord is in the details of furthering the work of His kingdom, and that we are instruments in His hands in helping the work to progress. For a summary of his remarks, please see this article.

In his remarks at the Seminar, Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke on the subject of how the Lord is preparing people to receive the gospel and said that the mission presidents play an invaluable role in training missionaries on this important topic. For an account of his remarks, please see this article.

That's all this report will focus on. I will share more talk summaries as they become available. Thanks for your readership.

Historian Managing Joseph Smith Papers Project gives lecture on Zion's Camp

The historian managing the Joseph Smith Papers project gave a lecture on June 23 on the important role of Zion's camp. For an account of that lecture, please see this article. Thanks.

Update on flooding in West Virginia

The Church News reported an update on the flooding that has occurred in West Virginia. Over 1000 homes have been destroyed and 23 lives have been lost as a direct result of that flooding. To read more about this tragic upheaval of nature, please see this article. Thanks.

10 Church Members Lose Homes to Wildfires

Among the loses reported from a fire at Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, 10 Church members have lost their homes. Please see this article for details. Thanks.

Church News article about New General Authority Seventy Elder Evan A. Schmutz

The Church News ran an article this weekend about new General Authority Seventy Elder Evan A. Schmutz. To read that introduction of him, please see this article. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Apostolic News Update

Here is an overview of the latest apostolic news:

As the featured speaker at the Freedom Festival Patriotic Service on Sunday June 26, 2016, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that religious freedom is "under fire". For an account of what he said at that event, please see this article.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband recently visited the Barranquilla Colombia temple site recently, As evidenced by the previous blog post I did, temples are making astounding progress worldwide, and it was good to hear of Elder Rasband's visit.

The members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently spoke at the Seminar for New Mission Presidents. For an overview of what was said during that seminar, please see this article. More Church News articles will be released in the near future with further information about the seminar, and you can be sure and find information about all of that on this blog.

That's a brief summary of the latest apostolic news to cross my radar.

Yet Another Update on Temple Progress

There have been further strides in temple-related progress, so I am reposting my list describing these important strides. As always, I welcome any and all feedback.

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 6/28/16)
Current Temple Status: 150 operating, 16 under construction (scheduled for dedication), 11 announced (groundbreakings anticipated to be announced soon), 4 undergoing renovation (scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
151. Sapporo Japan Temple: Accepting free reservations for public open house; dedication scheduled on Sunday August 21, 2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Accepting free reservations for public open house; dedication scheduled on Sunday September 18, 2016.
153. Fort Collins Colorado Temple: Open house tickets available beginning Monday July 11 @ 10 AM MDT; dedication scheduled on Sunday October 16, 2016.
154. Star Valley Wyoming Temple: Facing landscape structures with ledge rock; installing fence posts around temple; dedication scheduled on Sunday October 30, 2016.
155. Hartford Connecticut Temple: Granite being attached to front façade; building entrance plaza and temple president’s residence; dedication scheduled on Sunday November 20, 2016.

Under Construction:
156. Paris France Temple: Planting trees shrubs, and flowers; awaiting art glass installation; completion estimated sometime in early 2017.
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Stained glass windows installed; pouring parking lot curbing; completion estimated sometime in late 2017.
158. Cedar City Utah Temple: Exterior panels attached; work continues on interior and grounds; completion estimated sometime in late 2017.
159. Tucson Arizona Temple: Angel Moroni placed atop temple on July 7, 2016; completion estimated sometime in late 2017 .
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work underway including some material replacement and rework; completion estimated sometime in 2018.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior walls poured; completion estimated sometime during 2018.
162. Fortaleza Brazil Temple Site preparation phase; building permit sign posted; completion estimated sometime in either 2018 or 2019.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Site fence erected; full-scale operations pending; completion estimated sometime in either 2018 or 2019.
164. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Site clearing and preparation phase; completion estimated sometime in either 2018 or 2019.
165. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Building the substructure; completion estimated sometime in 2019.
166. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; completion estimated sometime in 2019.

Rededication scheduled:
33. Freiberg Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication scheduled on Sunday September 4, 2016.

Undergoing Renovation:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; installing marble trim; rededication estimated sometime in early 2017.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated sometime in mid-2017.
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated sometime in late 2017.

Announced:
167. Arequipa Peru Temple: Construction preparation phase; groundbreaking date anticipated to be announced soon.
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction preparation phase; plans approved by local government; groundbreaking may be announced soon and scheduled sometime after the summer Olympics.
169. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
170. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
173. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
174. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
175. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
176. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
177. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.

Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose number already exists (for renovations), or is certain due to a scheduled dedication, as well as information that is certain, such as dedication or groundbreaking dates.
Italicized numbers and text denote temples whose number may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose number may change based on the order in which their future groundbreakings are announced.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Further Travels of the Apostles/Church related news

I wanted to post an update regarding the recent ministry efforts of the apostles. Elder D. Todd Christofferson recently spoke at a Boy Scout luncheon is West Virginia on the subject of the freedom to associate. As part of that speech, he paid tribute to the Scouting legacy of President Thomas S. Monson, for whom a scouting complex is being named. For an overview of what Elder Christofferson said during that speech, please see this article.

Additionally, Elder Ronald A. Rasband was in Ecuador on a trip to bring comfort and greetings from Church headquarters to the Saints in Ecuador, where a powerful earthquake recently struck. He conveyed to the Ecuadoran Saints the love of President Monson and all his brethren of the apostleship, and took his first of many opportunities to bestow an apostolic blessing on them. For an account of what transpired during his trip, please see this article.

In other Church news, the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manit is celebrating its 50th continuous year. This is important news to me personally because my parents, who were set up oriiginally on a blind date, spent their first date at the Manti Pageant.

Also, the newly-implemented Doctrinal Mastery program is already seeing results in the way it has increased the faith and testimony of the seminary students who participate in it.

Sad news today out of Tulsa Oklahoma, where the "ma" of one youth trek pioneer "family" has died. The cause of death is still unknown, but the investigation into what happened is ongoing.

Another death of a Church member was reported. This time, it was a missionary serving in Venezuela, who died of injuries sustained during a taxi accident. The Church has sent out an expression of sympathy to all who knew and loved the missionary, as well as for any and all others affected by this tragedy.

That's the latest on the Church News front. I will keep you posted on the latest news as time and circumstances allow. Thanks for your readership.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Update on temple progress

There have been monumental strides in temple construction lately. In order to better update you on all that's been happening, I am posting an updated report of temple construction progress. Please note that I have tweaked the wording slightly to make things more clear.

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 6/22/16)
Current Temple Status: 150 operating, 16 under construction (scheduled for dedication), 11 announced (groundbreakings anticipated to be announced soon), 4 undergoing renovation (scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
151. Sapporo Japan Temple Open house tickets available beginning Monday June 27, @ 10:00 am JST; dedication scheduled on Sunday August 21, 2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Accepting free reservations for public open house; dedication scheduled on Sunday September 18, 2016.
153. Fort Collins Colorado Temple: Open house tickets available beginning Monday July 11 @ 10 AM MDT; dedication scheduled on Sunday October 16, 2016.
154. Star Valley Wyoming Temple: Facing landscape structures with ledge rock; installing fence posts around temple; dedication scheduled on Sunday October 30, 2016.
155. Hartford Connecticut Temple: Granite being attached to front façade; building entrance plaza and temple president’s residence; dedication scheduled on Sunday November 20, 2016.

Under Construction:
156. Paris France Temple: Planting trees and plants;awaiting art glass installation; completion estimated for sometime in early 2017.
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Stained glass windows installed; pouring parking lot curbing; completion estimated for sometime in late 2017.
158. Cedar City Utah Temple: Exterior panels attached; work continues on interior and grounds; completion estimated for sometime in late 2017.
159. Tucson Arizona Temple: Laying zinc shingles on dome; completion estimated for sometime in  either late 2017 or early 2018.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work underway including some material replacement and rework; completion estimated for sometime in 2018.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior walls poured; completion estimated sometime during 2018.
162. Durban South Africa Temple: Site fence erected; completion estimated sometime in either 2018 or 2019.
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Site clearing and preparation phase; completion estimated for sometime in either 2018 or 2019.
164. Fortaleza Brazil Temple Site clearing and preparation phase; completion estimated for sometime in either 2018 or 2019.
165. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; completion estimated for sometime in 2019.
166. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Ground broken on Saturday February 20, 2016; completion estimated for sometime in  2019.

Rededication scheduled:
33. Freiberg Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication scheduled on Sunday September 4, 2016.


Undergoing Renovation:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated for sometime in early 2017.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated for sometime in mid-2017.
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated for sometime in late 2017.

Announced:
167. Arequipa Peru Temple: Construction preparation phase; groundbreaking date anticipated to be announced soon.
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction preparation phase; plans approved by local government; groundbreaking may be announced soon and scheduled sometime after the summer Olympics.
169. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
170. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
173. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
174. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
175. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
176. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
177. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.

Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose number already exists (for renovations), or is certain due to a scheduled dedication, as well as information that is certain, such as dedication or groundbreaking dates.
Italicized numbers and text denote temples whose number may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose number may change based on the order in which their future groundbreakings are announced.

Thoughts?

Article about new General Authority Seventy Elder Gary B. Sabin

The Church News today ran an article about new General Authority Seventy Elder Gary B. Sabin. To view that article, click here. Enjoy!

Help Needed: Determining the Order in Which the Apostles will Speak Next Conference

Hello. Since my blog is getting more traffic now, I wanted to enlist the help of my readers in deciding something: my prediction for the order in which the apostles will speak. Ordinarily, it's an easy choice for me. But I have come up with two possibilities, and I can't decide which would be better.

Some preliminary information. I will include two copies of the table I use to track when each apostle last spoke in each of the five general sessions.

Key to abbreviations used in the charts:
SAM=Saturday Morning
SAA=Saturday Afternoon
SPH=Priesthood
SUM=Sunday Morning
SUA=Sunday Afternoon
70 Pres=Presidency of the Seventy
PB=Presiding Bishopric
1stQof70=First Quorum of the Seventy

In the charts below, the month and year each apostle spoke in each session is listed, if known. When it happens that one of the three new apostles have not spoken as an apostle in that session of general conference, the month and year of when they last did so, along with the position held at the time, will be listed. The prediction shows simple addition as well, which I also like to do. When the numerical order of each apostle matches the number order they are, that notation will have an asterisk next to it. I have also added the apostolic order number to the speaking order number and have listed each time the result is odd or even. I will now post each individual chart, along with some brief commentary.

Scenario #1

SAM
SAA
SPH
SUM
SUA
Nelson
Oct 2012
Apr 2014*
Apr 2016
Oct 2015
Apr 2015
Oaks
Apr 2015
Oct 2015
Apr 2014
Oct 2013*
Apr 2016
Ballard
Oct 2015
Apr 2016
Apr 2015
Apr 2014
Oct 2014*
Hales
Oct 2013*
Oct 2015
Apr 2013
Oct 2014
Apr 2016
Holland
Apr 2014*
Oct 2015
Oct 2011
Apr 2015
Apr 2016
Bednar
Oct 2013
Apr 2016
Apr 2012
Apr 2014*
Oct 2015
Cook
Oct 2015
Apr 2015*
Oct 2014
Apr 2016
Oct 2013
Christofferson
Oct 2014
Apr 2015*
Oct 2012
Apr 2016
Oct 2015
Andersen
Apr 2014
Apr 2016
Oct 2015
Apr 2013
Apr 2015*
Rasband
Apr 2014 (70 Pres)
Apr 2016
Apr 2010 (70 Pres)
Oct 2015
Oct 2000 (1stQof70)*
Stevenson
Apr 2016
N/A*
Oct 2012 (PB)
Oct 2015
Apr 2009 (1stQof70)
Renlund
Apr 2016
Apr 2015 (1stQof70)
N/A*
Oct 2015
Oct 2009 (1stQof70)

Scenario #1 Results
Nelson
SAA1
SAM
Hales (4 is 1)
Oaks
SUM2

Holland (5 is 2)
Ballard
SUA3
SAA
Nelson (1 is 3)
Hales
SAM1

Stevenson (11 is 4)
Holland
SAM2

Cook (7 is 5)
Bednar
SUM1

Christofferson (8 is 6)
Cook
SAA3
SPH
Renlund (12 is 7)
Christofferson
SAA4
SUM
Bednar (6 is 8)
Andersen
SUA2

Oaks (2 is 9)
Rasband
SUA1
SUA
Rasband (10 is 10)*
Stevenson
SAA2

Andersen (9 is 11)
Renlund
SPH

Ballard (3 is 12)













When adding the number of the apostle who spoke to the apostolic number they are (seniority order) they are, is the resulting figure odd or even?
Odd: 6
Even: 6

I favor this scenario for a variety of reasons: It is very unusual to have someone go more than 2 years without speaking in the Saturday Afternoon Session, which is Nelson's situation. I think it would also be good to have the new apostles begin speaking in the Priesthood Session, as none of them have done so since they were called in October 2015. I love that with this one, it isn't hard to picture it happening. And I love that this one has the three new apsotles spread out. Note also on the Sunday Morning session: Last time Elder Oaks spoke in that session, he was the first apostle to do so. When Elder Bednar last spoke in the Sunday Morning session, he was the second speaker. I also love in this one that the odd and even numbers are equal. Note for above: It is not necessary for more senior apostles speaking in a session to be assigned before their junior counterparts. That will become important for the next scenario.



Scenario #2

SAM
SAA
SPH
SUM
SUA
Nelson
Oct 2012*
Apr 2014
Apr 2016
Oct 2015
Apr 2015
Oaks
Apr 2015
Oct 2015
Apr 2014
Oct 2013*
Apr 2016
Ballard
Oct 2015
Apr 2016
Apr 2015
Apr 2014
Oct 2014*
Hales
Oct 2013*
Oct 2015
Apr 2013
Oct 2014
Apr 2016
Holland
Apr 2014
Oct 2015
Oct 2011*
Apr 2015
Apr 2016
Bednar
Oct 2013
Apr 2016
Apr 2012
Apr 2014*
Oct 2015
Cook
Oct 2015
Apr 2015*
Oct 2014
Apr 2016
Oct 2013
Christofferson
Oct 2014
Apr 2015*
Oct 2012
Apr 2016
Oct 2015
Andersen
Apr 2014
Apr 2016
Oct 2015
Apr 2013
Apr 2015*
Rasband
Apr 2014 (70 Pres)
Apr 2016
Apr 2010 (70 Pres)
Oct 2015
Oct 2000 (1stQof70)*
Stevenson
Apr 2016
N/A*
Oct 2012 (PB)
Oct 2015
Apr 2009 (1stQof70)
Renlund
Apr 2016
Apr 2015 (1stQof70)*
N/A
Oct 2015
Oct 2009 (1stQof70)

Scenario #2 Results
Nelson
SAM2
SAM
Hales (4 is 1)
Oaks
SUM1

Nelson (1 is 2)
Ballard
SUA2
SAA
Stevenson (11 is 3)
Hales
SAM1

Renlund (12 is 4)
Holland
SPH

Cook (7 is 5)
Bednar
SUM2

Christofferson (8 is 6)
Cook
SAA3
SPH
Holland (5 is 3)
Christofferson
SAA4
SUM
Oaks (2 is 8)
Andersen
SUA3

Bednar (6 is 9)
Rasband
SUA1
SUA
Rasband (10 is 10)*
Stevenson
SAA1

Ballard (3 is 11)
Renlund
SAA2

Andersen (9 is 12)

When adding the number of the apostle who spoke to the number representing the order in which they are, is the resulting figure odd or even?       
Odd: 4
Even: 8




It is not unusual to have such a disparity between the even and odd numbered speakers. I favor this one because it allows apostles who have not spoken recently tin a session to do so. It would make sense if Elders Stevenson and Renlund both spoke in the Saturday Afternoon Session. I like that President Nelson, who hasn't spoken in the Saturday Morning Session for four years, will get a chance to do so sooner this way. On the Sunday morning session, I like that they are speaking in seniority order. As we saw last Sunday afternoon session, that wasn't in order (Hales, Oaks, Holland), so I like how this one breaks up Rasband and Andersen. Plus, last time Andersen spoke in the Sunday afternoon session, he was the second speaker, and things rarely happen the same way twice. It would also be good to have some more time before any of the new apostles speak in the priesthood session. As you can see, most apostles (Oaks, Ballard, Hales, Bednar, Cook, Christofferson, Andersen, Rasband, Stevenson) only changed slightly from where they were in either prediction.

Note for above on the Saturday morning session: In both scenarios, I have Hales speaking first. Ordinarily, when a President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks, he is the first in the session to do so. Obviously there are exceptions. But with Hales's health reportedly not well, it would give Hales a reason for speaking before his quorum president, as it is also not uncommon for a quorum president to be the last apostolic speaker in a session.

Finally, I could see either prediction as a very feasible option. But I've babbled on enough. What do you guys think? Any and all comments are welcome.