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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Update/Three important Church History Developments/Four Church History Upcoming Events

Hello, readers! I am updating the blog for a few reasons, the least of which is to bring you all up to speed on what has happened since my last post. My weekend went about how I expected it to. I went to training for my job on Monday. When I mentioned that I would have two upcoming doctors appointments in the near future (one with my neurologist Dr. Sharon Weinstein the next day and another with spasticity specialist Nurse Katarina Waters the following Monday), my supervisors determined that, since the training built upon itself day after day, it would be wiser for me to discontinue the training for the job until the following Tuesday. So I enjoyed the training the rest of the day and then came home, tired but happy that I would have another week before I had to worry about continuing the training. I should mention that while I will be working at ROI Solutions, the company I will be serving will be Young Living Essential Oils. The instructor was  kind enough to give us samples of her four favorite essential oils: Stress Away, Peppermint, Lavender and Lime.

Then today, I went to see Dr. Weinstein. She determined that the stress headaches I have been struggling with will likely go away as I get into the job. She also said that the nausea should likewise diminish with the stress but that if it doesn't, I should see my gastroenterologist about whether there was a stomach issue. She said I could discontinue one of my medications since it seems I am doing better. I will be going to Physical Therapy tomorrow and hopefully enjoying the rest of the week before I have to be back at work on Tuesday.

That being said, there were three important developments in Church History that occurred and four Church History upcoming events that I wanted to blog about. First, it was announced by Elder Paul V. Johnson, Commissioner of Church Education, on November 2 during a CES devotional, that where in previous years CES devotionals had been held in January, March, May, September, and November, effective immediately, CES Devotionals will be renamed "Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults: An Evening with (name of speaker)." They will be held three times a year, "on the second Sunday in January, the first Sunday in May, and the second Sunday in September." The devotional will be open to "all young adults, both married and single . . . Students finishing high school or the equivalent are also invited to attend. January devotionals will be held at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; at BYU–Idaho; or at BYU–Hawaii. May devotionals will be held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City or at other sites at Church headquarters. September devotionals will be held at other locations in the United States." (announcement can be found here.)

Also at the devotional, Elder Johnson additionally announced a change in curriculum for religious requirements for Church-owned schools and institutes as well as seminaries, effective Fall 2015. There are four new courses that will span all standard works: “Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel,” “Foundations of the Restoration,” “The Teachings and Doctrine of the Book of Mormon” and “The Eternal Family.” While the standard scripture courses will still be available as electives, these will be required for graduation. Those who have already completed the previous "required" classes are being encouraged to take the four new courses as electives. As I said, this is also supposed to be effective for seminaries, but I haven't found an official source to substantiate that. Here is a link to a couple of sources about that: LDS Church Announces Changes to Religious Education Curriculum
New Religion Classes

The third thing of note that happened was that Pope Francis of the Catholic Church has invited religious leaders and scholars representing 14 faith traditions from 23 countries to a meeting at the Vatican later this month to discuss how men and women complement each other in marriage. The LDS Church was one of the religions invited. The Church will respond to this invitation by sending President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency (who will speak on November 18 representing the Church), Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Bishop Gérald Caussé, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. For more information on this monumental meeting, click here.

These developments stacked up to make November a very important month in Church History. But that's not all that's going on this month. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf turns 74 on November 6. Elder Richard G. Scott will turn 86 on November 7. A cultural celebration will be held in Phoenix Arizona on November 15, with the temple scheduled to be dedicated the next day, though it is still unclear who will dedicate that temple. (Though likely not President Eyring, as he will be at the Vatican at that time). On November 19, President Thomas S. Monson will surpass President John Taylor to become the 10th longest serving President of the LDS Church. All of these events stack up to make November a most exciting month.

It's past midnight on November 5, so I want to wish my dad, Lee Stokes, a very happy 59th Birthday. The older I get, the more I realize he is not perfect. But with that realization, I also acknowledge that a good majority of what I know about being a good husband and father I learned from him. So Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you!

Not much else to report. I will try to write again once my training is complete to let you know how it went. Until I find something else to "sound off" about again, all the best, dear readers!