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Monday, August 17, 2015

Possible Change in Job Status and Wages

Hello, all! I know I said I would try to do another general update sometime this weekend, but time got away from me. There was, however, one item of personal news I couldn't wait to post. Early last week at work, I was told that one of our TLs (Team Leaders) would be leaving ROI and that the management was asking those interested to apply for the open position. Everyone I talked to said that they thought I'd make a great TL, so I decided to apply. On Wednesday night, I touched up my resume and printed it out, along with my letters of recommendation and a cover letter to our managers in which I highlighted some of the reasons I would make a good TL,  and I handed it in on Friday.

Getting the TL position would mean a possible change in schedule so I might once again have evenings to enjoy with Amy and for other events. It would mean a substantial pay raise. Everyone I told at work was excited for me and said that they hoped I would get it and that they thought I'd be great at it. I even told the woman I might be replacing about it (she's leaving for a better job), and she said she was excited for me, that she thought I'd do great as a TL, and that her team would love to have a guy like me heading them up.

As I was as headed out of work on Friday, I told another TL who has become a good friend. She is having some issues giving up her smoking habit, so I gave her a bit of a pep talk about the importance of getting rid of that habit, especially for herself and her recently born baby. She thanked me for my concern and told me that I would have her full support if I was selected as a team leader. Friday was the deadline to apply, and I imagine all candidates for the job (there are only a few of us, including a friend who has been on floor support before, which is the training position to become a TL) will be interviewed sometime this week and a determination made regarding the position soon after that.

Most of the people on my team have expressed their support to this other guy, but I have plenty of support from those that might be on my team as well as most of the currently serving TLs. It will be interesting to see what happens with that. I took today to fast that I might be able to get the position if it's the Lord's will, and I also fasted that my friend, the supervisor who is trying to give up  smoking, might receive the help she needs to kick the habit once and for all.

I seek an interest in your faith and prayers as I go through this process. I know that the worst that can happen is that I don't get the position, but I need all the help I can get. Even if I don't get the position, I will likely be asking for a raise in the near future. I believe I am the lowest paid employee @ ROI Solutions, and several people have told me that that's not right, and that I need to challenge that, stick up for myself, and request that I earn on average at least as much as most of the other ROI employees. So, even if I can't become a TL at this time, I hope I can get a pay raise.

That's all for now, as the hour is late. Please stay tuned for a report about how this will be resolved, hopefully by the end of the week. I appreciate all of you who read my blog, and I hope life is going well for each of you. Until I write again, all the best!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clarification of My View and the Church's View on the Issue of Same-Gender Attraction

I was recently reminded by this article of the importance of ensuring that, when anything is stated or claimed in the public domain, all members of the Church must be certain that any views expressed in the public domain, such as blog posts like this, should ensure that Church doctrine is accurately relayed. To that end, I have included the link above to address and clarify my earlier expressed view of the Church's stance on same gender attraction. I have found another news release by the Church that further addresses this point. You will find it here. The more of this interview I read, the more convinced I became that I needed to use a link to it to clarify not only my stated position, but how the Church feels about this subject, and how they addressed many of the common questions about the Church's stance on same-gender attraction. This will not be the first time I have had to clarify something I said, and it probably won't be the last. To paraphrase a line from the original version of That Darn Cat!, "[I] have a most attractive way of putting [my] foot in [my] mouth." Now all that remains is for me to apologize if I have misrepresented the Church in my stated opinion, and to assert that both links above sum up my feelings and the Church's stance perfectly. Thank you for your understanding.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Big Temple News

Hello, dear readers. I have two major news items relating to temples that I want to share with you today. In a blog post written on Tuesday, June 16, I shared the Church's announcement of the Concepcion Chile Temple Groundbreaking. The Church shared an item in their Newsroom on that yesterday (Friday), additionally announcing that the Tucson Arizona Temple would have its groundbreaking on October 17 as well, also at 10:00 am. Here's the interesting thing about that: It will be 10:00 am in Chile when it is 7:00 am Utah time. And when it is 10:00 am in Tucson, Arizona, it will be 9:00 am Utah time. This will make the 3rd and 4th temples that have had ground broken this year. The designs for the new temples are very unique. I invite all who are interested to check out the news release for the designs. You will find the news release by following this link. Enjoy! Construction for each of the two new temples is expected to last 2 1/2-3 years.

The Church additionally announced that, on February 15, 2016, the Jordan River Utah temple will close for extensive renovation that is expected to last until late in 2017 or early in 2018. The renovation may involve a complete overhaul of the temple, including perhaps a change in the design. The Jordan River Utah temple was dedicated in November 1981 and has the distinction of being the one and only temple of the Church that was dedicated by President Marion G. Romney, who served for over 13 1/2 years as a member of the First Presidency and was, at the time of his death in 1988, serving as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

With these exciting announcements in temple news, the status of temples has changed greatly. Below is my analyzation of temple progress. Enjoy!

26. Mexico City Mexico Temple: Scheduled to be rededicated Sunday September 13, 2015.
86. Montreal Quebec Temple: Scheduled to be rededicated Sunday November 22, 2015.
91. Suva Fiji Temple: Scheduled to be rededicated Sunday February 21, 2016.
33. Freiberg Germany Temple: Anticipated to be completed in mid-2016.
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Anticipated to be completed in late 2016.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Scheduled for renovation beginning September 7, 2015.
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Scheduled for renovation beginning February 15, 2016

Under Construction:
148. Indianapolis Indiana Temple: Scheduled to be dedicated Sunday August 23, 2015.
149. Tijuana Mexico Temple: Scheduled to be dedicated Sunday December 13, 2015.
150. Provo City Center Temple: Scheduled to be dedicated Sunday March 20, 2016.
151. Rome Italy Temple: Projected to be completed in mid-2016.
155. Hartford Connecticut Temple: Projected to be completed in mid-2016.
156. Fort Collins Colorado Temple: Projected to be completed in mid-2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Projected to be completed in late 2016.
153. Sapporo Japan Temple: Projected to be completed in late 2016.
157. Paris France Temple: Projected to be completed in late 2016.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Projected to be completed in mid-2017.
159. Star Valley Wyoming Temple: Projected to be completed in mid-2017.
154. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Projected to be completed in 2018.

160. Cedar City Utah Temple: Preparing site for groundbreaking ceremony; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday August 8, 2015.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking ceremony; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday October 17, 2015.
162. Tucson Arizona Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking ceremony; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday October 17, 2015.
166. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Planning and approval phase; temple and site designs complete; groundbreaking pending.
163. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Planning and approval phase; land purchase finalized; groundbreaking pending.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Planning and approval phase; final piece of land for temple site acquired; groundbreaking pending.
165. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
168. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
170. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
164. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
167. Durban South Africa Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
171. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
172. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
173. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.

To make the upcoming events easier to understand, here is my list of all announced upcoming temple events in chronological order, along with what the overall status of temples will be with each change. Hope you enjoy this list as well!

Upcoming Temple Events:

1. Saturday August 8—Cedar City Utah Temple Groundbreaking (147 operating, 13 under construction, 13 announced, 5 undergoing renovation)
2. Sunday August 23—Indianapolis Indiana Temple Dedication (148 operating, 12 under construction, 13 announced, 5 undergoing renovation)
3. Monday September 7—Frankfurt Germany Temple Renovation begins (148 operating, 12 under construction, 13 announced, 6 undergoing renovation)
4. Sunday September 13—Mexico City Mexico Temple Rededication (148 operating, 12 under construction, 13 announced, 5 undergoing renovation)
5 & 6. Saturday October 17—Concepcion Chile (7 AM our time) and Tucson Arizona (9 AM our time) Temple Groundbreakings (148 operating, 14 under construction, 11 announced, 5 undergoing renovation)
7. Sunday November 22—Montreal Quebec Temple Rededication (148 operating, 14 under construction, 11 announced, 4 undergoing renovation)
8. Sunday December 13—Tijuana Mexico Temple Dedication (149 operating, 13 under construction, 11 announced, 4 undergoing renovation)

1. Monday February 15, 2016—Jordan River Temple Renovation begins (149 operating, 13 under construction, 11 announced, 5 undergoing renovation)
2. Sunday February 21—Suva Fiji Temple Rededication (149 operating, 13 under construction, 11 announced, 4 undergoing renovation)
3. Sunday March 20—Provo City Center Temple Dedication (150 operating, 12 under construction, 11 announced, 4 undergoing renovation)

Hope both lists made sense. As evidenced by both lists, the Cedar City temple groundbreaking is tomorrow. I am very excited about all these temple-related events and couldn't wait to share them with you all. Hope you all are well and that you enjoyed this post. You can be sure I will post again as soon as I can after additional Church-related news becomes available. And I will also be posting another update on our personal lives sometime this weekend or as soon as I can, so stay tuned for that. Best wishes!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Major Church News Items

Hello, all. I am posting today for several very good reasons, and the entirety of this post will be devoted to the Church news items that crossed my radar yesterday (Tuesday) and today. That said, on to the news items!

First, the Church announced a new Commissioner of Church Education in May, but I only found out about it early this morning. Elder Kim B. Clark of the First Quorum of the Seventy replaced Elder Paul V. Johnson, also of the First Quorum, as Commissioner of Church Education effective August 1, which is the same day Elder Johnson commenced his service as First Counselor in the Europe Area of the Church. Elder Johnson had been serving as Commissioner since 2008.

The Commissioner of Church Education oversees everything related to the Church's seminary and institute programs as well as having involvement with all Church-related religious instruction at universities and colleges Elder Clark becomes the 16th man to hold this position. There have been 17 different service periods for the Church Commissioner, but one of the men who served as Commissioner, President Henry B. Eyring, served two nonconsecutive terms.

I felt kind of stupid about finding this change. The change was announced in May, but I only stumbled upon the source for it yesterday (Tuesday). I knew, in view of Elder Johnson's Area Presidency assignment, that his release as Commissioner would take place sometime around August 1, when other changes are made to Church leadership assignments. But I and other editors of Wikipedia interested in this change, didn't know where to look for information. On a hunch or gut feeling, I checked the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion website, and there, on the front page, was the source I'd been looking for. A friend who also edits Wikipedia works with the Church Educational System, and it was from him that I first learned this change was in the works, though he couldn't give specifics until today. And even he was baffled about where we might find a source to confirm Elder Clark's status as Commissioner, So I was grateful to find this source and post it on Wikipedia in all of the relevant places.

Elder Clark is well qualified to be the Commissioner. He had, previous to his call as a general authority, served as the President of BYU-Idaho. So he is well-versed in policies relating to the Church Educational System. I don't know how long he will serve in this capacity. He turned 66 just prior to his call as a general authority, and members of the First Quorum of the Seventy typically serve till around age 70. But that doesn't necessarily mean he will be released as Commissioner upon his release as a general authority. Before Elder Johnson became the Commissioner, Elder W. Rolfe Kerr had served for several months both as an emeritus general authority and Church Commissioner. So it'll be interesting to see how long he has this assignment.

The other two Church News items I wanted to post about were featured on the news yesterday (Tuesday). As part of the LDS Church's Joseph Smith Papers Project, the Church released the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon and information  regarding the seer stones that were used by Joseph Smith to translate the Book of Mormon. This brings the number of volumes in the project to 11. It took a collaboration between the Church and the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS Church) to bring this volume to fruition. The Church Historian and Recorder (Elder Steven E. Snow of the First Quorum of the Seventy) and his assistant (Richard E. Turley Jr.) represented the LDS Church. The Community of Chris, which holds the rights to the printing of the manuscript, was represented by President Robin Linkhart,, one of the currently 10 Presidents of the Seventy, and Lachlan Mackay, who coordinates matters relating to the Nauvoo historical sites. Both the LDS Church and the Community of Christ were pleased to collaborate on this project. Brother Turley has co-authored an article about Joseph Smith's role as a seer, and seer stones, and their role in translation and revelation. This volume of the Joseph Smith Papers Project is supposed to add to the set of what will become at least two dozen volumes that the Church will publish,

The final Church News item was about Brigham Young's house. Not the one known as the Beehive House in Salt Lake City, but a house sititng on about 1/3 of an acre in Port Byron, New York. A letter regarding the house came to the Mormon Historical Sites Foundation and was received by the foundation's vice-chairman, Richard Lambert. The letter asked if anyone would be interested in helping to purchase and restore the house. The property, seen as an eyesore to the community, was overgrown with poison ivy and weeds. A small plaque sits near the house and reads as follows: "This wood frame house built by James Pine in circa 1818 and later occupied by Brigham Young and family." Lambert learned of the house's authenticity firsthand by going to Port Byron himself. Lambert said that the house hadn't changed very much since Brigham Young and his family lived there. Lambert obtained the property and the house for $30,000. Lambert said he was hoping to find Brigham Young's initials somewhere. His additional hope is that this will provide enough of a reason for schoolchildren and Church history tours to come through Port Byron. Lambert brought the house back into the Young family, as Brigham Young is his 3rd great-grandfather. He will travel with other descendants of Brigham Young to begin the restoration process sometime next summer.

Well, it's late and I probably should be getting to bed. Just had to post about these exciting developments for the Church. Until I post again, all the best!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Happy Birthday to 4 great men this month!

I am posting for a very exciting reason. Four out of our thirteen currently serving apostles have a birthday this month. Before Elder Perry and President Packer died, it was five out of fifteen apostles, or one-third. That said, let's review who these four men are and the milestone each will experience.

With the death of Elder Perry (who would have marked 93 years August 5), the first apostolic birthday for the month is Elder Neil L. Andersen. He will be 64 on August 9. He is the most junior apostle and the second youngest apostle currently serving.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks will be 83 years old on August 12. He is currently the fifth oldest apostle and the third in apostolic seniority (which includes the First Presidency as well as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles).

President Thomas S. Monson, who, with the deaths of Boyd K. Packer on July 3 and L. Tom Perry on May 31, is now the second oldest apostle in addition to being the most senior apostle, will celebrate his 88th birthday on August 21. He is reportedly not in very good health, but looked healthy enough and was well enough to speak at both Elder Perry's and President Packer's funeral. He apparently is no longer making journeys around the world to attend temple dedications, delegating those opportunities to his counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, whether he is not able to in view of his health or simply choosing to give his counselors those opportunities. I hope he will be with us for many more years to come, but only time will tell.

The final apostle with a birthday this month is Elder Robert D. Hales, who, like Elder Oaks, turns 83 on August 24. His health has been rocky ever since his early years as a general authority. I don't know what the current status of his health is. He has missed several general conferences for his health, with the latest one being April 2011. With his health status being what it is, he only attends the conference session he is assigned to speak at, watching the rest of them at home. There's no way to know for sure, but I anticipate, in view of his health, that he may be the next apostle to pass away. I never look forward to the passing of any of the Brethren, and it will be no different with Elder Hales. Perhaps because he has had so many brushes with death, his talks have been more rich in doctrine than they would have otherwise been. He has given many talks on adversity, citing his personal experience, and many more on how to become more Christlike.

I invite any of you who may be curious about the lives of any of the brethren with birthdays this month to do more studying on them. I hope we will willingly give heed not just to the birthday brethren, but to all those men we accept as prophets, seers, and revelators. Thanks, as always, for reading these posts. Best wishes to you all!