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Saturday, February 11, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Europe East Area Presidency Changes

A comment on my blog tipped me off to the information I had been seeking about what changes had taken place with the Europe East Area Presidency as a result of the release in early December and subsequent death of Elder Bruce D. Porter. As I had expected, Elder James B. Martino, who served as Elder Porter's First Counselor, succeeded him as the new area president. Elder Larry S. Kacher, Elder Porter's second counselor, is the new First Counselor. But what blew me away is that the new second counselor is an Area Seventy, Alexey V. Samaykin. As I observed in response to the comment that shared this news, I am not sure of how long it has been since we last had an area seventy serve as an area presidency member. In the days of President Hinckley, it was not that uncommon to have several Area Presidencies comprised either mostly or entirely of area seventies But that role has shifted again of late to General Authority seventies, presumably enabling  area seventies to focus more fully on their local occupations and Church service. I know that when an area seventy has served in recent years as an area presidency member, it is almost always a temporary assignment, lasting only until the annual area presidency changes happen in August. I fully anticipate the same being true for the assignment of Elder Samaykin. But time will tell. In the meantime, I am grateful to have learned of this and to have now been able to report it after waiting so long to do so. I welcome any feedback. Wonderful news!

Land has been purchased for a temple site in Missoula Montana

Hello.  I am doing this blog post to share that land has been purchased in Missoula Montana for  a temple. I have before mentioned in other blog posts how such a temple had been proposed in 2014 by Elder David A. Bednar during his assignment to a stake conference in the area. Missoula now joins three other locations that I know of in the world where land for a temple site has been purchased: Managua Nicaragua, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, and Bentonville Arkansas. The report of the land purchase in Missoula has come from an unimpeachable source. And I know that some will argue that the purchasing of a temple site is in no way a solid indicator of how imminent a temple announcement might be for that site. But I disagree. Someone else, who has no small familiarity on the matter, has advised me that such sites will have a temple announced when Church unit growth and activity in the area such a temple would cover warrants that happening. So I have no doubts that we will see all of those temples announced soon, and that is why those four sites are at the top of my list of most imminent future temple announcements. Please let me know what your thoughts are on this developments. Thank you.

Churchwide Change in Calling Title/Elder Stevenson Visits South America

Due to some personal issues, now is my first opportunity to blog about two major Church news stories that I first became aware of a day or two ago when they were first published.

First, the Church officially announced a change in the title of a calling. Those presently referred to as "Family History Consultants" will now work under the designated expanded title of "Temple and Family History Consultants". The intent is that such consultants will be focused on working with the end goal of enabling people to take names to the temple. It has been a long time in coming, but the change is most welcome and definitely needed. As one who has previously served as a Family History Consultant, my main job was to help those members of my Elders' Quorum prepare and take names of their ancestors to the temple. The change was announced during the Family History Leadership Session at RootsTech, the annual family history gathering held by the Church. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the one who made the announcement. That was exciting to read about. Click here to read more on the change.

In the meantime, those who read my post about the apostles asked to represent the Church at the inauguration of now-President Donald Trump (got to get used to saying that, however much I hate to) will recall that one of them, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, departed directly after the inauguration to fill another assignment, an extensive visit to South America. The Church News ran a report on that visit. Click here to read about what he did during that visit. His experience there, returning as an apostle to a place he had visited as Presiding Bishop, was significant. And based on the Church News report, there is even more evidence than before that this particular apostle could truly claim international experience. If more evidence was needed that our apostles truly are apostles to the world, there it is.

Thanks for reading this, and, if you feel so inclined, commeting on it. I hope to do several blog posts this weekend, including a long-overdue report of the Seminar for New Mission Presidents. With everything that has happened in my personal life lately (which I hope I will share in another blog post), I somehow overlooked getting that taken care of sooner. So I will make it happen this weekend. Thanks again.