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Friday, June 30, 2017

Update on Stake Creations in 2017

Hello, all! While I am hard at work trying to do more thorough research about future temple-related developments and probable temple sites, I was pleased to find out that today there was news of more stakes that were created last Sunday.

It looks at the moment as though 3 new stakes were created (in Puebla Mexico (that stake creation apparently necessitated the renaming of another stake in that city), Tegucigalpa Honduras, and Santa Cruz Bolivia), and one existing district in Ghana was upgraded to a district. I will not be providing the unit breakdown of these new Church units. That is Matthew Martinich's field of expertise, he does it well, and I will not take that from him. There is a reason he is an expert at doing so and I am not.

For my part, I am grateful that both the LDS Church Growth Blog the LDS Church Temples site provide regular updates to and analysis of those unit changes. I will say that, for me, this solidifies my theories from recent study that Mexico, Bolivia, and Honduras could be among the locations where new temples may soon rise. For me, Puebla makes the most sense for Mexico's next temple site, Santa Cruz or La Paz could be seen as the best option for Bolivia's next temple (right now, they seem to be even in terms of their likelihood, and I would be satisfied with either, though it seems like both may get a temple in the near future if growth continues as it has), and San Pedro Sula seems to be the logical location for the second Honduran temple.

As always, more study and analysis of present and future temple-related news will follow as I can make that happen. Thanks to you all for your ongoing interest and support.

Issue Preventing Comments on this blog has been fixed (correctly this time)

After trying and failing repeatedly to fix the issue preventing you all from commenting on this blog, I finally discovered the problem: I had ad blocking software installed on my computer that appeared to be the issue. Having disabled both that and Disqus, the problem should be fixed completely and permanently this time. I am assuming (but not certain) that if an ad blocker was enabled on this site, it prevented the commenting option from initiating. I will puzzle over why that is later. For now, just know that it is fixed and hopefully fixed entirely and correctly this time. Please do let me know if there are any other issues. Thanks to you all for not just your interest and support but also your patience with me as I have worked on resolving these issues.

Providing More Details on Ailing Church Presidents

I had started this post intending to provide an update on the Seminar for New Mission Presidents, but when it was written, it turned out to focus almost entirely on what was done during the years when Presidents Benson and Kimball stepped back from active involvement in day-to-day Church operations and what that might indicate in the current circumstance of President Monson. So, here goes.

It seems that with President Monson stepping back from active service, senior members of the Twelve will be taking a more active role in assisting Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf in the day-to-day operations of the Church. That is not unexpected or unprecedented. The two counselors to President Monson are currently the 7th and 8th most senior apostles. And it appears that the 4 or 5 functioning apostles that are senior to the two in the apostleship but their juniors by virtue of Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf forming the Quorum of the First Presidency have much the same attitude as did President Benson.

President Benson, prior to his own time as Church President (during which he suffered a similar decline) was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that filled a role supporting President Hinckley while the latter was the sole functioning member of the First Presidency during the prophetic tenure of President Kimball. The apostles who served under President Benson's direction during that time noted (this is my best recollection of what I read, as I could not find the exact quote), "No one was more supportive of President Hinckley during this time than President Benson. When business came to the Twelve from the First Presidency, President Benson always said, 'Brethren, we must be about this NOW!' "

In a time where 20+ years has passed since the last time we saw a scenario like this (and I only know of it from what I've read: I was too young to recollect this first-hand), it is comforting to know that not only has the Church been here before, but that there is still great unity between the leading Brethren in the time of a prophet's declining years. Because the Church has been there before, we know that the 14 other apostles will do the best they can, being sure to not go further than they know President Monson would in their decisions and approaches to deliberations that are ongoing. How wonderful it is to know that, even when the prophet is not able to actively serve, the work will carry on.

As a side note, I am still trying to ascertain from the sources I have whether or not anything is in the works for President Monson's 90th birthday (coming up in just over 1.5 months), and how the announcement from Church headquarters regarding his stepping back might impact whether or not he will speak during General Conference. If he does not, I could see the Church doing what has been done previously, with the counselors delivering a message for President Monson, having his secretary or a family member deliver his prepared remarks, or having other Church leaders step in to take that time (one example has previously been having the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak twice during General Conference, once during the Priesthood Session, and once as assigned during another session).

You can depend on my keeping an eye on all of this, and passing news along as it comes my way. Thanks to you all for taking time to read this. For the moment, I paraphrase something President Hinckley often said both as a counselor to previous Church Presidents and during his own tenure as such: "The Church is in good hands, God is at the helm, and all is well." I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.