Need more information?

Top Leaderboard

Monday, August 21, 2017

Two Church News Items Reported

Hello, all! I am back sooner than even I anticipated, to report on news which I had heard earlier today, but have not yet passed along. In two blog posts on the Church Newsroom site, the Church shared this story (about how President Nelson shared with the governor of Nebraska information about his (the governor's) family history. It is always nice to hear how active President Nelson (who is just short of being 3 years older than our prophet) has been able to be. Not since President Monson himself was President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (which, as previously noted, happened during President Hinckley's presidency while President Monson also served as President Hinckley's First Counselor) have we had such an active Quorum President.

Wanted to add a sidenote here: President Nelson's predecessor, President Packer, had been confined to a wheelchair off and on from sometime in 2009 until his death in July 2015, and both the reemergence of his childhood polio and his need to be in a wheelchair had at times limited his ability to function actively as Quorum President. So the fact that the Quorum has had active leadership from President Nelson for over two years now is indeed significant, as is the fact that, by comparison, President Nelson has always been much better health-wise than President Packer was, even though President Packer was actually born the day after President Nelson. Given that President Nelson will mark his 93rd birthday next month (on the 9th), I am sure he will continue to actively provide good leadership to the Quorum (and also provide vital support for Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf as they carry the Church forward for President Monson, who, as also previously noted, announced on May 23 that he would be stepping back from an active role in Church leadership).

That said, the second story was to share different articles from the Mormon Newsroom of various foreign countries (in this case the Dominican Republic, the islands of Tonga and Kiribati in the Pacific area, Nicaragua (which several have said is a strong candidate for a temple sometime in the near future), Guatemala (which some have said may get a 3rd temple soon),and Thailand (which has a temple in the planning phase). You can find links to all of these stories here.

That does it for this blog post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Comments are welcome and appreciated. Until I find something else to post about (which may be tomorrow at earliest), I wish you all the best.

Two months until the beginning of the open house for the Meridian Idaho Temple

Hello, all! As noted by this blog post title, today not only marks the 90th birthday of our Church president, but it also means that the open house for the Meridian Idaho Temple will begin in just two months. And by the time that happens, 3 operating temples will have closed for renovation (in Memphis Tennessee, Tokyo Japan, and Oklahoma City Oklahoma). And depending on what happens during the October General Conference, there may be more temples announced by that time as well.

For my part, I will continue to try and keep abreast of it all. In the meantime, I wanted to note one more thing: In order for the Church to have 200 operating temples by or before the 200th anniversary of the gospel's restoration (Saturday April 6, 2030), which is 12.62 years away as of today, the Church would just need to announce 18 more temples and complete the other 25 currently in any phase (for a total of 43), which works out to roughly 3 or 4 per year.

And, as noted, the Church will add 2 more prior to the end of this year (for a total of 4 new temples this year), and there are plans underway to have 4 or 5 new temples by the end of next year, with between 4-6 in 2019, and 1 or 2 that will be completed the year after that.

Any other temple completions and dedications will depend entirely on what happens between now and then. If, for example, the Church does not hold groundbreakings for any other temples this year, then the odds of any other temples being dedicated during 2020 go down substantially. At best, the smallest temples have taken an average of 2 years and 4 months for construction. So any temples that could be completed by the end of 2020 would have to have a groundbreaking by no later than the end of August of next year.

Having done extensive study on the average time-frames within which temples have generally risen in certain world areas, I can say that none of the temples that are anticipated to have a groundbreaking between now and a year or so from now fall within that average construction time-frame.

That said, even though 2020 may not be a big year for newly dedicated temples, between now and then, I could see many new temples announced, and there are at least three currently operating temples that are anticipated to have a rededication during that time.

And in between now and then, there is plenty of time for the Lord to surprise us with what might happen with temples. The one thing on which any of us can always count is that the Lord controls how, when, and at what rate temples are announced, groundbreakings and construction occur, and subsequent dedications take place. He will surely have surprises ahead in that regard in the next three years, and indeed, for the foreseeable future. For my part, I will continue to try and keep track of it all, and will be sure to pass along updates as I get word of them.

In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time. Comments are welcome and appreciated. I have not heard any new temple news in the last little while, but will continue to look for it and pass it along. Until my next post (which, if not sooner, will be in three days to mark the 85th birthday of Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), I wish you all the best.

President Thomas S. Monson celebrates his 90th birthday today, becoming the 7th nonagenarian prophet in this dispensation

As noted above by the somewhat abnormally lengthy title of this blog post, not only are we marking a solar eclipse today, but our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, marks his 90th birthday today, becoming the 7th of our 16 prophets to become a nonagenarian. That is significant any way it's considered. So much has been written and said about our prophet, both prior to and as a result of this monumental day. and it is therefore a very daunting task to provide a fresh perspective of his life. But I will try.

As many know, his service in the Naval Reserve precluded his ability to serve a mission. However, right around the age he would have been after returning from a mission (22), he was called to be the bishop of his ward. A few years later, he would serve for a time as a member of his stake presidency. At the young age of 32, he uprooted his family (which then consisted of his wife and his two children; the youngest son would be born a short while later) to serve as a mission president in Canada. After three years in that assignment, he came home and served on Church committees while continuing a profession of publishing. A short time later, he was called by President David O. McKay to fill a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that had arisen when the junior apostle, N. Eldon Tanner, who had been called to the apostleship the year before, was called to the First Presidency.

Elder Monson would serve in the apostleship for 22 years before the death of President Kimball, the 12th Church President, led to a reorganization of the First Presidency. When Ezra Taft Benson became the prophet, he selected Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson as his counselors. President Benson functioned actively as prophet for just a few years. Presidents Hinckley and Monson saw the Church through a period of several years when the Lord's prophet was not able to function fully as such.

When President Benson passed away in May of 1994, his successor, President Howard W. Hunter, retained Presidents Hinckley and Monson. But President Hunter's presidency would only span a short period of just under 9 months.

When President Hunter passed away in March of 1995, President Monson's status as the second in line to new Church President Gordon B. Hinckley made him a natural fit to serve as both the First Counselor to President Hinckley and as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a position he held for the next almost-13 years.

When President Hinckley himself passed away in January of 2008, President Monson, as had many before him, spent several hours in the temple pouring out his soul in prayer to our Heavenly Father for guidance about how to lead the Church. He was then able to oversee the funeral arrangements for President Hinckley, and a day after that funeral, convened a meeting with the 14 remaining apostles to reorganize the First Presidency. He was unanimously sustained by his Brethren as Church President, and the next senior apostle Boyd K. Packer set him apart in that position.

President Monson then noted that, acting under the inspiration of the Spirit, he was calling Elders Henry B. Eyring (who was the first apostle called by President Hinckley and had served alongside President Monson in the first Presidency for almost four months prior to President Hinckley's passing) and Dieter F. Uchtdorf (called to the apostleship in 2004 and who, as a native German, had been blessed by President Monson's apostolic ministry to that nation, was a good friend of the new prophet) as his counselors.

The next 9.5 years, as we know, between February 2008 and now has seen quite an expansion of so many wonderful things for the Church, including the changing of the missionary age and so many more temples. But perhaps best of all, Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf have, through these last 9.5 years, learned how President Monson thinks and feels about things, and were thus prepared to continue to lead the Church forward in the wake of the announcement made on May 23 of this year, when we learned that President Monson would be scaling back his duties and not actively participating in meetings or decisions. We have also, in the last several years, seen the 7 apostles junior to President Monson but senior to President Nelson pass away.

I could go on forever about the accomplishments of our prophet. But I think it sufficient to say merely that the Church has been in good hands under his inspired leadership, and will continue to be so now as he takes a less active role in Church leadership. Over his apostolic ministry, which will, as of this October, have spanned 54 years, he has given a number of masterful general conference addresses. If I have counted correctly, the total number of those addresses now stands at 247. And that is just in general conference alone. I do not know how many more times we may be privileged to hear from this wonderful man, but if any of you would like to review any of those addresses, you can find most of them (from April 1971-April 2017) here.

In the meantime, that does it for this tribute to our prophet. I hope he had a wonderful day.  Any comments are, as always, welcome, but I hope any such comments will be respectful of our prophet. In the meantime, thank you all for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.