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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Political & Religious Leaders Worldwide Pay Tribute to President Monson & His Legacy of Cooperation With Those of Other Faiths

Hello again, everyone! There are some late-breaking temple developments which I will focus on in another post, as they are well worthy of mentioning, but I wanted first to mention that Mormon Newsroom has published this article today to pass along statements made by leaders of other faiths, leaders of nations (including LDS members of the US Senate and House of Representatives).

These tributes provide moving expressions of solidarity, well-wishes, and reminiscences about how many of those releasing such statements were personally impacted by President Monson's ministry. One thing I did want to mention regarding one of the statements: While I do not want to stir up political controversy, it has been my observation that our current US President, Donald Trump, does not have the smallest portion of a grasp of the English language that we have seen in so many of his predecessors. As one reading "his statement", I can say it was more likely than not crafted by someone else and submitted with his approval.

At any rate, it was wonderful to read those statements, and I think many of you will find that to be the case as you read them yourselves. What wonderful tributes to the legacy of this remarkable man, who truly wore out his life in the service of the Lord.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which should be up in the next few minutes and will focus on the temple updates I mentioned at the start of this one), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

My Personal Response to a Blog Post Complaining About How the Church Today Handles Dissenting Votes

Hello again, everyone! As longtime readers of this blog are no doubt aware, I have had little to no patience in recent General Conferences for those who have turned what should rightly be an opportunity to silently offer a sustaining vote into an occasion where they loudly shouted their disinclination to do so. The last few times that happened during President Monson's administration marked the first time that has happened since that of President Kimball.

In this 2015 blog post by someone styling themselves as a faithfully active member of the Church, the point the author was trying to make was that, in that individual's opinion, President Uchtdorf's handling of that occurrence was not nearly as graciously done as President Tanner's handling of similar issues when he, at President Kimball's request, led out in the sustaining process and opposing votes were verbalized.

As the blog post shares, during President Kimball's administration, the process of handling such contrary votes was to have those so voting meet personally with a member of the Twelve (that member, at that time, was generally then-Elder Hinckley). The author of the blog post lamented the fact that President Uchtdorerf instructed those voting negatively to meet with their stake presidents, and voiced the opinion that, if President Uchtdorf had followed President Tanner's example in graciously instructing those so voting to meet with a member of the Twelve to explain their reasons for so voting, the negative votes would likely have been nipped in the bud and may not have recurred.

While I respect the right of this blogger to feel that way, this is another classic example similar to those I have previously referenced where those who perpetuate such opinions have failed to put in the work and do the research for themselves. Had the author of this post opted to do so before posting his thoughts, he would no doubt have discovered that the Church has not only had a huge increase in its membership between the days of President Kimball and those of President Monson, but more than that, that the Church has gradually moved to delegating more responsibility once handled by apostles to stake presidents, in an effort to free up general Church leaders and give their local counterparts more responsibility for the members within their stewardship.

So rather than being a failure on President Uchtdorf's part to treat such dissenting votes with the graciousness and gravity that situation deserved, President Uchtdorf instead invited those so voting to go through the proper channels. Quite honestly, with the Church being more global in its outreach during President Monson's time than it ever might have been in President Kimball's time, if general Church leaders (including and especially the apostles) were to handle any and all similar issues themselves, the sheer volume of the matters they would be personally handling would leave them precious little time for much else, especially extensive travel that a worldwide ministry now mandates. The clear solution to the issue is to delegate that to local leaders, who would more easily be able to deal with the issue, and who, if unable to do so to the satisfaction of the members involved, could then refer such matters to those higher up in the Church's hierarchy.

When seen in that light, the dissenting votes (and the reaction of the blogger in question to the way it was handled) were both highly inappropriate. But above and beyond that, there was absolutely no difference whatsoever in terms of the level of graciousness and seriousness with which President Uchtdorf handled such votes and the way in which President Tanner did so in previous years.

Just wanted to get these thoughts down. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time, and for wading through these additional thoughts on this subject, which I could not help but "sound off" about. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the lord will bless you all in everything you do.

President Nelson Signs Mission Calls as Acting Church President/More Resources Released Regarding President Monson's Passing

This will be a wide-ranging post. As I have previous observed, the time between President Monson's death (on January 2) and the earliest date when the First Presidency might be reorganized (January 14) is, at 12 days, the longest such period in recent years. Not since the 9-day period between the death of 14th Church President Howard W. Hunter has there been such an extended length of time between the death of one prophet and the ordination of another.

Because there has been such a lengthy gap in this instance, Mormon Newsroom has released this article to report that President Nelson, as the presiding apostle and the acting Church President, has signed 1,150 letters that will go out to young men & women and senior couples as their official call. President Nelson observed that this was being done so that those missionaries would not have to wait another week to get their assignments. That was great to hear about.

Mormon Newsroom also released this article sharing tributes to President Monson's service in view of his passing. Those statements were issued by world and national leaders and leaders of other religious denominations.

The Church News & Events page also published this article to announce the closure of major Church buildings and welfare facilities all day Friday to allow those who work in such locations to fully focus on honoring President Monson and paying tribute to his life, and this article in which Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf shared more thoughts & reflections on President Monson's passing, and in which the response of several Church members worldwide in light of his death were also shared.

And finally, those who manage the blog associated with the Church's official website, after getting her permission to do so, published again some reflections Ann M. Dibb, President Monson's daughter, had previously released about her father's legacy of service and faith, and particularly highlighted the support of his wife Frances. You can find that blog post here, and it is well worth reading.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.