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Sunday, February 4, 2018

President Nelson Presides Over His First Stake Conference As Church President

Hello again, everyone! One of the main roles of the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is to assign the members of that Quorum to preside at various stake conferences throughout the year. At some point or other, President Nelson indicated he would preside at the Stake Conference that was scheduled to be held today for the Salt Lake Granger Stake. As we know, President Nelson became the President of the Church three weeks ago today, and he elected to keep that assignment, which marked the first Stake Conference over which he presided as Church president. The report of the remarks he and his wife made during that conference can be found in this article.

Another interesting tidit that I found in that article was the fact that President Nelson's personal secretary was in attendance as well. Brother Don H. Staheli is no stranger to secretarial work. Some of you may know that he was President Hinckley's personal secretary. Following the death of the 15th Church president, Brother Staheli went on to serve a mission with his wife, and, following their return, he served as the Secretary to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and he was still in that position at the time that President Nelson became Church president. It seems very fitting that President Nelson would want to have Brother Staheli as his personal secretary now, since he has been proven through years of devoted service to the leading Brethren of the Church.

This all seemed significant to me, and I am grateful to have been able to pass it on to you. 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.

Temple Updates

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again now to share some updates on various temples worldwide. So let's dive right in and discuss those latest developments. First, I wanted to note that, as of today, there are 12.17 years between now and April 6, 2030, which will mark the Church's 200th anniversary. As I have previously noted, whether or not the Church makes an official goal to do so, because of Elder Wilson's statement about the list of 80 temples that are being considered for an announcement between now and late April 2032, the Church would just need to announce 18 other new temple locations, and complete each of those, along with the 23 others in various phases. If that can be done within those 12,17 years, the Church will have 200 temples operating by that bicentennial anniversary. That could very easily be accomplished.

Next, I wanted to pass along the news that, on Friday, the Church noted in this article from the Ghana Mormon Newsroom that the statue of the angel Moroni on the temple in Accra had been replaced. Plans to replace that statue were originally made in 2011, but for a variety of reasons, that was not able to occur until now.

Towards the end of last month, this article about the progress on the Rome Italy Temple quoted some of those men working on that project as saying that that temple was anticipated to be turned back over to the Church by May of this year at earliest.

With that in mind, it seems clear that any finish work the Church needs to complete on it after that happens could easily be completed as the fourth quarter of this year begins, which in turn would enable a dedication of that temple before the end of this year. I am keeping an eye on this temple and will post any updates as I receive them.

In the meantime, while we know that the dedications for the Concepcion Chile and Barranquilla Colombia Temples are likely to occur at some point prior to that of the Rome Italy Temple, new information that was the result of further study on my part seems to point to the idea that the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple may have its' construction conclude before the end of this year, but that its' dedication may not occur until the early months of next year. I will also be monitoring that.

And, as I reported late last week, new information received about the Fortaleza Brazil Temple indicates that its' completion is more likely during early-to-mid 2019 than mid-to-late 2019 as was thought as recently as a few days before that.

Aside from these things, the only other temple-related developments that have occurred in the last few days relate to those temples undergoing renovation. I noted a couple of days ago as well that the rededication estimate for the Frankfurt Germany Temple has been pushed back yet again, and is now anticipated to be delayed until the early months of 2019.

In the meantime, a minor update on the status of the Memphis Tennessee renovation shows that structural framing for the steeple has been completed. And in a major update on the status of the renovation process in Oklahoma City, it has been noted that structural framing has gone up for the steeple base, that exterior walls are being sheathed, and that the process of roughing in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems is making progress.

And while we have yet to see any additional progress on the Raleigh North Carolina renovation, and are also waiting for updates on the renovation process underway in Asuncion Paraguay and Baton Rouge Louisiana, some additional study on my part indicates that, depending on what occurs in the next two weeks, the Baton Rouge renovation could be underway at any point before that process begins in Asuncion. I am also monitoring these developments and will be sure to post updates when I receive them.

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.

Miscellaneous Church News Articles

Hello again, everyone! There has been a lot of Church news stories in the last week or so which, because I was covering other subjects here, I was not able to pass along. It is time to remedy that right now. There's a lot to discuss, so let's dive right in.

First of all, the Church has continued its' cooperative efforts with friends of other faiths. This article describes how, in Central America, members of the Church joined with Muslim representatives in a gathering to discuss the importance of religious freedom. It was neat to read about that.

Next, descendants of Mormon pioneers that participated in the 1846 Exodus of the Church from Nauvoo Illinois (which, as we know, culminated in the Saints entering the Salt Lake Valley here in Utah on July 24, 1847), put on a program commemorating the sacrifice made by those early Saints in order to escape persecution. You can read more about that here.

The Church News also reported a couple of devotional addresses at Church-owned institutions, including this one given on the campus of BYU-Provo regarding the subject of sexual assault, this one highlighting the importance of lifelong learning (which was given on the BYU-Hawaii campus), and this one from the campus of the LDS Business College, which focused on how we can become people of substance and worth.

The Church News also shared an article about new features in the Friend magazine during 2018, which can be found here. It has been interesting and gratifying to see how Church magazines have changed over the years to more effectively meet the needs of a growing and more diverse Church.

Another article noted the 60+ years in which the Church has had a presence in Taiwan, including highlights of important Church milestones that occurred in that nation, and a look at what the Taiwanese members of the Church hope for in the future.

Then, just within the last few days, the Church News published this article by Sister Neill F. Marriott, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, who highlighted the importance of adult leaders engaging their youth groups in meaningful discussions on lesson topics.

As I may have previously noted, I was blessed in my years of being in various Aaronic Priesthood quorums to have adult leaders that were already very much following most (if not all) of the suggestions that are now being given more focus in these Church news articles by the General Presidencies of the Young Men and Young Women, and it is wonderful to hear the confirmation from these brothers and sisters of the high importance of such principles.

As the "Meet the Mormons" Church campaign is preparing to mark its' fourth year running, the Church News ran this article to pass along the news that this campaign will culminate in one last video later this year, and those vignettes will continue to run in Visitor's Centers around the world following the end of the campaign.

Continuing the series of articles about the new Church leadership, the Church News shared this article that reintroduced President Eyring to the Church membership. As some of you may know, he is the only man to have served in the Presiding Bishopric, as a General Authority Seventy, as an apostle and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and in the First Presidency. So it was really neat to read that article and to be reminded of how well President Eyring has been prepared for the callings that have come to him throughout his life.

And the final article I wanted to focus on for this post covered the funeral services for Elder Von G. Keetch. As some of you may know, President Nelson's first wife passed away in 2005, and he remarried around a year later. From what I read in this article, it appears that when funeral arrangements were being planned and when the Keetch family expressed their desire to have the Church leadership represented at this funeral, President Nelson, as one who lost a spouse himself, elected to represent the leading Brethren in presiding at and speaking during this service.

Also in attendance were Elders Bednar, Cook, Christofferson, and Andersen, all members of the Presidency of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric, other currently-serving and emeritus Church leaders, and several auxiliary presidency members. And Elder L. Whitney Clayton, as the Senior President of the Seventy, was asked to conduct the service. In addition to President Nelson and the children of Elder Keetch, Elder Lance B. Wickman, who serves as the Church's general counsel as an emeritus General Authority, and who knew Elder Keetch well, spoke during the service.

It was awesome to read about all of this wonderful Church news, and I am pleased to have been able to bring a report of it to you today. 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.