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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Slight Update Provided For the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple

Hello again, everyone! While Church and temple news has been somewhat slow this weekend (as the bulk of what I have shared in that regard came from reports and articles that were a few days old), I did find out earlier tonight that a slight update has been provided on the status of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple. While rebar has been completely set for its' steeple base, a dewatering system has been put into place. As I have previously noted, it is amazing to see how temples progress (and how they do not) on a day-to-day basis. I will continue to track these developments, and will pass along any updates in temple construction as I become aware of 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..

Latest Apostolic Statistics: Part Two--The Quorum of the Twelve and the 13 Apostles Overall, Nonagenarians, and Other Interesting Tidbits

Hello again, everyone! I am back, as promised a few moments ago, with the second half of my updated information about the apostles. Again, any who are not interested in this information can bypass this post. For those sticking with me, here is the remainder of the information I wanted to share today.

We now move on to talk about the specifics relating to the long form and decimal versions of the ages of our 13 current apostles, since the Church has yet to call someone to fill the apostolic vacancies occasioned by the October 1 death of Elder Robert D. Hales, the January 2 death of President Thomas S. Monson, and the subsequent reorganization of the First Presidency on January 14. So let’s next talk about the current ages of the First Presidency, and follow that up with an overview of the 10 apostles in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a discussion of the overall standings, and some information about current and future nonagenarian apostles. And again, all information shared here is current as of today.

As noted above, President Nelson is now 93 years, 5 months, and 2 days old, with a decimal age of 93.42 years. President Oaks is 85 years, 5 months, and 30 days old, with a decimal age of 85.50 years. President Eyring, the youngest of the three, is 84 years, 8 months, and 11 days old, putting his decimal age at 84.70 years. The three have a combined 263.62 years of life experience, 91 of which, as observed by President Nelson last month, has been spent by the three in the apostleship. Their average age stands at 87.87 years as of today, with President Nelson being older than that average, President Oaks closest to it, and President Eyring younger than that average.
With the reorganization of the First Presidency (including Presidents Nelson and Oaks leaving the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and now-Elder Uchtdorf rejoining it), not only has the age dynamic changed within the Quorum, but Elder Uchtdorf rejoins the other two apostles who were also born in 1940.

As for their current ages, President Ballard has reached the age of 89 years, 4 months, and 3 days old (which is 89.35 decimal years) as of today. Elder Holland is currently 77 years, 2 months, and 8 days old, making his decimal age 77.19 years. Elder Uchtdorf is currently 77 years, 3 months, and 5 days old, with a decimal age of 77.27 years.

Elder Bednar’s age in long form has now reached 65 years, 7 months, and 27 days, which puts his decimal age at 65.66 years. Elder Cook, who is older than both Elders Uchtdorf and Holland, who are senior to him in the apostleship, has reached the age (in its’ long form) of 77 years, 5 months, and 3 days, which makes his decimal age 77.43 years. Since Elder Christofferson has observed his 73rd birthday, his long form age is 73 years, 0 months, and 18 days, which means his decimal age is now 73.05 years. Meanwhile, Elder Andersen is now 66 years, 6 months, and 2 days old, which makes his decimal age 66.51 years.

We have now come to the three newest apostles, since it will likely not be until April that we hear who has been called to fill the vacancies in the apostleship. For the ages of those newest three (who observed their second year anniversary in the apostleship last October), we first have Elder Rasband, who, as noted in a previous post, observed his 67th birthday just 5 day ago.
This means Elder Rasband is currently 67 years and 5 days old, making his decimal age 67.01 years. Elder Stevenson, who is currently our youngest apostle (though he may or may not still be such after the newest apostles are called), has a long form age of 62 years, 5 months, and 5 days old, which makes his decimal age 62.52 years. That brings us to Elder Renlund, the least senior but second youngest apostle, who is 65 years, 2 month, and 29 days old as of today, which means his decimal age is now 65.25 years.

This means that, with the reorganization of the First Presidency, the 10 members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have a combined 721.24 years of life experience, making the average age of those apostles 72.12 years, with Elder Christofferson as the youngest of the older half of those 10, and Elder Rasband being the oldest of the youngest half.

This means that the 13 current apostles have a combined 984.86 years of life experience, and their average life length stands at 75.76 years, with Elders Holland and Christofferson being closest to that average: Elder Holland as the youngest of the oldest 7, and Elder Christofferson as the oldest of the youngest 6.

Turning our attention now to a discussion of our current and future apostolic nonagenarians. President Nelson, as noted above, is 93 years, 5 months, and 2 days old, making him the 7th oldest apostle in Church history. He will only become the 6th oldest apostle roughly 1.5 years from now.

President Monson’s passing on January 2 means he remains (for now) the 17th of our 18 nonagenarian apostles. And President Ballard will join the list of apostolic nonagenarians on his 90th birthday, which occurs on October 8 of this year, and that is 7 months and 27 days away as of today. The other 12 apostles will join the list at varying intervals, with Elder Stevenson, the current youngest apostle, set to do so 27 years, 5 months, and 26 days.

I thought it might be fun to share with you some new numbers I have run about other apostolic averages that I found interesting. The death of President Monson left the average age of our current apostles at the time of their first (which for 11 of them is their current) marriage at 23.14, with Elder Christofferson and President Ballard on the oldest and youngest side of that average. President Eyring was the oldest to get married at 29.2 years, and President Oaks was the youngest at the time of his marriage, since he was 19.9 years old.

That said, both Presidents Nelson and Oaks have had spouses pass away and have remarried, and their average ages at the time of their second marriage was 74.8 years, with President Oaks being slightly younger (68 at the time of his second marriage) and President Nelson being slightly older, since he was 81.6 years old at the time of his second marriage.

I find it interesting that our new First Presidency has had varying experiences with marriage, with Presidents Nelson and Oaks having remarried following the deaths of their spouses, and President Eyring having been the oldest of the current 13 apostles when he got married for the first time. If anyone has a unique understanding of the death of a spouse or being single at an older age, it is these three Brethren.

Until his passing, President Monson had been the youngest apostle called of the currently serving group, as he was 36.1 years old. His passing did not affect Elder Cook’s status as the oldest at the time of his call (being 67.1 years old), but it did leave President Oaks as the newest “youngest called”, as he was 51.7 years old at the time of his ordination.

This means that the current 13 apostles at the time of their calls as such now stands at 59.7 years, which is why I believe that our newly called apostles will be somewhere between their early-50s and mid-60s.

In the meantime, I also wanted to mention the average of the current First Presidency and leadership of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the time of their ordinations to their current positions. That includes Presidents Nelson, Oaks, Ballard, and Eyring, who are also the four oldest apostles. President Nelson is, of course, the oldest of those four and that President Eyring is the youngest, and I have already referenced the closeness in age of Presidents Oaks and Eyring. But I also find it worth mentioning that since the four ranged in age from President Nelson at 93.42 years old to President Eyring at 84.70 years old (with Presidents Oaks and Ballard at 85.5 and 89.35 years respectively, the average age of the four at the time they were set apart (and, in President Nelson’s case, ordained) on January 14 stood at 88.25 years old.  

I apologize that this update was so long, but that does it for this post, and concludes the miniseries covering this subject. 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.

Latest Apostolic Statistics: Part One--Updated Information for the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, Church President, and First Presidency

Hello again, everyone! Another 7 weeks have come and gone since I last posted an update on the latest apostolic statistics, so this will also be my first full update since the death of President Monson and the subsequent reorganization of the First Presidency. Be prepared: getting through it is not for the faint of heart. In beginning my coverage of this subject, I realize there may be some of my readers who have no interest in the minutiae of these details, and if any of you feel that way, I will not be offended in any way if you bypass my posts on this subject..

Having evaluated the best way to go about it, I will do it in two different parts So let’s get into the details, shall we? This first part will cover information about the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Church President, and current First Presidency, and will be followed up by a second part with the information about the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the 13 apostles overall, current and future nonagenarian apostles, and some other information I thought you'd find interesting.

This update will be somewhat different from those I have previously done, primarily because there has been a “changing of the guard” in terms of the Church presidency, and also the presidency of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. So in this first update following those changes, I will also be making observations about where Presidents Monson and Nelson stood at the conclusion of their tenures as Church president and President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 

For those of you that are interested in these details, I first want to note that all the figures and data I will be presenting is, as always, current as of today. And we will start where we always do, by discussing the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (including where President Nelson stood at the end of his tenure and where his successor, President Oaks, now stands among the other Presidents of that Quorum).

So, as I’m sure is unnecessary to note, but which I want to mention for any who are newer to this blog and these reports I do, although President Monson passed away on January 2, until President Nelson’s ordination as Church President on January 14, he filled a dual role of President of the Quorum of the Twelve and the Acting President of the Church. At the time his tenure as Quorum President ended, the length of that tenure had exceeded that of Marion G. Romney by one day, resulting in President Nelson becoming the 15th longest serving Quorum President.

Although President Oaks has taken the role of Quorum President, his service in the First Presidency means that President Ballard now serves as Acting President of the Quorum. But since President Oaks’ tenure as Quorum President depends entirely on the length of his own life and that of President Nelson, President Ballard’s service as Acting President (which may or may not last the duration of President Oaks’ tenure as Quorum President) will not be tracked in this update.

That said, with just under a month having passed since President Oaks became the Quorum President (he has had that assignment for exactly 4 weeks, or 28 days), he is the 28th man to serve in that assignment, and the length of his tenure already puts that tenure as the 27th longest in Church history.

This is in view of the fact that the shortest tenure for a Quorum President is that of Joseph F. Smith, who served for only a week between the death of Lorenzo Snow and his ordination as Church President. At that time, the calling of an Acting President had not been established, and any senior apostles serving in the First Presidency resulted in the most senior apostle in the Quorum, in this case, Brigham Young Jr., serving as Quorum President. Interestingly enough, one of Joseph F. Smith’s first actions as President of the Church was to officially establish the practice of calling the most senior member of the Twelve the Acting President if the Quorum President was also serving as a counselor in the First Presidency.

Getting back to President Oaks, who is less than a month into his calling as Quorum President, he will reach two other tenure milestones by the end of this year. Those will occur on Sunday September 16, 2018, when his tenure length will exceed that of President David O. McKay (at which time he will have served for 8 months and 2 days), and on Monday October 22, 2018. There are several other milestones President Oaks will observe next year (5 to be exact), and those will be detailed in further updates.

Moving on, we next will explore where President Monson stood in terms of his tenure length and age among the other 15 Church Presidents of this dispensation at the time of his death on January 2, 2018, and then discuss President Nelson’s age and tenure milestones as the new Church President. At the time of President Monson’s passing, his tenure length spanned 9 years, 10 months, and 30 days. 8 days ago (February 3) would have marked his 10 year anniversary as Church President, and, as already noted, a Face-to-Face Event with President Nelson and his wife that was scheduled for that day was subsequently postponed.

At the time of President Monson’s passing, he was also 90 years, 4 months, and 12 days old. In terms of his tenure and age records, he was the 8th longest-serving Church president, the 16th in birth chronology (although the subsequent ordination of the older but healthier President Nelson has resulted in President Monson being the 17th in birth chronology), and he was the 7th oldest until President Nelson’s ordination as well, and is thus now the 8th.

Moving on now to President Nelson, he has, of course, been the Church President for 28 days, since his ordination and the setting apart of President Oaks both occurred on January 14 of this year. At the time of his ordination (as I may have already observed), he was the second-oldest but perhaps most healthy man of his age to take the mantle of the Church presidency.

I have already noted that he is the 16th in birth chronology, and he ranks as the 5th oldest Church president overall. I am confident we will see him reach many milestones. He seems to keep himself busy, as my blog posts since his ordination have shown that his Brethren have trouble keeping up with him. And I am glad that he has announced his intention to live as long as the Lord wills him to, so I feel confident he will reach many milestones.

Looking towards the future, he will only observe one milestone this year, and that will occur exactly 8 months from today, when his tenure length will have exceeded that of President Howard W. Hunter. But in 2019, he will observe one age milestone and one tenure milestone merely 2 days apart in July.

Turning our attention now to a discussion of the updated apostolic statistics, at the time of President Monson’s passing, he and his counselors still ranked as the 3rd longest continuously-serving First Presidency in history. President Nelson and his counselors will have a long time to wait before their service length even reaches the top 13 longest periods in Church history. The current 13th longest tenure is held by the First Presidency that consisted of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards, with a length of 6 years, 3 months, and 6 days.

Our current First Presidency will thus only join this list of what will then be the top 14 on Monday May 6, 2024, by which time President Nelson would be just 4 months and 3 days away from becoming the first centenarian Church president. Given his health and vigor, he and his counselors could reach that milestone or any of the three others they would observe later that year. It will be interesting to see what happens there.

That wraps up my coverage of the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, the Church President, and the First Presidency, so that's all 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.

Church News Update

Hello again, everyone! After taking a couple of days to get some personal challenges handled, I wanted to post again now to pass along some Church News stories which have touched and impacted me. So let's get right into that.

First of all, continuing the series of articles on the new Church leadership announced almost a month ago, the Church News published this one to familiarize all of us with President M. Russell Ballard, who has been Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for just under a month now, and who, as noted late last week, will preside at the first temple-related event of President Nelson's administration (the private rededication of the Houston Texas Temple on Sunday April 22).

President Ballard, as some of you may know, was the final apostle called during President Spencer W. Kimball's prophetic administration, and his call came a year and a half after that of Presidents Nelson and Oaks (although, as noted, President Oaks had to wait just under a month to be ordained an apostle in view of his judicial obligations.)

It is interesting to me that the three most senior apostles all hold the title of "President" now, which we have not seen since late 2007, when Presidents Hinckley, Monson, and Packer filled identical roles as the three senior apostles now. In that previous case, the ordinations of the three were far more separated than those of Presidents Nelson, Oaks and Ballard. But since these newest three "senior apostles" have served side-by-side for so long, they are not only well-known to the Church, but will continue to work together to move it forward in their new roles and responsibilities.

That said, we now move on to the next bit of news. Some of you may be familiar with Jon M. Huntsman and his family, who are well-known in the Church in general and here in Utah in particular. He was a billionaire who more importantly had the heart of and acted foremost as a philanthropist. Amidst founding other organizations (including Huntsman Chemical Corporation, for which Elder Rasband worked professionally prior to his call to full-time Church service), he is perhaps best known for founding the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which he did with a view to eradicating cancer.

Though I had no idea it would be so at the time, the founding of that Cancer Institute wound up impacting me in a couple of ways. First, as I have previously noted, my pediatric neurosurgeon referred me to the neurologist I currently see, who also works for the University of Utah and for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Second, if my memory serves me correctly, when a dear family friend was diagnosed with the cancer that eventually took her life, she spent some of her final days at the Huntsman Institute, where they ensured she was comfortable and well cared for.

So I found it more than fitting that when Jon M. Huntsman, who has the longest recorded tenure as an Area Seventy for the Church, passed away, his funeral was naturally attended by many Church leaders.

In addition to tributes from all but 2 of his children (one of whom preceded him in death and the other of whom is serving as a mission president), there were also addresses given by Presidents Nelson and Ballard.

Elders Uchtdorf and Rasband, at the family's request, gave the invocation and benediction respectively. The interesting thing to me about Brother Huntsman is that he married the daughter of Elder David B. Haight, and one of his daughters married a son of President Ballard.

So Brother Huntsman is well connected to the top leadership of the Church, and that was reflected in the fact that Elder Stevenson was also in attendance, in addition to many other general and auxiliary leaders.You can find more information on this noble servant of the Lord with a heart for humanity in this article.

Moving on to news stories that I hope to get through more quickly, this article covers auxiliary leaders who were invited to address women of various faiths in Wales, and this one describes how a Mormon Helping Hands Center was set up in Pyeongchang South Korea for use by athletes and people of all faiths who need it during the Olympics (which will likely be repurposed after the Olympics), this one shares enrollment numbers at BYU-Idaho which indicate that men outnumber women there, this one which focuses on new mission presidents called to serve in Nigeria and in my current city of residence, Orem Utah, and this one covering the Church's yearly musical production which pays tribute to the cultures and family histories of those born in Latin America.

And, rounding out this Church news update are this article, in which the Young Men General Presidency describes what led up to and what is hoped for in the recently-announced policy that priest-aged young men will now be able to baptize and serve as witnesses for baptisms for the dead, and this report of a guest lecture at BYU, wherein the presenter described ten simple ways in which Church leaders and members could create a sense of belonging for children and adults with disabilities.

In reference to that last article, I wanted to personally note (since I have dealt with lifelong disabilities) that I was blessed to grow up in wards where those disabilities were not seen as a reason to exclude me, and where inspired leaders instead regularly touched bases with both my parents and myself to determine how best to meet my needs, and how they could work around my situation. In short, these inspired leaders were following the principles mentioned by this guest lecturer long before they were being emphasized so strongly, and I am most grateful for that.

I apologize for the long post. There was a lot to cover. That does it for now. 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.