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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! While doing the earlier Church news update earlier today, I had focused that post on articles from Mormon Newsroom. I thought I would pass along some additional articles that may be of interest to some of you and have been reported in the Church News. They are well worthy of mention, and I commend them to you. Let's talk a bit about each.

I spoke in that earlier Church news update about relief efforts occurring in Puerto Rico. The Church News published this account of the devastation done by the hurricane, shared highlights including accounts of members impacted, counsel for the storm-weary members from the general Church leaders sent to evaluate the conditions there, and so much more. It was great to hear of all the Church continues to do in responding to such disasters.

In an article sharing comments from Church leaders who oversee the Church's Family History Department, those Brethren shared a three-point credo that should govern how Family History is approached: Discover, gather, and connect.

To add a personal note, as one who has previously been involved in extraction (which was a precursor to the indexing program), I can testify firsthand of the blessings that come from being involved in that work, and the three points sum that program up nicely.

Next, I have previously shared articles highlighting changes the Church has been implementing into the youth program, which are intended to give the quorum and class presidencies more leeway to run the show and get things done. In continuation of those efforts, a new guidebook has been published by the Church to update the Church's guidelines for Girl's Camp. That was good to hear about, and yet another sign that we live in a time where there is modern revelaation in abundance.

In the meantime, the Church News also published this article, which talks about the annual "Luz de las Naciones", which is Spanish for "Light of the Nations", an annual gathering for the Latino Latter-day Saints in this area that is held each year in conjunction with the Church's annual RootsTech conference.

On March 1, the Church News reported that four missionaries serving in Spain were injured after colliding with a truck. You can read more about that in this article. On that same day, an article written by the Young Men's General Presidency and Board shared these insights on how the young men should approach the performance of their duties, particularly in the weekly administration of the Sacrament.

And finally, the Church continues to publish biographies of newly called mission presidents, which can be found as they are published on the Church News website. Mission presidents, as noted, generally serve for around three years.

When the Church originally announced the mission adjustments (both the 19 being consolidated and the 5 new ones), the Church noted that 111 new mission presidents have been called to serve this year.

What this means is that just over a quarter of all missions in the Church are getting a new president this year. It is wonderful to see the process of mission creations and consolidations as the needs of world regions and the safety and number of missionaries is evaluated.

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.

Another Update Provided for the Concepcion Chile Temple

Hello again, everyone! I am pleased to be able to post with a third temple update today. I recently became aware of additional progress that has been reported on the status of the temple under construction in Concepcion Chile. This is another small but still very significant update.

While landscaping and interior finish work is still ongoing, the last time I provided an update on this temple's status, I had noted that plastic sheeting had been removed from the decorative fence that is being put up around the temple.

Tonight I am pleased to report that netting has been removed from that decorative fence, which (unless I am mistaken) means that at some point in the near future, perhaps within the next few days, installation of that material may commence.

As previously noted on this blog, the dedication for this temple has been set to occur on Sunday October 28. So there are around 6.5 months or so between now and then, and we are certain to see additional milestones in this process in the days ahead. And you can be sure I will be keeping my eyes open for any and all such updates, on all temples around the world, and will bring those to you as soon as I can after I learn 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.

Additional Update Provided on the Status of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple

Hello again, everyone! In addition to the already-reported closure of the Washington D. C. Temple, I became aware a short while ago of yet another update (slight though it is) on the status of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple. According to that updated information, the walls of the steeple are currently being poured.

With this update, it is again apparent that the Lord's hand is at work in the day-to-day changes in temple construction. I will continue to follow any and all temple-related developments and will bring those to you as I am able to once 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.

Miscellaneous Church and Temple News

Hello again, everyone! In view of my personal need to slow down in the last few days and recuperate from illness, there have been a number of Church and temple news stories that I have not passed along on this blog. It is time to remedy that right now. So let's get right into it.

First of all, with today being March 4, 2018, I can now confirm that the Washington D. C. Temple has officially closed for its' renovation process, which is anticipated to last about two years. When announcing this closure a year ago, the First Presidency indicated that it would reopen in 2020.

With that said, it is a comparatively larger temple, so I have set my general estimate for the completion of that process for this temple as mid-to-late 2020. The purpose of the renovation is to upgrade and update electrical and mechanical systems and refresh the furnishings.

Second, a general note for you all regarding the full temple construction progress report I am keeping and have frequently updated as I find out more information. As I considered how best to track the information on that report, it made more sense to me to eliminate the notes under the status of each temple, since I generally post separate updates on time-frames for such events. So I have simplified that report quite a bit.

Next, we move on to several excellent Church news stories from Mormon Newsroom which are well worth mentioning. In this blog post, the Church mentions the publication of a unique volume containing a number of talks given specifically by the women of the Church. That volume will be available in full PDF version on the Church's website later this year.

I read some articles after the announcement of the new First Presidency that were less than complimentary about how President Nelson handled the question put to him about the place of women in the Church, and hopefully this volume helps to show how highly the counsel provided by the women of the Church is valued among the leading Brethren.

We next move on to news releases highlighting the ministry of our apostles. This article shares how Elder Andersen ministered to the Saints and friends of other faiths in Mexico following an earthquake in that region. And Elder Stevenson was asked to represent the First Presidency in ministering to Church members and friends of other faiths who were impacted by the horrific school shooting in Florida.

In connection with the Church's disaster relief efforts, members of the Presiding Bishopric (who, among other responsibilities, oversee the Church's Welfare efforts and disaster cleanup) have been busy as well. Bishop Dean M. Davies, who serves as First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. had a "homecoming" of sorts when he was asked to minister to the people of Puerto Rico recently; he had been a mission president in San Juan prior to his full-time Church service. This report shares more about his recent visit there.

Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse, meanwhile, has given two significant addresses to vastly different groups. He spoke at a religious symposium in response to an invitation to explain to those gathered there how the Church's welfare and humanitarian programs work to help provide for the poor and needy, both inside and outside of the Church.

And more recently, Bishop Causse spoke at a Church history symposium on Mormon economic history. During his remarks, he particularly focused on how the Church's finances are handled, and highlighted principles of welfare and self-reliance that how the Church cares for the poor and needy, both inside and outside of the Church.

The final thing I wanted to mention is that the Church held its'  annual RootsTech gathering within this last week or so. Among the featured speakers were President and Sister Oaks, who gave the keynote address highlighting their own experiences with family history.

In a leadership session for Church leaders and for those called as Temple and Family History Consultants, Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Dale G. Renlund, who (unless I am mistaken) serve on the Church's Temple and Family History Executive Council provided key counsel regarding the many efforts the Church is making to help people find their roots and to take names to the temple.

I apologize for the length of this post, but these stories needed to be covered. 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.