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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Case Study: Will President Nelson's "Old Friend of China" Status Help the Gospel spread there?

Hello again, everyone! As some of you may recall, President Nelson was a regional representative when he heard the 12th Church President, Spencer W. Kimball, talk about how vital it was that some leaders present learn Chinese.

Taking this invitation as a prophetic directive to him personally, President Nelson did learn Chinese, which helped to greatly expand the reputation of the Church and of President Nelson in the eyes of prominent Chinese leaders and citizens. Later on, as an apostle, President Nelson was given the designated title "Friend of China" because they were so impressed with him.

As some of you may also know, around 15 or so years ago, there was a popular Mormon myth going around that certain individuals had been called to serve 3-year missions in China, which was shortly after debunked. As a teen who knew a lot about the Church, I was one who at times found myself facing the question of this myth's truth from many people who knew I would know the answer.

And I recall distinctly that not long after that, the Church officially noted that this "development" was a myth, and reiterated the fact that, until it was the Lord's will and would be allowed by the government, no such  efforts would be made.

Just over two months ago, the "old friend of China" became our Church president. which brings up an interesting question: Would the fact that President Nelson is the senior apostle now potentially result in the Church's ability to expand into China? Naturally, that would depend on when the Lord willed it to be so, if the current Chinese government would recognize our prophet as a friend of China, and if negotiations with the Chinese government yielded that result.

But it is intriguing to think about. As a new apostle in 1984 or '85, he was given permission to perform one last heart surgery on a Chinese opera star, for which he had been specially requested. I honestly don't know how much opportunity he might have had to continue to foster relations with the Chinese. With that said, I can definitely see how his new calling as Church president might be the tipping point to allow a change in how the Church is viewed by China. I will for sure be keeping my eyes open for any news on that.

The fact that one of the stops while he is in Asia will be in Hong Kong indicates to me that he may be in a unique position to enable progress that we have not seen in this regard up to now. I'm sure we all remember how, shortly after President Monson's call to the First Presidency, he went with an apostle (I believe that was then-Elder Nelson, if memory serves) to talk to German leaders about the prospect of missionary work and even a temple behind the Iron Curtain.

President Monson's requests in this regard were granted because those leaders saw that he had been a true friend to the people of Germany, and they believed that if he felt strongly about such a subject, that was enough for them to grant his request. Perhaps with President Nelson now the top Church leader, the walls that have kept the Church from making real progress in that nation might be similarly broken down.

It would not in any way surprise me to learn that this is one of many reasons why President Nelson is now the Church president. If I have learned anything about the Church, it is that the Lord knows what He is doing in leadership transitions, and that at the right time, with the right people involved, such barriers to the spread of the gospel in various nations have been broken down. My prayer is that this will prove true for China now.

But that's just my take on this matter, which I wanted to share with you all. 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.

Changes Made to Frankfurt Germany Completion Estimate

Hello again, everyone! I am back with more temple news. Apparently at some point today, new information came in to many of the sources to which I look for such updates that points to the idea that, instead of being completed at a yet-to-be-determined time-frame during 2019, the Frankfurt Germany Temple is now more specifically anticipated to be rededicated in early-to-mid 2019.

Between this development and those I reported earlier, it is clear that I will need to take yet another look at all of the completion estimates which I have offered here and perhaps revisit many of them. But there is nothing so constant as change, so that's to be expected. I will have the revised estimates put up on this blog ASAP.

In the meantime, I am going to make a prediction right here and now. During the administrations of Presidents Hinckley and Monson, there were a number of instances where a senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided at a temple dedication or rededication. With that in mind, I am thinking that President Nelson will not hesitate to ask Elder Uchtdorf, who has officiated at such events previously and is a German native, to officiate at this rededication.

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.

Progress Reported on the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple; Full-scale construction for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple to Begin Next Month

Hello again, everyone! I am pleased to be able to bring you all a status update on construction efforts for the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple. Before doing so, however, I have discovered from a few of my sources for temple updates that there has been big news for Winnipeg, where construction is anticipated to be fully underway at some point during April.

As many of you are no doubt aware, the groundbreaking for that temple was announced 2.5 weeks prior to being held, so that was a quick turnaround. But construction was first delayed for four months due to the very harsh Canadian winter conditions last year. Once those cleared, the governmental leaders apparently raised some concerns about the site plans, which had to be modified.

And by the time that hurdle was cleared, winter had returned to Winnipeg for this year. Since the winter season this year here in Utah has been unusually mild and dry, whether or not that was the case for Winnipeg this year (which I do not know for sure), apparently all obstacles have cleared, so full-scale efforts can begin there at some point next month.

Still no word on if or how the modified plans will affect the 20-month estimate that was originally provided for this temple's completion, but I am hoping it may turn out to be another Port-au-Prince in the sense that construction will be fast whenever it does start, in which case it may be able to be dedicated in either late 2019 or early 2020. Stay tuned for more on that as I become aware of it.

In the meantime, we turn our attention now to the progress on the temple in Kinshasa. In my last update on that temple (which was posted on March 1), I had noted that roof shingling continued, the driveway and parking areas had been outlined, and where stone and tile work were underway inside the temple.

New information provided today indicates that, while the installation of interior stone and tile continues, palm trees have been planted around the temple grounds. This progress is significant, but I don't currently see anything changing my recently expressed opinion that the dedication of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple and the rededications of the Memphis Tennessee & Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temples may all precede this temple's dedication.

But I continue to monitor all such developments and will also continue to post those here 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.