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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

An Overview of Times When More Than One Apostle Was Called At the Same Time

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post now with a look at times when more than one apostle was called at the same time. As we know from articles in 2015, the Church had three vacancies to fill in April 1906, and George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney, and David O. McKay were called. But that was an example where age did not determine the order of their ordinations, as Elder Whitney was the oldest, followed by Elder Richards, and with Elder McKay being the youngest.

The next time more than one apostle was ordained on the same day was in 1934, with Alonzo A. Hinckley and J. Reuben Clark being the ones involved. The interesting thing about that is that Clark had been serving as a counselor in the First Presidency, and apparently President Heber J. Grant felt it would be wise for President Clark to have apostolic seniority established.

9 years after that (in 1943), Elders Spencer W. Kimball and Ezra Taft Benson were ordained, becoming the first apostles ordained on the same day who would both go on to serve as Church president.

It would not be until 1984 that two apostles would be called at the same time, and only then-Elder Nelson was able to be ordained during the week following. Less than a month after that, then-Elder Oaks was ordained after completing his judicial obligations.

The Church would not call two apostles again until October 2004, when Elders Uchtdorf and Bednar were ordained on the same day, with Elder Uchtdorf being the oldest and the first ordained. And more recently, we saw in October 2015 that Elders Rasband, Stevenson and Renlund were called. The three in order of their ages were Elders Rasband, Renlund, and Stevenson.

And, as noted previously, this weekend will be the first time in Church history (unless I missed something) where a Solemn Assembly will be held in which two new members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are ordained. It is likely that the oldest of the two will be more senior. It will be interesting to see what happens in that regard. It is interesting that the last time apostles were called, there was more than one, and that this is true again now.

Depending on the ages of the two newest apostles, there may be a possibility that one of them could go on to serve as Church president. Hope this information is helpful to at least a few of you who read it. And unless I am mistaken, since none of the apostles are having age- or health-related difficulties, we may see this Quorum of the Twelve Apostles serve together for a number of years before another
 of their number passes away.

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.

2017 Report for LDS Charities (Including Humanitarian Efforts)

Hello again, everyone! Early this morning, I had read a comment on another blog in which someone had said that they wished we knew more about the labor provided by Church Service Missionaries. I just located this report which is from LDS Charities, who manage such efforts. And I cannot be sure, but if memory serves, I have never seen the Church release such a report. If this is the first time that it has been released, it would make sense that the Church is doing so now in order to be more transparent. So I hope this information is helpful to 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.

Updates Reported on the Renovation Process for the Frankfurt Germany and Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temples

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again now to pass along some updates of which I have become aware regarding the renovation process for the temples in Frankfurt Germany and Oklahoma City Oklahoma. For the former, I found out that insulation has been added to the concrete of the basement addition. Regarding the latter, exterior pilasters are being framed while waterproofing continues on the exterior walls and plumbing and electrical systems are being roughed in.

It continues to amaze me how, even in the course of a single day, so many temple developments such as this can be reported. I continue to monitor all such developments and will do my level best to pass those along to you as 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.

Some Final Observations Leading Into General Conference This Weekend--Part Two: Some Additional Observations About the Apostolic Vacancies

Hello again, everyone! When I posted a day or two ago my final observations about this General Conference, I had not intended to do a second part to that post. But in view of some additional thoughts which I had about the apostolic vacancies, I thought it would be wise to share those in this second part. So let's get right into all of that.

First of all, let's talk some more about the apostolic vacancies. Of the 13 apostles currently serving, only 3 were not serving as General Authorities at the time of their calls to the apostleship. Those three were Russell M. Nelson (although if memory serves, he was a regional representative at the time of his call), Dallin H. Oaks, and David A. Bednar (who was among the first area seventies sustained in 1997, and was still serving as an area seventy at the time of his call to the apostleship).

So the other 10 apostles had all been serving as General Authorities prior to their calls to the apostleship. Of those 10, 6 had been serving in the Presidency of the Seventy (Ballard, Uchtdorf, Cook, Christofferson, Andersen and Rasband), 3 others (Holland, Eyring, and Renlund) had been serving as General Authority Seventies (although Eyring had previously served in the Presiding Bishopric), and 1 (Stevenson) was serving as Presiding Bishop of the Church, although he had served as a General Authority Seventy prior to that.

Let me take this a few steps further. From October 2007 (with the call of Elder Cook) to the calls of the three newest apostles eight years later, all apostles that have been called have been serving among the general authorities of the Church for several years, with Elder Renlund being the newest General Authority among the current bunch, as he was called to general Church service in April 2009. 

So I would anticipate that, barring anything unexpected, the two apostles called during this General Conference will have a minimum of 6 years of service as General Authorities. It is not in any way out of the question that President Nelson could call two men with less than 6 years serving in general Church leadership, nor would it surprise me if he looked among the area seventies or lay membership, but it seems unlikely.

Next, we turn to the subject of age. Among the current 13 apostles, Elder Cook was the oldest at the time of his October 2007 call, at age 67, with then-Elder Oaks being the youngest, as he was 51 when called in 1984. The other 11 were all between their early 50s and mid-60s. So while either or both of the new apostles could be older than that range, I think it would be safe to assume they will be on the younger side, even if they are not the youngest called in recent years.

Having considered the above, we next move on to what President Nelson and his counselors said during the press conference, that while the Lord is not concerned with quotas, and while there will come a day when there are "more flavors in the mix", the apostles are called to represent the Lord's will to the people, not to represent the people to the Lord. For that reason, while I would love to see one or both apostles called from among those born outside the US, I will not in any way be surprised if one or both apostles that are called were born in the US.

In fact, it has often struck me that perhaps the Lord keeps inspiring the calls of US-born apostles as a way to test whether the worldwide Church membership will sustain those He calls, rather than declining to do so because "the face of Church leadership at the top levels does not reflect the diversity within the Church."

For those who have gained a testimony of the process by which such calls come, even if the new apostles are men that have not been the subject of discussion about who could fill those vacancies, the testimony that the Lord directs those calls should enable all of us to gladly sustain whomever He has called.

So while there have been some patterns in recent years in terms of the age, nationality, and time spent in general Church leadership, for those who have obtained a witness that such calls are divinely directed, they will not be disappointed or surprised by whomever is called. Since I have obtained such a witness for myself, I am prepared to sustained whomever has been called, even and especially if they are not on the list of names which I published on this blog earlier.

Hope this information has been helpful 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.

BREAKING NEWS: Renovation Efforts Formally Underway for Tokyo Japan Temple

Hello again, everyone. I am back in the early morning hours of March 28 to note some exciting news: I have received a report that indicates the renovation process is formally underway for the Tokyo Japan Temple.

As some of you might recall, nearly one year ago, on April 11, 2017, the Church had announced the closure of that temple in addition to the renovation closures for the Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Asuncion  temples. The Tokyo Temple had officially closed for its' renovation process over the same weekend that the October 2017 General Conference was held.

In the almost six months since that time, there has been no word whatsoever in terms of any progress on that process. That all changed at some point between when I last checked for such updates and now.

The update shows that the annex building has been razed and that the surface parking has been removed. With that in mind, I can definitely see why the Church indicated in the official announcement of this temple's closure that this temple will reopen sometime in 2020.

Since it is a comparatively smaller temple, I would anticipate that it will likely be rededicated during the first half of 2020. Stay tuned for more updates on this process as 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.