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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sharing a Theory Based on Reports from Church Members in Kenya and Zimbabwe

Hello again, everyone! I am posting again on this Easter Sunday to pass along a theory which I have heard offered in a couple of places based on reports by members in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The report suggests that, while it has not been confirmed, local members in those nations have been made aware of the site locations that are earmarked for the announced temples in Nairobi and Harare. And the theory I have heard about this is that, depending on what occurs before President Nelson and Elder Holland head out on their tour of Africa, Asia, and Europe, groundbreakings could be conducted by President Nelson for both temples, in addition to the theory I have previously mentioned that he could also potentially break ground for the Bangkok Thailand Temple while he is in that city.

So, depending on what happens within the next week or so before the Nelsons and Hollands depart, if this theory proves to be correct, ground will be broken in Nairobi on April 16, Harare the following day, and Bangkok on Friday April 20. It will be interesting to see whether or not that will happen. With about 1.5 weeks remaining until their departure, and with his visits to these areas set to occur in around 2 weeks, that is not a lot of time to announce an intention to break ground for those temples so it could be done while these Brethren are there.

It is also worth noting that it may not be a stretch to assume that part of the time President Nelson spends in Bengaluru on April 19 might be devoted to finding a suitable site for the temple announced for that city earlier today.

Nor would it be unheard of, in my opinion, to assume that President Nelson may pay a courtesy visit to the Chinese governmental leaders during his time in Hong Kong, with the purpose of seeing if his status as an "old friend of China" and his new calling as Church president might be enough to convince the Chinese government to officially recognize the Church and to allow full-time missionaries to proselyte in that country.

I may be wrong on this, but perhaps the Lord was waiting on having His prophet announce the temples that were announced today and to enable the Church to obtain approval to proselyte in China until this time, when President Nelson was Church president, since he is very much motivated to both bring the temples to the people and for him, as "an old friend of China", to be able to convince the Chinese government to approve whatever is needed to enable missionary work to begin in full there.

Whatever might occur regarding this theory, you can be sure I will post anything about it as I learn of it. 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.

Resources Released to Add Context to Major Developments Which Occurred During General Conference

Hello again, everyone! The Church News has released resources to add context to the major developments that occurred over General Conference weekend. Members reacted to the calls of the two newest apostles and spoke of being present for the Solemn Assembly.

In a letter to Church members, the First Presidency detailed the guidelines for the ministering that will replace home & visiting teaching. Among other highlights, we as members will be known as "ministering brothers" and "ministering sisters", and if practical, Elders' Quorum and Relief Society presidencies could, with the bishop's approval, opt to assign a married couple to minister to families within their congregations, which is awesome. Also, as noted, Laurels and Mia Maids may be asked to participate in ministering companionships with Relief Society sisters.

And in another article, the Church News focused on the changes announced to Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and groups. The final article I want to share passes along some contextual specifics of the seven temples announced at the conclusion of the conference. The one quibble I have with that article is that, in reference to the Philippines, no mention is made of the temple planned for the greater Manila area, and the article lists the temple announced for Cagayan de Oro as the fourth for the Philippines. Other than that, it has great information.

It is also worth noting that, for the first time since before the April 2015, no new temples have been announced for the African continent. But I imagine that's because these seven needed to be a higher priority.

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 Observations About the Historic General Conference Weekend

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again now with my observations about the historic General Conference that concluded nearly three hours after this post is published. It has been historic fo the following reasons:
1. For the first time ever, the Solemn Assembly and the Sustaining of other Church officers were held in two separate sessions, with each of President Nelson's counselors having a role in one part of that.
2. We have seen President Nelson fulfilling his own prophetic statement that someday there would be "more flavors in the mix" with the announced calling of the first Latin American and Asian American apostles, which opens the possibility that we will continue to see that prophetic promise filled in the future.
3. We have seen the Church disclose, for the first time, all of the countries from which current Church leadership has been taken.
4. We have seen more diversity among the selected speakers during this General Conference than we have in quite a while. Of the 35 addresses given (note that I am not counting the Solemn Assembly, Sustaining of Church Officers, or Church Auditing Department Report in that count), 9 (which is roughly 25% of all addresses) were given by a internationally-born leader.
2. During President Hinckley's prophetic administration (and before that during the administration of President Kimball), there were times when the Church president would speak briefly to introduce new doctrines and policies, but this was the first General Conference in a while (if it has ever happened at all) that a Church president gave two shorter address to introduce new doctrines, policies, or practices, invited a couple of speakers to add context to the reasoning behind such decisions, and then went on to give two full-length addresses to close out those sessions.
3.  Off the top of my head, I can remember at least 4 General Conferences during President Hinckley's presidency (April & October 1995; October 2000; and April 2007) in which, for a variety of reasons, the entire First Presidency spoke back-to-back in a session other than the Priesthood Session. This General Conference, because it was Easter Sunday, we saw that occur again.
4. With two major changes in the interpretation and practice of the doctrine of the Church and several new temples announced, this General Conference was jam-packed with breaking news.
5. For the first time in recent years (if it has ever happened before), we saw almost a full half of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (a total of 5) speak in a single session of General Conference. The most we have seen prior to that is 4 (25%) Quorum members speak in a single session.
6. This General Conference marked the first time that the President of the Church gave more than two addresses (with those addresses being a typical length) since President Monson in April 2015 gave addresses longer that just a few minutes.
7. Even with the major announcements and Church leadership changes, President Nelson was still able to announce 7 new temples.
8. As I have mentioned previously, Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Church's Temple Department, noted last April following President Monson's announcement of the last 5 temple locations during his presidency that the Church had a list of at least 80 potential locations that were being actively considered for an announcement within the 15 years following that statement. If we take his statement literally, then by the end of this month, the Church will have 14 years in which to announce those 80. If we also assume that all 7 that were announced today were on that list, then there are roughly 73 others that will need to be announced within those 14 years, which works out to just over 5 temples per year, which could, as previously noted, be done by announcing at least a few during each General Conference, with a few being announced between each April, October, and subsequent April.
8. With a very healthy Church president directing such efforts, I would anticipate that substantial progress will be made towards getting the 12 temples that were in the announced temples section at the time he was ordained further towards their construction,  and that the 7 temples announced today will be the first of many temples President Nelson will announce.

That wraps up my list of observations during this General Conference, but I did have an additional observation unrelated to General Conference which I wanted to pass along. Apparently, a report has come in from members in Kenya and Zimbabwe that suggest that, by the time of President Nelson's trip, the temples in that area may be ready to have a groundbreaking that could occur for the temples in Nairobi and Harare. With the additional fact that the artist's rendering has been released for the Bangkok Thailand Temple, it would be awesome if President Nelson is able to break ground for all three temples during his visit there.

Whatever temple or Church news might be released, you can continue to count on my report and analysis of such developments. 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: 7 New Temples Announced

Hello again, everyone! President Nelson made history again in the closing moments of General Conference by announcing 7 new temples for the following locations: Managua Nicaragua, Cagayan de Oro Philippines, Layton Utah, Bengaluru India, Salta Argentina, Richmond Virginia, and a yet-to-be named city in Russia. This brings the number of temples in any phase to 189. More information will be provided as I can get hold of it.

In the meantime, I wanted to note that 3 of those 7 locations were exactly noted on my list (Managua, Layton and Richmond), and I had also mentioned that other temples were likely to be announced in the Philippines and Argentina (though I had prioritized Neuquen and Davao above Cagayan de Oro and Salta), and I had mentioned the possibility of future temples in India and Russia, although the timing had not seemed right to me for either in the immediate future. But I am glad that we have these new temples announced.

It is also worth noting that President Nelson had publicly proposed a temple for Managua, and that land has been set aside for one for a while now, so it is fitting that he as Church president has made good on his own apostolic proposal.

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: Home and Visiting Teaching to Be Discontinued and Replaced with Principle- and Concern-Based Ministry

Hello again, everyone! In a windfall announcement made just moments ago by President Nelson, the discontinuation of home and visiting teaching has been announced, to be replaced with a program focused on ministering efforts, to enable us to watch over each other more effectively.

In subsequent addresses, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, are/will be outlining the principles surrounding the new program.

We have had plenty of examples just this weekend that modern revelation does occur and is occurring. It will be interesting to see how this changes things even further to enable all of us to lift and encourage one another on a larger scale.

More details will be coming in the hours ahead. 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..