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Thursday, April 5, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Church Announces 2018 Area Leadership Assignments; Reinstates Area Presidencies in North America

Hello again, everyone! For the first time (at least in my recent recollection), the Church announced changes in area leadership less than a week after General Conference. As some of you may be aware, such announcements have typically been published on the Church News website towards the end of April or in early May of each year.

But it gets even more interesting. In this announcement of the changes, the First Presidency announced that areas in the US and Canada, which had been supervised by members of the Presidency of the Seventy since August 2004, will once again have full area presidencies, with a president and two counselors, all of which will be administered from Church headquarters. 

According to the news release and a quote from President M. Russell Ballard, the number of areas in the US and Canada will be reduced from 10 to 6, which will be defined as follows: Idaho/North America Central, North America Northeast, North America Southeast, North America Northwest/West, and Utah. This also means that, for the areas that have been combined, the area seventies serving in the 5th and 6th Quorums of the Seventy will be in larger groups.

This is being done as the Church continues to find ways to reduce and simplify how the work of the Lord is being administered. And this move will free up members of the Presidency of the Seventy for other assignments, including assisting the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the work of administering the Church and for "other assignments", about which I am assuming we will learn more in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

For the benefit of all who are interested, I have assembled a list of the new assignments, which follows below. 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 in Area Leadership August 2018

Presidency of the Seventy:
All members will, as noted above, be released from their assignments to oversee the 10 (now 6) areas in the US and Canada.
Craig C. Christensen, Lynn G. Robbins, and Juan A. Uceda will, as noted in the April General Conference, be released from the Presidency, with Terence M. Vinson, Jose A. Teixeira, and Carlos A. Godoy sustained in their stead.
In view of those changes, the three newest members of the Presidency of the Seventy will be released as Presidents of the Africa West, South America South, and South America Northwest Areas respectively.

General Authority Seventies:
Jose L. Alonso will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as First Counselor in the Caribbean Area.
Wilford W. Andersen will continue to serve as the Senior Administrator of the Middle East/Africa North Area, but will also serve as President of the Idaho/North America Central Area.
Ian S. Ardern will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as First Counselor in the Pacific Area.
Mark A. Bragg will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as First Counselor in the South America South Area.
Randall K. Bennett will serve as President of the North America Northeast Area.
Shayne M. Bowen will be released as President of the Philippines Area and will serve as First Counselor in the North America Southeast Area.
Craig A. Cardon will be released as First Counselor in the Pacific Area.
Yoon Hwan Choi will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as President of the Asia North Area.
Craig C. Christensen will serve as President of the Utah Area.
Claudio R. M. Costa will serve as President of the North America Southeast Area.
Joaquin E. Costa will be released as Second Counselor in the Brazil Area.
LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. will serve as First Counselor in the Utah Area.
Benjamin De Hoyos will serve as President of the South America South Area,
Edward Dube will serve as Second Counselor in the Africa West Area.
David F. Evans will be released as First Counselor and will serve as President of the Asia Area.
Enrique R. Falabella will be released as First Counselor and will serve as President of the South America Northwest Area.
Randy D. Funk will be released as President of the Asia Area and will serve as Second Counselor in the Utah Area.
Eduardo Gavarret will serve as Second Counselor in the Caribbean Area.
Kevin S. Hamilton will be released as President of the Africa Southeast Area and will serve as First Counselor in the North America Northeast Area.
Mathias Held will serve as Second Counselor in the South America Northwest Area.
David P. Homer will serve as Second Counselor in the Asia Area.
Allen D. Haynie will be released as First Counselor in the Philippines Area and will serve as Second Counselor in the North America Northeast Area.
Larry S. Kacher will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as First Counselor in the Africa West Area.
Jörg Klebingat will serve as Second Counselor in the North America Northwest/West Area.
Peter F. Meurs will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as First Counselor in the Asia Area.
Hugo Montoya will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as First Counselor in the South America Northwest Area.
Marcus B. Nash will be released as First Counselor and will serve as President of the Africa West Area.
K. Brett Nattress will serve as Second Counselor in the Pacific Area.
S. Gifford Nielsen will serve as First Counselor in the Idaho/North America Central Area.
Adrian Ochoa will be released as President of the Central America Area and will serve as Second Counselor in the North America Southwest Area.
Allan F. Packer will be released as First Counselor in the South America South Area.
S. Mark Palmer will be released as First Counselor and will serve as President of the Africa Southeast Area.
Adilson de Paula Parrella will serve as Second Counselor in the Brazil Area.
Kevin W. Pearson will serve as President of the North America Northwest/West Area.
Paul B. Pieper will be released as President of the Mexico Area and will serve as First Counselor in the North America Southwest Area.
John C. Pingree Jr. will serve as Second Counselor in the Mexico Area.
Rafael E. Pino will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as First Counselor in the Mexico Area.
Lynn G. Robbins will serve as President of the North America Southwest Area.
Evan A. Schmutz will be released as Second Counselor and will serve as President of the Philippines Area.
Joseph W. Sitati will serve as First Counselor in the Africa Southeast Area.
Vern P. Stanfill will serve as Second Counselor in the North America Southeast Area.
Brian K. Taylor will serve as Second Counselor in the Idaho/North America Central Area.
Michael J. Teh will be released as President of the Taiwan Taichung Mission and will serve as First Counselor in the Philippines Area.
Juan A. Uceda will serve as President of the Central America Area.
Arnulfo Valenzuela will be released as First Counselor and will serve as President of the Mexico Area.
Takashi Wada will serve as Second Counselor in the Asia North Area.
Taniela B. Wakolo will serve as Second Counselor in the Philippines Area.
Scott D. Whiting will serve as First Counselor of the North America Northwest/West Area.
Juan Pablo Villar will serve as Second Counselor in the South America South Area.
Claudio D. Zivic will be released as First Counselor in the Caribbean Area.