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Monday, April 16, 2018

President Nelson and His Traveling Companions Share Important Messages with the Saints in Kenya

Hello again, everyone! During his visit to Kenya earlier today, President Nelson shared a message specifically directed to the people in attendance, which included thoughts about the importance of the Book of Mormon and how the Saints in attendance should prepare to receive the blessings of the temple (he particularly said that it is easier for Church leadership to prepare for and build a temple anywhere than it is to ensure that the people for whom the temple is being built are prepared for it by the time it is dedicated), He also indicated that he does not yet know how soon construction will begin on the Nairobi Kenya Temple, which was announced one year ago, but that he hoped the Saints who would hear and relay his message to others will ensure they are ready when the temple is dedicated.

He also gave a strong message: The practice of "bride price" should not be observed by those who have accepted the gospel. For those not aware, bride price is an arrangement wherein a prospective groom or his family will barter with the family of a prospective bride on a gift of either money or livestock for which the prospective groom will be able to marry the prospective bride. While there are many countries that still practice it, the idea is not, as President Nelson reminded those hearing his message, in keeping with the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That message has been shared before in nations that still observe the practice of bride price, but President Nelson obviously felt that it needed to be reiterated as the word of the Lord to the people hearing it. I like that he observed that he might have missed out on 5 of his 10 children if he had to barter for his first wife, since he was only debt-free when his final 5 came along.

President Nelson's visit to Kenya is significant, as he becomes only the second Church president to ever visit there (the first was, of course, President Hinckley, who, during his visit in 1998 (for which Elder Holland was also his traveling companion) first publicly prophesied of a day when a temple would be built in Nairobi. He said, "Don't count on [a temple announcement] for a few years, but it will be so." President Monson fulfilled that prophecy last year in announcing the temple proposed by his predecessor, and his successor, President Nelson, has now visited that nation to reiterate the importance of preparing for the temple that has been announced.

Elder Holland also stressed the importance of preparing for the temple, and that the Saints listening to or relaying these messages should prepare for, be worthy of, and retain a temple recommend, and should, as frequently as circumstances permit, attend the nearest temple until the one in Nairobi is dedicated.

Sister Nelson focused her remarks on three prophets of the Lord: Nephi, who, in the Book of Mormon, had faith to build a boat even though he had never done so before; the Prophet Joseph Smith, who, at a time when it had not been done before, envisioned the original Nauvoo Temple with circular windows, and who lived to see such windows installed for the temple prior to his martyrdom, and President Russell M. Nelson, who trusted the Lord's inspiration rather than the natural laws of medicine, which discouraged a practice he pioneered that is still in use by heart surgeons today. Her message was that the Lord's wisdom should be trusted and His voice obeyed, even when He inspires things that seem impossible.

And Sister Holland's address provided a personal perspective on the wonderful qualities President and Sister Nelson have. She particularly highlighted the maternal instinct she sees in Sister Nelson, that will now be felt Church-wide as she ministers by her husband's side, and that President Nelson speaks strongly but never harshly, having the Savior's gentleness and compassion.

It was wonderful to read of the great impact the visit and these messages had on the people of Kenya. You can find a more complete report of that meeting for Kenyan Church members here. I am grateful that President Nelson and his companions were able to spend some time with the Saints in Kenya, and I hope that many of you will find this report of their time there to be helpful.

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.

A Look at My Projected Table of Contents for the May 2018 Ensign

Hello again, everyone! Having reported yesterday on my predictions for General Conference, in accordance with my usual tradition, I wanted to note that I have put together a projection for what the table of contents might potentially look like.

There were a couple of challenges around which I had to navigate in order to prepare this. First, with the Women's Session not occurring one week before the remainder of General Conference, there will be some extra space in the magazine that would have otherwise been devoted to those addresses. The second is that the Solemn Assembly and Sustaining of Church Officers were done separately, so I had to figure out how to split that.

Another problem in putting this together was that the entire First Presidency spoke one after the other in the Sunday Morning Session in addition to their usual Priesthood Session addresses. Connected to that, of course, was the short introductory remarks President Nelson provided to make the major announcements in the Priesthood and Sunday Afternoon Sessions.

And with 5 of the 12 members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaking in the final session of General Conference, there was that to consider as well. I also had to factor in how the lengths of the non-native English speakers might compare to those of their English-speaking counterparts.

Initially, I also considered putting the Statistical Report in its' traditional place within the Saturday Afternoon Session, but based on the fact that it wasn't read outloud during that time, it seemed safe to surmise that that report will likely appear at the back of the magazine with all other Church news.

With the many General Conference announcements and leadership changes, it also seemed safe to assume that that traditional Church news section in the back of the magazine will likely be longer than it has traditionally been. I cannot say for sure this will happen, but it would not surprise me in any way at all if this General Conference En sign has more than the 144 pages that has been traditional for the May edition each year.

With all of that in mind, and noting that it will likely turn out that my version of this might not be anywhere near what the actual table of contents for this Ensign will turn out to be, the version below represents my best-researched efforts to put it together. Hope you enjoy reading these thoughts on the subject.

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.


Conference Summary for the 188th Annual General Conference

Highlights from the 188th Annual General Conference

Solemn Assembly
President Henry B. Eyring

Precious Gifts from God
President M. Russell Ballard

Am I a Child of God?
Elder Brian K. Taylor

Even As Christ Forgives You, So Also Do Ye
Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk

The Heart of a Prophet
Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Until Seventy Times Seven
Elder Lynn G. Robbins

The Prophet of God
Elder Neil L. Andersen
The Sustaining of Church Officers
President Dallin H. Oaks

Church Auditing Department Report, 2017
Robert W. Cantwell

Meek and Lowly of Heart
Elder David A. Bednar

One More Day
Elder Taylor G. Godoy

Young Women in the Work
Bonnie L. Oscarson

Saving Ordinances Will Bring Us Marvelous Light
Elder Taniela B. Wakolo

Teaching in the Home—a Joyful and Sacred Responsibility
Devin G. Durrant

Family History and Temple Work: Sealing and Healing
Elder Dale G. Renlund
What Every Aaronic Priesthood Holder Needs to Understand
Douglas D. Holmes

Introductory Remarks
President Russell M. Nelson

The Elders’ Quorum
Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Behold! A Royal Army
Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Inspired Ministering
President Henry B. Eyring

The Powers of the Priesthood
President Dallin H. Oaks

Ministering with the Power and Authority of God
President Russell M. Nelson
Take the Holy Spirit As Your Guide
Elder Larry Y. Wilson

With One Accord
Reyna I. Aburto

Pure Love: the Sign of Every True Disciple
Elder Massimo De Feo

He That Shall Endure unto the End, the Same Shall Be Saved
Elder Claudio D. Zivic

His Spirit to Be with You
President Henry B. Eyring

Small and Simple Things
President Dallin H. Oaks

Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives
President Russell M. Nelson
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Elder Gerrit W. Gong

Prophets Speak by the Power of the Holy Spirit
Elder Ulisses Soares

President Russell M. Nelson

Be With and Strengthen Them
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Ministering as the Savior Does
Jean B. Bingham

Behold the Man!
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It Is All about People
Bishop Gerald Causse

Prepare to Meet God
Elder Quentin L. Cook

Let Us All Press On
President Russell M. Nelson

General Authorities and General Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

They Spoke to Us: Making Conference Part of Our Lives

Conference Story Index

News of the Church (including new leader biographies, an overview of the announced policy and practice changes, new temples, and any other general Church news)

Last Page of Conference Ensign

Confirmation Provided for the Temporary Closure of the Edmonton Alberta Temple

Hello again, everyone! Some of you might recall that an anonymous comment on this blog just before General Conference suggested that the Edmonton Alberta Temple would be closing for several months later this year. At the time, because it had not been officially or even unofficially confirmed, many, /myself included, commented to note that until such confirmation was provided, the report could not be substantiated.

At some point today, a few of the sources I have available did note the confirmation of the closure details that were previously shared here. The temple closure is set to occur from June 23-November 6, 2018, for renovation and repairs that will be focused mainly on the baptistry. It would appear that news of this closure was sent to the Edmonton Saints via a First Presidency letter on February 8 of this year, and that patrons will be accommodated at other operating temples, including the one in Calgary.

The material problem I (and others) expressed when this closure was mentioned in an earlier comment on this blog was that it had not been officially verified through any sources in the public domain. But clearly, members in the area that would be affected would need more of an advanced notice than the rest of us.

So that information has now been confirmed. Until that confirmation occurred, those of us unconnected to this temple had only the word of the individual who commented on this blog on that subject, which is why it was difficult for myself (and likely many of you as well) to believe until it was confirmed by sources that are in the public domain.

I should also note that the schedule for this temple on the official Church website has not yet been updated to reflect this closure, but that will likely occur in the coming days. For my part, I continue to monitor all temple-related developments and will do my best to bring you word of them as I receive 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.