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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Miscellaneous Church News Items

Hello again, everyone! I had started my previous post with the intention of including a summary of recent Church news stories that have crossed my radar recently, but because I felt a need to share extensive thoughts on temple developments, it became necessary to defer my discussion of those Church news items for this post. There is a lot to get to, so let's get going.

First, as I may have mentioned earlier, the Church announced prior to President Nelson's world tour that his apostolic traveling companion (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland), would be the featured speaker at the April 26 graduation ceremony for BYU-Provo. As I observed when sharing that announcement, this is the first time a former president of BYU returned to speak at commencement exercises. The Church News published this summary of that event, which I found to be very inspiring.

Continuing their series of articles about newly-called Church leaders, the Church News provided this introduction to Elder Matthew L. Carpenter. Former LDS Church News editor Gerry Avant also continued her article series sharing highlights of her long and distinguished career covering Church news with this article about Sister Belle S. Spafford, who had one of the longest (if not the very longest) service tenures as Relief Society General President.

For any of my readers who are parents of young children or who teach Primary-aged individuals, the Primary General Presidency and Board offered these suggestions about how to help the children of the Church gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Shifting our focus from the LDS Church News website to Mormon Newsroom, a number of new articles have been published there. I have previously remarked on the fact that the Church has sometimes published more than one article in a short period of time highlighting the ministry of one or two apostles.

This proved to be the case again recently with Elder Rasband. In this article from the United Kingdom's Mormon Newsroom, his recent visit to Germany, Cape Verde, and the Netherlands was highlighted. The second story about Elder Rasband's ministry relates to his participation on the task force established by Utah Governor Gary Herbert for the purpose of discussing measures to prevent teen suicide. In addition to his participation on the panel, Elder Rasband also represented the Church in passing along a donation from the Church to aid those efforts. You can find the Mormon Newsroom summary of that article here.

Continuing the summary of the ministry of Church leaders, recently one member from each of the three female-led auxiliaries of the Church traveled to Alaska to minister to and train leaders there. This article summarizes those efforts. In light of Earth Day having been observed last Sunday, Mormon Newsroom provided this commentary article that provides a gospel-centered perspective on the importance of honoring creation, and how, by doing so, we honor the Creator.

And finally, the blog section of Mormon Newsroom again passed along these summaries of some wonderful articles that have been published on the various versions of Mormon Newsroom for several nations around the world. It was wonderful to read that report of those articles.

All of these news items are well worthy of your attention, and I can endorse their content wholeheartedly. I hope many of you will enjoy them as well. 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.

Jordan River Utah Temple Open House Will Conclude Today; Some Observations Regarding Temple Developments

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post right now to pass along one temple development and also to share some observations regarding temples. There is a lot to discuss, so let's get right into all of that.

I would like to start first with the temple news. While no major new developments have been reported on temples around the world since my last report on that subject, I did want to note that the Jordan River Utah Temple open house will be concluding today. Therefore, at the end of the day, the temple will begin a three-week preparation process for its' rededication, which, as noted earlier, will occur on May 20, following a cultural celebration that will be held the night before.

As I have also noted, I would anticipate that President Nelson will preside over at least the first one or two of the three dedicatory sessions. For this temple in the Salt Lake Valley, I am also certain that several General Authorities will likely be in attendance.

Next, if I may, I wanted to post some general observations about the progress of temples. As some of you might recall, by this time last year, we were just under a month away from the time when the first new temple of 2017 would be dedicated (the Paris France Temple, which was dedicated in mid-May). As you may also be aware, by this time last year, we had seen groundbreakings occur for two additional new temples.

We also know that the first new temple which will be dedicated this year (the Concepcion Chile Temple) will occur exactly six months from today. By that time, I would certainly hope that we will have seen at least a few temple groundbreakings.

But it is interesting to consider how the number and timing of temple events in one year differ from that of similar events in another. There are, of course, no set traditions in terms of how many such events are held per year. And we have seen the Lord's hand at work in all of those aspects.

By way of review, in 2016, 4 new temples were announced, 4 announced temples had a groundbreaking, 2 were rededicated, and 6 new temples were also dedicated. Last year, 5 new temples were announced, while the Church dedicated 4 others and rededicated 1.

This year so far, the Church has set 2 temple rededications (1 of which has already occurred) and the dedication of 2 new temples. We have also had 1 other dedication announced, which is set to occur next year. We have also seen 7 new temples announced as well.

With the Lord in control of the timing of such events (although some factors are dependent upon the agency and diligence of others), I stand by my previously-offered opinion that we will likely see at least a few temple groundbreakings at some point this year. I have noted the most likely prospects I see in that regard.

I continue to monitor all such developments and will bring you updates on all of that 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.