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Friday, May 11, 2018

Additional Church News Reported: Part Two--Other Significant Church News

Hello again, everyone! I am back as promised, with the second half of the update I started with my last post. Having shared the updates on the ministry of our apostles, we now turn to the other major stories from the Church News and from Mormon Newsroom. Let's get going on all of that.

LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, has recently evaluated the refugee situation in Rome Italy, and this report highlights those needs, what is being done about them, and more about the continued assistance needed for the situation as well.

The Church News has also shared this text and video summary of President Nelson's worldwide ministry tour by the numbers. For all female members of the Church and friends of other faiths who feel inferior in any way about the fact that they are "just a mom", the Church News shared this article with a video and text that demonstrates mothers are so much more than that.

Next, those of us who were alive prior to July 2004 no doubt remember Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as an apostle and a wonderful wordsmith. He had a way of combining phrases that left all within the sound of his voice with an indelible impression. The Church News shared this look back at one such address which was given prior to his call as an apostle.

And from Mormon Newsroom, we have this report of an additional statement released by the First Presidency about Utah's marijuana initiative that may be on the ballot. I gather from reading it that many people raised objections about the Church objecting to the initiative, citing the argument that the Brethren are not qualified to voice an opinion on that, since few (if any) of them have worked with doctors who see the measure as important.

To quell those concerns, the Church reached out to a well-respected law firm for their input on that subject, and the result was that the law firm in question cited more specific reasons from a legal standpoint why the measure in its' current form is problematic. Their analysis in response to that request is featured with the release above.

In all honesty, I don't see why anyone takes issue with the Brethren weighing in on such matters. As I have stated before, when the Church feels a need or receives a request to comment on such subjects, official statements on the matter are only released after all the impacts of such measures have been studied, which has included, where needed, consultation with outside experts on those subjects.

And to me, this suggests a lack of understanding on that process from those who raise such objections. It is true that there are some issues that may be outside of the knowledge the Brethren have gained through their experiences. But in such cases, the potential impact of those issues on all people is considered, which often involves outside consultation with those who see a legal, ethical, or moral reason that will justify the Church needing to comment.

If those we sustain as such are truly prophets, seers, and revelators, and I testify that that is the case, then when the Brethren issue statements on such issues, it behooves us as members to give heed to whatever counsel they give. For me, that means that, as a Utah citizen, if this issue makes it to our ballot in November, it is my duty to vote no on that measure.

It has been said by some that when the Lord (and by extension, those He has called to be prophets, seers, and revelators) speaks, the debate should be over. All of us will surely be held accountable before the Lord for any failure on our part to respond to such counsel when it is given. I hope that all of us will remember that.

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.

Additional content posted at 7:40 PM:  Not long after I published this post, the Church News released this article sharing content posted on Facebook by several Church leaders. Particularly intriguing to me was the fact that the article passed along summaries of recent posts by Elders Gong and Soares.

Apparently, those posts marked the first time these leaders have added content to Facebook since responding publicly on that site to their apostolic calls. There were also posts from other apostles and general Church leaders regarding their ongoing worldwide ministry efforts. This latest article, like all of the others in this post and the previous one, are well worthy of your attention, and I can without hesitation give my endorsement to them. I continue to monitor all Church news, including temple developments, and will do my best to keep bringing you all word of those as I become aware of them. Thanks agian.

Additional Church News Reported: Part One--Updates on the Ministry of Our Apostles

Hello again, everyone! Between the Church News website and Mormon Newsroom, several additional Church news stories have recently been published. This post will share some links to and thoughts about those articles.

I had intended to cover all of the noteworthy stories in this post, but the coverage of the updates on the ministry of our apostles wound up being so extensive, I will be focusing solely on that subject in this post, and then focus on other stories in a second post which will be published not long after this one. Let's get right into it all.

We start first with a look at updates on the ministry of our apostles. President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, recently returned from a visit to Canada. He served as a mission president there years ago, and his travels as an apostle have involved several stops in Canada. The Church News has shared this report on how his many experiences in Canada have impacted the lives of all Canadian citizens, including many who are not members of the Church.

In the meantime, Elder Ronald A. Rasband recently visited Saints in the Europe Area. His time there included two visits to European islands that have not previously been visited by an apostle of the Church. The Church News shared highlights of his ministry there. This was another homecoming of sorts for Elder Rasband, who had served as a member of the Church's Europe Area presidency

And Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who had served in the Europe East Area presidency some years prior to his call to the apostleship, returned to that area. He specifically spent some time in Russia, returning to the nation in which he had spent time during his professional career. While there, he talked to the members of the Church about the temple that has been announced for Russia.

Among other things, he noted that, while that temple announcement is wonderful, due to the political situation in that nation, it will likely take some time before the Church is successful in obtaining approvals, purchasing land, and designing the temple, which may also mean it may be some time before construction begins, and even more before it is finished and dedicated.

Although his time in Russia coincided with the dates of President Nelson's European tour, Elder Uchtdorf indicated that he had not been able to read about what the prophet said during those stops. With that in mind, it is amazing to me that Elder Uchtdorf's counsel to the Saints in Russia about the temple that will be built there echoed the instruction President Nelson gave in several of the stops he made where temples have been announced. You can read more about Elder Uchtdorf's time in Eastern Europe in this article.

Next, many of you may know that Elder Quentin L. Cook has been asked to speak at a Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults that is set to be held on September 9 of this year (which will be the day after his 78th birthday, and the same day that President Nelson will be 94). While plans for that devotional have remained unchanged, the Church News has reported that the event will be broadcast from Nauvoo, and that a Face-to-Face event for Young Adults will be held during that same weekend, and will feature Elder Cook and two Church historians taking questions.

The Church News also sent out a request for comments from readers about what they have learned from the nearly 4 months of President Nelson's administration. The answers to that question have been published here.

It is awesome to see our apostles traveling so extensively, and to have seen more information published about their ministries. One thing I did want to mention: It often happens that multiple apostles are away from Church headquarters at the same time. When that happens, the most senior apostle who remains in Salt Lake has taken the lead of any meetings held in the absence of those more senior to him.

I haven't double-checked the dates, but there may have been some overlap of the time when Presidents Nelson and Ballard and Elders Holland and Uchtdorf were on the assignments noted. If it happened to be the case that these assignments took these men away from headquarters around the time when a Thursday meeting had been held for the apostles, that would mean Elder Bednar took the lead of the weekly meeting during that time.

It seems that the First Presidency is giving the senior apostles, particularly those who might potentially lead the Church one day, the chance to experience more of a role in the day-to-day operations of the Church. And that is good to see.

I continue to monitor all developments relating to the ministry of the apostles, and am committed to bringing those developments to you all 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 (which should, as noted above, come in the next few minutes to cover other important news items from the Church), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.