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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Miscellaneous Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again now with some Church news updates. There's a lot to cover, so let's get right to it. First of all, a few days ago, the Church News shared this report on the funeral services held recently for Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone. General Church leaders in attendance at the funeral services included Presidents Russell M. Nelson and Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency (with President Eyring representing the Brethren in speaking at the funeral, in view of his long friendship with Elder Featherstone) and Elders Jeffrey R. Holland and Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It sounds like the service was a fitting tribute to this remarkable servant of God.

Less than 24 hours following the rededication of the Jordan River Utah Temple, the Church News released the text of the rededicatory prayer written and offered by President Eyring, who quoted many things said in the original dedicatory prayer penned by President Spencer W. Kimball, and offered by President Marion G. Romney, both of whom, as I mentioned earlier this week, have a familial connection to President Eyring.

The Church announced yesterday (May 22) that nearly 170 missionaries currently serving in Nicaragua would be relocated, due to political unrest and in consideration of their safety. Those nearing the end of their service period will be honorably released to return home, and those who remain will be reassigned to missions in North and South America or Europe.

It is heartbreaking in a way to see that happening, since the Church is in the preliminary stages of trying to get a temple built there, but hopefully things will settle down sufficiently enough to allow the missionaries to return and for work to begin on the temple before too much longer. You can find more details in this Church News article and this release from Mormon Newsroom.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in company with Elder Gary E. Stevenson and other leaders, recently visited Saints residing in Australia and New Zealand, at which time, he encouraged Church members to "keep it simple" when sharing the gospel. You can read more about their ministry among these members from the Church News and Mormon Newsroom.

In the meantime, from the Blog section of Mormon Newsroom, the Church shared this report highlighting Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf's recent visit to Germany, during which time he presented the president of Germany with his family history. And, in continuation of the cooperative effort between the Church and the NAACP, this article highlights a luncheon that featured addresses from individuals on both sides of that effort.

The Church News also shared this account of a recent address given by Elder Anthony D. Perkins of the Seventy during a BYU-Idaho Devotional, this article highlighting a message given during the BYU Women's Conference by Sister Kathy Andersen, wife of Elder Neil L. Andersen, which emphasized following the watchman on the tower, and this article from the new Young Women General Presidency, which notes that, while programs and methods may change, the doctrines of the Church will not.

And finally, in a continuation of the Church's ongoing efforts to increase transparency, this article was released on the subject of how Church finances are managed and distributed. That article was apparently a companion piece to this post by Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse, who wrote some thoughts on why and how the Church preaches and practices financial self-reliance. To provide more context for both of those resources, the Church included these questions (and their answers).

Here's the interesting thing about those materials being published now. I have been involved in my fair share of conversations with people not of our faith who suggest that, instead of spending money on temples or anything else, the money coming into the Church should be used to help the poor. I don't know how it is that people don't seem to understand that the Church is doing both. I have seen (and been positively influenced by) the process by which the Church holds itself accountable for the expenditures of Church resources. And so on that level, these materials are a timely release indeed.

We live in a most remarkable time. Not only is the Lord hastening His work in miraculous ways, but we have also entered an era where more information about the day-to-day ministry of the leaders of His church is being published, and where the Church and its' leaders are truly interested in being more transparent and promoting greater understanding of and cooperation with those not of our faith.

I continue to monitor all such developments and will do my level best to keep passing those along to you 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.