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Friday, June 1, 2018

"Be One" Celebration Held

Hello again, everyone. The "Be One" Celebration, which, as previously mentioned, was held tonight to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the landmark revelation that extended the priesthood to all worthy males, wrapped up about half an hour ago. And what a celebration it was! In music and spoken word, the history of many Saints of African and other descent was reviewed. Among those highlighted were Elijah Abel, who was the first black man to join the Church, and who served as a seventy in the early Church, Jane Manning James, a faithful black woman who was shown great kindness by the prophet Joseph Smith and his family, and Elder Helvecio Martins, who was the first general authority of black African descent.

The celebration began with President Eyring conducting and noting that the event had been planned by a committee chaired by Elders Claudio R. M. Costa (of Brazil), Edward Dube (the first Zimbabwean general authority seventy) and Joseph W. Sitati (who is the first Kenyan general authority seventy).

The event also featured addresses from Presidents Dallin H. Oaks (to open the event) and Russell M. Nelson (to conclude it). President Oaks focused his remarks on both the personal impact the announcement had on him and on Presidents Nelson and Eyring, and by sharing his hope that all Church members will focus less on the problems of the past and more on moving forward in the future. President Nelson endorsed President Oaks's remarks and provided his own message of hope that the Church will work towards greater unity, and also reiterated that the blessings of the gospel are available to everyone, because all are equal in the eyes of God.

I was very impressed with and touched by this event, which at times brought tears to my eyes. But I was also suitably impressed by how quickly reports of the event came in. You can find an article from the Church News here, and the one from Mormon Newsroom here. I am also pleased to provide links to the full text versions of the addresses from President Dallin H. Oaks and President Russell M. Nelson which speak for themselves.

I continue to monitor all Church news and will pass updates 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.

Additional Church News Stories Reported

Hello again, everyone! I am back again in the early hours of June 1 to pass along some additional Church news stories that have recently been reported. Let's get right into all of those. First of all, Mormon Newsroom shared this report detailing the plans the Church has released regarding redevelopment plans for the residential area near the Mesa Arizona Temple.

Mormon Newsroom additionally reported that two stars from Broadway's "Finding Neverland". Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly will headline the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2018 Pioneer Day Concert. Additionally, to narrate the program, the Choir is welcoming back Oscar Hammerstein III, who is the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein II. The latter, as some of you may be aware, provided the music to the lyrics of Richard Rogers, with the two collaborating on many famous and well-loved Broadway musicals. Hammerstein III will be the narrator of that Pioneer Day program, which will, in part, include a tribute to the music of his grandfather.

Moving on now to the Church News, we start with an update on the worldwide ministry efforts of our apostles. I may or may not have shared this already, but Elder Uchtdorf recently spent some time in Berlin, and the Church News shared this report on what he did there.

In the meantime, President Ballard and Elder Stevenson recently traveled together to the Pacific Area of the Church. President Ballard's message was an important one: While modern technology is important and has its' place, our usage of it should not be allowed to interfere with our connection to heaven.You can find the article reporting more details on that visit here.

And Elder Renlund recently journeyed to the Asia Area. While there on assignment, he not only held meetings with members, Church leaders, and missionaries, which enabled him to spiritually touch people's hearts, but he was also able to reconnect with several individuals whose physical hearts he had literally touched during his career as a heart surgeon. The Church News published this article

I may or may not have mentioned this before, but with the Church getting ready to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the revelation that extended the priesthood to all worthy males, the June 2018 Ensign will be a special edition with many articles on that subject. And in addition to the commemoration broadcast that will air at 7:30 PM tonight MDT, the Church News has also published a few articles in honor of the anniversary.

We first have this one, detailing the conversion of a Nigerian man, who in turn facilitated the conversion of others to the gospel, although they were unable to be baptized into the faith they had embraced until the revelation on the priesthood was given. They never once gave up on their hope that they would, in due time, have claim to all of the blessings of Church membership. Their consistent faith and patience paid off, and once word of the revelation reached them, they all immediately lined up for baptism. That is an awesome story.

Next, from retired former Church News editor Gerry Avant, we have this collection of first-hand accounts she collected once the revelation was announced. How wonderful it was to read about so many who were so anxious to take full advantage of all gospel blessings once word of the revelation reached them.

That article also included comments from President Kimball, which were originally made on December 5, 1978, regarding the circumstances that led up to his receiving the revelation and having it ratified by the other apostles. And finally, there was this article, which shared three answers to the question: Where were you when you heard about the revelation?

I continue to monitor all Church news and will do my best to pass updates along as I receive them. If not before, I will be back later this evening to pass along my thoughts about the commemorative broadcast.

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.