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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

1300th Blog Post: Church News Updates

Hello again, everyone! After giving myself around a week to deal with some ongoing health issues, I am back again today to share some interesting Church News stories that have crossed my radar within this last week. This will be focused mainly on apostolic ministry updates, with a few other subjects mentioned in passing. There is a lot to talk about, so let's get right into all of that.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was recently on assignment in the South America South Area. While there, he spoke to Jewish leaders about how history, powerful doctrines, and ancient beliefs connect the history of Latter-day Saints with that of those of the Jewish faith. He also was able to share the Family Proclamation with those who serve in Argentina's congress.

As many of you may be aware, Elder Holland has a connection with the South America South Area, since he spent a two-year period (from 2002-2004) on assignment as president of the Church's now-defunct Chile Area, so he knows this area well, and it was great to hear about his chance to return to it.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, recently spoke at a program honoring the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, since he has devoted his life to Deity and to defending religious freedom. What he said on that occasion can be found here.

Elder Ulisses Soares, who, as some of you may recall, served as president of the Church's Africa Southeast Area prior to his call to the Presidency of the Seventy in 2013, which in turn preceded his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, recently returned to the African continent with Elder Neil L. Andersen. The two apostles visited the Africa West Area. The Church News shares this report of their ministry efforts during that trip.

The Church News also interviewed Elder Soares about his personal experiences relating to how the priesthood revelation affected both his homeland of Brazil, and his ability to teach more people the gospel during his mission in that same nation.

The Church News additionally reported this information about the time Elder David A. Bednar and his wife recently spent in the Church's Asia Area, which included a first for the couple: visiting Cambodia, India, and Mongolia.

Elder Quentin L. Cook was the featured speaker at a BYU-Idaho Devotional earlier today. He shared some exciting insights into how recent developments and publications, particularly the Joseph Smith Papers project and the new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants has helped increase many misunderstandings both within the Church and outside of it about certain aspects of the Church's history. The snippets of his address that are quoted in that article are well worthy of your attention.

In continuing her articles that take a retroactive look at her storied career reporting Church news, from former Church News editor Gerry Avant, we have this article which recounts how President Monson revisited a sacred site in Germany.

Turning our attention now to Mormon Newsroom, two recent articles were published highlighting President Nelson's recent ministry efforts. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering work as a heart surgeon. He and his wife also joined Elder and Sister Ronald A. Rasband in ministering to Church members in Canada.

A few other articles may be of interest to some of you: As you may be aware, in light of the Church replacing home and visiting teaching with the ministering program, the Church News noted that monthly ministering principles will be published in the Ensign from now on. I am grateful that the Church has taken the steps to replace home and visiting teaching. The ministering approach will allow Church members to minister to our brothers and sisters more through the promptings sent by the Spirit, which will put the responsibility of how best to implement such principles squarely on our shoulders.

The First Counselors in the Sunday School and Young Men General Presidencies (Douglas D. Holmes and Devin G. Durrant) recently visited South Africa to share some insight into the changes that will be coming to the curriculum and youth programs. Apparently, starting next year, the curriculum for Sunday School that will focus more on individual preparation by class members for the Sunday School hour of Church. More details can be found in this article.

And we conclude with this inspiring article from the Church News, which describes how a senior sister missionary completed her missionary service following her husband's unexpected and sudden passing.

I can recommend all of these articles to you without reservation. That does it for this post. Anyh 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.