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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Additional Temple Updates Provided

Hello again, everyone! As some of you may be aware, although the LDS Church Temples site is still undergoing a restoration and redesign process, updates have continued to be published periodically on the site's Facebook page. So I am pleased to be able to pass these updates along to you all now.

First, I wanted to note that there are now 11.81 years remaining between today's date and April 6, 2030, when the Church will celebrate its' bicentennial anniversary. Although there has been no change in terms of the number of temples which, on average, would need to be dedicated between today and that day in order for the Church to have 200 in operation by that time, I hope that this update may be of interest to some of you.

That said, let's talk about the updates I mentioned. To commemorate the start of the season within which the Mormon Miracle Pageant will be held in Manti, two articles have been shared, and you can find links to those on the aforementioned Facebook page. Next, I wanted to note that scaffolding has come down from the exterior of the Concepcion Chile Temple.

 Additionally, on that same Facebook page referenced above, you can view a panoramic video for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple, which was shot to show how it looked at night. And the final update I have found is that, although the extent of the progress is unclear, recent photographs, which were also posted on Facebook, show that work on the Fortaleza Brazil Temple continues at a steady pace.

It is worth noting here that, although I have taken more time in recent days to keep tabs on the aforementioned Facebook page so I can pass these temple updates along to you all, I have been giving myself an extended break from Facebook as part of my efforts to deal with some significant health issues I have been working to resolve. Some of those issues have included anxiety and depression, which I am working through to the best of my ability.

But long before President Nelson issued a challenge to youth worldwide to "take a break from fake" by participating in a seven-day "social media fast", I made the determination to cut back substantially on the amount of time I spend on Facebook. As a consequence, I have only been logging on to Facebook once or twice a month, if it has even been that frequently, and generally only long enough to pass along links to these blog posts. So if any of you have connected with me through Facebook and have wondered why I have not been on there recently, that is the reason.

I have found, however, that keeping tabs on Church and temple news and sharing those developments to the extent that I can has helped me in dealing with the anxiety, depression, and other health challenges. And I have certainly experienced more difficult things previously. So I am well enough for the moment, if not as well as I would like to be. And I will do my level best to continue to bring you all word of Church news and temple developments as I am able to learn more about 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 Reported: Part Two

Hello again, everyone! I am back with the second post I mentioned just a few moments ago, which will serve as the second part of my updates on recently reported Church News. So let's resume our discussion of those items.

Gerry Avant, who, as mentioned previously, is the recently-retired Church News editor, continues her series of articles taking a look back on highlights of her storied career. Although she will not be traveling with the Tabernacle Choir on their "2018 Classic Coast Tour", she shared how the Church's role in Russia was changed for the better through the Choir's 1991 European Tour.

Interestingly enough, then-Elder Nelson and his first wife Dantzel, who was a member of the Choir at that time, accompanied the Choir on their tour. As I have mentioned previously, for a number of years during his apostolic ministry, including during his tenure as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Nelson had the supervisory responsibility for the Europe East Area. In that capacity, he traveled to Russia many times.

It was likely his familiarity with Eastern Europe in general and Russia in particular that enabled him to be inspired to announce a temple for Russia, and I would not be surprised in any way if, because he has spent so much time there, he is able to facilitate expedited progress on finding a city and a specific site for that temple and the process of building it.

To round out the discussion of articles from the Church News, there are two more significant ones. In preparation for Father's Day this Sunday, the Church News published an article highlighting comments from the First Presidency about how their fathers had impacted their lives. And the Church News continued another series that has been published recently by sharing these highlights of Facebook posts by Church leaders.

Turning now to a few articles from Mormon Newsroom, this report highlights ongoing relief efforts underway by Church members following a volcanic eruption in Guatemala. Next, a Mormon Newsroom blog post highlights significant stories from the branches of Mormon Newsroom operating in other countries.

That same Mormon Newsroom Blog also shared this summary of a Family History event held at the Capitol building in California, which was held in honor of "Juneteenth." For those not aware of this, Juneteenth, which is observed on June 19th every year, marks the day on which a festival is held by African Americans to commemorate the emancipation of slaves on that day in 1885.

And finally, President Nelson continues to be honored for his prestigious career as a heart surgeon. Yesterday (June 15), the University of Utah's School of Medicine announced it had created the Dr. Russell M. Nelson and Dantzel W. Nelson Presidential Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

This is a well-deserved honor. Although President Nelson had pioneered newer, better, and more effective heart surgery procedures, it was his first wife Dantzel who, following the demise of one of the patients he had operated on, encouraged him to continue to operate and perfect that process so that others would not have to experience the grief that he was going through. And this honor is fitting since he was able to perfect life-saving practices that had not been successfully employed prior to that.

I continue to monitor all Church and temple news and developments, and will do my level best to bring those to you as I become aware of them. That does it for this post. Aneny 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 Reported: Part One

Hello again, everyone! There were a few other noteworthy Church News stories that have recently been reported, so I thought I would share those in this post. The Church News reported a few days ago that Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse was in New Zealand recently to supervise the transition of the position of the director of temporal affairs for that nation. You can find a report of that trip here.

Next, we have two articles about FamilySearch developments. That organization is bringing a museum focusing on the American Revolution to a location next to the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple. More specific information on that is provided in this article.

It has additionally been reported that  Also, in an effort to ensure that all are more fully able to find members of their family tree, FamilySearch additionally noted that they will begin to provide records of same-sex couples starting next year, as explained here.

If you all will indulge me for a few minutes, I want to interject some editorial comments here. Some critics of the Church may be inclined to ask why this genealogical arm of the Church is doing this when the Church has continued to affirm its' opposition to same-sex unions.

The fact of the matter is that the Church has had a long-standing practice of encouraging everyone to trace their familial connections. And while the Church does not condone, support, or sanction such unions, the Church also believes in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

So because such unions have been sanctioned as legal here in the US, and are legal in other parts of the world, those who may in any way be considered as a product of such unions have an equal right to trace their family lines that is no different from that of anyone who has no same-sex couples in their ancestry. You can read more about the reasoning behind this move and what it will involve in this article/

The Church News continues its' series "From the Vault", which takes a look back at important addresses given by Church leaders in years gone by. This week, that address was given in February 2000 by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. The setting was a BYU devotional, and the title of his remarks was "How Do I Love Thee?"

I have had a couple of opportunities to read that address, and it is a real masterpiece. You can either read the summary of that address in the Church News or the full address from the BYU Speeches Vault. And if you are really ambitious, it may be illuminating to read both.

The Church News also took the opportunity to share further responses from the youth of the Church worldwide as a result of President Nelson's address to them on June 3, this time passing along some feedback from young women.

The Church News additionally noted that an update of the Church's Media Library app is now available. And the articles about newly called Church leaders have continued as well, with one published earlier today about new General Authority Seventy Elder Juan Pablo Villar.

As some of you may know, President Boyd K. Packer lived in Brigham City Utah for many years, and he taught seminary there and was a big part of the process of getting a temple built and dedicated in that city. The Church News published an article about how an organ that was beloved to President Packer was restored by a former plumber.

There is more news to cover, but I will do so in a new post so that this one doesn't become too cumbersome. That does it for now. 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 everyting you do.