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Monday, July 2, 2018

Church News Highlights

Hello again, everyone! I mentioned a day or two ago that I was hoping to do another post devoted to the latest Church news that had been published on the LDS Church News website and on the Church's official website. There are a number of new articles that have been published, all of which are worthy of mention here on this blog, but due to the voluminous amount of articles involved, this post will merely share what, to me, are the most significant highlights, and readers of this blog are welcome to consult either of the two links above for any articles not listed here.

Before we dive into the articles I will be featuring here, I also wanted to mention that I am still very much committed to continuing my series of posts discussing the most likely prospective locations that may have a temple announced in the upcoming General Conference, and that I will be starting the earnest work on putting together posts in that series hopefully later this week.

But my wife and I have also been under the weather again (or, to put it in a better way, still) so I will be focusing on those posts (and any others covering topics of interest) as my current circumstances will allow.

That said, let's get this update started. Several of the women auxiliary leaders of the Church recently represented the Church in presenting a donation to Utah's Children's Justice Centers to aid in the work done by those centers to prevent child abuse (where possible) and to enable them to help previously-abused children have access to the tools they need to recover (where necessary).

The Church has been more proactively involved in such issues lately, and so the acknowledgement of all that those centers do in such situations was wonderful to hear about. You can find more information on that via this Church News article or from this official release from Mormon Newsroom.

On June 29, the Church News published another article covering summaries of content posted to social media by several Church leaders. In this most recent article, some of those posts covered thoughts on Joseph Smith in conjunction with June 27 having marked the 174th anniversary of the Prophet's martyrdom in Carthage Jail, while others spoke of how we as Church members can strengthen our relationship to and our testimony of the Savior.

The Church News and Mormon Newsroom also covered stories on how the filming of the Church's Book of Mormon video project has recently wrapped up. Bishop Dean M. Davies, who currently serves as First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, was the featured speaker at the commencement exercises for BYU-Hawaii's recently-held graduation ceremony, and during his remarks, he talked about the process the Church goes through to get temples built, which at times includes a lot of patience and trust that the Lord knows what needs to happen and when. His remarks are well worthy of review.

Retired Church News editor Gerry Avant continued her retrospective articles examining the many experiences she had witnessed during her career, with this look back at President Monson's strong connection to Germany, and how many apostolic promises he made to the German Saints were fulfilled to the letter.

Continuing the tradition that has been observed for a while, another article written by general officers has been published. The Primary General Presidency shared these thoughts regarding how parents can and should help their children from a very early age to have a relationship with God.

Both Mormon Newsroom and the Church News continue to carry articles about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's "Classic Coast Tour", and there are many articles covering highlights from their travels. The Church has  become the first religious organization to ever receive the Good Neighbor Award from the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce. More details on that are provided in this article.

The Church News shared this report, which noted the results of a recent survey taken by several Church members regarding the changes that will be coming to the hymnbook. For those not satisfied by those results, as previously noted, feedback will continue to be accepted for the next year, until the end of July 2019.

Those of you who follow the LDS Church Growth Blog in addition to this one are no doubt aware that this recent post highlighted a three-milestone record that was being observed within the Church's Africa West Area. The Church News published their own article providing additional context regarding that same subject. It is wonderful to read about what the Lord has done for that area of the Church.

It is also plain to see why Matthew Martinich, who publishes the LDS Church Growth Blog, has shared his opinion that the Africa West Area, which currently has two operating temples and one other announced, is likely to have 13 temples either in various stages or dedicated by 2030. If the ongoing growth is any indication, that is a very reachable prospect that we are sure to see.

And, to round out my coverage of the latest Church news, I want to note some updates on the recent ministry of our apostles. Elder D. Todd Christofferson just returned a short while ago from a visit to the Philippines Area of the Church, and this report shares his thoughts and observations on all that transpired during his time there.

Finishing my coverage of recent news, I have highlighted in previous posts the efforts and contributions the Church is making to prevent suicide. Articles from the Church News and Mormon Newsroom highlight new resources the Church has released on that subject, which includes video clips with thoughts from Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Carol F. McConkie, who was released as First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency last April.

I should mention that the Church will continue to publish highlights from the recent Seminar for New Mission Leadership, but at the time I was putting this post together, no additional reports have been provided. I continue to monitor all Church and temple news and developments and will do my level best to bring word of those to you 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, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.