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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Apostolic Ministry Updates

Hello again, everyone! I learned of some updates that have been provided on the ministry of our apostles a short while ago, and wanted to pass those along to you all now. We begin with a discussion of the Seminar for New Mission Leadership, for which the Church News shared this article highlighting remarks made by President Oaks on 10 of the many ways that Joseph Smith inspired Christian doctrine.

In the meantime, on the Church's official website (lds,org), remarks made by Elder Andersen during that seminar were summarized. As some of you may recall my mentioning a few days ago, we recently got a complete list of names of our Church leaders who serve on the Missionary Executive Council, and Elder Andersen is one of four members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who is serving on that committee.

He focused his remarks on how repentance, rather than being a backup plan that is provided in case it is needed, actually is the plan which our Heavenly Father put into place because He knew that, aside from His Only Begotten Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, "all [would sin] and fall short of the glory of God." That is a sobering and yet very inspiring thought.

Since our Father knew that we, without memory of our Heavenly home, or recollection of what the plan was, and being flawed and imperfect as a consequence of living in an imperfect world, He not only provided a Savior to redeem us from what has been termed as "our lost and fallen state", but He and His Son also patiently give us every opportunity to recognize our shortcomings and failings, show genuine remorse and regret for those mistakes, make amends for them, and try again.

So I appreciated reading about Elder Andersen's comments on that subject. You can find those remarks summarized here. Additionally, on the Church News section of lds.org, there have been a number of other articles well worthy of your review, which I may summarize more fully in another post within the next couple of days.

But just within the last 18 hours or so, a number of very interesting stories fitting that description have been published. You can find that news page here, and it is worth noting that the number of stories posted there just today take up most of the first page of that link, and part of the second.

That said, I have one more article to report on that is directly related to the ministry of our apostles. Elder Holland is currently in England, where he spoke at Chatham House during a meeting of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at the invitation of  Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, who chairs the AMAR International Charitable Foundation. Elder Holland's ties to England in view of his missionary service there as a young man has resulted in his frequently being invited by Baroness Nicholson to address various topics with various groups.

Elder Holland highlighted the important role faith- and non-faith based groups should have in the current ongoing refugee crisis around the world. In his remarks, he drew parallels between the persecution of the Saints in the early days of the Church to the persecution currently being levied towards that Yazidi people of Iraq.

He said that in drawing those parallels, he had no desire to minimize what was occurring for the Yazidi people, but was instead hoping to underscore the fact that persecution based on religion, especially when that is tied to and results in political oppression, is wrong, and he also touched on the current crisis many nations, including the US, is seeing regarding the treatment of those currently fleeing either religious persecution or political oppression. His remarks are well worthy of review, which you can read more about here.

I have been somewhat intrigued by one thing, however. As many of you may be aware, July marks the typical one-month annual recess for General Authorities. While I am confident that some of the news I have reported in the last two or three days has been for developments that occurred prior to the end of June, the story of Elder Holland being in England was posted today and referred to events that are occurring right now.

So at least for the moment this year, we may be hearing of Church news relating to our apostles well into July. And I am not ruling out the prospect that the Church could continue to make any major announcements even during the traditional break, which we have seen occur at least a few times previously.

Whether on the subjects of the ministry of our apostles, general Church news, or temple developments, you can depend on my bringing word of those developments 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.