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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Miscellaneous Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! Although my focus in recent days has been on the dialogue of future temples and ongoing temple developments, in addition to reports covering the addresses given during the Seminar for New Mission Leadership, there have been a number of other interesting Church news articles published in recent days. This post will share the highlights of many of the most significant developments in that regard.

Continuing their tradition of featuring articles by general officers of the Church, the Church News published this article, penned by the Young Men General Presidency, in which they detail ways that youth can and should put on the armor of God in their daily lives. Their timely counsel applies equally well for the rest of us.

The Church News also published a series of articles highlighting recent developments that are significant to relevant aspects of Church history, both from the recent and more distant past. This article pays tribute to Emma Smith, the wife of the Prophet Joseph, who was rightly called an "elect lady" and who not only compiled the first Latter-day Saint collection of hymns, but was also chosen by early Latter-day women to be the first General Relief Society President.

As many of you also know, President M. Russell Ballard is a direct descendant of Hyrum Smith, brother to the Prophet Joseph. Hyrum was the father of Joseph F. Smith, who was born while his father and uncle were incarcerated at Liberty Jail. Joseph F. would later go on to serve as an apostle, and later as Church president. One of the major significant developments during that President Smith's prophetic administration was what we know of as Doctrine and Covenants Section 138, the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead.

That revelation was given after President Smith read passages in the Bible and sought to understand them. It has been verified in this article that the branch of the family that had the copy of the very Bible he used felt it would be appropriate during this year that commemorates 200 years since that revelation was accepted by the Church to donate the Bible to the Church. And they did so by handing it off to President Ballard, who, as both a fellow descendant of that family line and a high-ranking Church leader, accepted it on behalf of the Church. That was awesome to hear about.

The other story about Church history relates, albeit indirectly, to someone else connected with the Smith family line. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who, as some of you may know, was the son-in-law of President Joseph Fielding Smith, and had been promised by his father-in-law that he would be called to fill the next apostolic vacancy (a promise which that President Smith's successor Harold B. Lee fulfilled), had a brother, James W., who was a musical genius and who was poised to become more famous that Bruce R.

But James W.'s prospects in that regard were forever altered when he unexpectedly passed away at age 32. Some of his children contracted polio, and although James had been warned of the risk of infection from that ailment, he still showed affection to his children that had it. While all of them survived that illness, he did not. For a time, his works were not released to the public. During the recent Mormon Arts Festival, held in Carnegie Hall in New York City, his work was unveiled, and the Church News shared this report of that unveiling. The artistic gift must run through that family, as Bruce R. McConkie was recognized as a prolific writer who gave us the lyrics to the hymn "I Believe in Christ", and whose final apostolic address will forever be celebrated as a gospel classic.

The Church continues to release a video series geared to help combat the problem of suicide, which is titled "His Grace." The latest video posted in that series shares this inspiring story on the latest video in that series. And in conjunction with those ongoing efforts, the Church also shared some insight into why we need to talk about suicide.

And KSL has reported on a donation which an LDS foundation has provided to Affirmation, an organization started by Church members but not officially Church sanctioned, which seeks to provide resources to Church members who are dealing with same-gender attraction. I know many people have talked about how the Church's stance on same-gender attraction seems to be responsible for the high rate of suicide among those that grapple with that issue, so hopefully this development is a welcome one to those who feel that way.

Voting is underway for videos submitted for the "Film Your Faith" contest, which is held every year through the Faith Counts organization, which brings together individuals from a wide variety of religious backgrounds to find common ground in religious worship. More on that voting process can be found here.

And finally, a group of Taiwanese YouTubers conducted a social experiment in which they asked one woman to portray a homeless person who needs help, for the purpose of seeing who might render her assistance. Though many people passed by without helping, the one and only group that did consisted of missionaries of the Church who are serving in that area. You can find more details, including comments from those conducting the experiment, the women who assisted them with it, and the missionaries who helped her, in this article.

I continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to bring word of those to you as I become aware of them. That does it for this post. If you liked what you read here and would like to stay informed about new content featured on this blog, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

President Eyring Teaches How to Be Confident Rather Than Self-Doubtful

Hello again, everyone! The Church News continues to report on the addresses given during the Seminar for New Mission Leadership.. Just about an hour ago, this report was published summarizing President Eyring's counsel to those new leaders. His message was on a subject he has covered before, how to be confident instead of self-doubting in assignments and situations that seem beyond an individual.

He spoke of his personal experiences receiving Church callings for which he felt inadequate and, to a certain degree, unworthy. He again highlighted an experience he shared before about how President James E. Faust had called him into his office shortly after then-Elder Eyring's call to the apostleship. He could see that the new apostle was struggling with the magnitude of his new role. Elder Eyring anticipated that the veteran apostle would offer him advice to get through those feelings. But President Faust instead offered this powerful lesson: "Don't ask me. Ask him."

Now-President Eyring went on to talk about how he now occupies the office in which that visit with President Faust occurred. He then noted that at times since that meeting in April 1995, and particularly as he has been called to continue his service in the First Presidency under a third president of the Church, he has kept President Faust's counsel in mind.

He went on to describe his understanding of how those called to preside over missions or serve as Church missionaries may face the same feelings on inadequacy. And he offered some suggestions in terms of how all Church members, in whatever their calling may be, can refocus their attention away from wanting their service to be acceptable to those under whose direction they are called to serve to instead being more concerned about whether that service is acceptable to the Lord.

He pointed out that, of all opinions, our standing with the Lord should be the most important. And he urged mission presidents to encourage their missionaries to serve under the Lord's direction, endorsement, blessing, and approval.

It is a very timely message. In a world dominated by the idea that we need to focus first on pleasing others and ourselves by what we do, we are prone to forget that the Lord's opinion should be the one that matters most. Only He knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts, and at the day of judgement, we will not be asked about what we did to be acceptable to our fellow man, but what we did to be accepted of Him, which includes rendering service to those among whom we share our earthly sojourn.

May we all remember the importance of that message. That does it for this post. If you liked what you read here and would like to, please feel free to subscribe to stay informed about new content on this blog. 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.