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Friday, July 20, 2018

Two Pioneer Day Developments Reported

Hello again, everyone! Two important developments related to July 24 (when Latter-day Saints in Utah commemorate Pioneer Day) have recently been reported. Let's dive right in and discuss those.

First, as some of you may have already seen mentioned in a comment I made on the previous post, the First Presidency has once again invited President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who traces his ancestry back through to not only the pioneers of the early Church, but also to Hyrum Smith, brother of Joseph the Prophet, to serve as the grand marshal for KSL's Annual "Days of '47" Parade, which is always held on July 24 (or the day before or after that when the 24th falls on a Sunday). I will hopefully be able to post more about that parade after it occurs on Tuesday.

In the meantime, both earlier tonight and again tomorrow, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is hosting its' Annual Pioneer Day Concert. While tonight's concert was only able to be viewed in person, four ways have been provided whereby those of us who could not make it to the live show can view the concert tomorrow night. You can find more details on that in this article.

I continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to keep bringing those to you as I become aware of 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. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of new content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Several Inspirational Church News Stories Published

Hello again, everyone! After taking some personal time to recuperate from ongoing illness, I am back this evening to pass along some Church news stories that I found to be very inspirational. Let's dive right in to our discussion of those reports.

First of all, some of you may vaguely recall the story of Orin Voorheis. While serving as a missionary in Buenos Aires Argentina in April 1997, he and his companion (Armondo Barry) were accosted by a few muggers, who robbed them and shot Elder Voorheis. Once the muggers had left them alone, Elder Barry assessed the situation and realized he needed to act immediately. In response to spiritual promptings, he gave Elder Voorheis a simple blessing, in which he promised his companion that he would live, go on to marry, and be the recipient of all the blessings that had previously been pronounced on him.

The blessing was fulfilled in every respect. Elder Voorheis did live following this ordeal, and more than that, he thrived. In the 21 years since that time, he has gone on to marry. He and his wife take time each April to observe this important anniversary of the time when his life was saved, and he does so by serving others. With the approval of Church leadership, he wears his missionary tag when rendering that service.

As a result of the ordeal, he does need extensive help every day to live life and get his physical therapy done. But to the extent that he is able to do so, he always ensures each day that he takes time to lift and encourage anyone he can. And his wife has been very supportive of his desire to do so. You can read more of his inspiring story here.

If I may, I would like to add a personal note here. As one who has had extensive lifelong health challenges, I can understand (even in the smallest degree possible) what this man has been through. I particularly understand what he said in the article about being unsure he would ever marry, as he was reluctant to put the burden of his day-to-day challenges on anyone else.

But I also understand what it is like to find someone who looks beyond such things, and who daily reminds me that I am more than the health challenges I am dealing with. Because of that, I applaud people like Brother Voorheis' wife and my own sweet spouse, who approach such situations with an eternal perspective, regardless of what that might mean for day-to-day life. Both the people who deal with such issues and the loved ones who so willingly support them will forever and always be heroes in my book.

That said, the other items I would like to share are highlights from the ongoing ministry efforts of our Church leaders. In the Church's News' edition of "This Week on Social", repentance, prayer, and personal revelation were important topics addressed by Church leaders. You can read more about those posts here.

As noted in that article above, a post from Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham references a series of videos that the Church recently made available, in which her Second Counselor, Sister Reyna I. Aburto, shares some experiences she had going through various trials in her life. I am not sure whether or not I originally reported on that series, so you can find out more about that here.

The Church News also shared 8 quotes from Church leaders which provide context for what the ministering efforts of Church members worldwide should look like. Among the points emphasized in that article were not allowing the new flexibility to cause complacence, and what should determine how each pair of ministering brothers and sisters fulfill their obligations to each family to whom they are assigned to minister.

As a general heads-up, it is worth noting that the Church is currently featuring and early-access article which will be in the print version of the December Ensign, in which Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham answers the question: "Where did my home and visiting teachers go?" You can preview that article here.

It is also worth noting that the Church is in the process of testing a new beta system for the Gospel Library. The link I shared above shows the article in the beta-testing format, but a switch allows readers to toggle back and forth between the current version and that test.

I wanted to mention a few final articles, if I may. As some of you may be aware, when the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple closed earlier this year for renovation, it had been less than 18 years since that temple was dedicated. The main News & Events page on lds.org shares this article about how that temple was, is, and will continue to be a refuge from the storm, both literally and spiritually.

And finally, with less than 8 months remaining until the Rome Italy Temple is dedicated, the Church website ran this article on a couple in Rome who, while anxiously awaiting the dedication of a temple in their city, have celebrated 40 years of Church membership, and have 4 generations of Church members among their descendants.

Between the Church News website and the Church's official website, there have been so may wonderful general Church news stories to share. Thanks for sticking with me through what has been a massive update on the latest in that regard. I continue to monitor all such developments (including temple updates) and will pass word of those along to you as I am able to.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of new content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.