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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Church Issues Statement on Youth Interviews

Hello again, everyone! As some of you may know, an LDS man by the name of Sam Young recently reportedly launched a "hunger strike" that was effective today to protest the ongoing problems he sees in the way the Church approaches interviews with the youth. KUTV published this story about that hunger strike.

In response to the concerns raised by Sam Young, and having been given a request for comment, Church leadership issued this statement which directly responds to the reason behind the hunger strike, and outlines how local and general Church leadership have responded to the concerns raised by Sam Young.

If I may offer a comment here, while I appreciate Brother Young's expressed concerns, and while I feel the Church's response was appropriate, I disagree that a hunger strike is the best way to go about getting ones' concerns properly resolved. The Church has taken action in recent months to tweak the procedures by which youth and children are interviewed. But this kind of protest, in my opinion, which seems to be attempting to force the Church to take it more seriously, is just as much of an inappropriate response to such concerns as was the vocal protest of the woman during the April 2018 Sustaining of Church Officers who was quoted as yelling repeatedly: "Stop protecting sexual predators."

In the midst of the increasing official statements and policy changes the Church has undertaken to deal with such concerns in the 6.5 months of President Nelson's prophetic administration thus far, it is mind-boggling to me that individuals such as Brother Young and the woman who yelled during General Conference are choosing that approach rather than giving a more careful reading to the material the Church has released on that subject.

If they had bothered to do so, then they would know that Church leaders have been increasingly more concerned about such matters, and have issued statements and materials which are meant to stop such issues before they become a problem. Among those statements that have been issued is a reiteration of the Church's zero-tolerance policy for abuse of any kind from those in a position of trust, who are promptly removed from their positions and are subject to Church disciplinary measures as soon as their conduct is discovered and proven beyond reasonable doubt.

That said, it is important to note that, if such issues are truly concerning to members of the Church anywhere in the world, there is a proper and appropriate way, including going through the correct channels, to get such concerns resolved. And in my opinion, that has not happened in this case. I am grateful to the leaders of the Church for their prompt and measured response, but getting these issues resolved in the way the Lord has prescribed is a lot more effective than taking such drastic measures as a hunger strike or as shouting about the issue in the middle of General Conference.

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.

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! There have been several significant articles reported in the various Church news outlets, which I finally am able to pass along to you all today. So let's get right into it. First of all, as some of you may know, before Sister Wendy Nelson married then-Elder Nelson, she was a professor at BYU-Provo. As such, she had at least one opportunity to speak at a BYU Devotional. This article summarizes her remarks from a 1998 devotional about how it is always possible for any of us to change. It is a remarkable address, and the article summarizing it is well worthy of your attention.

At the BYU-Idaho commencement, Brother Douglas D. Holmes, First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, offered 3 suggestions regarding how graduates could put their trust in God. This summary of his remarks is well worth your attention as well.

A few days later than I hoped or planned, I am finally providing a summary of the "Days of '47" KSL Parade. The theme for this year was "Foundations for the Future". As mentioned previously, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who has pioneer ancestry, served as Grand Marshal for the parade. You can read more about the parade here/

There was a bit of local outcry from the LGBTQ community about the application for the participation of their group being denied, but that was primarily due to the fact that the parade is meant to honor and highlight pioneer heritage, while that community seemed to be wanting to participate to advance their own agenda.

As I may have mentioned a few times previously on this blog, it has been traditional for each Pioneer Day to commence with a Sunrise Service that has featured an address from a general Church leader. This year, that address was given by Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy, who also has pioneers in his ancestry. As I also previously mentioned, Elder Arnold, who had his 70th birthday earlier this month, is one of those I am anticipating will be released and granted emeritus status in October, so this may have been his last public address as a General Authority. You can read more about what he said here.

I will be providing only brief summaries of the next few articles. Mexico City recently held an education fair which supported Church values, and about which you can read more here. The Church News also continued (and may have finished) its' series of articles about new Church leaders with this one about Lisa L. Harkness, who was sustained last April as the new First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency.

The Church News also provided more details regarding the video series in which Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, opened up and shared some details about hardships she has experienced that have strengthened her faith. This next article was of interest to me due to my dad's connections to St. George, and I believe some of you have mentioned your connections to that city as well. With the Tabernacle in that city having recently concluded a renovation process, Elder Holland returned to his hometown to rededicate it, and you can find more details on both the renovation and rededication here.

More news regarding Elder Holland. I reported earlier this month that he had gone to England at the invitation of Baroness Emma Nicholson to address an AMAR gathering. When the Baroness was in Salt Lake recently, she met with Elder Holland, President Nelson, and Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. You can read more about that meeting here.

In yet another report from the Seminar for New Mission Leadership, this article features highlights from the closing address given by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who, as previously noted, chairs the Church Missionary Executive Council. In his address, the former airline pilot took his aviation references to new heights (pun intended).

After the horrific meetinghouse shooting in Fallon Nevada last week, that community has seen an increased outpouring in expressions of love and support from various outlets, which you can read more about here. In an article that is part of their "History Revisited" series, the Church News commemorated 20 years since President Hinckley dedicated the first of his inspired "smaller temples" with this article, which highlights why that plan was a game-changer. As we enter an era where an additional "game-changing" temple building plan may be initiated, it was good to be reminded of what occurred under President Hinckley's leadership.

More research from a study done at BYU found the truth of the idea that the family that prays together stays together. This article highlights the results of that study, and offers six reasons why family prayer is important.

The Church News also continued their series titled "This Week on Social" with this article sharing comments on remembering the sacrifice of pioneers, how to define real faith, and the importance of ministering. Those comments came from President M. Russell Ballard and Elders Quentin L. Cook, Neil L. Andersen, and Ulisses Soares.

Rounding out my coverage of these articles is this one about a Pakistani refugee who has undertaken an ambitious service project at an African-American cemetery in Houston, this one summarizing 7 quotes from female Church leaders on how to make better choices and decisions, and this one which shares how Catholic priests and nuns recent helped a man to find his Italian ancestors.

I continue to monitor all Church and temple news and will do my level best to bring you word of those developments 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 do so, please feel free to subscribe to stay informed of new content. 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.