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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Three Apostles to Mark Their Birthdays This Month/Some Thoughts About Changes in Area Leadership and the Presidency of the Seventy

Hello again, everyone! As longtime readers of my blog may recall, last year, at the beginning of August, I noted that 5 apostles would be celebrating their birthdays during that month. Since that time, two of those apostles with August birthdays (President Thomas S. Monson and Elder Robert D. Hales) have passed away. As neither of the two new apostles have August birthdays, that lowers the number of August apostolic birthdays to 3. So I wanted to post today to provide an overview of which 3 apostles will have a birthday later this month, and when that will happen.

Interestingly, the August apostolic birthdays are each 3 days apart, taking place over a period of six days (from August 6-12). Next Monday, the youngest of those 3, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, will mark his 63rd birthday. 3 days later (Thursday August 9), Elder Neil L. Andersen will celebrate his 67th birthday. And 3 days after that (Sunday August 12), President Dallin H. Oaks, the oldest of the 3, will be observing his 86th birthday. It will be my privilege to post tributes to these Brethren on each of those days. Stay tuned for that.

On an unrelated note, the changes in area leadership, which were announced a few days after the April General Conference, have now gone into effect. This means that the Presidency of the Seventy has now been relieved from their service overseeing the Church's 10 North America areas, which are now under the supervision of 3-man presidencies, two of which are overseeing 2 areas each, and 1 of which will oversee the 3 Utah Areas.

The changes also mean that, for the first time in Church history, the Presidency of the Seventy is comprised of 4 members born outside the United States: Elder Patrick Kearon (who was born in England), Elder Terence M. Vinson (who was born in Australia), Elder Jose A. Teixeira (who was born in Portugal), and Elder Carlos A. Godoy (who was born in Brazil).

As I previously mentioned, Elder L. Whitney Clayton, who serves as the Senior President of the Seventy, will mark his 70th birthday in 2020, which means that, unless Elder Kearon has been released from the Presidency by that time (which does not seem likely), he could become the first foreign-born Senior President of the Seventy at that time.

It is also interesting to note that, with the exception of Elder Clayton, the other 6 members of that Presidency have all come into that assignment within the last year. To have a majority of that Presidency so new to the assignment is significant anyway it's considered.

It will be interesting to see how soon the Church identifies the "other assignments" which the Presidency of the Seventy will be taking on now that they no longer are responsible for the oversight of the North American Areas. Whatever might occur in that regard, you can find more information on that through this blog as I learn of it.

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 newly-added 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.

2019 Mutual Theme Announced

Hello again, everyone! In a letter from the Young Men and Young Women General Presidencies which was sent to leaders around the world, the 2019 Mutual Theme was announced. The theme comes from the words of the Savior in John 14:15, which reads: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." A simple and concise yet powerful injunction, which the leaders hope the youth will keep in mind this year as activities are planned and carried out, and as the Come, Follow Me curriculum is discussed every Sunday. You can read more about this development here.

Two additional Church News stories are significant as well. This one highlights remarks from BYU professor Lori L. Wadsworth, who highlighted 7 ways each of us can recognize the divinity of others. C. S. Lewis, in his "The Weight of Glory", was quoted as saying "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship." It is a wonderful thought that each of us has a divine nature, heritage, and potential, and the remarks shared during this devotional exemplify these principles.

For those of us who are Church members, we either directly know someone or know someone who knows someone who has, through no fault of their own, had to come home early from their missionary service. One such individual, now a player for an NFL team, shared his experience in that regard, and some insights into how all of us can help such individuals.

I continue to monitor all Church news and temple updates and will pass those along to you all as I receive word of them. I should also note that I am still working on combining the two lists of temple locations, and once I get that done (within the next 2-3 days or so), I will publish that here, so stay tuned for that.

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 about newly-added 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.