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Friday, August 3, 2018

Church News Updates

Hello again, everyone! The Church News website has provided several new articles which cover significant topics such as the ongoing ministry of our Church leaders and recount how the Church has made significant progress in several areas of the world. So let's jump right in to our discussion of those stories, all of which are well worthy of your attention.

We begin with the next article in the six-part series on the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This article shares comments from the apostles on their divine mandate to be ministers rather than administrators, which takes them around the globe.

Just a general comment on that article. I recently shared my response to a question that was asked in advance of the September Face-to-Face Event at which Elder Quentin L. Cook and two representatives of the Church History Department will be addressing such questions. Just to recap what I said there,  it is no longer practical for the apostles to serve full-time missions (though the full-time missionaries whose calls are directed by inspiration given to members of that Quorum extend the influence of the apostles).

Additionally, I noted that, while one of their many roles is to administer the affairs of the Church, their primary roles involve a worldwide ministry in which they lift and encourage members and missionaries of the Church whom they encounter in their travels. And that agrees perfectly with what the current members of the Quorum of the Twelve were quoted as saying in the latest article in that series.

They have taught us as members to never let administering a Church program become more important than a person to be loved, saved, and ministered to, and they are living examples of how to make that work. An earlier article quoted one Quorum member who, shortly after his ordination to the apostleship, was advised by a senior apostle to always add at least half an hour to everything he did, as the members of the Church are always anxious to greet and chat with the apostles when they visit any congregation.

I have had several opportunities to observe the visiting Brethren put this into practice, so I know that ministering to Church members is (as it should be) a high focus that may be second only to their mandated obligation to testify of the Savior wherever they are sent. It is wonderful to see that in action.

Moving on now, the Church News also continued its' series "This Week on Social". Among the topics covered this week were Elder Renlund's family vacation to Iceland and a Christmas thank-you in July. You can read more about that here.

The Church News additionally shared this article in their "History Revisited" series, which continued to cover Elder Holland's recent opportunity to return to his native St. George and rededicate the Tabernacle there.

In terms of news about other Church leaders, Elder Kevin W. Pearson, who serves on both the Communication Services and Strengthening Church Members Committees, became the first General Authority of the Church to speak during the recently-held FairMormon Conference. Among the many important topics covered during that conference was the fact that women have had a far greater influence on the Church than many people realize, and that the contributions of such women should rightly be talked about and considered in their proper historical context. You can read more about that here

It was great to hear that this was a major focus of that conference. So many people have voiced their discontent with the fact that women have not had a more significant role in the Church, and therefore do not seem to be aware of the breadth and extent to which the influence of such women has been felt in molding so much of Church history as we know it today. You can read more on this story here. And this article covers Elder Pearson's particular remarks, which touched on how Latter-day Saints can use outlets such as social media or Youtube to be "voices of truth."

And finally this evening, I wanted to share this article, which highlights the friendship that has existed since the 1960's between the Church and the Colombian government. That article included quotes from Elder Enrique R. Falabella, who on August 1 of this year transitioned from being the First Counselor in the South America Northwest Area to being the Area President.

It is that existing friendship between Colombia and the Church which has enabled the Church to progress so well in the country, including the dedication of the temple in Bogota during the temple-building boom of the late 1990s-early 2000s. And we have since seen a second temple announced and constructed in the city of Barranquilla within that nation.

I have recently shared my feelings that a third temple for Colombia may soon be announced, and that such a temple could potentially likely rise in either Medellin or Cali. It may be just a matter of time before that occurs, and I can see a day very soon where temples will be dedicated in both cities. Right now, the two seem to be pretty evenly matched in terms of which might potentially get a temple first, but I will continue to watch for anything that would point to one or the other being more imminently likely.

I continue to monitor all Church news and temple-related developments and will be sure to pass word of those along to you all 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. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to do so, 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.