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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Church News Update: Part Two--Other News Items

Hello again, everyone! I am back as promised, to pass along additional Church news updates. Let's get right into it all. We start with a look at the keynote address given earlier today by Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, at the annual BYU-Provo Education Week. She spoke of how enticement goes "both ways" and also covered some thoughts about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ serves as a "practical guide to happiness".

Next, as most of you are probably aware, today would have been President Monson's 91st birthday if he were still with us. This article was written in honor of his many decades of service in Church leadership. 

Meanwhile, in two other "history revisited" articles, it has been announced that over 7,000 pages of Wilford Woodruff's meticulously-kept journals are now available for public viewership online, while retired Church News editor Gerry Avant continued her retrospective look back at her career with this article highlighting how she accompanied President Spencer W. and Sister Camilla E. Kimball in a visit to historical Church sites in Illinois, which included a bakery and Carthage Jail.

And in this article, which focuses on a Church-owned farm in Montana, the farm in question is referred to as "holy ground". I have previously referenced the fact that a temple was publicly proposed for the city of Missoula by Elder David A. Bednar sometime during 2016, and how I confirmed through my own study and feedback from others that land is being held in reserve for such a prospect. While the Montana farm's location (in Geraldine) is over 200 miles from Missoula, it is not hard to believe that a similar "sacred spot" of land will mark the spot of a temple in Missoula when the time is right.

The Church News also shared 3 responses to the question of what the single members of the Church bring to the Church and how such members can be better utilized, along with another "History Revisited" article article about how, in the early days of the Church, Sidney Rigdon's acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ led to him losing his job as a minister. 

And 4 days ago, the Church continued their series "This Week on Social", which shared comments from several members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on subjects such as learning from the living prophet, resurrection, and revelation, which you can read more about here. There was also this story about an Australian medical student (and member of the Church) whose membership has blessed her in her life, career, and progression, and this one highlighting remarks given by Elder Brent H. Nielson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Church's Missionary Department. Those remarks were given during BYU-Provo commencement exercises earlier this month.

That is all the updated Church News I wanted to post here for now, so 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. 

Church News Update: Part One--President and Sister Nelson Visit 3 Canadian Cities

Hello again, everyone! I am pleased to be able to post again right now to share some interesting and inspiring Church news which has been reported via the official Church website (, the official newsroom of the Church (which, for now, is still called Mormon Newsroom) and the LDS Church News (which has not yet been renamed yet either). We start with the Church News website, then will move on the other two resources. And if, on rare occasions, the stories are covered via more than one of those resources, I will note that.

We start right off the bat with one of those stories. This article shares some highlights of President Russell M. and Sister Wendy W. Nelson's recent visit to Canada. They were accompanied by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Kathy, and, for the final two meetings of the trip, by Elder Randall K. Bennett and his wife Shelley. Elder Bennett, as some of you may recall, is now serving as president of the North America Northeast Area.

The article referenced above mentions one of the members in attendance at one of those meetings, who was preparing to undergo heart surgery shortly after President Nelson became the Lord's prophet in January of this year. This member reported feeling uneasy about her upcoming procedure, until her research reminded her that the machine that would keep her alive during the procedure had been originally invented by then-Doctor Nelson during his days as a heart surgeon. This strengthened her faith in both the safety of the procedure she was about to undergo and her testimony that President Nelson is truly God's prophet on the earth today.

President Nelson joked that he could be making several Canadian trips because his wife was born in that nation, but noted that he chose that area because those short trips could be easily planned by his staff while he worked on pressing matters relating to the Church and the upcoming General Conference in October. Interestingly, Elder Bennett also grew up in Canada and recalls listening to Church leaders on the radio as he grew up.

The Nelson's trip also coincided with several youth conferences, so the youth in attendance at those devotionals were able to cap off their participation by attending the devotionals President Nelson held. A common theme of the devotionals was following the prophet, with most offering their personal witness of President Nelson's prophetic call. Elder Andersen's remarks expanded on that subject as he shared further insights into his experience meeting with the other apostles and feeling the confirmation that President Nelson was meant to serve as the Lord's prophet at this time.

Sister Nelson, meanwhile, reiterated how much more frequently President Nelson receives revelation since his new assignment began, and spoke particularly of how she received quiet assurance that his new role was directed by the Lord, with that confirmation coming two days before President Monson's passing, when most of the top Church leadership knew that prospect was imminent. Presdient Nelson focused his remarks on the need Saints in Winnipeg had to be prepared for the temple that is currently under construction in that city.

In the meantime, his remarks in Montreal and Hamilton focused, as previously noted, on the circumstances surrounding the release of the statement he made about the importance of using the Church's correct name. His remarks also focused on the "10 things [he] knows for sure" and, in speaking to children, emphasizing the fact that we are all children of God. He spoke in a couple of locations about the gathering of Israel as well, in addition to touching on the subject of diversity in the Church, and particularly the diversity of the Saints in Canada.

You can find out more about the highlights of teachings shared by President Nelson during this trip in this article (which focuses on his addresses given in Eastern and Central Canada) and this article (which contains a summary of his comments about his statement related to the name of the Church.

I had hoped to cover more Church news than just one story in this post, but will have to split the original content into at least one other post, which I will have published here later today. 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.

Some Additional Musings on Temples Which Currently Are Being or May Soon Be Renovated

Hello again, everyone! I became aware earlier today of an update which has been provided on the renovation process for the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple. According to that latest update, stone cladding is currently underway. As I mentioned earlier, a while ago, given the consistent progress this temple has made, although it closed after the Memphis Tennessee Temple did, all signs indicate that the OKC temple will be completed and dedicated first.

Right now, as you are all probably aware, we have 10 temples currently undergoing renovation. Unless something has changed that I am not aware of, while the Asuncion Paraguay Temple was closed almost a year ago, the renovation process has yet to formally begin. For that reason, it may be difficult (if not impossible) to pinpoint a general or more specific completion estimate for that temple.

What I do know, however, is that we have the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple anticipated within the first six months of next year, but possibly on the earlier end of that estimate. OKC and Memphis are anticipated to be completed in mid-2019 (which I am interpreting as anytime between May and September).

And as I mentioned in an earlier post, although the Raleigh North Carolina Temple and the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple are both scheduled to be completed in mid-to-late 2019 (which I interpret as being between July and December), given the fact that Baton Rouge has seemed to make more consistent progress than its' counterpart in Raleigh, I have switched the two.

I have also previously mentioned my impression that, since the Oakland California Temple is both older and having its' first renovation process, although it was anticipated for rededication in 2019, I have placed my personal estimate for that general time-frame between late 2019 and early 2020. In the meantime, the Tokyo Japan Temple, which is smaller, may be rededicated in early-to-mid 2020.

The temples in Mesa Arizona (which is older but has been renovated previously) and Washington DC (which is both closing for its' first renovation and is on the larger side) are both anticipated to be rededicated in mid-to-late 2020. Although the temple in DC closed before the one in Mesa, I feel reasonably certain that the latter will be rededicated before the former.

In the meantime, the Hamilton New Zealand Temple, which closed for renovation just under one month ago, is anticipated to be rededicated sometime during 2021, and the general information I have points to a completion window during the early or middle part of that year.

Given the fact that President Nelson's enthusiasm for temples is reportedly such that he will be expanding the number of temples in some manner, I have no doubts that, as other temples get older and need a renovation process, that process will occur.

And since we also have heard very recently from apostles and the Executive Directors of the Church's Temple Department that temples generally are closed for renovation every 30-40 years or so, I am anticipating that the following temples may also be closed for renovation within the next few years:

Preliminary Note: The list below is based on previous statements by apostles and the Executive Directors of the Church’s Temple Department to the effect that temples need to be renovated roughly every 30-40 years or so to keep them seismically and systemically up-to-date.

Temples which may be renovated in the near-future:
1.      St. George Utah (dedicated in 1877; first rededicated in 1975)
2.      Logan Utah (dedicated in 1884; first rededicated in 1979)
3.      Manti Utah (dedicated in 1888; first rededicated in 1985)
4.      Los Angeles California (dedicated in 1956)
5.      Provo Utah (dedicated in 1972)
6.      Seattle Washington (dedicated in 1980)
7.      Sydney Australia (dedicated in 1984)
8.      Manila Philippines (dedicated in 1984)
9.      Dallas Texas (dedicated in 1984; addition only rededicated in 1989)
10.  Taipei Taiwan (dedicated in 1984)
11.  Guatemala City Guatemala (dedicated in 1984)
12.  Stockholm Sweden (dedicated in 1985)
13.  Chicago Illinois (dedicated in 1985; addition only rededicated in 1989)
14.  Johannesburg South Africa (dedicated in 1985)
15.  Seoul Korea (dedicated in 1985)
16.  Lima Peru (dedicated in 1986)
17.  Denver Colorado (dedicated in 1986)
18.  Portland Oregon (dedicated in 1989)
19.  Las Vegas Nevada (dedicated in 1989)
20.  Toronto Ontario (dedicated in 1990)

Temples built during the Hinckley-era boom (which may be redesigned):

Originally dedicated in 1999:
1.      Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Mexico
2.      Madrid Spain
3.      Bogota Colombia
4.      Guayaquil Ecuador
5.      Spokane Washington
6.      Columbus Ohio
7.      Bismarck North Dakota
8.      Columbia South Carolina
9.      Detroit Michigan
10.  Halifax Nova Scotia
11.  Regina Saskatchewan
12.  Billings Montana
13.  Edmonton Alberta

Originally dedicated in 2000:
1.      St. Paul Minnesota
2.      Kona Hawaii
3.      Ciudad Juarez Mexico
4.      Hermosillo Sonora Mexico
5.      Albuquerque New Mexico
6.      Oaxaca Mexico
7.      Tuxtla Gutierrez Mexico
8.      Louisville Kentucky
9.      Palmyra New York
10.  Fresno California
11.  Medford Oregon
12.  Reno Nevada
13.  Cochabamba Bolivia
14.  Tampico Mexico
15.  Villahermosa Mexico
16.  San Jose Costa Rica
17.  Fukuoka Japan
18.  Adelaide Australia
19.  Melbourne Australia
20.  Merida Mexico
21.  Veracruz Mexico
22.  Caracas Venezuela
23.  Birmingham Alabama
24.  Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
25.  Boston Massachusetts
26.  Recife Brazil

27.  Porto Alegre Brazil

Whatever might occur in that regard, you can depend on my posting about it here as I learn of those developments. 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.