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Thursday, August 23, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Confirmation Provided That the Number of North America Areas Has Decreased From 10 to 6

Hello again, everyone! In this update provided on Mormon Newsroom, additional comments from Elders Christensen and Gerard and Sister Harkness were provided in response to today's press conference. Particularly, Elder Christensen noted that he would be sending out an e-mail to all over whom he, as area president, has stewardship.

I just read that e-mail. In signing it, Elder Christensen lists his title as "President, Utah Area", which is definitively singular. If there is only one Utah Area, that means that, by extension, the 10 North America Areas have indeed been consolidated down to 6, with the names of those areas as identified in the August Ensign.

It is good to have this confirmed, even indirectly. I will now need to update the documents I keep on area seventies to accommodate this change. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

BREAKING NEWS: First President Called for Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple; Coalition Details Problems With Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative

Hello again, everyone! There is breaking news on a couple of fronts today. First, the First Presidency has announced the call of the first president for the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple, who is a man that served as a mission president there, and would therefore be known to the Church members and leaders in that area.

This brings the total number of new temple presidents announced this year to 63. And the only temples I have left on my list of those that may get a new president are the Fortaleza Brazil and (possibly) Lisbon Portugal Temples (for which the first presidents would be called), and two for the operating temples in Veracruz Mexico and (possibly) Washington DC, though it may be that the Church will wait to make the call of the latter until the renovation process is finished in 2020.

That said, the bigger news is that the Church has joined a coalition of medical professionals, friends of other faiths, and many other individuals who had previously used medical cannabis at a press conference to share some concerns about the wording of the current initiative that will go before Utah voters this November. As some of you may recall, the Church provided this statement in May regarding the same concerns about the current wording for which the coalition held the press conference today.

I know that there may be many who would benefit from legalized medical cannabis here in Utah, and I would not personally want to hinder that occurring. At the same time, given the concerns raised by both the Church in general and the coalition in particular, it is plain that the initiative in question as currently worded is problematic, and for that reason, I trust those expressed opinions enough that I will be voting "no" on that initiative this November.

But there was a bigger takeaway for me than that out of this press conference. With the coalition having invited Church leadership to participate and share some remarks, the Church asked Elder Jack N. Gerard to represent them there. As I mentioned previously, he serves as the Executive Director of the Church Public Affairs Committee. Accompanying him at this event were Sister Lisa L. Harkness, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, and Elder Craig C. Christensen, to whom Elder Gerard referred as "president of the Utah area", which is a singular term.

As I mentioned previously, there has been some confusion lately in terms of whether there are 6 or 10 North America Areas with the changes that have been announced recently. Unless Elder Gerard misspoke, then perhaps this means that there are only 6 areas in North America now. I have reached out to the Church about this matter and, as far as I know, I have not heard a response as of yet. But if and when I do, I will pass that information along. In the meantime, the material that has been provided by the Church related to today's press conference held by the coalition can be found here

I continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to bring word of those to you as I become aware of such things. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.