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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: BYU-Provo Commencement/President Nelson To Visit Puerto Rico

Hello again, everyone! I have somewhat breaking news on two different fronts. First, BYU-Provo, with the approval of the Church Board of Education, has announced that it will no longer hold commencement exercises in the fall, but will instead hold one graduation ceremony each April, to which all who will complete their education during any given year will be invited. You can find more details on that here.

In the meantime, for the first time in a decade or more, the Caribbean Saints will welcome a prophet of the Lord to their islands. President Russell M. and Sister Wendy W. Nelson, accompanied by Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife Ruth L. Renlund, are set to speak at a missionary meeting and member devotional which will originate from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, which will be broadcast to other regions in the Caribbean on Saturday September 1.

The following day, the Nelsons and Renlunds will be in Puerto Rico, where they will all be speaking at a devotional for members that will be similarly broadcast to those who cannot attend in person. While this has not been verified, I would imagine that part of their time in the Caribbean will be spent visiting the site of the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple.

The Puerto Rican members of the Church are still recovering from the aftermath of the hurricane that struck their island nation nearly a year ago. For that reason, while I would love to see the Church announce a temple for Puerto Rico during General Conference in around a month, that prospect may not be as imminent as it appears to be. It also appears that President Nelson did not want to delay assessing the situation firsthand there.  You can find the Church News report on this development here.

It is also interesting that the second leg of this trip will be observed one week prior to President Nelson's 94th birthday. And he continues the tradition of just stopping between trips long enough to get a new traveling companionship from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. If he continues to make trips to nearby areas roughly once a month, and more extended trips once or twice a year, it will not be long at all before he has visited a wide variety of Saints from various world regions.

I have not found official confirmation of this, but it would make sense to me if he is the one to travel to Chile in late October and Colombia in mid-December to dedicate the temples there. In the interim, I can see him continuing to travel as time and circumstances allow. It is indeed awe-inspiring to think that the second-oldest man to ever be ordained president of the Church is as vibrant and healthy (if not more so) than any Church President has been since the early days of President Hinckley's presidency.

While the length of his presidency is up to the Lord, it is amazing that, at his age, he is still making regular trips outside the United States. I am sure he will continue to do so as his time, circumstances, and health allow, and you can find all the latest information on those travels here as I become aware of it.

In the meantime, I wanted to additionally note that the Church has also reported on an area-wide Family Home Evening that was carried by Facebook Live to all Saints in Brazil while President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were visiting to conduct Church business there. This was the first time Elder Soares returned to his homeland since his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles almost 5 months ago.

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.