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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! While I hope the conversation and main focus will continue to center on the predictions I put together for the upcoming General Conference (for which I will, as noted, be continuing to accept feedback for the next week or so) and on the game-changing temple developments reported today, I wanted to pass along some of the latest Church news stories which have come to my attention. We begin by talking about newly-reported developments on the Newsroom of the Church's official website, and then move to stories from the LDS Church News website. But I will also be noting stories posted on both websites where applicable. Let's get right into all of that.

While official confirmation of those latest temple developments is pending, both the Newsroom and Church News reported a new video series in support of those feeling suicidal, entitled: "Choose to Stay". The Church has recently taken greater steps to emphasize how precious and fleeting life is, and to urge those struggling with negative thoughts that lead to suicidal feelings to seek help, and to talk to those they love about how they are feeling. Given that none of us knows what is going through the heads of others unless they choose to share such information, anyone in tune with the Spirit can help minister to those who may feel lost, worthless, hopeless, or that life is no longer worth living.

But there has also been an increased emphasis by the Church about the fact that we don't know the exact situation of those who do take their own lives, and that's why it is important for all of us to leave the judgement of such people and their situations in the hands of the Lord.. That said, there seems to have been a greater emphasis by the Church that preventing anyone from getting to the point where they are determined to go through with taking their own lives is always the best option. I hope we will heed the counsel of these leaders and look out for those who may be troubled to that degree.

And the reports of Church members ministering in their communities and elsewhere to individuals and locations devastated by recent storms continues with a report highlighting ongoing relief efforts, with accounts of how both those devastated by the storms and those in neighboring regions have come together to help clean up and repair the devastated regions, and the hearts of those affected by such disasters.

Turning now to the Church News, roughly 1.5 years since the scripture mastery program was replaced by doctrinal mastery for seminary students around the world, the Church News provides a look at how the initiative has had a positive influence on the lives of the youth and seminary teachers around the world.

The Church News continued their "From the Vault" series highlighting classic addresses given by Church leaders and their spouses over the years. There have been many summaries of amazing addresses shared recently, and I encourage each of you to peruse that section as time allows. It is well worth your time.

Speaking at the weekly devotional for LDS Business College at the Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City, Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse unexpectedly surprised those in a attendance by briefly performing a piano duet with one of the faculty members. The Church News provides these details about that impromptu performance and the counsel he provided to those students during that time.

And finally, during a visit to the South America South Area (over which he has a supervisory role), Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reflected on how he was able to pass on a lesson he had learned from another Church leader.

Elder Rasband, as most or all of you may recall, has served as a General Authority since April 2000, becoming a member of the Presidency of the Seventy in August 2005, and going on to become the Senior President of the Seventy less than four years later, in April 2009. He would still be serving in that capacity at the time of his call to the apostleship in October 2015.

Anyways, he recalled traveling on one occasion with Elder Richard G. Scott to Argentina (where the latter had served as a mission president years before, and where, as some of you may recall, one of his missionaries was a future apostolic colleague, Elder D. Todd Christofferson). On that occasion, when Elders Scott and Rasband found they were on a tight schedule, Elder Rasband suggested to Elder Scott that they forgo sharing handshakes with the members in consideration of the time limit. Elder Scott grabbed him by the lapel of his suit and explained that part of his role as an apostle was to greet the members, look into their eyes, and shake their hands. He went on to say that if time was truly an issue, he would keep his remarks brief to allow time to greet the members, and that's exactly what occurred.

During Elder Rasband's visit to the South America South Area, his General Authority companion, Elder Carlos A. Godoy, who, as a new member of the Presidency of the Seventy, now assists Elder Rasband with the supervision of that area, noticed a similar time constraint and essentially made the same suggestion. Remembering Elder Scott's words and example to him from years earlier, Elder Rasband did the same thing, gently grabbing Elder Godoy by the lapel, while explaining that part of his role was to greet the Saints, shake their hands, and look into their eyes, and that he would, if need be, cut his remarks short to allow that to occur.

I love accounts like this, where the memory of instruction from an apostle who has since passed away blesses not only a newer apostle who takes it to heart, but also blesses the future leaders of the Church, particularly members of the Presidency of the Seventy, many of whom have been "apostles-in-training" (by which I mean that 8 of our 15 current apostles were serving in the Presidency of the Seventy at the time of their calls, so that Presidency is a prime place from which apostolic candidates are selected).

And even for those members of the Presidency of the Seventy that do not go on to serve as apostles, their divinely appointed roles, along with their General Authority Seventy counter-parts, is that they "instead of any others", should be called upon to "assist the Twelve" as the need arises and as the work requires. Therefore, in a very real sense, the ministry of all men ordained to the office of seventy, either as a general authority or area seventy, is an extension of the ministry of the apostles worldwide.

It has been my honor to bring summaries of these developments to you all at this time. I do continue to monitor any and all Church news stories, in addition to temple developments, and am committed to bringing word of those to you as I receive it.

As a quick closing note, I am working as I can on updating my previously-provided estimates for known future temple-related events. Based on the newest milestones and updates that I have heard of and which I have found, I will be hoping to post that here hopefully before the end of this month. I also continue to accept any and all comments on my predictions for next General Conference until Monday October 1, so continued feedback is welcome specifically on that.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. 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.

Temple Updates Provided

Hello again, everyone! There have been a few more temple updates reported in the last several hours. I think I can pass them along without having to post my entire report again. So let's get right into all of them. We start with an update on the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple, which will, if all goes well, be the next to have a dedication scheduled. On the grounds of that temple, the installation of pavers and plants continues at a steady rate. The general time-frame for that temple's completion remains early-to-mid 2019, and I have ventured my opinion that a dedication is possible in mid-April.

At the Raleigh North Carolina Temple, stone cladding continues at a steady pace. As some of you may recall, a while ago, based on the progress I saw with the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple, which has seemed to progress more consistently than the Raleigh Temple, I switched the two. Given the fact that we have seen an increased number of updates on the Raleigh renovation recently, I may be rethinking that.

Now to the big news: According to a report from a Church member in the Abidjan Ivory Coast, a groundbreaking for that temple is anticipated to be held on November 8 of this year. I hope that turns out to be the case. However, I looked for verification of this on the Church News website, and on the Church's official website (on both the News & Events page and the Newsroom), and I even consulted the Newsroom page for the Ivory Coast, which I had Google translate from French to English. The long and the short of it is that I have not yet found confirmation that this report is accurate. And there has been no release of an artist's rendering or an official site announcement.

I hope that this report does turn out to be true. That would give me hope that the Abidjan temple will have a groundbreaking this year in addition to the one in Bangkok. However, until this is officially confirmed in some way through official Church sources, I am taking this information with a grain of salt.

I continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to pass word of those along to you all as I receive it. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. 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.