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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! Several Church News stories have been reported since my last update on that subject. Let's get right into a discussion of those. First of all, as some of you may recall my mentioning, the Church has recently come out to clearly note that its' leaders support the use of medical marijuana, but cannot get on board with the current wording of a ballot initiative upon which Utahns will vote this November.

The Newsroom on the Church's official website shares this report of how Church leaders and representatives met with online influencers to more fully explain their stance. And in the meantime, at the top of the 10:00 PM newscast on KSL, the top story was this report from the Deseret News, highlighting how both those supporting and opposing the current measure have reached a tentative agreement about how the policy in Utah should eventually look, whether or not the measure passes. That was good to hear.

In the meantime, the Church News reported a few new developments as well, including additional comments from Elders Quentin L. Cook and Dale G. Renlund on why the new narrative history of the Church entitled "Saints" was written for everyone.

In the meantime, as I have previously mentioned, the Primary General Presidency, which was entirely reorganized in April 2016, has since seen numerous changes. While Sister Joy D. Jones has continued to serve as the Primary General President, her first First Counselor, Sister Jean B. Bingham, was called a year later as the new Relief Society General President. Her original Second Counselor, Bonnie H. Cordon, became her First Counselor in April 2017 as a result of Sister Bingham's assignment change. Then, last April, Sister Cordon was called as the new Young Women General President.

During the year in which they served together as a Primary Presidency, a major theme on which they focused their efforts was unity. That theme has continued to serve them well as Sisters Bingham and Cordon have embraced new opportunities to work with their own new auxiliary presidencies. And that unity will continue to serve them as they embrace another change, the opportunity to have the Women's Session of General Conference two hours following the Saturday Afternoon Session. The Church News had an opportunity to interview these three women recently, and that article is well worthy of your time and attention.

And finally, the Church has released another update to the Gospel Library app, which is a special section featuring articles created by young adults and for young adults. The general leadership of the Church has seemed to be increasing their efforts to reach out to youth and young adults and to help them feel wanted, understood, accepted, and appreciated, and it is good to see this development.

In the coming days, particularly as General Conference gets closer and takes place, there will likely be far more to report here in terms of both Church news and temple developments. To the best of my ability, I will continue to do my level best to monitor all of that and bring word of it to you here. I should also perhaps mention that, although the open commenting period for my General Conference predictions has technically ended, if there is nay additional feedback anyone has on those, I will try to take that under advisement as I finalize those predictions in the days ahead.

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 Noted

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again now to share some updated information on temples. Let's get right into all of that. First, a general update: I have previously shared my theory that the Church could have a minimum of 200 operating temples by or before the 200th anniversary of the Church (which will occur on Saturday April 6, 2030), whether or not an official goal is made to do so.

There are now 11.51 years between today and that day. And since the Church would just need to announce and 11 additional temples, in addition to completing the 30 currently in various phases of construction. That could easily be done if 3.56 temples were dedicated each year. And, as I have mentioned, although only 2 temples will be dedicated by the end of this year, 2 temples have already had dedications set for next year, and 4 others are also anticipated to be dedicated next year as well.

We also know that much has been said about President Nelson's extensive plans to expand the number of temples to a degree that will exceed what we previously saw under President Hinckley's divinely-inspired temple-building boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s. So I have no doubts that the Church could and likely will have 200 operating temples well before that date.

Moving on, new information I received recently indicates that the tower for the Arequipa Peru Temple is being prepared for the process of stone cladding. Additionally, I don't know whether or not I shared this previously, but, as some of you may recall, a while ago, I switched the order in which the Baton Rouge Louisiana and Raleigh North Carolina Temple were listed on my report because it seemed the former was progressing more consistently than the latter. I determined upon further research that I had done so in error (primarily because stone cladding is making progress in Raleigh but has not yet started in Baton Rouge).

I continue to monitor all temple developments and will do my level best to keep bringing word of those 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 content 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.

Elder Ulisses Soares Celebrates His 60th Birthday Today

Hello again, everyone! Now that October 2 has officially come around, it is my honor and with great pleasure that I bring you, for the first time, a post to honor Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who is celebrating his 60th birthday today. Elder Soares has a most unique life story and background, and I am grateful to share some thoughts about him with you all now.

Ulisses Soares was born to Apparecido Soares and Mercedes Carecho Soares in Sao Paulo Brazil on October 2, 1958. He has European and Amerindian ancestry. When an aunt joined the Church, that was how the Soares' family first learned of the gospel. His parents, after being taught by the missionaries, were baptized when he was five years old. Elder Soares would later reflect on how his small branch would meet in a tiny rental place that was located above a bakery. He served a full-time mission in Rio de Janeiro,

Upon his return, he connected with Rosana Fernandes Morgado, who had served in the same mission at around the same time, but whom he had not met until after they both had returned. The two were married in the Sao Paulo Temple, and together they raised three children. His academic experience involved studying at the  Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, from which, in 1985, he would receive a bachelor's degree in economics and accounting. He then continued his studies at the National Institute of Postgraduate Study, where he earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration.

Elder Soares worked for several multi-national companies (one of which was Pirelli Tire Company) as an accountant and an auditor. Donald L. Clark, who at that time was serving as director of temporal affairs for the Church in Brazil, convinced him to take a job with the Church as a senior auditor. When Brother Clark was asked to serve as a mission president, Brother Soares took over for him as director of temporal affairs. He went on to fill a special assignment for the Church's Presiding Bishopric.

Within the Church, Elder Soares has served as an elder's quorum president, counselor in a bishopric, stake high councilman, and as a regional welfare agent. When the São Paulo Brazil Cotia Stake was created in 1995, Elder Soares was called as the first president thereof. 5 years later, he served a three-year term as president of the Porto Portugal Mission. Less than two years after his return (during the April 2005 General Conference), he was called as a General Authority Seventy.

As a General Authority Seventy, he served as First Counselor in the Brazil South Area.from 2005-2007, as First Counselor in the Brazil Area from 2007-2009, and as President of that area from 2009-2011. He served from August 2011-January 2013 as First Counselor in the Africa Southeast Area Presidency, at which point he was called to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, with responsibility for the North America Southeast Area  Then, in November 2015, Elder Soares was reassigned to oversee the Idaho and North America Central Areas of the Church. He still had oversight of both of those areas in 2018.

On March 31, 2018, Elder Soares was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and he was ordained an apostle on Thursday April 5, 2018. He thus became both the first Latter-day Saint apostle from Brazil and the first one from Latin America. Elder Soares has had much opportunity to grow into his new assignment.

Elder Soares has had 6 opportunities to speak in General Conference so far, with 2 addresses given as a General Authority Seventy, 3 while in the Presidency of the Seventy, and 1 following his call to the apostleship. In order to review any of these wonderful addresses, you can find them here.

Elder Soares is a good man, and although he may never read this, I am grateful to have been able to put this birthday tribute together for him. I hope he has a good day today, and I look forward to hearing his first full address as an apostle in this upcoming General Conference. I wholeheartedly sustain him and all the other prophets, seers, and revelators in their roles and responsibilities as special witnesses of Christ.

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.