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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! I am back to finally share the additional Church news stories which have recently crossed my radar. Let's get right into all of those. First, in advance of the upcoming General Conference, an article from the Church's News and Events subpage (not to be confused with the official Newsroom), shared two articles, the first of which highlighted how Church members from 3 different continents (each of whom lives outside of Utah) enjoy General Conference every six months.

The second story highlights testimonies from each current member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (shared either during the April General Conference, via social media, or as part of their worldwide ministry visits to various areas) about the divinely foreordained calling of Church President Russell M. Nelson.

I just want to interject a personal note here. Many people who are either ignorant, arrogant, or are lacking a clear understanding of the way the leading councils of the Church craft policy, practice, and general decisions impacting the entire Church have been relentless in advancing the notion that, now that President Nelson is "in charge", he is changing everything he can, as quickly as he can, on no more than a personal preference or whim.

But the reality, which some choose to either overlook or blindly ignore, is that no policy, practice, or decision is ever made by the President of the Church unless and until there is full unanimity about such matters among all those in the apostleship.

While any Church President does have the right, authority, and divinely-mandated obligation to discern and present the will of the Lord to his fellow apostles, unless all feel good about such actions, President Nelson would never unilaterally change such things on a personal whim or preference, without the input, support, and consent of his Brethren.

He and his predecessors have made that abundantly clear. Some people either aren't aware of that or choose to overlook it. Sorry. It's a sore spot for me that so many voice opinions without bothering to educate themselves about how things really work in the Church in that regard.

Getting off my soapbox now, we turn to other developments upon which the Church News has reported. A more complete report was provided about Elder Uchtdorf's recent tour of Europe. Elder Uchtdorf has long been one of my favorites, and I greatly appreciate hearing more about his recent ministry efforts.

In the meantime, the Church News also provided a look at how those of the rising generation have strengthened the Church in Cambodia. And the Church News additionally shared an inspiring love story about two young adults in the Church who helped each other and thereby fell in love as they individually battled cancer.

I greatly appreciated the opportunity to find and share these developments with you all. 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.

New Temple Developments Reported

Hello again, everyone! I am back to share some updates on a couple of temples. I had also hoped to cover some additional Church news which has been reported today, but will have to save that for another post later today. First, with the open house for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple set to begin exactly one month from today, the work of planting clusters of flowers on the temple grounds is almost complete.

Additionally, several developments have been reported on the construction process for the Durban South Africa Temple. Rather than trying to summarize all of those, I refer those interested to the Facebook page for the Church of Jesus Christ Temples site. That site, as previously noted, is anticipated to be up and running again this Saturday, if all goes well.

I again want to reemphasize something I have previously noted: Although the developments reported on temples anticipated to be completed next year are very encouraging, there is currently no reason to believe that those temples will be dedicated any sooner than specified by the estimates I offered on this blog previously. In summary, the anticipated time-frame for known temple events within the next 15 months is as follows:

October 28: Dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple (confirmed)
December 9: Dedication of the Barranquilla Colombia Temple (confirmed)
At some point (hopefully sooner rather than later): Full-scale renovation anticipated to begin on the Asuncion Paraguay Temple
Note: This temple closed almost a year ago (in November 2017), but has been stalled in its' renovation process. While I would hope that process would not be stalled for too much longer, unless a miracle occurs, I would not anticipate that process getting underway within the final two months of this year. By extension, that also means that the Church's estimated reopening of that temple at some point in 2019 will not occur either.
March 10-17: Dedication of the Rome Italy Temple (confirmed)
April 14: Dedication of the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple (confirmed)
Early-to-mid 2019: Dedication of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple; Rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple
Note: Although the two events above may be considered somewhat interchangeable, and although I voiced my opinion that the rededication of the Frankfurt temple could occur before the already-scheduled dedication of the Rome Italy Temple, since the dedication of that temple is now 5 months away, and since there has been no official announcement on the Frankfurt temple, it seems more likely that the rededication of the Frankfurt temple will not occur until sometime after the already-scheduled dedications of the two temples above.
Mid-2019: Dedication of the Port-au-Prince Haiti and Lisbon Portugal Temples; Rededication of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma and Memphis Tennessee Temples
Note: Although the four temples may be considered interchangeable in terms of their future completion, the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple, which is on the smaller side, is likely to be completed before the Lisbon Portugal Temple, and the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple has been confirmed as being ahead of the Memphis Tennessee Temple, although the latter closed first.
Mid-to-late 2019: Dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple; Rededication of the Raleigh North Carolina and Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple
Note: With the consistent progress reported within the last month on the construction of the Durban South Africa Temple, I would anticipate that temple's dedication to occur first. And although I had previously shared my thoughts that the rededication of the Baton Rouge Temple would occur first, a recent reevaluation of the information which I had available indicates that the Raleigh Temple is still slightly ahead.
Late 2019-early 2020: Rededication of the Oakland California Temple
Note: According to information given to me by a Church member living in Oakland, the Saints in that area were advised that this temple will reopen next year, as was indicated by the Church when this renovation process was announced. That said, my research indicates that temples undergoing renovation, particularly those that are older, may be delayed in their completion. For example, when the Frankfurt temple closed in 2015, it was anticipated to reopen in 2017, and, as noted, its' rededication is now estimated to occur in early-to-mid 2019. With that in mind, I have felt to be more conservative in my estimate for this temple until its' reopening in 2019 is certain.

Of course, some temple groundbreakings are also anticipated to occur within the next 15 months as well, but until more is known, I will forbear from including estimates for those for now. That said, I am working on an update to my general estimates for future temple events, and may include such estimates there if I feel confident enough in doing so at the time I am able to post them here.

I continue to monitor all 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.

Church Releases Official Statement on Decades-Old Abuse Allegations

Hello again, everyone! As I have mentioned in previous posts and comments on this blog, one of the signs leading up to the Second Coming of the Savior is that both good and evil would be spoken of about both the Church and its' leaders, and that some of that might involve at times Church leaders being accused of misconduct that is unverified by investigations. We saw that several years ago, when former Church member Tom Phillips filed a lawsuit in a British court against President Thomas S. Monson, alleging fraudulent conduct. That lawsuit was later dismissed as groundless.

Well, apparently, it is happening again. An unnamed party has filed a lawsuit against a "John and Jane Doe", who have been identified by their attorney as one of current Church President Nelson's daughter and son-in-law, in which allegations of child abuse dating back from the 1980s resurfaced, along with an allegation that the leaders of the Church both interfered with the investigation of those allegations and attempted to cover them up.

The Deseret News has shared the details of those allegations, what was done to investigate them, and how those involved in the process of investigating the claims have categorically denied that Church leaders did anything to interfere with or cover up the allegations. In the meantime, since the media asked the Church to comment on this issue, the Church released an official statement earlier today.

But there are several real problems I have with this issue: it appears that the therapist who counseled the children involved in the alleged abuse has been verified to be someone who has previously planted "false memories" in the minds of those she counseled. Additionally, a polygraph test was done on all those who were accused of such conduct, with the result that all were telling the truth about their innocence in the matter.

And the real kicker is that the unnamed party making these allegations is represented by the same attorney who has been representing McKenna Denson, who has gained notoriety for her allegations against her former MTC president, Joseph Bishop, and who, not being content to let the legal or religious investigations into her allegations take its' course, went so far as to confront Bishop's local congregation with her allegations, and to accuse his local leaders of assaulting her when they tried to assert that this was neither the time, place, or way to handle this.

All of this convinces me that in this era where the "#MeToo" movement is gaining momentum, there will naturally and sadly be false, unfounded accusations against people for whom such behavior is truly contrary to their nature, and against whom such accusations may be raised so their alleged victims can have a moment of publicity, and can smear the good name and reputation of genuinely good people.

Let me be clear: I am not trying to minimize or trivialize the trauma that many have experienced at the hands of those who have abused them, or to in any way condone such behavior. As a Church member, I ascribe to the views expressed by our Church leaders that abuse of any kind is highly reprehensible, and that, when proven, those responsible should be held accountable to the fullest legal and religious extent possible.

That said, false accusations are not all that uncommon, particularly against those who are in positions of power (in worldly terms) or authority (in religious terms), and that was true before the "#MeToo" movement ever started. Particularly in relation to these allegations, they seem to have no basis in fact, and the odds that this alleged abuse actually occurred seem to be slim to none.

I had hoped to include some temple updates in this post, but since my analysis in this post was more in-depth than I intended it to be, I will need to do a separate post highlighting those. That does it for now. 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.