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Monday, October 8, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Groundbreaking Confirmed for Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple

Hello again, everyone! As indicated by the Church of Jesus Christ Temples webpage for the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple, the groundbreaking for that temple has been confirmed. This confirmation has not yet been posted on the main English edition of the Newsroom on the Church's website, but was posted 4 days ago on the edition of the Newsroom for Ghana. I imagine therefore that the confirmation from the main newsroom will occur within the next few days. The ceremony is set to occur on November 8, 2018, at 10:00 AM Ivory Coast time (which is 4:00 AM on the same day here in Utah)..

It is nice to have this confirmed. From the image of this temple, it appears to be a smaller one, which may take between 18-24 months to construct. For that reason, I will be adding a potential initial completion estimate for that temple to my report, and I will set it to mid-to-late 2020.

I also wanted to note as well that I do not yet have any additional word on anything else upcoming in terms of future temple groundbreakings, but if President Nelson felt impressed to announce 19 temples this year, then I am sure he will likewise be putting into place something to enable temples to move more swiftly from announcement to groundbreaking to dedication.

And it would not surprise me if all of the temples currently announced (with the definite exception of Bangkok Thailand and Pocatello Idaho, and the possible exception of 2-3 others), were to be on that smaller side. Some will certainly need to be larger, but if the Church can do so, I believe that the most feasible option would be to rapidly build a bunch of smaller temples.

From what we also know (in view of recent developments) at least the Nairobi Kenya Temple, for which land has been selected but not yet publicly identified, that temple is anticipated to be dedicated at some point in 2021. So that one is almost sure to have a groundbreaking within the next 6-8 months if not sooner. I continue to monitor all such developments and will post word of them here as they are disclosed.

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.

President M. Russell Ballard Celebrates His 90th Birthday; Lays His Wife to Rest

Hello again, everyone! With the stunning General Conference developments that occurred, I somehow spaced the fact that both President Ballard's 90th birthday would be observed and his wife's funeral would be held. There's a lot to discuss, so let's dive right in.
First of all, in relation to the funeral services for Barbara B. Ballard, as of the time this post was written, I could not find any coverage of it. I assume that will be provided later today, so I will pass word of that along to you all as I receive it.

In the meantime, as it is President Ballard's 90th birthday, he now joins the ranks of nonagenarian apostles, becoming the 19th man on that list. On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, he will assume the 18th spot currently held by J. Reuben Clark. His next milestone on that list will be observed on Thursday February 21, 2019, at which point he will have lived longer than President Thomas S. Monson. As far as I am aware, he (President Ballard) remains in fairly good health, and is actively directing the business before the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

That said, let's get to some biographical details. Melvin Russell Ballard Jr. was born in Salt Lake City Utah to Melvin Russell Sr. & Geraldine Smith Ballard, on this day in 1928. Both his paternal & maternal grandfathers (Melvin J. Ballard & Hyrum M. Smith) were apostles, and Elder Ballard is thus a direct descendant of the early leaders of the Church (Hyrum M. was the son of Joseph F., who was the son of Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith).

As I previously mentioned, the Church has, by tradition, had at least one apostle currently serving who has ancestral ties to the Smith family. It is further interesting to note that Bruce R. McConkie, who was the last apostle indirectly related to the Smith family (being the son-in-law of Joseph Fielding Smith, who was the son of Joseph F. who was the son of Hyrum, who was the brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith), was the apostle whose death resulted in the apostolic vacancy that necessitated Elder Ballard's call.

He served as a missionary in England, as has been noted in previous blog posts. Upon his return, he served in the US Army Reserves, where he rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. As a result of obtaining his secondary education from the University of Utah, he met a young lady named Barbara Bowen, whom he married on August 8, 1951 in the Salt Lake Temple. As noted earlier, she died on October 1 of this year, and was laid to rest today.

They became the parents of 7 children, and one of their daughters, Brynn, married Peter Huntsman, whose mother, Karen Haight Huntsman, is the daughter of Elder David B. Haight, one of Elder Ballard's apostolic colleagues. It is interesting to see that additional relationship Elder Ballard has to other LDS apostles.

Brother Ballard worked professionally in auto sales. His Church service included serving as a counselor to his mission president, as a bishop twice, and as president of the Canada Toronto Mission. He completed the final year of that assignment as a General Authority Seventy, having received that call in April 1976.

Less than four years later, on February 20, 1980, he was called to the Presidency of the Seventy. In the August 1985 Ensign, Church leaders reported that they had created an international mission, which would be supervised from Salt Lake City for the purpose of ministering to members in outlying areas in which no formal Church units had been formed, and Elder Ballard was asked to preside over that mission in his capacity as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. Within the next 5 years and 7 months or so, he had become the third most senior member of that Presidency. In the October 1985 General Conference, as a result of the death of Elder Bruce R. McConkie just over 5 months earlier, M. Russell Ballard was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Elder Ballard is known and respected for the emphasis he has placed on missionary work in his apostolic ministry. Since October 1985, he has moved from the position of the junior apostle to now being the 3rd in apostolic seniority. In his 33 years as an apostle, he has given 67 talks in General Conference: in addition to the 9 he gave in his previous capacities as a General Authority Seventy and in the Presidency of the Seventy, that brings his total number of General Conference talks to 76 (which includes the one he gave during this last General Conference, for which the transcript will be available later this week). All of these addresses are well worthy of review.

As I mentioned above, his wife's funeral was held today, and I will be bringing a report of those services to you as soon as such information becomes available. In the meantime, I am grateful for the life, ministry, and serve of President Melvin Russell Ballard and hope he will, in spite of his wife's funeral, be able to have a good day today.

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.