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Monday, October 29, 2018

Additional Church News Reported (Including Official Statement on Pittsburgh Tragedy)

Hello again, everyone! Some additional Church news has been reported within the last 12 hours or less, which I wanted to pass along today. Most notably, an official statement has been released by the Church in response to this weekend's shooting at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Jewish mosque. Though only two paragraphs in length, the strongly-worded statement expresses prayers and support for those impacted by the tragedy, addresses the violation of the sanctity of houses of worship (which is what happened here), provided a strong and unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitic attitudes and actions, and spelled out our mutual obligation to protect the rights of people of all faiths to worship as they choose.

This statement appears to me to be the most strongly- and forcefully-worded reaction to such a situation I have seen in any of the wide coverage on this tragic event. The idea that anyone would interfere with another's God-given and (in the United States) constitutionally-protected right to worship as they choose rightly ought to be repulsive to people of all religions or no religion.

We have also seen a sharp increase in politically- and religiously-motivated attacks, and I appreciate the First Presidency issuing this statement, which makes the Church's position on this matter clear. President Nelson has echoed the invitation previously issued by President Hinckley: "Bring all the good you have, and let us see if we can add to it."  That invitation still stands, but it is coupled with the doctrine found in the 11th article of faith (which is the only one that does not begin with "We believe"),

That article states the following: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." As the statement capably observed, a threat to the rights of anyone to practice their religion is a threat to the rights of all those who practice any or no religion. The Church's statement is yet another in the series of recent examples demonstrating just how much our apostles and prophets are aware of what's happening in the world, and are thus able to appropriately and unequivocally condemn such behavior.

Moving on to other Church news that has come in, a couple more articles have been released in relation to yesterday's dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple. President Nelson spoke to media representatives following that event, and he made some very interesting observations about how he views the Church, his recent South American trip, and regarding what's ahead for him. Among the things he said was that the Church is still in the process of being restored, and that "there is much more to come."

After sharing the history of the Church in Chile (including that of the Concepcion Chile Temple), the article goes on to talk about how rapidly the Church has expanded in South America since his birth in 1924. There were also insights shared from members whose families were among the first to join the Church as Chilean natives. It was also observed that the Concepcion Chile Temple was built with the view to protecting it from future natural disasters, and the article noted that, in the temple, an earthquake ranking at 10 on the Richter scale would, within the temple walls, only have an impact of 2 on that same scale.

President Nelson then made another remarkable statement. After reiterating the idea that prophets and apostles are called to serve the world, and not just to be special witnesses of Christ to the members of the Church, he said that the 5 countries he visited on this trip were just a "drop in the bucket", or, in other terms, he has barely scratched the surface. He announced his intention to do another leg of his Global Ministry Tour in the near future, and said that, while he may not get a chance to visit each of the over 200 nations in the world, he will get to as many as he can.

Noting that, I ran some calculations, and with President Nelson having visited Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, South America, and various areas of the United States and Canada, about the only regions he hasn't visited as Church president yet are the Pacific Islands (which, by extension, may include the Philippines) and Brazil. If I have any of that information incorrect, please feel free to let me know.

In the meantime, the man who wrote a recent biography for Pope Francis had the opportunity to sit down with and interview President Nelson during this leg of his South American trip, and noted some insights he gained through both scenarios about why leaders need to get close to the people they serve. And a photographer has provided some insight into what it is like to travel with the prophet. All of these news stories are well worthy of your time and attention, and I can recommend them to you all without reservation. I do continue to monitor any and all Church news stories and temple developments and will keep doing my level best to pass those along to you all as I receive word of 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.

Further Changes On the Design and Layout of This Blog

Hello again, everyone! This will just be a quick post to note that I have continued to make periodic tweaks to the look, layout, and configuration of this blog. The layout as it now stands will hopefully provide a better experience for all of you who read it. A comment on content I posted several hours ago alerted me to some issues with some of the things I had tried to adjust, and hopefully I have fixed that issue, and no further tweaks will be necessary for the next little while.

That said, if any of you have any feedback for me on what is working and what isn't in relation to this new look and feel, I'd especially appreciate hearing from you. I am constantly gratified to know that my thoughts, such as they are, regarding things I feel impressed to "sound off" about are contributing, in some small way, to the ongoing discussion of Church news and temple developments.

I do continue to monitor all such things on an ongoing basis, and will, to the best of my ability, keep passing 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.