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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Personal Update/Upcoming Projects For This Blog & Church Events

Hello again, everyone! It has been 12 days since my last post, and I feel I owe all of you an explanation. In the late night hours when Saturday November 18 became Sunday November 19, I became violently ill. For a while, I resisted my wife's insistence that we take me to the emergency room, but after reevaluating my symptoms and motivations, I agreed with her assessment, and we headed out.

A few hours later, while at the ER, we discovered I had a couple of kidney stones. After some very rapid investigations and doctor consultations, we were able to get the worst of that problem dealt with, though I will have to go back in at some point to finalize that process. Over the following 8-9 days, I initially was in recuperation, but then became ill again. After some additional tests, we learned that my appendix had become enlarged, and were told that, while there was no imminent danger of additional problems from that condition, getting it removed would likely be beneficial.

And so my wife and I discussed what was to be done. At first, I remained a little stubborn and didn't want to go through with it. But after the two of us had a prayer together, my wife ran home to take care of some errands. Left alone with my thoughts, I received a very strong and direct rebuke from the Lord, which was so clear it could not be mistaken as anything else: I needed to have the procedure done. First thing  yesterday morning, I was wheeled into the OR where we got that taken care of. My progress was steady enough that the doctors arranged for my release to go home in the mid-to-latter part of the evening. I have been recuperating at home ever since.

With that explanation given, I wanted to apologize for a few things, whether or not anyone else feels I need to do so. First, with my condition being what it was, I did not have the health or physical capacity to track/report on Church news and temple developments within this period of time. Second, while I did see the latest comments added to this blog, I was unable to reply to them before now (though I did try repeatedly to do so while my in-hospital recuperation continued).

Third, since i couldn't get replies posted to the comments recently added to this blog, I was likewise unable to post this personal update within the last week or so. And finally, with my having spent the last 10 days in the hospital, I have lots of updates to make to some of the personal files I keep (most notably those related to apostolic milestones and temple construction. What that means for this blog over the next little while is that it may be a minimum week or two (but possibly longer) before I will be able to get back to the meticulous, minute reports on day-to-day Church news and temple developments which have been typically found on this blog throughout the last year.

That said, I will be sure to bring all major developments to you (including any and all breaking Church news and major temple developments, in addition to the latest apostolic milestones). Among those specific projects I have in mind for the immediate and near future will be the birthday tributes for Elders Jeffrey R. Holland (who is set to observe his 78th birthday on December 3) and Gerrit W. Gong (who will celebrate his 65th birthday on December 23).

The week before Elder Gong's birthday (December 16, which will coincide with my own birthday), it is my hope to bring you the final apostolic statistical update for this year. But my top priority after updating the files I referenced earlier will be fulfilling my promise to finalize and publish my April 2019 General Conference predictions. The main hold-up on those is the work that remains in annotating the important information supporting the candidates on my list of locations which could have a temple announced next April.

But hopefully ax I continue to heal from my most recent health adventure, those things will quickly be able to be put together and published here on my blog, and, as noted, if all goes well, I would anticipate being able to resume the more complete reports of Church news and temple developments sometime within the next month or two. In the meantime, for those who want to track the developments which I won't be able to report on during this time, you can find them via the Church News website, the Church of Jesus Christ Temples page, the News & Events page on the Church's official website, and, of course, the Church's official Newsroom.

Also upcoming this weekend will be the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional, which is anticipate to include 3-4 speakers, one each from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and one or two others from among the other general authorities and general officers of the Church. President Nelson has shown a willingness to deviate from typical patterns when the Lord prompts him to do so, so something similar may occur this Sunday. Then, a week after that, Church leaders are set to dedicate the Barranquilla Colombia Temple.

I mentioned earlier that Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund would be the featured speakers for the first Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults next year (which will be held on Sunday January 13). But the Church has also since noted that Elder Ronald A. Rasband, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will be the featured speaker at the annual "Evening with a General Authority", which, as some of you may be aware, is the broadcast for seminary and institute instructors and their spouses. Less than one month later, on March 2, RootsTech, which is a Church-sponsored organization supporting family history, will hold their annual Discovery Day.

April General Conference will be held over the weekend of Saturday April 6-Sunday April 7. Then on May 2-3, BYU will hold its' annual Women's Conference, which will feature speakers from among the general leadership of the Church. The following Sunday, on May 5, Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy will be the featured speaker for the Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults. The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present their annual Pioneer Day Concert on July 20.

The final Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults in 2019 is set for September 8, with the speaker to be announced within the next few months. October General Conference will occur during the weekend of October 5-6. And the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional for 2019 will be held on Sunday December 8. This list of upcoming events does not include scheduled temple events, which will be detailed in full on the next version of my temple construction progress report which I also hope to post at some point within the next week (if not sooner).

Thank you all for bearing with me through my recent ordeal, and even moreso as I continue to recover therefrom. I do continue to monitor any and all major Church news and temple developments as I can, and will bring word of the most significant updates to you ASAP. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments align with the purposes and goals of this blog.

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.