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Sunday, June 16, 2019

BREAKING TEMPLE NEWS: Oakland California Temple Rededication Inaugurates Changes in Format for Future Temple Dedications and Rededications

Hello again, everyone! The Oakland California Temple was rededicated today in 3 sessions, under the presiding direction of President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, who was accompanied by his wife, Kristen M. Oaks, and Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who was accompanied by his wife, Susan K. Bednar. Between the Church News and the official Newsroom subpage of the Church's website, 3 articles have been published to cover these events.

The Newsroom utilized a single article to cover both the youth devotional and the rededication, while the Church News covered the youth devotional and rededication through two separate articles. The biggest takeaway I got from these articles is this: the First Presidency recently determined to tweak the format of the youth devotionals and temple dedications or rededications. For those that are public events, it has been customary for the last several decades for the focus on the former cultural celebration and current youth devotionals the night before, and the temple dedications or rededications on the scheduled Sunday to feature participation almost exclusively from the visiting Church leaders overseeing these events.

But starting with the Oakland California Temple rededication and going forward, although several General Authorities and General Officers of the Church may still be present at these events, the Brethren have opted from now on to use a "divide and conquer" strategy on Saturday night, where the senior apostle who is presiding and his wife will address the youth devotional, which will feature addresses by several local members, including those who had a role in coordinating the temple open house and dedication or rededication, the youth, and others as the Brethren are inspired to ask them to participate.

Meanwhile, earlier on that same Saturday, the accompanying junior apostle and his wife will now host a panel discussion with youth where important issues relative to the questions or issues they are grappling with will be discussed, and solutions brainstormed. In conjunction with the dedication the following day, the presiding apostles and their wives will participate in the dedicatory services, but several lay members of the Church, including temple ordinance workers, youth, those involved with coordinating the temple's crowning events, and others, will be invited at the discretion of the presiding officials to speak during the dedicatory services.

These changes seem to show that the Brethren recognize not everyone who desires to do so may be able to attend the youth devotional and/or temple dedications.rededications, and also appears to be a way to acknowledge that hearing remarks from people either involved with making arrangements for the open house and dedicatory events or for whom these events may be personally significant will now have the chance to bless their fellow Saints by sharing their thoughts, feelings, and inspired messages with all who will be impacted by the opening or reopening of a temple following its' completion.

And these changes will also make such events far more significant to all who will participate in or know someone who participates therein that much more impactful. I know I have personally previously enjoyed reports of the insights shared by general Church leaders in attendance, but as soon as I read about these changes, I felt the Spirit confirm to me that they were in line with the Lord's will. This is yet another in the series of remarkable demonstrations that revelation continues in the Lord's Church today, and I was grateful to have been able to pass these breaking news developments along to you all here as I learned of them.

I remain as committed as I ever have been, if not more so, to bringing all other major Church news and temple updates to you all as I become aware of them.  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 are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.

Current Apostolic Statistics: Part Two—Updated Ages, Averages & Apostolic Nonagenarians

Hello again, everyone! I am back again now with the second part of this apostolic statistical update, in which we will move on to talk specifics regarding the long-form and decimal ages of our current apostles, which will also include updated information on the average ages of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the 15 apostles as a group, and current and future nonagenarians. So let’s get right into all of that. Again, all data is current as of today (Sunday June 16). There have been two apostolic birthdays since my last update (which was published here on Sunday April 28). As previously noted, President Henry B. Eyring observed his 86th birthday on May 31, and Elder David A. Bednar, as noted in another recent post on this blog, observed his 67th yesterday.

The next apostolic birthdays will not take place until August, and particularly, none of them will occur prior to my next update (which, as noted in my last post, I plan to publish here on Sunday August 4). But I did want to provide an overview of what is coming up in that respect. The three August apostolic birthdays will each be observed three days apart. Elder Gary E. Stevenson will celebrate his 64th on Tuesday August 6, followed on Friday August 9 by Elder Neil L. Andersen’s 68th, and wrapping up on Monday August 12, with the 87th birthday of President Dallin H. Oaks. There will be two more apostolic birthdays observed in September, for which I will provide more specific detail in my next update.

Having noted that, we now move on to some exact figures about the ages and average ages of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and all 15 apostles as a group. In the Church’s leading Quorum, President Nelson is, as noted towards the end of my previous post, 94 years, 9 months, and 7 days old, with a resulting decimal age of 94.77 years. First Counselor President Oaks is now 86 years, 10 months, and 4 days old, or 86.84 years. The junior member of the First Presidency, President Eyring, having observed his birthday since my last update, is now 86 years, 0 months, and 16 days old, which is 86.04 in decimal years.

The First Presidency thus now has a combined 267.65 years of life experience, which results in an average age for each man of 89.22 years. President Nelson remains 5.55 years older than that average, with President Oaks closest to it (he is now 2.38 years younger than that average), which means that President Eyring, who is a mere .8 years younger than President Oaks, is now 3.18 years below it. Unless there is something of which we are not aware in relation to the health of any of these Brethren, they will continue to set new records for the oldest-serving First Presidency in Church history for the foreseeable future.

Next, let’s turn our attention to the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. President Ballard’s long-form age now sits at 90 years, 8 months, and 8 days, or 90.69 years. Elder Holland now has a long-form age of 78 years, 6 months, and 13 days, with a resulting 78.53 decimal years. Elder Uchtdorf (who is a mere 27 days older than his senior apostolic seatmate) is now 78 years, 7 months, and 10 days old, which works out to 78.61 years. Elder Bednar, who observed his birthday just yesterday, has now reached the full age of 67 years, 0 months, and 1 day, which works out to an even 67.00 decimal years.

Leading off the second third of that Quorum is Elder Cook, who is also the oldest but least senior of the 3 apostles born in 1940. His long-form age is 78 years, 9 months, and 8 days old, with a resulting decimal age of 78.77 years. Elder Christofferson has now reached the age of 74 years, 4 months and 23 days, making his decimal age 74.39 years. Elder Andersen is now 67 years, 10 months, and 19 days old, and his decimal age is 67.85 years. Elder Rasband is now 68 years, 4 months, and 10 days old, or 68.36 years.

As for the final third of the Quorum, Elder Stevenson, at exactly 4.5 years younger than Elder Rasband (since both were born on the 6th), now has a long-form age of 63 years, 10 months, and 10 days, or 63.86 in decimal years. Elder Renlund is now exactly 66 years, 7 months, and 3 days old, with a resulting decimal age of 66.59 years. Elder Gong’s exact age is now 65 years, 5 moths, and 24 days old, which works out to 65.48 decimal years. As for Elder Soares, he is now 60 years, 8 months, and 14 days old, with a resulting decimal age of 60.70 years.
           
Based on those numbers, the current members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles now have a combined 860.83 years of life experience, which results in an average of 71.74 years per member. Elders Christofferson and Rasband remain respectively above and below that average. Elder Christofferson is now 2.65 years older, while Elder Rasband remains 3.38 years below it. With the information I presented earlier about the First Presidency, the 15 apostles as a group now have a combined 1,128.48 years of life experience, which is an average of 75.23 years. As noted previously, Elder Holland remains 3.3 years older than that average, while Elder Christofferson is 0.88 years younger than that average.
           
We now move on to the nonagenarians. President Nelson remains the seventh oldest apostle in Church history, and is set to move up to the sixth spot on July 5 of this year. In the meantime, President Ballard’s lifespan has now passed that of both Presidents Spencer W. Kimball and Marion G. Romney, meaning President Ballard has now become the 15th oldest apostle. He is set to move up on the list one more time this year, which will occur on the last day of next month, when his lifespan will match that of President Boyd K. Packer, making President Ballard the 14th oldest apostle in Church history. Among the other apostles, President Oaks will join the nonagenarian list in 3 years, 1 month, and 27 days, while Elder Soares will do so in 29 years, 3 months, and 16 days, with the other apostles doing so at other various intervals, which will be detailed more fully as they approach.

I hope that many of you found this information to be interesting, informative, and accurate. 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 are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.

Current Apostolic Statistics: Part One—Updated Data for President Oaks, President Nelson, and Longest-Serving Apostolic Groups

Hello again, everyone! While I continue to welcome comments on any previous posts (particularly any feedback you have on the list of potential locations for which I have felt a temple could be announced in October), per the new schedule I am observing, it is time once again to bring you all updated information on the latest apostolic statistics. This data will again be published in two posts. Again, all data is current as of today (Sunday June 16, 2019). As always, it is my sincere hope that most of you will find this information interesting and enlightening. With that said, I am fully aware that some of you may not be interested in this update. Consequently, I will not in any way be offended or bothered if any of you skip over this post and the next one.

This first post, as has been the case for previous updates, will address President Dallin H. Oaks’ tenure as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, then shift to explore where Church President Russell M. Nelson currently stands in terms of his age and tenure length among his prophetic predecessors. That will be followed by some observations about the tenure lengths of our current First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and all currently-living ordained apostles as a group. The more specific data about upcoming apostolic birthdays, the long-form and decimal ages of our 15 current apostles, and details about current and future apostolic nonagenarians will then follow in a second post, which will be published a few minutes after this one is.

My last such update was posted on Sunday April 28. In keeping with my new 7-week schedule for these updates, I plan to share the next one here on Sunday August 4. There is a lot to get to, so let’s jump right in. President Oaks has now served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for a period of 1 year, 5 months, and 2 days. As I noted previously, his next two milestones will be observed on July 7 and 9 of this year. On July 7, the length of his service as Quorum President will be equal to that of Spencer W. Kimball. Then, two days later, his tenure will be equal to the second (and shortest) non-consecutive tenure of Brigham Yong Jr., by which time, President Oaks will then be the 22nd longest-serving Quorum President. His next three milestones will be observed over the 3-month period of November and December 2019 and January 2020. I will detail each of those milestones closer to the time.

Turning now to President Nelson, who was ordained and set apart as Church President on the same day he set apart President Oaks as President of the Quorum of the Twelve, his prophetic tenure has spanned 1 year, 5 months, and 2 days as well. He is also now 94 years, 9 months, and 7 days old. He will observe his only 2019 tenure-length and age-length milestones two days apart on July 3 and 5 respectively with subsequent milestones more spread out in the years following that. The first milestone will see his tenure length match that of Harold B. Lee, and he (President Nelson) will thus become the 15th longest-serving Church President. And the second will mark the day when the length of President Nelson’s lifespan will match that of President Ezra Taft Benson, with President Nelson thus becoming the 4th oldest Church President.

In the meantime, as also noted previously, I have been keeping lists of the longest-continuously serving First Presidencies, Quorums of the Twelve Apostles, and apostolic groups as a whole. Those lists include 13 of each of those groups that have served together for the longest continuous periods of time. The current First Presidency will only be joining the list of other First Presidencies on Saturday April 20, 2024, so I will be outlining their future milestones on that list closer to the time. As for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the current members will mark 3 years together on March 31, 2021, at which point they will join the list of the longest-serving Quorums of the Twelve Apostles in Church history. I will likewise be providing updates on those future milestones closer to that time.  

Interestingly enough, less than two months prior to that, the 15 apostles will make the list of the longest-serving such group (the exact date is February 8, 2021). With that said, I want to conclude this portion of the update. 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 are in accordance with the established guidelines. 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 (which will be the second half of this update that published here within the next few minutes), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.