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Friday, June 28, 2019

BREAKING NEWS: First Presidency Announces Initial 2020 Area Division

Hello again, everyone! I have breaking news to report right now. The Newsroom has shared an announcement from the First Presidency. Effective in August of 2020, the Africa Southeast Area of the Church will be divided into two separate areas: the Africa South Area, and the Africa Central Area. The announcement notes that this is being done because of the Church's significant growth that is occurring in the nations currently comprising the Africa Southeast Area. More specific details on this area split will be released closer to the time, but the one thing that is certain is that two 3-man area presidencies will be assigned for the two separate areas.\

My personal opinion on those assignments is that the First Presidency may ask 1 or 2 members of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency as it will be constituted in August of this year to continue in the newly-divided Africa South Area Presidency, while the remaining 1 or 2 members of that presidency would be called as the first leaders of the Africa Central Area, since that would allow Brethren with familiarity of all nations in the current Africa Southeast Area to bless the two split areas with their knowledge thereof.

If that were the only news I had to report, it would be reason enough to celebrate. But I also wanted to note a couple of other developments as well. For the last several weeks, lds.org has redirected to churchofjesuschrist.org. It appears that now, however, the only way to get to the Church's official website is to enter the new URL. Additionally, details have been announced about the final 2019 Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, which will also serve as a Face-to-Face Event. As I noted previously, that event had originally be set for Sunday September 8, but has been pushed back a week to Sunday September 15, which will coincide with the dedication of the Lisbon Portugal Temple.

The featured guests for this Devotional/Face-to-Face event will be Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Seventy. Unless their assignments have changed or will change, Elder Soares is a member of the Missionary Executive Council and the Human Resource Committee, while Elder Christensen is President of the Utah Area (which will be a single area effective August 1 of this year) and as an Assistant Executive Director of the Missionary Department.  Based on the fact that they both have a role in missionary work within the Church, it would not shock me in any way if the focus on this devotional is how young adults can continue to be missionaries even after concluding their full-time service in the mission field.

And while I am on the subject of missionary work, that brings me to the other two articles I wanted to share. As many of you know, Elder John H. Groberg, now an Emeritus General Authority, served a full-time mission in Tonga, and would return a decade or two after that to serve as a mission president in the same area as well. A book has been published about his experiences, which has been the subject of the movie "The Other Side of Heaven". As preparations are underway for a sequal to be released (which will focus on his experiences as a mission president), Elder Groberg sat down with the Church News, professional golfer Tony Finau, and Elder Vai Sikahema, a newly-called area seventy, to discuss the powerful church growth in Tonga, and the impact that missionary work has had on each of them individually.

In the meantime, one other article continues coverage of the 2019 Seminar for New Mission Presidents, the latest of which features remarks shared by Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, who is both the Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric and a member of the Missionary Executive Council, and his wife, Carol, who covered 5 key points that both mission presidents and senior missionaries should remember when considering how senior couples can best be utilized during their missionary service. And for any who have missed any coverage provided on that Seminar, the full range of articles on that can be found in this special section of the Church News

I was grateful to bring these reports to you today. I continue to monitor all Church news and temple updates, and will do my level best to keep bringing word of those to you all here as I become aware of such things. 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.