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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: First Presidency Announces Changes to Area Seventies Quorums; Creation of Four New Quorums

Hello again, everyone! I almost missed another breaking development. The First Presidency today also announced the creation of four additional Area Seventies Quorums to provide an ease of meeting as a Quorum, and as a result of the expanding presence of the Church in many areas. The distribution and assignment of Area Seventies Quorums will also be changing. The changes will go into effect on June 1, in less than 2 weeks time.As of June 1, the Quorums will break down as follows: The Third Quorum will consist of those area seventies living in the Africa Central, Africa South, and Africa West Areas. The Fourth Quorum will be comprised of those Area Seventies serving in the Asia and Asia North Areas. The Fifth Quorum will consist of those area seventies living in the Brazil Area. The Sixth Quorum will include those area seventies serving in the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico Areas. Those in the Seventh Quorum will include all who serve in the Europe, Europe East, and Middle East/Africa North Areas.

Those serving in the Pacific and Philippines Areas will be assigned to the Eighth Quorum.The area seventies living within the South America Northwest and South America South Areas will constitute the Ninth Quorum. The final three Quorums will include those serving in the six North American Areas. Those serving in the North America Central, North America Northeast, and North America Southeast Areas will constitute the Tenth Quorum. Those area seventies in the North America Southwest and North America West Areas will constitute the Eleventh Quorum. And those serving in the boundaries of the Utah Area will now fall under the Twelfth Quorum.

When I originally suggested that new Quorums could be created to break up some of the larger Quorums, I never envisioned anything like this. But taking the approach of dividing the area seventies by goegraphical area will enable the Church to subsequently call as many area seventies as may be needed for each Quorum, which may involve a higher number thereof in each Quorum at some point in the very near future. As a result of this announcement, I have many updates to make to my list of Area Seventies over the next little while. With two major announcements in one day (even coming within 2-3 hours of each other), I hope that means that other major announcements will be coming down the pike in the days ahead, especially relating to temple construction efforts. I will monitor all such news and bring you all word of those developments as I become aware of them.

That does it for now. 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. 

BREAKING NEWS: First Presidency Announces Phased Return to Church Services

Hello again, everyone! At some point yesterrday, I had commented on the Church Growth Blog that I didn't see the Church returning to any degree of normalcy in some areas before the third or fourth quarter of this year. But in a clear signal that the Lord's thoughts and ways are higher than mine (not that I needed one, but I got it nonetheless), the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles today announced a cautiously-coordinated and phased return to some regular Church functions. Note the wording I used above: cautiously coordinated and phased. Here's the way that approach will work. In consultation with their ecclesiastical contacts in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Presidency of the Seventy (whose assignments still do not appear to be known in their entirety), area presidencies can authorize the Church in their areas to ressume Church services Under Phase 1, shortened meetings with appropriate precautions to protect health and safety of Church members, shortened meetings (primarily Sacrament Meeting) may be held with tappropriate social distancing between each family. Other meetings, if needed, may be held by technology. And bishops may, depending on needs, continue to authrize home worship, including the administration of the Sacrament, in homes where one or more members are among the vunerable population. Any other meetings (interviews, Quorum or group meetings (Young Women and Relief Society) will continue remotely for the time being. The phase 2 approach would involve a return to a more normal degree of weekly worship, as long as local regulations are adhered to and Church seervices to a more normal degree can be resumed safely. The letter notes that in some areas where normalcy is returning may jump directly to phase 2, if that is approved through the proper channels.

Again, this will not be an instant change from home worship back to normalcy. This will be a carefully-coordinated effort that will cautiously progress as approvals are granted per area through the Area Presidency in consultation with their contacts in the Presidency of the Seventy and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. And the determinations will look different in each area, based on whatever regulations or restrictions are in place. I am not able to determine by this announcement how, if at all, the October 2020 General Conference may or may not be impacted from a normal scenario, but I will be researching that question in the days ahead. If the conference resumes as has been normal, theere may be a need to adjust my predictions for that. But I will be watching for information in that respect and will adjust those accordingly. In the meantime, I'm grateful that Church leaders are taking a smart approach in relation to this particular matter. I continue to monitor all such developments and will be sure to pass word of those along to you all as I become aware thereof.

That does it for now. 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.