Need more information?

Top Leaderboard

Monday, June 15, 2020

1900th Post: BREAKING NEWS: 4 More Temples to Reopen Nexxt Week Under Phase 1; Several Church Historic Sites Renamed

Hello again, everyone! As hard as it is to believe, this post is my 1900th on this blog. For this milestone post, I am pleased to cover two breaking news developments, which have been reported by the Church today. Firstly, as of totday, the total number of temples open under phase 1 now rises to 89. This morning, the First Presidency announced that 4 more temples will reopen under phase 1 one week from today (June 22). That will bring the total number of temples open under phase 1 to 92. The 4 in question are the Apia Samoa, Brisbane Australia, Paris France, and Santo Domingo Dominican Republic. After several weeks of double-digit temples opening, it's nice to see the Church slowing down a bit. We are clearly not yet at a point anywhere in the world where opening any of the soon-to-be 92 temples under phase 2 is practical as of yet. I think it's wiser to take things more slowly and steadily than it would be to backtrack in that respect. So I appreciate the measured, principle-based approach.And for the second time in many of the last 6 Mondays or so, the temple reopenings do not constitute the only big news from the Church today, As also shared by the Church News, the nnames of several of the Church's historic sites have received minor name changes, With all Church sites still temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the following name changes go into effect: Brigham Young Winter Home will now be known as the Brigham Young Winter Home and Office. Historic Carthage Jail and Visitor's Center has been simpzlified to Cathage Jail. What was once known as Historic Cove Fort will now be known as Cove Fort. The Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site will now be known as the Grandin Building: Book of Mormon Publication Site. The Home of Jacob Hamblin will simply become the Hamblin Home.  Haun's Mill has been renamed Hawn's Mill to reflect the corrected spelling for the name of the owner of the property, Jacob Hawn. The Historic John Johnson Home lis renamed the Johnson Home. The Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial is now Joseph Smith Birthplace. Historic Liberty Jail now becomes Liberty Jail. The Historic Isaac Morely Farm will be known as simply the Morley Farm. What has been known as the Joseph Smith Family Farm will be renamed the Sacred Grove, which is more descriptive of what the site honors. A similar adjustment better describes the Peter Whitmer Farm, which will now be known as the Whitmer Farm: Church Organization Site.

For the remaining sites on the lsit, the name adjustments require some context which I hope may be helpful. In the early days of the Church, with members of the Church known colloquially as "Mormons", during the pioneer treks that occurred in the mid-to-late 1800s and beyond, many sites prominent to the process of that trek used the name "Mormon", which became a common identifier to differentiate those landmarks from others more associated with the Oregon Trail or other US trails named after US pionners not so connected with the Church.   

The usage of the word "Mormon" in tall such sites thus became an important differentiator.  Above and beyond that, however, the usage of that term is technically historically correct for the preiod of time within which it became part of the Church's history and was easily identified as such. As a result, the next sites I will mention by name retain the usage of the word "Mormon" in their names to reflect the differntiating factor. First, the Mormon Battalion Historic Site at San Diego will now become the Mormon Battalion Center at San Diego. The Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters will be renamed the Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters.

The Mormon Handcart Historic Site: Martin’s Cove will now be known as Martin's Cove: Mormon Trail Site. What has been he Mormon Handcart Historic Site: Willie Center at Sixth Crossing will be renamed Sixth Crossing: Mormon Trail Site. And finally, the Mormon Handcart Historic Site: Rock Creek Hollow will hereafter be known as Rock Creek Hollow: Mormon Trail Site. As previously noted, these are relatively minor but still fairly significant adjustments are being made for historical relevance or contexxt, for more effective descriptive purposes, or in some cases merely to simplify the names and make them easier to remember, and thus in essence be more memorable for visitors. I am grateful to have been able to bring you word of these developments. I do continue to monitor all Church newsand temple updates and will bring you all word of those here as I become aware of them. In the interim, I wanted to note in this post as well the reiteration of a development I reported in the threads of another recent post: With around 2.5 weeks having passed since I had to enable comment moderation, and with my having marked all spam comments as such in order to block those who made them, I have determined to lift comment moderation for now. I will do my best to be more diligent about watching posted comments for future spammers, but that's not sufficient enough reason to punish the rest of you who are earnest in your comments by preventing you frorm contributing to the relevant dialogue. So that's over for now.

Within the next week or two, I also plan to revisit other Church subjects I have previously covered, providing new information and updates as practical. I will likewise be reevaluating the ad setup for this blog as time and circumstancs allow me to do so, in the hopes of yielding better revenue for my efforts to report on these developments. During the period in which I will be doing so, the layout of this blog may change in some ways from time to time. I appreciate your patience with me as I navigate these issues to enable me to continue to provide the content you have come to expect, while ensuring those efforts yield sufficient returns for me financially. 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.

In Honor of Elder David A. Bednar on His 68th Birthday

Hello again, everyone! Given that today is June 15, I wanted to take an opportunity to pay tribute to Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who today is marking his 68th birthday today. So let's get into some details about his life experiences. David Allan Bednar was born in Oakland California on this day in 1952 to Anthony George and Lavina Whitney Bednar. His mother came from a long line of Latter-day Saint ancestors, but his father was not a member of the Church. Despite not having a formal Church membership, Anthony Bednar fully supported the rest of his family participating actively in the Church, and he would often step in and participate in meetings and Church activities, including various service projects, whereby he was in essence functioning in the same supportive way as other Church members did, but as one who was not a Church member. Young David would often ask Anthony when he would be baptized, to which his father replied that he would do so when he felt it was right. Elder Bednar served a mission in southern Germany, during which time, then-Elder Boyd K. Packer visited his mission, and was advised that, in order to get through the necessary border security, he would need money. The future President Packer would later recount in General Conference that a young missionary provided him with the money he needed, and later revealed that Elder Bednar had been that missionary.

Elder Bednar attended BYU-Provo, where he earned a bachelor's degree in communication and a master's in organizational communication. He went on to earn a doctoral degree in organizational behavior from the prestigious Purdue University. He met Susan Kae Robinson at an activity for young adults. He recounts that they were playing flag football, and that he threw a pass, which she caught. Susan would later note that, incidentally, that was the only time she could remember catching a pass. That experience left a positive impression on both of them, and the two started dating not long afterward. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 20, 1975, and would go on to raise 3 sons together.

One major highlight of Elder Bednar's life came long after his marriage. Anthony called his son one day and asked, "Would you be free on (and he named a date in the near future)? I would like you to come and baptize me." He was able to baptize and confirm his father, and also ordained him to the priesthood. He spent his vocational career as an educator at several secondary schools. For a four-year period (1980-1984), he was an assistant professor of management at what was then the College of Business Administration at the University of Arkansas. He spent the next two years as an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, after which he returned to Arkansas, where he served first as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, then the Director of the Management Decision-Making Lab. During this time, he was recognized as being an outstanding educator through the receipt of many prestigious awards and honors. He also had a few ecclesiastical responsibilities within the Church at around the same time.

He spent several months as a bishop, then went on to serve first as the president of what was then the Fort Smith Arkansas Stake, then as the first president of the newly-established Rogers Arkansas Stake. During the final months of his service as a stake president, he was called to serve as a regional representative. In 1997, he was among the first men called to serve in the new position of area seventy. That same year, he was also called by the Church Board of Education to serve as president of Ricks College, during which time he led the transition of that college to BYU-Idaho. In October 2004, as a result of the apostolic vacancies created from the July deaths of Elders Neal A. Maxwell and David B. Haight (which occurred 10 days apart), Church President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that the vacancies would be filled by Elders Dieter F. Uchtdorf and David A. Bednar.

Interestingly enough, Elder Bednar joined only two other current apostles (now-Presidents Nelson and Oaks) who were called to the apostleship without having previously served as a general authority. At the time of his call to the apostleship, Elder Bednar, who was 52 at that time, was the youngest apostle to have been called since then-Elder Dallin H. Oaks (who had been called to the apostleship in 1984 Although he immediately commenced his service in the apostleship, he also continued to serve as president of BYU-Idaho for several weeks prior to the appointment of an interim president. Elder Bednar's tenure as an educator has molded how he speaks and ministers as an apostle. One of his common traditions as he speaks in General Conference is to invite the Holy Ghost to bless him and the rest of us as we listen to his remarks.

Because he will have been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for 16 years in October, he has given 32 General Conference addresses, which are always well crafted and insightful, and are well worthy of review by all of us. He is currently the fourth-most senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (which, including the current members of the First Presidency, makes him the seventh in apostolic seniority), and is still among the younger apostles, being the fifth-youngest both among the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and all 15 ordained apostles as well. While I have never had the honor of personally meeting him, from the moment his apostolic call was first announced and onward since then, I have had a testimony that his apostolic call has been inspired and directed by the Lord, which I reiterate to you all today

Given his relatively younger age in comparison to both the six apostles senior to him, and four of the eight apostles who are junior to him, I fully believe that, at some point in the future, Elder Bednar may serve as Church President. That, of course, will be up to the Lord’s will and the health and longevity of Presidents Nelson, Oaks, Eyring, and Ballard, and that of Elders Holland and Uchtdorf. And I want to make it very clear that such a prospect is merely my own personal opinion, and not anything I can attribute to anyone else. As the Lord himself reminds us, he days of each apostle are known, and their years shall not be numbered less. I hope this post has served as a fitting tribute to this remarkable servant of the Lord.

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.