Need more information?

Top Leaderboard

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Church to Hold Condensed Online-Only Training for New 2020 Mission Leadership

Hello again, everyone! More breaking news has been reported by the Church News within the last few minutes. As a result of COVID-19 conditions worldwide, the 2020 Seminar for all new mission leaders who will begin their service on July 1 of this year will be conducted entirely online and with a condensed schedule. The seminar, usually spanning 3-4 days towards the end of June, will be held this weekend. This continues the Church's efforts to be good neighbors who earnestly consider the health of those over whom they have stewardship.

The seminar usually includes a high degree of participation from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in addition to all who serve on the Missionary Executive Council (that includes Elders Uchtdorf, Christofferson, Andersen, and Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, at least one member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and at least 2-3 general officers of the Church (at last notified check, that included Sisters Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, and Cristina B. Franco, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency). 

By definition, those GA Seventies serving in the Missionary Department are there as well. Ordinarily, that includes Elder Brent H. Nielson, who has served as Executive Director of that Department for the last several years, and those who serve as Assistant Executive Directors, which, at last check, included Elders W. Mark Bassett, Craig C. Chirstensen, Weatherford T. Clayton, James B. Martino, and S. Gifford Nielsen. But Elder Nielson has been called to the Presidency of the Seventy, so unless he is assigned to continue serving on the Missionary Executive Council in that new role, he has been or will be released as the Executive Director of that Department.

Of the Assistant Executive Directors listed above, only Elders Bassett and Clayton are not currently serving as president of any area of the Church. And of the two, it seems more likely to me that Elder Clayton will succeed Elder Nielson as the Executive Director of that Department. But time will tell in that respect. I am grateful that the Church is continuing to roll with the punches when it comes to the COVID-19 adjustments that have become necessary in cosideration of the health of Church members worldwide.

And it is also wonderful that modern technologoy can make it possible for the Church to provide virtual training. It's likely that the October 2020 General Conference Leadership sessions will go forward as planned, but be provided through virtual methods to eliminate the need for in-person attendance. Still no word on specific arrangements/additional changes for that General Conference, but it will be interesting to see what happens with all such developments. I continue to monitor all Church news and temple updates and will be sure to pass word of all such things along as I become aware of those developments.

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 TEMPLE NEWS: Exterior Rendering Released and Groundbreaking Date Announced for the Orem Utah Temple

Hello again, everyone! Less than 24 hours after the release of the rendering and site information for the Mendoza Argentina Temple, more breaking temple news has been shared. In n totally unexpected development as far as the timing of both the announcement and the event itself are concerned, an exterior rendering has been released and a groundbreaking date announced for the temple in my current city of residence, Orem Utah. The rendering shows the 70,000-foot 3-story temple with a tall single-spire design. Although many of the community leaders here told the Church they'd prefer an angel Moroni on the temple, with the Church acknowledging that not all temples being built have that statue, it appears that this temple will not have one either. The groundbreaking has been set to occur on Saturday September 5, 3 weeks after the groundbreaking for the Salta Argentina Temple. Elder Craig C. Chirstensen, who will continue as Utah Area President following the other changes in area leadership becoming effective on August 1. Attendance at the temple site will be by invitation only. It appears that, given current COVID-19 restrictions here in northern Utah County, the groundbreaking will be a private event, not broadcast by the internet to Church buildings or being featured on social media or anywhere else, though I imagine that a video of the proceedings in their entirety will be available in due course.

Having noted all of that, a couple of additional comments from me here: I said earlier that the timing of the Orem Utah Temple groundbreaking announcement and scheduling was unexpected. I said that because for a while now, it appeared that the next Utah temples to have a groundbreaking would be the Tooele Valley, Washington County, and Taylorsville Utah Temples. Clearly I was mistaken in that respect, but I'm not necessarily surprised about that, as I have been mistaken about plenty of things in the recent past. That will continue to be the case. But I am hopeful that the Church might soon announce groundbreakings for at least two of those 3 other temples in the next short while. There is also one other thing that surprises me with respect to the timing of this announcement and the scheduling of this event itself. That surprise comes by way of the text under the headline of the Newsroom announcement. The text in question reads as follows: "Orem Utah Temple designated as the Church's 190th temple worldwide." So, first of all, the announced timing of the groundbreaking for this temple would make it currently and tentatively numbered the 186th temple of the Church.

The size of the temple, which is comparable to that of the Layton, Tooele Valley, and Washington County Temples, suggests that construction could take between 2-3 years, which means it would wrap up at some point in late 2023-early 2024 or so. Above and beyond those observastions, however, insofar as I am aware, the Church is not in the habit of giving a temple a designated number before construction begins, or even generally until construction wraps up. That suggests to me that the Orem Utah Temple will be built on a very definitive schedule, one that may see other temples with groundbreakings yet-to-be-announced have a construction process that will be swifter than what is going to be done for the Orem Utah Temple. That idea is not necessarily a shocker, since we know that plans currently call for the Tooele Valley Utah Temple to be built on an accelerated schedule to help with temple activity while the iconic Salt Lake Temple remains closed until 2024 for renovation. As I said, the shocking part to me is that the Church has given this temple a designated number which does not, at the present time, appear to be accurate.

I am hopeful that that means that the Church is working on the factors that have delayed the construction for the Puebla Mexico and Lima Peru Los Olivos Temples, in addition to factors that will allow other temples that may have a groundbreaking either just before or just after that of this temple to move ahead of it in the construction queue. I will also note here that I had been hoping that a groundbreaking announcement for one or more of the Utah temples would be coming down the pike, but again, the fact that it is Orem first and in early September is surprising to me. One thing is very clear to me: there are going to be unprecedented developments in terms of temple construction in the days ahead. That has been true thus far this year, and it will be even more true going forward. For my part, I continue to monitor any and all such developments and will bring word of those to you all as I become aware of such things.

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.