Monday, January 14, 2019

Elder and Sister Renlund Tell Young Adults to Let Faith, Not Doubt, Drive Questions

Addressing issues of faith and doubt, which Sister Renlund said had been on their minds for many months, the Renlunds shared a parable about a stranded swimmer lost at sea and a kind fisherman in an old boat who comes to the rescue of the lone swimmer.
If each of us represents the swimmer, Elder and Sister Renlund said, then the boat—the rescue vehicle—would represent the Church, and the kind fisherman would represent those who serve in the Church. While dented and well-used, the boat is a reliable vessel, sent to help us return to our destination.

Elder Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, spoke in tandem during the devotional Sunday night that originated from the Brigham Young University–Hawaii campus in Laie, Hawaii, and was broadcast via satellite for young adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world.

If you missed, you can [Watch the full broadcast now.]

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Church Announces New Missions, Boundary Realignments

Sister missionaries teaching a young man in Lyon, France.

Four new missions to open in July

The following four missions will open in July 2019:
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa East
  • Guatemala Antigua
  • PerĂº Limatambo
  • Philippines Antipolo
  • The Church will also realign the boundaries for the following 12 missions in July 2019 and merge them with adjoining missions:

  • Argentina Posadas
  • California Irvine
  • California Long Beach
  • California Rancho Cucamonga
  • Canada Halifax
  • Florida Tallahassee
  • Georgia Macon
  • Idaho Nampa
  • Japan Sendai
  • Korea Daejeon
  • New York Utica
  • Virginia Chesapeake

  • Changes to mission boundaries occur regularly based on the needs and demands of each area around the world. This is particularly the case as the number of missionaries has leveled off after the change in ages for missionary service took effect in 2012. The number of missionaries initially surged to over 88,000 before receding to 65,000 missionaries today, as expected.

Further details on these changes will be communicated from mission presidents to parents of missionaries in the affected missions. Information about new mission presidents will be announced later this month.
Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serve as volunteers at their own expense. Young men ages 18 to 25 serve for two years, while young women ages 19 to 39 serve for 18 months. Senior missionaries generally serve from six months to two years.

First Presidency Statement of the Temples

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  has issued the following statement:

"Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey His word, they have been commanded to build temples. Scriptures document patterns of temple worship from the times of Adam and Eve, Moses, Solomon, Nephi, and others.

With the restoration of the gospel in these latter days, temple worship has also been restored to bless the lives of people across the world and on the other side of the veil as well.

Over these many centuries, details associated with temple work have been adjusted periodically, including language, methods of construction, communication, and record-keeping. Prophets have taught that there will be no end to such adjustments as directed by the Lord to His servants.

A dedicated temple is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Its ordinances are sacred and are not discussed outside a holy temple."

Saturday, December 29, 2018

January 2019 Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults

Young adults are invited to watch a worldwide devotional with Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, on Sunday, January 13, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. mountain standard time. Event Details

Friday, December 14, 2018

Announcing: Age Changes for Youth Progression and Ordination

An announcement on Friday, December 14, from the First Presidency changes the timeline of when children and youth complete Primary, move from one class or quorum to the next, and attend the temple for the first time—and for when young men may be ordained to priesthood offices. These changes are effective in January 2019.
These announcements stem from a “desire to strengthen our beloved children and youth through increased faith in Jesus Christ, deeper understanding of His gospel, and greater unity with His Church and its members,” a letter from the First Presidency states.
Beginning in January 2019, children will complete Primary and begin attending Sunday School and the Beehive class or deacons quorum as age-groups, not on their individual 12th birthdays as they have in the past.
In addition, young men will be eligible to be ordained to a priesthood office in January of the year they turn 12, 14, and 16, and youth will be eligible to obtain a limited-use temple recommend beginning in January of the year they turn 12—based on their “individual worthiness, readiness, and personal circumstances.”
According to materials released by the Church, ages for ordaining young men to priesthood offices are not “doctrinally mandated” and have, in fact, varied throughout Church history. 
In a Facebook post Friday, President Russell M. Nelson said, “Though these adjustments lead to some significant logistical changes, I encourage you to focus first on the spiritual benefits.
“Our youth and children are among the best the Lord has ever sent into this world. They have the capacity to be smarter and wiser and have more impact on the world than any previous generation! We must do our part to help them realize their potential.”
“The Savior is directing His Church,” said Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President. “He knew this change was coming, and He inspired it for this group of 11-year-olds, who are ready for new assignments and for increased opportunities to serve. He knows the capabilities of His sons and daughters. We have complete confidence in them. How grateful we are for revelation!”
Progressing together
Currently, when children turn 12 years old, they begin attending Young Women or Young Men and they return to Primary for classes or have the option of attending a youth Sunday School class. In 2019, the Valiant 11 Primary class will be discontinued and, in January, all 11-year-olds will attend Sunday School together.
“This will be a much easier transition for classes to move forward together rather than children leaving Primary one at a time throughout the year,” said Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President.
Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President, said a benefit of children and youth progressing as a group is that “there is a unity factor and friendship. They progress together. This change helps in the process of conversion. It creates belonging.” However, the change is not just for friendship, he said, although it will increase feelings of brotherhood in the quorums. “We are about conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “Youth are part of a battalion, as President Nelson taught; no one needs to feel alone. We are together.”
The change also means that deacons and Beehives won’t have to wait until their 12th birthdays to attend camps. And while dating should still begin no earlier than age 16, Mia Maids and teachers will no longer have to be 14 to attend dances and youth conferences and accept ministering assignments.
Brother Owen wants young men to know how wonderful this change is going to be. “You have friends,” he said. “You don’t have to wait. You advance together. This change aligns with what happens in school and other areas of your life.”
Sister Cordon said a benefit to progressing by age-groups is that a class presidency can serve without the interruption of losing presidency members to the next class on their birthdays. Instead, presidencies will be “taking time to get to know the young women and planning activities that will bless them and their families.” It will also be a blessing to leaders, she said. “This is joyous. We aren’t losing presidency members continually. We know that we will have young women in each age-group for the same two years. We will have continuity and unity.”
Temple service
“I am particularly excited that these changes will make it possible for younger children to be involved in temple work,” said Sister Jones. “They are typically counting the days until they turn 12 to receive a limited-use recommend and perform ordinances in the temple.”
The announcement is “another show of confidence in these remarkable youth,” said Sister Cordon. “These youth have a mighty work to do in the temple—a work that can begin as soon as they enter Young Women and Young Men!”
“I hope concerned parents will realize how prepared their children really are,” said Sister Jones. “They are ready! This will allow an entire Primary class of children who have been learning and preparing together to continue their growth and progression in Young Women and Young Men.”
The announcement also allows for some flexibility due to personal circumstances, with parents and bishops counseling together to decide what is in the best interests of each child or youth, and areas of the Church may choose to use the local transition date they currently follow rather than January.

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