Monthly Archives: March 2008

New official picture of the First Presidency

Although the posting is dated from Friday, today an official picture of the new First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was released. I quite like it.


You can download a large version of the picture from the Newsroom.

Canceling Church

My ward is in St. Catharines, Ontario, and we got hit big time by that huge snow storm yesterday. It started snowing Friday night, and snowed for about 24 hours straight. We always get snow each winter (remember, we are in Canada), but we almost never get this amount of snow. The Stake President had emailed us and told us to watch the weather in our area and then make a decision on whether or not to hold meetings on Sunday. Yesterday at about 4 pm, I decided to cancel Church.

It always feels weird to “cancel” Church. First of all, Church doesn’t really feel like something you can cancel. I’d go to Church every week, regardless of the weather. If we only had 10 people show up, I’m sure we would have had a wonderful meeting. I just felt that for the safety of the members, it was best to cancel the meetings. Unfortunately, there are people who feel obligated to go to Church. If the weather is bad, I’m sure they feel that God will protect them. I’m not so sure that is the case. If I thought that God would protect us all while driving, then I’d never need to cancel Church, but there are so many variables (weather, other people’s agency, etc). I just felt it was safer to have everyone stay at home.

We had a little Sacrament Meeting here at home. My 5-year-old picked “I love to see the temple” as our opening hymn. I administered the Sacrament. My wife gave a short thought, and then my 3-year-old picked “Follow the Prophet” (the Samuel verse) as our closing hymn. It was nice.

Incidentally, this was the second time this year I’ve canceled Church. In the previous 8 years I’ve been in the area, Church has been canceled a total of 2 times. Now in one year we’ve matched that total. We’ve certainly had some crazy weather!

Research Information Division

I Friday I received a phone call from the Research Information Division of the Church (part of the Correlation Department). This is the division that does the surveys (research) whenever the Church wants to know about things. In this case, they were calling Branch Presidents and Bishops to find out about issues that their members were struggling with. The person did not ask for any names. He asked generic questions asking if since I’ve been Bishop, have I had a member challenged by women issues, the Church and politics, gay rights, etc? How many people? In the last year have I had a member challenged by those issues? How many people?

I was on the phone with him for about 5 minutes, and then he thanked me for my time and said good bye. He gave no indication what they would do with the information they gathered, or who it was for.

My first memo with new First Presidency signatures

Essentially every week I get a large envelope with various memos in it from Church headquarters. The packet I got this week had the first memo with signatures from all three members of the new First Presidency. The memo was dated February 6, 2008 and is called “Reissued Statement son Missionary Work”. If you’re into this sort of thing, here are the signatures:

First Presidency signatures

I was impressed with how illegible President Uchtdorf’s signature is (compared to the other two). My own signature is pretty bad, and it’s nice to see someone else who has a signature that isn’t easily read 🙂