Saturday, September 29, 2018

September 2018 Monthly Newsletter

Click here to access our September 2018 monthly newsletter for cumorah.com.

20 comments:

Eduardo Clinch said...

West Africa is doing great, or at least certain countries. There are still many to go, like Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, the Gambia...

Jarom Gurr said...

Is there anything impeding Guinea-Bissau from being opened? With Christian population estimates ranging from 20% to 60%, I am quite surprised that prospects for any kind of growth have not occurred here.

James said...

Great newsletter, Matt! Thank you. Based on what was reported regarding Sierra Leone, I would be very much surprised if Freetown was on on the list of announced locations the next time temple announcements occur. The Lord's hand seems to be over Africa, and many people seem to have their hearts open to the work. The increase in the number of African congregations seems to correlate directly to the increased number of area seventies serving through that continent (unless I am mistaken, there are more area seventies serving through that continent currently than there ever has been). i could also see one or two other African cities getting a temple ax well next weekend, but depending on the extent of President Nelson's plans, how fully they are detailed, and the time-frame within which they will be implemented, we could see a number of African cities have a temple announced. It will be interesting to see. Thanks again to you, Matt, and to the rest of you for your ongoing insightful contributions to these discussions.

L. Chris Jones said...

Good news for Sierra Leone. We have an elder from my ward serving over there. Great newe in Ecuador. I served there 20 years ago. I had a companion from Santa Rosa. Other growth is excellent. Thanks Matt for the updates.

Eric S. said...

Open house and dedication dates announced for Kinshasa temple. Temple will be dedicated April 14, 2019.

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/open-house-dedication-dates-announced-kinshasa-democratic-republic-congo-temple

Eduardo Clinch said...

Guinea-Bissau is traditionally Communist/Socialist; I think this affects religions there.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Reading the Cumorah profile on it Guinea-Bissau doesn't seem so religiously oppressed. I think it has to do with lack of Latter-day Saint resources and personnel. I can think of at least 6 guys from 4 families in my ward growing up that should have been missionaries but instead faded away: less activity, smoking dope, less than valiant faith or actions.
Not to be too judgmental towards youth who falter, plenty of senior missionaries don't answer the call either. We need to serve more.

James said...

Eric, thanks for sharing news of the temple dedication here. For those interested, Sister Barbara Ballard, wife of Acting President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, passed away earlier today as well. Her funeral service is set to be held next Monday, on the same day her husband will be marking his 90th birthday. Thanks again to you all for your wonderful contributions to these conversations.

James Anderson said...

Was just tipped off to this by someone on FB then checked and vetted it.

Type in become.org and see what comes up.
Type in mormon.org, the two pages are different.

James Anderson said...

Looks like become.org may be a fake site, it is not registered by or through Intellectual Reserve, uses Whoisguard, registered through Namecheap, and hosted by Cloudflare, known spam sewers that emit, host, and or register all kinds of garbage, spent two months fighting a flagrant pornography spammer hosted on Cloudflare although that may be just the DNS provider so the true host is not known and could be a hoax by an antimormon group on the church in a major way that we may not be that easily able to fight off.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Looks like Facebook will be sued pretty hard for allowing fake posers ennabling human traffickers.

James Anderson said...

I was using Twitter Sunday to run some tweets promoting Conference, and I found in one hashtag some ads by prostitutes because they were using a hashtag used by Christians very regularly. Since the US government finally took down Backpage, they have been tring new things, and while I have not seen it, Twitter is a porn bot cesspool, over ten million porn bots exist on Twitter and a huge percentage post pornographic images to Twitter, yet Twitter does nothing about it. The conference tweets are having an effect though, rather small but I had a retweet from one of another faith

Eduardo Clinch said...

Eegh. Let's sue Twitter for indecency and public health hazard. That'a real thing counter-sex industry.

James said...

Unfortunately, there are so many out there whose decency and regard for others, particularly those of any faiths (including ours), is severely lacking. That is one of many reasons why the Church has recently increased calls for civility and respect in the public discourse and everyday dialogue. We need that now more than ever.

Just on a generally unrelated note: With General Conference now less than 58 hours away, there has been an increase in the number of Church news stories reported within the last couple of days, and that is anticipated to continue to be the case throughout the General Conference weekend, I will continue to provide analysis of those developments as they are reported. With my thanks again to Matt for continuing to allow me to do so, I am pleased to again share the address of my blog. I look forward to both the General Conference weekend and any comments any of you have on the developments I report leading up to, during, and directly following General Conference. Thanks again to you all.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

Chris said...

The new Frankfurt Germany Temple President has been announced today.

https://www.ldschurchnews.com/callings/2018-10-04/new-temple-president-and-matron-called-to-serve-in-germany-48132

James said...

Thank you for sharing that news, Chris, and sorry I am a day late in reacting to your having done so. Although the temple is still undergoing renovation, and although the Church News article notes the new leadership will begin their service with that temple in November, I have not seen anything to indicate that the temple will be rededicated next month. It seems more likely than not that the announcement of the dedication could occur before the end of the year, with the dedication itself perhaps being held in May or June of next year at earliest.

I am also not dismissing the prospect that whatever winds up being announced relating to temples this weekend, President Nelson could confirm over the pulpit the timing for the next few temple dedications, rededications, or groundbreakings, in addition to potentially outlining more specifics about his plans to expand the number of temples and accelerate the construction process. It will be interesting to see what happens in regards to all of that.

John Pack Lambert said...

Kailahun, the place in eastern Sierra Leone with 90 attending but 75 on the records, is a city that has seen significant population growth over the last two decades. In 2004 it had 13,000 people. The most recent undated estimate mentioned on Wikipedia is 30,000, but it might be even more now. It is the capital of the sub-unit of Sierra Leone it is in and a regional center of trade and commerce.

John Pack Lambert said...

I hope that today or tomorrow both Freetown and Monrovia have temples announced. It will give a new meaning to the film "Freetown" if the journey presented there has now become a journey from temple city to temple city.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think the main think holding back Guinea-Bissau is the share amount of unreached population and countries. Even in countries in general open to Christian proselytism, there needs to be a formal set up of systems to get missionaries in. With the recent work to open Mali and Senegal to the Church, I am guessing the Area Presidency felt it was best to focus on some areas.

We also have to bear in mind that there are pars of even central Nigeria where there are no legal or cultural impediments to the establishment of the Church where the first branches were established in just the last few years, and even in south-east Nigeria where the Church has been since 1978 and unofficial members existed for 20 years before that in organized congregations, there are places that are still not officially within a ward or branch other than the mission administrative branch. In Ghana the Kumasi Mission administrative branch probably takes in close to a third of the country by area. In Liberia it has only been in the last two years the Church has really moved significantly beyond greater Monrovia. The 1.8 million people in Guinea-Bissau are just one such unreached population, and smaller than many other unreached populations even in countries where the Church is present in West Africa.

That said, it would seem to me the best way to open the Church in Guinea-Bissau would be to leverage the resources the Church has connected with another Portuguese speaking country in West Africa, Cape Verde. Cape Verde being in the Europe Area may make this leveraging hard though.

There are lots of resources from Brazil, but to the extent they are being focused on Portuguese-speaking aftica it has mainly been in Angola and Mozambique. In Angola it has only been a short time since they got their own mission, and the Church is still almost completely in the far north-west of the country in and around the capital city.

Elder Soares was for a time in the Africa South-East Area Presidency. With him as an apostle now, there are lots of added prospects for the Church moving into Lusophone Africa.

There is always that tight balance of the charge to spread the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people and in fact every creature, while at the same time not running faster than we are able, and building those centers of strength so that the Church will prosper in the long run.

I am sure the Africa West Area Presidency and others assisting them are doing much work to open all the nations they have under their assignment.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Church generally opens new countries first with senior missionaries. So what we need most is healthy, still relatively young couples past child rearing age, willing to take the gospel forward. Although come to think of it, the first couples sent to Nigeria were in their 70s, but I believe early 70s.

One think that will really help the work move forward is when we have lots more senior couples not from the Anglo-American Mormon culture. I did know an African-American brother from St. Louis whose parents had been senior missionaries in Sri Lanka, and when Elder Dube was president of the Zimbabwe Mission the public relations sernior couple for Zimbabwe was a black Zimbabwean couple where the husband had in the past been a spokesman for the white government of Rhodesia. That was before he joined the Church. I think I found a reference where he admitted he felt what he had done in the 1970s for the Rhodesian government had involved at times bearing false witness.

The curren mission leading couple in Zambia are the first Tongan mission leading couple to serve outside of Tonga. So I think we are at a point where we are about to see lots of good things from senior leadership in the Church from throughout the world being used throughout the world.

I would be shocked if there is no encouragement of couples serving missions at conference, and I would not be surprised if there are innovations introduced to better facilitate that. Although what exactly those would be I am not sure.

I know some places at times local leaders have a reaction to a couple wanting to serve a mission "we need your experience and skills here". Which is all well and good, but I think when that reaction occurs there needs to be a way to use their skills locally.

I know when I was at Eastern Michigan University at one point it was decided to not request another senior missionry couple assigned to work with the institute, and just call local members to fulfill what they had done. That didn't work, and the Institute Director and his wife ended up taking on a much larger responsibility until a new couple was called. This was because the amount of work that that couple did was a lot more than the leaders at first realized.

Still, with callings like that, they can be filled just as easily by local members as members from elsewhere. As long as you have the local members.