The update scripts have now completed successfully. I clicked the continue button at the bottom and got to the screen with the new settings options. Assuming I can spend the time and tweak the settings later, I scroll to the bottom and click the button to accept and continue. When I enter my login credentials, I get
Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: YES)
Now, here's the odd thing. When I am not logged in, I can click on a public forum and see the messages. This is showing me that moodle is connecting to the database and pulling results. So I am suspecting that the config file is not being loaded by the /admin/index.php script. To test this, I added a new mysql user, and granted all permissions to the moodle database and tables. I updated this information in the config.php, closed my browser to clear the session so I can now see the login page again, and verified that the public forum is still accessible. It is. However when I log in, I still see "Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: YES)" when I should be seeing "Access denied for user 'newuser'@'localhost' (using password: YES)".