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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Revised General Conference Predictions--October 2017 Edition

Hello again, everyone! As promised, I am back to share the complete revision of my predictions for the October 2017 General Conference. I welcome any feedback of any kind on them. Again, whether I am right or wrong in any of these predictions, I am just grateful for the opportunity the Lord has given me to share these things with all of you. Let me know your thoughts. In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord bless you all in everything you do.

October 2017 General Conference Predictions

PRELIMINARY NOTE:

Speaking Order (Text in brackets indicated what actually happened.)
Session
Conducting
Speaker
General Women’s
Joy D. Jones
Christina B. Franco


Sharon Eubank


Bonnie L. Oscarson


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Saturday Morning
President Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Bishop W. Christopher Waddell


Jean B. Bingham


Elder David A. Bednar


Elder Massimo De Feo


Elder O. Vincent Haleck


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Saturday Afternoon
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring
(Sustaining of Church Officers)


President Russell M. Nelson


Elder Dale G. Renlund


Elder Larry Y. Wilson


Elder Joni L. Koch


Elder Ian S. Ardern


Elder Quentin L. Cook


Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Saturday Priesthood
President Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Elder D. Todd Christofferson


Elder Patrick Kearon


Elder Brian K. Taylor


President Henry B. Eyring
Sunday Morning
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring


Elder Robert D. Hales


Elder Juan A. Uceda


Neill F. Marriott


Elder Gary E. Stevenson


Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella


President Russell M. Nelson
Sunday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
Elder Neil L. Andersen


Tad R. Callister


Elder David F. Evans


Elder M. Russell Ballard


Elder Taniela B. Wakolo


Elder Jose L. Alonso


Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Changes in General Church Leadership
Presidency of the Seventy: Elders Donald L. Hallstrom and Richard J. Maynes released from the presidency, Elders Juan A. Uceda and Patrick Kearon sustained.
NOTE: These changes, announced on May 3, became effective on August 1. For that reason, they will likely be ratified by sustaining vote. However, because there has also been a time or two when such changes have not been so ratified, I would not be surprised if this is not noted. Until further notice, I have felt it would be wiser to include the information.
RESULT:
General Authority Seventies: Elders Stanley G. Ellis, Larry R. Lawrence, and W. Craig Zwick released as General Authority Seventies and granted emeritus status.
NOTE: Elder Ellis turned 70 in January this year, just as Elder Zwick did in June, and Elder Lawrence did in August, so it would make sense if these men were released and granted emeritus status.
RESULT:
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings.
NOTE: It has been customary for most changes in area seventies to take place in April, when President Uchtdorf leads out in the sustaining vote, and for only a few to take place in October, when President Eyring leads out in the sustaining. Since we are talking about an October General Conference, it would make sense if only a few changes happened this go-round.
RESULT:

Temple Predictions:
NOTE ABOUT ANNOUNCEMENTS: Two significant developments have occurred that will no doubt change how and when temple announcements occur for the remainder of President Monson’s presidency. First, during the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Open House, Elder Larry Y. Wilson, the Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department, stated that the Church is considering as many as 80 future sites that could be announced within the next 15 years. That works out to a rough average of 5 per year every year between now and 2032, not including those 5 that were announced earlier this year. This means that we will likely have a few temples announced during each General Conference and that we will also from time to time have one or two announced in the six months between each conference. Because President Monson will not be participating in General Conference at all, if any new temples are announced, one of his counselors will be authorized to make that announcement in his behalf. I could see that happening at either the beginning of the Saturday Morning or Sunday Morning Sessions. Just wanted to note that.

3+ temples announced in any of the following locations:
After thinking further about those temples I feel are most likely in the near future, I first narrowed down then expanded, then revised these selections again. I am again listing them by the geographical area of the Church under which they fall and then by likelihood within each of those areas. As always, these are nothing more than my own thoughts, backed up by either research or the opinions of others I have trusted in this matter. The Lord decides where He needs His temples to be built, and those decisions are manifested to those authorized to receive such revelation (the prophet, or, in our current situation, those authorized to represent him in so determining).

Africa Southeast: Antananarivo Madagascar; Maputo Mozambique; Lubumbashi DR Congo; Cape Town South Africa
Africa West: Benin City/Lagos Nigeria; Kumasi Ghana; Freetown Sierra Leone; Yamoussoukro Ivory Coast; Monrovia Liberia
Asia: Phomn Penh Cambodia; Jakarta Indonesia; Taichung Taiwan; Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Singapore; Hyderabad/Rajahmundry India
Brazil: Belo Horizonte; Salvador
Caribbean: San Juan Puerto Rico
Central America: Managua Nicaragua; San Pedro Sula Honduras; Guatemala City Guatemala (2nd temple)
Europe: Praia Cape Verde; Budapest Hungary; Vienna Austria; Edinburgh Scotland
Mexico: Puebla; Queretaro
North America Central: Missoula Montana; Green Bay Wisconsin; Rapid City South Dakota
North America Northeast: Richmond Virginia
North America Northwest: Salem Oregon
North America Southeast: Bentonville Arkansas
North America Southwest: Fort Worth Texas; Flagstaff Arizona; Henderson Nevada

Pacific: Auckland New Zealand; Port Moresby Papua New Guinea; Pago Pago American Samoa; Neiafu Vava'u Tonga 

Philippines: Davao/Cagayan de Oro
South America Northwest: Maracaibo Venezuela; Santa Cruz/La Paz Bolivia; Iquitos Peru
South America South: Valparaiso Chile; Neuquen Argentina
Utah North: Layton Utah
Utah Salt Lake: Tooele Utah
Utah South: Heber City Utah

Notes about potential temple sites:
1.         For the Africa Southeast Area, the first two possibilities listed seem to be the most likely ones. With the growth of the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a second temple seems imminent, even without knowing how the one that will be dedicated in Kinshasa will affect any potential future temples. While Elder Neil L. Andersen proposed a temple for the Kasai region, Lubumbashi seems more likely. And I have felt certain that South Africa could get a third temple, and that Cape Town is the most likely city to next get one. As always, I will pass any new information along as I become aware of it.
2.         Regarding the Africa West Area, the LDS Church growth blog reports that, if current growth trends continue, that area could have 13 temples by the year 2030. Along with that, we know that there are two dedicated and one announced in that area already. In the Africa West Area, second temples for Ghana and Nigeria seem likely, especially now that all Nigerian cities have been reached by the Church. The one thing I have not been able to settle through my research is whether Lagos or Benin City is more likely. I could see temples in both cities within the next 15-30 years. And Sierra Leone may also get a temple soon simply by virtue of being so far distant from the temple district under which it falls. Additionally, Sierra Leone comes in at #6 of the top ten countries/dependencies with the strongest LDS presence but without a temple, making a temple there likely sooner rather than later. I have also heard some say that a second and possibly a third Ivory Coast temple may be announced within the next 10-15 years depending on how quickly the first one progresses. And it may be high time for a temple in Liberia as well.
3.         While I was double-checking for additional temple sites, I quickly figured out that Asia could be a great candidate for several new temples, and these are the most likely locations that I could find. While all of them make sense in terms of President Monson’s desire to have every Church member within 200 miles of a temple, I have grouped them by the number of Church units. Additionally, I know that temples have been proposed for New Delhi India (in 1992 by Elder Maxwell) and for Singapore (in 2000 by President Hinckley). Church membership in those countries stand as follows: Cambodia: nearing 14,000; India: just over 13,000; Mongolia: nearing 11,500; Indonesia: nearing 7,300; Singapore: nearing 8,400. According to a statistical profile written by a Church Growth expert, India may not actually get a temple until there is a stronger Church presence to support. For now, it seems that the order I have placed them in may be the most likely order by which they might be announced. On July 28, I added one for Taichung Taiwan, since further research indicates Taiwan may be ready for a second temple. As more information comes to light, I will make any adjustments that might be necessary.
4.         In Brazil, the two cities above seem to be the most imminent possibilities. It would also not surprise me at all if the Church held off on announcing any other Brazilian temples until the two under construction and the other two announced ones are closer to completion. As I have mentioned previously, I had felt prior to General Conference last April that Brazil's next temple would be built in Brasilia, but didn't think it would be announced until the one in Belem made more progress. So more Brazilian temples may be announced soon, but they also might not. Once more is known, I will make any adjustments needed. Many people who have given me feedback on my temple possibilities have stated that they think it might be possible for us to perhaps see the two temples mentioned above announced at the same time. And that certainly makes sense. In the event that the two are not announced simultaneously, they may be announced in close proximity.
5.         Central America may be needing several new temples, based on what my research shows. Then-Elder Nelson proposed a temple for Managua in 2012, and I recently learned that land has been set aside for such a temple for several years. Additional research done on July 28, 2017 showed that temples could be needed in the other cities listed in the Central America Area, and they are listed in order of likelihood for that to happen.
6.         While I said when posting my last list of possibilities that any new European temples might be put on hold until the Church evaluates how the dedications of the Paris France and Rome Italy Temples and the rededications of the temples in Freiberg and Frankfurt Germany have affected temple attendance for European Saints, in going over the current and future districts, I was reminded of a couple of things: First, Cape Verde is currently the 10th of the top ten countries that has the strongest LDS presence but that does not yet have a temple in any phase. I had also heard from several people that Budapest Hungary would be the next European temple. And Vienna Austria makes sense in terms of President Monson's expressed goal to have every member within 200 miles of a temple. Until more information is known, these additions seem to be sound.
7.      Of the many cities in Mexico, I know Puebla has been widely mentioned as the most likely site for the next temple in that nation. I have also felt at times that Queretaro could be a feasible possibility. If and when I feel I can narrow down or add new options, I will do so.
8.    While Church growth in the United States has stagnated somewhat of late, except in the “Mormon corridor” of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, I have heard at one time or another that each of the temples I listed above could potentially be As part of my efforts to expand my predictions, I decided to include these cities again on this list. Until I know more about US growth, these seem to be sound changes. I also know, as I have previously noted, that land has been set aside in Bentonville Arkansas and Missoula Montana for future temple sites, with an official announcement anticipated once unit growth and activity in the current temple districts warrant that happening.
9.          In the Pacific, I know that the first two cities have been mentioned to me as having sites purchased, and once Church growth and temple activity from these areas warrant an official announcement for them, it will happen. Of the two, Auckland seems more likely. Additionally, Papua New Guinea is the second of the top 10 countries with the strongest LDS presence without a temple. American Samoa is the seventh on that list of top ten. Additionally, further study which I did in late July confirms that Tonga may get another temple.
10.       As a state that is constantly expanding its outreach, Utah has 18 temples either in operation or in various stages of construction. Layton and Tooele have often been mentioned to me by name as possibilities. I added Heber City in late July after a couple of comments led me to do so. Each of these seem likely. I also know that we are still waiting to have the Southwest Salt Lake Valley temple mentioned by President Hinckley announced at some point. Some have said that this temple has been announced already, but the research I have done proves otherwise.

Final note: As with everything else I put together, these are no more than my own thoughts, feelings, and observations based on the research I have done and the reports I have received. I hope that is absolutely understood and accepted. No one can know the mind of the Lord relating to His Church except those authorized to receive revelation regarding their own spheres of responsibility. While I am always gratified when my predictions turn out to be correct, I am even more appreciative of the many times developments do not take place as I project they will. At the end of the day, the Lord is the only one who can determine best how to further His work, and He manifests His will to those authorized to lead the Church and make decisions. Just wanted to end on that note. 

Considering the Church's options for the October General Conference

Here I am once again as I promised, to consider the options the Church has in terms of handling President Monson's absence from General Conference. There are a few things to consider:

1. Temple announcements: In view of Elder Wilson's statement that there are around 80 potential temple sites that could have an official announcement during the next 15 years, the Church would need to add 5 or 6 new temples every year, which works out to around 3 per General Conference. As has been the case previously, I imagine that there will be some General Conferences in which no new temples are announced. After all, the last 12 temples have been announced during the April General Conference. That said, it would make sense if the Church spread out these temple announcements, so it seems logical to assume that we could have at least 2 or 3 announced in each General Conference, and have a few additional new temples announced in between each April & October.
2. What might be done with the time that President Monson would have taken to speak to us? I see three or four options, as follows:

First, one of President Monson's children could, at his request and with his consent, read a previously prepared message (if that happens, it will most likely be done by his oldest son Thomas L. Monson, but I'm sure an equal case could be made for his daughter Ann M. Dibb or his son Clark S. Monson). President Monson could also have his personal secretary read a prepared message. I'm not sure how likely that might be to happen.

Another option, as has been done in the past, is for one or both of the prophet's counselors to present messages in his behalf, with his advice and consent, using either the words President Monson has spoken previously, or providing an update on how he's doing and to testify that the Lord is at the helm of His work.

The final option that I find to be likely is one I favor the most above any of the others presented above. That would be to have President Nelson speak twice in the next General Conference. That could be done by removing President Monson from the speaking list of the Saturday Priesthood and Sunday Morning Sessions, having the Priesthood Session begin with President Uchtdorf's address, then the member of the Quorum of the Twelve & Presidency of the Seventy, adding a General Authority Seventy (whom I would transfer from the Sunday Morning Session) and having President Eyring conclude the meeting.

Then, with the Sunday Morning Session, President Eyring would be the first speaker. Elder Hales, if he speaks in that session, would be next, followed by the second speaker from the Presidency of the Seventy and either Sister Marriott or Sister Bingham (whichever did not speak during the Saturday Morning Session), then having the second apostle (I am predicting Elder Stevenson), a General Authority Seventy, and then the session would conclude with President Nelson's second address.

I am convinced that there are other things the Church can and probably might do. I have presented these as the most likely options, but they are not by any means the only options, and they may not even be the best options. Whatever happens, I know that the Lord will continue to govern how and in what manner the events of the General Conferences of His Church are conducted. For myself, I will be no less surprised if and when I find out that I am wrong in things I have thought and asserted than I will be profoundly grateful for anything I have correctly predicted.

I will be posting again in a moment with a completely updated copy of my General Conference Predictions for October 2017. For now, thank you for the privilege of your time. Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated. Until that next post, I wish you all the best.

President Monson will not be attending or speaking at General Conference

Hello, everyone! I have some sad news today. As many of you may recall, I had been keeping my eye out for news on how President Monson and Elder Hales are doing health-wise, in the hopes that I could find out whether or not they would speak or even be in attendance at General Conference this Saturday and the weekend after that. Though I kept checking the Church news sites I get most of my information from, I did not get any closer to an answer for my questions than I was when I first asked them. Then, about 12 hours or so ago, a comment was posted to my blog. The person making the comment said that Elder Renlund had presided at his/her stake conference last Sunday, and that when he was asked about President Monson, Elder Renlund replied that, because of his age and health, he would not even be in attendance at any of the sessions. So, it appears that we now know definitively that President Monson will not be in attendance. I will be posting later about what could be done as a result of President Monson not being able to participate. For now, thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord bless you in all that you do.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Arequipa Peru Temple Reaches Another Construction Milestone

Hello again, everyone! In what will be my last post of the day, I wanted to note that more progress has been reported on the construction of the Arequipa Peru Temple. The walls of the second floor of that temple are now being poured. I have been amazed at how steadily progress has been noted on this temple. If that continues, I may need to revise my estimate for its completion for late 2019. For now, it does still feel like this temple could have another 14-16 months of construction, which would, at minimum, mean that a dedication would still only be held in March 2020. I was excited to learn of this development and am glad that I could share it with you. It has seemed to me as though there has been some degree of temple news every day for the last several weeks, and if that continues, the overall status of most, if not all, temples currently under construction or even announced, will likely look much different by the end of this month, and even more so by the end of this year. For my part, I promise to do my best to keep all of you updated on everything as I hear of it. For now, thank you for the privilege of your time. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Additional Apostolic Ministry Update

Hello again, everyone! I am doing this additional blog post because more apostolic news has come in. As with the previous report, I am excited to share these items with you. It is great to see how the apostles are both individually & collectively fulfilling their mission to be witnesses & representatives of the Savior worldwide. Let's talk about the latest reported developments.

In a BYU-Hawaii Devotional address earlier today, our youngest apostle, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, spoke to students about their opportunities to enjoy the blessings of having a bishop in each of their wards, maintaining both a gospel perspective & spiritual balance, and remembering that the Lord will always help His children. To read the Church News summary of that address, click here.

The other two stories which were reported by the Church News focused on how President Eyring ministered in two vastly different settings. This article describes how he shared a message of hope, love and appreciation with the people of Florida & the many "Mormon Helping Hands" who came to the area to help with cleanup & relief efforts. He visited Florida this last weekend.

After spending the weekend in Florida, he then headed to Idaho, where he today represented the Church Board of Education in inaugurating his son, Henry Johnson Eyring, as the 17th president of BYU-Idaho. The inauguration, as I may have previously mentioned, coincided with his son's 54th birthday. Also in attendance were Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, himself a former president of BYU-Provo, who, as also noted in an earlier post, is currently serving as a member of the Church Board of Education & Boards of Trustees, who also chairs the Executive Committee of the Board, and 2 other apostles (Elders David A. Bednar (who was the president of Ricks College when it was transitioned to become BYU-Idaho) and Dale G. Renlund), Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, General Authority Seventy, and general auxiliary presidents Jean B. Bingham (Relief Society), Bonnie L. Oscarson (Young Women) & Stephen W. Owen (Young Men), all of whom serve on the Church Board of Education. With the exception of President Eyring, whose wife is having health issues that limit her ability to appear in public, each board member was accompanied by his or her spouse. The only board members absent were Presidents Thomas S. Monson & Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, and Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse.

In reference to Elder Oaks, I wanted to add this thought: some have said it is slightly nepotistic for President Eyring's son to fill this position. However, what most people don't realize or recognize is that it is the Chairman of the Executive Committee, Elder Oaks in this case, who makes the initial decision about who should serve as a president of any of the Church-owned schools. It's true that the First Presidency has final approval for whatever decision is made, but it was Elder Oaks who recommended Henry J. for this position. Just wanted to note that, which I may not have done before.

In addition to President Eyring and Elder Oaks, Elder Kim B. Clark, the current CES administrator and another former BYU-Idaho President (who also contributes to the decision of who should serve as presidents of Church universities. President Henry B. Eyring gave his son a six-part charge. This too was nostalgic because Henry B. had received a similar charge from his father, Henry Eyring, as he (Henry B.) was inaugurated president of Ricks College. Other former presidents of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho were in attendance as well.

As previously mentioned, Elder Kim B. Clark, the 15th president of BYU-Idaho, also spoke. For the Church News summary on this inaugural event, click here.

Well, this update was more detailed than I originally meant it to be. Thank you for both your kind attention and the privilege of your time. Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

General Authority & General Officer Assignments

A few days later than originally promised, I have compiled a list of assignments in which each of our General Authorities (and, where I could find them, our General Officers)are currently serving. This is not a comprehensive list, as I have been unable to find any committee assignments which our apostles currently hold. I have also waited until now to post this list because I had hoped to include any changes to the editors and advisers of Church magazines, but since the PDF version of the October Ensign has not yet been made available online, I have not been able to find that information. I will be sure to post any updates to this list going forward. Hope you enjoy this list. Any comments are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
President Russell M. Nelson—supervises the Europe East Area
Elder Dallin H. Oaks—supervises the Asia North & Mexico Areas; serves on the Church Board of Education & Boards of Trustees; Chairman; Executive Committee of the Boards
Elder M. Russell Ballard—supervises the Europe Area
Elder Robert D. Hales—in view of his health, he does not appear to be filling any special assignments
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland—supervises the Middle East/Africa North Area; serves on the Church Board of Education & Boards of Trustees; Member, Executive Committee of the Board
Elder David A. Bednar—supervises the Africa West Area; serves on the Church Board of Education
Elder Quentin L. Cook—supervises the Asia Area
Elder D. Todd Christofferson—supervises the Brazil Area
Elder Neil L. Andersen—supervises the Philippines Area
Elder Ronald A. Rasband—supervises the Africa Southeast & South America South Areas
Elder Gary E. Stevenson—supervises the Pacific Area
Elder Dale G. Renlund—supervises the Caribbean & South America Northwest Areas; serves on the Church Board of Education

Presidency of the Seventy:
Elder L. Whitney Clayton—assists in all areas (in the United States and Canada) as assigned; assists Elder Oaks in supervising the Mexico Area & Elder Holland in supervising the Middle East/Africa North Area
Elder Craig C. Christensen—supervises the Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City, and Utah South Areas; assists Elder Rasband in supervising the South America South Area
Elder Ulisses Soares—supervises the Idaho and North America Central Areas; assists Elder Cook in supervising the Asia Area & Elder Rasband in supervising the Africa Southeast Area
Elder Lynn G. Robbins—supervises the North America Southeast Area; assists Elder Bednar in supervising the Africa West Area, Elder Christofferson in supervising the Brazil Area & Elder Renlund in supervising the Caribbean & South America Northwest Areas; Member, Human Resources Committee
Elder Gerrit W. Gong—supervises the North America Northeast Area; assists Elder Oaks in supervising the Asia North Area; serves on the Church Board of Education & Boards of Trustees; Member, the Executive Committee of the Board
Elder Juan A. Uceda—supervises the North America Southwest Area; assists Elder Andersen in supervising the Philippines Area & Elder Stevenson in supervising the Pacific Area
Elder Patrick Kearon—supervises the North America Northwest and North America West Areas; assists President Nelson in supervising the Europe East area and Elder Ballard in supervising the Europe Area

General Authority Seventies:
Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis—President, Brazil Area
Elder Jose L. Alonso—Second Counselor, Caribbean Area
Elder Wilford W. Andersen—Senior Administrator, Middle East/Africa North Area; Area Assistant (Idaho and North America Central Areas); Assistant Executive Director, Temple Department
Elder Ian S. Ardern—Second Counselor, Pacific Area
Elder Mervyn B. Arnold—Area Assistant, Idaho, North America Central, & North America Northwest Areas
Elder W. Mark Bassett—First Counselor, Brazil Area
Elder David S. Baxter—Currently on medical leave from his Church assignments
Elder Randall K. Bennett— Assistant Editor: Ensign, Friend, Liahona and New Era magazines;
Assistant Executive Director, Priesthood and Family Department; Assistant, North America Northeast & Utah South Areas
Elder Shayne M. Bowen—President, Philippines Area
Elder Mark A Bragg—Second Counselor, South America South Area
Elder Craig A. Cardon—First Counselor, Pacific Area
Elder Yoon Hwan Choi—Second Counselor, Asia North Area
Elder Kim B. Clark—Commissioner, Church Education System; Area Assistant, North America Southwest Area
Elder Weatherford T. Clayton—Area Assistant, North America Central & North America Southwest Areas
Elder Carl B. Cook—Undisclosed assignments @ Church headquarters
Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge—Undisclosed assignments @ Church headquarters
Elder Valeri V. Cordon—Second Counselor, Central America Area
Elder J. Devn Cornish—Assistant Executive Director, Church History Department; Area Assistant, North America Central & North America Southwest Areas
Elder Claudio R. M. Costa: Assistant Executive Director, Missionary Department; Member, Boundary and Leadership Change Committee; Area Assistant, North America Southeast Area
Elder Joaquin E. Costa: Second Counselor, Brazil Area
Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr.—Adviser to the Church magazines (Ensign, Friend, Liahona, New Era); Assistant Executive Director, Priesthood and Family Department; Area Assistant, North American Southwest Area
Elder Edward Dube—Undisclosed assignments @ Church headquarters
Elder Kevin R. Duncan—Assistant Executive Director, Temple Department; Area Assistant, Assistant (Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City, and Utah South Areas)
Elder Timothy J. Dyches—Assistant Executive Director, Temple Department
Elder Stanley G. Ellis—will likely be granted emeritus status in October, as he turned 70 in January.
NOTE: Although his biography on Mormon Newsroom still notes that he is serving in the Africa Southeast Area Presidency, due to the changes in area leadership which became effective on August 1, we know he has been released from that assignment. But by all appearances, that biography has not been updated at all this year.
Elder David F. Evans—First Counselor, Asia Area
Elder Enrique R. Falabella—First Counselor, South America Northwest Area
Elder Massimo De Feo—Second Counselor, Europe Area
Elder Bradley D. Foster—Executive Director, Family History Department; Area Assistant, North America Southwest Area
Elder Randy D. Funk—President, Asia Area
Elder Eduardo Gavarret—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder Robert C. Gay—President, Asia North Area
Elder Carlos A. Godoy—President, South America Northwest Area
Elder Taylor G. Godoy—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder Christoffel Golden—First Counselor, Europe East Area
NOTE: By the time the September 2017 Church magazines were published, Elder Golden’s assignment as an adviser to the Church magazines was still listed. However, because he is now serving outside the US in an area presidency, that assignment is no longer in effect. Once the October magazines are available online, we will know what, if any, changes have been made to the editors and advisers of the Church magazines, and I will pass that information along.
Elder Walter F. Gonzalez—President, Caribbean Area
Elder C. Scott Grow—currently on medical leave
Elder O. Vincent Haleck—President, Pacific Area
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom—Board Member, Church Education System; Executive Director, Priesthood and Family Department
Elder Kevin S. Hamilton—President, Africa Southeast Area
Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk—Assistant Executive Director, Correlation Department; Member, Boundary and Leadership Change Committee; Area Assistant, North America Northeast, North America West & North America Southwest Areas
Elder Allen D. Haynie—First Counselor, Philippines Area
Elder Benjamin De Hoyos—Assistant Executive Director, Temple Department
Elder Paul V. Johnson—President, Europe Area
Elder Larry S. Kacher—Second Counselor, Africa West Area
Elder Von G. Keetch—Executive Director, Church Public Affairs Department; Area Assistant, North America Southwest Area
Elder Jörg Klebingat—Assistant Executive Director, Temple Department/Area Assistant (North America Central & North America Southeast Areas
Elder Joni L. Koch—Second Counselor, Africa Southeast Area
Elder Erich W. Kopsichke— Adviser to the Church magazines (Ensign, Friend, Liahona, New Era); Area Assistant (North America Northeast & North America Southeast Areas)
Elder Larry R. Lawrence—will likely be granted emeritus status in October, as he turned 70 in August.
NOTE: While the biography of Elder Lawrence on Mormon Newsroom still shows both his assignment as an area administrator of the Middle East/Africa North Area and his being an Assistant Executive Director of the Priesthood and Family Department, and while the October Church magazines still list is assignment as an adviser, because he will likely be granted emeritus status in October, he has also likely been released from these assignments. I will pass along information about such changes as I receive it.
Elder Hugo E. Martinez—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder James B. Martino—President, Europe East Area
Elder Richard J. Maynes—Undisclosed assignments at Church headquarters
Elder Peter F. Meurs—Second Counselor, Asia Area
Elder Hugo Montoya—Second Counselor, South America Northwest Area
Elder Marcus B. Nash—First Counselor, Africa West Area
Elder K. Brett Nattress—Assistant Executive Director, Missionary Department; Area Assistant, Idaho and North America Central Areas
Elder S. Gifford Nielsen—Assistant Executive Director, Missionary Department; Area Assistant, North America Northest Area
Elder Brent H. Nielson—Executive Director, Missionary Department
Elder Adrian Ochoa—President, Central America Area
Elder Allan F. Packer—First Counselor, South America South Area
Elder S. Mark Palmer—First Counselor, Africa Southeast Area
Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder Kevin W. Pearson—Area Assistant, North America Southwest Area/Member, Communication Services & Strengthening Church Members Committees
Elder Anthony D. Perkins— Executive Director, Correlation Department; Member, Correlation Executive Committee; Junior Administrator, Middle East/Africa North Area
Elder Paul B. Pieper—President, Mexico Area
Elder John C. Pingree Jr.—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder Rafael E. Pino—Second Counselor, Mexico Area
Elder Michael T. Ringwood—Member, Self-Reliance Services/PEF, Church Audit, and Welfare Executive Committees
Elder Gary B. Sabin—First Counselor, Europe Area
Elder Evan A. Schmutz—Second Counselor, Philippines Area
Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer—Assistant Executive Director, Church Missionary Department/Chair, Missionary Medical Health Services Division
Elder Joseph W. Sitati— Editor: Ensign, Friend, Liahona and New Era magazines;
Assistant Executive Director, Church Missionary Department/Member, Boundary and Leadership Change Committee
Elder Steven E. Snow—Church Historian and Recorder; Executive Director, Church History Department
Elder Vern P. Stanfill—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder Brian K. Taylor—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder Michael John U. Teh—President, Taiwan Taichung Mission
Elder Jose A. Teixeira—President, South America South Area
Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela—First Counselor, Mexico Area
Elder Terence M. Vinson—President, Africa West Area
Elder Taniela B. Wakolo—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder Scott D. Whiting—Undisclosed assignment at Church headquarters
Elder Larry Y. Wilson—Executive Director, Temple Department
Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong—President, Canada Vancouver Mission
Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita—First Counselor, Asia North Area
Elder Jorge F. Zeballos—First Counselor, Central America Area
Elder Claudio D. Zivic—First Counselor, Caribbean Area
Elder W. Craig Zwick—will likely be granted emeritus status in October, as he turned 70 in June.
NOTE: While he may indeed be granted emeritus status in October in view of his age, his biography on Mormon Newsroom mentions that he is serving as an Assistant Executive Director of the Missionary Department & Committee Chair of the Utah Hispanic Initiative.

Presiding Bishop:
Bishop Gerald Causse—Member, Church Board of Education

General Auxiliary Presidencies:
Joy D. Jones, Primary General President—Member, Temple & Family History Council
Bonnie H. Cordon, First Counselor, Primary General Presidency— Adviser to the Church magazines (Ensign, Friend, Liahona, New Era)
Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President—Church Board of Education & Boards of Trustees; Member, Executive Committee of the Boards; Member; Priesthood & Family Executive Council
Sharon Eubank, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency—Adviser to the Church magazines (Ensign, Friend, Liahona, New Era)
Brian K. Ashton, Second Counselor, Sunday School General Presidency—Adviser to the Church magazines (Ensign, Friend, Liahona, New Era)
Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President—Church Board of Education & Boards of Trustees
Douglas D. Holmes, First Counselor, Young Men General Presidency—Adviser to the Church magazines (Ensign, Friend, Liahona, New Era)
Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President—Church Board of Education & Boards of Trustees; Member, Executive Committee of the Boards; Member, Missionary Executive Council

Carol F. McConkie, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency— Assistant Editor of the Church magazines (Ensign, Friend, Liahona, New Era)

Apostolic Ministry Updates & Other Church News

Hello again, everyone! Over the last 16 hours or so, the Church News has shared quite a few new stories, most of which are about the ongoing ministry of our apostles. So here are the new items. Hope you enjoy this post.

First, Elders M. Russell Ballard & Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, accompanied by Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy, and Sister Christina B. Franco, who was sustained in April as the new Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, traveled to Houston Texas to uplift and encourage those affected by Hurricane Harvey & those who continue to assist in relief efforts. For more on their visit, click here.

In the meantime, Elder Neil L. Andersen, still on assignment in the Philippines (where it was reported earlier today that another new stake was created there yesterday, one week after the 100th stake was created) rededicated the newly renovated MTC in Manila. For more on the dedication, click here.

In a USU-sponsored devotional for Institute students, President Russell M. Nelson encouraged those in attendance to join him in studying the Bible and observing particularly how certain prophecies in the Bible are fulfilled by events related in both the Book of Mormon and in these latter days. He promised that by so studying, those who did so would yield a greater understanding of and appreciation for the Bible, for the life and mission of the Savior, and a greater testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the restoration of the gospel, and would show how much the prophets in Bible times understood what would transpire in the last days.

His wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, also spoke, focusing her remarks on the importance of relying on the Lord above and beyond the wisdom of man. She gave three examples, Nephi's willingness to "go and do" despite not knowing what would happen, the prophet Joseph Smith's insistence on round windows for the Nauvoo temple, as he saw the temple that way in vision, and how her own husband, President Nelson, acting on the inspiration of the Lord above and beyond the medical knowledge, understanding, and common practice of the day, pioneered a surgical technique that changed the way open heart surgeries would be done from then on. To read summaries of the talks given during this event, click here.

Finally, unrelated to apostolic news, Elder Richard J. Maynes was the featured speaker at a BYU-Provo devotional today. He invited his listeners to shape their lives through service to others. You can read a summary of his remarks here. The one problem I noticed with both this article, and before that, with the schedule put out by BYU that listed the devotional speakers for the Fall Semester, is that both identified Elder Maynes as being in the Presidency of the Seventy, but he was released from that assignment before either of those articles was published. It may be nitpicking, I know, but just wanted to note that.

That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Final Note on General Conference Predictions

Hello again, everyone! I just wanted to follow up on something I stated earlier this month when posting my final predictions for General Conference. During that post, I had said that I had listed President Monson and Elder Hales speaking back-to-back in the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference. While I still am not sure if either of them will even be at General Conference, let alone if they will be able to speak for any length, what I did want to note is that if things happen the way I am predicting they will, and if President Monson and Elder Hales do speak in that session, and if their talks are only a few minutes each, then I could see an additional General Authority Seventy being asked to speak to fill up the remaining 7-10 minutes of their time. At this point, if President Monson cannot speak at all, it may or may not make sense to have President Nelson give a second address. One thing I do know: whether or not any of my General Conference predictions hold true, I will look forward to the opportunity to hear from our Church leaders. I will be excited to share my thoughts on those developments as they occur. For now, thank you for the privilege of your time. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Final Update to New Temple Predictions for the October 2017 General Conference

Hello, everyone! In going over my predictions for next General Conference, I realized that there were updates I meant to make to my list of temple predictions, but that I had not done so. I have taken care of that. This is the final version of my list of those possibilities. As I have said in reporting temple construction progress, if Elder Wilson's statement about the 80 sites currently under consideration is taken at face value, we will be seeing an average of 5 temples announced per year within the next 15 years. And since that number does not include the 5 already announced this year, that means that 5 others will need to be announced within the next year to keep that average. Whatever the case may be, I wanted to share the final version of these temple predictions. I will be just as happy whether or not any temples are announced during this next conference. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts. Thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord bless you all in all that you do.
Temple Predictions:
3+ temples announced in any of the following locations:
ADDITIONAL NOTE: After thinking further about those temples I feel are most likely in the near future, I first narrowed down then expanded, then revised these selections again. I am again listing them by the geographical area of the Church under which they fall and then by likelihood within each of those areas. As always, these are nothing more than my own thoughts, backed up by either research or the opinions of others I have trusted in this matter. The Lord decides where He needs His temples to be built, and those decisions are manifested to those authorized to receive such revelation (the prophet, or, in our current situation, those authorized to represent him in so determining).

Africa Southeast: Antananarivo Madagascar; Maputo Mozambique; Lubumbashi DR Congo; Cape Town South Africa
Africa West: Benin City/Lagos Nigeria; Kumasi Ghana; Freetown Sierra Leone; Yamoussoukro Ivory Coast; Monrovia Liberia
Asia: Phomn Penh Cambodia; Jakarta Indonesia; Taichung Taiwan; Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Singapore; Hyderabad/Rajahmundry India
Brazil: Belo Horizonte; Salvador
Caribbean: San Juan Puerto Rico
Central America: Managua Nicaragua; San Pedro Sula Honduras; Guatemala City Guatemala (2nd temple)
Europe: Praia Cape Verde; Budapest Hungary; Vienna Austria; Edinburgh Scotland
Mexico: Puebla; Queretaro
North America Central: Missoula Montana; Green Bay Wisconsin; Rapid City South Dakota
North America Northeast: Richmond Virginia
North America Northwest: Salem Oregon
North America Southeast: Bentonville Arkansas
North America Southwest: Fort Worth Texas; Flagstaff Arizona; Henderson Nevada
Pacific: Auckland New Zealand; Port Moresby Papua New Guinea; Pago Pago American Samoa; Neiafu Vava'u Tonga
Philippines: Davao/Cagayan de Oro
South America Northwest: Maracaibo Venezuela; Santa Cruz/La Paz Bolivia; Iquitos Peru
South America South: Valparaiso Chile; Neuquen Argentina
Utah North: Layton Utah
Utah Salt Lake: Tooele Utah
Utah South: Heber City Utah

Notes about potential temple sites:
1. For the Africa Southeast Area, the first two possibilities listed seem to be the most likely ones. With the growth of the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a second temple seems imminent, even without knowing how the one that will be dedicated in Kinshasa will affect any potential future temples. While Elder Neil L. Andersen proposed a temple for the Kasai region, Lubumbashi seems more likely. And I have felt certain that South Africa could get a third temple, and that Cape Town is the most likely city to next get one. As always, I will pass any new information along as I become aware of it.
2. Regarding the Africa West Area, the LDS Church growth blog reports that, if current growth trends continue, that area could have 13 temples by the year 2030. Along with that, we know that there are two dedicated and one announced in that area already. In the Africa West Area, second temples for Ghana and Nigeria seem likely, especially now that all Nigerian cities have been reached by the Church. The one thing I have not been able to settle through my research is whether Lagos or Benin City is more likely. I could see temples in both cities within the next 15-30 years. And Sierra Leone may also get a temple soon simply by virtue of being so far distant from the temple district under which it falls. Additionally, Sierra Leone comes in at #6 of the top ten countries/dependencies with the strongest LDS presence but without a temple, making a temple there likely sooner rather than later. I have also heard some say that a second and possibly a third Ivory Coast temple may be announced within the next 10-15 years depending on how quickly the first one progresses. And it may be high time for a temple in Liberia as well.
3. While I was double-checking for additional temple sites, I quickly figured out that Asia could be a great candidate for several new temples, and these are the most likely locations that I could find. While all of them make sense in terms of President Monson’s desire to have every Church member within 200 miles of a temple, I have grouped them by the number of Church units. Additionally, I know that temples have been proposed for New Delhi India (in 1992 by Elder Maxwell) and for Singapore (in 2000 by President Hinckley). Church membership in those countries stand as follows: Cambodia: nearing 14,000; India: just over 13,000; Mongolia: nearing 11,500; Indonesia: nearing 7,300; Singapore: nearing 8,400. According to a statistical profile written by a Church Growth expert, India may not actually get a temple until there is a stronger Church presence to support. For now, it seems that the order I have placed them in may be the most likely order by which they might be announced. On July 28, I added one for Taichung Taiwan, since further research indicates Taiwan may be ready for a second temple. As more information comes to light, I will make any adjustments that might be necessary.
4. In Brazil, the two cities above seem to be the most imminent possibilities. It would also not surprise me at all if the Church held off on announcing any other Brazilian temples until the two under construction and the other two announced ones are closer to completion. As I have mentioned previously, I had felt prior to General Conference last April that Brazil's next temple would be built in Brasilia, but didn't think it would be announced until the one in Belem made more progress. So more Brazilian temples may be announced soon, but they also might not. Once more is known, I will make any adjustments needed. Many people who have given me feedback on my temple possibilities have stated that they think it might be possible for us to perhaps see the two temples mentioned above announced at the same time. And that certainly makes sense. In the event that the two are not announced simultaneously, they may be announced in close proximity.
5. Central America may be needing several new temples, based on what my research shows. Then-Elder Nelson proposed a temple for Managua in 2012, and I recently learned that land has been set aside for such a temple for several years. Additional research done on July 28, 2017 showed that temples could be needed in the other cities listed in the Central America Area, and they are listed in order of likelihood for that to happen.
6. While I said when posting my last list of possibilities that any new European temples might be put on hold until the Church evaluates how the dedications of the Paris France and Rome Italy Temples and the rededications of the temples in Freiberg and Frankfurt Germany have affected temple attendance for European Saints, in going over the current and future districts, I was reminded of a couple of things: First, Cape Verde is currently the 10th of the top ten countries that has the strongest LDS presence but that does not yet have a temple in any phase. I had also heard from several people that Budapest Hungary would be the next European temple. And Vienna Austria makes sense in terms of President Monson's expressed goal to have every member within 200 miles of a temple. Until more information is known, these additions seem to be sound.
7.      Of the many cities in Mexico, I know Puebla has been widely mentioned as the most likely site for the next temple in that nation. I have also felt at times that Queretaro could be a feasible possibility. If and when I feel I can narrow down or add new options, I will do so.
8.    While Church growth in the United States has stagnated somewhat of late, except in the “Mormon corridor” of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, I have heard at one time or another that each of the temples I listed above could potentially be As part of my efforts to expand my predictions, I decided to include these cities again on this list. Until I know more about US growth, these seem to be sound changes. I also know, as I have previously noted, that land has been set aside in Bentonville Arkansas and Missoula Montana for future temple sites, with an official announcement anticipated once unit growth and activity in the current temple districts warrant that happening.
9. In the Pacific, I know that the first two cities have been mentioned to me as having sites purchased, and once Church growth and temple activity from these areas warrant an official announcement for them, it will happen. Of the two, Auckland seems more likely. Additionally, Papua New Guinea is the second of the top 10 countries with the strongest LDS presence without a temple. American Samoa is the seventh on that list of top ten. Additionally, further study which I did in late July confirms that Tonga may get another temple.
10. As a state that is constantly expanding its outreach, Utah has 18 temples either in operation or in various stages of construction. Layton and Tooele have often been mentioned to me by name as possibilities. I added Heber City in late July after a couple of comments led me to do so. Each of these seem likely. I also know that we are still waiting to have the Southwest Salt Lake Valley temple mentioned by President Hinckley announced at some point. Some have said that this temple has been announced already, but the research I have done proves otherwise.

Final note: As with everything else I put together, these are no more than my own thoughts, feelings, and observations based on the research I have done and the reports I have received. I hope that is absolutely understood and accepted. No one can know the mind of the Lord relating to His Church except those authorized to receive revelation regarding their own spheres of responsibility. While I am always gratified when my predictions turn out to be correct, I am even more appreciative of the many times developments do not take place as I project they will. At the end of the day, the Lord is the only one who can determine best how to further His work, and He manifests His will to those authorized to lead the Church and make decisions. Just wanted to end on that note.