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Monday, August 21, 2017

Two Church News Items Reported

Hello, all! I am back sooner than even I anticipated, to report on news which I had heard earlier today, but have not yet passed along. In two blog posts on the Church Newsroom site, the Church shared this story (about how President Nelson shared with the governor of Nebraska information about his (the governor's) family history. It is always nice to hear how active President Nelson (who is just short of being 3 years older than our prophet) has been able to be. Not since President Monson himself was President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (which, as previously noted, happened during President Hinckley's presidency while President Monson also served as President Hinckley's First Counselor) have we had such an active Quorum President.

Wanted to add a sidenote here: President Nelson's predecessor, President Packer, had been confined to a wheelchair off and on from sometime in 2009 until his death in July 2015, and both the reemergence of his childhood polio and his need to be in a wheelchair had at times limited his ability to function actively as Quorum President. So the fact that the Quorum has had active leadership from President Nelson for over two years now is indeed significant, as is the fact that, by comparison, President Nelson has always been much better health-wise than President Packer was, even though President Packer was actually born the day after President Nelson. Given that President Nelson will mark his 93rd birthday next month (on the 9th), I am sure he will continue to actively provide good leadership to the Quorum (and also provide vital support for Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf as they carry the Church forward for President Monson, who, as also previously noted, announced on May 23 that he would be stepping back from an active role in Church leadership).

That said, the second story was to share different articles from the Mormon Newsroom of various foreign countries (in this case the Dominican Republic, the islands of Tonga and Kiribati in the Pacific area, Nicaragua (which several have said is a strong candidate for a temple sometime in the near future), Guatemala (which some have said may get a 3rd temple soon),and Thailand (which has a temple in the planning phase). You can find links to all of these stories here.

That does it for this blog post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Comments are welcome and appreciated. Until I find something else to post about (which may be tomorrow at earliest), I wish you all the best.

Two months until the beginning of the open house for the Meridian Idaho Temple

Hello, all! As noted by this blog post title, today not only marks the 90th birthday of our Church president, but it also means that the open house for the Meridian Idaho Temple will begin in just two months. And by the time that happens, 3 operating temples will have closed for renovation (in Memphis Tennessee, Tokyo Japan, and Oklahoma City Oklahoma). And depending on what happens during the October General Conference, there may be more temples announced by that time as well.

For my part, I will continue to try and keep abreast of it all. In the meantime, I wanted to note one more thing: In order for the Church to have 200 operating temples by or before the 200th anniversary of the gospel's restoration (Saturday April 6, 2030), which is 12.62 years away as of today, the Church would just need to announce 18 more temples and complete the other 25 currently in any phase (for a total of 43), which works out to roughly 3 or 4 per year.

And, as noted, the Church will add 2 more prior to the end of this year (for a total of 4 new temples this year), and there are plans underway to have 4 or 5 new temples by the end of next year, with between 4-6 in 2019, and 1 or 2 that will be completed the year after that.

Any other temple completions and dedications will depend entirely on what happens between now and then. If, for example, the Church does not hold groundbreakings for any other temples this year, then the odds of any other temples being dedicated during 2020 go down substantially. At best, the smallest temples have taken an average of 2 years and 4 months for construction. So any temples that could be completed by the end of 2020 would have to have a groundbreaking by no later than the end of August of next year.

Having done extensive study on the average time-frames within which temples have generally risen in certain world areas, I can say that none of the temples that are anticipated to have a groundbreaking between now and a year or so from now fall within that average construction time-frame.

That said, even though 2020 may not be a big year for newly dedicated temples, between now and then, I could see many new temples announced, and there are at least three currently operating temples that are anticipated to have a rededication during that time.

And in between now and then, there is plenty of time for the Lord to surprise us with what might happen with temples. The one thing on which any of us can always count is that the Lord controls how, when, and at what rate temples are announced, groundbreakings and construction occur, and subsequent dedications take place. He will surely have surprises ahead in that regard in the next three years, and indeed, for the foreseeable future. For my part, I will continue to try and keep track of it all, and will be sure to pass along updates as I get word of them.

In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time. Comments are welcome and appreciated. I have not heard any new temple news in the last little while, but will continue to look for it and pass it along. Until my next post (which, if not sooner, will be in three days to mark the 85th birthday of Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), I wish you all the best.

President Thomas S. Monson celebrates his 90th birthday today, becoming the 7th nonagenarian prophet in this dispensation

As noted above by the somewhat abnormally lengthy title of this blog post, not only are we marking a solar eclipse today, but our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, marks his 90th birthday today, becoming the 7th of our 16 prophets to become a nonagenarian. That is significant any way it's considered. So much has been written and said about our prophet, both prior to and as a result of this monumental day. and it is therefore a very daunting task to provide a fresh perspective of his life. But I will try.

As many know, his service in the Naval Reserve precluded his ability to serve a mission. However, right around the age he would have been after returning from a mission (22), he was called to be the bishop of his ward. A few years later, he would serve for a time as a member of his stake presidency. At the young age of 32, he uprooted his family (which then consisted of his wife and his two children; the youngest son would be born a short while later) to serve as a mission president in Canada. After three years in that assignment, he came home and served on Church committees while continuing a profession of publishing. A short time later, he was called by President David O. McKay to fill a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that had arisen when the junior apostle, N. Eldon Tanner, who had been called to the apostleship the year before, was called to the First Presidency.

Elder Monson would serve in the apostleship for 22 years before the death of President Kimball, the 12th Church President, led to a reorganization of the First Presidency. When Ezra Taft Benson became the prophet, he selected Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson as his counselors. President Benson functioned actively as prophet for just a few years. Presidents Hinckley and Monson saw the Church through a period of several years when the Lord's prophet was not able to function fully as such.

When President Benson passed away in May of 1994, his successor, President Howard W. Hunter, retained Presidents Hinckley and Monson. But President Hunter's presidency would only span a short period of just under 9 months.

When President Hunter passed away in March of 1995, President Monson's status as the second in line to new Church President Gordon B. Hinckley made him a natural fit to serve as both the First Counselor to President Hinckley and as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a position he held for the next almost-13 years.

When President Hinckley himself passed away in January of 2008, President Monson, as had many before him, spent several hours in the temple pouring out his soul in prayer to our Heavenly Father for guidance about how to lead the Church. He was then able to oversee the funeral arrangements for President Hinckley, and a day after that funeral, convened a meeting with the 14 remaining apostles to reorganize the First Presidency. He was unanimously sustained by his Brethren as Church President, and the next senior apostle Boyd K. Packer set him apart in that position.

President Monson then noted that, acting under the inspiration of the Spirit, he was calling Elders Henry B. Eyring (who was the first apostle called by President Hinckley and had served alongside President Monson in the first Presidency for almost four months prior to President Hinckley's passing) and Dieter F. Uchtdorf (called to the apostleship in 2004 and who, as a native German, had been blessed by President Monson's apostolic ministry to that nation, was a good friend of the new prophet) as his counselors.

The next 9.5 years, as we know, between February 2008 and now has seen quite an expansion of so many wonderful things for the Church, including the changing of the missionary age and so many more temples. But perhaps best of all, Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf have, through these last 9.5 years, learned how President Monson thinks and feels about things, and were thus prepared to continue to lead the Church forward in the wake of the announcement made on May 23 of this year, when we learned that President Monson would be scaling back his duties and not actively participating in meetings or decisions. We have also, in the last several years, seen the 7 apostles junior to President Monson but senior to President Nelson pass away.

I could go on forever about the accomplishments of our prophet. But I think it sufficient to say merely that the Church has been in good hands under his inspired leadership, and will continue to be so now as he takes a less active role in Church leadership. Over his apostolic ministry, which will, as of this October, have spanned 54 years, he has given a number of masterful general conference addresses. If I have counted correctly, the total number of those addresses now stands at 247. And that is just in general conference alone. I do not know how many more times we may be privileged to hear from this wonderful man, but if any of you would like to review any of those addresses, you can find most of them (from April 1971-April 2017) here.

In the meantime, that does it for this tribute to our prophet. I hope he had a wonderful day.  Any comments are, as always, welcome, but I hope any such comments will be respectful of our prophet. In the meantime, thank you all for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

No change reported in Church magazine editors/advisers

Hello, everyone! Earlier today, I stumbled across the PDF version of the September 2017 Ensign. There were a couple of surprises there. First of all, the First Presidency message for the month was done by our beloved prophet, who will be 90 on Monday. This suggests to me that there is a very high likelihood President Monson will speak at least once during General Conference, even if that address is only a few minutes long, and even if that is his only talk. It wouldn't surprise me if he gives two shorter talks, though, as he has in the last few general conferences. As I learn more on this, I will pass it along.

In the meantime, I expected that the September magazines would show any changes that have been made in the editors and advisers of the Church magazines as a result of the changes that were made in area leadership. Primarily, I was sure that Elders Christoffel Golden (who is now serving as First Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency) and Larry R. Lawrence (who will celebrate his 70th birthday on August 25 and may thus be granted emeritus status during the October General Conference) would be released from their assignment as advisers. But it could just be that whatever changes were made in the editor and advisers of the Church magazines will only show up in the October magazines. There has at times been a lag of one or two months for such changes, which we have seen before. As always, I will pass more along as I learn of it.

In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time. Comments are welcome and appreciated. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Minor but significant update reported on the Frankfurt Germany Temple Renovation Process

Hello, all! As you may be aware, there have not been all that many significant milestones in temple construction to be reported lately. However, one significant development, which I learned of earlier today, warrants mentioning: The Frankfurt Germany Temple renovation process has seen a roof slab poured for the basement addition. The last time progress was reported on this temple, the basement addition was merely underway.

So the question now becomes, what might this progress indicate about its potential future completion time frame? I have before ventured my thoughts that the Jordan River Utah Temple rededication would be among the first temple-related events of 2018, and we have seen that be the case with the announcement that a rededication will take place on the third Sunday in May.

It makes sense that the Rome Italy Temple dedication may be scheduled next, and that dedication might be scheduled in June. We could then see the rededication for the temple in Frankfurt sometime in August, following the annual July recess for the General Authorities (though the open house could be held in June, as was the case for the Tucson Arizona Temple this year).

While I have my own thoughts about when other temple-related events might happen during the year (including other dedications and groundbreakings), I am waiting for more information before I post more exact estimates for those. But if what I know about temples is any indication, by all appearances, I would not be surprised if next year is a big year for dedications and groundbreakings.

As always, I will post updates to this line of thought as I find out more. In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Report of Articles Featured on Church Websites to Honor President Monson's 90th Birthday

Hello, all! I am back today to report on articles published on Church websites in honor of President Monson's 90th birthday. There are a lot of them to feature, so let's get right to it.

First, his family members describe what they believe he would want us to do to honor his birthday, and it mirrors the request he gave some years ago on another birthday: Find someone who is having a hard time and help them. For more on this birthday wish, click here.

President Monson's family members shared precious memories they had of experiences with him. To read about that, click here. The Church News also wrote an article summarizing many of his greatest apostolic sermons.. You can read about that here.

The Church News viewpoint was written about how we can honor President Monson on his birthday by praying for him and by serving others. You can find that article here. The Church News also shared a history moment recounting President Monson's role in the progression of the gospel in East Germany. You can read more about that here.

Rounding out these tribute articles are this one sharing tributes of general Church leaders to President Monson as he approaches this milestone birthday, and this one from the Mormon Newsroom website, describing how President Monson will have a quiet family celebration as he observes this milestone and sharing some of the same tributes from Church leaders featured in the first article linked in this paragraph.

For myself, I will say this: Because of how extensive the ministry of our prophet has been, he deserves a chance to celebrate this milestone quietly and without fanfare. I am sure he would love another more public celebration this go-round, but I know for myself how valuable such quiet moments can be. His long life of service, and his continuing to press on in spite of age-related difficulties that limit his ability to function is deserving of our admiration, respect, and deference. I will be taking time next Monday (on the exact day) to put together my tribute to this man for his birthday.

For now, I join in the pleas of the songs written to honor Church Presidents in saying that I hope God will bless our prophet dear from now until whenever he is called home. Until that time, may we continue to follow his example.

Thank you for the privilege of your time. Comments are welcome and appreciated, except for any that are derogatory about our dear prophet or any that imply the Church should let him retire. That is not, never has been, and never will be the Lord's way. That said, with few exceptions, I have found all comments on this blog to be uplifting and inspirational, and I thank you all for that. Until I post again, I wish you all the best.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Church News Update

Hello, all! I am posting today with an update on Church News that has come to my attention within the last 3 hours or so. Let's dive right in to the latest news.

First, the Church News has reported the deaths of seven members of the Church in a mud slide. There were 330 people total who died in that mudslide, so Latter-day Saints only constituted 2% of all casualties. Church representatives further noted that all missionaries serving in that nation are safe and accounted for, and that no Church buildings were impacted by that mudslide. 3,000 people were displaced, while almost six hundred people were reported missing. It is unclear whether or not any of those 600 or so were Church members, nor is it known  if those people are still alive and lost somewhere.. In the meantime, I don't know how or if this natural disaster will impact any plans that might be under consideration for a possible temple in Sierra Leone. You can find the full report of this news here.

The Church also released today a copy of the dedicatory prayer offered by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf for the Tucson Arizona Temple. You can read the text of that prayer here.

Members and missionaries in Ghana are celebrating the opening of the MTC in that city. For a full report on that, click here.

This year marks 50 years since BYU professor and Book of Mormon scholar John Welch, while serving his mission, discovered chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. Chiasmus, for those not aware with the concept, is the way a sentence is put together for it to build from beginning to middle, then to repeat the same ideas in reverse order until the end of that sentence. Other religious texts (the Bible included) feature some form of this concept, so it is not new to most religions. But Brother Welch was the first person to actually notice this concept in the Book of Mormon, which is part of what likely influenced his career path.

The Church News wrote an article about this which I read earlier today, but cannot find anywhere now, but it was also covered here, in an article about how Elder Holland spoke at the BYU annual chiasmus conference. Because John W. Welch wrote about this discovery in an Ensign several years before I was born, I somehow never came across that article when perusing old Church magazines in my parents' basement. But this is a most intriguing concept, and I hope it will enhance my study of the Book of Mormon going forward..

Aside from these new items, I am not aware of any other news from any Church website I regularly visit.. So 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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Church Issues Statement on LoveLoud Festival

Hello, everyone! Based on inquiries from the media, the Church has issued another official statement, this one about the LoveLoud Festival that is set to be held in Orem, Utah 8 days from now (on August 24). The statement voices support for the effort, as it is being held to help all youths feel included. The statement also focuses on the common goals the Church and this festival shares. It was good to read about this. You can find that statement here. In the meantime, comments are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

BREAKING NEWS: Big Changes in Planned Curriculum for 2018 Announced

Hello, all! Over the past two weeks, I have checked regularly to try and find out what the Church has planned for curriculum for 2018. And just now, I stumbled across the Church's annual Instructions for Curriculum that reveal the details. What's in the works for next year? Let's explore that.

For Melchizedek Priesthood holders and the Relief Society, the first Sunday will be used for a Council Meeting. The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss local needs (on the ward and stake levels), and how members can work together to meet those needs. The second and third Sundays will be spent discussing General Conference talks (twice as frequently as we previously did). Fourth Sundays will now involve study of a doctrinal topic using the Come Follow Me Manual that was put together for adults by those leaders in charge of curriculum. Any fifth Sundays of the month will continue to be held under the direction of bishoprics or branch presidencies.

For the youth, they will continue to use the Come Follow Me curriculum which they started last year. For Sunday School, the youth will continue with the Come Follow Me curriculum, while adults will be studying the Old Testament. Primary-aged Latter-day Saints will follow the traditional rotation of manuals that has been in place for a while.

For a complete PDF version of these curriculum changes, click here. In the meantime, I am pleased to have been able to learn of and report about these changes. I think it will be awesome to see what happens with them.

In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Temple Construction Progress Update

Hello again, everyone! I am back as promised, with an update on temple construction developments. The progress there may be minor, but it is still significant. The latest copy of my report of that progress follows. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 8/15/17)

NOTE ABOUT FUTURE TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: As I have noted in many previous versions of this report, Elder Larry Y. Wilson, the Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department stated that 80 potential temple sites are currently under active consideration for a subsequent announcement within the next 15 years. While many of those temples make it to a subsequent announcement, it is certain that a few of them could either be eliminated or replaced, with others added. If we take Elder Wilson at his word, that means that by sometime in 2032 (likely the end of that year), the Church could have at least 260 temples in any phase of construction. That being the case, it seems very safe to assume that the Church could easily have 200 operating temples either by or before the 200th anniversary of the Church’s restoration and reestablishment (which will take place on Saturday April 6, 2030). That will be easily doable if the Church dedicates 43 temples (the 25 currently in any phase and 18 new ones announced) in the 12.65 years between now and then, which works out to 3 or 4 temples that will need to be dedicated each year. For my part, I will be keeping my eyes open for any developments and will pass such news along as I hear of it.

CURRENT TEMPLE STATUS: 157 operating temples; 2 more have construction wrapping up prior to their dedications later this year; 9 others are in various construction phases; 1 had a groundbreaking last year, with full-scale construction anticipated in the very near future; 1 has a groundbreaking scheduled (which will take place in just under three months; 1 temple has a rededication scheduled; 1 other is undergoing renovation (with completion anticipated next year); another 4 have a renovation closure date set for later this year, with 5 others set to close early next year (the actual dates for those 5 will be set closer to the time); the remaining 12* are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending). TOTAL: 182 temples in any stage.
*NOTE: Though this number had been italicized in previous versions of this report, I determined to put it in bold on August 6, 2017 because the number of announced temples is definite information, though it is always subject to change in the future based on other temple announcements or whenever groundbreakings will be set.

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Finalizing landscaping and interior work; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Hanging interior light fixtures; installing art glass; landscaping progressing; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated within the next 1-2 years):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior and exterior work progressing; construction office trailers donated to community organizations; office space relocated to patron housing; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Attaching roof decking; site grading of grounds underway; concrete poured for baptismal font; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding progressing on tower and east and west walls; decorative fence installation underway; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
163.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Pouring concrete curbing and walkways; preparing to clad tower; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Preparing to pour temple roof slab; brick work nearing completion for temple president’s apartment; two entrance building roofs completed; utility work advancing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: In studying this temple’s potential completion time-frame, I have become convinced that the dedication for it will take place closer to the end of 2018 than the beginning of 2019. If my thinking on that theory changes, I will pass it along.

Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 2-3 years:  
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Applying waterproofing membrane to exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction underway on temple substructure; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
168. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Preparing to pour main floor of temple; meetinghouse cladding progressing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Setting rebar for main floor structural walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Construction pending (anticipated to start anytime):
167. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations; acquiring building permits; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As noted above on both the Arequipa Peru and Lisbon Portugal Temples, changing the completion estimate for this temple in turn necessitated changing the numbering again. Until something comes along to change my thinking again, I have felt it is warranted.

Groundbreaking scheduled:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Ground being cleared; preparing for groundbreaking ceremony, which is scheduled for Saturday October 28, 2017; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2020.

Scheduled for rededication:
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication scheduled for Sunday May 20, 2018.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; baptismal font support walls poured in basement addition; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 14, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.

Temples that have a renovation closure announced, but no official date made known yet:
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in January 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: On July 16, while studying scheduled renovations, I learned two things: this temple is on a large enough plot of land that expansion may be possible and even feasible. That said, the Saints in North Carolina (according to one of my contacts) were told that an expansion is not in the renovation plans for this temple. It is possible but perhaps unlikely. More to come once more is known, including any change of the completion estimate.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: My study on this temple (which I conducted on July 16) indicates that there may be room on this temple lot to expand the edifice. The question is whether or not the Church will choose to do so. I will keep an eye on developments and pass things along as I learn of them. For now, the question cannot be settled.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: This renovation and the one below were announced in February of 2017. In the interim, the Church has scheduled 7 other renovations around those two. This temple is older, so the renovation will likely take longer. But I am not ruling out other possibilities. We also know that the primary purpose of this renovation is to upgrade mechanical and electrical systems and bring them up to code. So I don’t think expansion is in the plans for this temple.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: This is another older temple where the purpose of the renovation is to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems and bring them up to code. An expansion doesn’t seem likely. It is a larger temple, so the renovation will likely take longer. That reinforces the idea that the completion timeframe above will be spot on.
7. Mesa Arizona Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in May 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: The purpose of this renovation is to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems and bring them up to code. This temple has been renovated before, which reinforces the idea that there may be less to update here than for Washington DC. Until more is known, it is my feeling that this temple will likely be rededicated first.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: During the month of July, I revised the order in which temples in this section were listed. About a week after doing so, I found out that I needed to revise and rethink that order again. The current order reflects the latest information I have (as of the late night hours of July 18). I should also note that the timing of any temple event is up to the Lord (based on conditions in each area), so these estimates should not in any way be taken as gospel or official until they are confirmed or denied by those who have the authorization to do so.

Announced:
171. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: With the recent news that preconstruction for this temple began in March 2017, it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could take place in short order once 2018 starts. But as we also know that the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple had its groundbreaking unexpected announced in mid-July (being set for the end of October), that opens up the possibility that this temple could be another that could either have its groundbreaking just before that for Port-au-Prince (as there is a precedent for such things) or within the remaining two months of 2017. If that doesn’t happen, then this temple will likely be the first to have a groundbreaking during 2018.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: This temple is the oldest of those currently announced that has not progressed at all beyond an announcement. Due to some local opposition and governmental red-tape that caused delays, the estimate for when and how soon a site announcement and groundbreaking might happen in the near future has been pushed back again and again. Now that those delays are over, the only question is how soon things might happen. I have heard from some who say we could see both a site announcement and groundbreaking before the end of this year. But since that is looking less likely now, it has felt wiser to push the estimate back into next year. And I also wanted to note that on August 6, 2017, I switched this temple and the Harare Zimbabwe Temple because this one is farther along in its status (planning and approval) than that one (which is merely in planning).
173. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place during mid-2018.
NOTE: In spite of the statement by Elder Kevin S. Hamilton (made last year) that a site announcement and groundbreaking would happen in short order once 2017 began, there has been no change in this temple’s status. It has felt wise to push the groundbreaking estimate to 2018. And since the status on this temple (planning phase) is behind that of the Urdaneta Philippines Temple (planning and approval phase), I have made what I feel is a necessary adjustment in my thoughts. Once more is known, I will continue to adjust as it may be needed in the near future.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: On July 18, 2017, I learned some things that convinced me to take another look at the order in which these announced temples are listed. That more extensive research led me to conclude that this temple may get started closer to the average time in which Utah temples have gone from an announcement to a groundbreaking. So I ran those numbers, which now has me convinced that this temple’s groundbreaking may be sooner than I had originally projected. This change will be reflected on my timeline for future temple-related events.
175. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: As noted above, new information received on July 18, 2017 led to my rethinking this entire section. Particularly, I found out that the site inspection is not indicative of an imminent groundbreaking like I thought it might be. While it is still likely that this temple will have a groundbreaking prior to the end of 2018, it will likely be more towards the end of the year than the beginning, contrary to what I had thought and reported. This seems like a safe change for the moment. If the Lord surprises us and sets a groundbreaking for this temple sooner than estimated here, I will move it up on this list at that time.
176. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: This is another temple that has already had a site confirmed, but that will likely not have a groundbreaking as soon as I had thought and asserted that would happen. Having been advised that temples announced in April 2017 might have at least a year between the site announcement and the groundbreaking, this seems to be a safe and sound adjustment.  As always, once the Lord or the leaders of His Church reveal more about any temple, that new information will be reflected on future reports. For now, that is an update from what I have previously reported. And we are also still waiting to see if and when a more official name might be announced for this temple. I will report on all developments as I become aware of them.
177. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: While it is true that temples in the “Mormon corridor” of Idaho, Utah and Arizona generally get started well in advance of their international counterparts, I learned on July 18, 2017 that some temples on this list needed to be moved (some up, and some down). I also learned that Idaho temples have kept to a general average time-frame from announcement to groundbreaking, and by changing the estimate for this temple, it corresponds more fully to that average.
178. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: As I have considered the media event held last month, I have determined it wiser to assume that a groundbreaking for this temple will happen sooner rather than later. It seems apparent now that this temple will not be the last of those currently announced to have a groundbreaking, as I had originally thought and stated. So it seems wise to make that adjustment. As always, once more information is available, I will go from there.
179. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-2019.
NOTE: If member speculation is confirmed within the next year or so (that a building housing Church offices will be reconstructed and repurposed into an edifice housing not just those offices, but also a meetinghouse and the temple as well), then formal construction efforts could begin sooner than indicated here. Until more is known, I am trying to be conservative in my estimates. I would not be surprised in the least if this temple’s groundbreaking happens sooner or later than indicated here.
180. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: With the massive growth that the Church has experienced in the Ivory Coast, some have speculated that the Ivory Coast could get one or two additional temples within the next 15 years. For this first one, this adjustment feels appropriate. Further adjustments will be made once more is known.
181. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Despite the 14-year wait between the announcement and groundbreaking for Ecuador’s first temple, this one for the Ecuadoran capital is not anticipated to have nearly as long a wait. With other adjustments that have been made, this seems appropriate. Further adjustments will be made once more is known.
182. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: Since we have a site essentially confirmed for the other Brazilian temple above, even though this one was announced a year prior to that one, it is more than likely that we will not see a groundbreaking for this Belem temple until a year or so after the one for Brasilia. If the estimates for all other temples are anywhere close (which they may or may not be), that would make this temple the last of the current bunch to be dedicated. But this is 2 or 3 years out, so changes are always possible within that time depending on what develops between now and then.

ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: Temple announcements within the last three years have come during the April General Conference. They may happen at any time the First Presidency feels inspired to make them, but that has been the pattern since 2015. Also, as noted above, Elder Larry Y. Wilson said in an interview recently that 85 or more temple sites are under consideration for an announcement within the next 15 years. So we could be entering another unprecedented era of temple announcements and construction. That is one big reason why I have expanded my list of temples that may potentially be announced. I also know that sites have been procured for future temples in Managua Nicaragua (which seems most likely, as it is the first of the top ten countries with the strongest LDS presence that does not yet have a temple, and such a temple was proposed by Elder Nelson in 2012), Auckland New Zealand, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana (which was proposed by Elder Bednar sometime in 2014). I have been told by many that an official announcement will happen once unit growth and activity in temples within such areas warrants those announcements. If there have been any other sites purchased elsewhere, they have not yet been made known. We also know that several potential temples have been proposed in several locations around the world by many of our prophets and apostles. The Lord will continue to inspire such temple announcements as they are needed, and all developments will continue to be included on subsequent versions of this report.
                                                                                                           
Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose numbers already exists (for renovations), or is certain due to a scheduled dedication, as well as information that is certain, such as dedication or groundbreaking dates.
Italicized numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on progress towards planning, approval, and groundbreaking.
Red text highlights changes from the last posted temple progress report.