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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Initial Predictions for the October 2018 General Conference: Part Three--Most Likely Locations That May Have a Temple Announced

Hello again, everyone! I am back with the third and final post in the miniseries which I cranked out tonight that shares my initial predictions for the October 2018 General Conference. Having discussed the potential speaking order and changes in general Church leadership in the previous posts, we now turn our attention to the one subject on which I have not passed along my thoughts: potential future temple locations.

There were a few things that molded these thoughts. The first is the knowledge that, although temples have just been announced once a year in April between 2017 and now, with the 80 potential locations mentioned by Elder Wilson as being on a list that will be considered for a subsequent announcement between now and the end of April 2032 (which marks 15 years from the time that statement was made), I don't think that President Nelson would pass up any potential opportunities to make such announcements.

The second is the fact that President Nelson is healthier now at 93 years of age than President Monson likely was for the last 5-7 years of his life, so anything that may have hindered President Monson's ability to obtain and relay the will of the Lord regarding such locations during that time will not be a factor in President Nelson's case.

The third thing is the fact that President Nelson and his counselors first spoke to Church members from a temple, and highlighted the importance of "begin[ning] with the end in mind." President Nelson also made a point of mentioning in both his closing address and all through his tour his desire to have every member within a reasonable distance from a temple.

And my final reason for believing and asserting here that temples could (and likely will) be announced in October is the fact that, even though President Nelson needed to call two new apostles,, discern the will of the Lord about subsequent changes in Church policy and practice that have since been announced and are going into effect, and do whatever else was needed to prepare for his first General Conference as Church president, he not only had time to discern the Lord's will on and announce six temple locations, but he followed through on what can only be termed as a last-minute impression to add an unexpected location to that list.

President Nelson is clearly a man who is committed to doing the will of the Lord for as long as he is able, and for that reason, I think we will not only see many of the currently-announced temples go on to a groundbreaking and start construction within the next 2-3 years and beyond, but I feel very safe in assuming and asserting that, unless there is another serious backlog of announced temples, President Nelson will almost surely announce a few during each of the General Conferences over which he presides, and that we may also see times when, as impressed to do so, he could announce a few between each April, October, and subsequent April.

So here is my list of those locations which, in my opinion, have the most likely prospect for a temple announcement in the near future. So as not to disturb the flow of the information I am presenting, I will end here as I always do. 

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, especially those that clue me in on anything I have missed, overlooked, or failed to consider.Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Predictions: 3+ temples announced, with the most likely locations (in my opinion), on the list below.

Preliminary note: With seven temples having been announced last April (the second-highest number of temples ever announced at once), it may be that President Nelson will opt to wait until April 2019 to announce any others. But in view of President Nelson’s expressed intention to continue to bring temples to the people, there may be at least a few announced during this conference. The locations listed below represent my best efforts to anticipate such announcements, and I have requested feedback on this list on my blog. The Lord can and does continue to inspire temple announcements in the right locations at the right time, and if any new temples are announced, I will be just as happy if none of them are for the locations listed below as I will be if any or all of the temples that are announced are for locations on this list. Also, as I prepared to request initial feedback for the locations on this list, it made more sense to me to once again group the locations on this list by the geographical area under which they fall, then by potential likelihood within those areas.

Africa Southeast[i]: Antananarivo Madagascar[ii];
Africa West[iii]: Freetown Sierra Leone[iv]; Kumasi Ghana[v] Lagos Nigeria[vi]
Asia: Phnom Penh Cambodia[vii]
Brazil: Belo Horizonte/Salvador[viii]
Caribbean: San Juan Puerto Rico[ix]
Central America[x]: San Pedro Sula Honduras[xi]; Senahu Guatemala[xii]
Europe[xiii]: Budapest Hungary[xiv]; Praia Cape Verde[xv]
Mexico: Puebla Mexico[xvi]
Pacific: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea[xvii]; Auckland New Zealand[xviii];
South America Northwest[xix]: La Paz/Santa Cruz Bolivia[xx]

United States[xxi]
North America Central: Missoula Montana[xxii]; Rapid City South Dakota[xxiii]
North America Southeast: Jackson Mississippi[xxiv]; Shreveport Louisiana[xxv];
North America Southwest: Bentonville Arkansas[xxvi]; Elko[xxvii]/Ely[xxviii] Nevada; Fort Worth Texas[xxix]; Las Cruces New Mexico[xxx]; Flagstaff Arizona[xxxi]
Utah Salt Lake City: Herriman[xxxii];
Utah South: Heber City[xxxiii]; Tooele[xxxiv]



[i]The African continent is experiencing substantial and significant growth. That has proven particularly true for the this area of the Church, in which 1 temple is currently operating, but 4 others have been announced (2 of which are under construction, and the other 2 of which are anticipated to start construction at some point within the next 3 years or less.
[ii]Since Madagascar is disconnected from the rest of the African continent, anywhere in Africa to which the Saints might journey will be somewhat of a challenge for those in Madagascar. For that reason, I have added Antananarivo to this list for the first time. Madagascar is currently the last of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase, which adds to the rationale for building a temple there. The only other African nation within this area that is in the top ten is Uganda at #6 on that list. But since a temple has been announced for the neighboring nation of Kenya, Uganda may not get a temple until the one in Kenya is either under construction or dedicated, as the Church will probably want to gauge how busy the temple in Kenya is before announcing one for Uganda. Thus, Madagascar is the only prospect on this list for this area.
[iii]The Church in the Africa West Area has also experienced massive and rapid growth. The LDS Church Growth Blog recently reported that, if current growth trends in the Africa West Area continue as they have been, the Church could go from the 2 operating and 1 announced temple to 13 in operation by sometime during 2030. With that in mind, several possibilities have a lot of merit to the rationale behind my belief that they could each get a temple in the near future, as I will explain in the subsequent references for the locations I have listed for this area.
[iv]Sierra Leone is now the fourth of the top ten nations that have the strongest Church presence but do not yet have a temple in any phase. With the recent expanded growth in Sierra Leone (particularly with so many districts that have been upgraded to a stake), a temple there may simply be a matter of time.
[v]Since the dedication of the Accra Ghana temple in January 2004, Ghana has seen sufficient enough growth (in my opinion) to potentially get a second temple. And Kumasi has emerged as the most likely city for such a temple.
[vi]Since the dedication of the Aba Nigeria temple in August 2005, Nigeria has seen extensive Church growth. While many have offered their opinions that Benin City might be a more likely prospect, the elements I have studied leads me to conclude that when Nigeria gets a second temple, it will likely be in Lagos.
[vii]Cambodia is now the seventh of the top ten nations having the strongest Church presence without a temple in any phase. So the idea of a temple in Phnom Penh makes sense. But with the Bangkok Thailand Temple planned to be on the larger side, and with another temple announced for Bengaluru India, the question will be whether a temple might be needed in Cambodia as well in the near future. For now, I am confident enough to include it here, but that could change.
[viii]Brazil has also seen extensive Church growth, and rapid expansion. With temples currently under construction in Fortaleza (which is anticipated to be dedicated in 2019) and in Rio de Janeiro (which is anticipated to be dedicated in 2020), and with two others announced (for Brasilia and Belem, both of which may be under construction within the next few years), it is not hard to believe that additional Brazilian temples may be needed. Salvador and Belo Horizonte seem to be the cities most mentioned as having the best prospects for a temple announcement in the near future. Of the two, a temple in Salvador seems to be more imminently likely, but we have seen unexpected things occur, so for now, both locations are on my list.
[ix]Puerto Rico now ranks as the second of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase. And now that the construction of the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple is underway, and since that temple is on the smaller side, it makes sense that the Church might opt to announce a temple for San Juan in the near future. Time will tell how safe it is to so assume, but for now, it has made my list.
[x]With a temple having been announced in April for Managua Nicaragua, it may be some time before we hear of other temples being announced for the Central America Area of the Church. The case in favor of the locations on my list being announced is a strong one, so for that reason, they have made the list, but it would not surprise me in any way if the Church waits on these potential locations until the temple in Managua is further along.
[xi]The Church in Honduras has seen extensive growth in recent years, so a third temple in that nation seems likely. And while there may be many good potential locations where one could be built, the consensus appears to be that San Pedro Sula is the most likely prospect, and that a temple for that city could be announced sooner rather than later.
[xii]As noted above in relation to Honduras, Guatemala has also seen significant Church growth in recent years. And there are likewise many potential locations where a third temple could be built to serve the Guatemalan Saints. But the city of Senahu has emerged as the most likely prospect for that honor, and the consensus seems to be that a temple there may simply be a matter of time.
[xiii]Europe, particularly in the eastern countries of its’ continent, has seen some stagnation in terms of the growth of the Church. With temples currently under construction in Rome Italy and Lisbon Portugal, and another announced for a major yet-to-be determined city in Russia, the Church may opt to wait to construct other temples on the European continent until those 3 are either dedicated or at least further along in the process. That said, on the off-chance the Church does not so opt, the cities in this section, for the reasons I will explain in the subsequent notes that will follow this one, have the greatest chance of being announced in the near future.
[xiv]When I began sharing my thoughts on potential future temple locations, someone who has knowledge of the growth of the Church in Europe indicated that Budapest would likely be the next European city to get a temple. My study on the matter confirms that opinion, so it has been on my list for a while.
[xv]Cape Verde now ranks as the eighth of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple. Based on that fact, a temple in Praia is likely just a matter of time.
[xvi]The growth of the Church in Mexico has somewhat stagnated to the point where Church leaders began last year to do a mass consolidation of the Church units there. That said, many people (including one of the readers of my blog who lives in Mexico) concur that the next temple in Mexico will likely be in Puebla, and that such a temple will likely be announced sooner rather than later.
[xvii]Papua New Guinea now ranks as the nation with the strongest Church presence that does not yet have a temple. I also learned several years ago that land has been held in reserve in Port Moresby for a temple for a while now. With that in mind, it may simply be a matter of time before a temple is announced there.
[xviii]As with Papua New Guinea, I had heard years ago that land has been held in reserve in Auckland for a temple. How soon that might actually occur will depend on if the renovation of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple involves any kind of expansion for that temple. If it does, that might potentially eliminate the immediate need to use the land in Auckland. I have felt confident enough to keep it on my list for now, but will be watching for any developments that could change my mind.
[xix]The entire South American continent has seen extensive growth, as manifested by the fact that, of the 19 temples currently announced, 5 of them are in South American nations. And of the 11 temples currently under construction, Brazil has 2 (with two others announced), this area (South America Northwest) has 2 under construction (1 of which has a dedication announced), and 2 others announced, and the South America South area has 1 temple announced, 1 with a dedication scheduled, and 1 that is currently closed for renovation. Based on these numbers, the Church may opt to wait until all temples under construction or being renovated are finished, or Church leaders could (and in my opinion, likely will) opt to announce more temples as they are needed. In a previous note above, I shared my rationale behind two temple locations that may be used for future Brazilian Temples. While the Church could surprise us and announce other temples for the South America South Area (which would not be unheard of by any means), it is my feeling that the most likely prospect for South American temples in the near future is this area, for the reasons I will explain in the notes below.
[xx]Since the dedication of Bolivia’s first temple in Cochabamba, the Church in Bolivia has seen significant growth and expansion. That has been especially true of regions that would be served by temples in Santa Cruz or La Paz. Of the two, although I favor La Paz (since a good friend served a mission there), my research indicates a Santa Cruz temple may be more imminent. But I fully anticipate temples in both cities within the next 15 years or less, thus both are on this list.
[xxi]While it has been repeatedly observed that the growth of the Church has stagnated somewhat here in the United States, 4 of the 19 temples that have currently not had a groundbreaking were for the United States. This gives me hope, however slight that hope might be, that other locations within the US that have a compelling case in their favor for a temple (as outlined in the remaining notes). While there are literally hundreds of these potential locations with a strong likelihood, the locations on this list are those that, in my opinion and for the reasons outlined, have the highest likelihood.
[xxii]According to reports I received through the comments on my blog, Elder David A. Bednar publicly proposed a Missoula Montana Temple while on assignment to a stake conference in that city. My subsequent research indicates that land has been held in reserve for such a temple for several years now, and that an official announcement will occur once the right conditions are met. For that reason, Missoula has been on my list for a while now, and I could see an official announcement in the near future.
[xxiii]Although South Dakota only has 2 stakes and one district, and although the districts of the Bismarck North Dakota and Winter Quarters Nebraska, which cover South Dakota, may not be inordinately large, the Saints in Rapid City travel almost 300 miles to worship at the Bismarck temple, so it seems likely that the Church will opt to build a temple there sooner rather than later.
[xxiv]Mississippi is one of the few states in the US that does not have a temple in any phase. My recent study points to the idea that a temple in Jackson may just be a matter of time.
[xxv]The Saints in Shreveport currently travel just under 200 miles to their assigned temple in Dallas, but I have still felt confident enough that this city could get a temple sooner rather than later.
[xxvi]A good friend with connections to Arkansas told me a while ago that the Church has held land in reserve for a temple in Bentonville for a while now, and that an official announcement was likely once the right conditions were met. For that reason, I believe we will see this temple announced sooner rather than later. Some have opined that Rogers might be a more likely location for the first temple in Arkansas, but my study confirms that a temple is likely in Bentonville sooner rather than later.
[xxvii]The Saints in Elko currently travel just over 200 miles to their assigned temple (Salt Lake). It is enough of a commute that a temple there may just be a matter of time.
[xxviii]The note above applies to the Saints in Ely as well, as they commute just over 200 miles, but their assigned temple is in Cedar City. A temple in Ely would cut the commute substantially. And I fully believe that temples in both Elko and Ely are possible in the near future, since the distance between the two is just under 200 miles.
[xxix]In sharing my thoughts about potential future temple locations, I learned from someone living in Texas that Fort Worth would likely be the best prospective city for the next temple in Texas, and a temple there would be the best way to break up the current Dallas Texas district.
[xxx]The Saints in Las Cruces currently travel 224.6 miles to the temple in Albuquerque, so a temple there may just be a matter of time. A temple in that city could also likely serve the Saints in El Paso Texas, if they are unable to access their currently assigned temple (in Ciudad Juarez Mexico).
[xxxi]At the dedication of the Tucson Arizona Temple, Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department, stated that that dedication had Arizona pretty well covered for temples. But I have heard from many sources that Flagstaff will likely be the next Arizona city to get a temple, and that this could happen sooner rather than later. Thus, I am confident enough to put it on my list.
[xxxii]In 2005, President Gordon B. Hinckley noted that land was being held in reserve for a temple in the Southwestern Salt Lake Valley, which would have an official announcement when that became necessary. Subsequent study on my part in late 2017 and early 2018 pointed me to the conclusion that the land in question was in Bluffdale, but that it has since been annexed into the city of Herriman, although it has been the subject of more than a few border disputes. I am confident enough to list it here, and since President Monson announced temples publicly proposed during President Hinckley’s tenure, I feel that President Nelson may likely do the same. Thus, a temple there may just be a matter of time.
[xxxiii]A temple in Heber City (the prospect of which has been suggested a few times) would help provide a closer option for Saints in the Heber Valley, and it would likely split the district of the Provo Utah Temple, which, by all reports, is still one of the busiest in the Church.
[xxxiv]Tooele has also been mentioned repeatedly as a potential prospective city for a temple. While the Saints in Tooele do not have to drive an inordinate distance to reach their assigned temple in Salt Lake City, I feel a temple there may simply be a matter of time. And since a temple in Herriman would still create a drive (along a U-shape) for those Saints, it seems safe to assume that Tooele could (and likely will) get a temple soon.

Initial Predictions for the October 2018 General Conference: Part Two--Predictions for Likely Changes in Church Leadership

Hello again, everyone! I am back again with the second of what will be a three-part post series discussing my predictions for the October 2018 General Conference. In this one, I will be passing along my thoughts about the likely changes in general Church leadership and the rationale behind those thoughts.

All of those details follow below. Since I do not in any way want to disturb their flow, I will be concluding now as I always do. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.


Predictions for Changes in General Church Leadership

Preliminary Note: I am proceeding on an assumption here that, since both Presidents Oaks and Eyring did part of what has traditionally been a combined Solemn Assembly and Sustaining of Church Officers, and since President Oaks' part was to lead a sustaining vote for other changes in Church leadership (which involved reading the long list of new area seventies with difficult name pronunciations, and which President Oaks did very well, in my opinion), President Nelson may request that he (President Oaks) continue to lead the April sustaining vote, which typically involves such changes, which would leave President Eyring to lead the October sustaining vote, which, by comparison, sees far fewer changes in area seventies.
General Authority Seventies: Elders Mervyn B. Arnold, Craig A. Cardon, Larry J. Echo Hawk, C. Scott Grow, Allan F. Packer, Gregory A. Schwitzer, and Claudio D. Zivic released and granted emeritus status.
Note: Each of these general authorities was born in 1948, and will have their 70th birthdays before General Conference, or within the last two months of 2018, and the Church in recent years has almost always released General Authorities in October that have their 70th birthdays prior to the end of any given year. With that in mind, it seems safe to surmise that each of these men will have that happen during this General Conference.
Result:
Area Seventies: Some area seventies released, others called.
Note: It has been customary in recent years for the Church to release and sustain several area seventies in April, with only a few changes in October. If that pattern continues, then at least a few changes could be made.
Additional note: While some area seventies have been released as the result of a call to serve in other assignments (for example, as General Authorities or temple presidents), for other assignments (such as a call to preside over a mission), a release from that assignment might not occur, but would continue while such individuals preside over missions. Since that has occurred in recent years, Elder Tasara Makasi, who currently lives in South Africa, but has been called to preside over a mission in Zimbabwe, would not even have to switch the Quorum in which he is currently serving, and could retain both assignments, which also applies to Miguel A. Reyes, who is an area seventy residing in Mexico that has been called to preside over one of Mexico’s missions. It would not surprise me if Elder Fred A. Parker, who serves in the North America Southeast Area, but has been assigned to preside over a mission in the Caribbean Area, which means he would switch quorums. Elder Steven O. Laing, who is an area seventy in the Utah North Area, has been called to serve as the new president of the Brigham City Utah Temple, so he may be released.

Initial Predictions for the October 2018 General Conference: Part One--Potential Speaking Order for the 5 General Sessions

Hello again, everyone. In this, the first of three posts I will be publishing one after the other, I will be passing along my predictions and projections for the potential speakers and speaking order we might see during the October 2018 General Conference.

That part of my predictions, based on what I had observed in my last post, are based on several assumptions. Since we are in somewhat uncharted territory (primarily in terms of how much the last General Conference did not follow typical patterns, and also because the Women's Session will be held in the slot that has traditionally been used for the Priesthood Session), what might actually occur is anyone's guess, and I will not in any way be surprised to go into the October General Conference with an entirely different set of predictions, nor will it shock me if any version of these predictions turns out to not match at all what actually winds up occurring.

That said, my speaking order predictions follow below. So as not to disturb their flow, I will end here as I always do. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.


October 2018 General Conference Predictions
Session
Conducting
Speakers
Saturday Morning
President Dallin H. Oaks
President Russell M. Nelson


Lisa Harkness


Elder Quentin L. Cook


Elder Terence M. Vinson


Elder Gerrit W. Gong


Elder Mathias Held


Elder David S. Baxter


Elder Ronald A. Rasband


President Dallin H. Oaks
Saturday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
President Henry B. Eyring (Sustaining of Church Officers)


Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Bishop Dean M. Davies


Elder Gary E. Stevenson


Elder Matthew L. Carpenter


Elder D. Todd Christofferson


Elder Juan Pablo Villar


Elder Paul B. Pieper


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Women’s Session
Joy D. Jones
Cristina B. Franco


Michelle D. Craig


Jean B. Bingham


President Henry B. Eyring


President Dallin H. Oaks


President Russell M. Nelson
Sunday Morning
President Russell M. Nelson
President Henry B. Eyring


Bonnie H. Cordon


Elder Ulisses Soares


Elder Robert C. Gay


Elder Craig A. Cardon


Elder Neil L. Andersen


Elder Walter F. Gonzalez


President Russell M. Nelson
Sunday Afternoon
President Dallin H. Oaks
President M. Russell Ballard


Brian K. Ashton


Elder Shayne M. Bowen


Elder Dale G. Renlund


Elder Kyle S. McKay        


Elder Scott D. Whiting


Elder David A. Bednar          


Elder Marcus B. Nash


President Russell M. Nelson