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Monday, December 11, 2017

Further Updates Reported on Temples Worldwide

Hello again, everyone! I found out earlier today about some pretty significant temple progress that has been reported in several locations worldwide. This is the first chance I have had to post about those developments, however, as I have spent the better part of my day today resting and recuperating from my ongoing battle with a cold. I apologize for that delay. But I am grateful to be able to pass those developments along right now. Let's dive right in to all of that.

While the cladding process is still ongoing for the Concepcion Chile Temple, it has made progress, and is getting closer to being completed. Interior millwork continues to be installed, while light fixtures are being hung throughout the temple. The dedication of that temple is still only anticipated to occur sometime during the fourth quarter of next year, but the progress is encouraging.

We next turn our attention to the Fortaleza Brazil Temple. As I mentioned a few days ago, this temple has made tremendous progress since full-scale construction began last year. The recent progress for that temple has been that the cupola framework has been installed atop the temple. We may have at least 18 months to wait until that temple is dedicated.

As for the Rio de Janeiro Temple, the upper walls of the temple are in the process of being poured. In the meantime, the Lisbon Portugal Temple is the final one for which I wanted to report progress. At that temple site, while preparations are still underway to pour the steeple base, the construction team also is preparing to pour the base of the steeple as well.

I am so grateful for these small but significant developments. The Lord, as I always say, is clearly controlling those factors dependent on Him that enable such progress to occur, and we have often seen multiple developments occurring very quickly in these processes.

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.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Additional Temple Update: Progress Reported in Fortaleza Brazil

Hello again, everyone! Though the Cedar City Utah Temple dedication was the big temple-related development this weekend, I found an update on the construction status for the Fortaleza Brazil Temple. The framing for the tower has been installed atop that temple. It is amazing to see how quickly things have progressed for this temple, especially since it was stalled for just under five years after its groundbreaking before work began in earnest. That said, we may not see that temple dedicated for the next 20 months minimum. I continue to track any and all developments and will be sure to pass those along as i become aware of them. That does it for this post. Any 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.

Cedar City Utah Temple Dedication Held Today

Hello again, everyone! I waited until now to report on the Cedar City Utah Temple dedication because I was waiting for all the news stories I could find on the event. First of all, I wanted to note that the report cited in an earlier post was in error. There were not 9 apostles in attendance at this dedication after all. It appears that President Eyring was only accompanied by Elder Holland from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. You can find articles about the events of the dedication (as published by the Church News) herehere, and here, and the Mormon Newsroom coverage of the dedicatory events here.

It was amazing to read the reports of this dedication. And this marks the last temple dedication of the current group under construction that is within the US, as well as the fact that, aside from the rededications of the Jordan River Utah Temple (already confirmed for May 20) and the Frankfurt Germany Temple (which is yet to be announced), there will likely not be any new temples dedicated until the 4th quarter of next year.

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.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Minor Update Reported on the Lisbon Portugal Temple

Hello again, everyone! While the cultural celebration that was held tonight and the dedication that will take place tomorrow are the big temple news items for the next 15-18 hours, I found out just a few moments ago about an update, albeit minor, to the status of the Lisbon Portugal Temple. At that temple site, preparations are being made to pour the base of the steeple, while work continues on the cladding of the adjacent meetinghouse. It is great to see such small and simple strides taking place for temples all around the world, and it amazes me that we hear of such developments as regularly as we do. The Lord is at work in the process of how, when, and in what manner temples progress. I will continue to do my best to bring updates to you all as I become aware of them. 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.

Temple Updates

Hello again, everyone! My wife Amy and I have spent most of the last week not feeling well (which in my case has involved a cold that has hung on for a couple of weeks). Our ability to get things done normally has ebbed and flowed each day based on how we have been feeling. So the posts I have done within the last week or so have come when I have had the strength to get them done. We are doing all right, just dealing with a lot, but we will get through it. We have been through worse.

In the absence of new content in recent days, I have been touched by how widely read the posts I have been able to do in the first week of this month, particularly those sharing my thoughts about temple prospects for the near or far distant future.

That said, I did want to send out a reminder: If any of you want to comment on a post I have previously done, I hope you know you can feel free to do so. When I turn my attention to temple possibilities within an area of the Church I have not covered, that is not intended to dissuade any of you who may have additional insights on such possibilities in areas I have already posted. In the last week, the new posts have been written for the purpose of extending and expanding the discussion.

If I have overlooked any possibilities in any area that I should be considering, I want to know about that. Likewise, if I have any possibilities that do not seem to be as likely, I want to know about that as well so I can make any additions or corrections to my list prior to next April's General Conference.

With those preliminaries out of the way, I would like now to turn to the purpose for this post: to provide some updated information of which I have become aware relating to the progress of temples.

In that regard, I wanted to first mention that, in order for the Church to have 200 operating temples by Saturday April 6, 2030, which will coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Church, there are now 12.32 years in which to announce and complete 18 other temples, in addition to the 25 others currently in various stages. That means that if 3-4 new temples are dedicated every full year between now and then, it could easily be done.

That is especially true in light of Elder Wilson's statement about the 80 potential locations for which the Church could announce a temple between now and late April 2032. Even if some of those possibilities are taken off or replaced by others, we may, as I have previously stated, be entering into a time when the Church could opt to announce a few temples every six months in General Conference, and have a few announced here and there between each conference. Whatever does happen in that regard, I will do my best to keep you posted on all of that.

In the meantime, I found out a little more about the Cedar City Utah Temple dedication attendees. As some of you may have seen, the Church News ran this article about how Elder Holland, a Southern Utah boy, would be returning home for the temple's dedication. That same article explains that President Eyring will preside at the dedication. As we also know from a previously published article, 7 other apostles will be participating as well.

We know as well that President Monson will not be in attendance, and we also know (from a comment on this blog) that Elder Renlund is on assignment in New Mexico and will not be in attendance either. So that leaves 10 other possibilities from which those 7 have been selected. I am keeping my eyes out for information about this weekend's events for the Cedar City Utah temple and I will pass anything new on to you all as soon as I can after learning about it.

That said, we now turn our attention to the Barranquilla Colombia Temple, where the roofing for the temple and missionary housing is nearing completion. As previously noted, the monument sign has been installed, and I also learned that scaffolding has been removed from the temple tower and that the installation of decorative fencing is underway on the temple grounds. I can see now more clearly why this temple will likely be dedicated prior to the dedication of the Kinshasa Temple.

Aside from these developments, there has been no other progress reported on temples. 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.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Temple Site Possibilities: North America Northeast Area

Hello again, everyone! Since I have time to do so tonight, I am back to talk about the current temples within the North America Northeast Area of the Church, and to share my thoughts about where future temples may be built within that same area. With 12 temples in operation in that area (one of which, the Washington D. C. Temple, will close to begin its renovation process on the same day the Jordan River Utah Temple is rededicated (May 20, 2018)), there are no temples announced or under construction within that area. As I begin this post, I have only one other candidate for a temple within that area, but if I see any promising prospects as I talk about the current temple district, I will add them to my list as I go. With that said, let's dive right in to the discussion of the temples in this area.

There are, as mentioned above, 12 temples in the North America Northeast Area. I will be listing them in alphabetical order, with the Canadian temples within that area listed first, and the US temples in that area after that. If any US state or Canadian territory or province has more than one temple, I will be grouping them together.

The three Canadian temples within the borders of this area are as follows: Halifax Nova Scotia, Montreal Quebec, and Toronto Ontario. The other nine temples within that area (that are in the US) are Boston Massachusetts, Columbus Ohio, Detroit Michigan, Hartford Connecticut, Indianapolis Indiana, Manhattan and Palmyra New York, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and Washington D. C. Which regions are covered within each of these districts, and how many stakes are covered within them? Let's talk next about that.

Again, beginning in Canada, we first turn our attention to the temple in Halifax Nova Scotia. That temple district covers one stake each in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the three branches of the Church in Newfoundland. The Montreal Quebec Temple district takes in 4 stakes, 3 of which are in Montreal, with 1 other in Eastern Ontario. The Toronto Ontario Temple district is comprised of 8 stakes and 1 district in Ontario. As previously noted, the smaller Canadian temple districts seem to have Canada fairly well covered with its current temples.

Moving on now to the United States, the Boston Massachusetts Temple district is comprised of 12 stakes, with 5 of those in Massachusetts, 3 in New Hampshire, 2 in Maine, and 1 each in Rhode Island and Vermont.

Next is the Columbus Ohio Temple, which has in its district 16 stakes, 13 of which are in Ohio, with two from Western Pennsylvania (based in Pittsburgh), and 1 in the Southwestern region of West Virginia (Charleston).

The Detroit Michigan Temple district is comprised of 7 stakes and 1 district, all of which are located in Michigan. The Hartford Connecticut Temple district covers 5 stakes in total: 3 in Connecticut, 2 in Eastern New York, and 1 in Western Massachusetts. As for the Indianapolis Indiana Temple, that district covers 9 stakes, 8 in Indiana and 1 in Eastern Illinois.

Turning now to Manhattan New York, that temple district is comprised of 8 stakes in Downstate New York, and 4 in North Jersey. Just as the temple in Manhattan serves New York's Downstate region, the Upstate in New York is served by the Palmyra Temple, which serves 7 stakes and 1 district within that region.

Rounding out the US temples in this area are the Philadelphia Pennsylvania and Washington D. C. Temples. The Philly Temple district covers 7 stakes in Eastern Pennsylvania and two each in Central and South Jersey and Delaware, for a total of 11 stakes. As for Washington D. C., the temple named for the capital of the United States covers 23 stakes in Virginia, 8 in West Virginia, 8 others in Maryland, 3 in Pennsylvania and 2 in West Virginia.

Most of these temple districts seem very reasonably sized to me. I ran the mileage on some of them, and particularly for the smaller states in this area, there don't seem to be any inordinate distances for the members of the Church to travel in order to reach their assigned temple. That said, the one exception I have come up with is Virginia.

A while back on this blog, when I first started sharing my thoughts on future temple locations, I went back and forth for a while on a temple for Virginia, and many people suggested several excellent candidate cities for such a temple. But after doing the research on it, I agree with the many experts on temple matters with whom I have consulted: if and when Virginia does get a temple, the most likely location for it is Richmond.

I imagine that if a temple were built there, it could cover the needs of the Saints in Virginia and West Virginia, at minimum, which would slightly draw at least a few stakes from the surrounding temple districts. If Richmond does get a temple, then the North America Northeast Area may be well stocked with temples for the immediate future.

But that is merely my own opinion. Let me know your thoughts. Have I overlooked anything? Is it reasonable to assume that Richmond is likely to get a temple? I look forward to hearing from any of you that would like to share your opinion.

That does it for this post. 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 Site Possibilities: North America Central Area, Part Two: Potential Future Temples

Hello again, everyone! Having set the background in my previous post for what the current temple districts in the North America Central Area cover, we now turn our attention to potential future temples. The possibilities I will suggest mainly qualify for a temple due to the distances involved from their currently assigned temples.

While again bearing in mind that the US in general is going through a period of stagnated growth, I have felt that we could see temples announced very soon in the following locations within the North America Central Area: Missoula Montana, Green Bay Wisconsin, and Rapid City South Dakota.  Let's talk a bit about each.

I have previously referenced the fact that I heard from someone that a temple had been publicly proposed for Missoula by Elder David A. Bednar last year or the year before. While I have not been able to verify that, I do know that the Missoula Saints, who are assigned currently to the Spokane Washington Temple (which is not within the same geographical area of the Church) travel a distance of 197.3 miles. I would think that since that is just short of President Monson's stated goal to have every member within 200 miles of a temple, Missoula would qualify for its own temple in that regard. When we add the public proposal in, that makes a Missoula temple seem even more likely.

Next, we move on to Wisconsin. When I was originally considering a temple for that state, I was absolutely convinced that Milwaukee would be the best place for it. After all, 2 of the 6 stakes in that state are based in Milwaukee, the capital city. But then several people pointed out that the Green Bay area of Wisconsin was more likely to be the best location for a temple in Wisconsin. Subsequent personal study on my part verified that completely. Saints in the Green Bay area currently fall under the Chicago Illinois district, and the distance between the two cities is 208.7. According to President Monson's goal, Green Bay qualifies for its own temple.

Finally, we move on to South Dakota. A temple in that state could rise in Rapid City. I favor this location for a couple of reasons. My dad served his mission there, and beyond that, the Saints in South Dakota travel 300.7 miles to their assigned temple in Bismarck.

These are the possibilities I came up with, and the reasons behind them. Feel free to "sound off" in the comments below with any I have missed, or if any of you feel that I should eliminate any of these. That does it for this post. 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 Site Possibilities: North America Central Area--Part One: Current Temple Districts

Hello again, everyone! I thought I would take some time right now to continue my series of posts about temple possibilities by putting together some thoughts about the North America Central Area. Because there are 14 temples currently operating within that area, with 1 more (the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple) that has been announced and is awaiting full-scale construction efforts to begin: that is anticipated to happen sometime during April or May next year. As I said yesterday in my preliminary post about the areas of the Church that cover North America, the US has entered a period of nationwide stagnated growth, with the exception of the strongholds comprising the "Mormon corridor"

I also wanted to reiterate what I said yesterday in my post about the North America Areas: that the one difficulty with those areas is that the boundary lines for the areas do not correspond with those for the state, province, and territorial boundaries within the US and Canada. That said, the temple district boundaries in the North America Central area are fairly specific in what is covered. When I get to my next post (which will discuss the temple possibilities I see for this area), I may have possibilities listed that are not actually part of that area because of the existing boundaries. Just wanted to note that before I go any further.

Now, let's dive right in to talking about the 15 temples in the North America Central Area, including what each of those 15 temple districts cover. I will follow this post up with another one later today or sometime tomorrow that will go into specifics about the future possibilities I see for this area. There are three of them, and I will explain those choices in that next post.

The 15 temples falling within the North America Central Area are as follows (note that I am listing the Canadian temples before the US ones, and that if a province, territory or state has more than one, they are all listed in a group): Calgary, Cardston, and Edmonton Alberta;  Regina Saskatchewan; Winnipeg Manitoba; Billings Montana; Bismarck North Dakota; Chicago and Nauvoo Illinois; Denver and Fort Collins Colorado; Kansas City and St. Louis Missouri; St. Paul Minnesota; and Winter Quarters Nebraska.

Let's talk briefly about each of those temple districts. We begin in Canada, where we turn our focus first to Alberta, which has three temples total, in Calgary, Cardston, and Edmonton. In addition to the three temples, Alberta has two missions of the Church (in Calgary and Edmonton) and 25 stakes, which are further divided into 191 wards and 33 branches, for a total of 224 congregations.

In terms of each of the three districts, I have found out the following information: the Calgary Alberta Temple only covers the 7 stakes within that province. As for the Cardston Temple district, it is comprised of the 15 stakes within southern Alberta, northern Montana, and the British Colombian Rockies. One of the future temple possibilities I will discuss in my next post would draw away some stakes from this temple district.  And the Edmonton Temple district is made up of the 7 stakes in Central and Northern Alberta.

Next, the Regina Saskatchewan Temple serves the Saints within the two stakes of the Church in Saskatchewan and the one that is located in Winnipeg. The Manitoba Saints currently have to journey to the Regina Saskatchewan Temple to worship, a distance of 355.9 miles. So it would seem that the announcement of the Winnipeg Temple was mostly (if not entirely) motivated by a desire to provide those Saints a temple in their midst.

We now turn our attention to the US temples within this area. The Billings Montana Temple serves 7 stakes in Billings and the surrounding regions of Montana and 4 stakes in Wyoming. The Bismarck North Dakota Temple serves Saints in the 4 stakes and 1 district in both North and South Dakota.

In Illinois, there are two temples currently, one in Chicago, and one in Nauvoo. The Chicago Temple serves a total of 14 stakes, 7 in Northern Illinois, 5 in Wisconsin, one in Northern Indiana, and one in Southwestern Michigan. As for the Nauvoo Temple, its district takes in 5 stakes in Eastern Iowa and West Central Illinois.

Next, as mentioned above, we  come to Colorado. The Denver temple serves those Saints that are in 19 stakes, 18 in Colorado, and one in Western Kansas. The Fort Collins Temple serves the 13 stakes found within Northern Colorado and Southeastern Wyoming.

Turning now to Missouri, the two temples in the state are located in Kansas City and St. Louis. The Kansas City temple serves those Saints within the 10 stakes in Western Missouri, and Northeastern Kansas. The St. Louis Missouri Temple district is comprised of 10 stakes, 8 in Eastern Missouri, and 2 in Southern Illinois

The St. Paul Temple district serves 8 stakes in Minnesota, 1 in Wisconsin, and 1 district in Northwestern Ontario. The Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple serves a total of 10 stakes, 5 of which are in Iowa, 4 of which are in Nebraska, and the last of which is in Southeastern South Dakota.

Again, this is just a very general overview of the current temple districts to set the background for my next post, in which I will discuss the prospects I see for future temples within this area. 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.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Transcripts Now Available for addresses from the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional

Hello again, everyone! After having kept an eye out since yesterday for them, I learned today that the transcripts for the addresses given during the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional are now available. You can find them here. That does it for this post. Any 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.

A Preliminary Word on the North America Areas of the Church

Hello again, everyone! After a few day's hiatus to post Church and temple news that has crossed my radar in recent days, I am in the preliminary stages of putting together my thoughts about temple prospects for each of the Church's areas in North America. Before I share anything in that regard, I wanted to note that because the boundary lines of the North American areas of the Church are drawn the way they are, we have many states in the US and provinces and territories in Canada where the majority of such regions may fall under one area, while smaller portions of those regions may fall under another. Because of that, the temple possibilities I see for these areas will be listed according to the area in which most of these states, provinces and territories fall, even if the temple location might be in a different area of the Church. Hope that makes sense.

I am using this post to share some thoughts on a distinct part of North America that I do not see getting any additional temples anytime soon. The area of which I speak is the territories that comprise Canada. In preparing to share my thoughts on North America, I did some research into Canada. And that research seems indicative that the temple district that are now (or in the case of the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple, will be) in place in that region seem to be more than enough for Canada's needs for the moment.

The temple districts are fairly small and very manageable with their current sizes, and, from my study, It also seems to me that the Church is well stocked on temples that are scattered through Canada and  and serve parts of the United States in which they border. I don't see anywhere the Church is established in Canada that is not within an easy distance of a temple. That said, I freely admit that my study is far from perfect. Always has been and always will be, so if there is anything I have overlooked, please let me know.

With all of that said, I am looking forward to going into detail on the current and potential future temple districts within the North American areas of the Church. The United States is one of many places where my list of possibilities has shrunk, then expanded, then shrunk, then expanded again. Having been encouraged to expand my net of US temple possibilities (while at the same time keeping in mind that, except in the Mormon corridor of Idaho, Arizona, and Utah (though it technically also includes Nevada and the regions of California comprising San Bernardino), the US in general is in a period of stagnated growth). With all of that in mind, I will hopefully be able to take some time between now and the Christmas holidays to cover North American temple possibilities.

I am currently dealing with a minor illness that may slow me down somewhat, but if nothing else, I will do my level best to be sure and complete the North America posts before the end of the year. It all depends on what happens between now and then and how much time and energy I can devote to such posts. That said, it has touched me how interested you, my readers, seem to be in the posts about potential future temple locations. That is clearly a subject close to many hearts, and I am grateful for the wonderful feedback I have received on the posts I have done in this series so far.

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.