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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Jordan River Utah Temple Is Rededicated

Hello again, everyone! Mormon Newsroom shared this report on the dedication of the Jordan River Utah Temple. President Henry B. Eyring presided at the first two sessions, and will also likely oversee the third and final one, which will begin in about 20 minutes.

Also in attendance were Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (who chairs the Temple and Family History Executive Council); General Authority Seventies Elder Timothy J. Dyches (an Assistant Executive Director of the Temple Department) and Mervyn B. Arnold (who is serving in undisclosed assignments at Church headquarters); Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, who serves on the Temple and Family History Executive Council; and Bishop Dean M. Davies, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.

With this temple now having been rededicated, normal operations will resume on Tuesday May 22. I continue to monitor all temple developments and will pass those along to you all as I receive 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.

Latest Apostolic Statistics: Part Two--Updated Ages & Other Important Information


Hello again, everyone! Having set the stage in the first part of this apostolic age update, we now move on to talk specifics regarding the ages of our apostles, the average ages of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the 15 apostles as a group, current and future nonagenarians, and any other pertinent information. So let’s get right into all of that.

We start with the First Presidency. President Nelson is now 93 years, 8 months, and 11 days old, with a decimal age of 93.69 years. President Oaks is 85 years, 9 months, and 8 days old, with a decimal age of 85.77 years. President Eyring, who, as noted in the previous post, will observe his birthday in just 11 days, is now 84 years, 11 months, and 20 days old, putting his decimal age at 84.97 years.

The three have a combined 264.43 years of life experience, which puts their average age at 88.14 years as of today. As previously noted, President Oaks is the closest of the three to that average, as his age is 2.37 years below it. The ages of President Nelson and President Eyring respectively fall above and below that average.

We move on now to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Before I go into specifics on these 12 men, I wanted to note that, although I have previously listed this information in groups of four apostles, I decided that, starting with today’s update, and since the First Presidency has three members, it would make more sense to list this data in groups of three apostles each.

That said, President Ballard is 89 years, 6 months, and 12 days old as of today, with a decimal age of 89.61 years. Elder Holland is now 77 years, 5 months, and 17 days old, or 77.46 decimal years. Elder Uchtdorf’s long-form age is 77 years, 6 months, and 14 days, which is 77.53 decimal years.

With Elder Bednar’s birthday being just under a month away, his long-form age is 65 years, 11 months, and 5 days old, or 65.93 years. The oldest but least-senior of our three apostles born in 1940 is Elder Cook, who has a long-form age of 77 years, 8 months, and 12 days, which is 77.70 years. For Elder Christofferson, he is 73 years, 2 months, and 15 days old, making his decimal age 73.20 years.

His seatmate, Elder Andersen, is now 66 years, 9 months, and 11 days old, making his decimal age 66.78 years. Elder Rasband, who, as previously noted, is just over six months older than Elder Andersen, has a long-form age of 67 years, 3 months, and 14 days, which is 67.28 decimal years. Elder Gary E. Stevenson, who, as noted previously, is now the second-youngest apostle, is currently 62 years, 9 months, and 14 days old, with a decimal age of 62.79.

Rounding out things with the final three Quorum members, Elder Renlund’s long-form age now stands at 65 years, 6 months, and 7 days old, which makes his decimal age 65.52 years. Elder Gong, who is just around 13 months younger than Elder Renlund, now has a long-form age of 64 years, 4 months, and 27 days, which is 64.41 years.  Elder Soares, who is our only apostle currently under the age of 60, is exactly 59 years, 7 months, and 18 days old, which is 59.63 decimal years.

The current members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have a combined 847.96 years, which averages out to 70.66 years. As I mentioned in my last update, 5 of those 12 are older than the average, while the other 7 are all younger than the average. And, as I mentioned before, Elders Christofferson is the youngest of those 5 oldest, and Elder Rasband is the oldest of the 7 youngest.

In adding the combined life experience of all 15 apostles, we get a total of 1,112.39 years, which an average age of 74.16 years. I may have been in error last time when I posted information about the apostles closest to that average. It appears that 7 of the apostles are older than that average, and 8 are younger, with Elder Holland being the youngest of the oldest, and Elder Christofferson being the oldest of the youngest.

We now move on to the nonagenarians. President Nelson remains the 7th oldest apostle, and he will move up on the list 13.5 months or so from now. President Ballard will join that list in around 4.5 months. Since the birthdays of Elder Soares and President Ballard occur less than a week apart in October, that means that Elder Soares is 30 years younger than President Ballard, his 90th birthday is around 30 years and 4.5 months away.

I continue to track all of this information, and will do my level best to pass updates on to you regularly. As I mentioned in my previous post, my hope is to post on this subject once every month or two. 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.

Latest Apostolic Statistics: Part One--Updated Information for the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, Church President, and Apostolic Tenures


Hello again, everyone! While I have no desire to detract attention from the big news of the day, which is the Jordan River Utah Temple rededication, it has been 6 weeks since I last posted an update on the latest apostolic statistics. And although I do not want to distract focus from the coverage of the Jordan River Utah Temple rededication that was held today, I have felt it advisable to post these statistics right now. I will continue to post such updates every month or two.

As always, before we begin discussing that information, I wanted to note that I know that some of you might not find this information interesting. For that reason, I will not be at all offended if any of you choose to bypass this post, as there is a lot of information to unpack. For those of you who are staying with me for this information, let’s dive right in to this subject. It is more likely than not that I will split the data I will be providing into two posts, as I have in the last little while.

I wanted to provide some updated observations regarding apostolic birthdays. In 1.5 weeks, or 11 days (on May 31), President Eyring will be observing his 85th birthday. And just over two weeks (exactly 15 days) after that, Elder Bednar will mark his 66th birthday. The next apostolic birthday will not occur for almost 7.5 weeks (exactly 52 days) following that time.

I also wanted to note that I have recently expanded yet again the amount of data I track, as such information puts the ongoing statistics into a more complete and proper context. That said, as I also always say, if any of you see anything that doesn’t look right in this report, I would appreciate any corrections and clarifications. As I also always note, all data contained herein is current as of today (May 20, 2018).

This update will also continue in the same order as previous updates. We will start with some data about the Presidents of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, then turn our attention to the Presidents of the Church. After discussing those things, the first post will end, and the second (to be published shortly after the first) will then highlight all of the latest data about all 15 of our apostles.

To start, let’s address President Oaks’ current tenure length as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which will include exploring how soon he will move up on this list. The length of his service has currently spanned 4 months and 6 days. As noted in previous updates, he will be marking 2 additional tenure milestones before the end of this year, and will be marking 5 others in 2019.

In terms of those he will observe in 2018, on Sunday September 16, he will become the 26th longest-serving Quorum President, with his tenure being longer than that of President David O. McKay. Just over a month later, on October 22, with his tenure length exceeding that of President Gordon B. Hinckley, he will become the 25th longest-serving Quorum President. Looking ahead to next year, he will mark other milestones in April, July (in which he will observe two milestones two days apart), November, and December. I will mention the specifics of those milestones closer to that time.

Moving on now to President Nelson, since he was ordained and set apart as Church president on the same day he set apart President Oaks as Quorum President, his tenure has spanned 4 months and 6 days as well. Nothing has changed since my last report regarding where he stands among the 16 other Church presidents in terms of his tenure length or age.

He will observe the first tenure length milestone of his presidency in just under 5 months, on Thursday October 11 (when the length of his service will be longer than that of President Howard W. Hunter). He will observe both another tenure-related and his first age-related milestone two days apart in July of 2019, with subsequent milestones more spread out in the years following that. I will be detailing those more specifically closer to the time when they will be reached.

Before closing out this portion of the update, I wanted to add some information about the longest continuously-serving First Presidencies, Quorums of the Twelve Apostles, and, for the first time ever, some additional information about the groups of ordained apostles that have served together for the longest periods of time.

As I may have mentioned in the last update I did, our current First Presidency (Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, and Henry B. Eyring) will not join the list of the longest continuously-serving First Presidencies until Sunday April 1, 2024. Many have said that President Nelson could (and likely will) serve for several years, so it will be interesting to see what happens there.

By comparison, the current members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will not have to wait as long for the milestone that will put them on the list of the longest-serving Quorums. Once they reach the 3-year mark of service together (which will occur on March 31, 2021), they will join that list, and they will move up on it fairly quickly after that.

And interestingly enough, the currently-serving First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will actually observe two milestones as an apostolic group before the current Quorum of the Twelve reaches their first milestone. But those milestones are still almost three years away. I will discuss more specific milestones for each of these groups closer to the time in which they will reach them.

With that said, I want to conclude this portion of the update. 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 (which should be the second one on this subject and will be published here within the next few minutes), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Mesa Arizona Temple Closes for Renovation

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post now to note that I have confirmed that the Mesa Arizona Temple has officially closed for renovation. As I mentioned earlier, this is the second renovation for this temple, which was the 7th one dedicated during this dispensation that is still operating today.

With the knowledge that this temple has been renovated previously, I have felt safe in assuming and asserting that its' rededication (which is anticipated to occur sometime during 2020) will fall somewhere in between the rededication of the Tokyo Japan Temple (which is a smaller one from the Kimball era) and the Washington D. C. Temple (which is larger and is just barely having its' first renovation done).

The one unknown in that regard is the status of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple. As many of you might recall my mentioning previously, there has still not been any confirmation that the renovation process has formally begun for that temple. While I hope to find out soon that it has, unless a miracle occurs, the rededication of that temple might be pushed back from sometime during 2019 to either the early or even middle part of 2020.

To the best of my ability, I continue to monitor all temple developments, and I will be sure to pass those along to you 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.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Cultural Celebration Held for Jordan River Utah Temple

Hello again, everyone! Tonight, the Church held the cultural celebration for the Jordan River Utah Temple. President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, presided at the event. It makes sense that President Nelson asked President Eyring to be there, since he has had experience presiding over such events.

What I am not sure of is whether that means that President Eyring will also dedicate the temple tomorrow. I noted earlier my feeling that President Nelson would likely preside at this event since it is the first major temple event of his administration. But if President Nelson felt inclined to defer to President Eyring in view of his having had more time in the First Presidency, that would not surprise me either. You can find the Church News summary of that cultural celebration here.

I wanted to offer some additional thoughts not directly related to this rededication. We have seen President Nelson delegating things very early in his presidency. President Ballard presided at the private rededication of the Houston Texas Temple last month at the request of President Nelson, and, of the five general conference sessions held last month, he only conducted the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference.

It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow in terms of whether President Eyring or someone else might preside over the rededication of this temple, and what might occur with the dedications of the Concepcion Chile and Barranquilla Colombia Temples later this year. I continue to monitor all such developments and will do my best to post those here as I become aware of any news in that regard.

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.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Church Announces Additional New Temple Presidents

Hello again, everyone! The Church News continues to report the calls of new temple presidents. With several more of those calls having been announced today, I have updated the list I am keeping to track that information. It is worth noting that two of the temples added to the list today (Freiberg Germany and Oakland California) were not on my original list of temples that were likely to get a new president this year.

That was the case because the Freiberg temple was just rededicated last year, and because the Oakland temple is currently closed for renovation. But it makes sense on another level that the Church would issue those calls now, since the outgoing presidents of those temples have served at least three years total.

The updates follow below. 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.

New presidents have been called for the following temples:
1.      Manaus Brazil
2.      Boise Idaho
3.      Denver Colorado
4.      The Hague Netherlands
5.      Oquirrh Mountain Utah
6.      Helsinki Finland
7.      The Gila Valley Arizona
8.      Brigham City Utah
9.      Stockholm Sweden
10.  Palmyra New York
11.  Accra Ghana
12.  Papeete Tahiti
13.  Sao Paulo Brazil
14.  San Jose Costa Rica
15.  Albuquerque New Mexico
16.  Provo City Center
17.  Recife Brazil
18.  Cardston Alberta
19.  Payson Utah
20.  Porto Alegre Brazil
21.  Brisbane Australia
22.  Kansas City Missouri
23.  Oaxaca Mexico
24.  Regina Saskatchewan
25.  Cebu City Philippines
26.  Boston Massachusetts
27.  Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Mexico
28.  Billings Montana
29.  Houston Texas
30.  Sydney Australia
31.  Guatemala City Guatemala
32.  Hermosillo Sonora Mexico
33.  Montevideo Uruguay
34.  Indianapolis Indiana
35.  Laie Hawaii Temple (the new president of this temple is the older brother of General Authority Seventy Elder Donald L. Hallstrom)
36.  Las Vegas Nevada
37.  Atlanta Georgia
38.  Buenos Aires Argentina
39.  Redlands California
40.  Draper Utah
41.  Tijuana Mexico
42.  Sacramento California
43.  Monticello Utah
44.  Bountiful Utah
45.  Freiberg Germany
46.  Oakland California

The first presidents will likely be announced for the following new temples:
1.      Concepcion Chile
2.      Barranquilla Colombia
3.      Rome Italy
4.      Kinshasa DR Congo
5.      Fortaleza Brazil
6.      Port-au-Prince Haiti

New presidents may also be announced for the following temples:
1.      Cordoba Argentina
2.      Fukuoka Japan
3.      Manti Utah
4.      St. Louis Missouri
5.      Taipei Taiwan
6.      Tegucigalpa Honduras
7.      Trujillo Peru
8.      Vancouver British Columbia
9.      Veracruz Mexico
10.  Villahermosa Mexico

11.  Washington D. C. Temple (Note: The Church may opt to wait on calling a new president for this temple until 2020 when it is rededicated)


BREAKING NEWS: Brook P. Hales Called as General Authority Seventy; Will Continue As First Presidency Secretary

Hello again, everyone! The Church News reported earlier today that Brook P. Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency, will continue in that capacity, but has been called as a General Authority Seventy, and will have additional responsibilities as well. His new assignment was effective yesterday, and I have no doubt his call will be confirmed by sustaining vote during the October General Conference.

It is also worth noting that, after I had repeatedly gone over my list of General Authority Seventies and always came back with the conclusion that we have 90 men currently serving in that capacity, I reached out to the Church. Unless they have responded since I last checked my e-mail, I assume they are still working to answer my question. But unless I am mistaken, with word of Elder Hales' call today, that does indeed bring the number of General Authority Seventies to 91, which would also bring the number of General Authorities to 116, just as President Oaks indicated.

I am not dismissing the possibility that the First Presidency could have been considering calling Elder Hales and that that would explain why President Oaks referenced 116 rather than the 115 that were serving at that time. I will keep you posted on all of this as I learn of it.

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, May 17, 2018

Several Significant Church News Stories Reported

Hello again, everyone! Between the Church News website and the News & Mormon Newsroom pages on LDS.org, there have been a number of very significant Church News stories reported. All of them are worthy of mention, and I can recommend each one to you all without reservation. There's a lot to unpack here, so let's get right into it all.

First, and most significantly, earlier today, the First Presidency met with leaders of the NAACP (whose annual organization meeting was held here in Utah for the first time), and during the time they were together, a press conference was held (which was conducted by Elder Ronald A. Rasband) in which President Nelson and the top man for the NAACP offered brief statements commending the efforts of each other and providing hope that the Church will continue to work with the NAACP. The Church News shared this report on the meeting and the statements, while Mormon Newsroom provided this summary. It was good to hear of this development.

Next, in view of the recently-announced new initiative for children between 8 and 11 years-old and for all youth of the Church, several questions have come in about what should be done between now and January 2020 when the new initiative takes effect. In this article. members of the Primary, Young Men, & Young Women General Presidencies shared insights about how to continue with the current programs while preparing to utilize the new initiative.

From the News section on lds.org, we have this remarkable story of a temple ordinance worker who has reached the age of 100. As someone who worked in the temple for six years, I can tell you that I have always been impressed with the good men and women who give of their time to serve in the temple, and this is especially true of those who are older but still desire with all their hearts to help in the work that takes place in temples. That was a wonderfully inspiring story.

Moving on now, I wanted to note that both the Church News and the News page on the Church's official website have continued to carry brief biographical introductions to new mission and temple presidents. Particularly of interest to me was that, in some of those biographies, an incoming new mission president and his wife were noted as replacing two mission presidents and their wives. That is not unexpected, given the consolidation of 19 missions, but it has been interesting. You can find the latest reports on those new leaders here and here.

And, of course, as I'm sure you are all aware, the Jordan River Utah Youth Cultural Celebration will be held two days from now, with the rededication of that temple taking place the following day, which will be carried by satellite to the Saints living in the Jordan River, Draper, and Oquirrh Mountain Temple districts. While I have not yet heard this officially confirmed, I remain convinced that President Nelson will preside over at least two of the three dedicatory sessions, and I am confident that many other Church leaders will participate in this event as well.

I continue to monitor all Church and temple news and will bring word of those developments to you all as I can after I learn 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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

First Presidency Releases Additional FAQs Regarding Ministering

Hello again, everyone! The First Presidency has released these additional answers to more frequently asked questions about the ministering announcement. There are several important clarifications on questions that have come up since the original material was released, and they are well worthy of your attention.

Most importantly, these questions clarify to which quorum individuals in some specific situations belong, the role of Elders' Quorum & Relief Society presidency members in supervising ministering efforts, and the fact that those who previously held positions in Elders' Quorums and Relief Societies in supervising home and visiting teaching are now discontinued, and that all ministering efforts are under the direct supervision of the Elders' Quorum and Relief Society Presidencies.

Additionally, the First Presidency has noted that this will be the last set of FAQs for which the answers will be posted online on the ministering website. Any other questions are being redirected to local Church leaders under the direction of the Spirit, which I think is a wise move. These changes are being implemented to enable all of us to minister under the direction of the Spirit, as the Savior did, and that cannot happen if every question ever asked has to be answered by the First Presidency.

With the originally released FAQs and the additional ones released today, all of us should have a very clear vision of what the work of ministering needs to look like. We are being given the opportunity to be guided by the spirit, both individually and with our ministering companions, in how best to meet the needs of those to whom we are asked to minister. What a wonderful opportunity!

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.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Some Musings About Future Temple Announcements

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again now to share some musings I have had about future temple announcements. This post on that subject will include thoughts & observations regarding the timing and frequency of those announcements, other insights about future locations, and an exploration of any other pertinent information that may apply. There's a lot to digest here, so let's get to it.

First of all, the subject of timing and frequency. As we are all no doubt aware, temples can be announced at any time at the discretion of the prophet or his counselors whom he authorizes to make such announcements in his stead. As you may recall, while many people had expressed their opinions that new temples would likely not be announced during President Nelson's first General Conference in April, since he had a lot to prepare for, there were a few (myself included) who asserted that temples could (and likely would) be announced. And the number of temples that were part of the first such announcement of President Nelson's presidency (7 total) were, according to many sources, the second-highest number of temples ever announced at one time.

It is not surprising that, for a prophet that made he clear that he "[wanted] to begin with the end in mind". many of the first major announcements of his administration have been temple-related. With that in mind, I have no doubt that President Nelson will continue to evaluate the need for temples, and will not hesitate to announce any at any time he feels impressed to do so. As we also know, he had originally intended to only announce six temples last month, but felt impressed to add one for India to the list the night before General Conference began.

As we also know, the Church currently has one temple that has had a groundbreaking but has not had full-scale construction begin, and the announcement of the 7 new temples last month brought the total number of announced temples to 19, one of which was announced in October 2010, but for which a groundbreaking has not yet taken place. So President Nelson could (and might) wait to announce other temples until a few more of those currently announced have progressed to the construction phase.

But there is an equal or greater possibility that he will do what he can to accelerate the process of getting the currently announced temples to their groundbreaking ceremony. I have 5-9 of those temples on which I am keeping my eye for news of a groundbreaking, perhaps within the next year or two. My point in mentioning this is that recent developments seem to indicate that President Nelson may not be concerned about a backlog existing, as was the case in 2014, when attention was devoted to decreasing that backlog.

In fact, regardless of what happens with temple groundbreakings, the number of those under construction will go from its' current 11 (which have had a groundbreaking) to 3 by the end of next year. And if, as I have heard, this year and next year are big ones for temple groundbreakings, then a backlog shouldn't be an issue.

We also have Elder Larry Y. Wilson's statement, which was made in late April last year. The executive director of the Temple Department noted at that time that 80 locations were on a list for a possible temple announcement within the 15 years following that statement. We, of course, do not know how many of the other 6 locations announced last month were on that list of 80, but we do know that President Nelson had not planned to announce a temple in India, until the Lord instructed him to do so on the night before General Conference began.

If we were to take a literal interpretation of Elder Wilson's statement, and assume that all of the 6 other locations were on that list, then that means that roughly 74 other locations remain on the list, and since a year has come and gone since that statement was made, the Church has just under 14 years of the time he mentioned to announce those 74, which works out to 5 per year, and that does not include the 7 announced last month.

For that reason, I stand by my assertion that we might see a few announced every six months, with one or two possibly announced in between each April, October, and subsequent April. As for the timing, we saw with locations like India and Russia that the Lord inspired temple announcements in both nations well in advance of when many, myself included, had believed was possible. With that in mind, I imagine we will see temples announced in many anticipated locations, but also in a few unexpected locations

And that thought leads me into an exploration of the final point I wanted to cover, that of the most likely future temple locations. Of the 19 that have not progressed beyond an announcement, 3 are to be constructed in the Philippines; 2 others will be built in Asia, 4 others will be built in the US (3 of which are within the Mormon Corridor), 3 more will be in Africa, 1 will rise in Eastern Europe, and the remaining 6 will be built throughout Latin America.

Those numbers suggest to me that we are likely to see several more built in Latin America and on the African continent, while we are also likely to see others rise in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, but perhaps not to the same extent or with the same frequency. I would also anticipate a few others here and there throughout Asia.. I will continue to offer my thoughts about more specific locations as time and circumstances allow in the future.

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.