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Sunday, March 27, 2016

General Women's Meeting Prediction Results

Hello, friends and readers! Wasn't that Women's Meeting last night beautiful? I loved each one of the talks. Though they were all directed to women, young women, and girls age 8 and above, I found little gems in each talk that I could use for my betterment. It was interesting to see that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, and Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse were seated on the rostrum. It used to be (before they change procedure and decided to include this as a general conference session) that only one or two apostles were on the rostrum with the Presiding Bishop, because those men all had roles in advising the auxiliaries. I guess now with the callings of Elders Rasband, Stevenson and Renlund, they have switched up a few assignments and divvied them up a little more evenly among the quorum that is now at its full strength. It was good to see the First Presidency there, though, as it's been for a while, President Monson looked very ill last night. The messages, videos, music, and prayers were all very inspiring. I learned a lot and felt like I can become a better man because of the things I heard and saw.

That being said, how did my predictions pan out for this session? Well, I accurately predicted that Sister Wixom would conduct the meeting, and I did identify correctly all who would speak, but except for President Henry B. Eyring, I had the speakers in the wrong order. Instead of the speaking order being Burton, Esplin, and Marriott as I surmised it would be, the order was instead Esplin, Marriott, and Burton. However, based on the "points system" I use, I was still at 80% accuracy for my Women's Session predictions, which is pretty good, now that I think about it.

So, now we wait to see how the rest of my predictions will pan out. Before closing this post, I wanted to let you all know that there was some unintentional duplication on my part in some of my picks for temples that may be announced in the near future. Kind comments on this blog have pointed to some of the flaws in the research I have done. I appreciate the feedback and will work hard to take it under advisement.

One kind comment on this blog alerted me to the fact that some of my readers have found my predictions hard to follow, and the preference seems to be that, in future, I split the different types of General Conference predictions into several smaller posts. I will have to give that very careful consideration. Having them all in one post seems to be tidier and not clutter up the blog with several posts about one topic: general conference. However, as the kind suggestion was made, I thought I would bring that up here and get some kind of consensus from you, my readers, as to what I should do with future predictions. I like combining them for my use, but it would be no trouble to do additional posts. Food for thought. What say you? Thanks.

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Major temple news/Temple-related progress report/Edits in Tracking Temple Progress

Hello, all. Posting very early on this Sunday morning to let you know that the Church has announced the open house and dedication dates for the Star Valley Wyoming and Hartford Connecticut temples. That announcement came from the Church on Friday, but this is the first chance I've had to post about it.

The Star Valley Wyoming temple, which was originally expected to be completed early next year, has made rapid progress. It's far enough along that the First Presidency has announced the open house, cultural celebration, and dedication. The public open house will run from Friday September 23-Saturday October 8, though tours will end early on Saturday September 24 in view of the General Women's Meeting that evening. Tours will also not take place on any Sunday or during the October General Conference weekend. The cultural celebration for the temple will take place on the evening of Saturday September 29, with the dedication to take place the next day in three sessions at 9 AM, 12 PM, and 3 PM. The dedication will be broadcast to all stake centers within the temple district and the entire state of Wyoming, with the exception of those stakes in the Fort Collins Colorado Temple District (which, as previously announced, will be dedicated just two weeks prior to the Star Valley dedication. As to the question of who might preside at that dedication, when he announced that temple, President Monson joked that he thought he'd dedicate that one, as there's good fishing up there. Due to his health issues, I would be very much surprised if President Monson could preside at that one. My guess is President Henry B. Eyring will dedicate the temple, especially if President Uchtdorf presides at the Fort Collins Colorado Temple Dedication on October 16. I also believe Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy will be in attendance, at that dedication, because he was the one who broke ground for this temple.

The Hartford Connecticut Temple Open House will take place between Friday September 30 and Saturday October 22, excluding Sundays and General Conference weekend. The cultural celebration will take place on Saturday November 19, and the temple will be dedicated in 3 sessions on Sunday November 20, which will be held at 9 AM, 12 PM, and 3 PM, President Thomas S. Monson was the one who broke ground for this temple, but, again, his health is not good, so, if President Eyring dedicates the Star Valley Wyoming Temple, President Uchtdorf will likely preside at the Hartford Connecticut Temple Dedication.

With these additional announcements, the temple backlog has been reduced substantially. By the time the remaining five temples with a dedication date set are dedicated, it will reduce the under construction backlog to 10, one of which may still have a dedication by the end of the year. 3 more temples may, by that time, have a groundbreaking announced or done, briging the announced temple backlog down to 5. Of those 5, 2 have a site identified, The other three we are waiting on do not yet have a site announced, though that could change any day.

In light of these events, I don't think I would be out of line in saying that I am very certain about the fact that more temples will be announced next weekend. I'm anticipating 3 or more to be so announced. Now, a brief review of the timing involved. By the end of this year, we could have as many as 156 temples by the end of the year. I'm hoping enough progress will be made on temple construction for those anticipated to be dedicated next year that the dedications will be spread out rather than all happening in late 2017, as the LDS Church Temples site predicts. Still, if all of those 4 temples that might be completed in 2017 are completed, that would definitely be keeping with the average of 3 per year. Then there are 5 more slated for completion in 2018. One temple is already slated for completion in 2019, and with one more groundbreaking scheduled and two or three pending, it's not unreasonable to guess that there will be at least 3 dedications in 2019. If we add to that 3 or more announced per year, that would slate others for completion in 2019 and 2020. I still believe the Church may soon set a goal to have 200 temples by the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Church. And, as we can see, that is very much in reach. So exciting!

To help my readers make sense of all that's going on with temples, I include my updated list of upcoming temple-related events, followed by my personal record of temple progress. Please note that on this list, for this time, I have switched the numbering of some temples. I have assigned the Durban South Africa temple (groundbreaking scheduled) and the Rio de Janeiro Brazil and Arequipa Peru temples (which two I have switched on my list based on their reportedly progressing towards having a groundbreaking date announced) earlier numbers than the Fortaleza Brazil temple, which, though it had its groundbreaking in 2011, has not made much progress. I have a feeling that ground will be broken in Durban, Rio de Janeiro, and Arequipa before any further progress is made on the Fortaleza Brazil temple, I have even wondered if the Fortaleza Brazil temple plans will be scrapped or a new site found and groundbreaking scheduled. Time will tell. Anyways, here are the lists. Enjoy, and I will try to write again later today to report on the General Women's Meeting and how my predictions for that panned out.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 3/25/16)
Current Temple Status: 150 operating, 15 under construction (5 scheduled for dedication), 8 announced (1 groundbreaking scheduled and 2 groundbreakings anticipated to be announced soon), 4 undergoing renovation (1 scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
151. Sapporo Japan Temple: Exterior floodlighting operational; work progressing on interior; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday August 21, 2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Inscription stones attached; exterior completed; grounds work underway; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday September 18, 2016.
153. Fort Collins Colorado Temple: Lampposts installed on the grounds; interior work underway; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday October 16, 2016.
154. Star Valley Wyoming Temple: Art glass installed on steeple; laying shingles on steeple; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday October 30, 2016.
155. Hartford Connecticut Temple: Attachment of exterior stone cladding nearing completion; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday November 20, 2016.

Under Construction:
156. Paris France Temple: Attachment of exterior stone cladding nearing completion; completion anticipated sometime between late 2016 and early 2017.
157. Rome Italy Temple: Spire framework attached to both towers; interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Installing windows; work progressing on interior; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Structural framing completed; attachment of exterior panels underway; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
160. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior panels being attached; completion anticipated sometime between late 2017 and early 2018.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Rebar rising for main level shear walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
162. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Ground broken on Friday, February 12, 2016; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Ground broken on Saturday February 20, 2016; completion anticipated sometime between early-and-mid 2019.
168. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Full-scale construction pending; completion date TBD (To be determined).

Groundbreaking scheduled:
165. Durban South Africa Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking ceremony; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday April 9, 2016.

Rededication scheduled:
33. Freiberg Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; adding extension; steeple covered; scheduled to be rededicated Sunday September 4, 2016.
Undergoing Renovation:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; interior remodeling underway; rededication anticipated sometime between late 2016 and early 2017.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2017.
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; construction trailers on site; rededication anticipated sometime during late 2017.

Announced:
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction preparation phase; plans approved by local government; groundbreaking date anticipated to be announced soon.
167. Arequipa Peru Temple: Construction preparation phase; temple site rezoned; acquiring building permits; groundbreaking date anticipated to be announced soon.
169. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning phase.
171. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
173. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.

Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose number 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 number may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.

Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose number may change based on the order in which their future groundbreakings are announced.
Upcoming Temple Events:

1.      Saturday April 9—Durban South Africa Temple Groundbreaking (150 operating, 16 under construction, 7 announced, 4 undergoing renovation)
NOTE: The question of who will preside at this groundbreaking has not been addressed. It could be any member of the First Presidency (with the most likely candidate being President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who hasn’t presided at a temple-related event yet this year) or Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (with the most likely candidates being either Elder David A. Bednar or Neil L. Andersen, who seem to have some role in overseeing the progress of the Church in Africa), a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or one of the General Authority Seventies, with the most likely candidates being one of the members of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency: either Elder Carl B. Cook, Elder Stanley G. Ellis, or Elder Kevin S. Hamilton.
2.      Sunday August 21—Sapporo Japan Temple Dedication (151 operating, 15 under construction, 7 announced, 4 undergoing renovation)
NOTE: If President Uchtdorf presides at the previous dedication, President Eyring will likely preside at this dedication. It would also not surprise me if Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles accompanied whoever is presiding, since he as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy was serving as president of the Asia North Area, presided at the groundbreaking.
3.      Sunday September 4—Freiberg Germany Temple Rededication (151 operating, 15 under construction, 7 announced, 3 undergoing renovation)
NOTE: Since President Uchtdorf is a native German, and since President Eyring may preside at the previous dedication, it would make sense if he (President Uchtdorf) presides at this rededication.
4.      Sunday September 18—Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Dedication (152 operating, 14 under construction, 7 announced, 3 undergoing renovation)
NOTE: If President Uchtdorf presides at the previous rededication, and since President Eyring was the one who broke ground for this temple, it would make sense if he (President Eyring) presides at this dedication.
5.      Sunday October 16—Fort Collins Colorado Temple Dedication (153 operating, 13 under construction, 7 announced, 3 undergoing renovation)
NOTE: If President Eyring presides at the previous dedication, it would make sense if President Uchtdorf is asked to preside at this dedication. It is also not unreasonable to believe that Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will accompany whoever the presiding authority is, as Elder Rasband originally presided over the groundbreaking for this temple.
6.      Sunday October 30—Star Valley Wyoming Temple Dedication (154 operating, 12 under construction, 7 announced, 3 undergoing renovation)
NOTE: If President Uchtdorf presides at the previous dedication, it would make sense if President Eyring is asked to preside at this dedication. It would also not surprise me if Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy was one of the participants in the dedication. When this temple was originally announced, President Monson joked that he thought he’d dedicate that one because there’s good fishing up there, but as he hasn’t presided over a temple dedication in two years and as he may not be in the best of health, it is more likely that President Eyring will preside.
7.      Sunday November 20—Hartford Connecticut Temple Dedication (155 operating, 11 under construction, 7 announced, 3 undergoing renovation)
NOTE: If President Eyring presides at the previous temple dedication, the odds are very good that President Uchtdorf will preside at this temple dedication. President Monson was the one who presided at the groundbreaking, but as he is reportedly not in very good health, President Uchtdorf is more than likely the one who will be asked to preside.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Provo City Center Dedication

As all you Utahns (and those who care enough about the news of the LDS Church) are aware, the Provo City Center Temple was dedicated today, and I was very intrigued to see that, in addition to the temples in progress in Latter-days, Rick Satterfield, begun adding to this list those temples built in ancient times. It’s not yet a comprehensive list; he hasn’t yet included the temples found in the Book of Mormon, but I have taken the liberty of reminding him to do so, which he doesn’t seem to mind. Also, wanted to let you know that it was Elder Dallin H. Oaks who, at the invitation of the First Presidency, presided at the dedication, which was a total surprise to me. I knew he'd likely have some role in the dedicatory services, but I didn't know he'd be the presiding officer at the actual dedication. I shouldn't have been surprised. Elder Oaks' ties to the area make him the natural choice, which I should have remembered. Up until today, I hadn't really registered that he was a senior member of the Twelve now, with the deaths of all his predecessors except President Nelson. Dang, I need to get used to writing President Nelson as well. I also wanted to let you all know that I am religiously (pun intended) keeping an eye on the Church and local news for the latest reported updates. If the Church News website and lds.org do what they've done in the past with Utah dedications, they will release within a few short hours a complete list of who did what in every dedicatory session. This will be especially important to me because, due to personal illness, I was unable to be in attendance at any of the dedicatory sessions at this historic event. I will keep an eye out for that list of the participants, and you can bet that I will inform you whenever it becomes available so it can be included on this site, if you like. It always honors me to know that people of your caliber are keeping up-to-date on my blog posts. As always, best wishes to you all, and thanks so much to you all for your friendship and attention to this blog.
While we wait for further news about the particular participants at this temple dedication, the Church News has featured two articles on the cultural celebration and dedication. Also for the benefit of all my readers, here’s a link to those articles:

Late breaking news before this post was made: The Church News article is in error on one point, and that is that Elder Oaks presided at all three sessions. The photo gallery within the article shows that President Russell M. Nelson (written more easily this time) was in attendance at one of the later sessions and that he was the presiding authority at that session. That’s the latest on the temple news front. Stay tuned for more updates, and thanks so much for your readership and support, especially to those who have also religiously followed my newer posts while personal illness and family circumstances have necessitated my extended absence from Facebook (where the posts are usually immediately advertised once made), and especially to all those who have been kind enough to leave a comment for me with your feedback on what I have to say. Your comments are always insightful and appreciated, especially those that have been positive and particularly kind in nature. I feel it appropriate “On This Day of Joy and Gladness” to leave you for starters with the words that end each broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word (psst, don’t tell the MoTab or Lloyd Newell, who might sue me for copyright violation): “Again [I] leave you, from within the shadows of the everlasting hills. May Peace be [in and] with you this day, and always. God be with [you all] till [my next post].” From the Book of Mormon: “And thus hath the Lord commanded me [to write], and I must obey.” At the end of such a spiritually-charged post, it feels very appropriate that my last words in this post are a paraphrase from a powerful hymn that is sung at every temple dedication in this dispensation, and which, I’m sure, enshrouded the dedicatory services with the special spirit that it brings.

The Spirit of God, like a fire, is burning!
The latter-day glory begins to come forth.
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.

The Lord is extending the Saint’s understanding,
Restoring their judges and all as at first.
The knowledge and power of God are expanding,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.

We’ll call in our solemn assemblies in spirit,
To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad.
That we, through our faith, may begin to inherit,
The visions, and blessings, and glories of God!

How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
Shall lie down together without any ire.
And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion,
As Jesus descends with his chariot of fire.

We’ll sing and we’ll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, Hosanna, to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given.
Henceforth and forever, Amen and Amen!


In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Matthew Martinich's Predictions for the Most Likely Temples Soon to be Announced

Since I have Matthew  Martinich's predictions to share his Church Growth Blog posts whenever I feel impressed to do so, I am posting today for a very exciting reason: earlier today, Matt posted his educated guesses as to temples that may be announced this next conference. To find that post, please click on this link. For those that aren't inclined to wade through the post and the discussion that follows, Matt has predicted as many as 10 potential temples: 3 in Brazil (Belem, Belo Horizonte, or Brasilia); two n the Pacific region (Davao Philippines and (if not in Guam) Tarawa Kiribati); a United States territory (Guam, (if not in Kiribati)); two in Africa (Harare Zimbabwe and Lagos Nigeria); and two others in South America (Managua Nicaragua or Pueblo Mexico) and one in the United States (Rogers Arkansas). Only time will tell how accurate that prediction is, but I always enjoy Brother Martinich's thoughts. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

General Conference Predictions

It's that time of year again, friends, when I post my General Conference predictions. In an effort to make my General Conference predictions more accurate, I have done research back as far as 20 years and have looked at the patterns I've observed. These predictions are the fruits of that research. I have particularly looked this time for patterns as far as how often the general authority seventies speak. The predictions for April include for the first time my educated guess as to the end of the year Church statistics for 2015. Some of the numbers, such as those for stakes and districts, and the number of temples dedicated and rededicated last year were easy to find. For the numbers of full-time missionaries, Church-service missionaries, Church members, ad wards and branches, I used a different formula than I have in years past. I won't try to explain how I arrived at these numbers, but rest assured, it's all been researched. I have also included my list of potential temple sites that President Monson may announce in April. I had a list of 30, and then did some statistical research to fine-tune that list for this prediction.

There are only a few things I am not sure of: whether I've got the correct seventies in the correct slots, how many seventies will speak (which varies based on the length of talks of all other speakers), and who exactly will represent the Presiding Bishopric in speaking at General Conference. With the changes announced shortly after the October General Conference, we have one member of the Bishopric (Bishop Waddell, the second counselor) who has not had a chance to speak in General Conference since his first talk as a general authority several years ago. So he could be the one asked to speak this time. However, in checking on the patterns of Presiding Bishopric speakers, it has typically been (at least for the last few years) in this order: Presiding Bishop, Second Counselor, First Counselor. Since Bishop Causse as the first counselor spoke in April 2015, it would make sense if he, as the Presiding Bishop, spoke this go round, as Bishop Stevenson would have been the one in October had he not been called to the apostleship. But a new bishopric may mean a new pattern. The pattern seems to be for a PB member to speak in the priesthood session every other conference, and its been more than a year since we had a PB member speak in the Priesthood Session. Bishop Causse is the one I put in this time, but we'll see what happens. Just know that if it's not Bishop Causse, it will likely be Bishop Waddell, and that it is more than likely that the PB member will speak in the priesthood session.

 I am excited about this general conference. It will mark the first time since they were called last conference that the newest apostles will be giving a full-length talk (15-20 minutes). There are likely to be several new temples, several new General Authorities, and a change in the Primary General Presidency. We will also get the chance to ratify by sustaining of the changes in the Presidency of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric. And while I don't know all of the Area Seventies that might be released this conference, we have quite a few that have been called to be mission presidents. So those changes are at least pretty definite.

That being said, here are my predictions for all of you that want to follow along.

April 2016 General Conference Predictions (Text in brackets indicated what actually happened.)
Session
Conducting
Speaker
General Women’s
Rosemary M. Wixom
Linda K. Burton


Cheryl A. Esplin


Neill F. Marriott


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


President Russell M. Nelson


Elder Gerrit W. Gong


Mary R. Durham


Elder Yoon Hwan Choi


Elder Per G. Malm


Elder Gary E. Stevenson
Saturday Afternoon
President  Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Sustaining of Church Officers)

Church  Auditing Department Report, 2015
Kevin R. Jergensen

Statistical Report, 2015
Brook P. Hales


Elder Ronald A. Rasband


Elder M. Russell Ballard


Elder Patrick Kearon


Elder Mervyn B. Arnold


Elder Neil L. Andersen


Elder David A. Bednar
Saturday Priesthood
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Elder Dale G. Renlund


Bishop Gerald Causse


Stephen W. Owen


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


President Henry B. Eyring


President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday Morning
President Henry B. Eyring
President Thomas S. Monson


Elder Quentin L. Cook


Elder Donald L. Hallstrom


Bonnie L. Oscarson


Elder Jairo Mazzagardi


Elder D. Todd Christofferson


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Sunday Afternoon
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Elder Robert D. Hales


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland


Elder Juan A. Uceda


Elder Kent F. Richards


Elder Benjamin De Hoyos


Elder Steven E. Snow


Elder Dallin H. Oaks

April 2016 Predictions for changes in General Church Leadership
Presidency of the Seventy: Elder Gerrit W. Gong sustained as a new member to replace Elder Ronald A. Rasband, who became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in October 2015.
NOTE: Elder Rasband’s call to the apostleship in October 2015 left a vacancy in the Presidency of the Seventy that was not filled during General Conference but a couple of days later. Elder L. Whitney Clayton was named the new senior president of the Seventy (a position previously held by Elder Rasband), and Elder Gong was called to fill the vacancy. It makes sense that Elder Gong’s call will be ratified by sustaining vote during this conference.
RESULT:
First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder W. Christopher Waddell released in view of his new calling as Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; new members sustained from the Second Quorum of the Seventy, Area Seventies, or the Church at large.
NOTE: Elder Waddell’s call as the new Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric had been announced in October 2015, shortly after General Conference. It makes sense that this change, along with any sustainings, will be ratified by sustaining vote during this conference.
RESULT:
Second Quorum of the Seventy: New members sustained from Area Seventies or Church at large.
NOTE: Members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy are usually sustained in April and released in October, so it makes sense that any sustainings would be presented in April.
RESULT:
Presiding Bishopric: Bishop Gary E. Stevenson released as Presiding Bishop in view of his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Bishop Gerald Causse released as First Counselor and sustained as the new Presiding Bishop; Bishop Dean M. Davies released as Second Counselor and sustained as the new First Counselor; Bishop W. Christopher Waddell sustained as the new Second Counselor.
NOTE: When Bishop Stevenson was called to the Twelve in October 2015, he retained the calling of Presiding Bishop until the changes noted above took place a few days after the conference, so these changes will need to be ratified by sustaining vote during this conference.
RESULT:
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings for several Area Seventies.
NOTE: It seems to be a common practice for most releases and/or sustainings of Area Seventies to happen in April, when President Dieter F. Uchtdorf leads out in the sustaining of Church officers, while only a few releases and sustainings of Area Seventies happen in October, when President Henry B. Eyring leads out in the sustaining.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: We know that, at the very least, the following currently-serving Area Seventies, who have been called to be mission presidents, will be released: Kent J. Allen, Jeffrey D. Cummings, HernĂ¡n D. Ferreira, Brent J. Hillier, Alfred Kyungu, D. Zackary Smith, Wenceslao H. Svec, and Fabian I. Vallejo.
RESULT:
Primary General Presidency: Rosemary M. Wixom released as President, Cheryl A. Esplin released as First Counselor, and Mary R. Durham released as Second Counselor. New Primary General Presidency sustained, perhaps with Mary R. Durham being sustained as the new Primary General President or one of the counselors.
NOTE: Rosemary M. Wixom, the Primary General President, and her First Counselor Cheryl A. Esplin, have served since April 2010, a period spanning 6 years. In the earlier days of the Church, tenures of general auxiliary presidencies were not set to any specific length of time. But for at least the last 20 years, tenure lengths for general auxiliary presidencies are generally set at 5 years (with a minimum of 6 years if new presidency members are sustained without a total reorganization of the presidency). It makes sense that Sisters Wixom and Esplin would be released. It has been a relatively common practice for members of General Presidencies who have been in a year, as Mary R. Durham has, to be retained in a newly called presidency. So it would make sense if the changes above take place.
RESULT:

Prediction for Church Statistics at the end of 2015
Stakes
3,174
Missions
417
Districts
580
Wards and Branches
30,061
Total Church Membership
15,683,533
Children of Record Increase
114,655
Convert Baptisms
307,541
Full-Time Missionaries
84,091
Church Service Missionaries
32,102
Temples Dedicated
5 (Cordoba Argentina, Payson Utah, Trujillo Peru, Indianapolis Indiana, Tijuana Mexico)
Temples Rededicated
2 (Mexico City Mexico, Montreal Quebec Canada)
Temples Operating
149


Temple Predictions: 3+ temples announced around the world, with the most likely candidates being American Samoa (Pago Pago); Arkansas (Bentonville); Paraguay (Ciudad del Este); Utah (Layton or Lehi); Brazil (Belo Horizonte); Venezuela (Maracaibo; temple proposed by President Hinckley); Philippines (Davao); Bolivia (La Paz); Texas (Fort Worth); Colorado (Colorado Springs); Austria (Vienna); Arizona (Chandler); Mexico (Guadalajara); Guatemala (Villa Nueva); Ecuador (Quito); New Zealand (Auckland); Texas (Katy); Idaho (Pocatello); Zimbabwe (Harare); Uganda; Kenya (Nairobi (proposed by President Hinckley); Nevada (Henderson); Peru (Iquitos);  California (Long Beach); Philippines (Quezon City); Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar) and Mexico (Cuernavaca).

Well, what do you think? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My picks for the most likely temple sites that may be announced in the near future

Hello, everyone! I'm back, this time with a different type of post. As many of you know, I follow Matthew Martinich's LDS Church Growth Blog. I have his permission to share his posts on my blog. One thing he does regularly round about general conference time is give his top picks, be they ten or five or more or less, of cities around the world that may have a temple announced soon. Some comments on his latest blog post focus on potential temple sites that may be announced soon. Many of these sites are cities with a strong LDS presence. I had to get on board with that and give my top picks, based on the LDS presence and number of congregations reported in each city I picked. At the top of my list were temples that have been publicly proposed by apostles and Church presidents. I came up with a list of 30 that I think are the most likely ones, which I wanted to share with you in this post. Here's the list, provided with commentary about why I picked them:

1.      New Dehli India (proposed in 1992 by Elder Neal A. Maxwell; this temple may be a long time in coming)
2.      Vilnius Lithuania Temple (proposed in 1993 by Elder M. Russell Ballard: one of the newest ones listed on the LDS Church temples sites, though the proposal is more than 20 years old)
3.      Nairobi Kenya Temple (proposed in 1998 by President Gordon B. Hinckley; this temple is very likely to be announced soon because of extensive and explosive Church growth)
4.      Maracaibo Venezuela Temple (proposed in 1999 by President Gordon B. Hinckley; South America has been another region that has really grown in the Church, and I can foresee a day when every country in South America will have a temple.)
5.      Singapore Temple (proposed in 2000 by President Gordon B. Hinckley; the promise of a temple here is prophetic and will happen soon.)
6.      Southwest Salt Lake Valley Temple (proposed in 2005 by President Gordon B. Hinckley; he stated at the time he mentioned it that a site had been purchased, but they were not ready for an announcement yet. Another temple in the Salt Lake Valley would help combat the heavy load of the temples currently there.)
7.      Managua Nicaragua Temple (proposed in 2012 by Elder Russell M. Nelson; as noted above, the Church in South America has been growing quite a bit, and I foresee a day when every South American country will have a temple.)
8.      Kasai Region Democratic Republic of the Congo (proposed in 2016 by Elder Neil L. Andersen; the Church in Africa has really grown, and another temple in the DR of the Congo may be needed very soon.)
9.      Lehi Utah (This is Amy's hometown. Not many cities "need" a temple. Lehi definitely does to combat everything that is going wrong there.)
10.  Layton Utah (This city has really expanded. It may very well be the property President Hinckley alluded to above.)
11. Toole, Utah (The Church membership is high there)
12.  Pocatello, Idaho (This is the only major Idaho city that doesn't currently have a temple, and having one here would be fabulous.)
13.  Tacoma, Washington (With a large number of LDS congregations and no temple within 200 miles, this city is a great candidate for a temple.)
14.  Benin City, Nigeria (The Church has grown a lot in Africa, and a second Nigerian temple would surely be a blessing to the Saints there.)
15.  Maracaibo, Venezuela (Again, I see a day when every South American country will have a temple.)
16.  Brasilia, Brazil (With a high Church presence, Brazil may be a good candidate for several more temples in the near future, especially since no progress has been made on the Fortaleza Brazil temple since its 2011 groundbreaking.)
17.  Salvador Brazil (see above)
18.  Harare, Zimbabwe (The Church has grown so much in Africa that a Zimbabwean temple makes sense.)
19.  Puebla, Mexico (Mexico Church membership has increased substantially.)
20.  Queretaro, Mexico (See above. Multiple new temples for Mexico makes sense.)
21.  Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (With the growth of the Church in the Philippines, another Filipino temple makes sense.)
22.  Santa Cruz, Bolivia (Again, I see a day when every South American nation will have at least one temple.)
23.  Quito, Ecuador (See above.)
24.  Auckland, New Zealand (The Church has grown a lot in the Pacific.)
25.  Bentonville, Arkansas (There's not a temple within 200 miles of this city, so having one there makes sense.)
26.  Jacksonville, Florida (Not sure how busy the other Florida temples are, but a third would surely be a blessing to the Saints there.)
27.  San Pedro Sula, Honduras (Honduras may be ready for a second temple.)
28.  Salem, Oregon (The one other temple in Oregon is busy enough, and the Church has grown enough in Oregon that another temple there makes sense.)
29.  Belem, Brazil (Brazil may be ready for several new temples, especially as no progress as been made on the Fortaleza Brazil temple.)
30.  Budapest, Hungary/Vienna, Austria (Of the two, I see a temple in Austria as the more likely possibility. In this, I am not affected by the fact that Amy served her mission there. It would be great to have a temple there.)

I should mention that it would only take 27 of these being announced to make it to the 200 temple mark.With the possibility of having 154 temples by the end of this year, with 160 by the end of 2017, and considering that there may be 3-6 more under construction by then, if an average of 3 temples were completed a year, with an average of 5 temples announced every year, 200 temples by Apirl 6, 2030 could become a reality.

Well, what do you think?