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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Changes in Area Leadership Announced for August 2016

For purposes of information, the Church has announced the following changes in Area Leadership that will be effective on August 1. The changes include:

General Authority Seventies:
Marcus A. Aidukaitis, the former Second Counselor in the Brazil Area, will be the new First Counselor.
Ian S. Ardern will be released as President of the Philippines Area.
W. Mark Bassett will be the new Second Counselor in the Brazil Area.
Mark A. Bragg will be the new Second Counselor in the South America South Area.
Shayne M. Bowen, the former First Counselor in the Philippines Area, will be the new President.
Craig A. Cardon will be the new Second Counselor in the Pacific Area.
Carl B. Cook will be released as President of the Africa Southeast Area.
Lawrence E. Corbridge will be the new First Counselor in the South America Northwest Area
J. Devn Cornish will be released as President of the Caribbean Area.
LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. will be released as President of the Africa West Area.
Benjamin De Hoyos will be released as President of the Mexico Area.
Timothy J. Dyches will be released as Second Counselor in the Europe Area.
David F. Evans will be the new Second Counselor in the Asia Area.
Carlos A. Godoy, the former First Counselor in the South America Northwest Area, will be the new President.
Walter F. Gonzalez, the former President of the South America South Area, will be the new President of the Caribbean Area.
Allen D. Haynie, the former Second Counselor in the Philippines Area, will be the new First Counselor.
O. Vincent Haleck, the former First Counselor in the Pacific Area, will be the new President.
Kevin S. Hamilton, the former Second Counselor in the Africa Southeast Area, will be the new President.
Jörg Klebingat will be released as First Counselor in the Europe East Area.
Jairo Mazzagardi will be released as First Counselor in the Brazil Area.
James B. Martino will be the new First Counselor in the Europe East Area.
Marcus B. Nash will be the new First Counselor in the Africa West Area.
S. Gifford Nielsen, the former Second Counselor in the Pacific Area, will be the new First Counselor
S. Mark Palmer will be the new Second Counselor in the Africa Southeast Area,
Paul B. Pieper, the former First Counselor in the Mexico Area, will be the new President.
Allan F. Packer will be the new First Counselor in the South America South Area.
Rafael E. Pino will be the new Second Counselor in the Mexico Area.
Gary B. Sabin will be the new Second Counselor in the Europe Area.
Evan A. Schmutz will be the new Second Counselor in the Philippines Area.
Jose A. Teixeira, the former Second Counselor in the South America South Area, will be the new President.
Juan A. Uceda will be released as President of the South America Northwest Area.
Arnulfo Valenzuela, the former Second Counselor in the Mexico Area, will be the new First Counselor.
Francisco J. Vinas will be released as First Counselor in the South America South Area.
Terrence M. Vinson, the former First Counselor in the Africa West Area, will be the new President.

Area Seventies:
Siu Hong Pon will be released as Second Counselor in the Asia Area.

To help visualize these changes, you can find a PDF version of all August 2016 Changes in Area Leadership, click here

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Multipurpose Church News Post

Hello, all! During the last several days, several items of import on the Church news front have crossed my radar, and I just had to share some of these monumental strides in Church growth. First of all, the majestic figure of the Angel Moroni has been lifted to the top of the Star Valley Wyoming temple. This is a pivotal construction milestone for this temple, which is scheduled to be dedicated on Sunday October 30. So that was excellent to hear.

Next news item: the Church Public Affairs department will have a change in its managing director. The current managing director, Michael Otterson, will retire on August 31 after serving as managing director for the past eight years. He will be replaced in that capacity by Richard E. Turley Jr,, who currently serves as the senior of our two Assistant Church Historian and Recorders. In the meantime, Brother Turley will train with Brother Otterson. It was also announced in that same article that Elder Von G. Keetch of the Seventy currently serves as the executive director of the Church Public Affairs Department, which I had suspected after he was present in the news conference in which the 3 newest apostles were presented to the media. That was also good to hear.

The third and final Church growth-related development was that Matthew Martinich has learned through listening to an interview with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that 10+ new stakes will be created per week the rest of this year, not including the annual July recess of the apostles, general conference weekend, or the last two weeks of December. It is a mind-boggling and interesting post, well worthy of a read. You can find it at this link.

What monumental strides in Church growth! We live in a wonderful day and age when the gospel is, very literally and figuratively, spreading throughout the earth, and all of us are blessed to be a part of that. Thanks to you all for your readership and friendship.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Star Valley Wyoming Temple will have its Angel Moroni placed on the spire today.

Sorry about two posts in one day. Hope you guys don't mind. I wanted to let you know that at 11:00 AM this morning (11:00 AM our time and Wyoming time. Who knew we were in the same time zone!), the Star Valley Wyoming temple is scheduled to have its angel Moroni placed. What an exciting time we live in when so much is happening on the temple news front! I am keeping a careful eye on all temple-related developments and will put out an updated list whenever there is major temple news (such as a scheduled dedication, rededication, or groundbreaking) announced. Thanks so much to all of you for your readership. I hope my posts are helpful to you all. Have a great day!

PDF of May 2016 Ensign now available/How my predictions for the table of contents panned out

Hello, friends! Hope you all are well. I am posting today something I meant to address yesterday, but I ran out of time to do it then. As soon as the talk transcripts of the April 2016 General Conference were available, I right away did what I have  done for several conferences now--put together my predictions for what a table of contents might look like for the Conference Ensign. I had meant to post that prediction on my blog, but something told me to hold off on doing so. Then yesterday, I was on lds.org and felt impressed to just check and see if the PDF of the May Ensign was available. I'm glad I followed that impression. The PDF was available, and I got an advanced look at what it looked like. I present to you the table of contents I put together, along with the actual page number for each talk or article (actual page numbers will be in parentheses). Since the number of pages of each talk or article is unpredictable, it is always intriguing to see just how right (or wrong) I am. Here's the list. Let me know what you think.

Possible Table of Contents for May 2016 Ensign
(Text in Parentheses indicates what actually was)
Session
Page
Title
Speaker

2
Conference Summary for the 186th Annual General Conference


3
Indexes


4
Highlights from the 186th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

GW
8 (6)
He Asks Us to Be His Hands
Cheryl A. Esplin

11 (10)
What Shall We Do?
Neill F. Marriott

14 (13)
“I Was a Stranger”
Linda K. Burton

17 (16)
Trust in That Spirit Which Leadeth to Do Good
President Henry B. Eyring
SAM
21 (19)
Where Two or Three Are Gathered
President Henry B. Eyring

25 (23)
A Child’s Guiding Gift
Mary R. Durham

27 (26)
I Am a Child of God
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom

29
Where are the Keys and Authority of the Priesthood?
Elder Gary E. Stevenson

33
The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness
Elder Kevin R. Duncan

36
Be Thou Humble
Elder Steven E. Snow

39
“That I Might Draw All Men unto Me”
Elder Dale G. Renlund
SAA
43
The Sustaining of Church Officers
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

45
Church Auditing Department Report, 2015
Kevin R. Jergensen

45
Statistical Report, 2015
Brook P. Hales

46
Standing with the Leaders of the Church
Elder Ronald A. Rasband

49
“Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me”
Elder Neil L. Andersen

53
To the Rescue: We Can Do It
Elder Mervyn B. Arnold

56
The Sacred Place of Restoration
Elder Jairo Mazzagardi

59
Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins
Elder David A. Bednar

63
Family Councils
Elder M. Russell Ballard
SPH
67 (66)
The Price of Priesthood Power
President Russell M. Nelson

75 (70)
The Greatest Leaders are the Greatest Followers
Stephen W. Owen

78 (77)
In Praise of Those Who Save
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

82 (81)
Eternal Families
President Henry B. Eyring

86 (85)
A Sacred Trust
President Thomas S. Monson
SUM
87 (86)
Choices
President Thomas S. Monson

88 (87)
Do I Believe?
Bonnie L. Oscarson

90
Learn, Listen, and Walk
Bishop W. Christopher Waddell

93
Fathers
Elder D. Todd Christofferson

97
See Yourself in the Temple
Elder Quentin L. Cook

101
He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You
Home
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
SUA
105
The Holy Ghost
Elder Robert D. Hales

108
Always Remember Him
Elder Gerrit W. Gong

111
Refuge from the Storm
Elder Patrick Kearon

113 (114)
Opposition in All Things
Elder Dallin H. Oaks

117 (118)
The Power of Godliness
Elder Kent F. Richards

119 (121)
And There Shall Be No More Death
Elder Paul V. Johnson

122 (124)
Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

72
General Authorities and General Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


126 (128)
Conference Story Index (They Spoke to Us)


127 (130)
They Spoke to Us: Making Conference Part of Our Lives (Conference Story Index)


128 (131)
News of the Church
128: Conference Summary
128: New temples
129 (130): W. Mark Bassett/Mark A. Bragg
130 (131): Weatherford T. Clayton/Valeri V. Cordon
131 (132): Joaquin A. Costa/Massimo De Feo
132 (133): Peter F. Meurs/K. Brett Nattress
133 (134): S. Mark Palmer/Gary B. Sabin
134 (135): Evan A. Schmutz/Joy D. Jones
135 (136): Jean B. Bingham/Bonnie H. Cordon
136-144 (137-144): Other Church News (Included all facets of temple-related progress made since last conference, including those announced during this conference)


144
Last Page of Conference Ensign




Friday, April 22, 2016

Official Name Announced for the second Lima Peru Temple

Hello, dear readers. Just wanted to let you know the latest on the temple news front. The LDS Church Temples site reports that the Church has announced the official name for the second temple announced for Lima Peru. The temple will be known as the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple. I was surprised when I looked at the Church's Newsroom at lds.org and there was no mention of this. I did a little digging, and it turns out that the news item posted about the announcement of the four new temples had been updated to include the name of the temple in question. I will update this information on my personal temple construction progress list and post that list the next time there are  any major changes to report. Hope you all are well. Thanks so much to all of you for your interest and readership. Have a good weekend.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

KSL Features Two Church-related videos

Hello, all. I was just sitting here when I realized I forgot to post about two fun Church-related videos I've recently come across on KSL.com. The first features a darling toddler girl who became an internet sensation after the video of her singing "Part of Your World", In this sequel news story, the little girl offers an Easter tribute to the Savior with her sweet rendition of "Gethsemane". A link to the story and the video follows.

3 year-old star of "Little Mermaid" video sings song about Christ for Easter

The second is a parody of Adele's classic "Hello" song, written by two BYU students and featuring an excellent vocalist that strangely reminded me of my good friend Kent Willis. It's a genius video that some of you have no doubt heard about, but I just wanted to share it for the benefit of those who haven't had a chance to enjoy it yet.

BYU students create missionary parody of Adele's "Hello"

Enjoy!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Change to Open House Dates for Philadelphia Pennsylvania/Significant Posts about Church Growth from Matthew Martinich

Interesting developments on the temple news front. The Church has announced a change in the dates during which the Philadelphia Temple open house will occur, though the reason for it remains to be seen or officially made known. The good news is that this change in open house dates will in no way impact the dates of either the cultural celebration or temple dedication, which are still set for September 17 and 18 respectively. Originally slated to run from Friday August 5-Saturday September 3, the open house will now run from Wednesday August 10 (five days later than previously announced)-Friday September 9 (six days later than previously announced), so the open house will actually pick up 1 additional day in the process, allowing for additional visitors to the temple. I also wanted to let you know that I am keeping a careful eye on developments as articles are written about new General Authorities which will identify their quorum affiliation. I also wanted to remind my readers that an excellent article in the April 2016 Ensign by Elder M. Russell Ballard introducing Elder Ronald A. Rasband to the world.

Additionally, Matthew Martinich, whose interesting posts I frequently share, has done a number of noteworthy posts. He posted yesterday to let his readers know that the first stake in Benin is set to be created in 8 days. He has also posted about congregational growth by country for 2015 (devoting two posts to that very subject), the most populous countries without an LDS mission, the districts that are most likely to become stakes in the not-too-distant future, and a Church-growth related analysis of the temples that were announced in General Conference earlier this month. All of these posts are very interesting and well worth the read. Check out his blog by following this link. Hope you all are enjoying my posts! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Temple News

As those following my temple news posts will remember, the Durban South Africa temple was scheduled for groundbreaking last Saturday. It did take place. Elder Carl B. Cook, president of the Africa Southeast Area, presided over the groundbreaking. It took the Church, and Rick Satterfield, the webmaster of ldschurchtemples.com, until Sunday to get news of the groundbreaking  up. Apparently at the groundbreaking, they announced that construction of the temple was anticipated to only take two years, finishing in early 2018, ahead of several temples which had their groundbreaking earlier this year or late last year.  In talking to my mother, a South African native, I learned that sometimes those who work in South Africa aren't as diligent in their labor as they might be if they lived elsewhere. So, it'll be interesting to see if that completion date is accurate. Also on the temple news front, it was revealed that governmental red-tape has been responsible for the delay of construction progress on the Fortaleza Brazil temple. So I would urge all my readers to pray that temple work might go forward.

If we add to the previous count of temples those that were announced during General Conference (for Harare Zimbabwe, Quito Ecuador, Belem Brazil, and a second for Lima Peru), we will have 177 temples by the time all announced ones are completed. This also means that we have only 23 more that need to be announced before we reach the 200 temple mark of which I have frequently mentioned. I think the Church can do it no problem. Time will tell.

That being said, I thought it fitting to end this blog post by sharing my lists of upcoming temple-related events and current temple progress, which I have just updated today based on the latest information available on ldschurchtemples.com, my go-to site for all temple-related news. Here are the lists. Enjoy!

Upcoming Temple Events:

1.      Sunday August 21—Sapporo Japan Temple Dedication (151 operating, 15 under construction, 11 announced, 4 undergoing renovation)
NOTE: Since President Uchtdorf, being a native German, is the most likely person to preside at the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany temple, the next temple to be dedicated or rededicated, 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.
2.      Sunday September 4—Freiberg Germany Temple Rededication (151 operating, 15 under construction, 11 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.
3.      Sunday September 18—Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Dedication (152 operating, 14 under construction, 11 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.
4.      Sunday October 16—Fort Collins Colorado Temple Dedication (153 operating, 13 under construction, 11 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.
5.      Sunday October 30—Star Valley Wyoming Temple Dedication (154 operating, 12 under construction, 11 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.
6.      Sunday November 20—Hartford Connecticut Temple Dedication (155 operating, 11 under construction, 11 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.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 4/13/16)
Current Temple Status: 150 operating, 16 under construction (5 scheduled for dedication), 11 announced (2 groundbreakings anticipated to be announced soon), 4 undergoing renovation (1 scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
151. Sapporo Japan Temple: Finalizing construction in preparation for open house; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday August 21, 2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Interior and exterior nearly complete; grounds work underway; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday September 18, 2016.
153. Fort Collins Colorado Temple: Lampposts installed on the grounds; installing art glass; painting, and laying floor inside; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday October 16, 2016.
154. Star Valley Wyoming Temple: Angel Moroni to be placed on Monday April 25, 2016 at 11:00 am; hanging sheet rock, painting, and installing millwork inside; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday October 30, 2016.
155. Hartford Connecticut Temple: Exterior cladding nearing completion; concrete poured for monument sign; interior painting and flooring underway; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday November 20, 2016.

Under Construction:
156. Paris France Temple: Attachment of exterior stone cladding nearing completion; interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime between late 2016 and early 2017.
157. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Curbing poured for parking lot; sheetrock nearing completion; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Attachment of exterior panels and interior framing underway; retaining walls being installed; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
160. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior panels attached; completion anticipated sometime between late 2017 and early 2018.
161. Durban South Africa Temple: Ground broken on Saturday April 9, 2016; completion anticipated sometime during early 2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Main floor exterior walls rising; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Ground broken on Friday, February 12, 2016; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
165. 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 due to government-imposed delays; completion date TBD (To be determined).

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; utility trenching underway; kitchen appliances arriving; 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.
174. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
175. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
176. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
177. Lima Peru (Second) 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.

Thoughts? Any and all comments are welcome.