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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Important Temple Developments

Hello, all! Posting today with the latest temple news, and it is exciting! Apparently the government-imposed delays preventing the construction of the Fortaleza Brazil temple from going forward have been utterly eliminated. What that means is that full-scale construction is anticipated to start any day now. The temple is anticipated to be completed in 2019.

Additionally, the Church has apparently decided not to commence construction on the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple until after the conclusion of the Summer Olympic games. It makes sense that the Church wouldn't want to upstage the games. But I wouldn't be surprised if the groundbreaking date for that temple is announced soon and set for after the Olympics. I also anticipate perhaps two or three other groundbreakings will be announced before too long, but it's anyone's guess as to when that will happen. I am hoping that the Church will soon identify a site for those temples for whom a site exists. I have updated my personal temple progress report to reflect these developments. I will be sure to keep my eye on all temple-related news and events and post about them here as soon as I can. Thanks to you all for your readership and interest. You are the reason that I blog. And I promise, the personal update is coming...just as soon as there's no more Church news to report. This blog has become a place where I can share news about the Church I love, and it means everything in the world to me that you guys take time to read (and sometimes share) my posts. Best wishes to you all.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Mutipurpose Church News Post

This will be a multipurpose Church News Post.

First, mission boundaries will be realigned in Idaho. For details of what that will entail, please see this link.

Next, the Church News ran an article about Elder Massimo De Feo, who is the first General Authority Seventy from Italy. You can read that article at the link above.

Finally, more temples have had a new president named. Here's an updated list, Please note that there was one temple that I overlooked in drawing up a list of temples that might get a new president this year.

Temples getting a new president in 2016:
1.      Nashville Tennessee
2.      Fort Collins Colorado
3.      Star Valley Wyoming
4.      Hartford Connecticut
5.      Philadelphia Pennsylvania
6.      Columbia River Washington
7.      Chicago Illinois
8.      Mexico City Mexico
9.      Hong Kong China
10.  London England
11.  Manhattan New York
12.  Medford Oregon
13.  Dallas Texas
14.  Birmingham Alabama
15.  Seattle Washington
16.  Hamilton New Zealand
17.  Cochabamba Bolivia
18.  Gilbert Arizona
19.  Anchorage Alaska
20.  Curitiba Brazil
21.  Kyiv Ukraine
22.  Panama City Panama
23.  Fresno California
24.  Memphis Tennessee
25.  Winter Quarters Nebraska
26.  Lima Peru
27.  Nauvoo Illinois
28.  Portland Oregon
29.  Merida Mexico
30.  Reno Nevada

Temples that may still get a new president this year:
1.      Aba Nigeria
2.      Campinas Brazil
3.      Ciudad Juarez Mexico
4.      Columbus Ohio
5.      Copenhagen Denmark
6.      Detroit Michigan
7.      Frankfurt Germany
8.      Guadalajara Mexico
9.      Halifax Nova Scotia
10.  Johannesburg South Africa
11.  Melbourne Australia
12.  Monterey Mexico
13.  Montreal Quebec
14.  Nukualofa Tonga
15.  Perth Australia
16.  Provo Utah
17.  Quetzaltenango Guatemala
18.  Raleigh North Carolina
19.  Rexburg Idaho
20.  St. George Utah Temple
21.  St. Paul Minnesota
22.  Santiago Chile
23.  Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
24.  Sapporo Japan (will be dedicated on August 21)
25.  Seoul Korea
26.  Spokane Washington
27.  Tampico Mexico
28.  Tuxtla Gutierrez Mexico Temple

29.  Twin Falls Idaho

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Changes in the way temples are listed

LDS Church Temples has changed the way temples are listed: for those that will be dedicated next year, a time of year is listed, while for all other temples, only a completion year is listed. Also, some temples originally listed as being complete in 2018 have now had added that they may be completed in 2019. The temples have accordingly been reordered. Here's what the current temple status looks like:

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 5/24/16)
Current Temple Status: 150 operating, 16 under construction (5 scheduled for dedication, 1 had groundbreaking several years ago and construction is pending), 11 announced (2 groundbreakings anticipated to be announced soon), 4 undergoing renovation (1 scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
151. Sapporo Japan Temple: Furniture being delivered; preparing for open house; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday August 21, 2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Accepting free reservations for the public open house; 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 placed on April 25, 2016; steeple lighting tests underway; 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 in early 2017.
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Stained glass windows installed; pouring parking lot curbing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
158. Cedar City Utah Temple: Steeple framework attached; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
159. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior panels attached; completion anticipated sometime between late 2017 and early 2018.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work underway including some material replacement and rework; completion anticipated sometime during 2018.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Second floor exterior walls poured; completion anticipated sometime during 2018.
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Clearing, grading site; completion anticipated sometime during 2018-2019.
161. Durban South Africa Temple: Ground broken on Saturday April 9, 2016; completion anticipated sometime during 2018-2019.
164. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; completion anticipated sometime during 2019.
165. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Ground broken on Saturday February 20, 2016; completion anticipated sometime during 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; reroofing 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. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
170. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
172. Bangkok Thailand 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 Los Olivos 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?

Monday, May 23, 2016

June Ensign Feature Article on Elder Stevenson

Hello, all! An exciting bit of news crossed my radar this weekend, but for some reason, I haven't posted about it yet. The PDF of the June Ensign is up, and included therein is an article by Elder Robert D. Hales introducing Elder Gary E. Stevenson. It didn't surprise me that it was Elder Hales who wrote about Elder Stevenson. Both of them had been members of the Seventy and were serving as Presiding Bishop of the Church at the time of their calls. It was very exciting to read that article. You can find it by following this link. Enjoy! Have a good week.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Lightning Strikes Bountiful Utah Temple's Angel Moroni

Hello, readers! Just posting to let you know that lightning today struck the Angel Moroni statue of the Bountiful Utah Temple of the Church.  It appears there are holes in part of the head and the back of the statue. No word yet about when the Church might replace it, but such replacements due to upheavals of nature are not uncommon, so it should happen shortly. For more details, please see this link. Thanks,

Updated Temple Progress Report

A little later than promised, here is an updated temple status report:

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 5/22/16)
Current Temple Status: 150 operating, 16 under construction (5 scheduled for dedication, 1 had groundbreaking several years ago and construction is pending), 11 announced (2 groundbreakings anticipated to be announced soon), 4 undergoing renovation (1 scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
151. Sapporo Japan Temple: Furniture being delivered; preparing for open house; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday August 21, 2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Interior work complete; furniture being placed; outdoor plaza progressing; 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 placed on April 25, 2016; steeple lighting tests underway; 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 in early 2017.
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Stained glass windows installed; pouring parking lot curbing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
158. Cedar City Utah Temple: Steeple framework attached; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
159. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior panels attached; completion anticipated sometime between late 2017 and early 2018.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work underway including some material replacement and rework; completion anticipated sometime during early 2018.
161. Durban South Africa Temple: Ground broken on Saturday April 9, 2016; completion anticipated sometime during early 2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Second floor exterior walls poured; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Clearing, grading site; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; completion anticipated sometime between late 2018 and early 2019.
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; reroofing 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. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
170. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
172. Bangkok Thailand 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 Los Olivos 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.

Multipurpose Church News post

This post will highlight some of the major news items related to Church growth. Hang on to your hats! This will be a wild ride!

First, the Church has further updated the dress and grooming standards for missionaries. In mosquito-infested area where the Zika virus may be contracted, sister missionaries are now being allowed to wear slacks instead of skirts. Contrary to popular interpretation, these changes will not affect the fact that sister missionaries still need to wear skirts and dresses to Church, the temple, and during seasons when mosquitoes are not out in the air. That information can be found by clicking on this link, which will also list Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer of the Seventy's assignment as Assistant Executive Director of the Church Missionary Department, which I did not know before.

Second, Matthew Martinich has posted a major update on stakes and districts that have been created or discontinued within the past month. You can find that post by clicking on this link. Among those created are the first stakes in Benin and the Czech Republic, and additional stakes created in Argentina, Arizona, Australia, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Tennessee, Utah. A district has been reinstated in Ukraine, and a stake has been discontinued in Idaho, while a district has been discontinued in Papua New Guinea.

Third, more temples have had a new president announced, and I have analyzed how recently each temple has had a change in presidents. I have drawn up an improved list of temples that have received a new president and temples that may yet have a new president announced this year. Here's the list:

Temples getting a new president in 2016:
1.      Nashville Tennessee
2.      Fort Collins Colorado
3.      Star Valley Wyoming
4.      Hartford Connecticut
5.      Philadelphia Pennsylvania
6.      Columbia River Washington
7.      Chicago Illinois
8.      Mexico City Mexico
9.      Hong Kong China
10.  London England
11.  Manhattan New York
12.  Medford Oregon
13.  Dallas Texas
14.  Birmingham Alabama
15.  Seattle Washington
16.  Hamilton New Zealand
17.  Cochabamba Bolivia
18.  Gilbert Arizona
19.  Anchorage Alaska
20.  Curitiba Brazil
21.  Kyiv Ukraine
22.  Panama City Panama

Temples that may still get a new president this year:
1.      Aba Nigeria
2.      Campinas Brazil
3.      Ciudad Juarez Mexico
4.      Columbus Ohio
5.      Copenhagen Denmark
6.      Detroit Michigan
7.      Frankfurt Germany
8.      Fresno California
9.      Guadalajara Mexico
10.  Halifax Nova Scotia
11.  Johannesburg South Africa
12.  Lima Peru
13.  Melbourne Australia
14.  Memphis Tennessee
15.  Merida Mexico
16.  Monterey Mexico
17.  Montreal Quebec
18.  Nauvoo Illinois
19.  Nukualofa Tonga
20.  Perth Australia
21.  Provo Utah
22.  Quetzaltenango Guatemala
23.  Raleigh North Carolina
24.  Reno Nevada
25.  Rexburg Idaho
26.  St. George Utah Temple
27.  St. Paul Minnesota
28.  Santiago Chile
29.  Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
30.  Sapporo Japan (will be dedicated on August 21)
31.  Seoul Korea
32.  Spokane Washington
33.  Tampico Mexico
34.  Tuxtla Gutierrez Mexico Temple
35.  Twin Falls Idaho
36.  Winter Quarters Nebraska

Please let me know if I am in error on anything in this post. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks to you all for your friendship and readership.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

KSL Story: LDS Church condemns sexual assault; BYU Student Response Council Announced

KSL has been closely following developments related to the reported cases of sexual assault at BYU. The Church has been unequivocal about its condemnation of these heinous acts. In order to better deal with cases of sexual assault at BYU, a council has been formed from among the BYU leadership that will handle all facets of investigating such instances. I was happy to see the Church's response to this matter. Sexual assault is never okay, and my heart bleeds for those who have been affected by such things. I try to think how I would feel if I found out that someone I knew had that happen to them. I'd want to find those responsible and tear them apart with my bare hands. Some people are inclined to blame the victims, saying that they "brought those things upon themselves." It is far better for all concerned when this issue can be publicized and when steps can be taken to ensure this behavior does not go unpunished in anyone. You can find out more about this public response to this epidemic by following this link. Thanks for your readership and interest.

Missionary Dress Code updated to allow sun-protected gear

This just in: The Church has announced that, in an effort to ensure missionaries can be protected from the hot sun, especially during the summer, "simple and conservative sunglasses" and :wide-brimmed hats" may now be worn. This is the first time in Church history that I know of that has seen protective sunwear has been added to the missionary dress code. If I am in error on that point, please let me know. How wonderful it is to know that the Church is so concerned about protecting our missionaries from the elements. Have a great night!

Major Church News Items

Hello, dear readers! Several items of import relating to Church News have crossed my radar, and I wanted to share some of this wonderful news with you.

First of all, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, returned to his homeland in the Czech Republic this last weekend to create the first stake in that nation. This is a monumental achievement for the Church. He was accompanied by some members of the Europe Area Presidency and several Area Seventies. You can read more about this here.

New temple presidents have been announced for the Cochabamba Bolivia, Gilbert Arizona, Anchorage Alaska, Curitiba Brazil, Kyiv Ukraine, and Panama City Panama temples. I am not at home at the moment and will post an updated list of new temple presidents later on today, as time and circumstances allow.

A Church News article featured a biography of Joaquin Esteban Costa, which you can find by clicking on the link above. I can't find a source to prove it, but I believe that the new Elder Costa may be somehow related to Claudio R. M, Costa, who was called to the Seventy in the '90's.

Finally, the biggest change: With a newly-published list of temple-related developments, it will be noted that many temples that fornerly had a potential site announced, with the exception of the two nearest to having a groundbreaking announced, have been updated to say that a site announcement is still pending/ As I am still at work, I will not be able to post an updated list to show you what temple progress looks like now. Instead, I will direct you to this link, where temple progress can be viewed.

There is a lot going on on the Church News front. I will keep my eyes and ears peeled for such news and will let you know, as time and circumstances allow, what the latest is. In the meantime, I haven't forgotten my promise to post a much-needed personal update--that has just been put on hold indefinitely until I have more time to write it. As always, any news of the Church will trump personal updates for me every time. Thanks yo much to you all for your readership and interest.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Interesting temple developments

Hello, all! Wanted to post on some interesting developments on the temple news front. The Paris France Temple--originally set to be completed either late this year or early next year is now going to be completed sometime early next year. The Rome Italy Temple, originally slated for completion in late 2017, is now due to be completed in 2018. There is still a chance that the Idaho Temple undergoing renovation could be completed by the end of this year. If it does, the odds are that President Eyring (a former Ricks College President) will preside and that Elder David A. Bednar (who was Ricks College President at the time it was renamed BYU-Idaho and thus lead the transition) may be at that rededication. It is scheduled to be completed either late this year or early next year. Progress on under construction temples world-wide has been made, and rather than trying to go over it all with you, I am posting an updated list of temple construction progress to let you know what is happening with that. Since no other temple-related events have been announced, I will not be reposting that list. The list I am posting today looks like this:

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 5/16/16)
Current Temple Status: 150 operating, 16 under construction (5 scheduled for dedication), 11 announced (1 had groundbreaking several years ago and construction is pending; 2 groundbreakings anticipated to be announced soon), 4 undergoing renovation (1 scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
151. Sapporo Japan Temple: Furniture being delivered; preparing for open house; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday August 21, 2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Interior work complete; furniture being placed; outdoor plaza progressing; 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 placed on April 25, 2016; steeple lighting tests underway; 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 in early 2017.
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Stained glass windows being installed; pouring parking lot curbing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
158. Cedar City Utah Temple: Steeple framework attached; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
159. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior panels attached; completion anticipated sometime between late 2017 and early 2018.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work underway, including some material replacement and rework; completion anticipated sometime during early 2018.
161. Durban South Africa Temple: Ground broken on Saturday April 9, 2016; completion anticipated sometime during early 2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Second floor exterior walls poured; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Clearing, grading site; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; completion anticipated sometime between late 2018 and early 2019.
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; reroofing 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.
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 Los Olivos 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.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Inspirational Article--Three Siblings Serve in the Same Mission

Here's a faith-promoting story for you. It's about how three siblings all served at different times in the same mission. You can find that story here. Thanks.

Panama Papers scandal has nothing to do with the LDS Church

Some Church-related news crossed my radar today, and I felt a need to share it right away. The Panama Papers scandal has erroneously been connected with the LDS Church due to similar-sounding names of Church entities and those entities identified within the Panama Papers. The Church set the record straight by issuing a statement that distances them from the named corporations. For a story that explains this matter better than I can, please see this link. Thanks as always for your readership.

Articles about New General Authorities

The Church News has recently featured biographical articles about some of the newly called General Authorities. Subsequent articles will be written about the Area Seventies and Primary General Presidency. So far, articles have been written about Elder William Mark BassettMark Allyn BraggWiliam Weatherford Touchstone Clayton, brother of Elder Lyndon Whitney Clayton III, who currently serves as Senior President of the Seventy, (the article mentions them being brothers, just as I said they were.) and Valeri Vladimir Cordon. Future articles will, I'm sure, be featured about the remaining 7 General Authority Seventies as well as the new Primary General Presidency. Exciting stuff! Hope you all are enjoying my posts. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

More Temple Presidents Called

The First Presidency has called more temple presidents. Rather than going over in detail about which presidents have been called where, I include my list of temples that, as of November this year (though obviously temple presidents of temples that are dedicated before November will start serving between 1-3 months earlier. Hope that makes sense.  Here's the list:

Temples getting a new president in 2016:

1.      Nashville Tennessee
2.      Fort Collins Colorado
3.      Star Valley Wyoming
4.      Hartford Connecticut
5.      Philadelphia Pennsylvania
6.      Columbia River Washington
7.      Chicago Illinois
8.      Mexico City Mexico
9.      Hong Kong China
10.  London England
11.  Manhattan New York
12.  Medford Oregon
13.  Dallas Texas
14.  Birmingham Alabama
15.  Seattle Washington
16.  Hamilton New Zealand

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Interesting Posts by Matthew Martinich

Brother Matthew Martinich has been posting with a lot of cool Church-related posts lately. I would urge you all to visit this link. Among his recent posts are New Locations for Humanitarian Service Missions, the news that the first stake in the Czech Republic will be organized this Sunday, a request for updates on stake and district creations/dissolutions, and a report of the apostasy in Armenia that led to the disbanding of the sole stake there. Check them all out. Enjoy!

Temple Developments

Hello, all! Just wanted to post about some exciting developments in temple construction. Just since Saturday, scaffolding has been added to the dome of the Tucson Arizona temple, progress was made on the landscaping for the Fort Collins Colorado Temple, steeple framework has been installed atop the Cedar City Utah Temple, the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo temple site is in the process of being cleared and graded, and the Church is in the process of announcing the callings of new temple presidents. Thus far, the first presidents have been announced for the Fort Collins Colorado,Star Valley Wyoming,Hartford Connecticut and Philadelphia Pennsylvania temples have been announced. Also announced were new presidents for the Nashville Tennessee, Columbia River Washington, Chicago Illinois, Mexico City Mexico, Hong Kong China, and London England. The first presidents of the Provo City Center and Sapporo Japan temples were previously announced. With so much going on, I wanted to post again the updated lists of temple construction progress and temple related events for your information.

In the lists below, please note that there will be some differences between the numbering on my list and that of the LDS Church Temples website. I have put temples that are further along higher on the list, but other than that, it's pretty well chronological.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 5/6/16)
Current Temple Status: 150 operating, 16 under construction (5 scheduled for dedication), 11 announced (1 had groundbreaking several years ago and construction is pending; 2 groundbreakings anticipated to be announced soon), 4 undergoing renovation (1 scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
151. Sapporo Japan Temple: Furniture being delivered; preparing for open house; scheduled to be dedicated Sunday August 21, 2016.
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Trees planted; interior work nearing completion; 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 placed on April 25, 2016; steeple lighting tests underway; 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: Steeple framework attached; 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: Exterior walls rising; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Clearing, grading site; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; 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; reroofing 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.
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 Los Olivos 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.      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 will likely be asked to preside.

An Angel to Watch Over Me--A Belated Mother's Day Tribute

Hello, dear readers. I haven't forgotten my long-promised intention to write a personal update. But with all the Church News lately (some of which I will focus on in other posts over the next little while), I have put that on hold for a future time yet to be determined. This post covers a very special topic to me.

Sunday, as many of you know, was Mother's Day. I called my mom Saturday night to see how she was doing and to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. It was, as it always is, wonderful to talk to her. In that special way she had, she answered only a few inquiries from me about how she and my dad were doing. Instead, she wanted to talk about me and Amy. She knew we had a lot going on. She also well knows that Mother's Day is always a difficult one for Amy because Amy lost her mom to complications of MS before we ever started dating. For the years preceding her mother's death, Amy and her brother Troy were Mom Nuttall's care givers. As a result, Amy felt a deep connection to her mom. Mother's Day is always hard for Amy because she's without her mother. I think my mom understands best how Amy feels, because Mom lost her  own mom a few years ago. So my mom asked me to be sure and tell Amy that she was thinking of her this weekend and praying that it would be a good one for her. If that wasn't enough, on Mother's Day, she sent Amy herself a text echoing the sentiments she had expressed to me the previous evening.

As I have thought about my mom, I can't imagine how I'd feel if I didn't have her around anymore. For the first 20-some-odd years of my life, she was my caregiver and my advocate with the doctors and our pharmacies. She selflessly put her own life aside to ensure my siblings and I always had what we needed. I know that finishing college is one of her dreams, and I hope I can play some part in the future in making that happen. She constantly gives to other people, even and especially when that means more work for her. My mom came to America on a "short vacation" and has yet to make it back "home" to South Africa. She has constantly put her life and needs on hold to serve and minister to people. I can't say enough of this dear woman and the impact she has had on my life.

I could say the same about the many other "mothers" I've had throughout the years: ward members who provided my family with extra care and service when needed; my beloved grandmothers, aunts, and cousins (by both blood and adoption) whose examples are such a strength to me; my dearest older sister Joanna (whose active presence in my life I greatly miss, as I can no longer just pick up the phone anytime and hear her voice); my sweet younger sister Elizabeth (who is preparing to be a first-time mother), my sisters-in-law; and my dear mother-in-law that I have yet to meet, to whom much of the credit for her daughter being so wonderful belongs; the women I have known and served with as a missionary and temple worker, and so the list could go on.

And in mentioning those who have mother hearts and live mother lives, how can I forget to add my beloved eternal companion, Amy? She made it clear when we met that she had no interest or desire whatsoever in being a mother to me (which is very refreshing to me, as so many women before her viewed me merely as someone who brought out their innate abilities to mother). Amy is unique in so many ways, but particular in the fact that she is a mother, a mother without children. I will have to work hard to become a father. But Amy is already and will continue to be the very best mother, grandmother, and any infinite number of great-grandmothers this world has ever seen. All of the good things that have come into my life in the past six or seven years we've known each other can be traced back to my meeting and deciding to marry Amy.

I know that there is not a sufficient amount of words I could say to convey the depth of my feelings about mothers in general and the mothers in my life in particular. The closest I can come to adequately doing so is to quote two songs about mothers, then close with my testimony of mothers.

The first song is by Steven Jones. It's called, "A Mother's Eyes Reflect the Love of Heaven," Its' beautiful lyrics are:
A mother’s eyes reflect the love of heaven.
A love borne long before this life began.
A love which grows each day,
Which will not fade away,
A love inspired by Heavenly Father’s plan.

A mother’s hands reflect a life of service,
A life of sacrifice for those she loves,
And with her giving hands
She shapes the soul of man,
Prepares him for eternal life above.

A mother’s words teach children righteous living,
And her example leads them to the light,
She speaks the words of truth
That guide their tender youth,
And points the course they take throughout their lives.

A mother’s life reflects itself in our life,
Her ways of living are ingrained in ours,
And through the changing years
And days of joy and tears,
Her love will lead us on,
Her words will point the course,
Her hands will lift us up to God.

The second song is by Sally DeFord, an LDS mother. It's called "An Angel to Watch Over Me." The lyrics for that song are:

She watched by my cradle through long, sleepless nights.
She taught me to pray as she knelt by my side.
She guarded my childhood, and all through the years,
She echoed my laughter, she counted my tears.
In the arms of my mother, I came to believe
That God sent an angel to watch over me.

She taught me the meaning of courage and faith.
She taught me to live with the Lord as my strength.
She taught me to follow the pathway He marked.
She guided my steps when the journey grew dark.
And I know there were dangers that I could not see,
But God sent an angel to watch over me.

She taught me to serve with a spirit that sings.
She taught me to seek after heavenly things.
And because of her love and her kindness and care,
Because of the place that I hold in her prayers,
And because of her goodness, I still believe
That God sent an angel to watch over me.

I testify that mothers are truly angels sent from the presence of God. How fortunate we are to have mothers in our lives. We are constantly blessed by their kindness, compassion, love, and angelic support. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!