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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year-end Review of 2017 Temple Progress

Hello again, everyone! A little earlier than I thought I would be able to, I am posting what will likely (but may not turn out to be) my final post for 2017. In this post, we will be taking a look back at the differences between the first temple construction progress report I published on this blog this year, and the one that is updated with the latest information I could find as of this New Year's Eve. It is wonderful to see the massive progress that has taken place in terms of temple construction developments, and I hope you will all enjoy reading about them. Those reports follow below, with the older version appearing first. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time, and for your continued interest in all I have "sounded off" about on this blog. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best, pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do, and extend my most fervent wishes that each of you will have a happy, healthy, and safe new year ahead in 2018.

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 1/3/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication; 11 under construction; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 10 announced; (NOTE: Up to 3 additional temples may soon have a groundbreaking announced).

Dedication scheduled:
156. Paris France Temple: Exterior lighting system operating; interior work underway; scheduled to be dedicated on Sunday May 21, 2017.

Under Construction:
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Light fixtures hung; interior trim underwaycompletion anticipated sometime in late 2017.
158. Cedar City Utah Temple: Fencing progressing; entrance plaza created; landscaping areas defined; hanging drywall; completion anticipated sometime in late 2017.
159. Tucson Arizona Temple: Pouring walkways; erecting fencing; installing art glass windows; hanging drywall; completion anticipated sometime in late 2017.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime in early-to-mid 2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Building the exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime in early-to-mid 2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Attaching building wrap to exterior walls; adding landscaping structures; completion anticipated sometime in mid-2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Pouring temple foundation; setting rebar for missionary housing walls; palm trees planted along entrance road; completion anticipated sometime in mid-2018.
164. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Pouring walls for steeple base; completion anticipated sometime between late 2018 and early 2019.
165. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; completion anticipated sometime between late 2018 and early 2019.
166. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Second floor exterior walls poured; completion anticipated sometime in 2019.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Excavation underway for temple and utility building; structural framing going up for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime in 2019.

Scheduled for rededication:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; finish work underway; rededication scheduled for Sunday June 4, 2017.

Undergoing Renovation:
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime between late 2017 and early 2018.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; some exterior stone removed; foundation exposed; old meetinghouse razed; rededication anticipated sometime between early and mid 2018.

Announced:
168. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; official site announcement anticipated in early 2017, with the groundbreaking anticipated to take place shortly following the site announcement.
169.  Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Governmental approval phase; preliminary environmental license issued in November 2016; groundbreaking pending.
170. Arequipa Peru Temple: General contractor selected; groundbreaking pending.
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. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Stalled in planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
174. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
175. Quito Ecuador 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 numbers 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 numbers may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on progress towards planning, approval, and groundbreaking.
Red text denotes changes from the last posted temple progress update.


NOTE ABOUT FUTURE TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: I have previously referenced the statement made by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Temple Department Executive Director, to the effect that 80 temple locations are under active consideration for an announcement during the next 15 years. That statement, made in late April 2017, means that we could have around 260 temples in various stages by late April 2032. Whether or not all of those temples are announced by that time, it appears more than likely that the Church could have 200 of those temples in operation 2 years prior to that, as the Church marks its 200th anniversary (on Saturday April 6, 2030). The Church would just need to complete the 23 in various stages and announce and complete 18 others in the 12.26 years between now and then, which works out to roughly 3.34 new temples that will need to be dedicated every year. Given the fact that the Church will be maintaining at least that average for the next 2 or 3 years, it seems very likely that there will be 200 operating temples by that 200th anniversary, if not more.

CURRENT TEMPLE STATUS: The Church has 182 temples in various phases. There are 159 in operation, with an additional 10 that are in various phases of construction. There is 1 other which had a groundbreaking at the beginning of December 2016 and for which construction is anticipated to begin at some point during the first half of 2018. In terms of temples undergoing renovations, 1 has a rededication scheduled during the middle of next year; 1, which sustained weather-related damage, was first closed for restoration, which has now become a full renovation process, with its’ completion and an private dedication anticipated early next year; 1 other temple is anticipated to have its rededication next year (likely during its’ final quarter); and 4 additional temples recently closed for renovation as well. There are also 5 others that are set to close within the first half of next year, all of which have had their closure dates confirmed. The remaining 12 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

Under Construction; completion estimated during 2018:
160. Concepcion Chile Temple: Finalizing stone cladding; installing millwork and hanging light fixtures; pouring curbing and parking; completion estimated sometime during tithe latter half of 2018.,
NOTE: On December 30, 2017, I once again changed my thoughts about when this temple’s dedication could be held. I now believe that may occur on either Sunday September 16 or 23. As the next four or five months pass, we will know how reasonable that estimate might be, and I will make any subsequent adjustments that may be needed.
161.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Erecting decorative fence; installing lamp posts; adding plants and laying sod; completion estimated sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: On December 1, 2017, this temple was moved ahead of the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple. Then its’ construction status was updated on December 27 of that same year. In view of these developments, I am even more convinced that the dedication of this temple could (and likely will) occur on either Sunday November 11 or 18. If the process of finishing this temple’s construction is delayed for any reason whatsoever, that could push it back to mid-December, but for now, I feel confident in that estimate, and not just because of what the study about the DR Congo’s climate showed.

Temples that may be completed sometime during either late 2018 or early 2019:
162. Rome Italy Temple: Scaffolding removed from towers; interior work progressing; completion estimated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: In view of my desire to speak and think optimistically on temple time-frames, I have recently shared my opinion that, with the completion estimate delayed for Kinshasa until early 2019, we could see this temple dedicated on either Sunday December 9 or 16. But there is also a more than likely possibility that while construction on this temple could be completed by the end of 2018, the dedication might not follow until the early months of 2019. I am keeping my eyes open for any information in this regard, and I will pass any updates along ASAP.

Under construction, completion estimated during 2019:
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Hardscaping underway; plastering exterior walls; moisture barrier added to eaves; completion estimated sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: Based on the fact that this temple is not anticipated to be dedicated until early 2019, I have felt that an altered estimate of mid-February would be appropriate for that event. As 2018 progresses, we will know more about how reasonable that might be, and any further adjustments can be made as they might be needed.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Installing and waterproofing roof decking; backfilling foundation; setting roof trusses on housing facility; completion estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: According to new information I found about the year-round climate, and because of the many temples estimated to be rededicated during this same time period following their renovation, I have changed my estimate for this temple’s dedication to either late May or early June. I will post any further revisions to this estimate as I make them.
165. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Site grading and excavating for foundation; completion estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: With full-scale construction now underway, and knowing that a 12-18 month time-frame has been suggested for the completion of this temple, I have felt that the dedication could follow in mid-June 2019. If this temple consistently progresses in its’ construction, that would obviously necessitate an adjustment to that estimate, but for now, it seems to be a safe initial projection.
166. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Steeple base walls poured; meetinghouse cladding progressing; completion estimated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: With this temple having been moved up twice on this list in the last couple of weeks, after reevaluating the potential time-frame for its’ dedication, I now offer early-to-mid August as a revised estimate for that event. As 2018 progresses, we will know how reasonable that might be, and I will make any adjustments that might be needed.
167. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Cupola framework installed atop temple; planting palm trees around temple parking; completion estimated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Given the need to reevaluate the potential time-frame within which this temple could be dedicated, I have felt that could occur in early-to-mid September. Within the next year, more will be known about how accurate that might be, and any adjustments can be made as they are needed.

Temples estimated to be completed sometime during late 2019-early 2020:
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: Interior work started; steeple framework being assembled; completion estimated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: Given the fact that this temple has been progressing fairly steadily, I feel confident that its dedication could occur prior to the end of 2019, and if that does happen, I have felt it could occur in mid-November. As the next 18 months pass, more will be known about how reasonable that might be, and any adjustments can be made as they are needed.

Temples estimated to be completed sometime during 2020:
169. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Pouring upper walls of temple; completion estimated sometime during early 2020.
NOTE: When this temple’s completion estimate was changed yet again on December 28, 2017, that made it necessary for me to rethink what I have previously shared in terms of a more specific time-frame. Based on that adjusted estimate and what I have found in studying the Rio de Janeiro climate, I now believe we will see the dedication in mid-March 2020. As the next 18-20 months pass, we will know more about how reasonable that estimate might be, and any further adjustments can be made as they are needed.

Construction pending:
170. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; plans being slightly modified; full-scale operations estimated to begin sometime during the first half of 2018; completion estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: This temple has not progressed since its’ groundbreaking over a year ago. It is currently estimated that full-scale efforts could begin once winter 2018 clears, perhaps in April or May. And while it is unknown if the modification of the plans for this temple will change the 20-month estimate the Church provided for this temple, if all goes well, I could see the dedication of this temple taking place during mid-May 2020. I will be keeping an eye out for developments related to this temple and will post any adjustments I make to this estimate as that becomes necessary.

Scheduled for rededication:
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; open house tickets available beginning Monday February 12 @ 10:00 AM MST; rededication scheduled for Sunday May 20, 2018.

Undergoing renovation (in view of damage incurred by a natural disaster; estimated to be reopened in a few months):
97. Houston Texas Temple: Closed for renovation (following damage incurred by flooding); estimated to reopen in early 2018, following a private rededication ceremony.
NOTE: Based on the fact that this temple’s renovation is primarily for the completion of restoration efforts following flooding, and because the First Presidency has indicated the process will only take a few months to complete, it is my feeling that the private rededication could take place on either Sunday April 15 or 22. I will be posting any updates to this estimate as they are needed.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated within the next year or so):
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; basement addition concrete waterproofed; rededication estimated sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: In view of the completion estimate for this temple being pushed back yet again on December 30, 2017, it appears that the earliest we could see this dedication is the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2018. With that in mind, I am revising my estimate for that event, which I now believe could be held on either October 14 or 21. I will keep an eye on these developments and will pass along any additional adjustments to this estimate as they are needed in the future.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during 2019):
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Closed for renovation; structural framing installed for steeple; rededication estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: With the other adjustments I have made, it seems wise to adjust this temple’s completion estimate to sometime during mid-to-late April. But that will depend on how things progress. If I see anything that gives me a reason to adjust my thinking on this, I will pass that along.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Closed for renovation; marble cladding removed; rededication estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: With the confirmed alteration of this temple’s exterior look (which will match that of the Memphis Temple), it seems entirely possible that a rededication could take place sometime during late April-early May. As this renovation progresses, I will pass along any alterations to this estimate.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: With the confirmation that this temple has closed and that its exterior look will likely be altered in a similar way as in Memphis and Oklahoma City, I am reasonably certain that the rededication could take place in mid-May. Ass with anything else, I will be sure to pass along any adjustments I make to that estimate.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during 2020):
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: As has been noted previously regarding this temple, it is undergoing renovation primarily to upgrade and update electrical and mechanical systems. Since it is also a comparatively smaller one from the Kimball-era of small temples, it is easy to assume and to assert that a dedication could happen in mid-to-late April 2020. As with everything else, I will be sure to pass along any updates to this estimate as I make them.

Temples Scheduled for Renovation (scheduled to close during 2018; closure dates confirmed):
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Sunday January 7, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Through a comment on my blog on December 5, 2017, the exact closure date for this temple was confirmed. Additionally, while I also know Church members in North Carolina who said that this temple’s renovation will not involve an expansion, it is possible that part of the renovation process will be changing its exterior to look like the temples in Memphis and Oklahoma City. If that is the case, then the rededication may be held sometime during early-to-mid September 2019. I will pass along any new information as I find out about it.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Sunday January 28, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: On December 4, 2017, I was able to confirm the date above as the official date for this closure. While much is unknown about what this process will involve, if this temple’s exterior look is changed to what has already been confirmed for the Memphis and Oklahoma City Temples, a subsequent rededication could occur during mid-to-late September 2019. As the renovation process gets started, we will know more about how reasonable that estimate might be, and any subsequent adjustments that are needed will be made.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Monday February 19, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: With this renovation process for this temple set to begin in less than two months, we know that the primary purpose of it is to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems and bring them up to code. Until the renovation process is well underway, we may not know for a while when to anticipate its completion. With the Church’s statement that this temple will be dedicated before the end of 2019, I feel safe in estimating that the rededication could take place in mid-November. If that process is delayed at all, I could also see the rededication pushed back into early 2020. I will keep an eye out for information in this regard and will pass along anything I find out.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Sunday March 4, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: With what is currently known about this temple’s renovation (having confirmed the exact date, and also knowing that it is mainly to upgrade and update the mechanical and electrical system), in taking the larger size of this temple into account (which will extend the process), a 32-month estimate seems appropriate. That would put this temple’s rededication sometime during mid-November 2020. As the next year unfolds, more will be known, and any adjustments will be provided.
7. Mesa Arizona Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Sunday May 20, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: On December 5, I was able to confirm the official date for this temple’s renovation closure. Because this temple has been previously renovated, I am sticking with my initial estimate of 26 months for that process, which would put its rededication at some point in early-to-mid September 2020. Within the next year, this process will be well underway, and more will be known about any adjustments that may need to be made. Until then, it seems to be a sound adjustment to what I have previously stated.

NOTE ON ANNOUNCED TEMPLES: While I once felt confident in projecting potential groundbreaking estimates for these announced temples, on October 28, 2017, I determined that it would be best to simplify this section by listing these temples in their announced order, with the exception of those that are farther along. Then on November 10, 2017, I took another look at new information on these temples and reordered them further. I will keep an eye out for any developments and reorder this list again as often as that becomes necessary going forward. Additionally, where I have felt it would be appropriate, I have provided notes about some of the factors that may affect how soon future groundbreakings will occur. Since we already know that 2018-2020 are going to be busy years for temple-related developments, it would not surprise me at all if, in view of Elder Wilson’s statement referenced above, we have at least ten more announced during that same time, nor would it surprise me if many of the temples in this section progress to a groundbreaking (and perhaps even a dedication) during that time as well. I am keeping an eye on all of this and will let you know once I find out more information.

Announced temples:
171. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: As previously noted, the contractor for this temple said that a year of preliminary work would be needed prior to this temple’s groundbreaking. If, as previously indicated, that year began in March 2017, this temple could easily have its groundbreaking in the early-to-middle part of next year.
172. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning and approval; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017.
NOTE: This temple is this far up on the list because it has had a site identified and inspected. How soon a groundbreaking might happen is unclear. But since a site has been identified and inspected, it may be sooner rather than later.
173. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official name announcement.
NOTE: As with the Brasilia temple, this temple is in this position on this list because a site has been identified. An official name is estimated to be announced for this temple at some point in the near future. How soon a groundbreaking might happen is anyone’s guess. But with a site identified already, it may be sooner rather than later/
174. Pocatello Idaho Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: In mid-November, I learned more about the process this temple is undergoing. While the planning and zoning commission voted in favor of the proposed land and subdivision development, the city council will also need to vote on that decision. And until the Church announces something officially, the actual site location is anyone’s guess, with three or four potential sites that could easily accommodate the temple. I am keeping my eye on all of this and will post an update as I become aware of more information.
175. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: If, as some members have speculated, an existing Church office building is reconstructed into a multi-purpose building that will serve as not only an office building, but a chapel and the temple as well, and if that is confirmed, we could easily see a groundbreaking for this temple sooner rather than later.
176. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Awaiting government approval and official site announcement.
NOTE: This temple, announced in October 2010, has been subjected to numerous delays. While I hope to see a groundbreaking for it sooner rather than later, there could be more delays in store for this temple. That said, the reports I have received indicate that a site announcement and groundbreaking could occur in short order next year. If that does happen, we could see a groundbreaking sooner rather than later.
177. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
178. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: While the first Ecuadoran Temple had a 14-year waiting period between its announcement and its subsequent groundbreaking, this temple is not estimated to take anywhere near that long between its 2016 announcement and whenever its groundbreaking occurs. As with everything else, I am keeping my eye out for devel
179. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: Shortly after this temple was announced (in April 2016), Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, who presides over the Church in the Africa Southeast Area, stated that a site announcement and groundbreaking would occur in short order during 2017. Since that time, no progress has been made in that regard. Hopefully that will change soon.
180. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
181. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017.
NOTE: While the media event is a good initial step for providing information on this temple, in his remarks at this event, Elder Sitati (our native Kenyan GA Seventy, who also has a role as an Assistant Executive Director of the Temple Department (both of which make it understandable that the Church would ask him to represent them for the event), Elder Sitati indicated that it usually takes the Church 2-3 years after an announcement to locate a suitable site (whether owned by the Church or not) plan and conduct a groundbreaking, and start the construction progress. With that in mind, it may be 2019 or 2020 before the groundbreaking occurs for this temple. I hope we will not have to wait that long to have all of that happen for this temple, but time will tell.
182. Saratoga Springs Utah Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: Though Utah temples (particularly those in Utah County) have been known to have a site announcement, groundbreaking, and construction process much more quickly than temples elsewhere, until a site is announced, it has felt wise to have this temple at this spot on this list. As soon as anything changes in that regard, I will pass such news along.

ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: As I have repeatedly emphasized, Elder Wilson stated in late April 2017 that the Church had a list of 80 potential temple sites that are under active consideration for a subsequent announcement during the 15 years following that statement.
Unless the First Presidency elects to do so between now and then, General Conference in April 2018 would be the next opportunity for such announcements. And though not all of the 80 currently on the list will go on to be announced within that time, and while others may be added to that list in the coming years, with 14 years remaining, if anywhere close to 80 temples are announced, that works out to around 6 new temples per year. I am keeping an eye on all of this, and will be sure to post any additional news once I hear of it.

Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose numbers 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 numbers may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on progress towards planning, approval, and groundbreaking.


Special note regarding this report: Because of the numerous temple developments which have occurred this year, none of the elements included in the first report still applied for this last one.

Additional Progress Noted on the Lisbon Portugal Temple

Hello again, everyone! While my previous post had stated I would only be publishing one more post prior to the official end of 2017, new information about progress that has been noted on the Lisbon Portugal Temple has come to my attention, so I wanted to pass the updated information along.

Where I had recently reported that preparations were underway at that temple site for the steeple base and roof slab to be poured, the update notes that the walls of that steeple base have been officially poured, and that work is continuing on the cladding for the adjoining meetinghouse.

As I have noted before (and likely will keep noting as much as I feel a need to do so), it is wonderful to see the progress occurring day-to-day for so many temples under construction or those that are undergoing renovation. It has been a rare privilege indeed for the last couple of years in which I have been able to note and report such updates on this blog. And I very much appreciate the ongoing interest all of you who read these posts have shown for such updates.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. I will be back in a few hours or so to take a look back at the different elements that were reported in my first temple progress post of this year versus where that report stands on this, the final day of 2017. Until that time, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Second-to-last Temple Post for 2017

Hello again, everyone! On this New Year's Eve when 2017 is ticking closer to its' conclusion, I wanted to devote a new post mainly to discuss progress that has been reported yet again for the renovation of the Memphis Tennessee Temple and one other notable development relating to the Rome Italy Temple.

But before I get into all of that, I did want to note a couple of other things unrelated to those topics. First, a while ago in a post on this blog, I had announced my hopeful intention to have a minimum of 1,000 total posts published before the end of the year. While I came very close to that (primarily in view of the many posts I did about current temples of the Church and those that could be announced in the immediate future), with Church and temple news having substantially slowed since a couple of days before Christmas, I didn't quite make that goal before the end of 2017. But I am looking forward to putting that 1,000th post up on this blog at some point in early-to-mid January. And either way, I am grateful for the attention which has been given to the topics I have covered in the posts I have been able to publish.

Second, to copy a tradition I started last year, I will be (at minimum) doing one other post after this one but before midnight Utah time sees the ringing in of 2018. In that post, I will be passing along two copies of my temple construction progress report, one from the first time I posted that report this year, and, by comparison, what that report looks like by about 11:30 PM Utah time tonight. It has been amazing to see how the small and simple temple updates reported throughout this year have led to monumental changes to that report as it will appear as 2017 concludes. So stay tuned for that later today.

Those two points aside, I did want to move on to talk about the Rome Italy Temple. In my ongoing efforts to find the most accurate information on temple progress worldwide, I have learned that while the construction on the Rome Italy Temple may have wrapped up by the end of next year, its' dedication may be deferred until the early months of 2019. Until we know for sure, I will be maintaining my estimate of December 9 or 16 for the dedication. But I will keep my eyes open for information in this regard and will pass my findings along as I am able to do so.

In the meantime, I wanted to note that the renovation of the Memphis Tennessee Temple has progressed again, with structural framing being completed on the tower base and moving on to the temple's steeple. It is great to see that move along.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which will likely be that comparison of the temple construction progress reports from the beginning of the year to what it will look like as 2017 ends), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Completion Estimate Altered for Frankfurt Germany Temple; Subsequent Adjustments Made to the Estimates for Other Events in 2018

Hello again, everyone! For a variety of reasons, I just barely completed my initial look at the Church websites for today. In the course of those checks, I was made aware of two things. First, the concrete of the basement addition for the Frankfurt Germany Temple has been waterproofed. Second, whatever the reasoning behind it, the completion estimate for that temple has been altered yet again. As recently as yesterday, that completion was anticipated to occur during mid-to-late 2018. But as of today, that has changed to just late 2018. This means that this temple's rededication will likely only occur during the fourth quarter of next year.

With that in mind, I took another look at the potential sequence that could occur for temple events in 2018. After further study on my part, I have pushed back my estimate for the dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple to either Sunday September 16 or 23, and my estimate for the rededication of the Frankfurt Temple has been adjusted to Sunday October 14 or 21.

I am also keeping an eye on the progress (or lack thereof) on the construction of the Rome Italy Temple. While I feel reasonably certain that the dedication of that temple could occur on Sunday December 9 or 16, if this temple's progress is delayed for any reason whatsoever, that would push that back into early 2019.

Whatever might occur in terms of temple progress, you can count on me to bring you information in that regard as soon as I am able to after I receive it. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Additional Update Noted on Renovation Process for the Memphis Tennessee Temple

Hello again, everyone! In addition to the temple updates I provided earlier today, when I checked again for any progress on any other temples, I discovered that another update had been provided regarding the progress of the Memphis Tennessee renovation. It has been reported that structural framing has been installed for that temple's steeple base.

As I noted in the other post earlier today, it is wonderful to see so much progress reported so regularly for the Church's many temples that are under construction or undergoing renovation. And for my part, I can safely promise that I will, to the best of my ability, continue to pass such updates along as I am able to once I become aware of them.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Status Updates

Hello again, everyone! As the year 2017 draws closer to its conclusion, the year has seen me share my commitment to bring you the latest temple-related news and developments as I have received them. In continuing that tradition (which I am pleased to be able to do), I wanted to note a couple of specific updates of which I have become aware in the last hour or so.

First, we turn our attention to the Arequipa Peru Temple, where interior work is officially underway, and where steeple framework is currently being assembled. Given this update, and that the current status of this temple's construction is similar (if not identical) to the status I reported for other temples earlier this year, I am very much hopefully optimistic that the completion of this temple will indeed occur prior to the end of 2019 rather than the beginning of 2020, and the update on its' status today leaves me more convinced than ever before that its' dedication could happen in mid-November.

But as we have seen quite a bit over the course of 2017, the amount of progress made on any temples under construction can vary to the point where some may jump well ahead of others that such temples had previously been thought to be well behind, and if sufficient progress has not been noted on other temples while the ones currently behind them in their estimated completion have progressed, they are moved down.

If this year has reiterated one thing to me about the process of worldwide temple construction, it would be this important concept: Some factors relating to getting a temple built anywhere in the world are entirely dependent on the agency of governmental leaders and construction team members to get any issues resolved in a timely manner. But pretty much every other factor (including the weather and climate of locations in which such projects are in various stages) is up to the Lord to control. And at times, that has involved Him impressing the importance of such projects on those involved in those processes.

Sorry if I rambled a bit in that last paragraph. Getting back to the discussion of other temple updates, I do have information about one more: At some point between the last time I looked at it yesterday and the first time I did so today, information has come in about the availability of reservations for the Jordan River Utah Temple open house, which will begin being accepted on Monday February 12 @ 10:00 AM MST. Given the fact that this is a Utah temple, and that the open house will last six full weeks, I would anticipate that those reservations will likely be in high demand.

While there are no other new temple developments to report for the moment, these two developments are very significant by any measure, and I am grateful to have been able to pass this information along to you all. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reminder about Commenting Period for Temple Site Possibilities Post Series

Hello again, everyone! I just wanted to post a brief reminder for you all. While I met my set goal to have the series of posts covering the future temple possibilities within each of the Church's geographical areas before the end of 2017, my intent was never to wrap up the discussions about those posts before New Year''s Eve this year.

So if any of you have any comments on any of the coverage I did for any of the Church's 25 geographical areas, you can feel free to add them at any time convenient for you. My main desire was to open up conversations about such possibilities, in the hopes that doing so would enable me to make any adjustments, including changing, eliminating, or adding potential sites based on the feedback from you all.

And that process will be going forward on an ongoing basis until the final version of the total list is published on this blog just prior to General Conference (which is now just over 15 weeks away). So if any of you have any comments on any of those posts, I want to hear your thoughts on the information I have shared over the course of that post series.

I am particularly interested to know if I have overlooked any promising locations, if there are any I should remove from my list, or what your thoughts are on how soon we might see those temple sites announced that seem most imminent.

I also hope that none of you have been or will be offended in any way if, in the course of such discussions, I reiterate why I feel strongly about the locations currently on my list. In the discussions that have taken place thus far in that series, we have had good back and forth chats about the reasons and merits behind the sites on my list, as well as the reasons why some sites are on that list and others are not.

But there have also been several conversations where someone has brought up a site I had not considered, or had not seen as a strong or immediate possibility, and the results of my research regarding such locations have led to me either replacing others that are less likely or else adding such locations to the others I feel strongly about within that area.

So until the week or so before April General Conference (at which time I will need to finalize the list), any and all comments are, as alyways, welcome and appreciated. That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

More Specific Alterations Done for Future Temple Events between now and the end of 2020

Hello again, everyone! While I was pleased to pass along to you earlier today the changes that were made in the general completion estimates for temple-related events which are anticipated to occur between now and the end of 2020, I had also promised to try and determine more specific windows in which each of those events could potentially take place. I am pleased to bring you now the results of those adjustments I have made. They follow below. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Revised estimated time-frame for future temple-related events:

2018:
Sunday January 7: Raleigh North Carolina Temple Renovation Closure (date has been confirmed)
Sunday January 28: Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Renovation Closure (date has been confirmed)
Monday February 19: Oakland California temple Renovation Closure (date has been confirmed)
Sunday March 4: Washington DC Temple Renovation Closure (date has been confirmed)
April or May: Full-scale construction anticipated to begin on the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple
Sunday March 11 or 18: Houston Texas Temple Rededication (private)
Sunday May 20: Jordan River Utah Temple Rededication/Mesa Arizona Temple Renovation Closure (both have been confirmed)
Sunday August 12 or 19: Concepcion Chile Temple Dedication (160th operating temple)
Sunday September 16 or 23: Frankfurt Germany Temple Rededication
Sunday November 11 or 18: Barranquilla Colombia Temple Dedication (161st operating temple)
Sunday December 9 or 16: Rome Italy Temple Dedication (162nd operating temple)

2019:
Mid-February: Kinshasa DR Congo Temple Dedication (163rd operating temple)
Mid-to-late April: Memphis Tennessee Temple Rededication
Late April-early May: Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple Rededication
Mid-May: Asuncion Paraguay Temple Rededication
Late May-early June: Durban South Africa Temple Dedication (164th operating temple)
Mid-June: Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple Dedication (165th operating temple)
Early-to-mid August: Lisbon Portugal Dedication (166th operating temple)
Mid-to-late August: Raleigh North Carolina Temple Rededication
Early-to-mid September: Fortaleza Brazil Temple Dedication (167th operating temple)
Mid-to-late September: Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Rededication
Mid-November: Arequipa Peru Temple Dedication (168th operating temple)
Mid-December: Oakland California Temple Rededication
NOTE: While the Church did indicate that this temple is anticipated to be rededicated during 2019, it is one of the older ones, and, as such, if the renovation process is delayed for any reason whatsoever, it could be pushed back into 2020.

2020:
Mid-March: Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple Dedication (169th operating temple)
Mid-to-late April: Tokyo Japan Temple Rededication
Mid-May: Winnipeg Manitoba Temple Dedication (170th operating temple)
Early-to-mid September: Mesa Arizona Temple Rededication
Mid-November: Washington DC Temple Rededication
NOTE: I heard that 2018 and 2019 could be big years for temple groundbreakings. If that proves correct, then many other temples could also be dedicated during 2020 and 2021. As the next two years unfold, I will have a better idea of when such events may occur, and they can then be added to the other estimates above.


Adjustments Made to Several Estimated Time-frames for Future Temple-related Events

Hello again, everyone! As 2017 comes closer to its' conclusion, I have continued to check diligently for any Church news, particularly those relating to temple developments. About a week ago, I noted that several of the estimated time-frames for temple-related events had been slightly altered. So I made adjustments to my thoughts about the potential time-frames for such events.

Then today, in checking the sources I have for temple-related information, I was amazed to discover that several other adjustments had been made. Let's take a look at what those adjustments are and how that will impact the potential sequence of temple-related events between now and the early months of 2020.

Although there could be numerous ways to pass along these changes, I hope that the way I have opted to do them makes sense to all of you reading them. If any of you need clarification on anything you see in the list below, please let me know.

So let's get specific. First of all, the private rededication for the Houston Texas Temple that was (up until today) initially anticipated to occur in mid-2018, may now occur in early 2018, which would mean it will probably happen sometime between January and May.

Next, as previously reported, the Concepcion Chile Temple, which was anticipated at the beginning of this month to only have its' dedication occur in the final quarter of next year (sometime between the beginning of October and the end of December), has had an adjustment made to its' estimate which indicates it could be dedicated during the latter half of 2018 (which would expand the window for that completion to anytime between the beginning of July (or August, in view of July being the month in which our Church leaders have their annual recess) to the end of December.

As as noted previously, that is similar to the time-frame within which the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple is anticipated to take place (mid-to-late 2018). One thing which I am in the process of evaluating is whether the dedication for the Concepcion Chile Temple or the rededication for the Frankfurt Germany Temple will occur first, and I will post more on that once I am able to make that determination.

Since the Barranquilla Colombia Temple's estimate has not changed, its' dedication is still anticipated to occur in late 2018. Here's where the changes come in. As recently as yesterday, I anticipated that the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple would be the last one dedicated during the final months of 2018 and that the Rome Italy Temple would have its dedication in the early months of the following year.

But today, new information I received points to the fact that, of the two, the Rome Italy Temple is now anticipated to be dedicated first, and that that could occur either near the end of 2018 or in the early months of the following year.

Meanwhile, the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple's estimated completion has officially been pushed back to early 2019. That switch truck me as a bit odd, since Rome has not seemed to progress as consistently as Kinshasa, but I trust there is a reason for the change.

The next big adjustment is that the Lisbon Portugal Temple, which appears to be progressing more consistently than the two temples of the Church under construction in Brazil (Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro), has now had its' completion estimate changed to mid-2019. As a result of that change, it is now anticipated that the Fortaleza Temple will be dedicated in mid-to-late 2019.

And the final adjustment that has been made is that, while the Arequipa Peru Temple is still anticipated to be dedicated in either late 2019 or early 2020, there is now reason to believe that the Rio de Janeiro Temple will not be dedicated until early 2020.

Of course, there are other factors to consider here, such as whether or not any of the temples that are or will be undergoing renovation will have a change in their estimates in the near future as well. I will be keeping an eye out for information on that, along with any additional updates to the estimates of those under construction, and will pass along any further updates ASAP after I hear of them.

And obviously, since these changes have so recently been reported, I have not yet had a chance to determine how to alter the more specific estimated time-frames which I have previously offered on this blog for temple events anticipated to occur between now and the end of 2020. I will be working on that as I am able to later on today, and will hope to have those updates posted on this blog before the end of today.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time and for wading through this lengthy update. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

CORRECTION: President Uchtdorf's Exact Age From My Last Update

Hello again, everyone! For those of you who didn't know, the updates I periodically provide on the latest apostolic statistics generally contains information from three separate documents, which I copy and paste into the new update. At times, however, the data provided has flaws, generally caused by my failure to double-check the accuracy of such figures before posting them. From time to time, after I have posted such updates, a comment from one of you who has read through the whole thing has alerted me to such errors, which I then strive to correct. It is rare indeed for me to catch my own mistakes in such posts, but it should happen more regularly.

My point in mentioning this is to correct one such error (a rather glaring one) from the information I posted last week. The error involved the long form age of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. What must have occurred is that I overlooked the fact that, on December 6, President Uchtdorf was 1 month removed from when he observed his 77th birthday. I updated the number of days in his age correctly, but forgot to change his month number from 0 to 1. So his full age as of Christmas Eve should have read 77 years, 1 month, and 18 days.

And that error must have escaped my notice in view of the illness with which I have been battling for the last several weeks. The good news is that, in preparation for New Year's Eve next Sunday, since I was in the process of updating the files from which I pull such data, I  was able to catch this error.

I hope that in the future, I will be able to remember to double-check such facts and figures before posting them here for your perusal. I also wanted to look ahead a bit to the two upcoming apostolic birthdays. As of today, Elder Christofferson's 73rd birthday is merely 27 days away. This means that Elder Rasband's 67th birthday, which is 13 days after that is now 40 days away.

While I do not yet know yet what my 2018 coverage on this blog will look like, one thing I do know is that I am committed to continue doing posts honoring our 14 current apostles on their birthdays (in addition to covering whomever the new apostle will be whenever his birthday occurs.

So stay tuned for those. In the meantime, that does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until  my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Adjusted Estimated Date for the Concepcion Chile Temple Dedication

Hello again, everyone! As I mentioned I would do in my last post, in view of the altered time-frame within which the Concepcion Chile Temple might  be dedicated, I have been able to make a change for that event. I wanted to pass along the information that I feel that this event could happen on either Sunday September 16 or 23.

In sharing estimate alteration, I want one thing clearly understood: at the moment, it would appear that the time-frames for the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple and the dedication of Chile's second temple could be considered interchangeable, and it has been a while since the status of the Frankfurt renovation process has been updated.

So while I have felt that the Frankfurt rededication could occur up to three or four weeks prior to the dedication of the Concepcion temple, if more progress is made on the latter while nothing changes in the status of the former, then the two may flip in their order. It is also a very real possibility that either or both events could be delayed further, which would likely push back the time-frame of events anticipated at some point after the two.

And I am still trying to gauge how realistic it might be to assert that either or both of the temples under construction in Kinshasa and Rome might be dedicated before the end of next year rather than the beginning of 2019. But I will be keeping my eyes open for any or all information in this regard and will post updates if and when I have them.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that  the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

BREAKING NEWS: Completion Estimate for Concepcion Chile Altered Slightly

Hello again, everyone! I am here with some breaking temple news. It was something that I probably should have noticed and of which I should have made mention in my previous post. For the last little while, I had been operating under the assertion that the dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple would likely be dedicated sometime during the final quarter of 2018.

But I was surprised and pleased, in looking at it more closely, to find that that estimate has been tweaked somewhat to now be during the "latter half" of 2018, meaning it could potentially be completed any time between July and December of next year.

Because this development is something I just barely noticed, I will be evaluating things and will make any adjustments to my estimates that may be needed as a result of this. I will say that, if both the dedication of the Concepcion Chile and the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple occur in the earlier part of the final six months of next year, that opens the possibility that before the end of next year, in addition to the Kinshasa dedication, Rome could be completed and dedicated in late 2018 as well.

That said, I want to be very clear about one thing: I fully believe the word of those who have offered their opinions on my estimates when they say that the progress of the Rome temple is slow enough in coming that it is more likely that it will not be dedicated until early 2019. So I will be continuing to monitor all of these events and will pass along any updates to my thoughts in this regard as I make them going forward.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Updates Noted

Hello again, everyone! I am back, as promised at the end of my last post, to pass along some updated information about temples. So let's get right into all of that. First of all, as of today, the Church now has 12.27 years between now and April 6, 2030, within which to dedicate the 23 temples in various stages and to announce and complete 18 others to give the Church the 200 operating temples by the time of its' bicentennial celebration. This also means that the number of temples the Church would need to complete within that time has increased very slightly, from 3.33 during each of those 12.27 years to 3.34. Not much of an increase, but I still thought it was worth mentioning.

The one other development which I wanted to note was yet another status update for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple, where decorative fencing continues to be installed, and where lamp posts, plants, and sod are also being put in on the temple grounds. This progress is a clear indicator of why this temple has been moved ahead of the one in Kinshasa, and based on the fact that its' status has been updated regularly, I am more confident than ever that this temple's dedication will likely take place on either Sunday November 11 or 18 of next year. If anything delays that process, I could see the dedication being pushed back into the following month, but it does appear at the moment that this temple is staying on track for a dedication sooner rather than later.

As with everything else, I am keeping my eyes open for developments of any kind in regards to temple progress, and I will be sure to pass along any additional updates as I become aware of them. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Church News Updates

Hello again, everyone! While I continue to welcome and look forward to the comments from any of you regarding any posts in the series I completed early this morning regarding potential future temple locations in each of the Church's 25 geographical areas, and while I hope those conversations will continue into the new year, I wanted to report some Church news updates in this post, and will follow that up with another new post to pass along some updated information of which I became aware regarding temple progress.

So in this post, let's talk about the Church news. As many of you may recall, I did a post a while back to pass along important dates for Church events in 2018. We now know a little more in particular regarding the three Worldwide Devotionals for Young Adults that have been scheduled for next year.

While I have already noted on this blog that President Dieter F. and Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf will be speaking at the one which is set to be held on January 14, until just recently, there was no word on who might be speaking at the other two devotionals next year.

But in digging a little deeper for information on that, I discovered that Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy will address the young adult devotional which is set for May 6, and that the speaker for the September 9th gathering will be Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

I found it interesting that Elder Cook will be the speaker for the last such devotional of 2018 because the date it will be held is the day after his 78th birthday, and the day when President Russell M. Nelson will be observing his 94th birthday. Hopefully those facts interest some of you as well.

Additionally, it is the time of year when BYU-Provo announces its Winter Semester Devotional and Forum speakers. The full schedule detailing who will be speaking and when can be found here. This winter, speakers will include six LDS leaders (two of which are seatmates in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), a data analyst, and an author. That was fun to read about, and I hope many of you will enjoy it as well.

Next, I wanted to note that Elder Neil L. Andersen and his wife Kathy were the featured speakers at a Christmas Day devotional for MTC missionaries worldwide, which originated from the Provo MTC. Their message to the missionaries was that, since those missionaries were away from their families on that day, each missionary listening to them speak could consider themselves part of the Andersen family for Christmas. They also shared some additional counsel for those preparing to serve all over the world, which you can read more about here.

And, in a somewhat negative Church news development, it has been reported that an LDS missionary has died in his sleep while serving in Nigeria. The elder from Ghana had struggled on and off for years with seizures, but was determined to be well enough to serve in the mission field. While it is tragic when such a death occurs, at least this faithful young elder died while doing what he loved. You can read the Church News coverage of this story here.

Thank you for sticking with me through this somewhat cumbersome news update. It likely would have been much shorter in its length if some of this news had not come to my attention while I was working on this post.

That does it for the moment. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which should come in the next few minutes to pass along some temple updates), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Site Possibilities: Series Wrap-Up

Hello again, everyone! Having just done the final post covering the Utah South Area, I have been able to complete the series about such prospects that are likely in the near future, as promised, before the end of 2017. The opportunity to research and publish these posts has been one I will treasure always, and given its' success, will be repeated as I am able to make that happen following each General Conference.

That said, I did want to note that I hope this last post is not the end of any conversations about potential future temple locations. In fact, until General Conference next April (when the version of those temple prospects on my list are final), and until I need to start this series all over again following that conference, I am issuing a standing invitation (which I will be reiterating as I feel a need to do so) for any and all additional feedback that any of you would like to provide at any time on any post I have done or will do, whether directly related to the matter of future temple locations, or any other feedback you have for me, for that matter.

The subject of where potential future temples might be built in the near future is, as I have noted a few times on this blog, one that is very close to my heart. And it is obviously a popular one, as such posts continue to be among the most widely read with the most comments posted. So I thank you all for that.

As I conclude this series, I also wanted to reiterate what I have previously stated: While I do appreciate the thoughts you all have shared and might share in the future, if I have a strong reason to assert my own opinion instead of any alternatives presented by you in your comments, I will generally stick to those assertions and provide a reason why I have felt justified in so doing.

But I also want you to know that I respect any and all feedback from any one of you who wants to share your thoughts, ask for clarification on why I feel the way I do about such subjects,or correct inacurate information I have posted here, and I hope the same will be true of each of you in our back-and-forth feedback.

I hope this blog, for as long as I maintain it, will be a safe space where those who visit may feel free to comment, knowing their opinions will be respected by the rest of us, even if we disagree with such opinions for whatever our reasons might be.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated (on either this post or any I have previously done). Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Site Possibilities: Utah South Area, Part Four--Temples in Washington and Weber Counties and Area Wrap-Up

Hello again, everyone! I am back with the fourth post I promised just a few moments ago, which will discuss the two temples in Washington and Weber Counties (St. George and Ogden respectively) and which will serve as the wrap-up for this area. Let's get right to it.

The St. George temple was the 1st one dedicated in this dispensation that is still operating today. That dedication occurred on January 1, 1877, which a private dedication done by Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, and Brigham Young; a public one followed between April 6-8 of that same year, with Brigham Young presiding and his counselor in the First Presidency, Daniel H. Wells, reading the prayer at President Young's request. Following a renovation period, a rededication was held on November 11 & 12, 1975, with President Spencer W. Kimball presiding.

With the dedication of the Cedar City Utah Temple about 2.5 weeks ago, that left the St. George district to serve 33 stakes from Bloomington, Hurricane, Ivins, Kanab, La Verkin, Santa Clara, St. George, and Washington City, along with the Page Arizona and Mesquite Nevada stakes. This temple district may need to be split, but I am not sure how or when the Church might opt to do so.

That brings us to the Ogden Utah Temple, which became the Church's 14th one in operation when it was dedicated January 18-20, 1972 by President Joseph Fielding Smith.. As noted in an earlier post, the Ogden temple originally looked identical in design to the Provo Utah Temple.

But when the Ogden Temple closed for renovation, its' design was completely redone to match the evolving architecture of that city. As I previously noted, that redesign was quite divisive for a while, and may still be so for the immediate future. That rededication was held on September 21, 2014, with President Thomas S. Monson presiding.

The current district of the Ogden Temple is comprised of 57 stakes in northern Utah and 4 other additionally from southwestern Wyoming. There is a possibility that the stake could be split, and that a temple in Evanston Wyoming could do the trick, but I honestly don't know how immediate or feasible a temple might be to split this district.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which I will put up in a few minutes as my wrap-up to this series), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Site Possibilities: Utah South Area--Part Three: Temples in Utah County

Hello again, everyone! I am back to discuss the 5 temples that the Church has dedicated (and one that has been announced) to help serve the Saints in Utah County, which, as I have previously noted, has been my home for the 31 years I have been alive. So let's dive right into that.

First, some preliminary information. Utah County has 2 missions (headquartered in Orem and Provo), 161 stakes, and members in 1,407 wards and 53 branches, for a congregational total of 1,460. This means that each temple (once the one in Saratoga Springs is dedicated) will then serve an average of 292 congregations (and that is without taking into account any new ones that will likely be created).

The first temple for the Saints in this area was the Provo Utah Temple, which was dedicated on February 9, 1972 by 10th Church President Joseph Fielding Smith (note that though he composed the prayer, at his request, it was read during the dedication by President Harold B. Lee). As a result of its' dedication, it became the 15th operating temple of the Church. Some of my earliest memories are those associated with my parents leaving us at home to go do temple work in the Provo Temple.

Since the Provo Temple was (and in many ways continues to be) very busy, it has been great to see four other temples which have or will cut down on the distance the Saints in Utah County have th travel.

The dedication of three of those has left the Provo Temple district with 52 stakes based in North Provo, Orem, and the Heber Valley. While the Saints in Heber only have a 28.1 mile drive to get to the Provo Temple, I have a potential temple for Heber City on my list for the Utah South Area. I am also certain that Orem (where I currently reside) will get its own temple at some point, but that might be a few years down the road.

The next temple dedicated in Utah County was the Mount Tmpanogos Utah Temple, which, as I have already noted, holds a special place in my heart. Dedicated between October 13-19, 1999 (for which I was in attendance) by President Gordon B. Hinckley, it became the Church's 49th operating temple.

Serving 60 stakes in the northern Utah Valley, its district includes the cities of Alpine, American Fork, Cedar Hills, Eagle Mountain, Highland, Lehi, Pleasant Grove, and Saratoga Springs. With the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple announced last April, it is anticipated that that temple district will include stakes based in Eagle Mountain, Lehi, and Saratoga Springs. Right now that means that 30 stakes will be pulled away from the Mount Timpanogos district, which will split it right in half. As the Church gauges how patron attendance is at both temples, any subsequent adjustments could be made to either district.

That brings our discussion to the Payson Utah Temple. It became the Church's 146th operating temple when it was dedicated on June 7, 2015 by President Henry B. Eyring. Having a temple in Payson means a lot to me personally. I spent the bulk of my childhood years in that city, and I always felt it would get a temple of its own someday, but I wasn't convinced that would happen in my lifetime. I still hear every once in a while from some members of the ward we were in during our time in Payson just how much of a difference having a temple there has made for them.

The district of that temple serves 28 stakes which have been established in Central Utah and the Southern Utah Valley, which includes the communities of Delta, Elk Ridge, Goshen, Mapleton, Nephi, Payson, Salem, and Spanish Fork. If and when this district needs to be split, I could see the merits of a temple in either Delta or Mapleton.

The last currently operating temple serving this area, as you are all probably aware, was once the Provo Tabernacle. When a fire tragically burned that building beyond repair, President Monson was inspired to rebuild and renovate it as a second temple for the city of Provo.

That temple was dedicated just last year on March 20, and the First Presidency sent Elder Dallin H. Oaks, who had numerous personal connections to preside at two of the dedicatory sessions (since President Russell M. Nelson was in attendance at the last one, he presided at that session). That temple became the 150th in operation worldwide. As for its district. the Provo City Center Temple currently serves those 29 stakes spread through southern Provo and Springville. So it is very decently sized.

This concludes my coverage of Utah County Temples, so that does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which will, as already noted, be put up to discuss those temples in Washington and Weber), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Site Possibilities--Utah South Area, Part Two: Temples in Iron, San Juan, Sanpete, and Uintah Counties

Hello again, everyone! In this second post covering the Utah South Area, I will be focusing on the following for temples: Cedar City, Monticello, Manti, and Vernal, which are located respectively in Iron, San Juan, Sanpete, and Sevier counties. Subsequent posts will focus on Utah County (which is home to 4 temples (which will be five when the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple is built and dedicated, so Utah County will likely get its own post), and a final post discussing the two temples in Washington and Weber Counties. In addition to the history, my remaining posts for this area will be addressing the composition of current (or, in the case of the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple, future) temple districts, and will go into where and when other temples could be built be in each region.

That said, let's get right to the discussion of the first four. We start with the Cedar City Utah Temple. As we know, that temple was just dedicated just over 2 weeks ago, on December 10, 2017, and President Henry B. Eyring presided at that dedication. The purpose of building this temple was to reduce the size of the St. George Temple district.

The Cedar City Temple serves the Saints from 15 stakes in southern Utah, and 2 others (the Ely and Panaca stakes) from Nevada's eastern portion. I have before ventured my opinion that the Church could build a temple in Ely at some point. But I am not sure how else the Church might opt to split the district in the future. Right now, it seems fairly manageable.

Moving on to Monticello, that temple was dedicated as the 53rd operating temple of the Church by President Gordon B. Hinckley on November 17, 2002. Its' district takes in 7 stakes, 4 from Western Colorado (2 from Grand Junction, and 1 each in Durango and Montrose Colorado) along with 3 others from southeastern Utah (namely Blanding, Moab, and Monticello). So that district is also very manageable.

The Saints in Utah's Sanpete County are currently served by the Manti Utah Temple, which became the 3rd operating temple of the Church when it was dedicated between May 21-23, 1888 by 5th Church President Lorenzo Snow.

Its district currently serves those Saints from 22 stakes in Central Utah. If and when the Church opts to split this district, a temple could be announced in either Ephraim or Richfield. While that possibility does not seem to be imminent at the moment, I will keep an eye on this district as I am able to do so, and will pass along anything that would point to either possibility.

I would now like to finish this post by talking about the Vernal Utah Temple, which, as already noted, is based in Uintah County. Dedicated between November 2-4, 1997 by President Gordon B. Hinckley, it became the 51st operating temple of the Church. Its' district is comprised of 10 stakes located in northeastern Utah, and 2 each from northwestern Colorado (the Craig and Rife stakes) and southwestern Wyoming (Green River and Rock Springs). Again, not a huge district, so I don't see much potential for it to split.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Temple Site Possibilities--Utah South Area, Part One: Area Overview and Current Temples

Hello again, everyone! I am back to start my coverage of the final Church area, the Utah South Area. This area is the one with which I am most familiar, as I have been born and raised within its boundaries. Therefore, while all of the areas have been a lot of fun to cover, this area is the one for which I have the greatest anticipation for temples. Every important event in my life has occurred in Utah County, including and especially my six-year service as a temple worker that led me to meet, fall in love with, and marry the woman who has stood by faithfully beside me through our now 7 years of marriage (our anniversary was on the 18th).

The Utah South Area is comprised of regions south of the Salt Lake Valley, and small portions of both Arizona and Nevada. The Saints in this area are served by 8 temples in operation within its' boundaries, and will also have the Saratoga Springs area better covered once that temple is built and dedicated.

The 8 temples, by name, are the Cedar City Manti, Mount Timpanogos (built in American Fork City, a place I proudly claim as my hometown, not by birth, but rather by virtue of spending most of my now 31 years as a resident of that city, and to which I feel I have the greatest personal ties), Payson, Provo City Center and Provo Utah, St. George, and Vernal.

In subsequent posts, I will share a more particular history of these temples, the size of their districts, and the potential I see for future temples within the Utah South Area. I will be approaching that subject by the counties of Utah within which each of the counties that fall within this area of the Church

But that does  it for this post. Any and all  comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Site Possibilities: Utah Salt Lake City Area--Part Two: The Three Other Temples In This Area/Other Future Possibilities

Hello again, everyone! I am back with my second post about the Utah Salt Lake City Area, and will focus this post on the other three temples that serve the Saints within that area. That will include the history of those three, an exploration of the makeup of their current districts, and if, when, and where other new temples might be built to serve the Saints in this area.

So the second temple that was built to serve these Saints was the Jordan River Utah Temple. At the time of its' dedication (which was held between November 16-20, 1981; it is significant to me that this is the only temple of the Church that was originally dedicated by President Marion G. Romney), it became the Church's 20th in operation worldwide.

As we know, it has been closed for renovation since February 15 of last year, and has had its rededication set for May 20 of next year. While it may be too early to tell who might preside at this temple dedication, since this a Salt Lake Valley temple, I am anticipating high attendance from Church leadership.

That said, I had thought the same thing about every Utah temple dedication and rededication that has occurred for the last 3 years, and I always find out later that there weren't as many Church leaders in attendance as I was anticipating. So I am honestly not sure what to expect for this rededication.

When the temple is up and running again, it will continue to serve the Saints in the 66 stakes that comprise its district. There is a chance that this temple district could split at some point, but I am not at all sure if, when, and how that might occur.

I might venture Murray, Riverton, or Taylorsville as potential candidates, but if the Salt Lake district is split at any point, several stakes within this district may also be redistributed at surrounding temples.

That said, I would be interested in hearing any thoughts any of you have about the most likely prospect to effect such a split, and how soon you feel that might occur. Let me know in the comments below.

In addition to the Jordan River and Salt Lake Temples, Saints in the Utah Salt Lake City area are also served by two other temples: Draper and Oquirrh Mountain. I will start with the latter, since that is also located in South Jordan.

As most of you are aware, the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple was announced because of how busy the Jordan River Temple was. At the time of its dedication (which occurred between August 21-23, 2009, with President Thomas S. Monson, who celebrated his 82nd birthday on the first day of that dedication, presiding. That temple brought the number of those in operation to 130.

As for its district, it takes in 35 stakes from the Western Salt Lake Valley. Some have said that this district could be split as well. Because I have friends of my family who relocated a few years ago from Alpine in Utah County to Herriman in the Salt Lake Valley, I know from their reports that Herriman is growing speedily. For that reason, if and when another temple is built to divide this district, I feel confident Herriman will be selected for that honor.

Before moving on to Draper, the final temple in this area, I also wanted to note that President Gordon B. Hinckley announced in General Conference in April 2005 that the Church was holding land in reserve for a temple in the Southwestern part of Salt Lake Valley, and that an official announcement of its location would be made once a temple was needed there.

Some have contended that either the Draper or Oquirrh Mountain temples were likely the location to which President Hinckley referred, but since most sources I have available for such information still list that temple as only being publicly proposed, we know that an official announcement of that location is still pending.

That said, since many of the temples announced by President Monson were publicly proposed and/or referenced by President Hinckley, I feel we could see that location announced fairly soon, wherever it turns out to be.

I'd like to now conclude my discussion of the temple sites in this area by talking about the Draper Utah Temple, which was dedicated from March 20-22, 2009. President Monson presided at this event that gave the Church its' 129th operating temple.

The current composition of the Draper temple district is 29 stakes in the Southeastern Salt Lake Valley. If the Salt Lake Valley continues to grow, I could see a temple announced in the Sandy area, which would take stakes from this district, and also some other from the Jordan River district. Let me know your thoughts on that prospect in the comments below.

Sorry for the length of this post. That does it for the moment. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.