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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Last Post in January--Temple Construction Progress Report

In what will, no doubt, be my last temple construction progress report in January (if not indeed my very last post this month), several important updates have been needed since my last one. That said, here it is. Enjoy, and please do let me know what you think. Thanks.

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 1/31/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication; under construction; 1 groundbreaking scheduled; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: With one groundbreaking announced already this year, two more have the potential to be announced and scheduled very soon, and there may be several more groundbreakings than that in the year ahead.

Dedication scheduled:
156. Paris France Temple: Interior artwork being shipped for hanging inside the temple; dedication scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior lighting tests underway; installation of interior art glass and millwork nearing completion; president’s home undergoing renovation; dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior painting and millwork underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing art glass windows; hanging drywall on interior; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.

Under Construction:
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Applying waterproofing membrane to exterior walls; setting rebar; roughing in plumbing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior cladding going up on north wall; framing the interior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Applying waterproof mastic to temple foundation; setting concrete forms for missionary housing exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
164. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Exterior concrete walls completed; 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: Setting concrete forms for parapet walls; completion anticipated sometime during 2019.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Excavation underway for temple; structural framing going up for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during 2019.

Groundbreaking Scheduled:
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking; environmental license issued in November 2016; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday March 4, 2017.

Rededication Scheduled:
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 early-and-mid 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:
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Erecting construction barrier; clearing and leveling site; awaiting groundbreaking announcement; groundbreaking anticipated in early 2017.
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; official site announcement anticipated in 2017, with the groundbreaking anticipated to take place shortly following the site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: The LDS Church Temple website indicates that a potential site has been identified, though it has yet to be officially verified.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: As the above-mentioned website indicates for this temple, while no official temple site has been announced, there may be a possibility that a Church office building may be repurposed to function as a temple, meetinghouse, and office building under one roof, in a similar fashion to those temples in Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York. This is most likely to be confirmed sooner rather than later.
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 report.

Grandson of President Gordon B. Hinckley carries on his grandfather's temple building legacy

David Hinckley, son of emeritus General Authority Seventy Richard G. Hinckley and grandson of 15th Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, is very much involved in carrying on his grandfather's legacy of helping bring temples to the people of the world. In an article which was featured in the Deseret News recently, and which appeared in a prominent place in the News section of the LDS Church Temples website, that continuing legacy is explored, explained and detailed. Click here to read that article, which is absolutely amazing and inspiring. Thanks to you all for your interest, support, and continuing comments and discussions.

Two Major Church Announcements

Hello. This is my first chance to report on two very important and major announcements made today by the LDS Church. First, LDS Business  College had its 13th president announced today. The outgoing president, J. Lawrence Richards, has served as its president for the last eight years. The incoming president, Bruce C. Kusch, currently serves as the chief academic officer who has had responsibility over the faculty and any and all academic programs. Click here for more on this change.

In the meantime, in the wake of the announcement by the Boy Scouts of America that they will be allowing transgenders to become boy scouts, the Church issued an official statement. Click here to read that statement.

This has been a landmark day for the Church just in regards to those two announcements. More to come as needed as I check the other Church websites for updates. Stay tuned. Thanks for your readership. Comments continue to be both welcome and appreciated.

Another Emeritus General Authority Has Passed Away

Hello, all! A report in the Church news shared that Elder James M. Dunn, an emeritus general authority, passed away a week ago. His funeral was held yesterday, the same day the article regarding his passing was published. For a look back at this remarkable man's life, please click here. During his seven-year tenure as a General Authority, he served in a wide variety of assignments. Despite only having one opportunity to speak in General Conference as a General Authority, he was one of many mission presidents that was asked to "report" on his service during a general conference of the Church. For both of those remarkable addresses, click here. I remember Elder Dunn's period of service, and I remember reading of some of the things he did during those seven years in updates published in the Church Almanac. I am always so impressed and inspired by the marvelous accounts of service rendered by such amazing men. May God bless the memory of this good brother. Though I never met him personally, I feel certain he received the greeting that the Lord gives all his faithful servants. It is my great hope and prayer that each of us may merit that greeting. Thanks for reading this. Any comments continue to be welcome and appreciated.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Two tender mercies from the Lord

Events that have happened personally to my wife and me this month have reminded us clearly that the Lord is aware of us, that He is truly a God of miracles, and that in His tender mercy, He puts unexpected events in our path.

As many of you who have followed this blog with any frequency or regularity are aware, in October 2015, we relocated from American Fork and the stake where I had lived for 17 years to Orem. It was so hard for me to move knowing I was leaving behind an area and lots of people I had grown to love very much. This was especially true in terms of the fact that I have not handled change very well in my life.

In the first Church calling we together had served in since our temple service ended in 2012, we were asked to serve as Primary teachers. This we did until some health issues necessitated our release about a year later. We had been shut off from getting to know anyone in the ward. While we are continuing to get our health in order, we had to allow some major things to slip through our fingers. Our temple recommends expired for the first time since either of us had first received one.

When the second week in January found us well enough to attend Church for the first time in about two months, we resolved to find out what was involved in this stake in getting our temple recommends renewed. On January 8, we had our interviews on the ward and stake level within a matter of a few short hours.

Backtrack a bit with me now to when we were preparing to move. It so happened that I had done my research on the leaders of the stake we were moving into. When I heard that the second counselor in the stake presidency (a  man named President Burr) worked for the BYU police department, one clear thought entered my mind. The thought was that my sister Joanna, who worked for several years as a dispatcher for that police department, might know him. I mentioned his name to Joanna, who confirmed that she had worked for him on numerous occasions.

So getting back to our temple recommend renewal, I had hoped for the opportunity to have my interview with that man. We waited in line for a few minutes before I was called back by someone I obviously did not know. When we started the interview, I took the time to explain that I was relatively new to the stake and did not know his name. When he told me what it was, my heart leaped with joy. This was the very man my sister had worked with. So I mentioned that we had a personal connection, but I didn't have time to elaborate on that before he looked at my recommend and said, "Your last name is Stokes? You aren't Lynn Stokes's boy are you?" I told him that no, Lynn was my dad's brother. He was able to tell me that he and Uncle Lynn were still working together, but in a private security company he (President Burr) had started, which was news to me. I had not been aware of that.

But undeterred, I told him we also had another mutual acquaintance. I said, "Joanna Hickman is my sister." He told me that he had loved working with Joanna, and we chatted for a bit about the adventure she is now on with her young family. This was news to him. He knew she was no longer dispatching for BYU, but he hadn't heard why she'd moved on. He thanked me for that, and after the interview, I promised that I would tell Joanna hello from him the next time I saw her, and he pledged to do the same for me to Uncle Lynn.

The way that happened warmed my heart. But the miracle surrounding people we know in our new stake was not limited to that one occurrence. I happened to be looking over the list of the leaders of our stake, searching seemingly in vain for any other familiar name. It was in so doing that I happened upon the fact that there was one other couple in our stake, in addition to those we have become acquainted with in our new ward, that I knew very well. Their names are Lynn and Bonnie Vernon.

I had the happy opportunity to serve alongside them both in the course of my temple service, around the same period of time that my wife started working at the temple herself and as we dated and were married. Additionally, I had found out that Brother Lynn Vernon had grown up with my father-in-law, Gene Nuttall. While we served at the temple, once he knew that I was working with Lynn Vernon, Dad Nuttall would regularly take the opportunity to ask me how he was doing. I was pleased to be able to answer his questions.

One of my greatest regrets in having to be released as a temple worker was that I was thus losing my association with so many good friends. And now, in discovering that Lynn and Bonnie Vernon are members of the stake we moved into almost a year and a half ago, I have this further evidence of what Amy has told me a lot.

She has always said that with my many associates from the temple, we likely couldn't go anywhere in the surrounding area without being sure of running into someone I knew somehow. Once again, big surprise, she was right.

I wasted no time in dashing off an e-mail to Brother and Sister Vernon, and I am hoping to hear from them soon. I hope they are glad to hear from me.

In the meantime, as I said at the beginning of this post, these are two tender mercies from the Lord that I never could have expected or anticipated when this move became necessary. It is amazing to see how the Lord allows us to run again into people who have either associated with other members of our family or with us personally. I now understand more fully what it was Elder David A. Bednar was talking about when he spoke in his second apostolic General Conference address on the subject of the tender mercies of the Lord.

I needed the reminder today that the Lord was mindful of me and will not leave me alone. Thanks for letting me post about this.

Official Church Statement of Concern for Those Fleeing Violence, War, and Religious Persecution

The Church put out yesterday an official statement of concern for those who are fleeing violence, war, and religious persecution. Click here to read that statement. It is brief, short, succinct, and gets right to the point. I want you all to know that I know this statement has been inspired to come out from the Church at this time, and it has never been needed more than now in the world, especially with everything going on. Thanks for letting me share this with you today. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. That said, a word of caution. Any comments that are too critical, impolite or inconsiderate of the views of other people on this issue will be deleted as soon as they are made. Thank you for continuing to keep the comments on my blog post friendly and free of contention or discord. You are all appreciated!

Temple Construction Progress Report Update

This will be a quick update to report on some developments in temple construction progress. As always, after reading the report and noting the updates I have indicated in red print, I hope any one of you who wants to will feel free to share your thoughts on this post. I look forward to the ongoing discussion of these developments. Thanks!

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 1/29/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication; under construction; 1 groundbreaking scheduled; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: With one groundbreaking announced already this year, two more have the potential to be announced and scheduled very soon, and there may be several more groundbreakings than that in the year ahead.

Dedication scheduled:
156. Paris France Temple: Inscription gilded over baptistery; finish work underway on interior; dedication scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior lighting tests underway; installation of interior art glass and millwork nearing completion; president’s home undergoing renovation; dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior painting and millwork underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing art glass windows; hanging drywall on interior; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.

Under Construction:
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Building concrete block exterior walls; roughing in plumbing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior cladding going up on north wall; framing the interior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Applying waterproof mastic to temple foundation; setting concrete forms for missionary housing exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
164. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Exterior concrete walls completed; 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: Setting concrete forms for parapet walls; completion anticipated sometime during 2019.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Excavation underway for temple; structural framing going up for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during 2019.

Groundbreaking Scheduled:
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking; environmental license issued in November 2016; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday March 4, 2017.

Rededication Scheduled:
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 early-and-mid 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:
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Erecting construction barrier; clearing and leveling site; awaiting groundbreaking announcement; groundbreaking anticipated in early 2017.
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; official site announcement anticipated in 2017, with the groundbreaking anticipated to take place shortly following the site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: The LDS Church Temple website indicates that a potential site has been identified, though it has yet to be officially verified.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: As the above-mentioned website indicates for this temple, while no official temple site has been announced, there may be a possibility that a Church office building may be repurposed to function as a temple, meetinghouse, and office building under one roof, in a similar fashion to those temples in Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York. This is most likely to be confirmed sooner rather than later.
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 report. 


Apostolic Age Updates

It is time once again for my customary weekly update on the latest information on apostolic ages and tenure lengths. Though it has been a weekly thing at least since this year, it has been three weeks since one has been as extensive as this one will be.

As all of you who have followed my blog so faithfully are no doubt aware, President Russell M. Nelson will mark some major milestones in terms of his tenure as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles this year. As previously noted, assuming President Thomas S. Monson does not pass away before the end of 2017, President Nelson, who is now the 21st longest serving Quorum President, will jump five spots this year, as he will become the 16th longest serving Quorum President on the same day that my wife and I will mark 7 years of marriage, Monday December 18. As far as when he will assume the 20th longest serving spot, that will happen in about three months, on Friday May 5.

At that time, he will take that spot from Brigham Young Jr., the one man who served two nonconsecutive terms as Quorum President. As previously noted, Brigham Young Jr.'s first tenure was his longest, and the two times he did serve in that capacity were interrupted by the week-long tenure of Joseph F. Smith, a counselor in the First Presidency under Lorenzo Snow, in the presidency of the Quorum. At the time the son of our second Church President originally became the Quorum President, he was actually the fourth senior apostle (including the three apostles in the First Presidency). The two apostles senior to President Young Jr., George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, were counselors to John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow. If current practice had held, then George Q. Cannon would have been the Quorum President, and Brigham Young Jr. would have been the Acting President. But at that time, that position did not exist.

So Brigham Young Jr. became the Quorum President. George Q. Cannon died almost a full six months prior to Lorenzo Snow. But from what I've learned about apostolic succession, it appears that until the following General Conference, no attempt was made to change the First Presidency. When changes were sustained that October, Joseph F. Smith, the former second counselor, became the new First Counselor, and Quorum of the Twelve member Rudger Clawson was sustained as Second Counselor. So that change made President Young Jr. the third most senior apostle. Again, in today's terms, President Young Jr. would have continued as the Acting President, while President Smith would have been the Quorum President. But that did not happen, and it was not until President Snow's death a mere seven days later (making the first and only time in Church history that I know of when the death of a Church President occurred before the counselors could be set apart in their new roles.)

Sorry for that sidetrack. Getting back to current apostles, President Nelson will mark 1 year and 7 months as Quorum President on Friday of this week (February 3). In the meantime, he will ascend upward among the ranks of our nonagenarian apostles by a few spots this year. Now standing as the 10th oldest among the 17 we have had, he will be the 7th oldest apostle merely four days after he becomes the 16th longest serving Quorum President. And in 5 years, 6 months, and 10 days, he will become the oldest living apostle.

In the meantime, let's talk about President Thomas S. Monson. Our 16th prophet will mark 9 years in that capacity on this Friday, February 3. A 9 year presidency is remarkable (President Monson will become the 9th Church President to have served for at least 9 years), especially given the health issues and the effects of old age President Monson has been feeling for some time now. I am surmising that he is doing better in view of the report of his remarkable address at the funeral for Elder Glen L. Rudd, which I am assuming was of considerable length, given their long association. So it may be that he has improved somewhat in terms of those difficulties. I will stay tuned for more developments in this regard and pass on such news as I am able to.

As far as where he is in terms of tenure length and age, he now stands as the 9th longest serving Church President. He is also the 7th oldest Church President currently. He will only observe two milestones this year. He will become the 8th longest serving Church President in about 5 months. And in just less than 7 months from now, he will become the 7th nonagenarian prophet in Church history. One comment on my blog asked if the Church was planning anything for this milestone birthday of our prophet. I have not heard anything on that as yet, but it cannot be ruled out as a future possibility. President Hinckley's 90th and 95th birthday celebrations were not announced until about two months before they happened. So it may still be too early to tell if such a celebration of life will happen. I will also keep my eyes and ears open for developments in that regard.

Now let's talk about the ages of our apostles. As of today, President Monson is 89.44 years old, President Henry B. Eyring is 83.67 years old, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf stands at 76.23 years old. The average age of the First Presidency is now 83.11 years old, with President Eyring being closest to that average.

In terms of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Nelson is now 92.39 years old, Elder Dallin H. Oaks is 84.47 years old, Elder M. Russell Ballard is 88.31 years old (being just over a year younger than President Monson), Elder Robert D. Hales is 84.43 years old (as he is merely twelve days younger than Elder Oaks, though he is considerably less well off in terms of health), Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is 76.16 years old (and is the youngest of the three born in 1940), Elder David A. Bednar is 64.62 years old, Elder Quentin L. Cook is 76.39 years old (and is the oldest of the three born in 1940; President Uchtdorf is right between Elder Cook and Elder Holland), Elder D. Todd Christofferson (who, as noted, just had a birthday on Tuesday) is 72.01 years old, Elder Neil L. Andersen is 65.47 years old, Elder Ronald A. Rasband (who is just about six months older than Elder Andersen and had a much longer path to the apostleship) is 65.98 years old (his birthday will follow Elder Christofferson's by 13 days), Elder Gary E. Stevenson (our youngest apostle) is 61.48 years old, and Elder Dale G. Renlund is 64.21 years old.

These ages put the average age of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at 74.66 years old, and, as I have previously noted, the Quorum is split right down the middle between older and younger apostles. Elder Holland is the youngest of the older half of those 12, and Elder Christofferson is the oldest of the youngest half. In terms of the 15 apostles, the average age of the group of them is 76.35 years old. And 7 of those 15 are older than that average, with Elder Cook being the youngest of those seven. Of the other eight that are younger, President Uchtdorf is the oldest.

And now, for what I believe is the first time I have ever done so, I will give you the total years of life experience our 15 apostles have had. Our First Presidency have had a combined 249.34 years living, while the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have had a combined total of 895.92 years of life. And the 15 apostles overall have lived for a grand total of 1145.26 years.

But there are, unfortunately, some sharp critics and disaffected members of the Church, and even sadly some very active and faithful Church members, who mistakenly believe and teach that because these Brethren are so old, they are in many ways out of touch with what is going on in the world and with the issues that they are discussing and considering and upon which they are preparing to take a position as needed. I personally feel that this couldn't be more inaccurate or incorrect. With almost 1,200 years of life experiences, which have taken them to various and sundry places both before and as a direct result of their callings, they couldn't be more qualified, in my humble opinion, than anyone else to analyze and study the happenings in the world and to announce policies and positions that will apply to all Church members who choose to accept and follow that counsel and those directives.

Many have suggested that some kind of emeritus status should be enacted for our apostles, with all but the prophet being honorably released from active duty at the age of 90 or younger. They can suggest and recommend and promulgate that idea until they are either blue in the face or forced to accept that it is disingenuous, unnecessary, very flawed, and just so plainly in violation of the way the Lord's kingdom has been governed since the restoration of the gospel. Others have suggested that a second Quorum of the Twelve Apostles should be established to spread the workload a bit more evenly.

But that is also far removed from the Lord's plan. The divine pattern of apostolic succession and succession in the presidency of the Church is a perfect plan by which the work of the Lord moves forward under the constant direction of the 15 apostles, the most senior of whom is the prophet of God and the only one who has a right and responsibility to receive revelation from the Lord concerning how His Church and his gospel should be governed and roll forward to fulfill Daniel's vision of filling the earth. And I for one am delighted that these Brethren so willingly put aside any other obligation to fulfill their sacred duty to be emissaries for the name of Jesus Christ in all the world.

Whenever new apostles are called, and especially given the fact that President Uchtdorf is currently the only current apostle who was not born in the United States, some of these same critics and scholars have complained that the Lord's Church, which is gradually expanding to every nation, kindred, tongue and people, seems to be an American Church with American apostles. And they are all too ready to cry foul when another "white and delightsome" brother is called from North America.

What these people fail to take into account is that, though it is true we only have one international apostle, to a man, every one of the 15 have been blessed with widespread and far-reaching opportunities to travel internationally and to meet with members worldwide. That travel fully qualifies them to serve in their capacities.

When the newest apostles, Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund, met the press for the first time following the announcement of their calls, a journalist asked why it seems that the Lord favors apostolic candidates from North America, they handled that question with the same inspiration that had attended their calls. I would have to go back and listen again to that press conference, but if my memory serves me correctly, it was Elders Rasband and Renlund that tackled that particular question.

They referred to the scriptural requirement that an apostle should be a witness of Jesus Christ unto all the world, reminded those in attendance of their service abroad, and pointed out that all of our 15 current apostles had traveled around the world at various and sundry times in the course of their service. Far from being out of touch with things, their international travel and ministry allows them to connect with Church members wherever they go.

I feel to end this post with my absolute witness and sure and certain testimony that these 15 apostles have been called of God. I know this for myself because I have sought for and received my own unshakable testimony on that point. I have no qualms about following these Brethren, and it is my hope that the content of blog posts about the Brethren are encouraging and assisting others to stick to their witness of that if they have it, and to get such a witness if they do not.

In the meantime, I also want to say that I know, without a doubt, that these Brethren are truly servants of the Lord, that their callings have been divinely appointed and sanctioned since before the world was, that they have been prepared through various life experiences for the callings and responsibilties that they now hold, that they will never lead us astray, that safety and security can be found by following their counsel, and that, true to the modern-day revelation on the oath and covenant of the priesthood, each of them has been "sanctified by the Spirit to the renewal of their bodies.

I so testify, and do so joyfully and gratefully, and leave this with you to reflect upon and consider, in the name of Jesus Christ, the head of the Church that bears His name, Amen.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Jordan River Utah Temple Will Not Be Rededicated This Year

Hello. This is just a brief temple construction progress update. I have before mentioned on this blog and at other times that I was glad to hear of the three additional temple dedications that were recently announced, but that I had also hoped the Jordan River Utah Temple renovation would be completed by the end of this year. A kind comment pointed out that rededications can be scheduled to be held between already-scheduled dedications, and that there was still a chance that we could see such an event for Jordan River before the end of the year. That being said, I had thus been convinced it could still happen until I read the latest on the LDS Church Temples website. The information there indicates that the Jordan River renovation will likely not be finished until the early or middle part of next year, around the same time as the renovations are expected to be completed on the Frankfurt Germany temple. So. the question that has been a topic of discussion for quite a while now has been settled. Aside from any other groundbreakings that may be announced, there will be no other temple-related events this year. There is a possibility that we might see the announcement of several temples this year, but that will be a topic for another post. For now, we do have the confirmation that we've been waiting for. That does it for this post. Comments continue to be welcome and appreciated.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Updated Temple Construction Progress Report and List of Upcoming Temple-related Events

The announcement made less than 12 hours or so ago has made it necessary, as stated in the previous post, to update both my temple construction progress report and list of upcoming temple-related events. In regards to the latter, I will venture my best and most educated guess as to who might be asked to preside at such events, and who might also be in attendance. As always, feedback of any and all kinds is welcome and appreciated. That said, here goes!

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 1/26/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication; under construction; 1 groundbreaking scheduled; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: With one groundbreaking announced already this year, two more have the potential to be announced and scheduled very soon, and there may be several more groundbreakings than that in the year ahead.

Dedication scheduled:
156. Paris France Temple: Inscription gilded over baptistery; finish work underway on interior; dedication scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior lighting tests underway; installation of interior art glass and millwork nearing completion; president’s home undergoing renovation; dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior painting and millwork underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing art glass windows; hanging drywall on interior; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.

Under Construction:
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Building concrete block exterior walls; roughing in plumbing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior cladding going up on north wall; framing the interior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Applying waterproof mastic to temple foundation; setting concrete forms for missionary housing exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
164. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Exterior concrete walls completed; 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 during 2019.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Excavation underway for temple; structural framing going up for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during 2019.

Groundbreaking Scheduled:
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking; environmental license issued in November 2016; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday March 4, 2017.

Rededication Scheduled:
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:
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Erecting construction barrier; clearing and leveling site; awaiting groundbreaking announcement; groundbreaking anticipated in early 2017.
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; official site announcement anticipated in 2017, with the groundbreaking anticipated to take place shortly following the site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: The LDS Church Temple website indicates that a potential site has been identified, though it has yet to be officially verified.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: As the above-mentioned website indicates for this temple, while no official temple site has been announced, there may be a possibility that a Church office building may be repurposed to function as a temple, meetinghouse, and office building under one roof, in a similar fashion to those temples in Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York. This is most likely to be confirmed sooner rather than later.
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 report.


Upcoming Temple Events (Text in parentheses indicates what the status of temples will be following the event listed):

2017
1.   Saturday March 4—Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple Groundbreaking (155 operating; 1 scheduled for dedication; 12 under construction; 1 rededication scheduled; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: Several other groundbreakings may take place soon.)
NOTE: According to the LDS Church Temples website, Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, who serves as President of the Brazil Area of the Church, has been asked to preside at this groundbreaking. It is a pretty safe bet that his counselors in the area presidency, Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis and Elder W. Mark Bassett, will also be in attendance along with Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department. However, assignments to preside at groundbreakings have been known to change as needed.
2.   Sunday May 21—Paris France Temple Dedication (156 operating; 3 scheduled for dedication; 8 under construction; 1 rededication scheduled; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: Several other groundbreakings may be possible soon.)
NOTE: As to who might be asked to preside at this dedication, previous precedent indicates it may be any member of the First Presidency (with my vote going to President Uchtdorf, as he is a European native) or any of the apostles.
3.   Sunday June 4—Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Rededication (156 operating; 10 under construction; 2 undergoing renovation; 10 announced. NOTE: Several other groundbreakings may be possible soon.)
NOTE: Since the health of the brethren remains unclear, it is anyone’s guess who might be asked to preside at this dedication. I could see three possibilities at this point: President Henry B. Eyring, a former Ricks College president; Elder David A. Bednar, a former BYU-Idaho president; or Elder Neil L. Andersen, who is an Idaho native that has personal ties to the area.
4.   Sunday August 13—Tucson Arizona Temple Dedication (157 operating; 2 scheduled for dedication; 8 under construction; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: Several other groundbreakings may be possible soon.)
      NOTE: The question of who might preside at this dedication may not be easy to resolve. Both President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf have accompanied President Monson to previous dedications in Arizona, with the question of who may have actually presided at the most recent one in Gilbert still being largely unresolved. Technically, since President Monson was present for at least one of the sessions, and since all three were under his direction, he presided there. However, with that said, it appears that President Eyring was the one who read the dedicatory prayer in the first session, opening the argument that he was the one to preside. For a similar anomalous situation, I cite the dedication of the Provo City Center Temple, where Elder Dallin H. Oaks was listed as presiding even though President Russell M. Nelson was present at the final session, which made him the presiding authority. If President Eyring does preside at the previous dedication, it is not unlikely that President Uchtdorf will be asked to represent the Church at this dedication, especially considering that President Eyring, an Idaho native, will most likely be the one to preside at the next dedication in Meridian. Also, the choice of President Uchtdorf makes even more sense when remembering that he was the one who presided at the groundbreaking in 2015. It is also not impossible to believe that Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy, who oversees the North America Southwest Area of the Church, under which Arizona falls.
5.   Sunday November 19—Meridian Idaho Temple Dedication (158 operating; 1 scheduled for dedication; 8 under construction; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: Several other groundbreakings may be possible soon.)
      NOTE: If President Uchtdorf is asked to preside at the previous dedication, and given the fact that President Eyring is an Idaho native, it would make sense if he (President Eyring) is asked to preside at this one. Another choice could be Elder David A. Bednar, who presided at the groundbreaking for the temple and was asked to preside at the dedication of the Star Valley Wyoming Temple, due to his wife’s personal connection to the area. Yet another option would be Elder Neil L. Andersen, who is an Idaho native. But the Church has never tapped such a junior apostle to preside at a temple dedication. It is not out of the question, however. It is also reasonable to believe that Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy, who oversees the Church’s Idaho Area, will be in attendance as well.
6.   Sunday December 10—Cedar City Utah Temple Dedication (159 operating; 8 under construction; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: Several other groundbreakings may be possible soon.)
      NOTE: If President Eyring is asked to preside at the previous dedication, it would make sense if President Uchtdorf is asked to preside at this one. That said, it would not surprise me either in any way if Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a St. George native, is assigned to officiate at this dedication. After all, for all intents and purposes, the two are essentially neighboring cities, and it is not at all unprecedented for a senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve to officiate at a temple dedication. Whoever does preside, it is a near certainty that multiple apostles may be in attendance, as has been the usual custom for temple dedications in Utah. It is not unreasonable to also believe that Elder L. Whitney Clayton, who is the Senior President of the Seventy and who presided at this dedication, will be in attendance, along with Elder Craig C. Christensen, another member of the Presidency of the Seventy, who currently has supervisory responsibilities for the Utah South Area, within which the temple has been built.

NOTE: A groundbreaking announcement is expected for the Arequipa Peru temple sometime early this year. Also anticipated is a site announcement for the Harare Zimbabwe Temple, with a groundbreaking to follow at the temple site within 4-6 weeks afterward. Additionally, there is a possibility that we may have any number of additional temple groundbreakings sometime during 2017.  1 more rededication may also be announced before the end of the year. I will keep an eye out for the announcements for such events and add them to this list as soon as I learn of them.






Open House and Dedication Dates Announced for 3 Temples

Since the rules and regulations regarding any down time at my job have tightened up, I was not able to do my daily check of the Church websites I love to visit until I got home from work tonight. When I accessed the LDS Church News website, I was overjoyed to discover the announcement of the open houses and dedication dates for three temples. This post is meant to focus on those details. I will follow up this post with another that will provide any updated version of my temple construction progress report and list of upcoming temple-related events.

First is the Tucson Arizona Temple. The open house for that temple is scheduled for the three week period between the Saturdays of June 3 and 24, with the exception of the Sundays on the 4th, 11th, and 18th. For the first time in several years (if it has ever happened at any time in the past), the end of the open house and the dedication will be separated by just under two months. That is understandable, given the fact that the annual July recess of the General Authorities will take start about a week after the end of the open house. The temple will be dedicated in three sessions on Sunday August 13., following the cultural celebration the day before. On that day, Church services will be cancelled for all units in Arizona. That dedication will bring the number of operating temples in Arizona to six. The temple, announced in October 2012, has been under construction since its groundbreaking in October 2015 by President Uchtdorf. This holds true to the pattern of temples within the United States going up within two years.

Next will be the dedication in Meridian Idaho. The open house is scheduled to last for the four weeks between the Saturdays of October 21 and November 11, except for the Sundays of October 22 and 29 and November 5. After the cultural celebration is held just a week after the open house ends, the temple will be dedicated in three sessions on Sunday November 19, which, if my calculations are correct, will be the Sunday before Thanskgiving. The Saints in Idaho will have much to be thankfful for this year. Announced in April 2011, the temple has been under construction since its groundbreaking in August of 2014 by Elder David A. Bednar, who has ties to the area. Construction spanned slightly more than three years. But given the magnificent edifice that that temple is, that is not surprising. This will be the fifth temple in Idaho.

The final dedication announced will be for the Cedar City Utah Temple. The open house will take place in the four weeks and one day between Friday October 27 and Saturday November 18. After a cultural celebration the day before, the dedication will take place on December 10, exactly one week following Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's 77th birthday. In a move not uncommon anymore for Utah temple dedications, it was announced that dedicatory services will only be broadcast to those that will be within the area that the new temple district will cover, rather than the whole state. Like I said, not uncommon. But I for one was looking forward to being able to attend the next Utah temple dedication, especially as my wife and I missed the landmark dedication of the Provo City Center Temple. The Cedar City Utah Temple will be the 17th in Utah.

For the official news releases covering the dedication information, please click here (Church News) and here (Mormon Newsroom).

These dedications will bring the number of operating temples to 159. It also means that, despite any earlier statements I may have made, I must now admit that I was most likely wrong about the possibility that the Jordan River Utah Temple will be rededicated before the end of this year. That is not by any means a deal-breaker. And it still could happen. But there will only be 2 Sundays after the Cedar City Utah dedication, and one of those will be Christmas Eve. This makes it very unlikely.

I am overjoyed about this wonderful news. It totally made my day. Thanks for reading this. Stay tuned for more. Any comments are always welcome and appreciated.




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Latest Church Infographic on Temple Construction Progress/Sister Renlund Addresses Lawyers

In terms of the latest Church news and developments, two other interesting stories were recently posted on mormonnewsroom.org. The first is an infographic that focuses on the latest temple construction developments. Even though that infographic was only posted yesterday, given how things have progressed recently, it may already be slightly outdated on many informational points. That said, for what it's worth, you can look at the infographic here.

The other interesting development reported was that Sister Ruth Renlund, wife of Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a self-described "recovering lawyer" recently spoke to a group of lawyers. The lessons she learned during her years practing law are illustrative. Click here for more on that.

Thanks for continuing to read, and, if you feel so inclined, comment. I appreciate the feedback.

Important Church News Updates: New Media App/More Flexibility Announced for Missionaries' Daily Schedule

This will be an important Church News update for two reasons. First, the Church announced a new app that will help Church members to plan, teach, and share from Church-related media clips more easily. For details on that, click here. It will be exciting to see how that will be helpful to Church members going forward.

As if that news weren't wonderful enough, the Church announced today that the standard missionary schedule will now be more flexible going forward. These changes have been made with the approval of the 15 apostles that comprise the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. Schedules can now be customized by missionaries, in counsel with their mission presidents, in view of different factors relating to safety, local culture and customs, health considerations, productivity, and any other considerations. To read more about the changes, including direct quotes from  Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President, and Elder Brent H. Nielsen, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Church Missionary Department (While the article is not specific or explicit on this point, it seems safe to say that all three of them are serving on the Missionary Executive Council. Let me know if you disagree.), click here. Again, this is meant to improve the health and productivity of missionaries worldwide.

I am excited about both of these developments. So I couldn't wait to share them with you. Please feel free to share any comments you might have on either development. I continue to welcome and greatly appreciate the feedback. Thanks for your attention.


Quick Additional Update on Temple Construction Progress

Once again, in the last 12 hours since my last posted update, there has been further progress reported on temple construction around the world. Though this update now is less massive in terms of what has been updated, it is still most significant. The update is posted below. Enjoy, and please feel free to let me know what you think. Thanks!

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 1/25/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication; 11 under construction; 1 groundbreaking scheduled; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: With one groundbreaking announced already this year, two more have the potential to be announced and scheduled very soon, and there may be several more groundbreakings than that in the year ahead.

Dedication scheduled:
156. Paris France Temple: Inscription gilded over baptistry; finish work underway on interior; dedication scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.

Under Construction:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior lighting tests underway; installation of interior art glass and millwork nearing completion; president’s home undergoing renovation; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior painting and millwork underway; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing art glass windows; hanging drywall on interior; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Building concrete block exterior walls; roughing in plumbing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior cladding going up on north wall; framing the interior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Applying waterproof mastic to temple foundation; setting concrete forms for missionary housing exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
164. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Exterior concrete walls completed; 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 during 2019.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Excavation underway for temple; structural framing going up for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during 2019.

Groundbreaking Scheduled:
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking; environmental license issued in November 2016; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday March 4, 2017.

Rededication Scheduled:
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:
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Erecting construction barrier; clearing and leveling site; awaiting groundbreaking announcement; groundbreaking anticipated in early 2017.
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; official site announcement anticipated in 2017, with the groundbreaking anticipated to take place shortly following the site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: The LDS Church Temple website indicates that a potential site has been identified, though it has yet to be officially verified.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: As the above-mentioned website indicates for this temple, while no official temple site has been announced, there may be a possibility that a Church office building may be repurposed to function as a temple, meetinghouse, and office building under one roof, in a similar fashion to those temples in Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York. This is most likely to be confirmed sooner rather than later.
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 report. 

Updated and Reworked Projection For the Timetable of Future Temple-related Announcements and Events

Hello. As promised below, here is the updated and reworked projection for the timetable which I feel is likely to prevail for future temple-related events. Hang on to your hats! This will be a wild ride!

Given the progress I reported in the blog post below, it has become necessary to revise my projections and predictions for when future temple-related events might be announced and scheduled. I am excited to be able to do this again, just three weeks after the last edition. In view of the fact that the newest temple construction progress report appears in the post below, this post will mainly serve as a summary of the changes I have felt are necessary.

The next temple-related event will be the announced groundbreaking in Rio de Janeiro Brazil on March 4. That groundbreaking will be done by Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, the most senior General Authority Seventy who has served for almost six years as president of the Church’s Brazil Area. So little is known as yet in terms of the design for the temple and how long construction might take. But I will venture a guess about that timetable below.

It is also more than likely that we will very shortly have an announcement of the groundbreaking for the Arequipa Peru temple. I could see that happening before the dedication of the Paris France Temple on May 20. Not sure what to make of the report that we might hear of a site announcement and groundbreaking for Harare Zimbabwe within the next short while. It may very well be that all that could also take place before the Paris France dedication. Stay tuned for more on that as I hear of it.

I have spoken before of how the construction commencement in Harare might prove to be historically significant for several reasons. I will not rehash that now, but I will post more information on this as I am able to.

In addition to the Paris France dedication on May 20, we also have the rededication on June 4 for the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. It will be amazing to see those events happen. I am especially excited for the Paris temple dedication for the reasons I have before explained.

Because of the progress made in Tucson Arizona, it seems on track to be the next one scheduled for dedication. I could see such an announcement being made in the early months of this year, perhaps before the Paris dedication happens, with the Tucson dedication itself happening in early August.

As for the dedication date for the Meridian Idaho Temple is likely to be announced within the next 3 or 4 months, and the dedication itself will likely happen in late August or early September.

With the Cedar City Utah Temple, there is still reason to believe that the dedication could be announced within the next six months, if not sooner, and might take place in late August or early September as well.

I could also see the renovation of the Jordan River Utah Temple being completed around August, with the rededication being announced about a month later and scheduled for either late November or early December 2017. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if things speed up somehow and that rededication takes place around the events of the Meridian and Cedar City temples. Stay tuned for more on that as I learn of it.

I am still of the belief that the dedication in Kinshasa will precede the dedication in Rome. I wouldn’t be surprised if a dedication for Kinshasa was announced during the spring of 2018, with the actual dedication to follow, perhaps sometime in May or June.

In terms of the Frankfurt Germany Temple, I feel sure that that renovation will be completed within the same timeframe as that of the Kinshasa dedication. Rome might be the next one completed, but a dedication might not take place until August or September, after the annual July recess for General Authorities. That estimation is me speaking optimistically based on my observation of the completion progress in Rome.

Concepcion is still likely, in my opinion, to have a dedication announcement within the first half of 2018, with the dedication itself to follow sometime in either August or September, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it was to even precede Rome in that milestone.

In spite of the delays I always believed would prevail in the construction of the Durban South Africa Temple (this belief was fueled by the report my mother, a South African native, gave me regarding the prevailing work ethic of South Africans, especially those in the construction business), that construction still seems to be on schedule. I feel confident that the temple will be completed within a similar time frame to that which is almost certain for Concepcion and Rome, with an announcement for the dedication made within the first half of 2018, and the dedication actually scheduled for August or September as well.

The temple in Winnipeg has yet to progress beyond the groundbreaking. However, given its size (very small), it seems that construction might be completed by around August 2018, with the dedication taking place in either late November or else early December 2018. It wouldn’t surprise me if a similar timeline held true for the temple in Barranquilla Colombia, which is further along in terms of construction, but will be a much larger edifice.
In the meantime, for the first time in doing such predictions, I feel bold enough to project completion dates for the two temples anticipated to be completed sometime around 2019. Despite the five-year span between the groundbreaking and the actual commencement of construction in Fortaleza Brazil, that construction is progressing rapidly. I reiterate my feelings that construction will be completed there within the early months of 2019, with the actual dedication taking place in either April or perhaps possibly May.

The Lisbon Portugal Temple is at a point that solidifies my belief that a similar time frame may be very likely to prevail as that which I have proposed above for the Fortaleza temple. It would not surprise me if these two traded spots a couple of times in terms of future completion. But right now, it seems safe to say that.

While so little is currently know regarding the design, size or estimated construction timeframe for the Rio de Janeiro Temple, I would love to see it completed around the same time as the Fortaleza temple. If that happens, it would be the first time since 2000 that two Brazilian temples will be dedicated in such close proximity. (The Recife and Porto Alegre Brazil Temples were both dedicated in December of that year, on the 15th and 17th respectively.)

It is not unreasonable to believe that the temples in Arequipa Peru and Harare Zimbabwe might also be completed before the end of 2019. And depending on how many temples might additionally have a groundbreaking this year, the number to be completed might increase further.

As I have stated before, the Church is well on track to add 4 new operating temples by the end of 2017, and six more in 2018. Two temples may be rededicated this year, with the only other one currently undergoing renovation on track to be completed next year. In the meantime, there are many others that could potentially have renovations starting either this year or next year. There is not any solid way to tell which temples might be so renovated. But there are a number of our earlier temples that have never before had anything like that done that may be good candidates within the next couple of years. If any of you have any theories regarding this subject, please let me know. And it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if some of the more recent temples were also scheduled for renovation.

One thing is certain: With these events likely to happen at or around the times indicated here, it would almost completely reduce and eliminate any semblance of a backlog in temple progress, and increases the likelihood that many more temples could be announced within the next two years. The exact number of those announcements remains to be seen, though I have given my thoughts regarding the most likely and most imminent picks.

Future groundbreakings may be more unpredictable to anticipate than I originally thought. I look at the groundbreaking in Winnipeg, and it happened much faster than usual. And with the way things unfolded in Rio, any delays that existed were cleared up very quickly.

That said, given what I have observed, in addition to the already-scheduled groundbreaking in Rio and the possibility that we might soon hear of a groundbreaking in Arequipa and also of a site announcement and groundbreaking in Harare, I will say that I could see the next groundbreaking taking place for the first Haitian temple in Port-au-Prince. I have no reason to back this up. It’s just how I feel, and we could have the site announcement and the groundbreaking by or before the end of this year.

A groundbreaking for Bangkok could happen by the beginning of 2018. The same timetable could prevail for the Abidjan temple. Who knows how long the currently reported delays in Urdaneta might last. I might venture to say that the remaining temples (the three others announced last year) might well have a groundbreaking by or before 2019.

I’m also very sure that many more temples could be announced within the next couple of years and have construction started as the Lord permits. I am very much looking forward to future events.


I continue to very much appreciate the feedback I get on things I post about here. Any and all comments on this new post are welcome. I look forward to the ongoing discussion of this important subject. Thanks!





Massive Temple Construction Progress Update; Another Blog Post Coming Soon

Hello, all! When I took the opportunity just a few minutes ago to check the LDS Church Temples website for the second time in 12 hours or less, I was amazed at the reported progress for quite a few of the temples in terms of construction. This necessitates a newly posted edition of my report of that progress. It has never been so red, and I couldn't be more delighted! The biggest surprise?

Apparently, there is reason enough with the given information to assume that, after the dedication of the Paris France temple on May 20 and the rededication in Idaho Falls Idaho, the next one is now projected to be in Tucson Arizona, instead of in Meridian Idaho as many, including myself, had originally believed. However, there is nothing so constant as change, and these unexpected developments are most welcome to me.

I couldn't wait to share my newest report with you all. And the best part about this is that I will now have to revise and revisit once again my projections for when future temple-related events might happen. Such a revisit was necessary anyways, given the unexpected recent announcement of the groundbreaking date for the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple. With my promise that such a post will be coming as soon as I can manage it, for now, here is the updated report of temple construction progress. Please enjoy and feel free to let me know what you think. I always welcome and appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 1/25/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication; 11 under construction; 1 groundbreaking scheduled; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 9 announced. NOTE: With one groundbreaking announced already this year, two more have the potential to be announced and scheduled very soon, and there may be several more groundbreakings than that in the year ahead.

Dedication scheduled:
156. Paris France Temple:  Gilding inscription over baptistry; finish work underway on interior; dedication scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.

Under Construction:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Exterior lighting tests underway; installation of interior art glass and millwork nearing completion; president’s home undergoing renovation; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior painting and millwork underway; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing art glass windows; hanging drywall on interior; completion anticipated sometime during late 2017.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Building concrete block exterior walls; roughing in plumbing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
162. Concepcion Chile Temple: Framing the interior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Applying waterproof mastic to temple foundation; setting concrete forms for missionary housing exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
164. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Exterior concrete walls completed; 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 during 2019.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Excavation underway for temple and utility building; structural framing going up for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during 2019.

Groundbreaking Scheduled:
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking; environmental license issued in November 2016; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday March 4, 2017.

Rededication Scheduled:
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:
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Erecting construction barrier; clearing and leveling site; awaiting groundbreaking announcement; groundbreaking anticipated in early 2017.
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; official site announcement anticipated in 2017, with the groundbreaking anticipated to take place shortly following the site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: The LDS Church Temple website indicates that a potential site has been identified, though it has yet to be officially verified.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: As the above-mentioned website indicates for this temple, while no official temple site has been announced, there may be a possibility that a Church office building may be repurposed to function as a temple, meetinghouse, and office building under one roof, in a similar fashion to those temples in Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York. This is most likely to be confirmed sooner rather than later.
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 report.