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Friday, June 30, 2017

Update on Stake Creations in 2017

Hello, all! While I am hard at work trying to do more thorough research about future temple-related developments and probable temple sites, I was pleased to find out that today there was news of more stakes that were created last Sunday.

It looks at the moment as though 3 new stakes were created (in Puebla Mexico (that stake creation apparently necessitated the renaming of another stake in that city), Tegucigalpa Honduras, and Santa Cruz Bolivia), and one existing district in Ghana was upgraded to a district. I will not be providing the unit breakdown of these new Church units. That is Matthew Martinich's field of expertise, he does it well, and I will not take that from him. There is a reason he is an expert at doing so and I am not.

For my part, I am grateful that both the LDS Church Growth Blog the LDS Church Temples site provide regular updates to and analysis of those unit changes. I will say that, for me, this solidifies my theories from recent study that Mexico, Bolivia, and Honduras could be among the locations where new temples may soon rise. For me, Puebla makes the most sense for Mexico's next temple site, Santa Cruz or La Paz could be seen as the best option for Bolivia's next temple (right now, they seem to be even in terms of their likelihood, and I would be satisfied with either, though it seems like both may get a temple in the near future if growth continues as it has), and San Pedro Sula seems to be the logical location for the second Honduran temple.

As always, more study and analysis of present and future temple-related news will follow as I can make that happen. Thanks to you all for your ongoing interest and support.

Issue Preventing Comments on this blog has been fixed (correctly this time)

After trying and failing repeatedly to fix the issue preventing you all from commenting on this blog, I finally discovered the problem: I had ad blocking software installed on my computer that appeared to be the issue. Having disabled both that and Disqus, the problem should be fixed completely and permanently this time. I am assuming (but not certain) that if an ad blocker was enabled on this site, it prevented the commenting option from initiating. I will puzzle over why that is later. For now, just know that it is fixed and hopefully fixed entirely and correctly this time. Please do let me know if there are any other issues. Thanks to you all for not just your interest and support but also your patience with me as I have worked on resolving these issues.

Providing More Details on Ailing Church Presidents

I had started this post intending to provide an update on the Seminar for New Mission Presidents, but when it was written, it turned out to focus almost entirely on what was done during the years when Presidents Benson and Kimball stepped back from active involvement in day-to-day Church operations and what that might indicate in the current circumstance of President Monson. So, here goes.

It seems that with President Monson stepping back from active service, senior members of the Twelve will be taking a more active role in assisting Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf in the day-to-day operations of the Church. That is not unexpected or unprecedented. The two counselors to President Monson are currently the 7th and 8th most senior apostles. And it appears that the 4 or 5 functioning apostles that are senior to the two in the apostleship but their juniors by virtue of Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf forming the Quorum of the First Presidency have much the same attitude as did President Benson.

President Benson, prior to his own time as Church President (during which he suffered a similar decline) was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that filled a role supporting President Hinckley while the latter was the sole functioning member of the First Presidency during the prophetic tenure of President Kimball. The apostles who served under President Benson's direction during that time noted (this is my best recollection of what I read, as I could not find the exact quote), "No one was more supportive of President Hinckley during this time than President Benson. When business came to the Twelve from the First Presidency, President Benson always said, 'Brethren, we must be about this NOW!' "

In a time where 20+ years has passed since the last time we saw a scenario like this (and I only know of it from what I've read: I was too young to recollect this first-hand), it is comforting to know that not only has the Church been here before, but that there is still great unity between the leading Brethren in the time of a prophet's declining years. Because the Church has been there before, we know that the 14 other apostles will do the best they can, being sure to not go further than they know President Monson would in their decisions and approaches to deliberations that are ongoing. How wonderful it is to know that, even when the prophet is not able to actively serve, the work will carry on.

As a side note, I am still trying to ascertain from the sources I have whether or not anything is in the works for President Monson's 90th birthday (coming up in just over 1.5 months), and how the announcement from Church headquarters regarding his stepping back might impact whether or not he will speak during General Conference. If he does not, I could see the Church doing what has been done previously, with the counselors delivering a message for President Monson, having his secretary or a family member deliver his prepared remarks, or having other Church leaders step in to take that time (one example has previously been having the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak twice during General Conference, once during the Priesthood Session, and once as assigned during another session).

You can depend on my keeping an eye on all of this, and passing news along as it comes my way. Thanks to you all for taking time to read this. For the moment, I paraphrase something President Hinckley often said both as a counselor to previous Church Presidents and during his own tenure as such: "The Church is in good hands, God is at the helm, and all is well." I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Church News Updates (including article about RS General First Counselor Sharon Eubank)

Hello, all! Big Church news updates to post today. As the Church News reports, Elder M. Russell Ballard returned to Canada, where he once served as a mission president. As most of you are no doubt aware, both Elder Ballard's paternal and maternal grandfathers served as apostles. Elder Ballard is also the one apostle that we know of who can trace his ancestry back through several apostles, Joseph F. Smith, sixth Church president, and his father, Hyrum Smith, brother of the prophet Joseph, who restored the Church established by Jesus Christ. Elder Ballard's paternal grandfather, Melvin J. Ballard, had ties in his ministry to Canadian Saints, and Elder M. Russell Ballard has carried on that apostolic ministry in his own right. To read of all that transpired during his recent trip, click here.

The Church News also ran a biographical article on Sister Sharon Eubank. It was good to learn more about her. You can find that article here.

The report of presentations and addresses at the Seminar for New Mission Presidents for this year continued. You can find links following for addresses by Elder CookBishop WaddellElder and Sister RasbandElder Andersen, and Elder Oaks. Perhaps by the time the Church News has shared a complete report of every address, I will be able to provide a more in depth analysis and report of these addresses.

Also, for what it's worth, I'm sure many of you are aware of the recent report that the dress code for Church employees has been adjusted, and the Church is now expanding benefits for paternal and maternal leave, as well as for medical and other health-related leaves of absence. To read more on that subject, here.

For the moment, that's all I have to report. I am currently I am hard at work studying present and potential future temple developments (an evolving and ongoing process, to be sure), including the most likely future time-frames for dedications, rededications, and groundbreakings for all temples currently in any phase, and the most likely sites for immediate and near-future announcements. More to come on that as I am able to work on it.

Thanks for taking time to read this. I will have so much more to report on within the next little while as events unfold. If any of you would like to and are able to, please share your thoughts. If the problem with doing so has yet to be resolved, please let me know through my contact information on my blogger profile. Thanks again.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Church Begins Reporting on the Annual Seminar for New Mission Presidents

Hello, all! The Church today began reporting on the talks given during the annual Seminar for New Mission Presidents. While we only have the report of the addresses given by Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf, the seminar also featured talks by each member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (except for Elder Hales; we also know that the talks given by Elders Rasband and Stevenson involved presentations by their wives), Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, representing the Presiding Bishopric, and presidents of the women's auxiliaries.

There were likely other speakers, but we do not yet know who those might have been. More information will come in the days ahead. The seminar took place between June 24 and today. For the details that are currently known (which will be updated with additional articles as those are published) here.

I had wondered until know what to anticipate regarding the health of both President Monson and Elder Hales, but this is the first year in a long time that this seminar has not included President Monson, and this is not the first time that I know of that Elder Hales has missed.

I had been wondering whether or not President Monson would speak at all in future General Conferences. It is looking like he might not. And I don't know what this means in terms of whether or not Elder Hales will speak next General Conference either. As I find out more, I will pass that along. For now, just wanted to share this. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Church unit growth from last Sunday

In a recent post a day or two ago, I had reported the latest unit creation information, and thrown out some potential figures for continued unit growth in 2017. In checking into such developments just a few minutes ago, I found that the Church created 1 district and 3 new stakes last Sunday (one of which was upgraded from a district). There has also been the report of several Church units being created. You can track the changes reported on the LDS Church Temples site here, where the creation of stakes and districts is followed half-way down the page by the specific changes in wards and branches, and you can also depend on a more thorough analysis of these developments by Matthew Martinich on the the LDS Church Growth Blog, which can be found here. For now, I will leave things at that.

Three additional US Temples Set to Close for Renovation within the next year

The First Presidency today announced the closure of three more US temples for renovation: the Raleigh North Carolina Temple in January 2018 (the 68th operating temple; with a rededication planned sometime during 2019); the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple one month later (the 94th operating temple; with a rededication also planned sometime during 2019) and the Mesa Arizona Temple one month after the April 2018 General Conference (the 7th operating temple, which is now the oldest of those scheduled for renovation and has been renovated before; a rededication is planned for that temple sometime during 2020).

The Church News ran an article a while ago about how the Church is not only building new temples, but also renovating and improving existing ones, and this announcement is a reflection of that notion. While not much more is known about the renovation plans for these temples, and while a completion date will be hard to pin down more exactly until things get underway, you can be sure of one thing at least: I will be keeping an eye out for any and all developments on this front and will pass along any updates as I receive them.

For now, you can find what details are known about these renovations here. I would just also add that while that article reinforces what the Church originally announced about the closure of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple renovation (that it would begin in November), we know from the Church's official page about that temple that the renovation closure date is actually set for September 29. So that is just a slight correction from that article, which can be verified as noted above.

So, with all that in mind, here is an update to my temple construction progress report as well, complete with what we know and with what my initial thoughts about completion time-frames are. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts, if you can. If not, please let me know that as well. Thanks for your interest and support.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 6/27/17)

NOTE: There will be a total of 182 operating temples once all of those announced, under construction, or undergoing renovation. Of those, we currently have 156 temples in operation; 1 has an open house ongoing (with a dedication set for August); 2 more have construction concluding and a dedication scheduled for later this year; 9 are under construction right now; 1 other has construction pending (groundbreaking was last year), and will commence construction ASAP; 2 others are undergoing renovation; another 4 have a renovation closure date set, with 5 others set to close early next year (the actual dates will be set closer to the time); the remaining 13 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

NOTE: On June 20, I was reminded of a statement recently made by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department. That statement indicated that that there are 85+ potential temple sites under consideration, and that most, if not all of those temples may be announced (and many of which could potentially be completed) within the next 15 years. That means yet another unprecedented era of temple building. The Church could, as noted below, have 12 or 13 more temples in operation by the end of 2019. The more I study about potential developments, the more I am convinced that we will have a minimum of 200 temples operating by or before the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Lord’s Church on April 6, 2030. I ran the numbers, and if Elder Wilson is right, we could have 250 in various stages by 2032. That being the case, have 50 less in operation two years prior is very doable. It would just take 3-4 being dedicated per year between now and then. And I will do my level best to keep track of it all. Just wanted to note that.

Preparing for dedication:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Preparing for dedication, which is scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior finish work underway; sod laid and trees planted; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing art glass; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated next year):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior and exterior work progressing; installing art glass windows; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Laying exterior brick; attaching purlins to roof rafters; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Stone cladding underway on east and south walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Preparing to pour upper façade walls of temple; scaffolding going up around upper level of missionary housing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding progressing on west and south walls; palm trees planted at temple entrance; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 2-3 years:  
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Tower base walls poured; scaffolding removed; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing to pour footings for foundation; surrounding property being cleared and graded; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As previously noted in my latest reports, since the Winnipeg Temple has not yet had construction begin, unless that changes anytime soon, this temple will likely be dedicated first. More to come once more is known.
168.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring temple foundation walls; meetinghouse exterior walls nearly finished; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Setting rebar and concrete forms for foundation walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Construction pending (anticipated to start anytime):
167. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations; acquiring building permits; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As mentioned above on the note about the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple, unless progress is reported soon on Canada’s newest temple, it seems clear that Rio will be finished first. Once earnest construction begins, all we do know is that construction will take approximately 20 months (1.67 years) to complete. It may also be possible that this temple will not be finished and dedicated until after the dedications of all other temples listed above. While I daily hope for news on this temple, until more is known, a more definitive completion time-frame is hard to pin down.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: Because the completion estimate for this temple has been pushed back repeatedly, it is somewhat more difficult than I thought to pin down a probable rededication time-frame. Since new or renovated Utah temples are generally completed prior to their counterparts both elsewhere in the US and in other areas of the world, I think it would be safe to assume that the Jordan River rededication may be among the first temple-related events in 2018. More to come once more is known.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: With the knowledge that renovations are generally completed more swiftly than new temples, I have also been reminded recently that completion estimates are never definite. So it could very well be that the rededication of this temple will fall somewhere between the dedications of the first three or four new temples next year. Once something more definite is known, I will pass that along.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: On June 20, new information I received reminded me that Asuncion is a smaller and newer temple, making it very likely that a rededication could take place sometime during the first six months of 2019. Once the renovation is actually underway, that estimate may change, but it seems to be a safe correction.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: This temple, like the one above, is smaller and somewhat newer, which reinforces the time-frame I have suggested for its rededication.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: As with the others, until this renovation is underway, an exact completion time-frame may be hard to pin down. We do know that this is an older and larger temple, which may delay the process somewhat. Until more is known, I will stick with my current estimate. But don’t be surprised if that changes.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 14, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: On June 20, I was reminded that this temple is newer and smaller, meaning that the renovation will likely be finished during the first half of 2019. Until more is known, that is an update from what I have reported previously.

Temples that have a renovation closure announced, but no official date made known yet:
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in January 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Church leaders announced plans for this renovation on June 27, 2017. Until more is known about the process, the completion date is approximated. More details will follow as they become available.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: This was another renovation announced on June 27, 2017. Once more is known, I will pass that along. Until that time, the completion date is approximated.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As this temple is older and bigger than some of the others scheduled for renovation, it will likely take longer. We do know it is anticipated to be rededicated at some point in 2019, but beyond that, until the work is underway, a more specific time-frame might be harder to pin down than I thought. I will be keeping an eye on things, making adjustments, and passing that information along ASAP after I learn of it.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2020.
NOTE: Until this renovation is underway, all we know is that this temple is older, and a rededication will take place at some point during 2020. While I have my own theories on when that might happen, they are merely guesswork until more is known.
7. Mesa Arizona Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in May 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: This renovation, the third announced on June 27, 2017, is for the oldest temple of the current bunch, and will be completed at some point in 2020. That is all we know for the moment. Until more is known, the completion time-frame is approximated. As with everything else, I will pass any updates along as I receive them.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: As noted above, with the additional information that I received in the late hours when the 17th became the 18th, it has once again become necessary to revise and alter my estimates for future groundbreakings. While I still hope that we may have at least one or two more before the end of this year, that does not seem to be as likely as I hoped it would even 24 hours ago. Based on what I know, I am adjusting my estimates again. If and when more information is available, these estimates will change yet again. In the meantime, I have also learned that 2018 may be a big year for groundbreakings. These new estimates reflects the latest information.

Announced:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: As noted in earlier versions of this report, Elder Andersen confirmed the site for this temple in March of this year. It is therefore entirely likely that a groundbreaking will be sure to follow at around this time. If and when that estimate might need to be changed, you can be sure that I will do so.
171. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: Until recently, all that was known regarding this temple is the contractor’s statement (he is the same man overseeing the Arequipa Peru Temple project) to the effect that a year of pre-planning would be needed prior to any groundbreaking ceremony being held. With the recent news that this preconstruction began in March of this year, it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could take place soon after 2018 begins. If my thinking on this changes (and it may once more is known), I will make any adjustments needed.
172. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: As this temple’s site has been confirmed through local leaders’ communications with members (it will stand in the northern section of the city near an arm of Paranoa Lake), it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could follow within a year of this temple’s announcement. As more information is made available, I will pass that along, including any needed changes to this estimate.
173. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: This temple’s location, which the Philippines’ Facebeook page confirms is in the region of Alabang, Muntinlupa City, will be built south of Manila proper. With the site confirmed, it is very likely that a groundbreaking could follow at around this time. And since the second Lima Peru temple had an official name announcement within three weeks of the temple’s announcement, it is not hard at all to believe that an official name will be announced for this temple in very short order.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: While all that is known about this temple presently is that the Church owns several acres of land in this community, we do know that generally Utah County temples do get construction started much sooner than their international counterparts. This groundbreaking could therefore happen sooner or later than this. Until more is known, it does seem to be a safe prediction.
175. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: While it may still be true that several sites are under consideration for this temple, the most likely one of these sites has been annexed into Pocatello City. If at any point within the next year that site is confirmed, this groundbreaking could happen sooner or later than this. Until more is known, it seems to be a safe estimate.
176. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: If, as many members have speculated, it is confirmed within the next year or so that a building housing Church offices will be reconstructed and repurposed into an edifice housing not just those offices, but also a meetinghouse and the temple as well, then formal construction efforts could begin sooner than indicated here. Until more is known, I am trying to be conservative in my estimates. I would not be surprised in the least if this temple’s groundbreaking happens sooner or later than indicated here.
177. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As noted on earlier versions of this report, Elder Kevin S. Hamilton stated last year after the announcement of this temple that a site announcement and subsequent groundbreaking for this temple would likely take place by the end of 2017. Since that time, there has been no change on this temple’s status. And it has actually been downgraded slightly from approval and construction preparation phase to planning and approval phase. That makes me think there could be a chance that this temple’s groundbreaking may not happen until the date indicated above. But the Lord has been known to surprise us in cases like this, and once I feel that there is a good enough reason to move this temple back up on this list, I will do so. More to come once more is known.
178. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could happen sometime during mid-2019
NOTE: While many have speculated that the end of the delays that have prevented progress on this temple means that a groundbreaking could follow sometime later in 2017 or 2018, with so much unknown presently regarding how soon progress might be made in this regard, I have wanted to be more careful and conservative in my estimates. If and when the facts I have point to the notion of this groundbreaking occurring earlier than estimated here, I will be sure to pass that along.
179. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As previously noted, the Ivory Coast has experienced massive and unprecedented growth of late, to the point that many have speculated that the Ivory Coast could get one or two additional temples within the next 15-30 years. And it may very well be that a second one is in the works for the Ivory Coast among those 85+ mentioned above. In terms of this temple, however, until more is known, or until more solid developments happen, I want to be conservative in my estimates. As with everything else, as soon as I become aware of any information whatsoever on this front, I will provide any updates needed. In the meantime, this is the best prediction that I have knowing what is now known.
180. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: In spite of the fact that Ecuador’s first temple had a 14+ year wait between its announcement and the subsequent groundbreaking that followed, this second Ecuadoran temple, from all I have read, is not in any way anticipated to take anywhere near as long for those things to happen. And while I hope that the groundbreaking for this temple will not have to wait another 1.25-1.5 years to happen, until more developments are reported, it seems to be a sound estimate.
181. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Since we have a site essentially confirmed for the other Brazilian temple above, even though this one was announced a year prior to that one, it is more than likely that we will not see a groundbreaking for this Belem temple until a year or so after the one for Brasilia. If and when more information is available that might change this line of thought and reasoning, I will be sure to pass that along.
182. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: With news this last week of the media event that was held for this temple in mid-June, that opens up the possibility that a site announcement and a groundbreaking could follow within the next year or two. That said, the article reporting that media event itself indicated that it generally takes one to two years minimum from a temple’s announcement for a groundbreaking to follow. I am doing my best to analyze how the news of this event might change my thinking on this temple, but until more is known definitively, I have felt it wiser to be cautious in my approach. As always, any updates will be provided as I become aware of new news and developments.                                                                                  
ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: Temple announcements within the last three years have come during the April General Conference. They may happen at any time the First Presidency feels inspired to make them, but that has been the pattern since 2015. Also, as noted above, Elder Larry Y. Wilson said in an interview recently that 85 or more temple sites are under consideration for an announcement within the next 15 years. So we could be entering another unprecedented era of temple announcements and construction. That is one big reason why I have expanded my list of temples that may potentially be announced. I also know that sites have been procured for future temples in Managua Nicaragua (which seems most likely, as it is the first of the top ten countries with the strongest LDS presence that does not yet have a temple, and such a temple was proposed by Elder Nelson in 2012), Auckland New Zealand, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana (which was proposed by Elder Bednar sometime in 2014). I have been told by many that an official announcement will happen once unit growth and activity in temples within such areas warrants those announcements. If there have been any other sites purchased elsewhere, they have not yet been made known. We also know that several potential temples have been proposed in several locations around the world by many of our prophets and apostles. The Lord will continue to inspire such temple announcements as they are needed, and all developments will continue to be included on subsequent versions of this report.
                                                                                                           
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 highlights changes from the last posted temple progress report.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Church loses a former auxiliary leader

Just doing a quick post tonight to report the death of Sister Barbara W, Winder, who passed away yesterday at the age of 86. She served as the 11th General President of the Relief Society (from 1984-1990) and later also served as assistant matron of the Jordan River Utah Temple and even later as the matron of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple. During her time as a general Church leader, she gave seven very insightful addresses (between general sessions and the General Women's meeting addresses, which were, as previously noted, common for that time, replaced by individual Young Women and Relief Society meetings, then started up again biannually in 2014). You can review any of those talks here, and the Church news article written on the occasion of her passing here. Enjoy, and thanks again for your continued interest and expressions of support.

Minor Updates to Temple Construction Progress Report

Hello, all! Over the weekend, my study into temple-related progress and developments led me to make several minor updates to my report of that progress. The results follow below. Noting also that the open house for the Tucson Arizona Temple concluded at the end of the day last Saturday, that temple is now preparing for its dedication, which, as noted, is scheduled to take place following the annual July recess of the Brethren. I hope you will all enjoy these updates and that any of you who would like to and are able to will let me know your thoughts by commenting below. Any of you who are not able to comment, please also let me know through my contact information on my Blogger profile. Thanks. Here is that report:

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 6/26/17)

NOTE: There will be a total of 182 operating temples once all of those announced, under construction, or undergoing renovation. Of those, we currently have 156 temples in operation; 1 has an open house ongoing (with a dedication set for August); 2 more have construction concluding and a dedication scheduled for later this year; 9 are under construction right now; 1 other has construction pending (groundbreaking was last year), and will commence construction ASAP; 2 others are undergoing renovation; another 4 have a renovation closure date set, with 2 others set to close early next year (the actual dates will be set closer to the time); the remaining 13 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

NOTE: On June 20, I was reminded of a statement recently made by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department. That statement indicated that that there are 85+ potential temple sites under consideration, and that most, if not all of those temples may be announced (and many of which could potentially be completed) within the next 15 years. That means yet another unprecedented era of temple building. The Church could, as noted below, have 12 or 13 more temples in operation by the end of 2019. The more I study about potential developments, the more I am convinced that we will have a minimum of 200 temples operating by or before the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Lord’s Church on April 6, 2030. I ran the numbers, and if Elder Wilson is right, we could have 250 in various stages by 2032. That being the case, have 50 less in operation two years prior is very doable. It would just take 3-4 being dedicated per year between now and then. And I will do my level best to keep track of it all. Just wanted to note that.

Preparing for dedication:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Preparing for dedication, which is scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior finish work underway; sod laid and trees planted; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Exterior lighting tests underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated next year):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior and exterior work progressing; installing art glass windows; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Laying exterior brick; attaching purlins to roof rafters; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Stone cladding underway on east and south walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Preparing to pour upper façade walls of temple; scaffolding going up around upper level of missionary housing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding progressing on west and south walls; palm trees planted at temple entrance; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 2-3 years:  
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Tower base walls poured; scaffolding removed; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing to pour footings for foundation; surrounding property being cleared and graded; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As previously noted in my latest reports, since the Winnipeg Temple has not yet had construction begin, unless that changes anytime soon, this temple will likely be dedicated first. More to come once more is known.
168.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring temple foundation walls; meetinghouse exterior walls nearly finished; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Setting rebar and concrete forms for foundation walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Construction pending (anticipated to start anytime):
167. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations; acquiring building permits; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As mentioned above on the note about the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple, unless progress is reported soon on Canada’s newest temple, it seems clear that Rio will be finished first. Once earnest construction begins (or, if it has already begun, once more is known about its’ progress), all we do know is that construction will take approximately 20 months (1.67 years) to complete. It may also be possible that this temple will not be finished and dedicated until after the dedications of all other temples listed above. While I daily hope for news on this temple, until more is known, a more definitive completion time-frame is hard to pin down.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: Because the completion estimate for this temple has been pushed back repeatedly, it is somewhat more difficult than I thought to pin down a probable rededication time-frame. Since new or renovated Utah temples are generally completed prior to their counterparts both elsewhere in the US and in other areas of the world, I think it would be safe to assume that the Jordan River rededication may be among the first temple-related events in 2018. More to come once more is known.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: With the knowledge that renovations are generally completed more swiftly than new temples, I have also been reminded recently that completion estimates are never definite. So it could very well be that the rededication of this temple will fall somewhere between the dedications of the first three or four new temples next year. Once something more definite is known, I will pass that along.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: On June 20, new information I received reminded me that Asuncion is a smaller and newer temple, making it very likely that a rededication could take place sometime during the first six months of 2019. Once the renovation is actually underway, that estimate may change, but it seems to be a safe correction.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: This temple, like the one above, is smaller and somewhat newer, which reinforces the time-frame I have suggested for its rededication.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: As with the others, until this renovation is underway, an exact completion time-frame may be hard to pin down. We do know that this is an older and larger temple, which may delay the process somewhat. Until more is known, I will stick with my current estimate. But don’t be surprised if that changes.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 14, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: On June 20, I was reminded that this temple is newer and smaller, meaning that the renovation will likely be finished during the first half of 2019. Until more is known, that is an update from what I have reported previously.

Temples that have a renovation closure announced, but no official date made known yet:
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As this temple is older and bigger than some of the others scheduled for renovation, it will likely take longer. We do know it is anticipated to be rededicated at some point in 2019, but beyond that, until the work is underway, a more specific time-frame might be harder to pin down than I thought. I will be keeping an eye on things, making adjustments, and passing that information along ASAP after I learn of it.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2020.
NOTE: Until this renovation is underway, all we know is that this temple is older, and a rededication will take place at some point during 2020. While I have my own theories on when that might happen, they are merely guesswork until more is known.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: As noted above, with the additional information that I received in the late hours when the 17th became the 18th, it has once again become necessary to revise and alter my estimates for future groundbreakings. While I still hope that we may have at least one or two more before the end of this year, that does not seem to be as likely as I hoped it would even 24 hours ago. Based on what I know, I am adjusting my estimates again. If and when more information is available, these estimates will change yet again. In the meantime, I have also learned that 2018 may be a big year for groundbreakings. These new estimates reflects the latest information.

Announced:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: As noted in earlier versions of this report, Elder Andersen confirmed the site for this temple in March of this year. It is therefore entirely likely that a groundbreaking will be sure to follow at around this time. If and when that estimate might need to be changed, you can be sure that I will do so.
171. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: Until recently, all that was known regarding this temple is the contractor’s statement (he is the same man overseeing the Arequipa Peru Temple project) to the effect that a year of pre-planning would be needed prior to any groundbreaking ceremony being held. With the recent news that this preconstruction began in March of this year, it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could take place soon after 2018 begins. If my thinking on this changes (and it may once more is known), I will make any adjustments needed.
172. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: As this temple’s site has been confirmed through local leaders’ communications with members (it will stand in the northern section of the city near an arm of Paranoa Lake), it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could follow within a year of this temple’s announcement. As more information is made available, I will pass that along, including any needed changes to this estimate.
173. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: This temple’s location, which the Philippines’ Facebeook page confirms is in the region of Alabang, Muntinlupa City, will be built south of Manila proper. With the site confirmed, it is very likely that a groundbreaking could follow at around this time. And since the second Lima Peru temple had an official name announcement within three weeks of the temple’s announcement, it is not hard at all to believe that an official name will be announced for this temple in very short order.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: While all that is known about this temple presently is that the Church owns several acres of land in this community, we do know that generally Utah County temples do get construction started much sooner than their international counterparts. This groundbreaking could therefore happen sooner or later than this. Until more is known, it does seem to be a safe prediction.
175. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: While it may still be true that several sites are under consideration for this temple, the most likely one of these sites has been annexed into Pocatello City. If at any point within the next year that site is confirmed, this groundbreaking could happen sooner or later than this. Until more is known, it seems to be a safe estimate.
176. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: If, as many members have speculated, it is confirmed within the next year or so that a building housing Church offices will be reconstructed and repurposed into an edifice housing not just those offices, but also a meetinghouse and the temple as well, then formal construction efforts could begin sooner than indicated here. Until more is known, I am trying to be conservative in my estimates. I would not be surprised in the least if this temple’s groundbreaking happens sooner or later than indicated here.
177. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As noted on earlier versions of this report, Elder Kevin S. Hamilton stated last year after the announcement of this temple that a site announcement and subsequent groundbreaking for this temple would likely take place by the end of 2017. Since that time, there has been no change on this temple’s status. And it has actually been downgraded slightly from approval and construction preparation phase to planning and approval phase. That makes me think there could be a chance that this temple’s groundbreaking may not happen until the date indicated above. But the Lord has been known to surprise us in cases like this, and once I feel that there is a good enough reason to move this temple back up on this list, I will do so. More to come once more is known.
178. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could happen sometime during mid-2019
NOTE: While many have speculated that the end of the delays that have prevented progress on this temple means that a groundbreaking could follow sometime later in 2017 or 2018, with so much unknown presently regarding how soon progress might be made in this regard, I have wanted to be more careful and conservative in my estimates. If and when the facts I have point to the notion of this groundbreaking occurring earlier than estimated here, I will be sure to pass that along.
179. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As previously noted, the Ivory Coast has experienced massive and unprecedented growth of late, to the point that many have speculated that the Ivory Coast could get one or two additional temples within the next 15-30 years. And it may very well be that a second one is in the works for the Ivory Coast among those 85+ mentioned above. In terms of this temple, however, until more is known, or until more solid developments happen, I want to be conservative in my estimates. As with everything else, as soon as I become aware of any information whatsoever on this front, I will provide any updates needed. In the meantime, this is the best prediction that I have knowing what is now known.
180. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: In spite of the fact that Ecuador’s first temple had a 14+ year wait between its announcement and the subsequent groundbreaking that followed, this second Ecuadoran temple, from all I have read, is not in any way anticipated to take anywhere near as long for those things to happen. And while I hope that the groundbreaking for this temple will not have to wait another 1.25-1.5 years to happen, until more developments are reported, it seems to be a sound estimate.
181. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Since we have a site essentially confirmed for the other Brazilian temple above, even though this one was announced a year prior to that one, it is more than likely that we will not see a groundbreaking for this Belem temple until a year or so after the one for Brasilia. If and when more information is available that might change this line of thought and reasoning, I will be sure to pass that along.
182. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: With news this last week of the media event that was held for this temple in mid-June, that opens up the possibility that a site announcement and a groundbreaking could follow within the next year or two. That said, the article reporting that media event itself indicated that it generally takes one to two years minimum from a temple’s announcement for a groundbreaking to follow. I am doing my best to analyze how the news of this event might change my thinking on this temple, but until more is known definitively, I have felt it wiser to be cautious in my approach. As always, any updates will be provided as I become aware of new news and developments.                                                                                  
ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: Temple announcements within the last three years have come during the April General Conference. They may happen at any time the First Presidency feels inspired to make them, but that has been the pattern since 2015. Also, as noted above, Elder Larry Y. Wilson said in an interview recently that 85 or more temple sites are under consideration for an announcement within the next 15 years. So we could be entering another unprecedented era of temple announcements and construction. That is one big reason why I have expanded my list of temples that may potentially be announced. I also know that sites have been procured for future temples in Managua Nicaragua (which seems most likely, as it is the first of the top ten countries with the strongest LDS presence that does not yet have a temple, and such a temple was proposed by Elder Nelson in 2012), Auckland New Zealand, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana (which was proposed by Elder Bednar sometime in 2014). I have been told by many that an official announcement will happen once unit growth and activity in temples within such areas warrants those announcements. If there have been any other sites purchased elsewhere, they have not yet been made known. We also know that several potential temples have been proposed in several locations around the world by many of our prophets and apostles. The Lord will continue to inspire such temple announcements as they are needed, and all developments will continue to be included on subsequent versions of this report.
                                                                                                           
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 highlights changes from the last posted temple progress report.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Update on Church unit growth so far in 2017

As some of you may be aware, I have recently been trying to keep better track of Church unit changes, and have previously offered some theories about the potential for continued unit growth in 2017. Today, I realized that there has been a net increase of 27 stakes within the 25 Sundays so far this year. That works out to the creation of roughly 1.08 stakes each week.

And I also have noted previously the potential for the creation of other units this year. The LDS Church Growth Blog reports that the Church will have 50 stakes total once the Africa West Area goes from its current 78 stakes to the planned 99. And we know that the creation of 3 new stakes was reported last Sunday, in addition to two districts being upgraded to stakes. With the average 1.08 stakes created per week this year, and recognizing that we have not yet reached the peak season for those stake creations, I am venturing a hypothetical prediction that we could have a net minimum of 80 new stakes by the end of this year.

After all, if the West Africa area is anticipating 21 additional stakes by the end of this year, and if other areas of the Church also will be getting additional stakes within the next six months, all it would take is the creation of 2 stakes minimum every week the rest of this year to get there. That said, I know the General Authorities will have their annual July recess starting next Saturday, which means few (if any) new stakes will be created during the 5 Sundays of that month.

But the fall and winter months have, in my observation, been good months in terms of stake creations. I also know that there has been talk of the creation of at least two more stakes prior to the end of this month, one in the Philippines and one in Ghana. I will keep an eye on developments on this front and adjust my thoughts as I become aware of any factors that would change this thinking. And you can be sure that I will pass that information along as I am able to. Thanks for taking time to read this. If you want to and are able to, please let me know your thoughts. If you are not able to comment, let me know that as well. You can do so through my contact information on my Blogger profile. Thanks to you all for your interest and support.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Minor but significant developments in temple construction

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to note that minor but still very significant developments have taken place in terms of temple construction. These developments, as always, are highlighted in red on the newest version of my temple construction progress report. Enjoy, and, if you are able to, please let me know your thoughts. If the commenting issue is still an issue, you can always report that to me via my blogger profile. Thanks.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 6/23/17)

NOTE: There will be a total of 182 operating temples once all of those announced, under construction, or undergoing renovation. Of those, we currently have 156 temples in operation; 1 has an open house ongoing (with a dedication set for August); 2 more have construction concluding and a dedication scheduled for later this year; 9 are under construction right now; 1 other has construction pending (groundbreaking was last year), and will commence construction ASAP; 2 others are undergoing renovation; another 4 have a renovation closure date set, with 2 others set to close early next year (the actual dates will be set closer to the time); the remaining 13 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

NOTE: On June 20, I was reminded of a statement recently made by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department. That statement indicated that that there are 85+ potential temple sites under consideration, and that most, if not all of those temples may be announced (and many of which could potentially be completed) within the next 15 years. That means yet another unprecedented era of temple building. The Church could, as noted below, have 12 or 13 more temples in operation by the end of 2019. The more I study about potential developments, the more I am convinced that we will have a minimum of 200 temples operating by or before the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Lord’s Church on April 6, 2030. I ran the numbers, and if Elder Wilson is right, we could have 250 in various stages by 2032. That being the case, have 50 less in operation two years prior is very doable. It would just take 3-4 being dedicated per year between now and then. And I will do my level best to keep track of it all. Just wanted to note that.

Construction completed; open house tours underway (will conclude on Saturday):
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Public open house tours underway (until the end of the day this Saturday); dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior finish work underway; sod laid and trees planted; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Exterior lighting tests underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated next year):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior and exterior work progressing; installing art glass windows; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Laying exterior brick; attaching purlins to roof rafters; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Stone cladding underway on east and south walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Preparing to pour upper façade walls of temple; scaffolding going up around upper level of missionary housing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding progressing on west and south walls; palm trees planted at temple entrance; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 2-3 years:  
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Tower base walls poured; scaffolding removed; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing to pour footings for foundation; surrounding property being cleared and graded; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As previously noted in my latest reports, since the Winnipeg Temple has not yet had construction begin, unless that changes anytime soon, this temple will likely be dedicated first. More to come once more is known.
168.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring temple foundation walls; meetinghouse exterior walls nearly finished; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Setting rebar and concrete forms for foundation walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Construction pending (anticipated to start anytime):
167. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations; acquiring building permits; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As mentioned above on the note about the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple, unless progress is reported soon on Canada’s newest temple, it seems clear that Rio will be finished first. Once earnest construction begins (or, if it has already begun, once more is known about its’ progress), all we do know is that construction will take approximately 20 months (1.67 years) to complete. It may also be possible that this temple will not be finished and dedicated until after the dedications of all other temples listed above. While I daily hope for news on this temple, until more is known, a more definitive completion time-frame is hard to pin down.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: Because the completion estimate for this temple has been pushed back repeatedly, it is somewhat more difficult than I thought to pin down a probable rededication time-frame. Since new or renovated Utah temples are generally completed prior to their counterparts both elsewhere in the US and in other areas of the world, I think it would be safe to assume that the Jordan River rededication may be among the first temple-related events in 2018. More to come once more is known.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: With the knowledge that renovations are generally completed more swiftly than new temples, I have also been reminded recently that completion estimates are never definite. So it could very well be that the rededication of this temple will fall somewhere between the dedications of the first three or four new temples next year. Once something more definite is known, I will pass that along.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: On June 20, new information I received reminded me that Asuncion is a smaller and newer temple, making it very likely that a rededication could take place sometime during the first six months of 2019. Once the renovation is actually underway, that estimate may change, but it seems to be a safe correction.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: This temple, like the one above, is smaller and somewhat newer, which reinforces the time-frame I have suggested for its rededication.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: As with the others, until this renovation is underway, an exact completion time-frame may be hard to pin down. We do know that this is an older and larger temple, which may delay the process somewhat. Until more is known, I will stick with my current estimate. But don’t be surprised if that changes.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 14, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: On June 20, I was reminded that this temple is newer and smaller, meaning that the renovation will likely be finished during the first half of 2019. Until more is known, that is an update from what I have reported previously.

Temples that have a renovation closure announced, but no official date made known yet:
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As this temple is older and bigger than some of the others scheduled for renovation, it will likely take longer. We do know it is anticipated to be rededicated at some point in 2019, but beyond that, until the work is underway, a more specific time-frame might be harder to pin down than I thought. I will be keeping an eye on things, making adjustments, and passing that information along ASAP after I learn of it.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2020.
NOTE: Until this renovation is underway, all we know is that this temple is older, and a rededication will take place at some point during 2020. While I have my own theories on when that might happen, they are merely guesswork until more is known.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: As noted above, with the additional information that I received in the late hours when the 17th became the 18th, it has once again become necessary to revise and alter my estimates for future groundbreakings. While I still hope that we may have at least one or two more before the end of this year, that does not seem to be as likely as I hoped it would even 24 hours ago. Based on what I know, I am adjusting my estimates again. If and when more information is available, these estimates will change yet again. In the meantime, I have also learned that 2018 may be a big year for groundbreakings. These new estimates reflects the latest information.

Announced:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: With a site confirmed for this temple earlier this year, I have been advised that construction preparation will likely take at least a year. So it is almost certain that this temple’s groundbreaking will be the first of many for 2018. If and when more is known, ongoing adjustments will be made.
171. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: While it has not yet been confirmed, preconstruction for this temple reportedly began in March of this year. In view of the indication from the contractor (who is also overseeing the Arequipa Peru Temple project) that a year would be needed to prepare the site prior to a groundbreaking ceremony, it seems logical that a groundbreaking will take place during the first six months of next year, at earliest. As developments unfold, adjustments will be made accordingly.
172. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: Unless any problems arise, it is more likely than not that the confirmation of the site location by local priesthood leaders (in the northern section of the city, by an arm of Paranoa Lake) will indeed be that temple’s location. Since site identification is a big part of the initial process, it is not impossible to believe that a groundbreaking for this temple will be held shortly after the one-year anniversary of the temple’s announcement. It is also very possible that construction on this temple may not commence for 2 or 3 years. Until more is known, the time-frame above seems to be a safe prediction.
173. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-2018.
NOTE: This temple, also announced just this year, has already had a site identified. The Church’s Philippines Facebook page reports that the temple will be built in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. As noted above, finding a site is a big part of the initial efforts to get such temples built. Unless complications arise, it is not impossible to believe that this temple could have a groundbreaking next year sometime. And we also know that the second Lima Peru Temple had its official name announced within 3 weeks of the temple announcement, so an official name for this temple is only a matter of time. Until more is known, this timeframe seems reasonable.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: As Utah County temples have been known to progress rapidly from announcement to groundbreaking to dedication, and as we know that the Church owns several acres of land in this city, a site announcement is just a matter of time, with a groundbreaking likely to follow shortly after that. And I would not be at all surprised if an official site announcement comes before the end of this year, which would in turn necessitate another adjustment to this estimate.
175. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: While several sites are reportedly under consideration for this temple, the most likely one has been annexed into the city of Pocatello. If an official site confirmation comes at any point during the next year or so, a groundbreaking could follow shortly thereafter. Until more is known, it seems wise to adjust this estimate. I would not be at all surprised if a groundbreaking for this temple happens sooner or later than indicated above. I will adjust this estimate again as that becomes necessary.
176. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: If member speculation (regarding an existing Church office building being reconstructed and renovated into a multi-purpose building housing those same Church offices in addition to a meetinghouse and a temple) is confirmed at any point within the next year, it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could follow at around this time. Until more is known, that is an update from what I previously indicated.
177. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: While Elder Kevin S. Hamilton said last year that a site announcement and groundbreaking for this temple would take place during the early months of this year, nothing has happened since that time. Until more is known, I have felt it wise to place this temple here on this list.  If and when developments do occur, I will change this again.
178. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could happen sometime during mid-2019
NOTE: While there has been an almost seven-year delay preventing progress on this temple, the end of those delays has put this temple in the planning and approval phase. While some have said that a groundbreaking for this temple could happen between late 2017 and early 2018 or, at latest, late next year, there is enough that is not known about this temple that makes me think we might only see a groundbreaking for this temple during the middle part of 2019. I will be more than happy to adjust this estimate if developments progress more rapidly than I believe they will. Until that time, this seems to be a safer estimate.
179. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: The Church, as noted on numerous occasions in the recent past, is progressing well in Africa, and the announcement of 3 temples for that continent within the last 2½ year is evidence of that. The citizens in the Ivory Coast have been particularly very receptive to the gospel, and the Church has taken root well there. I have even heard from some who say the Ivory Coast could get another temple or two within the next 5-10 years. In terms of this first temple for that nation, I would not be surprised if a groundbreaking for this temple happened earlier or later than indicated above. I will keep an eye out for developments and adjust my estimates accordingly.
180. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Ecuador’s 14-year wait between the announcement of its first temple and its groundbreaking is not anticipated to be repeated for this temple announced for the Ecuadoran capital city. While I personally am hoping the Quito Saints will not have to wait until the middle or latter part of 2019 for this temple’s groundbreaking, with no developments anticipated soon, this seems to be a safe projection.
181. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Unless something changes in the next little while, it seems almost certain that this temple will not have a groundbreaking before the other announced Brazilian temple. The Lord has been known to surprise us, so I can’t entirely rule out the possibility that this temple will have a groundbreaking prior to that one, but until more is known, we might not see a groundbreaking for this temple until this time.
182. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: Barring a drastic change or something unexpected happening, it seems entirely likely that Kenya’s first temple will be the last one of those currently announced to have a groundbreaking. However, the Church continues to grow well in Africa, so I can’t rule out the possibility of it happening sooner than indicated above. Until more is known, though, I will be sticking with this estimate.
                                                                                                          
ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: Temple announcements within the last three years have come during the April General Conference. They may happen at any time the First Presidency feels inspired to make them, but that has been the pattern since 2015. Also, as noted above, Elder Larry Y. Wilson said in an interview recently that 85 or more temple sites are under consideration for an announcement within the next 15 years. So we could be entering another unprecedented era of temple announcements and construction. That is one big reason why I have expanded my list of temples that may potentially be announced. I also know that sites have been procured for future temples in Managua Nicaragua (which seems most likely, as it is the first of the top ten countries with the strongest LDS presence that does not yet have a temple, and such a temple was proposed by Elder Nelson in 2012), Auckland New Zealand, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana (which was proposed by Elder Bednar sometime in 2014). I have been told by many that an official announcement will happen once unit growth and activity in temples within such areas warrants those announcements. If there have been any other sites purchased elsewhere, they have not yet been made known. We also know that several potential temples have been proposed in several locations around the world by many of our prophets and apostles. The Lord will continue to inspire such temple announcements as they are needed, and all developments will continue to be included on subsequent versions of this report.
                                                                                                           
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 highlights changes from the last posted temple progress report.