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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Elder Quentin L. Cook Opens Black Church Leadership Summit

It was reported by Mormon Newsroom recently that Elder Quentin L. Cook opened a Black Church Leadership Summit in Princeton New Jersey with an address that advocated a "fairness for all" approach in relation to the subject of religious freedom. Such principles are advocated in the 12th of the 13 Articles of Faith penned by Joseph Smith, who was the Lord's instrument in restoring to the earth the same Church established by Jesus Christ during his mortal ministry. That particular article of faith states: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

The reason that the Church and its leaders have been more vocal of late about advocating religious freedom primarily because there have been more governments and other entities lately that have tried to control or regulate the amount of influence any religion and its leaders can have on the lives of their members. This is in direct violation to the ideal of freedom of religion as set forth in the US Constitution. Additionally, the Church, in an essay on religious freedom, quoted the following statement by Joseph Smith:

“If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon,’ I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul — civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race."

This is why the Church has lately taken more steps to advocate, support, and campaign for religious freedom, and why we are seeing the leaders of the Church, particularly our apostles, extend their outreach on the subject to so many other friends of other faith. We are currently entering an era where so many governments restrict or forbid religion and the daily practice and influence of religious entities in the lives of their citizenry. When that happens, the power of faith in the lives of people everywhere has limits, and it should not be so. Everyone should be free to be able to practice whatever faith, if any, that they have, just as everyone should be free, if they so choose, to not believe or practice any faith whatsoever. Societies and governments thrive when such religious freedom is encouraged and supported. It is good to see the Church involve in such an outreach. As with everything else, I will pass along any updates on these developments as I receive them.

Until then, thanks for the privilege of your time. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. I will be back again soon, probably later this week, if not tomorrow, with new posts. Until then, all the best.

Temple Construction Progress Update

Late-breaking temple developments which I discovered tonight, combined with some adjustments I have made in the way I report that progress, has necessitated my posting an updated version of my temple construction progress report. I welcome any feedback on these updates. Here it is, for what it may be worth. Thanks for the privilege of your time. Enjoy!

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 7/30/17)

NOTE: There will be a total of 182 operating temples once all of those under construction or announced are dedicated. Of those, we currently have 156 temples in operation; 1 other will be dedicated next month (after the traditional July recess for the General Authorities); 2 more have construction concluding and a dedication scheduled for later this year; 9 are in various stages of construction; 1 other has construction pending (groundbreaking was last year), and earnest work will hopefully start on that within the next month or so); 1 has a groundbreaking scheduled (set for later this year); 2 are undergoing renovation (with completion anticipated next year); another 4 have a renovation closure date set for later this year, with 5 others set to close early next year (the actual dates will be set closer to the time); the remaining 12 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

NOTE ON FUTURE TEMPLES: Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department, indicated in a recent interview that the Church has around 85 temple sites that are under active consideration for an announcement within the next 15 years or so. If that is true, then that would take the number of temples in any phase to just under 270 by 2032. And if that is true, then whether or not the Church makes it an official goal to do so, it is more than likely that there could be a minimum of 200 temples dedicated by or before the Church’s 200th anniversary on April 6, 2030, whether or not the Church makes that an official goal. All it would take to do so is 18 more being announced, and each of them, along with the 26 either under construction or announced, to be completed within the next 12 years and 9 months, which is doable if 3 or 4 are dedicated per year between now and then. As there are 3 others scheduled for dedication before the end of this year, with 5 set for next year, and up to 5 the year following, the Church seems to be on track for that. Subsequent versions of this report will continue to share developments as they occur.

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; laying sod; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated within the next 1-2 years):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior and exterior work progressing; construction office trailers donated to community organizations; office space relocated to patron housing; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: While this temple’s completion has been pushed back again and again, it seems to be safe to assume and to assert that it will be the first new temple to be dedicated in 2018, unless something unexpected happens. But I also believe that this dedication will take place sometime after the rededication of the Jordan River Utah Temple and before the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple. If my thinking on that changes, I will pass that along.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Exterior walls completed; preparing to attach plywood to roof trusses and to pour baptismal font support; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: Since this temple is one of the smaller ones currently under construction, and since it has had numerous delays, it seems safe to assume that this temple will be the second new one to be dedicated in 2018, following the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple and the rededications of both the Jordan River Utah and Frankfurt Germany Temples.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Stone cladding underway on the south wall; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Brick laying continues in temple basement and missionary housing; work continues on plumbing, electrical systems, sewer and stairs construction; east soffit wall poured; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: While the new information on this temple (noted in the red text above) was featured on the main and news pages of the LDS Church Temples site, the status of this temple is no different than it was when I last posted this report. Until I know for sure that this information will not be listed on the construction status page, I have felt it wiser to include it. More to come once more is known.
164. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding nearly complete on north and south walls and progressing around the steeple base; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: While these minor wording changes for this temple’s status are not featured on the status page of the LDS Church Temples site, I have changed it because it flows better, in my opinion. I will be sure to pass along any actual status changes on this temple once I become aware of them. In the meantime, it is my belief that this temple will be dedicated closer to the end of 2018 than the beginning of 2019. If that changes for any reason, I will pass that along.

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: In the midst of other changes that have been needed for this report, I also took another look at the question of whether this temple or the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple might be finished first. In doing so, I discovered that until formal construction begins in Winnipeg and that process verifies that Winnipeg will be finished first, it would be wiser to reverse them again. I also know that this temple may not seem as far along as the two below it (Lisbon and Arequipa), but it is the only project planned for the temple complex, which, combined with the completion estimate, does not seem to warrant changing the order in which the three are listed. If that changes, I will pass that information along.
167.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring temple foundation walls; preparing meetinghouse for exterior cladding; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
NOTE: Until construction is officially underway on the Winnipeg Manitoba temple, I have felt it wise to renumber this temple. As soon as that happens and once more is known about its progress, I will reorder this temple again. In the meantime, though this temple may seem further along than the one above and not as far along as the one below, what I know about the plans for the complex of this temple warrants keeping this one where it is.
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: Foundation walls poured; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: As with the Lisbon temple, I have reordered this temple until construction is officially underway on the Winnipeg temple. Based on how quickly that temple might progress, I will make any future adjustments that are needed. I also know that this temple could be said to be further along than the other two above it, but based on the completion estimate for this temple, and the fact that there are other buildings planned for the complex on this project, I will not be reordering it. I also think that this temple’s dedication is more likely to happen in early 2020 than late 2019. If that changes, I will pass that information along.

Construction pending (anticipated to start anytime):
169. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations; acquiring building permits; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: Until construction officially commences on this temple, it has felt like a good idea to change its number. Once work is actually underway, I will change the number to match its estimated completion (which right now may be before or after Rio). For my part, I am convinced that this temple will not be dedicated until after the dedication of the Rio temple, but time will tell. I am keeping an eye out for developments and will pass those along as I find out about them. Until that time, this number will not be changed.

Groundbreaking scheduled:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Ground being cleared; preparing for groundbreaking ceremony, which is scheduled for Saturday October 28, 2017; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: In addition to knowing that this temple will be much smaller than its other Caribbean counterpart, I found out in late July that this temple will be comparable in size (and perhaps design) to the one in Kinshasa. All of this points to the notion that this temple’s dedication could easily happen during the specified time-frame estimated above. Once work is actually underway (which is anticipated to happen on Monday October 30, barring any delays), I will pass along any changes to that thinking.

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: Though this temple’s renovation has been ongoing since its closure in February 2016, and while the rededication had been anticipated at some point during 2017, as the renovation process has continued, those estimates have been altered again and again, until this most recent revision of that time-frame. This event could happen at any point in the middle of the year, or it could be pushed back again. More information will come as more is known. For now, until proven otherwise, I am convinced that this temples’ rededication will be among the first temple-related events of 2018, followed in fairly short order by the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple, then the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; baptismal font support walls poured in basement addition; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: This temple, closed since September of 2015, was also anticipated to be completed and rededicated at some point prior to the end of 2017. As with the Jordan River temple, that completion estimate has been pushed back repeatedly. Until more is known, it is anyone’s guess when this rededication might happen. I will pass along any updates as I receive them. For now, as noted above, I think we are safe in assuming that the rededication of this temple will follow both the rededication of the Jordan River Utah Temple and the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: While this temple is a comparatively smaller one (from the Hinckley era), I also learned on July 5 that this renovation will be altering both the exterior and interior appearance of the temple. Those plans may or may not involve an expansion. The opinions on what will happen in that regard are so different that it will take time to settle the question. Once more is known, I will pass that along. In the meantime, my study on the subject is ongoing.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: This temple, constructed as part of President Kimball’s smaller temple design, is anticipated to be rededicated sometime in 2020. If the news release about this renovation is any indication, no expansion is in the works. Adjustments will be made as the process gets underway. For now, I wanted to also note that the stated purpose for this renovation is primarily to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems and bring the temple up-to-code. With that in mind, I also learned in early July that the completion of this temple will most likely be sooner than I originally thought, as it is comparatively smaller.
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: In an earlier version of this report, I had indicated that an expansion of this temple didn’t seem likely, as information available to me at that time pointed to the current temple taking up the entire area of the lot. On July 18, I learned I might be getting this temple and Memphis confused. I am trying to iron all of that out, and will pass along whatever I find out. Until more is known, I will not be altering my completion estimate. If an expansion is planned, that will change the estimate.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As noted in previous versions of this report, I had the closure date for this temple off by a month. I regret that misinformation. In the meantime, I did some study on whether or not this temple might be expanded. On July 16, I found that this temple may have room to expand. Whether or not expansion will happen, until more is known, I have felt it wiser to stick to my completion estimate.

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: On July 16, while studying scheduled renovations, I learned two things: this temple is on a large enough plot of land that expansion may be possible and even feasible. That said, the Saints in North Carolina (according to one of my contacts) were told that an expansion is not in the renovation plans for this temple. It is possible but perhaps unlikely. More to come once more is known, including any change of the completion estimate.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: My study on this temple (which I conducted on July 16) indicates that there may be room on this temple lot to expand the edifice. The question is whether or not the Church will choose to do so. I will keep an eye on developments and pass things along as I learn of them. For now, the question cannot be settled.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: This renovation and the one below were announced in February of 2017. In the interim, the Church has scheduled 7 other renovations around those two. This temple is older, so the renovation will likely take longer. But I am not ruling out other possibilities. We also know that the primary purpose of this renovation is to upgrade mechanical and electrical systems and bring them up to code. So I don’t think expansion is in the plans for this temple.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: This is another older temple where the purpose of the renovation is to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems and bring them up to code. An expansion doesn’t seem likely. It is a larger temple, so the renovation will likely take longer. That reinforces the idea that the completion timeframe above will be spot on.
7. Mesa Arizona Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in May 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: The purpose of this renovation is to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems and bring them up to code. This temple has been renovated before, which reinforces the idea that there may be less to update here than for Washington DC. Until more is known, it is my feeling that this temple will likely be rededicated first.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: During the month of July, I revised the order in which temples in this section were listed. About a week after doing so, I found out that I needed to revise and rethink that order again. The current order reflects the latest information I have (as of the late night hours of July 18). I should also note that the timing of any temple event is up to the Lord (based on conditions in each area), so these estimates should not in any way be taken as gospel or official until they are confirmed or denied by those who have the authorization to do so.

Announced:
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: With the recent news that preconstruction for this temple began in March 2017, it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could take place in short order once 2018 starts. But as we also know that the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple had its groundbreaking unexpected announced in mid-July (being set for the end of October), that opens up the possibility that this temple could be another that could either have its groundbreaking just before that for Port-au-Prince (as there is a precedent for such things) or within the remaining two months of 2017. If that doesn’t happen, then this temple will likely be the first to have a groundbreaking during 2018.
172. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: Though nothing has happened with this temple since Elder Hamilton stated that a site announcement and groundbreaking would take place in short order at some point prior to the end of 2017, and though that seemed to provide a sufficient reason to downgrade this temple to sometime in 2018 or 2019, in reevaluating things in mid-July, I determined that it would be wiser to move this temple back to this spot. There is an outside chance that this temple could have a groundbreaking at some point during the 4 months or so left in 2017, but that doesn’t seem probable. Anything is possible, though. I will keep an eye out for developments and pass those along as I find out more, along with any other adjustments.
173. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: While previous versions of this report had downgraded this temple to being among the last of the current bunch to have a groundbreaking, the end of delays preventing progress on this temple’s construction mean that a site announcement and groundbreaking may be simply a matter of time. That being the case, as noted in so many previous versions of this report, some have speculated a groundbreaking for this temple may take place prior to the end of 2017. But it seems more likely that it may wait until around this time. As always, with these being no more than my own thoughts based on the facts I have right now, they are subject to change as things develop. I will make any further changes that might be needed as that becomes necessary.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: On July 18, 2017, I learned some things that convinced me to take another look at the order in which these announced temples are listed. That more extensive research led me to conclude that this temple may get started closer to the average time in which Utah temples have gone from an announcement to a groundbreaking. So I ran those numbers, which now has me convinced that this temple’s groundbreaking may be sooner than I had originally projected. This change will be reflected on my timeline for future temple-related events.
175. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: As noted above, new information received on July 18, 2017 led to my rethinking this entire section. Particularly, I found out that the site inspection is not indicative of an imminent groundbreaking like I thought it might be. While it is still likely that this temple will have a groundbreaking prior to the end of 2018, it will likely be more towards the end of the year than the beginning, contrary to what I had thought and reported. This seems like a safe change for the moment. If the Lord surprises us and sets a groundbreaking for this temple sooner than estimated here, I will move it up on this list at that time.
176. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: This is another temple that has already had a site confirmed, but that will likely not have a groundbreaking as soon as I had thought and asserted that would happen. Having been advised that temples announced in April 2017 might have at least a year between the site announcement and the groundbreaking, this seems to be a safe and sound adjustment.  As always, once the Lord or the leaders of His Church reveal more about any temple, that new information will be reflected on future reports. For now, that is an update from what I have previously reported. And we are also still waiting to see if and when a more official name might be announced for this temple. I will report on all developments as I become aware of them.
177. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: While it is true that temples in the “Mormon corridor” of Idaho, Utah and Arizona generally get started well in advance of their international counterparts, I learned on July 18, 2017 that some temples on this list needed to be moved (some up, and some down). I also learned that Idaho temples have kept to a general average time-frame from announcement to groundbreaking, and by changing the estimate for this temple, it corresponds more fully to that average.
178. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: As I have considered the media event held last month, I have determined it wiser to assume that a groundbreaking for this temple will happen sooner rather than later. It seems apparent now that this temple will not be the last of those currently announced to have a groundbreaking, as I had originally thought and stated. So it seems wise to make that adjustment. As always, once more information is available, I will go from there.
179. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-2019.
NOTE: If member speculation 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.
180. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: With the massive growth that the Church has experienced in the Ivory Coast, some have speculated that the Ivory Coast could get one or two additional temples within the next 15 years. For this first one, this adjustment feels appropriate. Further adjustments will be made once more is known.
181. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Despite the 14-year wait between the announcement and groundbreaking for Ecuador’s first temple, this one for the Ecuadoran capital is not anticipated to have nearly as long a wait. With other adjustments that have been made, this seems appropriate. Further adjustments will be made once more is known.
182. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during late 2019-early 2020.
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 the estimates for all other temples are anywhere close (which they may or may not be), that would make this temple the last of the current bunch to be dedicated. But this is 2 or 3 years out, so changes are always possible within that time depending on what develops between now and then.

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.

Temple Sites added to my list for the near future

Hello, all! Further study on my part has led me to expand my list of temples that may be announced in the near future. I am posting today to share the newest version of that list. I feel pretty good about it, but continue to welcome feedback on it. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

3+ temples announced in any of the following locations:
NOTE: Since it is difficult at best to know where the Lord feels a need for a temple and temple locations are not as cut-and-dried as I have originally believed them to be, I am doing a preliminary list, which I will refine as the time for General Conference draws closer. I will look forward to seeing what happens with those possibilities, if any are announced at all. So far between 2015 and this year, the 12 newest temples were announced during the April General Conference. If any temples are announced, there may only be a few. But that is just my own opinion. So far between 2015 and this year, the 12 newest temples were announced during the April General Conference. If any temples are announced, there may only be a few. But that is just my own opinion, and the Lord has been known to prove me wrong. I continue to hope for temple announcements during every General Conference, and nothing is set in stone.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: After thinking further about those temples I feel are most likely in the near future, I first narrowed down then expanded these selections again. I am again listing them by the geographical area of the Church under which they fall and then by likelihood within each of those areas.

Africa Southeast: Antananarivo Madagascar; Lubumbashi DR Congo
Africa West: Lagos Nigeria; Kumasi Ghana; Freetown Sierra Leone; Praia Cape Verde
Asia: Phomn Penh Cambodia; Jakarta Indonesia; Taichung Taiwan; Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Singapore; Hyderabad/Rajahmundry India
Brazil: Belo Horizonte; Salvador
Central America: Managua Nicaragua; San Pedro Sula Honduras; Guatemala City Guatemala (2nd temple); Liberia Costa Rica; Guapiles Costa Rica
Europe: Budapest Hungary; Vienna Austria
Mexico: Puebla; Queretaro; Mexico City (2nd temple)
North America Central: Missoula Montana; Green Bay Wisconsin; South Dakota Rapid City
North America Northwest: Salem Oregon
North America Southeast: Bentonville Arkansas
North America Southwest: Fort Worth Texas; Flagstaff Arizona; Henderson Nevada; Joplin Missouri
North America West: Bakersfield/Ventura California
Pacific: Auckland New Zealand; Port Moresby Papua New Guinea; Pago Pago American Samoa; Neiafu Vava'u Tonga
Philippines: Davao/Cagayan de Oro
South America Northwest: Valparaiso Chile; Neuquen Argentina; Maracaibo Venezuela; Santa Cruz/La Paz Bolivia; Iquitos Peru
Utah North: Layton Utah; Smithfield Utah
Utah Salt Lake: Tooele Utah; Taylorsville Utah
Utah South: Mapleton Utah; Price Utah

Notes about potential temple sites:
1. For the Africa Southeast Area, the two possibilities listed seem to be the most likely ones. With the growth of the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a second temple seems imminent, even without knowing how the one that will be dedicated in Kinshasa will affect any potential future temples. While Elder Neil L. Andersen proposed a temple for the Kasai region, Lubumbashi seems more likely. As always, I will pass any new information along as I become aware of it.
2. In the Africa West Area, second temples for Ghana and Nigeria seem likely, especially now that all Nigerian cities have been reached by the Church. And Sierra Leone may also get a temple soon simply by virtue of being so far distant from the temple district under which it falls. Additionally, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde come in at #6 and #10 respectively in terms of the top ten countries/dependencies with the strongest LDS presence but without a temple, making them very viable candidates for the future, if not immediately. I have also heard some say that a second and possibly a third Ivory Coast temple may be announced within the next 10-15 years depending on how quickly the first one progresses.
3. While I was double-checking for additional temple sites, I quickly figured out that Asia could be a great candidate for several new temples, and these are the most likely locations that I could find. While all of them make sense in terms of President Monson’s desire to have every Church member within 200 miles of a temple, I have grouped them by the number of Church units. Additionally, I know that temples have been proposed for New Delhi India (in 1992 by Elder Maxwell) and for Singapore (in 2000 by President Hinckley). Church membership in those countries stand as follows: Cambodia: nearing 14,000; India: just over 13,000; Mongolia: nearing 11,500; Indonesia: nearing 7,300; Singapore: nearing 8,400. According to a statistical profile written by a Church Growth expert, India may not actually get a temple until there is a stronger Church presence to support. For now, it seems that the order I have placed them in may be the most likely order by which they might be announced. On July 28, I added one for Taichung Taiwan, since further research indicates Taiwan may be ready for a second temple. As more information comes to light, I will make any adjustments that might be necessary.
4. In Brazil, the two cities above seem to be the most imminent possibilities. It would also not surprise me at all if the Church held off on announcing any other Brazilian temples until the two under construction and the other two announced ones are closer to completion. As I have mentioned previously, I had felt prior to General Conference last April that Brazil's next temple would be built in Brasilia, but didn't think it would be announced until the one in Belem made more progress. So more Brazilian temples may be announced soon, but they also might not. Once more is known, I will make any adjustments needed.
5. Central America may be needing several new temples, based on what my research shows. Then-Elder Nelson proposed a temple for Managua in 2012, and I recently learned that land has been set aside for such a temple for several years. Additional research done on July 28, 2017 showed that temples could be needed in the other cities listed in the Central America Area, and they are listed in order of likelihood for that to happen.
6. While I said when posting my last list of possibilities that any new European temples might be put on hold until the Church evaluates how the dedications of the Paris France and Rome Italy Temples and the rededications of the temples in Freiberg and Frankfurt Germany have affected temple attendance for European Saints, in going over the current and future districts, I was reminded that I had heard from several people that Budapest Hungary would be the next European temple. And Vienna Austria makes sense in terms of President Monson's expressed goal to have every member within 200 miles of a temple. Until more information is known, these additions seemed to be sound.
7.      Of the many cities in Mexico, I know Puebla has been widely mentioned as the most likely site for the next temple in that nation. I have also felt at times that Queretaro could be a feasible possibility, as could a second temple for Mexico City. If and when I feel I can narrow down the options, I will do so.
8. In the Pacific, I know that these two cities have been mentioned to me as having sites purchased, and once Church growth and temple activity from these areas warrant an official announcement for them, it will happen. Of the two, Auckland seems more likely.
9. While Church growth in the United States has stagnated somewhat of late, except in the “Mormon corridor” of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, I have heard at one time or another that each of the temples I listed above could potentially be possible. In the course of recent deeper research on the matter, I recalled that many of these cities have been mentioned to me at one point or another as very likely possibilities. As part of my efforts to expand my predictions, I decided to include these cities again on this list. Until I know more about US growth, these seem to be sound changes. I also know, as I have previously noted, that land has been set aside in Bentonville Arkansas and Missoula Montana for future temple sites, with an official announcement anticipated once unit growth and activity in the current temple districts warrant that happening.
10. As a state that is constantly expanding its outreach, Utah has 18 temples either in operation or in various stages of construction. Layton and Tooele have often been mentioned to me by name as possibilities. In the course of my study, I learned that Mapleton may be a good possibility as well. And there are any number of others that may also be announced. I didn’t want to go overboard with Utah possibilities, but if there are any strong contenders I am missing, I will hopefully be able to add them in the future.

Final note: As with everything else I put together, these are no more than my own thoughts, feelings, and observations based on the research I have done and the reports I have received. I hope that is absolutely understood and accepted. No one can know the mind of the Lord relating to His Church except those authorized to receive revelation regarding their own spheres of responsibility. While I am always gratified when my predictions turn out to be correct, I am even more appreciative of the many times developments do not take place as I project they will. At the end of the day, the Lord is the only one who can determine best how to further His work, and He manifests His will to those authorized to lead the Church and make decisions. Just wanted to end on that note.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Temple Milestones in the Near Future

Hello, all! Today marks a special day indeed. The cultural celebration for the Tucson Arizona Temple will be held exactly two weeks from today, with the dedication following the very next day. Two months from today, both the Tokyo Japan and Memphis Tennessee Temples will close for their renovation projects (with the Memphis renovation anticipated to last until 2019, and that of Tokyo anticipated to last anywhere from 6-8 months longer than that.) If what I have heard is any indication, we are likely to see at least a few temple announcements during October General Conference. Two weeks after General Conference, we have the closure of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple, and that event itself will be followed two weeks later (three months from today) by the groundbreaking for the temple in Port-au-Prince Haiti. As previously noted, Haiti's first temple will be considerably smaller than the only other temple in the Caribbean, which took 4 years and 1 month. I have ventured my estimate that construction on this first Haitian temple will take roughly 1.5 years less to construct than that first temple (as the 2 year, 7 month estimate feels reasonable). I further found out that the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple design is anticipated to be somewhat similar to that of the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple. And the very next day,the Asuncion Paraguay Temple will close for its renovation.

While we look forward to these milestones, there have not been many other developments in terms of those temples currently under construction, undergoing renovation, or announced. I did hear, however, that the Port-au-Prince site is being cleared. All going well, work should begin in earnest on that temple the Monday following the groundbreaking, rather than having it sit for days or weeks in the "construction pending" section.

What is not so clear is how soon we might see work begin in earnest on the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple. As I have previously noted, until that happens, I have renumbered the temples that are comparatively further along. Whenever that changes, I will reorder the temples based on whenever we can expect  Winnipeg to be completed. I daily hope for news on any temple, and will be sure to pass along any updates that come my way.

Until that time, thanks for the privilege of your time. Comments continue to be welcome and appreciated. Have a great weekend, and I will be back very soon with the next post. Until that time, all the best to all of you!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Minor Church News Update

Hello, all! This post will serve as a minor update about Church news that has been released in the last 3 days or so. First, in apostolic news, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (who serves both as an LDS apostle and as a member of the BSA National Executive Board) spoke to Aaronic Priesthood age scouts about their roles with the Sacrament. He was joined by the Young Men General Presidency. Brother Stephen W. Owen spoke at that meeting as well, and his first counselor, Douglas D. Holmes, conducted the meeting. Read that article here.

At the Seymour Institute Seminar on Religious Freedom in Princeton, New Jersey, Elder Quentin L. Cook spoke about how foundations supporting faith are being marginalized to a certain degree in an increasingly secular world. Click here for a summary of his remarks.

I am pleased to see the Church's ongoing efforts to emphasize the importance of religious freedom and to address that issue more frequently. Most of the apostolic news updates I have posted this year have included some mention of an apostle addressing this subject. It is obvious the Church and its leaders feel strongly about this subject. I am likewise pleased to be able to report frequently on how the Church has been reaching out to establish greater partnerships with other religions and leaders of nations. This shows that the Church is becoming more well-known, and its membership more widely respected and understood. I look forward to being able to continue to report on ongoing developments of this sort .

In the meantime, the other two articles I wanted to mention here were written in conjunction with the annual Mormon night which is held at Dodger Stadium every July. This year, Elder Steven E. Snow, a General Authority Seventy who also serves as Church Historian and Recorder, represented the Church in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, which was caught by Elder Bruce E. Ghent, an Area Seventy who resides in the Los Angeles area. These brethren were accompanied by their wives, Sisters Phyllis Snow and Kathryn Ghent.

For those unaware, Mormon Night is the largest and longest running community event in Los Angeles, and it has been held each year for 40+ years and counting. Mykel, an up-and-coming LDS music artist from Highland, Utah, sang the national anthem. For more on the history of this event, including a list of past participants, click here.

In conjunction with Mormon Night, many partners of JustServe (which administers the Church's service initiative) were honored during Mormon Night with the Padres. For more on that, click here.

That does it for this Church news update. I am working on a few projects, which I hope to post sometime this weekend. Comments continue to be welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. All the best.

Update on Construction of the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple

While no significant developments have been reported regarding other temples that are under construction, undergoing renovation, or announced, I am pleased to report that I heard today of a change in status for the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple. The exterior walls have now been completed, plywood is being attached to the roof trusses, and support is being poured for the baptismal font. I have also learned recently that the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple is anticipated to be somewhat comparable in design and layout to the Kinshasa DR Congo, and that both temples are among those of a more modest size that allows them to generally be built more quickly. Since construction in Kinshasa will have spanned roughly 2.58 years (2 years and 7 months) by the time of its dedication (if my estimates are correct), an estimate of 2 years and 7 months feels reasonable for the completion of the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple, which would put its completion sometime during either June or August 2020.

Whatever happens going forward with temple-related developments, the one thing upon which you can depend is that I will do my level best to keep track of it all and pass information along as I become aware of it. Thanks to you all for the privilege of your time, and your ongoing interest and support. I will post again soon. Until then, all the best.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

October 2017 General Conference Predictions (again)

Hello, all! I am back again, this time to revisit the matter of my October 2017 General Conference predictions. Since I have posted just barely about new temple possibilities, this post will focus on speaking order and the changes in Church leadership that I am anticipating, which are either certain (from announcements already made) or probable (in view of what has traditionally happened in previous October conferences).

Before sharing those predictions with you all, I wanted to note some things: I have below ventured the prediction that President Monson and Elder Hales will speak back-to-back in the Sunday Morning Session. If I find information that indicates that neither will speak at all during this General Conference, then I can see President Monson asking President Eyring to speak at the beginning of the session, and having 2-3 extra speakers (such as General Authorities Seventies) take up that time. And if President Monson doesn't speak in the Priesthood Session, then a change in the speaking order might take place, including either adding a General Authority Seventy or having President Nelson speak instead. Once more is known on that, I will pass that along. It is also not unreasonable to believe that other members of the Presidency of the Seventy might speak instead of the two newest members (Elders Uceda and Kearon). But the patterns of the past have been to have any new members of that body speak in the next General Conference after that change. It is also not hard to believe that both the Sunday School General Presidency member (which, if I have the rotation right, should be the General President, Tad R. Callister) and Bishop Waddell (who hasn't spoken since his first address as a member of the Presiding Bishopric) could speak in different sessions than indicated here. And while it has been a general rule that the rotation of female auxiliary speakers has been pretty consistent in both the Women's session and the general sessions, there is no hard and fast rule about that rotation.

My point in mentioning all of this could be summarized as follows: there have been patterns of speaker rotation through all General Conferences, but those patterns are subject to change based on a variety of factors. I keep my eye on all of that, and after each General Conference, I analyze how any changes in that general pattern might affect how future predictions are put together. And anything that happens between conferences impacts those patterns as well (health issues or deaths of Church leaders, assignment changes, etc.) For my part, I am doing my best to keep an eye on all of that, and I will continue to pass such things along as I am able to do so going forward. For now, here are those predictions. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for the privilege of your time.

October 2017 General Conference Predictions
Speaking Order (Text in brackets indicated what actually happened.)
Session
Conducting
Speaker
General Women’s
Joy D. Jones
Christina B. Franco


Sharon Eubank


Bonnie L. Oscarson


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Saturday Morning
President Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Bishop W. Christopher Waddell


Jean B. Bingham


Elder David A. Bednar


Elder Massimo De Feo


Elder O. Vincent Haleck


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Saturday Afternoon
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring
(Sustaining of Church Officers)


President Russell M. Nelson


Elder Dale G. Renlund


Elder Larry Y. Wilson


Elder Joni L. Koch


Elder Ian S. Ardern


Elder Quentin L. Cook


Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Saturday Priesthood
President Henry B. Eyring
President Thomas S. Monson


Elder D. Todd Christofferson


Elder Patrick Kearon


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


President Henry B. Eyring
Sunday Morning
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Thomas S. Monson


Elder Robert D. Hales


Elder Juan A. Uceda


Neill F. Marriott


Elder Gary E. Stevenson


Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella


Elder Brian K. Taylor


President Henry B. Eyring
Sunday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
Elder Neil L. Andersen


Tad R. Callister


Elder David F. Evans


Elder M. Russell Ballard


Elder Taniela B. Wakolo


Elder Jose L. Alonso


Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Changes in General Church Leadership
Presidency of the Seventy: Elders Donald L. Hallstrom and Richard J. Maynes released from the presidency, Elders Juan A. Uceda and Patrick Kearon sustained.
NOTE: These changes, announced on May 3, became effective on August 1. For that reason, they will likely be ratified by sustaining vote.
General Authority Seventies: Elders Stanley G. Ellis, Larry R. Lawrence, and W. Craig Zwick released as General Authority Seventies and granted emeritus status.
NOTE: Elder Ellis turned 70 in January this year, just as Elder Zwick did in June, and Elder Lawrence did in August, so it would make sense if these men were released and granted emeritus status.
RESULT:
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings.
NOTE: It has been customary for most changes in area seventies to take place in April, when President Uchtdorf leads out in the sustaining vote, and for only a few to take place in October, when President Eyring leads out in the sustaining. Since we are talking about an October General Conference, it would make sense if only a few changes happened this go-round.
RESULT: