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Thursday, October 22, 2020

UPDATED: Observations About Temple Groundbreakings in 2020

Hello again, everyone! While I continue to get the results of my October 2020 General Conference predictions ready to present here, and am also making updates as I can to the temple documents I want to share here as well, something else has come up that warranted a new post.  Aside from the Church News updates I provided in the threads of my previous post, one other article was published on the subject of the 21 temple groundbreakings that the Church has scheduled to take place this year. 

The article in question sheds some light on why 18 temple groundbreakings were originally planned, how that number increased to 21, and why President Nelson referenced only 20 in his remarks opening the October 2020 General Conference. It appears that 21 are indeed scheduled to occur, but that the logistics related to the arrangements of 1 of those may result in that groundbreaking being pushed back on the schedule. 

Although the article did not specify which temple might be delayed, I had a few thoughts in that respect.  When the Deseret News published an article on the 2020 groundbreakings, the Mendoza Argentina Temple had not been on that list. So it’s possible that, logistically, there are or may be issues with that temple. We also know that the Salta Argentina Temple’s groundbreaking has been pushed back twice, so any additional delay relative to that temple might push it back into next year. 

Similarly, we know that there are some political, environmental, or systemic issues going on in Zimbabwe’s capital city, which might delay that one. And it appears that Bengaluru India is somewhat of a hot spot for COVID-19 at the moment, so that temple could have its groundbreaking pushed back. While I don’t know if any of these thoughts are correct in defining which temple might not have a groundbreaking, I am personally hoping that all goes well and that the full 21 will be able to occur. 

I’ve previously mentioned a personal theory I have: Since each of the three members of the South America South Area will preside at the groundbreakings for the Salta and Mendoza Argentina and Antofagasta Chile Temples, it seems possible that the three temples could all have groundbreakings on the same day. 

As I’ve also mentioned, with no exact dates specified for any of the remaining 12 temples in the queue for this year, it may be hard to know when each might occur.  That being said, with only a handful of exceptions, most of the temple groundbreakings that have occurred since the beginning of 2017 have taken place on a Saturday. With that in mind, I am fairly certain that Elder Gong will break ground for the Taylorsville Utah Temple this Saturday, October 24. 

I will be interested to see what happens next month with temple groundbreakings. 8 of the remaining 12 groundbreakings are set to take place in November, and there are 4 Saturdays in that month. As a result, even if the Salta, Mendoza, and Antofagasta temples have their groundbreakings on the same day, that still leaves 5 that would need to take place over the other 3 weeks in that month. And for those parts of the world that observe Thanksgiving Day on the final Thursday of this month, that holiday may impact the timing on those groundbreakings as well. 

Similarly, for December, where 3 groundbreakings have been scheduled, the final 2-2.5 weeks of the year focus on Christmas and New Years’ celebrations through most of the world. Even with COVID-19 impacting the customary large-scale public celebrations, the Church likely will not want to detract from the focus particularly on Christmas. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how the Church handles the remaining 12 groundbreakings. I will keep my eyes open for any such updates, in addition to all Church news and other temple construction developments, and remain committed to passing word of those along to you all as I become aware of that information. 

That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

UPDATED: Current Apostolic Statistics

Hello again, everyone! Recently on this blog, it has become traditional for me to publish updated apostolic statistics relating to both the age and tenures of our current apostles roughly every 7 weeks. Since I last did so on Sunday August 30, it is now time to do so again today. Those updates, as has also been customary, will be featured in two parts: the first, and the second. The information speaks for itself. I continue to monitor all Church news and temple updates and will be sure to pass word of those developments along to you all as I become aware of any such reports.

That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Friday, October 16, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Elder and Sister Gong Complete Quarantine; Elder Gong to Resume Apostolic Responsibilities Next Week

Hello again, everyone! A breaking news update on the health of Elder and Sister Gong was provided a short while ago by the Church's official Newsroom. As some of you may recall, during General Conference weekend, Elder Gong was excused and had prerecorded his talk due to the fact that he and his wife had been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. As later confirmed by the Newsroom on October 6, both Elder and Sister Gong tested positive for COVID-19. Two days after that, that same news release was updated to note that all other apostles had been tested, and that all tests were negative.

That brings us around to today's update. In a Facebook post within the last hour or so, Elder Gong shared tconfirmation from his and his wife's doctors that they had successfully completed quarantine, and that he has been given the all-clear to resume his apostolic responsibilities in full, while, of course, observing mask wearing and social distancing in public apperances. He also expressed gratitude to Church members worldwide for the prayers offered in behalf of himself and his wife.

This is very good news. With Elder Gong being able to resume his apostolic assignments early next week, it seems highly likely that no adustments whatsoever will need to be made to the arrangements for the Taylorsville Utah Temple groundbreaking ceremony.  The only question is when that ceremony might occur. My best guess at this point would be one week from tomorrow, which would be Saturday October 24, but it could happen any other day during the remainder of this month once Elder Gong resumes his responsibilities.

I was grateful to have been able to learn of this update and to be able to pass it along to you all here. Parenthetically, I would like to note as a personal update that, due to ongoing issues with back-to-back infections recently, my wife and I have been wodering if either or both of us had COVID-19. I was tested for that earlier this week, and the test results were negative. I was relieved for that result personally because I've had more than my fair share of pulmonary problems over the last couple of decades.

That aside, I continue to monitor all Church news updates and temple developments, and will do my best to bring word of those to you all as I become aware of any such news. That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

BREAKING TEMPLE NEWS: Groundbreaking Held for the Moses Lake Washington Temple Today

Hello again, everyone! As some of you may recall, for the groundbreakings scheduled to be held the final three months of this year, the official announcements did not specify exact dates, but said that media resources would be available to acknowledge their occurrence after the fact. I am pleased, therefore, to report that, less than a week after General Conference concluded, the first of those groundbreakings has taken place. Earlier today, ground was broken for the Moses Lake Washington Temple.

As arranged, Elder David L. Stapleton, an area seventy, presided over that ceremony. The small-scale event, held in accordance with proper COVID-19 protocols in place, marked the commencement of construction for the fourth temple in Washington state. Given its' relatively smaller size, I anticipate that, once construction gets underway, the process of completion may only take 18-21 months or so. Time will tell in that respect. Either way, it is good to have confirmation that this has occurred as planned.

The one other temple that was set to have a groundbreaking later this month was the Taylorsville Utah Temple. I am not sure at the present time if, how, or to what extent the positive COVID-19 diagnosis for Elder and Sister Gong may delay, alter, or change the plans for that temple's groundbreaking. I imagine if worst came to worst, the Church might either send someone else to do that, allow Elder Gong to do so remotely, or push that back a little, and perhaps move forward one or two of the 8 temple groundbreakings planned for next month.

Whatever might occur in that regard, you can count on my bringing word of that to you all here as I become aware of such news. That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

UPDATED: COVID-19 Status Report on the Senior Brethren of the Church

Hello again, everyone! Although this is no longer breaking news (since the report was provided a few hours ago), I wanted to provide an update (as reported by Newsroom and confirmed in the Church News) on the health of our apostles during this COVID-19 period. According to longtime Church spokesman Eric Hawkins, Elder and Sislter Gong, who tested positive for COVID-19 two days ago, continue to experience very mild symptoms, and are both taking proper precautions and remaining actively involved in contact-tracing as a result of their diagnosis.

Additionally, based on the positive diagnosis of Elder and Sister Gong (and, I'm sure, under the watchful eye of President Nelson, who continues to do what he can as a former physician and surgeon to provide a medically-supportive role to his fellow apostles), each of the other apostles (perhaps with their spouses) have been teted for COVID-19. With the exception of Elder and Sister Gong, all other tests taken returned negative results.

This news is both welcome and not surprising, since the Brethren have been foremost in encouraging COVID-19 precautions on the part of Church members and leaders. And hopefully, the confirmation that the Gongs continue to do well and that no other senior leaders have tested positive will be a comfort to any who may have been worried about that over the past several days. I am grateful to have been able to learn about this report and to pass it along to you all here.

I continue to monitor  all Church news reports and updated temple developments, and will be sure to bring you all word of those as I become aware of them. In the meantime, I wanted to mention that, due to the many other Church news reports which have been provided today, some of which relate to prior content posted on this blog, I may be sharing some of those updates across the threads of a few of the most recent posts, so be on the lookout for those.

That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.