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Saturday, October 12, 2019

1800th Blog Post: Updated Sections of Temple Construction Progress Report

Hello again, everyone! I am pleased to now bring you my 1800th post on this blog. When I began blogging in early July 2014, my initial reason for doing so was to allow family members and friends to keep up on the major events in the lives of my wife and myself. Very shortly thereafter, I realized this blog could become something more: a perfect outlet for me to share my lifelong interest in Church history, and some insights into topics of particular interest to me. When I changed the direction of this blog to that focus, I found that my analysis filled a very important niche.

And looking back now on the beginnings of this blog, I can hardly believe what it has become, or the interest that my thoughts, observations, and analysis about developments covered on this blog has wound up generating. So, as I author this 1800th blog post now, I felt I would be remiss if I did not take an opportunity to thank all of you who read and those who comment on the things I continue to report here. I hope you all know how much your readership and dialogue about those subjects has meant to me. It is at once humbling and very gratifying to know that my thoughts and observations, such as they are, generate such wide-spread interest.

Reaching this milestone is also a reminder of how much I owe to the accelerated pace of the Church under President Nelson's remarkable and inspired leadership. If it were not for the increased number of developments which have occurred within the last 21 months, there is no way I would be marking this milestone at this time. And so, I also renew my commitment to continuing, to the best of my ability, to stay on top of all such developments. I have no doubt there will be much more ahead to report, and if things continued at an accelerated pace, then the number of reports needed to cover things will likewise increase greatly in the coming months and years.

Now, on to the intended subject for this blog post: Quite a bit earlier than I had supposed, I have completed the revision process for the "Groundbreaking anticipated" and "Announced temples" sections of my temple construction progress report. I have completely restructured those by weighing what I know about each temple against what is unknown. That meant rearranging quite a bit of the content. The changes speak for themselves, but if any of you have questions on either section, feel free to ask. The two sections (with the relevant changes) follow below.

In order to not disturb the flow of that information, I will end here as I always do: 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.

Groundbreaking anticipated:
183. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; construction contract awarded; groundbreaking could occur in late 2019.
184. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning and approval phase; property fence installed around temple site; groundbreaking could occur in late 2019.
Note: On September 1, 2019, I was advised that the concept plans for this temple were floating around social media. If those plans are verified, a groundbreaking could occur within this period of time.
185. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; President Nelson visited potential site on April 17, 2018; groundbreaking anticipated in late 2019.
Note: Aside from the information noted above, in mid-November of last year, Elder Andersen visited with Zimbabwe’s Vice President, and indicated to him that the Church was hoping to begin construction on the Harare temple in late 2019. Therefore, barring anything unexpected, it seems more likely than not that a groundbreaking could occur at around this time.
186. Bengaluru India Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in late 2019-early 2020.
187. Feather River California Temple: Planning and approval phase; official rendering released and site location announced on September 26, 2019; groundbreaking could occur in late 2019-early 2020.
188. Layton Utah Temple: Planning and approval phase; official exterior rendering released on October 8, 2019; groundbreaking could occur in early 2020.
189. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking could occur in early 2020. 
Note: Based on what is and is not known presently about this temple, it seems probable that a groundbreaking for it could be fit in during this window, if all goes well.
190. Tooele Valley Utah Temple: Planning and approval phase; site location officially confirmed on September 25, 2019; groundbreaking could occur in early-to-mid 2020.
191. San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple: Planning and approval phase; site acquired (location not yet officially confirmed); groundbreaking could occur in early-to-mid 2020.
192 Managua Nicaragua Temple: Planning and approval phase; potential site acquired; awaiting official confirmation; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2020. 
193. Richmond Virginia Temple: Artist’s rendering and accompanying photographs released on August 28, 2019; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2020.
194. Auckland New Zealand Temple: Planning and approval phase; site location confirmed on May 21, 2019; groundbreaking could occur in mid-to-late 2020.


Note on announced temples: During 2019, I had reasons to repeatedly reevaluate the information I had available, and made further adjustments to this section following the completion of the revision process for the “Groundbreaking anticipated” section. I have felt that more information is needed on each of these temples before I offer any kind of estimate for their groundbreaking ceremonies. But as such information is made available, I will be sure to make further alterations to this section as needed.

Announced Temples (for which more information is needed before I provide a groundbreaking estimate):
195. Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple: Planning and approval phase; potential site acquired; awaiting official confirmation.
196. Moses Lake Washington Temple: Planning and approval phase; potential site acquired; awaiting official confirmation.
197. Bentonville Arkansas Temple: Announced Saturday October 5, 2019; planning and approval phase; potential site acquired; awaiting official confirmation.
198. Port Moresby Papua New Guinea Temple:: Announced Saturday October 5, 2019; planning and approval phase; potential site acquired; awaiting official confirmation.
199. Salta Argentina Temple: Planning and approval phase; potential site identified.
200. Mendoza Argentina Temple: Planning and approval phase; potential site identified.
201. Salvador Brazil Temple: Planning and approval phase; potential site identified.
202. Antofagasta Chile Temple: Planning and approval phase; potential site identified.
203. Washington County Utah Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official city (and site) announcement.
204. Lagos Nigeria Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
205. Cagayan de Oro Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
206. Davao Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
207. Pago Pago American Samoa Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
208. Okinawa City Okinawa (Japan) Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
209. Neiafu Tonga Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
210. Budapest Hungary Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
211 Freetown Sierra Leone Temple: Announced Saturday October 5, 2019; planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
212. Orem Utah Temple: Announced Saturday October 5, 2019; planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
213. Bacolod Philippines Temple: Announced Saturday October 5, 2019; planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
214. McAllen Texas Temple: Announced Saturday October 5, 2019; planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
215. Coban Guatemala Temple: Announced Saturday October 5, 2019; planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
216. Taylorsville Utah Temple: Announced Saturday October 5, 2019; planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
217. Russia Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official city (and site) announcement.

Friday, October 11, 2019

BREAKING TEMPLE NEWS: Elder Christofferson to Rededicate the Asuncion Paraguay Temple; Site Acquired for the San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple

Hello again, everyone! Two items of breaking temple news have been shared in two separate reports today. First, and most importantly, this article states point-blank that Elder D. Todd Christofferson will be representing the First Presidency in presiding over the one-session private rededicaton for the Asuncion Paraguay Temple, which is set to occur on November 3. The rededication will occur at 10:00 AM Asuncion time, which is 7:00 AM here in Utah. As some of you may recall, I had conjectured that President Oaks could rededicate that temple, and that Elder Christofferson might thus dedicate the Arequipa Peru Temple in December.
But in so conjecturing, I had forgotten somehow that President Oaks presided at the mid-June rededication of the Oakland California Temple. So it makes sense Elder Christofferson will rededicate that temple. WIth that said, I would like to thank long-time reader and regular comment contributor ScottS for bringing this information to my attention. And I am grateful that my theory has been verified (that Elder Christofferson would be the most junior current apostle to be tasked with presiding over a temple rededication). November will certainly be a busy month for Elder Christofferson, who will, as was also recently announced, accompany President Nelson on his Southeast Asia leg of his ongoing Global Ministry Tour.

As ScottS observed in his comment in the threads of my previous post, that leaves Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Gong as the only apostles left who have not yet presided at a temple event this year. It is my feeling that the Church might send one of the apostles who speak Spanish to dedicate the Arequipa Peru Temple, but unless one of the remaining three speak fluent Spanish (about which I am honestly not sure), I don't know who might be asked to preside at the dedication of that temple. But i will say this: Since both Elders Stevenson and Gong have strong connections to Japan, it is my feeling that either or both of them could very well accompany the more senior apostle who may be sent to rededicate the Tokyo Japan Temple when that occurs in mid-2020.

If this were the only temple news I had to share, it would be significant enough. but the Church News also published this article, which described how several of the female general officers of the Church visited Central America just before General Conference. Amidst the many quotes from the visiting leaders in that article, Geeneral Relief Society President Sister Jean B. Bingham made the following statement: "The members in Honduras and Guatemala treasure their temples. We drove by the beautiful lot identified for the San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple . . . visited the grounds of the magnificent illuminated Quetzaltenango temple one evening, and heard the sisters bear testimony of the uplifting, peace-giving influence of being within the temple."

Sister Bingham's statement appears to indicate that the site for the San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple has been acquired. While I didn't see anything publicly verifying the site location by way of either a photo or a futher description, it is interesting that the Church has already acquired such a site, and that it appears that, wherever it might be, that will almost certainly be the actual location for the temple. We will have to wait for the official Church confirmaton about that, but I did find the information interesting, and hope all of you will as well. In the meantime, I do continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments, and will be sure to pass word of such things along to you all as I become aware of them.

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 10, 2019

Presiding Bishopric Releases Updated Saftey Guidelines

Hello again, everyone! Earlier today, the Newsroom reported that updated safety guidelines for the entire Church had been released by the Presiding Bishopric. Although a few of the general guidelines are identical for the entire global Church, there are other recommendations that are specific to Church leaders and units in North America and others specific to all international areas in which the Church is established. That is likely because the mergency protocols are different in the United States and Canada than they are anywhere else. And that may well be a product of the increasingly-unique nature of the ever-diverse membership of the Church.


I have a couple other thoughts about this. First of all, it appears to be a prduct of the times in which we live that updated safety protocols, recommendations, and instructions are needed. Secondly, and mucch more importantly, this is yet another in the series of examples we have seen  of the Church moving with, adapting to, and accounting for the times in which we live which  occurred quite frequently in the months that have elapsed since mid-January 2018 when President Nelson became the Lord's prophet.

My wife and I were discussing that very subject earlier this afternoon. The reason for why everything has accelerated for the Church in the 21 months since President Nelson became Church president is due  in large measure to a couple of things. First, President Nelson's prestigious career as a thoracic heart surgeon helped hone his attention to minute details, to zero in on problems that exist, and to precisely apply remedial measures to amelioriate those issues. As a consequence, President Nelson does, has, can and will continue to get to the heart (pun intended) of matters which are rightly of concern to Church leaders in our day and time.
Above and beyond that, however, Sister Wendy Nelson, who has played a vital role in accompanying her husband in his ongoing global ministry to Church members and friends of other faiths, in observing and being able to testify regarding how President Nelson continues to receive revelation. And, as she also has observed frequently, including in during a media interview in Chile, "I have seen him changing in the last ten months. It is as though he's been unleashed. He's free to finally do what he came to earth to do. … And also, he's free to follow through with things he's been concerned about but could never do. Now that he's president of [the Church], he can do those things.”

I have read some coverage of Sister Nelson's statement that implied her words were proof that her husband was just changing things at the drop of a hat simply because he can. But for those of us that accept the president of the Church as the Lord's prophet for our day and time, there is so much more to it than that. The doctrines of our faith teach that the current President of the Church is the only one authorized to speak for the Lord to the Church and the world. With that being the case, before January 2018, if President Nelson had felt strongly about something that needed to be done in or for the Church, he could not in good conscience even suggest some of those things without feeling like he was stepping out of bounds or attempting to go beyond the authority of his own personal stewardship at the time.

In other words, if he felt strongly about certain things that may not have been mentioned in deliberations of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, there might have been times where he felt like he would be overstepping if he mentioned those issues, since it was the stewardship of someone else at the time to receive revelation for the entire Church. But upon his ordination as Church President, it would absolutely be within his new stewardship to be concerned about those things, to take them to the Lord, to ascertain His will regarding them, and to present it to his Brethren of the FIrst Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

I can understand that in a way. While I am sure that many of those types of impressions may have been of a nature that he didn't necessarily need to be worried about being out of line by mentioning them for consideration, I can also see why he would have preferred to be cautious in that respect. And now, if the Lord inspires him to act on or present certain tihngs for discussion or deliberation, his calling as the one person now authorized to speak for the Lord enables him to act on those things without reservation or hesitation.

I apologize for my lengthy commentary in this regard. My hope and desire in noting these things was to underscore what a blessing it is to have a prophet who recognizes that, as matters facing a world that is drawing ever closer to its' end get more complex, there will be so much more that the Church needs to do to help and assist the global population in general and the membership of the worldwide Church in particular, and that there is much that needs to be more flexible and far less rigid in terms of Church programs, policies, and procedures. And there has also been an added emphasis on unifying Church curriculum, music, and so much more. What a blessing it is to live in a time where so many wonderful developments are occurring in the Lord's Church, even as the conditions of the world in general become more dangerous, troublesome, and wicked.

Having noted all of this, I do continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple updates and will do my level best to bring you, my readers, word of all such developments as I become aware of them. 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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

UPDATED: Number of General Conference Talks Given By Our Current Apostles

Hello again, everyone! As per my semiannual tradition, I have updated the relevant total numbers of talks given by each of our currently-living apostles, and consequently, the total number of talks given by the 15 current apostles as a group. This post will share that information, which is as follows:


Number of General Conference talks given by our current apostles 
President Henry B. Eyring—101=96+5 given prior to his apostolic call
President Russell M. Nelson—89
President Dallin H. Oaks—79=78+1 given prior to his apostolic call 
President M. Russell Ballard—78=71+7 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf—71=69+2 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland—54=51+3 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder David A. Bednar—31
Elder D. Todd Christofferson—30=24+6 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Quentin L. Cook—27=25+2 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Neil L. Andersen—27=22+5 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Ronald A. Rasband—15=9+6 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Gary E. Stevenson—12=9+3 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Dale G. Renlund—11=9+2 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Ulisses Soares—9=4+5 given prior to his apostolic call
Elder Gerrit W. Gong—6=4+2 given prior to his apostolic call

Total: 640=591+49 given prior to their apostolic calls


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.