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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

General Conference Predictions Results

I'm sorry to be getting back to this so late. Life caught up with me in a major way, and I simply have not been feeling up to posting lately. But the storms have calmed down, so now I can get back to things. After last general conference, I posted the result of my predictions. So this post will serve the same purpose. First, Church membership for the end of 2014 was announced as 15,372,337. This is 24,363 less than the prediction I made of 15,396,700. In all fairness to me, though, my method for predicting the increase in Church membership is somewhat obscure and not based on any particular method. The only factor determining my prediction is the average church membership increase of previous years. If the Deseret News was still putting out a Church Almanac, then that would list Church membership up to the end of the 3rd quarter of each year, which would give me a much better number to base my prediction on.

Now I will share how my predictions for changes in general Church leadership panned out. Below are my predictions, with each followed by a note that highlights what actually happened. All things considered, I didn't do too badly. See for yourself:

April 2015 Predictions for Changes in General Church Leadership
First Quorum of the Seventy: New members added from Second Quorum of the Seventy, Area Seventies, or Church at large.
NOTE: Kim B. Clark, Von G. Keetch, Alan D. Haynie, Hugo Montoya, and Vern P. Stanfill were sustained as new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Second Quorum of the Seventy: New members added from Area Seventies or Church at large.
NOTE: No changes.
Area seventies: Releases and sustainings.
NOTE: Releases and sustainings occurred.
Young Men General Presidency: David L. Beck, Larry M. Gibson, and Randall L. Ridd released; new Young Men General Presidency sustained (perhaps with Randall L. Ridd remaining as President or Counselor).
NOTE: Young Men Presidency was released. New Young Men General Presidency: Stephen W. Owen, Douglas D. Holmes, and M. Joseph Brough.
Primary General Presidency: Rosemary M. Wixom, Jean A. Stevens and Cheryl A. Esplin released; new Primary General Presidency sustained.
NOTE: Sisters Stevens and Esplin were released. Rosemary M. Wixom remains as Primary General President, with Cheryl A. Esplin as First Counselor and Mary R. Durham as Second Counselor.

The biggest surprises here were that there were no members added to the Second Quorum of the Seventy and that only the counselors in the Primary General Presidency were changed, rather than the whole presidency. I guess the Church has made a decision as much as possible not to have two new auxiliary presidencies called during the same conference. Which makes sense in a way, but it was still surprising. I wouldn't be surprised if we got a new Primary General Presidency next April, after this one has functioned for a year.

Now I will share how my predictions for General Conference speaking order turned out, followed by my analysis of them.

April 2015 General Conference Predictions

General Women’s
Bonnie L. Oscarson
[Linda K. Burton]
Cheryl A. Esplin

[Carole M Stephens]
Carol F. McConkie

[Bonnie L. Oscarson]
Carole M. Stephens

[President Henry B. Eyring]
President Thomas S. Monson
Saturday Morning
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Thomas S. Monson [President Henry B. Eyring]

[President Boyd K. Packer]
Elder L. Tom Perry

[Linda K. Burton]
Bishop Gérald Caussé

[Elder Dallin H. Oaks]
Linda K. Burton

Elder L. Whitney Clayton

[No one]
Elder Richard G. Scott

[Elder L. Tom Perry]
President Henry B. Eyring
Saturday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Sustaining of Church Officers)

Church Auditing Department Report, 2014
Kevin R. Jergensen

Statistical Report, 2014
Brook P. Hales

[Elder David A. Bednar]
President Boyd K. Packer

[Elder D. Todd Christofferson]
Elder David A. Bednar

[Elder Wilford W. Andersen]
Elder Kevin W. Pearson

[Elder Dale G. Renlund]
Elder Rafael E. Pino

[Elder Michael T. Ringwood]
Elder M. Russell Ballard

[Elder Quentin L. Cook]
Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Saturday Priesthood
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Elder Russell M. Nelson [Elder M. Russell Ballard]

Elder Ulisses Soares

Larry M. Gibson

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

President Henry B. Eyring

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

[Rosemary M. Wixom]
Elder Quentin L. Cook

[Elder Jose L. Teixeira]
Rosemary M. Wixom

[Bishop Gerald Causse]                                                                                   
Elder Jose A. Teixeira

[Elder Brent H. Nielson]
[Elder Jeffrey R. Holland]
Elder Neil L. Andersen

[President Dieter F. Uchtdorf]
President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday Afternoon
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Elder Robert D. Hales

[Elder Kevin W. Pearson]
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

[Elder Rafael E. Pino]
Elder Jorge F. Zeballos

[Elder Neil L. Andersen]
Elder Mervyn B. Arnold

[Elder Jorge F. Zeballos]
Elder Yoon Hwan Choi

[Elder Joseph W. Sitati]
Elder Brent H. Nielson

[Elder Russell M. Nelson]
Elder Dallin H. Oaks

[No one]
President Thomas S. Monson

  77% accuracy on these predictions.

 The biggest surprises with these predictions were that President Monson spoke only twice, rather than the five times I had predicted, that Elder Scott did not speak, that there were 3 apostolic speakers Saturday Morning and 3 Saturday Afternoon (typically there are 2 and 4, respectively), that there were several seventies I dd not predict that spoke to us, and that we had a few more speakers this conference than is typical for an April General Conference. The closest I came to having a perfect prediction for a session was the Priesthood Session, where I only got the first speaker incorrect. As I explained last conference, I give myself 3 points per speaker: 3 if I got the right person in the right position in the right session, 2 points if I got them in the right session but the wrong position, 1 point if I got it right that they spoke at all, even if the session or order was incorrect, and no points if there was a wild card, or person I did not predict. So for the Priesthood Session, for example, there were 21 points possible. I got 18 because I got all the correct speakers in the correct position, except for getting the first person incorrect. As shown above, I was 77% accurate with these predictions. Which falls right in with my typical accuracy range of 60-80%. Not bad at all. I usually have my predictions for next conference made by this time, but haven't started on those yet. I will post those closer to October General Conference.

So there you have it: a report on my predictions and how they turned out. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I will post probably within the next day or two with a much-needed update on how our lives have gone since my last general update. Until I write again, all the best!