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Thursday, September 17, 2015

General Conference Predictions

Since the first session of General Conference is about 1-1/2 weeks away, I thought I'd better post general conference predictions. First, here's a link to Matthew Martinich's predictions for temples that may be announced this conference. He gives 10 potential temple sites. The discussion that follows is instructive, and I invite all who wish to do so to read the post and the accompanying comments.

Now, as to my conference predictions, I have done something different with them this go-round. I have consolidated all my predictions for this conference to one file, so it is easier to read. I also have an important note about my predictions at the beginning of the document that warrants careful reading. That said, my predictions follow. Enjoy!

NOTE: I learned from looking at the last time we had new apostles that the regular General Conference speaking order might be altered. Accordingly, I have made two separate predictions. The tables below list the possible changes in general Church leadership and the speaking order. There are some changes in general Church leadership that are definite because they have already been announced. The other changes are conditional based on who is released and sustained. With the speaking order table, where is only one name in a space, then the two unique predictions I have made will be the same. If I have two names listed in one space, it’s because I’m not sure exactly of the order in which the speakers will be called upon. The order may also be altered in view of whoever might be called to be the new apostles and when they might be called upon to speak. On who might be called, I have had a good feeling about two particular names. I am not confident enough in my feelings about who the new apostles might be to add their specific names to my prediction, but I will say that if the individuals I feel will be called are called, the second name (where two names are listed) is the most likely speaking order. I could be totally wrong in my feelings about who might be called, so, to cover my bases, I am including the names listed first just in case the standard General Conference format is followed and in the event I am wrong in my feelings about who the new apostles will be. Hope that makes sense. Here are my predictions for what changes might be made to general Church leadership, followed by my predictions for who might speak and when and in what order.

October 2015 Predictions for changes in General Church Leadership
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: Russell Marion Nelson sustained as Quorum President; Two new apostles sustained. (I think I know who they will be, but I’m not going to say just in case I’m wrong.)
NOTE: We know from previous announcements that Russell Marion Nelson should be sustained as Quorum President since he was set apart in that position on July 15. Two new apostles will be sustained to succeed Elder L. Tom Perry and President Boyd K. Packer.
RESULT: Russell Marion Nelson was so sustained. Two new apostles were called, namely:
Presidency of the Seventy: New member(s) sustained (if new apostle(s) come from the Presidency of the Seventy.
NOTE: I don’t believe we will see a change here.
First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Don R. Clarke released and granted emeritus status; other member(s) possibly released if called to the Twelve.
NOTE: I believe Elder Don R. Clarke will be released and granted emeritus status because he is now over 70. I also believe that the second new apostle will come from the First Quorum, but, as stated above, I won’t be revealing who I think that will be.
Second Quorum of the Seventy: Elders Koichi Aoyagi and Kent F. Richards and others possibly released if called to the Twelve.
NOTE: I believe that at least Elder Koichi Aoyagi will be released. Not so sure about Elder Kent F. Richards. He’s at an age and service length where a release could be expected, but as of August 23, he was still identified as the Temple Department Executive Director, and any changes to Executive Directors of Departments are usually made by or before August 1. So either only Elder Aoyagi will be released (as he is unassigned and over 70) or both Elders Aoyagi and Richards will be released, and someone else will take on the role of Temple Department Executive Director.
Presiding Bishopric: Change(s) made if new apostle(s) come from the Presiding Bishopric.
NOTE: I believe the first new apostle will come from the Presiding Bishopric, but again, as stated above, I won’t be revealing who I think that will be. If any members of the Presiding Bishopric do become apostles, that would necessitate changes.
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings, especially if new apostle(s) come from currently serving Area Seventies.
NOTE: I believe we will only have a few changes here, as it seems to be typically the pattern for major changes to be made in April when President Dieter F. Uchtdorf presents the Sustaining of Church Officers and for only a very few to be made in October when President Henry B. Eyring presents the Sustaining of Church Officers. I’m not infallible, however, so I will just say that I believe there will be few, if any, changes here.
Sunday School General Presidency: John Sears Tanner released as First Counselor; Devin G. Durrant released as Second Counselor and sustained as First Counselor; Brian K. Ashton sustained as Second Counselor. Possible additional changes if new apostle(s) come from Sunday School General Presidency.
NOTE: We know from the Church’s June 12 announcement that these changes have been made and will most likely be ratified by sustaining vote during General Conference. I don’t believe there will be any other changes here.
Young Men General Presidency: Change(s) made if new apostle(s) come from Young Men General Presidency.
NOTE: I don’t believe there will be any changes here.

October 2015 General Conference Speaking Order Predictions
General Women’s
Bonnie L. Oscarson
Rosemary M. Wixom

Carol F. McConkie

Linda S. Reeves

President Thomas S. Monson
Saturday Morning
President Henry B. Eyring
President Thomas S. Monson

Elder Richard G. Scott

Elder Richard J. Maynes

Neill F. Marriott

Elder Kim B. Clark

President Russell M. Nelson

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

Elder Robert D. Hales

Elder M. Russell Ballard

Elder Von G. Keetch

Elder Allen D. Haynie

Elder Hugo Montoya

Elder Dallin H. Oaks or
Elder Vern P. Stanfill

Elder Neil L. Andersen
Saturday Priesthood
President Henry B. Eyring
Elder David A. Bednar

Bishop Gary E. Stevenson

Elder Ronald A. Rasband

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

President Henry B. Eyring

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

Elder Quentin L. Cook or
New apostle #2

New apostle #1 or
Elder Vern P. Stanfill

New apostle #2 or
Carole M. Stephens

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
Elder Dallin H. Oaks or
New apostle #1

Carole M. Stephens or
Elder Quentin L. Cook

Devin G. Durrant

Elder Mervyn B. Arnold

Elder Yoon Hwan Choi

Elder Kevin R. Duncan

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

President Thomas S. Monson

Update on Church News

Major Church news items have crossed my radar recently, but with all that's been going on in our personal lives, I haven't had the chance to report it. So, here goes!

First of all, a Portuguese edition of the Bible has recently been released by the Church. It is a major milestone for the Portuguese population. For more details on that, click here. Second, Clark Gilbert has been officially installed as the next president of BYU-Idaho. In attendance at the inauguration were President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency and Second Vice Chairman of the CES, Elders Dallin H. Oaks, Jeffrey R. Holland and David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (Elder Oaks and Elder Holland served as presidents of BYU-Provo and are currently on the CES Board of Education and Board of Trustees, and Elder Bednar was in attendance as a former BYU-Idaho President); Elder Kim B. Clark of the First Quorum of the Seventy (and Commissioner of Church Education), and Sister Linda K. Burton (Relief Society General President) and Sister Bonnie G. Oscarson (Young Women General President), both of whom serve on the CES Board as well. For a summary of what was said at the inauguration, please see this link.

Thirdly, Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Senior President of the Seventy, spoke recently about religious freedom at a BYU-Provo Devotional. For a summary of that devotional, please see this article. The Mexico City Mexico Temple was rededicated last Sunday, September 13. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, presided. He was accompanied at the dedication by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder Kent F. Richards of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, who serves as Executive Director of the Temple Department, and the Mexico Area Presidency (Benjamin De Hoyos, Paul B. Pieper, and Arnulfo Valenzuela, all of the First Quorum of the Seventy). Church leaders will return to Mexico in December to dedicate the Tijuana Mexico Temple, though it is unclear who all will be there. For a more detailed report on the dedication, please see this link.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf dedicated a new addition to the Polynesian Cultural Center. For more details on that, please see this link. President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, made his first overseas trip as Quorum President to the Central America Area. For more on what he did on that trip, please see this link. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke to young adults of the Church on Sunday evening in the Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults that will be the last one this year. He spoke of developing deep spiritual roots, calling Jesus Christ the key to living an abundant life. For more on that devotional, including what his wife spoke about in her remarks during the devotional, please see this link.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to saints in the Utah South Area Regional Conference on the subject of maintaining habits that keep us connected to Christ. Also speaking at the conference were Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy (who spoke about hastening the work of salvation), Bishop Dean M. Davies, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric (who spoke about patterns found in and the importance of studying the Book of Mormon), and Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President (who spoke on the importance of and blessings that come from proper Sabbath Day observance). For more details on this conference, please see this link.

Finally, in temple news, the Fort Collins Colorado Temple site was vandalized but work keeps progressing there. In fact, the temple recently saw the installation of the majestic figure of the angel Moroni. Other temple highlights in addition to those already noted are that progress is being made on temples worldwide, and particularly that the temple to be built in Port-au-Prince Haiti is in the design phase. Other temple milestones will be focused on in future blog posts. Hope you enjoyed this one.

We've found a place!

Hello, readers! Just wanted to let you know that we have found a new place to live--and it's not even a rental. We have, just this week, signed the papers to buy a trailer in a trailer park in Orem (right next door to the Dollar Tree store). It's at least twice as big as our current place, with twice as many bedrooms and bathrooms. For a first home, it's wonderful. We will have access to a pool and be close to many different stores and restaurants. It breaks my heart to be leaving the stake and people I have come to love so much in the 16 1/2 years I've known them. But Amy and I are agreed: we want to come back to the AF East Stake to raise our family. How and when that will happen, I'm not sure. But we will be back. We will be moving out of here and into there at the end of this month. And we will be continuing to attend our current ward and stake until we are replaced in our callings and, in my case, until I have trained someone to take over as the Ward Media Specialist. The ward we will be in starts at 9:00 am, which we are not crazy about, but the good news is that we will only have a couple of months on that schedule until we switch to a later time. Whether that will be 11:00, 11:30, 1 or 2 remains to be seen. Anyways, just wanted to post this exciting development. Thanks for your interest, friends!