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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Temple Progress Update

In light of the Sapporo Japan Temple dedication, I thought it would be fitting to post an updated temple progress report. Before doing so, I should like to note that the number of under construction temples changed (in the sense that there was one less of them) but stayed the same (in the sense that there was one I had forgotten to list as being under construction. Progress continues worldwide, and you can count on reading about it here on this blog. Here's the report:

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 8/23/16)
Current Temple Status: 151 operating, 15 under construction (4 scheduled for dedication), 11 announced (groundbreaking announcements anticipated soon), 4 undergoing renovation (scheduled for rededication).

Dedication scheduled:
152. Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple: Public open house tours underway through September 9; dedication scheduled on Sunday September 18, 2016.
153. Fort Collins Colorado Temple: Public open house underway through September 10; dedication scheduled on Sunday October 16, 2016.
154. Star Valley Wyoming Temple: Accepting reservations for public open house, which is scheduled to take place between September 23-October 8; dedication scheduled on Sunday October 30, 2016.
155. Hartford Connecticut Temple: Roofing nearing completion; more scaffolding coming down; landscaping continues; president’s residence progressing; dedication scheduled on Sunday November 20, 2016.

Under Construction:
156. Paris France Temple: Exterior cladding of visitor’s center nearing completion; stained glass installation underway; courtyard pavers laid; completion estimated sometime in mid-2017.
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Angel Moroni placed on July 20, 2016; completion estimated sometime in late 2017.
158. Cedar City Utah Temple: Monument sign installed; completion estimated sometime in late 2017.
159. Tucson Arizona Temple: Scaffolding removed from dome; completion estimated sometime in late 2017.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work underway including some material replacement and rework; completion estimated sometime in the first half of 2018.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior walls poured; completion estimated sometime in 2018.
 162. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Foundation poured; waterproofing applied to basement walls; completion estimated sometime between 2018 and 2019.
163. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Subgrade work underway; completion estimated sometime in 2019.
164.  Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Excavation for foundation underway; completion estimated sometime in 2019.
165. Durban South Africa Temple: Site grading and clearing underway; completion estimated sometime in 2019.
166. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Ground broken on Saturday December 5, 2015; completion estimated sometime in 2019.

Rededication scheduled:
33. Freiberg Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; open house tours underway through August 27; rededication scheduled on Sunday September 4, 2016.
  
Undergoing Renovation:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated sometime the first quarter of 2017.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated sometime in late 2017.
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication estimated sometime in late 2017.

Announced:
167. Arequipa Peru Temple: General contractor selected; construction anticipated to begin sometime in October 2016.
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction preparation phase; plans approved by local government; announcement of groundbreaking pending and not likely to take place until after the Summer Olympics.
169. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
170. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
173. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
174. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
175. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
176. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
177. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.

Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose number 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 number may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose number may change based on theorder in which their future groundbreakings are announced.
Red text denotes changes from the last posted temple progress update.




Corrected List of Temples that may be announced soon

Here, once again, is my list of temples that may be announced soon. I have made some alterations and corrections based on past oversights and new information. Enjoy, and feel free to comment!


1.   Managua Nicaragua: Proposed in 2012 by Elder Russell M. Nelson; land has already been purchased for it and an announcement is imminent there when membership warrants it. Please also note that it is the #1 city in terms of church presence that does not have a temple in some phase.
2.   Port Moresby Papua New Guinea: Land has been purchased for it and an announcement is imminent there when membership warrants it. Please also note that it is the #2 city in terms of church presence that doesn’t have a temple in some phase.
3.   Bentonville Arkansas: Land has been purchased for it and an announcement is imminent there when membership warrants it; please also note it is the strongest contender for a temple in the United States. I favor this location because a good friend served his mission there.
4.   2nd Southwest Salt Lake Valley Utah: Proposed in 2005 by Gordon B. Hinckley; more than likely because land has already been purchased for it.
5.   San Juan Puerto Rico: Please note that this is the #3 world city in terms of church presence that doesn’t have a temple in some phase.
6.   Tarawa Kiribati: Please note that this is the #5 world city in terms of Church presence that doesn’t have a temple in some phase.
7.   Freetown Sierra Leone: Please note that this is the #6 world city in terms of Church presence that doesn’t have a temple in some phase. May be needed due to extensive growth in Africa
8.   Kampala Uganda: Please note that this is the #7 world city in terms of Church presence that doesn’t have a temple in some phase. May be needed due to extensive growth in Africa.
9.   Nairobi Kenya: Publicly proposed by President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1999; please note that this is the #10 world city in terms of Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase. May be needed due to extensive growth in Africa.
10. Phnom Penh Cambodia: Please note that this is the #9 world city in terms of Church presence that doesn’t have a temple in any phase; I favor this location because my brother-in-law served a mission there.
11. Missoula Montana: Publicly proposed in 2016 by Elder David A. Bednar.
12. Lehi Utah: I favor this location because it is my wife's hometown.
13. Layton Utah
14. Budapest Hungary
15. Pocatello Idaho
16. Auckland New Zealand
17. La Paz Bolivia: I favor this location because my favorite bishop and good friend served a mission there.
18. Rapid City South Dakota: I favor this location because my dad served his mission there. 
19. Richmond Virginia
20. Lagos Nigeria (may be needed due to extensive Church growth in Africa)
21. Pago Pago American Samoa: Please note that this is the #9 city in the world in terms of Church presence that doesn’t have a temple in some stage.
22. Tacoma Washington
23. El Paso Texas
24. Ulaanbaatar Mongolia: I favor this location because a good friend served his mission there.
25. Barcelona Spain
26. Puebla Mexico
27. Valparaiso Chile
28.  Davao Philippines
29.  Maracaibo Venezuela: Publicly proposed in 1999 by Gordon B. Hinckley.
30.  Singapore: Publicly proposed in 2000 by Gordon B. Hinckley,
31.  Edinburgh Scotland
32.  Cody Wyoming
33.  Jacksonville Florida
34.  Brasilia/Belo Horizonte Brazil
35.  Ghana (Kumasi).
36.  Neuquen Argentina
37.  Ivory Coast (2nd and possibly 3rd temples; may be needed due to extreme growth in the area
38. Kasai DR Congo (temple proposed in 2016 by Neil L. Andersen, may be needed due to extensive growth in the area.
39. Fairbanks/Juneau Alaska
40. Ipswich Australia

Dark horse candidates:      
1. Kaysville Utah
2. Sandy Utah
3.  Orem Utah (I favor this location because it’s where I’m living now, and when I worked at then  Mount Timpanogos Temple for six years, a majority of my colleagues were from Orem. The LDS presence is strong here.
5.   Heber Utah
6.   Pago Pago American Samoa: Please note that this is the #9 world city in terms of Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase.
7.   Singapore (proposed in 2000 by President Gordon B. Hinckley).
8.   Maputo Mozambique
9.   Oslo Norway
10. Antananarivo Madagascar

Sapporo Japan Temple Dedicated/President Monson's 89th birthday/The Health of the Brethren

The Sapporo Japan temple was dedicated on Sunday as the Church's 151st temple. Under the direction of the First Presidency, President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the temple. He was accompanied by Elder Gary E. Stevenson, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The unique thing I learned about Elder Stevenson and this temple is that he was involved with every part of this temple's construction. He broke ground for it as President of the Asia Area of the Church, oversaw its construction as Presiding Bishop of the Church, and came back as an apostle to assist in the dedication. That was special to hear.

The dedication coincidentally was on the same date as President Monson's birthday. President Monson was able to vies the proceedings of the cultural celebration and dedication via closed-circuit television.

The Church News ran several articles about this dedication. Click here for a general article about the dedication. This article focuses on the fact that the temple dedication was sandwiched perfectly in between two tropical storms. This one talks about how the Sapporo Japan temple is a fulfillment of apostolic prophecy regarding the growth and development of the Church in Japan. And this one focuses on why this temple dedication is so significant for Elder Stevenson.

I wanted to touch briefly on the health of the leading brethren of the Church and their wives. I had wondered why it seemed that President Uchtdorf has been the most visible First Presidency member recently. I learned from my mother that in addition to President Monson not being in good health, President Eyring's wife is suffering from dementia, which is why we haven't seen him around a lot lately. I anticipated that President Eyring would be the one to dedicate the Sapporo Japan temple, but clearly, he is not in a position to do so. As far as I know, President Uchtdorf is the most visible member of the Presidency because he and his wife are both still doing all right.

It is by no means an uncommon thing for only one member of the First Presidency to be actively involved in the day-to-day affairs of the Church. We saw President Hinckley carry on for President Kimball and his ailing counselors, and saw Presidents Hinckley and Monson more involved as President Benson aged. President Hunter died after only a short time as prophet, and President Hinckley was active until the tail end of his life. We have seen President Monson slow down and reduce his workload lately. Some people are saying he has Alzheimer's and possible dementia.

With President Uchtdorf being the sole active member of the First Presidency, this opens the likelihood of a possible additional member of the First Presidency, with the most likely candidate being one of the apostles. I have my own opinions as to who that person might be, if it happens at all, but will keep my opinions about it to myself until we know more about the health of the brethren.

Also, more responsibility is being shouldered by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with much of the workload falling to the more senior members of the Quorum. This has been evidenced by President Nelson presiding at the Sapporo Japan Temple dedication and one session of the Provo City Center Temple Dedication, with Elder Oaks being listed as the one who dedicated the temple because he presided at two of the three sessions. In the meantime, Elder Ballard, as I observed, served as the Grand Marshall of the Days of '47 KSL Parade, a role typically filled by a member of the First Presidency.

As to the rest of the apostles, Elder Hales is also reportedly not in good health, though he has by all appearances been doing better. All of the other apostles are helping to shoulder the load too.

What a comfort it is to know that there is a system whereby if our leaders are not able to function, those under them shoulder the load.

With the developments in the First Presidency, it is also interesting to note that President Nelson is the oldest of all the apostles but may be one of the best in terms of health. It is also interesting to note that, as of tomorrow, the average age of the First Presidency is 82.68, while the average age of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is 74.23, with six of the Quorum members being younger than the average age. The average age of the apostles overall as of tomorrow is 75.92, with over half of the apostles being younger than that average. I am honestly not sure how these averages compare with the past averages, but I think it is safe to say that some apostles are much older than the typical average, while some of these are much younger than the average.

What I can say is that I will be absolutely intrigued to see and report on what happens with these men as time goes on. I have no doubt we will see some of the older, more ill ones pass away before too much longer, while I predict the longevity for others to rival some of the oldest living records. It is interesting to note that we have had 17 nonagenarian apostles, with six more to be added to that number before the Church marks its 200th anniversary, assuming they live that long. One thing I can say with absolutely certainty: I have been an eyewitness to the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord that He has sanctified their service to the renewal of their bodies. The amazing thing is how the Lord moves along his work through the transfer of service from group to group. We have seen some amazing apostles pass away, and we have seen equally amazing individuals called to fill the vacancies occasioned by their deaths, none of which have been untimely, and all of which have been directed by the Lord.

So where do I see the Church in the next little while? I have observed that I think we will see President Monson pass away at some point in the not-too-distant future and President Nelson serve for a few years followed by President Oaks, President Holland, and President Bednar.at varying intervals. How long that will be is known only to the Lord, but I anticipate short periods of service for President Nelson (the second most senior aposle, who, if he lives that long, will become the oldest living apostle on August 8, 2030, and the first centenarian apostle/prophet on September 9, 2024) and Elder Dallin H. Oaks (eight years younger than President Nelson and currently the third most senior apostle.) The next most seior apostles are not likely to ascend to the Presidency. Elder Ballard, the 4th in seniority, is just a year younger than President Monson. Elder Hales, the next most senior, is 12 days younger than Elder Oaks. Next comes Elder Holland, the youngest of those born in 1940. He is followed by President Eyring, born in 1933, and President Uchtdorf, born a month before Elder Holland. Next comes Elder Bednar, who is young for being the 9th most senior apostle, being the third youngest apostle. He is followed by Elder Cook, the oldest of the apostles born in 1940. Then comes Elder Christofferson, who is the 11th in seniority and the 10th oldest. Elder Andersen is next and is the youngest of our apostles born in 1951. The next most senior apostle, Elder Rasband, is six months older than Elder Andersen. Next is Elder Stevenson, currently the youngest apostle, born in 1955. The most junior apostle, Elder Renlund, is five months younger than Elder Bednar. Knowing where the apostles are in terms of seniority and age, I hope it is apparent why I think what I do about how we will see the Presidency of the Church pass from one to another.

That does it for this post. Please stay tuned for the next one.