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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Important Posts by Matthew Martinich

Matthew Martinich, webmaster of many blogs, has one blog about Church growth that has become a favorite of mine. He recently did a couple of interesting posts: this one about how there may be as many as 100 new stakes by the end of 2016, and this one about the stakes outside North America that are most likely to split in the near future (some perhaps by the end of this year). Both are very interesting posts well worth reading. Rather than commenting here on these posts, I invite you to share any comments you have on the LDS Church Growth Blog itself. Thanks so much for your readership.

Apostolic Age Averages/Statistics about Prophets and Apostolic Quorum Presidents

I wanted to post again about apostolic age averages. I also wanted to post about something I've not mentioned before: the prophetic age and tenure ranks as they apply to President Thomas S. Monson and the latest statistics about the tenure of our current President of the Quorum of the Twelve. These are documented tables I update each week, generally on Sunday or a day or two before.

As far as apostolic age averages go, I wanted to note that tomorrow (Sunday), Elder Dale G. Renlund, the least senior apostle who is alos the second youngest, will celebrate his 64th birthday. As for the averages I spoke of, the average age of the First Presidency will be 82.9 years, with only President Uchtdorf being younger than that average. Meanwhile, the average age of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Sunday will be 74.45, with half of those twelve being younger than the average. As of Sunday, the average age for the 15 apostles will be 76.14, with 8 of the 15 (slightly more than 50%) being younger than the average. We have two, or possibly 3 apostles ailing in health (Presidents Monson and Eyring and Elder Hales), with the oldest apostle (President Nelson) still being vibrant and very much involved in Church business, by all reports.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Brethren as time passes. Some will pass away, and others, younger or not, will be called. As I have mentioned before in previous posts, with the health of 2 First Presidency members being uncertain, it may be decided to call an additional counselor to assist in the workload. If that happens, as I have said, I believe that Elder Bednar is the man who will be called, thus lowering the average age of the First Presidency, which in turn would result in a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which could then be filled by another man, possibly younger, and possibly even non-American. With what we have seen happen with the "changing of the guard", nothing would surprise me at this point.

In the meantime, I wanted to post some information about where President Monson stands among the other 15 Church presidents in terms of age and tenure length, and where President Nelson stands among the other Presidents of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in tenure length, and also his nonagenarian rank among the 17 nonagenarian apostles in Church history.

First to President Monson's statistics as Church President. As of Sunday, he will have served as Church President for 8 years, 9 months, and 10 days. On that day, he will be 89 years, 2 months, and 23 days. He is the 16th prophet in terms of tenure chronology and birth chronology. He is the 9th longest serving Church President, and won't break the record for 8th longest serving prophet until June 30, 2017; in so doing he will replace Wilford Woodruff, having served for 9 years, 4 months, and 27 days. In terms of age rank, he is the 7th oldest man to serve as prophet, and will only become the 6th oldest on Friday March 30, 2018; by so doing he will replace Spencer W. Kimball, being 90 years, 7 months, and 9 days at that date. Barring a miracle, it is very unlikely he will live to become the oldest living prophet, (as he would have to live until March 26, 2025 in order to do so). We can also rule out the possibility of him living to become the longest tenured prophet in Church history because to do so, he would have to live until Friday October 6, 2037. He would be 110 years old by this time.

As for President Nelson's statistics, he is the 27th President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and as of Sunday, he will have served as such for 1 year, 4 months, and 10 days, making him the 23td longest-serving Quorum President in Church history. He will quickly jump to the 22nd spot on Monday December 27 of this year; in so doing he will replace Spencer W. Kimball. Two days later, he will have the distinction of being the 21st longest serving Quorum President, taking the spot now held by Brigham Young Jr., having by that date served for 1 year, 5 months, and 26 days. Interestingly enough, Brigham Young Jr. holds the distinction of serving twice as Quorum President. His second tenure (the shortest one) will be the one President Nelson will pass on that day.

As for age, among our 17 nonagenarian apostles, currently President Nelson is the 10th oldest, being 92 years, 2 months, and 4 days old. He will assume the 9th oldest spot on Wednesday July 5 of next year, taking the spot currently held by L. Tom Perry. If he lives until Monday August 8, 2022, he will pass David B. Haight to become the oldest living apostle in Church history. I could definitely see that happening, though it is anyone's guess how long he will live. It may be that he could very well live to become the first centenarian apostle, which will happen on Monday September 9, 2024. That would be incredible to see, a first for Church history. I also see him becoming the next prophet, as President Monson, though a little less than three years younger than him, is reportedly not in good health and is feeling the affects of his age.

As I have before noted, if they live that long, two more apostles (President Monson and Elder Ballard) would bring the list of nonagenarians up to 19. I also have tables showing when and how long it will be until each apostle under 90 to join the nonagenarian list.

If any of you want more information, or if there are any requests to see how I track all this information, just let me know in the comments.

Thanks for taking time to read this post.

Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Rededication Scheduled/Updated Temple Construction Status Report and List of Upcoming temple-related events

The First Presidency today announced the open house and rededication dates for the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, the 8th operating temple of the Church. Originally dedicated in 1945 by President George Albert Smith in one of his first official actions as the 8th President of the Church, the temple has been undergoing extensive renovation since March of last year. Click here for more details about what went on during the renovation. The public open house will be held for a period of five weeks between Saturday April 22-Saturday May 20 except for the Sundays of April 23 and 30 and May 7 and 14. A cultural celebration will be held on Saturday June 3. The temple will be dedicated in three sessions on Sunday June 4. Church services will be cancelled that day for all units within the temple district to allow appropriate focus on the rededication.

With this announcement, the question arises: Who might be asked to preside at this rededication? Of the 15 apostles that could do it, the two most likely candidates are President Henry B. Eyring (who formerly served as a president of Ricks College) or, if President Eyring can't be there due to his or his wife's health issues, Elder David A. Bednar, who served as president of Ricks College during the time it transitioned to BYU-Idaho, and who has already had one experience dedicating a temple (the Star Valley Wyoming Temple).

I would just like to make an observation before posting updated lists of upcoming temple-related events and an updated temple-related progress report. Living in the last days, we are witness not only to the aging of the leading brethren of the Church but also the marvelous fulfillment of the promise that the Lord is sanctifying their spirits to the renewal of their bodies. The Lord controls how His Church passes from one group of apostles to another, and we are truly blessed to witness not only the mortal release of each of them at the right time but also the appointment of equally remarkable brethren to fill those vacancies. It will always interest me to see what happens with the "changing of the guard", as it were. I will post this weekend with the latest apostolic age averages.

That being said, here are the updated lists: first an updated temple progress report, and finally an updated list of temple-related events. As always, I welcome feedback and comments of any kind below. Thanks for your readership.

Temple Construction Progress Report (current as of 11/11/16)
Current Temple Status: 154 operating; scheduled for dedication; 10 under construction; 1 scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 11 announced (With up to 3 that may soon have a groundbreaking scheduled).

Dedication scheduled:
155. Hartford Connecticut Temple: Preparing for dedication; dedication scheduled on Sunday November 20, 2016.
156. Paris France Temple: Interior work underway; open house and dedication dates announced; scheduled to be dedicated on Sunday May 21, 2017.

Under Construction:
157. Meridian Idaho Temple: Adding landscaping structures; installing fence posts and lamp posts; completion anticipated sometime in late 2017.
158. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing sprinkler systems and planting bushes; installing window frames and art glass; completion anticipated sometime in late 2017.
159. Tucson Arizona Temple: Pouring concrete parking lot; adding landscaping structures; completion anticipated sometime in late 2017.
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime in the first half of 2018.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Steeple framework going up; completion anticipated sometime in 2018.
162. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Main level floors poured; completion anticipated sometime in 2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Preparing to pour foundation; fencing west side of property; laying water lines; hydroseeding taking root; completion anticipated sometime in 2018.
164. Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Foundation walls going up; completion anticipated sometime in 2019.
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Erecting structural framing; completion anticipated sometime in 2019.
166. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Removing asphalt from temple site; excavating for meeting house foundation; completion anticipated sometime in 2019.

Scheduled for rededication:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; finish work underway; rededication scheduled for Sunday June 4, 2017.

Undergoing Renovation:
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime in late 2017.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime in 2018.

Announced:
167.  Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Permitting phase; temple fireside held September 11, 2016; groundbreaking anticipated in either late 2016 or early 2017.
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: General contractor selected; groundbreaking pending.
169. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction preparation phase; plans approved by local government; groundbreaking pending.
170. Urdaneta Philippines 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 numbers 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 numbers may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on progress towards planning, approval, and groundbreaking.
Red text denotes changes from the last posted temple progress update.



2016
1.      Sunday November 20—Hartford Connecticut Temple Dedication (155 operating; 1 scheduled for dedication; 10 under construction; 3 undergoing renovation; 11 announced (Up to 3 temples may soon have a groundbreaking scheduled.))
NOTE: Since the health of the Brethren remains unclear, it is anyone’s guess who might be asked to preside at this dedication. Previous precedent indicates it may be any member of the First Presidency (with President Uchtdorf being the most likely candidate, as he is apparently the most functioning member of that body) or any of the apostles, as Elder Bednar presided at the last temple dedication.

2017
1.      Sunday May 21—Paris France Temple Dedication (156 operating; 10 under construction; 3 undergoing renovation; 11 announced (Up to 3 temples may soon have a groundbreaking scheduled.))
NOTE: Since the health of the Brethren remains unclear, it is anyone’s guess who might be asked to preside at this dedication. Previous precedent indicates it may be any member of the First Presidency (with President Uchtdorf being the most likely candidate, as he is apparently the most functioning member of that body) or any of the apostles.
2.      Sunday June 4—Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Rededication (156 operating; 10 under construction; 2 undergoing renovation; 11 announced (Up to 3 temples may soon have a groundbreaking scheduled.))

NOTE: Since the health of the brethren remains unclear, it is anyone’s guess who might be asked to preside at this dedication. If President Eyring, a former Ricks College president, is able to be there, he might be assigned to do so. Since Elder Bednar, a former BYU-Idaho president, has been previously assigned to preside at a temple dedication, he might be asked to return for this rededication.