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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Temple Site Possibilities: Mexico Area, Part Two--Composition of Current Temple Districts

Hello again, everyone! To continue with the second of the three posts I have planned to cover the Mexico Area, we now turn our attention to the composition of the current temple districts. Again, I am going to be approaching this topic by chronology rather than alphabetically. Let's dive right in to that.

The Mexico City Mexico Temple District, as it now stands, contains 88 stakes and 4 districts from Estado de Mexico, Distrito Federal, Puebla, Hidalgo, Morelos, Guerrero, Michoacan, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Tlaxcala, and Guanajuato. That is, in my opinion, a huge district that could be split, perhaps several ways. I will share more of my thoughts on how that might happen in my next post.

The Colonial Juarez Chihuahua Mexico Temple District covers two stakes in Western Chihuahua and Northeastern Sonora. Not much need for additional temples there, at least not for the moment. The same can be said for the Ciudad Juarez Mexico Temple District, which covers 12 stakes and 2 districts in Chihuahua Mexico and Far West Texas (stakes in El Paso).

The Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Temple District is slightly larger than the previous two, covering the Sonora and Sinaloa regions, including the 10 stakes and 6 districts in those regions. The Oaxaca Temple District covers Oaxaca and Southeastern Puebla, with a total of 6 stakes and 5 districts.

The Tuxtla Guitierrez Temple  District takes in 7 stakes and 6 districts in Chiapas and Southeastern Oaxaca. The Tampico Mexico Temple District, which covers the 13 stakes and 2 districts located in Southern Tamaulipas, Northern Veracruz, Eastern San Luis Potosi and Eastern Hidalgo.

The Villahermosa Temple District is made up of the 9 stakes and 1 district within Southeastern Veracruz, Tabasco, and Southwestern Campeche. The Merida Temple District is comprised of 13 stakes and 2 districts located in Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Northern Campeche.

The Veracruz Temple District takes in the 12 stakes and 1 district in Veracruz, Northeastern Oaxaca, and Northeastern Puebla. The Guadalajara Temple District covers 20 stakes and 5 districts located throughout Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Zacatecas, Colima, Nayarit, and Sinaloa.

The Monterrey Temple District contains 28 stakes and 6 districts, headquartered in Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Northern Tamaulipas, and Northeastern Durango. And the newest Mexican Temple, in Tijuana, covers the 12 stakes within Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Northwestern Sonora.

As you can see from this information, the Church has tried to spread most of these temples so that the districts are smaller than they would otherwise be. I have some thoughts about future temple candidates, and I will pass those along later today. In the meantime, I hope this information is interesting to some of you..

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Temple Site Possibilities: Mexico Area, Part One--Area Unit Statistics and Temple Histories

Hello again, everyone! I am back yet again with my next post in the series exploring future temple prospects. This post will discuss the statistical data for the Mexico Area of the Church, and provide a history of the events that have culminated in the 13 temples now in operation there. I will follow that up with a second post for this area discussing the current temple districts in that area, and conclude with a third post detailing the possibilities I see for sites that could be announced in the near future. Let's dive right in to all of that.

Within the Mexico Area of the Church, there are 13 temples, 34 missions 229 stakes, and 42 districts. Those stakes and districts break down into substantially large numbers, with the 1,506 wards and 481 branches totaling 1,987 congregations. If we divide that total equally between the 13 temples, that averages out to an average of 152 or 153 congregations for each temple district. That is huge by any definition.

Let us now turn our attention to the actual size of each of the 13 temple districts within the Mexico Area. Some may suggest that the best way to do that is to discuss them in alphabetical order. But I have felt a better approach is to discuss them chronologically by their dedication dates. After I do so, I will discuss the areas each temple district covers. First, I wanted to note that there are 4 sets of two Mexican Temples that were dedicated on consecutive days, and one other set of two that were dedicated just about a year apart.

The Mexico City Mexico Temple became the 26th operating temple of the Church when it was  dedicated during December 2-4, 1983 as the first temple in Mexico by President Gordon B. Hinckley, the only functioning member of the First Presidency at the time. Following its first renovation, it was rededicated on November 16, 2008 by President Thomas S. Monson, who had not yet been President of the Church for a year at the time. After another renovation was completed, its' second  rededication was held on September 13, 2015, and President Henry B. Eyring officiated at that event.

The Saints in Mexico saw their second temple built in the Colonial Juarez Chihuahua area, becoming the 55th operating temple of the Church.It was dedicated more than 15 years after Mexico City. The dedication of that temple was held on March 6-7, 1999 and President Hinckley presided at that dedication as Church President.

Less than a year later, Mexico's third and fourth temples were dedicated on consecutive days, the Ciudad Juarez Temple on February 26, 2000, and the Hermosillo Sonora Temple on February 27, 2000. They became the 71st and 72nd operating temples of the Church. The remarkable thing to me is that President Hinckley presided over both temple dedications. I find that remarkable because the two cities are 465.5 miles apart.

Less than two weeks after those dedications, the fifth and sixth temples were dedicated on consecutive days as well. The Oaxaca Temple was dedicated on March 11, 2000, becoming the 74th operating temple. The following day (March 12), the Tuxtla Guitierrez Temple was dedicated as the 75th operating temple. President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated both temples. As with the previous two temples, I find that remarkable as the two cities are 334.8 miles apart.

About two months later, Mexico saw the dedications of its seventh and eighth temples, again on consecutive days. On May 20, 2000, the Tampico Mexico Temple was dedicated as the Church's 83rd operating temple The next day, the Villahermosa Mexico Temple was dedicated, becoming the 84th operating temple. President Thomas S. Monson, President Hinckley's First Counselor, presided at both dedications, Again, I was amazed to find that the two Mexican cities are a substantial distance apart, 580.9 miles, to be exact.

The next Mexican temples were both dedicated just under 6 weeks after that, also back to back, making the ninth and tenth temples in that nation. The Merida Temple was dedicated as the 92nd operating temple on July 8, 2000, and the next day, the 93rd temple was dedicated in Veracruz. President Monson again presided at both. The two are rare examples of times when a temple dedication was held during the traditional July recess for Church leaders.

Less than a year later, on April 29, 2001, the Guadalajara Mexico Temple became the 105th in operation, and the 11th in Mexico. President Hinckley presided at that event. And one day short of a full year after that, the Monterrey Mexico Temple became the 110th in the Church and Mexico's 12th, with President Hinckley presiding over that event.

The most recent  Mexican temple was dedicated in Tijuana  That happened on December 13, 2015, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor to President Monson, presided at that event. With that overview of the history of the temples in Mexico, we see that the Church members in Mexico had two temples in 1999, and subsequently saw a 500% increase in the number of temples in operation just over three years later.

I hope this sets the background for what I am looking at in terms of this area's current and future temples. I will be back shortly with a look at the current composition of these 13 temple districts. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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, November 29, 2017

Temple Site Possibilities: Europe East Area

Hello again, everyone! I am continuing my series of posts on potential future temple prospects, and this post will discuss the current and potential future temples in the Europe East Area of the Church. Again, I have no desire whatsoever to cut off or end the discussion of possibilities in previous areas; I very much hope that will continue. But I wanted to open up for discussion my thoughts on this area as well.

The Europe East Area contains the following countries: Armenia, Azerbajan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The Church does not yet have a significant presence in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Additionally, while the members of the Church living in Belarus are very steadfast, the Church has not seen much growth in that region. In Bulgaria, the Church only has one mission, and 9 branches that are administered by that mission. There is only 1 district (comprised of 4 branches) in Estonia. The Church in the Eastern European country of Georgia only has 2 congregations, both branches, and there are also just 2 branches of the Church in Kazakhstan.

The Church's presence is slightly stronger in Latvia, where 5 branches operate. There are also 5 branches in Lithuania, and the Church is strong enough there that those units are organized into the Vilnius Lithuania district. The interesting thing about Vilnius is that Elder Ballard proposed a temple there in May 1993. Obviously, that will not happen until the Church is more established there, but that is something to look forward to perhaps within the next 30-50 years, if not sooner. And finally, Turkey has 1 mission (called the Central Eurasian Mission), and 8 branches.

Having summarized the situation of the countries in this area with a small or nonexistent Church presence, I can now move on to discuss the one temple in the Europe East Area. That is the Kyiv Ukraine Temple, and its district covers the 3 stakes and 16 districts scattered throughout Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova, and Romania. Since the dedication of the Kyiv Temple in 2010, only 6 districts have been established. That said, the Moscow Russia district was upgraded to a stake in June 2011, and the Saratov Russia district was upgraded to a stake just 2 years ago this month.

With all of that in mind, I wanted to note that, as recently as the beginning of this week, I did not have any potential candidate cities from this area for a future temple. But as I did more research on all of that, I added one very likely possibility to my list: Moscow Russia.

I added that location for a few reasons. First, there are 6 missions in Russia, along with 3 stakes and 9 districts, which further break down into 17 wards and 83 branches. Anywhere the Church has a minimum of 100 congregations (which is the exact number in Russia), there is reason to look at a temple.

Next, with Moscow being located more than twice the 200 mile goal President Monson has set for Church membership worldwide (it is 536.5 miles exactly from Kyiv), Russia qualifies by that metric. But perhaps most significantly, Russia ranks as the 4th of the top ten nations in the world with the strongest Church presence that does not yet have a temple in any phase. For all of these reasons, I think a Moscow temple may be announced very soon.

Having shared these thoughts, I want to hear from you. How did I do? Did I overlook any other possibilities in this area? What are your feelings on Moscow's chances of getting a temple? It's your turn to sound off in the comments below.

That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Temple Site Possibilities, Europe Area--Part Two: Potential Future Temple Locations

Hello again, everyone! I am back with my list of possible future temple sites that may be announced in the near future within the Europe Area. I have four on my radar at the moment, and they are as follows: Praia Cape Verde, Budapest Hungary, Vienna Austria, and Edinburgh Scotland. Let me now detail my reasons for including these locations.

First, I wanted to talk about the potential I see for a temple in Praia Cape Verde. The Saints in Cape Verde currently fall under the Madrid Spain Temple district, and have to travel 2,125 miles to get to it. Once the Lisbon Portugal Temple is dedicated, the Cape Verde Saints will have a journey of 1,861 miles to travel. Even then, that is more than 9 times the distance goal of 200 miles that has been set by President Monson. Additionally, Cape Verde ranks as the 10th of the top 10 nations with the strongest LDS presence that does not have a temple. So I feel a temple there will happen sooner rather than later.

Next, as I have previously mentioned, I was told by a few people that the next European temple would be built in Budapest Hungary. The case for a temple in Cape Verde seemed more compelling, but I think we will see a Hungarian temple sooner rather than later. The Church units in Hungary currently fall under the Freiberg Germany Temple district, and Hungarian Church members currently travel 436.6 miles to get to that temple. So Budapest qualifies for a temple just based on the distance involved in allowing Saints of that nation to worship.

The third temple on my list is Vienna Austria. My wife served her mission there and I hope someday to be able to take her back for a visit. I am more than slightly biased in my choice of this location. The Saints in Austria currently travel a distance of 324.1 miles to get to their assigned temple in Frnakfurt. So again, we have another site that makes sense, at least in that regard.

Finally, I have Edinburgh Scotland as a possibility. When I first put Scotland on my list of future possibilities, I was torn in regards to whether that nation or Ireland might better serve the people in both nations. But my research shows that Scotland is more likely. Scotland currently falls under the Preston England Temple district, and the Scottish Saints have to travel a distance of 185.4 miles to get to their assigned temple. Perhaps that is not as arduous a journey as the Saints in other countries in this area might have, but it seems a bit too close to President Monson's 200 mile goal, so I could see it happen.

There you have it. Hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on the potential new temples that could be constructed in the Europe Area. Do I have any on this list that might be more unlikely than I think? Have I overlooked any other locations that could use a temple within this area? It is now your turn to "sound off" in the comments below.

That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

900th Blog Post: Temple Site Possibilities: Europe Area, Part One--Current Temples

Hello again, everyone! While I have no desire whatsoever to halt the ongoing discussion of future temple locations in the areas of the Church I have already covered (I actually hope those will continue), I have felt inclined to get the next post in the series up on this blog. If the numbers I'm seeing are any indication, this series of posts has wide interest. The previous posts in this series, even those that have been up less than 48 hours, have double-digit readership already. That means a lot to me.

That said, I want to now turn our attention to the Europe Area. Because there is so much to cover in terms of this area (which, unless I am mistaken, is the second largest in the Church), I am dividing this area into two posts, the first to discuss the current breakdown of nations in this area, and the second to discuss the possibilities for future temples that I see for this area in the near future.

The Church defines the Europe Area as covering a whopping 44 countries or territories, and the Church has a presence in all but two of those, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Vatican City, headquarters of the Catholic Church and the Pope's residence. Because there are that many countries and territories, I will not be covering each one individually. It would just be too time-consuming. What I can and will do is focus on the 13 current temples in that area, and the number of Church units that are covered in each of those temple districts..

That will include the Bern Switzerland, Copenhagen Denmark, Frankfurt Germany, Freiberg Germany, Helsinki Finland, London England, London England, Madrid Spain, Paris France, Preston England, Stockholm Sweden, and The Hague Netherlands Temples. The Lisbon Portugal and Rome Italy Temples are under construction. Let's talk about each of these temple districts.

The Bern Switzerland Temple district covers 19 stakes and 1 district in Italy, Switzerland, France, Albania and the Jerusalem district in Israel. Once the Rome Italy Temple is dedicated (in early 2019), that temple district will likely take in the 10 stakes in Italy, which would leave the Bern temple with 9 stakes and 1 district.

The Copenhagen Denmark Temple district takes in the 2 stakes in Denmark, 1 in Southern Sweden, and the 2 branches in Iceland.And while the Frankfurt Germany Temple is being renovated, ordinance workers from the Hamburg German & Neuminister Germany stakes have been reassigned to this temple. That information is not relevant to the general subject of current temples, but I thought it was an interesting tidbit.

The Frankfurt Germany Temple district is comprised of 16 stakes and 5 districts located in Western Germany, Austria, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Croatia, Cypress, Serbia, and Slovenia, making it another relatively small district. The Freiberg Germany Temple district covers 5 stakes and 7 districts in Eastern Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, meaning it is also a small district.

The Helsinki Finland Temple district covers 3 stake and 4 districts located in Finland, Northwestern Russia, Estonia, and Lithuania. The London England Temple district takes in 22 stakes and 2 districts located in the regions of Southern England and the English Midlands, Wales, Ireland and Jordan. The Madrid Spain Temple district covers the 23 stakes and 10 districts in Spain, Portugal, and Cape Verde. That district will shrink somewhat in 2019 when the Lisbon Portugal Temple is dedicated.

The Paris France Temple, dedicated last May, Its district covers 7 stakes. The Preston England Temple district covers Northern England and the English Midlands, Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. The Stockholm Sweden Temple district covers Sweden, Norway and Latvia, and contains 5 stakes and 2 districts that have been organized within those nations.

Finally, the Hague Netherlands Temple serves the 5 stakes located in the Netherlands and Belgium. As you can see from this data, for the most part, because there are so many temples in this area, the temple districts are very small. The main consideration that has led to a new temple being announced and built within this area is proximity, but other factors include the sheer breadth of each of the nations and the arduous distances the saints within that area have had to travel

That said, I do see a few very viable and likely candidate cities for future temples in this area, and I will be detailing those in the next post. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Yet Another Estimate Change for Completion of New Temples in 2018

Hello again, everyone! While I may or may not be able to post my thoughts tonight about temple prospects for the next area of the Church (it's the Europe Area, which is another big one, and it will definitely take some work to get that put up, since I will be dividing that into two posts, as I did previously with the Asia Area), there is something more pressing that deserves attention on this blog.

As many of you who follow this blog regularly are no doubt aware, I have tried to bring the latest temple-related developments to you as soon as I am able to do so after I find out about them. In view of that, I wanted to report that the completion estimate for the first two new temples anticipated to be dedicated during 2018.

Both of those temples (the Concepcion Chile and Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temples),  which as recently as earlier today were anticipated to be dedicated in mid-to-late 2018, are now only anticipated to be completed in late  So I will need to alter my completion estimates for those events yet again.

Also, if I didn't mention it before, barring anything unexpected, the Barranquilla Colombia Temple is anticipated to be completed for sure prior to the end of 2018, rather than in early 2019. Also, the Frankfurt Germany Temple is still anticipated to be rededicated in mid-to-late 2018.

Based on this new information, I now believe that the sequence of temple-related events in 2018 could occur as follows:

January: Raleigh North Carolina Temple Renovation Closure (already announced; confirmation of exact date pending)
February: Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Renovation Closure (already announced; confirmation of exact date pending)
February 19: Oakland California Temple Renovation Closure (date confirmed)
March 4: Washington D. C. Temple Renovation Closure (date confirmed)
May: Mesa Arizona Temple Renovation Closure (date confirmed)
May 20: Jordan River Utah Temple Rededication (confirmed by official announcement)
August 12 or 19: Frankfurt Germany Temple Rededication
October 14 or 21: Concepcion Chile Temple Dedication (161st operating temple)
November 11 or 18: Kinshasa DR Congo Temple Dedication (162nd operating temple)
December 9 or 16: Barranquilla Colombia Temple Dedication (163rd operating temple)

A couple of notes on the dates I ventured above. I did some climate study on the four cities above, and that study shows that August would be the best time for the Frankfurt rededication. . As for the others, these three temples in the southern hemisphere have their spring when fall comes to the northern hemisphere. Because of that, each of these new temples will see the height of their rainy seasons if the dedications occur as suggested above. I also wanted to note that, if these events are pushed back further, that in turn would potentially push back other temple-related events.

For example, until the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple has full-scale construction begin, we might not know how likely that temple is to be dedicated in early-to-mid 2019. Until I know more, I hope for the best. And with the Oakland California Temple, a rededication is anticipated in late 2019. If that gets pushed back for any reason, then the rededication could take place sometime in 2020. I am also not ruling out the possibility that we could see temples that are progressing more quickly than others pushed ahead in their completion estimate. It has happened before and could easily do so again. Just wanted to mention that, for what it's worth.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Update Provided on Construction of the Durban South Africa Temple

Hello again, everyone! I was gratified to check my blog just now and see the many comments that have come in since my last post 12 hours ago. It is obvious that the subject of future temple prospects is a popular one. I will be reading (and, when I feel it is appropriate, responding) to those comments. But first, I wanted to share an exciting update on the Durban South Africa Temple.

According to the information I became aware of about an hour ago,, framing is going up, drywall is being hung, and windwo frames are being fitted. Additionally, bricks are being laid around pillars, and at the missionary housing facility, concrete is being poured for the veranda.

That said, having done the research, I can confirm that this is the third updated status for this temple this month alone. With that in mind, it is almost certain that the Durban temple will be the second one dedicated in 2019, and, as previously noted, I am projecting that might happen in either late May or early June of that year. I am sure that as the next year passes, we will find out more about how reasonable that estimate is, and I will do my best to pass along any adjustments to that as I make them.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Temple Site Possibilities: Central America Area

Hello again, everyone! I am back in the early morning hours of November 28 with my next post in the series exploring potential future temple sites. This post will discuss the current temples in the Central America Area and which locations in that area might have a temple announced in the near future. Let's dive right in to that.

The Central America Area of the Church covers the nations of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. There are 6 temples in that area, 2 in Guatemala (Quetzeltenango & Guatemala City), 1 in El Salvador (San Salvador), 1 in Honduras (Tegucigalpa) 1 in Costa Rica (in San Jose), and 1 in Panama City Panama.

Let's get into specifics for each of these countries. Belize has 2 districts (with a total of 12 branches), so it seems unlikely that the Church will build a temple in that nation in the next little while. Costa Rica, in addition to having the aforementioned temple, also has two missions (both of which are headquartered in San Jose). There are also 10 stakes and 23 districts, which are further subdivided into 56 wards and 23 branches, making a grand total of 79 congregations.

Since the dedication of the temple in June 2000, the second mission in that country was established, and 4 of those 10 stakes have been created. Many have seen the case for a second temple there, and I explored two of those at one point. But lately Costa Rica has had a very negative political climate, which does not lend itself to the progress of the Church. It's possible, but not likely, in my opinion, that we will see a second temple in that nation in the near future.

In El Salvador, the three missions are all located in San Salvador, the capital city, although one of them also serves Belize. There are 21 stakes that further break down into 133 wards and 31 branches, for a total of 164 congregations. That nation may be set for now with just the one temple, but if and when I find a good potential candidate for a second one, I will be sure to pass that along.

Next we come to Guatemala, where there are two temples in operation: in Guatemala City and Quetzeltenango. There are six missions of the Church in Guatemala. There are also 48 stakes and 15 districts, which break down further into 285 wards and 156 branches, bringing the total number of Guatemalan congregations to 441.

But what of the current temple districts? The temple in Guatemala City has a district containing 31 stakes and 10 districts.  And Quetzeltenango;s temple district only serves 17 stakes and 7 districts.

In relation to Guatemala, for a while now, I have believed that Guatemala City could get a second temple, based on the precedent set with the second temples in Lima Peru and Manila Philippines. And that could still happen in a big way. But I looked into things further, and a city called Villa Nueva is 3,582 miles from Guatemala City. And while Villa Nueva may be closer to Quetzeltenango (by around 2,00 miles), it is still in the Guatemala City district). Either way, that is around 10 times further than President Monson's goal, so a temple in Villa Nueva makes sense. I could also see the merits of having a second temple in Guatemala City as well.

Now we turn our attention to Honduras. Its only temple is in Tegucigalpa. The nation has four missions (1 in Tegucigalpa, 1 in Comayaguela, and the final two in San Pedro Sula). There are also 31 stakes and 5 districts, which are further divided into 176 wards and 60 branches, making a grand total of 236 congregations, which is a lot for one temple. Many have said that a second temple in San Pedro Sula would be a great idea, and I couldn't agree more. So it is on my list.

Next on the list, I wanted to note that Nicaragua has no temples yet. That nation has two missions, both of which are headquartered in Managua. Nicaraguan members are currently assigned to the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple district, and to get there, they have to travel a distance of 233.4 miles. That is not much further than the 200 mile goal President Monson set for each member's distance from a temple, but is still far enough to qualify for its own temple.

There are also 12 stakes and 4 districts, which are subdivided into 72 wards and 39 branches, for a total of 111 congregations. As I have previously noted, in 2012, then-Elder Nelson publicly proposed a temple for Managua, and my research indicates land has been held in reserve for that purpose, which means an announcement is only a matter of time. Additionally, Nicaragua ranks #1 of the top ten countries with the most members that does not have a temple in any phase. So it is sure to happen sooner rather than later.

We conclude the discussion of this area by reviewing where the Church is at in Panama. That nation's sole mission is located in Panama City, where the only temple is also located.There are 7 stakes and 4 districts in that nation, which further break down into 45 wards and 28 branches, for a total of 73 congregations. I don't see the Church announcing a second temple in that nation until more units are created.

That does it for this post. Thanks for wading through it. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Temple Site Possibilities: Brazil Area

Hello again, everyone! In the midst of my series of posts about the potential likelihood temple sites I see in each of the Church's geographical areas, I have only done two such posts in one day one other time, with the Asia Area two days ago. The fact that I am now doing a post to cover the Brazil Area after the previous post covered areas in which I felt no new temples would be announced is significant for me. That said, let's dive right into the discussion of the Brazil Area.

Brazil, as some of you may be aware, consists of 26 states, and within those states, there are 10 temples, 34 missions, 268 stakes and 40 districts, which in turn break down into 1,645 wards and 436 branches, or a grand total of 2,081 congregations. In terms of the 10 temples, let's talk some specifics. As I have thought about it, I have put three potential temples in my predictions for the Brazil area: Salvador, Belo Horizonte, and a potential second temple to serve the Sao Paulo Saints.

The Sao Paulo Temple, dedicated between October 30 and November 2, 1978, covers 45 stakes.Two-thirds of those stakes (30) are located in Sao Paulo. Based on that, I can certainly see why the Church might give those 30 stakes a second temple.

As recently as last year, when I started sharing my thoughts on future temple prospects, if someone had told me that less than two years later, second temples would be announced in Lima Peru and Manila Philippines, I would have dismissed that as impossible. But now that the Church has a precedent of doing so, it seems entirely possible that a second temple could be built to serve the Brazilian Saints in Sao Paulo. So I wanted to mention that possibility. A second temple in Sao Paulo would be the third built to accomodate Saints in that area, following the dedications of the Sao Paulo and Campinas

After that first temple was dedicated in Sao Paulo, it would be more ore than 22 years later before the next temples were dedicated. In 2000, President Hinckley dedicated the Recife Temple on December 15, and dedicated the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple two days after that. So the number of temples more than doubled in roughly a 72 hour period.

The Recife Brazil Temple currently serves 76 stakes and 9 districts, although that number will be cut somewhat when the Fortaleza Brazil Temple is dedicated (which will, barring any unexpected delays, take place in mid-to-late 2019).

If I have my facts straight, then, at minimum, the Fortaleza Temple district will be comprised of stakes in the the Ceara region, and there are 18 stakes there, which would trim down the Recife District to 58 stakes and 9 districts.

The stakes that are anticipated to be covered by the temple in Belem fall under that temple district as well, and, as we know, that temple was announced last year, though it has not had a site announcement or a groundbreaking as of yet. When that temple is dedicated, it will serve the Saints in the Para region, and will, at minimum, include the 6 stakes and 2 districts based in that region, which would then leave Recife with 52 stakes and 7 districts.

In addition to that, another city, Salvador, is the number one candidate I see for the next temple in Brazil. Salvador falls under the Bahia region, which contains 10 stakes and 2 districts. A temple there would trim the Recife district down to a a still respectable 42 stakes and 5 districts.

Turning our attention now to the Porrto Alegre Brazil Temple, it  serves 25 stakes and 8 districts. None of the temples currently under construction or announced fall under that temple district. Some may be theorizing that a second temple could be built in that region of Brazil, but I don't see a compelling enough case supporting that idea.

Less than two years following the dedications of their second and third temples, the Brazilian Saints celebrated the May 2002 dedication of the temple in Campinas. That temple district has a total of 80 stakes and 19 districts. Once the Rio de Janeiro Temple, currently under construction, is dedicated (which is anticipated to include, at minimum, the 15 stakes and 2 districts in that region of Brazil, that will leave the Campinas district with 65 stakes and 17 districts.

That district will further be trimmed down once the Brasilia Brazil Temple is dedicated. That temple will, at minimum serve 5 stakes and 1 district located in the Distrito Federal region of Brazil, which would then leave the Campinas Temple district with 60 stakes and 16 districts.

But that district could be trimmed even more if, as I am projecting, a temple is announced for Belo Horizonte Brazil. Falling under the Minas Gerais region of Brazil, a temple in Belo Horizonte would take in the 13 stakes and 6 districts within that region, which would then leave the Campinas temple district with 47 stakes and 10 districts.

The Saints in Brazil had to wait 6.5 year wait before the next temple was dedicated, this one in Curitiba. That district contains 28 stakes and 3 districts, so it seems small enough that it will not split, at least not anytime soon.

Then in June 2012, Brazilians celebrated the dedication of the temple in Manaus. That temple district covers 13 stakes and 1 district currently, so I don't see any other temples being announced to split that district, at least not for the foreseeable future.

With all of this in mind, I hope it is apparent why I favor Salvador and Belo Horizonte, and why I have thought and felt that there could easily be an argument in favor of a second temple in Sao Paulo.

That said, are there any locations I did not consider, or are there any that should be eliminated? I look forward to the discussion. That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Areas of the Church which I have felt will not have any new temples in the near future

Hello again, everyone! To continue my series of posts on future temple prospects, I am temporarily turning my attention from locations within the Church's areas that I feel will get a temple to those areas which I have felt will not and the rationale behind that. Let's dive right in and discuss that.

With the 25 areas the Church has currently, I have felt that the following 6 areas likely will not get any temple in the near future: Asia North, Caribbean, Idaho, Middle East/Africa North, and North America West. Let me now detail the reasons I feel that way for each of those areas.

The countries within the Asia North Area are Japan, Micronesia, North Korea, Palau, South Korea, and Guam. There are currently four temples for the Saints to attend in that area: Fukuoka Japan, Sapporo Japan, Seoul Korea, and Tokyo Japan. The Sapporo Temple was dedicated just over a year ago, and the Tokyo Japan Temple is currently closed for renovation. While I don't know whether or not that renovation process will include an expansion of any kind (as it was originally built under President Kimball's smaller temple revelation), whether that happens or not, Japan seems to be well set for temples for now, especially once the Tokyo renovation process concludes.

Additionally, the Church has no significant presence in North Korea, so that nation will have to wait a while for a temple. In Micronesia, the Church does not have a mission, and only has 1 stake and 3 districts, which break down further into 5 wards and 17 branches. The Church may need to progress a bit farther there before a temple is built.

Guam has a similar issue, except it has 1 mission and 1 stake, with only 4 wards. There is a long way to go for the Church there before a temple is announced. And in Palau, only a single branch currently operates.

Now, just a word about South Korea. The Seoul Temple was dedicated in December of 1985, and since that time, the Church has added 2 missions, 2 stakes, and 4 districts.  No stakes, missions, or districts have been organized there since 2013. For all of these reasons, I feel that the Asia North Area may not get another temple for the foreseeable future.

Next, we turn to the Caribbean Area. There are two temples there currently, one in the Dominican Republic, and the one in Haiti that had a groundbreaking last month. I know that for a couple of previous General Conferences, I had San Juan Puerto Rico as a potential candidate city for a temple. But the recent upheavals of nature in the Caribbean give me reason to believe that the Church may hold off on announcing any other Caribbean temples until they can gauge how busy the new Haitian temple and the one in the Dominican Republic turn out to be.

I cannot rule out the Caribbean (specifically Puerto Rico) as a great candidate for a temple at some point, but I honestly don't see the Church announcing another Caribbean temple for the foreseeable future. That said, Puerto Rico is currently the third of the top ten nations in the world with the strongest LDS presence that does not have a temple in any phase. I see that happening sooner rather than later, but perhaps not as imminently likely as others.

The next area I want to discuss is Idaho. The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was rededicated and the Meridian Idaho Temple was dedicated this year (becoming the fifth temple in that state), and President Monson announced a temple for Pocatello last April.The Boise district now serves 16 stakes, after the dedication of the Meridian Temple, which also serves 16 stakes. The Idaho Falls district covers 45 stakes. If the information I have is correct, that district will be cut roughly in half, and will be comprised of 23 stakes once the Pocatello temple is dedicated. The Rexburg temple district takes in 25 stakes. And the Twin Falls temple district covers 15 stakes. An argument could be made for a temple in Nampa, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

We now move on to the Middle East/Africa North Area. In response to the last post I did in this series, there was extensive talk about the potential for a temple to be built in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While I would love to see a temple in this area sometime soon, I don't believe that will be possible in the foreseeable future. I have two reasons for saying so.

First, the prevalent religion in that region is Islam, and I don't think the people there would accept the idea of a temple there. Second, and slightly less important is the issue of staffing such a temple if it were to be built. That would be a major problem, primarily because the bulk of the Church membership in that area is made up of servicemen (and in some cases their families), and such people are only there temporarily.

Additionally, as one who had a brother-in-law that served in the armed services within that area, I know that the Church only has a few branches in the entire area, which is not an ideal situation for a temple. It is my hope that the tide might turn in the next 35-70 years to allow the Church to flourish, which would enable a temple to be built there, but a temple seems like a long way away for the moment. I would love it if the Lord proved me wrong in that regard, but barring a miracle, it doesn't seem likely.

I don't know how many of you know this, but Elder Holland is the apostle assigned to oversee the Church in this area, and he is assisted by two General Authority Seventies, Elders Wilford W. Andersen and Anthony D. Perkins. The three men administer the area from Church headquarters, and a single Area Seventy, Gary S. Price, who is living in Saudi Arabia, assists them as well.

And finally, we come to the North America West Area. Comprising California, Hawaii, and a tiny portion of Arizona, the area seems to be well covered by the temples already within it. As many of you may be aware, California has seen many congregational consolidations lately (I wouldn't be surprised if a few of the 20 missions there were discontinued and the boundaries of the rest realigned), and the 7 temples in that state seem to be sufficient to serve the 1,140 wards and 141 branches (a total of 1,281 congregations, which averages out to  183 congregations per district), especially since more consolidations are anticipated in the near future.

In the meantime, Hawaii has 2 temples (in Kona and Laie) that serve the 1 mission and 16 stakes on that island. There are 125 wards and 16 branches there, for a total of 141 congregations, and of those, 4 stakes (which comprise 29 wards and 6 branches, for a total of 35 congregations) are served by the Kona Temple. This means the Laie Temple serves 14 stakes and 1 district, which have a total of 106 congregations. Some have speculated that the Church could announce a third temple in Honolulu, but since the dedication of the Kona temple in January 2000, only two stakes have been created, neither of which are based in Honolulu.

With that last bit of information, that does it for this post. Any and all comments are always welcome and appreciated, particularly those that address your thoughts on the arguments I have presented here about each of these areas. I look forward to reading that feedback. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Some Thoughts About the Upcoming First Presidency's Christmas Devotional

Hello again, everyone! With the First Presidency's annual Christmas Devotional coming up next Sunday, I wanted to offer some thoughts about who we might hear from during that event. Since 2013, when the decision was made to include other Church leaders in that devotional, we have heard from President Monson once, President Eyring twice (most recently last time) and President Uchtdorf once (2 years ago). With President Monson out of the rotation, I anticipate President Uchtdorf will represent the First Presidency.

From the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, we have heard from then-Elder Nelson, Elder Christofferson, Elder Bednar, and, most recently, Elder Oaks. And though we didn't know it at the time, Elder Rasband, who has since been called to the Twelve, represented the Presidency of the Seventy in his 2013 address. There hasn't seemed to be a regular pattern to the speaking rotation in that Quorum, but if I had to venture a guess, I could see the First Presidency calling on Elder Stevenson to speak this time.

In addition to Elder Rasband, we have also heard from the following members of the Presidency of the Seventy: Elders Maynes, Clayton, and Christensen. Again, there hasn't seemed to be any regular pattern in terms of who might speak, so if I had to venture a guess, I would say Elder Gong might be called upon to speak.

The only other speaker during that devotional has been a general officer of the Church. So far, we have heard from Primary General President Rosemary M. Wixom, Young Women General President Bonnie L. Oscarson, Relief Society General President Linda K. Burton, and the First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, Douglas D. Holmes. Only the Sunday School General Presidency has gone unrepresented in that devotional, and I am thinking we could hear from the Second Counselor in that presidency, Brian K. Ashton.

There is also the possibility that the Church could call on a General Authority Seventy or member of the Presiding Bishopric.to speak as well. How likely that is remains to be seen. Those are my thoughts on this. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Minor Developments Reported on Several Temples

Hello again, everyone! About 9 hours or so ago, I became aware of minor developments that had been reported on several temples, but because of everything that happened today, I have not been able to pass those along until now. So what are these developments, and why are they significant? Let's talk about that.

A week and a half after the angel Moroni statue was placed on the Barranuqilla Colombia Temple, the temple grounds have been brightened by the placement of red pavers and green sod. At the same time, several sources available to me also changed the completion estimate of this temple, retaining the fact that its completion is anticipated more certainly to occur in late 2018 rather than possibly not doing so until early 2019. This development more or less confirms what I had suspected for a while.

That said, I also wanted to note that there has been no similar clarification on the Rome Italy Temple. Between expert opinions and my own research, it seems that, barring a miracle, we will only see the Rome Italy dedication in early 2019. I am not ruling out a miracle that would enable that dedication to occur before the end of next year, but it seems unlikely at this point.

Additionally, just over four weeks following the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple groundbreaking, we are still waiting for word that would confirm full-scale efforts are underway there. Because I have heard from a few sources that the construction process might only take 12-18 months, I see no reason why this temple could not be completed in early-to-mid 2019, especially if full-scale efforts begin by April or May 2018. By that same time, full-scale efforts are anticipated to begin for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple as well.

Another significant development to note is the fact that the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple renovation is moving along nicely, with a new report showing that the spire has been removed and that the removal of the exterior cladding is also underway now. I also wanted to note that, as far as I know, no progress has been reported on the Asuncion Paraguay Temple renovation process, which will have been underway for around a month later this week. I have been trying to check, but have not found anything that would indicate the extent of that process, for which I hope progress might be reported later this week as well.

With seven weeks exactly left in 2017 (we will observe New Year's Eve at that time), I don't know how much or how little progress we might see on temples for the rest of the year. I hope for significant developments on all fronts, including perhaps an official announcement of at least one (but hopefully more) temple location and groundbreaking, even if the actual events are only held in the early months of 2018.

I also hope that we might see more dedications announced (including the rededication for the Frankfurt Germany Temple), but don't know how likely that is. As many will recall, the open house and dedication dates for the Tucson Arizona, Meridian Idaho, and Cedar City Utah Temples were all announced in January of this year. I assume (but cannot say definitively) that all of those were announced so far in advance because of the interest of the general public in the relevant areas. I don't recall any temples outside the US having a dedication process announced that far in advance. If, as I suspect, the Frankfurt Germany Temple rededication is set for next August, the announcement for that event (along with any others) could come anytime within the next 4 or 5 months,

Thanks for wading through this information. I am keeping an eye out for any and all temple-related developments and will pass along any updates as soon as I am able to after learning about them. And, if all goes according to my plans, I will be back later this weekThat does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time, 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.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Temple Site Possibilities--Asia Area, Part Two: Potential New Temple Locations

Hello again, everyone! Having set the background in my last post about the current temples in the Asia Area that are in operation (with the one other that has been announced), I am now pleased to turn my attention to the future possibilities I see for new temples within that area. Let's dive right into that topic.

My study has shown that the following cities could potentially get a temple of their own, and that this could happen sooner rather than later: Phomn Penh Cambodia; Jakarta Indonesia; Taichung Taiwan; Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Singapore; Hyderabad/Rajahmundry India. So why did each of these locations make my list? I'm glad you asked.

The Cambodian capital city originally made my list because my brother-in-law served his mission there. But as I did more studying on the prospect, the case for a Cambodian Temple is compelling for at least a couple of reasons. Saints in that nation currently travel to Hong Kong to attend the temple, an inordinate distance of 965 miles, almost five times further than President Monson's goal to have temples within 200 miles of every member.

When the Bangkok Thailand Temple is dedicated, that distance will be cut just about in half, to 436.6 miles. Even that is more than twice that of President Monson's goal. So Cambodia would qualify by distance alone from both its current temple district, and the one under which it would fall once the Bangkok Temple is dedicated. Additionally, Cambodia ranks as #9 of the top ten countries with the strongest LDS presence but without a temple.

Jakarta Indonesia is another location with a strong case in favor of a temple. Someone with whom I served in Aaronic Priesthood Quorums served his mission there, but the more compelling reason for a temple in this nation is once again the distance issue..Indonesian Saints currently travel a whopping 2,033 miles to attend the Hong Kong China Temple.

That distance will be cut only slightly (to 1,919.4 branches) once Indonesia is transferred to the Bangkok Thailand Temple District. But even then, the distance between the two is more than 9.5 times further than President Monson's goal. So an Indonesia Temple makes sense.

Though the Taipei Temple only covers 17 stakes (with 108 wards and 9 branches) the total 117 congregations there are spread throughout Taiwan. And the Saints in the Taichung area have to travel 104.1 miles to attend the temple. While that is below the 200 mile goal, I can certainly see the case for a Taichung Temple.

Ulaanbaatar Mongolia is another location in which a temple makes sense. In addition to the number of Church units which I cited for Mongolia in my last post, it is significant to me that the Saints in Mongolia have a journey of 1,805 miles to get to their currently assigned temple  Unless plans change, Mongolian Saints will continue to be served by the Hong Kong China Temple once other nations are shifted to the Bangkok Thailand Temple district. So based on mileage alone, a temple in Mongolia will likely be built sooner rather than later.

We next turn our attention to the possibility of a temple in the nation of Singapore. In addition to the information already cited about the number of Church units within that nation, I wanted to again note the distances involved. Right now, the Saints in Singapore are 1,609 miles away from the Hong Kong China Temple.

Once the Bangkok Thailand Temple is dedicated, that distance will be cut to 1,136 miles. That is still almost six times more distant than President Monson's goal. Additionally, President Gordon B. Hinckley publicly proposed a temple for Singapore in January 2000. As one who has followed temple developments extensively, I know that President Monson has announced several temples during his administration that were publicly proposed during that of his prophetic predecessor, so I could see a Singapore temple happening sooner rather than later.

Now, to the final possibility I have on my list: in India. In addition to the number of Church units already noted, it is significant to me that Elder Neal A. Maxwell publicly proposed a temple for New Delhi in June 1992. That said, both Rajahmundry and Hyderabad seem to have a stronger Church presence and therefore a better chance that either will be the better option for the first temple in India.

With the political unrest in India and with the bulk of the citizenry adhering to Hinduism, the Church may not yet  be mature enough in that nation to see a temple. Some have ventured their opinion that a temple in India is more likely 15-30 years down the road, That is why I have listed the India option last among these possibilities. The Lord can announce a temple wherever He wills and wherever the people are ready for it, and while I would love to see an LDS temple in India in the near future, it may be more distant than anyone thinks.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Particularly, do you agree with my list, are there possibilities I should eliminate, or any that I may have overlooked? I look forward to the feedback. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Temple Site Possibilities: Asia Area--Part One: Current Temples

Hello again, everyone! As many of you know, around a month ago, I began a new series of posts to share my thoughts about future temple site possibilities within each of the Church's geographical areas and to ask for your input on those locations or any others I may have missed, with a view to refining that list prior to the next General Conference in April. Because of all I have been dealing with personally, and because of all the Church and temple news I felt needed to be more of a priority, my last post in that series was done on October 30.

I apologize that I have taken so long to continue the series. This post will discuss the current temples within the Asia Area of the Church. Due to the sheer volume of data I will be presenting about this area, I will be devoting this post to discussing current temples in the area, and will do a second post later on detailing the possibilities I have put together.

Just a preliminary note before I begin my analysis of those possibilities: the Asia Area was one where I had only listed a few possibilities initially for quite a long time. It was not until I received some advice from a few experts on temple-related matters (in which I was encouraged to expand my net) that I realized just how many great potential sites exist within the Asia Area of the Church. So, which temples currently cover the area? Let's dive right into that subject.

The main reason I have felt so strongly that the Asia Area may need many new temples is that there are currently only 2 operating temples within that area (in Hong Kong China and Taipei Taiwan). One other has been announced for Bangkok Thailand, and if member speculation is correct, an existing building housing Church offices will be rebuilt and renovated into a multi-purpose edifice that will continue to have Church offices, but will also serve as a meetinghouse and the temple, in the mold of existing temples in Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York. Depending on if and when that is confirmed, we could potentially see the Bangkok Temple dedicated within the next 3-5 years or less. I am keeping my eye on that and will pass along any new information as I have it.

For now, let's turn our attention to the size of the current temple districts in the Asia Area. First, I want to talk about the Taipei Taiwan Temple. That district  currently serves the 17 stakes that have been established in that nation, where there are also a total of 2 missions (in Taipei and Taichung) and where the 17 stakes break down further into 108 wards and 9 branches. That one temple may or may not be sufficient for the Taiwanese Saints, especially those living a fair distance from Taipei. So I have my eye on a candidate for Taiwan's second temple, for which I will be sharing my thoughts in my next post about this area.

In the meantime, once the Bangkok Thailand Temple is constructed and dedicated, that will split the Hong Kong China Temple District. How will that happen? Let me answer that by sharing some data about the current units comprising that district, and which of those units will likely be transferred when the Bangkok Thailand Temple is dedicated.

Currently, the Hong Kong China Temple District is comprised of the following countries, which have the following number of Church units at present.

Hong Kong: 1 mission; 6 stakes; 1 district (which break down into 33 wards and 9 branches, or a total of 42 congregations)
India: 2 missions; 4 stakes; 2 districts (which break down into 21 wards and 22 branches, or a total of 43 congregations)
Thailand: 1 mission; 4 stakes; 2 districts (which break down into 22 wards and 19 branches, or a total of 41 congregations)
Cambodia: 1 mission; 2 stakes; 4 districts (which break down into 10 wards and 19 branches, or a total of 29 congregations)
Indonesia: 1 mission; 2 stakes; 1 district (which break down into 15 wards and 9 branches, or a total of 24 congregations)
Mongolia: 1 mission; 2 stakes; 1 district (which break down into 12 wards and 13 branches, or a total of 25 congregations)
China: No missions; 4 districts; 16 congregations total (all branches)
Vietnam: 1 mission; 2 districts; 10 congregations total (all branches)
Macau: No missions; 1 district; 3 congregations total (all branches)
Sri Lanka: No missions; 1 district; 4 congregations total (all branches)

Total units in the Hong Kong China Temple district: 9 missions; 21 stakes; 25 districts (which in turn make up 123 wards and 153 branches (a grand total of 276 congregations)

When the Bangkok Thailand Temple is dedicated, that district, which is anticipated to include Thailand, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, will take in 6 missions; 13 stakes and 15 districts, which currently break down further into 78 wards and 102 branches, for a total of 180 congregations.

Removing those units from the Hong Kong China Temple district will leave Hong Kong to cover the remaining 3 missions; 8 stakes; 10 districts, which in turn will be comprised of 45 wards and 51 branches, for a total of 96 congregations.

Having shared that data, I also wanted to note that the one problem in the Asia Area is that because Asia is the largest of the seven continents, the nations within it are also substantially larger than anywhere else, and the distance between each of those nations and their assigned temples is fairly substantial. By that fact alone, the Asia Area is prime for many potential future temple locations. Where might those be? Stay tuned for my next post in which I will share my thoughts on that.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Minor Progress Noted on the Fortaleza Brazil Temple

Hello again, everyone! I found out about an update on the construction status of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple either yesterday or the day before, but personal health issues kept me from posting about that before now. I wanted to note that stone cladding is progressing on the exterior of that temple, while the steeple has been attached to the adjoining meetinghouse. It has been interesting to see how quickly things have changed for this temple. After its 2011 groundbreaking, a 5-year delay ensued before full-scale construction could begin. Once this temple was able to get full-scale construction started (sometime last year), it progressed very steadily (and very rapidly, in some instances). As we know, this temple was originally anticipated to have its dedication in early 2019 or so, but that estimate has since been pushed back to sometime during mid-to-late 2019. I have always been fascinated by the process of temples progressing or being delayed in terms of their construction.

Aside from this update, there have not been any significant developments in terms of temple construction anywhere else. I am still waiting for news on what the Asuncion Paraguay Temple renovation process may involve, and now that we are four weeks from the day the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple had a groundbreaking, we still have no word on when full-scale efforts may begin. And though I have kept a faithful eye out for any other new temple news, not a lot has occurred in that regard.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my nest post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Church Announces Extension of Light the World Campaign That Began Last Year

Hello again, everyone! The Church News recently released this article to announce an extension of the Light the World Christmas Initiative that the Church started last year. I hope that all of us will take the opportunity to take part in this initiative, whatever the extent of our involvement therewith might be. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Miscellaneous Church News

Hello again, everyone! As you know, most US employers are gracious enough to allow their employees a four-day weekend for Thanksgiving. Because Church employees are among those that have that happen, many articles that would have otherwise been published towards the end of any other work week are now available on the Church News website. With that in mind, here are some recently published items that I found fascinating and significant enough to pass along. Let's dive right in and talk about those articles.

In this article, I learned that Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf, wife of President Uchtdorf, today received the German-American Friendship Award. In attendance at the presentation were President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, among other leaders of the Church. The award recognized Sister Uchtdorf for her efforts to build bridges, promote peace, and to be a good citizen of both the United States and Germany. It was awesome to read about that.

As reported here, the Harman Music Fund was established almost 20 years ago for the purpose of enabling senior missionary couples to teach the congregations they serve how to direct and play hymns for Church meetings. Prior to that time, senior missionaries would take on those roles, and then the congregations would have no one to succeed them in that assignment once their service period ended. I am glad someone recognized the need for that.

Church service efforts continue worldwide with volunteers who give time to the Mormon Helping Hands program, and volunteers in that group recently planted 4,000 trees in the Pacific Area of the Church, as recounted here. As one who served two years with the Welfare Services program of the Church, I am profoundly grateful to hear of the volunteers in this outreach efforts.

Other recent stories include temple-related developments. The second counselor of the Preston England Temple presidency was recently announced as the new president following the death of the previous one in the midst of his active service. Additionally, in conjunction with the dedication of the Meridian Idaho Temple on Sunday, the Church News released this article (with a copy of the dedicatory prayer and information about the new temple) this article about how the saints in Meridian Idaho are ready to go to work on the new temple.

As with everything else, I am keeping my eyes open for any and all Church- and temple-related news and developments, and I will be sure to pass along any additional developments in that regard. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you in everything you do.

Updated Estimates for Temple-related Events

Hello again, everyone! As promised, I evaluated the changes I could make to the estimated time-frames I had provided just 12 days ago, factoring in the recent progress (or the lack thereof) that has been noted on temples around the world. As always, they are subject to confirmation, denial, or change if and when future announcements come from the Brethren about the actual timeline. The updated estimates follow. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless each one of you in everything you do.

Revised estimated time-frame for future temple-related events:

2017
Sunday December 10, 2017: Dedication of the Cedar City Utah Temple (159th operating temple; already confirmed)

2018:
January: Raleigh North Carolina Temple Renovation Closure (already confirmed; exact date may not be as set in stone as I once believed)
February: Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Renovation Closure (already confirmed; exact date may not be as set in stone as I once believed)
Sunday March 4: Washington DC Temple Renovation Closure (already confirmed)
April or May: Full-scale construction anticipated to begin on the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple
May: Mesa Arizona Temple Renovation Closure (already confirmed; exact date not yet released)
Sunday May 20: Jordan River Utah Temple Rededication (already confirmed)
Sunday August 12 or 19: Frankfurt Germany Temple Rededication
Sunday September 16 or 23: Concepcion Chile Temple Dedication (160th operating temple)
Sunday October 14 or 21: Kinshasa DR Congo Temple Dedication (161st operating temple)
Sunday November 11 or 18: Barranquilla Colombia Temple Dedication (162nd operating temple)

2019:
Mid-April: Memphis Tennessee Temple Rededication
Mid-to-late April: Rome Italy Temple Dedication (163rd operating temple)
Early-to-mid May: Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple Rededication
Mid-May: Asuncion Paraguay Temple Rededication
Late May-early June: Durban South Africa Temple Dedication (164th operating temple)
Mid-June: Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple Dedication (165th operating temple)
Early-to-mid August: Fortaleza Brazil Temple Dedication (166th operating temple)
Mid-to-late August: Rio de Janeiro Temple Dedication (167th operating temple)
Mid-September: Raleigh North Carolina Temple Rededication
Mid-October: Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Rededication
Mid-to-late October: Lisbon Portugal Temple Dedication (168th operating temple)
Mid-November: Arequipa Peru Temple Dedication (169th operating temple)
Mid-December: Oakland California Temple Rededication
NOTE: The Church indicated when announcing the renovation of this temple that it would reopen in 2019. That said, it is an older temple, and as such, may take longer than anticipated. I could see it being rededicated in 2020, if the process is delayed for any reason.

2020:
Mid-to-late April: Winnipeg Manitoba Temple Dedication (170th operating temple)
Mid-May: Tokyo Japan Temple Rededication
Early-to-mid September: Mesa Arizona Temple Rededication
Mid-November: Washington DC Temple Rededication
NOTE: If, as I expect, almost all of the temples that are currently announced have a groundbreaking in either 2018 or 2019, then it is more likely than not that many of them could be dedicated during 2020. For now, the only events that are anticipated to happen in 2020 are listed here. As the next two years unfold, I will be adding future events to this list.

A Thanksgiving Message: The Link Between Gratitude and Service

Hello again, everyone! In view of the fact that Thanksgiving Day will be observed in the US on Thursday, I wanted to post a Thanksgiving message on this blog for all of you, my readers, for whom I am thankful, especially at this time of year. I pray that the Lord will bless us all with His Spirit, especially me as I write this and each of you as you read it in the coming days.

As many of you may be aware, I have had life-long health-related difficulties. The extent of these difficulties has led to numerous surgeries and hospitalizations. Pain is a daily factor in whatever I do in life. I have done my best to push through things as much as I can to do what needs to be done on a daily basis, and the varying degrees of success or failure in those endeavors has largely been determined by the drive I can muster to do what I know needs to be done. And I know that I am no stranger to the concept that the load I carry, however heavy it may be at any given time, may be far less or far more cumbersome than what other people may be dealing with. A couple of things hat have resulted from all of this is that I have always tried to rise above whatever my condition might be to lift and encourage those around me, and it has always been hard on me to see the suffering on any scale of anyone with whom I am acquainted.

That is one of many reasons why, as a Welfare Services Missionary serving in a local Humanitarian Service Room at the Deseret Industries, I was touched by one massive project after another that would provide basic needs for those without such things. The memory of one in particular will live on in my heart for as long as I am able to remember and share it.

The story behind it is very moving. Andy Noble, a young man who was living in Michigan and was 17 years old, was born prematurely with fetal alcohol syndrome. He also had cerebral palsy, terminal lung disease, frequent seizures, uses oxygen, and is unable to speak. At birth, doctors gave him less than a year to live. Each day of his life was and is a miracle, and that was enough to make me grateful for my own disabilities (cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus) but the next part of the story is even more remarkable. 

Andy, who loved everyone and idolized all emergency service personnel, started a collection of patches from emergency personnel in his hometown, and before long emergency services personnel nationwide, hearing of his interest in them, sent in their patches. The Church became involved in this story when one of the firemen who donated his patch to Andy let Salt Lake know what Andy wanted to do with them. He could easily have kept them for his own private enjoyment, but this young man amazingly saw a higher purpose in the project he had started. 

Before long, around 15,000 patches were sewn onto 300 banners. Salt Lake did 100 and asked our center to do the other 200. The banners became a quilt, which started a nationwide tour at the Vivint Smart Home Arena (which was then known as the Energy Solutions Arena) the beginning of the year following the start of the project. 

But it gets even more amazing. While money raised from these exhibits may have been badly needed for Andy’s medical care, all proceeds went to local emergency services charities wherever the banners are displayed. Tears blurred my vision as, without one exception, each volunteer who worked on the project expressed gratitude for the opportunity to help this young man. While the banners may fade and grow tattered in time, the spirit of the story behind the banners will remain in my heart forever, as will the important lesson it taught me.

The lesson is this: A grateful heart is a serving heart, and a heart that serves will become more grateful. If Andy Noble, this young man with so many health problems, can take time to start a project that grew to such a wide scope, why can’t we serve each other every day? As one of our hymns say, “the world wants daily little kindly deeds.” 

When I think of Andy Noble, I think of another favorite hymn, A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. Much like the man whose words are the hymn, Andy Noble may not physically comprehend who he is serving, but his spirit understands, and he is grateful to serve Him any way he can, no matter how small. Andy’s service is acceptable to the Savior, and at some point he will know it for himself. Will it be the same for us? I heard it said once that gratitude is a spirit-filled principle. May I also suggest that gratitude is a service-filled principle. Our gratitude increases as we serve, and our service opens our minds and hearts to more things for which we can express gratitude.

The Christlike love which Andy Noble so nobly demonstrated should be an example to all who wish to be called the people of God. The Prophet Joseph Smith stated that "a man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges all over, anxious to bless the whole human race."


As Thanksgiving (and Christmas) approaches, I would like to invite all of you who read this message to take time to serve. As you do so, you will be blessed beyond your ability to comprehend. And as you recognize those blessings in your life, your heart will swell with gratitude for the gift of your life. Truly, my brothers and sisters, “because [we] have been given much, [we] too must give.” I pray for the Lord’s blessings to be with us, that this time of Thanksgiving will also become a season of service. For these blessings I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Temple Update/Elders Oaks & Ballard Give Counsel to Young Single Adults

Hello again, everyone! This post will serve as both an update on temple progress and to pass along one Church news item I found significant. Let's dive right in to all of that.

While not much has changed in terms of the current status of construction on temples worldwide, I did find out that the upper walls of the Lisbon Portugal Temple have been poured. With that milestone, the roof and the steeple will be the next projects for that temple. It was good to hear of that progress.

In the meantime, we have not yet heard word on when full-scale construction might begin in Winnipeg or Port-au-Prince, or if and how the exterior look of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple may change during the renovation process. Nothing official has been further announced in terms of the other announced temples either. I am also still in the process of evaluating yet again how soon we might see temple-related events for the next three years, and will be getting back to my post series on potential future temple sites at some point this week. I hope you all know that I am keeping my eye on all of this and will post more information when I have it.

For now, I wanted to turn the focus of this post from temple developments to an interesting Church news story which I have previously referenced on this blog. The Church scheduled a Face-to-Face event for Young Single Adults that originated from Utah on Sunday. The event featured Elders Dallin H. Oaks and M. Russell Ballard, who have been seatmates in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since Elder Ballard's call to the apostleship in October 1985.

As also mentioned previously, Elder Ballard had spoken last week in the devotional at BYU-Provo. The subsequent Face-to-Face Event allowed him and Elder Oaks to continue to give candid answers about the issues and questions that were brought up. For more specific details on what that event involved, click here/

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray the Lord's blessings will be upon you all in everything you do.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Latest Church News includes updates on the travels and teachings of our current apostles

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post and pass along some news relating to the ongoing ministry of our apostles. My sources for these updates are the Church News and Mormon Newsroom websites. Let's dive right in to those significant accounts.

In an earlier blog post, I had mentioned that the inauguration of Clark G. Gilbert was set to take place on November 16. President Nelson, as mentioned in that blog post, has no direct role on the Church Board of Education, but was asked by the First Presidency to be the senior leader in attendance and administer a charge to President Gilbert in which he gave guidance about where President Gilbert's focus should be in this new assignment. You can read more on the inauguration here.

In an entirely different earlier blog post, I had also shared an article in which Church leaders thanked members for their generous donations (of money, supplies and time) in responding to the natural disasters that have struck various nations and left devastation worldwide. Two days ago, the original article on the Church news was updated with additional statements that have been made by Church leaders in the 2 weeks since that time as more disasters have struck. You can find that update here.

And finally, during last Tuesday's devotional at BYU-Provo, Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke candidly to students about the answers to several questions he has often received when he meets with young adults, both single and married. For more on what those topics were and what he had to say about them, click here.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you individually and collectively in everything you do.

Meridian Idaho Temple Dedication Held Today

Hello again, everyone! Earlier today, three dedicatory sessions were held for the Meridian Idaho Temple, making it the 158th Church-wide and the fifth in Idaho. A summary of the events associated with that dedication can be found herehere, and here. Representing Church leadership at this dedication were President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy (who supervises the Idaho Area), Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse, and Elders Kevin R. Duncan (representing the Temple Department) and Edward Dube (who seems to either have a role in the Temple or Family History Departments).

I am sure that was a wonderful event, and I am grateful to have been able to report on it in this blog post/ Additionally, yesterday marked the conclusion of the open house for the Cedar City Utah Temple. Aside from these developments, there is no additional temple news to report.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Once things normalize a bit more in terms of my health, I anticipate getting back to the series of posts on potential temple sites, along with passing on any major Church or temple news as I become aware of it. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you individually and collectively in everything you do.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Personal Update

Hello again, everyone! As some of you may have noticed, I have been taking some personal time that was needed to deal with health and family issues. I wanted to post a brief update on what was done and what it means for the future of myself, my wife, and the updates I do on this blog.

As some of you may recall, I put out a request for prayers when I found out that the prior authorization for one of my regular medications had been denied. Additionally, as I may or may not have mentioned, my health insurance coverage has been extended to include dental benefits.

So while I was trying to get the medication issue resolved (and not having much success in doing so), I had my first visit with my new dentist. I was instantly impressed. In the course of examining me, he mentioned that I had around 10-12 substantial cavities that needed to be dealt with, however I chose to have that done. I initially set an appointment for the next week after that, but moved it up to a couple of days after the first because my mouth had been aching.

When my dentist was working on getting those cavities filled (we had determined that, since he had the time, we would get them all done at once, eliminating the need for an appointment until my next check up), we discovered that one of my wisdom teeth was severely decayed. They gave us the options we could do to try and save the tooth, which were all temporary solutions at best that would not be good long-term options. Then my wife asked the inspired question: what if the tooth were extracted? We found out that would be covered in full. So, we added that to the day's plan, and though I had trouble keeping still a couple of times during the ordeal, we got it taken care of.

The next week was filled with personal things, but also with a very strange abnormality: Some of the physical symptoms I had been dealing with for a good portion of my life were substantially lessened, others went away completely. This was wonderful and strange to get used to.

On Wednesday night this week, I realized that my neck was not tight at all (which had been a lifelong problem) and that I was not in as much pain. At the same time, the problems I had with getting to sleep every night went away, and I was able to get up on my own after roughly 7-9  hours every night.

But this is the biggest change: on Thursday we saw my muscle doctor, they asked about my pain levels, and I realized that my pain was only 3 on a scale of 0-10 (10 being the worst). That was huge for me, as my regular pain has been 6 or 7 at best for the last several years. I also saw a reversal of many of the physical issues that had become problematic since our marriage.

In the interim, Amy and I had decided to get a cat, and while I was dealing with my physical symptoms (including all the great changes), she looked into the options and got the house prepared. Yesterday, we made a second trip to Salt Lake, this time to see my neurologist. When I had received word of the prior authorization for the one medication being denied, I had determined an adjustment to the dosage of the medication I was able to get would be appropriate, and when we saw my neurologist, she stated she had approved that change, and said that she would be very surprised if, once I got used to the new dosage, I did not feel substantially better. She also confirmed that the wisdom tooth issue may have been the one factor we had not considered in my treatment.. We will follow up with her in a month (or two, if I am feeling all right).

From our appointment, we made our way to the Best Friends animal shelter. While we greatly enjoyed mingling with several cats there, the first one that approached us at the shelter is the one we opted to get, especially since she appeared to do well around us. Her name is Blaire, and we are grateful to have her in out home.

Between getting things resolved in terms of my health, and having Blaire around, my anxiety has diminished substantially. I may post a picture of her later if there is enough demand for it. She took a while to get used to being in our home, but has spent most of the day today either sleeping or curled up next to or on the laps of either Amy or me, and she seems to especially enjoy being by my side.

So, with the events of the last 30 hours or so, things are looking up. Thank you all for bearing with me as I have shared all of this. If the improvements continue, then that is sure to be the "new normal" for us. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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, November 15, 2017

Progress (and the lack thereof) noted for several temples

Hello again, everyone! While the decision of the planning and zoning commission on the proposal for the plots of land that could house the Pocatello Idaho Temple and residential homes may still be around 7-8 hours away, and while we may not actually hear an official confirmation of the Church's intent to use the site in question, there were one or two other noteworthy temple-related developments which I wanted to pass along.

First of all, as many of you will recall, the Meridian Idaho Temple Dedication events are set to occur this weekend. It is significant to me that, as the dedication of one temple in Idaho draws closer, we could have the site identified for the newest Idaho temple by the end of the same week. That is pretty amazing to consider.

Next, just a little while ago, I learned that the Angel Moroni has now been installed on the steeple of the Barranquilla Colombia Temple. Since the placing of that angel marks a major milestone for all temples, I feel even more certain than I have previously been that the temple will be dedicated in mid-November 2018.

I also wanted to note that, since the groundbreaking was held almost three weeks ago, there has been no reported progress on the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple. That does not necessarily mean there has not been any progress noted, just that I have not heard about it.

As the Asuncion Paraguay Temple nears the month mark following its closure, I have not yet been able to find out anything more about what the renovation process might involve for that temple. I previously voiced my opinion that the new look I shared with you that will be used for the Memphis and Oklahoma City temples could be the new look for all temples built within that era. If it has been determined that that design will not work for the one temple in Paraguay, I will be interested to see why the renovation process has been initiated.

As far as I know, no other temple progress has been reported, so that does it for this post. As always, any comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Developments Reported on the Durban South Africa Temple/Zoning Plan Set to Be Proposed for the Pocatello Idaho Temple

Hello again, everyone! I have just been reminded about some additional temple-related developments, this time for the Durban South Africa Temple, where that edifice is being prepared for its wall panels, and where a retaining wall is being built behind missionary housing. Roof work continues for both the temple and the missionary housing facility.

In other temple news, tomorrow, the planning and zoning commission for the city of Pocatello will host a presentation by those developing the residential area and also an engineering firm representing the Church, for the purpose of proposing how the land will be subdivided. If approved, that will serve as an official confirmation that the Church intends to build the Pocatello Idaho Temple as part of that development. I will post the results of that at some point tomorrow once I learn of them.

Aside from these things, there has been no other temple progress to note for now. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. 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.

Further Update Provided on the Concepcion Chile Temple

Hello again, everyone! I received an update earlier today on the status of the Concepcion Chile Temple. It would appear that the cladding on the temple is nearing completion, that lamp-posts are being installed on the temple grounds, where plants and trees are also being put in. Because this is a significant update compared to what I knew 12 hours ago about this temple, I am still in the process of analyzing all of this and trying to determine how (if at all) these developments will affect the most  recent estimate I offered for this temple's dedication.

Just by way of review, I had voiced my opinion last week that this temple, currently anticipated to be the first new one dedicated next year, might actually have its dedication 3-5 weeks after the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple (with Kinshasa on either August 19 or 26, and Concepcion following on either September 16 or 23). But in light of these newly reported developments, I may need to rethink that.

Also, another factor I will be considering in revising my thoughts about the timeline for future temple-related events is the fact that the Church will not be having the Women's Session one week before the others. With that session and the priesthood session alternating on the same Saturday, that opens the possibility that the First Presidency could (and probably will) opt to have some future temple dedications or rededications on the weekend that would have otherwise been reserved for the Women's Session.

One thing has been made abundantly clear to me in studying the potential future timeline for temple-related events: except for those factors that are dependent on the choices and actions of governmental leaders worldwide or on those working on the construction process for any temples, the Lord is clearly directing how and when temples make progress. Even the weather and climate worldwide is within His control.

And that is amazing to consider. We have heard statements from past and present Church leaders to the effect that each temple dedicated on the earth lessens the power of the Adversary over the hearts of the people of the Lord's Church. The progress that has been made on temples within the last 20 years since President Hinckley announced his revelation to build smaller temples and more than double the number of temples have seen the number of temples go up substantially within that period from just under 50 to almost 160 by the end of this year.

And if Elder Wilson is anywhere near correct in his assessment that 80 or so temple sites under active consideration will be announced within the 15 year time span between late April 2017 and late April 2032, we will be entering another unprecedented era for temple announcements, progress, and dedications.

In that regard, the one thing I can definitively say is that, whatever does happen in terms of future temple progress, to the best of my ability, I will be monitoring all of that and passing it along to you all in future posts.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. 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.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thanks

Hello again, everyone! I am posting again right now to just say thanks. As many of you know, I was in a bad place on Friday, having been without the medication I needed, not knowing when things would be resolved, or how everything might come together.

I did the post about my need for your prayers, and over the weekend, things normalized quite a bit. I have now determined that, if I am able to continue to use the medication I have access to that is approved, with perhaps an adjusted dosage to compensate for not having the other medication, I will be in a much better place. I have seen the Lord's hand in my life, and I have certainly felt the influence of your prayers in my behalf. Everything happens for a reason.

If nothing else, the one thing that was accomplished was that I was able to determine I am better off without that medication, and I am doing so much better on less medication overall. So, I have reached out to my neurologist's office, explained what I am hoping to do, and I anticipate hearing something from them by the end of the day today or sometime tomorrow.

In the meantime, I found out that there was a lot that has been wrong with me physically for a while now that was probably due to using the medication, and, as it turns out, my frustration over the situation, as expressed to the department head of my neurologist, was the catalyst needed to really allow them to discuss what is and is not working in the current arrangement, and hopefully the situation will be remedied going forward so that none of her other patients in any of her clinics, especially Primary's, will need to go through any of this again.

The long and the short of it is that I see a way forward now where I didn't before, and the Lord is working actively to tie up the necessary loose ends. And if I am able to do what I have in mind going forward, I will be able to get back to a normal life sooner rather than later, something I have not had for a majority of this year. I will try to remember to keep you posted on how all of that is going, though, as I observed earlier, I have been more focused lately on posting about Church and temple news.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything that you do.