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Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Temple Renovation Confirmed/Another Renovation Announced

The Church today confirmed that the renovation of the Oakland California Temple would start in February 2019 and would be expected to last roughly a year. This had been originally mentioned on the Facebook page for that temple. In the same news release, the Church also announced that the Washington D. C. Temple would close next year as well. Renovations there are expected to last roughly two years. This is exciting to hear about. And the most amazing thing to me is that the Church might be scheduling as many as two dedications (for the Rome Italy and Kinshasa DR Congo Temples) and two rededications (for the Jordan River Utah and Frankfurt Germany Temples) to take place around the same time as these two renovations begin. It will be interesting to see how that unfolds. And, I can assure you that I will, to the very best of my ability, be reporting on all such developments as I hear of them.

That said, it seems I am a little slow in reporting Church news lately. Given some personal things going on in my life, recently I have not been as on top of sharing these developments as I have previously been. Usually when I have been able to read about such things, by the time I get around to sharing them, they are old news. That said, I am very grateful to those thoughtful people who take time to share such things in comments on previous posts. It shows that this blog, though not as busy as others, has become a place where Church news can be easily reported, even if I am not always the one doing that. I am grateful for the enthusiasm that has attended these comments. Thanks to you all for helping to keep everyone aware of what is going on in Church news. I hope this blog will continue to be a place where those who comment feel safe in expressing their excitement about such things.

I do apologize that I have not been as quick lately in reporting such things as I once was when I started doing so. I have been battling some kind of virus the last couple of weeks, and we recently found out that one of my medications was causing me more harm than good, so I have not been in very good shape. I am dealing with a wide variety of physical symptoms that are making me miserable right now. I have been told that in time, hopefully sooner rather than later, I can expect a full recovery. But for now, it is severely impacting and limiting my ability to get as much done as I usually do. Prayers in my behalf would be appreciated. But do not worry. I am doing everything I can to recover. I have been getting lots of rest and keeping myself well hydrated. And I am grateful that the Lord is still giving me the strength and enthusiasm to blog as I am able to, even if my usual reports on Church news and developments are not as timely as they used to be. In no time, I fully anticipate being back to normal.

But I didn't start this blog post to bring up my personal health issues. My purpose in posting today is to share important updates I have made to my temple construction progress report and list of upcoming temple-related events. Comments and feedback of any kind are most welcome and appreciated. That said, the reports follow.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 2/23/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication; under construction; 2 groundbreakings scheduled; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 2 renovations scheduled; 8 announced. NOTE: In addition to the two groundbreakings already scheduled this year, the chances are very good that we will see several others also have a groundbreaking in 2017.

Dedication scheduled:
156. Paris France Temple: Open house tickets available beginning Monday February 27, 2017; dedication scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Desert landscaping progressing; exterior architectural details gilded; installing interior art glass and millwork; dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior painting and millwork underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing glass; hanging drywall on interior; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.

Under Construction:
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior work progressing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Applying waterproofing membrane to exterior walls; setting rebar; roughing in plumbing; completion anticipated sometime between early and mid-2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Concrete walls poured for steeple; attaching waterproofing membrane to exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
163. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior cladding going up on north wall; framing the interior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Laying rebar for temple floor slab; installing utility conduits; walls rising for missionary house facility; aloe plants added at entrance; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Parapet poured; some scaffolding coming down; preparing to pour tower base; completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.
166.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Excavation underway for temple; structural framing going up for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.

Construction pending:
167. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting commencement of full-scale operations; construction might commence in April or May; if so, completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.

Groundbreaking Scheduled:
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking; environmental license issued in November 2016; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday March 4, 2017; barring any delays, completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Preparing for groundbreaking; erecting construction barrier; clearing and leveling site; groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday March 4, 2017; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.

Rededication Scheduled:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; open house tickets available beginning Monday April 3, 2017; rededication scheduled for Sunday June 4, 2017.

Undergoing Renovation:
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime between early-and-mid 2018.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; some exterior stone removed; foundation exposed; old meetinghouse razed; rededication anticipated sometime between early-and mid-2018.

Renovation Scheduled:
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2020.

Announced:
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; site announcement and groundbreaking anticipated sometime during 2017 (more likely sooner than later).
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and design phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: According to member reports, a potential site has been identified but has yet to be confirmed.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: Some reports have indicated that a Church office building may be redesigned and renovated as a multi-purpose building that will not only continue to house Church offices but also a meetinghouse in addition to a temple.
173. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: Even though this was the last of the four temples that was announced most recently, and in spite of the fact that an official site has not yet been announced, the announced name for this second temple in Lima seems to indicate that it will be constructed somewhere in the Los Olivos District. For that reason, it seems appropriate to put this temple ahead of the others.
174. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
175. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
176. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
177. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Stalled in planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement. NOTE: Even though this temple is technically ahead of the temples listed above in terms of its status, because it is unclear why progress has been stalled or how long those delays might last, we could see any or all of the temples above have their constructions commence before anything gets resolved with this one.
NOTE: Given how much progress we have seen with temples recently, it is not hard to believe that we will see many more temples announced in the near future. There have been reports of several cities that have already had a site purchased already: Managua Nicaragua, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana. As the apostles travel, they sometimes have felt impressed to propose a temple for the areas they visit. Such temples have been proposed in New Delhi India (in June 1992 by Elder Neal A. Maxwell); Vilnius Lithuania (in May 1993 by Elder M. Russell Ballard); Nairobi Kenya (in February 1998 by President Gordon B. Hinckley); Maracaibo Venezuela (in August 1999 by President Hinckley); Singapore (in January 2000 by President Hinckley); for the Southwest Salt Lake Valley (in October 2005 by President Hinckley; NOTE: While some contend that this temple announcement has already happened, verifiable sources widely available prove otherwise); Managua Nicaragua (in January 2012 by then-Elder Russell M. Nelson; the fact that it has not only been publicly proposed but has had a site purchased for it makes it very likely); Missoula Montana (someone in 2014 by Elder David A. Bednar; while the report of this proposal has yet to be verified, the fact that there has been a purchase of a temple site seems to indicate that it is a most imminent possibility); and for the Kasai Region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (in February 2016 by Elder Neil L. Andersen). I have heard many reports of several more temple sites being procured, but the nature of those reports are such that they have yet to be verified.

Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose numbers already exists (for renovations), or is certain due to a scheduled dedication, as well as information that is certain, such as dedication or groundbreaking dates.
Italicized numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on progress towards planning, approval, and groundbreaking.
Red text denotes changes from the last posted temple progress report.

Upcoming Temple Events (Text in parentheses indicates what the status of temples will be following the event listed):

2017
1.   Saturday March 4—Rio de Janeiro Brazil and Arequipa Peru Temple Groundbreakings (155 operating; 4 scheduled for dedication; 10 under construction; 1 rededication scheduled; 2 undergoing renovation; 2 renovations scheduled; 8 announced. NOTE: Several additional groundbreakings may take place soon.)
NOTE: According to the LDS Church Temples website, Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, who serves as President of the Brazil Area of the Church, has been asked to preside at the groundbreaking in Rio. It is a pretty safe bet that his counselors in the area presidency, Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis and Elder W. Mark Bassett, will also be in attendance along with a representative from the Church’s Temple Department. However, assignments to preside at groundbreakings have been known to change as needed. For what it’s worth, when the 10:00 am groundbreaking takes place in Rio, it will be 5:00 am MST. The groundbreaking in Arequipa will be presided over by Elder Carlos A. Godoy, President of the South America Northwest Area, and it is more than likely that his counselors in the area presidency, Elder Enrique R. Falabella and Elder Hugo Montoya will also be in attendance. While no specific time has been announced for that groundbreaking, it might be that the groundbreaking in Peru will be held at 10:00 am Peruvian time, which would be 8:00 am MST. What is not so likely, however, is that the same Temple Department representative will be in attendance at both events. It makes more sense, logically and logistically speaking, to have two different brethren in attendance at these two events.
2.   Sunday May 21—Paris France Temple Dedication (156 operating; 3 scheduled for dedication; 9 under construction; 1 rededication scheduled; 2 undergoing renovation; 2 renovations scheduled; 8 announced. NOTE: Several other groundbreakings may be scheduled soon.)
NOTE: As to who might be asked to preside at this dedication, previous precedent indicates it may be any member of the First Presidency (with President Uchtdorf being the most likely choice, as he is of European nationality) or any of the apostles.
3.   Sunday June 4—Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Rededication (156 operating; 3 scheduled for dedication; 9 under construction; 2 rededications scheduled; 2 undergoing renovation;  1 renovation scheduled; 8 announced. NOTE: Several groundbreakings may be scheduled soon.)
NOTE: Since the health of the brethren remains unclear, it is anyone’s guess who might be asked to preside at this dedication. I could see three possibilities at this point: President Henry B. Eyring, a former Ricks College president; Elder David A. Bednar, a former BYU-Idaho president; or Elder Neil L. Andersen, who is an Idaho native that has personal ties to the area.
4.   Sunday August 13—Tucson Arizona Temple Dedication (157 operating; 2 scheduled for dedication; 8 under construction; 2 undergoing renovation; 2 renovations scheduled; 8 announced. NOTE: Several groundbreakings may be scheduled soon.)
      NOTE: The question of who might preside at this dedication may not be easy to resolve. Both Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf have accompanied President Monson to previous dedications in Arizona, with the question of who may have actually presided at the most recent one in Gilbert still being largely unresolved. President Monson is listed as the presiding authority because the dedication was under his direction, and he attended at least one of the sessions. But at President Monson’s request, President Eyring read the prayer during the first session, and generally the person who reads the prayer at the first session of any dedication has been listed as presiding. This is similar to what happened with the Provo City Center Temple dedication last year. While Elder Dallin H. Oaks was listed as presiding and did preside at two of the sessions, President Russell M. Nelson attended the last one and was therefore the one to preside there. That said, it seems most likely that President Uchtdorf will preside at this one, since President Eyring might preside at the previously listed rededication in Idaho Falls and might be asked to return to Idaho to preside at the next dedication in Meridian. Additionally, since President Uchtdorf presided at the groundbreaking for this temple in 2015, it strengthens my opinion that he will return to preside at the dedication. It is also not imscheduled to believe that Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy, who oversees the North America Southwest Area of the Church, under which Arizona falls, might be in attendance as well.
5.   Sunday November 19—Meridian Idaho Temple Dedication (158 operating; 1 scheduled for dedication; 8 under construction; 2 undergoing renovation; 2 renovations scheduled; 9 announced. NOTE: Several groundbreakings may be scheduled soon.)
      NOTE: If President Uchtdorf is asked to preside at the previous dedication, and given the fact that President Eyring has ties to Idaho, it would make sense if he (President Eyring) is asked to preside at this one. Another choice could be Elder David A. Bednar, who presided at the groundbreaking for the temple and was asked to preside at the dedication of the Star Valley Wyoming Temple, due to his wife’s personal connection to the area. Yet another option would be Elder Neil L. Andersen, who is an Idaho native. But the Church has never tapped such a junior apostle to preside at a temple dedication. It is not out of the question, however. It is also reasonable to believe that Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy, who oversees the Church’s Idaho Area, will be in attendance as well.
6.   Sunday December 10—Cedar City Utah Temple Dedication (159 operating; 8 under construction; 2 undergoing renovation; 2 renovations scheduled; 8 announced. NOTE: Several groundbreakings may be scheduled soon.)
      NOTE: If President Eyring is asked to preside at the previous dedication, it would make sense if President Uchtdorf is asked to preside at this one. That said, it would not surprise me either in any way if Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a St. George native, is assigned to officiate at this dedication. After all, for all intents and purposes, the two are essentially neighboring cities, and it is not at all unprecedented for a senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve to officiate at a temple dedication. Whoever does preside, it is a near certainty that multiple apostles may be in attendance, as has been the usual custom for temple dedications in Utah. It is not unreasonable to also believe that Elder L. Whitney Clayton, who is the Senior President of the Seventy and who presided at the groundbreaking, will be in attendance, along with Elder Craig C. Christensen, another member of the Presidency of the Seventy, who currently has supervisory responsibilities for the Utah South Area, within which the temple has been built.
NOTE: A site announcement is anticipated at some point during the early part of this year for the Harare Zimbabwe Temple, with a groundbreaking to follow at the temple site within 4-6 weeks afterward. Additionally, there is a possibility that we may have any number of additional temple groundbreakings sometime during 2017.  I will keep my eye out for such developments and share those as I learn of them.


2018
1.      February 1—Oakland California Temple Renovation (159 operating; 8 under construction; 3 undergoing renovation; 1 renovation scheduled; 8 announced. NOTE: Several groundbreakings may be scheduled soon.)
NOTE: The Church confirmed the scheduled renovation in late February 2017. It is anticipated to last at least a year. For that reason, I anticipate that we might see a rededication in mid-to-late 2019.
2.      March 1—Washington D. C. Temple Renovation (159 operating; 8 under construction; 4 undergoing renovation; 8 announced. NOTE: Several other groundbreakings may be scheduled soon.)
NOTE: At the same time the Church confirmed the Oakland renovation, they also announced this renovation. It is anticipated to take around two years, so I anticipate that we might see this rededication in early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: Depending on the progress made with other temples during 2017, it is entirely possible that we might see four temple-related events announced to take place within the first few months of 2018: two dedications (in Rome Italy and Kinshasa DR Congo) and two rededications (Jordan River and Frankfurt Germany). It is also possible that several other temples might be announced by then and that any temples already announced that do not have a groundbreaking in 2017 could have one in 2018. I am keeping a very close and careful eye on all of these developments and will report on them as soon as I can after hearing about them.