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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2 LDS Apostles Attend Installation Mass for Catholic Bishop

Two apostles of the LDS Church, Elders M. Russell Ballard and D. Todd Christofferson, accompanied by Senior President of the Seventy Elder L. Whitney Clayton, attended the installation mass for Catholic Bishop Oscar A. Solis, the 10th bishop of the archdiocese of Salt Lake City. In response to their attendance, Bishop Solis talked about how welcoming the Church has been as he has commenced his new assignment. Both Bishop Solis and the three representatives from the Church talked about the relationship the Catholics and Latter-day Saints share, and how they all hope to foster greater understanding and cooperation between those of all faiths.

It is amazing to think how far we as Latter-day Saints have come in our relationship to those of all faiths. From the moment Joseph Smith stepped out of the Sacred Grove for at least the first 15-20 years of the Church's establishment (round about the 1850s), Latter-day Saints were misunderstood and at times even hated and persecuted for their beliefs, even and especially by those who professed to be devoted to God and to have a love of all of their fellowman. Joseph Smith remarked on that hatred numerous times. And it was that hatred that led a group of evil men with ill will against Brother Joseph that led to his death. On numerous occasions, those who accepted Joseph Smith as a prophet and who held to the belief that he was the means of bringing back the Church that was originally established by Jesus Christ in New Testament times were driven from their homes and lands.

When the Saints were driven west, the tide began to turn. Finding sympathy from the US government, who had not previously intervened in their behalf, the Saints trekked westward to Utah. And here those pioneers found acceptance and appreciation that has allowed the Church to spread throughout the world. Here we have found friends of other faiths, and the Church has worked for the almost 170 years since we came here to foster good relationships with all, regardless of their religion.

The Catholic and LDS Churches have had a particularly long-standing relationship in partnering in community projects and initiatives. And the leaders of both churches have likewise been very supportive of each other, especially in times when the leadership of either have changed. Today's events truly continue the long-standing tradition of that spirit of cooperation, support, and unity.

While many news outlets have been reporting on this, I prefer the Mormon Newsroom report above any others. Here is a link to that report. I hope this information is helpful to those who read it. In the meantime, as a Latter-day Saint blogger, I am proud of the relationship that people and leaders of my faith maintain with those of all faiths. During the time I grew up, one of my best friends in Junior High and High School was a Jehovah Witness. My guidance counselor in Junior High was a Presbyterian. Some of the first people I met after moving to American Fork were Catholic. And I feel, as Joseph Smith said, that I would be ready to fight for the rights of any other faiths just as surely as I would be ready to fight for my own right to live and practice my faith as a Latteer-day Saint.

One of the greatest privileges I have as an LDS blogger is to share my faith in this public way, and also to be a Latter-day Saint in a land that respects my God-given right to practice and share this faith. I hope that my posts, in some small way, can help those who read them. I welcome and look forward to any feedback. Thanks to you all for your readership and support.

Revised and Updated Predictions for Near-Future Temple Possibilites

After some excellent discussion on the LDS Growth Forum, I have felt it necessary to revise and update my predictions for near-future temple possibilities. The following is the result. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

South America (Managua Nicaragua; Santa Cruz Bolivia; Neuquen Argentina; Valparaiso Chile; Puebla Mexico); Ocenia (Port Moresby Papua New Guinea); United States (Bentonville Arkansas, Missoula Montana; Lehi/Layton Utah; Pocatello Idaho; Richmond Viriginia; Fort Worth Texas; Augusta Maine; Madison Wisconsin; Des Moines Iowa; Jackson Mississippi; Rapid City South Dakota; Salem Oregon); Africa (Nairobi Kenya; Freetown Sierra Leone; Lagos Nigeria)

NOTE: Temples in Brazil are always a possibility, given growth there. However, with one currently under construction (Fortaleza); one with construction pending (Rio de Janeiro); and one announced (Belem Brazil), a new Brazilian temple doesn’t seem likely for at least a couple of years. I won’t rule it out, but it seems others might take precedence. When Brazilian temples are next announced in a year or two, they would likely be in this order: Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Salvador; Valparaiso, and/or a second for the capital, Sao Paulo.  Additionally, a temple in Kampala Uganda seems warranted at some point in the near future, but the temple in Nairobi Kenya would serve the Saints in both countries. I wouldn’t rule out a Ugandan temple by 2030 or before, and I will keep an eye out on things and make a determination on that later. I anticipate at least one temple announcement in the United States, because we have one under renovation in Utah, and two more US temples scheduled for renovation, but the dedications that will happen later this year mean that we will have none in any stage after the Cedar City Utah temple is dedicated in December.

Updated Temple Construction Progress Report/Another New Post Now Necessary

Hello. After doing more research, I was led to conclude that the completion dates for some temples will be later than I originally anticipated. Additionally, there has been progress noted in temple construction that was most wonderful to hear about. I am excited to share these developments with you. Before doing so, I should like to note one or two other things. First, it appears that work has not yet begun in earnest on the temples in Arequipa and Rio. I fully anticipate that happening before the end of this week. That said, I will also need to now redo my predictions for the timetable by which future temple-related events will be announced and scheduled to take place. That will be coming as I am able to put it together.

I am also taking another look at the list I put together for future temples and am reevaluating things and doing further research to fine-tune my selections in that regard. Right now, unless something changes, it doesn't appear likely that I will make any massive revisions to that list before General Conference next month. But I am searching for the best information I can get, and will post updates if and when they happen.

All that aside, here's my report. Please let me know if you have any feedback for me. I am also waiting to hear how soon we might see the site announcement and groundbreaking for the Harare Zimbabwe Temple. Stay tuned for more on that as I find out more. Thanks for your readership.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 3/7/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication; under construction; 3 more have construction pending, but all of them are anticipated to commence construction before summer this year; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 2 renovations scheduled; 8 announced. NOTE: With two groundbreakings having already taken place 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: Accepting reservations for public open house (that event is scheduled to take place from Saturday April 22-Saturday May 13 (excluding the Sundays of April 23 and 30 and May 7)); dedication scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Entrance doors and Holiness to the Lord plaque installed; accepting reservations for public open house beginning Monday May 15, 2017; (that event is scheduled to take place from Saturday June 3-Saturday June 24 (excluding the Sundays of June 4, 11, and 18)); 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-to -mid 2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Making concrete pours for window openings and to seal tops of concrete block walls; completion anticipated sometime between early-to-mid 2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Attaching waterproofing membrane to exterior walls; scaffolding removed from steeple 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: Preparing for temple floor slab; backfilling missionary housing facility foundation; 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 completed for temple foundation; 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.
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday March 4, 2017; awaiting full-scale operations, which may start as early as next week; barring any delays, completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday March 4, 2017; awaiting full-scale operations, which may start as early as next week; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Rededication Scheduled:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; accepting reservations for public open house 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.

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.

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.