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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Most Imminent Future Temple Locations Revised: Now Listed by Church's Geographical Areas; then grouped by likelihood

In consideration of some most excellent feedback, correction, and suggestion given in response to my last posted list of future temple sites, I have revisited this list. Now temples are grouped first by the geographical area of the Church under which these possibilities fall, then in order of likelihood. Please feel free to send any and all ongoing feedback, corrections; and suggestions to me however it best suits you. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on my work, which inevitably help me to get better and better in reporting on Church news, events, developments, and updates of every kind as I hear of them. That said, I look forward to hearing what you think. Thanks again. Here's the list, such as it is:

Most Imminent Future Temple Announcements:
Africa Southeast: Nairobi Kenya
Africa West: Freetown Sierra Leone; Lagos Nigeria; Kumasi Ghana
Central America: Managua Nicaragua
Pacific: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea
Europe: Budapest Hungary; Vienna Austria
Idaho: Pocatello Idaho
Mexico: Puebla Mexico
North America Central: Missoula Montana; Rapid City South Dakota; Des Moines Iowa; Madison Wisconsin
North America Northeast: Richmond Viriginia; Augusta Maine
North America Northwest: Salem Oregon
North America Southeast: Bentonville Arkansas; Jackson Mississippi
North America Southwest: Fort Worth Texas
South America Northwest: Santa Cruz Bolivia
South America South: Neuquen Argentina; Valparaiso Chile
Utah North: Layton Utah
Utah South: Lehi Utah

NOTE: Temples in Brazil are usually a great possibility, given the ongoing, extensive rate of 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 new Brazilian temples are next announced, the most likely order for the next four or five temples are: Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Salvador; Valparaiso, and/or a second for Sao Paulo, which is the fastest growing Brazilian city with the strongest Church presence.  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 for at least a few years. I wouldn’t rule out a Ugandan temple by 2030 if not 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 Projected Timeline by which Future Temple-related Events Might Be Announced and Scheduled to Take Place

As a result of new information which I have received in the last 24 hours, I have reason to again revisit my timetable for when future temple events might be announced and subsequently occur.

The groundbreakings in Arequipa Peru and Rio de Janeiro Brazil were held on Saturday as anticipated. The odd thing with those is that, for the first time in a long time, there was not apparently any representation from the Church’s temple department at either event. The temples, different in size and design, are anticipated to take different lengths of time to complete. Both are expected to have earnest construction commence by the end of this week (with three days left, it will be interesting to see how that happens.) I will say more about when those temples might be completed later on in this post.

It is also interesting to contemplate how different temples in different parts of the world take different lengths of time to complete for a variety of reasons. It is wonderful to consider that these next two years are anticipated to be chock-full of temple-related events. Now let’s talk specifics:

I could still see the Church making a site announcement and subsequently holding a groundbreaking for the temple in Harare Zimbabwe sometime before the dedication of the Paris France temple on May 21. Reservations for the open house of France’s first temple became available a few days ago, and the open house will start one month prior to the dedication (April 22). That open house will last 3 weeks exactly, until May 13, a significant a day I will not forget because of its personal significance to me. And eight days after that, that temple will be dedicated. Because he is our European apostle, I fully anticipate that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf will be asked to preside at that dedication. It is also not unreasonable to believe that Elder Neil L. Andersen, who served his mission in France, and our French-born Presiding Bishop, Gerald Causse, will be among the participants at the dedication of the Church’s 156th temple. I am excited for that one. As I have explained, I have had a lifelong love of France and the French language. I always felt that a temple in France would be possible, but I never believed it would happened during my lifetime. And now it has become a reality, after the 6.5 years since President Monson officially announced it in General Conference.

In addition to that dedication, we also have the rededication on June 4 for the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. Open house tickets will be available the Monday following General Conference weekend. The open house event will span just under a month, taking place between Saturday April 22 and May 20. Rededication services will take place two weeks following the previous temple event. I believe that we will see President Henry B. Eyring, who served as the president of Ricks College, officiate at this event. If he does not, then it will likely be Elder David A. Bednar, a senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the most junior of the top half) who presided at the dedication of the Star Valley Wyoming Temple. Whether or not these two are there, it is not unreasonable to assume that Elder Neil L. Andersen, who is the most senior of the junior third of our Quorum of the Twelve and a native of Idaho Falls, will be accompanying whoever does preside there.

Unless we have other temple-related events (like a groundbreaking or site announcements), the next events chronologically will be the already-scheduled dedications for the remaining three temples under construction in the United States. The Church will start accepting renovations for the Tucson Arizona Temple open house the Monday preceding the dedication of the Paris France Temple (which happens to be the exact same day that the Church marks the 188th anniversary of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood). That open house will be held during the 3-week period between Saturday June 3 and 24. Oddly enough, the dedication of the temple is not scheduled to take place until after the July recess of the General Authorities, making the period between the open house and dedication of that temple one of the longest in Church history of which I am aware. Whether or not President Eyring does preside at the previous event, it would make sense if President Dieter F. Uchtdorf presides at this dedication in Tucson, since it was he that presided at the groundbreaking back in October of 2015. I will love to see if that theory holds true.

President Eyring will likely return to Idaho to preside at the next dedication in Meridian three months later. That dedication will follow the three-week open house, scheduled to take place between October 21 and November 11. Again, it would not surprise me in any way if Elder Bednar and Elder Andersen are in attendance at this dedication.

Three weeks after the dedication of Idaho’s newest temple, its sister-state, Utah, will have its 17th temple dedicated. I could see President Uchtdorf presiding at that dedication, or possibly even Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, who grew up in St. George, which is seen as somewhat of a sister-city to Cedar City. It is almost certain that we will have several General Authorities in attendance at that dedication, as has been the tradition for Utah temples. One thing about the Cedar City dedication that has kind of been a downer: where the temple dedications in Tucson and Meridian will be broadcasted throughout the entire states of Arizona and Idaho, the temple dedication in Cedar City will only be carried to the units that will fall within the district of that temple. It has been a tradition for temples in Utah to have dedications carried to the entire state. But that is not the case here. This is somewhat disappointing to me personally because my wife and I were too ill to attend the last Utah temple dedication that was carried statewide, the Provo City Center Temple (historically significant by virtue of not only being built from a burnt-down local icon, but also for becoming the 150th operating temple of the Church). I certainly hope that more temples will be announced in the United States in general and for Utah in particular.

That brings us to temples that might be dedicated next year. Jordan River, Rome, Kinshasa, and Freiberg are the first four we will likely see in 2018. When might those happen? By all accounts, the work on all four temples is on track, and they might be interchangeable in terms of when that might happen. My personal prediction is that we could see these events announced as 2017 comes to a close, and that the Jordan River rededication will be first, taking place by late January or early February, followed by the dedication of Kinshasa sometime in late February or early March, the Freiberg Germany rededication in late March or in the week or two after April General Conference, and that the Rome dedication might take place in May, if not before.

Between all of these things, we will have two temples commence the renovation process. The Oakland California Temple will be closed in February 2018 (I believe as of the very beginning of the month) for a complete overhaul. The renovation is expected to last at least a year. One month later, the Washington DC Temple will close for renovation, which is expected to span roughly two years. I will speak more about my estimate for when those will be completed later on.

In the meantime, the Barranquilla Colombia Temple, the next one that might be completed, could have a dedication announcement by sometime in March or April, with the dedication itself perhaps taking place in June. If that is not possible, it is very likely that the open house will finish in June and that the actual dedication might take place in early August, after the General Authorities have their traditional July recess. This is especially likely given the precedent that was set in this regard with the Tucson Arizona Temple open house and dedication that was announced last month.

I could see the temples in Concepcion and Durban being finished by the time fall starts in 2018. The dedications themselves could take place in early-to-mid November (Concepcion) and early December (for Durban).

The Winnipeg Manitoba Temple construction, though started with a groundbreaking three months ago, is only expected to begin in earnest following the end of a really bad Canadian winter, in either April or May, and is expected to last 20 months minimum. If the construction is able to stay on track, that 20-month time period will be over sometime between the beginning of December 2018 and the end of January 2019. With that in mind, it is not hard to believe that the dedication might take place in either late March or a week or two after the April General Conference.

We could also see the Fortaleza Brazil and Lisbon Portugal temples both having their construction completed by early spring of 2019, with their dedications to follow in May (Fortaleza) and June (Lisbon). The temple in Rio de Janeiro Brazil could have a dedication announcement at around the same time that the announcements are made for Fortaleza and Lisbon, with the Rio dedication taking place around three months after the one in Fortaleza.

The Oakland California temple renovation, expected to last around a year, could be done around 15 months after it commences, putting it well in the running to be completed in May of 2019. It would make sense if the open house takes place following the 2019 July recess for General Authorities, and if the dedication itself happens in late August or early September. It could be that construction of the Arequipa Peru temple will be completed at around the same time as the renovation in Oakland California concludes. If it does happen that way, then I could see the dedication of Peru’s third temple by November or December of 2019. If it doesn’t happen then, then the dedication of that temple will likely happen in the early months of 2020, which at the moment means that it might in that case coincide with the rededication for the Washington DC Temple. Either way, those are remarkable events that we can look forward to in three years or less.

Additional future temple-related events that might take place during the remainder of 2019 and the following year, 2020, will largely be determined by what happens in temple-related developments this year and next year. If the Harare Zimbabwe Temple construction starts within the next three months, which it probably will, then a dedication for that first Zimbabwean temple will likely happen in either 2019 or 2020, depending on what the project will entail and include. I am constantly keeping my eyes and ears open for developments on this temple particularly.

If the above schedule is observed, the Church will add 4 new operating temples and have one rededication by the end of 2017, and five additional dedications and two rededications done during 2018. In 2019, we could see 5 dedications and at least 1 rededication. I am not going to rule out the possibility of more renovations being announced this year and being completed by 2019 as well, and it could be that any other temples that commence construction this year might also be completed before the end of 2019. The complexity involved in predicting the timing of these future events is not as cut-and-dried as I have believed it to be.

The so-called backlog that once existed has long-since been done away with, raising the likelihood of more temples being announced in the next year or so. And I have given my thoughts and feelings on the refined predictions for those sites just within the last 12 hours.

As for future groundbreakings, they may be more unpredictable to anticipate than I originally thought. I look at the groundbreaking in Winnipeg, and it happened much faster than usual. And with the way things unfolded in Rio and Arequipa, things happened very quickly there, even though they took a while to unfold from the time of their announcements. As I have before observed as well, if construction begins in Harare anytime soon, it would make that temple historically significant in so very many ways.

In terms of other temple-related events, my opinion is that we will see the next groundbreaking being held for the first Haitian temple in Port-au-Prince, and that might happen by or before fall of this year. I have no reason to back this up. Given what I have observed about Bangkok Thailand, the temple there could also have construction commence before the end of this year.

We might see Lima Peru’s second temple and the first temple in the Ivory Coast have groundbreakings next year. The same might be true for the temples in Quito Ecuador and Belem Brazil.

Without knowing how long the currently reported delays in Urdaneta might last, it could be that they might be cleared up sufficiently by 2019, by which time several other temples could be announced in General Conference, sites identified, and groundbreakings held as well.

In these projections, I am always open to suggestion, clarification, and correction. Please feel free to share any feedback you might have for me. Thanks for taking time to read this post. I look forward to hearing of all future temple-related developments, and I will do my level best to report on such things as I hear of them. Thank you!