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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

General Conference Speaker Predictions Results

Here I am yet again with what might be my last post for the immediate future. I am posting to share how my predictions for the speaking order turned out. I got several things correct, with many of the correct speakers either in the correct spots, the correct session, or having spoken at all. What was perhaps the greatest surprise in all of this was that I had the greatest accuracy I have ever had with my predictions for the apostles, and that we only heard from one female auxiliary leader during the last weekend. I had correctly anticipated that Sister Joy D. Jones, who has not yet spoken since her call as the new Primary General President, would speak during the Sunday Morning Session, but I had Sister Linda K. Burton speaking during the Saturday Morning Session, and that did not happen.

For the first time in a long time, the Young Men General Presidency member did not speak during the Priesthood Session. But he did during the Saturday Morning Session, and Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse, who I had predicted would speak during the Sunday Morning Session as his counselors had during the last two conferences, took the one Priesthood Session spot not filled by the four apostles that spoke during that time. In a first for him, President Monson opened the Priesthood Session with his brief remarks.

I correctly had the right Presidency of the Seventy members in the session in which they actually spoke, but the General Authority Seventy speakers were all mostly in either a different session or at least a different position from what I had predicted, and there were more than a few of them that spoke that I had not predicted, while some I was sure would speak did not.

As for the apostolic predictions, I had President Nelson in the right session but in the wrong position, though I had acknowledged elsewhere that President Nelson might be the last speaker in whatever session he spoke. I had Elders Bednar and Renlund reversed in the sessions in which they spoke. The same was true for seatmates Elders Andersen and Rasband. Though I did have Elders Ballard and Holland in the correct session, I had them reversed. I correctly had Elders Hales and Oaks in the exact positions in which they spoke. And I correctly identified the fact that Elders Cook, Christofferson, and Stevenson would speak in the Sunday Afternoon Session, but I had them in a somewhat different order (predicting Stevenson, Cook, and Christofferson, when it was actually Christofferson, Stevenson, and Cook). That said, as I have before noted, it has been customary to have to generally have at least one apostle in each General Conference whose place in the apostolic speaking order for that conference matches their seniority order in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. For this conference, I had President Nelson, our most senior member and therefore the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as the first speaker from that quorum. But what actually happened was that our second-to-last of those Twelve was the second-to-last Quorum member to speak.

That said, what follows are the predictions I gave for the speaking order, and the report of the actual speakers, whose names appear in brackets. Before I post that, I do want to note that my overall average for these predictions (which has been 60-80%) held true for this conference (for which I scored myself at a very respectable 68.21%). I was on the lower end than I have been in the last several conferences, but that is still not bad for being what it what was.

And, in other news, I got my predictions together for next General Conference already, but I will wait for a time to post those. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here are my predictions vs. what actually happened.

April 2017 General Conference Predictions
Speaking Order (Text in brackets indicated what actually happened.)
Session
Conducting
Speaker
General Women’s
Bonnie L. Oscarson
Bonnie H. Cordon

[Carol F. McConkie]
Linda S. Reeves

[Linda K. Burton]
Carol F. McConkie


President Henry B. Eyring
Saturday Morning
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring

[M. Joseph Brough]
Elder Ulisses Soares

[Elder Weatherford T. Clayton]
Linda K. Burton

[Elder Dale G. Renlund]
President Russell M. Nelson

[Elder Ulisses Soares]
Elder O. Vincent Haleck

[Elder Mark A. Bragg]
Elder Weatherford T. Clayton

[President Russell M. Nelson]
Elder David A. Bednar
Saturday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
(Sustaining of Church Officers)

Church Auditing Department Report, 2016
Kevin R. Jergensen

Statistical Report, 2016
Brook P. Hales


Elder Robert D. Hales

[Elder Jeffrey R. Holland]
Elder M. Russell Ballard

[Elder Gary B. Sabin]
Elder Larry Y. Wilson

[Elder Valeri V. Cordon]
Elder Ian S. Ardern

[Elder Neil L. Andersen]
Elder Ronald A. Rasband

[Elder M. Russell Ballard]
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Saturday Priesthood
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Elder Dale G. Renlund
[President Thomas S. Monson]

[Elder David A. Bednar]
Douglas D. Holmes

[Bishop Gerald Causse]
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

[President Dieter F. Uchtdorf]
President Henry B. Eyring

[President Henry B. Eyring]
President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday Morning
President Henry B. Eyring
President Thomas S. Monson

[Joy D. Jones]
Elder L. Whitney Clayton

[Elder Yoon Hwan Choi]
Joy D. Jones

[Elder Ronald A. Rasband]
Elder Neil L. Andersen

[Elder L. Whitney Clayton]
Bishop Gerald Causse


Elder Dallin H. Oaks


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Sunday Afternoon
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Elder Gary E. Stevenson
[Elder D. Todd Christofferson]

[Elder Joaquin E. Costa]
Elder Gary B. Sabin

[Elder S. Mark Palmer]
Elder Yoon Hwan Choi

[Elder Gary E. Stevenson]
Elder Quentin L. Cook

[Elder C. Scott Grow]
Elder Jose A. Alonso

[Elder Benjamin De Hoyos]
Elder S. Mark Palmer

[Elder Quentin L. Cook]
Elder D. Todd Christofferson

NOTE: Though I had noted on my predictions above that Linda K. Burton would conduct the General Women’s Meeting, when I was looking back at the predictions I made for the session originally, I had Bonnie L. Oscarson listed as conducting the meeting, and, according to the rotation I had observed in that duty, that’s what should have happened. And I should have double-checked on that. As soon as I confirmed it, I changed the information to reflect my original thoughts.

Fourth General Conference Post: Changes in General Church Leadership and Statistical Report

As you are all aware, with my predictions for this general conference, I included my predictions for changes in general Church leadership and what the statistical report might look like. I am posting each, and between the two will offer my comments on the reported developments.

Changes in General Church Leadership
General Authority Seventies: New General Authorities sustained from Area Seventies or Church at large.
NOTE: Since the Church has stopped differentiating between those of the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy, any new General Authorities will simply be sustained under the general title of General Authority Seventies.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: President Uchtdorf paid tribute to Elder Bruce D. Porter.
RESULT: Six new General Authority Seventies were sustained; namely: Taylor G. Godoy, Joni L. Koch, Adilson de Paula Parrella, John C. Pingree Jr., Brian K. Taylor, and Taniela B. Wakolo.
Relief Society General Presidency: Linda K. Burton, Carole M. Stephens, and Linda S. Reeves released as Relief Society General Presidency, new Relief Society General Presidency sustained.
NOTE: It has been customary of late for general presidencies to be changed every 5 years. Since the above-named individuals have served since 2012, it would make sense if they were released and a new presidency called. It is anyone’s guess, however, as to if any of the current presidency will be retained in a new presidency.
RESULT: The sisters named above were released; Jean B. Bingham, Sharon Eubank, and Reyna I. Aburto are the new Relief Society General presidency.
NOT PREDICTED: In view of her call to be the new Relief Society General President, Jean B. Bingham was released as First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, Bonnie H. Cordon, formerly Second Counselor, is the new First Counselor, and Christina B. Franco will be the new Second Counselor.
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings.
NOTE: It has been customary for most changes in area seventies to take place in April, when President Uchtdorf leads out in the sustaining vote, and for only a few to take place in October, when President Eyring leads out in the sustaining. Since we are talking about an April General Conference, it would make sense if a lot of changes happened this go-round.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The following Area Seventies have been called to serve as mission presidents and will be among the many releases: Pedro U. Adduru, Angel H. Alarcon, Winsor Balderrama (Sejas) and Abenir V. Pajaro.
RESULT: Only two area seventies were released, and they were both called as General Authority Seventies. It is odd that they did not at least release the 4 above, but it may be that if they are mission presidents in their own lands, they might be able to continue their assignments as area seventies.
NOTE: The tribute offered by President Uchtdorf was the first of the two tributes to Elder Porter in that session. Elder Andersen, who served extensively with Elder Porter, also paid an inspiring tribute to Elder Porter during his remarks.

Before sharing how my predictions for the statistical report turned out, I would like to offer some comments about the changes in general Church leadership. First, President Uchtdorf paid tribute to Elder Bruce D. Porter, the long-serving General Authority who passed away in December. Since I knew the tribute was inevitable, I should have remembered to include it. But I did not. I did appreciate how, later in that same session, Elder Neil L. Andersen, who had served extensively with Elder Porter, also paid an inspiring tribute to him and the service he rendered.

Next, I wanted to note that only two area seventies were released, Elder Godoy and Elder Pingree, and they both became General Authority Seventies. But I know that Elders Koch, Parrella, and Wakolo have all previously been Area Seventies. And Elders Koch, Taylor and Wakolo were serving as mission presidents at the time of their call, while Elder Parrella served as a mission president following his service as an area seventy. I have a feeling that Elder Pingree may somehow be related, if only distantly, to Anne C. Pingree, who served in the Relief Society General Presidency from 2002-2007 during the tenure of Bonnie D. Parkin, but I have been unable to verify that.

Elder Godoy is another Peruvian General Authority, while Elders Koch and Parrella hail from Brazil, Elders Pingree and Taylor are native Utahns, and Elder Wakolo becomes the third black currently serving General Authority, though he was born in Fiji, and may be the first Fijian general authority.

The fact that only Elders Godoy and Pingree were released as area seventies did make me wonder more than a bit, as Elders Pedro U. Adduru, Angel H. Alarcon, Winsor Balderrama (Sejas) and Abenir V. Pajaro were all called to be mission presidents. I was therefore expecting that they would be released as well, even if no one else was, as service as a mission president usually necessitates a release as an area seventy. But then I got to thinking: a mission president assignment is full-time, and an area seventy only serves on a part-time basis. So it could work for one man to do both. After all, General Authorities have previously simultaneously served mission presidents, so why couldn't a current area seventy do likewise, especially if they are called as mission presidents in the same country out of which they serve as area seventies? 

That is the case for all of them. Elders Adduru and Pajaro are serving as area seventies in the Philippines, and have been called to be presidents of two of the missions in that nation.  Elder Alarcon, who lives in Ecuador, has been called to preside over a mission there. And Elder Balderrama serves out of Peru, out of which his mission assignment is based. So it is no great surprise after all. I think it's awesome that the Church has done that in this case.

In the meantime, the Church called a large number of new area seventies, which is great, because it shows how much growth is happening worldwide.

The other prediction I had for changes in Church leadership was a change in the Relief Society Presidency. That happened, but I could not have predicted how that came about. Jean B. Bingham, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, was called as the new Relief Society General President, which necessitated a change in the Primary General Presidency. I have been very impressed with what I've heard of Sister Bingham, and I can sustain her fully in her new calling. This reminds me of what happened 10 years ago when the Relief Society General Presidency was changed. On that occasion, Sister Julie B. Beck, then First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, was called as the Relief Society General President, which led to a similar reorganization of the Young Women General Presidency.

For both changes, the women who had served up to that point as the Second Counselor in the affected presidency became the new First Counselor, with a new First Counselor called. 10 years ago, Elaine S. Dalton became the new First Counselor to Susan W. Tanner, whom she would succeed as General Young Women's President a year later. And Mary N. Cook, a member of the Young Women General Board, became Sister Tanner's new Second Counselor.

So this weekend, Bonnie H. Cordon, who has been Second Counselor to Sister Joy D. Jones, became her new First Counselor, and Christina B. Franco became the new Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency. I don't know just yet how or if the traditional 5-year tenure of most auxiliary presidencies will become a six year tenure for Sisters Jones and Cordon. But there is still time to figure that out.

In the meantime, Sister Bingham's counselors in the Relief Society General Presidency are Sister Sharon Eubank, who has been employed in the Church Welfare system and will continue to be so, and Sister Reyna I. Aburto, who was born in Nicaragua. And this gets even more coincidental. The Church happened to report that Sisters Bingham and Eubank went on a UNICEF field visit to Uganda recently. The trip, which appeared to be humanitarian in its nature, was right in line with their new responsibilities.

I will take this coincidence even further. When Julie B. Beck was called as the new Relief Society President, her counselors were Silvia H. Allred, who was from South America, like Sister Aburto, and Sister Barbara Thompson, who was unmarried, just like Sister Eubank. So this new Relief Society Presidency is much like the one sustained 10 years ago.

And I know a bit more about Sisters Eubank and Franco. Sister Eubank is the daughter of Mark Eubank, who was a KSL 5 weatherman for years and also serves as one of three or four hosts of the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast, and the sister of Kevin Eubank, who succeed his dad as the chief meteorologist at KSL. As for Sister Franco, she is the wife of Rodolfo C. Franco, a former area seventy.

That does it for the discussion of Church leadership changes. Here are my estimates of the statistics, followed, in brackets, by the correct figures. I perfectly predicted many statistics that were announced, came close with a few others, and was nowhere near the actual figures for some others. For what it's worth, here are those results. It does not appear that the tool I am using to write these posts will allow me to post text below this report, so I will end things here. Thanks for reading this. Comments are welcome, but civility is required. I don't want to have to delete any comments that are not in line with what this report was intended to accomplish. Thanks for your cooperation, interest, and support.

2016 Statistical Report

Stakes
3,266
Missions
421
Districts
545 [556]
Wards and Branches
30,207 [30,304]
Total Church Membership
15,932,508 [15,882,417]
Increase in Children of Record
114,655 [109,246]
Converts Baptized
310,646 [240,131]
Full-Time Missionaries
90,517 [70,946]
Church Service Missionaries
33,410 [33,695]
Temples Dedicated during 2016 (Provo City Center, Sapporo Japan, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Fort Collins Colorado, Star Valley Wyoming, Hartford Connecticut)
6
Temples Rededicated during 2016 (Suva Fiji, Freiberg Germany)
2
Temples in Operation by the end of 2016
155

Third General Conference Post: Updated Temple Construction Progress Report

As promised, here is my updated report on temple construction progress, complete with the new temples and the potential sites that have been identified for them, and my revised estimates for when ground might be broken for every temple that has not yet had that happen. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 4/4/17)
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 (or at least by) the start of summer 2017; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 2 renovations scheduled; 13 announced. NOTE: With two groundbreakings having already taken place this year, we could see several others before too much longer. For all of the announced temples that have not yet had a groundbreaking, I offer my best-guess estimate for when that might happen, to which I have recently made adjustments and corrections. One correction is noting that we might only see one other groundbreaking this year, though it seems that one is not as imminent as I originally was led to believe.

Dedication scheduled:
156. Paris France Temple: Construction completed; accepting reservations for public open house (which will run 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: Pergola added to grounds; interior finish work underway; accepting reservations for public open house beginning Monday May 15, 2017; (which will run 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: Monument sign installed; architectural finishes being installed; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Interior paint and millwork installation underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.

Under Construction:
160. Rome Italy Temple: Angel Moroni installed on March 25, 2017; Christus and apostle statues installed at visitor’s center; installing art glass; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Concrete block set in place for base of tower; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Sheathing exterior walls with rigid foam insulation; steel framework for cupola installed; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
163. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior cladding progressing on north wall; planting palm trees on west side; monument sign poured; waterproofing membrane attached to east wall; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Pouring main floor exterior walls; support structure for baptismal font poured; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: For the two temples above, they seem to be interchangeable in terms of which one might potentially be completed and dedicated first. I am trying to keep an eye on any and all developments and will adjust their listings as necessary once more is known.
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Erecting structural framing for temple tower; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
167.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Excavation completed for temple foundation; structural framing going up for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.

Construction pending:
166. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting commencement of full-scale operations, which may occur in April or May 2017 (construction currently delayed by a very bad Canadian winter); completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: Once construction commences, it is anticipated to last around 20 months (approximately 1.67 years.) It is a smaller edifice that is being built to at the moment serve just the one stake in Manitoba. So it might be completed sooner than that. It all depends on how soon construction will be able to start, and how quickly it progresses after that.
168. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday March 4, 2017; awaiting commencement of full-scale operations (which is anticipated ASAP); completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: Once construction commences, it is anticipated to last around 24 months (2 years) in view of it being the one and only building on the project.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday March 4, 2017; awaiting commencement of full-scale operations (which is anticipated ASAP); completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: Once construction commences, it is anticipated to take roughly 28 months (2.25 years) to complete. This is because there are neighboring construction projects involved that will all be worked on simultaneously.

Rededication Scheduled:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Closed for renovation; now accepting reservations for public open house, which will run from Saturday April 22-Saturday May 20 (excluding the Sundays of April 23 & 30 and May 7 & 14); rededication scheduled for Sunday June 4, 2017.

Undergoing Renovation:
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; building basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to 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.
                                                                  
NOTE: In view of the fact that we have already had two temple groundbreaking events so far this year, it is entirely possible that we might see site announcements and groundbreakings for other temples in the near future. That said, it is interesting to consider that, while some of those groundbreakings might be more likely than others, ultimately, it is more difficult than I originally believed to try and pinpoint how soon those groundbreakings are likely to take place. Wanting to be as conservative in my estimates as I am able to be, I have adjusted some things. As always, I would be gratified to hear of such events happening much sooner than anyone expects. But for the moment, it seems wise to make some adjustments. Thanks.

Announced:
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; site announcement and groundbreaking anticipated sometime later this year.
NOTE: While the site announcement for this temple has been anticipated since the president of the Church’s Africa Southeast Area stated it would happen sometime this year, and while I would love to see a site announced just before, sometime during, or shortly after General Conference and to see a groundbreaking happen sometime between the dedication of the Paris France Temple and the rededication of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, I am not as confident as I once was in predicting that it will happen within that time frame. I will be more conservative, therefore, and say that whenever we do have a site announcement, the groundbreaking could take place sometime between mid-and-late 2017.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; temple site confirmed; groundbreaking not announced.
NOTE: On Sunday March 12, while presiding at a stake conference for the area in which the first Haitian temple will be built, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles officially announced and confirmed that, just as members in the area had speculated, the plot of land behind an existing meetinghouse on the Route de Freres (French for “The Route of Brothers”) had been purchased as the official site for the first Haitian temple. While such site announcements generally signal that a groundbreaking might shortly follow, there is reason to believe that it will take the Church at least a year to plan and design the edifice to conform to government regulations and to be acceptable to the locals. It therefore makes sense to adjust my estimate here and to say that a groundbreaking could happen by early-to-mid 2018.
172. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: There is more than sufficient reason to believe the current speculation being perpetuated to the effect that, in the mold of the already-existing multi-purpose buildings that house not only an office building but a meetinghouse and a temple as well (they are now known as the Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York Temples), a similar renovation and rebuilding might happen to a Church-owned office building in Bangkok. If it happens that way, we could see construction there commence with a groundbreaking by early-to-mid 2018 as well.
173. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase; possible temple site identified but not yet confirmed.
NOTE: A site has been identified by priesthood leaders as being located in the northern part of the city. This makes me believe that we might have a groundbreaking sooner than I anticipated, perhaps as soon as mid-2018, if not before. I will keep an eye out for developments on this front and report that information ASAP.
174. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase; possible temple site identified but not yet confirmed.
NOTE: The Church’s Philippines Facebook page has identified the site for this temple as being located on the southern side of the Manila metropolitan area in the area known as Alabang, Muntinlupa City, which may mean a groundbreaking could happen very quickly once the site is confirmed. For that reason, it is not impossible to believe that a groundbreaking could happen as soon as mid-to-late 2018, if not indeed before.
175. Pocatello Idaho: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase; possible temple site identified but not yet confirmed.
NOTE: While an official site confirmation has yet to occur, there is reason to believe that it might be built in any one of a few locations, one of which is a 10-acre land parcel that neighbors the meetinghouse on which the Pocatello Idaho Highland Stake Center sits. For that reason, a groundbreaking could take place as soon as mid-to-late 2018, if the site is officially confirmed.
176. Saratoga Springs Utah: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase.
NOTE: While a specific site for this temple has yet to be confirmed, it has been reported that the Church owns several acres of land in the community, and that one of those Church-owned sites could be used for the temple. If an official site confirmation happens anytime soon, since temples in Utah are often built very easily, it could very well be that a groundbreaking could take place sometime during late 2018-early 2019. I am keeping my eye out for any developments and will refine this estimate as I am able to do so.
177. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: The name of this temple indicates that it will likely be built in the Los Olivos district of Lima. That puts it ahead in many respects than other temples might be. For that reason, I am refining my prediction to say that a groundbreaking might time place during early 2019.
178. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: Growth of the Church in Africa has really taken off, as evidenced by the fact that the last three years of temple announcements has seen one per year for that nation. For that reason, the groundbreaking might take place during early-to-mid 2019.
179. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: I am not in any way anticipating that the delays that prevailed between the announcement and groundbreaking of Ecuador’s first temple in Guayaquil will hinder construction commencing in its’ capital city. The temples announced during the April General Conference this year and their near-likely possibility of having a groundbreaking prior to others has delayed the process somewhat in my mind. However, I still have reason to believe that we could see a groundbreaking here during mid-2019.
180. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: While the other temple announced for Brazil (for the capital city of Brasilia) has already had a possible site identified, and while that makes it more likely that the groundbreaking there will happen sooner than this one, there is still reason to believe that a groundbreaking for the Belem temple could take place during mid-to-late 2019.
181. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase.
NOTE: Temples in Africa, a nation that is growing well in Church membership, seem to go up fairly quickly once their ground is broken. That said, it generally takes around 3-5 years between a site announcement and groundbreaking, except in rare occasions. Wanting to be as careful as I can with such estimates, I would say that we might see a groundbreaking for this temple sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
182. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Stalled in planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: While this temple was announced almost seven years ago in October 2010, the commencement of construction there has been delayed. We have even had another Philippines temple that was announced during the April General Conference this year that has already had a site identified and is therefore much more likely to have construction commence much sooner than this one. While I personally hope that we will never again see future delays to the extent of those that prevailed between the announcements of the temples in Guayaquil Ecuador and its groundbreaking and the Los Angeles California Temple and its groundbreaking (with those 14+ year periods being the longest in Church history), the fact that construction has been delayed on the Urdaneta temple for almost half that long already makes me think that we are not likely to see a groundbreaking for this temple any sooner than early-to-mid 2020. I am hoping for it to happen before then, but want to be as realistic as possible. Again, I will post updates as I receive them.

ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: Temple announcements are possible at any time, but the last twelve announcements have taken place during the April General Conference. I never want to rule out the possibility of announcements at other times, but that has been the pattern for the last three years. There have also been reports of several cities that have had a site purchased for a while now, and where an announcement might happen at any time. I know of at least five that have been identified to me by name: Managua Nicaragua, Auckland New Zealand, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana. If other potential temples have had a site purchased, they have yet to be identified as such. The following temples have been publicly proposed by apostles at various and sundry times:  New Delhi India (in June 1992 by Elder Neal A. Maxwell; may not happen soon due to intense political and religious obstacles); Vilnius Lithuania (in May 1993 by Elder M. Russell Ballard, which may be more of a long-shot possibility); Maracaibo Venezuela (in August 1999 by President Hinckley, which is just waiting for the right conditions); Singapore (in January 2000 by President Hinckley, and is likely to be announced when the time is right); 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. It will be announced at the right time); Managua Nicaragua (in January 2012 by then-Elder Russell M. Nelson; very likely at any time due to Nicaragua being the #1 of the top ten world countries without a temple); Missoula Montana (sometime in 2014 by Elder David A. Bednar during a stake conference in the area; 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, though perhaps not as imminent as I once believed); and for the Kasai Region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (in February 2016 by Elder Neil L. Andersen). There are likely several other sites that the Church has purchased for a potential temple, but those 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. 


Second General Conference News Post: Temple Developments in the last 4 days

Hello. This is, as noted, my second post about General Conference news. 5 temples were announced during President Monson's brief remarks in the Sunday Morning Session, for the following locations: Brasília, Brazil; the greater Manila Philippines area; Nairobi, Kenya; Pocatello, Idaho; and Saratoga Springs, Utah. I was amazed by these announcements. Brasilia Brazil, though I had not officially listed it on my predictions, was the temple I had felt would be announced next in Brazil. And since I had indicated that it would be the next Brazilian Temple, I feel I can get credit for partially having that right. I also had the Philippines listed as a possibility, but I had the wrong city, Davao instead of the second temple that was announced for Manila. I correctly identified Nairobi Kenya and Pocatello Idaho to the exact location. And though I felt convinced that the next Utah County Temple would be in Lehi, I have never been more happy to be proven wrong. Saratoga Springs will be more centrally located than would one for Lehi, though, as I understand it, the temple district will include Lehi, Eagle Mountain, and Saratoga Springs.
But that is only half of the great news in terms of temple developments that happened as a result of this conference. While not officially confirmed at the general Church level, potential and probable sites have been identified for Brasilia Brazil (according to local priesthood leaders, it will be in the northern part of the city); for the greater Manila Philippines area (the Church’s Philippines Facebook page has identified the site for this temple as being located on the southern side of the Manila metropolitan area in the area known as Alabang, Muntinlupa City); for the Pocatello Idaho site (of several locations, the most probable one would seem to be a 10-acre land parcel that neighbors the meetinghouse on which the Pocatello Idaho Highland Stake Center sits); and for even the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple (the Church owns several acres of land in the community, and that one of them could be used as the temple site). Again, all of this is not official until the Church makes it so. But to have a probable site for four out of the five temples that were announced just two days ago has me convinced that official confirmations of those sites will take place shortly, opening the possibility that subsequent groundbreakings will happen sooner rather than later. In additional temple news, reservations for the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple open house became available yesterday. And with the news of these new temples and how much closer they appear to be to a groundbreaking than the others that have previously been announced, I have once again taken the opportunity to update my temple construction progress report, and am in the middle of a major revision of my estimates for when future temple-related events might be announced and scheduled to take place. I will post that revised estimate once I am finished with it. For now, this is my update on temple developments. I will post again in a minute with my third update, a temple construction progress report, and will follow that up with two others: one that takes a look at Church leadership changes and the statistical report, and one about how my overall predictions for this conference panned out. Stay tuned, and thanks.

Update: President Monson's Health Condition

I know that my report of general conference news and information is still pending, but I wanted to share news I just received and my assessment of it, which partially has to do with my General Conference observations. More developments from General Conference are coming shortly, but I am working on a couple of post-conference things that are important to me. That said, here's what I know:

As has been the custom in the four general conferences prior to the one that took place this weekend, President Monson only spoke twice, and the combined length of his remarks was less than 10 minutes. Additionally, he was only in attendance at 3 of the 6 sessions of General Conference last weekend.

During his brief remarks in the Priesthood and Sunday Morning Sessions, he spoke of topics of import. While my wife and I had no problem whatsoever understanding what he was saying, I was initially surprised that his remarks were captioned. But my wife observed that the intent there might have been to prove to the Church and its many critics that President Monson is capable of accurately delivering verbatim the messages he has prepared. In spite of the brief and captioned remarks and his not being in attendance at sessions in which he did not speak, I was pleased to hear his messages.

That said, on both occasions, I had the distinct feeling come to me that these might be his last addresses as Church President. I have been wrong before in so saying and feeling, as many of you have been so kind as to observe, but I cannot help feeling that he might not live to see his 90th birthday. I hope I am off base here, but it seems to be possible.

This is even more true in light of the brief breaking news that was shared near the end of the 5:00 pm newscast on KSL. It was reported by the Church about an hour ago that President Monson has been hospitalized.

The news releases I have read have been reassuring as to his condition, with the statement from the Church spokesman that President Monson is all right, and that the hospital stay is anticipated to be very brief.

That said, another local news outlet, the Deseret News, also released an article about our prophet's health condition, both what it has been in general recently, and what it now is. So I am not sure what to make of that report. Click here to read that article, which includes emphasis on what happens in the event a Church President is ill, if and when he passes away, and also what happens when other leading Brethren fall ill. Also, click here to read the report that was posted on KSL.com, which is the website for my favorite local news (that local station is, as before noted, at least partially or fully owned and operated by the Church).

It is looking more and more likely that President Monson might pass away very soon, if not as imminently as many think or speculate. I hope that he will have the chance to see his 90th birthday (which is about 4.5 months away) and the 10th anniversary of his tenure as Church President (which will happen in less than 10 months), but I am not as sure as I once was that he will reach either milestone. I will post more on this as I find out more.

For now, this is the update I wanted to share. Feel free to share your thoughts about President Monson's condition. I am trying my best to moderate comments as they occur. I am not wiling to enable required approval prior to allowing such comments to be posted, because it is a hassle I don't need. But to make things easier for me, I would ask and request that any comments stay respectful. I would urge us all to follow the advice of Thumper's mother in Bambi: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Any comments that are disparaging or criticizing about our prophet, me or anyone else who comments on this thread will be deleted as spam as soon as I learn of them. Thanks for helping to keep the discourse civil.

It is my hope that we will all continue to keep our beloved prophet and Church President in our prayers. Thanks again.