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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Temple News/Temple Construction Progress Update

Hello. A couple of developments have happened on the temple news front. Click here for a virtual tour of the Paris France Temple and here to read a report of another possible site that is reportedly being debated for the Pocatello Idaho Temple. There have also been other developments on the temple news front, minor though they may be, that have made it necessary to post an update on my report of temple construction progress. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 4/20/17)
Current Temple Status: 155 operating; scheduled for dedication9 under construction; 1 more has construction pending, and may commence construction in May or June of this year; scheduled for rededication; 2 undergoing renovation; 6 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: VIP/media tours started April 7; 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: Monument sign being installed; 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: Planting trees and flowers on grounds; 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: Exterior walls waterproofed; structural steel framing for roof underway; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Exterior walls sheathed with rigid foam insulation; stone cladding underway; completion anticipated sometime during mid-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 these estimates as necessary once more is known.
163. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior cladding progressing on north and west walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Scaffolding erected in preparation for second-level floor and walls; floor slab poured for missionary housing; 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 these estimates as necessary once more is known.
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Erecting structural framing for temple tower; completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction barrier erected; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: At this point, since the work has not begun in earnest on the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple, it is unclear which of the two will be finished first. I will reevaluate things once that happens. For the moment, though, it appears that the two could be interchangeable. And since work has begun in earnest on this Brazilian temple, in my mind, that puts it ahead of the not-yet-started Winnipeg temple. I will keep an eye on developments, and will try to make a better estimate when more is known.
168.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring footings for temple foundation; structural framing continues for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Construction trailers on site; construction barrier erected; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Construction pending:
167. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations, which may start at any time (whenever the aftermath of the awful Canadian winter resolves itself); completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: Construction on this temple is expected to begin in earnest anytime within the next two months. That construction is anticipated to last 20 months (1.67 years). Right now, it seems that either this temple or the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple could be interchangeable in terms of their future completion. Once construction commences on this temple, I will feel more confident in trying to figure out which of the two will be completed first. Until that time, since work has begun in earnest on the Rio temple, I have tentatively put it ahead of this one.

Rededication Scheduled:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Renovation completed; VIP/Media tours started April 17; 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; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to mid-2018.

Renovation Scheduled:
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in October 2017; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in October 2017; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in October 2017; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in November 2017; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
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; official site announcement anticipated later this year; groundbreaking may follow shortly thereafter.
NOTE: While the site announcement is pending, Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, who serves as the president of the Church’s Africa Southeast Area, has said that it will be announced later this year and that a groundbreaking would be anticipated sometime shortly thereafter. It is therefore not impossible to believe that this temple could have a groundbreaking sometime between mid-and-late 2017
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
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 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 this temple. Since site confirmations generally precede groundbreakings by roughly a year, it is more than likely that a groundbreaking could be held sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Awaiting government approval and official site announcement.
NOTE: Given the fact that the delays preventing this temple from progressing seem to be over, there have been reports that a groundbreaking could happen for this temple as soon as later this year. However, the nature of such reports are vague and uncertain enough that it could be pushed back to next year. Speaking optimistically, I would revise my estimate to say that, if progress continues unhindered, a groundbreaking could happen on this temple by early-to-mid 2018.
173. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase; site confirmed.
NOTE: As official site confirmations are not now done at the general Church level as much as they used to be previously, it is most likely that the site confirmed by priesthood leaders, which is located in the northern section of the city, near an arm of Paranoa Lake, will be the official site for the temple. This increases the likelihood that a groundbreaking for the temple could be held sooner rather than later, perhaps by mid-2018. If that happens, then it would be the first time in almost 20 years that the Church had three temples simultaneously under construction in Brazil.
174. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase; site confirmed.
NOTE: The Church’s Philippines Facebook page has stated that this temple will be built on the southern side of the Manila metropolitan area in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Because this statement essentially constitutes a site confirmation, it is very possible that we might see a groundbreaking for this temple by mid-2018, if not before. I will be keeping my eye out for developments as they happen and will revise my estimate as I am able to. If this groundbreaking happens as estimated, then we would have two temples simultaneously under construction in the Philippines for the very first time in Church history. Additionally, it is not unreasonable to believe that the Church will be releasing an official name for this second temple for the capital city of the Philippines within the next month, as the official name for the second temple in Lima Peru was released within 3 weeks after it was announced. So I have no doubt that will happen for this temple. It is also more than likely that we might see a groundbreaking for the newest temples in Idaho and Utah County before this one. Right now, the only reason this temple is above those ones is because there has been a site confirmation already.
175. Pocatello Idaho: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase; probable site identified and annexed into Pocatello City; though other sites are under consideration.
NOTE: While many sites are reportedly under consideration for this temple, the most likely one is a 10-acre plot of land next to the Pocatello Idaho Highland Stake Center, which was annexed into Pocatello City on April 6, 2017. Another site was reported by an Idaho news network today.  If either site is confirmed anytime soon, we could see a groundbreaking for this temple sometime during mid-2018. Because US temples usually get started and finished so much sooner than temples elsewhere, it would not surprise me in any way if Idaho’s newest temple had a groundbreaking before the Greater Manila Philippines Temple above. The only reason for listing this temple here currently is because it has not yet had a site confirmed. But in my timeline for future temple-related events, I do list a groundbreaking for this temple before that of the temple above.
176. Saratoga Springs Utah: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase.
NOTE: While an official site has yet to be confirmed for this temple, we do know that the Church owns several acres of land in the community. And we also know that temples in Utah, particularly in Utah County, typically commence construction well before temples elsewhere. This temple is only in this position on this report because a site confirmation has not yet happened. But on my timeline for future temple-related events, I do have this temple’s future groundbreaking happening before that for the second Manila Philippines Temple. Either way, if a site is confirmed soon, we could see this groundbreaking happen during mid-to-late 2018.
177. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: Because local speculation is that an existing building that houses Church offices might be renovated and repurposed into a multi-purpose edifice that would house not only Church offices, but a meetinghouse and the temple as well (in similar fashion to what has been done for the Manhattan New York and Hong Kong China temples, it could very well be that we could see a groundbreaking for this temple sometime in mid-to-late 2018, if the site is confirmed through any means anytime soon. I will be keeping an eye on developments with this temple and will revise my estimate if needed once more is known.
178. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: The official name of this second temple for Peru’s capital city (released less than three weeks after it was announced) seems to indicate that it will be built in the Los Olivos district. That being the case, it is not hard to believe that we might see a groundbreaking for this temple sometime during early 2019.
179. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: The Church has seen substantial growth on the African continent in recent years. This is verified by the fact that, with the announcement of the 12 temples over the last three years during April General Conference, 3 (25%) of those have been in Africa. I would therefore hope that this temple, announced in 2015, would not have to wait too long for a groundbreaking, but I could see it happening sometime during early 2019, if not before.
180. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: While the first temple in Ecuador had a 14-year delay between its announcement and the subsequent groundbreaking (the second-longest such period in Church history), this temple is not nearly as likely to see such delays. The Church in South America has grown at an astonishing rate, and that is evidenced by the fact that 4 of the 12 temples announced most recently (25%) have been for South America. With the temples above most likely to have a groundbreaking first, it is very possible that we could see a groundbreaking for this time sometime during mid-2019, if not before.
181. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: South America, as noted above, has been very receptive to the gospel. As a result, more temples are coming to that continent. And while this temple has not yet had a site identified or confirmed, Brazilian temples typically have been built very swiftly. While I am hoping to see it sooner, and while I will be happy to adjust my estimate going forward if that is necessary, it seems wise for the moment to revise my estimate and say that we could see a groundbreaking during mid-2019, which would ensure that we will have at least two temples under construction in Brazil at least for the next couple of years. I will revise my estimate if and when I am able to do so.
182. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Announced April 2, 2017; planning phase.
NOTE: It is becoming increasingly more likely that this African temple might be the last of the current bunch to have a groundbreaking. That said, with the Church growth that is occurring on the African continent, and with temples having gone up fairly quickly once a site is identified, I will revise my previous estimate and say that we will likely see a groundbreaking for this temple sometime during mid-to-late 2019.

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 highlights changes from the last posted temple progress report. 

Church News Runs First Article about Newly Sustained Church Leaders: Elder Taylor G. Godoy featured this week

As a start to their series of articles about new General Authorities and Church officers, the Church ran this article about Elder Taylor G. Godoy. It is wonderful to get to know him a bit better. I can see why the Lord called him. Enjoy! Subsequent articles of other new Church leaders will follow as they are published. Thanks to you all for reading this.

Church News Update

The Church has posted so much news in the last little while that I felt a need to pass some items along. Thanks to all of you who will bear with me as I share items that, for me, struck a very personal chord.

First of all, the Church is offering a glimpse inside the newly completed Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, which is currently hosting media tours in preparation for its open house, which, along with the Paris France Temple open house, will start this Saturday. Click here for that article.

In New Zealand, a monument was recently dedicated in memory of Elder Matthew Cowley, who was known as "the apostle to the Maoris." The event was well attended by Church leaders, and is a fitting tribute to this apostle's work. Click here to read about that.

In connection with the Easter post I did four days ago, I found a Church News article which I had somehow overlooked. It recounted a presentation by a BYU scholar on updated research about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, particularly how it updated the content of the scholarly work Jesus the Christ, written by James E. Talmage. His prolific writing and speaking skills were akin to those of more recent apostles Bruce R. McConkie and Neal A. Maxwell. They made people think.

Quick sidenote: I remember when I first read Jesus the Christ, around my 19th birthday when I received my "missionary library". My part-time service, which came in parts and took three months after my birthday to officially start, allowed me the flexibility to serve as I could and do normal activities when I wasn't doing my missionary service, as long as I remained worthy of a temple recommend. Some might not term that as a "real mission", but it was work, and it turned out to be the most rewarding period of my life. As I tried to get through the written work by Elder Talmage, more often than not, trying to understand the profound insights wore me out physically, spiritually, and intellectually. And I know why I and so many others found it so hard to get through. It had been thoroughly researched and prayed about, and had, for the most part, been composed in a private room in the Salt Lake Temple. Written under the direction of the Spirit, the presence of the Spirit was necessary to understand that.

But getting back to the Church News article, this modern scholar who had extensively studied the Savior's final days, provided an important update to some of the things Elder Talmage had said in his landmark work, particularly as it relates to the trial of Jesus. These inspiring additional insights can be found by reading this article.

BYU held its annual Easter Conference on the day Christians refer to as "Good Friday." Speakers at the conference touched on many important aspects of the Savior's life and mission. Read about that conference here.

The history of Mexico, particularly the progress of the Church there, is now preserved at a museum that was dedicated recently. Many General Authorities of the Church were in attendance, including two members of the Mexico Area Presidency (Area President Paul B. Pieper, who offered remarks, and his first counselor, Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela, a native of Mexico), one other General Authority Seventy (Elder J. Devn Cornish, who currently serves as an Assistant Executive Director of the Church History Department), and another Church History Department representative, Brother Matthew Gellman. Click here for more on that.

In honor of the Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Church donated a sizable contribution to the South Valley Children's Center, and sent several women's auxiliary leaders to observe the presentation. Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, represented the Church in presenting the donation. She was accompanied by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President, her first counselor Carol F. McConkie, and Sister Reyna I. Aburto, newly sustained Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. Local law enforcement representatives and journalists were also in attendance for the presentation and tour of the facility. To read more about this, click here.

More coming in a minute.