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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Still Another Temple Construction Progress Update

Hello, all! It has been an exciting day for temple construction, This blog post will serve to provide  an updated version of my report of that progress. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 4/26/17)

NOTE: There will be a total of 182 operating temples once all of those announced, under construction, or undergoing renovation. Of those, we currently have 155 temples in operation; 1 other has construction completed and open house tours underway; 3 more have construction concluding and a dedication scheduled; 9 are under construction right now; 1 other has construction pending (groundbreaking was last year), and will commence construction ASAP; of those 155 operating temples is scheduled for rededication following the completion of its renovation and currently has open house tours underway; 2 others are undergoing renovation; 6 more will close for renovations already scheduled (with all of those closures happening within the next 10 months); and the remaining 13 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending. 

ADDITIONAL NOTE: With two groundbreakings having already taken place this year, we could see several others by this time next year. For all of the announced temples that have not yet had a groundbreaking, I offer my best-guess estimate for when that might happen. As for this year, we may or may not see any other groundbreakings, or, if we do, there will only be one or two. The next two or three years promise to be full in terms of temple-related events.

Construction completed; open house underway:
156. Paris France Temple: Public open house tours underway; accepting reservations through Saturday May 13 (excluding Sundays); dedication scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.

Dedication scheduled:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Monument sign inscription gilded; interior finish work underway; accepting reservations for public open house beginning Monday May 15, 2017 (open house will last three weeks (between the Saturdays of June 3-24, excluding Sundays); dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Installation adjustments being made to art glass; interior finish work underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Planting trees and flowers on grounds; installation of exterior floodlighting underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
NOTE: The fact that the installation of exterior floodlighting is underway can be confirmed by the information on the news page of the LDS Church Temples website, though it is not listed on the construction status page.

Under Construction (completion anticipated next year):
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: Setting steel roof trusses; 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: Upper floor slab poured for temple; ground 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.

Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 3 years or less:
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Concrete forms in place for lower tower walls; completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction barrier erected; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: In my mind, since this temple and the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple are slated for completion during the same general timeframe, the fact that work has not begun in earnest on the Canadian temple puts this Brazilian one ahead of Canada’s newest temple. But once construction begins in earnest in Winnipeg, things could change.  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: Leveling and staking the site; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Construction pending (anticipated to start anytime):
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). As noted above in regards to this temple and the Rio temple, since both are slated for completion during the same general timeframe (mid-2019), either could be completed first. I will keep an eye on things and adjust the order if and when necessary once more is known.

Rededication Scheduled; open house underway:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Public open house tours underway; accepting reservations through Saturday May 20 (Sundays excluded); rededication scheduled for Sunday June 4, 2017.
Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
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.

Renovations Scheduled (all of which will start within the next 10 months or less):
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in October 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: Renovations of US temples are usually completed more quickly than their international counterparts. With that and the fact that this temple is set to reopen in 2019, this seems to be a safe initial estimate.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in October 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As noted above, US temple renovations are completed sooner than they are elsewhere. But it is also true that temples that simultaneously close for renovation are rarely completed within the same time frame. Therefore, this seems to be a better estimate.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in October 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: Renovations for temples outside the United States always take longer. With that in mind, it seems reasonable to surmise that we will not see a rededication for this temple until after the Washington DC Temple is rededicated.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in November 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As this temple was the most recent among this scheduled renovation group to be dedicated, and as it is another that is projected to have a rededication during 2019, the time-frame above seems most likely for that to happen. It would not surprise me at all to see the Oakland California temple rededicated before this one. Time will tell.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: The renovation for this temple, the oldest of those scheduled for a renovation, is anticipated to be completed in 2019 sometime. The timeframe indicated above therefore seems reasonable, as is also the assumption that this temple will be rededication before the Paraguayan one.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: This temple, the last one currently scheduled for renovation, is anticipated to be completed sometime during 2020. Because we know that US temple renovations are completed more quickly, it is relatively safe to assume that the rededication of this temple will happen sometime prior to that of the Tokyo Japan Temple.

NOTE: With two groundbreakings having taken place so far this year, it is hoped that we might see other announced temples reach that milestone as well before the end of this year. However, wanting to be as conservative as I am able to be in this estimate, I have only listed one for now. If anything crosses my radar, I will be happy to make another change.

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 the site 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. That said, it has also been customary for site confirmations to precede a groundbreaking by roughly a year, so I could see this groundbreaking happening sometime next year. I am keeping an eye out for developments and will adjust my predictions as necessary.
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: Planning and approval phase; 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: 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: planning phase; awaiting official name announcement.
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. As indicated in previous versions of this report, a name for the second Lima Peru temple was announced within three weeks after the temple announcement, and it was confirmed today that an official name for this temple is anticipated soon.
175. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation.
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 yesterday, though the first seems more likely.  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; awaiting official site announcement.
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.
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.

500th Blog Post: News Article about the Tucson Arizona Temple Open House

Hello. I only realized this just barely, but this is my 500th blog post. And for a blog that has become mostly about temple-related news and developments, although some focus is on other Church-related topics and personal news as well, I could not think of a better topic for this milestone than the planned opening of another Church temple. A local Arizona newspaper carried a story about the open house scheduled in June for the temple in Tucson. Here is that article. I was very excited to read it, and I hope each of you will enjoy it as well.

As I have before mentioned, the Tucson temple is significant for the fact that its open house will conclude two months before the scheduled dedication. As previously noted, the likely reason for this is the annual July recess of the general authorities and particularly of the apostles. While, as have been observed before, plenty of Church-related events have happened during the traditional recess, I can definitely see the appeal of having that distance between the open house and dedication. And it would be awesome if, as I before mentioned, President Uchtdorf, who broke ground for this temple, is asked to come back to Arizona to dedicate it.

We live in a very exciting time in terms of temple-related developments. And I feel incredibly best to be able to post about the latest news. I am also grateful to have so many  of you that have expressed interest in and support for these reports I do. Comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you.

Yet Another Article about the potential site for Pocatello Idaho Temple

In keeping with the tradition of its impartial reporting on temple developments, the LDS Church Temples site published another article about the Pocatello Idaho Temple which delves further into the subject of where the Church might put that temple. As I have before tried to observe many times, while a potential site has been identified and annexed into Pocatello City, several sites are under consideration, and a final decision is pending. You will find the article in question here.

I also wanted to make something clear, if I have not done so sufficiently already: Even if I have felt confident about when future temple events take place, at the end of the day, my thoughts are simply my own based on research I have done, and are not in any way meant to be taken as an official statement of the Church's intentions. Even if I had the right to speak for the Church, I would not feel comfortable doing so unless and until I could find cold hard research that verified my expressed opinion.

What that means in this particular case is that I can speculate, conjecture, or predict that the first site identified for this temple will be the most likely one, and the a groundbreaking will happen by the middle part of next year, but unless and until the Church verifies any of that, such expressions are merely my own thoughts and feelings and should not in any way be taken as official. While I pride myself on knowing or being able to learn as much as I can about the process by which temple sites are selected, ground is broken, construction takes place, and a subsequent dedication is held, I hope no one gets the idea that my thoughts are endorsed by the Church, or should be taken as above reproach, correction, or clarification. That never has been and probably never will be the case.

All I can do is thoroughly research these things, ask for feedback on my thoughts, make corrections for the future, and clarify things as needed. I am not and never will be infallible. I enjoy learning about such things and sharing them with you all. I am gratified when my thoughts have been verified as being in line with the Lord's will, but I am no less so whenever He proves that I have been mistake, incorrect, or in error. I hope that everyone who reads my posts understands that.

I also hope that you all know how much I value your input and feedback. I hope that my blog can continue to serve as a place where there can be a civil, polite, and kind exchanging of ideas, and that no one feels belittled, intimidated, bullied, overlooked, or disregarded by me or by anyone else for having their own thoughts and opinions. I have just recently written my thoughts about the importance of civility, and that applies even more so when speaking of ongoing Church- and temple-related development. It is largely because the previous comments on this blog have changed the course of dialogue and lines of thought that I have been able to have any degree of success which I have achieved as a blogger, and I am honored that my thoughts are so well respected and received,, and I hope that all of you feel the same way. Thanks for your time.