Need more information?

Top Leaderboard

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wishing a Happy Birthday to President Henry B. Eyring

Tomorrow, President Henry B. Eyring will observe his 84th birthday. I wanted to take this opportunity to pay a brief tribute to his lifetime of extensive Church Service. His general Church service began when Elder Neal A. Maxwell, then Commissioner of Church Education, invited him to become the president of Ricks College, which is now known as BYU-Idaho. President Eyring would later go on to serve twice as Commissioner of Church Education himself between 1980 and 1986, and again between 1992 and 2004.

In the interim, he was called in 1985 to serve as First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric under future fellow apostle Robert D. Hales, and was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1992. Three years later, in April 1995, he became the first apostle called by President Gordon B. Hinckley, who called him 12.5 years later to serve as the new Second Counselor in the First Presidency following the death of President James E. Faust. When President Hinckley himself passed away just under four months later, President Eyring resumed his place in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for a week prior to being called as first counselor to President Thomas S. Monson on February 3, 2008.

In light of the recent Church announcement that President Monson will no longer be actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the Church, President Eyring and Second Counselor President Dieter F. Uchtdorf will, in consultation with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will see to the day-to-day operations of the Church, including making any decisions that that do not need President Monson's input and consent. This will be a great opportunity for all 14 apostles to grow. In the meantime, while President Eyring is naturally showing some minor signs of his 84 years of life, he still seems to be healthy and operating at the fullest of his ability.

So, in preparation for his special day tomorrow, I would like to thank President Eyring for his many years of devoted service in the Church. He is known as one of the most tenderhearted of our current apostles, and has demonstrated time and time again his devotion to the Church and his concern for its members and what they are going through on a day-to-day basis. Speaking personally, I was initially surprised to hear President Hinckley announce that President Eyring would be joining the First Presidency those many years ago, but I have long since realized just how inspired that decision was. President Eyring, though he is the 7th in apostolic seniority at present, has been very devoted and committed to carrying on the work of the Lord under the direction of President Monson, and I have every confidence that he, President Uchtdorf, and the other apostles will continue to advance the marvelous vision President Monson has for the progression of the Church.

Best wishes to President Eyring as he observes his birthday tomorrow.  Comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks to you all for taking time to read this.

Church News features an article on New Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham

The Church News ran this article about newly appointed General Relief Society President Jean B. Bingham. It was great to learn more about her. Enjoy! As always, comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

Temple News and Events Update

Hello. This will be the first in a series of rapid-fire posts I will do today. While no significant developments have happened with temple construction, I have learned a couple of neat things. First, the Tucson Arizona temple will officially open for tours this Saturday, though VIP and media tours are being conducted between now and then. The Church News ran this article about the open house, which will run for three weeks, excluding Sundays.

In addition, the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple will be rededicated on Sunday. While there has been no word yet about who might preside at that event, and who else might be in attendance, I have done further research on that. I found out that Elder Gary E. Stevenson was married in that temple years ago, so it is very likely he will be in attendance.

And while I originally theorized that President Eyring and Elder Andersen might be in attendance in view of their ties to Idaho, they represented top Church leadership at the Paris France Temple dedication just over a week ago. The Church seems to like rotating attendance at such events among all the apostles, which makes me think that President Eyring and Elder Andersen will not be participating in this event.

I still believe that President Uchtdorf, who broke ground for the Tucson Arizona Temple, will return for that temple's dedication in August. So it is my new theory that a senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve will preside at this rededication, which has happened many times with other rededications. The only question is which senior apostle will do that. I had thought in passing that Elder Bednar, another apostle who has ties to Idaho, could do it, but it is more likely that he will be involved somehow with the Meridian Idaho dedication, as he was the one to break ground for that temple.

And in view of the fact that Elder Hales is still not in good health, and because I also found out that Elder Ballard has been somewhat involved of late with the Utah South Area, and in view of the fact that he and Elder Holland, who has extensive ties to southern Utah, might possibly be involved in the dedication of the Cedar City temple later this month, by process of elimination, I feel we could see either President Nelson or Elder Oaks preside at this rededication.

Those are just my thoughts on some temple news and events. As always, let me know yours. Thanks.

Massive Temple Construction Update

Hello, all! I had posted twice within the last 12 hours with temple construction progress updates, but as more developments happened, I decided to combine those two with the latest developments, and I am reporting everything in this one post. There is so much to share that has apparently come to light in such a short time. Enjoy, and please let me know your thoughts.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 5/30/17)

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 156 temples in operation;  1 is accepting reservations for its open house; 2 more have construction concluding and a dedication scheduled for later this year; 9 are under construction right now; 1 other has construction pending (groundbreaking was last year), and will commence construction ASAP; operating temple is preparing for its rededication; 2 others are undergoing renovation; 4 other temples have a renovation closure date set, while 2 others have been announced for next year; the remaining 13 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

NOTE: I learned over the weekend of May 12-15 that there is a possibility we could see more groundbreakings later this year. I will be keeping my eyes open for any temple-related news and will post those as I hear of them. For now, this is a correction from what I had previously reported.

Construction completed; media tours underway; open house begins Saturday:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: VIP/Media tours underway; reservations being accepted for open house (which starts on Saturday and will run for exactly three weeks, Sundays excluded); dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior finish work underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Exterior lighting test begin; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated next year):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior and exterior work progressing; installing art glass windows; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Attaching insulating block and laying brick over south and west walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Stone cladding underway on north and east walls; 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: Scaffolding removed from north wall; cladding progressing on west and south walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Elevator shafts and a majority of upper temple walls poured; upper 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: Tower base walls poured; scaffolding removed; completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Preparing to pour footings for foundation; surrounding property being cleared and graded; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: I have previously observed that this temple and the one in Winnipeg could be said to be interchangeable. With all that was known and unknown, I had been convinced until tonight that Winnipeg would be completed first. But with the massive progress reported on this temple just within the last 24 hours or so, I now believe that this temple will be completed first. More to come once more is known.
168.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Temple foundation work continues; running utility lines; pouring final exterior walls for meetinghouse; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Tower crane erected; excavating for the foundation; 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 within the next month or so; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As noted above in relation to the Rio temple, unless earnest construction begins on this temple within the next couple of weeks or so, I think it is safer to assume and to assert now that Rio will be finished first. More to come once more is known.
           
Preparing for rededication:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Preparing for rededication, which is 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.
NOTE: I originally believed and was predicting that the rededication of this temple would be one of the first temple-related events of next year. But as I was recently reminded, it is more difficult to predict a time-frame for such events than it is to predict a probable time-frame for newer temples. I am keeping my eye out for developments on this front, and will be sure to pass along any updates.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to mid-2018.
NOTE: As noted above, a probable time-frame for a temple’s rededication is harder to anticipate than I originally believed. While I personally hope to see this rededication sometime during next summer, time will tell whether or not that is reasonable to anticipate. I will update this information as I find out more.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As noted a few days ago, though the First Presidency originally set November as the closure month for this temple, it was later officially confirmed that the closure would happen before the end of September. I additionally found out within the last couple of days that this temple is at the top of the list of planned renovations because it comes first alphabetically. So, in spite of the fact that I had recently changed my estimate for this temple’s completion, it made sense to restore my original thinking, and I am even more convinced now that this temple will likely not be rededicated until after the rededication of the Oakland California temple, as the work on temples within the US (whether new or being renovated) is almost always completed ahead of that of their international counterparts. If necessary, I will revise this estimate once more is known.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: While I had, after rethinking things, adjusted my completion estimate for this temple, I restored my original estimate because, as we know, renovations of US temples are usually completed more quickly than their international counterparts. So I have no doubt that this temple will be the first one to be rededicated in 2019.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: This temple is only in this position Though Tokyo is ahead of Paraguay or the US timewise, because this temple is alphabetically the last one that will close on the date noted above. As we also know that this renovation will only be completed sometime in 2020, and as this temple is outside the US, I am more convinced than ever that this temple’s rededication will not take place until sometime after that of the Washington DC Temple, which is set to close about nine months.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 14, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: While this temple is the last of the four that will close for renovation by the end of this year, it is nonetheless a temple within the US, which makes it more than likely that its subsequent rededication will follow that of the Memphis Tennessee temple, and will precede those of the Oakland California and Asuncion Paraguay temples.

Temples that have a renovation closure announced, but no official date made known yet:
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 rededicated before the Paraguayan one.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during 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: As mentioned above, I learned earlier this month that we might have as many as 4 temples that could potentially have a groundbreaking later this year. The chances are equally likely that no other groundbreakings will happen until sometime in 2018. As with every other temple-related development, I am doing my best to reevaluate things as more information comes to light, and I will be sure to pass along any updates. In the meantime, this is mostly just my own thoughts and impressions based on what I have learned and observed.

Announced:
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2017.
NOTE: Though we have Elder Hamilton’s statement to the effect that a site announcement and groundbreaking for Zimbabwe’s first temple would take place during this year, all we know right now is that further developments are pending. Things have been known to happen quickly for other temples, so I have felt confident that a site announcement could happen within the next couple of months, and that a groundbreaking could follow on or around August 26. That said, nothing is official until the Brethren make it so, so adjustments will be made as more is revealed.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2017.
NOTE: Since a site confirmation happened for this temple last March, a groundbreaking could happen anytime soon. I could even see the Church scheduling that before anything official happens for Zimbabwe’s first temple. That said, most sources I have found seem to agree that the Zimbabwe groundbreaking will happen first. Whether or not it does, I could see the Church breaking ground for Haiti’s first temple on or around September 16. Until the Brethren make it official, that is merely a hope on my part. Adjustments will be made as more information is available.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could happen sometime during mid-to-late 2017.
NOTE: This temple is the oldest of those that have not progressed beyond an announcement. A variety of factors stalled any developments from happening before now. With those factors having being cleared up, I have heard that a groundbreaking could happen this year or next year. Speaking optimistically, I could see the Church setting October 14 as the date for that groundbreaking. Those are just my own thoughts, however, and adjustments will be made once more is known.
173. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during mid-to-late 2017.
NOTE: As I have stated in previous versions of this report, the contractor working on the Arequipa Peru temple will oversee this temple’s construction as well. He indicated recently that it would take a year to make the necessary plans for this project. What is still unclear is whether that was one year from the temple’s announcement (which has come and gone), or one year from his statement. If it is the former, we could see a groundbreaking on or around December 2. That, of course, is just a hope on my part. Once more is known, an adjustment will be made.
174. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed.
NOTE: Knowing that this site has been confirmed by local priesthood leaders (it is located in the northern section of the city, near an arm of Paranoa Lake), we also know that a site confirmation is the hardest part of getting a temple built. Unless the site changes, it is becoming increasingly more likely that a groundbreaking will be held sometime during early-to-mid 2018. If the groundbreaking happens during that time, it will mark the first time in almost 20 years that the Church has had three temples simultaneously under construction in Brazil. I am keeping an eye on developments with this temple and will adjust this estimate as needed.
175. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official name announcement.
NOTE: Unless problems arise, the site identified by the Church’s Philippines Facebook page (on the southern side of the Manila metropolitan area in Alabang, Muntinlupa City) will more than likely be the official site. As finding a site is the most complex part of getting a temple built, it is very possible that we might see a groundbreaking for this temple by early-to-mid 2018. If the groundbreaking takes place during this time, then we would have two temples simultaneously under construction in the Philippines for the very first time in Church history. It is also anticipated that the Church will announce an official name for this temple in the very near future, as the name for the second Lima Peru Temple was announced within a month after the temple announcement. As with everything else, I am keeping an eye out for developments and will provide updated information when more is known.
176. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation.
NOTE: A probable site has been identified but not yet confirmed. The LDS Church Temples site noted on May 12, 2017 a statement by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, the Temple Department Executive Director, that this temple is anticipated to be a larger edifice in the mold of the temple that will be dedicated later this year in Meridian. Once more is known officially regarding the site, it will be easier to make an adjustment as to how soon the groundbreaking might take place and how long construction might subsequently take. If it is true that this temple will be similar to Meridian, we might not see a groundbreaking any sooner than mid-to-late 2018. That said, I also recognize fully that temples in the US have typically always commenced construction faster than their counterparts outside the US, so it would not surprise me if this groundbreaking happened sooner than that. As always, I am keeping an eye on developments, and I will adjust this estimate as I am able to do so once more is known.
177. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: While it is true that temples in the United States (and particularly those in Utah County) get started much more quickly than temples elsewhere, it is also true that an official site confirmation is still pending. We do know, as previously noted, that the Church owns several plots of land in this city, so if one of them is chosen as the site, the groundbreaking could happen shortly thereafter. Until more is known, it seems wise to adjust my previous estimate for a groundbreaking to sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
178. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: As previously noted in other versions of this construction progress report, member speculation is that an existing building might be renovated and repurposed as Thailand’s first temple and also house Church offices and a meetinghouse as well. If that speculation is confirmed anytime soon, we might see a groundbreaking shortly after. In the meantime, it might be best to revise my previous estimate and say that a groundbreaking could take place in mid-to-late 2018. More to come once more is known.
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 two or three 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: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
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. A site is being held in reserve for that temple, and that location will be announced when membership and temple activity warrant that announcement); 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.