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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Church unit growth from last Sunday

In a recent post a day or two ago, I had reported the latest unit creation information, and thrown out some potential figures for continued unit growth in 2017. In checking into such developments just a few minutes ago, I found that the Church created 1 district and 3 new stakes last Sunday (one of which was upgraded from a district). There has also been the report of several Church units being created. You can track the changes reported on the LDS Church Temples site here, where the creation of stakes and districts is followed half-way down the page by the specific changes in wards and branches, and you can also depend on a more thorough analysis of these developments by Matthew Martinich on the the LDS Church Growth Blog, which can be found here. For now, I will leave things at that.

Three additional US Temples Set to Close for Renovation within the next year

The First Presidency today announced the closure of three more US temples for renovation: the Raleigh North Carolina Temple in January 2018 (the 68th operating temple; with a rededication planned sometime during 2019); the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple one month later (the 94th operating temple; with a rededication also planned sometime during 2019) and the Mesa Arizona Temple one month after the April 2018 General Conference (the 7th operating temple, which is now the oldest of those scheduled for renovation and has been renovated before; a rededication is planned for that temple sometime during 2020).

The Church News ran an article a while ago about how the Church is not only building new temples, but also renovating and improving existing ones, and this announcement is a reflection of that notion. While not much more is known about the renovation plans for these temples, and while a completion date will be hard to pin down more exactly until things get underway, you can be sure of one thing at least: I will be keeping an eye out for any and all developments on this front and will pass along any updates as I receive them.

For now, you can find what details are known about these renovations here. I would just also add that while that article reinforces what the Church originally announced about the closure of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple renovation (that it would begin in November), we know from the Church's official page about that temple that the renovation closure date is actually set for September 29. So that is just a slight correction from that article, which can be verified as noted above.

So, with all that in mind, here is an update to my temple construction progress report as well, complete with what we know and with what my initial thoughts about completion time-frames are. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts, if you can. If not, please let me know that as well. Thanks for your interest and support.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 6/27/17)

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 has an open house ongoing (with a dedication set for August); 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; 2 others are undergoing renovation; another 4 have a renovation closure date set, with 5 others set to close early next year (the actual dates will be set closer to the time); the remaining 13 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

NOTE: On June 20, I was reminded of a statement recently made by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department. That statement indicated that that there are 85+ potential temple sites under consideration, and that most, if not all of those temples may be announced (and many of which could potentially be completed) within the next 15 years. That means yet another unprecedented era of temple building. The Church could, as noted below, have 12 or 13 more temples in operation by the end of 2019. The more I study about potential developments, the more I am convinced that we will have a minimum of 200 temples operating by or before the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Lord’s Church on April 6, 2030. I ran the numbers, and if Elder Wilson is right, we could have 250 in various stages by 2032. That being the case, have 50 less in operation two years prior is very doable. It would just take 3-4 being dedicated per year between now and then. And I will do my level best to keep track of it all. Just wanted to note that.

Preparing for dedication:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Preparing for dedication, which is scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior finish work underway; sod laid and trees planted; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Installing art glass; 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 mid-2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Laying exterior brick; attaching purlins to roof rafters; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Stone cladding underway on east and south walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Preparing to pour upper fa├žade walls of temple; scaffolding going up around upper level of missionary housing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding progressing on west and south walls; palm trees planted at temple entrance; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 2-3 years:  
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Tower base walls poured; scaffolding removed; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 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: As previously noted in my latest reports, since the Winnipeg Temple has not yet had construction begin, unless that changes anytime soon, this temple will likely be dedicated first. More to come once more is known.
168.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring temple foundation walls; meetinghouse exterior walls nearly finished; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Setting rebar and concrete forms for foundation walls; 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; acquiring building permits; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As mentioned above on the note about the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple, unless progress is reported soon on Canada’s newest temple, it seems clear that Rio will be finished first. Once earnest construction begins, all we do know is that construction will take approximately 20 months (1.67 years) to complete. It may also be possible that this temple will not be finished and dedicated until after the dedications of all other temples listed above. While I daily hope for news on this temple, until more is known, a more definitive completion time-frame is hard to pin down.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: Because the completion estimate for this temple has been pushed back repeatedly, it is somewhat more difficult than I thought to pin down a probable rededication time-frame. Since new or renovated Utah temples are generally completed prior to their counterparts both elsewhere in the US and in other areas of the world, I think it would be safe to assume that the Jordan River rededication may be among the first temple-related events in 2018. More to come once more is known.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: With the knowledge that renovations are generally completed more swiftly than new temples, I have also been reminded recently that completion estimates are never definite. So it could very well be that the rededication of this temple will fall somewhere between the dedications of the first three or four new temples next year. Once something more definite is known, I will pass that along.

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 early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: On June 20, new information I received reminded me that Asuncion is a smaller and newer temple, making it very likely that a rededication could take place sometime during the first six months of 2019. Once the renovation is actually underway, that estimate may change, but it seems to be a safe correction.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: This temple, like the one above, is smaller and somewhat newer, which reinforces the time-frame I have suggested for its rededication.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: As with the others, until this renovation is underway, an exact completion time-frame may be hard to pin down. We do know that this is an older and larger temple, which may delay the process somewhat. Until more is known, I will stick with my current estimate. But don’t be surprised if that changes.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 14, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: On June 20, I was reminded that this temple is newer and smaller, meaning that the renovation will likely be finished during the first half of 2019. Until more is known, that is an update from what I have reported previously.

Temples that have a renovation closure announced, but no official date made known yet:
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in January 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Church leaders announced plans for this renovation on June 27, 2017. Until more is known about the process, the completion date is approximated. More details will follow as they become available.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: This was another renovation announced on June 27, 2017. Once more is known, I will pass that along. Until that time, the completion date is approximated.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As this temple is older and bigger than some of the others scheduled for renovation, it will likely take longer. We do know it is anticipated to be rededicated at some point in 2019, but beyond that, until the work is underway, a more specific time-frame might be harder to pin down than I thought. I will be keeping an eye on things, making adjustments, and passing that information along ASAP after I learn of it.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2020.
NOTE: Until this renovation is underway, all we know is that this temple is older, and a rededication will take place at some point during 2020. While I have my own theories on when that might happen, they are merely guesswork until more is known.
7. Mesa Arizona Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in May 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: This renovation, the third announced on June 27, 2017, is for the oldest temple of the current bunch, and will be completed at some point in 2020. That is all we know for the moment. Until more is known, the completion time-frame is approximated. As with everything else, I will pass any updates along as I receive them.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: As noted above, with the additional information that I received in the late hours when the 17th became the 18th, it has once again become necessary to revise and alter my estimates for future groundbreakings. While I still hope that we may have at least one or two more before the end of this year, that does not seem to be as likely as I hoped it would even 24 hours ago. Based on what I know, I am adjusting my estimates again. If and when more information is available, these estimates will change yet again. In the meantime, I have also learned that 2018 may be a big year for groundbreakings. These new estimates reflects the latest information.

Announced:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: As noted in earlier versions of this report, Elder Andersen confirmed the site for this temple in March of this year. It is therefore entirely likely that a groundbreaking will be sure to follow at around this time. If and when that estimate might need to be changed, you can be sure that I will do so.
171. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: Until recently, all that was known regarding this temple is the contractor’s statement (he is the same man overseeing the Arequipa Peru Temple project) to the effect that a year of pre-planning would be needed prior to any groundbreaking ceremony being held. With the recent news that this preconstruction began in March of this year, it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could take place soon after 2018 begins. If my thinking on this changes (and it may once more is known), I will make any adjustments needed.
172. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: As this temple’s site has been confirmed through local leaders’ communications with members (it will stand in the northern section of the city near an arm of Paranoa Lake), it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could follow within a year of this temple’s announcement. As more information is made available, I will pass that along, including any needed changes to this estimate.
173. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: This temple’s location, which the Philippines’ Facebeook page confirms is in the region of Alabang, Muntinlupa City, will be built south of Manila proper. With the site confirmed, it is very likely that a groundbreaking could follow at around this time. And since the second Lima Peru temple had an official name announcement within three weeks of the temple’s announcement, it is not hard at all to believe that an official name will be announced for this temple in very short order.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: While all that is known about this temple presently is that the Church owns several acres of land in this community, we do know that generally Utah County temples do get construction started much sooner than their international counterparts. This groundbreaking could therefore happen sooner or later than this. Until more is known, it does seem to be a safe prediction.
175. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: While it may still be true that several sites are under consideration for this temple, the most likely one of these sites has been annexed into Pocatello City. If at any point within the next year that site is confirmed, this groundbreaking could happen sooner or later than this. Until more is known, it seems to be a safe estimate.
176. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: If, as many members have speculated, it is confirmed within the next year or so that a building housing Church offices will be reconstructed and repurposed into an edifice housing not just those offices, but also a meetinghouse and the temple as well, then formal construction efforts could begin sooner than indicated here. Until more is known, I am trying to be conservative in my estimates. I would not be surprised in the least if this temple’s groundbreaking happens sooner or later than indicated here.
177. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As noted on earlier versions of this report, Elder Kevin S. Hamilton stated last year after the announcement of this temple that a site announcement and subsequent groundbreaking for this temple would likely take place by the end of 2017. Since that time, there has been no change on this temple’s status. And it has actually been downgraded slightly from approval and construction preparation phase to planning and approval phase. That makes me think there could be a chance that this temple’s groundbreaking may not happen until the date indicated above. But the Lord has been known to surprise us in cases like this, and once I feel that there is a good enough reason to move this temple back up on this list, I will do so. More to come once more is known.
178. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could happen sometime during mid-2019
NOTE: While many have speculated that the end of the delays that have prevented progress on this temple means that a groundbreaking could follow sometime later in 2017 or 2018, with so much unknown presently regarding how soon progress might be made in this regard, I have wanted to be more careful and conservative in my estimates. If and when the facts I have point to the notion of this groundbreaking occurring earlier than estimated here, I will be sure to pass that along.
179. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As previously noted, the Ivory Coast has experienced massive and unprecedented growth of late, to the point that many have speculated that the Ivory Coast could get one or two additional temples within the next 15-30 years. And it may very well be that a second one is in the works for the Ivory Coast among those 85+ mentioned above. In terms of this temple, however, until more is known, or until more solid developments happen, I want to be conservative in my estimates. As with everything else, as soon as I become aware of any information whatsoever on this front, I will provide any updates needed. In the meantime, this is the best prediction that I have knowing what is now known.
180. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: In spite of the fact that Ecuador’s first temple had a 14+ year wait between its announcement and the subsequent groundbreaking that followed, this second Ecuadoran temple, from all I have read, is not in any way anticipated to take anywhere near as long for those things to happen. And while I hope that the groundbreaking for this temple will not have to wait another 1.25-1.5 years to happen, until more developments are reported, it seems to be a sound estimate.
181. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Since we have a site essentially confirmed for the other Brazilian temple above, even though this one was announced a year prior to that one, it is more than likely that we will not see a groundbreaking for this Belem temple until a year or so after the one for Brasilia. If and when more information is available that might change this line of thought and reasoning, I will be sure to pass that along.
182. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: With news this last week of the media event that was held for this temple in mid-June, that opens up the possibility that a site announcement and a groundbreaking could follow within the next year or two. That said, the article reporting that media event itself indicated that it generally takes one to two years minimum from a temple’s announcement for a groundbreaking to follow. I am doing my best to analyze how the news of this event might change my thinking on this temple, but until more is known definitively, I have felt it wiser to be cautious in my approach. As always, any updates will be provided as I become aware of new news and developments.                                                                                  
ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: Temple announcements within the last three years have come during the April General Conference. They may happen at any time the First Presidency feels inspired to make them, but that has been the pattern since 2015. Also, as noted above, Elder Larry Y. Wilson said in an interview recently that 85 or more temple sites are under consideration for an announcement within the next 15 years. So we could be entering another unprecedented era of temple announcements and construction. That is one big reason why I have expanded my list of temples that may potentially be announced. I also know that sites have been procured for future temples in Managua Nicaragua (which seems most likely, as it is the first of the top ten countries with the strongest LDS presence that does not yet have a temple, and such a temple was proposed by Elder Nelson in 2012), Auckland New Zealand, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana (which was proposed by Elder Bednar sometime in 2014). I have been told by many that an official announcement will happen once unit growth and activity in temples within such areas warrants those announcements. If there have been any other sites purchased elsewhere, they have not yet been made known. We also know that several potential temples have been proposed in several locations around the world by many of our prophets and apostles. The Lord will continue to inspire such temple announcements as they are needed, and all developments will continue to be included on subsequent versions of this report.
                                                                                                           
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.