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Monday, July 3, 2017

Update on Seminar for New Mission Presidents

Hello, all! Hope you are well. The Church News website has provided other summaries of addresses given during the Seminar for New Mission Presidents. Among those things that have been noted is that, at the request of the First Presidency, Elder Oaks, who is the second most senior apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the third in seniority of the 15 apostles, gave two addresses during the Seminar, including one to open it and one to close it. So, it appears that senior apostles will be called upon more often to take on some responsibilities that are usually filled by the prophet or the other members of the First Presidency. There is, as has been noted, precedence for this to happen during the ailing health of Presidents Benson and Kimball. It makes a lot of sense that the First Presidency will be delegating more to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, especially the more senior ones.

I apologize for that long side note. Getting back to the subject of the Seminar, as I said, more summaries are now available on the Church News website. Unless other General Authorities participated but are just not listed on that summary (which is always possible, as some General Authority seventies have participated in such seminars in the past), then the only two which have not been featured in the Church News are the two given jointly by Elder Gary E. Stevenson (and his wife Lesa) and that of the female auxiliary presidents: Sisters Jean B. Bingham  (Relief Society), Bonnie L. Oscarson (Young Women), and Joy D. Jones (Primary).

As with everything else, I am keeping my eye out for information and will pass that along as I receive it. For now, click here to read any of the summaries. Thanks for the privilege of your time. Any comments are welcome.

Temple Construction Progress Update

With so much going on for me personally this holiday weekend (between illness, familial circumstances, the projects I am working on, and the 7th anniversary of the day my wife and I got engaged coming up), this is my first opportunity to post in July 2017. As a first post for the month in which Church leaders are taking their annual recess, I could not think of a better topic than an update on temple construction. The milestones may be few, but they are significant.

I have also taken time to reword the sections that cover current and planned renovations, and have one other significant change to report: following more study on the matter, I have changed my mind yet again on the subject of whether the Winnipeg or Rio temples will be finished first. My research has me convinced now that, if construction on Winnipeg begins by or before next month, the 20-month estimate for that temple could see it dedicated during June 2019, prior to the July recess of the General Authorities, while Rio could be another case where the open house is held before that July recess, and the dedication could follow on the first or second Sunday in August. As always, such thoughts are subject to whatever happens for both temples between now and then. But for now, it seems like a safe adjustment.

With that summary of changes taken care of, I should also note that I am still studying when future groundbreakings may occur and possible near-future and also farther-distant temple site possibilities. As with anything else, I will pass along more once I know more on either subject. For now, though, here is my updated report on the progress and developments of current temples. Not all of these developments are new in terms of having happened within the last 24 hours or so, but they are new in terms of having occurred since I last posted this report. If any of you would like to comment, that should be an option again now. If there are still problems, I have not been made aware of them. But I am hoping for the best. Thanks to you all, and please enjoy this report.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 7/3/17)

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 the south wall; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: As noted in my last posted report, the cladding at that time had gotten to the south and west walls. Today, the LDS Church Temples site posted on the news page that the brick laying continues on the housing facility which is part of the project for this temple. But the update on that brick laying was not included on the construction status page, and that seems to be the case primarily because that update was not a major change. Just wanted to note that, for what it’s worth.
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.
167. 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 recently been led to reconsider again the question of whether Rio or Winnipeg will be dedicated first. But in recalculating probable completion estimates, it has made more sense to me to say that Winnipeg will be done first. That will depend on what happens during the next two years, but it seems to be sound for the moment.
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):
166. 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 temple, if full-scale construction starts within the next two months for the Winnipeg temple, barring any unforeseen difficulties, this temple will most likely be finished first. As always, if future adjustments are needed as more is made known, I will pass that along.

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: This renovation started in February 2016, and it was expected to be completed before the end of 2017. However, as the process of renovation work continued, delays were encountered that have now pushed back the completion until sometime during the middle part of next year. It may be that this rededication is among the first temple-related events that will occur in 2018, but it could also be that the delays will be ongoing and the completion pushed back again. As always, I will pass any new information along as I receive it.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: While we know that renovations are often completed more speedily than the construction of new temples, this temple, which closed in September 2015, has had its completion estimate pushed back repeatedly. Currently, it is anyone’s guess when the rededication might take place. Until more is known, however, I always prefer to err on the side of optimism. And in that regard, I certainly hope that no additional delays will come up. I will pass along any new information as I become aware of it.

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: This temple, the newest one of those scheduled for renovation, is a smaller edifice, which opens up the possibility that the renovation could be completed as quickly as 15 months after its closure. For that reason, the general estimate noted above makes sense. As more information comes up, I will continue to make any adjustments that might be needed.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: While the exact closure date is all that is currently known about the planned renovation for this temple, we also know that it is another smaller one, which opens up the likelihood that a rededication could be held within 15 months or so of this closure. That theory will, of course, change as more information becomes available.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: This temple, which was built and dedicated in view of President Kimball’s inspiration to build smaller temples. While it is an older edifice compared to many others that are or will be undergoing renovations, it is comparatively smaller. For that reason, it doesn’t seem impossible to believe that a rededication will take place at the time indicated above. As more information comes to light, I will continue to adjust my thinking.
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: Because this temple is another Hinckley-era edifice that is on the smaller side, it seems very likely that the renovation process might only take 15 months. But that will depend on what happens before that process begins, while it continues, and as it is nearing completion. I will pass along any new information as I become aware of it.

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: This temple, yet another Hinckley-era smaller edifice, might well have a renovation completed within 15 months or so of its closure date, which could be before the end of this year, given the fact that Asuncion was originally set to close in November, but will actually close before the end of September. Until more is known, this seems like a sound prediction.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: While the exact closure date for this temple has yet to be announced, it is unclear whether that closure will occur prior to the end of January, or at any point in February, and it is equally unclear whether or not this temple’s closure will coincide in any way with Oakland’s closure, which was announced first. Until more is known, we do know this is another Hinckley-era temple, and it seems highly probable that it might have its renovation done within 15 months. Once the process gets underway fully, the completion date will be adjusted as needed.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: While February 2018 is the month that was designated for this temple’s closure, given past precedent, the exact date could be anywhere from among the last days of December to the end of February. And, as with every other temple-related development
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: As this is another older temple, completion of its renovation may take longer than indicated here. Until more is known, I prefer to be conservative in my estimate. As the process unfolds, this estimated timeframe may change.
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: While I daily hope for news of progress on any of these announced temples, future time-frames are harder to pin down than I originally recognized, and once new information becomes available on any of these temples, I will alter these estimates. Also, with Elder Wilson’s statement, as noted above, we can anticipate that many other temples will be joining this list over the next several years, which will likewise have groundbreaking estimates as I am able to make those happen.

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 could 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 take place 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.