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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Church News Update

Hello, all! In addition to the news about the scheduled groundbreaking for the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple, we also have these Church News Updates as well:

First, in missionary news, this weekend marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first LDS apostles to labor as missionaries in Great Britain. In view of this event, Elders Holland and Cook, now apostolic colleagues, reminisced recently about their days serving together as missionaries in Great Britain. Each praised the good qualities and brilliant missionary work of the other, and also paid tribute to their excellent mission president, Marion D. Hanks, who would later serve as a GA Seventy himself. For that article, click here. Elders Holland and Cook were joined by Elder Ballard, another apostle who served a mission in Great Britain, and who is related to some of those early missionaries to Great Britain (converts found from Parley P. Pratt's mission to Canada who later accompanied the apostles that opened up the work in Great Britain). Interestingly enough, Elder Ballard, after serving as a missionary in Great Britain, went on prior to his apostleship to become a mission president in Canada himself. To read what these three wonderful veterans of the Great Britain mission had to say further about this anniversary, click here.

With all this talk of missionaries, in light of this anniversary for the Church in Great Britain, it is also fitting that the Church, in company with Family Search, has developed an app that lets people who have a Family Search profile see which early missionaries are part of their family tree. For more on that, click here. The Church has also set up a database for missionary history. For information on how all that works, click here.

In other Church News, there was this article featuring interviews done with those actors that are part of the Book of Mormon video series filming process, this article detailing a new compilation of pioneer stories (as Utah's annual Pioneer Day is coming up in 11 days) and this article by Sister Carol F. McConkie, First Counselor in the Young Women's General Presidency who wrote about how young women can reach out to their peers who don't belong.

As a physically disabled man who often felt like a fish out of water as a youth who was surrounded by youth that were comparatively more capable and able, I will say that it is nice for me to see so many articles from general church leaders focusing on including those who are or seem to be different. My own experience was that the youth of my ward banded around me, made sure I was included, and even adapted planned activities to ensure they would be within my capabilities and comfort level. It is because of such youth that I had the infrastructure and support around me that enabled me to earn my Eagle Scout award and fill leadership roles just as well as any other youth in that ward. And that was the product of leaders who let the youth lead their quorums and groups, being on hand to advise and counsel with as necessary, but trusting that decisions would be made that would be the best for all of the youth within those groups. To me, the added emphasis on such ideas should indicate practices that are commonplace around the Church.

And, finally, the Church answered a question I had wondered about for a while now. With the planned renovation closure of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple (set for February next year), there will be a change in the temple presidency, with the new presidency set to serve for a few short months prior to that closure, and likely for 2.5-3 years after it reopens in 2019. For more on that, click here.

That does it for this Church News update. Thanks for the privilege of your time. I appreciate your attention. I am still working on ironing out the problems with people being able to comment, but I will work on that more this weekend and hopefully get it resolved. If you have anything to share, please do so via my contact information on my blogger profile. Thanks again.

Groundbreaking announced for the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple

Hello, all! While I had believed (and asserted) that there would most likely be no other temple groundbreakings this year, I was delighted to find out that I couldn't have been more wrong in so saying and asserting. The First Presidency today announced that the groundbreaking for the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple will take place on Saturday October 28, one day prior to the already-announced renovation closure for the Asuncion Paraguay Temple. Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, who presides over the Church's Caribbean Area, has been asked to preside at this groundbreaking. I also learned late yesterday that the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple will be considerably smaller than the other Caribbean temple in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic. That temple took 4 years and 1 month to complete. So I think it would be more than fair to say that the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple dedication could happen prior to the end of 2020, which would be excellent, as no other new temples (except perhaps the one being built in Arequipa Peru) are anticipated to be completed during 2020. More information will come as I become aware of it. For now, you can read the Church's official announcement about this here. And below this you will find my latest version of my temple construction progress report. Enjoy! What wonderful news!

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 7/13/17)

NOTE: There will be a total of 182 operating temples once all of those under construction or announced are dedicated. Of those, we currently have 156 temples in operation; 1 other will be dedicated next month (after the traditional July recess for the General Authorities); 2 more have construction concluding and a dedication scheduled for later this year; 9 are in various stages of construction; 1 other has construction pending (groundbreaking was last year), and earnest work will hopefully start on that within the next month or so); 1 has a groundbreaking scheduled (set for later this year); 2 are undergoing renovation (with completion anticipated next year); another 4 have a renovation closure date set for later this year, with 5 others set to close early next year (the actual dates will be set closer to the time); the remaining 12 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

NOTE ON FUTURE TEMPLES: Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department, indicated in a recent interview that the Church has around 85 temple sites that are under active consideration for an announcement within the next 15 years or so. If that is true, then that would take the number of temples in any phase to just under 270 by 2032. And if that is true, then whether or not the Church makes it an official goal to do so, it is more than likely that there could be a minimum of 200 temples dedicated by or before the Church’s 200th anniversary on April 6, 2030, whether or not the Church makes that an official goal. All it would take to do so is 18 more being announced, and each of them, along with the 26 either under construction or announced, to be completed within the next 12 years and 9 months, which is doable if 3 or 4 are dedicated per year between now and then. As there are 3 others scheduled for dedication before the end of this year, with 5 set for next year, and up to 5 the year following, the Church seems to be on track for that. Subsequent versions of this report will continue to share developments as they occur.

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.
NOTE: Other recent developments have been noted for this temple, such as the installation of the Holiness to the Lord engraving, but it is unknown as yet if that will be mentioned anywhere in any source. As always, I will pass along updates in future versions of this report.
                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated within the next 1-2 years):
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: Exterior brickwork completed; attaching purlins to roof trusses and strengthening truss connectors; 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.
163. Durban South Africa Temple: Applying waterproofing membrane to temple exterior walls; basement floor poured; laying brick at missionary housing; top floor ring beam poured; 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: In looking at the completion estimate for this temple versus that of the Winnipeg Temple, if construction begins in earnest on that temple within the next month or so (which it may), it will be finished prior to this one. That change of thinking is reflected on the revisions I have made to my estimated timeline for future temple-related events.
168.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring temple foundation walls; preparing meetinghouse for exterior cladding; 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: In reevaluating the time-frames involved, I learned, as noted above, that the 20-month completion estimate for this comparatively smaller temple (which is being built to serve just the one stake at the moment) puts its completion before that of the Rio temple. Subsequent adjustments will be made as they are needed.

Groundbreaking scheduled:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled to take place on Saturday October 28, 2017; dedication may follow sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: The First Presidency made the groundbreaking announcement for this temple on July 13, 2017, noting that Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, who presides over the Caribbean area, will preside at this groundbreaking. In the interim, I found out that this temple will be much smaller than its other Caribbean counterpart, so it seems reasonable to assume that this temple could have a dedication prior to the end of 2020. As with everything else, I am keeping an eye out for developments and will pass along any updates as I receive them.

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: Though this temple’s renovation has been ongoing since its closure in February 2016, and while the rededication had been anticipated at some point during 2017, as the renovation process has continued, those estimates have been altered again and again, until this most recent revision of that time-frame. This event could happen at any point in the middle of the year, or it could be pushed back again. More information will come as more is known.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; baptismal font support walls poured in basement addition; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: This temple, closed since September of 2015, was also anticipated to be completed and rededicated at some point prior to the end of 2017. As with the Jordan River temple, that completion estimate has been pushed back repeatedly. Until more is known, it is anyone’s guess when this rededication might happen. I will pass along any updates as I receive them.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
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 this temple is a comparatively smaller one (from the Hinckley era), I also learned on July 5 that this renovation will be altering both the exterior and interior appearance of the temple. Whether or not that involves an expansion remains to be seen. More information will be provided as I find out more. In the meantime, I will not change the possible completion time-frame.
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, constructed as part of President Kimball’s smaller temple design, is anticipated to be rededicated sometime in 2020. With what is currently known now, unless an expansion is planned (and it may not be), the completion estimate feels reasonable. Adjustments will be made as the process gets underway.
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: Another example of Hinckley-era smaller temples, this one was dedicated in 2000. Unless an expansion is planned (which seems doubtful at present), it is not unreasonable to believe that a rededication could happen at around the time indicated. Once more is known, I will make any adjustments that may be needed.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: While previous reports had noted Asuncion’s closure date as being set for September 29, a double-check done on July 9, 2017 revealed the closure as being actually set for one month later. I apologize for the misinformation. I am still evaluating how this might change the completion estimate I provided for this temple. Unless an expansion is planned, it is likely that the renovation might still take only about 15-18 months. More information will be provided as it becomes available. For now, that is a change from what has previously been noted.

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, another smaller Hinckley-era one (that was dedicated in 1999), does not have an expansion planned, as far as I know. That makes it very likely that a 15-18 month renovation process might be all that is needed. Until more is known, just wanted to note that.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As noted on other temples that have a renovation pending, we do not yet know if part of the plan for this temple’s renovation is expanding this temple. It might be possible, but then again, it might not. Once more is known, I will adjust this estimate. Until then, the general time-frame indicated above is my best estimate.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: This renovation and the one below were announced in February of 2017. In the interim, the Church has scheduled 7 other renovations around those two. This temple is older, so the renovation will likely take longer. But I am not ruling out other possibilities. Once more is known, that new information will be reflected in subsequent versions of this report.
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: I have recently redone this section based on information I have. I should also note that the timing of any temple event is up to the Lord (based on conditions in each area), so these estimates should not in any way be taken as gospel or official until they are confirmed or denied by those who have the authorization to do so.

Announced:
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 inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: In addition to the site confirmation that has been noted on previous reports, news of the inspection of this site by Church engineers seems to be indicative that the groundbreaking is likely to happen sooner rather than later. We do also know that, since no other groundbreakings are anticipated by the end of this year, this could be among the first to have a groundbreaking next year. I will do my best to analyze developments as I hear of them. For now, this seems to confirm my original thinking on this time-frame.
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 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. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: As I have considered the media event held last month, I have determined it wiser to assume that a groundbreaking for this temple will happen sooner rather than later. It seems apparent now that this temple will not be the last of those currently announced to have a groundbreaking, as I had originally thought and stated. So it seems wise to make that adjustment. As always, once more information is available, I will go from there.
177. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: This temple will mark seven years since its announcement with no progress this October. While many have hoped for a groundbreaking later this year or early next year, it appears that until more is known, it might be practical to move this temple. Once more is known, I will pass that along, including moving this temple up or down as things develop. Right now, the word is that a groundbreaking may take place sometime next year. But if nothing happens to further this temple’s progress within the next year, I could see the Church waiting until the first six months or so of 2019 to have a groundbreaking for this temple. More information will be provided once more is known.
178. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-2019.
NOTE: If member speculation 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.
179. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place during mid-2019.
NOTE: Since there has been no progress whatsoever on this temple since Elder Hamilton stated that 2017 would see a site announcement and groundbreaking; I would like nothing more than to say that this temple could have a groundbreaking sooner than indicated here, but it seems doubtful. As further developments take place, this temple will be adjusted accordingly.
180. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: With the massive growth that the Church has experienced in the Ivory Coast, some have speculated that the Ivory Coast could get one or two additional temples within the next 15 years. For this first one, this adjustment feels appropriate. Further adjustments will be made once more is known.
181. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Despite the 14-year wait between the announcement and groundbreaking for Ecuador’s first temple, this one for the Ecuadoran capital is not anticipated to have nearly as long a wait. With other adjustments that have been made, this seems appropriate. Further adjustments will be made once more is known.
182. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during late 2019-early 2020.
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 the estimates for all other temples are anywhere close (which they may or may not be), that would make this temple the last of the current bunch to be dedicated. But this is 2 or 3 years out, so changes are always possible within that time depending on what develops between now and then.

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.