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Monday, July 24, 2017

Temple developments/approaching milestones/musings

Hello again, all! This is my last post of the day (as I am trying not to be on my computer too late from now on). I wanted to note that minor progress has been reported on the Cedar City Utah Temple. While the last update on that temple noted that art glass was being installed, I learned today that, while that was ongoing, those working on the grounds have begun laying sod. So that temple is just a little closer to completion. The open house for that temple is now just over three months away (as it starts on October 27). As a brief note on another temple, the open house for the new temple in Meridian Idaho is set to begin in just under three months. And we cannot forget, of course, that, as we near the end of July, the dedication of the Tucson Arizona Temple is now just under three weeks away.

Regarding that dedication, I still believe that President Uchtdorf, who broke ground for this temple, may be asked to return to dedicate it. I also believe that he will be accompanied by at least one apostle, perhaps one that has ties to Tucson, but I don't know who that would be. Whoever the presiding apostles might be, it is not hard to believe that they might be accompanied by either Elder Lynn G. Robbins, who is currently presiding over the area of the Church under which Arizona falls, or by Elder Juan A. Uceda, who will take over that assignment from Elder Robbins in 8 days, unless he has already done so.

Whatever might happen in the near future in terms of temple-related developments, you can count on this blog being a source for information about such developments. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Any comments continue to be welcome. Have a great night.

Case Study: Could any of the temples scheduled for renovation be expanded

Hello, all! Despite what I thought and stated in my last post, I have put together one more post for today. I have recently become more curious about whether or not an expansion might be possible for any of the comparatively smaller and more modest temples that are scheduled for renovation In doing study on that subject, I was intrigued by my findings. I share them with you now so I can get your thoughts. I look forward to the discussion. Enjoy!

Temples scheduled for renovations:

Memphis Tennessee: 6.35 acre lot (includes adjacent meetinghouse, which, with the parking lot, may account for roughly 75% of that acreage (which, if correct, works out to roughly 4.77 acres); area of the temple itself: 10,700 square feet (which, if my calculations are correct, works out to around 0.24 acres)
Please also note that the design of this temple may be similar, if not identical, to the Asuncion Paraguay, Raleigh North Carolina, and Baton Rouge Louisiana Temples.
Conclusion: If the calculations above are correct (and they might not be), in theory, there might be room for this temple to expand. However, some experts on temple matters with whom I shared this theory noted that there wasn’t much room within the current area on which the temple sits for such an expansion to happen. I am doing some study on this matter to try to figure out how feasible an expansion might be, but for now, it doesn’t seem likely.

Oklahoma City Oklahoma: 1 acre lot (43,560 square feet); area of the temple itself: 10,769 square feet.
Conclusion: Expansion may be a possibility, as there is room within the lot for such an expansion. How likely an expansion might be is another question entirely.

Asuncion Paraguay: 7 acre lot; area of the temple itself: 10,700 square feet (design may be similar, if not identical, to Memphis Tennessee, Raleigh North Carolina and Baton Rouge Louisiana)
Conclusion: Plenty of room for an expansion, so it might be possible

Raleigh North Carolina: 12 acre lot; area of the temple itself: 10,700 square feet (design may be similar, if not identical to Memphis Tennessee, Asuncion Paraguay and Baton Rouge Louisiana)
Conclusion: If member reports are correct, an expansion is not part of the plan for this temple. There is, however, plenty of room on the lot to expand it. I won’t be surprised either way.

Baton Rouge Louisiana: 6.3 acre lot (includes adjoining meeting house, which may account for roughly 75% of that acreage; area of the temple itself: 10,700 square feet (design may be similar, if not identical to Memphis Tennessee, Asuncion Paraguay, and Raleigh North Carolina)
Conclusion: Expansion possible; plenty of room to expand the temple; wouldn’t surprise me either way.

NOTE: For the planned renovations of the Tokyo Japan, Oakland California, Washington DC, and Mesa Arizona Temples, the main purpose seems to be to update electrical and mechanical systems and bring them up-to-date and up-to-code. An expansion of these temples seems unlikely. Most of the others scheduled for renovation seem to have plenty of room to expand. The question is, is an expansion planned for any of them? It seems possible, especially as I was advised a while ago that it may make more sense to expand some of these smaller temples than it would to build others. I will keep an eye out for developments on this front and pass along any updates as I become aware of them.

How temple, mission, and area presidency assignments usually take place each year

I am back again, as promised, with my thoughts and observations about how temple, mission, and area assignment transitions usually take effect. I have had years of study about this process, and have first-hand knowledge of how that works. So here goes. Hope this information is helpful and interesting to you.

As noted in the previous blog post, Elder Duncan, who was set to be released from his assignment as Central America Area President on August 1, participated in the Sunrise Service for Pioneer Day. As that service was held in Salt Lake City eight days prior to August 1, the transitions made in that presidency must have taken place earlier this month. That is not at all unusual. From what I have read and observed, the dates of such changes (July 1 for mission presidents, August 1 for area leadership, and November 1 for temple presidents) are general rather than specific. Often, it is much more practical to effect those transitions when it would not otherwise interfere with the day-to-day operations of the mission, area, or temple.

I have a couple of examples of such transition periods having been more flexible, which I have personally observed. First, during my six year service as a temple worker (from 2006-2012), I observed three different transitions of the temple presidency. I can't say with certainty that it works this way in all operating temples, but at least for those six years, the outgoing presidency of the Mount Timpanogos Temple would serve during the week when October became November, and once that week ended and the first full week of November began, the new presidency would assume responsibility.

Other transition periods  which I have also observed is at times when new apostles are called or at the death of a Church president. Shortly before the death of Joseph Smith the Prophet, he made the statement that "where I [meaning the president of the Church] is not, there is no First Presidency over the Twelve." And, as we know, when the first three Church presidents passed away, there were periods of a few years before a new Church president was sustained. As Wilford Woodruff neared the final days of his life, he spoke privately with Lorenzo Snow, who as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, would succeed him. During that conversation, he urged President Snow not to wait to reorganize the First Presidency, but to do so immediately. That advice and counsel, which was confirmed to President Snow by the Savior, who appeared to him in the Salt Lake Temple after President Woodruff's passing, was timely, because if it were not for that, President Snow, who served for only 3 years as Church President before he himself passed away, might not have even become Church President.

As a result of that counsel regarding prophetic succession, given by one prophet to his successor, now new Church presidents are set apart and ordained not long after the funeral proceedings are held to honor the previous Church president. There have been 12 such transitions. Of those 12, the longest time between the death of one president and the setting apart of his successor has been 11 days, with 4 days being the shortest such period. The average time span is somewhere between 6 and 7 days, and it appears that 5 days has been the most common time span, having happened 6 of those 12 times. One article on such transitions that I read at one point noted that, in most of those cases (10 to be exact), those transitions took a week or less. So there is flexibility in that, as there is with any other transition.

But getting back to temples, missions, and areas, transitions for all such assignments are very much flexible in order to allow as seamless a transition as can be done so that the work of each might continue as seamlessly as possible. So such transitions can be made earlier or later.

I apologize for going off on so many tangents. I have been muddling through some health issues that may be having a minor affect on my ability to keep to the point and focus properly on what I am trying to post. Nothing to worry about. Just wanted to note that. I will try to do better to stay on topic.

In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time. I appreciate your readership and insightful comments. I hope you all are doing well. I may or may not be doing another post before the end of the day today, but if not today, I will continue to keep an eye out for Church and temple news and will provide updates as I become aware of them. Thanks again.

Church News publishes new articles in celebration of Pioneer Day

In keeping with the Pioneer Day theme which has characterized quite a few of my posts in the last week or so, I wanted to note that the Church News featured three articles about the day's events. This article gives an overview of the parade, which ran for two hours this morning, and for which, as noted in an earlier post on this blog, President Uchtdorf served as the Grand Marshal. This article summarizes remarks made by Elder Kevin R. Duncan at the Church's annual Pioneer Day Sunrise Service. For those who might recall this, Elder Duncan had been serving as the president of the Central America Area, and we learned through both the Church News and the August 2017 Ensign that Elder Duncan was going to be released from his service in that capacity and would be reassigned to Church headquarters as of August 1. His participation in this event, held 8 days before his release went into effect, signals that the transition of that assignment is complete. I will add another blog post a few minutes after this one is posted to share my observations about such assignment transitions. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, this article describes how Primary children and community members celebrated the theme of the main parade: "Visions of New Horizons" as they marched in or observed the youth parade, which is also held each year in Utah. Click here for more on that.

That's it for this post. I will, as noted above, be publishing another post in the next few minutes discussing the things I have observed about assignment transitions in certain Church callings. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for the privilege of your time.

Slight Progress Noted on the Cedar City Utah Temple

Hello, all! I just wanted to note a minor development that was reported today on the Cedar City Utah Temple. While the last posted version of my temple construction progress report only reflected that art glass was being installed on that temple, I found out today that sod is being laid on the temple grounds. As I said, a fairly minor change, but it is a definite sign that this temple is well on its way to completion, which is good, as the open house for that temple gets underway in just under four months. Since July generally sees less significant temple progress, I am anticipating that next week, we will begin hearing more regular updates on that progress. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, thanks for the privilege of your time. Any comments are welcome and always appreciated. Thanks again.

Elder Holland Details Reasons for and Benefits of New Activity Program for Teachers and Priests

Aside from being one of my favorite apostles (as his talks always ring true with what I am going through), Elder Jeffrey R. Holland now fills a dual role as an apostle of the Church and as a member of the National Executive Board for the Boy Scouts of America. And as one who has struck a careful balance between the two positions (though if and when it comes down to it, his apostolic call takes precedence), Elder Holland spoke recently at a sacrament meeting held in conjunction with a Scouting Jamboree held in West Virginia. In that address, he praised the virtues of Scouting and reiterated the Church's commitment to providing Scouting opportunities for those young men aged 11-13.

But he also spoke more in depth regarding the reasoning behind and the benefits the Church is hoping for from the newly established guidelines about the activity program for priests and teachers. I fully understood and was on board with the new program and understanding why it is necessary. But the words Elder Holland spoke in this regard may prove reassuring and comforting for any others who may be in doubt about that. To read what he said, click here.

Within the next week or so, the annual July recess of the General Authorities will come to an end. August will mark the Church leadership returning to full-time work on the relevant issues. One thing is certain: whatever develops, you can read about it here on this blog.

For now, thank you for the privilege of your time and for your interest. Any thoughts are welcome. Hope you all are well. I will post again soon. Until then, I wish every one of you all the best.

P. S. The Church News and Events page featured this article from the Young Men General Presidency in which they describe more about how this program is anticipated to work. Enjoy! Thanks again!