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Thursday, July 27, 2017

October 2017 General Conference Predictions (again)

Hello, all! I am back again, this time to revisit the matter of my October 2017 General Conference predictions. Since I have posted just barely about new temple possibilities, this post will focus on speaking order and the changes in Church leadership that I am anticipating, which are either certain (from announcements already made) or probable (in view of what has traditionally happened in previous October conferences).

Before sharing those predictions with you all, I wanted to note some things: I have below ventured the prediction that President Monson and Elder Hales will speak back-to-back in the Sunday Morning Session. If I find information that indicates that neither will speak at all during this General Conference, then I can see President Monson asking President Eyring to speak at the beginning of the session, and having 2-3 extra speakers (such as General Authorities Seventies) take up that time. And if President Monson doesn't speak in the Priesthood Session, then a change in the speaking order might take place, including either adding a General Authority Seventy or having President Nelson speak instead. Once more is known on that, I will pass that along. It is also not unreasonable to believe that other members of the Presidency of the Seventy might speak instead of the two newest members (Elders Uceda and Kearon). But the patterns of the past have been to have any new members of that body speak in the next General Conference after that change. It is also not hard to believe that both the Sunday School General Presidency member (which, if I have the rotation right, should be the General President, Tad R. Callister) and Bishop Waddell (who hasn't spoken since his first address as a member of the Presiding Bishopric) could speak in different sessions than indicated here. And while it has been a general rule that the rotation of female auxiliary speakers has been pretty consistent in both the Women's session and the general sessions, there is no hard and fast rule about that rotation.

My point in mentioning all of this could be summarized as follows: there have been patterns of speaker rotation through all General Conferences, but those patterns are subject to change based on a variety of factors. I keep my eye on all of that, and after each General Conference, I analyze how any changes in that general pattern might affect how future predictions are put together. And anything that happens between conferences impacts those patterns as well (health issues or deaths of Church leaders, assignment changes, etc.) For my part, I am doing my best to keep an eye on all of that, and I will continue to pass such things along as I am able to do so going forward. For now, here are those predictions. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for the privilege of your time.

October 2017 General Conference Predictions
Speaking Order (Text in brackets indicated what actually happened.)
Session
Conducting
Speaker
General Women’s
Joy D. Jones
Christina B. Franco


Sharon Eubank


Bonnie L. Oscarson


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Saturday Morning
President Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Bishop W. Christopher Waddell


Jean B. Bingham


Elder David A. Bednar


Elder Massimo De Feo


Elder O. Vincent Haleck


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Saturday Afternoon
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring
(Sustaining of Church Officers)


President Russell M. Nelson


Elder Dale G. Renlund


Elder Larry Y. Wilson


Elder Joni L. Koch


Elder Ian S. Ardern


Elder Quentin L. Cook


Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Saturday Priesthood
President Henry B. Eyring
President Thomas S. Monson


Elder D. Todd Christofferson


Elder Patrick Kearon


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


President Henry B. Eyring
Sunday Morning
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Thomas S. Monson


Elder Robert D. Hales


Elder Juan A. Uceda


Neill F. Marriott


Elder Gary E. Stevenson


Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella


Elder Brian K. Taylor


President Henry B. Eyring
Sunday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
Elder Neil L. Andersen


Tad R. Callister


Elder David F. Evans


Elder M. Russell Ballard


Elder Taniela B. Wakolo


Elder Jose L. Alonso


Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Changes in General Church Leadership
Presidency of the Seventy: Elders Donald L. Hallstrom and Richard J. Maynes released from the presidency, Elders Juan A. Uceda and Patrick Kearon sustained.
NOTE: These changes, announced on May 3, became effective on August 1. For that reason, they will likely be ratified by sustaining vote.
General Authority Seventies: Elders Stanley G. Ellis, Larry R. Lawrence, and W. Craig Zwick released as General Authority Seventies and granted emeritus status.
NOTE: Elder Ellis turned 70 in January this year, just as Elder Zwick did in June, and Elder Lawrence did in August, so it would make sense if these men were released and granted emeritus status.
RESULT:
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings.
NOTE: It has been customary for most changes in area seventies to take place in April, when President Uchtdorf leads out in the sustaining vote, and for only a few to take place in October, when President Eyring leads out in the sustaining. Since we are talking about an October General Conference, it would make sense if only a few changes happened this go-round.
RESULT:

My Updated List of Near-Future Temple Site Possibilities

Hello, all! The last time I posted the list I had put together of possible future temple sites, I was not able to get feedback on it because of the issue preventing all of you from doing so. Now that that issue has been resolved, I wanted to post my list again here so that I can get everyone's feedback on them. I also wanted to note that I have made a few changes on this list since I last posted it. These are temples that I feel have the best chance to be announced within the next 1-7 years. I have another list I am working on of temples that may be announced within a 10 year period after that, which I will post at another time. My main concern with this current list is considering the most likely possibilities for next conference.

In that regard, as already noted, the 85+ that Elder Wilson said are anticipated to be announced within the next 15 years means that we are likely to see at least a few temples announced during every General Conference for the foreseeable future, as well as perhaps a few being identified here and there between each April and October. For my part, I will do my best to keep on top of all of those ongoing developments as they happen, and will pass along reports of the latest news in that regard, as well as ongoing updates to my projected timeline for future events.

For now, in the absence of new developments, I have a few things to finish up. Here is the list I have come up with. I appreciate the chance to put it up again right now, and look forward to the discussion of my selections. As always, I have listed them first by the geographical area of the Church under which they fall, then by likelihood within that area. I am constantly looking for potential sites to add when I am not busy with other things, so if there are any glaring omissions, please let me know. Posts such as this always seem to have increased interest and comments. Enjoy! As always, thanks for the privilege of your time.

Temple Predictions:
3+ temples announced in any of the following locations:

NOTE: Since it is difficult at best to know where the Lord feels a need for a temple and temple locations are not as cut-and-dried as I have originally believed them to be, I am doing a preliminary list, which I will refine as the time for General Conference draws closer. I will look forward to seeing what happens with those possibilities, if any are announced at all. So far between 2015 and this year, the 12 newest temples were announced during the April General Conference. If any temples are announced, there may only be a few. But that is just my own opinion. So far between 2015 and this year, the 12 newest temples were announced during the April General Conference. If any temples are announced, there may only be a few. But that is just my own opinion, and the Lord has been known to prove me wrong. I continue to hope for temple announcements during every General Conference, and nothing is set in stone.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: After thinking further about those temples I feel are most likely in the near future, I first narrowed down then expanded these selections again. I am again listing them by the geographical area of the Church under which they fall and then by likelihood within each of those areas.
Africa Southeast: Antananarivo Madagascar; Lubumbashi DR Congo
Africa West: Lagos Nigeria; Kumasi Ghana; Freetown Sierra Leone; Praia Cape Verde
Asia: Phomn Penh Cambodia; Jakarta Indonesia; Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Singapore Hyderabad/Rajahmundry India
Brazil: Belo Horizonte; Salvador
Central America: Managua Nicaragua; San Pedro Sula Honduras; Guatemala City Guatemala (2nd temple)
Europe:Budapest Hungary; Vienna Austria
Mexico: Puebla; Queretaro; Mexico City (2nd temple)
North America Central: Missoula Montana; Green Bay Wisconsin; South Dakota Rapid City
North America Northwest: Salem Oregon
North America Southeast: Bentonville Arkansas
North America Southwest: Fort Worth Texas; Flagstaff Arizona; Henderson Nevada; Joplin Missouri North America West: Bakersfield/Ventura California
Pacific: Auckland New Zealand; Port Moresby Papua New Guinea
Philippines: Davao/Cagayan de Oro
South America Northwest: Valparaiso Chile; Neuquen Argentina; Maracaibo Venezuela; Santa Cruz/La Paz Bolivia; Iquitos Peru
Utah North: Layton Utah
Utah Salt Lake: Tooele Utah
Utah South: Mapleton Utah

Notes about potential temple sites:
1. For the Africa Southeast Area, the two possibilities listed seem to be the most likely ones. With the growth of the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a second temple seems imminent, even without knowing how the one that will be dedicated in Kinshasa will affect any potential future temples. While Elder Neil L. Andersen proposed a temple for the Kasai region, Lubumbashi seems more likely. As always, I will pass any new information along as I become aware of it. 2.In the Africa West Area, second temples for Ghana and Nigeria seem likely, especially now that all Nigerian cities have been reached by the Church. And Sierra Leone may also get a temple soon simply by virtue of being so far distant from the temple district under which it falls. Additionally, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde come in at #6 and #10 respectively in terms of the top ten countries/dependencies with the strongest LDS presence but without a temple, making them very viable candidates for the future, if not immediately. I have also heard some say that a second and possibly a third Ivory Coast temple may be announced within the next 10-15 years depending on how quickly the first one progresses. 3. While I was double-checking for additional temple sites, I quickly figured out that Asia could be a great candidate for several new temples, and these are the most likely locations that I could find. While all of them make sense in terms of President Monson’s desire to have every Church member within 200 miles of a temple, I have grouped them by the number of Church units. Additionally, I know that temples have been proposed for New Delhi India (in 1992 by Elder Maxwell) and for Singapore (in 2000 by President Hinckley). Church membership in these Asian countries stand as follows: Cambodia: nearing 14,000; India: just over 13,000; Mongolia: nearing 11,500; Indonesia: nearing 7,300; Singapore: nearing 8,400. According to a statistical profile written by a Church Growth expert, India may not actually get a temple until there is a stronger Church presence to support it. For now, it seems that the order I have placed them in may be the most likely order by which they might be announced.  As more information comes to light, I will make any adjustments that might be necessary. 4. In Brazil, the two cities above seem to be the most imminent possibilities. It would also not surprise me at all if the Church held off on announcing any other Brazilian temples until the two under construction and the other two announced ones are closer to completion. As I have mentioned previously, I had felt prior to General Conference last April that Brazil's next temple would be built in Brasilia, but didn't think it would be announced until the one in Belem made more progress. So more Brazilian temples may be announced soon, but they also might not. Once more is known, I will make any adjustments needed. 
5. While I said when posting my last list of possibilities that any new European temples might be put on hold until the Church evaluates how the dedications of the Paris France and Rome Italy Temples and the rededications of the temples in Freiberg and Frankfurt Germany have affected temple attendance for European Saints, in going over the current and future districts, I was reminded that I had heard from several people that Budapest Hungary would be the next European temple. And Vienna Austria makes sense in terms of President Monson's expressed goal to have every member within 200 miles of a temple. Until more information is known, these additions seemed to be sound. 6. Of the many cities in Mexico, I know Puebla has been widely mentioned as the most likely site for the next temple in that nation. I have also felt at times that Queretaro could be a feasible possibility, as could a second temple for Mexico City. If and when I feel I can narrow down the options, I will do so. 
7. In the Pacific, I know that these two cities have been mentioned to me as having sites purchased, and once Church growth and temple activity from these areas warrant an official announcement for them, it will happen. Of the two, Auckland seems more likely.
8. While Church growth in the United States has stagnated somewhat of late, except in the “Mormon corridor” of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, I have heard at one time or another that each of the temples I listed above could potentially be possible. In the course of recent deeper research on the matter, I recalled that many of these cities have been mentioned to me at one point or another as very likely possibilities. As part of my efforts to expand my predictions, I decided to include these cities again on this list. Until I know more about US growth, these seem to be sound changes. I also know, as I have previously noted, that land has been set aside in Bentonville Arkansas and Missoula Montana for future temple sites, with an official announcement anticipated once unit growth and activity in the current temple districts warrant that happening.
9. As a state that is constantly expanding its outreach, Utah has 18 temples either in operation or in various stages of construction. Layton and Tooele have often been mentioned to me by name as possibilities. In the course of my study, I learned that Mapleton may be a good possibility as well. And there are any number of others that may also be announced. I didn’t want to go overboard with Utah possibilities, but if there are any strong contenders I am missing, I will hopefully be able to add them in the future. 

Final note: As with everything else I put together, these are no more than my own thoughts, feelings, and observations based on the research I have done and the reports I have received. I hope that is absolutely understood and accepted. No one can know the mind of the Lord relating to His Church except those authorized to receive revelation regarding their own spheres of responsibility. While I am always gratified when my predictions turn out to be correct, I am even more appreciative of the many times developments do not take place as I project they will. At the end of the day, the Lord is the only one who can determine best how to further His work, and He manifests His will to those authorized to lead the Church and make decisions. Just wanted to end on that note.