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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Temple Construction Update

Hello, all! I am posting tonight (with my final post of the day) about some minor updates in the construction status of two of our temples. With the developments the LDS Church Temples site reported recently on the Cedar City Utah Temple, I have noted on my temple construction progress report that "landscaping continues." In the meantime, further progress was noted on the Arequipa Peru Temple, where workers are busy "setting rebar for the main floor structural walls."

It is nice to see these small but significant strides happening on a daily basis for temples around the world. I am committed to continuing to pass those developments along as I become aware of them. Thanks to you all for the privilege of your time. Comments are welcome and appreciated. Until I post again, all the best to each of you.

Revised List of Potential Future Temple Sites

Hello, all! Based on some additional advice, input, and feedback I have received on my list of potential future temple sites, I have made changes to that list once again. The changes follow. One thing I wanted to note before posting that list: as I hope I observe often enough, I'm sure all of us have certain cities which we feel confident will have a temple announced in the near future. In addition to trying to ascertain the merits of recent feedback I have received on this list, I also have had to determine that some of those sites I had listed previously were not near-future possibilities like I thought, and might instead only be announced later on, if at all. I am trying to keep track of it all in the best possible way. With that disclaimer out of the way, I look forward to the ongoing feedback. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts. Let the discussion begin!

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, then revised 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. As always, these are nothing more than my own thoughts, backed up by either research or the opinions of others I have trusted in this matter. The Lord decides where He needs His temples to be built, and those decisions are manifested to those authorized to receive such revelation (the prophet, or, in our current situation, those authorized to represent him in so determining).

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; Taichung Taiwan; 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
North America Central: Missoula Montana; Green Bay Wisconsin
North America Northwest: Salem Oregon
North America Southeast: Bentonville Arkansas
North America Southwest: Fort Worth Texas; Henderson Nevada
Pacific: Auckland New Zealand; Port Moresby Papua New Guinea; Pago Pago American Samoa; Neiafu Vava'u Tonga
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: Heber City 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 those 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. For now, it seems that the order I have placed them in may be the most likely order by which they might be announced. On July 28, I added one for Taichung Taiwan, since further research indicates Taiwan may be ready for a second temple. 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. Central America may be needing several new temples, based on what my research shows. Then-Elder Nelson proposed a temple for Managua in 2012, and I recently learned that land has been set aside for such a temple for several years. Additional research done on July 28, 2017 showed that temples could be needed in the other cities listed in the Central America Area, and they are listed in order of likelihood for that to happen.
6. 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.
7.      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. If and when I feel I can narrow down the options, I will do so.
8. In the Pacific, I know that the first 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. Further study which I did in late July confirms that the other two locations listed may be possible.
9. 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 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.
10. 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. I added Heber City in late July after a couple of comments led me to do so. Each of these seem likely. I also know that we are still waiting to have the Southwest Salt Lake Valley temple mentioned by President Hinckley announced at some point. Some have said that this temple has been announced already, but the research I have done proves otherwise.

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.

Church News Update (including 2018 Mutual Theme)

Hello, all! Here is a brief Church News update. Enjoy!

First, and perhaps most importantly, the Church announced today the theme that the youth will use in Mutual in 2018. The words of it come from D&C 19:23, which reads, "Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my spirit, and ye shall have peace in me." To read more about how this theme should be used as a guide for activities, click here.

In the Fruita Historic District of Utah's Capitol Reef National Park, the fruit grown there has a unique story whose origins can be traced back to pioneer days. To read more on that, click here.

While Utah marked Pioneer Day on July 24, the Church News published a story about how some Church members found unique ways to honor their own pioneer ancestors. For more on that story, click here.

With Campus Education Week at BYU-Provo scheduled to be held later this month, the Church News ran an article summarizing the eponymous event at BYU-Idaho, which was held from July 27-30. You can read more about that event (including a summary of addresses) here. The keynote speaker was Elder Gerald N. Lund, emeritus General Authority Seventy and author of many wonderful LDS historical fiction novels, most notably (to me) The Kingdom and the Crown (covering the last part of the Savior's life, his death and resurrection), and The Work and the Glory (which covers events in early Church history, primarily the years between 1820-1846, ending with the Saints entering the valley; Elder Lund had promised in his foreword to the 9th volume that he would, a few years after that, go back and write a 10th volume about the descendants of the main characters in modern times, but later said that he regretted that promise and that other books he wrote could be considered the promised sequels to that series).

Sorry about that side note. Getting back to the BYU-Idaho Campus Education Week,, for summaries of what was said, click here.

That's it for this Church news update. As always, thank you for the privilege of your time. Any comments are always welcome, appreciated, and encouraged. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Happy Birthday to 5 great men this month

Hello, all! As August begins, I wanted to remind all of us that it is the month within which 1/3 of all our current apostles (5) celebrate their birthdays. Any way it's considered, that is monumental, and therefore well worth mentioning.

So, when will each of those birthdays be marked, and how old will each apostle be on those dates? The first birthday coming up is for our youngest current apostle, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, who will reach the age of 62 on Sunday. Just three days after that (Wednesday August 9), Elder Neil L. Andersen will mark his 66th birthday (joining his seatmate in the apostleship at that age; Elder Rasband's birthday is six months follow and preceding Elder Stevenson's). In another three days following (Saturday August 12), the second senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the third overall in apostolic seniority, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, will celebrate his 85th birthday.

Nine days after that (on Monday August 21), our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, will mark the milestone of his 90th birthday. In regards to that, I wanted to note: Insofar as I have been able to ascertain, no plans have been made by the Church for any celebration to mark this milestone. That is not unprecedented: some prophets who are more private (particularly later in life) have chosen to quietly observe such milestones without ceremony. I certainly respect that. Speaking personally, I am just glad that it looks like President Monson will be alive to mark such a momentous milestone.

That brings me to our last apostolic birthday for this month. On Thursday August 24, Elder Robert D. Hales will join Elder Oaks as the second current 85-year-old apostle. As this is merely 23 days away, I don't foresee any issue preventing Elder Hales from observing this milestone. While he has been the apostle among the current group that has struggled the most with health issues (until President Monson's recent difficulties), he has valiantly pushed through his illness to minister to the best of his ability. And I think it is fair to say, without fear of contradiction, that Elder Hales's trials has brought him closer to the Lord, and has allowed him to speak on subjects related thereunto of which he now has personal knowledge.

As I have observed with greater frequency of late, I do not hold with, condone, or support in any way those who style themselves as faithful Church members who are trying to perpetuate the idea that an emeritus status of some kind should be enacted for our prophets and apostles (as previously noted, I have heard 85 floated around as the proposed age for apostles, and 90 for the prophet). I love the fact that this Church is led by Jesus Christ under the direction He gives to men who have been seasoned by age and by a wide variety of unique experiences and circumstances. These men willingly put their lives into the Lord's hands, becoming HIs instruments and being fully committed to serving to the best of their ability until their dying breath. And that is as it should be. Anyone who says anything different is not being moved upon by the spirit of the Lord. It's that simple.

As I close this post marking these milestones, I also wanted to note, FWIW, that the next apostolic birthdays after these 5 will happen back-to-back, about half a month after Elder Hales's birthday. Once September starts, the countdown will begin to the 77th birthday of Elder Quentin L. Cook on September 8, and to the 93rd birthday of the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Russell M. Nelson, the very next day. Apostolic birthdays for 2017 will close out with Elder Ballard's in October, President Uchtdorf's and Elder Renlund's one week apart in November, and Elder Holland's in December. All of those will be the focus of future posts on this blog closer to the time.

For now, thanks for the privilege of your time. Hope this post served to inform and inspire you. Any comments are welcome. Until my next post, all the best to each and every one of you.