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Monday, August 7, 2017

Continuing the report of the Fair Mormon Conference: Address given about role of religious faith

As the above title implies, I am focusing this post on another address given during the FairMormon Conference. That address, given by Daniel C. Peterson, highlighted the importance of faith (particularly in the gospel and the various aspects thereof) as a grounding force against doubt, discouragement, and a whole host of worldly ills. While I do not feel I could do a better job of summarizing Brother Peterson's remarks, I do want to testify that I know for myself what a grounding force my faith has been as I continue an ongoing battle with depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other challenges. Some have criticized me for spending so much time on blogging about such trivial things when my time could be better spent elsewhere (such as taking care of my family through employment). However, at times when I have felt overwhelmed by my health and the associated conditions thereof, getting lost in Church news and passing it along to loyal readers has indeed kept me from becoming too overwhelmed by the enormity of what I am feeling. So I know that Brother Peterson knows what he's talking about. I have always used study of the gospel (and developments related to that) to help me cope with things, and while I cannot do much with my days right now (by the standards of others who may not have so much to deal with), my blogging about subjects close to my heart, like this one, definitely has helped and improved my perspective on things. So again, thanks to you all for the ongoing interest and support, including the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Sister missionary dies in Guatemala

The Church News reported this tragic story about how a sister missionary serving in Guatemala was electrocuted to death. It is always hard to hear of such deaths, but I hope the family takes comfort in knowing that their missionary passed away while serving the Lord as she always desired to, and that she is surely carrying on that sacred missionary work beyond the veil, and that they will be reunited with her again someday. In the meantime, this is a great opportuinity for us to be reminded of the importance of praying for the safety and success of all who serve the Lord in such capacities. May the Lord bless this family and continue to bless all those who serve as his emissaries in any capacity is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Future Temple Site Possibilities (Updated)

Hello, all! Around the time I have spent blogging and tending to life in general during the last several days, I have also taken the opportunity to do some studying about the potential time-frame within which temples currently under construction may be completed, and when announced temples might potentially make progress (towards a groundbreaking, full-scale construction, and dedication). That process is ongoing, and I hope to post later (perhaps by the end of the week) with the definitive results. In the meantime, I have also been doing in-depth searches for revisions to my list of temples that may be announced soon. And in relation to that, I have prepared an updated version of that list. I post it here and now for review from anyone that would like to comment on it. Before I open that subject up for your review and consideration, I did want to make a couple of observations. First of all, only the Lord, his prophet, or those either of them authorize to do so in their behalf, can decide for sure where any temple will be. These are no more than my own thoughts, and while I have attained a certain degree of accuracy with such predictions in the past, I am just as happy when proven wrong as I am when the Lord verifies the inspiration of some choices. Any new temples announced anywhere in the world is a victory for the Church that should be hailed by all Latter-day Saints with joy.

Second, if I feel strongly about supporting any of these choices, and seem to discount anyone's thoughts about a site that would be more likely, it is only because my research and what I have heard from others gives me confidence to defend those selections. I hope that everyone knows I mean no offense or disrespect if we disagree on any of these things. I likewise hope that everyone understands that I don't mind being challenged. Often when a possibility has been suggested and I don't feel any problem with researching it further, I have found something I have overlooked.

And I also find that I enjoy exchanging thoughts on this with anyone who wants to share their opinion with me. What I'm trying to say is that I respond differently to every suggestion I am given. When I find an overlooked possibility that makes sense to me (based on the criteria I have chosen to use), I add it. If I have a strong reason to not do so, I am grateful for the suggestion. I would never want to discourage feedback, and hope with all my heart that I have never done so. I value the thoughts of everyone who has shared with me, and I hope that is clearly understood.

In like manner, I would hope that anyone who comments will likewise be respectful of both my opinions and those of anyone else who posts their thoughts on them. If we can all agree on civility, then I am doing well in tracking the pulse of this discussion. That said, I want to hear from you. Thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord bless us all in our consideration and discussions about these things. Enjoy!

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, 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).

Future Temple Possibilities (grouped by area, then by likelihood within that area)
Africa Southeast: Antananarivo Madagascar; Lubumbashi DR Congo
Africa West: Lagos Nigeria; Kumasi Ghana; Freetown Sierra Leone; Praia Cape Verde; Monrovia Liberia
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; Flagstaff Arizona; 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: Maracaibo Venezuela; Santa Cruz/La Paz Bolivia; Iquitos Peru
South America South: Valparaiso Chile; Neuquen Argentina
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. Regarding the Africa West Area, the LDS Church growth blog reports that, if current growth trends continue, that area could have 13 temples by the year 2030. Along with that, we know that there are two dedicated and one announced in that area already. And I figured the 4 in the list above might be more likely sooner rather than later. So that means that 7 of the 13 may have been identified. 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 or add new 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.