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Friday, September 1, 2017

Date Adjustments Made for Renovation Closures/Adjustments made to Completion Estimates for Temples Under Construction

Hello, everyone! I wanted to post an updated version of my temple construction progress report for a couple of reasons: While only minor progress has been reported on the temples under construction, the Church has released a beta version of their updated temples site, and on that site, corrections have been made to previously announced closure dates for temples set to close for renovation later this year, and all temples scheduled for renovation next year except the Mesa Arizona Temple, and that may be made known later on this month. I have also had a change of thought on the completion estimates I offered for temples now under construction, based on some excellent feedback from some experts in matters related to temple construction. All of this new information will be listed on the update I hope to provide this weekend of my timeline for future temple-related events. In the meantime, I wanted to post the updates I made to my temple construction progress report for any who would like to comment on them. I feel pretty confident about these changes, but always appreciate feedback from any of you who feel inclined to provide it. The updates to that report follow. In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord be with and bless each of you in whatever you may do this weekend.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 9/1/17)

NOTE ABOUT FUTURE TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: As referenced in previous versions of this report, Elder Larry Y. Wilson, the Temple Department Executive Director, stated in an interview given as the open house for the newly renovated Idaho Falls Idaho Temple got underway that the Church currently has around 80 sites under consideration for a subsequent announcement within the next 15 years. While some, if not at least a majority, of those 80 sites will make it to a subsequent announcement, it is significant to think about. That would put the number of temples in any phase at around 260 or so in 2032. It is not hard to believe, therefore, that whether or not the Church makes an official goal to do so, we could see a minimum of 200 operating temples by or before the bicentennial (200th ) anniversary of the restoration of the Church (which will take place on Saturday April 6, 2030. With the Church only having to announce 18 additional temples and to complete the other 25 in any phase, all it would take to reach that milestone is for 3-4 temples being dedicated in each one of the 12.59 years between now and then, which works out to 3 or 4 temples that will need to be dedicated each year. Since the Church will be maintaining at least that average amount for the next 3 years at minimum, it seems very feasible. For my part, I will be keeping my eyes open for any developments and will pass such news along as I hear of it.

CURRENT TEMPLE STATUS: The Church has 182 temples in any phase. There are 157 operating temples, with 2 more that have construction wrapping up prior to their already scheduled dedications later this year. There are additionally 9 others are in various construction phases and 1 more that had a groundbreaking last year, with full-scale construction anticipated in the very near future (hopefully before the end of this year). 1 other has a groundbreaking scheduled (which will take place in just under 2 months. Of the temples that have been, are now, and will shortly be undergoing renovations, we have 1 that has a rededication scheduled (for the middle of next year), while 1 other is undergoing renovation (with completion anticipated sometime in either late summer or early fall next year), and another 4 have had their closure dates set before the end of this year, in addition to 5 others that we know will be closing early next year (the actual dates for each of those will be set closer to the time). The remaining 12 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Finalizing landscaping and interior work; accepting open house reservations beginning Monday September 25, 2017 (and will continue to be accepted during the open house, which is set to run tours from Saturday October 21-Saturday November 11, excluding Sundays); dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Hanging interior light fixtures; installing art glass; accepting open house reservations beginning Monday October 2, 2017 (and will continue to be accepted during the open house, which is set to run tours from Friday October 27-Saturday November 18, excluding Sundays); dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
NOTE: As noted on the last version of this report published on this blog, it appears that the work of landscaping for the temple grounds has concluded, signifying that this temple is that much closer to its dedication.

                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated within the next 1-2 years):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior and exterior work progressing; construction office trailers donated to community organizations; office space relocated to patron housing; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: In view of the plans announced to rededicate the Jordan River Temple, and because this temple has progressed more consistently than the Frankfurt Germany Temple, it is my feeling that this temple will be dedicated at some point before the annual July recess of the General Authorities. If I receive information that changes that belief, I will be sure to pass it along.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding progressing on tower and east and west walls; decorative fence installation underway; hanging doors and installing millwork inside; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: This temple has moved up and down on this list a great deal since its groundbreaking in mid-October 2015 by Elder Walter F. Gonzalez. In the temple construction progress report I posted a while ago, this temple had been anticipated to be the third temple dedicated this year. I was very much surprised and gratified to find that this temple would likely be finished sooner than expected. Even so, I found out recently that, while it has made great strides, it is more likely that this temple may be the first one dedicated following the annual July recess of the General Authorities. Not much later than I was anticipating, but I did want to note that.
162. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Roof decking attached; baptismal font concrete to be repoured; searching for landscaping palm trees; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: While I fervently hope that this temple will be completed closer to the earlier side of this estimate, information that I came across last night indicates the completion of this temple will be closer to a year from now than earlier than that. I am setting a preliminary estimate of mid-to-late September 2018.
163.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Pouring concrete curbing and walkways; preparing to clad tower; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: This temple, once thought to be among the first completed in 2018, may now turn out to be the last one dedicated in 2018, if current trends continue. In view of additional information I received recently, I am setting a new estimate for late October-early November 2018.

164. Durban South Africa Temple: Temple roof slab poured; brickwork continues at missionary housing; waterproofing and backfilling entrance buildings; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: As promised in previous version of this report, I did some more research that pointed to the notion that, barring anything unexpected, the completion of this temple may take around 1.5 years rather than just the 1 that I thought. It is therefore my new feeling that the dedication of this temple will be around late February or early March 2019. If my thinking on that changes, I will pass that along.

Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 2-3 years:  
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Applying waterproofing membrane to temple exterior walls; meetinghouse exterior walls rising; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As part of my ongoing research, I studied when this temple might be completed. And that study has led me to conclude that the completion of this temple will likely happen in mid-to-late May 2019. If that changes, I will pass that along.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction underway on temple substructure; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As part of my efforts to reevaluate potential completion estimates, I discovered that this temple is more likely to be dedicated following the annual July recess of the General Authorities, perhaps by early-to-mid August. If my thinking on that changes, I will pass that along.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Preparing to pour main floor slab of temple; meetinghouse cladding progressing; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: While I hope I am wrong in this regard, my additional research on this temple points to the notion that this temple may only be dedicated by late October or early September of 2019. If my thinking on that changes, I will pass that along.
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: Setting rebar for second floor structural walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
NOTE: As noted on other temples, I have done more research lately on when each temple might be completed. Having received a common opinion that this temple may not be completed until more towards early 2020, and having taken that into account, I am still convinced that this temple may be the last temple completed in 2019, and that that dedication may happen in mid-December 2019. As always, once this temple makes more progress, I will be sure to pass along any changes to that thinking.

Construction pending:
169. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations; acquiring building permits; completion anticipated sometime between late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: As previously noted on earlier versions of this report, until full-scale construction begins on this temple, an exact completion time-frame may be hard to pin down. Even so, I ran the numbers, and with the 20 months (1.67 years) of construction that are anticipated for this temple, as long as construction gets underway by July or August of 2018, then the completion of this temple could indeed easily happen by early 2020. Until more is known, that is an adjustment from what I had previously thought and asserted.

Groundbreaking scheduled:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Ground being cleared; preparing for groundbreaking ceremony, which is scheduled for Saturday October 28, 2017; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: Assuming no delays, the formal construction efforts for this temple will start on Monday October 30, 2018. If that happens, based on what we now know about this temple, I feel confident its completion may be marked around the end of May 2020. That said, I heard from some sources that this temple could be finished much closer to mid-to-late 2019. I am evaluating all of this and will be sure to provide any updates to this line of reasoning as I become aware of them. And it obviously goes without saying that if construction is delayed, that could push the estimate back to the time-frame indicated above, if not longer.

Scheduled for rededication:
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication scheduled for Sunday May 20, 2018.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; roof slab poured for basement addition; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: This temple appears to be on track to be dedicated sometime after both the rededication of the Jordan River Utah Temple and the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple. Once more is known about how soon that might be, I will pass the information along.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 30, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: The Church has a new layout in beta phase for their temples section. One significant thing coming out of that development has been an alteration of the previously-set completion dates for temples scheduled for renovation. Additionally, as previously observed, this temple’s renovation will change the interior and exterior look of the edifice. With that in mind, an initial estimate of 18 months for this process seems en pointe. As the process gets underway, that will likely change. And I will pass along any updates in that regard as the work proceeds.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 2, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: As noted above, this temple’s renovation closure date was pushed back a few days later than originally announced. Given that this temple will be renovated to bring electrical and mechanical systems up-to-date, an expansion is not likely to be in the works. Therefore, it is my feeling that, because of its comparatively smaller size, it will be the first temple to be rededicated in 2020.
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: The date for this temple’s closure was recently confirmed. I have also been reminded that this temple has more room for an expansion than the Memphis Tennessee Temple. That said, it seems unlikely that this will be the case. It therefore seems likely that a 15-month estimate is perfectly appropriate for this temple’s renovation. If I find information that changes this thinking, I will pass it along.
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 this temple’s closure date has been confirmed, what is still unknown is whether or not the process will involve any expansion. Right now, it seems unlikely to be so, and, in that regard, a 15-month estimate seems appropriate for this temple’s potential completion. If I find something in the near future that changes that reasoning, I will pass it along.

Temples that have a renovation closure announced, with official dates now known for all but one of them:
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on January 10, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: The date of this temple’s anticipated closure has now been confirmed by the Church’s new beta site for temples. In addition, as previously noted, I heard from a member contact in North Carolina that the Saints in that area were told shortly after this renovation was announced that it would not involve an expansion. With that in mind, a 15-month estimate seems to be appropriate for this temple’s renovation process. As more is known about this, I will pass it along.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on February 1, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: This temple’s closure date was also confirmed by the Church’s beta site for temple information. As of right now, it doesn’t look like plans are in the works for this temple to be expanded. I am predicting, therefore, that a 15-month estimate may be wise for this temple’s completion. As more is known, if my thinking changes, I will pass that along.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on February 19, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: With the date of this temple’s renovation closure having been confirmed by the beta site for the Church’s temple information, and knowing that an 18-month estimate is wise for an initial prediction, primarily because the stated purpose for this renovation is to upgrade and replace mechanical and electrical systems.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on March 4, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: Given that this temple’s completion date has been officially confirmed by the LDS Church’s beta version of their temple section, and given that the purpose of this temple’s renovation is to upgrade and update electrical and mechanical systems, the completion estimate above seems likely, especially in view of the fact that this temple is comparatively larger. I am venturing an initial estimate that this renovation will take around 20 months. As with everything else, I will pass along any updates and changes as I become aware of them.
7. Mesa Arizona Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in May 2018 (exact date has not yet been announced); rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: In the 24 hours or so in which the adjustments of all other renovation dates became necessary as the exact dates were clarified, this temple remained the one for which a more exact closure date is not yet confirmed. In the meantime, as previously noted, the stated purpose of this renovation is to upgrade and update the electrical and mechanical systems of this temple. Even though this temple is quite a bit larger than the Tokyo Japan Temple, it has been renovated once previously, and this renovation is therefore not anticipated to take as long. I will pass along any updates as I become aware of them.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: During the month of July, I revised the order in which temples in this section were listed. About a week after doing so, I found out that I needed to revise and rethink that order again. The current order reflects the latest information I have (as of the late night hours of July 18). 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: If the information I have received about this temple and its progress is correct, the year of preconstruction which the contractor for this temple mentioned was needed prior to its groundbreaking began in March 2017. While there has been no evidence to corroborate that this process has indeed begun, it seemed to be enough for me to move this temple below Haiti’s first. Some have said that the surprise announcement of the Port-au-Prince groundbreaking may mean we could have other temples that will have a groundbreaking by the end of this year. But if that doesn’t happen, I think it is safe to assume and to assert that this temple will be the first to have a groundbreaking next year, and that it will happen sooner rather than later.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: While numerous delays prevented this temple from making any progress since its announcement almost seven years ago, those delays are at an end. Since it seems likely that the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple will be the next one to have a groundbreaking (either before the end of this year or during the first part of next year), it seems logical to assume that this temple could follow shortly thereafter. More to come once more is known.
173. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place during mid-2018.
NOTE: As previously noted, shortly after this temple was announced in April 2016, Elder Hamilton made a statement that indicated a site announcement and groundbreaking would follow for this temple in short order once 2017 began. Nearly eight months of 2017 have come and gone with nothing new happening for this temple. For that reason, it seems safe to assume that it will be the third temple of this announced group to have a groundbreaking. While some have said it could happen by the end of this year, it seems more likely that it will not take place until the middle of next year at earliest. If my thinking in that regard changes, I will pass that along.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: When I was encouraged to take another look at the order in which announced temples could have a subsequent groundbreaking, I felt impressed to find out, on average, how long it has taken for temples in Utah County to get from announcement to groundbreaking. Based on that average, it seems likely that, if a site is announced for it soon, this temple could have a groundbreaking at the time indicated above, and perhaps well ahead of the other temples listed below. If my thinking on that changes, I will pass it along.
175. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: Even though this temple has already had a site identified, and that site has been inspected by Church engineers, over the course of the last several months, I have done considerable study on when announced temples have gone on to have a groundbreaking. And that study, combined with valuable feedback from experts on this subject, has led me to believe that this temple’s groundbreaking is more likely to happen towards the middle or end of 2018 than the beginning of it, especially because other temples are almost certain to have a groundbreaking first. I will continue to pass along any updates to this line of thought and reasoning.
176. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: The note on the temple above applies to this temple as well. Though it has had a site confirmed already, because other temples are almost certain to have a groundbreaking prior to this one, it has felt wise to push this estimate back. In the meantime, we could also hear any day an announcement about the name for this second temple for the capital city of the Philippines. As more information is released, I will pass that along.
177. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: Two potential locations have been noted as potential locations for this temple site. Until a site confirmation happens, a groundbreaking time-frame may be hard to pin down. However, Idaho is well within the “Mormon corridor (of which Arizona and Utah are also a part), and temples in that area generally get built relatively easily and quickly. That said, as previously noted, I have felt it wise to push the estimate for this temple’s groundbreaking back to this point because the temples above seem more likely to have a groundbreaking prior to this one. That said, there could be an equal chance that this temple could have a groundbreaking in either late 2018 or early 2019. I will pass along updates as I learn of them.
178. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: I was pleased to hear of the media event held for this temple two months ago. During that event, Elder Joseph W. Sitati, the first GA Seventy from Kenya, mentioned that it usually takes a year or two after temple announcements for a groundbreaking to happen. Given that statement and the fact that the temples listed above this one will likely have a groundbreaking first, it seemed wise to adjust my estimate. If my thinking on this changes, I will pass that along.
179. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-2019.
NOTE: As noted previously, some Thai members and other members familiar with that country have speculated that an existing Church office building (owned since 2008) will be reconstructed into an edifice that not only houses Church offices, but the temple and a meetinghouse as well, similar in concept to the temples in Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York. If that is confirmed within the next year or so, I could see a groundbreaking happen at around this time. I will pass along any updates on this as I receive them.
180. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Growth trends in the Ivory Coast have led some to speculate that a second (and even a third) Ivory Coast temple could be among the 80 referenced above. Regarding this temple, until more is known about it, this estimate seems wise.
181. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Even though Ecuador’s first temple had a 14-year wait between its site announcement and groundbreaking, the growth of the Church in South America has been a clear indicator that the Church won’t have to wait that long for this groundbreaking. Because of the others listed above that are expected to have a groundbreaking first, it seems likely that the time-frame above will be likely for this temple’s groundbreaking. As always, I will adjust this as more becomes known.
182. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: While it seems almost certain that the Brasilia Brazil Temple will have a groundbreaking sooner than this one (as we still do not know where in Belem this temple will be built), what is not known is whether this temple will indeed be the last of the current bunch to have a groundbreaking. As progress is made on temples in the next year or so, hopefully that will be cleared up. And, as always, I will continue to pass along updates and changes to this line of thinking.

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 80 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.

September's First Presidency Message: A General Conference Invitation from our beloved prophet

Hello again, everyone! As I may have mentioned previously, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the September First Presidency Message was written by our beloved prophet, who, at the time it was published, had already turned 90. Now, I also want to note that this message was likely submitted for publication well in advance of the May 23 announcement that he would no longer take an active role in the day-to-day leadership of the Church. Even so, this gives me hope that we may see him speak at least once, or even twice, as has been usual and typical since the April 2013 General Conference, even if those addresses are only a couple of minutes each. However, as my wife reminded me recently, it is one thing to deliver a coherent written message and another to make a public appearance and address. So time will tell if President Monson will even make an appearance at General Conference in just over a month. In the meantime, you can read that message here. As with any other Church- or temple-related development, I am keeping my eyes open for any update and will pass that information along. For now, any comments are welcome and appreciate. Thank you for the privilege of your time. May the Lord bless you all until my next post. Until that time, I wish you all the best.

Major Church News: First Presidency Releases Letter about Louisiana Disaster

I am a day or two late in reporting this (trying to deal with some health issues and prepare to celebrate the 90th birthday of a dear family friend (who is, without doubt, more of a surrogate grandfather figure and longtime family friend whom my family affectionately calls "Uncle George"), but a development happened that brought it to the forefront of my list of Church news to report. Here is the blog post about that development.

In the wake of the Louisiana disaster, many Church members who have the ability to do so have spared no expense in purchasing necessary supplies and journeying to Louisiana to administer relief. While the Church has appreciated those efforts from those individuals, the problem with that scenario is that they are not coordinating their plans with the local Church and governmental leaders who have certain procedures in place for such disasters. This results in confusion on whether or not such efforts are sanctioned.

In an effort to clear that up, the First Presidency today released a letter that they instructed local leaders to read in their congregations this Sunday. The wording of the letter in question makes it clear that the Church places high importance on going through the proper channels and coordinating such efforts. The First Presidency clearly outlines what members can and should do in such situations.

As one who has been fiercely loyal to and supportive of the direction and counsel from our leaders, whatever form it takes, I would encourage any of my readers who claim to sustain these Brethren to follow their wise advice in this instance. As I mentioned in previous posts, excess money that is not used locally for fast offerings and other efforts is sent to Church headquarters and dispersed as the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes sees fit. That includes building a reserve to send out massive monetary and humanitarian aid to help areas stricken by natural disasters.

I gained a testimony of this process a long time ago, and that was only refined as I served for two years with the Humanitarian program of the Church. Not only did our center prepare hundreds and even thousands of hygiene, school, and medical kits to send to Church headquarters to contribute to such a reserve, but as an avid student of the work of Church finances, I have enjoyed hearing the report each April that the offerings of the Church have been used according to Church policy. I further observed this process firsthand as an assistant ward clerk over finances and membership records in ensuring that each donation was accurately recorded and accounted for. And in that process, I observed that there was at least one of the two (if not both) counselors in the bishopric helping out with that process. When the donations had been entered correctly for the week, I observed a few times how those contributions were taken to the local financial institution our stake used that would send them on to the Church.

And now, of course, we have seen that process evolve into electronic donations being processed directly from our accounts when it has been feasible to do so. That simplifies things a lot. Wire transfers are so much more safe and secure. And of course, as we know, the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes was established by revelation to include the members of the First Presidency, the Presiding Bishopric, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Even when new members have come into that Council, that has not changed how effective the process works. And now, the Church has assembled an audit committee comprised of both Church members and non-Church members with expertise in accounting practices to certify that all is done according to policy and as prescribed by revelation.

So we have no need to fear that our offerings are being properly handled. In the meantime, it is wonderful to observe how it all comes together. And, in getting back to the First Presidency's letter, we now have the word of the Brethren on their guidance about what to do in the face of natural disasters such as this. Let us follow them.

That does it for this post. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time. And may the Lord bless you all until my next post. Until that time, I wish you all the best.