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Friday, September 15, 2017

Massive Church News Update

Though I am somewhat behind on reporting Church news, I wanted to share several items that have really touched and inspired me in the last couple of days. At some point, I will hope to catch up on anything I missed, perhaps this weekend, but for now, here is a summary of the items that have impacted me so much in the last few days or so. Enjoy!

First of all, the Tabernacle Choir has announced that their 2018 tour will cover many major US and Canadian cities. For a description of the specific plans, click here.

The Church is offering aid in the aftermath of major disasters. Such aid has been sent to Texas and Southern Mexico. In relation to an additional disaster, Mormon Newsroom shared this report detailing how President Eyring recently visited areas in the Caribbean that were impacted by Hurricane Irma. Those reports were amazing to read.

I have before shared my thoughts on who might be in attendance at the final two temple dedications this year. In regards to that, I have new information. On the same day of the Meridian Idaho Temple dedication (Sunday November 19), Elders Oaks and Ballard will take questions from the Young Single Adult members of the Church. So it is obvious they will not be involved in the dedication, as the Face-to-Face event will originate from Logan, Utah. For more on the Face-to-Face event (including how YSA members who would like to can ask the questions they have, click here and here. As one who was a YSA for a while myself, I am grateful that the Church is now giving people in that age group (18-30) the opportunity to learn direct answers to their questions from general Church leaders.

For leaders of youth, the Church has released this article (written by Sister Carol F. McConkie about why the Young Women General Presidency & general board members are encouraging Young Women and their leaders to bring girl's camp home with them. There was also this article written by the Young Men General Presidency and general board, describing in greater detail what led up to the decision to discontinue the Church's formal chartered relationship for young men aged 14-18, why the new activity program needed to be instituted, and how young men presidencies & advisers can mentor and assist their quorum presidencies in using the new guidelines going forward.

As I have mentioned before, I spent my teenage years in a ward where the focus on Scouting was targeting 11-13 year old young men. Any of us that wished to do so were perfectly welcome to pursue our Scouting endeavors individually (thereby making each young man in that situation fully responsible for completing those Scouting milestones of their free will and choice), while the Teachers' and Priests' Quorum's weekly activities focused more on fulfilling the requirements of the Duty to God program.

This move the Church has made to focus Scouting efforts on those 11-13 and emphasizing the new guidelines for those young men of Teacher or Priest age is merely an extension and expansion on what many wards that I know of were already doing, and, as has already been mentioned, this new activity program fits all young men of that age worldwide, not just catering to those in the US and Canada, or anywhere else the Boy Scouts have formal troops organized. I am fully on board with these changes.

Next, this article describes the experience of the Latter-day Saint that was involved in the terrorist attacks in Barcelona last month. The Church News also published this article describes the feelings and memories that President Eyring and his son, Henry J., are having as President Eyring prepares to fill his assignment as the First Vice-Chairman for the Church Board of Education and a former president of Ricks College (now known as BYU-Idaho) to preside at the inauguration of his son, Henry J., as the 17th President of BYU-Idaho. Interestingly enough, that inauguration, set to be held on September 19, will coincide with when BYU-Idaho President Henry J. Eyring will mark his 54th birthday.

I have before spoken of how President Henry B. likely recused himself from participating in the decision that led to his son Henry J.'s appointment as president of BYU-Idaho, but, as his father noted in the article above, the new President Eyring has earned this assignment based entirely on his own educational qualifications and merits. And I am sure that, if pressed, the senior President Eyring would respond to this whole situation the same way that President Gordon B. Hinckley responded to his son Richard G.'s appointment as a General Authority Seventy, and say that his son has a wonderful mother, though he cannot recommend his father, and that no one should hold Henry J.'s relatiionship to Henry B. against him, as he (Henry J.) is powerless to help it.

Sorry if I got up on my soapbox for a bit there. I hate the fact that so many people make an issue out of nepotism in the Church. Each of us can and should (if any of us have not already done so) gain a testimony for ourselves that the process by which any Church leader is called and released is divinely instituted. There are many who are qualified to serve in such positions. But I know for a fact that certain leaders have been called to certain positions at certain times because they were meant to be in those positions. For a Church that believes and teaches the principle of foreordination, it should not come as a surprise that certain individuals have been called at certain times. If we have a testimony of the process by which those changes occur on any level (ward, stake, or general), then we should accept the "changing of the guard" rotation of responsibility. And if we do not have such a witness of the way that works, we should do whatever it takes to get one, then share it with those around us. And once we have that witness, we should willingly support those changes as they happen. As I have also observed previously, it is not our place to dispute the calling or decline to sustain anyone unless we know for a fact they have done something that would disqualify them from serving in those capacities, and, if we do have such knowledge, we should go through the proper channels to bring such information to the attention of the proper individuals. If we do not have such knowledge, or have not taken such steps, we have no right to silently or vocally decline to sustain those God has called.

Sorry I keep getting off on tangents. It just bugs me when people cry nepotism or vocally manifest their opposition to sustaining our Church leaders without taking the proper steps to resolve their concerns. I hope no readers of this blog fall into that category. If any of you do, I would ask you to please listen to the direction of the First Presidency member leading the sustaining every six months and contact your stake presidents to get those concerns, whatever they might be, resolved.

In the meantime, the Church News section on LDS.org was updated today to include this article, which goes into more detail about the planned changes in curriculum for 2018. And this article describes how Elder Stevenson spoke at a nationwide conference in Korea for Young Single Adults and Single Adults.

And from the Mormon Newsroom, we have this article with guidelines on reducing suicide and depression, this article with updates on the Church's relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and this article sharing the latest news on Church aid being sent in response to Hurricane Irma.

Having completed this somewhat massive update on the latest Church news, I would simply like to request that all of us keep in our prayers those affected by natural disasters, and that we would continue to pray for progress on temples worldwide and for the leadership of this Church, particularly our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I still don't know whether or not he will be well enough to speak or even attend General Conference, but I am grateful that he was able to mark his 90th birthday just under a month ago, and I hope that he will continue to inspire us for however much longer the Lord wills that he should be the president of His Church. I likewise hope we will continue to include the other apostles in our prayers as well. As I have previously mentioned, the Church has been in this kind of territory before, with the ill health of Presidents Kimball and Benson in the last several years of their lives.

The interesting thing to me is that, from those periods of time to this, the only apostles that have been in the apostleship are Presidents Monson and Nelson and Elders Oaks, Ballard, and possibly Hales. So this is a new experience for everyone else. That said, I again express my gratitude that Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf have had just over 9 years to learn first-hand how President Monson thinks and feels about important issues, and I know that they will continue to bring to him any matter about which they might have questions. So I have no doubts that the Church will continue to move on. In addition to two wonderful counselors, there are three (or possibly four) members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that have worked in various assignments with President Monson that can be of great help, and that, with the possible exception of the three junior apostles, all other apostles have likewise had a chance to work and serve alongside our prophet. Because of all of these reasons, I know that the Church is in great hands.

And I know that, no matter what anyone else might say, the Church has not yet and never will enact any kind of emeritus status for any of our apostles. Doing so would mean we would miss out on the final sermons of each of these Brethren prior to their passing, which would result in our missing the tender and inspirational final messages they would deliver. That is not in the plan now, and it never will be.

Again, sorry for all the tangents. That does it for this post. As always, I welcome any comments you might have. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish you all the best. May the Lord be with you all until then.

Updated estimates for future temple-related events

Hello, everyone! While there has been no notable progress reported on temples since I last posted about that subject yesterday, I have taken time to reassess and reevaluate when and how soon we might see future temple-related events. I wanted to share those thoughts with you all today. Again, I hope it is clearly understood, accepted, and appreciated that any developments are subject to the Lord's will and any local conditions and factors that may affect or impede that sequence of events. As with anything else I post, I welcome feedback on these adjustments. In the coming days, I hope to be able to post an updated version of my estimated timeline for temple-related events. Until then, thank you for the privilege of your time. May the Lord be with each of you until my next post.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 9/15/17)

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 12.56 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 appears to be very doable. 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 various phases (operating, undergoing renovation (which counts as operating), under construction (new ones not yet dedicated) or announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending). There are 157 operating temples, with 1 that has had construction conclude (and is preparing for its open house) and 1 more that has construction wrapping up prior to its already scheduled dedication later this year. There are additionally 9 others are in various phases of construction and 1 more that had a groundbreaking last year, (with full-scale construction anticipated to begin ASAP (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 completed, preparing for open house:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Practices for youth cultural celebration underway; open house reservations will start being accepted beginning Monday September 25, 2017, and will be available for the three week period spanning Saturday October 21 and Saturday November 11, excluding Sundays; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Finish work underway on interior; cultural celebration kick-off meeting held; open house reservations will start being accepted beginning Monday October 2, 2017, and will be available for the duration of the open house, which is set to run for 22 days (roughly 3.15 weeks) between Friday October 27 and Saturday November 18, excluding Sundays; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
NOTE: With the open house set to begin in roughly 1.41 months, it seems apparent that construction is concluding. How close that is to actually being the case remains to be seen. But if the finish work on the interior is the last thing that needs to be completed, then the construction could be concluded by this time next week. As with everything else, I will pass along any updates as I learn of them.

Under Construction (completion anticipated by the end of next year (2018)):
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 already-announced rededication for the Jordan River Temple (which is set for May 20), 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. I have set a more specific estimate for the time-frame of this event for early-to-mid June. And if what happened this year is any precedent for what might occur next year, perhaps the exact date might be two weeks from that rededication, which would put the exact date of this dedication as Sunday June 3. As always, I will be sure to pass along any updates I might make to this estimate.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding progressing on east side of temple; west side nearly finished; hanging doors and installing millwork inside; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: Barring anything unexpected, this temple will almost surely be dedicated shortly after the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple. If, as anticipated, that rededication takes place in early August, then this temple’s rededication could follow, and I have felt to venture an exact date of August 19, but I could also see that event pushed back to either August 26 or September 2. If something happens to change my thinking on this, I will pass that along.
162. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Roof sheathing completed; steeple framework installed; landscaping palm trees secured; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: In view of all that is currently unknown about the timing of this temple’s completion, while I would hope that this event will be closer to the earlier side of this estimate than the latter part of it, I have revised my estimate for this event to either happen on September 16 or 23, or, if not on either of those weeks, then I could see it occurring after General Conference, on either October 21 or 28. As with anything else, I will post any updates that may be needed to this theory as I become aware of their necessity.
163.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Pouring concrete curbing and walkways; preparing to clad tower; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: This temple, as already noted, has been subjected to numerous delays in terms of its completion. Once thought that this temple would be one of the first three to be dedicated in 2018, will more than likely be the last one dedicated this year. In terms of a potential specific date for this event, I would venture that it could happen on either November 4, 11 or 18. As with everything else, I will be sure to pass along any updates to this estimate.


Under construction, completion anticipated during 2019:  
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Temple roof slab poured; brickwork continues at missionary housing; waterproofing and backfilling entrance buildings; completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: While it was once thought that this temple could be either the second-to-last or the last one dedicated in 2018, new information points to the notion that it is more likely to occur in the early months of 2019. If I were to pinpoint a more specific range for this event, I might put it at roughly around late February or early March. Since I also hope that this temple will make more rapid progress than currently believed, if anything happens within the next year or so that opens up the chance of this dedication occurring in 2018, I will be sure to keep my eyes open and pass that along.
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Applying waterproofing membrane to temple exterior walls; meetinghouse exterior walls rising; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: The timing on the dedication of this temple will largely depend on how soon the Durban temple is completed. If it happens that that event is marked prior to the end of 2018, then that would put this event earlier than anticipated. Until more is known, I have felt a preliminary estimate of late April or early May would be appropriate. I will be sure to note any changes to this thinking.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Crews preparing to pour exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: With so much unknown about what will happen in the next year and a half, and knowing that there may be several temples that are currently scheduled for renovation that could and possibly will have a rededication within the first half of 2019, I would venture that the dedication of this temple will happen in early-to-mid August. As with everything else, I will update this estimate as often as it may need to be updated in the 22 months between now and then.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Structural framing for main floor underway; meetinghouse cladding progressing; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: With what is known about the progress this temple has made and is expected to make within the next two years or so, and with the knowledge that many of the temples currently scheduled for renovation will likely have their rededication set for the first 8 or 9 months of 2019, I am estimating that this temple will be dedicated sometime during late October or early November. I will be sure to pass along any updates to this estimate as I am able to make them between now and then.

Temples anticipated to be completed sometime during 2020:
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: Setting rebar for second floor structural walls; completion anticipated sometime during early 2020.
NOTE: While my study has verified that this temple’s dedication is more likely to occur in the early months of 2020 than prior to the end of 2019, what is not as clear is how quickly during early 2020 that dedication might occur. Until more is known, I am venturing an estimate of late February or early March, which would allow this dedication to take place during the Peruvian fall season.

Construction pending:
169. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; plans being slightly modified; full-scale operations anticipated to begin in the first or second quarter of 2018; completion anticipated sometime between early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: In view of the recent announcement that full-scale work would not begin on this temple until sometime within the first six months of 2018, it seems to be a safe assumption that there is little, if any, chance that this temple could be completed by the end of 2019. With the 20-month estimate that has been given for the construction process of this temple, I have felt that a dedication could follow by late February or early March 2020. As the next 9 months come and go, and as we see what happens during that time, any alterations that are necessary will be made to this estimate.

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: This temple is anticipated to be comparable in size and design to the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple, which will have taken around 2.58 years by the time it is dedicated. If this temple takes around that same length of time, then its dedication could follow just before the general authorities take their July recess in 2020. Until more is known, I want to be more conservative, so I will, at least for the moment, estimate this temple’s dedication will take place sometime during early-to-mid August 2020. As always, as progress is made on this temple, I will pass along any updates to this theory.

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:  As I have previously noted, this temple will likely be dedicated sometime after both the rededication of the Jordan River Temple and the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple, but prior to the dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple. Until more is known, I am setting that estimate for Sunday August 5 or 12. As with everything else, I will be sure to pass along any changes to this estimate.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Saturday September 30, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As previously noted, this temple’s adjusted completion date was confirmed by the redone Temples section on the Church’s website. And as we also know, this renovation will change the interior and exterior look of the temple. Whether or not that involves an expansion, I have felt that an 18-month estimate for that process would be wise, which will put the subsequent rededication of this temple in either late April or early May. As this process gets underway and moves forward, I will be sure to pass along any updates to this adjustment.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Monday October 2, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: As previously noted, the stated purpose for the renovation of this considerably smaller temple from the Kimball era will be to update electrical and mechanical systems. It does not therefore appear as though an expansion or enlargement is part of that plan. Therefore, a 30-month estimate for this temple’s renovation seems more than reasonable, which would then put its subsequent rededication sometime in late April or early May. As this process gets underway and unfolds, I will be sure to pass along any changes to this estimate.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Sunday October 15, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: While it is true that this temple has more room for expansion than Memphis does, it does not seemly likely that such an expansion is part of the plan. Therefore, a revised estimate of 15 months seems likely for the completion of that renovation process. Based on that time-frame, I am also estimating a subsequent rededication during mid-March 2019. As that process unfolds, I will pass along any changes to that line of reasoning.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Sunday October 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: The interesting thing about this temple’s renovation plans is that any mention of it closing on the date specified (or even at all in 2017) has been removed. Probably just a technical glitch. In the meantime, unless an expansion of this temple is planned (which is unlikely at this point), a 15-month estimate seems reasonable for this temple’s completion, which would put the dedication sometime during mid-March 2019. That will likely change as this process continues, but for now, it seems safe.
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Wednesday January 10, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: I have previously mentioned the comment I received from a member contact in North Carolina regarding the Saints in that area having been advised that this temple’s renovation plans would not involve an expansion of any kind. Between that and the timelines specified above within which new temples may be dedicated, I would venture a prediction that this temple’s rededication may take place in early-to-mid June 2019. That is an adjustment from the time-frame I suggested previously, but it seems to be a sound conclusion.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Thursday February 1, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Until more is known, I have felt it safer to assume that the renovation for this temple will not involve or include an expansion of any kind. Therefore, a 15-month estimate seems to be safe for an initial adjusted projection, and, in also taking into account the new temples anticipated to be dedicated around this same time, it is my feeling that this temple’s rededication may only follow round about early-to-mid September 2019, which would be towards the earlier side of this estimate. As this process unfolds, we will know more, and any adjustments can be made as might be needed.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Monday February 19, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: In view of the Church’s statement that the purpose of this renovation is to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems, and because this temple is older and somewhat larger, an initial estimate of 18 months seems warranted for that process. Therefore, it is my feeling that the rededication of this temple will follow in mid-December 2019. Of course, as the process gets underway in six or so months, that will change as more is known.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on Sunday March 4, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: With what is currently known about this temple’s renovation (having confirmed the exact date, and also knowing that it is mainly to upgrade and update the mechanical and electrical system), in taking the larger size of this temple into account (which will extend the process), a 32-month estimate seems appropriate. That would put this temple’s rededication sometime around early-to-mid November 2020. As the next year unfolds, more will be known, and any adjustments will be provided.

Temples which have had a renovation announced but for which an exact closure date is not yet known:
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: Because the Mesa temple has been renovated once before, it is not anticipated to take as long to complete this renovation (which is being done primarily to upgrade the electrical and mechanical systems throughout the temple). Therefore, an initial estimate of 26 months seems appropriate, which would put the estimate for this temple’s rededication somewhere around early-to-mid September 2020. Within the next year, this process will be well underway, and more will be known about any adjustments that may need to be made. Until then, it seems to be a sound adjustment to what I have previously stated.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: Until the prophet (or those he authorizes to do so in his behalf) announces a groundbreaking for any or all of these temples, the timeframes listed below reflect merely my own thoughts, theories, and conjectures, based on what is now known about how soon any of them might happen. I continue to hope and pray for news of other groundbreakings, but time will tell how imminent any of these events will be, and whether or not they will unfold as presented below. I am keeping an eye out for developments and will pass along any updates as I receive them, including any and all changes to these estimates. Until something more official comes out, this information should not be taken as gospel, as it will be consistently altered as developments change these estimates. And speaking personally, I will be just as happy if I am proven wrong on any of this as I will be if anything in this section is proven right. For me, the privilege has always been the opportunity to contribute to discussions in this regard.

Announced temples that may have a groundbrea/king sometime within the next year (whether or not they happen in this order):
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. If that is verified at any point within the next few months, it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could follow in early-to-mid March of next year, if not sooner. That said, I could also see the Church identifying a site and having a groundbreaking for this temple sometime after one is held for the Urdaneta Philippines Temple, which is currently the oldest among those announced that have not progressed beyond that point. More to come once more is known.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: While a specific site has not yet officially been confirmed for this this temple, a look on September 4, 2017 at some information for this temple shows some site pictures. If a likely site has been identified but not publicly announced, then that opens up the possibility that this temple could potentially have a groundbreaking sooner than many (myself included) have previously thought, either before the end of this year or in short order after next year begins. While I won’t change the listed order for these announced temples yet, I did want to note that this one and that one may be interchangeable, especially since there are site photographs for this one, while we are still waiting for a site confirmation for that one. As always, I will pass along any changes to this line of thought as I make it.
173. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: Despite the statement made by Africa Southeast Area President Elder Kevin S. Hamilton (who stated when this year began that a site announcement and groundbreaking would happen for this temple in short order), with 2017 being more than 2/3 over, it is getting increasingly less likely that we will see anything happen for this temple prior to the end of this year. As differing reports have necessitated doing so, I have moved this temple down and up again repeatedly. But it now appears certain that this temple will be one of those that will have a site announcement and groundbreaking during 2018, if not before. And as I have considered my own thoughts on this, I have felt that might happen at some point during early-to-mid August. As the time between now and then passes, that may change, and I will pass that along as I am able to.

Announced temples that may have a groundbreaking anytime between September 2018 and the end of 2019:
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: After running the numbers to find out how long it has taken, on average, for other Utah County temples to go from announcement to groundbreaking, I have felt it wise to change my estimate to early-to-mid September. Obviously, if we do not hear of a site announcement for this temple within the next 9 months or so, that will need to be pushed back. But until more is known, it seems sound.
175. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: While I once believed and asserted that this temple would have a groundbreaking in fairly short order once 2018 began, especially since as site had been confirmed and inspected, in the interim, I have discovered that there is merit in believing that other temples that were announced earlier than this one, although the temple above this one is an exception to that notion. Until more is known, I have felt that a preliminary estimate of late October or early November 2018. As more is known, I will make any adjustments that may be necessary.
176. Alabang Manila Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: As previously noted, the name above is my own speculation, and is subject to change based on whenever anything more official may be announced at Church headquarters, which I think will happen sooner rather than later. I will be just as happy if I find I am wrong on this temple’s name as I would be if I am right. Either way, since a site has been confirmed, I am predicting that a groundbreaking could follow sometime during mid-December 2018. As always, I will continue to pass along any changes to this estimate, and will also pass along the official name for this temple whenever it is announced.
177. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: Even though this temple is in the “Mormon corridor”, where temples have been known to go up very quickly, for this temple’s groundbreaking estimate, I looked at the average time-frame within which other Idaho temples have gone from announcement to groundbreaking. And in that regard, I have become convinced that this temple’s groundbreaking could take place in early-to-mid March 2019. I will be sure to post any updates to this theory as I find out more. It will also be easier to estimate once an official site is confirmed. The most likely site (in my opinion) has been annexed into the city of Pocatello, but until it is confirmed or denied that the temple will be built there, it is best to be conservative in this estimate.
178. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As previously noted, Elder Sitati stated during the media event for this temple that the Church generally takes one to two years from a temple’s announcement to have a groundbreaking. In that regard, the general time-frame above seems wise. As to a more specific estimate, I could see it happening in early-to-mid May. As more information comes in about this temple, I will make any needed adjustments.
179. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-2019.
NOTE: If the Church verifies member speculation (that an existing Church office building will be rebuilt, renovated, and repurposed into a multi-purpose Church office, meetinghouse, and temple) at any point in the next year or so, a groundbreaking could easily happen during this time. Until more is known, an estimate of early-to-mid June seems sound. I will pass along any information that changes that.
180. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: While an official site announcement is still pending, we do know that the Church is thriving in the Ivory Coast to such an extent that many are saying that nation may get a second and possibly even a third temple within the next 15-30 years. We will have to see how accurate that is. In the meantime, for this temple, the timing of a future groundbreaking will largely depend on how soon we hear about a potential site location. Wanting to be as conservative as I can, I will say that I could see this groundbreaking potentially happening in early-to-mid August. Until more is known, that is a change from what I have previously posted. As with everything else, I will pass along any updates.
181. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during late 2019.
NOTE: While the Ecuadoran Saints had to wait 14 long years between the announcement and groundbreaking for the first temple in that nation, this temple is not anticipated to have nearly as long of a wait. If a site is announced for this temple within the next year, a groundbreaking could happen sooner than anticipated herein. Until more is known, I have felt an estimate of early-to-mid September would be safe for this groundbreaking. I will be sure to pass along any updates to this estimate.
182. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during late 2019.
NOTE: While I would hope with all my heart that this temple will not be the last of the current lot to have a groundbreaking, until more is known, I have felt it wiser to be conservative in my estimates for when it will occur. It is almost certain, however, that the Brasilia Brazil temple, which has already had a site confirmed, will have a groundbreaking before this one, even though that one was announced a year later. Wanting to be as conservative as I can, I will say that I think we could see this temple’s groundbreaking in late October or early November. As the next year passes, I will pass along any adjustments to this line of thinking.

ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: As noted above, Elder Larry Y. Wilson stated in an interview on the last day of April 2017 (as the Idaho Falls Temple Open House was underway) that the Church has 80 potential sites that are under consideration for an official announcement within the next 15 years. While it is also true that all 12 temple sites that have been announced from 2015 to now have been made during the April General Conference, those announcements can come any time the Church president or those authorized to do so in his behalf feel impressed to make them. Since 80 temples in 15 years averages out to 5 new announcements per year between now and sometime in 2032, we could be entering an era where a few are announced in each conference and when some will be announced in between each April and October. Future versions of this report will feature any and all ongoing developments in this regard. Stay tuned for that, and thank you for the privilege of your time.

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.