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Monday, October 2, 2017

Updated thoughts on Church Growth so far this year/Potential Future Growth

Hello again, everyone! Thanks for sticking with me through all the many posts I have done in the last couple of weeks. The sheer volume of Church news there has been to report has been wonderful and amazing to consider. I appreciate your ongoing interest in and support. In this post, I wanted to share my thoughts on Church growth. These are just my own observations. Others do very well in terms of putting these developments into perspective. I won't take that from any of them, nor will I "move in on their turf." What I will do is offer my thoughts about what we might expect in terms of unit information at the end of this year, based on what has already taken place.

So first, as previously noted, there will have been a total of 53 Sundays by the end of this year. There are 13 Sundays left, which means 40 have passed. In those 40 Sundays, the Church has seen a net increase of 45 stakes. That means there has been an increase of 1.13 stakes per week (rounded up). If that continues for the remaining 13 Sundays, we could see an additional 15 stakes created, meaning the Church would have a net increase of 60 stakes for the year, which would bring the year-end number of stakes to 3,326.

The current number of districts (546) is 10 less than we had at the beginning of the year. As previously noted, some of these districts have been upgraded to stakes, and some have simply been discontinued. What has happened in each case has been well documented by others who have expertise in that area. It is sufficient for my purposes merely to note the decrease. Given that there are 10 less districts 40 Sundays later, that means we have lost around one per month. If that continues, we could see 3 less districts by the end of the year, which would bring the total number of districts to 543 by the end of the year.

The Church has also seen a net increase of 55 congregations. Therefore, in the 40 Sundays that have passed in 2017, there has been an average increase of 1.375 congregations per week. Therefore, in the 13 Sundays remaining, the Church could see an increase of around 18 more congregations. If that happens, the number of congregations by the end of this year (in most sources) will be 30,377.

But as also previously noted, there are between 75-100 "sensitive units": congregations which most sources don't count but which are noted in the end of the year statistical report presented in General Conference each April. That would put the actual number of congregations at the end of this year somewhere around 30,465.

That does it for this update on unit developments in 2017. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, may the Lord bless you all in all that you do.

Some Thoughts About the Apostolic Vacancy

Hello again, everyone! Even though we do not yet have any indication when the funeral for Elder Hales will be held, and even though, with his death yesterday, it is awfully early to be thinking about the apostolic vacancy, I have taken the liberty of writing down some of my thoughts in that regard. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Apostles appointed during President Monson’s prophetic tenure have, at the time of their calls, ranged in age from Elder Rasband’s 64.7 years to Elder Andersen’s 57.7 years, having a range of 7 years. After Elder Rasband, the next oldest apostle at the time of his call was Elder Christofferson at 63.3 years, then Elder Renlund at 62.8 years, then Elder Stevenson, who was 60.2 years old, then, of course, Elder Andersen. Of the 14 apostles, they have ranged in age from the oldest apostle, Elder Quentin L. Cook, who was 67.1 years old at the time of his call, to President Monson, who, as we know, was 36.1 years old at the time of his call, which gives us a spread of 31 years between the ages of the two at the time of their call. The average age of the 14 apostles at the time of their calls was 57.98 years. As this data shows, the Church has no end of options in terms of the age of the new apostle. If the Church sticks to the average age at which apostles have been called during President Monson’s presidency, then the new apostle will be no older than 61.7 years. At a quick glance, that would include two members of the Presiding Bishopric (Bishops Causse & Waddell), three members of the Presidency of the Seventy (Craig C. Christensen, Ulisses Soares, & Patrick Kearon), and 39 General Authority Seventies.

The question arises, as it always does, would the Church look to someone internationally born, in the vein of President Uchtdorf, or would they tap someone American born who has international Church service experience? And would they look to someone with more experience as a General Authority, or someone newer? The most recently called apostle, Elder Renlund, was called in 2009. If we assume that the Church will look for a more-tenured General Authority Seventy within the age range above, who has international experience and is a US citizen, we have the following brethren:

1.      Elder Craig C. Christensen: 61.5 years old; called as a GA Seventy in October 2002; born in Salt Lake City; served a mission in Santiago Chile; mission president in Mexico City; served for four years as president of the Mexico South Area.
2.      Elder Paul B. Pieper: will be 60 on the 7th of this month; called as a GA Seventy in April 2005; born in Pocatello Idaho; served a mission in Monterrey Mexico; moved to Kazakhstan, where he learned to speak Russian; mission president in St. Petersburg Russia; has served in the Europe East Area Presidency; coordinated Church efforts in the Middle East/Africa North Area; currently serves as a counselor in the Mexico Area Presidency.
3.      Elder Marcus B. Nash: 60.5 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2006; born in Seattle Washington; served a mission in San Salvador El Salvador; helped construct the Seattle Washington Temple; served as a counselor in and then president of the South America Northwest Area.
4.      Elder Kevin W. Pearson: 60.4 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2008; born in Salt Lake City; served a mission in Helsinki Finland; has served as a counselor in the Europe East and Pacific Areas; served as president of the Pacific Area.
5.      Elder Michael T. Ringwood: 59.4 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2009; born in Provo, Utah; served a mission in South Korea; President Nelson’s son-in-law; mission president in Seoul Korea; has served as a counselor and president of the Asia North Area.
There is always a possibility that the Church could choose an internationally-born apostle in that age range. If that happens, there are a couple of picks at the top of my list:
1.      Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse: 54.3 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2008, to the Presiding Bishopric in April 2012, and as Presiding Bishop in October 2015; born in Bordeaux, France; stake president for six years (from 2001-2007); area seventy for one year; served in the presidency of the Europe Area. When there were 3 apostolic vacancies to fill in 2015, I thought he might be called, but that didn’t happen.
2.      Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy: his 59th birthday is today; called as a GA Seventy in April 2005; born in Brazil; served a mission in Rio de Janeiro Brazil; worked for a time as director of temporal affairs for the Church in Brazil; stake president in Brazil; mission president in Portugal; has served as a counselor and president of the Church’s Brazil South Area; counselor in the Africa Southeast Area Presidency. I thought he would also be called to fill one of the apostolic vacancies in 2015, but that didn’t happen.

3.      Elder Michael John U. Teh, General Authority Seventy: 52.3 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2007; born in the Philippines; served a mission in Davao; worked full-time for the Church as a recorder in the Manila Philippines Temple; also worked as a manager in the Church’s Member and Statistical Records Division in the Philippines Area; was a counselor in a mission presidency and an area seventy; served as a counselor in the Philippines Area Presidency both prior to and after his call as a General Authority; served as president of that area from 2011-2013; has served as president of the Taiwan Taichung Mission since last year. After President Hinckley died, I was praying about the apostolic vacancy and felt distinctly that Elder Teh would fill it at that time. Almost 9 years later, there have been four other apostolic vacancies, and despite my feeling that Elder Teh would fill one of them, that has not happened. It could happen this time.

Updated Special Witnesses of Christ Video Clips

Hello, everyone! My participation in a conversation with someone on the threads of this blog reminded me that some may not be aware of something: Even with the turnover we have seen in the apostleship, the Church has continued to post updated clips for the video "Special Witnesses of Christ". When that video was first put out in 2000, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve looked quite different. Elder Eyring was the junior member of the Quorum of the Twelve at that time. Much has changed since then. If any of you would be interested in doing so, you can find the updated clips for that Special Witnesses video series here. Please enjoy those clips. Any comments on this post are welcome and appreciated. For now, thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord bless you all in all that you do.

Updated Temple Construction Progress Report

Hello, everyone! With the fact that the Tokyo Japan Temple had its official closure today, and because reservations are now being accepted for the Cedar City Utah Temple Open House, I wanted to post an updated copy of my temple construction progress report. Enjoy, and let me know what you think. Thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord be with and bless you all until my next post.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 10/2/17)

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 temples dedicated 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 12.51 years between now and then. 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. There are 157 operating temples, with 2 that have had construction conclude (and are preparing for their open houses; one of which is accepting reservations for its open house, and the other, which will be doing so starting next Monday). 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 within the first six months of next year). 1 other has a groundbreaking scheduled (which will take place in just over a month’s time. 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 3 others are undergoing renovation (1 of which has its’ completion anticipated in the middle or latter part of next year, 1 that closed on the last day of September, and 1 that is set to close tomorrow, though it is closed today, effectively beginning its renovation process), and another 2 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 (with closure dates having been announced for all but one). The remaining 12 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

Construction completed, preparing for open house:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Accepting open house reservations (tours set to run for the three weeks between Saturday October 21 and Saturday November 11, except for the relevant Sundays); practices underway for youth cultural celebration; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Accepting open house reservations (tours set to run for the 22-day period spanning Friday October 27-Saturday November 18, except for the relevant Sundays); dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.

Under Construction (completion anticipated by the end of next year (2018)):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Installing art glass; scaffolding coming down from east tower; planting trees and shrubs; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: Given the changed completion time-frame for this temple, I have changed my estimate for the dedication window to Sunday August 12 or 19. Time will tell how likely that is, and I can then alter this estimate further as needed.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Angel Moroni on site awaiting installation; cladding progressing on east side of temple; installing exterior lighting; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: Since this temple has been on track in terms of its construction, even with the altered completion time-frame, I have still felt confident that this temple’s dedication could take place on Sunday September 9 or 16. As the next 7-10 months come and go, that can be altered as needed.
162. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Roof felt underlayment in place; shingles being laid; preparing to clad steeple; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: In rethinking this temple’s probable dedication date, I have felt we could see that happen on Sunday November 11 or 18. As the next year comes and goes, we will know how likely that is to happen, and any further adjustments that may be needed can be made.
163.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Pouring concrete curbing and walkways; preparing to clad tower; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: In view of having to adjust the dedication dates for the other temples that will be completed during 2018, I have adjusted my estimate for this temple’s dedication to Sunday December 9 or 16. As the next year or so passes, we will know how likely that is, and any updates can be made that are needed.

Under construction, completion anticipated during 2019:  
164. Durban South Africa Temple: More concrete poured for baptismal font; backfilling temple foundation; polyurethane insulation applied to housing exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: Unless this temple’s construction is delayed, I could see a dedication happen in late April or early May. If something happens to change that dramatically, I will be sure to pass that information along.
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Applying waterproofing membrane to temple exterior walls; meetinghouse exterior walls rising; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As no progress has been reported on this temple for over a month, I feel confident that we will see this temple’s dedication in early-to-mid June 2019. As without everything else, I will be sure to pass along any changes to this estimate.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Crews preparing to pour exterior walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: If this temple stays on track, I see no reason why it could not be completed in mid-August 2019. That will depend on how much it progresses between now and then. I will be keeping an eye open for developments in this regard and will pass those along.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring main floor walls; meetinghouse cladding progressing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
NOTE: With what is known about the progress (and the lack thereof) that has been reported on this temple, I feel confident that a dedication will not happen any sooner than late October-early November 2019. As with everything else, I will be sure to pass along any changes to this estimate as I make them.
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: Second level walls poured; preparing for roof slab; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: Wanting to be as optimistic as I can, I am still not convinced that this temple will be completed before the end of 2019. Until more is known, I have felt to alter this temple’s completion time-frame to sometime in late April-early May 2020. I will be sure to pass along anything that changes my thinking on this.

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: Once full-scale construction begins on this temple, we will know more about what to expect in terms of a completion estimate. But I don’t see this temple being dedicated any sooner than early-to-mid June 2020. I will pass along any changes to that once more is known.

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 full-scale construction will be able to start on this temple the Monday after its groundbreaking, and assuming no delays, it is my estimate that this temple could be dedicated in late October-early November 2020. As this process gets underway, I will pass along any changes to that estimate.

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-to-late 2018.
NOTE: As promised, I reevaluated my estimate for this temple’s rededication. Having done so, I am of the opinion that we could see that happen after the first two new temples are dedicated in 2018, and before the final two new ones are dedicated. That puts my revised estimate for that event on either Sunday October 21 or 28. I will be sure to pass along any changes I make to that estimate within the next 9-12 months.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated sometime during 2019:
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: This temple closed on the last Saturday of September 2017 (General Conference Saturday). While we do not yet know if any kind of expansion is planned for this temple, we do know that part of the process will be to change the interior and exterior appearance of it. With that in mind, as previously noted, a rough 18-month estimate seems appropriate, which would put this temple’s subsequent completion sometime during late April-early May 2019. As this process unfolds, I will be sure to pass along any changes to this estimate as this renovation continues.

Undergoing Renovation (completion anticipated sometime during 2020):
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: As previously noted, this temple closed for renovation today. And the stated purpose for this renovation is to upgrade electrical and mechanical systems. With that knowledge, added to the fact that this temple is a much smaller one from the Kimball era, it is easy to assume and to assert that a rededication could follow more towards the earlier part of 2020 than later on. As this process unfolds, I will pass along any changes to this line of thought and reasoning.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
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-to-late April 2019 (sometime after General Conference). 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: If the member contacts I found in North Carolina are correct, the renovation of that state’s only temple will not involve or include an expansion of any kind. With that in mind, a 17-month estimate seems appropriate for this temple, which allows for anything unexpected. And based on that estimate, it would make sense if this temple had a rededication scheduled for sometime during early-to-mid August 2019. I will pass along any updates to that estimate that may be needed within the next year as this process will be well underway by that time.
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: Unless an expansion is planned for this temple (which, as noted previously, seems doubtful), then it is more than likely that the renovation will only take around 17 months or so. With that in mind, it is not hard to believe that we could see the rededication of this temple at some point during mid-September 2019. As with everything else, I will be sure to pass along any updates to this line of reasoning.
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: As previously noted, the stated purpose for this temple’s renovation is to upgrade and update electrical and mechanical systems. Therefore, an expansion is likely not part of those plans. Bearing in mind that this temple is anticipated to be rededicated prior to the end of 2019, I have felt that a 17-month estimate for this process would be appropriate. In running the resulting calculation, that would put this temple’s rededication happening sometime during mid-December 2019. Obviously, as this renovation gets underway in five months and makes progress, we will know more about how reasonable that estimate might be, and I will make any adjustments that may be needed.
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 during 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 groundbreaking anytime between now and the end of 2018:
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 proves to be the case, then a groundbreaking could easily take place in mid-March, which would allow that to happen prior to winter’s arrival in April. I am estimating more specifically that the exact date may be Saturday March 10 or 17. As with everything else, I will pass along any updates to this line of thought and reasoning as I make them.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: With a potential site having been identified for this temple, if that is confirmed at any point prior to the end of this year, the groundbreaking for this temple will likely happen sooner rather than later, especially now that the delays that once prevented this temple’s construction progress are over. It is my revised estimate that this temple’s groundbreaking could take place in mid-to-late May, and, more specifically, on or around May 19 or 26. I have checked into weather conditions during that time, and it would work well then. As with everything else I post, I will be sure to pass along any updates to this estimate as I make them.
173. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place during mid-2018.
NOTE: Despite the statement made by Africa Southeast Area President Kevin S. Hamilton (who said that this temple would likely have a site announcement and groundbreaking in relatively short order once 2017 began), the year is almost finished, and we are no closer to a change in this temple’s status than we were at the beginning of this year. Wanting to be as optimistic as possible but also to allow for anything unexpected, I am setting a revised estimate for this temple’s groundbreaking to take place in mid-June, and, more specifically, on either June 9 or 16. I will be sure to pass along any updates to this estimate that might be needed.
174. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-2018.
NOTE: As part of my ongoing efforts to research the potential order in which announced temples may have a groundbreaking, I took a look at this temple particularly. While it is true that we only have member speculation that an existing building will be reconstructed and repurposed (in the style of the Manhattan New York and Hong Kong China Temples), until we can be sure that this will not be the case, I have to go with what is known.  The Manhattan New York and Hong Kong China Temples both had a groundbreaking in a comparatively shorter amount of time than most other temples. So if the existing building will be repurposed, it seems safe to surmise that a groundbreaking could take place during early-to-mid August. I have set a more specific estimate for Saturday August 4 or 11. As with everything else, I will pass along any updates to this line of thought.
175. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: I know that this temple has not yet had a site confirmed, but as I felt a need to reevaluate the likely order in which announced temples might have a groundbreaking, I have run the numbers to recalculate my estimate. I hope with all my heart that we will have a site confirmed for this temple within the next 9 months or so. If we do, I could see the Church setting the groundbreaking for this temple to take place sometime during mid-September, which would be either Saturday September 8 or 15. If nothing happens for this temple by the early months of next year, I will reevaluate things at that point.
176. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: As previously noted, while a site announcement is pending on this temple, if one is confirmed within the next 6-8 months, and if this temple conforms to the average time within which other Utah County temples have gone from announcement to groundbreaking, then I could see this temple having a groundbreaking sometime during late October or early November, or, more precisely, on either Saturday October 27 or November 3. I will be keeping an eye out for any developments and will be sure to pass those along.
177. Alabang Manila Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2018.
NOTE: As with other temples in this section, I did more research on issues that would affect progress on this temple, primarily climate & temperature. Climate-wise, Manila has the same weather pretty much year-round. Therefore, it is my new estimate that the groundbreaking for this temple could take place in mid-December (which would be on Saturday December 9 or 16). If the groundbreakings for both of the Philippines temples are held during 2018, this would be the first time in Church history that two temples would simultaneously be under construction on that island nation. As always, I will be sure to pass along any updates to this line of thought and reasoning as I become aware of them.
178. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: As part of my massive ongoing efforts to revise my thoughts on the potential timeframe for future temple-related events, I took another look at this temple. What I found that led me to move other temples around today also led me to give this temple another look. And in that regard, I found out that, in terms of climate, the period from January to March is the best time to visit Brasilia. Bearing in mind that it would take a miracle to have this groundbreaking take place in six months, I have felt it wiser to adjust this temple’s groundbreaking estimate to early 2019, and have felt that a more specific time-frame may be mid-February. As with everything else, I will pass along any updates as I make them.
179. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As I have felt a need to revisit the order in which announced temples may have a groundbreaking, for a revised determination on this temple, I took a look at temples in the region of Western South America (where this temple will rise). In that area (with the exception of the first Ecuadoran temple, which took over 14 years), the average time in which temples in that area went from site announcement to groundbreaking has been 2 years, 6 months. That said, this temple has not yet had a site confirmed. So I am setting a revised estimate for 3 years. I will therefore place my estimate for this groundbreaking as sometime during late April or early May 2019. As with everything else, I will be sure to post any changes to this theory.
180. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As I have done with other temples, I calculated the average time within which Idaho’s other temples have gone from announcement to groundbreaking. Based on that estimate, I have adjusted my thinking that this temple will have a groundbreaking at some point in mid-June 2019. That said, I recognize that temples within the “Mormon corridor” of Utah, Arizona, and Idaho have typically been able to get started faster than temples elsewhere within the US or any other nations. I will keep my eyes open for anything that convinces me to change this again, and will continue to pass that information along.
181. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As mentioned earlier, I took a look at the average time within which temples in Africa have gone from announcement to groundbreaking. And as a result of that double-check, I have revised my estimate for this groundbreaking as well. I can now see it happening in early-to-mid August. As with everything else, I will pass along any updates as I am made aware of them.
182. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during late 2019.
NOTE: Since there has been no change on this temple’s status since its announcement 1.5 years ago, unless something changes, we may find that this temple is the last one of the current bunch to have a groundbreaking. I sincerely hope that is not the case, but want to play it safe. For that reason, I am estimating this temple will have a groundbreaking sometime during either late October or early November. I will keep my eye on things and let you all know if my thinking on this changes.

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. As previously noted, all of the last 12 temples that have been announced from January 2015 to now have seen that happen during April General Conference. So that may continue. But it is also true that such 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.