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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

More Details Provided About Memphis Tennessee Temple Renovation

Hello, everyone! In one of the comment threads of the LDS Church Growth Blog, one comment mentioned how different the artist's rendering of the renovated Memphis Tennessee Temple looks from its present appearance. I was intrigued, so I looked into it.


This is the current look.


This is what it will look like when the renovation is finished, according to the artist's rendering.

So we can see that this is indeed a major overhaul in design. And if the changes in the interior will be just as significant, then it will be interesting to see what the finished result is going to be. I still don't know how, if at all, the new look might impact how long the process takes. I have previously offered my thoughts that the rededication could happen 18 months from the time of this closure, which would put that event sometime around early-to-mid May 2019. As many sources available to me have indicated a completion estimate of early-to-mid 2019, this 18-month estimate fits. If anything delays the process, I can see adjusting my thoughts on that.

What is not yet known is how extensive other renovations for newer temples might be. I am keeping my eyes open for developments in that regard and will be sure to pass those along as I make them. That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Any comments are welcome and appreciated, as always. Until my next post, I wish you all the best.

Temple Construction Progress Update

Hello, everyone! While I continue to battle with health issues that have put me behind in my typical Church news reports, and while I hope to be able to report on those items that are deserving of a mention here on my blog, I wanted to post today with an update on temple construction. The milestones there have been significant to see. I have not yet seen anything that would convince me to alter any of my completion estimates, but I am sure we will see that happen going forward. Here is that update. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts. Thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord bless you in all that you do.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 10/11/17)

NOTE ABOUT FUTURE TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: As referenced in previous versions 1of 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 12.48 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 (reservations are currently being accepted for the open houses of both temples, and both open houses will be underway by the end of this month). There are additionally 9 others are in various phases of construction and 1 more which had a groundbreaking before the end of last year and for which construction is anticipated to begin within the first or second quarter of next year, and 1 other has a groundbreaking scheduled near the end of this month. In terms of temples undergoing renovations, 1 has a rededication scheduled during the middle of next year; 1 other is anticipated to have its rededication in the middle or latter part of next year; 2 others have closed recently, and 2 others will also have closed by the end of this month. There are also 5 other temples scheduled to close sometime next year, and closure dates have been announced for all but 1 of those. Additionally, there is 1 temple that has closed for restoration as a result of damage incurred by a natural disaster. 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); dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
NOTE: With construction having been completed on this temple, the open house starts in less than two weeks (10 days). In terms of who might preside at this dedication, it could be either of the two counselors in the First Presidency, or one of the six senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. If past tradition holds true for this temple, I could see Elder David A. Bednar, who broke ground for this temple in 2014, being asked to preside at the dedication or to accompany whomever does preside. It will be interesting to see what happens there.
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.
NOTE: It appears that placing the furnishings may be all that is left in regards to the construction process on this temple. Since the open house begins in 16 days (just over two weeks), it is not hard to believe that construction will conclude very shortly. I have also offered my prediction that this temple will be dedicated by either one of the counselors in the First Presidency or a senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I have before shared my thoughts that, of those six senior members of the Twelve, the two most likely to be involved in this dedication are either Elder Ballard (because he seems to have some role in the work of the Utah South Area, of which this temple will be a part), or Elder Holland, who was born in St. George, which some consider a sister-city of Cedar City (not according to proximity, but by virtue of being the nearest major city to St. George). Since this is a Utah temple, I also fully anticipate seeing many Church leaders participate in this dedication.

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: Cladding steeple; laying roof shingles; 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: Interior work underway; 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: Hanging drywall and running utility lines at temple; brick laying, plastering, woodworking, and running utility lines at missionary housing; 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: Stone cladding underway; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: Even with the reported progress on this temple (noted above on October 4), I don’t see this temple’s dedication any sooner than 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: Foundation in place; font work underway; 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: Attaching vapor barrier; preparing to pour steeple base; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: The progress noted on this temple as of October 9 (as indicated in the text above) marked the first change in this temple’s status in just under two weeks (the last update had been added to this report 12 days prior to that, on September 27). While it would not be unheard of to find this temple dedicated before the end of 2019, I still feel that we are much more likely to see this dedication happen sometime during late April or early May 2020. I will be sure to post any updates to this theory as I make them.

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 (rededication 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 to begin by the end of this year (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. That said, a few sources available to me have mentioned within this last week that the main purpose of this temple’s renovation will be to change its exterior look. The interior could be changed as well, but it is too early to tell at present. Until more is known, I am, as previously noted, offering a revised estimate of 15 months for this 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: As of October 8, 2017, no date has been made known for the beginning of this renovation. But because it has been renovated once before, and because the purpose of this renovation is to bring electrical and mechanical systems up-to-date, this temple will likely be rededicated prior to the rededication of the Washington DC temple, which is comparatively bigger and is closing for its first renovation two months before this closure. I am sticking with my initial estimate of 26 months for this process, which would put its rededication at some point in 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.

Temple undergoing restoration (in view of damage incurred by a natural disaster):
97. Houston Texas Temple: Closed for restoration (following damage incurred by flooding); may take some time to fix everything, but it is not anticipated to be a lengthy process; rededication will not be needed, but a reopening is anticipated ASAP.

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 during 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.



Announced temples that may have a groundbreaking sometime during 2019:
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.