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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Update: Church unit changes since September 14 of this year

Hello again, everyone! Since I last posted some thoughts about Church unit developments almost seven weeks ago, there have been significant changes. With only 9 of the 53 Sundays left in this year, so much has happened. As previous noted, on New Year's Day of this year, the Church had 3,266 stakes, 556 districts, and 30,304 congregations.

Noting that the Church now has 3,319 stakes, there has been a net increase of 53 stakes. With the 44 Sundays that have come and gone this year, that averages out to 1.2 new stakes per week. If that continues for the remaining 9 Sundays of this year, a minimum increase of 11 stakes is possible. Matthew Martinich, who keeps us all informed about Church growth on his blog devoted to that subject, has noted that the Church may have as many as 66 new stakes by the end of this year. Given that 5 stakes have also been discontinued thus far this year, that would be a net increase of 61 new stakes for the year, which means a net increase of 8 stakes, which is slightly lower than the 11 I referenced above.

Additionally, there are currently 545 districts, which is a net decrease of 11 districts. That said, when I have posted previously about Church growth that has happened or may yet happen, some have inquired how many of those 11 might have been upgraded to a stake. While that is a great question, that is not something I am comfortable answering. Posts like this represent my own thoughts on the growth of the Church that has or may yet occur, and the answers to such questions are well documented by others whom I respect as experts in the field of Church growth developments. With that in mind, those kinds of questions I would defer to those experts to answer. That said, I am grateful to those who have asked about that in the past, because it demonstrates that you are paying attention to things I have said in these posts. It will be interesting to see what the year-end number of districts is.

Next, I wanted to note that the number of congregations Church-wide has risen to 30,385. That means that, during these 42 Sundays that have come and gone, there has been a net increase of 81 congregations, or roughly 1.93 new congregations established each week. If that rate continues in the remaining 9 Sundays of this year, we could see 18 additional congregations established, at minimum. If a larger increase in the number of stakes occurs than what I have suggested here, many more congregations could be created. The one thing that is not as certain is how many congregations, if any, might be created during the final two Sundays of this year, when the world observes Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Finally, I just wanted to note as well that, based on the Church''s announcement last week about how missionaries would be using technology more, and that missions would begin to be consolidated, we could see a change in the number of missions in the Church by the end of this year. There is also a possibility that the Church could wait to start that consolidation process until next year, when the assignment of new mission presidents will be announced.

Whatever might happen in regards to Church growth, you can depend on the LDS Church Growth blog (and, to a lesser extent, this one) to bring you the latest. That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord's blessings upon each of you in all you do.

Apostles in the news

Hello, everyone! While I intend to continue my series of blog posts about potential future temple sites in each of the Church's geographical areas later this week, in addition to general temple developments, there have been a number of news stories in the last 7-10 days about the ministry of our apostles and prophets, which all deserve to be mentioned on this blog. Let's dive right in to those.

As some of you may recall, in an earlier Church news update on this blog, I mentioned that Gerry Avant, who has worked on the staff of the LDS Church News publication for several decades, retired from her role as editor of that publication several months ago. But she has graciously consented to continue her contributions to that paper as a senior contributing editor. In a new series of articles, she takes the opportunity to reminisce about her various travels with apostles and prophets. In this article, she shares experiences she had traveling with President Gordon B. Hinckley in Asia, and the story behind the photo she snapped that became an iconic cover of the Ensign several months later.

Now, before going on to talk about the other articles about the travels of our apostles, I wanted to note one thing: many of the links I will share in the rest of this post are related to the ministry of two particularly apostles: Elders D. Todd Christofferson and Ronald A. Rasband. I have very much enjoyed reading about the ministry of all apostles, but it has seemed significant to me that these two have received quite frequent coverage. So what has that coverage entailed? Let's move on to that.

First of all, in all of Elder Rasband's many travels lately, he frequently has referenced what President Monson advised him to say to the people he visited shortly after his call to the apostleship. Elder Rasband has been very consistent in acknowledging that the same message President Monson asked him to share has not changed. It is so refreshing to be reminded that, even in the wake of President Monson's advanced age and health-related difficulties, he is still very much concerned about the members of the Church, and wants to convey the love he has for us all through the apostles that are sent to represent him and the Savior worldwide.

That said, we have this account of how Elder Rasband, on assignment to a stake conference in the Eastern United States, was blessed to find out that his visit coincided with an important anniversary of the Church in an area that he ministered in both as a missionary, and later on as a mission president. He said that he didn't know at the time he got the assignment that it would enable him to be part of that celebration, but that the Lord knew, which was a tender mercy he will always remember.

Elder Rasband also was assigned recently, along with his wife, and Primary General President Joy D. Jones and her husband (who were residents of the area years ago) to minister to those in California affected by the wildfires. This was an especially touching assignment for all who were involved. Elder Rasband wept openly with members who had experienced such great losses. And this was very personal for the Joneses, whose son, a fireman in his late 30s, volunteered to come and help fight these fires, only to lose his life as a result of having done so.

Elder Rasband's ministry to the Californian Saints is recounted hereherehere, and here. That last one is the summary of his ministry in California from Mormon Newsroom.

Now, to switch gears as I finish this post, I also wanted to share this story, also from Mormon Newsroom, focusing on how Elder Christofferson delivered an address in Spanish to journalists from Latin America. He praised them for their journalistic integrity, and was in turn praised by one of the organizers of the event at which he spoke, primarily because he had focused on the relationship between freedom of the press and freedom of religion, both guaranteed by the First Amendment of the US constitution. It was great to read about that.

That does it for this post. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray the Lord's blessings upon each one of you in all that you do.

Massive Updates Made to Temple Construction Progress Report

Hello, everyone! While I had promised 'earlier that I would only post updates in temple construction, and not the whole report, I need to make an exception to that today. Information I have received in the last 18 hours or so has changed my thinking on a lot of the information contained in the report, which in turn means a lot of red in it. I hope you will pardon my posting the full report, but it is necessary. Hope it may prove helpful to some of you. As always, any comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 10/31/17)

NOTE ABOUT FUTURE TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: I have previously referenced the statement made by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Temple Department Executive Director, to the effect that 80 temple locations are under active consideration for an announcement during the next 15 years. That statement, made in April 2017, means that we could have around 260 temples in various stages by April 2032. Whether or not all of those temples are announced by that time, it appears more than likely that the Church could have 200 of those temples in operation 2 years prior to that, as the Church marks its 200th anniversary (on Saturday April 6, 2030). The Church would just need to complete the 25 in various stages and announce and complete 18 others in the 12.43 years between now and then, which works out to 3 or 4 new temples dedicated per year. Given the fact that the Church will be maintaining at least that average for the next 2 or 3 years, it seems very likely that there will be 200 temples by that time, if not more.

CURRENT TEMPLE STATUS: The Church has 182 temples in various phases. There are 157 operating temples, with 2 that are currently conducting open house tours. There are additionally 9 others in various phases of construction; 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 had a groundbreaking on Saturday October 28, 2017, and full scale construction is anticipated to start sometime next week, In terms of temples undergoing renovations, 1 has a rededication scheduled during the middle of next year; 1 had been closed for restoration due to weather-related damage, and has since officially closed for renovation, with a private rededication anticipated during the middle of next year; 1 other is anticipated to have its rededication before the end of next year; 4 others have closed recently. There are also 5 other temples scheduled to close sometime next year, and closure dates have been announced for all but 1 of those. The remaining 12 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

Preparing for dedication; open house tours underway:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Accepting open house reservations; public open house tours underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
NOTE: With construction having been completed on this temple, the open house is underway. Because Elder David A. Bednar broke ground for this temple, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some role in the dedication, either as the one who presides, or by accompanying the apostle senior to him who will be asked to preside. Two senior apostles who will likely not be in attendance are Elders Oaks and Ballard, who are scheduled to speak at a Face-to-Face event for Young Single Adults that same evening. It will be interesting to see what happens there.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Accepting open house reservations; public open house tours underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
NOTE: As I have previously noted, Elder M. Russell Ballard seems to have some role in supervising the three areas of the Church in Utah, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was born in St. George, which some consider a sister-city to Cedar City (not by proximity, but rather because the two are the major cities in Southern Utah). Either could be asked to preside, or to accompany the one who does. Utah temple dedications always have quite a few participants from Church leadership, and I anticipate that the dedication of this temple will be no different.

Under Construction; completion anticipated during 2018:
160. 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: This temple has been moved up gradually until it is now at the top of this list. As promised, I have revisited my thoughts about the dedication estimate, which I now believe may happen on Sunday August 12 or 19. As always, between now and whenever the actual date is announced, I will keep an eye out for any reason to change this estimate.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Plastering steeple and entrance walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: In view of other changes that have been necessary, and in light of where other temples are in the construction process, I think it is safe to assume that this temple could be dedicated on Sunday September 9 or 16. As the next 8 months come and go, any changes that are necessary for this estimate will be made.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Cladding tower; installing art glass and ornamental cornice; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: On October 26, 2017, many sources available to me moved this temple above the Rome Italy Temple. Because of this, it is my feeling that the dedication of this temple may happen on November 11 or 18. But I could also see that dedication being pushed back to December 9 or 16. I will keep an eye out for information in this regard, and will be sure to pass that along as soon as I can.

Under construction, completion anticipated during 2019:
Note about temple dedications anticipated during this year: The Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple, which had a groundbreaking on October 28, 2017, is anticipated to be completed within 12-18 months. With that in mind, and because of additional information I have received about the potential sequence of events during this year, the temples in this section have been renumbered. I will be sure to pass along any changes to this information as I learn of them.
163. Rome Italy Temple: Installing art glass, irrigation lines, decorative fence posts; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: As noted above, on October 26, 2017, the sources I have available for temple information moved Barranquilla ahead of this temple. According to new information I was able to find, it appears that this temple may be completed more towards the beginning of 2019 than the end of 2018. While I hope Rome will not have to wait another year before its dedication, I have no reason to doubt the information.
165. Durban South Africa Temple: Setting roof trusses for temple; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: With the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple anticipated to be dedicated during this same time-frame, along with the rededication of each of the temples that closed prior to the end of October 2017, I have felt to alter my estimate for this temple’s dedication to sometime during early-to-mid June. If that changes, I will be sure to pass that along.
166. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Stone cladding underway; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: With changes in this temple’s estimated completion having been made, and with those temples that are anticipated to be rededicated during 2019, it has seemed wise to adjust the estimate for this temple’s dedication to sometime during late August-early September 2019. Once more is known about any additional alterations that may be needed, I will be sure to pass that information along.
167. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Pouring upper walls of temple; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Along with other adjustments I have made, I have felt that we may only see this temple dedicated in mid-to-late October 2019 (after General Conference). As with everything else, I will keep my eyes open for any new information, and will pass all of that along,
168. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Pouring upper walls of temple; meetinghouse cladding progressing; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
NOTE: With the adjustments that have been made to the other temples above this one, it seems obvious that a similar adjustment is needed here. Until more is known, I am thinking this temple will be dedicated sometime in mid-November. I will pass along any further adjustments I may make to this line of thought.  
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Attaching vapor barrier; preparing to pour steeple base; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
NOTE: In light of the consistent progress this temple has made, and because of feedback I received on October 31, I am now convinced that the dedication of this temple will happen during 2019. As to a specific time-frame, I believe it could happen in mid-December. As always, I will be sure to pass along any changes to this estimate.

Construction pending:
170. 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: If full-scale construction is able to begin for this temple by the end of the first half of 2018, and if the redesign of this temple does not change the estimate of 20 months that has been given for this temple’s construction time-frame, then this temple could be dedicated sometime during mid-to-late March. As with everything else, I will pass along any adjustments to this estimate as I make them.
164. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Groundbreaking held on Saturday October 28, 2017; full-scale construction pending (anticipated to start later this week, barring anything unexpected); completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: If the news release from Haiti about the groundbreaking is correct, construction on this temple will likely only last around 18 months, making it possible that this temple could be dedicated sometime during early-to-mid May. That will depend on how quickly construction starts and how fast it progresses after that.

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

Undergoing renovation (in view of damage incurred by a natural disaster; anticipated to be reopened in a few months):
97. Houston Texas Temple: Closed for renovation (following damage incurred by flooding); may take some time to fix everything, will reopen in mid-2018, following a private rededication ceremony.
NOTE: The First Presidency announced on October 25 that this temple, previously closed for restoration, would need work that necessitates a renovation process. It is not anticipated to take too long to accomplish, and this temple is anticipated to reopen following a private dedication sometime next year (no open house, cultural celebration, or public dedication will be needed).

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 anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: With the other adjustments I have made, it seems wise to adjust this temple’s completion estimate to sometime during mid-to-late March. But that will depend on how things progress. If I see anything that gives me a reason to adjust my thinking on this, I will pass that along.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Closed for renovation; angel Moroni removed from spire; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: With the confirmed alteration of this temple’s exterior look (which will match that of the Memphis Temple), it seems entirely possible that a rededication could take place sometime during mid-to-late April. As this renovation progresses, I will pass along any alterations to this estimate.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: Though the Church had previously specified on their temple website that the renovation closure for this temple was set for October 29, in the early morning hours of October 31, 2017, I happened to check the Church’s official site for this temple, and in doing so, I found out that a couple of endowment sessions were scheduled for that day. With that being the case, it seems likely that this temple has not officially closed for renovation, in which case, I have no idea when that will happen. In the meantime, I have felt it safe to assume that this temple, whenever it does close (perhaps later this week), could be rededicated in mid-to-late May. I am gathering information on all of this and will pass that along ASAP.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated sometime during 2020):
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: As has been noted previously regarding this temple, it is undergoing renovation primarily to upgrade and update electrical and mechanical systems. Since it is also a comparatively smaller one from the Kimball-era of small temples, it is easy to assume and to assert that a dedication could happen in mid-May 2020. As with everything else, I will be sure to pass along any updates to this estimate as I make them.

Temples Scheduled for Renovation (scheduled to close during 2018):
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in January 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: I found out on October 31 that the January 10th date which was previously identified for this temple’s closure may not be accurate. Additionally, while I also know Church members in North Carolina who said that this temple’s renovation will not involve an expansion, it is possible that part of the renovation process will be changing its exterior to look like the temples in Memphis and Oklahoma City. If that is the case, then the rededication may be held sometime during mid-August 2019. I will pass along any new information as I find out about it.
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: As with the Raleigh Temple, I found out on October 31 that there may be reason to doubt the closure date that was once provided on this report. That said, if, as I suspect, this temple’s renovation changes it to look like the temples in Memphis and Oklahoma City, then its rededication could possibly take place sometime during mid-to-late September 2019. I will pass along any updates to this estimate as I make them.
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 between late October-early November 2019. Obviously, as this renovation gets underway 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.

NOTE ON ANNOUNCED TEMPLES: While I once felt confident in projecting potential groundbreaking estimates for these announced temples, on October 28, 2017, I determined that it would be best to simplify this section by listing these temples in their announced order, with the exception of those that are farther along. I will keep an eye out for any developments and reorder this list again as that becomes necessary.

Announced temples:
171. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: As previously noted, the contractor for this temple said that a year of preliminary work would be needed prior to this temple’s groundbreaking. If, as previously indicated, that year began in March 2017, this temple could easily have its groundbreaking in the early-to-middle part of next year.
172. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning and approval; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017.
NOTE: This temple is this far up on the list because it has had a site identified and inspected. How soon a groundbreaking might happen is unclear.
173. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official name announcement.
NOTE: As with the Brasilia temple, this temple is in this position on this list because a site has been identified. An official name is anticipated to be announced for this temple at some point in the near future. How soon a groundbreaking might happen is anyone’s guess.
174. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Awaiting government approval and official site announcement.
NOTE: This temple, announced in October 2010, has been subjected to numerous delays. While I hope to see a groundbreaking for it sooner rather than later, there could be more delays in store for this temple.
175. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
176. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: If, as some members have speculated, an existing Church office building is reconstructed into a multi-purpose building that will continue to serve as an office building but will also be a meetinghouse and temple (in the style of the Manhattan New York and Hong Kong China Temples), then this temple could easily see a groundbreaking sooner rather than later.
177. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
178. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
179. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
180. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017.
181. Pocatello Idaho Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: Two potential sites have been identified for this temple, one of which was annexed into Pocatello shortly after the temple was announced. Until there is an official announcement, the site location is anyone’s guess.
182. Saratoga Springs Utah Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.

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.

Correction: Asuncion Paraguay Temple May Not Be Closed for Renovation Yet

Hello again, everyone! A short while ago, on a hunch, I decided to check the Church's official temple website for information on the Asuncion Paraguay Temple. According to that page, there are two sessions available prior to this afternoon. If that is correct, then many (myself included) who thought that that temple was already closed for renovation were mistaken. I am doing my best to gather information that will answer this question, and hope to be able to post what I find out at some point later this afternoon or evening. It will be an interesting process, to be sure. If it is true that this temple is not yet closed for renovation, that is definitely news to me. That does it for this post. Any comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each of you all the best and pray the Lord's blessings upon you all.

Who might preside at/attend the dedication of the Meridian Idaho Temple?

Hello again, everyone! Here is yet another late-night post from me, this one to explore the question of who might preside at (and who else might attend) the Meridian Idaho Temple dedication, which will take place on Sunday November 19th. As I have previously stated, Elder David A. Bednar presided at the 2014 groundbreaking ceremony for this temple. So it seems evident that he will be in attendance at its dedication, whether he is sent to preside over it, as he did for the Star Valley Wyoming Temple, or whether he will be accompanying the senior apostle who does so.

While any of the leading Brethren could be in attendance, I know of two who will likely not be: Elders Dallin H. Oaks and M. Russell Ballard. Why do I think so? Because they have been asked to be part of a Face-to-Face regional gathering for the young single adults of the Church that evening at 6:00 PM MST. I don't know where that event is taking place, but I am assuming from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. That being the case, with the last dedication session for the Meridian temple taking place at 3:00 PM, and with Meridian being nearly 400 miles from Salt Lake, it would be impossible for them to participate in the dedication and make it back on time for the event.

Since Elder Ulisses Soares is the Presidency of the Seventy member who currently supervises the Idaho Area of the Church, he will likely be in attendance as well. It is also sure that one or two representatives from the Temple Department will be on hand for this event as well.

Having shared these thoughts, I would love to hear from some of you. Who do you think might participate in this upcoming dedication? I look forward to your feedback. That does it for this post. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each of you all the best and pray the Lord's blessings upon you all.