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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Revisiting my thoughts yet again about the potential timeline for future temple-related events

Hello again, everyone! I know I have posted quite a bit today, but I wanted to post again now and let you all know that I have recently heard from a wide variety of sources that I may need to rethink things yet again in terms of the potential timeline for temple-related events within the next three years or so. That is an ongoing and evolving process. It appears that there are so many more factors to consider in that regard than just climate and temperature. Back to the drawing board I go about all of that. It will be interesting to see how my ongoing study about such things will change these estimates. Just wanted to pass that along. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, 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 that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

April 2018 General Conference Preliminary Predictions Part 1: Speaking Order and Possible Changes in General Church Leadership

Hello again, everyone! Not long after General Conference ended last month, as I always do, I immediately began preparing my preliminary predictions for General Conference next April. As I have previously mentioned, while I continue to work on and invite feedback about the series of posts I am doing about potential future temple locations, which will be one part of those predictions, and while I am waiting more towards the end of this year to prepare my predictions for what the year-end statistical report might look like, I thought I would post here and now with what I have assembled in terms of the potential speaking order and potential changes in general Church leadership. Those predictions follow below. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, 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 that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

April 2018 General Conference Predictions

Preliminary note on these predictions: On October 27, 2017, the First Presidency announced that the Women’s and Priesthood Sessions of General Conference would both be held annually, with the Priesthood Session every April, and the Women’s Session every October, with both to be held two hours following the Saturday Afternoon Session. As I have previously stated, my predictions in recent years have averaged between 60-80% in their accuracy because I have been able to notice patterns of the past and have used those to predict what may happen for the future. The new policy will result in new patterns, which I hope to have figured out by April 2019. That said, the only thing that might be different during this conference is that President Eyring will be giving one less talk than he has in recent April General Conference sessions. Other than that, I don’t anticipate much deviation from previous conferences.

Speaking Order (Text in brackets indicated what actually happened.)
Saturday Morning
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring

Bishop Dean M. Davies

Christina B. Franco

Elder David A. Bednar

Elder Massimo De Feo

Elder Larry Y. Wilson

Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Saturday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
(Sustaining of Church Officers)_

Church Auditing Department Report, 2017
Kevin R. Jergensen

Statistical Report, 2017
Brook P. Hales

Elder Dale G. Renlund

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Devin G. Durrant

Elder Taniela B. Wakolo

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Elder M. Russell Ballard
Saturday Priesthood
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Douglas D. Holmes

Elder Gerrit W. Gong

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

President Henry B. Eyring
Sunday Morning
President Henry B. Eyring
New apostle

Elder Patrick Kearon

Neill F. Marriott

Elder Neil L. Andersen

Elder Brian K. Taylor

Elder Paul B. Pieper

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Sunday Afternoon
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Russell M. Nelson

Elder Larry Echo Hawk

Elder Taylor G. Godoy

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Walter F. Gonzalez

Elder Anthony D. Perkins

Elder Quentin L. Cook

Predictions for Changes in Church Leadership
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: New apostle and Quorum member sustained to fill the vacancy created by the October 1, 2017 death of Elder Robert D. Hales.
Note about this apostolic vacancy: The newest apostle could be any worthy man in the Church, whether or not he is known to Church membership (including any currently serving General Authority, Area Seventy, member of the Sunday School or Young Men General Presidencies, or the Church at large). That said, the last time a new apostle did not come from among those currently serving General Authorities occurred with the 2004 sustaining of Elder David A. Bednar, who was then serving as both an area seventy and as president of BYU-Idaho at the time of his call. So it is more likely that someone from the general leadership of the Church will be called. Of those five apostles called during President Monson’s Church presidency, three were called from the Presidency of the Seventy (one of whom was the second most senior member, and the other two who were the Senior President of the Seventy), one was the Presiding Bishop of the Church (who had also served as a General Authority Seventy prior to his call as Presiding Bishop), and one was a General Authority Seventy.
Note about the timing of the announcement: While I would not be surprised at all if we do not find out who will be filling the apostolic vacancy until the Sustaining of Church Officers during the Saturday Afternoon Session, at the same time, I could also see President Monson authorizing President Eyring to lead the sustaining of the new apostle during his Saturday Morning address.
Result: Elder (name of new apostle goes here) was called and sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Presidency of the Seventy: If the new apostle is any of these men, he will be released and a new member will be sustained.
General Authority Seventies: If the new apostle comes from among these men, he will be released. As is typical for the April General Conference, new General Authorities will be sustained from the Area Seventies or the Church at large (including any current mission or temple president).
Presiding Bishopric: If the new apostle is any of these three men, there will be changes to this group.
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings, especially if the new apostle comes from among these men.
NOTE: The last area seventy called as an apostle was Elder David A. Bednar in 2004. It is possible that the Church could look to one of the current area seventies to fill this vacancy. It is also common to see the bulk of releases and sustainings happen in April, when President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, leads out in the sustaining, rather than in October, when President Eyring does so. Last October was the exception to this, so anything is possible.
Young Women General Presidency: Sisters Bonnie L. Oscarson, Carol F. McConkie, and Neill F. Marriott released; new Young Women General Presidency sustained, whether or not either of the current counselors are retained in the new presidency; new presidency members may also come from among the outgoing members of the general board, or the new president could be one of the counselors in the Primary or Relief Society General Presidency. If that happens, changes in the affected presidency will also need to be sustained.
Note: The current presidency has served since 2013, meaning that they have reached the standard 5 years of service that have been typical for general presidencies in recent years. It is therefore more than likely that the current presidency will be released. And the last time any member of an outgoing presidency were retained in the new one was in 2007, so it could very easily happen again. It has also been common for one or more members of the outgoing Young Women General Board to become part of the new presidency. So the Church has options there.
Sunday School General Presidency: Possible changes made, if new apostle comes from this presidency.
Young Men General Presidency: Possible changes made, if new apostle comes from this presidency.

Clarifying the intent of my responses to comments on this blog

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again at this time, as the title of this post says, to clarify the intent of my responses to comments on this blog. I always value feedback from others. When I hear comments and thoughts from other people about things that I have "sounded off" about, I have, more often than not, posted personal replies to each of those comments. I am concerned that some might have felt my doing so is meant to end the chance for discussion of such topics.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I am happy to welcome any and all comments from anyone on any post at any time any of you do want to comment. I know some people who blog regularly that have, to a certain degree, let their comment boards run themselves, only responding if and when questions are directed to them personally. And I respect that as their right. But in my case, my intention in responding to each comment that, in my opinion, deserves a reply, as I have done up to now (and will continue to do, if that's okay with all of you), is to acknowledge the merits (and when needed, correction and clarification) in the comments each of you make, and I hope that by doing so, each one of you to whom I do respond will understand clearly how much I value all comments on this blog.

Rather than ending the conversation, I hope that such replies will provide more of an opportunity for the discussion to continue in an orderly manner, and will be a clear indicator of how much I appreciate all of you who do comment. That has always been my only intent for commenting as extensively as I have here on my own blog. I hope any I may have offended by so doing will forgive me. In the meantime, I also hope that the conversations on here, to whatever extent my personal replies may be involved, will continue to be inspiring for all who follow them. I have been humbled to my very core to realize how many regular readers I have gained, and to see how readership of this blog has expanded to various parts of the world. The fact that my thoughts, as imperfect as I myself am, are of interest to so many means everything in the world to me.

That seems like a good note to end on. That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, 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 that the Lord will bless each one of you in all that you do.

Temple News Updates

Hello again everyone! I wanted to post today and pass along some wonderful news about temples. More details were provided today that set the context for the developments I previously reported about the Rome Italy Temple. In that city that is iconic to the history of Christianity, scaffolding, which has been part of the temple for the last 4 years or so (including when the project changed hands and the existing scaffolding was replaced in 2015), has been removed. Interior work continues there as well.

Now, I wanted to offer a disclaimer here: Despite my general tendency to be optimistic whenever I hear updates like this, at the same time, unless more significant progress is made on this temple within the next 6-8 months, I still have not seen sufficient evidence that this temple will be completed and dedicated prior to the end of next year. But you can be sure that if that changes, I will be passing that along.

Additionally, I learned earlier today that the angel Moroni had been replaced on the temple in Monticello Utah. That was apparently reported yesterday, but I missed passing that along in view of needing to take a personal day to work out a health-related crisis. The problem has passed (and long-time readers of this blog are no doubt aware of how reticent I have been lately to post about personal matters, choosing to focus on Church news, of which there is always an abundance) but it has been a tricky few weeks. I only mention this as an explanation about why I was not able to report on the Monticello development yesterday.

As I observed over the weekend, tours continue until the end of the day Saturday for the new temple in Meridian Idaho. The cultural celebration will follow one week after, and the dedication will be held the next day. Still no word on who might represent the Church at this event, but wanted to note it anyway.

Full-scale construction has not yet begun on the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple. That said, unless it becomes another Winnipeg (which will not see full-scale construction efforts start until spring 2018, 15 months or so after the groundbreaking ceremony was held), completion is still anticipated for Haiti's first temple in early-to-mid 2019. That will likely not change, unless construction cannot begin on this temple within the next six months. With the relatively great year-round weather in Haiti, there are not anticipated to be many weather-related delays to impede the construction of this temple.

One other thing worth noting in terms of temple-related developments: I have not yet heard how (if at all) the design of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple might change while it undergoes the renovation process. I had wondered if it might be given the same exterior look as Memphis and Oklahoma City, but that has not yet been clarified by any of the sources I have available to me. Stay tuned for more on that as I learn of it.

That does it for this post. Any comments are, as always, 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 that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.