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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Some Thoughts About the Upcoming First Presidency's Christmas Devotional

Hello again, everyone! With the First Presidency's annual Christmas Devotional coming up next Sunday, I wanted to offer some thoughts about who we might hear from during that event. Since 2013, when the decision was made to include other Church leaders in that devotional, we have heard from President Monson once, President Eyring twice (most recently last time) and President Uchtdorf once (2 years ago). With President Monson out of the rotation, I anticipate President Uchtdorf will represent the First Presidency.

From the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, we have heard from then-Elder Nelson, Elder Christofferson, Elder Bednar, and, most recently, Elder Oaks. And though we didn't know it at the time, Elder Rasband, who has since been called to the Twelve, represented the Presidency of the Seventy in his 2013 address. There hasn't seemed to be a regular pattern to the speaking rotation in that Quorum, but if I had to venture a guess, I could see the First Presidency calling on Elder Stevenson to speak this time.

In addition to Elder Rasband, we have also heard from the following members of the Presidency of the Seventy: Elders Maynes, Clayton, and Christensen. Again, there hasn't seemed to be any regular pattern in terms of who might speak, so if I had to venture a guess, I would say Elder Gong might be called upon to speak.

The only other speaker during that devotional has been a general officer of the Church. So far, we have heard from Primary General President Rosemary M. Wixom, Young Women General President Bonnie L. Oscarson, Relief Society General President Linda K. Burton, and the First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, Douglas D. Holmes. Only the Sunday School General Presidency has gone unrepresented in that devotional, and I am thinking we could hear from the Second Counselor in that presidency, Brian K. Ashton.

There is also the possibility that the Church could call on a General Authority Seventy or member of the Presiding speak as well. How likely that is remains to be seen. Those are my thoughts on this. 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.

Minor Developments Reported on Several Temples

Hello again, everyone! About 9 hours or so ago, I became aware of minor developments that had been reported on several temples, but because of everything that happened today, I have not been able to pass those along until now. So what are these developments, and why are they significant? Let's talk about that.

A week and a half after the angel Moroni statue was placed on the Barranuqilla Colombia Temple, the temple grounds have been brightened by the placement of red pavers and green sod. At the same time, several sources available to me also changed the completion estimate of this temple, retaining the fact that its completion is anticipated more certainly to occur in late 2018 rather than possibly not doing so until early 2019. This development more or less confirms what I had suspected for a while.

That said, I also wanted to note that there has been no similar clarification on the Rome Italy Temple. Between expert opinions and my own research, it seems that, barring a miracle, we will only see the Rome Italy dedication in early 2019. I am not ruling out a miracle that would enable that dedication to occur before the end of next year, but it seems unlikely at this point.

Additionally, just over four weeks following the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple groundbreaking, we are still waiting for word that would confirm full-scale efforts are underway there. Because I have heard from a few sources that the construction process might only take 12-18 months, I see no reason why this temple could not be completed in early-to-mid 2019, especially if full-scale efforts begin by April or May 2018. By that same time, full-scale efforts are anticipated to begin for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple as well.

Another significant development to note is the fact that the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple renovation is moving along nicely, with a new report showing that the spire has been removed and that the removal of the exterior cladding is also underway now. I also wanted to note that, as far as I know, no progress has been reported on the Asuncion Paraguay Temple renovation process, which will have been underway for around a month later this week. I have been trying to check, but have not found anything that would indicate the extent of that process, for which I hope progress might be reported later this week as well.

With seven weeks exactly left in 2017 (we will observe New Year's Eve at that time), I don't know how much or how little progress we might see on temples for the rest of the year. I hope for significant developments on all fronts, including perhaps an official announcement of at least one (but hopefully more) temple location and groundbreaking, even if the actual events are only held in the early months of 2018.

I also hope that we might see more dedications announced (including the rededication for the Frankfurt Germany Temple), but don't know how likely that is. As many will recall, the open house and dedication dates for the Tucson Arizona, Meridian Idaho, and Cedar City Utah Temples were all announced in January of this year. I assume (but cannot say definitively) that all of those were announced so far in advance because of the interest of the general public in the relevant areas. I don't recall any temples outside the US having a dedication process announced that far in advance. If, as I suspect, the Frankfurt Germany Temple rededication is set for next August, the announcement for that event (along with any others) could come anytime within the next 4 or 5 months,

Thanks for wading through this information. I am keeping an eye out for any and all temple-related developments and will pass along any updates as soon as I am able to after learning about them. And, if all goes according to my plans, I will be back later this weekThat 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.