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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

CORRECTION: President Uchtdorf's Exact Age From My Last Update

Hello again, everyone! For those of you who didn't know, the updates I periodically provide on the latest apostolic statistics generally contains information from three separate documents, which I copy and paste into the new update. At times, however, the data provided has flaws, generally caused by my failure to double-check the accuracy of such figures before posting them. From time to time, after I have posted such updates, a comment from one of you who has read through the whole thing has alerted me to such errors, which I then strive to correct. It is rare indeed for me to catch my own mistakes in such posts, but it should happen more regularly.

My point in mentioning this is to correct one such error (a rather glaring one) from the information I posted last week. The error involved the long form age of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. What must have occurred is that I overlooked the fact that, on December 6, President Uchtdorf was 1 month removed from when he observed his 77th birthday. I updated the number of days in his age correctly, but forgot to change his month number from 0 to 1. So his full age as of Christmas Eve should have read 77 years, 1 month, and 18 days.

And that error must have escaped my notice in view of the illness with which I have been battling for the last several weeks. The good news is that, in preparation for New Year's Eve next Sunday, since I was in the process of updating the files from which I pull such data, I  was able to catch this error.

I hope that in the future, I will be able to remember to double-check such facts and figures before posting them here for your perusal. I also wanted to look ahead a bit to the two upcoming apostolic birthdays. As of today, Elder Christofferson's 73rd birthday is merely 27 days away. This means that Elder Rasband's 67th birthday, which is 13 days after that is now 40 days away.

While I do not yet know yet what my 2018 coverage on this blog will look like, one thing I do know is that I am committed to continue doing posts honoring our 14 current apostles on their birthdays (in addition to covering whomever the new apostle will be whenever his birthday occurs.

So stay tuned for those. In the meantime, that does it for this post. Any and all 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.

Adjusted Estimated Date for the Concepcion Chile Temple Dedication

Hello again, everyone! As I mentioned I would do in my last post, in view of the altered time-frame within which the Concepcion Chile Temple might  be dedicated, I have been able to make a change for that event. I wanted to pass along the information that I feel that this event could happen on either Sunday September 16 or 23.

In sharing estimate alteration, I want one thing clearly understood: at the moment, it would appear that the time-frames for the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple and the dedication of Chile's second temple could be considered interchangeable, and it has been a while since the status of the Frankfurt renovation process has been updated.

So while I have felt that the Frankfurt rededication could occur up to three or four weeks prior to the dedication of the Concepcion temple, if more progress is made on the latter while nothing changes in the status of the former, then the two may flip in their order. It is also a very real possibility that either or both events could be delayed further, which would likely push back the time-frame of events anticipated at some point after the two.

And I am still trying to gauge how realistic it might be to assert that either or both of the temples under construction in Kinshasa and Rome might be dedicated before the end of next year rather than the beginning of 2019. But I will be keeping my eyes open for any or all information in this regard and will post updates if and when I have them.

That does it for this post. Any and all 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.

BREAKING NEWS: Completion Estimate for Concepcion Chile Altered Slightly

Hello again, everyone! I am here with some breaking temple news. It was something that I probably should have noticed and of which I should have made mention in my previous post. For the last little while, I had been operating under the assertion that the dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple would likely be dedicated sometime during the final quarter of 2018.

But I was surprised and pleased, in looking at it more closely, to find that that estimate has been tweaked somewhat to now be during the "latter half" of 2018, meaning it could potentially be completed any time between July and December of next year.

Because this development is something I just barely noticed, I will be evaluating things and will make any adjustments to my estimates that may be needed as a result of this. I will say that, if both the dedication of the Concepcion Chile and the rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple occur in the earlier part of the final six months of next year, that opens the possibility that before the end of next year, in addition to the Kinshasa dedication, Rome could be completed and dedicated in late 2018 as well.

That said, I want to be very clear about one thing: I fully believe the word of those who have offered their opinions on my estimates when they say that the progress of the Rome temple is slow enough in coming that it is more likely that it will not be dedicated until early 2019. So I will be continuing to monitor all of these events and will pass along any updates to my thoughts in this regard as I make them going forward.

That does it for this post. Any and all 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.

Temple Updates Noted

Hello again, everyone! I am back, as promised at the end of my last post, to pass along some updated information about temples. So let's get right into all of that. First of all, as of today, the Church now has 12.27 years between now and April 6, 2030, within which to dedicate the 23 temples in various stages and to announce and complete 18 others to give the Church the 200 operating temples by the time of its' bicentennial celebration. This also means that the number of temples the Church would need to complete within that time has increased very slightly, from 3.33 during each of those 12.27 years to 3.34. Not much of an increase, but I still thought it was worth mentioning.

The one other development which I wanted to note was yet another status update for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple, where decorative fencing continues to be installed, and where lamp posts, plants, and sod are also being put in on the temple grounds. This progress is a clear indicator of why this temple has been moved ahead of the one in Kinshasa, and based on the fact that its' status has been updated regularly, I am more confident than ever that this temple's dedication will likely take place on either Sunday November 11 or 18 of next year. If anything delays that process, I could see the dedication being pushed back into the following month, but it does appear at the moment that this temple is staying on track for a dedication sooner rather than later.

As with everything else, I am keeping my eyes open for developments of any kind in regards to temple progress, and I will be sure to pass along any additional updates as I become aware of them. That does it for this post. Any and all 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.

Church News Updates

Hello again, everyone! While I continue to welcome and look forward to the comments from any of you regarding any posts in the series I completed early this morning regarding potential future temple locations in each of the Church's 25 geographical areas, and while I hope those conversations will continue into the new year, I wanted to report some Church news updates in this post, and will follow that up with another new post to pass along some updated information of which I became aware regarding temple progress.

So in this post, let's talk about the Church news. As many of you may recall, I did a post a while back to pass along important dates for Church events in 2018. We now know a little more in particular regarding the three Worldwide Devotionals for Young Adults that have been scheduled for next year.

While I have already noted on this blog that President Dieter F. and Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf will be speaking at the one which is set to be held on January 14, until just recently, there was no word on who might be speaking at the other two devotionals next year.

But in digging a little deeper for information on that, I discovered that Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy will address the young adult devotional which is set for May 6, and that the speaker for the September 9th gathering will be Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

I found it interesting that Elder Cook will be the speaker for the last such devotional of 2018 because the date it will be held is the day after his 78th birthday, and the day when President Russell M. Nelson will be observing his 94th birthday. Hopefully those facts interest some of you as well.

Additionally, it is the time of year when BYU-Provo announces its Winter Semester Devotional and Forum speakers. The full schedule detailing who will be speaking and when can be found here. This winter, speakers will include six LDS leaders (two of which are seatmates in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), a data analyst, and an author. That was fun to read about, and I hope many of you will enjoy it as well.

Next, I wanted to note that Elder Neil L. Andersen and his wife Kathy were the featured speakers at a Christmas Day devotional for MTC missionaries worldwide, which originated from the Provo MTC. Their message to the missionaries was that, since those missionaries were away from their families on that day, each missionary listening to them speak could consider themselves part of the Andersen family for Christmas. They also shared some additional counsel for those preparing to serve all over the world, which you can read more about here.

And, in a somewhat negative Church news development, it has been reported that an LDS missionary has died in his sleep while serving in Nigeria. The elder from Ghana had struggled on and off for years with seizures, but was determined to be well enough to serve in the mission field. While it is tragic when such a death occurs, at least this faithful young elder died while doing what he loved. You can read the Church News coverage of this story here.

Thank you for sticking with me through this somewhat cumbersome news update. It likely would have been much shorter in its length if some of this news had not come to my attention while I was working on this post.

That does it for the moment. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which should come in the next few minutes to pass along some temple updates), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Site Possibilities: Series Wrap-Up

Hello again, everyone! Having just done the final post covering the Utah South Area, I have been able to complete the series about such prospects that are likely in the near future, as promised, before the end of 2017. The opportunity to research and publish these posts has been one I will treasure always, and given its' success, will be repeated as I am able to make that happen following each General Conference.

That said, I did want to note that I hope this last post is not the end of any conversations about potential future temple locations. In fact, until General Conference next April (when the version of those temple prospects on my list are final), and until I need to start this series all over again following that conference, I am issuing a standing invitation (which I will be reiterating as I feel a need to do so) for any and all additional feedback that any of you would like to provide at any time on any post I have done or will do, whether directly related to the matter of future temple locations, or any other feedback you have for me, for that matter.

The subject of where potential future temples might be built in the near future is, as I have noted a few times on this blog, one that is very close to my heart. And it is obviously a popular one, as such posts continue to be among the most widely read with the most comments posted. So I thank you all for that.

As I conclude this series, I also wanted to reiterate what I have previously stated: While I do appreciate the thoughts you all have shared and might share in the future, if I have a strong reason to assert my own opinion instead of any alternatives presented by you in your comments, I will generally stick to those assertions and provide a reason why I have felt justified in so doing.

But I also want you to know that I respect any and all feedback from any one of you who wants to share your thoughts, ask for clarification on why I feel the way I do about such subjects,or correct inacurate information I have posted here, and I hope the same will be true of each of you in our back-and-forth feedback.

I hope this blog, for as long as I maintain it, will be a safe space where those who visit may feel free to comment, knowing their opinions will be respected by the rest of us, even if we disagree with such opinions for whatever our reasons might be.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated (on either this post or any I have previously done). 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.

Temple Site Possibilities: Utah South Area, Part Four--Temples in Washington and Weber Counties and Area Wrap-Up

Hello again, everyone! I am back with the fourth post I promised just a few moments ago, which will discuss the two temples in Washington and Weber Counties (St. George and Ogden respectively) and which will serve as the wrap-up for this area. Let's get right to it.

The St. George temple was the 1st one dedicated in this dispensation that is still operating today. That dedication occurred on January 1, 1877, which a private dedication done by Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, and Brigham Young; a public one followed between April 6-8 of that same year, with Brigham Young presiding and his counselor in the First Presidency, Daniel H. Wells, reading the prayer at President Young's request. Following a renovation period, a rededication was held on November 11 & 12, 1975, with President Spencer W. Kimball presiding.

With the dedication of the Cedar City Utah Temple about 2.5 weeks ago, that left the St. George district to serve 33 stakes from Bloomington, Hurricane, Ivins, Kanab, La Verkin, Santa Clara, St. George, and Washington City, along with the Page Arizona and Mesquite Nevada stakes. This temple district may need to be split, but I am not sure how or when the Church might opt to do so.

That brings us to the Ogden Utah Temple, which became the Church's 14th one in operation when it was dedicated January 18-20, 1972 by President Joseph Fielding Smith.. As noted in an earlier post, the Ogden temple originally looked identical in design to the Provo Utah Temple.

But when the Ogden Temple closed for renovation, its' design was completely redone to match the evolving architecture of that city. As I previously noted, that redesign was quite divisive for a while, and may still be so for the immediate future. That rededication was held on September 21, 2014, with President Thomas S. Monson presiding.

The current district of the Ogden Temple is comprised of 57 stakes in northern Utah and 4 other additionally from southwestern Wyoming. There is a possibility that the stake could be split, and that a temple in Evanston Wyoming could do the trick, but I honestly don't know how immediate or feasible a temple might be to split this district.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which I will put up in a few minutes as my wrap-up to this series), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Site Possibilities: Utah South Area--Part Three: Temples in Utah County

Hello again, everyone! I am back to discuss the 5 temples that the Church has dedicated (and one that has been announced) to help serve the Saints in Utah County, which, as I have previously noted, has been my home for the 31 years I have been alive. So let's dive right into that.

First, some preliminary information. Utah County has 2 missions (headquartered in Orem and Provo), 161 stakes, and members in 1,407 wards and 53 branches, for a congregational total of 1,460. This means that each temple (once the one in Saratoga Springs is dedicated) will then serve an average of 292 congregations (and that is without taking into account any new ones that will likely be created).

The first temple for the Saints in this area was the Provo Utah Temple, which was dedicated on February 9, 1972 by 10th Church President Joseph Fielding Smith (note that though he composed the prayer, at his request, it was read during the dedication by President Harold B. Lee). As a result of its' dedication, it became the 15th operating temple of the Church. Some of my earliest memories are those associated with my parents leaving us at home to go do temple work in the Provo Temple.

Since the Provo Temple was (and in many ways continues to be) very busy, it has been great to see four other temples which have or will cut down on the distance the Saints in Utah County have th travel.

The dedication of three of those has left the Provo Temple district with 52 stakes based in North Provo, Orem, and the Heber Valley. While the Saints in Heber only have a 28.1 mile drive to get to the Provo Temple, I have a potential temple for Heber City on my list for the Utah South Area. I am also certain that Orem (where I currently reside) will get its own temple at some point, but that might be a few years down the road.

The next temple dedicated in Utah County was the Mount Tmpanogos Utah Temple, which, as I have already noted, holds a special place in my heart. Dedicated between October 13-19, 1999 (for which I was in attendance) by President Gordon B. Hinckley, it became the Church's 49th operating temple.

Serving 60 stakes in the northern Utah Valley, its district includes the cities of Alpine, American Fork, Cedar Hills, Eagle Mountain, Highland, Lehi, Pleasant Grove, and Saratoga Springs. With the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple announced last April, it is anticipated that that temple district will include stakes based in Eagle Mountain, Lehi, and Saratoga Springs. Right now that means that 30 stakes will be pulled away from the Mount Timpanogos district, which will split it right in half. As the Church gauges how patron attendance is at both temples, any subsequent adjustments could be made to either district.

That brings our discussion to the Payson Utah Temple. It became the Church's 146th operating temple when it was dedicated on June 7, 2015 by President Henry B. Eyring. Having a temple in Payson means a lot to me personally. I spent the bulk of my childhood years in that city, and I always felt it would get a temple of its own someday, but I wasn't convinced that would happen in my lifetime. I still hear every once in a while from some members of the ward we were in during our time in Payson just how much of a difference having a temple there has made for them.

The district of that temple serves 28 stakes which have been established in Central Utah and the Southern Utah Valley, which includes the communities of Delta, Elk Ridge, Goshen, Mapleton, Nephi, Payson, Salem, and Spanish Fork. If and when this district needs to be split, I could see the merits of a temple in either Delta or Mapleton.

The last currently operating temple serving this area, as you are all probably aware, was once the Provo Tabernacle. When a fire tragically burned that building beyond repair, President Monson was inspired to rebuild and renovate it as a second temple for the city of Provo.

That temple was dedicated just last year on March 20, and the First Presidency sent Elder Dallin H. Oaks, who had numerous personal connections to preside at two of the dedicatory sessions (since President Russell M. Nelson was in attendance at the last one, he presided at that session). That temple became the 150th in operation worldwide. As for its district. the Provo City Center Temple currently serves those 29 stakes spread through southern Provo and Springville. So it is very decently sized.

This concludes my coverage of Utah County Temples, so that does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which will, as already noted, be put up to discuss those temples in Washington and Weber), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Temple Site Possibilities--Utah South Area, Part Two: Temples in Iron, San Juan, Sanpete, and Uintah Counties

Hello again, everyone! In this second post covering the Utah South Area, I will be focusing on the following for temples: Cedar City, Monticello, Manti, and Vernal, which are located respectively in Iron, San Juan, Sanpete, and Sevier counties. Subsequent posts will focus on Utah County (which is home to 4 temples (which will be five when the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple is built and dedicated, so Utah County will likely get its own post), and a final post discussing the two temples in Washington and Weber Counties. In addition to the history, my remaining posts for this area will be addressing the composition of current (or, in the case of the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple, future) temple districts, and will go into where and when other temples could be built be in each region.

That said, let's get right to the discussion of the first four. We start with the Cedar City Utah Temple. As we know, that temple was just dedicated just over 2 weeks ago, on December 10, 2017, and President Henry B. Eyring presided at that dedication. The purpose of building this temple was to reduce the size of the St. George Temple district.

The Cedar City Temple serves the Saints from 15 stakes in southern Utah, and 2 others (the Ely and Panaca stakes) from Nevada's eastern portion. I have before ventured my opinion that the Church could build a temple in Ely at some point. But I am not sure how else the Church might opt to split the district in the future. Right now, it seems fairly manageable.

Moving on to Monticello, that temple was dedicated as the 53rd operating temple of the Church by President Gordon B. Hinckley on November 17, 2002. Its' district takes in 7 stakes, 4 from Western Colorado (2 from Grand Junction, and 1 each in Durango and Montrose Colorado) along with 3 others from southeastern Utah (namely Blanding, Moab, and Monticello). So that district is also very manageable.

The Saints in Utah's Sanpete County are currently served by the Manti Utah Temple, which became the 3rd operating temple of the Church when it was dedicated between May 21-23, 1888 by 5th Church President Lorenzo Snow.

Its district currently serves those Saints from 22 stakes in Central Utah. If and when the Church opts to split this district, a temple could be announced in either Ephraim or Richfield. While that possibility does not seem to be imminent at the moment, I will keep an eye on this district as I am able to do so, and will pass along anything that would point to either possibility.

I would now like to finish this post by talking about the Vernal Utah Temple, which, as already noted, is based in Uintah County. Dedicated between November 2-4, 1997 by President Gordon B. Hinckley, it became the 51st operating temple of the Church. Its' district is comprised of 10 stakes located in northeastern Utah, and 2 each from northwestern Colorado (the Craig and Rife stakes) and southwestern Wyoming (Green River and Rock Springs). Again, not a huge district, so I don't see much potential for it to split.

That does it for this post. Any and all 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.