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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Open House and Dedication Dates Announced for Concepcion Chile and Barranquilla Colombia Temples

Hello again, everyone! Although I just barely posted updated thoughts about the time-frames for temple-related events, I knew they were subject to change. Regular readers and followers of this blog have no doubt seen the comment on the last post indicating that the open house and dedication dates have been announced for both the Concepcion Chile and Barranquilla Colombia Temples. Let's dive right into the details of that information.

First, I wanted to note that both dedications are set to occur a little later than I had been projecting. The Concepcion Chile Temple will host open house tours for exactly four weeks: between the Saturdays of September 15 and October 13, with no tours being conducted on the Sundays of September 16, 23, and 30 and October 7.

Here's the interesting thing about that: In lieu of a cultural celebration, the Church has announced that a devotional for the youth will be held on Saturday October 27. The temple will be dedicated in three sessions the following day, and will be broadcast to all congregations in Chile.

As for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple, the open house will run for three weeks: between the Saturdays of November 3-24, with no tours on the relevant Sundays, November 4, 11, and 18. Again, a youth devotional will be held in lieu of a cultural celebration, and that devotional will take place on Saturday December 8, with the dedication in three sessions following the next day, which will be broadcast to all Colombian Church members.

It is wonderful to have heard of this announcement, and I am grateful to have been able to pass this information along to you all. You can find more information about this on the official news release from Mormon Newsroom.

I did want to note one additional thing: In the estimated time-frames for future temple events that I adjusted and published earlier today, I had again referenced the news article from the Italian newspaper that featured an interview with those working on the Rome Italy Temple. That article had stated that the Church might be dedicating that temple prior to the end of this year.

So I can see two options: Either the Church is keeping November open in case the dedication could be held in the middle of that month, or else the completion of that temple will only occur in early 2019. I am keeping my eyes open for any information that would point to either option and will pass that along once I find out about it.

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.

Updated Completion Estimates for Future Temple-related Events

Hello again, everyone! I am back as promised, with the updated completion estimates I have put together for future temple events. I have based these revisions on a number of factors, but primarily on the climates of the cities in which these temples are being constructed or renovated and the progress (or lack thereof) for each of them. Those estimates follow below.

So as not to disturb the flow of that information, I will close now as I always do. 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.

Future estimates for known temple-related events

Sunday March 4: Washington DC Temple Renovation Closure (date has been confirmed)
Sunday April 22: Houston Texas Temple Rededication (private; date has been confirmed; President M. Russell Ballard will preside at this event)
April or May: Full-scale construction anticipated to begin on the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple
Sunday May 20: Jordan River Utah Temple Rededication/Mesa Arizona Temple Renovation Closure (both have been confirmed)
July: Hamilton New Zealand Temple Renovation Closure (official closure date confirmation is pending)
Sunday September 16 or 23: Concepcion Chile Temple Dedication (160th operating temple)
Sunday October 14 or 21: Barranquilla Colombia Temple Dedication (161st operating temple)
Sunday December 9 or 16: Rome Italy Temple Dedication (162nd operating temple)
Note: An article published in an Italian newspaper featured interviews with construction workers. As part of that interview, one worker noted that the Church would likely dedicate this temple before the end of 2018. While the general consensus seems to be that this could occur in October, in view of the progress (and at times the lack thereof) in terms of this temple’s construction, it has seemed wise to be more conservative in my estimates. If I see a need to revise this estimate again, I will do so.

Mid-February: Kinshasa DR Congo Temple Dedication (163rd operating temple)
Mid-March: Memphis Tennessee Temple Rededication
Mid-to-late April: Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple Rededication
Early-to-mid May: Fortaleza Brazil Temple Dedication (164th operating temple)
Mid-to-late May: Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple Dedication (165th operating temple)
Mid-June: Frankfurt Germany Temple Rededication
Early-to-mid August: Lisbon Portugal Temple Dedication (166th operating temple)
Mid-to-late August: Raleigh North Carolina Temple Rededication
Mid-September: Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Rededication
Mid-to-late October: Asuncion Paraguay Temple Rededication
Mid-November: Durban South Africa Temple Dedication (167th operating temple)
Mid-December: Oakland California Temple Rededication
Note: This temple closed for renovation on February 19, 2018 and the renovation process was officially underway as of February 28, 2018. When its’ closure was announced by the First Presidency, the announcement indicated that this temple would be rededicated in 2019. That said, it is an older temple, and if anything delays or prolongs that process, another adjustment to this estimate would be necessary.
Mid-March: Arequipa Peru Temple Dedication (168th operating temple)
Mid-to-late April: Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple Dedication (169th operating temple)
Mid-May: Tokyo Japan Temple Rededication
Early-to-mid June Winnipeg Manitoba Temple Dedication (170th operating temple)
Note: Full-scale construction efforts on this temple have been anticipated to begin since its’ groundbreaking in December 2016, and, as noted above, that could occur in April or May 2018. Once those efforts are fully underway, we will know more regarding how (if at all) the 20-month estimate originally given for this temple might be affected, and any subsequent adjustments that may be needed will be made.
Mid-August: Mesa Arizona Temple Rededicatiom
Mid-November: Washington DC Temple Rededication

Mid-to-late April: Hamilton New Zealand Temple Rededication

Final Note: I heard that 2018 and 2019 could be big years for temple groundbreakings. If that proves correct, then many other new temples could also be dedicated during 2020 and 2021. It also seems safe to assume that other temple renovations will be announced, which will in turn necessitate subsequent rededications. As the next two years unfold, I will have a better idea of when such events may occur, and they will then be added to the other estimates above.

Temple Construction Updates Provided; Additional Revision of Completion Estimates Necessary

Hello again, everyone! I am pleased to be able to report today many exciting developments in terms of temple construction around the world. Before I pass along what those details are, I wanted to note that some of these updates involve a shift in the more general completion estimates for those temples that have and have not had progress reported recently. This in turn necessitates yet another reevaluation on my part in terms of the more specific estimates I have provided, which I hope to post later today.

With that said, let's get to the updates. We start first with the Barranquilla Colombia Temple. A report has come in today that last Saturday, members offered free health services and supplies to around 550 individuals near the temple site, after which those giving and receiving such services toured the temple grounds. That was great to hear about.

And if that was not enough good news, an update has been provided on the status of that temple as well. The latest report notes that more plants and trees are being added to the grounds of the temple, that art glass installation continues, and that interior work is making progress.

Based on that update, I may be rethinking the more specific time-frame which I offered for this temple's dedication. When I last posted those estimates, I had indicated that the Rome Italy Temple might be dedicated before this one, but since both are progressing steadily, another evaluation of that is likely needed.

Regarding the Rome Italy Temple, in view of the article quoting a member of the construction team for that project, it has seemed very safe to assume that that temple will almost certainly be dedicated before the end of this year, rather than the beginning of 2019. So I will be keeping that in mind when I work on the updated estimates.

We next turn to the Lisbon Portugal Temple, where steeple walls have been poured and the scaffolding around the steeple has been removed. Because this temple has progressed so steadily lately, the general completion estimate for this temple has been changed yet again.

As those who have followed such changes might recall, this temple has moved up on the list a couple of times. As recently as around a month or so ago, it was noted that this temple could be completed in mid-2019, which was subsequently changed to mid-to-late 2019.

With the progress that has been noted, today that more general estimate has been pushed up again to mid-2019. I was grateful to learn about that.

I should also note that, since the two have been somewhat neck-and-neck in their completion estimates, the estimate for the Durban South Africa remains at mid-to-late 2019, meaning the Lisbon temple will likely be completed several months prior to Durban.

Another update has been provided for the Arequipa Peru Temple as well. While still noting that the cupola has been installed atop the tower walls, it has also been noted that interior work is underway. But the big surprise with this temple is that, while as recently as yesterday, its' general completion estimate was set during late 2019-early 2020, there is now reason to believe that it may only be dedicated in early 2020. So that is something else I will be reevaluating.

We now turn to temples undergoing renovation. Surprisingly enough, reports have come in of progress on both the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple (where the spire and the marble cladding have been removed) and on the Oakland California Temple (where a construction fence has been put up and the water fountain feature has been removed).

Because of the confirmation that both temples have their renovations underway, it makes sense that the more general estimate for the completion of the Baton Rouge renovation is mid-2019. And because the renovation efforts are officially underway for the temple in Oakland, it has felt more reasonable to me to alter my general estimate for its' rededication to sometime between late 2019 and early 2020.

I should also note that, because no progress has been reported on the Asuncion Paraguay Temple (although such progress may have been made but has just not been reported yet), it has felt wise to shift my general estimate for that temple's completion to mid-to-late 2019. But depending on the progress (or the lack thereof) on this temple, that could be pushed back further.

It is also worth noting that we are still waiting for confirmation as to whether or not the Asuncion Paraguay and Baton Rouge Louisiana Temples will have a change in their exterior looks to match other temples built and originally dedicated during the temple building boom of the late 1990s-early 2000s. It seems safe to assume that will be the case, but time will tell.

This update was slightly longer and more detailed than I intended it to be, and I apologize for that. But 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, barring anything unexpected, be published later today and will focus on more specifically updated estimates for future temple-related events), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Concepcion Chile Temple Reaches Another Milestone Towards Its' Completion

Hello again, everyone! I am posting again today with another reported update on the Concepcion Chile Temple, which is getting ever closer to its' completion. New information of which I became aware just a short while ago indicates that the plastic sheeting has been removed from the decorative fencing which has been installed around the grounds of the temple. Landscaping and interior work also continues to make progress. And it appears preparations are also underway to finish installing the monument sign that many temples feature on their grounds.

This report is significant. As previously noted, from what I can ascertain, the dedication of this temple has been anticipated for a while to take place sometime in the latter half of this year. Since July is the typical month in which the general Church leadership takes their annual recess, it seems most likely that this temple's dedication could be set for mid-August of this year.

While no additional updates have been reported on the construction of any other new temples or those undergoing the renovation process, I did want to note that, as of today, the Church has 12.1 years in which to finish the construction of the 23 temples in various phases and to announce and complete 18 others, which would result in at leat 200 temples being in operation by the 200th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Church. Whether or not an official goal is made to do so, I think the Church may reach and very easily exceed that number in the near future.

And that is especially true in light of a few temples that may be able to have a groundbreaking set in the near future. As I have noted previously, my research  points to the idea that the next two years could be significant ones, not just for temple groundbreakings and dedications, but also particularly for temple announcements. I am keeping my eyes open for all temple updates and will bring those to you 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.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Another Update Provided on the Raleigh North Carolina Temple Renovation Process

Hello again, everyone! While I hope that discussion will continue on that updated list of potential temples I posted yesterday (and I will, as previously noted, have an open commenting period on that for the next 3 weeks or so, until I need to finalize it for General Conference), I learned earlier today of yet another update on the renovation process for the Raleigh North Carolina Temple.

According to the latest information that I have found, marble cladding has been completely removed from that temple, marking another significant milestone in its' renovation process. In the meantime, as far as I have been able to ascertain, there has been no change in the status of any new temples or any others undergoing renovation. I am hoping that is merely because no updates have been reported yet.

But I am monitoring all of that and I will be sure to continue to pass along any 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.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

April 2018 General Conference Predictions Alterations: Part Nine--Updated List of Potential Future Temple Locations

Hello again, everyone! As I stated a few days ago, I have been hard at work on editing my list of potential future temple locations that could be announced in the near future. In fulfillment of the promise I gave late last week, I am posting right now with the latest updated copy of that list. Comments will continue to be accepted on these locations until the week or so before General Conference, when I will need to finalize this list. The list, along with the relevant notes, follows below. Fair warning, wading through it is not a task for the faint of heart.

So as not to disrupt the flow of that list, I will conclude now as I always do. 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.

Preliminary note on these locations: In a post I published on my blog on February 15, 2018, I set the background for my thoughts and observations about the timing of future temple announcements and shared my feelings that we may be entering an unprecedented era for temple announcements. In view of that consideration, after the personal research and feedback from others who commented on my blog, I divided the potential future locations on this list into two categories: those that are more likely to be announced in the near future (which are included in the list below) and those that will likely be announced at some point, but for which more of a waiting period may potentially be involved. The subject of where future temples may be built and how soon that might occur is close to my heart, and I will do my best to update my lists of such locations as that becomes necessary, including reprioritizing such sites once there is a more compelling case in their favor.[i]

Africa[ii] & Europe: Freetown Sierra Leone[iii]; Lagos Nigeria[iv]; Kumasi Ghana[v]; Budapest Hungary[vi]; Praia Cape Verde[vii]
Asia (including the Pacific and the Philippines): Auckland New Zealand[viii]; Port Moresby Papua New Guinea[ix]; Phomn Penh Cambodia[x]; Osaka Japan[xi]; Davao Philippines[xii]
Latin America (includes Central and South America, Brazil, and Mexico)[xiii]: Managua Nicaragua[xiv]; Puebla Mexico[xv]; Santa Cruz Bolivia[xvi]; San Pedro Sula Honduras[xvii]; Senahu Guatemala[xviii]; Neuquen Argentina[xix]; Antofagasta Chile[xx]; Belo Horizonte/Salvador Brazil[xxi]
United States[xxii]: Missoula Montana[xxiii]; Bentonville Arkansas[xxiv]; Herriman[xxv]/Layton[xxvi]/Tooele[xxvii] Utah; Richmond Virginia[xxviii]
Fort Worth Texas[xxix] Las Cruces New Mexico[xxx]; Elko Nevada[xxxi]; Flagstaff Arizona[xxxii];

Final Note: As with everything else I put together, these are no more than my own thoughts, feelings, and observations based on the research I have done and the reports I have received, which are just as imperfect and prone to fallibility as I myself am. I hope that is absolutely understood and accepted. No one can know the mind of the Lord relating to His Church except those authorized to receive revelation for the Church, and the prophet of the Church has the final say in approving such locations. While I am always gratified when my predictions turn out to be correct, I am even more appreciative of the many times developments do not take place as I project they will. At the end of the day, the Lord is the only one who can determine best how to further His work, and He manifests His will to His chosen prophet. Just wanted to end on that note.

[i]As part of my ongoing efforts to be more organized in the presentation of my thoughts regarding future temple locations, I determined that it would make the most sense to group the temples on this list in the same way the Church groups those Area Seventies serving throughout the world, with Africa and Europe in one group, Asia and the Pacific (including the Philippines) in another, Central and South America (including Brazil and Mexico) in another, and finally those in the United States. I should also probably note that while the Church divides its area seventies even further than that, the general grouping of these world areas seemed logical enough for my purposes. But because of this grouping, my next task was to try and determine in which order I should list these prospective locations. The order for which I have opted may not be perfect, and likely will not satisfy all who read about it, but it represents the best way in which I felt I could organize these locations.
[ii]The Church in Africa has experience consistent significant growth. In each of the last three times temples were announced in General Conference, the African continent got one new one. The growth in West Africa has reportedly been most significant. The LDS Church Growth Blog noted last year that, if current growth trends continued in the Church’s Africa West Area, the Church there could go from the 3 temples in any phase right now to as many as 13 in operation by 2030. With that in mind, it seems more than likely that many new temples will be announced to accommodate that extensive growth, and I have narrowed it down to the three most likely locations for the immediate future, and am keeping, as previously noted, another list for temples that may be possible in the future but may not perhaps be as imminent.
[iii]The LDS Church Growth Blog noted last year that Sierra Leone was the 6th in the top 10 countries that have the strongest Church presence but do not have a temple in any phase. And its’ Church presence is becoming ever more significant. Last year alone, 3 districts were upgraded to stakes in Sierra Leone, and that nation also saw 1 new stake and 1 new district created as well. It is obvious that Church growth is accelerating in Sierra Leone. I have had a temple for Freetown on my list for as long as I have been evaluating temple prospects, and I am more convinced than ever that a temple there is just a matter of time.
[iv]The Church in Nigeria has seen especially significant growth in recent years, and although there may be some who feel that Benin City may be a better location for Nigeria’s second temple, my research indicates that, at least initially, Lagos would likely be chosen. But the odds are very good that we could see temples in both cities at some point. With that said, in relation to Lagos, the one question is how imminent that possibility is. Based on the projection cited in the note above from the LDS Church Growth blog, if 13 temples are dedicated in West Africa by 2030, then it is very likely that Nigeria could get a second (and possibly also a third) temple between now and then, and that this will occur sooner rather than later.
[v]My research also has pointed to the idea that Ghana could get another temple as well, and Kumasi has emerged as the most likely prospective city for that honor. Again, the only question on my mind in that regard is how soon that might occur. I would hope sooner rather than later, but it will be interesting to see how justified that hope might be.
[vi]In the course of several discussions on potential future locations on my blog, the general consensus seemed to be that Budapest Hungary was the most likely European location to get a temple, which my subsequent research confirmed. And while I was also confident enough to include a temple for neighboring Austria on an earlier version of this list (primarily because my wife served her mission there), my study showed that Austrian growth is somewhat retrogressing, and that a temple in Budapest would likely serve Austria as well, as the Austrian capital (Vienna) is less than 200 miles from Budapest.
[vii]Cape Verde, which is close to Africa but falls under the Church’s Europe Area, ranks as the 10th of the top ten members with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple. It therefore seems more likely than not that a temple could be built there in the near future, but it has also seemed more likely than not that a temple in Budapest will be announced first.
[viii]My research indicates that land has been held in reserve for a temple in Auckland for several years. So the main question seems to not be if a temple will be built there, but rather how soon that might occur. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple is currently scheduled for renovation beginning this July, and part of that process may very well be an expansion of that temple. If that occurs, that could potentially put off the announcement of a temple in Auckland. But for now, I feel confident enough in the prospect that I have it prioritized first on this list. If that changes, I will pass that along.
[ix]Before learning about the temple site in Auckland, I had discovered that land has been held in reserve for a while for a temple in the capital city of Papua New Guinea. And since the Saints in Papua New Guinea travel more than 10 times farther to reach their assigned temple (in Suva Fiji) than the 200-mile distance within which prophets have indicated each member should be from the nearest temple, a temple in this nation seems to be just a matter of time.
[x]At one point on this list, there was a cluster of large nations in Asia for which I had a potential temple location listed. But as I thought about those locations further, it made sense to put most of them on the list for the more distant future, except for the most likely possibility among those locations (a temple for Cambodia). With another temple announced for Bangkok Thailand, and with the fact that I put Singapore on this list as well (which I will be addressing in a subsequent note), that could break up the Hong Kong district rather nicely. If and when I see a reason to again include some of those other locations on a future list, I will be doing so.
[xi]The most recent temple built in Japan was dedicated in 2016, and it had been announced in October 2009. Since that was over 8 years ago, it seems entirely possible that another Japanese temple could be announced in the near future, and of the many possibilities, the city of Osaka has emerged from my research as the most likely location for Japan’s fourth temple. While that city is not the location of any of Japan’s 7 missions, the city does have three stakes within it, and the odds are very likely that, among the other cities that may potential be served by an Osaka temple would be the city of Kobe, which is 20.9 miles away, and which does have a mission within its’ boundaries.
[xii]In the discussions that took place on my blog, many possibilities were explored in terms of the most likely future locations for temples in the Philippines. A recent report confirmed the site location for the Urdaneta Philippines Temple, and the second Manila Philippines Temple has also had a site confirmed. So those two could both be under construction in the near future, perhaps within the next year or two. Regarding future temples in the Philippines, the one unknown id, of course, if the Church would announce any other temples while these two are in the construction process. We have seen other nations that have multiple temples in different phases at once, so it is not out of the question. With that said, if a temple is announced in the near future, Davao has emerged from my research as the most likely location for that honor. Cagayan de Oro is another possibility, but a temple in either city would serve the other as well, at least initially, since the two are roughly 162 miles apart. So I have opted to list Davao above. But it is plain that the Lord’s hand is over the Philippines Area, and that many more temples will likely be announced in this area in the near future.
[xiii]Just as the Church has seen widespread growth in Africa, there has been similar significant growth in Latin America, and particularly through Central and South America. Mexico is the one exception, where growth appears to be in somewhat of a stagnating state. But there is reason to believe that temples will continue to be announced in Latin America, especially since there are 5 under construction in that region currently, and since 4 of the last 12 temples announced between 2015-2017 have been in that region as well, we can clearly see the Lord’s hand in the growth of the Church and the spreading of temples in Latin America
[xiv]Of all the prospects for potential temples in Latin America, the possibility of one for Nicaragua is likely the most imminent possible locations. That is true for a few reasons. First, the LDS Church Growth blog ranks Nicaragua as the first of the top ten nations without a temple in any phase, and that has held true for at least the last 6.5 years. Additionally, the Church has reportedly held land in reserve for several years for such a temple. The Saints in Nicaragua currently travel 233.1 miles to get to their assigned temple in Tegucigalpa Honduras. And in January 2012, then-Elder Nelson publicly proposed a temple for Nicaragua. In light of all of this, it would not be surprising to find out that a Nicaraguan temple has been under consideration for several years, or that President Nelson might be inspired by the Lord to fulfill his own apostolic promise of a temple for the Nicaraguan Saints. A temple there has been on my list for as long as I have been sharing my thoughts on the subject of potential future temple locations, so it is my hope to see that occur sooner rather than later, and if not during this conference, then certainly within the next 2-3 years.
[xv]The last Mexican temple (for the city of Tijuana) was announced in October 2010, and dedicated in December 2015. Although Mexico has been experiencing some stagnated growth (such that congregations have been and will continue to be consolidated), I have long heard that Puebla is the most likely location for Mexico’s next temple, and my own study and comments from those familiar with Mexico verifies that. So I feel confident that a temple there is just a matter of time, and that there is justification to believe that will occur sooner rather than later.
[xvi]For Bolivian temples in the near future, I started out with the two most likely possibilities: Santa Cruz and La Paz. Both cities (and the surrounding regions) have experienced substantial growth since the dedication of the first Bolivian temple (Cochabamba), which occurred on the last day of April 2000. Of the two cities, I have tended to favor La Paz because a former bishop of my parent’s ward (who is also a very good friend) served his mission there, but as I studied more about the two cities, I realized that unless both are announced simultaneously, or unless the other is announced while the first is in another constructional phase, I had to look at the most likely possibility, and that study resulted in Santa Cruz making it to the final list. With that said, I would anticipate both cities will likely have a temple in the next 15 years or less.
[xvii]Honduras has experienced significant Church growth as well, especially since its’ first temple was dedicated in Tegucigalpa in March of 2013. Of the many places that could be selected for a second temple in that nation, the general consensus seems to be that San Pedro Sula is the most likely location for that honor, which my subsequent personal study has confirmed. I also believe that will occur sooner rather than later.
[xviii]Guatemala’s second temple (which was built in the city of Quetzeltenango) was announced in December 2006 and was dedicated 5 years later. And since that time, especially in the years within which I have been covering future temple possibilities, Guatemalan Church growth has been substantial enough for a third temple to be a real possibility. And of the many locations where such a temple could potentially be built, the next most likely possible location seems to be Senahu. And that could occur sooner rather than later.
[xix]The Church in Argentina has experienced significant growth as well, and with a temple last announced in that nation in October 2008 and dedicated almost seven years later (in May 2015), it has seemed very reasonable to believe that a third temple could be announced in the near future for Argentina. And when that occurs, my study (and feedback from others) points to Neuquen as being the most likely location for that honor. It is my belief that is likely to occur in the near future, and is more likely sooner rather than later.
[xx]The overwhelming consensus from my study and the comments on my blog is that Antofagasta will likely be the next Chilean city to get a temple. The only question is how soon that might occur. And that is difficult to know. That nation’s second temple (currently in the final stages of construction in Concepcion) is anticipated to be dedicated at some point during the second half of this year. But when that occurs, since the city of Antofagasta is closer to Santiago than it is to Concepcion, until a temple is built in Antofagasta, the Saints have a journey of more than 4 times longer than the goal that has been set by previous Church presidents (200 miles) to the Santiago temple. So in that regard, an Antofagasta Temple seems to be just a matter of time.
[xxi]Brazil has seen significant Church growth in recent years. Since 2016, two Brazilian Temples have begun full-scale efforts (Fortaleza (which experienced a 5-year delay between the time of its’ groundbreaking and when construction formally began) and Rio de Janeiro), and within that same time, two others have been announced (for the cities of Belem and Brasilia). So it is obvious that the Saints in Brazil are using the temples they have, and that many others might be needed. Of the dozen or so potential locations that could get a temple soon, Salvador and Belo Horizonte seem like they may be more imminent. And the two may be interchangeable in terms of that imminence. Some may say that the four temples in various stages might preclude any others being announced in the near future, but as we saw last April, Brasilia was announced even though Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, and Belem were still in various stages. So it seems entirely likely that either or both of the two locations could be announced before too much longer, and I have several other locations which I am watching as well that could also be announced in the near future.
[xxii]The United States has seen somewhat of a stagnation in terms of Church growth, with the exception of the “Mormon Corridor”, which takes in the states of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. We have seen a reflection of growth within that corridor in the recent dedications of the temples in Tucson Arizona, Meridian Idaho, and Cedar City Utah, and the April 2017 announcement of new temples for Pocatello Idaho and Saratoga Springs Utah. But I have also found locations outside this area that may be ripe for a temple announcement, based either on a public proposal by a prophet or apostle, what I have heard and uncovered through research about land being held in reserve for other locations, the factor of which locations are more than 200 miles from their assigned temples, and which temple districts may need to split in the near future. So I have hope that many of these locations will have an announcement at some point in the near future, even if those announcements are not as imminent as some, myself included, might believe they should be.
[xxiii]This possibility is first on the list of those that may get an announcement in the near future within the US for two reasons. First, a comment on my blog confirmed that Elder Bednar had publicly proposed such a temple during a stake conference over which he presided, and second, I subsequently uncovered information that pointed to the idea that land has been held in reserve for such a temple for a while now. Based on these facts, it seems clear that an announcement will be made sooner rather than later, and of the many options, it seems this one may be more of an imminent possibility.
[xxiv]A good friend whose mission was in Bentonville Arkansas learned of my interest in potential future temple locations, and shared with me that, in following the developments of the Church in that city, he could confirm that land has been held in reserve for a temple there for a while now. My subsequent study confirmed that. Others have offered their opinion that Rogers may be a more likely location, but since the two are so close together, a temple in either city would serve the other. While I fully believe that those advancing the idea of a Rogers temple have valid reasons for doing so, I have felt it wiser to include Bentonville on my personal list.
[xxv]While this has yet to be officially confirmed by any Church President, my personal research points to the notion that the Southwest Salt Lake Valley Temple site referenced by President Hinckley is one that, at the time of the announcement, fell within the boundaries of Bluffdale city, although it now appears that land has since been transferred in its’ ownership to the city of Herriman. I also know that the site in question has since been the subject of at least one (and perhaps more than one) border dispute between Herriman and Bluffdale. President Hinckley made the announcement in 2005 that the site was being held in reserve for when it would be needed in the future. Since 13 years have come and gone between now and then, and since recent Church presidents have taken action to announce sites publicly proposed or referenced during their predecessor(s) presidencies, we could see the official location confirmed and an announcement made in the near future. Until it is officially confirmed or denied as the location, it seems wise to list Herriman.
[xxvi]Regardless of how soon the Southwest Salt Lake Valley location is confirmed and a temple is announced there, I have had my eyes on Layton for the last several years as a potential temple prospect, and some have said it could be the next Utah temple. So having one officially announced there seems more likely sooner rather than later.
[xxvii]Tooele may run a close third compared to Layton and Herriman in terms of its’ likely prospect as a Utah temple, but Utah has seen extensive enough growth that all three could be announced either simultaneously or in short order one after the other. It has felt wise to include all three on this list, and they may be announced in that order.
[xxviii]Regarding Virginia, I have heard from many that a temple for that state is just a matter of time, which my personal study has confirmed. With that said, I also wanted to note that there is a wide variety of opinions about the most likely location for such a temple. While there are several possible locations where a temple could be built in Virginia, the capital city makes the most sense of those options. And that temple will likely be announced sooner rather than later.
[xxix]In my discussions with others on potential future temples, I asked for thoughts on where the next temple in Texas might be built. Two cities emerged: El Paso and Fort Worth. Of the two, according to someone who lives within the Dallas Texas Temple district, the temple is kept busy enough and there is enough of a commute that a temple in Fort Worth was the more likely prospect. Based on that assertion, I have prioritized Fort Worth over El Paso, although I anticipate we will see temples in both cities in the near future. And I will keep my eye open for anything that would change that thinking, if neither gets a temple during this conference.
[xxx]Regarding the prospects of a temple in Las Cruces, as I noted above, some have offered the opinion that a temple in El Paso might be given priority. But if the assessment regarding Fort Worth’s prospective status as the next most likely location for a temple in Texas proves correct, then a temple in Las Cruces would also make a lot of sense, since it would serve the Saints in El Paso if they are unable to easily get to their currently assigned temple.
[xxxi]The general consensus from comments on my blog on the subject is that the next temple built in Nevada would either be in Henderson or Elko. After further research on my part, I have determined that an Elko temple may be more of a priority for the Church, if one is needed anywhere in Nevada in the near future.
[xxxii]Extensive study on my part has pointed to the notion that Arizona’s next temple will likely be built in Flagstaff, which seems to be a shared opinion with those who have commented on that prospect. The only question is how soon that might occur. In an interview done by Elder Wilson while the Tucson Arizona Temple was under construction, he noted that the dedication of that temple would have Arizona pretty well stocked for temples for the near future. I have felt confident enough to list it here, but would not in any way be surprised if such an announcement is delayed for a time.

Some Thoughts About Apostles' Assignments to World Areas

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post some thoughts regarding the assignments of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. First of all, I have heard (but have no personal knowledge of this) that shortly after the ordination of a new Church president, he assigns various areas of the world to the members of the Quorum of the Twelve. In some cases, that involves a mere extension of an assignment given by previous Church presidents, but in others, the Church president may be inspired to change it.

We have seen that occur recently. As we know, following the announcement of the new First Presidency in mid-January, it was announced that Elder Uchtdorf, in addition to chairing key Church committees, would also supervise the Europe and Europe East areas of the Church, assignments formerly held by Presidents Ballard and Nelson respectively.

I also know that at some point last year, I found information that indicated that then-Elder Oaks was supervising the Mexico Area, and if this article (which shares how Elder Andersen recently ministered to Mexican Saints impacted by an earthquake) is any indication, I feel safe in surmising that Elder Andersen may have been asked now to supervise the Mexico Area in President Oaks' place.

That would mean in turn that Elder Andersen, who last year had had some role in supervising the Philippines (and also perhaps the Pacific Area as well), no longer has that assignment. And wit my report earlier today of Elder Rasband's visit to the Philippines, it may be safe to assume that he now has the assignment to supervise at least the Philippines Area.

I am keeping my eyes on these developments, and if previous tradition holds, shortly after General Conference next April, following the announced changes in Church leadership and subsequent changes in area assignments, the biographies of our Church leaders will be updated to reflect the latest assignments, and I will bring the details of those changes to you all as I learn 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.

Elder Rasband's Philippines Tour Includes Visits to Temple Sites

Hello again, everyone! I became aware earlier today of a report that Elder Rasband, while on assignment in the Church's Philippines Area, has visited the site locations for the planned temples in the cities of Urdaneta and Alabang. What that means is that we now have confirmation of the official location for the Urdaneta temple site, which is just off the MacArthur Highway, to the south of the city of Urdaneta.

I have not been able to confirm this through official sources, but it seems safe to surmise that part of Elder Rasband's assignment may have been to look over both sites and to try to determine how close they might be to being ready for a groundbreaking. I am keeping my eyes open for more information on this, and will post any updates in that regard as I become aware of them. That said, it is great to have heard of this news, and I am grateful for the chance to pass it along to you.

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.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Progress Continues on the Rome Italy Temple

Hello again, everyone! I am pleased to be able to post today to pass along some significant news about the progress on the construction efforts for the Rome Italy Temple. In a previous post or two, I have referenced the article in that Italian newspaper which quoted one of the construction workers assigned to the project as saying that the Church may be able to dedicate that temple in or around October of this year, if all goes according to schedule.

In light of that assertion, I was gratified to learn just a few moments ago that, while landscaping and interior work continues, the art glass installation for the Rome Italy Temple has now been completed. Since I have followed temple-related events and news so extensively, I can say with great confidence that the completion of the art glass installation generally signifies that any temple is that much closer to completion.

Let me be clear on this point: I do not in any way claim to have any special knowledge regarding how temple construction works. I base the assertions in progress reports such as these purely on observation and (when available) information I can gather from either experts on the subject of temple construction or from the available news sources that might give some indication of whether or not such assertions are accurate and justifiable.

It is also worth noting that the Rome Italy Temple has been subjected to numerous delays. On President Monson's birthday (August 21, 2013), the Italian Mormon Newsroom put out a release with a statement from Elder Massimo De Feo, then an Area Seventy living in Italy, who would be called as a General Authority Seventy less than three years after that, which clarified the point that no dates put out by unofficial sources should be taken as accurate, and that only an official announcement from the First Presidency would serve as justifiable verification that any dates are accurate.

So for the next little while, we continue to wait patiently for official word on when this temple will be dedicated. And I hope it is clearly understood that the more specific estimates I provide for temple events anticipated in the near future are based on my own thoughts and study, and the progress (or lack thereof) which I see on such temples everywhere in the world.

I will continue to provide updates to those estimates as I feel I can, but until those time-frames are confirmed or denied by an official announcement from the Church, they are merely my own thoughts and musings on the subject.

With that said, I did want to note one other piece of information which may be of interest to some of you. I have previously taken many opportunities to reference my opinion that the Church could (and likely will) have at least 200 operating temples by the 200th anniversary of the Church, which will occur on Saturday April 6, 2030.

Because there are 159 temples that have been dedicated so far, the Church would just need to dedicate 41 others (which includes the 23 in various phases of construction currently, and 18 others that would also need to be announced, constructed and dedicated by that time).

Between today's date (February 24, 2018) and April 6, 2030, there are 12.11 years remaining for the Church to do all that. And that could easily be done if the Church dedicates an average of 3.39 temples each year during that time.

We also know that the Church will be dedicating at least 2 temples this year (and perhaps as many as 4), and that any temples that could be dedicated this year and are not will likely have that occur in the early months of next year. Aside from those, there are at least 4 (and possibly 1 or 2 others) that may be dedicated next year as well.

And right now, it looks like there may be 2 others (so far) that could be dedicated in 2020. I have likewise heard that this year and the next will be significant ones in terms of potential groundbreakings for temples currently announced. If that proves true, then 2020 and the year or two after that will also be full of such dedications.

Whatever might occur in terms of all of that, you can be sure I will be keeping my eyes open for such updates and will be doing my best to pass them along to you all here. I also wanted to note personally that, despite dealing with flu symptoms for the last little while, as I have been able to do so, I have worked on fine-tuning my list of temple site possibilities that I will be including for the next General Conference, and I hope to be able to post that either later today, tomorrow, or Monday. It all depends on how quickly I am able to get that done.

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.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Additional Update Provided on the Renovation of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple

Hello again, everyone! In my efforts to continue to monitor temple-related developments, I have today come across yet another update on the renovation process for the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple. The last time there was an update on that process, the new entrance lobby was being framed. It was reported today that that lobby is now being sheathed. I have said this before and I will likely keep repeating it, because it does bear repeating: It is amazing and inspiring to see the progress that occurs, often on a daily basis, for temples worldwide.

It is additionally worth repeating, as I have previously done so, that the new design that has been used on other renovations for temples originally dedicated during President Hinckley's smaller temple building impetus in the late 1990s-early 2000s seem to be getting the same new exterior look.

That is certainly true for the Memphis Tennessee, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, and Raleigh North Carolina Temples, and may also be the case (though that has yet to be confirmed) for both the Baton Rouge Louisiana and Asuncion Paraguay Temples. Stay tuned for more information on that point in the days ahead. I will be continuing to monitor temple-related events in the near future and will do my best to pass news of those along as I hear 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.

Some Thoughts Regarding How the Layout of the Women's Session Might Change Starting This October

Hello again, everyone! I am back to pass along some thoughts about how the Church's announcement on October 27 of last year (regarding how the Priesthood Session would now be held each April, and the Women's Session each October as the third sessions of those conferences and would be held two hours following the Saturday Afternoon Session) might change the layout of the Women's Session compared to what it has typically been.

In that regard, I wanted to note first of all that, in doing the research, I figured out that the Women's Session has typically been roughly 15 minutes shorter than the Priesthood Session. But I would anticipate that, since the two sessions will occupy the same time slot every six months, the Church may opt to extend the length of the Women's Session by 15 minutes. I will be addressing how that time might be filled a little later on.

Next, while each member of the First Presidency has generally spoken during the Priesthood Session, and while that will likely still be the case, if we were to hear from the full First Presidency during every Women's Session, there would likely not be time for more than a couple of speakers from the female auxiliaries of the Church, which would be counter to the typical patterns of that session. For that reason, it seems logical to conclude that every October, the Women's Session will continue to feature the First Presidency members speaking in rotation as has been the case up to now.

So, if only one member of the First Presidency does speak during the Women's Session, then I see two potential options: First, the session could remain at its' current length of time and the member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that would have otherwise spoken during the Priesthood Session will do so during one of the other four sessions.

The second option, in my opinion, is far more likely. If the Church does opt to extend the Women's Session by 15 minutes, then that time could be filled by the member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that would have otherwise spoken during the Priesthood Session.

There have been times in the past (particularly during the administration of President Kimball) when one member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke during what was then the General Women's Meeting, so that kind of thing is by no means unheard of.

And, in my opinion, that would likely be the easiest course of action. But if that occurs, then that likely means that the two First Presidency members who are not speaking during the Women's Session each October will also have one less address each, unless a revision of the typical patterns for the other four sessions enable them to give that address during one of the other four sessions.

It is interesting to think about all of this, and to consider what might happen. Of course, we could also find 8 months from now that none of these ideas I am suggesting have been proven accurate. But whatever does happen in that regard, you can count on my tracking those developments and bringing them to you here on this blog.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, especially those sharing your thoughts on the ideas I have presented here. 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 Alterations: Part Eight--Slight Update to Speaking Order Projections

Hello again, everyone! I am back to add another part to the series of posts I published last month on how the announced and likely future changes in Church leadership would alter my April 2018 General Conference predictions. I wanted to note that I have done more research on the speaking history for general officers of the Church.

Based on what I found there (and also on what I believe the layout of the October 2018 Women's Session might look like, which I will be addressing in another post after publishing this one), my reasoning behind making these changes and what those changes entail follow below.

As some of you may recall, I previously noted we could potentially see the Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency, and Cristina B. Franco, who holds the same position but in the Primary General Presidency speak to us.

The additional study I have done since that time has led me to now believe that we will instead hear from the First Counselors in those two presidencies, with Sharon Eubank potentially speaking during the Saturday .Morning Session, and Bonnie H. Cordon speaking during the Sunday Afternoon Session.

This change has seemed to be a common-sense choice because of what I believe will occur during the first Women's Session held following the announcement last October that that session would only be held every October.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, especially any addressing your thoughts on this subject. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my net post, which will, barring anything unexpected, address my thoughts on how these changes to General Conference might affect the layout of the Women's Session every October, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.