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Monday, April 30, 2018

Update Noted for the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple; Church Provides Additional Details Regarding Planned Celebration of Priesthood Revelation

Hello again, everyone! I became aware earlier today of an update on the construction process that is currently ongoing for the Kinshasa DR Comgo Temple. Additionally, the Church has provided more information on the celebration planned for June 1 of this year, which will, as previously mentioned, mark the 40-year anniversary of the revelation which extended the priesthood to all worthy males, regardless of race or skin color. So let's get into all of that.

First, the temple update. I received word a short while ago that building efforts continue for the temple's perimeter wall, while the final roof shingles are being laid, staircases are being poured from the chapel to the temple, and that interior work is continuing to progress. This is wonderful news. In looking back into the history, the last time this temple's status was updated was exactly one week ago today.

So what can we infer from that? It may be a while before I can make a determination, but there is a possibility that I may have to rethink my estimates for future temple events yet again. If this temple continues to progress as anticipated, it may indeed be the second new one dedicated next year, rather than the Fortaleza Brazil Temple, as I have suggested. It will be interesting to see what happens in that regard.

That said, we shift our focus to the details that have been provided for the priesthood celebration event. Mormon Newsroom's official release on that subject indicates that it will be an evening of music and spoken word (which will come in the form of a message from the First Presidency; what is not so clear is if all three members will be speaking, or if just one of the three will represent the others).

As I mentioned, it is fitting and proper that the anniversary of this remarkable revelation should be celebrated. In covering our recent General Conference, I commented on the fact that it took the right group of apostles at the right time to bring about the changes we saw in the structure of Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and the retirement of home and visiting teaching in favor of ministering. And if you think about it, that applies as much if not more to the fact that our two new apostles are the first Asian American and Latin American brethren to be called, and also to the fact that temples in India and Russia will now likely be a reality so much sooner than many, myself included, believe.

In a similar manner, the records we have available for perusal talk about how the prospect of extending the priesthood to all worthy males was under consideration for years before the June 1978  announcement, and I am convinced that it took the group of apostles that we had at that time being ready to humbly ascertain and accept the will of the Lord on the subject.

All of these changes fall under the principles of common consent. The revelation on the priesthood would never have been announced, nor would any of the events that occurred during the April 2018 General Conference been possible if the current group of apostles had not been willing to study such things and determine the Lord's will.

If all of these occurrences are not sufficient evidence to the world that modern revelation has been received, is being received, and will continue to be sought and received, I have no idea what might be needed to further convince anyone on that point.

As always, I continue to monitor all developments and updates related to Church news in general, and temple developments in particular, and I will continue to do so to the best of my ability going forward. Stay tuned for more as I become aware of 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.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Church Releases Official Statement Regarding Volunteers in Turkey

Hello again, everyone! Earlier today, Mormon Newsroom posted this official statement regarding volunteers in Turkey (where, due to governmental regulations, they cannot be called missionaries). This statement also goes into specifics in terms of how one of the 19 mission consolidations the Church announced will go into effect. There will most likely be a more thorough analysis on this news in the coming days on the LDS Church Growth Blog.

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, April 28, 2018

Miscellaneous Church News Items

Hello again, everyone! I had started my previous post with the intention of including a summary of recent Church news stories that have crossed my radar recently, but because I felt a need to share extensive thoughts on temple developments, it became necessary to defer my discussion of those Church news items for this post. There is a lot to get to, so let's get going.

First, as I may have mentioned earlier, the Church announced prior to President Nelson's world tour that his apostolic traveling companion (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland), would be the featured speaker at the April 26 graduation ceremony for BYU-Provo. As I observed when sharing that announcement, this is the first time a former president of BYU returned to speak at commencement exercises. The Church News published this summary of that event, which I found to be very inspiring.

Continuing their series of articles about newly-called Church leaders, the Church News provided this introduction to Elder Matthew L. Carpenter. Former LDS Church News editor Gerry Avant also continued her article series sharing highlights of her long and distinguished career covering Church news with this article about Sister Belle S. Spafford, who had one of the longest (if not the very longest) service tenures as Relief Society General President.

For any of my readers who are parents of young children or who teach Primary-aged individuals, the Primary General Presidency and Board offered these suggestions about how to help the children of the Church gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Shifting our focus from the LDS Church News website to Mormon Newsroom, a number of new articles have been published there. I have previously remarked on the fact that the Church has sometimes published more than one article in a short period of time highlighting the ministry of one or two apostles.

This proved to be the case again recently with Elder Rasband. In this article from the United Kingdom's Mormon Newsroom, his recent visit to Germany, Cape Verde, and the Netherlands was highlighted. The second story about Elder Rasband's ministry relates to his participation on the task force established by Utah Governor Gary Herbert for the purpose of discussing measures to prevent teen suicide. In addition to his participation on the panel, Elder Rasband also represented the Church in passing along a donation from the Church to aid those efforts. You can find the Mormon Newsroom summary of that article here.

Continuing the summary of the ministry of Church leaders, recently one member from each of the three female-led auxiliaries of the Church traveled to Alaska to minister to and train leaders there. This article summarizes those efforts. In light of Earth Day having been observed last Sunday, Mormon Newsroom provided this commentary article that provides a gospel-centered perspective on the importance of honoring creation, and how, by doing so, we honor the Creator.

And finally, the blog section of Mormon Newsroom again passed along these summaries of some wonderful articles that have been published on the various versions of Mormon Newsroom for several nations around the world. It was wonderful to read that report of those articles.

All of these news items are well worthy of your attention, and I can endorse their content wholeheartedly. I hope many of you will enjoy them as well. 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.

Jordan River Utah Temple Open House Will Conclude Today; Some Observations Regarding Temple Developments

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post right now to pass along one temple development and also to share some observations regarding temples. There is a lot to discuss, so let's get right into all of that.

I would like to start first with the temple news. While no major new developments have been reported on temples around the world since my last report on that subject, I did want to note that the Jordan River Utah Temple open house will be concluding today. Therefore, at the end of the day, the temple will begin a three-week preparation process for its' rededication, which, as noted earlier, will occur on May 20, following a cultural celebration that will be held the night before.

As I have also noted, I would anticipate that President Nelson will preside over at least the first one or two of the three dedicatory sessions. For this temple in the Salt Lake Valley, I am also certain that several General Authorities will likely be in attendance.

Next, if I may, I wanted to post some general observations about the progress of temples. As some of you might recall, by this time last year, we were just under a month away from the time when the first new temple of 2017 would be dedicated (the Paris France Temple, which was dedicated in mid-May). As you may also be aware, by this time last year, we had seen groundbreakings occur for two additional new temples.

We also know that the first new temple which will be dedicated this year (the Concepcion Chile Temple) will occur exactly six months from today. By that time, I would certainly hope that we will have seen at least a few temple groundbreakings.

But it is interesting to consider how the number and timing of temple events in one year differ from that of similar events in another. There are, of course, no set traditions in terms of how many such events are held per year. And we have seen the Lord's hand at work in all of those aspects.

By way of review, in 2016, 4 new temples were announced, 4 announced temples had a groundbreaking, 2 were rededicated, and 6 new temples were also dedicated. Last year, 5 new temples were announced, while the Church dedicated 4 others and rededicated 1.

This year so far, the Church has set 2 temple rededications (1 of which has already occurred) and the dedication of 2 new temples. We have also had 1 other dedication announced, which is set to occur next year. We have also seen 7 new temples announced as well.

With the Lord in control of the timing of such events (although some factors are dependent upon the agency and diligence of others), I stand by my previously-offered opinion that we will likely see at least a few temple groundbreakings at some point this year. I have noted the most likely prospects I see in that regard.

I continue to monitor all such developments and will bring you updates on all of that 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.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Updated Estimates for Known Temple Events

Hello again, everyone! Based on the progress (or the lack thereof) which I have observed for temples worldwide in recent days, I have taken another look at my estimates for known temple events and have made those adjustment that I have felt would be appropriate. Those updated estimates follow below.

So as not to disturb the flow of the information, I will end my post here 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 events

2018:
Anytime between now and the end of June: Full-scale construction anticipated to begin for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple
Note: According to a Church member living in Canada, full-scale construction was anticipated to begin on this temple (which had a groundbreaking in early December 2016) at some point during April 2018. With the month almost being over, a few sources I have available have noted that full-scale efforts are likely to begin within the next two months, but hopefully sooner rather than later.
Anytime in the near future: Full-scale renovation anticipated to begin for the Asuncion Paraguay Temple
Note: This temple closed for renovation on October 29, 2017. Within the six months that have followed, the process was delayed while building permits were being acquired. In mid-to-late April 2018, many sources which I consult for temple information removed any completion estimate. While I hope that the Church’s announced intention to rededicate this temple next year will be able to occur, only time will tell if that will be possible.
Sunday May 20: Jordan River Utah Temple Rededication/Mesa Arizona Temple Renovation Closure (both have been confirmed)
Note: Since the rededication Jordan River Utah Temple is the first public temple event of President Nelson’s administration, it seems to be a given conclusion that he will preside at this event, if only the first one or two sessions. Since this temple is in the Salt Lake Valley, it seems entirely likely that several Church leaders will be in attendance at this event as well. This rededication will also mark the last time (for now) that the Church will have a cultural celebration the night before, as it seems to be the new tradition to have a devotional for youth at that time instead. And although the closure for the Mesa Arizona Temple will likely go into effect at the end of the day on the Friday or Saturday prior to this, this is the official date given by the Church for that closure.
Monday July 23: Hamilton New Zealand Temple Renovation Closure (confirmed)
Sunday October 28: Concepcion Chile Temple Dedication (160th operating temple; confirmed)
Sunday December 9: Barranquilla Colombia Temple Dedication (161st operating temple; confirmed)

Final note on 2018: I have heard that we will likely see many groundbreakings for temples that have currently not progressed beyond their announcements. The main ones I am watching in that regard are the Bangkok Thailand, Urdaneta Philippines, Lima Peru Los Olivos, Saratoga Springs Utah, and Harare Zimbabwe Temples. Each of those temples could have a groundbreaking by the end of 2018, and I am not ruling out any of the 14 other announced temples, although the 7 announced in General Conference at the beginning of this month will likely have a bit more of a wait. The Lord could also surprise us by moving ahead any other announced temples. I will be anxious to see what occurs in that regard.

Preliminary note for 2019: The Church has already announced that the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple will occur in mid-March. So the big question in my mind, which I attempt to answer below, is whether any of the two new temples next in line (Kinshasa DR Congo or Fortaleza Brazil) or any of the first three temples undergoing renovation (Frankfurt Germany, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, and Memphis Tennessee) might have a rededication prior to the already-scheduled dedication of the Rome Italy Temple. I will not be surprised whether that does or does not occur.

2019:
Mid-February: Frankfurt Germany Temple Rededication
Note: While this has yet-to-be confirmed, it would make sense if this temple was rededicated at this time. And, since the Church has periodically assigned senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to preside at such events, the First Presidency may opt to ask Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a native German who has presided at previous dedications and rededications as a member of the First Presidency from 2008-2018, to preside at this event in his homeland.
Sunday March 10-Sunday March 17: Rome Italy Temple Dedication (162nd operating temple; confirmed)
Note: While the Church officially announced that this temple’s dedication will be held over an 8-day period (one of the longest, if not the very longest, in recent years), the exact number of dedicatory sessions that will be held has not yet been made public. I am assuming that the Church could potentially have 3-6 per day, with one every 2-3 hours, but time will tell. Since the dedicatory sessions will be held for longer than a week, it would make sense if the Church rotates attendance among several different Church leaders, which will likely include all members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.
Mid-April: Fortaleza Brazil Temple Dedication (163rd operating temple)
Note: Some elements of this temple’s status (as of April 26, 2018) are similar, if not identical, to some elements of the three temples scheduled for dedication before April 2019, so I have no qualms about suggesting that we could see the dedication for this temple within the next year, and that it will likely occur prior to the dedication of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple, which, by comparison, has progressed slightly less consistently.
Mid-to-late April: Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple Rededication
Note: This temple has progressed very consistently, making it likely that a rededication could occur within the year or so between now and then. If anything occurs to delay that process, an adjustment would need to be made.
Mid-May: Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple Dedication (164th operating temple)
Note: Although this temple is currently anticipated to be the next one that will have a dedication scheduled, as I noted above, the Fortaleza Brazil Temple has comparatively progressed more consistently. For that reason, it feels to me like it will be at least a year from now before its dedication. Depending on what happens within the next 6-12 months, it is possible that this estimate could change. For now, I stand by it.
Late May-early June: Memphis Tennessee Temple Rededication
Note: Although this temple was the first one to close for renovation in 2017, it has progressed slightly behind the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple. With that in mind, it seems reasonable to estimate that it could have a rededication at around this time. If something happens to change my mind on that, I will be more than happy to alter it.
Mid-June: Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple Dedication (165th operating temple)
Note: The Port-au-Prince temple, which is going to be on the smaller side, is only anticipated to take 15-18 months for construction. Based on that, it seems more than likely that it will be dedicated before the annual July recess for the General Authorities. If anything occurs to change my feelings on this estimate, I will revise it.
Mid-August: Raleigh North Carolina Temple Rededication
Note: This temple’s renovation will only likely be completed by this time if it continues its’ current rate of progress. If anything delays that process for any reason, an adjustment to that estimate will likely be necessary.
Early-to-mid September: Lisbon Portugal Temple Dedication (166th operating temple)
Note: Since I last posted these estimates, this temple has made some encouraging progress, which leads me to believe that moving my estimate for its’ completion up is warranted. Depending on what happens within the next year, any adjustments will be made as they are needed.
Mid-to-late September: Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Rededication
Note: This temple, which closed for renovation on January 28, 2018, has not had much progress reported since that time. It therefore feels wise to be more conservative in my estimate for its’ future rededication.
Mid-to-late October: Durban South Africa Temple Dedication (167th operating temple)
Note: This temple will only be dedicated at around this time if its’ construction progresses at a steady rate. Depending on whether or not that occurs, this estimate may need to be pushed back further, if not completely readjusted.
Mid-November: Oakland California Temple Rededication
Note: Although this temple is comparatively older than many currently undergoing renovation, about 1.5 weeks after its’ closure went into effect, the renovation process had begun. With that in mind, and because US temples (whether new or undergoing renovation) generally are completed more speedily than their international counterparts, it seems safe to assume that this temple will be reopening before the end of 2019, as anticipated. But if anything delays that renovation process, the completion estimate could change.
Mid-December: Asuncion Paraguay Temple Rededication
Note: This temple, which closed on October 2, 2017, has not seen its’ renovation process formally begin, although nearly 5 months have passed since that time. Although I hope for the best for this temple, depending on whether or not the Church can resolve the issues that may be hindering this process, then either this temple’s rededication will be the last event in 2019, or one of the first in 2020. 

Final note on 2019: As with 2018, I have heard that 2019 could potentially be another big year for temple groundbreakings. If that proves to be the case, there will be other temple-related events to add to this list for subsequent years. A lot could change within the next year that will also change the likely prospects for temple groundbreakings in 2019. Closer to the time, I may venture some thoughts for temples likely to have a groundbreaking during 2019.                       

2020:
Mid-March: Arequipa Peru Temple Dedication (168th operating temple)
Note: This temple had originally been estimated to have its’ dedication occur in 2019, but new information indicates that it will likely happen in 2020, and that it may be the first new temple dedicated during that year. If anything happens to change that, its’ future dedication might either be delayed or pushed up.
Mid-to-late April: Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple Dedication (169th operating temple)
Note: The main reason this temple’s completion estimate was pushed back to early 2020 is because many sources available to me noted that it is going to be bigger than originally believed. With that in mind, it is not hard to believe that a dedication could (and likely will) occur for this temple at around this time, before winter season hits the southern hemisphere.
Mid-May: Winnipeg Manitoba Temple Dedication (170th operating temple)
Note: This estimate will only prove accurate if construction gets underway on this temple by the end of the first half of 2018, and also if this temple’s slight redesign does not alter the 20-month estimate which was originally given for that process. Depending on what does or does not happen in the next couple of months, an alteration of this estimate may be necessary.
Early-to-mid June: Tokyo Japan Temple Rededication
Note: This temple closed for renovation as October 2017 began. Since it is a smaller albeit older temple, this estimate seems to be reasonable. If anything happens to hinder that renovation process, then that would necessitate an adjustment to that estimate.
Mid-September: Mesa Arizona Temple Rededication
Note: This temple is older, but has been renovated previously, so the renovation process will likely be completed at around this time. If anything happens to delay that process, this estimate would need to be subsequently adjusted as a result.
Mid-December: Washington DC Temple Rededication
Note: This temple has, as of today (April 27, 2018), been closed for almost two months, but has not had any progress reported on that process as of yet. When we add to that the fact that this is an older temple having its’ first renovation, mid-December is a very conservative estimate. If anything delays that process, I would not be surprised to see this temple’s completion pushed back into 2021.

2021:
Mid-to-late April: Hamilton New Zealand Temple Rededication
Note: This temple’s July 2018 renovation closure was the first temple announcement of President Nelson’s prophetic administration. If, as is widely believed, that process involves an expansion of any kind for this temple, depending on how quickly or slowly progress is made, this estimate may need to be adjusted.               

Final Note: As noted above, if several temples have a groundbreaking in 2018 and the years that follow, their completion estimates will need to be added to the list above. I continue to monitor all temple-related developments and will pass news of them along as I become aware of them.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Church Announces 8 New Temple Presidents

Hello again, everyone! In an article posted earlier today, the Church News noted that 8 new temple presidents had been called to begin their service later this year. This brings the number of currently-operating temples getting a new president in 2018 to 24, and it slims down my list of those that might to 32 additional temples that are currently operating, and the 6 that may be dedicated within the next 15 months or so. An updated version of that list follows below.

So as not to disturb the flow of that list, I will end 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.


New presidents have been called for the following temples:
1.      Manaus Brazil
2.      Boise Idaho
3.      Denver Colorado
4.      The Hague Netherlands
5.      Oquirrh Mountain Utah
6.      Helsinki Finland
7.      The Gila Valley Arizona
8.      Brigham City Utah
9.      Stockholm Sweden
10.  Palmyra New York
11.  Accra Ghana
12.  Papeete Tahiti
13.  Sao Paulo Brazil
14.  San Jose Costa Rica
15.  Albuquerque New Mexico
16.  Provo City Center
17.  Recife Brazil
18.  Cardston Alberta
19.  Payson Utah
20.  Porto Alegre Brazil
21.  Brisbane Australia
22.  Kansas City Missouri
23.  Oaxaca Mexico
24.  Regina Saskatchewan

The first presidents will likely be announced for the following new temples:
1.      Concepcion Chile
2.      Barranquilla Colombia
3.      Rome Italy
4.      Kinshasa DR Congo
5.      Fortaleza Brazil
6.      Port-au-Prince Haiti

New presidents may also be announced for the following temples:
1.      Atlanta Georgia
2.      Billings Montana
3.      Boston Massachusetts
4.      Bountiful Utah
5.      Buenos Aires Argentina
6.      Cebu City Philippines
7.      Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Mexico
8.      Cordoba Argentina
9.      Draper Utah
10.  Fukuoka Japan
11.  Guatemala City Guatemala
12.  Helsinki Finland
13.  Hermosillo Sonora Mexico
14.  Houston Texas
15.  Indianapolis Indiana
16.  Laie Hawaii
17.  Las Vegas Nevada
18.  Manti Utah
19.  Montevideo Uruguay
20.  Monticello Utah
21.  Redlands California
22.  Sacramento California
23.  St. Louis Missouri
24.  Sydney Australia
25.  Taipei Taiwan
26.  Tegucigalpa Honduras
27.  Tijuana Mexico
28.  Trujillo Peru
29.  Vancouver British Columbia
30.  Veracruz Mexico
31.  Villahermosa Mexico
32.  Washington D. C. Temple (Note: The Church may opt to wait on calling a new president for this temple until 2020 when it is rededicated)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Additional Temple Updates Reported

Hello again, everyone! Earlier today, I became aware of some updates that had been reported on two of the three temples that have a dedication scheduled, and one of the operating temples currently undergoing renovation, but for a variety of reasons, I was not able to pass those along before now. Let's get right to all of that.

We start first with the Concepcion Chile Temple, which has a dedication set to occur just over six months from today (on Sunday October 28 of this year). The latest information of which I have become aware is that the construction crew is busy finishing the work on the temple's tower, while art glass installation is underway. It has additionally been noted that work on the grounds of the temple is nearing completion.

The other temple set for dedication for which I have an update is the Rome Italy Temple. The dedication of that temple is set for around 10.5 months or so from now, and dedicatory services will last an 8-day period, occurring between Sunday March 10 and Sunday March 17, 2019. The latest update I have for that temple is that the concrete slab for the monument sign (which will feature the name of both the Church and this temple) is now in place, and that the gardens which will surround the monument sign are being planted. In the meantime, many sources available to me continue to list the note that driveway asphalt has been laid.

We conclude with a note on the renovation process for the Memphis Tennessee Temple. As I previously mentioned, since the renovation that is underway on the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple has progressed slightly ahead of that process for the Memphis temple, we will likely see temples rededicated in early-to-mid 2019 in the following order: Frankfurt Germany, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, and Memphis Tennessee. How they will fit in around the dedications of the Rome Italy, Kinshasa DR Congo, and Fortaleza Brazil Temples is still unknown, although I have felt bold enough to offer some thoughts at least in that regard.

That said, the latest update on the renovation process for the Memphis Tennessee Temple of which I have become aware is that the steeple and exterior walls are currently being sheathed. This is a great indicator that this temple is making good progress.

Ongoing temple developments continue to be inspiring and amazing to me, and I was grateful to have been able to bring you this update. I will do my best to keep track of future developments and bring those to you all ASAP.

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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! The Church News recently posted a few news items that I thought are worth sharing with you all. So let's get right into all of that. First, on January 26 of this year, I provided a link to a post which had been published one week prior to that on the Mormon Newsroom blog. That post had detailed the appointment of a fourth full-time Tabernacle organist, Dr. Brian Mathias. It has been somewhat of a tradition in recent years to only have three full-time appointees, so I found that surprising.

Then today, I learned more about all of this. It would appear that Brother Mathias's appointment was announced with a view to preparing for the day when another full-time organist, Brother Clay Christiansen, would retire. The Church News has published this article to announce that his retirement will soon be effective, which will then leave the standard three full-time male organists, and two female organists that both serve on a part-time basis. On a personal note, I remember being given a tour of the Tabernacle organ with my family, and if my memory is serving me correctly, Brother Christiansen was the one who led that tour for us. I was impressed with his warmth, love for his work, and vast knowledge of the history of that organ. So I certainly wish him well in his retirement.

The other two stories I wanted to pass along in this post relate to the ministry of our apostles. The Church News shared a text copy of the rededicatory prayer for the Houston Texas Temple offered by President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, last Sunday. It is very powerful, and it is fitting that now-President Ballard returned to rededicate this temple in an area that then-Elder Ballard had toured following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

And the final article I wanted to pass along serves as the Church News summary of President Nelson's global ministry tour, which concluded with his return to Church headquarters in Salt Lake City Utah at some point yesterday. That tour can, according to the article, be summed up in two words: "the temple."

My biggest takeaway from that article, which is well worth reading in its' entirety, was a first-hand dual witness from Sister Nelson. She stated first that she has, time and time again in the last three months, seen the mantle of Church president clearly on her husband, and that she could share her witness of that divinely-inspired call in any venue in the world.

Her second statement was that, while President Nelson had habitually been known to get up in the middle of the night as an apostle and later as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, primarily to jot down thoughts about some insights he wanted to share in his address for the next General Conference, those "rushes of revelation", as many people have described them, have come increasingly more frequently since President Nelson took the mantle of the Church presidency in mid-January.

She fervently shared her witness that President Nelson knows how to receive revelation, and that she has witness how diligent he has been at writing down the impressions he has received, a process that has only increased in its' frequency within the three months he has been Church President.

Now, while I don't know how much of what he writes down has been or might eventually be passed along to the Church, if the General Conference we experienced at the beginning of this month and all we have seen President Nelson do in the three months of his administration thus far is any indication, then not only is he going to be determined to be out among the people as long as he can, but I am equally as certain that he will regularly continue to encourage temple preparation, worthiness to enter there, and the importance of having a valid recommend, no matter how far away any of the Saints might be from their assigned temple.

But I am equally as certain that President Nelson will continue to do whatever he can to continue to bring temples to the people by announcing new locations where such temples will be built, and also by doing whatever he can on his end to hasten the process whereby announced temples are built. That is one of many reasons why the list of potential locations for future temples, which I posted on this blog yesterday, includes a number of long-shot possibilities, and perhaps even a few that seem like they have little to no chance of actually being announced anytime soon.

The list includes such locations primarily because, as the Lord reminded Isaiah in Old Testament times, His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts. I therefore fully believe that the Lord will continue to surprise us with temples in locations that we cannot now anticipate. So even if a location on my list has a likelihood of slim-to-none that it might go on to be announced, if I have found a compelling reason to include it, it appears on that list.

And in case I did not emphasize this sufficiently, I will be just as overjoyed for any temples announced for any location I have not considered as I will be if I find that those that are announced are in the general or exact locations I have specified.

The Lord knows where He needs His temples to be built, and when the time is right to have such locations identified. I had shared my thoughts prior to General Conference at the start of this month that temples in Russia or India were likely possible, but perhaps not as imminent as many people thought. And I was overjoyed to find both nations had a temple announced this go-round.

To the best of my ability, I am committed to continuing to bring you the latest Church and temple developments, including, where possible, updates on construction efforts, and updated lists of potential locations. 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.

Update Provided for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple

Hello again, everyone! While I continue to request and invite comments on any previous posts (especially the three which I published in the early hours of this morning that cover my initial predictions for the October 2018 General Conference), and while I have no desire to pull focus away from that, I became aware a short while ago of an update that has been provided for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple,

I looked back at the history of my posts on this blog, and from that, it would appear that, while I mentioned that the Barranquilla Colombia Temple had had an update to its' construction status a while ago, I got distracted and failed to note what that update was before the end of the post in question. I apologize for that.

The update I should have provided for that temple on that occasion was that the interior work was progressing, that landscaping on the temple grounds was nearing completion, and that the exterior of the housing facility had been finished. That update was noted earlier this month.

So today, the latest information of which I have become aware is that the Holiness to the Lord inscription plaque is being gilded, while the inner gardens have been planted on the temple grounds, and that the interior work continues to make progress.

It is wonderful to see the day-to-day changes that occur in relation to temple construction developments all around the world. I will continue to monitor all such developments and will do my level best to pass them along to you as I receive 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.

Initial Predictions for the October 2018 General Conference: Part Three--Most Likely Locations That May Have a Temple Announced

Hello again, everyone! I am back with the third and final post in the miniseries which I cranked out tonight that shares my initial predictions for the October 2018 General Conference. Having discussed the potential speaking order and changes in general Church leadership in the previous posts, we now turn our attention to the one subject on which I have not passed along my thoughts: potential future temple locations.

There were a few things that molded these thoughts. The first is the knowledge that, although temples have just been announced once a year in April between 2017 and now, with the 80 potential locations mentioned by Elder Wilson as being on a list that will be considered for a subsequent announcement between now and the end of April 2032 (which marks 15 years from the time that statement was made), I don't think that President Nelson would pass up any potential opportunities to make such announcements.

The second is the fact that President Nelson is healthier now at 93 years of age than President Monson likely was for the last 5-7 years of his life, so anything that may have hindered President Monson's ability to obtain and relay the will of the Lord regarding such locations during that time will not be a factor in President Nelson's case.

The third thing is the fact that President Nelson and his counselors first spoke to Church members from a temple, and highlighted the importance of "begin[ning] with the end in mind." President Nelson also made a point of mentioning in both his closing address and all through his tour his desire to have every member within a reasonable distance from a temple.

And my final reason for believing and asserting here that temples could (and likely will) be announced in October is the fact that, even though President Nelson needed to call two new apostles,, discern the will of the Lord about subsequent changes in Church policy and practice that have since been announced and are going into effect, and do whatever else was needed to prepare for his first General Conference as Church president, he not only had time to discern the Lord's will on and announce six temple locations, but he followed through on what can only be termed as a last-minute impression to add an unexpected location to that list.

President Nelson is clearly a man who is committed to doing the will of the Lord for as long as he is able, and for that reason, I think we will not only see many of the currently-announced temples go on to a groundbreaking and start construction within the next 2-3 years and beyond, but I feel very safe in assuming and asserting that, unless there is another serious backlog of announced temples, President Nelson will almost surely announce a few during each of the General Conferences over which he presides, and that we may also see times when, as impressed to do so, he could announce a few between each April, October, and subsequent April.

So here is my list of those locations which, in my opinion, have the most likely prospect for a temple announcement in the near future. So as not to disturb the flow of the information I am presenting, I will end here as I always do. 

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, especially those that clue me in on anything I have missed, overlooked, or failed to consider.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 Predictions: 3+ temples announced, with the most likely locations (in my opinion), on the list below.

Preliminary note: With seven temples having been announced last April (the second-highest number of temples ever announced at once), it may be that President Nelson will opt to wait until April 2019 to announce any others. But in view of President Nelson’s expressed intention to continue to bring temples to the people, there may be at least a few announced during this conference. The locations listed below represent my best efforts to anticipate such announcements, and I have requested feedback on this list on my blog. The Lord can and does continue to inspire temple announcements in the right locations at the right time, and if any new temples are announced, I will be just as happy if none of them are for the locations listed below as I will be if any or all of the temples that are announced are for locations on this list. Also, as I prepared to request initial feedback for the locations on this list, it made more sense to me to once again group the locations on this list by the geographical area under which they fall, then by potential likelihood within those areas.

Africa Southeast[i]: Antananarivo Madagascar[ii];
Africa West[iii]: Freetown Sierra Leone[iv]; Kumasi Ghana[v] Lagos Nigeria[vi]
Asia: Phnom Penh Cambodia[vii]
Brazil: Belo Horizonte/Salvador[viii]
Caribbean: San Juan Puerto Rico[ix]
Central America[x]: San Pedro Sula Honduras[xi]; Senahu Guatemala[xii]
Europe[xiii]: Budapest Hungary[xiv]; Praia Cape Verde[xv]
Mexico: Puebla Mexico[xvi]
Pacific: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea[xvii]; Auckland New Zealand[xviii];
South America Northwest[xix]: La Paz/Santa Cruz Bolivia[xx]

United States[xxi]
North America Central: Missoula Montana[xxii]; Rapid City South Dakota[xxiii]
North America Southeast: Jackson Mississippi[xxiv]; Shreveport Louisiana[xxv];
North America Southwest: Bentonville Arkansas[xxvi]; Elko[xxvii]/Ely[xxviii] Nevada; Fort Worth Texas[xxix]; Las Cruces New Mexico[xxx]; Flagstaff Arizona[xxxi]
Utah Salt Lake City: Herriman[xxxii];
Utah South: Heber City[xxxiii]; Tooele[xxxiv]



[i]The African continent is experiencing substantial and significant growth. That has proven particularly true for the this area of the Church, in which 1 temple is currently operating, but 4 others have been announced (2 of which are under construction, and the other 2 of which are anticipated to start construction at some point within the next 3 years or less.
[ii]Since Madagascar is disconnected from the rest of the African continent, anywhere in Africa to which the Saints might journey will be somewhat of a challenge for those in Madagascar. For that reason, I have added Antananarivo to this list for the first time. Madagascar is currently the last of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase, which adds to the rationale for building a temple there. The only other African nation within this area that is in the top ten is Uganda at #6 on that list. But since a temple has been announced for the neighboring nation of Kenya, Uganda may not get a temple until the one in Kenya is either under construction or dedicated, as the Church will probably want to gauge how busy the temple in Kenya is before announcing one for Uganda. Thus, Madagascar is the only prospect on this list for this area.
[iii]The Church in the Africa West Area has also experienced massive and rapid growth. The LDS Church Growth Blog recently reported that, if current growth trends in the Africa West Area continue as they have been, the Church could go from the 2 operating and 1 announced temple to 13 in operation by sometime during 2030. With that in mind, several possibilities have a lot of merit to the rationale behind my belief that they could each get a temple in the near future, as I will explain in the subsequent references for the locations I have listed for this area.
[iv]Sierra Leone is now the fourth of the top ten nations that have the strongest Church presence but do not yet have a temple in any phase. With the recent expanded growth in Sierra Leone (particularly with so many districts that have been upgraded to a stake), a temple there may simply be a matter of time.
[v]Since the dedication of the Accra Ghana temple in January 2004, Ghana has seen sufficient enough growth (in my opinion) to potentially get a second temple. And Kumasi has emerged as the most likely city for such a temple.
[vi]Since the dedication of the Aba Nigeria temple in August 2005, Nigeria has seen extensive Church growth. While many have offered their opinions that Benin City might be a more likely prospect, the elements I have studied leads me to conclude that when Nigeria gets a second temple, it will likely be in Lagos.
[vii]Cambodia is now the seventh of the top ten nations having the strongest Church presence without a temple in any phase. So the idea of a temple in Phnom Penh makes sense. But with the Bangkok Thailand Temple planned to be on the larger side, and with another temple announced for Bengaluru India, the question will be whether a temple might be needed in Cambodia as well in the near future. For now, I am confident enough to include it here, but that could change.
[viii]Brazil has also seen extensive Church growth, and rapid expansion. With temples currently under construction in Fortaleza (which is anticipated to be dedicated in 2019) and in Rio de Janeiro (which is anticipated to be dedicated in 2020), and with two others announced (for Brasilia and Belem, both of which may be under construction within the next few years), it is not hard to believe that additional Brazilian temples may be needed. Salvador and Belo Horizonte seem to be the cities most mentioned as having the best prospects for a temple announcement in the near future. Of the two, a temple in Salvador seems to be more imminently likely, but we have seen unexpected things occur, so for now, both locations are on my list.
[ix]Puerto Rico now ranks as the second of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase. And now that the construction of the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple is underway, and since that temple is on the smaller side, it makes sense that the Church might opt to announce a temple for San Juan in the near future. Time will tell how safe it is to so assume, but for now, it has made my list.
[x]With a temple having been announced in April for Managua Nicaragua, it may be some time before we hear of other temples being announced for the Central America Area of the Church. The case in favor of the locations on my list being announced is a strong one, so for that reason, they have made the list, but it would not surprise me in any way if the Church waits on these potential locations until the temple in Managua is further along.
[xi]The Church in Honduras has seen extensive growth in recent years, so a third temple in that nation seems likely. And while there may be many good potential locations where one could be built, the consensus appears to be that San Pedro Sula is the most likely prospect, and that a temple for that city could be announced sooner rather than later.
[xii]As noted above in relation to Honduras, Guatemala has also seen significant Church growth in recent years. And there are likewise many potential locations where a third temple could be built to serve the Guatemalan Saints. But the city of Senahu has emerged as the most likely prospect for that honor, and the consensus seems to be that a temple there may simply be a matter of time.
[xiii]Europe, particularly in the eastern countries of its’ continent, has seen some stagnation in terms of the growth of the Church. With temples currently under construction in Rome Italy and Lisbon Portugal, and another announced for a major yet-to-be determined city in Russia, the Church may opt to wait to construct other temples on the European continent until those 3 are either dedicated or at least further along in the process. That said, on the off-chance the Church does not so opt, the cities in this section, for the reasons I will explain in the subsequent notes that will follow this one, have the greatest chance of being announced in the near future.
[xiv]When I began sharing my thoughts on potential future temple locations, someone who has knowledge of the growth of the Church in Europe indicated that Budapest would likely be the next European city to get a temple. My study on the matter confirms that opinion, so it has been on my list for a while.
[xv]Cape Verde now ranks as the eighth of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple. Based on that fact, a temple in Praia is likely just a matter of time.
[xvi]The growth of the Church in Mexico has somewhat stagnated to the point where Church leaders began last year to do a mass consolidation of the Church units there. That said, many people (including one of the readers of my blog who lives in Mexico) concur that the next temple in Mexico will likely be in Puebla, and that such a temple will likely be announced sooner rather than later.
[xvii]Papua New Guinea now ranks as the nation with the strongest Church presence that does not yet have a temple. I also learned several years ago that land has been held in reserve in Port Moresby for a temple for a while now. With that in mind, it may simply be a matter of time before a temple is announced there.
[xviii]As with Papua New Guinea, I had heard years ago that land has been held in reserve in Auckland for a temple. How soon that might actually occur will depend on if the renovation of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple involves any kind of expansion for that temple. If it does, that might potentially eliminate the immediate need to use the land in Auckland. I have felt confident enough to keep it on my list for now, but will be watching for any developments that could change my mind.
[xix]The entire South American continent has seen extensive growth, as manifested by the fact that, of the 19 temples currently announced, 5 of them are in South American nations. And of the 11 temples currently under construction, Brazil has 2 (with two others announced), this area (South America Northwest) has 2 under construction (1 of which has a dedication announced), and 2 others announced, and the South America South area has 1 temple announced, 1 with a dedication scheduled, and 1 that is currently closed for renovation. Based on these numbers, the Church may opt to wait until all temples under construction or being renovated are finished, or Church leaders could (and in my opinion, likely will) opt to announce more temples as they are needed. In a previous note above, I shared my rationale behind two temple locations that may be used for future Brazilian Temples. While the Church could surprise us and announce other temples for the South America South Area (which would not be unheard of by any means), it is my feeling that the most likely prospect for South American temples in the near future is this area, for the reasons I will explain in the notes below.
[xx]Since the dedication of Bolivia’s first temple in Cochabamba, the Church in Bolivia has seen significant growth and expansion. That has been especially true of regions that would be served by temples in Santa Cruz or La Paz. Of the two, although I favor La Paz (since a good friend served a mission there), my research indicates a Santa Cruz temple may be more imminent. But I fully anticipate temples in both cities within the next 15 years or less, thus both are on this list.
[xxi]While it has been repeatedly observed that the growth of the Church has stagnated somewhat here in the United States, 4 of the 19 temples that have currently not had a groundbreaking were for the United States. This gives me hope, however slight that hope might be, that other locations within the US that have a compelling case in their favor for a temple (as outlined in the remaining notes). While there are literally hundreds of these potential locations with a strong likelihood, the locations on this list are those that, in my opinion and for the reasons outlined, have the highest likelihood.
[xxii]According to reports I received through the comments on my blog, Elder David A. Bednar publicly proposed a Missoula Montana Temple while on assignment to a stake conference in that city. My subsequent research indicates that land has been held in reserve for such a temple for several years now, and that an official announcement will occur once the right conditions are met. For that reason, Missoula has been on my list for a while now, and I could see an official announcement in the near future.
[xxiii]Although South Dakota only has 2 stakes and one district, and although the districts of the Bismarck North Dakota and Winter Quarters Nebraska, which cover South Dakota, may not be inordinately large, the Saints in Rapid City travel almost 300 miles to worship at the Bismarck temple, so it seems likely that the Church will opt to build a temple there sooner rather than later.
[xxiv]Mississippi is one of the few states in the US that does not have a temple in any phase. My recent study points to the idea that a temple in Jackson may just be a matter of time.
[xxv]The Saints in Shreveport currently travel just under 200 miles to their assigned temple in Dallas, but I have still felt confident enough that this city could get a temple sooner rather than later.
[xxvi]A good friend with connections to Arkansas told me a while ago that the Church has held land in reserve for a temple in Bentonville for a while now, and that an official announcement was likely once the right conditions were met. For that reason, I believe we will see this temple announced sooner rather than later. Some have opined that Rogers might be a more likely location for the first temple in Arkansas, but my study confirms that a temple is likely in Bentonville sooner rather than later.
[xxvii]The Saints in Elko currently travel just over 200 miles to their assigned temple (Salt Lake). It is enough of a commute that a temple there may just be a matter of time.
[xxviii]The note above applies to the Saints in Ely as well, as they commute just over 200 miles, but their assigned temple is in Cedar City. A temple in Ely would cut the commute substantially. And I fully believe that temples in both Elko and Ely are possible in the near future, since the distance between the two is just under 200 miles.
[xxix]In sharing my thoughts about potential future temple locations, I learned from someone living in Texas that Fort Worth would likely be the best prospective city for the next temple in Texas, and a temple there would be the best way to break up the current Dallas Texas district.
[xxx]The Saints in Las Cruces currently travel 224.6 miles to the temple in Albuquerque, so a temple there may just be a matter of time. A temple in that city could also likely serve the Saints in El Paso Texas, if they are unable to access their currently assigned temple (in Ciudad Juarez Mexico).
[xxxi]At the dedication of the Tucson Arizona Temple, Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department, stated that that dedication had Arizona pretty well covered for temples. But I have heard from many sources that Flagstaff will likely be the next Arizona city to get a temple, and that this could happen sooner rather than later. Thus, I am confident enough to put it on my list.
[xxxii]In 2005, President Gordon B. Hinckley noted that land was being held in reserve for a temple in the Southwestern Salt Lake Valley, which would have an official announcement when that became necessary. Subsequent study on my part in late 2017 and early 2018 pointed me to the conclusion that the land in question was in Bluffdale, but that it has since been annexed into the city of Herriman, although it has been the subject of more than a few border disputes. I am confident enough to list it here, and since President Monson announced temples publicly proposed during President Hinckley’s tenure, I feel that President Nelson may likely do the same. Thus, a temple there may just be a matter of time.
[xxxiii]A temple in Heber City (the prospect of which has been suggested a few times) would help provide a closer option for Saints in the Heber Valley, and it would likely split the district of the Provo Utah Temple, which, by all reports, is still one of the busiest in the Church.
[xxxiv]Tooele has also been mentioned repeatedly as a potential prospective city for a temple. While the Saints in Tooele do not have to drive an inordinate distance to reach their assigned temple in Salt Lake City, I feel a temple there may simply be a matter of time. And since a temple in Herriman would still create a drive (along a U-shape) for those Saints, it seems safe to assume that Tooele could (and likely will) get a temple soon.