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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Changes Made Yet Again to Announced Temples Section of My Temple Construction Progress Report

Hello again, everyone! I took some time tonight to go over the information I had available on announced temples. Based on my ongoing analysis of those developments, and on new information which has come to light in recent days, I have once again reworked the section of my temple construction progress report for announced temples. One of the most significant changes I have made is splitting that section into two separate parts.

The first part contains temples for which, in my opinion, there is sufficient information to allow me to make an educated estimate about the general time-frames within which those temples could have a groundbreaking. The second part of that section now contains those temples for which more information will be needed before I move them up to the first section and make an estimate for the groundbreaking process.

That said, I am anticipating that something big will be occurring within the next 2 years or so to clear the current backlog to some degree, and to prepare for any additional temples that may be announced. With a backlog of 31 announced temples in various phases currently, something significant will need to be done to clear it.

But I have a feeling that the Lord would not have prompted President Nelson to announce 19 temples this year alone (with 12 other previously-announced temples in various phases working towards construction) if there was not a plan to deal with the resulting backlog.

I have a similar feeling that temple announcements will not slow at all. If anything, we will enter an era when temple developments are reported with greater frequency, and where announced temples will move more quickly from announcement to groundbreaking to construction. It will certainly be interesting to see it all unfold. That said, my updated list of announced temples, complete with the changes I mentioned, follows below.

So as to not disturb the flow of that information, I will end here and now as I always do. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in eveyrthing you do.

 Note on announced temples: On October 30, 2018, I reviewed the information I had available, and I accordingly reordered the temples in this section splitting them into two sub-categories. The first contains those for which there is sufficient information, based on which I have provided a rough groundbreaking estimate, which will, of course, be subject to alteration in the future as more information is available. The second section contains those temples which are ordered based on the information currently available, but for which more information will be needed before they can join the first list. And for that second list, I do not feel comfortable offering any groundbreaking estimate until more information is available.

Announced Temples (for which sufficient information has me confident enough to venture a general groundbreaking estimate):
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Site preparation phase; construction barrier in place; groundbreaking could occur in late 2018-early 2019.
Note: The Church of Jesus Christ Temples site notes that preliminary site work is underway to prepare for construction. Depending on how long that process takes, a groundbreaking could occur by the end of this year or during the first part of next year.
173. Pocatello Idaho Temple: Government approval process; streets around temple site opened; groundbreaking anticipated in early 2019.
Note: When the artist’s rendering was released for this temple (which occurred on September 7, 2018), that announcement noted that construction was anticipated to begin at some point in 2019. I am anticipating that will occur within the first quarter of the year.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah Temple: Government approval phase; probable site identified; awaiting official confirmation and artist’s rendering; groundbreaking could occur in early-to-mid 2019.
Note: Although no official site confirmation has occurred, a probable site has been identified, and a zoning variance has been approved for a special project. If official confirmation occurs and an artist’s rendering is soon released, I could see a groundbreaking occur in the time-frame noted above, if not sooner.
175. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2019.
Note: Although an official site confirmation is pending for this temple, a public affairs representative for the Church in Kenya noted that one has been selected, and that this temple, which will be on the smaller side, is anticipated to be dedicated in 2021. So it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could occur during the time-frame noted above.
176. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Artist’s rendering and site announcement released on March 19, 2018; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2019.
Note: Although President Nelson noted in March that he foresaw no delays in getting construction of this temple underway, it was not until October 14 that the Church of Jesus Christ Temples reported that the final building would be vacated. Until that building is razed (which could take another month or two) a groundbreaking may potentially be delayed. Until more is known, I prefer to be more conservative in the estimates I offer. But I would not be shocked if a groundbreaking were held in the time-frame indicated above, but certainly sooner than that if all goes well.
177. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; President Nelson visited probable site on October 20, 2018; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2019.
Note: Although an official confirmation of the site location is still pending, if the site visited by President Nelson is confirmed as being the temple location, then given the fact that preliminary work has been underway since March of 2017, I would hope a groundbreaking could occur within the window noted above, but certainly sooner if all goes well.
178. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; President Nelson visited potential site on April 17, 2018; groundbreaking could occur in late 2019-early 2020.
Note: If the potential site President Nelson visited last April is confirmed as the location where the temple will be built, a groundbreaking could occur within the noted window of time above.
179. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning and approval phase; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking could occur in mid-to-late 2019.
Note: With a site having been confirmed for this temple not long after its’ announcement in April 2017, it is my hope that a groundbreaking could occur as indicated above, but certainly sooner if all goes well.
180. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking could occur in mid-to-late 2019.
Note: As noted on the Brasilia Brazil Temple, a site was confirmed for this temple not long after its’ announcement. With that in mind, an official name could be announced in the near future, and a groundbreaking could easily occur in the time-frame noted above.
181. Layton Utah Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in early 2020.
Note: The Church of Jesus Christ Temples site notes that the Church purchased land in Layton two days before the temple was announced. If confirmation is provided in the near future that that land will be used for the temple, then a groundbreaking could easily occur as specified above.
182. Richmond Virginia Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in early-to-mid 2020.
Note: Not long after this temple was announced, an article published in a Richmond newspaper noted that the Church had procured several acres of land in that city sometime during 2015. If that purchased land is confirmed as the location of that temple, then a groundbreaking could occur within the above time-frame, but certainly sooner, if all goes well.
183. Managua Nicaragua Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in early-to-mid 2020.
Note: For several years before this temple was announced, land had been held in reserve for such an edifice when the time was right. If at any point the Church confirms that will be the location of the temple, then a groundbreaking could easily be held within the window specified above, if not sooner.
184. Salta Argentina Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2020.
Note: The Church of Jesus Christ Temples site has reported that the Church acquired land that may be used for this temple in the recent past. If that land is confirmed as the location where the temple will be built, then a groundbreaking could easily take place in the time-frame suggested above, though I could see that occurring sooner depending on what happens between now and then.
185. Bengaluru India Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; President Nelson toured potential locations on April 19, 2018; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2020.
Note: During his initial Global Ministry Tour in April, President Nelson made a visit to Bengaluru, where he explained to the Saints that the Lord had told him to announce a temple there the night before General Conference began. During that tour, he took the time to visit and consider several locations where the temple could be built. If all goes well, this temple could easily begin construction within the noted time-frame specified above.
186. Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in ­mid-2020.
Note: In late October 2018, the Church of Jesus Christ Temples site noted that land had been acquired a short distance from the Phnom Penh North Stake Center. If the Church confirms at any point that this will be the location for the temple in that city, then it is not hard to believe that a groundbreaking could be held within the next 1.25-1.75 years, depending on what happens between now and then.  
187. Auckland New Zealand Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in mid-to-late 2020.
Note: Although confirmation of the official site location is pending, many speculate that the temple will be built on the same hill on which the city’s MTC and the New Zealand Redoubt Stake Center is located. This information was indirectly and unofficially confirmed by someone who regularly comments on my blog. If the Church confirms that location, then a groundbreaking could easily occur within the next 2 years, but certainly sooner if all goes well.

Announced Temples (for which more information is needed before I provide an estimated groundbreaking time-frame):
188. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
189. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
190. Cagayan de Oro Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
191. Russia Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official location and site announcement.
192. Mendoza Argentina Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
193. Salvador Brazil Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
194. Yuba City, California Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
195. Praia Cape Verde Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
196. Yigo Guam Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
197. Puebla Mexico Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
198. Lagos Nigeria Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
199. Davao Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
200. San Juan Puerto Rico Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official site announcement
201. Washington County Utah Temple: Planning and approval phase; Announced October 7, 2018; awaiting official location and site announcement.



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! There have been some additional Church news stories reported, and all of them are well worthy of your attention, so I am pleased to both present them for your consideration, and to endorse each one of them without reservation or hesitation as deserving of your time. Let's jump right in to our discussion of those things.

We begin with an article published on the Church News website just around an hour ago. The article talks about the Hill Cumorah Pageant taking a "final bow" in 2020, and provides some context in terms of what has been determined for that and other productions.

We next shift our focus to the Church's Newsroom website, where it has been reported that President Oaks spoke at this week's BYU-Idaho Devotional. He discussed the interlinking roles of love and law, how they are related, how they differ, and how the Lord and His Church have tried to strike a careful balance between showing love for those of a differing viewpoint while still upholding the commitment to the laws and commandments of the Lord.

And interestingly enough, the Newsroom also provided a link to the full transcript of those remarks, which were also featured on the Newsroom. I have previously mentioned before how I can usually relate very well to what President Oaks says in such addresses, and that I like him approaching such topics in the same way he wrote legal briefs prior to his apostolic call, clearly differentiating when he moves on to the next point he wants to cover. I particularly appreciated how he explained the balance between loving everyone, while at the same time not condoning behaviors or practices which are displeasing to the Lord.

In the meantime, following the three dedicatory sessions for the Concepcion Chile Temple, President Nelson and Elder Stevenson sat down together for one interview, and Sister Nelson was featured in another interview. The Church provided both some written context and video highlights of that interview.

Since an earlier Church News article shared the portion of the interview with President Nelson and Elder Stevenson (including the remarkable statements by the prophet which I referenced in an earlier post on this blog), I wanted to focus my commentary in this post on some things Sister Nelson said during her interview. She talked about him de-aging as he speaks to Church congregations, and talked about his vim, vigor, and energy, and she provided more context into what she has observed day-to-day with her husband in the 9 months since he became President of the Church.

She particularly spoke more about her personal strong witness she has gained through first-hand observation of her husband day-to-day, and how she would be perfectly comfortable taking any witness stand in the world to attest to her husband's prophetic calling. She also mentioned that in many ways, he has been unleashed, meaning he is free now to do something about things which have concerned him for a while.

I want to interject some context here before going any further. From watching the video of Sister Nelson's interview, I don't think she meant to imply that he was unilaterally changing things. To the contrary, in remarks he has given, he has talked about things he has announced having been "under study/consideration for several months." It appears that she was referring to the fact that, at times, as an apostle, he felt impressions about things that needed to be done, but if any of those things were not within the scope of his assignment, he could not and would not act on or present them, since he did not yet have the authority to bring those things forward for consideration.

If he had done so, that may have been considered "going beyond the word of the Lord", which is something that would have been contrary to his nature. But particularly, if the declining health of his prophetic predecessor was such that the items which caused President Nelson concern could not be properly presented, encouraged, discussed, and decided upon, he would not have wanted to rock the boat or go beyond the authority he had.

Now that he is the prophet, with the authority to act on such impressions, he is free to take such action, with the full approval of his fellow apostles behind him. And I think that is what Sister Nelson meant: not that he was being previously hindered from doing what he felt impressed should be done, but that he wasn't comfortable doing so until he had the authority to ensure that such courses of action were in harmony with the Lord's will for His Church.

Sister Nelson also talked about how President Nelson's focus is on how best to prepare the Saints and the world for the Second Coming of the Savior, and that part of that process will involve a continuation of efforts to reduce and simplify the programs and practices of the Church to allow us as individual members to more fully focus on that as well in our personal lives.

She also talks about his consideration of how any decision will impact the Church on a global scale, and the impact such decisions will have on the way the world sees the Church. She also mentioned that he is most anxious to be out among the people as frequently as he can for as long as he can. President Nelson has talked about knowing that if he feels comfortable at home, he knows he is not doing what the Lord wants done. And she reiterated the idea that he will be doing much more traveling in the future.

I am grateful for prophets, seers, and revelators who are willing to put personal agendas and preconceived ideas aside to bring themselves into conformity with the Lord's will, and particularly for a prophet that recognizes a need for people everywhere in the world to be near him, who acts decisively and fearlessly in proclaiming what the Lord needs us to hear, even when that may not be what we want to hear, and for the wonderful wives of our apostles who fully and unequivocally support these "special witnesses of Christ" in their responsibility to minister to the Church and the whole world.

I do continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will, to the best of my ability, do all I can to keep bringing word of those developments to you all as I receive word of them. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time.

Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

VIP/Media Tours Underway for Barranquilla Colombia Temple; Open House Set to Begin on Saturday

Hello again, everyone! With the Barranquilla Colombia Temple open house set to begin this Saturday, today marked the beginning of the VIP/Media Tours for that temple. The Newsroom subpage on the Church's official website shared an overview of that event, and highlighted some of the temple's features and details about what people can expect during the open house.

Having noted that, I wanted to mention here a minor item of personal business. I have continued to make additional tweaks/adjustments to the layout, look and feel of this blog. The latest adjustments have involved my expanding the margins of the blog itself. Hopefully everything is easy for you all to find, but if any of you have any questions regarding what you are looking for, or if you have any feedback on the new look and feel of this blog, please don't hesitate to let me know.

I continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to bring word of those to you all as I receive 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. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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, October 29, 2018

Additional Church News Reported (Including Official Statement on Pittsburgh Tragedy)

Hello again, everyone! Some additional Church news has been reported within the last 12 hours or less, which I wanted to pass along today. Most notably, an official statement has been released by the Church in response to this weekend's shooting at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Jewish mosque. Though only two paragraphs in length, the strongly-worded statement expresses prayers and support for those impacted by the tragedy, addresses the violation of the sanctity of houses of worship (which is what happened here), provided a strong and unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitic attitudes and actions, and spelled out our mutual obligation to protect the rights of people of all faiths to worship as they choose.

This statement appears to me to be the most strongly- and forcefully-worded reaction to such a situation I have seen in any of the wide coverage on this tragic event. The idea that anyone would interfere with another's God-given and (in the United States) constitutionally-protected right to worship as they choose rightly ought to be repulsive to people of all religions or no religion.

We have also seen a sharp increase in politically- and religiously-motivated attacks, and I appreciate the First Presidency issuing this statement, which makes the Church's position on this matter clear. President Nelson has echoed the invitation previously issued by President Hinckley: "Bring all the good you have, and let us see if we can add to it."  That invitation still stands, but it is coupled with the doctrine found in the 11th article of faith (which is the only one that does not begin with "We believe"),

That article states the following: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." As the statement capably observed, a threat to the rights of anyone to practice their religion is a threat to the rights of all those who practice any or no religion. The Church's statement is yet another in the series of recent examples demonstrating just how much our apostles and prophets are aware of what's happening in the world, and are thus able to appropriately and unequivocally condemn such behavior.

Moving on to other Church news that has come in, a couple more articles have been released in relation to yesterday's dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple. President Nelson spoke to media representatives following that event, and he made some very interesting observations about how he views the Church, his recent South American trip, and regarding what's ahead for him. Among the things he said was that the Church is still in the process of being restored, and that "there is much more to come."

After sharing the history of the Church in Chile (including that of the Concepcion Chile Temple), the article goes on to talk about how rapidly the Church has expanded in South America since his birth in 1924. There were also insights shared from members whose families were among the first to join the Church as Chilean natives. It was also observed that the Concepcion Chile Temple was built with the view to protecting it from future natural disasters, and the article noted that, in the temple, an earthquake ranking at 10 on the Richter scale would, within the temple walls, only have an impact of 2 on that same scale.

President Nelson then made another remarkable statement. After reiterating the idea that prophets and apostles are called to serve the world, and not just to be special witnesses of Christ to the members of the Church, he said that the 5 countries he visited on this trip were just a "drop in the bucket", or, in other terms, he has barely scratched the surface. He announced his intention to do another leg of his Global Ministry Tour in the near future, and said that, while he may not get a chance to visit each of the over 200 nations in the world, he will get to as many as he can.

Noting that, I ran some calculations, and with President Nelson having visited Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, South America, and various areas of the United States and Canada, about the only regions he hasn't visited as Church president yet are the Pacific Islands (which, by extension, may include the Philippines) and Brazil. If I have any of that information incorrect, please feel free to let me know.

In the meantime, the man who wrote a recent biography for Pope Francis had the opportunity to sit down with and interview President Nelson during this leg of his South American trip, and noted some insights he gained through both scenarios about why leaders need to get close to the people they serve. And a photographer has provided some insight into what it is like to travel with the prophet. All of these news stories are well worthy of your time and attention, and I can recommend them to you all without reservation. I do continue to monitor any and all Church news stories and temple developments and will keep doing my level best to pass those along to you all as I receive word of it.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Further Changes On the Design and Layout of This Blog

Hello again, everyone! This will just be a quick post to note that I have continued to make periodic tweaks to the look, layout, and configuration of this blog. The layout as it now stands will hopefully provide a better experience for all of you who read it. A comment on content I posted several hours ago alerted me to some issues with some of the things I had tried to adjust, and hopefully I have fixed that issue, and no further tweaks will be necessary for the next little while.

That said, if any of you have any feedback for me on what is working and what isn't in relation to this new look and feel, I'd especially appreciate hearing from you. I am constantly gratified to know that my thoughts, such as they are, regarding things I feel impressed to "sound off" about are contributing, in some small way, to the ongoing discussion of Church news and temple developments.

I do continue to monitor all such things on an ongoing basis, and will, to the best of my ability, keep passing word of those along to you all as I receive it. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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, October 28, 2018

An Interesting Tidbit I Picked Up On/Upcoming Apostolic Birthdays

Hello again, everyone! While I am still planning on posting any updates I find regarding the dedication held earlier today for the Concepcion Chile Temple, I wanted to switch gears here for a minute and address a somewhat interesting tidbit I picked up on as I recently began scanning Church leader's biographies for any noted assignment changes.

As some of you might recall my mentioning previously here, the apostles (particularly the members of the Quorum of the Twelve) are given responsibility for the worldwide administration of the Church, and part of that involves having specific apostles assigned to specific areas. Such assignments are made and altered at the discretion of the President of the Church.

For a few years now at least, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has had a role in supervising the Middle East/Africa North Area (which is done from headquarters). And Elder L. Whitney Clayton has been assisting him with this assignment. But a recent recheck of Elder Clayton's biography notes that he now assists Elder David A. Bednar in the supervision of that area.

So what does that tell us? Different people might come to different conclusions in that regard. But it seems to me to be a safe assumption that the transferal of that assignment from Elder Holland to Elder Bednar may be because President M. Russell Ballard, the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is now 90 years of age, and if and when he passes away (assuming no other changes in the apostleship between now and that time), Elder Holland will, as the next in line, take over that assignment.

It appears that Elder Holland still has a role serving on the Church Board of Education, but perhaps this change indicates the First Presidency may want Elder Holland to be ready if he needs to take on that role in the future, which seems more likely than not. Of course, until anything official is announced, this is mainly just my personal opinion, and may be totally incorrect or not accounting for information that is unknown about this development.

That said, it wouldn't shock me to find out that I am correct in this theory. Currently, all 15 of our apostles appear to be in very good health, and 11 of the 15 are under 80 right now, while 7 of those 11 are under 70. Still, President Nelson has shown a willingness to tweak things now to prepare for the future, so I could see the wisdom in planning ahead for the future leadership of the Quorum if and when that becomes necessary.

In the meantime, as October winds to a close and November begins by the end of this week, I wanted to note that we have two apostles whose birthdays are coming up in November. On Tuesday November 6 (which coincides with Election Day here in the United States), Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf will be celebrating his 78th birthday. Exactly one week later, on Tuesday November 13, Elder Dale G. Renlund will observe his 66th birthday. You can count on my providing posts in honor of these two apostles on those dates.

I also continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to bring word of those to you all as I become aware of it. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Concepcion Chile Temple Dedicated as 160th Operating Temple by President Russell M. Nelson

Hello again, everyone! Given that it is now just after 1:00 PM Utah time, it is just after 4:00 PM Chilean time. This means that the third and final dedicatory session for the Concepcion Chile Temple is either still underway or nearing its' conclusion. The dedication of this temple is the culmination of President Russell M. Nelson's first South American leg of his ongoing Global Ministry Tour.

Church leaders in attendance at today's dedication included President Nelson and his wife Wendy W. Nelson, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife Lesa (who were the prophet's traveling companions during this trip), Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse and his wife Valerie, and General Authority Seventy Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Temple Department, and his wife, Lynda. Reportedly, other Church leaders were also in attendance, but I have not yet ascertained who those might have been.

Further information about this temple's dedication will be forthcoming throughout the day today, and I will bring that to you all as I receive word of it. For now, I wanted to pass along this article from the Newsroom website. It is touching to read about how kind Church leaders are to the young children they invite to help place mortar around the cornerstone.

Although this leg of the tour has gone on for a 9-day period, President Nelson shows no signs of fatigue or wanting to rest. As many of his traveling companions have observed throughout his ongoing Global Ministry Tour, as he speaks to and interacts with Church members around the world, he looks to be about 20-30 years younger than his actual age (94). And all agree that he has shown an incredible increase in energy and stamina as he has been out and about among the membership of the Church.

We are truly seeing a miraculous fulfillment of the promise contained in the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, as President Nelson has indeed been "sanctified by the Spirit to the renewal of [his] body." I share the hope of his Brethren that he will be around for the next decade or two. Whatever might occur with his ongoing ministry, you can count on my bringing a report of it to you all here as I become aware of such developments. In the meantime, I also continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple updates, and will pass those along as well in the future.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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, October 27, 2018

Clarification Provided On Church Pageants; President Nelson Prepares for the Dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple

Hello again, everyone! I posted web addresses for additional content which clarifies the Church statement released earlier today, but since I needed to post here again anyways to pass on some other news, I will also be sharing those contextual clarifications of the Church statement. Let's get right into all of that. First, to the clarification of the Church's statement. KSL posted this article on how the most well-known Church pageants will be affected by that statement. Meanwhile, the Church News and Events page provided additional context on the changes announced today.

My most interesting takeaway from that last article was the fact that it was stated point-blank that cultural celebrations the night before temple dedications had been discontinued, and that these would be replaced by a devotional for youth with presiding Church leaders that night. I would just like to interject a thought of my own here: Some may see this as President Nelson just undoing another thing President Monson lauded and supported (as the latter had spoken repeatedly about how much he enjoyed those celebrations), but there is more to it than that, aside from the Lord having instructed President Nelson to take this action.

It occurred to me that if the youth of the Church get too busy preparing to participate in the cultural celebration, that might be detrimental to and potentially take away from their ability to fully prepare for, enjoy, be inspired by, and get as much out of the dedication of the temple the following day. So reducing and simplifying things by letting the youth not focus on the pressure of performance and instead enjoy the opportunity to hear addresses from leaders directed to them on the night before the temple dedication definitely seems more appropriate to me.

Now, to the available report on this weekend's dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple. The Newsroom released this article spelling out what will be involved in the celebrations of this weekend. President and Sister Nelson and Elder and Sister Stevenson have addressed the youth at the devotional tonight (since it is now almost 11:00 PM Chilean time), and tomorrow, with dedicatory sessions held at 9 AM, noon, and 3 PM (which will be 6 & 9 AM and noon Utah time).

Joining the Nelsons and Stevensons for the dedicatory sessions will be Elder Larry Y. Wilson, Executive Director of the Temple Department, and Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse, who may be accompanied by their wives. The Newsroom notes that "other leaders" will be in attendance at the dedicatory sessions, but does not specify who else that will be. Within the next several hours, a report of the devotional will likely be made available, and I will pass word of that along to you all as I receive it.

In the meantime, I also continue to monitor any and all other Church news and temple developments and will keep doing my level best to pass word of those along to you all as I become aware of it. I am additionally working on assembling my initial predictions for the April 2019 General Conference and hope to have those posted before the end of this month, if all goes well.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Church Releases Official Statement on Local Celebrations; Other Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! Earlier today, the Church released this official statement on local celebrations. The wording of this statement seems to explain why the Church has shifted from cultural celebrations the night before a temple dedication to holding a devotional for the youth that night instead. Local celebrations will still be encouraged, and adjustments will be made in the future to continue, end, or modify larger-scale productions such as pageants. This is an interesting development. In the coming days, we will learn more about the extent of these changes, and I will be sure to pass word of those along to you all as I receive it.

In the meantime, there have been a few big Church news stories on which I wanted to focus here as well. I reported several days ago about how Bishop Dean M. Davies, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, dedicated a new Deseret Industries facility in Arizona. Yesterday, Bishop Davies represented the Church in presenting a $1.5 million check to the American Red Cross.

The Church has been a partner with that organization for many years in such endeavors as blood drives, donation collections, and so on. In light of the Church's numerous contributions to that organization, the Church was honored by the American Red Cross as the first-ever organization to be named a "Mission Leader", a title which emphasizes how much the American Red Cross values their partnership with the Church.

Bishop Davies was joined by Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, and Sister Jean B. Bingham, who serves as Relief Society General President. More complete reports on this development can be found in the Church News and the Newsroom on the Church's official website.

We now shift our attention to yet another edition of "This Week on Social". The latest article in that series is unique, as it only features social media posts from 6 of the 9 members of the female-led auxiliary presidencies of the Church. Their posts covered the topics of abuse, receiving and following revelation, finding peace, and the importance of serving.

I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Since President Nelson became Church President at the beginning of this year, I have noticed a significant increase in the number of Church news stories sharing highlights of service and counsel provided by the women of the Church on both the general and local level.

The first address President Nelson gave as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was directed to the women of the Church, and he has demonstrated how much the Church and its' leaders value the contributions and opinions of women. This article, focusing solely on social media posts from the women leaders of the Church, continues that tradition. And that is wonderful to see.

Next, roughly 35 years ago, President Gordon B. Hinckley, then Second Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Papeete Tahiti Temple as the fifth for Polynesia, the 25th operating temple of the Church, and one of six temples which were dedicated in 1983. The process of planning, constructing, and dedicating that temple had a miraculous history which is well worthy of review.

And finally, as noted in a previous post, the Church News had solicited feedback from women who had taken President Nelson's counsel about having a 10-day fast from social media. The Church News shared 3 quick takeaways from among the many responses on that subject. All of these articles were wonderful to read, and I can heartily and without hesitation recommend them to you all.

I do continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will keep doing my level best to pass word of those along to you here as I become aware of them. This weekend marks the dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple, so there will be coverage of that provided here as such information becomes available.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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, October 25, 2018

President Nelson & Companions Counsel Missionaries and Members in Uruguay/Temple Musings in Conjunction with the Imminent Conclusion of This Leg of that Tour

Hello again, everyone! After a 3-day hiatus to catch their breath (which was needed after being in three different time zones within the last week), Church President Russell M. Nelson and his traveling companions (his wife, Wendy W. Nelson and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Lesa) had the opportunity of meeting with missionaries and members in Uruguay, which is the second-to-last location they will be visiting prior to the end of the tour. The Newsroom on the Church's official website reported on their visit to Uruguay.

With them having concluded that part of their tour, they now have a one-day hiatus during which to travel to Concepcion Chile, the final stop on that tour, where the Church leaders will tour the temple for a final inspection prior to the youth devotional on Saturday and the dedication of the temple on Sunday. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that President Nelson is discontinuing the previous tradition of cultural celebrations in favor of allowing Church leaders in attendance at future temple events to address and encourage the youth on the night before future temple dedications or rededications are held.

That said, it appears that, when appropriate, cultural events will still take place in such regions, but not in conjunction with a temple dedication. And if Church leaders visit certain areas in the future, I can see a cultural celebration being held in conjunction with those visits as time and circumstances allow. It will be interesting to see what occurs in that regard.

In the meantime, I wanted to provide advanced notice of something I figured out earlier this week. The dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple this weekend will mean the Church will have 160 temples in operation. But that also means that the Church is another temple closer to having 200 operating temples by the 200th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Church (which will, as noted, occur on Saturday April 6, 2030). So, on Sunday, with 40 temples remaining to be dedicated in the 11.44 years between then and the Church's bicentennial, the average number of temples needing to be dedicated will shrink to an average 3.5 per year.

While only one other temple (the Barranquilla Colombia Temple) set to be dedicated before the end of this year, 2018 falls below any previous averages I have offered. But 2 temples have already been set to have a dedication occur during the first third of 2019, and there are a grand total of 4 others which will almost certainly be dedicated during the remaining two thirds of 2019. So with a total of 6 temples almost certain to be dedicated next year, 2018 and 2019 will even out to an average 4 temple dedications per year.

And within the first 6-8 months of 2020, 3 other temples are on track to have their dedications. So by this time in 2020, the average number of temples needing to be dedicated will have decreased significantly. I also cannot and will not rule out the prospect that several of the temples which will have a groundbreaking or otherwise see their construction processes begin within the next 8-10 months might also have their dedications occur during 2020.

I hope these thoughts will prove helpful to at least some of you who read them. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! Over the last couple of days, several more Church news stories have been reported. This post will pass along the most significant ones. Let's get right into all of those. First of all, some updated stories have been shared regarding President Nelson's first South American leg of his ongoing Worldwide Ministry Tour.

As previously reported, President Nelson dismissed his interpreter during his time in Lima Peru, and spoke to the Saints assembled in that congregation in their native tongues, becoming the first Church president to speak extensively in a language not his own. A posted video shows what happened when President Nelson did so and how the members in that congregation reacted.

In another leg of his journey (where he stopped in Paraguay), his visit had an unforgetable impact on the congregation, and some missionaries traveled 48 hours to be there for his visit to Paraguay. Meanwhile, in other Church news today, it was announced earlier today that the Church had developed a website which is now available for those dealing with the effects of abuse.

In the meantime, another article recently published in the "Living Faith" section of that website, including an explanation of how that website is complying with the reemphasized guidelines about the name of the Church.

In another article covering the opening of the new Deseret Industries in Arizona, the Church News explains how those facilities look at people and products without labels, while a member of the Church News staff provided a look at how accepting President Nelson's challenge to read the Book of Mormon by the end of this year affected her in a positive way..

And finally, at a BYU-Provo Campus Devotional, Stephen W. Owen, who serves as Young Men General President, shared 3 important things each of us can do to draw closer to God. I do continue to monitor any and all reported Church news and temple developments and will, to the best of my ability, keep passing word of those along to you all as I receive it.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Major Updates Reported on Durban South Africa Temple

Hello again, everyone! Major updates have been reported today for the Durban South Africa Temple. Earlier today, the Angel Moroni statue was installed atop that temple, and where art glass and lamp-posts have begun to be installed. These developments are very encouraging. Given that the installation of that statue has generally signified a major step towards its' completion, I feel confident in standing by my previously-offered estimate that this temple could be dedicated in early-to-mid August of next year.

I do continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to pass word of those along to you all as I receive word of them. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Template Changes for This Blog

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post here and now with a bit of personal business related to this blog. A few moments ago, I found out that, due to an update of the template I had been using here, the background for this blog was showing up as black, with no other color or design. I have therefore changed the background yet again as a result. I invite any of you who would like to do so to share your thoughts on the new template I am using, and particularly whether it works well for any of you on any of the devices you are using to access this blog.

I apologize for any inconvenience these changes may cause, but it was sadly unavoidably necessary. I do continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to pass word of those along to you all as I receive it. In point of fact, I was working on a post about recent new temple information which has come to my attention. Look for that within the next hour or less.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Lengths of Talks Given by Apostles During the October 2018 General Conference

Hello again, everyone! Given the high volume of things I have passed along here this month, particularly leading up to and following General Conference, with the ministry of our apostles, and the temple developments and Church news, I inadvertently neglected to pass along the compilation of data I had collected on the lengths of the General Conference addresses given by our apostles earlier this month.

That data follows below, and I hope it will interest at least some of you. So as not to disturb the flow of that information, I will end here and now as I always do. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time.

Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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 Dieter F. Uchtdorf—19:38
President Russell M. Nelson (GW)—16:18
Elder Quentin L. Cook—16:13
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland—16:12
President Henry B. Eyring (SUA)—15:59
President Dallin H. Oaks (SAM)—15:48
Elder David A. Bednar—15:45
Elder Ronald A. Rasband—15:41
Elder Neil L. Andersen—15:37
President Russell M. Nelson (SUM)—15:43
President M. Russell Ballard—15:19
Elder Gary E. Stevenson—15:10
Elder D. Todd Christofferson—15:09
Elder Gerrit W. Gong—14:46
Elder Ulisses Soares—14:35
President Henry B. Eyring (GW)—14:02
Elder Dale G. Renlund—13:48
President Dallin H. Oaks (GW)—13:14
President Russell M. Nelson (SUA)—8:02
President Russell M. Nelson (SAM)—6:37
President Henry B. Eyring (SAA; Sustaining of Church Officers)—5:39


Observations On the Newly-Available PDF Version of the November 2018 Ensign

Hello again, everyone! The PDF version of the November 2018 Ensign is now available online for download. In conjunction with this development, I have new information about changes which have been made to the editor and advisers of the Church magazines. Here is a look at what has changed in that regard:

November 2018:
Editor: Randy D. Funk
Advisers: Brian K. Ashton, Randall K. Bennett, Becky Craven, Sharon Eubank, Cristina B. Franco, Donald L. Hallstrom, Larry S. Kacher, Erich W. Kopischke, Lynn G. Robbins

Released as editor: Hugo E. Martinez (in view of new area presidency assignment)
Called as editor: Randy D. Funk
Released as adviser: Randy D. Funk
Called as adviser: Larry S. Kacher

Additionally, as per my usual semiannual tradition, I am pleased to provide a look at how the potential table of contents for that Ensign compares to the actual thing. That follows below. So as not to disturb the flow of that information, I will end here and now as I always do. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. 

Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Possible Table of Contents for the November 2018 Ensign (Text in parentheses indicate what actually occurred)
Session
Page
Title
Speaker

2
Conference Summary for the 188th Annual General Conference


4
Highlights from the 188th Annual General Conference

SAM
8 (6)
Opening Remarks
President Russell M. Nelson

11 (8)
Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
Elder Quentin L. Cook

14 (12)
Lift Up Your Head and Rejoice
M. Joseph Brough

16 (15)
Laying the Foundation of a Great Work
Elder Steven R. Bangerter

18
Be Not Troubled
Elder Ronald A. Rasband

22 (21)
Gather Together in One All Things in Christ
Elder David A. Bednar

26 (25)
Truth and the Plan
President Dallin H. Oaks
SAA
30 (28)
The Sustaining of Church Officers
President Henry B. Eyring

32 (30)
Firm and Steadfast in the Faith of Christ
Elder D. Todd Christofferson

36 (34)
Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice
Bishop Dean M. Davies

39 (37)
One in Christ
Elder Ulisses Soares

42 (40)
Our Campfire of Faith
Elder Gerrit W. Gong

45 (43)
All Must Take upon Them the Name Given of the Father
Elder Paul B. Pieper

48 (46)
Believe, Love, Do
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
GW
52 (50)
For Him
Joy D. Jones

54 (52)
Divine Discontent
Michelle D. Craig

56 (55)
The Joy of Unselfish Service
Cristina B. Franco

58
Women and Gospel Learning in the Home
President Henry B. Eyring

62 (61)
Parents and Children
President Dallin H. Oaks

66 (68)
Sisters’ Participation in the Gathering of Israel
President Russell M. Nelson
SUM
70 (71)
The Vision of the Redemption of the Dead
President M. Russell Ballard

78 (74)
Becoming a Shepherd
Bonnie H. Cordon

82 (77)
The Ministry of Reconciliation
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

86 (80)
The Role of the Book of Mormon in Conversion
Elder Shayne M. Bowen

88 (83)
Wounded
Elder Neil L. Andersen

92 (87)
The Correct Name of the Church
President Russell M. Nelson
SUA
96 (90)
Try, Try Try
President Henry B. Eyring

100 (93)
The Father
Brian K. Ashton

103 (97)
Taking upon Ourselves the Name of Christ
Elder Robert C. Gay

106 (101)
Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?
Elder Matthew L. Carpenter

108 (104)
Choose You This Day
Elder Dale G. Renlund

112 (107)
Now is the Time
Elder Jack N. Gerard

114 (110)
Shepherding Souls
Elder Gary E. Stevenson

118 (113)
Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints
President Russell M. Nelson





72 (64)
General Authorities and General Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints






120 (115)
Conference Story Index


122 (116)
News of the Church


132 (128)
Last Page of Conference Ensign