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Friday, November 30, 2018

Temple Construction Updates/Further Adjustments to Specific Estimates Now Necessary

Hello again, everyone! During the time I was stuck at the hospital, a whole new set of temple developments were reported. I have taken time over the last 16 hours or so as my health has allowed to update my temple construction progress report with the latest updates and changes. Due to the extensive nature of the reported developments, I will need to post my entire report this time, for which I apologize profusely. And in view of the changes noted in red text, it looks like another revision will be needed for my more specific estimates for future temple events. Look for that within the next 7-10 days as time, circumstances, and my health allows that to be put together.

I do continue to monitor all major Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to bring word of those to you all here as I receive such information. In the meantime, the updated report 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, so long as those comments follow the established parameters and guidelines. 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.


Temple Construction Progress (current as of 11/30/18)

Note about future temple construction: I have previously referenced the statement made by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Temple Department Executive Director, to the effect that 80 temples were on a list of locations that would be considered for an official announcement within the 15 years following that statement. And although we may not know whether or not those 80 locations have been announced by late April 2032, it seems reasonable to believe that the Church could (and likely will) have at least 200 operating temples by or before Saturday April 6, 2030 (which will mark the Church’s bicentennial anniversary).

With the 12 temples announced during the October 2018 General Conference, the Church now has a total of 201 temples in any phase. With that and plans to accelerate the temple construction process in mind, it is more likely than not that there will be 200 operating temples by or before Saturday April 6, 2030 (which will mark the Church’s bicentennial anniversary), whether or not an official goal is made to do so. The Church would just need to complete 40 of the temples in various phases in the 11.35 years between now and then, which could be done if 3.52 temples are dedicated each year. Since 6 or 7 more temples will be dedicated within the next year, I can easily see the Church having 200 temples in operation by that date, and would anticipate there being more than that. Time will tell, but it seems to be a safe bet.

Current temple status: The Church has 201 temples in various phases. There are 160 in operation; 1 of which is preparing for its’ dedication; 3 more for which a dedication has been scheduled; 7 others which are currently in various phases of construction; and 2 additional temples for which a groundbreaking has been scheduled. Also, 11 temples are currently closed for renovation (6 or 7 of which are anticipated to be rededicated next year). The remaining 28 are announced, several of which are likely to have a groundbreaking in 2019 and the years following that.

During the October General Conference, President Nelson also announced that many more operating temples will be renovated in the near future, including several pioneer-era temples (most significantly the Salt Lake Temple), and that more information will be released in the coming months about which temples are closing, and what the renovations will involve and entail.

Preparing for dedication:
161.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Preparing for dedication, which is scheduled for Sunday December 9, 2018.

Dedication Scheduled:                                                                                       
162. Rome Italy Temple: Interior finish work underway; volunteers being sought for public open house; dedication scheduled for Sunday March 10-Tuesday March 12, 2019.
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Landscaping nearing completion; interior finish work underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday April 14, 2019.
164. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Stone cladding continues on exterior walls; open house and dedication dates announced on November 14, 2018; dedication scheduled for Sunday May 19, 2019.

Under construction, completion anticipated during 2019:
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Interior finish work underway; completion estimated sometime during mid-2019.
166. Durban South Africa Temple: Painting, millwork, plumbing, and electrical progressing; information technology equipment delivered; completion estimated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Angel Moroni installed; stone cladding nearing completion; installation of stained glass windows underway; meetinghouse gardens being planted; completion estimated sometime during late 2019.

Temples anticipated to be completed sometime during 2020:
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: Stone cladding the cupola; completion estimated sometime during early 2020.
169. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Scaffolding placed around tower; stone cladding of exterior walls continues; installation of stained glass windows underway; completion estimated sometime during early 2020.
170. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Pouring footings for temple foundation; new rendering released; completion estimated sometime during mid-2020.

Temples anticipated to be completed sometime during 2020 or 2021:
171. Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire Temple: Setting piles for construction barrier; completion estimated sometime during late 2020-early 2021.

Groundbreaking scheduled:
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Official rendering released; preparing for groundbreaking, which is scheduled for Wednesday January 16, 2019; completion estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2021.
173. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Site cleared; scaffolding and debris netting placed around old Church office building; preparing for groundbreaking, which is scheduled for Saturday January 26, 2019; completion estimated sometime during mid-2022.


Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during 2019):
13. Oakland California Temple: Closed for renovation; Christmas lights on display as work progresses on interior; rededication estimated sometime during mid-2019.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Closed for renovation; baptismal font oxen in place; laying tile; installing millwork; adding hard landscaping elements; rededication estimated sometime during mid-2019.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Closed for renovation; angel Moroni installed on November 29, 2018; rededication estimated sometime during mid-2019.
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Closed for renovation; stone cladding front exterior walls and tower; rededication estimated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Closed for renovation; process of stone cladding the exterior walls has begun; rededication estimated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; laying pavers for expanded parking lot; renovating exterior walls of villa; completion estimated sometime during 2019.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Closed for renovation; interior and exterior work underway; rededication estimated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during 2020):
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Closed for renovation; exterior and interior renovations underway; rededication estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Closed for renovation; interior completely dismantled; exterior renovations progressing; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
8. Mesa Arizona Temple: Closed for renovation; removing windows; grading the grounds; clearing visitors’ center site; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during 2021):
11. Hamilton New Zealand Temple: Closed for renovation; dismantling interior; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2021.

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):
174. Pocatello Idaho Temple: Government approval process; streets around temple site opened; groundbreaking anticipated in early 2019.
175. Saratoga Springs Utah Temple: Government approval phase; probable site identified; awaiting official confirmation and artist’s rendering; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2019.
176. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2019.
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.
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.
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.
180. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking could occur in mid-to-late 2019.
181. Layton Utah Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in early 2020.
182. Richmond Virginia Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in early-to-mid 2020.
183. Managua Nicaragua Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in early-to-mid 2020.
184. Salta Argentina Temple: Planning and approval phase; announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in mid-2020.
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.
186. Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in ­mid-2020.
187. Auckland New Zealand Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could occur in mid-to-late 2020.

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; awaiting official site announcement.
191. Russia Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official location and site announcement.
192. Mendoza Argentina Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
193. Salvador Brazil Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
194. Yuba City, California Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
195. Praia Cape Verde Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
196. Yigo Guam Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
197. Puebla Mexico Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
198. Lagos Nigeria Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
199. Davao Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
200. San Juan Puerto Rico Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official site announcement.
201. Washington County Utah Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting official city and site announcement.

Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose numbers already exists (for renovations), or is certain due to a scheduled dedication, as well as information that is certain, such as dedication or groundbreaking dates.
Italicized numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on progress towards planning, approval, and groundbreaking.
Changes since last report are highlighted in red.




Thursday, November 29, 2018

Personal Update/Upcoming Projects For This Blog & Church Events

Hello again, everyone! It has been 12 days since my last post, and I feel I owe all of you an explanation. In the late night hours when Saturday November 18 became Sunday November 19, I became violently ill. For a while, I resisted my wife's insistence that we take me to the emergency room, but after reevaluating my symptoms and motivations, I agreed with her assessment, and we headed out.

A few hours later, while at the ER, we discovered I had a couple of kidney stones. After some very rapid investigations and doctor consultations, we were able to get the worst of that problem dealt with, though I will have to go back in at some point to finalize that process. Over the following 8-9 days, I initially was in recuperation, but then became ill again. After some additional tests, we learned that my appendix had become enlarged, and were told that, while there was no imminent danger of additional problems from that condition, getting it removed would likely be beneficial.

And so my wife and I discussed what was to be done. At first, I remained a little stubborn and didn't want to go through with it. But after the two of us had a prayer together, my wife ran home to take care of some errands. Left alone with my thoughts, I received a very strong and direct rebuke from the Lord, which was so clear it could not be mistaken as anything else: I needed to have the procedure done. First thing  yesterday morning, I was wheeled into the OR where we got that taken care of. My progress was steady enough that the doctors arranged for my release to go home in the mid-to-latter part of the evening. I have been recuperating at home ever since.

With that explanation given, I wanted to apologize for a few things, whether or not anyone else feels I need to do so. First, with my condition being what it was, I did not have the health or physical capacity to track/report on Church news and temple developments within this period of time. Second, while I did see the latest comments added to this blog, I was unable to reply to them before now (though I did try repeatedly to do so while my in-hospital recuperation continued).

Third, since i couldn't get replies posted to the comments recently added to this blog, I was likewise unable to post this personal update within the last week or so. And finally, with my having spent the last 10 days in the hospital, I have lots of updates to make to some of the personal files I keep (most notably those related to apostolic milestones and temple construction. What that means for this blog over the next little while is that it may be a minimum week or two (but possibly longer) before I will be able to get back to the meticulous, minute reports on day-to-day Church news and temple developments which have been typically found on this blog throughout the last year.

That said, I will be sure to bring all major developments to you (including any and all breaking Church news and major temple developments, in addition to the latest apostolic milestones). Among those specific projects I have in mind for the immediate and near future will be the birthday tributes for Elders Jeffrey R. Holland (who is set to observe his 78th birthday on December 3) and Gerrit W. Gong (who will celebrate his 65th birthday on December 23).

The week before Elder Gong's birthday (December 16, which will coincide with my own birthday), it is my hope to bring you the final apostolic statistical update for this year. But my top priority after updating the files I referenced earlier will be fulfilling my promise to finalize and publish my April 2019 General Conference predictions. The main hold-up on those is the work that remains in annotating the important information supporting the candidates on my list of locations which could have a temple announced next April.

But hopefully ax I continue to heal from my most recent health adventure, those things will quickly be able to be put together and published here on my blog, and, as noted, if all goes well, I would anticipate being able to resume the more complete reports of Church news and temple developments sometime within the next month or two. In the meantime, for those who want to track the developments which I won't be able to report on during this time, you can find them via the Church News website, the Church of Jesus Christ Temples page, the News & Events page on the Church's official website, and, of course, the Church's official Newsroom.

Also upcoming this weekend will be the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional, which is anticipate to include 3-4 speakers, one each from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and one or two others from among the other general authorities and general officers of the Church. President Nelson has shown a willingness to deviate from typical patterns when the Lord prompts him to do so, so something similar may occur this Sunday. Then, a week after that, Church leaders are set to dedicate the Barranquilla Colombia Temple.

I mentioned earlier that Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund would be the featured speakers for the first Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults next year (which will be held on Sunday January 13). But the Church has also since noted that Elder Ronald A. Rasband, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will be the featured speaker at the annual "Evening with a General Authority", which, as some of you may be aware, is the broadcast for seminary and institute instructors and their spouses. Less than one month later, on March 2, RootsTech, which is a Church-sponsored organization supporting family history, will hold their annual Discovery Day.

April General Conference will be held over the weekend of Saturday April 6-Sunday April 7. Then on May 2-3, BYU will hold its' annual Women's Conference, which will feature speakers from among the general leadership of the Church. The following Sunday, on May 5, Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy will be the featured speaker for the Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults. The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present their annual Pioneer Day Concert on July 20.

The final Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults in 2019 is set for September 8, with the speaker to be announced within the next few months. October General Conference will occur during the weekend of October 5-6. And the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional for 2019 will be held on Sunday December 8. This list of upcoming events does not include scheduled temple events, which will be detailed in full on the next version of my temple construction progress report which I also hope to post at some point within the next week (if not sooner).

Thank you all for bearing with me through my recent ordeal, and even moreso as I continue to recover therefrom. I do continue to monitor any and all major Church news and temple developments as I can, and will bring word of the most significant updates to you ASAP. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments align with the purposes and goals of this blog.

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, November 17, 2018

Additional Temple Developments and Church News Stories Reported

Hello again, everyone! Although I am more than 24 hours later than I'd hoped or intended to be in starting this post, I wanted to pass along, as promised, some additional temple developments and Church news stories. There are quite a few significant developments to report, so let's get right into all of that. We will start with the temple updates, then turn in conclusion to the additional Church news.

Two significant temple developments have been reported. On Thursday, the new artist's rendering for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple was released. You can see the significant differences as follows: The Church's report on the groundbreaking for that temple (which occurred on December 3, 2016) shows the initial exterior look for that temple (which you can find in the second-to-last image accompanying that report.)

Then yesterday, the subpage for that temple on the Church of Jesus Christ Temples website provided a look at the new design for that temple. Although Tyndall stone was incorporated in both of those designs for that temple, most of the exterior of the temple in the newly-released design will utilize brick, rather than stone. I am not entirely sure as to why that redesign was necessary, but if the changes have enabled the Church to begin full-scale construction on this project, the process of changing the design will have been well worth it in the long run. I am not sure whether copyright law in relation to these two images would allow me to post them here, so to err on the side of caution, I hope it is sufficient enough for me to post the information on where those images can be viewed.

The second temple development on which I wanted to focus relates to one of the announced temples. I mentioned previously that the process of preparing the final building for its' demolishment on the grounds of the Bangkok Thailand Temple site was underway. Earlier today, it was reported that debris netting has now been placed around the building. I am not quite sure how long the actual demolition process is anticipated to take. But given the fact that it is now just past 6:40 AM on Sunday morning in Thailand, it will likely be another 24 hours before we hear anything more on that process.

I still think it would be awesome if the Church could break ground for this temple and if construction can get underway on it before the end of this year, but it may be a while before we know whether or not that can feasibly happen. Other than these developments, nothing else has changed in terms of temple developments. But I hope we will hear more news about the Bangkok Thailand Temple and the Urdaneta Philippines Temple in the coming weeks. I am similarly anticipating that we might hopefully hear soon that the dedication of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple and the rededications of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma and Memphis Tennessee Temples have been set.

In the meantime, let's turn our attention to Church news updates.  First, from the Church's official Newsroom website, we have a report shared from the Pacific edition of that site on how Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon and Primary General President Joy D. Jones are taking time to get to know and minister to many Latter-day Saints in the Pacific Area of the Church.

Other Church news stories describe how 8 couples have been called by the First Presidency to oversee and direct tours for Church members and friends of other faiths who are visiting prominent Church history sites, and also a wide-ranging conversation with former Relief Society General President and Young Women General Presidency member Julie B. Beck as she prepares to publish a new book.

The Church News has also shared this account of how 3 apostles (Elders Holland, Bednar and Cook), along with Elder Robert C. Gay of the Presidency of the Seventy, Relief Society General President Sister Jean B. Bingham, Elder Kim B. Clark, the Commissioner of Church Education, BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Clark S. Glibert and his wife Sister Christine Gilbert were all featured in a devotional broadcast held for students involved in the BYU-Pathway Worldwide program.  With the exception of President and Sister Gilbert and Elder Clark, all other participants in that broadcast serve as members of the Executive Committee of the Boards for the Church Educational System.

Finally, from the News & Events page on the Church's official website, Latter-day Saints living in southern Texas are anxiously anticipating the visit of Church President Russell M. & Sister Wendy W. Nelson, Elder David A. and Sister Susan K. Bednar, and Elder Adrian and Sister Nancy Ochoa, who are set to speak to Saints in a devotional scheduled tomorrow which will be held at the Alamodrome.

Also, Sister Vicki G. Jackman, who serves as a member of the Young Women General Board, shares some thoughts on her most influential teacher, someone whose life and example demonstrated a life woven with threads of testimony. And in the wake of the wildfire and campfires that decimated Paradise, California, local bishops continue to minister to members of their congregations whose homes were destroyed. What a wonderful time in which we live, where the latest Church news and temple developments are so consistently available to us on such a significant scale.

I continue to monitor all such reports and remain committed to bringing word of those to you all as I receive it. I also continue to work on my initial predictions for the April 2019 General Conference and hope to bring those to you for discussion here at some point next week, 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.

Friday, November 16, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: First Presidency Announces Change in Church Service Missionary Procedures

Hello again, everyone! Earlier today, the First Presidency announced changes to the way Church service missionaries will get their calls and assignments going forward. An official letter has been sent with the signature of the First Presidency. In both the announcement and the letter, it is explained that all who desire to serve a mission for the Church will go through the same process of filling out missionary papers, having doctor and dental examinations, and submitting that material to Salt Lake for consideration.

Upon receipt of those papers through the website, the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with representatives from the Missionary Department, will weigh the available information as they seek for inspiration. Those who are found to have health conditions which would make full-time service impractical will then receive a letter of call, signed by the Church President, with the designated field of labor being noted as "Church Service Missionary", on either a full- or part-time basis. At that point, such prospective missionaries will work with their local leaders to determine an appropriate way in which they can serve locally.

But there is more to these changes than that. Those full-time missionaries who are honorably released to go home early in view of outstanding health issues will have the option, as they are able to do so, to complete the length of their mission as Church service missionaries as well. And the Church will continue the established tradition of honorably excusing anyone who is unable to serve as a missionary either full-time or in a Church Service Mission.

As one whose personal health required me to be honorably excused from full-time missionary service, I can tell you that the part-time Church Service Missionary opportunities I had were a good fit for my personal situation. But I had been honorably excused from serving full-time by my local leaders and had been able to choose my own opportunities.

While some family members wanted me to consider serving in the Family and Church History Mission in Salt Lake, now known as the Church Headquarters Mission, I had prayed about it and had felt impressed to assist with local humanitarian efforts 2-3 days per week and to serve 2 shifts per week as a veil worker in the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple. I spent two years filling the former assignment, during which time I also served in the temple as well, and I extended my temple service for four years after my formal assignment ended.

And those opportunities worked out well for me personally, since the continuation of my temple service after the end of my tenure as a Welfare Services Missionary ultimately led me to meet the woman I would later marry in that same temple. During my two-year service period, I often lamented that the one thing which never happened for me was to have that official call letter signed by the President of the Church. Only that would have made the opportunities I did that much more meaningful.

But it seems that the First Presidency is recognizing that that official letter has been a missed part of the experience for the past and current Church Service Missionaries around the world, and I am glad that this step has been taken to rectify that situation. I am likewise grateful to have been able to pass word of this development on to you all here. I continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments on an ongoing basis and will do my level best to keep bringing word of those to you all here as I receive it. Look for another Church news/temple update later today.

In the meantime, 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, November 15, 2018

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! I am back again now to share the promised update covering the latest Church news. Let's get right into that topic. We will start with those articles covered both on the Church's Newsroom and on the Church News website, then move on to discuss only those stories shared so far elsewhere on the Church website, then end with articles either unique to the Church News or shared by that resource prior to their subsequent appearance on the Church's official website. Here we go.

First, as of yesterday, all of our 15 apostles have an official Instagram account. In a day when there have been more options to share inspiring messages on social media, the Brethren continue to be committed to utilize as many as feasibly possible to communicate with Church members and friends of other faiths in their ongoing efforts to minister to, inspire, and uplift everyone around the world, for whom they have that responsibility. More details on the Newsroom blog and the Church News.

Both the Church News and the Newsroom also shared the open house and dedication information that has been announced for the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple. Moving on now to stories unique to the Church website, there has been another edition published of "Latter-day Saints Around the World", which showcases stories from different countries' editions of the Newsroom website.

In the latest edition inspiring stories are highlighted from the following nations: Germany (sharing a report of Elder Cook's recent visit to Europe); Guatemala (sharing a report of Elder Soares' recent visit); Singapore; Australia; the United Kingdom; the Philippines; the Africa Southeast Area (which shares a report of the Angel Moroni being raised atop the Durban South Africa Temple).

There were two other stories published on the Newsroom that I wanted to mention as well, which have to do with what I have mentioned previously, that the Church has featured more coverage lately of the efforts of the women of the Church (particularly those 9 in the female-led auxiliary presidencies) as they minister worldwide. Those two stories deal with that subject, with this account of how Primary General President Joy D. Jones and her husband Robert, along with Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon and her husband Derek joined Elder Ian S. Ardern, First Counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency and his wife Paula, in addition to area seventy Carl R. Maurer and local leader Mark McNamee in a humanitarian service project.

In the meantime, Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, recently paid a visit to Native American Latter-day Saints living in the North America Southwest Area. The Newsroom shared this summary of that visit. And from elsewhere on the Church website, we have an announcement that Saroo Brierly (who was the inspiration for the movie "Lion") will be the keynote speaker at RootsTech next year.  Other speakers (including those from the general leadership of the Church) will be announced closer to the time.

The Church has also announced that Elder Dale G. Renlund and his wife Ruth L. Renlund will be the featured speakers at the first Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults in 2019, which will, as previously noted, be held on January 13 @ 6:00 PM MST. And the Church's #LighttheWorld Campaign, held annually in December, will not only focus on service to others, but will place special emphasis on ministering to others as the Savior would. More details can be found at the official website the Church has established for the campaign on mormon.org (where an official name change is, of course, naturally still pending a determination).

There are other stories that have been shared on both the Church website and by the Church News. Among them are Elder Holland's address to the Mormon studies symposium in which he urged the organization to change its' name based on President Nelson's request in that regard, another symposium address from emeritus General Authority and former Church Historian and Recorder, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, who shared how he gained a testimony of the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith, and the address given by Elder Shayne M. Bowen at this week's BYU-Provo devotional.

We end now with content unique to the Church News, which may subsequently be confirmed on the Church's official website. First and most significantly, Church President Russell M. Nelson, accompanied by his wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife Susan K. Bednar, and Elder Adrian Ochoa, who serves as Second Counselor in the North America Southwest Area Presidency, and his wife, Sister Nancy Ochoa, are set to speak this Sunday at a devotional for Saints in the San Antonio Texas area. This continues our prophet's ongoing Global Ministry Tour.

Among other stories that are important are how Saints on social media are reacting to the devastating fire which occurred in Paradise, California (and for which other fire departments, including many right here in Utah, sent volunteers to help fight it), another report on how Latter-day Saints have been affected by that fire (which included the Church losing two of its' meetinghouses in the affected areas), and one other on Church members who have lost their homes as a result of those fires.

The Church News also reported on how a Church missionary died in the Ivory Coast at around the same time Elder Andersen was there last week for the groundbreaking of the temple in Abidjan. Another inspiring story covers how a couple found strength in each other at a time when the husband lost his faith and left the Church.

In 1926, Melvin J. Ballard, one of the two apostolic grandfathers of President M. Russell Ballard, visited South America in 1926 and made a remarkable prophecy that is still being fulfilled (one recent example of that is the call of the first South American apostle, Elder Ulisses Soares earlier this year). There was an electric feeling in the air when President Hinckley promised the Saints in Fiji a temple three years before he fulfilled that promise by announcing a temple in Suva.

The First Presidency has begun the process of announcing the new MTC presidents who will begin serving in January. This week's announced MTC presidents were all, with one exception, formerly area seventies. There was an account of lessons learned from the first South American leg of his ongoing Global Ministry Tour.

Some members of the Church in the curriculum department, along with members who were part of the Church's pilot program to test the new home curriculum. A Book of Mormon allegedly owned by Elvis has been proven recently to be a forgery (which is demonstrated by an article full of Elvis-themed puns).

This concludes the Church news updates I wanted to share. Thank you all for bearing with me through the sheer magnitude and volume of that report. I continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments, and hopefully I will get to the next Church news update before it becomes a massive one like this.

I also continue to monitor any and all temple developments and will pass any word of those along as I can once I become aware of them. In the days ahead, in addition to those topics, I hope to post and begin to invite comments on my April 2019 General Conference predictions, which I am still finalizing.

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, November 14, 2018

Updated Future Estimates for Known Temple Events

Hello again, everyone! In view of the unexpected but welcome announcement made earlier today about the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple's open house and dedication, some subsequent adjustments needed to be made to other general and specific estimates. Most significantly, many of the sources I have available to me now note that, in view of that announced dedication for Haiti, the general completion estimate for the Fortaleza Brazil Temple has now shifted from early-to-mid 2019 to mid-2019.

What does that mean for my estimate of its' future dedication time-frame? Well, in my opinion, construction on the Fortaleza Temple has progressed fairly steadily in recent months. So my feeling currently is that that temple's dedication might only be delayed by roughly 2-4 weeks from what I previously suggested. I have set a more specific estimate for early-to-mid June on that one.

As I have also mentioned, the general completion estimates for temples undergoing renovation have been known to fluctuate quite a bit. Case in point: the Frankfurt Germany Temple closed in 2015, and was originally anticipated to be rededicated sometime last year. At the beginning of this year, it was thought that that temple could be rededicated in the early-to-mid point of 2019. And right now, many of the sources I have available have removed any mention of a general estimate, now merely noting that a rededication is anticipated to occur sometime in 2019.

In earlier posts I have done, I made reference to the fact that the Church had called new presidents for the Asuncion Paraguay, Frankfurt Germany, and Oakland California Temple, in anticipation of their service beginning early next year following the rededications for each of those temples. As we now know, the temple in Asuncion just barely had its' renovation process begin late last month, almost a year after its' original closure date. So that one may not be dedicated until sometime during late 2019 and early 2020.

I have already mentioned the situation of the Frankfurt Temple. The temple in Oakland is, according to my sources (among whom is a member living within that temple district) anticipated to reopen at some point next year (I believe the member mentioned that was anticipated at some point in mid-2019), but it is an older temple as well. So until we know for a fact that the rededication of each of these three temples will occur sooner than anticipated, I have felt a need to be more conservative in my estimates for those temples.

On the other hand, newer temples (such as Oklahoma City Oklahoma, Memphis Tennessee, Raleigh North Carolina, and Baton Rouge Louisiana) which were originally dedicated as part of President Hinckley's smaller-temple design program, have progressed fairly steadily, and for that reason, both general and more specific estimates for those temples are much easier to pin down currently.

There are two other elements involved here as well: First, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the construction process for the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple is, according to a statement made by Elder Andersen at its' groundbreaking, only anticipated to take about two years. So a shift in my general and more specific estimates for that temple were also necessary. And the second element I wanted to mention is not knowing what to make of the situation of announced temples.

There are quite a few that seem to be fairly close to a groundbreaking, but it is not currently known as of yet whether any other temples will have a groundbreaking this year. I would be elated to see one, two, or even three more have that occur in the remaining weeks of 2018, but there is not enough known at the moment to draw any kind of conclusion in that regard.

Therefore, while I once previously felt very comfortable with the idea of estimating time-frames for the groundbreakings and subsequent dedications of announced temples, my recent study indicates that is more speculation than I am comfortable making at this time. For that reason, only the currently-known time-frames for dedications and rededications will be included.

I also wanted to note that I still intend to do a post covering Church news updates, but between feeling unwell and having more pressing subjects to report on, I haven't been able to make that happen. I wanted to mention as well that I am also hard at work as I can be on my initial predictions for next April's General Conference. With any luck, you can look for those either later this week or sometime next week as I am able to get them done.

That said, the updated estimates follow 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.


Specific Estimates for Known Temple Events in the Near Future

2018:
Sunday December 9: Dedication of the Barranquilla Colombia Temple (161st operating temple; confirmed)
Note: Given President Nelson’s commitment to travel and be out among the Saints as much as he can, I would not be surprised if this event fit into a larger one (although it might be smaller than the two we have seen so far) as an extension of his ongoing Global Ministry Tour.

Final note on 2018: I had heard that this year would be a potentially big one for temple groundbreakings. Aside from the Abidjan temple, I am waiting for further word on the Urdaneta Philippines and Bangkok Thailand Temples as well, but it would not shock me if either or both only saw their construction begin in 2019.

2019:
Sunday March 10-Sunday March 17: Dedication of the Rome Italy Temple (162nd operating temple; confirmed)
Note: Given that the dedication of this temple will occur over an 8-day period, I would not in any way be shocked if attendance at this dedication was rotated through all 15 of our current apostles.
Saturday & Sunday April 6 & 7: 189th General Conference
Note: Because 19 temples were announced in 2018, and because President Nelson has expressed his commitment to continuing to bring temples closer to the Saints around the world, I am sure we will see several new temples announced.
Sunday April 14: Dedication of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple (163rd operating temple; confirmed)
Note: In view of the facts that the dedication of this temple will occur after the April General Conference, and that following the April 2018 General Conference, President Nelson began his Global Ministry Tour, I could see President Nelson doing another leg of his tour in conjunction with this temple’s dedication, whether that tour starts or ends with this dedication, or whether a dedication is held sometime in the mid-point of that tour.
Sunday May 19: Dedication of the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple (164th operating temple; confirmed)
Note: On November 14, 2018, the First Presidency announced the open house and dedication for this temple. This means that the more specific timing for all other temple events next year needed to be similarly adjusted. President Nelson could dedicate this temple himself, or begin delegating that responsibility to his counselors. If President Nelson presides at this event, it would not shock me to find out that this dedication might be part of another leg of his ongoing Global Ministry Tour.
Early-to-mid June: Dedication of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple (164th operating temple)
Early-to-mid August: Rededication of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple
Mid-to-late August: Dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple (165th operating temple)
Early-to-mid September: Rededication of the Memphis Tennessee Temple
Mid-to-late September: Rededication of the Raleigh North Carolina Temple
Saturday & Sunday October 5 & 6: 189th Semiannual General Conference:
Note: Depending on what is done by this time to clear the existing backlog of announced temples, it seems more likely than not that several new temples will be announced during this weekend.
Mid-October: Rededication of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple
Early-to-mid November: Dedication of the Lisbon Portugal Temple (167th operating temple)
Mid-to-late November: Rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple
Note: On November 5, 2018, the Church of Jesus Christ Temples site removed the more general estimate for this temple and instead noted a completion was anticipated at some point during 2019. While I would certainly hope it will not be another year from now before this temple’s renovation is completed (since it began in 2015), until more is known, I have felt to be more conservative in my specific estimate.
December: Rededication of the Oakland California Temple
Note: On the same date noted above, that same site also removed the more general estimate for this temple, and it looks like a completion is still anticipated next year, but perhaps not as soon as many (myself included) thought. So given that new information, until more is known, I have felt it wise to be more conservative with this estimate as well. That said, since the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional for 2019 has been set for the second Sunday in December rather than the first, the rededication of this temple could occur on either the first or third Sunday of that month.

Final note on 2019: Given what I have heard about 2019, it seems more likely than not that several temples will have a groundbreaking at some point during that year. If nothing happens for the Urdaneta Philippines and Bangkok Thailand Temples by the end of 2018, those would top the list for next year. I am also anticipating that a groundbreaking for the Pocatello Idaho Temple will be held in early 2019. Additionally, based on what I know at the present time, I am keeping my eyes open for information on the Saratoga Springs Utah, Nairobi Kenya, Lima Peru Los Olivos, Harare Zimbabwe, Brasilia Brazil, and Greater Manila Philippines Temple, most (if not all) of which could have a groundbreaking by the end of 2019 years.

2020:
Mid-February: Dedication of the Arequipa Peru Temple (168th operating temple)
Mid-March: Rededication of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple
Saturday & Sunday April 4 & 5: 190th Annual General Conference
Note: Barring anything unexpected, I would anticipate several new temples being announced during this weekend.
Mid-to-late April: Dedication of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple (169th operating temple)
Mid-to-late May: Rededication of the Tokyo Japan Temple
Mid-August: Dedication of the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple (170th operating temple)
Saturday & Sunday October 3 & 4: 190th Semiannual General Conference
Note: Temple announcements are always possible, so it is not hard to believe that a few could be announced during this General Conference.
Mid-October: Rededication of the Mesa Arizona Temple
Mid-November: Dedication of the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple (171st operating temple)
Note: At the groundbreaking for this temple (which occurred on November 8, 2018), Elder Neil L. Andersen, who presided at this event and gave his remarks in French, noted that construction of the temple was anticipated to take around two years. For that reason, I am moving my previous estimate for this temple’s dedication up to this point. As full-scale construction begins, based on how consistently that process progresses, I will make any future adjustments which may be needed to this estimate.
Mid-December: Rededication of the Washington DC Temple

Final note on 2020: Some of the announced temples that will have a groundbreaking between now (early November 2018) and the end of 2019 could potentially be dedicated during this year. And several other announced temples (I currently have 7 on my radar) could have a groundbreaking during 2020 as well.

2021:
Saturday & Sunday April 3 & 4: 191st Annual General Conference
Note: Depending on what happens between now (early November 2018) and the dates for this General Conference, I could easily see several new temples announced.
Mid-to-late April: Hamilton New Zealand Temple Rededication
Mid-September: Dedication of the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple
Note: If what I have heard about the size of this temple and the duration of the construction process for it is correct, then a dedication could happen at around this time. But I am hoping that could occur sooner. Since there will hopefully be several other temples that will have a dedication occur before that happens for this temple, I am not currently assigning a number to it for now.
Saturday & Sunday October 2 & 3: 191st Semiannual General Conference
Note: I am hoping that by the time this particular General Conference weekend rolls around, the temple construction program of the Church will have progressed to the point where some temples will continue to be announced every six months.

Final note: I am hoping that by the end of 2021, there will be several more temple events to list here. Until more is known, I prefer not to provide too much conjecture about the future events we could see. But one thing is certain: If what I have heard about President Nelson’s plans to expand the number of temples and to accelerate the speed at which they are constructed, then we will likely be in for an unprecedented season of temple events in the future.


BREAKING TEMPLE NEWS: Open House and Dedication Dates Announced for Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple

Hello again, everyone! I am back with some breaking temple news. The First Presidency announced today that an open house and dedication has been set for the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple. The open house will take place from Saturday April 20-Saturday May 4, excluding the Sundays of April 21 and 28. As per the newly-established tradition, a youth devotional will be held on Saturday May 18, and the dedication of the temple is set to occur the following day in three sessions (at 9:00 AM, noon, and 3:00 PM Haiti time, which is 7;00 AM, 10:00 AM, and 1:00 PM Utah time).

It appears that this temple's dedication will occur before that of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple, but I would anticipate that we will soon hear news on the dedication of that temple as well. I am not shocked that the temple will be dedicated within 1.5 years of the time its' construction began, and I was pleased to bring you word of this development.

I 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. 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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Elder Dale G. Renlund Marks His 66th Birthday

Hello again, everyone! I am back, as promised earlier, with a post in tribute of Elder Dale G. Renlund, who, as noted, is marking his 66th birthday today. Let's get right into all of that. Elder Dale Gunnar Renlund was born on this day in 1952 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Mats Ake and Marianna Andersson, who had emigrated from Finland and Sweden respectively in order to be married in the temple. In view of that, Elder Renlund grew up primarily speaking Swedish (the fact that he did not speak English as a primary language gives him international appeal). In his teenage years, Elder Renlund lived with his family in Sweden while his father was a building missionary.

Several years later, Elder Renlund returned to Sweden, this time as a full-time missionary. Following his missionary service, Elder Renlund continued his scholastic endeavors at the University of Utah, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and his M. D. Approximately 3 or 4 years after he concluded his missionary service, he met and married his eternal companion, Ruth Lybbert, who was the daughter of another General Authority Seventy, Merlin R. Lybbert.

Elder Renlund went on to do a three-year cardiology residency and a three-year fellowship in cardiology, both at Johns Hopkins University, and served as a bishop while he did so. Simultaneously, his wife was earning her law degree. During that same busy time period, they gave birth to their only child, a daughter, Ashley. At some point in 1986, Elder Renlund became a professor at the University of Utah. From 1991 to the time of his call as a General Authority Seventy in 2009, he served as the medical director of the Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals Cardiac Transplant Program. 

In 2000, he was also appointed the director of the Heart Failure Prevention and Treatment Program at Intermountain Health Center headquartered in Salt Lake. At the same time, his wife served as a law partner in the firm of Dewsnup, King and Olsen. In the Church, in addition to serving as a bishop, Elder Renlund also served locally as ward Sunday School president, high councilman, and as a stake president. From 2000 to 2009, Elder Renlund served as an area seventy. He became a general authority seventy in April 2009, at the same conference Elder Neil L. Andersen was sustained as an apostle.

The August after his call, Elder Renlund began serving in the Africa Southeast area presidency, headquartered in Johannesburg South Africa. He concluded that service by serving as the area president from 2011 to 2014. Just over a year after concluding that service (during which time he served in other general capacities at Church headquarters), he was the third man to be called to fill the three vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve in the wake of the passing of President Boyd K. Packer and Elders L. Tom Perry and Richard G. Scott. 

Some have claimed (rightfully so, in my opinion) that since Elder Scott was the last of the three to pass away, Elder Renlund, as the last of the three new apostles called, was the one filling the apostolic vacancy occurring from the death of Elder Scott. Others may disagree on that, as is their right, but I think that is a fair statement.

Elder Renlund's apostolic call was significant for a few reasons. His call (in conjunction with those of his senior seatmates Elders Ronald A. Rasband and Gary E. Stevenson), made them the 98th, 99th, and 100th members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called in this dispensation. There have been more men ordained as apostles, but only 102 have officially served in the Quorum of the Twelve. 

There is another significant aspect of Elder Renlund's call. As most of you are probably aware, at times in the past where 2 or more apostles have been called, tradition is that they will be called, sustained, and ordained according to their age, from oldest to youngest. That tradition, as has been the case a couple of times before, was slightly adjusted, as Elder Stevenson, almost three years younger than Elder Renlund, was called, sustained, and ordained as the senior apostle to Elder Renlund. That kind of thing is not in any way unprecedented, but it is a significant anomaly to note.

As some of you are also aware, the Church has previously come under fire for a lack of cultural diversity in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. While all apostles from Elder David A. Bednar to Elder Renlund were born within the United States, almost to a man, each has had varying degrees of international experience. In January of this year, we saw President Nelson mention that there would be "more flavors in the mix", and his first apostolic appointees were the first Asian American (Elder Gong) and Latin American (Elder Soares). But as was observed in this article, Elder Renlund's diverse background certainly qualifies him as having strong international ties and experiences.

Elder Renlund had 2 opportunities to speak in General Conference prior to his apostolic call (1 of which occurred six months prior to his first address as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), and gave his 7th talk as an apostle just over a month ago. You can review any of those 9 addresses at your convenience. While I doubt Elder Renlund will ever read this personally, I am grateful to have been able to offer this birthday tribute in his honor, and am also grateful for his service. I gladly sustain him and the other 14 apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.

I do continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will keep doing 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, 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.

President M. Russell Ballard Marks His Second Nonagenarian Milestone Today

Hello again, everyone! Today marks Elder Dale G. Renlund's 66th birthday, and I do have a post in the works to pay tribute to him, but I wanted to mention here first that President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is observing his second nonagenarian milestone today. His first such milestone was, of course, marked just over a month ago when he celebrated his 90th birthday, on Monday October 8, and in doing so, he became the 19th apostolic nonagenarian.

As of today, the length of his life is as long as that of J. Reuben Clark, but since President Clark is no longer living and President Ballard is, the latter has officially become the 18th oldest apostle. Since President Ballard, by all accounts, appears to be in fairly good health, I have no doubt that he will be around to observe several more milestones as a nonagenarian apostle. His next such milestone will be observed on Wednesday February 20. 2019, at which point his lifespan will match that of President Thomas S. Monson.

Interestingly enough, by the time President Russell M. Nelson observes his next nonagenarian milestone (which will occur on Friday July 5, 2019), President Ballard will not only have observed the milestone described in the above paragraph, but 2 others as well. Then, President Ballard will observe one other milestone as well in July 2019. More details will be provided on the specifics of those milestones closer to the time.

I do continue to monitor all apostolic age and tenure milestones, along with any Church news and temple developments, and will be doing my level best to pass 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. 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 (which should come within the next few hours or less and will provide the afore-mentioned birthday tribute to Elder Renlund), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.