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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Some Additional Thoughts on the Announcement of the Rome Italy Temple Dedication Information

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again today to pass along some additional thoughts on the announcement that was made earlier today about the dates for the open house and dedication for the Rome Italy Temple. First, while the Mormon Newsroom announcement does not mention a cultural celebration or youth devotional, on the Church's official Events page, the details of the dedication do include a notice that a special youth devotional will be held the night before the first dedicatory session.

And as an additional observation, this temple's dedication will mark the first time a temple has been dedicated over multiple days. For those interested, the last time that occurred was with the 2009 dedications of the Draper Utah and Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temples, which were both held for a three-day period.

The next most recent example of that was the Nauvoo Illinois Temple dedication in 2002, which spanned 4 days. There were a number of other temples that had 2 or more days for their dedications, including the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple. For temples widely anticipated that would be meaningful to so many, the decision was made to hold those dedications over several days.

But it would appear that the period of 8 days set aside for the dedication of this temple is the longest such period to occur within the last 40 or 50 years. And that makes sense. For an iconic city such as Rome, that has such rich roots to most Christian faiths, it makes sense that the Church would want to extend all who want to do so the opportunity to participate in this dedication.

I have also observed recently that it will be most interesting to see how soon President Nelson shares responsibility for presiding at temple dedications with his counselors. He may opt to do so very early in his presidency, since he has asked President Ballard to preside at the private rededication for the Houston Texas Temple. So let's take a look at how long it took for previous Church presidents to share that responsibility with their counselors and (in several cases, the senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles).

President Spencer W. Kimball was appointed Church president in December 1973. The first time he asked one of his counselors to officiate at a dedication was with the 1981 original dedication of the Jordan River Utah Temple, at which he asked his second counselor, President Marion G. Romney, to preside. All other temples dedicated prior to President Kimball's death were dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley, who served as Second Counselor in the First Presidency for most of the last 3 years of President Kimball's presidency.

President Ezra Taft Benson requested that his counselors, Presidents Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson, preside at the first two temple dedications of his presidency. He himself presided over the next two, and President Hinckley presided over all of the rest of those dedications prior to President Benson's death at the end of May in 1994. Only two temples were dedicated during President Hunters brief 9-month administration, but President Hunter did ask his counselors to represent him in presiding at some of the final sessions of either or both of those.

President Hinckley became Church president in mid-March 1995, and the first temple dedication that he did not preside over was conducted by President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who dedicated the Regina Saskatchewan Temple. The prophet's counselors, Presidents Monson and James E. Faust, began being assigned to those temple dedication duties in 2000. But following the dedication of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple in August of the same year, President Hinckley resumed personal responsibility for presiding at temple dedications again, and he did so at all of the remaining temple dedications of his presidency.

And of course, as we know, more recently, President Monson became Church president in February 2008, and in view of the reorganization of the First Presidency the week before, President Monson had shifted the dedication of the first temple of his presidency by one week. Starting in August 2011, he shared those responsibilities with his counselors (and with senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles),  and the dedication of the Phoenix Arizona Temple and the rededication of the Ogden Utah Temple were the last such temple events at which he personally presided.

So it will be interesting indeed to see what President Nelson will opt to do in terms of how soon he opts to share such duties with his counselors. It may not be long at all. All three men in the First Presidency have had experiences presiding at temple dedications or rededications. I am particularly intrigued to see what occurs regarding the 8-day dedication for the Rome Italy Temple. Depending on how many sessions might wind up being held, I would imagine that Church leadership will rotate participating on different days.

Whatever might occur in terms of future temple dedications or rededications, you can find my analysis of such news here as I learn of it. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Updated Estimated Time-frames for Future Temple-Related Events

Hello again, everyone! As I promised to do, I have taken another look at the estimates which I have provided for future temple-related events, and I am posting those revised estimates now. There are some unknowns that may impact this list further, such as whether it is reasonable to assume that the temples will stay on track in their construction sufficiently to allow their subsequent dedications or rededications as estimated here. I continue to monitor all such developments and will be sure to pass those along as I receive them.

The estimates follow below. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Future estimates for known temple-related events

First half of 2018:
April: Full-scale construction anticipated to begin for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple
Note: A Church member in Winnipeg has confirmed that construction of this temple is anticipated to begin next month.
Sunday April 22: Houston Texas Temple Rededication (private; date has been confirmed; President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will preside at this event)
Sunday May 20: Jordan River Utah Temple Rededication/Mesa Arizona Temple Renovation Closure (both have been confirmed)
Note: Since the rededication Jordan River Utah Temple is the first public temple event of President Nelson’s administration, it seems to be a given conclusion that he will preside at this event, but it will be interesting indeed to see how soon he shares such duties with his counselors, which has seen some variation for each Church president in recent years.

Second half of 2018:
July: Hamilton New Zealand Temple Renovation Closure (confirmed; official date confirmation pending)
Sunday October 28: Concepcion Chile Temple Dedication (160th operating temple; confirmed)
Sunday December 9: Barranquilla Colombia Temple Dedication (161st operating temple; date has been officially confirmed)

Final note on 2018: I have heard that 2018 could potentially be a big year for groundbreakings of temples currently announced. With the Bangkok Thailand Temple having taken a major step forward towards its’ potential groundbreaking (as the site was announced and the architectural rendering was released on March 19, 2018), I will be watching that one. It will be interesting to see how many temples will actually have a groundbreaking during 2018, and once anything is confirmed in that regard, I will pass that along.

First half of 2019:
Mid-February: Frankfurt Germany Temple Rededication
Mid-to-late March: Memphis Tennessee Temple Rededication
Sunday March 10-Sunday March 17: Rome Italy Temple Dedication (162nd operating temple; confirmed)
Mid-April: Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple Rededication
Mid-to-late April: Kinshasa DR Congo Temple Dedication (163rd operating temple)
Early-to-mid May: Fortaleza Brazil Temple Dedication (164th operating temple)
Early-to-mid June: Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple Dedication (165th operating temple)

Second half of 2019:
Early-to-mid August: Raleigh North Carolina Temple Rededication
Mid-to-late August: Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple Rededication
Mid-September: Lisbon Portugal Temple Dedication (166th operating temple)
Mid-to-late October: Asuncion Paraguay Temple Rededication
Mid-November: Durban South Africa Temple Dedication (167th operating temple)
Mid-December: Oakland California Temple Rededication
Note: While this temple’s rededication is anticipated before the end of 2019, if its’ renovation process is delayed for any reason, then that would push its’ rededication into 2020.

Final note on 2019: As with 2018, I have heard that 2019 could potentially be another big year for temple groundbreakings. If that proves to be the case, there will be other temple-related events to add to this list for subsequent years.
                     
First half of 2020:
Mid-March: Arequipa Peru Temple Dedication (168th operating temple)
Mid-to-late April: Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple Dedication (169th operating temple)
Mid-May: Winnipeg Manitoba Temple Dedication (170th operating temple)
Early-to-mid June: Tokyo Japan Temple Rededication
Mid-September: Mesa Arizona Temple Rededicatiom
Mid-December: Washington DC Temple Rededication

2021:
Mid-to-late April: Hamilton New Zealand Temple Rededication

Final note: If, as noted above, several temples have a groundbreaking during the next two years, that in turn would necessitate adding their completion estimates to the list above. I continue to monitor all temple-related developments and will pass news of them along as I receive word of them.

Church to Close Missionary Training Centers in Spain and Chile

Hello again, everyone! In addition to the big news about the Rome Italy Temple Dedication, the Church has also announced plans to close the Missionary Training Centers in Madrid Spain and Santiago Chile, with the closures set to take effect in January of next year. The Church reports that missionaries that would have gone to these MTCs will go to one of the other 13 MTCs around the world. Church leaders will in the future make a determination on if and how to best use these facilities, which also serve other functions (such as temple patron housing and meetinghouses).

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Additional Temple Updates Provided

Hello again, everyone! While the big temple news today is the Rome Italy Temple Dedication, there have been a number of other developments for temples around the world that are worth mentioning here. So let's get right into those updates.

I wanted to note first an update on general information I have previously shared regarding the Church's temple construction efforts. Many of you long-time readers of this blog will no doubt recall my repeat mentions about my feeling that the Church could easily have 200 temples by or before April 6, 2030, which would mark the Church's bicentennial anniversary. Whether or not an official goal is made to do so, I am reasonably confident it will happen.

I say that because only 18 new temples would need to be announced and completed, along with the 23 in various phases around the world. Since that is a total of 41 temples which would need to be completed by that time, and since there are 12.02 years between today's date and that 200th anniversary (which will be marked on a Saturday), the Church would just need to dedicate roughly 3.41 temples per year between now and then.

With 2018 being a year that will see slightly less than that average (as only 2 temple dedications will occur by the end of this year), 2019 is shaping up to be full of temple dedications, and with the Rome Italy Temple dedication information announced today, it seems clear to me that 2019 will be a huge year for other dedications, and that we may see double or even triple the amount of temple dedications next year that we will see this year.

Having noted all of that, we now turn our attention to other temple news. I have become aware of a report regarding the Concepcion Chile Temple. The latest information I have is that the angel Moroni statue was officially installed today, while the traditional stone inscribed with the phrase Holiness to the Lord has also recently been put into place. Additionally, the entrance monument sign (bearing the names of both the temple and the Church) is being finalized.

Next, because the Rome Italy Temple dedication has been set for mid-March of next year, and since the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple is anticipated to be the next one dedicated after that, with the additional knowledge that the Fortaleza Brazil Temple has progressed nicely while there has not been any progress reported on the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple since I last shared an update on its' status, many sources to which I look for temple information have moved the completion estimate for this Haitian temple to mid-2019.

Also anticipated to be completed during mid-2019 is the Lisbon Portugal Temple, where recent reports show that parking lot curbing is being poured, that spire framework has been installed, and that scaffolding and netting continues to be placed around the temple's exterior.

Aside from these developments, there have been no other updates on any new temples or among those undergoing renovation. But it will be interesting to see if and how the general completion estimates off of which I base all of the more specific estimates I have provided might change for the new temples being constructed in Kinshasa and Fortaleza, and the temples undergoing renovation in Frankfurt Germany, Memphis Tennessee, and Oklahoma City Oklahoma. There may be a need to completely redo all of them. I will look into that later today, and will hope to have that reworked and published here at some point within the next two days.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

BREAKING NEWS: Church Announces Open House & Dedication Dates for Rome Italy Temple

Hello again, everyone! As some of you might recall, in previous posts I have referenced an article from an Italian newspaper which quoted construction workers assigned to the Rome Italy Temple project as saying that they had been instructed to turn the temple back over to the Church by the end of May.

While that process is still pending, an official release from Mormon Newsroom confirms that the open house and dedication dates for this temple have been set. The open house tours will run from Monday January 28-Saturday February 16, 2019, excluding the Sundays during that time. The dedication for the Rome Italy Temple will be in several sessions over the course of roughly one week, and will be held from Sunday March 10-Sunday March 17.

As any Christian is aware, the city of Rome holds high importance to the history of Christianity, so it would make sense that dedicatory sessions will be held over the course of a week, to allow all who want to attend this historic event the chance to do so.

I didn't see in that official release anything about a cultural celebration or devotional for youth the night before the first dedicatory sessions, but this is significant news, to be sure. For my part, I will continue to monitor news about this event and will post that here as I find out about it.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.