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Friday, April 20, 2018

President Nelson Visits Bangkok Thailand

Hello again, everyone! I am grateful to be able to pass on to you all this report from Mormon Newsroom that summarizes President Nelson's visit to Bangkok Thailand, which included a stop at the site for the Bangkok Thailand Temple. As long-time readers of this blog may recall, the Church released the official artist's rendering for that temple just over a month ago today. As you may also remember, construction of the temple is anticipated to take 3-4 years once it begins, which I hope will occur later this year with a groundbreaking.

Just within the last three weeks, there have been so many temple-related developments, most of which have been a direct result of either the temples announced in General Conference or President Nelson's worldwide ministry tour. I cannot say for sure, but I believe that we may be a lot closer to the groundbreaking for the Bangkok Thailand Temple and a site confirmation and groundbreaking for the Nairobi Kenya and Harare Zimbabwe Temples than we now realize.

And if, as I have been led to conclude, several other temples (especially the one in Urdaneta Philippines) winds up having a groundbreaking soon, then the next 3-5 years may be far more full of temple events than we now realize, which includes likely future temple announcements.

The one other thing that I wanted to note is that, in regards to potential future temple locations, I am in the finishing stages of getting my thoughts together regarding the changes I wanted to make to my list of temples that might potentially be announced in the next General Conference, and I will post all preliminary predictions for that conference ASAP.

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

Yet Another Revision To My Thoughts About Announced Temples

Hello again, everyone! Just yesterday, I posted my updated thoughts about the order in which the currently announced temples might have a groundbreaking. Within the last 24 hours or less, with the additional background information of how the Bengaluru India Temple was unexpectedly announced during General Conference, and knowing that President Nelson spent some of his time in that city looking at potential future locations, when we add to that the fact that he also expressed his hope to be able to come back to India to dedicate that temple, there was enough reason for me to once again reorder many of the announced temples.

With all of that in mind, the latest revision of that order follows below. While only the Lord knows how soon any of these announced temples might have a groundbreaking, in addition to (where applicable) having a site officially confirmed, the current order again reflects my best efforts to anticipate how soon we might see such groundbreakings occur.

So as not to disturb the flow of information in that list, I will end now as I always do. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.


Announced temples:
171. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approvals; artist’s rendering released on March 19, 2018.
Note: With the site identified and the release of the artist’s rendering, a groundbreaking for this temple may just be a matter of time.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Awaiting government approvals.
Note: The biggest barriers preventing progress on this temple were getting government approval and having an official site announced. With the recent confirmation of the site location, it may simply be a matter of time before government approval goes through, at which point a groundbreaking can be held.
173. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: The contractor assigned to oversee design and construction for this temple indicated in March 2017 that a year of pre-planning would be needed before a groundbreaking was held. If that year has come and gone, we may see a groundbreaking set soon.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah Temple: Planning and approval; designs underway; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: Having received notification that the design process is underway for this temple, since it is a Utah temple, it seems relatively safe to assume that a groundbreaking could be held sooner rather than later.
175. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement
Note: Although a site confirmation has not yet occurred, President Nelson and his traveling companions visited a probable location during their time in Zimbabwe. If the location is verified in the near future, a groundbreaking might occur sooner rather than later. And since Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, who is the president of the Church’s Africa Southeast Area, stated in 2016 that a site confirmation and groundbreaking for the temple might occur at some point during 2017, it is not hard to believe that that could occur at some point during this year, and might take place before Elder Hamilton’s release as area president on August 1 of this year.
176. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning and approval; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017.
Note: With the site having been confirmed and inspected almost a year ago, a groundbreaking for this temple may just be a matter of time.
177. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official name announcement.
Note: The site for this temple was confirmed not long after it was announced. Whether or not an official name is announced anytime soon, it may just be a matter of time until the groundbreaking is held.
178. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017.
Note: In an article published on April 18, 2018 by a Kenyan newspaper covering President Nelson’s visit to that nation, two tidbits were shared: the Church has selected a site for that temple, although its’ location has yet to be officially announced, and that this temple will, by comparison, be one of the Church’s smaller temples, which, depending on how quickly things happen for this temple, might be dedicated sometime during 2021. For that reason, I have felt impressed to move this temple up on this list.
179. Pocatello Idaho Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: Although the citizens of Pocatello have speculated about two or more potential locations for this temple, one of those locations has emerged as being the most likely to be chosen. Depending on how quickly that is confirmed, a groundbreaking could follow shortly thereafter.
180. Layton Utah Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: The Church reportedly acquired land in Layton two days before this temple was announced. Based on that acquisition, members have speculated that will be the most likely location for this temple. If that is confirmed in the near future, since this is a Utah temple, a groundbreaking could occur sooner rather than later.
181. Richmond Virginia Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: In mid-April 2018, a Virginia newspaper disclosed that the Church had purchased an 8-acre site in 2015. If the Church confirms that the site in question will be the official location for the temple, a potential groundbreaking could follow shortly thereafter, especially since temples in the US generally have their construction start a lot sooner than their international counterparts.
182. Bengaluru India Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: In the late night hours of April 19, 2018, I became aware of a report that President Nelson had not planned to announce this temple during the April 2018 General Conference, but was impressed on the night before the conference that he should do so. And, as anticipated, his world tour, which included a stop in Bengaluru, involved looking at potential locations that could be used for that purpose. Given that he also expressed to the Saints in India his desire to return for the dedication of this temple, if the specific location he looked at is used for that purpose, I fully believe work could begin on this temple within the next 3-5 years, if not sooner.
183. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: Although this is the last of the three temples announced in April 2015 that might have a groundbreaking, Church growth in the Ivory Coast seems significant enough to believe that a second (and perhaps even a third) temple could be announced in this nation within the next 15-30 years. With that in mind, the Church may opt to have a site announcement and groundbreaking sooner rather than later.
184. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: Although the first Ecuadoran temple (which is located in Guayaquil) had a 14-year wait between its announcement and subsequent groundbreaking, the Church will likely not wait even half that long for this temple’s groundbreaking. I would anticipate a groundbreaking could occur sometime between now and the end of 2020.
185. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: Although this temple was announced in 2016, its’ counterpart in Brasilia, which was announced a year later, has had a site confirmed and inspected already, which makes it likely that that temple will have a groundbreaking before this one does. That said, I would anticipate that we could see a groundbreaking for this temple within the next two or three years.
186. Salta Argentina Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: While many people (myself included) had shared our feelings that the next Argentine temple would be built in Neuquen, the Lord’s higher thinking resulted in a temple being announced in Salta. Although it has been just over two weeks since that announcement, I believe we might see a groundbreaking for this temple within the next 3 years or so.
187. Managua Nicaragua Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: President Nelson had publicly proposed a temple for Managua while an apostle, and he fulfilled that proposal himself. As noted elsewhere, Elder Juan A. Uceda is being assigned as president of the Central America Area, and one reason may be so he can work with the Nicaraguan government to get quick approval for this temple. If that occurs, a groundbreaking could happen within the next 3 years or less.
188. Cagayan de Oro Philippines Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement.
Note: Although this temple is the second to be announced for the Philippines since the beginning of last year, I would anticipate that this temple will likely not have a site announcement or groundbreaking until both the Urdaneta temple and the second temple in Manila are at least under construction. That said, I believe this temple could potentially have a groundbreaking within the next 3-4 years.
189. Russia: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official location and site announcement.
Note: Although Russia may have problems that could potentially create a barrier to getting this temple built, President Nelson had supervisory responsibility for the Europe East Area of the Church for several years, including during his tenure as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. For that reason, he may be able to effect an expedited start for this temple. That area is now overseen by Elder Uchtdorf, who, as a European-born apostle, may have unique connections to help that process as well. Being conservative, I could see a groundbreaking for this temple in 7-10 years, but certainly sooner if the Lord opens doors for that to occur.

Miscellaneous Church News Items

Hello again, everyone! I am coming to you in the early morning hours of April 20 in order to briefly pass along additional Church News articles that have been published within the last 24 hours and are well worth reading. Let's dive right in and talk about those.

First of all, with all else that has gone on, I hadn't realized that the privately-scheduled rededication for the Houston Texas Temple by President M. Russell Ballard will be occurring this upcoming Sunday. This article was released in advance of that event.

Next, the Church News ran a comparison between London England and Nairobi Kenya, describing how their differences and similarities played into the significance of President Nelson visiting both cities this last week.

The Church News also continues its' series of articles about those who were called to leadership positions during General Conference earlier this month. In introducing Elder Steven R. Bangerter, an article described how his personal and professional interactions with people of other faiths has uniquely prepared him for his service as a General Authority who will be given assignments to minister in various areas of the world to people of this and other faiths.

From Sarah Jane Weaver, who is now the editor of the Church News, comes an article highlighting the international ministry of presidents of the Church.Another article shares information about a new website which will allow prospective senior missionaries a more effective way to find assignments that match their unique circumstances and needs.

For any of my readers who may be working with the young men in your wards and stakes, the Church News shared some insights into how the Church's newly reemphasized focus on ministering can be effectively implemented for the teacher- and priest-age young men who are assigned to minister alongside their Melchizedek Priesthood counterparts.

And finally, Sarah Jane Weaver brings us another article highlighting President Nelson's ministry among Church members in India. The article not only highlights the story I shared earlier about how President Nelson wound up announcing a temple for Bengaluru and his announced hope of being able to come back to India and preside over dedicatory services for that temple (which I fully believe the Lord will honor), but also shared some comments from Sister Nelson.

Sister Nelson noted that, since her husband was ordained and set apart as Church President in January, the man she greets at the end of each work day is not the same man who bid her goodbye that morning, and that she has seen years literally fall off of him as he has been out on this tour, mingling with and addressing Church members. She particularly stated that during those addresses, he appeared as vigorous as if he were 63 or 73, and not 93.

With that in mind, while the length of President Nelson's life is up to the Lord, it will not in any way surprise me if President Nelson is still living and actively leading the Church six years from now, at which time President Nelson will be 3 months and 2 weeks or so short of marking his 100th birthday. In so saying, I recognize that President Monson had expressed a wish to dedicate the Star Valley Wyoming Temple, since "there's good fishing up there", and by the time of its' dedication, he was in declining health.

The Lord knows the times and seasons of His prophets, and when their tenures end is entirely in His hands. That said, with the comments I have heard from others, and with what I have observed in reports of his ministry, I will say that President Nelson's career as a heart surgeon has likely helped him figure out what to do to remain healthy and vigorous, and when we add that to the sustaining influence with which the Lord blesses His prophet, however long President Nelson lives, I am sure he will be as active as he can be for as long as he is able to do so.

The one other comment I would like to make on this article is something Elder Holland said that, to me, demonstrates the gift of seership is active in the Quorum of the Twelve as well. The article quotes Elder Holland as saying to the Saints in India: "You can't imagine what is going to happen in India: Your loftiest dreams will be painfully shortsighted."

I have heard from a few sources that President Nelson's choice of President Oaks as a counselor in the First Presidency and of Elder Holland as the apostolic companion for this world tour may be his way of giving these Brethren who may one day be Church president themselves experiences that will uniquely prepare them, and I concur with that assessment.

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