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Monday, May 14, 2018

Some Musings About Future Temple Announcements

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again now to share some musings I have had about future temple announcements. This post on that subject will include thoughts & observations regarding the timing and frequency of those announcements, other insights about future locations, and an exploration of any other pertinent information that may apply. There's a lot to digest here, so let's get to it.

First of all, the subject of timing and frequency. As we are all no doubt aware, temples can be announced at any time at the discretion of the prophet or his counselors whom he authorizes to make such announcements in his stead. As you may recall, while many people had expressed their opinions that new temples would likely not be announced during President Nelson's first General Conference in April, since he had a lot to prepare for, there were a few (myself included) who asserted that temples could (and likely would) be announced. And the number of temples that were part of the first such announcement of President Nelson's presidency (7 total) were, according to many sources, the second-highest number of temples ever announced at one time.

It is not surprising that, for a prophet that made he clear that he "[wanted] to begin with the end in mind". many of the first major announcements of his administration have been temple-related. With that in mind, I have no doubt that President Nelson will continue to evaluate the need for temples, and will not hesitate to announce any at any time he feels impressed to do so. As we also know, he had originally intended to only announce six temples last month, but felt impressed to add one for India to the list the night before General Conference began.

As we also know, the Church currently has one temple that has had a groundbreaking but has not had full-scale construction begin, and the announcement of the 7 new temples last month brought the total number of announced temples to 19, one of which was announced in October 2010, but for which a groundbreaking has not yet taken place. So President Nelson could (and might) wait to announce other temples until a few more of those currently announced have progressed to the construction phase.

But there is an equal or greater possibility that he will do what he can to accelerate the process of getting the currently announced temples to their groundbreaking ceremony. I have 5-9 of those temples on which I am keeping my eye for news of a groundbreaking, perhaps within the next year or two. My point in mentioning this is that recent developments seem to indicate that President Nelson may not be concerned about a backlog existing, as was the case in 2014, when attention was devoted to decreasing that backlog.

In fact, regardless of what happens with temple groundbreakings, the number of those under construction will go from its' current 11 (which have had a groundbreaking) to 3 by the end of next year. And if, as I have heard, this year and next year are big ones for temple groundbreakings, then a backlog shouldn't be an issue.

We also have Elder Larry Y. Wilson's statement, which was made in late April last year. The executive director of the Temple Department noted at that time that 80 locations were on a list for a possible temple announcement within the 15 years following that statement. We, of course, do not know how many of the other 6 locations announced last month were on that list of 80, but we do know that President Nelson had not planned to announce a temple in India, until the Lord instructed him to do so on the night before General Conference began.

If we were to take a literal interpretation of Elder Wilson's statement, and assume that all of the 6 other locations were on that list, then that means that roughly 74 other locations remain on the list, and since a year has come and gone since that statement was made, the Church has just under 14 years of the time he mentioned to announce those 74, which works out to 5 per year, and that does not include the 7 announced last month.

For that reason, I stand by my assertion that we might see a few announced every six months, with one or two possibly announced in between each April, October, and subsequent April. As for the timing, we saw with locations like India and Russia that the Lord inspired temple announcements in both nations well in advance of when many, myself included, had believed was possible. With that in mind, I imagine we will see temples announced in many anticipated locations, but also in a few unexpected locations

And that thought leads me into an exploration of the final point I wanted to cover, that of the most likely future temple locations. Of the 19 that have not progressed beyond an announcement, 3 are to be constructed in the Philippines; 2 others will be built in Asia, 4 others will be built in the US (3 of which are within the Mormon Corridor), 3 more will be in Africa, 1 will rise in Eastern Europe, and the remaining 6 will be built throughout Latin America.

Those numbers suggest to me that we are likely to see several more built in Latin America and on the African continent, while we are also likely to see others rise in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, but perhaps not to the same extent or with the same frequency. I would also anticipate a few others here and there throughout Asia.. I will continue to offer my thoughts about more specific locations as time and circumstances allow in the future.

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.