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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Articles Recently Published About New Church Leaders

Hello again, everyone! I just now realized that I have missed reporting on a number of articles about new Church leadership, which have continued to be published. So let's get right into those. We have this one introducing Elder Jack N. Gerard, this one in which Elder Brook P. Hales was introduced (which I may or may not have  posted here previously), this one about Elder Mathias Held, who has had extensive international experience, this one to introduce Elder David P. Homer, and this one published earlier today that introduced Elder Kyle S. McKay.

With these articles, the only new General Authority Seventies that have not yet been featured in introductory articles are Elders Juan Pablo Villar and Takashi Wada. I would imagine that after those are published, other articles will likely be published about Sister Lisa R. Harkness, new First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, and the members of the new Young Women General Presidency members (Sisters Bonnie H. Cordon, Michelle D. Craig, and Becky Craven).

Hopefully I will be able to publish posts about those articles as they in turn are published on the Church News website. 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 New Temple Presidents Called

Hello again, everyone! The First Presidency has continued to announce new temple presidents. With the callings of three more noted, the Church has called a total of 53 new temple presidents thus far this year, which is exactly 1/3 the amount of the 159 temples currently in operation.

Among the three new presidents announced today is another current area seventy, which means that 6 currently-serving area seventies have now been called to serve as temple presidents. This also means that, in addition to any first presidents that will be announced for temples that will be dedicated before the end of this year or the beginning of next year, there are merely 5 temples left on my list of those currently operating that may get a new president at some point this year.

Whatever might occur in that regard, you can depend on my bringing word of those calls to you as I receive them. In the meantime, the updated version of my list tracking these changes follows 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.


New presidents have been called for the following temples:
1.      Manaus Brazil
2.      Boise Idaho
3.      Denver Colorado
4.      The Hague Netherlands
5.      Oquirrh Mountain Utah
6.      Helsinki Finland
7.      The Gila Valley Arizona
8.      Brigham City Utah
9.      Stockholm Sweden
10.  Palmyra New York
11.  Accra Ghana
12.  Papeete Tahiti
13.  Sao Paulo Brazil
14.  San Jose Costa Rica
15.  Albuquerque New Mexico
16.  Provo City Center
17.  Recife Brazil
18.  Cardston Alberta
19.  Payson Utah
20.  Porto Alegre Brazil
21.  Brisbane Australia
22.  Kansas City Missouri
23.  Oaxaca Mexico
24.  Regina Saskatchewan
25.  Cebu City Philippines
26.  Boston Massachusetts
27.  Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Mexico
28.  Billings Montana
29.  Houston Texas
30.  Sydney Australia
31.  Guatemala City Guatemala
32.  Hermosillo Sonora Mexico
33.  Montevideo Uruguay
34.  Indianapolis Indiana
35.  Laie Hawaii Temple (the new president of this temple is the older brother of General Authority Seventy Elder Donald L. Hallstrom)
36.  Las Vegas Nevada
37.  Atlanta Georgia
38.  Buenos Aires Argentina
39.  Redlands California
40.  Draper Utah
41.  Tijuana Mexico
42.  Sacramento California
43.  Monticello Utah
44.  Bountiful Utah
45.  Freiberg Germany
46.  Oakland California
47.  Villahermosa Mexico
48.  Manti Utah
49.  Suva Fiji
50.  Vancouver British Columbia
51.  Tegucigalpa Honduras
52.  Fukuoka Japan
53.  St. Louis Missouri

The first presidents will likely be announced for the following new temples:
1.      Concepcion Chile
2.      Barranquilla Colombia
3.      Rome Italy
4.      Kinshasa DR Congo
5.      Fortaleza Brazil
6.      Port-au-Prince Haiti

New presidents may also be announced for the following temples:
1.      Cordoba Argentina
2.      Taipei Taiwan
3.      Trujillo Peru
4.      Veracruz Mexico
5.      Washington D. C. Temple (Note: The Church may opt to wait on calling a new president for this temple until 2020 when it is rededicated)

President Henry B. Eyring Marks His 85th Birthday

Hello again, everyone! I am back as promised in my previous post to pay tribute to President Henry B. Eyring, who is celebrating his 85th birthday. There is a lot to discuss about his life, so let's get right into it. Henry Bennion Eyring was born on May 31, 1933, in Princeton New Jersey, to well-known physicist Henry Eyring and Mildred Bennion. As I previously noted, his father's sister, Camilla Eyring, married Spencer W. Kimball, while his father's first cousin was Marion G. Romney. Young "Hal", as he was known, was a very good student.

At one point, his father was explaining a scientific concept to him when he noted that young Hal seemed to not be interested in it. He asked his son what he thought about when he had nothing else to consider, and told him that he should pursue that subject. This led young Hal to an eventual career as an educator and academic administrator. His family would later relocate from New Jersey to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Although he did not serve a full-time mission, he was an active member of the U. S. Air Force, and was stationed in New Mexico, where he served as a liaison between military officers and scientists, where he was responsible for analyzing data from tests done on nuclear weapons. Prior to his military service, he had earned a degree in physics from the University of Utah. He also studied at Harvard, where he eventually earned both a masters' and doctoral degrees in Business Administration.

While he was highly sought after by business owners who admired his analytical work, he chose to continue to pursue his education. In the meantime, it was not until 1960 (when Hal was 26 or 27) that he met Kathleen Johnson at a YSA meeting in New Hampshire. She was born in Palo Alto California, and had studied at Stanford before coming to Harvard. She also spent some time studying at the Universities of Vienna and Paris.

Because Hal was serving as a counselor in the district presidency, his district president (Wilbur Cox) adjusted his assignments to accommodate his desire to date Kathleen. They dated over that summer, and continued their courtship long-distance, with Kathleen making several cross-country trips prior to their engagement in the early months of 1961.

They continued their courtship for the next year or so, until they were married in the Logan Utah Temple on July 27, 1962, by which time Hal was 29 years old. Their marriage was solemnized by his uncle, then-Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  Their family would eventually include six children (four sons and two daughters). Two of their sons are Henry J. Eyring (who current serves as president of BYU-Idaho) and Matthew J. Eyring (who is a Chief Strategy Innovation Officer with Vivint, a company specializing in home automation).

Hal eventually became a professor at Stanford University. He continued his career as an associate professor at the Stanford School of Business for 9 years (between 1972 and 1981), and went on to be a Sloan Visiting Faculty Fellow at MIT, during which time he also took courses in human behavior. Sometime between late 1970 and early 1971, his wife asked him if he shouldn't be studying with Neal A. Maxwell, who was serving at that time as Commissioner of Church Education.

After considering her question and following a lot of reflection, Hal accepted an offer to become president of Ricks College. Although other job offers came his way during his 6 year tenure at the college, he continued to serve until his release in 1977.. His previous Church callings included being a bishop, serving as a member of the Sunday School General Board, and as a regional representative.

In 1980, Hal was called to serve as the Commissioner of Church Education, succeeding Jeffrey R. Holland. He would continue to serve in that capacity until 1986. When the Church reorganized the Presiding Bishopric in April 1985, Robert D. Hales was called as the new Presiding Bishop, and he recommended that Hal serve as his First Counselor. After serving in that capacity for 7.5 years, he was called in October 1992 to serve as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. When he began his new assignment, he was called for a second time to seerve as the Commissioner of Church Education, an assignment in which he would continue until 2004.

Following the passing of Church president Howard W. Hunter and the subsequent reorganization of the First Presidency in March 1995, new Church president Gordon B. Hinckley called Elder Eyring to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 12.5 years later, following the death of President James E. Faust, who had served as Second Counselor to President Hinckley, Elder Eyring was invited to join Presidents Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson in the First Presidency.

The way that came about is an interesting story. Elder Eyring had taken the phone call from President Hinckley and had heard his invitation to join the First Presidency, but because he had occasionally taken calls on the Church's phone system that were meant for some of his apostolic colleagues, he asked President Hinckley if he was sure he was talking to the right person. "This is Hal Eyring." he said. President Hinckley quickly responded, "I know who this is." Thus it was that the first apostle appointed during President Hinckley's administration was called to serve in the First Presidency for an almost four-month period prior to President Hinckley's passing.

When the First Presidency was reorganized, new Church president Thomas S. Monson called President Eyring to continue serving in the First Presidency, this time as his First Counselor. While in that capacity, President Eyring has dedicated 8 temples (San Salvador El Salvador, Gilbert Arizona, Payson Utah, Indianapolis Indiana, Philadelphia Pennsylvania (for which he had also presided at the groundbreaking), Hartford Connecticut, Paris France, and Cedar City Utah).The dedication of the Gilbert Arizona Temple was an interesting anomaly. Although President Monson presided at all three sessions, he requested that President Eyring read the prayer during the first session, so that was one recent example of how the dedication duties were shared by two apostles.

President Eyring has also rededicated seven temples (Ogden Utah, Buenos Aires Argentina Mexico City Mexico, Montreal Quebec, Suva Fiji, Idaho Falls Idaho, and Jordan River Utah Temple). The Ogden Utah Temple rededication is another interesting case. President Eyring conducted all three sessions and presided at the final two sessions, in which he also offered the dedicatory prayer, with President Monson having presided at and offering the dedicatory prayer in the first session.

As we also know, roughly one year ago (on May 23, 2017), the Church announced that President Monson would be stepping back from an active role in the day-to-day administration of the Church. When that occurred, Presidents Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf assumed oversight of all decisions except for those requiring the prophet's approval.

Following President Monson's passing this year on January 2, the First Presidency was reorganized on January 14, at which time President Eyring was called to continue his service in the First Presidency, and is serving as Second Counselor a second time, working with Church President Russell M. Nelson and his First Counselor, President Dallin H. Oaks. For the last several years, President Eyring's wife has been in ill health, and he has done a wonderful job of balancing his responsibilities in the First Presidency with his role being his wife's caregiver.

Because President Eyring has a familial connection to both Presidents Spencer W. Kimball and Marion G. Romney, who were involved in the 1981 dedication of the Jordan River Utah Temple, President Nelson asked President Eyring to preside over its' recent rededication on May 20 of this year. As noted in an earlier post, President Eyring drew heavily on the original dedicatory prayer in composing the rededicatory prayer for this temple.

Although he is now 85 years old, by all accounts, he continues to be in good health. His lifelong legacy of education and service is an inspiration to all. I once had the opportunity to attend a stake conference at which then-Elder Eyring presided. His message to us at that time was on the important subject that our stake should foster unity.

It is a message he has since shared repeatedly in several General Conference addresses. Particularly during the October 2017 General Conference, when he was the presiding authority, his messages highlighted the important concept that the Lord is at the helm of His work, and that, regardless of the health of His chosen prophet, He continues to move the work forward.

As of right now, President Eyring has given a total of 93 addresses in General Conference, all but 5 of which have been given since his call to the apostleship in April 1995. You can find and review any of those inspirational addresses here.

I am grateful for the life, ministry, and service of this amazing man, whom I sustain with all my heart, and for the opportunity I have had in this small way to pay tribute to him on this, his 85th birthday. That does if 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.

Updates Made to The Announced Temples Section of My Temple Construction Progress Report

Hello again, everyone! In the early hours of this last day of May, which coincides with President Eyring's 85th birthday (for which I will do a post within the next 15-18 hours), in  view of the progress (and the lack thereof) in getting currently announced temples further along towards the construction process, I have once again updated the announced temples section of my temple construction progress report.

Part of that process involved once again revising the order in which these temples are listed. Also, based on additional information I could find, I have felt to once again include general estimates for the time-frames within which these temples might have a groundbreaking. But before sharing those updates, I want to be very clear that I will be just as happy to find out that these estimates are accurate as I will if it turns out that some of these temples have a groundbreaking much sooner or much later than indicated below.

Those updates follow. So as not to interrupt the flow of that information, I will end here 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.

Note on announced temples: Although I have previously indicated that I was no longer comfortable or confident enough to venture general or even more specific time-frames for the groundbreakings of these temples, recent developments have made it easier to surmise how soon such events might happen, so, on May 31, 2018, I again added those estimates. As part of that process, I have once again altered, where new information necessitated, the order in which these temples are listed. That said, the timing of such events has always been up to the Lord, who reveals His will in that regard to His prophets. Whether or not the groundbreakings occur within the windows indicated here, I will embrace those whenever they actually take place.

Announced temples:
171. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning and approvals; artist’s rendering released on March 19, 2018; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 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. Saratoga Springs Utah Temple: Planning and approval; designs underway; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
Note: Although a site confirmation is pending for this temple, because designs are currently underway, and because this is a Utah County temple (since temples in Utah always progress more swiftly than other temples elsewhere within the US), on May 31, 2018, I moved this temple up on this list. If I feel a need to move this temple down again on this list in the future, I will do so.
173. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
Note: In March 2017, the contractor for this temple indicated that a year of pre-planning would be needed for this temple site before a groundbreaking could be held. While it is unclear when that year began (or if that year has already passed), it seems safe to assume that the groundbreaking for this temple could occur within the next year, if not sooner.
174. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Awaiting government approvals; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
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. I am optimistic that we could see that occur within the next year or less. It is also possible that further delays could occur for this temple as well. I am monitoring developments in this regard and will adjust this estimate as needed in the future.
175. Pocatello Idaho Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
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 prospect. If the Church confirms that at any point in the near future, since this temple is going to be built within the “Mormon corridor”, a groundbreaking could occur sooner rather than later.
176. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
Note: Although an official site confirmation is pending, President Nelson visited a probable location during his world tour in April 2018. If that site location is officially confirmed in the near future, then a groundbreaking could easily follow within the next 15 months or less.
177. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2019.
Note: During President Nelson’s recent visit to Kenya, a national newspaper noted that the site for this temple had been selected, and that because this temple was anticipated to be a smaller one, its’ dedication might occur sometime during 2021. With that in mind, it is not hard to believe that an official site announcement and groundbreaking could occur within the next 15-18 months.
178. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning and approval; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
Note: Although a site inspection occurred one year ago for this temple, the prospective groundbreaking timeframes offered for the temples above necessitates a change in my previously-offered thoughts about the imminence of that groundbreaking. While I would hope that the Brazilian Saints would not have to wait another 1.5 years for this temple’s groundbreaking, until more is known, it seems wiser to be conservative in this estimate.
179. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
Note: Although this temple may also be further along in its’ progress towards a groundbreaking than other temples above it, in view of the factors noted on the others above this one, it has seemed wiser to be more conservative in my estimate for this temple’s future groundbreaking. Additionally, since getting the Urdaneta Philippines Temple underway may be more of a priority for the Church, this one may only have a groundbreaking within the next 16-19 months.
180. Layton Utah Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
Note: While I would anticipate that, for this temple in Utah, its’ construction will likely get underway sooner than other temples on this list, and while that could happen sooner than indicated above if the Church confirms that the land that was bought in Layton two days before the temple was announced in that city, it has seemed wiser to be more conservative in my estimate for this temple’s potential groundbreaking. I will be delighted to move it up on this list if I see a good enough reason to do so.
181. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2020.
Note: This is the last of the three temples announced in April 2015 that may have a groundbreaking. The Church in the Ivory Coast has seen sufficient enough growth that a second (and perhaps even a third) temple may be announced to serve the Saints in this nation, but that may not occur until this temple makes further progress. We have seen recent developments on other temples in Africa, which gives me hope that this temple could have a groundbreaking ceremony around the estimated time noted above, but time will tell how accurate that might prove to be.
182. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
Note: While the first Ecuadoran temple had a 14-year wait between its’ announcement and groundbreaking, with the progress the Church has made in South America within the last two decades, this temple (to be built in the Ecuadoran capital city) will likely not see a wait nearly that long. I personally hope that this groundbreaking will occur sooner than indicated above, but until more information is available, I have felt a need to be more conservative.
183. Richmond Virginia Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
Note: Although an official site confirmation is pending for this temple, a Virginia newspaper noted in mid-April 2018 that the Church had procured several acres of land in Richmond sometime during 2015. If the Church confirms in the near future that one of those plots will be the official temple site, then a groundbreaking could easily occur within the next two years, but possibly less, since temples in the US generally have construction begin well in advance of their international counterparts.
184. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning and approval; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
Note: Although this temple was announced one year before the Brasilia Brazil Temple, that temple is further along in the approval process and will likely therefore have its’ groundbreaking before that occurs for this temple. In preparing these updated thoughts, it occurred to me that the Church may opt to hold off on beginning construction of this temple until both the Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro Temples are dedicated. With that in mind, I have felt that the groundbreaking could occur at around this time, but I will alter this estimate as needed once more is known.
185. Managua Nicaragua Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2020.
Note: Since then-Elder Nelson had publicly proposed this temple in 2012, and President Nelson himself made the announcement, I would imagine the Lord will allow him to be very much involved in the process of this temple’s construction and eventual dedication. With that in mind, I could see a groundbreaking occur within the next 24-27 months, but hopefully sooner if all goes well.
186. Salta Argentina Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2020.
Note: While the time-frames offered for the temples above this one has resulted in this temple’s estimate being delayed as well, it would not surprise me if a groundbreaking for this temple happens sooner than estimated here.
187. Cagayan de Oro Philippines Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
Note: While I would anticipate that this temple will likely not have a groundbreaking until significant progress has been made on both the Urdaneta and greater Manila area temples, it is not impossible to believe that a groundbreaking could occur for this newest Filipino temple within the next 2.5-2.75 years, but perhaps sooner if all goes well.
188. Bengaluru India Temple: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2021.
Note: As previously noted, President Nelson had not originally intended to announce a temple for India during the April 2018 General Conference, but was inspired to do so the night before that conference began. Although India may have some political obstacles that would need to be cleared before this temple has a groundbreaking, I fully anticipate that the Lord could enable a groundbreaking to occur within the next three years, but possibly sooner.
189. Russia: Announced April 1, 2018; awaiting official location and site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2021.
Note: Although both a specific city and a site location for this temple have yet to be identified, President Nelson did have supervisory responsibility for Eastern Europe for the last several years he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. With that in mind, he may have connections that would enable an acceleration of the process to get this temple built, which is why I am being conservative in my offered estimate above, but will not in any way be surprised if the Lord clears all obstacles to allow that to occur sooner than indicated here.


Note: Red text indicates changes made since the last updates were posted.