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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Elder Cook Visits Saints in Belo Horizonte Brazil; Some Musings About Temple Progress & Future Announcements

Hello again, everyone! It has been a big day for updates on the worldwide ministry of our apostles, and I have found yet another one. Elder Quentin L. Cook spent some time in Brazil recently. More specifically, he visited and held meetings with the Saints and missionaries in the city of Belo Horizonte. LDS Church News has shared this account of what he did during that trip. The article also features quotes from the members of the Brazil Area presidency, as well as Elder Cook's fellow apostle Elder Ulisses Soares, who served his mission  in the Belo Horizonte region.

With this report in mind, that brings up an interesting question. First, the background for why it came to mind: As some of you may recall my mentioning, Elder Ronald A. Rasband visited the Philippines Area of the Church earlier this year before General Conference. And while I would have to double check my facts in this regard, he may have spent some of that time in Cagayan de Oro, and, as we know, a temple was announced for that city during the April General Conference.

While writing the above paragraph, more than one question came to mind, so here they all are: Is it possible that, as part of Elder Cook's time in Belo Horizonte, he may have spent time scouting out potential locations for a temple there? Would the fact that a temple in that city would be significant and personal to his fellow apostle Elder Soares have any impact on how soon a temple might be built there?

And finally, does Elder Cook's visit and Elder Soares's connection to this city indicate in any way that a temple may be more imminent for Belo Horizonte than Salvador? As I mentioned, I am in the very preliminary stages of trying to gather data for my next series of posts on potential future temples, which I hope to start before the end of this month.

In preparing this post and the questions above, I looked back into the history of my posts on this blog, and it appears that I have had Belo Horizonte on my list of potential future temple locations for just about as long as I have been sharing my thoughts on future temple prospects. As we also know, temples have been announced between now and then for both Belem and Brasilia.\

One other thought about all of this: President Nelson has shown a willingness to be very proactive about moving the Church forward. We saw many things happen in his first General Conference as our Church president. In one weekend, he was able to call two new apostles, make the other changes in Church leadership, announce the combination of all Melchizedek Priesthood bearers into one Elders' Quorum, retire home and visiting teaching and implement ministering, and announce 7 temples, 1 of which he was prompted to announce the night before General Conference began.

All of thisdemonstrates that he knows how to get and receive revelation. He also is impressing on us as members the importance of the temple, since his first address as Church president to Church membership was made from a temple.

With that in mind, and coupled with the statement I have previously referenced from Elder Larry Y. Wilson (who said in late April 2017 that there was a list of 80 potential temple locations that were under consideration for an official announcement within the 15 years after he made that statement, this suggests that, for as long as President Nelson presides over the Church, one of his main priorities will be bringing temples to the people.

That said, I also know that there are now 19 temples that have not gone beyond being announced, and we have seen times in the past when temple announcements were temporarily suspended to allow the Church to clear the backlog. So it may be that no temples will be announced during the October 2018 General Conference.

But it is also true that within the next two years, all temples currently under construction are anticipated to be dedicated. And although getting to the mid-point of any given year without a temple groundbreaking is rare for the Church, I would anticipate that we will hear of at least one temple groundbreaking (for the Bangkok Thailand Temple) at some point in the near future, and that that groundbreaking will occur prior to the end of the year, whether or not any other groundbreakings are announced or take place by the end of this year. But whatever happens in that regard, 2019 and the years following may be full of temple groundbreakings.

So I imagine President Nelson will also do what he can to clear the backlog of announced temples, and that by the time all temples currently under construction are dedicated, others that currently have a groundbreaking pending will have had that occur and will be under construction. I am likewise confident that President Nelson continues to seek the Lord's will regarding temple locations and the timing within which those might be announced, which is why I include temple possibilities in every one of my General Conference predictions.

I continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to pass word of them to you as I find out about them. 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 Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! Within the last couple of hours, the Church News has shared a couple of other articles that I could not wait to pass along. So let's discuss them both now. As I may have previously mentioned, as part of his worldwide address on Sunday June 3, President Nelson issued a challenge to the youth of the Church to hold themselves to a 7-day fast from social media, or, as it has otherwise been termed, to "take a break from fake." The Church News shared feedback from the youth who took the challenge with these 10 responses on the difference that made.

On a personal note, when I first joined Facebook, I spent a great deal more time on that site than I do now. About a year or so ago, when my health began to be more of a problem, I determined that cutting back my time on social media would be appropriate. While I still check in periodically, I have found that I don't miss it very much, and that I have been able to spend time on more important things, not the least of which is keeping you, my readers, in the loop about the latest Church and temple news.

That is not to say that social media is not an important way to keep in touch, especially with those you may not see very often. And it has been an outlet for many of us to hear uplifting thoughts from our apostles who post regularly about their ministry and share insights into how we can become better people.

So social media has its' importance in its' proper place, but too much of anything is never a good thing. Just as the youth of the Church have been blessed by responding to the prophet's challenge and participating in their social media fasts, sometimes, it is good to take a step back from such things.

The subject of the apostles' posts on social media is an appropriate segue to the second and final subject which I wanted to cover in this post. In an exciting development, the Church News today noted that they would be doing a new series of articles focusing on each of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and that these articles would include tributes to them from the other members of that Quorum. The first of those articles, published about 90 minutes ago, focuses on President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve.

With the knowledge that this new series will be published over the next little while, I continue to monitor all Church News developments and will pass those along as I receive word of them. 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.

Elder & Sister Renlund Speak to CES Instructors; Temple Updates Provided

Hello again, everyone! This post will cover two subjects, namely: the devotional for CES Instructors and some temple updates. First, as some of you may be aware, the Church holds an annual broadcast for those who teach seminary and institute and their spouses.

The speakers this year included Elder Dale G. Renlund and his wife, Ruth, Elder Kim B. Clark, General Authority Seventy and Commissioner of Church Education, and Chad Webb, director of Seminaries and Institutes.

As some of you may also be aware, one of Elder Renlund's many apostolic assignments is to serve on the Church Board of Education. It was therefore fitting that he and his wife participated in this broadcast. The Church News provided this summary of that devotional.

We now conclude with the temple updates I referenced. I have previously shared on numerous occasions my feeling that the Church could (and likely will) have at least 200 temples in operation by or before the day on which the Church marks its' bicentennial anniversary (which will occur on Saturday April 6, 2030). And I have also shared that this could happen whether or not an official goal is set to do so.

As of today, there are 11.81 years left until that day, which means that the Church would need to dedicate roughly 3.47 temples per year. As I also noted previously, there will only be 2 temples dedicated this year, which is below that average. But with 6 temples anticipated to be dedicated in 2019, and at least 3 that we know of (so far) that may be dedicated in 2020, by the time those are dedicated, the average number of temples that would need to be completed per year will likely go down quite a bit.

That said, let's talk about two temples which have had progress reported. We start with the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple. Recent information of which I have become aware notes that the exterior of that temple is nearing completion, and that a coat of white paint has been added to the temple's entry way.

I cannot say for certain that this will be the case, but I would imagine that the Church could potentially announce a dedication for that temple within the next four months or so, and I have offered my opinion recently that that could occur in mid-April 2019. It will be interesting to see what happens in that regard.

I also became aware of an update on the Arequipa Peru Temple. Recently obtained information shows that work on the temple's exterior is making steady progress. That temple is anticipated to be dedicated in early 2020. The interesting thing about this temple, the Rio de Janeiro Brazil & Winnipeg Manitoba Temple is that they all have a general completion estimate of early 2020. In some ways, the order in which they could be completed may be somewhat interchangeable.

To the best of my ability, I continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments and will pass those along to you all as I receive them. 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.