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Friday, June 29, 2018

Additional Temple Progress Reported

Hello again, everyone! I continue to share the latest updates I have on a variety of subjects. This post will cover some of the latest temple developments of which I have become aware. Let's get right into it.

First, I wanted to note an update on where the Church stands in terms of potentially having 200 operating temples by Saturday April 6, 2030, which will mark the Church's bicentennial anniversary. As there are still 41 temples that would need to be dedicated in the 11.77 years between now and then, if the Church dedicates an average of 3.48 per year during that time, that could easily occur.

As I have also noted, with this year only seeing 2 dedications, since there will be 5 or 6 in 2019, and at least 3 the following year that we know of so far, it is likely that there will be at least 170 temples in operation by the time there are 10 years remaining until that bicentennial, and since that would leave 30 others that would need to dedicated that average would go down to at most, 3 per year. And since we are very likely to see several other temples dedicated in the years following that, I have no doubts the Church could manage that, whether or not an official goal is made to do so.

And that is not taking into account the temples that will likely have a groundbreaking within the next two years and beyond, along with others that will be announced. So I see no scenario that would prevent the Church from having 200 temples by that date, whether or not an official goal is made to do so.

That said, I have two other updates, both for new temples currently under construction. As I noted two days ago, the angel Moroni statue was installed at the Fortaleza Brazil Temple. The LDS CHurch Temples Facebook page provided some additional photographs that have been submitted from that day. I am still trying to figure out the likely possibility of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple potentially being dedicated before the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple and will post more on that once I know more in that regard..

The other update relates to the Lisbon Portugal Temple, where scaffolding has been removed from the adjacent meetinghouse, and where trees and shrubs have been added to the temple grounds. As always, I continue to monitor all temple developments and will do my level best to bring word of those to you as I receive them.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments continue to be both 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.

Elders Gerrit W. Gong and Ulisses Soares Meet with Media

Hello again, everyone! This will be the first of at least three or four posts which I will be publishing here over the next several hours to pass along the latest Church news and temple updates, since there have been a number of significant developments in that regard. In this, the first of those posts, I wanted to pass along some very interesting information I found out about late last night but have not been able to blog about before now.

As most (if not all) of you are aware, the Church has customarily held a press conference to allow the media to introduce newly called First Presidency members or members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and to allow media representatives the opportunity to ask them questions on all subjects that are of interest to everyone around the world.

Prior to the January 2018 press conference for President Nelson and his counselors, the last such event was held in October 2015 to introduce newly-called Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund. And, as was recently observed in another post on this blog and the comments responding to it, Elders Gerrit W. Gong and Ulisses Soares did not have that chance, at least initially.

But late yesterday, reports indicated that the newest apostles had met for two hours with local and national media representatives to respond to questions and to talk about their first three months in the apostleship. Two reports of those interviews were carried in the Church News and on Mormon Newsroom (with the latter also carrying a brief video summary of those interviews).

Not surprisingly, the interviews covered topics such as how they were adjusting to their new callings, the paramount support of their wives and families, their extensive international experience that, in many ways, helps them relate very well to the needs of members worldwide, and the kindness of both members of the Church and their fellow apostles, including and especially President Nelson.

But my two biggest takeaways from these reports had a profound influence on me. I am sure I knew this already, but apparently, when new apostles come into the Quorum of the Twelve, one of their senior apostolic colleagues mentor them to help them transition well to the new responsibilities and opportunities. Elder Christofferson is mentoring Elder Gong, while Elder Andersen serves as a mentor to Elder Soares.

Above and beyond that, however, is the significant fact that, for the first time that I can recall, the new apostles shared with the media a complete list of their current assignments. As I have previously noted, it used to be standard procedure in the late 1990s and early 2000s for the Church Almanac to share details of the specific assignments held by each of the apostles, but by the time I started purchasing the Church Almanac in 2005 or so, those details were no longer included.

Sometimes, through various sources, information has been provided as to some of the assignments held by the current members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are detailed, but we have not had a full list of individual assignments for the apostles in at least the last decade or so. This may go back to what I have previously said about President Nelson's efforts to promote more transparency in terms of Church matters.

But I digress. Elder Gong has the following assignments: He chairs the Church Scripture Committee, and is a member of both the Leadership and Training Committee and also the Outreach Committee. He has additionally been assigned as a member of the Priesthood and Family Council, and has been given supervisory responsibility for the Church's Asia & Asia North Areas.

Before detailing Elder Soares' assignments, I wanted to note that, while it may seem somewhat irregular to some that such a junior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is chairing a committee, Elder Gong's wide experience as both an educator and one who has lived and worked in many nations uniquely qualifies him to oversee efforts to get the scriptures translated into additional languages. And the fact that he both has Asian ancestry and has lived and worked in various Asian countries makes him uniquely suited for those area assignments he has been given.

Getting back to Elder Soares, he has been assigned to serve on the Missionary Executive Council (as I noted yesterday) and also on the Human Resource Councils, and he has been given an assignment to oversee the Central America and Africa West Areas of the Church. Prior to his service in the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Soares was president of the Africa Southeast Area, so he has no small familiarity with how the Church is progressing on the African continent.

I had reported earlier this week that Elders Andersen and Soares recently traveled through the Africa West Area together, which makes sense, since Elder Andersen is serving as mentor to the junior apostle, and since Elder Soares is supervising the Africa West Area.

I apologize. This post ran a lot longer than I had anticipated it would. That does it for now. 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.