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Saturday, September 1, 2018

A Couple of Updates Provided on Temples

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post now to report two temple developments that have come to my attention within the last few hours. First, the unofficial site for information about temples (which can be found at its' new URL here shows that the new projected estimate within which the site might be finished with its' restoration work has changed to September 30 of this year.

If this estimate has changed to be more specific, hopefully that means all is going with with the restoration work. But hopefully it also means that this is the latest anticipated date whereby that site might again be up and running. As those of us who enjoy the site continue to pray for those involved in that restoration process, hopefully it can be completed sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, the Facebook page for the site has noted that unanticipated repairs will be done for the Rexburg Idaho Temple. As some of you may recall, the dedication for that temple had been set to occur on February 3, 2008, but the unexpected passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley one week earlier meant that the following Sunday would mark the reorganization of the First Presidency. Therefore, one major action President Monson took as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was to announce that the dedication would be delayed for a week.

Although the temple is just over 10 years old, it appears that the extreme heat on one end and the extreme cold on the other has resulted in somewhat significant damage to a few of the most prominent exterior elements of the temple. With a closure of that temple having gone into effect last Monday (August 27), the temple will be closed until Monday September 17, a period of three weeks. The reason that I did not mention that temple among those closing for an extended period at some point this year was that I felt a need to restrict that list to temples which would close for more than a month.

That said, though no other source is tracking this information, I continue to monitor the Church's progress towards having 200 operating temples by or before the 200th anniversary of the Church (which will, as previously noted, be marked on Saturday April 6, 2030). I have run the numbers that will be effective for tomorrow, at which time there will be 11.59 years remaining until said anniversary. The Church will easily have 200 operating temples at that time if roughly 3.54 temples are dedicated each year between now and then.

As also previously noted, the 2 temple dedications set to occur before the end of this year will be below that average, but next year, with 1 temple dedication already scheduled and 5 others anticipated to be announced within the next year or so, a total of 6 temples will make 2019 fall above that average. 3 other temples already anticipated to be dedicated during 2020 will put that year almost at that average by the time we get between June and August.

And if, as anticipated, we learn more in around a month in General Conference about the specific extent to which President Nelson's plans to expand the number of temples might go, then the number of temple events held during the remainder of 2020 and the years that follow could very well increase exponentially.

For that reason, I have no doubts whatsoever that the Church could easily construct and dedicate a minimum of 30 temples between mid-2020 and the date of that 200th anniversary, and I would not in any way be surprised if there are many more than that by that date. Whatever might occur in that regard, you can depend on my bringing word of it to you all here as I become aware of such developments.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.

Miscellaneous Interesting Tidbits Gleaned from Resources Recently Made Available

Hello again, everyone! Hope you all are well. I wanted to post right now with, as the title implies, various interesting tidbits gleaned from resources recently made available. Let's dive right into all of those details. First, as I mentioned in an earlier post, 3 of the 4 Church magazines published for September 2018 listed changes in magazine advisers, including that Elder Randall K. Bennett and Sister Becky Craven were now listed as advisers rather than assistant editors of the magazines. Those changes have now been additionally confirmed in the September 2018 Ensign, of which the PDF version was just recently made available.

Next, from Mormon Newsroom, we have 2 stories covering subjects which I have already mentioned in previous posts on this blog, but which are well worthy of reiteration, in addition to one new article. First, the articles covering subjects previously mentioned. Those relate to the ministry of our First Presidency members: namely, this article, shared from the Jamaica Mormon Newsroom and covering President Nelson's announced plans to visit the Caribbean Area of the Church this next weekend, and this one highlighting  President Oaks' remarks given to young married couples in several Californian stakes which covered several topics that some may consider somewhat controversial.

In the meantime, the new story from Mormon Newsroom to which I referred above is this article, which shares how Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and Sister Lisa L. Harkness, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, are travelling in the Central America Area. Their trip, which began on August 24 and will end on September 4, is one of the longest (if not the very longest) international trips taken by auxiliary leaders. They spent a good amount of time visiting survivors of the recent volcanic eruption which occurred in Guatemala, and they will also visit Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, and El Salvador.

Before moving on to stories from the Church News, I wanted to report here that, atypical to what we have seen previously, as of this last day of August, there has been no announcement as of yet in terms of the schedule for Church-wide events which will be held next year. Last year, most of the 2018 events (except for the temple events which were scheduled later) had been announced on August 25.

The fact that we are going into September with no announcement about the 2019 scheduled events seems significant, but I am assuming that the reason that announcement has been delayed is because President Nelson is visiting the Caribbean Area this weekend, and because the United States will observe Labor Day on Monday. But I will be looking out for that information and will pass it along to you all as i become aware of it.

Our focus now shits to the Church News, where two articles share some information about our junior apostle, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve. As I previously reported, Elder Soares recently returned home to Brazil for the first time since his call to the apostleship. This article highlights more fully some of the connections he has with the people of that nation, and how they in turn responded to the news of his call, hearing him speak to them as a "special witness" of the Savior, and  witnessing him invoke an apostolic blessing upon them.

In the meantime, the other article which referenced Elder Soares' recent ministry efforts was the next installment in the Church News series "This Week on Social", which shares things about which various Church leaders have posted on social media websites. In addition to the comments from Elder Soares, other posts featured thoughts from his apostolic seatmate Elder Gerrit W. Gong, along with another post from Elder Neil L. Andersen (who shared a clip of the talk he gave during the April 2005 General Conference entitled "Beware of the Evil Behind the Smiling Eyes").

As a sidenote, that talk was given just four months before he began serving in the Presidency of the Seventy, in which Presidency he would continue to serve until his own call to the apostleship in April 2009). His warning is as apropos and relevant today as it was when it was given. And a post from Elder Quentin L. Cook highlighted the new narrative history of the Church entitled Saints, which, as noted above, will be discussed more fully in the final Face-to-Face event for Young Adults this year. And the final post from an apostle which was shared in that article was from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who shared some thoughts about repentance.

The final social media post shared in that article was the only one not featuring a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. That post was published by Sister Michelle D. Craig, the First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency. And I was particularly intrigued by something she specifically said, namely: "I rediscovered a story in the Old Testament a few months ago while preparing for a talk." Now, while she could have been referring to an address she has given or will yet give during a meeting with Church members, the wording of that statement seems more indicative that she will be speaking in the next General Conference.

If that turns out to be the case, then it is more likely than not that she will be giving that "talk" in General Conference in October. As I previously noted, I have predicted she will be speaking during the Women's Session. Some may contend that, if she is referring to an address she has prepared/is preparing for General Conference, she may be speaking during one of the other four general sessions.. But there is a big reason why I think otherwise:

Although there may have been one or two exceptions in recent years (mainly relating to the Women's Session), it has usually been tradition for a new president of any of the Church's five auxiliaries to speak during a general session before either of the two counselors in that presidency do so. Since the Young Women General Presidency was just changed last conference, it can be assumed that Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, the new General President, will speak during any of the four general sessions. If that turns out to be the case, the only other possibility is that Sister Craig is the representative from the Young Women General Presidency who will be speaking during the Women's Session.

Around 9 hours ago, the Church News updated this article which first announced President Nelson's plans to visit the Caribbean Area this weekend. Meanwhile, this article shares a video which highlights experiences from members of the Church in Europe who recently participated in a challenge to read the entire Book of Mormon over a 21-day period.

And in two other stories highlighting remarkable lay members of the Church, the "survival stories" of members battling rare diseases are shared, along with this account detailing the 35-day trek Church members took through the Australian Alps to raise $10,000 for children living in indigenous regions of the world.

Finally tonight, the Church News continues to share stories highlighting ongoing developments related to "FamilySearch". This article details how those with a FamilySearch account can see whether they have any ancestors who lived in Nauvoo. All of these developments are most exciting. I enjoyed reading about them and hope you enjoyed my coverage of them in this post. I continue to monitor any Church news or temple developments and will do my level best to pass word of those along to you all as I become aware of them.

On a personal note, I just wanted to clarify something that may be misunderstood in the ongoing discussion of the most likely prospective locations that might have a temple announced next October. In case I was not specific on this point, the locations I shared a few days ago are those for which (in my opinion) a temple may be announced in General Conference in around a month.

While I am convinced that there are many locations not on my current list that are very worthy of having the honor of such an announcement in the near future, until the extent of President Nelson's plans to expand the number of temples is known (which may not be detailed more fully until next General Conference or the one after that), I felt a need to focus my personal list on those locations which (in my opinion) have the highest probability for an announcement during the upcoming General Conference.

Once President Nelson's plans are detailed more fully and we have more of an idea of the number of temples that might be announced in the future to best facilitate those plans, I am more than ready to expand my list to include any other location favored by others which seem for the moment to be more distant prospects. I apologize if that was not clear enough in what I have said previously.

With that in mind, any comments which any of you have on the latest version of that list (including if I have been overly optimistic in my consideration of any of those locations or if there are any I have missed which have a higher likelihood of being announced in October than I might currently believe) would be most welcome and appreciated, as would any or all comments on any other post I have done on this blog.

That does it for this post. Thank you for t he privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly added content, please feel free to subscribe. 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.