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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Additional Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! Though the big news for today was the temple updates which I provided in the last post, I wanted to pass along some additional Church news stories which have been reported within the last 12 hours. Let's dive right into those.

First and foremost (in indirect relation to the six-part series of articles the Church News published covering the ministry of our apostles), the Church News shared these quotes from each member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about the prophetic calling and ministry of Church President Russell M. Nelson.

Second, although the Church maintains political neutrality in terms of candidates running for office, Church leaders continue to monitor issues facing the Saints around the world, and often contribute support, thoughts, and perspective about such issues. Because Utah is facing an issue on the ballot this November that would legalize the use of medical marijuana, the Church has joined a coalition which has among its' members leaders of other faiths, prominent politicians, and doctors.

The coalition, which (in my opinion) correctly observes that legalizing marijuana for medical use is not the problem, but the wording of the ballot initiative as it now stands is (as there is nothing which would prevent people from using it as a loophole to use the substance in a non-legal recreational way), has three Church leaders on it: Elder Craig C. Christensen (who serves as president of the Utah Area (which is, as I previously noted, a singular term, though the state has previously been three separate areas)), Elder Jack N. Gerard (who was sustained as a General Authority Seventy last April and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Church Public Affairs Department), and Sister Lisa L. Harkness (who was sustained First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency last April).

The three leaders recently participated on a radio show to more fully illuminate the reasons the Church has weighed in on this issue, and to explain why the initiative as it now stands would prove problematic to the citizens of Utah. They also reiterated the fact that, if the problems with the current wording of the initiative were resolved, the Church could (and probably would) get on board to support such a measure. You can read more about that here.

And finally, Elder Kevin J. Worthen, an area seventy here in the Utah Area who also serves currently as president of BYU-Provo, offered some thoughts in the first devotional held by the school this semester, in which he explained 3 ways each of us can more fully recognize that we are not spiritually tone-deaf, and may be receiving more revelation than we might realize and recognize at times.

I continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will do my level best to pass word of those along to you all as I become aware of such updates. 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.

Several Temple Updates Reported

Hello again, everyone! Numerous updates have come in on the status of temples under construction or which are being renovated around the world, and this post will share those updates. Most notably, after not hearing any updates on the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple since shortly after the Church of Jesus Christ Temples site went down, there has finally be an update noted on it today.

Additionally, there has been major progress reported on a few of the temples undergoing renovation. As some of you may recall, almost two months ago, I switched the order in which the Raleigh North Carolina and Baton Rouge Louisiana Temples were listed on my personal temple construction progress report, due to the extensive progress reported on the latter and the comparatively far less significant progress reported on the former. As with anything else, I continue to keep an eye on reported developments and will be changing my thoughts on the previously-provided completion estimates as that becomes necessary.

Due to the voluminous nature of these developments, I will be posting my entire temple construction progress report. As always, new developments are noted in red text. That updated report follows below. So as not to disturb its' flow, I will end here and now 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. 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.


Temple Construction Progress (current as of 9/12/18)

Note about future temple construction: I have previously referenced the statement made by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Temple Department Executive Director, to the effect that 80 temples were on a list of locations that would be considered for an official announcement within the 15 years following that statement. And although we may not know whether or not those 80 locations have been announced by late April 2032, it seems reasonable to believe that the Church could (and likely will) have 200 operating temples by or before Saturday April 6, 2030 (which will mark the Church’s bicentennial anniversary). In order to do so, the Church would just need to complete the 30 temples in various phases, and announce and complete 11 others in the 11.56 years between now and then, which could be done if 3.55 temples are dedicated each year. Although this year will see only 2 temple dedications, there are 5 or 6 anticipated in 2019, and at least 3 that we know of so far the following year. So I am confident the Church will have at least 200 in operation by that time, whether or not an official goal is made to do so.
                        
Current temple status: The Church has 189 temples in various phases. There are 159 in operation, while 1 other will have its’ open house begin on Saturday; 2 more have a dedication scheduled; 8 others are in various phases of construction. In terms of temples undergoing renovations, 10 temples are currently closed for renovation (5 or 6 of which are anticipated to be rededicated next year), and 1 other, which closed for renovation in late 2017, is currently stalled in its’ renovation process. The remaining 19 are announced, with at least 2 that to have a groundbreaking by the end of 2018, while several others are likely to have a groundbreaking in 2019 and the years following that.

Preparing for public open house:
160. Concepcion Chile Temple: Preparing for public open house (will go from Saturday September 15-Saturday October 13); dedication scheduled to occur on Sunday October 28, 2018.

Dedication Scheduled:                                                                                         
161.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Exterior work completed; temple open house begins in roughly 2 months; dedication scheduled to occur on Sunday December 9, 2018.
162. Rome Italy Temple: New photographs posted on Facebook on September 12, 2018; dedication scheduled to occur from Sunday March 10-Sunday March 17, 2019.

Under construction, completion estimated during 2019:
163. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Installation of walkways continues; completion estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
Note: Having recently been reminded that this temple (for the moment, at least) will not include an angel Moroni statue, it is my feeling that we could see a dedication held in mid-April, unless it is scheduled to occur prior to the already-scheduled dedication of the Rome Italy Temple.
164. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Installation of exterior lighting underway; completion estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
Note: Given the recent massive number of updates which we have seen provided for this temple, as long as it continues to steadily progress towards its’ completion, a rededication could be set for mid-to-late May, following Mother’s Day.
165. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Exterior cladding underway; new photograph shared on Facebook on September 12, 2018; completion estimated sometime during mid-2019.
Note: Although I have not found any updates for this temple in the recent past, if it has progressed at a steady rate, the dedication could be held for it in early-to-mid June. If I see information that leads me to conclude that will happen sooner, I will alter this estimate.
166. Lisbon Portugal Temple: New photographs shared on Facebook on September 12, 2018 show progress on exterior stonework for temple; installation of lampposts underway at adjacent meetinghouse; completion estimated sometime during mid-2019.
Note: Given the recent massive number of developments reported for this temple on the LDS Church Temples page, if construction continues at a steady rate, this temple could potentially be dedicated in mid-to-late August. I will alter this estimate as needed once more information is available.
167. Durban South Africa Temple: Multiple updates reported on Facebook on September 12, 2018 (particularly, dome has been added to tower); completion estimated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
Note: As previously mentioned, on July 19, 2019, the Church News identified the first president for this temple. Since we have not yet heard about the first presidents for the Fortaleza or Lisbon temples, there may be a possibility that this temple could be dedicated sooner than many (myself included) have anticipated. Until more is known in that regard, I am adjusting my previously-offered estimate to mid-October.

Temples estimated to be completed sometime during 2020:
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: Stunning new photograph posted on Facebook on September 12, 2018; completion estimated sometime during early 2020.
Note: While this temple and the temples in Rio de Janeiro and Winnipeg may, in some ways, be interchangeable in terms of their future likely completion order, since this one seems to remain ahead for the moment, it could be dedicated sometime between January and March, but perhaps on the earlier side of that estimate, if progress continues at a steady rate.
169. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Exterior cladding underway; article from a local newspaper shared on Facebook on July 30, 2018; completion estimated sometime during early 2020.
Note: While I have not found a recent update on this temple, if progress has continued steadily, a dedication could potentially occur between February and April, but perhaps on the earlier side of that estimate.
170. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Speculative video of revised design for temple shared on Facebook on August 27, 2018; completion estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
Note: Since there has been no change to the 20-month estimate in which this temple is anticipated to be completed, full-scale construction could conclude in February or March, in which case a dedication could follow between April and June. I will be keeping my eyes open for anything that would necessitate a change in that estimate.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during 2019):
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; updated photograph posted to Facebook on July 24, 2018; completion estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
Note: Given the update noted above, I stand by my estimate that this temple could either be rededicated in February (prior to the already-scheduled dedication of the Rome Italy Temple) or in mid-to-late April. As more is known, if I need to adjust my thinking on this estimate, I will do so.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Closed for renovation; angel Moroni statue reinstalled on September 10, 2018; rededication estimated sometime during mid-2019.
Note: If the article about this temple’s renovation process, which was posted on the LDS Church Temples Facebook site on the date noted above, is any indication, then renovation efforts will conclude in April or May, which means that a rededication could potentially occur in either June or early-to-mid August, following the annual July recess for the General Authorities.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Closed for renovation; photograph posted on Facebook on July 24, 2018 shows progress on tower cladding; rededication estimated sometime during mid-2019.
Note: Although this temple has not progressed as consistently as the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple, it has continued at a steady pace. With that in mind, this temple could be rededicated in mid-September.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Closed for renovation; photograph posted on Facebook on July 24, 2018 shows reshaped exterior of temple; rededication estimated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
Note: Given the recent steady progress made on this temple, and the comparatively less progress we have seen reported for the Raleigh North Carolina Temple, I am making a bold new prediction that this temple will be rededicated before that one, and that this could occur in mid-to-late October.
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Closed for renovation; window openings boarded up; scaffolding installed around tower; preparation for stone cladding underway; cladding nearing completion on east side; rededication estimated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
Note: Given the lack of a report showing that this temple is making steady progress in its’ renovation, and the relatively more substantial progress that has been noted on the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple, as noted above, I moved this one down on July 24, 2018. That said, this temple could be rededicated in either mid-November or mid-December, assuming all goes well.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during late 2019-early 2020)
13. Oakland California Temple: Closed for renovation; progress on exterior renovation shown in new photograph posted on Facebook on August 27, 2018; rededication estimated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.
Note: As I have previously noted, this temple is older, and is having its’ first renovation. With that in mind, depending on how consistently we hear updates on its’ progress, a rededication could occur anytime during December 2019-March or April 2020.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during 2020):
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Closed for renovation; construction of new annex building and interior renovations are underway; rededication estimated sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
Note: If this temple continues to make consistent progress, then we could see a rededication occur sometime during April-June, though that may be pushed back to August if delays occur.
7. Mesa Arizona Temple: Closed for renovation; only a few trees and planter boxes preserved from temple grounds; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
Note: On May 10, 2018, the Church released details of the renovation plans for this temple. Exactly three weeks later, the Church released additional details of plans to redevelop the area around the temple. Bearing in mind that this temple has been renovated before, and that it is a somewhat older and larger temple, its’ rededication could occur sometime between mid-August and late September.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Closed for renovation; picture update posted to Facebook on July 5, 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
Note: Since this is an older and larger temple undergoing its’ first renovation, a rededication could take place sometime between early October and mid-December. Once more is known about this temple’s progress (or the lack thereof), I will provide any adjustments to this estimate that may be needed.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication estimated sometime during 2021):
11. Hamilton New Zealand Temple: Closed for renovation; photograph shared on Facebook on August 27, 2018 shows massive attendance at the temple the day before its’ renovation closure began; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2021.
Note: On July 24, 2018, the LDS Church Temples Facebook page confirmed that this temple had closed for renovation. While the extent of the renovation plans currently remain unknown (or at least uncertain), the temple may be subject to a complete exterior and interior overhaul, which may involve an expansion. Unless something occurs that delays this process, this temple could potentially be dedicated in mid-to-late April 2021. As more is known, any adjustments that are needed in terms of this estimate will be made.

Renovation process stalled; full-scale work pending:
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Closed for renovation; full-scale renovation pending.
Note: Until formal renovation efforts are underway for this temple, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to pinpoint both a general and more specific completion estimate. Consequently, on July 24, 2018, I removed any estimates from this temple. If I hear renovation efforts are underway in the near future, I will then again add a general completion estimate, and offer a more specific estimate as well. Either way, it does not appear likely at this point that this temple will be rededicated in 2019, as was originally announced.

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. And since this November marks the 52nd anniversary of Thailand’s being dedicated for the preaching of the gospel, November may just be the month in which this groundbreaking occurs.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Site clearing activities underway; artist’s rendering anticipated to be released in the near future; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
Note: On July 6, 2018, the LDS Church Temples Facebook page reported the developments noted above, and with that in mind, an artist’s rendering may be released and a groundbreaking ceremony may be set at some point in the very near future. What is unclear for the moment is how soon that might occur. While I would anticipate that the Bangkok Thailand Temple, which is further along in the process for now, might have a groundbreaking first, I am certain a groundbreaking ceremony will be held for this temple by the end of this year. As more is known, I will be able to offer a more precise estimate.
173. Saratoga Springs Utah Temple: Planning and approval; designs underway; picture of presumed location shared on Facebook on August 27, 2018; 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. Then, on July 6, 2018, as a result of the developments relating to the Urdaneta Philippines temple, I moved this one down and adjusted my general estimate for its’ groundbreaking. I am not ruling out the prospect that the Church could hold a groundbreaking for this temple before the end of 2018, so if I feel a need to move this temple again in the near future, I will do so.
174. Pocatello Idaho Temple: Planning and approval; site confirmed and artist’s rendering released on September 6, 2018; groundbreaking anticipated sometime during early 2019.
Note: On the date mentioned above, with the site confirmation and artist’s rendering, the official announcement also noted that construction on the temple (which will take around 2-3 years) was anticipated to begin at some point next year. I have therefore moved my estimate for that process to early 2019, and could see a groundbreaking scheduled sometime between late March and mid-to-late April.
175. 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.
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 will serve as the site for that temple, 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, especially since President Nelson has also urged the members to hurry and prepare so it can be built.
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.

Final note: If recent statements from Church leaders (regarding how President Nelson’s legacy as a temple-building Church president will outpace and overshadow the previous legacy set by President Hinckley) are any indication, we may soon enter an era where the volume of temple-related developments will be multiplied. As more is known in that regard, I will add any needed elements to this report.

Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose numbers already exists (for renovations), or is certain due to a scheduled dedication, as well as information that is certain, such as dedication or groundbreaking dates.
Italicized numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Underlined numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on progress towards planning, approval, and groundbreaking.
Changes since last report are highlighted in red.