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Sunday, October 14, 2018

BREAKING TEMPLE NEWS: Rome Italy Open House Reservations; Bangkok Thailand Temple Site To Be Cleared

Hello again, everyone! I am posting in the late-night hours when Sunday October 14 will become Monday October 15 to share some breaking temple news. First of all, it was reported over this last weekend that preliminary reservations are beginning to be offered for the Rome Italy Temple Open House, which will start roughly 3.5 months from now. Although the Church's online reservation system will not officially offer reservations for this event for about the next two months, those interested can find more information here.

In the meantime, as some of you may recall, the Church announced the site information and artist's rendering for the Bangkok Thailand Temple earlier this year. As some of you may also remember, at the time that rendering was released, a statement was included from President Nelson to the effect that he didn't foresee any obstacles in getting the construction process started for that temple. With almost seven months having come and gone since that rendering was released, one building has remained on the temple site.

All of that is set to change in November. On the first day of that month, the final business in that building (one of the Church's distribution centers) will temporarily relocate to a nearby chapel before finding a permanent home. Once that happens, the completely vacated building can then be razed, at which point, a groundbreaking can be held and construction would be able to begin.

With that in mind, there is a possibility (however remote) that the groundbreaking ceremony could potentially occur at any point following the razing of that building. Before I knew about that one building left standing on the property, I had ventured my opinion that a groundbreaking for the Bangkok temple could occur within the month of November, which would coincide with the anniversary of that nation's dedication for the preaching of the gospel in 1962 by then-Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

It would be awesome if a groundbreaking could be held for this temple prior to the end of this year, which would, along with the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple groundbreaking (which has been confirmed for November 8) mark the start of construction for the two remaining temples originally announced in April 2015 by President Thomas S. Monson.

That said, I would not be upset to learn that the groundbreaking for this temple might be held in December, or in the early months of next year either. Anytime a temple can start construction, I appreciate being able to learn about it and share it here.

I continue to monitor 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 it. 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.

Some Thoughts and Analysis About the Top Ten Nations Without a Temple, Recently-Announced Temples, and Future Temple-Building Plans

Hello again, everyone! On this Sabbath Day, I wanted to post my thoughts and analysis on the recently-updated list of the top 10 nations with the most members that do not have a temple in any phase. Let's get right into those.

First, of those top ten, the Saints in only two of those nations (American Samoa, which comes in at #4, and Mozambique, which comes it at #9) have a journey of less than 400 miles, and the Saints in most of the remaining 8 nations have a journey of 1,000 miles or greater to their currently-assigned temple. So at least the other 8 make prime temple candidates based on the mileage metric, although all of those locations could be said to constitute an undue hardship (either by distance, cost, difficulty of travel, or a combination of any or all of those factors).

As a second observation, due to growth in both the number of units and the membership totals involved, Sierra Leone, once below Kiribati, has now jumped ahead of that nation. Thirdly, 3 of the nations on the previous list of the top ten in that category had a temple announced this last go-round. Fourth, given the nature of the Church's situation in each of the 19 locations which had a temple announced last year, it seems reasonable to assume that the Church will continue to prioritize temple announcements in the nations currently on that top ten list, where membership and the number of Church units would easily support a temple of their own in such locations.

The other side of that has no direct relation to the list, by which I mean that if a bunch of new temples are announced regularly for the near future, something will need to be done to clear any existing backlog. I am sure the fact that the Church has 31 temples which need to get from announcement to construction will play into what is done to deal with the backlog, as well as the timing and number of future announcements.

That said, as many have rightly pointed out, there is more than a good chance that, by the time the next General Conference rolls around, at least 4 (but perhaps as many as 9 or more) temples could see construction begin. As I observed in response to a recent question through a comment on this blog, surely some of these temples are being planned on the smaller side so they can easily and quickly be constructed and dedicated.

Another factor in all of this is, of course, the extent of the plans going forward, and whether or not the consideration of what qualifies any area for a temple of its' own will change. We have previously heard Church presidents talk about having every member within a 200-mile radius of a temple, or of prioritizing locations where travel to a currently-assigned temple is long, hard, expensive, impractical, or unsafe in any way.

The fact that we began this year with 182 temples in various phases and have seen that number swell to 201 now has to mean that there is something big coming in terms of the frequency and extent of future temple announcements, and that the necessary processes will be adapted in such a way as to allow temples to more rapidly move from announcement, to construction, and on to dedication.

Not all of the announced temples will be on the smaller side, but many will be. And I am sure that something will occur in addition to what we have already seen that will ensure a smoother, more rapid transition between various phases of those processes. How, to what extent, and in what manner that may be accomplished may be yet-to-unfold, but I am grateful to know that it is being worked on.

What will the future hold for temple construction? It is unclear for now, although we do know that President Nelson has "[begun] with the end in mind." And if what I have heard in public and privately is any indication, we have barely scratched the surface of what's coming for future temple construction in the years ahead.

There was little to no doubt in my mind before this year began that we would have at least 200 temples in operation by or before Saturday April 6, 2030, which is the day that the Church will mark its' bicentennial, whether or not an official goal is made to do so. If all but one of the temples currently announced are completed within that time, it is well within reach. And there is little top no chance that 19 new locations would have temples announced this year if there was not a plan in mind to handle the windfall of those announcements, to say nothing of dealing with the 12 locations that had not made it to a groundbreaking when this year began.

One thing is absolutely certain: We live in an outstanding time for temple developments, and we'd better buckle up because only the Lord and those privy to conversations at Church headquarters on the subject of temples know exactly what's coming and how the Church will be able to handle it. The very reason we sustain prophets, seers, and revelators is because they are able to put personal preferences, ideas, or views aside to bring themselves and the Church in full conformity with what the Lord, in His infinitely superior wisdom, knowledge, and judgement, deems necessary to prepare the Church as a whole and its' members as individuals and families for the immediate and more distant future.

Whatever might occur in that regard, you can count on my reports about it all as I become aware of such things. I do continue to monitor all of these developments on an ongoing basis, and will do my level best to pass word of those along to you all ASAP. If any of you would like to see the more specific data I have compiled on the list of those top 10 nations, let me know.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time. 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.