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Sunday, October 21, 2018

October 2018 General Conference Predictions Results

Hello again, everyone! In what has been a busy few hours for me, I have also taken time to analyze the results of my predictions for the October 2018 General Conference, and I am posting those results here and now. Those results, which follow below, show that my success in those predictions this go-round was about par-for-the-course, falling between my normal 60-80% accuracy range. And now I have further indications as far as what October General Conferences might look like in the near future. I continue to also work as I can on the preliminary version of my predictions for the April 2019 General Conference.

So as not to disturb the flow of that information, 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, 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.

October 2018 General Conference Predictions[1]
Saturday Morning[2]
President Russell M. Nelson
[President Henry B. Eyring]
President Russell M. Nelson

[Elder Quentin L. Cook]
Elder Terence M. Vinson

[M. Joseph Brough]
Elder David A. Bednar

[Elder Steven R. Bangerter]
Elder Jack N. Gerard

[Elder Ronald A. Rasband]
Elder Gerrit W. Gong

[Elder David A. Bednar]
Elder Walter F. Gonzalez

[No one]
Elder Ronald A. Rasband

President Dallin H. Oaks
Saturday Afternoon
President Dallin H. Oaks
President Henry B. Eyring (Sustaining of Church Officers)[3]

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Bishop Dean M. Davies

Elder Ulisses Soares

[Elder Gerrit W. Gong]
Elder Craig A. Cardon

[Elder Paul B. Pieper]
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

[No one]
Elder Juan Pablo Villar

[Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf]
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Women’s Session[4]
Joy D. Jones
[Jean B. Bingham]
Cristina B. Franco [Joy D. Jones]

Michelle D. Craig

[Cristina B. Franco]
Jean B. Bingham

President Henry B. Eyring

President Dallin H. Oaks

President Russell M. Nelson
Sunday Morning
President Russell M. Nelson
[President Henry B. Eyring]
President Henry B. Eyring
[President M. Russell Ballard]

Bonnie H. Cordon

[Elder Jeffrey R. Holland]
Elder Neil L. Andersen

[Elder Shayne M. Bowen]
Elder Robert C. Gay

[No one]
Elder Takashi Wada

[Elder Neil L. Andersen]
Elder Quentin L. Cook

President Russell M. Nelson
Sunday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
[President Dallin H. Oaks]
President M. Russell Ballard
[President Henry B. Eyring]

Brian K. Ashton

[Elder Robert C. Gay]
Elder Mathias Held

[Elder Matthew L. Carpenter]
Elder Dale G. Renlund

[Elder Dale G. Renlund]
Elder Scott D. Whiting

[Elder Jack N. Gerard]
Elder Paul B. Pieper

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

President Russell M. Nelson

Predictions for Changes in General Church Leadership
General Authority Seventies: Elder Brook P. Hales sustained as a new General Authority Seventy and Elders Mervyn B. Arnold, Craig A. Cardon, Larry J. Echo Hawk, C. Scott Grow, Allan F. Packer, Gregory A. Schwitzer, and Claudio D. Zivic released and granted emeritus status.
Note: On May 18, 2018, the Church News reported that Brook P. Hales, who has been serving as Secretary to the First Presidency, will continue that role, but has been called to additionally serve as a General Authority Seventy. His call will likely be presented for sustaining vote. Each of the other seven GA Seventies mentioned above were born in 1948, and will all have their 70th birthdays before the end of 2018. While the Church has at times delayed the release of some GA Seventies for 1-4 years after their 70th birthdays, the last time something like that occurred was in the early 2000s. It is therefore my belief that each of the other men listed above will most likely be released.
Result: All of these changes were presented for sustaining vote.
Area Seventies: Some area seventies released, others called.
Note: In the past, when some area seventies have been called as mission presidents, they have retained their area seventy assignments for 1-3 General Conferences after their assignments begin. In the meantime, those called as temple presidents have almost always been released. And while area seventies have been known to serve for longer periods, the general term of service for these Brethren has been 5-8 years. With that in mind, the following area seventies may or may not be released:
Newly-called mission presidents: Elders Daniel F. Dunnigan, Tasara Makasi, Fred A. Parker, and Miguel A. Reyes.
Newly-called temple presidents: Elders B. Sergio Antunes, Joao R. Grahl, Todd B. Hansen, Daniel W. Jones, Steven O. Laing, Katsuyuki Otahara, and Wolfgang Pilz
Longest-tenured: Elders Sergio L. Krasnoselsky (who has served since April 2009), Kevin J. Worthen* (who has served since April 2010), R. Randall Bluth, Hans T. Boom & David J. Thomson (who have served since April 2011).
*With reference to Kevin J. Worthen, he is currently serving as president of BYU-Provo, and as such, may either serve as an area seventy until next April, then perhaps be called as a General Authority Seventy while continuing his service at BYU, or may remain an area seventy until the conclusion of his presidential tenure, however long that may be.
Result: Several area seventies were released; no new ones were sustained.

Temple Predictions: 3+ temples announced, with the most likely locations (in my opinion), on the list below (grouped first by the geographical areas of the Church under which these locations fall, then by imminent likelihood within those areas.

Preliminary note: With seven temples having been announced last April (the second-highest number of temples ever announced at once), some have offered their opinion that perhaps no new temples may be announced during this General Conference. While I understand the rationale behind that opinion, there have been an increasing number of references to the fact that President Nelson’s plans to expand the number of temples worldwide will outpace and overshadow what we previously saw under President Hinckley’s inspired leadership, which may involve doubling or tripling the number of temples in the near future. Previous Church Presidents have indicated that each Church member should be within 200 miles of their assigned temples. If the plans involve halving or quartering that distance, or if they are going to unfold within the next 5-10 years or less, no location may be off the table. With all of that in mind, based on my personal research and on feedback provided through the comments on my blog, the locations that seem most likely to have a temple announced in the near future are listed below, first by the geographical area of the Church under which they fall, then by the degree of potential likelihood within those areas.
Africa Southeast[5]: Antananarivo Madagascar[6]; Maputo Mozambique[7]
Africa West[8]: Freetown Sierra Leone[9]; Kumasi Ghana[10]; Lagos Nigeria[11]; Monrovia Liberia[12]
Asia: Ulaanbaatar Mongolia[13]
Brazil[14]: Belo Horizonte[15]; Salvador[16]; Florianopolis[17]; Sao Paulo area (2nd temple)[18]
Caribbean: San Juan Puerto Rico[19]
Central America: Guatemala City (2nd temple)[20]
Europe[21]: Budapest Hungary[22]; Praia Cape Verde[23]; Edinburgh Scotland[24]; Vienna Austria[25]
Mexico[26]: Puebla Mexico[27]; Queretaro Mexico[28]
Pacific: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea[29]; Auckland New Zealand[30]; Tarawa Kiribati[31]; Pago Pago American Samoa[32]; Neiafu Vava'u Tonga[33]
Philippines[34]: Davao Philippines[35]
South America Northwest[36]: La Paz/Santa Cruz Bolivia[37]; Maracaibo Venezuela[38]
South America South[39]: Ciudad del Este Paraguay[40]

North America[41] (including the United States and Canada):
Idaho: Preston Idaho[42]
North America Central: Missoula Montana[43]; Rapid City South Dakota[44]; Wichita Kansas[45]; Green Bay Wisconsin[46]; Des Moines Iowa[47]; Pueblo Colorado[48]
North America Northeast: Augusta Maine[49]; Montpelier Vermont[50]
North America Northwest: Fairbanks Alaska[51]
North America Southeast: Jackson Mississippi[52]; Shreveport Louisiana[53]; Jacksonville Florida[54]; Knoxville Tennessee[55]
North America Southwest: Bentonville Arkansas[56]; Elko[57]/Ely[58] Nevada; Fort Worth Texas[59]; Las Cruces New Mexico[60]; Flagstaff Arizona[61]
North America West: Bakersfield California[62]
Utah Salt Lake City: Herriman[63];
Utah South: Heber City[64]; Tooele[65]

Result: The following 12 new temples were announced, much to my great delight: Mendoza Argentina; Salvador Brazil; Yuba City California; Phnom Penh Cambodia; Praia Cape Verde; Yigo Guam; Puebla Mexico; Auckland New Zealand; Lagos Nigeria; Davao Philippines; San Juan Puerto Rico; and Washington County Utah.

[1]While General Conferences for the last decade and longer have typically conformed to a general pattern, there have been at least half a dozen exceptions during that same time, with the April 2018 General Conference being the most recent exception. Additionally, last October, the Church announced that the Priesthood and Women’s Sessions would each be held annually, with the former every April and the latter every October. For that reason, for the next 2-4 General Conferences, I will be giving myself a small margin of error while I try to get a feel for what the new patterns might involve.
[2]As I will discuss in more detail in “Note 4” below, an assumption is made with these predictions that no members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be speaking during the Women’s Session. If that turns out to be the case, then the Quorum member that would have otherwise spoken during the Saturday Evening Session will need to be fit in somewhere else, and that could be done during either the Saturday Morning or Sunday Afternoon Sessions. Since the previous two General Conferences have seen 3 Quorum members speak during the Saturday Morning Session, an assumption is made here that this will again be the case.
[3]Last April, in the first two sessions of General Conference, President Nelson’s two counselors each led a portion of what had traditionally been a one-session combined Solemn Assembly and Sustaining of Church Officers, which makes it difficult to know which of the two might lead the sustaining vote this go-round. An assumption is made here that, since President Oaks did a tremendous job presenting the new area seventies last April that he will continue to do so every April, which would, by extension, mean that President Eyring will lead the sustaining vote each October.
[4]It had been tradition for one of the 3 presidents of the female-led auxiliaries to conduct the Women’s Session when it rolled around every six months. I am assuming that will continue to be the case. I am likewise assuming that, since that session is now being held on General Conference weekend in October that the entire First Presidency will speak, rather than just one member thereof, and that, aside from the entire cvFirst Presidency and one representative from each of the three female-led auxiliaries, no other Church leaders will speak during that session.
[5]The Church has experienced substantial growth throughout the African continent, and that applies to this area of the Church as well. Right now, the only currently-operating temple is in Johannesburg South Africa. There are 2 additional temples under construction (in Kinshasa DR Congo and Durban South Africa, both of which will be dedicated next year) and 2 others announced (in Harare Zimbabwe and Nairobi Kenya, both of which may have a groundbreaking within the next 2-3 years or less). If the growth in this area continues as it has, then several other temples may be needed, with the most likely prospects (in my opinion) and the reasoning behind each location following in the next several notes.
[6]Madagascar is currently the last of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase. Madagascar is separated by a body of water from the rest of the African continent, which means that anywhere else an African temple is now or will be built is difficult for the Madagascar Saints to get to. Currently, the Saints in Madagascar have a journey of 1,338 miles from the Johannesburg South Africa Temple. Once the Harare Zimbabwe Temple is built and dedicated, that distance will be cut to 1,082 miles. Between the great distance and the difficulty of travel, Madagascar is surely a top contender for a temple of its’ own.
[7]Right now, the Saints in Mozambique currently travel 341.5 miles to worship at the Johannesburg South Africa Temple. No other temple under construction or announced will be any closer than that. Mozambique already qualifies for a temple based on the 200-mile goal previously referenced. So if that goal is lowered at all, the imminence of such a prospect may be just a matter of time.
[8]The Church in the Africa West Area has also experienced massive and rapid growth. The LDS Church Growth Blog recently reported that, if current growth trends in the Africa West Area continue as they have been lately, the Church could go from the 2 operating and 1 announced temple to 13 in operation by sometime during 2030. With that in mind, several temples may dot this area in the near future, and the locations in this section seem to me to be the most imminently likely prospects. 
[9]Sierra Leone is now the fourth of the top ten nations that have the strongest Church presence but do not yet have a temple in any phase. With the recent expanded growth in Sierra Leone (particularly with so many districts that have been upgraded to stakes), a temple there may simply be a matter of time. The Saints in Freetown currently journey 1,243.2 miles to the Accra Ghana temple, a distance which will not be cut until the temple in Abidjan Ivory Coast is built and dedicated, at which point the Freetown Saints will be 911 miles away. Since that is still far greater than the 200-mile distance, whether or not that mileage goal is lowered, Sierra Leone is very likely to get a temple soon.
[10]Since the dedication of the Accra Ghana temple in January 2004, Ghana has seen sufficient enough growth (in my opinion) to potentially get a second temple. And Kumasi has emerged as the most likely city for such a temple. Although the Saints in Kumasi currently only have to travel 154.4 miles to the Accra temple, if the minimum mileage is lowered, then a temple in Kumasi may just be a matter of time.
[11]Nigeria has likewise seen extensive growth since the Aba temple was dedicated in August 2005. While many have offered their opinions that Benin City would be the better prospect for Nigeria’s second temple, the elements I have studied leads me to conclude that Lagos, which is 291 miles away from Aba, is the more imminent prospect. That said, I would fully anticipate that there will be temples in both Lagos and Benin City at some point within the next 10-15 years or less.
[12]In the afore-mentioned list on the LDS Church Growth Blog (which covered the 10 nations with the strongest LDS presence that do not have a temple in any phase), Liberia comes in at #9. The Saints in Liberia travel 946.5 miles to worship in the Accra Ghana Temple. Once the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple is built and dedicated, that distance will decrease to 616.5 miles. If, as observed in note 12 above, a temple is built in Freetown, that distance gets almost cut in half to 338.8 miles, which is still well above the current mileage goal. So if the minimum distance is lowered at all, Liberia may be a prime candidate for a temple in the near future.
[13]Mongolia was one nation I had on my list of more distant prospects, primarily because the Church presence in that nation is not as strong as it seems to be in other Asian nations. The main argument in favor of a temple being built in Mongolia seems to be the mileage metric. The Saints in Mongolia currently travel 1,805 miles to the Hong Kong China Temple. And my study shows that no other operating or announced temple will cut that distance at all. With that in mind, a temple in Ulaanbaatar seems to be just a matter of time.
[14]The nation of Brazil has seen strong Church growth, perhaps the greatest amount Church-wide outside of North America. With 6 temples in operation there currently, there are two others under construction in Fortaleza (where a dedication is anticipated early next year) and Rio de Janeiro (which is anticipated to be dedicated in early 2020). There are two others which have been announced in Belem and Brasilia. With these four in different phases, it is difficult to know how soon other temples might be announced for the nation. But the following locations, for the reasons I will highlight below, have a strong case in favor of a temple.
[15]Up until recently, I had had both Belo Horizonte and Salvador on my list for the immediate future, but had prioritized them in the reverse order. But the Church News reported on June 14 of this year that Elder Cook, during a visit to Brazil, had spent some time in Belo Horizonte. We have seen instances recently where members of the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve will visit areas that have recently had a temple announced, or where the Church is considering building a temple. Based on Elder Cook’s visit to Belo Horizonte, I have prioritized that city for now. If I see anything that would convince me to change the order of the two again, I will do so. 
[16]See note above on Belo Horizonte. Although Elder Cook’s more recent visit to Belo Horizonte did lead me to prioritize that city above Salvador, further digging on my part led me to another Church News report (dated March 22, 2018) which highlighted an apostolic visit by Elder Bednar to Recife, Sao Paulo, Salvador, and Brasilia.  Two apostolic visits to the same nation within a 3-month period is significant. Although there are temples in the first two cities where Elder Bednar visited (and another temple has been announced for Brasilia), there is no temple currently announced in Salvador. With that in mind, a temple could be announced there shortly as well. What will be interesting to see is whether either will be announced first, or both will be announced simultaneously, or if one could be announced while the other is in its’ construction phase.
[17]While I had seen Florianopolis as a feasible temple prospect at some point in the future, it was not until I took the reports of President Nelson’s ambitious temple-building plans into account that I felt comfortable including Florianopolis on this list for the immediate future. Right now, the nearest temples to the Saints in Florianopolis are the temple in Curitiba (which is 191.3 miles away) and Porto Alegre (which is exactly 285 miles away). Because the distances involved constitute undue hardship for the Saints in Florianopolis, a temple there may just be a matter of time. That said, it may be some time before we know how soon a temple might be announced there, if the temples in Salvador and Belo Horizonte are more imminently needed. For now though, I am confident enough to put it on this list.
[18]Up until 2016, the Church had not been known to put a second temple in any city outside the US. In 2016 and 2017, second temples were announced for Lima Peru (which will be named for and built in the Los Olivos region), and Manila Philippines (in the area of Muntinlupa City, which has yet to receive an official name). Since Sao Paulo is a strong area in terms of Church membership, a second temple there may be needed sooner rather than later, though that prospect could potentially be delayed until temples rise in Belo Horizonte, Salvador, and Florianopolis. But if the initial word on President Nelson’s temple building plans are any indication, then a second Sao Paulo temple, along with the other three locations, may be announced much sooner than anticipated
[19]Puerto Rico now ranks as the second of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that do not have a temple in any phase. With the construction of the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple underway (which will be a very small temple) it makes sense that the Church might opt to announce a temple for San Juan in the near future, as the Puerto Rican Saints currently travel 251 miles to the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic, which is just about the current minimum mileage goal, but if that is lowered at all, the prospect certainly will become more imminent. The one unknown is whether or not the recent natural disasters that have struck Puerto Rico will impact how soon a temple is built there.
[20]As noted above, someone who is familiar with the situation of the Church in Guatemala mentioned that a temple in Senahu may be delayed until the presence of the Church increases there. In the meantime, that same individual noted that a second temple to split the current Guatemala City Guatemala Temple district may be a more likely prospect. At this point, given the reasons I outlined in the note above, Senahu remains on my list. I have also included the prospect of a second temple for Guatemala City, but could see the merits of removing either of the two as more information comes to light.
[21]Europe, particularly in the eastern countries of its’ continent, has seen some stagnation in terms of the growth of the Church. With temples currently under construction in Rome Italy and Lisbon Portugal (both of which will be dedicated next year), and another announced for a major yet-to-be determined city in Russia, the Church may opt to wait to construct other temples on the European continent until those 3 are either dedicated or at least further along in the process. That said, on the off-chance the Church does not so opt, the cities in this section, for the reasons I will explain in the subsequent notes that will follow this one, have the greatest chance of being announced in the near future.
[22]When I began sharing my thoughts on potential future temple locations, someone who has knowledge of the growth of the Church in Europe indicated that Budapest would likely be the next European city to get a temple. My study on the matter confirms that opinion, so it has been on my list for a while. Right now, the Saints in Budapest travel 418 miles to worship at the Freiberg Germany Temple. And neither of the two European temples under construction will be closer than that, so a temple in Budapest seems likely.
[23]Although Cape Verde is technically closer to the Africa North Area of the Church, it falls within the boundaries of the Europe Area. The nation, which now ranks as the eighth of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple, will likely have a temple announced in its’ capital city of Praia in the near future. This is because the Saints in Cape Verde currently travel 2,126 miles to worship at the Madrid Spain Temple. Although that distance will be slightly cut to 1,861 miles once the Lisbon Portugal Temple is dedicated, that is over 9 times further away than the mileage goal set by other prophets, and if that goal is lowered at all, a Praia temple may simply be a matter of time.
[24]When expanding my list of temple prospects, I knew I had to look at another temple in the UK. I had a temple for Scotland or Ireland on my list for the distant future, but after numerous comments on my blog and some additional research on my part, I determined that Scotland would be the more likely location for the next temple in the UK. The Saints in Edinburgh are 184.5 miles from their assigned temple in Preston England. If President Nelson’s temple-building plans involve lowering the minimum mileage from which any Saint should be from their assigned temple, then Edinburgh would indeed qualify for a temple, which would likely also serve Ireland, in addition to some parts of England that are nearest to the two countries.
[25]Although the Saints in Austria have seen a slight consolidation in the number of Church units in that nation recently, their currently assigned temple in Frankfurt (which is closed for renovation) is 444.3 miles away. If a temple is built in Budapest Hungary, the Austria Saints may be reassigned to that temple, which would then be 151 miles away. But I would anticipate that a temple could be announced for Vienna within the next few years, if not immediately, as long as all goes well.
[26]The growth of the Church in Mexico has somewhat stagnated to the point where Church leaders began last year to do a mass consolidation of the Church units there, primarily for the purpose of strengthening the remaining units. With that in mind, it may be difficult to gauge how soon other Mexican temples might be needed. But for the locations in this section represent the most likely prospects I see for the near future. 
[27]One of the readers of my blog (who lives in Mexico) shared feedback reiterating the idea that the next temple in Mexico will likely be in Puebla, and that such a temple will likely be announced sooner rather than later. This makes sense, because even though Puebla is only 81.3 miles from the Mexico City temple, it may be the foremost prospects to split the current district. The only question might be whether or not that prospect is as imminent as it appears to be, since there is reportedly an attendance problem in the Mexico City temple. If it has not been kept busy enough, that prospect could potentially be delayed for a little while. That said, I am confident enough to list it here for now, but will be watching for anything that changes my mind.
[28]The Saints in Queretaro Mexico currently travel 135.8 miles to worship at the Mexico City Mexico Temple, and would actually be further away than that from a temple in Puebla, unless the journey to Puebla would be less of a hardship to those Saints than the journey to Mexico City. Again, the timing of the announcement(s) for the next temple(s) will depend largely on whether or not a temple elsewhere would make sense, given the apparent lack of sufficient activity within the Mexico City temple. Until more is known about that, and about President Nelson’s plans to expand the number of temples, I feel confident in keeping both cities on my list.
[29]Papua New Guinea now ranks as the nation with the strongest Church presence that does not yet have a temple. I also learned several years ago that land has been held in reserve in Port Moresby for a temple for a while now. With that in mind, it may simply be a matter of time before a temple is announced there.
[30]As with Papua New Guinea, I had heard years ago that land has been held in reserve in Auckland for a temple. The Church has since announced and begun a renovation for the only temple in that nation (which is located in Hamilton). Although the Auckland Saints are merely 77.6 miles away from the Hamilton temple, if President Nelson’s plans to expand the number of temples involves halving or quartering the 200 mile maximum distance set by other Church presidents, Auckland would certainly qualify for a temple by that metric as well.
[31]Kiribati currently ranks as the third nation with the strongest LDS presence that does not have a temple in any phase of construction. The Saints in Tarawa currently travel 1,402 miles to worship at the Suva Fiji Temple, and no other currently-operating temple is closer than that. With all of this in mind, a temple in that nation may simply be a matter of time.
[32]American Samoa ranks fifth on the list of nations with the strongest Church presence that do not have a temple in any phase. The nearest temple to the Saints in the capital city of Pago Pago is currently Apia Samoa, and the Pago Pago Saints currently travel 76.2 miles, which is not long distance-wise, but involves journeying over a body of water, which may be inconvenient. Also, if the minimum mileage goal set by previous Church presidents is halved or quartered, that will no doubt make this prospect more imminent.
[33]Tonga has recently seen impressive Church growth, which leads me to believe that a second temple may be needed to serve the Saints there. The city of Neiafu Vava’u seems to be the most likely location for a second Tongan temple, since the Saints in that city currently travel 189 miles to the temple in Nuku’alofa. Although that is within the current minimum mileage, if that minimum is halved or quartered, then that, combined with the extensive growth in Tonga, leads me to believe that a Neiafu Vava’u temple will be announced sooner rather than later.
[34]With two currently-operating temples in Manila and Cebu, and three others announced for Urdaneta, Muntinlupa City (which is the second for the Manila area) and Cagayan de Oro, the Church could opt to wait to announce any other temples for the Philippines until those 3 are further along. But I do see the imminent prospect for one additional temple in this nation, for reasons I will explain in the note below.
[35]Davao is currently assigned to the Cebu City Temple District, from which it is 335.7 miles. That distance will not decrease at all until the Cagayan de Oro Philippines Temple, which was announced last April, is built and dedicated. But even then, the Saints in Davao will still have a journey of 161.8 miles. If the minimum distance set by previous Church presidents is halved or quartered, then Davao will surely be the next city in the Philippines to get a temple. I have had this city on lists like this for a long time, so I hope a temple will be announced there sooner rather than later.
[36]The entire South American continent has experienced massive Church growth. Having previously discussed Brazil, I will focus my comments about South America on the two other areas of the Church within this continent. Starting with the South America Northwest Area, I wanted to observe that there are 6 operating temples there. 1 other (in Barranquilla Colombia) is set to be dedicated in December of this year. 1 more is currently under construction in Arequipa Peru (for which a dedication is anticipated in early 2020). Two others have been announced (the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple, which may have a groundbreaking within the next year, if not sooner, and the Quito Ecuador Temple, which could have a groundbreaking within the next 2-3 years, though hopefully sooner if all goes well). With the South America Northwest Area having experienced somewhat rapid growth, I have long been of the opinion that several prospects were likely possibilities for this area in the near future, and I expanded the number of those prospective locations again with the increased comments about President Nelson’s ambitious temple-building plans. For the reasons mentioned in the notes below, each of the locations on this list have a strong case in their favor as prospects for the near future.
[37]Since the dedication of Bolivia’s first temple in Cochabamba, the Church in Bolivia has seen significant growth and expansion. That has been especially true of regions that would be served by temples in Santa Cruz or La Paz. Of the two, although I favor La Paz,, my research indicates a Santa Cruz temple may be more imminent. But I fully anticipate temples in both cities within the next 15 years or less, thus both are on this list for now.
[38]The temple in Caracas was announced during the October 1995 General Conference, with a groundbreaking occurring in January 1999, and a dedication for it was held the following year in August. One year prior to the dedication of the temple in Caracas, President Hinckley publicly proposed another Venezuelan temple for the city of Maracaibo, which is 432.5 miles from Caracas. Although Venezuela has political turbulence at the moment, and although there has been some Church unit consolidation there in recent years, when we combine the distance factor with the fact that temples publicly proposed during the administrations of Presidents Hinckley and Monson have gone on to be announced during the subsequent administrations of Presidents Monson and Nelson, the case in favor of a temple in Maracaibo is strong, so that prospect may be more imminent than many (myself included) might anticipate.
[39]As noted above relating to the South America Northwest Area, the South America South Area has likewise seen extensive and significant growth. So again, with President Nelson’s extensive temple-building plans in mind, I have considered the most imminent prospects for future temples in this area, which, for the reasons outlined in the notes below, have a strong case in their favor.
[40]In view of the need to expand my list of prospects for this area, Ciudad del Este seems to be the most likely prospect for a second temple in Paraguay, with the only question being how imminently likely that might be. When the renovation process is complete for the Asuncion temple, the Saints in Ciudad del Este will have a journey of 201.4 miles to worship there, which is already above the minimum goal other prophets have set. If that minimum distance is lowered at all, then a temple in that city may simply be a matter of time.  
[41]Although the North American continent (primarily in the United States) has seen somewhat of a stagnating growth situation, in light of the recent increased mentions of President Nelson’s ambitious temple-building plans, the likelihood is extremely high that the US and Canada will be included in whatever the plans are to expand the number of temples worldwide. The locations listed below represent what I believe are the most imminent prospects for the US and Canada in the near future.
[42]Preston Idaho is a relatively new addition to this list. Although the Church has not yet begun full-scale construction on the temple in Pocatello (which was announced in April 2017), since Idaho is part of the Mormon corridor, that opens the prospect that both temples could be under construction at around the same time. The main reason I added a temple for Preston this go-round is because it would split the current Logan Utah Temple district. Right now, the Saints in Preston travel 26.7 miles to worship at that temple. Although that may not be an inordinate distance, at the same time, if the Logan temple is as busy as the reports I have found seem to indicate, splitting the district would make a lot of sense, and Preston seems to be the most effective location to accomplish that. 
[43]According to reports I received through the comments on my blog, Elder David A. Bednar publicly proposed a Missoula Montana Temple while on assignment to a stake conference in that city. My subsequent research indicates that land has been held in reserve for such a temple for several years n. ow, and that an official announcement will occur once the right conditions are met. For that reason, Missoula has been on my list for a while now, and I could see an official announcement in the near future.
[44]Although South Dakota only has 2 stakes and 1 district, and although the districts of the Bismarck North Dakota and Winter Quarters Nebraska Temples,, which cover South Dakota, may not be inordinately large, the Saints in Rapid City travel almost 300 miles to worship at the Bismarck temple, so it seems likely that the Church will opt to build a temple there sooner rather than later.
[45]Since Wichita Kansas was on one of my other two lists, I simply moved it up to this one as a more imminent prospect. The 7 stakes in Kansas currently are split between the Kansas City Missouri Temple, the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple, and the Denver Colorado Temple, and almost all of those 7 have extensive distances involved. So if the 200-mile goal set by previous Church presidents is lowered to any degree, all of the distances may well be considered inordinate. For these reason, a temple in Wichita seems likely to be announced sooner rather than later
[46]When I was first considering the most likely location for Wisconsin’s first temple, I had prioritized Madison (the nation’s capital) or Milwaukee. But after a lot of feedback and more research on my part, I determined Green Bay would be a more preferable location. There are six stakes in Wisconsin, all of which are assigned to the Chicago Illinois Temple District except one, which is assigned to the St. Paul Minnesota Temple district. Each of these stakes involves a journey between 90-200 miles to their assigned temple. So if the minimum distance set by previous Church presidents is shortened at all, Wisconsin is a prime candidate for a temple. And a temple in Green Bay would greatly shorten the trip for most (if not all) of the stakes in Wisconsin.
[47] Although the Church has previously built temples in sites which have historical significance, and although Council Bluffs in Iowa is one such location, given that the Saints who live in that area are less than 15 miles away from the temple in Winter Quarters Nebraska, a temple in Iowa is more likely to rise in the capital city of Des Moines. The 8 stakes in Iowa are currently divided between the Winter Quarters Nebraska and Nauvoo Illinois Temples. Of those 8 stakes, only the Saints in Council Bluffs are within 15 miles of their assigned temple. All other established stakes in this state are between 90-180 miles away from their assigned temple. With all of this in mind, Iowa would qualify for a temple, and if one rises in Des Moines, it would not surprise me at all if that temple was named for Mount Pisgah, which is another historically-significant site from early Church history, and for which the second Des Moines stake is named.
[48]A comment on my blog mentioned that the Saints in Pueblo and nearby Colorado Springs typically deal with massive and significant traffic congestion to get to their currently-assigned temple in Denver, which seems to be a very undue hardship. Since that also involves a one-way journey of 115.8 miles, I can see why a temple in Pueblo in the near future may be very likely.
[49]In view of all we have heard about President Nelson’s plans to expand the number of temples, Maine seems to be a prime candidate for such a temple. Although there are only two stakes in that state, the two are between 160 and 240 miles away from their currently-assigned temple in Boston. Whether or not the minimum mileage is lowered, Augusta surely qualifies for a temple of its’ own.
[50]Vermont is the 5th smallest of the 50 states, and has a Church presence that matches its’ size. Members in Montpelier currently travel 180.4 miles one way to worship at the Boston Massachusetts Temple. While New Hampshire may have a stronger Church presence currently than Vermont does, Vermont has a connection to Church history (as the Prophet Joseph Smith was born in Sharon), so it seems likely the Church would favor Vermont for a temple. The temple could potentially be built directly in Sharon (as the Church has a tradition of putting a temple in historically-significant locations), but my current research on the subject leads me to conclude that, unless a stake is established in Sharon before this temple is announced, Montpelier may be a preferable location, as it would provide such a temple with sufficient support from a nearby stake.
[51]The Saints residing in Fairbanks Alaska currently travel 360.3 miles to worship at the temple in Anchorage. Although the Saints in Juneau do have a longer journey to both Anchorage and Fairbanks, the latter has emerged from my study as the best prospect for Alaska’s second temple. That said, I can see a day when Juneau gets one as well, which may happen sooner than expected, depending on the extent of President Nelson’s temple-building plans.
[52]Mississippi is another state that does not yet have a temple in any phase. The Saints in Jackson currently travel 174.6 miles one way to worship at the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple, but with that temple closed for renovation, the trip is much longer to get to the next nearest temple. That presents a compelling argument for the idea that a temple in Jackson may simply be a matter of time.
[53]The Saints in Shreveport currently travel 187.9 miles to their assigned temple in Dallas, so that city would qualify for a temple of its’ own if the current 200-mile distance goal set by previous church presidents is halved or quartered. Therefore, a temple in Shreveport may simply be a matter of time.
[54]With temples operating in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, a third temple may be needed sooner rather than later. Several people have shared their feeling that Tallahassee may be a more likely location for the third temple in that state, but between my personal research on the subject and the opinions of others who seem to know more about Florida than I do, Jacksonville has made my list. That said, I can see a day within the next 5-10 years or less when both cities will have a temple. The Jacksonville Saints currently travel 140.7 miles to the temple in Orlando, so if the 200-mile distance is halved or quartered, then this prospect may be a very high priority in the near future.
[55]The Saints in Knoxville Tennessee currently travel 180.1 miles to worship at the temple in Nashville. That may also be an inordinate distance if the minimum mileage is lowered at all, and if we also take into account the fact that a journey to Nashville may be arduous, then a temple in Knoxville seems imminent.
[56]A good friend with connections to Arkansas told me a while ago that the Church has held land in reserve for a temple in Bentonville for a while now, and that an official announcement was likely once the right conditions were met. For that reason, I believe we will see this temple announced sooner rather than later. Some have opined that Rogers might be a more likely location for the first temple in Arkansas, but my study confirms that a temple is likely in Bentonville sooner rather than later. And as observed by someone on my blog, when the first temple in Arkansas is built, it could potentially be named for the Ozark Mountain range, which is a major landmark in Arkansas
[57]The Saints in Elko currently travel 229.6 miles to their assigned temple (Salt Lake). So Elko already qualifies in terms of the within 200-mile distance. And if that mileage goal is lowered, that prospect becomes more imminently likely.
[58]The note above applies to the Saints in Ely as well, as they commute 201.1 miles to their assigned temple in Cedar City. A temple in Ely would cut the commute substantially. And I fully believe that temples in both Elko and Ely are possible in the near future, since the distance between the two is just under 200 miles.
[59]In sharing my thoughts about potential future temple locations, I learned from someone living in Texas that Fort Worth would likely be the best prospective city to split the current Dallas district. In addition, although some have offered their feedback that El Paso may be a more likely location for that honor, and although I fully believe both cities will have temples of their own at some future point, I have prioritized Fort Worth for this list.
[60]The Saints in Las Cruces currently travel 224.6 miles to the temple in Albuquerque, so a temple there may just be a matter of time. A temple in that city could also likely serve the Saints in El Paso Texas, as the two cities are 46.2 miles apart. The journey between the two cities would be a fairly easy distance if for any reason the El Paso Saints are unable to get to their currently-assigned temple in Ciudad Juarez Mexico.
[61]Although Elder Larry Y. Wilson, the Executive Director of the Church’s Temple Department, stated at last year’s dedication of the Tucson Arizona Temple that Arizona was, for the moment, well-stocked with temples. That said, my study indicates that the next Arizona temple will be built in Flagstaff. Right now, the Saints in that city currently travel 119 miles to worship at the Snowflake Arizona Temple. If the 200-mile distance is decreased by President Nelson (either by halving or quartering it), then Snowflake would be a prime candidate for a temple, and that may even help to split some of the other temple districts in Arizona as well.
[62]Bakersfield California is roughly halfway between Fresno (from which it is 109.1 miles away) and Los Angeles (from which it is 113.3 miles away). Although there have been some congregational consolidations in California in recent years, the distances involved may be sufficient to warrant a temple in Bakersfield in the not-too-distant future.
[63]In 2005, President Gordon B. Hinckley noted that land was being held in reserve for a temple in the Southwestern Salt Lake Valley, which would have an official announcement when that became necessary. Subsequent study on my part in late 2017 and early 2018 pointed me to the conclusion that the land in question was in Bluffdale, but that it has since been annexed into the city of Herriman, although it has been the subject of more than a few border disputes. I am confident enough to list it here, and since President Monson announced temples publicly proposed during President Hinckley’s tenure, I feel that President Nelson may likely do the same. Thus, a temple there may just be a matter of time.
[64]A temple in Heber City (the prospect of which has been suggested a few times) would help provide a closer option for Saints in the Heber Valley, and it would likely split the district of the Provo Utah Temple, which, by all reports, is still one of the busiest in the Church.
[65]Tooele has also been mentioned repeatedly as a potential prospective city for a temple. While the Saints in Tooele do not have to drive an inordinate distance to reach their assigned temple in Salt Lake City, I feel a temple there may simply be a matter of time. And since a temple in Herriman would still create a drive (along a U-shape) for those Saints, it seems safe to assume that Tooele could (and likely will) get a temple soon.

111/174=63.8% accuracy on these predictions