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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Update on the Number of Current Area Seventies

Hello again, everyone! I thought I would take some time right now to provide an update on the number of current Area Seventies. I wanted to first pass along some preliminary information. As mentioned in earlier posts, prior to the October 2018 General Conference, the number of Area Seventies in all but the first two Quorums was within 10-20 members of the maximum 70. Two major factors came into play in relation to those numbers.

The first was the ambiguity and confusion over whether or not the Church had consolidated the 10 North America Areas down to 6 (as there are only 6 area presidencies with oversight of those areas). If those areas had been consolidated (as appeared to be the case), then the composition of the 5th and 6th Quorums would have been altered in some manner, since the Idaho Area has been part of the 5th, and the North America Central Area has been part of the 6th.

Particularly, I had been under the impression that the previously-separate 3 Utah Areas had been consolidated.into a single Utah Area based on what I could find in available sources. But as noted a few days ago, President M. Russell Ballard, who was the Church leader quoted at the time the reestablishment of area presidencies throughout North America were announced, spoke at a regional conference for Saints living in what had been the Utah North Area, and he still referred to them by that designation. So the Utah Areas have not been consolidated, which, by extension, means that there are still 10 North America areas in the Church. 

The second factor was that, as anticipated, there were a massive number of area seventies released during General Conference at the beginning of last month. While not everyone whose potential release I was anticipating actually was released, as of right now, only two Quorums of Area Seventies are anywhere close to having 70 members, and those two Quorums (the 4th and 5th) are 15 and 19 members respectively short of that maximum number. Accordingly, at least for the next year, and barring anything unexpected, I no longer believe we will see any new Quorums established for area seventies.

That said, the data speaks for itself. You will see from it (when I post it below) that the total number of area seventies is now 268. I remember a time when the total number of area seventies was less than 200. But as the Church has grown, so too has the number of area seventies. And we may see a day when more that 6 Area Seventies Quorums are needed to administer the work. We could even see a day when the membership of each Quorum is consistently close to 70. And there are scriptural and doctrinal provisions for each of those scenarios.

The table showing the current number of area seventies follows below. By way of additional explanation, the table has three columns. In the first, the number of Area Seventies serving in each individual Area is shown (with no change having occurred from what is listed here in terms of the relevant areas that comprise each Quorum). The second column shows the total number of members in each Quorum. And the third column shows a running total which adds the number of members in each of the 6 Quorums together.

Here is that table:
Quorum
Totals within each Area
Quorum Total
Grand Total
3rd
11+13+18+4+1
47
47
4th
4+14+20+17
55
102
5th
7+5+10+5+9+15
51
153
6th
7+11+8+14
40
193
7th
18+17
35
228
8th
8+9+11+12
40
268
I hope that this information can prove valuable to at least some of you. I continue to keep as faithful a record as possible of the number of current area seventies, and will pass any additional information about those numbers along as those developments occur. I likewise continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments and remain committed to bringing word of new developments to you all ASAP after I become aware of them.

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.



Revised Specific Estimates for Known Temple Events in the Near Future

Hello again, everyone! I am back again to share, as promised, a look at more specific estimates which I have revised  for known temple events in the near future based on the new information I mentioned in an earlier post. These new estimates will only cover the known events (up through 2021). As more information becomes available regarding temples that will have a groundbreaking in the near future, or on other future temple events (such as renovation closures), I will add those, along with any relevant completion estimates, to this list. That said, I am hoping that other temples (beside just the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple) might have construction begin before the end of this year.

Time will tell whether or not that will be able to occur, but it would not shock me if that turns out to be the case. The updated information follows below. So as to not to detract focus from that, 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.


2018:
Thursday November 8: Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple
Note: Although the Global version of the Newsroom page on the Church website has not confirmed this event, it was confirmed through the Ghana edition of that page, and Elder Neil L. Andersen has been asked to preside at that event.
Sunday December 9: Dedication of the Barranquilla Colombia Temple (161st operating temple; confirmed)
Note: Given President Nelson’s commitment to travel and be out among the Saints as much as he can, I would not be surprised if this event fit into a larger one (although it might be smaller than the two we have seen so far) as an extension of his ongoing Global Ministry Tour.

Final note on 2018: I had heard that this year would be a potentially big one for temple groundbreakings. Aside from the Abidjan temple, I am waiting for further word on the Urdaneta Philippines and Bangkok Thailand Temples as well, but it would not shock me if either or both only saw their construction begin in 2019.

2019:
Sunday March 10-Sunday March 17: Dedication of the Rome Italy Temple (162nd operating temple; confirmed)
Note: Given that the dedication of this temple will occur over an 8-day period, I would not in any way be shocked if attendance at this dedication was rotated through all 15 of our current apostles.
Saturday & Sunday April 6 & 7: 189th General Conference
Note: Because 19 temples were announced in 2018, and because President Nelson has expressed his commitment to continuing to bring temples closer to the Saints around the world, I am sure we will see several new temples announced.
Sunday April 14: Dedication of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple (163rd operating temple; confirmed)
Note: In view of the facts that the dedication of this temple will occur after the April General Conference, and that following the April 2018 General Conference, President Nelson began his Global Ministry Tour, I could see President Nelson doing another leg of his tour in conjunction with this temple’s dedication, whether that tour starts or ends with this dedication, or whether a dedication is held sometime in the mid-point of that tour.
Mid-May: Dedication of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple (164th operating temple)
Early-to-mid June: Rededication of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple
Early-to-mid August: Dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple (165th operating temple)
Mid-to-late August: Rededication of the Memphis Tennessee Temple
Early-to-mid September: Dedication of the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple (166th operating temple)
Mid-to-late September: Rededication of the Raleigh North Carolina Temple
Saturday & Sunday October 5 & 6: 189th Semiannual General Conference:
Note: Depending on what is done by this time to clear the existing backlog of announced temples, it seems more likely than not that several new temples will be announced during this weekend.
Mid-October: Rededication of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple
Early-to-mid November: Dedication of the Lisbon Portugal Temple (167th operating temple)
Mid-to-late November: Rededication of the Frankfurt Germany Temple
Note: On November 5, 2018, the Church of Jesus Christ Temples site removed the more general estimate for this temple and instead noted a completion was anticipated at some point during 2019. While I would certainly hope it will not be another year from now before this temple’s renovation is completed (since it began in 2015), until more is known, I have felt to be more conservative in my specific estimate.
December: Rededication of the Oakland California Temple
Note: On the same date noted above, that same site also removed the more general estimate for this temple, and it looks like a completion is still anticipated next year, but perhaps not as soon as many (myself included) thought. So given that new information, until more is known, I have felt it wise to be more conservative with this estimate as well. That said, since the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional for 2019 has been set for the second Sunday in December rather than the first, the rededication of this temple could occur on either the first or third Sunday of that month.

Final note on 2019: Given what I have heard about 2019, it seems more likely than not that several temples will have a groundbreaking at some point during that year. If nothing happens for the Urdaneta Philippines and Bangkok Thailand Temples by the end of 2018, those would top the list for next year. I am also anticipating that a groundbreaking for the Pocatello Idaho Temple will be held in early 2019. Additionally, based on what I know at the present time, I am keeping my eyes open for information on the Saratoga Springs Utah, Nairobi Kenya, Lima Peru Los Olivos, Harare Zimbabwe, Brasilia Brazil, and Greater Manila Philippines Temple, most (if not all) of which could have a groundbreaking by the end of 2019 years.

2020:
Mid-February: Dedication of the Arequipa Peru Temple (168th operating temple)
Mid-March: Rededication of the Asuncion Paraguay Temple
Saturday & Sunday April 4 & 5: 190th Annual General Conference
Note: Barring anything unexpected, I would anticipate several new temples being announced during this weekend.
Mid-to-late April: Dedication of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple (169th operating temple)
Mid-to-late May: Rededication of the Tokyo Japan Temple
Mid-August: Dedication of the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple (170th operating temple)
Saturday & Sunday October 3 & 4: 190th Semiannual General Conference
Note: Temple announcements are always possible, so it is not hard to believe that a few could be announced during this General Conference.
Mid-to-late October: Rededication of the Mesa Arizona Temple
Mid-December: Rededication of the Washington DC Temple

Final note on 2020: Some of the announced temples that will have a groundbreaking between now (early November 2018) and the end of 2019 could potentially be dedicated during this year. And several other announced temples (I currently have 7 on my radar) could have a groundbreaking during 2020 as well.

2021:
Saturday & Sunday April 3 & 4: 191st Annual General Conference
Note: Depending on what happens between now (early November 2018) and the dates for this General Conference, I could easily see several new temples announced.
Mid-to-late April: Hamilton New Zealand Temple Rededication
Mid-September: Dedication of the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple
Note: If what I have heard about the size of this temple and the duration of the construction process for it is correct, then a dedication could happen at around this time. But I am hoping that could occur sooner. Since there will hopefully be several other temples that will have a dedication occur before that happens for this temple, I am not currently assigning a number to it for now.
Saturday & Sunday October 2 & 3: 191st Semiannual General Conference
Note: I am hoping that by the time this particular General Conference weekend rolls around, the temple construction program of the Church will have progressed to the point where some temples will continue to be announced every six months.

Final note: I am hoping that by the end of 2021, there will be several more temple events to list here. Until more is known, I prefer not to provide too much conjecture about the future events we could see. But one thing is certain: If what I have heard about President Nelson’s plans to expand the number of temples and to accelerate the speed at which they are constructed, then we will likely be in for an unprecedented season of temple events in the future.


Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf Celebrates His 78th Birthday Today

Hello again, everyone! As it is now past midnight Utah time, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf is marking his 78th birthday today. So let's get right into this post, which will share some highlights of his life in honor of this milestone. Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf was born on November 6, 1940 in Ostrava, which at that time was defined as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, but is now known as the city of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. His parents were Karl Albert and Hildegard Else Opelt Uchtdorf.

With his family twice becoming refugees, he grew up in Germany, where his family joined the Church in 1947, and  went on to study engineering, business administration, and international management, after which he joined the German Air Force in 1959, where he trained to be a fighter pilot. In 1965, he joined Lufthansa German Airlines as a pilot, working as an airline captain from 1970-1996. He held many responsible executive positions with German Airlines. He reported feeling discouraged about having to learn English, but has also described how he was able to do so.

He married Harriet Reich on December 14, 1962 (whom he had met when the missionaries brought her and her family to Church while he was a young man),and they both have different recollections of hwo they actually got together). Their family is comprised of two children and several grandchildren. He served as a stake president before his call as a General Authority.

He was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 2, 1994. On April 6, 1996, he was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He became a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on August 15, 2002 and was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 2, 2004 and ordained an apostle on October 7, 2004 (becoming the 11th apostle born outside the United States).

On February 3, 2008, he was set apart as 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency to President Thomas S. Monson. Of those 11 apostles born outside the United States, he became the 6th international apostle to serve in the First Presidency. At the time of his call to the First Presidency, he was the 13th in apostolic seniority. During the period of almost a decade in which he served alongside President Monson and First Counselor President Henry B. Eyring, the deaths of six apostles senior to him meant he had become the 7th in apostolic seniority.

And with the death of President Monson occurring just three months after the death of Elder Robert D. Hales, the First Presidency was dissolved. The new Church President, Russell M. Nelson, chose as his counselors his seatmate Elder Dallin H. Oaks and President Eyring. As a result, Elder Uchtdorf returned to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

When he departed that Quorum to serve in the First Presidency, he had been the tenth most senior member of that Quorum, and he returned to it as the third in seniority, with only Acting President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland ahead of him. And in recognition of his administrative capacities and capabilities, his assignments as a recently-reassigned Quorum member were those that had previously been held by the three who had been the most senior members of the Quorum (Presidents Nelson, Oaks, and Ballard)..

Elder Uchtdorf has spoken frequently about ways in which Church members should consider themselves called to action. I enjoy hearing what he has to say in his General Conference addresses every six months. Throughout his almost 24 years as a general authority, almost 14 years as a special witness of the Savior, and nearly a decade of service in the First Presidency, he has now given 69 talks, only 2 of which were given prior to his apostolic call. To review any of these remarkable and noteworthy addresses, click here (it should be noted that his first talk given as a General Authority, has somehow been omitted from that larger list).

Elder Uchtdorf is a man of great personal warmth and charm, and we are blessed indeed to have him among the Special Witnesses of Christ at this time. He has always struck a very warm and welcoming tone in his public discourses, and his current assignments are a clear testament to the great faith the Brethren have in him. In addition to being the 3rd most senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he is also the third oldest, behind only President Ballard and Elder Quentin L. Cook. He is also the 7th senior apostle overall, and the 6th oldest of the 15 apostles overall.

Although he may never personally read this tribute, it was an honor to provide it for him on this, his 77th birthday. I continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments and will be sure to pass word of those along to you all as I receive it. That does it for this post. Any 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 all that you do.