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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Miscellaneous Musings

Hello again, everyone! I have a few thoughts on my mind that I wanted to pass along to you all here. Firstly, I am scheduled to check in for the procedure I previously referenced tomorrow morning at 8:15 AM Utah time, which means 12 hours from now, I will likely either be under anesthesia or just coming out of the surgery. As I mentioned in that earlier post, it is anticipated to be a same-day procedure, which means I could be home by late afternoon or evening, barring anything unexpected. Your continued prayers in my behalf are appreciated, and hopefully this fixes the issue correctly this go-round. In the meantime, I have a few Church News updates to pass along, including one octagenarian who is retiring from her 22-year role of playing the piano in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, another inspiring octagenarian who is a violinist with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. some insight from the Young Men Presidency about the new Aaronic Priesthood theme, the unusual way BYU's cross country men's and women's track teams celebrated a national championship, and the unique elements related to the Church's newly released video, "The Christ Child".

I also have a few temple updates to pass along to you all. First, the Durban South Africa Temple has been delivered to the Temple Department, and, while training of key temple staff is underway, custodians and groundsmen are assuming their duties, and all final details are now being addressed. And while preliminary construction efforts are underway on the Yigo Guam Temple, training was delivered this month regarding how local Saints can develop a history of the Church in their nation which will subsequently be placed in a time capsule in the temple capstone.

Yet another update has been provided on the Pocatello Idaho Temple, where concrete stairs and floor slabs are being poured, temporary windows are being installed, and framing and exterior sheathing is making progress, while the installation of the steeple framework for the temple spire is still pending. And since I reported two days ago on a fantastic development related to the Richmond Virginia Temple, let's move on to temples undergoing renovation. At the Tokyo Japan Temple, interior renovations are progressing, structural framing for the nearby annex is nearing completion. And at the St. George Utah Temple, 400th South is closed to traffic.

Finally tonight, I have made updates and adjustments to what were previously the "Groundbreaking Anticipated" and "Announced" sections of my temple construction progress report. Specifically, I have now divided that "Groundbreaking Anticipated" section into 3 separate sections. The first will utilize the name of its' originally-larger eponymous counterpart and will include those temples for which, having a rendering released, makes estimating a groundbreaking easier. The second will contain those temples for which the announcement of official details may be pending. And the third and final section will be for those temples for which I am aware that a site has either been confirmed or at least acquired. Those 3 newly-divided sections join the group of "Announced Temples" on this document, to which anyone with the link thereunto has access granted.

As always, I do continue to monitor all Church news and temple developments and am committed to doing my best to continue to pass word of those along to you all as I become aware of such developments. I am cautiously optimistic that if my procedure tomorrow morning has any impact on my ability to share such reports, that impact will be minimal. TIme will tell. But that does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.

Monday, November 25, 2019

UPDATED: Speaking Order Predictions for the April 2020 General Conference

Hello again, everyone! It took longer than I'd hoped, but I was finallyt able to finish the process of updating the speaker layout I had predicted for the upcoming General Conference. You can find those revisions here. That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.

Friday, November 22, 2019

BREAKING NEWS: Saturday Session of the April 2020 General Conference

Hello again, everyone! Breaking news was reported by the Newsroom a few hours ago relating to the April 2020 General Conference. According to an official announcement from the First Presidency, all sessions (I am assuming in their entirety) will originate from the Conference Center. But above and beyond that, for this General Conference, the Saturday evening session will not be classified as a Priesthood Session, and will instead be an additional general session held for all Church members 11 years of age and older. A couple of thoughts on this announnced development: First, I hope that officially puts any rumors that parts of General Conference might originate from special locations to rest. And as I mentioned previously, even if some leaders do speak from outside the Conference Center, there will not be a wide-scale spreading out of Church leadership through various parts of the world. It is scriptural doctrine that the Church cannot convene a General Conference unless a majority of the apostleship is present in one location for it.

Secondly, and only slightly less important, this essentially shoots down my previously-offered thoughts about the probable layout of the speaking order for this General Conference, so I will be throwing those thoughts out the window and starting from scratch. Stay tuned for more on that as I figure it all out. In the meantime, I appreciate the opportunity I had to share this news with you all here, and will continue to monitor all Church news and temple updates and pass them along ASAP after I learn of them.

That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

BREAKING NEWS: Church to Open 8 New Missions in July 2020

Hello again, everyone! As some of you may recall, a few days into January of this year, the Church announced changes in missions (both consolidations and newly-created ones) that would go into effect six months later (in July). I remarked at that time that Church leaders were well ahead of hte curve from what had occurred in recent years. Today, I am pleased to share an official announcement from the First Presidency which indicates that 8 new missions will go into operation in July of next year. The missions will be based in the following locations: Recife Brazil; Yaounde Cameroon; Guayaquil Ecuador; Addis Abbaba Ethiopa; Beira Mozambique; Dar es Salaam Tanzainia; and Austin and Dallas Texas. i am grateful to have learned about this development to to have been able to pass word of it along to you all here. It looks like Matthew Martinich has already provided a more thorough analysis about this on his blog, which I'd refer you to for further information and context.

That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.

Personal Update/Prayers Would Be Appreciated

Hello again, everyone! As some of you may recall from previous posts, I have been dealing with a severe migraine for the last 6 weeks. Additionally, back in mid-April of this year, I had a same-day bladder neck procedure due to several issues I was having. Earlier today, we followed up with my urologist, and due to some additional circumstances, we wound up having to go back to that office before they closed and I wound up having a minor in-clinic procedure there, from which I am now in recovery. But based on what they are seeing with the symptoms I described an the issues I have been experiencing lately, it looks as though I will need to go in again for another same-day procedure to deal with the relevant issues. That procedure is anticpated to occur anytime between now and the end of the day Saturday, or, at latest, early next week. So I wanted to put out a request here for prayers in my behalf and in behalf of my wife.  The odds are very good that the next week or two will be extremely difficult for us, so I wanted to mention that here.

And although I don't anticipate the usual level of coverage on this blog to be impacted by these circumstances, if I am off-the-grid as far as that is concerned at any point within the next two weeks, that will be why. I wanted to mention this due to the fact that I take seriously the obligation to share such reports here, and the last thing I want to do is let anyone down in that respect. But it will be essential to get the issue dealt with sooner rather than later. So I felt it my duty to let you all know here about this issue, just in case my normal ability to pass along such reports within the next week or to respond to comments is impacted as a result.

I realize the details I have provided herein are sparse and few. I would be happy to provide more details on the specifics of what is going on with me to anyone who may ask for them. But I thought that until such specifics are requested, it would be best to be general and more vague in this case. That said, I would be remiss indeed if I failed to mention my thanks to you all for your continued interest and suppport. When I began this blog five years ago, I could not imagine it becoming the success it has.

I hope it will continue to function as a safe space where inspiring dialogue can occur regarding the develpments which are highlighted here. If it were not for your continued interest and ongoing support, I could not have done what I have in terms of the latest reports I have shared here. So please accept my profound appreciation and deepest gratitutde for that.

That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.

UPDATED: List of Temples Which May Be Renovated in the Near Future

Hello again, everyone! I attempted to post this earlier, but had to delete that prior post and start again due to formatting issues. Since I have received many requests about publishing an updated version of the list of temples which may be renovated in the near future, I wanted to provide that information in this post today. I have that update completed, but have had additional formatting issues with pasting it into this blog post that have rendered it impossible to include here. Therefore, I am providing a shareable link to it here, so that anyone with that link has access to view the list in question. Since the link in question negates the need to reproduce the list here, I will end this post as I always do: That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Initial Predictions for the April 2020 General Conference: Part Three—Prospective Locations Which May Have a Temple Announced

Hello again, everyone! I am back with the third and final part of the initial version of my April 2020 General Conference predictions. This latest version will cover the prospective locations for which a temple could potentially be announced. Just a preliminary note: as I mentioned in the references of the first post in this mini-series, given what President Nelson described as the intended purpose for this General Conference, I don't anticipate that a mass number of temples will be announced.  But I would not be shocked if, at some point during the weekend of the next General Conference, President Nelson, perhaps with an assist from Elder Bednar (who is the Chairman of the Temple and Family History Executive Council), explains and details the preliminary elements of his temple-expansion plans. Time will tell. And for my part personally, I will be very pleased by any number of temples that might be announced for any locations. With that said, due to the fact that far fewer temples were announced last month than I was anticipating, my personal preference in this case is to be more conservative in the estimated number I suggest. Having noted all of this, the list I have put together for this go-round (along with the relevant references) follows below. In order to not disturb the flow of that information, I will end here as I always do: That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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 Predictions: 8-12 temples announced in any of the following locations13:
Africa Southeast14: Antananarivo Madagascar; Second DR Congo Temple (in Mbuji-Mayi or Lubumbashi); Maputo Mozambique; Kampala Uganda; Cape Town South Africa
Africa West15: Kumasi Ghana; Monrovia Liberia; Benin City Nigeria; Yamoussoukro Ivory Coast
Asia16: Jakarta Indonesia; Singapore; Taichung Taiwan; Hanoi Vietnam
Asia North17: Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Osaka Japan
Brazil18: Belo Horizonte, Florianopolis, João Pessoa, or Ribeirão Preto Brazil
Caribbean19: Santiago Dominican Republic; Kingston Jamaica
Central America20: Villa Nueva Guatemala
Europe21: Edinburgh Scotland; Berlin Germany; Barcelona Spain; Oslo Norway; Vienna Austria
Mexico22: Torreon, Durango, or Queretaro Mexico
Pacific23: Tarawa Kiribati; Savaii Samoa; Christchurch or Wellington New Zealand
Philippines24: Tacloban or Angeles Philippines
South America Northwest25: Santa Cruz Bolivia; Iquitos Peru; Cali Colombia; Maracaibo Venezuela
South America South26: Bahia Blanca Argentina; Osorno Chile; Ciudad del Este Paraguay
                                                                    
North America (including the United States and Canada)29:
North America Central30: Missoula Montana; Green Bay Wisconsin; Wichita Kansas; Des Moines Iowa; Colorado Springs Colorado; Rapid City South Dakota
North America Northeast31: Cleveland Ohio; East Brunswick New Jersey; Concord New Hampshire
North America Southeast1: Jackson Mississippi; Knoxville Tennessee; Jacksonville Florida; Charlotte North Carolina
North America Southwest2: Queen Creek Arizona; Elko Nevada; Fort Worth Texas; Las Cruces New Mexico 
North America West34: Victoria British Columbia; Eugene Oregon; Fairbanks Alaska; Bakersfield California
Utah35: Herriman Utah; Evanston Wyoming; Heber City Utah; Washington County Utah (Third Temple)

References—Part Three
13As mentioned previously in note 5, although it would not surprise me to see President Nelson (perhaps with an assist from Elder Bednar) provide the initial details and timing involved in his plan to increase the number of temples ten-fold, I do not believe that a mass number of temples will be announced this go-round, since that might detract from the highlighted and intended focus of the bicentennial of the important events of the Restoration. Instead, I am estimating a small number of temples will again be announced, and conjecturing that, if it happens, a mass amount of temples being announced might be deferred for the next 2-3 years or so.
14The Africa Southeast Area has experienced significant Church growth. In fact, the degree to which such growth has occurred resulted in the First Presidency announcing the division of this area on June 26, 2019, which will go into effect in August 2020. There are currently 2 operating temples which are serving this area, with the Durban South Africa Temple set to be dedicated in February of next year. With 2 other announced temples for which a site confirmation or groundbreaking are pending, I have found 6 additional cities which could get a temple in the near future. Most of these candidates are on the list based on either the mileage to the current temple(s), travel rigor, or oversized temple districts. Additionally, Uganda, Madagascar, and Mozambique appear to now be the second, fifth, and sixth respectively among nations with the strongest Church presence that do not yet have a temple in any phase. Due to its’ isolation from the rest of the African continent, Madagascar is my top pick for this area. And in reference to a second DR Congo Temple, I have personally favored Lubumbashi, but a 2019 report on the Church Growth Blog pointed to the idea that a temple in Mbuji-Mayi might be more imminently needed, so both are on this list. Moreover, a temple in Mbuji-Mayi would fulfill the public proposal of a temple for the Kasai region, which was made by Elder Andersen in 2016. For some of these locations which are in political, moral, or other turmoil, the temples mentioned could provide a welcome refuge.
15The same factors I referenced in note 14 above (about significant Church growth, the mileage and rigors involved, and temple district sizes) also applies to the Africa West Area, as reflected by the 4 candidate cities listed here. With only 2 temples currently operating, 1 more under construction, and 2 others announced, the Church Growth Blog has noted that West Africa could have at least 13 operating temples by 2030. Only 1 of the 4 candidate locations I have prioritized for this area does not have a temple in any phase: Liberia, which may now be the nation with the fourth-largest Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase. Also, although it may be difficult to know how soon a second temple in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, or a third Nigerian temple, may be announced, I have felt confident enough in these picks to include them here. 
16The Asian Saints, whose ability to practice their faith has been somewhat limited at times by governmental regulations, are nonetheless very faithful, as evidenced by recent temple announcements for that continent. With 2 temples currently serving the Saints in this area, one other is under construction, and two more have been announced. The factors first mentioned in previous notes above also apply to the Asia Area, which is the largest geographically in the Church. Indonesia may now rank as the tenth nation with the strongest Church presence that does not have a temple in any phase. Additionally, President Hinckley publicly proposed a temple in Singapore around 2 decades ago, and Vietnam is a dark-horse pick that I included based on reports of Church growth in the area. And based on the fact that President Nelson visited Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam recently, the odds seem very good that one of them could have a temple announced this go-round.
17Despite the fact that the Asia North Area has seen some stagnating growth conditions, on July 24, 2019, the Mongolian Newsroom shared information indicating that Mongolia was being reassigned from the Asia Area to the Asia North Area. Since Mongolia has been a Church strong-hold, the transfer should enable the Asia North Area to grow in ways it has not yet been able to. Of the locations listed, Mongolia is my favored pick, since that nation may now be the nation with the third-strongest Church presence without a temple. Consequently, any temple to which the Saints in that nation are assigned will involve extensive and expensive travel. Additionally, since President Nelson announced a temple for Yigo Guam in October 2018, and a temple for Okinawa Japan last April, no location can be counted out, which is why my list also includes a probable temple for Osaka. A combination of the reasons I have provided previous leads me to conclude that temples in both Ulaanbaatar and Osaka may simply be a matter of time. 
18Brazil has been a Church stronghold for a while now. With seven temples currently in operation, the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple will be dedicated before the Brethren take their annual July re months. The Belem Brazil Temple is now under construction; the Brasilia Brazil Temple may have a groundbreaking at some point before the next General Conference; and more information may soon be released on the Salvador Brazil Temple. Most of the candidates in this section are based on either the undue hardship that is required for them to reach their assigned temple, or the fact that the temples to which they are currently assigned are overcrowded. I anticipate at least one of these locations to have a temple announced this go-round. 
19For this area of the Church, last October, I simply had Kingston Jamaica as a dark-horse pick, because the Kingston Saints are 650 miles from their currently-assigned temple (Panama City Panama), but I have also added Santiago Dominican Republic, as a result of the Dominican Republic seeing somewhat significant growth since the dedication for the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple was held in September 2000. The Saints in Santiago are less than 100 miles from Santo Domingo, but the growth alone may be reason enough to warrant a temple in Santiago, and such a prospect may be slightly more imminent than a temple in Kingston.
20I have previously referenced information on prospective temples in Central America from someone who lives and works in Guatemala. With a temple having been announced in Coban six months ago, this individual informed me that the next most likely prospect would be a temple for Villa Nueva. The only question is how soon that might happen. But for now, I am including it on this list.
21The situation of Saints living on the European continent is somewhat interesting. Where there are centers of strength established, significant growth has occurred. But there has been some stagnant growth through the continent in recent years. With 13 temples currently operating in that nation (in addition to 1 under construction and 1 more that has been announced), the 5 locations noted in this section seem to be the most likely prospects for future temples within this area. The temples in Scotland, Norway, and Austria would be the first in their nations. Given some increased coverage of Spain by the Church News recently, it seems likely that a second temple could go to Barcelona. And with Germany having recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, it would be wonderful to see a temple announced in Berlin, marking another new phase of history for that city.
22Mexico presents an interesting anomaly. With some significant growth in areas of strength, the mass consolidation of units in that nation continues. A temple which was announced in Puebla last October is now under construction, and it is thus difficult to know how soon another temple may be announced for that nation. But the cities of Queretaro and Torreon have been identified by a Church member living in Mexico as likely to get a temple in the near future, so both are on this list. And I have additionally added Durango this go-round based on recent opinions offered by that same individual. The only question might be which one gets priority, and how soon that might occur.  
23The Pacific area is another stronghold of Church growth. With 10 temples currently operating there (and 3 others announced), it seems logical to assume that other temples will be needed to serve the area. Most (if not all) of the factors I mentioned previously apply equally to this area. Additionally, Kiribati may now be ranked first on the aforementioned top ten list of nations. So I have no doubt the Pacific Area will see temples announced in each of these cities within the next 5-7 years, if not sooner. 
24The Church has two operating temples in the Philippines (Manila and Cebu City). The temple announced in October 2010 for Urdaneta is now under construction, with four more announced for Muntinlupa City, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Bacolod. If that is any indication of what might happen in the future, then other temples may be needed for the Philippines, and the cities mentioned here seem to have the highest likelihood of having a temple announced, due to difficult travel which may constitute an undue hardship for reasons outlined in prior notes. 
25The entire South American continent has experienced massive Church growth. Having previously discussed Brazil, in reference to the South America Northwest Area, I wanted to observe that there are 8 operating temples there. 2 more are currently under construction in  Lima Peru Los Olivos and Quito Ecuador. And while I have personally-favored La Paz as the candidate for Bolivia’s second temple, my research shows one in Santa Cruz may be more crucially needed. And although I had two candidate cities each for Peru and Colombia, further research has enabled me to narrow each down to the most likely location. Also, President Hinckley publicly proposed a temple in Maracaibo, and further research on my part suggests the time may be right for that prospect.
26The South America South Area has likewise seen very significant and rapidly expanding 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, and the factors mentioned in previous notes hold true here as well. Currently, this area of the Church is served by 6 operating temples, and there were 3 more announced for this area in 2018 and last year. With that in mind, the 3 locations listed in this section seem to have the strongest case in their favor of a temple announced in the near future. In reference to Argentina, I received word of a report that Saints in the city of Bahia Blanca were lobbying Salt Lake City for a temple of their own. And in view of President Nelson’s visit to the Buenos Aires area 5 weeks before this General Conference, it seems probable he went there in order to personally assess such a prospect in addition to visiting with Church members there.
27Although 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 each of the now-6 North American areas of the Church. 
28As mentioned in previous notes, on the one hand, it may be difficult (if not impossible) to gauge the imminent likelihood of any locations. But as also mentioned, in view of some of the relevant factors, I can see the merits of each location listed here. Particularly, I heard a report of a public proposal of a temple for Missoula Montana. Colorado Springs made the list due to a report I received of high attendance numbers at the Denver Colorado Temple. For Kansas, Iowa, and South Dakota, mileage is the main factor driving my choices, and a temple (if only a smaller one) seems likely for all three states in the near future. And a temple in Iowa could be named for Mount Pisgah, a significant landmark in the pioneer history of the Church.
29Given the steady growth of the Church in Ohio, a second temple seems to be likely sooner rather than later. And New Jersey and New Hampshire may be eligible for the first temples of their own given the distance factor, and the rigors of travel involved in getting to its’ currently-assigned temple.
30Since the Saints in Jackson currently have an arduous journey to get to their assigned temple, it is my opinion that a temple will be announced in that city sooner rather than later. And an arduous journey also factors in to my reasoning for temples in Knoxville, Jacksonville, and Charlotte. If, as I anticipate, President Nelson plans to prioritize the mileage factor and also filling in the gaps that exist in the areas covered by the current temple districts’ coverage, then any or all of these may simply be a matter of time. 
31For this area of the Church, the Saints in some cities currently assigned to temples across the Mexican border may, depending on what happens in the future, have a hard time reaching those temples. With a temple announced for McAllen last April, I am basing my pick for Texas on the opinion of someone living within the current Dallas Texas Temple district. This individual noted that Fort Worth would almost certainly be the next city in Texas to get a temple. So if border issues arise, those could be ameliorated by a temple in Las Cruces, which would likely also cover El Paso for the time being. Arizona and Nevada both fall under the “Mormon corridor”, and, based on further research on my part, I have prioritized Queen Creek due to recent growth in that city. And although Elko and Ely Nevada once seemed to have an equal likelihood of having a temple announced, after further research on my part, I have chosen to prioritize Elko this go-round.
34With this area having been consolidated in August of this year with the North America Northwest Area, there are a total of 3 locations for which I feel a temple announcement is most likely. Victoria was mentioned by name to me by someone living there, who reports the hardship of rigorous travel and the expense involved, which makes a temple a feasible prospect. Fairbanks is one of two Alaskan cities for which I anticipate a temple will be announced in the near future (the other being Juneau), but my research shows the former as being the more imminent prospect. And although there has recently been some stagnant growth in California, Bakersfield has been on my radar for a variety of reasons, many of which have been explained in previous notes. Additionally, in my opinion, the fact that a temple was announced in Yuba City last October does not at this time eliminate the likely imminence of a temple for Bakersfield. 
35Since five new temples have been announced in the Utah Area of the Church during the last four sets of announcements, more are surely in the works. Particularly, a temple site was publicly mentioned as being held in reserve in April 2005 for a temple in the Southwest Salt Lake Valley. Though no official confirmation has occurred, if my research is correct, the land in question has been the subject of a border dispute between Herriman and Bluffdale cities, but is currently owned by the city of Herriman. For Heber City, Preston, and Evanston, they all seem to have an equal likelihood of having a temple announced in the near future. And Elder Steven E. Snow, who was born in Washington County, recently told the Saints there at a stake conference that someone from the Temple Department had indicated to him that a third Washington County temple would be needed in the not-too-distant future. For these reasons, I couldn’t narrow any of these selections down, at least not for the moment.

Initial Predictions for the April 2020 General Conference: Part Two—Prospective Church Leadership Changes and Statistical Report

Hello again, everyone! Part 2 of the 3-part series highlighting the initial version of my predictions for the April 2020 General Conference is here. As noted in my last post, this installment will explore prospective Church leadership changes and my initial estimates for the statistical report. As I noted, those estimates will be subject to change as more information is brought to my attention towards the end of this year. Without further ado, those two sections follow below. In order to not disturb the flow of that information, I will end here as I always do: That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. 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.


Predictions for Changes in General Church Leadership

Presidency of the Seventy: Elder L. Whitney Clayton released from the Presidency of the Seventy (to be effective August 1); new member of the Presidency of the Seventy sustained (also to be effective August 1)8.
Result:                
General Authority Seventies: New General Authority Seventies sustained from the current area seventies or the Church at large9. 
Result: 
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings10.
Result:
Young Men General Presidency: Stephen W. Owen, Douglas D. Holmes, and Joseph M. Brough released as the Young Men General Presidency; new Young Men General Presidency called11.
Result:

Statistical Report, 2019 (corrected figures in parentheses)12
Stakes
3,440
Missions
399
Districts
522
Wards & Branches
30,608
Total Church Membership
16,548,462
Increase in Children of Record
99.967
Converts Baptized
226,984
Full-Time Missionaries
65,138
Church Service Missionaries
32,.673
Temples Dedicated during 2019 (Rome Italy, Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fortaleza Brazil, Port-au-Prince Haiti, Lisbon Portugal, and Arequipa Peru)
6
Temples Rededicated during 2019 (Memphis Tennessee, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, Oakland California, Raleigh North Carolina, Frankfurt Germany, Asunción Paraguay, and Baton Rouge Louisiana)
7
Temples in Operation by the end of 2018
167

References—Part Two


8In April 2018, 3 changes in the Presidency of the Seventy that would be effective August 1 were sustained in advance. Since Elder Clayton, the current Senior President of the Seventy, will turn 70 in 2020, his release from the Presidency will likely become effective August 1, so his release and the sustaining of his replacement are likely to be presented for sustaining vote. Based on recent changes in that Presidency,  the new member may be someone who was born outside the United States, which would increase the internationally-born majority (currently 4 out of the 7 members were born outside the US).  
9It has been customary in recent years for any new General Authority Seventies to be sustained in April, so that is likely to occur again. 
10Since 2017, it has been customary for the Church to release less than 10 area seventies each April. Among those releases this go-round could be those called as GA Seventies, mission presidents, or temple presidents whose service could begin before the October General Conference, any current area seventies called to serve in the new Young Men General Presidency, or any called before April 2015 who have not yet been released. Although I anticipate only a few releases, I have compiled the following list of those who might be released, so as not to overlook anyone: Ruben Acosta, Frederick O. Akinbo, Vladimir N. Astashov, Jorge T. Becerra, M. T. Ben Davis,  E. Xavier Espinoza, Sam M. Galvez, Wisit Khanakham, Jose E. Maravilla, Adeynka J. Ojediran, Alexey V. Samaykin, Gordon H. Smith, and Kevin J. Worthen (who, as the current BYU-Provo President, if released as an area seventy, may be called as a General Authority Seventy).
11Since the current Young Men General Presidency has served together since April 2015, and since the standard call length for general officers of the Church has typically been 5 years, it would make sense if the current presidency was released during this General Conference, with a new General Presidency called. Past precedent indicates that the new presidency members could be comprised of one or more current General Authorities released to fill this new assignment, one or both of the outgoing counselors in the current Young Men General Presidency, either of the counselors in the Sunday School General Presidency, any member of the Sunday School or Young Men General Board, any current area seventies, or any men from the Church-at-large.
12In a continuation of the new tradition which began in April 2018, the Statistical Report will not be presented over-the-pulpit, but will instead be released on the Church’s official Newsroom directly following the Saturday Afternoon Session of this General Conference.