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Sunday, March 3, 2019

BREAKING TEMPLE NEWS: Elder Wilford W. Andersen to Preside at Pocatello Idaho Temple Groundbreaking

Hello again, everyone! While running a cursory internet search for insight into who might preside at the Pocatello Idaho Temple groundbreaking, I came across this article, which notes that Elder Wilford W. Andersen of the Seventy, who serves as president of the Church's Idaho Area, will preside at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pocatello Idaho Temple, which has, as previously noted, been scheduled to occur on Saturday March 16.

Still no word on who might preside at the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple from March 10-12, but I would anticipate that, since President Monson did not live long enough to do so, President Nelson will likely preside over at least the very first session(s) of that temple. We may not know yet whether there will be 9, 12, or some other number of dedicatory sessions, but I will keep my eyes and ears peeled for more on that within this next week.

That does it for this post. 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.

Revised Annotated List of Prospective Temple Locations

Hello again, everyone! Before I get to the actual topic of this post, I wanted to note upcoming content which will be featured on this blog in the near future. In addition to covering all new Church news and temple developments, I plan to post my next apostolic milestone updates in a two-part post series one week from today. There will also likely be some significant degree of coverage leading up to, during, and directly following the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple, which is set to occur over a three-day period beginning one week from today as well. So be on the lookout for those updates here as I receive word on such developments.

Now, to the main purpose of this post: With my thanks to ScottS, who has read and commented on my blog for a while now, I have recently completed a massive overhaul of the list of potential locations which seem to be most likely to have a temple announced in General Conference next month. That involved finding ways to limit my notes to one per area. As a result, each note is slightly more lengthy and extensive than they would otherwise be, but the number of notes needed overall has decreased by a whopping two-thirds.

Hopefully this version of the list will be easier to read and understand. And while I no longer extensively detail my rationale behind each choice, if any of you have any questions for me on any particular candidate city, I'd be more than happy to address them. The reason those notes had been so extensive previously was due to my having some issues with losing track of a thought or statement midway through (which, as my wife could tell you, proves to be exasperating at the best of times), so by being more detailed, I was able to retain my train of thought. But after analyzing what was really necessary information, I have completed a full revision of this section.

The reworked list of prospective temple locations for the April 2019 General Conference follows below. A roughly one-month commenting period will be in effect until I have to do the final tweaks to this list before the April General Conference weekend. In order to not disturb the flow of that information or the notes, 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, 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: 3+ temples announced in any of the locations below[i]

Africa Southeast[ii]: Antananarivo Madagascar; Second DR Congo Temple (in Mbuji-Mayi or Lubumbashi; Maputo Mozambique; Kampala Uganda
Africa West[iii]: Freetown Sierra Leone; Kumasi Ghana; Monrovia Liberia; Yamoussoukro Ivory Coast; Benin City Nigeria
Asia[iv]: Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Jakarta Indonesia; Singapore; Taichung Taiwan; Hanoi Vietnam
Asia North[v]: Osaka Japan
Brazil[vi]: Belo Horizonte; Florianopolis; João Pessoa Ribeirão Preto
Caribbean: Kingston Jamaica[vii]
Central America[viii]: Coban Guatemala; San Pedro Sula Honduras
Europe[ix]: Budapest Hungary; Edinburgh Scotland; Vienna Austria; Oslo Norway
Mexico: Queretaro Mexico[x]
Middle East/Africa North: Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates[xi]
Pacific[xii]: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea; Tarawa Kiribati; Pago Pago American Samoa; Neiafu Vava'u Tonga; Savaii Samoa
Philippines[xiii]: Bacolod/Tacloban Philippines
South America Northwest[xiv]: Santa Cruz/La Paz Bolivia; Iquitos Peru; Cali/Medellin Colombia
South America South[xv]: Antofagasta/Valparaiso Chile; Neuquen/Rosario Argentina; Ciudad del Este Paraguay

North America (including the United States and Canada) [xvi]:
Canada[xvii]: Victoria British Columbia; Lethbridge Alberta
North America Central[xviii]: Missoula Montana; Pueblo Colorado; Wichita Kansas; Green Bay Wisconsin; Des Moines Iowa; Rapid City South Dakota
North America Northeast[xix]: Cleveland Ohio; Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; East Brunswick New Jersey; Augusta Maine; Montpelier Vermont
North America Northwest: Fairbanks Alaska[xx]
North America Southeast[xxi]: Jackson Mississippi; Shreveport Louisiana; Jacksonville Florida; Knoxville Tennessee; Savannah Georgia
North America Southwest[xxii]: Bentonville Arkansas; Fort Worth Texas; Las Cruces New Mexico; Flagstaff Arizona; Elko/Ely Nevada
North America West: Bakersfield California[xxiii]
Utah[xxiv]: Herriman/Heber City/Tooele/Washington County Utah; Preston Idaho; Evanston Wyoming

[i]Some have offered their opinion that, with 19 new temples announced last year alone (which has resulted in a current backlog of 27 temples, though 3 others have a groundbreaking scheduled to occur roughly one month after this conference), no new temples may be announced this go-round. While I understand (and appreciate) the rationale behind such comments, from what others and I myself have directly or indirectly heard, President Nelson may unveil his temple expansion plans during this conference. Whether he does or not, the locations below (grouped by area, then by likelihood within that area) represent the most likely locations in which I feel such temples may be announced during this conference.
[ii]The Africa Southeast Area has experienced significant Church growth. With 1 dedicated temple in the area currently, there are 2 under construction (1 of which will be dedicated the week after conference, with the other anticipated to follow in 4-6 months), and 2 others announced (both of which have had sites procured, and could therefore have a groundbreaking either later this year or early next year), I have found 5 other potential locations which may get a temple in the near future. Most of these candidates are based on the mileage to the current temple(s), travel rigor, or oversized temple districts. Additionally, Uganda, Madagascar, and Mozambique are fifth, seventh, and ninth respectively on the list of top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that do not have a temple in any phase. Madagascar is my top pick for this area. And in reference to a second DR Congo Temple, I have personally favored Lubumbashi, but a recent report on the Church growth blog pointed to the idea that a temple in Mbuji-Mayi might be more imminently needed, so I have prioritized that pick.
[iii]The same factors I referenced above in previously (about significant Church growth, the mileage and rigors involved, and temple district sizes) also applies to the Africa West Area, as reflected by the five candidate cities listed here. With only 2 temples currently operating, one more other construction, and one announced, the Church growth blog noted recently that West Africa could have at least 13 operating temples by 2030. There are a couple of big differences, though. Only two of the five candidates do not have a temple in any phase. The two are Sierra Leone and Liberia, which rank as the second and sixth respectively on the aforementioned top ten list.  Sierra Leone is my top pick for this area. And while it may be difficult to know how soon a second Ivory Coast temple and a third Nigerian temple may be announced, I have felt confident enough in my picks to justify their selection.
[iv]The 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 the Hong Kong and Taipei temples serving the Saints currently, the one in Bangkok is under construction, and two others have been announced for Bengaluru and Phnom Penh. The factors first mentioned in previously above also apply to the Asia Area, which is the largest geographically in the Church. Of the locations listed, Mongolia is my favored pick, since that nation is eighth on the aforementioned top ten list. Also, President Hinckley publicly proposed a temple in Singapore, and Vietnam is a dark-horse pick that I included based on reports of Church growth in the area.
[v]The Asia North Area of the Church has seen some stagnated growth, to the point where some have suggested that that area could be merged with the Asia Area. While I understand the thinking behind that, and while I would not be surprised if such a merge occurs in the near future, I have evaluated the area and seen at least one prospective location where a temple could be built, with the main reasoning being the factors previously mentioned in previously.
[vi]Brazil has been a Church stronghold for a while now. With six temples currently in operation, both the Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temples will be dedicated within the next year, during which time the Brasilia Brazil Temple is likely to have a groundbreaking occur. With two other temples (Belem and Salvador) awaiting a site announcement and groundbreaking, some may feel that more Brazilian temples may be delayed. But my research indicates that, due to the factors mentioned in previously, these cities are the next most likely locations to have a temple announced. I personally favor Belo Horizonte, but would be happy if any or all of these cities have a temple announced this go-round.
[vii]This city is another dark-horse pick, but is on the list due to the factors mentioned in previously, but also due to someone suggesting it elsewhere. And given what President Nelson has done in terms of the 19 temples he announced last year, Kingston could be another location for a smaller temple. 
[viii]A Church member living and working in the Central America Area kindly informed me that a second temple to serve the current Guatemala City temple district is the most imminent prospect for the future in this area. As I studied that opinion, I concurred with him that Coban would likely be the next Central American city in which a temple will be announced. But I also feel (based on general consensus and according to my research) that a San Pedro Sula temple may be on the horizon sooner rather than later, so both cities are listed.
[ix]The situation of Saints living on the European continent is somewhat interesting. Where there are centers of strength, significant growth has occurred. But in many European nations, the Church has experienced some stagnated growth, which has necessitated discontinuing some congregations in order to strengthen others within the last year or two. But due to the factors I first mentioned in previously, it appears likely that most (if not all) of the candidate cities that follow in this section could get a temple, even if only a smaller one.  
[x]The relevant factors in notes 13 and 20 also apply in a way to Mexico (where centers of strength have seen excellent growth in some respects, but in others, massive congregational consolidates have also occurred within the last couple of years. Based on these facts, it may be difficult to know how soon another temple may be announced for Mexico, especially since one was announced for Puebla last October. But the city of Queretaro has been identified by a Church member living in Mexico as likely to get a temple in the near future, so that city is on this list.  
[xi]As recently as a year ago, if someone had suggested a temple for the Middle East/Africa North Area, I would have dismissed it as an impossibility. But within the last year, we have seen President Nelson announce temples to serve either a very small region or else regions that are isolated or affected by the factors mentioned in previously. And while it is true that military personnel constitute the main membership of the Church in this area (which might make staffing a temple problematic), a recent report on the Church growth blog about the UAE has me convinced a temple in Abu Dhabi may simply be a matter of time.
[xii]The Pacific area is another stronghold of Church growth. With 10 temples currently operating there (and one other 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 in previously apply equally to this area. Additionally, New Guinea, Kiribati, and American Samoa are ranked first, third, and fourth respectively 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 decade, if not sooner.
[xiii]The Church has two operating temples in the Philippines (Manila and Cebu City). The temple announced in October 2010 for Urdaneta had a groundbreaking ceremony in January. And with the last 3 sets of temple announcements, the Philippines has seen temples announced for the greater Manila area (which will be located in Muntinlupa City), Cagayan de Oro, and Davao. If that is any indication of what might happen in the future, then other temples may be needed for the Philippines
[xiv]The 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 7 operating temples there. 1 more is currently under construction in Arequipa Peru (for which a dedication is anticipated before the end of this year) Two others have been announced: the Lima Peru Los Olivos and Quito Ecuador Temples, both of which could have a groundbreaking within the next 2-3 years, though hopefully sooner if all goes well. And while I have personally-favored candidates here, a second temple in Bolivia may be the most imminent prospect. For Bolivia and Colombia, I have listed two potential locations each due to my inability to narrow those down to one.  
[xv]The 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 (1 of which is closed for renovation), and there were 2 more announced for this area last year. With that in mind, the 5 locations listed in this section seem to have the strongest case in their favor of a temple announced in the near future. And for Argentina and Chile, I list two cities each because the sets for each nation are about even in terms of their likelihood.  
[xvi]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 each of the now-8 North American areas of the Church.
[xvii]For purposes of simplification, I have chosen to list my temple candidates for Canada in a separate section from those elsewhere in the United States. So the North American areas listed below will not include these Canadian candidate cities. Of the two, Lethbridge may be more of a long shot. But Victoria has been mentioned to me as a prospect due to the cost and arduous nature of the journey to worship at the Vancouver British Columbia Temple.  
[xviii]As 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. Pueblo 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. A temple in Iowa could be named for Mount Pisgah, a significant landmark in the pioneer history of the Church.
[xix]Given the steady growth of the Church in Ohio and Pennsylvania, second temples for each seem to be likely sooner rather than later. And New Jersey, Maine, and Vermont may each be eligible for a temple of their own given the distance factor, and the rigors of travel involved in getting to their currently assigned temples.
[xx]The Saints in both Fairbanks and Juneau have an arduously lengthy journey to get to their assigned temple in Anchorage. While both may have equal merits in terms of their eligibility for a temple of their own, my research shows Fairbanks may be first in line for such a prospect. But I would anticipate temples in both cities within the next 5-15 years, if not sooner.
[xxi]Since 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 Shreveport, Jacksonville, Knoxville, and Savannah. If, as I anticipate, President Nelson plans to prioritize the mileage factor and also filling in the gaps that exist in temple district coverage, then any or all of these may simply be a matter of time.
[xxii]Things are a little tricky for this area of the Church. Given that the Saints assigned to the districts of temples over the Mexican border might possibly have a harder time accessing those temples in the future, some have offered very specific opinions about the merits of some of the candidate cities which are listed here. But I am basing my theories on the potential location of an Arkansas temple on information from a friend indicating that land has been held in reserve in that city for a temple for several years now. And I am basing my picks for temples in Texas and New Mexico 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 Texas city 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 I have heard that Flagstaff may well be the most likely Arizona city to get a temple. Both Elko and Ely have arduous journeys to their assigned temples in Utah, so It seems to be just a matter of time before one (or both) of them get a temple of their own, and I feel the next Nevada temple location is too close to call.
[xxiii]With a temple announced last October for Yuba City, a temple in Bakersfield might potentially be delayed, but however long it might take, I am reasonably confident that that city will be the next one in California to get a temple of its’ own, as I have been anticipating such a prospect for almost as long as I have been offering my thoughts on future temple locations.  
[xxiv]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, Tooele, 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.