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Monday, March 25, 2019

Updated List of Locations Most Likely to Have a Temple Announced During the April 2019 General Conference

Hello again, everyone! As I mentioned in another post earlier today, I realized a revision of my list of the locations which are most likely to have a temple announced in General Conference in roughly 1.75 weeks. Due to those tweaks (which have included fixing some inadvertent errors in the notes section), and as a result of my desire to allow for sufficient feedback, I am extending the deadline for the commenting period on this list to midnight MDT on the day that Thursday April 4 transitions into Friday April 5, which will subsequently allow me to make any necessary tweaks and adjustments to this list prior to General Conference the following day.

I hope that any of you will let me know if there are any glaring errors, omissions, or over-estimations in this list. With that said, the updated list and notes follow below. In order to not distract from the flow of that information, I will be ending 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.



Temple predictions: At least 12 new temples announced for any of the following locations[1]:

Africa Southeast[2]: Antananarivo Madagascar; Second DR Congo Temple (in Mbuji-Mayi or Lubumbashi; Maputo Mozambique; Kampala Uganda
Africa West[3]: Freetown Sierra Leone; Kumasi Ghana; Monrovia Liberia; Yamoussoukro Ivory Coast; Benin City Nigeria
Asia[4]: Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Jakarta Indonesia; Singapore; Taichung Taiwan; Hanoi Vietnam
Asia North[5]: Osaka Japan
Brazil[6]: Belo Horizonte; Florianopolis; João Pessoa Ribeirão Preto
Caribbean: Kingston Jamaica[7]
Central America[8]: Coban Guatemala; San Pedro Sula Honduras
Europe[9]: Budapest Hungary; Edinburgh Scotland; Vienna Austria; Oslo Norway
Europe East[10]: Vilnius Lithuania
Mexico: Queretaro/Torreon Mexico[11]
Middle East/Africa North: Dubai/Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates[12]
Pacific[13]: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea; Tarawa Kiribati; Pago Pago American Samoa; Neiafu Vava'u Tonga; Savaii Samoa; Christchurch New Zealand
Philippines[14]: Angeles/Bacolod/Tacloban Philippines
South America Northwest[15]: Santa Cruz/La Paz Bolivia; Iquitos/Cusco Peru; Cali/Medellin Colombia
South America South[16]: Antofagasta/Valparaiso Chile; Neuquen/Rosario Argentina; Ciudad del Este Paraguay

North America (including the United States and Canada) [17]:
Canada[18]: Victoria British Columbia; Lethbridge Alberta
North America Central[19]: Missoula Montana; Pueblo/Colorado Springs Colorado; Wichita Kansas; Green Bay Wisconsin; Des Moines Iowa; Rapid City South Dakota
North America Northeast[20]: Cleveland Ohio; Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; East Brunswick New Jersey; Augusta Maine; Montpelier Vermont
North America Northwest: Fairbanks Alaska[21]
North America Southeast[22]: Jackson Mississippi; Shreveport Louisiana; Jacksonville Florida; Knoxville Tennessee; Savannah Georgia
North America Southwest[23]: Bentonville Arkansas; Fort Worth Texas; Las Cruces New Mexico; Flagstaff Arizona; Elko/Ely Nevada
North America West: Bakersfield California[24]
Utah[25]: Herriman/Heber City/Tooele/Washington County Utah; Preston Idaho; Evanston Wyoming

Result:




[1]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.
[2]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.
[3]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.
[4]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.
[5]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.
[6]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.
[7]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. 
[8]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.
[9]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 mentioned 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.  
[10]This area of the Church has also experienced stagnated growth to the point that some have suggested that the Church could consolidate it into the Europe Area. Additionally, although President Nelson boldly announced a temple in April of last year for a major yet-to-be-determined city in Russia, the political and religious oppression existing in that nation makes it hard to know how soon that temple will be built. With that in mind, a temple in Vilnius makes a lot of sense. And that is especially true given the public proposal for such a temple which was made by then-Elder M. Russell Ballard in May 1993. Although Elder Ballard noted that prospect might not occur for 50 years or so, based on what has been said about President Nelson’s temple expansion plans, the prospect seems imminent enough to include it on my list for now.
[11]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 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.  
[12]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 for areas which I felt would not get a temple for 15-20 years, and with that in mind, a temple in this area seems feasible, if only a smaller one. Although the bulk of Church membership in this area is comprised of military personnel, the United Arab Emirates represent a stronghold of the Church in this area. And with that in mind, a smaller temple in either of the two most populous cities in the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively), feels like it may be more practical than I would have believed this time last year.
[13]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 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.
[14]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, and the cities mentioned here seem to have the best likelihood.
[15]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.  
[16]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.  
[17]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.
[18]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.  
[19]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.
[20]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.
[21]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.
[22]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.
[23]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.
[24]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.  
[25]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.


Additional Temple Developments and Church News Reported

Hello again, everyone! Within the last 3 hours, I have been made aware of quite a few new temple developments and several more Church news stories, so I wanted to bring a report of those to you all here. We will start with the temple developments, then move on to new reports from the Church News and the official Newsroom on the Church's website. Let's jump right in to all of that.

Firstly, as some of you might recall, I had mentioned when I posted the latest version of my list of potential temple locations that I would be inviting comments until April 1. That remains true. But I have recently made a few minor edits to the list, so I will be publishing a brand-new version thereof here later today, and, as a result, i will extend that commenting period until midnight when Thursday April 4 becomes Friday April 5, which will then allow me roughly 34 hours or so to make any adjustments and alterations that may be needed before General Conference starts on April 6 at 10:00 AM MDT.

Turning now to actual temple construction updates, the open house for the Kinshasa DR Congo Temple will conclude at the end of the day on Saturday, after which it will undergoing a two-week final preparation process for its' dedication. In relation to the scheduled dedication, I maintain my belief that President Nelson could set out on yet another leg of his ongoing Global Ministry Tour following General Conference, though nothing has been announced to that effect as of yet. If he does so, the dedication of this temple could be part of that tour. But President Nelson could also delegate that to either of his counselors or one of the senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It will be interesting to find out more about that.

As some of you may recall, I had recently voiced my opinion that, given the lack of consistent progress and the ongoing delays in relation to the construction of the Durban South Africa Temple, the Arequipa Peru Temple could (and likely would) be dedicated first, in the same way that the Lisbon Portugal Temple was set to be dedicated before the Durban temple. Earlier today, that theory was more or less confirmed when many of the sources I have available for temple information moved Arequipa ahead of Durban.

But in addition to that particular development, progress has been noted on both temples. In Arequipa, lamp-posts are being installed, and while the planting of trees and shrubs continues, preparation is underway to lay sod in various areas on the temple grounds. For the Durban temple, the process of cladding the entrance walls and the fountain is underway, while millwork, tiling, painting, plumbing, data and electrical installation continues.

i should also note here that I am still trying to get a feel for how likely it might be that the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple will be dedicated prior to the end of this year. At the moment, I am leaning more towards the conclusion that while construction on that temple could wrap up before the end of this year, the open house and dedication of that temple would likely be deferred until after Christmas 2019 and New Year's day 2020. That said, another update has also been reported on the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple, where the pouring of the concrete floor slab is now complete, and where the process of framing the meetinghouse continues.

Turning now to temples undergoing renovation, open house reservations will be available for the Oakland California Temple beginning this Saturday. Additionally, at the Mesa Arizona Temple, trees continue to be planted on the north lawn, while the installation of landscaping elements and the replacement of sections of the temple roof continues as well.

Switching gears to discuss the latest church news stories which have been reported, Sheri L. Dew, who served in the Relief Society General Presidency at one point, and who has penned many biographies for Church Presidents and other apostles, has published a new book, entitled "Insights From a Prophet's Life", in which she shares some experiences which have molded President Nelson into the man we sustain as the Lord's prophet today.

We also have this inspiring story of an MLB professional who retired to serve as a mission president, a look at how the Church is simplifying the process of scripture production, some insights from the directors of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Sqaure about the work of the Choir, and its' latest produced album, some thoughts from an area seventy about an influential seminary teacher, and a significant marker the Church has donated to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

I'd like to now conclude by sharing the latest articles published on the Church's Newsroom: Following a violent shooting at a Muslim mosque in Christchurch New Zealand, the Pacific Area Presidency issued this statement of support. And Latter-day Saints in Hamilton New Zealand welcomed their Muslim neighbors as special guests in a multi-religion gathering.

In the meantime, the Church recently hosted an interfaith tribute in the Tabernacle at Temple Sqaure, And Latter-day Saint members and missionaries based in Zimbabwe donated supplies to victims of a recent cyclone that impacted not only Zimbabwe, but also Mozambique and Malawi. A local radio station offered to take the supplies to the location that would distribute them, and missionaries in the area provided manpower in unloading the supplies once they reached the designated location.

Both a  well-known radio personality and the owner of the radio station that offered to transport the supplies interviewed the missionaries about who they were, what they were doing, and why. The answer the missionaries provided displayed a wisdom and understanding far beyond their years. Those two with the radio station voiced their surprise and gratitude that the missionaries were not only willing to help, but were able to answer their questions without any hesitation or reservations.

I have to say this: If the missionaries going into the field at around this time are of the same caliber as these young men, the missionary program of the Church will continue to remain in very good, very well-prepared, and very inspired hands. And that is wonderful to think about. I do continue to monitor any and all Church news and temple developments, and will bring word of those to you all as I become aware of them. Any major developments will continue to be reported in new posts like this one, and anything else will be passed along via comments from me on previously-published posts.

I should also mention that I am still committed to posting about the temple construction progress of the Church, and you can look for a first-quarter 2019 update on that subject which will be published here at some point around the time when Sunday March 31 becomes Monday April 1. So be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, 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