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Monday, May 20, 2019

Update Reported on Pocatello Idaho Temple; Additional Church News Developments Reported

Hello again, everyone! While I hope any additional feedback on any other content will continue to be offered (including and especially on the potential locations for which a temple may be announced during the October 2019 General Conference), I wanted to pass along an update on the Pocatello Idaho Temple which has been reported, in addition to a veritable plethora of new developments which have been recently reporeted by the Church's official Newsroom site, and on the Church News website as well. There is a lot to get to here, so, without further ado, let's dive right into it all.

Firstly, for the Pocatello Idaho Temple, new information received today indicates that a gravel layer has been added to the temple's subbasement during its' excavation, and that excavation work is progressing on the basement, which has now had a layer of dirt added.. There is still no word yet of any progress on the Bangkok Thailand, Yigo Guam, Praia Cabo Verde, San Juan Puerto Rico, and Quito Ecuador Temples as of yet, but hopefully that will change soon. I similarly hope to hear word of more temples having a groundbreaking scheduled, and the announcement of the open house and dedication being made for the Arequipa Peru Temple.

With that said, let's move on to the many Church news developments which have been reported. I had mentioned in a recent comment on an earlier thread that the reason for President Nelson's visit to Wellington New Zealand wwas a courtesy call to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was formerly a member of the Church (although she resigned her membership due to the Church's stance on same-gender marriage), and whose uncle, Elder Ian S Ardern, serves as First Counselor and will start serving in August as President of the Church's Pacific Area.

The Newsroom and the Church News provided coverage of that visist, during which tiume President Nelson and Elder Gong presented her with a copy of her family history, while President Nelson expressed his personal condolence and offer to help both through financial and humanitarian aid in light of the recent shooting at the mosque in Christchurch. The Nelsons and Gongs now head to Auckland, where the leaders are anticipated to meet with members andd missionaries, and will also likely asseess the land which has been held in reserve for a temple for a while. If that happens, hopefully a groundbreaking will be able to be held later this year.

Turning now to other news which has been reported, after a hiatus of several weeks, the Church News published biographies for several more new mission presidents that will begin serving in their fields of labor in July. And with the dedication of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple having occurred yesterday, the Newsroom gave general details, while the Church News specified why that event was personally significant to President Henry B. Eyring, Second Coounselor in the First Presidency, who presided over that rededication. The Church News also shared the text of the rededicatory prayer President Eyring gave for that temple yesterday.

The Church News also highlighted why President Nelson's upcoming visit to Tonga will be significant to a Tongan mother, with a more complete version of that story being posted on the Pacific Newsroom. And with the United States preparing to observe the annual Memorial Day (which is used to honor deceased members of the Armed Services, although some take the opportunity to remember others in their lives who have passed away as well), which will occur one week from today, the Church News has sent out a request for feedback about experiences relating thereunto.

I do 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 word of them. 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-adeed 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..

Initial Predictions for the October 2019 General Conference: Part Three—Potential New Temples

Hello again, everyone! Several days later than I hoped to do so, I have wrapped up working on my list of potential locations for which there is reason to believe a temple may be announced during the upcoming October 2019 General Conference. The list of locations, in company with the relevant notes, speaks for itself and follows below. An open commenting period will be offered on this list (and other versions of it) up until the Monday before the October General Conference. In order to avoid disturb the flow of that information, I will end here and now as I always do:

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, 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: 12-16 new temples announced for any of the f1ollowing locations[1]:

Africa Southeast[2]: Antananarivo Madagascar; Second DR Congo Temple (in Mbuji-Mayi or Lubumbashi); Maputo Mozambique; Kampala Uganda; Cape Town South Africa
Africa West[3]: Freetown Sierra Leone; Kumasi Ghana; Monrovia Liberia; Benin City Nigeria; Yamoussoukro Ivory Coast
Asia[4]: Ulaanbaatar Mongolia; Jakarta Indonesia; Singapore; Taichung Taiwan; Hanoi Vietnam
Asia North[5]: Osaka Japan
Brazil[6]: Belo Horizonte, Florianopolis, João Pessoa, or Ribeirão Preto Brazil
Caribbean: Kingston Jamaica[7]
Central America[8]: Coban/Villa Nueva Guatemala
Europe[9]: Edinburgh Scotland; Vienna Austria; Oslo Norway
Europe East[10]: Vilnius Lithuania
Mexico: Torreon or Queretaro Mexico[11]
Middle East/Africa North: Dubai or Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates[12]
Pacific[13]: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea; Tarawa Kiribati; Savaii Samoa; Christchurch New Zealand
Philippines[14]: Tacloban, Bacolod, or Angeles Philippines
South America Northwest[15]: Santa Cruz or La Paz Bolivia; Iquitos or Cusco Peru; Cali or Medellin Colombia
South America South[16]: Valparaiso Chile; Santa Fe, Rosario, or Neuquen Argentina; Ciudad del Este Paraguay
North America (including the United States and Canada) [17]:
North America Central[18]: Missoula Montana; Pueblo or Colorado Springs Colorado; Wichita Kansas; Green Bay Wisconsin; Des Moines Iowa; Lethbridge Alberta; Rapid City South Dakota
North America Northeast[19]: Cleveland Ohio; Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; East Brunswick New Jersey; Augusta Maine; Montpelier Vermont
North America Southeast[20]: Jackson Mississippi; Shreveport Louisiana; Jacksonville Florida; Knoxville Tennessee; Savannah Georgia; Charlotte North Carolina
North America Southwest[21]: Bentonville Arkansas; Fort Worth Texas; Las Cruces New Mexico; Flagstaff or Queen Creek Arizona; Elko or Ely Nevada
North America West[22]: Victoria British Columbia; Fairbanks Alaska; Bakersfield California
Utah[23]: Herriman Utah; Evanston Wyoming or Preston Idaho; Heber City Utah; Washington County Utah (Third Temple)

[1]Although some have offered their opinions that the record-breaking 27 new temples announced by President Nelson within his first 3 General Conferences as Church Pres           `ident will result in no new temples being announced during this General Conference, much more has been said recently by apostles, other Church leaders, and those privy to such information regarding President Nelson’s plans to expand the number of temples. With that in mind, I believe at least as many temples as I have suggested here may be announced, though it could be more. I also believe that the expansion of the number of temples will be done with wisdom, order, and common sense, which may mean that President Nelson might not explain his plans for the near future, and instead focus on gradually implementing them with the end result in mind that the number of temples will include a ten-fold increase. The locations named below seem to be the most likely to be announced during this conference, based on the reasons I will detail in subsequent notes.
[2]The Africa Southeast Area has experienced significant Church growth. With 2 dedicated temples in the area currently, there is 1 other under construction, and 2 more announced (both of which have had sites procured, and could therefore have a groundbreaking within the next year), I have found 6 other potential locations which may 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, Mozambique, and Madagascar are fourth, sixth, and seventh 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 both are on this list. For some of these locations which are in political, moral, or other turmoil, the temples mentioned could provide a welcome refuge.
[3]The same factors I referenced in note #6 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 5 candidate cities listed here. With only 2 temples currently operating, 1 more other construction, and 1 which has been 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, however, between this area and the Africa Southeast Area. Only two of the five candidate locations in this area do not have a temple in any phase. The two are Sierra Leone and Liberia, which rank as the second and fifth 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 these picks to include them here..
[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 previous notes 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. But President Nelson announced a temple for Yigo Guam in October 2018, and a temple for Okinawa Japan last April. As a result, Osaka is on my list, with the main reasoning being that the Saints in Osaka are roughly 1.5 times further away from their temple than the 200-mile distance specified by previous prophets.
[6]Brazil has been a Church stronghold for a while now. With seven temples currently in operation, the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple will be dedicated within the next 4-8 months, 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 prior notes (primarily the distances involved), 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 in the near future.
[7]This city is another dark-horse pick, but is on the list due to the factors mentioned previously, and also because someone suggested it elsewhere. And given what President Nelson has done in terms of the 27 temples he has announced thus far, Kingston could be another location for a smaller temple. I say that because the Kingston Jamaica Saints travel 298 miles one-way overseas to worship at their assigned temple (in Port-au-Prince Haiti, which was dedicated 5 weeks before this General Conference). Given President Nelson’s attention to remote areas, it seems more likely than not that a temple in Jamaica may be in the works for either the immediate or near future.
[8]I have previously referenced information on prospective temples in Central America which I received from someone living and working in that area. While Coban seems to be the most likely location for Guatemala’s third temple, Villa Nueva was also mentioned by name, and because that city has been on prior lists for past General Conferences, I have added that location again as well this go-round.
[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 2018 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]Mexico presents an interesting anomaly. With some significant growth in areas of strength, the mass consolidation of units in that nation continues. A temple was announced in Puebla last October, and it is 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. 
[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 3 General Conferences, 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 or 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 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, New Guinea, and Kiribati are ranked first and third 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 is now under construction, with three more announced for 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 highest likelihood of having a temple announced.
[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, the Lima Peru Los Olivos and Quito Ecuador Temples, are both now under construction. 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, I have listed three cities which may, based on the history of temple announcements within the previous 3 General Conference, have an equally likely chance of having a temple announced, which I could not narrow down any further than that. 
[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-6 North American areas of the Church.
[18]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 and Colorado Springs (which may be even in their likelihood) 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.
[19]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.
[20]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.
[21]For 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 that said, 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 for a temple in Bentonville 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 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 I have heard that Flagstaff may well be the most likely Arizona city to get a temple, though I have added Queen Creek due to recent growth in that city. 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.
[22]With 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.
[23]Since one new temple has been announced in the Utah Area of the Church within each of 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.