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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Revised Predictions for October 2019 General Conference: Part Two—Updated Prospective Temple Locations

Hello again, everyone! Before I post a birthday tribute to President Eyring (which should be published on this blog at some point within the next 12 hours, but hopefully sooner if all goes well), I wanted to note the completion of my revision to the list of prospective locations for which a temple may be announced during the next General Conference, and in sharing this revised list, I have also completed my mini-series of posts on the alterations I have made to my predictions for the October 2019 General Conference.

I have made the adjustments to this list after additional extensive research on my part which has enabled me to trim down the prospects somewhat. While there are many areas of the Church for which I could not narrow down my picks to the single most-likely location, where I could narrow that down, I have done so. I have also eliminated prospects which, upon further research, do not seem as imminently likely as they appeared to be when I posted the initial version of this list 10 days ago.

So the updated version of this list includes all the revisions and adjustments I felt I could make, which included updating the relevant notes, where applicable. I have mentioned before that since we sustain each current apostle as prophets, seers, and revelators, and particularly since we additionally sustain the prophet as President of the Church, those 15 men deliberate and plan for the more distant future of the Church, as well as for the immediate future.

And if we take the accounts of President Nelson's energy, stamina, and capabilities in a lteral sense (with all reports indicating he is planning, deliberating, acting, and ministering as one who is biologically 20-30 years younger than his almost-95 years of age), then it seems to be all but certain that President Nelson will, as Elder Andersen expressed during the April 2018 General Conference, be around for the next decade or two.

If that winds up happening, then, as I also noted before, the ten-fold increase may more than likely be accomplished over a more extended period of time, and may be the end result, rather than an immediate destination on the way to something even more significant. But that thought should not dampen or temper our enthusiasm for however many new temples are announced every six months.

With that in mind, I stand by my feeling that President Nelson will continue to announce temples every six months in General Conference for the foreseeable future, but I also now believe that the announcement of temples outside of General Conference may be temporarily deferred, so that the focus can be on clearing the backlog and keeping it at around roughly 30 temples, as that intent has previously been indicated.  I also fully believe that the number of temples which may be announced in October will be a total of somewhere between 12 and 16.

Having noted all of this, the updated list of locations and the appropriate annotated references follows below.  An open commenting period continues to be in effect until the Monday prior to General Conference, unless there is a large number of changes which I wind up making, in which case it will be extended to 36 hours prior to the Saturday Morning Session of General Conference (exactly 10:00 PM MDT on the Thursday night prior to General Conference weekend).

In order to not disturb the flow of this list and the subsequent notes that follow, 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
Brazil[5]: Belo Horizonte, Florianopolis, Ribeirão Preto Brazil
Caribbean: Kingston Jamaica[6]
Central America[7]: Coban Guatemala
Europe[8]: Edinburgh Scotland; Oslo Norway; Vienna Austria
Mexico: Torreon Mexico[9]
Middle East/Africa North: Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates[10]
Pacific[11]: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea; Tarawa Kiribati; Savaii Samoa
Philippines[12]: Tacloban Philippines
South America Northwest[13]: Santa Cruz Bolivia; Iquitos Peru; Cali Colombia
South America South[14]: Bahia Blanca Argentina; Viña del Mar Chile; Ciudad del Este Paraguay

North America (including the United States and Canada) [15]:
North America Central[16]: Missoula Montana; Wichita Kansas; Green Bay Wisconsin; Des Moines Iowa; Colorado Springs Colorado
North America Northeast[17]: East Brunswick New Jersey; Cleveland Ohio; Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; Augusta Maine
North America Southeast[18]: Jackson Mississippi; Shreveport Louisiana; Savannah Georgia; Charlotte North Carolina; Jacksonville Florida; Knoxville Tennessee
North America Southwest[19]: Bentonville Arkansas; Fort Worth Texas; Las Cruces New Mexico; Queen Creek Arizona; Elko Nevada
North America West[20]: Victoria British Columbia; Fairbanks Alaska; Bakersfield California
Utah[21]: Herriman Utah; Evanston Wyoming or Preston Idaho; Heber Valley 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]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.
[6]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.
[7]I have previously referenced information on the prospect of a temple for Coban Guatemala which I received from someone living and working in that area. And given that President Nelson visited Guatemala around 5 weeks before this General Conference, I feel more convinced than ever that a temple there is merely a matter of time.
[8]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. 
[9]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 were on this list. But due to the announcement last October of a temple in Puebla, which will take away from the current Mexico City district, I have chosen to prioritize Torreon this go-round. 
[10]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.
[11]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.
[12]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. Of the three prospects I had previously considered, further study on my part led me to prioritize Tacloban Philippines.
[13]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 will be held in December). 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. Having previously listed two locations each for Bolivia and Colombia, I have narrowed things down to the single most likely city in each nation. 
[14]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, and President Nelson’s recent Latin American ministry in mind, I have narrowed the prospects in this area down to the top 3 most likely locations.
[15]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.
[16]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. Colorado Springs made the list due to a report I received of high attendance numbers at the Denver Colorado Temple. For Kansas, Wisconsin, and Iowa, 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.
[17]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 and Maine 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.
[18]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.
[19]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 prioritized Queen Creek due to recent growth in that city. And based on my analysis of the arduous journies the Saints in Elko and Ely undergo to their assigned temples in Utah, I have prioritized Elko this go-round, though it would also not surprise me if another Las Vegas area temple were to be announced soon.
[20]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.
[21]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.