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Friday, September 27, 2019

REVISITED: Some Thoughts on President Nelson's Remarkable Statement About the October 2019 General Conference

Hello again, everyone! Given that there is a bit of a breather for now (but perhaps only until tomorrow) before the next temple announcement might come down the pike, I wanted to take the opportunity to share revised thoughts and observations I have about President Nelson's remarkable statement in reference to the October 2019 General Conference. Let me first review the statement in question. He said:

"There are exciting things ahead. This work is moving forward at an accelerated pace. I can just hardly wait to bounce out of bed each morning and see what the day will bring. We invite all people to come unto Christ, to become more like Him, to experience the joyous blessings of the Holy Temple and to have eternal life,”  He then went on to say that more temples and other announcements were coming for the October General Conference. (Note: The bold emphasis is my own).

I shared my initial thoughts on what some of those "other announcements" could be on this blog at the end of August, but given all that has happened since that time, and some additional thoughts which have come to me, I wanted to now post my revised and revisited thoughts in that respect. Firstly, as I noted in that prior post, the pluralization of the term in question, and the fact of the statement itself implies that there will be more than one "other announcement" aside from new temples.

But the wording of that statement also implies to me that whatever may be coming down the pike is not the everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, or traditional announcements that are part of a usual General Conference. So we can safely infer that whatever those announcements may be, President Nelson was not referring directly to the processs of the Sustaining of Church Officers, which is presented as a matter of due course every six months in accordance with the doctrines and practices of the Church (as found here).

So my first observation would be reiterating my suggestion made in that prior post from my blog that a change and/or restructuring of area seventies Quorums could be coming down the pike. As was correctly observed in the comment threads of that post, aside from the initial sustaining of area seventies, Church leaders have not announced changes in area seventies Quorums in General Conference. But with President Nelson having been proven to be willing to buck tradition, the prospect of such changes being announced in General Conference may not be able to be dismissed out of hand.

The current geographic division of each of the Quorums is kind of vast, making it harder for each Quorum to meet together as often as may be necessary for training. So that alone would be enough reason to split some of these Quorums as they now stand. Above and beyond that, however, 3 of the 6 Quorums of area seventies are within 20 members or less of being the doctrinally-specific 70. So those two factors may be enough to warrant such a split.

I also mentioned among my predictions for the upcoming General Conference that I anticipated the release of several area seventies. This is how that list now looks:

The following area seventies may be released for the following reasons: 
Called as mission presidents: Aley K. Auna, Walter Chatora, J. Kevin Ence, Jose L. Isaguierre,  Bryan R. Larsen, George Kenneth Lee, W. Jean-Pierre LonoKhumbulani Mdletshe, Hoi Seng Leonard Woo 
Called as temple president: Milan F. Kunz; Yutaka Onda; ’Aisake K. Tukuafu; Juan A. Urra 
Longest-tenurediv: Ruben Acosta, Frederick O. Akinbo, Omar A. Alvarez, Grant C. Bennett, Wilson be Calderon, Hernando Camargo, M.T. Ben Davis, Robert J. Dudfield, E. Xavier Espinoza, Meliula M. Fata, Sam M. Galvez, Claude R. Gamiette, John A. Koranteng, Jose E. Maravilla, Joaquim J. Moreira, Adeyinka J. OjediranGennady A. PodvodovAbraham E. Quero, Francisco J. Ruiz de Mendoza, Gordon H. Smith, Raul S. Villanueva, Hoi Seng (Leonard) Woo, and Kevin J. Worthen

And if all of those I listed above were to be released, the total number of area seventies released by Quorum and the new total number of members in each Quorum would break down as follows:
Quorum 
Total Number of Likely Releases 
Resulting Totals if All Are Released 
Third 
10 
42 
Fourth 
10 
54 
Fifth 
4 
42 
Sixth 
3 
52 
Seventh 
1 
43 
Eighth 
7 
41 

So admittedly, without knowing how many area seventies are actually going to be released, if all the changes I noted come to pass, only 2 of those Quorums would be within 20 members or less of needing to be split. The biggest rationale behind such a change would likely thus be for purposes of easiing the process whereby each Quorum can regularly meet by making the Quorum composition more geographically close.

In the prior post to which I alluded earlier, the post and comment threads disucssed more of the prospects, and the same was true of the coverage and resulting comments on the Church Growth Blog. Aside from what was noted in those posts and the threads thereof, there could be a few surprise announcements that few (if any) of us can currently see coming. So the one other thing worth mentioning here is a revision to my previously-offered assertion in that earlier post that while new temple announcements were coming, there would likely not be any mention of President Nelson's temple expansion plans, aside from just general information.t

A revision of those thoughts is necessary because, while I still believe that 14-16 ne w temples will be announced, the recent temple developments reported on this blog have led me to believe that a minimum of 12 temples could have a groundbreaking within the next year (ie before the October 2020 General Conference; and both aside from and in addition to the previously-announced groundbreakings for the Saratoga Springs Utah and Puebla Mexico Temples). As I noted in the comment threads of my last post, if each of those 12 temples does have a groundbreaking (also excluding however many temples are going to be announced during the upcoming General Conference), the queue of announced temples will then go down to 15.

With that in mind, given the string of recent temple-related announcements which have been made by the Church since the beginning of August, it is obvious that President Nelson is being very methodical about how quickly temples will begin to move from being announced to having a groundbreaking to construction, and on to dedication, which would be a major way to greatly expand the total number of operating temples in a very short period of time. And that is just my assessment based on the recent string of such announcements we have seen thus far.

My point in mentioning that is that, if President Nelson is able to put the Church in a position where roughly 15 new temples would be able to see construction begin every year as a matter of course, and if what we have recently seen regarding temple announcements keeps occurring, it may not be long at all until President Nelson releases at least the initial details of his plans. And what better time would there be to do that than in a General Conference 1-2 months after a massive number of announcements impacting currently-announced temples has occurred?

I have no idea whether anything Matt or myself or anyone commenting on our priror posts will match what is actually announced. But the one thing I can say unequivocally is that whatever actually is announced will be in harmony with the Lord's will for His people at this time. If any of you do not have such a witness for yourselves, I urge you with all the energy and sincerity of my heart to do what it takes to get such a witness. And if we listen with our hearts, minds, and spirits, the Lord will convey messages, through spoken word, song, and especially through the promptings of His Spirit, the messages we need to hear, even and especially if those messages are not necessarily what we want to hear.

I have appreciated the opportunity to share these thoughts with you. I continue to monitor all Church news and temple updates and will do my level best to bring word of those to you all as I become aware of it.That does it for now. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.