Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Stake in Nevada; Stake Discontinued in Guatemala

Nevada
The Church organized a new stake in the Las Vegas area on January 8th. The Las Vegas Nevada Blue Diamond Stake was organized from a division of the Las Vegas Nevada South Stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards: the Charleston Park, Coronado, Desert Hill, Homestead, Manse Springs, Painted Mountain, Sierra Vista, and Southern Hills Wards.

There are now 40 stakes in Nevada, including 25 stakes in the Las Vegas area.

Guatemala
The Church discontinued a stake in northern Guatemala City last Sunday. The Guatemala City Alameda Stake was discontinued and the four wards in the former stake were reassigned to the neighboring Guatemala City La Laguna Stake. This marks the second time in LDS history that the Church has discontinued a stake in Guatemala City. Growth has been steady in southern areas of the city, whereas stagnant growth has occurred in most areas in northern areas of the city.

The Church has discontinued stakes in Guatemala on three previous occasions, namely the Escuintla Guatemala (1994), Guatemala City Monte Maria (2008), and Mazatenango Guatemala East (2008) Stakes. However, the Church reestablished the Escuintla Guatemala Stake in 2013 and essentially reestablished the Guatemala City Monte Maria as the Guatemala City San Cristóbal in 2016. Furthermore, the Mazatenango Guatemala Stake has since rebounded to 11 wards and one branch and appears likely to divide in the near future. Time will tell whether the Guatemala City Alameda Stake will be reestablished one day, but at present prospects appear dim for the foreseeable future given its small geographical size and lack of growth in the area.

There are now 45 stakes and 16 districts in Guatemala.

88 comments:

James said...

Thanks for this amazing report, Matt! I appreciate the fact that you keep everyone up on the latest Church growth happenings. Hope you had a happy and safe holiday season. I will continue to depend regularly on your updates to this blog to keep us all informed on things. I appreciate the great work you do. Thanks again.

Fredrick said...

Nice. Happy to hear the first new stake for 2017 was formed in my hometown just a few miles south of me.

The only disappointment is I was hoping a Pahrump Stake would eventually be formed. With the Blue Diamond Stake being formed, a Pahrump won't happen for the next couple of decades.

James said...

On another note, the new mission presidents for 2017 were announced today. I have no doubt that Matt will be reporting on that in another post. Aside from the Salt Lake City Headquarters Mission, no new missions were announced this year. As in years past, most of the new mission presidents are current or former area seventies or have had extensive Church leadership experiences elsewhere. And we even have one current general authority that will serve as a mission president starting in July, Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong. This new assignment will obviously make necessary the reorganization of the Asia Area Presidency, in which Elder Wong currently serves as First Counselor. It was interesting to look at that list of new presidents and find names that were very familiar to me, though I can't pinpoint why. Awesome news, even if there are no additional missions that will be created this year.

Michael Worley said...

When was the last time a Seventy served as a Mission President? Did that happen recently, or is my memory off?

James said...

Yes. It happened most recently. Elder Michael John U. Teh, our second youngest GA Seventy, is serving as a mission president in Taiwan. In regards to the recent past, both of the counselors in one of the Asia Areas came to that Area Presidency assignment after serving for about 2 years as mission presidents. Just looked it up to verify. It was Elders Kazuhiko Yamashita and Yoon Hwan Choi, who now serve as First and Second Counselors respectively in the Asia North Area. Does that answer your question? Hope so.

Michael Worley said...

Yes. Thanks!

James said...

Oh, Michael. One additional recent example I thought of. Prior to his service as the president of the Europe East Area of the Church, from which he was released and reassigned just weeks before his death, I believe Elder Porter filled a temporary assignment as mission president that was an interim position in the wake of the abrupt death of the mission president while the Church looked for a suitable replacement. I could be incorrect about that, and it could have been someone else of which I am thinking, but that's what I remember as being the case in that situation. Hope that is helpful to you as well. Thanks again.

John Pack Lambert said...

Sometimes added missions are announced later. I believe that was the case for the Central Eurasia Mission. I have not given up hope for an additional Ivory Coast mission.

Interestingly Guatamala has seen additional wards and branches formed.

Other new developments include 2 new YSA wards in Rexburg and 2 new branches in the Jos Nigeria District. I am hoping Jos is made a stake this year.

James said...

This comment is meant to correct and clarify my statements on the recent service of current General Authorities as mission presidents within the last little while. First of all, I apologize for one thing. My memory was incorrect on a point I mentioned above. It was not Elder Bruce D. Porter but rather Elder W. Craig Zwick that served as an interim mission president because of the death of the current president. I guess the idea was to do a quick fix to ensure the mission work would carry on uninterrupted while the Church appointed a successor. Elder Zwick served for that short time in 2014 as president of the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission.

Then, as mentioned above, Elder Michael John U. Teh currently serves as the president of the Taiwan Taichung Mission, having been called last year. Elder Wong has been called to serve as president of the Canada Vancouver Mission starting in July, which will be a change from his current assignment in the Asia Area Presidency. Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita served from 2013-2015 as the president of the Japan Nagoya Mission. And during that same two year span, Elder Yoon Hwan Choi served as the president of the Seattle Washington Mission.

That said, I am not sure of all the factors that are involved in the decision to assign a currently serving General Authority to simultaneously lead a mission. I imagine most of it involves helping those missions grow in ways that they could not otherwise achieve. Slightly less important, it may be that some of these brethren did not have a chance to be a mission president prior to serving as a General Authority. Service as a mission president is not by any means a prerequisite to being a General Authority, but it does help. Another reason may be the idea that a general authority who has had experience through various assignments around the world and at Church headquarters may serve to "tighten up" mission procedures and policies and bring them more in line with the Church's general mission.

James said...

(Had to post the rest of what I wanted to say as a separate comment due to the word limit. Truly my mouth (or in this case, my fingers) runneth over.)

Like I said, I am not privvy to all the factors that might go into the decision to have a currently serving General Authority serve as a mission president. These are just some reasons I have heard in general conversation on the subject. And I also know that in the days of President Kimball, it was a fairly common occurrence to have a current GA as a mission president. It was also not uncommon for apostles serving during the first century or so of the Church's history to preside over missions. I don't know how common it may have been for General Authority Seventies to serve as mission presidents during the presidencies fof Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley.

But I do know that President Monson seems to have brought that practice back, if indeed it did go away or was unheard of for a while. Just within President Monson's almost 9-year presidency, I have seen these 5 (or is it 6?) currently serving General Authorities serve as mission presidents in different parts of the world for varying lengths of time. It has been interesting to see how that has changed over time. But one constant has remained: my belief and absolute confidence that there are good reasons for such calls. And I am equally sure that the missions served by these proven leaders have greatly benefited from having men of such experience and spiritual stature at the helm.

I have also marveled at how many current and former Area Seventies have been called in recent years to be mission presidents before or after their service. While there is no clear way to predict what changes might take place in terms of releases and sustainings of current area seventies (who serve for varying lengths of time and who take their calling with them even when moving for work and such). But a very good indicator of such changes is who among the current area seventies have been assigned to serve as mission presidents. Generally, it has been a rule that a call to serve as a mission president necessitates a release from the calling and responsibilities of an area seventy. In that respect, as in many others, area seventies are different from general authority seventies. But that goes without saying.

Well, once again, I have blabbed on far longer than I intended, and I don't know how much (if any) of what I have said here is relevant to the people reading my comments. But hopefully someone finds all this trivia interesting, informative, and even helpful. That's always what I aim for in making such extensive comments here. Thanks for reading this.

You can also depend on me making these changes in mission presidents a subject for a post on my own blog within the next 24 hours or so (as time allows me to do so.) Thanks.

Scott said...

I believe that another stake will be created in the Las Vegas valley very soon.

John Pack Lambert said...

I hate typing on my phone. I was well into a post an accidentally deleted it.

One of the new mission presidents is a Bednar. I suspect he is a close relatve of Elder David A Bednar but am not sure.

Elder Wong the GA will preside over the Canada Vancover Mission. Considering how many people from China live in that missions boundaries that makes sense. However Elder Wong was also the first General Authority to give a talk in general conference not in English.

John Pack Lambert said...

The most interesting thing I learned from the list was about Taniela Wakoro the mission president of the Little Rock Arkamsas Mission. Elder Wakoro is from Fiji. He was working full time for the Church although I cant figure out exactly what.

A dark skinned Fijian as mission president in Arkansas has to undermibe the myth of the white Mormons. Well except sone myths seem to oersist always.

Brother Wakoro gets more interesting as one digs deeoer. As stake president he spear headed an effort with LDS humanitarian services and welfare services that involved things like building a greenhouse because the rain is too intense in Fiji to do direct planting. His stake had 70% unemployment and the facilitating of farming allowed members resources to send their children to school.

Another story of Elder Wakoro comes from when he was called as an Area Seventy. Elder Condie encouraged him to put a bandage over the large tattoo he got on his hand before baptism. He went one better in a way that made Elder Condie wish he had said nothing. Elder Wakoro had his tattoo removed surgically in a procedure that left him with a large scar on his hand.

John Pack Lambert said...

Boyd K. Packer was a mission president after his call as a general authority. The same I am fairly sure is true of Marlin K. Jensen. The case of Elder Packer goes back to the 1950s. At one point it was common for members of the Quorum of the 12 to be mission presidents. This has not happened sine Ezra Taft Benson as European Mission President in the 1960s and that was more like being an area president since he administered multiple missions.

John Pack Lambert said...

Marlin K Jensen was president of the New York Rochester Mission from 1993-1995 while serving as a general authority. That places his call while President Benson was president of the Church.

John Pack Lambert said...

Elder Hales served as mission president in London England from 1978-1981 that would be during the presidency of Spencer W Kimball. He was made a general authority in 1975, although he first was issued acall as a mission president and then it was changed.

John Pack Lambert said...

Then there was Stephen D. Nadauld who was a member of the 2nd quorum of the 70 from 1991-1996 and a mission president from 2003-2006.

Another interestibg point her husband being called as a mission president causes the release of members of the reluef society, primary and young women general presidencies.

James said...

And even though personal health issues have kept me from work the last couple of days, I love the fact that this blog has been a "safe place" for me to visit and comment while I have been working among many who do not share my beliefs. The work environment of my job, which I have had for less than a month, has been something that I have not been previously exposed to to this extent, even when working for the other branch of the company for as long as I did.

Because of that environment, which is far from being conducive to the Spirit, this blog and the conversations on it have literally been the top lifelines that have gotten me through every workday. The standards, or lack thereof, of my coworkers, and what they talk about all too frequently have been things I have not been previously exposed to, living in Utah under a very sheltered lifestyle for the first 30 years of my life. I now find myself in totally new territory.

While I have never been naive enough as to believe I would live my life without some exposure to things of this sort (one of my best elementary school friends was not religious at all), I have not been in this type of environment at any time previously during my life. I face the prospect of being the only LDS member on the project to which I am assigned for the indefinite future. I feel at times very much like a fish out of water.

The upside of this is that the job treats me well enough that I am adjusting, and I have been looked to in many ways as a leader in my new workplace, even to the point of being trusted enough that my supervisors have told me that, when there are no higher-ups there (which there aren't most days for the last 4 hours or so of my shift), they are willing to justify, rationalize, and take responsibility for any advice or instruction I may give those on the project in their absence. I have been told I will essentially be the Team Leader during those hours, even though the project is new enough that they are unable to give me the necessary title, clearance and pay accompanying that position and status. But it's an awesome responsibility. I am sobered and humbled by the trust placed in me.

The job continues to be a good fit in terms of that trust, to say nothing of the numerous accommodations they have been wiling to make for my situation, but I am still overwhelmed at times by the vast difference in standards between me and most of the rest of my coworkers. Like I said, for that reason, this blog and being able to read and comment on things like this have been among those things that have helped me deal with the uncertainty and newness of the situation. And it's great because my ongoing visits to Church websites like this have become opportunities for me to share my faith, even in small and simple ways. So I appreciate the posts and comments here, and I do hope that I am not monopolizing this thread or bothering anyone with my frequent comments on a blog that is not my own. Thanks for continuing to indulge my ongoing ramblings.

James said...

In regards to comments I unintentionally overlooked, I wanted to note the following: John, it is true that even if the Salt Lake City Headquarters Mission is the only one announced for now, it does not in any way rule out the possibility of new missions being announced later this year. I recognize and get that in a big way. However, I have followed the establishment of new missions to say with reasonable certainty that only a few are announced outside of the window of time in which new missions and mission presidents are announced for July of any given year. Past precedent in this regard indicates that future missions may be announced later this year, but as a general rule, only a very few are announced outside of that window. This is because, unless there is a reason for such changes at any other time during the year, mission presidents usually begin their service each July. There are obviously exceptions, but that has been the general rule prevailing for at least the time I have been a blogger and have become an avid follower and reporter of such things. I'm sure that is not news to you, and I'm sorry if I'm flogging a dead horse, appearing to talk down to you in any way, or saying something that should go without saying. That is never my intent. Just sharing my observations.

In regards to what, if any, relation the Mission President Bednar may be to Elder David A., I am not sure. I don't know the names of any of his family members. Being the curious person that I am, and given my desire to learn whatever I can about the Brethren, I did the research just now. I can't find any answer to the question. But with a name as unique as "Bednar", it is not unlikely that they are related. I am sure that the biographies that the Church News does to introduce new mission presidents may shed light on this subject, but there's no way to be sure.

According to the LDS Church Temples website, several wards and branches were created or renamed just within the first 12 days of this year. Among those are the many you mentioned, John. Thanks for that. Until I did the research, I had not realized there had been that many changes in that regard already this year. Interesting information. Thanks!

James said...

Scott, that's a most interesting tidbit you shared about the potential for yet another stake in the Las Vegas area in the near future. I have enjoyed hearing about that. I had not known that was such an imminent possibility. Interesting. Thanks!

And John, you always increase my knowledge of interesting factors in the lives of those who serve in the Church. I had known some of the things you shared about Elder Wakolo, such as his prior Church service, but I had not been aware that he had a tattoo, or that he had it removed on a recommendation from Elder Condie that he cover it up. Always interesting stuff.

And I had been aware of Elder Nadauld's service as a mission president following his service as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, as well as the fact that a calling to serve as a mission president on the part of the husbands of female auxiliary presidents necessitates the release of these women from these general auxiliary assignments. Part of my extensive study of general conferences of past years has involved watching how such calls have impacted those who serve in general auxiliary capacities.

But interestingly enough, the fact that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was serving as the president of BYU-Provo did not impact the call of his wife, Patricia T. Holland, to serve as a member of the Young Women General Presidency. Even though they had a very busy few years, and that was only heightened by Elder Holland's subsequent calls as a General Authority Seventy and then an apostle a mere five years after that, that has been an interesting exception to the general rule that if a man or his wife is serving in a leadership capacity in the Church, the other spouse is generally called to serve in a less demanding calling.

Also, FWIW, on a slightly related albeit different topic, it will have been five years in April since there has been a change in the General Relief Society Presidency, and that has lately become the standard length for such an assignment. So it is more than slightly likely that we will get a new General Relief Society Presidency in April, though it is not as clear whether or not any current female auxiliary member might be asked to take a role in that new presidency.

I can never forget how Julie B. Beck, then serving as First Counselor in the General Young Women's Presidency, was called in 2007 to be the new General Relief Society President. This resulted in the extension of the service of Susan W. Tanner as the Young Women General President by about a year. So it's not out of the question that either of the counselors in the current Relief Society General Presidency or any member of the Primary or Young Women General Presidency might play some role in the new Relief Society General Presidency. Nor would it be unheard of for no change to be made for another year. We have seen some auxiliary presidents serve for six years instead of just five, even as recently as within the last several years. It is likely but certainly not definite. It will be interesting to see what happens there, particularly since it is not unprecedented for multiple auxiliaries to have leadership changes within the same conference. The precedent of late has been to change them one by one in a rotating pattern, and to not change more than one at a time. So we will see. Probable indeed, but also not definite.

I did it again. I keep rambling. I again express my hope that I am not bothering or offending anyone by my continuing frequent and extensive comments. Thanks for continuing to let me share what I know and have observed.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Be a good coworker and strong in your patience. Pray always.
On my mission in 1991 my Yakima WA mission president missed a month due to heart surgery. We had two Chileans temporarily preside, the second being the first Seventy (I think), Eduardo Ayala.
There have not been many seventies from Chile considering they have well over half a million members on the books.
One of my nine native companions lives in Salt Lake City. The rest are all in South America. Not sure how many are still active. At least one from Rancagua is, I bet that at least the majority of the others are too.
Maipu, El Bosque, Puente Alto.
La Florida? Olea, I hope you are good.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Yepyep.org is a great thing in Guatemala. Slowly growing.

James said...

Thank you for your kind advice, Eduardo, relating to my work environment. It is new territory for me and at times it seems daunting, but I have already been informed that my example, patience, and perseverance amidst my many health issues helped me to keep the guy that is now my supervisor on the right path. He told me earlier this week that at a particularly hard time in his life when everything was crumbling around him, my influence and goodness helped him to get through his challenges. And I had not known anything about that before then. It is no wonder he jumped at the chance to bring me on his campaign. And now I have this great opportunity to be a leader in the campaign. I am the first to admit fully that I have prayed much more in the 18 days since starting this job than I have for far too long within the last year or so. Because I need to rely on the Lord so much to help me through this, I can't afford to not pray regularly. And many people have commented that there is something different in my manner and character. My TL texted me yesterday to let me know that work just wasn't the same without me there, and I'm glad I was missed. I hope to get back to work for my shift today, and I can guarantee that this blog and the comments on it will continue to help get me through. I'm equally certain that I have some great missionary opportunities here. But like I said, it's a new experience for me. Not bad, just different. I will stay the course and be the best I can be. I owe that to the many who are placing such high confidence in me. Thanks again, Eduardo. By the way, love the informational tidbits you shared above. I had not been aware of that either. But that's why I've been talking about this so much here. I know enough about General Authority Mission Presidents to know that I don't know everyone who has served simultaneously as both. I also appreciate what you said regarding Elder Ayala. I am only familiar with him based on conference talks he's given that I have read, but he seems like a really awesome person. Thanks again for sharing. I always appreciate your thoughts. And again, hope I am not dominating or monopolizing any conversation here. But I have loved giving my perspective and experience and reading that of others. It is always such an inspirational pleasure. Thanks for indulging me.

John Pack Lambert said...

I just got a 2nd job so I might be commenting less. Things are looking up in my home ward. An african-American sister got the African-American man she is dating to come to church with her. Hopefully he gets baptized they get married and we end up with a full active African-American family.

John Pack Lambert said...

One thing about rations of apostles being mission presidents is some have lots of family members. Elder Packer had 10 children so a grandson of his being a mission president is no surprise. President Hinckley's other son Clark was also a mission president.

John Pack Lambert said...

In the case of mission presidents wives they have a formal call as companion and especially since the 2013 reforms a cleear role on the mission council.

John Pack Lambert said...

In the case of BYU although the wife of the president does function as 1st lady and among other things generally gives a joint devotional with him at the start of the semester this is not at quite the level of the mission 1st lady. Also to date general auxiliary presidencies have been Utah callings so filling it while living in Provo works filling it while living in Prague, Washington DC or London does not.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think there is a difference in a general authority filling in for a month or so and a ga getting the designation as the new mission president. I am guessing the later happens more often than we could easily document.

John Pack Lambert said...

Chile has had 2 has while Argentina has had 3. Chile has more baptized members but the Church has been in Argentina 30 years longer are with such small numbers the variation is not statictically significant.

John Pack Lambert said...

Chile has had 2 has while Argentina has had 3. Chile has more baptized members but the Church has been in Argentina 30 years longer are with such small numbers the variation is not statictically significant.

Croft Payne said...

My home ward has an active African-American family. We also have four active navajo families (one of which was baptised about two months ago) and probably 10 active Hispanic families.

James said...

John, good luck with your second job. If it does diminish your opportunity to comment often here, we will miss your insights a lot. That's been one clear advantage of me getting my second job with a different branch of the same company by which I had previously been employed. Even though the things allowed during down time at the first location were amazing, that has been proven to be even more true with this second opportunity. Where Facebook use was not permitted during work hours at the first location, it is allowed at this smaller location. That said, I have been so immersed in just general news from the website of my favorite local news station, to say nothing of the volume of Church news and developments that have taken place, I am lucky if I am able to access Facebook once or twice a month. But it hasn't been a problem. I do love the fact that I am able to devote my downtime at work to reading about Church stuff. It has led, as I indicated above, to some minor missionary opportunities that may be more promising later. Anyways, my fingers ran away with me again. If you won't be able to comment as much, John, we will miss your insights and experiences. Best of luck to you, and we will look forward to whenever you might be able to comment in the future.

In the meantime, your most recent comments were, as always, inspiring. I love the insights you shared about the African Americans in your ward, as well as your observations about apostolic relatives being mission presidents and the role of mission presidents' wives in the service rendered in the mission. I also appreciate your comment about how Sister Holland's concurrent service as BYU's first lady and in her assignment as a general officer of the Church made sense in that case. I agree fully.

And I am also sure that you are right on about general authorities probably serving as interim mission presidents a lot more than we may hear about such things. The only reason I was aware of the most recent such case was because I had observed the changes that had been made in that regard on the Wikipedia pages for Elder Zwick and the general list of LDS general authorities, both of which featured that assignment prominently for that duration. But that was just one recent example I had been aware of in terms of a current General Authority being assigned to lead a mission, as temporary as that assignment was in Elder Zwick's case.

As to the numbers you cited, I am assuming those refer to the number of current or former general authorities that have served as mission presidents in the nations you indicated. Is that correct? Thanks.

Croft, thanks to you as well for sharing that information regarding the diversity of your ward. My current ward is also diverse, but very transient.

Thanks to you all for the continuing ongoing discussion.

John Pack Lambert said...

No the numbers I was citing were general authorities native to those countries current or former, sorry I wasnt clear.

I noticed that a manual connected with Church history periodized everthing since WWII or 1950 or so as the international Church. I am thinking there is some point we move to more internatinalism. I am not sure where to date it. There are a whole bunch of factors like area seventies, aggressive temple building and rising numbers of non-American GAs. There is also a shift of more responsibilities to the area headquarters. I think if we have to pick a turning point it is the inauguration of the PEF when the church enters a new phase of internationalism greaterxthan what was before.

John Pack Lambert said...

The new president of the California Arcadia Mission is the son of the former GA Robert Wells and his wife is the daughter of another former GA Hugh W Pinnock. He was in my stake presidency at one point but then moved for work.

James said...

Interesting stuff, as always, John. Thanks! As far as shifting responsibilities go, not only has more of the workload for Church areas been shifted in the ways you indicated above, but it seems that, especially lately, more responsibility for unit growth has also fallen to local leaders of stakes, districts, wards and branches. I know I have seen that happen a lot more than it used to in recent years. If you will indulge me, I have a personal example. It used to be that Church service missionaries had to be approved at the general Church leadership levels. But as recently as 2006, when I commenced my part-time service, I had been excused in view of my health challenges and disabilities from full-time service. Because I still wanted to serve in some way, as I have mentioned before, my parents and I met with my bishop and stake president to discuss my options. Once I figured out what it was the Lord wanted me to do in terms of such service, I was officially called and set apart to serve. Those calls came in two ways. For my temple service, I was "called" and set apart by a counselor in the temple presidency (for what would eventually turn out to be a six-year service opportunity that in 2009-2010 led me to my wife, even though they indicated that the inital call was for a mere six months). And for my service with the Church's Humanitarian program, the official notification of my assignment came by a letter from my stake president to my bishop, and it was my bishop who in that instance set me apart, with the approval and consent of my stake president. I hope this verifies, even in a very small way, the point I have been trying to make.

That said, I am also intrigued by what you said regarding the General Authority relatives of the new president of that California mission and also his wife. Though it does make me wonder more than a little: Did the fact that their fathers had served together as General Authorities have anything to do with them meeting and getting together? I like to think so.

As it turns out, in posting this comment, I just barely had my first chance since this morning to visit this blog for the second time today. My work duties have changed and I have been given added responsibility which will mean much less down time in the future during work hours. So I too may be restricted, at least during the week, to posting here on this blog, or even doing my own blog posts. Even with the new duties, I have had a couple of opportunities to make my routine visits of Church websites during work hours, mainly when I was on a break. I will post more about my new responsibilities perhaps this weekend if time and circumstances allow me to do so.

Thanks for your ongoing inspirational comments, John, even though they have come outside of the hours you have been working. I have enjoyed reading your ongoing insights.

mrcuff said...

Someone mentioned the possibility of another new stake in Las Vegas. In Henderson, there are three stakes that have a good number of Wards: Anthem (11), Green Valley (11), and Warm Springs (10). They all border one another. Any two of them could split to make a third Stake.

Bryce .Gillespie said...

I would thank with all the moveins to the Las Vegas area that it could be easy to say one if not all 3 stakes could even add a ward or 2 this year.

John Pack Lambert said...

The new president of the California Arcadia Mission is the son of the former GA Robert Wells and his wife is the daughter of another former GA Hugh W Pinnock. He was in my stake presidency at one point but then moved for work.

Mike Johnson said...

The Shenandoah YSA Ward, Washington DC YSA Stake has been renamed the Dulles YSA Ward. I learned this today at the temple helping a patron who had just received her recommend and it had not yet been activated. I was surprised to see the name of ward. While we waited for the stake president to be called to verify that it should be activated, I asked the patron about the ward. She told me that the ward had recently been renamed and that the ward members like the new name better because the members live primarily near Dulles International Airport and are a long way from the Shenandoah Valley.

James said...

Interesting thoughts about the possibility of additional new stakes in Nevada this year. Great observations! John, I don't know if you saw my response to the first time you made the comment above regarding how the son of former GA Robert Wells and the daughter of former GA Hugh W. Pinnock are now married and preparing to depart for an assignment to preside over a mission, but I was just idly wondering if the fact that their fathers served together had anything to do with them meeting and later marrying. Whether or not that was the case woudln't suprise me at all. And Mike, thanks for that interesting tidbit regarding the renaming of the Shenandoah YSA Ward. I had not heard about that either. Let me just look up and see if that change has been listed in any way on the LDS Church Temples website unit information. Just checked. It appears that this change has not yet been noted. So I wondered, Mike, if you had any idea as to when that change took effect. It's obviously been very recent, most likely within the last week. I am sure that, given time, the LDS Church Temples site will feature the information. In the meantime, this has been a most interesting conversation. Thanks again to you all for the excellent thoughts and ideas about Church growth. I feel like I always come away from these discussions feeling more informed on what is happening with the Church. And I think that's as it should be. Thanks again.

Mike Johnson said...

James, TempleRick had not updated the new name; one of the reasons I posted the change here.

Mike Johnson said...

Another tidbit I learned today. We have discussed on here that in the Mount Vernon Virginia and the Washington DC YSA stakes there is a purchased and converted office building on 23rd Street in Crystal City in Arlington VA that houses the Colonial 1st and 2nd YSA wards and the Potomac mid-singles ward and the stake offices for the Washington DC YSA Stake.

I learned today that the Church purchased another office building in Crystal City and is converting that into an additional chapel for the Mount Vernon Stake. This link to google maps shows the 23rd Street chapel and stake center converted from an office building: https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8533006,-77.0589933,3a,75y,359.92h,91.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s50apMavKqn_c9NbS94KBXw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en

The Church has also bought an apartment complex (open to anybody and a commercial taxable property) in Crystal City but with a desire to help LDS singles living in the area.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think David Wells married his wife long before her father was a general authority. They had a daughter just maybe 2 years younger than me so got married no latter than 1982 and I think earlier than that.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I know one of the new counselors in the Dulles YSA Ward. I had not heard of the name change until just now, so thanks for the info.
The Shenandoah Valley is a ways away and deserves its names as the membership of the metroplex grows into the farther reaches of Virginia.
Some were speaking of African-Americans, and I have seen in northern Virginia sone of our best members and converts who are black.
I have also come to know many African-American Jehovah's Witnesses, which I find interesting in the Latter-days. Something special will happen among all God's children.And it's nice to share such gospel here.

James said...

Mike, interesting thoughts. I'm sure that the name change will be listed among other unit changes just as soon as it can be properly verified. I can understand fully the desire not to jump the gun unless the information is sourced. With a site that contains such good information on temples and unit statistics, unverified information could call the validity of verified information into question. And I imagine that's why it's not there yet. Being somewhat familiar with the way things work in regards to that site, if it's not up yet, it soon will be. You have no need to worry about that. What you could do, if you want to, would be to submit this information using the form provided on the website. Once such things are brought to light, they tend to be fixed fairly quickly. But I hope that explains the reasons perhaps why it has not yet been updated. As with Matt, Rick is only one person, and since his site is as well known as it is, the need for absolute certainty regarding every change made and each new unit added does make a lot of sense. Enough said on that.

Interesting tidbits indeed regarding Crystal City. I had not been aware of these developments that you shared. Thanks for that.

John, thanks for addressing my question above. That would make sense. But the main thing I am wondering is, was Hugh W. Pinnock a general authority at the time his daughter married the son of someone who would later on become a general authority himself? Thanks.

Andy Nelson said...

It was announced over the pulpit in wards in Rio de Janeiro that the groundbreaking ceremony for the temple will occur on 4 March.

James said...

Are you sure about that information, Andy? I know that my questioning this will likely brand me a "millennial" who "doesn't believe anything that is not posted on the internet". I have been so branded on this blog before. But this is news to me. Nothing has been posted to that effect on the LDS Church Temples website. In fact, I have on good authority from the webmaster of the site, Rick Satterfield, that the next two temples to have a groundbreaking will be the ones for Arequipa Peru and Harare Zimbabwe Temple. I know that things change, and I want to believe you. I have no logical reason to doubt this information, and I do believe you on a level of being one who may have information that I don't, but it seemed to be so certain that the Arequipa and Harare temples would be next, in that order. If this information can be verified, I need to include it on my temple construction progress report and on my list of upcoming temple-related events. Did anyone mention who might be presiding at this event, or any specific time for the ceremony? Thanks.

John Pack Lambert said...

LDS Church Tempkes dot com says the ground breaking of the Rio de Jainero Tempke has been announced for March 4th.

James said...

Wanted to believe this information, but still came up empty in my efforts to verify this initially. But it's weird. Even though it hasn't been mentioned on the main LDS Church Temples website, in looking at the construction status, I see that the groundbreaking is on there. So it has been verified. Sorry for my original skepticism, Andy! Great news!

James said...

John, I guess we were commenting at the same time. I found the information there myself, just not on the main page. But it was on the construction status page. That is amazing! And so exciting! I had been certain that the events in Arequipa Peru and Harare Zimbabwe would happen first, and I have never been more elated to be proven wrong. This will be fantastic! And while an "official" news release is still pending, it has been confirmed by the LDS Church Temples website, which has always been spot on in terms of such developments. I do wonder who will be asked to preside. I will have to do another blog post highlighting this news very soon. Thanks, Andy, for sharing the information, and also to John for the verification I was after. Great news!

Andy Nelson said...
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Croft Payne said...

I am always excited for any temple related event but I am especially excited for Rio because my grandpa served for a long time in Rio while on his mission in the 1960s. When he was there I believe Brazil was one mission but it might have been two. My grandpa was never in Recife but two missionaries were sent to Recife to open it for missionary work while he was serving. Amazing how far we have come! My grandpa also helped raise money for the first Meetinghouse in Brazil which was later torn down to provide materials for the Sao Paulo temple. My dad also served in Brazil (in Porto Alegre) so I feel a special connection to Brazil. Very exciting!

Eduardo Clinch said...

Looking at Brazil there is so much of the interior without a temple. I think Brasilia, and Belo Horizonte and a few other interior states should have temples announced soon enough.
And Puebla Mexico doesn't have one yet? India, too.

Eduardo Clinch said...

In graduate school, by the way, I wrote a research paper on how stake growth comparitively developed between Brazil and Chile. I structered it by increments of 10 stakes, showing how each iteration spread across their respective countries, at what rate and how decentralized. I liked it, I thought I learned a lot from it. I got an okay grade on it with some academic criticism, as well as accusations of "Mormon bias" especially for using the Church Almanac and Deseret News as sourcing too much!
But along those lines of critiqe, my paper would have been much stronger had I provided more cross-comparisons to Jehovah's Witnesses, SDAs, Assemblies of God, and other non-Catholic movements of South America.

James said...

Andy, before reading your initial comment that shared this news, I was almost certain (because I had done the legwork to verify this) that the most imminent groundbreaking announcements for this year would be for Arequipa Peru and for Harare Zimbabwe (after or in conjunction with the site announcement). I have never been more pleased to be proven wrong. And I love to contemplate that this will be the very first temple groundbreaking in 2017. Above and beyond that, while things like the temple design and who will preside at this event have yet to be announced, I can safely say that this is the very first time in Church history of which I am aware (or at least the first such period in quite a while) that we will have two temples simultaneously under construction in Brazil. And it wouldn't surprise me if this temple in Rio were finished at or around the same time as the one in Fortaleza, which had a five-year lag between its groundbreaking and the commencement of construction.

That being said, I think we are safe to take a stab at making an educated guess in regards to who might preside at this event. Elder David A. Bednar presided at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Fortaleza temple, so he might be asked to do this one as well. I could also see either Elders D. Todd Christofferson or Neil L. Andersen, both of whom speak Spanish fluently, being asked to represent the Church at this event. Elder Christofferson has been invited to represent the Church at the first Face-to-Face event for youth that will be conducted entirely in Spanish. And Spanish is one of four languages spoken by Elder Andersen.

It could also be that a member of the Presidency of the Seventy could do it, or any General Authority Seventy. (It is not uncommon at all for a member of an area presidency to preside at the groundbreaking for temples in their area.) Right now, the Brazil Area Presidency is composed of Elders Claudio R. M. Costa (who is the most senior General Authority Seventy right now), Marcos A. Aidukaitis (who has given 2 masterful General Conference addresses) or W. Mark Bassett (just called to serve last April; this area presidency assignment is his first one as a GA Seventy and he spoke to us for the first time last October).

James said...

That said, however, the assignment to preside at a groundbreaking is not in any way indicative of who will actually be presiding. What I mean by that is that Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy had been originally asked to preside at the most recent temple groundbreaking in Winnipeg, but for reasons still unknown, he was unable to do so, and that assignment was filled by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, who serves as the Temple Department Executive Director. I also distinctly remember the news release about the Tucson Arizona temple mentioning someone else as being asked to preside at that groundbreaking, but that assignment was filled, also for reasons unknown, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

What really makes me happy is two things: First, this means that aside from the Urdaneta Philippines temple, (which is stalled in the planning and approval phase as it nears 7 years from its announcement) and the Arequipa Peru Temple (which is almost certain to also have a groundbreaking announcement soon), the only temples that have not had a groundbreaking are those that were announced last year and the year before. Second, it means that we will likely have at least three groundbreakings within a very short period of time during these first few months of 2917.l Any semblance of the "backlog" President Monson spoke of when announcing that future temple announcements would be temporarily suspended is now completely gone. This raises the likelihood of several other temples being announced within the nexxt year or two.

I will also be overjoyed to hear of what it looks like and how long construction is anticipated to last. When that information is made known, I can refine once again my predictions for the timeline by which future temple events might be announced and scheduled to take place. In the meantime, I have blogged about this. Check out that post at the address below to read what I had to say. Thanks!

Before I give you that link, I will say that, in the post, I voice my opinion that this is the first time in Church history that I know of in which more than one temple has been under construction in Brazil. The first comment on that post cites an example from the Hinckley-era building boom in which three such temples were being built for a period of almost 3 years. Another example was cited: Fortaleza and Manaus. I personally don't count that, as the construction in Fortaleza didn't officially start until last year, even though ground had been broken 5 years before that. FWIW, those are some additional thoughts on this. That said, the link follows. Enjoy!

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2017/01/groundbreaking-ceremony-scheduled-for.html

James said...

Croft, you continue to amaze me. I had no idea that you were as young as you are, nor had I any indication that you had family who served in Brazil. That's awesome! My brother-in-law served in Brazil, but I believe he was based in Sao Paulo. Even so, he feels a great love for the people of Brazil and loves to hear of Church progress there. I can't wait to share this news with him!

Eduardo, you are correct in saying that there is no temple yet in either Brasilia or Belo Horizonte. In addition to those two, I believe we will also see a temple in the near future in Salvador and possibly one or two other locations as well. In my mind, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, and Salvador are the three top contenders for the next Brazilian temple to be announced. I have all three on my personal list of what I believe are the most near-future imminent possibilities. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw many more Brazilian temples in the future. Right now, Rio is set to become Brazil's eighth temple. And given what we've seen in terms of recent Church growth in Brazil, it wouldn't surprise me at all if there comes a time a few years down the road where Brazil surpasses Utah in the number of operating temples. From what I hear, which isn't much, the saints in Brazil love the temples there and use them extensively. I can't wait to see Brazil's future in this regard!

And thanks also for the tidbit about your paper. I can see how that would be upsetting to the academic world, even though I would find such a paper most enjoyable. Here in Utah, Christianity in general and Mormonism in particular is generally widely accepted. I remember that for an Honors English class my junior year of High School, I did a paper on how C. S. Lewis's "The Chronicles of Narnia" in general, and "The Magician's Nephew" in particular, were chock full of Christian symbolism. Because my religion was accepted and shared at a school that was based in secular education, I got a very good grade on it. But I can understand why some in the secular world would object to "having religion shoved down their throats." I am sorry to hear that your paper was not well received. Sounds like something I would have loved from which I would have learned much.

layjent said...

As far as Crystal City stuff goes, yes the Church is converting another office building (next door to the current 23rd st. chapel). It also has purchased a project to be built which will be apartments, however, those apartments are not yet built and there is not even a hole in the ground yet. Also, the apartments being built, at least to my knowledge, have nothing to do with the Church helping singles, indeed if they are market rate apartments that would be impossible as that would be a religious test which is not legal. It is far more similar to the case of the Philadelphia apartment complex which is currently being built. However the Crystal City one is a far smaller project maybe 10-12 stories tops.

TempleRick said...
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TempleRick said...

We have seen more than one temple under construction at the same time in Brazil before. In 1999, temples were under construction in Recife, Porto Alegre, and Campinas. The Recife and Porto Alegre temples were dedicated just two days apart in December 2000, both by President Hinckley.

James said...

Thank you for that, Rick! I was reminded of the simultaneous construction of those three temples earlier tonight from comments on my own blog. In the meantime, I had forgotten that only two days separated the dedications in Recife and Porto Alegre. I recall all too well how President Hinckley did both essentially back-to-back in a whirlwind trip. I had known that in the back of my mind, but I had spaced it momentarily. Thanks again for that clarification! Someone also cited how Fortaleza and Manaus were technically under construction at the same time for a period of about the seven months before the dedication in Manaus. However, as I observed in my response to that part of that comment, that technically didn't "count" in the grand scheme of things primarily due to the fact that the construction in Fortaleza only really formally got off its feet late last year. So I don't consider that example to apply in this case. Rick, I hope you will let me know if you disagree with my line of reasoning. Also, because the actual groundbreaking has yet to be confirmed by an official announcement from the Church, I assume there is no information yet about what it might look like or how long construction is expected to last. But in my blog post, I voiced the opinion that the temples in Fortaleza and Rio could be completed within a similar window of time. And, as I indicated in another recent blog post, I have every confidence that, if construction continues in Fortaleza at the rate it has since construction officially started last year, it is not impossible to believe that that temple (and perhaps the one in Rio as well) could be completed by late spring or early summer in 2019. It is interesting, to be sure, to consider the progress that has been made just in terms of temple developments so far this year. I look forward to any and all future developments in that regard as they happen. And I will depend on both information from this blog and information from your site, Rick, to keep me (and those who read my blog posts about such progress) informed. Thanks to you for your labor of love. It is greatly appreciated! And, Matt, it goes without saying that my thanks applies to your labor of love with this blog as well. Thanks!

Eduardo Clinch said...

Correctly interpteted, or already known, my Masters in Latin American Studies was at secular UCLA, with quite secular Professor Stephen Bell, an English-born guy who took special interest in Brazil as a young academic and ended up writing a book about Brazilian gauchos. When I knew him he was working on work related to a dilettante by the name of Farquahr, I think. Bell specialized in South American history from 1850-1900, I think I remember. Or back to 1800.

James said...

Interesting information, Eduardo! Thanks for sharing that with me in answer to my questions about that. I have been somewhat lucky. Living in Utah my whole life as I have, I have always been surrounded by people who are either members of the Church themselves or know quite a bit about the Church and its members from their personal past interactions. This is also true in my current workplace, even though, as I stated (I think on this very post), I seem to be the only active Church member on my currently assigned project at work. So it's an unusual situation for me, to be sure. And there have been many minor missionary opportunities. Before my work duties increased and expanded on Friday, my abundance of downtime left me with lots of chances to visit Church websites that I love, like this one. More often than not, someone would come by and see what I have been reading and ask a question or two about it. No serious interest expressed yet, but that could change. However, with the added responsibilities I have been asked to take on, any future chunks of downtime I might have from now on will probably be during my regular breaks and lunch. I will be spending the better part of every shift taking care of the aspects of my new assignment. That's not a bad thing. As you might have guessed, I love talking to people, and I frequently have almost too much to say to anyone with whom I converse. But it will mean that I will have much less time to visit such sites during work hours. I will still do it as much as I can, but most of these normal daily visits will now have to wait for the chunks of time outside my scheduled hours. That is not to say I will be commenting or posting on my own blog any less. I fully anticipate doing as much as I can to continue doing so in the future. But I won't have as many opportunities to do that during my downtime at work because there will be much less of it.

I also wanted to say that my wife went to a secondary school that was halfway between the religious and the secular. As far as my own secondary schooling, I did a semester or two at BYU. The bulk of my accrued credits were due to religion classes I had taken through the local institute program. I did love going to BYU a lot. Where else would class begin and end with a prayer every day? Where else would parallels regarding the curriculum be drawn so extensively and so clearly to the gospel? I loved my time there very much. However, my health failed at one point, and I had to discontinue my education. I did try a couple of independent study courses, but found myself too undisciplined to do those on my own. It also didn't help that around that same time, I met my wife. In the ensuing years, I have often wanted to go back and finish that secondary education at BYU. But it hasn't been practical as of yet, and admittedly, I've become far too attached to the facial hair I have had for most of the time in the years since my wife and I discontinued our service as temple workers. I fully intend to go back and finish my education someday. But right now, it's not a feasible option. Thanks for letting me comment so much.

Ohhappydane33 said...
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Michael Worley said...

Happydane,

You have previously been admonished to be nice to other posters, and apparently called this blog "boring." I mention this for context so other viewers know a bit more about who you are.

http://ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com/2016/05/new-stakes-created-in-argentina-arizona.html

Your comments to James are incomplete, to say the least-- he did serve a mission; rather, two, if I remember right. True, he did not leave Utah for those missions, but that was not his fault.

At any rate, while embracing diversity can be helpful, it is not our role to judge others for their percieved "failing" to do so. In fact, it is important that we respect people who are sensitive to what they perceive as deviations from gospel standards just as it is important that we respect those who don't live the gospel.

This applies to James; please try to embrace the differences between you and him.

I write this not to be rude (and I apologize if it comes off that way), but because I understand where James is coming from, and I think he deserves respect just like the people you want him to respect. I recognize you also deserve the same respect, and I thus hope all is well with you and that all of us find sensitive ways to improve and be more Christlike, myself first and foremost.

https://www.lds.org/liahona/2017/01/aiming-at-the-center

Eduardo Clinch said...

Please don't be vulgar, Happy. Snarky and nitpicky is one thing, but crass is not worthy of this forum. Please be more adult or clean with your language.
Strikes me as low.

Michael Worley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Worley said...

While recognizing this is Matt's blog, my instincts align with Eduardo's.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Happy has returned to this blog at least two or three times, so his initial remark about it being "boring" rings just a little hollow. He never has anything to contribute besides insulting people and making a nuisance of himself.

Fredrick said...

I just got word from two colleagues at work that a new stake was created yesterday in Henderson, Nevada. I assume was created from the Anthem, Green Valley and Warm Springs Stakes.

BYULAW said...

I really enjoy this blog and often find the comments to be informative and interesting. Everyone should feel welcome to comment, including Happydane. Although he posted something judgemental, I don't feel the comments that are critical of his view were any less jidgemental. I think we all struggle with worrying about the mote in each other's eye and less about the beams in our own. All I can suggest is that we be kind and welcoming to all and let Matt be the judge of whether a comment should be permitted or not. Love one another as Christ has loved us.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I happen to think the Lord would love Happy to the tune of a smack in the face. But that might be my faith in Jesus the Anointed One. I think He is fair and just. And powerful.
Good to hear about the continued growth in Nevada and I hope the coversation can move along without the spirit of Lucifer around. I have quite a bit more advice for Happy.
India should get a temple sooner than later. Devils be forgotten!

John Pack Lambert said...

The interior of Brazil has a lot more stakes than India. I expect a temple to be announced for Brazilia soon, but I expected such an announcement when President Monson went there and met with Brazil's president on his way home from dedicating the Curitibia Temple back in 2008. So obviously I am not in sink with the Brazilian reality. There is a temple in Manaus in Brazil's interior but that is not close to Brazilia.

Michael Worley said...

BYULAW,

I'm sorry my comment came off that way.

John Pack Lambert said...

When I started my mission there were only the Warm Springs, Green Valley, Black Mountain andLake Mead stakes in Henderson. My girlfriend's roommates fiancee served in Las Vegas 10 or so years after me and he mentioned serving in Henderson in the Paradise Stake. I served in Paradise stake but clearly not in Henderson and at least how I understand the term none of Paradise Stake is in Henderson. Of course I served among the people of the Black Mountain Stake who didnt count Green Valley as being truly Henderson.

James Anderson said...

Gibson Road in the Henderson area is named for one of those who was descended from some Gibsons who joined us inthe south and came up and went on one of the very first wagon trains to Utah. In fact, it was a horserace between them and Brigham Young's group but Brigham arrived first by several days in the end.

Some stayed near Salt Lake, while some ended up in St. George and a few ended up in Nevada, in what was known as St. Thomas which eventually got flooded out by Lake Mead. Still others went on to Vegas, and were among the early settlers in that area, and were apparenly known enough that when the road was built, it was named Gibson. It runs north/south from Boulder Highway to Horizon Parkway.

Fredrick said...

I was told that the new Henderson Nevada Stake is called Carnegie.

James said...

Thank you all for your defense of me, such as it was. I was originally very angry when I read the thoughtless character assassination that was done. But the hour was late, and when I searched the Spirit for the proper response, the impression I got was that something that silly and ridiculous was not worth a response. Had this person bothered to read my many comments that he was criticizing, he would probably have not responded in the way he did. Further memories reminded me that he has always made comments like that, and I felt very sure that, since everyone else has at least seemed to understand my reasons for commenting here as much as I do, I could count on many people defending me. When I thought further about this whole matter, I felt very sorry for him. I really did. And it brought to mind a classic line I once read, "When ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." The uninformed are also generally the most dangerous. My thanks to you all for your touching defense of me.

I am always pleased to embrace differences between myself and those who do not believe as I do. The job has been difficult because of the environment (to say nothing of the triggers to my health issues), but it has been rewarding in terms of allowing me to associate with people who, though not active Latter-day Saints, have nonetheless respected me for my beliefs. And missionary opportunities, small and subtle though they have been, have also taken place. Moving forward, I am hoping that the Lord will open doors.

One classic example of how I may have already had such an influence comes from the words shared with our campaign members from the project manager. He told everyone else that, during a particularly hard time in his personal life, my example of pressing on and providing for myself and my wife in spite of my health issues, to say nothing of the fact that I was faithful in the Church, had grounded him and gotten him through to the point where he had been able to weather the worst and qualify to be a project manager at this other branch of the company. He thanked me for that.

In responding to my reply to a text he sent this weekend to give us further instructions related to campaign policies, he also mentioned that he appreciated how adaptable I had been to every training item he has brought up, reiterated his willingness to accommodate me in whatever I might need going forward, and said he wished he had 100 people exactly like me working for him. It was high praise. I appreciate the sentiment but felt it was overstated and undeserved. I have only ever tried to give my best with this new opportunity, and in that respect, I am not any different from the many other wonderful people he has working on the various campaigns he is managing.

James said...


Frederick, as I observed in my comment on another post here on this blog just tonight, I learned about the new Nevada stake first when I saw it on Matt's list of those recently organized. It is new enough apparently that no details are known about the specific units involved. I look forward to hearing more about this.

John, Brasilia is one of three locations in Brazil (with the other two being Belo Horizonte and Salvador) that I feel are most imminently likely for temples in the next little while. I had thought and have before voiced the opinion that while we will shortly have two temples simultaneously under construction in Brazil, I did not think it very likely we would see additional temples announced for that nation before the others are complete. Last April's announcement of the temple for Belem put that idea out of my head very quickly. And I could see temples in every major city in Brazil before too much longer. The three cities I mentioned above seem most likely for any new Brazilian temples, though which one of those three is most imminent is anyone's guess. Since I am considering this matter in terms of refining my predictions for the temples most likely to be announced in the next General Conference, I welcome anyone else's thoughts in this regard.

And I appreciate the additional insights about the stakes in Nevada. I have never spent an extended length of time there, but I have found Church growth developments anywhere and everywhere to be most exciting.

Thanks to you all for the continuing insights. I hope any or all of you will be kind enough to let me know if any of my future comments and the frequency thereof becomes a problem. I obviously object to Dane's character assassination of me, but I have wondered (and hopefully express often enough) my concerns that my continued multiple comments are doing more harm than good. I like to think for the most part that what I feel impressed to share here is valuable (and even perhaps inspirational) to others, but I will understand completely if others don't share that opinion.

That's one of the many things I have loved about commenting on these posts. The free expression of honest opinions is encouraged, and, for the most part, the views of others are respected, if not indeed shared. I love that this is a "safe place" where my experiences and opinions are valued. And there have been many occasions where my visits to this blog have opened up missionary opportunities, however minor they might be, in my workplace. And so, with all of us continuing to work and comment together, we will move forward. Thanks again.

James said...

Another word or two on temples in Brazil, if you will indulge me. While I have looked at the associated statistics in regards to the areas temples in the three above-mentioned cities will serve, they seem to be a pretty even match in terms of their future likelihood. Given the most wonderful announcement, informal and unverified though it has been, of the groundbreaking for the temple in Rio, this means that for the first time in a fairly long time, two temples will be simultaneously under construction in that nation. When considering how often that happened in the past, I was made aware via a comment on my blog post about the Rio groundbreaking of the case Rick mentioned above where the temples for Recife, Porto Alegre, and and Campinas were all undergoing construction at the same time for a period spanning 31 months (approximately 2.6 years). That same comment mentioned that a similar incident involving Brazilian temples under construction saw two being simultaneously worked on in Fortaleza and Manaus. But I don't think that example "counts" simply because while the groundbreaking in Fortaleza took place in 2011, full-scale construction did not properly start until nearly the end of May of last year, five years after the groundbreaking. It will be interesting to see when the Church will officially confirm this announcement. It will also be interesting to see whether the temples in Fortaleza and Rio might be completed within the same window of time. Time will tell. Right now, it seems that so little is known about the Rio temple in terms of design and the approximate timetable for construction. But I anticipate that changing. And, with any luck, I will be able to post such developments to my own blog ASAP after learning of them. Thanks again to you all.

James Anderson said...

I am thinking Salvador in Bahia state will get a temple forst, that would serve the northern part of Espiritu Santo, Sergipe, Bahia, and parts of a couple others. Salvador is also likely the most populous city between Rio and Recife, and has multiple stakes there.

Belo Horizonte is iffy in the short term, BR-040 is a straight shot to Rio and is four lanes and is not too difficult of a drive, much kije Dutra is from Rio to Jacarei and Campinas from there, not as tough a mountain area as Dutra has with Serra Araras, so I would not expect one until after Salvador or Brasilia.

James said...

James, thanks for your response to my query. But in doing the research on Matt's posts about potential future temples, for at least the last 7 or 8 general conferences, he has predicted temples in Belo Horizonte and Brasilia. I prefer to think that Matt is right on this point. That said, I recognize, as he himself admits when necessary, that he does not know everything and is only able to predict what he does because of the information available to him.

For about the same amount of time, he has also predicted a temple for Rogers Arkansas. I have personal knowledge regarding Arkansas because my former team leader at work served his mission there and keeps up on the latest developments. According to the information he was able to give me, a site has already been purchased for Arkansas' first temple in Bentonville. And that announcement is anticipated to be officially made when temple attendance in the area such a temple would serve is sufficient to warrant that announcement.

FWIW, sites have also apparently been earmarked in Managua Nicaragua and Port Moresby Papua New Guinea for future temple sites. That's the main reason why the three (Managua, Port Moresby, and Bentonville) stand at the top of my list of near-future most imminently likely temple announcements. I know that a site purchase may not be indicative of the imminent likelihood of a temple announcement, but it is a start.

For that reason, even though Matt has listed Rogers as the most likely city for the first Arkansas temple, the firsthand information I have leads me to believe it will be Bentonville that has that distinction. So I still feel pretty safe in saying that I am confident that the three Brazilian cities mentioned above will be the next ones to get a temple, although it's anyone's guess as far as how soon and in what order those might be announced. Thanks.

James Anderson said...

Arkansas will come when temple attendance at other temples gets strong enough, there is enough faithfulness in the payment of tithing, and a couple of other major factors, not too unlike what they do when looking to form units. This from some talk about four years before Tucson was announced, and mention of this was made at a leadership meeting held in the seconde half of 2008.

James said...

James, of course I recognize that certain criteria has to be met before Arkansas gets its first temple. Of all the possible temple sites in the United States, Arkansas is the top candidate in terms of announcement imminence. It is interesting that no temples have been announced in the United States in general and Utah in particular since the 2014 hiatus on such announcements. While Bentonville is, in my mind, more likely to have a temple site announced than Rogers, that says nothing of its imminent near-future likelihood. I have a feeling it may be one of the next temples announced in the United States.

In terms of temples that may be announced in the near future in Utah, I believe there are two strong possibilities that are most likely to happen soon: Layton and Lehi. I have done the research to back up that notion. I realize that others might favor other sites in Utah for other reasons, but this is what seems most likely to me.

It is interesting to note that all of the temples announced within the last two years have been for foreign countries. We have seen the first temples for the Ivory Coast, Haiti, Bangkok, and Zimbabwe, while additional temples have been announced for Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.

The latest temple announcements have proved one thing beyond reasonably doubt: The Church has not been a "Utah" or "United States" Church for quite a while. While the Church has yet to make substantial progress in some nations, in so many others, the gospel is rolling forward at an unprecedented and most amazing rate. It is wonderful to contemplate how doors can be open when the Lord wills those things to happen. I know that temple-related developments are a small part of the bigger picture, but I feel I have definitely found my niche in focusing my blog posts primarily on temple news and developments.

We have seen many wonderful temple construction progress milestones already this year. It is awesome to contemplate how far and how fast developments have occurred. We have one dedication (Paris France), one rededication (Idaho Falls Idaho), and one groundbreaking (Rio de Janeiro Brazil) scheduled already this year, and it is more than likely that we will see three additional dedications (Meridian Idaho, Cedar City Utah, and Tucson Arizona) and possibly one more rededication (Jordan River Utah). As to groundbreakings, there is a possibility of at least two more being scheduled before too much longer. (According to the LDS Church Temples website, Arequipa Peru is anticipated to have a groundbreaking announced very soon, while the site announcement and groundbreaking date for the temple in Harare Zimbabwe could also happen before General Conference.) And I could see others happening before too much longer as well.

For example, I have a feeling that, given how quickly things may happen in Harare (with a groundbreaking possible within a year of the temple announcement), we could similarly see things happen swiftly in Port-au-Prince, Bangkok, Abidjan, Quito, Belem, and Lima (Los Olivos). What would be really crazy is if we ever had a time when temples were just under construction and undergoing renovation, with none announced. Unlikely, I know, but it would be crazy.

And I have before shared my opinion that the Church is well on track to have at least 200 temples operating by the time the Church marks 200 years since its reestablishment (on April 6, 2030). The Church would only need to announce 23 to have 200 in any stage, and, all going according to current projections, we could have as few as 35 that would need to be dedicated between January 1, 2019 and April 6, 2030 to bring us to 200 operating temples.

I am doing my level best to keep abreast and aware of all the latest happenings related to temples, and hopefully what I have to say on that subject on my blog will be interesting and beneficial to all those who will read my musings.

Thanks, James, for responding to my statement regarding the possible site for the first temple in Arkansas. I hope I have not overdone my response to your insight.

James said...

To get back on the topic of the newest Henderson Nevada Stake, the interesting tidbit there is to contemplate the fact that the last new stake organized in Henderson was the Henderson Nevada McCollough Hills Stake on November 15, just last year. To think of two new stakes being created in the same city within two months is amazing! There was one point at which I believed Nevada's next temple could be built in Henderson, but then a comment on my blog informed me that one of the two Nevada temples (can't remember which one) is essentially located in Henderson. So it's interesting to see the growth that has happened in Henderson just within the last couple of months. As always, I continue to appreciate being able to contribute to this most wonderful discussion. Thanks for continuing to indulge me.

Eduardo Clinch said...

If John Dehlin has a better plan for humanity than Jesus, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaiah, Matthew, John, Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson, then I might bother.
But he doesn't. He's a wolf, dressed as an academic or some kind of rationalist. Caveat emptor, and watch out for failure surrounding him and his ideas.
I'll stick with the Lord's chosen and His faith.
And megachurches? You reap what you sow, easterners call it karma. All true.

Ebay Seller said...

Just as an FYI the Manga Mozambique Stake will be established on March 18th, 2017. -RM

James said...

Interesting information. I hope that is true. But I know that Matt typically only adds information he feels reasonably certain about, information that can be verified through the most reliable sources available. If this stake in Mozambique will be created with the name and on the date indicated, I'm sure that will be subsequently verified. Matt is very good about such things. Thanks for sharing that information. I do hope it is accurate.