Saturday, April 8, 2017

UPDATED: The 10 Countries/Dependencies with the Most Members without a Temple Announced, Under Construction, or in Operation

I have updated the list of the countries and dependencies with the most members without a temple. Membership data is as of year-end 2016, whereas stake, district, and congregational data are current.  Temples that service stakes, districts, and mission branches in each country are identified. Previous lists are also available for 2016, 2015, 2013, mid-2011, late 2008, and late 2007.

1. Nicaragua
  • 95,768 members
  • 11 stakes, 4 districts
  • 111 congregations
  • Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple
2. Papua New Guinea
  • 25,856 members
  • 2 stakes, 11 districts
  • 75 congregations
  • Sydney Australia Temple
3. Puerto Rico
  • 23,328 members
  • 5 stakes, 0 districts
  • 41 congregations
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
4. Russia
  • 23,328 members
  • 3 stakes, 9 districts
  • 99 congregations
  • Helsinki Finland Temple, Kyiv Ukraine Temple, Seoul Korea Temple
5. Kiribati
  • 18,368 members
  • 2 stakes, 2 districts
  • 30 congregations
  • Suva Fiji Temple, Laie Hawaii Temple
6. Sierra Leone
  • 17,671 members
  • 1 stake, 6 districts
  • 59 congregations
  • Accra Ghana Temple
7. American Samoa
  • 16,180 members
  • 5 stakes
  • 41 congregations
  • Apia Samoa Temple
8. Uganda
  • 15,157 members
  • 3 stakes, 0 districts
  • 28 congregations
  • Johannesburg South Africa Temple
9. Cambodia
  • 13,716 members
  • 2 stakes, 4 districts
  • 29 congregations
  • Hong Kong China Temple
10. Cape Verde
  • 13,504 members
  • 3 stakes, 2 districts
  • 42 congregations
  • Spain Madrid Temple

109 comments:

Ryan Searcy said...

Such a large gap between #1 and #2. Nicaragua has almost 4 times the amount of members than Papua New Guinea.

Erik said...

But a much smaller gap in the number of congregations between #1 and #2.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the other hand Nicaragua has not even twice as many congregations. Part of this is having more wards and such normally have more attendance than branches. However some of it is a legacy of a combination of low retention in Latin America and specific affects of the disruptions of Civil War and the Sandanista Goverment that basically outlawed the Church and appropriated its property.

Even if we do not see any more units organized in Honduras or Nicaragua in the next year I still would expect a temple announced there by April of 2018. I suspect we will see more units organized in the next year in both those countries, although maybe not more stakes. So I even more expect another temple.

Any scense of historically what is the highest number of stakes and also of total units a country reached before getting its first temple announced?

Mike Johnson said...

Nicaragua has finally passed Virginia in membership 95,768 to 95,198, but Virginia leads Nicaragua 23 stakes to 11 and 200 congregations to 109.

Nicaragua, like other places including Puerto Rico, went through a dissolution of all stakes and had to start rebuilding them again. They will get a temple.

Mike Johnson said...

Puerto Rico and American Samoa are similar. When I served in Puerto Rico from 1981 to 1983, I thought PR would be the first in the Caribbean to get a temple. After all, it is under the Constitution of the US (like America Samoa). At the time, there were more members than any other place in the Caribbean. But, the temple was built in the DR and another is coming in Haiti. The DR, which had just broken off my mission just before I arrived, is the LDS crown jewel with a temple, the area headquarters, and 3 missions.

PR and AS both have 5 stakes and 41 congregations. And it is easier for members in both to go to the country just to the west than it is for members from the DR and Samoa to go to PR and AS because of US immigration controls. Thus, it makes more sense for the temples to have been built in DR and Samoa respectively, even before the LDS membership grew dramatically in both compared to the US territory.

james anderson said...

American Samoa had a temple announced once, the design was published in the Ensign. However, the temple was moved across the island to Apia as more of a convenience issue than anything and the design was changed to the one that was built that burned in that accidental fire

Mike Johnson said...

James, thank you. The Pago Pago American Samoa temple was originally announced in 1977 and then changed plans were announced on 2 April 1980. President Kimball had the first talk of April Conference 1980 "No Unhallowed Hand Can Stop the Work" stated "With the announcement just made of the construction of seven new temples, there begins the most intensive period of temple building in the history of the Church." Apparently the announcement was made before the talk and also included temples for Tonga and Tahiti, in addition to moving the plans for a temple in Pago Pago American Samoa to Apia Western Samoa.

At the time in 1980 (and until 1997) it was Western Samoa and not Samoa.

BTW, Apia is not "across the island" from any part of American Samoa. They are different island groups near each other. The international date line crosses between them, so they are basically a day apart always, despite only a $20 charge for airfare between them.

John Pack Lambert said...

Apia is on a different island than American Samoa, whivh I think may also be multipke islands. So "across the island" is that quite the right descriptor.

John Pack Lambert said...

Nicaragua only had one stake discontinued. Only Puerto Rico has ever gone from a number greaters than 1 down to zero. Puerto Rico in the other hand has no restrictions on movement to the US mainland. I had a room mate at BYU who was Puerto Rican but his family had lived in Florida from when he was 10. I think his family joined the Church in Florida but maybe in Puerto Rico. On the other hand Elder Martinez the Puerto Rican general authority joined the Church while doing a medical residency in Mississippi. Je went back to Puerto Rico but since Puerto Ricans are US citizens with full employment rights they can even more easily stay I'm the mainland US after getting am education than international students. There was a Puerto Rican in the Ann Arbor YSA ward when I was there who had first come to the mainland to attrnd UofM as an undergrad who I think eventually went back to Puerto Rico after being on the mainland 10 or so years.

I somewhere got the impression that reduction in the level of US militay personel stationed in Puerto Rico was one factor in the discontinuance of all stskes in the early 1990s.

Puerto Ricos population is well over 95% Hispanic so it is not like Hawaii. However it is hard to figure out what the comparable percentage would be in Hawaii. Hispanics can be of any race, and they do not need to know Spanish at all. There is some sort of broad Hawaiian culture which clearly includes people of only a small amount of Native Hawaiian descent and may include people who who are part of the culture especially multi-generstionally so who have no Hawaiian heritage. Speaking Native Hawaiian was only really done by the elderly when my grandfather was a missionary there 75 years ago at the start of World War II. However there is Hawaiian Pidgin English. There was a white elder in my mission from Hawaii who was conversant in Pidgin. I am not sure how far back his ancestors had lived on the islands.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Dominican Republic is the country other than the US with the record shortest time from the Church being established there to a temple being dedicated.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think Norway may be the country the Church has been on the longest without a temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think the initial plan was to have French Polynesia, Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Rarotonga and a few other places all served by a temple in American Samoa. However it was later decided to build 3 temples instead of just 1.

John Pack Lambert said...

Why is Papua New Guinea assigned to Sydney Temple and not Brisbane Temple?

L. Chris Jones said...

I understand that American Samoa was the most accessible by air for multiple Island countries. But then some of those countries got temples announced and the Temple was transferred to the country of Samoa where the most Samoan members are.

John Pack Lambert said...

I started reading a book about the London Missionary society and missions in South Africa. This caused me to reflect that the LDS Church in much of the World was largely a missionary run Church until after World War II and in Latin America well into the 1960s.

There are complications. Some of them make statistical continuity very hard. My sense is for a long time didtricts were presided over by full time missionaries. However today the Church seems to try and only form districts where they can call non fullytime missionaries to preside. The rhetoric of local does not always apply per se but these are people present not as missionaries.

Even senior missionaries are almost always advisory as opposed to presiding.

The push to mice away from full time missionaries as branch presidents was still going on in even parts of Colorado in the 1960s. I had a room mate at BYU who had been a branch president on his missuon in Portugal on the late 1990s.

My sense is that today the Church waits until they can call someone nor a missionary to be a branch president. This appears to mean the Church has more groups today than on the past and designates as groups things that in the past would have been designated as branches.

Mike Johnson said...

John, I can think of two reasons why New Guinea is in the Sydney and not the Brisbane temple district. One is cost of airfare from Port Moresby to Sydney as opposed to Port Moresby to Brisbane and also capacity of the temples themselves.

Brett Stirling said...

Samoa and America Samoa are two separate nations and islands.

Pago Pago (the capital of American Samoa) was chosen originally as it was designed to be a larger regional pacific temple and had the international airport.

http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/samoa/

Once Tonga, Tahiti and Samoa was announced,it was redesigned to the smaller standard design and moved to Apia, the capital of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) where more members lived.

Aaron and Kamyra said...

Sydney temple also has the patron accommodation still owned by the church last time I checked. This is low cost rental apartments for members to stay in while at the temple. Has group kitchen facilities and is just up the road from the temple. Other members from around Australia can still go and stay there also. Members from Tasmania still have the annual temple trips at Sydney and stay at the churches accommodation. The church purchased the motel complex when Sunday was the only temple in Australia and member travelled huge distance to attend the temple.

Bryan Baird said...

There are temples in cities from A to W any ones in the foreseeable future for cities beginning with X Y or Z?

Mike Johnson said...

Kenya is getting a temple. Could they also get an LDS president?
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865677450/Utah-Mormon-running-for-president-of-Kenya.html

Mike Johnson said...

Y could be Youngstown Ohio (covering Pittsburgh and Cleveland). Y could also be Yuma Arizona.

Z could be Zapatecas Mexico.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Zimbabwe (Harare) would count for a Z temple, right?
I think you meant Zacatecas.
Y...many places in China start with Y. Yokohama in Japan is probably not not a candidate.
X might also work in China, but not too soon.
Do you strictly mean cities instead of countries?
Interesting question for the alphabet.

Bryce .Gillespie said...

From what I can fiend China and Mexico all the only country's that have majer city's that begains with an x.

Bryan Baird said...

Either or, but mostly cities.

John Pack Lambert said...

I really think it is likely the LDS will have a Kenyan president sooner. And I rate Elder Sitati as only the person I would love most to see as the next apostle. Actually getting a Zimbabwean President of the LDS is more likely since Elder Dube would be the youngest apostle if called to fill the next vacancy. Which might be soon the way President Monson's health is going. Although President Packer outlived some predictions ass has Elder Hales so It would not be surprised if President Monson not only is alive come October but speaks at conference.

John Pack Lambert said...

The other issues probably are enough anyway but the patron housing probably pushes it over. Are other places such as the Solomon Islands assigned to Sydney Temple or to the Suva Fiji Temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

Is Elder Wakolo the first general authority to be racislly a pacific islader? We hafe had racislly Japanese and white from Hawaii (the later is Elder Hallstrom I believe) racially white from New Zealand as well

John Pack Lambert said...

O. Vincent Halleck is from American Samoa. I can not find any definitive information beyond the fact from age 10 he went to school on the mainland US while living with relatives. He looks at least somewhat white but might have some Samoan ancestry.

John Pack Lambert said...

Yakima, Washington might also be a possible Y, although I have my doubts. There are Yorba Linda and Yucaipa in Califrnia. Ypsilant Michigan as well, but while if the Ypsilanti Ward is close to solitting and I could maybe see an Ypsilanti stake in 10 years, it will be a long time until it gets a temple. Michigan has a low Church growth trend but if things do justify a 2nd temple in the future it will be in Lansing or Grand Rapids. Unless we see major, major pickup of groth in metro-Detroit including new converts staying instead of moving to Utah, Idaho and Texas. If there was major turn aeound than a temple in the Detroit City center or more likely somewhere along Jefferson east of downtown might happen. Hoever over half of Detroit is in the stake that has the temple in its boundaries and Detroit residents will drive nearly as far as the temple just to see a movie so we are talking majorly in the future. We did have 2 investigators in Elders quorum today and one said he felt he had found his church home. It was only his second time to Church so his baptism is still in the future but things are looking up.

L. Chris Jones said...

For Z, Zimbabwe is close. Not the city, only the Country name so far.

Tyler Sorensen said...

X is covered Xela Guatemala it's the native name for quetzaltenango

Brett Stirling said...

Wow. Your ethnic terms are offensive.

L. Chris Jones said...

For Y could be in Youngstown Ohio but I think the most likely temples in the region would be Cleveland Ohio or Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

L. Chris Jones said...

Sorry Mike I didn't see your post before

coachodeeps said...

I agree with Tyler, Xela could be counted as it is the Mayan and local name of Quetzaltenango Guatemala. Most Guatemalans refer to it had Xela.

John Pack Lambert said...

If we do that do we still have a Q temple?

John Pack Lambert said...

How is it offensive to refer to someone as white. Or to mention the existence of Samoan ancestry. I think ot is taking offense at talking about ethnicity/race that is problematic. Race/ethnicity influences how people perceive others and no matter how some may deny it there are others who feel the Church gives preference to whites in leadership. Just pretending theses issues do not exist is the worst approach to the matter possible.

John Pack Lambert said...

It is hard to say but I dont think any general authority we have had would be considered culturally Hawaiian. As I say it is hard to say and different people percieve this differently. Some would say those with only white ancestry can never be culturally Hawaiian, others would argue race is never a total exclusion to culture. I would just say there are deep issues of language and culture in Hawaii that I have never known Hawaiians well enough to even start to understand assuming that there is even any sort of agreement on the issues. My sense is that some people of significant Hawaiian ancestries consider Hawaiian nationalists to be hard core racists in their goals and this is only the start of the divisions.

Gnesileah said...

Quito would still count towards Q. Also, the Manila Temple is in Quezon City.

Other existing X,Y,Z locations could include, depending on how you consider them:

Perth Australia Temple (located in Yokine)
Guadalajara Mexico Temple (located in Zapopán)
The Hague Netherlands Temple (located in Zoetermeer)

Bern Switzerland Temple (located in Zollikofen... well, technically it is located in Münchenbuchsee, but uses Zollikofen as its mailing address)

Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple (mailing address is Yukon...but actually located in Surrey Hills neighborhood of Oklahoma City)

Ohhappydane33 said...

OK, I realize I may have been too critical in prior blog conversations, but I think this blog has reached a new low with this temple locations with all the letters of the alphabet thing. Really people? Who cares? Some of you have way too much time on your hands.

MdJPR said...

I tend to watch but didn't realise I could post for a long time, but I recently heard from the Edmonton Mormons Facebook page that they just formed a new stake in the city, bringing the total to 5. According to the page it is called the Sherwood Park Alberta Stake, located out in the east end.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Discussing where and how temples are located is as much as a waste of time as:
Sodoku
Chess
Checkers
Poker
Hearts
Card games of all kinds
Games, board, mental, political
Sports of all kinds
Idle conversation
Bad mouthing
Cussing
Drinking moonshine
Should I go on?
A lot of the discussion is actually educational and stretches and instructs the brain.
New lows are achieved by lame accusatory trolls who should probably start their own religion and quit being a spoiled uppity wet blanket.
Call me crazy(again), but your comments are about as useful as many indolent students I have worked with across many US states and across the globe.
Happy, pray tell, what wonderful academic and educational superior background do you claim?
Doctorate in Condescending Evolutionary Developments from Catatonic State U.?
You are a debbie downer stick in the mud, and I question your intellectual prowess.
You bring it on yourself, so please let smarter or nicer people enjoy this blog without your vapid critiques.

"White", changing back to a more reasonable subject, is relative per culture.
White in parts of the US is different than "white" in Mexico, or Brazil, Chile, etc.

The world and the LDS Church are progressing in diverse ways, and I think we may talk about commonalities and differences with being offensive or be offended. But negative naysayers earn opprobrium of their own merit. Color and ethnicity do not define good and bad attributes.
Character does.

Ohhappydane33 said...

You can flame me all you want Eduardo, but I have a very difficult time picturing the Brethren sitting around and actually having any sort of discussion as to how all of the letters of the alphabet should be represented in temple names. If by stretching the brain, you mean having a brain-dead and downright stupid subject being discussed, then by all means, enjoy!

Yes, Eduardo the hypocrite. So knowledgeable, so self-important, so self-righteous, and golly, just do darn nice! What a joke...

Eduardo Clinch said...

And for those who skip certain people's comments, keep skipping along. It can be hard to follow thoughts and ideas on a blog.
Not for everyone.
I like a lot of the comments I read on this blog, even though I might agree or not with those who write and share.
If coherency is the question, yes move right along if these odd combinations of these words and phrases are too obtuse and non-sequitor! Poor souls!
I apologize for the random chaoticness of it all!
Interesting stuff about the neighborhood names of temples.
Quick knowledge check: name 10 cities in China!
India!
Nigeria!
If you cannot off the top of your head, you probably are no where near as smart as you think you may be.
Just saying.
There's a lot to learn.
This blog does instruct.
I like it.
And some "new lows" fascinate thousands of people, stilted troglidyte.

Eduardo Clinch said...

So you aspire to be like an LDS authority? Awesome, good to hear. Seriously, no sarcasm if that what your logic is implied.
Am I hypocritical by being mean? Sorry, I think you are being mean and a trollish bully.
I misspelled troglodyte, but thanks for helping me learn its use better. It applies to you.
You are a classic troll, it's an Internet thing. Great job. (That is sarcasm).
But now you are wasting our time if or not that was your attempt.
You seem to paint black kettles blacker, pot.
That's either irony or complete unawareness of self.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I think I am being honest when I state I am not the most knowledgeable, most righteous, most important, nicest blogger or person. What a puerile categorization?
I lack tons of knowledge. I admit I would struggle to name 10 Nigerian cities, but that is part of the genius of this blog.
I should repent more, sin less, waste less time (thanks again for your high minded chastening), and go to the temple more and do more temple work for the dead.
You got me dead on. Busted.
But dude, you've got issues. We all do.
Best of luck on your path to perfection.

What would it take for West Virginia to get a temple?
Despite all my personal failings, which are true...

David Todd said...

Eduardo, you need to calm down. It's fine to be upset, but don't use this page as a place to vent. Do some yoga, read some scriptures, go for a walk or something.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Dane deserves our pity, not our anger, because his life is so sad and empty that he feels the need to come back over and over and over again to blogs he has previously described as "boring" and jump into discussions that he considers "brain-dead and downright stupid" for the sole purpose of insulting people like a twelve year old. I wouldn't be happy either if I led such a pathetic and meaningless existence. I pray for you, Dane.

David Todd said...

He continues to come back because we validate him every time. Rather than freaking out every time he posts, maybe we could just learn to acknowledge what he says and move on. And we might actually benefit from thinking about what he has to say as well instead of rejecting it for petty reasons. I am so frustrated with the way things go on these comments whenever someone disagrees.

coachodeeps said...

Yes. Quito Equador.

TempleRick said...

Renovations announced for Tokyo Japan Temple, Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple, Memphis Tennessee Temple, and Asunción Paraguay Temple. All will close later this year.

james anderson said...

Three of those will be the smaller temples. Possible additions are likely but not sure, on those since President Hinckley said those of that smaller design could be expanded as needed

coachodeeps said...

Back toward the topic of the post, it is scary to see the high number of members to low number of congregations and stakes in Nicaragua. While on my mission I found colonies of Nicaraguans that were in temporary, cramped housing conditions. They said two things that stuck with me: first, they had it better in their challenging, somewhat pathetic, living conditions I saw them in than those they had in their native country due to corruption, crime and the effects of war; second, they were headed north to hopefully even better lives hoping to end up in the US.

I wonder how many LDS people do just what they were attempting. They almost always do this without informing others, including church leaders. I know quite a few faithful Guatemalan saints who have come to the US, some legally, some illegally. I can't blame them for whay they are doing. Wish those coming illegally would do it legally and we (the US Government) had better methods to allowing that to happen.

So, I would imagine many of those counted in the Nicaragua numbers don't actually live in the country anymore. Also, even I Utah there is a huge problem of not knowing where people live. What can the church/individual members do about this?

coachodeeps said...

The Temple Department will constantly have their hands full doing maintenance, renovations, and expansions. I see this trend add just the beginning. Thanks, TempleRick for the update.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the other hand at a meeting in Ohio about when the Columbus Temple was built President Hockley said the Church would built a new temple when Columbus was used to capacity. The building of this2nd temple in Lima also seems to vindicate a desire to build new temples instead of expending existing ones. However the Church may expand and renovate the existing Lima Temple when the new temple is completed.

John Pack Lambert said...

In a lot of ways I wouldn't argue white obscures more than it reveals. Elder Joni Koch is clearly culturally different than Elder John C. Pingree Jr and the amount ethnic culture defines someone is also at times over stated.

Elder Hugo Montoya from Mexico has had ancestors in the Church since at leastvabout 1912. His great grandfather than a branch president was killed in 1915 in part because he would not denounce the Church. That was Rafael Monroy whose story has been told multiple times in LDS Church publications and was even told at general conference once by President James E. Faust.

I have to admit I was encouraged that even the Salt Lake Tribune ran a headline saying the new Relief Society General Presidency is diverse.

John Pack Lambert said...

Calabar, Kano, Lagos, Benin City, Port Harcourt, Aba, Enugu, Abuja. OK I dont think I can get to 10 but I might if I tried harder.

John Pack Lambert said...

It os not "whenever someone disagrees". It is when they engage in personalized attacks. There is a very big difference. Dane is the one who said I should stop comnenting on this blog and fo clean toilets at the Church implying I am unworthy of anytging but cleaning toilets. It was said on a mean spirited and offensive way. He has mocked people with mental illness. In this day and age such behavior sgould be beyond the pale and not tolerated. I have apologized to Dane but he still keeps piling in the rude and hateful responses. People have on occasion disageed agreeably here. It is when people engage in personalized attacks and disrespect others that things get out of hand.

John Pack Lambert said...

I really do not see Asuncion, Memphis or Oklahoma City expanding much. While there are more stakes in Oklahoma City temple district that when it was built I still expect the response to large scale groth will be a temple somewhere in north-west Arkansas not major expansions of the Oklahoma City Temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

I expect with Oklahoma City, Memphis and Ascuncion in at least hope the major change will be putting in murals on some rooms. This has Bern quite common in more recent temples abd was present on the earliest temples. I think it gives them just a slightly higher level of reaching towards the divine. While I dont really see this as an issue per se, I think some temples just had too much of a regimented feel. I love Detroit Temple but have to admit I think it would be better if the temple had more murals and art glass.

I understand there is always a balance between multiple demands. The Church has a limited amount of money and such. The tempke is well adorned, has lots of high quality material and I'd well maintained. Still art work made for the temple specifically would be a nice touch.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the other hand I have a fellow ward member whose father joined the Church and them went off to Vietnam. The father was inactive for much of the next few years. Though multiple moves and ending up out of the army and back in the US in a different place home teachers were still able to find the father. So some people actually do get kept track of.

John Pack Lambert said...

Another thought it was not I believe until about 2005 with the rededication of yhe Sao Paulo Brazil Temple yhat cultural celebrations became standard to temple dedications. So the temples like Detroit, Memphis, Asuncion, Oklahoma City and the rest built in the 50 tempke doubling in essentially 2 years under President Hinckley didnt see these celebrations. We have now seen enough that it is time for someone to write a reflective article on their long term impact.

Jeff Steed said...

Unfortunately, most of those jurisdictions are going to have to wait for a temple I think. In pretty much every jurisdiction mentioned, there is either (a) rampant government corruption, (b) political unrest, (c) a temple close by, (d) lack of potential future growth, or (d) some combination of the above.

For example:

1. Nicaragua -- Rampant Corruption. Only 200 miles or so from other temples in Central America.
2. American Samoa -- No room for additional growth potential. Relatively close to temple in Samoa
3. Papua New Guinea -- Civil unrest. Corruption. Lack of significant long term leadership at present.
4. Puerto Rico -- Relatively close proximity to two new temples in the area. Small growth potential.
5. Kiribati -- Too remote. Too small growth potential.
6. Sierra Leone -- Civil Unrest. Corruption. Lack of significant long-term leadership at present.
7. Uganda -- Civil unrest. Corruption. Proximity to temple in Kenya.
8. Cambodia -- Corruption. Unrest. Proximity to temple in Bangkok.
9. Cape Verde -- Corruption. Too small growth potential.
10. Russia -- Unrest. Corruption.

I don't think I would put any on a short list of where to expect a new temple anytime soon. The Church at present seems to be favoring putting more temples in more established areas, with minimal corruption, unrest, and with ample growth potential.

My top 10 after seeing the picks for April 2017 (in order):

1. Layton, Utah -- Sandwiched between two of the largest temple districts in the world without a temple announced. Fast growing area. Well established.
2. Auckland, New Zealand -- Well established area. Large growth potential. Overburdened and older temple.
3. Taichung, Taiwan -- Smallest temple in the world for such a large district. Older temple due for renovation. Well-established area.
4. Puebla, Mexico -- Largest temple district in the world without a temple announced. Older temple. Established area.
5. Valparaiso, Chile -- Established area in a large temple district with an older and overburdened temple.
6. Buenos Aires, Argentina (2nd Temple) -- Established area in a large temple district with a small, older and overburdened temple.
7. Richmond, Virginia -- Established area. Large temple district. Huge potential growth.
8. Salvador, Brazil -- Established area. Large temple district. Long distance from nearest temple. Huge potential growth.
9. Davao, Philippines -- Large potential temple district. Long distance from nearest temple. Huge potential growth.
10.Lagos, Nigeria -- Fast growing area. Established area. Long distance from nearest temple. Huge potential growth.

What do all of the above choices have in common? They are all in established areas that already have temples, but are in need of second temples.

If I had to choose a jurisdiction without a temple that would likely get a new temple it would be:

1. Hyderabad, India -- Low corruption (comparatively speaking). Low political unrest (comparatively speaking), ginormous growth potential (second largest populated nation on the planet and one of the fastest growing populations to boot), ginormous distance from nearest temple (several thousand miles from the nearest temple, can only travel by plane or boat), fast-growing LDS population (comparatively speaking). At least a minimum level of appropriate long-term leadership.



John Pack Lambert said...

The Deseret News just ran an artivle on the oral history program of The Church History Deapartment. Since 2009 oral hostories have been gathered by members interviewing their own fellow nationals in their native language. The article emphasis that the Church tries to follow current academic practices and make sure that these authentic stories. The move to people gathering the stories of fellow nationals was a major one towards getting an international Church.

One question not addressed in the article is if the gistories gathered in Ghana for example tend to be primarily in English or in languages such as Twi (which I believe is pronounced like tree) and Ga. Although the program started in their1970s and had been going regularly since at least the late 1980s the number of oral holistories has more than doubled since the changes in how they are gathered in 2009.

John Pack Lambert said...

Somehow I have never thought of Zimbabwe and Haiti as having a minimum of corruption and unrest. Honduras had high kevels of violence about 2 years back so it was a major contributor of unattended minors fleeing to the US but it got a temple.

Come to think of it the DR Congo also has high levels of corruption and the war in the north east was still going when the temples was announced and I cant gaurantee it is over yet.

Your reasoning would have said no temple in Haiti at every point and yet Haiti is getting a temple. Even Zimbabwe has fewer stakes than Nicaragua, although the distance to Johannesburg from Harare is more then from Managua to Tegucigalpa. Still the nature of the regime in Zimbabwe and its relationship to the outsside world makes me highly suspect that unlike the Ghana Temple the Zimbabwean Temple will have all Zimbabwean presidents or at least black African ones.

John Pack Lambert said...

Come to think of it not only is Nigeria a country's with corruption but soth-east Nigeria is the part of the cou try that sees the most abductions of adults for ransome.

When the Aba Temple first opened it had an American president and some portion of the temple workers were senior missionaries, many foriegners, a noticrmeable percentages whites from the US but maybe coming from other areas as well. These non-black foriegners were perceived as good targets by kidnappers. I get the impressions there may not have been any actual incidents but there was a fear there might be. The temple was then closed for a time and when it tripe ed it was staffed with a Nigerian Temple president and Nigerian Temple Workers.

Thismay be one reason the Church has held back on announcing a 2nd temple for Nigeria. The new temple will also need a Nigerian Temple president and 2 counselors. This will mean 3 retired couples of enough spiritual marurity and health to run the temple rotating every 3 years. At times temple president assignments ha e been longer. The new temples as conceived by President Hinckley were to have local couples living in their own home preside as president and matron for 5 years. Those called in 1999 did serve to 2004 but their successors only served to 2007. While it is more lical than mission Presidents calling people from outsside the temple district does happen. Also many temple presidents and gatrons live far enough away that even thoufh they maintain their resisting residency and stay there much of the time they will at times stay at the Church owned temple presidents home.

John Pack Lambert said...

In the 1990s I believe both Haiti and Indonesia saw mision presidents who were nationals of that country serve foer more than years staight. So the Church could do the same and have temple presidents today serve more than 3 years.

On another note I remember in e being at a music and the spoken sort session where they mentioned there waa a large group of people who had been broughten there ro Salt Lake City to be trained as tempke workers.

Temple workers need to be trained in the temple and in some areas you have few mwmbers who ha e gone to the temple and when fewer who have gone more than once, key alone the 15 or more times one would probably want to have gone to feel comfortable in becoming a temple worker. The easiest way y2k start a new temple is to call missionaries to serve there from elsewhere but this can be hard, and some souls argue does not set up members to be fully spiritually self reliant.

John Pack Lambert said...

The temple closure announcement indicates the temples affected will be upgraded for beauty. This says to me they will probably get murals and the lime.

The Church seems to be trying to upgrade the artictic beauty in buildings. Our local bishops storehouse just went from 1 painting to about 7 and these are extremely nice paintings nicer than those in many meetinghouses.

John Pack Lambert said...

One possible gauge of LDS leadership maturity is hacking a General authority from there. However we can apply this too closely. The 1st general authority who was not a resident or national of the US or Canada at the time of his call was Elder Charles Didier called back in the 1970s. His native Belgium still has not gotten a temple and almost never appears on lists of places likely to get a temple.

Levi said...

When I saw the announcement for the remodels, I made the prediction to myself that when there is less than a year of remodel time left, a temple would be announced in Arkansas. Follows the pattern if the Idaho Falls remodel and Pocatello announcement, IF has been closed for the last two years and is nearing completion and then another temple announced to make the district smaller.

John Pack Lambert said...

I am not sure what the notion that Puerto Rico lacks potential for growth is. It has 3.7 million people. There is lots of potential for growth. Also I belive Puerto Rico's 5 stakes are equal to the number of stakes in the Hartford Temple District and clearly exceeds the 3 in the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple district.

Leadership strength is hard to measure but there is a Puerto Rican general authority. True there is Belgium. That is the only country I can tgink of off hand with a general authority who has been a national of it without a temple, well for most useful definirions of general authorities who are nationals. However Elder Sitati served for 8 years before a temple was announced for Kenya and Elder de Jager was emeritized several years before a tempke was announced for the Netherlands although to be fair Elder de Jager joined the Church in Toronto, Canada (I believe Frances Monson had a key role in this event) and his wife was an ethnically Chinese woman from Indonesia. I am not sure the de Jager's were ever residents of the Netherlands as members.

John Pack Lambert said...

I had to dig a little deeper. Elder De Jager married in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1950, them went back to the Netherlands. However the de Jagers did live in Indonesia again a few years later. Elder de Jager was fluent in several languages including Malaysian.

He worked for an American multi-national electronics company in management and spent time in Australia, the US and Canada and maybe elsewhere. Hoever he waa a counselor in the Dutch Mission Presidency for part of the 1970s. So he clearly was a resident of the Netherlands and a member for some of his life. He and Sister de Jager were sealed in the Swiss Temple which probably means they had left Canada by that point most likely that thru were on the Netherlands then but some details are still not totally clear.

Jeff Steed said...

With all due respect, John, I am talking more about recent temple announcements.

In the last few years, the Church seems to be very loathe to announce new temples in areas where there are high levels of corruption and/or civil unrest -- i.e., including but not limited to potential war. Haiti is the clear outlier, though even Haiti is more petty crime between nationals (we are not talking war here). DR Congo USED to have high levels of unrest, but not in recent years and not in the North West in Kinshasa (note that the North East and the Southern portion of the DR Congo do not have a temple announced). Same goes for Nigeria and Ghana and Kenya -- all used to have fairly high levels of unrest, but not in recent years. According to the OECD, all 3 of those nations have made major strides in recent years in areas for reducing corruption as well. Zimbabwe has benefited greatly from Western tourism and proximity to the more developed nations like South Africa. But Uganda? I don't see it until civil unrest and corruption go way down. Besides, Kenya just got a temple announced. Nicaragua? Just reported today that Russia has an established spy base in Nicaragua. Interesting it didn't get a temple announced, isn't it?

I don't claim to speak for the Church (I don't), but Russia is on the brink of war with the West and already invaded Ukraine not less than a year ago. Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela are Russia's primary allies in Central America -- Nicaragua having a Russian spy base. Sierra Leone was the primary hotbed of the recent Ebola crisis not less than a year ago and has only a single stake. Temples in Cape Verde, American Samoa, or Kiribati would benefit far too few saints compared to other locations in the world it would seem, not to mention have very little growth potential. Nicaragua, American Samoa, Uganda, and Cambodia are in relative close proximity to an existing or announced temple. Papua New Guinea is probably a more likely target than all of the above, but is still gripped by nationwide civil disobedience -- the national government is mainly a sham -- not to mention there are only two stakes in the entire country (lack of enough local Church leadership).

In the past, I would agree with you that there would be no problem to put a temple in, say, Maracaibo, Venezuela. But today, that trend seems to have changed hasn't it? Indeed, why no new temple in Maracaibo? Why no new temple Managua, Nicaragua?

In addition, I should add that the trend appears to be to announce one temple I would call a "missionary temple" each announcement. This is a temple that is for a jurisdiction with no temples in it and no apparent need to divide a large existing temple district. This last announcement, the missionary temple was in Kenya. The year before, it was Zimbabwe. And the year before that, Haiti (the Bangkok and Abidjan temples were to reduce the burden on the Hong Kong and Accra temples respectively). The rest of the temples are all "established" temples for areas that already have temples that are well established -- or to reduce large temple districts. It just seems to be a new pattern to me.

Of course, these are just my guesses. I don't pretend to speak for the Lord. :) Ultimately, he knows where he needs his temples. :) But, as I said, I would not bet on the above jurisdictions getting a new temple anytime soon. Especially when the Church is announcing only 3-5 new temples a year, there appear to be more likely options out there. Most all of the new temples are being built in established areas (or in areas to reduce temple district sizes for large temple districts). There are outliers (i.e., Haiti), but they appear to be outliers. Just my observation.

John Pack Lambert said...

Elder de Jager first met the missuonaries in the Netherlands, although he was baptized in Canada. I found a 1976 talk where he mentions that his son who was then serving as a missionary in Indonesia left on his mission from the Netherlands. Elder de Jager also mentions this same son was born in the island of Jakarta where he was then serving. That would out the son born there about 1955. Although Elder de Jager first went to what is now Indonesia as part of the Dutch Expeditionary force that was fighting to retain the area under Dutch control his connection there is more complicated. Total freedom was recognized on 1949 so being there in the 1950s is another matter.

Jeff Steed said...

Sorry, I also forgot to comment on Puerto Rico. I think you have good points, but Puerto Rico is awfully close to at least two other temples in the Caribbean. Moreover, Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and has easy access to the states. Indeed, there is even talk of U.S. statehood. Is a handful of stakes enough for a new temple in a location that is in close proximity to other temples in the Caribean and Florida? I honestly don't know, but I wouldn't bet on it anytime in the near future. As I said, this is just my personal guessing based on observation -- nothing more. But if the Church keeps only announcing 5 new temples a year, it seems unlikely (at least in the imminent future). Again, the Church's main emphasis with its temples in recent years appears to be dividing large temple districts -- any temple with a district larger than 45 stakes is highly likely to be divided with a new temple -- and none of the above seem to qualify for that. I am not saying I am right, just my random thoughts.

John Pack Lambert said...

Hong Kong Temple District only has 20 stakes now, and I believe at least 5 of those were created after the new temple in Bangkock was announced. True there are also 26 districts assigned to the temple, but stake for stake it is equal to Gouston and 7 behind Dallas and is getting split.

John Pack Lambert said...

Actually I think growing antagonism towards the West in Russia makes a temple there more likely. It will make it harder for members to travel to Kyiv or Helsinki to go to the temple let alone travel to the tempke there and be seen as other than anti-Russian subversives. These may start becoming conditions like those that lead to the temple in Fribourg. I have doubts things will play out this way but it is possible.

John Pack Lambert said...

I really dont think possible connections between Nicaragua and Russia are at all a direct factor on a temple not being announced there. Elder Rasband had a meeting with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on a recent visit to Nicaragua. We have hopefully moved paat being a US Church and following US policy. Only 1 in 3 of the newly called general authorities were Americans.

The Tegucigalpa Temple has a district of 40 stakes to Hong Kong's 20. I really think we will see a temple announced for Nicaragua within a year.

John Pack Lambert said...

Kiribati has more people than Tonga, 105,000 to 103,000 so there is potential to grow enough to have a temple. The 2 stakes and 2 disteicts are still probably low but we are in the right course. The big question is woyld a temple in Kiribati actually make it easier in a time/money calculation for members on the Marshal Islands, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia and surrounding countries to attend the temple. I think this adds to 6 stakes and with the huge oceans seperating these little islands and the realities of air fare I am not sure if any place would really help. For example for Guam I am not sure it would be easy to make a temple more accessable than the one in Hawaii. Come to think of it both the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia have agrrements with the US that make their nationals going to the temple in Hawaii easy. So Kiribati may well need do wait until it can support a temple on its own for one to be announced.

Cape Verde is another case where sating there is no growrh potential does not work. Cape Verde has over 500,000 or 5 times the population of Tonga. It has grown to the highest percentage of members in the population in any African country and may hold the same distinction for any country in the Europe Area. The big issue to me right now is that I dont think the Lisbon Temple could run very well without the members from Cape Verde. Also Cape Verde has only got its 1st stake about 5 years ago, temple announcements rarely come before the oldest stake is 15, and it is extremely extremely rare for such announcements to come before the oldest stake is 10. Nicaragua's oldest stake will be 20 in June and the next oldest stake will be 17 soon. On the other hand it was 29 years from when the 1st stake in Honduras was organized until a temple was announced for that country. There were 20 stakes in the country at the time. At that point it had been 9 years since the Church had organized a new stake. So there is nothing exceptional about the status of Nicaragua. A country having over 10 stakes without a temple announced has occured before.

Gnesileah said...

@John, the first cultural celebration to be held in conjunction with a temple dedication was the Accra Ghana Temple in January 2004. Every temple dedication and rededication since then has held a cultural celebration. I immediately think of the opportunity to hold these celebrations whenever new temple renovations are announced, especially if the temple district didn't get to participate in a celebration last time.

David Todd said...

You are acting like a three year old. I'm really sorry that you feel that way, but I don't think your current methods of handling the situation have helped.

Christopher Nicholson said...

In April 2000, while Elder Glenn L. Pace was the Africa West Area president, he returned to Utah for General Conference and the Brethren asked him about the prospects for a temple in Nigeria, which they were hesitant to announce due to the conditions in the country. He reported: "We just had riots in the north over the passing of Sharia law, and several hundred Christians were killed. In retaliation, several hundred Muslims were killed in the south, including many right in Aba where the temple site is located. In the delta region, where the oil fields are located, many hundreds of people have been killed. Whole villages have been burned from explosions caused by sabotage of oil lines. Oil executives are being kidnapped and held for ransom. In Lagos there have been serious riots in the streets. Vigilante groups are springing up all over the country - and they are recognized, condoned, and even encouraged by the police and military. In summary, things are better than they have been in thirty years." More seriously he continued, "Brethren, if we wait for Nigeria to be stable before we build a temple, we might as well forget it. I feel we have to move forward and support the people. I understand your apprehension. However, if I remember right, there was a lot of instability in Nauvoo when we built that temple."

President Hinckley announced the Aba Nigeria Temple at the end of conference a couple days later.

L. Chris Jones said...

I wonder how Russia's current religious laws may effect a new Temple. All religious practice must take place at a church. I think this includes proceliting, home teaching and everything. With temples being closed to the general public where it is hard for the government to monitor everything, this may be difficult. But I think we have overcome this obstacle in other places.

John Pack Lambert said...

I should have remembered that it was Ghana where the 1st was. That is a cool fact. I will have to tell my recently baptized friend from Ghana that the next time I see him.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the issue of the Accra Ghana Temple dedication being the first one to have a cultural celebration connected with it. Does anyone know if the celebration involved only Ghanaians or if Ivorians and other west Africans were also involved. I am guessing the later but van see logistical reasons for both approaches.

The next year on 2005 the Church did several youth cultural celebrations related to Joseph Smith including one in Salt Lake City at the conference center that my mission president, Warren G. Tate, was one of the coordinators of.

John Pack Lambert said...

I was actually ignoring him until someone called on us to tolwrate disagreement. This is not disagreement this is hateful rhetoric and you need to admit that what Dane has done in insulting people who suffer from mental illness is just wrong and should never in any way be tolerated.

John Pack Lambert said...

My impression is that conditions in sputhern Nigeria have improved. On the other hand since it takes weeks for the mainstream media to report hundreds of Nigerian school girls being kidnapped it is hatd to know. I have the sense that Benin City and Lagos both are stable enough for a temple but the Church strenth is still mainly concentrated around Aba. I expect a temple announcement for one or both of those cities soon.

James said...

I just wanted to say that I have had my eye on Nicaragua as a potential temple site for quite a while now. It makes sense that one will be built there sooner rather than later when we consider that, in addition to being the first of these top ten, this Nicaraguan temple was publicly proposed by then-Elder Nelson in 2012, and that a site has been earmarked for such an edifice for a while now.

I also find the tidbits shared here about Puerto Rico and American Samoa to be interesting as well. If the Church were to decide that the Caribbean needed another temple, either city might be a feasible option. My sister just came back to the US after her husband attended an accelerated schooling program in the Caribbean, and she reports that the members there have been very good about their temple attendance and missionary efforts. So I could see a third Caribbean temple happening at some point, but I don't quite know how that would be affected (if at all) by the other factors involved. I love keeping an eye on such developments, and I appreciate the insights shared there.

I likewise enjoyed reading about the temple situation in Samoa. It is interesting to see how the Church names each temple. I wasn't too fond of the name "Provo City Center Temple" because it just didn't roll off the tongue well. But in the time between when that name was announced and when it was dedicated, I could see the merits of that choice. That also brings up an interesting question. The two Provo temples have different names, as do the two in South Jordan (neither of which has been dubbed the South Jordan Temple). We also have the Mount Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, and several other locations with a name that does not reflect the city in which it is being built. Soon after the second Lima Peru Temple was announced, it received the name "Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple", presumably because the intent is to build it in the Los Olivos district. But that does get me wondering what name the second Manila Philippines temple will be given. I know that the "Greater Manila Philippines Temple" has been floating around a lot. And, looking back on things, the Church announced the official name for the second temple in Lima Peru within less than three weeks of its announcement. It will be exciting if that happens for this second temple in the Filipino capital.

I don't honestly know when we might see temples whose names begin with X, Y, and Z. The Zimbabwe temple does not quite count because the first part of its name will begin with H.

As far as the apostles, both President Monson and Elder Hales are not doing well. President Monson, as many know, was hospitalized briefly last week after only attending three of the six sessions of General Conference. He was able to resume his normal workload last Thursday after his release from the hospital the day before. I got the feeling during General Conference earlier this month that this might be President Monson's last one, but I have been wrong before. And in terms of other apostles, President Nelson, though still reportedly in good health, is almost three years older than President Monson. He is currently the oldest President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles we have ever had in Church history, as he was born a day before President Packer. Some have said he could be our next prophet. He is next in the seniority line, but a lot could happen with the health of the brethren. I feel immensely grateful that determining their life spans is not up to me. When the Lord needs any of them more than we do, He will call them home. Among the blog posts I have done lately have been many posts about the prophet and the other leading brethren. I encourage all who are interested to check those out at the link below. Thanks.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

James said...

As for future apostles, I am not concerned about their nationality or age. Just as I know every man who has been called to the apostleship has come to that assignment by the will of the Lord, I also know that if the prophet puts forward a certain name under that direction, it is not up to us to oppose it, but instead to gain for ourselves a testimony that each are called of God. As some of you will recall, I had my own theories about who our three newest apostles might be, and all of my picks were international and on the younger side. But the Lord needed Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund to fill those vacancies instead, and He confirmed the correctness of those choices to me. And I know He will do the same for anyone who wants to know whether these calls are truly directed by the Lord. Would I love to see more international and even younger blood in the apostleship? Of course. But, as Elder Bednar reminded us shortly after the last apostolic change, the beauty of having the Church run by those who are "ancient in years" is that they are not blown about by every wind of doctrine. Their solid testimonies stand as witnesses that their calls have been divinely inspired.

When President Monson was hospitalized after this last General Conference, the Deseret News ran an article about what happens when an ailing Church President cannot physically function to his full ability. We saw that happen with Presidents Kimball, Benson, and Hunter at various stages of their tenures as Church President. The article also quoted a talk given by then-Elder Russell M. Nelson in October General Conference almost three years ago. He and we could not have known at that time that this man who was then the third most senior apostle would less than a year later be the man who, as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, would be a heartbeat away from the Church Presidency himself. The talk is well worth reviewing. I also post the link to the talk I mentioned previously by Elder Bednar. Enjoy!

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/sustaining-the-prophets?lang=eng
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/chosen-to-bear-testimony-of-my-name?lang=eng

James said...

I know that Elder Sitati is the favorite of many as a candidate for future apostleship, but I don't think that the Church is ready for a black apostle. Might not be for some years. And Elder Sitati I also did some studying about our new General Authority Seventies, and while, as observed above, Elder Wakolo is not the first Pacific Islander General Authority, he is the very first one from Fiji, and now becomes the third black- or brown-skinned man to serve among the GA Seventies (the other two being Elder Dube and Elder Sitati). And Elder Sitati happens to be in a position to be granted the traditional emeritus status in 5 years. While it is not unheard of for someone over 65 to be called to the apostleship, it has only happened twice in recent years, with Elder Wirthlin (who was 69 at the time of his call) and, most recently, with Elder Cook (who was 67 when he was called). I don't claim to know the mind and will of the Lord entirely, but our current apostles were, on average, around 58.98 years old at the time of their calls, with 9 of those 15 being older than that, and the other 6 being younger. So the range of ages for our current apostles at the time of their calls go from Elder Cook's 67.1 years at the oldest to President Monson's 36.1 at the youngest. The median of these ages is 51.6, with 13 apostles being older than that median, and the other two younger.

I hope that information doesn't bore any of you. I love to share things like this. Thanks for letting me throw those numbers out.

James said...

As far as Elder Wakolo goes, he is the third General Authority Seventy currently serving that has black or brown skin. And while he is not the first one from the Pacific Islands, he is our first General Authority Seventy from Fiji. I confirmed that with the following article:

https://fijisun.com.fj/2017/04/05/elder-wakolo-first-fijian-general-authority-seventy/

I also love the fact of the renovations that have been announced. We have 2 temples undergoing renovations now (that number will swell to six by the end of this year, and we might have up to eight total if the Jordan River Utah and Frankfurt Germany Temples are not dedicated by the time the already-scheduled renovations start in Oakland California and Washington DC. It will be interesting to see.

That said, while the topic of this thread covers the top 10 countries without a temple, that is no solid indicator of how imminent such announcements might be. I do know that two of these locations (Nicaragua and New Guinea) have had sites earmarked for temples when the factors that warrant them getting those are met. In the meantime, we have all heard of sites that we thought would never get a temple (or at least not in our lifetimes) that now have one in some stage of construction. At the risk of sounding boastful, I had heard from several who felt that a first temple for Kenya was a few years down the road. I had seen enough evidence to include it on my list personally, and I was grateful to see that the Lord chose to have President Monson announce one there. The same is true for Pocatello Idaho. I also felt that the Philippines and Utah County would get a temple, but I had the wrong cities for both. And while Brasilia was on my short list for the next Brazilian temple, I felt that one being announced there this go-round was unlikely. It was interesting to see what I got wrong and what I correctly predicted in regards to temples. I cannot take credit for anything I did get right in that regard. It is thanks to excellent feedback from everyone here, on my own blog, and on the LDS Growth Forum that I was able to tailor my list to its final version just before General Conference.

What I don't know is, with the 12 temples announced between 2015 and now, all of them have been announced in the April General Conference. 2012 was the last time temples were announced in October. So I don't know what to expect in that regard for next conference. But with what I got wrong and what I got right, I have been able to put together my list of temples that might be announced next Conference. That list is still a work in progress, but is under preliminary discussion on the LDS Growth Forum.

I would encourage any who have not done so to join the ongoing discussions there. Those conversation threads expand the discussion of every facet of Church growth. I post a link to it for anyone interested in joining us. I look forward to the ongoing discussion.

http://ldsgrowth.proboards.com/

James said...

I am also grateful that the Lord is in full control of determining where to put His temples. All of us have certain cities which, for our own reasons, we personally favor. I am comfortable with the formula I have come up with for determining future temple sites, and it has worked well for me. While each of the temples announced in 2015 took me by surprise, I have had much better luck with the seven announced since then. Last year, I correctly identified two of the locations exactly correctly (Quito Ecuador and Harare Zimbabwe) and had the right nations of Brazil and Peru but the wrong cities. And this time, as noted, I had the exact site correct for two of them, correctly identified the correct nation (Philippines) and a Utah County possibility, but the wrong site for both. And Brasilia, as noted, was what I believed to be the #1 possibility for Brazil's next temple, even though I thought it might be another year at least before Brazil got another temple. I am grateful when the Lord proves that He needs temples in unexpected places, and for when He has the prophet announce a site that I feel has a real chance. It is wonderful to see temples advancing so rapidly. We have 182 in any phase of construction, and it is not hard to believe that we could easily see 18 more minimum announced within the next 13 years. And with the fact that we will have 164 in operation by the end of next year, might have 168 by the following year, the possibility of at least three being dedicated in 2019, and that, all going well, we might have all 182 in operation by late 2023 (depending on how things develop between now and then), it is not hard to believe that the next 6.5 years could see the completion of the remaining 18 temples. All it would take is 3 per year being dedicated, and that's at a minimum.

It will be intriguing to see what develops for future temples. We have seen temples announced lately in locations that we never believed we would see happen during our lifetimes. When President Monson became our prophet just over 9 years ago, there were 124 temples in operation. By the end of this year, we will have 159 in operation. That means that, on average, we have seen at least 4 temples dedicated per year. Some years have been more, and some less. But it is very possible that we could see 200 temples dedicated before the Church celebrates its 200th anniversary on April 6, 2030, whether or not an official goal is made to do so. What will be interesting to me will be to see who might be presiding over the Church whenever that 200th anniversary happens.

James said...

I am grateful for this remarkable discussion. It is most interesting to consider the process by which temples are announced, have a groundbreaking, undergo construction, and are dedicated at such varying intervals. The Church, in light of the dedication of the Paris France temple set for next month, did a series of articles on the Newsroom website that focused on what a milestone it is, how Bishop Gerald Causse, as a native Frenchman and in his status as a member of the Presiding Bishopric, oversaw nearly every facet of its construction, and how Elder Neil L. Andersen, as a former missionary in France who came back twice to serve in that nation first as a mission president and then subsequently as a member of one of the European Area Presidencies, feels such a personal connection to this temple.

It will be really interesting to see who presides at each of the temple dedications this year. Past precedent indicates that the First Presidency members might alternate in those assignments, or that any one of the six senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles might preside at some of the dedications, particularly President Nelson or Elder Oaks. As I have pondered who might be at which dedication, I have made the following predictions:

Paris France Temple: President Dieter F. Uchtdorf will dedicate this temple, accompanied by Elder Andersen, Bishop Causse, and the members of the Europe Area Presidency (currently Elders Patrick Kearon, Paul V. Johnson, and Gary B. Sabin) and a representative from the Temple Department, among others.

Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Rededication: President Henry B. Eyring or Elder David A. Bednar will preside at this rededication, accompanied by Elder Andersen (there has been some talk that Elder Andersen, a native son of the area, might be the one to preside at this dedication, but we have never had such a junior apostle do so as of yet) and a couple of members of the Presidency of the Seventy (Elder Soares currently oversees the work of the Church in the Idaho Area, but at least one other member of that presidency oversaw the Idaho area before) and a temple department representative among others.

Tucson Arizona Temple: President Uchtdorf, who presided at the groundbreaking for this temple, will preside at the dedication, and be accompanied by at least one apostle and one member of the Presidency of the Seventy (with the most likely possibility being Elder Lynn G. Robbins, who currently oversees the work of the Church in the North America Southwest Area, though other members of that presidency might have ties to it) and other General Authority Seventies, including someone from the temple department.

Meridian Idaho: President Eyring or Elder Bednar, who broke ground for this temple, will preside, accompanied by Elder Andersen and a member of the Presidency of the Seventy and a representative from the temple department, among others.

Cedar City Utah: President Uchtdorf or Elder Jeffrey R. Holland will preside at this dedication (as Elder Holland is a native of St. George, a sister city to this temple), accompanied by several other apostles, members of the Presidency of the Seventy (with at least Elder Clayton, who broke ground for this temple, and Elder Christensen, who succeeded Elder Clayton in presiding over the Utah South Area, in attendance), and several other General Authorities participating, as temple dedications in Utah always involve several people.

It will be interesting to see what happens with these dedications. I would not be at all surprised to see the Church call upon any of the six senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to officiate instead of the First Presidency at any of these dedications. It will be exciting to see what happens there.

Thanks for reading these extensive comments. Others may gloss over them, as is their right, but I have appreciated very much reading and then being able to offer my response to all the comments of others, and I hope that some few of you might find my extensive comments helpful and insightful.

John Pack Lambert said...

James where in the Caribbean was your sister? Part of me would love to see a temple in say Barbados but I dont see the logistics on that working in the near future. A temple in PR would be closer to the lesser antilles than DR but I belive there are only 2 stakes on the lesser antilles. Since Guadeloupe and Martinique are departments of France, thus as much part of Trance as Alaska is of the US, the logistically easiest temple to go to for members there may be the Paris France Temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

Is President Nelson actually older than President Joseph Fielding Smooth was when President David O. McKay died. I believe President Smith was 93 and President Nelson is only 92.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have to say if there are Church members who are "not ready" for a black apostle it makes me want a black apostle to be called more so the Church can be ride of the destructive presence of racists that much faster.

twinnumerouno said...

President Smith was 93 years, 6 months and 4 days old when he was ordained President of the Church, according to the information on Grampa Bill's General Authority page. President Nelson will reach that age on March 13, 2018.

Whizzbang said...

@John Pack Lambert-I agree 10000000000000 %. I know in my Canadian Stake we have numerous racist members. Sometime ago I walked into the endowment room of the Regina, SK Temple and saw one of them sitting next to a Spanish brother and what I would have given to know what the other brother was thinking, or maybe not

James said...

@John Pack Lambert: My sister and her family were on the small island of St. Kitts and Nevis. My brother-in-law applied for an accelerated medical school program there. They speak very warmly of the Saints there, and it has been wonderful to hear of their faithfulness. I certainly do hope that the Caribbean gets more temples in the very near future. But I have no idea where the next one might be built. By all reports, the Saints in the Caribbean are making every effort to maintain their temple recommends and to visit the temple they are assigned to as much as they possibly can. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Church there. Everything I have heard about Church growth in the islands of the Caribbean seems to clearly indicate that the Church is progressing unhindered there.

As to the apostles, President Joseph Fielding Smith came to the Church Presidency at the age of 93. So he is the oldest to come to the Church Presidency. But there are three Quorum Presidents that did not (or in President Nelson's case, have not yet) come to the Church Presidency, and President Nelson is the oldest and most vigorous of those three. The other two are President Boyd K. Packer, who was born a day after President Nelson but came to the apostleship 24 years before he did, and who was not in good health towards the end of his life, and President Marion G. Romney, who, because of his illness and inability to actively function as Quorum President, led to President Howard W. Hunter being appointed Acting President of the Quorum. So President Nelson is the oldest and most highly functioning Quorum President who has not served in the First Presidency. I am working on an update for my blog about the latest apostolic statistics, and you can catch that there on Sunday, if not before.

And as for the Church "not being ready" for a black apostle, I agree that the notion that the Lord would let that influence Him to not call one is ridiculous. The Lord calls his apostles, and governs the timetable in which they are released, including if and when they come to the Church Presidency. I would hope that if any prophet felt inspired to call a black or brown skinned man to the apostleship that everyone in the Church would be accepting of that. I recently also did a couple of blog posts about succession in the Church presidency and in the apostleship, and if any of you would like to read any of those posts, I would welcome your feedback. Thanks so much for your interest and support.

Eduardo Clinch said...

David: thanks for the advice buddy, you are my guru. Yoga does wonders for the constitution!
After arresting 3 perps last week and busting each one in the face really hard, I realized that life isn't so bad with Feliz Dane.
He's almost like a brother.
Hopefully I can minister to those same fools behind bars this Sunday.☺

John Pack Lambert said...

I generally do not think racism per se is a big problem in the Church. Exhibit numvmber one is Mia Love being a member of congress from Utah. What I think is a bigger problem and what I did see on my mission was a failure to communicate across the cultural barrier that race represents. I have at times been to quick to judge but also have to say that some leaders especially from suburban backgrounds where they mainly deal with youth whose parents are church members have less than helpful ways of conveying to youth from other backgrounds how to live up to Church standards. There was a documentary film entitled "As Sistaz in Zion" about a group of Asian, African-American and Hispanic young women from very heavily urban settings in New York City who went to EFY at BYU in 2003. It gets at some of the cultural issues involved.

James said...

I would hope that the next time the Lord calls an apostle born outside the United States, no one would have any objections to that. Since the Lord motivates such calls, who are we to object to them. That is why I have hated hearing so many reports of people who feel that some kind of an "emeritus status" should be enacted for the apostles, that perhaps a "second Quorum of the Twelve" should be called to shoulder the load, or that only younger men should be called to lead the Church. I have done many blog posts lately defending the process by which one comes to the presidency of the Church. It is not for us to oppose the Lord's will, whether such opposition is silent (which it never is) or vocal (as it has been during the Sustaining of Church Officers during the last few years). The fact is that over time, the process by which dissenting votes have been dealt with has changed. Where it used to be handled directly by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, now stake presidents are the ones to whom those who do not give their sustaining vote should go. The fact that they are not doing so speaks volumes of their character and motivations. When the Lord wants another foreign apostle, or even for all 15 apostles to be born outside the United States, it will happen. I am always glad to hear the Lord's will expressed after every apostolic vacancy is filled, and I fully sustain and support those who are called. I hope we can all do the same.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Well put, James. I am sure that the Lord is pleased with your faith. I wish more of us could cultivate that. Press on.

Johnathan Whiting said...

I saw part of that Sistaz in Zion documentary! It's pretty good. The TA for my film class at BYU worked on it.

brycen said...

The only way I can ever see there being a "Second Quorum of the Twelve" would be if the Church sends colonists to a another planet, a situation I am working into a fictional world I am trying to create stories about.

I knew that Joseph Fielding Smith became President of the Church at age 93 but it's good to know exactly when President Nelson will reach that same age.

Lots of other stuff I could comment on but I'm out of time, unfortunately have to work today.

John Pack Lambert said...

I dont see a 2nd quorum of the 12. The General Authority 70 can pretty much do what is needed. To date all temple dedications have been done by apostles. There may in theory be some temple associated issues but it will be a long time before we have a situation where there is a need for more than 15 temple dedications at once.

Mike Johnson said...

James, well put. I agree.

And John, you point about crossing a cultural divide represented by racial differences is a good one.

I don't think was saying there would be a second quorum of the 12. I think he was saying that if all 15 senior brethren were born outside the United States, he would support it because the Lord is the one who selects. I fully agree.

twinnumerouno said...

To follow up on Mike's point- if the Lord does start calling more non-US apostles, it would still take a good while to have all of them be non-US, as evidenced by the fact that we have 7 of the current 15 who have served more than 20 years (and 4 of the 15 for more than 30). So I guess we would have time to adjust our thinking. I don't think anyone has less respect for President Uchtdorf than the other 14 apostles.

James said...

Let me clarify: No one here has said anything about a second Quorum of the Twelve Apostles being created, or about some kind of emeritus status being enacted for apostles. Both of those ideas are being perpetuated elsewhere, particularly in light of the health issues some of the apostles have had of late. There is a proposal going around that prophets be granted emeritus status at 90 or 95, and apostles at 85 or so. It can easily be found in typical cursory searches about apostolic succession. My point in bringing that up here was because those ideas have been floating around more abundantly since President Monson fell ill. My hope was to reemphasize the fact that the Lord's system of succession is divine, and that no earthly entity has a right to tamper with or alter it.

As for the idea about more international apostles, I know it would help the Church's image immensely if more non-US apostles were to be called. Does that mean i sustain our current apostles any less? Of course not. If the Lord calls someone to a position for the remainder of his life, it is not my place, or anyone's for that matter, to refuse to sustain that person. And that is something which I've focused on more frequently lately in blog posts responding to the reports of President Monson's health. Others may not like it, but President Monson and his counselors and the other Twelve Apostles are in their callings until they die or unless they are proven to have done something unworthy of the calling. Since the Lord is in charge of that succession process, we would be much better served to continue to leave that in His hands. Anyone who teaches otherwise is not inspired of the Lord. That's what I was trying to say. Hope that clarifies what I was trying to say. Thanks for indulging my babblings.