Monday, December 2, 2019

Updated Country Profile - China

Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for China. I spent a great deal updating this important profile, which is over 14,000 words long, particularly in regards to the regional profiles for each administrative division of China. Although the Church in China has achieved significant growth among People's Republic of China (PRC) citizens, there remain many obstacles to growth, particularly in regards to religious freedom restrictions that have worsened just within the past couple years. I have received reports that the Church has closed a few of its branches for PRC citizen members due to the tightening of religious freedom in certain areas that forbids the assembly of congregations (even though The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is very strict to follow local laws and has a positive relationship with the government). Furthermore, in recent weeks we have seen the closure of the Mandarin-speaking branch in Macau, the Macau 3rd Branch, and the relatively recently organized Mandarin-speaking branch on the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong.

Although missionaries report that the decision to close the second Mandarin-speaking branch in Hong Kong was designated to strengthen the Mandarin membership in Hong Kong, it appears that there have been greater difficulties with PRC citizens visiting Hong Kong and Macau, and greater challenges operating more congregations to meet their needs as Mandarin-speaking members are often more transient. Nevertheless, the Church has reported a net increase in Chinese-specific congregations worldwide, particularly in the United States. In the early 2010s, there were fourteen Chinese-specific congregations in the United States (12 Chinese, 2 Mandarin), whereas in late 2019, there were twenty-four Chinese-specific congregations in the United States (14 Chinese, 10 Mandarin). Chinese-specific outreach efforts in the United States continue to be productive in many areas, such as in southern California where the Yale (Mandarin) Ward had 171 convert baptisms, thirteen members served full-time missions, and fourteen families were sealed in the temple all within the first decade of the congregation’s operation. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article:

Government policy and law currently forbid proselytism by foreign or native missionaries and restricts the communication between Chinese nationals and international Church leaders. The greatest limitations for future growth are an insufficient supply of local leadership, limited opportunities for mentoring and training from regional and worldwide Latter-day Saint leadership, restrictions on the importation and distribution of scriptures and church literature, and the significant tightening of religious freedom conditions by government officials and legislation since the late 2010s. Prospects for full recognition of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and permissions for foreign missionaries in the medium term appear to be slim to none. However, there is a more favorable outlook for continued growth through legal means of members sharing their beliefs with family members and the resultant increase in authorized congregations or small meeting groups. The quiet, rapid growth of Latter-day Saint membership in China over the past decade has occurred principally through the relatives of current members and provides an excellent outlook for future long-term growth and sustainability regardless of changes in religious freedom conditions. Furthermore, outreach to Han Chinese outside mainland China continues to expand in vision with the calling of Chinese-speaking missionaries to serve in many nations around the world in addition to the creation of Chinese-speaking congregations abroad. The increase in full-time missionaries who serve from China is a major success that will promote long-term growth, increase future leadership manpower, and provide returned missionaries with valuable experience in Church administration in areas where the Church is most established in the United States and other nations in which they may serve. In contrast to the entry of the Church into Russia following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a basic administrative infrastructure is in place in many regions of China. The Church overall was not fully prepared to meet the needs and opportunities presented when Russia opened to missionary work and consequently experienced low retention, limited national outreach expansion following the first decade of formal missionary activity, and poor local leadership development. The Church has learned many lessons from Russia and has placed a stronger emphasis on member-missionary work in a family setting in accordance with government policy and local laws.

127 comments:

Eduardo said...

The Lord will take care of China. Those with faith and hope must continue to do their parts.
Young man from my Virginia Ward is going to Vancouver, B.C., Chinese speaking.

James said...

For my part, I am still cautiously optimistic that with a prophet who is an "old friend of China", and with the Church's first Asian-American apostle, they, along with others in a position to do so, may, with the Lord's help and a series of miracles, effectively open doors in mainland China, which, up to now, have remained closed.

L. Chris Jones said...
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L. Chris Jones said...
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L. Chris Jones said...

PM
I can't remember who said it. But I remember some leader saying that "China isn't closed, it is us who are closed." China is partially open. We enter through the confines of the law. Many Chinese join the church while living outside of that country and later return. They are alowed to teach and even baptise immediate family. Essentially the missionary work is done within families. There are Chinese communities throughout the world in places such as USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and there countries or continents. In addition there are Chinese speaking countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Tiawan (RoC) that have stakes.

John Pack Lambert said...

In the Church News article on Elder Neil L. Andersen's Thnaksgiving day visit to the MTC they quote from one missionary heading to serve in the England Manchaster Mission Mandarin speaking and another headed to a mission in Germany Mandarin speaking.

John Pack Lambert said...

In this context Elder Gong is not best described as "the first Asian American apostle" but "the first Chinese-American apostle". All his ancestors hail from China, even if it is a few generations back. I believe his earliest ancestors came to the US in the 19th-century, I am not sure exactly when. I am also not sure if his mothers ancestors left China for the US, or for a Hawaii that was not yet under US control. His "grandfather" De Jong, whose joke he told in his first general conference talk, was less American than either of his grandfathers of the flesh. Elder Gong's mother lived in the de Jong household while a student at BYU, and Elder Gong' s first name is from Gerrit de Jong, who was dean of BYU's college of fine arts (thus why the concert hall is named for him), and an expert in Portuguese literature (my seminary teacher, a native of Brazil who in college studied to be a Portuguese teacher in the same sense that we have English teachers here in the US took classes from de Jong).

Having two aposltes who are fluent in Mandarin does not hurt. Elder Gong served his mission in Taiwan, has a bahcelors degree partially in Asian studies, a doctorate in international relations, and was a US government policy expert on China/Taiwan issues.

On the other hand, the fact that Gong was a US government employee, may actually make President Nelson's connections to China less suspect.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have a suspicion a large number of members in Indonesia have Chinese ancestry. The one wife of a general authority who was from Indonesia (Sister de Jager) was largly of Chinese descent. The only Indonesian Church member I have known, a sister I knew on my mission whose husband was from the Philippines, was also of Chinese descent.

I know there is a community of Chinese in South Africa. I am not sure the Church has made any inroads among them. It was not until 1978/1979 the Church made any inroads among the large Indian population in Durban.

Eduardo said...

Ethnic Chinese worldwide have joined the Church. Hong Kong is trying to change mainland China, it seems they both are affecting each other.

John Pack Lambert said...

I really appreciated the province by province analysis of growth prospects for the Church in China. It is staggering how many people live in China.

Christopher Nicholson said...

@ L. Chris Jones: It was Elder Oaks who said that. https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/dallin-h-oaks/getting-know-china/

Of course, cultural differences are one thing, but the government of China is also committing crimes against humanity, and its severe restrictions on religious and other freedoms are objectively wrong and contrary to some of our most important beliefs. So I won't stop hoping for significant changes on those fronts.

James said...

JPL, I was basing my reference to Elder Gong as "the first Asian-American apostle" based on the fact that just about every source discussing his call and that of Elder Soares last year to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles utilize the descriptive phrases "first Asian-American" in relation to Elder Gong, and "first Latin-American" in relation to Elder Soares, which includes official Church resources published in connection with that announcement. Although it is not up to me to second-guess the reasoning behind the utilization of those terms, I imagine they were employed in part because Elder Gong has other ancestors who were born in other Asian nations outside of China, and because Elder Soares has other ancestors who were born in other Latin American nations outside of Brazil. For me, if the majority of sources refer to these Brethren in those terms that are more general than specific, that's good enough for me. You can prefer to do otherwise if you choose. But my preference is to use the terminology employed by a majority of available sources, which is overwhelming using the general rather than the specific terminology.

Christopher Duerig said...

The Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple is finally listed on Classic LDS Maps TODAY.

John Pack Lambert said...

No, Elder Gong is fully Chinese American. I believe his family at least somewhat spoke Chinese growing up.

The reason for these broad categories is more a function of first than descriptions.

If we were to say that Elder Gong was the first Chinese American apostle, some might think there had been a Japanese American one. If we were to say Elder Soares is the first Brazilian apostle some might think he had a Mexican predecessor.

The later is partially true. However Marion G. Romney does not fit any definition of Mexican even if he lived exclusively in Mexico until age 14 or so.

Bear in mind that President Eyring's namesake convert ancestor was known as Enrique Eyring for the last decade of his life. He was known as Heinrich Eyring as a child.

Eduardo said...

So are there 3 Chinese province states with over 100 million people? Numbers are so big, they make California seem small.

James said...

Eduardo, I counted only two (Guangdong and Shandong), but I could be mistaken. If and when China does open to the preaching of the gospel, the Church may need one missionary force for just China, and one other to cover everywhere else. Of course, in recent years, we have seen more domestic missions of the Church closed or consolidated, with a majority of new missions being created outside North America. So it would seem the Church is already making efforts to reapportion the numbers based on the needs, which may prove useful whenver China is so opened.

I also have a feeling that part of the reason our apostles are extending more opportunities and responsibilities to the youth lately is because they will need to be sufficiently prepared for the day when they or their children are sent to China to open the work there. Perhaps that is overly optimistic on my part, but it's just a feeling I get from time to time. It will be interesting to see how, when, and to what extent that all works out.

coachodeeps said...

I believe the Lord, in his amazing power, glory and all knowing and loving way, is making the work of being his gospel to the Chinese people happen regardless of our shortcomings and restrictions government control. It is amazing to see that, quietly, thousands of Chinese are coming to the knowledge of the gospel without a missionary force. Also, the Church is offering itself, through changing from a church meetinghouse based church, tho one that is centered in the home and family. This is what is already in place in China due to necessity. The rest of the world is just catching up. Just think of the power of the families that are bringing so many of their own family members into the gospel. Will be awesome to see the progress in the years to come. I agree, the work is going forward and China is open in its own way.

Bryan Dorman said...

China is a very interesting case. There is already a temple in Hong Kong, which is a part of China, but under "one country, two systems" rule. There are at least eight districts and something like 90 branches in the country for PRC citizens.

We will need to rehash this comment in April after the numbers come out for General Conference on the Church website, and compare to the number of visible stakes and districts that come out on 31 Dec 2019.

But my last count was something like 90 branches and 8 districts.

ScottS said...

Is there someone who has access to CDOL?

Pascal Friedmann said...

I've been thinking about this a bit since reading the profile (yes, I read word - great work!). I also believe the Lord's hand and timing are ultimately involved in opening China for missionary work, and this may be a good part of the reason why we don't have missionaries in China. That's evident in at least three ways I can think of:

1) God will only trust us with China at a larger scale if we do better at reaching out to those nations that are currently within better reach. China will not open until we do a better job at outreach expansion, especially in Africa and South Asia (including, but not limited to, India). Take Nigeria, a country with a highly receptive population and established Church infrastructure, as an example. Contrary to popular belief that southern Nigeria is well-penetrated with outreach centers, there are hundreds of large and medium-sized cities in the Christian areas of Nigeria without a congregation operating - some of the largest ones are shown here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?msa=0&ll=8.860423975312502%2C7.954101999999921&spn=7.43101%2C11.634521&mid=17iPlcRVFToMLRYCFrYd_XinbTGM&z=7
I am convinced that we won't be moving on to currently closed nations before we better reach those that are currently open, because it is the Lord's will.

2) By growing the Church among the Han Chinese diaspora, we will be ready - perhaps in a couple decades at current trends - to supply an adequate number of missionaries (young and senior) to staff an initial and rudimentary mission serving the largest cities where members are currently living. At one companionship per 90 PRC branches, we'd need 180 missionaries. We're making progress, but we aren't there - and Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau would likely have to pitch in. Until we're there, the Lord will probably not let us move forward.

3) In the second stage, we need more youth serving missions to establish a presence that is more than just very rudimentary and minimal. We're getting a bit better, but tens of thousands of worthy and able youth still don't serve, and we're still not making good enough use of senior couples and single sisters over 40. Until we figure this out, the Lord will probably not let us move forward.

All in all, I think we're probably decades from ready to even touch China. It's good to have a plan and I'm sure the brethren do have one somewhere in a drawer, but there are a lot of ways (not just the ones I mentioned) where we really have to take care of business first. And that will take time and resources.

coachodeeps said...

Well said, Pascal! I agree.

John Pack Lambert said...

I miss the various past ways I tracked unit growth. I was thinking the Cumorah Atlaz might work, but it does not even reflect name changes that in some cases are decades old.

How many YSA stakes are there in Alberta anyway?

Christopher Duerig said...
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Matt said...

Hi Pascal,

I really enjoyed reading your comment. I agreed with most of what you said. However, I would disagree about China opening once the Church is "ready." If we use this logic, then the Church would have been "ready" to enter the former Soviet Union, and we have all been well aware of the major shortcomings and missed opportunities for the Church to grow there. I think there are a lot of similarities between the former USSR countries and China in terms of the communist legacy and religious freedom restrictions today. It is difficult to predict when a country or region of the world may open to missionary work. As for the Church in China's future, a lot of this will depend on the development of local leadership and adequate religious freedom to permit the operation of the Church at least in private settings. Without these, little to no progress will likely occur. I think that the lack of full-time missionaries in China has actually been a positive since it requires greater self-sufficiency from the local Church. However, the religious freedom restrictions that prohibit even member-missionary activity among non-family members is a major obstacle.

MainTour said...

Does anyone know the back story for the reorganization of the two stakes in Washington Terrace Utah? There used to be a Washington Terrace and Washington Terrace South Stake. Now they are listed as a East Stake and West Stake. Were the earlier two stakes dissolved and reorganized? Or which old stake has which new name? When did this happen?

Christopher Duerig said...
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James said...

MainTour, I don't know the back story, but here's what I was able to find. Apparently, the renaming of the two stakes in question occurred sometime in 2004. You can find the results of a general search I ran at the following web address:

https://www.thechurchnews.com/search?q=Washington+Terrace+Utah

And more specific information about the timing whereby the stakes were apparently renamed is available at the following two specific articles:

https://www.thechurchnews.com/archives/2004-12-04/new-stake-presidents-523-93730

https://thechurchnews.com/archives/2004-10-23/new-stake-presidents-531-94336

In the latter two resources, you'll find the noted reorganizations occurred on the same day (October 10, 2004), which, based on the note available in the second source, would probably be the date on which the stakes were renamed. And I would not be shocked to subsequently learn that the two stakes were realigned in a single meeting. It's not much, but hopefully it's a springboard for anything further you may be able to find on your end.

James said...

Chris, interesting that you and I got different information and came to a different conclusion about the timing for that. I'm assuming that if the Church News mentioned the change in 2004, that is when it occurred, but that it may have taken several years after that to update official resources (such as the Deseret News Church Almanac). I know that part of the reason they don't print that anymore is because the information contained therein can be easily found elsewhere if one knows where to look. But perhaps the first official acknowledgement of that change wasn't noted in the Almanac until the time-frame you noted above.

Christopher Duerig said...
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James said...

No problem. I know one issue with the Church Almanac that I encountered periodically is that information would be incorrect in one edition, correct for the next, and then in error again in the following one. I can understand how, with a mass amount of information to compile and not a lot of time thereafter to proofread, correct, and clarify such information before it hit the presses. Perhaps that is another reason there is no longer a print edition. I just wish in cases like this that the Church would be more transparent about why, in what manner, and to what extent such realignments happened. But I assume they figure that realignments aren't necessarily as notable as the creation or reorganization of stakes. Glad I could help in this case.

JMR said...

I think we need to be real careful in not criticizing the Brethren for the lack of missionary progress in areas around the world. These priesthood leaders are doing their very best to give consecrated service where they are called. There is a ton of information that we are not privy to that goes into these prayerful decisions of how to lead the different areas of the world. There are a lot of reasons why missionary work doesn't progress like we hope. The Lord is at the helm. He'll work with our inadequacies and the work of salvation will continue to move forward. Let us not be so concerned about this or that but, rather, concern ourselves with how we can be better missionaries in our own circle of influence.

Christopher Duerig said...
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MainTour said...

James / Chris - Thank you for your answers - I'm using a 2013 Almanac to build the stake lists on Mormon.wikia.org and it bugs me to no end when it skips like that. I have found about 4 stakes already on the ChurchofJesusChristTemples.org website that still have the old stake name instead of the new one.

JMR - Your point is very well taken. Each one of us should ask how to build the church in our own community. Our stake is packing in 3000 visitors ("Friends of the Stake") these two weekends for our Christmas pageant.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10220829623832274&set=pcb.2670187683046415&type=3&theater&ifg=1 #SOTW

James said...

MainTour, no problem. In cases like this, where information in the Almanac doesn't seem to agree with information found elsewhere, I am usually able to find other sources to settle any discrepancies fairly rapidly. I also have the 2013 Church Almanac, and when information therein disagrees with what I am able to find elsewhere, usually, a quick internet search on the matter will resolve that.

Having noted that, I agree that if each of us as individuals, families, congregations, missions, areas, etc. fail to do what we can to build up the Church in our own corner of the vineyard, in almost every case, we will likely be responsible for any growth problems that would not have otherwise existed in our areas thereof.

That said, MainTour, it is awesome that your stake's Christmas pageant is generating such wide-spread interest. I hope the result thereof is that it gets some in attendance curious about our beliefs. Keep up the great work!



Eduardo said...

Bring back the Church Almanac! I would mark it for General Conference among other cool things...

MainTour said...

It is my hope to turn Mormon.Wikia.org into the ultimate online church almanac that all of us can update.

Next question - which stake center is located next door to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple?

James said...

MainTour, according to information I found via research and Google Maps, it appears the building by the Oquirrh Mountain Temple is a multi-congregational building that serves units from a few different stakes. I was unable to ascertain for the moment whether it is an actual stake center for one of the stakes in question, but you can look at the information I was able to find at the following web address (which should be the correct chapel, unless I am mistaken; my geographical navigational skills are severely lacking, to which my wife can attest).

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/meetinghouses/@40.550406,-111.989781,19&id=11038+Braidwood+Drive:South+Jordan:Salt+Lake+County:Utah:84095:United+States:40.550177,-111.989703,40.550635,-111.988974

Hope the information is helpful, if only as a springboard for further research on your end.

Nancy said...

Just came across this cool video of church growth since 1830. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=WkXudJ9r4dM&feature=emb_logo

John Pack Lambert said...

I just came across the Wikipedia article on Elliot Kenan Kamwana. He was associated with the Watchtower movement in the early 20th-century in Malawi. However he later split from that movement and formed a totally indepdent Church.

This is one thing the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seek to avoid happening, especially on a large scale. They want to see the Church grow and develop in new lands, and not be undermined by break away movements. However there have been some breakaway movements, most notably the 3rd Convention in Mexico, although most of that was reconciled in the 1940s. Some of the 3rd coventionists did not come back and become entangled in the web of polygamist break-away sects in that land.

On a very different note, the Church has a high priority in not just building temples but in preverving records to do the work of the dead. In the late 1970s the Church started service centers in Mexico City, Tokyo and I believe one other place to focus on advancing family history research in preparation for the building of temples there.

I just read the section on this work in the book ''Taking the Gospel to the Japanese". The creation of this service center diverted some of the resources from the Church in gathering the records in Japan. At least as of 2000 or so the Church still had not gathered many records in Japan. The Buddhist temple death registers, which would allow for tracing ancestry back well before 1872, were entirely closed, and there was another type of record that local communities had never released.

If I followed all the information I have had correctly, the current president of the Baltimore Mission, who is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was the head of the oral history gathering project there before he became a mission president. The Oral History gathering project involves finding the elders of various villages, sitting them down, and having them recount the generalogies of their villages. These often go back many generations, and due to modern circumstances, if these collections are not undertaken now, this vast repository of information may not exist much longer.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Church Almanac always seemed to have unneccesary typos. I can understand why in such a large book it could not be kept up to date. I hope the Wikia can be made to serve the same purpose.

John Pack Lambert said...

I was looking at the Wikia you linked to. The Minersville Stake was formed while Gordon B. Hinckley was president of the Church. I believe sometime in the late 1990s. I remember hearing him netion the organization of that stake at some meeting, where he referred to it as "the last of the original stakes to split". He may have meant the last stake formed under Brigham Young to split.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Minerville Utah Stake was organized in 2000. It was at that point named the Milford Utah Stake. The Beaver Utah Stake, which had not been split since 1869, was at that point the oldest stake that had not been split.

The stake was organized on January 31, 2000. Here https://www.thechurchnews.com/archives/2000-02-12/beaver-utah-stake-divided-for-the-first-time-since-being-organized-in-1869-120502 is a link to the Church News article on the organization of the new stake. The article is a little incorrect in identifying who organized the stake. It was George A. Smith, who at the time was a member of the 1st presidency. George Albert Smith normally refers to his grandson, who was not born until 1870, who was president of the Church from 1945-1951.

I just imported the Wikipedia article on Spencer W. Kimball into Wikia. I think it could use a lot of editing, to make its focus less on controversial issues, and to bring up more about the background and character of President Kimball.

Some of the people who served as first stake presidents of various stakes have articles in Wikipedia. We could probably have articles on even more of them in Wikia.

John Pack Lambert said...

In reading the announcement information on the Peru Arequipa Temple open house and dedication I realized there are nearly 10 times as many church members in Peru as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

On the other time there are only about 5 times as many stakes in Peru, so it would seem the number of active members is close to twice as high in Peru.

This would also however indicate to me that by either standard Peru is in need of more temples.

John Pack Lambert said...

In case I had to cite something again to show that dioceses are like areas not stakes. The Archdiocese of Kinshasa had as of 2016 6.3 million Catholics in it. This is about 3 times the number of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Utah Area. No other area is quite this big, although the Brazil and Mexico areas have over 1 million members. I am not sure if the newly enlarged North America West Area is quite that big.

MainTour said...

"Some of the people who served as first stake presidents of various stakes have articles in Wikipedia. We could probably have articles on even more of them in Wikia."

This is actually my first project - I have have biographical profiles and family histories on many prominent people in two places:

Familypedia - has many LDS people articles
https://familypedia.wikia.org/wiki/Zion%27s_Camp_(1834)

Religion.Wikia.org - I have collected over 200+ faith promoting stories from many other early prominent LDS pioneers (and hope to add many more.)

Thank you James for all your answers
Thank you John Lambert for correcting the Minersville Stake page - I knew there was a major gap and I didn't know the story here. It is the perfect type of story that I wanted for these Stake Archive page!

As you can tell - I could certainly use a lot more helpers on these three projects! I believe that building up the church's online presense will go a long away to helping the church grow both home and abroad.

James said...

John Pack Lambert, George Albert Smith was the full name of George A. Smith, and although most sources refer to him as the latter, there are a few early Church history sources that clearly refer to him as "George Albert Smith", which would have been correct in that case, since there was only one individual by that name at the time. That information can be verified through checking in the multi-volume collection of "History of the Church", in the institute manual "Church History in the Fulness of Times", and also as can be confirmed in the latter volumes of "The Work and the Glory" series by Gerald N. Lund. Apparently, uses of the two names in reference to that early apostle during that time were, in some cases, interchangeable. Hope this information is helpful in providing more context on that.

James said...

Hello again, everyone! Two major developments have come to light today. Firstly, First of all, both the Church's official Newsroom and the Church News have reported that FamilySearch has now enabled documentation of same-sex marriages in familial lines. The articles did, of course, note that the Church's doctrines relating to same-sex marriage remains unchanged:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/familysearch-document-same-sex-family-relationships

https://www.thechurchnews.com/history-revisited/2019-12-10/familysearch-family-history-relationships-document-169504

And secondly, full-scale construction efforts have finally been able to begin for the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple. Around that temple site, the streets have been paved, and construction crews are clearing and grading the temple site. Depending on how long that process takes, it will be interesting to see how soon construction can get underway on the temple proper. Still no word on how soon construction might begin on the San Juan Puerto Rico, Lima Peru Los Olivos, or Puebla Mexico Temples, but I am able to confirm that there are at least 16 temples for which, if all goes well, the Church could potentially have a groundbreaking between now and the end of next year.

Also, with President Nelson set to dedicate the Arequipa Peru Temple, I am assuming that he will simply make a single-stop trip there this weekend to do so. Not sure who might accompany him to that, but we'll likely learn more in the days ahead. And I'd also anticipate an announcement of the open house and dedication information for the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple to be made either before the Christmas and New Year's holidays, or else just after the first of the year, with the dedication likely set for early-to-mid June. Just wanted to pass that information along.

Pascal Friedmann said...

Off topic, but temple locations for Orem, Taylorsville and McAllen announced. That was quick! Hoping that this is a real conscious effort to get the substantial backlog moving for a record number of announcements in April.

Eric S. said...

Exciting news! Completely agree, Pascal. Hoping to hear site announcement for Bentonville soon.

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/temple-site-locations-texas-utah

Eric S. said...

The Orem Temple site places it just west of I-15 and in the rapidly growing regions of West Orem, Provo and Vineyard. It's also just Southwest of UVU across the freeway.

Unknown said...

Hello everyone! I have followed this blog for many years and have enjoyed all the topics discussed here. I received my mission call yesterday to the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission. I am trying to learn as much as I can about Madagascar before I leave and am hoping that all of you would be willing to share anything and everything you may know. Thank you!

James Anderson said...

The two Utah temples will be highly visible as they will both be right next to freeways. The Orem one has the railroad tracks so anyone using Frontrunner will see it, one fly in the ointment is no bus goes by Orem directly and the only one that gets close runs infrequently as UVX does not have a stop at the gas station two blocks up at the Parkway, the spire will be visible from the Walmart and some of UVU, as well as Sunset Hill, that ridge just east of the freeway, also.

Taylorsville will be right by a major interchange, just hop off and turn in, you might have to flip a U one block west. Route 47 runs every 15 minutes from the Murray Frontrunner station and stops about right there.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

With the 3 site locations announced today, that just leaves the Arkansas temple as the only one on the list from the US without a site location announced. Hope to see that one soon, and that they'll start digging more into the international list.

James said...

Hello again, everyone! It is interesting to me that, just two months after their announcements, sites and preliminary details have been shared on these three temples. Incidentally, for those who may be curious, this brings the number of temples likely to have a groundbreaking within the next 12-18 months to a whopping total of 19 so far. Among those are 9 US temples and 10 international ones. And of the international ones, only 6 have not had an official site announced. Of those 6, according to my Central American contact, the 3 Central America temples have had sites acquired, and are all anticipated to have a groundbreaking before the 2020 July recess for the General Authorities. I hope that provides more context into the discussion at hand. Wonderful news indeed.

James said...

Apparently, there may have been some confusion regarding what I was trying to say in my previous comment here. I provided further context and additional information in that respect in response to the following comment:

https://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2019/12/breaking-temple-news-first-presidency.html?showComment=1576107019332#c8908789334917180286

My apologies if I may not have been as clear as I should have been on this. In the meantime, I hope those additional details may be useful to you all. Thanks.

Christopher Nicholson said...

@Unknown: Matt has a thorough article about Madagascar here at cumorah.com. https://cumorah.com/index.php?target=countries&cnt_res=1&wid=128&cmdfind=Search It's from 2011, but little measurable growth appears to have happened since then, so I think it's still mostly up-to-date.

For a little while after the age change missionary surge, my area in Utah had several serving from other countries. Many of them spoke at a devotional one evening where they introduced themselves, said where they were from and shared their stories. One sister went up and said, "I'm from Madagascar. It's a real place! And I like to move it move it!"

James said...

Unknown, an additional note about Madagascar you might find interesting. If the information I have assembled is correctly up-to-date, temple announcements within the last 2 years appears to have resulted in Madagascar now ranking fifth among the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence that do not yet have a temple in any phase. That's more trivial information, but hope you might find it somewhat interesting.

Adam said...

I had a friend serve in that mission from 2013-2015, she wrote a pretty good blog that you might enjoy. It is http://cecilymadagascar.blogspot.com/ . If just let me know if you'd like any more contact info on her and I can maybe have you chat with her on Facebook, get pre-MTC language help, etc.

Eduardo said...

An upcoming temple of the Lord in Madagascar would not be trivial.
They speak French and Madagas, I think it is called, which seems to have some connections to Polynesian and Arabic, due to sea trade over the centuries.

JMR said...

Here is a little more information that is interesting. The two dominant languages in Madagascar are French and Malagasy. It is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. As you said, there is a lot of Southeast Asian influence as well as a significant Bantu influence from Sub-Saharan Africa. The Book of Mormon was translated into Malagasy in the year 2000. That year marked a significant milestone for the Church in that it had the Book of Mormon translated into 100 languages (61 were full translations and 39 were selected chapters). The lack of printed material in literally hundreds of other languages around the world is still quite a challenge to work through. It will take time, but miracles are happening every day and it will be neat to see it transpire. For a neat article about it see:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2001/03/news-of-the-church/another-milestone-of-100-reached-in-2000?lang=eng

James said...

Eduardo, I may not have been clear in my comment above. I didn't mean to imply that the idea of a Madagascar temple would be trivial, but that my mentioning where it stood on the list of the top ten nations with the strongest Church presence without a temple in any phase was more of a trivial matter in relation to information that would be useful to the "Unknown" who commented on preparing to serve a mission there. In fact, a temple for Madagascar has been a top priority on my list for a while now.

During a period of time when President Nelson has emphasized reduction of travel time, rigor, and expense by announcing so many new temples, as a nation separated from the rest of the African continent, the Saints in that nation will have some degree of hardship traveling to any current or future temple to which they may be assigned, until one is built in their own nation. I apologize if my prior comment implied that the idea of a temple in Madagascar was trivial. What I meant was that where Madagascar is on that top ten list is more of a trivial matter.

Within the last 4 General Conferences, President Nelson has announced temples for many nations previously on the then-most-recent edition of that list, generally taking 1-3 of those nations off the list with each set of new announcements. With that in mind, if a temple in Madagascar is not announced next year, Madagascar will likely move up on that top ten list, increasing the likelihood of a more imminent announcement. That said, I personally don't think it will be too much longer before a temple is announced for that nation.

Another quick note here: Based on the fact that, with recent temple construction announcements, as many as 19 temples could have a groundbreaking within the next 12-18 months or sooner, depending on how many of those actually have that occur prior to next April, it may be more feasible than I thought for a mass number of temples to be announced during that General Conference weekend.

Hope this comment puts my earlier one into more complete context, and I again apologize if I wasn't clear enough in what I said in that prior comment.

MainTour said...

I'm back with another question of the history of the evolution of LDS stakes in Salt Lake Valley. A major stumbling block for me is the naming transition that took place in May 2011 when it looks like 7 Salt Lake University Stakes were given new names as YSA Stakes, Bonneville, Riverton, Pioneer, etc. But I have no idea how to map each to their successor stake. The location of their former meeting place might also help. Any info on these I will greatly appreciate:

#178 Salt Lake University 1st Stake
#433 Salt Lake University 2nd Stake
#1488 Salt Lake University 3rd Stake
#1934 Salt Lake University 5th Stake
#2466 Salt Lake University 6th Stake
#2769 Salt Lake University 7th Stake
#? Salt Lake Married Student Stake (Old 4th Stake?)

John Pack Lambert said...

Malagasy is a language linguistically linked to Javanese and the languages of Borneo and Sumatra, which in turn are closely related to Polynesian. How Madagascar came to be part of a language family where the next closes langauge in it is in Sumatra is not fully known.

It is generally thought to be the result of trans-Indian Ocean voyages in the 1st millenium of the Christian era, and that Madagascar was virtually unsettled before then.

It is interesting that when Elder Renlund and his wife Ruth did the African face-to-face, the program was broadcast in English, French, Portuguese and Malagasy. Malagasy is the main language in Madagascar, and I believe missionaries are trained in it. It seems to have success in Tanzania we will have to deploy more resources in Swahili. To have success in Ethiopia we will not only need to employ Amharic, but also Oromo, Somali and probably some other languages.

John Pack Lambert said...

I am less than convinced that mapping the post 2011 stakes into the pre-2011 framework makes any sense. This is because this was not a "name change" but a whole reconceiving of everything.

Before 2011 there were two competing systems of units in Salt Lake City. One was the YSA wards. These were normally located in local stakes and covered defined areas. The other was the single student wards. These would have made sense have they been limited to students in student housing. However the way things worked they were open to students living throughout the valley. This was somewhat an age thing, somewhat a student vs. non-student thing, but many a confusion thing. My understanding is that some people who lived at home but attended the University of Utah would travel to the UofU campus to attend a singles ward there, passing a large number of YSA wards in the process.

So, it might make the most sense to say the single student stakes were all discontinued, and replaced by YSA stakes, without any correspondence between the two. The same played out with BYU stakes v. Provo YSA stakes, because Provo had had local YSA wards competing with the BYU wards, although there the balance was more for the BYU wards, and the local YSA wards were more filled with people raised there and living with their parents, and most non-student YSAs ended up in the BYU wards, but there were other tricky issues.

Christopher Duerig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher Duerig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MainTour said...

John Pack Lambert - I believe what you said. Those YSA Stakes appear to have new unit designations.

Chris - Thanks. I'll email you.

Eduardo said...

Did the announced placement of the Orem temple jive with where people thought it would be? I think that it looks cool on the other side of Route 15. Is it walking/biking distance from UVU? It is key, in my opinion, to be accessible to Utah Valley students.

David Todd said...

The Orem Temple is almost exactly where I expected it to be except it is on the other side of Geneva road which makes it even more accessible for most of the students living near UVU. I would have been very surprised if it had ended up anywhere east of I-15 though.

James Anderson said...

It will be roughly 4 blocks walking distance from the Parkway and Geneva Road, and several blocks NE of that is the train station and the new skybridge over the freeway that is in itself 1000 feet. Some would prefer bus access but not enough people live further down Geneva Road yet to justify a route.

But this does leave open the possibility at some future date but not in the immediate but possibly 3-5 years, of a north Orem/Lindon temple announcement, they did look at two sites in those areas for this one.

James said...

Here's something interesting: In November, the Church's official Newsroom released the following article about the then-upcoming open house for the Arequipa Peru Temple:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/doors-open-for-public-tours-of-the-arequipa-peru-temple

That article noted that President Russell M. Nelson would preside at that temple dedication (which was held today).

However, according to the following article, Elder Ulisses Soares presided at that dedication instead:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/elder-soares-dedicates-the-arequipa-peru-temple

At one point earlier today, the article had indicated that President Nelson and Elder Soares were both in Arequipa Peru for the dedicatory weekend, but since that time, any mention of President Nelson's participation was removed. The Neewsroom and Church News have other articles about the dedicatory weekend, which any of you who are interested can peruse on your own. In the meantime, thanks again, everyone!

Yamil Inosotroza said...

Anyone knows what stakes/districts are in the Arequipa Temple?

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twinnumerouno said...

Yamil,

The following page at churchofjesuschristtemples.org will probably have that information soon.

https://churchofjesuschristtemples.org/arequipa-peru-temple/

That page will have a link that says Temple District, but it has not been added yet. Hopefully it won't be long.

Christopher Duerig said...

According to the Church Newsroom article published yesterday about the Dedication of the Arequipa Peru Temple. It will service about 80,000 members from both southern Peru and northern Chile. I had predicted about 26 Stakes/Districts from southern Peru missions. I had not expected the northern Chile stakes/districts, most likely the 8 in Chile Antofagasta Mission. Any thoughts?

Cory said...

The website Masfe.org and their Portuguese counterpart Maisfe.org, do some great original reporting for church news in Latin America, as well as have a lot of content on their facebook page during the time of temple dedications. Yesterday they reported this:

https://masfe.org/noticias/el-presidente-nelson-ya-no-dedicara-el-templo-de-arequipa-peru/

The automatic translator in google chrome provides a good translation if you don't speak Spanish. It reassured readers that President Nelson was in good health but that he had some stomach discomforts and that he stayed in Salt Lake to fully recover. The assignment of Elder Soares may have been a last minute thing. In my opinion, he may have been deliberately chosen or he had the most latitude in his schedule to travel to Peru this weekend.

As for the temple district, Google maps says that it takes 6 hours to drive from Arica, Chile to Arequipa and 8 hours to drive to Antofagasta. So, assuming it takes less than two hours to cross the boarder, the two stakes in Arica might be a permanent part of the Arequipa Temple district, even after the temple in Antofagasta is built. However, I'm not sure how easy the boarder crossings are there.

Yamil Inosotroza said...

Thanks, twinnumerouno and Chris. I looks like the info is not yet available. As Chris said, some units from northern Chile will be included in the new temple district. I project those will be Arica, Arica Los Olivos, Iquique, and Calama stakes, and Alto Hospicio District. These changes modify Lima and Santiago temple districts and I look forward to the Antofagasta Temple which will serve to most of the Chilean Norte Grande (5 stakes and 2 districts).

R. Jofre said...

Calculating how long does it take to drive to temples is basically futile for most countries around the world. People in the U.S. drive "everywhere" and is also the case in a few other countries. But in South America, Mexico, Central America, Africa, The Philippines, India, South East Asia, China, and many European countries, people overwhelmingly use public transportation.

In the case of Chile, very few people drive to the temple if it's further than 60 miles. Wards usually hire a bus for ward trips, and it is the same for stakes if we are talking of longer distances.

People in Arica are not going to prefer attending a temple in Arequipa over one in Antofagasta, even if they are assigned to the former. For that and other reasons, they will probably be assigned to the Antofagasta temple.

Bryan Dorman said...

Yeah I could see the Arica and Tarapaca regions going to Arequipa even before the Antofagasta temple was announced. I could still see Arica going to Arequipa even after the Antofagasta temple is finished because it is still incredibly far away from Antofagasta while comparatively closer to Arequipa.

Iquique is slightly closer to Anto so that should go to Anto once its finished as well as the Anto and Atacama regions. Serena and points south will still go to Santiago.

Bryan Dorman said...

I'm still thinking for isolation purposes they are going to build a temple sooner rather than later in Ushuaia ARG, taking in Magallanes CHL and Chubut/Sta Cruz/Tierra del Fuego. That's five stakes and I think three districts. I favor Usuhaia over Punta Arenas slightly due to more airport destinations from the stakes that would cover the temple district.

Christopher Duerig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Omar Valenzuela Escobar said...

Hola Tessi!

Gracias por compartir tu experiencia con el VIH, en la Iglesia hay bastantes personas sin importar su orientación sexual que han tenido o tienen este virus.

Yo vivo con el virus y estoy indetectable, en la iglesia no se habla sobre esto.

Un abrazo desde Chile

Omar Valenzuela Escobar said...

Pensaba que habían más estacas en el norte de Chile, ojalá que con la construcción del templo de Antofagasta, muchos (as) miembros regresen a la Iglesia.

Debo decir que en mi tiempo, cuando asistía al templo de Santiago, se veían buses del norte y sur de Chile.

Es una bendición que se haya anunciado un templo en Antofagasta, también hace uno falta en Valdivia, Viña del Mar y Punta Arenas, las distancias en nuestro país son muy extensas.

Un abrazo desde Santiago de Chile

Omar Valenzuela Escobar said...

Ojalá muy pronto se anuncie el comienzo de la construcción del templo de Antofagasta.

A mi parecer, esto debiera incentivar a una mayor asistencia y consagración de los bautizados creyentes.

Ojalá esto vaya de la mano con un mayor trabajo en historia familiar y bendiciones no solo espirituales.

Omar Valenzuela Escobar said...

Por lo distante sería ideal en mi opinión un templo en Punta Arenas, lamentablemente, pese a qué hay miembros fieles que asisten a la capilla y al templo, siguen siendo pocos en comparación al número real de miembros en todo Chile.

Un templo sea en China, África, Asía y Oceanía por lejanos que sean, traen un sentido de pertenencia a los miembros que sueñan con poder asistir.

Las distancias, la falta de trabajo, problemas de salud y de ánimo y de dinero afectan al asistir regularmente al templo.

Yo estoy en Santiago de Chile de mi casa en taxi al templo en 25 minutos o en metro o bus de un poco más, incluso, caminando es una hora,

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James said...

Cory, thanks for mentioning the article. I was grateful that it noted that the prophet is in good health, but had those stomach issues that prevented his attendance as originally planned. Hopefully that squashes any rumors in this case regarding his health. I don't know why, in such cases, those kinds of rumors even exist. The issue must have come unexpectedly and fairly rapidly, since the prophet had recorded that video with Claire Crosby on December 6. Hopefully he is doing better by now, or will be over it in a few more days, whatever those issues might have been.

Omar, gracias por tus comentarios. El pueblo chileno debe asistir fielmente al templo, ya que el anuncio de uno para Antofagasta siguió a la dedicación de uno en Concepción menos de un año después. Esperemos que eso signifique más templos chilenos en camino. Son muy necesarios allí y en otros lugares.

(Por favor, perdona mi pobre español. Solo hablo muy bien el Traductor de Google.)

John Pack Lambert said...

My impression is that Elder Soares was orginally going to go with President Nelson, and when President Nelson was not feeling up to the trip he sent Elder Soares on his own.

Elder Soares may one day exceed President Hinckley in number of temples dedicated. I think he already has the record for first 2 years as an apostle.

The Washington Post just published a report of a whistle blower who claims the Church commits tax fraud. If what this person says is true, Professor Quinn's estimates on the Church's income are 7 times what it actually is. This alone makes me question the accuracy of the whistle blower, although Quinn also seems off.

I really wish the church had engaged in direct reaction to the accused. I wish Eric Hawkins or someone else had given a fuller interview. However this article https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/read-a-summary-of-the-financial-information-released-by-the-church?lang=eng spells out the financial operating plan of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I almost wonder if the whistle blower is engaging in double speak. He says the funds from Ensign Peak investments were never diverted to "charitable" purposes. However this is not the same as saying the Church never diverts them at all. Maybe he is using double speak and not including bulding temples, building chapels, operating FamilySearch.org and the like.

If his figures are at all true, the Church is well positioned to fund a major increase in the building and renovation of temples. We may even see the 1000 temples by 2030 I sometimes speak of. Although like many claims about finances they need to be taken with a grain of salt.

They have been jumped on by people who are intent on hating Gordon B. Hinckley. He and his associates are the only people who receive such unmitigated hate for having kept a major city with postive building action during the heart of the recession. Building the City Creek Center kept the Salt Lake City construction economy afloot at a time when it had totally stopped in other cities.

John Pack Lambert said...

Does Chile have a national bus system that people can use to travel from Arica to Santiago? Is doing the alternate of traveling by bus into Peru significantly harder?

If a ward, branch, stake or district charters a bus in northern Chile, will it be easier to stay in the country or cross the border?

On the other hand, I can easily see getting a whole bus across the border, even if charter companies are willing, being not worth saving 2 hours or driving. On the other hand, with 8 hours of driving one way from Arica to Antofagosta, I can see Arica getting a temple, even with only 2 stake. I mean, Okinawa City got a temple with 1 stake, so did Guam, so did Winnipeg, so Arica can have a temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

I was just looking at a chart on senior couple missionary cost. This was from back in 2014. The lowest was the Peru Cusco Mission with a cost of $1,340 a month. That would I guess work out to the equivalent of $650 per person, so still more than any young missionary pays per month.

Church finances involve the moving of huge amounts of money. This is why those who claim that with the amount of money the Church has we should stop paying tithing are misguided. They are also misguided because they see tithing as only an issue of money, when it really is about showing faith in God and his ways.

The highest cost was the England London South Mission at $4020 per month. The Church may actually pay some of the housing cost for senior missionaries in the most expensive missions.

I can see why Church leaders have urged those who lack the health to serve full time missions to financially contribute to help those who have the health to go.

Adam said...

Alot of skepticism concerning the whistleblower. The whistleblower said that the fund had gone from 12 billion to 100 billion in 22 years. That sounds like a large increase, but if they really left it untouched and added in a billion a year, it would only be a rate of return of 7% a year, which is about equal to the DJIA since 1999. So that could very well be legit.

Outside of that fund it has already been leaked/revealed that the church has 30 billion in for-profit index funds alone. If such is the case, it makes no sense whatsoever that they would pull tithing money for City Creek when they have 30 billion sitting there for further investment. One simply integrity purposes, but also for legal purposes. Would just be an idiotic move, so I don't really buy that.

James Anderson said...

President Nelson years ago spoke with the IRS after another person complained. The IRS probably works with the Church regularly over various complaint and always finds nothing but does even work with them on problems that do arise due to other misunderstandings.

The same may or may not be true of other nonprofits, the Church does pay taxes on many things as not everything it does is tax-free. In fact during a recession in 1981, they put some farms and other property on the tax rolls voluntarily to help the County out with a major shortfall. The county of course was Salt Lake County.

The businesses they run are taxed and pay any owed. That has been stated many times and anyone who wanted to look that up would find some of those statements in plain site on the Church website.

R. Jofre said...

Chileans prefer staying inside Chile mainly for security reasons and a lot of times for simple peace of mind. Roads are a lot better in Chile than any other country in South America. According to this ranking, https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/roads_quality/ roads in Chile are better than roads in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. According to the same ranking, roads in Chile are a lot better than in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. There are many other rankings that tell the same story. I simply picked one at random. This is one of the reasons why Chileans prefer to remain inside the country when attending the temple. Then there's the overall security. Kidnappings and roadblocks are not common in Chile, and police corruption is extremely low or even non-existent.

I personally love many people in Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia, and I love those three countries. Unfortunately for them, conditions tend to be a lot better in Chile.

On the other hand, Arica has two stakes and there's another stake in Iquique, plus a big district. Iquique is closer to Arica than Antofagasta. A temple in Arica or Iquique would be of great help. Even Tacna, Peru, with its three stakes is a good alternative for Arica, being just one hour away is a much easier trip. Aricans and Tacnans are usually very familiar with each others' towns.

Now, as long as there's a temple in Arequipa and the only alternatives are Santiago or some international temple, many people would attend the Arequipa temple and just forgo the risks because the difference in travel time is abysmal.

Omar Valenzuela Escobar said...

Gracias por responder James, espero que estés bien de salud y también tu esposa.

He de esperar que los avances en la Iglesia sigan

Un abrazo desde Santiago de Chile

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@JPL

How many temples has Elder Soares dedicated/rededicated so far?

Eduardo said...

David Nielsen, his life will not be the same.
I wonder why his wife and kids left first.
Sad thing, but the truth shall set us free.

miro said...

@ScottS

I have some limited access to CDOL.

So far in December 24 new Units have been created. 1 stake, 1 district 12 wards and 10 branches.

New stake:
Malandji Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake

New District
Chimoio Mozambique District

Most new wards are in the US. Some in Africa and two in Peru.
New branches in the US and in Africa.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@JPL

So, I was thinking about your "1,000 Temples by 2030" prediction, and I decided to do some math and make some predictions of my own.

Since President Nelson became the Prophet, we've had 35 temples announced: 19 in 2018; 16 in 2019.

If we assume that pace keeps up - assuming Pres. Nelson either remains alive for most of the next decade, and/or his successor(s) (most likely Pres. Oaks or Pres. Ballard, etc.) keep up the standard he set - then the projections will look like this:

217 Temples Currently

2020 + 16 = 233
2021 + 19 = 252
2022 + 16 = 268
2023 + 19 = 287
2024 + 16 = 303
2025 + 19 = 322
2026 + 16 = 338
2027 + 19 = 357
2028 + 16 = 373
2029 + 19 = 392
2030 (by April 6th) + 8 = 400

So, if we keep up the same pace, then we'll end up with the nice round number of 400 by the 200th Anniversary of the Church (announced, not built)! We'd just need 183 more announced by then.

But let's say the pace picks up speed a little bit. Let's say there will be 283 more temples built by then. That would mean a +5 to a +10 increase in the temples announced every 3 years. Then we'd be looking at a gradual increase like this:

217 Temples Currently

2020 + 20 = 237
2021 + 20 = 257
2022 + 20 = 277
2023 + 25 = 302
2024 + 25 = 327
2025 + 25 = 352
2026 + 30 = 382
2027 + 30 = 412
2028 + 30 = 442
2029 + 40 = 482
2030 (by April 6th) + 18 = 500

Now, let's take the 1,000 Temples prediction.

If there's 20 more announced next year, then about a 25% increase in the number announced going forward each year after that, then it would look like this:

217 Temples Currently

2020 + 20 = 237
2021 + 26 = 263
2022 + 32 = 295
2023 + 40 = 335
2024 + 50 = 385
2025 + 64 = 449
2026 + 80 = 529
2027 + 100 = 629
2028 + 126 = 755
2029 + 160 = 915
2030 (by April 6th) + 85 = 1,000

That's a pretty exponential curve on that last one. Not saying it's impossible, but we'd have to see something fairly unexpected, like when President Hinckley announced the goal of reaching 100 temples by the year 2000 (and the smaller temple model that was employed to reach that goal). Also, by no means am I saying the increase each year would have to be regular to reach any of these goals. Following the model of Pres. Hinckley's surprise announcement in 1998, we could potentially see our current Prophet(s) announce 5 temples one year, then 500 the next if they received revelation to do so, and if they wanted to meet a specific goal.

My personal projection is that the Brethren (inspired by the Lord, of course) will either shoot for a numeric round-number goal for the Church's 200th anniversary, such as 400 or 500. Or, they will stay with the pattern they've established so far these last two years, of between +16 to +19 new temples announced each year for the first few years, then slowly increasing that number as we approach the 2030s. I'm going to go with a safe average and say, "450 temples announced by April 6th, 2030!"

It will be interesting to me to watch how the announcements unfold over the next decade, and see if they follow any of the patterns I've laid out above, or if we have some shock announcements instead.

Thoughts?

Christopher Duerig said...

Miro, Thank you for the updates.

Mom said...

What if the Lord is focusing on two major anniversaries: the 200th birthday of the Church in April 1830 and the 2000th anniversary of the Atonement about three years later?

As Pres. Faust said in the April 1999 Conference, "We stand on the brink of the next century. From this vantage point, we need to remember that the most significant events in the last 2,000 years were not the marvels of science, technology, and travel. They were the Savior’s Atonement and the restoration of the gospel, with the priesthood keys and authority."

This quote is found in "This Is Our Day," Saturday Morning Session, April 1999 Conference.

Mom said...

I forgot to say in my first comment that I've wondered for a long time how the Lord might commemorate the 2000th anniversary of his Atonement. A significant milestone in temple construction might be part of His plans. It's something to contemplate as we serve in the temples we have now and the new ones coming in the near future.

Pascal Friedmann said...

There is a lot of potential for temples to be build all around the world still, even immediately without waiting for further growth. Just in Europe alone (sticking with it because it's the continent I know best), a new series of small temples could easily lead to construction in these locations:

- Dublin
- Edinburgh
- Oslo
- Hamburg
- southern France (Nice, Bordeaux, Toulouse)
- Barcelona
- southern Spain (Malaga or Valencia)
- The Canary Islands
- Vienna
- Tirana
- Riga

That's 11 temples in a part of the world where the growth of the Church isn't exactly spectacular, but where a number of small temples could significantly reduce travel times and cost for the members living there. By the same standards, you could probably build 100 more temples in the U.S. and Canada, 100 in Central and South America (and the Caribbean), dozens each in Africa, Asia (just think of the Philippines), and Oceania.

Ryan said...

Does anyone have a current ward/branch count to compare to the end of last year? How many units were added after accounting for closings?

Christopher Duerig said...

Ryan, According to http://www.fullerconsideration.com/dailystats.php :

Temples Areas Missions Stakes Districts Wards Branches Meetinghouse

As of 2019-12-01 163 21 399 3431 534 23800 6996 18959

Compared to 2018-12-31 161 25 407 3383 535 23408 7020 18817

Although, it may not be that accurate.

Ryan said...

Stakes and District growth doesn't match up with this website. Also his statistical projections seem suspect

John Pack Lambert said...

Since Jesus was almost certainly born in 6 BC the 200th anniversary of the atonement will be in 2027. Or is it 2028. One of those years for sure.

Historia Familiar Valenzuela Escobar said...

Pascual

Sería maravilloso ver anuncios y construir templos en los lugares que mencionas en Europa, África, Asia, Oceanía, Caribe y America en general.

Sobre todo por los fieles que creen, tienen un testimonio, se sacrifican y asisten pese a toda la adversidad.

Ojalá se anuncien más templos y se construyan con prontitud no solo los que ya se han informado en las conferencias generales, sino otros nuevos aunque sean pequeños, son necesarios y dan fortaleza a los mienbros.

twinnumerouno said...

For anyone who's interested, I went to the Vernal temple today, and saw that construction work has begun on the parking lot expansion. (They appeared to be clearing and grading the site.)

Historia Familiar Valenzuela Escobar said...

Hola Twin!

Qué tan pequeño es ese templo en comparación a otros de UTHA?

Tiene buena asistencia a las sesiones y ordenanzas?

Un abrazo

Christopher Duerig said...

Any comments about this report from Elder Bednars' Ministry Tour to Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras in November? Pretty exciting news.

https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2019-12-19/lds-elder-bednar-central-america-evidence-gospel-strengthens-generations-170087

And also Rick's news about developments on the future site of the Auckland New Zealand Temple?

https://churchofjesuschristtemples.org/news/

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@twinnumerouno

I'm sure Rick Satterfield is interested. :)

Christopher Duerig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Anderson said...

A large problem regarding family history was alluded to in the article, many only have less than their four-generations in the Family Tree on FamilySearch and it is hard to get beyond that as well as get there.

The indexing area on FamilySearch has multiple projects in those areas but few who know how to index those records due to language, but the library in SLC has webinars regularly to help learn how to index records in a foreign language, by language and sometimes area. If more did this, those members could have the records they need to extend their trees back, and like some areas in the US today, have the needed records in spades.

L. Chris Jones said...

Anybody have ideas on how to do family searches for Mongolia? My wife is from there but all the info we have is very vague and limited.

Yamil Inosotroza said...

AREQUIPA PERU DISTRICT (3 stakes, 1 district from Chile)

Alto Hospicio Chile District (477257) Distrito de Alto Hospicio Chile
Arequipa Perú Central Stake (520756) Estaca Arequipa Perú Central
Arequipa Perú Hunter Stake (526541) Estaca Arequipa Perú Hunter
Arequipa Perú Manuel Prado Stake (517496) Estaca Arequipa Perú Manuel Prado
Arequipa Perú Paucarpata Stake (1646176) Estaca Arequipa Perú Paucarpata
Arequipa Perú Selva Alegre Stake (522856) Estaca Arequipa Perú Selva Alegre
Arequipa Perú Umacollo Stake (512885) Estaca Arequipa Perú Umacollo
Arequipa Perú Zamácola Stake (526886) Estaca Arequipa Perú Zamácola
Arica Chile Costanera Stake (512494) Estaca Arica Chile Costanera
Arica Chile Los Olivos Stake (523445) Estaca de Arica Chile Los Olivos
Cusco Perú Inti Raymi Stake (521663) Estaca Cusco Perú Inti Raymi
Cusco Perú Stake (517305) Estaca Cusco Perú
Ilo Perú Stake (523631) Estaca Ilo Perú
Iquique Chile Stake (518514) Estaca de Iquique Chile
Juliaca Perú Stake (523178) Estaca Juliaca Perú
Moquegua Perú Stake (523208) Estaca Moquegua Perú
Puno Perú Bellavista Stake (524344) Estaca Puno Perú Bellavista
Puno Perú Central Stake (520993) Estaca Puno Perú Central
Sicuani Perú Stake (495115) Estaca Sicuani Peru
Tacna Perú Alameda Stake (525790) Estaca Tacna Perú Alameda
Tacna Perú Arias Aragüez Stake (521833) Estaca Tacna Perú Arias Aragüez
Tacna Perú Stake (515949) Estaca Tacna Perú
Valle Sagrado Perú District (617687) Distrito Valle Sagrado Perú

Christopher Duerig said...

As reported by Matt last night, the now 2nd oldest District in the Church. The Takaroa Tuamotu District (French Polynesia), organized in 1927, became a Stake last sunday, 12/15/19, as the "Faaa Tahiti Takaroa Stake"

https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=-15.367435,-146.626434&z=8&m=google.road&layers=stakecenter&q=602205&find=stake:602205

Also the original Faaa Tahiti Stake renamed "Faaa Tahiti Tuamotu Stake" :

https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=-17.576643,-149.569495&z=13&m=google.road&layers=stakecenter&q=Faaa%20Tahiti%20Tuamotu%20Stake&find=stake:527521

John Pack Lambert said...

So is one of the New Zealand district's still pre-1900?

Christopher Duerig said...

Here are the last 4 Districts pre-1970.

Nelson New Zealand 1893-04-09
Avarua Cook Islands 1961-01-01
Townsville Australia 1964-07-05
Zitacuaro México 1966-01-01


Christopher Duerig said...

Yamil, in addition to that list for Arequipa Perú Temple District, I would also guess these Stakes / Districts.

Stakes
513377 Antofagasta Chile
522392 Antofagasta Chile La Portada
517291 Calama Chile
522163 Copiapó Chile

Districts
614246 Abancay Perú Apurimac
568511 Andahuaylas Perú
614890 Camaná Perú
2071347 Majes Perú
613282 Mollendo Perú
614351 Puerto Maldonado Perú
614254 Quillabamba Perú Cuzco

Any opinions?

Christopher Duerig said...

Sorry, missed this District also from my Predictions.

609137 Vallenar Chile

Christopher Duerig said...

Today, the Dinalupihan Philippines District, officially upgraded to Stake :

https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=14.830398,120.704994&z=10&m=google.road&layers=stakecenter&q=Lubao%20Philippines%20Stake&find=stake:617881

Historia Familiar Valenzuela Escobar said...

No son tantas estacas y distritos de Chile, claramente la iglesia creció más al sur de Chile.

Será una bendición tener el templo en Antofagasta, aunque aún hacen falta otros más para Chile

twinnumerouno said...

Johnathan,

I submitted two pictures to Rick's website, he has posted them in the construction gallery for the Vernal temple.

Historia Familiar Valenzuela Escobar,

Según el sitio churchofjesuschristtemples.org, el templo de Vernal es el templo número 15 de los 17 de Utah, por tamaño- sólamente los templos de Brigham City y Monticello son mas pequeños en Utah. El temple tiene 38 mil pies cuadrados, o apróximadamente 3600 metros cuadrados, con dos salas de investidura y tres de sellamientos. La sesión de investidura en que yo asistí el miércoles tenía 15 mujeres y 19 hombres. Voy una vez al mes, y había una vez en el verano, según creo, que la sala estaba llena. (Usualmente hay mas mujeres que hombres.)

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@twinnumerouno

I checked the photos out! Glad to see they're making progress. I'd like to visit Vernal someday.

Historia Familiar Valenzuela Escobar said...

@twinnumerouno

Gracias por responder

Qué buena asistencia para un día de semana a la sesión del templo, siempre he pensado que no importa cuán pequeño o grande sea un templo, sino es lo que allí se puede hacer, lo sagrado o especial.

Tal ves, los bautizados no han entendido la importancia de asistir y la prioridad que debe tener en su vida.

En mi trabajo personal de búsqueda de registros, para mi árbol genealógico, siempre estoy agregado de 5 a 10 nombres por semana, un amigo hace las ordenanzas con su barrio.

Espero que CHINA sigue permitiendo el avance del evangelio y que más bautizados, se fortalezcan y sigan fieles.

James said...

Chris, I had heard from my Church member contact in Auckland New Zealand that a groundbreaking for that temple might be delayed until mid-to-late next year, so the news that a groundbreaking is anticipated during Auckland's summer months (which span the same months as Winter 2019/2020 (mid-December to mid-March) means it is likely that that temple will be one of the next (if not the very next) to have a groundbreaking. I would not be shocked if we hear an official announcement of those arrangements within the next 2-3 weeks, if not sooner.

Also, a few months ago, when two of the female general auxiliary leaders visited Honduras, they noted they had stopped by the site that the Church had acquired for the San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple. We also know that the Church acquired land years ago for the Managua Nicaragua Temple. But above and beyond that, I have another Church member contact in Central America. This individual was the one who clued me in to Coban as a temple prospect a year or so before it was announced. And according to information I received from that contact, not only have sites been acquired by the Church in Managua and San Pedro Sula, but that is also the case in Coban Guatemala. And above and beyond that, if the information this contact gave me is correct, the Church will be providing official information for and breaking ground on each of these temples before the General Authorities observe their annual July recess next year.

Aside from these 4 temples, there are up to 15 others as well which, if all goes smoothly, could have a groundbreaking within the next 12-18 months, but certainly sooner than that, in view of President Nelson's assertion that things would be moving ahead at an accelerated pace going forward. It seems as though the 11 temples which had a groundbreaking this year were President Nelson's way to start slowly.

Additionally, based on further research on my part, I am increasing my predictions for the total number of temples that could be announced in April to somewhere between 1-3 dozen, and stand by my previous assertions that the upcoming April 2020 General Conference could be the perfect setting in which President Nelson could either outline the initial details or fully describe everythign about his plans to ultimately expand the number of temples ten-fold, as has been indicated by almost all of his fellow apostles. And I also stand by my assertion that saying President Nelson may remain prophet for the next decade or two is not only going to be proven accurate, but that he could be around longer than that, assuming that is the Lord's will. That in turn may impact who else could be around to succeed him as prophet if and when he does pass away. Just some additional thoughts from me, for whatever they may be worth to all who read them.