Sunday, April 10, 2022

17 New Temples - Analysis - Part II

San Luis Potosí Mexico Temple

The San Luis Potosí Mexico Temple will be the Church's 18th temple in México and the first temple in San Luis Potosí State. The new temple district will likely include six stakes in north-central Mexico in San Luis Potosí State, Aguascalientes State, and Zacatecas State. The first stake in San Luis Potosí was organized in 1981. There are only two stakes in the city of San Luis Potosí, and prospects appear likely for a third stake to be organize in the foreseeable future if additional wards are organized. Stakes in San Luis Potosí currently attend the Guadalajara México Temple.

Mexico City Benemérito Mexico Temple

México City Benemérito Mexico Temple will be the Church's 19th temple in México and its second temple in the México City metropolitan area. The México City Mexico Temple has one of the largest temple districts in the Church with 88 stakes and six districts currently assigned. However, there are several previously announced temples that will reduce the number of stakes assigned to the México City México Temple such as the Puebla México Temple and the Querétaro Mexico Temple. Local members have reported that the more than 40 stakes in the México City metropolitan area have historically had low rates of temple attendance. Combined with the large size of the México City Mexico Temple, the the announcement of a second temple in México City has occurred later than other major metropolitan areas with large numbers of stakes. There are only five other metropolitan areas outside of the United States with two temples, namely São Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Lima, Peru; and Manila, Philippines. The Church in México has previously dedicated or announced the following temples: the México City México Temple (dedicated in 1983), the Colonia Juárez Chihuahua México Temple (dedicated in 1999), the Ciudad Juárez México Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Hermosillo Sonora México Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Oaxaca México Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Tuxtla Gutiérrez México Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Tampico México Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Villahermosa México Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Mérida México Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Veracruz México Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Guadalajara México Temple (dedicated in 2001), the Monterrey México Temple (dedicated in 2002), the Tijuana México Temple (dedicated in 2015), the Puebla Mexico Temple (announced in 2018), the Querétaro Mexico Temple (announced in 2021), the Torreón Mexico Temple (announced in 2021), and the Culiacán Mexico Temple (announced in 2021).

The Church in Mexico has reported very slow membership growth rates (less than 2%) since 2014. Church membership increased by 1.13% between year-end 2019 and year-end 2021. Furthermore, a significant consolidation of wards and stakes occurred in 2018 resulting in a net loss of approximately 100 congregations and nine stakes. The Church reported 1,498,296 members, 1,849 congregations, 222 stakes, 47 districts, and 32 missions as of year-end 2021. The Church in Mexico is soon to be eclipsed by the Church in Brazil in regard to the number of Church-reported members as the Church in Brazil reported 1,456,238 members, 2,176 congregations, 281 stakes, 40 districts, and 36 missions as of year-end 2021. Church membership in Brazil increased by 1.84% between year-end 2019 and year-end 2021.

Tampa Florida Temple

The Tampa Florida Temple will be the Church's fourth temple in Florida following the Orlando Florida Temple (dedicated in 1994), the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple (dedicated in 2014), and the Tallahassee Florida Temple (announced in 2021). The new temple district will likely include six stakes in the temple district - all located in the Tampa area and nearby cities. The first stake in Tampa was organized in 1959. Church membership in Florida increased by 2.7% between year-end 2019 and year-end 2021. As of year-end 2021, there were 164,558 members, 282 congregations, 34 stakes, and four missions in Florida.

Knoxville Tennessee Temple

The Knoxville Tennessee Temple will be the Church's third temple in Tennessee following the Memphis Tennessee Temple (dedicated in 2000) and the Nashville Tennessee Temple (dedicated in 2000). The new temple district will likely include all four stakes in eastern Tennessee and one stake in western North Carolina. The first stake was organized in Knoxville in 1972, and there are two stakes in Knoxville today. Church membership in Tennessee increased by 4.8% between year-end 2019 and year-end 2021. As of year-end 2021, there were 55,456 members, 112 congregations, 12 stakes, and two missions. The Church in Tennessee has often reported some of the most rapid membership growth rates among states in the United States during the past two decades.

Cleveland Ohio Temple

The Cleveland Ohio Temple will be the Church's second temple in Ohio in modern times following the Columbus Ohio Temple (dedicated in 1999). It is important to note that the first temple of the Church following its founding in 1830 was built in Kirtland, Ohio and is now owned by the Community of Christ. Kirtland is essentially a suburb of Cleveland today. The original Kirtland Stake was organized in 1834, but it was later discontinued. In modern times, the first stake in Cleveland was organized in 1961. The new temple district will likely include five stakes in northern Ohio that are currently assigned to the Detroit Michigan Temple. The Church in Ohio has reported extremely slow membership growth for many years. As of year-end 2021, there were 63,007 members, 127 congregations, 14 stakes, and two missions.

Wichita Kansas Temple

The Wichita Kansas Temple will be the Church's first temple in Kansas. The new temple district will likely include five stakes in Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma. The first stake in Wichita was organized in 1962, and a second stake in the greater Wichita metropolitan area was organized in 1998 in Derby. The Church in Kansas generally experiences slow membership growth. There were 38,640 members, 74 congregations, seven stakes, and one mission in Kansas as of year-end 2021. Prior to the announcement of the Wichita Kansas Temple, Kansas was the state in the United States with the most Latter-day Saints without a temple. The Church in Kansas generally reports slow, but steady, rates of membership growth.

Austin Texas Temple

The Austin Texas Temple will be the Church's seventh temple in Texas following the Dallas Texas Temple (dedicated in 1984), the Houston Texas Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Lubbock Texas Temple (dedicated in 2002), the San Antonio Texas Temple (dedicated in 2005), the McAllen Texas Temple (announced in 2019), and the Fort Worth Texas Temple (announced in 2021). The new temple will likely include nine stakes in central Texas. The first stake in Austin was organized in 1973. The Church has experienced rapid membership and congregational growth in the Austin area during the past 15 years. As of year-end 2021, the Church in Texas reported 371,007 members, 737 congregations, 78 stakes, two districts, and 10 missions. The Church reported moderate rates of membership growth (over three percent annually) for decades until the mid-2010s when annual membership growth rates have slowed to 1-2%.

Missoula Montana Temple

The Missoula Montana Temple will be the Church's third temple in Montana following the Billings Montana Temple (dedicated in 1999) and the Helena Montana Temple (announced in 2021). The new temple district will likely include four stakes in western Montana. The Church organized the Missoula Montana Stake in 1957. As of year-end 2021, the Church in Montana reported 51,289 members, 127 congregations, 13 stakes, and one mission. The Church in Montana generally experiences very slow membership growth rates.

Montpelier Idaho Temple

The Montpelier Idaho temple will be the Church's ninth temple in Idaho following the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (dedicated in 1945), Boise Idaho Temple (dedicated in 1984), the Rexburg Idaho Temple (dedicated in 2008), the Twin Falls Idaho Temple (dedicated in 2008), the Meridian Idaho Temple (dedicated in 2017), the Pocatello Idaho Temple (dedicated in 2021), the Burley Idaho Temple (announced in 2021), and the Rexburg Idaho North Temple (announced in 2021). The new temple will likely include six stakes in its temple district in extreme southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming. As of year-end 2021, the Church in Idaho reported 471,241 members, 1,213 congregations, 136 stakes, and 3 missions. The Church in Idaho has generally reported annual membership growth rates of approximately one percent for the past 15 years.

Modesto California Temple

The Modesto California Temple will be the Church's 10th temple in California following the Los Angeles California Temple (dedicated in 1956), the Oakland California Temple (dedicated in 1964), the San Diego California Temple (dedicated in 1993), the Fresno California Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Redlands California Temple (dedicated in 2003), the Newport Beach California Temple (dedicated in 2005), the Sacramento California Temple (dedicated in 2006), the Feather River California Temple (announced in 2018), and the Yorba Linda California Temple (announced in 2021). The new temple district will likely include seven stakes in the central San Joaquin Valley. Unlike any other state in the United States, the Church in California has consistently experienced a net decline in membership since 2014, and there was four-year period of negative membership growth in the mid-2000s. The Church in California reached an all-time high for Church membership in 2013 at 780,200. As of year-end 2021, there were 734,989 members, 1,189 congregations, 147 stakes, and 15 missions. Annual membership growth rates since 2014 have ranged from zero to -1.0%, albeit church membership declined by 2.85% between year-end 2019 and year-end 2021. High cost of living and a desire for many Latter-day Saints to move closer to family in other states have numbered among the most common reasons why Church membership in California continues to decrease.

95 comments:

  1. Making my comments on my phone has been hit and miss lately. Frustrating.

    I wanted to say that it now seems the majority of the Mexican states are getting temples now.

    Two in DF (Federal District), if I am not mistaken. Nearby Morelos, Tlaxcal, Hidalgo, Mexico, still without. Guanajuato, Colima, Baja California South, Quintano Roo, are a few more with no temples. BCS needs one, certainly, by geographic distance.

    Brazil is approaching this point with its states, at 26.

    Exciting times.

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  2. "...The new temple district will likely include four stakes in western Montana..."

    No stakes from northern Idaho? 🤔

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    1. Those stakes are still closer to Spokane.

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  3. Cody, Spokane is still closer for all of those stakes in Idaho. You're more likely to see them reassigned to a new temple in the Coeur d'Alene valley than anything else at this point.

    Matt, I'm intrigued you didn't mention anything about the Benemerito part of the second Mexico City Temple. Surely this is being built on the former Benemerito grounds (now the Mexico MTC). Makes me wonder just how many stakes will be assigned to it outside the MTC and potentially whether there will be a third Mexico City Temple in the future on the other side of the city (since Benemerito isn't all that far from the current Mexico City Temple).

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    1. You think northern Idaho is going to get it's own temple soon?

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  4. Maybe a small temple in or near Moscow, Idaho or and/or Coeur d'Alene, maybe both.

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  5. With the announcement of Montpelier, my hunch is that Green River/Rock Springs will get a temple before Evanston.

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  6. Missoula with only serve 4-5 stakes depending on whether Salmon, ID is assigned to it. The No. Idaho Stakes near Couer d'Alene are close to Spokane. I believe a temple will be announced for CdA soon as the Spokane-CDA Metro area is growing pretty fast and the Spokane Temple is very, very small while serving 13 stakes.

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  7. Very interesting tidbit about Tennessee's rapid growth in the last two decades compared to other states. Is there any indication as to why?

    (P.S. Thanks, Eduardo, and others who answered my other question about New Zealand's success on a different post! That was very insightful).

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    1. I would imagine its booming economy with no state income tax has something to do with it. Similar concept fueling Texas' growth. Church Members from the West Coast (and East Coast) in high tax states, moving to lower tax states.

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  8. https://www.thechurchnews.com/temples/2022-04-11/hamilton-new-zealand-temple-first-presidency-announces-rededication-open-house-dates-250288

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  9. Pakistani PM Imran Khan was ousted this weekend by his government. I wonder if his successor will be more or less religious freedoms tolerant in their internal policies going forward? Or if the Church will have to return to having "Sensitive Units" in the country again?

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  10. More general than only Pakistan, I would posit that the "Muslim world" in general is looking pretty good with regards to the Restored Church of Jesus Christ.

    UAE is getting a temple and has good relations with Israel, which now includes Jordan, Bahrein, and maybe... Qatar? Turkey is trying to be moderate despite their curbs on democracy.

    Muslim African nations in the West are opening up more to the Church of Jesus Christ. See: Sierra Leone, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, The Gambia. Even more Muslim parts of Nigeria. or further east into Tanzania.

    Indonesia allows missionaries, as does India.

    Christianity and open religion, minus now Ukraine and Russia, plus the usual oppressive regimes, are looking up, in my opinion.

    Good times.

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    1. What puzzles me is how there no Farsi, Arabic, or Turkish speaking branches or Wards in Europe. If we are to make inroads with Muslims, wouldn't the inroads be easier to Muslim immigrants living in Europe?

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    2. The Turkish influx in Germany begn in the 1950s. This means that most ethnic Turks in Germany are not immigrants.

      In most places starting with groups is better than full out wards, and the linguistic issues can be tricky.

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has large scale success with many immigrants in Europe. The new president of the London Temple being a Ghanaian resident in London is the pinnacle of this success.

      The Beira Mozambique temple is being built because of the efforts to spread the gospel in that land by a man who joined the Church in Germany, plus his father-in-law and a few other relatives before they were even baptized.

      As far back as the mid-1980s a far higher percentage of members in France were sub-Saharan Africans than in the general population.

      Considering Sierra Leone is 85% Muslim and has the highest score on indexes of both legal and social religious freedom in the world, the simple answer is there us no easier place to make inroads in converting Muslims than in Sierra Leone.

      As I mentioned in my note below I did have a friend from France who has a Muslim father who had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      Also keep in mind at least in Sweden your Muslims are as likely to speak Bosnian as the three languages mentioned.

      Also what percentage of third generation German ethnic Turks even fluently speak Turkish. This may be a case where Turkish speaking missionaries would help but Turkish units would not be needed. I believe for a time due to pitiful issues in Turkey they did reassign some Turkish speaking missionaries to Germany.

      President Toronto, the incoming temple president of the Rome Italy Temple, is an academic expert on the Middle East who served a mission with his wife in Jordan and was the first president of the Turkey/Central Eurasia mission. He was also earlier a mission president in Italy.

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  11. My estimate that the Mexico City Benemérito temple will serve 14 stakes. The Mexico City temple will still have around 45 stakes after all the currently announced temples are finished.

    Before the temple was announced for Benemérito, I was leaning to believe that a temple in the southern part of the Mexico City was a contender because it would space out the two temples more equally. I believe that the México City Churubusco stake center site just south of a golf course could be a good temple site one day. It is next to the Tasqueña metro station, which is the end of the line. It is a regional transportation hub where the Xochimilco light rail line begins and there is a regional ADO bus station. The stake center is a large two-chapel building. The site is large enough for a medium sized temple and a replacement meetinghouse. It could serve 11 stakes in Mexico City and another 10 stakes outside the city (assuming a temple isn't announced in Cuernavaca, Toluca, or Acapulco. I don't think a third temple in Mexico City will come for at least a decade. Temples in Cuautla and/or Pachuca are more likely.

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  12. The original plan for the Sacramento, California temple was larger. But when local residents expressed opposition, the church went with a smaller plan promising members that other temples would be built in the valley soon. Feather River and Modesto fulfill that promise.

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  13. I mentioned in the post from part one that I'd comment on the other temples when part two was published. San Luis Potosi had been on my list for prior General Conferences, but I had been led to information that drew the conclusion that other Mexican cities might be more imminent. Clearly I was wrong on that assessment. I had Mexico City South Mexico on my list, so I'd say the Benemerito announcement qualifies. I believe this is the first time under President Nelson that a second temple for a major capital city noted a specific name for it right off the bat.

    Another Florida temple was not surprising, but I had prioritized Jacksonville over Tampa. I had Knoxville, Cleveland, Wichita, and Austin correct. New temples for Idaho and California were not surprising, but Montpelier and Modesto weren't on my radar for an announcement this soon.

    But I'm grateful for the inspiration attending such location announcements. As impressive as 100 temples over 9 General Conferences is, I could see the next 100 potentially coming in the next 4-6 General Conferences or less, especially in view of new methods to build temples more quickly.

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  14. The history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Muslim populations has been laissez faire at best, and often openly or directly opposed to attempts to convert those of Islam. I can cite anecdotal examples. Maybe not right now.

    When it comes to non-native immigrants in Europe, especially Arab, Persian, and Turks, I believe that most of them integrate into their target countries well enough linguistically that they do not need the Gospel in their native language.

    France has at least 5 million Muslims, most of them speak French already, like those from Algeria and Morocco. Germany's largest minority is from Turkey, I believe. Again, they learn German pretty well from what I know, not to ignore that most Germans (or a large amount) learn English really well.

    England has large numbers of Indians (10-20 percent Muslim), Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis, most of whom knew some English previously, but by the second generation are speaking British English as fluently as most Brits.

    Church outreach to a smaller Jewish population is interesting, too. A friend who is Jewish asked me how many convert to the LDS Church yearly, and I offered 500 to a thousand yearly.

    That may be an exaggeration, I was only trying to offer a ball park figure. It may be as few as 50. Or less. I do not think we have the statistics on that, or Muslim converts either.

    Other prominent countries with Muslim believers and the Church of Jesus Christ interaction are Trinidad and Tobago, Albania, Bosnia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Australia, Canada, our own U.S., Brazil, Egypt and Lebanon. Even China has many. Or the Rohinga of Myanmar, now largely displaced, but I know in Salt Lake City some Burmese have joined, notably, but were probably Buddhist prior to conversion.

    All that said, the biggest numbers of converts prior to the Second Coming, I believe are fellow Christians and agnostics or atheists. Many of the Abrahamic followers who do not believe in Jesus as the Son of God (Muslims have great prophetic faith in Him) will be in their respective faiths when He comes. Gospel according to my understanding.

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    1. The number of Jews who convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can not be answered until you determine who a Jew is, and that is tricky.

      I once was in a ward where three people in one year were baptized who were quasi-Jewish. We baptized 5 people that year. I say quasi-Jewish. Two had one Jewish parent but had been raised Christian. The third was ethnically Jewish but had never been to synagogue in his life.

      My grandmother was Jewish immediately before she joined The Church. She was Jehovah's Witness when she was 1. She became Jewish after her mom married a Jewish man. My grandmother joined the Church in 1947.

      Jason Chafetz who was in congress from Utah was ethnically Jewish and a convert but I could never find evidence he was religiously Jewish. I had a bishopric member when I was a youth who was a convert raised Catholic but his mother had been born Jewish. Hugh Nibley's paternal grandmother was the daughter of a Jewish father who converted and was a friend of Joseph Smith, but Alexander Neibaur was Christian for about 20 years before he joined the Church.

      On the language issue, people functioning in the language of their country and benefiting from services in their mother tongue re two different things. Immigrants arriving in France from Tunisia and Algeria for not speak French. What language predominates in the North African inhabited suburbs of Paris is a different story.

      I do know that the Hamburg library has a huge section of children's books in Turkish I can not say how much this reflects the grandchildren of immigrants not bring fluent in German, as opposed yo how much it reflects the children of immigrants lobbying to connect their children to their parents culture.

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  15. I would like to add on to what Eduardo mentioned about Muslims in England. I served in England from Oct 1999-Sep 2001. First, a little background. A large part of the world was part of the Commonwealth. It is thus relatively easy for Muslim to enter the country from countries such India and Pakistan. Many of them are Muslim, although I do not have numbers nor percent. I loved serving among them. They are friendly and welcoming to us as missionaries. They fed us and cared for us (a few Muslim bus drivers turned a blind eye to expired bus passes of missionaries, at least that is what I understand).
    We were discouraged from teaching them because they could go back to their home country and face the horrible consequences of the laws of their country (not laws of faith). I will note it has been over 20 years since I served, so things may have changed. As some have noted, there have been in roads in countries with a high percentage of Muslims.

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  16. If Muslims in Britain are immigrants from India, then there would be no negative political consequences to them joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and returning to India.

    President Hinckley told on at least one occasion of a Pakistani Muslim who joined the Church and lost standing in his country, but his point was that he was willing to risk such loss for the truth.

    Elder Peter M. Johnson, a general authority seventy, wad a Muslim before he joined the Church.

    Sierra Leone, where the Church is building a temple, is at least 85% Muslim and I am sure some of the Church members there were Muslims before joining.

    I knew a man from Turkey who was Myslim before joining the Church. I also know some Iranian Muslims have joined the Church in the US.

    I personally think some of the reticence about teaching Myslins is no linger justified. I had a work college who was a child of a Pakustani mother and a Saudi Arabian father and there was no chance she would move to either country.

    The reality in Britain is the Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and other Muslim populations are not going back and it is high time we did missionary outreach to them.

    I also was in a married student ward at BYU with a Said family. Brother Said's father was a Muslim and native of Tunisia. His mother was a French-woman. Sister Said was Tahitian. I believe they met in Tahiti, but I cannot recall if Brither Said joined the Church in France or Tahiti.

    I know at times t lest the New Jersey Morristown Mission has tried to do outreach to Arab speakers, but their Arab population may be more Christian than Muslim.

    All the Arab Church members I can quickly think of came from a Christian background. However growing up in Sterling Heights the vast majority of the Arabs I knew were Christians. 85% of the Arabic speakers in my high school were Arab, 10% were Pakistanis who spoke Arabic, and only 5% were Arab Muslims. There were about 500 students in my high school who were fluent to some extent or another in Arabic. By the time my younger brother graduated the number had increased to over 750.

    At my work I interact mainly with a different group of Muslims. Keep in mind I work two blocks from Mosque number one of the Nation of Islam. The Nation of Uslam is the Muslim group Elder Johnson was part of. Winston Wilkinson, who back in 2000 as a member of the Salt Lake Coubry Council may have been then the highest elective office holding African-American members of the Church was also a Muslim before he joined the Church.

    Ahmad Corbett in the general young men's presidency does have a Mudlim link. However this is his Mom was a Muslim when he was born but she returned to Christianity shortly after that so he was raised a Christian. He joined The Church ofJesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at about 18.

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    1. No offense intended here, but if you are talking about the counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, his last name is "Corbitt" rather than "Corbett":

      https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/learn/ahmad-corbitt?lang=eng

      https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2020/05/news-of-the-church/ahmad-s-corbitt?lang=eng

      I figure since both you and I like precise details, you'd appreciate that. No offense intended here, so I certainly hope none is taken.

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  17. John, thanks for the correction. It has been about half of life time since I served. However, I should note that I should have remembered better considering a temple is about to be built in India. However, there are limits on teaching those of the Muslim faith. At first this bothered me. Yet, as I to better the plan of salvation it did not as much. I still wanted to baptize them and knew many would accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. But more importantly, Our Heavenly Father has a plan that is merciful and just. It is a plan that allows all of his children to accept His gospel at some point, either in this life or the next.

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  18. On April 6th, lightning struck and Moroni statue on the Columbia South Carolina Temple. The statue was damaged (big chunk came off from the upper back of the torso). A new statue will be needed, I believe.

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  19. That strike could be taken as a message different ways. I take it as a warning from President Benson, that we should incorporate the Book of Mormon more in our lives.

    How is the Kiev Temple doing? Any news or reports?

    Should we write or pronounce it the Ukrainian way now?

    Everybody do temple and missionary work.

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  20. Just how many foreign language units (like Samoan, Tongan, Spanish, etc) in the U.S. can be more created more for cultural reasons than language reasons, at the very least, having Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Urdu, etc Wards or branches in Europe at the very least, signals that the Church is inclusive to them, and not exclusively seen as an American, "White", or Western church.

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  21. 37 temples have returned to normal operations, or what is being called Phase 4:
    https://www.deseret.com/faith/2020/5/27/21271115/temples-reopen-lds-mormon-covid-pandemic-latter-day-saint-closure-marriage-worldwide-health

    I received an email I believe yesterday telling me that my temple (Vernal Utah, though I don't think the message gave the name) had gone to Phase 4.

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  22. I find Rick's Closure page to be more readable:

    https://churchofjesuschristtemples.org/news/closures/

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  23. The 1st Temple President for Quito Ecuador just called.

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/callings/2022-04-14/new-temple-presidents-and-matrons-quito-ecuador-dallas-texas-nashville-tennessee-250395

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  24. Elder Uchtdorf visits with Ukrainian refugees in Poland:

    https://youtu.be/ubKpIrDjf2c

    and Sisters Reyna Aburto and Michelle Craig minister in England by making refugee tents for Ukrainians (in an interfaith effort):

    https://youtu.be/kcTta4Xorx4

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  25. President Nelson is the oldest living prophet of the Church, effective today:

    https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-nelson-now-oldest-president-of-the-church

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2022-04-14/president-nelson-now-oldest-president-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-250535

    And as one who has extensively followed what has been done in the Church since President Nelson became the prophet four years ago, I can confirm that, by all reports, he continues to function with the vigor, energy, stamina, and mental clarity of someone 30-40 years his junior.

    As his wife was quoted as saying, "I'm highly suspicious of his birth certificate." If, having lived longer than President Gordon B. Hinckley, he is still functioning as well as someone who is between 57 and 67 biologically, then I think it's safe to assume he will definitely become the first centenarian prophet and apostle, and perhaps even the first supercentenarian prophet and apostle as well. It should be acknowledged, however, that he will only become the oldest living apostle of the Church later this year (Monday August 8, to be precise).

    Thought that update should be noted here..

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  26. Also (with apologies to Matt for the back-to-back comments), as Christopher Duerig mentioned above, the biographies for the first leaders of the Quito Ecuador Temple was published with two others today. Did anyone notice what I noticed? The top of the article indicated that the other two presidents would start their service in September, but that the couple called to lead operations in the Quito temple would begin serving "later this year". That, to me, implies that the Quito dedication won't occur until sometime after September of this year. Which likely also means that the Church is anticipating the dedication of the Belem Brazil and San Juan Puerto Rico Temples (along with perhaps those for the Saratoga Springs Utah and Helena Montana Temples) before the dedication of the Quito temple. Thought that was another worthwhile note.

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  27. Recently organized the "Ugep Nigeria District - 2196867" in the Nigeria Enugu Mission.

    2 Apr 14, 2022 Ugep Nigeria District

    https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=5.862104,8.561675&z=9&m=google.hybrid&layers=stakecenter&q=Ugep%20Nigeria%20District&find=stake:2196867

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  28. As a general comment, under President Nelson, two statements about Temples that were generally made before have been shown to not be true in all cases.

    1) The growth of members in an area leads to a temple. While this is certainly true that for most temple even announced this past conference, neither Birmingham England, nor Cleveland Ohio seem to reflect that. I'd like to see a deep dive to see if any of the stakes expected to be in either Temple District have seen significant net growth in the last five years. (Which frankly to me would be whether any new Stakes have come into existence during that time)

    2) The temples are decided by the Q15. The press that I saw from the time indicated the addition of Russia was from an impression received by President Nelson himself, not by the Q15 together. If my reading of the press was incorrect, I'd like to be corrected.

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    1. In the case of Cleveland the total number of stakes in Ohio has increased by 2 just in the last year. While it is unlikely that either of these stakes will be assigned to Cleveland Temple, it does mean Columbus Temple can much more easily loose the Cleveland stakes and still function.

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    2. Randolph, regarding temples announced in April 2018, six temples, including Russia, were on the list for an announcement. The temple that was not planned for an announcement was India:

      https://www.deseret.com/2018/4/19/20644156/in-india-the-story-of-the-india-lds-temple-announcement-is-revealed

      Thanks.

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  29. As a more general comment. At this point it appears that the minimum membership support needed for a temple is Two stakes. I don't think that Singapore is the example here that needs to be used, a Singapore temple will be used by not just the Stake in Singapore, but also by the large number of members in Malaysia on the Malay peninsula.

    The example that I think shows this is Oslo. Right now Stockholm has 5 stakes and 2 districts in its temple district (two in Norway, 4 in Sweden (Malmo stake is in Copenhagen Temple District) and Riga, Latvia). The two in Norway will be in Oslo's temple district, Gothenberg is a possibility, but I doubt it. (2019 Norway had 4,564 members). Brussels Belgium will be somewhat similar (Belgium has two stakes, but there were 6,600 members as of 2019).

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  30. As a comment on President Nelson's health. From the standpoint of the health of the *Church*, it is best if the Prophets die after a relatively short physical decline (less than a year) while maintaining faculties until the end. While a situation like President McKay's would be difficult in the modern day, a Prophet who lived for years after a significant stroke (or worse) significant long term dementia would be *far* worse. (Consider the situation for the Church if the other members of the Q15 thought there was a chance that a Prophet would standup during conference and announce a Temple that had already been announced or worse already built). I don't know what the longest time period that the Church has gone without the Prophet speaking during GC, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was several years in the late 1960s (during McKay's last years)

    The comparison that I make is to the Pope (the LDS church is certainly smaller, but it is the only other example with a lifetime selection of leader), while what Pope Benedict did by stepping down hadn't been done in 500 years, it *had* been done. I simply don't see that even being *possible* for an LDS prophet.

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    1. There have actually been four prophets since David O. McKay who had declined during their tenures: Joseph Fielding Smith was not actively involved with leading the Church for most of the roughly 2.5 years of his administration. Spencer W. Kimball's health (and that of both of his counselors) declined in the early 1980s, as a result of which Gordon B. Hinckley was called by President Kimball as a third counselor in the First Presidency. Hinckley was the only active member of that presidency from 1981-1985. President Benson was active as prophet for the first 3-4 years he was prophet, and when his health declined, Presidents Hinckley and Monson actively oversaw Church matters. And beginning in 2014, President Monson had to scale back his role in leading the Church, which meant reducing public appearances, not speaking as frequently or as long as he typically had in General Conference. In May of 2017, an official announcement indicated he was no longer actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the Church.

      In each of those cases, the counselors to those prophets, if they were able to do so, took charge of most Church business, with any major announcement (such as calling new apostles) being approved by the Church President in question. So that has happened four times since David O. McKay. I don't see a similar decline occurring with President Nelson unless a major health issue occurs. And since he is still very much physically active and hard to keep up with, I don't think such a decline will occur for him. But if it does, barring an unexpected medical emergency that leads to a fast decline, he would probably only die of causes incident to old age. And if the 97-year-old prophet acts with the health, energy, vigor, and mental clarity of someone 20-30 years younger than he is, he may not hit that decline for the next decade or two, if such a decline even occurs. There have been more reports lately of supercentenarians, almost none of whom are members of the Church. And given President Nelson has the medical knowledge and the spiritual understanding to take care of himself, there's no doubt in my mind that he will reach that milestone himself.

      Delete
  31. As a Jew, I completely agree with John Pack Lambert. Determining who is a Jew can get *incredibly* complicated. Some synagogues will consider the child of a Jew and a non-Jew as a Jew if the *mother* is Jewish, but require conversion if the *father* is Jewish, and some of the Ultra-Orthodox don't even consider members of the Reform movement and half the Reconstructionist movement to be Jews. I'm probably closest to Reconstructionist but grew up in a Synagogue that belonged to both the Reconstructionist and Conservative movements.

    And I definitely consider myself Jewish and keep Kosher but attend High Holiday services though a group that rents out High School Auditoriums and brings in a Rabbi, Cantor and Torah Scrolls (donations *definitely* suggested. :) )

    For myself, the only group that consider themselves Jews that I don't are the Messianic Jews. (i.e. Jesus died for us, and fulfilled the law, but let's keep Kosher anyway).

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  32. Gordon B Hinckley was called as an additional 3rd counselor to the first presidency when David O McKay and his counselors were all pretty up there in age. We have seen examples like with Uchtdorf where there previously a counselor and reassigned back to the quorum of the twelve. While his wasn't health related, I could see similar happenings if the health of a counselor was serious enough to warrant it. If we did ever have a prophet get dementia for years, the church would continue to be guided by the First Presidency and the quorum of the twelve. I guess I just don't see it as a big deal.

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    1. I think you meant Kimball, not McKay. President Hinckley was President Kimball's third counselor.

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  33. No, Gordon B. Hinckley was called as a 3rd counselor in 1981 by Spencer W. Kimball, because he and both of his counselors were not in good health. (I think he was the only functioning member of the First Presidency by the time he was sustained as 2nd counselor, after the death of N. Eldon Tanner in late 1982.) David O. McKay was the prophet who called him as an apostle in October 1961, which was in response to the calling of Hugh B. Brown as a 3rd counselor in the first presidency the previous June. (Pres. Brown wasn't 3rd counselor for long, as President J. Reuben Clark died in October just after the conference where Elder Hinckley was sustained as an apostle.)

    Hugh B. Brown and Marion G. Romney both served as counselors in the First Presidency- both were ill at the time the prophet they were serving with died (McKay and Kimball, respectively), and neither was called as a counselor by the new prophet.

    You mentioned that some previous First Presidencies were "all pretty up there in age"- the current First Presidency is the oldest in the history of the church. I don't think we've ever previously had a first presidency whose average age was over 90. President Oaks will turn 90 in August, and that might be (I'm not sure on this point) the first time we've had 2 members of the First Presidency who are over 90 years old. (President Eyring will also turn 90 in a little over a year, in May 2023, and that will definitely be a first.)

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  34. When the first presidency first begins functioning in 1833 Joseph Smith was 27, Sidney Rigdon 40 and Frederick G. Williams 46. I do not think it would ever be that young.

    When President Monson was called in 1985 at 58 he was the youngest member of the 1st presidency since 1896 when Joseph F. Smith was 58. To be fair Joseph F. Smith was 41 when first called in 1880 as 2nd counselor to John Taylor, who was then 71, and Joseph F. Smith had been an additional counselor to Brigham Young earlier.

    Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, David O. McKay and Harold B. Lee all had counselors who were older than them. That is 5 of 17 presidents of the Church. However David O. McKay was president 8 and a half years with counselors younger and Heber J. Grant for 10 and a half years. I think that means for about 58 years of the Church's history presidents of the Church had counselors older than them, 11 years there was not functionally a first presidency and 123 the counselors in the first presidency were younger than the president of the Ch7rch. The last 49 years have been the last group. When President Joseph F. Smith called John R. Winder who was 80 and 18 years older than him as his counselor, it was the first time a man older than the p4esident of the Church was in the first presidency since 65 years before when Joseph Smith was martyred.

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  35. Thanks for the Russia vs. India clear up. I'm not sure it affects the point. As for Ohio, not sure. Still curious about the UK temple in that regard.

    And the additional temples in California are still a little "huh", but if they are specifically because a temple was built smaller than originally intended, I guess I understand.

    As for Nelson's mental age, 97 with the mental acuity of a 67 year old *maybe*, a *57* year old, I seriously doubt it. OTOH, I do expect that he is in better physical and mental shape than a *large* percentage of the 97 year olds out there. As such, I put the chance of him making 100 years old 75% and the chance of at least one other member of the Q15 dying before he does at the same level.

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  36. "New leaders called to serve in missions in Georgia, Ghana"

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/callings/2022-04-15/mission-presidents-companions-atlanta-georgia-ghana-cape-coast-250564

    My thoughts about this announcement :

    1st, the new president called to replace Pres. Rion B. Needs in the Georgia Atlanta Mission in July 2022 has been announced finally and biography posted in this article. Originally in January 2022 List of New Presidents announcement it was listed among the few that were "To be announced".

    2nd, I had not calculated the replacement of the Ghana Cape Coast Mission President this year, to replace according to me records "President Bert B. Young (2020-2023)", who was announced for that Mission in 2020.

    "Bert B. Young, 65, and Jennefer Young, five children, Pineae Gardens Ward, Centerville Utah Stake: Ghana Cape Coast Mission, succeeding President Rodney H. Hillam"

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/callings/2020-02-23/8-new-mission-leaders-recently-called-learn-more-bolivia-texas-mexico-africa-puerto-rico-174704

    And not the now mentioned "Ghana Cape Coast Mission, succeeding President Isaac K. Morrison and Sister Hannah Morrison." from today's Biography article.

    I had President Isaac K Morrison (2020-2023) assigned to the "South Carolina Columbia Mission" from 2020-2023.

    "Isaac K. Morrison, 42, and Hannah Morrison, two children, Sun City 3rd Branch, Ashaiman Ghana Stake: South Carolina Columbia Mission, succeeding President Weston R. Innes and Sister Jody B. Innes."

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/callings/2020-01-19/new-mission-presidents-july-2020-171831


    Thoughts?

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    1. I had remembered a Ghanaian called to South Carolina, I forgot it was Elder Morrison.

      Elder Morrison was called as a general authority seventy this year, and so his being replaced early makes sense. The same happened with Elder Mutombo and Holland 2 years ago, and lots of other times. Elder Ballard I believe was replaced early in Toronto in the 1970s.

      As to why Elder Morrison and his wife were sent to Ghana Cape Coast and not South Africa, I can only speculate. In fact I can only at this point verify that Elder Morrison was in Cape Coast as of early 2022, and cannot fully verify if he was never in South Carolina, or if he was there and then moved to Ghana.

      My guess is Covid travel restrictions may have caused a decision to reassign some mission presidents closer to home, but at this point it is a guess. The Ensign or Church News full bios of Elder Morrison will hopefully confirm for sure where he was mission president. My guess is 2 years in Cape Coast, but Elder Kyungu was 3 years in Mbuji-Mbaye and some months over a Kinshasa mission, so sometimes things are more complex.

      Delete
  37. Which according to my research, only leaves 1 remaining New Mission Leadership President and companion called for the 2022-2025 period, to have the Bio posted from this year's January announcement.

    The Singapore Mission President officially called "Taitama Tolman" to replace "President Leonard Woo (2019-2022).

    As side note, President Taitama Tolman was serving in 2018 as the Kuala Lumpur District President.

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/lds-church-news/2018-04-01/10-countries-in-10-days-church-leaders-witness-growth-during-tour-through-asia-12623

    Secondly, and unofficially the replacements (or not) for Pres. Adam West of the Russia Moscow Mission, who was recently called to preside over the new Spain Madrid North.

    And to replace Pres. Christopher L Eastland of the Russia St. Petersburg Mission, who was recently called to Preside over the new England Birmingham Mission.

    Thirdly, to announce the replacement (or not) for Pres. David L. Chandler (2019-2022) of the Poland Warsaw Mission. Although due to current events the Brethren may have asked him to remain another year to assist in the Church's Humanitarian efforts in the country for the war refugees.

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    1. "Adam West" was the Russia Mission President!?

      BOOM! POW! WHAP! KRAKOW!!!

      Delete
    2. LOL!!!! Nostalgic feelings... In Brazil, this series still appeared on TV in the 90s

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    3. I have been thinking of the actor connection every time I see his name. President West was going to start in July, so he never actually made it to Russia, he was reassigned before arrival.

      I noticed with the list of new temple presidents Detroit was not on the list. Kaplin and Lesley Jones have been in since 2019, so one word expect them to be replaced. We were closed for 6 months for a remodeling of the entrance and a few other changes in 2021, as well as totally for a few months in 2020, so this may have caused an extension. Are there other temple presidents who are going to serve 4 years, or are they an outlier?


      Delete
    4. @Daniel Moretti and JPL

      Yeah, I love the campy 60's Batman, too. :)

      Delete
  38. Randolph, the reports on President Nelson's health and energy have been questioned before here. And if it were just his wife or one or two of his children saying that, I could see the need to question it. But, to a man, all of the apostles have been quoted on the record as saying they can't keep up with him, a report that has been repeated by several general authority seventies, including many who interact with the prophet on a day-to-day basis. With one or two reports, I too would be skeptical.

    But if "in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established", and all of the witnesses, to a man, agree on the particulars, that is the kind of evidence I can't ignore, especially when his wife frequently mentions that. Anyone else can choose what to believe. But I don't have any current reason to disbelieve the reports, and IMHO, they are not exaggerated.

    You may be interested in reading or listening to the Church News podcast featuring Sister Wendy W. Nelson that was released in January of this year, around the fourth anniversary of President Nelson becoming the Church president:

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/podcast/2022-01-25/sister-wendy-nelson-church-news-podcast-president-nelson-four-years-prophet-240778

    If all of that is not enough to convince you, then you certainly have a right to your own opinion on the matter. But don't be surprised if/when the Lord extends his life beyond what you've indicated here. 'Nuff said.

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  39. Chirstopher Duerig, Isaac K. Morrison was among the 6 men called as a GA Seventy in April, so his release makes sense. For questions about mission presidents, I'd refer you to the Church News and also to the "Lifey" website that has been mentioned here in the past:

    http://lifey.org/missions/

    Searching on the Church News by mission name might help you find any informational gaps. I believe in a couple of cases, following the announcement of an original assignment, there was a need to shift things. For example, when Michael A. Dunn was called as a GA Seventy, the man called to replace him in his role with BYU Broadcasting had originally been announced as a new mission president, but was asked instead to take the role with BYU Broadcasting. So there might have been something causing the Church to "round-robin" some assignments within the last several years. Happy searching!

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  40. Well, if the California temples make you go "huh," it's not like some of the other recently announced temples are current hotbeds of growth either, i.e., Wichita and Cleveland come to mind. BTW, most of the stakes in the Modesto area, including both stakes in Modesto itself, are assigned to the Oakland temple, not the Sacramento temple.

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  42. Not sure what the point is in speculating how many more years President Nelson has to live. It's about as pointless in speculating how many more years any of us has left. For all we know he could get into an auto accident tomorrow. It is whatever it will be.

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    1. I would consider that a fair observation, Dane, if I defined speculation as "repeating what others have said in public" as speculation. But as someone who has had frequent experiences previously where I could potentially have died but didn't, what I can do is rely on statements about his health from people who know and interact with him regularly. But I hope we can all agree that, in most cases, and particularly when it comes to who leads the Church at what time and for how long is controlled by the Lord. That idea has often been repeated by those who serve as prophets seers and revelators.

      In the meantime, all any of us can do here is share thoughts based on our own observations, experiences, and research. And with that in mind, I beat no ill will or offense towards anyone who comments here, and I certainly hope no one is offended by anything I have ever said here. The trajectory of current growth in the Church will be based on many factors, including who presides over the Church and whatever the Lord inspires him to do. And I'm grateful that President Nelson is the man for this season, however long it may last.

      Delete
  43. But that's all it really is no matter who says it or how many say it - pure speculation. Just look at all of the perfectly healthy folks that suddenly succumbed to Covid 19 just in the last two years, almost all of whom were younger than President Nelson. And yes, things that are completely detached from the health of an individual, such as random accidents, can and do happen. This is what I mean by pointless. And, frankly, why does it even matter? It's not like it's ever a mystery who is next in line.

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  44. He isn't even 100 yet and you are already assuming 110 is a given.

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  45. I am not assuming anything, nor am I speculating. Rather, I am reporting on what others who interact daily with President Nelson are saying, and as those people are around him a lot more than I will ever hope to be, there is nothing wrong with relaying what others are saying about his health. None of those reports state that he couldn't fall prey to unforeseen circumstances, but the scriptures promise that those who abide by the oath and covenant of the priesthood will be "sanctified by the spirit to the renewal of their bodies." And based on the statements of those who know him best, that is exactly what the Lord is doing for him today.

    And by the way, I am not "assuming that 110 is a given." In the Saturday Morning Session of the April 2018 General Conference, Elder Andersen's first talk noted everything pertaining to how one prophet succeeds another:

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/04/the-prophet-of-god?lang=eng

    And in that talk, this is his specific statement: "We hope he will be with us for another decade or two, but for now we are trying to persuade him to stay off the ski slopes."

    And his wife, who is with him day-to-day and knows him better than anyone else, has repeatedly stated (as she did in the podcast to which I shared the link above) that her husband is moving, acting, thinking and deciding with the health, stamina, energy, and clarity of those 30-40 years his junior.

    If sharing and repeating accounts of what those who mingle with him daily have said qualifies as "assuming 110 is a given", then I guess I'm guilty as charged. But the questions of who leads the Church, how long for, and what they do within that time are very germaine issues to discussions about what elements impact Church growth. Anyone who comments here is entitled to see anything related to Church growth any way they'd like. That makes for robsut discussions. I apologize if no one else sees eye-to-eye with me on this subject, but if nothing else, we can agree to disagree.

    As always, thanks to Matt for allowing these types of discussion here. Your efforts to contextualize Church growth do not go unappreciated here, Matt. Keep up the great work!

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  46. Ohhappydane33, I agree with your sentiments about speculating about President Nelson's life span and intellectual capacity. I personally love the guy, and hope he lives a long, healthy life full of spiritual and intellectual ability.

    Funny enough, I spent a few hours earlier today re-learning about the rules in place to ensure independent accountants remain independent and objective (in fact and in appearance) with regards to exercising professional judgement. And the standards are rock solid. Under those standards, I would absolutely not be objective in appearance and likely not in fact with regards to estimating President Nelson's lifespan or future intellectual ability. And add in the fact that I have zero experience estimating a specific person's life span or future intellectual ability!!!

    lol. I suspect others' assertions on these topics are affected by a lack of objectivity as well...

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  47. Johnathan Reese Whiting: I was aware that Adam West had portrayed Batman, but I'm more familiar with his work in procedural shows such as Perry Mason and Murder, She Wrote. Just wanted to note that your Batman reference did not go unappreciated by me. Thanks for the chuckle.

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  48. An unfortunate truth about those who are very elderly is that what might seem to be good health can very quickly deteriorate. It only takes one small thing to set off a chain reaction. I'm not suggesting this would happen with President Nelson necessarily, but I do think we shouldn't take his health for granted and should just appreciate the time that we currently have him as prophet.

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  50. I would love to know about President Nelson's lifestyle (i.e., diet, exercise routine). I have not seen anything along this line. Does anyone know otherwise?

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    1. @Paul

      I couldn't find the exact reference, but I remember hearing that The Prophet climbs a lot of stairs rather than taking the elevator. Can anyone confirm?

      Delete
  51. I know President Nelson likes fishing and being outdoors. Not sure if he is still actively pursuing this now that he's President of the Church.

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  52. President Nelson was a,very avid skier. I believe I read he has not done that since he became president of the Church though.

    I just ordered my copy of Saints Vol. 3. I believe the official release date is next Friday. I may read a section online before it comes, and I may even order it on kindle. I ordered it through Deseret Book and not Church distribution because when I ordered Vol. 1 through distribution it took like 4 months to arrive. It is subtitled "Boldly, Nobly and Independent". I am now thinking Vol. 4 will have one of the every phrases as its title.

    I believe Elder Gong revealed the photo on Vol. 4 will be the Hong Kong Temple. The other 3 stopped with temple dedications, Nauvoo, Salt Lake City and Bern, Switzerland. What will Vol. 4 stop with?

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  53. "Reverse Open House Series: How a temple open house inspired visits to other faiths’ sacred sites, events"

    By Scott Taylor

    Updated
    16 APR 2022

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/living-faith/2022-04-16/reverse-open-house-series-inspired-by-d-c-temple-open-sacred-sites-interfaith-events-250744

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  54. "How to effectively plan, prepare for and participate in interfaith interactions"

    By Scott Taylor

    Updated
    16 APR 2022

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/living-faith/2022-04-16/washington-dc-reverse-open-house-plan-prepare-participate-interfaith-interactions-250742

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  55. Within the same week 2 Mission Branches have been closed.

    19 Apr 07, 2022 Portugal Lisbon Mission Branch Lisbon, Portugal
    20 Apr 14, 2022 Brazil Florianópolis Mission Branch Florianopolis, Brazil

    I wonder if the closer of these branches is due to the entire Mission areas are currently covered (under the direction) by regular Wards/Branches in the Stakes/Districts in those areas?

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  56. David Todd, I understand what you're saying, and agree. However, for the record, if anything I said above implied that I'm not enjoying President Nelson while we have him, I'd like to note that I can do both. I have felt joy at every major announcement made since he first became the Church President in 2018. And to me personally, I'm not diminishing or detracting from that by reading, believing, and sharing reports of his excellent health.

    However long we have him, I will be gratified to see what he does under the Lord's direction. But if the reports of his apostolic colleagues, his wife, and children, are any indication, barring anything very sudden or unexpected (from an earthly perspective: the death of most individuals is not unexpected, but is rather planned, by the Lord), I don't see any reason to not believe he'll be around for a while.

    And I'm perfectly okay with being in the minority regarding that opinion. As I've observed previously on various threads of this blog and on mine, if everyone saw everything in exactly the same way as everyone else, there would be no need for robust discussions on such topics, because there would be no differences of opinion. Years ago, I adopted a personal mantra: "We can disagree without becoming disagreeable." Disagreements are natural, while uncivil discussions are not. And I'm grateful that Matt has given us a space here to have such discussions. My prayer is that, despite any such differences in opinion, we will all be sure to keep the discussion civil, and on my end, I apologize if anything I have said here lately came across in any way as uncivil. My thanks once again to you all.

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  57. I just attended the Grand Junction, Colorado Temple groundbreaking ceremony. Hallelujah! Now we will have the privilege and blessing of watching the construction process. I will keep you all posted, now and then, as we all watch for new locations, renderings, and further progress on the many temples now in process.

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    1. That's awesome, Nancy!

      My other friends (who just moved from Ogden to Grand Junction last year) are excited for it, too. :)

      Delete
    2. Nancy, I'm glad you could attend that in person. My wife and I tuned in virtually through the Church's groundbreaking events. Elder Wong was hilarious and I liked that he wasn't afraid to poke fun at himself. My wife commented that some of what he said reminded her a lot of President Hinckley.

      Although this wasn't stated during that broadcast, I imagine full-scale efforts could begin next week or the week after. I'd also project a general completion window of mid-2024 for that temple if all goes well, FWIW. Feel free to keep us informed. Thanks.

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    3. It may also be worthwhile to note that Elder Wong is the current First Counselor in the North America Central Area who will transition into the Area President around August 1. I say "around August 1" because current Area President Elder S. Gifford Nielsen will probably leave his assignments at Church headquarters before August 1, to enable him to transition into his new role as the President of the Africa West Area on August 1.

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  58. I am guessing that the closure of mission branches is a sign of growth. It shows that there is a feeling that local leaders can be given the assignment of overseeing outlying groups instead of the mission president.

    A few interesting developments appear to have occurred lately. M9rgan, Utah just got another ward. I know some think a temple in Morgan is not super far distant.

    Las Vegas just got a Tongan speaking branch. San Jose, California got a Tagolog speaking branch. There seems to be some progress of late in California in creating non-English speaking units.

    Ugep in Cross River State just got a district. This is an area inhabited by the Yakurr people who speak Yako. Well, at least these are the dominant group in the area. Wikipedia gives us 1989 figures for the Yakurr people and Yako language, both at 120,000. Ugep is the seat of the Yakurr local government area, which was formed in 1987. Yako language is also called Lokaa. Ugep had 420,000 residents in 2018, so either the majority are not Yakurr or the Yakurr population has increased a lot since 1989, or both. It does seem odd that for some of these languages and ethnic groups the most easily obtainable figures are 35 years old.

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  59. Is Cross River State in Nigeria? Papua New Guinea? No idea. Over the years I have memorized the states and regions of Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, China, and India.

    You have flummoxed me.

    Great to see Colorado continue to grow, way to be Sister Nancy.

    Would Ames be a candidate in Iowa instead of Des Moines?

    Does Charleston make the most sense in West Virginia?

    Would Madison be better than Milwaukee in Wisconsin? Or Green Bay?

    Does Bangor make sense in Maine for geographic distance?

    Burlington, Vermont is pretty far from temples. More than 200 miles?

    35 year old information is pretty old, no matter where in the world that is. Yako/Lukaa.

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    1. Eduardo, when it comes to an Iowa temple, the capital city of Des Moines is more likely. That's because the second stake in that city is the Des Moines Mount Pisgah stake. When advanced scouts for the vanguard company were sent to look for a place in Iowa where the main body of the Saints could settle for a temporary rest, I believe it was Elder Ezra T. Benson who spotted the area near a mountain range. He felt inspired to name the settlement area "Mount Pisgah" after the biblical city established by Moses. Word of Elder Benson's inspired name for the settlement area was sent to Brigham Young. The American Moses instantly reacted: "If it was good enough for Moses, it is good enough for me." So the temple would likely go to Des Moines and could be given the Mount Pisgah name as well.

      Not sure on West Virginia, but I got a tip years ago indicating that Green Bay may be the first choice for Wisconsin, with another tip suggesting the Church already has property for such a prospect there.

      I think, based on my research, that a temple in Augusta could serve the Saints in Maine and neighboring states. Montpelier for Vermont might be more likely than Burlington or Sharon, but then Guam's temple was not built in either the capital city of Hagathna or in Barrigada, where Guam's only stake operates. Hope that helps.

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    2. Cross River State is in Nigeria. It's capitol is Calabar. At one point the mission president in Calabar was Joseph W. Sitati, who is a general authority and president of the Africa Central Area.

      Elder Sitati was the first Kentan to be a mission president outside Kenya. Actually he may be the first Kenyan to be mission president period. He was also the first Kenyan stake president and he and his wife were the first couple from Kenya sealed in the temple. Elder sitati was also the first Kenyan editor of the Ensign. He turns 70 in June and is likely to be given emeritus status thus year. I am hoping Joseph and Gladys Sitati will be the first president and matron of the Nairobi Temple.

      There are to my knowledge only 4 countries where the first stake president was later a general authority. The US, but Joseph Smith first president of the Kirtland stake was simultaneously president of the Church so that might not count, Argentina, where Angel Abrea was later simultaneously called to be 1st president of the Buenos Aires Temple and a general authority, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

      Back to Cross River State, it borders Akwa Ibom State, which has the most stakes of any state in Nigeria. The Temple is in Abia State, but close to both Akwa Ibom state and Rivers State, which has the main city of Port Harcourt. I believe it is under 50 miles from Port Harcourt to the temple.

      Once the 2 planned temples in Nigeria are completed Aba Temple will still have far more stakes than most other temples it's size. It may still take in Abuja as well, I am hopeful Nigeria's capital will have a temple announced soon.

      Even an Abuja Temple would still leave Aba Temple with over 30 stakes, and Aba Temple is about 14,000 square feet or maybe even less.

      With the announcement of temples like Cleveland I could easily see 2 new temples for the South-South region of Nigeria announced. Port Harcourt and Etinan seem the strongest candidates right now, with Enugu and Owerri and Calabar both being announced in maybe 3 years if a few more stakes are formed in Cross River, Enugu and Imo states.

      I personally think Appleton is a better choice for a temple in Wisconsin than Green Bay. It might not be that big a deal, but Appleton would place the temple a little more central to the stakes served.

      Another way to plot things is to figure at what point a temple is closer to areas than the Chicago Temple. The issue there is it is 1 hour 4 minutes toll and 1 hour 22 minutes no toll from Milwaukie to the Chicago Temple. The next Chicago Temple president will be a Wisconsin resident (and son-in-law of President Oaks), but the next Nashville Temple president I'd from Knoxville where they just announced a temple, and some Temple presidents are called from outside their districts, although much less now than in the past, so this might not be a factor at all.

      Keep in mind also that my late Saturday driving time estimate is probably off.

      However it looks to me that Fond du Lac would be the best place for a temple in Wisconsin. You shave 30 minutes off the trip from Milwaukie, and make it roughly eqi-distant, and less hassle and traffic, and no tolls, so Milwakians will go there. Kenosha and Racine may be a different story. The other key is Marquette, Michigan has a ward. They are 6 hours from the Chicago Temple. They are 6 hours 48 minutes from the Detroit Temple. Fond du Lac gets them down to 4 hours 7 minutes. Madison would be 5 hours 17 minutes. Appleton 3 hours 32 minutes and Green Bay 3 hours 8 minutes. A temple in any point in northeast Wisconsin takes in basically all 6 Wisconsin stakes, and maybe some of Duluth stake, but maybe not all Milwaukie South. And it eliminates roughly 4 hours from the round trip to Chicago or those north and west of it.


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  60. Jonathan, James, thanks for your shared excitement! We have been told to expect activity at the site starting this Monday. It has already been prepped, cleared and fenced, with constructions trailers placed. It will be a very interesting process to watch. We've also heard that the construction will take 18 months to 2 years. There were a good number of community and other church (non LDS) leaders present today, which I thought was wonderful. Many of them were invited to take part in the ritual shovel activity at the end. My impression is that a lot of interest and good will is being created with this temple announcement and ongoing activities.

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    1. 18 months to 2 years? That's incredibly fast for a temple of that size. In that case, the Church would be looking to complete that temple between late 2023 and early 2024. If the site is ready to go early next week, I'll be interested to see how that's done. I had theorized that if the 10,000 square foot temples used modular designs successfully, that the modular designs or something similar could be expanded to larger temples. If the 10,000 square foot design takes 13 months on average, I suppose expanded designs using similar but larger components could go up in an average 21 months. I'll be intrigued to see what happens there. Thanks, Nancy.

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    2. @Nancy

      Sounds like a fun, spiritual time was had by all! ;)

      I just saw that Elder Sam Wong presided at the ceremony. I love that guy! He was the visiting Area Seventy at our recent Stake Conference up here in Montana. Very humble and witty.


      For those interested:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi_Hong_(Sam)_Wong

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    3. Nancy, there has apparently been no updates on the status of the Grand Junction Colorado Temple since Saturday's groundbreaking. Has the start of construction been delayed? Thanks.

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  61. I'm curious as to why the newly reinstated Europe North Area headquarters are located in Birmingham UK, and not London UK. I can understand maybe the Europe Central Area offices in Frankfurt Germany instead of Berlin, the capital, because of the location of the 1st Temple in Germany located in Frankfurt. But London Uk had a Temple decades before the Birmingham Temple was announced this conference.

    https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=46.035663,-17.53746&z=2&m=google.hybrid&layers=area&q=Europe

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    1. The old Europe North Area had its headquarters there in I believe Solihul, right by Burmingham. I do kot know exactly why. I am guessing they have had some operations in that building all along.

      The London Temple is a huge way out from London in the country side. However the Church does have the Hyde Park Chapel in London.

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  62. Looking through the temples dedicated in the last decade, I only see two that are less than 2 years from groundbreaking to dedication. Star Valley, Wyoming which is about 18 months (April 2015 to October 2016) and Kansas City which was 2 days less than two years.

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  63. No activity on site this week, though there have been personal vehicles parked near the construction trailer. So, something is going on inside. (Planning, requisitioning, ordering materials, etc?) I'm a bit surprised because it was our Stake President who told a group of us that construction would start immediately. I'm betting/hoping things will start next week.

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  64. You missed a couple. Randolph. Tucson Arizona and Port-au-Prince Haiti were both completed in about 22 months from when ground was broken. If we got back a couple years further, The Gila Valley Arizona temple was completed in just over 15 months.

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  65. James, one big earth-moving Komatsu caterpillar/excavator arrived on-site this afternoon. I'd be happy to keep you frequently updated to your email or other place of your choice, so I don't clutter up the comments here.

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    1. Nancy, that's wonderful. If you'd like to do so, feel free to post those updates to the latest threads of my blog:

      https://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/

      Just leave a comment on that in the threads of whichever post is at the top of the page. I frequently share temple construction status updates there, so that would be the best place to share those updates. Thanks.

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    2. Nancy, this is a great site to post any construction photos as well. Looking forward to hearing the construction progress, too. :)

      https://churchofjesuschristtemples.org/grand-junction-colorado-temple/photographs/

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  66. Some of you might be interested to watch a local TV station's news report about our Grand Junction Temple groundbreaking ceremony. It was very positive; enthusiastic, even! It has been a gradually improving relationship, between the LDS community and all other churches in the area, and the community at large. This announcement last year has increased interest in the church, and has also increased positive feelings and interactions. It is wonderful to see.

    https://www.kjct8.com/app/2022/04/17/groundbreaking-new-temple-grand-junction/?outputType=apps

    And here is a link to watch the actual ceremony in full:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_12byhljHQ

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