Well, I enjoyed my Saturday off, but I wish it could have been more. Yesterday was back to work, unfortunately.
I was following some news from my Church this weekend as well. They just dedicated the 150th temple yesterday, with a cultural celebration on Saturday evening. It’s the Provo City Center Temple, which is the second temple in the city of Provo, Utah, where the Church’s biggest university, Brigham Young University, is located (My parents met while they were both students there). There are a lot of church members there, and one temple was no longer enough. It was built from an old tabernacle, a historic building that was gutted by a fire 6 years ago, and everyone was happy that they could save the shell and do something with it.
Next Sunday is Easter, and the day before, the Church kicks off its General Conference with the Women’s Session. The other 5 sessions will follow a week later, with 3 on Saturday April 2nd, and the last 2 on Sunday the 3rd. This will be the 186th Annual Ggeneral Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the following Wednesday marks the 186th anniversary of the church’s founding in 1830).
All the highest leadership of the Church speaks at the conference, as well as a selection of lower leaders. We also have a lot of wonderful music, including by the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. These meetings are broadcast all over the world on satellite and the internet, and it is an occasion when Latter-Day Saints all over the world gather to listen and learn from our leaders. It is a time of great spiritual fulfillment for us. I will be working for most of the conference, but I will follow news from it and download the content a day or two later.
At the General Conference, many people expect to hear new temple locations announced. 3 were announced 1 year ago, and since then the Church has dedicated 6 new temples, and broken ground for 7 more. There had been quite a backlog of temple announcements that were not yet in the construction “pipeline”, and for that reason there were no temples announced between April 2013 and 2015. Today, there are only 8 temples that have been announced and are still waiting for their groundbreaking, including the 3 just announced a year ago. That is a big improvement.
There are, however, a couple of disturbing points when it comes to temple construction. First, one of the temples that is generally listed as under construction, has been halted for many years, in Fortaleza, Brazil, probably because of legal challenges. The Church may have to move to a different location in that city (this happened with the temple in Honduras as well). This was supposed to be the 7th temple in Brazil, but now I think another one is likely to be completed first.
Second, it looks to me that temples in the United States are moving ahead very quickly, while the ones in other countries seem to take a lot longer. There are 4 more temples expected to be dedicated this year, and only one is outside the U.S., in Japan in this case. We’ll see more international ones in 2017, as 2 in Europe are very close to completion, in very exciting locations, Paris and Rome.
Well, I intend to post more about temples, and about the organization of the Church (I want to contrast it with the Catholic Church, after listening to Tom Woods’ bonus episode from last Sunday). But I am out of time this morning, gotta get some more Zs.