“News of the Church,” Ensign, Mar 1990, 75–80
Las Vegas Temple Dedicated as “Oasis of Peace”
Judy C. Olsen, “Las Vegas Temple Dedicated as ‘Oasis of Peace’,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 75–76
As the first dedicatory session of the Las Vegas Nevada Temple convened 16 December 1989, more than three thousand Latter-day Saints throughout the building eagerly watched the events in the celestial room via television monitors. The camera focused on a portrait of the Savior, whose arms were open, as if welcoming each to his holy house, then slowly moved to President Ezra Taft Benson, seated below the portrait.
A reverent silence filled the temple as the significance of these images touched those present.
President Benson spoke briefly, expressing his love for all.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, read the dedicatory prayer during the first dedicatory session. It was also read by different General Authorities at each of the succeeding ten sessions held over three days. The prayer, after expressing gratitude to God, the Eternal Father, for His manifold blessings, read:
“We thank thee for this beautiful temple, this house of worship, of learning, of covenants and everlasting promises.” The prayer also declared that the temple stands “in this community which has become an oasis in the desert” and noted that within the temple’s walls “are to be tasted the refreshing waters of living and eternal truth. For all who enter the portals of thy house, may this be an oasis of peace and life and light, in contrast with the clamor and evil and darkness of the world.”
The prayer also pleaded on behalf of the members of the Church “for forgiveness and strength to overcome our weaknesses. We long for the day when we may be worthy to look upon thy face. Keep us from the decay and servitude which come from sin. Bless us with the light and freedom which come of righteousness.”
Among the speakers at the first session were President Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.
May the memory of this day linger with you always,” President Hinckley told those at the dedicatory session, “for you shall never experience a more significant day so long as you live in this valley.”
When construction of the temple was originally announced, members of the temple district were asked to contribute whatever they considered a sacrifice toward the construction of the sacred edifice. President Hinckley commended them for contributing 428 percent of the amount expected! “I want to say that I believe the Lord has accepted your sacrifice. I want to make you a promise that you will never miss that which has been contributed. The windows of heaven will be opened,” he said.
President Monson said that the temple will bring “a transformation, a rededication of purpose, and an added strength if we resolve to keep the commandments of God. Let every one of us tell our posterity that, at the dedication of the Las Vegas Temple, ‘I was there. I listened to the music, the prayers, the messages, but above all, I felt the Spirit.’ Today we are storing treasured memories for all the days of our lives.”
More than thirty thousand members from the Las Vegas Temple District attended the eleven dedicatory sessions.
All of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve participated at one time or another during the three days of dedicatory sessions. So too did Elder Dean L. Larsen and Elder James M. Paramore of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elder F. Enzio Busche, Elder H. Burke Peterson, Elder Ronald E. Poelman, Elder Francis M. Gibbons, and Elder Lloyd P. George of the Quorums of the Seventy; Bishop Robert D. Hales, Presiding Bishop; President Ardeth G. Kapp, Young Women general president; and President Michaelene P. Grassli, Primary general president.
Members raised their voices joyfully in singing the Hosanna anthem at the end of each dedicatory session. And each time, the television camera focused once again on the portrait of the Savior. Then, as it began to fade, an outdoor view would begin to come up on the television monitors, leaving, for a moment, the image of the Lord standing in the midst of his holy temple.
Some voices choked or faltered as members were moved by the spirit of the occasion. Music continued to fill the building as if heaven itself had joined in helping to sing the praises felt so deeply by the Saints in attendance.
[photo] Members lined up to attend dedicatory sessions. (Photo by Bob Leinbach.)
Open House Draws Nearly 300,000
“Open House Draws Nearly 300,000,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 76
Some 297,454 visitors toured the Las Vegas Nevada Temple during its three-week open house.
A large tent-like pavilion was erected north of the temple for the open house. The first area, through which all visitors passed as they entered the temple, housed displays explaining the history and purposes of temples. The other half of the pavilion was used by the Nevada Las Vegas Mission to greet people, show films, and explain about the Church. Mission president Gerald Scott said the message of those in the pavilion focused on the Savior.
More than 99,000 visitors chose to visit the missionary pavilion after touring the temple. Some 67,000 watched videos and heard missionary presentations. Missionaries reported that teaching opportunities throughout the Las Vegas valley tripled as a result of the open house. Hundreds of referral cards for other missions were collected.
Three hundred local members staffed the open house for each three-hour shift during the day.
The open house began with three days of special tours for government, religious, civic, professional, and business leaders, among them, Nevada’s governor and one of the state’s congressmen. Special tours were also offered for those who live near the temple, the press, and the blind and deaf.
Elder Theodore M. Burton Dies
“Elder Theodore M. Burton Dies,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 76–77
Elder Theodore M. Burton, an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, was memorialized at funeral services on 27 December 1989.
President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the services and read from a First Presidency letter that stated, “[Elder Burton’s] courtly manner and his patience endeared him to all who knew him. … The burdens of age and illness have been lifted—he has gone on to a great reward.”
Elder Burton died of a stroke in a Salt Lake City hospital on 22 December 1989. He was eighty-two years old. Born 27 March 1907 in Salt Lake City to Theodore Taylor and Florence Moyle Burton, Theodore Moyle Burton became a professor of organic chemistry at Utah State University in 1943. On 8 October 1960, he was called as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve. In October 1976, he became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He was given emeritus status on 30 September 1989.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke at the funeral, recalling his friendship with Elder Burton. He called Elder Burton “a scientist who knew that you couldn’t cheat on nature” and a man who blended many qualities.
President Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of the Twelve also spoke, pointing out that Elder Burton’s life had been one of service, and that all who knew Elder Burton “knew that he loved the Lord.” President Hunter called Elder Burton a “doer of the word” whose life demonstrated more than mere belief, but “doing the will of his Father in Heaven.”
Elder Burton’s son, Robert P. Burton, a professor of computer science at Brigham Young University, described his father as a faithful Church member who “would have preferred to stay a chemistry professor and a Gospel Doctrine teacher” but who had accepted every call with willingness and humility. He called Elder Burton a dedicated family man who “absolutely adored my mother.”
As a youth, Elder Burton became the first Eagle Scout in the Pioneer Stake. From 1927 to 1930, he served a mission in the Swiss-German Mission. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Utah in 1932 and 1934 and worked as an assistant bacteriologist with the Salt Lake Health Department. In 1934, he became technical assistant to the U.S. Treasury Attaché in Vienna, Austria. He held the same post in Berlin in 1937–38.
Elder Burton began his teaching career in 1941 at Carbon College, then joined the faculty of Utah State University in 1943. He completed a Ph.D. at Purdue University in 1951.
In 1957, Elder Burton returned to Europe to preside over the West German Mission. From 1962 to 1964, he served as president of the European Mission. He then served as president of the Genealogical Society of Utah and as managing director of the Church Genealogical Department until April 1978, when he returned to Europe to serve as Area Supervisor for two years.
Theodore M. Burton is survived by his wife, Minnie Susan Preece Burton, whom he married in the Salt Lake Temple on 23 February 1933; a son; four granddaughters; four grandsons; and a brother.
Aberdeen: Scot by Heritage, Strengthened by the Gospel
Leslie Smith, “Aberdeen: Scot by Heritage, Strengthened by the Gospel,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 77–78
Known to local residents as the “Silver City by the Sea,” Aberdeen, Scotland, sits on a 33-mile stretch of North Sea coastline. It is known for its buildings made of the local silver-gray granite. Now the oil center of Europe, Aberdeen has come a long way from the ship-building, fishing, and granite industries for which it was formerly renowned.
Scotland is famous worldwide for its kilts, bagpipes, lochs (lakes), and its traditional meat dish, haggis. At the New Year, Latter-day Saints in Aberdeen join with the rest of their Scottish countrymen in festivities that include honoring the birthday of their national poet, Robert Burns. They celebrate “Burns Night” with poetry reading, singing, and participation in traditional highland dances. The celebrations would not be complete without Scotch broth, tatties (potatoes), neeps (turnips), and the haggis itself—brought in, traditionally, to the tune of the pipes and celebrated in song and poetry.
Aberdeen itself is quaint and beautiful, with well-maintained flower beds around the city. It has won the “Britain in Bloom” competition for so many years that the city had to withdraw from the contest for three years to give another community a chance!
Latter-day Saints in Aberdeen have made their own contribution to the beauty of the city. The Aberdeen Ward meetinghouse and its grounds have won twenty-six local awards in the category of best-kept church and community building. Ward members attribute this to the hard work and dedication of Brother Thomas Thomson, who has worked as custodian since the dedication of the chapel in 1967.
“We haven’t always had a beautiful chapel in which to meet,” recalls Georgina Thomson, the oldest member of the Church in Aberdeen (and no relation to the custodian). “I remember when the elders first met my husband in the marketplace in 1922. He brought them home with him. We were baptized four years later in the River Dee. There were only four members here then,” she says.
“There was nowhere for us to meet, so we met in each other’s homes and missionaries ran the branches. We had to wait nearly forty years for a temple in London so we could be sealed,” Sister Thomson says. “My husband was the branch president in Aberdeen when President David O. McKay dedicated the London Temple and subsequently made a visit to Scotland, the place his father had lived.”
The staunch devotion of Sister Thomson and her husband has been a model for their children. Their daughter was the first member from the area to serve a mission, laboring in England. Their son Stanley has served in many leadership capacities in the Church.
The gospel first came to Scotland in December 1839. From that time through the first fifty years of this century, membership in the Aberdeen area fluctuated because of emigration to America, Australia, and South Africa, and because of the two world wars. In recent years, though, growth has been significant.
When the plans for the first Church-built chapel in Aberdeen were developed several years ago, some of the thirty-four members in the city questioned the need for such a large parking area; only one family among them owned a car. But mission president Bernard P. Brockbank (now a General Authority Emeritus) told them they would see the day when the Saints in Aberdeen wouldn’t be able to get all their cars in it. That day has arrived. The stake now has more than 1,600 members.
The Aberdeen stake spans the width of Scotland. Dedication is required of members like Roddy and Phyllis Ross of Inverness, who must travel more than one hundred miles one way for stake meetings and conferences. When they go to the temple, it is a two-hour trip to the stake center, then twelve hours more to the temple. But despite the distance, Aberdeen Saints travel often to the temple, and some spend a week or more at a time there doing work for the dead.
Well-known Scottish storyteller Stanley Robertson lives in Aberdeen. He joined the Church in 1965 and has since brought thirty members of his extended family into the Church. He is known at home and abroad for his books, ballads, and songs. But “I couldn’t have done anything without the Church,” he says. “The first time I sang was at a Relief Society party, and now I travel the world singing my songs.”
Brother Robertson’s prominence has been an asset in his current calling as stake public communications director, as he has done much to promote the image of the Church in his native land.
Public attention can be very important. Generally Latter-day Saints are not well known in Aberdeen, explains stake president James Rae Dressel. It is important that other Scots come to know them and the quality of their lives.
The gospel is crucial to the quality of Scottish Saints’ lives, says President Dressel’s wife, Patricia. “Emphasis on family unity has given us a goal to work toward as we counsel and teach the principles to our children. We know the gospel will carry them through their lives,” she says. And personally, she adds, the gospel “enables me to do things I would never have the courage to do otherwise.”
The hardy Saints of Aberdeen stand out as Scots, President Dressel says, and they are consistently gaining in spiritual strength through membership in the Church. “Ours is a proud heritage and a promising future.”
Correspondent: Leslie Smith, assistant press officer for the Church in the British Isles.
[photos] Photos by Paul Smith
[photo] A 33-mile stretch of North Sea coastline borders Aberdeen, Scotland, known as the “Silver City by the Sea.”
[photo] Quaint and beautiful, Aberdeen’s landscape has won many garden competitions.
[photo] A group of Aberdeen Saints gather. The stake spans the width of Scotland.
Latter-day Scriptures in Two More Languages
“Latter-day Scriptures in Two More Languages,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 78
Latter-day scriptures have recently become available in two more languages.
The Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price are now available in Arabic. Selections from the Book of Mormon is now available in CHamorro, which is spoken on the island territory of Guam.
Making the scriptures available in these two languages, at the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve furthers progress toward fulfilling the Lord’s commission “that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language.” (D&C 90:11.)
These scriptures may be ordered by ward librarians or through Church distribution centers. The cost is $2.00 each. The stock numbers are: Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price in Arabic, PBCS0222AR; Selections from the Book of Mormon in CHamorro, PBMI4405CMR.
A Conversation about Church Service
William L. Pulsipher, “A Conversation about Church Service,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 79
Each year, a vast number of workers donate their time and skills to the Church through the Church Service program. To find out more about the program and how it works, the Ensign spoke with its director, William L. Pulsipher.
Q.: When did the program start?
A.: A First Presidency announcement on 26 April 1985 introduced the program to the Church, but actually the Church Service program began earlier. Its purposes were to supplement Church needs and to give members opportunities to serve. The program, first implemented in the Utah North and Utah South areas, has proven successful and is now used in many areas of the Church worldwide. An additional important change came when the First Presidency announced on 1 December 1989 that “effective immediately, all full-time Church Service workers whose assignment requires them to leave their homes will be called as full-time missionaries with an additional assignment.
Q.: How many people are involved in Church Service?
A.: More than fifty-three thousand. Most serving full-time are retired, but those serving part-time are in many different stages of life and give a few hours each week as their schedules permit. People may serve in their home area or in other places around the world.
Q.: What kinds of jobs are Church Service workers given?
A.: Church Service workers are serving in many of the departments of the Church, wherever they are needed. Many occupations and services are represented, and a number of professional people donate hours of service in their fields of training. Some examples of assignments include working in a variety of family history activities, helping locate members, serving in a variety of administrative responsibilities in the temples, and helping at Beehive Clothing Distribution Centers. Church Service workers are also serving at the Polynesian Cultural Center and in the following departments: Church Educational System, Curriculum, Finance and Records, Materials Management, Physical Facilities, Public Communications, Welfare Services, Nauvoo Restoration, and Historical.
Q.: How do individuals become Church Service workers?
A.: First of all, they have an interview with their bishop and fill out a Church Service Recommendation form, if they plan on serving while living at home. Those who will leave their homes to serve fill out regular missionary forms. On the form the volunteers list skills, interests, employment history, and availability for service and answer general questions about their health. This helps us place people in positions where they can make the greatest contribution. Missionary recommendation forms are available to bishops through the Salt Lake Distribution Center. Church Service recommendation forms can be ordered by calling our office at (801) 240-4077 or by writing to us at 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.
Q.: What happens after individuals send in their forms?
A.: When we receive a form, we review it and then have the department that has requested a worker review the form. We want to ensure that both the department and the individual have a positive experience. Then a “call” is issued.
Q.: From whom do “calls” and “releases” come?
A.: All calls are coordinated through the director of Church Service. Individuals who will serve while living at home receive six-, twelve-, or eighteen-month calls signed by the General Authority who oversees the department in which they will serve. Since the recent First Presidency announcement, those who serve away from home receive twelve- or eighteen-month calls from the President of the Church. Before the workers begin serving, they are set apart by local leaders—the bishop for part-time workers, and the stake president for full-time workers. Releases come from the General Authority who heads the department in which the volunteer has served.
Q.: How can Church members find out about service opportunities?
A.: A good place to start is to talk to their bishop or stake president. We provide a monthly listing to priesthood leaders that shows Church Service openings. We can also provide suggestions of what people might do, and if a person has specific skills he or she would like to contribute, we can often arrange a special assignment.
Q.: What is the relationship of the proselyting missionary program to the Church Service program?
A.: Church Service does not decrease the need for or emphasis on proselyting missionaries. But for people who have filled proselyting missions or who can’t go for some reason, Church Service is a good option. Church Service workers have many of the same opportunities for service as proselyting missionaries; the program provides a way for them to express their testimonies, their devotion to the Church, and their love for their fellowmen.
[photo] William L. Pulsipher, director of the Church Service program. (Photo by Welden Andersen.)
Family History Computer Program Updated
“Family History Computer Program Updated,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 80
The Family History Department’s popular Personal Ancestral File (PAF) program for IBM and IBM-compatible home computers has recently been updated.
The updated version 2.2 of the MSDOS-based PAF program offers a new match-merge function that allows users who get family history information from another computer to find duplicate information quickly. Version 2.2 also pre-qualifies names for submission according to the latest rules for having temple work completed. It has the ability to personalize forms and reports by groups and ranges of names, and it offers enhanced backup and restore options as well.
The PAF program is now available as version 2.2 for IBM and IBM-compatible computers, as version 2.1 for the Apple Macintosh, and as version 2.0 for the Apple II. The Apple Macintosh version, which was released late in 1988, enables users to do almost everything the newest MSDOS program will do, but it lacks the new features mentioned above.
The cost of PAF for home computers is $35. Registered users of earlier versions of the MSDOS-based PAF, however, should have received or will receive a letter explaining how they can upgrade to PAF 2.2 at a reduced price.
Information about the PAF program can be obtained from the Ancestral File Operations Unit, Family History Department, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, telephone 801-240-2584.
The program may be purchased through Church distribution centers. The stock numbers for the new MSDOS version 2.2 are: PBGS1828 (5 1/4-inch disk) and PBGS1839 (3 1/2-inch disk). For the Macintosh: PBGS161A. For the Apple II: PBGS1187.
Latter-day Saint Is First Woman to Chair Council
Janet Hughes, “Latter-day Saint Is First Woman to Chair Council,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 80
Mary Armstrong, of the Consett Branch, Sunderland England Stake, has become the first woman to chair the Derwentside Council. The council covers an area with a population of more than eighty thousand. As chair, Mary’s functions include leading the full council meetings, signing official documents, hosting visitors and dignitaries, and meeting with other local authorities in County Durham.
Among the duties Mary most enjoys is visiting the elderly on such occasions as Diamond Wedding anniversaries and birthdays. “People are so grateful and loving,” she says, adding that the privilege of being in their lives makes her feel humble.
Mary was born in No Place, England, and gained her initial interest in politics through her trade union, the Union of Shop Distributors and Allied Workers. She founded the West Stanley Branch of the USDAW and later joined the Labour Party. After serving in various ways, she was elected to the council in 1983. Then, in May 1989, after serving as vice-chairman for a year, she became the first woman chairman.
Eleven years ago, Mary sought out the missionaries after seeing the difference the Church made in the life of her son Thomas—one of her four children. Since Mary’s baptism, her husband, Chris, has also joined the Church. “As much as my civic involvement means to me, my family and the Church are the most important things in my life,” she says.—Janet Hughes, Lanchester, England
“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 80
GUATEMALA CITY—Two missionaries died in a boating accident on Wednesday, 3 January 1990. Elder Brian Bartholomew of Modesto, California, and Elder Adam Leach of Laguna Beach, California, presumably drowned. A third missionary, Elder Eric Lee Carter of McMinnville, Tennessee, survived the accident—swimming to shore after the boat they were in capsized on Lake Atitlan.
The three missionaries, serving in the Guatemala City North Mission, were on their way to obtain a birth record for a baptism.
MOSCOW, USSR—Barbara R. Wheeler, director of BYU’s School of Social Work, was elected leader of a group of twenty-three women who traveled to Moscow as part of an exchange between Soviet and American women. This event, sponsored by the Citizen Ambassador Program, was designed as a forum to discuss women’s roles in the two different societies.
“Appointments,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 80
Phoenix West and North regions, Otto S. Shill, Jr., surgeon, former bishop, high councilor, counselor in stake presidency, and stake president.
Dominican Republic and San Juan Puerto Rico regions, Wilford M. Farnsworth, Jr., retired banker, former branch president, district president, bishop, high councilor, counselor in stake presidency, and mission president.
Papeete Tahiti Region, Jean-Michel Carlson, marketing manager at the Tahiti Tourist Promotion Board, former bishop, high councilor, and stake president.
Update: Church Magazines
“Update: Church Magazines,” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 80
The circulation of Church magazines has continued to grow steadily over the past year. At the end of 1989, the combined circulation of Church magazines was 1,203,000.
Judy C. Olsen is a writer for the Southern Nevada Multiregion Public Communications Council and a member of the Crestwood Ward, Las Vegas Nevada East Stake.