News of the Church


First Presidency Announces Conference Dates

General sessions of the 144th semiannual general conference of the Church will begin Friday, October 5, and continue through Sunday, October 7. The priesthood session will be held at 7:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 6.

Prior to the general conference of the Church, Relief Society sisters from all over the world will gather for the annual Relief Society general conference October 3 and 4, to be conducted by Belle S. Spafford, General President of Relief Society.

Special Sunday School conference sessions will be held October 4 and 5. The Thursday sessions will be departmental workshops and the Friday session will be evening general meeting.

The schedule for worldwide radio and television coverage of conference sessions has been sent to Church leaders. A conference audience of several million listeners and viewers is expected to participate in the spirit of the sessions.

President Harold B. Lee will preside over the conference, assisted by Presidents N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney.

Washington, D.C., Temple President Called

Edward E. Drury, Jr., recently released as president of the Delaware-Maryland Mission, has been called by the First Presidency to be president of the new Washington, D.C., temple.

Sister Drury will serve as temple matron.

The First Presidency explained that the new temple president was called at this time so that he can spend several months visiting other temples and becoming acquainted with temple procedures.

President Drury has spent most of his adult life in Denver and Salt Lake City. A native of Salt Lake City, he moved to Denver where he served as president of the Denver Branch and then as bishop of the Denver First Ward. He later served for 21 years as president of the Denver Stake.

He returned to Salt Lake City where he served as a member of the Priesthood Home Teaching Committee and as a Regional Representative of the Twelve.

Sister Drury has been active in all of the auxiliaries of the Church. They have two daughters and a son.

Construction of the Washington, D.C., temple began in 1971. Dedication is expected in 1974. The temple will serve more than 300,000 members of the Church living in eastern United States and Canada. It is under construction on a 57.4 acre site at 9900 Stony Brook Drive in Kensington, Maryland, a Washington, D.C., suburb.

[photo] President and Sister Edward E. Drury Jr.

New Stakes Created in Brazil

Two new stakes of the Church were recently organized in southern Brazil when Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve presided at the organization of the Campinas Stake and the Santos Stake.

The new stakes bring the total number of stakes in that country to five. The other Brazilian stakes are the Curitiba Stake and the São Paulo, São Paulo East, and São Paulo South stakes.

President Nelson de Genaro was called as president of the Campinas Stake. The six wards and one branch of the new stake were carved from portions of the Brazil North Mission and the São Paulo Stake.

President Jose Gonzales Lopez was called as president of the new Santos Stake. The five wards and four branches that make up this new stake were formerly assigned to the São Paulo South Stake and the Brazil Central Mission.

The first missionaries from the Church went to Brazil in 1929 under the direction of President Rheinhold Stoof. Since that time, the Church has grown steadily in this largest country in South America.

Japanese Center Dedicated at Hawaii Temple

A visitors information center designed especially to serve Japanese tourists to Hawaii has been formally opened on the grounds of the Hawaii Temple in Laie. It is a section of the presently existing Hawaii Temple Visitors Center.

Presiding over the recent dedication service was Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Council of the Twelve.

Elder Hinckley told the more than 500 guests that “the purpose of this center is to communicate, … to teach people … to love and appreciate one another, because we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father; we are all members of his eternal family.”

Also speaking at the dedication was Adney Y. Komatsu, regional and mission representative for the Japan Central and Japan West Missions.

The center, with its Japanese-speaking guides, many of them students at the nearby Church College of Hawaii, and Japanese language movies and displays, will host an estimated 41,000 visitors during the balance of 1973. More than 320,000 people visited the grounds in 1972. Of these, more than 30,000 were from Japan.

Wesley N. Peterson, director of the Hawaii Temple Visitors Bureau, said, “We’re proud of our beautiful temple, and our new Japanese Visitors Center will explain clearly to our many Japanese guests, who themselves come from a land famous for beautiful shrines and sacred areas, why the Church has built this temple in Hawaii, and why it is sacred to members of the Church.”

[photo] More than 30,000 Japanese-speaking tourists are expected to visit the newly dedicated Japanese section of the Hawaii Temple Visitors Center this year. Here visitors view a portrait of President Heber J. Grant, who led the first missionaries to Japan in 1902.

Jamboree Includes 5,000 Mormon Youth

Almost 80,000 boys from the ages of 11 to 18 and their leaders, including almost 5,000 members of the Church, recently combined 200 tons of charcoal, one million quarts of milk, and 200,000 loaves of bread at opposite ends of the country—and came up with the 1973 U.S. National Scout Jamboree.

Besides attracting the largest crowd in jamboree history, this was the first year that the festivities were held in two locations. Jamboree West was held in August at Farragut State Park, Idaho. Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania was the site of Jamboree East, also held in August.

To help serve the spiritual needs of the Latter-day Saint Scouts and their leaders, a 10-member Mormon chaplain corps was stationed at each site. President Robert L. Backman of the Aaronic Priesthood MIA was chaplain general at Jamboree East, heading the LDS chaplain corps. President Jack H Goaslind, second counselor in the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood MIA, was chaplain general at Jamboree West.

The chaplain corps for both sections was composed of members of several stake presidencies, high councilors, past and present members of the Aaronic Priesthood MIA general board, and one Regional Representative of the Twelve.

Latter-day Saint boys attending the jamboree received a card signed by the Presiding Bishopric admonishing them to remember they were “the Lord’s representatives” and that in a missionary effort they were to “keep the standards of the Church, obey the Scout oath and law, and partake of this rare experience to the fullest.”

While living in two-man tents in a huge “tent city,” boys who attended the jamboree participated in fishing, swimming, boating, baseball, track, and football. As part of a special environmental control project, the boys monitored the air and water conditions at each site, and recycled beverage cans.

During the evenings, they participated in campfire activities and singing fests, as well as discussions of major issues concerning youth today.

They also participated in two special events, the Skill-o-Rama and the Arts and Sciences Expo. The Skill-o-Rama featured everything from a Hawaiian pig roast and a logrolling contest to a water bronco riding experience and folk dancing.

A new feature of the ’73 jamboree, the Arts and Sciences Expo, comprised of over 1,200 entries housed in two giant tents, included displays from young painters, photographers, craftsmen, writers, poets, sculptors, musicians, and scientists. Music displays included not only singing, but also compositions played on brass, woodwind, and stringed instruments as well as the accordion, piano, organ, and drums.

Science projects included a device to transmit signals along a laser beam and a device to detect pollutants in the air.

The gathering was the kind of event that molds character and builds vision in the hearts of young men while welding together boys and their leaders as they enjoy a common experience.

Latter-day Saint Indian Named College President

George Lee, counselor in the New Mexico–Arizona Mission presidency, has been named the president of College of Ganado on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona.

He is the first Indian to head the 400-student college, which was formerly a Presbyterian boarding school. President Lee, two other faculty members, and one student are the only Latter-day Saints at the school.

Prior to his appointment as president, Brother Lee was the assistant to the president. He is a candidate for a doctoral degree at Brigham Young University.

He is married to Kathleen Hettich, and they have two sons.

“Our college curriculum will emphasize the relevant needs of the Navajo community,” the new president said.

“There is a great need for training in business management so that the Indian people can operate their own businesses and manage the affairs of the reservation. There is also a vital need for more Indian teachers.”

In addition to meeting these needs, the college offers “occupational training” that will prepare Indians for jobs on the reservation and in hospitals and clinics.

[photo] George Lee

Genealogy Seminar Draws 2,700

Nearly 3,000 Latter-day Saint priesthood leaders and genealogy workers from throughout the Church recently gathered at Brigham Young University to promote the “spirit of Elijah,” to be instructed in their responsibilities in priesthood genealogy, and to improve their research skills. At the eighth annual Priesthood Genealogical Research Seminar, sponsored by the Priesthood Genealogy Committee and BYU, they attended classes in every phase of genealogy.

Ways to implement the priesthood genealogy program were explored by participants under the direction of Elder Theodore M. Burton, managing director of the Priesthood Genealogy Committee and an Assistant to the Twelve. Also participating were Elders Howard W. Hunter and Mark E. Petersen of the Council of the Twelve.

Highlight of the week-long seminar was a banquet for all participants where President Harold B. Lee told them “not to neglect the living while doing vital work for the dead.” He stressed the importance of the family unit and termed family home evening an important part of Church genealogy work.

Also speaking at the banquet was Dr. James O. Mason, commissioner of Health Services for the Church. Speaking on the influence of heredity, he said:

“Genetics helps us to understand that we indeed are of one flesh and that our heritage and blessings are literally related to our progenitors. Our rights, privileges, and blessings as bearers of the priesthood, subject to our individual worthiness, is through a literal or adopted lineage back to Father Abraham.

“What a tremendous obligation is therefore upon us to be noble and valiant in keeping with our heritage.”

In attendance at the seminar were representatives from 105 of the 139 branch genealogical libraries located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, representatives from 15 areas seeking approval to become branch libraries also attended.

Single Nonstudents Return to Home Wards

Under a new program initiated in mid-August at the request of the First Presidency, nonstudents who have been attending the student branches at the University of Utah have returned to their home wards.

The three branches of the student stakes which had served the nonstudents were discontinued.

Because only a limited number of single nonstudents in the Salt Lake Valley could be served by these branches, the First Presidency felt it best to eliminate them and expand other Church programs.

“Their spiritual and social needs will now be served in home wards and stakes. The Melchizedek Priesthood MIA has been especially assigned to assist in meeting these needs,” said Elder James E. Faust, managing director of the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA and an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve.

In the new Melchizedek Priesthood program, these single members of the Church will assume the major responsibility for planning programs that meet their needs.

These programs may include special sessions of Relief Society, Sunday School, and home evening groups.

Stakes with sufficient single members not living at home may be granted approval to organize special branches with the approval of the First Presidency. To date, three Salt Lake City stakes—Emigration, Ensign, and University West—have organized such branches.

BYU Awards Degrees to 2,143 Graduates

Graduates of 12 academic colleges and the Graduate School recently received diplomas at the Brigham Young University Summer Commencement.

University officials awarded 2,143 degrees—39 doctorates, 385 masters, 1,602 bachelors, and 117 associates—bringing the total for the 1972–73 academic year to 5,781.

U.S. Senator Wallace F. Bennett, Latter-day Saint from Utah, addressed the graduates before they separated for individual college convocations.

As part of the exercises, Brother R. Grant Athay, astrophysicist at the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, was awarded the James E. Talmage Scientific Achievement Award.

Also honored was Monroe Paxman, national prominent authority on juvenile court problems, who received the Abraham O. Smoot Public Service Award. Brother Paxman joined the BYU faculty in September 1973.

Poster Boy Visits President Lee

[photo] Scotty Hafen, 1974 National Poster Boy for the March of Dimes, kisses President Harold B. Lee on the cheek during a recent visit to Salt Lake City. Also the 1973 Nevada Poster Boy, Scotty, 4, will appear on poster across the nation during the March of Dimes drive. He is the son of Brother and Sister Gary Hafen of Las Vegas, where Brother Hafen is a high councilor and the principal of an elementary school. Scotty is the youngest of five children, all adopted. The older children are Bradley, 13; Sandy, 9; Diana Lynn, 8; and Brett, 5.

Folkdancers in Israel

[photo] Brigham Young University’s Folkdancers were recently part of the pageantry of the city of Haifa’s first Folklore Festival. Performing before 5,000 spectators, the BYU students were the only American representatives in the celebration of Israel’s 25th anniversary, which attracted over 300 dancers and musicians from eight countries. The appearances in Israel were the climax of a monthlong tour which has taken the student dancers to performances in Spain and Greece.

Grandland Singers Entertain Children

[photos] “Project Happiness” became a reality for the one hundred members of the Grandland Singers recently when they visited the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and presented a concert there. Created through the Young Adult program of the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA, the Grandland Singers are based at Cerritos College, Norwalk, California. Their continuing service project, “Project Happiness,” is a plan to raise funds for the Primary Children’s Hospital. According to Raymond E. Ferguson, national chairman of the project, the group members have introduced the project to Young Adults all over the nation and have adopted as their personal project to get others enthused and support the program.

LDS Scene

Two Latter-day Saint girls have been named runnersup to Miss Indian America. First runnerup is Claralynn West, a White Mountain Apache Indian from Show Low, Arizona. Glenna Jenks, a Ute Indian from Roosevelt, Utah, is second runnerup. Jan Sekayumptewa, a Hopi Indian from Hotevilla, Arizona, received honorable mention.

Bruce Louthan of Kankakee, Illinois, and Marilyn Malone of Phoenix, Arizona, are winners of the Hayes Archaeological Scholarships to support research on Book of Mormon archaeology in Central America. Brother Louthan will compare early Mayan pottery with that of the Iron Age found in the Syro-Palestine area. Sister Malone will study Mesoamerican temples and note any resemblances to ancient temples found in the Near East. The scholarships are sponsored by Brother and Sister P. Kennan Hayes of Seattle, Washington.

Four members of the Church have been honored by the American Academy of Achievement. Receiving “Golden Plate” awards from the Academy were Sam D. Battistone, vice chairman of the board of Sambo’s Restaurants, Inc.; Mrs. Ivy Baker Priest, treasurer of California and former treasurer of the United States; James A. Jensen, curator of the Earth Sciences Museum at Brigham Young University; and Robert L. Rice, founder and president of Health Industries, Inc.

Brother and Sister C. Edward Geiger of San Diego, California, recently presented a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon to the University of California at San Diego. The book, still in excellent condition, was purchased from a rare book dealer in Chicago. It bore the inscription, “Hyram Crosby, No. 103.”

Two Latter-day Saint students at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, recently took second place honors at the Junior College National Forensic Tournament. The two, LaNice Waddoups and Debra Tibbitts, are both from Lost River Stake in Idaho and were third place winners in the national competition a year ago.

Ronald G. Hyde, executive director of the Brigham Young University Alumni Association, was recently installed as chairman of the board of the American Alumni Council. He will represent the Council at nine regional conferences to help the 1,563 member schools plan their alumni activities.

The Young Ambassadors, a Brigham Young University Program Bureau troupe, were seen this summer by over one million people throughout Central and South America. Highlights of their six-week tour included a 40-minute appearance on Argentine television in addition to a performance for the Secretaries of Education and Culture and 1,200 spectators at the São Paulo University Auditorium in Brazil. The tour also included major performances in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, San Salvador, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, and Uruguay.

The inability to hear should not be a deterrent to having fun—and it isn’t, as was recently proven when 28 deaf teens gathered on the Brigham Young University campus for a special workshop. Inspired by the “fun and spiritual experiences of youth attending priesthood youth conferences,” Dr. Ross M. Weaver initiated a similar workshop for deaf teenagers. Workshop activities included sports and recreation, vocational guidance, and spiritual and social discussions. Dr. Ray L. Jones, an assistant at the workshop, stressed that society “has imposed limitations on the deaf, but we have shown that with proper training, a deaf person can be just as successful as a non-handicapped person.”

[photo] LaNice Waddoups and Debra Tibbitts

President Lee Visits Hill Cumorah Pageant

President Harold B. Lee attended the opening night performance of the Hill Cumorah Pageant this year, the first time he has visited the “birthplace” of the Church since becoming its president.

While in Palmyra, New York, early home of Joseph Smith and site of the Hill Cumorah, he addressed several Church meetings at the pageant site and in the Palmyra Ward chapel.

The pageant, titled “America’s Witness for Christ,” is based on scenes from the Bible and Book of Mormon and features a volunteer cast of 600.

[photos] The side of Hill Cumorah was turned into a giant stage and amphitheater for the large audience of Canadians and Americans who came to see the nationally famous pageant. For the cast, one of the highlights was the opportunity to meet and hear the counsel of President Harold B. Lee. He addressed a special meeting of cast members and missionaries held in the Sacred Grove, site of the first vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Art From the Mormon Festival of Arts

Each spring Brigham Young University conducts the Mormon Festival of Arts to display works that reflect Latter-day Saint ideals. This month-long festival includes music, drama, poetry, photography, paintings, and sculpture. Some of the paintings exhibited at the 1973 festival are shown here with comments by the artists about their work. Planning already is underway for the 1974 festival. Those wishing to enter works may obtain an application from F303 Harris Fine Arts Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.

[illustration] LIGHT OF CHRIST—Roger Bushman is an art student at Brigham Young University. “I have attempted to show through this design that all things are centered in Christ. The Light of Christ comes from the presence of God and fills the immensity of space. There are really two designs in one: the crosses representing Christ and the rays representing the Light of Christ.”

[illustration] SIXTH WARD—Ira Gagon, a Brigham Young University art student, has studied in Phoenix, Boston, and Florence, Italy. He and his wife and child now live in Provo. In his painting of this meetinghouse that is now torn down, he says he “wanted to show that a church building represents only a temporary facility where we can learn eternal truths and participate in important gospel ordinances. The building is important, but what is learned there is more important.”

[photo] THE AGGIE-SHOOTERS—An avid marbles player in his youth, sculptor Jack Morford reflected the many happy hours he spent pursuing this pastime in this life-sized sculpture cast in fiberglass and resin. Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Brother Morford now lives in Rexburg, Idaho, where he teaches sculpture at Ricks College and is second counselor in a college branch presidency. He and his wife have three children. “At the time I created this, I was living in California and working toward my master’s degree in fine arts. One of my neighbors had an eight-year-old boy, and I asked him to play marbles with a couple of his friends. As they played, I look photographs; then I selected the best poses. I cast these pieces in fiberglass and resin because it is very durable, yet each figure is light enough to be moved around to any number of poses.”

[illustration] JOSEPH—Artist James I. Young, art instructor at the College of Eastern Utah, Price, Utah, was born and reared in Price, where he presently lives with his wife and two children. He is a member of the Price Fifth Ward, Carbon Stake. Of his painting he says: “The simplicity of the Joseph Smith story is compelling. It lends itself to clear and striking graphic presentation. However, I did not attempt to portray through realism the way I think Joseph looked or the way the Father and the Son looked. I merely suggested the essence of the situation as I believe it occurred. The color choices were selected to portray the contrasting forces of good and evil that were present. The black forms and split canvas were selected to help describe Satan’s attempted influence on this truth-seeking lad as he sought to know his Father in heaven and the Savior, who appeared to him as two distinct personages.”

[illustration] BLESSING—Trevor Southey, professional artist and teacher, is elders quorum instructor in the Alpine (Utah) Second Ward. He and his wife have two children. “I am a convert to the Church and have always been very moved when witnessing the blessing of babies. In this painting I wanted to symbolize that for an instant this circle of men brings the power of the priesthood in focus on this little child, who has so recently left the presence of his Father in heaven. These three priesthood bearers in a very real way form a protective circle around the infant and provide him with the protection of the priesthood.”