Energy Crisis: First Presidency Encourages Conservation of Fuel; Reports From the Saints Around the World

A call to action to conserve energy resources has been issued by the First Presidency as many Latter-day Saints face severe fuel and power shortages around the world.

In a letter to all stakes, wards, branches, and missions, the First Presidency encouraged members, among other measures, to walk to church meetings where feasible, hold back-to-back meetings, and hold all auxiliary activities on one day of the week.

In encouraging members to walk where appropriate to their meetings, the First Presidency cautioned, “In making this suggestion we recommend that Church members use wisdom and avoid undue hazard to personal safety in traveling to and from church services.”

The First Presidency also authorized other measures to cope with the energy crisis, including:

—Eliminating all outside lighting at Church buildings, except that necessary to provide adequate security or prevent injury.

—Encouraging Church members to join car pools and urging them to observe prescribed speed limits.

—Lowering thermostats in homes where feasible and eliminating unnecessary consumption of electricity or fuel.

The letter also suggested that “the topic of fuel conservation be seriously discussed by all members of the family in a family home evening.”

Where long distances are involved in traveling to Church meetings, wards and branches have been given the authority to conduct consecutive meetings so that priesthood, Sunday School, and sacrament meetings would be held one after another instead of being spread throughout the day.

As a local option, all auxiliary meetings may be scheduled on one day of the week, so that Primary, Relief Society, and the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood MIAs would no longer be held on different days.

Many wards and branches are already holding back-to-back meetings to overcome the problems of long-distance travel, or even to conserve fuel by heating the meetinghouse for a part of the day instead of all day with long periods of time between meetings.

For many of the Saints, a shortage of gasoline for personal cars is not a problem as they usually travel by public transportation, by bicycle, or on foot.

In the Netherlands, for instance, personal driving on Sunday has been banned. Elder Jacob de Jager, regional representative of the Council of the Twelve for the Holland Region, told the Ensign that he has to obtain a special permit to use his car on Sundays for Church work.

“Gasoline has been rationed and people have to use coupons to buy it now. They are allowed 15 litres [approximately five gallons] per week. I drive a diesel-fueled car, but I can receive permission to use it on Sunday. I am told the route I must travel to the town I want to visit, and then I am allowed one hour before the service and one hour after the service for that travel. Should I be stopped by the authorities and it is found that I have exceeded the time allotted me, then I could be fined 500 Dutch guilders [$200]. That is a standard fine. I have to make application for each Sunday that I want to travel on Church business, and it isn’t easy to get a permit.”

With all the problems arising from a shortage of gasoline, President Max L. Pinegar, president of the Netherlands Mission, reports that, during the past several weeks, “we have had a number of branches reporting an increase in attendance both at Sunday School and sacrament meeting. President Cornelis de Bruijn of the Holland Stake tells me that sacrament meeting attendance has not dropped even though the members are not permitted to drive on Sunday.”

Of the overall attitude of the Saints in the Netherlands, Elder de Jager said: “In general, I would say that they are in good spirits. They group together and help each other. A lot of members have some sort of year’s supply. We see the wisdom of the Brethren who have always taught us to store supplies for times such as this. This is a good example of how a year’s supply can help.”

Elder de Jager said that, of the European countries that he has visited recently, the Netherlands appeared to be affected the worst by the shortage of fuel. “There have been some shortages, too, of a few commodities, but this mainly has been brought about by panic buying on the part of some people.”

Elder de Jager’s statement on the wisdom of the year’s supply came just after some admonitions by President Harold B. Lee at a special devotional for Church employees in Salt Lake City. President Lee asked how many of them, working close to the Brethren, had made food storage a part of their lives. He said that the Church is not talking about storing all the food one would normally eat, but the essentials that would sustain one in times of need.

The same day that President Lee addressed Church employees, Prime Minister Edward Heath announced a three-day work week for Britain. Brought on by strikes among electrical power workers, coal miners, and railroad workers, the three-day work week aimed at conserving fuel.

In a report to the Ensign, London Stake President John Cox said, “We have been asked to conserve electrical power. Householders have been requested to heat only one room in their houses by electricity, and while we can still get home heating fuel, we have been asked to lower our thermostats.

“Gasoline for cars is still available, although you have to line up at service stations to get it. It has gone up in price and is now a little over one dollar per gallon.

“On the whole, the Saints are doing well as far as Church activity goes. This may change for the worse if the industrial strikes and slowdowns continue. Then the slowdown will go beyond fuel and hit at other commodities.”

Energy shortages not only have had an impact on families, but also have forced changes on institutions.

Lighting was cut back in several areas in the 26-story General Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, and employees were asked to turn off unnecessary lights and conserve energy at work and in their homes.

At Brigham Young University, a special task force is seeking to eliminate any waste of energy and to propose conservation methods on campus. However BYU has been practicing energy conservation for many years and surveys indicate that it may be the most efficiently-used campus in the world. The campus is also used year-round, a request made of other American universities by President Richard M. Nixon.

The BYU task force recommendations resulted in room temperatures being lowered during the winter months, while this summer, air-conditioning will operate at 80 degrees instead of 72. Where natural light is sufficient for working conditions, electric lights will not be used. A special feature of the BYU campus has been the snow-melting system operating under the footpaths. Now, this system will not operate except where necessary.

Looking ahead, the task force recommended that new buildings under construction, or under consideration, should be designed for conservation of energy.

Students returning home for the Christmas vacation were requested by President Dallin H. Oaks to leave their cars behind when they returned. Like Church employees in Salt Lake City, BYU staff, faculty, and students were urged to use car pools if they had long distances to travel to campus each day, or to walk or use bicycles.

Voicing the oft-repeated concept of teaching people correct principles and permitting them to govern themselves, President Oaks said, “We have avoided setting out specific courses of action in the [conservation] policy because we wanted to set basic principles that would guide us in multiple situations over a considerable period of time.”

Energy Saving Tips

In a time of abundance, many countries of the world are finding themselves facing serious shortages. The most pressing shortage and the most immediate crisis seems to be that of energy.

Energy produces our food and manufactured goods. Energy moves us from place to place and heats our homes and cooks our food. It is energy that we are short of.

Many magazines, newspapers, and government officials have made suggestions and imposed restrictions in order to urge us to use our power supplies in the most efficient manner. Most suggestions for saving energy are not ones which will lower anyone’s standard of living. They are simply reminders for eliminating wasted energy, suggestions that will save everyone both energy and money. Most of the suggestions are applicable primarily in the United States, because with 7 percent of the world’s population, the United States uses 50 percent of the world’s energy.

Some of the suggestions printed below have special importance because of our membership in the Church; others are more general.


1. Where possible, walk to church. In many towns and cities in Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, a chapel is within walking distance for many members.

2. Where getting to church requires driving, members should consider car pooling. Men could easily come together for priesthood meeting, the sisters to Relief Society. An average Latter-day Saint family might fill a car for Sunday School or sacrament meeting, but, if not, members could car pool and pick up others on the way.

3. Make the most effective use of buses or other rapid transit methods. As energy problems increase, many cities will improve their bus services. Bus travel may cease to be an inconvenience and become a necessity.

4. Plan automobile trips carefully. Think and plan ahead about shopping for food, clothing, and entertainment.

5. Slow down. A car traveling 50 miles per hour uses 20 percent less gasoline than the same car traveling at 70 miles per hour.

6. Keep your car tuned for its most efficient use.

Heating and Cooling Your House

1. Find out all you can about your home heating system and follow the rules that will give you best results. For instance, in some cases, it takes more fuel to bring the temperature up in the morning to the desired level than it does to keep it at a lower constant level all of the time.

2. Don’t be afraid to wear a sweater inside the house—and turn the thermostat down.

3. Check your furnace filter to make certain that it is clean.

4. When not using the fireplace, close the damper.

5. Eliminate drafts from doors and windows that do not shut properly.

6. In the winter, keep the heat in; in the summer, keep the heat out. That means closing drapes at night in the winter to keep the heat in and opening them during the day to let the sun in. In the summer it means opening doors and windows during the cool part of the day and closing them during severe heat.

Using Appliances Wisely

1. Turn off the color television set when you are not watching something. Today a color television set uses as much power as an entire house did 25 years ago.

Surveys indicate that the television set runs five hours a day in the average American home. What would one or two hours less television daily do for you and your family in terms of family unity, and time for reading and enjoyable projects?

2. Take a long look at the appliances you are using and determine which are really necessary. Do you really need an electric toothbrush or an automatic trash compactor?

3. Use your automatic dishwasher wisely—only when it’s full.

4. Make certain that you are using your clothes dryer as efficiently as possible. All dryers use lots of power, so you might consider drying your clothes outside when weather permits.

5. When cooking on an electric range, turn off the heat a few minutes earlier than you usually do. The heat left in the burner and in the pan will finish your cooking job.

6. Keep your natural gas-burning stove clean. A clear blue flame means you are using your heat efficiently. If the flame is yellow, the stove gas ports are clogged and a repairman should be called.

7. Where possible, use cold water in your washing machine.

8. Heating an iron takes a lot more energy than keeping it hot. So when you heat an iron, do a complete batch of ironing.

Miscellaneous Savers

1. Home lighting is a good place to save energy. Turn out lights when you leave a room. Unless specifically needed, use bulbs with a lower wattage than you normally would. Don’t use a 150-watt bulb where a 100-watt bulb would work just as well. Many lighting units contain multiple bulbs. Could one or two bulbs do just as well?

2. Repair leaky faucets. A drop of hot water once each second uses 2,500 gallons of water per year.

LDS and Primary Children’s Hospitals to Merge

The Latter-day Saints Hospital and the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City are to be merged under one administration.

“However,” says Dr. James O. Mason, commissioner of the Church Health Services Corporation, “we are determined to maintain the separate identity of the Primary Children’s Hospital. Primary birthday pennies will be as greatly needed as ever.

“Thousands of inpatients and outpatients require Primary Hospital services. This merger will enable us to render the greatest service for each Primary birthday penny because the hospitals will be able to share benefits and lower operating costs.”

The two hospitals, four blocks apart on the “Avenues” northeast of Temple Square, may eventually share emergency rooms and ambulatory care. Some remodeling at both hospitals also may be required.

Integration of the hospitals reflects a national trend of declining occupancy in children’s hospitals, reflecting the emphasis being placed on preventive medicine, greater use of antibiotics, more treatment of illness at home, and the decline of polio.

The LDS Hospital opened in 1913 as the Dr. W. H. Groves Latter-day Saints Hospital, named after the donor who left an estate valued at $50,000 toward the establishment of a hospital to bear his name. The Primary Children’s Hospital opened its doors at its present location in 1952. Prior to that time it had been located on North Temple Street directly north of Temple Square, where it opened in 1922. Both hospitals were guided by a Board of Trustees with the Presiding Bishopric as chairman and vice-chairmen.

Today the Presiding Bishopric functions as chairman and vice-chairmen of the board of trustees for the Health Services Corporation which operates the 14 Latter-day Saint hospitals.

Administrator of the integrated LDS Hospital and the Primary Children’s Hospital will be David B. Wirthlin, present administrator of LDS Hospital. Thomas R. Harris, Primary Children’s Hospital administrator, will serve as associate administrator with responsibility for Primary Children’s medical center.

Total integration of the two hospitals is expected to take two years.

New Missionary Language Training Center

The First Presidency has approved the construction of a new Language Training Mission complex to provide centralized training of all non-English-language-speaking full-time missionaries.

The new facility, to be constructed on the Brigham Young University campus southwest of the Provo Temple, is expected to be completed within two and one-half years. It will be administered by BYU under the direction of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve.

In its new location, the facility will be able to take advantage of the extensive training operations already in existence on that campus. An added advantage is that more than 7,500 BYU students are returned missionaries, many of them fluent in non-English languages and available to assist in teaching languages and cultures.

The mission complex will be composed of nine buildings and will provide residence halls for elders, lady missionaries, and missionary couples, in addition to food services, classrooms, language laboratories, laundry facilities, and administrative offices.

When the center is completed, the existing language training centers at BYU, Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, and Church College of Hawaii will be closed.

The Language Training Mission, first established at BYU in 1961 and then expanded to Ricks College and Church College of Hawaii, offers Afrikaans, French, German, Italian, Navajo, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tahitian at BYU. Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish are taught at Ricks College; training in Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Samoan, Tai, and Tongan is offered at the Church College of Hawaii.

Church officials point out that existing facilities on all three campuses are crowded due to the growth of the missionary program. A special study committee formed to plan the new center reported that, presently, approximately half the total full-time missionaries need to speak languages other than English.

All new missionaries will continue to report initially to the Missionary Home in Salt Lake City. As in the past, after the initial orientation and instruction, those called to serve in English-language missions will go directly to their missions, and the others will transfer to their language training center.

LDS Scene

Yugoslavian Hero

People took a second look—upward—when Kresimir Cosic made a return visit to Salt Lake City recently. Six feet eleven inches tall, Brother Cosic, from Zadar, Yugoslavia, became a member of the Church two years ago while a student at Brigham Young University and top player on BYU’s Cougar basketball team. Attracting national attention with his skill on the basketball court, Brother Cosic led the Cougars to two Western Athletic Conference basketball championships. Now he is attracting even more attention as a member of both the Yugoslav Olympic basketball team and that country’s national team. His recent visit to the United States was with the national team, which won six out of eight games. Prior to the tour, Brother Cosic was rated as Europe’s top basketball player when Yugoslavia defeated Spain in the European Olympic Basketball Tournament.

When he is not playing, Brother Cosic works as general manager of basketball teams in Zadar.

“I select the coaches for the men’s and women’s adult teams, the junior teams, and the children’s teams. In Yugoslavia, the schools do not sponsor the teams, but local clubs do,” he explained.

In his general manager’s contract there is a clause that provides him with four round-trip tickets each year to Provo. He foresees his eventual return to BYU to fulfill graduation requirements.

“I have about one semester to go before I can graduate,” he explained. “You see, before the school year ended I used to have to leave to return to Yugoslavia to meet my team commitments there. The first time I dropped one class, and then the next time two classes, so I never did graduate from BYU. But I hope to return to school eventually. I think if I come back I will be studying languages. Before I was in physical education and business education.”

Brother Cosic is reticent to delve into the details of his Church-oriented activity in Yugoslavia. “Most of my friends there are atheists, but if we get into a discussion on religion, then I can talk about the Church. I’m the only one in my family who is a member, of course, and the rest of them think I am crazy, but we have a good relationship, and they let me do what I like.

“I try to live the standards of the Church, and if people see something about me that they like, or they see the Church books that I read, then that opens the way for me to talk about the Church.”

There is no organized branch in Yugoslavia, although in Zadar there are three native-born Latter-day Saints, and at least two other members that Brother Cosic knows of.

Brother Cosic is almost a national hero in Yugoslavia, and reportedly declined a $200,000 contract to play basketball in Italy because he wanted to return to his hometown to the “people that I love.” This action has brought him additional acclaim.

Benefactor Dies

Ray Reeves, 69, an industrialist and benefactor to Brigham Young University, died in Laie, Hawaii, December 7. Brother and Sister Reeves donated their 1,044-acre ranch near San Clemente, California, plus $348,000 as an unrestricted gift to BYU in 1968. They were not members of the Church at the time of the donation, but eventually they were baptized, and they continued to reach out and help others. Each year, Brother Reeves provided a number of scholarships for BYU students, and also gave $100,000 toward construction of the San Clemente Ward chapel and $90,000 to the Church College of Hawaii. Brother and Sister Reeves made their first donation following an unheralded visit to BYU where they were impressed with the standards exhibited there.

Heads World Jaycees

A. Jay Smith, 37, a member of the Sacramento Third Ward, Sacramento (California) Stake, is the new president of the 425,000-member Jaycees International. A worldwide volunteer organization of members between the ages of 18 and 40, Jaycees International aims to utilize individual abilities and joint efforts of young people for the purpose of improving the social and spiritual well-being of mankind.

As president of the organization, Brother Smith will travel to approximately 50 countries.

Although he will be away from home during most of the year, his family will be involved in his work as much as possible. “My wife and I have always tried to have our three children involved in my Jaycee activity, and they have an interest in what I am doing. While I’m away they will chart my traveling on a map so that they know where I am.

“We have become concerned in the Jaycees with the quality of family life. We have come to recognize the fact that the family is the keystone to a sound moral nation,” he added. “The Church’s Family Home Evening program was the basis of a Jaycees program we call Personal Family Development, in which Jaycee members are encouraged to meet together with their families each Monday night.”

Brother Smith says qualities of the Church teachers—honesty and reliability—have been of value to him in his Jaycee activities. “I joined the Jaycees in 1962 and I have held offices of the local, state, and national levels, as well as helped head up special projects such as the international track and field meet between athletes from the United States and the Soviet Union.

“In everything that I have done, I have lived the standards of the Church, and I think that has been refreshing to a lot of people.”

Born in Albion, Idaho, raised in Brigham City, Utah, graduated from Utah State University, Brother Smith has been active in the Church and served a mission in New Zealand.

“The 1974 congress of Jaycees International will be in Auckland, New Zealand, and I’m really looking forward to visiting that country again. My wife will be accompanying me, and we are considering taking our two oldest children with us. It would give them the opportunity to see the country where I served as a missionary, and help them better relate to that experience, and they will get a better insight into my activities now.”

Brother Smith is a certified public accountant and is manager of a company in Sacramento.

Talented Beauty

A $4,000 scholarship was recently awarded Janet Louise Daines after she was selected first alternate to Miss Teenage America 1974. Sister Daines, 17, the daughter of Brother and Sister Newell G. Daines, Jr., of the Logan 24th Ward, Cache East (Utah) Stake, is active in the Church and is a fourth-year seminary student. A top student in her high school, Sister Daines is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Forensic League. She recognizes the Church as a “strong motivating force” in her life. “As a family, we try to make its principles a part of our daily lives.”

Indian Advisory Council

An Indian Education Advisory Council consisting primarily of American Indian students has been established to encourage direct student involvement in the Indian program at Brigham Young University. Chairman of the new council is John Maestas, a Pueblo-Tewa Indian from New Mexico, and chairman of BYU’s Indian Education Department. Vice-chairman is MacArthur Halona, a Navajo from Arizona who is president of the Tribe of Many Feathers, the campus Indian student organization. Other council members, also students, are Carnes Burson of the Ute Tribe, Utah; Strater Crowfoot, a Blackfoot from Alberta, Canada; Lora Locklear, a Lumbee from North Carolina; Ron McDade, a Cherokee from California; and Stan Snake, a Ponca from Oklahoma. Also on the council is John Rainier, a BYU faculty member and a Taos-Creek Indian from New Mexico, who is coordinator of personal services in the Indian Education Department.

Scouters Read of Pioneers

The January-February 1974 issue of Scouting, an official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, carried a major article, “The Mormon Trail West.” Written by Brother D. M. “Mac” Gardner, senior editor of the magazine, the article details the pioneer trek to the Salt Lake Valley and touches on the First Vision and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

World Champion Dancers

Dancers from all over the world stepped aside for Hugh Bigney when he became the first U.S. dancer to win the adult World Highland Dancing Championship in Dunoon, Scotland. Brother Bigney, 18, the son of Bishop and Sister Alexander W. Bigney of Lynnfield Ward, Boston (Massachusetts) Stake, began studying Highland dance when he was 11. Calling upon his Scottish heritage from his father’s family, Brother Bigney won many contests in the United States and Canada before traveling across the Atlantic for the world competition.

BYU Films Garner Awards

Two Brigham Young University films captured second-place honors at the recent 21st Annual Columbus International Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio. The festival, one of the oldest of its kind, attracted more than 800 entries from throughout the world. The BYU films, among the top 16 winners, dealt with the way the American Indian is meeting modern-day challenges, “Tomorrow’s Yesterday,” and “Run Dick, Run Jane,” a best-selling film based on the physical fitness book, The New Aerobics. The latter film has been in such great demand that it has been translated into Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Both films were featured at the international audio-visual convention in Tokyo, Japan, in December.

Miss Australia Quest

Hazel Fisher of the Brisbane Fourth Ward, Brisbane (Australia) Stake, was recently appointed as Queensland coordinator for the Miss Australia Quest that raises millions of dollars each year for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Australia. Sister Fisher arranges publicity for Miss Queensland and for Miss Australia, as well as acting as chaperone at various functions. With the opportunity of meeting many people, Sister Fisher gives publicity to the Church, and never fails to present the gospel to those willing to hear.

[photo] Kresimir Cosic. (Photo by Jed Clark.)

[photo] A. Jay Smith

[photo] Janet Louise Daines

[photo] Hugh Bigney

Arizona Media Representatives Visit Church Headquarters

[photo] Twenty-two representatives of Arizona newspapers, radio, and television visited Salt Lake City recently to gain a first-hand look at Church operations. Their schedule also included a tour of Welfare Square, Brigham Young University, and Temple Square, a press conference, and a dinner at which President Spencer W. Kimball and Elder Delbert L. Stapley, native Arizonans and members of the Council of the Twelve, spoke to the guests. A number of the visitors are seen here viewing Salt Lake City from atop the General Church Office Building.

New Pioneer Statue

[photo] The First Presidency has given approval for the placement of a new statue honoring the pioneers in the Brigham Young Cemetery on First Avenue in Salt Lake City. The statue is the project of the National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers (SUP), and will be paid for with funds raised by the SUP. A model of the statue, which will be life-size, already has been completed by Brother Edward J. Fraughton, a Salt Lake City artist. Brother Fraughton is seen above, center, with SUP president Thomas A. Lambert, right, and former SUP president Dr. Orson D. Wright, chairman of the monument project. Consideration also is being given to additional commemorative plaques in the small cemetery that is situated on what once was President Brigham Young’s estate. Currently it contains President Young’s grave and graves of his family members and of Eliza R. Snow. When the total cemetery project is completed it will be a major point of interest on a walking tour of historic Salt Lake City. Other focal points on the tour are Temple Square, Lion House, and Beehive House.