Saints Act as 40-hour Storm Hits Brisbane
As Australians prepared to celebrate their annual “Australia Day” weekend at the end of January, cyclone “Wanda” struck the eastern coast with tremendous force. For 40 hours, torrential rains and high winds buffeted the coastal city of Brisbane, capital of Queensland State, and neighboring Ipswich, 24 miles to the west. Many Latter-day Saints were among the 13,750 families forced to evacuate their homes as the swollen Brisbane River over-flowed its banks, swamped houses, and surged through the streets of the business districts.
Among those who endured the havoc of the flooding was Brother Malcolm Rea, public relations director for the Brisbane Australia Stake.
This is his report:
Cyclone “Wanda” left thousands homeless and hundreds of millions of dollars damage in its wake. Among those affected were members of the Brisbane, Brisbane Third, Inala, and Ipswich wards of the Brisbane Australia Stake.
In all, more than 30 LDS families had to evacuate the area and to concede that damage from the cyclone was going to inflict tens of thousands of dollars of damage to their homes and property. Twelve of the families lived in the Brisbane area, and five of their homes were inundated with water. Three of the other Saints’ homes were partially flooded.
The cyclone generated winds up to 58 miles per hour and rain fell on the already rain-soaked area at a rate of as much as five inches per hour, with 14 inches falling in one 24-hour period. The Bremer River, flowing through the industrial and mining town of Ipswich, crested at 62 feet, bursting over its banks and spilling water everywhere. Shops, houses, markets, industrial plants, warehouses, theaters, banks, and farms were filled with tons of muddy water.
On the coast, the sea churned to a fury, battered boats and jetties to pieces, and smashed houseboats into driftwood. Huge vessels on the Brisbane River broke their moorings, and one 62,000-ton tanker narrowly missed smashing a tall apartment building when it broke loose.
The Brisbane River crested at 21 feet 8 inches, nine feet above normal flood level. Rescue operations went on around the clock as portable floodlights lit up scenes of motorboats in flooded streets, and volunteers swimming from house to house rescuing people and goods.
Priesthood holders joined forces with the civil authorities in the rescue work and provided boats, trucks, trailers, and other necessary help. However, most of their energies were directed at evacuating ward members. Many of the Saints, although isolated, were not directly affected by the rising waters. Many were without normal supplies of milk, vegetables, bread, and power, but those participating in the Church food storage program suffered little hardship.
The Brisbane Third Ward established a Civil Defense center in their cultural hall for five days during the worst period of the flooding. Donated food, clothing, and bedding were stored in the ward building, and overnight accommodations for many flood victims were provided. Army trucks carried many loads of supplies from this center to the stricken areas.
During the height of the flood, Brisbane was completely isolated; the airport was closed and many suburbs were blacked out. More than 30,000 telephones were inoperative. Radio stations combined to provide weather reports, relief advice and messages, and road reports.
After five days, when the sun came out, the Relief Society sisters began washing mountains of muddy clothes. After first being hosed down, the clothes were rinsed and then washed three times before being hung on lines to dry. One sister, assisted by her nonmember neighbors, washed clothes for her large family for seven hours.
As the flood water subsided, the heartbreaking damage was apparent, and many members and nonmembers wept as they saw their mud-caked homes, ruined gardens, warped furniture, sagging walls, and dying trees. The air was filled with the smell of mud, rotting food, and dead animals.
But a great spirit of cooperation was manifested as members and nonmembers alike began to clean mud and debris from their homes. Relief Society sisters plowed their cars through slippery, muddy streets to provide food and drink and comfort and relief. Many priesthood holders took time from their employment to help in the cleanup operation, but it wasn’t until the first weekend after the flood that the work began in earnest. Thousands of volunteers turned out to help those in need. The local Saints were involved in groups organized under the priesthood, and could be seen shoveling mud, hosing walls, digging gardens, washing dishes, and scraping cracked paint.
At the end of the day, carloads of Saints drove home with mud-stained clothes, aching muscles, and blistered hands, but with full hearts.
One good thing that came from the terrible catastrophe was the spirit of brotherhood engendered as members and nonmembers throughout the two communities worked side by side in greater empathy than ever before.
U.S. Members Urged to Participate in Bicentennial Celebrations
The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve have approved plans for the participation of the Church in nationwide observances for the United States’ Bicentennial in 1976.
A Church Bicentennial Committee, under the general chairmanship of Elder L. Tom Perry, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, is currently planning ways and means by which Saints everywhere, particularly those in the United States, will be given opportunities to become involved in Bicentennial activities.
“It seems in keeping with the significance of the Bicentennial,” said Elder Perry, “that all members of our Church become more familiar with the history and background of this country and its Constitution, which have made possible the restoration of the Savior’s church in the latter days.
“It is important that members of the Church living in the United States become individually involved on a local basis, and in such a way as to build themselves, their country, and their church.”
Early American history, the framing of the Constitution, civic responsibilities, and the relationship of citizens to their governments will be woven into lesson materials for Church priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations, Elder Perry said.
However, most of these lesson materials will be used only in the United States.
Elder Perry said that special contests related to the Bicentennial are being planned for members of the Church in stakes and missions in the United States. Both local and Churchwide competition will be held in categories such as short stories, poetry, novels, music, art, and photography.
Church congregations and individual members are also encouraged to participate in their state and community Bicentennial observances, as well as the Latter-day Saint-sponsored exhibits, parades, and open houses designed to inform nonmembers of the Church’s beliefs concerning America and its divinely inspired Constitution.
Elder Perry said that he has encouraged Church leaders throughout the country to begin planning activities such as dances, plays, musicals, festivals, sports events, speeches, exhibits, firesides, and other meetings to carry the Bicentennial theme.
“Many research projects and publications will be included in the Church’s observances,” he said. “We shall be cooperating with the Bicentennial Commissions of Utah and other states in the projects they will undertake. We also encourage research and the publication of books dealing with this special subject.
“Members of the Church have made many contributions to the building of America from her early days to the present time. Recognizing these things and honoring the Constitution should be part of our Bicentennial effort,” he said.
Elder Perry said that U.S. stake and mission coordinators of Bicentennial activities have been appointed, and they will cooperate with the general committee in Salt Lake City.
Law School Accredited
The American Bar Association has granted accreditation to Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. This qualifies its graduates to apply for admission to the bar throughout the United States.
“The attainment of ABA approval is a major milestone for the law school,” said BYU President Dallin H. Oaks. “We are very proud of the outstanding student body and faculty whose efforts are recognized by this action.”
Currently, the law school has an enrollment of 150 and is meeting in temporary facilities. The J. Reuben Clark Law School Building now under construction is expected to be completed by the fall term of 1975.
According to law school Dean Rex Lee, the library already contains some 112,000 volumes, placing it in the top third of law libraries in the nation.
New Church Education Buildings Dedicated and Two More Announced
Elder Delbert L. Stapley of the Council of the Twelve presided when three new buildings were recently dedicated at Brigham Young University.
Buildings dedicated were the James E. Talmage Mathematical Science-Computer Building, named after the late member of the Council of the Twelve; the Joseph K. Nicholes Chemistry Stores Building, named in honor of the late chemistry professor who taught at BYU for 44 years; and the Engineering Sciences and Technology Building, to be known by that name only.
Announcement was also made of two new buildings to be constructed at Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho: a Plant Science Office and Laboratory Building that will include a large greenhouse-study area, and an Auxiliary Services Building that will house a purchasing office, stores, and warehouse.
Gifts for the Governor
Hospital Expansion Planned for Provo
PROVO, Utah—Construction is expected to get under way in early 1975 on a $14 million expansion of the Utah Valley Hospital. Preliminary drawings are now being made and bids are expected to be called for in November or December of this year.
The new facility will be constructed immediately north of the existing hospital and will consist of a seven-story tower that will accommodate 208 new “acute medical-surgical” patient beds, including a 24-bed intensive care and coronary unit.
In line with the national trend, the new building will feature single-care patient rooms complete with individual showers and toilet facilities. Grant C. Burgon, hospital administrator, says that the single-care room is more practical than multiple-bed wards, as patients can obtain the rest they need without being disturbed. “Ambulatory patients can visit with other patients or in the main visiting areas, or they can retire to their rooms and rest quietly,” he explained.
Construction of the new facility will not disrupt existing services, says Brother Burgon, because the expansion will be a structure completely separate from the old building. When completed in late 1976, it will have two structural links with the existing structure, a section of which, built in 1939, will be razed.
Church Health Services Corporation will provide $10 million toward construction, and the remaining $4 million will be raised by community projects in the area served by the hospital.
The Sunday School Bulletin, the Meetinghouse Library, and the Primary Dispatch are among the informational newsletters published from Church headquarters for the benefit of auxiliary leaders in stakes and wards and missions and districts. Beginning with this issue, the Ensign will publish items of general interest from these newsletters in the form of “Program Notes.”
Four pamphlets have been prepared for stake, ward, and mission Sunday School inservice leaders to help them learn and carry out their responsibilities. With the overall title of “Applying Teacher Development Principles in the Sunday School,” the four pamphlets may be ordered by stock number through Church Distribution Centers (See below).
The pamphlets are: Part I, introduction for stake and ward inservice leaders, (PESS0111, 15 cents); Part II, for Sunday School inservice leaders (PESS0122, 20 cents); Part III, for ward Sunday School inservice leaders (PESS0133, 30 cents); and Part IV, for mission inservice leaders (PESS0144, 5 cents).
All four pamphlets are applicable to stakes and districts, while pamphlets I and III are recommended for wards and branches.
“Musical Interludes for the Worship Service” is now available through Church Distribution Centers (see below). The 244 brief interludes included in the publication (PBMU0075, $2.50) are intended primarily as Sunday School sacrament gem music, but they can also be used at other times to enhance the spiritual atmosphere and to provide a transition between various aspects of the worship service. This publication has been added to the recommended list of books for meetinghouse libraries.
All publications mentioned above may be ordered through Church Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South (P.O. Box 11627), Salt Lake City, Utah 84111; Deseret Enterprises Ltd., 21 Stanley Street, Cheetham, Manchester M8 8SH, England; and Auckland Distribution Center, Private Bag, Auckland 1, New Zealand.
Golden Anniversary for Alexander Schreiner
What is needed for general conference? The General Authorities, of course; throngs from many nations swarming over the temple grounds; unsettled weather; the Tabernacle Choir; and Alexander Schreiner at the organ to accompany the singing and to bring hushed reverence with his preludes and his warm improvisations.
This April, when he takes his seat at the console, he will mark his 65th year as an LDS organist, 50 of them as Tabernacle organist.
The phone call appointing him to the Tabernacle staff came April 7, 1924, but the groundwork had been laid long before by Bishop Charles W. Nibley, then counselor to President Heber J. Grant, who influenced him away from a career in electrical engineering to one in music.
Alexander Schreiner’s parents, John Christian and Margaret Schwemmer Schreiner, were converted to the Church in the quiet medieval city of Nuremberg, Germany, before young Christian Alexander was two years old. The Schreiners were the only members of the Church with a piano, so choir rehearsals were held in their home. Four-year-old Alexander resisted efforts to send him to bed and watched the pianist absorbedly, then spent his days trying to reproduce what the pianist had done.
At eight, he was playing for Sunday School, sacrament meeting, choir practice, and the Wednesday investigators’ meeting.
The family emigrated to America when Alexander was 11, and he began taking lessons from John J. McClellan, then Tabernacle organist and composer of the hymn, “Sweet Is the Work, My God, My King.” At age 20, he was invited to play a series of Tabernacle recitals the summer before he went on his mission.
When he returned from his mission, he was named to the organists’ staff at the Tabernacle, the beginning of a musical career that took him to study in Paris under Louis Vierne, organist at Notre Dame Cathedral, and Charles Marie Widor.
In his late 30s, after ten winters of teaching at the University of California at Los Angeles, he began an undergraduate degree at the University of Utah for his personal pleasure. He was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, continued graduate study with Leroy Robertson, and in 1954 received the first Ph.D. in music and esthetics given at the University of Utah. His dissertation, Concerto in B Minor for Organ and Orchestra, was premiered the following season by the Utah Symphony under Maurice Abravanel in the Tabernacle, with the composer as soloist. He is the only music graduate of the University of Utah to receive an honorary doctorate, the Doctor of Humane Letters, and in January 1974 he received his third doctoral degree, an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, from Utah State University.
As he looks back over 50 years with the Tabernacle organ, he notes that the quality of music in the Church has greatly improved in many ways.
The Tabernacle organ has been wonderfully improved in those 50 years, its most recent modifications being made in 1948. Enlargements changed its original plain tonal qualities but Brother Schreiner points out that “it gained more character, more color, more fanfare; a more masculine as well as feminine quality.”
Brother Schreiner and his wife, Margaret Lyman, are the parents of four children. Their oldest son, Richard, took his father’s first professional ambition seriously and is now an engineer at General Motors. John Christian, a talented amateur organist, is chairman of the Department of Finance at the University of Minnesota School of Business. Daughters Gretchen (a mother of three sons) and Julianne are violinists, Julianne now in her third year with the Utah Symphony.
For 50 years Brother Schreiner has been a gracious host to visitors who cluster around the organ. He chats happily in French and German with visitors from overseas.
He recommends that organists begin on the piano. “It will develop finger dexterity, reading ability, and musical understanding. A good organist always has a good piano background.” As for pedal technique, the use of a pedal piano is especially effective in developing an even touch.
He also recommends memorizing—he does a page a day when preparing a concert. “To play from memory lifts you off the ground and into the wide blue sky. The musical expression takes over.”
Despite his obvious pleasure in music, his professional devotion, and his standards of excellence, Brother Schreiner insists on perspective in life. Music is “one of the delights of living,” he says. His philosophy is, “A child should be exposed to many good things. And he might very well be exposed to good music; but it’s far more important that he learn to enjoy his fellowmen, his environment, and progress in the gospel. Beautiful behavior is more important than beautiful music.”
Tabernacle Organists Through the Years
Over the years there have been two Tabernacles in Salt Lake City. The first was built in 1852 and torn down in 1877. The existing structure was built during the years 1863–67. Joseph H. Ridges installed the organ, brought from Australia, in the first building, and then built the original organ for the second building.
Those who served as organists in the first Tabernacle were:
Dr. Karl G. Maeser, the first president of Brigham Young Academy.
Fanny Young Thatcher, daughter of President Brigham Young.
Sarah A. Cooke
Orson Pratt, Jr.
John H. Chamberlain
Henry E. Giles
Organists called to serve in the existing Tabernacle were:
Joseph J. Daynes, organist from 1867 until October 1, 1900.
Katherine Romney (Stewart), mother of Isaac Stewart, now president of the Tabernacle Choir. Sister Stewart served as assistant organist prior to 1900.
John J. McClellan, senior organist from October 1, 1900, until his death in 1925.
Tracy Young Cannon, organist from 1905 to 1930.
Edward Partridge Kimball, who became senior organist at the death of Brother McClellan. He served from 1905 until his death in 1937.
Walter J. Poulton, assistant organist from 1907 to 1908.
Moroni B. Gillespie, assistant organist from April to September of 1911.
Alexander Schreiner, appointed organist in 1924, senior organist in 1937 at the death of Brother Kimball, and chief organist in 1965.
Frank W. Asper, appointed organist in 1924; named organist emeritus when he retired in 1965.
Wade N. Stephens, appointed organist in 1933; retired in 1944.
Roy M. Darley, appointed organist April 11, 1947.
Robert Cundick, appointed organist April 6, 1965.
The Scriptures Mean More When You Can Read Them: Bolivian Saints See the Gospel in Action As They Learn to Read
Another way to learn the gospel, now being polished in Bolivia, will soon begin to shine as a beacon of encouragement to those members of the Church who have never had the opportunity of schooling and therefore have never learned to read. The new method takes the form of a tutoring project to help these people develop their talents and increase their knowledge.
“The greatest need for literacy lies among the newly baptized members who are just beginning to realize the possibilities for improving their lives and the lives of their families,” said former Bolivia Mission president N. Keith Roberts. “When they are unable to read tracts, or lessons from the family home evening manuals, or the scriptures, their chances for progression are impeded and they become discouraged.”
The goal of the program is to help people learn to read phonetically at their own level of oral comprehension. When this basic reading skill is developed, they can then progress to more advanced learning. The program offers specially prepared reading materials to encourage the Saints to progress to the standard reading materials.
A main feature of the program is that the reading skills are taught on a one-to-one basis, or, at the most, on a one-to-two basis, with the tutors and local supervisors being nonprofessional volunteers. These volunteers receive their training and materials through a coordinator, Brother Edmundo Alarcón, based in La Paz. Brother Alarcón has assumed this position from his daughter, Zelma, who received her master’s degree from Brigham Young University. She is currently at BYU, revising the existing reading materials and preparing a book of readings for those students who have completed the program.
BYU’s Department of Continuing Education prepared the material for the tutoring program in which it was found that many of the Saints, considered completely illiterate on the basis of pretesting, learned to read phonetically in three to 16 weeks. Their achievement gave them a strong feeling of success and accomplishment and made them better able to utilize the gospel and Church programs in their daily lives.
Consideration is being given to the preparation of phonetic texts in areas such as hygiene, health education, and agriculture.
For many members the program provides a major breakthrough from the gospel in theory to the gospel in action. President Carlos Pedraja, second counselor in the Bolivia Mission presidency, says, “The Church came to Bolivia only nine years ago, bringing the gospel to change our lives. But now we are at a stage in which the Church administers and supports programs that not only talk about the gospel but also show how to put it into practice. I know this program is designed to bring happiness to those who don’t read. Every man wants to learn more and progress.”
Sister Pedraja notes that the program has helped the Saints to see that the Church is concerned about the individual and that a way has been provided for those who know how to read to teach those who do not.
Unlike Sister Pedraja, the wives of many of the local Church leaders were unable to read, but when these sisters finished their reading course, many things changed in their homes. Their husbands reported that their wives were happier and could participate more in activities such as family home evening. One good sister, an excellent student, has gained the confidence and skills needed to teach in Primary.
The program knows no age barriers, and children as well as adults are acquiring the basic reading skills that are helping them not only in Church activity, but also in their relationships with their peers.
Twelve-year-old Juan Medina was unable to read because an ear operation in early childhood left him with a hearing handicap. He was held back in school and spent six years in the second grade. After only ten hours of tutoring in basic reading skills, he caught up with his schoolmates and did well on examinations.
A five-year-old student learned the basic principles of the phonetics program after minutes of practice and then went on to improve his skills. He learned, as do all those taking the course, to blend sounds together to form words.
The program started in 1972 when a proposal to establish a Bolivian literacy project received the approval of the Church Board of Education. After the reading materials were developed, they were introduced into four areas of the Bolivia Mission: La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, and Oruro. Of the initial 188 students, 64 very soon completed the ten basic instructional units and were able to do some limited reading from the standard works, newspapers, etc. Most other students subsequently finished the course, and many are now acting as tutors for their brothers and sisters in the gospel.
Because of its success, the program has been expanded to other areas of Bolivia, and it will be introduced into Guatemala later this year. It is hoped that a similar program eventually will be developed for Portuguese-speaking Saints, and then for Saints speaking other languages.
The LDS Scene
Sister Camilla Eyring Kimball, wife of President Spencer W. Kimball, was recently presented with the Elect Lady Award by Lamba Delta Sigma, an international LDS sorority founded in 1936 for college-age women.
The award, in the form of a crown suspended from a necklace, was given in recognition of Sister Kimball’s example in seeking for excellence all her life.
Carmen Estrada, a freshman at Brigham Young University who once lived under the rule of Premier Fidel Castro in Cuba, was recently named Miss International BYU as part of International Week ceremonies at Brigham Young University. As a youngster she attended government school in Cuba, but later moved to Florida with her parents. Chosen as attendants were Jolanda Przewrocka from Zurich, Switzerland, and Satu Kariniemi, a native of Finland now from Phoenix, Arizona.
“Eight Verses a Day”
“Eight verses a day, the London Stake way” was the slogan used last year in the London England Stake to encourage members to join in a program to read the Pearl of Great Price. Stake President John Cox assigned a high councilor to plan the program with the main objective of establishing daily reading habits in those who thought they were too busy to read the scriptures. A study guide, a weekly reading schedule, and information on the key scriptures to mark were furnished to participants. In addition, a list of cross-references and a verse to be memorized each week were provided.
The program was launched in sacrament meetings, and monthly reviews were held in quorum and auxiliary meetings. Home teachers motivated and encouraged active and inactive members to become involved in the program, and the stake newsletter carried a Pearl of Great Price crossword puzzle.
The result of all this effort was that a survey of stake members showed approximately 75 percent of those who had never read any part of the standard works had completed the Pearl of Great Price.
Heads Purchasing Department
Robert E. Wells has been named to succeed Gordon B. Affleck as head of the Church’s Central Purchasing Department. Brother Affleck has retired but is working under a special assignment with offices in the Church Administration Building.
Brother Wells, who has served as assistant to Brother Affleck, is a Regional and Mission Representative of the Council of the Twelve, and was mission president of the Mexico North Mission. Prior to his call to serve as a mission president, he was a banking executive in Central and South America.
Navajo on Council
Nora Begay, former Miss Indian America and presently a junior in broadcasting at Brigham Young University, has been appointed to a two-year term on the National Advisory Council on Financial Aids to Students, organized under the United States Office of Education. A Navajo Indian from Kaibeto, Arizona, Sister Begay is the first BYU student to be appointed to this position; she is the only college student on the council.
Dennis John Taylor, Darien, Connecticut, has been appointed legislative counsel to the minority leader of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman John J. Rhodes. Brother Taylor formerly served as associate counsel with the United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Committees. Prior to that he served as a minority associate counsel with the House Committee on Education and Labor.
A Commissioner’s Research Fellowship has been established, to be awarded to a distinguished LDS scholar to help him in the preparation of a scholarly work for publication. In announcing the new fellowship, Brother Maxwell said the first recipient is Dr. Richard L. Anderson, professor of history and ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. He is preparing for publication a recently discovered manuscript of the history of Lucy Mack Smith, mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, written in her own handwriting. Dr. Anderson’s work is being undertaken in cooperation with Dr. Leonard Arrington, Church historian.
Brother Maxwell said that the focus of this fellowship will be in the social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and fine arts.
Ross J. Taylor has been appointed director of Mormon relationships for the Church and the Boy Scouts of America. Brother Taylor succeeds Folkman D. Brown, who has been assigned by BSA to be area director for Area II in the North Central Boy Scouts Region. Brother Brown was Mormon relationships director for ten years.
Brother Taylor has been a professional scouter since 1941, and prior to his current appointment in Salt Lake City he served as area director for Area II, Western Region. Previously he was national director of the professional training division and national director of training for the BSA.
Evan J. Hale, a member of the Wakefield Ward, Annandale Virginia Stake, has been appointed administrative assistant to United States Secretary of Agriculture Earl L. Butz. Currently executive secretary of the Wakefield Ward, Brother Hale is married and has five children.
A party of 162 returned missionaries from New Zealand recently returned with their families to their former mission areas in that country. The former missionaries, from Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Ohio, Alberta, British Columbia, Michigan, Washington, and California, met in Salt Lake City where they flew for a two-week vacation in the “Land of the Long White Cloud.” Among those on the tour were former New Zealand South Mission President Alexander Anderson and his wife, and Sister Robert L. Simpson, wife of Elder Robert L. Simpson, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve. Elder Simpson is a former president of the New Zealand North Mission.
Todd Christofferson, law clerk to Chief District Judge John Sirica in Washington, D.C., stressed the need for the citizens of the United States to uphold good men in government when he spoke to a Ricks College student assembly during their “Week of Concern.” A member of Rock Creek Ward, Washington D.C. Stake, Brother Christofferson said that although he did not minimize the seriousness of the Watergate affair, “the Constitution is intact and will remain so through this crisis.” He said that the future of the government depends on good citizens who believe in government and in appropriately supporting the men and women in office. Brother Christofferson urged his listeners to halt “unthinking criticism of public officials and know there are good men in government.”