News of the Church


President Spencer W. Kimball Visits Mexico

Alfredo Meneses, president of the Puebla Sixth Branch, expressed the feelings of many Mexican Saints about the recent visit of President Spencer W. Kimball to their country when he said, “This was a very spiritual conference. I felt something very special that I had never felt before.”

The occasion for President Spencer W. Kimball’s visit was the dedication of a chapel and two missionary conferences, but he also took the opportunity to counsel the Saints. His schedule included a meeting with the stake presidents of the Mexico City area, two conferences with the fulltime missionaries of two missions, a youth conference, a meeting with 18,000 members and investigators in Mexico City’s Autitorio National Bosque Chapultepec, and a chapel dedication and address.

In his speech to members and investigators in the Autitorio, President Kimball spoke of the importance of discipline. Discipline is important for adults, he counseled, but he also stressed the need to discipline children “so they have a defined way to go.” He explained that discipline demonstrates to a child that he is loved; growing up without discipline is like “playing a game on an unmarked field,” he said. President Kimball stressed the importance of hobbies, goals, and love of parents in a child’s life, and explained that those children have the most success in life who had parents who directed and disciplined them as they grew.

Only members who were accompanied by a nonmember were issued tickets to the Autitorio meeting, and the Saints responded with enthusiasm. One couple brought 63 investigators to the meeting. A bishop, chartering a bus and arranging other transportation, brought a total of 124 nonmembers to hear the prophet of the Lord.

The response to the Puebla chapel dedication was just as exciting. Some members came from distances as far as the Yucatan Peninsula, 1,200 miles away. The Xolitzintla Branch arranged for a bus, and 100 percent of its members attended the dedication.

When all had arrived, the chapel was overflowing with more than 1,000 people. An additional 5,000 members were placed in classrooms, in the Junior Sunday School room, and outside on the basketball court.

Despite the crowded conditions, those in attendance were richly rewarded by hearing a prophet’s words. His central theme was missionary work.

He said that the United States should not have to send missionaries to Mexico, but that Mexican youth should be preaching the gospel in Mexico and American youth could then be sent to other areas of the world. “It is your responsibility to teach the gospel to your people. A mother should look at her infant son and say that someday he will be a great missionary,” he said. President Kimball also indicated that if missionary work were discontinued, the Church would wither and die. Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church, adding new people and power to the Church, he said.

The prophet’s emphasis on missionary work was also evident in the youth conference. Speaking to 1,218 Aaronic Priesthood youth, he told them that spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ is more important than gaining an education. “But you young people are chosen,” he said, “because you can have an education and be missionaries also.”

He said every boy should want to and has the responsibility to fill a mission, and that he doesn’t have to wait for the bishop or stake president to call him on a mission. A worthy young man can go to his leaders and tell them he is ready.

In the missionary conferences, President Kimball discussed the important role the fulltime missionary has in the over-all plan of spreading the gospel. He reminded the missionaries about the power of faith and told them the Lord is the one who can do anything for them. He cited the example of God helping the children of Israel cross the Red Sea and said, “Now, if he can do that, he can open doors so you can reach the hearts of the people.” But he added that success depends on individual effort. “The children of Israel didn’t stay back home in comfortable quarters and say that when the waters were parted and the ground was dry they would go,” he illustrated. The same principle applies to missionary work, he said. Missionaries must work hard and recognize the will of the Father in all things, being willing to do whatever he requires of them.

President Kimball made a further analogy by explaining that the Lord didn’t tell Lehi to have his sons try to get the plates; they were commanded to get them. “It’s the same with you missionaries here. We don’t say ‘go and ask a few,’ but ‘go and get baptisms.’” The prophet then reminded them that the Lord would never command a person to do something without first opening the way for it to be accomplished.

He further admonished the missionaries to “bring in converts, not just members.” He indicated that one need not be well-versed to be converted; one can be converted without reading the entire volume of scriptures, but one cannot be converted without knowing that “revelation is real, prophets through the centuries have represented the Lord well; baptism is essential, and this Church has the Holy Ghost.”

[photos] Church News photographs

[photo] President Kimball speaks to Mexican Saints through an interpreter.

[photo] President and Sister Kimball on recent trip to Mexico.

First Presidency Urges Frugality

A seven-point program to alleviate hunger and suffering has been sent out to the Saints by the First Presidency. The statement, addressed to “All Members of the Church,” was read in sacrament meeting services throughout the world.

The statement read:

“We urge members of the Church everywhere to contemplate the words of the Savior:

“‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt. 25:40.)

“There continues to be much hungering and suffering generally in the world. In the months ahead there could be more.

“We therefore suggest that you be even more mindful of the needy in your area as well as throughout the world. Specifically we suggest that you and your family observe more diligently these teachings of the Church:

“1. Fully observe the monthly Fast Day. Generally this means to abstain from food and drink for at least two meals and to contribute the cost of the food thus saved, or more, to the bishop or branch president for the benefit of the needy.

“2. Maintain a year’s supply of food for your family. Use prudence and seek reliable information on what and how to store, and observe local laws and ordinances in storage procedures.

“3. Conserve energy. We reaffirm our suggestion to Church members a year ago to join car-pools, observe prescribed speed limits, lower thermostats where feasible, and eliminate unnecessary consumption of electricity or fuel.

“4. Do not waste food. While millions in the world hunger, other millions eat too much and otherwise waste food. Teach your children to use food frugally.

“5. Strive for greater productivity in your employment. Give more than your employer requires. The Lord said to Adam, ‘By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground’ (Moses 4:25) and the same applies to all of Adam’s descendants. It is a blessing that we are required to work, and we should do it willingly and without complaint.

“6. Guard your health. Get adequate exercise and rest. Observe the Word of Wisdom. Eat wisely. Avoid excesses. Teach your children good health habits.

“7. Strengthen your family. Observe daily family prayers and the weekly family home evening and make an effort to see that family members keep all the commandments.

“These are times to remember, perhaps more than ever before, that inner strength, happiness, and peace come through keeping the commandments of Him who [is our Savior].”

New Film Carries Missionary Message

A new Church film is being distributed that is designed to carry President Spencer W. Kimball’s message of increased missionary work Church-wide.

“Go Ye into All the World” has been produced by the First Council of Seventy with assistance from the Missionary Committee under the direction of the First Presidency. It is expected to be available in all languages in which the gospel is now taught and will be shown at quarterly stake conference leadership meetings.

After initial exposure in leadership meetings all members of the Church are to have the opportunity to view the film. Suggestions for accomplishing this objective include showing the film at a special family home evening on a night other than Monday and showing it at Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women’s activity night, to the older children at Primary, at Sunday School, and at seminary and institute of religion classes. “It will be necessary to make arrangements to show this film many times in the stakes, districts, wards, and branches of the Church,” a First Presidency directive stated.

The film, in color, features President Kimball on Temple Square and in his office, presenting his call to “every worthy and able young man” to serve a mission. The need for good, early mission preparation is stressed, along with the call for an increased missionary force. President Kimball also explains his plan for increased use of mass media and technology and literally taking the gospel “into all the world.”

[photo] “Financial readiness should be planned for years in advance,” says President Kimball in new film on missionary work.

Education Week for Thousands

The opportunity to make “magical memories” and learn “on the Latter-day Saint wavelength” will come to members of the Church in 81 North American cities during the 1975 Education Week programs.

These descriptions came from participants in last year’s programs, which reached nearly 76,000 “students.” This year, Church Education System scholars will spend three days at each of 86 stake centers teaching subjects ranging from crafts to creative homemaking, from faith to family finances, and from politics to child rearing.

Initiated at Brigham Young University in 1925, Education Week has grown to be one of the largest noncampus-based educational programs in the United States.

“All people need this experience once a year, at least, to give them new ideas, hope, and a desire for excellence,” says a participant from Columbia, South Carolina.

The schedule for 1975 is as follows:

1975 Education Week Programs

MIDWEST

Minneapolis

April 18, 19

Wilmette

April 22, 23

Naperville

April 25, 26

Columbus

April 29, 30

St. Louis

April 18, 19

Indianapolis

April 22, 23

Cleveland

April 25, 26

Detroit-Bloomfield

April 29, 30

Dearborn

May 2, 3

CAPITAL

Washington, D.C.

May 5, 6, 7

Silver Spring

May 8, 9, 10

Oakton

May 12, 13, 14

Annandale

May 15, 16, 17

DENVER SOUTH

Lakewood

May 15, 16, 17

SOUTHERN

Columbia

May 20, 21

Atlanta

May 22, 23, 24

Huntsville

May 27, 28

Memphis

May 30, 31

SOUTHEAST

Richmond

May 20, 21

Jacksonville

May 23, 24

Orlando

May 27, 28

PHOENIX

Mesa I

June 2, 3, 4

Mesa II

June 5, 6, 7

Tempe

June 9, 10, 11

Scottsdale-Phoenix East

June 12, 13, 14

Phoenix North

June 16, 17, 18

WESTERN CANADIAN

Calgary

June 5, 6, 7

Edmonton

June 9, 10, 11

Lethbridge

June 13, 14, 16

LAS VEGAS

Las Vegas

June 6, 7, 9

SOUTHWEST

Safford-Thatcher

June 6, 7

El Paso

June 9, 10, 11

Tucson

June 12, 13, 14

Snowflake

June 16, 17, 18

Prescott

June 20, 21

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

Portland

July 7, 8, 9

Tacoma

July 10, 11, 12

Bellevue

July 14, 15, 16

Seattle North

July 17, 18, 19

EASTERN WASHINGTON

Spokane

July 17, 18, 19

Moses Lake

July 21, 22, 23

Richland

July 24, 25, 26

Pasco

July 28, 29, 30

LaGrande

August 1, 2

WESTERN

Austin

July 21, 22

Houston

July 24, 25, 26

San Antonio

July 29, 30

Fort Worth-Dallas

July 31, August 1, 2

Oklahoma City

August 4, 5

Denver North

August 7, 8, 9

BYU CAMPUS

August 19, 20, 21, 22

IDAHO

Preston

June 2, 3, 4

Pocatello

June 5, 6, 7

Blackfoot

June 9, 10, 11

Idaho Falls

June 12, 13, 14

Boise

July 8, 9, 10

Boise North (Meridian)

July 8, 9, 10

Ontario

July 11, 12

Twin Falls

July 14, 15, 16

Burley

July 17, 18, 19

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Oakland I

July 10, 11, 12

Chico

July 14, 15, 16

Sacramento South

July 17, 18, 19

Roseville

July 17, 18, 19

Santa Rosa

July 21, 22, 23

Oakland II

July 24, 25, 26

Menlo Park

July 28, 29, 30

Saratoga

July 31, August 1, 2

San Jose South

July 31, August 1, 2

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upland

July 7, 8, 9

San Bernardino

July 7, 8, 9

Santa Monica

July 10, 11, 12

Whittier

July 14, 15, 16

Long Beach East

July 17, 18, 19

Van Nuys

July 21, 22, 23

Anaheim

July 24, 25, 26

Covina

July 28, 29, 30

San Diego North

July 31, August 1, 2

Escondido

July 31, August 1, 2

Huntington Beach

August 4, 5, 6

Elder Perry to Serve on Bicentennial Council

United States President Gerald R. Ford has named Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve to the 25-member American Revolution Bicentennial Advisory Council.

Others on the council include former First Lady Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, writer James A. Michener, and Hobart D. Lewis, editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest.

The council was created to advise the Bicentennial Administration, a group that coordinates bicentennial organizations of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Some foreign countries are also planning celebrations in observance of the bicentennial.

“For a whole year we will devote time to contemplating and thinking about the things we can do for our government,” said Elder Perry. “I think the great message that we have to carry is that of local, individual, family, and community interest in government.”

Elder Perry is also chairman of the Church’s Bicentennial Committee.

[photo] Elder L. Tom Perry

Sister Brown, Sister Perry Pass Away

Two members of the Council of the Twelve recently had their wives taken in death.

Sister Zina Card Brown, wife of Elder Hugh B. Brown, died December 19 at her Salt Lake City home of a heart ailment. Her funeral was held December 23. She had been confined to bed since 1968. Sister Brown was born June 12, 1888. She is survived by Elder Brown, a son and six daughters, 25 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren, a brother, a half-brother, and two half-sisters.

A funeral service for Virginia Lee Perry, wife of Elder L. Tom Perry, was held December 18 in Bountiful, Utah. Sister Perry was born December 24, 1923. She had served in many auxiliaries of the Church and on the National Council of Women in New York. She is survived by Elder Perry, a son and two daughters, one grandchild, and six brothers and sisters.

Streamlined System Informs Priesthood

The Church has adopted a new method of disseminating information to local priesthood leaders, a sheet of information called MESSAGES. The new form will replace most letters from the offices of the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, the First Council of the Seventy, the Presiding Bishopric, and the general departments of the Church.

Several purposes are accomplished by compiling all communications onto the MESSAGES sheet. First, a great amount of money will be saved. For example, the fifth issue of MESSAGES, sent out January 1, 1975, contained 11 items. Under the former system each of those items would have been sent in a separate letter; under the new system they were compiled onto one sheet of paper, saving over 100,000 sheets of paper and as many stamps and envelopes. Second, if local authorities need to reproduce the information in MESSAGES, it can be done by copying only one sheet, instead of many, which is a further savings. Third, MESSAGES will cut down on the great amount of mail local authorities have to read.

Under this system, each officer receives only what applies to his stewardship. Stake presidents, district presidents, bishops, and branch presidents receive a yellow sheet containing only information pertaining to their callings. Mission presidents receive both a blue sheet containing information they need to know and the yellow sheet (because of their stewardship over the local leadership). General Authorities and Regional Representatives of the Council of the Twelve receive the blue and yellow sheets because of their stewardships over stake, local, and mission officers; in addition they receive a green sheet that applies to them. All MESSAGES are sent in the national language of the receiver.

With the inception of MESSAGES, the Priesthood Bulletin, which previously informed priesthood leaders on policy matters, now will be used only to update the priesthood handbooks.

Although letters are still sent out when information cannot wait until MESSAGES is distributed or when the message applies only to a certain area of the Church, most communication from Church headquarters now goes through MESSAGES.

[photo] Thomas E. Brown, training coordinator in the Presiding Bishopric’s Office, compares the stack of an average 170 sheets received monthly by bishops under the previous system with two sheets now received as MESSAGES.

Church Member Nominated Ambassador to Finland

Mark Evans Austad, an active Church member in the Washington, D.C., area, has been nominated by United States President Gerald R. Ford to be United States ambassador to Finland.

Brother Austad, a broadcast executive with Metromedia, Inc., has had a long career of Church service along with achievements in broadcasting. A native of Ogden, Utah, he began broadcasting for KSL in Salt Lake City and worked for CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) in Washington. He filled a mission to Finland and was named Scouter of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America in 1970.

Brother Austad’s appointment to Finland is the latest in a series of Church members who have served as ambassadors, including Rafael Castillo, current United Nations ambassador from Guatemala; David Kennedy, secretary of the treasury during President Richard M. Nixon’s first term and former ambassador at large; David S. King, ambassador to Malagasy from 1967 to 1969; President J. Reuben Clark, a counselor to three presidents of the Church, who was ambassador to Mexico; and Cavendish Ward Cannon, who was ambassador to Greece, Turkey, Morocco, and Yugoslavia.

Brother Austad is married to the former Lola Brown and they have three married daughters.

[photo] Mark Evans Austad. (Deseret News photograph.)

LDS Scene

Hospital Board Names President

The board of directors of the corporation formed to take over the former Church hospitals recently selected a president.

Scott S. Parker, administrator of Hoag Memorial Hospital-Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California, is expected to assume the new post April 1. William N. Jones, chairman of the board, made the announcement and said the appointment “will permit Intermountain Health Care, Inc., to move toward its independent status.”

The divestment of the hospitals was announced in September of last year when the Church moved its emphasis towards disease prevention and general health care Church-wide rather than hospital operation.

Two Stakes Formed In Chile Mission

Two new stakes were recently formed from units of the Chile Santiago Mission. Organized under the direction of Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve and Elder William N. Jones, Regional Representative of the Council of the Twelve, were the Vina del Mar Chile Stake and the Santiago Chile South Stake.

The new stake presidency in Vina del Mar includes President Jose Leyton I., with first counselor Daniel Canoles S. and second counselor Hector Camacho Z. There are 4,229 members in the stake.

Eduardo Ayala A. was sustained as president of the Santiago Chile South Stake with counselors German Cordero L. and Guilleruui Ubal V. The stake has 3,651 members.

Two Named to Press, Hosting Positions

The First Presidency recently announced two new appointments in the Church’s Public Communications Department. Jerry P. Cahill has been named new director of press relations, and W. Stanford Wagstaff is the new coordinator of Church hosting.

Brother Cahill, who has been associate director of press relations for the Church since 1973, succeeds Brother Henry A. Smith, who retired at the end of last year. Before joining the department, Brother Cahill worked for 16 years at the Deseret News.

Don LeFevre has been named as associate director.

Brother Wagstaff, a retired oil company executive, will be assisted in his hosting duties by his wife, Oma, and Sister Arma H. Eddington, who has been named administrative assistant. Brother Wagstaff succeeds Irene E. Staples, who also retired last year after serving nearly ten years as Church hostess.

Bishop Receives Hospital Award

Bishop Sherwood D. Smith of the Lakeland Ward, Tampa Florida Stake, has received the Award of Merit, the highest honor the Florida Hospital Association gives. He is executive director of Lakeland General Hospital, the second largest hospital in Florida.

Bishop Smith was also elected a trustee of the American Hospital Association and serves as chairman of the Regional Advisory Board, among other honors.

Bishop Smith has served as bishop of the Lakeland Ward for the past nine years. He has five children, two of whom are now serving missions.

Temple Landscaping Draws Recognition

The American Association of Landscape Contractors and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America have both presented awards to the Church for the landscaping around the new Washington Temple.

The AALC’s Gold Award, its highest honor, was accepted in behalf of the Church by Irvin T. Nelson, 82, who planned the landscaping, purchased the materials, and supervised the work at the temple. He also accepted the ALCA award of merit.

Landscaping around the temple includes more than 800 trees and shrubs of 113 different varieties. There are 1,200 Ilex (holly) plants, which thrive in the Washington area. Still to be planted are 500 plants and trees, including 200 pink and white Dogwood and Red Bud trees.

BYU Adds London Program To Study Abroad Offerings

Brigham Young University has announced a new Study Abroad program in London, to begin its first session in June and run through December. It is the fifth study program to be organized by the BYU Division of Continuing Education in a city outside the United States.

Other study programs are located in Salzburg, Austria; Grenoble and Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; and Jerusalem.

It has been recommended that the program in London feature English literature and political science, with supporting courses in humanities, English history, and the history of the Church.

Although a February 28 deadline was set for BYU students to enroll in the program, interested persons are still being accepted. Complete information is available from the BYU Study Abroad Office, 341 MCKB, Provo, Utah 84602.

Genealogy Class Begun At South Dakota Library

Brother David Rave, a member of the Aberdeen Branch, South Dakota Rapid City Mission, has begun teaching genealogy at the local public library in response to a request put in the library’s suggestion box.

Approximately 20 nonmembers attend the weekly class to learn such things as how to find out what research has been done, what can be found on vital records, and how to use libraries in finding information. Brother Rave has organized the class informally, and those who have more background in the subject help the newcomers.

Activities of the class were reported in the local newspaper, the Aberdeen American News, which said, “It is the hope of some class members that once the series is complete, the group may continue to gather to share their finds, learn advanced techniques, get new ideas, and stimulate interest in genealogy.”

London Young Adults Aid Peers on Missions

Young Adults of the London England Stake have accepted the challenge of their stake president, John Cox, to help each missionary sent from their stake with a contribution of $5 per month.

This currently amounts to a total of about $100 a month, and Young Adult President Andrew Lighten, along with the other Young Adults, accepted the challenge, and have hosted barbecues, dances, and other activities to raise the needed funds.

The Young Adults recently organized a social aboard a boat on the river Thames, cruising past the houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral while dancing and enjoying dinner. This activity not only provided funds for their missionary project, but proved to be a valuable fellowshipping opportunity for nonmembers who accompanied them.

Member in California Receives Law Award

Dale Walther, Special Interests representative in the San Diego First Ward, California San Diego Stake, has taken first place in the 1974 Nathan Burkan Memorial Writing Competition at California Western Law School.

Brother Walther earned the honor for a paper he wrote titled, “Antitrust Aspects of International Copyright Law.” The competition is sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

Brother Walther serves as President of the International Law Society at the law school and was recently selected as an oralist from the Intramural Jessup International Moot Court Competition to represent his school in the 1975 Regional Arguments.

He served a mission to Japan in 1968–70.

Sunday School President Honored for Teaching

Brother Donald Ashdown, Sunday School president in the Lubbock First Ward, Lubbock Texas Stake, has been named the top professor of entomology in the United States.

He was nominated for the honor by alumni of Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Brother Ashdown has built up the study of entomology at the school; only one class when he arrived in Texas in 1954, the department has expanded to a curriculum now taught by four professors.

Brother Ashdown and his wife, Teresa Marie, have seven children, six of whom have university degrees. They were named 1958 family of the year in Lubbock.