News of the Church


General Authorities Assigned to U.S., Canada

As part of a new supervisory program, the First Presidency has announced that the 50 missions in the United States and Canada have been divided into 12 areas, each assigned to one member of the Council of the Twelve as an adviser and one other General Authority as a supervisor.

The Brethren will continue to reside in Salt Lake City, but will tour their areas frequently.

The new program is designed to improve proselyting and intensify training of local members for leadership positions in the Church. The First Presidency previously announced that six Assistants to the Council of the Twelve would permanently reside and preside in areas of the world outside of the U.S. and Canada. (See Ensign, June 1975, pp. 70–71.)

The assignments, with areas and missions, are as follows:

Area

Council of the Twelve Adviser

General Authority Supervisor

Missions Included

Pacific North

Elder LeGrand Richards

Elder Franklin D. Richards

Alaska Anchorage, Canada Vancouver, Washington Seattle, Oregon Portland.

California North–Hawaii

Elder Marvin J. Ashton

Elder O. Leslie Stone

California Fresno, California Oakland, California Sacramento, Hawaii Honolulu.

California South

Elder Howard W. Hunter

Elder Robert D. Hales

California Anaheim, California Arcadia, California Los Angeles, California San Diego.

Mountain States

Elder Boyd K. Packer

Elder Theodore M. Burton

Idaho Pocatello, Utah Salt Lake City, Nevada Las Vegas, Colorado Denver.

Southwest

Elder Delbert L. Stapley

Elder James A. Cullimore

Texas Dallas, Texas San Antonio, Oklahoma Tulsa, Arizona Tempe.

West Central

Elder Boyd K. Packer

Elder Joseph Anderson

Arizona Holbrook, South Dakota Rapid City, Montana Billings, New Mexico Albuquerque, Canada Calgary.

North Central

Elder Thomas S. Monson

Elder A. Theodore Tuttle

Minnesota Minneapolis, Illinois Chicago, Indiana Indianapolis, Michigan Lansing.

South Central

Elder Mark E. Petersen

Elder David B. Haight

Missouri Independence, Louisiana Shreveport, Arkansas Little Rock, Kentucky Louisville, Tennessee Nashville.

Atlantic South

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Elder Rex D. Pinegar

Florida Tallahassee, Florida Ft. Lauderdale, Georgia Atlanta, South Carolina Columbia.

Atlantic North

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley

Elder Marion D. Hanks

North Carolina Greensboro, Virginia Roanoke, Washington, D.C., Ohio Columbus.

Northeast

Elder L. Tom Perry

Elder Loren C. Dunn

Pennsylvania Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, New York New York, Massachusetts Boston.

Eastern Canadian

Elder L. Tom Perry

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

New York Rochester, Canada Halifax, Canada Montreal, Canada Toronto.

Three More Far Eastern Area Conferences Announced

The First Presidency has announced that in addition to the Area General Conferences scheduled this August in Japan and Korea, smaller area conferences will also be held in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

General Authorities will be present at the conferences, held under the direction of the First Presidency. The sessions in the Philippines will be Monday and Tuesday, August 11 and 12. They will include a Monday evening activity and social program, and general sessions Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon and evening. The conference will be held in Manila at the Araneta Coliseum.

Sessions in Hong Kong will be Wednesday and Thursday evenings, August 13 and 14, in the Lee Theater. At the same times, other meetings will be held in Taipei, Taiwan, in the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. All members in the respective countries have been invited to attend.

The previously announced Area General Conference in Tokyo, Japan, will be held on August 8, 9, and 10 in the Budokan Complex. The following weekend, August 15, 16, and 17, another conference will be held in the Chang Chun Sports Palace in Seoul, Korea.

The conferences are designed to foster closer personal communication between the general leadership of the Church and the local Saints.

[photo] Manila’s Araneta Coliseum.

[photo] Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Memorial Hall in Taipei.

First Stake in Sweden—691st in Church

The first stake was organized in Sweden on April 20 with Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of the Twelve presiding. Known as the Stockholm Sweden Stake, it includes four wards and four branches, with 2,247 members.

Evert W. Perciwall, a native of Stockholm, was sustained as stake president, with Holger Hardsten and Fredrick Karlsson as counselors.

Included in the stake are the Stockholm First, Second, and Third wards, the Norrköping Ward, and the Södertälje, Uppsala, Västeras, and Örebro branches.

The Stockholm Sweden Stake is the 691st in the Church. Others organized recently include the Brigham Young University 11th Stake, with Gregory E. Austin as president, the Brigham Young University 12th Stake, with Charles Verl Clark as president, and the Rexburg Idaho College Third Stake, with Ray Wendell Rigby as president.

So far this year 16 stakes have been organized in the Church. Others organized were the Birmingham Alabama, Merthyr Tydfil Wales, Newcastle-Under-Lyme England, Victoria British Columbia, Puebla LaPaz Mexico, Fairfield California, Puebla Valsequillo Mexico, Guadalajara Mexico, Roosevelt Utah West, Grand Rapids Michigan, Spanish Fork Utah Salem, and Gallup New Mexico stakes.

Church to Divide Mission in Korea

A new mission with headquarters in Pusan, Korea, has been organized with the division of the Korea Seoul Mission, the First Presidency has announced.

Map of Korea

President of the new mission, Brother In Sang Han, 35, of Song Dong Ku, Korea, has served as manager of the Church distribution center in Seoul and as second counselor to Eugene P. Till, president of the Korea Seoul Mission. He is accompanied on his mission by his wife, the former Kyu In Lee, and their three children.

The Korea Seoul Mission was organized in July of 1962, and there are now nearly 9,000 Korean Saints, almost half of them in the Seoul Korea Stake. The Korea Pusan Mission, headquartered in a city of two million people, is the thirteenth new mission organized this year.

Other mission presidents recently called who will begin their missions this month include Bruce James Opie of Victoria, Australia, called to the Australia Perth Mission; Omar Righi of Rosario, Argentina, to the Argentina Cordoba Mission; Emerson Taylor Cannon of Salt Lake City, Utah, to the Tennessee Nashville Mission; Robert B. Harbertson of Bountiful, Utah, to the California Fresno Mission; Stanley C. Kimball of Laguna Beach, California, to the Florida Tallahassee Mission.

Vietnamese Members Housed at Camp Pendleton, California

(Editor’s Note: Information and photographs for this report on Church members from South Vietnam were sent in by Jack Lythgoe of Laguna Beach Ward, Newport Beach California Stake.)

The 70 Vietnamese members of the Church among refugees at Camp Pendleton, California, were functioning almost as a regular branch several days after their arrival in California. Almost immediately, they began holding regular meetings, including a Mothers Day program. Two were set apart as stake missionaries—Brother Tran Van Nhon and Brother Tam Minh Miner—and there had been two convert baptisms. Members held priesthood and Relief Society meetings, and recreational and English language classes.

A total of 98 Church members and children of record left South Vietnam when it was taken over by the North Vietnamese. The majority of these ended up in Camp Pendleton, although some arrived in the United States at various other points. Between 150 and 200 members remained in South Vietnam.

The Church has been designated as one of the relief organizations to work with the refugees; Newport Beach California Stake has been assigned the program at Camp Pendleton. The stake gathered clothing and supplies for the people, even exceeding their needs. Stake members also held a special fast, with the fast offerings going to the Vietnamese. Medical and dental care has also been supplied by members, with nurses available daily.

Gradually the Vietnamese are being assigned sponsors and are leaving the camp. There are reportedly more offers from members who want to be sponsors than are needed. However, since all sponsors must be approved by the government, the process of releasing the refugees is slow.

After the first group of 17 Vietnamese members had arrived, President Spencer W. Kimball visited them, assessed the situation, and assured them that they would be cared for.

There is a story behind every family in the camp—of the sacrifice and trial involved in leaving Vietnam. Sister To Thi Kim Thanh had an especially interesting experience. On May 11, just a few days after she arrived in the United States, Sister Thanh gave birth to a five pound, 11 ounce girl—by birth, a citizen of the United States. At that time Sister Thanh did not know where her husband and father were and feared they had been left in Vietnam. Two days later both the husband and father were located on Guam, where many of the refugees originally went.

Brother Tran Van Nhon, with his wife and six children, was baptized into the Church in March of this year. He had worked for various U.S. government agencies and it was considered dangerous for him to remain in South Vietnam. Brother Nhon sent his three youngest children with his sister, who worked for an orphanage, leaving a few days later with the other three children and his wife. As yet, however, the three younger children have not been located.

Brother Nhon has been the spokesman for the Vietnamese members in Camp Pendleton, besides conducting the meetings, because he speaks English. He says that at first the Vietnamese members all wanted to go to Salt Lake City but they now understand that the Church is established in many parts of the country and there are many temples. He feels the Church will continue in South Vietnam as long as there are members there and prays they will be protected and be able to spread the gospel.

As a stake missionary, Brother Nhon feels that his job is right in the camp—even after he gets his family settled. He believes the time is ripe for many to join the Church—as evidenced by the great number of interested people in the camp who stop to talk with the members. He said about half of those who attend the meetings are investigators.

[photo] Stake President Ferren L. Christensen speaks during Mothers Day Sunday School program, with Brother Tran Van Nhon as interpreter.

[photo] Tran Quoc Anh, age twelve, pays tribute to the sacrifice of his mother in leaving their home, as part of their Mothers Day program. He is the son of Brother Tran Van Nhon, who had been serving as translator. (The Vietnamese list their family names first.)

St. George Temple Rededication Planned

Plans for public tours and subsequent rededication of the St. George Temple, now undergoing remodeling, have been announced by the First Presidency.

The free public tours will begin in mid-October; the rededication is scheduled for November 11 and 12. A special preview tour for invited guests will be hosted by President Spencer W. Kimball on Tuesday, October 14.

The temple, which was the first completed after the Saints arrived in the West, is being extensively remodeled and expanded. Reed Whipple, temple president, said this includes a new electrical system, fire sprinkling system, heating and air conditioning equipment, carpeting, drapes, and furnishings. The baptismal font has been reconditioned and lined with stainless steel.

The original annex has been removed and a new one-story annex added to the north side of the six-level building. The annex includes a chapel, lockers, offices, laundry facilities, and a cafeteria.

Another addition on the west side includes stairways and elevators that provide access to the various rooms. New entranceways and lobbies are also being built. The remodeling will provide four new sealing rooms and a brides room. The additions total 53,195 square feet of floor space.

This is the second temple rededication this year. The Arizona Temple was rededicated in April following renovation similar to that being done on the St. George Temple. The Hawaii Temple has also recently closed for remodeling.

LDS Scene

California “Samaritans” Honored

To demonstrate that there are still people who care enough for their fellowman to “get involved,” the Church’s Los Angeles Public Communications Council recently presented 15 “Good Samaritan” awards to individuals and groups in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

“All we hear about in the news is problems,” John K. Carmack, Los Angeles Stake president, told those at the awards banquet. “There are many today who exemplify the biblical Good Samaritan and demonstrate by their actions that we are all brothers and sisters. These people represent the wave of the future, and we want to honor them.”

There were hundreds of nominations for the awards, which were open to any group or individual, regardless of race or creed. The council plans to present these awards annually.

Two of the winners are members of the Church: Dr. Harris N. Done of the Yorba Lina Ward, California Placentia Stake, who heads a group of dentists providing equipment and services to Latin American Indians, and Norma Hall, Glendale Third Ward, Glendale California Stake, who has organized programs for handicapped children.

Other winners for this year are: Jack and Liz Snyder of Garden Grove, who, at various times, have cared for 46 foster children who were awaiting adoption;

Charles Thurman, 13, of Lomita, who aided a motorcyclist whose clothing was burning after a crash;

Marcial “Rod” Rodriguez of Norwalk, who works with young people in areas where there has been gang activity and unrest;

Leah Festa of Los Angeles, who takes care of an invalid neighbor;

Jose Gomez and the Unity Club of Santa Monica, who collected and bought toys for children last Christmas;

Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, which provides kosher meals to elderly Jewish people;

Dan Lungren of Long Beach, who aided a robbery victim and caught one of the assailants;

Matt Gauss of Huntington Beach, who launched a plan to save the jobs of five fellow airline employees;

Dr. Gary J. La Tourette, a physician in Los Angeles, who aided a policeman wounded in a shootout;

Phyllis Campbell of Glendale, who organized programs for retarded children;

Radio station KFWB, television station KTLA, and Dan L. Thrapp, Los Angeles Times religion editor, for public service programs.

Hawaii Senate Congratulates Elder Komatsu

The Senate of the State of Hawaii has passed a resolution congratulating Elder Adney Yoshio Komatsu on his appointment as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, calling it a “singular honor.”

The resolution notes that Elder Komatsu is the first General Authority of Japanese ancestry and also lists his past Church service.

The Hawaii Senate sent copies of the resolution to President Spencer W. Kimball and to Glenn Y. M. Lung, president of the Honolulu Hawaii Stake.

Lamanite Performers to Tour South America

The “Lamanite Generation,” a performing group from Brigham Young University, is on a six-week tour of South America, presenting shows in 23 cities. One of those performances will be broadcast on national television in Brazil.

The group, composed mainly of students with Lamanite heritage, schedules one major tour each summer and several others during the school year. This is the first one to South America.

Their program includes traditional and contemporary dances and musical numbers, all influenced by the cultural background of the performers. Director of the group is Jane Thompson.

Two other BYU performing groups, “Sounds of Freedom” and “Young Ambassadors,” toured the United States earlier this spring.

Old BYU Campus Sold

Dr. Dallin H. Oaks, president of Brigham Young University, has announced that the old “lower campus” of the university has been sold to a development corporation, with the approval of the First Presidency.

The sale includes the Education, College, Training School, and Arts buildings, which stand on the block between University Avenue and First East Street and Fifth and Sixth North Streets. Also sold were the Women’s Gymnasium on the west side of University Avenue and the Industrial Arts Building on the south side of Fifth North.

The buildings will be remodeled into a specialty shopping and entertainment center. It will be called Academy Square.

“We are fully conscious of the memories, nostalgia, and sentiment that are associated with lower campus, and we intend to preserve, restore, secure, and communicate Academy Square’s cultural heritage,” the developers stated.

Originally, the buildings were the home of Brigham Young Academy, established in 1875. They were dedicated between 1892 and 1912. The shopping square is expected to be completed by the summer of 1977.

Choir to Perform in Canada

The Tabernacle Choir has announced a four-concert tour in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to take place in late August.

The choir will perform Thursday, August 21, at 8 P.M. in the Edmonton Coliseum; Friday, August 22, at 8 P.M. in the Edmonton Jubilee Auditorium; and Saturday, August 23, at both 2:30 and 8 P.M. in the Calgary Jubilee Auditorium. In addition, the choir’s weekly broadcast, “Music and the Spoken Word,” will originate from the Calgary Jubilee Auditorium on Sunday, August 24.

The tour will be the Tabernacle Choir’s fifth visit to Canada.

BYU High School Home Study Courses

A United States high school diploma is now available through the Brigham Young University home study program. This makes it possible for older persons or students living overseas to receive a high school education at home.

“We’ve always been anxious to provide opportunities for education to people with special needs,” said E. Mack Palmer, chairman of the BYU Department of Home Study, “and we hope this new high school diploma program will be a significant help to others.”

Some scholarships are available to home study students.

Interested persons may obtain information by writing to High School Diploma, BYU Home Study, 210 HRCB, Provo, Utah 84602.

Elder Anderson to Head Historical Department

The First Presidency has announced the appointment of Elder Joseph Anderson, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, as managing director of the Church Historical Department.

He succeeds Elder Alvin R. Dyer, also an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve.

Elder Anderson has been associate managing director of the department since March 1974. Prior to his call to be an Assistant to the Twelve, in 1970, he had been secretary to the First Presidency and secretary-treasurer of Deseret Book Company.

Summer Pageants

Church drama presentations this summer will include the traditional Hill Cumorah Pageant, Mormon Miracle Pageant, and Promised Valley musical.

A cast and crew of 600 will use 25 outdoor stages in the Cumorah pageant, being presented for the 39th year. It will run Friday, July 25 through Saturday, August 2, except Sunday and Monday, at 9 P.M. on the hill near Palmyra, New York.

The Mormon Miracle Pageant will be performed July 10, 11, 12, and 15–19 on temple hill in Manti, Utah, also at 9 P.M. Promised Valley, which tells the story of the pioneer trek to Utah, is presented at the Promised Valley Playhouse in Salt Lake City through July and August, except on Sundays and Mondays. All the presentations are free.

[photo] The BYU “Lamanite Generation” cast that will tour Latin America this summer.