News of the Church


Area Conferences Announced for South Pacific

More than 106,000 members of the Church in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific islands will be invited to eight area general conferences in February and March 1976 as part of what President Spencer W. Kimball has called “a great new adventure in taking the whole program of the Church out to the people of the whole world.”

The First Presidency announced they will conduct three conferences in Australia and one each in New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and Tahiti. General Authorities of the Church will participate in all conferences.

These conferences are the most recently announced in a series begun in Manchester, England, in 1971. At that time one area conference was held a year. This year two area conferences were held in South America in February and March and five more in August in Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea.

Schedules for the upcoming conferences are:

Apia, Samoa—Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, February 16–19, for members residing in Samoa. Meetings, including an activity and social program, four general sessions, and special group sessions, will be conducted in facilities of the Church College of Western Samoa, near Apia.

Hamilton, New Zealand—Friday, Saturday, Sunday, February 20–22, for members residing in New Zealand. Meetings, including an activity and social program, four general sessions, and special group sessions, will be conducted at the Church College of New Zealand in Temple View, a suburb of Hamilton.

Suva, Fiji—Monday, February 23. General session for members in Fiji planned for Monday evening in the civic cultural hall in Suva.

Nuku’alofa, Tonga—Tuesday and Wednesday, February 24 and 25, for members in Tonga. Four general sessions and an evening activity and social program to be held in the Church’s Liahona High School.

Perth, Australia—Friday, February 27, for members of the stake and mission in Perth. General session Friday morning in the Perth Australia Stake center.

Simultaneous conferences will be held in Melbourne, Australia, and Sydney, Australia, February 28 and 29. In Melbourne, four general sessions and special group sessions will be held in Festival Hall. Members of the Adelaide, Melbourne Fairfield, and Melbourne Moorabbin stakes and the Australia Adelaide and Australia Melbourne missions are invited.

Similar meetings will be held for members of the Brisbane, Parramatta, Sydney Greenwich, and Sydney South stakes and the Australia Brisbane and Sydney missions.

Papeete, Tahiti—Monday and Tuesday, March 1 and 2, for members in Tahiti. Four general sessions and an activity and social program planned at the Church’s Papeete Elementary School.

There are more than 34,000 members of the Church in New Zealand, more than 31,000 in Australia, and approximately 20,000 in Samoa, 14,000 in Tonga, and 2,500 in Fiji.

Office Building Dedicated

Pioneer Day this July 24 in Salt Lake City included the formal dedication of the general Church Office Building, located at 50 East North Temple Street. The dedication was conducted by President N. Eldon Tanner of the First Presidency and the dedicatory prayer was offered by President Spencer W. Kimball. The Tabernacle Choir also participated. The office building has housed all general departments of the Church since the beginning of 1973, and General Authorities’ offices have been temporarily located there since July.

Venturer, Explorer Programs Optional

Local wards and branches now have the option of whether or not to maintain Venturer and Explorer posts for young men ages 14 through 17, the Presiding Bishopric has announced.

Wards and branches will continue to sponsor cub packs and scout troops, but the local priesthood leadership, in conjunction with the stake or mission president, will decide whether to continue to register Venturers and Explorers with the Boy Scouts of America or to use another program better suited to meet the needs of the youth involved.

Literature explaining the options and the relationship of the Church with the Boy Scouts of America has been sent to the local priesthood authorities for consideration before registration time. According to the Presiding Bishopric, in most instances the Venturing and Exploring programs will be selected as those most appropriate for the young men involved.

The Church, connected with the Boy Scouts of America for 62 years, harmonizes with the objectives of the Church the ideals of scouting, which foster citizenship training, physical fitness, and moral integrity based upon a firm belief in God.

LDS Scene

Henry Eyring Honored

Dr. Henry Eyring, distinguished professor of chemistry at the University of Utah and an active member of the Church, has been given the Priestley Award by the American Chemical Society.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin while he was there to receive the award, Dr. Eyring explained his combined faith and scientific knowledge. While he was preparing to leave for college, he said, his father told him to learn everything he could: “He said that all truth is the gospel—anything that is the truth is the gospel, whether found in or outside the Bible.”

He believes in God, he said, because “it’s the best way to explain this very magnificent world we live in.”

Dr. Eyring explained to the reporter his belief in a life after death, comparing the compassion of God with the compassion his neighbors feel for someone who dies. If the neighbors could, they would bring the person back to life, he said, and “I can’t believe God is less compassionate than my neighbors, so I know there’s a life after death. I’m convinced in my own mind.”

The reporter asked if that also applies to animals, and Dr. Eyring recalled a conversation with scientist Albert Einstein while they were both at Princeton University. “Einstein asked me the same question,” said Dr. Eyring. “I answered that the Supreme Being would take care of them. I’m sure he is sensitive to all needs.”

BYU History Published

The first volume of a comprehensive three part centennial history of BYU, entitled “Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years,” is off the press.

The history, a major project of the University’s centennial celebration being observed from April 1975 to April 1976, is under the direction of Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, who served as president of BYU from 1951 to 1971.

The first volume traces the development of the university through its first 46 years during the administrations of Warren N. Dusenberry, Karl G. Maeser, Benjamin Cluff, Jr., and George H. Brimhall. The other two volumes, to appear later on in the year, will cover the growth of BYU from 1921 to the present.

Ricks Begins Farm Program

In the fall of 1976, Ricks College will begin a new two-year agricultural program designed to give students “practical as well as personal experiences,” according to Ricks’ President Henry B. Eyring.

The program will encompass four major courses of study: field crop management; livestock production and beef management; landscape nursery experience; and horse science, including stable management, riding, and horse training.

The program is a “rolled shirt-sleeves” approach, emphasizing job skill preparation, supervised internships, and basic business training to prepare students for managerial and ownership responsibilities.

Communications Director Honored

F. Charles Graves, director of the New York office of the Church Public Communications Department, has been elected to the board of directors of the International Radio Television Foundation for 1975–76.

The foundation works to recruit outstanding young people into the field of broadcasting and to improve teaching of broadcasting in colleges and universities.

Brother Graves is also director of the New York office of the Development Program for the Church Educational System.

[photo] F. Charles Graves