News of the Church

Janet Brigham


New Temple Announced for South Salt Lake Valley

Plans to build a new temple in the South Jordan area near Salt Lake City were announced in February by the First Presidency.

The temple, to be called the Jordan River Temple, will be located in the lower part of the Salt Lake Valley “to take care of the mass of Church population in the Wasatch Front,” said President Spencer W. Kimball.

The Jordan River Temple will be built on a fifteen-acre site, the location of which has not been announced. It will be the seventh temple in Utah and the fourth along the Wasatch Front, Utah’s most populous area.

Work on the Jordan River Temple has begun under the direction of Church Architect Emil B. Fetzer. Construction will begin when plans are ready, probably during the latter part of 1978.

“We will go forward with it as fast as plans can be produced for it,” President Kimball said.

The new temple will have approximately the same capacity as the Provo and Ogden, Utah, temples, which were dedicated and opened in 1972. Boundaries of the new temple district will be established later, President Kimball said. Some 348,000 Church members live in the eighty-six stakes in Salt Lake County, and some 151,000 members live in the forty-seven stakes in Utah County.

Attendance at the Salt Lake, Provo, and Ogden temples reached all-time highs during 1977. Temple work in the area served by those three temples has increased 293 percent since 1971, when the Salt Lake Temple alone served members in the area. During 1977, 1,901,608 endowments were performed in the Salt Lake, Provo, and Ogden temples, a significant increase over the 483,985 performed in the Salt Lake Temple in 1971.

About half of the endowments performed in all Church temples now take place in these three temples.

The Jordan River Temple is the sixth temple to be announced by President Kimball. The others now in design or construction stages are at Sao Paulo, Brazil; Tokyo, Japan; Seattle, Washington; Mexico City, Mexico; and American Samoa.

President Kimball has dedicated the Washington D.C. Temple and rededicated the expanded and renovated temples in St. George, Utah, and Mesa, Arizona.

Fourteen of the Church’s sixteen temples are now in use. Temples in Laie, Hawaii, and Logan, Utah, are undergoing renovation and expansion. The Hawaii Temple will be rededicated in June, and the Logan Temple will be rededicated later this year. The Sao Paulo Temple will be dedicated October 30.

Construction is expected to start this spring on the Tokyo and Seattle temples. Design work is underway on the Mexico City and American Samoa temples.

[photo] President Spencer W. Kimball announces plans for the new Jordan River Temple at a news conference.

New Materials Bring Gospel to Developing AreasBy

Item: The meeting place has no organ, no piano. In fact, it has no electricity. But an organ prelude of the hymn “Come, Follow Me” greets a small group of Latter-day Saints who gather in a one-room building for sacrament meeting. The congregation sings, with organ accompaniment, and later they leave the meeting as postlude music plays. Where does the music come from? From a cassette tape player run by a hand-powered generator.

Item: Elsewhere, a mentally retarded adult reads Book of Mormon stories—not from the Book of Mormon, which is too difficult for him to read, but from a new publication called Book of Mormon Stories for Beginning Readers. This is the first time he has been able to read scripture stories.

Item: In a developing nation, a father and his family, none of whom can read, study the scriptures. They hear the Book of Mormon on specially prepared cassettes played on a slow-speed tape player that operates on electricity or hand-powered generator. The scriptures are recorded in the native language.

These materials and others are now being developed by the Church to bring more of the gospel to those who have not had it before—to the illiterate and semiliterate; to the mentally handicapped; to those isolated by geography, lack of transportation, and lack of electricity.

Equipment being produced includes a record player, cassette tape player, and hand-powered generator. Cassette tapes and sound sheet recording discs are being made of the standard works and of two recently written books, Book of Mormon Stories for Beginning Readers and Gospel Principles.

Seven basic courses of study are being developed for members in developing countries: Gospel Principles, and two manuals each for priesthood bearers, women, and children.

“The Gospel Principles manual is very visual, highly scriptural, and written on a popular reading level,” says Josiah Douglas, supervisor of special curriculum for the Church. Gospel Principles has 103 full-page illustrations, 16 of them in color.

The manual will be translated into many languages and also will be available in English.

“It was written in narrative form, so that it could be read aloud or recorded. The audience may be literate, illiterate, or semiliterate,” Brother Douglas says. This year, the manual is being produced in English, Spanish, Cakchiquel (a Guatemalan dialect), and Aymara (a Bolivian dialect).

The more elementary Book of Mormon Stories for Beginning Readers, written on a second-grade reading level, can be used by the mentally retarded, by those with reading skill deficiencies, and by children. It will be used in a literacy program among native people learning to read the language of their country. Each page of the reader has six color illustrations of incidents from the Book of Mormon.

Gospel Principles, Book of Mormon Stories for Beginning Readers, and the standard works will be recorded on cassettes and made available in numerous languages. However, the cassettes are far from conventional.

Many persons in developing countries have cassette tape players, but the Book of Mormon, played at conventional speed, requires $25 to $30 worth of cassette tapes. With tapes slowed to one-fourth and recorded on four tracks, the Book of Mormon can be recorded in English on two cassette tapes, with room left for eighty-eight sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. A specially produced slow-speed tape player and the two Book of Mormon tapes can be purchased for $15.

The tape player then can be used for other slow-speed recordings of Church materials, including the rest of the scriptures, as they are produced.

Scriptures and the two new books also are being made available on sound-sheet recording discs. The slow-speed sound sheets play at two revolutions per minute. The Book of Mormon, recorded on three slow-speed sound sheets, costs seventy-five cents. The slow-speed player costs ten dollars.

To operate the cassette or disc players, the Church is making available a hand-operated six-volt generator. It can power the record player, the cassette player, a conventional cassette player, or a transistor radio. All of the materials will be field tested to determine the strengths of each.

Another innovation for those without full Church personnel or facilities is a series of “Music for Worship Service” cassettes produced by the Church Music Department.

Four cassettes contain music for two worship services each, complete with organ prelude, hymn accompaniment, and postlude. Forty-seven hymns, including ten children’s songs, are included.

One side of one tape, for example, has “Sweet Is the Work” as opening hymn, “I Stand All Amazed” as sacrament hymn, and “High on the Mountain Top” as closing hymn.

A fifth tape contains special-occasion music, including two Christmas hymns, two Easter hymns, and five hymns on selected topics. “There Is Beauty All Around” is included for family home evenings, and “It May Not Be on the Mountain Height” is included as a missionary hymn.

A sixth tape contains ten children’s songs, including “I Am a Child of God” and “The Golden Plates.”

The tapes have a wider application than just sacrament and Sunday School meetings. A family without a piano or pianist could use the tapes for home evening music.

Before the production of the tapes, Church units without organs or pianos often went without music. Now, Brother Douglas says, “If you’ve got a cassette, you’ve got an organ.”

[photo] These materials are being produced to help people in developing areas study the gospel and enjoy Church meetings. Top: a hand-powered generator that supplies power for a cassette tape player or a record player. Bottom: a group of tapes of music for worship services, Book of Mormon Stories for Beginning Readers, and Gospel Principles manual.

New Oratorio Highlights Mormon Festival of Arts

A testimony of Jesus Christ in the form of new sacred music has been composed by Tabernacle Organist Robert Cundick.

The work, The Redeemer, followed President Spencer W. Kimball’s challenge to the Church to compose music dealing with the Latter-day Saint message of Jesus Christ (Ensign, July 1977, p. 3) and Elder Boyd K. Packer’s plea for “music that would inspire people to worship.” (Ensign, Aug. 1976, p. 63.)

In September of 1977, Dr. Ralph Woodward, director of BYU A Cappella and Oratorio choirs, gave Dr. Cundick a text of scriptures that he had selected for an oratorio based on the Savior. The scriptural scope of the text is broad: all four Latter-day Saint standard works are quoted, with a major emphasis on the Book of Mormon.

The text is divided into three sections: “The Prophecy” deals with Nephite and Lamanite predictions of the coming of Christ; “The Sacrifice” includes scriptural references to the Savior’s mission, crucifixion, and resurrection; “The Promise” points to the Second Coming.

The scriptural passages used in the text were chosen to acknowledge the Latter-day Saint concept of Jesus Christ.

“Because of my experiences before joining the Church many years ago and because of several experiences since then, I know that many people think that Mormons don’t believe in Christ,” Dr. Woodward explains. “I hope that through this work, others will be able to see the Latter-day Saint vision of the Savior.”

Although much of the text is Latter-day Saint scripture, no references make the work exclusively Mormon; the scriptural account of Jesus Christ can be appreciated by people of other faiths.

After receiving the text in September, Dr. Cundick finished the composition of the work early in December of the same year. “The work flowed freely,” he says. “I never felt any real stumbling blocks while writing it.”

Brother Cundick’s oratorio is unique. It involves more than a large choir, a symphony orchestra, and a group of distinguished soloists. In fact, Brother Cundick prefers to term his work “a sacred service of music” instead of an “oratorio” because it was written as a worship service, not as a concert. The spotlight is on the text and the music, not on the soloists.

“Because of the sacred subject matter, it became increasingly apparent that a standard concert performance would be out of keeping,” Brother Cundick explains. “I needed to come up with some form that would allow people to worship. For that reason the opening and closing prayers are part of the work. There is an instrumental prelude, followed by the invocation, given by invitation. The work is an outgrowth of the opening prayer. The postlude at the end is a culmination of the benediction.”

Dr. Woodward feels that Brother Cundick’s oratorio is artistically excellent and that it is “an extremely moving and powerful piece.” And Dr. A. Harold Goodman, chairman of the Music Department at BYU, also believes that the work is “a credit to the Church in an artistic sense as well as a spiritual sense.”

Expressing his feelings about his part in the production of the “sacred service of music,” Brother Cundick says: “I’m just a small part of an enormous happening—just one member of a large team. The text, the choir, the orchestra, the conductors—their major participation will make The Redeemer memorable.”

Brother Woodward will conduct the BYU Oratorio Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra in the premiere performances of the work March 24 and 25 at Brigham Young University. The Redeemer will be presented at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on April 5. The BYU Alumni Association is sponsoring that presentation.

Complementing the choral and orchestral performances, a sculpture and a group of paintings inspired by the text of the oratorio and created by BYU faculty members will be on display in the Harris Fine Arts Center.

The Redeemer is a highlight of the 10th annual Mormon Festival of Arts, which will be held on the BYU campus from March 17 to April 7. The festival is an annual celebration of Mormon artistic talent and achievement. Art, music, drama, dance, and literature from throughout the Church will be displayed on campus to large audiences. Many Saints attending April general conference will travel from Salt Lake City to Provo to attend the festival.

“A lot of things are happening in Mormon art which are very exciting,” says Lael J. Woodbury, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications. “We teach and nourish one another when we get together to share, observe, and celebrate our concepts of art. We believe that the realization of President Kimball’s yearning for a new generation of great young Mormon artists will be helped through the festival.”

[photo] The Mormon Festival of Arts features paintings, pottery, macrame, music, sculpture, and other types of artwork.

Illustration Competition Announced

Competition to encourage Latter-day Saint artists to produce work on Church-related subjects is being sponsored by Brigham Young University.

BYU will award more than $3,000 in prizes and awards in the first annual Mormon Illustration Competition September 8 through 29. All visual art media, including painting, drawing, graphic design, collage, sculpture, and photography may be entered in competition by Church members.

Artwork should relate to any of three categories: History of Mormon culture; Latter-day Saint scriptures and theology; or Mormon values, ideals, and culture. Entrants are encouraged to concentrate on subjects in the upcoming year’s courses of study for Church classes, including Church history and the Doctrine and Covenants.

Entries will be accepted at the BYU Secured Art Gallery between July 1 and July 31 and will be displayed at the gallery in September. Entries should be sent to the gallery, F-303 HFAC, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602. Slides may be submitted, but the actual work is preferred.

All entries must be original, must not have been published prior to the exhibition, and must have been completed within the last two years. Judging will be by a three-member jury.

An entry fee of $2 allows each participating artist to submit up to four entries. Entry forms and information are available from the BYU art gallery.

[illustration] Illustrated by Arnold Friberg

Church Policies and Announcements

The following item appeared January 6, 1978, in the Messages that was sent to stake/ district/mission presidents, bishops, and branch presidents.

Interviews of Prospective Students for Church Schools. Prospective students should not be recommended to attend the Church’s schools, colleges, or university unless they agree to fully support the Latter-day Saint standards on these campuses. All prospective students should be interviewed carefully for worthiness and willingness to observe the specific principles of the code of honor and the dress and grooming standards set forth in the form provided the interviewing official. The code of honor and the dress and grooming standards have the full support of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve.

In view of the special expectations concerning students in the Church Educational System, it is a serious mistake to recommend an individual for admission—even for rehabilitative reasons—who would detract from rather than support the special environment that thousands of others create and rely upon.

The following item appeared November 25, 1977, in the Messages that was sent to stake/district/mission presidents, bishops, and branch presidents.

Primary and Sunday School Inservice Programs. The Primary inservice program as outlined in the Primary Handbook, and the Sunday School inservice program, as outlined in the Sunday School Executive Handbook and the October 1977 Sunday School Bulletin, remain essential to the strength of these organizations. These inservice programs are not changed by recent modifications in organizational responsibility for teacher development as indicated by President Ezra Taft Benson in a letter dated September 20, 1977.

The purpose of the inservice programs in Primary and Sunday School is to improve the quality of teaching. These inservice programs provide help to teachers with little or no previous teaching experience and also to experienced teachers who are working to improve their present teaching skills and knowledge. To accomplish the purpose of these inservice programs, each ward and stake Primary and Sunday School organization should continue to have an inservice leader.

Regional Representatives, Mission Presidents Called

As the Church continues to grow and expand, more new Regional Representatives and Mission Presidents have received calls from the First Presidency.

Elder F. Enzio Busche of Dortmund, Germany, who was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on October 1, 1977, is now presiding over the Germany Munich Mission.

Ten new Regional Representatives have been called. Their assignments take them to the following regions: Juan Carlos Avila of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Nyle C. Brady of Manila, Philippines, to the Philippines; David Orin Dance of Seattle, Washington, will yet receive his specific assignment; Faaesea P. Mailo of Laie, Hawaii, to the Samoa region; Donald R. McArthur of Escondido, California, to the regions of Anaheim and Palm Springs, California; Douglas James Martin of Hamilton North, New Zealand, to Hamilton and Wellington, New Zealand; David E. Poulsen of Hong Kong, to Hong Kong and Taiwan; D. Carl Richards of Dallas, Texas, to San Antonio, Texas; Hans B. Ringger of Zurich, Switzerland, to Hamburg and Frankfurt, Germany; and Lawrence E. Welling of Kaysville, Utah, to the regions of Custer and Shelley, Idaho.

Four others have received new callings as mission presidents: Kenneth R. Myers, transferred from the Germany Munich Mission is now president of the Austria Vienna Mission; Lester B. Whetten of Provo, Utah, is presiding over the Mexico Guadalajara Mission; Lueli Uiva Teo of Pago Pago, American Samoa, is president of the Samoa Apia Mission; and Joseph L. Bishop, currently president of Weber State College in Ogden, Utah, has been called to serve as a mission president upon release from his duties at Weber State College. He will begin serving in July.

1978 Pageants Scheduled

For years the Hill Cumorah Pageant was the only regular pageant in the Church. But in recent years several other extravaganzas have sprung up in many different places, and all have attracted many visitors who get an idea of some of the things the Church stands for.

The performance schedules of nine dramatic pageants in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand were recently announced by the Church. First, in Hamilton, New Zealand, on 19–21 January 1978, a new pageant, “Hear Him,” was presented for the first time. It was staged on the temple hill.

In Mesa, Arizona, on 21–24 March, an Easter pageant will be presented on the grounds of the Arizona Temple. More than 20,000 attended last year’s production.

On June 15–16, “Lest We Forget” will be presented in the high school auditorium in Cody, Wyoming, near Yellowstone National Park.

Last year 10,000 people attended “Missouri, Mormons, Miracles,” produced outdoors near the Church visitors center in Independence, Missouri. This year the pageant will be produced June 15–17.

The Oakland Temple pageant will be staged indoors in the tri-stake center in Oakland, California, on July 11–15, 18–22. Last year’s attendance was 18,000.

The grassy slope below the Manti Temple will be the site of the “Mormon Miracle” pageant on July 13–15, 18–22 at Manti, Utah. Last year, 125,000 people came to the event.

The forty-first annual production of the Hill Cumorah pageant “America’s Witness for Christ” will also be the first produced by new pageant director Jack Sederholm. Presented on the slope of the historic hill a few miles south of Palmyra, New York (near Rochester), this oldest and best-attended of Latter-day Saint pageants last year attracted 140,000 visitors. Performance dates are July 21–22, 25–29.

“City of Joseph” will be presented August 15–19 near the visitors center at Nauvoo, Illinois. The pageant retells the story of the settlement of the Mississippi River town by the Saints, and their eventual departure after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Attendance in 1977 was 40,000.

A Christmas Nativity Pageant will be presented in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on December 18–26 in Heritage Park.

[photo] The Hill Cumorah Pageant is one of many Church pageants produced yearly.

Record Number of New Stakes in 1977

Seven nations in the world gained their first stake of the Church in 1977, and for the first time stakes were organized in all fifty states in the U.S.

The fact that 87 new stakes were formed last year means more than growth in numbers of Saints in the Church—it means that all over the world, the Saints are getting stronger; leaders are rising up as they are needed; and members everywhere are learning correct principles and governing themselves.

As the Providence Rhode Island Stake and the Fargo North Dakota Stake were organized, stakes of the Church had headquarters in every state in the United States, certainly a milestone in Church history. Fourteen new stakes in Utah, nine in California, three in Idaho, and two each in Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, along with one new stake in each of eleven other states, brought the total of new stakes in the United States to 47.

And as Belgium, Costa Rica, Colombia, Finland, Honduras, Norway, and Venezuela each received their first stake, the total of nations in the world that have stakes increased to 35 (counting the four parts of the United Kingdom as one nation). Uruguay jumped from two stakes at the beginning of 1977 to six stakes by the end. In Chile, the Concepcion Chile Stake was organized early in 1977—and by the end of the year had already been divided to form the Talcahuano Chile Stake.

Scandinavia began 1977 with only two stakes, in Stockholm and Copenhagen. By the end of the year, new stakes in Oslo, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; and Goteborg, Sweden, brought the total to five, with at least one stake in each of the Scandinavian nations.

The forty-one new stakes outside the U.S. included nine new stakes in Mexico, which with a total of 45 stakes ranks second only to the U.S. And there are many places in the world where the Church has many more stakes per population than in some parts of the United States. In the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, for instance, seven stakes serve a metropolitan area only slightly smaller than New York City’s—where there are only four stakes.

The number of stakes increased by 10.9 percent in 1977, compared with an increase of 8.3 percent in 1976 and 9.2 percent in 1975. The increase in numbers of stakes means great increase in the strength of the Saints and the Church organization around the world.

States and countries with names in bold type acquired their first stake in 1977. The first number after the state or country name is the total number of stakes. A second number in bold type is the number of new stakes organized in 1977.

Alabama

3

Nebraska

2

Alaska

1

Nevada

15 1

Arizona

31 1

New Hampshire

1

Arkansas

1

New Jersey

2

California

108 9

New Mexico

7 1

Colorado

13

New York

7

Connecticut

1

North Carolina

7 1

Delaware

1

North Dakota

1 1

Florida

12 1

Ohio

6

Georgia

5

Oklahoma

4

Idaho

65 3

Oregon

20 3

Illinois

5

Pennsylvania

3

Indiana

5 1

Rhode Island

1 1

Iowa

2

South Carolina

4

Kansas

2

South Dakota

1

Kentucky

2

Tennessee

3

Louisiana

3

Texas

19 2

Maine

1

Utah

236 14

Maryland

2

Vermont

1

Massachusetts

1

Virginia

8 2

Michigan

6 1

Washington

23 2

Minnesota

2

Washington, D.C.

1

Mississippi

2

West Virginia

1

Missouri

6 1

Wisconsin

2

Montana

7 1

Wyoming

11

Canada

17

Mexico

45 9

Guatemala

4

Honduras

1 1

El Salvador

2

Costa Rica

1 1

Venezuela

1 1

Colombia

1 1

Peru

4

Chile

9 3

Brazil

11 1

Uruguay

6 4

Argentina

6

South Africa

1

Finland

1 1

Sweden

2 1

Norway

1 1

Denmark

1

Germany

8 2

Germany Servicemen

3 1

Scotland

2

Northern Ireland

1

England

23 3

Wales

1

Netherlands

1

Belgium

1 1

France

1

Switzerland

1

Japan

5 2

Korea

2 1

Taiwan

1

Hong Kong

1

Hawaii

10 2

Philippines

3 2

Tahiti

1

New Zealand

11 3

Samoa

8 1

Tonga

5

Australia

9 1

   

New Stakes Each Year

Year

New Stakes

Total Stakes at End of Year

1977

87

885

1976

61

798

1975

62

737

1974

46

675

1973

39

629

1972

30

590

1971

25

560

President Tanner to Receive “Giant” Award

President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor in the First Presidency, has been selected to receive the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s 1978 “Giant of Our City” award.

The award will be presented at a dinner in his honor March 29.

B. Z. Kastler, chamber president, said that President Tanner is being honored for helping to bring new, important buildings into the heart of Salt Lake City during the last fifteen years. “There has been more construction of major buildings in the heart of Salt Lake City in that period than in the previous hundred years, and President Tanner has played a major role in most of this construction,” Kastler said.

“President Tanner is also honored as a man of superior character, a successful businessman with deep spirituality, a towering leader who is esteemed by millions of people, both members and nonmembers of his Church around the world.”

Buildings that have either been completed or are being planned include the 30-story Church Office Building, 58-store ZCMI Center, Salt Palace, 26-story Beneficial Life Tower Building, Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge, Deseret Gymnasium, Management Systems Corporation Building, Utah Power and Light Building, Deseret Book Building, Crossroads Plaza, Utah Symphony Concert Hall, 18-story Kennecott Building, and North Temple Parking structure.

President Tanner, who will be 80 on May 9, has served as a counselor in the First Presidency under four Church Presidents. Under President Spencer W. Kimball, he directs the financial activities of the Church in addition to other important responsibilities.

Ancient News: Symposium on Archaeology of the Scriptures

America isolated? That’s what archaeologists used to think—but the evidence is now pouring in to show that Japanese, Indonesians, Phoenicians, Indochinese, and Vikings all made stopovers in the western hemisphere, and stayed long enough to leave evidence of their visits.

The Symposium on Archaeology of the Scriptures, held at BYU, was sponsored by the Society for Early Historic Archaeology (SEHA). Some of the latest information on archaeological findings pertinent to Latter-day Saints was presented.

Dr. Paul R. Cheesman, BYU professor of ancient scriptures and director of the Book of Mormon Institute, provided the overview of recent findings on the many “discoveries” of America. The Book of Mormon has often been criticized because it seemed unlikely that there were any migrations to America before Columbus. But now scientists are finding evidence that many groups have had some kind of contact with the American continent.

The old theory that all the inhabitants of the Americas crossed over into Alaska from the Bering Strait has given way to a multiple origins theory, Dr. Cheesman pointed out. Evidence points to colonies from Europe and northwest Africa three thousand years ago; oriental ships visiting the Americas a thousand years ago; and one group even claims that the Vietnamese sailed in rafts to the coast of Ecuador two thousand years ago. Also, a Harvard scholar, Dr. Barry Fell, has related the languages of several early North American Indian tribes to European and Mediterranean languages, though evidence is not conclusive. (See Barry Fell, America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World, New York Times Book Company, 1977.)

What does this mean to Mormons? Nothing, if we are looking for proof that a certain group of Israelites traveled to America about 600 B.C. But it does mean that the scientific community, which long insisted that America was utterly isolated from the rest of the world, is now revising its view to recognize the strong possibility of influences from many different Old World cultures—a position in harmony with the Book of Mormon account.

Other reports at the symposium included an update on research into the life of Italian explorer-merchant Giovanni Pietro Antonio Lebolo, who was claimed to be the discoverer of the mummies and papyri that found their way to Kirtland, Ohio, and that led to the publication of the Book of Abraham by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Dan C. Jorgensen, Regional Representative to Switzerland, East Germany, and Poland, presented the results of research he did while working in Italy as representative of a New York bank and later as president of the Italy North Mission.

The records Brother Jorgensen discovered show the dates of Lebolo’s birth, two marriages, and his death, as well as vital statistics of his children. The records also prove that Lebolo had connections with Egypt in the early 1800s. Particularly interesting was the final word on Lebolo’s death date and place. Formerly it had been claimed he died in 1832 in Trieste, Italy—or in 1823. But the records show that he died 19 February 1830 in his home town, Castellamonte, Italy.

And on one of the records, Jorgensen found an example of Lebolo’s own signature—the only one known to exist.

Diane E. Wirth discussed the growing evidence for the possibility of horses and wheels in America before Columbus, yet in historic times. One of the chief objections non-Mormon scholars have had to the Book of Mormon is its references to horses and chariots, when for many years there seemed to be no archaeological evidence for either.

However, more recent findings may indicate that the wheel was known in ancient America, and Sister Wirth speculates that the wheel may have fallen out of use among the general populace because it was taken over by priests as a religious symbol. And other evidence might be interpreted to indicate that horses were known, even if they were not widely used.

Book of Mormon names are virtually the only samples we have of the language the Nephites were using—and as Hugh Nibley has long since pointed out, names tend to be the most archaic, out-of-date words in any language. For instance, how many people remember the meanings of such common English language names as William, Steven, Sandra, or Anne? Yet investigation can show English cultural links with diverse cultures through those names—and many scholars have tried to link Book of Mormon names with Old World cultures, to show the relationship.

Benjamin Urrutia, a BYU graduate student, investigated the names of two of Alma the Younger’s sons, Shiblon and Corianton, and found that both names are related to Semitic language words meaning lion cub, shibl- being an Arabic root with that meaning, and corian- perhaps being related to the Hebrew gurrion, which also means lion cub. Further speculations arose out of the fact that shiblon was also the name of a unit of money among the Nephites. (See Alma 11:15–16, 19.)

Other papers dealt with Quetzalcoatl, a Mesoamerica god often compared to Christ; a historical setting for Jonah’s visit to Nineveh that links well with the dates in the biblical account, showing that at the required time, Nineveh was in turmoil, ripe for destruction—or repentance; and a report on the work at an archaeological site in Israel, a few miles north of Tel Aviv, which BYU students have taken part in for the last two summers.

Though archaeologists are far from “proving” the scriptures through external evidence, much is being done toward illuminating our understanding of the world in which the records were written.

Preparing for the Temple

The first temple of the Church to be built in a non-English-speaking land since the Swiss Temple was dedicated in 1955 is rapidly approaching completion, and the Saints in Sao Paulo, Brazil, are already preparing for the dedication. President Demar Staniscia of the Sao Paulo East Stake recently spent five months in Salt Lake City, learning procedures and methods of preparing and submitting forms verifying the temple work that will be done there. And committees are hard at work, planning such diverse things as the music for the dedication program, the missionary efforts that will accompany the dedication, and the radio, television, and printed publicity.

But most of the excitement is centered around the temple itself. For years, only a few Saints have been able to make the trip to Salt Lake to go through the temple to be endowed and sealed—but when the Sao Paulo Temple is dedicated, all the eligible Saints in Brazil will be able to receive those ordinances. And with 50,000 Saints there—and more than 3,000 new members every year—there’ll be a great deal of temple activity. Add to that the thousands of Saints in other South American countries, and the Sao Paulo Temple will provide family-tying ordinances for a significant percentage of Saints who would never have had the chance before.

Building the temple has involved sacrifices. Hundreds of thousands of dollars had to be raised locally, and such amounts of money are not easy to come by. President Staniscia tells of one young couple who had saved $2,000 to come to Salt Lake City to go through the temple, a dream they had shared for many years. But when they were asked to contribute to the temple fund, they gave up that dream—for the sake of another, the dream of every Brazilian Saint being able to go to the temple, instead of just a few.

Many others have made similar sacrifices—and the Brazilian Saints’ allotment in the temple fund was completed months before the building was to be finished—a year before the scheduled dedication.

Current plans indicate that the Sao Paulo Temple will be finished in May 1978, and that it will be opened for public tours after August, as is normal with Latter-day Saint temples. The dedication is planned for sometime in November 1978. And in Brazil, with eleven stakes and four missions, and with three hundred local missionaries serving in both Brazil and Portugal, the Saints are working hard to be ready.

[photo] The Sao Paulo Temple is approaching completion.

Model Library Open During Conference

The model meetinghouse library on the main floor (east wing) of the Church Office Building will be open on conference Saturday from 8 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Priesthood leaders and individuals serving in library positions are invited to the facility while attending general conference. Staff members will explain the library program and the method of housing materials and will answer questions. Handout literature will be available.

LDS Scene

President Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve told the American Farm Bureau Federation in January that he was “overwhelmed” and “touched” to receive the organization’s most prestigious award. The bureau, which is the largest farm group in the United States, gave President Benson the Distinguished Service Award to American Agriculture at its annual convention at Houston, Texas, January 10. The award recognized President Benson’s service to agriculture as an extension agent, as a leader in the cooperative movement, as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for eight years, and as a member of the Honorary Advisory Board of the Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute.

Construction on a new $650,000 cannery at the Ogden welfare center is under way. Ground was broken for the center in December by President Spencer W. Kimball. The facility, scheduled for completion by this fall, will replace a smaller existing cannery on the site. The existing cannery will be used for storehouse storage.

The ground floor area of the new cannery is 11,000 square feet, not including dock space and two mezzanine floors. The new cannery will be used by Church groups, families, and the community to process fruits, vegetables, and prepared foods such as chili and soup.

The city of Aracatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil, has renamed a street “Joseph Smith Jr. Street” in honor of the Mormon prophet. The name was changed by official action of the Municipal City Hall of Aracatuba.

The annual Tournament of Roses Parade at Pasadena, California, included a Church-sponsored float for the third consecutive year. This float, seen by millions of television viewers, followed the theme “I Am a Child of God.” Seven children of different nationalities were featured on the flower-laden float as the song “I Am a Child of God,” performed by the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus of Southern California, was broadcast. Technical producer was John Neal of the Woodland Hills Ward.

Ina Jane Ashton Richards, wife of Elder LeGrand Richards of the Council of the Twelve, died December 31 at a Salt Lake City hospital at the age of 91. Funeral services and burial were January 4.

Elder James A. Cullimore of the First Quorum of the Seventy married Florence Prows December 9 in the Salt Lake Temple.

The Hawaii Temple, at Laie, Oahu, will be open to the public during a four-week period in May. The remodeled temple will be open daily except Sunday from May 2 through May 27 before it is rededicated and closed to the public.

When Brigham Young University’s football team went to Japan in December, the players did more than play football. Yes, they beat Japanese teams 61–13 and 71–0. But games aren’t what they remember most, says Coach LaVell Edwards. “It was a tremendous experience from the standpoint of meeting and learning to love new people—and learning more of their customs and ways,” Brother Edwards says.

The players and coaches met with the Saints in Japan for meetings and firesides. “To realize the strength of the Saints and their commitment to the Church was a tremendous experience for all of us.” According to Brother Edwards, some players saw the trip as a missionary experience. They were featured on national television and in newspapers as representatives of a Latter-day Saint school.

A former Buddhist monk and a Thailand branch Relief Society president have become the first known Thai couple to be married in a temple. Mani Seangsuwan and Noodchanadda Lojaya, both students at the BYU—Hawaii Campus, were married last October. Brother Seangsuwan was on a mission to Bangkok, Thailand, when he met and taught his future wife.

New Zealand softball pitcher Brendon Keehan says he may never know if he’s good enough to play on the national team. Since he refuses to compete on Sundays, Brother Keehan misses major tournaments. But he says he has another reward: a strong, happy family. “I would like to reach the New Zealand team, but I will probably never know whether I would be good enough or not,” says the Marlborough, New Zealand, pitcher.

Chief Tabernacle Organist Alexander Schreiner has retired, but he says he’s not going to be idle. Brother Schreiner began service at the Tabernacle Organ on 7 April 1924, and as 1977 ended he closed that chapter in Latter-day Saint musical history.

No other organist has served as long as Brother Schreiner, and few organists in the world have achieved his national and international stature. For years in polls conducted by Musical America editors, Brother Schreiner’s six-minute solos every other Sunday placed him second only to E. Power Biggs, the late Harvard organist, who played a half-hour broadcast every week.

Born in Nuremberg, Germany, on 31 July 1901, Brother Schreiner became the local Church organist when he was only eight. When his family emigrated from Germany three years later, he gave up that position, only to be called to the identical position in his new ward in Salt Lake City on his first Sunday in Utah.

Two of the world’s greatest organists were his teachers: Louis Vierne at Notre Dame and Charles-Marie Widor at Saint Sulpice in Paris.

Now that he’s retired, Brother Schreiner plans to reread all 51 volumes of Harvard Classics, and he anticipates doing more musical compositions and writings.

Reconstruction in Taiwan following devastation from typhoon Thelma last summer is involving members of the Church. Not one Latter-day Saint was killed or seriously injured when winds reaching 120 miles per hour swept across the southern half of the island, but most members in the area suffered property damage.

The home of Sister Yu Lang-Ying-t’ao, a member for many years, is being rebuilt with fast offering funds. Missionaries in the area said that Sister Yu’s neighbor, Sister Li, spent days helping her stricken neighbors. And that was not all. “Whenever we went to check on other members, we always found that Sister Li had been there first. But she wasn’t the only one who did this—the branch president, priesthood holders, and Relief Society members all spent day after day caring as much for others as for themselves.”

The First Presidency was there. So was former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford. So were most of the Church’s General Authorities—and hundreds of business and government leaders from the state of Utah.

The occasion was a banquet honoring J. Willard Marriott and his wife, Alice, who left Utah fifty years ago to begin a saga of hard work leading to success. What the speakers at the banquet most remarked on was the Marriotts’ dedication to service to their Church and their country.

“It’s not because of the money they’ve made or the great number of hotels they’ve built that we respect and admire them,” President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor in the First Presidency, said. “It is because of the kind of lives they live.”

Dr. Monroe G. McKay, a BYU professor of constitutional law, has been sworn in as judge of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Utah. He was in private practice as a lawyer before joining the BYU teaching staff.

BYU has its fourth Rhodes Scholar in four years. Kenneth R. Beesley, 23, a senior linguistics major from Salt Lake City, is one of 32 U.S. students to receive Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford University in England. He is a former missionary to Brazil.

President Dallin H. Oaks has been appointed to the advisory board of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. The center was established at Notre Dame Law School to provide legal research on issues affecting constitutional rights and institutions of higher education.

The BYU Film Production Department has completed filming The Guilty, based on a story told by Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. A meetinghouse chapel in Springville, Utah, was the setting for the story’s filming. Copies should be available this month. … Another BYU film, John Baker’s Last Race, has been used by the U.S. Olympic Committee at fund-raising dinners across the United States.

Tuition is going up at BYU. In the fall of 1978, tuition for Latter-day Saint undergraduate students will increase from $390 per semester to $420. Tuition also is increasing for graduate students, from $430 to $470 per semester. Law school students will pay $770 per semester. Graduate School of Management students will pay $600.

The College of Education at BYU was rated among the top ten percent of such schools in the United States in a recent study by two researchers at Northwestern University.

[photo] Gifford Nielsen, BYU quarterback, signs autographs at Nishinomiya City, Japan.

[photo] Tabernacle organist Alexander Schreiner has retired after serving nearly fifty-four years at the Tabernacle organ.