The first satellite sending and receiving station in the U.S. Mountain West was put into service 6 August following a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Salt Lake City attended by President Spencer W. Kimball. The facility gives Church headquarters access to space-age communications.

The “earth station,” as it is called, has a 10-meter dish which can send signals to or receive signals from satellites in any orbit above the United States. It communicates internationally by connecting with other satellites and earth stations.

Since 1849, Latter-day Saints have been celebrating the 1847 arrival of the pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. Again, in 1981, the “Days of’ 47” celebration on 24 July commemorated that event. Tens of thousands of observers lined the streets of downtown Salt Lake to enjoy hundreds of parade floats depicting pioneer scenes, major figures in Church history, and contemporary themes. Members of the First Presidency also participated in the parade.

A sunrise service was held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, complete with a flag ceremony by the Mormon Battalion and a musical program, by the Salt Lake Symphonic Choir. The featured speaker was Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who pointed out that there is still great need for a pioneering spirit of adventure in life. He urged Latter-day Saints to “ever be prepared to do our part of the pioneering yet to be done as the gospel of Jesus Christ covers the entire earth.”

Among 23,000 participants in the 1981 Canadian Boy Scout Jamboree, held July 1–10 near Calgary, Alberta, were some 1,000 LDS Scouts. Events included a “Scouts Skills” hike over five miles of mountain trails, a challenging games program called a “Muck-A-Bout,” a day hike to a mountain top, an overnight backpacking trip, and numerous opportunities to share Scoutcraft ideas. On Sunday, 5 July, the LDS boys met in 110 priesthood meetings and sacrament meetings at a number of locations. Earlier in the week an LDS Scout chorus of 150 voices sang two selections for a gathering of 10,000 Scouts. A group of LDS Scouts were also privileged to form an honor guard for Lord Robert Baden-Powell III, grandson of the founder of scouting.

A few weeks later, approximately 2,800 LDS Scouts attended the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, from 25 July to 5 August. (At the gathering of 35,000 Scouts, 900 were from Utah—the largest single state representation at the Jamboree.) President Ezra Taft Benson addressed the LDS Scouts at a sacrament service on Sunday, August 2.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Reagan’s nomination of Rex E. Lee as solicitor-general of the United States. BYU’s President Jeffrey Holland stated that the confirmation is “a great compliment to [Brother Lee] personally and is certainly a compliment to Brigham Young University and to the LDS Church which sponsors BYU.”

As solicitor-general, Brother Lee will supervise a group of some twenty attorneys who prepare and present the sixty or seventy high court cases in which the government is involved each year.

Carl S. Hawkins has been appointed dean of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, succeeding Dean Rex E. Lee, the newly appointed solicitor-general of the United States.

Keith Foote Nyborg of Ashton, Idaho, has been appointed United States Ambassador to Finland. Brother Nyborg, 51, a member of the Ashton Fourth Ward, Ashton Idaho Stake, served as a missionary to Finland from 1950 to 1952 and has returned to that country several times since. He married Raija-Leena Itkonen, a native of Tampere, Finland, in 1953.