News of the Church

By JoAnn Jolley


U.S. President Reagan Praises Church for Taking Care of Its Own

Friday, September 10, was a memorable day for Church leaders and members in the Ogden, Utah, area. United States President Ronald Reagan visited the northern Utah Ogden Area Welfare Services Center in Ogden and spoke to thousands in nearby Hooper, Utah.

“Today we are returning to the principle of that cannery,” President Reagan told members and others following the tour of the Ogden center, “and that is the principle of reward for honest toil, living within our means—and paying heed to the spiritual values that have always been the inner strength of America.”

The chief executive’s tour began with a visit to the cannery at the Ogden center, where he was greeted by President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency who guided him throughout the complex. They were accompanied by Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of the Twelve and Presiding Bishop Victor L. Brown.

At the cannery, President Reagan saw tomatoes being canned by 37 volunteer Church members from the Pleasant View Utah Stake. He then toured the milk processing plant and storehouse.

In the storehouse, he saw in action one of the major principles of the Church’s welfare plan. Volunteers and recipients worked alongside each other sorting, peeling, and washing tomatoes.

Among the volunteers were a stake president, a rancher, a mechanic, a doctor, a dentist, an attorney, homemakers, and a bishop. Volunteers paused for a moment to shake hands with the chief executive. Outside, spectators braved heavy rain to applaud the president when he arrived and entered the Ogden complex, and to wave to him upon his departure some thirty minutes later. Names of the volunteer workers at the cannery had been cleared earlier by White House security.

From the many questions put to President Reagan by the several local reporters, photographers, and television crews, in addition to the White House press corps, the president responded enthusiastically to those about the Church’s welfare program.

As he was shown shelves filled with canned and packaged foods bearing the “Deseret” label, the president noted: “This is one of the great examples in America today of what we’ve been talking about—about what the people could do for themselves if they hadn’t been dragooned into believing that government was the only answer.”

To this praise, he added: “Here is an entire industry, as you can see. It is manned by volunteers, people from the Church. The foodstuffs that are here are raised by volunteers, picked by volunteers. They’re brought here. They’re canned. They’re put up in whatever packages are appropriate. And they’re used to distribute to those people who have real need here in the state of Utah and all over the country, for that matter—people from the Church. And you wonder why others haven’t thought of the same thing and been able to do this. …”

In response to a question on whether he had seen similar efforts elsewhere, the president said that he had “visited a similar institution as governor in Sacramento, California, doing much the same thing there, the same group.” He continued, “And in my home state of Illinois, they have a shoe factory that is manned by volunteers from the Church.”

A question on whether he thought such a system could help curtail inflation, and bring things back into the hands of the people, gave rise to this response from the national leader: “If more people had had this idea back when the Great Depression hit, there wouldn’t be any government welfare today or need for it.”

When asked if it was too late for that sort of effort now, President Reagan commented, “No. No. That’s why we have a Task Force headed by Bill Verity, the Private Initiatives Task Force—seeking ways in which the private sector, the people themselves, can meet some of these problems.”

Serving on this task force are three members of the Church: Elder Thomas S. Monson, Vice-chairman of the Church Welfare Executive Committee; Jeri J. Winger, a community development specialist at Utah State University; and George W. Romney, former governor of Michigan and head of the National Center for Citizen Involvement. The major purpose of the task force, organized in December 1981, is to encourage volunteer efforts and private charity in helping those in need.

Following the tour of the welfare complex, President Reagan traveled to a park in nearby Hooper, Utah, a farming community of 4,000, where he spoke to a large gathering.

Addressing some 17,000 rain-soaked citizens packed together in the park, the president continued his praise for the Church’s initiative in caring for its own members. “You know that I’ve talked for a long time about Americans doing for themselves, about the private initiative, about citizens’ groups doing so many things that government thinks only it can do. And I have just toured a cannery—part of the program of the Latter-day Saints for meeting the needs of their people when they have to have help.”

He then commented on the fact that volunteer Church members do everything necessary for growing, harvesting, preserving, and storing commodities for later distribution to people in need. He pointed out that those who make the welfare program possible also “work at the same time to help the needy among them become self-supportive,” caring for them until they are able to care for themselves.

In his concluding remarks about the welfare system of the Church, President Reagan stated enthusiastically: “It’s an idea that once characterized our nation. It’s an idea that should be reborn nation-wide. It holds the key to renewal of America in the years ahead.”

Following the president’s departure from the Hooper park, the national news media were hosted to a luncheon buffet at the nearby Church stake center, where they were served Deseret brand food. Attractive displays provided information on the source of each food served.

News organizations represented in the news corps included ABC-TV and ABC Radio, CBS-TV and CBS Radio, NBC-TV and NBC Radio, RKO Radio, Associated Press and AP Audio, Agence France Presse, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, London Daily Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, New York Times, New York Daily News, Newsday, Time, United Press International and UPI Audio, US News & World Report, Voice of America, Washington Post, and Washington Times.

Earlier, in a private meeting, as the tour left the cannery and moved to the storehouse, Church officials presented President Reagan a miniature statuette from the Relief Society Monument to Women series.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan (second from right) and President Gordon B. Hinckley (right) talk with volunteer workers at the Ogden Area Welfare Services cannery, where tomatoes are being processed. (Church News photo by Gerry Avant.)

Temple Approved, First Stake Created in German Democratic Republic

Over one hundred years of faithfulness has culminated in the announcement of a new temple to be built and the creation of the first stake of the Church in the German Democratic Republic.

Plans to build a temple in the German Democratic Republic city of Freiberg were announced by the First Presidency.

The temple will be a 7,500-square-foot, one-level edifice where marriages, baptisms, and other sacred ordinances will be available to members of the Church in the German Democratic Republic, as well as to those in surrounding countries.

A second building planned for the two-acre site purchased by the Church will provide facilities for the recently organized Freiberg Stake. These will include a chapel, classrooms, and administrative offices.

The First Presidency said Henry J. Burkhardt, who presides over the Church’s Dresden Mission, has worked closely with government officials in obtaining approval for the temple. The Church leaders expressed appreciation for the cooperation of the National Ministries in Berlin, the State Building Academy in Dresden, and the city officials of Freiberg.

The temple is now in design stages and Church architects are working closely with government architects to assure the building will be architecturally compatible with its environs. Landscaping for the grounds will be in keeping with the highest standards traditionally associated with temples of the Church. It is anticipated that construction will begin as early as mid-year of 1983 if plans proceed as expected, the First Presidency said.

Upon completion of the temple, and prior to its dedication, public tours will be conducted so all who desire may be able to visit the building.

There are 41 other temples throughout the world, either in operation, under construction, or in various stages of planning.

A month previous to the announcement of the new temple, Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of the Twelve created the Freiberg German Democratic Republic Stake at a conference on 29 August 1982. He was assisted by Elder Robert D. Hales, of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Administrator of the Europe Area, and Regional Representative Hans B. Ringger.

Approximately 4,000 members of the Church reside in the German Democratic Republic, almost half of them (1,881) in the new stake, which is located in the southern part of the republic. Elder Monson praised them for their faithfulness, for “activity levels among the highest in the Church,” expressing special admiration for the faithfulness of the youth “who surpass all others in seminary attendance.”

Of the creation of the new stake, Brother Ringger said, “These people have been praying for the blessing of a stake for many years. For them, the meeting was the culmination of years of faithfulness.”

Frank Herbert Apel was called to preside over the new stake, with counselors Heinz Koschnicke and Reimund Dorlitz. President Apel, 42, is owner of a car repair shop and former branch executive secretary and counselor in a district presidency. Both President Koschnicke and President Dorlitz are former branch presidents. Rudi Lehmann, a former district president, was called and ordained a patriarch of the stake by Elder Monson. A full high council was also organized.

In his praise of the newly called and sustained officers, Elder Monson said: “Among the leadership of the new stake is represented long years of faithful service and activity. President Apel served eighteen years in the district presidency. President Dorlitz has served twenty-one of his forty-three years as branch president. The same faithfulness has been demonstrated by President Koschnicke and others who fill new positions in the stake organization.”

Patriarch Rudi Lehmann, who served for over sixteen years as a district president, and President Werner Adler, who has been a district president for eighteen years, are further examples of the many dedicated priesthood leaders who have devoted themselves to creating a stake of Zion.

The organization of the new stake was “a spiritual experience,” said Elder Hales. “During the interviews we were especially impressed with the spirit of these fine people, with their dedication and oneness, with how they honor their priesthood and support each other. When we thanked them, they said, ‘We did it for the Lord.’”

More than a century has passed since the gospel was first taken to the Freiberg area. In 1851 missionaries began preaching the restored gospel in German-speaking Europe. A mission was formally established within a year and translation of the Book of Mormon into German was begun.

In a number of cities, branches of the Church were formed by small groups of members. Several of the Saints living in branches now encompassed by the new stake later became Church leaders. Among them was Karl G. Maeser, first president of Brigham Young Academy (now Brigham Young University).

Many other German-speaking converts also left their small branches in Germany to immigrate to the United States. Until the early 1920s the Church in Germany remained relatively unknown. But in 1921 the general region boasted the largest missionary force in the Church and gained almost 2,000 new converts; these new members were directed to stay in their homeland and build the Church there.

Henry D. Moyle, who later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve and a Counselor in the First Presidency, was among the missionary force of the early 1900s. He spent part of his labor in Freiberg and, following his mission, returned to that city to attend college. For a time prior to World War II the Church in the Freiberg region enjoyed unsurpassed growth. During those years, according to Elder Monson, the area “represented the largest concentration of Latter-day Saints outside North America.”

Since World War II, Church growth in that area has been considerably slower. But through their own efforts and those of visiting authorities, local Church leaders have maintained solid activity. According to Elder Ringger, occasional trips to conferences outside the republic have also helped the leaders accomplish the Lord’s work.

Left to right: Frank Herbert Apel, president of the new Freiberg German Democratic Republic Stake; Hans B. Ringger, Regional Representative; Gottfried Richter, first counselor, German Democratic Republic Dresden Mission; Elder Robert D. Hales of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Administrator of the Europe Area; Henry Burkhardt, president, German Democratic Republic Dresden Mission; Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of the Twelve; and Gunter Schulze, second counselor, German Democratic Republic Dresden Mission.

Tabernacle Choir Observes Anniversary

Who remembers listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Tuesday afternoon? It hasn’t been that way for half a century, so most listeners don’t realize that when “Music and the Spoken Word” began broadcasting in 1929 it was a weekday program, carried over the U.S. NBC network. But a short three years later, the choir did a double switch to Sunday mornings and to CBS. It has maintained that schedule since 4 September 1932—through five directors, five commentators, and a variety of organists. And on Sunday, September 5 of this year, the choir observed this important anniversary with a special program. As part of its regular “Spoken Word” broadcast, commentator J. Spencer Kinard spoke of the choir’s unique relationship to the lives of its listeners.

A second program followed, designed for local Utah broadcast by KSL radio and television. It featured, in addition to music from the choir, remarks by President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency, Arch Madsen of KSL Inc., Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce president Fred Ball, and a representative from CBS Radio.

The Restoration of the Priesthood: A New Church Film Reenacts Sacred Events

The making of a film for the Church carries built-in challenges and compensations. But to have participated in the accurate portrayal of eternal truths is its own reward—as those involved in filming The Restoration of the Priesthood would readily agree.

“There must be a central focus when you undertake a project like this,” muses Richard Hart, manager of audiovisual materials for the Church. “The goal of everyone involved was to focus their talents on one thing—to help bear witness that the restoration of the priesthood and the Church actually happened. Everything in the film is designed to achieve that specific objective.”

In a brief twenty minutes, there is a moving portrayal of some of the significant events of the nineteenth century—the Prophet Joseph Smith’s earnest struggle to learn and obey the Lord’s will; appearances to the young prophet and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist (who conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood) and Peter, James, and John (under whose hands they received the Melchizedek Priesthood); revelations concerning baptism and organization of a church; and the actual organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 6 April 1830.

Another major objective of the project, begun in the spring of 1979, was to render the film historically accurate. Jesse E. Stay, director of Brigham Young University’s Film Production Department and producer of the film, recalls that one of his responsibilities was “to see that it was shot in accordance with Church doctrine. It is absolutely as accurate as we could possibly make it.” Script writers used resources of the BYU Religious Instruction faculty and the Church Historical Department and consulted such responsible sources as the History of the Church by Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts’ Comprehensive History of the Church, the writings of Lucy Mack Smith, and Joseph Smith’s own history as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price. “The desire of the Brethren to make this film scripturally sound was very intense,” adds Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr., manager of Adult Curriculum for the Church. “They wanted to make it accurate in every detail.”

Director of the film was Peter Johnson, a distinguished professional whose love for the Prophet Joseph Smith qualified him for a unique Church service opportunity. “Probably the reason that I chose to go into the motion picture business in my life was to work on Joseph Smith films,” he says. “I grew up on a farm in Idaho, and I guess I saw one or two movies a year. But even with a limited background, I always wanted to be a film director, and in particular I always wanted to do the Joseph Smith material. So when I was called and asked to work on this film, I was just thrilled.”

One of the greatest challenges of such a project, according to Brother Johnson, lies in the casting of an actor to portray the Prophet. “This is a man we all revere so highly,” he reflects, “that getting a good Joseph is like a miracle—to find a man with the right looks, the right charismatic qualities, and the right spirituality and warmth. That’s a pretty tall order.”

Brother Johnson, even now a bit awed at the unusual circumstances surrounding Greg Sperry’s selection as the Prophet Joseph Smith, tells the story:

“We were casting the angels—Peter, James, and John and John the Baptist—and I had this one fellow (Greg) come in, and we took some pictures of him as an angel and he was wonderful. I flew back to Los Angeles, but before long I got a call from our production manager, who said, ‘You know, there’s something really important that you need to look at.’ And so I came back to Utah, and he asked me to look at the pictures of the angels. Well, when I saw Greg, my mouth dropped open, and a big smile came across the production manager’s face. I said, ‘My goodness, that’s Joseph Smith—he’s perfect!’ We flew Greg in from Arizona, consulted with some of the other administrators, and the consensus was that he was the man to portray the Prophet Joseph. So I asked him if he would play the part. He nearly fainted.”

“I was taken completely by surprise,” chuckles Greg Sperry, now a business student at Brigham Young University. “I’d never acted in my whole life—and now this! What a challenge—to try to play the Prophet. It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life.” Greg is twenty-four years old the same age at which Joseph Smith organized the Church.

Brother Johnson sees Greg’s performance as a highlight of the film. “He has the personal qualities that I thought were very important, and I think they come across on the screen,” says the director. “As a performer, he was very concerned that he do well in the film.”

The script itself posed another challenge for Peter Johnson. A successful movie, he reflects, is generally dependent upon the conflicts or tensions among its characters and the climax, or high point, of the action. “When I looked at that script,” he recalls, “I thought, boy, this is going to be a tough one because there’s no conflict. And not only that, we start out with one of the high points—the appearances of angel—close to the beginning of the film.” Prayerfully considering the alternatives, he noticed one small sentence in the original script: “And they passed the sacrament.” “It struck me forcefully,” he says, “that the Lord introduced the sacrament—and this was the first time that it had been administered with authority since the time of the primitive church. That’s when I started thinking how we could really make this a lovely, lovely moment. And for me, it has become the high point of the film.”

The Peter Whitmer farm in Fayette, New York, and surrounding areas became the location for much of the filming. The farm, now a Church visitors’ center, had been restored in recent years, making a temporary return to the “old days” necessary. “We made it just as close as we could to what it would be if the Whitmer family were actually living there,” says Brother Stay. “We tore up the lawn, put some weeds in, set a haystack on the corner of the place, a goat in the back yard and a cow tethered in the corral, dug some wagon tracks in the lawn and made it all muddy. Then when we got through, we put it all back together.”

A few dozen Saints in the Fayette and Rochester areas portrayed early converts to the gospel who were present at the April 6 organizational meeting. Recalling their dedication, Robert Stum, associate producer of the film, reflects, “What was most touching to me was the actions of all those people who worked with us as cast. They just did a superb job. Many of them had to leave Rochester at four in the morning in order to get to our makeup call, but there was just no grumbling at all. They’d be there all day and leave after dark, because it seemed like we were always running late. We were so appreciative of their willingness to serve.”

Brother Johnson has warm memories of the Fayette experience. “There was a sacred, reverent feeling as we worked. The schedule was so tight that we had to shoot the entire sequence in the cabin, including going off to the baptism in the river, in two days. Those were two of the toughest days that I have ever had in filming. But once we got everything ready to shoot, there was just a wonderful feeling present. We all had burning testimonies of Joseph and of these sacred events that we were trying to portray.”

Some of the events connected with the filming were slightly less warm. “When I baptized Oliver [played by Bruce Newbold] and he baptized me,” recalls Greg Sperry, “the water was so cold. We had to stay in the river for about an hour, and we were really shaking and shivering. I kept telling Peter I wouldn’t be able to not shiver when I talked; he just said, ‘You can’t.’ As it turned out, there was just enough footage that was usable where Oliver didn’t shiver and I didn’t shiver.”

That same day, the cast waited “eight or ten hours” while a rainstorm dimmed their hopes of filming the baptism scene. Then, says Greg, “just about the last two hours of daylight, it completely cleared up and we got everything we needed. There were so many things that started out so badly, and turned out so well.”

As an interesting footnote, during the course of filming, Greg learned that he and Bruce were distant cousins—the same relationship shared by Joseph and Oliver. Greg and Bruce had never met prior to assuming their roles in the movie.

Everyone associated with the project remembers the two critical days (“the only two we had to film the cabin sequence,” says Brother Johnson) during which sudden illness swept through the cast and crew. “Many of them were very ill for about twenty-four hours,” says Brother Stum, “but somehow we worked around it.” Director Johnson views the incident philosophically: “I have also worked on another Church film, and I know this—there is an opposition that rises up before you, along with incredible obstacles and challenges. We had those all the way through. To me, it’s very, very powerfully and spiritually dramatic in that we had a sense of what it was like for Joseph Smith to have to go through the great challenging experiences that he did, never knowing beforehand how he was going to accomplish a lot of things that he did. And that was really the way we shot that sequence.”

Members of the production team share deep feelings and convictions about the film’s content and purposes. “I think for me,” says Brother Stay, “seeing the film bring alive the events researched made the restoration of the priesthood and the organization of the Church real for me, and made me feel that I was really part of it.

“Another thing that impressed me was that almost all of this revelation and instruction came to Joseph and Oliver as a result of prayer and inquiry. It schooled me in the process of revelation; and I think that’s a great lesson of the film—that these things are real, they actually happened, and they happened in proper order. The restoration was not haphazard in any way, and it was done the way it should have been done in order to establish this Church.

“I think the film will strengthen testimonies considerably. It will be a learning tool, particularly for the youth of the Church; but I think also that it will be a tremendous missionary tool. I think that for those who are seeking the truth, and who are approaching baptism, this will reinforce their decisions and help them understand that these events were real, that it isn’t just something somebody made up.”

Richard Hart adds his perception of the film as a teaching tool. “The beauty of The First Vision is that it teaches revelation—that you ponder, you pray, you get revelation, and then you obey. Those four things were exactly what Joseph did as he was searching for knowledge about the priesthood—he was applying principles he had learned through his first vision. If people viewing The Restoration of the Priesthood can make that connection, it will have great spiritual impact in their lives.”

“One of the things we are trying to do,” continues Brother Hart, “is to create audiovisual materials in the Church that are vehicles of the Spirit, so the Spirit of the Lord can bear witness of the truth. That was very important in this film, because we wanted the Spirit of the Lord to bear witness that these things actually happened.”

Brother Johnson affirms that “it was such a testimony-building experience to recreate, probably for the first time ever, the sacred events that happened on April the sixth, on the very location where they happened. To stand behind the camera and just sort of say to yourself ‘You’re not looking at a movie reproduction, but at the real thing’ was absolutely thrilling—and we all felt that. I don’t think I have ever had a more thrilling experience in film than when we shot the Joseph Smith sequence at the Fayette farm.”

In a letter to Church administrators dated 19 August 1982, President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve counsels leaders to make extensive use of “this moving film.” “Each stake and mission president,” he writes, “is encouraged to secure copies and develop a plan where priesthood and auxiliary leaders and teachers, missionaries, parents and home teachers can use it effectively in proclaiming the gospel and perfecting the Saints.

“The motion picture or filmstrip may be used in such events as investigator firesides, baptism services, open-houses, missionary discussions, stake, district and ward activities, and family home evenings where friends, neighbors and relatives might be invited. It can also be used in priesthood quorums, Relief Society, and other classes where missionary work, priesthood, or the Restoration is discussed.”

The Restoration of the Priesthood is available on sixteen-millimeter film ($75.00); video cassette (VHS or BETA, $34.95), which also contains other films; and filmstrip ($2.50).

Film portrays arrival of converts to witness formal organization of the Church in April 1830.

Joseph Smith testifies of the Book of Mormon.

Camera and sound crews complete a scene.

A brief historical overview recounts ordination of Apostles by the Lord.

“Bigger-Than-Life” Conference—By Satellite

“It just made all the difference in the world.”

Many Church members shared this sentiment, expressed by Bishop Robert L. Deaver of the Kinston Second Ward, Kinston North Carolina Stake as he described his feelings about viewing the October 1982 general conference by satellite transmission. After years of receiving little or no conference coverage through their local media, members in 404 locales in the United States were at last able to view conference proceedings from beginning to end, on a giant screen and in living color.

The satellite dish installations are to be a permanent feature of general conference. It is estimated that about 250,000 members saw this past conference via satellite receiver units.

Bishop Deaver, for one, recognized immediate advantages of the new system. “I had very seriously considered going to Salt Lake for general conference this time,” he said. “But after discussing it with my wife, I elected to stay here in North Carolina, because we were in essence getting everything that I could have gotten out there, except the atmosphere. In fact, viewing the large screen is almost better than actually being in the Tabernacle, because you’ve got that bird’s eye view—ten feet wide and eight feet tall. It provides a tremendous spirit to be able to see those brethren up there talking.”

In Ohio, similar feelings were voiced. John A. Taylor, high councilor in the Cincinnati Ohio Stake, reflected that the visual transmission seemed to improve individuals’ powers of concentration. “I think it’s obvious,” he said, “that when you are sitting listening to audio only, sometimes it’s hard to be totally attentive, and your mind wanders. But when you can actually see the picture, see people talking and the expression on their faces, you can concentrate to a much greater extent and get a good deal more benefit from being there.”

Southern California has received limited conference coverage over the past few years, with members’ only vehicle being the sideband radio. With satellite transmission to Orange Stake, said Kit Poole, multiregion public communications director for Orange County, “people are just thrilled. We had a full capacity at our stake center.” She added that one of the great advantages of the new satellite system will likely be that “people are going to get onto the idea of taking their nonmember friends with them to these meetings. It will be a real plus for the missionary effort.”

“We see a great future for the Church in these satellite transmissions,” added John M. Wright, first counselor in the Boston Massachusetts Stake. “After so many years of very limited television coverage, we can now see conference all the way through. This is going to be a very positive thing in the lives of the members.”

Guy Piersall, Portland Oregon multiregion public communications director, noted that the satellite transmission in his stake was reported on a local television news broadcast. “The news people,” he said, “commented on the exceptional clarity and quality of the transmission. They were very impressed. Everyone here was thrilled to be able to see all the sessions, because we’ve had only the audio portion in previous years.” He added that “since gathering for the welfare session at 6:00 A.M. was a little difficult,” that session was videotaped and replayed at a special Sunday evening fireside.

Some stakes in those areas in the United States slated to receive satellite dishes have not yet received them, but it is anticipated that they will be in place before the next general conference of the Church in April 1983.

Members in the Dallas Texas East Stake Center watch conference sessions broadcast by satellite.

Seminar for Temple Presidents Gives Instruction, Inspiration

A spirited rendition of “High on the Mountain Top” provided a fitting opening for the first seminar to be held for Latter-day Saint temple presidents and matrons. The seminar, attended by all twenty-seven temple presidents and their wives, was conducted September 28–30 under the direction of the First Presidency. Sessions were held at Church headquarters and at the Jordan River Temple.

“In the past,” said Elder W. Grant Bangerter, Executive Director of the Temple Department, “we’ve generally oriented and trained new temple presidents on an individual basis. But with the addition of so many new temples recently, the First Presidency has felt it advisable to conduct a seminar for all temple presidents.” There are forty-one temples either operating, under construction, or in various stages of planning.

At the seminar’s opening session were Presidents N. Eldon Tanner and Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency, all members of the Quorum of the Twelve except Elder LeGrand Richards (who was ill), and members of the First Quorum of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric.

President Hinckley complimented participants on their willingness to serve. “I recognize in you,” he said, “men and women who are working with an eye single to the glory of God.” He counseled presidents and matrons to have order in their work, to encourage harmony among temple personnel, and to carefully maintain their own physical health. He also expressed his hope that temple work will increase “now that our greater number of temples can bring the ordinances to the people.”

Elder Howard W. Hunter reminded the presidents and matrons that temples are sacred structures, built for holy purposes. They are necessary, he said, “for the Lord to reveal to his children the ordinances of his house, the glories of the kingdom, and the principles of eternal life and salvation.”

It is the calling of temple presidents and matrons, said Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve, to make of the temple a house of blessing to the Saints. The temple, he counseled, should be a house of courtesy (“Your welcome and personality sets the tone”); a house of reverence (“more than silence—it must be a blending of respect and adoration for the Lord and for his holy place”); a house of comfort (“Those who come often seek comfort and security as they bear life’s crosses”); a house of contemplation (“to gain a better understanding of our relationships to God, family, and eternity”); and a house of joy (“Where else is greater joy witnessed than in the temple with family and friends?”).

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke of the efficient operation of temples through effective cooperation between the Temple Department and priesthood councils. “We want to maximize our efforts for both the living and the dead,” he reflected, “and the solution is government through councils under the operation of the Spirit.”

Specific functions of a temple presidency were outlined by Elder Bangerter, who cited such responsibilities as administering ordinances for the living and the dead. (“They are not just names; we should feel that the dead are present to receive their ordinances”); properly recording the ordinances; supervising temple workers; and preparing and administering the temple budget. “An attitude sometimes arises,” he added, “that temple activity is optional. But temple activity and genealogy are of vital importance in the perfection of the Saints and the salvation of the dead. They are hand-in-hand activities in our preaching of the gospel.”

President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve concluded the session by reminding presidents that “the Lord has favored you with a calling of great trust and responsibility. My heart is full and my feelings tender as I contemplate the magnitude and importance of this sacred work.” He counseled presidents and their wives to have complete love and unity at all times, nurturing a spirit of peace and a love of the Savior in their homes. “Temple patrons will feel of that spirit, and your example will greatly influence others.” It is in the temple, he said, that the Saints “obtain God’s greatest blessings pertaining to eternal life. Temples are really the gateways to heaven. In the peace of these lovely temples, sometimes the serious problems of life find their solutions. Under the influence of the Spirit, sometimes pure knowledge flows to us there. Visitors seen and unseen from the world beyond are often close to us. I know this to be true. There is no veil to the Lord.”

Other sessions during the three-day seminar featured instructions pertaining to the organization and management of temples; personnel; budget; temple maintenance; historical reports; translation of ceremonies; the missionary program; temple audiovisual systems; and an introduction to the temple computer recording system. A highlight of the seminar was the gathering of temple presidents and matrons with members of the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve, and other General Authorities for a special testimony meeting held in the chapel of the Jordan River Temple.

Status of Temples as of November 1982

Temple Location

Status

President

St. George, Utah

Operating

John M. Russon

Logan, Utah

Operating

Reed Bullen

Manti, Utah

Closed for renovation

Wilbur W. Cox

Salt Lake City, Utah

Closed for renovation

Elder Marion D. Hanks

Laie, Oahu, Hawaii

Operating

Robert D. Finlayson

Cardston, Alberta, Canada

Operating

Harold E. Bennett

Mesa, Arizona

Operating

L. Harold Wright

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Operating

Devere Harris

Los Angeles, California

Operating

Allen C. Rozsa

Zollikofen, Switzerland

Operating

Stanley D. Rees

Hamilton, New Zealand

Operating

Hugh A. Daysh

London, England

Operating

Joseph Hamstead, Jr.

Oakland, California

Operating

R. Don Smith

Ogden, Utah

Operating

Keith W. Wilcox

Provo, Utah

Operating

Leland F. Priday

Washington, D.C.

Operating

Wendell G. Eames

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Operating

José B. Puerta

Tokyo, Japan

Operating

Elder Adney Y. Komatsu

Seattle, Washington

Operating

F. Arthur Kay

South Jordan, Utah

Operating

Donovan H. Van Dam

Mexico City, Mexico

Under construction

Harold Brown

Apia, Western Samoa

Under construction

Charles I. Sampson

Atlanta, Georgia

Under construction

Robert M. Winston

Buenos Aires, Argentina

In design

Elder Angel Abrea

Chicago, Illinois

In design

*

Dallas, Texas

In design

*

Frankfurt, Germany

In design

*

Guatemala City, Guatemala

Ground has been broken

*

Johannesburg, South Africa

Groundbreaking scheduled

*

Lima, Peru

Ground has been broken

*

Manila, Philippines

Ground has been broken

*

Nuku‘alofa, Tonga

Under construction

Tonga Toutai Paletu‘a

Papeete, Tahiti

Under construction

Joseph E. Childers

Santiago, Chile

Under construction

Eugene Olsen

Seoul, Korea

In design

*

Stockholm, Sweden

In design

*

Sydney, Australia

Ground has been broken

*

Boise, Idaho

In design

*

Denver, Colorado

In design

*

Guayaquil, Ecuador

In design

*

Taipei, Taiwan

Ground has been broken

*

Freiberg, German Democratic Republic

In design

*

* Presidents have not yet been called for temples scheduled for completion after 1983.

Policies and Announcements

The following items appeared in the September 1982 Bulletin.

General Women’s Meeting. There will be no General Women’s Meeting in the fall of 1982 or the spring of 1983. The next General Women’s Meeting originating in the Salt Lake Tabernacle will be held Saturday, 24 September 1983. Calendar this event in all Church units and extend invitations to all women twelve and over. Details on the broadcast will be announced at a future date.

Relief Society Meetings. Relief Society meetings should be devoted to teaching approved lessons from Church headquarters or to miniclasses planned and approved by stake and ward Relief Society homemaking leaders. Commercial presentations and programs should not be presented in Relief Society. Commercial items should not be advertised or sold in Relief Society. (See Relief Society Handbook.)

Frequency, Type, and Location of Young Women Weekday Activities. The bishopric and the ward Young Women leaders are the ones who decide how often to hold Young Women activities. Young Women activities need not be held on the same day or in the same place as Young Men activities. Some months they may be held every week; other months, only once or twice; but they should be held at least monthly.

Young Women activities should support gospel principles taught in the Sunday Young Women meeting. They should also help the young women with their “My Personal Progress” goals. The following activities are also part of the Young Women program: New Beginnings (January), activation programs, standards events, sharing times, the Young Women anniversary (November), activities to strengthen the family, homemaking activities, and service projects. (Commercial activities should not be used as the program for Young Women activities.) Combined activities with the Young Men, which are planned by the bishopric youth committee, should be held at least once a month. Cultural events and physical and camp activities may also be planned.

Young Women activities may be held at the meetinghouse, in the home of the Young Women leader, in the home of a class member, or in other appropriate places as approved by the Young Women presidency and the bishopric adviser.

Young Women Opening Exercise. The opening exercise for the Sunday Young Women meeting is held separately from Relief Society or Aaronic Priesthood opening exercises. The Young Women opening exercise should set a spiritual tone for the lessons to follow. It may be held for all age-groups together, if facilities permit, or in each class. Young Women class officers take turns conducting. The opening exercise includes announcements, an opening song, prayer, a short talk on the Young Women scripture theme, recitation of the Young Women scripture theme, and a sharing time to welcome new class members. Give special attention to greeting new twelve-year-old girls.

The following letter was signed by the First Presidency and distributed to General Authorities, Regional Representatives, and stake presidents on 17 September 1982:

“The First Presidency and the Twelve have approved the following policy pertaining to wards for nonstudent single adult members of the Church:

“In other than student stakes, the president of a stake may request permission from the First Presidency to organize a ward for single adults, if (1) there are enough of these members to handle the established Church program for their age-group, and (2) the proposed ward can be accommodated in an existing building in the stake.

“Single adults, in consultation with their parents and home ward bishops, may decide whether to attend their home ward or affiliate with a singles ward.

“This policy is to become effective immediately.”

LDS Scene

President Marion G. Romney, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday on September 19. Family dinners and a birthday party at the Church Administration Building marked the occasion. President Romney has been a General Authority since 1941 and has served as a counselor in the First Presidency under Presidents Harold B. Lee and Spencer W. Kimball.

BYU’s John Taylor Building was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley on September 14. Formerly known as the Comprehensive Clinics Building, the structure houses LDS Social Services Provo Agency and the BYU Comprehensive Clinic, a training and research center in clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work, communicative disorder therapy, and public health nursing.

Brent Laycock, a member of the Calgary, Canada, 14th Ward, was commissioned by the Canadian Post Office to paint a scene for a commemorative stamp. The recently issued stamp shows Brother Laycock’s painting of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

August 20 was graduation day at BYU. A total of 2,223 students from 47 states and 30 foreign countries received degrees at the university’s summer commencement exercises—the second largest August graduation in BYU’s history.

Tabernacle Adds Fourth Organist

Under the direction of the First Presidency, Clay Christiansen of Salt Lake City has been appointed as a fourth Tabernacle organist. He joins Robert Cundick, Roy M. Darley, and John Longhurst at the console of the Tabernacle Organ on Temple Square. His responsibilities include presenting daily organ recitals in the Tabernacle and accompanying the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus.

Brother Christiansen, 33, has been organist and choirmaster at the Episcopal cathedral in Salt Lake City for the past ten years and has also served as organist for the Jewish synagogue in Salt Lake City. He has served for several summers as a guest organist in the Tabernacle. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University and received his master’s degree in music from the University of Utah. He served on the General Music Committee of the Church from 1979 to 1981.

Friend Has New Managing Editor

The First Presidency has announced the appointment of Vivian Paulsen as managing editor of the Friend magazine. Sister Paulsen, who has been acting editor of that magazine since the death of Lucile Reading in March, comes to her position from the New Era, where she served as associate editor for eleven years.

Sister Paulsen, 40, graduated with honors from Brigham Young University, majoring in French and political science. She served a mission in Tahiti and was employed as an educator in Salt Lake City and at Brigham Young University prior to her appointment with the New Era.

The new managing editor has a rich linguistic background and speaks Tahitian, French, German, and Norwegian. She serves on the Adult Correlation Review Committee of the Church and was a member of the Young Women’s General Board for four years.

Keeping Pace

Members of the Church may find several periodicals published by Brigham Young University of interest. These publications focus on a wide variety of activities and insights. The periodicals are:

Family Perspective. A quarterly publication dealing with research on marriage and the family. Authors come from various disciplines and professions, and present a wide variety of viewpoints “designed to strengthen and enhance the quality of family life.” Subscription price: $12 per year. Available by writing Dr. Ruth Brasher, 90 SWKT, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602.

Benson Institute. A quarterly newsletter detailing research on various aspects of personal and family preparedness. Includes practical ideas on various topics, such as home canning, food storage, gardening, and energy efficiency. Also contains reviews of current publications dealing with these topics. The newsletter is considered “scientific but practical for Church members.” Available for a minimum $10 donation to the Benson Institute, 50 East 800 North, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602.

BYU Today. A news publication designed to keep alumni and persons interested in BYU informed of happenings on campus. Contains educational articles about the university. Published eight times per year. A minimum donation of $10.00 per year is requested. Available by writing BYU Today, c/o Glen Smith, 255 Alumni House, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602.

Speeches of the Year. An annual publication that compiles approximately twenty-five devotional and fireside speeches delivered the previous year on campus. Speakers include General Authorities. Available for $6.95 by writing 205 UPB, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602.

BYU Studies. A quarterly journal containing articles from all fields of learning—from poetry to science, from fiction to theology. Articles are generally scholarly in nature, but are written for “informed nonspecialists.” Available for $10.00 per year by writing 210 UPB, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602.

Literature and Belief. An annual publication produced by the BYU Center for Christian Values in Literature. Contains articles dealing with literature and Christian values. Includes poetry, book reviews, and speeches designed to renew awareness of religious values in literature. Price is $4.00 per issue. Available by writing to Literature and Belief, A279 JKB, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602.

Exchange Magazine. A biannual publication of the BYU School of Management. Articles come from faculty and professionals in economics, accounting, business management, and public management, and deal with current issues related to these fields. Available for $3.00 per issue by writing Paul R. Timm, Assistant Dean, School of Management, BYU, Provo, Utah 84602.