News of the Church


Changes in General Conference Schedule

Two changes affecting the schedule of general conference meetings of the Church have been approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.

The general priesthood meeting of each general conference will hereafter begin at 6:00 P.M. (Mountain Time) instead of the former 7:00 P.M. time. This change was dictated by the desire to accommodate those viewing the session by closed circuit telecast in the eastern United States, who were then required to travel to their homes after 11:00 P.M. (Eastern Time).

It has also been decided that there will be no general Welfare Services meeting on the Saturday morning of conference in April this year.

The 153rd Annual General Conference of the Church will convene in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3. General sessions are scheduled at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. each day, with the priesthood session Saturday at 6:00 P.M.

The Semiannual General Conference of the Church is scheduled Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2.

Dallas Temple Is Underway

“There is something transcendently wonderful about a temple, reflected President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. The occasion for his statement was the January 22 ceremony during which ground was broken for the Dallas Texas Temple. “I feel today,” he added, “in this great state, and all this vast territory, there is no building of such tremendous significance as will be the building we begin this day.”

It was the Church’s thirteenth temple groundbreaking since 1980, and construction was to begin immediately following the service. About ninety Church leaders, including Regional Representatives, stake presidents, and others, attended the private ceremony with their wives. Completion of the temple is anticipated by mid-1984.

President Hinckley, who presided at the gathering, emphasized that “this is the Lord’s work; it cannot be stopped, it will not be stopped, it will roll forth. We’ll build this temple here, we will build all the others presently scheduled, and there are others yet to come which have been tentatively designated.”

Elder Jacob de Jager of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who serves as Executive Administrator of the Southern Plains Area, said, “I testify as a convert to the Church that I have found great happiness in the kingdom [doing temple work] both through baptisms and other sacred ordinances, that I feel peace in my heart and in my mind.”

Elder Ivan L. Hobson, Regional Representative and chairman of the temple executive committee, described the groundbreaking as “a great day for the Southern Plains of the United States.” He praised leaders for raising 140 percent of their assessment by the time of the groundbreaking.

The 17,800-square-foot temple will be situated on a six-acre site on Willow Lane in the northern part of Dallas. The property, bounded by two large vacant lots, is flat and occupied by a few trees. Most of the area is residential, although several churches and a medical research center are nearby.

New Communications Manual Available from Distribution Centers

Need help in preparing talks, organizing speech festivals, putting together ward or stake newsletters, or working with graphics? If so, you’ll be glad to read the new Communications Manual just published under the direction of the General Activities Committee. Its main purpose is to act as a guide for specialists called to serve on activities committees as speech directors or ward newsletter editors, but it can also be helpful to other interested members of the Church.

Written in a simple, concise manner, the twelve-page booklet takes the place of all previous speech manuals. Suggestions are given on how to prepare and give a talk, use a microphone, control anxiety when speaking, introduce a speaker, make a talk an enjoyable experience for both speaker and audience, and organize and carry out ward and stake speech competition.

The section on creating a ward newsletter gives suggestions such as organizing a newsletter staff, determining the budget, and writing, designing, printing, and distributing the letter. The section on graphics communications gives tips for creating effective posters, handouts, invitations, tickets, certificates, signs, programs, and other graphic arts projects.

To order the new Communications Manual (PBAC0067; $.40), contact the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104.

Church Receives Copies of Historical Documents

Copies of five historical documents whose whereabouts were previously unknown have been given to the Church. These documents, dating from 1845 to 1847, originated in the period of Church history when the Saints were driven from Nauvoo, Illinois, and journeyed westward across the Great Plains. Copies were made available by collector Brent F. Ashworth. The copies are:

1. A document described in a marginal note as an “Agreement to leave Nauvoo” is in the handwriting of Parley P. Pratt. Dated “the evening of the twenty fourth day of Sept. 1845,” it is a notice to the citizens of the surrounding counties that the Saints intend to leave Nauvoo and move westward the following spring, “as soon as property can be disposed of.” It also appeals for an end to mob violence, so that the Saints might not be hindered in their preparations.

2. In mid-1845, a Major Warren, who had been commissioned by Governor Ford to enforce the peace, came to Nauvoo and rebuked President Brigham Young and Elder John Taylor for an alleged determination to resist the law. In this document, the major is reminded by Elder Taylor that he had been “shot nearly to pieces” under the so-called protection of the “law.”

3. The original of an important two-page letter from Parley P. Pratt to the westward-bound Saints, dated July 9, 1846, announces the need for 500 men to volunteer for the Mormon Battalion. It points to this call from the U.S. Army as a great blessing to the beleaguered Saints—an opportunity to obtain the means to go west beyond the reach of mob persecution and “lay a foundation for a territorial or state government, under the Constitution of the United States.” A facsimile of this letter was published in the Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:94–95.

4. A letter from Orson Hyde to John Taylor, also dated July 9, 1846, also appeals for Mormon Battalion volunteers and urges them to “give in their names to Capt. Allen” immediately.

5. Four pages written by John Taylor, dated “Antlantic Ocean on board the ship America for New Orleans, Feb 22, 1847,” are part of Elder Taylor’s first attempt to put in writing “an account of the circumstances that transpired a little time previous to the massacre of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage jail.” This record reaffirms that mob activity was rampant in the Nauvoo area just prior to the martyrdom: “men being whipped and shot at & … some being killed,” “upwards of one hundred & fifty housed were burned,” etc. A much expanded account was eventually published in the History of the Church, 3:54–127.

These documents add to the fund of source materials that help us understand this important era in Church history.

BYU Review of Children’s Books—Helpful Resource

The Brigham Young University Children’s Book Review, published by the university’s Department of Elementary Education, is as a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning about recently published children’s books, particularly teachers, librarians, and parents.

Printed nine times annually, monthly from September through May, the book review provides readers an opportunity to introduce themselves to a wider variety of books on numerous subjects. The reviewers are mainly teachers and librarians representing all levels of education from the primary grades through college. Evaluations are based on personal opinions and are not policy statements of, or endorsements by, the Church or BYU.

The review, which includes reviews of children’s plays as well as books, offers evaluations of subject and theme; text and illustrations; style; attitudes; and age for which each publication has been written. The overall quality is indicated by a rating symbol placed next to the approximate grade level given for each publication listed. If a book is thought to appeal to a wide age range, no upper limit is given.

All publication information is provided for each publication listed in the review (publisher, date of publication, international standard book number and Library of Congress number, number of pages, and cost).

Subscription rate for The Brigham Young University Children’s Book Review is $6.00 annually. All requests and other correspondence should be addressed to: Brigham Young University Children’s Book Review, Department of Elementary Education, 243 McKay Building, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602.

Policies and Announcements

The following item appeared in the February 1983 Bulletin.

Choir Practice. Ward and branch choirs are an important part of the Church program. Priesthood leaders are encouraged to show support for the ward choir by setting aside a time and place for regular choir rehearsals and avoiding conflicting schedules. Although many choirs practice just before or after the Sunday meeting schedule (especially where members travel some distance), choir rehearsals may be held at any time that is appropriate and convenient.