News of the Church


Temples Dedicated in Samoa, Tonga

Joy Replaces Anticipation As Island Saints See Dedication of Temples in Samoa, Tonga

The colorful spontaneity of island celebrations mingled with the sustained, quiet joy of the Saints who greeted President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, and other General Authorities arriving in Samoa and Tonga for temple dedication ceremonies.

Island members knew President Hinckley’s visit meant fulfillment of a dream—dedication of temples to the Lord in their South Pacific nations. The appreciation of that reality eclipsed, for them, the fact that thousands of nonmembers, along with leaders of Samoa’s two governments and the king of Tonga, had taken part in prededication celebrations.

The spirit of peace and reverence felt at the two temples during their open houses served as a prelude for what was to come. Malietoa Tanumafili, the head of state in Western Samoa, had cut the ribbon to begin the two-week open house for the temple in Samoa. Though not a member of the Church, he cited LDS scriptures in talking about temples and their purposes. He added his own views on the importance of the temple to Western Samoa and on the many ways in which the Church and its members have helped his nation become a better place. Senator Pomare Galeai of the Congress of American Samoa also spoke at the open house, representing Governor Peter Tali Colman.

In Tonga, President Hinckley, accompanied by other General Authorities, enjoyed an audience with a long-time friend, His Majesty Taufa‘Ahau Tupou IV, king of the island nation. President Hinckley and the other General Authority visitors were also the guests of Tongan members at a traditional feast.

With the dedication of the Samoa Temple, Samoan members freely acknowledged the fulfillment of a dream, particularly those with large families and aged members who are unable to travel to other temples. One couple could only repeat, “It’s beautiful, it’s beautiful.”

“May it in very deed be thy holy house, and wilt thou and thy Son be pleased to visit it and sanctify it by thy presence,” President Hinckley asked as he offered the dedicatory prayer on the Samoa Temple.

In that prayer, he referred to the growth of the Church in the islands, and added: “Houses of worship, scores of them, and schools of learning have been built upon these islands, for the blessing of thy sons and daughters who live here. And now, crowning all of this, we have built this, thy sacred house.

“Father, it is beautiful to us. May it be beautiful and acceptable to thee.”

He referred also to the purpose of the edifice, saying: “Wilt thou open the way for thy people to seek out the records of their forebears that they may serve as saviors on Mount Zion in opening the prison doors of those whose progress has been stopped beyond the veil, that these may now become the beneficiaries of the sacred ordinances of thy holy house, and go forward on the way of eternal life and exaltation in thy presence.”

More than 6,400 people attended the seven dedicatory services for the temple. The first of these was held in the temple itself on the morning of Friday, August 5, and the remaining six were held in a nearby stake center—two more on Friday, three on Saturday, and one on Sunday morning. Choirs of local members provided music for each of the services.

Some members wept as President Hinckley spoke of an unseen audience looking with approval on the events of those three days. He mentioned past prophets, particularly President David O. McKay, who had close ties to the islands.

Tongan members had shown their great reverence for their temple from its beginnings. Some worked months on the project without remuneration simply for the satisfaction of seeing the building rise. When the gold-leafed Angel Moroni statue that was to top its spire arrived, workmen carefully wrapped it in cloth and handled it with gloves in order not to tarnish or mar it. After the statue was in place, members gathered on the grass around the temple at night to gaze at it, shining in the temple lights.

During dedicatory services at the temple on August 9, President Hinckley prayed for blessings upon the temple and those who serve there.

“We thank thee for all of thy faithful saints in the beautiful islands,” he prayed, “and invoke thy blessings upon them that they may be blessed with love and peace in their homes, that their lands shall be productive, that they shall be prospered in their righteous undertakings, that they shall be protected from the storms of nature and from the conflicts of men if they will walk in obedience to thy commandments.

“We ask that thou wilt accept this temple as the gift of thy people presented unto thee with love for the accomplishment of thy holy purposes with reference to thy children. It is thy house. It is the house of thy Son.”

He asked for blessings upon those who might attend the temple, and upon President Kimball, and then said, “We invoke thy blessings upon the king and queen of Tonga, and upon the government of this kingdom of Tonga and those who serve therein that they may look with favor upon thy people always and assist them in the accomplishment of the purposes thou hast set before them to teach the gospel to all of thy children and to build thy Church for the blessing of thy sons and daughters.”

Again, the first of seven dedicatory services was held in the temple; the other six were held in the Church’s Liahona High School gymnasium nearby. Many members sold their farm produce and animals or belongings to travel from other islands to the temple site for the dedication, and services were crowded. More than three thousand people attended the final service, for example, overflowing from the gymnasium into other parts of the building.

Other General Authorities who attended the Samoa and Tonga temple dedications included Elders Howard W. Hunter, Marvin J. Ashton, and L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve; Elders W. Grant Bangerter and John H. Groberg of the First Quorum of the Seventy; and Bishop H. Burke Peterson, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.

Because of other Church business, President Hinckley had to return to the United States August 10, after presiding at the first two dedicatory services in Tonga. The three visiting members of the Council of the Twelve conducted services in both Samoa and Tonga under direction of the First Presidency.

At the final service in Tonga, Elder Howard W. Hunter pronounced a blessing on the youth, the mothers and fathers, and the older members whose lives might be touched by the temple, admonishing them to use it faithfully. After the end of that service, ordinance work began almost immediately for those who had traveled from other islands to receive their temple endowments.

[photo] Samoan Saints’ gratitude for a temple in their own land overflowed in earlier festivities and in peaceful reverence at the dedication. (Photo by Gerald Silver, Church News.)

[photo] The building of the temple in Tonga was marked by the sacrifice of members who worked on the project and of those who gave up much to attend the dedication and receive temple ordinances. (Photo by Kent Whitehead.)

BYU, Ricks Agree on Credit Transfer in General Education

Ricks College has entered into a five-year agreement with Brigham Young University that allows Ricks students to transfer all their general education credit to BYU.

The agreement was reached after Ricks unveiled a general education program which Ricks President Bruce C. Hafen said is designed to help students with the selection of college majors and to provide them with the strongest possible preparation for the world of work, for family rearing, and for service in the Church and community. The program went into effect with the current school year.

The new program pared down the number of available general education courses at Ricks from 271 to 107. President Hafen emphasized that the revised curriculum covers certain basic knowledge every educated person should have.

Ricks students now face fewer general education classes, but these are “solid, substantive, mainstream transferable courses,” commented Dr. Dean Sorensen, academic vice president. By revising the curriculum so that courses will transfer more easily, Ricks has made it possible for students to save money by completing their college course work more efficiently and quickly, he said.

BYU’s Benson Institute to Help Ecuadorans Increase Farm Yields

Ecuadoran farmers are learning how to get more from their land as part of a two-year project instituted in their country by the Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute from Brigham Young University.

Institute personnel are showing the farmers how to produce more with the land and techniques available to them. D. Delos Ellsworth, director of the Benson Institute, explained that: scientists at BYU have developed a small-scale agriculture system adaptable to any of the approximately one billion small farms—plots of 2 1/2 acres or less—in the world. The institute’s system would make it possible for these farms to meet the nutritional needs of a family while producing a small cash crop.

The system uses crops and animals favored locally, so it can be adapted to almost any region, Brother Ellsworth said.

In Ecuador, BYU researchers are developing two test plots near Porto Viejo, in the province of Manabi. Researchers will demonstrate the small-scale agriculture system for families chosen through a BYU-directed survey and will help them implement the system on their own farms.

The system calls for farmers to grow both food and cash crops and to keep small animals for milk and meat. Soybeans, corn, and cotton are the crops used in Ecuador. Each family will also grow a small vegetable garden. Goats, rabbits, and chickens are the animals used.

Two BYU graduate students are living in Ecuador to manage the program for the duration of the institute’s contract with the Ecuadoran government, through May of 1985.

The Ecuadoran government learned about the Benson Institute project through Dr. Fidel Endara, vice minister of health, who visited BYU last year to enroll his two daughters in school. He carried word of the BYU research to Dr. Luis Sarrazin, minister of health, who took steps to bring the project to his country.

Construction Under Way on Chicago Temple

President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, capped nearly two weeks of participation in temple-related activities when he presided at the groundbreaking for the Chicago Temple.

The ceremonies at the temple site in suburban Glenview, Illinois, came just after he had returned from dedications of temples in Samoa and Tonga during the first two weeks of August.

Construction of the Chicago Temple is expected to take eighteen months. When it is completed, the sacred building will serve some 125,000 members of the Church in an area encompassing Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, and most of Iowa.

Policies and Announcements

The following items are from the August 1983 Bulletin.

Student Loans of Missionary Candidates. Missionary candidates should make sure that personal indebtedness does not interfere with their missionary work and that their missionary service does not interfere with paying their debts. Priesthood leaders should be aware that many missionary candidates have received student loans, and the priesthood leaders should make sure the conditions of such loans have been satisfied before the mission begins. Some young people and their parents do not realize that leaving school for a mission constitutes a discontinuation of schooling, such that the missionary will likely be expected to begin repaying the loan six months after he has left school. If a missionary fails to begin repayment, the loan will normally be defaulted, and the missionary’s future credit rating and loan eligibility may be seriously damaged. A forbearance agreement (which waives repayment until after the mission, when the missionary can re-enter school) is not normally difficult to arrange, but each student should accept responsibility for understanding the terms of the loan and for resolving this situation before beginning his mission.

When they discuss personal indebtedness during their interviews with prospective missionaries, priesthood leaders should make sure student loans have been resolved before the mission begins.

Changes in Stake and Ward Relief Society Boards. The following changes are to be made in stake and ward Relief Society boards:

Activation-Missionary Board Member. The activation-missionary board position is discontinued. The Relief Society president will now personally direct and coordinate the important work formerly assigned to the activation-missionary board member. The president will plan with her counselors and board members ways to more fully employ all the resources of Relief Society in that work.

Single Woman-Transition Board Member. Single woman board member is the new designation for this position. She is responsible under the president’s direction for seeing that the program and resources of Relief Society appropriately serve the needs of the single sisters; she should make sure each eighteen-year-old woman coming into Relief Society is warmly welcomed and that all single women, including single adults, have appropriate opportunities to serve in Relief Society.

Five-Minute Music Period Except for Sundays on which Spiritual Living lessons are taught, five minutes of each weekly Relief Society meeting should be used for music instruction and practice. During this period, a single idea or a skill such as note values or the learning and appreciation of a hymn (its history, type, style, and mood) should be studied. Relief Society members are encouraged to learn the hymns and find ways to teach and use them in their homes. The five-minute music period may be used to develop skills and ideas that will improve the individual musical talents of the sisters as well as their appreciation of good music and ways in which music can enhance and enrich their home life.

Sunday Meeting Revised Schedule. In order to encourage uniformity in meetings, the following schedule is recommended for Relief Society Sunday meetings:

  1. a.

    An opening and closing hymn and prayer in each Relief Society meeting

  2. b.

    Thirty minutes for all lessons, including Spiritual Living lessons

  3. c.

    A five-minute music period, except on the day of the Spiritual Living lesson, and the remaining fifteen minutes for welcome, hymns, prayers, and Relief Society business

  4. d.

    Ten minutes for testimonies on the day of the Spiritual Living lesson, and the remaining ten minutes for welcome, hymns, prayers, and business

No Objects on Piano and Organ Consoles. Please take special care to see that items are not placed on pianos and organ consoles. Plants and flower arrangements are especially hazardous, as leaking water causes extensive damage. Other items may scratch or mar the finishes of musical instruments. Priesthood and organization leaders should closely supervise funeral services and special activities, as well as regularly scheduled meetings, and should pay special attention to see that piano and organ consoles are not damaged.

See Manual for Meetinghouse Maintenance (PBBM000A), pages 21–22, 48, for instructions on care and maintenance of pianos and organs.

New Camping Manuals Available

Two new manuals, both designed for use in camping programs, are now available at Church Distribution Centers. They are the Camp Manual (PBAC0103) and Young Women Campcrafter Certification Manual (PBAC0227), both prepared by the General Activities Committee.

The Camp Manual contains basic camping information useful to families, stakes, wards, branches, Relief Societies, Young Adult groups, youth groups, priesthood quorums, Young Special Interest Groups, and Special Interest groups. The manual also contains organizational and administrative guidelines for Young Women, along with policies and requirements of the Campcrafter Certification program. The manual takes the place of the 1978 edition of the Young Women Camp Manual.

The Young Women Campcrafter Certification Manual is designed to be used by individual girls in the Campcrafter Certification program. Included is information about awards, safety and conservation rules, first aid, backpacking, survival skills, fires, and knots and lashings.

The cost of the Camp Manual is $1.10. The Young Women Camp-crafter Certification Manual costs $.75.

LDS Scene

President Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve recently observed his 84th birthday. The day, August 4, was marked by a daytime gathering with fellow General Authorities and staff members, as well as an evening dinner with his family.

The Idaho Falls Temple is scheduled to have an Angel Moroni statue installed atop its center spire. The gold-leafed statue is ten feet high and made of fiberglass. Statues of the Angel Moroni stand atop eight of the other twenty-three completed temples.

A site for the Denver Colorado Temple has been purchased. It is located in suburban Denver at South University Boulevard and County Line Road. Construction will take approximately eighteen months.

Two new missions have been created, one in the midwestern United States and one in the Caribbean. The Illinois Peoria Mission covers central Illinois, including Nauvoo, and parts of Iowa and Missouri. It was created by a division of the Missouri St. Louis Mission. The new West Indies Mission includes Jamaica, the Bahamas, part of Haiti, the Lesser Antilles, Barbados, Trinidad, and Tobago.

The Suva Fiji Stake, the first in Fiji, was organized during a recent conference at which Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve presided, assisted by Elder John H. Groberg of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Dedication ceremonies have been held for the Martin Harris Memorial Amphitheater in Clarkston, Utah, near the Idaho border. The 3,000-seat amphitheater was dedicated by President Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve. Governor Scott M. Matheson of Utah and Governor John V. Evans of Idaho also attended the ceremonies. The amphitheater is located just south of Martin Harris’s grave in the Clarkston City cemetery.

Thomas W. Parker of Bellevue, Washington, recently became manager of the Promised Valley Playhouse in Salt Lake City. He succeeded Ralph G. Rodgers, Jr., who accepted an appointment as manager of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.