News of the Church


Relief Society Counselors Chosen

Joy F. Evans and Joanne Bushman Doxey, both of Salt Lake City, have been chosen as first and second counselors in the Relief Society General Presidency.

They will serve under General President Barbara W. Winder, whose calling was announced during general conference on April 7.

The Relief Society General Presidency directs one of the world’s largest and oldest organizations for women, with more than 1.6 million members in some ninety countries.

Joy F. Evans

Joy F. Evans

Sister Evans, the new first counselor, has been a member of the Relief Society General Board for the past eight and one-half years. She has previously served as president of a stake Relief Society, twice as ward Relief Society president, and in other teaching and administrative callings within the organization. She has also held positions in the Young Women and in the Primary. Sister Evans and her husband David are the parents of ten children, seven living. They have fifteen grandchildren. They are also the foster parents of two Indian children.

Joanne B. Doxey

Joanne B. Doxey

Sister Doxey was serving as a member of the Primary General Board when she was called to the Relief Society Presidency. She has served in several teaching and administrative positions on the stake and ward level in the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society. She has also been national vice-president of Lambda Delta Sigma, an organization for LDS women university students. The Doxeys have five sons, three daughters, and three grandchildren.

Two Called to Young Women General Presidency

Patricia T. Holland of Provo, Utah, and Maurine J. Turley of Bountiful, Utah, have been called as first and second counselors in the general presidency of the Young Women organization of the Church.

They will serve with Sister Ardeth G. Kapp, whose calling as president was announced during general conference April 7.

Patricia T. Holland

Patricia T. Holland

Sister Holland has served as president of her ward Young Women organization, four times as a ward Relief Society president, and as a counselor in her ward Primary presidency. She has also taught in both Primary and Young Women.

A graduate of Dixie College and Brigham Young University, Patricia Holland is a native of St. George, Utah. She is the wife of Brigham Young University President Jeffrey R. Holland. The Hollands are the parents of two sons and a daughter.

Maurine J. Turley

Maurine J. Turley

Sister Turley has been serving as Young Women president in her Bountiful, Utah, ward. She has served as Laurel adviser, as counselor in a stake Relief Society presidency, and as Spiritual Living leader. She has also served as a ward choir director for twenty years.

She is principal and a teacher at the Millcreek Jr. High seminary in Bountiful, and has taught in the seminary system for seven years.

A native of Logan, Utah, she is married to Robert S. Turley, Jr., director of Operational Auditing for the Church. They are the parents of four sons and one daughter and have ten grandchildren.

Four New Missions Created, New Mission Presidents Called

The Church has organized four new missions—in Florida, Haiti, South Africa, and Ohio.

The Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission is a reactivation of a mission that was discontinued in 1983 when the West Indies Mission was created. The original Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission, opened in 1979, covered all of the Caribbean. Officially in operation on July 1, under President Claud D. Mangum, the reactivated Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission includes within its boundaries three stakes taken from the Florida Tampa Mission—Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach—and the Bahamas, taken from the West Indies Mission. Some 2.7 million people live within its boundaries.

The remaining West Indies Mission now covers the Lesser Antilles, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman. Nearly five million English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking people live within its boundaries, including about 540 members in the Kingston Jamaica District and island branches.

Missionaries of the new Haiti Mission will work among some five million French- and Creole-speaking people of that country. There are currently more than 550 members in the Port-au-Prince Haiti District. The new mission, also taken from the West Indies Mission, will begin operation August 1. James S. Arrigona has been called as its president.

The new South Africa Cape Town Mission includes about two thousand Church members and some 6.5 million residents in the west part of South Africa.

G. Phillip Margetts, who has been serving as president of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission, will be its president. Afrikaans, English, and several African languages are spoken in the mission. The new mission, in operation as of July 1, was taken from the South Africa Johannesburg Mission, organized originally in 1903. That mission now has more than ten thousand members.

The new Ohio Akron Mission, also in operation as of July 1, was taken from the Ohio Cleveland Mission. It covers the northeast corner of Ohio, including the historic Kirtland area. There are nearly six thousand members among the more than three million people living within the mission boundaries. Ohio also contains the Ohio Columbus Mission and parts of the Kentucky Louisville and West Virginia Charleston Missions.

In addition to these announcements, the First Presidency has called the following brethren as mission presidents. Their assignments begin this month.

President

Mission

J. Duffy Palmer

Africa West

Melvin M. Hall (transferred from Philippines Davao Mission)

Alabama Birmingham

Heber D. Perrett

Alaska Anchorage

Jorge O. Abad

Argentina Buenos Aires South

Carlos R. Fernandez

Argentina Cordoba

Jesse E. Stay

Argentina Rosario

F. Mac Bay

Arizona Holbrook

Lloyd P. George

Arizona Tempe

LaMont L. Bennett

Arkansas Little Rock

Spencer J. Condie

Austria Vienna

F. Melvin Hammond

Bolivia Cochabamba

Cory Wm. Bangerter

Brazil Rio de Janeiro

Robert R. Steuer

Brazil Sao Paulo North

Roger W. Call

Brazil Sao Paulo South

Curtis N. Van Alfen

California Anaheim

Robert C. Meier

California Arcadia

Robert D. Linnell

California Fresno

Clarence R. Campbell

California Los Angeles

Norman N. White

California Sacramento

Clair E. Rosenberg

California San Diego

Karl T. Homer

California San Jose

Newell A. Barney

California Ventura

Claudio Signorelli

Chile Osorno

Stewart E. Glazier

Chile Santiago North

Lynn A. Mickelsen

Colombia Cali

James D. Caldwell

Colorado Denver

Svend H. P. Svendsen

Denmark Copenhagen

Veigh J. Nielson

England Coventry

Dixie L. Leavitt

England Leeds

Wilbur C. Woolf

Fiji Suva

Melvin J. Luthy

Finland Helsinki

Claud D. Mangum

Florida Ft. Lauderdale

Floyd L. Packard

Florida Tallahassee

James D. Fife

France Paris

Bruce M. Lake

Germany Munich

Gary E. Elliott

Guatemala Guatemala City

Juan Manuel Cedeno

Guatemala Quezaltenango

James S. Arrigona

Haiti Port-au-Prince

William O. Perry, III

Hawaii Honolulu

Boyd K. Storey

Idaho Boise

Douglas W. Cleghorn

Iowa Des Moines

Koichi Aoyagi

Japan Sendai

Robert D. Goodwin

Japan Tokyo South

Allen C. Ostergar, Jr.

Kentucky Louisville

James M. Harper

Korea Pusan

M. Moreno Robins

Mexico Guadalajara

Jorge H. Perez (transferred from Guatemala Quezaltenango Mission)

Mexico Merida

Quinton S. Harris

Mexico Mexico City North

Jack T. Beecroft

Mexico Veracruz

Richard N. McDougal

Michigan Lansing

F. Edward Bennett

Minnesota Minneapolis

V. Loren Chapman

Nevada Las Vegas

Dale R. Shumway

New York Rochester

John R. Lasater

New Zealand Auckland

Carleton Q. Anderson

Paraguay Asuncion

Dean M. Hansen

Pennsylvania Harrisburg

W. ElDean Holliday

Pennsylvania Pittsburgh

Dale H. Christensen

Peru Lima South

Reynaldo I. Vergara

Philippines Davao

Reuben Perry Ficklin

Portugal Lisbon

Tagaloa Malini Ti’a

Samoa Apia

Joel J. Dunn

Scotland Edinburgh

G. Phillip Margetts (transferred from South Africa Johannesburg)

South Africa Cape Town

Maurice B. Bateman

South Africa Johannesburg

J. Weston Daw

South Carolina Columbia

Ricardo Valencia

Spain Barcelona

Erik G. Johnson

Sweden Stockholm

David J. Sperry

Switzerland Geneva

Stephen L. Graham

Tahiti Papeete

Richard E. Black

Tennessee Nashville

D. Keith Myres

Texas Houston

Lavar D. Skousen

Venezuela Caracas

R. LaMar Bradshaw

Washington Seattle

D. Heyward Davis, Jr.

Wisconsin Milwaukee

New Fitness-Recreation Manual Available

A new Physical Fitness, Sports, and Recreation Manual (stock no. PBAC0158) is now available from Church distribution centers. The cost is seventy-five cents.

The manual, containing ideas for physical fitness, competitive sports, and weight control, is to be used as part of the activities program of the Church. It also encourages family sports activities.

Guidelines on sportsmanship, ward and stake organization, finances, uniforms, coaching, and eligibility rules are included in the competitive sports section of the manual. It also gives rules for major team sports and information on holding tournaments.

Clark T. Thorstenson, physical activities director for the General Activities Committee, said the purpose of the physical fitness part of the manual is to encourage “each Church member to become involved in a personalized fitness program.”

LDS Rank High in Marriage, Low in Divorce, Study Says

Latter-day Saints are more likely to get married than members of other religious groups in the United States, and less likely to divorce.

Church members also have significantly larger families.

These are some of the findings of a study reported at the conference of Brigham Young University’s Family and Demographic Research Institute this spring. The study was performed by Tim B. Heaton, an assistant professor of sociology at BYU, and Kristen L. Goodman of the Church’s Correlation Evaluation Department.

Their findings support beliefs about the strength of families among Latter-day Saints, and contradict statements that the divorce rate is uncommonly high among Church members.

The two researchers stressed that their results do not necessarily mean an individual’s religion determines his or her choices about marriage and family. “Not only do people use religious teachings as a guide for behavior, but they also select religions that are consistent with their personal preferences.

“Perhaps no other societal institution has a closer link with religion than does the family,” the two scholars wrote in the report of their work. Religion touches on the decision to marry, choice of mates, the marriage ceremony itself, decision to have children (and how many), sexual behavior, and dissolution of the relationship.

Most Christian religions support marriage and family. The ever-more-common decisions to delay marriage, seek divorce, and limit family size go against most religious traditions. “We suggest that, even amid dramatic changes in nationwide patterns of family formation, religion still plays an important role in family life,” the two researchers commented.

How important a role religion plays in LDS family life is apparent, although data supporting that fact are not plentiful. Previous research has established that there is a link between the degree of Church activity and family size among Church members. But “little attention has been given to the influence of religiosity upon other aspects of family formation among ‘Mormons’,” Brother Heaton and Sister Goodman reported.

Accurate statistics on marriage, divorce, and remarriage have been scant. Too often, small, unrepresentative samples of Church members have been used in research, making the findings of many studies suspect.

Brother Heaton and Sister Goodman took their data about LDS families from a survey of 7,446 randomly selected Church members in the United States and Canada. That survey was mailed in the spring of 1981; through follow-up contacts, responses were eventually obtained from approximately 81 percent of those on the list.

Data about non-LDS families came from the National Opinion Research Center’s Cumulative General Social Surveys taken in the United States during 1978, 1980, 1982, and 1983. Results from several years were used in order to get a sample more comparable in size to the LDS group surveyed. The non-LDS group was divided into Catholics, conservative Protestants, liberal Protestants, and those who professed no religion.

Sister Goodman explained that researchers often categorize Protestants in two main groups. The liberal Protestant group includes Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists, and the conservative Protestant group includes those who list themselves as members of Lutheran, Baptist, Church of God, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Holiness, Jehovah’s Witness, Nazarene, Pentecostal, Seventh-day Adventist, or United Church of Christ congregations.

“Among the religious groups, ‘Mormons’ have the highest rates of marriage, exceeding ninety-seven percent for males and females,” the two researchers reported. Those figures are for individuals over thirty, since most people have married by that age.

Conservative Protestants follow Latter-day Saints closely, with ninety-six percent who marry, and “liberal Protestants lag behind slightly with percentages of ninety-three for men and about ninety-five for women.” Catholics follow, with eighty-nine percent for men and ninety-one for women.

The research showed that only 81 percent of the men and 87 percent of the women who profess no religion marry.

When the researchers compared the tendency to marry with the frequency of church attendance, they found that males who attend frequently, in all religious groups except Catholic, are more likely to marry. The research makes it appear that the same is true for females who attend church frequently, but a statistical margin for error is inherent in the survey.

Divorce is found among all groups, but those who profess no religion have by far the highest rate. Some 39 percent of the men and 45 percent of the women in this group have experienced at least one divorce. Among liberal Protestants, about 25 percent of the men and 32 percent of the women have been divorced. For conservative Protestants, the figures are about 28 percent for men and 30 percent for women. Approximately 20 percent of the Catholic men and 23 percent of the women have been divorced. About 14 percent of the Latter-day Saint men and 19 percent of the women have experienced divorce. Within each group, frequent church attenders are less likely to have been divorced.

Among Latter-day Saints, marriage in the temple has a significant effect on the divorce rate, Brother Heaton and Sister Goodman reported. “Nontemple marriages are about five times more likely to end in divorce than temple marriages.” About 5.4 percent of LDS males who married in the temple were later divorced, and about 6.5 percent of the females. By comparison, some 27.8 percent of nontemple LDS marriages ended in divorce for men, and about 32.7 percent for women.

In reporting their findings, the two researchers noted that if there were some measure of religious commitment comparable to temple marriage among other religions, statistics for those groups might also be more favorable.

They noted that the LDS emphasis on the sanctity of marriage, along with requirements of worthiness, are strong indicators of religious commitment for couples who marry in the temple. It is also likely, they said, that couples who marry in the temple have previously given their prospective mates very careful consideration because of their belief that such marriages can endure for eternity.

The damaging effect of divorce on society is offset in part by the high percentage of people who remarry. Latter-day Saints and Protestants are more likely to remarry, while Catholics and those with no religion are less likely. Almost two-thirds of the divorced Latter-day Saints and Protestants studied have remarried, while fewer than half of the men and little more than a third of the women in the Catholic and no-religion groups have remarried. With the exception of liberal Protestant women, those who are frequent churchgoers are more likely to remarry.

Latter-day Saints clearly have the largest families, the two researchers reported. Comparing women who had been married for the same length of time, Brother Heaton and Sister Goodman found that Latter-day Saints had, on the average, 3.31 children. Catholics were a distant second, with 2.38, and conservative Protestants were close behind them, with 2.25. Liberal Protestants had 2.04, and those who professed no religion had 2.02.

The possible statistical margin for error makes the difference in number of children between Catholics and conservative Protestants, as well as the difference between the liberal Protestant and no-religion groups, insignificant. “Statistical tests indicate that the ‘Mormon/non-Mormon’ difference is by far the most significant.”

The two researchers pointed to LDS theology as one explanation for this difference, noting the Church’s belief in the eternal nature of the family, and in the bringing of children to this earth as part of a comprehensive gospel plan accepted in premortal life. LDS couples believe they are fulfilling a duty of love in being the means to bring spirits from premortal life to mortality, where further progress toward eternal goals is possible.

As might be expected, Latter-day Saints who attend church frequently have more children than those who do not, an average of 3.35 compared to 2.69. Also, those who had temple marriages lead those who had nontemple marriages in number of children, by 3.50 to 2.69.

In summary, compared with Catholics and Protestants, Latter-day Saints “have higher rates of marriage and remarriage, lower divorce rates, and larger families,” the researchers said. “Catholics are less likely to marry or remarry than Protestants, but have less divorce and larger families.” Those professing no religion are least likely to marry or remarry, most likely to divorce, and usually have smaller families.

Brother Heaton and Sister Goodman caution that it is difficult to determine whether religion shapes decisions about marriage and family, or vice versa. “Those who, for whatever reason, do not conform to the religious ideal when it comes to family life undoubtedly feel less comfortable in family-oriented religious groups,” they wrote. “For example, the strong association between divorce and infrequent attendance may result because divorced people stop going to church rather than because people who do not go to church get divorced.”

Thus, the fact that religious congregations tend to be filled by those who are married, with spouse and child relationships, creates a major challenge for religions in general—the challenge of integrating the never-married, divorced, and childless members in their midst.

Percent of Individuals Reporting Prior Divorce(click to view larger)

Percent of Individuals Reporting Prior Divorce

Percent of LDS Individuals Divorced(click to view larger)

Percent of LDS Individuals Divorced

Percent of Divorced Individuals Who Have Remarried(click to view larger)

Percent of Divorced Individuals Who Have Remarried

Number of Children Born to Women of Different Religious Groups(click to view larger)

Number of Children Born to Women of Different Religious Groups (Where Time Married Is Comparable)