Two-Year Missions Return for Single Elders

Single male missionaries will again be serving for two years in the field, rather than for eighteen months, as they had been since 1982.

The change was announced late in November by a letter from the First Presidency to priesthood leaders. It became effective January 1, 1985.

Missionaries currently serving, and those whose recommendation forms were received before January 1, have the option of being released after eighteen months or extending their missionary service in monthly increments of from one to six months, with the approval of their mission president, parents, and home priesthood leaders.

The Church currently has more than 27,000 missionaries serving in 179 missions throughout the world.

The length of missionary service was cut from two years to eighteen months in April of 1982. In announcing that change, President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, noted: “Costs of maintaining missionaries have risen dramatically. Many of our families face extremely heavy economic pressures.”

The First Presidency’s November 1984 letter emphasized that those pressures are still a matter of concern. But because of the earlier six-month reduction in the length of missionary service, the letter continued, “many missionaries have felt that at the conclusion of their missions they have had to go home at a time when they had developed the greatest capability to do the work.

“Particularly is this true of those who have learned a language.

“We feel this change will enhance our ability to proclaim the gospel to all the world, especially in areas where missionaries learn a second language. It will also give missionaries greater opportunity for increased spiritual growth and development.”

The First Presidency urged local priesthood leaders to “be sensitive to family resources,” and, where necessary, see that assistance is made available to families. “We hope no worthy young person will be overlooked for this most important Church service because of concern for financing a mission.”

The priesthood leaders were advised to urge young people and their families to prepare early for missions, both spiritually and financially. Families should establish savings accounts for prospective missionaries and participate together in projects to raise money for missions. “All youth should have copies of the scriptures, should study them regularly, should participate in seminary, and should take advantage of educational opportunities including the possible study of a foreign language,” the First Presidency letter said.

The change in the length of missionary service for young men did not affect the length of service for others. The term of service remains at eighteen months for female missionaries under forty. Women forty and over will continue to serve for one year. Married couples will continue to have the option of either eighteen or twelve months, with a six-month call possible under some circumstances.

Taipei Taiwan Temple Dedicated

It is surrounded by imposing structures—a seven-story building housing LDS Church offices, a national university building, an office building belonging to another church, and a university building operated by still another faith.

And yet the new temple on Ai kuo East Road in Taipei stands out. Many of the thousands who toured it before its dedication expressed the opinion that it was the most beautiful building they had ever seen. Some who lingered inside after touring it savored the spirit they felt there.

But for Latter-day Saints who toured the building or attended the dedication of the Taipei Taiwan Temple November 17 and 18, it was more than a beautiful structure. It was a gateway that had never been open to many of them before.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, acknowledged the opening of that gateway in the dedicatory prayer he pronounced on the temple.

He recalled the blessings pronounced on the people of China in 1921 when President David O. McKay, then a member of the Council of the Twelve, dedicated that land for the preaching of the gospel. Then President Hinckley continued:

“We thank thee for the firm foundation on which thy Church is now established in this part of the earth. We thank thee for this day when those who will use this temple may turn their hearts to their fathers, participating in thy holy house in those ordinances which will make it possible for their deceased forebears to move forward on the way that leads to eternal life.”

He spoke of the love of our Heavenly Father for his children in all nations, and added, “Now, with the dedication of this house, all of the ordinances, all of the powers of the priesthood under delegation from thy prophet, and every blessing of thy gospel is available to thy faithful Saints in this part of thy vineyard.”

President Hinckley asked for blessings upon the Saints of Taiwan and on their land. “We pray for the government of this nation which has been hospitable to thy servants and thy work. May peace and prosperity reign in the land. May thy work spread from here to the vast numbers of thy Chinese sons and daughters wherever they may be found. Touch the hearts of those who govern that they may open the doors of their nations to thy messengers of eternal truth. May thy work grow in beauty and strength in the great Chinese realm.”

There were five dedicatory sessions—four in Mandarin (the native language of about one-fourth of the world’s population) and one in Cantonese. Taiwanese Saints, who speak Mandarin, attended the first four, and Church members from Hong Kong, who speak Cantonese, attended the last.

President Hinckley addressed all of the dedicatory sessions, conducting three of them and reading the dedicatory prayer. Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve conducted and read the prayer in the other two. In addition to President Hinckley and Elder Hunter, General Authorities attending the dedication included Elder William R. Bradford, Elder Jack H. Goaslind, and Elder Robert B. Harbertson of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who form the Presidency of the Church’s Asia Area; and Elder Royden G. Derrick, Elder Adney Y. Komatsu, and Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi, also of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Each of the General Authorities spoke during one or more of the dedicatory services, for the most part through interpreters. Elder Kikuchi, a native of Japan, delivered most of his talk in Mandarin.

As the Saints left the temple after the last dedicatory session, President Hinckley shook the hand of each one. They were touched by his obvious love and concern for them.

During its open house period, the temple attracted more than twenty thousand visitors, including high-ranking government officials, prominent businessmen, and leaders of other religions. Many visitors asked for the missionaries to call.

So impressive was the temple that a professor of architecture at a prominent university in Taipei brought his students several times to study its design. It has become a favorite tourist site, and it has been nominated as one of the most beautiful buildings in Taipei.

The temple district includes more than twenty thousand members in Taiwan and Hong Kong. For all of them, traveling to the temple, even to Tokyo, has been difficult and costly in the past. The temple in Taipei will cut travel costs by two-thirds for the Saints from Hong Kong. Saints in the south of Taiwan will be able to travel there and back in one day.

The temple offers members the opportunity to perform sacred ordinances not only for themselves, but also, as President Hinckley pointed out, for millions of Chinese who have gone before them in this life. By contrast to those hosts of ancestors, recommend holders in the temple district seem a comparative handful. But they are eagerly beginning the work.

Correspondent: David C. H. Liu, recorder, Taipei Taiwan Temple.

Taipei Taiwan Temple

The beauty of the Taipei Taiwan Temple, located in one of the island’s highly urbanized areas, attracts many visitors. (Photography by Armis Ashby.)

Guatemala City Temple Dedicated

One university student who toured the Guatemala City Temple before its dedication commented that it “rises like a beautiful pearl” from its site in the Vista Hermosa area, overlooking the nation’s capital city.

In a visual sense, that comparison may describe the impact of the sacred building. But President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, captured its spiritual impact as he spoke December 14 to Saints attending the first of eleven dedicatory sessions.

It was, he said, “the day for which many generations have prayed behind the veil, descendants of Father Lehi, who have been taught the gospel … so they may continue with their journey to eternal life.”

In the dedicatory prayer, he spoke again of these people, expressing gratitude that the temple will open “the gates of salvation and eternal life” for “the many generations of our fathers and mothers who suffered so greatly and who walked for so long in darkness.”

He expressed thanks also for the restoration of the gospel and the truths found in the Book of Mormon. “We thank thee for this voice which has come from the dust to bear witness to the divinity of thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We thank thee for listening ears and believing hearts, that thou hast touched us by the power of thy Spirit to recognize divine truth when it was brought to us by thine ordained servants.”

After pronouncing a dedication on the temple, he asked that it might be protected, and that those who came to it might come in thanksgiving, love, and faith. “May they be sanctified in their minds, and may visions of thy glorious, eternal plan unfold before them. May families rejoice as they are bound together under the authority of the holy priesthood for all eternity with an everlasting covenant.”

Then he asked for a blessing on the nation.

“Bless our land, O Father, this nation of Guatemala where stands thy holy house. May those who govern do so in righteousness. Bless them as they act to preserve the liberties and enhance the prosperity of the people. May there be peace in the land. May it be preserved from revolution and war. May there be freedom and equity under the law. May there be education and opportunity for all. May the forces of oppression and darkness be stayed by thy power, and may the light of truth shine over this republic. So bless, Father, its neighbor nations that they may be preserved in independence and freedom.”

In addition to President Hinckley, Elder Boyd K. Packer and Elder James E. Faust of the Council of the Twelve attended the dedication. So, too, did Elder Richard G. Scott of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, as well as Elder Gene R. Cook, Elder Ted E. Brewerton, and Elder Angel Abrea, members of that quorum who form the Presidency of the Church’s Mexico and Central America Area.

Each of the dedicatory sessions was filled to capacity—about nine hundred Saints. The services drew members not only from modern, urbanized Guatemala City, but also from remote areas of the country and from neighboring El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

Sister Carmen O’Donnal, the first Guatemalan baptized in modern times and now matron of the new temple, commented that the dedication of a house of the Lord in her native country “culminates thirty-six years of work and growth and brings the fulness of the gospel to the people. It will be a blessing not just for the members, but for the whole nation as the people come to know Jesus Christ through this holy and sanctified place.”

A total of 24,206 people visited the temple during the November 27 to December 10 open house period before its dedication. To accommodate the large numbers of visitors, 179 missionaries of the Guatemala Guatemala City Mission worked in six-hour shifts, with 20 missionaries per shift, distributing copies of the Book of Mormon and taking requests from people wanting to know more about the Church. Some 3,700 copies of the Book of Mormon were given to heads of families; 3,500 had been donated by Guatemalan Saints who penned personal testimonies inside.

The missionaries received some 1,500 requests from visitors wanting to know more about the Church.

Correspondent: Rudy Lopez, second counselor in the Guatemala City Stake presidency.

Guatemala City Temple

The Guatemala City Temple is a striking addition to the area, known as Vista Hermosa (Beautiful View), where it is located. (Photography by Armis Ashby.)

CQ—CQ—CQ from LDS Radio Group

The Mercury Amateur Radio Association (MARA) is looking for LDS amateur radio operators to prepare for emergency service to fellow Saints and neighbors.

MARA President Allan Packer of Salt Lake City (call letters WA7BKD) said that during natural disasters or other emergencies in their areas, MARA ham radio operators make themselves available to help local priesthood leaders keep contact with other Saints and with Church leaders in Salt Lake City or in other regions of the Church. They may also help meet communication needs of state and local governments or private individuals.

During a hurricane in Hawaii a few years ago, for example, MARA operators on the mainland kept contact with the islands longer than any other amateur shortwave radio net. Following an Idaho earthquake in late 1983, MARA members again served as emergency communicators for priesthood leaders. Then the state’s Emergency Management Office asked if it could join the MARA net because its own communication system was not providing the coverage needed.



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In times of emergency, radio amateurs have some advantages over commercial communication networks because they have so many broadcast bands and frequencies available, explained MARA vice-president George Oates (K7BFI). The amateurs also are valuable for their resourcefulness—“the ability to make something work when nothing else does,” Brother Allan Packer added.

He explained that the organization has about two hundred members in the continental United States and Canada and in locales throughout the world, including Hawaii, Guam, Tahiti, Western Samoa, Central and South America, South Africa, England, Finland, and Japan. MARA has mailed materials to several hundred Church members who are amateur radio operators, but the organization believes there are other LDS amateurs of whom they are unaware. MARA would like to contact them.

Members get a quarterly bulletin. Past issues have included a series of articles on emergency operations and equipment.

MARA not only provides an opportunity for amateurs with a common bond to train for emergencies, it also serves as “a clearinghouse for information” about setting up local emergency communication systems, Brother Packer said. That way, what has been learned in one area can be applied in another.

To give members a chance to meet, exchange information, and learn from each other, MARA has scheduled its first world convention June 20 to 22 this year at a recreational site near Crater Lake in Oregon, Brother Oates said. Those interested can contact Mercury Northwest net manager Mel Martin (N7BCY), West 242 Loertscher Road, Shelton, Washington 98584, USA, (206) 426–9461.

LDS amateurs interested in the Mercury Amateur Radio Association should contact Preben Nielsen (K7KMZ), secretary, 4902 Wallace Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117, USA. Or they may tune in to the weekly Mercury radio nets on the 20-, 40-, and 80-meter amateur bands. (See p. 78 for a listing of frequencies, times, and net managers.)

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  • Museum Exhibit Spotlights Presidents of Church

    Joseph Smith’s Nauvoo Legion sword … John Taylor’s Hebrew Bible … David O. McKay’s well-known white suit—they’re all part of an exhibit spotlighting Presidents of the Church in the Museum of Church History and Art.

    The new permanent exhibit, three years in preparation, contains portraits, artifacts, memorabilia, books, manuscripts, and photographs reflecting the lives and accomplishments of each of the twelve Presidents of the Church.

    “Each item in the exhibit is unique to the administration or personal life of that President,” said Florence S. Jacobsen, director of the Church’s Arts and Sites Division, which oversees the museum. “They present an inspirational glimpse into the family life and the particular emphasis of each President’s administration.”

    One of the purposes of the exhibit is to help visitors appreciate the diversity of the men who led the Church, said Steven L. Olsen, an exhibit curator for the museum. “The different backgrounds and experiences of each President prepared them to deal with the challenges of each new period in Church history.”

    Included in the exhibit is a photo essay and a formal portrait of each President. The photographs depict various stages of each man’s life, from his childhood through his administration. Now in preparation to accompany the exhibit is an interactive video station which shows segments from old films and videotapes. The voices of Church leaders as early as President Woodruff are included, as well as silent films from the early part of this century and segments of televised speeches of later Presidents.

    Objects such as Brigham Young’s inkwell and quill pen and Joseph Fielding Smith’s typewriter depict changes in style and technology since the beginning of the Church. Other artifacts—President McKay’s riding gloves and saddle, and Brigham Young’s woodworking planes—reflect something of the interests and hobbies of the Presidents.

    One of the oldest objects in the display is an original, leather-bound, 1830 first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon. The printing press used to print the book will be shown in a permanent main gallery exhibit now in preparation.

    The museum, immediately west of Temple Square in Salt Lake City, is open 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. weekdays and 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. weekends and holidays (except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). Admission is free.

    [photo] Heber J. Grant exhibit shows items from his office. (Photography by Jed A. Clark.)

    Church Reducing Number of Welfare Projects

    The Church is currently reducing the number of welfare projects it operates, in accordance with changes announced in 1983, bringing food commodity production into line with the needs of the welfare system.

    These changes will reemphasize the importance of each member’s responsibility for personal and family preparedness.

    They will also free members to devote more of their volunteer labor to Christian service in the community—one of the intents of the modifications announced more than a year and a half ago, he added.

    As announced then, welfare projects are being evaluated in light of efficiency and of the ultimate goal of producing only those commodities needed in the welfare system. Cash needs will be met through fast offerings.

    He said the Church will lease, not sell, projects which could be useful in the future to meet the needs of the welfare program. This will provide the flexibility to put the projects back in service to the Church if the need arises.

    One of the basic premises of the welfare system, he explained, is that members must be independent and provide for their own needs, as far as possible, looking to the future in times of plenty. “The only real independence the Church has is for all its members to become independent. Independence is within the homes.”

    He explained that developments in society and changes in economic conditions have changed the role of Church welfare projects. Originally, the projects provided work for members who could not otherwise find it, so they would be earning what they received. But now, in an urbanized society, many who need welfare assistance are not vocationally or physically capable of farm work, or have no means to travel to a farm.

    Local priesthood leaders, however, are usually able to find other work, closer to home, for those who must turn temporarily to welfare assistance. It is no longer necessary for the projects to provide as many jobs as they once did.

    Indian Placement Modified

    The First Presidency has announced changes that will eventually shape the Indian Student Placement Program into an experience for high-school-age students only.

    Beginning with the 1985–86 school year, the program will be limited to students in grades six through twelve, and the entry age will be raised one level each year until the 1988–89 school year, when the program will be limited to those in grades nine through twelve.

    The announcement follows a change in 1984 that made only students in grades five through twelve eligible for the program.

    “In addition to the age change,” the First Presidency said in a letter to General Authorities and to priesthood leaders in the western United States, “enrollment standards will be raised. Information regarding specific eligibility requirements will be available through LDS Social Services agencies. Current participants, regardless of their age, may continue to participate as long as they meet the higher standards and their parents desire them to continue.

    “These changes should not be viewed as a phaseout, but as a refinement of this program. The purpose of these modifications is to provide students with experiences that will promote spirituality, leadership, and academic excellence, and, therefore, strengthen the family, Church, and community.”

    Policies and Announcements

    The following item is from the December 1984 Bulletin.

    Copying Commercial Crafts, Patterns, or Other Items. Do not copy, trace, or sell patterns, crafts, kits, or other items from commercial stores, magazines, or books without the written permission of the copyright holder. Modification of these items also infringes on the protection offered the owners of the copyright by the law.

    LDS Scene

    The city of Campinas, Brazil, second largest in the state of São Paulo, has named the public square in front of the Campinas Stake Center “Joseph Smith Square.” Campinas followed a precedent set by Curitiba, capital of the state of Parana, which named a public square there in honor of the LDS Prophet and Church founder. Campinas Brazil Stake President Sebastião Oliveira participated in the ceremonies, along with city officials. A large marker in the square contains the Prophet’s name, information about his position, and the words “The glory of God is intelligence” with the scripture reference (D&C 93:36). It is a custom in Latin America to name public squares after important individuals, and the number of LDS Church members in Brazil makes them a significant group.