News of the Church


Young Women Counseled to Stand for Truth and Righteousness

Young women were urged to “stand for truth and righteousness” and given the new Young Women Values, guidelines for living gospel-centered lives, at a worldwide satellite fireside for young women and their parents and leaders.

“Resolve to stand in all circumstances and in all conditions as those who are true to the faith,” President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, counseled the thousands of girls, ages twelve to eighteen, gathered at more than one thousand locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The Sunday evening fireside on November 10 was broadcast live via satellite from the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City in English, Spanish, and French.

Other speakers included Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Council of the Twelve and Sister Ardeth Kapp, general Young Women president. A special presentation of the seven Young Women Values included a videotaped presentation, choral readings by groups of young women in the Tabernacle, and “I Walk by Faith,” a new musical composition commissioned for the Young Women, sung by a 400-voice young women’s chorus from Taylorsville, Utah.

Calling the girls “the best generation in the history of the world,” President Hinckley said, “You are God’s supreme creation. You will not need to be reminded to be virtuous … if you will remember always that you are a daughter of God and that a portion of his divinity is within you.”

Never in the history of the world have so many opportunities been open to women, President Hinckley stated. He added that, although he hoped each girl would have the blessings of a happy marriage, marriage would not necessarily meet all of their needs and many would find it necessary to work to provide for themselves.

“Now is the season to train your minds and your hands for the work you wish to do,” he explained. “Education can prove to be the wisest and most profitable investment you will ever make. Get all the help and direction you can concerning your aptitudes and ambitions, and then get training to sharpen your skills and improve your opportunities.”

President Hinckley further counseled the young women to cultivate great companionships, including the companionship of good friends, of good books and music, of their parents, and of their Father in Heaven, who—judging by the love of earthly fathers for their daughters—may “feel a little extra sense of love in behalf of His delightful daughters,” he said.

Elder Nelson counseled young women to be “rooted in truth, reaching to teach and testify, preparing to bless others with fruits of the Spirit. This you can do as a maiden of truth, as an elect lady, as a daughter of Zion,” he added.

“Imminently, your influence and that of all young women of the Church, like a sleeping giant, will awaken, arise, and inspire the inhabitants of the earth as a mighty force for righteousness.”

He further urged young women to learn the relationship between their divine heritage and their eternal potential. “Knowing of your divine nature and favor, you as a daughter of Zion are well prepared to make personal decisions. … You have moral courage and integrity to stand for truth and righteousness.”

“We call upon the young women of the Church to awake, arise, and go forth!” proclaimed Sister Kapp, president of the 300,000-member Young Women organization. “We call upon you to take your place, as modern prophets and Apostles have forseen, to rise in power and glory and stand as lights and guides to the people in your own nation and especially your own families.”

President Kapp quoted Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve, who stated, “You have been placed by God in this time and circumstance. And he knows you better than you know yourself, knows what you have the capacity to do. … He knows what you have the power to become!”

“Who will stand for truth and righteousness? Who will speak out for morality? Who will join with righteous young women all over the world … in defense of purity of spirit and body?” questioned President Kapp, urging young women to respond as did the Savior in the premortal council in heaven: “Here am I. Send me.”

“The power is within you,” she added. “You can be an influence to save others. … Your youthfulness is not a disadvantage to your strength. In fact, it may be a tremendous advantage.”

Sister Kapp introduced the Young Women Values, which are intended to serve as a guide to all young women in living the gospel and serving God. Those values are Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, and Integrity.

Astrid Tuminez, a young convert from Manila, appeared in the video presentation introducing the values, and then led a choral reading in the Tabernacle with groups of young women from the Woods Cross Utah Region. During the presentation, large brightly colored banners bearing the values unfurled from the Tabernacle balcony.

Sister Maurine J. Turley, second counselor to President Kapp, urged the young women to learn to live by the 1986 theme: “We are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us, and we love him. We will ‘stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places’ as we strive to live the Young Women Values.” (See Mosiah 18:9.)

“We know you are not perfect, and neither are we,” said Sister Patricia T. Holland, first counselor in the general Young Women presidency, who also conducted the fireside. “We know you have hurts and fears. But we have been told, ‘Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now. …

“‘Fear not, little children, for ye are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;

“‘And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.’” (D&C 50:40–42).

Immediately following the fireside, a special Young Women issue of the New Era was distributed by bishops to young women in their wards in hundreds of stake centers throughout the world. (Additional copies are available through the Salt Lake Distribution Center for $1.00 each; stock no. PFMA0859.)

The fireside concluded with a stirring performance by the chorus, joined in part by the congregation, singing a new hymn, “As Zion’s Youth in Latter Days,” with a medley of other inspiring hymns keyed to the youth. As they sang, more than two hundred girls from the Cottonwood Creek Region, dressed in white and carrying large multicolored banners, filled the aisles, marching in time with the music.

[photo] Flagbearers and audience alike showed support for values taught at the Young Women fireside. (Photography by Michael M. McConkie.)

New Genealogical Library Dedicated

Calling it a “companion structure to the temples of the Lord,” President Gordon B. Hinckley, at the time Second Counselor to President Spencer W. Kimball, dedicated the Church’s new Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City October 23.

The new library building is located across the street to the west of Temple Square, immediately south of the Museum of Church History and Art. The building houses the world’s largest collection of genealogical records.

President Hinckley, acting under the direction of President Spencer W. Kimball, officiated at the dedication ceremonies and offered the dedicatory prayer on the five-level, 142,000-square-foot building.

President Hinckley noted that the building has been designed so three more stories can be added. “They will be needed. When they will be needed, I don’t know, but I’m satisfied that they will be needed, because the work to be done here encompasses all generations of mankind, and that’s going to take a very large facility.”

The work to be done in the new building “concerns the eternal welfare of sons and daughters of God” throughout all the ages of the earth’s history, President Hinckley said. The pace of this spiritual work is quickening with the placement of temples around the globe. If the temples are to be used as they are intended, genealogy work must go forth at a comparable pace.

“The vision of this work, which has come to us through revelation, is the most universal vision ever … given to any people,” he said. “We have a responsibility toward all generations who have ever lived upon the earth, who now live upon the earth, or who will yet live upon the earth. Our responsibility is as broad as is the fatherhood of God.”

In his dedicatory prayer on the building, President Hinckley petitioned “that it may be used by multitudes to search out their kindred dead that the necessary ordinance work may be carried forward in thy holy houses, with both genealogist and temple worker cooperating to the accomplishment of one glorious end. …

“May this be a day of rejoicing for those beyond the veil, and may their influence be felt in establishing the identity of those sought for, that families might be linked together according to thy divine plan.”

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, Executive Director of the Genealogical Department, also spoke, saying the dedication marked the beginning of “a new genealogical era in the Church. This facility has been carefully designed to accommodate the foreseeable technological advances that will in time greatly simplify much of the genealogy work performed by the membership of the Church.”

He said planned development of the Church’s Genealogical Department will “place the decisions on ordinance work for the dead in the hands of local priesthood leaders, as is done for the living, and provide those priesthood leaders with the tools necessary to accomplish that objective.”

He urged Church members to visit branch genealogical libraries to see the new research tools available there and to let dedication of the new central library provide impetus for renewed dedication in their genealogy work.

David M. Mayfield, library director, spoke of the new facility as a hub for 640 branch genealogical libraries in thirty-one countries. These facilities handled “nearly a million patron visits” during 1985. The main library in Salt Lake City circulated three hundred thousand rolls of microfilm to branch libraries during the year and distributed nearly seven and one-half million microfiche sheets.

The main library collection includes 1,450,000 reels of microfilmed genealogical records, the equivalent of six million 300-page bound volumes. The records have been gathered from more than one hundred countries. On microfilm and in bound volumes, the records contain more than two billion names and Family Group Records on eight million families. The library’s collection of records grows at the rate of four thousand rolls of film and four hundred books a month.

The new library provides seating for 963 patrons, an increase of more than 25 percent over the old library facility one block to the east across Temple Square. It also includes staff and administrative offices, small theaters and classrooms, orientation rooms, photo-copy centers on each floor, and a 6,000-square-foot storage area for little-used films and other records. Its temperature and lighting control systems are designed to protect records in the collection from deterioration.

The library is open on Mondays from 7:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., Tuesdays through Fridays from 7:30 A.M. to 10:00 P.M., and Saturdays from 7:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

President Ezra Taft Benson

President Ezra Taft Benson awaits sealing of the cornerstone as President Gordon B. Hinckley speaks prior to the dedication services.

New Assignments for Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy

Five members of the First Quorum of the Seventy have received new assignments as a result of changes at general conference in October.

Elder Jack H Goaslind, Jr., and Elder Robert L. Backman, called to the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy on October 6, have been assigned to head the Church’s Priesthood Department and Missionary Department, respectively.

Three other members of the First Quorum of the Seventy have been called to the presidency of the Young Men: Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, president; Elder Rex D. Pinegar, first counselor; and Elder Robert L. Simpson, second counselor.

In his new assignment, Elder Goaslind serves as a member of the Church’s Priesthood Executive Council. Elder Backman becomes a member of the Missionary Executive Council.

Elder Goaslind succeeds Elder J. Thomas Fyans, who was called to preside over the Church’s South America South Area. Elder Backman succeeds Elder M. Russell Ballard, who was called to the Council of the Twelve.

Elder Backman had been serving as president of the Young Men, with Elder Featherstone and Elder Pinegar as his first and second counselors.

These changes in the quorum presidency and the Young Men presidency, along with other shifts in assignments for members of the First Quorum of the Seventy during the past several months, have brought about corresponding changes in the Church’s area presidencies. Following is a current list of those presidencies.

Europe (British Isles, Europe, Africa)—President Joseph B. Wirthlin, counselors Russell C. Taylor and Hans B. Ringger.

Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Hawaii)—President John Sonnenberg, counselors Devere Harris and Philip T. Sonntag.

Asia (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Philippines)—President William R. Bradford, counselors Jacob de Jager and Keith W. Wilcox.

Mexico/Central America (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua)—President Gene R. Cook, counselors Ted E. Brewerton and F. Arthur Kay.

South America North (Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia)—President F. Burton Howard, counselors Loren C. Dunn and Helio da Rocha Camargo.

South America South (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile)—President J. Thomas Fyans, counselors Spencer H. Osborn and Waldo P. Call.

North America Northeast (Northeast, Midwest, North Central, Canada East, Canada Central)—President Rex C. Reeve, counselors Derek A. Cuthbert and Robert L. Simpson.

North America Northwest (Northern Plains, Northwest Idaho, Canada, British Columbia, and Alberta)—President A. Theodore Tuttle, counselors George P. Lee and Robert B. Harbertson.

North America Southeast (South Central, Southeast, Caribbean)—President Vaughn J. Featherstone, counselors Ronald E. Poelman and Robert E. Wells.

North America Southwest (Southern Plains, Arizona, Nevada)—President Charles A. Didier, counselors Rex D. Pinegar and Hartman Rector, Jr.

North America West (California)—President John K. Carmack, counselors F. Enzio Busche and John H. Groberg.

Utah South (Provo, Granger, Murray, Southern Utah)—President Hugh W. Pinnock, counselors Adney Y. Komatsu and Paul H. Dunn.

Utah North (Salt Lake City, Ogden, Northern Utah)—President James M. Paramore, counselors Yoshihiko Kikuchi and Theodore M. Burton.

Appointments

Temple Presidents

Robert W. Barker has been called by the First Presidency to preside over the Washington Temple. His wife, Amy Thomas Barker, will serve as matron. President Barker, a senior partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm, succeeds Elder Franklin D. Richards of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who has served as temple president for the past two years.

Robert H. Slover of Provo, Utah, a retired United States Army officer, has been called by the First Presidency as the first president of the Seoul Korea Temple. His wife, Rosemarie Wood Slover, will serve as temple matron.

Regional Representative

Chico California and Santa Rosa California regions, Harold George Sellers, a retired telephone company employee.

Lambda Delta Sigma Board

Carroll Peterson Sevy, Cottonwood Fifth Ward, Salt Lake Cottonwood Stake.

Stake Presidents

Toronto Ontario Stake, Alexander G. Barclay; Urdaneta Philippines Stake (new, from a division of the Dagupan and Tarlac Philippines Stakes), Felino Caparas Ocampo; Venice Italy Stake (new), Claudio Luttman; Delta Utah Stake, Mitchell V. Myers; Gallup New Mexico Stake, Richard W. Carson.

Seoul Korea Chong Ju Stake, Kim Dong Hwan; Midvale Utah North Stake (new, from a division of the Midvale Utah and Midvale Utah East Stakes), Grant Leon Pullan; San Antonio Texas East Stake, Larry Dale Sprouse; Rexburg Idaho College Third Stake, Charles M. Grant; Santos Brazil Stake, Nivio Varella Alcover; Scottsdale Arizona Stake, Corwin LeRoy Ellsworth.

Pocatello Idaho North Stake, Theodore Lloyd Panter; Vancouver British Columbia Stake, Jon Frederick Tollestrup; Roseburg Oregon Stake, Mike Anthony Schofield; Rexburg Idaho Stake, Merlin Rex Bennion; Seneca Maryland Stake (new, from the Washington D.C. Stake, Silver Spring Maryland Stake, and Columbia Maryland Stake), David Wayne Ferrel; Silver Spring Maryland Stake, Kent S. Larsen.

Enoch Utah Stake (new, from a division of the Cedar City Utah North Stake, Cedar City Utah Stake, and Cedar City Utah West Stake), Robert Louis Blattner; Cedar City Utah Stake, Steven Decker Corry; Cedar City Utah North Stake, Charles Henry Blackburn; Lakewood Washington Stake (new, from a division of the Tacoma Washington Stake and Tacoma Washington South Stake), James R. Ely.

Anoka Minnesota Stake (new, from a division of the St. Paul Minnesota Stake), Lyle Cottle; St. Paul Minnesota Stake, Richard P. Halverson; Fruit Heights Utah Stake (new, from a division of the Kaysville Utah East Stake and the Kaysville Utah South Stake), Newell John Law; Kaysville Utah South Stake, David Henry Garner.

Primary Fireside Scheduled

A special Primary fireside is scheduled for Sunday, 23 February 1986 at 6:00 P.M. Mountain Standard Time. Stake and district presidencies, high councilors, bishoprics and branch residencies, stake and district Primary presidencies and boards, and ward and branch Primary leaders and teachers are invited to attend.

The fireside will be held at stake centers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It will be under the direction of and conducted by the stake or district president. A program broadcast by satellite from Church headquarters will include a message from Primary General President Dwan J. Young. Local Priesthood leaders have received a letter with specific details, including the agenda to be followed.

The stake or district presidency and stake or district Primary presidency should be sure that all priesthood leaders and Primary leaders and teachers are invited.

Saints of Peru, Bolivia Eager for Temple Blessing

Peru, nestled at the top of the Pacific Coast “spine” of South America, is only a medium-size American country, but it covers a continent’s-worth of extremes.

From the lower, tropical jungles near Iquitos, on the Amazon in the northeastern part of Peru, the terrain rises to more than 22,000 feet at Huascaran Peak in the Andes. Accordingly, temperatures within the country vary from one end of the thermometer to the other.

Peru’s history stretches from domination by the Incan empire through Spanish colonialism to the modern republic. In its cities are found wealthy Peruvians, enjoying the lifestyle of western Europe and the United States, while at least one tribe of natives still follows primitive ways deep in the jungle. On the whole, Peru and neighboring Bolivia are probably the two countries most economically disadvantaged in South America. Once dominated by the Incas, they share much today in history, geography, and culture.

While Peru does not compare in size with the giants of its continent—Brazil and Argentina—Peru nevertheless is as big as Great Britain, France, and Spain combined. The mighty Amazon River begins in the eastern part of the country, as the Rio Ucayali. Once, before the airplane, travelers going from Iquitos to their nation’s capital, about six hundred miles away, had to choose between the arduous trek through the jungles and over the Andes or a 7,000-mile trip down the Amazon to the Atlantic, up to the Panama Canal, and back down the Pacific Coast to Lima. Most chose the latter.

Structures devoted to religious purposes are not new to Peruvians. They have, after all, the world-renowned Incan ruins and impressive cathedrals, particularly in Lima, where the influence of Spanish colonialism is still easily seen.

Now the more than 100,000 Peruvian Latter-day Saints have a temple of their own. The beautiful, modern structure stands in Lima’s La Molina area.

“It is a blessing for our country,” says Jose Marquez, a Young Adult representative in the Caja de Aguas Ward, Lima Peru Central Stake. “Not only will the members benefit, but also the nonmembers. This is a sign that the Lord loves this land.”

“Now it will be possible to go to the temple of the Lord and have our families sealed for time and eternity. It will be within the ability of every Church member to save enough money to travel to the temple and enjoy this blessing of the Lord,” says Jorge Leano, regional representative for the La Paz Bolivia, Cochabamba Bolivia, and Santa Cruz Bolivia regions.

While Peru and Bolivia are ancient lands, the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in those countries is not long.

Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Council of the Twelve, accompanied by President Rulon S. Wells and President Rey L. Pratt of the First Council of the Seventy, dedicated South America for the preaching of the gospel in 1925. It was not until 6 July 1956, however, that the first branch in Peru was organized as part of the Uruguay Mission. In 1979, President Ezra Taft Benson, then president of the Council of the Twelve, rededicated the land for the preaching of the gospel. At that time Peru had some 30,500 Church members and five stakes.

Now there are twenty-eight stakes, ten districts, and four missions in Peru. In a country of approximately nineteen million people, the Church is growing at the rate of 15 percent per year.

In Bolivia, a country of more than six million people, Church growth has been similar. The first missionaries did not arrive there until 1959. The first stake was organized in 1979. Now there are eight stakes, seven districts, and a mission, with a total of more than 30,000 members.

Many Church members in Peru and Bolivia live in humble circumstances, especially in the high altiplano areas, where making a living can be hard. Regardless of background or economic station, however, members who will use the new Lima Peru Temple express their eagerness for the blessings its dedication will bring.

“I am excited, and we are preparing so that we can be worthy as a family to go to the temple,” said Ester Enciso of the Santa Cruz Ward, Lima Peru Limatambo Stake.

Hernan Pesantes, patriarch of the Limatambo Stake, noted that as Church members, Peruvian and Bolivian Saints “now have a greater responsibility to better our family life each day, and our faithfulness” in order to understand and live fully the covenants of the temple.

It is obvious in the commitment of members who will be able to go there frequently that they are not taking the temple for granted. Maritza Obadilla, Young Women secretary in the Chaclacayo Ward of the Lima Peru San Luis Stake, expressed her own gratitude for “the opportunity to make covenants with the Lord that cannot be made in any other place.” But, she added, entering the temple brings to members a dual responsibility: first, worthiness to receive their own blessings, and second, the duty to keep the Lord’s house constantly in use in the service of others.

Correspondent: Robert Whitchurch

[photo] The new Lima Temple will serve Saints in Peru and Bolivia. (Photography by Robert Whitchurch.)

Buenos Aires Temple Will Be a Focal Point for Saints

On 3 September 1925, President Heber J. Grant announced that the First Presidency had for some time been considering opening a mission in South America. The time now seemed right, and, accordingly, Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Council of the Twelve was sent to Argentina, accompanied by President Rulon S. Wells and President Rey L. Pratt of the First Council of the Seventy.

At 7:00 A.M. on 25 December 1925, these Church officers held a small testimony meeting in the Third of February (now Palermo) Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the meeting, Elder Ballard offered a prayer dedicating the lands of South America for preaching of the gospel. Three weeks later, in mid-January of 1926, the first meeting place for Latter-day Saints in South America was rented, in the Liniers neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

From that small beginning, the Lord has sent his missionaries to reap a harvest of responsive souls in Argentina and throughout South America.

Today, more than a third of Argentina’s thirty million inhabitants—approximately twelve million people—live in the metropolis that is greater Buenos Aires.

It is a cosmopolitan city, touched heavily by European influence. It is not only the political, but also the economic, cultural, and social capital of the nation.

With the dedication of the temple in Buenos Aires, it will become a focal point of faith as well for Latter-day Saints in the southern part of South America.

Argentina tilts eastward like a giant wedge on the Atlantic Coast of South America. It stretches from the tropics in the north to Tierra del Fuego in the south, ending just above Cape Horn, less than 300 miles from Antarctica.

Buenos Aires is situated at the mouth of the Rio de Plata. The city is about as far south as Sydney, Australia, or Cape Town, South Africa, and approximately the same distance from the equator as Tokyo, Gibraltar, or Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the northern hemisphere.

Inland from Buenos Aires lie the Pampas. This fertile heart of Argentina contains some 60 percent of the country’s population, and well over half of its commercial and industrial enterprises. Livestock and agricultural products are major factors in the economy.

The country had perhaps half a million people in 1816, when it gained independence from Spain. But a tide of immigration from Europe, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, changed the face of Argentina. The Indians and mestizos who were once predominant are now a small minority. The influx of immigrants was heavily Italian and Spanish, but in addition, one hears a generous sampling of German, Jewish, English, French, and Russian names in large Argentine cities.

Some of the German immigrants were Latter-day Saints. They began petitioning the First Presidency by letter in the early 1920s to send missionaries to their adopted homeland.

The Buenos Aires Argentina Temple is evidence of the result. It will serve members of forty stakes and seven missions—some 160,000 Latter-day Saints in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

One of those members is Ramon B. Paez, second counselor in the bishopric of the Centro Ward, Mar del Plata Argentina Stake. He recalls that when he was chosen to be the Argentine architect on the temple project, he was admonished to remember that he was working for a “very special client”—the Lord.

Approaching the work with this in mind has wrought changes in his professional as well as spiritual life, he says. Growth came through learning to love those with whom he worked, through resolving problems and overcoming obstacles together, and through sharing with his family the knowledge he gained.

The coming of the temple has had its effect on the lives of many members, including youth. Julio E. Chumbita, director of the LDS Institute of Religion in downtown Buenos Aires, which serves students of several schools, recalls walking among the tents one night on a Church camp-out when he was unable to sleep. He could not avoid hearing what three young men were talking about in their tent; they were earnestly discussing the qualities they hoped to find in their future wives and their desire to be sealed to them in the temple.

Bishop Carlos Guillermo Hofmann of the Buenos Aires First Ward, Buenos Aires Argentina East Stake, says the temple will not only contribute to further development of genealogical work in his country, “but it will also motivate all of the members to be better people and accelerate the missionary work.” Bishop Hofmann is a barber, and many of his customers know and respect his religious beliefs. A number of them have taken pains to find out the date of the open house for the temple so they can attend.

Alfredo Goyeneche, a member of the high council in the Buenos Aires Banfield Stake, and his wife, Marina, have already promised themselves that they will take advantage of the temple’s proximity by attending regularly. “I tell Marina,” Brother Goyeneche says, “that going to the temple weekly will be like vaccinating ourselves against the illnesses of the world.”

Correspondent: Nestor Coronel, area director of public communications for Argentina.

[photo] Construction of the temple has helped strengthen Buenos Aires Saints.