News of the Church


“You Are a Marked Generation,” President Benson Tells Students

“Make no mistake about it, you are a marked generation,” President Ezra Taft Benson told 8,500 seminary and institute students assembled in the Anaheim, California, Convention Arena February 8.

“There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us,” he said. “Never before on the face of this earth have the forces of evil and the forces of good been so well organized.”

The students had responded to a challenge given by President Benson last April general conference: “I bless you with increased understanding of the Book of Mormon. I promise you that from this moment forward, if we will daily sup from its pages and abide by its precepts, God will pour out upon each child of Zion and the Church a blessing hitherto unknown.” (Ensign, May 1986, p. 78.)

Seminary and institute students in southern California regions determined to read the Book of Mormon for at least ten minutes a day from the beginning of the school year until December 23, the birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith. A book of remembrance containing the pictures and names of all students who completed the challenge was presented to President Benson at the special student devotional.

Pointing to the special mission of this generation, President Benson said, “While our generation will be comparable in wickedness to the days of Noah, when the Lord cleansed the earth by flood, there is a major difference this time: God has saved for the final inning some of His stronger and most valiant children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly. … You are the generation that must be prepared to meet your God.”

President Benson assured: “The final outcome is certain—the forces of righteousness will finally win. But what remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this battle—and how tall will we stand?”

Building on his theme, “In His Steps,” President Benson said that Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and men, and to be like Him we must follow those steps.

“Wisdom is the proper application of true knowledge,” President Benson said, adding that “not all knowledge has the same worth, nor are all truths equally valuable. The truths upon which our eternal salvation rests are the most crucial truths that we must learn.”

Commenting on the abundance of books available today, he said, “It is a mark of a truly educated man to know what not to read,” noting that “many novels and modern publications are corrupters of morals or distorters of truth.”

President Benson noted: “That which affects our bodies also affects our souls.” He then pointed out four basics of personal health.

“First—righteousness,” he said. “Sin debilitates. It affects not only the soul, but the body. … unrepented sin can diffuse energy and lead to both mental and physical sickness.”

Next, he pointed to food. “To a great extent we are physically what we eat,” he said.

Third, he mentioned exercise. “The body needs the rejuvenation that comes from exercise.”

Finally, he emphasized the need for adequate rest. “‘Early to bed and early to rise’ is still good counsel,” he said.

President Benson counseled that the best way to increase in favor with God is to ask, “Lord, what will thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6.) He advised that God’s plans for us can be determined from the scriptures, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and personal prayer.

“For the Holy Ghost to be fully operating” in our lives, he said, “we must keep our channels clear of sin.” He warned, “If our channels are not clear of sin, then we may think we have received inspiration on a matter when it is really promptings from the devil.”

After discussing the role of young men and young women in the Church and giving guidelines for choosing an eternal companion, President Benson concluded by telling the audience, “You are a royal generation. Rise up, O youth of Zion. You hardly realize the great potential that lies within you.”

Correspondent: DeLynn Decker, a member of the San Diego Seventh Ward, San Diego North stake.

[photos] President Benson (inset, photo by Quentin Gardner, Jr.) told more than eight thousand seminary and institute students at the Anaheim Convention Arena in California February 8 that they had significant roles to play in the battle between good and evil.

Fifteen Thousand Attend Las Vegas Regional Conference

More than fifteen thousand members met in Las Vegas, Nevada’s, Thomas and Mack Center January 25 for the first multiregion conference ever held in that state. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, addressed a near-capacity crowd from the fifteen stakes in the Las Vegas Temple district.

Also speaking at the conference were Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Council of the Twelve, and Elder Charles Didier, of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

The theme of the conference centered around the Las Vegas Temple, currently under construction. A record nine thousand members attended the groundbreaking assembly on 30 November 1985.

“I want to make you a promise,” President Hinckley told the audience. “As the years pass, you will never miss a dollar you have contributed to the construction of the temple. And, as the years pass, there will grow in your heart a sense of gratitude you were able to do so.

“A temple is a part of eternity,” he added. “It is a declaration of the truth of eternity.”

President Hinckley issued a challenge for area members ten years of age or older. “The temple will be built in two years,” he said. “You start now, if you’re not already there, to get yourself prepared to go to the house of the Lord when that temple is complete.”

Elder Perry spoke on the importance of building on “the sacrifices of those who have gone before us.” He pointed out that “unless we’re uniting families together with being sealed in the temple, there would be no reason for the Savior to return. Without the family,” Elder Perry added, “there would be not that linkage necessary for His kingdom to be established here.”

He also advised parents to be sure to teach their children to learn how to work. “Do not let them grow up without learning responsibility in the home,” he said.

In his talk, Elder Didier noted: “The world’s definition of happiness can be summarized with four words: ‘My will be done.’ The true purpose of life can also be summarized in four words: ‘Thy will be done.’”

He concluded by advising area members that they could take pride in the sacrifices they had made in helping to build the Las Vegas Temple.

[photo] Members from fifteen stakes crowd the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 25 at the state’s first multiregional conference. (Photo by Matthew Freeman, Beehive Sentinel.)

Tabernacle Choir to Perform in Texas and Wyoming

The Tabernacle Choir has scheduled summer 1987 concert appearances in Dallas, Texas, and Teton Village, Wyoming, according to Wendell M. Smoot, choir president.

In Dallas, the choir will appear in joint concert with the Vocal Majority, a 120-voice, all-male national champion barbershop chorus, on Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20. The two concerts will commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The concerts will be held in Reunion Arena.

In August, the choir will participate in the Grand Teton Music Festival, where it will sing Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Robert Shaw will be the guest conductor.

The Wyoming concerts will be held in Teton Village’s Festival Hall. The first performance is scheduled for Friday, August 21, while the second will be held either Saturday, August 22, or Sunday, August 23. Arrangements are still being made.

The appearances mark the third time the Tabernacle Choir has participated in the festival.

The Choir’s weekly CBS network radio program, “Music and the Spoken Word,” will be broadcast from Reunion Arena in Dallas on Sunday, June 21, and from Teton Village on Sunday, August 23.

Annual Bishop’s Interview Required of BYU Students

The Board of Trustees of Brigham Young University has approved new provisions to reinforce the Student Continuing Ecclesiastical Endorsement Program instituted in 1980.

Under the new guidelines, all students must have an interview each year with the bishop of the ward in which they live while attending BYU. During the interview, the bishop will complete a “Continuing Ecclesiastical Endorsement” form indicating the student’s commitment to abide by BYU’s code of honor and its dress and grooming standards.

“This program is designed to help students more fully recognize the spiritual purposes of Brigham Young University by providing for an annual review of and recommitment to the standards of worthiness, which the Church and our board of trustees have established,” said Maren M. Mouritsen, assistant executive vice-president and dean of Student Life at BYU.

The program also helps bishops and students maintain better contact in wards where there is typically a high turnover rate from year to year.

Students are responsible to see that the completed form is submitted to the Student Life Office, 380 SWKT, BYU, Provo, Utah, 84602, by April 6 in order to be able to register for fall semester.

Students who are not members of the LDS Church will have interviews with ecclesiastical leaders of their faith, or they can arrange for an interview by contacting the BYU Office of Student Life, (801) 378-4771. Questions about the new program should be directed to the same office.

Upcoming LDS Pageants

More than 395,000 people attended pageants pertaining to the Church in 1986, according to Ross Ekins, manager of pageants and visitors’ centers. A list of pageants scheduled for 1987 follows:

Jesus the Christ will be presented April 1–18 on the Arizona Temple grounds in Mesa.

At the LDS visitors’ center in Independence, Missouri, Independence 1833 will be staged June 25–27.

The annual Mormon Miracle pageant will be held on the Manti Temple grounds July 9–11 and July 14–18.

At Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, New York, America’s Witness for Christ will play July 24–25, July 28–31, and August 1.

The Castle Valley pageant in Castle Valley, Utah, is scheduled for August 5–8.

In Nauvoo, Illinois, The City of Joseph will be presented August 11–15.

Martin Harris, the Man Who Knew, is scheduled for August 25–29 in Clarkston, Utah. (There will be a small admission charge for this pageant.)

In Calgary, Canada, The Nativity Pageant will run from December 18–26.

The pageants typically begin shortly after dark, and early arrival is advised to be assured of good seats. Admission is free, except for the Clarkston pageant. For additional information, call (801) 531-2767 and ask for the manager of pageants and visitors’ centers.

[photo] Scene from the annual America’s Witness for Christ, at Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, New York.

Update: Number of Operating Missions in the Church

Year

Number of Missions

1983

178

1984

182

1985

188

1986

193

1987

203

The number of operating missions in the Church grew from 178 to 203 in the five-year period beginning in 1983 and projected through July 1, 1987, an increase of 14 percent. As of July 1, ten new missions will have been created this year.

Policies and Announcements

The following letter from the First Presidency was to be read in sacrament meetings throughout the Church.

Missionary Farewells

We deeply appreciate the faithfulness of those who respond to the call to serve missions. It is appropriate to honor newly called full-time missionaries by asking them to speak in sacrament meetings before their departure. The bishopric is to plan and conduct such meetings and invite those who speak. Family members of the missionary may be invited to offer prayers, present musical numbers, or speak. Talks and music should be worshipful, faith promoting, and gospel oriented.

We are concerned that some inappropriate practices have arisen that detract from the sacred nature of the mission call or that create unnecessary expense. We urge members and local leaders to discontinue such practices as holding open houses for missionaries (except for family gatherings), sending out formal printed announcements or invitations, printing special programs for the sacrament meeting, or forming reception lines at the meetinghouse following the meeting.

We appreciate the devotion of missionaries and their families and their willingness to sacrifice much in serving the Lord.

Appointments

Mission Presidents

The First Presidency has announced the callings of twenty-five new mission presidents. The new mission presidents and their wives will receive their specific assignments at a later date.

Carlos Ernesto Aguero, a native Argentine, is an institute of religion director in the Church Educational System. He has served as a stake president’s counselor and assistant stake clerk. He will serve with his wife, Nilda Elisabeth Minardo de Aguero.

David H. Asay is a native of Lovell, Wyoming. A self-employed veterinarian, he has served the Church as a stake president and stake high councilor. His wife, Charlotte Frances Asay, will accompany him.

Dean A. Barnes is a corporation general manager. The Long Beach, California, native is currently serving the Church as a stake president. His wife, LaNore Leavitt Barnes, will assist him in his new assignment.

Thomas E. Brown, a native of Ogden, Utah, is manager of satellite and support services for the Church, as well as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. He has served as a bishop and stake president. His wife, Marilyn Ruth Jensen Brown, will assist him in his missionary responsibilities.

Gary J. Coleman is associate director of the Church’s Institute of Religion in Ogden, Utah. He is a native of Wenatchee, Washington, and has served the Church as a bishop and as a counselor in a mission presidency. He is married to Judith Rene England Coleman.

Clinton L. Cutler, a native of Midvale, Utah, recently retired as director of marketing operations for a telephone company. He has served as a regional representative, bishop, and stake president. Accompanying him in his mission assignment will be his wife, Carma Nielsen Cutler.

Polisi Fitisemanu, a native of Samoa, is a coordinator for the Church Educational System in New Zealand. He now serves as a counselor in a stake presidency. His wife, Julie, will accompany him on his assignment.

George S. Goble, a retired telephone company employee, is a native of Nephi, Utah. He is a former bishop and currently serves as a temple sealer and ordinance worker. He will be accompanied by his wife, Joan Buckwalter Goble.

Franklin Henriquez has been director of temporal affairs for the Church in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. A native of El Salvador, President Henriquez has served as a bishop, stake president, and regional representative. Norma Angelica Henriquez is his wife.

James T. Johnson, a retired employee of the U.S. Diplomatic Service, is a native of Lewistown, Montana. He has served as a temple recorder and sealer, bishop, stake high councilor, and Sunday School president. He is married to LaJean Van Orden Johnson.

Max M. Kimball, Sr., of Cedartown, Georgia, is president of a nursing home consulting firm. He has served as a stake high councilor, branch president, and stake president’s counselor. He will be assisted in his calling by his wife, Deborah Irene Lewis Kimball.

Robert D. Manning is a retired airline pilot. A native of Salt Lake City, he has served on a stake high council and in a stake Sunday School presidency. His wife, Elinor Emily Quillinan Manning, will assist him in the mission field.

Alfredo Miron Martinez, a native of Veracruz, Mexico, is a personnel manager for the Church Educational System in Mexico. He has served as a stake president and regional representative. He is married to Amada C. Vera de Miron Martinez.

M. Jim Matsumori, a native of Murray, Utah, is a retired farmer and businessman. He has served the Church as a bishop and stake high councilor. He is married to Mary Tetsumi Iwata Matsumori.

McKinley M. Oswald, of Salt Lake City, is president of a real estate development company. He has served as a bishop and stake president. His wife, Leslie Anne James Oswald, will accompany him.

Herschel N. Pedersen, a native of Granger, Utah, is a retired steel company employee. He has served as a bishop, regional representative, and stake mission president. He is married to Shirley Falslev Pedersen.

Guillermo Ricardo Pitarch, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, owns his own business. He has served as a mission president’s counselor and institute of religion instructor. His wife, Patricia Monica Meijome de Pitarch, will assist him.

Leonard Ramirez Rivas, of Juarez, Mexico, is manager of curriculum at the Church’s missionary training center in Mexico City. He has served as a bishop, stake president, and regional representative. His wife is Rosa Maria Lugo de Ramirez Rivas.

Gordon W. Romney, a Salt Lake City business executive, is a native of El Paso, Texas. He has served as a bishop and stake high councilor. He is married to Victoria Wilkinson Romney.

Howard G. Schmidt, Colonia Juarez, Mexico, is a cattle rancher. He has served the Church as a bishop, branch president, and stake high councilor. Assisting him will be his wife, Rea Lu Brown Schmidt.

Gerald L. Scott is a retired president of a national food company’s bakery division. A native of Blackfoot, Idaho, he has served the Church as a stake president and regional representative. He is married to Betty Endres Scott.

Farrell M. Smith is a self-employed businessman. The Los Angeles, California, native has served the Church as a stake president, bishop, and stake high councilor. He is married to Sandra Rose Bang Smith.

Rueben Joseph (R. J.) Snow is president of a construction company. A native of Cedar City, Utah, he has served as a bishop’s counselor and branch president. His wife, Marilyn Melville Snow, will accompany him.

Harrell G. Fallis, a native of Wheeler, Texas, is a real estate agent in San Bernardino, California. He has served as a bishop’s counselor and stake high councilor. His wife is Beverly Edith Mortimer Fallis.

Gerald N. Wray, a native of Rupert, Idaho, is director of administrative services for the Temple Department of the Church. He has served as a bishop, stake president, and member of the Young Men General Board. His wife is Rhea Moss Wray.

Document Dealer Confesses

On January 23, document dealer Mark W. Hofmann pleaded guilty in Salt Lake City to two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of felony theft by deception.

The murder charges stemmed from the 1985 bombing deaths of Steven Christensen and Kathleen Sheets. The theft by deception counts related to Hofmann’s confessed forgery of the so-called “salamander letter,” supposedly written by Martin Harris, and the sale of the so-called “McLellin collection” to a Salt Lake City coin dealer.

Following Hofmann confession, the Church issued the following statement:

“On behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its leaders and members, we extend again our heartfelt sympathies to the families and associates of all whose lives have been so deeply affected by the bombings and related events of the past months. It is our hope that the healing process may now be hastened for those who have suffered from these tragedies.

“Church leaders were not involved and were not consulted in the plea bargaining that culminated in today’s judicial proceeding.

“The Church, its early leaders, its doctrine, and its members have been abused by much of the commentary about the meaning and impact of the questioned documents which are at the center of these tragic events.

“Like other document collectors throughout the nation, the Church has relied on competent authorities in document acquisition and with the others has been a victim of the fraudulent activities which have now been acknowledged in the courtroom. As earlier announced, the Church acquired forty-eight documents directly from Mark W. Hofmann—seven documents for a total cash purchase price of $57,100, and forty-one others, less valuable, by donation or trade.

“The events of this day confirm the statements made by Church leaders throughout this regrettable episode. For example, when the Church accepted the gift of the purported letter from Martin Harris to W. W. Phelps, the so-called ‘salamander letter,’ President Gordon B. Hinckley, then the Second Counselor in the First Presidency, cautioned:

“‘No one, of course, can be certain that Martin Harris wrote the document. However, at this point we accept the judgment of the examiner that there is no indication that it is a forgery. This does not preclude the possibility that it may have been forged at a time when the Church had many enemies. It is, however, an interesting document of the times.

“‘Actually, the letter has nothing to do with the authenticity of the Church. The real test of the faith which both Martin Harris and W. W. Phelps had in Joseph Smith and his work is found in their lives, in the sacrifice they made for their membership in the Church, and in the testimonies which they bore to the end of their lives.

“‘Martin Harris died in 1875 in Clarkston, Utah, in full fellowship in the Church and bearing a fervent testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. W. W. Phelps passed away in Salt Lake City in 1872 as an active high priest with a distinguished career of Church service.’”

The Orkney Branch Keeps the Faith

The light of the gospel is still burning in the Orkney Islands, off the coast of Scotland, though the missionaries have been withdrawn for the time being.

The Orkneys consist of many scattered islands north of Scotland, some of which have no cars or buses. Travel is extremely difficult, especially in the winter. In the beautiful old city of Kirkwall, though, are three members of the Church who meet faithfully every Sunday: Brother William Arnot (Arnie) Flett; his wife, Sister Williamina (Mina) Flett; and Sister Charlotte (Lottie) Gorn.

They gather in the sitting room of Sister Gorn’s home, with Brother and Sister Flett driving in from nearby Finstown. Sister Mina teaches Relief Society (with Brother Arnie sitting in). Sister Lottie then teaches the Gospel Doctrine lesson, and finally, Brother Arnie conducts a sacrament meeting in which he also blesses and passes the sacrament. Hymns are sung, unaccompanied, and then the three members speak or bear testimonies. They often listen to tape recordings of addresses from general conference. Brother Arnie, a skilled piper, sometimes brings his bagpipes and plays music suitable for the Sabbath.

All are converts to the Church. Arnie was born in 1934 in St. Ola, near Kirkwall. His father was a farmer, as are many of the Orkney Islanders. For five years he and Mina ran a dairy farm, but now he works for the Water Department.

Arnie was brought up in the Plymouth Brethren Church, but eventually sought additional truths. His conversion began dramatically one Sunday morning about seven years ago. Quite suddenly it came to him that he must find a better way of living. One of his sisters was being taught by the missionaries and desired to be baptized, so he and Mina investigated. As they listened to the elders’ discussions, Arnie sensed that the missionaries brought into the house something precious—something that left when they left.

Still, although he liked the missionaries personally, he resisted baptism, counselling Mina “not to get involved.”

But a year and a half later he became involved himself, and a year later Mina, too, was baptized. As so often happens, the teachings of a particular missionary had touched her heart, and the Holy Spirit did the rest.

Mina, born in 1937 on the Island of Wyre, married Arnie in 1956. Now that their children are grown, Mina spends her time helping the old and disabled. Because they need her, she goes to their homes three times a day, every day of the week.

Lottie Gorn was born in 1919 in Holm, eight miles from Kirkwall. She grew up with all the skills and duties of a farmer’s daughter. During World War II she served in the military, at home and abroad, and afterward returned to the farm. She later pursued a career as a medical receptionist and then as a bookkeeper. Now retired, she still does occasional book reviews for the local newspaper.

It was her love of the Bible that led to her conversion. She had always treasured the scripture, but her reading convinced her that there must be greater truths available than those she had already discovered. She had many questions and a great hunger to learn. When the missionaries called on her one evening in 1977, she had just read one of the epistles of Peter and was bursting with unanswered questions. They were able to answer her questions, and she was soon baptized.

Together, these Orkney Islanders are keeping the faith and looking forward to the time when the missionaries will return and the Church in the Orkneys will grow into a full congregation. In the meantime, they know that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, … behold, there will I be in the midst of them.” (D&C 6:32.)

Correspondent: Anne Perry, public communications director in the Norwich England Stake.

[photo] From left, converts Mina and Arnie Flett and Lottie Gorn meet faithfully in Kirkwall every Sunday.

LDS Scene

Mark H. Dawson, Young Men president in the Mt. Rose Sixth Ward, Reno Nevada Stake, has been selected as the new chancellor of the University of Nevada System (UNS). Brother Dawson had served as deputy chancellor of UNS, which includes seven universities and colleges located throughout the state.

“Wave of Peace,” a poster designed by BYU Graphics Director McRay Magleby, has been named the most memorable produced in the world during 1984 and 1985. An international jury of artists in Paris, France, made the selection from some eight hundred entries submitted by forty different countries. Designers from Japan and the Soviet Union took second and third places. Magleby’s poster has been donated to the Hiroshima Museum of Art, where it is scheduled for permanent display.

Tasmania’s Island Saints

Earlier this century an English naturalist described Tasmania as “an island of special charm, a land of variety and bold contrasts, from rolling, forested hills to fantastically rugged mountains.”

No less rugged were the early Latter-day Saint missionaries who had to travel on foot through this island, about the size of Scotland or Maine. It took several days to walk the 120 miles between the two larger cities of Launceston and Hobart, and the missionaries would stay a day or two at any place along the way where people would listen to their message. The first converts were baptized in 1875.

The establishment of the Church in the Huon Valley is representative of the work going on in Tasmania. In 1899, William Robinson, Jr., and Brigham H. Bingham traveled by steamer to the small village of Franklin on the Huon River south of Hobart. There, they found people friendly, and a few seemed ready for baptism. The local ministers, however, soon combined against the missionaries, and opposition arose.

Prompted by reports that in an isolated part of the Huon Valley some ministers had been demanding substantial payments for their services, the two elders traveled a few miles along the river to Franklin, where they were well received.

Reg Watson, whose father joined the Church at Glen Huon in 1901, now serves as a counselor in the Hobart Third Ward bishopric. He recalls that the construction of a small wooden chapel at Glen Huon in 1927 resulted in greatly increased attendance at meetings and a growth in membership.

“Plenty of boot leather was used in walking to meetings in those days,” he noted.

His father—an orchardist, carpenter, and builder—had been inquiring into various churches when the missionaries called early one morning. “When he noticed their appearance, he suspected that they had spent the night in one of the haystacks,” said Brother Watson.

“There was always opposition in the valley,” he recalled. One resident threatened to burn the chapel, a fragile, timber building. But he was soon baptized and became one of the Church’s most faithful members.

Many have labored long and hard in building the kingdom in the Huon, while at the same time establishing the Tasmanian Saints’ reputation for warmth, friendship, and hospitality. One of the longest-serving members is Phil Mitchell, a former bishop, branch president, and three-time district president. Brother Mitchell notes that many people have left the island over the years to find employment elsewhere. This has slowed the growth of the Church in Tasmania, although the trend may be reversing. Bishop Gerry Mullock moved to Glen Huon from Hobart several years ago and feels that the Spirit is calling people back to Tasmania.

While the Mullocks have lived at Glen Huon, the ward has increased by more than a third. Former residents who had moved away are returning and commuting to workplaces in Hobart or finding occupations in local rural industries. Currently, there are about two thousand members in Tasmania, comprising one stake of six wards and four branches.

“The friendly, close-knit community life appeals to more and more people,” Bishop Mullock said.

But the cities, too, are experiencing an expanding LDS population. Hobart, Tasmania’s largest city, currently has three wards and is also the stake center. Built on the edge of the River Derwent, it is a place of wide views of both mountains and water, with 1270-meter Mt. Wellington rising to form a picturesque backdrop.

Many Tasmanian members work in their own small businesses, are farmers, or are employed as teachers, tradespeople, or administrators. John Jury, a Telecom executive who served nine years as a stake president, believes that although Tasmania may be regarded as disadvantaged by its island isolation, that isolation can also work to its advantage.

He mentions the lower incidence of drug and alcohol abuse compared to other places. Still, “our young people are facing those and other widespread challenges,” he said. “Another great challenge to our LDS youth is that they are in a minority.”

Because of this minority and the relatively large area covered by the stake, activities at the stake level acquire great importance. This, in turn, requires dedicated involvement from local Church leaders. But then, as Anker Fuglsang, a schoolteacher who serves as a high councilor, points out, wherever the Saints are small in number they have a greater need to be industrious and self-reliant.

Certainly, the Saints in Glen Huon qualify as self-reliant. Not much has really changed since those first converts were baptized in the Huon River. The water is still cold—“cold enough to take your breath away,” recalled Reg Watson of his own baptism. White farmhouses with red roofs are scattered through the rolling green pastures. Fruit and vegetables flourish in home gardens. The air is clear, fresh, and invigorating.

The members are as friendly and supportive as they have always been. Indeed, for them, and for others who have visited, Tasmania seems to occupy a place close to the heart.

Correspondent: Richard Eastwood, stake public communications director and Young Men president in the Hobart Third Ward.

[photos] The port city of Hobart is the busy capital of Tasmania. Clockwise from upper left, members De Von Woolley, Georgina Chick, Danielle Witte, and Andrew Barker. (Photography by Richard Eastwood.)

[photos] Chapel at Hobart (top) and the Glen Huon valley are centers of Church activity in Tasmania. (Photography by Richard Eastwood.)