President Benson Addresses Finnish Saints
Forty-one years after he had rededicated Finland for the teaching of the gospel, President Ezra Taft Benson returned May 16 and 17 to address a conference of Finnish Saints.
He recalled that there were fifteen members present when he rededicated the country for missionary work during that visit in 1946. (Finland was originally dedicated by Apostle Francis M. Lyman in 1903.) Now there are more than four thousand members organized into stakes and districts.
President Benson met with priesthood leaders Saturday evening in Helsinki’s Haga chapel, then addressed more than two thousand Finnish members who gathered at the Messu Keskus convention center on Sunday. He also spoke at a missionary meeting. On Monday, May 18, during his return trip, he stopped briefly at the Stockholm Sweden Temple to address temple workers.
President Benson was accompanied by his wife, Flora, who spoke during the missionary meeting. During the conference, President Benson took his wife to the stand and told the gathering, “We have had sixty years of glorious marriage. I wholeheartedly recommend it to you.
“It is a great joy to be back in Finland. You are a great people; may it ever be so. We hope missionary work will go forward because of you.”
President Benson helped open the Finnish Mission on 16 May 1947, and created the country’s first stake on 16 October 1977.
During the meeting with priesthood leaders, President Benson was presented with a photo of himself and the group of fifteen members present at the 1946 dedication. The presentation provided one of several emotional moments he experienced during the two-day visit.
“My spirit is subdued, my soul is tender,” President Benson said. “You are a choice people. … We love you for what you are: real Latter-day Saints dedicated to the gospel.
“May every wish of your hearts be realized,” he added.
Elder Carlos E. Asay, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and President of the Europe Area, and his wife, Colleen, also spoke during the conference.
Elder Asay referred to the blessing President Benson originally pronounced on the people of Finland, and on the blessings he pronounced during this visit forty-one years later. “How we thank God you have the freedom to assemble,” Elder Asay said. “We thank God for your rich heritage. But if it is to continue, it will come through listening to the voice of a prophet.”
Priesthood Holders Told to Honor Sacred Trust
Priesthood holders need to prepare with purpose, teach with testimony, and labor with love, said President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, during the Priesthood Restoration Commemorative Fireside broadcast from the Salt Lake Tabernacle May 17.
The satellite fireside was telecast to more than one thousand meetinghouses in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted.
“May I express to you in behalf of President Ezra Taft Benson and all General Authorities our great love and appreciation for you, our brethren in the priesthood, who, with diligence and faith, walking in virtue and integrity, seek to live the word of God,” President Hinckley said. President Benson was in Scandinavia at the time of the fireside.
Also addressing the fireside were Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
“We’re part of a royal army,” President Monson said. “Standing at the head is our prophet, seer, and revelator, President Ezra Taft Benson. In supreme command is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Our battle orders are clear. They’re concise. They came as recorded in Matthew 28:19 to the early disciples, ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.’” [Matt. 28:19]
President Monson said the early disciples did not equivocate, hesitate, or procrastinate. “They went forth preaching everywhere, and the Lord was with them. This solemn charge to take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people has not been rescinded,” he said. “In fact it has been reemphasized, particularly by our beloved President.”
President Monson outlined a three-part formula to help priesthood holders carry out the charge to preach the gospel.
“Prepare with purpose,” he advised. “Missionary work is difficult. It requires long, arduous hours. It taxes our physical strength, our mental capacity. But we find that anything worthwhile is generally accomplished through difficulty.”
The second point is to “teach with testimony,” President Monson said. He told of a new elder who returned to the door of a hostile prospect after being told that he and his companion didn’t really believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. The missionary bore his testimony so strongly that the man was later baptized.
“Labor with love,” was President Monson’s third point. “Love is the noblest attribute of the human soul,” he said. “We must learn to love one another, to love the work of the Lord. Through love, the souls whom we help save may well be those we most love.”
Elder Ashton spoke of the sacred trust of the priesthood and the God-given right and responsibility to share its blessings with others. He told of an incident in which he visited President Marion G. Romney, now president of the Quorum of the Twelve, when President Romney was in the hospital recovering from eye surgery. The nurse told President Romney that Elder Ashton was there, and asked if he would like a blessing.
“Even though President Romney was weak and under sedation, I will never forget his reply,” Elder Ashton recalled. “‘No, I don’t want Elder Ashton to give me a blessing,’ President Romney said. ‘My home teachers gave me a blessing last night.’”
Elder Ashton noted that President Romney was following the pattern and order given for priesthood blessings. “The power of the priesthood is greater than an individual or his calling,” he added. He reminded priesthood holders that the priesthood gives the right and authority to lead, heal, bless, bind, set in order, organize, bear special witness, home teach, baptize, confirm, and perform other God-given obligations and duties.
Elder Featherstone expressed pride in the young men who are active in the Church. “Thanks for your participation,” he said, smiling, “and for holding fast to the iron rod.
“It means a great deal to us that you are not rebellious, that you have tended to your duty,” he said. “We love you, and we are humbled by your goodness.”
He added that “we know you are being tempted and that it is not easy to maintain your purity, but you are doing the right thing.”
Elder Paramore Called to Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy
The First Presidency has announced the calling of Elder James M. Paramore as a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Paramore will replace Elder Jack H. Goaslind, who is being assigned as Area President for the British Isles/Africa Area.
Elder Paramore has served ten years as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is currently President of the Utah North Area and Managing Director of the Curriculum Department.
Prior to his call as a General Authority, he served as executive secretary to the Quorum of the Twelve. He has also served as regional representative, as a member of the General Church Missionary Committee, and as president of the Belgium Brussels Mission.
He has also served as stake president, bishop, and high councilor.
Before entering full-time Church service, Elder Paramore had worked in the engineering department of a steel-manufacturing company, as a seminary teacher, and as executive director of the Utah Committee on Children and Youth.
He was employed by the church in various positions in the Missionary Department, Internal Communications Department, Office of the Council of Twelve, and the Church Leadership Training Executive Committee.
“Each of these work and Church assignments has been a blessing and preparation in my life, and I’m grateful for all the fine people who have trained and helped me,” says Elder Paramore.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Elder Paramore and his wife, Helen Heslington Paramore, are parents of six children.
Update: Missionaries Now Serving
The number of missionaries serving at the end of 1986 was 31,803, up 19.5 percent from the 26,606 missionaries serving at the end of 1982. As of 9 June 1987, there were a record 34,074 LDS missionaries. This represents a 28-percent increase over the number serving at the end of 1982.
Temple and Genealogy Work to Be Emphasized
The role of temple ordinances will be a major theme in stake conferences held during the last half of 1987, and genealogical work will be emphasized during conferences held the first half of 1988.
The theme, “Come Unto Christ and Be Perfected in Him through Temple Ordinances and Covenants,” was presented to regional representatives in a seminar last April. Stake conferences held the remainder of this year will highlight that theme.
“The ordinances and covenants of the higher priesthood center in the temple,” says Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve and chairman of the Temple and Genealogy Executive Council. “During these stake conferences, members are taught how they can participate fully in both temple and genealogical service.”
“It is hoped that in these stake conferences we can simplify the approach to genealogy,” says Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Faust, who is also a member of the Temple and Genealogy Executive Council, adds that the intention is to “demystify [genealogy] so that every member, regardless of training, will find it possible to do.”
New, simplified procedures and materials have been produced to help members with their temple and genealogy work. These new materials, which are being presented to priesthood leaders at stake conferences, include a forty-page booklet carrying the theme title, “Come Unto Christ through Temple Ordinances and Covenants” (Stock no. PBGS153A). The booklet contains simplified information to help Church members with no prior experience accomplish their genealogy and temple responsibilities.
In addition to doctrinal explanations, the booklet includes copies of new forms, instructions for filling out the forms, and a two-page guide, “Temple and Genealogical Service: Instructions for Leaders.” The guide and the new genealogical forms are also available from the Salt Lake Distribution Center.
The forms contained in the new booklet include:
The new Pedigree Chart (PFGS3093) in 8-1/2 by 11-inch vertical format, which contains four generations.
The new Family Group Record form (PFGS3107), also in the 8-1/2 by 11-inch format, which is now the primary form for submitting names for proxy temple ordinances.
A new four-part Ordinance Pedigree Chart (PFGS3173) that provides space for the third through the eighth generations and indicates whether ordinances have been completed for direct-line family members.
Instructions are included with each set of forms.
Another new booklet, entitled “Submitting Names for Temple Ordinances: Instructions for Genealogical Leaders” (PBGS1391), will be available at the Salt Lake Distribution Center in August 1987. Recent changes made to simplify the names submission process for temple work are included.
One objective of the year-long emphasis is to simplify the process of doing genealogy work and preparing names for temple ordinances. In addition to the simplified materials, one-on-one assistance will be provided by ward genealogical consultants who will help members accomplish their genealogy and temple work responsibilities. Their training and supervision will be provided by high priest group leaders and high councilors assigned as stake temple and genealogical advisers.
Each member is urged to begin immediately to find an ancestor for whom temple ordinances have not been performed, to take that name to the temple, and progress from there.
Tabernacle Choir, Mormon Symphony and Chorus to Hail U.S. Constitution
The Tabernacle Choir and the Mormon Symphony and Chorus will perform separately in several events commemorating the U. S. Constitution Bicentennial.
The Tabernacle Choir will be featured September 17 in a CBS television special celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of the U. S. Constitution.
President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, and Warren E. Burger, a former Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court who is chairman of the Bicentennial Commission, will attend the celebration.
The program, “We the People 200,” will be televised from the thirteen-thousand-seat Convention Hall in Philadelphia. The observance is being staged for the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.
The program will be broadcast beginning at 9:00 P.M. EDT, and will open with the Tabernacle Choir singing a special arrangement of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
Several other numbers will also be performed by the choir, including a musical setting of the Preamble to the Constitution. At the conclusion of the program, the choir will join in a finale being composed by Barry Manilow.
The 350-member Mormon Symphony and Chorus is representing the state of Utah in U. S. Constitution Bicentennial activities underway in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
The week-long concert tour was announced by Elder Paul H. Dunn, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and managing director of the symphony and chorus.
The group will present formal concerts the evenings of Monday, July 27, in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and Thursday, July 30, in Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum, New York City. The concerts begin at 8:30 P.M.
Free, informal daytime concerts are scheduled for 10:30 A.M. Sunday, July 26, in Washington’s National Cathedral; at 12:00 noon Wednesday, July 29, in Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell Pavilion in the Independence National Historical Park; and at 1:30 P.M. Friday, July 31, in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Mormon Symphony and Chorus members, who range in age from eighteen to thirty, have appeared in several Public Broadcasting Service television specials, as well as on network and cable television.
Pioneer Remains Moved to New Burial Site
One year ago, a cemetery containing the remains of thirty-three pioneer adults and children was discovered in downtown Salt Lake City.
The pioneer cemetery’s exact location had been unknown for many years until excavation for a new building uncovered two of the graves. With the help of volunteers, Brigham Young University archaeologists found and removed the balance of the remains.
Some of the remains, which included nine adults and adolescents and twenty-four infants, were identified. Among the bodies of those thought to be buried in the cemetery was that of Carolyn Van Dyke Grant, wife of Jedediah M. Grant, Second Counselor in the First Presidency under Brigham Young.
The remains were later reinterred in a replica cemetery near “This Is the Place” monument at the mouth of Emigration Canyon.
President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the new cemetery 30 May 1987. He paid tribute to the sacrifice of the pioneers.
A Conversation about Personal Welfare Needs
Many families and individuals are struggling financially these days. When jobs and money become scarce, members in need often turn to Church welfare for help. To find out what kind of counsel the Church offers those who may be facing serious economic problems, the Ensign spoke with , manager of ecclesiastical leader training in the Welfare Services Department.
Q: What is the position of the Church on financial need?
A: Since its beginnings, the Church has stressed self-sufficiency and family preparedness. Brigham Young, for example, counseled the Saints as they came into the Salt Lake Valley to prepare for the winters. He told them to be thorough about harvesting their crops, to glean the fields fully, and to be careful about wasting resources. All that is part of our heritage.
Q: Today, how does the Church counsel us to prepare?
A: Beginning in about 1975, and specifically through the message of the current Welfare Services Resource Handbook, the notion of personal and family preparedness has been emphasized.
There are six primary areas of family preparedness: literacy and education; career development; time and resource management; home production and storage; physical health; and social, emotional, and spiritual strength.
Emphasizing these six areas has helped draw attention to the notion of preparedness. Unfortunately, preparedness has been narrowly interpreted to mean preparing for a future emergency. So people are attempting to store their year’s supply of food, put away additional clothing, and make 72-hour kits. That element of personal and family preparedness has tended to become the core element, and has obscured other important elements.
Q: Such as?
A: Such as wise financial management. For example, it isn’t unusual to find an LDS family who have the better part of a year’s food supply stored away, but who have at the same time become heavily indebted for the purchase of an automobile, a camper, new furniture, and related items.
If family members lose their jobs, or simply have their debts overcome them, they find themselves in a desperate situation.
Q: How many people can manage to save the kind of money to pay cash for a car?
A: This is one reason we’ve refocused our training. What has been overlooked is learning to manage money wisely—to be thrifty, to purchase things on sale, and to avoid debt where feasible. Consequently, today there is a significant problem with indebtedness.
Saving for planned expenditures is important. A person who is living providently will begin putting money away to help in the day he or she needs to make a major purchase. This way, when the day of purchase arrives, it won’t be necessary to borrow the full amount, and it may be possible to pay for the item in full without going in debt.
President Benson’s article, “Pay Thy Debt, and Live,” which appeared in the June 1987 Ensign, is an example of how seriously the Church is concerned about the impact of indebtedness in members’ lives.
Q: How do we refocus in order to help members anticipate need in their lives?
A: During the last year, the Church reviewed what had been accomplished in welfare since the current welfare program was initiated in 1936. The decision was then made to begin focusing on the basic principles of welfare—few enough that every member could keep them in mind.
An important goal for members to strive toward is self-reliance. Three guidelines will help members achieve this goal.
First, each member needs to work to the extent of his abilities to care for self and family. This is in the spirit of 1 Timothy 5:8: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” [1 Tim. 5:8] It is our responsibility—not the Church’s—to care for ourselves and our families.
Second, self-reliant members live providently. They practice thrift, care for their possessions, save for planned purchases, and produce a portion of what they use.
Avoiding debt where feasible is the crux of the challenge. We have been advised to avoid unwise debt as we would avoid the plague. We can’t be unwise today and overcommit ourselves with debts that we won’t be able to manage, thinking that if things go wrong we can turn to the Church tomorrow. We are responsible for our choices.
Third, self-reliant members prepare for future emergencies. They have insurance, maintain health and physical fitness, and acquire first aid and other health skills. This is where the year’s food supply and emergency savings should play their part.
While emergency preparedness has long been spotlighted, now we’re trying to bolster the principles of self-reliance. We are each responsible for ourselves.
Related to self-reliance is the principle of generous giving. We don’t want to overlook others. Preventing need is both a matter of being self-reliant and giving generously to others. Give a generous fast offering and perform compassionate service.
Q: How is the Church trying to teach the principles of self-reliance?
A: Each of these themes have been covered in conference talks, and we recently released a training package for bishops about caring for the needy.
Currently, the Church is revising all of the welfare-related curriculum lessons to reflect this new emphasis.
The primary responsibility for preventing problems in one’s life rests with the individual. Another concept we want to instill is that it is easier to prevent problems than it is to live with them after they develop.
People are persuaded to make choices when they begin on the road to self-reliance. The big choice is whether to be self-reliant or to depend on others. We should all ask ourselves, “Will I plan my life and try to direct its course, or am I just going to take whatever comes?”
Frankfurt Temple to Be Dedicated in August
The First Presidency has announced that the Frankfurt Germany Temple will be dedicated during eleven sessions 28–30 August 1987.
The dedicatory services will follow a July 29 through August 8 open house, when the public can tour the new temple from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. daily except Mondays, when the hours will be from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
This will be the fifth LDS temple in Europe, and the forty-first worldwide. Other temples are currently under construction in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Portland, Oregon, in the United States. Plans have been announced for future temples in Toronto, Canada; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Bogota, Colombia; and San Diego, California.
A cornerstone ceremony for the Frankfurt Germany Temple is scheduled for 8:00 A.M. August 28, just prior to the first dedicatory service. The first five dedicatory services will be conducted in German, the sixth in French, the seventh in Dutch, and the eighth through tenth in English. The final session will be in German.
Plans to build this temple, which is actually situated in the suburban village of Friedrichsdorf, were announced by President Spencer W. Kimball in April 1981. Ground was broken in 1985 by a group of general and local Church leaders led by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then Second Counselor in the First Presidency.
Earlier this year, Elder F. Enzio Busche, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and a native of Dortmund, Germany, was called to be the first president of the temple. The new temple will serve some fifty thousand members living in Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Germany.
Church School in Mexico Celebrates Anniversary
Some three thousand Latter-day Saints in Mexico City recently joined with the eighteen hundred students of the Church-sponsored preparatory school, Benemerito de las Americas, to celebrate its twenty-third anniversary.
The school’s anniversary was observed during Cultural Week, with programs of drama, sports, music, and spiritual instruction. A highlight was the dance program of the school’s Ballet Folklorico. Since the ballet was instituted thirteen years ago, the young dancers tour regularly; they have performed in many parts of Mexico and in the United States.
The dance company consists of seventy students between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, and six sound, lighting, and electrical technicians.
In all, thirty-one dances were presented, representing the areas of Yucatan, Puebla, Chiapas, Guerrero, Campeche, Veracruz, Norte, and Jalisco. Dances and costumes of the prehispanic era were also included.
The week culminated in a ceremony at which Elder Gene R. Cook, President of the Mexico/Central America Area and a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, delivered an address. He then presented certificates to outstanding students.
Francisco Javier Barron Rodriguez, director of the school, directed the week’s activities.
Church to Assist with U.S. Alien Amnesty Program
The Church has organized a program to train its local congregations in the United States to assist members who may benefit from the U. S. Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
Under provisions of the act, which was signed into law last November by President Ronald Reagan, Congress specified that “undocumented aliens” who qualify may apply for lawful temporary residency in the United States during a one-year amnesty period beginning 5 May 1987.
Successful applicants will be given temporary resident status for eighteen months, after which they will have one year to apply for permanent residence. The Church has developed training materials to help those seeking amnesty to gather documents and fill out forms and applications required by the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
In a letter to local units, the First Presidency explained the program:
“The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 creates a one-time opportunity to establish lawful immigration status for some aliens who entered the United States before January 1, 1982, and who have remained illegally since that date. Some Church members may qualify under this act. We urge Church leaders to give support to those affected.
“Stake presidents who identify a need for the Church to provide technical help should contact their Area Presidency. Area Presidencies may authorize stake presidents and bishops to use stake and ward welfare services committees in providing help to members who may be affected by the act. Upon approval, training materials may be obtained from Welfare Services regional agents.
“Members may choose to seek help from the community or from the Church. They should be counseled to be honest in their dealings with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. If legal help is required, members should seek such help from qualified resources in the community.”
David Galbraith Heads BYU Jerusalem Center
David B. Galbraith, who has served since 1972 as resident director of Brigham Young University’s Study Abroad program in Israel, has been named director of the new BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. The announcement was made by BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland.
Construction of the center on Mount Scopus near the Mount of Olives is virtually completed. The first full contingent of Study Abroad students is scheduled to move in soon.
Brother Galbraith is an assistant professor of political science on the BYU faculty. He has played a major role in directing the activities of more than two thousand students who have participated in BYU Travel Study programs in Israel over the past nineteen years. He has also supervised the hosting of nearly fourteen thousand BYU alumni and other adults participating in Travel Study tours in the Middle East.
He met his wife, Frieda Kruger Galbraith, a native of the Netherlands, while studying Hebrew at an Israeli kibbutz in 1961. They have five children.
Ten LDS women represented their states at the April 23–26 convention of the American Mothers, Inc., in Lexington, Kentucky. One Church member, Verda Mae Fuller Christensen, Utah Mother of the Year, was a candidate for the American Mother of the Year title. Nine other LDS Young Mother representatives competed for the National Young Mother honor: Glenae D. Allred, Wyoming; Jennifer Marie Yetman Bell, Michigan; Cecelia Johnson Benson, Utah; Cailynn Gailey Brinkerhoff, Oregon; Alexis M. Hansen, Nevada; Demaree L. Johnson, Alaska; Sidney B. Knight, Arizona; Barbara Thoman McKibbin, Ohio; and Marta Ines Mixa, Texas.
The Cardiff Wales Stake and the University of Wales recently sponsored a one-day genealogy school. Some 112 people, many of them nonmembers, attended.
Wayne M. Beck, executive secretary to the Church’s South America South Area Presidency, has been called to preside over the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple. His wife, Evelyn Moon Beck, will serve as matron. President Beck, a longtime resident of Bountiful, Utah, has been residing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He retired several years ago after a long career with a department store chain. He served two missions in Brazil and has presided over the Brazilian Mission. The Becks are parents of five children.
The First Presidency has called additional new mission presidents to begin serving in 1987.
Howard Jay Hassell, of San Antonio, Texas, is an orthopedic surgeon. He will preside over the Switzerland Geneva Mission. He has served as a bishop, branch president, and counselor to a mission president. He will be accompanied by his wife, Brenda Whitney Hassell.
R. Bay Hutchings, a retired physician from Sacramento, California, will preside over the Zaire Kinshasa Mission. He has previously served as a mission president in France and Switzerland, a bishop, and a stake president’s counselor. His wife, Jean, will accompany him.
Dennis Bramwell Neuenschwander, Centerville, Utah, an employee of the Church’s Genealogical Department, will preside over the Austria Vienna East Mission. He has served as a stake high councilor and as a counselor in a Young Men’s presidency. He will be accompanied in the mission field by his wife, LeAnn Clement Neuenschwander.
Lynn E. Thomsen, a realtor-developer now serving as president of the Illinois Nauvoo Mission, has been called to preside over the New Hampshire Manchester Mission. He is a longtime resident of southern California. President Thomsen has served as a stake high councilor, and in a bishopric. His wife, Joan Riley Thomsen, will assist him in his new assignment.
Policies and Announcements
Memorization of Articles of Faith
The First Presidency desires that Primary children learn the Articles of Faith—a goal that most young people can reach. Therefore, beginning immediately, the requirements for the Primary Gospel in Action award will be modified. To receive the award, Merrie Miss girls and Blazer boys will be required, as their abilities allow, to repeat all the Articles of Faith from memory and to explain their meaning to the teacher. This qualification will be added to the present requirement to complete one experience in each of four areas.
This change in the award requirements will be reflected in forthcoming reprints of the Gospel in Action card and the Blazer and Merrie Miss manuals.
May the Lord bless you as you teach gospel principles to these precious children.
The letter was signed by Elder Howard W. Hunter, Acting President, Quorum of the Twelve.