June Videoconference: “Accomplishing the Mission of the Church”

With a shepherd’s care, we must strive to bring the blessings and ordinances of the gospel more fully into the lives of Heavenly Father’s children, said President Ezra Taft Benson in a historic leadership training videoconference on June 28.

“Now is the time to apply the Savior’s teaching of the Good Shepherd to the challenge before us of retrieving lost sheep and wayward lambs.

“The sheep need to be led by watchful shepherds,” said President Benson, emphasizing that too many members of the Church are wandering, distracted, or lost. With a shepherd’s care, he said, we can nurture new converts, prevent youth from wandering, and reclaim “many of those who are now” indifferent.

“The purpose of the Lord’s church is to further the progress of every son and daughter of God toward the ultimate blessings of eternal life. This includes many less-active members who may be indifferent and noncaring.

“To all such, we, as priesthood leaders, must extend and renew our love and heartfelt invitation to come back.”

President Benson’s prerecorded message was part of the largest and most dispersed gathering for a leadership training meeting ever. President Benson was joined by twelve other General Authorities who offered messages of help and hope to leaders of the Church.

Joining President Benson in offering messages of instruction and inspiration were President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency and seven members of the Quorum of the Twelve: Elders Boyd K. Packer, David B. Haight, James E. Faust, Neal A. Maxwell, Russell M. Nelson, M. Russell Ballard, and Joseph B. Wirthlin.

Elders Richard G. Scott, Marion D. Hanks, and Wm. Grant Bangerter of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy also participated.

The videoconference originated from the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City and was broadcast live to hundreds of stake centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In addition to live and prerecorded messages from General Authorities, the conference featured live telephone comments from local leaders in the United States and England.

The conference’s objective was to explain and discuss the mission of the Church and to offer important insights into accomplishing that mission.

“We realize that you faithful priesthood and auxiliary leaders have much to do in your sacred callings,” said Elder Neal A. Maxwell, moderator for the conference. “We present this training tonight as a source of help. The insights you gain from this instruction should help you to focus on those things that matter most, and to use the flexibility that is available to you in carrying them out.”

President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, reiterated for leaders the overriding objective of the Church: to invite all to come unto Christ.

“Speaking of the sacred office of a teacher, the Lord admonished: ‘They are … to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.’ (D&C 20:59.)

“To ‘invite all to come unto Christ’ is our united purpose. Our hope is that this united purpose may permeate all we do. …

“For instance, we ‘come unto Christ’ through conversion and baptism; hence our missionary effort. …

“Additionally, we will not be successful in ‘perfecting the Saints’ if we are neglecting the poor; hence the doctrines and principles which underlie the welfare program.

“We cannot be good undershepherds to the Perfect Shepherd, the Lord, if, as the Book of Mormon warns, we permit others in need ‘to pass … and we notice them not.’” (Morm. 8:39.)

President Monson said the purpose of the Church is to bring the glad tidings of the gospel of Jesus Christ to “all of God’s children, member and nonmember alike, active and less active, living as well as those who have passed beyond the veil.”

There is an urgent need to nurture those who have recently entered into the covenants of baptism, said President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency. “The greatest tragedy in the Church … is the loss of those who join the Church and then fall away,” said President Hinckley, adding that, “with very few exceptions, it need not happen.”

President Hinckley reminded leaders of the difficult transition new converts undergo after joining the Church. This transition “means cutting old ties. It means leaving friends. It may mean setting aside cherished beliefs. It may require a change of habits and suppression of appetites. In so many cases it means loneliness and even fear of the unknown. …

“The trauma associated with this makes it imperative that these precious souls be welcomed, reassured, helped in their times of weakness, praised for what they do, given responsibility under which they may grow strong, and encouraged and thanked for all they do,” President Hinckley said.

“Declared the Savior: ‘For what shall it profit a man, though he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ (Mark 8:36.) Likewise, what shall it profit us if we baptize large numbers and lose many of them?”

In considering the mission of the Church, Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve advised leaders not to view the three dimensions of the Church’s mission as separate responsibilities, operated by separate organizations.

“Members and families are not served well if organizations are managed as separate units,” he said. If organizations see themselves as having a mission of their own, separate from the mission of the Church, they “expect an inordinate amount of time and means from families and individuals, without regard to how much others may have requisitioned from them.”

Elder Packer urged leaders to develop a spirit of correlation that goes beyond programs and procedures—one that focuses on attitudes. “This correlation is in the mind, in the heart, in the very soul. … We urge you now to concentrate on the mission of the Church rather than to merely manage organizations and programs.”

To implement the mission of the Church in the lives of members, Elder Packer said leaders must prepare all of Heavenly Father’s children to receive the ordinances and covenants associated with immortality and eternal life.

“We are to ‘proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, to prepare them to receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation as members of the Church.’

“We are to ‘perfect the Saints by preparing them to receive the ordinances of the gospel and by instruction and discipline to gain exaltation.’

“We are to ‘redeem the dead by performing vicarious ordinances of the gospel for those who have lived on the earth.’

“A good and useful and true test of every major decision made by a leader in the Church is whether a given course leads toward or away from the making and keeping of covenants,” said Elder Packer.

Essential to keeping new members from falling away are renewed and revitalized stake missions, said Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve.

“Well-trained stake missionaries play an important role in finding investigators so that our full-time missionaries are productively using their time in teaching and helping curb the dropout rate of investigators during the discussions and of new converts after baptism.”

Elder Haight said that helping new members become fully integrated into the Church requires a joint effort among full-time missionaries, stake missionaries, and ward leaders. Full-time missionaries continue to help new converts for a few weeks after baptism—until the converts have become acquainted with ward leaders and begin to participate fully in the ward. Stake missionaries fellowship new members and teach them the fellowshipping lessons. The ward mission leader ensures that home teachers are assigned and fully involved in this fellowshipping process.

“This process may be likened to a three-link chain. The full-time missionary teaches, the stake missionary assists in the conversion process, and the home teacher sees that the new member becomes firmly and fully established in the faith.

“The stake missionary is the gold link in that chain,” said Elder Haight.

Bringing gospel principles, ordinances, and blessings more fully into the lives of Church members requires wider and more individual-oriented participation from high priests and other ward members, said Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Priesthood Department.

For instance, full-time missionaries, operating under appropriate guidelines, may be used to help teach the less active. In addition, stake missionaries, home teachers, visiting teachers, and leaders of youth must be more involved in shepherding those under their care. Single adults can take on additional leadership responsibilities, said Elder Hanks. The key to true success is through individualized attention, he said.

“When we speak to each other of our joy in some instance of activation or restoration or sharing, we always are talking ‘one-on-one’ experiences. Isn’t this the key?

“How did the Savior go about helping people?

“He taught and blessed and forgave and healed individuals, according to their specific needs.

“Prayer, fasting, counseling together, consultation, genuine concern … are the elements of true creative flexibility. These are the ways we meet individual needs,” said Elder Hanks.

And as we strive to lift and help individuals, we should constantly prepare them for the higher covenants of the temple, said Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve.

“We become the covenant people of the Lord by partaking of the higher covenants inside of the temple,” he said. “And so our efforts will be to have each member come to an understanding of the doctrine and to be worthy to go inside of the temple and thereafter to take his or her family to the temple. We will also be asking each member to find one ancestor and take that ancestor to the temple.

“We are trying to simplify and demystify the seeking and finding of our ancestors. We are also hoping to make it easier for everyone … to find their own forefathers and receive the temple ordinances in their behalf,” said Elder Faust.

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Genealogical Department said that it is through temple ordinances and covenants, and the genealogical work that supports them, that members can follow Moroni’s inspired counsel to “come unto Christ and be perfected in him.” (Moro. 10:32.)

“We know that there is extensive missionary work in progress on the other side of the veil,” said Elder Scott. “Many, many more members will be motivated to receive the ordinances for these individuals as they understand the doctrine and are moved by the Spirit.

“Our efforts to ‘come unto Christ’ through temple and genealogical service concentrate on two objectives,” he said. “Teach the doctrine to inspire members to receive the endowment and sealing for themselves and their ancestors. [And] enable members, even those with no training, to identify their ancestors.”

“This emphasis on doctrine is made so that temple and genealogical activity will not be perceived as a detached and optional segment of the gospel but a necessary part of the whole,” said Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Temple Department.

“Our efforts in genealogy should not concentrate on preparing forms and records, but in taking an ancestor with us to the temple,” he said.

Elder Packer said, “We would do well to see that in administering the organizations of the Church, all roads lead to the temple. For it is there that we are prepared in all things to qualify us to enter the presence of the Lord.”

In his remarks summarizing the conference, Elder Faust reminded Church leaders to keep in mind the great objective of the Church: to invite all to come unto Christ.

“By emphasizing the mission of the Church in a threefold manner, we are leading toward one objective for each individual member of the Church. That is for all to receive the ordinances of the gospel and make covenants with our Heavenly Father so they may return to his presence. That is our grand objective. …

“Through the covenants and ordinances and his Holy Spirit, each individual, through the process of repentance, may become clean. That is our hope and our great leadership challenge.”

[photo] From left, Elders Neal A. Maxwell, James E. Faust, and M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve participate in a panel discussion during the leadership training videoconference. (Photography by Jed A. Clark.)

[photo] The June 28 videoconference stressed the need to nurture new and less active members. (Photography by Jed A. Clark.)

Key Concepts

In the June 28 leadership training videoconference, Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve outlined eleven key concepts that will help Church leaders “focus on those things that matter most, and … use the flexibility which is available … in carrying them out.”

These concepts will help leaders understand this flexibility, which, when “properly used, can truly build the kingdom numerically and spiritually,” said Elder Maxwell.

  1. 1.

    We do not need new programs, new organizations, or new meetings. We do need a new focus on the mission of the Church.

    President Harold B. Lee said, “There is no new organization necessary to take care of the needs of this people. All that is necessary is to put the priesthood of God to work.” (Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 104.)

  2. 2.

    Bishops should utilize much more effectively all Melchizedek Priesthood manpower in the ward. In particular, in wards where high priests are available, bishops should assign much of the work with prospective elders and their families, including home teaching, to high priests. Utilizing high priests is proper, because they have been given an assignment in the scriptures in “qualifying those who shall be appointed” to leadership callings. (D&C 124:134; see also D&C 107:12.)

  3. 3.

    More attention is to be paid to advancing adult male converts so that they can become active members of elders quorums and not remain prospective elders. Then they can become home teachers rather than the head of another family to be taught by an already too-small supply of home teachers. We surely should have learned by now that the failure to ordain usually means the failure to retain.

  4. 4.

    Full-time missionaries are to continue with new converts for several weeks, overlapping stake missionaries to see that these individuals are fully committed to the Church and receive appropriate Church callings. They should also ascertain that adult males receive the Aaronic Priesthood.

  5. 5.

    Stake missionaries are to assist with the friendshipping and fellowshipping of prospective converts and new converts. Especially skilled, mature couples should be called as stake missionaries.

  6. 6.

    On a selective basis, the wife of a high priest or of a mature, active Melchizedek Priesthood holder may accompany him when he makes his home teaching visits to those who need special attention, such as single sisters. This may be counted as a home teaching visit. Do not generalize this practice so that parents of young children are taken away from their families.

  7. 7.

    Home teaching efforts should be concentrated on those who need them most. The more active and fully participating families may not require the same attention as those with special needs.

  8. 8.

    Stake presidencies may request their Area Presidency (who, in turn, may receive approval from the Quorum of the Twelve) to utilize full-time missionaries in a limited way to teach, for conversion, carefully selected less-active brothers and sisters in order to establish a more adequate leadership base in a unit.

  9. 9.

    Greater flexibility is now being given to stake presidents to use the three stake priesthood leadership meetings, as needed, in accomplishing the mission of the Church. For instance, they could train bishops to function more effectively as presiding high priests.

  10. 10.

    Ward training meetings may be held, as needed, during the regular priesthood meeting time following opening exercises. This time is for the bishop to train the priesthood in their duties.

  11. 11.

    The ward priesthood executive committee should meet weekly. This represents a change in policy. Without meeting every week, this vital committee cannot oversee the purposes of proclaiming the gospel, strengthening the less active, and increasing temple activity.

    “The measure of our success is how many have really ‘come unto Christ.’ The adverse indicators are how many are unbaptized, unordained, unendowed, unsealed, unnourished, uninvolved, and unrighteous. There is plenty for us to do together. In fact, we cannot do the Lord’s work effectively unless we do it together,” said Elder Maxwell.

    “We must start from where we are, because conditions differ around the world. Yet the process will always be the same as we work together, in unity, to carry out the mission of the Church.”

Modifications of Meetings and a New Form

During the leadership training conference on June 28, some modifications of policies were introduced to help leaders more effectively reach members.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve announced that the ward priesthood executive committee should now meet weekly.

“It is felt that the priesthood executive committee cannot fulfill the purposes of proclaiming the gospel, strengthening the less active, and increasing temple activity without meeting every week,” said Elder Wirthlin.

In this meeting ward leaders can review progress and present plans to help ward members “come unto Christ.”

“The mission of the Church should be the major emphasis of every committee meeting,” said Elder Wirthlin.

The bishop, working through the priesthood executive committee, may now assign to the high priests much of the responsibility for activating less-active members. “This arrangement will make wise and more effective use of the great high priests quorums and groups in the Church, many of which have been underused,” said Elder Wirthlin.

The bishop and high priests group leader should ensure that members of the high priests group are given specific assignments and follow guidelines in the Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook.

“For example, home teaching efforts should be concentrated on those who need them most. More-active and fully participating families may not require the same attention and effort as those with special needs.”

When the bishop is trained to use the priesthood executive committee effectively, he can better utilize the Melchizedek Priesthood resources in his ward to reach members who need attention but who do not require an interview with the bishop, said Elder Wirthlin.

Training priesthood leaders more effectively is essential to implementing the mission of the Church, said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Nelson announced modifications in content of two meetings.

From now on, the stake president is to use the quarterly stake priesthood leadership meeting as his personal opportunity to teach and train priesthood leaders in the stake.

“Stake presidents may hold the usual departments or, on occasion, invite only the bishops to attend one of the meetings, or only the high priests, or all of the Melchizedek Priesthood leaders, and have them assembled together in one group for the entire meeting,” said Elder Nelson.

“Through this training, sights should be lifted beyond present programs and practices to focus sharply on our real mission—to save souls. That will happen when each president of [each] stake truly becomes its spiritual shepherd.”

“The second change is that the regular ward weekly priesthood meeting following opening exercises may now be used by the bishop for training purposes,” said Elder Nelson.

This is to be done as often as necessary for effective priesthood training. The schedule and substance of these meetings should be flexible enough to allow for needs that vary greatly throughout the world.

For these training meetings, stake presidents and bishops should prepare lessons focusing on the mission of the Church primarily from the scriptures and from the General Handbook of Instructions. Conference talks by the General Authorities and other relevant material may also be used, and stake presidents and bishops may invite other ward leaders to help them reach specific training objectives.

These training meetings should allow other priesthood leaders to experience their stake president and bishop as ministers to the flock and not solely as administrators, said Elder Nelson.

“The work in which we are engaged is to save souls,” he said. “People—real people—are our purpose and our prize.”

In order to help leaders be more aware of the spiritual progress of individuals, the Church is introducing a supplemental information form as part of the Ward/Branch Activity Report and the Stake/District Activity Report.

Although the information will be used at Church headquarters for minor evaluating purposes, its primary purpose is “to help local leaders focus their attention and efforts on key events in the lives of individuals—events that indicate they are making progress in becoming worthy of the blessings of the temple,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve.

The forms ask leaders to report the number of convert baptisms during the quarter, the number of adults and youth who started attending meetings, and the number of members who have not been endowed.

This information is to be used by stake presidents and bishops to evaluate and plan for the members in their care.

“They should prayerfully consider the information in the report and take appropriate action. It will be important to know the names and circumstances of the individuals represented by the statistics. The purpose of this information is to draw attention to the needs and circumstances of individuals,” said Elder Ballard.

“Local leaders should meet with clerks and secretaries as soon as possible to determine how this information will be collected,” he said. “Generally, the clerk can complete the top sections of the supplement. The presiding priesthood leader should complete the bottom section. The supplement should be completed at the end of each quarter and submitted with the Activity Report.”

Leaders should remember three key points in using the form:

  1. 1.

    Information from the supplement can help them evaluate their unit’s success in accomplishing the mission of the Church.

  2. 2.

    They should know the names and circumstances of the individuals represented by the statistical information.

  3. 3.

    They should use the information to help them plan and correlate resources to help the individuals represented by the numbers.

President Benson Addresses Members in Utah, California

President Ezra Taft Benson left messages of love and instruction with members in both Utah and California during June as he addressed large gatherings in Provo and Oakland.

President Benson, accompanied by his wife, Flora, addressed a conference of the Heber City and Payson Utah regions June 14 at the Brigham Young University Marriott Center in Provo.

On June 28, they both spoke to an estimated five thousand people in Oakland, California, during the rededication of the newly remodeled Oakland interstake center.

The center, which is adjacent to the Oakland Temple, was rededicated by Elder John K. Carmack of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Carmack was completing his assignment as President of the North America West Area.

At the Provo conference, President Benson urged members to read and study the Book of Mormon regularly. He said, “We are to use the Book of Mormon in handling objections to our church,” and pointed out the need for members to make the scriptures an important part of their daily lives.

In response to an invitation from Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve, President Benson told the youth present in the gathering how he felt about patriarchal blessings.

He noted that he was very thankful for his own patriarchal blessing, and said, “Patriarchal blessings in part point out to you the blessings and the potential of your lives. I recommend it wholeheartedly to every young person today.”

Following his address, President Benson sang “I Am a Mormon Boy” for the benefit of the Primary children in the congregation. Immediately afterward, he asked, “Now if there are any of you who are not Mormon boys or girls, would you please stand? We’ll send the missionaries over to you right away.”

Other speakers at the conference included Elder Faust and Elder Paul H. Dunn of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder Dunn’s wife, Jeanne.

At the Oakland rededication ceremony, President Benson urged members to study the Book of Mormon throughout their lives. “I know,” he said, “that our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teaching unless we know how to use that book to expose and combat the falsehood in socialism, rationalism, humanism, and so forth.”

He noted that “social, ethical, cultural, or educational converts will not survive under the heat of the day unless their tap roots go down to the fulness of the gospel that the Book of Mormon contains.”

Prior to President Benson’s address, Sister Benson delivered a short, inspiring message focusing on the family and the home.

Other speakers included Elder Carmack, and President J. David Billeter of the Oakland California Stake.

The proceedings of the services were translated into the various languages spoken in the Oakland stakes.

Oakland report correspondent: M. C. O’Bryant, Public Communications Representative, Concord California Stake.

[photo] President Ezra Taft Benson (left) and Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve address a regional conference in Provo.

New Mission Presidents Counseled

Speaking to eighty-eight new mission presidents and their wives June 23 at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, President Ezra Taft Benson emphasized the Spirit as the means to attract new converts.

“With the Spirit, you and your missionaries will perform miracles for the Lord in the mission field,” he said. “Conversion itself is a miracle, and only by the Spirit will we ever realize the harvest of convert baptisms that the Lord expects of us.”

President Benson pointed to the gospel principles of love, work, prayer, faith, obedience, and gospel study as basic to the success of the mission presidents and their wives. He advised them to take time daily to study the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon.

“There is a spiritual power in the Book of Mormon that is unique to all other scriptures,” he said.

President Benson exhorted mission leaders to pray for the Lord’s help. “Plead for it, live for it, pour out your soul to the Lord to receive it,” he urged.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor, accompanied President Benson at the seminar. Nine members of the Quorum of the Twelve, a number of members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric were also present.

Following President Benson’s address, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve and Chairman of the Missionary Executive Council, and Elder Robert L. Backman of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Missionary Department, also spoke.

After addressing the mission presidents and their wives, President Benson spoke to some 1,400 missionaries training at the center. Again, he emphasized the importance of the Holy Spirit in their efforts. “The Spirit is the most important thing in this work,” he said, “and there is no satisfactory substitute.”

Update: Number of Stakes in the Church

As of the end of July 1987, there were 1643 stakes in the Church. This represents a 14.5 percent increase over the past five years and a 2.5 percent increase since June 1986.


Number of Stakes











Mormon Battalion’s Sacrifice Recalled

Speaking at the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial service in Los Angeles, California, July 4, President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, told an audience of more than 3,500 people of the service and sacrifice of the members of the Mormon Battalion.

President Hinckley was the keynote speaker at the service. During the ceremonies, the initial raising of the flag over the city by the Mormon Battalion on 4 July 1847 was reenacted by modern-day members of the Southern California Division of the Mormon Battalion in San Diego.

Other speakers included President William W. Tanner of the Los Angeles California Stake, city councilman Gilbert W. Lindsay, and actress and Church member Larraine Day. Sister Day read excerpts from the journal of Samuel M. Rogers, a member of the Mormon Battalion.

The Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial, which stands 60 feet tall and includes a 406-foot-long wall, was built to honor the Mormon Battalion and other early settlers.

“The Mormon Battalion of the United States Army was a rather motley looking group of soldiers,” President Hinckley said in describing their condition when they arrived in California. “Their clothing was worn and ragged. They were burned and bonesore, having marched more than two thousand miles. Their food had been poor and inadequate. They had known racking thirst, the burning heat of desert days, the cold of desert nights. In times of sickness they had been given medicine that poisoned rather than cured.

“At the conclusion of their long march a fort was established,” President Hinckley said. Fort Moore was built “in the sleepy little Mexican community that went by the name of Ciudad Los Angeles.”

President Hinckley talked of the sacrifice members of the battalion made, leaving loved ones in desperate circumstances to enlist for a year’s service. The volunteers “passed through areas of Missouri where only eight years earlier the Mormons had been mercilessly driven from the state by order of the governor and without protection from federal authorities.” He noted that some Missourians “marveled that under the circumstances, Mormons would enlist in the Army after the treatment they had received. But they were Americans, loyal to the nation.”

After the Mormon volunteers were discharged from the battalion on July 16, they journeyed to the Salt Lake Valley to rejoin their families who had traveled there.

“The enlistment of the battalion, the march of these five hundred men, the patriotic service that they rendered the nation, … all bear eloquent testimony of their love for America, of their willingness to sacrifice for its freedom, of their loyalty to its flag, and of their love for the freedom that came with the Declaration of Independence of 1776,” President Hinckley said.

“May we never forget, and particularly may the people of this Church never forget, the measure of their sacrifice and the depth of their loyalty,” President Hinckley concluded.

[photo] President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, praises the Mormon Battalion during a July 4 memorial service. (Photo by Rocky Kemp, Church News.)

Tabernacle Choir to Tour Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii

During June and July 1988, the Tabernacle Choir will perform for the first time in Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii.

In 1988, Australia will celebrate the bicentennial of its founding. The Australian Bicentennial Authority has approved the Tabernacle Choir performances as an endorsed bicentennial activity.

The American Australian Bicentennial Foundation has also designated the Tabernacle Choir as an official cultural representative of the United States to the celebration.

The 1988 tour performances will include concerts June 15 and 16 in Honolulu, Hawaii, at concert halls to be announced.

In New Zealand, concerts are scheduled at the Auckland Town Hall on June 20 and 21, at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on June 22, and at the Town Hall in Christchurch on June 23.

In Australia, concerts will be held at the Melbourne Concert Hall on June 25, in the Festival Theatre in Adelaide on June 27, at the Perth Concert Hall on June 29, and in the Sydney Opera House on July 1 and 2. The concluding concerts are scheduled for July 4 at the Performing Arts Center in Brisbane.

Two of the choir’s weekly radio and television broadcasts, “Music and the Spoken Word,” will originate via satellite from Wellington, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia, during the tour.


Temple Presidents

E. LaMar Buckner, of Ogden, Utah, has been called to preside over the Ogden Temple. His wife, Melba Hale Buckner, will serve as matron. An insurance executive, President Buckner has served as a regional representative, mission president, and stake president. Sister Buckner has served as an officer and teacher in various Church auxiliaries.

Edgar M. Denny, Bountiful, Utah, has been called as president of the Salt Lake Temple. His wife, Eula Peterson Denny, will be temple matron. President Denny, a lawyer, has served the Church as a regional representative, mission president, and stake president. Sister Denny has served in Church administrative and teaching positions.

George C. Ficklin, Tremonton, Utah, is the new president of the Logan Temple. His wife, Arlene Jackson Ficklin, will serve as matron. A retired physician, President Ficklin has served as stake president and patriarch. Sister Ficklin has served in various organizations of the Church.

E. Leroy Hatch, of Colonia Juarez, Mexico, will preside over the Guatemala City Temple. He will be assisted by his wife, Jeanne Joyce Larson Hatch, will serve as temple matron. A physician, President Hatch has served as mission president, regional representative, and director of the Missionary Training Center in Mexico City. Sister Hatch has held teaching and leadership positions in the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary.

Glen V. Holley, Ogden, Utah, will preside over the Lima, Peru, Temple. Serving as matron will be his wife, Lucille T. Holley. President Holley is a retired Civil Service employee of the U. S. Air Force. He has served as mission president, regional representative, and stake president. Sister Holley has been in leadership positions in various organizations of the Church.

John A. Larsen, Salt Lake City, will be president of the Jordan River Temple in South Jordan, Utah. His wife, Lois Manwill Larsen, will serve as matron. President Larsen is a retired high school principal. He has served as a regional representative, mission president, and stake president. Sister Larsen has served as an officer and teacher in various auxiliary organizations.

Regional Representatives

Salem Oregon Region, A. Keith Martin, attorney, former regional welfare agent, stake president, and bishop.

Toronto Ontario, Montreal-Ottawa, and Dartmouth Nova Scotia regions, C. Malcolm Warner, area director for Church Educational System, former stake president.

General Boards

Colleen Young Staker of Salt Lake City has been called to the Relief Society General Board. She has served as stake and ward Relief Society president and as a worker in the Jordan River Temple.

Sydney Young Sharp Aldous, Salt Lake City, has been called to the Young Women General Board. Sister Aldous has served as a counselor in stake Young Women and Relief Society.

Marie Kartchner Hafen, of Provo, Utah, has been called to the Young Women General Board. She has served on the Relief Society Curriculum Writing Committee, in a ward Young Women presidency, and as ward Relief Society president.

Terry R. Clegg, of Sandy, Utah, has been called to the Young Men General Board. He has previously served as high councilor, bishop’s counselor, and Young Men president.

Kenneth L. Zabriskie, Salt Lake City, has been called to the Young Men General Board. He has previously served as mission president and as a counselor in a stake presidency.

Temple Square Director

Joseph F. Horne, Salt Lake City, has been called to serve as director of Temple Square in Salt Lake City. He has served as associate director of Temple Square, mission president, and bishop.

Named as associate directors were C. Warren Metcalf and Don L. Buehner, both also of Salt Lake City.