News of the Church


Statue Honoring Arizona Pioneers Dedicated

Three years ago, Claude Pomeroy overheard a conversation while walking in Pioneer Park in Mesa, Arizona. He was concerned about what he heard—“They ought to change the park’s name to Rose Garden Park”—and decided to make sure Mesa’s residents didn’t forget their colorful pioneer heritage.

On 13 February 1988 more than two thousand attended ceremonies in the park to dedicate the bronze statue Brother Pomeroy had created to commemorate the Arizona pioneers. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, was the keynote speaker.

“Enough praise cannot be said for those four men who stood here and began the work that led to the establishment of this community,” President Hinckley said, referring to the four leaders of the First Mesa Company of 1878 depicted by the statue.

Charles I. Robson, George W. Sirrine, Charles Crismon, and the sculptor’s grandfather, Francis Martin Pomeroy, were portrayed holding the tools they labored with: a shovel, a gun, a spirit level, and a map of the townsite. A mother and her child also appear in the statue.

“I suppose that none of us today can really appreciate the labors of those who came here 110 years ago,” President Hinckley said. “This was the mesa, the high tableland above the river, shunned by early pioneers. It was dry and parched. The soil looked promising, but water was the key to survival. How to get it to the land was a problem.”

President Hinckley felt it was inspiration that led those who came here in 1878 to turn to the long-deteriorated canal system of the Hohokam Indians.

After nine months of backbreaking toil through summer’s blistering heat, this small band of eighty-three men, women, and children carved out a twelve-mile canal to bring river water to the parched soil of the mesa.

As President Hinckley looked over the spacious park and the Arizona Temple across the street, he said he was “almost overwhelmed” by the history of the pioneers and the “length of their vision.”

The pioneer sculpture is Brother Pomeroy’s first life-size bronze. “I didn’t want to just create a statue,” he said. “I wanted to tell the unique story of the courage and determination of this hardy group of pioneers.”

Correspondent: Mary Pomeroy, daughter of the artist, is a fashion designer. She teaches the Star A Primary class in the Edgemont Ninth Ward, Provo, Utah.

[photo] Sculptor Claude Pomeroy before a life-size bronze statue he created to honor the pioneers who founded Mesa, Arizona. The statue, which stands in Pioneer Park, was dedicated February 13. (Tribune photo by Brad Justad.)

New President Named for Polynesian Cultural Center

James P. Christensen, Salt Lake City, has been named president and general manager of the Church-owned Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii. The appointment was announced April 1 by Elder Marvin J. Ashton, a member of the Council of the Twelve and chairman of the center’s board of directors.

President Christensen, a Salt Lake City businessman and former president of the Tonga Mission, succeeds Ralph G. Rodgers, Jr., who is returning to Salt Lake City after five years of service as president and general manager of the center.

“We are pleased to have a man of James Christensen’s broad business and Church experience as the new president of the cultural center,” Elder Ashton said.

President Christensen will be accompanied by his wife, Metta. They are the parents of five sons.

Nine New Missions Formed

The First Presidency has announced the creation of nine new missions.

The new missions are Brazil Belo Horizonte, Chile Antofagasta, Colombia Barranquilla, Liberia Monrovia, Mascarene Islands, Mexico Puebla, Mexico Tampico, Philippines Quezon City West, and Spain Las Palmas.

The Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission was created from the Brazil Brasilia and Brazil Campinas missions.

The Chile Antofagasta Mission was formed by dividing the Chile Santiago North, Chile Santiago South, and Chile Vina del Mar missions. The new addition gives Chile a total of six missions.

The Colombia Bogota Mission was divided to create the new Colombia Barranquilla Mission.

Liberia was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel on 2 September 1987 by Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Council of the Twelve. The new Liberia Monrovia Mission began operating on 1 Mar. 1988.

The Mascarene Islands Mission was created from the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. It includes islands with both English-speaking and French-speaking populations.

The Mexico Puebla Mission was formed by dividing the Mexico Mexico City East Mission, while the Mexico Tampico Mission was created from the Mexico Mexico City North and Mexico Monterrey missions.

Dividing the Philippines Baguio and Philippines Quezon City missions resulted in the creation of the new Philippines Quezon City West Mission.

The Spain Las Palmas Mission, headquartered in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, was formed by dividing the Spain Seville and Portugal Porto missions.

While the Liberia Monrovia Mission has been functioning since March 1, the other eight missions will begin operations on July 1. The nine new units bring the number of missions worldwide to 221.

A Conversation about Primary

The continuing growth of the Church throughout the world brings corresponding increases in the size and responsibilities of auxiliary organizations. Shortly after Michaelene P. Grassli was sustained as the new Primary General President, the Ensign spoke with her about the challenges that growth brings to the Primary organization.

President Michaelene P. Grassli

President Michaelene P. Grassli. (Photography by Jed A. Clark.)

Q: What are your early impressions as you consider your new calling?

A: We have in the Church more than 1,300,000 children, and we have more than a quarter of a million leaders and teachers. During the next five years, I anticipate that hundreds of thousands of additional children will come into the Primary—many in places where the Church doesn’t exist now. The opportunity to influence that many children means we can have a significant impact on the Church. I like to think how many future mothers and fathers they represent, who can perpetuate righteous living throughout the world.

Q: How can the Church face the challenges represented by this growth?

A: President Dwan J. Young’s leadership left the Primary functioning effectively. We have, we believe, the strongest Primary curriculum that has ever existed. It is based on the scriptures. The children begin the Articles of Faith at age three when they learn “We believe in God, the Eternal Father. …” They are learning more and understanding more about the gospel of Jesus Christ at an earlier age than ever before.

Q: Is this curriculum too challenging for some of the children?

A: The capacity of children is just astounding to me. We have to scramble to challenge them. We must never underestimate what they can handle. But we must use methods of teaching that draw children to the gospel and make it interesting and exciting to them.

In Peru, for example, I saw Primary leaders call children out of the audience to give extemporaneous talks. The first little boy came forward, opened the scriptures, and said, “My favorite scripture is …” Then he read it, and he said, “I believe this is what the Lord was trying to teach us.” He told us what he believed we should do to live the scriptural principle better, and bore his testimony. I thought, “I’ve learned something today. The important things of the gospel are not too deep for children.”

A recent visitor from Leipzig told us of a Primary activity day during which children dramatized scripture stories for members of a ward. Leaders gave them a few costumes and assigned the stories. The children had no scripts, but they knew the stories so well that they were able to ad lib. Their impromptu performance left the audience in tears.

Q: What difficulties do you face in implementing Primary curriculum in a variety of cultures around the world?

A: The challenges of the Primary as an organization stem from inexperience of some of the leaders, which is due to their short tenure in the Church. But we see much intense devotion and dependence on the Lord as they strive to carry out their assignments!

One Primary leader in Australia told me that she had grown up in humble circumstances in another country and did not have the opportunity to learn to read. When she was first called as a Primary teacher, she was embarrassed to admit she couldn’t read, so she would place the open lesson book on her bed. She said: “I would kneel and pray and pray and pray until the Spirit told me in my heart what to teach the children that day.”

I tell this story still emphasizing that the Lord wants us to turn to our manuals, because he wants us to use what we have been given. But with teachers and leaders who commonly show that kind of dependence on the Lord, there’s no limit to the good that can be done for the children.

Q: Teaching children may be a completely new experience for many who are called to positions in Primary. How would you tell them to approach their calling?

A: I would tell them to enjoy children for what they are—just enjoy them. Sometimes children are going to wiggle. They are exploring, they are feeling what life is all about, and that can be disconcerting to adults. But if leaders just sit back and enjoy them, they will be able to influence the children while helping them to control themselves and learn in a positive environment.

Q: Why is that environment so important?

A: What a child feels when he or she comes to Primary will remain in later years. One adult man told me he could only remember two of his Primary teachers by name, and he couldn’t recite a single principle they taught him. But he could remember the great love they felt for him. Because of this love, he had believed everything they taught him and had tried to make it part of his life. We hear stories like that frequently.

The Brethren have been teaching us the importance of ministering to children. Fortunate is the child who learns the gospel at home. But also fortunate is that child who, not learning it at home, feels the touch of something sweet and beautiful at Primary, or who has reinforced at Primary, in a powerful way, something the child has been taught at home.

If Primary could be just the way I’d want it, the children would feel so loved, and feel the Spirit so strongly, that they couldn’t wait to get there. We mortals have to carefully prepare ourselves as leaders to be able to create that kind of experience for children. It may be a lofty goal, but I think it can be done.

Policies and Announcements

The following items appeared in the 1988-1 Bulletin.

Domestic Employment of Young Women (“Nannies”)

A number of Latter-day Saint young women are being solicited to accept positions in domestic employment in response to advertisements in many cities in the United States, Canada, and several other countries. Parents, bishops, and young women are cautioned to examine carefully the contractual obligations, home environment, and opportunities for participation in Church meetings and activities in the proposed employment area. Interviews and preparatory counseling for each young woman are urged as a means of anticipating and averting potential problems.

Young women should be very mature with good self-esteem and firmly rooted in the gospel even to consider this type of employment. Care should be taken to secure and protect the welfare of the young woman. Because of reports obtained from priesthood and other leaders in areas with a large number of nannies, and from nannies themselves, it is suggested that young women not be encouraged to accept positions as nannies.

Commercially Produced Materials

Many inquiries have come to the headquarters of the Church regarding the use of commercially produced instructional materials, including animated scripture videocassettes. Some rumors indicate that these materials are “Church approved.” These materials are neither approved nor disapproved by the Church. However, commercially available materials should not replace the approved curriculum items produced by the Church and available at Church distribution centers.

Scouting

Boy Scouts of America has recently expanded the Webelos program in Cub Scouting to be more than one year. However, Webelos dens sponsored by the Church continue to be a one-year program. Boys in LDS church units will not have difficulty earning the Arrow of Light and Webelos awards in one year, since additional requirements are minimal. Webelos dens sponsored by the Church will continue to follow the overnight camping guidelines found in the Church Scouting Handbook (PBAP0287), and, therefore, leaders should not allow Webelos boys to camp overnight with the Boy Scout troop. For the Outdoorsman activity badge, Latter-day Saint boys should not choose to do requirement number 3 unless it is a fathers’-and-sons’ campout for the Arrow of Light award.

Primary leaders should not look to Boy Scouts of America for interpretation of Church policies regarding Scouting. Primary leaders should carefully study the Church Scouting Handbook to help them understand Church policies regarding Scouting and their own Scouting responsibilities. Using the Church Scouting Handbook, they should orient and train those in Primary Scouting positions to the policies and procedures of Scouting in the Church.

First Presidency Decries Child Abuse

The First Presidency has released the following statement in support of efforts to combat child abuse and strengthen families:

“A great privilege and responsibility of mortal life is bringing children into the world and then nurturing them with love and kindness as they grow to adulthood. Tragically, there are some adults who would physically or emotionally damage these tender souls who trust them.

“To bring the problem of child abuse to the attention of the general public, the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse has designated April as ‘Child Abuse Prevention Month.’ We endorse this designation and encourage Latter-day Saints throughout the Church to work in their communities to help combat this pernicious problem.

“Much good can be accomplished when local communities work together to create a peaceful, safe environment for children. We hope Church members will continue in their efforts to find ways to support and strengthen the family.”

The statement is signed by President Ezra Taft Benson and his Counselors in the First Presidency, President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson.

Appointments

Temple Presidents

Thomas G. Bell of Kensington, Maryland, has been called to preside over the Washington Temple. His wife, LaWana Kay Egbert Bell, will serve as matron. A retired health care association executive vice-president, President Bell has served as a bishop, a high councilor, and a counselor in a mission presidency. Sister Bell has served as a stake and ward Relief Society president.

Regional Representatives

Nice France, Paris France, and Brussels Belgium regions, Denis W. Bonny, integrated circuit layout designer, former stake president.

Kearns Utah and Jordan South Utah regions, Frank M. Bradshaw, Church Educational System administrator, former mission president, and former stake president.

Northern England Region, Peter Burnett, garage proprietor, former stake president.

Granger Utah Region, Spencer J. Condie, university professor, former stake president, mission president, and bishop.

Italy Milan Region, Christian Euvrard, area director for the Church Educational System, former mission president.

Germany Servicemen Region, Donald W. Harris, colonel, U.S. Army; former regional representative, stake president.

Roy Utah and Weber Utah regions, Luan Holley Ferrin, college professor, former stake president.

Alexandria Louisiana, Hattiesburg Mississippi, and New Orleans Louisiana regions, Jeff Jackson Horn, rancher, former stake president.

Lima Peru North Region, Jose M. Jimenez, Church area materials management manager, former patriarch.

Manila and Makati Philippines regions, Delfin T. Justiniano, insurance company senior vice president, former stake president.

South America North Region, Rene Loli, retired furniture business owner, former stake president.

London England Wandsworth Region, Brian Martin, accounting manager for an electronics company, former stake president.

St. George Utah Region, Kenneth Robertson Metcalf, mortuary owner, former mission president.

Valle Hermoso Mexico Region, Benjamin Morales, contractor, former patriarch and stake president.

Piedras Negras Mexico Region, Carlos Moreira, civil engineer, former stake president.

Kowloon Hong Kong Region, Kat Hing Ng, retired, former stake president, stake patriarch.

Bonneville Utah, Millcreek Utah, and Coalville Utah regions, Barlow L. Packer, dentist, former mission president.

Chile South and Talca Chile regions, Benigno H. Pantoja, engineer, former mission president.

Cochabamba Bolivia and Santa Cruz Bolivia regions, Carlos L. Pedraja, institute director, Church Educational System; former stake president.

Utah South Region, Richard Gordon Porter, home builder and realtor, former stake president, mission president, and bishop.

Lima Peru South Region, Teofilo Puertas, regional coordinator, Church Educational System; former stake president.

Vina Del Mar Chile Region, M. Gonzalo Sepulveda, insurance and real estate broker, former counselor in a stake presidency.

Santiago Chile East and Santiago Chile West regions, Hector Verdugo, telephone company employee, former stake president.

Cebu and Legaspi Philippines regions, Reynaldo I. Vergara, names processing supervisor, former stake patriarch, mission president, and bishop.

Montevideo Uruguay and Durazno Uruguay regions, Jorge Washington Ventura, associate area director, Church Educational System; former stake president.

New Music Training Video Makes Conducting Easy

A new music training videotape gives step-by-step instructions on conducting hymns and includes two short presentations on organ fundamentals.

Designed for the beginner, the “How to Conduct a Hymn” segment presents basic information that is also useful to those with more experience. The 42-minute-long presentation demonstrates standard conducting patterns, shows how to begin and end a hymn, and illustrates other techniques required to lead music.

In addition to providing valuable training for ward and stake music directors, this video is also suitable for youth classes, Relief Society classes, prospective missionaries, children’s groups, and families.

Another segment of the new training video is “Organ Fundamentals,” a 16-minute introduction to the organ. Produced in 1972, it offers instruction on effective organ playing, including manual and pedal technique.

“Organ Registration (Your Own Orchestra)” is a 1972 slide presentation adapted for the music training video. This 14-minute segment explains the various stops on the organ, and shows how to register (create effective sound combinations).

The music training video (VNVV042A) is available through the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104. It sells for $6.00.

JobSearch Video Available to Members Seeking Employment

A videocassette training program designed to help those who are experiencing employment difficulties find new jobs is now available to Church members in the United States and Canada.

The program, entitled “JobSearch: The Inside Track,” consists of six videocassettes and six accompanying workbooks that teach effective job-hunting skills. The program was produced by a commercial company with the cooperation of the Church Welfare Services Department.

The program shows members how to prepare to find a new job and presents step-by-step guidelines designed to result in eventual employment. Those following the program learn how to write an effective resume, how to locate jobs that aren’t advertised, and how to be interviewed by potential employers successfully.

Members who are seeking new or better employment can gain access to this self-help program by contacting priesthood or Relief Society leaders, the ward employment specialist, or a member of the bishopric.