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Church Honors Missionaries Who Died in South America

“Missionaries are so dear to the entire Church that when one is lost through death the entire Church grieves,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley at funeral services for Elder Todd Ray Wilson.

“There is not a missionary parent in this Church whose heart is not bleeding and whose eyes have not wept tears over the passing of these two splendid missionaries,” said President Thomas S. Monson at concurrent services for Elder Jeffrey Brent Ball.

Elder Wilson and Elder Ball were killed by terrorists in La Paz, Bolivia, as they returned to their apartment the evening of May 24.

The next day, the First Presidency issued the following statement: “We are grieved to learn of the assassination of two of our missionaries last evening in La Paz, Bolivia. …

“We regret that anyone would think that these representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who have been sent to preach the gospel of peace, would be characterized as enemies of any group.

“They have died as martyrs in the cause of the Lord. We extend our love and sympathy to their families and pray that they may be comforted and sustained in this hour of tragedy.”

Funeral services for the two elders were held on May 30.

President Ezra Taft Benson spoke briefly at the service in Coalville, Utah, honoring Elder Ball. He expressed his love for the elder’s family and for missionary work. “This work has just begun,” he said.

President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, also offered encouragement. “Jeff has gone home. He has gone home to God,” he said. “He’s gone home on a missionary transfer. He is still on his mission; he has not been released. He carries on in the spirit of missionary work. … I think he would say, ‘Do not grieve, Mother. Do not sorrow, Father. I am on the Lord’s errand, and He may do with me as He sees fit.’”

Expressing faith in the Lord’s promises, President Monson said, “The void in the heart and the grieving in the soul can be ameliorated in only one way—and that’s through the intervention of the giver of peace, the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.” And he testified: “As the Lord rose, so shall Jeff Ball rise in the Resurrection and go on toward exaltation in the celestial kingdom. This is my testimony; it is my faith and my belief; it is my knowledge.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Monte J. Brough of the Second Quorum of the Seventy also attended the services for Elder Ball. “We are doing all that we can to understand the nature of this attack,” Elder Ballard said, “but I know Elder Ball and Elder Wilson … would say, ‘Carry on the work in Bolivia and every other nation of the world.’”

At the service in Wellington, Utah, for Elder Wilson, President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of the work the two elders were accomplishing: “What a mission, to bring light and understanding and truth and testimony, and to witness to the sons and daughters of Lehi of their great inheritance. … We wonder why [these deaths] happened. … We can only say that wisdom of God is greater than our wisdom, that mortal life … is only a passing episode in an eternal journey, and that it really doesn’t matter whether we are here for a long time or a short time in this probation.”

“I think as we weep here,” President Hinckley continued, “there will be those who weep with gladness on the other side of the veil. I think particularly Lehi and Sariah and their children and progeny rejoice over the good work of one who tried to lift and help some of their posterity in the land of Bolivia.”

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Russell C. Taylor of the Second Quorum of the Seventy also attended Elder Wilson’s services. “We meet today with sadness and with hope,” said Elder Perry. “Sadness at the loss of a loyal, devoted, and faithful servant of our Father in Heaven, who went willingly into the mission field, taught and trained and lifted, and touched the hearts of thousands as he spread his message of hope and good cheer and the great opportunity of enjoying life eternal to a nation that is so troubled, so much in poverty, with so little hope.”

Four days after the deaths of Elder Ball and Elder Wilson, two lady missionaries in Argentina died of accidental asphyxiation. On May 28, Sister Yunette Harris of Memphis, Tennessee, and Sister Gabriela Maria Cristina Nieva of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, Argentina, died while they slept. Their deaths were caused by fumes from a malfunctioning gas heater.

Elder Waldo P. Call represented the Brethren at the services for Sister Nieva on May 30. Elder Rex D. Pinegar represented the First Presidency at funeral services for Sister Harris on June 4.

Church leaders indicated that the deaths will not hinder missionary work around the world. Elder Perry said that since 1831, only seventeen LDS missionaries have been killed by assassins. “In all those years, just a few have given the ultimate,” he said.

Elder Ballard indicated that of the 447,969 missionaries who have served since the days of Joseph Smith, only 525—about one-tenth of 1 percent—have lost their lives through accident, illness, or other causes while serving. “When you contemplate that number,” he said, “it appears that the safest place to be in the whole world is on a full-time mission.”

“I have every confidence,” said President Monson, “that the work will go forward with even greater acceleration.”

Portland Temple—A Landmark for Northwestern Saints

Mount Hood rises to 11,235 feet just east of Portland, Oregon, providing a spectacular backdrop to the city and a favorite retreat for the area’s 1.4 million residents.

Mount St. Helens, remembered for its devastating volcanic eruption in 1980, is also visible from Portland across the Oregon/Washington border to the north.

Portlanders take great pride in their environment. Nourished by thirty-seven inches of rain a year, the metropolitan area boasts firs and ferns, rhododendrons and roses in amazing abundance. Timber, tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing are major industries in the area.

The wide, slow-moving Willamette and Columbia rivers add to the beauty and the recreation available in this section of the Pacific Northwest.

The newest landmark in the metropolitan area is the Portland Oregon Temple, now completed in the suburban community of Lake Oswego, about ten miles southwest of Portland’s city center.

Portland Oregon Temple

Six temple spires—the highest of which is 170 feet and is topped by a statue of the angel Moroni—can be seen for miles around, towering above the surrounding alder and fir trees. Although motorists on Interstate 5 can see the temple itself only briefly, those who drive to the site and walk the landscaped grounds are overwhelmed at its magnificence.

“People will just stand there and gaze at it,” said Elder Glen B. Lewis of Tucson, Arizona, a full-time missionary who spends evenings and weekends answering visitors’ questions at the temple grounds. “They are really overcome by the beauty of it. They comment on how well it sits in its environment and fits in with the trees.”

The land the temple stands on was purchased by the Church thirty years ago. Ground breaking on the 7.29-acre site took place on 20 September 1986, by President Gordon B. Hinckley, two years after plans for the temple were announced.

The Portland Temple, the Church’s forty-second temple, is constructed of white Vermont marble with green Vermont slate on the roof and as trim. Dark-stained mahogany borders the windows and doors inside, with gold- and silver-leaf detailing throughout. Its 82,000 square feet include four ordinance rooms, fourteen sealing rooms, a baptistry, a celestial room, offices, a cafeteria, and a nursery.

“It is a masterpiece of workmanship,” said Daniel M. Florea, an Oregon artist and hotel designer. Although he is not LDS, he feels that the structure “signifies all that is good in expressions of a love of God. It shows that people who make up the Mormon Church are really trying to be the best they can be and will not be second-best in their architecture, in the quality of the materials they use, or in their lives.”

The enthusiasm of local members is also strong, not only for the structure itself, but also for what it means in their lives.

“People have called and offered to work in the temple,” said Lorin Edward (Ted) Perry, temple president. “I ask them how often they can come, and they’ll say, ‘Every day.’”

The experiences they will have in the temple, he said, “will make them better people, more tolerant, more understanding, and better neighbors and members of the community.”

Harrison McKnight, a berry farmer and a bishop in Troutdale, a suburban community east of Portland, said he saw an increase in spirituality in his ward as the temple neared completion.

“This is motivating those who used to hold recommends to start preparing themselves so they can go to the temple,” he said. “Two young couples in my ward are preparing to go to be sealed, and people who were not committed to paying tithing have started being faithful.”

Julie Pottratz, a mother of four, remembers the times they made a fourteen-hour trip to Oakland, California, to do temple work. “We thought the three-hour drive to Seattle was great [since its 1980 opening], but to have a temple in our own backyard is like a dream.”

It may also have been a dream to missionaries who came to Oregon in the 1850s. Their early proselyting efforts spawned resistance from mobs and a local weekly newspaper.

The local legislature even considered a bill to exclude Mormons, among others, from the territory. But the bill was tabled, and members and missionaries came.

The Northwestern States Mission was established in July 1897; it included Oregon, Washington, northern Idaho, and northern Montana. At that time, fewer than eight hundred members of the Church lived in the mission.

The first Portland branch was created in 1899, the first chapel was built in 1915, and the first Portland stake was formed in June 1938—with 2,583 members from southwest Washington and western Oregon alone.

Now, fifty-one years later, more than 90,000 members live in the Portland Oregon Temple district, including twenty-nine Oregon stakes and four south Washington stakes. More than 1,580 people were baptized in a recent seventeen-month period.

“Ninety-two percent of all baptisms are member referrals,” said J. Samuel Park, who completed his assignment as president of the Oregon Portland Mission in July. Two hundred full-time missionaries are “unified and working harmoniously” with some 950 stake missionaries, he said. “That’s where the success comes—the stake missionaries know people. The Lord has prepared and will continue to prepare the way. People are accepting the Church here—our missionaries are busy and active.”

Only a few months ago, Lisa C. Carpenter was baptized into the Church. A high-school senior at the time, she had learned about the Church from her friends in Damascus, a rural community east of Portland. “It has made a tremendous difference in my life,” she said.

Sharon J. Poyfair, a convert of twenty-six years, is now serving a stake mission in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband, a former stake president. As a child, she had no religious upbringing; now she is grateful for the gospel, which has provided “guidelines to go by” for her family of eight children.

Marcia Tracy, Relief Society president in the Portland Sixteenth Ward, Portland Oregon East Stake, has been a member of the Church all her life. “The Church has taught me values and has given me strength and understanding,” she said.

A three-week open house was held at the temple from June 15 through July 8. Eleven dedicatory sessions will be held from August 19 through 21, the first of which will include a cornerstone ceremony. The temple will officially open in mid-September.

Louise R. Shaw is public communications director in the Lake Oswego Oregon Stake.

Plans for Hotel Utah Announced

Since 1987, when the 76-year-old Hotel Utah ceased operations, many people have asked Church leaders about its future.

The First Presidency recently answered many of those questions when they announced details of extensive renovation and remodeling plans for the historic building in downtown Salt Lake City.

Speaking on behalf of the First Presidency, Bishop Robert D. Hales, Presiding Bishop of the Church, described the extent of those plans. The building will house a chapel and a number of public facilities—including a 500-seat large-screen theater for Temple Square visitors, a family history center with more than one hundred computer stations for genealogical research, facilities for catered receptions and meetings, and a restaurant. Several floors will be converted to Church departmental offices.

Major exterior work has already been completed, including restoring the stained glass in the lobby skylight; restoring and replacing ornamental cornices, brick masonry, and roofing; and placing a new beehive and flagpole atop the building.

After architectural specifications are completed, bids for a general contractor will be let. The construction is expected to take two years and will include replacing all electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and mechanical systems in the building, plus energy conservation measures such as double-glazed windows. Every effort will be made to preserve the building’s historic appearance, even though walls and floors will be strengthened and the structure will be seismically braced in order to meet current city earthquake code requirements.

The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 1992.

[illustrations] Plans for the Hotel Utah feature a tenth-floor garden reception area (top) and a chapel. (Architectural renderings by James Porter, for FFKR Architecture.)

Jerusalem Center Dedicated

Brigham Young University’s newly completed Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies was dedicated on 16 May 1989 by President Howard W. Hunter, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and a member of BYU’s Board of Trustees.

The dedication took place in a private ceremony in the center’s auditorium. In attendance were President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the First Quorum of the Seventy; and personnel of the BYU Center. Also attending were Jerusalem city officials, who have expressed pleasure in the beauty of the center.

A year earlier, on 18 May 1988, President Hunter, representing BYU’s Board of Trustees, signed a renewable 49-year lease for the center. Also signing the lease was Jeffrey R. Holland, then president of BYU.

The new center is located on Mt. Scopus, next to the Mount of Olives. It houses classrooms, lecture halls, an auditorium, a cafeteria, dormitories, a gymnasium, and laundry facilities for BYU students studying in Jerusalem.

BYU’s Jerusalem Center

BYU’s Jerusalem Center, top, left of center, houses classrooms, an auditorium, a cafeteria, dormitories, and a gymnasium. (Photo by Brent Harker.)

Thai Officials Visit Church Leaders and Sites

The First Presidency met with thirteen Thai government officials and their wives in Salt Lake City, March 22. Mr. Sudlabha, adviser to the prime minister, and Mr. Siriwat, secretary to the minister of education, presented President Ezra Taft Benson with a statue of two Thai warriors riding an elephant. The statue represented Thai art and history.

The government representatives were on a ten-day tour to meet Church leaders and to visit Church and community sites in Utah, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. “The purpose of the trip,” said W. Boyd Christensen, director of Church Hosting, “was to improve appreciation and understanding between Thailand and the Church.” President Anan Eldredge of the Thailand Bangkok Mission and his first counselor, Chin Ngam-akson, accompanied the officials.

In Utah, the group visited Temple Square, the Family History Museum, the Museum of Church History and Art, Brigham Young University, the state capitol, and Snowbird ski resort. In several meetings with General Authorities and with the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary general presidencies, the officials learned more about the Church.

In Los Angeles, the officials visited the Los Angeles Temple Visitors’ Center and several chapels. In Hawaii, the group attended LDS worship services on Sunday and visited the Hawaii Temple grounds, the BYU—Hawaii campus, and the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Indian Sisters Blossom as a Rose in the Desert

“We have to teach our children so that we know that they know. We have to be sure that our children understand what we say, and that we say it clearly. You have a great future because of your children.” This was the counsel Joy F. Evans, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, gave Native American sisters in Utah and Arizona recently.

At the request of the Area Presidency, Sister Evans and Relief Society General Board member Carol Cooper spent two weeks in June visiting with Indian sisters in the North America Southwest Area to assess their needs and provide leadership training.

As a result of the meetings, the Relief Society leaders learned that although sisters in the area face unique challenges in spanning cultures and languages, they are also a devoted people who have great faith in the Lord.

Navajo Mary Tunney is representative of those who face these challenges. A convert who speaks only Navajo, she comes every Sunday to the Cameron (Arizona) Branch and listens to Church services in a language she does not understand. She does so because “It feels good to me.”

Sister Tunney doesn’t know exactly how old she is because records were not kept when she was born, but her brother estimates that she is in her seventies. Dressed in traditional clothing, with her long hair in a single braid, Sister Tunney herds about fifty sheep and goats daily.

Nadine Campbell, Page Arizona Stake Relief Society president, notes, “Sister Tunney may not be able to explain the doctrine or organization of the Church, but she is very devoted.” About two years ago, Sister Tunney received her temple recommend and decided to go to the Arizona Temple. She asked someone to tend her flocks, walked to the trading post, and caught a ride with a person who took her as far as a ward in Flagstaff. She stayed there all day until a Church member came along and helped her continue her journey.

When Sister Tunney arrived at the temple, a Navajo guide was found for her. She stayed and did ordinance work for two days and then caught a ride back to the reservation.

“I want to go back this winter,” Sister Tunney explains, “but I will have to find someone to take care of my herd before I can go.”

“The traditional Navajos have a testimony and feel the Spirit,” says Sister Campbell, but the second generation are adding leadership abilities to testimony.

Many of the leaders among them learned the gospel and observed leadership skills in Anglo homes while they were students in the Church’s Indian Student Placement program. Now they see the fruits of their commitment to the Church in the lives of their children.

“My experience on placement helped me learn to be more caring and loving to others, and it helped me appreciate who I am,” says Marilyn Bryant, now second counselor in the Relief Society presidency of the Page Fourth Ward, Page Arizona Stake. “Everyone is a child of God. Just by learning that, I knew that I was capable of doing a lot of things I hadn’t done before.”

Martha Lane joined the Church while attending school in Richfield, Utah. As a parent of teenagers, she observes, “Most of our Navajo LDS kids are leaders in our high school. They get leadership experience in the Church; that helps them gain confidence and get recognition in school.” She attributes some of their success to seeing the example of their parents.

Bessie Marks lived with her grandparents at Dinnebito Dam, Arizona, until she was about ten. Her medicine-man grandfather, Cowboy T. Begay, was impressed with the LDS elders, and when Bessie went to boarding school in Tuba City, he told officials she would attend LDS services. Bessie’s cousins were all involved in the placement program, and she wanted to go, too. Her grandfather gave her permission, but cautioned her, “Learn all the good things, but don’t forget your heritage or forsake the good things you’ve been taught.”

Her grandfather’s teachings prepared Bessie to accept the gospel. He told her of a great flood that covered the earth and of the people building a tower to reach the Holy One and having their languages confused as punishment. “He told me about the day when the Holy Person was born, when the sun didn’t go down, and about another time when there were thunder and lightning and it got dark for two or three days. Later, when I read the scriptures, I came across many of the same stories my grandfather told me. It all seemed to mesh, and accepting the gospel was a natural thing.”

Now Bessie and her husband, Harry, active in the Page (Arizona) Second Ward, keep a foot in both the old and new worlds. The couple’s parents are traditional Navajos and speak no English. When the Markses visit, they sleep in a hogan without electricity or running water, and their children take a turn at herding the family flock. “My children see what the old ways are,” Sister Marks explains, “but their lives are very different. Because of the gospel, my children have knowledge to overcome superstitions. They have a different outlook because they are learning the truth.”

For many faithful Native Americans, spiritual experiences are common. “As problems come up, you pray about them; situations change, and life moves on,” explains one sister.

Elva Marks, Bessie Marks’s mother-in-law, died in April 1989. She was a medicine woman. Such women conduct some of the shorter ceremonies and are called “hand tremblers.” “One time my mother-in-law’s arm was hurting her, and she could not perform ceremonies,” Sister Marks relates. “She asked the Spirit why that was happening, because she used her arms and hands to make her living. She said the Spirit told her to put her medicine bag away and pick up the scriptures. They would be of more help to her than her arms. When the missionaries came and brought the scriptures, she recognized them right away and accepted the gospel.”

Another sister relates a time when her marriage and family were “falling apart. My life was in pretty bad shape,” she says. “But I wanted to save my marriage, and I prayed about it and asked God for a miracle. I was impressed to return to the LDS church, but it took a year of working in Primary for the Spirit to really change my heart and for me to know that I was where the Lord wanted me. I learned how to rely on the Lord, to have faith. He was all I had; everything else was falling apart. Then I had a desire to help others who were having trouble finding their way.”

A member of the Tuba City Ward, Mae Wilson recounts a time when coyotes were raiding her mother’s sheep. They became so bold that they would go into the corral and drag a sheep out. “My mother asked my husband—who was a branch president at that time—to use his priesthood to dedicate the place,” says Sister Wilson. “In the blessing he said that he knew that the Lord made the coyotes, and he asked the Lord to send them somewhere else to get their food. My mother had no more trouble with coyotes bothering her sheep.”

This faith in God, so much a part of life for these LDS sisters in the North America Southwest Area, might best be summed up in Sister Wilson’s words: “I know that the Lord is real because he has helped us so many times.”

DeLynn Decker teaches Sunday School in the Pleasant View Fifth Ward in Provo, Utah.

High Tech Helps Hold Down Magazine Costs

As your Church magazines came in the mail recently, you probably couldn’t help noticing the part that major technological advancements are playing in magazine production.

Unless you live in the British Isles, Australia, or New Zealand, your magazines probably came in a polywrap plastic bag, with the address printed directly on the back cover of one of them.

If you live in the British Isles, Australia, or New Zealand, you are or soon will be receiving your magazines earlier because your address is now part of a computer data bank maintained in your own country.

Advances in technology are not only helping to bring Church magazines to your home sooner, they are helping to keep production costs—and thus magazine subscription prices—down.

The unique polywrap-bagging machine now in use at the Salt Lake Printing Center was specially designed for the Church’s magazine production operations. It helps cut costs by grouping the magazines that come to your home. Directed by a tape produced by another computer, the computerized polywrap-bagger sorts copies into your personal shipment according to whether you subscribe to one, two, or three of the Church magazines. Then an ink-jet printer prints your address on the back of the last magazine in your stack.

The machine heat-seals your stack of magazines into its individual polywrap pouch and binds the pouch into a bundle sorted for your United States or Canadian Zip or postal code. Some bundles are even sorted for your individual mail carrier’s route. (Canadian readers’ magazines are sent by truck to western Canada and put into the national mail system to speed delivery.)

The polywrap bag protects the magazines, and the ink-jet printing is much cheaper than the old process of printing, cutting, and gluing individual paper labels for each magazine. In their plastic pouch, two or three magazines go into the mail as one “piece,” thus cutting postage costs.

Church magazines going to Australia, New Zealand, and the British Isles are sent via air freight, not by mail. Computerized subscription records are now maintained in each of these three countries, and address labels generated by the computer are pasted on individual magazines. These are then sent through the national mail system, so the magazines arrive at your home much faster.

Computerization of subscription records in the British Isles, Australia, and New Zealand also makes it possible for local magazine representatives to handle subscription campaigns and to respond to individual readers’ needs more efficiently.

[photos] Magazines are heat-sealed into polywrap pouches (inset). (Photos by Philip S. Shurtleff.)

Appointments

Temple Presidents

J. Elliot Cameron of Salt Lake City has been called to preside over the Provo Temple. His wife, Maxine Petty Cameron, will serve as temple matron. President Cameron has been serving as commissioner of the Church Educational System. His previous Church callings include regional representative, stake president, and bishop.

The new president of the Atlanta Georgia Temple will be A. Harold Goodman, of Provo, Utah. His wife, Naomi F. Goodman, will be temple matron. President Goodman has previously served in the Church as chairman of the Church Music Department, as a mission president, and as a stake president.

Conrad V. Hatch of Cedar City, Utah, has been called as the new president of the St. George Temple. His wife, Elva Oldroyd Hatch, will serve as matron. President Hatch has served as a regional representative, a stake president, and a bishop.

Roger L. Pugmire of Littleton, Colorado, will be the new president of the Denver Colorado Temple. His wife, JoAnne Thompson Pugmire, will serve as temple matron. President Pugmire is a former counselor in a temple presidency, stake high councilor, and counselor in a bishopric.

Max L. Willis of Mesa, Arizona, has been called as president of the Santiago Chile Temple. His wife, Amy Luella Erickson Willis, will be temple matron. President Willis has previously served as a regional representative, a mission president, and a bishop.

Regional Representatives

Adelaide Australia and Perth Australia regions, Geoffrey J. Liddicoat, media executive, former stake president, former bishop.

Bountiful Utah and Val Verda Utah regions, Stephen D. Nadauld, college president, former bishop, former counselor in a stake presidency.

Custer Idaho, Rigby Idaho, and Shelley Idaho regions, Robert M. Wilkes, college faculty member, former stake president, former bishop.

Mission President

Joseph Fielding McConkie of Orem, Utah, a professor of ancient scripture at BYU, has been called to preside over the Scotland Edinburgh Mission. He and his wife, Brenda K. McConkie, have nine children, eight of whom will accompany them in this assignment.

Primary General Board

Karen B. Lofgreen of Ogden, Utah, a professor of education, has served previously as a stake Relief Society president and as a Young Women activities counselor.

Virginia H. Pearce of Salt Lake City, a therapist at a counseling center, is a former counselor in a Relief Society presidency and a former Young Women adviser.

Bonnie M. Winterton of Salt Lake City, an adjunct associate professor of music, has served as a stake choir director and a Young Women teacher.

Sigma Gamma Chi Vice Presidents

Sigma Gamma Chi, the Church-sponsored college fraternity for men, has announced the calls of two national vice presidents:

William C. Loos of Salt Lake City, director of governmental relations at a university, is a former bishop, high councilor, and Young Men president.

Wayne S. Peterson of Salt Lake City, president of a real estate development firm, has served previously as a mission president, a stake president, and a bishop.

Policies and Announcements

The following letter, dated 25 May 1989, was sent to priesthood leaders. It was signed by the First Presidency:

Unwed Parents

Priesthood and auxiliary leaders are again encouraged to renew their efforts to teach ward and stake members the importance of living chaste and virtuous lives. We have noted with concern an increase in the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

Unwed parents should be counseled to marry and establish a family. Of course, this may not always be feasible. In the latter case, priesthood leaders should not make the parent feel that it is necessary to keep the infant as part of the repentance process or out of an obligation to care for his/her own. Placing the infant for adoption through LDS Social Services is preferred. Where LDS Social Services is not available, efforts should be made to encourage placement through a legally authorized agency.

An unwed parent who determines to keep the child should be treated with compassion and concern, and is encouraged to have the child given a name and a blessing. (See General Handbook of Instructions, 1989, page 5-1.)

Young women seventeen and older who have babies out of wedlock and who choose to keep the child should be welcomed into Relief Society. For young women under seventeen in similar circumstances, you are encouraged to review the Bulletin, 1988–1, page 1, “Young Women Who Are Pregnant Out of Wedlock.”

May you seek the guidance of the Lord when dealing with these serious and sensitive issues.

Update: Number of Converts Baptized

In the last five years, 1,090,632 converts were baptized into the Church. Convert baptisms rose from 192,983 in 1984 to 256,515 in 1988. These figures are separate from figures for children of record who were baptized. The latter baptisms have remained fairly stable—between 69,000 to 75,000 a year. During the five-year period, the number of full-time missionaries also rose from 27,655 in 1984 to 36,132 in 1988—an increase of nearly 31 percent. Overall, Church membership increased from 5,650,000 in 1984 to 6,720,000 in 1988. Convert baptisms alone accounted for a 19-percent increase in membership.

Converts Baptized 1984–88

1984

192,983

1985

197,640

1986

216,210

1987

227,284

1988

256,515

[photo] Photo by Longin Lonczyna, Jr.

International Academic Group Moving to BYU

The International Studies Association, a worldwide scholarly network representing about three thousand individuals and fifty-eight member countries, is planning to move its headquarters to Brigham Young University for a five-year term.

When the ISA moves in 1990, W. Ladd Hollist, a professor of political science at BYU, will become its executive director. Other staff members will be assigned to help Brother Hollist, on a full-time and half-time basis. The ISA offices will be located in the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.

Brother Hollist said the ISA is organized into several research sections. Scholars interested in international law, political economy, education, environment, foreign policy, and other topics can work together through the organization.

Originally a North American organization, the ISA has developed over the past decade into a global institution. Among its member nations are the People’s Republic of China, Turkey, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, the German Democratic Republic, Israel, and the Republic of Korea.

Ray Hillam, director of the Kennedy Center, said the ISA move to BYU will give the LDS school “instant worldwide recognition as a university that is serious about scholarship in international studies.”