First Presidency Calls Three New General Authorities
On 5 December 1990, the First Presidency announced the appointment of three brethren to the Quorums of the Seventy. The new General Authorities began their assignments on 1 January 1991.
The three brethren are Earl C. Tingey, of Bountiful, Utah, called to the First Quorum of the Seventy; Rulon G. Craven, of Centerville, Utah, called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy; and W. Mack Lawrence, of Holladay, Utah, also called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
With Church membership now exceeding 7.5 million members in more than 125 nations and territories, the Seventy serve under the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in administering Church affairs worldwide. Among other callings, some of the Seventy serve as Executive Directors of departments at Church headquarters, while others serve in Area Presidencies in twenty geographical areas around the world.
These latest callings bring the number serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy to thirty-four, including the Presidency of the Seventy.
The number in the Second Quorum of the Seventy is thirty-eight, for a total of seventy-two serving in the Seventy. Thirty-three are serving in Area Presidencies outside the U.S. and Canada.
Elder Earl C. Tingey
Earl C. Tingey chose law as a career not only because it promised to be personally satisfying but also because he felt it would allow him time and means to serve his Church and community.
Through the years, he found opportunities to serve in both areas, but now he is experiencing another kind of service as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Brother Tingey was associate general legal counsel for Kennecott Corporation when he was called as a General Authority on November 29.
Elder Tingey has served in the Church all of his adult life. “I can’t recall when I didn’t have a testimony,” he says. “But it has grown with experience.”
His experience has been ample. At age twenty-nine, he was called as bishop of the Manhattan Ward, in New York City, in 1964. Later, he served as a counselor to the president of the Eastern States Mission and then as president of the Australia East (now Australia Sydney) Mission. The time in Australia was something of a homecoming, since he had served his first mission there as a young man.
After serving as mission president, he was a regional representative for eight years—four in the eastern United States, and four in Utah. He served as a counselor to the president of the Utah North Mission and then as a counselor to the president of the Utah Ogden Mission before his call as a General Authority.
For a time after his release as a regional representative, he taught a Sunday School class of fifteen-year-olds. It was a satisfying opportunity to see the gospel work at this all-important level, he recalls. For him, joy in Church service comes through “the satisfaction of knowing that someone may be helped by something I did.”
Elder Tingey’s wife, Joanne, comments that “he never tires of Church service. I think that’s probably his greatest strength” as a leader. She adds that she learned early in their marriage to respect the great wisdom he shows in his Church callings.
He in turn calls his wife an extremely insightful person, whose counsel he respects. In addition to her strengths as a mother, he says, she also has a strong background in Church service. She has been president of ward Primary and Young Women organizations and has served in a Relief Society presidency, in a stake Primary presidency, and on an activities committee. Currently, she teaches the sixteen-year-olds in Sunday School.
Earl Carr Tingey grew up in a family where Church service was an accepted way of life. He was born on 11 June 1934 in Bountiful, Utah, the oldest of the ten children of William W. Tingey and Sylvia Carr.
He met Joanne Wells of Logandale, Nevada, in 1959 while he was attending law school at the University of Utah (where he earned a Juris Doctor degree) and she was teaching school in Provo, Utah. They were married on 17 June 1960 in the St. George Temple. They are the parents of four children—Tricia (Kamba), Bill, Julie (Gainer), and Alan—and grandparents of eight grandchildren.
Following their marriage, Brother Tingey served for three years in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps, stationed in New York City. After his army service, he stayed there and worked as a corporation attorney while earning a master of corporate law degree from New York University. He went to work for Kennecott when he and his family returned to Bountiful in 1980.
His community service has included three years as president of the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America, from whom he received the Silver Beaver Award. He has also served on the University of Utah Alumni Board and the National Advisory Board of the Utah Symphony.
Elder Tingey is looking forward to service in his new calling, recognizing that it will require him to stretch as never before. “The magnitude of the call sinks in quickly,” but what is important is one’s attitude in accepting it, he explains. “I’ve always had the feeling that whatever call we receive, if we accept it willingly, the Lord will make us equal to it.”
Elder Rulon G. Craven
“I enjoy leadership and administrative work,” says Elder Rulon G. Craven, one of two new members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. “I can remember as a young man praying that I might qualify myself to serve the Lord.”
Now, after a lifetime of Church service, Elder Craven is still grateful for his opportunities to serve the Lord.
Elder Craven is the oldest of Gerald and Susie Schultz Craven’s four children. Though born in Murray, Utah, on 11 November 1924, he grew up in Boise, Idaho. When the United States became involved in World War II, young Rulon, not able to get into the regular services because he was twenty-two pounds below the minimum weight, joined the Merchant Marines.
“While I was in the service, I read the Book of Mormon and fell in love with its truth,” says Elder Craven of the beginnings of his testimony of the gospel. His testimony continued to grow during his two years of military service, which included participation in the invasion of the Philippine Islands, as he saw his life preserved just as he had been promised in his patriarchal blessing.
Upon his return to Boise, Rulon talked with his bishop about serving a mission. He experienced spiritual growth again as he served in New Zealand among the Maori people, learning the Maori language by reading the Book of Mormon continually.
After his mission, Rulon attended Brigham Young University, where he met and married Donna Lunt, daughter of Heaton and Chloe Haws Lunt of Duncan, Arizona, on 23 March 1953 in the Arizona Temple. Currently residents of Centerville, Utah, Elder and Sister Craven are the parents of six children: four boys—Gerald, Ronald, Brent, and Dallen; and two girls—RaDawn (Mehr), and Terie Lee, who died at seven weeks of age.
Upon his graduation from BYU, Brother Craven began a twenty-year career at Brigham Young University as director of the Off-Campus Housing Program. He eventually became administrative assistant for business.
His Church leadership service also began during his years at BYU, where, as a student, Rulon served first in the BYU Branch, then as the bishop of the BYU married ward, and later as a member of the BYU Sixth Stake presidency. From 1967 to 1970, the Cravens took their young family to New Zealand, where Elder Craven served as president of the New Zealand North Mission (now the New Zealand Auckland Mission). He has also served for many years as a regional representative. In June 1974, the Presiding Bishopric extended a call to Brother Craven to serve as the director of the Aaronic Priesthood programs.
In April 1977, President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve, asked Brother Craven to serve as secretary to the Quorum of the Twelve.
“Working with the Twelve has been a marvelous experience for me,” says Elder Craven. “It has increased my testimony considerably, not only of the gospel of Jesus Christ but of living prophets.”
Organized and methodical, Elder Craven, who considers writing his hobby, is the author of four books on missionary work, leadership, and gospel principles. He also writes a monthly letter to his children entitled Eternal Perspective.
Family togetherness is important to the Cravens, who have always enjoyed discussing the gospel as they gather around the dining-room table with their children, and now with their children’s spouses and their fourteen grandchildren. Family home evening has always been a big part of their lives as they learn, play, and grow together.
General conference weekends are a time of gathering for the Cravens, who, after the last session, share a potluck supper, discuss conference, and set goals based on the direction given by the Brethren.
“Once you’ve made the decision that you’re going to live the gospel,” says Donna, “you don’t make that decision again on a daily basis—you just do it every day.”
Elder Craven speaks for his family when he says, “We love each other, and we love to serve the Lord.”
Elder W. Mack Lawrence
It’s an interesting sight—Elder W. Mack Lawrence walking along the street with a string of grandchildren trailing behind him. It happens every Sunday, and the neighbors often comment about the “Pied Piper” and his faithful little following.
“Our family is the most important thing in the world to him,” remarks Elder Lawrence’s wife, Jackie. “He calls our grandchildren the greatest dividend he’s ever received. He’s devoted.”
The things Elder Lawrence is devoted to are carefully considered and chosen. But when his priorities are established, Elder Lawrence works hard to succeed.
That success can be seen in his thirty-nine years with US West Communications, where he has progressed from his first job as a “nickel shagger” (the person responsible for gathering coins from pay telephones) to his assignment as the company’s Utah vice president and chief executive officer.
Elder Lawrence has also succeeded in his efforts at community service. Most recently, he was chairman of the building fund campaign for the recently completed Primary Children’s Medical Center. He is a member of the board of directors of the Utah Symphony. And he has served as chairman of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the executive committee of the Utah Foundation.
“I think it’s very important for all of us to become involved in our communities and to work at making them better places to live and raise our families,” the newly called member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy explains. “President Kimball once said that we have no right to complain about what’s happening in our community unless we’re involved. I’ve tried to follow that counsel.”
Born on 28 October 1926 in Salt Lake City, W. Mack Lawrence was Richard S. and Thelma McKenzie Lawrence’s oldest child. When Mack was in the fourth grade, the family moved to Provo, where Mack later graduated from Provo High. After serving in the military forces during World War II, Mack enrolled at the University of Utah, where he began dating Jackie Young, a friend from his high school days.
After a two-year engagement, the couple married in the Salt Lake Temple on 15 June 1949, the day after Sister Lawrence graduated with a degree in sociology. Elder Lawrence graduated a year later with a business degree.
Brother Lawrence was then hired by the telephone company, and the family, which eventually included three children—Craig, Deborah (Ohlson), and Pam (Castleton)—spent their early years in several cities—Salt Lake City, Provo, and Denver—as Brother Lawrence steadily advanced within the company. Eventually, the Lawrences settled in Salt Lake City, where Brother Lawrence continued to devote himself to his family and the Church.
“That’s really all there is,” he points out. “Family and church—those two things are the things that matter, the things that last.”
“We had a great bishop, O. Leslie Goates,” recalls Elder Lawrence. “It was through his caring, loving, patient influence that I began to recognize that to truly gain happiness, you need to be involved in the Church and living the gospel.”
It was his calling as a stake missionary that gave Brother Lawrence an opportunity to share his newfound knowledge with others. He has continued to share the gospel in callings as stake mission president’s counselor, bishop, high councilor, and regional representative.
“Mack is a people person,” notes Sister Lawrence. “He is patient with others and brings out their best. He knows how to get others involved.”
Those abilities will serve Elder Lawrence well as he continues to share his testimony as a new General Authority.
“It’s hard to put in words, to record on paper. But I know the gospel is true,” he testifies. “I want to share that with others so they can find peace and happiness and purpose in life.
“There’s no one secret to helping others and sharing the gospel,” he continues. “It’s a continual, loving, patient process. It’s an arm around a shoulder, both figuratively and literally. That’s how we build the kingdom. That’s how we do the Lord’s work.”
Seek and Follow Savior, President Monson Counsels
“May we seek him. May we find him. May we follow him,” said President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, in the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on December 2.
He urged those who desire the peace that is possible through Christ’s atonement to follow Him throughout the year.
To the delight of all present in the Tabernacle on Temple Square and the many watching the televised proceedings, President Ezra Taft Benson presided at the devotional, which was conducted by President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency. The devotional was broadcast by satellite to stake centers throughout the United States and Canada, and rebroadcast in Utah via KBYU, Channel 11, later in the evening.
Music was provided by the Tabernacle Choir, and the audience joined in singing selected Christmas carols.
President Monson began by recalling a recent visit to the home of President and Sister Benson, where he felt the spirit of Christmas.
Reviewing events of the year that has passed since the last First Presidency devotional, President Monson said that this is a time to pray for peace in the Middle East. He noted that the Berlin Wall is no more, and that the borders of many central European countries are now open, allowing the Church to enter. “The work of God moves forward. The gospel of Jesus Christ blesses countless lives.”
President Monson reminded listeners that the supreme gift to be remembered at the Christmas season is the Savior’s sacrifice for us, so that we might be redeemed. In the same spirit in which Jesus gave, we can find greater rewards in the season if we concentrate not on getting but on giving.
He spoke of numerous ways in which people commonly give as the spirit of Christmas touches their hearts—by extending help to the needy, by reaching out compassionately to those who hurt inside, even by unexpectedly extending mercy or friendship.
“When we have the spirit of Christmas, we remember him whose birth it commemorates,” President Monson said. He reviewed scriptural prophecies and accounts of Christ’s birth and mission, and pointed out that the Savior gave his life in the service of others.
“As we follow in his footsteps, we, too, will have the opportunity to bless the lives of others,” President Monson said. But he cautioned that our opportunities are “perishable”—quickly gone if we do not take advantage of them. He told of the anguish of Marley’s ghost, in the Dickens tale A Christmas Carol, who lamented neglecting his opportunities to help others while he was in mortality. When the frightened Ebenezer Scrooge attempted to console him with the thought that at least he had been a good man of business, Marley replied, “Mankind was my business!”
President Monson urged each of his listeners to make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, so that we may come to know the Christ.
Church Equalizes Costs for Single U.S. and Canadian Missionaries
The First Presidency has announced a change in the cost of maintaining missionaries who are called from the United States and Canada. The new procedure was explained in a letter, dated 20 November 1990, that was sent to local and regional Church leaders to be read in sacrament meetings.
“We express our sincere appreciation to all who contribute generously in time and money to missionary service,” the letter, which was signed by the First Presidency, began. “This service, given in response to a divine commandment, has, from the earliest days of the Church, involved individual and family sacrifice.
“Such sacrifice, on the part of families and others, has been willingly made in the past and must continue to be the basis of our worldwide missionary program.
“Now, in recent months there has arisen a serious concern over the great and growing disparity in the cost of missions in various areas of the world, with some missions at present costing as little as $100 per month and others as much as $750, placing a highly disproportionate burden on some families and wards.
“After prayerful consideration and much study, we have determined to equalize the contributions required to maintain a missionary regardless of where he or she may serve.
“Beginning January 1, 1991, the amount required to cover the service-related expenses of a single missionary called from the United States or Canada will be U.S. $350 or Canadian $400 regardless of where the missionary serves. These figures may be adjusted in the future as circumstances change. This procedure will not apply to missionary couples.
“Under this new procedure the ward bishop will be responsible to see that funds are available to meet the requirements of the missionaries called and sent from his ward. These funds will come, as in the past, from (1) contributions which the individual missionary may make, (2) contributions by parents, families, and friends, (3) contributions by ward members generally who will be urged to contribute to the ward Missionary Fund as well as to the General Missionary Fund.
“We ask that bishops be sensitive to the financial circumstances of those who presently are contributing less than $350 per month for the maintenance of a missionary, and who will be unable to increase their contributions. Other members of the ward may be urged to contribute to assist in these circumstances.
“The ward missionary account will be drawn upon by the Finance Department at Church headquarters, according to the number of missionaries representing that ward in the various missions of the Church.”
Typhoon Buffets Philippines, Floods Hit Washington
When Typhoon Mike hit the Philippines early in November, one Church member was killed, one injured, and more than fourteen hundred LDS families saw their homes damaged or destroyed.
In the northwestern United States, heavy rains in Washington brought flooding on the weekend of November 24, and more than forty LDS families were among those forced out of their homes.
In the Philippines, more than one hundred people died as a result of the typhoon; many of them were aboard ships that sunk in Cebu Harbor.
Property damage was extensive, and thousands of Filipinos were evacuated from their homes. The storm, with winds reaching 175 miles per hour, battered the islands of Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Negros, and Panay in the central Philippines, as well as the Palau Islands.
Reports on damage to Church property were still coming in weeks after the storm, but at least nine meetinghouses received minor to moderate damage. The Cebu mission home, vacant and up for sale, suffered extensive damage.
Temporary evacuation centers were established in at least fourteen LDS meetinghouses. These centers housed a total of approximately two hundred families, many of them people of other faiths.
Immediately following the storm, local priesthood leaders went to work distributing food to members where it was needed and organizing work crews to help in cleanup efforts.
Leaders reported that many of the fourteen hundred damaged or destroyed homes belonging to members were small structures made of native materials and can be replaced quickly. Nevertheless, many members will need help from the government or the Church to rebuild or make repairs.
In western Washington state, heavy rains brought flooding just after Thanksgiving. It was reported that twenty rivers overflowed their banks, five of them setting all-time high-water marks. More than three thousand people left their homes because of the flooding.
Among them were more than forty LDS families from the Mt. Vernon Washington, Marysville Washington, Renton Washington, and Renton Washington North stakes.
Most of them were back in their homes or had moved to new locations within two weeks. Some of those returning to their homes still faced major repairs or cleanup jobs.
There was no reported damage to Church property, but a leased storehouse in Mt. Vernon was flooded. Volunteers moved commodities in the storehouse to a higher level, however, preventing flood damage to the items in storage.
The needs of members whose property was damaged were largely met locally, without calling on Church assistance. But mattresses were sent by the Church to a few families in the Renton North stake.
During the flooding, Latter-day Saints joined thousands of others in their communities in sandbagging and other efforts to control the rising waters, as well as in rescuing people who were stranded. Following the flooding, LDS volunteers helped fellow Church members clean out their damaged homes, then extended their efforts to others in their communities as needed.
President R. Bruce Merrell of the Renton North stake sent a crew of one hundred volunteers to help members in the hard-hit Snoqualmie Valley and North Bend ward areas. The volunteers extended their help to people of other faiths as well. “People in the area were just overwhelmed by the willingness of members to help,” President Merrell said.
Damage to farmland and other property was extensive. Local priesthood leaders reported that there are long-range plans for LDS volunteers to help members of the community with continuing cleanup efforts after floodwaters have fully receded.
Ghana Allows Church to Resume Activities
Church meetings resumed in Ghana on December 9 after the government of that country gave its approval.
The government had announced via an official broadcast in Accra, the nation’s capital, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was among approved churches. The announcement expressed satisfaction that the Church teaches members to honor the flag and promotes racial harmony.
There are approximately 8,900 members in Ghana, with forty-nine branches in seven mission districts.
“We are grateful for the faithful members who conducted themselves honorably and patiently during these months while questions concerning the Church and its work in Ghana were discussed and resolved to the satisfaction of government officials and the Church,” said Bruce L. Olsen, managing director of the Church’s Public Communications Department.
Church affairs in Ghana were administered by Dr. Emmanuel Kissi, a Ghanaian physician who served as interim mission president.
Soweto Branch an Example of Love, Elder Lindsay Says
Members of the Soweto Branch, near Johannesburg, South Africa, are showing that the Savior’s love is stronger than the violence and suffering that have brought tragedy to their area for so many years, says Elder Richard P. Lindsay of the Seventy, President of the Africa Area.
Elder Lindsay and his wife, Marian, complimented members of the branch, after a visit with them late last year, for the way they are living gospel principles. Approximately one hundred black members of the Johannesburg South Africa Stake attend the branch.
“The cooperation that exists between the stake and mission leaders and the faithful Saints of Soweto can be a model for an entire nation which so desperately needs the pure love of Christ as its guide in the relationships of its people,” Elder Lindsay said.
Mission and stake leaders meet regularly with branch leaders to help them in providing all the blessings of Church membership to Soweto Saints, Elder Lindsay noted. Local leaders look forward to the day when the branch will have its own chapel, rather than meeting in a school.
Several members of the branch have recently received temple endowments, and some are serving as ordinance workers in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple, according to temple president Charles Canfield.
Elder Lindsay reported: “It thrilled our souls to hear the Soweto Saints conclude an especially spiritual sacrament meeting by singing with great emotion and beautiful harmony, without benefit of organ or piano: ‘And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—All is well! All is well!’”
Church Member Elected to British Parliament
For the first time, a Church member has been elected a Member of Parliament in Great Britain.
Terry Rooney, thirty-nine, elders quorum president in the Bradford Second Ward, Huddersfield England Stake, is the first member of the Church to be elected as MP, a full-time office that is comparable to a position in the House of Representatives in the United States.
A member of the Labour Party, Brother Rooney was elected with the seat’s largest-ever majority, receiving 18,619 votes, compared with 9,105 for his nearest rival.
Brother Rooney was baptized five years ago, and most people are familiar with his membership in the Church. His wife, Suzanne, reports that he is known as the “orange juice king” because of his abstinence from alcoholic drinks served during political gatherings.
Brother Rooney is a welfare rights officer, helping people who receive benefits and resolving legal problems. He served on the local council for eight years.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Elder Joseph A. Anderson observed his 101st birthday on 20 November 1990 with family, friends and former associates. Elder Anderson, who received emeritus status on 10 September 1978, has lived the longest of any General Authority in Church history.
PROVO, UTAH—U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia are benefiting from information compiled by the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University. The center publishes Culturgram pamphlets which offer four pages of advice on a specific country’s customs, courtesies, life-styles, people, history, and government. Military leaders ordered several thousand copies of the Culturgram on Saudi Arabia to distribute to soldiers deployed in Operation Desert Shield.
PROVO, UTAH—Brigham Young University’s nationally ranked football team was honored when its junior quarterback, Ty Detmer, received the Heisman Trophy. Detmer, the first player from the Western Athletic Conference to win the award, broke twenty-nine National Collegiate Athletic Association records and tied five others.
POCATELLO, IDAHO—The twelfth-ranked Ricks College Vikings were defeated, 29–17, by the Garden City (Kansas) Community College Broncbusters in the Real Dairy Centennial Bowl. The football game marked the beginning of the National Junior College Athletic Association–sanctioned bowl competition.
Touch My Heart
As a less-active member of the Church, let me share with you some ways to touch my heart—and the hearts of your loved ones:
Be my friend. Know, value, and love me as a person without regarding my status in the Church. Continue to share books, ideas, and time with me.
Notice and remember my name. Once when I went to Church, a sister asked my name and then said, “I don’t know why I ask. I won’t remember anyway.” When you notice someone is not there—even one week—call and tell her or him she or he was missed.
Remember my birthday and other special occasions.
Know what my talents are and make use of them. I once volunteered to do a workshop for members of my ward as well as for wards that my friends belong to, but no one took me up on my offer.
Invite me to go with you to special events. Tape Relief Society lessons and save handouts for me.
Make sure I have visiting teachers and home teachers who care about my needs.
I’m struggling to enjoy the blessings of the gospel once again. The transition would be easier if I felt support from friends, family, and ward members. While not all less-active members will desire what I do, it’s hard for anyone to keep rejecting sincere, unconditional love. So reach out to a less-active member who may or may not know he or she is saying, “Touch my heart.”
Name Withheld upon Request
One Church, Many Cultures
Thank you for the article “A Second Decade for Dominican Saints,” featured in the October 1990 issue. I have recently noticed more articles in the Ensign on the cultural mosaic that makes up today’s Church membership. This truly is a worldwide religion, and it is a joy—and a necessity—for members to read about Saints in various parts of the world.
Catherine DeVos Toronto, Ontario
Thanks for the “Mess”
“I Never Met a Mess I Didn’t Like” (October 1990) touched my heart. I found it comforting to know that others live as I do. I have often asked myself what I would do if the Savior knocked at my front door.
This article clearly encourages us to be genuine and honest with others and not worry about whether they will understand. It also teaches us to love one another.
Sylvia Lawrence Brampton, Ontario
Inspired Words in Two Languages
I’m so pleased to have Church magazines coming into our homes in two languages (English and French). They are inspiring, powerful tools for us.
Beatrice Therien Quebec, Canada
How does the gospel provide guidance, comfort, and strength to you, an unmarried member of the Church? We would like to share your ideas and experiences with other single members throughout the world. Send your contributions (typewritten, double-spaced, if possible) to Singles and the Gospel, Ensign, 50 E. North Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150, within ten days of receiving this issue. We will notify you if we plan to use your manuscript.
Nancy Crookston painted the mother and child on page 11 of the December 1990 Ensign. The illustration on page 47 is by John Kilbourne.