Internationally known physicist David W. Allan brings a new twist to making every single second count. Thanks to him and the team of scientists he works with, the accuracy with which time can be measured has increased more than three orders of magnitude—or one thousand times.
“We are now capable of splitting a second into a trillion parts, which is more precise than most anyone would need,” muses Brother Allan. He explains that the more precisely time is measured, the more accurate navigation can be—whether it is used for guiding a ship at sea, sending a spacecraft out into the solar system, or measuring the electromagnetic quantum from an atom.
Whereas time was formerly measured in relation to the earth’s rotation, time is measured today in relation to things as tiny as a cesium atom or as large as pulsars—stars spinning far out in our galaxy. These become the pendulum of ultra-precise clocks.
The most accurate clock in the United States, an atomic clock, is found in Boulder, Colorado, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where David Allan works and where he has made his mark in the international scientific community.
Brother Allan, who spent his childhood on a farm in Mapleton, Utah, is known internationally for the Allan variance, the subject of his graduate thesis at the University of Colorado. The Allan variance is an algorithm, a mathematical procedure for solving a problem. Among time analysts in the world scientific community, the Allan variance is a household phrase, an international standard for measuring clock performance.
The gospel is at the very center of Brother Allan’s scientific understanding. “If we wish to receive it, divine guidance can influence our professional life as much as it does our Church responsibilities.” A former president of the Boulder stake, he now serves as stake mission president.
On one occasion, Brother Allen presented a paper for a colleague from the Soviet Union who was unable to attend a symposium in Washington, D.C. “I had given him a copy of the Book of Mormon on one of our previous visits,” David explains, “so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I read on the cover page of his paper a quotation from Alma chapter 40, verse 8: ‘All is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.’” [Alma 40:8]
Integrating his professional and religious understanding comes naturally to David Allan as he lectures to scientists around the world about time, all the while drawing on the timeless teachings of the gospel.—, Provo, Utah
On 24 July 1986, Kendall Ross Bean, a Latter-day Saint pianist and composer from Walnut Creek, California, became a music video pioneer. That day, Brother Bean’s performance of the Chopin A-flat Major Polonaise was the first classical music video to be broadcast on national U.S. television. The program was produced by his wife, Karen Lile.
Using a classical music video to reach a national audience is only one of the innovations Kendall has introduced since he married Karen, who is not only his wife but also his manager. The video aired for three years and was nominated for an Ace Award, the industry’s equivalent to the Grammy.
Kendall’s career differs from many other musical performers in several ways. He has his own concert series for children and a separate one for adults. He talks to his audience and has guest artists on his shows. He avoids competitions and has built his career on a local level rather than by going on concert tours because of his desire to raise a family. He and Karen are mutually dedicated to helping other artists develop and use their talents.
After growing up near Oakland, California, in a home where his musical education was taken seriously by both parents, Kendall attended the University of California at Berkeley. He then transferred to BYU. After graduating, he returned to Berkeley and met Karen at the Berkeley LDS Institute. They married and went to the University of Texas at Austin, where Kendall earned a master’s degree and Karen completed her English major. One of the few married couples there, they struggled financially, even though Kendall had a scholarship. They both worked: she typed; he taught piano lessons on campus.
“Kendall has always been mechanically inclined,” says Karen. “With a few dollars for parts and a lot of labor, he could repair just about anything.” Before Kendall’s performing career got going, they started their piano-finders’ service—a nationwide brokerage and piano-rebuilding business.
In addition to their combined career, Kendall and Karen are active in the Clayton Valley Second Ward, Concord California Stake. The Beans are also the parents of two young budding musicians—their daughters, Kyrsten, eleven, and Aneka, eight.
Kendall is at the piano between eight and ten hours a day, either practicing or composing. “I’m a firm believer in discipline,” he says.
Many of his compositions are based on religious themes. In the preface to his vocal collection, The Return of the Prodigal and Other Songs, Kendall summarized his own devotion to art and to a spiritual life: “All true art seeks to give ‘something more’—something more beautiful, more enlightening, more uplifting than everyday experience. I pray that I, and all artists everywhere who have felt the perfect love of the Master, may seek to share it through the medium of their art with their fellowman.”—, Davis, California
Wit and Witness
“How do I get into this church?” That’s what Goro Yamada asked after investigating the Church in Japan following World War II.
“After two years, no one had asked me about baptism, so I finally asked them,” recalls Brother Yamada, who had learned of the Church through his contact with servicemen. “I had attended church and studied with lots of different members, but no one ever brought up the idea of getting me baptized.”
Goro and his wife, Eiko, moved from Tokyo to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, twenty-four years ago. They returned to their homeland for three years late in the 1970s when they were called to preside over the Japan Fukuoka Mission. The Yamadas have four sons, all of whom have also completed missions to Japan.
Brother Yamada has most recently served as deacons quorum adviser in the Midnapore Ward of the Calgary Alberta South Stake. “It’s an important and enjoyable calling,” he remarks. “But the winter camp … well, the temperature went to twenty below zero!”
As Brother Yamada has served as a leader in the Young Men organization, his warm wit and genuine concern for people have won their love and respect, just as they did with the missionaries he presided over, and with all who know him.
“Eiko and I have always loved the outdoors,” he adds. “We love spending time in the beautiful Canadian Rockies, hiking in summers and cross-country skiing in winters.
“We are grateful that the gospel enhances our appreciation of the wonders of nature, and we witness the hand of God in it all.”—, Salt Lake City, Utah