New Mission Presidents Receive Instruction
A testimony of Jesus Christ is the most important and effective missionary tool, President Gordon B. Hinckley told eighty-three new mission presidents during a mission presidents’ seminar at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.
President Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, was the keynote speaker at the June 23 opening session of the seminar.
“When all the mechanics of missionary work have been discussed, mastered, and utilized, there is no message so important, none so new as the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, our master and our King, whose holy name is the name of the Church we go out to represent,” President Hinckley told the participants.
President Hinckley also assured the new leaders that although they may have concerns about their ability to do the work, “the Lord will not let you down if you walk with faith and humility.”
“You will be trained in greater depth than any generation of mission presidents before you were ever trained. Your fears, your concerns, [your] sacrifices are not new,” President Hinckley commented. “They have been felt by those who have similarly gone forth since the earliest days of the Church.”
“I hope,” President Hinckley concluded, “that each of you presidents and leaders will carry in your hearts a flame of faith and knowledge from which the candles of those who serve under you will catch a light and become of the very essence of their testimonies of the work.”
President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke during the June 24 session.
“No mission in the Church, in my view, will reach its exalted pinnacle of perfection without the help of members,” he said. “Members are essential to our success—enlist their help.”
President Monson also reminded the new mission presidents and their wives of the great blessings that will come to those they teach and baptize. “What a beautiful declaration—those two words of missionary work, teach and baptize, that all whom we influence may be candidates for the kingdom of God and have their lives blessed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
President Howard W. Hunter, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, speaking at the June 26 session, also stressed the importance of member-missionary work. “A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others. For this reason, the Lord gave an obligation to every member of the Church to be a missionary.”
President Hunter reminded the mission presidents of the role of the Atonement in missionary work. He said the Atonement represents Christ’s love for us and that accepting the call to share the gospel with others “represents our great love for our Heavenly Father’s children as well as for the Savior and what he did for us.”
Other speakers at the seminar echoed the importance of member-missionary work.
Speaking at the opening session, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Robert L. Backman of the Presidency of the Seventy emphasized the importance of cooperation between full-time missionaries and stake missionaries, especially at a time “when the Lord is hastening his work,” and the “doors of many nations are opening.”
Elder Perry called for “perfect harmony” between stake and full-time missionaries in proclaiming the gospel around the world.
“The united efforts of members and missionaries, under the careful supervision of caring leaders,” supports a convert before and after baptism, Elder Perry said.
“We have long taught that every member is a missionary,” said Elder Backman. “Now we add that every missionary is a member who assists as appropriate in the ward or branch in which he serves, to perfect the Saints as well as to proclaim the gospel, for these are one great work of salvation and should not be artificially separated.”
In his remarks during the opening session, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve counseled the mission presidents to act in a spirit of unity with Church leaders by following a pattern of responsive orthodoxy and inspired initiative.
He explained that responsive orthodoxy includes actively seeking the counsel of the Brethren. “It means that once you have learned the will of the Lord you exercise voluntary obedience. It means you act in a spirit of unity, not in a spirit of grudging compliance.
“Inspired initiative means you seek the Lord’s guidance to carry out the approved program,” Elder Wirthlin continued. “I would emphasize that inspiration comes most freely when you seek it in behalf of [serving] others.”
The new mission presidents—some who came from as far away as West Africa—were joined at the seminar by their spouses and most of the fifteen newly called General Authorities.
Additional General Authorities, including eight members of the Quorum of the Twelve and six of the seven Presidents of the Seventy, also attended the seminar. Those attending an area presidencies seminar, which was held at the same time, also attended the opening session of the mission presidents seminar.
Other speakers at the five-day seminar included Elders David B. Haight, James E. Faust, Russell M. Nelson, and Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder L. Aldin Porter of the Seventy.
Ground Broken for Orlando Florida Temple
On the morning of June 20, nearly one hundred Church leaders and families gathered near what has been called Florida’s most beautiful location for the ground breaking and temple site dedication of the Orlando Temple.
Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve presided, spoke, and offered the dedicatory prayer at the meeting. Others speaking included Elder Alexander B. Morrison, president of the North America Southeast Area; his counselors, Elder Ben B. Banks and Elder Stephen D. Nadauld; Alvie R. Evans, regional representative; and Evan D. Porter, Jr., president of the Orlando Florida Stake.
The temple site, which overlooks a chain of lakes, is located on the edge of the Orlando suburb of Windermere. Construction of the temple is scheduled to begin in September.
In his address, Elder Faust reminded listeners that the temple is the house of the Lord.
“We rejoice in the wonderful and great privilege and blessing it is to participate in these exercises,” he said, encouraging members of the temple district to make sacrifices for the building and operation of the future temple.
“I hope that every man, woman, and child in this district will make a sacrifice for the building of this house. … Not through assessments, but from the center of our soul, which is our hearts.”
In his remarks, Elder Morrison said the ground breaking for this temple is the fruition of the efforts of many Florida Saints.
“This is a historic day in the odyssey of the Church in the South. I am confident that corridors of celestial halls ring with anthems of praise this morning, and that among those in the heavenly chorus are stalwart pioneers of the Church in this corner of the vineyard.
“They are humble men and women who put their hands in the hand of the Almighty, to walk each day to the edge of their faith, and found the path opening up before them.”
Elder Banks emphasized the importance of the temple by explaining the significance of the Kirtland Temple, the first temple in this dispensation.
He recalled that after the dedicatory prayer was offered, the Savior appeared in the temple. Other heavenly messengers also came to the Kirtland Temple to restore important keys of the gospel.
“A holy sanctuary such as that is going to be erected here,” he added. “And certainly it will be a dawning of a brighter day in this part of the Lord’s vineyard, where the Saints can come and receive their endowments that will allow them one day to return to our Father in Heaven’s presence.”
Elder Nadauld spoke of the strengthening influence of the temple. “Faithful Saints in the sanctuaries of their homes will point to … this temple,” he remarked. “And the temple and the covenants that are made here will be a source of blessings to the stakes and to the homes.”
Elder Evans, in his address, said, “No other structure that will ever be built in this community will bring greater blessings to the inhabitants and to the great state of Florida than this structure.”
In his remarks, President Porter recounted the ten-year effort to find and purchase the temple site and to gain approval to build the temple. “We cannot ignore the wonderful sacrifice and faith and dedication of so many for so many years that has led to this wonderful gift,” he said.
Two New Members in Presidency of Seventy
The First Presidency has called Elders Charles Didier and L. Aldin Porter to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy.
The assignments, effective August 15, were made in anticipation of the granting of emeritus status in October 1992 to two members of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Marion D. Hanks and Elder Robert L. Backman.
Elder Didier will succeed Elder Hanks as executive director of the Church’s Priesthood Department. Elder Porter will succeed Elder Backman as executive director of the Missionary Department.
Elder Didier, 56, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since October 1975, is currently serving as second counselor in the Utah North Area. He earlier served as president of the South America North Area, as a mission president, a regional representative, and the manager for distribution and translation in Europe. A native of Belgium, Elder Didier has a degree in economics from the University of Liège. He and his wife, Lucie, have two sons.
Elder Porter, 60, was born in Salt Lake City. He is currently serving as president of the Utah South Area. He was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1987. He earlier served as a temple president, a mission president, a regional representative, a stake president, and a bishop. A Brigham Young University graduate, he worked as an executive in a financial planning company prior to his call to full-time Church service. He and his wife, Shirley, are the parents of six children.
Biographies of eight of the fifteen newly sustained members of the Seventy were printed in the August 1992 issue. Following are the biographies of the remaining seven.
Elder Lino Alvarez
Lino Alvarez and his bride-to-be, Argelia Villanueva, were both returned missionaries, but their first visit to a temple came when they were sealed in Mesa, Arizona, in 1967. The experience was completely new to them, but one thing they understood very clearly—the commitment to consecrate all of their efforts to the Lord.
“We have always tried to serve him and to complete every assignment to the best of our ability,” he says.
That is the attitude Elder Lino Alvarez carries into his new calling as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. “I feel unprepared, because I know what kind of work the General Authorities do and what kind of men they are,” he reflects. “But one thing the Lord has taught me through the years and through the Church leaders I have known is to serve with no other objective than the welfare of the members.”
Brother Alvarez’s service as a member of the Church began when he was baptized at age twelve. Born in the village of Arteaga, Coahuila, on 18 July 1944, he was living in Saltillo with his family when they joined the Church.
It was in Piedras Negras that he met his future wife, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in education and beginning his teaching career at a small school there. He has taught at Church schools in Mexico and in Chile, where he began teaching seminary and institute classes. He was serving as director of the Church Educational System for Mexico at the time of his call as a General Authority.
He has been a bishop, a counselor in a stake presidency, a patriarch, a mission president (Mexico City South, 1982–85), a regional representative, and most recently, Young Men president in the Benemerito Sixth Ward, Mexico City Mexico Zarahemla Stake.
Elder and Sister Alvarez have three children; two are serving missions and one is preparing for a mission call.
Elder Dallas N. Archibald
It was on his mission to Uruguay that Dallas Archibald’s life really changed. “The gospel came into focus for me during that time,” explains Elder Archibald, recently called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy. “I was brought up a member of the Church, but while serving a mission I learned the practical aspects of the gospel, as well as the spiritual aspects.”
Those practical aspects have come in handy as Brother Archibald’s career has taken him and his family—his wife, Linda Ritchie, and his daughter, Teri—to Japan, the Philippines, Canada, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, and several different states in the United States.
“Every time we move, our first step is to find the church and get involved,” Sister Archibald says. “We can move from one area to another and be immediately accepted by members of the Church.”
That church involvement has kept Elder Archibald busy; he has served as bishop, stake president, regional representative, and mission president.
Born 24 July 1938 in Logan, Utah, Dallas grew up in Ogden, where he returned after his mission. He met Linda in Ogden, and after they were married he served a four-year stint in the Coast Guard. Then the Archibalds returned to Ogden, where Elder Archibald received a bachelor’s degree from Weber State University. He has also earned a master’s degree in international management.
Elder Archibald’s philosophy on life includes the elements of work, progress, and commitment.
“Individuals need to have an eternal perspective and find the motivation that is necessary to bring their life into harmony with gospel principles,” he explains.
“The true motivation in our lives comes through Jesus Christ and the power of the Atonement. Once we understand that, the eternities are open to us and we move forward, using our own agency to obtain salvation.”
Elder Augusto A. Lim
Years ago, it was the Book of Mormon that prompted Augusto A. Lim, who was recently called as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, to join the Church. He’d been listening to the discussions for nine months, and the missionaries had challenged him one last time to be baptized.
“I believed the principles of the Church, but I found it difficult to accept that Joseph Smith was a prophet,” he explained. “I hadn’t really read the Book of Mormon up to that point, so I finally decided to follow the admonition of Mormon and read the book seriously. Things started opening up, and the Spirit was leading me to understand; I didn’t want to stop reading.
“I realized I had to be baptized, so I called up the missionaries and told them I was finally ready.”
Elder Lim was baptized in October 1964, and his wife, Myrna Garcia Morillo, was baptized a month later. Since that time, he has served as branch president (five times), stake president (three times), mission president, and regional representative. The Lims have eight children.
Elder Lim had been well prepared for his life of service. Born 4 May 1934 in Santa Cruz, Marinduque, Philippines, “I was raised by goodly parents who taught me righteous principles,” he explains. “Even though they weren’t members of the Church, they lived the lives of latter-day saints.”
A practicing lawyer for the last three decades, Elder Lim resigned from prestigious government and private jobs because the jobs did not allow time to fulfill Church responsibilities.
“I have sacrificed for my membership in the Church,” he acknowledges, “but I have gained peace of mind. This life is but a small moment when you consider the eternities before us. If we continue to valiantly endure and choose righteousness, our reward will be eternal life in the mansions of our Heavenly Father.”
Elder David E. Sorensen
Elder David E. Sorensen, recently called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, learned early the importance of listening to the counsel of Church leaders. He remembers his parents’ saving gas coupons during World War II so the family could travel from their farm in Aurora, Utah, to attend general conference in Salt Lake City.
“My father used to say that when you go to conference you learn how to conduct your daily affairs, which is part of your religion,” Elder Sorensen recalls.
Born 29 June 1933, Elder Sorensen says his family would pray for Church leaders three times a day. “Before every meal we would kneel around the table and pray. We always prayed for the First Presidency, the Twelve, and other Church leaders.”
Elder Sorensen’s experience as president of the Canada Halifax Mission reinforced the importance of praying for the success of the Church and its leaders.
“Before my wife and I left, we were given a blessing by Elder Neal A. Maxwell that if we worked, prayed, and diligently exercised faith, we would see the organization of a new stake in the area. A few weeks before we were released from our mission, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin organized the Saint John New Brunswick Stake,” he recalls.
In addition to serving as a mission president, Elder Sorensen has been a high councilor, a bishop, and a stake president. From 1954 to 1956, he served as a full-time missionary in the Central Atlantic States Mission.
When Elder Sorensen returned from his mission, he was met with a draft notice. He served two years in the army and gained valuable leadership experience.
He married Verla Anderson on 29 December 1958. They have seven children.
As a businessman, Elder Sorensen has been honored by the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Management. While living in California, he began a health services company. And at the time of his call, he was vice-chairman of Nevada Community Bank in Las Vegas.
Elder F. David Stanley
Elder F. David Stanley, recently called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, was born 11 September 1935 and reared in what he calls a “blue collar neighborhood,” surrounded by the people of the Salt Lake Pioneer Stake. From them and from his father, a mechanic, David learned the importance of working hard and excelling in any assigned task.
“They were tremendous, hardworking—people of fine integrity. I learned from them that you get the job done and you get it done right,” Elder Stanley recalls. “I learned from them that you get the job done and you get it done right.”
Elder Stanley says that his neighbors also had an impact on his developing testimony.
“I had an Aaronic Priesthood adviser who was a spiritual giant,” Elder Stanley says. “I still remember my feelings as I listened to his powerful lessons. It was the first time in my life I remember focusing in on the Spirit, and I thank God for that man.”
Elder Stanley credits these examples with helping him attain the strong spiritual foundation that has been vital to his success in Church callings—especially as a young bishop of an older ward.
“I was 26, but most of the members were older,” remarks Elder Stanley. “But I had learned that when you’re given an assignment, you just jump in and do it.”
Elder Stanley has had plenty of opportunities to jump in and serve. He has worked in ward, stake, and general Young Men organizations. He has been a stake president, a regional representative, and a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple. At the time of his call, he was serving as president of the Idaho Boise Mission.
Elder Stanley attended the University of Utah, studying business and education. On 29 June 1956 he married Annette Shewell. The couple have eight grown children.
In his professional life, Elder Stanley has remained active in his community. He has worked as vice-chair on the Salt Lake City Planning and Zoning Commission, a member of the Murray City Chamber of Commerce, and vice-president of operations for Western Utility Contracting.
Elder Tai Kwok Yuen
On the wall of the Tai living room hangs a scroll inscribed with Chinese characters that read: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15.)
Ever since his baptism in 1959, Tai Kwok Yuen, recently called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, has endeavored to follow that scriptural admonition.
“This is our family motto,” Elder Tai says. “This scripture has reminded us constantly of the importance of serving the Lord.”
Tai Kwok Yuen first heard about the gospel when a neighbor invited him to attend sacrament meeting. By the time he had heard all the discussions, he knew the gospel was true. However, his aunt, who reared him after his father was killed during wartime, refused to give the seventeen-year-old permission to get baptized.
Finally, after a year of pleading by young Kwok Yuen, she consented and he was baptized in the swimming pool at the mission home. “I never dreamed that thirty years later, I would move into this same site to start my calling as a mission president,” Elder Tai reflects.
Born in Hong Kong on 30 June 1941, Elder Tai first met his future wife, Hui Hua Lai, in church while he was organizing a branch choir. The Tais are the parents of three children.
Their family has lived in Taiwan, England, and the United States while Elder Tai has worked in chemical marketing.
“The business training and management experience, coupled with the exposure to different cultures, has helped me tremendously in fulfilling my church callings,” Elder Tai says. “I believe in the Lord’s timetable—if we live worthy lives by following gospel precepts, we will feel the guidance of the Lord. I know that Jesus Christ lives and directs this church, which is the only true church of Christ on the earth. Through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, mankind may return to live with the Savior and Heavenly Father for eternity.”
Elder Lowell D. Wood
As an employee of the Church’s Welfare Services Department, Lowell D. Wood knew the importance of self-reliance. Now called as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Wood believes everyone can benefit from the principle.
“Working in the welfare services department, I saw lives changed when people grasped the importance of taking responsibility for themselves,” Elder Wood observes.
Elder Wood, born 23 January 1933, learned about self-reliance when he was a boy growing up on a farm in Glenwood, Alberta. After serving a mission in South Africa, he pursued an education at Brigham Young University during the winter, continuing to work on the family ranch during the summer.
Lowell met his future wife, Lorna Cox, while he was living in Provo, Utah, and attending BYU. She was living at home and working as a receptionist in the St. George Temple, 260 miles from Provo. She visited a friend attending BYU, and the friend introduced Lowell and Lorna to each other.
“When I went home to St. George,” recalls Sister Wood, “I told my mother I had found the kind of man I wanted to marry.”
The day the two married, Sister Wood sang “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” (Hymns, no. 270) for her fellow temple workers.
“I think that is significant,” Elder Wood says. “That attribute and willingness has always been present in our lives. We have both tried to do what the Lord wanted us to do.”
Doing the Lord’s will has meant that Elder and Sister Wood and their five children have lived in South Africa, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and most recently, the Philippines. Elder Wood has served as branch president, bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, and mission president.
“Serving the Lord tends to inspire you to do better,” Elder Wood says. “You want to be a better example; it uplifts you as you try to uplift and help others.”
Area Presidencies Announced
The First Presidency has announced General Authority area presidency assignments. The appointments are effective August 15, and all members of the presidencies are members of the Quorums of the Seventy. (Presidents are listed first, with counselors following.)
North America Central—H. Burke Peterson, Hartman Rector, Jr., and Graham W. Doxey
North America West—John H. Groberg, Jack H Goaslind, and Jacob de Jager
North America Northeast—Cree-L Kofford, Yoshihiko Kikuchi, and Durrel A. Woolsey
North America Northwest—Joe J. Christensen, Robert E. Wells, and Merlin R. Lybbert
North America Southeast—Alexander B. Morrison, Stephen D. Nadauld, and L. Lionel Kendrick
North America Southwest—W. Mack Lawrence, Gene R. Cook, and Gerald E. Melchin
Utah North—Marlin K. Jensen, F. Enzio Busche, and Merrill J. Bateman
Utah Central—Loren C. Dunn, Lloyd P. George, and John E. Fowler
Utah South—Malcolm S. Jeppsen, Albert Choules, Jr., and David E. Sorensen
Asia—Monte J. Brough, John K. Carmack, and Tai Kwok Yuen
Asia North—W. Eugene Hansen, Han In Sang, and Sam K. Shimabukuro
Africa—Richard P. Lindsay, J Ballard Washburn, and Earl C. Tingey
Europe—Hans B. Ringger, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, and Robert K. Dellenbach
Europe/Mediterranean—Spencer J. Condie, LeGrand R. Curtis, and Joseph C. Muren
Europe North—Jeffrey R. Holland, Kenneth Johnson, and Hugh W. Pinnock
Pacific—Rulon G. Craven, Robert E. Sackley, and Lowell D. Wood
Philippines/Micronesia—Vaughn J. Featherstone, Ben B. Banks, and Augusto A. Lim
Mexico North—Angel Abrea, Jorge A. Rojas, and John M. Madsen
Mexico South—F. Burton Howard, F. Melvin Hammond, and Lino Alvarez
Central America—Ted E. Brewerton, Carlos H. Amado, and Jay E. Jensen
South America North—William R. Bradford, Julio E. Dávila, and Eduardo Ayala
South America South—Lynn A. Mickelsen, Horacio A. Tenorio, and John B. Dickson
Brazil—Harold G. Hillam, Helvécio Martins, and Dallas N. Archibald
New Temple Presidents
The First Presidency has called the following temple presidents.
Thomas Y. Emmett of Portland, Oregon, will serve in the Portland Oregon Temple.
Tevita Ka‘ili of Nuku‘alofa, Tonga, will preside over the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Temple.
Gerald L. Scott of Dunwoody, Georgia, will serve in the Atlanta Georgia Temple.
Percy Syddall of Auckland, New Zealand, will preside over the Apia Samoa Temple.
Isidoro Ricardo Villanueva Ocana of Lima, Peru, will serve in the Lima Peru Temple.
Johann A. Wondra of Vienna, Austria, will serve in the Frankfurt Germany Temple.