News of the Church


Modern-Language Editions of the Book of Mormon Discouraged

We are pleased to announce that 4,855,167 copies of the Book of Mormon were sold during 1992. Of this number, 1,994,312 were in English, followed by 1,209,734 in Spanish. The remainder included translations in 36 other languages.

It is gratifying to note the ever-increasing distribution of this sacred scripture which has come to us as a voice speaking “out of the dust” declaring the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Isa. 29:4.) The power of its testimony and the persuasive beauty of its language have touched the hearts of millions around the world.

From time to time there are those who wish to rewrite the Book of Mormon into familiar or modern English. We discourage this type of publication and call attention to the fact that the Book of Mormon was translated “by the gift and power of God,” who has declared that “it is true.” (Book of Mormon title page; D&C 17:6.) The Prophet Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was “the most correct of any book on earth.” (History of the Church, 4:461.) It contains “the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (D&C 20:9.)

When a sacred text is translated into another language or rewritten into more familiar language, there are substantial risks that this process may introduce doctrinal errors or obscure evidence of its ancient origin. To guard against these risks, the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve give close personal supervision to the translation of scriptures from English into other languages and have not authorized efforts to express the doctrinal content of the Book of Mormon in familiar or modern English. (These concerns do not pertain to publications by the Church for children, such as the Book of Mormon Reader.)

We counsel everyone to cultivate the influence of the scriptures by personal study of the word of the Lord contained therein. When this is done prayerfully, each who reads may know the truth of these sacred words by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moro. 10:5.)

Elder Robert E. Sackley Eulogized

Elder Robert E. Sackley

“This has been a beautiful day, a day of saying good-bye, but not forever, just for a season, following which there will be a reunion,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, at the funeral of Elder Robert E. Sackley, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. “I think that Bob Sackley … developed a capacity to lose himself in the cause which we call the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the process of that service, he has passed on to a reward which will be certain and sure and wonderful.”

“Robert Sackley always went where the Lord wanted him to go, and he always said what the Lord wanted him to say,” noted President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “His testimony has been borne with fervor, and the truth just sparkled in his eyes. … Many are those who have embraced the gospel because of that testimony.”

“Wherever he labored, Bob was equally at home among the humble or the noble of the earth,” commented Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Elder Sackley died in Australia on 22 February 1993 of natural causes. As first counselor in the Pacific Area presidency, he was traveling on assignment with his wife at the time of his death.

Born 17 December 1922 in Australia, Robert lived in Canada with his wife and family prior to receiving his call as a General Authority. There he worked as president of Medicine Hat College.

Elder Sackley, seventy, was sustained as a member of the Seventy in April 1988. Prior to his present assignment, he had served as managing director in the Missionary Department and as second counselor in the North America Southeast Area presidency.

Before receiving a call as a General Authority, he served the Church as a mission president in the Philippines and in Nigeria and in many other callings.

Robert Sackley was baptized in 1946 after learning of the Church from Marjorie Orth of Brisbane, Australia. He and Marjorie were married 29 March 1947.

Elder Sackley is survived by his wife, five children, and seventeen grandchildren.

Members in Tijuana Receive Relief

Members in Tijuana were flooded with more than water during recent storms; they also received love, food, and blankets from fellow Saints located in regions around San Diego, California.

The flooding, which began January 7, hit much of southern California and the Baja California peninsula. Hardest hit was Tijuana, Mexico, located about twenty-five miles south of San Diego. According to President Arturo de Hoyos of the Mexico Tijuana Mission, water levels reached three feet above street level. Twenty-four people were killed, and about ten thousand were left homeless. There were no members killed or seriously injured, although some 176 LDS families were affected and six homes were seriously damaged.

One problem facing the flood victims was the loss of transportation and the closing of businesses. Tourism is the main industry in Tijuana, but due to the floods, shops closed for several days.

Members in California rallied to help their neighbors, collecting about thirty tons of food and more than two thousand blankets for victims of the floods. In addition, a truckload of food from the bishops’ storehouse in Colton, California, was sent.

A convoy of about thirty-five pickup trucks delivered the food and blankets to the mission office and to a stake center in Tijuana.

A few days later, more relief supplies were needed. Within twenty-four hours, members of the Carlsbad California region responded with twenty more tons of food collected in Chula Vista, where Church leaders from Tijuana picked it up to distribute to the needy.

According to Craig A. Bullock, regional representative in Escondido, all relief supplies except those from the bishops’ storehouse were donated by individual members. The supplies were distributed by local Church leaders to all those in need, regardless of religious affiliation.

The relief efforts were made possible because of a bond that has been developing between members in Tijuana and those in San Diego as they prepare for the dedication of the San Diego Temple, Brother Bullock explained.

“With the building of the temple, and with the assignments of five stakes in Baja California to the temple district, we’ve created a close personal tie with the leaders there,” Brother Bullock explained. Members from both areas have been working on a temple committee in preparation for the temple dedication. It was actually through members of this committee that Brother Bullock heard of the needs of flood victims.

“The LDS people here feel great because they know their brothers and sisters north of the border know them,” reported President de Hoyos. “The end product of the whole relief effort is a close bond, made possible by the temple.”

[photo] Members gather relief supplies for flood victims in Tijuana. (Photo by Clyde Romney.)

Church Sends Assistance to Somalia

The Church continues to send food and clothing to starving people in Somalia and other areas of Africa. To date, assistance has included one million pounds of staple foods sent to eleven refugee camps in Kenya. In addition, more than 250,000 pounds of clothing have been sent as part of the relief, and money has been donated to help develop the agricultural programs in several areas.

“The problem is huge,” explained Isaac Ferguson, director of international welfare and humanitarian service for the Church. “We wanted to make sure that what we did would be effective.”

The Church distributes supplies through InterAid, an organization that focuses primarily on providing supplemental nutrition to children and nursing mothers.

Grain and milk for children up to five years old and for nursing mothers are sent to Somalian refugees in Kenya, as well as further down the eastern coast of Africa to Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“The children are brought to the centers every day by their families,” explained Brother Ferguson, who spent some time touring the various refugee camps. “They are given hot cereal—a gruel made up of wheat or cornmeal, vegetable oil, skim milk powder, and a little sugar. The Church is providing all the ingredients for this food.

“It’s amazing to see the difference this nutrition makes,” he continued. “Within a week, the children are happier and more energetic, and within three weeks, they are almost robust, with bright eyes and smiles.”

The money earmarked for development was used to purchase seed, fertilizer, and farm implements and to rehabilitate water sources and build earthen dams for water storage. The money will hopefully strengthen self-sufficiency in the community and help prepare for future food needs.

The Church will continue to monitor conditions in the region and assist in meeting future needs.

Bridge Building in Independence

Walnut Street changes its appearance dramatically as it moves from the business district in Independence, Missouri, toward River Street on the western edge of town. A grassy 2 1/2-acre tract on the northwest corner of the two streets’ intersection is of interest to three different religious groups who have buildings there.

Three religious groups are represented at the intersection of Walnut and River streets

Three religious groups are represented at the intersection of Walnut and River streets.

The Prophet Joseph Smith stood on this spot on 3 August 1831 and dedicated it as a temple site. (See D&C 84:1–4.) Today, this land is owned by the Church of Christ (Temple Lot); the headquarters for the church is located in a modest white frame building on the acreage.

Across the street to the east, the large world headquarters of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) dominates the intersection. Diagonally across the intersection is the large, domed RLDS auditorium, built in 1926.

On the southeast corner of the intersection is the Independence Visitors’ Center (built in 1971) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

All three groups trace their history back to the days of Joseph Smith, who restored the gospel of Jesus Christ and established the Church on 6 April 1830 in Fayette, New York. Beginning in 1831, the Saints began to settle in both the Kirtland, Ohio, area and the Independence, Missouri, area. By 1833, they had moved out of Independence. Most of the Saints went north to Clay County. Others went to the Bloomington, Illinois, area and later returned to Independence in 1867. Under the direction of Granville Hendrick, this group bought the land comprising the temple lot and became known as the Church of Christ (Temple Lot).

The main body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints followed Brigham Young west to Salt Lake City, Utah, beginning in 1847.

Latter-day Saints have gradually reestablished themselves in Independence with a ward organized in 1956 and a stake in 1971. Though each group is thoughtfully committed to their own teachings, friendly interaction is now the norm. That friendliness began with the churches’ leaders. “I think we have all found some common ground from which to work together,” says Gordon Goodman, president of the Independence Missouri Stake of the Church. “There is a spirit of cooperation among us. Lost is that negative aspect that has been there at times in the past.”

William Sheldon, an apostle in the Church of Christ (Temple Lot), also speaks of the cooperation among the three groups. “We have had a working harmony with each of the churches in our area. We haven’t let the differences in our beliefs stand in the way of amiable feelings between us.”

Carl Mesle, a retired presiding elder of the local Independence RLDS congregation, affirms that the good relationships among the three groups are growing toward a common purpose despite their theological differences. “With the world the way it is today,” he says, “we realize that we must ally ourselves with any group that lifts up Jesus Christ. Prejudice is melting in the light of this common purpose. Our common enemy is not other churches, it is Satan and the world.”

Yet, while the three churches are all aware of their differences and their growing cooperation, the people of Independence generally confuse the three groups on Walnut Street. For this reason, the local Latter-day Saints prefer to be called Mormons. “When I was a boy growing up in Independence,” says Gerald Harris, former stake president, “Mormon was a bad word, and other kids teased me with it. Now it is a good word, and we are respected by others.”

Past prejudices and misconceptions about Latter-day Saints are slowly being overturned as Mormons reach out to others in the community. They now participate on the Tourism Board, Chamber of Commerce, the Neighborhood Council, Ministerial Council, and VISN/ACTS Council.

“We have seen the Mormons become more involved in the community over the last twenty years,” says Dick Hetrick, chairman of the Neighborhood Council. “At first, it was just a few individuals. Now it is more widespread. ” When the Neighborhood Council wanted materials to help with family communication, they found that the materials created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City were among the best available and the council used the materials.

Since 1979, President Goodman has represented the Mormons on the Ministerial Council, a group dedicated to creating better communications between all religions. “We try to work from the basis of things that unite us,” says Reverend Joseph A. Mancuso, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish of the Catholic church, “and on that basis we can begin to deal with the things that divide us.”

Mormon representatives are active on the local VISN/ACTS Council in Independence. VISN/ACTS is a 24-hour faith and values cable television network originating in New York City. The Church airs four thirty-minute programs several times a week for a total of six and a half hours a week. “The national LDS media has helped the local LDS image,” says one Independence resident.

Perhaps some of the largest Mormon outreach programs to the community have been started by local Relief Society units over the last three years. Helping the Newborns in Need program by sewing and crocheting infant clothing is only one of the many projects in place and growing. Other projects include making stuffed animals for disabled children at the Sunshine Center, making hygiene kits for residents of Hope House (a center for abused women and children), and making brightly colored bibs for residents of the Truman Neurological Center. One Relief Society unit turned unusable donated clothing into thirty quilts for a community center in nearby downtown Kansas City. Local wards also helped refurbish a family room at the Crossroads Homeless Shelter, and Relief Society sisters also take in dinner one day a month for those who stay there.

“We feel good doing these service projects,” says Shauna Kent, stake Relief Society president. “By fulfilling our role as Relief Society sisters, we also fulfill the goal of Relief Society—“Charity Never Faileth.”

Other community members are now noticing some of the good things Mormons have to offer the community. “My appreciation of Mormons is positive,” says Cindy Garcia, a young mother. “They bring their goals of common humanity into their service, not just their church name.”

A pageant held each June on the lawn near the Church’s Independence stake center tells the story of the early Latter-day Saints in Independence. “The staging is fantastic,” says a local resident who takes his family there every year, “and it is interesting to learn about this part of our Independence history.” Gerald Harris now serves as pageant director. “The pageant is a strong statement that we believe in Christ,” he says. “Our cast of nearly three hundred performs four nights to a total of twelve thousand viewers.”

The family history center, located in the LDS stake center, has been another means of strengthening relationships between Mormons and other members of the community. “We have an outstanding facility, and many people come here,” says Elda Mae Billings, director of the center. “We have made many friends.” Community members say that they love the “good feeling in the family history center” and that they “changed their mind about the Mormons just by talking to them.”

When Jesse Ehlers, an Independence resident, was asked what changed his attitude toward the Mormons, he answered, “The quality of the people who are your members speaks for itself.”

As families are good neighbors, children are good students, and individuals are good examples in the community, perceptions of the Mormons among Independence residents continue to brighten. “There is still a great deal of work to be done,” says J. T. Whitworth, director of LDS public affairs in Independence, “but we’ve started building bridges just by trying to be a part of the community.”

[photos] A yearly pageant, held on the site shown above, tells the story of the early Latter-day Saints in Independence. Repeated for four consecutive nights, the pageant is seen by twelve thousand people. (Photo by LaRene Gaunt.) Inset: Elda Mae Billings, director of the family history center.

[photo] Independence Visitors’ Center, with the RLDS auditorium in the background. (Photo by LaRene Gaunt.)

[photo] Some members of the Independence VISN/ACTS Council in the foyer of the LDS visitors’ center. From left: Roger Yarrington, LDS director of public affairs; Father Bob Borrnot, VISN/ACTS community relations coordinator from New York; Allen and Dawna Rozsa, directors of the LDS visitors’ center; and Robert Day, LDS director of public affairs.

[photo] Dick Hetrick, chairman of the Neighborhood Council. (Photo by LaRene Gaunt.)

[photo] Shauna Kent, stake Relief Society president. (Photo by LaRene Gaunt.)

Children’s Art Explores Family Life

More than 2,600 young artists, ranging from five to eleven years old and living in thirty countries, have told the Museum of Church History and Art what they enjoy about their families through a diverse group of drawings, paintings, and collages.

Submitting their art for an international exhibit, the children drew pictures about gardening, biking, camping, going to movies, reading scriptures, praying, and going to church.

A committee of museum staff members and volunteers selected 284 pieces to hang in a special exhibit that will be on display through April 24. Included are drawings sent in by Latter-day Saint children living in Russia, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, American Samoa, Switzerland, Italy, and many other countries. The art, done in colored pencil, watercolor, oil, crayon, finger paint, and collage, is mounted for display.

“The pictures celebrate the importance of families,” said museum educator Jenny Lund, who helped organize the exhibit. “Through their art, these children express their faith in God, their love for their families, their insight, and their creativity.”

The exhibit, titled “Through a Child’s Eye: All Families of the Earth Be Blessed,” was organized into four sections: families at worship, families at work, families at play, and a general grouping about families.

[illustration] My Clean Room, Sarah-Marie Wettstein, 7, Switzerland

[illustration] Family Prayer, Ana Paula Marquez, 11, Argentina

Temples to Dot the Earth

Since 1980, twenty-nine temples have been built and dedicated around the world, bringing the total number of temples in operation to forty-five. In addition, nine temples are either announced or under construction. This map indicates the locations of these temples.

1. Alberta

16. Jordan River

31. Provo

2. Apia Samoa

17. Las Vegas Nevada

32. St. George

3. Arizona

18. Lima Peru

33. Salt Lake

4. Atlanta Georgia

19. Logan

34. San Diego California

5. Boise Idaho

20. London

35. Santiago Chile

6. Buenos Aires Argentina

21. Los Angeles

36. São Paulo

7. Chicago Illinois

22. Manila Philippines

37. Seattle

8. Dallas Texas

23. Manti

38. Seoul Korea

9. Denver Colorado

24. Mexico City

39. Stockholm Sweden

10. Frankfurt Germany

25. New Zealand

40. Swiss

11. Freiberg Germany

26. Nuku’alofa Tonga

41. Sydney Australia

12. Guatemala City

27. Oakland

42. Taipei Taiwan

13. Hawaii

28. Ogden

43. Tokyo

14. Idaho Falls

29. Papeete Tahiti

44. Toronto Ontario

15. Johannesburg South Africa

30. Portland Oregon

45. Washington

Temples announced or under construction:

46. Orlando Florida

49. Guayaquil Ecuador

52. Hartford Connecticut

47. St. Louis Missouri

50. Bogota Colombia

53. Utah County

48. Bountiful Utah

51. Hong Kong

54. Preston England

Couples Teach English in Vietnam

The first Church service volunteers to serve in Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War have begun teaching English to doctors, hospital staff members, teachers, and children.

Two couples—Elder James LaVar Bateman and Sister Helen Ream Bateman and Elder Stanley Glen Steadman and Sister Mavis Lynette Steadman—entered Hanoi during the first week in January and began teaching those affiliated with the Tran Hung Dao Hospital and the Hanoi Children’s Palace, a school for young children.

When the couples entered the country, they were accompanied by Elder John K. Carmack of the Seventy, first counselor in the Asia Area presidency. The five paid a courtesy call to the director of religious affairs for Vietnam, the Honorable Vu Quang, who welcomed them to the country and thanked them for their willingness to serve.

The couples were also warmly greeted by their future students in ceremonies at the hospital and school.

“It is a great honor to welcome Elder and Sister Bateman and Elder and Sister Steadman to Vietnam,” said Dr. Nguyen Huy Phan, a hospital faculty member. “We know that it is a sacrifice for them personally to come here, and we promise to take good care of them. We also appreciate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for sending them.”

At the children’s school, young people dressed in bright costumes welcomed the group with a program that included dancing, music, and speeches.

Church Pageant Schedule

A schedule of Church pageants has been announced for 1993:

April 6–10, Mesa, Arizona: “Jesus the Christ,” performed at Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center.

June 23–26, Independence, Missouri: “A Frontier Story—1883,” performed at Independence Visitors’ Center.

July 8–10, 13–17, Manti, Utah: “Mormon Miracle,” performed at Manti Temple grounds.

July 9–10, 13–17, Palmyra, New York: “America’s Witness for Christ,” performed at Hill Cumorah.

July 30–31, August 4–7, Castle Dale, Utah: Castle Valley Pageant, performed at Mountain Amphitheater.

July 30–31, August 3–7, Nauvoo, Illinois: “City of Joseph,” performed on hillside adjacent to Nauvoo Visitors’ Center.

August 13–14, 17–21, Clarkston, Utah: “Martin Harris, the Man Who Knew,” performed at amphitheater in Clarkston cemetery.

December 18–25, Calgary, Alberta: Calgary Nativity Pageant, performed at Heritage Park.

The next performance of “And It Came to Pass” at the Oakland Temple Interstake Center in Oakland, California, will be in 1995.

Additional details about any of the pageants may be obtained by calling (801) 240-2767 or by writing to Rebecca Zaugg, 430 West 400 North, Salt Lake City, UT 84103.

Comment

Pain of Abuse

I found “Hope and Healing” (Jan. 1993) a well-researched article, but I feel that the broader aspect of sexual abuse might have been addressed. We cannot deny the hurt of incest victims, but we must acknowledge the pain of all sexual abuse victims. I am currently involved in group therapy, and 50 percent of our group are victims of nonincestuous sexual abuse.

Name Withheld

Skilled Help

“Hope and Healing” is a significant article. As an army chaplain, I see abuse survivors almost daily.

Current studies indicate that the frequency of sexual abuse is growing. People are finding it safe to speak about inappropriate behaviors. It is still common wisdom that most abusers are male and most victims are female, but some literature suggests that up to 25 percent of the male population have also been sexually abused. I believe that figure is fairly accurate.

I cannot overstate the importance of professional, skilled help. I have known many members suspicious of therapy or counselors. In the past, many psychotherapies were on some level at odds with a reliance on God. That has changed greatly in recent years.

Chaplain Paul L. Williams San Antonio, Texas

Oakland Visitors’ Center

I was thrilled to see the announcement and picture of the new Oakland Temple Visitors’ Center. My husband and I served a mission there in 1978–79.

Gordon passed away in July 1991. He loved bearing his testimony to the people who visited from all over the world. Thank you for keeping me informed of the changes at the temple, a place full of wonderful memories for me.

Ione D. Heaton Roosevelt, Utah