News of the Church

By and Don L. Brugger, Assistant Editor

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    Dedication of Church Facilities in Provo and Argentina

    In Provo, Utah, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, new missionary and temple patron facilities were recently dedicated. Three newly completed buildings at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, will allow the facility to accommodate some 4,200 missionaries at a time.

    President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, presided over the meeting at which the new Provo structures were dedicated. The buildings carry the names of three individuals: President Lorenzo Snow, fifth President of the Church; Elder LeGrand Richards, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Harriet Nye, the Church’s first official sister missionary. In his remarks prior to the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley summarized the history of missionary training, noting that the need for expansion speaks of the tremendous growth of missionary work.

    “Seventy years have passed since the Brethren first discussed the need for and made the decision to institute a missionary training program,” he said. “The work was relatively small then. Today we have, or will have in July, 303 missions. … Enough converts come into the Church each year to constitute one hundred new stakes of three thousand members each. It is all part of this marvelous work and a wonder.”

    Other speakers at the dedication were President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve, chairman of the Missionary Executive Council; and President Charles M. Grant, MTC president.

    The construction of the MTC expansion was completed in less than eighteen months. Forty-four languages are taught at the Provo facility, which accommodates an average of twenty-six hundred missionaries at any given time. In addition to the Provo center, the Church operates fourteen other missionary training centers spread across the world.

    One of those, the Missionary Training Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was recently dedicated by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve. In addition to the training center, Elder Wirthlin dedicated the Patron Housing Facility. Both of the three-story buildings are adjacent to the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple.

    The Missionary Training Center, which can accommodate up to ninety missionaries, and the housing facility, which houses 154 patrons, with ten apartments for couple missionaries serving in the temple, are directly involved in the mission of the Church, Elder Wirthlin pointed out in his remarks at the dedication.

    “We see here an example of the Church—it is compacted in these three buildings. The Missionary Training Center is where we train and send out these wonderful missionaries in order to bring many people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And then, later, as the converts proceed and improve themselves, they are able to come to the patron housing and then go to the temple.”

    Also speaking at the dedication were Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy and Kay Briggs, area director for temporal affairs. Elders Lynn A. Mickelsen and John B. Dickson of the Seventy, who serve in the South America South Area presidency, also attended the dedicatory services.

    [photo] One of the buildings at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. (Photo courtesy of Church News.)

    President Hinckley Asks Students to “Enjoy the Sunlight”

    “How wonderful to be alive today!” observed President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, at a March 6 fireside at Brigham Young University. President Hinckley’s remarks to students assembled at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, were broadcast over the Church satellite system throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico. “How wonderful to be a part of this great cause at this time in the history of the world and the history of this Church.”

    President Hinckley noted that in 1946, 55 percent of Church members resided in Utah; today only 17 percent of the members live in the state. Only 6 percent of Church members lived in international areas in 1946, as opposed to today’s figure of more than 45 percent. President Hinckley also spoke of convert baptism and the great temple-building era. “We are building temples where just a few years ago we never would have dreamed of building temples,” he said. He mentioned upcoming temple dedications in Orlando, Florida, and Bountiful, Utah, as well as temple groundbreakings in American Fork, Utah; Bogotá, Colombia; and Hong Kong. He also noted that property has been acquired for a temple in Madrid, Spain, as well as elsewhere for about seven other temples.

    After observing a general trend of pessimism in the world, President Hinckley urged listeners to “stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. … I’m asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.

    “I’m not asking that criticism be silent,” he continued. “Growth comes from correction. Strength comes with repentance. Wise is the man or woman who, committing mistakes pointed out by others, changes his or her course. … But let our faith replace our fears.”

    President Hinckley explained that the gospel means “good news.” “You are partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “The message of the Lord is one of hope and salvation. … The very essence of this work is faith. Faith cannot grow in an environment of doubt.”

    Stake and Family Record Extraction Programs Consolidated

    In a recent letter to general and local Church officers, President Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of the Twelve announced the consolidation of the Stake Record Extraction and Family Record Extraction programs to create a single, simplified organization called Family Record Extraction.

    In the past few years, Church members have been involved in two kinds of record extraction. The Stake Record Extraction program, in operation since the 1970s, focused primarily on supplying names for temple ordinances by supplementing names submitted by members. Working at stake or multistake sites, thousands of stake record extraction workers copied from microfilm information and dates from many countries. Data entry workers entered this information into large computers, usually located at regional data entry centers.

    Since 1987, a second program, Family Record Extraction, has supplied names for FamilySearch®, the Church’s system of family history computer programs and files designed to help members identify ancestors and provide temple ordinances for them.

    To simplify administration and accomplish more work, the consolidated Family Record Extraction combines the best features of both programs. Most of the names extracted through Family Record Extraction will be entered into the FamilySearch computer system. As needed, names extracted will be submitted to temples. This change in emphasis is a result of many more members’ submitting names to the temple, thus decreasing the need for extracted names. The new emphasis is also consistent with instructions in the new publication, A Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work, which states, “As members of the Church, we share the responsibility to provide the saving ordinances of the gospel for all who have lived—first for our own ancestors and then for others.”

    The new organization operates on a ward level, led by a ward Family Record Extraction director. The bishop assigns a member of the elders quorum presidency or high priests group leadership to provide supervision and support. Stake leaders provide ward leaders with instructions, training, and records to extract. Ward members, including families, are called by the bishopric to extract the records and/or type information into computers equipped with the Universal Data Entry software. These computers may be in members’ homes or they may be Church-owned computers in the stake, ward, or meetinghouse family history center. The ward Family Record Extraction director submits completed data to the stake extraction director, who forwards it to Church headquarters where it is added to FamilySearch.

    Those who have served in the Stake Record Extraction program will notice little change in their work as they continue providing needed expertise and service in this consolidated organization, now under the direction of their ward Family Record Extraction directors. Stakes are given flexibility in determining whether to continue with the same type of records previously extracted. In addition, they can choose to extract several different types of records at one time. Based on the type of records they request, stakes can choose different methods of extraction and data entry, such as extracting and typing information directly from records into computers, writing key information from records onto extraction forms before typing it into computers, and variations of these two methods. Stake leaders should make these adjustments in light of members’ needs and abilities.

    [photo] Workers enter extraction data. (Photo by Jed Clark.)

    [photo] Family history work is for everyone. (Photo by Michael McConkie.)

    Upgraded Personal Ancestral File® Available

    A new release of Personal Ancestral File—the Church’s home computer software for compiling and organizing genealogical information—is now available.

    “Families and individuals may purchase this computer program for home use or check with their ward family history consultant to find out if it has been installed on a computer in their meetinghouse or at their family history center,” explained Vance Standifird, product manager for Personal Ancestral File. “Personal Ancestral File 2.3 will help individuals organize their family history information into family groups and pedigrees.”

    Registered users of version 2.2, the current Personal Ancestral File program, should receive a letter and order form explaining how they can obtain the updated package—a maintenance package that includes 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch diskettes containing all of the Personal Ancestral File 2.3 programs. The cost of an upgrade is four dollars. Included in the package is a four-page explanation of the features added to the new release.

    Users of version 2.2 of Personal Ancestral File who have not sent in their registration cards can receive the upgrade package by mailing or taking their 2.2 registration card to the Salt Lake City Distribution Center, 1999 W. 1700 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104. There is a four-dollar cost.

    Users of Personal Ancestral File 2.0 or 2.1 can also receive the upgrade. However, they must send or bring the title page from their manual to the Salt Lake Distribution Center to purchase the program diskettes, manual, and other materials.

    Others can purchase the complete Personal Ancestral File 2.3 package for thirty-five dollars from the Salt Lake Distribution Center. (Toll-free number for the United States and Canada is 1-800-537-5950.)

    Version 2.3 of the family history software includes all functions of version 2.2. Additionally, the upgrade is compatible with TempleReady®, the FamilySearch program which allows members to verify Church information for their ancestors and prepare diskettes for use at temples. Personal Ancestral File 2.3 uses the same rules as TempleReady to check and qualify names. (Personal Ancestral File 2.2 should no longer be used with TempleReady.)

    In addition, the upgrade includes several Family Records Program improvements, including improved printing capabilities, more powerful Focus/Design Reports, additional Match/Merge options, GEDCOM program improvements, and a conversion program allowing users to convert the old two-letter temple codes to new five-letter codes. Also, when the program is in Pedigree Search, users can perform all functions listed on the main menu.

    Stakes in English-speaking areas where FamilySearch is authorized will soon receive a copy of the Personal Ancestral File 2.3 package for Church-owned computers in the stake, including family history center computers and ward administrative computers.

    “We hope members will use the upgrade, with help from their ward family history consultant if needed, to identify areas where additional work is needed, and to prepare ancestors’ names for temple ordinances,” said Brother Standifird.

    Policies and Announcements

    The following letters from the First Presidency were sent to all general and local Church leaders.

    Adoption and 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 note with alarm the continued decline of moral values in society and the resultant number of children being reared by unwed parents.

    A child needs both a mother and a father who provide love, support, and all the blessings of the gospel. Every effort should be made in helping those who conceive out of wedlock to establish an eternal family relationship. When the unwed parents are unable or unwilling to marry, they should be encouraged to place the child for adoption, preferably through LDS Social Services. Placing the infant for adoption through LDS Social Services helps ensure that the baby will be reared in a faithful Latter-day Saint family and will receive the blessings of the sacred sealing covenant.

    Unwed parents who do not marry should not be counseled to keep the infant as a condition of repentance or out of an obligation to care for one’s own. In many instances, an unwed parent is not able to provide the stable, nurturing environment so essential for the baby’s well-being.

    When deciding to place the baby for adoption, the best interests of the child should be the paramount consideration. Such a decision enables the unwed parent to do what is best for the child and enhances the prospect for the blessings of the gospel in the lives of all concerned.

    Divorce Clearance Procedure

    Effective immediately a man who has been previously sealed and later divorced, who desires to be married and sealed in the temple, must first obtain a clearance from the First Presidency.

    It is intended that this requirement will help to reemphasize the significance and sacredness of the temple marriage covenants. Details regarding this matter have been communicated to stake and mission presidents.

    Lansing Saints Gathering Strength

    Slowly but steadily, the Church in south-central Michigan has grown oaklike from small beginnings into the robust, spreading strength seen in the Lansing Michigan Stake in recent decades. Created in 1962, the 2,300-strong stake gathered strength to spawn four other stakes while increasing its own membership to nearly 3,000 in 1993 and rooting itself firmly in the Lansing community.

    In the 1830s and 1840s, branches of the Church proliferated in the counties surrounding Detroit (see D&C 52:7–9) and reached westward across the state. Lansing, settled in 1837 but growing fast enough to become the state’s capital in 1847, lay just beyond the fringe of this initial harvest, which halted in the mid-1840s as Michigan Saints gathered to Zion in Missouri. Nearly a century later, in 1936, the Lansing Branch was formed.

    Today Saints in Lansing and throughout the stake enjoy living the gospel in what is for them a center place of faith. Their numbers are not uncommonly large, and their closest temple is hours away in Chicago, yet they represent a positive and lasting presence. The city is home to the Michigan Lansing Mission, the Lansing stake, a family history center, and a one-of-a-kind LDS institute of religion and student housing complex next to Michigan State University.

    “We love it here,” says Steven E. Henrie, institute director and bishop to 140 students in the East Lansing University Ward. “We have the full Church program in a region of the country where the Church is not overly established.”

    Latter-day Saints in the Lansing area enjoy the fact that they have much opportunity to share the gospel. Bishop Henrie is quick to list other amenities: “big-city convenience without big-city problems,” beautiful lakes and a mild climate, a fairly stable economy, campus sports and cultural events, and accessibility to early American and Church historical sites just hours away.

    In 1952 Sylvan H. Wittwer was called as bishop of the newly created Lansing Ward. He also served twelve years as first president of the Lansing Stake, renamed the Lansing Michigan Stake a year after his release in 1973. He recorded these memories in the stake’s history: “I was given on many occasions renewed strength to carry on, not only my Church responsibilities but those at the university.”

    Perhaps the gospel’s power to promote well-rounded personal development is most evident at the institute of religion. At this gathering place, young LDS men and women refresh their spirits by attending institute classes and Sunday meetings and by socializing with their peers.

    “There’s a strong spirit here, a real strength,” says Nancy Fichter. “The more I’m involved in institute, the better I do academically.” In 1992 she was baptized in the river that runs through the MSU campus and behind the Church-owned East Lansing Student Living Center. Nancy says of her baptism that it was a moment so special that even a fisherman said “God bless” before moving to a different spot. She serves as a chorister and activities chair in the University Ward.

    More than 130 LDS students live in the center, which comprises two 17-unit apartment buildings located directly behind the institute building. Inside the Howard J. Stoddard Men’s Dormitory is an LDS bookstore. Dedicated by President N. Eldon Tanner in 1975, the three buildings fulfilled Brother Stoddard’s dream of a Church “living-learning center” near MSU.

    The living center’s proximity to MSU makes it a unique Church Educational System facility. Head resident Dustin Tull, a seminary instructor and religious studies student, speaks of the “wonderful spirit and amazing bond” that impress all—even residents of other faiths—who live in the buildings.

    Other Lansing area Saints—many of them farmers, university personnel, and laborers and executives in the automotive industry—reflect the stake’s unified diversity, says stake president Lindon J. Robison, an agricultural economist at MSU.

    “There’s not a lot of hand wringing here,” he says. “Members are willing to sacrifice whatever necessary” to advance the Church. “Their constant dedication is part of the Midwest mentality—they pick up the handcart and start marching.”

    Jim and Terri Sill joined the Church in 1991 after seeing Terri’s sister’s family in Alaska cope well with the death of a son.

    “The support of the Church is incredible,” says Terri, Relief Society secretary in the Williamston Ward. “You can go through your life being very selfish and not recognizing what is truly important. What I used to consider a sacrifice, I now consider a privilege.”

    Jim, a carpenter for the Grand Trunk Railroad, enjoys coaching his two sons and others in freestyle wrestling. Matthew and Marshall are strong and active in the Church as well. The Sill family has lived in the Lansing area for fourteen years.

    The faith, dedication, and tenacity of Lansing area Saints are exemplified in the lives of long-serving members Val and Karleen Crow and Azalia Benjamin.

    The Crows now serve in callings that enable them to bless the lives of youth, just as their own children were blessed by caring teachers when the family settled in Jackson, Michigan, some twenty-three years ago.

    A former bishop, Brother Crow is Scoutmaster for a combined troop from the Albion and Jackson wards. Sister Crow, whose long-term ill health greatly improved as promised after she was set apart as a ward Relief Society president years ago, is the Albion Ward Young Women president.

    “If we have faith to do what the Lord wants of us, we can’t help but be blessed by the Lord,” says Sister Crow. The Crows’ Church service has proved that time and time again.

    Azalia Benjamin’s mother and grandmother, baptized in 1907, were among the earliest converts to the Church in the Lansing area. Azalia was baptized at nine years of age in 1924. The gospel has given her strength to withstand hardship; she called on that strength when her husband became mentally ill and passed away in 1961 after ten years in a mental institution. In 1951 Azalia began teaching elementary school. She retired in 1977 after years of work as a teacher and a school social worker.

    “All my life I’ve been especially blessed,” says Sister Benjamin, who directs the Lansing Michigan Family History Center. “I’ve always had a strong knowledge of the truthfulness of the Church. There is a great feeling of warmth and goodness when you come to church that you don’t get anywhere else.”

    [photo] View of Lansing with LDS institute of religion and Church-owned student apartments in the foreground. (Photo by Chris Burdick.)

    [photo] Longtime member Azalia Benjamin. (Photo by Sue Ann Walker.)

    [photo] Val Crow, Scoutmaster in Lansing. (Photo by Sue Ann Walker.)

    Sue Ann Walker is director of public affairs for the Lansing Michigan Stake and Region.

    Of Good Report

    Simple Sacrifice for the Homeless

    The Franquelli family had no idea what they were getting into! It all began simply enough—a family council discussion on serving others. At the suggestion of eleven-year-old Anthony, the family packed up ten sack lunches and set out for downtown Baltimore to feed the homeless.

    It wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Brother Anthony Franquelli, as father of the family, led the way by offering one of the lunches to a man slumped on a bench—but it turned out the man was a premed student on a break. By the time they’d handed out the lunches, they had gained valuable experience and an even greater desire to help people they met. A week later they returned to the city with fifteen lunches; this time the food disappeared within minutes. A Franquelli family tradition had begun.

    But the family soon found they couldn’t do it alone. Friends and members of their ward, the Fort Meade Ward, Annapolis Maryland Stake, soon offered donations of food and clothes. The word spread and the donations climbed. Finally, with the help of an attorney in the ward, the family formed a nonprofit corporation, Simple Sacrifice for the Homeless, so that businesses and companies could contribute to the weekly service project.

    Three years and almost 140,000 lunches later, the Franquellis are still weekly serving more than five hundred homeless with the help of missionaries (who help prepare the lunches each week) and others who donate time, food, and clothing. “They need our help,” notes Brother Franquelli. “And we’re happy to do what we can.”Cindy Louise James, Odenton Ward, Annapolis Maryland Stake

    Community Historical Concert

    As our ward neared its fiftieth anniversary, we began planning an event that not only would commemorate our ward’s organization but would involve other churches in the community as well: we planned a historical community concert in which a variety of churches from our community would perform selections appropriate to the time period when they were organized.

    I was serving as the ward music chairman at the time. With the bishopric’s enthusiastic approval and support, I shouldered the responsibility for organizing the event. What a thrill it was to be involved in a project that would unite people of many faiths, as well as educate them. Many of the people in our community were unaware that Latter-day Saints were Christians. We looked forward to this concert as a way of sharing with others our belief in Christ.

    As we began planning, the program came together in a perfect way that no one could have foreseen; the historical significance of each church in our community seemed to mesh naturally. Thanks to the efforts of our ward public communications director, posters were visible throughout the community, and every newspaper in the area carried an article. One thousand invitations were distributed.

    The night of the concert, I watched as people began to fill our meetinghouse. I recognized few of the people, and most did not seem to be with ward members. By the time the concert began, there were more than 350 people in attendance, and nearly 300 of them were members of other faiths.

    As the program unfolded, the Spirit rested upon both the performers and the crowd; many eyes were moist as testimonies of Christ were expressed through musical praise.Lisa Wasiura Harrison, Muskegon Ward, Grand Rapids Michigan Stake

    Family Reunion Book of Mormon Project

    While many families read the scriptures together, the Jensen and Hall families of Rexburg, Idaho, read the scriptures in preparation for a family reunion. The families, who are related by marriage, wanted each family member to prepare for the reunion by reading the Book of Mormon.

    The project began in January. Progress was reported regularly, and at certain landmarks, homemade awards were given. Each family member participated in his or her own way: preschoolers listened to tapes or watched videos, those just learning to read pored over the Book of Mormon readers, and older family members read the book itself.

    But the experience didn’t end with the reading. On the day of the reunion, the family assembled for an overnight camping experience. Younger children hiked for a half mile and during their journey met people who represented Lehi, Sariah, Nephi, and his brothers. The youngsters also obtained the brass plates, found a Liahona, hunted for wild game, and even built tiny ships. Finally, both children and adults used heavy rocks and sharp tools to engrave messages on plates made of tin.

    Needless to say, the benefits of the experience are still being manifest.

    We all now know more about the Book of Mormon than we did before, but the greatest benefit came in the testimonies gained or strengthened by this unforgettable reunion.Mona Jensen, Rexburg Eleventh Ward, Rexburg Idaho Center Stake

    [photo] Church members and friends prepare lunches with the Franquelli family.

    Brazil Now Third Country with One Hundred Stakes

    Impressive growth of the Church in Brazil has resulted in the creation of seven new stakes in this South American country.

    Six of the seven stakes came from divisions of just two stakes—Florianopolis and Novo Hamburgo. Brazil is only the third country in the world to have more than one hundred stakes. (The United States has more than 1,170 stakes, and Mexico has 126.)

    Missionary work began slowly in Brazil, which boasts a population of 160 million and covers almost 3.3 million square miles. When missionaries first arrived in 1928, they confined their preaching to the German colonies in the south. It wasn’t until after World War II that missionaries began teaching in Portuguese to the entire population. In the last thirty years, Church membership in Brazil has jumped from five thousand to five hundred thousand.

    Because of the size of the country, members often travel several days to attend the temple. Yet the area presidency reports that the Sao Paulo Temple often functions at full capacity, with individuals and organized groups from all over the country arriving weekly.

    “The dedication of the people is inspiring,” said Elder Harold G. Hillam of the Seventy, president of the Brazil Area. Forty years ago, he served a mission in Sao Paulo, where only one branch was organized. Recently he attended a regional conference in the same city with more than twenty thousand members in attendance.

    “At the time [I served as a missionary], there was just one mission in Brazil,” Elder Hillam continued. “This mission had a North American mission president, and 98 percent of the missionaries were North Americans.

    “Today, the faithful Brazilians are filling more than half the callings as mission presidents, and the strong Brazilian youth are accepting the challenge and making the sacrifice to serve missions. Now, more than half the missionary force is made up of Brazilian elders and sisters.”

    The potential for missionary work in the country is still great. The area presidency reports that there are cities of 100,000 to 250,000 people that have never had missionaries, as well as numerous smaller communities. A new missionary training center, slated to be the second largest in the Church, is being built in Sao Paulo.

    Spanish-Speaking Stake Created in Florida

    For two years, Church members in the Miami, Florida, area have been working toward a goal to have the first Spanish-speaking stake in the southeastern United States. With the formation of the Miami Florida (Spanish) Stake on January 16, members achieved their goal.

    “Two years minus three days ago, I challenged the region to develop a Spanish-speaking stake,” noted Elder Alexander B. Morrison of the Seventy, president of the North America Southeast Area, who presided over the boundary revisions that resulted in the Spanish-speaking stake as well as changes in three other stakes in the region.

    “The creation of this new stake was approved by the First Presidency and the Twelve because the Lord said that ‘every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language’” (D&C 90:11), Elder Morrison told more than forty-five hundred Saints who had gathered for the regional conference. “Great blessings will come as the Spirit of the Lord is poured out on the Hispanic members in this area. This Spanish stake will provide opportunities for many more to participate in building the kingdom of the Lord in this part of the world.”

    Local leaders say that the creation of the new stake is partly the result of consistent and enthusiastic missionary work and Melchizedek Priesthood training, which enabled Church units in the area to meet required numbers for unit expansion.

    The Spanish-speaking stake is formally designated the Miami Florida (Spanish) Stake. The new stake that was created is the Pompano Beach Florida Stake. The name of the West Palm Beach Florida Stake was changed to the Stuart Florida Stake, and the South Miami Florida Stake is now called the Homestead Florida Stake. The boundary changes involved transferring some wards and branches from one stake to another, particularly non-Spanish-speaking wards that were previously part of the former Miami Florida Stake.

    New Video Profiles Church Doctrine, Practices

    A new Church-produced documentary is now available to television stations, libraries, and other organizations around the United States.

    The 28-minute program, A Profile of Faith, features statements from Latter-day Saints in nations as diverse as Mexico, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil. The video addresses a wide range of topics: Church doctrine and organization, Christian service, health practices, lay ministry, and Church scriptures, including the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Central to the production, which was filmed primarily on location, are Church members’ expressions of their belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Exemplar for mankind.

    “We wanted something to help make the Church better known and understood,” explained Don Russell, media placement specialist for Church Public Affairs. “We also wanted a program with an international angle that reflected the international membership of the Church.

    “We were looking for something that television stations could use, but something that could also be distributed to libraries, communities, and civic and religious organizations that explained something about what we believe and how we live.”

    Another important theme of the documentary is the Church’s emphasis on rearing successful families. Latter-day Saint families from England and South Africa share their feelings on family unity developed through commitment to common values and activities. The family home evening program is also explained.

    Also discussed is the Latter-day Saint view of the eternal nature of the family, reflected in the Church’s worldwide construction and operation of temples where faithful Church members are married for time and eternity.

    A Profile of Faith (VHS) is available for three dollars from the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104, or by calling (in the United States and Canada) 1-800-537-5950. Ask for item number 53421. A two-dollar service charge will be added to each phone order.


    New national vice presidents have been called for Lambda Delta Sigma, the Church sorority for college women, and Sigma Gamma Chi, the Church fraternity for college men.

    Lambda Delta Sigma vice presidents are Karen B. Fankhauser, Salt Lake City; Judy S. Smith, Sandy, Utah; and Shirley K. Van Wagenen, Salt Lake City. Vice presidents/executive secretaries of Sigma Gamma Chi are Robert C. Sloan and W. Jeffrey Marsh, both of Salt Lake City.


    Articles on Disabilities

    I have noticed in issues of the Ensign that there have been wonderful articles dealing with various disabilities. The articles are spiritually inspiring and based on research; the information is up-to-date. I will finish my degree in special education this year, and because of my love for people with disabilities, these articles have been exciting for me to read and share. I have used the advice, recommendations, and quotes often in my student teaching.

    It is very important for us to learn about individual differences. It is easy to go through life without understanding or taking notice of others’ differences. Every ward I have ever attended has been made up of individuals with all types of abilities and disabilities. I have learned a great deal from these members.

    Cathleen Reese Las Vegas, Nevada

    Journeyman for the Lord

    “A Journeyman for the Lord” (April 1994) could have been written for me. It explains the daily struggles I go through in my career in retail management. My job is never boring, and I enjoy the work; I also strive to excel in my chosen field.

    I, too, often hear depreciatory remarks about my profession. Brother Hull’s article gave me some much needed perspective and inspiration.

    Gaye G. Hill Louisville, Kentucky

    Officer of the Peace

    As a correctional counselor who spends each day working in a high-security state prison, I was both gratified and strengthened by the perspective offered in “Officer of the Peace” (Feb. 1994).

    Regardless of efforts to rise above the effects of the prison environment, our staff all have been affected by cynicism, prejudice, and other negative emotions and behavior patterns as we operate in a microcosm of the worst in society.

    I am so grateful for the restored gospel and the direction it has given my life.

    Larry D. Kump Hogerstown, Maryland