New Mission Presidents Receive Training
President Howard W. Hunter and other General Authorities, including President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency, spoke to ninety-two new mission presidents and their wives during week-long training held at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.
“The atonement of Jesus Christ was a foreordained assignment by our Heavenly Father to redeem His children after their fallen state,” explained President Hunter. “It was an act of love by our Heavenly Father to permit His Only Begotten to make an atoning sacrifice. And it was a supreme act of love by His beloved Son to carry out the Atonement. …
“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.
“Those of us who have partaken of the Atonement are under obligation to bear faithful testimony of our Lord and Savior,” he continued. “For he hath said, ‘I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment—that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you’ (D&C 84:61).”
In his counsel to new mission presidents, President Hinckley also spoke about missionary work being based on Jesus Christ. “Missionary work is really not about weekly or monthly reports,” he said. “It is about people. … It is about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, a faith that speaks of love for Him who gave His life for each of us in an act of atonement beyond our capacity to fully understand. It is about coming to know of His love for us and of the love we must have for Him. It is about repentance, and that is more than a word. It is an act that means sorrow, godly sorrow, and remorse and restitution and resolution. It involves pleading prayers for forgiveness, and promises, sincere and honest, to do better.
“It is about baptism,” he continued, “the act of being immersed in water, not only symbolic of washing away one’s sins, but more importantly in token of the blood of the Lamb of God which was shed for all of us.
“It is concerned with the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter promised by the Lord, the ministering of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the spirit, if you please, spoken of by the Savior when he told Nicodemus that ‘except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ (John 3:5).
“Missionary work is concerned with searching and winnowing and gleaning and teaching with love and kindness.”
In his remarks, President Monson shared the feelings he and his wife, Frances, had thirty-five years ago when they were leaving to serve their mission in Canada. Elder Harold B. Lee, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, counseled them to remember two things. President Monson passed on that advice.
“First, whom God calls, God qualifies,” he said. “You have been called by Heavenly Father, and he will qualify you.
“Second, when you are on the Lord’s errand, you are entitled to the Lord’s help,” he continued. “These two statements will bring comfort to your souls and give you confidence that the Lord will be with you.”
President Monson read the Lord’s promise found in the Doctrine and Covenants: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88).
He shared a key to missionary success outlined by President Spencer W. Kimball. “We expect to have full, complete cooperation between the stake and full-time missionaries and to involve the members of the Church generally in opening the gospel door to our Father’s other children.”
President Monson counseled the new leaders not to worry excessively about their homes and families while they serve the Lord. “You are not alone,” he promised them. “We pray for you every Thursday.” He also shared a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants: “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, … your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power.
“Therefore, follow me, and listen to the counsel which I shall give unto you” (D&C 100:1–2).
The ninety-two new mission presidents came from twelve countries and will serve in thirty-nine nations.
Ten new missions have been created by the First Presidency this year, including the Church’s 300th mission. There are now 303 missions worldwide with some 48,500 missionaries serving.
Ground Broken for Preston England Temple
The largest gathering of Church members in northwest England in almost twenty-five years participated in the ground breaking for the Preston England Temple on 12 June 1994. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, presided at the event.
Cars and buses flooded into the area as more than 10,500 members of the Church from throughout Britain gathered in the green fields of the Chorley site. They were there to a take part in a milestone for the Church in the British Isles.
“This is an emotional experience for me,” observed President Hinckley. He reminded those in attendance that he had served as a missionary in Preston sixty-one years ago. Before the meeting, he had walked through the crowd, shaking hands. Tears flowed as he met and embraced Robert Pickles, now in a wheelchair, who had been a been his member-missionary companion many years earlier.
“Never, all those years ago, would I have dreamed that a temple would be built here,” President Hinckley said. “This will become our ensign upon the mountain. A temple is a unique structure: a monument to our convictions, belief, and knowledge that life is eternal, that we go on living after death.”
Several times throughout the weekend activities, which included two regional conferences, President Hinckley urged all adult Church members to be worthy of a temple recommend.
In addition to President Hinckley, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve was in attendance, as also was the Europe North Area presidency: Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy, president, and Elders Hugh W. Pinnock and Graham W. Doxey of the Seventy, counselors in the area presidency.
A regional 400-member choir helped bring a sweet spirit to the occasion, brightening a gray, overcast day. The mood of the meeting was far from gray, though, as every speaker reflected on the significance of a new temple for the British Isles.
Elder Ballard said that he, too, had served as a missionary in Britain, some forty-six years previous. “May the spirit of the temple touch your hearts as never before,” he said. He made particular reference to Doctrine and Covenants 128, a powerful revelation relating to temple work.
The area president, Elder Johnson, described the day as a new beginning. “I foresee a new era,” he said. “I see thousands of people accepting the truth and coming to this temple to take upon themselves covenants with the Lord.”
Elder Pinnock reminded all gathered that “the temple helps us to understand eternity; it is the focus of our lives, and our activity in the temple represents all that matters most.”
Elder Doxey reflected on the specter of empty churches, generally, in Britain. “As the churches are emptying, the prisons are filling,” he observed. “As the clergy decreases, the police increase.”
The Preston England Temple will be the second temple in Britain. When the London Temple opened in 1958, Church membership in Britain was 6,500. Today, that number has grown to more than 160,000.
New Area Presidencies Announced
The First Presidency has announced changes in assignments for area presidencies. These assignments will be effective August 15. All members of the presidencies are members of the Seventy.
1. North America Northwest: Ted E. Brewerton, President; Spencer J. Condie, First Counselor; LeGrand R. Curtis, Second Counselor
2. North America Central: James M. Paramore, President; William R. Bradford, First Counselor; F. Melvin Hammond, Second Counselor
3. North America Northeast: Cree-L Kofford, President; Vaughn J. Featherstone, First Counselor; W. Don Ladd, Second Counselor
4. North America Southeast: Stephen D. Nadauld, President; F. Burton Howard, First Counselor; Rulon G. Craven, Second Counselor
5. North America Southwest: W. Mack Lawrence, President; Gene R. Cook, First Counselor; F. Enzio Busche, Second Counselor
6. North America West: Loren C. Dunn, President; Lance B. Wickman, First Counselor; Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor
7. Utah North: John E. Fowler, President; J Ballard Washburn, First Counselor; Alexander B. Morrison, Second Counselor
8. Utah South: Earl C. Tingey, President; Jack H Goaslind, First Counselor; Ronald E. Poelman, Second Counselor
9. Mexico North: Angel Abrea, President; Jorge A. Rojas, First Counselor; John M. Madsen, Second Counselor
10. Mexico South: Lino Alvarez, President, Gary J. Coleman, First Counselor; D. Todd Christofferson, Second Counselor
11. Central America: Carlos H. Amado, President; Robert E. Wells, First Counselor; Joseph C. Muren, Second Counselor
12. South America North: Jay E. Jensen, President; Julio E. Dávila, First Counselor; Eduardo Ayala, Second Counselor
13. Brazil: Harold G. Hillam, President; Helvécio Martins, First Counselor; Dallas N. Archibald, Second Counselor
14. South America South: Lynn A. Mickelsen, President; John B. Dickson, First Counselor; Claudio R. M. Costa, Second Counselor
15. Europe North: Kenneth Johnson, President; Hugh W. Pinnock, First Counselor; Graham W. Doxey, Second Counselor
16. Europe: Dennis B. Neuenschwander, President; Robert K. Dellenbach, First Counselor; Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor
17. Europe/Mediterranean: Dean L. Larsen, President; Hans B. Ringger, First Counselor; Neil L. Andersen, Second Counselor
18. Africa: J. Richard Clarke, President; F. David Stanley, First Counselor; James O. Mason, Second Counselor
19. Asia North: David E. Sorensen, President; In Sang Han, First Counselor; Sam K. Shimabukuro, Second Counselor
20. Asia: John K. Carmack, President; Kwok Yuen Tai, First Counselor; John H. Groberg, Second Counselor
21. Philippines/Micronesia: Ben B. Banks, President; Augusto A. Lim, First Counselor; C. Max Caldwell, Second Counselor
22. Pacific: Lowell D. Wood, President; V. Dallas Merrell, First Counselor; Durrel A. Woolsey, Second Counselor
Bountiful Temple Open House, Dedication Dates Set
The Bountiful Utah Temple will be open to the public from 5 November 1994 to 17 December 1994, the First Presidency has announced. A June 23 letter to all priesthood leaders in the Wasatch front also announced the dates for the dedication of the temple—January 8 through January 14. There will be twenty-eight dedicatory sessions.
Tickets will be required for the open house, and those tickets can be obtained approximately sixty days prior to the open house through local stakes and wards in the Utah North and Utah Central areas. The tickets will be free of charge.
The use of tickets helps create an orderly experience and eliminates long lines and other problems associated with limited parking and access to the temple.
Following the open house, the temple will be closed for three weeks to prepare it for the dedication. Each of the Bountiful temple district’s twenty-eight stakes will be assigned a dedicatory session to attend. Tickets to those sessions can be obtained through bishops.
The dedicatory services also will be broadcast on closed-circuit television at the Salt Lake and Ogden tabernacles and the Bountiful Regional Center.
New Temple Presidents
The First Presidency has called eight new temple presidents and matrons:
Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi, president of the Tokyo Temple, and his wife, Toshiko Koshiya Kikuchi, matron.
Elder Merlin R. Lybbert, president of the Alberta Temple, and his wife, Nola Cahoon Lybbert, matron.
Lee R. Barton, president of the Manti Temple, and his wife, Norma Wanless Barton, matron.
Willard B. Barton, president of the Chicago Illinois Temple, and his wife, Catherine Jean Patton Barton, matron.
Jack F. Joyner, president of the Orlando Florida Temple, and his wife, Margaret Earlene Staton Joyner, matron.
E. Widtsoe Shumway, president of the Arizona Temple, and his wife, Diane Blackham Shumway, matron.
Bo G Wennerlund, president of the Stockholm Sweden Temple, and his wife, Maud Wennerlund, matron.
Harold C. Yancey, president of the Bountiful Utah Temple, and his wife, Ruth Orme Yancey, matron.
Annual Music Contests
In the past, rules for the annual general Church music contest, the hymn text contest, and the Relief Society music contest have been included in the Ensign. Although the Ensign will no longer print the rules or list winners of these contests, the General Music Committee and Relief Society will continue to sponsor these contests. Those interested may call or write the General Music Committee, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, or telephone (801) 240-2551. The deadline for the contests will be January of each year.
“We’re Not Alone”
“Lead Me, Guide Me” (March 1994) was excellent. It was like having someone in our own home watching and recording. We have a 22-year-old son who was hyperactive. We also have a 14-year-old boy who could be Jared Lambert; we have endured his out-of-control behavior for years. On the other hand, he can be kind, gentle, considerate, polite, and loving. How can a boy who has been diagnosed with SED (severe emotional disorder), ADD (attention deficit disorder), and oppositional defiant disorder be all these good things too? That’s part of the paradox of children.
Our older son outgrew his hyperactivity. As our younger son grows, he understands more, and he is able to be reasoned with at times. All this helps. But our greatest strength comes from a kind Heavenly Father who gave us these challenging children to help us learn patience, long-suffering, and a sense of humor. It is good to know that we are not as alone as we sometimes feel.
In “All of a Kind Family” (Portraits, Dec. 1993), the baptism of Octavian Vasilesku is discussed. While Steve Worsley did baptize his landlady Doina Biolaru, Brother Vasilesku was baptized by Alvin Price.