News of the Church


Changes in Presidency of Seventy

Two new members of the Presidency of the Seventy and changes in area presidency assignments have been announced by the First Presidency, to be effective 15 August 1995. (See adjacent article for new area presidencies.)

Elder Jack H Goaslind and Elder Harold G. Hillam have been called to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, replacing Elder Rex D. Pinegar and Elder Charles Didier, who have been given area presidency assignments.

Elder Goaslind is serving in the Presidency of the Seventy for the second time. Sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on 30 September 1978, he was in the Presidency of the Seventy from 1985 to 1987. He has served in the Utah South Area presidency and as the Young Men general president. He is a native of Salt Lake City, graduated from the University of Utah, served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and was vice president of a metals corporation before his call as a General Authority. A former temple president, regional representative, stake president and bishop, Elder Goaslind and his wife, Gwen Caroline Bradford Goaslind, have six children.

Elder Jack H Goaslind

Elder Jack H Goaslind

Elder Hillam has been serving as president of the Brazil Area. He was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 31 March 1990 and to the First Quorum of the Seventy on 6 April 1991. Born in Sugar City, Idaho, Elder Hillam attended Brigham Young University and earned a D.D.S. degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. He served as a regional representative, mission president, and stake president. Elder Hillam and his wife, Carol Rasmussen Hillam, have seven children.

Elder Harold G. Hillam

Elder Harold G. Hillam

Elder Pinegar will serve as second counselor in the Asia North Area presidency, and Elder Didier will be first counselor in the Europe East Area presidency.

As members of the presidency of the Seventy, Elder Goaslind will serve as Executive Director of the Church’s Curriculum Department and Elder Hillam will be Executive Director of the Priesthood Department. Elder Carlos E. Asay will serve as Senior President of the Seventy, and Elder Joe J. Christensen, who previously served as Executive Director of the Curriculum Department, will serve as Executive Director of Correlation Review. Other members of the Presidency of the Seventy will continue with their previous assignments: Elder L. Aldin Porter, Executive Director of the Missionary Department; Elder Monte J. Brough, Executive Director of the Family History Department; and Elder W. Eugene Hansen, Executive Director of the Temple Department.

Presently the Church divides the world into twenty-two areas, and members of the Quorums of the Seventy are called to serve in presidencies over those areas. As such, they are responsible for administering Church matters in their assigned areas.

Creation of a new administrative position of area authority, to serve under the area presidencies, was announced recently. Three new area authorities have been announced because they will also serve in area presidencies. Those three brethren are:

Hugo A. Catrón, 59, Buenos Aires, Argentina; former regional representative and stake president; CES institute director; married to María Rosario Surache Catrón.

C. Scott Grow, 47, Meridian, Idaho; former stake president, mission president, and stake Young Men president; president of an accounting firm; married to Rhonda Lee Patten Grow.

Carl B. Pratt, 53, Quito, Ecuador; former mission president, regional representative, and counselor in a stake presidency; married to Karen Ann Yoeman Pratt.

New Area Presidencies

The First Presidency has announced changes in assignments for area presidencies. These assignments will be effective August 15. (Presidents are shown in the center, with first counselors on the left and second counselors on the right.)

  1. 1.

    North America Northwest: Spencer J. Condie, President; Glenn L. Pace, First Counselor; C. Scott Grow, Second Counselor

  2. 2.

    North America Central: William R. Bradford, President; Hugh W. Pinnock, First Counselor; L. Lionel Kendrick, Second Counselor

  3. 3.

    North America Northeast: Vaughn J Featherstone, President; W. Don Ladd, First Counselor; Marlin K. Jensen, Second Counselor

  4. 4.

    North America Southeast: Stephen D. Nadauld, President; F. Burton Howard, First Counselor; John K. Carmack, Second Counselor

  5. 5.

    North America Southwest: W. Mack Lawrence, President; F. Enzio Busche, First Counselor; Lynn A. Mickelsen, Second Counselor

  6. 6.

    North America West: Loren C. Dunn, President; Lance B. Wickman, First Counselor; C. Max Caldwell, Second Counselor

  7. 7.

    Utah North: Alexander B. Morrison, President; Robert E. Wells, First Counselor; Robert K. Dellenbach, Second Counselor

  8. 8.

    Utah South: Earl C. Tingey, President; James M. Paramore, First Counselor; Gene R. Cook, Second Counselor

  9. 9.

    Mexico North: Angel Abrea, President; John M. Madsen, First Counselor; Andrew W. Peterson, Second Counselor

  10. 10.

    Mexico South: D. Todd Christofferson, President; Gary J. Coleman, First Counselor; Carlos H. Amado, Second Counselor

  11. 11.

    Central America: Joseph C. Muren, President; Lino Alvarez, First Counselor; Jorge A. Rojas, Second Counselor

  12. 12.

    South America North: Jay E. Jensen, President; Julio E. Dávila, First Counselor; Carl B. Pratt, Second Counselor

  13. 13.

    Brazil: Dallas N. Archibald, President; W. Craig Zwick, First Counselor; Claudio R. M. Costa, Second Counselor

  14. 14.

    South America South: John B. Dickson, President; F. Melvin Hammond, First Counselor; Hugo A. Catrón, Second Counselor

  15. 15.

    Europe North: Graham W. Doxey, President; John E. Fowler, First Counselor; Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr., Second Counselor

  16. 16.

    Europe East: Dennis B. Neuenschwander, President; Charles Didier, First Counselor; Bruce D. Porter, Second Counselor

  17. 17.

    Europe West: Dean L. Larsen, President; Neil L. Andersen, First Counselor; Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor

  18. 18.

    Africa: J. Richard Clarke, President; F. David Stanley, First Counselor; James O. Mason, Second Counselor

  19. 19.

    Asia North: David E. Sorensen, President; Sam K. Shimabukuro, First Counselor; Rex D. Pinegar, Second Counselor

  20. 20.

    Asia: Kwok Yuen Tai, President; John H. Groberg, First Counselor; Rulon G. Craven, Second Counselor

  21. 21.

    Philippines/Micronesia: Ben B. Banks, President; Augusto A. Lim, First Counselor; Kenneth Johnson, Second Counselor

  22. 22.

    Pacific: Lowell D. Wood, President; V. Dallas Merrell, First Counselor; Cree-L Kofford, Second Counselor

President Hinckley Visits Alaska Saints

In a historic visit President Gordon B. Hinckley told Latter-day Saints in Alaska that they “are here for a purpose—to build the kingdom of God in this part of the world.”

More than 7,500 Church members gathered to listen to President Hinckley speak during a June regional conference in Anchorage, the first time a Church President has spoken to Saints in the area. In addition to speaking at the conference, President Hinckley met with missionaries serving in the Alaska Anchorage Mission, spoke at a fireside in Juneau, met with members of a small branch in Gustavus, and spoke at another fireside in Ketchikan. Accompanying President Hinckley during his June 17 through June 23 travels were his wife, Marjorie, and Elder LeGrand R. Curtis of the Seventy, a member of the North America Northwest Area presidency at that time, and his wife, Patricia.

During his address, President Hinckley said that researchers in the Church Historical Department had told him that President Wilford Woodruff had once visited the area. However, Sunday meetings on that occasion were held on the boat President Woodruff was traveling on. “If there had been members of the Church there, [President Woodruff] would have gone to where they were,” President Hinckley observed. “I suppose, therefore, that this is the first occasion in the history of the Church when a President of the Church has had the opportunity of speaking to a great body of Latter-day Saints such as we have here today.”

President Hinckley counseled the members to increase their efforts as member-missionaries and encouraged them to always carry a temple recommend, even though they live far away from the nearest temple in Seattle, Washington.

Noting that the conference was held on Father’s Day, President Hinckley also talked about the responsibility of fathers in the Church. “It is a wonderful responsibility to be a man who stands at the head of his family as one who holds the priesthood of God with authority to speak in the name of God.”

President Hinckley encouraged members “to never lose sight of the fact that the God of heaven brought forth this work in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, that his true Church might be upon the earth.”

Some Alaskan members traveled many hours to hear President Hinckley speak at the various sites. A youth group that attended the fireside in Ketchikan traveled eight hours on a ferry to attend the meeting. Other members, including several Primary children, gathered in a heavy rainstorm at 6:00 A.M. on June 23 to sing “Happy Birthday” to President Hinckley as he left to return to Utah. President Hinckley celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday on June 23.

[photo] President Hinckley greets members at Anchorage regional conference. (Photography by Lowell Hardy.)

[photo] President and Sister Hinckley with members from the Gustavus Branch.

New Mission Presidents Receive Training

Saying to those in attendance that they were part of a great miracle, President Gordon B. Hinckley talked of ten gifts he would give new mission presidents.

President Hinckley and other General Authorities, including Presidents Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust of the First Presidency, spoke to ninety new mission presidents and their wives during a weeklong training period held at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.

“I never get over the fact that what we’re doing is in very deed a remarkable miracle: to send out young men and young women into a world that is unfriendly, generally, to their message, and to teach that world, and to have one here and another there listen and give attention,” said President Hinckley during his June 24 address.

“Oh, my brothers and sisters,” he continued, “[these] are the ten gifts which I would like to bless you with this morning as you come to the concluding day of this seminar: the gift of health and safety, the gift of leadership, the gift of wisdom, the gift of humility, the gift of patience, the gift of testimony, the gift of love, the gift of happiness, the gift of faith, and the gift of revelation. …

“We are among the ‘weak and the simple,’” he continued, referring to D&C 1:20–24. “We are not very professional, most of us, in this work. We’re ordinary people with ordinary capacities, who have been given an extraordinary assignment—to teach the gospel to the world, which will save the world, if people of the world will hearken unto the message we have to give.”

During his June 21 remarks, President Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of the five M’s of missionary work: the message, the missionary, the mission, the member, and the mission president.

“The world hungers for that message,” President Monson said, which includes the Book of Mormon; the true nature of the Godhead; the Church, which is built on a foundation of Apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone; a living prophet; the plan of salvation; and the First Vision.

In speaking about missionaries, President Monson said that missionaries are called of God by prophecy and revelation. “The desire of a lifetime is a missionary call,” he noted. “Your missionaries should hear you bear testimony as soon as they arrive in the mission field.”

President Monson, who served as a mission president in Canada, said that each mission has its own history and tradition. He encouraged the mission leaders to help every missionary become a part of the mission history.

In speaking about the fourth M—the member, President Monson told mission presidents to work closely with members. “Each member district is a future stake,” he said. He also talked of the importance of referrals and open-house events. “Members and missionaries are on the same team,” he said.

President Monson told the mission presidents that they set the tone for the mission. “What you do, the missionaries will do,” he said. He emphasized that mission presidents and their wives are a team and should be models to follow.

In his June 23 address, President Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, told the leaders that missionaries should be “so in tune with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that every one of them can speak in the name of God as they witness and testify of the Savior.”

He talked about four things that he would like his sons and grandsons to learn from their mission experience: how to acquire a testimony of the Savior and understand the blessings of the Atonement, how to be honest in all relationships, how to have courage to teach eternal principles, and how to be obedient.

“I would hope my son’s mission president would teach from the scriptures,” President Faust said. “The value of testimony is profound. I used to make my living in the courtroom, and the testimony can never be impeached. It is ours; it cannot be contravened. It can be challenged, of course, but there is not any way it can be disproved because it is something that is unique and special to our minds and souls.”

President Faust observed that missionaries “must be honest with the Lord, whose servants they are. This is the overriding principle of everything.” Missionaries must be honest with their parents, mission presidents, and companions, he said.

“I would like my son to learn from his mission president to have courage in teaching eternal principles,” President Faust continued. “We are trying to build up Zion and establish the kingdom of God. Missionaries need to have courage to not be afraid of man.”

President Faust noted that the best missionaries are not always the smartest, but they are the most obedient. “Mission presidents nurture obedience by loving their missionaries,” President Faust pointed out.

[photo] President Hinckley, second from left, with President Monson, left, and President Faust, third from left, and other Church leaders stand to sing during seminar for new mission presidents. (Photo by Carmen Troesser; courtesy of Deseret News.)

Convert Baptisms

In the last five years, 1,508,671 converts have been baptized into the Church. Convert baptisms have ranged during this period from 274,477 baptisms in 1992 to a high of 330,877 baptisms in 1990. These figures are separate from figures for children of record who were baptized; these latter baptisms have remained fairly stable—between 69,000 and 78,000 each year.











Gospel Flourishes in Ivory Coast

Just as ivory was once prized for its luminous beauty, the people of République de Côte d’Ivoire—so named in the 1400s when French sailors began trading ivory there—are today valued for their inherent spirituality, childlike faith, and eagerness to learn.

Located on the Gulf of Guinea in western Africa, this tropical country takes in as many as sixty different tribal groups. Muslims and Christians, who are often Arabic or French immigrants, make up 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of the country’s thirteen million inhabitants. Because Ivory Coast has enjoyed relative political stability and economic success since declaring its independence from France in 1960, many Ghanaians, Liberians, Zaireans, Congolese, Guineans, and Ethiopians have also moved there.

Map of the Ivory Coast

The gospel came to Ivory Coast primarily through students who, having embraced the restored gospel while studying abroad, returned to their homeland. In 1980 Lucien Yapi Affoue and his wife, Agathe, were converted in Lyon, France, where Lucien was studying. After being sealed in the Swiss Temple, the Affoues and their three children returned to Ivory Coast’s largest city of Abidjan in March 1984. Ivorian Phillippe Assard, who had been studying in Germany, joined the Affoues in Abidjan in 1986 with his German wife, Anelise, and their two children. By 1987 Ivory Coast had sixteen members.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the land in 1987, and in 1988 Cherry Silver and her husband, Barnard Stewart Silver, became the first missionaries to Ivory Coast, followed in 1989 by Robert and Lola Walker. The Abidjan Branch was formed in 1989, and the Church received legal recognition in 1991. Today the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission has fourteen French-speaking branches, two districts, and more than two thousand members. Sixty full-time missionaries from all over the world serve in the mission, including more than thirty Ivorians.

As is common elsewhere in the world, Ivory Coast converts often make great changes to embrace the gospel. After he retired as an army officer and before he heard about the Church, Mamadou Zadi decided to open a bar. His business venture was enjoying great success when he met the missionaries. Convinced of the truthfulness of their message, he joined the Church and transformed his bar into a meetinghouse for the Agoueto Saints. Seventeen members of Brother Zadi’s immediate and extended families followed him into the Church, and his son and nephew have served full-time missions in Ivory Coast.

The gospel is also flourishing among young Ivorians. A recent youth conference in Abidjan attracted some three hundred participants who attended workshops about self-improvement, social relations, employment, and health. Later the youth enjoyed dancing, a magic show, and a testimony meeting together. Romeo Didier is a typical young Ivorian convert. “I recently turned fourteen,” he says, “the same age Joseph Smith was when he received his first vision.” Active in another church, Romeo’s parents were acquainted with the local Latter-day Saint branch president, who tried to involve them in the Church. “My parents were not interested, but I was,” says Romeo. “They gave me permission to be baptized. I believe in Christ and love him, and I hope my testimony and example will influence my parents and my two brothers and five sisters for good.”

To highlight their goal of creating a stake, Ivorian members have adopted “SOS” as their slogan, which means “Start Our Stake.” Like the exquisite ivory figures carved by artisans of old, the Saints of Ivory Coast are today becoming beautiful, polished instruments in the Lord’s hands.

[photo] The four Kouassi brothers (three of whom are pictured with spouses) all helped each other join the Church. Many members of their extended family have also joined. (Photography by Phares Horman.)

[photo] Sister missionaries (left to right) Patricia Kouassi, Emma Yavo, Evelyne Mfutilla, and Judith Seri.

[photo] The Affoues were one of Abidjan’s first member families. President Affoue presides over the Bouake First Branch.

[photo] Ivory Coast seminary coordinator Mandy Gueu.

Hermine Horman, released from the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission in 1994, serves as a temple worker and is a member of the Mount Olympus Fourth Ward, Salt Lake Mount Olympus North Stake.

Names Submitted for Temple Ordinances

The following letter, dated 16 June 1995 and signed by the First Presidency, is for all Church members:

The restoration of the gospel in these latter days has provided the opportunity for sacred ordinances of the temple to be performed for the living and for the dead. Temples are being built at an unprecedented pace in order to make the privilege of this essential work more accessible throughout the world. We desire that all adult members of the Church be worthy to have a temple recommend, receive their own endowments and sealings, identify their ancestors, and perform temple ordinances for those who wait beyond the veil. These responsibilities apply to all members of the Church.

Because of the sacred nature of this work, members should be diligent in assuring the accuracy of all information submitted. Important policies have been established to facilitate family history research and the submission of names to the temple for ordinance work. They include the following:

  • Our preeminent obligation is for our own ancestors. Their names and relevant information should be submitted to a Family File.

  • Other names and data documented from personal family research should be submitted to the Temple File.

  • Members are encouraged to participate in the Family Record Extraction program and other approved projects that are vital to family history and temple work.

  • Members who do not have a Family File in the temple are encouraged to attend the temple to perform work for those whose names have been submitted to the Temple File.

  • Church members should not submit for temple ordinances the names of celebrities and other non-approved groups, such as Jewish Holocaust victims.

Ward and branch family history consultants may supply additional information if needed. We are grateful to members of the Church for the increasing number of names submitted and temple ordinances performed for those who, without such consecrated efforts, “cannot be made perfect” (D&C 128:15). May the blessings of the Lord attend you in all of your devoted service.

Preservation Work on Two Temples

Major exterior preservation projects at the Logan and Manti Temples have been announced by the First Presidency.

The projects will include replacement or restoration of deteriorating stone, repair of mortar joints, and stripping, repair, and painting of woodwork on windows. The two projects are expected to take more than a year to complete.

Located on the eastern bench of Logan in northern Utah, the Logan Temple was completed in 1884. It was the second temple completed in Utah after the Latter-day Saints pioneers settled in Utah. The sandstone parapets, buttresses, water tables, and window wells will be restored and, in some cases, replaced. The dark quartzite and siliceous limestone walls are in need of cleaning and mortar repair.

The Manti Temple, in central Utah’s Sanpete Valley, was completed in 1888. It was the third temple completed by the pioneer Saints. The exterior of the temple is a cream-colored oolite limestone taken from a nearby quarry, which will also supply replacement stones for the more weatherworn portions of the building’s exterior.

Both temples underwent extensive interior renovation and restoration in recent years. They will continue normal operating schedules during the exterior preservation work.