News of the Church


President Hinckley Visits Members in Ohio and New York

During April President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed members in Columbus, Ohio, and Madison Square Garden in New York City and received a community award and spoke at a leadership conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Salt Lake City. On the first Sunday of May he addressed members from northern Ogden, Utah.

NAACP Leadership Meeting

Speaking to about 250 NAACP leaders and associates gathered from the western United States, Hawaii, Japan, and Korea in Salt Lake City on 24 April, President Hinckley said: “In the course of my life I have mingled widely with people of all races, with those of Asia and Africa, Europe and Polynesia, with people in high station and low station, both good and bad. The world is my neighborhood, and its peoples, regardless of status, are my friends and neighbors. I include all within the compass of the mandate of the Savior, who said: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’” (Matt. 22:37–39).

After referring to the many ills affecting society, President Hinckley said: “The black family in this nation has been a tremendous institution. It has added much to our culture and to the strength of our people. But in far too many cases families of all races have been denied leadership, the leadership of a good and devoted father who stands at the side of an able and kindly mother in quietly training, gently disciplining, and prayerfully helping the children for whom they both are responsible. The God of heaven designed the family as the basic unit of society. He did not design that children should be begotten and left to a single and often poor mother to rear. He designed that a father should stand as the pillar of strength in every household.”

Another theme of President Hinckley’s address was the need for family prayer. “A father who will kneel with his wife and children will do wonders for them,” he said. “The very act of getting on one’s knees before a Higher Power becomes an acknowledgment of our need for help. To thank the Lord in the presence of one another for life, health and strength, and family carries with it a wonderfully salutary effect. Remembering the poor and the needy and the unfortunate before the Almighty has an inevitable effect upon children. It leads to unselfishness, to concern for others, to a desire to lift and bless those in distress.”

President Hinckley received a standing ovation at the end of his talk and another ovation when he was presented with the NAACP Distinguished Service Award, signed by Julian Bond, chairman of the board of directors, and other NAACP dignitaries.

Columbus, Ohio

Addressing about 7,000 members gathered on Saturday, 25 April, in Columbus, Ohio, President Hinckley said that the Lord “expects so very, very much of us, my beloved brethren and sisters. It has been so from the earliest days of the Church. I come here to Ohio today, and I think of the times at Kirtland just up the way a little distance and of the early days of the Church and what was demanded of the people. … Those who were faithful, those who were true, those who were loyal stayed with the Prophet Joseph Smith, and those who were otherwise drifted away. That process has been going on ever since and will continue to go on. There will never be a dimming of the great expectations that devolve upon this people.”

Focusing much of his remarks on family relationships, President Hinckley said: “This is a day of repentance when you and I can turn around and face up to our responsibilities as husbands and wives, as fathers, as parents, and as children. The family is a creation of God. It is the basic unit of society. All else depends on it. If the family falls apart, the nation falls apart. There isn’t the slightest question in my mind concerning that. The Church holds great expectations concerning you in your family relationships.”

As part of his remarks, President Hinckley announced, “The time has come to build a temple in this great state of Ohio. The temple will not be a large building but will accommodate all of the temple ordinances.”

Local members responded with faith and enthusiasm.

Today the state of Ohio has about 45,000 members organized into 10 stakes. Columbus is located about 150 miles south of Kirtland, Ohio.

New York City

President Hinckley reminded an estimated 20,000 people who filled Madison Square Garden in New York City on 26 April of the “great expectations” the Church has of its members, including building strong families through faith and prayer.

He also emphasized modern revelation. “Christians generally and our Jewish and Muslim brethren and sisters revere the prophets of old who spoke words of revelation as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit,” he said. “The times in which they spoke were less complicated. The ways of society were relatively simple. If there was need for revelation then, is there not an even greater need for revelation in this highly complex and difficult age in which we live? If God spoke to Abraham anciently, shall He not speak to prophets in this season of the world? We believe in modern revelation, and I stand before you and can testify in humility—but with certainty—that we are blessed with it in the guidance of this Church in this day and time. God has not forsaken us, nor will He if we will live in obedience to His commandments.”

President Hinckley’s remarks were translated into 11 languages and were broadcast simultaneously through an in-house FM-radio network. Before the conference he met with media and business leaders and international diplomats, including North Korean ambassador Li Hyong Chol, who expressed thanks for the humanitarian aid the Church has provided his famine-stricken country.

Some 20,000 members live in the New York metropolitan area, and members traveled to the conference from as far away as Massachusetts and North Carolina. “The biggest thing about this for me is having so many Latter-day Saints together all at once,” said Scott LeFoll of Hartford, Connecticut. “The Spirit is absolutely overwhelming.”

Anthea Pierre of Brooklyn, a Caribbean native who was baptized four years ago, said: “It meant so much to have the prophet here. It meant getting to personally feel his spirit. It gives me the belief that the principles and the doctrines that we learn and the messages that he passes on to us are real. They are from God, and he is a prophet of God.”

Service Awards for President and Sister Hinckley

President Hinckley and his wife, Marjorie Hinckley, were both honored during April with service awards. About 1,000 people gathered in a Salt Lake City hotel on 15 April for the presentation to President Hinckley of the Legacy of Life Award, given each year by the LDS Hospital–Deseret Foundation in recognition of an individual’s contribution to the well-being of mankind. Presidents Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust of the First Presidency attended the function with their wives.

Sister Hinckley received the Distinguished Service to Humanity Award on 2 April during the annual meeting of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists (AMCAP). “Her service has been in the form of steady, unwavering, and continual expressions of care, interest, and support for all of her brothers and sisters in all areas of the world and at all levels of status,” said AMCAP president Janet Scharman.

“We each do the best we can,” Sister Hinckley remarked at the award presentation. “My best may not be as good as your best, but it’s my best. The fact is that we know when we are doing our best and when we are not. If we are not doing our best, it leaves us with a gnawing hunger and frustration. But when we do our level best, we experience a peace.”

Ogden, Utah

On Sunday, 3 May, President Hinckley addressed about 12,000 members from northern Ogden, Utah. “This is the great day in the work of the Lord,” President Hinckley said. “I just marvel at what I see. Everywhere we go we are treated with deference and respect. The media come out, and we have press conferences. People are anxious to hear about the Church. They want to know what makes us tick. We are large enough now, we are strong enough, that they pay attention to us, and that places upon each of us a great responsibility to live up to that which is expected of us, my brothers and sisters. This is the day of prophecy fulfilled. This is the day of which the prophets of old spoke. You are the people whom they described. How thankful we ought to be that somehow in the majesty and kindness and goodness of the Lord you and I were brought forth in this generation with the marvelous and wonderful blessings which we hold. God help us to be strong and true.”

[photo] President Hinckley addressed and was honored by NAACP leaders. (Photo by Welden C. Andersen.)

[photo] More than 20,000 Latter-day Saints and visitors fill New York City’s Madison Square Garden to hear President Hinckley speak. (Photo by Jon Moe.)

[photo] An electronic marquee at Madison Square Garden announces the Church conference. (Photo by Kah Leong Poon.)

[photo] President and Sister Hinckley and other Church leaders mingle with business, media, and diplomatic dignitaries in New York. (Photo by Jon Moe.)

Temple Building Update

Six Small Temples Announced

The First Presidency has announced six more small temples to be built around the world. The new temple sites are in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Kailua Kona, Hawaii; Fukuoka, Japan; Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; and Suva, Fiji. In addition, the temple originally announced in September 1995 for Caracas, Venezuela, was reannounced as a small temple.

The temple in Halifax will serve some 4,200 members in Nova Scotia and another 3,500 members in the Canadian maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. About 6,400 members will be served by the temple in Kailua Kona, a city located on Hawaii’s large island. The temple in Fukuoka, Japan, a city on the southern island of Kyushu, will serve about 7,700 members. More than 12,000 members will be served by the temple in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, located near the U.S. border at El Paso, Texas. The temple in Suva, Fiji, will serve some 12,000 members whose closest temple is currently in Tonga, 600 miles distant. The Caracas Venezuela Temple will serve about 80,000 members.

Groundbreaking for Anchorage Temple

“Perhaps the groundbreaking ceremony for a temple is to give the Saints a period for repentance, a period of inner cleansing, a period for greater sacrifice prior to the construction and ultimate dedication of the temple itself,” remarked Elder F. Melvin Hammond of the Seventy, First Counselor in the North America Northwest Area, at the 17 April groundbreaking for a small temple to be built in Anchorage, Alaska. Elder Hammond presided at the ceremony, which was attended by about 1,700 members who gathered in the Anchorage Alaska Stake Center and then at the temple site 50 yards away.

The temple will serve more than 24,000 members living in Alaska and Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Nashville Temple Plans Changed

The Church will move ahead with plans to build a temple in the area of Nashville, Tennessee, but not in the suburb of Forest Hills as originally intended. A court of law recently decided not to approve appropriate zoning for the temple, and an appeal will not be pursued. The Church had been trying for three years to gain approval to build a temple on one of two possible sites there.

“We were surprised at the opposition in Forest Hills,” said Allan Erb, second counselor in the Nashville stake presidency and chairman of the local temple-site committee. “Our experience has been that the temples have become attractive and appreciated assets to the communities wherever they’ve been built. We are disappointed that our temple will not be part of the Forest Hills religious community.”

When a new site is secured, the Nashville temple will be substantially smaller than originally planned. The Church has about 29,000 members in Tennessee.

Patron Housing Dedicated at Santiago Chile Temple

“This facility will provide a much-needed environment for rest and renewal for so many who travel long distances from the north and south of Chile to attend the temple,” said Elder Dallas N. Archibald of the Seventy, President of the Chile Area, about a new 168-unit housing building located near the Santiago Chile Temple. With about 600 people in attendance, he presided over dedication services held on 22 March for the new building. Elders Jerald L. Taylor and Eduardo A. Lamartine of the Seventy, counselors in the Chile Area Presidency, also spoke.

Called Hospedaje, which translates into English as “lodging,” the complex includes a playground and nursery for children. In his dedicatory prayer, Elder Archibald asked that lodging patrons may “have their eyes, ears, and hearts open to the whisperings of the Spirit and in their physical recuperation from their travels be spiritually prepared to work in the holy temple [and] reflect on the great plan of happiness.”

Temples in Progress

The Church currently has 51 temples operating in 23 countries worldwide, with 27 more temples in various stages of design or construction, for a total of 78 temples. When all announced temples are complete, eight more countries will have a temple for the first time: Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, Ghana, Spain, and Venezuela. Construction has started on 14 temples, and 13 are still in planning stages. Not counting the five newest sites listed at the beginning of this article, following is a temple-by-temple update for temples not yet operating:

Accra, Ghana—Announced February 1998.

Albuquerque, New Mexico—Announced April 1997.

Anchorage, Alaska—Ground broken April 1998.

Billings, Montana—Ground broken March 1998.

Bogotá, Colombia—Ground broken June 1993; construction about halfway completed.

Boston, Massachusetts—Ground broken June 1997.

Campinas, Brazil—Ground broken May 1998.

Caracas, Venezuela—Announced September 1995.

Cochabamba, Bolivia—Ground broken November 1996; foundation complete and structural work under way.

Colonia Juárez, Mexico—Ground broken March 1998.

Columbus, Ohio—Announced April 1998.

Guayaquil, Ecuador—Ground broken August 1996; construction about halfway completed.

Houston, Texas—Announced October 1997.

Madrid, Spain—Ground broken June 1996; construction about two-thirds completed.

Monterrey, Mexico—Announced December 1995.

Monticello, Utah—Ground broken November 1997; dedication planned for July 1998.

Nashville, Tennessee—Announced November 1994.

New York—Announced October 1995.

Pôrto Alegre, Brazil—Ground broken May 1998.

Preston, England—Ground broken June 1994; dedication planned for June 1998.

Recife, Brazil—Ground broken November 1996; foundation work has begun.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic—Ground broken August 1996; construction about 40 percent completed.

[photo] About 1,700 people attended the Anchorage Alaska Temple groundbreaking. (Photo by Ray Hafen.)

[photo] The new temple-patron lodging at the Santiago Chile Temple provides 168 units. (Courtesy of the Chile Area Presidency.)

President Monson Honors George Romney, Receives Award

Brigham Young University recently renamed its 30-year-old Institute of Public Management after George W. Romney, a Church member who served as governor of Michigan, a U.S. Cabinet member, and head of the American Motor Company before passing away in 1995. President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at a dinner on 14 April in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. The event was attended by President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; Elders M. Russell Ballard and Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; and Elders Merrill J. Bateman, Loren C. Dunn, and Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy. Elder Bateman serves as president of BYU.

Calling Brother Romney a “great American,” President Monson said, “This man, George W. Romney, whom we honor tonight, was sustained by God, for God loved him so, and he loved his Heavenly Father.”

“George Romney, as we will read in the history of the 20th century, made a great contribution in bringing the Church out of obscurity and out of darkness,” said Elder Haight, who was a childhood friend of Brother Romney. “The way he lived, the way he honored the priesthood, and the way he honored what he believed in, all of that helped magnify.”

At a 22 April award program honoring President Monson and his wife, Frances, for their community service, President Monson said, “I feel I’m among friends.” He received the Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award from a Catholic health-care facility in Salt Lake City.

“My belief in life is that our aim is to eliminate the weakness of one man or woman serving alone and substitute the strength of many serving together,” said President Monson in his remarks.

The Rev. George Niederauer, Catholic bishop of the Salt Lake diocese, said the Monsons are “the personification of human faces of concern and love and outreach to the entire community here in Salt Lake, here in Utah, and around the world.” He commented that President Monson “was one of the first and one of the most heartfelt of my welcomers here in Utah over three years ago.”

[photo] Left to right: The Rev. George Niederauer, Sister M. Aloysius Mannion, President Monson, Frances Monson. (Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.)

Honored as Mothers of the Year

Latter-day Saint women in the United States have been chosen as National Mother of the Year and National Mother of Young Children for 1998. Diane Stirland Matthews of the Southern Estates Ward, Mesa Arizona Kimball Stake, was named National Mother of the Year. Tammy Jones Huber of the Oatfield Ward, Milwaukie Oregon Stake, was named National Mother of Young Children. They were among 20 LDS women chosen to represent their states at the annual American Mothers Convention held 29 April to 3 May in Atlanta, Georgia.

In addition to Sister Matthews, those representing their respective states as Mother of the Year were Joyce Burgess Candland of the White Plains First Ward, Suitland Maryland Stake; Joan George Erickson of the Perry Second Ward, Willard Utah Stake; Raelene Ball Hill of the Old Oaks Ward, Houston Texas North Stake; Joy Weller Miller of the McCall Ward, Weiser Idaho Stake; Patricia Lei Anderson Murray of the Lanakila Ward, Honolulu Hawaii West Stake; Ann Crane Santini of the Potomac South Ward, Washington D.C. Stake; Joann Alder Sorensen of the Vancouver Fifth Ward, Vancouver Washington Stake; Lucy Ann Fisher Staples of the Lake Mills Branch, Madison Wisconsin Stake; and Helen Bartlett Stone of the Westchester First Ward, Westchester New York Stake.

In addition to Sister Huber, the Latter-day Saint women chosen as Mother of Young Children representatives from their states were LeiLani D. Auna of the Hauula Third Ward, Laie Hawaii Stake; Leann Clark Carroll of the Apex Ward, Raleigh North Carolina Stake; Shaunaleen T. Crapo of the Hyrum 10th Ward, Hyrum Utah North Stake; Shanna L. Dayton of the Hamilton Ward, Warrenton Virginia Stake; Charlotte G. Miller of the Hopkinsville Ward, Hopkinsville Kentucky Stake; Leslie Ann K. Nigh of the Madison Third Ward, Madison Wisconsin Stake; Kristy Searle Saunders of the Sunny Mesa Ward, Mesa Arizona Kimball East Stake; Sally Jo D. Simmons of the Sugar Land First Ward, Houston Texas South Stake and Cynthia Ann Johnson Wallace of the Castlerock Ward, Taylor Mountain Idaho Stake.

Exhibit Forges New Link with Missouri

When Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy and Missouri governor Mel Carnahan cut a ribbon to open the exhibit “A Commemoration of the Mormon Experience in Missouri,” the event joined Church members with Missouri citizens and leaders in friendship and understanding. The proceedings were held on 24 April in the rotunda of the state capitol building in Jefferson City to unveil an exhibit that will be displayed there until 24 July.

The cordial reception from Governor Carnahan was in dramatic contrast to how the Church was received in the 1830s, culminating in Governor Lilburn W. Boggs’s order in 1838 that all Mormons be driven from the state or be exterminated.

In Governor Carnahan’s remarks before the 1,200 attending the opening of the exhibit, he welcomed members of the Church into Missouri: “Elder Pinnock, we understand that we cannot undo history, but we can do what we can do today. Last May, we were very pleased to welcome you and a delegation from the Church to St. Louis for the preview of the beautiful temple. Today we welcome you to the official seat of state government, to the Missouri state capitol. You and all your friends, all the congregants of the Church, are most welcome today.”

Elder Pinnock spoke of the Church’s connection with Missouri since 1831, detailing many events of Church history in the state. He noted that the extermination order of 1838 was officially rescinded in 1976 by Governor Christopher S. Bond and went on to say, “But at least 100 years earlier, the spirit of the people that lived here rescinded on their own that extermination order. Missouri has provided a kind and wonderful climate for members of the Church.”

Joined by his counselors in the North American Central Area Presidency, Elders Kenneth Johnson and Lynn G. Robbins, both of the Seventy, Elder Pinnock presented Governor Carnahan and his wife, Jean, with a portion of the Carnahan family history.

Adding music to the occasion was the 100-voice Heart of America Mormon Choir, with participants from more than 40 wards and branches in the Kansas City area. Accompanied by a brass band, they performed a selection of hymns and patriotic songs.

Also in attendance were artists Liz Lemon Swindle and Glen S. Hopkinson, who were commissioned to produce paintings for the display.

Two years ago Martin Cooper, then Clinton Branch president, heard state capitol guides innocently giving inaccurate information about the Church. When one tour guide acknowledged he had been giving the same tour for 10 years, Brother Cooper knew something ought to be done. So began a two-year effort that evolved to include dozens of members across the state and culminated in the creation of the new exhibit.

The display features the following eight panels with historical paintings accompanied by text explaining the history of the Church in Missouri and a map showing the Mormon migration:

  • “Mormons Settle in Missouri” tells of the Church’s early days in the state.

  • “Unresolved Conflicts Reveal Friend and Foe” explains how differences and misunderstanding created conflict between Church members and some Missouri residents while other Missourians were sympathetic.

  • “A County of Their Own” details the creation in 1836 of Caldwell County, where members lived in peace for almost two years.

  • “A Time of Great Trial” explains the Extermination Order and the events at Liberty Jail.

  • “The Exodus from Missouri” tells of the members establishing Nauvoo, Illinois, and the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.

  • “Emigrating Mormons Gather” highlights the members’ migration westward.

  • “Sustained by Their Faith in Christ” defines the Latter-day Saints as people holding fast to the restored gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ.

[photo] Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Missouri’s capitol rotunda were Governor Mel Carnahan of Missouri, state auditor Margaret B. Kelly, and Elders Hugh W. Pinnock, Kenneth Johnson, and Lynn G. Robbins. (Photo by Jim Sherman.)

Two New Curriculum Items

A new manual titled Book of Mormon Stories and a new supplement to the Gospel Art Picture Kit are now available at Church distribution centers.

Featuring new art and text, Book of Mormon Stories (item no. 35666, $2.25 U.S.) replaces the old Book of Mormon Reader. The new book has 54 chapters compared to 25 chapters in the previous reader and is designed for use by children as well as for those with reading challenges.

The Gospel Art Picture Kit supplement (item no. 34740, $6 U.S.) includes 56 pictures and a new index for the entire kit. Explanations about each illustration are provided on the backs of the pictures.

Floods, Tornadoes Affect Members

Floods along the Paraná and Uruguay Rivers in northern Argentina and western Uruguay at the end of April resulted in the evacuation of 80,000 people from their homes, including 378 Church members. Several Church meetinghouses were used to house members and others who were evacuated. The Church provided tents, food, mattresses, and water. Local Church leaders organized members to collect food and clothing for flood victims. A shipment of 60,000 pounds of clothing and powdered milk was sent to Argentina from Salt Lake City.

In mid-April, heavy rains caused what was considered the worst flooding in over 60 years in central England. One member family experienced slight flooding in their apartment. Local Church leaders and members provided towels and blankets, and a Church meetinghouse was used for shelter. Members helped sort clothing donated by the Salvation Army for use by flood victims.

A storm system with high winds, rain, hail, and tornadoes hit Alabama on 8 April and quickly spread to Mississippi and Georgia. The property of about 20 members was damaged. The Church teamed up with several humanitarian organizations and local government agencies to help victims of the storm. Local leaders offered a meetinghouse for use to a Baptist congregation whose building had been destroyed.

About a week later, several tornadoes struck parts of central Tennessee. Trees and power lines were downed, and one tornado that hit downtown Nashville damaged more than 300 buildings, including the state capitol. Roofs of two member homes and of one Church meetinghouse were damaged.

Church TV Spots Receive Awards

Church-owned Bonneville Communications has won two Telly Awards for its Homefront public-service announcements produced for the Church. The Telly Awards showcase outstanding cable and non-network TV commercials.

A first-place award was given for “Story Time,” a spot based on a true story about a three-year-old girl coaxing her father to read her a story. A spot titled “Saturday Mornings” won a second-place award for its depiction of a father developing a good relationship with his two teenage daughters over breakfast.

Bonneville has been producing and distributing the Homefront series of public-service announcements worldwide for more than 25 years.

Comment

Seize the Joy

I need to thank you for printing the article entitled “Seize the Joy!” in the March 1998 issue. It was not only inspirational but brought me great comfort. I am a young mother of two boys aged 15 months and 3 months. Needless to say, my hands are always full and my time is very limited. The words of Winnie Dalley helped me remember that motherhood is the greatest gift bestowed upon women. It is a sacred and holy calling but one that is sometimes hard to find the joy in. Thank you for brightening up my outlook and reminding me of the eternal joy that comes with being a mother!

Bonnie Lee Ford Dayton, Ohio

Update: USS Intrepid Sacrament Tray

This sacrament tray was made in 1944 by 23 LDS sailors on board the USS Intrepid, who used nickel-plated 20mm shell casings as sacrament cups. The sacrament tray shown in the April 1998 issue on page 43 was made by LDS sailors on board the USS Nevada.

Old Testament Articles

I have particularly enjoyed all of the articles since January pertaining to the Old Testament. There is one article, however, that seems to shine like no other. It captured the entire gospel plan of salvation in the briefest form and with the most understanding I have ever read. That article was “The Abrahamic Covenant” in the January issue. I have read that article three times now and am impressed by the magnitude of the message each and every time.

Brentwood Hepworth Caliente, Nevada

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