Temples Dedicated in Alberta and North Carolina

Edmonton Alberta Temple

Canada’s 5th and the Church’s 67th operating temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley in seven sessions held 11–12 December. “Let Thy providence be felt in this great nation of Canada, that it shall continue to be a land where Thy sons and daughters enjoy the precious boon of freedom of assembly and worship,” said President Hinckley in his dedicatory prayer. “Bless those who govern that they shall look with favor upon Thy people, and may Thy work grow in numbers, in majesty, and in strength in this good land.”

Also in attendance at the dedication were Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy, President of the North America Central Area; and Elder Blair S. Bennett, an Area Authority Seventy. About 27,000 people attended the new temple’s public open house.

With two ordinance rooms and two sealing rooms, the Edmonton Alberta Temple serves about 14,800 members living in five stakes in Red Deer, Grande Prairie, and Edmonton. The temple is open for six sessions on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and three sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“To have a temple located here is going to bless lives in ways we really don’t even understand yet,” said Elder Bennett. “This has literally been a fulfillment of the hopes and dreams and aspirations of a generation that has lived and served in Edmonton.”

Quoting Doctrine and Covenants 109:22 [D&C 109:22] in his dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley said, “May ‘thy servants … go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them.’”

Raleigh North Carolina Temple

“We are partakers of those wondrous blessings promised in words of revelation,” said President Hinckley in his dedicatory prayer for the Raleigh North Carolina Temple. “Thou hast said, ‘For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times’” (D&C 124:41).

Participating in the seven dedicatory sessions held 18–19 December were Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Loren C. Dunn of the Seventy, President of the North America East Area. Prior to the dedication, about 31,000 people attended a public open house.

Located in the suburb of Apex about 10 miles southwest of metropolitan Raleigh, the new temple serves about 27,600 members in eight North Carolina stakes: Winston-Salem, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Goldsboro, Kinston, Fayetteville, and Wilmington. The temple is open for two daily sessions Tuesdays through Thursdays, three on Fridays, and five on Saturdays. An adjacent meetinghouse is expected to be built in the future on the temple’s 12.5-acre site.

Speaking to reporters outside the temple before the first dedicatory session, Elder Ballard described how the Church shares goals with other religions, such as safeguarding “values, family, fidelity, and the responsibility of parents for their children, teaching them correct principles, guiding, loving, and showing the way, not letting them get gobbled up by the ravages of the world.”

In the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley said: “We pray for all who enter Thy house that they may be pure and clean in heart and hand. May they here ‘feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness’” (D&C 109:13).

[photo] President Gordon B. Hinckley, other General Authorities, and members listen to the choir at the Edmonton Alberta Temple cornerstone ceremony. (Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News.)

[photo] Church members leave the Raleigh North Carolina Temple after a dedicatory session. (Photo by R. Scott Lloyd, Church News.)

President Hinckley Gives Christmas Eve Interview

During December 1999 President Gordon B. Hinckley participated in a television interview on Christmas Eve, joined in commemorating Sunday School with a time capsule, and toured the Church’s new dairy plant.

Larry King Live Interview

During an interview with CNN talk show host Larry King televised live on Christmas Eve from the Tabernacle on Temple Square, President Hinckley made “a plea to people to stand up, to declare the return of values, to be honest, to be upright, to be men and women with integrity, to be men and women who have faith, who pray, who return to the virtues that made America great.” He continued, “Let it become contagious. Let virtue move across the country, the nation, the world.”

When asked about relations among different religions, President Hinckley said: “We have differences; of course we do. But there’s a greater spirit of tolerance, I think, a great spirit of acceptance of other religions.” When asked how Church members have forgiven past persecutions, President Hinckley responded, “It comes of the gospel. You put your faith in the Lord. It casts your burdens on Him. You’re not likely to forgive unless you have that godly feeling.”

Speaking of today’s troubled youth, President Hinckley observed that many “have found the way and are living the teachings which are guiding their lives and are making of themselves valued and productive citizens of society.”

Also participating in the hour-long program were the Reverend Robert Schuller, who spoke via satellite from near the birthplace of the Savior in Bethlehem, Israel, and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who spoke from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. President Hinckley had previously participated in an hour-long interview about the Church on Larry King Live in September 1998.

Sunday School Time Capsule

“It is to me a miracle that every Sunday, throughout the entire world, the Sunday Schools of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meet together and study the same lessons in their respective age-groups,” said President Hinckley during a ceremony held on 8 December 1999 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Sunday School. “All of this has a tremendous binding effect on the Church. In these teachings is the glue which holds the Church together and becomes the basis for our individual testimonies.”

In continuation of the Sunday School’s tradition of preparing a time capsule every 50 years, a new time capsule was filled with mementos and artifacts during the ceremony and sealed, to be opened in the year 2049. Also participating in the commemoration were President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency; President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; Elders Russell M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; and Elder Harold G. Hillam of the Presidency of the Seventy, who serves as Sunday School general president. Earlier in 1999 a Sunday School time capsule was opened that had been sealed in 1949.

Formed from titanium in the shape of the world, the 1999 time capsule contains a piece of the Berlin Wall, blueprints for the reconstruction of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, a silver-plated trowel used in the cornerstone ceremony of the Billings Montana Temple, a chip of granite broken off the not-yet-completed Conference Center by a tornado, a laptop computer loaded with images and texts, and other documents, artifacts, and mementos from all over the world.

“May this great organization continue as a force for good, and may it touch the lives of uncounted millions who will come into the Church prior to the opening of this time capsule,” wrote President Hinckley in a letter sealed in the 1999 time capsule.

Dairy Plant Tour

On 1 December 1999 members of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Presiding Bishopric, Presidency of the Seventy, and Relief Society general presidency toured the Church’s new dairy plant at Welfare Square in Salt Lake City. Together those leaders comprise the Church’s General Welfare Committee.

“It’s a plant to meet the needs of the hungry and poor whom we are serving,” said President Monson. “And it does so efficiently, with the utmost cleanliness and in a spirit of love.” President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said the plant was clean and well operated. “I like the idea of stakes providing volunteers in the spirit of service.”

President Hinckley’s 1999 Travels

During 1999 President Hinckley spoke at 65 events—including 14 temple dedications—attended by more than 197,000 members in eight countries. Following are chronological highlights of his visits outside Utah:

January—Anchorage, Alaska

March—Colonia Juárez, Mexico; Madrid, Spain; Jerusalem, Israel

April—Rexburg, Idaho; Bogotá, Colombia; Santiago, Chile

May—Los Angeles, California; Palmyra, New York

July—Guayaquil, Ecuador

August—Maracaibo, Venezuela; Spokane, Washington

September—Columbus, Ohio; Rexburg, Idaho

October—Washington, D.C.; Columbia, South Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; Nauvoo, Illinois

November—Halifax, Nova Scotia; Billings, Montana

December—Edmonton, Alberta; Raleigh, North Carolina

[photo] Larry King, with his infant son, visits with President Hinckley after the Christmas Eve broadcast. (Photo by Stuart Johnson, Deseret News.)

[photo] President Hinckley officiates at the Columbus Ohio Temple cornerstone ceremony. (Photo by Shaun D. Stahle, Church News.)


New Tabernacle Choir Director

Following the retirement of Jerold Ottley, the First Presidency announced the appointment of Craig D. Jessop as music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Brother Jessop had been serving as associate director of the choir since 1995.

Together with associate directors Mack Wilberg and Barlow Bradford, Brother Jessop is also responsible for the Temple Square Chorale, which is the training choir for the Tabernacle Choir, and for the recently organized Orchestra at Temple Square.

Prior to joining the Tabernacle Choir, Brother Jessop was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. His assignments included serving as director of the Singing Sergeants in Washington, D.C., conductor of the Air Force band in Europe, and conductor of the Air Combat Command Heartland of America Band.

Temple Presidents

Kayland Evan Call of the Prior Lake Ward, Burnsville Minnesota Stake, has been called as president of the new St. Paul Minnesota Temple. His wife, Virgean Michaels Call, will serve as temple matron.

Lorin J. Mendenhall of the Welling Ward, Magrath Alberta Stake, has been called as president of the new Regina Saskatchewan Temple. His wife, Mildred Aleta Wilde Mendenhall, serves as temple matron.

Missionary Training Center Presidents

Carlos Morales Bowman of the Midland Second Ward, Midland Michigan Stake, has been called as president of the Peru MTC. He is accompanied by his wife, L. Ann Christensen Bowman.

David Robert Broadhead of the St. George 22nd Ward, St. George Utah Stake, has been called as president of the Japan MTC. He is accompanied by his wife, Bonnie Rae Carter Broadhead.

Geoffrey James Liddicoat of the Duncraig Ward, Perth Australia Warwick Stake, has been called as president of the New Zealand MTC. He is accompanied by his wife, Lesley Mary Dawson Liddicoat.

Conwell Clayton McCune of the Sunnyside Ward, Portland Oregon Stake, has been called as president of the Chile MTC. He is accompanied by his wife, Maria Torres McCune.

Blair D. Pincock of the Sugar City Sixth Ward, Sugar City Idaho Stake, has been called as president of the Argentina MTC. He is accompanied by his wife, Noreen Furness Pincock.

Harold Wilcken Pratt Jr. of the Tahoma Ward, Tacoma Washington South Stake, has been called as president of the Dominican Republic MTC. He is accompanied by his wife, Constance Decker Pratt.

Hugo Nestor Salvioli of the Caseros First Ward, Buenos Aires Argentina West Stake, has been called as president of the Guatemala MTC. He is accompanied by his wife, Miryam Edme Pellegrini Salvioli.

Venezuela, Land of Grace

The land of Venezuela, located at the northern tip of South America, was dubbed “Land of Grace” by Christopher Columbus. With a climate that ranges from Amazon rain forest to high mountain peaks to balmy beaches, Venezuela is indeed a land of beauty. Caracas, the capital, is located at 2,700 feet above sea level and is known as the “city of eternal spring” because of its nearly constant 70-degree temperatures. It was here in November 1966 that Elder Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1897–1988) dedicated the land for missionary work and organized the first branch with 45 members present.

In 1967 newly arrived missionaries found a fruitful vineyard. Typical of those families who accepted the gospel in those early days is the Manuel and Luisa Vargas family. When Manuel and Luisa were married in May 1969, they wanted a lot of children but were concerned about the influences of the world. Six months later, missionaries knocked on their door to bring them the glad tidings of the gospel, and in a few weeks they were baptized. At the time, they were expecting their first child, and when Luis was born, he became the first of a new generation of Venezuelans born and raised in the Church. Since then the Vargas family has had five more sons and a daughter. Today those six sons have all served or are planning to serve missions. “We are looking forward to sharing the happiness we have found by someday serving a full-time mission ourselves,” says Brother Vargas.

Another family, typical of those raised in the Church, is that of José Luís and Paula Castellano, who were married in the temple. Both graduated from seminary and institute programs, served missions, then graduated from college. “All we are, all we have become we owe to the teachings of the gospel and our continued study of the Book of Mormon,” says Brother Castellano, who today serves as legal adviser to the Church in Venezuela in issues related to missionary visas.

With the groundbreaking of the Caracas Venezuela Temple in January 1999, Church members feel their prayers have been answered. Situated next to the Church offices in Caracas, the temple will bless the lives of many faithful Saints who have not previously been able to travel the long distances required for temple attendance. As the Church continues to grow, the temple will serve as an anchor for the future.

Three hundred fifty miles west is the city of Maracaibo, known as the “land beloved by the sun,” possibly because city temperature hovers in the 90s. There the Church continues to grow, as it is doing throughout all of Venezuela, with three stakes and a mission headquartered in the city. The patriarch of the Maracaibo Stake, Brother Eulogio Ramón Quero, has been a stalwart in the Church for many years. He and his wife, Maria Antonia, have raised nine children; seven have served missions. The entire family is dedicated to working in their family-owned restaurant, which has provided for their family and supported their missionaries. “It has not been without a lot of sacrifice,” says Brother Quero. “Yet it has helped our family become more united. We are grateful for the blessings we have.”

Venezuela at a Glance

Number of members: 89,000

Stakes: 16

Districts: 12

Missions: 4

Meetinghouses: 112

Temples: 1 under construction

Missionaries serving from the area: 203

Brief History

Dedicated for preaching of the gospel: 2 November 1966

First branch organized: 2 November 1966

Missionaries first arrived, sent from Costa Rica: 1967

Missions: Venezuela Caracas Mission, 1971; Venezuela Maracaibo Mission, 1979; Venezuela Valencia Mission, 1994; Venezuela Barcelona Mission, 1994.

Church Educational System program established: 1972

First stake organized in Caracas: 1977

[photo] Caracas, Venezuela, where in late 1966 Elder Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the country for missionary work. Missionaries began proselyting there in 1967. (Photo © Superstock.)

[photo] Elder Francisco Gimenez, Area Authority Seventy, and his family.

[photo] José Luís Castellano, here with his wife, Paula, and their son, is bishop of the San Antonio Los Altos Ward, Caracas Venezuela Stake.

[photo] Visitors stroll along a colonial street in downtown Maracaibo.

Alejandro Portal Campos is the former director of public affairs for Venezuela.

Church Responds to Flood in Venezuela

Storm-caused floods and mudslides in northern Venezuela during December 1999 killed an estimated 30,000 people, including at least one Church member. The flooding destroyed or severely damaged the homes of about 50 members. One Church meetinghouse was flooded, and three meetinghouses were used as shelters.

The Church’s Humanitarian Services responded to what may have been Venezuela’s worst natural disaster of the 20th century by sending 225,000 pounds of food, hygiene kits, and medical supplies via truck and plane. A second shipment of 200,000 pounds of food, clothing, shoes, and quilts was sent to Venezuela via rail and boat.

[photo] Volunteers from two Salt Lake City stakes pack food boxes for Venezuelan flood victims. (Photo by Rudy Zamora, Deseret News.)

LDS Scene

Sports Roundup

  • The Ricks College men’s and women’s cross country teams both won the National Junior College Athletic Association championship for 1999. For the women, the title is their fifth consecutive championship. For the men, the title is their first since 1986. Coach Doug Stutz, who coaches both teams, was named NJCAA Coach of the Year.

  • After moving up to Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the BYU—Hawaii women’s volleyball team won their ninth national championship. The team finished the year with 30 wins and 2 losses.

  • Finishing the 1999 football season with 10 wins and 1 loss, the Ricks College football team placed second in the Western States Football League and was ranked fourth in the National Junior College Athletic Association. At the Real Dairy Bowl in Pocatello, Idaho, on 3 December, Ricks College beat Garden City Community College of Kansas, 59–26.

  • Finishing with 8 wins and 4 losses, Brigham Young University shared the Mountain West Conference championship with two other teams. The Cougars played in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, Michigan, on 27 December, where they lost 21–3 to 11th-ranked, undefeated Marshall University of Huntington, West Virginia.

Legacy of the Mormon Pavilion

In the mid-1960s, more than five million people visited the Mormon Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. After the exhibit ended, the pavilion’s 36 concrete panels—each weighing about 12 tons—were moved to a location in Plainview, New York, to be used in the construction of a stake center. In October 1999 the meetinghouse was rededicated after a renovation that included replacement of choir seats, pews, windows, the organ, and the lighting system. “This magnificent Plainview New York Stake Center is a living legacy,” said local member William J. Schuck, who was baptized after visiting the Mormon Pavilion. “It is the tangible embodiment of the pavilion that led thousands of Church members to gain their testimonies and membership.”

[photo] The Ricks College men’s and women’s cross-country teams won national titles at the National Junior College Athletic Association meet. (Photo by Michael Lewis.)

[photo] The rededicated Plainview New York Stake Center was built of materials used in the Church pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of the mid-1960s. (Photo by Robyn Smith.)

Policies and Announcements

Counsel about Immigration

The First Presidency sent the following letter, dated 1 December 1999, to priesthood leaders:

In our day, the Lord has seen fit to provide the blessings of the gospel, including an increased number of temples, in many parts of the world. Therefore, we wish to reiterate the long-standing counsel to members of the Church to remain in their homelands rather than immigrate to the United States.

Experience has shown that those who relocate to the United States often encounter language, cultural, and economic challenges, resulting in disappointment and personal and family difficulties.

As members throughout the world remain in their homelands, working to build the Church in their native countries, great blessings will come to them personally and to the Church collectively. Stakes and wards throughout the world will be strengthened, making it possible to share the blessings of the gospel with an even greater number of our Heavenly Father’s children.

We are confident that members of the Church throughout the world will be blessed as they heed this counsel and work to strengthen their local Church units and communities.

New Extra-Large Scriptures Available

The First Presidency has announced the availability of a new extra-large triple combination and a new extra-large Bible for people with visual or physical disabilities. The content of the new editions is identical to the other English editions currently available and includes the new maps and color pictures. The extra-large scriptures, which measure 8.5 by 11 inches and have either soft or hard blue covers, may be ordered through Church distribution centers. Members with financial hardship may order them at reduced prices through their bishop or branch president.

The two new editions replace the extra-large editions of the Book of Mormon, Old Testament, New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price that were previously available as four separate volumes. The new volumes are printed on lightweight paper and are thinner than previous editions.


“‘I Saw Another Angel Fly’”

I enjoyed reading “‘I Saw Another Angel Fly’” in the January 2000 issue concerning the statues of the angel Moroni atop our temples that heralds the gospel to all nations.

The natural trumpet was a straight metal tube with a flared bell and with or without a mouthpiece. Renaissance trumpets were ceremonial trumpets played with elaborate fanfares using open tones. The modern trumpet has three valves and a cup-shaped mouthpiece that can be taken out; the valves allow a chromatic scale to be played. A bugler can play taps on a bugle without any valves; a bugler can also use a trumpet with three valves.

I could not help but recall Joel 2:1: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.”

Kenneth Larson Los Angeles, California

Appreciation for Quality

As a retired printer I have long appreciated the quality of the printing in the Ensign. In the conference issues I have long thought the photographs being printed in duotone have been especially well done. Whoever does the halftones is definitely a skilled craftsman. And those who do the rest—from pasteup, prepress preparation, and the printing—fit that same category.

The November 1999 issue is especially good because of the inclusion of some very excellent photographs of interior bits of the Tabernacle. All of this is in such great detail that we can also appreciate the skill of those who did the woodwork. We must thank the photographers who had the skills to select the composition and lighting that brought out all this marvelous detail.

Wes Sebastian Boise, Idaho

What an Eight-Year-Old Taught Me

Thank you for including “What an Eight-Year-Old Taught Me” in the September 1999 Ensign. Many people do not realize the impact their actions can have on a person.

I was much like the boy in this article. I was loud, disruptive, and uncontrollable. Then I had a teacher who cared about me. She had me help with the lessons. She would talk to me as if I were family. At the end of every class, and whenever I saw her outside of class, she would encourage me to give her a firm missionary handshake. What she did for me has stuck in my mind throughout my life.

Elder James Norlem Tennessee Knoxville Mission

A Conversation on Spouse Abuse

I’m writing in response to “A Conversation on Spouse Abuse” in the October 1999 issue. It was an excellent article, and I am sure it will help many people recognize the signs of spouse abuse so they can get help. However, there was only one sentence about a husband being a victim.

I have a very sweet, shy, kind younger brother. He has been married for the past 10 years. During those years, we as his extended family started to see less and less of him, and when we would see him it seemed his self-esteem was getting lower and lower. He started to get very quiet and seemed to have lost his personality. To make a long story short, my brother has been severely abused physically, mentally, and spiritually by his wife.

It has been the most heartbreaking thing our family has been through. I feel frustrated that others do not seem to be educated on the subject of husband abuse. Some tender men who are abused by controlling, manipulating women are truly embarrassed and don’t dare come forward. And if they do try to get help, some are laughed at and not taken seriously.

Women have a huge support system for abuse, but men have little. Husband abuse may be more common than we know.

Name Withheld

Thanks for the Ensign

I wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoy the Ensign magazine. I am an adult who lives alone with two cats and am the only member of the Church in my family. Twice in my adult life I have had the calling of ward magazine representative. I have spent my own money to pay for others to read Church magazines, as gifts or in other special circumstances.

I usually start with reading the back of the Ensign, with the shorter articles, working my way through it. Thank you for selecting interesting stories of real life experiences of members from all over the world.

Phil King Tallahassee, Florida