News of the Church

By Barbara Jean Jones


Two Brazilian Temples Dedicated

President Gordon B. Hinckley, assisted by President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, recently dedicated the Recife Brazil Temple and the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple. The temples were the last to be dedicated in 2000, a year of remarkable temple building.

The two temple dedications were especially meaningful for President Faust, who served as a young missionary in Brazil from 1939 to 1942. At that time there were about 800 members in this South American nation. Today, Brazilian Church membership has swelled to some 800,000.

During the same trip, President Hinckley and President Faust also spoke to congregations in Puerto Rico and in Panama.

Recife Brazil Temple

President Hinckley and President Faust each conducted two sessions of the Recife temple dedication on 15 December. In the dedicatory prayer they petitioned, “Smile with favor upon this great nation of Brazil, where Thy work has grown in a remarkable and wonderful way. Prosper its economy. May peace prevail throughout the land. May Thy messengers, the missionaries, be welcomed here; and may their labors be exceedingly fruitful.”

The two First Presidency members were accompanied by Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, Elder Robert S. Wood, and Elder Darwin B. Christenson of the Seventy, members of the Brazil North Area Presidency.

More than 7,000 members attended the dedication of the Recife Brazil Temple, the first to be completed in Brazil since the São Paulo temple was dedicated 22 years ago. The Recife temple will serve 137,500 members in 39 stakes and five districts in northern Brazil. Many of these members have not been able to make the cost-prohibitive, 72-hour trip to São Paulo.

The exquisite new temple, with its surrounding gardens, fruit trees, and palm trees, attracted 78,386 people to its open house, held 11 November through 2 December. Thousands of these visitors were members of other faiths and less-active members.

“We believe that the Church here is going to become stronger, given the number of nonmember families who asked to learn more about the Church and the number of less-active members who expressed their desire to return to activity after the open house,” said Cleto Oliveira, a local public affairs representative.

Porto Alegre Brazil Temple

The Porto Alegre temple was dedicated on 17 December, the 102nd operating temple of the Church and the last to be dedicated in 2000. “Bless in ever-increasing numbers the Saints of this temple district that they may qualify and keep themselves worthy to serve in Thy house. … We invoke Thy blessings on this great nation of Brazil,” said President Hinckley in the dedicatory prayer.

President Hinckley and President Faust were joined at the dedicatory services by Elder J. Kent Jolley, Elder Athos M. Amorim, and Elder Adhemar Damiani of the Seventy, members of the Brazil South Area Presidency.

More than 7,500 Latter-day Saints attended the dedication of the temple, which is located in an attractive neighborhood on a sloping hill overlooking the city. The temple will serve 58,000 members in 27 stakes and four districts in southern Brazil. The temple’s 2–9 December open house drew more than 25,000 visitors.

During the dedicatory services, President Faust said that when he arrived in Porto Alegre as a missionary, there were only six Church members in the entire city. Among those members was the young Olga Bing Biehl, who had been baptized on 17 December 1938.

As she and her husband attended the Porto Alegre temple dedication exactly 62 years to the day after her baptism, Sister Biehl expressed joy and wonder that a temple had been built in her city.

Puerto Rico Member Meeting

President Hinckley’s stop in San Juan on 13 December en route to Brazil marked the first time he had visited Puerto Rico. About 3,300 members, some who had traveled from as far as the U.S. Virgin Islands, assembled in a coliseum to hear the words of President Hinckley and President Faust. Also speaking were Elder Richard D. Allred and Elder Gordon T. Watts of the Seventy, President and First Counselor of the North America Southeast Area Presidency, and Dean M. Davies, president of the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission.

President Hinckley bore testimony of Jesus Christ, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the Restoration. “I hope and pray that you will remember this meeting when you heard me stand before you and declare my testimony of the truth of this great cause and kingdom. God our Eternal Father lives. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

He also urged members to live worthy to attend the temple. “I say to every man and woman here tonight, live for the day when you can go to the house of the Lord. You must do it; the gospel is not complete without the ordinances of the temple.”

President Faust petitioned for more full-time missionaries, asking mothers to prepare their sons for missionary service. “It was the faith [my mother] instilled in young hearts that caused all five Faust sons to serve missions and be married in the temple,” he said.

Panama Member Meeting

Some 4,500 members gathered at a convention center in Panama City to see and hear Church leaders speak on 18 December. President Hinckley and President Faust were joined by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy, President of the Central America Area, and by Duane B. Williams, president of the Panama Panama City Mission.

During his address, President Hinckley spoke on the importance of tithing, saying that if the members would pay their tithing and demonstrate their faith, “we will find a way to build a temple here.”

President Faust spoke about being born again and making the covenants of baptism. He concluded with his testimony of the Savior.

[photo] The new Recife temple, located in northern Brazil, attracted more than 78,000 to its open house. The temple became the first to be dedicated in Brazil since the São Paulo temple was completed in 1978. (Photo by Clemison Campos.)

[photo] Church leaders and members participate in the cornerstone ceremony for the Porto Alegre temple. (Photo courtesy Office of the President.)

[photo] President Hinckley and President Faust meet members in Puerto Rico. (Photo courtesy Office of the President.)

[photo] Some 4,500 Church members respond with joy to President Hinckley’s wave of good-bye after a recent address in Panama City. “We will find a way to build a temple here,” he told them. (Photo courtesy Office of the President.)

Tabernacle Choir Sings in U.S. Inaugural Parade

[photo] “God bless you,” U.S. President George W. Bush called out to members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as they performed in the presidential inauguration parade on 20 January. The more than 300-voice choir rode on a 125-foot long float. This is the sixth time the choir has sung at U.S. inaugurations; earlier performances include those for Lyndon Johnson in 1965, Richard Nixon in 1969 and 1973, Ronald Reagan in 1981, and George Bush in 1989. The choir also provided free concerts on 19 and 21 January and broadcast its weekly Music and the Spoken Word program on 21 January at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall. (Photo courtesy AP/World Wide Photos.)

President Hinckley Among Most Admired Men

In a Gallup Poll released 29 December, President Gordon B. Hinckley was named by Americans as one of the most admired men in the world.

In an annual national survey, the Gallup Organization asked U.S. adults to name the single man, currently living anywhere in the world, that they admire most. President Hinckley was one of 16 men named as most admired.

New CES Manuals on Pearl of Great Price, Family History

The Church recently released new Church Educational System manuals on the Pearl of Great Price and family history research.

The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, Religion 327 (item no. 35852, U.S. $2.00) provides commentary, insights, charts, and additional resources on the books of Moses and Abraham and the writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is the first Church-published manual on the Pearl of Great Price in more than 30 years.

The Introduction to Family History Student Manual, Religion 261 (item no. 36405; $1.50) has been revised for use with Windows applications in Personal Ancestral File, TempleReady, and the Family History Library Catalog. The new manual has user-friendly instructions for using other basics of the FamilySearch™ program. It does not deal with Internet use.

To order the new materials, contact your local distribution center or visit the official Church Web site at www.lds.org.

[photo] Recently released CES manuals on the Pearl of Great Price and on FamilySearch.

Another Milestone of 100 Reached in 2000

Mention reaching a milestone of 100 in the year 2000, and most Latter-day Saints think of temples. The dedication of the Church’s 100th operating temple last October was heralded with much rejoicing and publicity.

What may be a surprise for many is that another historic landmark of 100 was also reached in 2000, an event that occurred quietly. On 29 December 2000, translations of the Book of Mormon in Eastern Armenian, Amharic (spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea), Latvian, Lithuanian, and Xhosa (spoken in South Africa), rolled off the press, bringing to 100 the number of language translations ever completed. Sixty-one of these are full translations of the Book of Mormon; 39 are translations of selected chapters.

The translation of the Book of Mormon into 100 languages, like the availability of 100 temples, is blessing the lives of people throughout the world.

“I’ll never forget the tears of joy shed by the faithful members here upon receiving this wonderful book in their mother tongue,” said Elder Josh White, speaking of the arrival early in 2000 of the translated Book of Mormon in Estonia, where he is serving a mission.

“I’ll never take this book of such great worth for granted again.”

Mari Timakov of the Tartu Branch, Tallinn Estonia District, a convert of seven years, explained her feelings about reading the book for the first time in her native language, “I have been waiting for the day I could read the Book of Mormon in Estonian. Holding it in your hand, its pages covered with divine counsel, all in your mother tongue—that is something else!”

From Estonia to Ethiopia, the joy of receiving the Book of Mormon in one’s own language is the same. “Today I became the first Ethiopian member to receive the Book of Mormon in Amharic, and I am very, very happy,” said Gemechu Wariyo Goja, Addis Ababa Branch president, speaking in January 2001. “When I distributed the first copies to members who I worked with in translating the book, everyone cheered and jumped up and down. I just brought my own copy home, and my family is anxiously gathered around the book, reading it to each other in Amharic. It is wonderful.”

Dominique Andriamanantoa, president of the newly created Antananarivo Madagascar Stake—the first stake to be created in the island nation of Madagascar—says he has already seen a difference in the local membership since the release of the Malagasy Book of Mormon in February 2000.

“We had retention problems before, but now more people are better converted because their testimonies can be grounded in the Book of Mormon,” says President Andriamanantoa. He also says that local leadership has become stronger and more members are participating in Church meetings because people are reading and understanding the doctrine of the Book of Mormon.

Sister Timakov says it’s the same in Estonia: “Now, we can just open the book and read or use verses in our talks. We can enjoy the sound of the teachings when it is read out loud in Sunday School. We can hand it to people who years ago would have just said, ‘Sorry, I don’t understand any language but Estonian.’ It is a blessing to cherish.”

And in Tanzania, where the full Book of Mormon translation in Swahili was released last fall, President William Gideme of the Chang’ombe Branch says, “Finally I can read the Book of Mormon to my whole family with complete understanding. I am so grateful.”

The translation of the Book of Mormon into so many languages also promises to increase missionary success in areas where the book was not available to investigators before. “I can’t believe I can read the Book of Mormon now! I am very happy about that,” says Hilda Charles, an investigator who has been attending the Chang’ombe Branch.

One missionary serving in Ethiopia told President Gemechu, “We are going to be much busier now.”

[photo] Just hours after receiving the first Amharic copy of the Book of Mormon in Ethiopia, President Gemechu Wariyo Goja of the Addis Ababa Branch shares the book with his family. “It is wonderful,” he said. (Photo by Rex Walker.)

[photo] “I can’t believe I can read the Book of Mormon now!” said Tanzanian investigator Hilda Charles after receiving the book in Swahili. (Photo by Glenn B. Goodrich.)

LDS Scene

U.S. Courthouse Named After LDS Judge

A new federal courthouse was recently named after Judge Lloyd D. George, a member of the Las Vegas Sixth Ward, Las Vegas Nevada Stake, who served as the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada for five years. The Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse was dedicated in a ceremony that honored Brother George for his years of service since he was appointed to a federal judgeship in 1984.

Gary Crowton Named BYU Head Football Coach

Gary Crowton has been chosen as the new head football coach at Brigham Young University, replacing retiring head coach LaVell Edwards. Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy, BYU president, presented the new coach at a recent press conference.

Brother Crowton comes to BYU from his position as offensive coordinator for the U.S. National Football League’s Chicago Bears. He was born in Provo, Utah, and grew up in nearby Orem. He served a mission to South Korea from 1979 to 1981.

BYU-TV Now Carried on DIRECTV

Brigham Young University Television is now being carried on DIRECTV, the largest satellite television broadcaster in the U.S., viewed in nine million homes.

BYU Television is a noncommercial channel that broadcasts BYU sports and devotionals and concerts provided by the university and the Church. The channel also broadcasts lectures from Education Week, a weeklong conference sponsored annually by the Church Educational System and BYU’s Department of Continuing Education.

BYU Television, available on DIRECTV channel 374, will be broadcast from DIRECTV’s satellite at the 119-degree west longitude orbital location and requires an 18-by-24-inch multisatellite dish and receiver.

Ricks Wins Bowl Game

The Ricks College Vikings defeated the Snow College Badgers of Ephraim, Utah, 45–14 in the Real Dairy Bowl. The Vikings ended their season 8–3.

Ricks quarterback Marc Dunn’s outstanding season earned him Offensive Player of the Year honors from the National Junior College Athletics Association. In 2000 he broke eight school records, passed for an average of 395.5 yards per game, completed more than 60 percent of his passes, and threw for 42 touchdowns.

Because of changes brought about by Ricks College’s transition to four-year status (as BYU—Idaho), this was the school’s final year of participation in intercollegiate football.

Australian Members Aid East Timorese

Members in Australia provided a Christmas aid package to the people of East Timor. A 187,000-pound shipment of gardening tools, food, and clothing was sent from Sydney to East Timor in December.

Australian Church officials presented the aid to Xanana Gusmao, president of the East Timorese National Council, who oversaw delivery of the goods to the East Timorese.

Australian members donated 22,000 pounds of children’s new and used clothing as part of the package, and gardening tools and food were purchased with funds raised from a Church welfare farm in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia.

“This is a great Christmas present for my people,” said Mr. Gusmao, who expressed particular appreciation for the gardening tools. “While it is good to give hungry people food, it is best to give them tools so they can use them to grow their own crops and become self-sufficient,” he said.

The Church provided other humanitarian assistance earlier this year to East Timorese refugees, including hygiene kits, food, and clothing.

Ward Receives Volunteer Award

The Panorama Heights Ward of the Albuquerque New Mexico West Stake recently received an Outstanding Volunteer Group award from the city of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The ward was recognized in 2000 for service, which included beautifying a local park, cleaning up an illegal dumpsite, and assisting with the mayor’s charity ball.

Sea Trek 2001 to Trace LDS Emigrants’ Voyage

Plans are proceeding for a two-month, privately sponsored commemoration of the voyage of thousands of 19th-century Latter-day Saint emigrants from Europe to the United States. On 7 August, ten 1850s replica sailing ships will set sail from Esbjerg, Denmark, making stops in Copenhagen, Denmark; Göteborg, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; Hamburg, Germany; Hull, Liverpool, and Portsmouth, England; the Canary Islands; and the Bahamas before finishing in New York City on 4 October.

Celebrations are planned at some of the ports of call. Festivities will include ship tours, fireworks, maritime exhibits on LDS migration, computer ancestral research demonstrations, history workshops, and a concert. The musical score of the concert, entitled “Saints on the Seas,” is being written by LDS composers. The final celebration will take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

For more information, visit the Sea Trek Web site at www.seatrek2001.com.

Five LDS Siblings Study at Juilliard

For the first time in history, five siblings are studying together at the Juilliard School in New York City. Desirae (22), Deondra (20), Gregory (18), Melody (16), and Ryan Brown (15), members of the Westchester First Ward, New York New York Stake, are studying piano at the renowned conservatory, which has only 113 piano students and accepts just one of nine applicants. Desirae and Deondra are seniors, Gregory and Melody are freshmen, and Ryan is in the precollege division.

On 14 February, Desirae and Deondra made their professional debut when they performed the Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Impressed by the sisters’ first-place performance at the orchestra’s Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition last March, conductor Luis Biava invited them to play as the orchestra’s guests.

In spite of the highly competitive environment in which the five siblings exist, the Browns are noted for the harmony that endures among them even when away from the keyboard. Teachers and friends at Juilliard are struck by it, and national and international newspapers and television news programs have highlighted the family’s unity in feature stories. After interviewing the Brown family and filming part of a Sunday Church meeting, the production crew of 60 Minutes, impressed by what they’d seen, spent two hours of their personal time asking the Brown parents, Keith and Lisa, about the gospel.

Brother and Sister Brown, who moved their family from Alpine, Utah, to New York after all their children were accepted at Juilliard, say the siblings’ common interest in music and their upbringing in the Church have created a strong bond among them.

“They look out for each other,” says Brother Brown. “Everywhere they go, whether it’s to concerts, dances, or just out to pizza, they go together. They’re a great influence for good on each other.”

“The Church really stresses spending time together as a family, and that’s made us close,” adds Gregory. “We speak the same language; we help each other stay on track.”

[photo] Judge Lloyd D. George stands in front of a new U.S. courthouse recently named after him. (Photo by Russell Taylor, Beehive Newspaper.)

[photo] Australian Church officials help local East Timorese unload boxes of humanitarian aid sent from Australian members. (Photo courtesy Australia/Pacific Public Affairs.)

[photo] Deondra, Melody, Desirae, Ryan, and Gregory Brown study piano together at Juilliard. “We help each other,” says Gregory. (Photo by Carolina Salguero.)

The Wilmington Delaware Stake: No Small Wonder

Due to its relatively small size, the U.S. state of Delaware is often referred to by residents as the “Small Wonder,” but the Wilmington Delaware Stake is anything but small. The stake’s boundaries include all of Delaware, the eastern shore of Maryland, and a few eastern Pennsylvania communities.

Map of Delaware

Although driving between some of the stake’s 11 units can take more than two hours, stake president Joel R. Temple is one who doesn’t let the miles he has to travel interfere with the satisfaction he gets from serving.

A convert of 30 years, President Temple says the work has moved forward in the stake through the efforts of “hosts of faithful members who have given freely of their time, their talents, and their means.”

The first record of the Church in the area goes back to the 1830s, soon after the gospel was restored. During that decade, some missionary activity took place around Wilmington. The Prophet Joseph Smith visited the Wilmington area in 1839, an event he recorded in his journal. In the early 1840s, most area members moved to Nauvoo.

During the next 100 years, there was little Church activity in Delaware, but in 1941 a branch was organized, and missionary work reopened in 1945. In 1974, the Wilmington stake was formed.

The stake now has nine wards and two branches, with a membership of some 4,000. Many of the members are Eastern Shore natives like Thelma and Jim Moudy, who joined the Church in 1973 after missionaries knocked on their door. The Moudys’ Delaware roots go back to the late 1600s.

Brother and Sister Moudy enrich the Christiana Ward in Newark, Delaware, with their expertise in telecommunications. Jim, recently retired after 34 years in the telecommunications industry, has served as the stake audiovisual specialist for 14 years, and Thelma also uses her experience in the industry to fulfill Church assignments.

For example, shortly after Thelma was called as ward Relief Society president in the winter of 1999, a snowstorm left the roads too icy for safe travel on a day scheduled for a presidency meeting. Feeling that the meeting needed to take place, she set up a teleconference among the homes of the presidency members. After the teleconference, Thelma concluded that “the work of the Lord can go forward even under adverse circumstances.”

Although corporate downsizing over the last decade has slowed the flow of member move-ins, the stake’s active missionary effort has brought a steady increase in membership, especially during the last five years.

Typical of new converts are Charles and Donna Garman of the Cambridge Maryland Branch. After the Garmans responded to a Church television advertisement for a free video, two missionaries appeared at their door.

“The missionaries walked in the door and our lives changed,” Donna recounts.

James Dayton, who was branch president for 12 years and one of the first members of the Cambridge Branch when it was formed in 1971, soon started visiting the family with the missionaries. Developing a friendship with the Garmans, he invited Charles to help with a display for the branch’s community Pioneer Day Celebration in July 1997.

It wasn’t long before the Garmans were attending Sunday services and were baptized.

“I felt like one of those people who said they always were Latter-day Saint but didn’t know [about the Church],” Donna said. “It was like coming home.” Like the Garmans, many others in the area have “come home” to the gospel, and members and leaders in Delaware are confident the Church will continue to flourish in the area.Sharon Lance Sundelin, Christiana Ward, Wilmington Delaware Stake

Wilmington Delaware Stake

Created 1974

Number of members 4,061

Number of units 9 wards, 2 branches

Number of missionaries currently serving from the stake 44

Temple district Washington D.C. Temple

[photo] The Wilmington Delaware Stake is headquartered in the city of Wilmington, near which the Christina River meets the Delaware Bay. (Photo by Kurt Sundelin.)

[photo] Thelma and Jim Moudy

Comment

A New Perspective on Motherhood

Thank you for the article “Time and the Single Parent” (July 2000). I am not a single parent, but as the wife of a bishop, I spend much of my time alone attending to the needs of our five children. It becomes difficult at times to remain focused on what is important and not to get totally smothered by everyday mundane chores.

Many truths hit home for me as I read the article, especially the statement, “I had succumbed to an illusion: that the purpose of the family was to support the housework, rather than vice versa. We need to remember that the purpose of our children is not to help keep our homes in order; rather, the purpose of our homes is to help us rear righteous children [and] build eternal relationships.”

The article helped me change my whole outlook on my role as a mother, strive to make positive memories for my children, and listen to them more and give fewer instructions and commands.

Loukia Lerios Strubenvale, South Africa