News of the Church

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President Hinckley Dedicates John Johnson Home

Calling it “a place which will have the mark of immortality in the history of this people,” President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the John Johnson home in Hiram, Ohio, on 28 October. The home, a historic site located on the Church-owned Johnson farm, was recently restored, as closely as possible, to how it appeared when Joseph and Emma Smith lived there in the early 1830s.

“So long as this Church lasts, so long as it goes across the earth, so long as its history is written and known, the John Johnson home will have a prominent place in that history,” President Hinckley said in his remarks at the dedication ceremony, held in a Church meetinghouse near the farm. The meeting was also broadcast to other Church units in the area.

The Prophet Joseph Smith lived in the Johnson home, located 25 miles from Kirtland, Ohio, for about one year beginning in September 1831. During this period, Joseph received 15 revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants, including section 1, which became the book’s preface. At the home in February 1832, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon beheld a vision of the Son of God on the right hand of the Father. This vision, along with revealed doctrine about the three degrees of glory, is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 76 [D&C 76]. It was also while living in the Johnson home that Joseph Smith completed a significant portion of his translation of the Bible.

“The power of God that was expressed here and known here … has gone over the earth, and we have scarcely seen the beginning of it, my brothers and sisters,” said President Hinckley. “It will go forward, and whereas there are 11 million [Church members] now, there will be uncounted millions.”

Although this period was marked by many marvelous revelations, it was also a time of severe persecution. On a cold night in March 1832, a mob dragged Joseph and Sidney from their beds, beat them, tried to poison them, then poured hot tar and feathers on their bodies. Joseph and Emma’s infant son, exposed to the cold when the mob entered the home, died five days later.

In his dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley said, “We dedicate and consecrate the John Johnson home as a place sacred unto Thee and unto us, as a place in which Thou didst reveal Thyself with Thy Beloved Son, as a place in which the Prophet lived and translated the Bible, as well as brought forth under the direction of Thy Son many revelations, and as a place where he suffered so terribly. …

“May this home continue now as a reminder to our people from far and near who may come to visit us, that Thou dost live; that Thou dost speak; that Thy Son lives and dost speak; and that a Prophet has recorded the things which Thou hast spoken on these premises and held them sacred unto us who live in this favored time.”

[photos] Photography by Shaun Stahle, Church News

[photo] The recently renovated John Johnson home in Hiram, Ohio, is the site where the Prophet Joseph Smith received 15 revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants. President Hinckley dedicated the home in October.

[photo] President and Sister Hinckley and Elder and Sister Haight (rear) tour the home with Kirtland Visitors’ Center director David Brown (left) and former Kirtland stake president Timothy Headrick.

Hundreds of Wheelchairs Donated in Central America

In October the Church, in cooperation with philanthropist and Wheelchair Foundation founder Kenneth Behring, donated 1,500 wheelchairs to those in need in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

El Salvador’s first lady, Lourdes Maria Rodriquez; Honduran president Carlos Roberto Flores and first lady Mary Flake de Flores; and then Nicaraguan president Arnoldo Alemán and first lady Maria Fernanda Flores de Alemán attended ceremonies announcing the donations in their countries. Local Church leaders and Humanitarian Service representatives also attended.

A small number of wheelchairs were presented during each ceremony. In Nicaragua a girl stepped forward to place in a wheelchair her younger brother, whom she had carried around throughout his entire life. In El Salvador a young man spoke of how his new wheelchair will allow him to go back to school. In Honduras a Catholic nun who has served others for nearly 50 years told how a wheelchair will allow her to continue to serve.

In addition to thanking the Church for the wheelchairs, the first lady of El Salvador also recognized the Church for its prompt and efficient assistance following earthquakes in her country earlier this year. The first lady of Nicaragua thanked the Church for its help during a recent drought in her nation. The president of Honduras stated that the Church has “always been there for Honduras. Now, they are partnering with Mr. Behring to bless the lives of many people that have not had the privilege of being mobile. This donation will help people to be more self-reliant.”

[photo] Church Humanitarian Service director Garry Flake, Kenneth Behring, Area Authority Seventy Elder Jose E. Boza (standing behind wheelchair), and El Salvadoran first lady Lourdes Maria Rodriquez present a wheelchair to a young recipient and his father. (Photo courtesy Humanitarian Service.)

New Genealogy Workbooks Make Research Easier

The Church’s Family History Library released in October two publications to help people in their family history research: an introductory workbook called How Do I Start My Family History? (item no. 32916; no charge) and a research guide titled Denmark: Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A (36577; U.S. $3.25).

How Do I Start My Family History? helps those just beginning to gather and organize their family’s genealogy. Users will find simple instructions, examples, and removable pedigree and family group worksheets to help them record what they already know about their families.

Denmark: Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A is the first of what will be a series of publications designed to help those who have already gathered some information and recorded it on pedigree and family group forms and are ready to search public records. Additional guides in the Finding Records of Your Ancestors series for the British Isles, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland are now being prepared for publication. Other guides will follow, offering research assistance for African-Americans, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders.

Finding Records of Your Ancestors guides are geared toward people who have little genealogical experience and may not have time to do extensive research. For example, Denmark, Part A outlines the steps and tools needed to find one’s Danish ancestors. Users will learn where to start, how to find and use Danish records, and which unique elements to look for in the records.

The guide explains different types of records in Denmark and instructs the user on when and how to use specific records. A real-life case study allows readers to see for themselves how the research process works. Expert search tips, maps, historical time lines, and background on Danish naming customs are included. In addition to outlining a strategy for getting started, the guide offers instructions on more advanced research, including addresses and Web sites for more information.

Both publications are available at Church distribution centers or on the Internet at www.familysearch.org.

Being a Good Host to Visitors during Games

When the world turns its attention to Salt Lake City in February for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the Church will be ready to host visitors who come to Church sites and events.

“President [Gordon B.] Hinckley said the important thing for the Church to do is play the role of good host,” says Bruce Olsen, Church public affairs director, speaking of those visitors who will seek out historical and cultural attractions in Salt Lake City.

Part of being a good host means responding to requests for assistance from the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002. In addition, the Church has encouraged members to volunteer during the Olympics and has planned its own musical performances, tours of Church sites, and artistic exhibits for those who are interested.

In response to SLOC’s request, the Church is donating the use of a large open-air parking lot that will be transformed into the Olympic medals plaza. Medals ceremonies will take place at this site, two blocks west of Temple Square. Also in response to SLOC’s request, the Church has scheduled special Tabernacle Choir performances for the Cultural Olympiad—the Olympic Games’ official cultural events of international appeal.

The Tabernacle Choir will perform with various guest artists in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on each of the four Saturday nights during the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. (The Paralympic Games, for those with disabilities, are also organized by the International Olympic Committee.) The world-renowned guest artists will include opera star Frederica von Stade, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, a cappella ensemble king’singers, and percussionist Evelyn Glennie. On Sunday mornings after the concerts, the choir’s weekly broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, will be followed by a 45-minute concert with the previous night’s guest artist.

The Church is also sponsoring its own musical event called Light of the World: A Celebration of Life, a theatrical spectacular to be performed in the Conference Center from 7–23 February. Light of the World has reference to the Savior and to the light within all people. The spectacular features a cast of 1,500 musicians, dancers, and actors, performing with the 370-voice Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. Five Latter-day Saint composers wrote the music for the production, which portrays universal values such as courage, endurance, and faith. Visual effects in Light of the World will complement the grandeur of the Olympics.

Local Church sites will also be ready to welcome visitors. Hundreds of thousands of lights and other decorations normally on display only during the Christmas season will be left in place to adorn Temple Square during the Olympics. Temple Square’s recently remodeled interactive visitors’ centers will help interested guests learn more about the gospel.

In the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, a conference room will be used as a media center where media representatives can ask questions and look at Church materials. The Church’s official Web site, www.lds.org, will continue to offer its media link to news stories about the Church, complete with sound bites and video clips.

The Family History Library, a magnet for people wishing to research their ancestry, will have extended hours and volunteer staffers to accommodate more patrons. A remodeled orientation room has displays representing various ethnicities and cultures. New resources, such as 160 new computers, laptop workstations, Internet access, and accessibility for disabled persons, make the library more user friendly.

The Museum of Church History and Art will feature four exhibits during the Olympics: A Covenant Restored: Foundations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; World Views: Latter-day Saint Artists Look at Life; Families and Faith: The Fabrics of Latter-day Saint Life; and That in Me Ye Might Have Peace: Messages of Hope from the Scriptures. These exhibits are designed to appeal to visitors from around the world.

From January through May, Brigham Young University’s Museum of Art will host a world-class museum exhibit called Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian Art Museum. The exhibit will showcase majestic western landscapes by artists Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran and depictions of Native Americans by George Catlin and other celebrated western artists.

To help serve Olympic visitors, Church members have been asked to volunteer as tour guides at Welfare Square, the Humanitarian Center, the Family History Library, Brigham Young University, the Conference Center, and Temple Square. Members’ talents will also be utilized as they participate in performances scheduled in the Conference Center, the Salt Lake Tabernacle, and the Assembly Hall. BYU has canceled classes during part of the Olympics so that its students and faculty, many of whom are bilingual, may volunteer at or otherwise participate in the games.

At SLOC’s request, local Latter-day Saint families, along with families of other faiths, will host in their homes the families of participating athletes.

[photos] Photography by Craig Dimond

[photo] Hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights adorning Temple Square and nearby areas will also burn brightly during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games to welcome visitors to Salt Lake City.

[photo] Temple Square’s recently remodeled interactive visitors’ centers will help guests who are interested in learning more about the gospel.

Rachel L. Dahl is a member of the BYU 44th Ward, BYU Sixth Stake.

Appointments

Following are temple presidents and matrons recently called to serve in temples of areas served by the Ensign (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand):

Allan and Roma Lee Alder Sandstone Ward Hermiston Oregon Stake

Columbia River Washington Temple

Bruce and Phyllis Belnap Clearwater Ward St. Petersburg Florida Stake

Orlando Florida Temple

William and Kathleen Campbell East Coast Bays Ward Auckland New Zealand Harbour Stake

Hamilton New Zealand Temple

Gene and Sandra Carroll Johns Creek Ward Roswell Georgia Stake

Atlanta Georgia Temple

Don and Lora Dee Christensen Serene Ward Las Vegas Nevada Warm Springs Stake

Las Vegas Nevada Temple

Gordon and Myrna Conger Bellevue Sixth Ward Bellevue Washington Stake

Seattle Washington Temple

Paul and Dorothy Hatch Glendora First Ward Glendora California Stake

Los Angeles California Temple

George and Edna Jones Chichester Ward Portsmouth England Stake

London England Temple

Glenn and Julina Lung Kaimuki Ward Honolulu Hawaii Stake

Laie Hawaii Temple

Grant and Linda Marsh Greenwood Village Ward Denver Colorado Stake

Denver Colorado Temple

L. David and Nedra Muir Green Valley 14th Ward St. George Utah Green Valley Stake

St. George Utah Temple

Glenn and Susanne Peterson Southlake Ward Colleyville Texas Stake

Dallas Texas Temple

Jay and Jena Vee Smith Oak Hills Fourth Ward Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake

Provo Utah Temple

George and Carilee Weight Springville Ward Cedar Mill Oregon Stake

Portland Oregon Temple

Following are directors and their companions recently called to serve at Church visitors’ center and historic sites:

Paul and Phyllis Ashton Tustin Second Ward Orange California Stake

Hamilton New Zealand Temple Visitors’ Center

Gordon and Rella Christensen Mapleton First Ward Mapleton Utah Stake

Los Angeles California Temple Visitors’ Center

Phillip and Elizabeth Christensen Lakeview Ward Bountiful Utah Central Stake

Mormon Handcart Visitors’ Center at Martin’s Cove

Leon and Marilyn Davies Bountiful 54th Ward Bountiful Utah Heights Stake

Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters

Richard and Barbara Fox Monument Park 12th Ward Salt Lake Monument Park North Stake

Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center

Del and Carol Garner Raft River Ward Declo Idaho Stake

Liberty Jail Historic Site

David and Deslyn Grant Ensign First Ward Salt Lake Ensign Stake

Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors’ Center

Loren and Leona Grover Rexburg Fourth Ward Rexburg Idaho East Stake

Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Visitors’ Center

Joseph and Ann Park Monument Park 19th Ward Salt Lake Monument Park North Stake

Illinois Nauvoo Mission & Visitors’ Center

Milton and Rhea Wille Elyria Ward Cleveland Ohio Stake

México City D.F. México Temple Visitors’ Center

Richard and Shelly Williams Silver Creek Ward Park City Utah Stake

Park City Family Tree Center

In the Spotlight

Four Members Elected to French Polynesian Parliament

Four Church members were recently elected to the French Polynesian Parliament. Temauri Foster of the Makemo Tuamotu District, Tarita Sinjoux of the Faaa Tahiti Stake, Hinano Tetuanui of the Papeari Tahiti Stake, and Arsène Tuairau of the Papeete Tahiti Stake are now serving in the 49-member parliament.

Latter-day Saint Receives Adoption Award

Curt Dahl, creative director for Church-owned Bonneville Communications, was honored by a U.S. congressional group on 22 October for his efforts in promoting adoption.

Brother Dahl, an adoptive father himself, received the Angels in Adoption award for creating and producing a series of public service announcements promoting adoption as a positive choice for unwed birth mothers. The commercials are sponsored by LDS Family Services.

Angels in Adoption awards are given annually by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, a bipartisan organization whose 153 members seek to improve adoption policy and practice.

Brother Dahl is a member of the Crescent 17th Ward, Sandy Utah Crescent West Stake.

Returned Missionary Is Seattle Mariners Scout

Ted Heid, director of Pacific Rim scouting for the Seattle Mariners, says his career benefited from counsel he received during his mission to Japan from 1976 to 1978.

Brother Heid, a member of the Cactus Ward, Glendale Arizona North Stake, has kept up his Japanese language skills since his mission president, Shozo Suzuki, challenged him to continue to pray in Japanese every day.

“I followed that counsel and accepted that challenge,” Brother Heid says. “And I think it was very important in my ability to hang on to the language for so many years, even when I didn’t have an opportunity to use it on a daily basis. It turned out to be important in getting this position [with the Mariners].”

While scouting Japan for the Mariners, Brother Heid helped sign sensational hitting outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. Brother Heid has been director of Pacific Rim scouting since November 2000.Gary Libman, Altadena, California

Comment

Plan of Salvation Chart

In the September 2001 issue we especially enjoyed the article “Teaching Our Children the Plan of Salvation” and plan to incorporate many of its ideas in teaching our three small children. In a diagram on page 36, the line representing the Final Judgment is placed before the line representing the Resurrection, suggesting that the Final Judgment occurs before the Resurrection. After studying several scripture passages and reading other Church curriculum materials, we believe that such a suggestion would be incorrect. Could you please help us better understand this matter?

The Calta Family Chino, California

The diagram on page 36 does not accurately portray what the scriptures and living prophets teach on this matter.

The scriptures frequently speak of a day when all mankind will stand before God to be judged according to their works prior to inheriting a kingdom of glory. This time has become known as the Final Judgment. The scriptures also speak of two other significant times of judgment: (1) Death. When the spirit leaves the mortal body, a judgment assigns each person to a state of happiness or a state of misery (see Alma 40:11–14); (2) The Second Coming. When Christ comes to earth in great glory, He will divide the wicked from the righteous (see Mal. 4:1–2). It is also accurate to consider every day a day of judgment, for as Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become“ (“The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 32).

The Prophet Jacob taught that “when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment. … And … they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still” (2 Ne. 9:15–16). Editors

“Life-Fitting” Articles

As I read the September 2001 issue of the Ensign, I was thrilled to see how “life-fitting” this issue was for me at the time. The articles “Live in Thanksgiving Daily,” “Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” “Loving My Wayward Child,” “Peace on Earth,” “Teaching Our Children the Plan of Salvation,” and excerpts from First Presidency addresses in the News of the Church section were among the messages I cherish.

Thank you for the prayerfully selected and compiled material of the Ensign. I am so grateful for this blessing in my life.

Brian K. Smith Taylorsville, Utah