News of the Church


Mormon Tabernacle Choir Appears on Three U.S. National Programs

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir appeared on three U.S. national television programs during the month of December: the CBS TV news magazine 60 Minutes II, a PBS Christmas Eve special, and the CBS weekly series Touched by an Angel.

The choir was featured on 60 Minutes II’s 19 December program. The report included scenes from the choir’s 2001 Christmas concert in the Conference Center and an interview with actress Angela Lansbury, who performed as a guest artist during the concert. The segment also included interviews with director Craig Jessop, choir president Mac Christensen, and four choir members.

“For more than a century and a half, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has performed in more than 60 countries before tens of millions of people, including nine U.S. presidents,” said news correspondent Charlie Rose on the program. “They’ve recorded more than 150 albums, and their weekly radio and television broadcast has been on the air, uninterrupted, since 1929. They were there on 11 September to soothe a grieving nation, and they’ll be there to celebrate when the Olympics come to Salt Lake City.”

On Christmas Eve, the Utah Symphony and Tabernacle Choir performed together for a PBS holiday special, “The Gift of Music,” a 90-minute concert taped during a live performance under the direction of Keith Lockhart, symphony conductor. The concert featured soloists Henriette Schellenberg, Robert Breault, and Robert Honeysucker.

The choir sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in a closing scene of a special Christmas episode of Touched by an Angel broadcast on 16 December.

[photo] The Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony Orchestra, directed by Keith Lockhart, perform together for a PBS holiday special. (Photo by Jay Borowczyk.)

President James E. Faust Dedicates New Monument to Pioneer Women

President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, recently dedicated a monument to pioneer women. A bronze statue of a widow and her young son leaving behind the grave of a small daughter, the monument now stands on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum near the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City.

Latter-day Saint sculptor Karl Quilter, who also designed a statue depicting the angel Moroni that tops most of the Church’s temples, was commissioned by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers to create the statue. The dedication of the statue marked the climax of a yearlong centennial celebration for the organization.

In paying tribute to those pioneers who sacrificed so much, President Faust quoted from an October 1947 general conference address by President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. (1871–1961): “Back in the last wagon, not always could they see the Brethren way out in front, and the blue heaven was often shut out from their sight by heavy, dense clouds of the dust of the earth. Yet day after day, they of the last wagon pressed forward … borne up by their faith that God loved them, that the restored gospel was true and that the Lord led and directed the Brethren out in front” (“They of the Last Wagon,” in Conference Report, Oct. 1947, 156; see also “To Them of the Last Wagon,” Ensign, July 1997, 36).

[photo] President James E. Faust joins members of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers at the dedication of a new monument to pioneer women. (Photo by Tom Smart, Deseret News.)

Scriptures Released on CD-ROM

The Church recently released its first authorized CD-ROM edition of the scriptures. The Scriptures: CD-ROM Standard Edition 1.0 allows computer users to search, print, or copy scriptural texts, study guides, maps, and photos.

“This new edition is intended to help individuals and families enhance their study of the scriptures,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “As families use this new computer tool to search the scriptures and study gospel principles, their faith will increase, testimonies will grow, and family ties will be strengthened.”

This complete scripture resource is designed to accommodate users of all ages. Basic search functions provide rapid access to visual aids and broad topics or specific passages, assisting with lesson and talk preparation.

The Scriptures: CD-ROM Standard Edition 1.0 contains the full text of the Church’s authorized scriptures in English, along with all of the official study aids, including the Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary. The CD also contains the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price in French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Study aids available in all five of these languages include the Guide to the Scriptures (a topical compilation of cross-references and definitions), chapter headings, footnotes, selections from the Joseph Smith Translation, maps, and photographs.

Future editions of the CD-ROM may include more languages as they become available.

The Scriptures: CD-ROM Standard Edition 1.0 (item no. 50400; U.S. $5) may be purchased through local ward clerks, at local Church distribution centers, on the Internet at www.ldscatalog.com, or by calling 1-800-537-5971 (in the United States and Canada only).

[photo] The CD-ROM edition of the scriptures instantly puts the standard works, study guides, maps, and visual aids at the user’s fingertips. (Photo by Ellie Carter.)

Disasters in Various Countries Affect Lives of Church Members

Church members in Peru, Brazil, Australia, and Tonga were affected by disasters that struck their countries in late December and early January.

Two members perished and one member family lost their home in Lima, Peru, when a series of fireworks set a crowded market street on fire. Nearly 1,000 people were reported dead or missing. One of the members killed was a young woman who had just received her mission call and was shopping for clothes for her mission. The other was the daughter of a local bishop.

The Church provided $5,000 to purchase bandages and other medical supplies, which were donated to local hospitals.

In Petropolis, Brazil, a Church member was killed, 10 member families lost their homes, and a meetinghouse was slightly damaged when torrential rains and mudslides hit the state of Rio de Janeiro. A total of 50 people lost their lives, and 300 homes were destroyed in the disaster. Displaced members were assisted by local members and leaders using local welfare funds.

In Australia, two member families lost their homes when bushfires burned near Sydney, destroying more than 100 houses and forcing the evacuation of several thousand people. Two meetinghouses in the vicinity of the fires were made available for emergency use, and local welfare resources were used to assist the members who lost their homes.

Eleven member families lost their homes when Cyclone Waka struck the Vava‘u Island group in Tonga. Emergency relief supplies, including tarps, chainsaws, nails, and plastic water containers, were shipped to the area from Church temporal offices on Tonga’s main island of Nuku‘alofa.

[photo] Flooding in Petropolis, Brazil, took the lives of 50 people and destroyed 300 homes. (Photo courtesy Associated Press.)

[photo] Stake presidents join workers in unloading Church-donated tarps and chainsaws after Cyclone Waka struck Tonga’s Vava‘u Island group. The relief supplies were distributed to local members in need. (Photo by Malu Fakatou.)

2002 Church Pageant Schedule

Pageant

Location

Dates

Jesus the Christ

Mesa, Arizona

21, 26–30 March (English); 22–23 March (Spanish)

Mormon Miracle

Manti, Utah

13–15, 18–22 June

America’s Witness for Christ

Palmyra, New York

5–6, 9–13 July

And It Came to Pass

Oakland, California

13, 16–20, 23–27 July

Castle Valley

Castle Dale, Utah

25–27, 30–31 July; 1–3 August

City of Joseph

Nauvoo, Illinois

26–27, 30–31 July; 1–3 August

Martin Harris: The Man Who Knew

Clarkston, Utah

9–10, 13–17, 20–24 August

All pageants are free of charge, but the Clarkston and Oakland pageants require tickets. For more information on any of the pageants call 1-801-240-7800.

[photo] A scene from the Church pageant Martin Harris: The Man Who Knew performed in Clarkston, Utah. (Photo by Jed Clark.)

LDS Foundation Opens Web Link on lds.org

A new link on the Church’s Web site can help members interested in charitable giving. The link is for the LDS Foundation, which serves as a central coordinating agency for charitable giving to the Church.

Under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric, the LDS Foundation assists those interested in making donations toward the Perpetual Education Fund, Church Welfare Services and humanitarian aid, temple work, missionary labor, or the Church’s educational institutions. The foundation’s Web pages help users learn what the Church’s charitable priorities are and how donations are affecting the lives of those receiving them.

The link, found under “Other Resources” on www.lds.org, can also be accessed at www.ldsfoundation.org.

[photo] Learn about charitable ways to give through a new link on the Church’s official Web site.

In the Spotlight

Australian Member Wins International Peace Prize

An Australian Church member received in October the 2001 Pax Christi International Peace Prize for his efforts to promote understanding and reconciliation between indigenous and nonindigenous Australians.

Eddie Kneebone of the Albury Ward, Albury New South Wales Australia Stake, is a descendant of the Pangangarang Aboriginal clan. For some 20 years Brother Kneebone has lectured about Aboriginal culture, history, and art to young Australians, seeking to promote social awareness and acceptance between people of different backgrounds. He also writes extensively on Aboriginal culture to assist in the education of public service workers and those involved in health care, police services, and the army.

Pax Christi International is a nonprofit, nongovernmental Catholic peace movement represented in 30 countries, with some 60,000 members of various denominations worldwide.

Latter-day Saint Conductor Making Mark in Symphony

Bundit Ungrangsee, a member of the Mount Pleasant Ward, Charleston South Carolina Stake, is receiving excellent reviews as associate conductor of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

A native of Thailand, Brother Ungrangsee joined the Church in April 2000 after coming to Salt Lake City as an associate conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Also while living in Utah, Brother Ungrangsee met and married in the Salt Lake Temple Mary Jane Jones, who had served a mission in Thailand. Last December Sister Ungrangsee performed as soprano soloist in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

Brother Ungrangsee has conducted symphonic performances and operas throughout the United States and has made guest conducting appearances in Australia, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Georgia, Austria, Russia, Portugal, Mexico, and Italy.

Member Couple Chosen as Parents of the Year

Ezekiel and Pauline Sanchez of the Thayer Park Ward, Mesa Arizona Mountain View Stake, were chosen in 2001 as Arizona’s Parents of the Year by the American Family Coalition. The first Native Americans to receive the award, the Sanchezes were recognized for their outstanding example in raising their own seven children and for their many years of volunteer work in assisting at-risk youth.

Arizona Stake Donates More Than 2,000 Dresses

When the Relief Society sisters of the Pima Arizona Stake heard of the Church Humanitarian Center’s ongoing need for girls’ dresses, they set a goal of collecting 2001 dresses in the year 2001. The Relief Society sisters donated gently used dresses, fabric, and cutting and sewing time to make new dresses. When the year ended, they had surpassed their goal by more than 100 dresses. The clothing was donated to Humanitarian Services and to Deseret Industries.

Missionary Starts Dental Project in Cook Islands

When Church service missionary and volunteer dentist Richard Anderson began to serve in the Cook Islands, he became concerned about the dental health of the local children. With the support of Church Humanitarian Services and the Cook Islands government, Brother Anderson and his wife, Diane, began an ongoing dental health campaign in the country.

Local members and missionaries have assembled thousands of dental hygiene kits, provided by a grant from the Church and distributed by missionaries and school dental nurses who instruct children in how to use them. The grant also funded the delivery of a modern dental chair and dental instruments donated by an individual in Germany.

The program has been well received by the local people and government. Now, when children see one of the missionaries, “they all wave and point to their smiles,” says Brother Anderson.

No Tuition Increases at BYU or BYU—Idaho

Tuition for BYU and BYU—Idaho will not increase for the 2002–03 school year, the two schools have announced.

A semester’s tuition at BYU for the coming year will be $1,530 for undergraduates, $1,930 for graduate students, and $3,070 for law school and graduate school of management students. Tuition at BYU–Idaho will stay at $1,240 per semester.

This will be the first year since 1973 that the two schools have not had tuition increases. Both expect to have normal tuition increases in the future.

[photo] Bundit Ungrangsee (Photo courtesy Utah Symphony Orchestra.)

[photo] Sisters of the Pima Arizona Stake made and donated more than 2,000 dresses to the Humanitarian Center after hearing of the need. (Photo by Marilyn Farr.)

[photo] Thanks to efforts of missionaries, children in the Cook Islands are learning dental hygiene and improving their dental health. (Photo by Richard Anderson.)

Comment

Scheduling Priesthood and Relief Society Lessons

On page 63 of the December Ensign it states that ward leaders are to coordinate a schedule for teaching each chapter in the Teachings of Presidents of the Church books. This seems to contradict the instructions in Information for Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders on Curriculum (2001–4), which says that the lessons should be taught in the order presented in the book. I would appreciate a clarification on how we should proceed.

Ashley Peterson Scranton, Pennsylvania

It is the responsibility of ward Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society leaders, under the direction of the bishopric, to coordinate a unified schedule for the presentation of these lessons. It is recommended that the lessons be taught in the order presented in the book. However, if leaders are unified and feel that the schedule needs to vary from the order in the book to meet local needs, they may change the order.

For Teens Too

I am a young woman who, when my family moved to a new area two years ago, had a hard time adjusting. I felt like a weed in a bed of flowers when I went to church. I attended only once a month for about a year and a half. I never lost my faith, but I still felt like a weed.

One day I happened to pick up the Ensign and, flipping through the pages, stopped to read the Latter-day Saint Voices. I began crying as the personal stories touched me.

Since then I have become more active, have started catching up on my Personal Progress, and am now preparing to receive my patriarchal blessing. I’m also trying to be an example to less-active family members.

I want to thank all the Church members who have sent in their stories and the Ensign for publishing them.

Rachelle Cox Albany, Oregon

Burdens Eased

Thank you for the article “Easing the Burdens of Mental Illness” (Oct. 2001). I am married to a man who is mentally ill and for the past several years has lived in his car, avoiding all contact with my children and me.

I am grateful for the power of prayer and the close relationship I have developed with my Heavenly Father over these difficult years. My children and I have developed strong testimonies, a love for the Church, and a knowledge that the Lord is with us always.

I appreciate seeing articles about mental illness in Church publications. I hope that as people are exposed to articles on mental illness, support and understanding for families like mine will be more available.

Name Withheld

I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for your article on mental illness as well as other articles on depression.

Such articles are a great blessing to those of us Latter-day Saints who struggle in silence and secrecy with these disorders.

I am grateful to you and to Church leaders for bringing these issues from a frightening darkness into a loving light.

Name Withheld

Blessed by Their Words

I want to thank the Church leaders who share their testimonies with us in the Ensign every month. How comforting it is to me to know my life is blessed because they choose to exemplify the principles of the gospel. I am truly grateful to feel the Spirit through their words.

April Gutzwiller Kaysville, Utah

By having pass-along cards with us to give away, my wife and I have had four good missionary experiences. Thank you for providing these missionary tools.

Terence and Louise Goss Laurel, Montana