News of the Church


Nauvoo Illinois Temple Dedicated

Early on the evening of 27 June, President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Nauvoo Illinois Temple in a session broadcast to thousands of members participating in 72 countries. The place and the time were closely tied to the history of the Church and its first President, Joseph Smith, charging the event with a sense of history as well as sacredness.

As a time capsule was sealed in the cornerstone box earlier in the day, President Hinckley spoke of an “unseen audience” that he expected to be present for the dedication, including the Prophet Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, and “many others who gave their life and their time and their energies to the construction of [the original Nauvoo] temple.” The dedication began at 6:00 P.M. Central Day-light Time on the same date—27 June—when the Prophet Joseph and his brother were martyred in Carthage Jail, about 15 miles away, in 1844. Adjusting for daylight savings time, even the hour was the same.

In the dedicatory prayer he offered on the temple, President Hinckley said: “We thank Thee that those harsh days are now long past. We thank Thee for this season in which we live, with the many blessings of peace and prosperity which we enjoy at Thy hands. Thy Spirit has brooded over us and moved upon us, and in obedience to its promptings we have now reconstructed on this hallowed ground the temple that once stood here.” He petitioned: “We pray that Thou wilt accept of this our offering. The hearts of the children have literally turned to those fathers who worked on the original building. They have done so with love and a wonderful spirit of consecrated effort.”

President Hinckley added: “Bless this city of Nauvoo, which came to be known as the city of Joseph. May it shine with a renewed luster as the home of a temple of God. May this sacred house stand as a memorial to him who lived here and was buried here, Joseph Smith, the great prophet of this dispensation, and his brother Hyrum, whom he loved.”

President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, also spoke in the first dedicatory session, as did President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Ben B. Banks of the Presidency of the Seventy; Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop; and Margaret D. Nadauld, Young Women general president. Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander of the Presidency of the Seventy offered the invocation and the benediction.

Members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participated at each of the 13 dedicatory sessions through Sunday, 30 June. The first dedicatory session and the last were broadcast live via satellite to members gathered at approximately 2,300 locations around the world, and rebroadcasts of the first session were scheduled at other times.

This was the first temple dedication broadcast on an international scale, and its reach far exceeded that of any previous Church satellite broadcast. An expanded satellite system allowed it to go to areas of the world that have never before received any type of Church satellite broadcast, including Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Armenia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, and Romania.

The dedication of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple is significant because this building is in large part a re-creation of the temple that the Prophet Joseph Smith had located on this bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The new temple is built on the same site and to virtually the same exterior specifications and design as the original Nauvoo Temple. Thousands of today’s members have ancestors who contributed to the building of that original temple, and every member can feel a kinship to those pioneers who sacrificed so much for their faith.

More than 330,000 people—from every state in the United States and from 70 other countries—toured the Nauvoo Illinois Temple during the seven-week public open house before its dedication. Visitors included prominent business and government leaders as well as officials from other religious faiths.

Music for the dedicatory sessions was provided by members of the Tabernacle Choir and by choirs of local Latter-day Saints.

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple is the Church’s 113th. It will serve 13,000 Latter-day Saints in western Illinois, eastern Iowa, and northeastern Missouri, in stakes in Nauvoo, Peoria, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Iowa City.

[photo] The new Nauvoo temple sits on the same site as the original and has almost the same outward appearance. (Photo by Welden C. Andersen.)

[photo] President Hinckley prepares to seal the temple cornerstone. (Photo by Craig Dimond.)

President Hinckley Addresses L. A. World Affairs Council

“Volunteer service is the genius of this Church,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, speaking to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on 12 June 2002.

President Hinckley focused his remarks on the elderly and on the Church’s Perpetual Education Fund as he addressed the more than 2,100 people attending the event. They included diplomats, professors, local government officials, media representatives, and Church members hosting their guests. Religious leaders of many faiths were represented.

President Hinckley spoke first about the challenging service opportunities available to retirees and the thousands of individuals taking advantage of these opportunities. “God bless them for their great and dedicated service.”

He highlighted a few of the 5,300 retired Church members on missions who are having a tremendous impact in serving others: two widows teaching and encouraging Jamaicans in need; two brothers, retired doctors, who established a neonatal clinic and a general practice to help the disadvantaged in Ho Chi Minh City; and twenty retired people teaching English to Thai children in Bangkok.

“Now I know, of course, that there are many other volunteer groups doing a great service in the world,” he said. “But I know of no other organization which so harnesses the abilities, the capacities, and the willingness of retired men and women in an organized program of Christian service in many areas of the world.

“These people are experiencing in a very real way the promise of the Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, who said, ‘Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it’” (Mark 8:35).

President Hinckley then spoke of the Perpetual Education Fund, designed to help the many young men and women who may return to poverty in their home countries after they finish their missions and do not have the opportunity to get an education. They receive loans to finance their education in their own country, then pay these loans back.

A quarter of a million people have sent in donations to the fund. “We have, without touching the corpus, earnings enough to provide loans to more than 3,000 individuals,” said President Hinckley. “Today, only 14 months after the first announcement, we have made loans to 720 young people in Brazil, 696 in Chile, 338 in Peru, 194 in Mexico, 523 in the Philippines, and 634 in other countries,” he reported. “I am confident the number will rise dramatically.”

One young man from Concepción, Chile, wrote to the President: “This is a great blessing. Today I can change the future and give something better to my children. Thanks to all who have made this possible.”

Loans from the Perpetual Education Fund are helping finance training in fields from automobile mechanics to hotel administration and Web technology.Kathleen Lubeck Peterson, Harbor Hills Ward, Newport Beach California Stake

[photo] President Hinckley’s remarks about the volunteer efforts of Church members were repeatedly greeted with applause. (Photo by John Beutler.)

New Area Presidency Assignments

The First Presidency has announced changes in assignments for Area Presidencies. The changes were effective August 15, 2002. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, President of the Philippines Area, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, President of the Chile Area, are members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. All other presidency members belong to the Quorums of the Seventy.

1. North America Northwest: Quentin L. Cook, President; William R. Bradford, First Counselor; Stephen A. West, Second Counselor

2. North America Central: Donald L. Staheli, President; Bruce C. Hafen, First Counselor; Lynn A. Mickelsen, Second Counselor

3. North America Northeast: Spencer J. Condie, President; Glenn L. Pace, First Counselor; H. Bryan Richards, Second Counselor

4. North America East: Dale E. Miller, President; J. Kent Jolley, First Counselor; Gordon T. Watts, Second Counselor

5. North America Southeast: Gene R. Cook, President; Keith Crockett, First Counselor; H. Aldridge Gillespie, Second Counselor

6. North America Southwest: F. Burton Howard, President; H. Bruce Stucki, First Counselor; Stephen B. Oveson, Second Counselor

7. North America West: Lynn G. Robbins, President; Duane B. Gerrard, First Counselor; Val R. Christensen, Second Counselor

8. Utah North: Cree-L Kofford, President; Monte J. Brough, First Counselor; Merrill C. Oaks, Second Counselor

9. Utah South: John H. Groberg, President; W. Rolfe Kerr, First Counselor; Ned B. Roueché, Second Counselor

10. Idaho: * C. Scott Grow, President; * D. Rex Gerratt, First Counselor; * Ronald L. Loveland, Second Counselor

11. Mexico North: Gary J. Coleman, President; Robert J. Whetten, First Counselor; * Adrián Ochoa, Second Counselor

12. Mexico South: Richard H. Winkel, President; * Armando Gaona, First Counselor; * Benjamin De Hoyos, Second Counselor

13. Central America: * Enrique R. Falabella, President; * Julio E. Alvarado, First Counselor; * E. Israel Pérez, Second Counselor

14. South America North: Claudio R. M. Costa, President; Walter F. González, First Counselor; * Roberto Garcia, Second Counselor

15. South America West: David R. Stone, President; Carlos H. Amado, First Counselor; * Willy F. Zuzunaga, Second Counselor

16. Brazil North: Adhemar Damiani, President; Robert R. Steuer, First Counselor; * Pedro J. Penha, Second Counselor

17. Brazil South: Neil L. Andersen, President; Darwin B. Christenson, First Counselor; * Paulo R. Grahl, Second Counselor

18. Chile: Jeffrey R. Holland, President; Francisco J. Viñas, First Counselor; Carl B. Pratt, Second Counselor

19. South America South: Jay E. Jensen, President; L. Whitney Clayton, First Counselor; * Carlos E. Agüero, Second Counselor

20. Africa West: Sheldon F. Child, President; H. Ross Workman, First Counselor; R. Conrad Schultz, Second Counselor

21. Africa Southeast: Robert C. Oaks, President; Steven E. Snow, First Counselor; * David J. Barnett, Second Counselor

22. Philippines: Dallin H. Oaks, President; Angel Abrea, First Counselor; Richard J. Maynes, Second Counselor

23. Pacific Islands: Ronald T. Halverson, President; Robert K. Dellenbach, First Counselor; Dennis E. Simmons, Second Counselor

24. Australia/New Zealand: Kenneth Johnson, President; John M. Madsen, First Counselor; * Lindsay T. Dil, Second Counselor

25. Europe Central: D. Lee Tobler, President; Ronald A. Rasband, First Counselor; Marlin K. Jensen, Second Counselor

26. Europe West: Harold G. Hillam, President; Wayne S. Peterson, First Counselor; W. Craig Zwick, Second Counselor

27. Europe East: Douglas L. Callister, President; Keith K. Hilbig, First Counselor; Robert F. Orton, Second Counselor

28. Asia North: Donald L. Hallstrom, President; Yoshihiko Kikuchi, First Counselor; * Gary S. Matsuda, Second Counselor

29. Asia: John B. Dickson, President; E. Ray Bateman, First Counselor; * D. Allen Andersen, Second Counselor

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    Indicates Area Authority Seventy

Changes in Presidency of the Seventy

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The First Presidency has called Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. He succeeds Elder Ben B. Banks.

Elder Uchtdorf began his service in the Presidency on 15 August. The other members of the Presidency are Elder Earl C. Tingey, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Elder David E. Sorensen, Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Elder Charles Didier, and Elder Cecil O. Samuelson Jr.

Elder Uchtdorf was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in 1994. In 1996 he was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy and has served as president of several areas, most recently the North America West Area. He has also served as Assistant Executive Director of the Correlation Department.

Elder Uchtdorf was born in Czechoslovakia and has lived most of his life in Germany. He and his wife, Harriet Reich Uchtdorf, have two children.

New Visitors’ Facilities in New York, Ohio

On 1 July, following the Nauvoo temple dedication, President Hinckley traveled to Palmyra, New York, to dedicate the newly completed Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center.

President Hinckley spoke fondly of visiting the Hill Cumorah as a returning missionary 67 years earlier and of watching President Heber J. Grant and other Church leaders unveil the statue of the angel Moroni on the hilltop. He also spoke of how intrigued he is by the events that occurred there.

President Hinckley bore testimony of the Restoration, the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He then challenged members in the audience to be true and faithful to the restored gospel and to stand ready to declare the truth of that divine gift. “I know that the Church that came out of these events and others that followed is true,” President Hinckley said.

In the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley prayed that the Spirit of the Lord would touch the hearts and minds of the people who would visit the center and that they would come away with a greater appreciation of the events that transpired there.

One week earlier, on 24 June, the Church opened the doors of another new visitors’ center in Kirtland, Ohio, along with two other historic structures, one rebuilt and the other restored.

The Historic Kirtland Visitors’ Center is designed to resemble the gristmill that Church members saw when they arrived in the area in the 1830s. The years 1831 to 1838 were “a defining period for the Church,” said David Brown, visitors’ center director. “During the Kirtland era, we believe God revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith the essential organization and much of the doctrine of the Church that is still in place today. Kirtland was the site of the first Latter-day Saint temple and the Church’s first implementation of the welfare, Church education, and international missionary programs.”

Church leaders hope to dedicate other restored and reconstructed sites in historic Kirtland by summer 2003 as part of the Ohio bicentennial celebration. These sites include the John Johnson Inn, the Newel K. Whitney Store and Home, an 1819 schoolhouse, a 170-year-old sawmill, and an ashery.

[photo] The new, larger Hill Cumorah center will handle growing numbers of visitors to historic sites and the annual Hill Cumorah pageant. (Photo by Lyman Kirkland.)

President Hinckley Celebrates 92nd Birthday

[photo] President Gordon B. Hinckley prepares to cut the cake for a brief celebration of his 92nd birthday with the General Authorities and other colleagues in the Church Administration Building on Friday, 21 June. He was born 23 June 1910. (Photo by Craig Dimond.)

Missionary Training Center Dedicated in Ghana

The first missionary training center in Africa was dedicated in Ghana on 17 May. The center is the Church’s 16th and will serve missionaries called from West Africa.

Speaking at the dedication, Elder H. Bruce Stucki of the Seventy, President of the Africa West Area, quoted counsel from the Doctrine and Covenants: “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men” (D&C 11:21). Then he added that the Lord has indicated the fulness of the gospel will be taught to people in their own tongue and their own language (see D&C 90:11).

Missionaries at the center will receive instruction in both English and French. Instructors will be local returned missionaries.

“The purpose of the training center is—under the influence of the Spirit and in an atmosphere of love, trust, confidence, and respect—to help missionaries draw nearer to God and begin to obtain power so that more of Heavenly Father’s children will accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, receive saving ordinances, and come unto Him,” said Stephen Merrill Hadley, president of the Ghana Missionary Training Center, in his remarks.

Also present at the dedication were Elder Stucki’s counselors, Elder H. Ross Workman and Elder R. Conrad Schultz of the Seventy; Area Authority Seventies Elder Emmanuel O. Opare Sr. and Elder Emmanuel A. Kissi; and other local Church leaders.

1881 Canadian Census Available

Searching for ancestors in Canada just got easier. Information concerning 4.3 million people living in Canada in 1881 is now available on CD.

This census data includes the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

The National Archives of Canada microfilmed the 1881 census, and the Church purchased a copy of it. Latter-day Saint volunteers in Canada extracted the census into computer databases, and the Church and Family History Department processed the information. The Institute of Canadian Studies at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, helped in preparing the data for publication.

The CD package (item no. 50179; U.S. $11.00), includes Resource File Viewer 4.0 and three CDs.

Fires Affect Members in Arizona, Colorado

In June and July some 12,000 Church members were evacuated from their homes in Arizona, where wildfires burned over 400,000 acres and destroyed some 200 houses. Approximately 35 Latter-day Saint families lost their homes. Local Church units worked actively with the Red Cross to provide shelter and supplies for displaced families. Church humanitarian funds were used to purchase food and other supplies. In addition, several semitrailer loads of emergency items were transferred to the area from bishops’ storehouses in Mesa, Arizona, and Salt Lake City.

Other blazes in southern Colorado burned some 66,000 acres, causing the evacuation of 1,100 people. Several members’ homes were extensively damaged and one destroyed. Church members worked with the Red Cross to provide meals and lodging for most evacuees. Church welfare resources were donated to the Southwest Colorado Chapter of the Red Cross to help purchase food and other items.

Comment

Nauvoo Temple

I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful magazine. I’m particularly thankful for the July 2002 issue featuring articles on the Nauvoo Illinois Temple. How wonderful these articles were in helping prepare me for the temple’s dedication. What a powerful witness the Spirit bore regarding the rebirth of this historic, sacred building.

Thanks once again for the Spirit-filled articles that have deepened my understanding of and appreciation for the early Saints’ sacrifices and the sacrifices of today’s Saints as well in the rebuilding of this sacred, holy house of God.

Michelle Piercy Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Isaac Was Not a Child

While the picture on page 25 of the June 2002 Ensign is moving, it regrettably perpetuates a falsehood that Isaac was a child at the time of his prospective sacrifice. This is likely not accurate, and people would miss one significant point: that Isaac, being an adult, could have easily stopped his aged father’s hand but chose to willingly submit to his father, as did the Savior. We do not have enough detail to know Isaac’s age at the time, but it is likely he was not a child as depicted.

Boyd Peters Fullarton, South Australia