News of the Church

By Walter Cooley, Church Magazines

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Area Leadership Assignments Announced

The First Presidency has announced changes in assignments for area leadership. The changes are effective beginning August 15, 2005.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has completed an assignment as President of the Europe Central Area. Elder Neil L. Andersen and Elder Ronald A. Rasband have been called to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy (see story on p. 76).

All members of Area Presidencies belong to the First or Second Quorum of the Seventy unless otherwise noted.

Presidency of the Seventy: Earl C. Tingey: 1. North America East, 2. North America Northeast; D. Todd Christofferson: 3. North America Southeast; Charles Didier: 4. North America Southwest; Merrill J. Bateman: 5. Utah North, 6. Utah Salt Lake City, 7. Utah South; Robert C. Oaks: 8. North America Central; Neil L. Andersen: 9. Idaho; Ronald A. Rasband: 10. North America Northwest, 11. North America West

12. Mexico North: Robert J. Whetten, President; C. Scott Grow, First Counselor; Jorge A. Rojas * , Second Counselor

13. Mexico South: Craig C. Christensen, President; Clate W. Mask, First Counselor; Marco A. Cardenas * , Second Counselor

14. Central America: Spencer V. Jones, President; W. Douglas Shumway, First Counselor; Jose E. Boza * , Second Counselor

15. South America North: Claudio R. M. Costa, President; Benjamin De Hoyos, First Counselor; César A. Dávila * , Second Counselor

16. South America West: Carlos H. Amado, President; James M. Dunn, First Counselor; Willy F. Zuzunaga * , Second Counselor

17. Brazil North: Robert R. Steuer, President; Walter F. González, First Counselor; Pedro J. Penha * , Second Counselor

18. Brazil South: Mervyn B. Arnold, President; Ulisses Soares, First Counselor; Paulo R. Grahl * , Second Counselor

19. Chile: Francisco J. Viñas, President; Carl B. Pratt, First Counselor; Oscar W. Chavez * , Second Counselor

20. South America South: L. Whitney Clayton, President; Lynn G. Robbins, First Counselor; Fernando D. Ortega * , Second Counselor

21. Europe West: Gerald N. Lund, President; Kenneth Johnson, First Counselor; David S. Baxter * , Second Counselor

22. Europe Central: Bruce C. Hafen, President; W. Craig Zwick, First Counselor; Wolfgang H. Paul, Second Counselor

23. Europe East: Dennis B. Neuenschwander, President; Wayne S. Peterson, First Counselor; Paul B. Pieper, Second Counselor

24. Africa West: Sheldon F. Child, President; Lowell M. Snow, First Counselor; Adesina J. Olukanni * , Second Counselor

25. Africa Southeast: Christoffel Golden Jr., President; William W. Parmley, First Counselor; Allen P. Young * , Second Counselor

26. Asia: Daryl H. Garn, President; Donald L. Hallstrom, First Counselor; D. Allen Andersen * , Second Counselor

27. Asia North: William R. Walker, President; David F. Evans, First Counselor; Won Yong Ko, Second Counselor

28. Philippines: Richard J. Maynes, President; D. Rex Gerratt, First Counselor; Remus G. Villarete * , Second Counselor

29. Australia: David R. Stone, President; Paul K. Sybrowsky, First Counselor; John R. Gibson * , Second Counselor

30. New Zealand/Pacific Islands: Spencer J. Condie, President; H. Bruce Stucki, First Counselor; Richard H. Winkel, Second Counselor

  •   *

    Area Seventy

  • Elder Andersen, Elder Rasband Called to the Presidency of the Seventy

    Elder Neil L. Andersen and Elder Ronald A. Rasband have been called to serve as members of the Presidency of the Seventy effective August 15, 2005. Elder Andersen and Elder Rasband will succeed Elder David E. Sorensen and Elder John H. Groberg. Elder Sorensen has been serving in the Presidency of the Seventy since October 1998; Elder Groberg has served in the Presidency since April 2004.

    Elder Neil L. Andersen

    Elder Neil L. Andersen of the First Quorum of the Seventy has been called to serve as one of seven Presidents of the Seventy. Before beginning this new assignment, he was serving as the President of the Brazil South Area.

    Elder Andersen recently spoke in general conference on discerning evil and choosing the good.

    He said: “The choice between good and evil is at the very heart of our experience on earth. In the final review of our lives, it will not really matter if we were rich or poor, if we were athletic or not, if we had friends or were often forgotten.

    “We can work, study, laugh and have fun, dance, sing, and enjoy many different experiences. These are a wonderful part of life, but they are not central to why we are here. The opportunity to choose good over evil is precisely why we are here” (“Beware of the Evil behind the Smiling Eyes,” Ensign, May 2005, 46–47).

    Elder Andersen was called to serve as a Seventy in April 1993. He has since served as executive director of the Church’s Audiovisual Department and assistant executive director of the Priesthood Department; a counselor in the Utah North, Utah South, North America Southwest, North America Northeast, and Europe West Area Presidencies; and first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency.

    Prior to his call as a General Authority, Elder Andersen served as president of the France Bordeaux Mission and as president of the Tampa Florida Stake. As a young man he served a full-time mission in France.

    Elder Andersen graduated from Brigham Young University and earned a master’s of business administration from Harvard University. After completing his education, he settled in Tampa, Florida, where he held partnership and senior management positions in advertising, real estate, and health care businesses.

    Elder Andersen and his wife, Kathy Williams Andersen, are the parents of four children and have nine grandchildren.

    Elder Ronald A. Rasband

    Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the First Quorum of the Seventy has been called to serve as one of seven Presidents of the Seventy. Prior to this call, Elder Rasband was serving as executive director of the Temple Department.

    He was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 2000. Elder Rasband has served as First Counselor in the Europe Central Area Presidency and President of the Utah Salt Lake City Area.

    Elder Rasband attended the University of Utah. In 1995, Utah Valley State College awarded him an honorary doctorate of business and commerce. His early career included executive sales positions with ZCMI. In 1976, he joined Huntsman Container Company as a sales representative, and in 1987, he was appointed president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation.

    When he left Huntsman Corporation in 1996 to serve as president of the New York New York North mission, he was also serving as a member of the board of directors.

    As a young man, he served as a full-time missionary in the Eastern States Mission.

    During his first conference address after being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Rasband testified of the one-on-one ministry of the Savior.

    He said: “Throughout my life, I have come to know through my own experiences that Heavenly Father hears and answers our personal prayers. I know that Jesus is the living Christ and that He knows each of us individually, or as the scriptures express it, ‘one by one’” (“One by One,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 29).

    Elder Rasband was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1951. He married Melanie Twitchell in 1973. They are the parents of five children and have nine grandchildren.

    Harvard Dean Announced as BYU–Idaho President

    President Gordon B. Hinckley announced on June 6 that Dr. Kim B. Clark, dean of the Harvard Business School, would become the next president of Brigham Young University–Idaho.

    During the announcement broadcast from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, President Hinckley said that Brother Clark is a man of tremendous talent and great accomplishment who would carry the institution to new heights.

    President Hinckley said: “Dr. Clark is one who leads by example. … He is a man of tremendous integrity who is deeply respected and admired. He is inclusive in his leadership and believes strongly in developing those around him and creating new opportunities for them to grow and succeed.”

    Addressing BYU–Idaho students, faculty, and staff via satellite from Harvard’s campus in Boston, Massachusetts, Brother Clark said BYU–Idaho is at an important point in its history.

    The school “must have a great spirit of innovation about it,” he said.

    “But it also must build on its legacy and hold onto the things that ought to endure.”

    Since 1995, Brother Clark has served as dean of the faculty at Harvard Business School. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in economics from Harvard and has been a Harvard faculty member since 1978. He said leaving would not be easy: “Part of me looks at what lies ahead with some degree of sadness because I have to leave a school that I love.” However, “for someone who loves education, this is a wonderful and great opportunity.”

    Immediately after the broadcast, Brother Clark and his wife, Sue, left Boston to fly to Rexburg, Idaho, to address students at a devotional on Tuesday, June 7, 2005.

    Brother Clark planned to remain as the dean of Harvard Business School until July 31, 2005, assuming his new responsibilities at BYU–Idaho shortly thereafter. Brother Clark succeeds Robert M. Wilkes, who was appointed interim president in December 2004 after BYU–Idaho president David A. Bednar was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

    [photo] Dr. Kim B. Clark, former dean of the Harvard Business School, has been named the new president of BYU–Idaho.

    Technology Is Spreading the Prophetic Voice

    Since 2000, more and more Church members are hearing the words of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles each weekend. Yet it isn’t the Brethrens’ travel schedules that have changed; it’s technology.

    During the past year, almost every weekend has seen more of the same: thousands of members throughout the world hearing the word of the Lord and seeing His disciples.

    In recent years, broadcast and interpretation technologies have created more opportunities for Church members to see and hear from General Authorities. Besides general conference, members can now hear General Authorities at several broadcasts including stake conferences every other year, worldwide leadership meetings once a year, regular Church Educational System broadcasts, and temple dedications on occasion. At any one time, broadcast systems can reach up to 97 percent of the Church’s members throughout the world.

    President Hinckley said these types of technology have become available as the Church grows stronger (see “The Church Grows Stronger,” Ensign, May 2004, 4).

    “I am so deeply thankful that we have the wonders of television, radio, cable, satellite transmission, and the Internet,” said President Hinckley. “We have become a great worldwide Church, and it is now possible for the vast majority of our members to participate in these meetings as one great family, speaking many languages, found in many lands, but all of one faith and one doctrine and one baptism” (“Living in the Fulness of Times,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 4).

    This Magnificent Hall

    The ability to broadcast more often in an increasing number of languages began after the Conference Center was built in 2000. Dave Larsen, broadcast engineering manager, said that since then the number of Church broadcasts has increased dramatically.

    “All of us who work here feel it is a blessing from the Lord to be able to communicate the words of the prophets to a wider population than ever before,” Brother Larsen said. “We are seeing new technology that a number of years ago was just a dream.”

    Behind the north wall of the Conference Center auditorium is a labyrinth of broadcasting rooms filled with equipment. Audio-control rooms, closed-captioning booths, remote-camera operating consoles, and audio-recording booths fill the nearly 18,000-square-foot (1,670-m2) space.

    The Conference Center has backup equipment and systems for almost everything involved in a broadcast, including production control rooms. During general conference one production control room is used for broadcast; the second control room performs other tasks as well as acts as a backup to the broadcast production control room.

    At other times, however, the control rooms and support equipment are used to broadcast two separate meetings at the same time. This often happens on weekends when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Music and the Spoken Word broadcast begins on Sunday morning at the same time a stake conference broadcast begins. If necessary, one or both can be taped for later broadcast. But thanks to a special broadcast production studio, both can be done live simultaneously as well.

    The broadcast studio houses a set that replicates the pulpit and stand of a meetinghouse chapel. Many of the worldwide leadership meetings or stake conference broadcasts are taped or broadcast from inside the Conference Center’s studio.

    General and stake conference broadcasts use the Conference Center’s state-of-the-art interpretation capabilities. When interpretation is required for any broadcast, the Conference Center’s production rooms can route English audio streams from the auditorium, broadcast studio, or remote location to any one of 58 interpretation booths. Microphones capture an interpreter’s voice and send it to the production room, where it is added to the main video broadcast.

    More languages are often recorded after general conference. Last general conference an additional 20 languages were recorded to be included on DVD for worldwide distribution. DVD versions of conference also contain the digital video captured during conference. Currently, the only outlet available for viewing the live high-definition broadcast is KSL in Salt Lake City.

    Remote Broadcasts

    The Conference Center’s video and interpretation facilities are also used remotely.

    For broadcasts originating away from the Conference Center, local Church leaders can still request language interpretation for members within their stakes. In these cases, a General Authority’s talk can be captured on location, relayed back to Salt Lake City by satellite, interpreted in the Conference Center, and sent back to the remote location with only a few seconds delay. Church Educational System fireside addresses, stake conferences, and other member meetings are interpreted and closed-captioned this way. This year CES firesides have been interpreted into 28 languages.

    The Church also employs remote interpreters during general conference. In remote interpretation, an interpreter receives the English audio stream from general conference over a telephone or ISDN line. The interpreted audio stream returns on the same line to the Conference Center. Remote interpretation is used to capture some countries’ distinct dialects.

    Satellite Systems

    Until recently, Church satellite broadcasts were limited to North and South America, the Pacific, Europe, and South Africa. In 2002, the Church expanded its satellite broadcast network to include signals to Asia. Latter-day Saints in Asia participated in their first Church satellite broadcast during the Nauvoo Illinois Temple dedication in June 2002. Church satellite signals now also reach into India.

    The Church’s broadcast system uses five satellites to relay satellite signals to most of the globe. A few remote areas such as the tip of South America and western Africa cannot receive a signal from one of the five satellites. Areas not served by satellite can receive audio by Internet or telephone lines.

    At any one time the Church satellite system can handle up to four different taped or live broadcasts.

    Reaching Out to the World

    Brother Larsen said the Conference Center and new technology give the Church resources to do simultaneous broadcasts. On average, the Church broadcasts two events each weekend. These broadcasts continue to help Church leaders reach out to members throughout the world.

    “We have made a very long journey in reaching out to the nations of the world,” President Hinckley said. “There is much more yet to be done, but what has been accomplished is truly phenomenal” (“The Church Grows Stronger,” Ensign, May 2004, 4).

    [photo] Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Henry B. Eyring participate in a leadership training broadcast by satellite.

    The Scriptures: CD-ROM Edition 1.1 Now Available

    After the Church released The Scriptures: CD-ROM Edition 1.0 in 2001, members were able to read and search the scriptures on their computers at the click of a button. With the recent release of The Scriptures: CD-ROM Edition 1.1, not only are members better able to search specific information, but they can also do it in more languages and with only one CD.

    The 1.0 release included a standard edition and a resource edition of the scriptures on two separate discs. The 1.1 release includes both the standard edition and the resource edition on the same disc.

    While edition 1.0 allowed basic searches and text comparisons between English and any of the other four languages on the disc, edition 1.1 allows users to search for things such as the frequency of words used in the text and allows up to eight language comparisons to be on the screen simultaneously.

    The five languages on edition 1.0 included the complete standard works in English, and the triple combination in French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Edition 1.1 includes these languages as well as the triple combination and study aids in Cebuano, Finnish, German, Ilokano, Norwegian, Romanian, and Tagalog.

    In addition to these languages, the new disc also contains the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek.

    While the standard edition is more useful for a casual read, by clicking on the resource edition, users have several options that can allow them to delve deeper into the scriptures. The resource edition allows users to bookmark and highlight pages, write notes in the margins, and navigate easy-to-follow lessons that explain the features of the disc.

    The Scriptures: CD-ROM Edition 1.1 (item no. 50315) may be purchased at Church distribution centers or ordered online at Those in the United States and Canada may order by phone by calling 1-800-537-5971.

    [photo] The new Scriptures: CD-ROM Edition 1.1 contains the standard works in English, the Old Testament in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek, and the triple combination and study aids in 11 other languages.


    Those That Mourn

    Thank you for the “Questions and Answers” section in the June 2005 Ensign regarding ways to help those who have lost a loved one. It contained useful, sensitive, and accurate suggestions for those who are “willing to mourn with those that mourn” (Mosiah 18:9) but may not know how. My family and I lost our father to cancer two years ago, and we were buoyed up by actions such as those described in the article. Thank you for addressing this difficult topic in such a helpful way. Michelle Olsen, Burke Ward, Annandale Virginia Stake

    The Most Important Things

    Thank you so much for printing the article “A Balanced Life” (April 2005, 26). My life seemed to be going so well. I was getting so much done and was enjoying life with my husband and children, until one day I realized I was struggling to stay awake while driving across town. I was trying to live a perfect life, and as a result I was depriving myself of sleep in order to fit in my exercise, scripture study, cleaning, time with my family, etc.

    After reading this article I realized that my recent crying sessions, muscle spasms, fatigue, and irritability stemmed from trying to do too much on too little sleep. I’ve slowed down my life a lot, which has been very difficult for me. I now have to prioritize, but I’m getting the most important things done. Thank you. Laurie Blomstrom, Caldwell 10th Ward, Caldwell Idaho Stake