News of the Church


Revolutionary War, Other Records to Go Online As Part of New Program

A treasure trove of U.S. Revolutionary War records will soon be at the fingertips of millions of family history researchers, thanks in large part to FamilySearch, a nonprofit genealogical organization sponsored by the Church.

A historic project to digitize and index the pension records of U.S. Revolutionary War veterans will make genealogical information readily available online, including to the millions of Americans who are descended from those soldiers who fought for independence.

According to researchers, the military pension records now being digitized and indexed are incredibly valuable due to the amount of detail and the variety of information they include.

The federal government and some state governments granted pensions to officers, disabled veterans, needy veterans, widows or orphans of veterans, and veterans who served a certain length of time, and access to such information about an ancestor is a researcher’s dream.

The Revolutionary War began on April 19, 1775, at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, between the local militia and British troops and ended officially with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The eight-year military struggle generated a tremendous volume of records on the approximately 250,000 military participants.

When complete, the images and indexes of this vast collection of information will be viewable at the more than 4,500 Church-run family history centers around the world. They will also be available online at the Church Web site FamilySearch.org, as well as through project partner Footnote.com.

Footnote.com is a genealogy Web site working with FamilySearch to preserve digitally, index, and publish the world’s records in concert with archives around the world. As part of the agreement, FamilySearch will digitize the images currently held in the National Archives Record and Administration’s (NARA) collection in Washington, D.C., and Footnote.com will create the electronic indexes.

The Revolutionary War Pension Records project is the first of many future projects the Church will undertake to expedite access to historical records. The new Records Access program initiated by FamilySearch will result in an increase of online databases around the world, according to FamilySearch officials.

“Records custodians worldwide are experiencing growing pressure to provide access to their records online while maintaining control and ownership,” said Wayne Metcalfe, director of Records Services for the Family and Church History Department.

“At the same time, Web sites that provide digitizing and publishing services are struggling with the staggering costs. The new Records Access program takes advantage of FamilySearch’s resources and creates an economical and effective forum where records custodians and genealogy Web sites can work together to accomplish their respective objectives.”

FamilySearch’s new Records Access program provides tools and assistance to records custodians who want to publish their collection using state-of-the-art digital cameras, software, and Web-based applications.

FamilySearch has representatives worldwide who can work with archivists to determine how FamilySearch and affiliates can help them meet their digital preservation and publication needs.

The Church’s interest and commitment to records preservation dates back to the 1800s.

[photo] An example of an American Revolutionary War pension record. These records will soon be available through FamilySearch.org and Footnote.com.

New Mission Presidents Now in Place Worldwide

Accepting assignments from the First Presidency, 117 new mission presidents began serving on or around July 1, 2007. The missions and their respective new presidents are:

Mission

President

Alabama Birmingham

James R. Tate

Argentina Buenos Aires North

Shane V. Argyle

Argentina Buenos Aires South

Ronald W. Asay

Argentina Cordoba

Stephen L. Olsen

Arizona Mesa

W. Mark Bassett

Arizona Tempe

Robert C. Craig

Armenia Yerevan

Ronald J. Dunn

Australia Brisbane

Grant S. Richards

Australia Melbourne East

Corey B. Lindley

Australia Melbourne West

Barry Lee

Australia Perth

Carl R. Maurer

Australia Sydney North

H. E. Scruggs Jr.

Bolivia La Paz

Ismael Mendoza Regino

Bolivia Santa Cruz

Kevin D. McCracken

Brazil Campinas

Ildefonso de Castro Deus

Brazil Curitiba

Paulo M. Araujo

Brazil Goiânia

Vaguiner C. Tobias

Brazil João Pessoa

David G. Fernandes

Brazil Londrina

Luiz M. Leal

Brazil Santa Maria

Rodrigo Myrrha

California Carlsbad

Richard B. Brady

California Long Beach

Edwin A. Sexton

California Los Angeles

Spencer (Tim) G. Blackburn

California San Bernardino

David T. Sanchez

Canada Edmonton

George F. Rhodes Jr.

Canada Montreal

Joel H. McKinnon

Canada Toronto West

Jeffrey T. Simmons

Chile Antofagasta

Juan A. Urra Gomez

Chile Concepción

Oscar W. Chavez Lopez

Chile Rancagua

Esteban G. Resek

Chile Santiago West

Paul A. Jones

Colombia Barranquilla

Robin O. Roundy

Colorado Denver South

Earl L. Christison III

Czech Prague

Marvin J. Slovacek Jr.

Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa

Donald H. Livingstone

Denmark Copenhagen

Douglas J. Olauson Sr.

Ecuador Guayaquil South

William S. Johns

England Leeds

Wallace L. Stock

Florida Jacksonville

Russell A. Newman Jr.

Florida Orlando

John C. Darrington

Florida Tallahassee

Lynn L. Summerhays

Florida Tampa

Kent W. Colton

Germany Hamburg

Wesley B. Thompson

Hawaii Honolulu

Stephen N. Peterson

Honduras San Pedro Sula

Samuel Cruz Velasquez

Idaho Boise

John W. Yardley

Illinois Chicago South

Richard B. Roach

Illinois Peoria

Lynn G. Erickson

India Bangalore

Melvin R. Nichols

Indiana Indianapolis

David L. Corey

Indonesia Jakarta

Ross Hawkins Marchant

Iowa Des Moines

G. Lyle Talbot

Ireland Dublin

Gordon W. Creer

Italy Catania

James A. Toronto

Italy Milan

J. Scott Dunaway

Italy Rome

Jeffrey Acerson

Japan Nagoya

Bruce F. Traveller

Kenya Nairobi

William H. Taylor

Korea Daejeon

Alan G. Perriton

Korea Seoul West

Craig P. Burton

Mexico Chihuahua

Edgar Flores Prieto

Mexico Culiacán

Marion R. Johnstun

Mexico Guadalajara

Robert J. Watkins

Mexico León

Robert T. Cox

Mexico Mérida

Victor M. Cardenas Lopez

Mexico Mexico City East

Russell G. Bulloch

Mexico Mexico City West

J. Francisco Fuentes Corpus

Mexico Monterrey East

Daniel Mendoza Regino

Michigan Detroit

Michael L. Rawson

Missouri St. Louis

Milton S. Turley

Mongolia Ulaanbaatar

D. Allen Andersen

New Hampshire Manchester

Michael R. Jensen

New Jersey Cherry Hill

Bruce H. Winegar

New Mexico Albuquerque

Richard J. Anderson

New York Rochester

Michael F. Hemingway

Nicaragua Managua

Romel E. Fraatz

Nigeria Port Harcourt

Loveday I. Nwankpa

Nigeria Uyo

Joseph W. Sitati

Ohio Cincinnati

Gregory V. Robbins

Oklahoma Oklahoma City

James R. Gee

Panama Panama City

Manuel Madrigal Romero

Paraguay Asuncion North

Terry L. Wade

Pennsylvania Philadelphia

Michael R. Murray

Perú Arequipa

David J. Davis

Perú Lima North

Carlos A. Perez Basso

Perú Trujillo

Alejandro Mora Arauco

Philippines Cagayan de Oro

Remegio E. Meim Jr.

Philippines Cauayan

Raul S. Villanueva

Philippines Naga

Mark A. Ferrin

Philippines Quezon City

Beaver T. Ho Ching

Poland Warsaw

Torben Engbjerg

Puerto Rico San Juan East

Ralph L. Dewsnup

Puerto Rico San Juan West

J. Stanley Martineau

Russia Moscow

Charles D. Cranney

Russia Novosibirsk

Hal E. Mickelsen

Russia Samara

Randall K. Bennett

Russia Vladivostok

Stanley E. Everett

Russia Yekaterinburg

Stephen J. Allen

Sierra Leone Freetown

Phillip L. Squires

South Africa Durban

Steven H. Mann

Spain Málaga

Robert L. Mellor

Switzerland Zürich

Dietmar G. Matern

Taiwan Taichung

Michael A. Hoer

Texas Fort Worth

Wright Jenkins Thurston

Texas McAllen

Gary F. Miller

Texas San Antonio

Charles L. Cutler

Tonga Nuku‘alofa

Lynn C. McMurray

Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk

Leonard M. Abraham

Uruguay Montevideo West

Steven K. Peterson

Utah Salt Lake City

W. Blake Sonne

Utah Salt Lake City South

G. Steven Laney

Virginia Richmond

Mark B. Millburn

Washington D.C. North

L. Alma Mansell

Washington Everett

Donald L. Showalter III

Washington Kennewick

Paul M. Belnap

Washington Seattle

Craig M. Moffat

Wisconsin Milwaukee

William A. Barrett

Church Teaching Life-Saving Techniques to Health Professionals around World

Dr. Bulane, a staff physician at the Makoanyane Military Hospital in Maseru, Lesotho, deals daily with a shortage of trained medical personnel and supplies. The people of Lesotho, a landlocked country in southern Africa, suffer from an HIV/AIDS infection rate of nearly 30 percent, a 34.4-year life expectancy, recurring drought, poverty, and a high infant mortality rate.

Because of his concern for infant mortality, Dr. Bulane registered for a training program in neonatal resuscitation conducted in his community by the Humanitarian Services Division of the Church.

This program, an attempt to reduce infant deaths from birth asphyxia (a lack of oxygen at birth), is conducted in many parts of the world as an ongoing humanitarian initiative of the Church and as a response to the World Health Organization’s concern for infant deaths.

Soon after participating in the June 2006 training session, Dr. Bulane saved a newborn baby boy by implementing his new techniques. “The mother had excess water, and a cesarean section was performed,” he explained. “Her baby was born blue. Through neonatal resuscitation techniques, the baby was saved. He is doing great now. I used the time line I had been taught. Without it, there might have been complications. It was very exciting; the training puts everything else in perspective. As far as I am concerned, it instills confidence. I now know exactly what to do. There is no panic.”

Gaining confidence to respond in the critical seconds after birth is the stated goal of neonatal resuscitation, according to Deb Whipple, a nurse in the newborn intensive care unit at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City and a frequent participant in the worldwide training initiative. “I know the procedures work,” Sister Whipple acknowledged. “I’ve seen them save lives within those first valuable 30 to 60 seconds.”

Sister Whipple uses her skills daily in the hospital delivery room but also shares her expertise internationally with other medical professionals. “The neonatal resuscitation course is taught to 50 students who … return to their clinics, hospitals, and neighborhoods to teach other birthing attendants,” she said.

Participating countries are selected based on infant mortality rates, according to Dean Walker of Humanitarian Services, manager of the newborn resuscitation initiative. Teaching clinics are scheduled through local ministries of health in the participating countries, and training kits—including practice mannequins, training manuals, and resuscitation equipment—are donated by the Church. In 2006, training courses were offered in 23 countries.

Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other medical professionals volunteer their time to staff the resuscitation trainings.

For Dr. Ted Kimball, an emergency room physician at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City and chair of the Humanitarian Services advisory committee, the role as a facilitator in addressing health issues in developing countries brings multiple rewards.

“These people live simple lives,” Dr. Kimball noted. “They don’t need flat-screen TVs or computers. They have three basic needs: a chance for education, a chance for health, and an opportunity for peace or freedom from political strife. Neonatal resuscitation plays a critical role in two of these needs: education and health. Our training makes a contribution.”

The minister of health in Uganda, a recent participant in neonatal resuscitation training, told Dr. Kimball that each infant death in his country creates an estimated U.S. $100,000 deficit to his country’s economy. “In these areas where grinding poverty exists,” Dr. Kimball said, “they need a healthy, educated workforce to carry the people out of poverty. A healthy, self-reliant community is the key. Without loss of life at birth, there’s another back to carry the economic load of the country—another person leading the way out of poverty.”

The neonatal resuscitation training concerns in Ghana mirror those of Lesotho and Uganda. Dr. David Gourley, a Salt Lake City physician and member of the Humanitarian Services advisory committee, reported that “a simplified course designed for rural midwives and community nurses will provide basic resuscitation skills and equipment necessary to lower Ghana’s infant mortality rate.”

Dr. Gourley related the following account from a recently trained midwife: “Dora attended a breech delivery. She thought the baby was dead because he was floppy and not breathing. Dora went through the initial steps of resuscitation. She needed only to correctly position the baby’s airway and suction with a bulb syringe before the baby began breathing and tone improved. Today the baby is thriving.”

Based on local evaluations, Dr. Gourley noted that in the six months following the May 2006 Ghana training, 646 infants were successfully resuscitated using the basic equipment donated by the Church.

The equipment and the training contribute to the neonatal resuscitation program’s long-term goal that a qualified birth attendant be present at every delivery.

For Sister Whipple, a mother herself, the goal is broader. “I want all those babies to have a healthy body to experience life,” the nurse concluded. “Mothers have the same emotions worldwide—they all have the hope that their child will be healthy and have the opportunity to be happy, to be a part of a family.”

[photo] An Egyptian doctor trains nurses on how to resuscitate an infant.

New Triple Combinations Available in Three Languages

For the first time, Tongan-, Haitian-, and Cambodian-speaking members of the Church will have a triple combination in their own language.

The triple combinations consist of complete editions of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Guide to the Scriptures. Maps and photographs are also included.

The Book of Mormon in Tongan has been available since 1946, and the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price since 1959, but the publication of the triple combination marks the first time that all three books have been bound together into one volume.

Although the Book of Mormon in Haitian has been available since 1999, the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price were not available until the release of the triple combination.

In August 1982, Book of Mormon Selections was printed in Cambodian; then in November 2001 a version of the Book of Mormon without footnotes was printed.

Teams of translators, reviewers, and ecclesiastical leaders work together to translate the scriptures into a chosen language. The length of time it takes to complete the process varies.

The First Presidency has encouraged members to acquire their own scriptures to be used for regular study, Church meetings, and assignments.

[photo] The triple combination, containing complete editions of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and other study aids, is now available in Cambodian, Haitian, and Tongan.

New DVD Released for Children

A new Home and Family Collection DVD has recently been released. Old Testament Stories for Children contains the still images and narration from the Old Testament Stories book.

The DVD includes English subtitles to aid new or beginning readers. The 48 stories contained on the DVD help introduce the teachings of the Old Testament. It can be used to supplement or reinforce Primary lessons, teach those with mental disabilities, and teach children at home, either as part of a lesson or for independent use by children.

Sold individually for U.S. $4.50 (item number 00350) or U.S. $75.00 for a case of 50 DVDs, the product is available at distribution centers.

[photo] The Old Testament Stories book is now available on DVD for children.

Comment

Examples of Missionary Work

Thank you so much for the brief stories about missionary work (March 2007 Latter-day Saint Voices). Reading experiences that testify of Heavenly Father’s tender mercies as we share the gospel brings me greater hope and encourages me to be sensitive to the Spirit. Sister Shannon Miller, New York Utica Mission

Teaching Children about General Conference

About two years ago a pre-conference issue of the Ensign contained an article by a single mother telling how she prepares conference baskets for her children when they spend general conference weekends at their father’s house. (See “Random Sampler,” Ensign, Oct. 2005, 70–71.) One of her suggestions to help small children focus on conference was to provide simple illustrations of the conference pulpit so that the child could draw each speaker, write the speaker’s name and topic, and write his or her own feelings during the talk.

As a Relief Society secretary, I shared this idea in our branch Relief Society the month before each general conference. Now as a Primary teacher, I make a similar sheet for the CTR 5 children. Several mothers commented to me that they were going to make extra copies of the sheets for their older children as well.

Thank you for providing a forum for sharing such practical ideas to help teach children the gospel. Tena L. Cook, Nebraska

General Conference and Family Home Evening

Thank you for converting general conference talks to materials for family home evening lessons. I was awaiting my Ensign to try and make up lessons when I received an e-mail telling me about the General Conference and Family Home Evening page (available at www.lds.org/gospellibrary on the General Conference and Family Home Evening Page). How wonderful to have this resource available to use without all the work! It’s also nice to have this so soon after conference so we can start reinforcing the wonderful talks and lessons given. Thank you. Cherlynn Bell, Missouri

A Note on Descendancy Research

I am writing concerning George Durrant’s article, “Branching Out on Your Family Tree” (April 2007). I have been doing descendancy research for 30 years and am very careful to defer to living relatives. However, Brother Durrant failed to mention the factor that impels me most. I find that many relatives died having never had children or having had their children die before reaching adulthood, leaving no descendant. Descendancy research is the only way their temple work will be done. Catherine H. Ellis, Arizona

Clarifications

The April 2007 issue listed information for Church pageants in 2007. The phone numbers given for information on the Oakland Temple Pageant were incorrect. The correct phone numbers are 510-531-0704 or 510-531-1475.

Also in that issue, the Ensign reported that Elder Parley P. Pratt died and was buried in Van Buren, Arkansas. The location of his grave is actually in nearby Alma, Arkansas, where Church members regularly care for the site.