News of the Church


Seven Presiding Bishopric Area Supervisors Named

Seven new Presiding Bishopric area supervisors have been called to serve in South America, Europe, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

The first such assignments were made in December 1976, when W. Gordon Christensen was called to serve in Mexico and Central America and Merrill R. Petty was called to serve the Great Britain and South Africa areas. (See Ensign, April 1977, p. 95.)

Brother Petty is now on special assignment from the Presiding Bishopric to the South Pacific for a few months. John H. Cox, former president of the London England Stake, succeeds him as Presiding Bishopric area supervisor. Brother Cox will reside in Birmingham and serve the British Isles and South Africa. He is also serving as a Regional Representative of the Twelve. Brother Cox previously worked for British Airways as an aeronautical engineer.

Serving as Presiding Bishopric area supervisor for Continental Europe is Peter Mourik, currently patriarch of the Kaiserslautern Germany Servicemen Stake. Brother Mourik, who speaks five European languages, was formerly employed as the European representative of the Church Real Estate Department. He will reside in Frankfurt, Germany, and be responsible for the area that stretches from Scandinavia in the north to the Mediterranean in the south.

Allen E. Litster, formerly manager of Church Translation Services in Salt Lake City, now resides in Quito, Ecuador, as Presiding Bishopric area supervisor for the Andes or South America West Area, which includes Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Brother Litster has served as president of the Andes Mission and as a Regional Representative. He is presently serving as a Regional Representative for the Ecuador and Cali Colombia regions.

Osiris G. Cabral of São Paulo, Brazil, a 1958 convert to the Church who has spent the last three years as South American Area Manager for Church Distribution and Translation Services, is now serving as Presiding Bishopric area supervisor for Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. He also serves as a Regional Representative of the Twelve in Brazil and Uruguay. Brother Cabral is a native of Brazil.

Ronald L. Loveland, a native of Boise, Idaho, now serves as Presiding Bishopric area supervisor in Chile and Argentina. In previous Church assignments, Brother Loveland served as president of the Texas San Antonio Mission from 1973 to 1976 and served in a stake presidency and three bishoprics. He has also been recently called as a Regional Representative of the Twelve. Brother Loveland, a plumbing contractor, was released as bishop of the Boise Twenty-second Ward to accept this assignment.

On the opposite side of the world, Peter C. Jillings of Auckland, New Zealand, who joined the Church in 1963, has been assigned as Presiding Bishopric area supervisor for New Zealand and Australia. Brother Jillings, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, also serves as the Regional Representative of the Twelve for New Zealand. He was formerly employed by the Church Real Estate Department and, prior to that, by the Ministry of Works Department of the New Zealand government.

The seventh new Presiding Bishopric area supervisor is Arthur K. Nishimoto of Tokyo, Japan. Also recently called as a Regional Representative of the Twelve, Brother Nishimoto will serve in the Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia area. He formerly served as president of the Japan Fukuoka Mission, from 1973 to 1976, and worked as Asian Area Maintenance Supervisor of the Operations and Maintenance Division. Brother Nishimoto is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army.

All these area supervisors will be responsible for administering matters pertaining to real estate, building construction, operations and maintenance, finances, clerk services, translation and distribution, and purchasing.

First Presidency Urges Respect for Law

A special statement issued by the First Presidency in recognition of Law Day, May 1, in the United States, urged members of the Church “and all good men and women around the world” to respect both ecclesiastical and secular laws.

In their statement, President Spencer W. Kimball, President N. Eldon Tanner, and President Marion G. Romney, said:

“Across America on the first day of May, a Sabbath this year, people will observe Law Day.

“On that day we call on members of the Church, and all good men and women around the world, to reflect on the blessings of good laws, and of observing them.

“For nearly a century and a half, one of the fundamental teachings of the Church has been the Twelfth Article of Faith:

“‘We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.’

“Much of the basic law of many lands comes from the Ten Commandments given to Moses by the Lord in Sinai. They were for the Israelites then. They are for us today.

“In this day of rising permissiveness we commend to people everywhere the truism that we cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them. We also express the hope that no government will enact laws, the observance of which will require a violation of any of the Ten Commandments or the other commandments of God.

“Good, law-abiding citizenship is a key to more abundant, joyful living. Taxes could be much lower, people would be more happy with their neighbors, homes would be strengthened, and each individual would find more inner peace, if laws were better observed.

“Let us teach our children more respect for the law. To do so is a precious investment in their freedom in the challenging tomorrows ahead.”

The Polynesian Cultural Center

[photo] The Polynesian Cultural Center, owned and operated by the Church in Laie, Hawaii, was recently selected as the first recipient of the newly created Pacific Cultural Award, presented by the Pacific Air Travel Association (PATA). The award was given in recognition of the center’s role in developing and preserving the cultures of the Pacific. Each year thousands of visitors see and participate in the life-styles of Hawaii, Fiji, the New Zealand Maoris, Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga. PATA President Matthew A. Ramsden, left, with Dave Huffman, chairman of PATA’s Hawaii chapter, made the presentation to William Cravens, vice-president and general manager of the Polynesian Cultural Center. The award is an eight-foot wall-hanging depicting the kahikatea tree, a New Zealand evergreen. It was created in lamb’s wool by Vivienne Mountfort, one of New Zealand’s leading weavers.

Church Policies and Announcements

The following item was published in Messages, April 29, 1977.

Requests for Items to be Transported to the Mission Field

Mission presidents, priesthood leaders, and other members of the Church are not to contact the Language Training Mission, the Salt Lake Missionary Home, the General Church Distribution Center, or individual missionaries to request that missionaries carry into the mission field such items as tape recorders, filmstrips, cameras, garments, and other items that can be shipped through normal channels, unless the items are specifically the property of the individual missionary. There should be no attempt to avoid paying customs fees by having missionaries bring such items into the mission field as personal property and then requiring the missionaries to sell or give them to the mission or to other missionaries.

On occasion emergency items such as medications or special eyeglasses that are not available in the mission field need to be transported by missionaries. Any requests for transporting such items should be directed to the Missionary Department. (Missionary Executive Committee)

The Exemplary Womanhood Award

[photo] The Exemplary Womanhood Award was recently bestowed on Sister Barbara B. Smith by the women students at Ricks College during their annual Women’s Week. Sister Smith, Relief Society general president, was presented the award by Ricks College President Henry B. Eyring and was honored for her life of excellence in the Church, and for her example as a wife and mother. In acknowledging the award Sister Smith stressed the great role of women in the world. She said that it is important that women know that they are the children of their Father in heaven and that he loves them. “It is necessary for women to know that they are different from men, with different responsibilities in life,” she said. “Not less than men, just different.”

LDS Scene

Elder Hanks Elected to Scouting Board

Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy was recently elected a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. Also elected a member was former U.S. President Gerald Ford. Elder Hanks, who heads the Church’s General Scouting Committee, has a long record of service to Boy Scouts.

Project Guatemala

With the general conference messages of love and service giving them additional motivation, some forty Brigham Young University students recently left for a two-month stay in Guatemala.

The project’s purpose is to assist Guatemalans in improving literacy, nutrition, health, gardening, and construction, all services requested by the local people.

All fluent in Spanish, the students will pay their way on the project, and they will spread out across Guatemala to such communities as Guatemala City, Quezaltenango, Coban, and Retalhuleu.

This will be the second year that the volunteer students have visited Guatemala. Last year students assisted in the cleanup following the earthquake. In previous years, student groups have conducted similar work in Mexico.

New Zealand Temple Pageant

The New Zealand Temple Pageant has joined the ranks of other Church pageants. (See Ensign, Feb. 1977, p. 95.) Scheduled for January 19 through 21, 1978, during New Zealand’s summer season, the pageant will be presented free of charge on the New Zealand Temple site. It will feature the First Vision, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the Hagoth story from Alma 63, and Polynesian migration. Emphasis will be placed on the Church’s influence in New Zealand, especially in the area of the families from all over the South Pacific.

Law School Accreditation

The J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University has received final accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA). The school received provisional accreditation in February 1974. Accreditation signifies the ABA’s recognition of the school’s high quality in faculty, students, and facilities. At the 1975 dedication of the five-story building that houses the school, one of the guests, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Lewis F. Powell, Jr., remarked: “The J. Reuben Clark Law School will not merely be a good one but in due time it will rank as a great one.”

An Indian Record

An Indian chief and three former Brigham Young University students attended the annual Grammy Awards night February 19 sponsored by the U.S. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Although not a final award winner, a record produced, narrated, and sung by the foursome was selected as one of the top five albums from the one hundred entries in the ethnic traditional category. About half of the material on the album, “Proud Earth,” was written by Arliene Nofchissey Williams, a Navajo who became well known at BYU for her compositions. Sister Williams, the mother of five children, also sings on the album, with Rick Brosseau, another BYU alumnus. The album was produced by former BYU student Stan Bronson. The narration on the record is by Chief Dan George, Swinomish Indian Chief from the Burrard Reservation, Vancouver, British Columbia. Chief Dan George also stars in the BYU movie production A Different Drum, also with music composed by Sister Williams.

Books on Tour

Five publications by Brigham Young University Press have been selected to appear in a globe-covering tour arranged by the U.S. Information Agency. The exhibit, which extends through April 1978, covers nineteen countries and every major continent. The chosen titles are: Custer in ‘76, the first publication of fifty-four interviews with actual participants in the Battle of Little Big Horn; Look to the Mountains, a history of Utah’s LaSal National Forest; Confrontation at Worms, outlining the struggles of Martin Luther; The Great Great Salt Lake, a word and picture tour of the Great Salt Lake; and Fort Bridger, a fifty-year history of one of the West’s most famous outposts.

Addition to Harold B. Lee Library Dedicated at BYU

President Marion G. Romney, second counselor in the First Presidency, offered the main address and the dedicatory prayer at a recent ceremony marking the official opening of the addition to the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.

The library, originally built in 1961, has now been more than doubled in size with the completion of the six-story, multimillion-dollar addition. The combined facility has become one of the largest university libraries in the United States, with a capacity of housing more than 2 million volumes and seating some 4,800 students.

In addition to its many volumes, the library houses special collections, a highly sophisticated audio-visual system for rerunning taped lectures, a record collection, and special facilities for the visually handicapped.

The information in the library, said President Romney, will help students distinguish between truths and untruths. The great challenge is to be able to always distinguish between the two kinds of information.

In attendance at the ceremony, which was marked by a three-day celebration of lectures, tours, symposia, exhibits, and receptions, was Sister Freda Joan Lee, widow of former Church President Harold B. Lee after whom the building is named.

Performing Groups Honored

Three Brigham Young University performing groups—the American Folk Dancers, the Sounds of Freedom, and the Lamanite Generation—were recently awarded the Valley Forge Honor Certificate of the Freedoms Foundation, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The award cited the groups for “outstanding achievement in bringing about better understanding of the American way of life.” The groups, along with other BYU performing groups, have traveled to many countries around the world, often acting as official representatives of the United States at various functions.