News of the Church

By Marvin K. Gardner


Finding Where You Fit—The Four-Generation Program

Now they want to know where you fit—as well as who you are.

That’s why, for the first time, the Genealogical Department wants you to turn in a pedigree chart along with your four-generation family group sheets for the new “ancestral file.”

But you don’t even know the difference between a pedigree chart and a group sheet? Relax. All you need to do is follow the simple steps below.

If you’ve already turned in all of your four-generation records, your job will be a little easier, but you still need to submit the pedigree chart along with the family group record forms. Here are the guidelines, adapted from information already sent by the Genealogical Department to priesthood leaders, that will let you in on the new procedures:

1. Get a copy of From You to Your Ancestors (stock no. PBGS0683, $1.00), a self-study workbook. It will tell you the difference between a family group record form and a pedigree chart, and will show you how to fill them out. Order your copy through the individual in your ward or branch who coordinates requests for materials and supplies (usually one of the ward clerks), or write Salt Lake City Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104. Make check payable to “Corporation of the President.” (This book is the student manual for the twelve-week basic genealogy Sunday School course, where individualized help is available.)

2. Working with your adult brothers and sisters and your parents (if they are living), prepare eight forms: one pedigree chart and seven family group sheets. As a family, you will submit only one set of these records. (See #5 below.)

If it is impossible to get together with your brothers and sisters or to accomplish this assignment through correspondence, you should complete the assignment on your own.

3. Write your name or the name of one of your adult brothers or sisters in space 1 on the pedigree chart, and you may also want to list the names of the other brothers and sisters above it. You constitute the first generation, and as such, appear as children on the first family group sheet to be submitted. Your parents will appear in spaces 2 and 3 on the pedigree chart and as children on the 2nd and 3rd family group sheets. Their parents (your four grandparents) will appear in spaces 4, 5, 6, and 7 on the pedigree chart, and as children on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th family group sheets. Those are the four generations you will be dealing with.

If you desire, you may submit forms for generations beyond the required four, but that is optional. If you do decide to go beyond four generations, list the names of your great-great grandparents in the spaces for the fifth generation on the pedigree chart, and then start a new pedigree chart for each one of them.

Although you will want a family group sheet for your own records showing you as parents and listing your children, you don’t need to submit it. That information is already held in Church membership files, which are, in effect, genealogical records of the present younger generation.

If a younger generation turns in their four-generation records, their parents don’t need to submit anything.

Your spouses will be submitting their records through an adult brother or sister in their own family.

4. While filling in the information called for on the record forms, strive for accuracy. Don’t just copy old records, expecting them to be accurate. Combine efforts as a family to ensure that the information is correct. Consult the records of other relatives. Make sure that the information is consistent and logical. Where there are discrepancies or uncertainties, check original documents, but avoid the undue expense of obtaining copies of original documents unnecessarily. You don’t have to document every detail, but you should feel good about the accuracy of the records you compile and submit.

No new forms have been designed for this new ancestral file. Use the standard legal-sized pedigree charts and family group records. Be sure to type or print in black ink.

5. Because only one set of your eight record forms is needed in Salt Lake City, select one of the brothers or sisters to submit one set of the completed records on behalf of the family. This person may have his ward or branch forms examiner review the records. Each family member could then inform his or her priesthood leader that the records have been submitted. Of course you’ll want to keep a copy of these records in your personal files.

6. The person submitting the forms should send them to the Genealogical Department, Ancestral File, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. Ideally, much of the work of compiling and submitting these records will be done during the sesquicentennial year of the Church—1980—a fitting tribute to our pioneer and other ancestors.

7. Although some of your record forms will be identical to those submitted by other relatives (uncles, aunts, cousins), no two families will have the same names on all eight sheets. Therefore, your brother/sister family should submit a copy of all eight of your forms, even though you know that some of the same records will be submitted by other relatives. Of course, you should join efforts with any relatives as needed during the compiling and correcting stages of the project—but not during the submission stage.

8. After making a thorough search and finding all the information currently available, if you have forms with incomplete information, submit what you have.

9. In submitting records to the Genealogical Department, consider the rights of privacy of other living people.

10. Please remember: no temple ordinances will be performed from the records you submit for this ancestral file. To have temple ordinances done, you must submit names on the proper entry forms. (For instructions, consult From You to Your Ancestors, chapter 8, and appendixes C and D.)

The records received will form the Church’s new “ancestral file,” which will contain family-linked genealogical information never before available. It will contain not only the pertinent information for each generation, but also, with the pedigree charts, the chronology from generation to generation.

According to President Ezra Taft Benson, this ancestral file will “become the foundation for a genealogical record of this dispensation” (letter to all stake, mission, and district presidents, and bishops and branch presidents in the United States and Canada, dated 21 June 1979).

For that reason, says President Benson, “all families, even those who have previously submitted their four-generation records, will want to submit their accurate and complete records, including pedigree charts, to become part of this ancestral file.”

[illustration] The eight record forms you need to submit.

Model Library Open During Conference

The model meetinghouse library on the main floor, east wing, of the Church Office Building will be open October 6, the first day of October general conference, from 8 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Priesthood leaders and those serving in library positions are invited to tour the facility while attending general conference. Staff members will answer questions and explain the library program and the method of housing materials. Handout literature will be available.

33 New Stakes Organized

Thirty-three new stakes were organized during the second quarter of 1979, bringing the Church total to 1,043.

Stakes formed from missions were the Fukuoka Japan, Fairmont West Virginia, and Fairbanks Alaska stakes.

The other new stakes are Magna Utah Central, Vancouver British Columbia South, Kimberly Idaho, North Salt Lake Utah, Seoul Korea East, Salto Uruguay, Montpelier Idaho South, Cordoba Argentina North, American Fork Utah East, Yakima Washington North, Santiago Chile Independencia, Mesa Arizona Lehi, Kaysville Utah Crestwood, Rio de Janeiro Brazil Andarai, Dayton Ohio East, Curitiba Brazil North, Calgary Alberta West, Auburn California, Melo Uruguay, Montevideo Uruguay Maronas, San Salvador El Salvador Ayutuxtepeque, Godoy Cruz Argentina, Villa Alemana Chile, Santiago Chile Cinco de Abril, Santiago Chile La Florida, Guatemala City Guatemala Mariscal, Boise Idaho East, Anderson California, and Wellsville Utah.

Two stakes were dissolved as new stakes were formed and boundaries were realigned—Salt Lake Granite Park and Salt Lake Temple View stakes.

Twenty-two new stakes were formed in the first three months of 1979.

The Sesquicentennial—A Year of Events

The celebration of the 150th anniversary—or sesquicentennial—of the founding of the Church will be a year-long affair.

Activities are planned at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City and throughout the Church, in more than sixty countries. The Church, organized 6 April 1830, now has more than 4.2 million members worldwide.

The major Sesquicentennial events scheduled during 1980 include:

Mormon Festival of Arts—The annual festival, including displays, performances, and a traditional ball, will be 14 March–12 April 1980 at Brigham Young University. Ticket information is available from HFAC, BYU, Provo, UT 84602.

Grand Ball—The Hotel Utah and the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City will be the settings for this celebration. Tickets will be available after 1 February 1980 from Grand Ball, Activities Committee, 50 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150. Admission is $5 per person.

Annual General Conference—The 150th Annual General Conference of the Church will be held April 5 and 6 at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

Dedication of the Peter Whitmer Farm—The dedication service at the reconstructed home on the original Peter Whitmer Farm, where the Church was formally organized, will be transmitted to the general conference session in Salt Lake City. (See Ensign, July 1979, pp. 76–77.)

Assembly Hall Concert Series—A series of sesquicentennial performances featuring outstanding Latter-day Saint musicians will be held weekly, April through October, at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. A new pipe organ will be installed in the Assembly Hall, which is 100 years old in 1980. Admission is free but tickets are required.

Tabernacle Choir-Utah Symphony Concert—This concert by two famous Utah-based performing groups will be given at the Salt Lake Tabernacle May 11. Admission is free but tickets are required.

Within These Walls Billed as the “centerpiece” musical, this production will be presented 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21 June 1980 at Promised Valley Playhouse in Salt Lake City, and at the University of Utah Special Events Center in Salt Lake City. Ticket information will be available after 1 February 1980 at Promised Valley Playhouse, 132 South State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111.

Days of ’47 Parade—This annual parade on 24 July 1980 celebrates the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus Concert—These acclaimed young performers will present a concert 24 July 1980. Ticket information will be available after 1 June 1980 from the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus, 50 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150.

World Conference on Records—The Salt Palace in Salt Lake City will be the location for this genealogical gathering 12–15 August 1980. Registration information is available from World Conference on Records, 50 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150.

Zion This musical retrospective of the Church will be presented at the Salt Lake Tabernacle 19, 20, 26, and 27 September 1980. Ticket information will be available after 1 August 1980 from Zion, c/o Activities Committee, 50 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150. A performance for out-of-town visitors to October conference is planned for 1 October 1980. Tickets will be required.

Semi-Annual General Conference—The 150th Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church will be held at the Salt Lake Tabernacle 4–5 October 1980.

Eight pageants in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand will be presented during the sesquicentennial year. They are:

Hear Him Temple Hill, Temple View, New Zealand, 15–19 January 1980, 9 P.M.

Missouri, Mormons and Miracles Visitors Center, Independence, Missouri, 11–14 June 1980, 9 P.M.

Mormon Miracle Temple Hill, Manti, Utah, July 10–12 and 15–19, 9:25 P.M.

And It Came to Pass Tri-Stake Center, Oakland, California, July 22–26 and July 29–August 2, 8 P.M., plus two matinees.

America’s Witness for Christ Hill Cumorah, Palmyra, New York, July 25–26 and July 29–August 2.

City of Joseph Nauvoo, Illinois, August 12–16.

Nativity Pageant—Heritage Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, December 15–26, presented at thirty-minute intervals.

Christmas Festival—Temple grounds, Los Angeles, California, Temple, December 16–25.

The Church’s Sesquicentennial is planned to celebrate the restoration of the gospel, to honor the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors in the Presidency of the Church, and to acknowledge the achievements of the Church and its members during its 150-year latter-day history. Events are designed to assist in the worldwide missionary effort and to strengthen families through family-oriented activities.

All Sesquicentennial activities are under the direction of the Church Sesquicentennial Committee. Activities committees of the Church are responsible for producing Sesquicentennial activities under the direction of local Church leaders.

LDS Scene

BYU is helping Alaskan Eskimos increase production in family gardens. The American Indian Services and Research Center at BYU has donated a farm tractor, rototillers, a water pump, hundreds of plant-starting kits, and six tons of commercial fertilizer to Eskimos at Kutzebue, just across the strait from the Soviet Union. The donated materials will be used in the tundra regions north of the Arctic Circle. Donations covered the cost of transporting the equipment and fertilizer nearly 4,000 miles.

The pumping system and irrigation will increase garden yields of families who previously have had to haul water to their gardens by hand. Rainfall in the region is light to moderate. Tony Schuerch, a BYU graduate who lives in Kotzebue, directs the BYU-sponsored project and travels by air to help families with garden projects. This is the first time many of the families have grown fresh vegetables. Purchased vegetables can cost as much as $2.50 per head of lettuce and $2 for three medium-size tomatoes.

July 15 was a golden day for hundreds of golden voices. It marked the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Twenty-four choir veterans who performed on the first nationwide radio broadcast on 15 July 1929 were on hand for the anniversary celebration, which included a broadcast and concert. Edward P. Kimball, announcer for the first broadcast of the choir’s weekly “Music and the Spoken Word,” was also honored.

Australia has its first Latter-day Saint mayor. Owen Herbert Pershouse, president of the Charters Towers dependent branch, was elected mayor of Charters Towers on March 31. President Pershouse, a jeweler, defeated an incumbent who had served for fifteen years. The Pershouse family joined the Church in April 1978. Five other members of the Church who ran for offices in the local election were defeated.

President Ezra Taft Benson celebrated his eightieth birthday a month early but in grand style. President Benson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, was honored July 3 and 4 with multiple celebrations in Washington, D.C. He participated in public and private activities.

[photo] Dale Tingey, director of BYU American Indian Services, prepares equipment that is sent to help Alaskan Eskimos with family gardens.