News of the Church


Frankfurt Temple Dedicated

The Frankfurt Germany Temple was dedicated August 28–30 by President Ezra Taft Benson and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.

Eleven dedicatory sessions were held in the Frankfurt suburb of Friedrichsdorf, where the temple is located. The sessions were witnessed by some 12,570 members from the countries to be served by the new temple: Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of France.

The Frankfurt temple is the fifth LDS temple in Europe and the forty-first in the Church.

President Benson urged members in the new temple district to “be a covenant-keeping people.

“This temple is a light to all this area,” he said. “May it be a constant reminder that life is eternal and covenants made by us can be everlasting.”

On the morning of August 28, President Benson and President Monson applied mortar to the cornerstone, which was then set in place to officially mark the completion of the new temple. Immediately prior to the cornerstone ceremony, President Benson, President Monson, and Elders Neal A. Maxwell and Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Council of the Twelve addressed a group assembled inside.

“I rejoice as I contemplate the blessings that will come to this area because of this glorious edifice,” President Benson said.

Following the ceremony, President Benson presided and delivered the dedicatory prayer in the first session. He also delivered an address at that session and at the next two sessions held that day.

“The presence of this house, on the soil of this nation, is an answer to the prayers of thy people, and a fulfillment of the words of thy prophets,” President Benson prayed.

Seeking blessings on the work to be done in the temple, President Benson asked the Lord to “touch the hearts of the people in these lands of Europe. Open their minds with a desire and willingness to hear the truths of the everlasting gospel.

“Bless the missionaries who come among them as messengers of truth,” he added. “Bless the homes of thy Saints that peace may dwell therein with love and harmony and worship of thee.”

Addressing those attending the sessions, President Benson said, “May the Lord bless us to understand the significance of our temple covenants, and instill these principles in the lives of many others, especially in our children, so they will live the commandments of the Lord.”

President Monson presided at and addressed succeeding sessions held August 29–30. He said the temple was “beyond the fondest dreams of those here forty years ago.”

He complimented members in the area on their record-keeping and encouraged them to do more family history research. “You are a people who keep precise, beautiful records,” he said. “I feel the dedication of this temple will create new interest in the work for those who have gone beyond. You will have an opportunity to do work for those who did not come marching home at the end of that terrible war.

“Their chains of bondage will fall from them, and they will rejoice for the work being done for them.”

In addition to the First Presidency, General Authorities participating in the dedication included Elders Neal A. Maxwell, Russell M. Nelson, and Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Council of the Twelve; Elders Wm. Grant Bangerter and James M. Paramore of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy; and Elders Theodore M. Burton, Carlos E. Asay, F. Enzio Busche, Hans B. Ringger, and John R. Lasater of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Prior to the dedication, some seventy thousand people visited the Frankfurt temple during an open house held July 29–August 8.

The Frankfurt Germany Temple became the forty-first operating temple in the Church when it was dedicated in eleven sessions August 28–30. The temple is located in the Frankfurt suburb of Friedrichsdorf.

Church Celebrates Bicentennial of U.S. Constitution

The Church celebrated the Bicentennial of the U. S. Constitution with several different events in recent months.

Highlighting the commemoration was the Constitutional Bicentennial Ball held at the Hotel Utah September 18, where President Ezra Taft Benson and his wife, Flora, led the opening dance.

The ball was broadcast live to meetinghouses throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, where similar celebrations were being held. The telecast was also recorded by stakes for use in Constitutional Balls scheduled later.

“Few occasions in life hold as much significance as this momentous anniversary and provide greater reason for celebration,” President Benson said.

“I thank my Heavenly Father that I have lived to see this glorious day and pray that our posterity will always live under the Constitution’s banner.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson, of the First Presidency, and their wives led a promenade to be greeted by President and Sister Benson. Others in the promenade were members of the Council of the Twelve, the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, the Presiding Bishopric, and representatives of the presidencies of the Church auxiliaries. Numerous state officials also participated.

The hour-long telecast included songs and dances illustrating the “We the

People” theme, with some four hundred performers taking part. The Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus performed “God of Our Fathers,” the official hymn of the 1887 Constitutional Centennial, and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve, chairman of the Church’s Bicentennial Committee, conducted the meeting.

“As Latter-day Saints, we should acknowledge the hand of the Lord in the writing of this great charter of liberty as well as in the founding and development of our nation,” President Benson said during the telecast. “The restoration of the gospel and the establishment of the Lord’s church could not come to pass until the founding fathers were raised up and completed their foreordained missions.

“I bear witness that our Heavenly Father raised up the men who founded this government, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of his beloved son that the people ‘should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father’ (3 Ne. 21:4).

“How fortunate we are to live when the blessings of liberty and the gospel of Jesus Christ are both available to us. How appropriate for us to be here tonight commemorating these blessings,” President Benson said.

He urged members to study the Constitution and to continue their study of the scriptures, then to pass this heritage along to the youth of the Church.

“Let us resolve to be exemplary Saints and good citizens, and to rear our youth so that they will, in their day, courageously carry and pass on the torch of liberty to the next generation,” he said.

Philadelphia Fireside

On September 13, President Ezra Taft Benson and his wife, Flora, visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the historic city where the U. S. Constitution was born, to deliver a stirring fireside address to a crowd of more than five thousand people.

The meeting was held in nearby Valley Forge.

President Benson talked about the divine origin of the Constitution and urged members to study the document. He also urged Latter-day Saints to be actively involved in government.

“We must become involved in civic affairs,” he declared. “As citizens of this republic we cannot do our duty and be idle spectators.”

President Benson pointed to several eternal principles relating to the significance of the Constitution.

“The first basic principle is agency,” he said. “The central issue in that premortal council was, Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or should they be coerced and forced to be obedient?

“The second basic principle concerns the function and proper role of government.

“The third important principle pertains to the source of basic human rights. Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan or they are granted by government as part of the political plan,” President Benson explained.

“The fourth basic principle we must understand is that people are superior to the governments they form,” he said, noting that “the fifth and final principle that is basic to our understanding of the Constitution is that governments should have only limited powers.”

Booklet Published

The Church has published for its members in the United States a special booklet explaining the divine significance of the U. S. Constitution and its principles.

The First Presidency has asked that the booklet be used as the subject of family home evening lessons by all member families in the United States.

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 were inspired men the First Presidency said—men who produced a document that the Prophet Joseph Smith called “a glorious standard” and “a heavenly banner.”

In a preface to the new booklet, the First Presidency stated the purpose of the publication:

“In commemoration of this important event, we are providing this booklet, which contains three family home evening lessons, activity ideas, and a copy of the Constitution. We encourage you to prepare and teach each lesson prayerfully so that family members may feel the divine significance of the Constitution in their minds and hearts.”

Some 1.3 million copies of the booklet have been printed and are available to congregations throughout the United States. Local leaders may order copies through the Salt Lake Distribution Center.

TV Special

“America, the Dream Goes On,” was the title of a one-hour variety special spotlighting the U. S. Constitution. The show was produced by Church-owned Bonneville Media Communications.

The television special featured singing by the Tabernacle Choir and Marie Osmond. LDS actor Gordon Jump portrayed Benjamin Franklin. Another prominent actor, Harry Morgan, was host and narrator. The show was televised nationally in September.

Visitors’ Center Exhibit

James Madison’s vest and a dress worn by Dolley Madison are featured in an exhibit of colonial life being displayed in the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The exhibit features some 120 items, including historical documents, books, clothing, and other objects from America’s formative years. It traces the roots of the Constitution, beginning with the Magna Charta of 1215 and continuing through John Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible into English and the voyage of Columbus.

Other items displayed include a cradle made in Virginia during the seventeenth century, a pilgrim sword, and a Revolutionary War drum. Also featured is a portrait done from a “life mask” of George Washington. The painting is believed to be the best existing likeness of the nation’s first president.

The Church is sponsoring the display as part of its observance of the U. S. Constitution Bicentennial. The exhibit will remain in the center through the end of the year. It will then be circulated to some of the larger Church visitors centers’ around the country.

An exhibit of colonial life

Featured in an exhibit of colonial life being displayed in the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square are a vest worn by James Madison (left) and quotes from George Washington and Church leaders (right).

Those attending the Constitutional Bicentennial Ball held at the Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City September 18 were entertained by songs and dances of the colonial period. The ball was telecast to meetinghouses. (Photography by Welden Andersen.)

President Benson Dedicates Park in Preston

President Ezra Taft Benson dedicated a former LDS Church park in downtown Preston, Idaho, on Saturday, August 15, to honor his mother, Sarah Dunkley Benson, and all pioneer women.

A crowd of two thousand people braved rain that stopped only minutes before the dedication ceremony began. Following a program that included a Relief Society chorus and a hundred-voice Benson family chorus, President Benson dedicated the park “for the cause for which they represented, for their faith in their hearts for the mission of the Son and Savior.”

A bronze plaque housed in a gazebo-like structure near the park’s flagpole now stands as a memorial to Sister Benson and other stalwart pioneer women.

President Benson asked those in attendance to keep foremost in their hearts and minds the things that made the dedication possible. He then reminisced about his mother and his father, George Benson, and their home life in Whitney, located just a few miles east of Preston.

He recalled hitching up a horse and wagon for his mother to go to Relief Society when she served as president. He also remembered the collection efforts she undertook for grain that was later used by the U. S. government.

A Benson family reunion was held in the Preston Idaho South Stake center following the dedication.

Correspondent: Gary Rawlings is high priests group secretary and Blazer A instructor in the Fairview Second Ward, Preston Idaho South Stake.

President Ezra Taft Benson and his wife, Flora, listen to Primary children singing prior to the dedication of the newly named “Sarah Dunkley Benson Park” in Preston, Idaho. The park was dedicated to President Benson’s mother, Sarah Dunkley Benson, and all pioneer women. (Deseret News photo by Garry Bryant.)

Record Number of Temple Presidents and Matrons Attend Seminar

Referring to temples as “truly the gateway to heaven,” President Ezra Taft Benson greeted twenty new temple presidents and their wives at the annual Temple Presidents’ Seminar August 18–20. The seminar, which was held in the Salt Lake Temple, hosted the largest group of temple presidents and matrons ever assembled for instruction.

President Benson and his Counselors, President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson, spoke at the opening session of the seminar.

Members of the Council of the Twelve also attended the seminar, as did members of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, members of the Presiding Bishopric, and several Emeritus General Authorities.

“I am grateful to the Lord for temples,” President Benson said. “It is in temples where we obtain God’s greatest blessings.”

“Area presidencies will be given increased responsibilities for temples,” President Hinckley announced at the seminar. The new responsibilities include the care and maintenance of the temples and their grounds, correlating temple work through the temple president and local priesthood leaders, and encouraging temple work.

“Never have there been so many temples,” he said, adding, “We do not have a shoddy or unkempt temple anywhere in the world.” The Church currently has forty-one temples in operation worldwide.

President Hinckley noted that the First Presidency would continue to call and set apart temple presidents, matrons, recorders, and sealers; approve new temple sites and building plans; and handle matters pertaining to ordinances.

Speaking of those who have died without the benefit of receiving temple endowments, President Monson said that when they hear in the spirit world of the work done here, they will rejoice.

“You are men and women of faith,” he told the temple presidents and their wives. “You are men and women of talent … [and] humility. You know that this is God’s work, and we are his servants.”

“As we serve, the veil may become very thin between this world and the other,” President Benson noted. “It is not too important which side we are working on as long as we serve with all our hearts and strength.

“We will not fail in this work,” he added. “The Lord will not permit us to fail.”

“How Rare a Possession” to Be Telecast November 8

A new major motion picture, How Rare a Possession—the Book of Mormon, will be broadcast over the Church satellite network on Sunday, November 8. President Ezra Taft Benson is scheduled to introduce the film.

The film will be telecast in English only to stake centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico beginning at 6:10 P.M. Mountain Standard Time. It will be rebroadcast at 8:10 P.M. MST that same evening. The motion picture may be seen at firesides scheduled that evening or at videocassette viewings scheduled at a later date.

The presentation, seventy minutes in length, will be closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

“This motion picture is one of the most extensive and important productions ever done by the Church,” said President Howard W. Hunter, Acting President of the Council of the Twelve, in a letter to priesthood leaders. “It has great value in strengthening faith and motivating members and nonmembers to read and study the Book of Mormon.”

The first part of the film portrays Parley P. Pratt as he leaves his farm to search for the true church. This search led the future Apostle to the Book of Mormon.

The film then shifts to Vincenzo di Francesca, a pastor in the early part of the twentieth century, who found a Book of Mormon in a barrel of ashes in New York City and spent years searching for the book’s origin.

Flashbacks of scenes from the Book of Mormon are part of the motion picture, including the Savior’s appearance to the Nephites and Moroni’s burial of the golden plates. The events portrayed in the film cover over 2,500 years of history.

More than five hundred people made up the cast and crew. Filming was done on location in Italy, Switzerland, England, and New York City, and in several rural and urban settings in Utah.

Stereo videocassettes of the film can be ordered from the Salt Lake Distribution Center after November 9. The videocassettes (VNVV2855) cost $12.50 each.

Scene from How Rare a Possession—the Book of Mormon depicts New York City in the early part of the twentieth century.

Update: Number of Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

Reflecting the steady growth of the Church worldwide, the number of male adult members holding the Melchizedek Priesthood grew from 648,000 at the beginning of 1983 to 745,000 in January 1987—an increase of 15 percent.

Year

Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

1983

648,000

1984

666,000

1985

696,000

1986

722,000

1987

745,000

New Version of “Man’s Search for Happiness” Produced

A new version of the Church’s classic film, Man’s Search for Happiness, has been produced by the Brigham Young University Media Production Department.

A new videotape of the thirteen-minute film was transmitted, via satellite, to more than one thousand stake centers in the United States and Canada, where it was recorded on videotape for inclusion in local stake and ward libraries.

The movie, which portrays the Church’s teachings about the purpose of life, will be used in LDS visitors’ centers and by missionaries, according to Elder Robert L. Backman, a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Executive Director of the Missionary Department.

Man’s Search for Happiness was first shown in the Mormon Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1964–65. It was seen by several million visitors there and has since been seen by millions more in Church visitors’ centers.

The new version of the movie was filmed primarily in the BYU Motion Picture Studio, with location shots in Salt Lake City and in eastern Utah. The original narration by the late Elder Richard L. Evans of the Council of the Twelve has been retained, along with the original script. Updated are the visuals and background music.

Camilla Kimball Dies at 92

Camilla Eyring Kimball, widow of the late President Spencer W. Kimball, twelfth President of the Church, died September 20 at her home in Salt Lake City. She was 92.

“The passing of Camilla Eyring Kimball marks the end of the earthly service of one of the great and noble women in the Church’s history,” said a statement issued by President Ezra Taft Benson and his Counselors in the First Presidency, President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson. “She was devoted to her God, church, and family. She was a teacher, a disciple of learning, and spent much of her lengthy life acquiring knowledge. In the Church, she served in many capacities, but perhaps her greatest contribution came as a faithful and ever-devoted companion to her dear husband, President Spencer W. Kimball, who spent so much of his long life in full-time service to the Church. She supported him in all of his endeavors and was at his side for those many years of arduous travel and leadership responsibilities. We extend to her family our love and appreciation. We are confident that her life and contributions leave pleasant memories in their hearts and in the hearts of all whose lives she touched.”

Sister Kimball was born 7 December 1894, in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, the eldest of Edward Christian Eyring and Caroline Cottam Romney Eyring’s nine children.

When she was seventeen, she went to Provo, Utah, to live with an uncle while she attended Brigham Young University. She also studied at the University of California at Berkeley and Utah State Agricultural College in Logan. She taught school at the Millard Academy in Hinckley, Utah, and at the Gila Academy in Thatcher, Arizona.

She married Spencer W. Kimball in Pima, Arizona, on 16 November 1917. Her husband was called to the Council of the Twelve in 1943 and became President of the Church in December 1973.

She earned Exemplary Womanhood awards from both Brigham Young University and Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho.

Sister Kimball is survived by four children, twenty-six grandchildren, and sixty-two great-grandchildren. Her funeral was held September 26 in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.

Camilla Eyring Kimball, widow of the late President Spencer W. Kimball.

Organist Alexander Schreiner Dies

Alexander Schreiner, who served as Salt Lake Tabernacle organist from 1924 to 1977, died September 15 in Salt Lake City. He was 86.

“We are saddened by the passing of Alexander Schreiner, who served the Church as Tabernacle organist for more than half of his long life,” the First Presidency said in a statement issued September 16. “He contributed to the Church through thousands of organ recitals and several decades of performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. His artistry was widely recognized in music circles and his compositions for the organ are used by church organists throughout the world. We express our sympathy to his family members and know they will be comforted in the knowledge that his long and productive life has left behind a legacy which will continue to lift and bless those who love beautiful music.”

The several Church hymns he composed include “While of These Emblems We Partake” and “God Loved Us, So He Sent His Son.”

Brother Schreiner was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on 31 July 1901. His family immigrated to the United States in 1912, and he became a U. S. citizen in 1920.

His funeral was held September 19 in Salt Lake City.

Alexander Schreiner

Media Messages Reviewed in Chaplains’ Seminar

Active-duty and reserve Latter-day Saint chaplains from the U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Guard met in a seminar in Salt Lake City immediately following October general conference.

The 160 chaplains and wives attending the seminar were addressed by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Council of the Twelve. Other speakers included Elder Marion D. Hanks and Elder James M. Paramore of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder Paul H. Dunn of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Ballard discussed how the Church is now using the media to reach prospective members and interest them in learning more about the gospel.

Among the projects he discussed were the twenty-nine “Homefront” television spots the Church has produced since 1972 that are currently being broadcast in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian.

“In 1983, we began releasing ‘Homefront Jr.’ messages directed at youth,” Elder Ballard said. “In 1986, we won an Emmy Award for this spot.”

He noted that in countries like the United States and Canada, a large percentage of the people live in apartment houses and condominiums, often isolated from the missionaries by doormen who refuse their requests to call on tenants. “We must learn how to get people to call us and invite the missionaries to come into their homes,” he said.

“Your responsibility is to bless the lives of those in the military,” Elder Ballard told the chaplains, “and to help them focus on an eternal perspective.”

Elder Paramore told the chaplains that their work is vital in influencing the lives of both LDS and non-LDS servicemen and women and affirmed that the Church fully supports their efforts.

Elder Hanks emphasized the significance of three special relationships of every chaplain:

  1. 1.

    With his superior officers and peers in the chaplaincy. Elder Hanks illustrated this point by emphasizing the story of Moroni and Pahoran in the Book of Mormon, where a gracious Pahoran responded to a frustrated Moroni with dignity and integrity. (See Alma 60–61.)

  2. 2.

    With the men and women whom he serves. They are to be treated individually, nurtured, strengthened, and blessed.

  3. 3.

    With himself and his family. He should show his concern and consistent support for his family.

Elder Dunn listed criteria for interpreting the scriptures. These included the need to remember that the primary purpose of scriptures is religious. “They are not intended to be an exact science,” he said. “You cannot reconstruct the age of the earth from Genesis or the Book of Moses, but you can teach the principles of the gospel.”

Maj. Gen. Norris Einertson, Chief of Chaplains, U. S. Army (inset), addresses LDS chaplains from all branches of service during chaplains’ seminar in Salt Lake City immediately following general conference. (Photography by Philip S. Shurtleff.)

Chaplains listened to addresses by several General Authorities during annual seminar. (Photography by Philip S. Shurtleff.)

The Saints in Anchorage, Alaska

While Church activities in Anchorage, Alaska, differ little from those in any U. S. town of 250,000, there are some things here that take getting used to. In summer, daylight lasts all night long. It’s possible to forget to go to bed.

Winters, with their short hours of daylight, can be depressing. Children go to school and come home in the dark. In December and January, you can miss Sunday’s brief “day” while attending Church.

Anchorage’s climate is tempered by Cook Inlet and the Pacific Ocean to the South. The average winter temperature is around twenty degrees F., while summer temperatures average fifty-five to sixty degrees.

Sunshine is truly appreciated by Anchorage citizens. Gardens produce cool-weather vegetables in abundance (if you can keep the moose out of them), and flowers are spectacular.

When Brother J. L. McCarrey, Jr., arrived in Anchorage in March 1933, it wasn’t the metropolitan area it is now. He says: “Anchorage, Alaska, was then principally a territorial community of approximately fifteen hundred people and was the headquarters of the federally owned Alaska Railroad, which ran some four hundred miles from Seward, on the coast, to Fairbanks in the interior. To my knowledge, I was the only Latter-day Saint in the vicinity until the threat of World War II, when the U. S. began building the area up around the end of the thirties.”

LDS Church members began to meet together on a regular basis in 1938. Three years later, in the early spring of 1941, the first full-time missionaries were sent to Alaska to help organize the first branch in Anchorage. Members met in various temporary buildings, but finally, in 1955, they were able to move into the first LDS chapel in Anchorage, on 11th and E streets. The first stake was organized on 13 August 1961.

The discovery of oil in Northern Alaska in 1968 accelerated the growth of the Church in Anchorage. The construction of an 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline brought many people to oil company headquarters in Anchorage, where the Church grew from one stake and three wards to three stakes and twenty-one wards by 1987.

Two of these stakes serve an LDS population of 5,200 in the Anchorage Bowl, while the Wasilla stake immediately to the north serves 2,286 members. Five chapels in the Anchorage stakes and three in the Wasilla stake are in frequent use weekdays from 6:00 A.M. for seminary to late evening for other activities, as well as all day Sundays.

Unfortunately, the boom in Anchorage is over, at least for now. Church membership, along with the general population, has begun to decline. The depressed economy has forced 15,000 people from Anchorage to seek employment elsewhere. Some 650 of this number were members of the Church.

Alaska Mission President James Fogg believes that if the Church is to continue to grow in Anchorage, members must continue being member-missionaries.

“Most of the growth within the Church at Anchorage has come from population increase due to the great economic conditions that have existed here,” he says. “Because of the recent decline in Church membership, caused by numerous families leaving this area to seek new employment, the continuing growth and strength will have to be provided by a joint effort by the missionaries and the members.”

The efforts of members and missionaries resulted in four baptisms on July 4, four days after President Fogg arrived in Anchorage to begin his duties. The four converts—well-known local runner and Olympic contender Kris Mueller, Robert Lloyd, Domishae Jackson, and John Warrior—celebrated the birth of the country with their own spiritual rebirth.

Brian Snow, a lifelong member of the Church, has been a friend of Kris Mueller since boyhood. Kris spent many hours in the Snow home, and when the time came for Kris to learn about the gospel he was receptive to the missionaries.

Brother Willard Mann and his wife, Carmen, two of thirty missionaries in the Anchorage Bowl, note: “Many converts are now serving in leadership positions in Anchorage. People here are very diligent in missionary work, and they become readily involved.”

One of these converts is Wasilla stake president E. T. Pettijohn, who joined the Church in 1948. He and his wife, Ruby, also a convert, have been in Anchorage since 1950. “Early-day members were fewer,” they recall, “but were a closely knit group that knew and cared about each other on a personal level, both the active and the inactive. Although there are more members now, we need that closeness still.”

Opportunities for fellowship abound in Anchorage. Long summer days make possible a variety of outdoor activities. The Church sponsors both a men’s and a women’s softball league. There are trails all over Anchorage, where running and cycling are enjoyed in summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

The Relief Society sponsors an Award of Excellence program, and many LDS women have been running or walking for fitness. The annual Women’s Run, sponsored by several local businesses, was completed by 2,372 women in 1987, many of them members of the Church.

Each ward sponsors Scouting activities that often attract nonmembers. Volleyball and basketball are favorite indoor winter sports, and cultural halls in all chapels are in frequent use. Members, with their nonmember friends, frequently get together for outings, picnics, and fishing and hunting trips.

The community is aware of the LDS members in their midst. “The Church is respected,” says Brother McCarry. “It enjoys a good reputation here. The spiritual influence of the Church has increasingly been felt by the city of Anchorage.”

Correspondent: Marie Dickey is Alaska Region public communications director. She is a member of the Anchorage Eleventh Ward, Anchorage North stake.

Photos by Marie Dickey.

Anchorage is a modern city of 250,000 on the shores of upper Cook Inlet, in the heart of Alaska’s gulf coast. The first stake in the city was organized in 1961.

(Top) The Young Men and Young Women of the Anchorage North Stake constructed a float celebrating the U. S. Constitution for the city’s Fourth of July parade. (Right) Members of Boy Scout Troop 92 clear a trail around Cheney Lake across from Baxter St. chapel. (Below) J. L. McCarrey, stake patriarch, with his son, Anchorage Seventh Ward bishop J. L. McCarrey III.

New Relief Society Manual Announced

A new Relief Society personal study guide titled Come unto Me has been prepared for use in 1988. The manuals in English are now at the Church Distribution Center, and manuals in other languages will be available soon.

“The personal study guide is designed to help LDS women use gospel principles in their lives every day,” said Barbara W. Winder, Relief Society general president. “It includes truly inspired lessons on living spiritually, as well as excellent advice on home management, family education, and social relations.”

The manual’s preface notes, “The lessons were written to encourage women to pray, to study the scriptures, to listen to the voice of the living prophets, to keep the commandments, and to perform works of righteousness.”

This manual and the 1987 manual, Learn of Me, are both centered on Christ.

“The information indexed in the manuals is cumulative and provides valuable resource materials that can be used throughout the years,” Sister Winder said.

“We feel the new study guide is a perfectly balanced work,” she pointed out. “Each lesson is planned to help women accomplish in their own homes the basic mission of the Church—to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead.

“The acceptance of the new manuals has been overwhelming,” Sister Winder added. “Women like the emphasis placed on spirituality.”

The 1988 study guide features the art of Minerva Teichert on the section division pages. The paintings depict Book of Mormon subjects that emphasize the book’s theme.

The manual is based on the 1988 adult reading course, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. “We encourage the sisters to follow the Prophet’s instruction to read and study the Book of Mormon this year,” Sister Winder concluded.

Policies and Announcements

The following letter from the First Presidency, dated 15 July 1987, was to be read in sacrament meetings throughout the Church.

“We have noticed an increasing number of calls and letters to us at the general headquarters of the Church about personal matters or doctrinal questions. Accordingly, we are persuaded to again bring the following to your attention.

“We love the members of this Church. We rejoice with them in their times of joy, and sorrow with them in their days of sadness. We do not want any of them to feel that they are without available resource, but all things need to be done in wisdom and order. Therefore, all members who have problems or questions that trouble them should first consult their local priesthood leaders freely and fully.

“The Lord has so organized His Church that there is accessible to every member—man, woman, and child—a priesthood leader who serves as a spiritual adviser and a temporal counselor. We refer, of course, to the bishop or branch president and stake or mission president. A priesthood leader should know his flock personally and know the circumstances and conditions out of which their problems arise. By reason of his ordination, he is entitled to an endowment from our Heavenly Father of the necessary discernment and inspiration to enable him to counsel and advise members concerning their questions. He also is authorized to administer Church programs, such as the welfare program, according to established guidelines.

“If a bishop or branch president needs assistance, he may go to the stake or mission president, who in turn may seek counsel from the Area Presidency. Questions of a doctrinal nature should be directed by the priesthood leader to the First Presidency. In connection with the latter, members are urged to refrain from discussing mysteries or speculating about matters which the Lord has not seen fit to reveal.

“Further, occasionally, well-meaning members make specific requests of the President of the Church, his counselors, or other General Authorities for items such as autographs, stories, or endorsements. Sometimes auxiliary or seminary teachers suggest that students write to General Authorities with questions. Such requests place an undue burden on the Brethren and should not be made.”

The following letter from the First Presidency was sent in a letter dated 4 September 1987 to priesthood leaders.

International Mission Discontinued

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have decided to have Area Presidents supervise the work of the Church in all nations within their areas, including nations previously supervised by the International Mission. Accordingly, the International Mission was discontinued on 15 August 1987.

Members who may be contemplating a move outside organized stakes and missions may contact the Missionary Department for assistance in identifying priesthood leaders and members to contact in the area where they will be residing. The Missionary Department will also assist isolated members in emergencies and communicate their needs to departments at Church headquarters and to Area Presidencies.

We appreciate the faithful efforts of those who have served in the International Mission and pray that the Lord’s blessings will continue to attend members of the Church in every nation.

Appointments

Temple Presidents

Erasmo Flores de Imbert, of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, has been called to preside over the Mexico City Temple. His wife, Leandra McLain Flores, will serve as temple matron. President Flores has been a telephone company employee. He has served as stake president, regional representative, and counselor in the Mexico City Temple presidency.

Regional Representatives

Bear Lake Idaho and Smithfield Utah regions, Oral Lamb Ballam, university dean, former stake president.

Richfield Utah and Panguitch Utah regions, Angus H. Belliston, bank senior vice president, former stake president.

San Pedro Sula Honduras Region, Manuel Antonio Diaz, Church Educational System administrator, former mission president, stake president.

Jordan Utah Region, Lee Hendricks Nelson, self-employed developer, former stake president, patriarch.

Ogden Utah, Riverdale Utah, Syracuse Utah, and Clearfield Utah regions, R. Dean Udy, life insurance agent, former stake president.

LDS Scene

Major General Donald Burdick was recently appointed director of the Army National Guard, the first Latter-day Saint to hold that office. He will serve at the National Guard Bureau in the Pentagon. Brother Burdick and his wife, Nancy, have four children and are members of the Mt. Vernon Ward, Mt. Vernon Virginia Stake.

Several Latter-day Saints competed in the first U. S. National Senior Olympics recently held in St. Louis, Missouri. Sharon Whitfield of the Gonzales Ward, Baton Rouge Louisiana Stake, won a bronze medal in the 10K race. Evelyn E. Lercher, of the Enumclaw Second Ward, Auburn Washington Stake, won fifth place in the hundred-yard dash and sixth place in the long jump.

High School Students Worldwide Invited to BYU Computer Course

The Advanced High School Studies Program offered by Brigham Young University’s Department of Computer Science is now accepting applications from high school juniors worldwide who want to participate in an intensive two-week computer course.

The two hundred students accepted into the program will receive full-tuition scholarships for the course, which will be held August 1–12, 1988, at BYU.

Applicants must be high school juniors in the top 10 percent of their class who have completed second-year algebra before the program begins. In addition, they must take the PSAT or ACT aptitude tests before March 1988. No previous computer experience is necessary.

Applications will be accepted until 1 June 1988. The two-week program entitles students to two semester hours of university credit at BYU.

BYU Offers Senior Citizens Telephone ‘Helpline’

Senior citizens in the United States can now hear more than a hundred important and inspirational messages by telephoning a toll-free number at Brigham Young University. This “Senior Helpline” service is offered by the university’s Gerontology Research Center.

The service offers a variety of messages, prepared by experts, on topics such as family life, caregiving, health and fitness, and living a happy life. It also includes inspirational messages from Richard L. Evans’s “The Spoken Word” Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcasts.

The telephone number is 1-800-333-AGED (1-800-333-2433). Those who have a touch-tone telephone can call without charge twenty-four hours a day. Those without touch-tone phones can use the service with operator assistance from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. (Mountain Time) Monday through Friday.

Those who use a touchtone telephone to call the helpline can activate recorded messages on a variety of topics by pressing three-number sequences. Operators assist those with rotary or pulse-dial telephones. A free directory listing the three-number sequences and the messages available can be requested through the helpline operator.