News of the Church


Monticello Temple Rededicated

A severe weather drought has afflicted much of southeastern Utah. But members there have also felt another drought while their temple was closed for renovation. On 17 November 2002 this drought ended when President Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the Monticello Utah Temple.

“It was a pretty good end to a seven-month drought,” says Obid Hamblin, Moab Utah Stake patriarch, speaking of the dedicatory services. “It’s been a hard seven months without our temple.”

The expanded and remodeled temple was rededicated in one session by President Hinckley, who presided over the first dedication in July 1998. The Monticello temple was the first “small” temple to be completed. High temple attendance made expansion necessary in a relatively short time.

“The patrons of the temple responded so wholeheartedly to having a temple here,” says Lisle G. Adams, president of the Monticello temple. “The facilities we had were just not adequate to take care of the work that was being done.”

With the renovation, the size of the temple increased from 7,000 square feet to 11,225 square feet. A second ordinance room and a second sealing room were added, and other facilities were expanded. The temple district includes 13,000 members in Utah and Colorado.

In the dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley asked for a blessing upon the temple and upon the Saints who attend it. And with the quenching of the seven-month temple drought, President Hinckley also pleaded for the end of the weather drought afflicting those living within this temple district.

“Open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon those of the communities which this temple serves. May rains come upon the thirsty land that there may be sufficient water. May their plantings be dedicated unto Thee, and may their harvests be garnered with thanksgiving.”

[photo] Saints gather outside the Monticello Utah Temple for its rededication. It was the first small temple to be built and was recently expanded. (Photograph by Greg Hill, Church News.)

[photo] President Gordon B. Hinckley greets a young man attending the Monticello Utah Temple rededication in November. (Photograph by Greg Hill, Church News.)

President Hinckley Dedicates Buildings, Visits Members

Continuing a busy season of travel, President Gordon B. Hinckley participated in the dedications of new buildings—one named in his honor—and visited with members in Pennsylvania and Utah.

Gordon B. Hinckley Building

President Hinckley was “flummoxed” at the recommendation that Brigham Young University—Idaho name a building after him. But he humbly accepted the honor at a dedicatory service for the new building held on 22 October 2002 in Rexburg, Idaho.

“The name of this building will be a constant reminder to me to live worthy of the trust that you have placed in me,” President Hinckley said during the dedicatory services of the new Gordon B. Hinckley Building.

It was a fitting tribute to the Church President, who has been instrumental in the school’s recent transition from a junior college known as Ricks College to a university offering four-year degrees.

“It is a comfortable fit,” said President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “for President Hinckley is a man of prayer, a man of fasting, a man of faith, a man of learning, a man of glory, a man of order, a man of God.”

President Monson was a keynote speaker during the dedication and offered the dedicatory prayer. Other Church and university leaders were also in attendance. The 54,000-square-foot (5,000-square-meter) building provides meeting space for Sunday worship services as well as faculty offices and academic classrooms.

Salt Lake Institute Building

No education can be considered complete without attention to spiritual matters, said President Hinckley at the dedication of a new institute building that serves almost 6,000 students in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“It is important that we qualify ourselves in those matters which will assist us in earning a living and in making contributions to the society in which we live,” President Hinckley told the large crowd gathered for the building’s dedication in October 2002. “But there is something of divinity in each of us. It is also important that this side of our nature be cultivated and given opportunity for expression.”

The new building, which is associated with the nearby University of Utah, provides classrooms, multipurpose rooms, chapels, and offices. Several Church and university leaders also attended the dedication, where President Hinckley offered the dedicatory prayer.

“The influence of what happens in this building will outlast the structure many times over in the lives of the students and their families,” said Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Commissioner of Church Education.

Approximately 350,000 students are currently enrolled in institute programs worldwide.

Huntsman Hall Dedication

President Hinckley joined United States vice president Dick Cheney and other Church and educational leaders in a private dedicatory ceremony on 25 October 2002 for an academic building named in honor of Elder Jon M. Huntsman, an Area Authority Seventy.

The eight-story building, part of the Wharton School of Business on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, was named Huntsman Hall in tribute to Elder Huntsman’s philanthropic contributions throughout his life.

A 1959 graduate of the Wharton School, Elder Huntsman began a small company 30 years ago that has grown into the largest privately held petrochemical and plastics business in the world.

But his success in the business world is only half the story, said President Hinckley at the ceremony. He told how Elder Huntsman as student body president at Palo Alto High School in California bought ties to honor the school custodians and how young Jon Huntsman befriended a sickly boy at his school. President Hinckley also shared an experience from the time when a young married Jon Huntsman took $50 from their tight budget and quietly left it in the mailbox of a widow in their ward.

“He did not become a philanthropist when he grew rich,” President Hinckley said. “He gave freely when he was poor.”

In his comments, Vice President Cheney said, “My highest hope for this building is that every person who goes through its doors will know something about the man for whom it is named, about his life of great accomplishment and purpose, and about the values that define it.”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pleading with Church members to share the gospel, President Hinckley addressed some 5,000 Latter-day Saints in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in October 2002. He was accompanied by Elder David B. Haight and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

During the meeting, President Hinckley asked: “Can anyone doubt that through the Restoration of the gospel faith has increased in the earth? Your very presence here this night, my brothers and sisters, is an indication of the faith that you have, your willingness to subscribe to the covenants you have made, to undertake lives consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ, to walk in faith and righteousness and truth before Him. What a burden that places upon us, but also what a responsibility, and what a precious and priceless opportunity.”

President Hinckley noted: “The Church is in wonderful condition because of the faith of the people, and it has spread across the world. Today there are more Latter-day Saints outside of the United States than there are in the United States. … It is truly a remarkable thing, but it is not enough. We can do so much more.”

The Church President pondered on “why we are so reluctant” to share the gospel with friends. “I do not know why we are so fearful,” he said. “I do not know why we are so backward. We do not like to do it. Why? It is the greatest thing on earth. You know what you have. … Wouldn’t you like someone else to have that? I am sure you would. Let us reach out … and spread the gospel among our friends.”

Park City, Utah

President Hinckley used a rare free Sunday to stop in on a stake conference taking place in Park City, Utah, in October 2002. In his brief remarks, he urged the congregation to live worthy of their patriarchal blessings.

“Think of it,” President Hinckley said. “Here is a man who has been called and set apart to bless and ordain, as it were. He stands as a prophet to individuals. … Every member of the Church who is worthy may come and let him place his hands upon their head and give them a blessing.”

“You have in your midst a patriarch who has been called and chosen and set apart to bless you, my brothers and my sisters,” President Hinckley continued. “And if you have not received a patriarchal blessing, I urge you to square up and straighten up your lives and become worthy to receive a patriarchal blessing. Then go to your bishop so you might be properly recommended and make an appointment to see [the patriarch] and let him place his hands upon your head and by the power of the Spirit speak to you in an individual and wonderful way, my brothers and sisters.”

Church News contributed to this report.

[photo] President Gordon B. Hinckley waves to students and guests after the dedication of a building named in his honor at Brigham Young University—Idaho. (Photograph by Michael Lewis, Brigham Young University—Idaho.)

[photo] President Thomas S. Monson called President Hinckley “a man of faith” and “a man of God” during the dedication of the Gordon B. Hinckley Building. (Photograph by Michael Lewis, Brigham Young University—Idaho.)

[photo] The recently dedicated Salt Lake institute building serves almost 6,000 young adults in the Salt Lake City area. (Photograph by Scott G. Winterton.)

[photo] A family in Pennsylvania attends the meeting at which President Hinckley urged members to share the gospel. (Photograph courtesy of the Office of the President.)

Ordinance Index On-Line

Ordinance information for deceased individuals is available for the first time on-line at www.familysearch.org. This database contains a record of all completed temple ordinance work for deceased individuals. Members can access this database to verify if temple ordinance work has been done for deceased individuals before submitting names to the temple. This verification will help reduce duplicate ordinance work.

Ordinance information is found in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) listing. To access ordinance information, members of the Church must register on the FamilySearch Web site and sign on. Click on “Sign On” in the upper right corner to do this. Members will need their membership record number and confirmation date for the registration process. Ward and branch clerks can provide this information. Once registered and signed on, search for an individual’s name. The ordinance information, if available, will appear with the name in the IGI listing. Members must be registered and signed on to the site for this information to appear, and the information will appear only in the IGI listing.

Millions of names recently have been added to the IGI, and it will be updated weekly to ensure members have current information about their ancestors.

Members who have access to the Internet at home or through their local family history center will be able to access the information. Family history centers without Internet access may contact the Family and Church History Department about being connected to the Internet after receiving authorization from local priesthood leaders.

Strengthening the Community

Hong Kong Plays Three-on-Three Basketball

The Church-sponsored seventh annual Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament in Hong Kong drew 2,000 players, 375 teams, and Brigham Young University—Provo’s head basketball coach, Steve Cleveland. The event garnered tremendous support from the community; about 95 percent of the participants were not Latter-day Saints. Among the largest tournaments in all of Asia, this Church-sponsored event took place in the Hong Kong Kowloon East Stake Center, where Brother Cleveland spoke during the opening ceremonies about his 25 years of coaching experience. He encouraged players to instill in their personal lives the discipline, work ethic, and respect that bring success on the court. Invited by the Asia Area Presidency, Brother Cleveland also conducted a basketball clinic for boys and girls ages 10–18 and participated with his wife in two firesides.

Honolulu Saints Make a Difference

The national Make a Difference Day in 2002 mobilized members of the Honolulu Hawaii Stake to complete a four-month service project providing 500 hand-sewn fabric bags containing stuffed toys and soft blankets to the Children’s Justice Center of Oahu. These “love bags,” made with help from the Hawaii Chapter of American Mothers, Inc., will be given to children taken from their homes and placed in foster care. “We have some children carrying their belongings in a paper bag,” says Jasmine Mau-Mukai, programs director for the Children’s Justice Center. “There really is love in these ‘love bags.’”

The project began four months before Make a Difference Day. Members made the bags and blankets in their homes and with their wards. More than 140 people volunteered at a work session held in the Honolulu Tabernacle in July, and 120 people volunteered in August.

“We’ve filled our gym with sewing machines, and the work has been done by men, women, and children with and without sewing experience,” says stake president Waldemar Thiim. “Everyone is happy about possibly making a difference in the life of a child.”

Houston Stakes Receive Mayor’s Award

Recognizing nine years of volunteer work in Houston’s inner city, the mayor of Houston, Texas, presented a Mayor’s Proud Partner Award to local units of the Church at an annual luncheon honoring community organizations.

Beginning in the early 1990s, several stakes provided volunteers for the annual “Keep 5 Alive” project, created to improve inner-city public grounds. In 2002, 250 young people from a four-stake Laurel/priest conference cleaned and landscaped public grounds, while more than 75 volunteers from the Houston Texas East Stake painted houses. Another project included cleaning the city’s bayous.

Without the Church’s support, says Mike Easley, the leader of the project, “Keep 5 Alive” would not have happened in 2002. Commenting on members’ responses to such large-scale service projects, Brent Webber of the Katy Texas Stake says, “All participants came back saying it had been a wonderful experience. They came back with really good, positive feelings.”

Church Helps Bring Boats to Timor

The Church in Australia is aiding a local charity organization and villages in East Timor, a small island in Indonesia. Volunteers from Aussie Boats for East Timor (ABET) have constructed wooden fishing boats, each of which can provide food for about 100 villagers of East Timor. Church Welfare Services in Australia is donating money to help ship the boats to East Timor.

Australia/New Zealand Area President, Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy, first heard a television report that ABET needed help transporting the fishing boats to Timor. In 2000 the Church donated money to refugees from troubled East Timor.

Elder Elwin Johnson is grateful that the Church’s contribution will build self-sufficiency beyond just providing boats. After arriving in East Timor, the shipping container the Church is helping to purchase will be used to form the first part of a factory in Hera, a town east of Dili, where ABET representatives will teach East Timor natives to make their own wooden boats.

If giving a man a fish can feed him for a day, teaching a village to build fishing boats can do much more, Elder Elwin Johnson suggests. “This project is adding to the ability of the people in East Timor to help themselves. We feel it is a worthwhile project and want to express our support.”

Washington Stake Builds Natural Greenway

“I think you should take on a more realistic project,” the Kennewick city manager told representatives of the Kennewick Washington East Stake when they proposed turning an unsafe, overgrown canyon into a nature trail and recreation area as a Church sesquicentennial service project in 1997.

But volunteers moved ahead, spending the next five years clearing thorny blackberry bushes and Russian olive trees; planting trees, shrubs, and flowers; constructing culvert bridges; channeling streams; and building walls. Their efforts were rewarded by the dedication of “The Spirit of America Trail” in October 2002.

Joined by other community organizations, almost 1,000 volunteers provided 20,000 hours of labor to remove garbage, dispose of trees blocking the trail, and create a “sanctuary in an urban setting,” as one reporter described it. At least six Eagle Scout projects were completed as part of the work done in the canyon.

“I have never seen anything like the commitment and dedication of these people,” says Cindy Cole, manager of buildings and grounds. “It’s amazing.”

[photo] Players from throughout the community go three-on-three in Hong Kong’s seventh annual basketball tournament. (Photograph courtesy of Asia Area Public Affairs.)

[photo] Members in Honolulu show off their handiwork. Working with community groups, they made bags full of toys and blankets for local children in crisis. (Photograph courtesy of Honolulu Hawaii Stake Public Affairs.)

Comment

Children of Divorce

I appreciate the article “Children of Divorce” by Elaine Walton in the August 2002 Ensign (page 36), as well as other articles that have appeared recognizing the existence of divorce among faithful members and offering practical and spiritual guidance for dealing with related issues.

I voice my hope that we will all refrain from making assumptions, stereotyping, and judging divorced individuals and their children. My child is a daughter of God—bright, loving, creative, and, among other things, the daughter of divorced parents. This is one of many things that is part of who she is and who she will become, but it is not the defining characteristic.

It would be naive to think my daughter is not affected by our divorce. However, I do not think this has to ruin her life. While we can empathize with our children and comfort them in their pain, we must also teach them how to deal with less-than-ideal situations in a constructive and prayerful manner so they can find peace and happiness even in the midst of trials in life. Andrea Howard Durrant Salt Lake City, Utah