News of the Church

By Heather Whittle, Church Magazines


Church Displays Selections from International Art Competition

The Church History Museum’s Eighth International Art Competition exhibit opened to the public in the Conference Center on March 23, 2009, and will run through October 11, 2009. The theme for the competition is “Remembering the Great Things of God.”

This year’s competition drew nearly 1,100 entries from both professional and amateur member artists. A jury evaluated the entries and selected 266 for display. Robert Davis, senior exhibit developer for the museum, said one third of the selected pieces came from outside of the United States; they represented 44 countries.

Jurors looked for new artwork centered on gospel themes and representing worldwide cultural and aesthetic traditions, styles, and media. Some of the media represented in the competition include painting, drawing, sculpting, needlework, and woodcarving.

One of the three-dimensional pieces in the exhibit is a bronze cast statue of two horses harnessed together in a field, where a bishop left them when he felt inspired to check on an elderly member in his ward. Another entry, from Syria, is an Armenian lace starburst. The lace represents the great things of the Lord the artist learned from her mother, who also taught her the lace-making art. A member from Uruguay entered a carved wood image representing temple marriage and the sealing power. A Hungarian member contributed a painting of a woman reading to her child from the Bible. The description that came with the painting was part of a song from the Children’s Songbook.

Brother Davis said that even though the artwork came in many forms, it all had the common subject matter of the gospel.

Jubal Aviles Saenz, from Mexico, received a Purchase Award for his painting, We Will See Each Other Again on the Other Side. The painting shows a woman carrying flowers to a gravesite to remember her ancestors. Brother Aviles’ son, Leonardo, represented him at the award ceremony. Leonardo said his father tried to portray a woman who celebrated her ancestors on the Day of the Dead (a day to honor the dead in Mexico), but who could also celebrate her ancestors’ lives by performing their temple work.

In the piece The Spirit of Prayer, which also received a Purchase Award, Claudio Roberto Aguiar Ramires, from Brazil, painted three images of Nephi. The first image shows Nephi kneeling to pray for help as he was building the ship. The second image depicts him struggling to kneel and pray while tied to the ship during the storm. The third image portrays him praying after arriving at the promised land.

“[Nephi] was always thankful to the Lord and recognized His hand in his life,” Brother Ramires said, explaining why he had painted each of the images.

Adam Abram, from Utah, USA, who received a Merit Award for his painting, Gethsemane, said about his artwork, “This isn’t a painting about suffering, it’s a painting about getting through the suffering.” He said his hope for the painting is that people will look at their own struggles and trials in life and know that with the Savior’s help they can prevail.

The museum offered 18 Purchase Awards to add the pieces to its collection. The jury awarded 20 Merit Awards at a reception on Friday, March 20. Another three pieces will receive Visitors’ Choice Awards near the closing of the exhibit.

The Church has held the worldwide art competition every three years since 1987. The museum initially created the competition to increase its art collection.

“I’ve been associated with all of the shows, and it’s been very satisfying,” Brother Davis said. “It’s a good thing. I can think of nothing in the world that quite approaches this.”

In the past, the exhibit has been shown in the Church History Museum. However, with the growing response to the art competition, the exhibit moved to the Conference Center this year to allow it more room. The artwork will be displayed during both the April and October general conferences.

The exhibit is in the Grand Atrium Foyer of the Conference Center, 60 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. Visitors may enter at door 15. Exhibit hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

“It’s satisfying to see the way people express themselves,” Brother Davis said. “Art is a personal thing, and I think it draws from the divine. People have a uniqueness that comes out in their art, but they also serve as a witness of the gospel in many different ways.”

The Liahona and Ensign often feature many of the submissions. Selections from this year’s exhibit as well as past exhibits are also available on the Church History Web site at www.lds.org/church history/museum/competition.

Art Competition Award Winners

Purchase Awards

Jubal Aviles Saenz, Mexico, We Will See Each Other Again on the Other Side

Cassandra Barney, Utah, USA, Atonement

Chin Tai Cheng, Taiwan, Many People Shall Go

Rose Datoc Dall, Virginia, USA, Flight

Ramon Ely Garcia Rivas, Ecuador, I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Filiberto Gutierrez, Texas, USA, Come unto Jesus

Michael Tom Malm, Utah, USA, Saving That Which Was Lost

Eréndira de Martínez Hernández, Mexico, With No Exception of Persons

Emily McPhie, Utah, USA, Windows of Heaven

Valentina Olekseeyeevna Museeyenko, Ukraine, As Sisters in Zion

Louise Parker, South Africa, Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman? II

Emmalee Rose Glauser Powell, Utah, USA, Joseph William Billy Johnson: Holiness to the Lord

Claudio Roberto Ramires, Brazil, The Spirit of Prayer

GayLynn Lorene Ribeira, California, USA, Bring Up Your Children in Light and Truth

Ai Meng Tsai, Taiwan, Teach Me to Walk in the Light

Colleen Wallace, Australia, Coming of Christ

Elspeth Young, Utah, USA, For Such a Time as This

Josephus Matheus Wilhelmus Van Gemert, Netherlands, I Am the Alpha and the Omega

Merit Awards

Adam Abram, Utah, USA, Gethsemane

Ruben Alfredo Cabrera, Uruguay, Together Forever

Jaimie Davis, Montana, USA, Schimmelbusch Family Quilt

Jacob Elton Dobson, Indiana, USA, Articles of Faith 2 and 3

Tracy Ann Holmes, California, USA, The Three Gardens

Irene Monson Jenkins, Utah, USA, Heirloom Blessing Dress

Lurain Lyman, California, USA, Garden Tomb

Donna Moyer, California, USA, Consider the Lilies

Nnamdi Okonkwo, Nigeria, Love

Kathleen Bateman Peterson, Utah, USA, The Child

Walter Clair Rane, California, USA, Blessed Are They Who Are Faithful and Endure

J. Kirk Richards, Utah, USA, The Greatest in the Kingdom

Randall Todd Stilson, Utah, USA, Salvador Mundi

Leroy Transfield, New Zealand, Joseph and the Boy Jesus

Lesa Udall, Utah, USA, Whenever I Hear the Song of a Bird

Rebecca Wagstaff, Utah, USA, Passageway

William Whitaker, Illinois, USA, Seven Generations: Rachel Wears Black

Sherri Williams, Utah, USA, Behold Your Little Ones

Blanche Wilson, Utah, USA, I Remember

Janis Lorene Wunderlich, Ohio, USA, Family Frenzy

Louise Parker of South Africa earned a Purchase Award for her piece, Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman? II.

Donna Moyer of California, USA, earned a Merit Award for her quilt, Consider the Lilies.

Ruben Alfredo Cabrera of Uruguay earned a Merit Award for his wood carving, Together Forever.

Church Publishes LDS Edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish

With the new Latter-day Saint edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish becoming available on September 1, the First Presidency has invited Spanish-speaking members of the Church to attend a special 25-minute orientation about the new edition of the Bible. The orientation will be broadcast via satellite between the morning and afternoon sessions on both Saturday and Sunday of the upcoming October general conference.

The broadcast will include messages about the coming forth of the LDS edition of the Spanish Bible and the effective use and benefits of it, along with a special message from President Thomas S. Monson. Information will be sent to units on how to access the orientation, which will be broadcast in both Spanish and English. Units are encouraged to record the broadcast to allow members to access it later.

The orientation will also be available online for members viewing general conference outside of a meetinghouse.

This new edition of the Bible will be available in September in print, electronic, and audio formats. More than 800,000 copies are being printed at the Church’s printing center in Salt Lake City and will be sent to Church distribution centers all over the world. The printed versions are available in paperback and hardcover as well as bonded leather. This new edition is also available in Braille and an oversized print format. A quadruple combination is not available at this time.

The electronic text of this new edition, including the study helps, will be available at Escrituras.lds.org, allowing members with Internet access to perform keyword searches. The audio recordings of the Bible and the triple combination are available on CD sets (50021 002 Old Testament and 50022 002 New Testament) through Church distribution centers or as MP3 files at Escrituras.lds.org.

Under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a team of translators prepared and reviewed the new edition. They were aided by General Authorities, Area Seventies, professional linguists, and Church members. The LDS edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish is based on the 1909 Reina-Valera edition of the Bible, an earlier version of what Spanish-speaking members have used until now.

The dignified language of the 1909 Reina-Valera Spanish Bible, comparable to that of the King James Bible, has been conservatively modernized by replacing some of the outdated grammatical constructions and vocabulary whose meaning and acceptability have shifted.

New chapter headings, footnotes, cross-references to all the standard works of the Church, maps, and other study aids included in the back pages of the publication will make the scriptures more helpful to Spanish-speaking Saints. The new edition, similar to the 1979 English LDS edition of the King James Bible, will be titled “Santa Biblia: Reina-Valera 2009.”

“We encourage members to obtain their own copies of this new edition of the Bible and to use it in regular personal and family study and in Church meetings and assignments,” a letter from the First Presidency reads. “As members prayerfully learn and teach from the scriptures, their testimonies will grow and they will receive greater direction in their daily lives.”

Additional information is available in Spanish and English at SantaBiblia.lds.org.

What’s Available

  • Paperback, black (36547 002)

  • Hardcover, black (36903 002)

  • Bonded leather, black (36544 002)

  • Bonded leather, burgundy (36546 002)

  • Bonded leather, black, with thumb-indexing (08131 002)

  • Bonded leather, burgundy, with thumb-indexing (08133 002)

  • Paperback, black, extra-large size (21.6 cm by 27.9 cm) for visually impaired (36072 002)

  • Braille, multi-volume set (36547 004)

  • Old Testament Audio CDs (50021 002)

  • New Testament Audio CDs (50022 002)

A broadcast about the new LDS edition of the Holy Bible in Spanish will be shown between sessions of October general conference.

Official Church Radio Channel Launches Online

Mormon Channel, the official Church radio station, was launched in May 2009 at Radio.lds.org. The new station originates from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, broadcasting new programs created specifically for Mormon Channel as well as content from the Church’s archives and programming from partner organizations such as Deseret Book, Bonneville International, the Deseret News, LDS Business College, and the campuses of Brigham Young University.

The station broadcasts online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is also available via HDRadio in every Bonneville radio market, including Salt Lake City, Utah; Los Angeles, California; Washington D.C.; Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Seattle, Washington; all in the USA. Other distribution options are currently being explored, including satellite radio and mobile devices.

The Church-centered programming includes content for many audiences and ages. The content is primarily in English, with some content in Spanish and Portuguese.

“It’s a new broadcasting opportunity to be able to share the gospel around the world,” said Rob Boshard, a program manager for Mormon Channel.

The channel began with 11 programs, some of which air several times a day, such as Church News. Others, such as Mormon Identity, air once a week.

Many of the programs feature interviews with people from the LDS community, including Church leaders, Latter-day Saint artists, and other faithful members from around the world.

Other programs feature stories from general conference, dramatized stories about the Savior’s life and ministry, and scripture story retellings designed for children. One program discusses gospel topics and accompanies them with music.

A program called History of Hymns will examine the origins of Church hymns. Another program, Legacy, will share the experiences of faithful Church members across the globe as recorded by the Family History and Church History Departments. Music by the Tabernacle Choir will play throughout the day.

Brother Boshard said the channel will also play archived audio files such as recordings of President Wilford Woodruff (1807–98) and President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918) and Mormon Tabernacle Choir albums dating back to 1911.

An online schedule of programs will appear up to two weeks in advance. See Radio.lds.org for additional information on programming for Mormon Channel. After programs air, all Church-owned content is archived in an online database where it can be downloaded as podcasts.

Mormon Channel, an official Church radio station, was launched online in English in May 2009.

Church Teams With Mutombo Foundation to Help Hospital

A new partnership between the Church and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation promises an additional water source for the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center, located in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“We became involved with this project because they seem to be doing all they can to provide quality medical care but still find themselves needing additional resources,” said Matthew Heaps, who oversees clean water projects for the Church. “We help them to help themselves by supplementing the hospital’s existing water source with an additional well for consistent and reliable water.”

The not-for-profit hospital, which opened in 2007, is the vision of Dikembe Mutombo, who retired this year after 18 seasons in the U.S. National Basketball Association. The facility currently has 150 beds with a planned capacity of 300.

“The hospital was built to help the people of my hometown live healthy and productive lives,” said Mr. Mutombo, who discussed the project in a meeting with Church leaders in Salt Lake City. “This well project will supplement the water we currently have on site and will provide a critically needed supply of precious pure water in case of malfunction or shortages in the public water system.”

According to the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy in DR Congo is 46 to 49 years of age. Nearly one in five newborn children does not live beyond his or her fifth birthday.

The hospital is mindful of its water utilization both in quality and quantity and already has a system that treats water before and after it is used. However, the existing public system has a slow flow rate, which prevents on-site water tanks from filling to capacity. This project will help provide a consistent flow of clean water for the hospital.

Once completed, the well will be nearly 300 feet (91 meters) deep, and the water will be pumped to a 13,200-gallon (50,000-liter) elevated tank and gravity-fed to the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mr. Mutombo says relieving the water burden increases the hospital’s ability to add specialized services.

“The city of Kinshasa has but one dialysis center, and it is overburdened and unable to meet demand,” he said. “The supplemental water source helps us accomplish the first step in adding a 10-bed dialysis unit that would serve several hundred patients per year.”

“We have seen the genuine concern by the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation for those in need around the world,” said Brother Heaps, “and we are pleased to assist in fulfilling the mission of the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital.”

The facility has a staff of 450 and last year provided medical care to 22,000 patients.

The project is expected to take three months to complete.

Local laborers work with heavy machinery to drill a new well as a part of a partnership between the Church and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation.

Photograph courtesy of Church Public Affairs

In the News

Book of Mormon Published in Guarani

On April 29, 2009, the First Presidency announced the publication of the Book of Mormon in Guarani, a dialect spoken mainly in Paraguay.

In their letter to the Saints in Paraguay, the First Presidency encouraged them to obtain their own copies of the scriptures and to use them in regular personal and family study and in Church meetings and assignments.

This full translation of the Book of Mormon replaces the edition of Book of Mormon Selections that has been available since 1982. The full Book of Mormon is currently published in 82 languages. Book of Mormon Selections is available in another 25 languages.

There are approximately 22,800 Guarani-speaking members, 79 Guarani-speaking units, and 6,180,000 Guarani speakers worldwide.

Guarani, which has an oral tradition, is primarily spoken in Paraguay, where literacy is an issue for families. The Church is preparing an audio recording of the Book of Mormon in Guarani. This will be published in 2010.

Tongan Scriptures Available in New Format

In April 2009 the Tongan edition of the triple combination, containing the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, became available online at scriptures.lds.org/to.

It was only two years ago that a printed version of the Tongan triple combination became available, benefiting an estimated 80,000 Tongan-speaking members as well as those who speak Tongan as a second language.

The online version of the triple combination in Tongan includes footnotes, maps, and photographs and allows the reader to mark the scriptures and perform key word searches.

Tongan is the 13th language to be added to the Church’s scriptures Web site.

The triple combination of scriptures was already available online in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

Other languages are currently being prepared for online publication.

Church Helps Clean after Flooding in Florida

The Church, in partnership with the American Red Cross, distributed cleaning kits to Pensacola and Live Oak, Florida, USA, after flooding claimed two lives, destroyed 125 houses, damaged more than 500 homes, and led to the closure of 336 roads and 25 bridges.

A series of storms caused rivers in northern Florida to overflow their banks, causing the flooding. After the initial flooding, severe weather continued, hampering recovery efforts.

The flooding damaged houses in 16 counties across Florida. Authorities called for an evacuation of six counties: Calhoun, Columbia, Hamilton, Madison, Suwannee, and Walton. All missionaries were safe, and no members were injured or killed. Several member families were evacuated and stayed with family or other Church members.

Of the damaged houses, at least 100 suffered major damage. The flooding did not damage any members’ homes or Church facilities.

Members Pitch In after Tornado Hits Arkansas

Nearly 50 Church members from the Fort Smith Arkansas Stake helped clean up after a tornado tore through Mena, Arkansas, USA, killing three people and injuring 30 others. No members or missionaries were injured or killed, and no Church facilities were damaged.

The tornado, which touched down on the night of April 9, 2009, damaged 600 homes, including 10 members’ homes, and left many people seeking alternate shelter for the night.

Initial surveys indicated the tornado brought winds up to 136 mph (219 km per hour), categorizing it as a three on the five-scale Enhanced Fujita scale.

Priesthood leaders worked to help members who lost their homes.

Additional Sharing Time Ideas, September 2009

The following are additional ideas Primary leaders may use with the Sharing Time printed in the September 2009 Liahona. For the lesson, instructions, and activity that correspond with these ideas, see “Prophets Teach Me How to Strengthen My Family on pages F8 and F9 of the children’s section in this issue.

  1. 1.

    Bible prophets teach me how to strengthen my family. Teach that throughout the ages God has called prophets to teach and guide His children. The stories of the first prophets on earth are found in the Bible. Review with the children some of the Bible prophets by singing the first eight verses of “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 110–11) without the chorus. Children could be invited to represent each prophet with a name tag or simple object.

    Help the children understand that even though Bible prophets lived long ago, their teachings still help us today. On separate pieces of paper, write the name of a Bible prophet with a scripture reference for one of his teachings. Examples: Isaiah—Isaiah 54:13 (teach children about the Lord); Malachi—Malachi 3:10 (pay tithing); Enoch—Moses 6:33 (serve the Lord); James—James 1:5 (ask of God). Place the papers around the room.

    Blindfold a child, and have the other children guide him or her to one of the pieces of paper by singing the chorus of “Follow the Prophet.” Instruct them to sing louder when the child gets close to the paper and softer when he or she moves away.

    When the child finds a paper, have the children look up the scripture and read it together. Ask the children how the teaching can strengthen them and their families. Continue until all the papers are found. Bear testimony of a teaching from a Bible prophet that has strengthened you.

  2. 2.

    I will hear the words of the prophets when I listen to general conference. Tell the children the parable in which a nobleman told his servants to plant olive trees in his vineyard and to “build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower” (see D&C 101:44–45).

    Explain that the watchman on the tower has a better view and can see far off. He can help protect others by warning them when danger is coming. Teach the children that prophets and apostles are our watchmen on the tower. They have been called by the Lord to watch over and protect us. Sing verse nine of “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 110–11).

    Prepare the children to listen to the upcoming general conference by helping them learn the names and recognize the faces of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Play a matching game using individual pictures of each. Have the children look at the pictures and repeat the names. (Pictures can be found in the May and November issues of the Liahona.)

    On one side of the board, list the names of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles. On the other side of the board, post their pictures in random order. Let the children take turns matching the pictures with the names. Teach and testify that we can trust the living prophets. If we listen to and obey their words, we will be safe.