Four new General Authorities and a 70-member First Quorum of the Seventy were announced by President Spencer W. Kimball at October general conference.
Elder Gene R. Cook of Bountiful, Utah, was called as a member of the First Council of the Seventy, replacing Elder Milton R. Hunter who died earlier this year. The First Quorum of the Seventy will be gradually organized and presided over by the seven-member First Council of the Seventy. Three men called to the quorum are Charles A. Didier of Frankfurt, Germany, William Rawsel Bradford of McAllen, Texas, and Dr. George Patrick Lee of Towaoc, Colorado, and Shiprock, New Mexico.
The First Quorum of the Seventy will include an eventual membership of 70 men, with the First Council of the Seventy included in its membership.
“Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church,” stressed President Kimball, explaining that the First Council of the Seventy has a principal role in directing the Church’s expanding worldwide missionary work. Elder Cook will join the other six members of the council in serving on the missionary executive committee. This council will now be joined by members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, under the direction of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, in carrying out missionary work in stakes and missions throughout the world. There are currently 21,000 full-time missionaries serving in the Church’s 133 missions. Twenty new missions were organized this year, the greatest expansion in missionary work in any one year.
Elder Gene R. Cook served as executive secretary of the First Council of the Seventy prior to his new call. Since 1972 he has served as a regional representative of the Twelve. Other past Church callings include a mission to Uruguay-Paraguay, three stake missions, stake mission president, stake seventies quorum president, and priesthood and auxiliary teacher.
Elder Cook is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree and master of business administration. He is married to the former Janelle Schlink, and they are the parents of four children.
Elder Charles A. Didier, a Belgian convert of 18 years, was the European manager of the translation services and distribution center for the Church in Frankfurt, Germany. He is a past president of the France-Switzerland Mission and president of the Liege (Belgium) Branch. He is also a former Regional Representative of the Twelve.
An economics graduate from the University of Liege, Elder Didier is married to the former Lucie Lodomez; they are the parents of two children.
Elder William Rawsel Bradford is now serving as president of the Chile Santiago Mission. He has also served as a district president, elders quorum president, and branch president. A native of Springville, Utah, Elder Bradford served as a missionary in the Japanese Mission.
Elder Bradford is married to the former Mary Ann Bird, and they have six children.
Elder George Patrick Lee is now serving as president of the Arizona Holbrook Mission. He is also the former president of the College of Ganado, a two-year community college on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona.
Named one of the “Outstanding Young Men of America,” Elder Lee received his doctorate from Brigham Young University earlier this year. He and his wife, the former Katherine Hettich, have three children.
Young people in Solvang, California, practically need a passport to go downtown. The moment they set foot in downtown Solvang, they are in Denmark. Founded in 1911 by Danish Americans wishing to preserve their culture, the modern town of 2,100 people modeled its downtown area after an authentic Danish village. Thousands of tourists stream through the quaint shops every day during the summer, admiring the authentic Danish crafts and enjoying Danish pastries and pretzels and cheese. Each September, Solvang, which means “Sunny Fields” in Danish, hosts its Danish Days, a holdover from the old-time Danish harvest festivals, and now a tribute to the town’s Danish heritage. During the festival’s two-day span some 40,000 tourists inundate the town. The local residents, Danish and non-Danish alike, dress up in Old-World costumes and do their best to make the army of guests feel at home. There are plays, folk dancing, singing, story telling, music, food, parades, and general rejoicing. Young Latter-day Saints from the Solvang Ward are right there in the middle of it all, dancing, and singing, and selling.
This year the Scout troop got involved by building a float for the parade. The float represented Scouting in Denmark and featured Scouts in Danish uniforms building a pole tower and cooking ebles-kivers, Danish pancake balls.
Only a little over a half hour from the beach on one side and the mountains on the other, the young people from Solvang are seldom at a loss for activities, but they all look forward to the days in September that take them across the ocean.
Have you memorized your monthly New Era? Kenneth Higbee did, in just a few hours.
Dr. Higbee, a psychologist at BYU, gives firesides in the Provo area explaining the “link system” of memory training.
With the “link system” a person associates easily remembered items together with mental pictures. For example, a shopping list of milk, bananas, and a can opener could easily be remembered by forming a mental picture of a banana opening a carton of milk. Before one such demonstration the youth of the Provo Utah Sharon East Stake were puzzled when asked to bring copies of the June New Era to a stake fireside.
After showing how the link system can be used to memorize lists rapidly and accurately, Dr. Higbee asked the young people to open their magazines and ask him any question about the contents. Although he couldn’t repeat the stories and articles word for word, he knew all the titles, authors, subjects, and even the page numbers of the articles.
After the New Era demonstration, the young people were asked to try and memorize a list of 20 words. Only three could do it. But after practicing the link system, over 80 percent of the group could memorize the complete 20-word list.
With a little practice you might be able to memorize the New Era too. And when you’ve got it down, pass the magazine on to a friend who “forgot” to subscribe. Or better still, subscribe for that friend!
“Best party we’ve ever had,” smiled a girl as she sank exhaustedly onto the grass. “Just hope the paint comes off my slacks.”
“Seek to Serve” was Salt Lake Highland High School Seminary’s goal. Instead of the usual cookies-and-punch party for one of their yearly socials, seminary leaders chose to devote a complete day of service to someone who really needed it.
A neighbor of one of the seminary teachers had been unable to take proper care of her home for some time. An elderly widow, she wasn’t up to the rigors of house painting and weed pulling.
But 171 seminary students were.
Nancy Harker, social chairman, organized the entire event. Tickets for the “social” were sold at $1.50 to raise money for plants, paints, seeds, and other supplies. Then on Saturday afternoon the party began.
As the students arrived they began sanding, scraping, and painting the entire house. Seven loads of debris were removed from the yard. Bushes were trimmed, trees pruned, and flower beds weeded and planted. A large portion of the backyard was cultivated and turned into a vegetable garden.
The widow supervised the project. “Oh, I just can’t believe this,” she said. “Here I am, not even a member of their church, and there are 171 young Mormons painting and cleaning up my house!”
Six hours later as the last weed was pulled and the last paint brush was being cleaned up, it was impossible to tell who was happier—the widow or the students. One participant summed up the feelings of most participants when he said, “I guess service is just realizing we’re all brothers and sisters.”
“Quiet on the set!”
Everyone’s attention focuses on the TV monitor as the camera picks up the scene of a family roasting marshmallows. It is a scene from an original television play, Do You Love Me, written by Shauna Wixom, a Laurel. Shauna is a member of her stake Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women television committee, which consists of a youth from each ward in the Blackfoot Idaho Stake. The monthly TV series, “That’s Life,” is presented over the local cable TV system. Equipment and help are provided by the cable company.
One purpose of the TV productions is to provide opportunities for development in fields not normally open to youth. The project has also proven successful in reactivation and missionary work. Words for the theme song, “That’s Life,” were written by a nonmember.
An adult specialist is chosen for each show to provide help when needed. The young people grow in leadership ability, confidence, knowledge of TV production, and responsibility. Their talents increase as they plan, prepare, direct, and produce these shows.
Members of the stake youth committee are Terri Lynn Baird, Chris Chaffin, Larry Whyte, Jody McCrory, Linda Jensen, Shauna Wixom, Maughan Parkinson, Vauna Gardner, and Mike George.
When farmers’ crops fail, it may mean difficult times, but for 47 members of the Church in Mexico a poor harvest also blocked their dreams of going to the Los Angeles Temple. When the seminary students from the La Canada First and Second Wards (La Crescenta California Stake) found out about the postponed trip, they sold cheese, sponsored movies, put on dinners, took inventories for department stores, and held their own fair to raise $3,500 to help the Mexican Saints.
The eight families from Mexico and two bus drivers then rode three days after waiting weeks for visas. Most of the men, farmers and laborers, had seen their area’s crops fail and had canceled their plans to visit the temple this year. The La Canada young people had decided there could be no more worthwhile project than helping the Mexican Saints go to the temple.
The California Saints were ready with a large “Bienvenidos” (welcome) sign when the group arrived, and they greeted their guests with many abrazos (hugs). Everyone moved from the parking lot to the chapel and sang, “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” and “Come, Come Ye Saints” in both Spanish and English. The Mexican members from Tezontepec and Conejos were welcomed by La Crescenta California Stake President Don L. Rogers and introduced to their host families.
The next day began with a chapel service after which the Mexican Saints went through a Spanish-speaking endowment session. In the afternoon they attended a sealing session. While the adults were in the temple, six of the young people who had traveled with the group and several La Canada seminary students performed baptisms for the dead. Another group of seminary youth served as baby-sitters in the nursery for the day.
After a day at the temple, the La Canada church members held a fiesta in honor of their guests. The cultural hall was decorated in red, green, and white, Mexico’s national colors, and the visitors were served some of their own national specialties—enchiladas, beans, rice, hot chiles, and fruit salad. The Mexican Saints were all introduced, and an informal program was staged by the hosting wards.
The next day was Saturday, and the La Canada youths were excited to show their guests some Southern California sights. The Mexican children especially loved the Mickey Mouse Parade at Disneyland.
The following day Mexican Branch President Tomás Gracia spoke at stake conference, expressing his love for those who had given so much to make the trip possible for his branch members. A fireside that evening gave everyone the opportunity to get better acquainted. The Saints from Mexico sang and answered questions as well as shared testimonies.
The next morning was a sad farewell as the visitors sang to their new American friends. The busload of strengthened Saints left with renewed determination to share their experiences in Mexico. For the seminary students of the La Canada wards it was hard to say goodbye, but knowing that the months of hard work had gone to help enrich and uplift others made the experience one of deep, quiet happiness.
“And when the ceremony is completed, you two will go forth from those sacred precincts, your thoughts on a high spiritual plane a ‘little lower than the angels.’” President Spencer W. Kimball further writes, “Hand in hand, with your eyes to the lights, you will go forth to conquer and build and love and exalt yourselves and your family.”
Young Latter-day Saints planning or just dreaming about marriage will be interested in President Kimball’s advice to newlyweds. The June issue of the New Era, featuring President Kimball’s message as well as information on requirements for a recommend, temple clothing and wedding dresses, the temple ceremony, and color photographs of temple rooms, is available for purchase. Copies are 40 cents each and may be bought from the New Era Business Office, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.