The Times of Our Life

Wait till you see what we’ve seen. It will get you excited about your own future.

Think things are bad now? Why, when we were a kid … Seriously, when the New Era was born in 1971, things looked ugly (and we’re not just talking about the fashions). The Vietnam War, riots and protests everywhere—the whole world seemed in turmoil.

And since then? More wars, more turmoil, natural disasters. It would be easy to focus on those negative things. But that’s not the viewpoint the Lord wants us to have.

Wonderful things have been happening, too. Look at the advances in technology and medicine that bless so many lives. Most importantly, look at how the Lord’s work has been advancing. Check out the following timeline, and you’ll see the Lord’s hand at work, guiding his church, blessing the Saints. If the past is that bright, think how glorious the future must be—more temples, more missionaries, more members. The Lord’s work will spread throughout the world.







December Church membership is at 3,090,953

December 15,205 full-time missionaries serving

December The Church has 5,135 wards and branches

December The Church has 562 stakes

January 18 Ogden (Utah) Temple is dedicated

February 9 Provo (Utah) Temple is dedicated

July 2 President Joseph Fielding Smith dies; Harold B. Lee becomes the Church’s 11th President

July 30 The Argentina East Mission is created, the Church’s 100th mission

September The New Era publishes its first Mormonad

December The Church has 5,707 wards and branches

November 19–22 Washington (D.C.) Temple is dedicated

December 26 President Harold B. Lee dies; Spencer W. Kimball becomes the Church’s 12th President

July 24 The 28-story Church Office Building is dedicated

October 6–11 BYU observes its 100th anniversary

October 1 Members of the First Council of the Seventy and the Assistants to the Twelve are released and called to serve in the new First Quorum of the Seventy

December Church membership is at 3,742,749

July 1 The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing citizens 18 years of age and older to vote, is ratified

A one-pound loaf of bread costs 16 cents A frozen pizza costs 33 cents

September 5 Eleven Israeli athletes are killed by terrorists at the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany

Pong, the first computer game, hits the market

October 10 U.S. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigns from office

November 11 Egypt and Israel sign U.S.-sponsored cease-fire accord

February 5 19-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army

August 9 U.S. President Richard M. Nixon resigns from office

April 20 South Vietnam surrenders to North Vietnam, officially ending the Vietnam War

Both beta and VHS video cassette recorders are sold to the public

July 3 United States Supreme Court rules that the death penalty is a constitution- ally acceptable form of punishment

September 3 The American spaceship Viking 2 lands on Mars






January 1 The Church discontinues Friday sessions of General Conference

October 1 The Church publishes the Topical Guide to the Scriptures

December 25,264 full-time missionaries serving

June 9 All worthy males may receive the Melchizedek Priesthood

September 16 The first women’s meeting for all female Church members 12 and older is held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle

October 30 The São Paulo (Brazil) Temple is dedicated

February 18 The Church’s 1,000th stake is created, the Nauvoo Illinois Stake

December 29,454 full-time missionaries serving

December The Church has 7,235 wards and branches

March 2 A consolidated meeting schedule for members in the United States and Canada is announced for Sunday worship

April 6 The Church celebrates its 150th anniversary

October 27 Tokyo (Japan) Temple is dedicated

November 17–21 Seattle (Washington) Temple is dedicated

December 29,953 full-time missionaries serving

July 23 President Gordon B. Hinckley is called as the third counselor in the First Presidency

September 26 The first copies of the Church’s new triple combination are made available to Church members

November 16 Jordan River (Utah) Temple is dedicated

December Church membership is at 4,920,449

March 27 Two jumbo jets collide on Canary Islands, killing 581 people. It is the worst airline disaster in history

November 19 A cyclone in India kills more than 10,000

The first Apple II computer, with color graphic capabilities, is sold

October 16 Pope John Paul II assumes the Catholic Church’s papal throne

The first dot-matrix printer for personal computers is introduced

February 1 Ayatollah Khomeni assumes power in Iran after the Shah leaves the country

November 4 52 people are taken hostage in Teheran, Iran

The Rubik’s Cube is introduced

May 18 The Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington erupts, killing ten

March 30 U.S. President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in Washington, D.C.

October 6 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated in Cairo

Fax machines are sold commercially






April 2 The Church announces elders serving full-time missions will only labor for 18 months instead of the previous two years

December 26,606 full-time missionaries serving

June 1–4 Atlanta Georgia Temple is dedicated

August 5 Apia Samoa Temple is dedicated

August 9 Nuku‘alofa Tonga Temple is dedicated

September 15–17 Santiago Chile Temple is dedicated

October 27 Papeete Tahiti Temple is dedicated

December 2 Mexico City Temple is dedicated

May 25 Boise Idaho Temple is dedicated

September 20 Sydney Australia Temple is dedicated

September 25 Manila Philippines Temple is dedicated

October 19 Dallas Texas Temple is dedicated

November 17 Taipei Taiwan Temple is dedicated

November 26 Full-time missions are once again two-year callings

December 14 Guatemala City Temple is dedicated

June 29 Freiberg DDR Temple is dedicated

July 2 Stockholm Sweden Temple is dedicated

August Temples dedicated in Chicago, Illinois, and Johannesburg, South Africa

November 5 President Spencer W. Kimball dies; Ezra Taft Benson becomes the Church’s 13th President

December 14 Seoul Korea Temple is dedicated

December 29,265 full-time missionaries serving

January 10 Lima Peru Temple is dedicated

January 17 Buenos Aires Argentina Temple is dedicated

October 11 The first Churchwide Young Women activity attracts an estimated 300,000 young women

October 24 Denver Colorado Temple is dedicated

December Church membership is at 6,166,983

June 15 British forces defeat Argentina in the Falklands War

October The Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida, opens

The Jarvik 7 artificial heart is successfully implanted in a live patient

October 25 The United States invades the Caribbean island of Grenada, deposing the island’s Marxist government

A loaf of bread costs 69 cents

A frozen pizza costs 99 cents

April 17 The Soviet Union withdraws from the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California

October 12 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated

September 19–20 An earthquake registering 8.1 on the Richter Scale strikes central and southwestern regions of Mexico, killing an estimated 25,000

December 27 Attacks by Palestinian terrorists at airports in Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria, kill 20 people

January 28 The space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after liftoff in Florida. All seven crew members aboard are killed

April 28 Nuclear accident at Chernobyl power station in the Soviet Union






August 28 Frankfurt Germany Temple is dedicated

December 34,750 full-time missionaries serving

October The second set of Mormonad posters is printed

December The Church has 11,196 wards and branches

April 1–2 The Church creates the Second Quorum of the Seventy

August 19 Portland Oregon Temple is dedicated

December 16 Las Vegas Nevada Temple is dedicated

July Missions in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland are created

August 25 Toronto Ontario Temple is dedicated

December 44 temples open and in use by Church members

December 43,651 full-time missionaries serving

May 1 This dispensation’s 500,000th full-time missionary is called

June 24 The Russian Republic grants formal recognition to the Church

September At the conclusion of the school year, 290,304 students are enrolled in seminary

December Church membership is at 8,089,540

December The Church has 1,837 stakes

February 12 United States charges three people with illegal insider trading on Wall Street

December 21 Terrorist bomb explodes on Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland. The blast kills 259 aboard the plane, and 11 on the ground

The first commercial bungee- jumping platform is built near San Francisco, California

March 24 The ship Exxon Valdez strikes a reef in Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of oil. It is the largest oil spill in U.S. history

November 11 The Berlin Wall falls, signaling the end of Communism and allowing travel between East and West Germany

June 21 An earthquake registering 7.7 on the Richter Scale kills more than 50,000 and injures 100,000 in northwestern Iran

August 7 International forces of Operation Desert Shield leave for Saudi Arabia after Iraq invades Kuwait

January 15 Forces of Operation Desert Storm are mobilized during the war in the Persian Gulf





December 6 The Church reaches a milestone of 20,000 wards or branches when the Harvest Park Ward in the Granger (Utah) South Stake is created

September 25 The Church discontinues Sunday School opening exercises and hymn practice

April 25–30 San Diego California Temple is dedicated

May 30 President Ezra Taft Benson dies; Howard W. Hunter becomes the Church’s 14th President

September The third set of Mormonad posters is printed

October 9–11 Orlando Florida Temple is dedicated

December 11 The Mexico City Mexico Contreras Stake is created. It is the Church’s 2,000th stake

January 8–14 Bountiful Utah Temple is dedicated

March 3 President Howard W. Hunter dies; Gordon B. Hinckley becomes the Church’s 15th President

December Church membership is at 9,400,000 *

December 48,500 full-time missionaries serving *

April Euro Disney opens in France

April 29 Riots kill 52 people in and around Los Angeles, California

December 31 Per capita personal income in the United States is $20,817

May 31 Thousands are killed in Rwandan tribal warfare

November The Chunnel, a railroad under the English Channel that connects England and France, begins operations

June The space shuttle Atlantis hooks up with the Russian space station Mir in orbit

August The 50th anniversary of the end of World War II is commemorated

“How glorious is the past of this great cause. It is filled with heroism, courage, boldness, and faith. How wondrous is the present as we move forward to bless the lives of people wherever they will hearken to the message of the servants of the Lord. How magnificent will be the future as the Almighty rolls on His glorious work touching for good all who will accept and live His gospel” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 72).

[illustrations] Illustrated by Cary Henrie

Show References

  1.   *

    Based on year-end Church projections