The Times of Our Life

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    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.

    1971

    1972

    1973

    1974

    1975

    1976

    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

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    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

    1982

    1983

    1984

    1985

    1986

    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

    1987

    1988

    1989

    1990

    1991

    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

    1992

    1993

    1994

    1995

    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).

    Illustrated by Cary Henrie

    Show References

    • Based on year-end Church projections