LDS Scene
November 1973

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Nov. 1973, 92–93

LDS Scene

One member of the Church who is no armchair traveler is Brother Malcolm Rea of the Brisbane Ward, Brisbane Stake, Australia. Brother Rea recently returned from leading a historical expedition into the Cape York area of Northern Australia, one of that nation’s last frontier regions.

With six companions selected from a flood of applicants from all over the continent, he rode horseback more than 450 miles along the route of a telegraph line constructed in the 1880s.

Like the explorers who preceded them, these modern adventurers carried their supplies by packhorse. Altogether they used 39 horses obtained from cattle stations along the way.

The group’s progress captured the imagination of many Australians, and newspapers and radio and television carried daily reports on their activities. The reports were received by means of connecting a portable telephone to the telegraph wires that still exist.

The expedition, over hot, sandy plains and into the tropical jungles of the peninsula was conceived over a five-year period by Brother Rea. As part of the trek, a monument was unveiled in recognition of the early-day explorers, surveyors, and constructors who developed the 395-mile overland and undersea telegraph line.

Brother Rea is the Australian Post Office historian for the State of Queensland, and is also secretary of the Post Office Historical Society of Queensland. He is married, has four children, and serves as stake priesthood executive secretary and public relations director for the Brisbane Stake.

President Harold B. Lee was the recipient of this year’s Exemplary Manhood Award from the Associated Men Students of Brigham Young University. The award was presented in a devotional assembly on the BYU campus that drew a record crowd of 23,200 to the Marriott Center. Recipients of the award in previous years have included other Church leaders, and government officers, businessmen, and sportsmen.

In receiving the award, President Lee urged the students to gain a testimony “that goes down into your heart like fire,” that the power of God rests upon the leaders of the Church. He also advised his listeners that “learning by faith is no task for a lazy man. Someone has said in effect that such a process requires the bending of the whole soul—the calling up from the depths of the human mind and linking them with God. It makes those who follow this course great in the sight of the Lord,” he said.

President Lee also endorsed the statement made in an earlier assembly by Dallin H. Oaks, president of BYU. Dr. Oaks, in his address at the opening of the new school semester, said, “Let us banish forever the illusion that Brigham Young University exists for any purpose other than to provide a university education.”

“Our reason for being is to be a university. Your reason for enrolling is to pursue a university education. Persons who are here for any other reason or who fail to measure up to this challenge with all their hearts and abilities have come to the wrong place.”

Prior to the beginning of the new semester, President Marion G. Romney, second counselor in the First Presidency, presided at the opening of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU.

The creation of the school was announced two and one-half years ago, and since then work has been underway bringing together a faculty and creating a law library. The law school faculty is headed by Dean Rex E. Lee, and the library already houses 100,000 law volumes. The charter class is comprised of 10 women and 146 men, one-third of whom are from Utah, with the remaining two-thirds from 24 states and one Canadian province.

While construction of the law school is underway classes are being conducted in temporary quarters.

Although the South American country of Chile is going through a period of political change, word received by the First Presidency of the Church was that both members and missionaries were safe. There were no indications that any of the local Saints had suffered injury or had been killed, the First Presidency said.

Mark Evans Austad, a member of the Chevy Chase Ward, Washington (D.C.) Stake, has been named by President Richard M. Nixon as one of three public members of the United States delegation to the 28th General Assembly of the United Nations.

Brother Austad, better known in the United States by his professional name of Mark Evans, is vice president for public affairs of Metromedia, Inc.

Active in numerous national organizations, Brother Austad also has served as chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Ball committee in 1969, and has been chairman of the Cherry Blossom Festival in the nation’s capital. Among his many other duties he currently is serving as chairman of the District of Columbia’s celebrations for the U.S. bicentennial.

Brother Austad is now a Sunday School teacher. He is married to the former Lola Brown, and they have three children.

Malcolm Rea