The LDS Scene

“The LDS Scene,” Ensign, June 1974, 69–72

The LDS Scene

Elder Monson Elected Trustee

Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of the Twelve has been elected a trustee of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1949, Freedoms Foundation aims to contribute to the development of responsible citizenship and to make Americans proud of America through educational programs and an annual awards program.

Elder Hanks Named to Fitness Council

Elder Marion D. Hanks, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, has been appointed by President Richard M. Nixon to his Council on Physical Fitness. Serving with Elder Hanks will be men and women prominent in sports and physical education. This is the second time that Elder Hanks has been appointed to such a governmental position. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him to the United States President’s Citizens Advisory Committee on Youth Fitness.

In recent weeks, Elder Hanks also was elected president of the Rotary Club of Salt Lake City.

Ricks Confers Honors

Elder Sterling W. Sill, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, recently received the Distinguished Service Award from Ricks College for his contribution to the arts and humanities.

In presenting the award, Ricks College president Dr. Henry B. Eyring cited Elder Sill as “a master teacher who has dipped into the great reservoir of significant thought and scripture in order to teach the will of the Lord.”

Also honored at Ricks was Florence Smith Jacobsen, former general president of the YWMIA. Sister Jacobsen received the Exemplary Womanhood Award from the Ricks College women students for her concern for young people and her 11 years of dedicated leadership as head of the young women’s program of the Church.

Named as the 1974 Woman of the Year at Ricks was 19-year-old student Rozell Johnson, daughter of Brother and Sister Gordon Johnson of Sugar City, Idaho. The award is presented to those who are “outstanding spiritually and scholastically and examples for other girls to follow.”

Sister Kimball Honored

Sister Camilla Eyring Kimball, wife of President Spencer W. Kimball, was presented a special “Ka Hoa Pono” award at commencement exercises at the Church College of Hawaii. Ka Hoa Pono means “the righteous companion,” and the students at the college honored her with the award for her 57 years as a righteous companion to President Kimball and for her “personification of the qualities and characteristics of ideal Latter-day Saint womanhood.”

Mormons in Film

Several Latter-day Saints have helped to produce a new motion picture, Where the Red Fern Grows. Based on a popular children’s book by Wilson Rawls, the movie was produced by Lyman Dayton, a former student at Brigham Young University; the screenplay for the film was written by Douglas Stewart and Eleanor Lamb Stewart of BYU’s Department of Motion Picture Production; five songs were especially written by the Osmond Brothers; the score was written by Lex de Azevedo; and the leading role is played by 13-year-old Stewart Petersen, a deacon in the Cokeville Ward, Montpelier Idaho Stake.

Filmed on location, Where the Red Fern Grows deals with the true story of a boy growing up in the Ozarks.

Nominated to Top Education Post

Dr. T. H. Bell, a member of the Capitol Hill Second Ward, Salt Lake Stake, has been nominated new United States Commissioner of Education.

For Brother Bell, currently superintendent of the Granite School District in Salt Lake City and a member of the Sunday School General Board, this would be his second term in the nation’s capital.

In 1970 he resigned as superintendent of public instruction in Utah to accept the position of associate commissioner for regional offices in the United States Office of Education. That same year he was named acting U.S. commissioner and then deputy commissioner for school systems. He resigned from this position in 1971 to return to Salt Lake City.

Brother and Sister Bell are the parents of four sons, one in high school, two in junior high school, and one not yet in school. Even though their father may be the new U.S. commissioner, Sister Bell says that her three school-age sons do not always make As. “But they do enjoy school. They like their classes and their school activities. The move to Washington, D.C., will mean that they will have to leave behind their friends, of course, but they are very happy for their father in this nomination.”

Of the responsibility, Brother Bell says that he hopes to be able to bring national attention to the importance of the home. In an interview he said, “There is a great awareness, both on the part of school people and parents, of the vital role the home plays in education. People, by and large, are conscientious, and there is a feeling of ‘how can we do better?’”

Negative Collection

A priceless collection of 3,000 glass plate negatives has been donated to Brigham Young University. The work of pioneer Mormon photographer George Edward Anderson (Ensign, September 1973), the negatives depict life in central Utah during the late 1880s.

The acquisition is the second-largest Anderson collection in existence, according to Nelson B. Wadsworth, BYU assistant professor of communications, who is doing research for a book on the photographer.

About 75 percent of the collection is made up of portraits and landscapes taken in studios in Manti and Springville, Utah, and in a portable tent-gallery which Brother Anderson used as he traveled throughout the area.

Singers Win Medal

A group of young Americans who seek to inspire their fellow citizens to “Discover Your America” has been named recipient of its fourth George Washington Medal presented by the Freedoms Foundation, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Called the Grand Land Singers, the group is comprised of 100 young people, including some nonmembers, and has gained national recognition not only for its performances of patriotic songs, but also for its program to rekindle the flame of patriotism in the home, the community, and in schools and colleges.

From the 100 members, 35 to 50 are selected to perform, while the remainder are involved as technical crews, hostesses, developers, and administrators for the “Discover Your America” project that offers suggestions for week-long activities and programs aimed at promoting pride in the nation.

The group was formed in 1967 under the auspices of the Institute of Religion at Cerritos College, Cerritos, California.

National President

Douglas O. Woodruff, a member of the Ensign Third Ward, Salt Lake Ensign Stake, is the new president of the six million-member American Association of Retired Persons. A grandson of former Church president Wilford Woodruff, Brother Woodruff has long been associated with the organization of which he is now president. He was president of the Salt Lake City chapter, state director for Utah, and area vice-president and president-elect. Prior to retirement, he held several positions at the University of Utah, his alma mater. In other interests, Brother Woodruff organized the Utah Skating Club and was a member of the 1960 Olympic Skating Committee. Married, with two daughters, Brother Woodruff has served in many positions in the Church.

Heads 1,000th Expedition

Dr. Ray L. Matheny, an anthropologist at Brigham Young University, is leading the National Geographic Society’s 1,000th scientific expedition.

The expedition, which marks a milestone in the society’s 86-year history of worldwide exploration, is to the ancient Maya ceremonial center of Edzna near Campeche on the western side of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

Dr. Matheny, with two graduate students, Deanne Gurr and Michael Hironymous, heads a 15-man team to study a complex, pre-Mayan canal and reservoir system that he discovered in 1971. Since his initial discovery, Dr. Matheny has surveyed a network of some 30 canals, totaling more than 12 miles in length, and 25 large reservoirs that once supported agricultural operations for a large civilization. Some of the canals are 50 or more yards wide.

The month-long expedition, now underway, is being cosponsored by BYU and the New World Archaeological Foundation, with the cooperation of the Mexican government.

LDS Director Wins Oscar

The Great American Cowboy, a full-length documentary produced and directed by Kieth Merrill of the Los Altos Second Ward, Menlo Park California Stake, recently garnered an Oscar at the annual Academy Awards presentations.

Selected from a total of 31 entries in the documentary category, the film traces the year-long competition between two championship rodeo cowboys. It was filmed in 15 states and Canada.

In addition to the recognition of the film by the award of an Oscar, the documentary also has been honored by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center.

Brother Merrill, a native of Farmington, Utah, where his parents still live, graduated in communications from Brigham Young University in 1967. It was at BYU that he met his wife, the former Dragny Johnson. They have four daughters.

Working with Brother Merrill on the film were Alan Cassidy, assistant director and sound engineer and another graduate of BYU, and Reed Smoot of BYU’s Department of Motion Picture Production as one of the principal cameramen.

As he accepted the Oscar, Brother Merrill, who also was a photographer for the award-winning documentary, said, “I want to thank three special people: my mom, who taught me to believe in God and in uncompromising principles; my father, who taught me to believe in myself; and my wife, who taught me to believe in the principles the other two taught me.”

Miss Curaçao Visits The U.S.

Ingeborg Zielinski, a member of the Church from Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, recently toured the United States as a goodwill ambassador in her role as Miss Curaçao.

Sister Zielinski, the 11th child from a family of 12, represented her island in the 1973 Miss Universe competition. As a university student in Holland, Sister Zielinski met Latter-day Saint missionaries who were holding a street meeting. One month later she was baptized. Returning to Curaçao she was the only Latter-day Saint for one year until another member of the Church moved to the island. Since then two member couples have moved to the island that has a population of 150,000.

Sister Zielinski says that during the year when she was alone she knew that her “iron rod” had to be the Word of Wisdom. “I was attracted to the Church,” she says, “by the moral standards that the missionaries presented. I had always tried to live these same standards and their message struck a responsive chord.”

As Miss Curaçao, a title held in 1963–64 by her sister, Sister Zielinski feels that she has the opportunity to tell the story of the Church. “I have had people write to me who read of me in a newspaper story or heard me on radio or saw me on television, and they want to know more about the Church. I always try to tell people of my beliefs and of the standards I live as a member of the Church.”

BYU Receives Donations

Two substantial gifts have recently been received by Brigham Young University. Property worth an estimated $2 million was donated by former BYU president, Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson and Sister Wilkinson, and an anonymous donor. Proceeds from the Wilkinson property will be used to establish a new George Sutherland Chair in the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU, for financing the Ernest L. and Alice L. Wilkinson Loan and Scholarship fund to assist students, and for the use of the president of BYU for the purposes of advancing the university.

Another gift of property valued at $240,000 has been made by Brother and Sister Clinton Hall of Hurricane, Utah, who have placed 240 acres of land in trust with the Church and the university. Half of the proceeds from the property will be used for the BYU Genealogy Research Center and the other half for the Church Missionary Trust Fund.

Dr. T. H. Bell

George Edward Anderson

Representatives of the Grand Land Singers recently traveled from California to the headquarters of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to receive the George Washington Honor Medal awarded in recognition of their efforts to help Americans be proud of America. Seen here with the medal, front row, left to below: Raymond E. Furgeson, adviser to the Grand Land Singers; singers Valerie Mundell and Marilyn Frazier; Harold K. Johnson, General, U.S. Army (Ret.), president of the Freedoms Foundation; and Lt. Col. Ralph George, president of the Grand Land Singers. On the back row are the singing group’s directors, Randy Dalton; Jeff Frazier; and Capt. Brian Steadman, technical director. Although serving full time with the U.S. armed services, both Brother George and Brother Steadman find time for participation in the Grand Land Singers.

The Grand Land Singers

Douglas O. Woodruff

Kieth Merrill

Ingeborg Zielinski