LDS Scene

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, June 1975, 78–80

LDS Scene

Mormon Historians Meet

Three hundred and fifty registrants plus interested visitors had the meetings of the Mormon History Association bulging during its three-day April conference at Brigham Young University.

The ten-year-old group, consisting of historians and the historically interested from both The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, heard numerous papers and panels, participated in workshops, and enjoyed a presentation of “Liberty Jail,” a drama about Joseph Smith, written by Orson Scott Card and Robert Stoddard of Provo.

Employees of the Historical Department of the Church garnered two of the three awards given for publications during the last year: Dean Jessee for his book, Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons, and Gordon Irving for his article, “The Law of Adoption,” published in BYU Studies, Spring 1974.

The Mormon History Association numbers 692 members, 292 of them new this last year. They will meet in St. George, Utah, in 1976, and in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1977.

New Mission Presidents Announced

The First Presidency recently announced the callings of three new mission presidents and the transfer of one mission president to a newly formed mission.

Hendrik Gout of the Netherlands has been called to preside over the Indonesia Djakarta Mission. Von Rawlings Nielsen of Burlingame, California, will preside over the Florida Ft. Lauderdale Mission. George Patrick Lee, a Navajo Indian, will preside over the Arizona Holbrook Mission and his predecessor, Stanley D. Roberts, will be transferred to preside over the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission. President Lee is the first American Indian to serve as a mission president.

Sister Emma Marr Petersen Dies

Emma Marr Petersen, wife of Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Council of the Twelve, died April 15 after a lengthy illness. She had suffered a stroke June 13, 1974, and was at the home of a daughter in Salt Lake City.

Sister Petersen was a noted author and musician. In 1973 she was honored at Ricks College for “unselfish use of talents as a musician and writer.” She served in many ward and stake positions as organist and accompanist, and also in the auxiliaries and as a temple worker.

Elder and Sister Petersen were married August 30, 1923, in the Salt Lake Temple. She is survived by Elder Petersen, two daughters, and three grandchildren.

Genealogical Society Reemphasizes Policy

The Genealogical Society of the Church has announced that requests for copies of index cards from the Temple Index Bureau (TIB) and for copies of family group records can now be filled only when requested by direct-line relatives to the person whose record is sought.

A direct-line relative is one whose name appears on the person’s pedigree chart, as well as children of those whose names are on the chart.

This policy is an enforcement of regulations in the Records Submission Manual and is made necessary by increased demands on the society and by a current microfilming project. No request can be processed unless at least the name, year of birth, and state or country of birth are stated on the request form. These forms are number PFGS0073, available from the Church Distribution Center.

Relief Society Curriculum—A Summer First

When campus and singles Relief Societies meet this summer, their lessons will be conference talks: the first time the curriculum has been drawn exclusively from the current words of the prophets.

The text is the May 1974 Ensign. The teacher’s supplement, prepared by the Instructional Development Committee, focuses not on four addresses to be studied, but on four methods of teaching: the informal workshop, working toward scriptural understanding, analyzing the talk itself, and involving the group with such techniques as brainstorming and role-playing. Although certain talks are used as examples of these methods, the responsibility is the teacher’s to find the most relevant talks for her class.

Copies of the May Ensign are available from Church Magazines, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, at 50 cents a copy. The teacher’s supplement is available at Church Distribution, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104.

Public Communications Aides Honored

Church Public Communications aides from the Los Angeles area, Tucker Georgia Stake, and Louisiana Shreveport Mission were honored recently by the Brigham Young University Department of Communications.

They are Bert D. Lynn, coordinator of the Los Angeles Area Public Communications Council; Donald S. Conkey of Decatur, Georgia, public communications director for Tucker Georgia Stake; and former Louisiana Shreveport Mission president Golden K. Driggs and his former mission public communications director, Michael E. Johnson, now a BYU student.

Two and a half years ago, public communications aides began working in each stake and mission in the Church to provide the mass media with news of interest about the Church. These aides have also provided Church publications with information from their areas. Brother Lynn’s projects have included the Southern California Dance Festival, which attracted more than 60,000 spectators to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena; a program to spotlight the Los Angeles Temple visitors center, resulting in a doubling of tourist visits; a senior citizens month; and a Good Samaritans award program. As an area coordinator, Brother Lynn is in charge of the entire Los Angeles area.

Brother Lynn joined the Church in 1966. Professionally, he is responsible for all the advertising and promotional activities of Western Airlines’ international system.

Brother Conkey was cited for successful placement of television and radio specials and public service programming about the Church on Georgia stations. He assisted in arranging the visit of BYU President Dallin H. Oaks to Atlanta, and also directs a training program for ward and stake public communications aides. Brother Conkey is editor of several trade magazines and author of a book on genealogy.

President Driggs and Elder Johnson represented many in the Louisiana Shreveport Mission who have worked in public communications. Their successes have included a Family Unity Week, weekly inspirational messages used by 30 newspapers, placement of President Kimball’s Christmas message on 17 television and 114 radio stations, and his Easter message on 27 television and 133 radio stations, and wide publication of stories about the Washington Temple and Pioneer Day.

Temple Closures Shortened

The First Presidency has asked temple presidents to limit the summer closing of each temple in the Church to two weeks instead of the usual four weeks.

The change will be in effect this summer, with the understanding that in rare situations where extensive remodeling is required, “an exception might need to be considered.”

New temple schedules will be printed to reflect the change.

Two Sculptures Planned at BYU

Brigham Young University has announced that two works of sculpture will be added to the campus as part of this year’s centennial class gift.

“Windows of Heaven,” a 30-foot sculpture of steel and colored glass by artist Frank Riggs, will be placed at the south end of the mall between the Engineering and Technology Building and the Widtsoe Building in August.

Another work, “The Tree of Wisdom” by artist Frank Nackos, will be located between the Harris Fine Arts Center and the Wilkinson Center.

“I am pleased that the student body has chosen to enhance the beauty of our campus with these two fine pieces of sculpture,” President Dallin H. Oaks said.

New Music Handbook Available

A new edition of the Handbook for Church Music, the basic reference for music in the Church, is now available through the Distribution Center.

This handbook provides essential information for music advisers, chairmen, auxiliary music personnel, and all priesthood-directed music personnel. This new edition includes the latest directions in the Church music program and answers many questions on organizing music in local units of the Church. These include policy information on congregational singing, choirs, organ and piano, music for stake conferences, instrumental music, and music for youth.

Handbooks are available on order number PBMU0031 from the General Church Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104. They sell for 40 cents each.

1,800 Attend Adelaide Australia Stake Luau

Several thousand dollars have gone to the building fund for a stake center and meetinghouse in the Adelaide Australia Stake as the result of a two-day Polynesian luau, attended by 1,800 members and nonmembers.

The project was headed by Bishop Desmond R. Trudgen of the Modbury Ward. Sister Merekaraka-Tipoki Caesar, a convert of six months and chieftainess of the Ngati-Ka-hungunu tribe of New Zealand, invited some of her family to entertain. The authentic luau feast was prepared under the direction of other Maori members.

Besides contributing to the building fund, President Allen M. Swan of the Australia Adelaide Mission reported that the event and the publicity surrounding it had a great proselyting effect.

Member in Tahiti to Head Youth Organization

President Jean Tefan, second counselor in the Tahiti Papeete Stake presidency, has been elected to a two year-term as president of the Federation des Oeuvres de la Jeunesse de Polynesie Francaise.

The federation has 6,000 members in Tahiti, all leaders of various service-oriented youth groups.

President Tefan served a mission in Tahiti, was called to be a bishop at age 23, and is now a counselor in the stake presidency at age 26. He also works as assistant director of the Church primary school in Papeete. He is married and has two daughters.

Youth Spend Vacation As Missionaries

Seventeen young members in Tahiti chose to spend their last two-week school vacation working with the full-time missionaries instead of going to the beach. Some traveled as far as a day’s boat ride from their homes to where the missionaries were working. One youth had only been a member for one week before joining the program.

Elder Jacques Gohier, assistant to the mission president, reported that they did “a fantastic job” and were “even an uplift” for the full-time missionaries. “There are already more applications than can be used for next vacation,” he said. “We ran into just one problem: some of the boys were so excited they were ready to quit high school and leave right then for two years.”

Young members in Tahiti do missionary work with full-time elders.