“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Jan. 1977, 96
The king of Tonga now holds a degree from Brigham Young University. In ceremonies held at Brigham Young University—Hawaii Campus on 20 October 1976, King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV received an honorary doctor of humanities degree. A strong advocate of education for his 90,000 subjects, King Tupou expressed his pleasure at the Mormon influence in Tonga, where present Church membership is 15,000. The Church operates a dozen schools in Tonga.
The Church has been awarded one of 70 Certificates of Merit in the 23rd annual National Landscape Awards program in 1976 for the beautiful landscaping around the Washington Temple. First Lady Betty Ford presented the award for the landscaping designed by Church landscape architect Irvin T. Nelson, recently retired from the Church Operations and Maintenance Division. The awards program is sponsored by the American Association of Nurserymen.
“Home Is Heaven on Earth” will be the theme of the Church’s float in the 1977 Rose Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. California. Depicting the theme will be the Osmonds, a famous Latter-day Saint entertaining group, who will ride the float as a family. Because last year’s float was considered a success as a missionary tool, it was decided to enter again this year. The float will be paid for by donations from Church members in the region.
It’s not every day that a high school choir gets to represent an entire state in the nation’s capital, but that’s what the largely LDS Orem High School A Cappella Choir got to do. Also representing the state of Utah in the Bicentennial Parade of American Music in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts were BYU’s American Folk Dancers. The two groups gave joint performances on November 11 and 12.
While in Washington, D.C., the BYU Folk Dancers stopped by the White House to present a trophy to the people of the United States from the people of Israel. The 30-inch trophy was given to the Folk Dancers last summer while they were participating in the Second International Folklore Festival of Israel in Haifa.
Marion Jones Callister is the first Latter-day Saint ever to hold the office of U.S. District Judge in the state of Idaho. A former bishop and stake president now serving the Church as a scoutmaster, he was U.S. Attorney for Idaho prior to his appointment as judge. He and his wife, Nina Lynn Hayes Callister, have raised twelve children and eight foster children.
The Golden Eagle Award once again found its way to BYU’s Motion Picture Studio. Following up on the success of BYU’s Cipher in the Snow two years ago, the films The Great Dinosaur Discovery and Coronary Counterattack will now represent the United States in international film festivals. Dinosaur Discovery is the story of paleontologist Jim Jensen’s dream come true—the discovery of the world’s largest dinosaur, a sauropod more than sixty feet tall, a hundred feet long, and weighing over a hundred tons. Coronary Counterattack is a physical fitness film following up on BYU’s best-selling film Run Dick, Run Jane.