LDS Scene
July 1978

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, July 1978, 79

LDS Scene

The First Presidency is giving its support to programs to immunize children against preventable diseases. “We urge members of the Church … to protect their own children through immunization. Then they may wish to join other public-spirited citizens in efforts to eradicate ignorance and apathy that have caused the disturbingly low levels of childhood immunization.”

The statement by the First Presidency cites reports that in the United States, some twenty million children have not been immunized against potentially serious diseases:

“Reports that increasing numbers of children are not being immunized against preventable childhood diseases deeply concern us. In the United States alone approximately 20 million children, 40 percent of those 14 years old or younger, have not been adequately immunized against polio, measles, German measles (rubella), diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), mumps and tetanus.

“Every parent who has agonized when these diseases have maimed or brought premature death to their children would join us, we are certain, in a plea to mobilize against these deadly enemies.

“Immunization is such a simple, yet vital, matter and such a small price to pay for protection against these destroying diseases. …

“Failure to act could subject untold thousands to preventable lifelong physical or mental impairment, including paralysis, blindness, deafness, heart damage, and mental retardation.

“Immunization campaigns in the United States and other nations, if successful, will end much needless suffering and erase the potential threat of epidemics. Such efforts are deserving of our full support.”

Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has been awarded the Silver Buffalo, Scouting’s highest recognition. A member of the Quorum of the Twelve since 1963, he has been on the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, and was a member of the Church’s General Church Scouting Committee for ten years.

The second in a series of four Church-sponsored inserts is being published in the July Reader’s Digest.

The eight-page advertisement insert discusses the diversity of roles of men and women in the family and in society. The insert runs in the U.S. and German editions of the magazine, which have a combined readership of 50,480,000. The other two inserts are scheduled for September and December.

It started when two sisters, Kelly-Ann and Sharon Nield, members of the Church in Rhodesia, heard traveling performing groups from Brigham Young University. After hearing the Sounds of Freedom and the Young Ambassadors, they decided they, too, should sing together. They did, and this year the two teenagers won the Rhodesian national talent contest. They also have performed for military groups in Rhodesia.

The Keith Christensens of Moraga, California, don’t think they want to go skiing again. The last time they wen—which was the first time they had skied together as a family—they came close to death. Brother Christensen, his wife, Beth, and their three sons—Scott, Mark, and Brad—were among fifty passengers on a tram at Squaw Valley, California, when a cable broke. Four people were killed, and thirty were injured. The Christensens escaped injury, except for a cut on four-year-old Bradley’s lip. Several young Church members attending a youth conference in the Reno Region were not riding the tram when the incident occurred.

“Our family was calm because we were okay, and we knew it. And we knew how to pray, and we did that over and over again,” says Sister Christensen. Bradley was rescued from the tram about three and one-half hours after the mishap, and the other members of the family were rescued within another three hours.

The Christensens are members of the Lafayette Ward, Oakland California Stake.

Two Brigham Young University films recently won top honors at the Industrial Film Festival at Chicago, Illinois. The Mailbox took the top award, the gold camera award; The Phone Call was awarded a silver screen award for second place. BYU was the only university with prizewinning films.

BYU’s Young Ambassadors have become the first student entertainment group from the university to perform in the Soviet Union. BYU President Dallin H. Oaks joined the troupe for part of their tour in Poland and the Soviet Union. The Young Ambassadors appeared in Warsaw, Kracow, Moscow, and Kiev.

The group is one of six major performing tours this summer. The twenty-seven members of the Lamanite Generation are performing in Scandinavia. President Oaks is guest speaker at the July 4 Ribald Festival in Denmark, where the Lamanite Generation will perform.

The American Folk Dancers are on their fourteenth consecutive tour of Europe this summer, performing in Italy, France, Israel, and England.

The 63-member A Cappella Choir performed in June in Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean.

Groups traveling within the United States are the cast of Shenandoah, which toured the Northwest earlier this year; and the Young Ambassadors national team, touring in the Eastern United States and Canada.