LDS Scene

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Feb. 1980, 80

LDS Scene

As 1979 closed, President Spencer W. Kimball continued to convalesce following his second operation for subdural hematoma. His doctors said that he could “now begin a gradual resumption of his normal work,” and part of December was spent in light work at home while convalescing.

Two General Authorities have received new assignments. Elder A. Theodore Tuttle of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy has been called to preside over the Provo Temple, succeeding President Orville C. Gunther. Elder Robert L. Simpson of the First Quorum of the Seventy has been called to be president of the Los Angeles Temple, replacing President Richard C. Stratford. Both changes were in effect at the first of the year.

Regarding the Equal Rights Amendment: In response to queries growing out of the December excommunication of Sonia Johnson, former member of the Sterling Park (Virginia) Ward, her bishop explained that Mrs. Johnson’s stand on the ERA was not the reason for her excommunication.

In a letter (later made public) to Mrs. Johnson, Bishop Jeffrey H. Willis said, “As you know, I have at no time tried to dissuade you from seeking the ratification of the amendment. I have counseled with you relative to your support of the Church leaders and doctrine.” He stated that other members of the Church support the ERA, “and to the best of my knowledge no Church action has been taken, nor is their membership in question.”

Jerry Cahill, director of press relations for the Church, emphasized that while the Church opposes passage of the ERA, it supports equal rights for women.

Visitors to the 1980 Winter Olympics will have a chance to learn about the Church. The Church’s Lake Placid Visitors Center opened in December, in preparation for the February Winter Olympics. The center is on the ground floor of a new hotel—an ideal location for the displays to be seen by athletes, spectators, and workers.

A slide show features Scott Bringhurst, a marathon runner and member of the Church. Printed materials at the center will be in the three official languages of the Olympics—English, French, and German.

Hundreds hear about “art as vision” at a Brigham Young University Symposium. Its College of Humanities, with funding from the Utah Endowment for the Humanities, recently sponsored a symposium featuring three of the foremost living scholars in the humanities.

The keynote speaker, from the University of Toronto, was Northrup Frye, considered to be the most influential literary critic and theorist of the century. Also speaking were Brewster Ghiselin, professor emeritus of English at the University of Utah, who read and discussed poetry and the creative process, and John Fraccero of both Yale and Stanford, who spoke on Dante’s three-part structure of vision taken from Augustine in the Divine Comedy.

As part of his larger discussion on “Visions and Dreams,” Professor Frye referred to the pattern of metaphors and similes that “starts with effects and makes you search for causes, moving backwards in time” and pointed out that the Bible, using a system of types and symbols, moves “forward.” As Augustine said, the Old Testament is “revealed” in the New Testament; the New Testament is “concealed” in the Old. Typology thus “throws the mind forward” and becomes “the language of hope and vision, not only for the Bible but for a whole way of life. In spite of mankind’s folly and cruelty, events are going somewhere, meaning something, and that meaning will be revealed.”