LDS Scene
July 1985

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, July 1985, 79–80

LDS Scene

It is possible to be prepared intellectually for going into space, said U.S. astronaut Don L. Lind after his recent flight, but the things one witnesses are “so overwhelming” that there is no way to be prepared for it emotionally. It was late on the second day of the Challenger space flight, which blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 29, before Brother Lind could get to the flight deck to gaze at the earth; prior to that time, he had been busy with scientific experiments he supervised. When he finally was able to see the planet, “it was just so overwhelming that I actually shed a tear.”

One has the impression of a blue planet, partially covered by white clouds, he recalled. The artist in him (he paints as a pastime) came out as he estimated it would take at least twenty colors just to depict the way the earth’s atmosphere grades out in different hues to its upper reaches. And then there were the magnificent vistas, such as the one that stretched from Spain to Moscow.

But the Challenger flight was a scientifically challenging experience, as daily news reports made clear, and the experiments he supervised yielded real treasure—miles of film and thousands of volumes of data. Recalling the Lord’s promise of great knowledge to be revealed in our times (see D&C 121:28–31), Brother Lind, a member of the Clear Lake Ward, Friendswood Texas Stake, said it has been a privilege “to see some of this scientific knowledge start to be revealed, to participate in that and to be involved in the very frontier areas of science.”

He credited Church teachings, including the Word of Wisdom and emphasis on education, with helping prepare him for the space flight opportunity, and faith with helping him and his family endure the preparation and possible dangers. His wife, particularly, could not have endured and supported him so well without the faith that she developed earlier in life, Brother Lind commented. “Kathleen learned to go to the Lord long ago and ask, ‘Heavenly Father, please let me know when he is safe and help me not to worry.’”

The Chilean government has expressed gratitude to the Church for its assistance following an earthquake March 3. The quake killed more than a hundred people and left thousands homeless. At the time, several LDS meetinghouses were made available for use as emergency medical centers; one may remain as a temporary hospital for months. Chile’s thanks was expressed on a bronze plaque presented to Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve and Elder A. Theodore Tuttle of the First Quorum of the Seventy, South America South Area President, by Dr. Winston Chinchon, Chilean minister of health. The inscription cited the Church’s “valuable help and noble gesture of friendship.”

Rex E. Lee, former solicitor general of the United States, will return to Brigham Young University as a part-time faculty member. He recently resigned from his government position to accept a position in the Washington office of a Chicago-based law firm and to teach selected seminars at BYU during the summer.

Nearly twenty-eight hundred students received graduate and undergraduate degrees at Brigham Young University commencement exercises April 19. The 2,789 graduates represented forty-eight of the United States and thirty-eight other countries. The graduates included music major Amy “Muffy” Bryson, just three months past her eighteenth birthday, the youngest person ever to graduate from BYU.

Bishop M. Tim Hitchhock of the McMinnville Ward, Chattanooga Tennessee Stake, is one of three winners of the 1984 Soil and Water Conservation Award in the United States. The award, for using new farming techniques to improve soil conservation, was presented at the White House by U.S. Vice President George Bush.

A Latter-day Saint family from Mesa, Arizona, was one of nine honored during the third annual Great American Family Awards Program in Washington, D.C., June 19. The family of Charles and Charlene Brown, Mesa Thirty-eighth Ward, Mesa Arizona Central Stake, was selected from among families nominated throughout the United States. Selection is based on how well judges feel the families foster individual growth, teamwork in the home, and friendship and service to others. The Browns have ten children living at home, five of their own nine and five children of her brother and his wife, who were killed three years ago.

The Southern California Mormon Choir left audiences in Australia and New Zealand singing their praises in the wake of a two-week tour during April. Impetus for the tour by the 200-member choir came from an invitation by the Australian government. The choir is well-known in Southern California and has visited Israel and Mexico, but this was the group’s first trip to the South Pacific. In addition to singing in seven concerts, choir members enjoyed a variety of spiritual and recreational activities.

(Top) The space shuttle Challenger lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with a seven-man crew, including LDS astronaut Don Lind. (Bottom) Brother Lind flashes the “thumbs up” sign from an experiment station during his recent shuttle flight. (Photos courtesy of NASA.)