“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Oct. 1985, 80
Services held July 28 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the unveiling of the Angel Moroni Monument atop the Hill Cumorah. President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, expressed gratitude at the meeting for the restoration of the gospel, heralded in part by Moroni’s coming. He spoke to a crowd of several thousand gathered at the hill where the monument was first unveiled 21 July 1935. President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve turned 86 on August 4. He spent the day attending Church services and then was honored at a family gathering in the evening. On August 2, he was honored by other General Authorities and associates at an informal reception in the Church Administration Building. President Benson was born in 1899 in Whitney, Idaho. He has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve since 7 October 1943, and its president since 30 December 1973.
J. Willard Marriott, St., former president of the Washington D.C. Stake, internationally known businessman and philanthropist, died August 13. The First Presidency issued a statement expressing sadness at the passing of “a man whose accomplishments in business and industry provided an unparalleled example of integrity. Even greater than these accomplishments was his devotion to God, his family, and his country.” President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; President Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve; and Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve all spoke at Brother Marriott’s funeral. J. Willard Marriott, Sr., who started his business career with a small root beer stand in Washington, D.C., founded a corporation which today operates 2,500 fast food restaurants, 125 hotels, the largest airline catering service in the world, amusement parks, and cruise ships. His philanthropy made possible the Marriott Center (used for a variety of Church, athletic, educational, and social activities) at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; the Marriott Library at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City; and the J. Willard Marriott Allied Health Sciences Building, now under construction at Weber State College in Ogden, Utah. His generosity also extended anonymously to many individuals. His contributions to his country included work on committees which planned two inaugurations of United States’ presidents and service as executive chairman of the Honor America Committee organizing patriotic celebrations. Brother Marriott, who was a member of the Church’s Military Relations Committee, was eighty-four at his death. He is survived by his wife, Alice, and his sons J. Willard, Jr., and Richard.
Approximately 13,000 dancers filled the field while some 100,000 people watched the fourth LDS Rose Bowl Dance Festival July 20 in Pasadena, California. The young dancers came from Church units throughout the southern half of California to participate in events on a scale larger than those that opened the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. National, state, and local government officials and other dignitaries attended, and United States President Ronald Reagan sent a taped message praising the youth and their leaders for their “commitment to excellence.” The theme of the program was a celebration of life in America.