“Symposium for LDS Deaf Held in Salt Lake City,” Ensign, Oct. 1986, 77
From July 18 to 21, deaf members of the Church from throughout the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, Ireland, and Norway were in Salt Lake City attending the Church’s first symposium for the deaf. The symposium was designed for Latter-day Saints whose hearing is severely impaired and for their Church leaders.
Sessions were conducted at the LDS Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah campus, and in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. Classes and workshops focused on studying the scriptures, building a testimony, strengthening marriage and family, and functioning within Church programs.
Elder Rex D. Pinegar, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and adviser to the Church’s special curriculum department, spoke to some five hundred people at a fireside. Speaking through a signing interpreter, Elder Pinegar noted that members need no voice to speak or ears to hear to communicate with their Heavenly Father. He assured his audience that “there are no barriers between us and Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Their communication can come clearly and fully and surely.”
He acknowledged the challenges faced by deaf members, but said, “We cannot permit circumstances, difficulties, or moods to conquer us and make us feel defeated. We need to develop the faith, courage, and confidence to overcome the obstacles presented in daily life.”
During the symposium, Church leaders and teachers were introduced to various methods and resources for working with those whose hearing is impaired. Other events included a priesthood meeting for leaders and presentations by deaf groups from different locations throughout the United States.