LDS Scene
November 1986

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 110

LDS Scene

The first New York/ New Jersey bi-regional conference was held September 14 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, urged members from seven stakes to “keep the faith.” The conference was simultaneously translated into Spanish, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese. Talks were also “signed” for deaf members. Other General Authorities present were Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve and Elder Derek A. Cuthbert of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

All of New Zealand’s regional representatives, stake presidencies, mission presidents, and temple presidents gathered for the first time in Auckland recently to meet with two General Authorities. Elder James E. Faust of the Council of the Twelve and Elder F. Arthur Kay of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Second Counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency discussed with the priesthood leaders matters pertaining to the Church in New Zealand.

Sister Beverly Johnson Call, wife of President Waldo P. Call of the First Quorum of the Seventy, died in Salt Lake City October 7 after undergoing open heart surgery. Sister Call had been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where President Call serves in the South America Area Presidency. She was born in Los Angeles, California, 31 March 1930, to David Ellis and Donalea Robinson Johnson. She served a mission in Mexico and married Brother Call 30 August 1950, in the Arizona Temple. Sister Call is survived by her husband, seven children, and a number of grandchildren.

President Franklin L. McKean of the Brazil Recife Mission died 3 October 1986 of a heart attack. President McKean, 67, had served as mission president since March 1986. Prior to that, he and his wife, Eileen, had been missionaries at the São Paulo Temple since June 1985. He retired from the University of Utah as dean of student affairs and services in 1983 and was also a retired major general in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Ardeth G. Kapp, Young Women general president, received Lambda Delta Sigma’s Elect Lady Award at that organization’s annual Founder’s Day Luncheon recently in Salt Lake City. This award is presented annually to a woman in the community or in Lambda Delta Sigma whose life has been one of service and exemplary womanhood. Lambda Delta Sigma, the Church-sponsored sorority for college-age women, has fifty-nine chapters on various college and university campuses in the United States and Canada.

A weekly one-hour radio program designed for Latter-day Saints in Hawaii recently began to be broadcast on radio station KORL in Honolulu. The program, titled “More Good News and Music,” features LDS music and performers, excerpts from the Church’s Broadcast News Service, and dramatizes episodes from the Book of Mormon. The program, which was developed by public communications missionary Bart Tollefson, airs every Sunday at 8:00 A.M.

More than six hundred members from the Kowloon Hong Kong Region participated in track and field events at a regional sports day held September 19 in Hong Kong. Family-oriented games and activities involved Saints of all ages, from Primary children to parents. During the opening ceremonies, young women from the region released hundreds of balloons carrying written messages of hope and faith.

Eighty seminary students from several wards in Caracas, Venezuela, recently held a “Super Saturday” to give them a sample taste of missionary life. Approaching nonmembers on the streets, the students acquired 110 missionary referrals in thirty minutes. The students later met at a chapel, where a testimony meeting lasted an hour as student after student bore testimony about the event. The Saturday “mini-mission” inspired many of the students to plan for full-time missions.

Rota, a small island in the Northern Mariana Islands, was opened for missionary work September 5. President Deloy Gardner, second counselor in the Micronesia-Guam Mission presidency, offered the dedicatory prayer. Elders Kamealoha Kaniho and Stephen D. Jones are the first missionaries to be assigned there.

All full-time missionaries in the El Salvador San Salvador Mission are from Central America. The mission was disbanded temporarily in January 1980 because of political unrest and reopened in October 1984. None of the missionaries were harmed by the earthquake that hit the area recently.

Karen Gerdes, a former health missionary to Taiwan and Thailand, has been chosen as one of three Volunteers of the Year by the Peace Corps. She is currently working to get a health center built in Orani, Philippines, a small fishing town two hours from Manila. She also conducts health and nutrition classes for the townspeople.

In southern California, two thousand students and school officials of San Fernando High School met recently to pay homage to Mel Smith and dedicate the school’s math and science building to his memory. Brother Smith, who was a member of the Simi Valley Fifth Ward, Simi Valley California Stake, died last year of Lou Gehrig’s disease. He had served in many Church callings, including that of counselor in two bishoprics. Bother Smith was a teacher for twenty-seven years, and continued to teach his math and Spanish classes until three weeks before his death. When he contracted the degenerative disease, which progressively affects the nerves and muscles, he was forced to use a cane, then a wheelchair. When he could now longer control his throat muscles, he used a microphone to continue teaching until he finally had to be hospitalized. The request to name the building after Brother Smith came from teachers and students at the high school. He becomes one of only a few teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District to have a building named for him.