LDS Scene

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, May 1987, 111–12

LDS Scene

Nearly seven thousand members from one stake and seven districts gathered in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic February 22 for the country’s first regional conference. The conference was held under the direction of President Howard W. Hunter, Acting President of the Council of the Twelve, and Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, also of the Council of the Twelve. Some members traveled up to five hours to attend the meeting.

Members of the Shatin Ward, Hong Kong Kowloon North Stake, recently produced a show, titled “First Contact,” for their community. The show illustrated gospel principles in song for more than two hundred members and their nonmember guests.

Three members of the Adana Servicemen’s Branch in Turkey were recognized at an annual awards presentation at the Incirlik Air Base. Primary teacher Mark Harper, a security police officer and dog handler, was named Airman of the Year. Branch President John W. Perkins, a senior master sergeant, was named First Sergeant of the Year, and Sunday School president Joseph Thornton, a captain who heads the 7005th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight, was commander of the Outstanding Small Unit of the Year.

Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, had a record number of students enrolled for Spring semester. The 6,597 students attending the Church-owned college during the semester is 179 more than the previous spring record set in 1986, when 6,418 students were enrolled. Jim Gee, assistant academic vice-president for support services, said spring enrollment is typically lower than fall semester; last fall a record 6,931 students were enrolled at the college.

Fifty young women of the Santiago Los Condes Stake in Santiago, Chile, recently received commendation from the mayor of Baloto, a nearby community. As a service project, the young women spent their vacation cleaning and painting the city plaza, and planting thirty trees there.

Heather Benson Sandstrom, public communications director of the Boston Massachusetts Stake, recently participated on a talk show panel discussing the pros and cons of having children. The program on which she appeared, “People Are Talking,” is the top-rated talk show in New England on WBZ-TV. As the only panelist who favored having children, she was selected because of the Church’s pro-family attitude.

President James W. Ritchie of the Virginia Roanoke Mission, along with a number of missionaries, presented 150 personalized copies of the Book of Mormon to members of the state legislature. The governor and every senator and member of the House of Delegates received a copy. Each book carried an inscription of appreciation from the LDS people of Virginia for the legislators’ efforts to make the state a wholesome place in which to live and rear families. Personal testimonies of the Book of Mormon were included in each book.

Radio and television documentaries produced by the Church have won three 1986 Silver Angel awards in national competition sponsored by Religion in Media. Religion in Media is an international, interdenominational organization which honors “great social and/or moral impact” in the media each year. The Church’s two television awards were for public affairs documentaries on the evils of pornography and gambling. In the radio competition, the Silver Angel was awarded for a public affairs program on the principle of fasting.

More than 1,100 visitors toured the East Taipei stake center in Taipei, Taiwan, during a two-week open house. Visitors viewed displays on the life of Christ, the purpose of life, and the restored Church. Choirs also performed, and more than fifty members served as tour guides during the open house. More than a hundred copies of the Book of Mormon were distributed.

Four of the seven speakers at a “Family in Focus” series at North Lake College in Irving, Texas, were Latter-day Saints. The series was strongly supported by ministers and professional counselors. The organizer of the series visited BYU’s Family and Demographic Research Institute and scheduled the speakers.

A group of youth from the Brasilia Alvorada Stake, who are representative of the many members who travel long distances to perform ordinance work at the Sao Paulo Temple in Brazil, learned that they had performed the one millionth vicarious ordinance of the temple during a recent Saturday session. The temple, which is busiest on Saturdays, was dedicated 30 October 1978.

Thirty-seven youths from the San Rafael Branch in San Rafael, Argentina, spent two days of their school vacation canvassing the community and distributing pamphlets about the Church. As a direct result, thirteen people were baptized the following month.

This year, four missionaries set up a booth at the annual “Bande Dessiner” festival in Angouleme, France, and distributed copies of the Church’s illustrated children’s versions of the standard works. The festival features illustrated books of all kinds. The missionaries received a number of referrals as a result of their efforts.

More than eleven thousand people viewed the New Zealand Temple Pageant in Hamilton, New Zealand, recently. Some five thousand nonmembers toured the visitors’ center. Seven hundred members participated in the three-evening pageant, which tells of the visit of the Savior to the New World. Attending from the First Quorum of the Seventy were Elder Robert L. Simpson, a former president of the Pacific Area, and Elders John Sonnenberg and F. Arthur Kay of the Pacific Area presidency.

Roger Scott Johnson, a 25-year-old graduate student in Cambridge, Massachusetts, saw an elderly woman fall into the icy Charles River as he was jogging by. He dove in and kept her afloat for ten minutes until they were both rescued. “I really believed that we would be protected and that help would be coming soon,” said Johnson, who with his wife and young daughter are members of the Cambridge First Ward, Boston Massachusetts Stake.

Church members and missionaries escaped injuries in the earthquakes that struck Guayaquil, Ecuador, March 5–6. Church facilities were not damaged, although an estimated five hundred quakes occurred during the night, preventing most people from sleeping. The Church offices in Quito were closed the following day.