1989
Church Joining in Effort to Help Armenia Rebuild
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“Church Joining in Effort to Help Armenia Rebuild,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 77

Church Joining in Effort to Help Armenia Rebuild

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Hans B. Ringger of the First Quorum of the Seventy represented the Church at the signing of an agreement in Moscow August 8 that will lead to the construction of housing for Armenians left homeless by a devastating earthquake last December.

Some fifty thousand people died and more than half a million are still homeless as a result of that quake.

The Church is a party to an agreement that also includes an organization called the American-Armenian Bridge of Friendship. That organization was represented at the signing by American industrialist Armand Hammer and Utah businessman Jon Huntsman.

Both Mr. Hammer and Brother Huntsman, president of the Salt Lake Monument Park Stake, have contributed toward aiding victims of the earthquake. Through the American-Armenian Bridge of Friendship, both are helping in organizing the building effort. The Church will provide technical help with the building, Elder Nelson said in his remarks at the signing of the agreement.

“We intend to invite skilled craftsmen and technical experts from the membership of the Church to assist in this most worthy cause,” he said. “We share the hope that this project may be completed as rapidly as possible and that it may symbolize our deep admiration for the people of Armenia and for all of this great nation.”

The prime minister of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Vladimir Surenovich Markariants, told the Americans, “The Armenian people are indebted to you for this act of thoughtful generosity. We are like the American people in many ways. We both have a great love of life. We want to have you come to Armenia and meet our people and learn of our ways.”

The agreement signed in Moscow called for “a specific plan setting forth the terms and conditions of cooperation” to be entered into by September 15.