“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Jan. 1999, 76–77
• Ambassadors and diplomats from 26 nations attended the eighth annual Western Family Picnic held on 26 September near Washington, D.C. Guests and their families were hosted by Elder John K. Carmack of the Seventy, North America East Area President; T. LaMar Sleight, director of the Church’s International and Government Affairs Office; and Ann C. Santini, the Church’s director of international affairs. Several LDS congressmen and local Church leaders attended, and Brigham Young University’s Living Legends and International Folk Dance Team performed. Many of the picnic activities were designed to help guests better understand the Church’s pioneer history and modern global expansion.
• The Life Science Agricultural Building at Church-owned Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, has been renamed the Ezra Taft Benson Agricultural and Biological Sciences Building in honor of the former Church President, who died in 1994. President Benson “showed a keen interest in these programs during his ministry,” said Ricks College president David A. Bednar. “He was a frequent visitor to Ricks College, and his example and legacy will set a standard for our students.”
• Two missionaries serving in the Russia Yetakerinburg Mission were stabbed in a random, alcohol-related attack outside an Ufa apartment building on 17 October. Elder Jose Manuel Mackintosh of Hiko, Nevada, died as a result of his injuries, and Elder Bradley Alan Borden of Mesa, Arizona, was hospitalized with the expectation of a full recovery. After meeting with the family of Elder Mackintosh, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “I was deeply moved by their faith, their forgiveness, and their devotion to the continuation of missionary work.” He later added: “This is nothing that puts our other missionaries at risk. We will continue to say our prayers and renew our strength. We will square our shoulders and continue to take the gospel to the world.”
• More than 150 members of the New York New York Stake marched in New York City’s annual Columbus Day Parade on 12 October. Led by drummers and people with banners displaying the name of the Church, the members carried 128 flags from nations all over the world and in some cases wore traditional dress from various nations. “Our participation was one of the most visible activities of the Church in Manhattan,” said stake president Brent J. Belnap. “In a very tasteful way, I believe, we tapped into the tremendous variety of our membership and shared the message that we are a worldwide church.”