LDS Scene
March 1999

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Mar. 1999, 78–79

LDS Scene

BYU Library Wing Named After Elder Perry

The new special collections wing of Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library in Provo, Utah, will be named in honor of Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Scheduled to open later in 1999, the new wing will house the university’s most rare and valuable materials, including about 280,000 books, 8,000 manuscript collections, and 500,000 historical photographs. Many of the holdings deal with early Church and Utah history.

“In the age in which we live today, education is absolutely essential,” said Elder Perry. “No one without a good education can really excel. We have a great responsibility in the Church to encourage everyone to have a lifetime search for education.”

Chinese Ambassador Turns on Christmas Lights

Li Zhaoxing, China’s ambassador to the United States, and Elder John K. Carmack of the Seventy, President of the North America East Area, together switched on some 300,000 lights to launch last December’s Festival of Lights on the grounds of the Washington (D.C.) Temple.

“I cannot help but think of the positive relationship of exchange and cooperation between the Mormon Church and religious and educational circles in China,” said Ambassador Li. He continued: “The Church has emphasized the role of family and attached great importance to teaching children knowledge, culture, moral conduct, and rule of law to bring them up as level-minded members of society with compassion, love, teamwork, and dedication.”

Director of Church international affairs Ann Santini said, “Two nights of consecutive lighting ceremonies introduced the basic beliefs of the gospel of Jesus Christ to our international guests, members of the media, and local government, business, and religious leaders against the majestic backdrop of one of Washington’s most well-known landmarks.” Several Latter-day Saint congressmen as well as ambassadors and diplomats from a total of 51 nations participated in the lighting ceremonies.

Brooklyn Pioneers Honored

On 12 October 1998 Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated bronze plaques on the graves of three people who sailed on the Latter-day Saint pioneer ship Brooklyn in 1846. “Perhaps we’ve underemphasized the heroic developments and accomplishments of those who came on the Brooklyn,” Elder Haight said. “They helped in settling the West and in planting the seed of the Restoration, many of them with great valor and distinction.” The graves are located in Farmington, Utah.

Spanish-Speaking Family History Conference

On 19 September 1998 the first Church-affiliated family history conference held in Spanish in the United States took place at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Some 500 adults and 200 youth attended Uniendo Familias, which was sponsored by the Spanish-speaking arm of the Utah Genealogical Association.

Among 51 hour-long workshops were sessions appropriate for all levels of expertise, such as “Beginning to Organize Records,” “Catholic Parish Archives,” and “Spanish Genealogy Resources on the Internet.” Workshops offered specialized information for family history work in Mexico, Central America, South America, Spain, and the Caribbean, and one workshop was presented in Portuguese.

A separate youth program included a family history fireside, baptisms for the dead, and a testimony meeting. “The youth have responded very well because they are doing something for their own families,” said Ivette Bori, Young Women president in the Suncrest Eighth (Spanish) Ward, Orem Utah Suncrest Stake. “They want to be the best they can be so they can be worthy to perform baptisms for their families.”

Remembering the Julia Ann

When the three-masted Julia Ann blew into a hidden coral reef during an 1855 storm, the ship was carrying 21 Australian converts on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. Five Latter-day Saints were killed, and the survivors lived for two months on coconuts, crabs, and sea turtles while crew members repaired the ship’s boat. A traveling exhibit titled “The Wreck of the Julia Ann” was on display through 21 February 1999 at the Museum of Church History and Art in downtown Salt Lake City. On loan from the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, the exhibit featured artifacts, a video, and an interactive kiosk.

Football at BYU and Ricks College

Brigham Young University played in the 40th annual Liberty Bowl on 31 December in Memphis, Tennessee, where they lost 41–27 to 10th-ranked, undefeated Tulane University of Louisiana. That left BYU with a nine-win and five-loss 1998 football season.

The top-ranked Vikings football team of Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho, played for the junior college national championship in the Real Dairy Bowl on 4 December in Pocatello, Idaho, where they lost 22–18 to second-ranked Butler County Community College of Kansas. “There are about 60 on the team who are former missionaries,” said Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who attended the championship game. “That says something, doesn’t it? They produce great football players here who live the gospel and go on missions.”

California Picnic for Diplomats

“Our day with the consuls general, their families, and staff members was a delightful experience,” said Elder John B. Dickson of the Seventy, President of the North America West Area, after a western-style picnic held by Church members for international diplomats living in the San Francisco area.

“During the interchange of cultures and traditions, friendships were established that will enhance positive, lasting relationships with good people and the countries they represent,” he said.

Countries represented at the picnic included Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Germany, Hungary, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Venezuela. About 95 percent of the Church’s missionary visas are issued by consuls general in California.

Elder John K. Carmack (left) greets Li Zhaoxing, China’s ambassador to the United States. (Photo by Cari Miller.)