LDS Scene

    “LDS Scene,” Ensign, July 2000, 80

    LDS Scene

    Sister Hinckley Receives Honorary Doctoral Degree

    Marjorie Pay Hinckley, wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley, recently received an honorary doctoral degree in Christian Service from Brigham Young University.

    As BYU’s April commencement speaker, Sister Hinckley addressed an audience of 21,400, which included the largest graduating class in the university’s history. Sister Hinckley advised students to “keep learning—there is no end.”

    In presenting Sister Hinckley the award, Elder Merrill J. Bateman, BYU president and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, said, “Marjorie Pay Hinckley stands as a shining example of righteous womanhood in a time when many women doubt the validity of their contribution within the framework of home, family, and church.”

    Also honored were Jerold and JoAnn Ottley, the former Mormon Tabernacle Choir musical director and his wife, who was a soloist and vocal coach for the choir. Brother and Sister Ottley received BYU presidential citations for their decades of service with the choir.

    Three Florida Stakes Honored for Service

    The city of Orlando, Florida, recently accorded its Volunteer of the Year award to three Orlando stakes for their outstanding community service. Orlando mayor Glenda Hood made the presentation to local Church leaders at an awards banquet and personally thanked them in a private meeting.

    “The strength of any city rests on the strength of its neighborhoods and its families and their commitment to community. Toward this end, your church’s service has had a tremendously positive impact,” Mayor Hood said in presenting the award.

    In 1999 more than 250 youth and youth leaders of the Lake Mary Stake spent an entire Saturday of their youth conference cleaning, repairing, and replanting a city cemetery. More than 400 members of the Orlando and the Orlando South stakes joined forces each Saturday in July to give service, this year cleaning up the Parramore community in the heart of Orlando.

    First Known LDS-Owned Chapel Rededicated

    In April the first known LDS-owned chapel was rededicated after extensive repairs and refurbishing. Surprisingly, this chapel is not located in New York or Ohio but in England’s open midlands near the town of Ledbury.

    The Gadfield Elm Chapel was built in 1836 by a Christian congregation called the United Brethren. When Elder Wilford Woodruff of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the gospel to this congregation in 1840, all but one of its members joined the Church. The chapel was given to the Church, and the newly baptized Latter-day Saint congregation continued to meet there until they immigrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, later that year. The chapel was sold at that time to raise funds for their immigration.

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a descendant of one of the original United Brethren leaders, rededicated the Gadfield Elm Chapel, which local Church members purchased in 1995 and restored to look as it did more than 150 years ago, based on original drawings and descriptions. The chapel will be used for occasional Church gatherings; those interested in Church history may also visit the site.

    The first known LDS meetinghouse in North America wasn’t constructed until 1851, in Salt Lake City. Before that time, Church members congregated in homes, in the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples, or outdoors.

    Elder Merrill J. Batemen of the Seventy, president of BYU, presents Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley with an honorary doctoral degree. (Photo by Stuart Johnson.)

    The restored Gadfield Elm Chapel, the first known LDS-owned chapel, will serve as a meetingplace on special occasions for Church members in England.