“In the Spotlight,” Ensign, Dec. 2001, 70
Japanese Members Celebrate 100 Years
Throughout 2001, Church members in Japan have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of missionary work in their country. Elder Heber J. Grant (1856–1945), then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated the islands of Japan for the preaching of the gospel on 1 September 1901 in Yokohama.
On 1 September 2001, Elders Donald L. Hallstrom, Yoshihiko Kikuchi, and Gary S. Matsuda of the Asia North Area Presidency presided at a commemorative ceremony held on the grounds of what will be a new Yokohama meetinghouse located near the place where Japan was dedicated.
Two large bronze commemorative plaques were unveiled, placed on the base of a steeple that will be part of the new meetinghouse. Among those attending the ceremony were Kenji Tanaka and Kenichi Sagara, who with Elder Kikuchi were called in 1970 as the presidency of the first stake in Japan, when there were about 12,500 members in the country. Presidents Tanaka and Sagara were later called as regional representatives. Elder Kikuchi became the first native Japanese to be called as a General Authority.
Today Japan has 2 temples, 31 stakes, 8 missions, and more than 110,000 Latter-day Saints.
First Kenyan Stake Organized
The first stake in Kenya was organized on 9 September by Elder Robert C. Oaks and Elder Steven E. Snow of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency.
The Nairobi Kenya Stake was organized from the Kenya Nairobi District. Joseph W. Sitati, Daniel Muthiani, and Hesborn O. Usi, who had been serving as the district presidency, were called to the stake presidency. The Church was officially recognized in this east African nation on 25 February 1991.
BYU—Hawaii Ranked Fourth by U.S. News & World Report
Brigham Young University—Hawaii was recently ranked fourth in the western region category for comprehensive, non-graduate-degree-granting universities in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey of America’s best schools. The university also received the highest ranking in the region for academic reputation.
Area Presidency Meets Australian Prime Minister
Elders Kenneth Johnson and Val R. Christensen of the Australia/New Zealand Area Presidency met with the prime minister of Australia on 28 August. They discussed with the Honorable John Howard and other parliamentary leaders and senators how the Church supports families and communities.