In the News
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“In the News,” Ensign, Apr. 2004, 78–79

In the News

Cyclone Hits Pacific Islands; Missionaries, Members Safe

Tropical cyclone Heta swept over the Pacific island of Niue, northeast of Tonga, on 5 January 2004, washing away 70 homes, destroying a hospital, and leaving nearly 200 people homeless. All six missionaries and 203 members on Niue were reported safe. The homes of seven member families were completely destroyed, and a chapel in the small village of Alofi sustained damages, including broken windows and flooding.

Members were organized to clear water and debris from the Alofi Branch meetinghouse, where 20 people sought shelter. Missionaries cleared roads of debris, providing access for emergency vehicles. A small welfare team from the Church’s Pacific Islands Area office in New Zealand was sent to Niue to determine the need for Church assistance.

Cyclone Heta also hit the northern islands of Tonga, destroying one member’s home on Niuatoputapu and tearing roofs off several others. The Vaipoa Branch meetinghouse in Niuatoputapu served as a temporary shelter for displaced families. The Church’s Tonga Service Center sent emergency supplies to severely damaged areas. No members or missionaries in those areas were injured.

The Luatuanu’u Ward meetinghouse on the Samoan island of Upolu lost several classrooms, a bishop’s office, and numerous windows when it was struck by water and high winds; a meetinghouse in Pago Pago, American Samoa, incurred minor damages when a coconut tree fell on its roof.

Church News contributed to this report.

Museum to Sponsor Children’s Art Contest

The Museum of Church History and Art invites Latter-day Saint children ages 4 to 12 to submit original works of art for possible display in an exhibit in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

The exhibit, Follow the Prophet, will be on display from 10 December 2004 to 16 October 2005. Images can reflect the life, teachings, or experiences of any prophet from Adam to President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Works should be two-dimensional, no larger than 11 x 14 inches (28 x 36 cm), and may be done in any medium. The child’s name, age, address, and ward or branch should be included on the back. All entries become the property of the museum and will not be returned. Judges who are sensitive to children’s art will make the selection of works to be exhibited. The museum’s deadline for receiving artwork is 4 October 2004. Mail entries to: Marjorie Conder, Curator; Museum of Church History and Art, 45 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-3470.

Women’s Conference to Be Broadcast Worldwide

Brigham Young University’s Women’s Conference 2004 will be held 29–30 April. Eight hours of selected talks will be broadcast on those days from 6:00 to 10:00 P.M. MDT over the Church satellite system to meetinghouses throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The broadcast will also be available on KBYU-TV Channel 11, BYUTV, BYU Radio, and on the Internet at

Church units in Europe, Asia, the British Isles, and South Africa can capture the broadcast later in May. For more information, call 1-801-378-7692 or access the Web site at

Missionaries help clean debris from the road after a tropical cyclone swept across the island of Niue. (Photograph by Gary Winters.)