World Briefs

“World Briefs,” Ensign, June 2009, 80

World Briefs

Construction Begins on The Gila Valley Temple

Ground was broken for The Gila Valley Arizona Temple on February 14, 2009. It will be the third temple in Arizona. The first, in Mesa, was completed in 1927. In 2002, some 100 temples later, the Snowflake Arizona Temple was dedicated. With the dedication of the Draper Utah Temple in March, there are now 129 operating temples throughout the world. Another 16 are announced or under construction, including two others in Arizona.

Atlanta Georgia Temple to Close for Renovation

The Atlanta Georgia Temple is set to close on July 1, 2009, for renovations that will take approximately 18 months to complete. Members are invited to attend other temples, as their circumstances permit, while the temple is closed. Some nearby temples are open by appointment only, so patrons and priesthood leaders will need to contact the temple in advance. The Atlanta Temple was dedicated on June 1, 1983.

FamilySearch Releases 1900 U.S. Census

FamilySearch has now made the 1900 U.S. Census available on its online database. The census contains information on more than 76 million people, including many who left family in their home countries when they immigrated from around the world. The 1900 census included information such as how long an immigrant had been in the country along with their naturalization status. FamilySearch has digitalized and indexed census records for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900.

BYU Professor Receives Religious Freedom Award

Brigham Young University law professor W. Cole Durham Jr. was awarded the First Freedom Center’s 2009 International First Freedom Award for helping to increase the constitutional protection of religious freedom. Brother Durham counseled with the Iraqi government about the current Iraqi constitution and was present when it was signed. He has also advised government authorities in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine on laws relating to religious freedom.