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Church Hist Inst Chap 44 _Lengthen Stride_ by ghkgkyyt

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									                                           C H A P T E R F O R T Y- F O U R


                                           THE CHURCH LENGTHENS ITS
                                           STRIDE




                                           F
Time Line                                        O L L O W I N G T H E U N E X P E C T E D 1 death of President
Date           Significant Event
                                                 Harold B. Lee on 26 December 1973, Spencer W. Kimball became the
30 Dec. 1973 Spencer W. Kimball
             became twelfth President
                                                 twelfth President of the Church. He humbly announced, “We will, in
             of the Church                 large measure, carry forward the same program, which we have helped in
1974           Church challenged to        a small way to make and give it greater emphasis to carry forward the work
               “lengthen its stride”
1976           Two revelations added to
                                           as much as our talents and abilities will permit.”2 Despite this modest
               standard works              declaration, President Kimball’s administration would be noted for
1976           Missionary training         numerous and far-reaching innovations.
               complex opened in Provo
1 June 1978    Revelation extended
               priesthood to all worthy
                                           P R E PA R AT I O N       OF A     PROPHET
               males
                                               Spencer W. Kimball was born in Salt Lake City on 28 March 1895. When
16 Sept. 1978 First annual women’s
              meeting held                 he was only three years old his family moved to southeastern Arizona,
24 Oct. 1979   Orson Hyde Memorial         where he lived until his call as a General Authority. From his parents,
               Garden dedicated in
               Jerusalem                   Spencer learned the importance of tithe paying and obedience. He
1979           New Latter-day Saint        demonstrated an early interest in spiritual things—memorizing the Articles
               edition of the King James
               Version of the Bible
                                           of Faith while milking the cows, reading the scriptures by the light of a coal
               published                   oil lamp, and maintaining a nearly perfect attendance record at Church
1981           New edition of the triple   meetings. As a boy he also set a pattern of hard work, pitching hay
               combination published
                                           alongside the men, using a special short-handled fork his father provided.
1981           Satellite network
               established to carry        Spencer suffered facial paralysis, which was overcome by a priesthood
               Church programs
                                           blessing. He drowned while swimming in a canal, but was successfully
                                           revived. His mother died when he was only eleven years old. Such
                                           experiences taught him important lessons of patience, courage, and faith.
                                               Following service in the Central States Mission, he married Camilla
                                           Eyring, and they became the parents of four children. As a banker and
                                           businessman, he soon became a community leader. He was twenty-three
                                           years old when he was called to be a stake clerk, and he became a counselor
                                           in the stake presidency just a few years later. When the new Mount Graham
                                           Stake was created in 1938, he became its first president. He was serving in
                                           this capacity when his call to the apostleship came five years later.
                                               A phone call from Salt Lake City in 1943 completely changed Spencer W.
                                           Kimball’s life. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., phoned to notify him of his call
                                           to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Kimball recalled, “I sensed
                                           immediately my inability and limitations and I cried back, ‘Not me, Brother
                                           Clark! You can’t mean that!’” For the next several weeks he settled his affairs,
Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)             taking steps to ensure that no one felt he had dealt with him or her unfairly.


                                                                                                                       579
      CHURCH HISTORY IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES



          Elder Kimball continued, “I remember reading that Jacob wrestled all
      night, ‘until the breaking of the day,’ for a blessing; and I want to tell you
      that for eighty-five nights I have gone through that experience, wrestling
      for a blessing. Eighty-five times, the breaking of the day has found me on
      my knees praying to the Lord to help me and strengthen me and make me
      equal to this great responsibility that has come to me.”3
          As a member of the Twelve, Elder Kimball’s influence was quickly felt
      throughout the Church. He became an important member of the committees
      that prayerfully considered how the tithing funds of the Church should be
      spent. His appointment as chairman of the Church’s Indian committee was
      particularly close to his heart because of his long-standing interest in the
      Indian people. His masterful discourses had a powerful impact on the
      Latter-day Saints. Using vivid imagery, he effectively taught the Saints the
      importance of personal purity and pleaded with them to carry out the
      Church’s responsibilities toward the various groups identified as Lamanites.
          Serious health problems plagued Elder Kimball. In 1957 throat cancer
      threatened to rob him of his voice. He agonized, “Shall I ever speak at
      another temple dedication? Shall I ever preach again?” Following much
      prayer and fasting, however, the needed operation proved to be less radical
      than expected. Nevertheless, Elder Kimball lost most of his vocal cords. As
      he learned to speak again, he continued to ask himself, “Will my gruff
      fringe voice be an affront to the people?”4 It was not long, however, until the
      Saints came to respect and heed and love Elder Kimball’s “new voice.”
          Then in 1972 a problem with his heart recurred, and he underwent a
      particularly complicated open-heart operation. With the faith of many
      people and through the outstanding skill of a devoted Latter-day Saint
      surgeon, Dr. Russell M. Nelson, Elder Kimball’s life once again was spared.
      Just prior to the surgery, the First Presidency blessed Dr. Nelson. “They
      blessed me that the operation would be performed without error, that all
      would go well, . . . for I had been raised up by the Lord to perform this
      operation.” It went flawlessly. As Elder Kimball’s heart resumed beating
      with power and vigor, Dr. Nelson recalled, “The Spirit told me that I had
      just operated upon a man who would become president of the Church.”5
      Despite physical difficulties, Elder Kimball set a legendary example of long
      hours of selfless and devoted service in building up the kingdom of God. A
      motto prominently displayed on his desk proclaimed simply “Do It.” These
      experiences helped prepare Spencer W. Kimball to lead the Church when
      the call came.

      CHALLENGE            TO    LENGTHEN OUR STRIDE
          As Spencer W. Kimball assumed the presidency of the Church, he chose
      to retain the same counselors who had served with his predecessor. This
      meant that N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor, had served as a counselor to
      four Presidents of the Church, a record not exceeded in Church history.

580
THE CHURCH LENGTHENS ITS STRIDE



President Tanner not only provided inspired counsel to the Saints and
capable administrative leadership to the Church, but he also reached out to
bless the community as a whole. Non-Latter-day Saint businessmen and
educational leaders in Salt Lake City honored him for his selfless and
effective community service. President Kimball’s second counselor,
President Marion G. Romney, had served as a General Authority longer
than anyone else in the First Presidency, having been named as one of the
original Assistants to the Twelve in 1941—two years before President
Kimball had been called to the Twelve. For more than three decades his
powerful leadership and scripture-centered teachings had motivated the
Saints to improve both their spiritual and temporal welfare.
    At the Regional Representatives’ seminar in April 1974, Elder W. Grant
Bangerter remembered that President Kimball had not spoken very long when
“we became alert to an astonishing spiritual presence, . . . different from any of
our previous meetings. It was as if, spiritually speaking, our hair began to stand
on end. . . . President Kimball was opening spiritual windows and . . . inviting
us to view with him the destiny of the gospel and the vision of its ministry.”6
    President Kimball spoke for forty-five minutes to the Regional
Representatives, delivering what became one of his most oft-quoted
discourses and set the pace for his administration:
    “It seems to me that the Lord chose his words when he said [the gospel
must go to] ‘every nation,’ ‘every land,’ ‘uttermost bounds of the earth,’
‘every tongue,’ ‘every people,’ ‘every soul,’ ‘all the world,’ ‘many lands.’
    “Surely there is significance in these words!
    “. . . A universal command!
    “My brethren, I wonder if we are doing all we can. Are we complacent
in our approach to teaching all the world? . . . Are we prepared to lengthen
our stride? To enlarge our vision? . . .
    “I believe the Lord can do anything he sets his mind to do.
    “But I can see no good reason why the Lord would open doors that we
are not prepared to enter. Why should he break down the Iron Curtain or
the Bamboo Curtain or any other curtain if we are still unprepared to enter?
    “I believe we have men who could help the apostles to open these doors—
statesmen, able and trustworthy—but, when we are ready for them. . . .
    “A year ago now I was in Japan and Korea, and . . . I seemed to envision
a great movement when there would be thousands of local men prepared
and anxious and strong to go abroad. . . . I seemed to envision again
Mexican youth and Latins from Central and South America in great
numbers qualifying themselves for missionary service within their own
country and then finally in other lands until the army of the Lord’s
missionaries would cover the earth as the waters cover the mighty deep.”7
    “When President Kimball concluded, President Ezra Taft Benson arose
and with a voice filled with emotion, echoing the feeling of all present, said,
in substance: ‘President Kimball, . . . we have never heard such an address as
you have just given. Truly, there is a prophet in Israel.’”8
                                                                           581
                                                                                 CHURCH HISTORY IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES



                                                                                 REACHING OUT WORLDWIDE
                                                                                     In order to promote this worldwide expansion of the gospel, the First
                                                                                 Presidency called David M. Kennedy to be a special consultant on diplomatic
                                                                                 affairs. Brother Kennedy, who had served in a stake presidency in Chicago, had
                                                                                 ample secular background for this significant assignment. He had been
                                                                                 chairman of the board and chief executive officer of one of the United States
Courtesy of Deseret News




                                                                                 banks most heavily engaged in international business. He had also served as
                                                                                 United States secretary of the treasury, ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty
                                                                                 Organization, and ambassador at large for the United States. In succeeding
                                                                                 years he played a key role working with governments of many nations in order
                             President Spencer W. Kimball dedicated              to resolve problems that had hindered the Church’s activities there.9 He was
                           Poland for the preaching of the gospel while in
                           Warsaw 24 August 1977.                                instrumental in arranging for mature couples to serve as special representatives
                                                                                 of the Church in countries where traditional missionary work was not yet
                                                                                 possible. One of his outstanding achievements in 1977 was securing legal status
                                                                                 and official recognition for the Church in Poland. This opened the way for a
                                                                                 visit by President Kimball to Warsaw, where he “dedicated the land of Poland
                                                                                 and blessed its people that the work of the Lord might go forth.”10
                                                                                     During these same years, others were involved in negotiations with the
                                                                                 government of Israel that led to the Church developing the five-acre Orson
                                                                                 Hyde Memorial Garden on the western slope of the Mount of Olives,
                                                                                 overlooking the old city of Jerusalem.11
                                                                                     President Kimball emphasized the importance of every young man being
                                                                                 worthy and prepared to serve a mission. In 1976 the Church’s Language
                                                                                 Training Mission moved into a new multi-building complex near the campus
                                                                                 of Brigham Young University. In 1978 the Salt Lake City mission home was
                                                                                 closed, and English-speaking missionaries, primarily from the United States
                                                                                 and Canada, began to receive instruction at this new facility, which was
                                                                                 renamed the Missionary Training Center. Since 1978 training centers have
                              The Orson Hyde Memorial Garden was
                           dedicated 24 October 1979 by President
                           Spencer W. Kimball in honor of Orson Hyde, who
                           had ascended the Mount of Olives on 24 October
                           1841 and offered a dedicatory prayer, asking that
                           Israel might be gathered home to their
                           inheritance. The sign identified the location prior
                           to construction.




                           582
                                                 THE CHURCH LENGTHENS ITS STRIDE



Map of Jerusalem

                                                                                             ROAD TO NABLUS AND                                                                 MOUNT
                                                                                                THE GALILEE                                                                     SCOPUS
                                                                                                     GARDEN TOMB

                                                                                                                                                     SITE OF
                                                             ROAD TO                                       HEROD’S GATE                            ORSON HYDE
                                                           TEL AVIV–JAFFA                                                                       MEMORIAL GARDENS
                                                                                             DAMASCUS
                                                                                               GATE


                                                                        THE NEW GATE




                                                                                                                                                                    O LIV E S
                                                                                                               LION’S GATE

                                                                                                  MOUNT
                                                                                                  MORIAH




                                                                                                                                                                    F
                                                                                                                                                                T O
                                                                            JAFFA GATE                                        GARDEN OF
                                                                                          JERUSALEM




                                                                                                                                                               UN
                                                                                          (THE OLD CITY)                     GETHSEMANE




                                                                                                                                                            O
                                                                                                                                                           M
                                                                                                                                         L EY
                                                                                                                                     VA L
                                                                                                 DUNG GATE




                                                                                                                                     N
                                                                                                                               RO
                                                                              ZION GATE
                                                                                                                                 D
                                                                                                                              KI




                                                                                                                                                   ROAD TO BETHANY
                                                    ROAD TO BETHLEHEM                                                                                AND JERICHO
                                                       AND HEBRON




                                                 been established in many countries to enhance the preparation of local
                                                 young men and women called to serve in those areas.
                                                     Latter-day Saint performing groups from various college campuses
                                                 became another effective means of building goodwill toward the Church. In
  The Church currently has missionary training   1978 a group from BYU presented music and dance variety shows in Poland
centers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia,
Dominican Republic, England, Guatemala, Japan,   and in the Soviet Union. Before their tour, the performers spent several
Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines,   weeks studying the cultures and languages of the peoples they would visit
Samoa, Tonga, and the United States.
                                                 so that they could announce their numbers in the local language and greet
                                                 audience members individually following the performances. They were
                                                 eager to communicate the spirit of the gospel by setting a good example and
                                                 by radiating love. In both countries the performers were well received and
                                                 their performances were taped for later release on nationwide television.
                                                 The following year, another group made similar preparations for a tour of
                                                 mainland China. Here again their presentations in the most prestigious
                                                 concert halls of the country, as well as impromptu performances in
                                                 factories, were highly appreciated. Additional tours in succeeding years
                                                 continued to spread goodwill throughout the world.12
                                                     BYU sports teams also helped make friends for the Church. In the fall of
                                                 1984 the BYU Cougars were the only undefeated major college football team
                                                 in the United States, and at the end of the football season they were ranked
                                                 number one in the nation by both the coaches and sports writers. Numerous
                                                 articles in national publications presented favorable views of the BYU
                                                 players, their school, and their religion.
                                                     The Church’s worldwide nature was reflected in the increasingly
                                                 international make-up of the General Authorities. Among those called to the
                                                 First Quorum of the Seventy through President Spencer W. Kimball were five
                                                 Europeans, Elders Charles A. Didier from Belgium, Jacob de Jager from the
                                                 Netherlands, F. Enzio Busche from Germany, Derek A. Cuthbert from

                                                                                                                                                                                    583
      CHURCH HISTORY IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES



      England, and Hans B. Ringger from Switzerland; the first of oriental ancestry,
      Elder Adney Y. Komatsu; the first from Asia, Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi; and
      two from South America, Elders Angel Abrea and Helio R. Camargo. These
      leaders brought to the presiding councils of the Church a firsthand awareness
      of international challenges and opportunities facing the Church in their areas.

      THE PRIESTHOOD EXTENDED                             TO    ALL RACES
           Perhaps few events have had a greater impact on the worldwide spread of
      the gospel than did the 1978 revelation received through President Spencer W.
      Kimball extending the priesthood to worthy males of all races. For some time,
      the General Authorities had discussed this topic at length in their regular
      temple meetings. In addition, President Kimball went frequently to the
      temple, especially on Saturdays and Sundays when he could be there alone, to
      plead for guidance. “I wanted to be sure,” he explained.13
           On 1 June 1978 President Kimball met with his counselors and the Twelve
      and again brought up the possibility of conferring the priesthood upon worthy
      brethren of all races. He expressed the hope that there might be a clear answer
      received one way or the other. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the
      Twelve recalled, “At this point President Kimball asked the brethren if any of
      them desired to express their feelings and views as to the matter in hand. We
      all did so, freely and fluently and at considerable length, each person stating his
      views and manifesting the feelings of his heart. There was a marvelous
      outpouring of unity, oneness, and agreement in the council.”14
           After a two-hour discussion, President Kimball asked the group to unite
      in formal prayer and modestly suggested that he act as voice. He recalled:
           “I told the Lord if it wasn’t right, if He didn’t want this change to come
      in the Church that I would be true to it all the rest of my life, and I’d fight
      the world against it if that’s what He wanted.
           “. . . But this revelation and assurance came to me so clearly that there
      was no question about it.”15
           President Gordon B. Hinckley was at the historic meeting. He remembered:
      “There was a hallowed and sanctified atmosphere in the room. For me, it felt as
      if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading
      prophet of God who was joined by his Brethren. . . .
           “Every man in that circle, by the power of the Holy Ghost, knew the
      same thing. . . .
           “. . . Not one of us who was present on that occasion was ever quite the
      same after that. Nor has the Church been quite the same. . . .
           “Tremendous, eternal consequences for millions over the earth are
      flowing from that manifestation. . . .
           “. . . This has opened great areas of the world to the teaching of the
      everlasting gospel. This has made it possible that ‘every man might speak
      in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world.’
           “We have cause to rejoice and to praise the God of our salvation that we
      have seen this glorious day.”16


584
THE CHURCH LENGTHENS ITS STRIDE



    Brother Anthony Obinna, a convert in Nigeria who had prayerfully waited
for baptism for thirteen years, wrote to President Kimball after hearing about
the revelation:
    “We are happy for the many hours in the upper room of the temple you
spent supplicating the Lord to bring us into the fold. We thank our Heavenly
Father for hearing your prayers and ours and by revelation [confirming] the
long promised day . . . to receive every blessing of the gospel.”17
    Only five months after the revelation came, two experienced couples were
sent to open missionary work in the black African nations of Nigeria and
Ghana. “In black Africa . . . the revelation on the priesthood was, in effect, the
restoration of the gospel for them. . . . Within one year there were more than
1,700 members in 35 branches in West Africa.”18
    “After only nine and a half years of missionary work, Elder Neal A.
Maxwell organized the Aba Nigeria Stake on May 15, 1988—the first stake
in which all priesthood leaders were black—and he noted that this was ‘a
historic day in the Church in this dispensation . . .’ (in ‘Nigerian Stake,’
Church News, 21 May 1988, p. 7).”19
    When one considers how many people were “affected by this revelation—
which includes millions on the earth and billions on the other side of the
veil—we can see why President Kimball said that it brought ‘one of the
greatest changes and blessings that has ever been known’ [Teachings of Spencer
W. Kimball, p. 451].”20

WA R N I N G V O I C E
    As the prophet of the Lord, Spencer W. Kimball increasingly felt compelled
to raise a warning voice on a wide variety of subjects. In his first two general
conferences as President of the Church, for example, he reaffirmed the Saints’
political responsibilities to elect wise leaders and to obey constitutional law.
He challenged the Saints to clean up and repair their homes and farms and
urged them to plant gardens, store food (in areas where it was legal), and
avoid waste. He also reminded them of the virtues of work, industry, and
thrift. He urged the Saints to keep the Sabbath holy and refrain from taking the
name of the Lord in vain. He counseled against the use of playing cards. He
also warned the Saints to have nothing to do with apostate groups.
    Many of President Kimball’s teachings were centered in the family. He
encouraged all young Latter-day Saints to marry and have children. He said,
“We call upon all people to accept normal marriage as a basis for true
happiness.” He lamented the growing number of divorces and believed that
selfishness was a major cause of family break-ups. He regarded abortion as a
related evil. “Certainly the terrible sin of premeditated abortion would be hard
to justify. . . . We place it high on the list of sins against which we strongly warn
the people.”
    He reaffirmed that “the Church has consistently opposed the improper and
harmful use of drugs or similar substances under circumstances which would
result in addiction, physical or mental impairment or in lowering moral
standards.”

                                                                                 585
      CHURCH HISTORY IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES



         President Kimball saw immoral or improper use of the body as a major
      threat to family happiness: “The human body is the sacred home of the
      spirit child of God, and unwarranted tampering with or defilement of this
      sacred tabernacle can bring only remorse and regret. We urge: stay clean,
      uncontaminated, undefiled.” The President also spoke out against the sin of
      homosexuality, “unisex” attempts to blur the distinction between masculine
      and feminine, and the practice of couples living together without marriage.
      Although President Kimball vigorously denounced such evils, he also
      offered hope to those who had become ensnared in them. This was the
      prime message of his widely read book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, published
      a few years earlier.
          President Kimball particularly stressed the importance of the mother’s
      role: “‘Motherhood is near to Divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be
      assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service
      next to the angels. . . .’ [“Message of the First Presidency,” Deseret News
      Weekly Church Edition, Oct. 1942, p. 5.]“21 President Kimball emphasized the
      responsibility of parents to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to their children,
      including such virtues as honor, integrity, and honesty. “The home is the
      teaching situation. Every father should talk to his son, every mother to her
      daughter. Then it would leave them totally without excuse should they
      ignore the counsel they have received.”22
          In the United States few family-related issues generated more
      discussions both in and out of the Church than did the proposed Equal
      Rights Amendment, which sought to provide that equal treatment under
      the law not be denied or abridged on account of gender. At first these
      provisions seemed wholly commendable, but further analysis raised some
      concerns. In 1976, though reaffirming the Church’s commitment to equal
      opportunities for women, the First Presidency opposed passage of the
      proposed amendment.
          “It would strike at the family, humankind’s basic institution. . . .
          “Passage of ERA, some legal authorities contend, could nullify many
      accumulated benefits to women in present statutes.”23 The Presidency also
      feared that the amendment would undermine the unique status of women.
      Although this stand was approved by the vast majority of Latter-day Saints,
      a small but vocal minority saw it as a threat to women’s rights, refused to
      accept it, and even mounted disruptive demonstrations at general
      conferences. In various areas of the United States, groups of Latter-day
      Saints organized to work with legislators and in other ways mobilized
      public opinion to defeat the amendment.
          The Equal Rights Amendment was not ratified by the 1981 deadline, but
      attention continued to be focused on the role of women. Articles in national
      periodicals increasingly lauded women who found fulfillment in careers
      outside the home, and described traditional homemaking as demeaning
      drudgery. Church leaders were aware of the pressures such attitudes placed

586
                                                        THE CHURCH LENGTHENS ITS STRIDE



                                                        on Latter-day Saint women. Therefore, in 1978 the Church inaugurated
                                                        annual meetings for women, preceding the fall general conferences. Like the
                                                        priesthood sessions for men, these gatherings in the Salt Lake Tabernacle were
                                                        carried by closed circuit to hundreds of meetinghouses throughout the United
                                                        States and in other countries. Speaking at the first of these sessions, President
                                                        Spencer W. Kimball urged women to have programs of self-improvement and
                                                        to reach for new levels of achievement and self-fulfillment. He said:
                                                            “We want our sisters to be scholars of the scriptures as well as our men. . . .
                                                            “. . . Let there be no question in your mind about your value as
                                                        an individual. . . .
                                                            “Much is said about the drudgery and confinement of the woman’s role.
                                                        This is not so. . . . There is divinity in each new life, challenge in raising each
                                                        child. Marriage is a partnership. Please be a contributing and full partner.”24
                                                        Because many women would face the challenge of earning a living for
                                                        themselves or for their families, Church leaders encouraged them to obtain
                                                        education, while not losing sight of their primary role as mothers in the home.
                                                            More than twenty thousand Church members gathered for the
                                                        dedication of the Relief Society Monument to Women at Nauvoo, Illinois, in
                                                        1978. Thirteen bronze statues stand in a two-acre park. “The statues
   The Relief Society Monument to Women,                represent various spheres of a woman’s circle of influence. . . .
consisting of thirteen life-size statues, is situated
in a beautiful garden directly behind the visitors’         “President Kimball commented upon the statuary garden and said, ‘As
center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois. The monument was            we walk through the garden, we are reminded of the great, powerful
dedicated on 28–30 June 1978.                           influence of women upon the world.’”25




                                                                                                                                       587
                                                   CHURCH HISTORY IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES



                                                   THE STANDARD WORKS
                                                        Under President Spencer W. Kimball’s leadership, three new items were
                                                   added to the scriptural canon—the first additions to the standard works in
                                                   nearly three-quarters of a century.
                                                        Two of these additions, which became sections 137 and 138 of the Doctrine
                                                   and Covenants, shed light on the subject of life after death. Concerning their
                                                   importance, Elder Bruce R. McConkie declared: “Their contents have been
                                                   known; their provisions have been in force; their principles have been widely
                                                   taught. But now, at this hour, with their addition to the formal scriptures of the
                                                   saints, they become a new commandment—they become a new divine
                                                   pronouncement both to say and to do all that is required in the soul-expanding
                                                   doctrine of salvation for the dead.”26 The third addition, Official Declaration 2,
                                                   gives the text of the First Presidency letter announcing that the priesthood
                                                   would now be available to all worthy males regardless of race.
                                                        These items explained in greater detail the doctrinal foundations of
                                                   vicarious work for the dead. Hence their addition to the canon of scripture
                                                   fittingly anticipated the era of unprecedented temple construction with
                                                   resulting increase in temple activity, which would characterize the final
                                                   years of President Kimball’s administration.
                                                        The issuing of new editions of the scriptures was the second major
                                                   scripture-related development of President Kimball’s administration. In
   Elder Boyd K. Packer said of the new            1979 a new edition of the King James Bible was published. Although the
scriptures: “The stick or record of Judah—the
Old Testament and the New Testament—and the
                                                   biblical text itself was not changed, this new edition featured an improved
stick or record of Ephraim—the Book of Mormon,     footnote system, excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation, cross-
which is another testament of Jesus Christ—are
now woven together in such a way that as you       references to related passages in the other standard works, more
pore over one you are drawn to the other; as you
learn from one you are enlightened by the other.
                                                   meaningful chapter headings, a 598-page Topical Guide and concordance, a
They are indeed one in our hands. Ezekiel’s        194-page dictionary section reflecting unique understanding available
prophecy now stands fufulfilled.”27
                                                   through latter-day revelation, and a gazetteer and maps. Two years later a
                                                   new edition of the triple combination—the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine

  On 15 October 1982, Max Chopnick, vice
president of the Laymen’s National Bible
Committee, presented to the Church an award for
outstanding service to the Bible cause. The
award was accepted by President Gordon B.
Hinckley.




588
THE CHURCH LENGTHENS ITS STRIDE



and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—became a companion to the
new edition of the Bible. It contained many of the same improvements.
    These publications were the result of at least a decade of intense effort.
A committee consisting of Elders Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, and
Bruce R. McConkie gave constant direction to the project. Elders Marvin J.
Ashton and Howard W. Hunter also served for a time. They were assisted
by a task committee made up of three members of the BYU religion faculty,
who in turn were assisted by hundreds of volunteers. Those who worked on
this project testified that at key points the right person was available to
provide expertise and enable the work to move forward. Elder Packer
regarded these new editions of the scriptures with their improved study
aids as extremely important:
    “With the passing of years, these scriptures will produce successive
generations of faithful Christians who know the Lord Jesus Christ and are
disposed to obey His will.
    “. . . They will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their
forebears could achieve. . . .
    “As the generations roll on, this will be regarded, in the perspective of
history, as the crowning achievement in the administration of President
Spencer W. Kimball. . . .
    “These references from the four volumes of scripture constitute the most
comprehensive compilation of scriptural information on the mission and
teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ that has ever been assembled in the
history of the world.”28
    With the continued expansion of the Church, President Kimball and
other Church leaders increasingly took measures to meet the needs of the
Saints worldwide.

ENDNOTES
1. This chapter was written for the Church       8. W. Grant Bangerter, in Conference
Educational System; also published in            Report, Oct. 1977, p. 39; or Ensign, Nov.
Richard O. Cowan, The Church in the              1977, p. 27.
Twentieth Century (Salt Lake City:               9. See “Diplomatic Affairs Consultant
Bookcraft, 1985), pp. 330, 378–398.              Appointed,” Church News, 13 Apr. 1974,
2. “First Presidency Meets with News             p. 17.
Media,” Church News, 5 Jan. 1974, p. 14.         10. “Poland Dedicated by President
3. In Conference Report, Oct. 1943, pp. 15–16.   Kimball,” Church News, 17 Sept. 1977, p. 3.
4. Spencer W. Kimball, One Silent Sleepless      11. See “Gardens to Blossom in Israel,”
Night (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1975), pp.     Church News, 29 Oct. 1977, p. 3.
35, 51.                                          12. See “Performers Tour Russia,” Church
5. Russell Marion Nelson, From Heart to          News, 15 July 1978, p. 5; “Y Students a
Heart (Salt Lake City: Russell M. Nelson,        Success in China,” Church News, 11 Aug.
1979), pp. 164–65.                               1979, p. 9.
6. In Conference Report, Oct. 1977, p. 38;       13. See “‘News’ Interviews Prophet,”
or Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 26.                     Church News, 6 Jan. 1979, p. 4.
7. Spencer W. Kimball, “‘When the World          14. Bruce R. McConkie, “The New
Will Be Converted,’” Ensign, Oct. 1974,          Revelation on Priesthood,” Priesthood (Salt
pp. 5, 7, 14.                                    Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981), p. 127.



                                                                                         589
      CHURCH HISTORY IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES




      15. “‘News’ Interviews Prophet,” p. 4.       22. In Conference Report, Oct. 1974, p. 8;
      16. “Priesthood Restoration,” Ensign, Oct.   or Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 7.
      1988, pp. 70–71.                             23. “First Presidency Opposes ERA,”
      17. E. Dale LeBaron, “African Converts       Church News, 30 Oct. 1976, p. 2.
      without Baptism: A Unique and Inspiring      24. “Women Urged to ‘Reach for Stars,’”
      Chapter in Church History,” Brigham          Church News, 23 Sept. 1978, pp. 3, 10.
      Young University 1998–99 Speeches, 3 Nov.    25. “Nauvoo Park Honors Women,”
      1998, p. 6.                                  Church News, 8 Jul. 1978, p. 3.
      18. LeBaron “African Converts without        26. Bruce R. McConkie, “A New
      Baptism,” pp. 5–7.                           Commandment,” Ensign, Aug. 1976, p. 8.
      19. LeBaron “African Converts without        27. In Conference Report, Oct. 1982, p. 75;
      Baptism,” p. 7.                              or Ensign, Nov. 1982, p. 53.
      20. LeBaron, “African Converts without       28. In Conference Report, Oct. 1982, pp.
      Baptism,” p. 5.                              75–76; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, p. 53.
      21. In Conference Report, Apr. 1974, pp.
      7–9; or Ensign, May 1974, pp. 6–8.




590

								
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