Service might be an appropriate one-word summation of Church events during 1992.
The Church continued to serve mankind throughout the year as reflected in the dedication of new lands for the preaching of the gospel, creation of new missions, stakes, wards and branches, and in the rededication of two new temples and the announcement or groundbreaking of several new ones. Total stakes in the Church surpassed 1,900 during the year, and total wards and branches reached 20,000.The sesquicentennial of the Relief Society was observed throughout the year with service projects in individual wards and branches. In addition, the Young Women Worldwide Celebration, "Walk in the Light," involved service projects by young women in ward and branches throughout the world.
Disasters in various areas presented opportunities for service by Church members as they responded to needs after earthquakes in Northern California, riots in Los Angeles, Calif., and hurricanes in Florida, Louisiana and Hawaii.
Here is a month-by-month summary of notable events in the Church in 1992.
Jan. 1: A new policy at BYU, BYU-Hawaii and LDS Business College was adopted making readmission easier for students who wish to postpone their schooling to serve full-time missions. The policy allows students to fill out an application for deferment and delay their studies without penalty.
Jan. 11: The Church issued a statement reaffirming that it "opposes gambling in its various forms." "Experience has clearly shown gambling to be harmful to the human spirit, financially destructive of individuals and families and detrimental to the moral climate of communities," the statement read.
Jan. 16: For his more than 40 years of worldwide service, President Ezra Taft Benson was given the first Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Charity Awards Dinner (NCAD). The organization specifically recognized the prophet for humanitarian service following World War II in war-devastated Europe.
Jan. 30: Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Council of the Twelve and Elder F. Enzio Busche of the Seventy were among 2,000 national, international, state and religious leaders who gathered in Washington D.C. to pray for peace, understanding and love among peoples of all nations.
Feb. 1: To help young women of the Church "Come Unto Christ" and be a light to others, the Young Women general presidency announced the theme for the 1992 Young Women Worldwide Celebration to be held Nov. 21. The theme selected was "Walk in the Light" with the Young Women logo as the symbol of the event.
Feb. 3: Three new missions began operation in Russia and the Ukraine, the first to be established in the former Soviet Union, now called the Commonwealth of Independent States. The new missions are the Russia Moscow, Russia St. Petersburg and Ukraine Kiev missions. Russian recognition of the Church in 1991, and similar recognition in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, paved the way for creation of the new missions.
Feb. 8-9: The largest gathering of Latter-day Saints and investigators on the African continent was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was a regional conference that drew approximately 4,200 people.
Feb. 29: Seven new missions - mostly in developing nations - were announced by the First Presidency. The new missions were Argentina Buenos Aires West, Colombia Bogota South, Cameroon Yaounde, Nigeria Illorin, Nigeria Jos, Papua New Guinea Port Moresby and Philippines Cabanatuan.
Area presidencies reported humanitarian relief efforts from Latter-day Saints in Germany, Austria and the United States to help the needy in Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia and elsewhere. The efforts were undertaken in December, January and February.
March 9: President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, visited King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain in Madrid and presented the couple with a personalized, leather-bound copy of the Book of Mormon.
March 11: The five-volume Encyclopedia of Mormonism, having been recently published, was presented to the Vatican Library in Vatican City by President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, during a visit to Italy.
March 14: The sesquicentennial of the founding of the Relief Society on March 17, 1842, was celebrated, beginning with an international satellite telecast, originating from Temple Square. President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, addressed the fireside, as did Elaine L. Jack, general president of the Relief Society, and her counselors.
Other sesquicentennial events included an exhibit at the Museum of Church History and Art from March 14, 1992, to Feb. 22, 1993; local service projects held throughout the year in wards and branches; presentation of "A Society of Sisters" in each local unit, featuring Relief Society history and life stories of local sisters; a record of the history of the Relief Society to be prepared in each local unit; and a focus on literacy and education to be introduced at the end of 1992.
April 4: A new Young Women general presidency was sustained at the 162nd Annual General Conference. They are Janette C. Hales, president; Virginia H. Pearce, first counselor; and Patricia P. Pinegar, second counselor.
April 22: Fourteen LDS families were evacuated to Church meetinghouses after a series of explosions ripped open streets and demolished buildings in Guadalajara, Mexico, killing 200 people and injuring 1,470.
April 26: Young Church members in Northern California assisted victims of three earthquakes that hit the coast April 25-26.
May 2: President Ezra Taft Benson broke ground for the Bountiful Utah Temple, which will be the Church's 46th temple and the eighth in Utah. Ten thousand people attended the ceremony.
May 2-3: In the aftermath of rioting and looting in Los Angeles, Calif., sparked by the April 29 acquittal of four policemen charged in the beating of a motorist, hundreds of Church members joined thousands of volunteers in clean-up and relief efforts.
May 3: At the annual Priesthood Commemoration Fireside observing the 163rd anniversary of the restoration of the priesthood, leaders urged worthiness among all priesthood holders and presented the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood. The objectives include helping young men become converted to the gospel and live by its teachings.
May 9: President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the historic Cove Fort near Kanosh, Utah. The restored fort was deeded to the Church by the Hinckley family. The fort offered protection to travelers and was the center of Church activities and programs for settlers in the 1800s.
May 11-13: The ambassador of India, Abid Hussain, received a close-up view of the Church and many of its programs and activities during a visit to Salt Lake City. The ambassador also met with President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency.
May 12: President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, and others honored Elder Victor L. Brown, General Authority emeritus and former Presiding Bishop of the Church, at a luncheon at Primary Children's Medical Center. A portrait of Elder Brown, was given to him for his contributions that led to the creation of the Intermountain Health Care Hospital network.
May 15: President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, addressed 600 Boy Scouts of America leaders from throughout the United States who met in Cincinnati, Ohio, for biennial meetings. He told them the family is the only possible base upon which a responsible society builds for the future and maintains values cherished in the present.
May 17-20: Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve attended a major international consultation on religious liberty and ethnic rights held in Budapest, Hungary. The event brought together 72 participants to discuss problems and share ideas pertaining to church-state issues in east central European nations that were once part of the communist bloc.
May 22: The First Presidency, in a letter to general and local Church leaders in English-speaking units, reaffirmed the use of the King James version of the Bible in the Church.
May 30: At a ceremony at the Mormon Battalion Monument on the Utah State Capitol grounds, the Mormon Battalion Inc. launched a $300,000 project to restore the 65-year-old structure.
May 31: Holding specially called meetings in four Utah cities, six members of the Council of the Twelve and three members of the Seventy counseled stake presidents and regional representatives on moral issues. Topics included the need to strengthen the youth of the Church, appropriate Sabbath observance and the danger of legalized gambling.
June 6: Fifteen new General Authorities were called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy, and four members of the Second Quorum were called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, it was announced.
Called from the Second Quorum to the First Quorum were Elders Carlos H. Amado, Ben B. Banks, Spencer J. Condie and Robert K. Dellenbach. Called to the Second Quorum were Lino Alvarez, Dallas N. Archibald, Merrill J. Bateman, C. Max Caldwell, Gary J. Coleman, John B. Dickson, John E. Fowler, Jay E. Jensen, Augusto A. Lim, John M. Madsen, V. Dallas Merrell, David E. Sorensen, F. David Stanley, Kwok Yuen Tai and Lowell D. Wood.
June 9: The new Social Hall Memorial and walkway - featuring the recently unearthed foundation of the historic Social Hall of Brigham Young's era - was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency.
June 20: Ground was broken for the Orlando Florida Temple, with Elder James E. Faust of the Council of the Twelve presiding. Ground for the first LDS meetinghouse in Swaziland was broken June 20, with some 200 members and leaders attending from the five branches in the southeast Africa nation. Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Seventy presided.
June 27: Elders Charles Didier and L. Aldin Porter of the Seventy were called to the Presidency of the Seventy, effective Aug. 15. The calls were issued in anticipation of the granting of emeritus status to two members of the Presidency of the Seventy in October, Elders Marion D. Hanks and Robert L. Backman.
June 28: Amid the rumble of aftershocks, members of the Palm Spring California Stake and full-time missionaries helped victims of two major earthquakes in Southern California.
July 17: U.S. President George Bush, on a visit to Utah, met with the First Presidency and 11 members of the Council of the Twelve, and that evening made a surprise appearance at the Tabernacle Choir's pre-tour concert on Temple Square. The chief executive addressed an audience at BYU the next day.
July 19-31: To commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyage to the Americas, the Tabernacle Choir embarked on a concert tour.
The tour included performances in Richmond, Va.; Toronto, Ontario; Rochester, Mich.; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Ames, Iowa; Springfield, Ill.; and Independence, Mo.
The Independence performance was at the Auditorium, world headquarters of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There, President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke to the audience. He was hosted by Wallace B. Smith, president of the RLDS Church.
July 25: Elder John E. Fowler of the Seventy spoke at the top of Ensign Peak to a group of 150 people there in support of an effort to restore the monument and flag pole at the site, place historical markers, beautify the trail and add picnic facilities. The meeting was held 145 years after Brigham Young figuratively "raised an ensign to the nations" in fulfillment of Isa. 5:26.
Aug. 4: President Ezra Taft Benson commemorated his 93rd birthday. A bust of the Church president was unveiled at the Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute at BYU.
Aug. 14: Flora Amussen Benson, wife of President Ezra Taft Benson, died at age 91.
Aug. 15: Commemorating the "second rescue" of the ill-fated Willie and Martin handcart pioneers, President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated three monuments along the Mormon Pioneer Trail, identifying two sites where the pioneers were rescued and another site which is the highest point on the trail.
The "second rescue" is an effort by Riverton Wyoming Stake members to research the members of the handcart companies and their families to see that temple ordinance work is performed for them.
Aug. 20-24: Four nations of Africa were dedicated in five days for the preaching of the gospel by Elders Russell M. Nelson and Richard G. Scott of the Council of the Twelve. The nations were Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Congo.
Aug. 21: President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, observed a milestone birthday - his 65th.
Aug. 23-26: Hurricane Andrew, the most powerful hurricane in more than 60 years, caused considerable damage to homes of Church members and to some Church buildings, particularly in the South Miami Florida Stake. Church members from many locations joined in cleanup efforts. The storm caused $30 billion in damage.
Aug. 30: The Church's 1,900th stake, the Orlando Florida South Stake, was organized by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve.
Sept. 5: The appointment of Bishop Henry B. Eyring as commissioner of education for the Church Educational System was announced by the First Presidency. The position had been vacant for a few years, but a growing need for system-wide planning of the Church educational effort was cited as the reason for the appointment.
Sept. 11: Hurricane Iniki destroyed about 10 percent of Church members' homes on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, and seriously damaged three of the five meetinghouses on the island. Latter-day Saints reached out to help Church members and non-members clean up and rebuild.
Sept. 12: The new Oakland Temple Visitors and Family History Center was dedicated by Elder David B. Haight of the Council of the Twelve who said it is "another evidence of the Lord's work rolling forward."
Sept. 15: Bill Clinton, Democratic candidate for U.S. president, made a courtesy call on Church leaders during a campaign stop in Salt Lake City to address a National Guard Association conference.
Sept. 16: The first of six missionary couples arrived in Mongolia to help improve the country's higher education system. The Church was invited by the Mongolian government to send the couples. The couples arrived in Mongolia "as missionaries in full identity," the first to enter Mongolia.
Sept. 16: Elders Vaughn J Featherstone, Ben B. Banks and Augusto A. Lim of the Seventy, members of the Philippines/Micronesia Area presidency, met with newly elected Philippines Pres. Fidel V. Ramos to discuss the contributions the Church makes to the country and the benefits it provides to the Filipino people. The presidency also presented Pres. Ramos a check for 1 million pesos, (41,000 U.S. dollars) to help aid people who had been displaced in the aftermath of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
Sept. 26: The First Presidency authorized the use of humanitarian relief funds to be sent to Somalia and other African nations in the grip of "the drought of the century." In an initial response, 1 million pounds of food had already been shipped.
Sept. 26: President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, addressed the General Women's Meeting in the Tabernacle. He encouraged LDS women to be "examples of the believers."
Oct. 3: Plans to build three temples were announced at general conference. New temples are to be built in Hartford, Conn.; Hong Kong; and at a yet-to-be-designated site in Utah County, Utah.
Also at October general conference, two new members were sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elders Henry B. Eyring and Glenn L. Pace, who were released as first and second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. Sustained as counselors in the Presiding Bishopric were Bishop H. David Burton and Bishop Richard C. Edgley.
In addition, the general Sunday School and Young Men presidencies were reorganized. Called as general Sunday School president was Elder Merlin R. Lybbert, with Elders Clinton L. Cutler and Ronald E. Poelman as his counselors.
Called as counselors to Young Men general president, Elder Jack H Goaslind, were Elders Stephen D. Nadauld and L. Lionel Kendrick.
Emeritus status was granted to Elder Marion D. Hanks and Elder Robert L. Backman of the Presidency of the Seventy. Six members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy were released after completion of their five-year assignments. Released were Elders George R. Hill III, John R. Lasater, Douglas J. Martin, Glen L. Rudd, Douglas H. Smith and Lynn A. Sorensen.
Oct. 17: The First Presidency issued a statement urging Sabbath day observance. The statement read in part, "We sense that many Latter-day Saints have become lax in their observance of the Sabbath day. We should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate the Sabbath.
"We urge all Latter-day Saints to set this holy day apart from activities of the world and consecrate themselves by entering into a spirit of worship, thanksgiving, service, and family-centered activities appropriate to the Sabbath."
Oct. 18-20: The London Temple was rededicated following extensive remodeling and refurbishing. Ten dedicatory sessions were held, with some 13,200 members attending.
Oct. 19: A temple site in the general area of Preston, England, was announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, during the second day of ceremonies at the London Temple rededication.
Oct. 23-25: The Swiss Temple was rededicated following extensive remodeling and refurbishing. Ten dedicatory sessions were held with nearly 9,000 members attending.
Oct. 25: A new videocassette production, On the Way Home, depicting a family's joy in finding the gospel, premiered over the Church satellite network as part of missionary open houses in Church meetinghouses throughout North America.
Nov. 8: Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society general president, made the first visit to India by a Church auxiliary president. She attended a home-centered sacrament meeting in Bangalore, where 11 adults and three children were present, and a fireside, where 65 people attended. Bangalore is the headquarters of the new India Bangalore Mission.
Nov. 14: Stephen K. Woodhouse, 52, was installed as the 12th president of LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, issued the charge to the new president.
Nov. 21: Young women throughout the Church joined in a day of service for the Young Women Worldwide Celebration: "Walk in the Light." Previous worldwide celebrations were held in 1986 and 1989.
Nov. 27: Elder Richard G. Scott of the Council of the Twelve turned on 250,000 Christmas lights on Temple Square. It was the 27th year for the traditional lighting of the Square.
Nov. 28: Creation of the Australia Sydney North Mission - the sixth in the that nation - was announced. It will begin operating Jan. 1.
Dec. 1: Diplomats from many nations
including ambassadors from the African diplomatic corps in the U.S. - attended ceremonies to switch on 250,000 Christmas lights at the Washington Temple. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve and Cameroon Ambassador Paul Pondi turned on the lights.
Dec. 6: President Thomas S. Monson gave the annual message in the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, saying, "To catch the real meaning of the Spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the Spirit of Christ."
Dec. 6: The Church reached a milestone of 20,000 wards and branches with the creation of the Harvest Park Ward in the Salt Lake Granger South Stake.
Dec. 7: The Central American nation of Belize, located on the Yucatan Peninsula, was dedicated by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Council of the Twelve for the preaching of the gospel. It completed the dedication of all seven nations in Central America.
Dec. 26: The Tabernacle Choir left on a tour of the Holy Land. Concerts will be held in Jerusalem, Tel Avia, and Haifa. The choir returns Jan. 6. (See separate story on page 3.)