From around the world

Africa Area

Celestial is happiest

BENIN CITY, NIGERIA - Members of the Church in Benin City District, Nigeria Lagos Mission, staged a drama of the three degrees of glory. On two recent Saturdays, members and investigators watched a cast of 34 present a 90-minute drama in which three imaginary visitors from earth toured the telestial, terrestrial and celestial glories.

The cast met and planned the production over a period of two months. In the portrayal of the telestial kingdom, a room was shown of people who looked dejected, signifying they were in the lesser kingdom. The terrestrial kingdom was brighter, and actors portraying its inhabitants looked somewhat happier. The celestial kingdom was depicted as the brightest of the three, and its inhabitants were smiling and very happy.

Philippines/Micronesia Area

Free dental service given

MANILA, PHILIPPINES-Members of the LDSSA Chapter at the University of the East here participated in a service project recently to give free dental service to students and members of the Manila Stake.

Roy Nicomedes, a dental student and president of the LDSSA chapter at the university, organized the event. Several of his non-member classmates helped in the project.

Europe Mediterranean Area

Variety show entertains

PARIS, FRANCE - Goodwill toward the Church and favorable publicity resulted from a recent tour of the Dean and Sheila Dutton family of Provo, Utah.

The family, parents and seven children, are accomplished bluegrass musicians. They performed in December on one of France's most popular variety shows, and gave 12 concerts in France, Belgium and Switzerland, along with playing for children in Romania. Many of the concerts were for charitable causes to raise money for the disabled or those with heart problems.

Three performances were conducted in LDS meetinghouses, raising the profile of the Church and providing a forum for increased missionary efforts.

South America North Area

Focus on conversion

QUITO, ECUADOR - Regional representatives and mission presidents throughout the five countries in this area are focusing on the theme of "True conversion to Christ."

"All the leaders are working hard to follow the plan as outlined by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve," said Elder Julio Davila of the Seventy, a counselor in the area presidency.

He said progress is being made as members respond to the instructions of their leaders.

Brazil Area

Governor receives book

RECIFE, BRAZIL - Youth from the Boa Viagem Brazil Stake gathered recently at the headquarters of the state of Pernambuco for a ceremony in which they gave the governor of Pernambuco, Joaquim Francisco, a copy of the Book of Mormon.

Gov. Francisco welcomed the youth and expressed appreciation to them for the gift.

North America Central Area

75-year-wait is over


After 75 years of struggling to find a meeting place, members in this community rejoiced with the completion of the first LDS building constructed here. Former branch and stake presidents attended and took part in the recent dedicatory program.

Before the Beatrice Branch meetinghouse was completed, the branch met in homes, public and commercial buildings, and union halls since 1917.

The building also created a higher profile for the Church in the area. When plans for the building were announced in the local newspaper, 25 ministers responded by expressing opposition to the Church. Following that expression, however, many in the community voiced support for the Church. Opportunities to explain LDS beliefs increased.

Now in Beatrice, "there is a new understanding of the Church, new friends, new members, and a lovely new building," said Shauna B. Valentine, public affairs director of the Lincoln Nebraska Stake.

North America Northwest Area

Lap quilts warm residents

SPOKANE, WASH. - When a member of the Spokane 15th Ward visited a local nursing home, she noticed that some residents didn't have lap quilts for warmth. Upon investigating, she and others learned of a widespread need for lap quilts in area nursing homes.

As a result, Relief Society sisters in the ward, under the direction of president Edith Powell, gathered materials, sewed and tied 267 lap quilts. The quilts were donated in December to residents of five nursing homes.

"The elderly residents who received the quilts expressed great joy and appreciation," said Sister Powell. "One old gentleman was greatly pleased with the cowboys and horses on his quilt. Another was impressed by the softness, yet another with the bright cheery colors."

North America Northeast Area

LDS families recognized

RICHMOND, VA. - Among the six families recognized during Family Week by the Family and Children's Services Center here, two were in the Richmond Virginia Stake.

Everett and Bertella Aldridge, and Leroy W. and Anne Merle Scruggs were honored for triumphing over difficult trials. Sister Aldridge has been blind since her youngest son was 5 years old. She and her husband have successfully reared six sons and one daughter, and have served in the community. Brother Aldridge, a dentist, has provided dental service for prisoners for many years.

The Scruggs are parents of five children. Their youngest son was born with a defective heart and has faced many struggles throughout his 14 years. Both families have pulled together to triumph over traumatic and difficult experiences in their lives.

North America Southwest Area

Interfaith social is popular

CHINO VALLEY, ARIZ. - Two wards in this rural north central Arizona valley hosted an interfaith social recently for other local congregations, organizations and individuals.

At the social, displays of items that were handmade by women in the congregations were displayed. A program, with various representatives taking part, was enjoyed by a large audience. After the program, each person who attended was given a handmade ornament, said Della J. Edgar, Relief Society president of the Del Rio Ward.

"The programs have been held annually for the past 11 years," said Sister Edgar. "The people of the community look forward to this each year and it has been a means of creating better harmony and understanding between the various groups in the valley."

North America Southeast Area

Young missionaries trained

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Young men in the Charleston South Carolina Stake gain a taste of missionary service as they take part in a "mini-MTC" (Missionary Training Center) sponsored by the stake. After the training, the young men then serve with full-time missionaries for a week.

Stewart Schofield, ward Young Men president, said the Charleston 1st Ward started the effort last year, and this year the stake president endorsed it for young men in the entire stake.

North America West Area

3,500 visit exhibit

PALO ALTO, CALIF. - Community relations for local Church units received a boost recently as some 3,500 people, of whom about 60 percent were not LDS, visited an open house at the Palo Alto 2nd Ward.

The visitors expressed appreciation for the exhibit, which featured more than 350 creches, or Nativity scenes. In addition, live music was performed continuously during the four-day exhibit. The scenes ranged from one inside a walnut shell to a five-foot high congra grass Nativity scene from the Philippines. The event was publicized in San Francisco newspapers.

Among the visitors were clergy and nuns from other local congregations. One leader of a congregation wrote in a newsletter that the exhibit had a powerful impact and demonstrated that "Christ has penetrated every age and culture." Members of various congregations offered to loan their personal creche sets for next year.

"We wanted to project the love of the Christ child, which was behind the people's creation of their Nativity scenes," said Colette Taylor, who chaired the committee that organized the event.

Committee member Marlene Meshinski added, "It is a quiet and beautiful way of letting the community know that our Church believes in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

Readers from around the world are invited to submit news items and photos for this feature on Church events worldwide. Submissions should include a telephone number of someone who can be contacted for additional information. Items should be mailed to Church News, "From Around the World," P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Fax No. (801) 237-2121.

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