Names of buildings preserve tradition of missionary work

Elder David B. Haight of the Council of the Twelve extolled the noble tradition of faith and missionary work exemplified by the two men and one woman for whom three new buildings were named at the Missionary Training Center: President Lorenzo Snow, Elder LeGrand Richards and Harriet Nye.

Elder Haight, chairman of the Church's Missionary Executive Council, conducted and addressed the dedicatory service March 10 in the center's new Lorenzo Snow building. He spoke about each person for whom the buildings are named and introduced members of their families who attended the ceremony.

Lorenzo Snow was born April 3, 1814, at Mantua, Ohio. He was called as an apostle in 1849 and as a counselor to Brigham Young in 1873. He was sustained as president of the Church in 1898. He died in 1901, at age 87. His name was given to a multi-purpose building where "inspired spiritual devotional meetings will be held, where all missionaries in training can be assembled," Elder Haight said. "This building will also accomodate physical activities to help keep well and strong the physical bodies that house the spirit."

He described President Snow, fifth president of the Church, as a well-educated and refined man and outstanding individual who served many missions for the Church, traveling to England, Italy and Hawaii, in addition to the southern and northwestern states of the U.S.

"Lorenzo Snow, though small in stature, was a giant in his time as a schoolmaster, missionary, legislator, financier, temple worker and prophet who profoundly influenced the Saints and non-members alike," Elder Haight said.

In speaking of President Snow's life and service in the Church, Elder Haight continued: "As the result of congressional action in 1887, most of the Church's asseets were seized by federal agents and the Church was in serious financial difficulty. In 1899, then President Lorenzo Snow addressed a gathering of Saints in the St. George Tabernacle and under inspiration he declared, 'I say unto you that, if this people will pay a full and honest tithing, the shackles of indebtedness will be removed from us.'

"He carried that message throughout the territory and stimulated a renewed commitment to tithing. Through his inspired admonition and promise to the Saints, the Church's debt problems were resolved and the Church was placed on a sound financial base.

"His final message in 1901 was to prepare the world for the coming of the Savior and the encouragement of opening missionary work in Russia, Austria and Latin America. He assigned Heber J. Grant of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to establish a proselyting mission in Japan.

"His life was truly one of devotion and dedication ot the preaching of the restored gospel throughout the world."

Elder LeGrand Richards was born Feb. 6, 1886, at Farmington, Utah. He served a mission to the Netherlands from 1905 to 1908, and returned as mission president in 1913. In 1926, he served a short-term mission to the Eastern States. In 1933 he was called to preside over the Southern States Mission for four years. He was called as Presiding Bishop in 1938 and as an apostle in 1952. He died Jan. 11, 1983, at age 96. His name has been given to a new residence building.

"The name Elder LeGrand Richards is widely revered and loved in a special way throughout the Church," Elder Haight declared.

He noted that as a young missionary Elder Richards, by careful study and guided by the Holy Ghost, "added to his store of gospel knowledge the gather ing of Israel, the apostasy, and other gospel subjects. Scripturally, he could prove the apostasy to people who accepted the Bible, and could establish both the need and the promise of a restoration. These two themes were central to Elder Richards' preaching. With his own firm conviction and knowledge of the Bible, and a command of the language with which to share the gospel, he could teach and preach and be the Lord's instrument in conversions.

"LeGrand Richards had an ability to boldly challenge without giving offense, to explain the gospel in plain terms, and to bear testimony unto conversion."

Elder Haight further said: "Elder Richards' name will long be remembered and revered for his stimulating personality and missionary zeal-- touching many lives for good worldwide. Missionary work was the most common theme of this extemporaneous conference addresses, and his book, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, has helped convert and is still influencing thousands of people to the principles of the restored gospel. Millions of copies have been sold."

Harriet Nye was born Harriet Maria Horsepool in London, England, on Feb. 6, 1847. Her family was converted to the gospel when she was a child and immigrated to the United States. In 1867, she married another pioneer, Ephraim Nye, who was called as president of the California Mission in 1898. A classroom/teaching building, which also includes a medical clinic, has been named in her honor.

Elder Haight explained: "Although women did a good deal of unofficial missionarywork in the 19th century, no sisters were officially called until 1898, when President George Q. Cannon announced, 'It has been decided to call some of our wise and prudent women into the missionary field.' The first woman called under the new policy was Harriet Maria Horsepool Nye...

"Upon their return home, Ephraim was called as president of the new Southern States Mission in Atlanta, Ga., where he and Harriet served until his death. She returned to her home in Ogden [Utah] ans spent the remaining 28 years of her life serving in Relief Society presidencies.

"Harriet's dedicated work was usually behind the scenes, out of the limelight. Her obituary mentions her service as Relief Society president in the mission field and her many positions at home. She had a strong tesimony of the gospel and spent much of her life in the service of others."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed