From around the world

Mexico South Area

Tzotzil Indians visit temple

SAN CRISTOBAL, MEXICO - Members of an Indian branch in Chiapas recently held their first excursion to the temple. This group of Tzotzil Indians brought great spirituality as they attended the temple, said Ron Lowe, director of the Church's neighboring New World Archaeological Foundation, and counselor in a bishopric of a nearby ward that assisted the branch in its excursion.

The Tzotzil Indians live in the highlands of Chiapas, an area where little proselyting has been done. They live about 700 miles from the temple in Mexico City.

Asia Area

New translation appreciated

TOKYO, JAPAN - A new translation of the Book of Mormon in Japanese with added scriptural helps and Bible Dictionary has been published. It has been eagerly received among the Japanese Saints, said Ken-ichi Ishikawa, Japan Nagoya Mission public affairs director.

The new translation, the third since 1910, reflects the changes in the Japanese language and has a 292-page "Guide for the Scriptures," based on the English LDS Bible's "Topical Guide." It also has LDS footnotes.

Copies of the new translation have been donated to local libraries, including to the main Nagoya library and its 14 branches, by Pres. J. Reed Mackley of the Japan Nagoya Mission and local priesthood leaders.

Asia North Area

Workers fed, thanks said

HONG KONG - More than 130 workers at the Hong Kong Temple site were treated recently to a luncheon in appreciation for their work on the temple. They were hosted by the Hong Kong Kowloon East Stake under the direction of stake Pres. Wing Hong Emmanual Shum. A roast pig, a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture, along with rice, chicken, and vegetable soup, were served by 30 young men and women of the stake. Remarks of appreciation for the workers given by Hong Kong Mission Pres. John Malulani Aki Jr.

"We hope this kind gesture will help the workmen realize our gratitude and appreciation for their work on the `House of the Lord,' " said Pres. Bill Hsu of the Peninsula Branch and organizer of the luncheon.

Europe East Area

Scriptural site revisited

THESSALONIKI, GREECE - Members of the Church here are grateful for their priceless heritage and often find reminders of it. Recently, members and friends of the Thessaloniki Branch visited Kavala and Philippi. Twenty-seven people, representing 10 nations - Greece, Albania, Armenia, the Philippines, Brazil, Germany, France, Sweden, Russia and the United States - took part in the activity.

The group left early in the morning for Kavala, which is named "Neapolis" in the scriptures.

The group had lunch at Philippi and spent some time in its ancient amphitheater where some scenes from the life of Paul were re-enacted. Three local members said the play helped give them a new perspective of Paul. After the play, everyone in the group gathered to read passages from the epistles written by the ancient apostle.

North America Central Area

Anti-porn conference held

GREAT FALLS, MONT. - Local officials here were educated on the connection between pornography and sexual violence during the "War Against Pornography Conference," held recently at Montana State University in this city.

Among the speakers was Victor B. Cline, a retired University of Utah professor who told the audience that of the 400 sexually addicted adults and teenagers he has counseled, pornography was a factor in 92 percent of their cases. The conference was sponsored by Montana Citizens for Decency Through Law. Many of this organization's members, including its president, Dallas D. Erickson, are members of the Church.

Robert Peters, attorney and president of Morality in Media based in New York who also participated in the conference, said the Great Falls area has a considerably larger pornographic business than other cities of the same size. He said Montana is one of 10 states in the union with unworkable obscenity laws.

North America Southwest Area

Continual family history effort

BENTON, ARKANSAS - During a recent holiday break, 27 youth from the Benton Ward, Little Rock Arkansas Stake, traveled to the Dallas Texas Temple to do baptisms for the dead. A few weeks earlier, the young women and young men met at the stake family history center to conduct their own research.

"We had the youth bring any family names that had not had their temple work done for them," said Amy Daniel, Young Women president.

Sister Daniel said the youth advisers in the ward are trying to make temple work a continuing focus - not just something the youth think about before they take a temple trip.

Caroline Henrichsen, a 15-year-old Mia Maid, called the trip "something all the youth in the ward look forward to" and that they can be "thankful for."

North America Southeast Area

Honored for tutoring

HOUSTON, TEXAS - Seven missionaries of the Texas Houston East Mission received a "Volunteers of the Year" award for their English tutoring efforts.

Principal speakers at a banquet at which the missionaries and others were honored for community efforts were Houston Mayor Bob Lanier and Rodney Ellis, state senator.

The missionaries were honored by SER-Jobs For Progress of the Texas Gulf Coast Inc., a community service agency, for their reliable and effective tutoring at the agency's Denver Harbor facility for people who are underprivileged.

Accepting the award for the missionaries, who were unable to attend, was Sister Billie Hubbard, public affairs missionary, who said in a brief acceptance speech, "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God."

Utah South Area

Young Women accept challenge

ST. GEORGE, UTAH - Young women of the St. George 12th Ward, St. George Utah East Stake, accepted the challenge given by general Young Women leaders in 1995 to "experiment upon the word," as described in Alma 32 in the Book of Mormon.

Early in the year they signed commitment sheets to study the scriptures in order to grow spiritually. Throughout the year as they studied the scriptures, they drew pictures to help illustrate the principles and stories they were learning. Toward the end of the year, the young women chose 12 of those pictures - including one depicting Alma 32 - to draw on fabric and set into a lap quilt as a reminder of what they had learned.

"It was a wonderful year to learn more from the scriptures by giving place for the seed, nourishing it and feasting on its fruits," said ward Young Women leader Cathy Shaffer.

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