Church growth keeps historian busy

Nestor Curbelo is a man with a history. Five volumes of history, to be exact. He just completed his fifth book in a series on the history of the Church in the South America South Area.

His work as official historian for the area is enough to keep him busy. However, he has other callings and assignments that keep him even busier. He is president of the Buenos Aires Argentina North Stake and is also coordinator of the Buenos Aires West Region of the Church Educational System.The latest volume of history he completed is illustrated with pictures. Pres. Curbelo's book contains the most important facts in the 89 stakes and 17 missions in the area, which includes Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. The history also includes data about the two temples in the area, the Buenos Aires and the Santiago Chile temples.

Pres. Curbelo works under the direction of Elder Jacob de Jager of the Seventy, the area president. Elder de Jager, in speaking of the importance of compiling an area history, praised Elder J. Thomas Fyans, formerly of the Seventy and a former president of the area, for his "insight and vision to call Pres. Curbelo as the official historian for the area."

In addition to gathering information for a written history of the area, Pres. Curbelo also has collected video tapes with oral histories by leaders and members in the four countries in the area. Those tapes contain a wealth of information pertaining to the Church in South America. The land of South America was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel by Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Council of the Twelve in 1925.

To assist Pres. Curbelo with the extensive research necessary to compile and write the area's history, the area presidency in July called Rodolfo Acevedo as assistant area Church historian for Chile. Brother Acevedo received a master's degree in history from the university in Santiago in 1989. His thesis was "Thirty Years: Mormons in Chile." The thesis covered the period of 1956-1986.

The latest volume of the history of the South America South Area is being sent to Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, where it will find its place with the previous four volumes in the Church Historical Department as a source of information for those who are interested in the development of the Church in South America.