President Hunter to be honored at the centennial program of Genealogical Society of Utah

President Howard W. Hunter will be honored at a special program Sunday, Nov. 13, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Genealogical Society of Utah.

President Hunter served as president of the society from 1964 to 1972.The centennial commemorative program is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. It will be videotaped and broadcast at 8 p.m. (MST) on KBYU-TV, Channel 11.

Speakers will include President Hunter; President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson, first and second counselor in the First Presidency, respectively; and Elder Russell M.Nelson of the Council of Twelve.

The program will include a videotaped presentation, "Honoring President Howard W. Hunter and the Genealogical Society of Utah."

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will provide music for the program.

In response to Pres. Wilford Woodruff's teachings regarding family history responsibilities, the Genealogical Society of Utah was organized Nov. 13, 1894. One of its purposes, according to its minutes that day, was the "establishing and maintaining [of] a genealogical library for the use and benefit of its members and others." A later historical summary expanded on the society's purposes:

"It was to be benevolent, educational, and religious in purpose – benevolent in gathering together into a library books that would help the people trace their ancestry; educational in teaching the people how to trace their ancestry . . . ; religious in that they would do all in their power to encourage the people to perform in the temples the necessary ordinances."

The library was small at first. Housed in an upstairs room of the Church Historian's Office, it contained about 300 books. Since then the collection has grown and its facilities have changed commensurately. Today, the Family History Library of the Church's Family History Department occupies a modern five-story building that houses some 2 million reels of microfilmed genealogical records, more than 200,000 books, and more than 300,000 microfiches, making it the largest library of its kind in the world.