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THIS WEEK IN CHURCH HISTORY

50 years ago

The Tongan Mission experienced a month of "great spiritual activity" during the visit of Elder George Albert Smith, Mission Pres. Emile C. Dunn reported in the July 9, 1938, Church Section of the Deseret News.

The apostle arrived in Nuku'alofa May 10. There he was greeted by 60 Boy Scouts in uniform who had marched to the wharf. Elder Smith greeted them with the Scout salute and a few words of encouragement.

During his stay, 48 people were baptized and 56 meetings were conducted.

He said the 48 baptisms represented the greatest number of converts in one month in the history of the Tongan Mission.

Quotes from the past

"Priesthood means service. This is true even in its divine source; as we may infer from the sublime declaration of the Lord Himself: "This is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.' (Moses 1:39.) Emanating from Deity is the service that leads to the redemption of God's children.

"Whenever the priesthood is delegated to man, it is conferred upon him not as a personal distinction, although it becomes such as he honors it, but as authority to represent Deity and an obligation to assist the Lord in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

"If priesthood meant only personal honor, blessing, or individual elevation, there would be no need of groups or quorums. The very existence of such groups established by divine authorization proclaims our dependence upon one another, the indispensable need of mutual help and assistance. We are, by divine right, social beings. - President David O. McKay, special general conference meeting, April 6, 1935