Sunday, May 29, 2011

When it all began...

New leader called for Temple Square

Published: Saturday, Aug. 21, 1993
Putting off retirement one more time, Joseph Marshall McPhie accepted a call to direct the Temple Square Visitors Center. And now, five months into his tenure, he is weathering a major challenge.
When he moved into his North Visitors' Center office at the end of February, he had 44 sister missionaries serving under his direction. The number grew to 84 during the next few months in preparation for the coming tourist season. This summer, the number has nearly doubled again to 166 sister missionaries as a large-screen theater and FamilySearch facilities in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building were placed under Temple Square administration.Elder McPhie and his staff were charged with housing the tidal wave of new missionaries, smoothing their adoption into the mission family and training them in their new assignments. He also is responsible for about 50 senior missionaries who serve in a wide variety of responsible positions on Temple Square.
"The only reason it has worked is because of the fantastic spirit of the missionaries and because the Lord wanted it to work," Elder McPhie said.
Elder McPhie's wife, Ruth, was called to the mission along with her husband. She said she loves "all my beautiful daughters" as she assists her husband with the sister missionaries.
Elder McPhie called his counselors from among Temple Square missionaries. Currently serving are Elder Bruce Bennion of Cody, Wyo., as first counselor and Elder Lee Stoddard of Sandy, Utah, as second counselor. Elder C.W. Neal Nielsen of Mesa, Ariz., is the executive secretary. They are serving with their wives, Sisters Peggy Bennion, Annette Stoddard and Virginia Nielsen.
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