From Douglas Arnold: Any significant review of the phenomenal group of the Church in Chile must single out the special effort of President Gordon B. Hinckley and Elder A. Theodore Tuttle in 1969 and 1970. Their visits had a profound effect on both missionaries and members alike.
I remember waiting with great anticipation what we thought would be the formation of the first stake in Chile. Gordon B Hinckley was assigned to preside at the Santiago Chile District conference. Sunday morning, President Hinckley told the congregation that he had come to organize the first stake and had been authorized by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve to do so but that he was not going to do so. He pointed to a rose on the podium and explained that to do so then would be like cutting a beautiful flower before it bloomed. He explained to the congregation that through the interview process to find a stake president he could not find enough Melchizedek Priesthood holders who were full tithe payers who were prepared to direct a stake. Instead of forming the stake two districts were formed and the members went back to their homes to begin living the gospel more fully and missionaries embarked on a new effort to proselyte leaders. Shortly after, Elder Tuttle and Elder Hinckley visited with the missionaries and a new strategy for proselyting was put into place. The new strategy was to baptize fathers. Elder Hinckley explained that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appealed to men because it would make them better fathers, better husbands and more successful workers. Elder Tuttle explained to missionaries that every time they were teaching a wife or daughter they were supposed to go to the father and say, "Susie wants to be baptized but we cannot baptize her. You see the gospel of Jesus Christ is for families and it especially appeals to fathers." An edition of the Chilean Mission Monthly publication "El Toqui" was produced and was entitled "Se Busca Lideres" (Looking for leaders) summarized the teachings.
I know that missionaries began to put this into practice and as a missionary in those days I saw a dramatic difference in our work. One Missionary, I believe his name was Elder Romney developed a finding approach to be used with businesse. Missionaries would go to a bank, a commercial establishment, or government office and ask if they could come back later and explain an eight minute message that they could guarantee would make their office workers better leaders. Managers were told some might not be interested in the message but we could guarantee that it would make them better. We would then usually return later than day and explain President Hinckley's thoughts on why the church appealed to men and how they could learn to be better fathers and develop leadership through church service. After eight minutes we took the names and addresses of those of them who would like us to visit them in their homes. This opened many doors. In late 1970 a correspondent for one of the daily newspapers "El Tercero" submitted a picture of the LDS missionaries in Copiapo who had just given an eight minute seminar to the officials at the regional office of the Chilean Internal Revenue Service. Even the Mayor of Copiapo who had accused the Elders of being disguised agents of the CIA carrying Bibles under their arms opened his offices and a leadership seminar was given to his employees in the Mayor's office. The response to the gospel was great in those early years and has continued to increase. Inspired leaders helped missionaries and member alike and the Church grew.
In 1983, I returned to Chile for the Santiago Temple dedication. Two things struck me at the time. First the glossy posters announcing the dedication proclaimed it as the "Primero Templo de Chile," the first temple in Chile, I knew then and I know now that many more are to follow. Second, I ran into a young bishop Caesar Luna. I had taught him in my last area in 1970 at the time he had just finished his military service and was searching for the gospel. Caesar went on to explain to me that a year after his baptism he had been called as missionary in Antofagasta and had baptized other young men like himself. They to had gone on missions and reported back to him that they had baptized young men just like them who had reported back that they to had baptized other young men who had reported back that they to had baptized other young men who had gone on missions. What an incredible joy you can count the seeds in an apple but you cannot count the apples in one seed.
Submitted by Douglas W. Arnold