BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — Fifty years ago, the Bountiful East Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encompassed an area from 1800 South in Bountiful to the Salt Lake County line and the area from the Great Salt Lake to the mountains.
Through the years, eight stakes, including stakes in North Salt Lake and Woods Cross, were formed out of the Bountiful East Stake.
Today, the Bountiful 11th, 17th, 21st, 23rd, 28th, 30th and 45th wards make up the Bountiful East Stake. President James P. McGuire is stake president.
Current stakes within the original Bountiful East boundary include: the Woods Cross, Val Verda, North Salt Lake, Mueller Park, North Canton, North Salt Lake Parkway, Woods Cross North and the North Salt Lake Legacy.
A celebration is planned on Aug. 16 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Bountiful-Woods Cross Regional Center to mark the past 50 years in the stake. All present and former members and friends of the stake are invited.
The evening will begin with a reception, including all the previous stake presidents who are able to attend. The stake has had nine presidents, including one, Rendell N. Mabey, who served twice.
At 7 p.m., there will be a cultural celebration featuring performers from the seven wards in the stake, including one from the Wilkinson family.
Lorraine Wilkinson was a composer and had a radio show, “Lyrics By Lorraine,” in the 1960s. There will also be a flash mob made up of the Young Men organizations within the stake, reenacting the Army of Helamen, and a song by the Primary-aged children.
The Bountiful East Stake was formed from the South Davis Stake in September of 1963.
Mabey was chosen as the first stake president and served two years before being released to preside over the Swiss Mission. He served a second term from 1970 to 1976, said F. Weldon Thacker, who was stake president for 10 years between 1980 and 1990.
Those years were busy and productive for the stake.
Thacker recalls that when he was named stake president, he was serving as the director of personnel, seminaries and institutes for the church, and the position often called him away from his home ward to attend services elsewhere on Sunday.
Consequently, when he was called, he didn’t feel he knew the members of the stake as well as he should, so with his counselors, Richard S. Hixson and Kent L. Worthington, Thacker interviewed every couple in the stake, he said.
“I got to know the whole stake that way and I feel it did a lot of good,” in boosting participation, he said.
In 1980, the Bountiful East Stake also initiated a large honey project and by the end of the year, the stake had processed 64,000 pounds of honey for church use, Thacker said.
The church also began its three-hour consolidated scheduled in 1980.
“Our stake served as the pilot program the previous year,” Thacker said.
The stake records extraction program began in 1982, Thacker said. By 1983, 23,000 names per week were being extracted for the church’s temple program.
In 1984, a member donated land to be used for a new chapel and recreation property at 2255 S. 200 West. A bowery, playground, track field baseball diamond and volleyball and basketball courts were built. The facilities are still in use today, Thacker said.
During his years as stake president, stake members reached out to other faiths, attending an open house at St. Olaf Church and building relations with members of other faiths.
Editor's note: Special thanks to Bountiful Councilman Tom Tolman for his willingness to share his historical knowledge and photo collection with the Clipper.