Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve
“To read of the lives of the apostles of the Lord, and then find yourself serving in that role is just overwhelming,” said Elder Lowell Tom Perry, newly sustained member of the Council of the Twelve.
“But when you sit in front of the prophet, and you know that he knows more about you than you know yourself, all you can do is accept the call and then try to live up to the expectations.”
Elder Perry has had a lifetime experience of “accepting the call.” Responsibilities within the Church were learned from his father who served as a bishop for the first 18 years of the future General Authority’s life, and then for the next 20 years as a counselor in and president of the Logan Utah Stake.
Bishop Perry ordained his son a deacon and then counseled him as he accepted the position of deacons quorum president, teachers quorum president, and other positions in his years of church activity.
His father’s example is still a teaching factor in the life of Elder Perry. In his first address as a member of the Council of the Twelve at the 144th Annual General Conference, Elder Perry referred to his parents who each day dressed their six children in the “armor of God.”
“As we would kneel in family prayer and listen to our father, a bearer of the priesthood, pour out his soul to the Lord for the protection of his family against the fiery darts of the wicked, one more layer was added to our shield of faith.”
This shield of faith has been passed on to Elder Perry’s children: Linda Gay, a high school student in Salt Lake City; Lee, a student at Brigham Young University who served in the Japan West Mission; and Mrs. Barbara (Terry) Haws of Tempe, Arizona, who now has a son of her own.
Elder Perry, who has been active in business affairs as well as in the Church, believes the secret to his family’s good relationship has been involving everyone in his activities wherever possible.
“I think we have been involved in nearly everything together. For instance, from the time she was six or seven, my oldest daughter would help me in my business affairs by drawing forms for the budget or copying the budget figures. That meant we were together, and it also meant that I could finish my work earlier and spend more time with my family. In church work my son would run the copying machine and help me with other things. Now that he is older, he does a little writing for me. He has a vocabulary much superior to mine, so he helps me in that area.
“I think that any father should let his family become involved and never isolate them from what he is doing. He should make the family a part of every calling and every business responsibility that comes to him. By so doing they feel closer, and they feel the need to make contributions.”
Elder Perry sees his contribution to the Church as a member of the Twelve as that of enthusiasm. “I think that the greatest talent that the Lord has blessed me with is enthusiasm. I am hard to keep down. I will try to keep people charged up about their responsibilities and duties and about their great potential.
“The second talent I think I can contribute is that in my life I have been blessed to have both Church and business experiences that have taught me organization. Perhaps my contribution will be in the basic levels of the organization; to make them stronger, more alive, more efficient. The Lord’s business has to be the best in the world.
“I have also been blessed with the opportunity of living and serving in various areas of the country. I was born in Logan, Utah, but I have lived in Idaho, California, New York, and Massachusetts, and on the morning following my call as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, I had the very strong impression that one of the reasons for the call had been my experience away from the center of the Church. I have had the experience of living in small branches, of traveling long distances to and from meetings, of all the problems you can encounter while growing and maturing in building programs. I am sure that I will be drawing upon these experiences as I make contributions to the Church.”
Elder Perry was president of the Boston Massachusetts Stake at the time of his call to be an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve. As a stake president he was attending general conference and learned of his call just 24 hours prior to being sustained.
His call to the Council of the Twelve came with a little more notice. “My wife and I had returned home after attending the day-long Regional Representatives’ seminar on the Thursday before conference. I had just loosened my tie when I received a telephone call from President Kimball’s secretary asking me to meet with the president that evening. That is when I received my call.”
Elder Perry’s wife is the former Virginia Lee of Hyde Park, Utah. They met when both were students at Utah State University where he was majoring in finance and she was studying Portuguese. They were married in the Logan Temple on July 18, 1947. Two years later he received his bachelor’s degree and continued at USU in graduate work before entering business.
Prior to entering college, Elder Perry had served two years with the United States Marines in the Pacific; before then, he served two years in the Northern States Mission.
Elder Perry was born August 5, 1922, to L. Tom and Nora Sonne Perry. Those who remember his teen years in Logan affectionately recall that his nickname was “Stretch,” because of his height. He is now “a little over six feet four inches.” He is also remembered for his concern for younger children and his willingness to play with them.
“I enjoy children. The best Church position I ever had in the early days was being a member of the Sunday School presidency responsible for Junior Sunday School. That was a tremendous experience. I enjoyed MIA, too.”
Elder Perry became an associate director of the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA when the total MIA program was realigned in 1972. In 1973, he was appointed chairman of the Church Bicentennial Committee responsible for recommending programs and projects by which the Church in the United States may celebrate the nation’s 200th birthday in 1976.
“This has the potential of becoming one of the greatest events in the history of the Church as well as in the history of the nation. For a whole year we will devote time to contemplating and thinking about the things we can do for our government. I think the great message that we have to carry is that of local, individual, family, and community interest in government. The Church is in a unique position because we have a pattern of local leadership. I am positive that we have millions of people who are devoted to our country, and who are looking for a way to participate in its leadership at the local level.”
Leadership has been a part of Elder Perry’s life; leadership in the home, Church, and in business. Wherever his energies and enthusiasm have been directed, he has found that “when you live close to the gospel, the Lord is always there. I have proven it to be true that if I would do my homework, if I would study and be prepared, the Lord always ratified the direction I should take. The Lord has always been there to rely on. I will need him more now than ever before.”
Elder J. Thomas Fyans, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve
“We had just concluded an all-day seminar with the Regional Representatives and General Authorities in the Salt Lake Temple, and I was witnessing a sealing in one of the sealing rooms. At its conclusion I was asked to contact the First Presidency. …”
Two days later, Elder J. Thomas Fyans was sustained as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve during the solemn assembly April 6 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
The managing director of the Internal Communications Division since it was formed in March 1972, Elder Fyans will continue to direct the activities of that organization, whose responsibility it is to conduct the operations of all internal communications of the Church. This includes the scheduling, translation, preparation, printing and distribution of all communications, instructional materials, and periodicals, primarily for members of the Church.
Elder Fyans was administrative director for the Presiding Bishopric prior to his present assignment, and before that he was director of distribution and translation. He also served as coordinator between the General Authorities and local Church officials in arranging the area general conference held by the Church in Manchester, England, in 1971, in Mexico City in 1972, and in Munich, Germany, a year ago. He is also the coordinator for the area conference to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, this August.
Born May 17, 1918, in Moreland, Idaho, Elder Fyans is the son of Joseph and Mae Farnsworth Fyans. On May 28, 1943, he married Helen Cook in the Salt Lake Temple. Their home has been blessed with five daughters, Mrs. Carol Lynn (Robert L.) Nelson of Las Vegas, Nevada; and Mrs. Kathleen (Robert) Blair, Mrs. Patricia (Paul E.) Steriff, and Mrs. Pamela (Vern) Delahunty, all of Salt Lake City. Another daughter, Suzanne Fyans, is a student at Brigham Young University.
During the Sunday morning session of general conference, Elder Fyans concluded his remarks with a moving tribute to his wife and “eternal companion” with these words: “In my lifetime of church service, she has always smiled approbation and encouragement. No man could have a more congenial, supportive companion.”
From 1940 to 1943, he was a missionary in the Spanish American Mission. Then in 1947 he served as bishop of the Butler Ward. Later, he served for ten years as first counselor in the East Jordan Stake presidency.
As Uruguayan Mission president from 1960 to 1964, Elder Fyans saw the mission membership increase from 3,000 to 10,000 members. When he returned, he served as a member of the Church Missionary Department until October 1967, when he was called as one of the first Regional Representatives of the Twelve.
Elder Fyans’ business and civic activities are impressive. For 20 years he was a department executive for Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution, a large department store chain in Utah. He has been on the board of directors of three corporations and is a past president of the Salt Lake Junior Chamber of Commerce and past national chairman of the Jaycee Speakers Committee. In 1952 he was selected as the outstanding young man in Salt Lake City and the following year as one of the three outstanding young men in Utah.
Coming on the role now of the Internal Communications Division, Elder Fyans says that “the call of our prophet is for the gospel to go unto all nations, and our department must have the written materials ready when the brethren indicate that we’re going into a new nation where a new language is involved.” He added that there will be a refining and simplification of these materials so that they will be more widely distributed and more widely used.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Church Commissioner of Education, was sustained as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve during the solemn assembly.
His call to serve in this position had come to him at his home less than 48 hours before he was sustained. Remembering the occasion vividly, Elder Maxwell says, “I returned home Thursday evening from a Regional Representatives’ seminar where we had listened to the First Presidency in a testimony meeting, and because I had been involved a little in the planning of the seminar, I was quite exhausted and lay down to rest. About seven o’clock there was a knock at our door; it was President Kimball. He invited my wife to join us in our front room, and there I received my call.”
Elder Maxwell will continue as Church Commissioner of Education, an appointment he has held since mid-1970. In this position he supervises all elementary and secondary schools, seminaries, institutes, colleges, and institutions of higher learning of the Church, including Brigham Young University, Ricks College, and the Church College of Hawaii. The Church Educational System extends to 50 countries and involves a third of a million students.
Prior to his assignment as Church Commissioner of Education, Elder Maxwell was executive vice-president of the University of Utah where he joined the administrative staff in 1955 as Assistant Director of Public Relations. He has also served extensively in civic, business, and governmental capacities.
Elder Maxwell began his church service with a mission to Canada. Later he was a bishop’s counselor and a bishop of the University Sixth Ward in Salt Lake City. He was also a member of the General Board of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association and a member of the Adult Correlation Committee of the Church. In 1967 he became one of the first 69 Regional Representatives of the Council of the Twelve.
Born in Salt Lake City July 6, 1926, Elder Maxwell graduated from Granite High School in 1944. He graduated from the University of Utah with high honors and with a political science major in 1952. In 1961 he received his master’s degree in political science. In addition, he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Utah in 1969 and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Westminster College in 1971.
Elder Maxwell married Colleen Hinckley in the Salt Lake Temple on November 22, 1950. They are the parents of four children: Mrs. Becky (Michael) Ahlander, who attends Brigham Young University with her husband; Cory, a missionary in the Germany Central Mission; and daughters Nancy and Jane, who attend high school in Salt Lake City.
Elder Maxwell senses deeply his role as a patriarch to his family and says that “by no means least in my life is my need to succeed as the father of my children and to be an effective husband—these are callings as great as any that one could have.”
He says that he has enjoyed the privilege of proximity to the First Presidency and the Twelve for several years and it has only deepened his trust in, and respect for, these men. He concluded by saying, “I … rejoice in the opportunity to assist the First Presidency and the Twelve in any way that I can, and hopefully, my experiences that have taken me to about 40 countries around the world will give me some preparation for what lies ahead.”
Missionary Expansion Highlights Regional, Mission Representatives’ Seminar
Calling for a greatly expanded missionary effort, a better use of mass media techniques to spread the message of the gospel, and the opening of doors now closed to the gospel, President Spencer W. Kimball delivered a historic message to the Regional and Mission Representatives of the Council of the Twelve at a pre-general conference seminar.
“How can we be satisfied with 100,000 converts [a year] out of the four billion people in the world who need the gospel?” he challenged.
President Kimball said that the Church has 17,564 full-time missionaries in the field, but “we can send more, many more.” He explained that in asking for more missionaries, he meant them to be well trained prior to their call. He also meant that young people would be so instructed that they would see that a mission would be a privilege. Missionaries should be physically fit, and mentally and spiritually well, and know that the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.
“I am asking for missionaries who have been well trained through their families and the institutions of the Church,” he said, and added, “We must train prospective missionaries much better, much earlier, and much longer so that each anticipates his mission with joy.”
President Kimball said that the Church needs to enlarge its field of operations and to make a full, prayerful study of the nations of the world that do not have the gospel. In this effort to reach other nations, President Kimball said that the Church may achieve its goals through the use of many strong and able men in government and in the foreign service. “I believe,” he said, “that we have men who could help the apostles open doors now closed to us,” who can make new contacts with emperors and kings, rulers and magistrates.
In this connection, President Kimball earlier had introduced David M. Kennedy, former United States Secretary of the Treasury, ambassador-at-large, and ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Brother Kennedy has been appointed special consultant for diplomatic affairs for the Church and “his great faith, ability, and worldwide experience will assist us to resolve problems that in some areas may hinder the expansion of our missionary efforts,” said President Kimball.
“I feel that when we have done all in our power, the Lord will find a way to open doors. Why should he break down the [iron and bamboo] curtains if we are still unprepared to enter?”
In referring to new techniques in mass media communications, President Kimball said that he was convinced that better use must be made of existing and future inventions. To help fulfill the words of the Lord that the “sound” must go forth to all the world, he said that millions of people could be reached through radio and television. He said that the inexpensive transistor radio could be carried by the people in the marketplaces of South America, on the Steppes of Russia, on the vast mountains and plains of China and the desert sands of Arabia and Egypt, and throughout India. He said that the Church has innumerable opportunities to use the many radio and television stations around the world “if we only prepare the messages in the native languages.”
He suggested that missionaries could be supplied with small, portable cassette tape recorders that would carry special messages in any language for their contacts. “Millions of people are anxious to learn the truth of the gospel if only they could hear it in their own language.”
President Kimball pointed out that the Lord has blessed man with communications satellites that now circle the globe, transmitting their messages to 67 stations in 50 countries. “With the Lord providing these miracles of communication, and with the increased efforts and devotion of our missionaries—and all of us—the sound will go forth.”
In talking of the need for more thorough training of missionaries, President Kimball called for the leaders of the Church to help young men become missionaries in their own countries, such as Mexican missionaries serving in Mexico, Japanese missionaries in Japan, American missionaries in America, and South American missionaries in South America.
President Kimball said he recognized that the program he envisioned would not be an easy matter, that it would not be achieved without effort, or overnight, “but I do have this faith that we can do the work and expand much faster than we have. I think the time has come when … we must change our sights and raise our goals. The gospel must be preached to every creature and we must find the way.”
President Kimball also announced that elders quorums now will be established in every ward and independent branch of the Church, regardless of the number of elders. Where there are more than 96 elders, the quorum should be divided.
This procedure means that elders quorums presidencies will now exist in every ward and branch and direction will not have to be sought from outside the ward or branch boundaries. There will be a greater opportunity for leadership development, and a closer relationship between bishops and branch presidents and elders quorum presidencies.
President Kimball said that there will be greater benefits in a compact quorum with the leaders having the dignity of the title and the power of the keys of the presidency. He added that since elders quorums are stake quorums, the change will provide greater opportunity for stake presidencies and stake Melchizedek Priesthood committees to train more quorum presidencies and increase the effectiveness of their work.
President Kimball also announced that stake presidents will now have the authority to ordain and set apart seventies within their stakes, when they have been approved by the First Council of the Seventy.
With the stake presidents setting apart seventies, “this should cause the seventies to look to the stake presidents for leadership, and cause stake presidents to give more effective direction to the work of the seventies,” said President Kimball.
“We expect to have complete cooperation between the stake and the full-time missionaries, and to involve the members of the Church in opening the gospel door to our Father’s other children,” he said.
He said that the seventies will be asked to carry the major responsibility for stake missionary work, and with the bishops provide the guidance necessary for every member to be a missionary.
The Regional and Mission Representatives also were told that their responsibilities would be rotated from time to time rather like that of a bishop, a stake president, or a mission president. President Kimball said that, as a general policy, Regional Representatives will be transferred to a new area after approximately two and one-half years so that “their new ideas and strong leadership might be shared with different areas.” Then, said President Kimball, approximately five years after their call, they may be released so that the privilege of serving as a Regional Representative may be shared with others.
Two new Regional Representatives were introduced at the seminar. J. Richard Clarke of the Ustick Ward, Meridian Idaho Stake, and Devere Harris of Portage Ward, Malad Idaho Stake. Brother Clarke will be a Regional Representative of the Twelve in the Blackfoot Region with other regions to be assigned in the future, and Brother Harris will be Regional Representative in the Pocatello and Pocatello North Regions.
Those attending the seminar also heard from Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of the Twelve, and a member of the Melchizedek Priesthood Committee.
Elder Monson presented a preview of a new filmstrip that will be shown at all stake conference leadership meetings. The presentation concerns the basic principles of the priesthood and outlines the responsibilities of the father as the head of the household who receives support from his elders quorum president and his bishop. They, in turn, receive support and guidance through Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthood lines of communication to the president of the Church. The total organization exists to sustain the father in his role and to help the family grow and develop in the gospel.
“I Will Magnify My Call,” Primary Leaders Promise
An estimated 4,000-plus Primary leaders, including a generous sprinkling of priesthood representatives, committed themselves to magnifying their callings at the 68th annual Primary Conference where they braved intermittent snow flurries and sunshine to receive instruction, encouragement, and inspiration.
During the general sessions in the Tabernacle, Primary leaders heard addresses by Sister LaVern W. Parmley, general president; her counselors, Naomi W. Randall and Florence R. Lane; Lucile C. Reading, managing editor of the Friend; President N. Eldon Tanner of the First Presidency; Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Council of the Twelve; and Dallin H. Oaks, president of Brigham Young University, in addition to adult and children’s choruses and lively skits and presentations.
President Tanner stressed the responsibility of teachers, especially “where children come from broken homes or where parents are inactive.” He recalled having such profound faith in his Primary teacher that he was willing to argue with his mother when it seemed that she disagreed with his teacher.
Sister Parmley reminded the sisters in the opening session, “We are not here as mere delegates selected to attend this conference. We are here because we have been called to serve our Heavenly Father.”
The theme for next year, D&C 64:33, also reminded sisters of their important calling: “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”
Speaking to that theme, Elder Ashton exhorted the sisters to “avoid discouragement enthusiastically” and warned against the “dangerous luxury of self-pity.”
He had special comfort for the mother who feels that she cannot make a contribution in Primary because her own children are causing problems: “God had not selected you solely today for what you are but because of what you may become in the days ahead. Some reverses and heartaches in your own family may make you more understanding and successful as a teacher and a leader.”
Sister Parmley presented the new program for the upcoming year. The reverence theme is: “I Will Try to Be Reverent,” the scripture reading will be the four gospels of the New Testament, the hymn is “Come Follow Me,” and the sacrament meeting presentation by Primary children will be themed, “I Will Follow Jesus.”
The challenge shifts from a two-year emphasis on increasing attendance to the responsibility of each Primary worker to magnify her call. Sister Parmley promised, “If we love the children enough to care whether or not they learn to walk uprightly before the Lord, we will magnify our call,” and reminded, “When the Lord calls you to do something, he can make you equal to your task. But if you don’t move your feet, he cannot guide your footsteps.”
Florence Lane, second counselor, spoke of the three gifts the Primary wants to give today’s child: “Courage that is an inner strength to see, faith that faces the blackest sky and says, ‘I trust,’ and joy that is a quiet peace within your heart.”
First counselor Naomi Randall urged Primary leaders to strengthen each other by becoming truly converted themselves. She told of accepting her call as stake Primary president, thinking to give it “good concentrated work for two or three years” before she did something else, but when she heard the testimonies born in Primary conference the first time she attended, “the Spirit bore witness to my soul, ‘This is your work.’ And I became one of the converted.”
Lucile C. Reading, managing editor of the Friend, explained the mutually supportive roles of the magazine and the Correlation Committee, under which the Primary curriculum is developed. “It’s like two boys walking on train rails. If they hold hands, they can balance each other. If they walk separately, they’ll fall off.”
President Dallin H. Oaks of Brigham Young University explained why the best kind of leadership is “internalization,” or helping followers receive a personal conviction of the program. Thus, the program is not upset by changes in the leadership.
He also bore his testimony that Primary leaders are called by inspiration. While serving in a Chicago stake presidency, he participated in the search for a new stake Primary president. No confirmation came as the stake presidency discussed the deceased president’s counselors, the members of the stake board, the ward primary presidents, and their counselors.
The search continued for several months. They then began to consider a list of Primary teachers in the stake. The stake president had “a feeling” about one name. No one in the meeting knew her. Her bishop confirmed her worthiness, but did not know her leadership capabilities.
But when President Oaks interviewed her, she told him she had previously been told by the whisperings of the Spirit that she would be called to that position.
He asked her about her experience. “Well,” she answered, “I don’t think anyone here knows it, but I was a stake Primary president in Salt Lake City before I moved here and a member of the Primary General Board.”
When the Primary leaders moved into the departmental meetings, they received instructions for six information-crammed hours.
In the presidents’ meeting, Sister Parmley announced that it was time to focus on teaching each child the gospel rather than on implementing new programs. She quoted from Elder Boyd K. Packer’s address to auxiliary and priesthood leaders after the death of President Harold B. Lee. In this address, Elder Packer summarized President Lee’s concern that the Church “gear down” from its program of extensive changes, and quoted President Spencer W. Kimball’s statement that it was time for “a moratorium on change.” Elder Packer called for Church leaders to turn “from mining to refining, from remodeling to maintenance.”
The Primary’s “maintenance” is seeing that every child has the opportunity to attend Primary, and three unusual Primaries were reported.
Norma Hall, stake Primary president of a handicapped-child Primary in the Glendale-La Crescenta, California, area, introduced fragile Jamie Chamberlain who had been born without muscles in her legs. Jamie said she had chosen to accept an imperfect body before she came to the earth, but she could beat her mother swimming and win wheelbarrow races. “In Special Primary,” she said, “some bodies are perfect and some are not, but what counts is the spirit.”
Then she sang, “I Am a Child of God,” but upon seeing the entire audience in tears, faltered, burst into tears, and sobbed in her Primary president’s arms.
Marilyn Taylor of Palo Alto, California, explained the unusual challenges and blessings of presiding over the only known nonmember Primary in the Church.
A Canadian sister, with the blessing of her nonmember husband, began a home Primary for their three-year-old daughter “500 miles from my priesthood contact” in northern Alberta. She is coping with 32 children, when she and her three teachers originally planned for seven. But her husband requested baptism, she said, taught more by their daughter in one year than in the previous years of their marriage.
Stake first counselors heard new emphasis on a program that is almost as old as Primary itself—stake preparation meeting.
That’s where first counselors “really start the action,” according to general board leaders. The meeting should give ward leaders needed information about upcoming events in the stake, instruct them in areas necessary to their ward positions, and inspire them to plan efficiently, prepare for each week, and bear their testimonies to the children.
Stake preparation meetings should also focus on such specific topics as how to use music in the classroom, how to help small children make their own classroom rules, how to deal with the habitually restless, how to boost attendance of small children, how to use “attention getters,” how to get acquainted with shy children, and how to meet the special needs of the 3 to 7 age group.
More than 475 stake, mission, and regional Primary second counselors were challenged to magnify their leadership callings in three ways: (1) Determine to give more than your fair share of yourself, your time, and your talents; (2) Set tasks and goals beyond what is normally expected of your calling; (3) Don’t worry about getting the credit. Do what has to be done.
A general discussion focused on the age-group characteristics of Targeteers and Merrie Misses. Success stories from the audience were followed by a presentation of innovative ideas of Merrie Miss activities: Daddy-Daughter Express Limited, Say It With Flowers, Raggedy Ann Luncheon, and Backyard Barbecue.
Secretaries heard themselves described as a “golden link” between the presidents and the rest of the board, and learned more of their responsibilities as administrators, communicators, and historians.
Ward inservice leaders received an enlarged stewardship—supervising teaching activities. According to Charles R. Hobbs, associate director of the Teacher Development Program, ward Primary presidents should be encouraged to delegate the responsibility for supervising teaching to the inservice leaders. Thus, ward inservice leaders would visit classrooms to help the teachers, and also would hold goal-selection visits with each teacher every three months.
Four workshops focused on “helping skills,” including overhead projections, role-playing, and how to listen and respond; orientation of teachers, particularly those without experience; inservice lessons; and instructional materials for each lesson.
Stake Primary music directors and accompanists crowded a host of activities into their department session. They learned the new songs for the coming Primary year; heard a tape of piano accompaniment for about 75 popular songs from Sing With Me to be used in Primaries, family home evenings, and practice sessions where live accompaniment is not available; focused on the need for appropriate posture, grooming, modesty, and facial expressions when teaching singing; were warned about infringing copyright laws when reproducing music other than from the Church magazines, Sing With Me, and LDS Hymns; and learned how to bring out the musical quality in children’s voices.
Stake Scouting directors divided their attention according to their areas of greatest need and interest among nine information “stations”: cooking and fire-building, use of the map and compass, the citizenship merit badge, the hiking merit badge (both from materials provided by the National Boy Scouts of America), a Merit Badge Midway that introduced directors to merit badges they might recommend to their young charges, two “stations” on Scouting policies and procedures for the 11-year-old boy, ideas for stake roundtables for their Blazer-B teachers and orientation for new Scouting directors.
The coming year in Cub Scouting will see increased emphasis on physical fitness, bicycle safety, and learning to swim.
A physical fitness program will stress sit-ups, push-ups, broad jumping, softball throwing, and running, as well as sports such as volleyball, golf, and bowling.
According to Robert Untch, national Cub Scouting director, who visited the conference, surveys show more bike injuries for 6- to 10-year-old boys than any other age group. Cubs will organize a community-wide “Check Your Bike Day” in May, requesting assistance from organizations such as police and fire departments, tire and bicycle dealers, and schools.
The “Learn to Swim” program will be carried out through the Explorer program.
Other additions to the Cub Scouting program include a new monthly theme, updated books and pamphlets, an embroidered bobcat badge, a leader development kit, many additional pack awards, recruiting programs for Cubs and Den Grandmothers and Grandfathers, television spots built around the family concept, and a Bicentennial program centered on the theme, “Be Prepared for Life.”
Stake leaders also viewed displays on birdhouse construction, bug collections, puppets, leather work, wood crafts, beading, and other Cub projects.
A heartwarming part of the last session was testimonies from stake and mission Primary presidents: Barbara M. Taylor of Nottingham England Stake, Kyoko Toyama of Osaka Japan Stake, Yvonne K. Kaley of Perth Australia Stake, Esperanza Castro de Lara of Mexico City North Stake, and Ingeborg Gildner of the Germany South Mission.
Sister Parmley gave the sisters their final encouragement: “If all good intentions were put end to end, they would get us nowhere. But if all the intentions we have had during this conference were put to work, the Primary program would accomplish its purpose—to help teach children to pray and to walk uprightly before the Lord.”