Joy is being in tune with the harmony of the universe.

Blaine Hebdon Holladay Fourth Ward Holladay Utah South Stake

Enthusiasm

If I were trying to teach someone to be a good salesman, I would try to get him to absorb the faith, the convictions, the courage, the enthusiasm, and the righteousness of the Bible. The very best way for anyone to be a good salesman is to first be a good man.

Elder Sterling W. Sill Assistant to the Council of the Twelve From a radio talk, “Inventory”

“As Ye Sow …”

When Paul warned the Galatians, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7), he meant that we reap in kind. That is, we do not plant thistles and expect to reap alfalfa. We do not sow discord and expect to reap harmony.

So we reap in kind—and almost always in greater quantity. That is, we sow a little thistle seed and get thistles—great big thistles, bushes and branches of them, for years and years unless we root them out. Sowing a little discord reaps discord—big, painful, malicious, warring discord.

Thus the warning of three prophets: Alma said that God is just. (See Alma 42:25.) Paul said we reap in kind exactly as we have sown. Hosea said we reap in quantity exceeding what we have sown: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. …” (Hosea 8:7.)

Jeffrey R. Holland (Brigham Young University Ten-Stake Fireside address, June 2, 1974.)

Women and Education

About half of our Brigham Young University students are women. In my conversations with these women students and with faculty, administrative, and staff women I have detected some uneasiness and confusion about where we stand on education for women, especially vocationally oriented education.

A great deal is being said in our society today about the role of women. Since some of these statements are quite contradictory to what we have been taught by the leaders of our Church, some uneasiness is understandable.

Our young women properly aspire to and prepare themselves for the experiences and blessings of motherhood, which is their highest calling and opportunity for service. As you are aware, the leaders of our Church have consistently taught that “mothers who have young children in the home should devote their primary energies to the companionship and training of their children and the care of their families, and should not seek employment outside the home unless there is no other way that the family’s basic needs can be provided.” (Letter from the First Presidency to Elder Neal A. Maxwell and President Dallin H. Oaks, May 14, 1973.)

Our young women’s primary orientation toward motherhood is not inconsistent with their diligent pursuit of an education, even their efforts in courses of study that are vocationally related. According to current life expectancies, a 20-year-old woman can look forward to more than 50 additional years of life. Not all of that time will be spent in bearing children and raising families. In fact, from one-third to one-half of a young woman’s remaining years of life will be spent in activities preceding marriage and the rearing of children, or following the time when children have left the home. A young woman’s education should prepare her for more than the responsibilities of motherhood. It should prepare her for the entire period of her life.

Many of our young women will need to earn a living for themselves because they do not marry, because they do not marry until after some years of employment, or because they have been widowed or through other circumstances have been compelled to assume the responsibilities of the family breadwinner. A mother who must earn a living for the family in addition to performing the duties of motherhood probably has as great a need for education as any person in the world.

There are other reasons why it is important for our young women to receive a proper education. Education is more than vocational. Education should improve our minds, strengthen our bodies, heighten our cultural awareness, and increase our spirituality. It should prepare us for greater service to the human family. Such an education will improve a woman’s ability to function as an informed and effective teacher of her sons and daughters, and as a worthy and wise counselor and companion to her husband. Some have observed that the mother’s vital teaching responsibility makes it even more important to have educated mothers than to have educated fathers. “When you teach a boy, you are just teaching another individual,” President Harold B. Lee declared, “but when you teach a woman or a girl, you are teaching a whole family.” (Relief Society Magazine, January, 1965, p. 8.)

One of the most important purposes of a university education is to prepare men and women to be responsible and intelligent leaders and participants in the lives of their families, in their Church, and in their communities. That kind of education is needed by young men and young women alike. In short, we make no distinction between young men and young women in our conviction about the importance of an education and in our commitment to providing that education.

President Dallin H. Oaks Brigham Young University Devotional Assembly, February 12, 1974

A Worldwide Church

After the end of World War II the Church entered a dramatic new era of growth and development throughout the world. It was the beginning of activity that changed the Church from a culturally and geographically limited American faith to a truly universal, worldwide kingdom. President David O. McKay had toured the world as a member of the Twelve in 1921, had visited the countries of Asia, and had dedicated China for the preaching of the gospel. In 1963, because of the great growth and expansion of the Church, it was noted that at least half of all Church members then living had known no other president of the Church.

In 1952 President McKay made the first of several trips to Europe. In 1954 he made a 32,000-mile trip to South America and South Africa. The following year he traveled 45,000 miles to visit missions in the South Pacific. He became the most widely traveled president in history. The hallmark of his administration was a conscious effort to give dignity and strength to the Church overseas.

Under his presidency basic institutions of Zion were first established in foreign fields: stakes were organized in Europe and in the South Pacific; temples were erected for the first time in England, New Zealand, and Switzerland; missions were organized among peoples, cultures, and nations previously beyond the perview of the mainstream Church.

The “nucleus of power,” the great foundation that had been prepared in America through the gathering of Israel, was now making it possible for a renewal of the earth. In the timetable of the Lord, worldwide Church expansion could now take place. …

What is the position of the Church today with regard to the gathering of Israel and the building up of Zion? This was clearly defined and reiterated by President Harold B. Lee during the April 1973 general conference of the Church:

“… no longer is the Church to be thought of as the Utah Church, or as an American Church, but the membership of the Church is now distributed over the earth in 78 countries, teaching the gospel in 17 different languages at the present time. This greatly expanded Church population is today our most challenging problem. …” (“Strengthen the Stakes of Zion,” Ensign, July 1973, p. 5.)

There are numerous other manifestations of an accelerated internationalization in the Church, such as the rapid way in which those who accept the gospel find themselves leading and teaching their own people, rather than having prolonged dependence upon Americans who may have brought them the first message of the restoration but who have been catalysts in the process. These also include the increasing variety in the culture and background of men called to be Regional Representatives of the Council of the Twelve throughout the earth.

Recognition of this diversity is no better illustrated than in the area conferences of the Church that have been held in England, Germany, and Mexico [and recently in Sweden]. At the Mexican conference, held in August 1972, Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Council of the Twelve delivered a remarkable discourse on the gathering of latter-day Israel, who and where. In part, he said:

“The place of gathering for the Mexican Saints is in Mexico; the place of gathering for the Guatemalan Saints is in Guatemala; the place of gathering for the Brazilian Saints is in Brazil; and so it goes throughout the length and breadth of the whole earth. Japan is for the Japanese; Korea is for the Koreans; Australia is for the Australians; every nation is the gathering place for its own people.” (Official Report of the First Mexico and Central America Area General Conference of the Church, Deseret News Press, 1973, p. 45.)

It is the revelation of the Lord through the instruction of his living prophets today that multiple Zions will be erected throughout the earth as the children of Israel, the faithful of the Lord, join together in building up his kingdom. The various nations of the earth become choice and favored lands of Zion as the people repent of their sins and accept the God of Israel who is Jesus Christ.

Spencer J. Palmer “Latter-day Israel: Who and Where?” (Religion Lecture Series, December 5, 1973, Brigham Young University)

The Creative Climate

Creative expression is often discouraged very subtly in young children, but more often it is discouraged very directly! A group of teachers collectively made a list of more than 100 statements that tend to discourage creativity at any age. Some of these statements follow:

  • You do it and I’ll give it the finishing touches.

  • Don’t touch me with those dirty hands.

  • Who ever heard of a cat with red ears?

  • Why can’t you be good like your sister?

  • It won’t hurt you to let your brother play with it.

  • Stay out of the cellophane tape.

  • Oh, you’ll never use it.

  • Why don’t you act grown-up?

  • Can’t you ever stop asking questions?

  • If I let you work here, you’d better not get a single spot on the table.

  • You’re always worrying about the wrong things.

  • That’s not the way the song goes.

  • You can’t change the rules of the game.

  • How many times do I have to tell you?

  • Keep this up and you’ll never get to college (or to first grade).

  • What’s wrong with you?

  • Here, let me do it—you’re a slowpoke.

  • Nobody asked your opinion.

  • Do as you’re told and don’t ask questions.

  • Don’t begin something you can’t finish.

  • If it could be done, someone else would have done it long ago.

  • What do you want now (in an exasperated tone)?

  • I don’t care what you’re doing; stop it and come here right now.

  • Not now. (This usually means never.)

And the list goes on and on. …

These same teachers also compiled a list of statements that foster courage and self-confidence and help establish a climate conducive to creativity:

  • Most beginnings are difficult.

  • We learn by our mistakes.

  • Try it a few times, anyway, and then it’ll probably seem easier.

  • We’ll try again tomorrow.

  • That time you almost did it; you’re doing better every time.

  • I’m proud that you’re trying difficult things.

  • That’s a good idea!

  • I really like that.

  • That looks interesting. Tell me about it.

  • I appreciate your help.

  • That was very thoughtful.

  • Have fun!

  • It’s okay if you get dirty.

  • A finished project is something to be proud of.

  • I’m certainly impressed with what you’ve already done.

  • How nice that you could figure that out for yourself.

  • Well, a broken egg isn’t a broken leg.

  • Whatever you decide is fine with me.

  • How nice your room looks.

  • This wall is not for drawing; this paper is. Here are three sheets.

  • It’s interesting to try it different ways.

  • I like your idea because it’s different from any other I’ve seen.

  • I wonder what could happen if … ?

  • What can you think of to do with it?

  • How does that make you feel?

  • I can see that you are trying.

  • I’m glad you can do it.

Jeanne LeSueur Jackson Seattle First Ward, Seattle Washington Stake