FYI: For Your Information


Idea of the Month

Prove that you are the friendliest friends in town by staging a surprise kidnap party for the inactive members of your class. Jo Leigh McCarty of Tarzana Ward in California claims it’s a winner, but she reminds readers that you must plan carefully so that everything turns out happily for the “honored guests.” Decide when, where, and what kind of party you’ll have—skating, making your own movies, show-and-tell with vacation reports or hobby ideas, snowmobiling, or a walking tour of the town’s historical sights. Make careful arrangements with the family of each guest so that it will be a surprise, so the event will come at a convenient time, and so the guests will be available at the appointed time. If the door is left unlocked by the family, you can walk right in and kidnap your friend in a flurry of fun and excitement. Who could resist?

Three-Year University Program

Brigham Young University has adopted a new school calendar that begins autumn semester 1972; It will allow a person to graduate in three years! The calendar consists of three sixteen-week semesters, with the third semester divided in half so that students can take either or both halves. Expressed in months of study, the new calendar can be abbreviated as 4-4-2-2.

Dates of school periods are also a major difference: classes for autumn semester begin September 5 and end December 22. Winter semester begins January 8 and ends April 19. Spring-summer semester is split into two halves, the spring half from April 30 to June 22 and the summer half from June 25 to August 16.

Commencement exercises will be held twice a year—April 20 and August 17.

An exciting feature of the new calendar is that now a student can complete a bachelor’s degree in three years by attending an extra half semester per year. Such a schedule still allows two months of annual summer vacation. Another benefit is that there will no longer be an interruption of classes for the Christmas holiday, with a dangling part of the semester left over in January.

Methodist-Mormon Paint-In

“Are you going to paint this Saturday?” has been the familiar question among many college youth in Las Vegas, where they have painted the inside and outside of a church built by the Afro-Methodist Episcopal Church whose members were having trouble getting the building finished. The congregation lacked funds. The Student Association of Las Vegas Region pitched in and raised $4,000, in addition to painting the building. Under the direction of priesthood leader James Seastrand, president of the Las Vegas North Stake, and Reverend Charles Wyatt, the project got under way. It was a great time of togetherness, with the Relief Society and the ladies of the Afro-Methodist congregation providing lunch each workday. Funds were raised through dances, bake sales, car washes, and concerts. “The unity among the students and with people of another race was something wonderful to behold,” said Shauna Rollins, vice-chairman of one M Men-Gleaner Council in the area.

Where Art Thou?

In this the season of conventions, youth conferences, workshops, and other youth gatherings under a dozen different names, the collegiate youth of the American Northwest recently held a three-day camp that has some follow-worthy ideas. First, the young people determined that a general theme was all-important because it sets a tone and gives purpose to everything done. Their final choice was taken from the line in the scripture where the Lord asks of Adam and Eve: “Where art thou?” During the course of the camp, attended by 400 young people from stakes and student associations of eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana, it was made clear that “if you don’t change direction, you’ll arrive at where you’re going!” Speakers counseled participants to (1) decide what you want, (2)pay the price, (3) achieve your goal unless directed otherwise by the Lord.

The camp met near Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho; and since this area of the Northwest called for certain kinds of camping gear, the following “survival gear for Zion’s Camp” was established: “sleeping bag—extra blankets; winter coat and sweaters; boots or heavy shoes; casual but warm clothes; some Sunday-best clothes; towels, tooth brush, shaving soap; holy writ; swim suit for the courageous; BO spray; extra socks; love; smile; vitamin pills.” We don’t know about the value of all these items, but holy writ, love, and a smile seem like absolute necessities in anyone’s survival kit in today’s world.

The Flip-lid Kids

Here’s a solution to pollution, some psychology in ecology, and a great way to clean up after litterbugs. A good member in Salt Lake’s Valley View First Ward offered $5.00 to the youth who could collect the most flip lids from drink cans. Several thousands, shown here strung like leis across the chapel foyer, were collected by Carolyn Jensen and Merla Lybbert, each of whom won a prize.

Mission Y-Bat

Probably no one took a greater interest in the recent dedication of the Ogden (Utah) temple than did a group of fellows and girls from the Layton Stake who raised $16,000 to help build it! Dave Preece, chairman of the students, says the effort was called Mission Y-Bat (Youth Build A Temple), and the young people raised funds by delivering telephone books, taking inventories, selling wax remover, and doing yard and farm work. Some found jobs and made contributions from their salaries on a pledge basis.

Parowan’s Miss Dominion

Latter-day Saint youth have a major part to play in the annual Parowan celebration of “Bring the Queen to Iron County, Utah.” Each year Miss Dominion of Canada is a special guest of this rural town’s biggest celebration of the year. Latter-day Saint youth act as hosts and show her an exciting time. This year’s queen, Norma Hickey, 19, said, “I’ve never met such wonderful people. They are honest and warm.”

Barring Booze

No student apathy exists when it comes to “barring booze,” insist Mormon students from both Moscow, Idaho, and Austin, Texas. These students are masters at collecting signatures for petitions. In each case, signature collecting and showing up at the town council meeting made a difference by helping to defeat controversial liquor ordinances. Leaders are convinced that there are other areas where students can help improve society. Got any ideas?

Golden Questions

How about this for a conversion chain? Mark Lybbert invited Sharon Violette and Linda Prothero to the institute in Yakima, Washington. Their baptisms, and that of Linda’s twin, Brenda, resulted. Then Sharon and Brenda brought Tina Manzano into membership. A cousin of the twins was next—Cheryl. They went to a doughnut shop and introduced themselves and the gospel to Dan Kelso, who joined the Church. Marilyn Dailey showed some interest, and the institute crowd went to work. Now Marilyn and seven other family members are in the Church. Cheryl also brought her mom and two sisters to firesides at the institute. Baptisms followed. Wow!

Meet Ann Osborn and John W. Allan

Ann:

“I love medicine so much, I’d practice it even if I didn’t get paid,” says Dr. Ann Osborn, a four-year convert who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford School of Medicine in California. She has a list of many accomplishments, including the fact that she was the Most Outstanding Woman in her 1970 graduation class, completing her studies one year ahead of the rest of the students. She graduated in psychology from Harvard, earned her M.D., and served her internship at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. She recently returned to Stanford, where she’s a resident in diagnostic radiology and is fulfilling a National Institute of Health traineeship.

Ann tells of her conversion with gratitude, joy, and the warmest smile:

“Four years ago I was in medical school. I had a Latter-day Saint professor whom I admired very much. He won the teaching award, which was presented by the student body, year after year. At that time I was very disappointed with what I saw in the religious world. I was a Methodist and saw that religion itself had very little effect on people’s lives. One day I asked this professor, who was also my aquatic school instructor, why he was so happy. He told me it was because of his religion, and then he began to tell me the Joseph Smith story. I discredited the golden plates, not knowing what they were, but knew that there had to be something beneath a religion that influenced a Mormon’s life. He promised me that if I’d go to a Latter-day Saint service, I’d find a faith with wonderful depth. I did go and found a beautiful spirit there. I was moved in a way I couldn’t understand, and I lost my control. Feeling tears in my eyes made me angry because I didn’t have a handkerchief, but most of all, I didn’t want to feel that way. I walked out of the meeting, but something told me to go back. I was baptized two weeks later, after having the discussions. In eight months, my sister Lucy was also baptized, and my brother and his wife joined in February 1971. Incidentally, before my brother knew anything about the Church, he asked a Mormon bishop to officiate at his garden wedding because he respected him so much.

“I found myself studying Church history more than medicine. I felt like an infant with so much to learn. For what other reason do we learn as much as we can if not to help the Lord with his work? We need humility about our knowledge to admit that we really need him and can call on him.

“I enjoyed my internship at the LDS hospital very much. I was thrilled to work with physicians who were elders. They work in the intensive care unit with a bottle of consecrated oil. It creates such a different doctor-patient relationship. I chose radiology as my field because it’s an eight-to-five job; there’s very little weekend work, and it leaves plenty of time for family and Church. I look forward to a temple marriage and a family of my own someday.”

John:

Sixteen-year-old John W. Allan, a former five-year member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus who has performed in fifteen operas, is currently the top student in voice at the specialized High School of Music and Art in New York City.

“Music has always played an important part in my life,” he said, “probably because of the influence of my mother. She was a singer and a fine musician. I was introduced to the opera at the very young age of eight by my brother, who at the time was singing with the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus. Bob took me with him when he went to the auditions the next time, and we both made it. The next five years were most thrilling. I both sang and acted in about fifteen different operas with the top singers of the world. This was probably the nicest part in working at the opera—meeting and performing with these famous singers.

“My greatest satisfaction came when I was chosen for a leading role in the opera, Peter Grimes, composed by Benjamin Britten. It was in this opera that I worked very closely with the director Tyronne Guthrie, the conductor Colin Davis, and the leading singers Jon Vickers and Lucine Amara.

“But a good thing can’t go on forever. At the age of thirteen my voice started changing, and I went from a boy soprano to a bass. I was released from the Children’s Chorus because I didn’t have a child’s voice anymore.

“I was accepted into the specialized High School of Music and Art, where I take, along with regular academic classes, three periods of music each day. I am also studying privately in voice and piano, which makes it hard at times; but nothing is really difficult if you love what you’re doing.

“The gospel has always been the most precious thing in my life. I love it with all of my heart. I just wish everyone else in the world could have the enjoyment that I receive from the Church. I look forward to the time when I can go on a mission for the Church, just as my oldest brother, Don, is now doing in France.

“In New York City we are always surrounded by non-Mormons who have very different ideals from us; but the active Mormons who live in this city are very beautiful. They have strong testimonies of the gospel. We really have a wonderful group of young people in our area who are devoted to the Church. There may be lots of bad rumors about New York City, but they are mostly untrue. I was born and raised here and think it’s one of the greatest places in the world to live. Come and see for yourself.”

Book Reviews

No More Strangers by Hartman and Connie Rector Bookcraft, 168 pp., $3.50

President and Sister Rector (he is a member of the First Council of the Seventy) have gathered nineteen fascinating accounts of modern conversions to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The conversion stories are largely told by the converts themselves. Though the persons involved are separated by cultural, social, and geographical distances, their stories are unified by the power of the Holy Ghost in their lives.

Reading the conversion accounts can’t help but touch you. How can anyone remain unexcited as he follows Brother John Staley’s account of when he first heard about the Church after being a Catholic priest for twenty-five years: “Never having heard that term before, I had to ask her, ‘What is a Latter-day Saint?’ She replied, ‘I’m one, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. …’

“From that point our discussions in theology veered sharply away from Catholicism as she adroitly led me into a new search by quoting from Lorenzo Snow, a past president of her Church: ‘As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.’ My spring was unsprung! President Snow had outdistanced Tellhard by a spiritual light-year! His was the most profound set of words I had heard in my life—and all my adult years had been spent studying theology, philosophy, and sociology!

“… What a vision this opened! What excitement shook me! This struck at the heart of my difficulties as a Catholic theologian and sociologist. Snow’s statement went further than anything I had dreamed. I had considered Tellhard as one of the great contemporary thinkers, and here in twelve short words was a vision that eclipsed his farthest reach.”

Of course each reader will find his own favorite story. But everyone who reads the book should feel not only closer to the gospel but also a new kinship to his brothers and sisters in our worldwide church, regardless of their national origin, race, culture, or language. The book is a classic!

How to Succeed with People by Stephen R. Covey Deseret Book Company, 141 pp., $3.95

Everyone learns certain skills in his life. Managing money, skiing, studying, and driving a car are all learned skills. How to Succeed with People is full of good advice on building skills in human relations. Luckily it is written by a man who knows what he is talking about, who approaches the problems of relating with others from a deeper and more meaningful stance than the myriads of Carnegie-like copiers who have been trying to capitalize on everyone’s desire for personal success.

This book should feel like a cool poultice to those of you who can’t help but recoil at the superficiality often associated with sensitivity training. It starts at the logical place one should start at when trying to get along better with others—learning to get along better with oneself.

After a good discussion on self and developing patience, spirituality, and other desirable qualities, the book moves into relationships with others. Additional sections cover getting along with one’s family, leadership principles, and general human relations principles.

The advice is practical and simple: “Always being a few minutes behind in work is a kind of emotional mortgage on the day. … We fret and worry. We become overly impatient with weakness and mistakes, our own as well as those of others. Interruptions and inconveniences are resented. No time for kindness, for listening, for extra service. The spirit of rushing and hurrying destroys a good family spirit.

“The consequences of a few minutes more sleep are often so exhausting!”

Or read the advice on being a more understanding person: “(1) practice empathy when listening to another; (2) practice refraining from advising, judging, sympathizing, or interpreting; (3) practice reflecting or mirroring back the content, and particularly the feeling, of the other’s expression.”

One thing is for sure: simply reading this book will not change your life. You will have to practice its principles. If you do, you can’t help but have more satisfying relationships with others while bettering your own personality potential.

There is a Way Back by Gerald Pearson Trilogy Arts, 64 pp., $2.95

There Is a Way Back happens to be a very good little book with a big message. It tackles one of the most shattering problems of our time—drugs. But don’t stop reading now, because this book treats the subject as nothing else you’ve read has.

“But is this a problem in Mormon society?” people might ask. That’s right. There Is a Way Back is a compilation of firsthand accounts of Mormon youth who have traveled the drug path and then come back.

“They came back?” Yes. The book is intensely positive and stands as a testimony that there really is a way back. As such, the book stands alone against the carloads of fatalistic drug literature flooding the youth scene. It’s a book about real people with real problems—like the sixteen-year-old son of a bishop who was brought to Brother Pearson because he was out of his head on LSD.

The book is a must for anyone who has ever taken drugs and for anyone who wants to help a friend who is presently on drugs. Through the experiences recounted in this book, you can not only come to understand, but you can learn how to play, if it is ever necessary, an active part for good in this life and death struggle. By the time you get to the main message, you will come to see why these Latter-day Saint ex-users say that the gospel and the love of our Savior are the only real “way back.”

[photo] Shots of the Paint-In

[photo] Part of the 400 at Zion’s Camp

[photo] Hosting are Carolynn Calloway, Jennifer Morris, who was Iron County Queen, Frank Burton, who was Miss Dominion’s official escort, and Mayor and Mrs. Kendall Gurr

[photo] Ann Osborn, M.D.

[photo] John W. Allan today

[photo] John W. Allan, right, on the Metropolitan Opera House stage