To meet the increasing demands of a fast-growing, worldwide Church and to improve priesthood correlation, the First Presidency announced changes affecting Young Men’s and Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Associations and leadership throughout the Church.
The new program is designed to make more effective the activity programs of youth twelve to eighteen years of age, young adults eighteen through twenty-five years of age, and special interest groups of single persons twenty-six years of age and older by giving increased priesthood identity.
Highlights of the newly announced organization is the creation of two separate priesthood-oriented MIAs:
1. An Aaronic Priesthood MIA (Mutual Improvement Association)
2. A Melchizedek Priesthood MIA (Mutual Interest Association)
Included in the announcement is an honorable release extended to the present general presidencies of the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Associations and their boards and the appointment of new Mutual Improvement Association general presidencies.
The new YMMIA presidency is composed of President Robert L. Backman and counselors LeGrand R. Curtis and Jack H Goaslind, Jr. The new YWMIA presidency consists of Sister Ruth Hardy Funk as president and Sisters Hortense H. Child and Ardith G. Kapp as counselors.
Aaronic Priesthood MIA
(Mutual Improvement Association)
On the general Church level this program provides for leadership by the Presiding Bishopric under the direction of the First Presidency. Members of the Council of the Twelve will advise the Presiding Bishopric on matters of curriculum and correlation.
The new Aaronic Priesthood MIA organization, under the Presiding Bishopric, will consist of the new general YMMIA and YWMIA presidencies and a general board. They will be concerned with (a) curriculum, (b) service projects, and (c) activities for the three groups of the Aaronic Priesthood MIA, which are:
1. Deacons (Scouts) and Beehive Girls.
2. Teachers (Venturers) and Mia Maids.
3. Priests (Explorers) and Laurels.
In the stakes the organization is headed by the stake presidency and includes high council advisers named by the stake presidency and the stake Aaronic Priesthood MIA consisting of stake YMMIA and YWMIA presidencies and small stake boards to supervise all activities for all youth twelve to eighteen years of age in the same three groups as named above.
The ward organization corresponds to that of the stake, with the ward bishopric presiding and the ward Aaronic Priesthood MIA organization consisting of the YMMIA and YWMIA presidencies and leaders and teachers of all youth twelve to eighteen years of age organized in the same three groups listed above.
Such an organization, the First Presidency explains, will further coordinate, under the Presiding Bishopric, all activities for youth twelve to eighteen years of age.
Melchizedek Priesthood MIA
(Mutual Interest Association)
This program will fall under the leadership of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve. Four members of the Council of the Twelve—Elders Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J. Ashton, and Bruce R. McConkie—are the advisers of this priesthood-oriented, Church-wide organization.
Giving general Church leadership (under the four advisers from the Council of the Twelve) to the new Melchizedek Priesthood MIA (Mutual Interest Association) will be a committee of three Assistants to the Council of the Twelve. Elder James E. Faust will be the managing director, with Elders Marion D. Hanks and L. Tom Perry as associate directors.
Under their direction will be a small board to direct in service projects and activities. The two groups involved are:
1. Young Adults eighteen through twenty-five years of age who are unmarried. They will be organized on a stake-region basis and will include M-Men, Gleaners, and the Latter-day Saint Student Association members on college campuses, together with all other activity programs involving members in this age group.
It is intended that the Latter-day Saint Student Association continue as an organization and a coordinating agency on the various college campuses but that all activity functions of the Student Association will be a part of the Young Adults program. Also relative to institutes of religion, their function will be to teach gospel courses to LDS students, but activities for these students will become a part of the overall Young Adults program.
2. Special Interests, those twenty-six years of age and over who are unmarried, will be organized into one or more groups on a stake, regional, or area basis as deemed advisable to involve those within these ages in meaningful activities.
The First Presidency emphasized that the Church athletic programs of the youth and young adults will continue as outlined for the appropriate age groups under each of the two MIAs—the Mutual Improvement Association and the Mutual Interest Association.
Implementation of any future programming within the new priesthood-oriented MIAs will be under the direction of the newly appointed leaders.
More than six hundred priesthood holders took part in the Ricks College First Stake’s Third Annual Moroni Marathon on Ricks campus in Rexburg recently. The events included a gold plate relay in which fifty-pound plates were carried, a tug of war, log sawing, a wheelbarrow race, a sack relay, a shuttle relay, and a log carry.
Dr. Chester Hill, a member of the stake presidency, explained the purpose of the Marathon: “We hope to bring the priesthood members into fellowship and brotherhood. This is a wonderful way to get a closely knit priesthood organization.” Most participants agreed with Lowell Biddulph, committee member: “This year’s games were the best we’ve ever held. The brotherhood was marvelous.”
With the advent of an all-volunteer army, a new program has been instituted for young men and women in the enlisted arm of the U.S. Army Chaplaincy. The Department of the Army asked the New Era to publish the following notice:
Army Service School
As part of a continuing program designed to support the Modern Army and stabilize the enlisted arm of the Chaplaincy, Chaplain (Major General) Gerhardt W. Hyatt has announced that qualified personnel (both men and women) may now enlist under the “Army Service School Enlistment Option” and be guaranteed training as a Chaplain’s Assistant.
The Chaplain’s Assistant position is designed for lay personnel. It consists of two skill levels. The earlier level is called “Chaplain’s Assistant” and embraces pay grades E1 through E6. It includes chapel-oriented administrative and clerical duties, as well as duties such as scheduling ushers and chapel groups, assisting in the preparation for religious and sacramental rites, assisting in the preparation for religious education programs, and assisting in the development of property and fiscal estimates. Operating audiovisual equipment and driving vehicles is also a task of the Chaplain’s Assistant. The advanced level is called “Chaplain’s Administrator” and embraces pay grades E7 through E9. This level consists of duties analogous to church management and requires further training. Personnel at each level serve in oversea areas as well as the continental United States. They serve with combat units and with garrison units.
All applicants must meet the following prerequisites prior to enlistment:
a. Attain standard scores of 90 or higher on three or more aptitude areas of the battery of mental tests and 100 or higher in the clerical aptitude test.
b. Possess a motor vehicle operators license or be fully qualified to obtain one.
c. Be a high school graduate, or equivalent as measured by the General Educational Development Test.
d. Meet minimum physical qualifications.
e. Possess high moral character, tact, sincerity, emotional maturity, initiative, resourcefulness, and loyalty.
The option is also available to qualified applicants undergoing processing at Army Reception Stations who enlisted in the Regular Army, unassigned for two years, provided the applicants extend their terms of enlistment for a period of one year.
Individuals interested in pursuing the Chaplain’s Assistant career are urged to see their Army Recruiter who can furnish more detailed guidance to include pay, housing, food, and medical and other benefits.
Nora Mae Begay, a past participant in the Indian placement program, has been selected to appear in the 1972 edition of “Outstanding Young Women in America.” Nora, a native of Kaibeto, Arizona, spent the last year traveling throughout North America as Miss Indian America and has now rejoined the Lamanite Generation entertainment group who are making appearances in many states. She is an award winner in sports, speech, essays, and talent.
Jan Bishop from Montclair, New Jersey, was one of the Ambassadors for Friendship sent to Czechoslovakia by the American Council for Nationalities Service in New York last year. There she performed as part of her high school’s Madrigal Choir. But that was not the end of her Czechoslovakian experience. Once the group had returned, all were challenged to write a letter to President Nixon telling him of their experiences there. The letters were first judged by a panel of prominent Americans and then bound and sent to the president. Jan’s letter was chosen as the winner. “I am active in the Mormon Church,” she said in her letter, “and I was curious to learn about Church membership there, hopefully to attend meetings and speak to members in Europe. After writing to the Church Regional Representative for the iron curtain countries, I learned that our church is banned and under police indictment there. Never in my life have I had such a disturbing experience with something so important to me as religion. I was disturbed that any government could assume they have the right to deny a human being those things that are so basic to his nature. I cried for the people that were denied such an important right, but I became very appreciative of America because of this. Freedoms of every kind are mine: speech, press, travel, religion, and many others. Many young Americans are dissenting because America has failed the people. I think they have failed America. There are people in parts of the world who would just like to see other parts of the world and can’t.”
Jan is active in the Church and has served as Junior Sunday School chorister and pianist for the MIA.
Larry Greene from Fairfield, Ohio, has been winning awards and honors on every side. He won scholarships from both the PTA and the drama club as well as cash prizes for dramatic presentations. Last summer he performed with a singing group at Disney World in Florida. He has graduated from seminary and plans a drama and music career.