Attention Scouts!

A new merit badge is here for all Scouting genealogists.

Scouts will be required to prepare pedigree charts, family group records, and personal data of relatives. To do this they will visit libraries, archives, cemeteries, and public records offices.

Other new merit badges to challenge Scouts are in veterinary science and papermaking. The latter, entitled Pulp and Paper, will mean learning which trees are major sources of fibers, studying tree-growing practices, and actual papermaking.

FYI’s the Place for Ward News, Too!

What’s going on in Winnipeg? Bristol? Sydney? Albany? Why not share your Aaronic Priesthood MIA service projects and seminary outings with other New Era readers? Know an outstanding ward or branch youth member who deserves recognition? A unique fund-raising endeavor? Or a bishop’s youth committee with big ideas and even bigger resolutions to get a job done? The New Era would love to hear from you and so would more than a half a million other readers. Write to the New Era, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.

From the Priesthood Bulletin:

Aaronic Priesthood MIA and 18-Year-Old Girls

“When a young woman reaches eighteen, she may choose, with the approval of her parents and bishop, to either remain in the Aaronic Priesthood MIA program until the end of the current Aaronic Priesthood MIA year, or move into the Young Adult program immediately following her birthday. Such circumstances as date of graduation from high school, individual maturity, and peer group association should be considered in the decision.

“The choice made by each eighteen-year-old woman determines which organization is responsible for reporting her activities in the new correlated reporting system.”

Outstanding Girl Student

Karen Lynn Foster, Camarillo First Ward, Ventura California Stake, was the happy recipient of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division Outstanding Girl Student award. This is an annual award sponsored by the city of Oxnard and the local newspaper as a part of their Outstanding Citizens award program.

Karen, a sixteen-year-old graduate of Rio Mesa High School, maintained a 3.7 gpa while keeping active in school, community, and Church activities. At school Karen served as studentbody president, as secretary, and as chairman of the California Scholarship Federation. She was recently selected for the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award and was chosen as super-senior by her classmates this year. In the past she has been page editor of the school newspaper, secretary of the girl’s league, and a volunteer tutor for elementary grade children.

An accomplished musician, Karen was selected as outstanding woodwind player in the school band last year, has held numerous organist and chorister positions in her ward, and is currently assistant choir director.

“Joyeux Noel,” Sing Missionaries Throughout Quebec

Fifty missionaries in Quebec brought the sounds of Christmas to yuletide shoppers in Montreal during the past holiday season.

Members of the Mormon Missionary Choir entertained passers-by in busy shopping plazas and businessmen in large office buildings in an effort to enhance the image of the Church in the Canadian province of Quebec.

“Not only were a number of initial referrals received during the choir’s performances, but additionally, in future months when our missionaries knock on the doors of those who saw and heard the choir, there will be a warmer reception,” commented Mission President John K. M. Olsen.

During the choir’s 40 performances, several nonsinging missionaries expressed wishes for a Merry Christmas to observers by presenting them with a Christmas message that stressed family togetherness and referred as well to the Book of Mormon. Attached to the message was a reply card whereby those who were interested in knowing more about the Church could so indicate by sending the card to the Mission Office.

Another highlight of the holiday season included the production of a half-hour television special over local TV that featured the missionary choir.

Phoenix Youth Pull for PUSH

PUSH (People United for Self Help) found the LDS young people in the Phoenix area were really pulling for them when they donated a 35-horse power tractor.

The youth conducted an “Operation Identification” in which they etched a homeowner’s license number on all valuable items and personal possessions to raise money for the cause. They also held car washes, and served breakfasts and dinners to raise funds.

Through the youths’ help approximately 100 disabled, low-income workers and their families will be markedly more productive on their five-acre vegetable tract. For two years the members of PUSH together with their wives and children have dug, cultivated, planted, and weeded the land. Their work will be much more efficient through the use of the tractor.

Other money-raising activities of the young church members were Slave Auctions, in which services were bid for at random, and meals, which ranged from pancakes to spaghetti.

The project was one of several suggested by city officials when approached by the Phoenix youth as to suggestions for community service projects. The challenge to raise the tractor funds came from the five stake presidents in the area.

Passenger Terminal Ministry

Mormon Air Force Chaplain Ralph Nielsen has an unusual assignment—he serves as the chaplain for the passenger terminal at Yokota, Japan. In the special setting of a Military Airlift Command Terminal, Captain Nielsen has to meet many challenging situations. First of all he must visit and administer to the spiritual needs of those who work at the passenger terminal. Since it is a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week operation, it is necessary for him to be available at all hours every day of the week. Secondly, he must concern himself with the needs of those people, some on leave, some with emergencies, who come to the terminal to play the space-available game.

The rules of this game say that some lucky servicemen or servicemen’s dependents will travel around the world free, while others will spend their leaves in the passenger terminal. Chaplain Nielsen talks to those who are waiting to see if they need help in any way. Sometimes he helps by putting in a word for them. Other times he assists them financially.

Summer Schedules for Church Schools Announced

Church schools will offer a wide variety of credit and non-credit classes for both high school and college students this spring and summer.

Brigham Young University

Students can complete the equivalent of one semester’s classwork during the Provo school’s eight-week spring and summer terms. Spring session begins April 25 and ends June 20. Summer term starts June 21 and terminates on August 15.

Current BYU students need only attend registration and pick up their packets. Reapplication for admission is necessary for those who have not attended BYU during the past two semesters. Tuition for each term is $150 for Church members. Individuals wishing to apply for admission should contact the Admissions Office, A-183 ASB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.

In addition to the program for college students, BYU also offers a variety of courses, workshops, seminars, and lecture series for young people 6 to 18. These programs are short and intense and are taught by regular university faculty members and youth leaders. Additional information is available from Special Courses and Conferences, 242-R HRCB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.

Ricks College

Three five-week terms have been added to the Ricks College calendar, beginning this year. Spring term will begin April 29 and end May 30; the first Summer session will begin June 3 and end July 3; the second summer term will begin July 8 and terminate August 8.

Lower division classes will be available on the campus, and upper division classes will be taught at the BYU—Ricks Center for Continuing Education at the Ricks Campus.

Students may register for a maximum of six semester hours each term. The cost will be $30 for one credit hour class, $50 for two, $70 for three, $90 for four, $110 for five, and $130 for six.

The Ricks College Summer Academy of Fine Arts will feature outstanding resident and guest lecturers in dance, music, art, and theater. Science enthusiasts will enjoy the Discovery ’74 program, which includes camping in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks while collecting information on plants, animals, and ecological conditions.

Housing and course schedules may be obtained by writing: Director of Summer School, BYU—Ricks Center, Bldg. 79, Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho 83440.

LDS Business College

The Salt Lake school will offer all beginning classes with the exception of fashion merchandising. Beginning June 17 and ending August 18, the summer quarter will offer a wide variety of classes to choose from. Because it is the only accredited business college in the city, students must make dormitory reservations for summer term as soon as possible.

For more information write: Admissions Offices, LDS Business College, 411 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102.

Church College of Hawaii

The Church College of Hawaii will offer two sessions at the Laie, Oahu, campus. Spring session begins April 23 and ends June 14; summer term starts June 18 and terminates August 8.

Tuition for each session for LDS students from Hawaii, Asia, and the Pacific Basin will be $125. Tuition for all other LDS students will be $185.

The school’s programs are especially designed to meet the needs of LDS persons from Hawaii, Asia, and the Pacific with such majors as Asian and Polynesian studies.

For information regarding housing and employment write: Director of Admissions, Church College of Hawaii, Laie, Oahu, Hawaii 96762.

The Keystone of Mormonism—Little Known Truths about the Book of Mormon
Paul R. Cheesman
Deseret Book, 176 pp., $3.95

“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book.” (DHC 4:461.)

Certainly nothing could bring us nearer to God than a thorough and prayerful study of the Book of Mormon. For those who want to know more of the details of its coming forth to the world there are informative commentaries like The Keystone of Mormonism. This recent publication does not attempt to give an exhaustive treatment of the Book of Mormon but rather dwells on several fascinating areas in the revelation, translation, and publication of the book. From histories and period documents, Brother Cheesman presents some interesting information. For example, in one chapter he talks about the translation of the Book of Mormon. Did Joseph use the Urim and Thummim or the seer stone? Did he study the plates as he translated, or did they lay covered on the table? Did he dictate what the Lord said, or did he repeat the message in his own words? There is evidence that all of these might have been true. Only the Prophet could tell us for certain. In a later chapter comes a discussion of the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. Where are they today? What changes have been made in “the most correct of any book on earth” since its first publication? This chapter does much to set the mind at ease with regard to the most flaunted fact that the book has undergone a multitude of alterations. A study of this section makes it quite obvious that the changes fit into one of several categories, none of which dealt with doctrine: format, spelling and punctuation, grammar, additions or deletions to simplify or clarify, added references, footnotes, photos, etc.

It is as the author states: “The errors and changes made in the Book of Mormon are of little consequence and were only made to make the book more readable and understandable.”

Brother Cheesman’s book is for those readers who already have a basic understanding of the Book of Mormon, who have read it carefully and love its message, and who want to be better acquainted with some of the facts involved in its forthcoming. For these people The Keystone of Mormonism can only provide a stronger basis for their faith.

Women in Today’s World
Belle S. Spafford
Deseret Book, 483 pp., $5.25

Women are being talked about today. And all kinds of things are being said. One of the most affirmative voices in the world today is Belle S. Spafford. Women are her specialty, and a positive, spiritual approach is her technique. For a quarter of a century she’s been general president of the Relief Society. During this time she has been involved in the worldwide affairs of women. Her book is full of the kinds of answers today’s Latter-day Saint girl is asking for.

Like others interested in the problems of women, Sister Spafford speaks about women’s rights—but she also speaks about responsibilities. With her keen insight into gospel principles and the inspired roles of women and the priesthood, her book is enlightening. Reflecting her deep interest in life, she says, “The times demand on all sides a new degree of public mindedness—an awakened conscience, a penetrating appraisal of those factors which have made nations great, along with re-dedicated allegiance to them. The times call for a greater degree of individual responsibility on the part of men and women alike in preserving the free way of life, together with the self-discipline that marks its wise and orderly use.”

Sister Spafford looks to God for answers and to the individual for performance in solving today’s problems in which women play such an intriguing part. She encourages her readers to do the same.

Four Faith Promoting Classics
Bookcraft, 380 pp., $3.95

In the 1880s four short volumes were published by the Juvenile Instructor. These oft-quoted and oft-referred-to little books contained stories and personal experiences about and by early Mormons.

Now these four volumes titled A String of Pearls, Fragments of Experience, Gems for the Young Folks, and Early Scenes in Church History have been published in one—Four Faith Promoting Classics.

Gripping experiences are recounted that help give new insight into the struggles and hardships of the early Saints. Who would think that a mission to the Poncas Indians would include months of following them to their various hunting grounds and would require an elder to travel on foot when he was so ill he could hardly walk. In fact, the elder in this story was ill enough that rather than have the wolves eat his body and scatter his bones, he wondered about what he should do: “… it was suggested to me that I need not be buried there at all. I had got a good double barrelled gun, and a good book, and a good suit of clothes at the camp of the Saints. All I need do was to tell the chief that I was sick, and expected to die, and when dead I wanted him to cut into quarters my body, pack it, and send it to my chief (Bishop Miller), that I might be buried with the Saints; and for doing this, I would give him all I possessed.” The elder, however, didn’t die and was able to complete his mission and rejoin the Saints.

Other stories include that of Abraham A. Kimball, relating how as a young man he left his apostate grandparents, came to Utah, and found has father, Heber C. Kimball.

These stories from another generation make exciting reading. They were printed for Mormon youth in the 1880s, but they seem even more exciting for us today because of the frontier-pioneer settings.