Six bus loads of New Hampshire youths and leaders toured the nation’s capital and the new Washington Temple as part of their recent area youth conference. Their first day’s activities included visits to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and the Capitol Building, which included a brief stop in the U.S. Senate while it was in session. They also visited Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
That evening the 240 youths and leaders returned to the Silver Spring Maryland Stake center where they were guests of that stake at a banquet and dance. The group were invited to stay in the homes of members of the stake for the night.
The next morning the young people enjoyed the highlight of the trip—a visit to the Washington Temple.
In the afternoon a testimony meeting was held in Rock Creek Park with the beautiful temple spires as a backdrop. Afterwards athletic activities in the park and shopping were both popular.
Restaurant managers and capitol guards said they had rarely seen a group so well behaved. A bus driver commented that he had thought all youth had given up on any belief in God. He said he was thrilled to be with the group and to have his faith in young people restored.
Preparation is underway for a new hymnbook, and members throughout the Church are encouraged to submit texts and music to the Church Music Department.
All submissions should express a truth or principle of the gospel through beautiful, concise language and should be in a singable form. The hymns must also reflect the dignity and spirit of our worship services.
There is a wide range of topics that may be considered in planning hymn texts. Some of those suggested by the Music Committee include the prophets, the sacrament, the Second Coming, missionary work, home teaching, genealogy, compassionate service, temple work, the first principles of the gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost), free agency, tithing, the premortal existence, the Sabbath day, and gospel virtues (love, patience, kindness, diligence, etc.).
Suggestions to Composers
Hymns should be simple, with range and phrase length well-suited for congregational singing. Although traditional four-part hymns are not discouraged, the Music Department is also interested in new approaches to congregational participation through music. Most dissonant music is beyond a congregation’s ability unless handled with great skill and taste. Hymns written in traditional styles should follow those styles. (There should be no parallel fifths or octaves, no doubled leading tones, etc.)
Suggestions to Poets
Texts should be carefully thought out and tightly written so that only one idea is expressed. If the lines can be rearranged in various stanzas, the hymn is not unified in thought. The idea examined by the poet should be illustrated in words that provide original and inspiring insights. The Music Committee is looking for verses that are unified and motivating. Texts that lead to a climax are more effective than those maintaining the same level of interest.
Write so that the most important words and the strongest syllables of the words receive the stress beat. A hymn’s meaning is often lost when the stress falls on pronouns, conjunctions, articles, or prepositions. Words that are easy to say will generally be easy to sing. Vowels usually present no problems, but clusters of consonants are more difficult; for example, mightst and heaven given gift are hard to sing.
The following guidelines have been prepared for those wishing to submit hymns to the Church:
• Composers should provide their own texts. Combined efforts of poets and composers are permitted. Text writers may submit their verses without accompanying music.
• Submit legible work with only one hymn per page.
• In non-English-speaking areas of the Church, manuscripts may be submitted in the language of the author.
• Material accepted will become the property of the Church. Music and text will be edited or adapted as needed.
• All submissions should be sent to: Church Music Department, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. Material not accepted will be returned if accompanied by postage. (In areas where United States postage cannot be obtained, manuscripts will be returned if requested.)
Writers and composers are encouraged to consult with local music specialists who are qualified to give needed guidance and suggestions. Any ideas you might have for the new hymnbook will also be welcomed by the Church Music Committee.
After two weeks of constructing carnival booths, baking cookies, and wrapping candy and prizes, the youth, of the Ventura California Stake were ready for their “Getting to Know You” session with retarded young people.
Nestled against low hills and surrounded by lush landscaping, the Camarillo State Hospital is home to over 200 severely retarded youths. These young people were greeted on a one-to-one basis by their “friends for a day” and led from booth to booth where they earned rewards for achievement, stopping now and then to sway and dance a little to a youth band.
In the afternoon, 150 more young Latter-day Saints joined the group, and it was not uncommon to see a patient, hand-in-hand with an LDS youth, being led around the crowd and personally introduced.
Randy Jabbs, in charge of one of the booths, commented, “This was a good project, a big learning process. It has let us know some of the problems to be coped with.”
Steve Moore, a young patient, said that the fish pond was his favorite booth and then summed it up for many others when he said, “Best of all, I found a friend!”
Neville (16), Michael (15), and Adrian (12) Ormsby of Australia have been singing together for seven years. The active LDS brothers have appeared in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth; they have held the number one record spot in their country; and they have received the “Most Easy Listening Vocal Group” award presented by the Australian Commercial Radio Association.
Originally from New Zealand, the Ormsbys moved to Australia four years ago. They signed a recording contract in October 1972 and have since released four singles and one album. All their records have proven good sellers, and the brothers have appeared on almost every major television show in Australia.
One of the highlights of their performing career so far was a royal concert they gave for Prince Charles and Princess Anne in Auckland before an audience of 25,000.
Salmon, Idaho, may have the friendliest fireplugs of any town in the U.S. As a community service project the Aaronic Priesthood youths and Young Women of the Salmon Idaho Stake volunteered to paint city fireplugs a shiny yellow with red caps. Once they got started the young people decided to add a little zest to the project, and several fireplugs wound up with “Have a Happy Day,” “Smile,” or “Howdy Do” painted on them.
Wayne Van Hoose, president of the Salmon First Ward youth committee, said the young volunteers, ages 12 to 17, divided into groups for the project, with the city furnishing the paint and the young people the brushes and the elbow grease.
In doubt about the appropriateness of a certain musical group at an upcoming Church-sponsored dance? Their dress and grooming, the lighting they use, the dance style they encourage, and the lyrics and music they present should contribute to an atmosphere in which the Spirit of the Lord may be present. According to the Priesthood Bulletin, immodest dress, overamplified music, unworthy lyrics, and unusual lighting effects should be avoided.
The Church Music Department recommends that wards, stakes, seminaries, and institutes use the Performance Contract provided by the Church to insure that high standards are maintained. Performers must commit themselves to—
“Not consume or have in their possession any alcoholic beverages, or any drugs or substances the possession of which is controlled by law, either immediately before or during the performance covered by this contract.
“Not use tobacco of any nature on or near any of the premises for which the appearance has been scheduled.
“Respect the high moral and ethical standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by presenting only high quality entertainment, routines, scripts, lyrics, and actions in the best of taste. There shall be no profanity, swearing, vulgarity, or suggestive stories; no reference to sexual promiscuity, alcohol, drugs, or other harmful substances; no disrespect for family, country, or other worthwhile institutions; no reference to Satan-worship or sympathy, or any other practice that is contrary to the best standards of behavior of our society; nor shall there be any profane usage of the names of Deity.
“Observe Church dress standards, including (but not limited to) the following: The Performers shall not wear T-shirts, grubbies, mini skirts, or extremely tight-fitting clothing. They shall be neat and modest in appearance. Hair shall be of moderate length and beards neatly trimmed. Guests of The Performers shall observe the same standards.
“Particularly observe any directions of the representative of The Church Organization pertaining to the type of music to be played, the volume of the music, etc.”