Strengthen and Beautify Homes, Says President Kimball

President Spencer W. Kimball recently called upon both members and nonmembers to strengthen and beautify their homes through a three-point program. In a statement released from the Church Office Building, President Kimball said:

Recognizing that the family is the basic unit of both the Church and society generally, we call upon Latter-day Saints and all people everywhere this year to strengthen and beautify the home with renewed effort in these specific areas:

1. Food Production, Preservation, and Storage.

2. Production and Storage of Non-Food Items.

3. Fixup and Cleanup of Homes and Surroundings.

Food Production, Preservation, and Storage

We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property or on other available ground. Plant fruit trees, grape vines, and berry bushes if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables.

Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow some food in pots or planters.

Study the best methods of providing your own foods. Make your gardens neat and attractive as well as productive. If there are children in your home, involve them in the process, with assigned responsibilities.

Develop your skills in home food preservation and storage. We reaffirm the previous counsel of Church leaders to acquire and maintain a year’s supply of basic foods appropriate to your diet. Store a supply of water.

Production and Storage of Non-Food Items

Wherever possible, produce your non-food necessities of life. Improve your sewing skills to sew and mend clothing for your family. Develop handicraft skills and make or build needed items. We encourage families to have on hand a year’s supply of clothing.

Fixup and Cleanup of Homes and Surroundings

Keep in good repair and beautify your homes, yards, farms, and businesses. Repair fences, clean up and paint where needed. Keep your lawns and gardens well groomed. Whatever your circumstances let your premises reflect orderliness, beauty, and happiness.

Plan well and carry out your plan in an orderly and systematic manner. Avoid debt, and practice thrift and industry. From local sources seek out reliable information on food and non-food production, preservation, and storage. If additional information is needed, Priesthood and Relief Society leaders may write: “Home Production and Storage,” Welfare Services, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.

We encourage all Latter-day Saint and other families to become self-reliant and independent. The greatness of a people and of a nation begins at home. Let us dedicate ourselves to strengthening and beautifying the home in every way we can.

Sew What?—Bicentennial Quilts!

Betsy Ross isn’t the only one who celebrated the red, white, and blue birth of the United States with a needle and thread and devoted hours of service to a worthy project. Two Laurel classes in different states decided that their special Bicentennial activities would include original quilts.

The nimble thimbles of the Mapleton [Utah] Fourth Ward recruited the boys as well as other young women and went to work on five baby quilts for the state training school for the handicapped. The deacons showed everyone that their square knots weren’t restricted to Scout outings, and the girls showed off their stitching finesse after years of home economics classes.

The finished quilts were presented to the school’s children, and their grins were as big as the young people’s. The Mapleton youth knew that red, white, and blue would continue its popularity with at least one group for years to come.

In Blackfoot, Idaho, Laurels in the Fifth Ward started from scratch—literally, for that’s what happens when you work with freshly sheared, washed, and dried lamb’s wool! Then came a whole summer of carding the wool, and with only one carder. But the resulting batting was light and fluffy. These Laurels also decided red, white, and blue were the appropriate colors for this year. Since they had a special recipient for their quilt in mind, they added illustrations depicting Young Women’s six areas of awareness—spiritual, cultural, social, service, recreational, and homemaking activities. The quilt was tied with lazy daisy, blue-yarn stitches, and each girl added her name in a corner. Then the whole activity was sewed up with a trip to Salt Lake and a visit with the quilt’s new owner—President Spencer W. Kimball.

Carrying Your Own Weight—Plus a Lot More!

If you don’t believe a balsa-wood structure weighing slightly over one ounce can support more than 11,700 times its weight, just talk to Jeff Budge. Jeff, 16, is a junior at Orem [Utah] High School and the top winner in Brigham Young University’s model bridge-building contest for high school students. His 16-inch-long, six-inch-high structure was loaded to 828 pounds before showing signs of failure.

Jeff will receive a scholarship awarded by BYU’s College of Engineering Sciences and Technology, the sponsor of the contest.

Kenneth Flinders, 17, a senior from Midvale, Utah, won second place with his hollow-beam bridge, and 17-year-old Robert Pratt, an Orem High senior, took third with his I-beam design. Kenneth’s bridge held 806 pounds, while Robert’s supported 784. More than 160 students participated in the contest.

“Norman Mormon Bites the Dust!”

Lights! Camera! Action! Will Norman Mormon (yeah!) be able to foil Sam Snitch (hiss!) and rescue Lora Lovely from his evil clutches?

The Cody Second Ward, Cody Wyoming Stake, filmed the answer to this and other pressing questions, with the Aaronic Priesthood and the Young Women getting into the act. The script for “Norman Mormon Bites the Dust!” was written by two members of the Laurel class, but the whole group helped brainstorm the plot, characters, and dialogue.

In addition to acting chores, the young people worked on lettering, make-up, props, costumes, or filming committees. Except for the horses that were of the stick variety, everything was authentic. The film was a special high-speed film made to run slightly faster and look a little grainy. The setting—at nearby Trail Town—was an old, rebuilt western street complete with wagons, boardwalk, and cabins filled with brass beds, old quilts, antique chests, chairs, and a player piano. A costume shop loaned them many old, gay nineties costumes. Of course, the hero dressed in white and the villain in black. And even their fake mustaches were made of real hair. The only requirement to act in the play was a willingness to be a ham!

After the action shots were completed, the film crew, working with their specialist, took still photos of written conversation placards. Cards included “Ladies, please remove your hats” and “Please keep your laughing to yourself. It might disturb others.” An introduction shot of a “roaring” toy tiger was also added. The stills were spliced into the film as it was edited. A talented musical specialist helped work out a sound track of old-time songs and ragtime music appropriate to each scene.

The melodrama premiered at a two-ward party, and if enthusiastic hurrahs, yeahs, hisses, and boos from the audience are any indication, the film was a huge success. But that wasn’t the end of Norman Mormon. The young people immediately made plans to show the film at the local nursing home.

Everyone involved in “Norman Mormon Bites the Dust” agreed that it was a fun way for young people to learn new skills and create unity.

Abraham Lincoln Gets a Bath

Though his memory shines especially bright during this Bicentennial year, Abraham Lincoln had lost some of his luster for citizens in Spokane, Washington. It seems the city’s statue of the nation’s 16th president needed a facelift after prolonged exposure to the rainy northwest climate. It was the Explorers of the Spokane First Ward who provided the manpower to clean up the statue.

Accepting President Kimball’s challenge that each American devote 24 hours of service to his community, the Explorers scrubbed the statue with a vinegar solution and polished it up with naval jelly.

It was a great birthday present to the country, and both the Explorers and Abe have reason to stand tall.

Tabernacle Choir and the Stars and Stripes

The Tabernacle Choir will sing its Bicentennial salute to the United States on an eastern concert tour, climaxing on Independence Day in Washington, D.C.

The tour will open in Philadelphia and continue in Boston and New York City before celebrating the country’s 200th birthday in the national capital.

The choir schedule includes an evening concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Eugene Ormandy on June 29, concerts in Boston on June 30 and July 1, and a July 1 Carnegie Hall concert in New York City. The 375-voice choir will then travel to Washington, D.C., on July 2 for an evening concert in the 18,000-seat Capital Centre.

On Saturday, July 3, the choir will participate in morning dedicatory services for the Washington Temple Visitors Center.

A morning devotional service will be held July 4 in Capital Centre. President Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, and Elder L. Tom Perry will speak. Elder Hinckley is chairman of the Church Temple Committee, and Elder Perry, of the Church Bicentennial Committee.

The choir’s weekly television and radio broadcast, “Music and the Spoken Word,” will be broadcast from the Capital Centre.

“The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is gratified at this opportunity to contribute to the Bicentennial celebration in cities where so much of America’s greatness was established,” said Oakley S. Evans, choir president. “We can think of no better place for the choir to be on the nation’s 200th birthday.”

The Bicentennial appearances will mark the Choir’s seventh visit to Washington, D.C. The first was in 1911 when they performed for President William H. Taft in the White House. Subsequently the Choir has performed in Washington in 1958, 1965, and 1969 (the latter two at presidential inaugurations), and in 1970 and 1974.

Mothers, Daughters, and Pedal Pushers

Fruit punch, dainty cakes, and lacy dresses were soundly defeated by bicycles, apples, and jeans as the Nephi, Utah, Young Women and their mothers voted for a pedal-power retreat.

Taking cue from the stake sports director’s suggestion that the women’s programs needed more activity, the mothers and daughters in the Nephi Stake scheduled a six-mile ride from the stake house to the airport and back. After the trip, most mothers agreed that they were grateful the course was flat and their tires weren’t.

A Nephi City policeman whose daughter and wife were riding with the group was on the scene to direct any traffic jams and, if necessary, revive puffing bikers with resuscitation gear.

The halfway point meant punch and apples and a short time-out for weak thighs and wobbly knees. Nearing the end of the course there were lots of red faces, but they knew they’d be a lot redder if they rode back in an accompanying truck via four wheels instead of two. One daughter had both her mother and grandmother riding with her, and the three generations were willing to take on any challengers.

Back at the stake house, mothers and daughters were served a well-earned lunch followed by a short program. There were even awards for bikers: “Lifesavers” for the most helpful; a “Powerhouse” bar for the speediest pedaler; “Snickers” candy for the biggest giggler; a “Rally” bar for the most impressive last effort; and a package of “Rolaids” for a mother who took a turn with a little too much enthusiasm and landed in a ditch.

George Washington Crosses the Delaware … Again … and Again …

With all the replays it was starting to look like Monday Night Football. Actually George Washington only crossed the Delaware River once, but don’t tell the young people in the Idaho Falls 35th Ward. They’ve had the Father of the Country crossing more water than t’s.

So successful was their winning roadshow that it turned into a service project by both choice and popular, or rather patriotic, demand. At first the show played for various wards in the Idaho Falls South Stake. After taking top honors in the stake festival, the youth were asked to stage their show for the community’s Bicentennial celebration on Washington’s birthday. More than 2,000 students and adults saw George hit the deck once more. Moving full speed ahead, the young people presented the hit at another Bicentennial program in May.

By then the young people didn’t want to abandon the ship; they decided that the residents at a learning home for the handicapped would enjoy live history. George and his friends even planned a special party for the audience. Not stopping there, the young people steered their enthusiasm and George’s boat into full throttle and prepared to launch their show in rest homes and nursing homes.

The audiences were all supportive and receptive; and the Idaho Falls youth were glad their song-and-dance roadshow had made so many waves—of laughter and cheers!

[photo] (From left) Dr. W. Don Budge of the BYU Civil Engineering Department, Kenneth Flinders, Robert Pratt, and Jeff Budge watch Jeff’s bridge on the loading device. Other winning bridges are in the foreground