When the Kaysville Utah East Stake youth committee decided to stage a musical in honor of the Bicentennial, they didn’t expect the play’s nonmember author to fly from New York for the production. But nothing could have given them any more cause for enthusiasm and potential stage fright.
The young people voted to put on Tall Tom Jefferson, complete with youth orchestra. After writing to request the musical score, they were told there was no complete orchestration available to them. One of the adult leaders decided to call the New York publishing company. She soon found out she was talking to the play’s author, Ruth Roberts. Mrs. Roberts was told the production would be staged by a Church group, and her interest in Mormons and Utah increased. Of course, she was invited to attend the Kaysville performances and see Utah. Mrs. Roberts offered to lend the group the score used by a professional orchestra in England, but added she thought the arrangement much too difficult for high school-age players.
Within days, over 1,000 pages of music—23 pounds—reached Kaysville, and with them came a letter from Mrs. Roberts accepting the group’s invitation to attend their production. The young people would get the opportunity to show her their acting and musical finesse.
Meanwhile the cast was getting ready to introduce Jefferson and his friends to their friends. With more than 150 cast members, making the costumes kept wives, mothers, and sisters busy with their needles. The chorus found the orchestration and choral books to be in different keys with syncopated tempos. A major transposition overhaul put the two in step with each other and the cast.
On opening night Mrs. Roberts was there; and the local high school gym was full of hoop skirts, three-corner hats, waistcoats, and frilly petticoats, along with anxious moms and dads and restless little brothers. But it didn’t take very long before everyone settled down to enjoy an evening of early American history a lot less painful than anyone could recall it ever having been before.
Jim Gregory often has a problem: too few people for too many jobs. It’s not an unusual situation for an LDS Sunday School president, but Jim’s case is unusual; he is 17 and a priest in the Henderson [Kentucky] Branch.
The Henderson Branch is small—only 150 members. Filling Church positions within a small branch is a real task for Jim. Also, the goals of the Sunday School give him an added challenge.
“It’s difficult, and yet rewarding, to have this calling. The Sunday School is the one organization that deals with the family as a whole,” says Jim. “I’ve learned that you have to always keep your faith and everything will work out right.”
Before his call to the Sunday School presidency, Jim served as teachers quorum president and as assistant to the president of the priests quorum. Jim is also a certified lifeguard instructor and swimming teacher. Football, hunting, and camping keep him busy too. After graduating from high school he plans to study music in college and fill a mission.
It just took a little imagination and a good idea and Patricia Louderback ended up a winner. A member of the Moanalua Ward, Honolulu Hawaii West Stake, Pat was a top contributor to her state health fair. Pat won trophies for her poster urging drinking parents to “Go Home to Your Family” and another emphasizing “Alcohol Doesn’t Make Your Problems Go Away. It Adds to Them.” George R. Ariyoshi, Governor of Hawaii, presented the awards to Pat.
After graduating from Moanalua High School next year, Pat hopes to enroll as a sociology major at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho.
They picked up spatulas, skillets, and long-handled spoons, and the resulting gastronomical delights brought smiles to the guests as well as to the enthusiastic cooks. In order to raise money for the Brazil and Tokyo temple funds, the priests of the Idaho Falls 31st Ward were staging a ward dinner, including food prepared from authentic Brazilian recipes. They managed to raise $378.
The priests sold tickets and suggested that adults contribute $5, children $2.50, and families $20. The ward members arrived with growling stomachs and appreciation for the Aaronic Priesthood youth, who don’t believe in half-baked ideas. The priests found that putting on the whole dinner took as much coordination as playing zone defense at activity night. Everyone was excited when the plates came back empty—it was also a relief to the dish-washing and cleanup crew.
After the planning, ticket selling, shopping, cooking, serving, and cleaning up, the quorum was fully aware of the intricacies of staging a ward dinner. But they were glad to do their part to help Church members in other parts of the world. They will also remember the experience and their hardwork recipe for success.
Someday Torrance, California, will boast a 12-acre park with landscaped picnic areas, sports fields, and a playground for children; and the 10,000 residents who live within a square mile will be able to thank some active LDS youths for helping to bring it about.
The huge stacks of tumbleweeds and trash collected by the young people of the Torrance California South Stake helped the city move closer to beginning work on the park. For the youths, the cleanup campaign followed President Kimball’s advice that Americans devote 24 service hours to their communities this year. The project was also part of a three-day Bicentennial youth conference.
Choosing the theme, “Join the Freedom Train—Share Your Gospel Heritage,” the young people began the conference with a flag ceremony and color guard presentation. Then the 400 members and nonmembers were treated to a banquet served by their adult advisers. Of course, the decorations were all patriotic red, white, and blue. Song, dance, comedy, and a touch of dramatics were provided by the “Sounds of Zion,” a 50-member, touring Utah State University performing group. The college students reviewed the early days of movies, radio, television, and popular music. Also included were Church hymns and patriotic songs.
The next day the young people went to work at Torrance’s del Thorne Park. There are currently no park facilities available for nearby residents. The area will welcome the park when completed, and the young people will enjoy its features, knowing they contributed to its success.
The cleanup project was followed by the Rio Hondo Institute’s three-act musical-drama, Moroni’s Promise. The play centers on a young man’s uncertainty about accepting a mission call until he prays for guidance. After the play the Torrance young people danced to the music of “Pacifica,” though no one could believe they were still able to stand on their feet after the day’s work.
On Sunday evening the youth gathered for a sacrament and testimony meeting conducted by Stake President Eldon H. Morgan. President Morgan spoke on liberty, the true meaning of freedom, and why we should live within the law. Many youths bore their testimonies and expressed deep feelings for their families, Church, and country.
When the conference came to an end, the young people recognized that they had helped serve their community, made new friends, shared testimonies, and strengthened their commitment to do the Lord’s work. These were goals they had determined themselves. They knew that if they made up their minds to get something done, they probably would.
Twins Vince and Wayne Watson of Anchorage, Alaska, saw the wheels of big government really roll on a recent visit to “Washington Workshops.” The brothers’ trip, sponsored by four area banks and the local Teamsters Union, gave them the opportunity to spend two weeks touring historic landmarks, sitting in on legislative sessions, and enjoying the spectacular beauty of the nation’s capital. While in Washington the two also visited the temple and did baptisms for the dead.
Vince and Wayne have long been interested in government and leadership. For four years they alternated as class president and vice president; this past year Vince served as senior class president and Wayne as student body head at Bartlett High School in Anchorage. Both attended the .American Legion Boy’s State, earned Duty to God Awards, hold the rank of Eagle, and have participated in Church and school dramas and musicals, including Saturday’s Warrior.
Vince and Wayne have also completed four years of seminary, which in Alaska means getting up at 4:30 A.M., while holding down 20-hour-a-week jobs.